Just Kin

Just Kin by Caryl McAdoo is a 322 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre.  It is self-published and was released on January 2, 2016.  To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Love covers a multitude of sin.

A stolen kiss ignites a fire that burns all the way from Texas to New York City. Torn apart by war, rejection, and a letter with news she never wanted, Lacey Rose takes her shredded heart and runs. Charley figures out something isn’t right, but is duty-bound to the Confederacy until a deathbed order sets in motion a series of events that tests his love, honor, and commitment to the breaking point.

Can the two lifelong friends see past the pain to finally realize God’s plan for them to be more than just kin?

About the Author

Caryl, praying her story gives God glory, loves writing for Christian genres–historical and contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and mid-grade especially. In 2014, Simon and Schuster debuted VOW UNBROKEN, a historical Christian romance set in 1832 Texas, and Caryl followed with three additional novels. In April, LADY LUCK’S A LOSER (contemporary, mature, inspirational romance); September’s debut, HEARTS STOLEN (set in 1839-1844), book two of her historical Christian Texas Romances–a #1 Amazon Best-seller; and in November, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, volume one of her new Biblical fiction series, The Generations–also an Amazon #1 Best-seller.

 

In 2008, her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved her to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one ministers His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. She and Ron live in Clarksville, Texas with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

Blog Tour Stops

Jan 20: Christian Bookaholic

Jan 21: Simple Harvest Reads

Jan 22: Bukwurmzzz

Jan 23: Through the Open Window

Jan 24: 100 Pages per Hour

Jan 25: Debbie’s Dust Deliberations

Jan 26: Bigreadersite

Jan 27: Texas Book-aholic

Jan 28: Henry Happens

Jan 29: A Greater Yes

Jan 30: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below to enter to win one of the fabulous prizes Caryl is graciously giving away!

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After the Rain

After the Rain is a 570 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre and was released on September 29, 2015. Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

He becomes the love of her life. She becomes his biggest challenge.

It’s 1908, a year in the Edwardian Age, the year J.M. Barrie’s play What Every Woman Knows, premiered in Atlantic City and the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. It is a year when the world faced one of its worst disasters in history, when the New Year would heal the wounds of loss. Louisa Borden lives a privileged life in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a new and thriving community on the outskirts of Washington, DC for the well-to-do. Against the wishes of her domineering grandmother, she retreats from the prospects of a loveless marriage and instead searches for what she hopes is her calling in life.

When her horse is spooked along Rock Creek, she is thrown from the saddle—an embarrassing situation for any affluent young lady. Soaking wet, bruised and humiliated, she is carried up the muddy bank to safety by Jackson O’Neil, a stranger to the city, who changes the course of everything, including the lives of all those around her.

My Two Cents

Just like the hauntingly beautiful cover, About the Rain has a beautifully rich story line. Gerlach has wonderful ideas for her story and it is filled with adventure.  The focus on family was really encouraging to see. The twists kept me guessing until the very end.

Although I did love the story line, I struggled a bit reading the book because of the grammatical errors.  It was also sometimes confusing who is who (one time the author uses the wrong name  when a character is speaking). With a little more editing, this would have been a perfect story.

Even with the above said, I am glad I read After the Rain. It was special to see the bond of family. It is a wonderful story written with historical accuracy.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Rita Gerlach is a best-selling author of inspirational fiction with a romantic bent, including The Rebel’s Pledge, Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains, Surrender the Wind, and The Daughters of the Potomac Series. She lives in Maryland near the Catoctin Mountains with her husband Paul.

Giveaway

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Enter below for your chance to win an autographed paperback copy of After the Rain and the audio books of The Daughters of the Potomac series.

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Blog Tour Stops

Jan 11: Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

Jan 12: Singing Librarian Books

Jan 13: Bukwurmzzzz

Jan 13: Artistic Nobody

Jan 14: Daysong Reflections

Jan 15: Texas Book-aholic

Jan 15: Blessed and Bewildered

Jan 16: Reading is My Super Power

Jan 17: Through the Open Window

Jan 18: Jendi’s Journal

Jan 19: Splashes of Joy

Jan 19: Christian Bookaholic

Jan 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Jan 21: Proverbial Reads

Jan 22: Simple Harvest Reads

Jan 22: Cassandra M’s Place

Jan 23: Big Reader’s Site

Jan 23: Janette’s Thoughts

Jan 24: The Editor’s Note

Jan 24: A Greater Yes

Jan 25: For the Love of Books

Friends and Enemies

Friends and Enemies is a 425 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre.  It is published by Hope Spring Books and was released on Jan 5, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Friends and Enemies coverWidowed seamstress Heidi Wetzel finds new meaning in life by caring for evacuated children on a farm in war-torn western Germany. Never a supporter of National Socialism, she takes pleasure in passive resistance, but must exercise caution around neighbors who delight in reporting to the Gestapo. Having lived in the United States, she wonders about her friend Rachel.

Flying cadet Paul Braedel’s wife dies while he trains for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following bereavement leave, he joins a navigation class. He’s lost his zest for life and heads to England, not caring if he lives or dies.

When he and his crew are shot down over Germany, he evades capture and, for the first time since Rachel’s death, hears the voice of God whisper guidance. “Find Heidi.”

Heidi meets a man she recognizes from her high school days in America. Aiding a downed airman is punishable by execution, but she agrees to help. Then they’re betrayed.

My Two Cents

This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept it until the very end.  I did not want to put this book down.  This story line had it all….romance, action, intrigue. Definitely a book I would read over again.

As I read, it was obvious that Wangard did her research. I enjoyed the history she wove into the story. What really impressed me was how the history did not bog down the pace of the book. The characters were well written, interesting and relatable.

I give Friends and Enemies 5 out of 5 stars.  If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a book to add to your must read pile!

About the Author

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.
Connect with Terri: www.terriwangard.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

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Enter to win a copy  of Terri’s new book Friends and Enemies or a $10 Amazon card.
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Blog Tour Stops

Visit each blog to read their review and have another entry to the giveaway!

Jan 5: Writing Between Sundays

Jan 5: Book Reviews from an Avid Reader

Jan 6: Thinking Thoughts

Jan 6: Novel pastimes

Jan 7: Simple harvest Reads

Jan 8: Artistic Nobody

Jan 9: A Greater Yes

Jan 10: Cassandra M’s Place

Jan 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

Jan 12: The Grafted Word

Jan 13: Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

Jan 14: Texas Book-aholic

Jan 15: Christian Book Aholic

Jan 16:  Bukwurmzzz

Jan 17: Through the Open Window

Jan 18: Highlighted Author

Jan 18: For the Love of Books

Ancient Words Series + Giveaway

The Ancient Words Series consists of two books: Where Can I flee (released August 13, 2014) and In The Shadow Of They Wings (December 8, 2015). Both books were independently published.  To purchase your copy of Where Can I flee, click here.  To purchase your copy of In The Shadow Of Thy Wings, click here.

Book Information:Ancient World Series Covers

Where Can I Flee

War is on the horizon during the spring of 1861. It will be an event that will change the lives of everyone in its path. The Harper family included.

Frank Harper is a young man full of dreams and ambitions. Even when the country is split and war breaks out, Frank will do whatever is necessary to see his dreams come true, even when that means putting on a uniform and leaving home.

For the first time, Claire Harper is forced to consider the reasons behind such a conflict. Should slavery be abolished? Which side should she be on, and what does God have to say about this? Claire is torn between her own opinions and those of her family. The struggle within her only increases when she repeatedly runs into a kind and handsome Union soldier. She longs to see her brother turn to Christ before it is too late. Desperate to reach her brother with the gospel, Claire pens a series of inspiring letters. Will she be able to handle all the obstacles of war and continue to be a witness to those around her?

How long can Claire last when her heart is torn in half and she is burdened for her brother’s soul? How long can Frank resist his sister’s urgent pleas or the gentle tugging from within? Can a man outrun a holy God?

In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Devastation sweeps across the land, and the families of Maple Grove cannot escape when war arrives at their front doors. After her father entrusts her with a new and dangerous task, Sally Chandler must find the courage to obey despite her fear. Meanwhile, her best friend, Claire Harper, is determined to serve others, even if it means putting herself in danger. But with a certain handsome Union soldier stationed nearby, Claire finds her heart in danger of falling for the enemy. Their differing loyalties create complications that neither could expect; her twin brother fighting for the Confederacy is only one of them. Frank Harper left home with one goal in mind – to become a prosperous plantation owner. Two years later, not only is he further from his goal, but he’s beginning to question his own desires–something that becomes more complicated when his heart becomes involved. The families of Maple Grove must learn how to survive the uncertainty of war and a country split in two. While the war in the nation rages on, the battle within grows stronger. Will they learn that the only safe place to hide is in the shadow of Thy Wings?

My Two Cents:

These two books really bring to light the struggles and hardships brought on by the Civil War.  They also show hope, love, courage, and forgiveness. I loved how the Gospel was weaved throughout the story.

The Harper family is a close knit family and this shines throughout the books – especially in Where Can I Flee.  The letters between brother and sister (twins) are both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.

I have to admit that the beginning of the first book (Where Can I flee) was slow and it took me several chapters to get into it.  However, once I did, I really enjoyed the writing. Heath had a well developed story-line.  Her characters had depth and I found myself able to connect with them.  I wanted to see what would happen next. I do wish is that the verbiage would have been more consistent and true to the time period.  This would give the story more authenticity.  For example, most of the time Claire speaks like someone from the upper class though her family are poor farmers. Once in a while there is a “y’all” thrown in yet other times she will say “you”.  The shop keeper often times spoke like someone who  was poor.  There are a few other parts of the story I wish had more clarity and were more resolved.

Overall, I give these two book 4 out of 5 stars.  If you like historical fiction, these are two books you would definitely enjoy!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and A.M. Heath for an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.

Author Information:

Being raise in a small Tennessee town, A.M. Heath grew up with a love for southern history and nostalgia. She lives with her husband and four children in Southern Tennessee where they embrace the small town lifestyle.

Giveaway Information:

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The Amish Christmas Sleigh Review + Giveaway

The Amish Christmas Sleigh by Molly Jebber, Amy Lillard, and Kelly Long is a 384 page book in the Christian Amish fiction genre.  It is published by Kensignton and was released on September 29, 2015. To purchase your copy, click here.

Book Information:

A SLEIGH RIDE ON ICE MOUNTAIN
Kelly Long The Amish Christmas Sleigh
For solitary toy-maker Sebastian Christner, hiring Kate Zook as his new housekeeper is simply the right thing to do. Now she can support her special-needs brother. But one taste of her independent spirit is showing him undreamed-of holiday joy—and making him long to give her a home for always . . .
 
A MAMM FOR CHRISTMAS
Amy Lillard
Bernice Yoder has far too much to do to entertain holiday dreams. Even if she can help Jess Schmucker outwit his three mischievous young daughters, it’s impossible to imagine the handsome widower can see her as anything but a scolding schoolteacher. He never guesses how a magical Christmas Eve will open his eyes to love or how Der Herr will awaken their faith and hope.
 
AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS BLESSING
Molly Jebber
As much as Charity Lantz’s children need a father, the young widow isn’t sure her new neighbor Luke Fisher can ever be the right choice. They’re having more disagreements than snowflakes in December. Besides, he’s never given a sign he wants to be more than friends. Can Gott show them a way past their misunderstandings to a forever love?

My Two Cents:

I loved Molly Jebber’s story.  It was my favorite of the three!  At Christmas it can be so difficult for those who have lost a loved one. This sweet story deals with loss but it also deals with hope. Charity trusted God, for herself and for her children and he blessed her!

I was disappointed with Kelly Long’s story.  I would not classify this as Christian fiction as it has sexual content.  The content was unnecessary.  I would have loved the story otherwise.

If you are looking for a great Christmas read, both Amy Lillard and Molly Jebber’s stories make the book worth buying. I give each of their stories 5 stars.

About the Authors

Molly Jebber is an educational, motivational, and Women’s Christian Connection speaker. She was raised in a small town in the Midwest, and insists if you had blinked twice, you would’ve missed it. She loves God, her family and friends, sunshine, swimming and traveling to the Amish communities.  Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun for her. The greatest reward she’s experienced in becoming an author is meeting wonderful people from all over the world who’ve been encouraging and supportive.

Kelly Long is the author of the acclaimed Amish Patch of Heaven series and has been a finalist for the coveted Carol Award from the American Christian Fiction Writers. Her novel Lily’s Wedding Quilt was a 2011 Goodreads Favorite Book of the Year.  Born and raised in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania, she’s been married for nearly twenty-five years and has five children. Please visit her at kellylongbooks.com.
 
Amy Lillard won the 2013 Carol Award for her first Amish romance Saving Gideon. She was also a Maggie Awards finalist. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Visit her at amywritesromance.com

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Huckleberry Hearts Review + Giveaway

Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand is a 352 page novel in the Christian Amish fiction genre. It is published by Zebra Publishers and was released on November 24, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

huckleberry hearts

About the Book

Young-at-heart octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never miss the chance to find a perfect match for one of their grandchildren. And when their beloved Cassie returns to Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, Anna has a feeling they might soon have a doctor in the family…

Though Cassie Coblenz left her Amish community to go to college, Mammi and Dawdi’s farm will always feel like home. It’s the ideal place for an extended study break—at least until her grandmother’s handsome Englisch doctor becomes a regular distraction. Zach Reynolds is the kind of heartbreaker Cassie has learned to avoid, no matter how charming he may be.

Unlike every woman Zach has met in recent years, Cassie doesn’t fall at his feet. Strong, generous, beautiful within and without —she’s everything he could want. Yet the gulf between them deepens when a tragedy shakes his faith. Now the good doctor has one goal—to become a man who could be worthy of Cassie’s love…

About the Authorjennifer beckstrand

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

My Two Cents

Can I just say I love Anna and Felty? I want them to by my grandparents! I have enjoyed every single book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and Huckleberry Hearts was just as good as the other books.

The characters of Huckleberry Hearts are endearing.  I loved Cassie from the beginning.  She struggled and grew throughout the book and it was a joy to watch.  Many could relate to the question that plagued Zach Reynolds: Why does God allow bad things to happen? You will appreciate Cassie’s tender heart as she helps Zach.

Huckleberry Hearts is well-written and you can tell the author has a good understanding of the Amish culture.  The characters have depth. The author used the place and setting well – they enhanced and worked well with the story.

Not read the other books in this series? That is A-okay.  This book can be read as a standalone.

I know I will be re-reading every single book in this series for years in the future.  They are that good.  I give Huckleberry Hearts 5 out of 5 stars.  If you love good Amish fiction, this is a book you will not want to miss!

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