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Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Book Review: Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron


About the Book


Title: Castle on the Rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance


Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.



Click here to purchase your copy.





My Review

Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron is a fascinating book. The author skillfully weaves the book together out of three stories in different time periods, all set in Dublin. You’ll be turning the pages fast to see what happens in each of the stories. The present day story tells the story of Laine, the friend of the main character in The Lost Castle.  Even so, this book definitely can be read as a stand-alone novel.  Why read this book?  Read it for the compelling women main characters who all face tragic circumstances but learn how to overcome them. Read it for the gorgeous descriptions that make Ireland come alive and make you feel like you are there. Read it for the fascinating bits of Ireland’s history throughout time. Read it for the stories of good people who overlook differences and discover the power of love to overcome all. I absolutely loved this novel and can’t recommend it enough. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.



About the Author




Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.



Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland





Blog Stops

Back Porch ReadsFebruary 19
Maureen’s MusingsFebruary 19
The Power of Words, February 19
Livin’ Lit, February 20
Texas Book-aholic, February 20
Fiction Aficionado, February 21
Gensis 5020, February 21
Blogging With CarolFebruary 21
Bigreadersite, February 21
Just the Write Escape, February 22
As He Leads is Joy, February 22
Inspired by fiction, February 23
Connect in Fiction, February 23
Carpe Diem, February 23
Bibliophile Reviews, February 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24
Lis Loves Reading, February 24
Emily Yager, February 25
Moments, February 25
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26
Mary Hake, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, February 28
Inklings and Notions, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
The Becca Files, March 2
Book by Book, March 2


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!
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/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Book Review: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano


About the Book

Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.

Click here to purchase your copy.







My Review

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano is such a fun read.  Foodies will love the baking techniques and everyone will enjoy the mouthwatering treats described in this book. Be prepared to crave freshly baked loaves of bread and sweets of all kinds. This book will test your diet! Readers who loved The Saturday Night Supper Club will love this book. It revisits the characters from that book and has a similar feel to that book, but the plot is completely different. It can be read as a standalone novel, but why wouldn’t you want to read the other book first? Both books are an absolute delight to read and I highly recommend them. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.




About the Author





Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.



Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker”

Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream.

I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work.

Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker.

Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same.

So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself.

It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course.

In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me.

Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.



Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, February 12
Among the Reads, February 12
Lighthouse Academy, February 12
By The Book, February 12
The Power of Words, February 13
As He Leads is Joy, February 13
Cultivating Us, February 13
Blossoms and Blessings, February 13
Fiction Aficionado, February 14
The Lit Addict, February 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15
100 Pages per Hour, February 15
Splashes of Joy, February 15
Bibliophile Reviews, February 16
Texas Book-aholic, February 16
C Jane Read, February 17
Moments, February 17
Back Porch Reads, February 17
Cordially Barbara, February 18
Genesis 5020, February 18
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Livin’ Lit, February 19
Kat’s Corner Books, February 19
Life with the Tribe, February 19
Remembrancy, February 20
Vicky Sluiter, February 20
2014 and Beyond!, February 21
Daysong Reflections, February 21
Inklings and Notions, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
Cafinated Reads, February 22
Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22
Two Girls and a Book, February 23
For the love of books, February 23
God is Love, February 24
Book by Book, February 24
Janices book reviews, February 24
Lukewarm Tea, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 25
Bigreadersite, February 25

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macron baking mat, a macron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!
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/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Book Review: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin


The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin is another world unto itself. Ms Sundin’s scholarship of World War II is phenomenal.  She has created a book setting so complete and fascinating. I learned so much about war planes, Red Cross activities, and rationing policies just to name a few. The characters also were really interesting because they had complex histories and goals. The plot was intricately planned not only with the events of the war but also with the lives of the characters.  Readers who love historical fiction will adore this book. Readers who just love goo storytelling will also love it. I highly recommend it. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Sunday, February 10, 2019



Book Review: Seeking His Love by Carrie Turanksy


Seeking His Love by Carrie Turanksy is a marvelous read from start to finish. It is the first book in the Bayside Treasures series. Originally published in 2011 through the Love Inspired series, this version is revised. Those who love good, clean romance will definitely find that here. The characters are real and well developed. They face many challenges and have to deal with loss, pain, and false accusations. This is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Friday, February 1, 2019




Book Review: On the Lookout by Christy Barritt


Christy Barritt does it again! Don’t miss her latest book On the Lookout. It’s the first in a new series Lantern Beach P.D. In Lantern Beach, she has created a cast of colorful characters that you’ll never tire of. Although she has a few series’ set here, somehow each series is new and different yet filled with some of the same characters you’ve grown to love. Here, in this particular book, a suspicious group has moved into town. When a body is discovered with a link to the group, Cassidy has to figure out the connection. Filled with tense moments and with promises of more to come in the next book, Lantern Beach P.D. is off to a great start! I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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