Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Book Review (+Giveaway!) — Reason to Breathe

5 Dec

Reason to Breathe_Blog

We are excited to introduce Deborah Raney’s new series with a blog tour and giveaway for book #1 – Reason to Breathe – hosted by JustRead Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

reason to breatheTitle: Reason to Breathe
Series: Chandler Sisters #1
Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love’s plan all along. . .

At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuck—until her father’s protégé, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical.

To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she’s still reeling over her father’s hasty engagement to a younger woman? Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb-Raney-HR-9-17

Deborah Raney dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her 30-plus books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA® Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. A Vow to Cherish continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2600-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, traded small-town life in Kansas — the setting of many of Deb’s novels — for life in the city of Wichita. They often travel to teach at writers conferences across the country and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

CONNECT WITH DEB: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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MY IMPRESSIONS:

A mix of subjects — a fixer-upper project, a grieving family, and a budding romance — combine in one very good contemporary novel by Deborah Raney. Raney has the knack of bringing her fictional worlds to life, and Reason to Breathe is a great example. The first novel in the Chandler Sisters series, this book had everything I could want — real and relatable characters, great writing, and a naturally developing love story. Add in the Christ-centered message and you’ve got a winner. This one is a recommended read!

I loved all the characters in Reason to Breathe, but Phylicia (Phee) and Quinn are the focus of this first book. Their relationship has a few obstacles — an age gap, trust issues, and uncertainties of family dynamics — but it definitely is a romance readers will cheer on. The fixer-upper story line is a great vehicle for the budding romance and fun for the reader as well. Phylicia and Quinn are both believers, and Raney develops their relationship with an emphasis on God-honoring actions. In today’s world that is indeed refreshing. In fact the entire novel is infused with spiritual truths including the major theme of God’s timing — a message I certainly needed reminding of. Although Reason to Breathe is Phee and Quinn’s story, the two other sisters, Joanna and Britt, play major roles in the action. I am looking forward to the development of their characters and storylines.

Well-written and true to life, Reason to Breathe is a great choice for all readers.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Gilead Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 


reason to breathe giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Reason to Breathe
  • $15 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 10, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Top 10 Tuesday — Cozy Winter Reads aka Christmas Novellas!

4 Dec

Nothing says cozy to me more than a wonderful Christmas novella. And since ’tis the season  . . . here is a list to warm your heart as you snuggle with a hot beverage next to the fireplace. Even if it is 90 degrees where you live, these Christmas novellas will give you a warm feeling that won’t make you sweat 😉 . Funny, poignant, or just plain full of the Christmas spirit, these books run the genre gamut. Grab one (or two, or more) and get ready for some great reading!

For more great cozy winter reads, check out the bloggers who have shared their lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Cozy Christmas Reads

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

 

What’s your favorite cozy Christmas book?

Top 10 Tuesday — Siblings

27 Nov

Our Top Ten Tuesday prompt is platonic relationships, including siblings. I thought it would be fun to revisit books that involve sibling relationships — all the best and worst aspects with plenty of dysfunction! The books are a mix of contemporary and historical — something for everyone.

Make sure to check out other bloggers’ lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Sibling Relationships — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

(for series, the link is for book 1)

 

Cousins of The Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

 

Heart Between Us by Lindsey Harrel

 

How Sweet The Sound by Amy Sorrells

 

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

The Memory of You by Catherine West

 

Orphan Train series by Jody Hedlund

 

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What books with sibling relationships are your favorites?

 

 

Swimming in The Deep End Blog Blitz!

9 Nov

Swimming the Deep End Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Swimming In The Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

swimming in the deep endTitle: Swimming In The Deep End
Author: Christina Suzann Nelson
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Connors has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she’s an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Gabby becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she’s made don’t drown their whole family.

Gabby can’t believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they’re in love? Now she has to face the consequences–and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby’s father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She’s furious that Gabby’s pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty–the life she’s tried so hard to save him from. She’ll do anything to protect him–even if it means forcing him to leave Gabby.

Stacey Meyers is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she’ll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn’t distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future?

And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CNELSON-5

Christina Suzann Nelson, inspirational speaker and award-winning author of If We Make It Home, is celebrating the release of Swimming in the Deep End, on September 25, 2018. She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Child initiative, chasing escaped steers, reading, breathing in the sweet smell of her horse, hiking with her dog, or enjoying her just-as-crazy family.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


swimming in the deep end blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of Swimming in the Deep End
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Swimming in the Deep End water bottle

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 16, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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First Line Friday — Miles From Where We Started

26 Oct

Happy Friday! I am on the road again this weekend, heading out for a football game. Okay, my husband is attending the game. Me? I’ll be home checking the score periodically and reading. LOL! I am taking along Miles from Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti — a road trip book for my road trip! How about you? What are you reading this weekend. Share your first line in the comments, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition. When an at-risk, trouble-seeking eleven-year-old is unexpectedly thrown into their travel plans, close quarters get even tighter. Soon, the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness Mallory and Connor expected. But is it possible they will find a new beginning at the end of the road?

 

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through award-winning novels, novellas, devotionals, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 44 years and loves on her three kids and five grandchildren. Cynthia recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers, and now serves as ACFW’s Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the fifteen already on the shelves. Her books have been honored with two Selah Awards, three Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls, as well as finalist and top honors in awards programs such as ACFW’s Carol Awards, ForeWord Book Reviews Book of the Year, RT Reviews Book of the Year, Family Fiction’s Book of the Year, Cascade Awards Book of the Year, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and the Christy Awards, among others. You can connect with her at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com, at http://www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, at http://www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.

If You Liked Still Waters . . .

28 Sep

I love when my book club has a unanimous thumbs up on one of our selections. This month we read Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett, and we all loved it! (Read my review HERE.) Now what should we read next? I have a few suggestions.

Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth Jones

I’m coming home to prove something..to my city, my mother, and myself.

It is a place known to most as Savannah. It is a place known to me as home. I wish I could tell you it was my love for this city that precipitated my return. But I did not return out of a mere longing for home. I returned because I have something to prove to home. I am Savannah . . . from Savannah.

 

 

Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson

Jo Lynn Hunter is at a crossroads in life when her greataunt Stella insists that she return home to restore the old family house in sleepy Cottonwood, Georgia. Seeing the project as the perfect excuse for some therapeutic time away from her selfabsorbed husband and his snobby Atlanta friends, Jo Lynn longs to get her teeth into a noteworthy and satisfying project. But things are not what they seem, both in the house and within the complex history of her family. Was her greatgrandfather the pillar of the community she thought he was? What is Aunt Stella hiding? And will Jo Lynn’s marriage survive the renovation? Jo Lynn isn’t sure she wants to know the truthbut sometimes the truth has a way of making itself known.The past comes alive in this wellwritten and thoughtful novel full of secrets, drama, and family with a hint of Southern drawl.

The Wedding Machine by Beth Webb Hart

Welcome to Jasper, South Carolina. A place where Southern hospitality thrives. Where social occasions are done right. And where, for generations, the four most upstanding ladies of this community ensure that the daughters of Jasper are married in the proper manner.

Friends from school days, “the gals” have long pooled their silver, china, and know-how to pull off beautiful events. They’re a force of nature, a well-oiled machine. But the wedding machine’s gears start to stick during the summer their own daughters line up to tie the knot. In the lowcountry heat and humidity, tempers flare, old secrets leak out . . . and both love and gardenias bloom in unlikely places.

Book Review: Still Waters

21 Sep

Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree and a plan: avoid her own past — despite being wait-listed for graduate school. Then her beloved grandmother requests—and her dispassionate mother insists — that she spend the summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Despite its picturesque setting, Still Waters haunts Cora Anne with loss. At Still Waters her grandfather died, her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and as a child, she caused a tragic drowning. But lingering among the oak canopies and gentle tides, this place also tempts her with forgiveness — especially since Nan hired Tennessee Watson to oversee cottage repairs. A local contractor, but dedicated to the island’s preservation from development, Tennessee offers her friendship and more, if she can move beyond her guilt.

When a family reunion reveals Nan’s failing health, Cora Anne discovers how far Tennessee will go to protect her — and Edisto — from more desolation. Will Cora Anne choose between a life driven by guilt, or one washed clean by the tides of grace?

Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett just writes life — blogs, columns, articles, and stories — in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications. She writes a popular bimonthly column for several local newspapers in which she meditates on small town southern life.

Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her first novel, Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness. Thanks to her four kids, in her home you’ll find wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee.

Connect with her at http://www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she just writes life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Twitter @lindsbrac, or Instagram @lindseypbrackett.

 

My Impressions:

Still Waters by Lindsey P. Brackett was my book club’s selection this month. I chose this book because of the Southern island setting that I knew would suit our club’s anniversary. A good beach read for a late Summer book getaway is what I was expecting. I certainly got that, but I didn’t realize I would also get a book that as one member put it was way more than fluff. Romance is definitely a part of the book’s appeal, but Still Waters, with its emphasis on family, faith, and forgiveness, is a book that will get you thinking. So sit back in your rocker with a glass of tea and be prepared for a book that will speak to you about reunions and reclamation (in more ways than one).

Cora Anne is fresh out of college with a UGA diploma. Her life has been one of plans and purpose since she was 11 years old. But a storm and a determined grandmother put her back on the road to Edisto Island, a place that claims and breaks her heart at the same time. With the notion of helping her grandmother ready their beach house, Still Waters, Cora Ann confronts her past while clearing a way for a future.

I loved the strong characterization in Still Waters. There are so many great characters to choose from, I found it hard to have a favorite. Cora Anne is a sympathetic character in her turmoil and guilt that has dogged her for 12 years. Her grandmother, Nan, is feisty, strong, insightful, and bold, though her body is frail. If ever there was a swoon-worthy hero, it is Tennessee. His care and concern for Cora Anne surpass his own wants. Secondary characters are fun and create a great compliment for the activities of the main characters. Cora Anne’s triplet brothers provide wonderful comic relief. And there are at least two characters I would love to see get their own book. The setting itself, Edisto Island, is its own character. The essence of the island winds itself through the narrative and the imagination of the reader. It is now on my bucket list of places to visit. Forgiveness is one of the themes in Still Waters. More than one character wrestles with guilt and remorse. The author does a great job of portraying what “living under” forgiveness really looks like.

Still Waters is really a lot of things — southern lit, women’s fiction, family drama, and romance, to name a few. It sounds like a big jumble when stated that way, but that’s not the case at all. It is a well-crafted blend like the spicy gumbo Nan makes. Some sweetness, some spice, and a lot to warm the heart and soul.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I received a complimentary copy of Still Waters from the author. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)