Varina Denman’s ‘Jilted’ $50 Sweet Summertime Giveaway

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Varina Denman is the author of the award-winning Mended Hearts series, a compelling blend of women's fiction and inspirational romance. Varina writes stories about the unique struggles women face, and her passion is helping others make peace with their life situations. She lives in Texas with her husband and five mostly-grown children.

Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading

  • A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet

The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina's website.

My Take ~

Another series ends. I love series, I just hate when they end. It's like saying good-bye to a family that's been apart of your life for a few years.
As with the other books in the Mended Hearts Series, this book deals with hard stuff, forgiveness, and the reality of depression. I have been in church services where pastor's have said from the pulpit that depression isn't real it's that we aren't in true relationship with God.
Varina does a great job showing the difficulty of depression and the struggle within. I could really relate to Lynda and understand her struggle.
I highly recommend this book and the series.


My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Monday, June 20, 2016

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant - her father's love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily's struggle to find herself and the life she's lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband's sophisticated facade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets. When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices - abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman's compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she's meant to be . . . in her father's house. ..".had it not been for Annie Ruth, I would have ended up right there rocking on the front porch beside Mama. Annie Ruth took care of me. She and Mr. John drove up in his dusty pickup truck every morning at six o'clock. She got out and came in, bringing her life and soul into the house...We were her cherished charges, and I was like her own." --My Father's House
Purchase a copy:

Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

My Take~
This book took me back to another place and time, when I, myself charged ahead without God's approval and went against my parent's advice landing me in a marriage that wasn't God ordained. It reminded me why it is important for us to always allow God to direct our steps. While I wouldn't change what I went through, I would've been saved lots of heartache.
Rose does a great job of showing arrogance in our defiance and how God uses that to bring us back to Him.
Lily Rose was a character I hurt for and cheered for, I felt as if I was in Georgia experiencing life with Lily. I loved her little dog, Peppy. This was a great read, it had action and lots of drama. Just the way I like my books. I highly recommend it!


Being a Human is all the Community a Person Needs

Thursday, June 16, 2016

It hasn't been a full week since the mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando and in the last five days there has been a lot of negative discussions regarding the shooting, there have been those of concern for those patrons of the club, and the LGBTQ community, but why does there need to be a separate "community?" Every person that identifies themselves as gay, bi, or transgender are people, members of the human race and that is their community. They don't need a separate one, being a human being is all that they need. They deserve respect and dignity just like the rest of us. They have feelings just like you and me, they bleed red like I do, yet because they love someone of the same sex it's like they are less of a person, therefore needing a separate community to belong to. At least that is what the political climate would want us to believe. I don't care about the political climate, in fact I'm over politics and how with every disaster it becomes a platform for them to spew their rhetoric for all of us, hoping we'll jump on their bandwagon.

Most of us were raised with a set of morals and beliefs some of us are very active in those and others may not be. My point in writing this post is to say that we're different and it's okay! America was built on diversity yet it feels like we're all supposed to be the same because God forbid we actually use the brain God gave us to make a choice or decision. I was just a kid during the 60's and segregation something I don't remember. However, I am really feeling as if we are repeating history. Instead of segregating a race we're making those in the LGBTQ community second class citizens, and why because of who they love. Speaking of God, He created us in His image, He loves each and everyone of us, and He would've been in that club because He hung out with the lowest of the low, and He would've stood between the shooter and the patrons. So the next time you want to say that they deserved it re-think that thought or statement. No one and I mean NO ONE, deserves to be gunned down in hate.

I consider Orlando, Florida home. As a Navy brat Florida was my favorite place we lived, it is also where I graduated from high school. Most of my friends still live there, and my brother lives right down the street from this club. Any one of them could've been there that night or in the area.

That old saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." is a bunch of hogwash! They do hurt and worse than any stone throw, those words become part of a tape that plays in your head when you least expect it, it is on a never ending loop, it is something that you have to literally tell to turn off because it won't on it's own. Most of all remember that the people who were killed early Sunday morning were first of all people, they had jobs, families, they were loved and they will be missed.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Monday, June 13, 2016

Romance Fans Eagerly Anticipate Every New Release from Becky Wade
Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he's indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?
But Dru's a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She's also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray's stalker. And she's just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts--and their lives--to one another?

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

My Thoughts:

I have loved every book about the Porter family, and I am sad to see the series come to an end. It took me awhile to connect with Dru but once I did the book was a fast and enjoyable read. I liked that Meg and Bo showed up, they are my absolute favorite Porter couple. There was a lot of suspense and mystery in this book and I really enjoyed it. I'd give it 4.5 stars.


Dear Mr. Turner

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dear Mr. Turner,

I read your letter to the judge on your son's case requesting leniency in his conviction. Frankly, I was appalled! Your son may very well have been all the things you stated in that letter. However, on January 17, 2015 he became a rapist. Everything he was prior to that night does not matter, he chose to take advantage of a young woman and rape her. This is something she will have to live with for the rest of her life, and who knows how long it will take her to heal from what your son did to her. With your letter you are basically saying that he isn't responsible for his actions. He's twenty years old, an adult, he is more than old enough to be responsible, yet both you and the judge are sending a message that rape is not a crime, blaming it on alcohol and frat parties. Brock didn't even apologize to his victim in the courtroom, which may be a good thing since it wouldn't have been genuine. As his father it is your responsibility to teach him right from wrong, and taking responsibility for his actions. You clearly failed in both.
I see you have a daughter, Caroline, is this the stance you really want to take? I can almost guarantee your opinion would be quite different if Caroline was a victim of rape, or at least I hope it would be.
With a father like you, it is no wonder this generation is in the state it is. Parents not teaching and holding their children responsible for their actions. And what about your wife, Brock's mother, is this what your statement would be to the judge if your wife had been assaulted?
Brock did not have just 20 minutes of action as you state in your letter, he RAPED a girl. Let that sink in, he took from her something he didn't have permission to have, and with your words you have justified his actions.
I have six children and while I love all of them and of course don't want them to go through anything painful, mine and my husband's job is to hold them responsible for their actions no matter how hard it is to see them in pain. You, Mr. Turner, have executed a disservice to Brock. He will know that he can do whatever he wants and instead of being held accountable you will assist him in getting away with it.

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

About Laura:

Laura McNeill has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. Center of Gravity is her first novel with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson.

My Take~
This is not a review I enjoy writing, I can't say that I enjoyed the book nor can I say I didn't. I had figured out who had committed the crime and why early on in the book. Normally, I would put the book down and walk away. The only thing that kept me reading was the desire to know how it happened. Out of all of the characters in the book I was drawn to Caroline, she was the most genuine and my heart ached for her and all that she was enduring, I wanted to reach through the pages and make it better for her. I give this book a 3.5 stars.


A Glimmer of Hope; Novella (Isle of Hope) by Julie Lessman

She’s a wounded girl serving up trouble.
He’s a pastor’s kid bent on serving God.
But can they find a glimmer of hope for a future together?

From the moment Jack O’Bryen kissed the sixteen-year-old tomboy next door, he knew he would love her forever. Lacey Carmichael was everything he’d ever wanted—intelligent, warm, and brimming with life, the perfect complement to his serious and sensible self. A girlfriend who not only shared his faith, but he hoped his future as well, the perfect mate for a would-be pastor.

Eighteen-year-old Lacey Carmichael has dreamed of marrying Jack O’Bryen since she was twelve years old, the boy next door who always picked up the pieces after her father shattered her heart. But when her cousin leads her astray while Jack’s away at school and her father’s rejection soars to new heights, Lacey finds herself at odds with the boy that she loves, not only jeopardizing their relationship, but Jack’s faith and heart as well. 

Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. Julie has garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her latest novel, Surprised by Love, appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her indie book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her newsletter. Check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine.

My Take~

A Glimmer of Hope is the prequel to the novel Unfailing Love, in this novella we see how the relationship between Lacey and Jack started. In true Julie style she shows a young woman who is being beaten down by her father and is looking for a man's acceptance and love. Jack loves Lacey but is determined to stay pure until he and Lacey get married. 
In this short book Julie shows the struggle that Jack has physically, spiritually, and emotionally desiring to be pure until he gets married, along with Lacey's broken spirit and just wanting to be and feel loved. 
The book ended abruptly and I wanted more, the story picks right back up in the first book Unfailing Love. I highly recommend this book as well as Unfailing Love.  

Through the Shadows by Karen Barnett

Friday, June 3, 2016

{More about Through the Shadows}

Through the Shadows (Abingdon, May 2016)
As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.
The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.
Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.
Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?
Learn more and purchase a copy.

{More About Karen Barnett}

Karen Barnett is the author of “Beyond the Ashes,” “Out of the Ruins,” and “Mistaken.” Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs.
Find out more about Karen at

Enter to win a copy of Through the Shadows—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced June 7th on Karen’s blog!
through the shadows - 400

My Take~

Shadows are a place to hide, especially when we are doing something wrong or hiding from the truth. In this third book of the Golden Gate Chronicles we find ourselves in 1908 as San Francisco continues to recover from the earthquake. I haven't read the previous books in the series, but I was able to follow the story without a problem. The characters are real and the story is believable. Karen removes the shadows and in the truth, Amazing Grace is found. I enjoyed this book.

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