Faith Hope and Clarity by Carol Margaret Tetlow Review

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Synopsis: Few people realise that Faith Faber, seemingly an accomplished doctor is really a shy and insecure person. Her lack of confidence is not helped by the fact that she lives with her critical and overbearing mother, who has never come to terms with her own divorce and who does not approve of Faith’s engagement to the gregarious Jonty.

Faith is delighted to be offered a post at Teviotdale medical centre, one of the partners is on sick leave and soon she meets Pollyanna Smith, a hugely overweight young woman who yearns to be slim, something Faith can sympathise with as she herself has had a constant battle with food for most of her life. But nothing they try seems to help…. well, not Pollyanna anyway.

Will the course of love run smoothly? Will Faith accept who she really is? While her relationship explodes and she is faced with one of the biggest and most difficult diagnoses of her life, Faith discovers who her real friends are makes a huge decision of her own.

My Thoughts: This book was an enjoyable story that follows Faith, a doctor, who has many issues…a struggle with food, an unhealthy relationship, and a difficult mother. I really enjoyed reading about Faith, who presents herself as a respected doctor, but behind closed doors has many struggles that people wouldn’t expect. I had a love-hate relationship with Faith…there were many times that I just wanted to shake her and tell her to wise up, but I also related to her in many ways.

The book is 251 pages but it took me a long time to get through…there was something about the pacing that made it feel a bit slow.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and the characters and would definitely read more by this author.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I received this book from the author to review. All opinions are my own.

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Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley Review with Giveaway!

like-moonlight-at-low-tide-FB-cover-copyAbout the Book

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Title: Like Moonlight at Low Tide

Author: Nicole Quigley

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Release Date: 2012

When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor’s pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom’s latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts: Oh, wow…this book ripped out my heart and stomped on it. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that made me feel this way. This book covers a lot of difficult issues but they are handled very well. The issue of suicide is dealt with in a realistic way…the author quietly gives hints to the warning signs leading up to it and the aftermath is heartbreaking.

I really liked Melissa’s character…I related to her feelings of not wanting to stand out or be the center of attention, I also was taken back to my Junior High days when reading about the torment she went through by her peers in middle school. The only thing I disliked was that she called her mother by her first name, which seemed a bit strange and disrespectful.

The faith content was good. I liked the fact that one of the characters was unashamed about going to church and reading his Bible.

The relationships between the characters were enjoyable to read about and kept me guessing at times.

Overall, this was a very good YA contemporary story with a lot of depth. I would recommend it for ages 16 and over because of some of the content (underage drinking, partying, sexual innuendos, etc.).

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Publishing to review honestly. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Quigley - Book Signing 2Nicole Quigley is the author of Like Moonlight at Low Tide, a winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers “Carol Award” and “Genesis Contest” for best young adult fiction. Nicole works in public relations and spent many years in Washington, D.C. She now lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast, where she grew up. Nicole holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, where she majored in Communications/Public Relations and minored in English. Her favorite place in the world is Western North Carolina, and her favorite place to write is a late night coffee shop, wherever she can find one open.

 

Guest Post from Nicole Quigley

Three Things I Hear from “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” Readers

When I first wrote “Like Moonlight at Low Tide,” I thought my readers were going to get the same things out of it that I did. The book gets off to a start when Missy Keiser sneaks into her neighbor’s pool to go nightswimming. She thought no one was home until she sees the figure of an unknown guy standing in the dark, at the edge of the pool.

 

Missy was bullied when she was younger, but this story is about what happens after she is bullied. What happens if you got everything you ever wanted? Would it be enough? I think that when we really look at the reasons behind why we want things and why the things we want can become so big in our lives, especially in high school—we often find that there’s really a bigger question left for all of us.

 

Who is going to love me?

 

Since “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” debuted, I’ve been so honored to hear from readers who could relate to Missy’s story. One thing that has surprised are the things I hear about from readers time and again.

 

First, I always hear about the ending! I definitely wrestled with how to bring the book to a close. I won’t say more about it (no spoilers!), but I have to laugh because most readers tell me I was really close to hearing a lot more from them! Second, I always hear about a certain guy who becomes the male protagonist. Yes, girls, I have to admit that I loved writing him!

 

Lastly, I often hear the book was written “just for them.” That’s what touches me most of all. I wrote this story from the heart. It means so much to hear that it reached others, and often in ways I never predicted. I love that.

 

Once a reader picks up my story and brings her own experiences to it, it becomes something new. And it’s really special to connect with a reader on some of these heart questions that we all have in common. One reader who has really made an impact on me sent me a hand-made charm bracelet based on the book. She took Missy’s story, and she turned it into something entirely new. Her creativity is really special, and the bracelet is now one of my most treasured possessions

 

I love hearing from readers about what they liked (or even didn’t like) in Missy’s story. As it turns out, listening to readers is one of the very best parts of writing for them.

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Red Headed Book Lady, December 21

Bigreadersite, December 21

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Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a $50 Amazon Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c402

Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway!

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Her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy-so is her heart. In Hope Toler Dougherty’s new novel, Rescued Hearts, children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Brett forsakes his three-month mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind . . . and then Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more.

 

My Thoughts: First of all, this cover is really appealing to me. I love the contrast between the creepy house and the kitten. I also love the font and colors used on the cover. This story focuses on Mary Wade, who is kidnapped and them rescued by an undercover agent, Brett. The reader follows their adventures as they work to avoid the villains. As time passes, Mary Wade and Brett develop feelings for each other.

The relationship between Brett and Mary Wade was sweet. I loved their sarcastic banter and how they slowly opened up to each other about their issues. I also liked that each of them were flawed…it added to the realness of the story.

The action was good and there were some suspenseful moments that kept me guessing. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first half, as the beginning felt a bit rushed.

Overall, this was a fun story that I would recommend to readers who enjoy clean suspenseful stories with a touch of romance.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.

Cozy up this fall with Hope’s new book and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Rescued Hearts
  • A Kindle Fire 7

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 13. The winner will be announced November 14 on the Litfuse blog.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry Review

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Synopsis: The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart

Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.

There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.

Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

My Thoughts: The cover of this book immediately drew me in. Any book lover knows the joy that a bookshop brings and to find a book about a book store is a treat. I loved the many references to various books throughout the story.

This is definitely an “escape” book, I left my current location when reading this and found myself in the little English town with the colorful cast of characters, enjoying each moment.

The characters were each very developed and the reader gets to know them all. Although there are a lot of characters, it was fairly easy to keep track of them all. I adored the main character, Emilia. She grows a lot through the story as she is not only grieving a loss but also taking ownership of a failing business, all the while trying to keep a promise that she made.

This was a delightful and very fun contemporary story. I would recommend this to anyone who loves books about books.

My only issue with the story was the adultery that was included. I never like reading about adultery and wasn’t a fan of that story line.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.

The Pretender by Ta’Mara Hanscom Review and Giveaway

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Synopsis: Set in South Dakota in 1975, where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beer in a bar, and loaded guns were kept under the counter.

Frankie Valli sang “My Eyes Adored You,” and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
It’s within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined-and had been for many years-yet they had no idea.
From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart—and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.
About the authors:
 

Born and raised in South Dakota, Ta`Mara loves to write about the Great Plains and the beauty and people of Italia. While her husband and children manage their two pizza ristoranti, Ta`Mara works full time on The Caselli Family Series, and ministers to women. It is Ta`Mara s prayer that as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, forgiveness, obedience, and God’s plan for marriage
Find out more about Ta’Mara at https://www.tamarahanscombooks.com.

 

 

My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book. The first 1/3 was 5 stars…the romance was perfect and warmed my heart but the middle and end became a bit frustrating and left me feeling unsatisfied. This is the first book in a series, so I know that the story is far from over but some of the decisions made by the characters really made me sad.

This story follows Noah and Tillie, who have a whirlwind romance when they meet but then, after a misunderstanding, lose each other and move on (but keep each other in their hearts). In a lot of ways, the story reminded me of the movie, “The Notebook”. Noah has a great transformation throughout the story and I love how he grows and matures. Tillie was a bit frustrating to me at times…she’s the only girl and the baby of an Italian family and was a bit selfish and immature at times.

I loved the concept of Blackguards and Knights and although I wouldn’t necessarily use those words, I would love to impart this lesson to my daughter for when she chooses a life mate.

I also loved the strong family dynamics that were weaved throughout the story. The Casellis are the definition of a close-knit family and our world needs more families like that. The bar is set very high for the men Tillie can date and I appreciated the overprotective nature of her older brothers.

Overall, this was a good story and I’m glad to have read it. I just need to pick up the next one to find out what will happen next!

My Rating: 3 stars

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.

Join Ta’Mara in celebrating the release of the second printing and new covers by entering to win her $75 prize basket giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Pretender
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
  • A decorative box containing measuring cups, ten recipes from the book, a potholder, a kitchen towel, pepper and salt grinders, kitchen utensils, and an olive oil dispenser

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 11. The winner will be announced October 12 on the Litfuse blog.

 

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson Review

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Synopsis: When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma? Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.

My Thoughts: This is my third year of reviewing Melody Carlson’s Christmas stories and I always enjoy reading them. (Reviews for The Christmas Angel Project and The Christmas Joyride).  Every year, she releases a Christmas story that warms the heart and gets the reader in the mood for the Christmas season and this book was no exception.

The story follows Amelia, who lost her sweetheart in World War 2 after a whirlwind romance that produced a child. Her sweetheart, James, left for the war before they knew she was pregnant (or were married) and now she is setting off to find his family and introduce herself and her son Jimmy to them.

I liked the plot of the story and the time period of World War 2, a scary and uncertain time, I imagine. I also liked Amelia’s character, she adored baby Jimmy and wanted what was best for him. My only qualm with this book is that Amelia states that she doesn’t regret having Jimmy out of wedlock and premarital sex almost seems condoned because they were planning on getting married the next day anyway. Something about that didn’t quite sit well with me. I don’t judge people for their actions or sins but I wasn’t fond of how sin was almost justified in this book (I always hold Christian books at a higher standard than secular books).

Overall, this was a very sweet story that was paced well and had a great ending. I highly recommend it for fun Christmas reading!

My Rating: 

4.5 stars

I received this book from Revell Publishing to review honestly.

 

 

Life After by Katie Ganshert Review

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Synopsis: On the day of a late spring storm, in Chicago, Autumn Manning boarded an “L” train. A bomb explodes, killing everyone in the train car except for Autumn—the sole survivor. A year has passed and Autumn suffocates under a blanket of what ifs and the pressing desire to bring the victims back to life, every day, if only for her. She doesn’t want their stories to be forgotten. She wants to undo what cannot be undone. An unexpected ally joins her efforts, also seeking answers and trying to find a way to stumble ahead.
But one victim’s husband, Paul Elliott, prays to let the dead—and their secrets—rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to hurt his loved ones.
Caught between loss and hope, these restless souls must release the past to embrace a sovereign God.

My Thoughts: This is one of those books that will pull at your heartstrings. The main character Autumn is the sole survivor of a train bomb and she is left with survivor’s guilt. Through a set of circumstances, she comes to meet Paul, the husband of one of the victims and secrets are revealed on both sides.

I really liked the characters in this story…each one had his or her own voice and felt very real. I also felt that the story was not “sugar coated” in any way, there are many raw emotions on display and characters go through a gamut of emotions after dealing with a senseless tragedy.

This is a Christian fiction book and the mention of God is definitely present but I feel like the story would still be very enjoyable to non-Christian readers. I loved the Christian aspect of the story, it was subtle but very beautiful.

This one is definitely a winner, but if you are sensitive, keep a box of tissues handy when reading it.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.