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Friday, January 27, 2023

My Thoughts - Shattered Reflection Author: Madisyn Carlin


About the Book

Book: Shattered Reflection

Author: Madisyn Carlin

Genre: New Adult Christian Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling

Release date: December 21, 2022

Can hope be found for four shattered souls?

Princess Nordica Icerri’s crown will be purchased with blood—her blood. Now the sole heir to the throne, she is determined to be the queen the Snowlands deserve, but that comes with a price: a numbed heart and soul. Only when she meets kidnapped physician Loren Alocer does Nordica allow herself to hope she can become queen without completely losing herself. But not everyone wants what’s best for the Snowlands, and Nordica’s upcoming rule is compromised at every turn. Can the criminal physician—and his faith—thaw Nordica’s heart, or is she destined to be the heartless queen she is being forced to become?

War shattered not only Breac Finson’s heart, but his faith as well. Tired of fighting, Breac only wants to be left alone, but his efforts are for naught when a friend calls in a favor. He soon finds himself in an unexpected alliance with Layree Alocer, a woman determined to find her wrongfully-kidnapped brother at all costs. Can a broken soldier help right a wrong—and find his faith again in the process?

Sides must be chosen and loyalties will be tested as a new war approaches. Can broken lives be mended in time to help save the Snowlands, or is evil already too deeply embedded?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.

Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin

 

More from Madisyn

What comes to your mind when you think about fairytale retellings? Is it Disney’s 1950 retelling of Cinderella? Glittery swirls of magic? Talking animals? Pretty gowns? Or, perhaps, frying pans or a sassy dragon?

 

My interest regarding fairytales was first piqued when I was young. Though I was only three, I distinctly remember riding in the car and flipping through the three-story fairytale collection my mom just purchased for me. I couldn’t read, but the bright colors and abundance of animals entranced me. Now I not only read fairytales, I write retellings of them.

 

Why, though? Aren’t fairytales just fun stories that sometimes impart a lesson?

 

No. Fairytales are much more than that. The majority of fairytales contain deep, important lessons the authors or culture of that time wanted their readers and listeners to learn from. Fairytales offer encouragement, hope, and include gentle reminders about doing the right thing even when we don’t want to.

 

Take, for instance, The Snow Queen, which is the fairytale I modeled Shattered Reflection after. In The Snow Queen, the forefront themes are loyalty and perseverance. No matter what trials the female protagonist endures, she pushes on with the mindset that rescuing her best friend is worth the effort and pain.

 

Aside from being rich in wry humor, breathtaking scenic descriptions and worldbuilding, and interesting characters, The Snow Queen contains faith and reminds readers that our ultimate source of strength is God—not ourselves.

 

This is what I wanted to emulate in Shattered Reflection. This story—with its broken characters, tattered kingdoms, and insidious antagonists—contains plenty of faith amidst pain, questions, and wounded hearts. I wanted to illustrate that, no matter what we’re going through, God is in control and nothing and no one ever slips from His grasp.

 

What is Shattered Reflection?

Title: Shattered Reflection
Series: The Shattered Lands | Book One
Genre: NA Christian Fantasy
Subgenre: Fairytale retelling (The Snow Queen)
POVS: 5
Ages: Appropriate for ages 15+ due to non-graphic violence
Core Themes: Salvation, Loyalty, and Forgiveness

 

Shattered Reflection is a Christian fairytale retelling which incorporates heavy faith elements, numerous action scenes, clean romance, and plenty of evil villains.

 

Content Warning:
SR1 contains heavy topics, although none are described in a gratuitous and gory manner. There is also a lot of violence, so I do not recommend this book for anyone younger than fifteen. If you are older than fifteen and are easily bothered by such content, then this probably is not the book for you.

My Thoughts

Shattered Reflections is book one in the Shattered Lands series. This series is written by Madisyn Carlin. This is the first book that O have read by this author and it will not be my last. She transported me into her fictional world within the first few pages. I love the snark that was peppered into the story. It made me laugh.

The author has written some detailed descriptions to ensure that you can close your eyes and see what is unfolding around you. The beginning of the book has a map where it’s helpful to reference to grasp the full story. The story flips back and forth between various characters. Multiple POV in this story had me deeply invested into the lives of our characters. The transition is seamless and I didn’t have any problems following along.


The author has woven in a beautiful fantasy story that has high stakes for those involved. Within that story she has you on a thrilling adventure that will cause you to forget about everything else you’ve got going on so you can keep reading. She also has twists and turns that you will not be expecting. The best part about it is it’s a wholesome Christian fantasy. The theme ties together love, redemption, mercy and most importantly forgiveness.

The characters are well written. The storyline is intriguing. The descriptions and details that the author puts in are magnificent. I can’t wait until the next book on the series.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

To Everything There Is A Season, January 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 24

Cover Lover Book Review, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 28

Literature Approved, January 28

Denise L. Barela, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30

Blogging With Carol, January 31

Through the Fire Blogs, February 1

Pause for Tales, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Rebecca Tews, February 4

Holly’s Book Corner, February 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Madisyn is giving away the grand prize package of one autographed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23bc6/shattered-reflection-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Thoughts -Max by Izzy James

Max JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Max by Izzy James, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book


Max: A Yorktown Christmas

Title: Max

Series: The Yorktown Christmas Time Travel Series

Author: Izzy James

Publisher: Bent Knee Press

Release Date: December 2019

Genre: Christian Romance, Time Travel

Trapped in his conservatory for 250 years by the curse of an enraged woman, Max appears to Olivia just before Christmas. Olivia is a young woman waiting for the right man to recognize her strengths and talents. Can Olivia help Max break the curse without breaking her heart?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


About the Author

Izzy James

Izzy James is the pen name of Elizabeth Chevalier Hull. Elizabeth grew up in coastal Virginia surrounded by the history of the founding of our nation. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

Connect with Izzy by visiting izzyjamesauthor.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


MY THOUGHTS



Max is a time travel novella that is written by Izzy James. This is the first book in the Yorktown Christmas Time-Travel Series. I read the books a bit out of order, but that did not take anything away from the story. Max Ballard has been trapped in a curse for over 250 years - he has been able to watch and observe but all of a sudden Olivia can see him.




Olivia had heard the stories of Colonial times when Max Ballard disappeared. She is shocked when she sees him in front of her. She tells her grandmother, Dr. Rita Woods (she has her own story in book 3) and her grandmother encourages her to see what she can do to try and break the curse. I think my favorite scene was when Max ventures out into the city. Dressed in colonial garb, he is fascinated by everything that he sees in front of him.




I also loved how the author had Olivia witnessing to Max. Making sure his soul was in order was high importance. The characters are well written - the storyline intriguing. I have enjoyed this novella series.



Thank you to the author, publisher and JustRead Publicity Tours, all thoughts are my own.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!

(1) additional winner will receive a print copy of the book!

Max JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 24, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

My Thoughts - The Two-Cent Piece Author: Dennis Conrad (Illustrated by Courtney Smith)

 


About the Book

Book: The Two-Cent Piece

Author: Dennis Conrad (Illustrated by Courtney Smith)

Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Fiction)

Release date: September 3, 2022

Anne wonders what secret her three older brothers are hiding. When she finds out they joined to fight with the Union Army and would leave the next day, she gives them each one of her favorite two-cent pieces and says, “I want you to take one of my new two-cent pieces. I learned these coins are the first to have the words ‘In God We Trust.’ I just memorized Psalm 91:2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’”

Out of a heart of love, Anne gives six of her special coins away hoping the message on the two-cent pieces will strengthen each person’s faith.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

A former coin collector for over fifty years, Dennis combines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.

He retired as a professor of Speech Communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

The Two-Cent Piece is Dennis’s first of seven books in the In God We Trust Series from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

 

More from Dennis

HOMESCHOOLERS, TEACHERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS –

Coin collecting brings together history, art, and the thrill of discovery.

Children who collect coins will LOOK at coins differently. They can…

 

Look for people. For example, who is on the nickel? (Hint: Thomas Jefferson)

The new quarters featuring women include coins with Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star; Nina Otero-Warren, who advocated for women’s suffrage and was a government official in New Mexico; and Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

 

Look for places. The state quarter series includes all of the states like California with Yosemite Valley.

 

Look for dates. Connect coins to historical events. For example, coins minted in 2001 were minted the same year as the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001.

 

Look at coins as art. The people who design coins are artists.

 

Look for and find coins in change. Let the great adventure begin.

 

Look and learn why some coins are more valuable than other coins. There is a difference between the face value of a coin (a dime is worth ten cents), and its value to collectors.

 

Are you a homeschooler, a teacher, or a family member who wants to help children start their first coin collection?

 

Get Free Resources about coin collecting by conveniently subscribing to Dennis Conrad’s newsletter.

 

You will receive a link to my resource page, where you will find two free resources. One for ages 5-6 year olds, and another for ages 7 and up. Or you can choose both. Let the fun begin! https://dennisconradauthor.com/coincollecting5/

My Thoughts 

The Two-Cent Piece is a children’s picture book that is written by  Dennis Conrad and illustrated by Courtney Smith. My children and I really enjoyed this book. It is set during the Civil War time and tells a unique story. Anne goes to the shop to buy her brother a birthday gift - and the shopkeeper talks to her about the two cent pieces. She selects the gift.

Over dinner, Anne’s brothers tell her that they are going to fight for the Union. Anne gives them each a two cent piece to keep them safe. She tells them about how they have “In God we trust” and the verses that she has learned because of them. She tells them that she trusts God to keep them safe. 

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that is about trusting God. It’s written perfectly for children. Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, January 18

Girls in White Dresses, January 18

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 20

For Him and My Family, January 20

Cover Lover Book Review, January 21

A Reader’s Brain, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 28

Labor Not in Vain, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Lights in a Dark World, January 30

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, January 31

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dennis is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a hardcover copy of The Two-Cent Piece!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23bc2/the-two-cent-piece-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Thoughts - The Amish Bachelor's Bride by Pamela Desmond Wright

 The Amish Bachelor's Bride JustRead Blog + Review Tour


Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Amish Bachelor's Bride by Pamela Desmond Wright, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book


The Amish Bachelor's Bride

Title: The Amish Bachelor's Bride

Author: Pamela Desmond Wright

Publisher: Love Inspired

Release Date: January 24, 2023

Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance, Amish Fiction

Marrying in name only…

Could lead to more than they expected

Single mother Lavinia Simmons’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her late husband gambled away their home. A quick marriage of convenience to bachelor Noem Witzel in return for caring for his niece and nephew is the solution both Lavinia and Noem need. Neither of them is looking for romance. But what if these perfect strangers have other ideas?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


About the Author

Pamela Desmond Wright

Pamela Desmond Wright grew up in a small, dusty Texas town. Like the Amish, Pamela is a fan of the simple life. Her childhood includes memories of  the olden days; old-fashioned oil lamps, cooking over an authentic wood-burning stove and making popcorn over a crackling fire at her grandparents' cabin. The cabin was later donated to The Muleshoe Heritage Center in Muleshoe Texas where it can be viewed by the public.

Connect with Pamela by visiting pameladesmondwright.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

My Thoughts


The Amish Bachelor's Bride is written by Pamela Desmond Wright. You will find yourself lost in the story within the first few pages of the book. Lavinia Simmons lost her husband, Josiah. She did not know he was leading a double life and had gambled away their home and so much more. She is not sure where she is going to live with her young daughter. Noem Witzel has recently gained custody of his niece and nephew after his sister passed away. He has no idea what to do with the two young childrens that are now in his care. His father, Gabriel is NOT happy that he is taking them on.

Enter the Bishop. He comes up with a solution to both of their issues. Get Married. Amish widows get married again sometimes quickly - and Noem needs a women's touch to help him with the kids. They both agree, they grew up together and Noem had a crush on her back in the day. Gabriel lashes out left and right making everyone feel uncomfortable.

I loved seeing the characters grow together - the author did a great job building their relationship up. The characters are well written and the story line is intriguing. Thank you to the author, publisher and JustRead Publicity Tours for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7!

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The Amish Bachelor's Bride JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 23, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 30, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

My Thoughts - Her Valentine Cowboy Author: Kit Hawthorne

 

About the Book









Book: Her Valentine Cowboy 

Author: Kit Hawthorne

Genre: Harlequin Heartwarming 

Release date: January 24, 2023


About the Author




Kit Hawthorne makes her home in south central Texas on her husband’s ancestral farm, where seven generations of his family have lived, worked, and loved. When not writing, she can be found reading, drawing, sewing, quilting, reupholstering furniture, playing Irish pennywhistle, refinishing old wood, cooking huge amounts of food for the pressure canner, or wrangling various dogs, cats, goats, and people.
Find out more at her website: HERE

My Thoughts


Her Valentine Cowboy is written by Kit Hawthorne. This book is part of the Truly Texas series. I have not read all of the books in the series and I did not have any issues following along. This is part of the Harlequin Heartwarming series - where you know you will have clean, wholesome romance to read.

Susana runs a horse boarding business - she has bigger dreams to include trails, more horses and stalls. However it seems like it's just a dream. Roque inherited his step-grandfather's horse, Cisco. He knows he has to provide more then he has been for him. He is trying to get enough funds together to do so. However, he is an outsider to them and they are not letting him in so easily. The horse escapes and finds his way to Susana's ranch. Roque and Susana strike a deal - Cisco can board at her place, and he can work for her 20 hours a week. Things progress well - they start feeling an attraction - then Susana gets hurt and so much changes.

I loved seeing the characters evolve through the story. They are well written. You are pulled into the story right away. Thank you to the author for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own