Sunday, May 27, 2018

Magnolia Storms - My Review

Janet Ferguson’s book Magnolia Storms was a fictional book but yet held a historical twist.  In its depths, the main character struggles with her experiences and memories of Hurricane Katrina.  Maggie Marovich lost so much that day, which makes it impossible to move forward.  There are so many areas of her life that need improvement, yet she cannot find her way to take those steps.  Sadly, when another tragedy hits her life, she must make some very difficult choices that will hopefully give her the fight to turn her life around. 

Maggie has so many wounds and rightly so.  Events in her life have not been what she wished for, and throughout her younger years, pain and hurt have wrapped themselves mercilessly around her and her family.  There have been moments when breathing seemed impossible—where fear claimed her heart.  She wants to protect her family, but they are too stubborn to listen to her advice.  Practical warnings never alter their thoughts regarding any past, present, or future trouble.  How can she ever go back to where she once was?  Will she ever understand the actions of those she loves? 

Josh Bergeron lost so much that day too.  When Hurricane Katrina swept through their town, he lost people who were like family to him.  And yet, he still chose to be a pilot--in order to recuse individuals who are in trouble at sea.  He has a son, so he knows this career comes with risks.  What would happen if he never came home?  What would happen to his son?  When the woman he once loved comes back into his life, Josh wonders if this could be a second chance for them.  However, this lady has made it perfectly clear that she will never embrace his work choice—even if she does love his son. 

This was such a great read, because it focused on trust and the strength of family.  It reminds the reader that no matter the valleys of life, it is imperative to place one’s trust in the One who can take you through it.  Despite what Maggie had to face, the Lord was with her every step of the way, which is a beautiful reminder to all of us.  No matter the storm, Someone is there to guide us through it.  If you enjoy uplifting, encouraging tales, check out this new book by Janet Ferguson.  Happy reading! 

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy. 

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live? 

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space. 

She can be found online at:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Loving Grace - Spotlight Book Tour

Title:  Loving  Grace  
Author:  April  Smith  
Publisher:  Ambassador  International  
Release  Date:  March  20,  2018  
Genre:  Christian  Fiction,  Young  Adult  Romance 

Grace  Summer  lands  herself  in  a  melon  load  of  trouble  when  she  becomes  torn  between  the  boy  of  her  dreams  and  the  boy  almost  next  door.  

As the newly crowned Watermelon Queen, she is thrust into the spotlight, meets the dreamy Warren Hartley, and continues trying to get over an accident that rocked her world. Mix in working with Beau Baron who Grace happens to fight with just about as much as breathing and the metaphorical sparks fly.

Like most things in life, Grace must learn to take the good with the bad. While the good is the handsome and fun Warren Hartley, the bad is Beau Baron—or at least being around his annoying and rude self way more than she would like. For Beau, Grace is nothing more than aggravating and an irritating reminder from the night of the accident.

Tensions soar as Grace and Beau fight to love themselves and maybe, just maybe, each other.

PURCHASE A COPY: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | CBD


April Smith grew up spending summers working on her best friend’s family watermelon farm and she was one of those watermelon queens she writes about. She has her undergraduate degree inElementary Education and a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching.  

CONNECT WITH APRIL: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

I break away from the dance floor and head to the bathroom.  Thankfully, no one is in there.  I reach the back stall and sit, not worrying at all about my evening gown.  I hear the crush of the outer layers, but what do a few tattered pieces of fabric matter when he’s just pushed my heart through a paper shredder?      

Taking deep breaths, I pray from Psalms:  Lord, the Bible says You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.  I need that right now.  I need You.  I hurt, Lord.  

Tears still stream down my face, but the suffocating pain recedes to a tolerable level.  I fix my makeup in the mirror.  Luckily, not too much damage was done.  It will be dark in the ballroom, so no one will see my red-rimmed eyes.

Loving  Grace  blitz  giveaway

Ambassador International is giving away:  

Grand Prize: (1) print copy of Loving Grace (US Only)  
PLUS 4 more winners will receive an ebook copy of Loving Grace (open internationally, except where prohibited by law)  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm June 2, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

tour  schedule

Check out the schedule at JustRead for a full list of stops & more chances to win! 


Friday, May 25, 2018

First Line Fridays

I confess--the reason I ordered this book is because the Eiffel Tower was on the front cover.  :)  When I was in college, I had the privilege of visiting the Eiffel Tower on a study abroad trip, and I have to tell you, the Eiffel Tower was more beautiful and glamorous than I was expecting.  As with most tourist spots, pictures do not do it justice.  It was actually taller than I thought it would be, and thankfully, my friend encouraged me to venture to the second level, which is where we enjoyed crepes and cafe ole.  :)  It was a wonderful adventure I will always cherish.  What have been some of your favorite travel moments?

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  Glamorous Illusions  
by Lisa T. Bergren 

And the first line is...

Montana, 1913


"As the locomotive reached the train station, I strained so hard to see my folks that my eyes hurt." 

Happy reading and happy Friday!   

Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books  to see who else is participating! 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Most Noble Heir - My Review

As many know, stories set in England tend to be my favorite, which is why I enjoyed A Most Noble Heir by Susan Ann Mason so much.  However, this text is definitely a twist from the typical tale—gentleman meets lady—because it starts in the stables.  Yes, I know at first that does not make much sense.  How can the male protagonist of the story be a person of nobility if all he does is tend to the horses?  Well my reader friends, you will have to read the book to find out.  I will say though, I love the way Mason pens the journeys of both the lead male and female characters in this text, because both individuals learn more about themselves throughout their joys and strife.  As they better understand their strengths and weaknesses, each will discover their purpose and role within the society they are deemed to enter.

Nolan Price has lived one particular way all his life.  It is all he has ever known, and thankfully he is perfectly content in his station.  Despite certain difficulties Nolan encounters, he is healthy, he has a good job, and he has found the love of his life.  Nolan believes his needs are met and that there is nothing else he could ever desire—except the love of a father. 

Hannah Burnham wants nothing more than to marry Nolan and to live happily ever after.  Yet with everything in life, a little rain must fall, and indeed it does rain on her future and possible happiness.  Everything seems perfect, after Nolan declares his love, yet deep down she knows something might occur which might ruin what they share together.  Could she be wrong though?  Even so, could she and Nolan face and rise above whatever life might throw at them? 

I love historical fiction, because it places the reader right in the middle of a particular time period, which in turn helps the reader understand the people who lived during those days.  This book exemplifies that statement, because not only will the reader recognize the troubles of the characters, but the reader will begin to fathom what it must have been like to live during these days—with all its rules and regulations.  Therefore, if you enjoy historical pieces as much as I do, I highly recommend checking out this book.  I hope you will enjoy getting to know the individuals and places in this novel as much as I did.  Happy reading!    

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope--believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father’s demanding expectations.

Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. Also a member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. 

She can be found online at:

Friday, May 18, 2018

First Line Fridays

I love Hallmark movies--especially the Christmas movies!  :)  It's so funny to see that they are already advertising their Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel right now too.  The lovely part, of course, is that most of these films are based on books--so I though I would highlight one of these stories this week.

Do you have a favorite Hallmark movie or maybe a favorite Hallmark mystery movie?  If so, I would love to hear your recommendations.  Please let me know if the comments below. 

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  Journey Back to Christmas 
by Leigh Duncan 

And the first line is...

December, 1945

"Her purse meticulously balanced in her lap, Hanna Morse crossed her ankles and pushed down a quiver of anticipation as the heavy curtains pulled away from the movie screen."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!    

Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books  to see who else is participating! 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Last Chance Wife - My Review

Janette Foreman’s newest book, Last Chance Wife, is part of the Love Inspired Historical collection.  I always enjoy reading books from this series, and this particular book fits right into that category.  It was so interesting to follow along with each character, because the reader can catch a glimpse of what it is like for a person to yield to the Lord’s direction in his or her life.  Each individual within the pages of this book had to find a new way in their journey, since their original plan dissolved before their eyes.  Will they be able to recover from faded dreams?  Can they hope to find contentment in a new path that was never considered?

Winifred Satler hopes to find love, yet each decision she makes in this regard always ends in despair.  How can so many roads be completely wrong?  She finds herself running out of options knowing that her aunt and uncle wish for her to marry soon.  Yet Winifred knows she must marry for love and not for convenience.  Will her uncle understand this, or will he continue to bring unwanted suitors to her attention? 

Ewan Burke is trying as hard as he can to make his father proud of him.  Unfortunately, his father always seems to side with his brother, as he reminds Ewan of all his mistakes.  Even so, Ewan wishes to make his life choices a success.  He must show his family that he can stand on his own two feet without having to run home for help.  At times, his life seems somewhat complete, but because there are so many issues that rob his attention, love never seems to enter his chosen path in life.  How can he find someone in the middle of nowhere?  Could there really be someone out there for him? 

This book is charming and lovely.  It is a wonderful read, because the reader will instantly identify with the plight of the characters.  As the reader follows the memorable events of the story, the storyline will the capture the reader in a way that will make the book difficult to put down.  If you love historical works, I highly recommend checking this book out. 

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy. 

When six-time mail-order bride Winifred Sattler is stranded in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, she’s grateful to find a temporary position at Mr. Ewan Burke’s business until she can return home. Ewan is handsome, but stuffy and serious—her complete opposite. Unlike her new anonymous correspondent, Mr. Businessman, who appreciates her bubbly optimism.

To keep his mining company afloat, Ewan can’t be distracted by Winifred’s vivacious beauty. He needs a no-nonsense wife. Someone like Miss Thoroughly Disgruntled, the only respondent to his recent ad with whom he truly connected. In person, Winifred and Ewan don’t get along, but in their letters they’re falling in love. Will they discover a perfect match in each other?


A former high school English teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, I’m passionate about inspirational, God-centered romances and teaching people to see themselves as having worth in God’s eyes.  I am a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), secretary of the ACFW Dakotas chapter, and am represented by Tamela Hancock Murray at the Steve Laube Agency.

When I sneak in time for my extra hobbies, I love to read, quilt, make cloth dolls, and draw. A graduate of York College and Black Hills State University, I make my home in the northern Midwest with my amazing husband, polydactyl cat, bird-hunting dog,
and the most adorable baby twin boys on the planet.

To learn more about Janette, check out her social media: 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Spirit of Christmas - Spotlight Book Tour

George Stone can’t wait for the Christmas season to be over and his employees, especially his executive assistant, Kathryn Gleason, focused once again on their work. When a missing report requires George to stop in at Kathryn’s parents’ home the day before Christmas Eve, he ends up as an unexpected guest. Between the haunting journals of his late grandfather and the unsettling dream of an unhappy future, George is swept away by the magic of Kathryn’s charm and her family’s love.
Will the Spirit of Christmas show George the happiness he’s missing and will Kathryn’s warmth and beauty melt his cold heart?

Lauraine lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy, are all grown and live across the United States. After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course!).

1. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Here are some of my favorite authors: Cindy Roland Anderson, Rachael Anders on, Cami Checketts, Diane Darcy, Regina Duke, Shannon Guymon, Shanna Hatfield, Heather Horrocks, Victorine Lieske, Lucy McConnell, Jennifer Peel, Regina Scott, Brooke St. James, Staci Stallings, and Amy Vastine to name a few! I am always trying out new authors in the genre I like to read and write.
Do they inspire your own writing? I’ve been told that to be a good writer, you should read good authors in your own genre. In that sense, yes, the authors I read inspire me. I believe the high quality of their craft rubs off on me when I write. At least, I hope so.
2. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters of your book, who would you go with and why?
I love my leading characters, but I already know them inside and out. So, I would go to lunch with Katherine’s mother, Mary. She is a positive-thinking woman who isn’t blind to the sparks flying between her daughter and George. I would love to talk to her about her faith, attitude, and peace as she deals with the difficult circumstances in her family’s lives.
3. Which character in the book was the easiest to write and why?
The easiest character to write was Katherine. She is a beautiful person inside and out. I could see her sense of spirit and confidence in her own faith as she gently works on George. The hardest and why? The hardest would be George, because he is the other leading character and I didn’t really delve into the supporting characters much. His character was more difficult because I needed to see things from the perspective of a life filled with disappointment, which isn’t my life. I drew on my imagination more when deciding the natural reaction he would have to the events of the story.
4. What inspired the idea for The Spirit of Christmas?
I love the story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Because I am always “listening” for the next inspiration for a new story, I pondered the idea of a Scrooge who would not only find the spirit of Christmas at the end of his holiday, but find love as well. From there, when I changed the Bob Cratchit character to a young woman, the story came to me quickly.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Spirit of Christmas?
Beyond the normal hope for readers to feel that they have spent a pleasant couple of hours reading about two people who found each other in the end, I want to evoke a feeling of the beauty of Christmas and the idea that people can change their attitudes when they’re exposed to positive, uplifting people (even when their lives aren’t perfect). Yet, in the end, I just want them to close the book with a smile and then tell their friends…😊
6a. What is your current WIP?
Daisies in the Driveway
6b. What can you tell us about it?It’s the story about two un-related grandchildren who are offered the opportunity to take over their respective grandparents’ Bed & Breakfast/Campground. They have a disjointed combined history connected to the bed and breakfast. Besides the tumultuous events as they learn to manage the business over the course of the summer they take over the inn, they find additional trouble by making erroneous judgment calls, temporarily preventing them from exploring their growing feelings for each other.

Kathryn awkwardly squeezed past George to leave the room. The electricity between them was almost palpable and he would have bet money she felt it as much as he did. The buzz while she passed him emphasized the emptiness he felt at Kathryn’s departure and added to his emotional strain.
It wasn’t until he started undressing that he realized how out of place his shirt and slacks from work appeared. The elegant cut of his business wear shouted ‘stranger’ in the make-shift bedroom of the back pantry of an old farmhouse. And until this very moment, George would have agreed and embraced the ‘stranger’ label. Now he wasn’t so sure he liked it for himself.
Loosening his tie, he slid it off his neck and rested it on the end of the bed. Pulling his shirt tail out of his pants, he unbuttoned a few buttons and then unhooked the waistband of his slacks. He looked around for a hanger, but the cupboard in the wall held only shelves and he couldn’t see anywhere to hang his pants and shirt.
“Oh!” Kathryn’s voice surprised George and he grabbed the wall to keep from falling over while his heart jumped around in his throat.
“I’m so sorry. I should have knocked. I didn’t know you would get ready so fast,” she said. The merry twinkling in her eyes as she looked him up and down in his disheveled state brought back that crimson rush.
“Did you want something?” George asked in his most boss-like manner.
Kathryn swallowed and her eyes burned into his. He hung his hands to his side, feeling exposed, even though he was still completely dressed. Had he said that wrong?
Kathryn recovered before George could answer himself. “I brought you these,” she said, holding out a pair of plaid pajama pants. “They belong to my brother-in-law so they should fit. I thought you might be more comfortable in case you had to get up in the night…or something.”
George couldn’t stop the smile as he watched Kathryn’s embarrassed face match his own for color. “Oh, uh, thank you.”
Kathryn turned away quickly, letting him know how to find the bathroom as she hustled through the kitchen.
Two hours later, George laid on his back, his arms crossed behind his head and stared at the ceiling. Visions of Kathryn sitting at the dinner table, tucking her nieces and nephew into bed, and bringing him pajamas refused to fade away and let him sleep. The memory of her uncontrollable laughter echoed in his heart. Rolling over, he buried his face into the pillow and groaned. The scent of her soft floral perfume infiltrated his defenses until he gave in and relaxed. It was only then that he finally succumbed to a fitful sleep.

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Tour Schedule

Reviewer: Mindy Houng