Tag Archives: Christian Romance and Fiction

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano


Storing Up Trouble is another delightful book by Jen Turano. Her books are always well researched and full of fun!

The escapades of Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, along with Norman’s assistant, Theo, will have you smiling and laughing quite frequently. Add in Beatrix’s eccentric and non-conformist Aunt Gladys and her odd companions, not to mention her 20 cats, and you have a recipe for great entertainment, enjoyment and amusement.

Lest you think it’s all fun and games, let me assure you it’s not. There are very real and important issues covered. Turano addresses inequality in the workplace for women, their inability to vote and society’s cruelty to those they consider inferior. Additionally, there is an element of mystery and suspense, too.

Turano included a small “cameo” featuring Mr. Selfridge, pioneer of the modern department store. I saw a fascinating show highlighting his forward and visionary thinking. Now, I have enjoyed seeing another side to him.

Norman, and later Beatrix’s family seemed to change a little too quickly for my tastes. But that is just a feeling on my part, as I like to see the transformation as it progresses, not after it happens.

Storing Up Trouble is book 3 of the American Heiresses series by Jan Turano. However, it can work as a stand-alone. I also read and reviewed book 1, Flights of Fancy.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

#StoringUpTrouble #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz And Giveaway

Book Blurb

Take a poignant look into the broken heart and daily struggles of Christian college dean Drew McKinley. The story chronicles the turbulent first year in his desperate journey to understand God’s motives for the sudden death of his wife and his quest to find hope in his future.

Crossing his perilous path are Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office, and Chris, the handsome but egotistical student senate president.

The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

My Review

Not only is Janell Butler Wojtowicz a new author to me, but Embracing Hope is her debut novel. However, you would never guess this is a debut novel, as she writes like a seasoned author.

The two main characters are Drew McKinley, dean of a Christian college and Allison Bennett, a graduate student and new hire for the dean’s office. In addition, there are various other significant characters. The book is written in a realistic, true to life form and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to some unusually heavy topics. Alcoholism, child abuse, assault and the loss of a spouse are among the horrific issues that leave us reeling.

Written in an authentic, no-holds-barred manner, Embracing Hope allows us, as readers, to experience the emotions and lives of the individuals in the story.  Wojtowicz portrays her characters’ actions and reactions to what life and God mete out in a realistic and genuine way. They question God, become angry at Him and angry at others and they wonder if life is worth living at all. Reading Embracing Hope, we, too, think and feel the thoughts and emotions that all but extinguish hope.

Hope is not extinguished for Drew, Allison, and others we meet and come to love. Biblical gems and lessons are interspersed throughout the book through the wise counsel of friends and pastors. We listen to their conversations and we hear God calling us to forgive and come to terms with our anger.

*****Disclaimer*****

I would caution that Embracing Hope contains some violent scenes some will find tough to read and process. I did. I had to skip through several pages that were too triggering for me. I have old memories of an assault and recent memories of an injury-laden fall, and this book is truly evocative of real life.

I received this book from Reads & Reels & R&R Book Tours. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

GIVEAWAY

To help promote Janell’s fabulous novel, R&R Book Tours is giving away one (1) eBook copy of Embracing Hope. Click the link below to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f24/? 

Purchase Links

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 Author Bio

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. She wrote stories for her own enjoyment, including a short story about a teenage drug addict—something of which she knew nothing about. Her cousin illustrated the cover using Halloween orange paper featuring a hypodermic needle.

Janell attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in, naturally, Written Communication, adding a Journalism Emphasis. She returned to Iowa where she worked as a reporter/editor at three small town newspapers for 10 years.

Janell left the small town Iowa life when she married, Frank Wojtowicz, a family friend who lived in Minneapolis. (By the way, her Polish last name is pronounced “Why-tow-vitch.) She worked in public relations at her alma mater, the University of Northwestern; Leadership Foundations, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Christian ministries; and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Today, Janell owns a freelance service, A Portrait in Words, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Much of Janell’s writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” The idea for the novel came after watching a BBC version of “Jane Eyre” in 2007. That night she dreamed the beginning, pivotal scene in the middle and the ending of “Embracing Hope”, and began writing it the next day. Unlike her first story, she was very familiar with the setting of “Embracing Hope”: a Christian college campus.

She and Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.

Blog Tour: Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Schedule

Dec 18th

Reads & Reels (Feature Promo) http://www.readsandreels.com

Love Books Group (Excerpt) http://www.lovebooksgroup.blog

The Christian Fiction Girl (Interview) https://christianfictiongirl.blog

Dec 19th

The Bookworm Chronicles (Excerpt) http://muretbookworm.wordpress.com

Book Reviews by Shalini (Excerpt) http://www.bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com

Dec. 20th

Captive Dreams Window (Review) https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/

Reading is My Superpower (Promo) http://readingismysuperpower.org/

Dec. 21st

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.com

Tenntwo Musings (Review) https://tenntwo.wordpress.com/

Dec. 22nd

Literary Dust (Excerpt) https://literarydust.wordpress.com

Discerning Lillies (Review) http://discerninglillies.wordpress.com

Dec. 23rd

Kristin’s Novel Café (Review)  https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com

Book Lover in Florida (Promo) http://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com

 

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

Publisher’s Summary

When Mattie packed her hope chest, she put away the heartache of her past. But as her daughters begin to unpack it, she discovers a healing more powerful than she ever hoped for.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

My Review

Mattie’s daughters discover their mother’s hope chest, and along with it secrets she has kept from them. She struggles with how to tell her story and yet not change their views of her or their father. Can she do it, does she want to and should she? These are all questions she must face.

Leroy, Mattie’s husband, is a wonderful character. His love for Mattie began when she was a little girl and never wavered through much adversity and hardship. I enjoyed Leroy’s character so much. He had little (and big) ways of demonstrating his love to Mattie that were so endearing.

Amy Clipston’s final installment of An Amish Heirloom Novel,  The Beloved Hope Chest, deals with very heavy subject matters. Mattie has endured much in the past, and the pain still remains so how can she explain to her girls that she is happy despite her tragic early life?

The Beloved Hope Chest demonstrates how love, forgiveness and redemption can and will overcome grief, loss and hidden secrets.

Miss Clipston’s story resonates with faith, inspiration, forgiveness and restoration; it makes me want to read the other three in the series!

I received a copy of The Beloved Hope Chest from three different sources: Celebrate Lit, NetGalley and The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.