Tag Archive | inspirational

#The Christmas Wishing Tree by Emily March–Review–5 stars–#NetGalley

the christmas wishing tree:.jpg 850.jpgA Delightful, Sweet Small Town Romance–The Christmas Wishing Tree –Coming 9/25/18

 

The Christmas Wishing Tree is a delightful, touching and well-written story about healing hearts, believing in dreams, and the magic of Christmas.  

Although Devin Murphy wasn’t able to spend as much time as he wanted to in Eternal Springs, Colorado, it was his favorite place to visit during Christmas. Year-round, Eternal Springs was known as a place of healing, and loving friendships, but during the Christmas season, the enchanted small town came alive with magic.

Seven-year-old Reilly Stockton thought he was dialing the North Pole when he reached Devin Murphy. Devin didn’t have the heart to tell the boy that he wasn’t Santa. After spending a good amount of time talking with Reilly. Devin did his best to reach the boy’s mom to tell her about her son’s Christmas request.

Dr. Jenna Stockton was tired of being the target of someone’s sick, mean-spirited tricks and scare tactics. Unfortunately, if her stalker’s plan was to frighten her and traumatize her son, Reilly, he was successful. Jenna thought that maybe it was time to go off the grid for a while. Perhaps they could visit Eternal Springs, the fascinating place, Santa had told her son about.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet heartwarming small town romance. The plot is intriguing, the dialog witty and natural, and the characters likable, developed, and flawed.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Emily invites you visit her website at www.EmilyMarch.com

 

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Brown

The Lilac Bouquet.

Carolyn Brown’s Newest Heartwarming Release!

The Lilac Bouquet is a compelling story about friendship, secrets, and forgiveness.

Seth Thomas was an ornery eighty-two-year-old recluse, recovering from a broken hip. He was not happy to discover that his sister had hired an assistant to help him. Everyone counseled Emmy Jo against taking the job at the Thomas’s mansion. But Emmy Jo wasn’t listening. She had a fancy wedding to pay for. Emmy Jo’s great-grandmother, Tandy, was livid when she heard that Emmy Jo was considering the assistant position. She even threatened to lock Emmy Jo out of her trailer if she accepted the job.

What Emmy Jo discovered while working at the Thomas’s mansion was that Seth was just a crotchety old man with OCD who didn’t want his privacy violated. He was not the evil, strange man that everyone was painting him out to be. Although Seth tried not to show his feelings, he liked Emmy Jo. She was sassy and outspoken, just like the woman he once loved.

Emmy Jo was determined to discover why the three oldest people in town, including her great-grandmother, and Seth, were feuding against one another. Seth began to reveal the secrets to Emmy Jo, of how the town shunned his family and mistreated his mother. Emmy Jo became close to Seth and witnessed the man come alive, and live for the first time in his life. She saw just how powerful love, trust, and forgiveness could be.

This story touches on several mature themes such as rape, prostitution, bullying and depression. The topics, however, are written, without being graphic. I found The Lilac Bouquet to be inspirational, heartfelt and moving. I loved it.

Thank you, Montlake Romance and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

*FAITHFUL* by Alice Hoffman*5-Stars*

faithful

Faithful is a remarkably well-written, complex character-driven novel. Right from the start, the reader is brought intimately into the heart and mind of a troubled teen, suffering from survivor guilt.

Shelby and Helene were the best of friends. They were inseparable until one night when Shelby’s car spun out of control, and Helene ended up in a coma. After a brief psychiatric hospitalization, seventeen-year-old Shelby shaved her head, isolated in the basement, smoked pot, and basically, gave up on life.

Although Shelby did her best to keep people at arm’s length, she was amazed to find, that they were still, drawn to her. She hated herself and often came across as a tough street girl, someone not to be messed with. Shelby had a kind heart; however, and a soft spot for abused animals and homeless people. She would go out of her way to help them. Someone was placing artistic postcards with encouraging messages in her mailbox. She called this mysterious someone, her angel. Shelby does eventually find her way in the world, but not before she nearly destroys herself in the process.

Each page is filled, with raw emotion, realistic dialogue, and flawed characters. Although this book can be intensely depressing at times, I found it to be also inspirational. There is a lot of hope; unconditional love and touching moments sprinkled throughout the dark pages of this book. Faithful is a story about penance, redemption, and unconditional love. It is also unforgettable.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Three Amazing Things About You* by Jill Mansell*5-Stars

three-amazing-things-about-you

Three Amazing Things About You is an emotional story that touches the soul. It’s poignant, pensive, humorous, and unforgettable.

The book begins with Hallie, a kind woman who gives advice on her website called ThreeThingsAboutYou.com. She hopes that she’ll be able to continue posting after her surgery. Within hours, Hallie will be trading in, her set of lungs, severely damaged from Cystic Fibrosis, for a pair of healthy ones. She’s petrified, though, but also thrilled. Hallie is finally going to get her chance to live a normal life. She has secretly desired and loved a man, even though she knew that her longing could never be satisfied. But, what if she was healthy? Could her dream become more than just a fantasy?

Little did Tasha know that the most embarrassing day of her life would also be the most significant. Tasha was mortified. She was up to her shoulder, in gooey public trash, digging for her lost credit card; while teenage boys taunted her, and restaurant patrons looked on. Rory, an innocent bystander, stepped up to Tasha’s rescue, changing his and her life forever.

Lena was livid. How could her grandmother, name, a health care worker, Flo, in her will, as the guardian of Jeremy? To add insult to injury, Flo would get to live, rent free, in her grandmother’s upscale apartment, until Jeremy’s death. Jeremy was a cat for goodness sake! And, Lena needed that apartment for herself. Zander, Lena’s brother, wanted his irritating, demanding sister out of his apartment, but wasn’t about to make trouble for Flo. He liked Flo and was hoping, with any luck, that he might get to know her better.

There are several secondary characters in this book. And, although, it may seem like a lot to keep track of, each character plays a vital role in adding depth and spice to this tale.

This is a story depicting how one charitable act of kindness can affect many lives. And although, the underlying theme is rather sad, this book is anything but. In fact, some parts of it, are downright hysterical. I love how Jill Mansell was able to take two serious subjects, organ transplants, and death, and create a beautiful, touching, and humorous tale. Three Amazing Things About You will bring tears of laughter and sadness to your eyes. The story will also linger in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page. Jill Mansell is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Truly, don’t pass on this one.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Drowned Phoenician Sailor* by Lesley Hayes*5-Shining Stars

The drowned Phoenician Sailor

The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is a beautifully written, character-driven novel, which quickly draws the reader into the heart and mind of the main character, Fynn. Fynn is a strong-willed, feisty, independent woman with a good sense of humor and a caring spirit. But, because she is being bothered by two ghosts on a regular basis, she fears for her sanity. One of the ghosts is her twin sister, and the other is Paul, her psychotherapist; the same psychotherapist who she was seeing because of her ghost visitations in the first place. Unfortunately for Fynn, when Paul dies, he ends up popping in and out of Fynn’s life, just like her dead sister.

Although Fynn was afraid that she might be insane, she was still the most responsible person in her family and the only one who cared for her eccentric, childlike mother whose grip on reality was quite slippery. It was on one of her visits to her mother’s house that Fynn met Jack, a mysterious man whom her mother found washed up on the beach and brought home, much like she would a stray puppy. Jack would become a special person to Fynn, though, someone who would touch her soul.

The author does an exceptional job writing about the issues that are often found in dysfunctional families; such as; abuse, abandonment, deceit, depression, and mistrust. Ms. Hayes explores many of the puzzle pieces that make up positive and negative relationships and crafts them into a beautiful story. There is a lot of humor, wisdom, and inspiration that is sprinkled throughout this book.

The characters are unique, developed and utterly fascinating; even the cat has a quirky hysterical personality. The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is written with elegance, so much so, that I often stopped to reread a sentence, just to admire the beauty of the author’s word choices. Every sentence is carefully crafted, to tug at the reader’s heart, make them laugh or move the story forward.

This is a quality book with oodles of insights and wisdom. I highly recommend giving it a read.

~5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Searching for Harmony* by Kelly Elliot

Searching for Harmony

Searching for Harmony is a well-written, poignant romantic story.

Harmony was devastated when she discovered that she was the only survivor of a car crash. Her husband and baby son were both gone. Jake, her brother, the only family that she had left, cried by her bedside in the hospital. Harmony’s parents weren’t coming to support her; they had disowned her when she had refused to get an abortion. And, even though, she knew that her brother hurt for her, she felt alone in her pain. Harmony would find, though, that in her darkest hour, slivers of hope would seep through the cracks of her heart.

Consumed with guilt and haunted by his failure, firefighter, Preston Ward set out to befriend Harmony, the woman of his nightmares. He only meant to ease her pain, but in doing so, ended up turning both of their lives upside down.

Searching for Harmony is a touching story about love, loss, and the courage that it takes for a person who has been hurt in the past, to open their heart and risk being vulnerable again.

I found this book, easy to read, enjoyable, and emotionally charged.

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Flying by the Seat of my Knickers* by Eliza Watson

Flying by the seat of my knickers

Caity Shaw stared at the costume; her sister, the head event planner, had given her to wear. She was not exactly thrilled about posing as a sausage in Ireland but was happy to be out of the United States, and far away from her stalking ex-boyfriend.

Caity’s self-esteem was at an all-time low. She had been fired from her job, abused by an ex-boyfriend, and was hired as an event assistant only because her mother had pressured her sister into giving her the position. Although the man helping her with her costume was witty and insanely attractive, Caity knew that he could never be for her. Declan had a reputation as a player and being hurt by another man was the last thing Caity needed in her life.

During Caity’s temporary stay in Ireland, she, unfortunately, suffered several embarrassing moments. Some of her mishaps were of her own doing, but most of them were orchestrated by a very jealous event assistant, Gretchen. Through the help of a friend, though, Caity was able to stand up and believe in herself once again.

Flying by the Seat of my Knickers is an entertaining light read. I think the story could have been richer, and crafted with more depth if the secondary characters were developed. I would have loved to have known more about Caity’s narcissistic ex-boyfriend and Declan’s true personality. I found the book, though, a quick and enjoyable read.

I received this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Mystic Montana Sky*by Debra Holland*5-Stars

Mystic Montana Sky

Mystic Montana Sky is a heartfelt historical fiction romance; that takes place during the 1800’s, in Sweetwater Springs, Montana.

The only thing Magdalena felt after being told that her husband had died, was relief. She had received her last beating from the mean, abusive drunkard. Magdalena decided that she never wanted to remarry and be dependent on a man again. She would guard her heart and make her own way in the world. Fate, however, had something else in mind for the beautiful Gypsy woman.

Caleb Livingston heard a scream after nearly colliding with a fast moving caravan. Guilt and remorse stabbed at his heart when he found a crashed caravan, a dead man, and an injured pregnant woman. Caleb Livingston was a person who could be depended on, to take control of a situation and keep a cool head. However, when Magdalena started to have labor pains, panic took over his usual self-assured, calm demeanor. The wealthy businessman knew nothing about delivering a child. But, since there was no one else around to help with the birthing process, he knew that responsibility sat squarely on his shoulders.

Stripped of his stuffy, confident manner, Caleb donned an apron and began with trembling hands his midwifery duties. Caleb was never one to take directions from another person, but since he didn’t want three deaths on his conscience, he paid close attention to everything Magdalena demanded of him. Little did Caleb know that delivering this child was going to change him and his life forever.

This book captured my attention from the start. I quickly became engrossed in the story and cared for the characters, especially Caleb and Magdalena, who had both been hurt in relationships before and were afraid to love again.

Mystic Montana Sky is a sweet inspirational romance about love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Highly recommended.

I received this ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Glory Over Everything* by Kathleen Grissom*5-Stars

Glory Over Everything

Glory Over Everything is the sequel to Kathleen Grissom’s debut novel, The Kitchen House; and it is every bit as riveting as her first book.

Glory Over Everything follows the story of Jamie Pyke, a secondary character in The Kitchen House. Jamie grew up as a privileged white boy until the truth of his parentage, came to light. His father, a cruel and abusive man, bound Jamie to the slaves, headed for the auction block. Jamie escaped, though, and ran for his life. Henry, a runaway slave himself, helped the confused and frightened, thirteen-year-old boy. He taught Jamie how to survive in the woods and eventually pushed the boy to establish himself in Philadelphia. Jamie became a silversmith apprentice and was later adopted by his employer and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Burton.

Twenty years after his escape, Jamie, now known as, James Burton, was a successful silversmith and artist. Henry, shows up in Jamie’s life once again, only, this time, to ask for help. Henry pleaded with Jamie to take on his son, Pan, as a servant. Pan is a lovable character who quickly became my favorite. My heart broke, though, when Pan wandered down to the docks because I knew what was about to happen to him.

The story really takes off when Henry approaches Jamie’s back door, asking for his help, only this time, it was to find his missing son. Jamie, petrified of traveling into the South, tried to wiggle his way out of being the person to look for Pan. He was sure that the old overseer, Rankin, was still after him. And, if he were to be recognized in the South, Jamie had no doubt that he would be tried for murder as a black man, and would hang.

Kathleen Grissom’s writing is intense, vivid, and captivating. I felt part of the story, following Jamie, his loyal servant Robert, Pan, and dear brave Sukey through their horrid trials. Kathleen Grissom has become one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait for her next book. I hope it follows Pan’s or Robert’s life. Highly recommended.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Meditate Your Weight*by Tiffany Cruikshank*5-Stars

Meditate your weight

Meditate your weight is a meticulously crafted, well researched, and thought-provoking, solid 5-star read. This book is filled with facts about the mind-body connection, meditation, as well as valuable nuggets of wisdom for healthy living.

The author’s passion comes through on each page, motivating and guiding the reader throughout the book. I especially liked the mind-body connection and learning how to take a negative stress, and transform it into something that is good for my body.

Tiffany Cruikshank reveals truths, and dispels myths, for the reader about meditation and weight loss, based on scientific studies. I for one am happy to discover that it is not necessary for me to meditate thirty minutes a day, suffer through a rigid diet or do rigorous exercise, to start seeing positive results.

This book contains an inspirational 21-day program. Each day includes a three-minute meditation (or longer if you prefer), a short journal exercise and a positive message of intention for the day. And to make this handy guide complete, the author includes tips on healthy eating and some easy yoga poses. Meditate your weight is like having a mentor by your side.

I highly recommend reading this quality written book. I’m very happy I did.

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover