Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday E-book sale by Indie Christian Books!


Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my "things I'm thankful for" list every year. It's hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for...

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There's literally something for everyone. Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you. Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

Book Quiz  

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? 
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Guest Post by Author Melinda Curtis with free short story and blog tour giveaway!

 On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're highlighting 13 FREE short stories by beloved Harlequin Heartwarming authors available from Harlequin during November. All Heartwarming titles are 30% OFF during November from Harlequin as well! Use code HEART1115.


Married by Thanksgiving by Melinda Curtis

Football star Clinton Hadley has been in trouble with the law once too often recently. When a night out with friends turns into a night in jail, Clinton knows the judge is going to throw the book at him if he doesn't think of something. Fast. When his single lawyer, Brenda Thomas, mentions the judge goes easier on family men, Clinton decides to get Brenda!

Read it HERE!

I love marriage of convenience stories, but if you aren't writing historicals or paranormals, it's hard to come up with a plausible plot for one. When I was asked to write a short for Thanksgiving, a marriage of convenience idea came to mind: one NFL quarterback - Clinton Hadley - desperate to get out of jail and play Thanksgiving weekend. Enter his lawyer - or at least the lawyer covering for his vacationing attorney - Brenda, a pretty woman new to her law firm who's been told to get their client out of jail at any cost. Too bad the judge on duty gives preferential treatment to family men and Clinton is single. Desperate for leniency, Clinton gets down on bended knee and proposes to Brenda. Clinton may think he's got this marriage of convenience covered, but he doesn't count on the judge being Brenda's uncle or his presence being mandatory at Uncle John's Thanksgiving celebration. Let the games begin!

Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today bestselling author. She writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet, light-hearted romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf.” Melinda also writes the sweet romantic comedy Bridesmaid series.

Other Heartwarming Books by this Author

Dandelion Wishes (A Harmony Valley Novel, #1) Summer Kisses (A Harmony Valley Novel, #2)
Season of Change (A Harmony Valley Novel, #3) One Perfect Year (A Harmony Valley Novel, #4)


Don't miss any of these FREE novellas or the extra tour content! Stop by each of the tour stops each day:

11/2: Snow Day Baby by Amy Vastine
Singing Librarian Books, The Power of Words, & Katie's Clean Book Collection

11/4: Wedding at Turkey Run by Liz Flaherty
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing, Babs Book Bistro, & Heidi Reads...

11/6: Her Thanksgiving Soldier by Leigh Riker
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima, Mel's Shelves, & Brooke Blogs

11/9: Mr. Right All Along by Jen Snow
Katie's Clean Book CollectionMin Reads and Reviews, & Love thy Shelf

11/11: Falling for the Cowboy by Sophia Sasson
Kindle and Me, The Power of Words, & Colorimetry

11/13: The Marriage Gift by Tara Taylor Quinn
deal sharing aunt, Babs Book Bistro, & Brooke Blogs

11/16: Heart of a Hero by Pamela Tracy
Writing Pearls, Wishful Endings, & Waiting For Wentworth

11/18: Thankful for You by Karen Rock
Christian Chick's Thoughts, Getting Your Read On, & Love, Laughter, Friendship

11/20: Autumn at Jasper Lake by Carol Ross
Reading Is My SuperPower, I Am A Reader, & Colorimetry

11/23: The Firefighter’s Promise by Kate James
Canadian Book Addict, Mel's Shelves, & Beck Valley Books

11/24: Wedding of His Dreams by Cari Lynn Webb
Bookworm Lisa, Kindle and Me, & Zerina Blossom's Books

11/25: The Sweetheart Tree by Rula Sinara
The Written Adventure, Reading Is My SuperPower, & Writing Pearl

11/26: Married by Thanksgiving by Melinda Curtis
Heidi Reads..., Love, Laughter, Friendship, & Singing Librarian Books 

11/29: Grand Finale
11/30: Facebook Party


Goodreads Giveaway

13 Harlequin Heartwarming Books
Enter on Goodreads HERE.

Pinterest Giveaway

Pin one or both of these images to spread the word and enter to win this adorably festive Thanksgiving Table Set:

Pinterest Prize includes: four reversible, quilted placemats, four matching napkins, hand-painted matching napkin rings, matching table runner, matching quilted hot pad/trivet, floral centerpiece in pot, and hand-crafted pilgrim pair.
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Open to US/CAN only
- Ends December 4th

Tour Giveaway

Grand Prize: Harlequin Heartwarming Year Subscription (Provided by Harlequin and to US/CAN only)
$40 VISA card (US only)
13-Book Heartwarming Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, Back to McGuffy's, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, Small Town Secrets, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, When The Right One Comes Along, Wedding of His Dreams, After The Silence, and A Memory Away (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
9-Book Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, When The Right One Comes Along, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, and After The Silence (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
Ends December 4th

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand

Heidi Reads... Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Young-at-heart octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never miss the chance to find a perfect match for one of their grandchildren. And when their beloved Cassie returns to Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, Anna has a feeling they might soon have a doctor in the family… 

Though Cassie Coblenz left her Amish community to go to college, Mammi and Dawdi’s farm will always feel like home. It’s the ideal place for an extended study break—at least until her grandmother’s handsome Englisch doctor becomes a regular distraction. Zach Reynolds is the kind of heartbreaker Cassie has learned to avoid, no matter how charming he may be.

Unlike every woman Zach has met in recent years, Cassie doesn’t fall at his feet. Strong, generous, beautiful within and without —she’s everything he could want. Yet the gulf between them deepens when a tragedy shakes his faith. Now the good doctor has one goal—to become a man who could be worthy of Cassie’s love…

My Review

Huckleberry Hearts is the sixth in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone. I haven't read any of the previous books but now I want to! The grandparents Anna and Felty are quirky and charming. They are the only ones in Cassie's family who support her decision to find her own path, even though it's not with the Amish. Anna sees something in Zach that makes her select him for her matchmaking scheme, however unlikely the pairing is. I liked how the story line is different from other Amish fiction in that the main characters are not Amish although they have strong ties to the community. There are several strong themes that play out, including self-control, forgiveness and second chances, grief and trusting God, and staying true to one's self. There are many unexpected moments between Zach and Cassie that are pretty wonderful, but also some predictable ones where you can see the conflict coming. An admirable trait in Zach was that he tried his best to defend Cassie from her verbally abusive mother and brother while keeping his temper in check for her sake. I felt the story was well-written and held my attention throughout. I'm looking forward to reading more by the author!

(Thank you to CelebrateLit Publicity and Kensington Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Check out other reviews of Huckleberry Hearts on the Blog tour:

Nov 23: Kick off Celebrate Lit
Nov 23 Southern Chelle
Nov 24: Books!Books!Books!
Nov 25: Heidi Reads...
Nov 26: Artistic Nobody
Nov 27: Simple Harvest Reads
Nov 28: Bukwurmzzz
Nov 28: Cassandra M’s (spotlight)
Nov 29: cherylbbookblog
Nov 30: A Greater Yes
Dec 1: Texas Book Aholic
Dec 2: Two Girls and a Book
Dec 3: Quiet Quilter
Dec 3: Southern Gal
Dec 4:Reading is my Superpower
Dec 4: Power of Words
Dec 5: Bigreadersite
Dec 6: Henry Happens
Dec 6: Debbies Dusty Deliberations
Dec 7: Singing Librarian Books

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Heidi Reads... The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man around. And her skills as an artist rival those of any artist she’s met. But for a woman in medieval times, the one skill she most desires is the hardest one to obtain: the ability to read.

After yet another young man asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides they need to move once again, but this time to a larger city. Rapunzel’s heart soars—surely there she can fulfill her dream. But Mother won’t let her close to a man. She claims that no man can be trusted.

After being rescued by a knight on the road to the city, and in turn rescuing him farther down the road, Rapunzel’s opportunity arrives at last. This knight, Sir Gerek, agrees to educate Rapunzel in order to pay back his debt. She just has to put up with his arrogant nature and single-minded focus on riches and prestige.

But this Rapunzel story is unlike any other and the mystery that she uncovers will change everything—except her happily ever after.

My Review

There are so many things that make this book a pleasure to read! The setting, the time period, the adventure, the characters, and the light romance all balance together to create an epic story. The author deviated enough from the classic tale to make it interesting and not predictable, but included elements that made it recognizable. Rapunzel's dilemma of submitting to her mother while desiring to stretch her wings puts her in a conflicting position. It was interesting to see her independence develop slowly, which made the transition realistic. Gerek and Rapunzel have a rough start to their friendship with her mistrust and his arrogance, but they learn to value each other even with social class differences. I especially enjoyed her teasing and sassiness which brought a light tone and a few chuckles. I could tell the book was written for a young adult audience and didn't feel like I connected with the emotions of the characters at a higher level, but it was a great adventure to go on.

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review & Giveaway: One Last Spring by Sian Ann Bessey

Heidi Reads... One Last Spring by Sian Ann Bessey

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


The quiet village of Llanwddyn has long been a safe haven for Gwen, a young Welsh country girl whose life has been fraught with tragedy. Following the untimely death of her parents, it was her aunt's home in Llanwddyn that provided Gwen and her brother a refuge from their grief. Now, with the unwelcome news that the village is to be razed in the name of progress, an inescapable wave of change has begun.

When her brother departs to follow his dream of sailing the high seas, Gwen is left alone to navigate the shifting world around her. She soon finds herself relying on the support of her brother's best friend, Lewis, a gentle blacksmith whose kindness stirs her heart. Resigned to the fact that Lewis may never see her as more than a child, Gwen is soon swept off her feet by Thomas, a prosperous young Englishman. Torn between two men and two very different paths, Gwen has little time to determine what course her heart will follow. With time running out for her beautiful valley, will love come too late?

My Review

What a lovely book. It was so easy for me to relate to the main character Gwen, one who is sentimental, stubborn, and has a difficult time adjusting to change. I love that she is an artist, sketching her changing village from her perch on the mountain. Her way of coping with life is admirable, to make each day meaningful in some small way, whether it's taking a moment to appreciate nature or helping someone in the community. Even though the book is not fast-paced, it was one that I wanted to take my time reading and enjoy every page as it steadily moved forward with Gwen's feelings of anxiety and conflict along her journey of transition. The Welsh setting and words were completely charming. Highly recommend!

(Thank you to Covenant Communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Blog Tour Schedule
November 16th
November 17th
November 18th
November 19th
November 20th
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gratitude Giveaway Hop! A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller

I love this time of year to refocus on all the blessings I have to be grateful for. Just one of them is the opportunity to read and review so many amazing books on my blog. I'm also thankful for all the friends I've made with fellow bloggers, authors, and readers! Thank you for your support!

Giveaway: A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller, ends 11/30


She never wanted to marry. He hopes to make amends for past wrongs. Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?

Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry. All of her other Amish friends could court and marry she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire. But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of her parents and seriously injures her younger sister. With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice: she must marry. And not just any man the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.

Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable. And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner. When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can t let her down even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.

Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn t the same boy who once betrayed her. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family and herself.

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Review & Giveaway: Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

Heidi Reads... Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay


Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

My Review

This was a difficult book for me to get into. The biggest problem for me was how stilted the dialogue and narration is (example: "Matt is sitting by the window at Lizzie's. No one is with him. I am hungry. We should join him.") It was just not a smooth read where I'm excited to read the next sentence, but more of a struggle. Much of the dialogue is of mundane things that made no difference to the plot but took up page space and made me lose interest. The narration also told of the characters thinking or feeling things that didn't quite fit with what is going on. There is a lot of telling instead of showing which made the characters seem two-dimensional to me. I think it would have benefited from a more thorough macro and line edit. For fans of Amish fiction not as picky as me I think this book will still be enjoyed by many.

(Thank you to CelebrateLit Publicity Group for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author 

Molly Jebber is the author of CHANGE OF HEART, an Amish historical romance. Fascinated by the Amish history, culture, Molly pursued her passion to write. Her love of writing led to a book deal with Kensington Publishing as well as three more titles debuting in 2015 and 2016. Publisher’s Weekly magazine announced and listed this book number three in their best ten review list for 2015. Romantic Times gave Change of Heart 4.5 stars. Molly enjoys time with her family, friends, traveling, swimming and golf. She loves God and serving Him. Sign up for Molly’s newsletter for giveaways, appearances, and latest news on book releases.

A copy of the book will be given away at each stop on the blog tour! So there are several chances for you to enter to win!

Nov 14: Heidi Reads... (
Nov 15: Cassandra M (
Nov 16: Bukwurmzz (
Nov 17: Cherylbookblog (
Nov 18: Just Commonly (
Nov 19: ArtisticNobody (
Nov 20: Big Reader's Site (
Nov 21: Texas Bookaholic (
Nov 22: bookbites, beestings (
Nov 23: Debbiesdustydelib (
Nov 24: Singing Librarian Books (
Nov 25: Simpleharvest (
Nov 26: A Greater Yes (
Nov 27: Quiet Quilter (
Nov 27: The Power of Words (