Saturday, April 30, 2016

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti - Book Blog Tour Stop, Review and Giveaway!

About the book:

Song of Silence (Abingdon, April 2016)

Music taught Lucy love and beauty. Could silence teach her hope?

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they're committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. Charlie retired early, but Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her form the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith's song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees---and hears---everything.
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My Thoughts:

I am a big supporter of music and art in schools - my own four sons are proof of the power that being musical and artistic help the learning process! (or at least that's what they told me as their music pounded and they doodled on their homework!) But it is a proven fact of how the creative process helps anyone learn better.

So reading author Cynthia Ruchti's latest novel, "Song of Silence," was a bit of a sad experience. Thankfully the story contains enough joy and love to override the sadness of a music teacher's journey to find her passion again.

Ruchti's cast of characters are endearing, and the story moves along quickly and keeps the reader's attention to find out what Lucy Tuttle discovers about her life and the lives of the ones she loves.  There is also an inspirational aspect to the story that gives it a joyful aspect as Lucy turns to her faith to get her through some tough times.

I give Cynthia Ruchti a huge round of applause for this unique and memorable novel!  I highly recommend it for fans of contemporary literary fiction with an inspirational twist.

About the author:

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She's the award-winning author of 17 books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.

Celebrate the release of Song of Silence with a blog tour and giveaway. Two winners will be chosen!

song of silence - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A $150 Visa cash card
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Song of Silence
  • A music-themed prize pack filled with goodies hand-picked by Cynthia
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 9th. The winners will be announced May 10th on Cynthia's blog.

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this tour and for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Girl From The Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom

About The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books (April 19, 2016)

An epic love story featuring an Italian singer and a British dancer, set against the backdrop of war-torn England.

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric.

Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist–but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever.

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is a story of forbidden love and family loyalties amid the most devastating war in human history.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


My Thoughts:

I'm not quite sure what it is about a good romance set in a war-time setting that really appeals to me - maybe it's the historical aspect, maybe it's the "love during desperate times" aspect - I just really enjoy a good historical romance, so I was so pleased to be asked to review Alison Love's "The Girl From The Paradise Ballroom."

This fascinating romantic tale has all the right qualities to make a historical fiction fan swoon - great characters, intriguing storyline, war-torn background - all there to make a lively and captivating read!  Love's fast-paced writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out if love will triumph or not. 

I highly recommend this novel for historical fiction fans as well as fans of a great romantic story!

About Alison Love


ALISON LOVE is the author of the historical novels Mallingford and Serafina. Her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and in 2013 her story Sophie Stops the Clock was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. Alison has worked in the theater, television, and public relations. The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is her American fiction debut.

Connect with Alison on Twitter.

Alison Love’s TLC Book Tour’s TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 18th: Luxury Reading
Monday, April 18th: The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, April 19th: The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, April 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, April 25th: Books a la Mode – guest post/giveaway
Tuesday, April 26th: Mom’s Small Victories
Wednesday, April 27th: BookNAround
Thursday, April 28th: Just Commonly
Friday, April 29th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, May 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, May 3rd: The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, May 4th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Thursday, May 5th: Write Read Life
Monday, May 9th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, May 10th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, May 11th: A Bookaholic Swede
Friday, May 13th: Broken Teepee
Monday, May 16th: Diary of an Eccentric
TBD: View from the Birdhouse

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Broadway Books for providing the review copy!  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pocket Prayers by Max Lucado - Book Review


Pocket Prayers (with various authors; Thomas Nelson, March 2016)

Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.

Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:

-Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
-Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
-Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
-Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
-Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
-Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)

My Thoughts:
One of my favorite Christian authors is Max Lucado. Not that I am prejudiced by the fact that he is from Texas ,.. but I really enjoy his down-to-earth style of talking about Jesus, Heaven, praying, and how we should live our lives in this world today. He is a strong Biblical writer and gets his message across in a way that anyone can relate to.
His latest series of book reflect just that - a series of prayer books that any and everyone can enjoy.  These tiny but powerful books feature 40 soothing and soul-changing prayers that would make perfect gifts for that special someone in your life.
I was especially touched to see the one dedicated to the military.  Our sons have a friend who has just deployed to Afghanistan for seven months, and I plan to send him this little book of prayers to let him know we are thinking about him over here while he is over there.
I highly recommend these charming books for all the upcoming gift-giving days!

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.

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My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for providing the review copies of these books.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Mars ... with Venus Rising by Hope Toler Dougherty - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review


About Mars . . . with Venus Rising

Mars . . . with Venus Rising
 (Pelican Book Group, August 2015)

A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all—including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.

Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she’s worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.

When John Townsend—full of life and the joy of living—moves to town, he rattles Penn’s view of herself, her life, and her dreams…which isn’t such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he’s a pilot.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts:
If you are looking for a light, funny and very sweet romance, then author Hope Toler Dougherty has just the book for you!  Her novel, "Mars ... with Venus Rising" is an enchanting love story with a cast of quirky characters that readers won't soon forget!
I really enjoyed the fast, breezy pace of the story and also enjoyed the inspirational aspect of the tale - the characters are Christian and not afraid to show it!  I would love to see more stories set in the adorable town of Mars and it's town of Martians!
This book would be a perfect way to kick off summertime reading! 

About Hope Toler Dougherty

Hope Toler DoughertyHope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo.
Find out more about Hope Toler at

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this tour, and to the author for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Pattern of Lies: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

One of my favorite mystery series is the Bess Crawford Mystery series by Charles Todd. Featuring a World War I nurse and the adventures she finds herself in are just compelling and enjoyable to read! 

The latest in this series is out in paperback and would be just a perfect read for the beginning of your summer reading!

A Pattern of Lies (429x648)

About A Pattern of Lies

• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 12, 2016)

Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice
In 1916, at the height of the war, an explosion and fire at an armament factory in Kent killed more than a hundred men. With Ashton Powder Mill situated so close to the coast—within reach of German saboteurs—the Army investigated, eventually ruling the event an appalling tragedy. Now, two years later, suspicion, gossip, and rumor have raised the specter of murder—and fingers point to the owner, Philip Ashton, whose son is battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s friend and former patient.
While visiting the Ashtons, Bess finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege. The police are hostile—the Inspector’s brother died in the mill explosion—and refuse to consult either the Army or Scotland Yard. Why, after two years, has the village turned against Ashton?
In France, Bess searches for the only known witness to the explosion, now serving at the Front, and tries to convince him to give evidence about that terrible Sunday morning, only to find herself and the witness hunted by someone intent on preventing anyone from discovering what—or who—is behind this web of vicious lies. Uncertain whom to trust, she can rely only on her own wits and courage, but how can she stop a killer whose face she has never seen?
Philip Ashton is urged to throw himself on the mercy of the court—where he will surely find none. Time is running out. And Bess, at the point of a gun, has only one choice left: to risk her life to save the Ashtons.
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My Thoughts:

One of my favorite mystery series is the World War I-era Bess Crawford Mysteries by Charles Todd, so I was thrilled that there would be a new installment just in time for summer reading!
"A Pattern Of Lies" is the seventh book in the series and continues the story of the life and adventures (and misadventures) of the competent and curious Bess Crawford, a nurse in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. As well as being a proficient nurse in service at the French Front during WWI, Bess often finds herself caught up in the most baffling murder mysteries, and this time around is no exception. During her time of leave back in England, Bess runs into an old patient that she had grown close to during his recuperation and discovers that his family is being targeted as causing a gunpowder mill to explode, killing hundreds of workers. As Bess works to discover the real cause of this horrendous accident (while still traveling back and forth to her job at the frontlines) she turns up witnesses and evidence that could possibly change the outcome of the troubles back home.
The mother/son team who make up Charles Todd always do an outstanding job with their mysteries (they also write the Ian Rutledge series) - with endearing characters, great story lines and fascinating settings that teach a great deal of history while entertaining with an intriguing mystery - a fine feat of writing in itself!
It is probably advisable to have read some of the previous novels in the Bess Crawford series, as there are many reoccurring characters that pop in and out, but it isn't strictly necessary - but if you enjoy a well-written, lively series you will want to go back and indulge in all of the wonderful books that have preceded this one!

About Charles Todd

Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

Visit their website at and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to William Morrow Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guest Author Post - Jodi Thomas, author of "Lone Heart Pass"

It is always a pleasure to host Texas author Jodi Thomas here at the blog, and today she is here to talk about her latest book, "Lone Heart Pass: A Ransom Canyon Romance." 
Some books come into my mind fast, at full gallop.  LONE HEART PASS was like that and I loved writing it.  Many nights I was up later than planned because I wanted to see what happened next.
I opened the story with two people.  Jubalee’s world is crashing down so she goes to the only place she’s ever felt safe—a tiny ranch near Crossroads, Texas. 
Charley thinks he’s messed up his life and is struggling to get it right for once.  He’s broke, she’s desperate to make this last chance work, so they agree on a partnership that might just save them both. Only, goals never come easy.  He’s trying to raise a daughter alone and she has a sister who runs away from her marriage.  Charley’s big heart makes him stand up for a homeless boy in danger as Jubalee and Charley’s love begins to grow.
By the way, readers are going to fall in love with the kid, Thatcher Jones, also.  He’s 14 and hunts rattlers to earn his lunch money. 
This story is filled with a forever love story, danger, and lots of laughs as people scarred by life form a family.
Ride along with me to LONE HEART PASS, where the moon shines over the opening in the pass only at midnight and the legend is, if you wish hard enough, your true desire will come true.
Jodi Thomas
My thanks to Jodi for stopping by, especially on a busy publication day!  Many good wishes on another bestseller!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hello friends!  I'm back!  This past month has been full of ups and downs, but it looks like May and this summer are going to be awesome!! 

I've kind of neglected my reading, but I have a pile of wonderful books that I'm anxious to share with everyone!  So, let's see what I've got lined up!

What I'm Reading Now:

What I Plan To Read:

Inspirational Book I'm Reading:

I hope that this Spring has been gentle and sweet to you, and that you have lots of fun books to read!  As always,

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