Where Courage Calls, a Litfuse Review

 Book Reviews, Litfuse  Comments Off on Where Courage Calls, a Litfuse Review
Feb 192014
 

The following is a book review of Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan and was provided through Litfuse. I received a copy of the book for the purposes of this review, all opinions are mine and mine alone and no other compensation was received.

Enter Today | 2/17 – 3/4!
Janette Oke Where Courage Calls

Beth Thatcher is trying to find out what God’s will is for her life. She accepts the call to go teach in a remote mining village that is days away from all she knows. The trip there is punctuated with disasters and rain and when she finally arrives, all she has left is the clothes on her back. She steps into a place that is years behind in modern conveniences, full of prejudice and is nothing that she had prepared herself for.

Can Beth last for the duration of her teaching contract? Will she learn to listen to God’s direction for her life? Will she even survive the year?

Where Courage Calls takes you on a trip back in time to the far Western mining communities in Canada to what nearly amounts to another world. You are drawn into the community of Coal Valley with the grief of the widows from the recent mining accident that took nearly all of the town’s husbands and fathers, to the abject poverty of life out in the mountains with ladies who have nearly no way to support themselves in the economy of the company town. It is a story of grief, acceptance, hope and ultimately perseverance and triumph. You journey with the town of Coal Valley as they are picking up the remaining shards of their lives to move on into the future and hopefully teach their children that there is more than a destiny in the mines when they become adults.

This book was a fun read and I can highly recommend it. It is by Janette Oke, who is basically the Grandmother of Christian historical romance fiction, so you know it is well written.

Janette Oke’s newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel’s TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.

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One winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!


So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

The Painted Table, a Litfuse Review, AND Chance to Win a Painted Table for Yourself

 Faith, family, Giveaways, Litfuse, Marriage, Womanhood  Comments Off on The Painted Table, a Litfuse Review, AND Chance to Win a Painted Table for Yourself
Jan 072014
 

I was provided a copy of The Painted Table by Suzanne Field through Litfuse for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Banner in turquoise and orange for the Painted Table

The Painted Table looked like an interesting book when the opportunity came up for me to review it. it is the story about a family and an heirloom Norwegian table. A story of pain, mental illness, emotional abuse, and healing.

Safee inherits her mother’s antique Norwegian table. She remembers when it first came to them in a beautiful natural wood. However, the state the table is in when she first gets it (against her wishes) is anything but of beauty. It has layer upon layer of paint plastered upon it, and is an ebeneezer to the emotional crippling she received as a child. Yet, with the persistence of her husband, she starts the process of restoring the table to it’s natural beauty and in the process finds peace and healing over her past.

This book is a hard read. Especially for anyone who has suffered through abuse as a child, or seen the ravages of mental illness close hand. However, this book is well worth the difficulty in reading. Suzanne Field takes the reader on a journey that brought me to tears as memories of my upbringing came to the surface, I so identified with Saffee as she went off to college and learned to have a life of her own that wasn’t controlled by her mother. I also identified with her mother’s upbringing which is how the book starts. It wasn’t ideal either and while the first half of the book seems a bit choppy in moving through time, those parts are desperately needed to see how and why everyone turned out the way they did. By the end of the book, I was a blubbering mess as I realized how similar I was to Saffee in regards to my emotions and how I reacted to things. And as she learned a better way of living, I found myself cheering her on to a life of normalcy and of breaking the patterns set by the generations before her. (I too am breaking patterns that were set for me in previous generations, and it is hard, and this book doesn’t sugar coat it at all).

This review, is honestly, very hard for me to write. This book impacted me so profoundly that I am having a very difficult time seperating myself from the review. Just suffice it to say, I think that everyone needs to read this book, especially counselors and pastors. This is a good book to give to someone struggling with the abuse and mental illness that they grew up with or have in their family. It shows a shining example of how with faith and a great support system, we can overcome the pain of the past in story form. Stories teach sometimes better than a lecture can and are less threatening. This book is terrific for that.

You can connect with Suzanne Field on FACEBOOK

And to feel free to PURCHASE your own copy of this book.

Suzanne Field is celebrating her novel The Painted Table with a beautiful hand-painted table giveaway!

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One winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 18th. Winner will be announced January 20th on Thomas Nelson’s Facebook Page.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the TNZ Facebook Page on the 20th to see if you won.

About the book: A beautiful heirloom ingrained with family memory has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget—a childhood disrupted by her mother’s mental illness.
Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother’s obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint, and heavy with unsettling memories.

After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. But as an adult with a family of her own, Saffee must confront her mother’s torment if she wants to defend herself against it.

Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is an epic portrait of inherited memory, proclivity, and guilt. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact—like a family member—can bear the marks of one’s entire past . . . as well as intimations of one’s redemption.

About the author: Suzanne Field, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has taught English as a Second Language in China, Ukraine, and Hawaii. She has also been a magazine editor and home-school teacher. She and her husband have five children and divide their time between Kansas and Hawaii where she is a tutor and mentor.

The Christmas Quilt, a Litfuse Review, FB Party and Giveaway

 Book Reviews, Litfuse  Comments Off on The Christmas Quilt, a Litfuse Review, FB Party and Giveaway
Nov 282013
 

I was provided a copy of The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman through Litfuse for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

In the Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman explores themes of marriage, faith, patience, love and perserverance. This book in the Quilts of Love series takes place in Amish country in Pennsylvania and follows the story of Leah and Annie, two sisters-in-law who are also best friends who are each expecting their first babies.

I like how each of the quilt squares are stitched to correlate with one of the fruits of the spirit. It was a very creative way to weave the story together.

I did feel like the story took a while to pick up, and I had a horrible time trying to tell Annie and Leah apart and to whom each was married to for the first half of the book. However, it was still a pretty good read and a nice escape.

Enter Today | 11/15 – 11/30!
Quilts of love vannetta chapman lisa carter

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January’s Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Aloha Rose, a Litfuse Review, FB Party With Giveaway!

 Book Reviews, Litfuse  Comments Off on Aloha Rose, a Litfuse Review, FB Party With Giveaway!
Nov 282013
 

I was given a copy of Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter as a part of the Litfuse bloggers program for the purposes of this review, all opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Laney Carrigan was adopted shortly after birth. She was found on a doorstep, with a quilt wrapped around here. After her mother’s passing, she sets out to find her birth family.

After locating her family thanks to posting a picture of the quilt on a find your birth family forum, Laney finds herself on the way to Hawaii. When she arrives, will she be able to form bonds with the family she originated from? Will it be too laittle, too late? Can she make peace with the fact that she was told her birth mother had passed away? And will she be able to have an impact on her grandmother before she is too far gone from the ravages of Alzheimers? And what about Kai?

In Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter by , the themes of family, faith, love and being open to pursuing your dreams and the will of God are woven throughout. It is an easy read, a nice escape this time of year to a much warmer climate for me.

This book is a part of the Quilts of Love book series. A series of books that weave stories based around quilts. Stories of faith, family and love.

Enter Today | 11/15 – 11/30!
Quilts of love vannetta chapman lisa carter

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January’s Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Snow on the Tulips, a Review and Giveaway for an Amazon Reader’s Pack from Liz Tolsma!

 Book Reviews, Litfuse  Comments Off on Snow on the Tulips, a Review and Giveaway for an Amazon Reader’s Pack from Liz Tolsma!
Nov 112013
 

I was given a copy of Snow on the Tulips through Litfuse as a part of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Do you like WWII fiction?

I do. That time period fascinates me. Both of my grandfather’s served at that time (my maternal granddaddy in Europe as a bombardier and my paternal grandfather in the Pacific theater on the ground). That generation dealt with some horrific things and I marvel at their fortitude.

It was with great excitement that I got to review Liz Tolsma’s new release, Snow on the Tulips. That was before I started reading the book. Within the first two chapters, I was hooked. As the end of the book drew near, I was close to being in mourning that the story was nearly over. As I read the final paragraphs, I was relieved at the outcome, and angry my time in Holland had come to an end and my new friends contained within those pages had nothing else to share with me.

Snow on the Tulips takes you on a harrowing journey of faith, standing for what is right in the midst of extreme opposition and courage.  Cornelia is a widow from earlier in the war. She tries at all costs to protect those whom she loves. Her brother is in hiding to keep from getting conscripted by the Germans, her sister is married to a man who will blindly follow the government no matter the personal cost to him and his family because he believes that is his scriptural duty. Life is continuing on as the end of the war finally grows imminent. When in one evening, all semblances of their “normal” is shattered by an injured Dutch Resistance worker shows up needing aid. How will Cornelia rise to the challenge thrust upon her family so suddenly? Will she take the easy way out? Will she find it within herself to do the right thing?

Snow on the Tulips is based on a true story from Liz Tolsma’s family. It is an awe-inspiring tale of courage, faith and the providence of God. This book is a must read, in my opinion. The characters come to life on the pages and it is as if you truly get to know them as you read. I absolutely cannot wait for Liz Tolsma’s next book to be released, it is already on my must be read list.

Liz Tolsma is celebrating the release of her novel, Snow on the Tulipsby giving away an Amazon Reading Pack to one lucky winner. Find out what readers are saying about the book here.

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One winner will receive:

  • A $50 Amazon gift card
  • Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 18th at Liz’s blog.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Liz’s blog on the 18th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox! Just enter your email address on the left sidebar of her blog.)