Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: Simply West of Heaven


I am writing this early since we are going out of town for Thanksgiving.  I already read the first two books of this series and have read Simply West of Heaven and have begun the fourth book which is called Being West is Best.

Simply West of Heaven flows really well with the first book of the series The Secret Sisters Club.  The second book, Trouble Blows West, is part of the story but seems separate from the overall storyline.  Being West is Best features the Owens family who was in Trouble Blows West, so those two books seem to go together so far.  I'm only about 15-20% through with Being West is Best, so I can't say for sure.

Simply West of Heaven has a bit more drama in it; in fact, the author calls it a "soap opera for children."  None of it is bad, although if you have children younger than maybe 7th-9th grades, you might want to preview it to see if it's a good fit for your child.  I wouldn't have a problem with Gracie reading it since it's no different from what we see in today's world.  Sin is introduced but is pointed out as being wrong. It's not glorified in any way and one of the consequences is correctly labeled as a blessing (trying not to give away spoilers here).  In thinking about it just now, considering that the book brings up the struggles that adults have with difficult circumstances, I think I probably will have Gracie wait a year or two before reading this book simply because I see no reason to introduce these particular burdensome topic matters to a child who doesn't have to deal with it herself if that makes sense.

Again, I like the characters, and I love the family dynamics of this book.  My favorite scene involves the hot air balloon and it actually made me cry.  There's a new character whom I have not yet decided whether or not to trust completely -- that kind of guessing makes the overall story more intriguing.  

Celebrate Lit gave me the opportunity to receive, read, and review this book.  Keep reading to learn more about the book, the author, and to enter a great giveaway!


About the Book



Book: Simply West of Heaven

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Mid-grade, blended family, horses

Release Date: January 1, 2013

 

Twelve-year-old BFFs Ginnie and Tillie are matchmaking geniuses. Sweet! Not long after they schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom, Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom’s journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals, determined to protect Ginnie from a danger he won’t name.

Ginnie is counting on her future sister’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not so sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. The girls’ world gets flipped upside-down when a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers. Ginnie is torn between helping her best friend and what could be the answer to her deepest wish.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.

 

More from Monique

Hello Everybody,

 

Welcome to the kickoff tour of my third book: SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the hardest one for me to blurb because it contains my four best twists and I don’t want to give away any of the surprises (and some readers have said they were downright shocked—in a good way—by some of them.) 

 

This book stretched my writing ability and deepened my emotional investment in the West family greatly.  This book continues to explore the relationship of best friends, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor. It has been described as “a soap opera for children” because of all the plot twists and reveals.

 

It explores Ginnie and Tillie’s deeper, hidden feelings in a way that may bring you tears as well as greater understanding. Several reviewers commented on how authentic and “real” the West family is to them. I love knowing that people are willing to go on a journey with Ginnie and Tillie and the rest of the West family. That they are willing to laugh and cry with them. I promise—this book will give you opportunities for both. 

 

Simply West of Heaven has recently been made into an audiobook and that was a fun endeavor as I listened to the voices in my head come to life. My narrator, the very talented, Hillary Straga, said all of the twists kept her on her toes, but that she loved voicing this book because she never knew what to expect.

 

I hope that the people who choose to read this book will have the same experience. That they will be eager to jump in, put aside pre-conceived notions, and become part of the West family saga: that they will cheer for them, cry with them, and celebrate with them. One of my favorite reviews of this book states that: “I tried to skip ahead and every time I did—I had to go back to where I was because I missed something important in the story.”

 

Thank you to those of you who are willing to continue to read the Ginnie West Adventures and “Welcome!”  to those who have decided to start with this book.

 

Laugh lots, Love much, Write on!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, December 2

21st Century Keeper at Home, December 2

Library Lady's Kid Lit, December 3

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, December 4

Texas Book-aholic, December 5

Inklings and notions, December 6

For Him and My Family, December 7

deb's Book Review, December 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 9

Mary Hake, December 9

Artistic Nobody, December 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 11

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, December 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

Blogging With Carol, December 15

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Kobo gift card!!

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/10495/simply-west-of-heaven-celebration-tour-giveaway 

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: What You Said to Me


Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

I thought of this verse when I was nearly finished reading this book.  It suits it well because it illustrates how a person’s words can affect not just another person but also potentially several generations.  

This is a book with a dual timeline. The modern story is about a young lady who does genealogy research and is assisted by a troubled teen who was forced to help but certainly doesn’t want to. The older timeline is about a family in Denver who suffers financial hardship when their silver mines are shut down. They wind up moving to the same town that the modern characters live in.  I was very curious to find out how the two stories would intersect.  It wasn’t terribly surprising, but I liked how the truth from the above Bible verse is illustrated. I also like how the hurting person began to receive healing in the story.  I would like to read the first three books for the backstory and future books to find out more.  I think that Canyon Mines is a fictitious town, but it sounds like a place I would like to visit. The bookstore is called Motherlode which I think is very clever.  The only negatives are that it still needs to have a pass of editing (which may be done by the time it’s been released) and I wanted to find out more about the big genealogy project they were working on.  They found one small part but it wasn’t a satisfying turnout. Hopefully, I’ll find out more in future books.

Celebrate Lit gave me the opportunity to receive, read, and review this book.  Keep reading to learn more about the book, the author, and to enter a great giveaway!

About the Book



Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020

 

Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.

What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



 

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.

 

More from Olivia

Careful Words

 

“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”

 

Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

 

The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.

 

I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.

 

I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.

 

My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”

 

If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Olivia Newport

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, November 21

deb's Book Review, November 21

Remembrancy, November 22

Connect in Fiction, November 22

lakesidelivingsite, November 22

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Robin's Nest, November 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 25

Mamma Loves Books, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 26

Lis Loves Reading, November 26

Hallie Reads, November 26

Older & Smarter?, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Inklings and notions, November 28

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 28

The Write Escape, November 28

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, November 29

Blogging With Carol, November 29

Mary Hake, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, November 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Betti Mace, December 1

Worthy2Read, December 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Lots of Helpers, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 2

Amanda Tero, blog, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the book!!

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/103f1/what-you-said-to-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: Trouble Blows West


Trouble Blows West is the second book in a series of middle-school books about an 11-year-old girl Ginnie West, her twin brother Toran, and her best friend Tillie.  I didn't get to join the tour for the first book The Secret Sisters Club, but I bought and read it anyway so that I could know the full backstory.  I'll be reviewing the third book Simply West of Heaven and the fourth book Being West is Best next week.

You don't have to read The Secret Sisters Club before reading Trouble Blows West, because Trouble Blows West stands well all by itself.  This review is supposed to be about TBB, but I'll say quickly that I enjoyed TSSC.  Ginnie and Tillie are opposites in personality but love each other dearly.  I enjoy the family dynamics of the West family and was glad to see a family tree at the beginning because it's a little confusing.  I think my daughter would enjoy reading it if I asked her to. (She, unfortunately, is more into screens than the printed word so she might not pick it up on her own.)  Oh, and I really enjoyed the photos of the girls who represent Ginnie and Tillie.  That was a really nice touch!  I hope that will eventually be put into all of the books in this series.

Trouble Blows West was good, too.  The child abuse was handled in an appropriate way.  A couple of scenes still bothered me, but that kind of thing always bothers me - whether on TV or in a book or in a play.  Knowing my daughter, I think she would be bothered by it as well, so I'm not sure I would give her this book.  It's just a case of you have to know your child.

Ginnie shows her hot-head personality and turns into a bit of a brat, but her dad deals with it appropriately.  She and Toran do show growth through the book and that's good to see.  There are some good lessons in this book and it's a good story.

Celebrate Lit gave me the opportunity to receive, read, and review Trouble Blows West.  Keep reading to learn more about the book, the author, and to enter a great giveaway!

About the Book



Book: Trouble Blows West

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Mid-grade, blended family, horses

Release Date: April 13, 2012

 

Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong. She quickly learns that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one.

When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a payback prank at Pierce’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally, because he won’t let her be his friend.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.

 

More from Monique

Hello Everybody,

I’d like to welcome you to the second book in my Ginnie West Adventure Series: Trouble Blows West. The journey to writing this book started a long time ago as a promise to my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Marion Joyce Johnson.

It took me longer than I planned to start the series, but has been a fun adventure.

Because Mrs. Johnson was such an inspiration to me, I made her a character in this book, Trouble Blows West to help my main character, Ginnie, nicknamed, “Trouble”, who gets into quite a pickle and needs a little help turning things around.

On page 2, Ginnie gets on the wrong side of the biggest bully in 6th grade. Pierce Owens goes after Ginnie’s twin brother, Toran. Ginnie knocks Pierce on his rear in front of the entire cafeteria—causing a big problem for Ginnie, Toran, and Pierce.

The bigger problem though, is the reader finds out fairly quickly that Pierce is being abused at home. Ginnie and Toran don’t find out right away—but when they do, they decide to be Pierce’s ally—because Pierce won’t let them be his friend.

My real-life teacher, Mrs. Johnson, used to speak with a cockney accent on occasion. She is American born, but was stationed in the United Kingdom with her husband and two sons, one of which is Astronaut, Col. (Retired USAF) Gregory H. Johnson, who piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavor twice.

I reached out to Greg earlier this year and he graciously met me on a zoom and has called and texted with me as I have revamped Trouble Blows West, into an audiobook with my very talented narrator, Hillary Straga. We decided to have Mrs. Johnson, the character, voiced with a cockney accent to make her “pop.”

Greg, his brother, Gary, and I talked on a number of occasions as I edited this book  to make the character, Mrs. Johnson, an even more authentic representation of their mother. Part of that story is told in my expanded dedication of the book to Mrs. Johnson as well as in Col. Greg Johnson’s Foreword at the beginning of the book.

Trouble Blows West explores the hard reality of child abuse in an age appropriate way. Several teachers have read this book with their classrooms and shared with me that they have had great conversations on all aspects of bullying and being bullied, as well as what to do if you suspect someone is being abused.

As a former foster mom of over 100 kids, part of the reason I write the Ginnie West series is to empower kids being abused as well as encourage kids and adults alike to know they have the power to change their own stars.

My hope is that the story presented in Trouble Blows West will spark the courage some need to let their voice be heard, to make a difference in their own life, or in the life of someone who needs some help.

And believe it or not, kindness and humor are powerful tools that make life worth living. If you have to choose between being kind or being right, choose kindness.

Laugh lots, love much, write on!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Blogging With Carol, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

Artistic Nobody, November 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 25

Library Lady's Kid Lit, November 26

Through the Fire Blogs, November 27

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 28

deb's Book Review, November 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 30

Mary Hake, November 30

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, December 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 2

Vicky Sluiter, December 3

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Kobo gift card!!

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/103ef/trouble-blows-west-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: To Steal a Heart


I've been dealing with a sore throat and laryngitis for the past three days, but that did not stop me from laughing (sometimes out loud - well, in a whisper) and being riveted by this book!  It is delightfully funny and I was amused the whole way through.  The characters are fresh, unique, and believable without being silly.  I also enjoyed the repartee and conversations - again, funny and believable.  Even the animals were funny!!  There were enough drama and intrigue to keep my interest, especially finding out Gabriella's and Nicholas' pasts.  It ended like it should have and leaves room for more stories.  I do hope the next books in the series come quickly.  Although God was mentioned, it was not very often (not a bad thing - just don't expect much).  Gabriella's change from skeptical disdain to realizing that God had a hand in her life was somewhat subtle in that when she did acknowledge His working in her life, it was somewhat surprising to read.  The story is not quite 5 stars (although I will give it 5 stars because it's definitely more than 4 stars), but really really close, and I definitely want to read more of this series and by this author.

Celebrate Lit gave me the opportunity to receive, read, and review this book.  Read on to learn more about the book, the author, and to enter a great giveaway!

About the Book


Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November 2020

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.
 
 

More from Jen

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

 

Are there other interesting characters in this series?

 

Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

 

Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”

 



Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

 

Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

 

Wishing all of you the very best!

 

Jen

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Soulfully Romantic, November 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 17

Robin's Nest, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 18

Losing the Busyness, November 18

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, November 18

She Lives To Read, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

Wishful Endings, November 19

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 20

The Write Escape, November 20

Older & Smarter?, November 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Christian Bookaholic, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Mia Reads, November 22

Writing from the Heart Land, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Life of Literature, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

D'S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 24

Batya's Bits, November 24

Joanne Markey's blog, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

Inside the Wong Mind, November 25

Mary Hake, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 26

EmpowerMoms, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Novels Corner, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Connie's History Classroom, November 27

Captive Dreams Window, November 27

Book of Ruth Ann, November 27

deb's Book Review, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Daysong Reflections, November 28

Bigreadersite, November 28

Jodie Wolfe - Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 29

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Pause for Tales, November 30

Spoken from the Heart, November 30

Hallie Reads, November 30

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!

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/103a4/to-steal-a-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Pin It!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Book Review: Saving Mount Rushmore


When I was growing up, I cultivated a love for reading, and while devouring books, I learned a lot even through fiction.  Books like The Happy Hollister series and even the Nancy Drew books not only offered an interesting story but also the opportunity to learn about other places.  I have since learned that these types of books can be called living books (according to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education).  If you are interested in homeschooling, that's a fun rabbit trail to research.

Saving Mount Rushmore is a good example of a living book.  It combines a touch of fantasy, suspense, and learning about a real place which just so happens to be one of our nation's treasures.  In the story, the main character John is bummed to learn he has to spend the summer with his aunt while his parents are away for work.  That attitude quickly changes when he is thrust into an adventure saving Mount Rushmore from attack by nefarious kids who work for an unknown boss.  John goes from missing his friend and family to becoming part of an important team with new friends.  The story is interesting and engaging.  At times, it gets a little too wordy with description, but overall, I like the book and I want to read the sequel Saving the Statue of Liberty.

I was offered the opportunity to read and review this book by Celebrate Lit.  I wish I had remembered earlier that this was written for a middle grade audience.  I would have either read it aloud to Gracie or had her read it and write a review for my blog.  Gracie and I both want to visit New York City someday so we may read the sequel together pretty soon. 

One more thing:  I'm pretty particular about what I read and what I let Gracie read.  (We don't do Harry Potter, for example.)  Even though this book has a touch of fantasy, there is nothing in the book that I would be worried about.  I had forgotten that I was a little concerned about the mention of special talents when I was introduced to the book, but I decided to give the book a try....because of Mount Rushmore.  All of the talents mentioned are special gifts that real children and adults can have:  an affinity for history, a knack for code-cracking, and superior observation skills.  I can recommend this book to any parent without reservation.

About the Book



Book: Saving Mount Rushmore

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Christian Nonfiction

Release Date: April 15, 2018

When John Jenkins’ parents ship him off to stay with his aunt, he’s certain it will be the worst summer ever—until he learns he’s been accepted into a top-secret school. St. Michael’s Academy is home to gifted students with extraordinary talents. Although John has no idea why he’s there, he’s assigned to Team Liberty, who assist authorities with solving low-level crimes. Their first mission: stop a trio of mischief-making teens from vandalizing Mount Rushmore. John battles feelings of inferiority as he and Team Liberty compete against Devlin Black and his cronies to track down clues and solve puzzles at Mount Rushmore. Along the way, John makes several key contributions, and his self-confidence grows. When he discovers he was admitted to the school due to a clerical error, he’s mortified. Now, he’s strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to save Mount Rushmore, and he learns an invaluable lesson: every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Andrea Jo Rodgers is the author of award-winning Christian middle grade fiction as well as inspirational adult nonfiction novels. She holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in women’s health, orthopedics, and lymphedema. She has served her community as a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years, responding to more than 8,200 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and their two rescue dogs, a Shih Tzu and a Dachshund.

 

More from Andrea

Can John embrace his God-given gifts in time to save Mount Rushmore?

Have you ever admired the extraordinary talent of another person? Perhaps you enjoyed listening to someone belt out a spellbinding rendition of your favorite song at church or a concert. Or, maybe you have dreamed that you’d gain the same athletic prowess of a professional sports player.

The amazing gifts of others can take many forms. These gifts may be linked with intelligence, such as an aptitude for math and engineering. They may reflect the beauty of the arts through singing, dancing, or painting. Certain individuals may dazzle the people around them with incredible athletic talents, from gold-medal Olympians to professional baseball, football, and basketball players.

Most people consider extraordinary talents to be God-given gifts. They allow people to stand out and shine among others. However, do each of us need a breathtaking talent to be considered special?

In Saving Mount Rushmore, John Jenkins, an awkward thirteen-year-old teenager, is unexpectedly chosen to attend Saint Michael the Archangel Academy. The top-secret school’s mission is to protect our nation by assisting authorities in solving crimes. Since the academy is for students with extraordinary abilities, John is puzzled as to why he’s been accepted. After all, he’s an average teen without any notable gifts.

While working with Team Liberty to save Mount Rushmore from Devlin Black and Team Mischief, John struggles to discover his special gifts. He’s mortified when he discovers that he’s been accepted to the academy due to a clerical error. He becomes strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to try to save Mount Rushmore. He learns that every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

I came up with the idea for Saving Mount Rushmore while in the airport, just before our plane departed for the famous landmark. I wrote feverishly the entire flight, and the first chapters were born. Saving Mount Rushmore is a middle grade novel which combines information about Mount Rushmore, adventure, and Christian values. My goal was to write an exciting, fun, educational book for middle grade readers that incorporates Christian values into the fabric of the story. John and his friends have an opportunity to save another national monument in the sequel, Saving the Statue of Liberty. I hope you celebrate our country’s heritage by joining John and Team Liberty in their adventures.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Older & Smarter?, November 23

Library Lady's Kid Lit, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 25

Vicky Sluiter, November 26

deb's Book Review, November 27

Simple Harvest Reads, November 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 28

Artistic Nobody, November 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Captive Dreams Window, November 29

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Saving Mount Rushmore: Saint Michael the Archangel Academy, Mission 1 as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/103a5/saving-mount-rushmore-celebration-tour-giveaway

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