Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman Review and Giveaway

A Wing and a Prayer tour banner

About the Book

A Wing and a Prayer
Series: The Cousins O’Connor
Genre:  Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: April 1, 2020
She’s dead-set on giving everything to the war overseas …
Even if it means losing everything in a war of the heart.
A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a WASP — Women Air Force Service Pilot — she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.
Lieutenant Alex Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Alex is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Alex eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.

About the Author

JULIE_TURQUOISE IN CHAIR (1)
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, and Silver Lining Ranch series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards.
Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction. Her independent novel A Light in the Window was an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at http://www.julielessman.com.

Review

I am so glad Julie Lessman has continued to write about the O'Connor's! I fell in love with the O'Connor's back in 2008 with A Passion Most Pure and when the Winds of Change series ended I had O’Connor withdrawls! 

Her first installment of The Cousins O’Connor is full of heart wrenching emotion and does not disappoint! 

Ms. Lessman is true to her tagline of Passion With a Purpose in her story about Gabriella (Gabe) Dawn, the street urchin the Patrick and Marcy O’Connor adopted. 

Gabe has grown up but she is still a spitfire and is determined to do things her own way and definitely without God. “I don’t trust many men… And that includes God.” 

Julie Lessman is master story-teller and uses her story-telling to reveal God’s love and truth regardless of how stubborn the character may be. Historically this book takes the reader from 1943 to the end of the war. 
I cannot recommend this book enough!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in association with Singing Library Book Tours. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Character Interview with Gabriella (Gabe)

Andi - Hi, Gabe! Welcome to Radiant Light. I’ve gotten to know you through the O’Connor series but many might not know you yet. 
Gabe - Hi, Andi, and thank you for having me here today. It’s nice to be able to get my story out there because I think I’ve gotten a bum rap from Sister Mary Vomit and other nuns and teachers at St. Stephen’s in grade school, not to mention controlling men that I’ve dated and in my family, beginning with the man I respect most in life—my very own Pop. 
Andi - I appreciate you stopping by, Gabe. I agree with you, it's always nice to get your side of the story out.
What is the first thing you’d want them to know?
Gabe - The first and foremost thing people need to know is that I hate bullies in any form. Whether it’s men that who try to control me, females who try to bully me or others, or even a cock-eyed society where men are king. I gotta tell you it really gripes my cookies that women can’t be fighter pilots in this war because I was born to fight, and as one of the few female pilots around, I know I could fly circles around those other flyboys.
Pop’s convinced I’m a child prodigy, from academics and chess, to photography and flying, and he could be right. I have a photographic memory, which makes it easy for me in school—and hard for me in life because I remember every evil thing my alcoholic parents did to me before they tossed me in a trash heap at the age of five. Mom calls me a “defender of the weak,” and she’s right, too, because I will bust the chops of anyone—male or female—who I see kicking an underdog.
Andi - I'm not a fan of bullies either. I wasn't bullied as a kid, however, I've seen it and it just makes me want to hurt someone.
How would you describe Julie Lessman?
Gabe - After me, nobody hates bullies—or cliques—more than Jules, and champions underdogs like I do too. And that’s because she was bullied herself in grades 2-4, and it impacted her life forever. 
As one of thirteen, Jules went to kindergarten all day at her siblings’ school (instead of the two-hour allotted period) to avoid special pickup. Because of that, she was the teacher’s pet, receiving daily peppermints and special favors. As the top dog, kids actually used to fight over holding her hand if you can believe that. But when she switched schools in the 2nd grade, she broke out with psoriasis all over, forcing her to wear knee socks and sweaters year-round, which the kids made fun of. Once, in front of the entire class, an old nun even asked her if she was “sure she didn’t have leprosy,” actually turning her into a leper who became the butt of jokes, picked last on teams, and ridiculed as the class “cootie.
It all changed, however, when she switched schools in the 5th grade and stopped wearing sweaters and knee socks because she was fed up with doing that. Lo and behold, the sun got to her psoriasis and cleared most of it up, so she then became one of the most popular kids in the class again. But this time it was different because she KNEW what it felt like to be bullied and ostracized, so when the most popular kid in the class invited her to be part of their clique, Jules said no thanks and hung out with the less popular kids instead, building a group where everyone was treated fairly with kindness and acceptance. Both Jules and I think that’s how the world should be, so we try and do our part.
Andi - Wow! I am beyond saddened that happened to our dear friend, Jules. That story made me tear up!
What is your favorite afternoon snack? 
Gabe - Are you kidding? Dubble Bubble FOREVER! Although it really steamed my stockings when production was stopped during the war due to the sugar shortage. Fortunately, Mom and Pop gave me huge boxes full of DB each Christmas, so I have a good supply stashed away.
Andi - I totally forgot about your love of Dubble Bubble! The horror, I know!
How do you like being a member of the O’Connor family?
Gabe -  Oh, WOW, just reading that question brought tears to both my eyes and Jules’! Because, you see, both of us know what it’s like to grow up not being loved, so becoming a part of the O’Connors—which is actually Jules’ idea of the perfect family and loosely based on her own marriage—brought a healing to Jules and to me, filling in all the cracks and hurts with God’s love and that of family. So much so, that Jules actually rereads the O’Connor saga every year or so because she misses the family so much.
Andi -  I love the family as well. I'd love to have the time to reread the O'Connor saga from beginning to end. It's one of my favorite families too!
What made you choose to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots also known as W.A.S.P ?
Gabe - Ha! Because I love to fly circles around men, and I figured that was the best way to do it since I can’t be a fighter pilot. But Jules would say her one and only reason why I chose to join the WASPS was because of Mr. Vince Mooney, a dear friend of Jules and a Seekerville subscriber who suggested I become a WASP during the war. Jules had never even heard of the WASPs until Vince sent her a ton of information—and creative ideas from his fertile imagination—and that sealed the deal for us both. J
Andi - That definitely sounds like a perfect reason.
How did you meet Alexander Kincaid? Did you like him right away?
Gabe - I met Lieutenant “By-the-Book” Kincaid (otherwise known as “Lieutenant Prig-and-Proper”!) on my first day as a WASP trainee at Avenger Field, and he got on my nerves right off the bat. I thought he looked familiar, but it wasn’t till a month later that I found out he was the oldest brother of the “Kincaid bullies” who terrorized my grade school. You see, I busted one of his brother’s jaw with a bat in the 4th grade and blackened his other brother’s eye in the 5th grade. Of course, Lieutenant Prig-and-Proper knew who I was from the first day we met, which is why he picked on me, especially when he made me spit the bubblegum I was hiding behind my molars into my palm and fisting my hand over it. From that moment on, I resolved to make him pay, and trust me—I did! ;)  Problem was, he made me pay, too … by stealing my heart.
Andi - I remember those Kincaid bullies. From me to you, they deserved it. I bet you did. Thanks for stopping by again, Gabe, it was nice to get to know you a little better. 
There you have it, readers, straight from Gabriella (Gabe) Dawn O'Connor!

  Giveway

A Wing and a Prayer Giveaway
Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway ends April 8 at 11:59pm MT.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Follow along with the tour over on SLB Tours.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Signs That I'm a Book Lover



Hi! Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. I'm sitting here at my computer wondering how to spin this topic, ten signs that I'm a book lover, but my mind is drawing a blank. 



Top Ten Tuesday 48 - Bookish problemsONE - Staying up way past my bedtime reading.













Im not buying any new books Oh look! A book - Evil Plotting ...

Two- Buying new books!









Three- Always reading. Having a book with me at all times.

Four - Dreaming about the I'm reading like I'm a character.

Five - Reading more than one book at a time. 


Pin on QuotesSix - Unable to start a new book because you're still living in the last book.












Friday favourites: Things about being a reader! – MindforBooks

Seven - Falling in love with fictional characters.









Eight - Finding yourself praying for the character(s) as if they were real people.

Nine - Relating whatever is going on to a book you read. ie the current pandemic to As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner. 

Ten - Thinking about the book and the characters even when you're not reading.


Now, it's your turn . . . can you relate to my ten? Let me know in the comments!





















Thursday, March 26, 2020

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson Reviewed






About the book:

Title: More Than We Remember
Author: Christina Suzann Nelson
Publisher: Bethany House

One night changes everything for three women. . . .

When Addison Killbourn's husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband's memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.

Emilia Cruz is a deputy bearing a heavy burden far beyond the weight of her job. Her husband is no longer the man she married, and Emilia's determined to prevent others from facing the same hardship. When she's called to the scene of an accident pointing to everything she's fighting against, she's determined to see justice for those wronged.

Brianne Demanno is hiding from reality. She was thriving as a counselor, but when tragedy struck a beloved client, she lost faith in herself and her purpose. When her neighbors, the Killbourns, are thrown into crisis, Brianne's solitary life is disrupted and she finds herself needed in a way she hasn't been in a while.

As the lives of these women intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they've been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?


Goodreads || Amazon


About Christina Suzann Nelson:


Christina Suzann Nelson, inspirational speaker and award-winning author of If We Make It Home, is celebrating the release of Swimming in the Deep End, on September 25, 2018. Her first novel was honored as one of Library Journal’s top five inspirational novels of 2017. She was named the 2017 OCW Cascade’s Writer of Promise. Her stories have been published in the Cup of Comfort for a Better WorldCup of Comfort for Adoptive Families, as well as other publications. She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Child initiative, chasing escaped steers, reading, breathing in the sweet smell of her horse, hiking with her dog, or enjoying her just-as-crazy family.

Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter



My Thoughts

This book pulled me in right from the beginning. I found the story compelling and page turning. 

The three women whose lives become intersected by a deadly accident are already dealing with their own set of real life circumstances before the accident even occurs. Ms. Nelson intertwines their lives creating a nice ball of yarn that she untangles throughout the story. 

The only thing I did not like in this book was the character of Emelia. I found her to be the typical 'bad' officer we hear about on the news. 

The beauty of this book is the hope portrayed in the chaotic, messy, mistakes and heartaches of life. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Woosah Warrior Coloring Book by Christalle Bodiford Review with Giveaway






About the book:

Title: Woosah Warrior
Coloring Book - Journaling Prompts 
for Chronic Illness Warriors
Author and Illustrator: Christalle Bodiford

Woosah Warrior: Coloring Book + Journaling Prompts for Chronic Illness Warriors provides uplifting messages and prompts for you to dive deeper into your thoughts and feelings surrounding chronic illness while nudging you to maintain a positive perspective and stay present. Enjoy thoughtfully-created illustrations by artist, Christalle Bodiford, accompanied by themed journaling prompts, and additional non-themed journaling pages to share your personal thoughts. Created by a chronic illness warrior for her fellow spoonies, this brain fog friendly book won't overwhelm you with intricate illustrations, so curl up with Woosah Warrior, your favorite blanket, and take some time to recharge your spoons! 

Goodreads || Amazon  




About Christalle Bodiford




Christalle Bodiford is an artist, advocate, writer, and adventure seeker.  As an entrepreneur diagnosed with epilepsy, Christalle brings a unique perspective of empowerment that inspires others to embrace a positive mindset and live with purpose.  When she’s not writing or advocating, Christalle enjoys puppy snuggles with her scruffy terrier and outdoor adventures with her husband.

You can find Christalle Bodiford on these platforms.


















My Thoughts

Coloring for me is a huge stress reliever and the big illustrations are perfect for those days when stress is just overwhelming. I haven't used the journaling pages yet, but the prompts could be transferred to a regular journal if you have one you use specifically. 

While Ms. Bodiford has epilepsy this coloring book could be used for any chronic illness sufferer who is looking for a way to relax. 

Christalle Bodiford provided me with a copy for review and then I won her giveaway so I have an extra copy of this book to giveaway. To enter follow the following instructions.

1. You must follow my blog.
2. Leave a comment telling me why you'd like to win this and or what you're doing during this worldwide pandemic.
3. Share this giveaway one place and tag me.

I'll use rafflecopter to choose the winner on April 1, 2020.




Thursday Encouragement #12



We all seem to be living in an alternate universe at the moment and wherever you are I'm pretty sure you could use some encouragement. I am hoping what I'll post will encourage you. 

In Judges 6 there is a story about Gideon, he is a judge for Israel during the time that God gave the Israelites over to the Midianites because they were disobedient. Gideon was a very timid and fearful man. He gives God all kinds of excuses as to why he can't do what God has instructed him to do. He even tests God.

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
If we zoomed in and just focused on Gideon being timid and fearful, or his test of God we'd miss how God in chapter 7 of Judges uses Gideon to defeat the Midianites. 
Kind of like right now with everyone zoomed in on COVID-19. Satan loves to distract and place fear where it doesn't need to be.
Do we need to be concerned about the virus spreading around the world. Absolutely! Should we zoom in on just that and the way the virus is affecting us negatively? Absolutely NOT! 
I don't think God wants His people wringing their hands in worry, fear, frustration, anger . . . and the list can go on. I believe He would want us to take this time spending it with our family, read, do a puzzle, play a board game, learn a new hobby. . . things that we continue to put off because we just don't have the time. Now, we all have the time in the world and we can't seem to find anything to do. Ironic, huh? 
 “'For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,' declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”Isaiah 41:13-14 

Do your kids like fantasy books? Andrew Peterson the author of the Wingfeather Saga is reading it online for kids. You can catch the episodes on his Facebook page HERE

Now, it's your turn . . . where have you been reading in the Bible lately, what has touched you during this time? Let me know in the comments and then go visit my friends for more Thursday Encouragement. 

Trisha @ Joy of Reading

Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl 

Jacquelyn @ Heavenly Home 

Jessica @ A Baker's Perspective

Gina @ Stories by Gina 

Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes 






Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck Reviewed










About the book:

Title: The Fifth Avenue Story Society
Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls. 


Goodreads || Amazon



About Rachel Hauck



Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.
A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.
A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

You can follow her on these platforms:


Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter 



My Thoughts

As the story began it a familiar tone but I couldn't figure out what book had mysterious invitations arrive with no indication of who it was from or why the invitees were all there. Then it hit me . . . Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie! A book I just loved!

Rachel Hauck does an excellent job of creating mystery not only with the invitations but with the attendees at the story society. They seem to be wondering why they're there and how they all fit together. 

The story is told through each of the attendees point of view which allows the reader to get to know them and their individual story.

I had to stop trying to figure out who the sender of the invitations were and why they were all there to really be able to truly enjoy the story. In doing so I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I didn't want it to end, which is why I enjoy Rachel Hauck's books.

Rachel Hauck wove the spiritual element seamlessly throughout the book showing hope instead of despair.

I highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.








Top Ten Tuesday - Spring TBR List




Happy Tuesday, folks! I hope you are safe and well in your neck of the woods amid this Corona-Virus pandemic. We're hunkered down here in Idaho. I first thought about doing a pandemic type TBR for fun and then thought that wouldn't be much fun. I instead decided to actually post what I am currently reading and will be reading during spring.

























 




Now, it's your turn . . .Are any of my choices on your TBR? If not what books are for spring? Let me know in the comments.




A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman Review and Giveaway

About the Book Series:  The Cousins O’Connor Genre:   Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance Publisher:  Phase Publishing Publication...