Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga) by Morgan L. Busse Reviewed

Saturday, November 17, 2018

About the book:

Title: Mark of the Raven
Author: Morgan L. Busse
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.
As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.
Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.
One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

About Morgan:

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

My Thoughts:

I'm not what you'd call a fantasy fan. I read it, but I'm very picky about who I read. Mainly because the world building and language has to be comprehensible for me. I read the back cover copy to this book and I was immediately drawn to it. 

Morgan Busse is a new author for me, I haven't read any of her work before and I am now a huge fan.

I loved this book and the story! 

Ms. Busse creates a world that can not only be understood, you become immersed in it and don't want to leave.

Selene is a heroine you cheer for. She's trying to not only understand the heritage of dreamwalking  but figure out why they use the information gathered to harm instead of help. 

Overall, this is a great fantasy read one that draws you into the story makes you feel like you have not only entered the world but feel as though you are dreamwalking with Selene.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a member of Bethany House blogging team. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Surrounded by Darkness Windy Ridge Series Book 3 by Rachel Dylan Reviewed

About the book:

Title: Surrounded by Darkness
Author: Rachel Dylan
Series: Windy Ridge Book 3

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.
Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.
With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough—in God and each other—to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

About Rachel:

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. 

My Thoughts:

Surrounded by Darkness book three of The Windy Ridge series picks up right where book two, Fatal Accusation left off. 

The characters were strong and well developed. I liked how she added the new element of a clinic for abused women. That provided a different setting not only for the characters but for her to create tension between Olivia and Layton.

I liked how she used the angels and demons within the story, I would have liked to see them more.

While this was a good book, I found the suspense lacking. Ms. Dylan is so great at creating suspense in her books yet I felt like she held back. I kept waiting for something to happen but it just didn't.

I know I review a lot of series and some book two or three etc can be read as a stand alone. This series can't be. You'll miss something if it's not read in order.

Disclaimer: I received a copy via the publisher as a member of Rachel Dylan's street team. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking For Fun Bookish Gifts

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Christmas is right around the corner which means it's time to start looking for Christmas gifts for your favorite bookworm. Top Ten Tuesday

 Storied Jewelry by author friend, Ginny Yttrup has several fun items for the reader or writer in
 I've seen these scarves floating around the internet. Mainly the one with The Tale of Two Cities on it. This one with Emma by Jane Austen is one that grabbed my attention.

This is one of my favorite bookish items and I have quite a collection growing. Steffani Webb is the creator of book cozies and she has a lot of really fun prints to choose from. Visit Live the Cozy Life Shop on Etsy.

This is one of my favorite sayings and I think it's a fun mug. You can buy it here.

Do you love candles, and especially having a lit candle while your reading? I do. I love FrostBeard Studio because the candles are soy, but I love that they have tarts of the same scent for warmers. And their scents are wonderful!

I think these sheets are the coolest! I can't find where to purchase these but I'd love to have a set.

And who can go without BOOKMARKS?????

Beedoo is one of my favorite shops their images are wonderful, and prices are very reasonable.

Why Did You Choose Me? by Katie Cruice Smith Review and Giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018


November is National Adoption Month, and we're celebrating with the Why Did You Choose Me? Saturday Hop and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Tours and Ambassador International! Every Saturday in November, hop along to the different host blogs and enter the great giveaway!


WDYCM_FullCover Title: Why Did You Choose Me?  
Author: Katie Cruice Smith 
Illustrator: Sarah Strickling Jones 
Publisher: Ambassador International 
Release Date: November 12, 201
Genre: Children's Picture Book, Adoption

Most adoptive and foster children struggle at some point in their life with knowing who they are and where they belong. They want to ask questions, and parents need to be prepared with an answer that helps their child feel loved and secure.

After searching for adoption storybooks to read to her own adopted children, Katie Cruice Smith decided that there was a need for more books that parents could read at bedtime to connect with their adopted and fostered children.

In Why Did You Choose Me?, Katie Cruice Smith answers that question in a way that young children can understand. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, Katie uses the questions her own children have asked to help them see there never really was a choice she knew right away that they were hers.

With beautiful illustrations by artist Sarah Strickling Jones, Why Did You Choose Me? lovingly demonstrates the uniqueness that each child brings to a family.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador International


View More:

Katie Cruice Smith is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor, and she resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and three adopted children. Katie is an adoption and foster care advocate, and she and husband are licensed foster parents and the founders of their church’s orphan ministry. She is currently working on a devotional book to accompany Why Did You Choose Me?

CONNECT WITH KATIE: website | Facebook | Twitter

Sarah Strickling Jones enjoys working with oils, acrylics, ceramics, and printmaking. She creates her artwork and teaches students of all ages from her country home. She lives in Greer, South Carolina, with her husband Darren and four children: Trevor, Peyton, Blake, and Renea. Why Did You Choose Me? is Sarah Strickling Jones’ first illustrated children’s book in watercolor.


 My Thoughts:

As an adoptee this book reminded me of the book my parents read to my little brother and I nightly. A family friend from our church gave us the book The Chosen Baby, and my parents wanted us to know that we were indeed chosen.

This book has the same message only for children today. I thought the message was sweet and one that a child would understand. Adoptee's have a natural desire to know they are wanted, chosen, and special and this book does that.

I recommend this book for adopted children. It's a good way to show children they are chosen, and wanted.

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

saturday hop giveaway

(1) winner will receive
  • a print copy of Why Did You Choose Me?
  • "For This Child I Prayed" ornament (more info HERE)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 1, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week 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 for a full list of stops/dates!


Literarily For Keeps by Sarah Monzon Reviewed

Monday, November 5, 2018

 About the book:

Title: Literarily For Keeps
Author: Sarah Monzon

Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that's exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request--quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh's has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire's prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son?
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?

                                                      Amazon || 

About Sarah Monzon:

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain's wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world.
Playing pretend all day with them isn't enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn't in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.

Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram ||

My Thoughts:

Sarah Monzon does it again! Whether it's a fun rom-com or a deep moving novel she captures the heart, mind and funny bone with her writing.

I love Ashleigh and Landon's story. The cute cover, bookish title, and the laugh out loud story within the pages made this a quick one day read. One swoony kiss, literary quotes, romantic moments, and heartache make up this sweet novella.

Ms. Monzon tackles a hot button topic among believers in this little book and she handles it well and shows both sides respectfully and honestly.

I adored this story and found myself attempting to hold laughter in so I didn't wake my husband, which was impossible. I love books that make me laugh, swoon, and think; this book does all of that. I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher in association with the author's street team. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

October Recap

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fall weather has really settled in here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho. It's overcast today which for me is perfect for staying inside with a cozy blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good book.

It's been a busy October, the month just seemed to fly by. I am surprised I was able to read and review six books with Hope By the Book magazine hitting the web. I'm learning how to prioritize my time so I can read, and get everything done on my list.

Speaking of Hope By the Book, I have a few favorite articles from October.

Fall reading nook.  

Cozy mystery reads.

Discovering the awesomest daddy ever.

And with November comes Nano Writing Month. If you're unfamiliar with that, it's where crazy authors, and wanna be ones, decide to torture themselves and write 50,000 words in 30 days. And yes, I have decided that reading, reviewing for a magazine and a blog, and life as a grandmother isn't enough, I'm joining the group of crazies to torture myself. LOL

What's been going on in your part of the world? I hope you read wonderful books in October and have some great ones lined up for November.

Coming in November I will be reviewing. . .

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L Busse

Why Did You Choose Me by Katie Cruice Smith

When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma

I am sure there will be a few more that will pop up.

I hope you have a wonderful November!


When your fictional hero comes to life on the big screen, it’s easy to get starstruck…
Unless the leading man happens to be your ex.

Having your book turned into a TV series is every writer’s dream come true…
Unless your leading man happens to be your ex.

About the book:
Title: Starstruck
Author: Carla Laureano
Publisher: Laureano Creative Media, LLC
Series: Discovered by Love

Novelist Christine Lind has achieved her lifelong dream—a string of best-selling books and a cable-TV adaptation about to go into production. But on her way to London FanFest for the cast reveal, disaster strikes: their leading man is injured in a motorcycle accident… and his replacement is the one person she hoped she’d never seen again.
Nick Cleary has clawed his way to recognition as a Hollywood actor, but it’s long past time he get the chance to show he’s more than a pretty face and a chiseled set of abs. His big break comes in the form of a juicy lead role in a new steampunk fantasy series. There’s just one catch—casting has to be approved by the author… a woman he once devastated through his own youthful stupidity.
Christine is the last person to be starstruck by the handsome heartthrob, but as the clock ticks down to the cast announcement and Nick races to show that he’s really changed, she begins to wonder if there’s more to her ex than his Hollywood persona. Except now the consequences of being wrong no longer apply only to her career… but also to her carefully guarded heart.
Amazon Kindle || i-Tunes || Google Books || Kobo || B&N Nook ||

About Carla Laureano:

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
Web | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Get the first Discovered by Love novella for free here.

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