Sunday, January 31, 2016

"where she belongs" by johnnie alexander


A woman faces more opposition—and receives more acceptance—than she'd expected when she buys back her family home.

Can love redeem a broken past?

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted Shelby's family homestead in the first place. His grandfather left it to him as punishment for not following his wishes, and he's let it fall into ruin. AJ's more than happy to unload it to this spitfire of a woman. But even after angry exchanges over the state of the house, he can't get her off his mind.

With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and family history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

Where She Belongs is a sweet romance about a widow who returns to her family farm with her daughters to rebuild her life. Though there's a sweet, gentle feel to the novel that makes it easy and enjoyable to read, there's also mystery and opposition that add intrigue.

Alexander's writing is rich and descriptive, and I found myself immersed in Shelby's world.

Though the novel ended rather suddenly, and I didn't quite understand how the main conflict regarding the ownership of Shelby's house was resolved or what exactly happened to Shelby's grandfather, I was quite satisfied with the main story. I'm also very glad to know that the series will continue, with the next novel to focus on AJ's cousin (and Shelby's one-time pseudo suitor) Brett. I'm eager for a return trip to Misty Willow! 4 stars.

Buy the novel.

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, January 29, 2016

"whatever is lovely" by waterbrook press

Adult coloring books have certainly become a craze, haven't they? My youngest sister has been into coloring for as long as I can remember, but I never really had any interest. Several months ago, though, I decided to try coloring as a stress reliever. It worked! I've never been particularly creative or artistic, but coloring inside the lines is something I can do. So when I saw Whatever Is Lovely up for review, I eagerly requested this coloring book.

Color your way to peace and worship.

We live in such a busy, hectic world—but what waits for you inside this cover is a way to quiet the noise, express creativity, and spend some sweet time with God. Each page features an original design from one of a dozen different artists, beautifully illustrating a contemplative quote from an inspirational writer, a beloved hymn, or Scripture. 

When we create, we echo the heart of our Creative God who designed everything and gave us the capacity to recognize beauty. 

So go ahead! You have permission to pick up your colored pencil and be reminded of truth in a fresh way. 

To help set the perfect mood for worship, contemplation, and creative expression, a link to the “Whatever Is Lovely” playlist is included. 

I'll be honest: I judged the book by its cover. How could I not? It's beautiful, and it made me very excited for the coloring pages I'd find inside. What surprised me was the variety within the pages. Some feature very intricate designs (like this one I haven't finished yet).

Others are quite simple.

Still others remind me of pages you might find in a kids' coloring book.

Each page has a Bible verse, a saying, or song lyrics incorporated into the design. The intent is truly to draw the user into worship. I really enjoy coloring while I'm listening to my favorite sermon podcast or some worship music.

The pages have good weight to them, and my markers (used in the second photo) didn't bleed through at all. The only thing I'd change would be to perforate the pages for easy removal so they can be displayed.

If you're looking for an adult coloring book for yourself or to give as a gift, I'd highly recommend this one. 4 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.

WaterBrook Press is committed to creating products that both intensify and satisfy the elemental thirst for a deeper relationship with God. By communicating encouraging and life-enriching truths, WaterBrook provides resources that can be trusted to be spiritually sound and readers will find to be captivating and enlightening. In providing these products as a Christian publisher, we hope that readers of all ages will gain a deeper understanding of God and live a life pleasing to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links on this page are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase a product, I will receive a commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 reading challenge

My sisters and I have decided to participate in Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2016 reading challenge. Each month we'll read a book from the same category and then post our thoughts on my personal blog, Coffee & Conversation.

Our introductory post is live now, and our January post will go up on Sunday. This month, we're reading a book that can be finished in a day.

Here's a glimpse at some of the books I'll be reading this year:

We hope you'll join in the fun, too! Come read with us!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"the painter's daughter" by julie klassen

After I was completely charmed by The Maid of Fairbourne Hall several years ago, Julie Klassen became my go-to regency fiction author. Each year, I eagerly await her next release. When I learned The Painter's Daughter would soon be arriving on my doorstep, I was ecstatic!

Sophia Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon Coast, popular with artists—including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in her than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who seems somehow familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?

The Painter's Daughter is just as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be! Full of heartache, scandal, mystery, and romance, the novel kept me completely engaged from beginning to end. I especially loved Stephen, a man who "did his duty" by offering to marry Sophie and soon found himself falling in love with her.

As much as I loved Stephen, I despised his brother Wesley. His selfishness and hesitancy to take responsibility for his actions grated on me to no end—and I think I was supposed to have that reaction!

By the plot's very nature—revolving around a woman pregnant out of wedlock—this book is slightly more mature than some. However, I never felt that it crossed the line into sensuality, and I think it would be perfectly appropriate for teen girls.

I greatly enjoyed The Painter's Daughter, and I look forward to Klassen's next novel. 5 stars.

Buy the novel.

Read my reviews of Klassen's The Apothecary's Daughter (3-1/2 stars), The Maid of Fairbourne Hall (4-1/2 stars), The Tutor's Daughter (5 stars), The Dancing Master (4-1/2 stars), and The Secret of Pembrooke Park (4 stars).

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more about Julie at http://julieklassen.com.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author and Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"if i run" by terri blackstock


Terri Blackstock is known for writing page-turning suspense, and her latest novel, If I Run, is a great addition to her catalog.

Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free.

Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn't matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

If I Run is fascinating, fast-paced suspense. It is written in first-person, present tense, alternating between Casey's and Dylan's point of view. While this perspective took a bit to get used to, once I did, I felt like I was right there with Casey and Dylan, experiencing the action as they did.

Casey's journey is particularly compelling, as she runs for her life and tries to stay out of anyone's notice but can't help caring for those she meets who are in need. Her quest to set things right—both in her own life and in a missing persons case she finds herself mixed up in—puts her in grave danger, yet she simply cannot walk away.

When the novel ends, some things are wrapped up, but Casey's story isn't resolved, giving me hope for another book in the future. I've never before read a book quite like If I Run, which is suspenseful without being grisly. I highly recommend it! 4-1/2 stars.

Watch the book trailer:

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Blackstock's Distortion (5 stars) and Twisted Innocence (4-1/2 stars).

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention,Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Connect with Terri: website, Twitter, Facebook

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer . . . but her DNA is all over the crime scene, and she's now a fugitive. Don't miss Terri Blackstock's next page-turner, If I Run. Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than Dylan has, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. But as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Join Terri in celebrating her new book with a Fitbit giveaway and a special $4.99 digital pre-order deal!

if i run-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 16th. The winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Plus don't miss out on the special $4.99 digital pre-order pricing, now through February 15. Pre-order the book through your favorite e-book retailer; details here.

if i run - enterbanner



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, January 22, 2016

"i hope you dance" by beth moran

Just over a year ago, I was introduced to British author Beth Moran through her novel Making Marion. While I didn't understand everything in the book due to cultural differences, I found the characters and plot to be simply charming. I was eager to go back for round two with Moran's latest release, I Hope You Dance. (And isn't that cover just so whimsical? I love it!)

Can dancing mend Ruth's broken heart? 

Ruth Henderson has moved back in with her parents--something she swore she would never do, especially not at the age of thirty-three. But in the face of the mountain of debt left by her late partner, and the fact that her teenage daughter, Maggie, is expressing her grief through acts of delinquency, there was really only one option. 

Returning to a house Ruth swore never to set foot in again is bad enough. Add to this an estranged father, whirlwind mother, and David--the boy next door who broke her heart--and it is little wonder Ruth can barely make it out of bed. 

But then, reunited with her old friend Lois, Ruth is persuaded to go along to a monthly girls' night. Here she meets a bunch of incredible women and for the first time since leaving home at eighteen, Ruth begins to make some genuine friends. 

She also has her first ever date--with the charming Dr. Carl Barker. However, after a disastrous dinner, and an upset Maggie still struggling with her father's death, Ruth promises her daughter she won’t go out with any other men. A promise she quickly regrets when David, the boy next door, asks her to dance. . . 

I Hope You Dance is, in a word, delightful. While Ruth deals with serious issues like debt, stalking, teenage rebellion, and family drama, the story never feels heavy. I think much of this is due to the supporting characters--colorful women who stand by Ruth's side through thick and thin and whose personalities bring joy and humor amidst the drama. These characters are so vividly drawn that I felt as though I knew them.

While I Hope You Dance contains romance (some from rather unexpected places), and of course the reader wants to know if Ruth and David will find their way back to one another, I found myself caring far more about Ruth's friendships than I did about her love life. In fact, I was more concerned about Ruth's friend Ana Luisa's romance than I was about Ruth's. I would love to revisit Ruth's world in the future to check back in with her friends!

I Hope You Dance is not inspirational fiction in the way we perceive it in the United States. A few characters swear, and while church plays a major role in the story, a relationship with Christ is not emphasized. I'm not saying either of those things means you shouldn't read the book (in fact, I hope you do read it!); I just think readers should know what they're getting and not getting when they buy this book.

I loved I Hope You Dance, and I look forward to Moran's next book. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Moran's Making Marion (4 stars).

Beth Moran has a background as a research scientist and adult educator. She now concentrates on church work and is part of the national leadership team of the UK women's network Free Range Chicks. She is married with three children and lives in Nottingham, England.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

cover reveal: "the cautious maiden" by dawn crandall + giveaway

Last year, I read the first three books in Dawn Crandall's Everstone Chronicles. I loved them! So I'm very excited to be able to share the cover for the fourth book, The Cautious Maiden, with you today. The book will release this fall—which can't come soon enough for me!


Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks in the area. When her reputation is compromised, she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right?

Add to Goodreads.

See my reviews of The Hesitant Heiress (4 stars), The Bound Heart (5 stars and #2 on my Best of 2015 list), and The Captive Imposter (4 stars).









Dawn is also hosting a giveaway in celebration of the cover reveal. Enter below!
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A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"mermaid moon" by colleen coble



Colleen Coble continues her Sunset Cove series with Mermaid Moon, a book that connects to The Inn at Ocean's Edge but works as a stand alone title.

Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart—and left—without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

I wanted to love Mermaid Moon. I simply adored The Inn at Ocean's Edge, finding absolutely nothing to dislike about it. I wish I could say the same for Mermaid Moon.

Don't get me wrong—Mermaid Moon is a good book, and I enjoyed reading it. However, perhaps my expectations were a bit too high coming off of The Inn at Ocean's Edge. While the plot of Mermaid Moon is intriguing, I didn't have that "can't put this down for anything" feeling that I'd hoped for.

Had I not gone into Mermaid Moon with such high expectations, I think I would have liked it a lot more, as it is a good story. It's hard to talk about much without getting spoilerish because the novel contains so many twists and turns that are best discovered as you read. But I will say that I especially enjoyed watching Mallory's relationship with her friend and neighbor Carol develop throughout the novel, and it was nice to see Mallory connect with people from her past.

The story surrounding Mallory's father's murder ended up becoming very convoluted, and parts of it were hard to grasp, but I did appreciate the way everything turned out in the end. I also didn't feel that there was a really solid resolution to the story involving Kevin's ex-wife, and her presence in the story felt both convenient and unrealistic.

While Mermaid Moon isn't as strong as The Inn at Ocean's Edge (either from the romance or suspense angle), it still is an interesting story, and I will definitely be looking for the next entry in the Sunset Cove series. 3-1/2 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of other Coble novels. 



USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

Connect with Coble: website, Twitter, Facebook


To move forward past a life of shame and confusion, Mallory Davis must go back to Mermaid Point to find out who murdered her father in Colleen Coble's new book, Mermaid Moon. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Celebrate the release of Mermaid Moon with Colleen and a mystery e-reader prize pack giveaway!

mermaid moon-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 1st. The winner will be announced February 2nd on the Litfuse blog.

mermaid moon-enterbanner

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, January 15, 2016

warming hearts at walmart grand finale + giveaway

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're thrilled to be spreading the word about Harlequin Heartwarming books now being available in local US Walmarts. Find out if they're at a Walmart by you here. Heartwarming titles are also 35% off at Walmart through the end of January!

Post a Selfie and Win 1 of 15 Walmart Gift Cards!

Join in the fun by taking a selfie with a Heartwarming book (maybe one of the December releases above) and posting publicly on social media to enter to win a Walmart gift card. The giveaway ends January 20th, so post your selfie by then!

Ten Heartwarming authors shared their own selfies and messages at each stop of the tour! If you missed any, go back and check them out now...

I Am A Reader - Amy Vastine


I am so excited that Heartwarming books are now available at Walmart, so some lucky girl can go visit her aunt and possibly stumble across one of MY books and fall in love!

Mel's Shelves - Anna J. Stewart


I was thrilled to find a home in the Heartwarming line. Writing these sweet romances that emphasizes the emotional adventure of falling in love feels almost like a calling and now, that dream I thought I'd achieved has now grown. The Heartwarming line is now available in select Walmarts!

deal sharing aunt - Cari Lynn Webb


I’m thrilled that I’ll get to add more Heartwarming books to my bookshelves now that Heartwarming paperbacks will be available at Wal-Mart. A Heartwarming story will be within reach no matter if I pick up my Kindle or a paperback… there’s nothing better than that.



I still have my first love. Yes, I’m talking about a book. But not just any book. This is the one that began my life-long, unshakeable and abiding love affair with the written word.

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Catherine Lanigan


Our stories have depth, heart, emotion and the characters are so real, as a reader you feel you would “know” these people on sight. . . . I believe in “happily ever after” and through Heartwarming and Walmart, we’re able to bring more of these moving stories to the people who have been searching for something touching and magical.

Babs Book Bistro - Leigh Riker


It's not always easy to find a romance that's clean and wholesome with a rich, compelling plot and multi-faceted characters to root for all the way to a happy ending. . . . You can trust this brand of our books in the line each month to provide a great reading experience. Pick up a copy (or more) today. And enjoy!

Love, Laughter, Friendship - Melinda Curtis


I admit, most of the books I buy nowadays are ebook, but I almost always buy books I enjoy in their print form. Those keepers mean a lot to me.

Heidi Reads... - Pamela Tracy


I love, love, love finding a new book on the shelf, taking it in my hand, feeling the smooth cover and turning the book over to read the blurb. Buying the book is taking a pan of warm brownies out of the oven. Reading the books is eating the gooey chocolate and never wanting to stop.

Now, Harlequin Heartwarmings will be in stores as well. Wow, it feels a little bit like Christmas.



But if I have the option of spending time in a real brick-n-mortar bookstore and buying a tangible book that I can anticipate experiencing with all my senses, I go straight to print books. And if I see someone running their hand across a book they've been looking for forever then closing their eyes and breathing it in like they've found a treasure, I'd understand.

Bookworm Lisa - Tara Taylor Quinn


Walmart has signed on to put one of my favorite lines, Harlequin Heartwarming, on the shelves of over 400 stores! That’s four more Harlequin books a month. Books filled with emotion and strength. Books that embody the love and hope that the people in our world so desperately seek.

Tour Giveaway

15 - $10 Walmart Gift Cards
- Rules: To enter, take a selfie at a local Walmart with a Heartwarming book and post publicly on social media (can be your hands, your face, etc. with a Heartwarming book). Can enter once each day with a different picture each time. Those who post the same picture multiple times will be disqualified. Those who only post privately (so that it can't be viewed publicly) will also be disqualified.
- US Only
- Ends January 20th

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

"salvation's tide is rising" by passion + giveaway

Are you familiar with Passion worship music? Even if you think you aren't, if you listen to Christian radio or attend a church with contemporary worship music, you probably are. When I searched Passion, I found that many of the worship songs we sing at my church are Passion songs. Passion's latest album, Salvation's Tide Is Rising, releases at the end of the month, and I was able to listen to an early copy.

This brand new Passion album contains new studio recordings from best-selling artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, and Kristian Stanfill.  It features new songs written specifically for Passion 2016.  Release Date is January 29, 2016.  

Track List:
1.  Salvation's Tide is Rising - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill
2.  My Victory - Passion featuring Crowder
3.  Remember - Passion featuring Brett Younker & Melodie Malone
4.  God & God Alone - Passion featuring Chris Tomlin
5.  Simple Pursuit - Passion featuring Melodie Malone
6.  I Turn to Christ - Passion featuring Matt Redman
7.  Your Grace Amazes Me - Passion featuring Christy Nockels
8.  All We Sinners - Passion featuring Crowder
9.  Surrender - Passion featuring Jimi Cravity
10. Good Good Father - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill 

Salvation's Tide Is Rising is a good album filled with solid songs. The songs are very singable, and the album features some incredibly well-known artists like Crowder, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin; my favorites Christy Nockels and Kristian Stanfill; and a couple artists I'd never heard of, Jimi Cravity and Melodie Malone.

The album does suffer from a problem I've seen in many worship compliations—by the end, the songs all start to sound the same. That doesn't discount any of the songs, but it makes me not to want to listen to the album straight through multiple times. Mixed in with other Christian music, though—like in one of my massive iTunes playlists—it would be great! 4 stars.

Not only did I get to enjoy this CD, but I also have a copy to give away! Enter through the Rafflecopter below.

Giveaway rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Contest is open in the US and CANADA only. Winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter.com and will have 48 hours to respond to email notification, or another winner will be chosen.
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Connect with Passion:
iTunes
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

About Passion albums:
Since the first release in 1998, Passion albums have sold over 1.3 million units while introducing the church to worship songs like "Our God", "Holy Is The Lord", "How Great Is Our God", and "God Of This City". Passion is coming off its best charting radio success in 5 years with the single "Even So Come", which went Top 5.

About The Passion Movement:
The Passion Movement and the messages of founder Louis Giglio have marked the lives of millions of people around the globe, calling people everywhere to live for the glory of God. From its inception, the movement of Passion has birthed new anthems of worship, influencing countless churches and helping to define the current worship climate and establish artists Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and others. Louie Giglio is the pastor and founder of Passion City Church in Atlanta, GA.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

warming hearts at walmart: blog tour+giveaway

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Nirvana: Reading With All Your Senses


It's impossible for me to think about books without thinking about my childhood. As a little girl, I devoured books, thought the library was a wonderland and loved listening to stories before I could even read. Does that sound familiar? I'm not talking about whether you were an early reader or not, I'm talking about the love of a story. I'm talking about when you held your first picture book in your little hands and lost yourself in it using ALL your senses—including taste—as you gnawed and slobbered at the corner while teething. Now stop and think about your reading experiences from those first book√≠ days to right before the first time you read an ebook.
You don't simply recall the act of reading. Right? You're also remembering the musty scent of that old book you discovered on the bottom shelf in the school library or the crisp scent of the new release your mom bought you. Or maybe you recall the aroma of your favorite cookies in the oven, while you were engrossed in the third book of your favorite series on a Saturday morning. You're remembering the sight of hundreds of books with covers in every color imaginable surrounding you in a maze of bookshelves. You're remembering what those books felt like as you ran your fingertips along the bindings, from the smooth paperbacks to the textured hardcovers. You're remembering the array of papers used for printing, from rough, antiqued pages of a fantasy or history book to the glossy, thick pages of a photographic journey. Oh, and the way a page curled up like a wave as you turned it to uncover the next or the rippling sound as you flipped the pages in rapid fire against your thumb the way you would with a deck of cards.
Now, apart from that first book you teethed on, I'm hoping you didn't go around tasting books lol, but that doesn't mean your sense of taste doesn't factor in. For one thing, everyone knows taste and smell are connected, but beyond that, don't tell me you never curled up with a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa while immersed in a book. Or maybe the taste of freshly baked pie will forever bring up The Hobbit and images of Bilbo's pantry.
And what about that sixth sense some believe in? Perhaps that's what draws you into the bookstore you're passing in a rush while running errands. Or maybe it's what makes your fingertips land on a book you've never heard of but feel compelled to check out.
Books. All those secrets uncovered with all our senses.
I'm not coming down on ebooks. They have their benefits and I even own one. But buying, browsing or reading ebooks simply doesn't provide the same sensory experience as print books. To me, it's like the difference between decaf coffee and the real thing. Or the difference between watching someone skydiving or hiking through woods on TV or in a movie versus experiencing it yourself. All those sensory book experiences I described? None of that will happen to the same degree through a computer or ereader screen. And could you imagine people tossing an ereader on a coffee table and telling guests all their coffee table books are loaded on it? Think of all the fingerprints. Or what about dead batteries or power outages? That actually happened to me when I was at the dark moment (no pun intended) of a fantastic romance novel!! I couldn't even read the ending by candlelight!
For that reason, when I read an ebook I love, I buy the print version for keeps. But if I have the option of spending time in a real brick-n-mortar bookstore and buying a tangible book that I can anticipate experiencing with all my senses, I go straight to print books. And if I see someone running their hand across a book they've been looking for forever then closing their eyes and breathing it in like they've found a treasure, I'd understand. I'd even understand if they gave it a big old kiss. But if I see someone doing all that to an ereader, I'd probably just think they're weird. Then I'd hand them a polishing cloth.

Rula


Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Rula Sinara lives in Virginia's countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she's not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. For updates on her latest releases, gluten free recipes and more, check out her website, blog, sign up for her newsletter or like her on Facebook.


The Promise of Rain (From Kenya, With Love #1) After the Silence (From Kenya, With Love, #2)

Tour Schedule

Check out these Heartwarming authors' own selfies...

January 3rd: Launch
January 4th: I Am A Reader - Amy Vastine
January 5th: Mel's Shelves - Anna J. Stewart
January 6th: deal sharing aunt - Cari Lynn Webb
January 7th: Reading Is My SuperPower - Carol Ross
January 8th: Katie's Clean Book Collection - Catherine Lanigan
January 10th: Babs Book Bistro - Leigh Riker
January 11th: Love, Laughter, Friendship - Melinda Curtis
January 12th: Heidi Reads... - Pamela Tracy
January 13th: Christian Chick's Thoughts - Rula Sinara
January 14th: Bookworm Lisa - Tara Taylor Quinn
January 15th: Grand Finale

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

top ten tuesday: books i meant to read in 2015 but didn't

Hosted by The Broke & The Bookish
I haven't participated in a Top Ten Tuesday in forever. (OK, it was February 2015—so close to forever in blog time.) Today's topic was too good to pass up, though ... even if I did choose to adapt it a bit! Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is "top ten 2015 releases I meant to get to but didn't." I'm choosing to cut out the release year and just have my list be ten books I intended to read in 2015, no matter when they were published. Here we go!

1. The Martian by Andy Weir (Goodreads)
I've heard nothing but good things about this book, and I haven't seen the movie yet because I want to read the book first! My sister tells me she's going to choose it for my "book chosen by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF" in the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge, so I know I will get to it this year!

2. The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert (Goodreads)
Ganshert's A Broken Kind of Beautiful was my favorite read of 2015 (my review), and I definitely intended to get to this, which actually did release in 2015, but I didn't. I'll have to remedy that this year!

3. Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay (Goodreads)
I absolutely adored Reay's debut Dear Mr. Knightley (my review). I preordered Lizzy & Jane, but when it actually came out, I had such a backlog of review books to get through that I never got to it. I'm currently reading Reay's latest novel, The Bronte Plot, which makes me very much want to pull out Lizzy & Jane and dive in!

4. The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert (Goodreads)
Yup, it's another Ganshert novel on the list. This one, though, is dystopian YA fiction—a genre I was really into a few years ago. I own this book, so I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet. We'll see if I get to it in 2016!

5. Just One Summer by Nicole Deese, Tammy L. Gray, Amy Matayo, & Jenny B. Jones
A big fan of Matayo and Jones, I was intrigued by this "new adult" novella collection. I picked it up for something like $.99 during a sale, and then I promptly forgot about it. I'm in the middle of remedying that now, as this is my current "read a few chapters before bed" selection. So far, I'm liking it a lot.

6. Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann (Goodreads)
To be honest, I've had mixed feelings about master of romantic suspense Kristen Heitzmann's foray into romantic comedy. I downloaded a sample, and I liked it, but not enough to buy it. Then I read a few glowing reviews from bloggers I trust, and my interest was piqued. I've intended to go ahead and buy the novel, but it just hasn't happened yet.

7. Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman (Goodreads)
I was able to borrow Isle of Hope using my Amazon Prime benefit. So why haven't I read it yet? Good question! I've loved the other books of Julie's that I've read, so I definitely should find time for this one!

8. A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich (Goodreads)
This is one of my mom's favorite novels. I always avoided reading it because of the terrible 90's TV movie A Mother's Gift, which is based on the novel ... and with which my youngest sister was obsessed. But after my other sister read it last summer, I bought it. Never got around to reading it. But I've chosen it as one of my MMD Reading Challenge books, so I will get to it this year!

9. To Win Her Favor by Tamara Alexander (Goodreads)
I had the opportunity to review To Win Her Favor, and I passed. Normally, I don't regret such a decision—goodness knows I have plenty of other books to read—but when the rave reviews started coming in, I found myself wishing I'd said yes to the review opportunity. It features a marriage of convenience plot, which is one of my favorite tropes. I bought the book shortly after its release, but I have yet to read it.

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Goodreads)
Every year, I think that maybe I'll read The Fault Our Stars. Every year I don't. But maybe, maybe 2016 will be the year.

How about you? What books did you mean to read last year but didn't? Let me know in the comments, and if you've written your own list, please leave the link so I can visit your blog!