Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas | The first novel in the Appalachian Blessings series

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WOW!

As I sit here, tears streaming down my face, I am simply amazed at how wonderful this story is. I simply can not believe this is the first novel Sarah Loudin Thomas has written.

I tend to be cautious of non-Amish fiction lately but this book gets a solid two thumbs up and 5 stars!

What a wonderful story! The depth of emotion, the strength of character, the beautiful miracles that God sends this sleepy little town. There are not enough words for how much this story has touched my heart.

Sarah Loudin Thomas is an exceptionally gifted author and I believe God has given her a little something extra special – just like her wonderful characters!

I grew up in the south (I know West Virginia isn’t exactly the “south” but it’s close enough I think) and I have lived in small towns just like Wise – yes, even in the last 30 years. There are still small towns like Wise all over the south – especially in Appalachia. Sarah’s descriptions were spot-on and her portrayal of the townspeople’s reactions rang absolutely true. I’ve never been a huge fan of history but there’s something about those mountains that has inspired me to learn as much as possible about life there. So I speak the truth when I say this sounds absolutely right.

This story will touch your heart, even while it makes you mad. And there are more than a few times it will make you laugh out loud!

It’s just all around a GREAT story!

5star

 

Here is more about “Miracle in a Dry Season” from Bethany House

In a Drought, It’s the Darkest Cloud
That Brings Hope

It’s 1954 and Perla Long’s arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor…until he meets Perla. She’s everything he’s sought in a woman, but he can’t get past the sense that she’s hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla’s unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BETHANY HOUSE/BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP   SARAH’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through
Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have
expressed are my own.

 

Happy Reading

And

GOD BLESS!

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Appalachian serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas | A Novella in the Appalachian Blessings series

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I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this novella. But let me tell you, it is more than worth the “price” – especially since it’s free!

I would happily BUY a copy of this if it ever becomes available in paperback – not that I’m unhappy with the eBook… I really enjoy having a REAL book in my hands when I’m reading!

Especially a GREAT BOOK!

If “Miracle in a Dry Season” - the next book in this series, is anywhere as well-written as “Appalachian Serenade”, I will be a very happy woman!

Sarah Loudin Thomas does not write as if this is her first (actually it might be her second, I’m not entirely certain) book!

WOW!

Her characters are vivid and colorful and there is the perfect amount of description to give you a clear picture of them.

And the story is absolutely beautiful! Sarah does a novella right! She gives us enough of a lead-in that we don’t feel like we’re being rushed through. And there are enough pages to give a decent story arc!

BRAVO Sarah!

I don’t know about you but I can not wait to read “Miracle in a Dry Season”!

 

5star

 

More about “Appalachian Serenade”:

Delilah Morrissey has always wanted to be a mother, but when she becomes a young widow, that dream now seems farther away than ever. Unable to continue to live alone in Chicago, her only option is to accept her sister’s offer to move in with her family back in West Virginia. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream–even if it means giving up the old?

In this charming novella, debut novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas introduces readers to Wise, West Virginia–a small town nestled in an Appalachian valley where the everyday miracles of life and faith play out in stories of healing, hope, and love.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   SARAH’S WEBSITE

SARAH’S PAGE AT BETHANY HOUSE – You can “buy” the book here too.

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

This book is free and I “purchased” it from AMAZON.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate

Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling

20140722-131937.jpgWell, this is certainly not my usual book…

But I received a free review copy in eBook – from Lauraine Snelling and I decided to give it a try.

And darn it! Now I’m going to have to go buy the paper version too!

BE WARNED! This book will pull you right in and it will NOT let go of your heart strings!

And it’s not just the mysterious little boy who has hold of them either.

 

Chapter 1 of “Heaven Sent Rain” had me going “Huh… What… Why…”

It dives right into the story and hits the ground running. And it only took a paragraph for me to be hooked.

Chapter 2 had me going “Awwww.” And then, “Huh… again” I will NOT spoil it for you but I will say this is an extraordinary book written about an unexpected journey guided by what some will probably try to deny is The Holy Spirit – even though it clearly is God’s voice that Dinah is hearing in the completely unexpected thoughts that simply will not stop – and it is a book that EVERYONE should read!

WOW!

I am so glad I asked to review this book. I might have missed out on the tremendous blessing otherwise.

The absolutely only complaint I have is that Lauraine is just a bit stingy with details – she drops little hints of detail and then moves on without explaining. And perhaps her usual readers prefer this or they know enough about her writing to read between the lines but it just left me feeling confused.

However, the impact of the story itself far outweighs any petty issues I might have. It is well worth a read!

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the cover designer. It is spectacular. Not only does it bring to mind what we see in the book (minus perhaps the rain coat our mysterious little boy is wearing…), it also looks so realistic, you can almost hear the rain.

BRAVO!

4 Stars

 

Here is what Faith Words has to say about “Heaven Sent Rain”:

Dinah Taylor has an orderly life that is just how she likes it. A perfectly furnished luxury apartment, a satisfying career as a scientist and CEO of her own company, and an uncomplicated personal life. But all of that changes when she meets seven-year-old Jonah.

The boy shows up one day, a scruffy dog by his side, in front of her office building. Dinah knows nothing about kids and even less about animals, but after she buys him breakfast, he shows up the next day…and the next. She tries to learn more about him, to help him, but he’s remarkably skilled at evading her questions. And then, late one night, he calls her in a panic-his dog has been badly injured. Dinah rushes them to a local animal clinic, where she meets Garret, a veterinarian with a thriving practice and a passion for drawing. Though Jonah takes to Garret right away, for some reason neither understands, Dinah and Garret just don’t mesh. But for Jonah’s sake, their lives continue to collide, and slowly the relationship between these three strangers begins to change.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   HACHETTE BOOK GROUP   LAURAINE’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   BOOKSAMILLION

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the author via AMAZON.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Dave Bruskas’ advice for Sons | A wonderful parent’s guide by Tynedale House

If you read this post an hour ago when it posted, you may have noticed that it was incomplete.

We had a few technical difficulties but I think I’ve got them all sorted out now.

 

Today I am reviewing “Dear Son” by David Bruskas. 

I mostly requested this book because I am a single mother and I need all the help I can get with my young son – who is 11 at the moment.

And my advice to you, is to
BUY THIS BOOK!

Whether you ARE a father, or you plan to become a father some day… Whether you are a single mother or a man who is new to Faith and in need of help along the way… If you are a man who has not been the father you need to be or the son who needs to heal the relationship with their own father.

This is the book for you!

This is the book for ALL fathers, sons, young men about to become fathers or single mothers who don’t know how to teach their sons what they’re missing from the father who should be there.

 

Dave Bruskas GETS IT. So many people today say that things have changed – and while that is certainly true – God has not changed and he never will. And, while our world is confusing and troubled – the relationship between father and son is just as vital as it always has been.

Now, I am not a man or a young boy but I had a distressing relationship with my father for years and when I finally began to realize that I needed to treat him the way the Bible told me to, we began to relate in a way that we never have. I can only imagine the drastic changes we would see in this country if all young men began to do this as well.

One thing Dave Bruskas seems to understand better than most pastors I know is that God truly is a Father to the Fatherless – even those who have a father who is physically there but doesn’t really know how to BE a father. Most of us don’t think about those children. We focus on the children who don’t have a father physically present in their lives. Those are the kids who miss out – right?

Not the ones who understand that God is their Father!

There are parts of this book that are a bit brutal and I applaud that. Too many people tiptoe around the truth because they’re concerned they might possibly offend someone. And, while I am not a fan of the harsh ways some people try to evangelize (bloody pictures of Christ on the side of a bus or truck or a depiction of what we think Hell might be like on a billboard), I do believe that people need to hear and see the truth. And sometimes that truth needs to be brutal.

The words may be harsh in places but the format of the book is not – quite the opposite actually. Dave writes a series of letters to the son he never got to see grow up. It’s heartbreaking but it gives a unique perspective that so many of us – with perfectly healthy young sons – take for granted.

I am truly blessed to have found this book and I am anxious to pass it on to my son. Most of the information in it is helpful to me right now but one day soon, he will need to read it too.

 

5star

 

Here is what Tynedale House Publishers has to say about “Dear Son”:

Today’s culture doesn’t encourage men to grow up.

Everyone from pastors to op-ed columnists have described a crisis of masculinity, fostered by a media culture that uniformly make men the butts of jokes.

Men are much more likely to give up on life than women. One indicator of this is the large gender difference in suicide rates—men are four times more likely than women to drop out of life. This points to a profound lack of effective mentoring of men, especially in the church.

Dave Bruskas seeks to fill in this gap with this book. Two decades ago, Dave lost his only infant son to a congenital heart defect. That devastating loss fueled his desire to provide effective mentoring to young men.

Dear Son contains the guidance and insights Dave would have given his son if he had lived through the milestones of growing up: from first dates to first jobs, from weddings to births, from friendships to funerals.

Dear Son contains heartfelt wisdom for life’s journey, especially for guys—and for those who want to strengthen them.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   TYNEDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

MARS HILL CHURCH   RESURGANCE – A Ministry of Mars Hill Church

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Tynedale Blog Network.

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Death Takes A Ride” by Lorena McCourtney

 

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I’m not 100% sure what actually happened here. I think my iPhone is actually responsible for me “requesting” this book.

I say that because “Death Takes a Ride”  is nowhere near my usual type of book… but you know that thing that your phone does on an internet page – you tap the screen and it moves just as your finger touches it and you’ve instead selected something halfway down the page from what you were just looking at.

Yeah, mine does that all the time.

Anyway, apparently my iPhone thinks this is a book worth reading – and Revell sent it to me with certain expectations – so I gave it a try…

And DARN IT! Now I have to go hunt down the first two in the series. Because I don’t have enough books…

 

Yes, this is the third book in the series and No, I haven’t read the first two but that would definitely not be a good enough reason NOT to read this book! Lorena McCourtney smoothly brings us up to speed and lets us in on the pattern in these novels with only a few short sentences. And she does it in a way that adds to the story without distracting you one bit from the plot.

BRAVO Lorena!

As with most Mystery series, you have at least one character who finds themselves in the middle of a sticky situation at least once in each book and this one is no different.

I LOVE that Cate’s faith is woven into each scene of the book – helping her get through these tough situations and tricky investigations.

I do believe I have found a NEW mystery series that I’m just going to LOVE!

Most of you remember my review a few months ago of an Amish Mystery that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did either. Apparently my problem was that the mysteries I read years ago that almost completely turned me off to the genre were not even remotely inspirational in nature. They relied on inappropriate relationships and believing impossible things about the characters to keep readers interested.

This book, like the Amish one, DOES NOT do any of that! Which of course means that I LOVE it and will happily recommend it to EVERYONE!

 

5star

 

 

Here is what Revell has to say about “Death Takes a Ride”:

It’s official. This case is above her pay grade–and Cate’s in over her head.

Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there–this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP/REVELL   LORENA’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Revell Reads blogger program.

GOD BLESS

and

 

HAPPY READING!

I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

An Amish retelling of a beloved Jane Austin classic | “First Impressions” by Sarah Price

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OK. I’ll admit it. I almost put this book down and I might not have even picked it back up – had it not been for mom.

She picked it up and would not give it back until she finished it.

Then she handed it to me and told me I had to read it! So of course I did!

And yes… it may have a bit of a slow start but give it a chance. It won’t take any time until you are pulled right in to the story.

And WHAT a story!

I never could have expected such a powerful story with so many little surprises and some absolutely priceless laugh-out-loud moments.

Realms was a genius to snap up Sarah Price when they had the chance!

This series is going to be amazing – I can tell!

And while I’ve never been much of a fan of the original stories by Jane Austin, I can tell I’m going to LOVE these! But then… the Amish aspect brings so much to it and Sarah’s writing is positively wonderful!

Whether you enjoy Amish fiction or not, if you enjoy a good romance with fun quirky characters and a solid moral – you will LOVE this book!

 

And here is what Realms has to say about “First Impressions”:

Will pride and prejudice keep the Blank sisters from finding love?

With five daughters and no sons, Daed and Maem Blank are anxious to find their girls suitors who might eventually take over their family farm. When news arrives that Charles Beachey, the son of a prominent Amish farmer, will be returning from Ohio with his cousin Frederick, they are hopeful that the young men might be good matches for their daughters.

The oldest daughter, Jane, starts courting Charles, a well-mannered and very respectful young man, but her younger sister Lizzie is not interested in either courtship or Frederick. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him, finding him full of pride and disdain for her family’s way of life. But in a community and culture where pride is scorned, Lizzie must learn that first impressions can be dangerous and people are not always who they seem to be.

This Amish retelling of the popular Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful take on the power of love to overcome class boundaries and prejudices that will win your heart.

 

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   CHARISMA HOUSE/REALMS   SARAHS WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES   LIFEWAY   BOOKSAMILLION

 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Booketeria blogger program.

 

GOD BLESS

and

HAPPY READING!

 

I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Even when the answer is no…

Recently I was lamenting (complaining…) to my mother that I just didn’t know what was going on with this crazy situation. And, while I have to say I am still more than a little perplexed, I am glad to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

What am I talking about…?

Well, you all know I review books. In fact, I review a LOT of books for several different companies, two different street teams and various authors seeking influencers. I love to read and people really seem to love my reviews so it seems like a no-brainer.

 

And now it seems like a major downer. A certain company I review for (they WILL remain nameless because it wouldn’t be nice or Christian to point fingers) has decided to deny me for multiple tours I’ve signed up for recently.

Now, if this was the norm for how my relationship has been with them to date… I wouldn’t wonder – I would be looking at the situation very differently but it’s not… at all. Up to now, I have only ever been denied for 1, yes that’s right – 1 tour. To be fair, I don’t sign up for every single tour that comes through my inbox. First I don’t sign up for a book if I don’t think I will enjoy it. Second, who has time to be a mom, home-school, write full-time and review three or four books every day.

Not me!

So I only sign up for tours I am interested in. I do this with every single company – that’s why you don’t see me reviewing a lot for some of them. Not that they don’t publish quality books… they do. But nobody likes every book or every genre.

At any rate, I’m rambling now.

 

So how did I handle this rejection? Well… my spiritual gift is Mercy so I cried. This is why I have had so much trouble with the query process. Every single rejection feels very personal and devastating… so I cried. And then I ranted a bit. And then I realized there must be a reason for this. The rejection isn’t personal. It’s God’s will – And I need to respect that.

So I have accepted it – well I’m working on it anyway… I’m a mercy! We don’t let go of things easily.
But I’m trying to remember that God’s answer is always the best one. So maybe it’s that He knows I’m going to have more than I can handle elsewhere coming up soon. Or maybe I need more time to write or more time with the family. Who knows… well He does.

As difficult as it is for me to take a “No.” as anything other than a personal rejection, I don’t know all of the circumstances so I’m going to have to find a way to let it go and go on.

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