The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure Review

The Secret Bliss Of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia McClure.The Secret Bliss Of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure is one of those books you can and probably will read in one sitting.

It is a historical christian romance, and is exactly the sort of book you want to curl up with on a rainy day, especially if you are not feeling good. The book might not help your cold (or whatever) but it will raise your spirits.

It is about a girl named Calliope (I love that name) Ipswich, and her family and the town she lives in.

There is a bit of excitement in the book but mostly just the sort that happens to everyone everywhere.  They put on a play called a Tom Thumb Wedding, which I would love to see. I’m thinking about seeing if our local arts council might do one of those.

Really good read!

About the Book:

“Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!”
“Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine,

More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being.
In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.

About the Author:

Promotional picture of author Marcia McClure.Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

 

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Book Blasts and Tours by I Am A Reader.This post is part of a Book Tour hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I received a free book to review, but my opinion is 100% my own.

Forgiven By Maureen S. Taylor, Ed.D.

Cover of Forgiven by Maureen S. Taylor, Ed.D. Forgiven by Maureen S. Taylor, Ed.D. is billed as a romance, and it is.  There is definitely romance in there. But there is so much more.

When I think of romance books it those comfy books you read curled up in the recliner or on the beach.  This book isn’t a comfort book.

Forgiven has some psychological thriller, a bit of action (near the end anyway), some mystery, and a really wonderful dog.

Just calling it a romance doesn’t get it. There is tragedy and grace and inspiration. It is a good read, but NOT an easy ready. At least not for me.

About the Book:

And it all ends happily ever after…or does it? While just a child, Katie Stewart suffers the tragic loss of her parents leaving her with an overshadowing fear of uncertainty about her life and where she belongs. Raised by Dolly, her devoted grandmother and woman of great faith, Katie struggles with her beliefs in a God that has allowed so much pain and suffering into her life. Plagued by panic attacks, Katie longs for a normal life with the anxiety held at bay. A middle school teacher disenchanted with life, Katie has met the man of her dreams who will chase away the dragons and protect her until the end of time. Stewart, a CPA and shrewd businessman, has found the only woman he has ever loved. Considered a player and commitment phobe, Scott struggles with his fear of losing Katie, which brings him through a transformation that leaves him unrecognizable to himself and others. Katie’s therapist and anxiety specialist, Dr. Chris Martin, complicates Katie’s life in irreversible ways leaving her on the road to recovery but at a great cost. And add to the mix an adorable yellow Labrador retriever, Beau, who knows with certainty and great happiness that he is the center of the universe. Faithful Beau becomes a life line that anchors Katie and drives her out of despair.

About the Author:

Being a child of southern coastal heritage, I love all things from the beach and summer vacations. And yes, I would gladly send our humidity up towards Canada so we can share the suffering. As an educator of twenty-four years, there is something this close to magical when that last student leaves and we lock the doors behind us. Nothing better.
Books have been a major part of my life since I began reading at a precocious age, much to my parents chagrin. I have been told when no one would listen to me read, I’d engage my imaginary friend who sat silently suffering through the ordeal. My love of writing came shortly thereafter, and I’m afraid I made my friends and angels listen to my stories as well. That deep abiding love has inspired me to try and instill the love of writing and reading to the students I teach.
My house is run by three adorable, ragamuffin kitties who do not understand that I am the boss. Couple that with a ninety pound yellow lab and I am clearly not the alpha female in the house. All the kitties love books and sit on them, or my Kindle, as soon as I start to read. Paxton, my master tongue bather, knows he is the center of his universe and has been trying for years to get me to see his vision. Happiness in fur!
Finally, my wonderful son, Chris, keeps me humble yet feeling loved. Motherhood is hard work and I have heard it said that there is no greater joy than that. With his wonderful sense of humor, talents and warm personality, I find myself blessed.

Visit Maureen Taylor on Facebook and be sure to “like” her page while you are there.

He Came Today By Michelle Simpson Review

Disclosure: I received a free book to review.

Cover of He Came Today by Michelle Simpson.He Came Today by Michelle Simpson is an interesting story. It is similar to the Left Behind books by Tim Lahaye in that it is about what happens after the “Rapture”.

In this book the story follows one particular family and tells how they deal with what happens on the day of the “rapture” and during the time of tribulation that follows.

Even if you don’t believe that there will be a rapture the story is still interesting.  It does offer some background on why many people believe there will be a “rapture” and on what might happen afterward. It also tells you why you might want to be prepared so you won’t have to endure the Tribulations that follow.

One of the theories in this book was new to me. I had no idea that many folks think the United States will be taken out by a nuclear war. I was aware that many believe something has to happen to the United States that keeps it from interfering in any way with the new world power.

I just always figured that congress would just keep ignoring problems until the government toppled over. Either way the United States won’t be a very safe place to live as Michelle Simpson points out in this book.

The only real problem I had with the story was that for some reason it wasn’t formatted correctly on my Kindle. That made it harder to read than it needed to be and I could not figure out how to fix it.

Those of you interested in “end time” events would probably like this book.

About the book:

Many Christians believe that prophecy in the Bible points to a soon-coming day when Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds to “rapture” his faithful followers away in a sudden moment, “in the twinkling of an eye.” So begins the story of a Christian family, much like your own or one you know, who unexpectedly find themselves dealing with the aftermath of the rapture and the reality that some among them have gone “somewhere” while yet others remain in a world never to be the same again.
This fictional portrayal of the way things may occur on a day in the very near future stirs faith in some while arousing concern in others. He Came Today, is a believably moving story of a few ordinary people and their extraordinary struggles in the face of end-time realities suddenly thrust upon them.

About the Author:

Picture of Author Michelle Simpson.Michelle Simpson is an author of Christian books, recently publishing her second book, He Came Today – A rousing rally cry for rapture preparation. Her first book, Adam’s Gift to Eve, published by Protea Publishing Company in 2002, explores the core of the God-intended marriage.

Michelle holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Bowie State University, Bowie, Md. where she graduated in 1991. She currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, Marcus Simpson, and two daughters, Morgan and Miara.

I received a free book to review. My opinion is as always 100% my own.

Faith Departed by Elizabeth Maddrey Review

Cover of Faith Departed by Elizabeth Maddrey.I really enjoyed reading Faith Departed by Elizabeth Maddrey. It is about twin sisters named June and July who are both trying to start families and having a hard time of it.

Anyone who has ever wanted a baby and couldn’t have one or just had a lot of trouble getting pregnant will feel a bond with these characters. Including the men.

It isn’t just women who want families and lots of us women tent to forget the fathers when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.

I loved that this story includes the points of view of the husbands as well as the wives.

It is a book about faith as well and how trials can help us grow.

About the book:

Starting a family was supposed to be easy. 

 Twin sisters June and July have never encountered an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. Married just after graduating college, the girls and their husbands remained a close-knit group. Now settled and successful, the next logical step is children.

 But as the couples struggle to conceive, each must reconcile the goodness of God with their present suffering. Will their faith be strong enough to triumph in the midst of trial?

About the Author:

Picture of author Elizabeth Maddrey.Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

 

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey.

You can also follow her Twitter: @ElizabethMaddre

Chasing Hope By Kathryn Cushman Review

Cover picture of Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman. I loved this book! It was a quick and easy read and kept me involved in the story from the moment I started till the end. I wanted it to keep on going!

The characters were people I would love to meet. Even the rebellious teenager. She grows on you!

Parts of the book were sad. One of the main characters had to give up her dream of running in the Olympics because of a medical problem but she overcame that and found a new (better!) dream.

The rebellious teenager grows up and ends being a great runner herself!

This is a great story that shows how dreams can change and grow even bigger and better.  It would be a great book to curl up with on a dreary fall day.

About the book :

A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances

A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice’s future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running–something that’s become far too painful to think on.
Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy’s best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled…that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

The book is available on Amazon * Barnes & Noble

About the Author :

Author Kathryn Cushman.Author Kathryn “Katie” Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy.

She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women’s Fiction.

She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh.

Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.

You can visit Kathryn on her Website * Facebook.

Button for the Chasing Hope Blog Tour.This post is part of a Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Click the tour button above to visit the tour page where you can enter a giveaway ending on Oct. 17, 2013. Be sure to check out all the other blog posts on the tour while you are there!

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The Hero’s Lot By Patrick W. Carr Review

The Hero’s Lot is a really good story. It is the second book in The Staff & The Sword series and continues the story of Errol and his companions from A Cast Of Stones.

I really loved this book. Errol finds a love interest in this book as well as getting some more adventures. There are a few fight scenes and lots of danger and excitement.

I love the characters in this book. Especially the main character who starts out on the very bottom rung of the social ladder and works his way up.  His love interest initially struck me as being basically a spoiled stuck up kid but she improves as the story goes on. I hope things work out well for them…we have to wait for the next book to find out.

I bought a paperback copy of my own after reading the Netgalley version just so I would have one to reread when I get the next book in the series. My mom happened to see the books and borrowed them and she really liked them too.

We are both eagerly waiting for the next book in the series.

About the book :

Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy’s Most Talented New Voice.

When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.

In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol’s home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Hero’s Lot is the Sequel to A Cast of Stones

A Cast of Stones

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love.

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone’s search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he’s joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom’s dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

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This post is part of a blog tour hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Click on the tour banner above to visit the tour page where you can check out all the participating sites and read their reviews.

Sand Castle Bay By Sherryl Woods Review

Sand Castle Bay By Sherryl Woods Review

Sand Castle Bay is the first in a new series written by Sherryl Woods. It introduces us to a new group of people on the coast of North Carolina.

I love these characters! They remind me of my own extended family. They way they rally round and support each other when the going gets rough.

This is the sort of book you can curl up with on a rainy night and it makes you forget the weather.

The two main characters were high school sweethearts that ended up going their separate ways. And now they have a second chance. This is a wonderful romance that makes you believe in second chances. And it does it without any hot and heavy scenes.

It also made me want to go to the beach!  And have dinner in a restaurant like the one the family has in this book.  The characters feel like they could be real folks you could go visit.

I like that.

About the book :

In a trade-off she’s lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.

For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.

Will fate once again separate them—or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?

About the Author :

Sherryl WoodsWith her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She’s also especially partial to small towns wherever they may be. In her latest series, Sherryl returns to the fictional town of Serenity, South Carolina, and her beloved Sweet Magnolias. “Writing these books was like catching upl with old friends. I hope readers will feel the same way,” she says.

A member of Novelists Inc. and Sisters in Crime, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. “Wherever I am, if there’s no water in sight, I get a little antsy,” she says.

You can visit Sherryl Woods on Facebook and read her biography on her website.  You can also read her blog Just Between Friends.

Check out my reviews of her other books  Midnight Promises, The Summer Garden, Where Azaleas Bloom and Catching Fireflies.

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Catching Fireflies By Sherryl Woods

Catching Fireflies By Sherryl Woods

Catching Fireflies by Sherryl Woods.This is another Sweet Magnolia novel set in Serenity, South Carolina. It is just as good as all the others.

This one is about bullying. One of the kids in the story is being bullied by another kid. And the bully is a kid that has been raised to believe she is really “special”.  She is special and talented but not so much that she should or does get away with being a bully.

I love how all the characters in the books rally round and figure out a way to protect the girl being bullied and to spread the word that such behavior will not be tolerated. No matter who is doing it.

This is a really good read and it is a christian novel so there are no hot and heavy scenes. The characters are really likable. Except for the bully of course.

From the back cover :

When bullying threatens to destroy a teen’s life, painful memories resurface for dedicated high school teacher Laura Reed and pediatrician J. C. Fullerton. With the support of the Sweet Magnolias, they bring the town together to ensure that a promising student’s future isn’t ruined. And to establish once and for all that bullying has no place in Serenity, South Carolina.

Both J.C.’s and Laura’s passion for the cause is deeply personal, and their growing feelings for each other are just as strong. But with so many secret hurts to overcome, can these two vulnerable lovers find the strength to believe in happily ever after?

About the Author :

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She’s also especially partial to small towns wherever they may be. In her latest series, Sherryl returns to the fictional town of Serenity, South Carolina, and her beloved Sweet Magnolias. “Writing these books was like catching upl with old friends. I hope readers will feel the same way,” she says.

A member of Novelists Inc. and Sisters in Crime, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. “Wherever I am, if there’s no water in sight, I get a little antsy,” she says.

You can visit Sherryl Woods on Facebook and read her biography on her website.  You can also read her blog Just Between Friends.

Check out my reviews of her other books  Midnight Promises, The Summer Garden and Where Azaleas Bloom .

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Waiting For Spring by Amanda Cabot Review

Waiting For Spring by Amanda Cabot Review

Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot.Waiting For Spring is a really good book! It kept me interested from the first page.

It is a historical christian romance that takes place in Cheyenne back in 1886. I loved the characters in this book too. Except for the bad guy of course.

The ladies in this book are managing to take care of themselves and be helpful to other people too. The main character has a handicapped son which was a lot harder to deal with way back then.

One of the things I like about all the books by Amanda Cabot that I have read is that the historical background is correct. She actually studied the old city of Cheyenne and the history of the region and used that in the book. It makes it seem so real.

From the back cover :

A new identity may protect her family–but can it protect her heart?

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But she can find no rest from the ghosts of the past and flees to Cheyenne to put the pieces of her life back together.

Wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry must make a sensible match if he is to be elected senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming. He needs someone with connections. Someone without a past. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

About the Author:

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow’s Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.

I won my copy of this book on Goodreads.

Where Azaleas Bloom By Sherryl Woods Review

Where Azaleas Bloom By Sherryl Woods Review

Cover of Where Azaleas Bloom by Sherryl Woods.Where Azaleas Bloom was a really good read. It was easy and relaxing. It is also a feel good read. It is one of those books that make you feel good. I guess it is because even with all the problems the characters have love wins out.

I love the setting for these Sweet Magnolia books too. The setting is a fairly small town in South Carolina with the lovely name of Serenity. It reminds me a bit of the small town where I grew up.

I also really like the group of women called the Sweet Magnolias. They are great examples of friends helping each other and they have fun too. I wouldn’t mind going to one of their Margarita nights.

This is a really good clean romance suitable for just about anyone. A great book to curl up in a recliner with.

From the back cover:

Single mom Lynn Morrow is determined to put food on the table for her son and daughter. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband has failed to meet his obligations time and again—but it turns out that Ed is struggling with his own demons.

Enter contractor Mitch Franklin, an unlikely knight in shining armor. A widower with two grieving sons, Mitch once admired Lynn from afar. Now he sees in her not only the sweet girl who got away, but a woman desperately in need of support. While rushing to the rescue of Lynn and her children comes naturally, he’s also wise enough to encourage Lynn to find her own way…hopefully straight into his arms.

About the Author:

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She’s also especially partial to small towns wherever they may be. In her latest series, Sherryl returns to the fictional town of Serenity, South Carolina, and her beloved Sweet Magnolias. “Writing these books was like catching upl with old friends. I hope readers will feel the same way,” she says.

A member of Novelists Inc. and Sisters in Crime, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. “Wherever I am, if there’s no water in sight, I get a little antsy,” she says.

You can visit Sherryl Woods on Facebook and read her biography on her website.  You can also read her blog Just Between Friends.

Check out my reviews of her other books too! The Summer Garden and Midnight Promises.

 

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