Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sinners and The Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

About The Book:

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Howard Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD

The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.

But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

Watch the Book Trailer

My Thoughts:

This novel captured my attention from the first paragraph!  Much has been written about Noah and his sons, especially lately with the film "Noah" coming out, but little is known about the woman behind the man, Noah's nameless wife. 

Author Rebecca Kanner brings this woman to life in a vibrant and fascinating story that gives readers a little better idea of what a woman of her status and circumstances would have gone through.  "Wife" or "Mother," as she was known" was a woman of much courage as she married a man some four hundred years older than her, moved to a town of great immoral behaviors, and giving birth to three headstrong sons. But then to be asked to be patient as her family was tasked to build an ark that would outlast the end of the world - that takes a pretty brave lady, in my opinion.

Kanner's style of writing is a pleasure to read - she keeps the action moving along at a good pace - and her characters are captivating. Fans of historical fiction will love this novel, as will those who enjoy faith-based novels.  I highly recommend it!

About The Author:

03_Rachel KannerSinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.

Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.

You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at www.rebeccakanner.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


To enter to win one of 2 copies of Sinners and the Sea or a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

 Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 30th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
My thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Tours for including me on this blog tour and to Howard Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.


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Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Memorial Day Edition

It's Monday, and Memorial Day here in the U.S.  We'll take my mother out later to visit the cemetery where my dad and Uncle Martin rest, but other than that, it's a quiet day here.

I've got some great books lined up for this last week of May. I can't believe it is already summer - this year is zipping by!

Here's what I've got on my To-Be-Read pile:

What I'm Reading Now:

Finishing this one up - sooo good!

What I Plan To Read:

Special Events:

Tuesday - Book Blog Tour Stop

Excited about this one!  The story of Noah's wife!

Friday - Book Blog Tour Stop

I've said before that I'm related to Edgar Allan Poe, so I'm excited to dive into this novel as well!

Have a wonderful day and week, everyone!

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme sponsored by Sheila at BookJourney (www.bookjourney.wordpress.com) - check out what other bloggers are reading!

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Maybelle in Stitches: A Quilts of Love novel by Joyce Magnin - Book Review

About The Book:

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.

Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

Learn more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love site.

My Thoughts:

World War II-themed novels are becoming quite prevalent this year, and this charming novel about the brave women who took over while the men went to war is an inspirational novel, not only because of the faith-based story, but also with admiration for the service they offered that is often forgotten.

Joyce Magnin delivers a fast-paced story about the ladies who built the warships that helped to win World War II.  Magnin's characters are personable and realistic for the time period. And the story itself is historically accurate as well.  Not only do readers get a fascinating lesson about a stressful time in our country's history, but a gentle, faith-based story as well. 

I highly recommend it for historical fiction fans.

About The Author:

Joyce Magnin
Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

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A Promise In Pieces: A Quilts of Love Novel by Emily T. Wierenga - Book Review

About The Book:

After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.
Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

My Thoughts:

I love the novels that are included in the Quilts of Love series - each one of them is about a strong woman and how she overcomes obstacles that would try to prevent her from being the best woman she can be.  "A Promise In Pieces" by Emily T. Wierenga is great example of this premise.

Her main character, Clara, struggles with so many pains including her own post-traumatic experiences of war, but yet she manages to pull her life together by serving others and by staying close to the faith that was renewed on the battlefield.

This is one of the most well-written novels of this series, and I highly, highly recommend it for those who enjoy historical fiction and stories about families, friends, and strong women.

About The Author:

Emily Wierenga

Emily Wierenga is a former editor, ghostwriter, freelance writer and staff journalist, a monthly columnist for "The Christian Courier," and the author of "Save My Children," "Chasing Silhouettes," and "Mom in the Mirror." Emily and her family reside in Alberta, Canada. This is her first novel.

Be sure to stop by the Quilts of Love Facebook page on June 17th for the “Quilting Bee” Facebook party with Emily and other Quilts of Love authors. RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

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

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Harlequin Highlights - Billionaires for May!

For  May, the attention turns to those rascally billionaires and the women who fall in love with them. 

These three Harlequins are lusty, lively and full of love - Be sure to check them out this month!

He'd come for the baby…and his ex-wife.

Naomi Sinclair had once fallen hard for Andreas Sarantos. Marrying the irresistible Greek venture capitalist had seared her soul with pleasure—and despair. For she soon discovered he was incapable of love. Now her ex-husband is back…to claim her orphaned ten-month-old niece.
Andreas let Naomi get away once. But adopting his best friend's baby girl gives him the leverage he needs to bring his unwilling ex-wife back to his bed. Will having the only woman he's ever wanted erase the scars of his dark past? Or will he lose Naomi, this time forever

When the Sheikh comes to town… ...

Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid!
Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful Sheikh's desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh!
Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

This Sheikh plays to win!

The crown of Kyr holds no appeal for pleasure-seeking Sheikh Kadir al-Hassan—his memories of the kingdom are as dark as a desert's night. But neither will he shirk his duty…. Instead, Kadir returns home with a bride so unsuitable, no one will want him to be king!
Long-suffering assistant Emily Bryant is the most important person in Kadir's high-octane life, and the most invisible—until she's promoted to royal bride! Sealing their marriage bargain with a scorching kiss leaves Kadir craving more….
Now Kadir must decide what's really at stake in his royal game—his desert duty, or Emily!

My thanks to Harlequin Books for supplying the review copies of these books. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Groomed For Love by Helen R. Myers - Book Review

About The Book:

It's a ruff road to happily-ever-after!

Dog groomer Rylie Quinn lights up the local animal clinic with her charming laugh and easygoing demeanor. But there's a dark secret lingering behind the radiant redhead's bright smile. One man seems determined to dig up Rylie's past…and gets under her skin in a way that no one ever has before….
Is she too perfect? Assistant D.A. Noah Prescott can't help but be irked, both by Rylie's secrecy and by his growing attraction to the mystery woman! As his investigation reveals things she'd rather stay under wraps, the heat they generate flares out of control. But when Noah finally learns Rylie's story, he'll have to decide whether his desire for the truth is more important than winning the heart of the woman he's come to love….

My Thoughts:

"Groomed For Love" is the second book in Helen Myers' "Sweet Springs, Texas" series, and is the charming story of pet groomer Rylie Quinn and the unlikely object of her affections, Assistant D.A. Noah Prescott.  Their love story is a little rocky at the beginning, but with a little help from Noah's mother and Rylie's uncle, the road to love smooths out as the two get to know each other better.

I love anything and everything Helen Myers writes - she is just a fabulous author whose books are always fast-paced, lively and full of love and humor. 

While "Groomed For Love" is a sequel, first time readers can pick up on the back story of Sweet Springs, Texas easily and enjoy this story.  I highly recommend it!

About The Author:

Helen R. Myers is a Texan by choice, and when not writing, she's spoiling her four rescued dogs. A avid follower of the news and student of astrology, she enjoys comparing planetary aspects with daily world events. To decompress, she experiments with all forms of gardening and cooking with the produce she raises. You can contact her through her website at www.helenr.myers.com.

My thanks to the author for providing the review copy of this book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber - Book Review

About The Book:

1900. Young pianist Catherine Wainwright flees the fashionable town of Dayton, Ohio in the wake of a terrible scandal. Heartbroken and facing destitution, she finds herself striking up correspondence with a childhood admirer, the recently widowed Oscar Williams. In desperation she agrees to marry him, but when Catherine travels to Oscar's farm on Galveston Island, Texas—a thousand miles from home—she finds she is little prepared for the life that awaits her.

The island is remote, the weather sweltering, and Oscar's little boy Andre is grieving hard for his lost mother. And though Oscar tries to please his new wife, the secrets of the past sit uncomfortably between them.

Meanwhile for Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper, Catherine’s sudden arrival has come as a great shock. For not only did she promise Oscar’s first wife that she would be the one to take care of little Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar which she is struggling to suppress.

And when the worst storm in a generation descends, the women will find themselves tested as never before.

My Thoughts:

Captivating, enthralling, mesmerizing - these are all words that are tossed around easily when describing novels, but in the case of author Ann Weisgarber's latest novel, "The Promise," these words are truly deserving. Weisgarber has created a story that draws the reader into the tale of two women, struggling to overcome individual devastating odds, as they face a storm that will go down in history as one of the worst hurricanes on record.

Weisgarber perfectly captures the background of 1900 Galveston, Texas; the styles and culture of the era, and the events leading up to a horrific tragedy that would affect all of the residents of the slender island. Her characters are compelling and fascinating, and combined with a story that is hard to put down, she has created what I consider to be one of the best books of the year so far. 

I highly recommend this book for historical fiction lovers, and those who enjoy a well-written story. 

About The Author:

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers.

Check out Ann's website at http://annweisgarber.com/

My thanks to Caitlin Hamilton Marketing and Publicity for supplying the review copy of this book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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