Thursday, April 18, 2019

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman






#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.


Amazon 


About The Author




Catherine Steadman is an actress and writer based in North London. She is known for her roles in Downton Abbey and Tutankhamun, starring alongside Sam Neill, as well as shows including Breathless, The Inbetweeners, The Tudors, and Fresh Meat.

In 2017 she will feature in political thriller Fearless and new BBC comedy Bucket. She also has appeared on stage in the West End including Oppenheimer for the RSC, for which she was nominated for a 2016 Laurence Olivier Award.

Something in the Water is her first novel. 



My Review




This book had me in the beginning, what could have happened to have caused the situation that she was in at that moment?
This story has a sweet love story, a honeymoon that they look forward to that would rival most others, and they are traveling first class, and then we walk in their shoes as they go!
Now I will warn you will probably be up late page turning on this one, and when you think you know the answers, well, I know I didn’t and then the wow and surprises happen, along with a bit of sadness, and you will ask “who can I trust”?
If you enjoy a book that has your heart in your throat, well this one might be the answer, and in the end, well I could see where it could go on to be another book!

I received this book through LibraryThing, and was not required to give a positive review.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

When I Was Yours (The War Nurses #3) by Lizzie Page






We stand in the back of the hall as the children troop in. Big ones, little ones. Straggly hair, cropped hair, curls… the adults surge forward to choose and soon there is just one child left, a little girl sitting on the floor. She is thin as a string bean and her sleeve is ragged and damp – like she’s been chewing it.

1939. War has broken out – hundreds of children are evacuated to the countryside to keep them safe from the bombs raining down on the cities. Wrenched from her family in the East End and sent more than a hundred miles away, seven-year-old Pearl Posner must adapt to a new life away from everything familiar.

Vivienne didn’t ask for an evacuee child. In fact, she’s not sure her heart can take it. So many years, so many disappointments… Vivi’s ability to feel love left her the day she learned the truth about her husband Edmund, and when she made the worst decision of her life and left her cherished sister to her fate. But like it or not, Pearl is here to stay, and what with the rumours about what’s happening to children in mainland Europe, it might be the last safe place for her.

As Pearl and Vivi learn how to live together, they discover that they have a connection that runs more deeply than they could ever have guessed – from before Pearl was born, and deep into Vivienne’s past. And will it be Pearl – the little girl who says so little and sees so much – who forces Vivi to finally confront what happened in her marriage… and to the long-lost sister she loved so dearly and let fall so far, just when she needed Vivi most?


Amazon

About The Author




When I was yours' is my third novel - and I can't wait to hear what you think. It's a dual timeline story and, I hope, an epic love story! The main character, Vivienne, takes in an evacuee during the Second World War, and reflects on her time during the First World War. The story was inspired by several real-life characters including the fascinating American songwriter, Lena Guilbert Ford and the fabulous war-artist, Olive Mudie-Cooke. And also my Dad, who was evacuated from the East End of London to Leicester for most of the war. :)

'Daughters of War' was my second book - but please don't be put off, it is a standalone book (although some old friends may well pop up here!) The story was inspired by the American writer, poet, political 'influencer', Mary Borden. It fictionalizes her time working in a hospital in the Somme and being apart from her children. If I had to sum it up in five words, I would say it's about the search for belonging.

'The War Nurses' was the first in this trilogy - the novel was inspired by two incredible women, Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who served on the Western Front during World War One.
There is romance, there is love, but mostly this is a story about a fierce friendship and how differently we respond to major events beyond our control.

I hope these novels help shine a light on the achievements, love and relationships of twentieth-century women, and that you find all the books both entertaining and moving.


My Review




A book that lets you walk in the shoes of those who lived and fought in WWI and WWII, and we are in England with bombs being dropped.
The name of the book made me think of a previous read, and yes, children are involved, but they a very different story. While I did know about children from London going to the country during the blitz, we see where some of these youngsters go, and try to see what their lives were like.
Surprises here, but when some facts are released you want to cringe, so selfish, and so much pain.
I felt myself quickly involved in Vivienne’s life, and wanted to continue when the book ended, but we are left with a good idea of what is about to happen.

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bookoutour, and was not required to give a positive review. 

A Perfect Amish Match (Indiana Amish Brides #3) by Vannetta Chapman






Every courting disaster has led him to her.

An Indiana Amish Brides story

After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing.


Amazon


About The Author






Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner, a Christy finalist, and she also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com.

For more information, visit her at http://vannettachapman.com
https://twitter.com/VannettaChapman
https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChap...
http://vannettachapman.com/blog/
https://www.instagram.com/vannettacha...
http://vannettachapman.com/book-list/


My Review




I just finished this quick read that kept my attention and had me page turning, and at times laughing out loud.
I could just picture that picnic that Noah takes his date on, and wait until he presents the horse blanket, he is sure a klutz when it comes to women and doing the wrong thing!
While we get to enjoy Noah’s dating, my heart was breaking for Olivia Mae and her grandparents, and what they are dealing with and wanting the best for them.
Sometimes we can’t see what is right before our eyes, but when I learned of Noah’s past, I was hoping it wouldn’t repeat itself.
A sweet read that made me wish I could linger longer with!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harlequin, and was not required to give a positive review.

Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us by Matthew Sleeth







The Bible talks about trees more than any living creation other than people. Perhaps you've missed the forest...and the trees.

In this groundbreaking walk through Scripture, former physician and carpenter Dr. Matthew Sleeth makes the convincing case why trees are essential to every Christian's understanding of God.

Yet we've mostly missed how God has chosen to tell His story--and ours--through the lens of trees. There's a tree on the first page of Genesis and the last page of Revelation. The Bible refers to itself as a Tree of Life (Proverbs 3:18).
Every major Biblical character has a tree associated with them. Jesus himself says he is the true vine (John 15:1). A tree was used to kill Jesus--and a tree is the only thing the Messiah ever harmed.

This is no accident. When we subtract trees from Scripture, we miss lessons of faith necessary for our growth.

This is the rare book that connects those who love the Creator with creation, and those who love creation with the Creator. It offers inspirational yet practical ways to express our love for God--and our neighbors--by planting spiritual trees and physical trees in the world.

Join Dr. Sleeth as he navigates the Bible's trail of trees to explore the wonders of life, death, and rebirth. You'll be amazed at how science is just beginning to catch up to the truths described in Scripture thousands of years ago. Once you discover the hidden language of trees, your walk through the woods--and through Scripture--will never be the same.


Amazon

About The Author






A former emergency room physician, Dr. Matthew Sleeth felt like he was straightening deck chairs on the Titanic saving a patient at a time while the whole ship (Earth) was going down. Together with his wife and two children, he began to bring his lifestyle in line with his values, cutting back on their fossil fuel by two thirds and electricity use by nine tenths. Following a new calling, Dr. Sleeth resigned from his position as chief of the medical staff and director of the ER to teach, preach, and write about faith and the environment throughout the country.

Dr. Sleeth is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine and has two post-doctoral fellowships. He is the author of Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action (Zondervan, April 2007), the introduction to the Green Bible (2008, HarperOne), and 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life.
Dr. Sleeth’s latest book is Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us (April 2019, PenguinRandomHouse).

Website


My Review

What an amazing little book, I chose to read it because I love trees, and have a times mourned their loss.
When I think of how Trees played a part in the bible, of courses, the first thought for me is the cross, but wow was my mind expanded and most I never thought of.
A beautiful example is: Romans 11 17-24

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

This book is a short 2oo pages, but is packed with interesting facts, I recommend this for anyone who wants to grow in knowledge and strengthen their faith.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Celebrate Lit Presents: The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

The Governess of Penwythe Hall FB Banner

About the Book

The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall
Author: Sarah Ladd
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 16, 2019
In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.
Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.
Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.
Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.
Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:
  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

Sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml
https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html
http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, April 11
LifeofLiterature, April 11
Moments, April 11
Genesis 5020, April 11
Mary Hake, April 12
KarenSueHadley, April 13
EmpowerMoms, April 13
The Avid Reader, April 14
Wishful Endings, April 15
Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
The Becca Files, April 16
Remembrancy, April 17
Worthy2Read, April 18
By The Book, April 18
Pause for Tales, April 21
Bigreadersite, April 22
Hallie Reads, April 23
Henry Happens, April 24

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Review


I enjoyed this read, but we are dealing life’s hardest facts, the loss of loved ones.
Surprises happen here that I really didn’t see coming, and our Governess is a strong character who has suffered a lot of hard knocks in her life.
The owner of the manor is about to receive one of the biggest surprises of his life, when his brother’s children arrive to live with him. Considering the hard feelings between the men, he is now a parent to five children.
Through the author I could smell the salt air around me, and picture the sea side cliffs, that I soon felt myself stumbling over.
From beginning to end this one is a page turner, you have to know how things turn out!

I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Celebrate Lit Presents: The Songbird and the Spy by J'Nell Ciesielski

The Songbird and the Spy FB Banner

About the Book

The Songbird and the Spy
Book: The Songbird and the Spy
Author: J’Nell Ciesielski
Genre: Clean historical romance
Release Date: Feb 19, 2019
As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy.
Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire.
As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

J'nell Ciesielski
Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days creating heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle. Find out more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’nell

The most popular question an author is asked is where did the inspiration come from. Most of the time, if not always, my inspiration comes from a trifecta of resources: movies, music, or books. A single song lyric, or secondary character, or novel setting can trigger a whole world of possibilities that has to be explored. In the case of Songbird and the Spy, it was a movie. A Quentin Tarantino movie to be exact set during WWII where one of the characters is a British officer posing as a Nazi meets up with other spies in a French bar. Another character was a Jewish woman posing as a theater owning Frenchwoman. My brain immediately tingled with ideas. What if identities were all in question? What if you fell in love with the wrong person? Not just the wrong person, but the enemy? The drama and tension in such a situation would be unbelievable!
And that is how Songbird was born.
Here are a few bits of trivia for you:
  • Songbird was originally titled Iron Shepherd for Michael’s call sign.
  • There have been three or four different endings written.
  • Michael Reiner was based off of Michael (see what I did there?!) Fassbender’s character in Inglorious Basterds. The actor was born in Germany to German and Irish parents, and later grew up in Ireland J Art imitating life.
  • Music always makes its way into my stories and here it takes center stage.
  • I’ve always wanted to write a USO story so the ending was my perfect chance to squeeze it in.
  • Ilsa von Ziegler was based off of Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones.
  • There was a scene showing Michael at SOE training in Scotland, but it was later cut.
  • Nazi headquarters in Paris really was located on Foch Ave. The building is still there.
  • The molten lead that Michael’s new assistant talks about is a German New Year’s tradition to divine fortune in the coming year. A small bit of lead or tin is melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal predicts the future.
  • Chanteuse is a female singer. Edith Piaf, the most famous French singer of all, was known as The Little Sparrow. Songbird and chanteuse are both used to reference Claire and pay homage to Piaf.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 3
Wishful Endings, April 4
Carpe Diem, April 4
Emily Yager, April 5
Hallie Reads, April 7
Genesis 5020, April 8
Stories By Gina, April 10
Mary Hake, April 11
Bigreadersite, April 13
The Becca Files, April 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away a grand prize of a print copy of Songbird and $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfe9/the-songbird-and-the-spy-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Review


This book reads like I was watching a movie, there is so much action and fear, and rightly so, we are in WWII and mainly located in occupied France.
There is a daily fight for survival, whether from hunger or the danger that seems to be lurking behind each corner. The author presents us with two strong main characters, and they just happen to be in the place of danger, but will they survive?
We meet people who are willing to give everything for freedom, and some ultimately do, people from all walks of life are presented and selflessly give what they have.
Can you imagine acting to its finest, able to fool those who are working to decimate the world, wow, I won’t give away what happens here, but a book you don’t want to miss, a real page turner!

I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin





From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four stories about reuniting with those you love.

Their True Home by Amy Clipston

When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?

A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman

Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?

A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her. But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?


Amazon




About The Authors

Award-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's The Promise is inspired by a true story. Website: www.bethwiseman.com Twitter: @bethwiseman Facebook: Fans-of-Beth-Wiseman

Amy Clipston is a native of New Jersey, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I often joke that my fiction writing “career” began in elementary school as I wrote and shared silly stories with a close friend. However throughout school, I only considered writing a hobby, and I never dreamt of being an author.
In 1991, I graduated from high school, and my parents and I moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My father retired, and my mother went to work full-time. I attended Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, and I graduated with a degree in communications. I met my husband, Joe, during my senior year in college, a few days after my father had a massive stroke. Joe and I clicked instantly, and after a couple of months we started dating. We married four years later.
After graduating from VWC, I took a summer job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, which turned into an eleven-year career. I worked in the Public Affairs Office for four years and then moved into Planning as a writer/editor.
During that time, I continued writing for fun. It was something I did to escape stress and unwind. I didn’t share the stories with anyone except for a couple of close friends. In fact, I was even afraid to admit to my husband that I wrote.


Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield. Website: www.kathleenfuller.com Twitter: @TheKatJam Facebook: Author Kathleen Fuller.



 Kelly Irvin is the author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper's Son received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, who called it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” A former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional, Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors.


My Review




A book that read like M&M’s, you can’t read just one and leave, they draw you in so that you don’t want to leave, and keep on page turning.
Each story offers something different, but all take place within an Amish community, and bring smiles and tears.
With one I was reading a conclusion to a story I had been following and loved being back with old friends.
Four novellas by four of my favorite authors and life is fun, and each of these offer a different read, and a different age group of characters, and I highly recommend them!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review


Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in thi...