Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish – Win a KitchenAid Mixer!

Blurb:

A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

You can purchase it here: Amazon * B&N * BAM * CBD * Deeper Shopping

 

About the Author:


Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she’s not writing, she’s a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church’s youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

You can find Christa here: Website * Twitter * Pinterest * Facebook

~My Review~

 
Liesl McNamara was a bread maker by trade but it was more than that. Making bread was a family tradition that was passed from generation to generation. She learned to make bread at the hands of her mother and grandmother, Oma, from the time she was a little girl. When she found her mother dead at the age of only thirteen, Liesl closed herself off from the world eventually turning to bread making as an escape from the memories that haunted her. Now, years later, she hides from the past in her bake house, Wild Rise. Because her apprentice sends in an application for the TV show Bake-Off, Liesl sons finds herself in the middle of production with some hard decisions to make. But a little girl and her father have worked their way into her life and heart and Liesl has to decide if she is willing to let go of the past and look toward the future.
Seamus Tate is the new flour delivery man for Wild Rise bake house. After his wife walked out he found himself as a single father trying to raise a six year-old alone. When his daughter, Cecelia, becomes attached to the bakery owner he soon finds himself becoming attached to her as well. Liesl has worked her way into his heart and when his mother becomes ill and needs constant care Seamus has no choice but to return to Tennessee. Is his love enough for Liesl? Can she give up the one thing she has always used as a balm to her wounds? Or will she give up the only true love she has ever known?
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this book. I love the traditions ingrained in Liesl’s family. The bread making that was passed from generation to generation is something to be admired because it brought a closeness between Liesl, her mother and grandmother. Bread making was their solace and that is a beautiful thing. There are a lot of descriptions on bread and bread making all throughout the story. So much so that I feel like bread makers will be more likely to get the most out of the story. I loved her mix matched “family” though. They are described on page 211 like this, “…odd, growing Wild Rise family of immigrants, high school dropouts, nerdy engineers, flirty artists, fundamentalist farm girls, and everyone else.” This is such an accurate description and you can’t help but love the characters. Xavier and Tee especially. It also covered an issue that is seldom discussed and that is, self-inflicted pain. Kids often inflict pain upon themselves as a way of dealing with the problems going on in their lives. In Liesl’s case she would beat her legs with a hairbrush until she was black and blue. I feel it’s a problem that should be addressed more and I give a thumbs up to Christa Parrish for bringing it to light.
I am a romance junkie at heart, though, and I feel like the one thing I love took a backseat to everything else. The romance between Liesl and Seamus was slow in developing and I really like that but I wanted to read more about it. I wish it had been woven into the story more often. Seamus was such a sweet, teddy bear of a man and I would like to have seen more of him. Also, all throughout the book the story would just stop and there would be a section connecting Jesus, the Bread of Life, to the bread we consume daily and then the story would resume where it left off. While I completely agree with this theological concept, it somehow seemed misplaced for me. I’m still struggling with how to classify this book as well. Is it romance, self-help or women’s fiction maybe? I’ll let you be the judge. I also feel like there was a loose end. I like my books all tied up in neat little packages but I felt like there was a loose thread left hanging. If you are a romance junkie like I am, while you might like the sense of family this book evokes, you may not love the story as a whole quite as much. However, if you are a bread enthusiast I do recommend it as you will most likely love it because it has a lot of references to and instructions on bread and bread making and it also includes several recipes.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

 

My Rating: 3 Stars *** 

 

 *Tweetables*

 
 
 
 
 

 

Q & A: I ask the question and you answer with your own personal thoughts! 🙂

 
Bread making was a beloved tradition for Liesl’s family that was passed down from generation to generation. It was something that drew them closer and gave them a special bond. What traditions do you cherish in your family?
 
 
 
 

~Giveaway~

 

Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.

#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://bit.ly/1aBTNz9

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It’s true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa’s Facebook Page.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay – Win a Kindle Fire HDX & An Austen-Themed Prize Pack!

Cover Rating: 4 Stars ****

Blurb:

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

You can purchase it here: AmazonB&N * BAM * CBD * Deeper Shopping

About the Author:

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Find Katherine here: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads

~My Review~

 
 

Samantha Moore had had a rough childhood with an abusive father, a drug addict as a mother and moving from foster home to foster home. Then she found herself at a Grace House, a home for wayward and orphaned kids, and under the supervision if Father John. Sam had always lived in her books and, being a fan of Jane Austen, she often quoted her characters as a way to hide her true self. When Father John suggested her as a scholarship candidate to the Dover Foundation she refused because she wanted to do things on her own and on her own terms. After failing to do exactly that she contested the grantor of the scholarship to ask for a second chance. It was granted under one condition, that she write letters detailing her progress to his pseudonym–Mr. Knightley.

Sam soon finds herself pouring out her feelings to someone that started out as a stranger but is soon a trusted friend. With Mr. Knightley she can share her deepest, darkest secrets, her fears and her desires, and even a true love. With a new set of “parents”, new friends, a college degree and a new love blossoming in her heart, Sam is finally coming into her own and putting the fears of the past behind her. To her own amazement she is shedding her Jane Austen persona all while bearing her soul to one man and giving her heart to another. Can Sam have the life she has only dreamed of? Could this really be real or is she only a character in one of her beloved novels?

When I first opened this book I have to admit I was skeptical. A book made entirely of letters? My first thought was, “How can this possibly meet my expectations?”. Even though I have read such greats as The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate I still had reservations. Those books had such great story lines and the letters were a PART of the story, NOT the story itself. So as I delved into this story I did so with a little skepticism. Have you ever done that? Read a book that you had questions about but, once you read it, were so glad you did? That is exactly what happened. A third of the way through I knew I had chosen well, halfway through I was in tears, three quarters of the way through I was literally giddy (did I say giddy? Yes, GIDDY!) at the prospect of how the story was going to turn out every time I picked the book back up to start reading again. I have read tons of books in my life and, although I have seen times I didn’t want to put a book down, I have never felt giddy at re-entering a story. The way Sam bared her soul to Mr. Knightley just tore at my heart. I felt every heartache and disappointment she went through. I felt every loss and rejection and rejoiced with every happy moment Sam experienced. And when she finally found love, which she desperately deserved, I was ecstatic! It takes good writing to bring out those kind of emotions and in the form of letters? Excellent! If you love a story with depth and feeling, a story that makes you feel like you’re a part of it, you’ll love Dear Mr. Knightley. And, I must add, it’s a DEBUT novel! Which obviously means I have many more books to look forward to from Katherine Reay. I was SO pleased with this book and I recommend it HIGHLY!

 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review. These opinions are mine and mine alone. I was in no way compensated for this review.

My Rating: 5 Stars *****

 

*Tweetables*

 
 
 
 
 

Q & A: I ask the question and you answer with your own personal thoughts! 🙂

While writing her letters, Sam was writing to a pseudonym (A fictitious name). She had no idea who the recipient was or anything about them and that made it easier to be truthful about herself and dig deeper into her life and past. Do you think you could bare your soul completely to a stranger under these circumstances or would it have to be someone you know very well?

 
 
 
 
 
 

Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.

dearmrknightley-400

One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 



But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Dear Mr. Knightley” Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine’s next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

Win an iPad Mini! Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher Blog Tour!

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: September 24, 2013
Pages: 352
Publisher: Zondervan
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance
ASIN: B00BW295KG
Book Source: I received this book for free from Zondervan for my honest review.

Blurb:

Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for seven years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition—-she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

You can purchase it Here:
Deeper Shopping  *  Barnes & Noble  *  Amazon  *  BAM  *  CBD

Author Bio:

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of 70 books. Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin and her husband currently reside in Idaho.

You can find Robin Here:
Website  *  Blog  *  Facebook  * 
Twitter  *  Pinterest

My Review:

After her husband was presumed dead while fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba, Diana Brennan had finally decided to move on with her life. Little did she know on the night her engagement to Brook Calhoun was to be announced, her “deceased” husband would show up. Shortly after her marriage to Tyson Applegate he broke her heart when he up and left to travel the world. Diana loved Tyson with her whole heart but the one thing she couldn’t do was make him love her back. Now after years of grieving his absence and his presumed death, he has watlzed back into her life. What Diana can’t figure out is why but, regardless of the reason, she refuses to let him back into her heart.

Tyson Applegate ran. It is as simple as that. He ran from his tyrant of a father. He ran from his marriage. He ran away from everything he had ever known. But when he learns Diana is having him declared legally dead so she can marry another man he knows he can’t let it happen. During all of his travels and time fighting in Cuba he finally realized something… He loves his wife. Totally and completely. But now he must find a way to get Diana to trust him again. He knows he needs her by his side as he runs for the senate and he uses that fact along with under-handed tactics to get Diana to agree to live with him for six months as a trial basis. If he can’t prove he is a changed man and that his love for Diana is real, she is free to leave and live her life without him. Can Tyson prove his love and heal Diana’s broken heart in time?

Beloved is the third book in the Where the Heart Lives series. Robin Lee Hatcher finishes her series off with finesse. Diana lacks the ability to trust and it’s understandable after what she has been through. In her young life her father deserted his family, her mother died when she was only six, she was seperated from her brother and sister and her husband abandoned her and left her broken. So, yes, she had trust issues. But she was also a woman that loved completely, with her whole heart. I loved it when she finally stopped being meek and found her backbone. She had her doubts about God because of all of the things that had happened to her but in the end she rejoiced in where He had led her. She went from uncertain to positive of her Creator’s undyling love and ever flowing Grace.

Tyson got my ire up with the way he had treated Diana but, as the story progressed, I came to understand just why he did the things he did and I became his champion. I so wanted Diana to hurry and give him a break and I laughed out loud when Tyson discovered Ned, the homeless boy that came to live with them, had a dog. The following paragraph reads: “A wife, Tyson had wanted. A widowed mother-in-law, he’d expected. But a cat, an orphan and now a stray dog as well? What a menagerie! Exactly when had he lost control of his household?” LOL Poor Tyson! But in the end he showed himself to be a man that Diana admired. He would move mountains for her and that makes for a good romance!

I have never been disapointed with one of Miss Robin’s books yet. This was a beautiful story of, not only rekindled love but rekindled faith as well. I was led on a journey from beginning to end and when I reached the final destination I was thoroughly satisfied with the story as a whole. Love, romance, a spiritual awakening and a little suspense thrown in. There is something for everyone among the pages of this book. If you haven’t read it yet, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine alone and mine alone and I received no monetary compensation.

My Rating:

Click to Tweet: Can He Win Her Trust And Ultimately Mend Her Broken Heart?”

Robin Lee Hatcher is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Belovedwith an iPad Mini giveaway! 

beloved-rafflecopter

 
  One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 15th. Winner will be announced November 16th at Robin’s blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin’s blog on the 16th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)!

The Little Girl Who Wanted a Tail by Mykah Montgomery – Book Promo

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

XLIBRIS (September 20, 2012))
***Special thanks to Mykah Montgomery for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mykah Montgomery is the CEO of Mylaan Entertainment. She is an author, songwriter, producer, actress, filmmaker, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.

She carries forward a family tradition of artistic innovation, as the granddaughter of renowned jazz pianist and vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery, and grandniece of legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and bassist Monk.

Formally with the girls group Emage, she recorded an album with PolyGram / Mercury Records In addition, she has recorded or shared the stage with Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, The Backstreet Boys, Blacksheep, and Buddy Montgomery. Mykah’s musical compositions received rave reviews in the UK and Japan, which peaked at #7 in just 2 weeks after its release. Her executive produced debut album, ME & U, can be found on ITunes, Amazon.com, or mylaanent.com.

Mykah has written two Christian themed books, the first, I Am Because She Was, is being made into a movie. The second, “The Little Girl Who Wanted A Tail, coupled with its theme song, “DIFFERENT”, was inspired by her lovely daughter Mylaan.

She loves hearing from her readers at mylaanent@yahoo.com or mykah@mylaanent.com.

Song available @ http://mylaanent.com/product/different/ iTunes and Amazon.com

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Sometimes kids feel like they can’t be real, and who they are inside, they often try to hide it. This was true for a little girl named Millicent, who learned that being different, is alright. As a matter of fact, the only things that make us the same are our differences.

With bullying and mean behavior running rampant in our communities, it is important that our children are taught a code of conduct that promotes love, acceptance, and respect for themselves and others.

Product Details:
List Price: $21.99
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: XLIBRIS (September 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1479716685
ISBN-13: 978-1479716685:

AND NOW…THE FIRST PAGES (Click on pictures to enlarge):

His Saving Grace by Heather Gray – Blog Tour & Review

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: July 29, 2013
Pages: 113
Publisher: Astraea Press
Author: Heather Gray
Genre: Christian Fiction, Regency Romance
ASIN: B00E891FV2
Book Source: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Astraea Press for my honest review.

Blurb:

Will she be able to save him from himself?

Grace finds herself wed to a man who loathes her. She is shunned and exiled to the farthest corner of the land. It wouldn’t hurt so much if he hadn’t once been her best friend.

Thomas became a duke long before he was ready. Now he can’t go anywhere without women trying to entrap him into marriage. He expected better from his childhood friend.

How can friendship, let alone marriage, thrive in the face of bitterness, suspicion and misunderstanding?

What’s to be done when the hurtful choices made in anger have lasting consequences?

It takes a special kind of person to see past the pain to the beauty that lies beyond…

You can purchase it Here:
Barnes & Noble  *  Amazon





Author Bio:

Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

You can find Heather Here:
Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Blog



Grace and Thomas had been best friends since they were young. He was someone she could always turn to. So when she asked her father if she could have a Season and he said some very hurtful things, it was Thomas who gave her comfort. But when Lady Appleton found them in an embrace there was nothing to do but get married of ruin her reputation. But could she make him understand that it was a complete accident and she hadn’t contrived to trap him into marriage or would he forever believe her capable of such an act?

Thomas had always loved Grace’s spirit and outspokenness. Ever since childhood he had enjoyed spending time with her. Having inherited his father’s estate and title as duke at a young age, women were constantly trying to trap him into marriage. When he was discovered comforting Grace and forced into marriage he assumed she had tricked him like so many others had tried and he was furious with her. But on their way to his castle in Northumberland, Thomas’ conscience began plaguing him and he knew he had been treating Grace unfairly. Was his conscience also trying to tell him he loved her? Could they have a marriage in more than name only?

This was a short novella at only 113 pages but a very delightful story. I loved Grace’s sharp wit and unconventional ways but I truly wanted to shake Thomas in the beginning. I warmed up to him quickly, though. Thomas’ valet and friend, Rupert, was a delight especially once he loosened up. The story was believable and the characters were endearing. The attention to detail was was great also. Bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you love novellas set in England you will love it. Definitely recommended.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Astraea Press for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone and I received no monetary compensation.

My Rating:





Click to Tweet: They were childhood friends forced into marriage. Could they find love?

Q & A: I ask the question… you supply the answer. 🙂


In London, in years past, simply being caught in an embrace was grounds for an immediate marriage. Grace and Thomas were forced into marriage when Lady Appleton found Thomas comforting Grace. In modern times actions such as this are completely over looked. Do you feel that etiquette in today’s world is too loose and in the earlier days it was too strict? Or should there be a middle ground? What are your thoughts? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 🙂