The Enlightment of Bees – JustRead

Spotlight: The Enlightment of Bees by Rachel Linden

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey.

At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles.

Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.

In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest need.

PURCHASE LINKS*: 
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook


“The memories are always with us, but sometimes we can ease the way for others. That is what we must do, use our pain to build understanding and empathy, not to build walls. Then it is transformed into a thing of beauty, then our suffering has value.”


MY REVIEW

I’m a book monster; at the top I dog ear pages to keep my place and at the bottom I dog ear for quotes I want to revisit. This book has a lot of bottom corner dog ears.

Rachel Linden has a way with words that will sooth your sole. It’s a combination of lyrical with hard truth forcing the reader to confront their inner-self without pulling the reader into the depths of despair.

This is the first of Rachel’s books I’ve read so I had no clue what to expect. I’ve been reading a lot of fluff lately and at first her style of writing caught me off guard (because, again, fluff ya’ll). But, I quickly realized I had missed falling into a book world where I feel wrapped up in a cocoon; one where I knew I was going to be challenged and face feelings I’ve been ignoring, but knew I would come out better for it on the other side.

I appreciated how Rachel brought her experiences in to give the story depth and meaning. International aid is one of those things that I know exists and I see on news stories, but not a topic I really KNOW about; it hasn’t touched me personally. Through this story I was able to touch that world and develop a deeper level of empathy towards those who struggle with the basic comforts of life.

I liked all of the characters. I felt for Ethan, who struggled with knowing what was familiar and what was the right call for his and Mia’s future. I can’t imagine the agony of wrestling with the decisions he made, and then Mia being strong enough to process through and move to where she needed to be. I loved Nana Alice and her beau who brought smiles and wise words. Rosie is an awesome best friend who also grows and I’m super glad she finds her forever love during the story.

And Mia. In some ways I could relate and in others what she was going through was totally foreign to me, but no matter what, I could put myself in her place and see why she was struggling with decisions, thoughts, and the world around her. I could relate to having long held hopes and the struggle of wondering if those are still meant to be or if what is a good life but different than what I imagined really what I’m supposed to do?

For inspirational readers you’ll see some faith themes woven into the story. However for those who prefer a clean read with some depth but without faith themes, this story is also for you. It speaks to the goodness of humanity and finding the purpose for your life but does not specifically get into the religious beliefs of the characters.

And lastly, here is my favorite quote. I hope one day, I too can find this place.

“‘Remember, Mia, your place in this world is the space where your greatest passion meets the world’s great pain.'”

I received a copy of this book for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of LarksBecoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently, Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, Washington, where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage, and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram


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

cropped-justread-logo.png

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Rocky Mountain Heroes – Series Review

On tour with Just Reads!

In this series by Mindy Obenhaus we meet the Stephens men and their loves. I have enjoyed the first three books in the series and hope we get to read the Jude and Daniel’s stories as well.

Mindy takes us back to Ouray, Colorado, a setting I haven’t visited much in fiction, but I want to visit in real life thanks to vivid descriptions of the area. I think a Jeep tour might be a bit scary, but I would love to do a trail ride! (Lily would very much disagree with me.)

With believable characters, I could find something to relate to in all of the stories. While there are several characters to track between the family and the town, I felt like it fit right with the story, bringing me into town life.

If you’d like to see my thoughts on the individual stories, please click here.

I received a copy of this series from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own.

The Interlude – JustRead – Giveaway

Take your Pick blog & review tour

Welcome to another addition of First Line Friday! Today I’m featuring a stop on the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Interlude by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Join in with other on FLF, hosted by Hoarding Books and see all of today’s first line. Comment below to share the first line of your current read. Don’t forget to include the title and author so friends can find other great reads.

Without further ado, the first line from The Interlude:


“Mallory stood in line at the airport security checkpoint in
Savannah, Georgia, waiting to pass through into the waiting area.”


ABOUT THE BOOK

the interlude goodreadsTitle: The Interlude
Series: Smoky Mountains #12
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019

In this gentle, inspirational romance, Lin Stepp reveals the healing touch and deep peace the beauty of the Smoky Mountains can bring to a hurt and troubled heart.

Too much work, too much pressure, and too much heartache can lead even a strong young woman like Mallory Wingate to the edge of a nervous breakdown. Now her doctor and employer have insisted she take a space to heal and rest—so like it or not, she’s heading to her grandparents’ resort in the Smoky Mountains. Hoping to sleep and rest on the flight home, Mallory is entertained instead by an unexpectedly charismatic stranger, making her forget many of her problems and even making her feel deliciously female again.

Lucas James, flying home from a pro golfing event, hadn’t expected to enjoy an interlude of flirting with a pretty stranger on the plane. A stranger he never expected to see again but who turns out to be the granddaughter of his boss at The Millhouse Resort. Worse, he quickly learns she’s passed through a recent history of emotional problems that remind him all too painfully of his past wife. The last thing Lucas wants is to get involved with anyone like Cecily again. Surely it won’t be too hard to keep his distance while Mallory is at the resort.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

lin-front-page-photo

Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, businesswoman and educator. A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, Lin now has sixteen published books, including her twelve beloved Smoky Mountain novels set in different locations of the Tennessee and North Carolina mountains, as well as a Smoky Mountain novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies. In addition, Lin’s first novel in a new Edisto Trilogy recently released, set on the South Carolina coast. Lin and her husband also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and a Tennessee state parks book.  Stepp’s latest 2019 releases are The Interlude, set in the Greenbrier and Pittman Center of the Great Smoky Mountains and Claire at Edisto set at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Lin enjoys keeping up with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through her monthly blog on her website at: www.linstepp.com

CONNECT WITH LIN: website | Facebook | Twitter


take your pick giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win:

  • your choice of The Interlude OR Claire at Edisto (print, US only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 24, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 31, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Grace and Lavender – JustRead – Giveaway

Welcome to another addition of First Line Friday! Today I’m featuring a stop on the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Grace & Lavender by Heather Norman Smith, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Join in with other on FLF, hosted by Hoarding Books and see all of today’s first line. Comment below to share your current read.

Without further ado, the first line from Grace & Lavender:


“Colleen Carter Hill sat at her kitchen table with a cup of black coffee in her hands and a boatload of ideas on her mind.”


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Grace & Lavender
Author: Heather Norman Smith
Publisher: Ambassador International
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2019

Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting.

When the ladies’ group at her church partners with the local children’s home, Colleen jumps in as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. But Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out.

Colleen’s daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leads her to responsibilities she didn’t even know she wanted, including helping Grace understand the meaning of her name.

Grace & Lavender is a book for all audiences—a heart-warming story that reminds us to seek God’s purpose for our lives.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Norman Smith aims to entertain and encourage, while illuminating the redemptive love of God through her writing. Along with Christian Fiction, she writes devotions and children’s books. She also enjoys writing songs and singing about Jesus.

Heather is proud to be a life-long North Carolinian and hopes to present the beauty of the Tar Heel State in her writing. Her home is just outside Winston-Salem, NC, where she lives with one husband, two daughters, one son, two cats, and two dogs. Heather loves words and does not enjoy math, except when it comes to counting blessings.

CONNECT WITH HEATHER : website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win a print copy of Grace & Lavender (US only)

(4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Grace & Lavender (open internationally)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 4, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 11, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

Loving Her Texas Protector

UPDATE 1-10-19: Guys!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot to tell you about ALL THE KISSES!!!!! You know how I like kissing books. (Insert love and kissy emojies here.) Now back to the original post:

loving her texas protector

Title: Loving Her Texas Protector
Series: Garrison’s Law, Book 2
Author: Mary Connealy
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Jacie Moreau is a tough as nails security specialist who works with the Long Pine Texas police. She takes care of herself and doesn’t ask for help from anyone. Brett Garrison is an odd man out in the Garrison family. He’s a soft hearted veterinarian from a family of daring Texas lawmen. Jacie runs afoul of a hired killer and no one is there to step between her and danger but Brett.

Brett’s good hearted plan to care for the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen draw an assassin’s attention. Jacie never needs help, but Brett’s kindness when she is so vulnerable sneaks past all  the emotional walls she’s built around her heart. The killer keeps coming and their only hope is to run. And as they run they try and figure out who’s hired a killer, and why, and how to stop him.

If they hide well enough and live long enough, they might make it to the day they can fall in love.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


MY REVIEW

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas lawman, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man.

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas protector, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man. 

This story keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. While at first I felt the writing was a bit choppy, it smoothed out and faded as I quickly became lost in the fast paced fictional world running from a mad man. Jacie’s quick wit and sarcastic nature was a bit overwhelming, but it gave her a lot of room to develop into a “nice” person, and Mary takes full advantage of her character development potential. Brett reminds me of my hubs with his patience in the face of a fiery woman, smirking and provoking her with a twinkle in his eye, but loving her diligently.

If you enjoy suspense and strong female characters, this is definitely your read!

I was provided a copy of this novel for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mary connealy new

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of over 50 books and novellas.

Her most recent book series are: Garrison’s Law, High Sierra Sweethearts, Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, and Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas.

Mary has nearly a million books in print.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website | Facebook | Twitter | Seekerville | Petticoats & Pistols


garrison's law giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a $25 Amazon gift card (open internationally)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. A new entry option will be live each day for that day’s clues. Giveaway begins at midnight on January 8, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm January 15, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER HERE

 Be sure to stop on everystop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!


WORDS TO COLLECT: alpha Texas

Why Did You Choose Me? – Giveaway – JustRead

WhyDidYouChooseMe_BlogHop_JR

November is National Adoption Month, and we’re celebrating with the Why Did You Choose Me? Saturday Hop and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Tours and Ambassador International! Every Saturday in November, hop along to the different host blogs and enter the great giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK

WDYCM_FullCover Title: Why Did You Choose Me?

Author:
Katie Cruice Smith

Illustrator:
Sarah Strickling Jones

Publisher:
Ambassador International

Release Date:
November 12, 2017

Genre:
Children’s Picture Book, Adoption

Most adoptive and foster children struggle at some point in their life with knowing who they are and where they belong. They want to ask questions, and parents need to be prepared with an answer that helps their child feel loved and secure. After searching for adoption storybooks to read to her own adopted children, Katie Cruice Smith decided that there was a need for more books that parents could read at bedtime to connect with their adopted and fostered children. In Why Did You Choose Me?, Katie Cruice Smith answers that question in a way that young children can understand. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, Katie uses the questions her own children have asked to help them see there never really was a choice she knew right away that they were hers. With beautiful illustrations by artist Sarah Strickling Jones, Why Did You Choose Me? lovingly demonstrates the uniqueness that each child brings to a family.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador International

Three of my Loves

(Not counting the hubs, though I do love him!) These three. The frustration, the tears, the temper tantrums, and the joy; ALL THE JOY. We’ve been praying, waiting, not for our immediate family, but for one of my besties. We’re Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Kat, big believers in family of choice, not just of blood. But, it has been a long road. This bestie we met when we first started down the foster care route as we started at similar times. Our roads were different, but we have walked with her through 20 children. She’s the definition of super mom.

Here’s the thing though, we pray for every child to go home. Why do we do that when we also want to be parents? Because that means that one more family has been healed. We pray that God uses us as a tool to help that family heal and the privilege of trusting us with their children while they heal. But sometimes the breach is too great, or the fit not right, or the bureaucracy overwhelming and the children have to leave for some other reason. So you pray for them, for their protection, for God’s hand to rest on them and that healing to come, and then you let them go.

It’s inevitable that these children whose worlds have been upended to wonder why me? And to wonder, why is this family taking me in? Adoptive and foster children frequently struggle with feelings of abandonment and rejection, and even once they’re in a forever home they wonder, why me and not some other kid? Sometimes they try to be perfect, worried if they mess up, they’ll be sent away.

That’s why I really like this book. It’s very honest and deals with a deep emotional issue that these kids struggle with, but it does it in language they understand, phrased so it could have come out of their own heads.

…and my three loves…

Bestie and her three loves

I received a copy of the book from the author for this tour. I wan’t required to give a positive review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

View More: http://christarenephotography.pass.us/kate-headshots

Katie Cruice Smith is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor, and she resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and three adopted children. Katie is an adoption and foster care advocate, and she and husband are licensed foster parents and the founders of their church’s orphan ministry. She is currently working on a devotional book to accompany Why Did You Choose Me?

CONNECT WITH KATIE:
website | Facebook | Twitter

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sarah Strickling Jones enjoys working with oils, acrylics, ceramics, and printmaking. She creates her artwork and teaches students of all ages from her country home. She lives in Greer, South Carolina, with her husband Darren and four children: Trevor, Peyton, Blake, and Renea. Why Did You Choose Me? is Sarah Strickling Jones’ first illustrated children’s book in watercolor.

CONNECT WITH SARAH: Facebook

saturday hop giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive

  • a print copy of Why Did You Choose Me?
  • “For This Child I Prayed” ornament (more info HERE)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 1, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops/dates!

cropped-justread-logo.png

First Line Friday – Enchanting Nicholette – Just Read

enchanting nicholette blog tourWelcome to the blog tour and giveaway for Enchanting Nicholette , hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! While this is officially part of a tour (with a giveaway!) I also wanted to say that I did purchase this novella originally as part of a box set, Timeless Love. Carrie, at Reading Is My Super Power has been trying to get me on the Everstone bandwagon for YEARS. Being part of a box set, I finally read one, and hopped right up on that wagon. Dawn’s stories are not to be missed. So now I have TWO copies. The second has an Epilogue, I am happy to say! I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye the first time.

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today’s first line is from:

 

Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

“‘It was in looking up at him her aspect had caught its lustre – the light repeated in her eyes beamed first out of his.'”

Ok, that’s technically the first line, but it’s a quote from Villette. The first line of Dawn’s writing begins with:

“I suppose you have a new wardrobe ordered from Paris, oui?

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other

books/blogs featured today.


ABOUT THE BOOK

enchantingnicholette1Title: Enchanting Nicholette
Series: The Everstone Chronicles #5
Author: Dawn Crandall
Publisher: Whitaker House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe.

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM! | Christian Book


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dawn-crandall

Dawn Crandall‘s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, “The Bound Heart,” received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

CONNECT WITH DAWN CRANDALL: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


enchanting nicholette blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) Winner will win:

  • A print copy of Enchanting Nicholette
  • A library card zipper bag
  • Two pairs of Jane Austen socks
  • Two hand poured candles
  • A historically accurate soap from Austen’s time
  • A Jane Austen set of playing cards
  • A set of Jane Austen notecards
  • 6 magnets with Jane Austen quotes

(US Mailing Addresses Only)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 29, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm November 12, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png