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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Celebrate Lit: Summer on Sunset Ridge By: Sharlene MacLaren PLUS A GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hey y'all!
Today I have the honor of being next on the blog tour for Sharlene MacLaren's new book: "Summer on Sunset Ridge"

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Summer on Sunset Ridge, Freedom Series Book 1  

Author: Sharlene MacLaren  

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.

Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…

When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

About the Author


Sharlene MacLaren Born and raised in western Michigan, award-winning, bestselling author Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. After graduating, she traveled with a nationally touring Christian vocal ensemble, returning home to Spring Arbor to marry her husband, Cecil, whom she’d known since childhood. Together they raised two daughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for 31 years, “Shar” enjoys reading, singing in the church choir and worship teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her novels include the contemporary romances Through Every Storm, Long Journey Home, and Tender Vow; the beloved Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, Courting Emma, and Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek, a novella), and three historic romance trilogies: The Daughters of Jacob Kane (Hannah Grace, Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann); River of Hope (Livvie’s Song, Ellie’s Haven, and Sofia’s Secret); Tennessee Dreams: Heart of Mercy, Threads of Joy, and Gift of Grace.

My Review: This was the first book that I had read by this author. I was very impressed with the way the words flowed off the page. She has a way of captivating the readers and drawing them into the story early on. The characters are very well developed. I learned a lot about Quaker life because of this story. I loved reading a bit about the Underground Railroad - the Civil War era is my most favorite time in American History (For those of you that don't know - I actually have my MA in History with a concentration in Military History). I was fascinated to read about the Quaker's involvement in it. I really liked this book - and am glad to have found a new author.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Stops

January 19: Giveaway Lady
January 20: The Power of Words
January 21: Bigreadersite
January 23: Genesis 5020
January 24: Pause for Tales
January 25: Book by Book
January 26: A Greater Yes
January 27: Splashes of Joy
January 29: Stuff & Nonsense
January 30: cherylbbookblog
January 30: Daysong Reflections
February 1: Rhonda’s Doings


To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and


Five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)

Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from and
Summer on Sunset Ridge

Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

For some reason the link does not want to work - please feel free to copy and paste this into your browser -- it is also in the comments below.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour! Book Review! Jody Hedlund's "Never Forget"

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Never Forget

Author: Jody Hedlund

Genre: Historical Romance  

Release Date: January 4, 2017  

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island  

June 1880  

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

About the Author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.  

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!  

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?

My Review:

4.5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book that I have read by the author - and I really enjoyed it. Since I had not read any other books in the Beacons of Hope Series, I was able to follow along without any confusion. Jody has created these characters and you can feel them as you read. This book has a really good story line. Abbie and Nathaniel's story will take you on the emotional ride of a lifetime. I found myself turning page after page quickly to continue the stories. You see that desperate times call for desperate measures. This book is a great historical romance. I am going to have to go back and read the whole series.
"I received a courtesy copy of the book in exchange for my honest opionion"


Blog Stops

January 10: Karen Sue Hadley
January 10: Bookworm Mama
January 11: Faithfully Bookish
January 12: Genesis 5020
January 13: The Scribbler
January 14: Daysong Reflections
January 14: Blogging With Carol
January 16: A Greater Yes
January 16: Bigreadersite
January 18: Book by Book
January 19: Carpe Diem
January 19: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Stuff and Nonsense
January 21: Radiant Light
January 21: cherylbbookblog
January 22: Neverending Stories
January 22: A Path of Joy
January 23: Henry Happens
January 23: Onceuponatime


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review! A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

I was recently given the opportunity to review this book through the Revell Bloggers group. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Here is a short synopsis of the book:

After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It's a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke--men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew looking for an experienced guide. When his guide appears, Sion balks. He certainly didn't expect a woman. But it is not long before he must admit that Tempe's skill in the wilderness rivals his own. Still, the tenuous tie they are forming is put to the test as they encounter danger after danger and must rely on each other.

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.

My Review

5 stars

This is the second book that I have read by this author. Her writing style captivates her readers and transports them to different areas of history. Ms. Frantz has a way of writing her characters in a way that you feel their struggles, their inner workings and the dangers that they face in their times. Her characters are always well developed. 

This book is carefully researched and written to where you feel like you have transported yourself back into 1777. Temperance and Sion's story is not always a happy one. There is heartache, devastation, and loss. as you read through their stories, you can feel their pain. 

Overall, I really, really liked this book. It is a good clean historical romance. The author is captivating. 

"I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review." 

Purchase the book from Amaon Here:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Recently, on my way to Atlanta to pick my daughter up from the airport – we stopped off and visited the: Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. It is located in Tuskegee, AL. Now, I love anything that has to do with American History – but these brave men are sometimes lost in history’s translations.

Have you seen the movie Redtails? It came out in 2012 and featured Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Nate Parker and other phenomenal talent. This movie concentrated on the Tuskegee Airmen. It was nice to see some history brought to life. The description of the movie is: A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. If you have not seen it, I would highly recommend it.

Why are they important? Because they helped with several successful missions during WWII. Now WWII was a time where there was great racial tension. While the Civil War has been over for almost 100 years, there was still a great racial divide especially in the South.

The start of the Tuskegee Airmen was a result of an experiment. There were several high ranking officers that did not think that African Americans would have the physical or mental capabilities to be able to fly a aircraft. They also thought that they lacked courage.
Well, these men were able to not only prove their worth, but go above and beyond the call of duty.

  • Tuskegee University was awarded the U.S. Army Air Corps contract to help train America's first Black military aviators because it had already invested in the development of an airfield, had a proven civilian pilot training program and its graduates performed highest on flight aptitude exams.
  • Moton Field is named for Tuskegee University's second President, Dr. Robert R. Moton who served with distinction from 1915-1935. The Airmen were deployed during the presidential administration of Dr. Frederick Douglas Patterson (1935-1953).
  • The all-Black, 332nd Fighter Group consisted originally of four fighter squadrons, the 99th, the 100th, the 301st and the 302nd.
  • From 1941-1946, some 1,000 Black pilots were trained at Tuskegee.
  • The Airmen's success in escorting bombers during World War II – having one of the lowest loss records of all the escort fighter groups, and being in constant demand for their services by the allied bomber units.- is a record unmatched by any other fighter group.

Now, that you know a little background on these guys – let’s talk about the visit.

There are two hangars that you can visit when you’re there. I have two little guys that we visited with (age 5 and 3) So I made sure that I asked for the Junior Ranger activity guide. (All National Park sites should have them – fun interactive booklets that help entertain the kids and they can earn Jr. Ranger badges)

There was a nice 20 minute introduction movie if you are unfamiliar with who the Tuskegee were. (Being a history major and nerd, I knew some of their background) I did however find a new hero to look into. The first Native American/African American FEMALE to earn a pilot’s license (stay tuned!) The boys loved some of the war scenes (nothing that was too gruesome)

The exhibit itself is nice- Each station has 3 short videos that include narration from the Men and some of the widows that were a part of WWII. The kids were fascinated by the models, pictures, and the short videos. They were very excited to get their Junior Ranger Pins. 

If you are ever in the Tuskegee area, I highly recommend stopping there.
1.    You may learn something
2.    It’s free ( I love free)

You can visit the following sites to learn more on the Tuskegee Airmen
National Park Service:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Review: My heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, TX - by Erica Vetsch

My heart Belongs in Fort Bliss - by Erica Vetsch

I had the opportunity to read My heart belongs in Fort Bliss  by Erica Vetsch. I was provided a copy of the book in advance courtesy of the Author. All opinions are my own. 

Description of Book: 

Introducing a new series of historical romances created for readers who love historical destinations. Journey to Fort Bliss, Texas, where a battle of emotions versus ideals is about to be waged. When a high-steppin’ eastern fashion artist, Priscilla Hutchens, swoops down on the fort to gain custody of her twin niece and nephew she is met with resistance by their uncle, post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who thinks he knows what is best for them. Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family?

My Review: 

This journey to the Trans-Pacific of West Texas in the year of 1874 is one that Priscilla (main character) expects to be a quick one as she goes to seek custody of her orphaned niece and nephew. The author writes this story in such a way that you can see the scenes unfolding all around you. She gives you a great glimpse as we step back in history and see what the Great State of Texas was like after the Civil War. I loved the characters in the book. From the two main characters, to the twins who lost their parents all the way down to the former slave that assists  in the infirmary. I really enjoyed this story. The characters have great development.  Priscilla detests Army life. Army first, always. Her father died while out on patrol her mother became estranged from her son, Priscilla’s only sibling when he joined the army.  The story kept me eagerly turning each page to watch the plot continue to unfold before our eyes. If you are looking for a fresh historical romance that is set in Texas after the war this is the book for you. 

My rating: 5 stars. 

I look forward to reading more from this Author. 

About the Author (courtesy of her amazon profile) 

Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron

Purchase the book: 


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