Tag Archives: books

America’s Favorite Christmastown ~ a book review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary ebook copy of this title which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

A quick, fun, holiday-time read that is clean and a bit off the beaten trail. This was a fun read for me and I really enjoyed the setting of an out-of-the-way resort. That brings a lot of small-town America comfort to the story. With the relationship between Alexis and her grandmother I found a comfort and joy that brought to mind many times spent with my own grandmother. This is the story of a vlogger who is considering a change of business and needs the advice of a trusted source. That is her grandmother and she finds out that her grandmother is considering a major change herself- to resort owner. Teaming up with her grandmother, the real-estate agent, and eventually the whole town, they bring the Christmas spirit to all around. It was a fun, simple read that didn’t take more than a couple of days to read but it brought me much joy. 

TITLE: America’s Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: November 22, 2022
Genre: Christmas romance/contemporary/novella (Clean)

To Purchase via @justreadtours purchase link.

@dawnklinge@justreadtours

#justreadtours #AmericasFavoriteChristmasTown

#DawnKlinge #christmasfiction #bookstagram #amreading #christianfiction #bookworm

Christmas at Whispering Creek ~ a book review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views are my honest opinion.

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Christmas at Whispering Creek by Barbara M. Britton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Life can sure throw some curve balls but what we do with them is what matters. Bitter or better is a phrase that often comes to mind and this book is all about “better.” How do you handle the rough parts and how do you come out of it?

Samantha was destined to be a teacher but a breast cancer diagnosis changed that. At 23, all her plans were derailed. She heads to the property that Ted, an old family friend, left her after his passing. She is determined to deal what she has to and get her life back on track. But God through Ted had other plans.

Cole is struggling to get himself back to wherever it is he is supposed to be after his song-writing partner and girlfriend left him for a rising country music star. His family’s electrical business is still there but does he really want to burden himself with all that past? Can he let go of the anger and uselessness that is holding on? Visiting Ted, not knowing he had passed away, brings Cole right into the midst of God’s plans for him.

From the get-go, this book drags you right in and doesn’t let you go. The story is one that so many of us can relate to, even if we haven’t experienced these exact situations the characters go through. We recognize ourselves in them and that really makes this story come alive. I read it in under a day because the storyline just wouldn’t let go. I felt it. I felt the emotion, the stirring, the angst, the worry, the heartache, the wonder. It is all there. You won’t regret the time spent with Christmas at Whispering Creek.

Book Information:

Title: Christmas at Whispering Creek

Author: Barbara M. Britton

Publisher: Pelican Book Group-White Rose

Release Date: November 30, 2022

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

All Samantha Williams wants is to use her teaching degree to instruct a classroom of second graders. With a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of twenty-three, and failed reconstruction surgery, Sam finds herself without a job and temporarily living with her parents. This isn’t the life Sam expected. When a family friend dies and leaves Sam a house and land in Whispering Creek, Tennessee, Sam must decide if leaving Wisconsin for Southern living is in her lesson plans.

Nashville native, Cole Donoven, left his family’s electrical business to write country music. When Cole’s song writing partner and girlfriend dumps him for a country music star, Cole abandons Nashville to hold up in Whispering Creek and compose one more song. The last thing Cole expects to find in the sleepy small town is a deceased friend, estate squabbles, and a Northern beauty. Will the chaos in Whispering Creek help create a bestselling song for Cole and possibly help him find a life-long collaborator?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub
(not my affiliate links)

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Christmas at Whispering Creek book box filled with books and goodies!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 6, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 13, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. International prize, ebook only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara M. Britton

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin. She writes Christian Fiction from Bible Times to modern day USA. Barbara has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.Connect with Barbara by visiting barbarambritton.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops! Some of the stops include excerpts so be sure to visit.

JustRead Publicity Tours

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Once Upon A Winter Wonderland ~ book review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the author and JustRead Tours for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.

Author Susan May Warren is joined by authors Rachel D Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson to bring you Once Upon A Winter Wonderland: A Deep Haven Christmas Anthology.

Deep Haven, Minnesota. At Christmas. In the snow.

It’s perfect for the dream wedding.

Boone and Vivien are set for a Christmas Eve wedding. And it will be perfect. Unless… a big storm comes in. And it does, threatening to take down the wedding. But old friends, along with new ones, plow ahead through all that is thrown their way to make the dream wedding come true. Can they overcome snow, lost cars and rings, fire (or at least smoke), and all the other things that threatens to keep this wedding slipping out of hand?

Join the authors as they take you to the beautiful and rural Deep Haven in four novellas brought together to tell the story of four different groups of people fighting through different backgrounds, hurts, and struggles, all bound together to help pull off the wedding of a lifetime for Boone and Vivien. With the focus on God and his faithfulness through it all, something beautiful is bound to rise from the ashes.

My thoughts – I had no idea that this was tied to a series and now, I seriously want to read every single book set in Deep Haven and having to do with these rich, deep, Christian characters. I found this an un-put-down-able book and I loved it. I can’t choose which of the four is my favorite because I found my to be enjoyed in each of the different stories. Each different set of characters and each different set of challenges were endearing. This was a true joy to read.

Giveaway: Visit JustRead Tours on Instagram to enter.

⇒ Book Name Once Upon a Winter Wonderland

⇒ Authors Susan May Warren, Rachel D. Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson

⇒ Publisher Sunrise Publishing

⇒ Giveaway – (1) winner will receive a print copy of the book and a $10 Amazon gift card.

⇒ Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3X2bViF #ad (not my affiliate link)

⇒ Release Date – October 9, 2022

⇒ Genre – Christian Contemporary Romance

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

A Christmas Bargain ~ a JustRead Tours book review & giveaway

DISCLAIMER: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, which I received from the author. I received it in ebook form. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinions.

Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

When I settle in to read a story after a busy week of dealing with our normal schedule in addition to two sick children, I want something simple, pleasing, happy, joyful. A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus brought just what I needed.

Book Information:

Title: A Christmas Bargain

Series: Hope Crossing #2

Author: Mindy Obenhaus

Publisher: Love Inspired

Release Date: November 29, 2022

Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance, Christmas

Can a property dispute…

Turn into a holiday blessing?

When single mom Annalise Grant inherits a fledgling Christmas tree farm in Texas, she vows to do whatever it takes to make it a success. But when neighbor Hawkins Prescott claims some of her trees are on his property, the only option is a partnership. As Christmas draws closer, Annalise and Hawkins find themselves growing closer as well. Could a family by Christmas become part of the deal?

A HOPE CROSSING ROMANCE

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

Book Summary:

As the story begins, we meet widowed mother Annalise Grant in the midst of one of those days – moving to a new place, have to get groceries to have dinner but the baby is fussy, can’t find the wallet, and on it goes. Can it get worse? After a kind stranger steps in the help, she finally begins to settle into the Christmas tree farm she just inherited. She is in love with the idea of independence, strength, running a business, and all the other things that her new life will bring to her. And then…

A property line is found to have been moved and it just happens that the kind stranger is part of the family whose land was taken in the fence line moving. How does Annalise handle it? Can she just let the land go, even knowing it was wrongfully taken? If she does, will she be financially ruined without those trees to sell? Can she come up with a bargain that the family will accept and work through this so that everyone will benefit? Will this end up being a holiday blessing?

My thoughts:

I really did find this an enjoyable, just-what-I-needed read. It was clean (and by that I mean no language, no “situations”, just a few kisses) and I really appreciated that part of it. I don’t like calling this a romance because these days that leads to an unsavory idea, even among many “Christian” writers. This story, though, was truly clean. I enjoyed the ebook copy that I received. I was able to sit back and just bask in the family joy that was found within the covers.

I loved the gumption of Annalise. She didn’t back down from a fight and she stood up for herself and what she needed. However, she was soft enough to allow others into her heart, and her daughter’s life, right away. She was embraced by them and they embraced her idea for the farm. I thought this was a beautiful set of relationships that modeled love, friendship, and respect among women so well.

I also loved that Hawkins was a good guy. And not just the proverbial “good guy” but one who stood by his word, helped out those in need regardless of the past/situation, and respected those around him. (Not to mention that he had a soft spot for the baby.) This is somewhat rare in stories, so Hawkins was a breath of fresh air for a leading male character.

I think this is a very good read and have no problem recommending it. My 18 year old is looking forward to reading this one.

TOUR GIVEAWAY:

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of A Christmas Bargain and a $25 Amazon gift card!

A Christmas Bargain JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 7, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 14, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mindy Obenhaus

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching the Hallmark Channel.Connect with Mindy by visiting MindyObenhaus.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

October and November 2022 Books

Well, as it is already December 4 (HOW? How did it get to be December already?), I’m going to combine the books I read in October and November into a single post. It will have a good number of books because I’ve been getting in a lot of reading time and really enjoying it.

OCTOBER BOOKS

  • Britfield & The Return of the Prince by C.R. Stewart – This book is the 3rd in a series that involves a young man searching to find who he is and his family. Please visit the post to read the summary of this book and what I thought about it.
  • The Prayer Jar Devotional: Hope by Wanda E. Brunstetter – This was a series of devotions that were designed to focus on hope. The main post was on Instagram so you can read more about it over there.
  • Being A Ballerina by Gavin Larsen – This is a very insightful and inspirational look at Gavin’s life from her earliest ballet classes through her professional career. It brought a very human aspect to her experiences and drew me into her heart and mind as she strove to be the best she could be. I found it to be quite illuminating for the life of a professional, especially one who deals with many health concerns. Her dedication was quite intense and it definitely helped me understand better the mind of one persuing this life. A definitely recommend for anyone who is interesting in knowing more about this life or seeing the background of a professional’s life. (Don’t tell my daughter but she’ll be getting this for Christmas! It is that good.)
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott – This was not my first read of this book and I enjoyed it a lot. This set of memoirs from a farm animal vet in rural England is fun to read. It is enlightening to see the life that James Herriot went through in order to serve those in his community. He writes with humor and honor of the people and animals he encountered during his career. I enjoy the scenes where he stops to appreciate what he is surrounded by in the Lakes district and the weather that both helps and hinders his treatments. He write about so much that he notices and it brings to life the world of a large animal vet.
  • Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee – The Secrets of Emberwild will grab hold of your imagination and keep you in the story all the way through. Nora loves her horses and doesn’t understand why “proper etiquette” can’t change. Yet, she loves her family despite the tensions and tries to honor her mother and father. But the horses keep beckoning. And she follows. When a stranger shows up and begins helping around the farm, she grows uneasy with the questions he asks yet finds herself appreciating that he honors her knowledge of horses and the way she handles them. Where is all of this going to go? Will Silas get answers? What will happen for Nora?
    The Secrets of Emberwild was a lovely read. It was set in a simpler time yet the themes of difficulty ring true for today. It is a clean read with none of the sexuality in many “clean” books today. The story is labeled as Christian, and though you see a tiny bit of that, I don’t feel there is enough Christianity in it to label it a Christian romance. However, thoroughly enjoyed it and can easily recommend it.
  • By Way of the Moonlight by Elizabeth Musser – When Nana Dale passed away, Allie’s whole world crashed. Nothing happened as it was supposed to. There is some sort of secret there but Allie is the only one who sees it. Everyone else keeps telling her to just accept what happened and move on – find another way to open her equine therapy practice. But Allie knows there is something there. So she keeps digging. And as she digs, her grandmother’s life opens up in way Allie had no way of guessing. And in response, Allie’s life opens up in ways she had not way of guessing. Life can be so unexpected but there can be beauty that grows out of that unexpectedness. I really enjoyed this book – a mystery without being a mystery. It was a clean read with a good amount of romance without anything unChristian about it. Clean, enjoyable, fun. I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.
  • The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron – Such a fun read! Keira Foley has a job to do in the old manor where they have found some unusual art. She is hired to authenticate the art so it should be a pretty straight-forward job. But then Emory Scott is involved and nothing is straight-forward. As Keira falls deeper and deeper into the mysteries surrounding the art she is supposed to authenticate, her life begins to make more and more sense. It is like the manor’s past is tied to her future.
    There are three different time periods to follow in this novel and it is a lot of fun! With all three of the women, the life of hope and love and generations of secrets is uncovered and it just might push Keira’s own life back into some semblance of order.
    This was a clean and enjoyable novel with just enough romance to make it a fun historical read. I have no worries recommending this read to someone who is interested in the time periods, the art, or just a relaxing read. Definitely one I am glad I read and now I need to read the others in the series.

So, that’s my October reads. I enjoyed them quite a bit.

NOVEMBER

  • Along The Rio Grande by Tracie Peterson – Book 1 of the series; I found this series because of the review over at A Net In Time – Susanna Jenkins is just along to help her folks get set up and then she’ll return to her previous life as a widow. But her family needs her more than she thought, as they have never had to work for the things in their life. Now that they have to, Susanna is caught up in the middle of it, working hard and trying to honor her parents. They have to open the new Grand Hotel in San Marcial, NM, a small town where everyone knows and helps everyone else. Susanna’s family has to adapt to this new place and new idea of community. Can they do it?
    With the help of the Lord, whom Susanna truly leans on, she tries to help her family see how to honor Him and each other.
    This is wonderful novel set back in the later 1800s along the Santa Fe Railroad and the Rio Grande River. It is clean and can truly be called a Christian story. While there is romance in the story, it isn’t the focus of it AND there is nothing in it that I would be embarrassed about someone else knowing I had read (something too many “Christian” books include). The amount of writing that included thinking about, serving, or honor God was wonderful and I will definitely be looking for more stories by author Tracie Peterson.
  • Beyond The Desert Sands by Tracie Peterson – Book 2 of the series – I enjoyed this clean romance novel set in New Mexico. It was a bit expected but it was fun to read a story set in the Land of Enchantment. I could see the setting so clearly and I enjoyed the story line. It was a pleasant story that I was able to read in just a couple of days. Easy and enjoyable.
  • Under The Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson – Book 3 of the series – This was an enjoyable story set in New Mexico and along the railroad. I enjoyed the simplicity of the story, the beauty of the setting,and the infusion of Christian beliefs into the story line. The focus on belief and prayer to get one through the tough times was something I could relate to. I found this a pleasant read, completed in just 2 days.
  • Where is God In This? by Landra Young Hughes – This was a book that I read through but struggled to gain much from. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right place for it to really speak to me. If you are in the “hard” part of life right now, this just might be the book for you. Read the review to find out more.
  • A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus – The review is yet to publish on this book but it was fun holiday story about starting over and learning to trust those around you. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a fun, enjoyable holiday read about a Christmas tree farm, starting over, and daring to dream all over again.
  • Once Upon A Winter Wonderland by Susan May Warren, Rachel D. Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson – This review is yet to publish but this was a fun set of stories from authors I was unfamiliar with. They brought the reader to Deep Haven (hometown setting to a whole slew of books) where they find peace amidst challenges, hope amidst fear, and love amidst loss. This was a wonderful series of stories tied together by the characters, setting, and storyline. I completely enjoyed it.
  • America’s Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge – A quick, fun, holiday-time read that is clean and a bit off the beaten trail. This was a fun read for me and I really enjoyed the setting of an out-of-the-way resort. That brings a lot of small-town America comfort to the story. With the relationship between Alexis and her grandmother I found a comfort and joy that brought to mind many times spent with my own grandmother. This is the story of a vlogger who is considering a change of business and needs the advice of a trusted source. That is her grandmother and she finds out that her grandmother is considering a major change herself- to resort owner. Teaming up with her grandmother, the real-estate agent, and eventually the whole town, they bring the Christmas spirit to all around. It was a fun, simple read that didn’t take more than a couple of days to read but it brought me much joy.
  • The Light Before Christmas by Marty Machowski – Please read the review on this one. The contrast of light and dark is an interesting idea so head over to see what I thought about it.
  • Give The Winds A Mighty Voice by Stan Mitchell – The official summary: Give the Winds a Mighty Voice is an adventure in the subject of singing and its history.  Stan takes us on a tour of music — music among the Israelites, music among Christians of the first century, music through the psalms, early writers, prolific writers, writers who were members of the Lord’s church and those who were not but whose songs and hymns have reverberated through the ages. Both individuals and congregations can profit by studying the lessons, along with practice sessions to learn new songs suggested in the book and to improve the quality of our singing.
    I am enjoying this book and am almost done with it. I find there is so much packed in that I’ll probably want to read it again. It can be purchased at Chula Vista Books.
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – Honesty here: I could not read this book. I tried. Several times. But it just never drew me in. So, this one isn’t really and “I read” book but rather and “I tried.” I didn’t enjoy it so I put it down. But I know many, many people really love this story. Maybe the TV series would help? I need to try that, perhaps.

Okay, so that’s it. All the books for October and November.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Where Is God In This? ~ a JustRead Tours book review

Where Is God In This? by Landra Young Hughes is a self-help book with roots in Christianity and the Bible.

After quoting John 16:33, Mrs. Hughes starts out with, “I’m not really OK.” This pushes the reader straight into the life of struggle, difficulty, and suffering we each face by putting her own life under the magnifying glass to help us see better. Mrs. Hughes approaches struggles in life through her lens of seeking God and finding the truth in His words and the example of Christ. She has had many struggles of her own, as well as family struggles, that she shares openly and honestly in her chapters. This gives the application of the information she shares some real-life experience.

Mrs. Hughes looks at the adversity, suffering, isolation, surrender, burn out, expectations, hurt, pain, failure, fear, judgment, and cravings that are par for the course for humans. But she doesn’t just say “yes, they are there.” She helps see God’s will and way through them so that arrival on the other side of them is possible. “God does not want you to fail. He wants what is on the other side of that failure.” (chapter 6)

There are many strong, good parts of this book. I found much to be considered in it. The Bible is not a typical translation that I read and thus was difficult for me to follow along with. (Scripture is from the NIrV.) I had my own Bible out alongside of it so that I could read and understand the passages included in something that was not so much like a paraphrase. I found the second half of the book to be much more engaging and helpful than the first half but there was plenty there to consider.

If you are in the “hard” of life right now, you might really resonate with what Mrs. Hughes has included here. I encourage you to check it out.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Britfield & The Return of the Prince ~ a book review

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Britfield & The Return of the Prince is the 3rd in the series by C. R. Stewart. You can find reviews of Britfield & The Lost Crown and Britfield & The Rise of the Lion on the blog. This is the continuation of the story of Tom, as he searches with Sarah and the Resistance to try to locate the needed information to bring the Committee to complete abolishment and find his parents. But, if you know anything about C.R. Stewart then you expect this to be anything but a straight-forward story.

Continuing the search brings Tom and Sarah, along with all their gathered accomplices, into the next part of the story. Tom’s family is still yet to be reunited with him because too much is happening with the Committee and they can’t risk the reunion where the family could be harmed. So, Tom and Sarah (again, as per usual) take things into their own hands. From the Academy where they are being educated in Switzerland to Rome to the Vatican to the cathedrals to Venice, the story is non-stop. Twists, turns, and hair-raising escapes follow Tom and Sarah every where they go.

If you love the non-stop action, this is your kind of story. Here’s the official summary:

One year later, the Committee has struck back with a vengeance, crippling the Resistance now scattered throughout Europe. When Devonbury Academy in Switzerland is attacked, Tom and Sarah’s only hope is to make it to a safe house in northern Italy by relying on their own experience and training. Overpowered and outnumbered, Tom and Sarah are ruthlessly hunted throughout Italy by the Black Nobility. Henry and Oliver discover a devastating truth, Detective Gowerstone is confronted by a dark secret from his past, and Inspector Fontaine is pushed to her limits. Will Tom and Sarah find the Britfields? Relationships will be challenged and new friendships forged, culminating in an unparalleled finale of sacrifice, romance, revenge, and loss.

My personal thoughts:
I wish I could say I enjoyed this one as much as I did the first book in the series. But I didn’t. It just carried on too long for me and I missed what I loved most in the first book: the historical information on the places Tom and Sarah ended up. While it was still included here, it felt less inclusive and more forced into the story. I felt like the story needed to end and it kept going. I am not typically an adventure reader so this series was an unusual one for me to like to begin with. I feel like it has a wonderful readership out there and two of my girls fit that group. They enjoy this type of literature and my oldest is looking forward to reading Britfield & The Return of the Prince. She will likely really enjoy and be looking towards 2024 when the next book in the series is planned for release.

If you like adventure novels and non-stop action, you will love the Britfield series by C.R. Stewart. Visit these websites for more information.
https://www.britfield.com

https://www.britfieldinstitute.org

Also, the author shares the following information: With the first of seven Britfield movies in development, the theatrical play (Fall 2022), and the Global Book Tours (2022-24), it is estimated that Britfield will eventually surpass the Harry Potter series in sales and worldwide impact. The first live-action Britfield movie is projected to become one of the highest grossing films in cinematic history. . . One of the most awarded books in fiction, the Britfield & the Lost Crown series is transforming literature and education while bringing encouragement to children and families worldwide. Creating an interactive world of adventure and learning, Britfield is about friendship, family, and courage. The 7-book series (England, France, Italy, Russia, Asia, South American, United States) will be followed by 7 extraordinary movies.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

A Quilt For Christmas ~ book spotlight and excerpt

A Quilt for Christmas JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The story of quilts is always one of intrigue and history, hope and emotion. This read will bring all that to you along with the spirit of Christmas.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: A Quilt for Christmas: A Christmas Novella

A Quilt for Christmas

Author: Melody Carlson

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Genre: Christian Romance

Recently widowed Vera Swanson is having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit in her new town. When asked to make a quilt for an ailing neighbor, she pulls together a diverse circle of quilters, including freespirited Tasha Ellison. The group becomes stitched together through shared stories, trust, and a little romantic weaving.

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

PURCHASE LINKS: (does not benefit me; not my affiliate links) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

Excerpt 1:

So Vera would be alone for Christmas—not that she planned to acknowledge the holiday. Who
was there to celebrate with anyway? After five months in Fairview, she hadn’t made a single friend.
She’d heard that as one got older it grew more difficult to make new friends. Perhaps her loneliness was
proof of that.
A loud knocking at her door brought Vera’s little pity party to a halt. Hurrying to see who was
pounding so urgently—since no one ever called on her here—she suddenly remembered she was still in
her pajamas and robe. She cracked open the door with a cautious hello? but could see no one.
“Please, please, can you help me?” a small voice pleaded from down below.
Vera blinked at the small child who stood on her doorstep. With two messy blond pigtails, bare
feet, and widened blue eyes, the little girl looked somewhat lost and confused. And like Vera, the child
was dressed in sleepwear, except hers was a thin, summery nightgown that looked none too warm.
“Wh-what?” Vera fumbled to unlatch the chain and fully open the door. “Who are you?”
“I’m Fiona,” the girl reached for Vera’s hand and, grasping it tightly, tugged. “We live right
there.” She pointed to the opened door across the hallway. “Mama is sick. Please help me!”
“Oh my!” Leaving her own door wide open, Vera let the child lead her across the hall and into
the condo.


Excerpt 2:

“Can you make a quilt for Mama?” Fiona asked eagerly.
“I—uh—I don’t know.”
“She wants one so bad.” Fiona’s eyes brightened with hope. “I can help you make it. We’ll make
a quilt for Mama to make her better.”
Vera didn’t know what to say, but hoping to distract Fiona from thoughts of death and sickness,
she slowly nodded. “I might be able to quilt your mother something.” She imagined a small project . . .
something that would distract from feeling sorry for herself during the holidays. “Maybe a pillow. Or
even a small lap quilt.” She held her hands a couple of feet apart. “You know, like this.”
“No, Mama needs a big patchwork quilt,” Fiona insisted. “For her big bed. Can you do it, Mrs.
Swanson? Please—please! Mama would be so happy. I promise to help.”
Vera didn’t know what to say.
“And we will give it to her for Christmas,” the precocious child continued.
Vera blinked. A big quilt? By Christmas? Now that would take a miracle.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long was made into a Hallmark movie, and the film version of The Happy Camper is soon to be released. She and her husband live in central Oregon.

Connect with Melody by visiting melodycarlson.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Quilt for Christmas, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and quilted coasters!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 12, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on October 19, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Bentonsport – A Christmas Story {a book review}

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Keep reading for a giveaway and how to enter.

Christmas and baking – two of my favorite topics for stories! Bentonsport – A Christmas Story by Lisa Schnedler fits that bill. Add to it that you get a time slip (I think that is what people are calling it now when the character slips into a different time period for a while) and this is an engaging, fun book.

When I picked up the story and began, I knew I would enjoy it for the topic but the writing is well done, making it an even better read than I expected! I found that it was difficult to put the story down because I wanted to know more about Thomas’ story, did he find what he was supposed to when he went forward in time? Did Sarah ever figure out what she wanted? Did Thomas figure out how to ask questions without giving away his history? Did he give away his history? Did Sarah discover the truth? How did the story turn out?!? I wanted to know and kept reading until I could find the answer to my next question.

I can happily recommend this book for some light enjoyment mixed in with baking, history, and well-developed characters. With the holidays right around the corner, this will be the perfect fit.

Book Summary:

Title: Bentonsport – A Christmas Story

Series: Bentonsport #1

Author: Lisa Schnedler

Publisher: Scrivenings Press

Release Date: September 27, 2022

Genre: Clean Romance/Christmas/Time Travel

What if you found the love of your life right in your hometown—in another century? Bentonsport—two different eras in one special town, two lonely persons, and one miraculous Christmas…

For Bentonsport Academy Headmaster Thomas Barton, Christmas emphasizes his loneliness. He has given up hope of discovering a woman to share his heart and life and plans to return to his hometown for the holidays. But when his friend’s preposterous prophecy comes true, he finds himself having traveled not by train, but through time, from 1869, to Bentonsport today! Now he must navigate a modern world for the two weeks before Christmas and discover what he was sent to find.

Baker Sarah Peterson has everything she wants in the small historic town of modern-day Bentonsport—everything but a man with whom to share her dreams and future. And, in a town of under fifty residents, where’s she going to encounter a soulmate? But when Thomas walks into her bakery, seemingly odd and out of place, but handsome and charming, she finds herself hoping something special might happen this Christmas.
Suggested Purchase Links (do not benefit me): Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

Bentonsport - A Christmas Story JustRead Giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card & bookmarks.

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 10, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 17, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Schnedler

Lisa Schnedler writes cozy romances. She has lived in Bentonsport, Iowa, for more than 25 years, the setting of her latest series. A certified Christian Life Coach, Lisa has a Christian life planning ministry, Branch Living, to help Christians live out their God-given purposes. This ministry includes retreats, classes, a website, blog, and podcast. She is president of a health system in Wisconsin. She is a pastor’s wife, mother of three, and grandmother of six.

Connect with Lisa by visiting lisaschnedler.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

September 2022 Books

A lot was accomplished this month so I have a good number to share with you.

First up is Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. I have read this a few times and enjoy it each time. The positivity that just exudes from Anne is somewhat contagious and I can’t help but be in a good mood anytime I read it. If you are unfamiliar, Anne is an orphan who goes to live with Matthew and Marilla (a brother and sister) on Prince Edward Island. She has such an outlook on life that she brightens everyones’ day, finds more trouble than everyone else combined, and brings hope to the community. It is a heartwarming story that everyone should read.

As a companion read to Anne for an online book club that I found, I read Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay. It is about Sam, another orphan who has grown up in the foster care system. After she became an adult, she lived in a home that helped her greatly and she has been given a scholarship. To keep the scholarship, she must write to the anonymous donor, keeping him updated on her life and schooling. She finds the anonymity helpful and opens up to him greatly in the letters. I really enjoyed learning about Sam, her difficulties, her insecurities, and seeing her grow so much through her time. Her relationships grow and change as she does. It was an enjoyable read.

I did a review of a sweet little book for children called Mama, Sing My Song by Amanda Seibert. You can read that here.

I am finishing up a review on Britfield & The Return of The Prince by Chad Stewart. I will post that, hopefully, in a few days. Here is the overview of it: One year later, the Committee has struck back with a vengeance, crippling the Resistance now scattered throughout Europe. When Devonbury Academy in Switzerland is attacked, Tom and Sarah’s only hope is to make it to a safe house in northern Italy by relying on their own experience and training. Overpowered and outnumbered, Tom and Sarah are ruthlessly hunted throughout Italy by the Black Nobility. Henry and Oliver discover a devastating truth, Detective Gowerstone is confronted by a dark secret from his past, and Inspector Fontaine is pushed to her limits. Will Tom and Sarah find the Britfields? Relationships will be challenged, and new friendships forged, culminating in an unparalleled finale of sacrifice, romance, revenge, and loss.

I am rereading The Creativity Crusade by Dr. Richard Shade and Patti Garrett Shade. I have found it quite interesting and refreshing. A couple of ideas that I have found helpful: by expecting a single right answer, we have taught the children that everything else is wrong and thus a failure; creative thinging and critical thinking are not the same thing and require quite different brain power; there are opposing characteristics for the way creative thinkers should be taught and the way a typical educational setting teach. There is so much packed into this book. Every educator should read it, which means every adult should read this or something very similar to it, because everyone teaches someone.

I enjoyed a nonfiction book titled More Ketchup Than Salsa by Joe Cawley. I found this account of two couples who moved to an island in order to buy and run a bar for tourists to be a unique travel read. So many people dream of moving to some exotic place and working to support themselves in a simple, relaxed lifestyle. Well, Joe is here to tell you that doesn’t really exist; at least, not in the way we might expect. Joe and his brother and their two ladies purchase a bar that is highly popular with tourists. They get about 24 hours of training after they arrive on the ins and outs of the business and then they are off. From power grid ups and downs, the mafia showing up on the bar stools, difficult yet helpful patrons, crazy cockroach infections, and many more incredible moments, we get to follow the adventures of owning a bar on Tenerife. Whether we believe the adventures or not, it is a fun way to read about how life could be (and not that it is likely much, much different than we could ever imagine).

I finished up a quick little bible study for review on Ezra and Nehemiah. It was a 10 week study and I’ll be sharing it soon.

Do you have any book titles to share with me? I’d love to have some more on to-be-read list.
Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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