What Hope Remembers By Johnnie Alexander



MY REVIEW:

I have read and enjoyed the previous two books in the Misty Willow series so I was excited to have the opportunity to review “What Hope Remembers”. I have also read a number of other since I read them so at first I was having difficulty remembering what had taken place in them. Fortunately, “What Hope Remembers” is not dependent upon the previous novels and as I encountered characters from them I began to remember a few things. Amy Somers appeared in the previous books but not in the best light. In fact, she was mostly unlikable if not downright obnoxious so having her as one of the love interests was going to be intriguing.

Never fear! Amy had pretty much hit bottom and was carefully climbing her way out as she mended the relationships with the relatives she had hurt. It was gratifying to see the love and forgiveness shown to her by those who had reason to withhold it but Amy was having difficulty forgiving herself and was feeling pretty alone and hopeless. Along came Gabe Kendall, Amy’s first love. He was back to help his Aunt on her horse farm after his release from prison. When the pair encountered each other, feelings from the past immediately surfaced but shame and feelings of unworthiness made them keep their distance.

“What Hope Remembers” is a beautifully written novel with well-developed characters whose story is both believable and inspiring. The story moves along naturally with several unexpected twists, particularly one near the end that was heartbreaking. With its strong emphasis on letting go of the past, faith, and forgiveness, this book is one that will remain on my mind for awhile.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home

When Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the things she’s done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her–especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it’s difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

Read an excerpt from “What Hope Remembers” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Jodie Westfall Photography

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides and Where She Belongs. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

Connect with Johnnie at www.johnnie-alexander.com to share her love of random travel and the joy of treasured moments.

 

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Trusting Grace by Maggie Brenden



MY REVIEW:

Readers who enjoy historical western-style romance as much as I do should find “Trusting Grace” right up their alley. Its two primary characters have experienced hardship, loss, loneliness, discouragement, and more which has resulted in difficulty trusting others and little hope for the future. Yet is seems that God had plans for their future that neither of them could begin to imagine.

Both Grace Bidwell and Robert Frasier were widowed. Grace was childless yet yearned for children. Robert had inherited three children he was unaware of until after his wife’s death. Of course most readers would come to the same conclusion I did – Grace and Robert should get together! That would solve the problems of both parties. But as we all know, the road to the perfect (and romantic) ending is usually paved with a few misunderstandings and/or other roadblocks along its usually winding path. Such is the story of Grace and Robert.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale that included several other interesting characters that included Grace’s invalid father and Robert’s children. Another somewhat unusual character blossomed during the course of the story and just might have been involved in a secondary romantic thread. As expected, Brendan’s unique sense of humor popped up frequently during the course of the narrative which added even more spice to the story.

I always enjoy escaping into the pages of one of Maggie Brendan’s books and “Trusting Grace” was no exception. I look forward to her next offering!

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

With a farm to run, can a widow possibly hope for new love?

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s farm until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

Get swept away into Montana’s lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional story.

Read an excerpt from “Trusting Grace” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Maggie Brendan is the CBA bestselling author of the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series, as well as The Trouble with Patience and A Sweet Misfortune. Her books have received the Book Buyers Best Award from the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America and the Laurel Wreath Award. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, and Author’s Guild, Maggie lives in Georgia.

Alice’s Notions by Tamera Lynn Kraft



MY REVIEW:

I was uncertain of what to expect when I agreed to review “Alice’s Notions”. What little information I read seemed somewhat intriguing but I had no idea that I would be so captivated by this book. As other reviewers have remarked, the plot reminded me of a classic movie from the black and white era. I could absolutely see it being made into a movie.

Something shady is happening in Alice Brighton’s small mountain hometown where she has returned after World War 2 as a widow. It is not the quiet and safe place she remembered. As she endeavors to get her new fabric shop running and helping to plan a barn quilt tour, she becomes aware that strange things are happening and her friends and neighbors are also acting a little suspicious. It is obvious that people around her know more about what’s going on than Alice but no one will open up to her. Then there are the two men who both warn her about the other – who can she really trust? Even the immigrant worker who is quickly becoming a good friend might not be who Alice thinks she is.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Alice’s Notions”. Its plot kept me on edge and guessing right along with Alice through most of the novel. The characters were perfect for the story. Greta’s frequent misunderstanding of American slang added a needed touch of humor to relieve the suspense. Unexpected twists and surprises kept the story moving right along to the perfect ending.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase.

In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons. Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel, Alice’s Notions released in April through Desert Breeze.

You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net

GUEST POST FROM TAMERA LYNN KRAFT:

How Classic Movies from the 1940s Made Their Way in My Latest Novel

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

One thing I loved about writing my post World War Two novel was my main character’s passion for movies. Alice Brighton and her late husband loved to go to movies on Friday nights. Now, even after the war made her a widow, Alice still loves movies and compares everyone she meets to a movie character.

Of course for Alice, all these wonderful classic movies and movie stars and a part of her culture, but for me, it was so much fun because I love classic movies. In the novel, Alice compares her landlord to Cary Grant. Cary Grant is one of my favorites. After starring in movies like Suspision, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Notorious, Grant was one of the biggest stars around in 1946 when Alice’s Notions takes place. My favorite Cary Grant movie wouldn’t be made until a few years later. An Affair to Remember, released 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is one of my all-time favorites.

At one point in the novel, Alice thinks back to when her late husband always said she reminded him of Judy Garland. Garland would have been twenty-four at the time, just a bit younger than Alice, but she became a big star in her teens. She began acting at two years old when she debuted as Baby Francis and sang Jingle Bells. After playing in various roles including a few movies with Mickey Rooney, Garland had her big break in The Wizard of Oz. She went on to star in a ton of movies and had a thriving singing career until she committed suicide in the 1960s. One of my favorite Judy Garland movies released in 1945 during the war was The Clock. The Clock was about a woman who met and fell in love with a GI on leave. Their romance was intensified because they only had the weekend before he was shipped out again for the remainder of the war. This movie must have been in Alice’s mind since she had lost her husband shortly after the movie came out.

During Alice’s Notions, Alice goes on a date to see the movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield. It was released in 1946 and was considered scandalous at the time because the two main characters have an affair and murder her husband. The main theme of the movie is you can’t get away with your sin. The truth will be revealed. In Alice’s Notions, the truth being revealed is also a main theme.

So you may be wondering what classic movie Alice’s Notions reminds me of. Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was released in 1963. In that movie, Hepburn is being pursued and doesn’t know who she can trust. The movie has light-hearted intrigue, suspense, and romance just like Alice’s Notions. Alice, also, doesn’t know who she can trust.

BLOG STOPS:

May 11: Genesis 5020

May 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 12: Inklings and notions

May 13: Carpe Diem

May 14: Christian Bookaholic

May 15: A Reader’s Brain

May 16: History, Mystery & Faith

May 17: A Bakers Perspective

May 18: Have A Wonderful Day

May 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 19: Jami’s Words

May 20: Mary Hake

May 21: Daysong Reflections

May 22: Vicky Sluiter

May 23: Bigreadersite

May 24: His Grace Is Sufficient

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/b723

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For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund



MY REVIEW:

I have previously enjoyed many of Jody Hedlund’s historical novels but somehow missed reading the first two novels of this series. Fortunately “For Love and Honor” was well able to stand on its own without background details from the previous novels. But of course I now want to read those also!

“For Love and Honor” is a beautifully written story that absolutely lives up to its title. Its medieval setting, complete with castles, is populated with gallant knights and proper ladies and features Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet who are the subjects of an attempted arranged marriage. Bennet must quickly marry a woman with enough wealth to save his family home. Sabine has little hope of marriage due to an unsightly blemish that repels at best and could cause her to be branded as a witch at worst. With both of them reluctant to marry they surprisingly find themselves perfectly suited. Can they overcome all the obstacles that threaten them to find a forever love?

I liked everything about this book. The plot had a fairytale quality yet was so much more. While often serious in nature, witty dialogue  that added to my enjoyment was scattered throughout. A lovely story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption, “For Love and Honor” is woven with a strong thread of faith. It is a wonderful YA novel that I can truthfully recommend to all who enjoy this type fiction, young or old.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

To purchase your copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

GUEST POST FROM JODY HEDLUND:

Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?

By Jody Hedlund

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.

Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.

Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.

I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).

Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?

The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.

The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.

The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.

As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.

Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.

But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.

More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.

It’s not just another dating book. Instead it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.

So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?

BLOG STOPS:

May 2: Lighthouse Academy

May 2: Inklings and Notions

May 2: Bibliophile Reviews

May 3: God’s Little Bookworm

May 3: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 3: Blogging With Carol

May 4: Faithfully Bookish

May 4: Smiling Book Reviews

May 4: A Greater Yes

May 5: The Fizzy Pop Collection

May 5: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 5: Just the Write Escape

May 6: The Scribbler

May 6: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 6: Zerina Blossom’s Books

May 7: cherylbbookblog

May 7: Back Porch Reads

May 7: Jeanette’s Thoughts

May 8: The Artist Librarian

May 8: A Baker’s Perspective

May 8: Book by Book

May 9: A Path of Joy

May 9: Cafinated Reads

May 9: I Hope You Dance

May 10: Kristin’s Book Reviews

May 10: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

May 10: Neverending Stories

May 11: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 11: Radiant Light

May 11: Karen Sue Hadley

May 12: Pause for Tales

May 12: Just Commonly

May 12: Have A Wonderful Day

May 13: Bigreadersite

May 13: Daysong Reflections

May 13: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 14: Book Bites, Bee Sting, & Butterfly Kisses

May 14: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

May 14: God1meover

May 15: thewitsabout

May 15: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

May 15: Baker Kella

May 15: Remembrancy

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc

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