Appalachia

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas



MY REVIEW:

I adored the author’s debut series so I was excited to have the chance to read the first book in her latest series. It is somewhat different than her Appalachian Blessings novels but I still found the well-rounded characters and vivid descriptions that captivated me in the first books.

I liked Judd Markley from the start and hoped that he would find the new beginning and success in South Carolina that he desired. It took me a bit longer to like Larkin. It took getting past her spoiled little rich girl exterior and getting to know her true heart for me to care. Once I saw the real Larkin, I could see the light in her that attracted Judd.

“The Sound of Rain” is a story filled with tragedy and triumph, hopes and dreams, and learning to walk the path the Lord has laid out. It was encouraging to see Judd and Larkin find their way down that very path despite the hurdles set before them. It was also gratifying to watch how the Lord used circumstances to soften some very hard hearts and use them to restore lives and relationships.

This wonderful story is further enhanced by the gorgeous cover. I especially liked the three dimensional reflective raindrops on the front. Looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope you will check it out for yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Judd Markley knows he can never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life means leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world is all he knows, he puts it behind him and heads for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season, Until the Harvest, and A Tapestry of Secrets. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.

Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham



MY REVIEW:

“Charming the Troublemaker” is the first book that I’ve read by Pepper Basham but I guarantee it won’t be the last. In fact I plan to find time to read “A Twist of Fate” as soon as possible since it is already in residence on my Kindle.

Rainey has met Dr. Alex Murdock before and she is less than excited to find out he will be on staff at her university because all that she can see is an handsome but arrogant flirt, in other words, a troublemaker. And Rainey doesn’t need one of those anywhere near her ordered world. Alex considers his new position a come down from his usual position and plans to find a way out of the backwoods of Appalachia as quickly as he can – that is until he encounters Rainey and her five-year-old daughter Sarah. Yeah, romance readers know exactly what will happen by the end of this story. But oh what a delightful and fun time I had on the way to that satisfying conclusion.

Each and every one of the characters was perfectly well-rounded and natural. They could all be someone we know (or wish we knew). Rainey and Alex each had hidden depths beyond the faces they showed the world, buried pain and secrets they guarded at all costs. Yet somehow God had a plan for them to get to know one another and find the healing they so desperately needed.

For a spiritually deep novel, “Charming the Troublemaker” had so many humorous scenes that kept me laughing and smiling between the more serious ones that touched my heart. Who could resist a muddy man in underoos who can also make a verbally abused woman feel beautiful again?

Loved, loved, loved this book. Do yourself a favor and run, not walk to your nearest bookstore or online retailer and grab a copy of “Charming the Troublemaker” for yourself. You might want to pick up a copy of “A Twist of Fate” to save some time because I feel sure you will want it also.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

Troublemaking never looked so good…

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

Click here to purchase!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

GUEST POST FROM PEPPER BASHAM:

I have a thing for underdogs.

Misfits.

Lost souls who desperately need to find where they belong.

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.

In a bad way.

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero?

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?

The answers were surprising!! Just wait.

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer ?

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:

Anything with Sarah!

Underoos

All of the scenes in Rainey’s house

And those in Mama Mitchell’s

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

BLOG STOPS:

By The Book, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15

Fiction Aficionado, November 16

autism mom, November 16

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17

Inklings and Notions, November 17

Faithfully Bookish, November 18

Radiant Light, November 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19

The Power of Words, November 19

Cordially Barbara, November 20

Red Headed Book Lady, November 20

Smiling Book Reviews, November 20

Kat’s Corner Books, November 21

A Greater Yes, November 21

100 Pages per Hour, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

Carpe Diem, November 23

Bookworm Mama, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24

Daysong Reflections, November 25

Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers ? highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1

These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart



MY REVIEW:

“These Healing Hills” is a beautifully written novel that takes place in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains near the end of World War 2. Central characters are Francine Howard, a nurse who has moved to the mountains for training as a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service and Ben Locke, a lifelong resident of the community who has recently returned from the war. As Fran and Ben get to know one another, they find themselves increasingly attracted despite the vast differences in their upbringing.

Ann Gabhart has written a story that held my interest from the very beginning. Her descriptions of the Appalachians and their people were captivating and it was easy to see why Francine lost her heart to the area. I loved reading about the Frontier Nursing Service and the challenges these brave women encountered and the rewards they gained from their sacrifices. It was great fun getting to know all the unique residents of the area, especially Ben and Woody. What a blessing to see that all people have similar struggles no matter what their background and that faith in the Lord is the ultimate connection that draws them together.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out–until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Memories by Chris

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series, as well as several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

A Tapestry of Secrets



MY REVIEW:

I fell in love with the Appalachian Blessings series with its very first introductory novella and have eagerly awaited each subsequent book. I especially liked “Miracle in a Dry Season” but I now believe “A Tapestry of Secrets is my very favorite one.

If asked what makes this series and this book so outstanding to me, I would be hard pressed to come up with a definitive answer. I loved the Appalachian setting, the strong bond between family members and in turn their relationships with their neighbors. The close connection the characters had to their roots and the underlying spiritual thread that ran throughout were also important features.

I loved reading about Perla once again but it was also a bit sad to see her declining health in her old age. I liked Ella’s character and have to admit that I much preferred one of her suitors over the other. I was happy with how things turned out for her and also was impressed with how the author resolved the situation with the other man. Some important lessons and bits of wisdom were scattered though “A Tapestry of Secrets” if one pays even a smidgen of attention.

I know all good things must come to an end and I suspect the Appalachian Blessings series may now be complete. I hate to see it end but anticipate equally great books from Sarah in the future. I can’t wait to see what she has to offer her readers next!

A copy of this book was provided for review by
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

What is the weight of a secret?

And what happens when that burden becomes almost too much to bear?

For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she’s prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next.

Read an excerpt from “A Tapestry of Secrets” HERE.

Purchase a copy of “A Tapestry of Secrets” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in North Carolina.

She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.

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