Bucket Lists and Summer Reading

Bucket

The world is full of wonderful books! Before the summer gets away from us, I decided to put together a short bucket list of some of the books I still want to read. See if any of these sound good to you, too!

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Beneath the Blackberry Moon; the entire series by April Gardner

Coming to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske

Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel; the entire series by Amy Clipston

Such an assortment! Why these books???

I love the cover of Sweetbriar Cottage. I admit that sometimes that’s enough to make me want to at least give a book a try. In this case, Denise Hunter is a great author and who doesn’t like stories of second chances??

Why Beneath the Blackberry Moon? I’ve started this series, and in the course of reading and reviewing if for April, she’s become a friend. A wonderful author who writes native American books that are really good!!

Coming to Rosemont is written by best-selling novelist Barbara Hinske. I keep hearing so much about the entire series that I have to give it a try!

And I can’t leave out my friend Amy Clipston! I’ve read so many of her wonderful books, but not the Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series. I’m telling you, if you’ve never read this author’s works and you like Amish fiction, she is a must read!

I hope this gives you some books to consider. Or maybe it will spur you to make your own reading bucket list. Share it here with us!

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Author T.K. Chapin

T.K. Chapin is an author that honestly, I wasn’t sure about at first since what he writes isn’t a genre I typically read. But wow! His books are incredible. I’m so glad I joined his street team! Here’s some information on his newest book, which really comes from an intriguing angle. I encourage you to read it. You’ll be reminded that things aren’t always as they seem.

TLWB meme

The Lies We Believe by T.K. Chapin

A daughter, a cult, a secret.

When Ron Fields heard the news his only daughter Emily had joined the new age cult Lighthouse, he was devastated. Ron decides to keep quiet on his feelings about his daughter’s choice, a decision which changes his life forever…

The lies we tell are often thought to be innocent…
…but the lies we believe can sometimes be deadly. 

From the best-selling Christian suspense author T.K. Chapin comes a story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

My Review:

Author T.K. Chapin hit a home run with this one! Full of twists and turns, you won’t know who to trust! At one point I thought I had it figured out. Boy, was I wrong! Lots of suspense and drama, with a bit of romance, I will say that as a parent this was a little tough to read. It could be anyone’s family.

A story of God’s faithfulness, love and mercy, this is a great read if you enjoy clean suspense that keeps you turning “just one more page”!

 

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T.K. Chapin is an award winning Inspirational Christian Fiction author who designs his stories to inspire and tug on your heart strings. He believes that telling authentic stories of faith, love and family helps build the faith of believers while inviting non-believers into the reality of God. Each story highlights how God can work in the lives of those who follow Him.

Chapin gives all credit for his writing and storytelling abilities to God. The majority of his stories take place in and around his hometown of Spokane Washington. Chapin & his wife reside in Southeast Idaho and have three children. When not writing, he enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with friends & family.

Other books by T.K. Chapin:

If Only

Because of You

Christian Romance Series – Diamond Lake Series
(Book 1) One Thursday Morning
(Book 2) One Friday Afternoon
(Book 3) One Saturday Evening
(Book 4) One Sunday Drive
(Book 5) One Monday Prayer
(Book 6) One Tuesday Lunch
(Book 7) One Wednesday Dinner

Firefighter Christian Series – Embers & Ashes
(Book 1) Amongst The Flames
(Book 2) Out of the Ashes
(Book 3) Up in Smoke
(Book 4) After the Fire

Contemporary Christian Romance – Love’s Enduring Promise Series
(Book 1) The Perfect Cast
(Book 2) Finding Love
(Book 3) Claire’s Hope
(Book 4) Dylan’s Faith
** Visit his website (get a free Gift) – www.tkchapin.com

** Follow him on twitter – http://www.twitter.com/tkchapin

** Connect on Facebook – www.facebook.com/officialtkchapin

 

Buy Links:

Because of You- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XXYRF8C/
If Only – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRR5J39/

One Thursday Morning – book 1 of the Diamond Lake Serieshttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IAU6GXQ/

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Meet Author Stephenia H. McGee!

Stephenia is a “new to me” author. I recently finished her newest book, In His Eyes, and it was fabulous! If you enjoy historical fiction you’ll enjoy In His Eyes!

Now let’s meet Stephenia. (Don’t you love her period piece dress??)

fun pic Stephenia w model for IHE

Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of six Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes. She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South
Visit Stephenia!

Visit her website at www.StepheniaMcGee.com and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get sneak peeks, behind the scenes fun, the occasional recipe, and special offers.

FaceBook: Stephenia H. McGee, Christian Fiction Author

Twitter: @StepheniaHMcGee

Pinterest: Stephenia H. McGee

 

In His Eyes released May 5, 2017. I love it!

eyes_ebook (1)

Her heart sought shelter. Her soul found home.

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer’s widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.

 

Editorial reviews:

“The character development is impressive and the plot kept me riveted. I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Major Remington and Ella–and once you begin reading this book, you won’t want to put it down either.” ~Andrea Boeshaar, Author “A Thousand Shall Fall” and “Too Deep for Words”

“With dynamic, realistic characters and colorful descriptions, I was more than just reading a story on a page, I felt like I was participating in the story. I laughed, I cried, and loved every moment. I hated to see it come to an end…I loved how this story seamlessly included the gentle reminders of God’s love for us and the importance of our reliance upon Him, without coming across pushy or like you are reading a sermon. It’s was ever so soft, just like a whisper.” Joy of Reading Blog

“In the post-Civil War South, we have a Union officer who is physically wounded from battle, emotionally wounded from the loss of his parents, and spiritually wounded by his lost relationship with his God.  Into his world steps a spunky, spirited red-headed southern belle. Let the sparks ignite!” Dennis E. Hensley author, Pseudonym

Here’s my review:

If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll love this newest book by Author Stephenia H. McGee. Post civil war south, Stephenia doesn’t dodge the uncomfortable issues of the time.

A wonderful portrayal of God’s mercy, character Ella Whitaker shows His heart for those considered “less than” in society. We see that all people are worthy and loved by the Father. In His Eyes we all have value.

The characters are well developed and you’ll feel as if you know them personally as they grow both personally and spiritually. The setting is described in such a fabulous way; you’ll be able to see the homes, the town, etc. Add this book to your To Be Read list. You’ll be glad you did!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.

For more information on Stephenia’s books:

In His Eyes http://amzn.to/2ptw3wi

The Whistle Walk http://amzn.to/2pCPYr8

Heir of Hope: http://amzn.to/2qBA4g1

Leveraging Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2ptELuw

Losing Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2p5Vstq

Labeling Lincoln: http://amzn.to/2p65pH4

 

IHE meme

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America…Still Beautiful

Whitecaps

Last night I saw America.

I saw her on the faces of the young men following their dream of playing pro baseball. Most barely over the age of 18. Maybe away from home for the first time. Eager to join the ranks of Miguel Cabrera, Ricky Henderson, and David Ortiz. And able to reach for those goals in America.

I saw her on the faces of the players here from other countries. The Dominican Republic. Japan. Venezuela. And able to reach for those goals in America.

America was on the faces of the children around me at the Single A ballgame. The toddler who danced to every walk on song and high fived everyone around him. The 5 and 6 year olds sitting in front of me, eating hot dogs and caramel corn. Enjoying the fanfare of a family friendly game and bringing smiles to the faces of the elderly couple sitting next to me.

If you had been with me, you would have heard America in the voice of the young lady singing the National Anthem. You would have seen hats over hearts as everyone joined in.

Does America have scars, bruises, and ugly spots? Of course. But look at her closely. Go to a ballgame. A dance recital. A parade. You’ll see that America is still beautiful.

John-Birch-Society-American-Flag-hero-E

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It’s Naomi Day!

I’m so excited! Today I get to introduce you to one of my favorite authors. Seriously, Naomi Rawlings is in my top five! If you haven’t checked out her Eagle Harbor series you really need to. Based in Eagle Harbor, a real town in the UP of Michigan, you will love it!

 

Here’s a bit about my friend Naomi. She’s so sweet. I know you will like her!

naomiNaomi Rawlings is the author of multiple historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.

Here are Naomi’s author links. Take a few minutes and visit!

www.naomirawlings.com

https://www.facebook.com/author.naomirawlings/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5339357.

 

Love’s Winter Hope released April 24, 2017 and it’s a dandy!unnamed

Journey back to a time when neighbors knew each other’s names, and a handshake meant a person’s honor. The bestselling Eagle Harbor Series continues with Book 5, Love’s Winter Hope.

When Jessalyn Dowrick’s husband left her and their three daughters to head west five years earlier, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces of her broken life and continue without him, eventually supporting herself as Eagle Harbor’s seamstress, and secretly hoping her husband would return. But days soon slipped into months, and months into years, all without word of Thomas or a cent of the money he’d promised to send.

While working day and night to build a new life that his wife would be proud of, Thomas wrote Jessalyn every week, asking her to come to South Dakota. But she never arrived. In fact, she never answered a single one of his letters. When he returns to Eagle Harbor in search of answers, he finds a woman who thought him dead . . . and soon regrets he didn’t come after her earlier.

As winter closes in and storms trap Thomas in town until the harbor opens in the spring, will he be able to convince his wife he’s worth a second chance?

 

Love’s Winter Hope

Amazon http://geni.us/hMnm

Apple http://geni.us/EHappl

Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP5

Nook http://geni.us/EHnook5

Kobo http://geni.us/EHkobo5

 

My review of Love’s Winter Hope

Love’s Winter Hope takes place in the real town of Eagle Harbor, Michigan. I need to get there some day! Author Naomi Rawlings does a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. I’m sure I’ll see the characters of the book walking the sidewalks and shopping in the stores.

Will Jessalyn go to South Dakota or will Thomas go to Chicago? Or will they stay in Eagle Harbor? Can their troubled marriage even survive that long? This journey of restoration and forgiveness will keep you riveted to the pages of Book 5 in the Eagle Harbor series. Come, take the journey to Eagle Harbor. You’ll be glad you did!
Come visit the historical town that readers can’t get enough of.  51LD6rpjorL._SX260_

Eagle Harbor Series–Where Love Finds Its Anchor 
Book 1: Love’s Unfading Light (Mac and Tressa)
Book 2: Love’s Every Whisper (Elijah and Victoria)
Book 3: Love’s Sure Dawn (Gilbert and Rebekah)
Book 4: Love’s Eternal Breath (Seth and Lindy)
Book 5: Love’s Winter Hope (Thomas and Jessalyn)
Book 6: Love’s Bright Tomorrow (Isaac and Aileen–winter 2018)
Prequel Novella: Love’s Violet Sunrise (Hiram and Mabel)
Short Story: Love’s Beginning (Elijah and Victoria)

 

If you’re interested in buying any of Naomi’s books (and why wouldn’t you?!) here are the links for the other books in the Eagle Harbor Series:

Love’s Unfading Light:

Amazon http://geni.us/aWuz7d0

Apple  http://geni.us/Appl1

Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP1

Nook http://geni.us/EHnook1

Kobo http://geni.us/EHkobo1

 

Love’s Every Whisper: 

Amazon http://geni.us/o2WQ.

Apple http://geni.us/appl2

Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP2

Nook http://geni.us/EHnook2

Kobo http://geni.us/EHkobo2

 

Love’s Sure Dawn: 

Amazon http://geni.us/5hbq

Apple http://geni.us/appl3

Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP3

Nook http://geni.us/EHnook3

Kobo http://geni.us/EHkobo3

 

Love’s Eternal Breath:

Amazon  http://geni.us/dSxzxAD

Apple http://geni.us/appl4

Google Play http://geni.us/EHGP4

Nook http://geni.us/EHnook4

Kobo http://geni.us/EHkobo4

 

book 1

 

If you’ve never read any of the Eagle Harbor Series, check out Book 1, Love’s Unfading Light. I know it will start you on your journey to Eagle Harbor, and you’ll want to stay. Personally, I can’t wait for Book 6. I miss being by my favorite lake, Lake Superior, and I’m looking forward to visiting with again.

 

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Alice’s Notions Release!

Alice’s Notions By Tamera Kraft

Alices Notions

“In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.

World War II widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons

Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.”

If you enjoy mystery, intrigue, quilting, and a bit of romance all wrapped up in a historical novel then you’ll enjoy Alice’s Notions. I expected a good book by this author, but I got a lot more than that.

Full of twists and turns, Author Tamera Kraft does a great job of keeping the reader on edge of their seat. It really was difficult putting this down; I wanted to see what happened next and was sad when it was over. This is a great read for the mystery lover, someone who enjoys history, and Kraft doesn’t leave out the romantic. This has something for everyone!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

Help us celebrate the release of Alice’s Notions!

Alice’s Notions along with 6 other authors of WW2 Christian Fiction will be featured at a Facebook party, May 22, 6:30 – 9:00 EST.
Winners receive $50 Amazon card or all 7 novels. Other prizes will be given throughout the party.

Follow this link on May 22 for the Facebook party. I hope to see you there!

To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

About the Author

Tamera KraftTamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel, Alice’s Notions released in April through Desert Breeze.

You can contact Tamera on her website!

 

Guest Post from Tamera Lynn Kraft

How Classic Movies from the 1940s Made Their Way in My Latest Novel

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

One thing I loved about writing my post World War Two novel was my main character’s passion for movies. Alice Brighton and her late husband loved to go to movies on Friday nights. Now, even after the war made her a widow, Alice still loves movies and compares everyone she meets to a movie character.

Of course for Alice, all these wonderful classic movies and movie stars and a part of her culture, but for me, it was so much fun because I love classic movies. In the novel, Alice compares her landlord to Cary Grant. Cary Grant is one of my favorites. After starring in movies like Suspision, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Notorious, Grant was one of the biggest stars around in 1946 when Alice’s Notions takes place. My favorite Cary Grant movie wouldn’t be made until a few years later. An Affair to Remember, released 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is one of my all-time favorites.

At one point in the novel, Alice thinks back to when her late husband always said she reminded him of Judy Garland. Garland would have been twenty-four at the time, just a bit younger than Alice, but she became a big star in her teens. She began acting at two years old when she debuted as Baby Francis and sang Jingle Bells. After playing in various roles including a few movies with Mickey Rooney, Garland had her big break in The Wizard of Oz. She went on to star in a ton of movies and had a thriving singing career until she committed suicide in the 1960s. One of my favorite Judy Garland movies released in 1945 during the war was The Clock. The Clock was about a woman who met and fell in love with a GI on leave. Their romance was intensified because they only had the weekend before he was shipped out again for the remainder of the war. This movie must have been in Alice’s mind since she had lost her husband shortly after the movie came out.

During Alice’s Notions, Alice goes on a date to see the movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield. It was released in 1946 and was considered scandalous at the time because the two main characters have an affair and murder her husband. The main theme of the movie is you can’t get away with your sin. The truth will be revealed. In Alice’s Notions, the truth being revealed is also a main theme.

So you may be wondering what classic movie Alice’s Notions reminds me of. Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was released in 1963. In that movie, Hepburn is being pursued and doesn’t know who she can trust. The movie has light hearted intrigue, suspense, and romance just like Alice’s Notions. Alice, also, doesn’t know who she can trust.

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Amy Clipston Interview & Giveaway

Clipston photo

Hey everybody! I’m excited about this blog. It’s my first guest blog with a giveaway! Woo Hoo!

I had the privilege of interviewing my award winning friend, Amy Clipston. Amy says that she’s been writing as long as she can remember. Married with two sons, we thought this was a great time to ask Amy some questions about Mother’s and Mother’s Day.

At the end of this interview, make sure you sign up for Amy’s give away! She has a great prize package for the winner!

Advanced Copy of An Amish Summer,  Copy of Beloved Hope Chest, Pens, Bookmarks, Lancaster County Sign, and Amish Doll Dress with Apron and Prayer Covering)

Amy, can you tell us what was your most memorable Mother’s Day gift or action?

When Joe and I were living in our first house and before we were parents of human children, we had two cats named Les and Gracie whom we loved dearly. My first Mother’s Day after we adopted the kitties, Joe gave me a gold charm necklace with two cats on it and he said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” It meant so much to me! That was my first Mother’s Day.

Amy, please share a special “proud mom” moment that you had with each of your boys. I’m thinking of the Scripture that “Mary kept all these things in her heart” and thought there might be something that even Matt and Zac don’t know about. 

This year each of my boys has moved me to tears because of their loving and giving hearts. I’m not going to use any names in order to protect their privacy.

One of my sons stood up to a bully by defending another boy who was being harassed. When the bully called the victim horrible names, my son walked up to the bully and gave him a piece of his mind. The bully was stunned silent and left the victim alone. I can’t express how proud I am that my child didn’t stand by and allow a bully to hurt another child.

My other son was a blessing to his friend when he needed help. His friend was depressed shared while they were talking online that he was thinking about hurting himself. My son texted the other boy’s mother and told her he was worried about him. When this issue came up again when my son was with his friend, he listened to his friend talk and even cried with him while offering him comfort. I had tears in my eyes when my son shared this with me.

I’m really proud of my sons for helping others in their time of need. I believe my sons will continue to be a blessing to others.

When you first learned you were going to be a mom what thoughts entered your mind?

I was thrilled, and I hoped and prayed my baby would be healthy. I prayed this prayer fervently when I was pregnant with Matthew because I’d experienced a miscarriage two years before he was born. I was terrified I was going to lose another baby, which why I call Matthew my miracle. He was appropriately born on Good Friday.

As a mother, what is your prayer for your boys?

My prayer is that they stay healthy and they find a profession they love. I also pray that if they chose to marry, they find someone who is nice and who will treat them with love and respect. I tell them repeatedly that love should never make them feel bad about themselves. I pray with all of my heart that they will be happy.

Can you share one of your parenting goof ups? 

Oh, there are so many, but some I would never put on display in a blog! Ha ha!  The one I will share happened the weekend before Zac started Kindergarten. Joe and I took him to the beach at the Outer Banks, and we spent the day on Oregon Inlet. It was overcast, and I stupidly didn’t think we needed sunblock. I didn’t know until later that Zac burned terribly on his shoulders, and he went to school the following day in pain. To make matters worse, he developed blisters. I cried! It was terrible. I felt so horrible for allowing him to get hurt that way. (Please don’t send me hate mail. I learned my lesson!)

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Amy a little bit. Thanks for being with us Amy. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

 

Clipston Give Away

 

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