Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Passenger Series ~ Review

19 Jan, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Genres: Time Travel, Young Adult

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Passenger
Passenger #1
by Alexandra Bracken
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published January 5th 2016
by Disney-Hyperion
Amazon* Goodreads

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn’t even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies–the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web.

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light–threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home… forever.

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Wayfarer
Passenger #2
by Alexandra Bracken
Hardcover, 532 pages
Published January 3rd 2017
by Disney-Hyperion
Goodreads* Amazon

I’ve been orphaned by my time.
The timeline has changed.
My future is gone.

Etta Spencer didn’t know she was a traveler until the day she emerged both miles and years from her home. Now, robbed of the powerful object that was her only hope of saving her mother, Etta finds herself stranded once more, cut off from Nicholas-the eighteenth century privateer she loves-and her natural time.

When Etta inadvertently stumbles into the heart of the Thorns, the renegade travelers who stole the astrolabe from her, she vows to finish what she started and destroy the astrolabe once and for all. Instead, she’s blindsided by a bombshell revelation from their leader, Henry Hemlock: he is her father. Suddenly questioning everything she’s been fighting for, Etta must choose a path, one that could transform her future.

Still devastated by Etta’s disappearance, Nicholas has enlisted the unlikely help of Sophia Ironwood and a cheeky mercenary-for-hire to track both her and the missing astrolabe down. But as the tremors of change to the timeline grow stronger and the stakes for recovering the astrolabe mount, they discover an ancient power far more frightening than the rival travelers currently locked in a battle for control. . . a power that threatens to eradicate the timeline altogether.

From colonial Nassau to New York City, San Francisco to Roman Carthage, imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, New York Times #1 best-selling author Alexandra Bracken charts a gorgeously detailed, thrilling course through time in this stunning conclusion to the Passenger series

Review

What originally drew me to this series were the covers and the promise of travel on the high seas. Both Passenger and Wayfarer have stunning covers which draw readers in. I was browsing at our bookstore for something to take on a trip and this seemed the perfect match.  I am always intrigued by books that span more than one historical time period and give me a peek into how others lived. Etta James is thrust into a passageway of time and is a time traveler much to her surprise. She has no idea of her heritage or the sinister plot of her enemies that pulls her through one time and place after another.

Carter is a bi racial slave’s son who is used as a guide and host to his half-brother’s own travels. He wins his freedom and is adopted by a shipmaster. The sea is his love, a future ship his master. The Passenger series is rich with detail, but at times slow. Both books are long and reading them back to back within a few days may have made the pacing seem much slower to me. The tone is darker than I enjoy. By the end of Wayfarer, I was weary of the action, the violence and heartbreak. I was ready for redemption and a glimmer of positive news. I think perhaps a trilogy may have been a wise choice to break up the two books into three, and to flesh out the final chapter a bit. It leaves readers wondering what happened to Etta’s parents and how the resolution came about as it did.

I bought both books and will be taking them to my local bookstore for trade. There are some content issues that keep me from wanting to keep them on my shelves for younger readers. I skimmed some paragraphs and at times almost abandoned the books all together.  I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy them as much as I had hoped. I would take the covers and frame them though! If you are a fan of darker time travel with lots of diversity, this series will appeal to you.

Content- Lord’s name in vain, moderate violence, teen sex, LGBT relationship.

about_ the_author

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona. The daughter of a Star Wars collector, she grew up going to an endless string of Star Wars conventions and toy fairs, which helped spark her imagination and a deep love of reading. After graduating high school, she attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she double majored in English and History. She sold her first book, Brightly Woven, as a senior in college, and later moved to New York City to work in children’s book publishing, first as an editorial assistant, then in marketing. After six years, she took the plunge and decided to write full time. She now lives in Arizona with her tiny pup, Tennyson, in a house that’s constantly overflowing with books.
Alex is a #1 New York Times bestselling and USA TODAY bestselling author. Her work is available across the world in over 15 languages.

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The Inventor’s Secret Books 2 & 3

12 Jan, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

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The Conjurer’s Riddle
The Inventor’s Secret #2
by Andrea Cremer
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 3rd 2015
by Philomel Books
Amazon* Goodreads

Charlotte may have left the Floating City, but she’s not out of danger yet. On the run from the British Empire’s clutches, she leads her group of exiles west and south, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans.

But the more Charlotte learns about the revolution she has championed, the more questions she has. As she and her friends get to know the hidden tunnels that run below New Orleans, home to criminals, assassins, and pirates, and head deep into the mystical bayou surrounding the city, Charlotte must make a decision.

Do the revolution’s goals justify their means, or are some things too sacred to sacrifice?

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The Turncoat’s Gambit
The Inventor’s Secret #3
by Andrea Cremer
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 15th 2016
by Philomel Books
Goodreads*Amazon

Charlotte is on the run. The Empire is hunting her. The Revolution wants her back. And Charlotte has allied herself with pirates, just to stay safe.

But things are not what they seem. There’s a traitor in the revolutionaries’ midst pulling unseen strings, and surprises lurk around every corner. As Charlotte is left to sort out what she truly thinks about the revolution she’s spent her whole life fighting for, she must also battle to keep herself and her friends alive.

 

What a whirlwind of a series. Books 2 and 3 concentrate more on action and adventure than romance. The setting fluctuates between New Orleans, a city where all must wear masks with a gritty underground, the open sea, a military prison, a floating city, and the headquarters of the resistance. There are secret societies, magic, pirates, sisters who hold spiritual power, and a turncoat. While I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series, I think book one was my favorite.

Charlotte is an outstanding female heroine with a conscience and one who follows her moral compass. Most of books two and three there is a rift between her and Jack, while interest in the other Winter brother heats up in book two. Book three holds a darker tone as it is wartime. There’s more action and violence, which I personally do not favor. I was disappointed in Charlotte and Ash’s mother, and Jack & Coe’s father which both have a cold distant heart.

Favorite elements: the party in New Orleans, the moments between Linett and her pirate, the apothecary mentions.

I’m sad to see this series end! It’s an amazing adventure which I highly recommend.

Content: moderate violence, seduction and romantic tension, implied intimacy threat of assault, drinking.

about_ the_authorAndrea Cremer is the author of the internationally bestselling Nightshade series. She spent her childhood daydreaming and roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. Before she wrote her first novel, Andrea was a history professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her books, she strives to bring together her two passions: history and fantasy. Andrea now lives in New York and writes full time.

To contact Andrea, please visit, andreacremer.com

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A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas~ Netgalley Review

27 Dec, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas~ Netgalley Review

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas

by Darcie Boleyn
Published by Canelo on November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Chick Lit, Christmas
Pages: 201
Format: eARC
four-half-stars
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book
Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?

A holiday read with a magical setting, A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas was the perfect escape. Lucie is invited to be a bridesmaid to her college friend Petra in Manhattan, and needs a plus one. What better choice than Dale, who has been by her side since they were children. The two have to find a way to break it to his parents that he will not be home for Christmas, but taking a trip abroad. And, Lucie will have to somehow overcome her core aversion to celebrating the holiday which reminds her of all she has lost.

Prepare to laugh and swoon and have a wonderful diversion via these two in their thirties who are seemingly perfect for each other, but need to figure it out on their own. Thanks so much to Netgalley for the free copy! Some adult content, more than I would have liked, not for readers under 18.

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Mischief and Manors Blog Tour

26 Dec, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Mischief-and-Manors-blog-tour-banner Mischief-and-Manors-9781462119370

About the Book

When Annette Downing and her mischievous little brothers are sent to Kellaway Manor for the summer, she hopes for a relaxing escape. But Annette finds her closeted heart in jeopardy when reunited with the handsome Owen Kellaway, a childhood acquaintance and respected gentlemen. When Owen is enlisted to help the boys with their behavior, Annette wonders if he has just as much mischief up his sleeve as her brothers. Bound by a promise she made to her late parents, and amid a frightening mystery, Annette faces a difficult decision when she finds herself falling for Owen’s charm.

Amazon

About the Author

Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah, with her family.

Blog Tour

“Mischief and Manors” schedule:
December 13: Getting Your Read On
December 14: Compass Book Ratings
December 15: Cause Everyone Needs Romance
December 16: Book Loving Mommy
December 17: The Things I Love Most
December 18: The View From My Window
December 19: Mel’s Shelves || Wishful Endings
December 20: Katie’s Clean Book Collection || Rockin’ Book Reviews
December 21: Bookworm Lisa
December 22: Jorie Loves a Story
December 23: Why Not? Because I Said So
December 24: Blooming With Books
December 25: Bab’s Book Bistro
December 26: Kindle and Me || My Book a Day || Writing Worm || Fire and Ice
December 27Jorie Loves a Story || Literary Time Out
December 28My Love for Reading Keeps Growing || Robyn Echols Books

 

 

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Netgalley Review~ All I Want for Christmas

08 Dec, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Netgalley Review~ All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas

by Jenny Hale
Published by Bookouture on October 6, 2016
Genres: Adult, Christmas, Contemporary
Pages: 233
Format: eARC
five-stars
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Christmas comes once a year . . . But true love comes once in a lifetime.

Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.

But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.

Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.

They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.

Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?

This book is absolute Christmas perfection. Clean, with characters who value family, and a dreamy Virginia historic home as the setting. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies, then settle in to read a tale that will tug at your heart strings.

Leah heads to her grandmother’s plantation to strike a deal and face her grief. What she finds is that her “Nan” knew exactly how to pull together all the loose ends and create a holiday miracle. There are family secrets, childhood memories and renovations to tackle. The characters were wonderful. I haven’t read a book that made me cry in quite a while. This was the perfect mix of feel good relationships, the sights, smells and messages of the season. Highly recommend!

Author Bio

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result is Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.

The rest is history.

When I’m not writing, I’m a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

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A Breath of Frost

22 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

A Breath of Frostby Alexandra Harvey
Published by Walker Childrens on January 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 482
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Library
Buy the BookGoodreads
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

Wow. I picked this one up at our local library for some holiday reading, and bam! finished it all in one day. Where to begin? Set in Regency London during the time of debutante balls and underground secret societies, A Breath of Frost takes readers on a wild supernatural ride. Told from various points of view, I got to know several characters in depth. There’s a murder mystery, hidden portals, magic, and breakdowns of class within society. The writing is rich, detailed and multi layered. Setting is atmospheric with gas lamps, cobblestone roads, rooftop scenes and lavish parties.

Really, there’s so much to love in this fast moving plot! I will be reading book two and downloading book three, a hard to find short. Buckle up for a 400+ page novel with Herne the Hunter, Little Red and Grim Sister references. about_ the_authorAlyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

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You’ve Got This Blog Tour

08 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

I received this book for free from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You've Got This: How to Look Up When Life Has You Down, For Teens

by Elise Hahl
Published by Cedar Fort on October 11, 2016
Genres: LDS, Young Adult
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life’s trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you’re destined to be.

This small compilation of inspirational messages for teens is the perfect pick me up. You’ve Got This features two chapters about the Wilcox family moving to Chile when Brad Wilcox was a mission president and his daughter Whitney was in seventh grade. Her descriptions of the people, the food and the culture were fun to read since I served my mission in Santiago, Chile. Her message and her father’s is that you can adapt to change, you can grow and change.

Chad Hymas shares his experience of becoming paralyzed and overcoming obstacles line upon line, one little step at a time. His chapter reminds teens that there will be trials, we will feel disappointed, but we can excel. I highly recommend this book as a gift to teens and adults. It takes a few minutes to read each story and you will walk away feeling a lift. “You’ve got this!”

About the Authors

After serving as a missionary to the Brazil Manaus mission, Elise Babbel Hahl completed her studies in English at Stanford University, married her mission pen pal, and went on to earn a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been published in Choosing Motherhood, Whereabouts: Stepping Out of Place, Education Next magazine, Do NOT Attempt in Heels, and recorded on “The World in Words” podcast. She lives with her husband and four children in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Hank Smith has been a full-time religious educator for the Church for 12 years, teaching seminary and in the Religion Department at BYU. Hank is a favorite speaker with Especially for Youth, BYU Education Week, and Time Out for Women. With his trademark sense of humor and his captivating stories and examples, Hank makes it fun to learn gospel principles and strengthen personal testimonies.

Al Fox Carraway has been a popular blogger, YouTuber, and public speaker for the past several years and is most well known for the blog post, “The Tattooed Mormon.” She has been on the cover of LDS Living Magazine and has done countless radio interviews, TV interviews, and everything in between. Al won the Community Speaker award in 2014, presented by the Dean of BYU. She has traveled countryside for years speaking with well-known speakers like John Bytheway, Brad Wilcox, and General Young Women’s President, Bonnie Oscarson. Just recently she spoke to over 24,000 people with Elder Neil L. Anderson at RootsTech.

Blog Tour Schedule

 

November 1: Write, Writing, Written
November 2: LDS & Lovin’ It
November 3: Debra’s Book Cafe | Reidhead Random-ness
November 4: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
November 5:  Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 6: Brooklyn Jolley
November 7: Kensie Kate || The Power of One Girl
November 8: A Year of FHE | Fire and Ice
November 9: Singing Librarian Books | My Book a Day | Rachel Writes
November 10: Bookworm Lisa | My Little Sunshines
November 11: I Love to Read and Review Books | Brooklyn Berry
November 12: Not Your Relief Society Book Club
November 13: Pixx Digital Media
November 14: Jorie Loves a Story | Mel’s Shelves | Sweetly Made

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The Unsaid by Aaron Blaylock~ Spotlight

07 Nov, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

The Unsaid

by Aaron Blaylock
on October 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, LDS
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
Maggie’s job at the Department of Thoughts and Records in heaven is pretty simple. She is a spirit curator—an observer of human life who sorts and categorizes every unsaid thought. When Eric, her beholden, shows interest in the new girl at work, Maggie can’t help ignoring the rules to understand the wonders of mortality and love. But meddling in mortal affairs has consequences that Maggie couldn’t have ever imagined . . .

Goodreads * Amazon

About the Author

Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California and as a missionary in Jamaica, where he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the valley of the sun.

He married his childhood crush, and the girl of his dreams, in 2001. Together they are raising four beautiful and rambunctious children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years, combining his love of writing and sports. In his storytelling he draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

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For This We Are Soldiers Blog Tour

28 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army

by Carla Kelly
Published by Sweetwater on October 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 221
Format: Paperback
Source: Sweetwater Press
Buy the BookGoodreads
From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

Carla Kelly is a master at historical fiction. She has a way of adding details true to the era, personalities, language, and setting elements that transport the reader. For This We Are Soldiers includes short novellas from the Indian Wars, some previously published, and other short stories are brand new. It is a compilation that gives a sample of the hardships of war, the day in and day out interactions and romance between unlikely candidates. Ms. Kelly knows her Western history and these heroines have true grit.

Content is clean, but best suited for adults as there is innuendo about marital relations. This reference could have been a left over from the previously published mass market romance version of the short story.

About the Author

Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for “Borrowed Light,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”

The Tour

October 11: Writing Worm
October 12: Heidi Reads
October 13: Live to Read
October 14: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
October 15: I Am a Reader
October 16: I Love to Read and Review Books
October 17: Bookworm Nation
October 18: Emmy Mom
October 19: Robyn Echols Books
October 20: Getting Your Read On | Wishful Endings
October 21: LDS and Lovin’ It
October 22: Bookworm Lisa
October 23: Books and Benches
October 24: Blooming with Books | Julie Coulter Bellon
October 25: Bookworm2Bookworm
October 26: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
October 27: My Book a Day | Rockin’ Book Reviews
October 28: Fire and Ice

 

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An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel

20 Oct, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Avon Inspire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel

by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Charmed Amish Life #4
Published by Avon Inspire on October 18, 2016
Genres: Adult, Amish Fiction, Christmas
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Avon Inspire
Buy the BookGoodreads
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

Immerse yourself in the Christmas season with Shelley Shepard Gray’s last novel in the Charmed Amish Life series. Levi Kisinger is recovering from the loss of his father which prompts him to move out of the big family farm to his own place on Jupiter street.Julia Kemp and her daughter Penny are neighbors, but they keep to themselves, until she locks herself out in the snow and Levi happens upon the scene. Both are in rough patches of life where they struggle to trust others, and to move forward. Ultimately, God’s hand prevails.

Readers will enjoy the candid handling of issues like domestic violence with a hopeful background and resolution. Levi’s character is one of fierce protector and gentle father figure. The setting is idyllic recognizing there are problems in the world but there is always a greater good. Perfect for the holiday season, I recommend the entire series for purchase. Enjoy clean, Amish fiction.

Author Bio


I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.

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