Archive for April 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood: A Litfuse Review

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors, # 1)The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely fell in love with the cover of this book. I was so drawn to it and I knew it was a book I simply had to read.

This story was absolutely fantastic; I can’t rave enough about it. I think it is the best book that I have read this year which is an amazing honor for me to bestow on an author that is new to me as I can be a pretty tough critic.

This story was suspenseful and romantic and yet it appealed to my motherly nature. The characters were realistic and loveable (well, most of them) and the ending had me on the edge of my seat. I did not see that one coming at all! I’m practically antsy wanting to know how it will all tie together in the next installment! If this book is any indication of future works by this author then she certainly will earn her place as a favorite on my bookshelf!

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend's baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child's father-a sea captain she's never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia's detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she's forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham's strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.
View all my reviews|Excerpt|Giveaway|Pintrest Board 

The Heiress of WinterWood|The Headmistress of Rosemere|A Lady at Willowgrove Hall

Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Find out more about Sarah at

I received this book free from the publisher through a fantastic program called Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own. This giveaway is being sponsored by Litfuse
as part of a blog tour for The Heiress of Winterwood. To view other reviews and learn more about this tour please visit the Litfuse group by clicking here

The Heiress of Winterwood | Enter to win a “Downton Abbey Kindle Fire Prize Pack from @SarahLaddAuthor

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!

 One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

A Review of Prophet by RJ Larson: Sure to Touch Your Spirit

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prophet (Books of the Infinite #1)Prophet by R.J. Larson

I’ll admit it; I read this story for the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I’m really glad I gave it a chance though. It’s a really neat Christian story in fantasy form.

Truly, the “Infinite” of Ela of Parne is the Lord I love and serve as well. I found some of the parallels and words of wisdom presented in a way that touched my spirit and really spoke to my heart.

I thought this story was well thought out, believable and yet still held that fantasy element to it that drew me in. I can’t wait to pick up book two!

Ela of Parne has been chosen by the Infinite to be His Prophet to the people. I kind of got a clearer picture of how Elijah or Moses may have felt as I read this. They were His prophet but still human. I’m sure they really dreaded the delivery of some messages.

Ela leaves Parne with her younger sister, Tzana—a young girl plagued by a degenerative aging condition and travels to distant lands to deliver the Infinite's message. I thought this was interesting as it showed that God can use any of us if we will be his willing vessel. I also found myself worrying over her throughout the story which just shows how I fell in love with the characters.

From Parne, Ela finds herself in a kingdom that has turned away from the Infinite and it is her job to warn them. While she is there she is taken prisoner but she still delivers her message and does the will of the Infinite—even if the means losing her life. The determination and love that Ela holds for her creator serves as a firm reminder of how we should live our life for Him.

“I know the Infinite's voice because He tells me everything I don't want to hear, sends me where I don't want to go, and asks me to fulfill tasks I consider impossible. Above all, He is forever right.”

During her time in prison, Ela meets Kien and though she tries not to—eventually she falls in love. I really wanted them together but I honestly can’t see how it’s going to work. So…in the end—I guess I’m going to have to pick up the next book just to find out!!!

Overall, I thought this book was really good. I struggled knowing how to rate it but decided on a 4 star solely because it seemed to drag for a little while in mid-story. Things picked up towards the end though and it was well worth the push to get through to end! This book definitely makes it to my bookshelf as a keeper!
View all my reviews|Excerpt


R.J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

An Intriguing Narrative! A Review of Bathsheba: Bathed in Grace

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bathsheba Bathed in Grace: How 8 Scandalous Women Changed the WorldBathsheba Bathed in Grace: How 8 Scandalous Women Changed the World by Carol Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was excited to read this story. I’ve not read anything by this author and I can’t recall ever reading anything about Bathsheba other than in the Bible. I really wanted to give this book 5 stars but I felt as if each individual story should have been a little longer. I felt it was over too fast. That’s how much I enjoyed reading from these ladies perspectives. It definitely made me think about thinks in a different light.

This book is a narrative of eight scandalous women of the Bible and starts with the story of Bathsheba. Each of these ladies was involved in some sort of scandal—not all on their own accord. The Bible doesn’t expand on the thoughts that these ladies may have had; this book does. I found it so interesting.

The ladies in this narrative are: Bathsheba, Sarah, Hagar, Leah, Rachel, Tamar, Rebekah and Eve. We follow along from their viewpoint of the events that shaped a nation and I have to say—I was fascinated. I had never taken the time to think about how Rachel may have felt to be betrayed by her father and by her sister nor as to why Leah agreed to such a horrible thing. Pure intrigue and fascination was found for me on each and every page.

If you’re looking for a book that will maybe open your eyes to new possibilities or make you think about how these ladies felt then this is definitely one to read. I was so intrigued by this take on Bathsheba that I’ve spent days reading up on her. I had always heard her made out to be partially at fault for the affair with King David but after reading this story I did some digging and now I’m seriously thinking that she was an innocent victim in this scandal. It’s certainly food for thought.

The only reason I am giving this book 4 stars is because I was left wanting more from each of the narratives. I think a full novel could have been written about each and every one of these intriguing ladies!!!
View all my reviews


Carol Cook loves to write, teach, and mentor young women. Her warmth, enthusiasm, and unique insight into the dynamics of Biblical women and the profound application of those tales to the lives of contemporary women have made her a “Remembered Experience”. Look in any Christian bookstore and you will find myriad books on women of the Bible … none putting flesh on bones through the poetic retelling of courageous, yet riveting tales like Carol does. These ancient stories will be the very source of inspiration for you to courageously overcome your fears and temptations through faith and grace as they’ve been for Carol over the years. Living in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Carol has been happily married to Jim for 48 years and together they’ve raised three kids and enjoy the never-ending creativity and energy of ten grandkids.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Great Relief at an affordable price! A Bzzagent Report on Children’s Claritin®

Sunday, April 7, 2013's Claritin®

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Powerful all-day relief

Children’s Claritin® is the only over-the-counter children’s brand that provides powerful 24 hour relief for a child’s worst seasonal and indoor allergy symptoms, without making them jittery or drowsy.1 What’s more, it’s the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Non-Drowsy Brand

I was so excited to be able to try and review Children’s Claritin® for the bzzagent program. I was sent the chewable tablets as well as the dye free liquid and it came in the mail at the perfect time as allergies are in full swing in our household. I started giving my youngest daughter a tablet that very day and within twenty-four hours her nose was finally starting to clear up. I have no complaints at all about the function of the product, it works fast and keeps seasonal allergies in check. My only complaint about the product is that it only comes in one flavor. My toddler cannot stand grape flavor and while it does help her tremendously it is a fight getting her to take the pills or the liquid. I would love to see this at least available in a bubble gum flavor so that it isn't a fight getting her to take it.

You can find this product at any pharmacy or retail store so it is readily available and affordable! You do not need a prescription, simply look for it over the counter.

I received this product free from Pet Milk for being a BzzAgent! To find out more about this fantastic program and how you can get involved please visit I was not required to write a positive review. The views and opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Sweet and Daring Romance: The Fairest Beauty

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Fairest BeautyThe Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so excited to read this book—the cover is just gorgeous and that was the sole reason I was compelled to read this book. Well, I won’t lie; I am a huge fan of fantasy, fairy tales and the show Once Upon a Time. So, when I saw this cover I had to have this book and luckily my dad got it for me for my birthday. I enjoyed the book well enough though I do wish there had been less realistic situations and more fantasy. Really, despite this being a retelling of a fairy tale there wasn’t a fantasy element to it at all and I really missed that. A fairy tale just needs a good dose of magic in my opinion and that was seriously missing in this story. Otherwise it was pretty good!

Sophie has been raised as a lowly scullery maid for an overbearing and evil duchess. She wishes for nothing but to please the Lord and to live her life serving others and being a blessing. Now, I really thought this was an unusual element to this story. I knew going into it that it was Christian fiction but I’m used to Christian fantasy using allegory rather than actually saying “Jesus Christ” or quoting the scripture. I’m not sure why but this element just didn’t seem to flow with the theme. Perhaps that’s just because I have a preconceived notion of how a fairytale typically reads…

Anyway, Gabe is nobility from a neighboring kingdom and he learns of Sophie’s plight and of her true origin as the daughter of the late Duke and though she was betrothed to his older brother in her infancy—Gabe is determined to rescue her and steal the glory that would belong to his brother.

However, it was never Gabe’s intention to fall helplessly in love with Sophie and when they find themselves in the Cottage of the Seven while Gabe recovers from an injury—Sophie finds she can no longer deny her attraction to the handsome Gabe. This provides quite a problem as Gabe is already engaged to another and of course there is the problem of the legally binding betrothal of Sophie to his brother.

As always the story wraps up with a fairytale ending but I thought this one was almost a little too clean of a wrap up. I can’t quite put a finger on what I would change as I really did enjoy the story but there were little things I felt made the story disjointed or perhaps out of place? As a Christian I really do enjoy a book that pulls in a Christian element but it just didn’t seem to fit in well in this story. Otherwise, it was a really good read and I do think I’ll pick up a few more of her books to check them out.
View all my reviews|Read an Excerpt


Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). . Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama. Find out more about this author by visiting her website at