The Pages of Her Life by James L. Rubart Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: The Pages of Her Life

Author: James L. Rubart

Genre: Christian fiction – suspense

Release Date: May 21, 2019Pages of Her Life cover

Award-winning and bestselling author James L. Rubart explores the way our memories shape us . . . and how they affect our beliefs.

Allison Moore has no idea why she got out of her car on that rainy March afternoon and picked up the soaked journal laying on the side of the road. Brought it home. But she did. It was empty. Except for two lines scrawled in the front, too washed out to read. And a Jesus emblem inside the back cover. Something about the journal compels her to start writing in it, capturing thoughts about her newly acquired job that she thought would be heaven, but has turned into hell. Then one day, she finds words in the center of the journal. Words she didn’t write: Mene mene tekel upharsin. After her heart stops hammering, Allison Googles the phrase, and reads the story of Belshazzar’s Feast, where a hand from God writes on the wall, and the king is slain. Fear grips her, certain God is coming after her for what she did twelve years back. What she’s done wrong her whole life. She vows to make things right. Then she discovers more phrases appearing underneath each of her journal entries. Those phrases take her on an emotional roller coaster that forces her to look at everything she believes about her past in a new light, and opens her eyes to a supernatural realm of staggering consequence.

  The Pages of her life quote  Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

My Thoughts

This story was very different from what I normally read…the magical realism element was something I rarely encounter in the books I tend to pick up. The story is based around a woman who is given a journal that at times changes the wording that she had written. It references the story of the writing on the wall from the book of Daniel in the Bible, which was always a fascinating story to me.

I enjoyed this story and found Allison to be very relatable. Her frustrations at work were very well written and I felt them right alongside her. I also enjoyed reading about her brother’s time working on a ship, the scenes were extremely well written and atmospheric, I could almost smell the salty air.

The writing style flowed well but the story took me a while to read through.

Overall, this was an enjoyable tale that I would recommend.

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Rubart JamesJames L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of Days, The Chair, Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest. Website: www.jameslrubart.com Twitter: @jameslrubart Facebook: JamesLRubart

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

Spoken from the Heart, May 22

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

Genesis 5020, May 23

Bigreadersite, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 24

Through the Fire Blogs, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 28

Hallie Reads, May 28

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 29

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 30

Inspired by fiction, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 31

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

janicesbookreviews, June 2

Maureen’s Musings, June 3

Inklings and notions , June 3

Mary Hake, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

Retrospective Spines, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 6

Blogging With Carol, June 7

Just the Write Escape, June 7

For The Love of Books, June 8

Remembrancy, June 8

All 4 and About Books, June 9

Livin’ Lit, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, James is giving away a finished copy of The Pages of Her Life!!

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/e4f2/the-pages-of-her-life-celebration-tour-giveawayi8u7

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop

Author: Katherine Reay

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: May 14, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop CoverAmid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.

When attorney Madeline Carter inherits her aunt’s bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent “investment portfolio.” But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn’t making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Jessica and Courtney; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.

After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Jessica has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Jessica pushes at the new owner in every way-until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Jessica feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.

After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Courtney arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it’s under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Courtney taps into strength she didn’t know existed-or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other-and themselves-in a place none of them ever expected.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

My Thoughts

I, like most book lovers, gravitate towards “books about books” so this was definitely a story that I wanted to pick up. The story follows 3 women, all dealing with different things in their personal (and sometimes professional) lives and how they work together (figuratively and literally) to save their beloved bookstore.

The characters in the story were very real, none of them were perfect, they all had many flaws and their growth was very natural and beautiful to witness. The setting of this book was simply delightful…I wish The Printed Letter Bookshop was a real store that I could visit in real life because visiting it in my mind was so much fun.

I related a lot to some of the struggles that the characters faced, there are many issues addressed in the book…parenting teenagers, forgiveness, pride, infidelity, grudges.

Some of the scenes in this book brought tears to my eyes. The author truly made the characters come to life.

My only issue with the book was that the book was told from 3 perspectives (of the 3 main characters)…for 2 of the characters, the story is written in first person, but for the third character, it’s written in third person. It was always a bit jarring and confusing when the narrative changed in that way.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves books. It was such a fun and fulfilling read!

I received this book from the publisher/ author to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Reay KatherineKatherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and isa wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at www.katherinereay.com; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.

 

More from Katherine

Don’t you love bookshops?

Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.

Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.

And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.

There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time with in the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 14

Godly Book Reviews, May 14

The Power of Words, May 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 15

Carla Loves To Read, May 15

Pause for Tales, May 15

Maureen’s Musings, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 16

By The Book, May 16

Inspirationally Ever After, May 17

Reading Themes, May 17

For The Love of Books, May 17

Lis Loves Reading, May 18

Emily Yager, May 18

Living Life Free in Christ, May 18

For HIm and My Family, May 19

Retrospective Spines, May 19

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 19

Girls Living For God’s Glory, May 20

As He Leads is Joy, May 20

To Everything A Season, May 20

All-Of-a-kind Mom, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 21

Creating Romance, May 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 23

Wishful Endings, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24

Just the Write Escape, May 24

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 25

Lighthouse Academy, May 25

janicesbookreviews, May 25

Inspired by Fiction, May 26

Simple Harvest Reads, May 26 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Inklings and notion, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

A Reader’s Brain, May 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a paperback copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one lucky winner!

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/e4f1/the-printed-letter-bookshop-celebration-tour-giveaway

Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker Review

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Synopsis:

Some say the great mystery of how one can live in two worlds at once died with Thomas Hunter many years ago. Still others that the gateway to that greater reality was and is only the stuff of dreams. They are all wrong.

Rachelle Matthews, who grew up in the small town of Eden, Utah, discovered just how wrong when she dreamed and awoke in another world. There she learned that she was the 49th Mystic, the prophesied one, tasked with finding five ancient seals before powerful enemies destroy her. If Rachelle succeeds in her quest, peace will reign. If she fails, the world will forever be locked in darkness.

In The 49th Mystic, Rachelle found the first three of those five seals through great peril and mind-altering adventure. But two seals remain hidden and the fate of both worlds hangs in their balance.

As Rachelle Matthews sits deep in a dungeon, Vlad Smith is just getting started. Thomas Hunter’s world is about to be turned inside out. The mystics say that there is no defense against the Fifth Seal–but finding it will cost Rachelle everything.

So begins the final volume of high stakes in one girl’s quest to find an ancient path that will save humanity. The clock is ticking; the end rushes forward.

My Thoughts:

This is the thrilling conclusion to the Beyond the Circle Duology and it did not disappoint. The story picks up where the first one leaves off. We continue to follow Rachelle, the 49th Mystic as she goes on adventures to solve mysteries.

I preferred the storylines that occurred in present day over the scenes in the more fantastical world. Like the first story, there were times when I felt the story became bogged down by wordiness and dialogue.

I loved the characters and following them on their adventures. The scenes were described vividly and the action was intense.

If you are looking to dip your toes into the fantasy genre, this would be a great place to start.

My Rating:

3 stars

I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof Review

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Synopsis

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

My Thoughts

I was eager to return to the world of the Norgaard family and Joanne Bischof’s rich storytelling and I wasn’t disappointed. This story picks up a few years where the first one left off and, though one could probably read this as a standalone and catch up, it would be much better to read the first book as well (the romance in it is definitely worth it!)

Thor and Aven’s relationship is so beautiful and it was even sweeter in this book. There is also a lot of turmoil surrounding the Norgaard family in this book…angry people and someone seeking forgiveness.

Reading Bischof’s stories always transports me to another time and place, I adore her writing style and descriptions, and her characters are people that I wish I really knew.

This is another winner by Joanne Bischof and I highly recommend it!

My Rating

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I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spotlight on Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt!

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This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt. This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 7 till 13 May. See the tour schedule here.

Moments We ForgetMoments We Forget (The Thatcher Sisters #2)
By Beth K. Vogt
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Christian Fiction
Age category: Adult
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: May7, 2019

Blurb:
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine.

Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again.

Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?

You can find Moments We Forget on Goodreads

You can buy Moments We Forget here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Tyndale House Publishers
Books-A-Million
IndieBound
Get It Local Now
Christian Book Distributors
Walmart

Excerpt:
I had half an hour, no more than that, to get my life in order so my sisters would never suspect how unprepared I was for this morning.
I kicked the back door shut, dumping the plastic grocery bags onto the kitchen counter, easing the ache in my arms. If Johanna were hosting this morning, she’d have something homemade baking in her oven, the appealing aroma filling her immaculate kitchen.
Well, one thing was for certain—I was not Johanna.
Winston’s frantic barks sounded from upstairs. Seconds later, he was scampering around my feet, his sudden appearance meaning I’d forgotten to lock him in his kennel. Again.
“Bad dog.” A halfhearted reprimand. “You’re not supposed to be down here.”
I pulled items from the plastic bags. Please don’t let me have forgotten anything during my mad dash through the grocery store.
Cream for Johanna’s and my coffee—although she was going to have to make do with my Keurig coffeemaker, not French press.
A small box of sugar so Payton could enjoy her coffee with the preferred three heaping spoonfuls per cup.
A premade fruit salad.
Blueberry muffins.
Keurig pods.
Nothing fancy. But at least I wouldn’t look like a complete failure.
I suppose to a casual observer, Johanna, Payton, and I—the three remaining Thatcher sisters—appeared successful. And yet, while we might claim certain professional and romantic achievements, we still struggled to find our way as sisters.
At times Pepper’s words—the ones Payton had shared with Johanna and me several months ago—seemed more of a taunt than an encouragement.
“Sometimes you just have to forget all the other stuff and remember we’re sisters.”
Shouldn’t a role you acquired at birth be simple? Something you learned to do, along with walking and talking and navigating adolescence?
But then Pepper’s death at sixteen splintered our already-precarious bonds.
I selected three mugs from a kitchen cupboard. This was no time to try to unravel the complicated dynamics between me, Johanna, and Payton—not when they’d be here any minute. And not with so much riding on this morning.
It’s funny how much hope people put into a cup of coffee.
Social media—Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest and even millions of people’s text messages around the world—overflow daily with memes and GIFs lauding the miracle qualities of coffee.
Coffee is the gasoline of life.
All I need is coffee and mascara.
Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.
I drink coffee for your protection.
Drink coffee and do good.

And now . . . now coffee would be the glue that bonded the three of us together.

Check out the first book in this series!
Things I Never Told You (The Thatcher Sisters #1)
Things I Never Told You
As old wounds reopen and possible tragedy awaits, the Thatcher sisters must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

Links for Things I Never Told You:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Tyndale House Publishers
Books-A-Million
IndieBound
Get It Local Now
Christian Book Distributors
Walmart

Beth K. VogtAbout the Author:
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked Never. Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released in May 2018. Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, releases May 2019. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

You can find and contact Beth K. Vogt here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Bookbub
Instagram


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Gone Too Soon by Melody Carlson Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

Book: Gone Too Soon

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Gone Too SoonAn icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

This was a very gritty and sad story about a family that is falling apart after the death of one of the teenage daughters.

The story follows Kiera, the sister of Hannah, who passed away in a car accident. Kiera just discovered Hannah’s diary and begins reading it to learn more about what Hannah was going through up to the accident. The chapters following Kiera are told in first person. I enjoyed reading about Kiera, she was very honest and her development throughout the story was great.

The reader also follows Kiera’s mother Moira (in third person), who is struggling with many addictions while trying to cope with the loss of her daughter. The relationship between Moira and Kiera was very difficult to read and sad.

The message of faith in the story was good and the ending was almost a bit chilling. I appreciated the story but I found it very sad to read.

Overall, this would be a good story for older teens who enjoy contemporary stories.

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I think I’ve written about a hundred or more teen novels, but Gone Too Soon, a rather serious story, is a bit different. There’s no denying I’ve covered a bunch of gritty issues—everything from self-harm to suicide to murder—but I’ve never written a novel quite like this one. For starters, I wrote it from two viewpoints. Both the teenage daughter and her mother express themselves in this story. And because the premise involves an untimely death, the family is torn apart. As a result, there’s a lot of guilt and blame and confusion going around. They’re all in pain.

I’ve been asked several times what “inspired” this story. And I’m sad to say that it’s simply a case of “art imitating life.” I live in a small community where too many young people have died “too soon.” These untimely deaths—for a variety of random and unexplainable reasons—are devastating. I know more than a dozen families (some very close friends) who have tragically lost a child. So I’ve seen up close how it can tear a family apart. It’s truly heartbreaking, often leaving friends and family without words of comfort or explanation.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote this story. My hope is that teens (who often feel invincible) will be reminded that they are mortal and that this earthly life is temporary. Hard as it sounds, death is inevitable. And it’s not that I want everyone to be obsessed about dying, but we do live in a culture that practices denial about the end of a life. No one really wants to talk about it. My hope is that readers will take a hard, honest look, peel back some layers, and face death for what it is—a part of earthly life. And I hope readers will close the book with a little more understanding . . . and hope.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 25

Emily Yager, April 26

The Power of Words, April 26

Moments, April 26

Christian Bookaholic, April 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Hallie Reads, April 27

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

janicesbookreviews, April 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, April 29

SusanLovesBooks, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 30

Just the Write Escape, April 30

Carla Loves toRead, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 2

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Reading Themes, May 3

For The Love of Books, May 3

the Midnight Bookaholic, May 4

amandainpa, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Bigreadersite, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

The Becca Files, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

this chattanooga mommy saves, May 7

A Reader’s Brain, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!

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/dfa9/gone-too-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway