Review: Palmer Girl, by Dawn Klinge

book coverSynopsis

When insurance tycoon, Cornelius Nordeman, is recruited to work for the Exposition Corporation, the New Yorker brings his family to live at the Palmer House Hotel, far away from any reminders of a recent tragedy. He’s hopeful this move will offer respite from his family’s grief. Elizabeth Nordeman, his daughter, has something to prove, which leads her to seek work as a florist at Marshall Field’s, Chicago’s finest department store. John Lewis knows something is different and intriguing about the new florist he hired. When his boss, Marshall Field, informs him that Elizabeth is the Nordeman heiress, his job suddenly becomes more complicated–especially when he finds himself falling for her. On the eve of the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Chicago prepares to prove that it’s a first-class city, and the brightest minds from around the country will plan the most spectacular fair the world has seen. The World’s Fair will bring change and innovation into a society bound tightly by class and tradition. Elizabeth’s heart longs to push against those boundaries, so what’s holding her back?


Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the author and JustRead Publicity Tours, the words and opinions below are my own.

I have many casual interests, but two are the Gilded Age and the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Because of those, Palmer Girl grabbed my attention even though I’d not read anything by Dawn Klinge, and it’s self-published. Hey, life is full of new experiences, and new experiences is part of what makes this book great to read. Elizabeth steps out of her world, despite her mother’s wishes, and John has already left the family farm when we meet him. Continue reading

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Gift Book Review: Choose Joy

Choose Joy book coverInformation

Relax and enjoy a creative approach to gratitude with this beautiful coloring book for adults filled with breathtaking illustrations and inspirational quotes from writers, hymns, and Scripture.

In today’s hectic, stress-filled world, taking stock of our blessings and truly experiencing gratefulness isn’t always easy, but this coloring book offers a beautiful and unique way to find moments of peace and quiet to meditate on gratitude. Each beautifully illustrated page features an original design from one of seven talented artists that illustrates a corresponding quote.

Features include:

  • Large format 9.75″ x 9.75″ (25x25cm) pages
  • 45 single-sided coloring pages
  • High quality, bright white paper stock–heavy enough to use pencils, pens, or markers
  • Quotes from the Bible, hymns, and variety of inspirational writers, such as Charles Stanley, Henry Ward Beecher, Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott, Martin Luther King Jr., Shauna Niequist, Bob Goff, G.K. Chesterton, Mr. Rogers, and more
  • A link to the “Gratefulness” playlist to help set the mood for worship, contemplation, creative expression, and a spirit of gratitude
  • Illustrations by Holly Camp, Jennifer Tucker, Ann-Margret Hovsepian, Katie Howe, Laura Marshall, Bridget Hurley, and Radha Carlson–all artists previously featured in the bestselling Whatever Is Lovely and Everything Beautiful.


Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Let’s face it: 2020 has not been a stellar year. Some had it better than others, admittedly, while some had it much worse. In some ways, my household was fortunate as my husband was considered front-line (he’s a physical therapist) and kept working, and I work from home. Our income dipped a bit, but not considerably, and neither of us became ill. The year didn’t start great for us, however. My father-in-law died on New Year’s Day after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

So, who doesn’t need a break filled with joy? Probably no one, and that need is why I looked at this coloring book from WaterBrook’s new line of Christian gift books. I came late to the world of adult coloring, by a good couple of years. I didn’t get it. Until one day I gave it a try. Now, I have coloring books and pencils everywhere. Even my Bible is a journaling/coloring Bible.

My coloring efforts

The reviewer’s efforts

I LOVE Choose Joy. The only downside I can find is that it’s a bit too big to throw in a bag and take with me. But I like that the paper is strong, and that the designs vary in style and design. You can color everything from stained glass to birds to… cupcakes. The designs contain plenty of clear space to fill with color (I don’t care for too much shading in a design), and most will entice you to vary the colors you use as well. On the reverse of each page, you’ll find information and context about the quote used and its author. Oh, and the pages are detachable so feel free to remove your finished artwork and display it in a place of prominence. That way, when 2020 has you down, you can look to it to remind you to always Choose Joy.

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions above are my own.

Product Information

Publisher: Ink and Willow

Publication Date: 22 September 2020

Book Information

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Review: The Light at Wyndcliff, by Sarah E. Ladd (blog tour with giveaway)

The Light at Wyndcliff
by Sarah E. Ladd

Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages

Series: The Cornwall Novels, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Christian



Set in 1820s Cornwall, this Regency romance evokes the captivating worlds and delicious dramas of Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, and Winston Graham.

Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks. The only survivors, a little girl and her injured mother, are rescued and brought to Wyndcliff Hall.

Liam Twethewey is just twenty-two when he inherits Wyndcliff Estate from his great uncle. His optimistic plans to open a china clay pit to employ the estate’s tenants meets unexpected resistance, and the rumors of smuggling and illegal activity challenge his new-found authority. Though wise beyond his years, young Liam quickly finds himself out of his depth in this land where long-held secrets and high-stakes agendas make no room for newcomers.

Brought together by troubling questions surrounding the shipwreck, Evelyn and Liam uncover even darker mysteries shrouding the estate. But as they untangle truths from deceptions, their loyalties separate them—and their budding love might not be strong enough to overcome the distance.

My Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher and HFVBT, the words and opinions below are my own.

The Light at Wyndcliff is the third in the series about the Twethewey family of Cornwall, and, if this series follows the norm, is the last title in the trilogy. It focuses on subject of smuggling; an occupation along the Cornish coast that was at its height during the early 19th century. Readers of the previous two books will recall that smuggling – or “free trading” – was a large part of the first book, The Governess of Penwythe Hall and that Liam has good reason to not like that whole business. In a way, it’s a great book to finish the series with because of those connections. Continue reading

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Review: A Wild Hope, by Celeste de Blasis

book coverSynopsis

Banished from her uncaring family home for her growing friendship with older neighbor St. John, Alexandria Thaine is unprepared for the new life she encounters with her distant cousins in England’s West Country. She blossoms under the warmth of the Falconers, and as she throws herself into the thrilling danger of the family’s smuggling trade, Alex forms an unbreakable bond with the eldest son, Rane.

But just as Alex begins to imagine a future in Devon with Rane at her side, the death of her older sister forces her back home to care for her sister’s motherless twins. Still yearning for Rane, Alex grows to love the helpless babies, and as she rekindles her friendship with St. John, she finds herself caught between her heart and her home.

When the opportunity comes to start anew in Maryland’s lush horse country, Alex faces the agonizing choice between the life she dreamed of and the promise of the new world. But starting over in a golden land on the brink of war brings unforeseen dangers to her door, and when Alex’s new family is threatened, can she find the strength to risk her happiness today for the wild hope of a brighter tomorrow?

The sweeping, epic and emotional novel by beloved storyteller Celeste De Blasis, available in eBook for the first time. Perfect for readers who love Poldark, Outlander and Daphne du Maurier.

A Wild Hope was originally published as Wild Swan.


Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

I always find it interesting to see audience recommendations for a book, as it reminds me of my contrary nature. Outlander? Never read it. Same with the Poldark series. Haven’t seen any of the television adaptions either. I HAVE read Daphne du Maurier, one book to be exact – Rebecca – and I’ve seen the classic 1940 Hitchcock-directed movie. So, what made me accept an assignment to read and review A Wild Hope? The answer is that I simply liked the sound of the plot. While I was reading it, I decided it had a touch of Thomas Hardy to it, and John Jakes too, perhaps. (I read and watched North and South as a teenager, thanks to Patrick Swayze.) Continue reading

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Review: A Portrait of Loyalty, by Roseanna M. White

book coverSynopsis

He sees patterns in what she deems chaos.
She sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed.

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.


Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

At last we come to the final book in The Codebreakers series by Roseanna M. White. This trilogy has carried readers through the later stages of World War 1, focusing on those who worked for Naval Intelligence in London. This series also featured characters from White’s previous trilogies: Ladies of the Manor, and Shadows Over England, and the result is a glorious example of how all walks of life came together to support the Allies in the war that was supposed to “end all wars.” Continue reading

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