Thursday, March 14, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Sanctuary by Traci Hunter Abramson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Kristi Hartinger has come to terms with her life as a single, thirty-something woman. She was in love . . . once. But following her boyfriend's tragic death, no one else could capture her heart. And nothing else could fill that void, though the serenity of the ocean came close. Two years ago, Kristi left the craziness of her Wall Street career behind and embraced a simpler life on her family's private island off the coast of Main. As a resident of the small beach community, she anticipates a quiet future—until she comes face-to-face with her past.

Ace Samson is dead, or so the world believes. As a member of a secret organization known as the guardians, he was forced to fake his death years ago, leaving everything behind when he became an agent. So when he is selected to offer a potential new recruit a job with the organization, Ace braces himself: for the first time in more than a decade, he must face the woman he loved and left.

Kristi's world is rocked by Ace's sudden reappearance, and she's soon drawn into his world of danger and cover-up. But when Kristi herself becomes a target, Ace will do whatever it takes to protect the only woman he has ever loved.

REVIEW

Like the other books in the guardians series this one revolves around one of the members of the Guardians team whose purpose is to secretly help and protect those in need.  This book tells the story of Ace, the senior member of the team, and how he came to be a member and what he gave up in the process.  With the world considering him deceased, he lives like a ghost, coming and going as needed.  But when he's required to revisit an old flame and inform her that he isn't dead as she's thought for the last twenty years, he's not so certain of the response he's going to get.  But Kristi has troubles of her own and when the two meet again, they work together to face those troubles.  Abramson has done a nice job in adding to her growing series of books about the guardians and the various people involved in it.  I enjoyed reading about Ace and Kristi and the challenges they face.  I also loved the setting, an island off the coast of Maine.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: A Guarded Heart by Heidi Kimball


ABOUT THE BOOK

Three years after a shocking scandal destroyed her family and forced her into isolation, Eleanor Hayward finally has an opportunity to put her painful history and dashed hopes behind her. But reentering society is no simple task. In her cousin’s glittering ballroom, Eleanor is stunned when she comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart those years before.

Edmund Fletcher thought he had laid the past to rest until he unexpectedly encounters the woman who so nearly became his wife. Soon to be engaged to another, Edmund knows he must let go of the complicated feelings he harbors for Eleanor. However, when the Hayward scandal resurfaces and the truth behind their parting is revealed, Eleanor and Edmund are left reeling. Tormented by thoughts of what could have been, they realize it is impossible to rewrite history. But is there a future in which they might both find happiness—and true love?

REVIEW

Kimball has written a tender story about reconciliation and forgiveness.  Eleanor has spent the last three years of her life hiding away from society.  After her brother's choices destroy her social standing, she's tried to put her life back together.  Being dropped by her almost fiance at the same time didn't help any.  But now she's hoping to rebuild her life.  But running into her former flame brings up all the pain of the past and she's left reeling.  Edmund, on the other hand, has spent the last three years trying to forget Eleanor and her actions.  After running into her again though, he realizes that his feelings aren't completely gone.  And when he discovers the real reason for their parting, he's torn between duty and love.  I sympathized with Eleanor's difficulties and even Edmund's struggles brought a pang.  But both make the best of some very difficult situations and their hearts take care of the rest.

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*March 8th: http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/


Thursday, February 14, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Bloodline by Kathi Oram Peterson


ABOUT THE BOOK

France, 1371. The old Queen of France lies on her deathbed with a secret she will take to her grave: there is one true heir to the throne, one who would have the power to ally France and Scotland. But after her death, all that will be left are a few shreds of evidence revealing the stunning identity of her successor.
 
Flight attendant Skye Armstrong has heard the voice of warning before, and as she's returning home from London, she recognizes the feeling of dread that accompanies her sixth sense. Walking from the airport terminal to her car, she pauses in the middle of the road. Her hesitation gives a Good Samaritan the split second he needs to pull her out of the path of a speeding car, saving her life. But her misfortunes are just beginning. When she arrives home, she discovers that Auntie Marjorie has been kidnapped, and cryptic instructions have been left behind: Skye must retrieve the contents of a safe deposit box and deliver it to the captors . . .No police. Her feelings of dread return.

What Skye discovers in the bank box is baffling: a single page. The ancient document is certainly valuable, and with no time to lose, she goes to the rendezvous to discover the next step. A cell phone rings beneath a park bench. She answers the call, and on the screen is a picture of Auntie, unconscious. Now the kidnapper demands Skye find two more pages or her aunt will die.
What secrets are hidden within the illuminated pages, and who believes they are worth killing for? And what roles does the Good Samaritan play in all of it?

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*Feb. 15th: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, https://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/


  

Thursday, February 7, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Escape to Everly Manor by Chalon Linton


ABOUT THE BOOK

Nineteen-year-old Lizzy and her young brother, Thomas, find themselves orphaned after a tragic accident claims the lives of their parents. Their estrange Uncle Cline arrives to claim his inheritance, and his roguish ways cast a shadow over the manor. Both the family estate and guardianship of his niece and nephew were left to him, and scheming Uncle Cline is determined to indulge his newfound wealth and rid himself of his charges. Desperate to save her brother form a dangerous life at sea, and herself from being married off to a detestable old gentleman, Lizzy knows there is only one choice left—they must run.

Lizzy and Thomas sneak away and find refuge in an abandoned cabin. There they remain hidden—until fate acquaints Lizzy with Mr. Barton, a charming gentleman who is immediately intrigued by the mysterious young woman. Concealing her identity, Lizzy is unaware that there is much more to this compassionate man than meets the eye. Through his kindness to herself and her brother, Lizzy begins to trust Mr. Barton. Soon Lizzy realizes he may be her best hope for a life in which she can live—and love—as she chooses . . .

REVIEW

Linton has written an entertaining story about inadvertently found love.  Lizzy and her brother, Thomas, are on the run from their controlling, abusive uncle.  While in hiding Lizzy and her brother become acquainted with the Everly family.  They can't help but become attached to the family after being shown such kindness.  While Lizzy finds herself falling for the Lord of the Manor, she can't help but be afraid that she and her brother will be found, and she is determined to protect her brother at all costs, even if it means sacrificing herself.  Linton has done a fine job presenting interesting characters and situations.  And Thomas makes for a delightfully important part of the story.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Blessed by Lloyd D. Newell and Mary Jane Woodger


ABOUT THE BOOK

As Jesus Christ prepared His faithful followers to teach the doctrine of the gospel, He presented perhaps His best-known discourse: the Sermon on the Mount. This profound address is directed to all those who seek to be His disciples, with powerful instruction as to the personal conduct necessary for living a Christ-centered life. And at the heart of this sermon are the Beatitudes, guidelines of the character traits and holy attributes that can serve as a guide for developing disciples. But how can these attributes be interpreted and attained in today's modern world? In Blessed: The Beatitudes and the Christlike Life, best-selling authors Lloyd D. newell and Mary Jane Woodger delve into each characteristic the Savior spoke of, providing powerful, real-life examples, scriptures, and prophetic insights detailing ways in which modern-day disciples of Christ can cultivate these eternal attributes. Those seeking the path of discipleship will find in this volume a thoughtful and inspiring guide to internalizing the timeless truths of the Beatitudes in our day.

REVIEW

Coming soon!

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*Jan. 25th: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/


Thursday, January 17, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: The House of Stone & Ivy by Anita Stansfield


ABOUT THE BOOK

Orphaned as children, Hennie and Lottie share an unbreakable friendship. Together, they suffered the horrors of orphanages and the workhouse, and now grown, they continue to rely on each other. When Lottie approaches Hennie about a possible position at a manor house, Hennie is eager to work alongside her dear friend. However, to secure the positions as stable hands, they will have to undergo a bold act of deception: the women must disguise themselves as men.

Upon arriving at the manor, Hennie is stunned. Her new position is at Ivy Manor—the beautiful estate where her mother was employed long ago and where Hennie was raised until her mother's death. Hennie has wonderful memories of her friendship with the son of the house, Jack, and is shocked and dismayed to learn he has vanished. Living in disguise at the manor allows her to gradually uncover the truth of Jack's disappearance and eventually find him. Both Hennie and Jack are thrilled to be reunited, and their friendship is renewed. Soon, their relationship blossoms . . . and threatens their determination to remain concealed. With so much at stake, will they be prepared to risk everything for love?

REVIEW

Stansfield has written another compelling tale of love and friendship versus greed and manipulation.  Hennie is brought to Ivy Manor by her friend Lottie to work in the stables disguised as a man.  Hennie is stunned to be back at Ivy Manor, the place she grew up as a child before being sent to an orphanage after her mother died.  But she settles in and grows to like her life, despite the deception.  She's surprised to discover that the heir to the manor, her old friend Jack, has disappeared.  She wonders about him, but doesn't expect to ever see him again.  But life has a way of surprising one sometimes and she finds herself not only discovering Jack's location, but re-establishing her friendship with him.   But as their friendship grows into something stronger, they are left trying to find a way to be together in the face of the challenges that sent Jack running in the first place.  The tale is an intriguing one full of interesting twists and turns as Jack and Hennie face some pretty big obstacles.  I enjoyed this very much and recommend it to those who enjoy a well-told story of love and mystery.

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*Jan. 18th: http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, https://thekeeledeal.com/


Thursday, January 10, 2019

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Saving Susannah Jones by Carolyn Twede Frank


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the still of a cool Colorado evening, the Circle J Ranch house burns to the ground, leaving Susannah Jones and her two brothers orphaned and homeless. Embittered by the tragedy, Susannah's older brother grows increasingly cruel, leading Susannah to make the difficult choice to leave the last of her family behind to forge a new life for herself. It is the kindness of Dr. Kate, the woman physician in town, as well as a chance meeting with a rugged homesteader that give Susannah the strength she needs to escape.

When Joseph Iverson encounters the harassed young woman on his land one day, he has no thought but to provide the assistance she so clearly needs. Overcoming his shyness, he takes Susannah under his wing and agrees to a marriage of convenience to liberate her from her brother. As the pair works side by side, their mutual admiration deepens. But their happy existence is threatened all soon by a series of "accidents" on the farm. With danger looming ever closer, Susannah and Joseph must discover who is bent on their destruction before the life and marriage they've built together goes up in flames.

REVIEW

After losing her father in a fire, Susannah Jones is left to deal with her brother, Stanley, who only wants her around because her father's will demands it.  But she's tired of dealing with Stanley's cruelty and attempts to escape.  When her first attempt fails, she flees into the wilderness and takes refuge on Joseph Iverson's farm.  His kindness is unexpected but appreciated.  When Joseph hires her as his housekeeper, Susannah hopes to be able to earn enough money to flee again, this time with her younger brother, Logan.  But Logan's appearance at the farm shortly after Stanley's catches her in a lie and Susannah decides that her best option is to make her fake marriage to Joseph real.  Just when things seem to be working out, someone starts sabotaging the farm.  And Susannah is left wondering if she's brought Joseph more trouble than she's worth.  Frank tells a compelling story of life, love, and struggle.  Susannah and Joseph are both sympathetic characters that I found easy to root for, and Logan is a delight.  This is an enjoyable read for those who enjoy hard-working pioneer stories with an element of intrigue thrown in the mix.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NONFICTION REVIEW: Hero Dogs by WIlma Melville and Paul Lobo


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lola was a buckshot-riddled stay, lost on a Memphis highway. Cody was rejected from seven different homes. Ace had been sprayed with mace and left for dead on a train track. They were deemed unadoptable. Untrainable. Unsalvageable. These would become the same dogs America relied on when its worst disasters hit.

In 1995, Wilma Melville volunteered as a canine search-and-rescue (SAR) handler with her Black Labrador Murphy in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. At the time, there were only fifteen FEMA certified SAR dogs in the United States. Believing in the value of these remarkable animals to help save lives, Wilma knew many more were needed in the event of future major disasters. She made a vow to help 168 dogs receive search-and-rescue training in her lifetime—one for every Oklahoma City victim.

Wilma singlehandedly established the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) to meet this challenge. The first canine candidates—Ana, Dusty, and Harley—were a trio of golden retrievers with behavioral problems so severe the dogs were considered irredeemable and unadoptable. But with patience, discipline, and love applied during training, they proved to have the ability, agility, and stamina to graduate as SARs. Paired with a trio of firefighters, they were among the first responders searching the ruins of the World Trade Center following 9/11—setting the standard for the more than 168 of the SDF’s search-and-rescue dogs that followed.

Beautiful and heart-wrenching, Hero Dogs is the story of one woman’s dream brought to fruition by dedicated volunteers and firefighters—and the bonds they forged with the incredible rescued-turned-rescuer dogs to create one of America’s most vital resources in disaster response.

REVIEW

When Wilma Melville established the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation she had a goal.  She wanted to help train dogs for Urban Search and Rescue operations.  But she wanted to do it more effectively and efficiently than was currently being done.  At the time, most of the organizations currently doing such training weren't really interested in working with her as they thought they knew what they were doing, even though the results said otherwise.  Despite such opposition, Wilma was determined and with the help of a few volunteers and a talented dog trainer, she adopted her first three dogs, Ana, Dusty, and Harley.  In less than a year, these dogs that had been rejected became skilled search dogs with the help of their firefighter handlers.  They would go on to prove it after 9/11.  As the years went by other rescued dogs were trained and sent on missions.  The SDF (Search Dog Foundation) had found a formula that worked and despite the challenges that inevitably arose successfully trained over 200 dogs and handlers for USAR.  Lobo tells the tale through the eyes of Wilma based on many hours of interviews and interactions giving the story an immediacy that is quite compelling.  The stories of the dogs and their handlers are fascinating and amazing.  Reading about the searches said dogs and handlers conducted related to 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Haitian earthquake was eye-opening.  It's amazing to me the sacrifices and immense effort these firefighters and dogs made and continue to make to find even one survivor.  The value found in these seemingly worthless dogs is a testament to Wilma's determination and willingness to look beyond the obvious.
 
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