Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beyond The Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Beyond the Silence (Bethany House, January 2016)

The shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a book that has a little something for every taste, then "Beyond The Silence" by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse might well fit the bill! 

This fascinating novel has a murder mystery, a little romance, a bit of history and a lot of inspirational messages - making this book perfect for both singular reading and for book club choices as well.

Peterson and Woodhouse deliver a story filled with intriguing mystery, charming romance and a riveting cast of characters.  The plot is fast-paced and the suspense is woven throughout the story, keeping readers anxiously wondering if the bad guys will be caught and the couple able to live happily ever after.

I also enjoyed the history of 1890s California and the methods of maintaining the olive groves that feature prominently in the story.

This is a wonderful story and I look forward to more great fiction work from these two ladies.

About The Authors:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens live in Colorado.

Tracie and Kimberley are celebrating the launch of Beyond the Silence with a Loaded Fire Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on February 11!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of Beyond the Silence
  • A Kindle Fire 7
  • A $50 Amazon gift card to load your Fire with books
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/11. The winner will be announced at the Beyond the Silence Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie, Kimberley, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

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

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bronner: A Journey To Understand by Sherri Burgess - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

Bronner: A Journey to Understand
(New Hope Publishers, January 2016)

God teaches and refines us through pain and suffering. Author Sherri Burgess, wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, knows this to be true. After the earthly death of her youngest son, Bronner, Burgess asked, "Why?" And God answered.

Journey with her through this powerful testimony of healing to understand the purpose behind the pain. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before. 

Purchase a copy:


My Thoughts:
I went into reading Sherri Burgess' book expecting a touching story of motherhood and loss.  I didn't expect to find a book that is also a powerful Christian testimony of a powerful faith and an even more powerful sense of grace.  Burgress turns what is a heartbreaking situation that would be a nightmare for any family into something for a more powerful good - to bring others to understand Christianity and accept Jesus and God into their lives.

I was already familiar with Sherri's husband Rick from years of listening to him as part of the "Rick and Bubba" radio team in Birmingham, Alabama. But I have a whole new admiration for the Burgess family after reading this intense yet inspirational story.

Be prepared to need a whole box of tissues while reading the story of "Bronner." And be prepared to have your heart changed as well.

About The Author:

Sherri Burgess' life is a beckoning for you to know a Holy God like you have never known Him before. The wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, Sherri is someone who now passionately pursues holiness and inspires others to do the same. A seasoned Bible teacher, writer and blogger, she has in recent years answered God's call as a women's ministry speaker. This mother of five stays active with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Connect with Sherri: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Join Sherri in celebrating the release of her new book, Bronner, with a blog tour and a Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Bronner
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 12th. The winner will be announced February 15th on the Litfuse blog.


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

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Post - Texas Author Jodi Thomas

I'm thrilled today to host Texas author Jodi Thomas!  Jodi's latest book, "Rustler's Moon," has just been released to great anticipation and acclaim!  I so appreciate her stopping by to tell readers more about her books and the writing process!

When I began writing RUSTLER’S MOON, I wanted to tell a story of love and mystery, of trusting someone even when you don’t know all about them.  Angela Harold was a woman running for her life after her father died.  She wants to move to this small town in Texas and vanish from all who knew her, only she didn’t count of bumping into Wilkes Wagner.  They might have nothing in common, but sparks fly from the first.   Wilkes considered his life an open book while Angela is afraid to let anyone really know her.
One thing I love about writing a series is that characters can play small parts in one book and major parts in another.  The reader gets to watch a character learn and grow.  As the series continues, the people of Crossroads, Texas will seem like old friends dropping by to visit.
Maybe I like this so much because I’ve grown up in the same town I live in now.  I love knowing the histories of whole families and knowing that there are people who care about me just because they knew my father or worked with my uncle, or went to school with my brother. I know there are great advantages of having lived all over the world, but there is a peace too in being in a small town.
In ranching a rustler’s moon is a sliver of moonlit night were rustlers can see to steal cattle, but it’s too dark to see the outlaws well enough to identify them.  It’s also thought that a cowboy can still his sweetheart’s heart beneath a rustler’s moon.  My story circles through the shadows between the lives of the characters as they learn who to trust, who to believe, and who to love.  This one will keep you reading long into the night and who knows, you might finally fall asleep beneath a RUSTLER’S MOON.
Jodi Thomas

My thanks to Jodi for dropping by!  Watch for my review of "Rustler's Moon" coming soon!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Son's Vow: The Charmed Amish Life by Shelley Shepard Gray - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review + A GIveaway!

About The Book: 

(Avon Inspire, January 2016)

Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.

Darla's father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm's lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn't looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger---with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother's anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn't change soon, Darla fears it will cost her---and her family---even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father's lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he's feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone---especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can't simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla's love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray's first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy. 

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:

I am a big fan of Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish novels, and so I was thrilled to review "A Son's Vow," the first book in her eighth series featuring the Amish and their way of life.

Set in Charm, Ohio, this story is a little darker than most Amish romantic novels. A devastating tragedy has occurred in the small town, affecting nearly everyone in town. But no one as much as Darla Kurtz and her childhood friend Lukas Kinsinger. Both lost their fathers in a lumber mill fire, and both are struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in lives which will never be normal again. But as time gently heals and love finds it way back to the young couple, they must face their community and their families and help them all as well.

Shelley has done a magnificent storytelling job with this new novel. Already a master at her craft, she takes it up a notch with this dramatic and heart-wrenching story. Her characters are personable and fully defined as folks you would want to get to know as friends and neighbors. And while this is a sometimes sad story, there is joy and love intertwined throughout the tale that gives reader much hope for a "charming" ending.

"A Son's Vow" is a brilliant beginning to what promises to be a much anticipated series of novels!  I look forward to the next installment, "A Daughter's Dream."

I highly recommend this novel, as well as all of Shelley's previous works.

About The Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Connect with Shelley: website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest


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Click on this link to enter!

My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this tour, and to Avon Inspire/William Morrow Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of Secret Daughter returns with an unforgettable story of love, honor, tradition, and identity.

The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency at one of the best hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage required to take on the role.

Back home in India, Anil’s childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes, and forces her to make choices that will hold drastic repercussions for her family.

Tender and bittersweet, The Golden Son illuminates the decisions we must make to find our true selves.


My Thoughts:

Sometimes an author's sophomore novel does not perform as well as the debut book, but this does not look to be the norm in the case of Shilpi Somaya Gowda's new book,"The Golden Son."

I was fortunate to be able to review this book in advance of it's release (which is today!) and I am firmly on the bandwagon of heralding this book as one of the first great reads of 2016!

Gowda tells the story of eldest son Anil Patel and his journey to Texas to become the doctor his father so wanted him to be. In somewhat of a culture shock, Anil finds the big city of Dallas, and the fast pace of "Parkview" Hospital to be overwhelming and he almost falters under the stress. But he soldiers on and faces the adversity and the animosity he faces with what can only be described as grace.

Meanwhile, back home in his small village, Anil's best friend Leena is facing a completely different life than she imagined. Anticipating a happy marriage, Leena finds her husband and his family the opposite of the kind, good people they purported themselves to be. After a near-fatal disaster, Leena returns to her family and struggles to regain her dignity under adversion of her own.

Gowda captures the differing cultures of America and India in crisp and intriguing accuracy in this novel. Not only does she paint a realistic picture of a young doctor's struggles in a large Texas hospital, she also includes a very real portrait of the harsh realities Anil faces because of his nationality.  She also gives readers a beautiful glimpse of the life Anil and Leena experienced as children in the small town in India, as well as the bleek existence Leena faces and Anil finds when he returns.  The descriptions are stunning in this novel, as is the characters. They are a cast of full-developed and believable people who are facing very real issues of the day.

I was very impressed with "The Secret Son," and include it in the best of 2016 so far!  It is said that this novel has been optioned for film rights, and I, for one, would love to see this story played out on the big screen!

About The Author:

Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. In college, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage, which seeded the idea for her first novel, Secret Daughter. Shilpi holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Children's Defense Fund, and is a Patron of Childhaven International, the organization for which she volunteered in India. She lives in California with her husband and children.

"Secret Daughter," Shilpi's debut novel published in 2010, has sold more than a million copies worldwide in over 30 countries and languages. It is a New York Times bestseller, #1 International bestseller, and film rights have been optioned.

The Golden Son, Shilpi's highly-anticipated second novel is already an instant #1 bestseller in Canada, and is being published in the U.S. and around the world in early 2016. The screen rights have been optioned to Conquering Lion Pictures.

My thanks to William Morrow for including me on this blog tour and for providing the review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I know it's a week until February, but I am in a Valentine-y mood already, thus the change in blog appearance!  I kinda like it - all sparkly and glittery - you can never have too much sparkle or glitter I say!

Anyhoo, reading wise, I've got a great lineup this week with lots of special events, and a giveaway! - so let's get to it! Here's what I'm reading!

What I'm Reading Now:

I've got a blog tour stop for this book tomorrow, so check back for my review!

What I Plan To Read:

Special Events:

Tuesday - Book Blog Tour Stop for The Golden Son

Thursday - Book Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway for A Son's Vow

Friday - Book Blog Tour Stop for Rustler's Moon

Hope you have a wonderful and warm week of reading ahead of you this week!  As always,


"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!
Go check out what other bloggers are reading!

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