Handmade Hearts Blitz

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Handmade Hearts blog blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Handmade Hearts by June McCrary Jacobs, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Handmade Hearts Cover.jpg Title: Handmade Hearts  
Author: June McCrary Jacobs  
Publisher: JMJ Story Stitcher Books  
Release Date: December 18, 2018  
Genre: Historical Romance 

'Handmade Hearts' is an historical romance short story set in New Orleans during World War II and was inspired by a true story.

Toward the end of his life, the author asked her Uncle 'Allen' how he met his wife. He shared about how he met 'Irene' at a church social in their neighborhood in New Orleans in the early 1940s. He had been seriously wounded in Guadalcanal in the South Pacific as a young Marine and was using crutches to get around as best he could.

He had many inner wounds which needed time to heal, too. He had no way of knowing when they first met that Irene had suffered her own wartime tragedy. She bravely sought to keep her grief locked away deep inside because thinking about her loss caused her even more sorrow. She needed to be strong because she was the breadwinner for her small family.

Times were tough, but these two unique individuals made it through each day with inner fortitude, determination, and the sincere hope of something greater just over the horizon.

This inspirational short story follows the growth of Allen and Irene's relationship beginning with their chance meeting and leading forward to a lifetime spent together. 'Handmade Hearts' was created to honor this unique couple's love for and devotion to each other in a relationship which spanned seven decades.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon

 New Orleans, Louisiana
October 20, 1944

Allen wrestled with his heavy wooden crutches. Each step was agonizing. He grimaced as he labored up the stairs of the church's fellowship hall proudly wearing his uniform—a uniform he’d dreamed of wearing since learning of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
In addition to the almost intolerable and constant pain, the three bullet wounds received from a sniper in Guadalcanal two months ago had wreaked havoc with his plans for his life. Well, at least I still have a life . . .
Dozens of his fellow Marines had not made it out of Guadalcanal alive on that horrendous, life-altering night. Allen felt himself slipping into the abyss of traumatic memories once again. The vivid memories that plagued him daily flashed in front of his eyes. His pulse quickened, and his heart pounded loudly in his ears. He felt clammy and nauseous, and both legs began to tremble.
A woman's melodic voice roused him from his memories of the ambush.
 "Good evening, Lance Corporal. May I hold the door for you?"
 Allen wondered how long she had been speaking to him before her voice drifted through to his subconscious. He blinked as the details of her face came into focus.
"Uh, what? Yes, I guess you'd better," Allen snapped.
When he recognized the hurt expression on her face, he turned toward her.
 "Sorry if I sounded gruff. I just feel so helpless being dependent on these blasted crutches!"
"No need to apologize or explain," she answered in a soothing voice.  "Let me introduce myself. I'm Irene Carston."



author photo_black & white

June McCrary Jacobs was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing's 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, 'A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom'. 'Robin's Reward', her first full-length novel, was set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the 'Bonita Creek Trilogy'.

June's debut middle-grade novel, 'RES-Q Tyler Stop', an historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, will be released in the spring of 2019. The second installment of the 'Bonita Creek Trilogy', 'Penny's Promise', will be released in late 2019 or early 2020.

June's original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and on sewing industry blogs in the past decade. When she's not writing, reading, blogging, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, visiting art and history museums, and touring historic homes and gardens.

CONNECT WITH JUNE: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Goodreads Blog | Amazon


handmade hearts giveaway
(1) winner will win an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts + $15 Amazon Gift Code 
(2) additional winners will each receive an ebook copy of Handmade Hearts

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 15, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 22, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Teal Paisley Tights by Barbara Brutt Reviewed

Monday, January 14, 2019

About the book:

Title: Teal Paisley Tights
Author: Barbara Brutt
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing

Life post-graduation was supposed to see the launch of Jadyn’s art career, or at least an art gallery showing one of her watercolor paintings. Instead, this Pittsburgh native is locked into a low-paying consultant position with an impossible boss. When another coworker is fired, Jadyn inherits an extra workload, including the company’s biggest client. If she loses him, she’s fired.
Evicted from her apartment because of a small spending problem, she is forced to move in with her know-it-all sister. While everyone else plans a neat, buttoned-up life for her, Jadyn longs to paint professionally. Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose.
Will practicality always win?
Amazon || B&N || 

About Barbara Brutt:

I believe words heal. Whether written or read, words have a way of building a bridge from the heart to the mind. I want to explore that.
I’m a 20-something hope-in-progress bent on growing despite the gritty, pot-holed road of adulthood. Jump in the passenger seat and I’ll try to be a good driver!
My work experience includes a smattering of jobs from shop girl to project manager with a healthy dose of nanny and house-cleaner. Basically, I’m your Jane of all trades.
I’ve lived in three countries (USA, Dominican Republic, and Austria), and I’ve visited 17 more countries on top of that. My goal is to visit the world. Shhh! A girl can dream!
Currently, I live a nomadic life so I blog most often in a borrowed space. My most cherished dream (besides traveling the world) is to become a published novelist (I’ve completed a manuscript!).
I rarely turn away ice cream (peanut butter please) and only buy purses that provide room for a book or two (or a kindle).
I’d love to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. Oh, I Snapchat @piquelar, too! Quick! Go message me your current read!

My Thoughts:

Barbara Brutt's debut book Teal Paisley Tights is the chick lit that I've adored since it became a genre. Jadyn is a hot mess of a heroine, which we can all identify with at some point in time, and so incredibly fun. She is creative and finds a way to turn disasters into something not so horrible.

I liked how she decided to step out of her comfort zone and did what she loved. We all know that family relationships can be tough and Ms. Brutt shows the sister relationship with humor and truth.

The entire book was laugh out loud fun. I found Jadyn's voice sweet and very, very chaotic which fit her actions. And her obsession with her teal paisley tights will make you not only shake your head in amusement but have you thinking about getting a pair.

I received a copy of this book via the publisher in association with Just Read Publicity Tours. I was not required to write a review all thoughts and opinions are my own.

First Line Friday . . . Featuring My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge

Friday, January 11, 2019

 I haven't participated in First Line Friday in awhile. Life got busy by busy I mean reading books.

2018 was quite a year. In the summer I was asked by Carrie Schmidt of Reading is My SuperPower to be a contributing reviewer for a new bookish magazine called Hope By The Book. I am still pinching myself that I have two reviews in actual print. One of those reviews is for Pepper Basham's January 2019 release My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge.

This is one of my favorite reads of 2018 and because it is I'm going to spotlight it here today. My review is in the launch issue of Hope By The Book and you can order a copy here.

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel's imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel's father's drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

First Line:

September 1918

"He's bringing nothin' but trouble, Caroline McAdams. Make no bones about it." 

First Line Friday is hosted by Hoarding Books. Please leave your first line in the comments, then go to Hoarding Books to see theirs and other first line's.

What's In the Bible Series by Jelly Telly Press

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Hannah C. Hall has created board books in the flavor of Veggie Tales for little readers. The pictures are bright, big, colorful, and eye catching to little ones.

About Hannah C. Hall

Hannah C. Hall is wife to a worship pastor and stay-at-home mom to three delightful kids. She is the bestselling author of fourteen children’s books and lives with her family in Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

Gigantic animals, teeny-tiny animals, soft furry animals, shiny animals that crawl-God made them all.
Brothers Clive & Ian visit the zoo and discover that God created each amazing animal perfectly unique!
Featuring beloved characters Clive & Ian from the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? comes a new series of fun, easy-to-read board books designed just for preschoolers. Written by bestselling children’s book author, Hannah Hall, the series features charming illustrations and helps parents teach their children about God’s Creation and His love for them.

 God made the world and everything in it!
Brothers Clive & Ian go on a picnic and discover that God created the whole world for us to enjoy.
From the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? comes a new series of fun, easy-to-read board books designed just for preschoolers. Written by bestselling children’s book author, Hannah Hall, the series features charming illustrations and helps parents teach their children about God’s Creation and His love for them.

  I am special because God made ME.
Clive helps his brother Ian learn that he is special because God made him!
Featuring beloved characters Clive & Ian from the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? comes a new series of fun, easy-to-read board books designed just for preschoolers. Written by bestselling children’s book author, Hannah Hall, this series features charming illustrations and helps parents teach their children about God’s Creation and His love for them.

There was a moon and there was a sun and it was good!
Brothers Clive & Ian go on a camping trip and discover that God made the sun and moon, darkness and light, day and night!
From the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? comes a new series of fun, easy-to-read board books designed just for preschoolers. Written by bestselling children’s book author, Hannah Hall, the series features charming illustrations and helps parents teach their children about God’s Creation and His love for them.

My grandchildren are a too old for these books, but they would make a great baby shower gift or birthday gift for a little one up to the age of five. Older children would probably get bored with them however a beginning reader could use them.

Overall I think these are cute, and show that how God is apart of every aspect of our life.

Visit Jelly Telly Press here to learn more about the books and order copies for the little loves in your life.

Anticipated Reads of 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

There are so many wonderful upcoming books for 2019 that I'm only going to do my anticipated reads from January to March. I'll get to the others in the coming weeks.




These are just the tip of the 2019 anticipated book releases. Visit Goodreads here to see the others.

What are you looking forward to releasing in the first few months of 2019? Are any of them in my list? Let me know in the comments.

Favorite Non-Fiction of 2018

Sunday, January 6, 2019

I am not a non-fiction fan so I don't read much if any of it. But, when I was looking back at all the books from 2018 the two non-fiction books that I used were Bible studies and I loved doing them. They were more than just a Bible study, each had an element of creativity. In verse mapping Acts I didn't feel the pressure to complete something every day which gave me the desire to work on it. With 100 Days of Bible Promises the creativity was what drew me to each day.

 Do you want to do more than just read Scripture? Do you want to research and apply what you learn to your life today?  In the Verse-Mapping Bible Study Series, Kristy Cambron shares how this method of studying the Bible revolutionized her time with God and how it can do the same for you.
In each of the six-sessions of Acts: Feasting on the Abundance of God's Word, she provides practical examples on how to take the first steps in verse mapping and learn how to explore the Bible like never before, and customize your Bible study time for a deeper and more authentic walk with God.

Below is my first verse map in the Acts study.

Ms. Cambron created a verse mapping video giving the basics of verse mapping.

In her devotional journal, 100 Days of Bible Promises, author Shanna Noel prompts you to dive into God's unwavering truth, with topics such as freedom, comfort, grace, and gratitude.  For 100 days, you'll receive a featured Scripture, devotion, prayer, along with space for doodling, journaling, writing notes, or any other forms of creative expression.  Take time to listen to the whispering voice of God, pray and reflect on His steadfast promises and allow Him to change your life.  God's promises are power for living!  Soft touch flexible latex board; notebook binding; 208 pages

If you are looking for a Bible study for the new year, I recommend both of these. Verse Mapping has a Luke study and there is 100 Days of Grace and Gratitude. Both are a go at your own pace and will fit in with a busy schedule. 

Taking a Looking Back . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2019

On New Year's Day 2007 I decided to start this blog. My entire purpose twelve years ago was to use this blog to keep track of my reading. Little did I know what God had planned for it. In 2007 I didn't even know that review programs existed let alone know how to write a review. God did. He began opening doors, putting pieces together for me to become not only a reviewer but encourage authors and help readers find great books to read.

The books listed below are the first ones I read as a member of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, Litfuse Publicity, as well as Revell, Bethany House reviewers.  Some are their debut novel, others not. As a reviewer it's been fun to watching them grow as writers, take on new projects, even take a stab at independent publishing after being traditionally published.

There are a lot of negative things about the internet, however, for me a huge positive has been the avenue it has given me to connect with these dear authors who I am privileged to call friends. And let me tell you, each of these authors are as wonderful as their books. So, if you haven't read their work then click the book cover find out what they've written since these books. Pepper Basham, Jen Turano, and Laura Frantz have new releases out NOW! The others have books coming out this year that I am so excited about!

 Thanks for taking a look back with me!

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