Sunday, December 4, 2016

Surround Me by Marguerite Martin Gray, © 2016

Revolutionary Faith, Book Two


About ten years ago I stood in the front bedroom of my parent’s antebellum house listening to my father tell stories about his ancestors–my ancestors while waving around a silver candlestick–my eight times great-grandfather’s gift to his bride. A story was born and I was off to Charleston, S.C.
  --author Marguerite Martin Gray

Charles Town, colony of South Carolina, 1773
Made from my Ladies' 1780s Portrait Dress pattern, this is a chocolate brown silk taffeta with blue silk sash. The amazing photograph was taken by a dear friend of mine, who runs A Thousand Words Photography in Alabama. Sigh!Waiting faithfully at the dock, Elizabeth Elliott searches the horizon to catch a closer glimpse of the sea-worthy vessel, The Rose, as her brother-in-law and hidden beloved are arriving.To see their approach in the distance! Father would believe her imperiled should he suspect her love for Louis Lestarjette and his for her. Louis has purchased a home, their home, once their engagement is announced and a wedding date arriving. Soon. Oh, my dear Lord, may it be soon! Invited to dinner with his aunt and uncle, her mother entrusted her to go, but only this once. Would Mother ever have an agreement of her own, separate from Father's whims for her? His plans, his ideals. So separate. Elizabeth's stick out so rationally, or irrationally he certainly would say, should he know or become aware of her views as a variance to his.

Louis. How alive it is to see him again. The months separated at sea; how can her sister and their children manage with her husband, Robert, apart from them so long? Manage. Such a strong word. Not to be idle, so the hours fly by until time stops once again for them alone.
When Louis was with Elizabeth, it was hard to concentrate on the negative––war, conflicts, insults, the enemy. In her presence, he focused only on peace, love, and hope.
   --Surround Me, 65-66.
Certain that outside motives will not hamper their lives together, Louis and Elizabeth stay true to their plans and confidence in each other. Their future together looms large on their hearts.

A crucial time in history is right around the corner. The author has written a comprehensive involvement of the elements of Partisan and Loyalist views. What is ahead of them will cement choice and conviction. Safety for all is at hand. Will they be able to see through to each other?

Returning to Charles Town, Louis faces obstacles surrounding his engagement to Elizabeth and a city questioning its role in a volatile resistance to British rule.
   As the dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend, Louis Lestarjette pursues his relationship with Elizabeth even as the emotion and physical struggles set the course for a life of changes. Will his commitment to God stay firm or will the tide of change cause fear and flight?
   The chance of reconciliation with England moves further out to sea leaving Elizabeth Elliott on the shores of surrender to a greater challenge. Although others of unwavering courage give her strength, she must choose to allow God’s love to surround her. How can she enter into a marriage during a time of uncertainty? Will selfish, safer options take her away from Louis and his love?

***Thank you to Celebrate Lit for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for Surround Me. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close—Revolutionary Faith, Book One. She enjoys the study of history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and an MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Originally from Louisiana, she currently lives in Abilene with her husband.

To purchase your own copy of Surround Me, click here.

Blog Stops

December 2A Reader’s Brain
December 3Moments Dipped in Ink
December 4Lane Hill House
December 4Karen Sue Hadley
December 6A Greater Yes
December 7Proverbial Reads
December 10Bigreadersite
December 10Bibliophile Reviews
December 12Pause for Tales
December 13A Path of Joy


To celebrate their tour, Marguerite is giving away a print copy of Hold Me Close and Surround Me, a print copy of A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson, a $10 Amazon Card, and a Yorkshire Gold Box of Tea! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser, © 2016

The Pattern Artist by Nancy MoserThree things immediately ~ remembering Lucy Scarpelli from An Unlikely Suitor by this author. Lucy is an Italian dressmaker in New York sixteen years earlier; I love Historical Fiction ~ my preferred genre; and... upon opening to the first page!!! Nancy Moser has spread her words from margin to margin. This is wonderful!!!

See you soon.

C H A P T E R  O N E

New York City

Annie Wood has adventure forthcoming with her travel from England to America as part of the service staff during a visit to her employer's distant cousin.

Excerpt from author Nancy Moser
( Macy*s ) Photo shows an old street scene at 34th street and Broadway in New York City. Photo dates to winter of 1911. Nice view of old shops, buildings, and other period interest. Titled: "Million Dollar Corner - small plot of land that sold for a million dollars.:
( Macy*s ) Photo shows an old street scene at 34th street and Broadway in New York City. Photo dates to winter of 1911.
On an unexpected outing to The Macy's department store, our protagonist sees a sewing machine for the first time. Looking forward to returning to see how it works, she sets her dreams on it.

Image result for 1911 Butterick patternsOn a whim and a secure reasoning, Annie and two siblings she meets at the house decide to try their hand at independence. Fortunately, the morning smell of fresh baked bread carries them forward to a bakery, and a roof and work! Danny learns to drive a horse and wagon for deliveries, and his sister, Iris, cares for the young children of the early-to-rise bakers.

Annie takes determination and seeks employment in the sewing notions section of Macy's, and... is hired! I love the unfolding opportunities for her as she works hard and to the notice of another clerk, excels. A willing learner, Annie is tutored by Mrs. Holmquist, the woman with the sewing machine counter. She becomes an asset to the store with her many skills and natural inclinations.
   "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
   --Hebrews 11:1
Image result for 1911 Butterick patterns
new trends for 1912
Through mishaps and uncertainty, Annie continues to believe and hope for a future brighter than she has known. Decision-making for the first time beyond being instructed what is expected of her. As she makes friends, she finds part of herself.

With the New Year, an overview of the changes of 1911 and the going forward in the new year, Annie begins to settle in the opportunities revealed before her ~ hearing the Lord in her quite ordinary days, to listen and obey His directions specifically for her. Jeremiah 29:11 becomes her plans she becomes aware of in the depth of her heart.

My favorite characters are hard to pin down because they all have a place, functioning in the building of a life ~ each of their own; by example, by attitude, by caring of another beyond themselves. I loved learning along with Annie, the new available if we just keep our eyes and hearts open to others placed before us. Nancy Moser has written a beautiful story of hope and expectations beyond our fondest dreams. Revealed Truth not only alluded to but actual as each day begins. Fresh. New. An opportunity to forgive and reach forward beyond what was. The building of characters is so good. As each one explores their options of expression and hope, new changes open that benefit all beyond themselves.

There is heartache in the story, brought about by the wiles of others. Saddened to think of the choices made that separate, and the loneliness that perpetrates when just the opposite could be attained if a person was open and willing to receive acceptance from those near them. The steadiness of companionship and unwavering faith in the ability of others brings many changes. Compassion changes lives completely.

Thank you, author Nancy Moser, for a story of hope and love showing how important our lives are to others. Interwoven in our days and theirs, we become a part of something much bigger. An open door for others to walk through, nearer to receive Him in the fullness of our days.

Image result for Nancy Moser

Image result for 1911 Butterick patternsAbout the Book:

Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service.

Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree.

As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

***Thank you, Barbour Publishing, for taking me on your Review Crew at Shiloh Run Press and sending a review copy of Nancy Moser's latest novel! This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman: Balancing & Blending Better Together by Robert and Pamela Crosby, © 2016

Understanding ~ Teachability ~ Practice ~ EnJ*O*Y

While a man possesses a unique God-given motivational propensity for exercising a strong will in life, a woman conversely possesses a unique God-given propensity for discerning the appropriate way of life. Through ups and downs, these magnetic tensions have helped husband and wife writing team, Robert and Pamela Crosby, learn to balance, bend, and blend in their marriage--to appreciate the balance their differences bring, to bend more appropriately in response to each other, and to move toward a more joyous blend that can only emerge out of two quite different ways somehow turned into one. Simply put, where there's a WILL, there's a WAY. The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman invites you and your spouse to harness the magnetic draw of your differences and blend better in life and love.
They contain magnets with opposing poles. When you try to push them together, they repel one another and snap apart. The harder you push the stronger the repulsion.
Argue and defend self? I'm so busy. So many responsibilities and expectations on me!
Attack? What about you? Remember when you...? It drives me nuts whenever you...?
But none of these "lines" would ever restore anything.
   --The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman, 29.
Magnetic push and pull.
It seemed that just a few years earlier in our relationship all we could think or talk about were the things we had in common. Now the differences we saw and felt in our relationship were almost all we could see.
   --Ibid., 30.
Robert and Pamela share their early marriage and unmet expectations ~ silent expectations, not voiced. Using their own experiences, they are able to walk through to change and what really works when we follow God's design and His Love instruction. Wholeness. Oneness. Grace. Communication––talk and listen––teamwork. Connection––a beautiful balance––flow.

This book would be good as a couple study to study together. It has reflective questions after each chapter. I would suggest husband and wife have their own book to highlight what stands out individually. There are memories shared by both Robert and Pamela from their viewpoints. Not a how-to, but a shared way.

The differences God exactly planned. His divine way ~ under His divine will.

Enjoy learning and applying skills that will enlighten and eliminate conflict unnecessary to come to a determination of going His way, individually: Jeremiah 29:11. Wonderful examples from God's Word.
God chose to call out their obedience and surrender to His will and His plan individually. In separate moments, He called out the will of a man and also drew out the way of a woman, uniting them to do His will His way.
   --Ibid., 242.
***Thank you to Shiloh Run Press, an Imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc., for sending a copy for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

TeamingLife Initiatives RobertPamela Crosby's Profile Photo Teaming Life Initiatives
Pamela & Robert Crosby, Lakeland, FL

Seven Secrets of Lasting Marriage by Kristin Crosby, November 1, 2016 excerpts from her parents' story, The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman

Friday, November 25, 2016

Music CD ~ Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas, ℗ 2016

Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas CD
Buy-link~13 Songs

Tennessee Christmas, Amy Grant~* Join a Tennessee Christmas Surprise *~

They are asking for fans to upload any videos they may have of them surprising loved ones for the holidays to social media. Readers may post these to socials using the hashtag #TNChristmasSurprise! Those chosen will be part of a compilation video that Amy herself will share on her large social media outlets!

Image result for amy grant tennessee christmas

Giveaway CD to one commenter!
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaways for this promotion are only for residents of the continental U.S.

Comment here at Lane Hill House with your email[at]address[dot]com for winner to be notified. Drawing will be on December 1, 2016. CD will be mailed from Propeller/FlyBy in time for Christmas gift giving.

Saratoga Letters by Elaine Marie Cooper, © 2016

In Pursuit of Liberty and Love series, Book 1

Saratoga LettersI was so excited to begin reading this story... I did not look at the cover or read about it ~ I went right to Chapter 1. How surprised I was, absorbed to the finish, to see Part 2 and a new story. Obviously, If... I hadn't gone directly to the Chapter 1 heading, I would have seen it said Part 1. Some stories will have a Chapter 1 preview of the next book... This is complete. Read on to find the connection between them!

making the cover photos Saratoga Letters part-1/
making the cover photos Saratoga Letters part-2/

So well written, Part 1 tells the story of a Patriot nurse tending the wounded King's Army soldiers. She got on-the-job training as she was a local young woman pressed into service with her hidden alliance and introduced as Mrs. Gillingham, as unmarrieds were not accepted as caregivers. Fortunate for the injured, Abigail was the daughter of a doctor and had skills with his medicinals.

Revolutionary War of 1777 ~ Colonists vs British ~ two Battles of Saratoga
The characters portrayed in this time period were lively and visual. The author was extremely attentive to accuracy and detail. As I was reading, I was unaware the emotions and reasoning were directed at repair ~ readying to re-enter battle a second time following their injuries. The hospital tent was a place of constant change and rapid decisions keeping tasks anew for each patient as they entered. Although not there on her own accord, Abigail is valuable and resourceful for both staff and wounded under her care. Dedicated and dependable, she is trusted by the matron of nurses. She is watched out for and favored upon observation of her visible compassion. The throngs of war, without and within.

Image result for The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga
Image result for saratoga 1777 field hospital

The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga
Abby Carpenter and her brother are preparing to leave for Saratoga Springs to attend the bicentennial celebration in the place of their father. Surgery recovery keeps Scott from going, and a mix up at the arrival terminal keeps Abby from renting a car. Fortunately, three other people in line are going to the same ceremony, and Abby shares a car with one of them. A Brit, and an ancestral story begins.

In Part 2, letters written following the Battle of Saratoga are handed down through the generations. Interesting the similarity of turmoil and questioning carried forward through misunderstandings and supposed blame. Regrets become promises of good. I liked the descriptions and travels of the characters as trust was built. I enjoyed reading this follow-up story to Part 1 together, and read it straight through!

BR2A0302-2***Thank you, author Elaine Marie Cooper for sharing a copy of Saratoga Letters with me. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

                purchase Saratoga Letters here

Award winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Saratoga Letters, Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. She has been captivated by the history of the American Revolution since she was young. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming release is Legacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, December 2016), Book 3 in the Deer Run Saga.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Healing of the Heart by Loree Lough, © 2016

Image result for gangster red roan mare
Life can change in an instant when you least expect it.
No Picture
Secrets on Sterling Street ~ Book 3

Things have changed since Ruby has come to right a wrong, several wrongs. Repaying what has been deprived of others, Ruby hopes to heal her heart and memories she would like to be different. Will she be believed or questionable motives be suspected?

Going by her mother's maiden name, Ruby's travels bring her to a small town named Fairplay, of all things. Certainly, this will right itself!

To right a wrong. Forgiveness. Not carrying another's offenses making them your own. Delivered from the penalty of sin by choosing Christ to be your forerunner, your Deliverer. For He will.
I go before you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are Mine. Forever. Deuteronomy 31:8
Isaiah 43:1
As Ruby seeks to replace pain caused by another, her heart is replaced by longing to be freed from the crushing weight ~ of regret, of sorrow, of loss. Love is hidden beneath supposed strength, a weakness that obliviated all that could have been. Can it be recouped, restored? Refreshed ~ a loss brought forward to be replaced by a Love never before aware nor received. I am here for you. Always. I walk alongside you. You are not alone nor forgotten. You are whole in Me. Receive all that I have for you and do not fear. My love covers a multitude of sin and neglect. Rebuilding that only can be new and fresh, not stirred up in remembrance of what once was.

Sheriff Rex Truett has tried hard to keep the town of Fairplay in Colorado a safe place for the residents, and for his heart... keeping it intact, while sheltering it from added storms. Losing his father at a young age, he has wanted to explore loving with open hands ~ free to give and to receive. He and his aunt have taken in two children to keep them from harm. When Ruby and her mother arrive in town, he has difficulty trusting their intent. Repairs to buildings, service to those nearby, silently has misgivings to him as to motive. Why would strangers want to help those in need in Fairplay?

In the process of rendering aid, Ruby and her mother find healing in their hearts and worth. Secrets revealed free them from disaster and injured hearts and lives. There comes a stopping off place, a place to accept who they truly are ~ loved and whole.

On the healing tour, heavy hearts are lightened by truth.

Back cover:
When Ruby McCoy and her mother arrive in Fairplay and promptly move into the biggest mansion around, they are the talk of the town. But while Mrs. McCoy worries about ribbons, trunks, and wallpaper, Ruby rolls up her sleeves. Since the hanging of her notorious gangster father five years ago, Ruby, hiding under an assumed name, is on a mission to right her father’s wrongs. She is determined to spend every penny of her inherited “blood money” helping those who paid the price for her father’s crimes.
   But she didn’t plan on falling in love.
    Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.
   Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?

My photo ***Thank you author Loree Lough and to Celebrate Lit for sending me a review copy of Healing of the Heart during this blog tour. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Click here to purchase your copy.

EnJOY these tour stops:

November 22Bibliophile Reviews
November 22Jeanette's Thoughts
November 23Neverending Stories
November 23Lane Hill House
November 24Christian Bookaholic
November 25Redeemed Hope Dweller
November 26Moments Dipped in Ink
November 27:  inklings and notions
November 27Splashes of Joy
November 28Ashley's Bookshelf
November 28Daysong Reflections
November 30Bigreadersite
December 1Pause for Tales
December 1Smiling Book Reviews
December 2A Greater Yes
December 2Genesis 5020
December 3Reader's cozy corner
December 4Karen Sue Hadley
December 5A Baker's Perspective
December 5Rhonda's Doings

A prolific writer, Loree Lough has 108 books, 68 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her novels have earned dozens of industry and Reader’s Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, and college and high school writing programs, Loree and her husband, Larry, divide their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains.

Her books have over 3700 ratings on Goodreads with the first two books in The Secrets of Sterling Street series, Currency of the Heart and Guardians of the Heart receiving multiple four and five star reviews on book review and retail sites.


In honor of her tour, Loree is giving away her books: Secrets on Sterling Street series, Prevailing Love (3 in 1), Pricilla Hires a Husband, Lone Wolf, and Emma’s Orphans, a KJVER Study Bible, and an Abba pillar candle in a wicker basket! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!

~ Leaving your comment below with your email[at]address[dot]com ~

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay, © 2016

A restorer's job was never to enhance, simply reveal.
   --A Portrait of Emily Price, 22.
My review:
A new town, a new project, my same tools ~ trustworthy in my hands. A life uncovered to restore. Drawn in, I am enhanced. My ready impression of Emily; alive, aware, feeling, quietly and astutely studying all about her. After a fire, restoration begins ahead of her arrival ~ the barebone basics ready for her fine touch and renewal with lives revealed in the gatherings.

Helping another, and finding yourself.
...restoration work was like a sophisticated paint-by-number exercise. Great skill meant you stayed in the lines and matched your colors, textures, and viscosity to perfection.
   --Ibid., 53.
Life happens as you continue at what you know. Filled in lines with happiness and joy from succession forward.

Image result for young girl on a swing I like how Emily is able to space her time ~ knowing when to stop to go to the next cycle of grace. She is beyond what appears and sees into the heart of another ~ their memories, and their goals to hold on to what they have known to be able to advance to where the next step takes them. Life. Forward.

Benchmark places. Recording now to a place in the future you will look back on. I succeeded there and can go forward here. So beautiful to see Brooke with eyes of hope ~ the young girl within.
 ~ restoration ~ It was a field based on the finite nature of any work––a work already in existence.
   --Ibid., 91.
A dream and a melody. Ben and Joseph, brothers so different yet so near, yearning for respect and care from each other though many hours apart. Dreams in action, formidable to touch without an interloper willing to stand between to interpret their visions into actions.

Emily has a trip ahead of her, and in turn, may find more of herself exposed, revealing a discovery closest to her heart.

***Thank you, author Katherine Reay for a special story and Thomas Nelson for sending a review copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Thomas Nelson