Blog Tour and Giveaway for A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing by Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak, and Ane Mulligan, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

JR_SouthernSeason_BLOG

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing by Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak and Ane Mulligan, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Pull up a front porch swing and enjoy learning more about this collection from 4 great authors 🙂

ABOUT THE BOOK

a southern seasonTitle: A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing

Authors: Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak, Ane Mulligan

Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction

Release Date: November 1, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Southern/Women’s Fiction

Four seasons. Four stories. Each one set in the enchanting world of the South. These are the kinds of stories your grandmother told you from a front porch swing.

Ice Melts in Spring by Linda W. Yezak

When Kerry Graham’s boss forces her to return to the Gulf of Mexico where her husband drowned years ago, she feels only spring’s chill and not the warmth of the Texas sun. Can the joy of a reclusive author and the compassion of a shrimp-boat preacher thaw Kerry’s frigid heart?

Lillie Beth in Summer by Eva Marie Everson

With the untimely death of his wife, Dr. James Gillespie believes God has abandoned him. He also believes he’s never met anyone like the young widow Lillie Beth, whose beloved Granny lies dying at home, and who sees a God who sweeps hope through a farmhouse window. Can a young woman whose husband died in Vietnam restore a faith that is all but dead.

Through an Autumn Window by Claire Fullerton

Because her larger than life mother Daphne Goodwyn is dead, forty-year-old Cate returns to Memphis with one thought in mind: something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral. But surrounded by the well-mannered society that raised her, the nostalgic rites of a three-day, autumn mourning bring the unexpected gift of the end of sibling rivalry.

A Magnolia Blooms in Winter by Ane Mulligan

With Broadway stardom within her reach, Morgan James returns home in winter to help an old friend. Maybe its just nostalgia, but when she sees him again, an old flame rekindles. When she’s called back to NYC to take the lead in a new musical, will fame be worth losing the man she loves?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Review

A Southern Season: Four Stories from a Front Porch Swing features novellas by Eva Marie Everson, Linda Yezak, Ane Mulligan and Claire Fullerton. The anthology focuses on those who have lost their faith in God and are trying to find their way back, or alternately, fighting against finding their way back. Each story focuses on a single Southern season, with the story corresponding to the season.

I enjoyed the stories. They were well-written and steeped in sound Biblical theology. Each character faced difficult decisions. In fact, three focused on the death of a family member or spouse, while the fourth focused on the possible loss of dreams.

I know with novellas there is an inherent problem; they are short and have to pack a lot into the pages. I enjoyed the depth of personalities in each account of the characters. However, there was a feeling of hastiness, a need to hurry up and finish, that left me feeling a little off center or bewildered, knowing some of the “tying up” probably wouldn’t happen that quickly.

Overall, I appreciated the stories. I love the South, iced tea (unsweetened-oh my, the blasphemy!) and a relating of Biblical growth and redemption. All four novellas had these elements, making them very enjoyable-they just ended a few words too soon.

I received a copy of the book from JustReads Tours. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Eva Marie by Mary Denman Photography 2

Eva Marie Everson (Lillie Beth in Summer) is a multiple award-winning author and speaker. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference & North Georgia Christian Writers Conference.

CONNECT WITH EVA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Claire Fullerton (Through an Autumn Window) is the author of Mourning Dove, Dancing to an Irish Reel, and A Portal in Time. She is a transplanted Southerner from Memphis now living in Malibu, California.

CONNECT WITH CLAIRE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Ane

Ane Mulligan (A Magnolia Blooms in Winter) writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She’s an award-winning, multi-published novelist and playwright, who believes chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups.

CONNECT WITH ANE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Linda Yezak

Linda W. Yezak (Ice Melts in Spring) lives with her husband and PB, the original scaredy cat, in a forest in Deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. Author of several novels, novellas, and short stories, she is best known for her award-winning Circle Bar Ranch series.

CONNECT WITH LINDA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


a southern season giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Southern Season, signed by all 4 authors! (US only)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Giveaway will begin at midnight October 30, 2018, and last through 11:59pm November 5, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY


Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png

Advertisements

Honeysuckle Dreams (A Blue Ridge Romance) by Denise Hunter

My Review

Denise Hunter has written a marriage of convenience story that is not as predictable as most stories like this are. Honeysuckle Dreams deals with multiple issues faced by a widowed single father of a pre-toddler. Premarital sex, pregnancy and revenge-seeking ex-in-laws complicate life with the baby caught in the middle.

I enjoyed reading Honeysuckle Dreams. I like books that deal with true to life events and have a more inspirational, uplifting message. Though this is a romance with an HEA (Happily Ever After), the story is more realistic. It is this aspect that draws me to Denise Hunter’s books. She doesn’t use sensational, coarse details, yet she manages to get the ideas across.

Hunter’s characters have you rooting for the good guys and hissing and booing at the bad guys. Her individuals’ lives and stories touch you deeply, leaving you thinking of them after you have set the book down.

Honeysuckle Dreams is a great book highlighting love, forgiveness, second chances, compassion and reconciliation.

Although this isn’t the first book in the Blue Ridge Romance series, it can very easily be read as a stand-alone book.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild sponsored by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel

My Review

WOW!!

The Heart Between Us left a profound impact on me. This story is an emotional roller coaster no one can prepare for, but I’m glad I experienced it.

Lindsay Harrel is a new author to me, and I look forward to reading more of her books. She does a wonderful job of drawing you into the story, creating realistic people and scenarios.

I knew the basic premise of the story; a young woman, Megan, who is 32 years old, struggles with heart disease until age 29 when she receives a heart transplant. What I didn’t know or expect was the heartfelt authenticity of the story. I found myself truly feeling for the characters as if I’d known them for years.

I empathized with Crystal, Megan’s sister, who felt she could never be enough because her parents’ focus was always on her twin sister’s physical problems. The problems Crystal and her husband faced within their marriage were true to life. Sometimes it’s easier to revert to autopilot and become a super controller than it is to confront and fix problems, but failing to solve existing issues spawns new ones.

Traveling around the world with Crystal and Megan brings us many delightful and breathtaking moments, along with insightful glimpses into our own humanity.

The story is one of growth and healing, of questioning God, of reconciliation and of anger, with a large dose of jealously. Ultimately, we experience redemption and healing.

Maybe the past didn’t have to be a bitter mark always marring the surface of her heart. Maybe life really could be an amazing adventure, one not of her own making, but the kind that comes from toil and heartache and love.

Especially love. (pg. 281)

“God can handle your questions, Meg. If you want to know, ask. A relationship is about trust, and trust is grown through communication.” (pg. 227)

Some parts of the story are predictable. However, the predictability does not detract from the entirety of the story. Be prepared to laugh, cry and perhaps grow just a little in the process, too.

I received this book from The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

The Amish Teacher’s Gift (Love and Promises Series Book 1) by Rachel J. Good and Giveaway!!

About the Book

Title: The Amish Teacher’s Gift, Book 1 of the Love & Promises Series

Author: Rachel J Good

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. Yet with no time to court and a family secret holding her back, how can she allow herself to fall in love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Rachel loves to travel and visit many different Amish communities.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. In addition, she has stories in the anthologies Springs of Love and Love’s Thankful Heart.

She’d love to have you visit her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and BookBub. Rachel also enjoys meeting readers and will be doing talks and book signings around the country this year. To find out more about Rachel and her books, you can sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Heart-Tugging Research

Sometimes as an author, stories call to you and beg you to write them. This story first tugged at my heart after I spent time with an Amish friend’s special needs child. I thought about writing a book to show how the Amish treat each child as a gift from God. After meeting a hearing-impaired teen girl with Down’s syndrome and seeing how she was encouraged to live up to her potential, the idea grew stronger. This girl later became Martha in the book.

Then at an auction, I watched a young Down’s syndrome boy help the auctioneer by delivering the goods to the bidders. His straw hat tilted a little crookedly, but with a broad smile on his face, he carefully matched items with the correct bidder. He looked so proud of himself and proud to be able to do such an important job. I sat there at the auction and jotted notes for the novel.

Once I knew the topic of the novel, I began my research by visiting Amish schools for special needs, attending auctions to support them, and touring the Community Care Center, where Amish and Mennonite children and adults with special needs get amazing help. The young man in the wheelchair who showed us around was an awesome guide. We peeked into an exercise room, a therapy room, a craft room, several classrooms, a cafeteria, and my favorite—a multi-sensory environment. This room with dark walls lit only by a small row of twinkling Christmas lights had a ball pit (with the plastic balls like some fast food restaurants have in their play areas), a plush recliner, blankets, headphones, and a hammock. Autistic children at the center found this room a great calming atmosphere. I knew this room had to have a place in the book.

I visited a teacher who taught autistic children and learned a lot about programs, therapies, and teaching techniques. After learning the cutting edge techniques she used, I was surprised to realize that the Amish had adopted quite a few of them for their classrooms. I chose a hearing-impaired boy for the hero’s son because I had a nephew with hearing problems, so I could incorporate some of the struggles he had into the story.

I wanted this series to be about the healing power of love, so each book will deal with a different type of healing. When something touches my heart like this, I always pray it will touch the readers’ hearts too.

My Review

The Amish Teacher’s Gift is unusual in that there are few, if any, books about the Amish that focus on special needs children. An extraordinary amount of research obviously went into the subject based on the details represented from the children’s behavior to the types of equipment and methods family members and caregivers implemented to enhance their children’s lives.

Due to their mother’s death and other sad circumstances in her family, Ada Rupp, at 19, has full responsibility for her seven younger siblings, to include her brother who is deaf. In addition, she teaches a classroom of the special needs children in the community.

Josiah Yoder is still reeling from his wife’s death and can’t seem to get through to his son, who is also deaf and exhibits behavioral problems, too.

I admired Ada and her ability to manage seemingly overwhelming odds. I genuinely do not believe I could run a household with seven younger siblings, especially one without modern conveniences, and teach school all day, too. Not to mention the strict adherence to not working on Sundays and the amount of time spent in church, even if it is only every other Sunday.

My heart broke for Josiah. Not only did he lose his wife, but Nathan, his son, is inexplicably afraid of him, and everything Josiah does just seems to make the situation worse.

I noticed on Rachael J. Good’s website she had the tagline, “Heartfelt tales of faith, hope, and forgiveness.” She definitely covered those and more in The Amish Teacher’s Gift!

I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, May 8

Texas Book-aholic, May 8

The Avid Reader, May 9

Among the Reads, May 9

Reading Is My SuperPower, May 10

The Fizzy Pop Collection, May 10

Lighthouse Academy, May 10

Ansel book blog, May 11

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting. , May 12

Bibliophile Reviews, May 12

Splashes of Joy, May 12

books n baubles, May 13

A Baker’s Perspective, May 13

cherylbbookblog, May 14

Maureen’s Musings, May 14

Captive Dreams Window, May 14

Blossoms and Blessings, May 15

Mary Hake, May 15

Janices book reviews, May 15

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 16

SusanLovesBooks, May 16

A Simply Enchanted Life, May 17

proud to be an autism mom, May 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

Artistic Nobody, May 18 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczak, May 18 (Interview)

Quiet Quilter, May 19

Red Headed Book Lady, May 19

Bigreadersite, May 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 20

Simple Harvest Reads, May 20 (Spotlight)

Pink Granny’s Journey, May 21

Vicky Sluiter, May 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of a tote, an autographed copy of The Amish Teacher’s Gift, and an autographed copy of Hearts Reunited!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/cee3/the-amish-teacher-s-gift-celebration-tour-giveaway

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

My Review

I came to sympathize with Eva (nicknamed Lovey), the protagonist of Perennials. She feels betrayed by her older sister Bitsy. No matter which direction Lovey turns, Bitsy is doing everything in her power to hurt and destroy her. I could empathize with Lovey. I could imagine Lovey, at age 45, becoming tired of running. I could believe her seeing her father’s request to come for his and her mother’s 50th anniversary as a way to “come home again.”

I was looking forward to reading Perennials, by Julie Cantrell. I had not read any of her books but had heard many good things about her work as an inspiration fiction writer. I think of the inspirational fiction genre as a publishing arm of the Christian community. You can imagine my surprise when I found the protagonist follows the teachings of her Buddhist mentor. I was even more surprised at allusions to Mary, Christ’s mother, speaking to and guiding other characters in the book.

I love to learn from the novels I read. Julie Cantrell vividly weaves an abundance of flowers and trees into the story’s setting, along with information about the cities portrayed in the book. Perennials teaches us about the color and greenery God has planted in His world.

Perennials is an interesting story. It speaks to our heartfelt need for home and family, even under circumstances that are desperately difficult. The book resonated in my life; it inspires.

I received this book from Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Blue Ridge Sunrise (A Blue Ridge Romance) by Denise Hunter

My Review

Denise Hunter’s newest book, Blue Ridge Sunrise, is a little edgier than most of her books, indeed more so than most books in the Christian genre. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story.

Zoe Collins ran from Copper Creek as fast as she could. A tragic misunderstanding undermined her feelings of self-worth, and she took off, with the town’s bad boy-Kyle Jimmerson-to become a famous songstress. Things were seeming to go well, and their band, Brevity, was making a name for itself. However, as is often the case, life got in the way.

Cruz Huntley could not understand why Zoe fled, leaving him with a broken heart.  Now that she is back, he’s not sure where he stands.

There are some weighty issues dealt with in Blue Ridge Sunrise, for instance; two issues are premarital sex and domestic abuse. Portions of the book are a little difficult to read. Readers should be aware that Blue Ridge Sunrise does not have an explicit gospel message in which its characters’ broken lives are redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ.  Rather, the characters in this novel are strengthened by hardship and adversity. Seeing them emerge stronger, in the end, is inspiring and fits the book well into the genre of inspirational fiction. Due to some of the situations depicted in the story, I would suggest this book be read by those in their mid-teens or older. This novel could be used as a catalyst to open up a line of meaningful dialogue (and I sincerely hope it will!).

I received this book from Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe–a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?
Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now–five years later.

 

Today Is The Release Date For You’re Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher!!

 

Nick’s love of thrills and danger and Samantha’s need for safety and security drove them apart two years ago. After her worst fears came true, can they build something new upon the ashes of the past?

About the Book

Who knew fate could twist a tragedy into a second chance at love?

Samantha Winters lives her life the way a good accountant should—measured, deliberate, and safe. After watching her father die in a tragic skiing accident, she decided never to allow risk into her life again. But she didn’t count on falling for Nick Chastain, who embodies everything she doesn’t want in her safely constructed world.

Against Samantha’s warnings, Nick plans a dangerous kayaking trip over spring break. Furious that he’s so careless with his life, she ends their fledgling relationship with harsh words.

Two years later, Samantha is desperately in need of a change. When she learns her grandmother has had an accident and is in need of a caretaker, Samantha quickly packs her bags and heads to Thunder Creek, Idaho. But nothing could prepare her for the surprise awaiting her in her grandmother’s hospital room . . . Nick.

With the charming backdrop of small-town friends, beloved cousins, and a whole church congregation rooting for them, can they set aside the disastrous ending of their first try at love? Has Nick changed enough to meet Samantha in the middle—and can she realize that a risk in love might be worth taking?

Professional Reviews:

“Hatcher creates a joyous, faith-infused tale of recovery and reconciliation … The bright spot is Hatcher’s believable portrayal of Nick’s faith evolution as he learns to let go of unhealthy ambitions and desires.” ⏤ Publishers Weekly

“Hatcher pens a tender novel about second chances and love that readers will enjoy. Engaging and humorous, Hatcher’s storytelling will warm readers’ hearts as she draws them into Samantha and Nick’s story. Both characters are authentic, endearing and vulnerable, and their rekindled romance is sweet. Readers will find it easy to go along with them on their journey as they rediscover romance in the midst of God’s plan for them. A wonderfully delightful read.”  ⏤ RT Book Reviews

“A heartwarming story about love, faith, regret, and second chances.” ⏤ CBAOnline Reviews

Author of Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers says, “Whenever I want to fall in love again, I pick up a Robin Lee Hatcher novel!” Read Nick and Samantha’s story in You’re Gonna Love Me, a “heartwarming story about love, faith, regret, and second chances.”

Link to my review:

https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/youre-gonna-love-me-by-robin-lee-hatcher/

Link to Robin Lee Hatcher’s website:

https://robinleehatcher.com/books/youre-gonna-love-me/

Hope by Fay Lamb (Ties that Bind Series Book 3)

My Review

Hope, Hope, Hope! Oh, my. What can I say, my how the mighty have fallen!

Fay Lamb’s story of Hope Astor is gut-wrenching, to say the least. Hope is reaping what she sowed, and it definitely isn’t pretty. However, her friends love her and are there for her in every way possible, up to and including providing her a home and covering her medical expenses.

Hope has endured many things in her life, most caused by her own catastrophic mistakes, but she’s facing a situation now that she didn’t create. Her only prospect of things getting better rest in the Lord’s hands. Can she let go and trust in Him and the trials she is facing, or will she give up and give in to her angst and pain.

Fay Lamb’s story of bad girl Hope resonates with faith, expectation, and possibility. In her previous books, Hope was the one you loved to detest. In spite of this, as you read Hope’s story, you begin to ache for the little girl inside her that is hurting so much and start to cheer for her as she grows and matures in her faith.

I received Hope from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

(I heard a rumor there will be another book written highlighting Judge Delilah James! I can’t wait to read it, yet I dread it too, because I don’t want to leave these wonderful friends!!)

Publisher’s Summary

****The author is donating 100% of her royalties from this book to hurricane relief through Samaritan’s Purse.*****

Hope Astor is literally a starving artist, living off the good graces of her friends as she seeks help for the fatigue that has plagued her for over a month. Dr. Daniel Duvall is a noted oncological surgeon whose life hasn’t been the same since losing his sister in a car accident the year before.

When Hope receives her diagnosis, she understands that her carefree artist’s lifestyle has left her without any options to save her life, but her friends try to convince her otherwise. They persuade Hope to seek treatment from the best doctor she knows.

Trouble is, Hope is the reason Daniel’s sister is dead, and she doesn’t think saving her life is on his list of priorities.

 

Libby (Ties that Bind Series Book 2) by Fay Lamb

My Review

Can I just say, I LOVE Libby? Fay Lamb has done an extraordinary job of writing about an adorably sweet, somewhat reserved young lady.

Libby is your typical girl next door. She has a hard time believing she is attractive and works at proving she’s not. However, everyone she meets knows she’s a diamond in the rough and just needs a little help to push her into the lovely woman she is.

I appreciate Libby’s love for the Lord and her relationship with Him. She endures so many sad situations, and yet she’s there for all her friends when they need her, she also prays for them mightily when they think they don’t need her or her guidance in all things of faith.

I laughed and cried when reading Libby. There are some circumstances in her past that broke my heart, as well as hers, and left her questioning her worth. Nonetheless, Fay Lamb was able to take these events and create a unique, loving person in Libby. Reading her story helped me to realize no matter how tragic or hurtful things in our past are, we can overcome.

I received Libby from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

****The author is donating 100% of her royalties from this book to hurricane relief through Samaritan’s Purse.

Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about. Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor. When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend. However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

Charisse by Fay Lamb

My Review

I started reading Fay Lamb’s books in The Tie that Binds series, and was unable to put them down!! I read Charisse, and immediately went to Libby, then Hope.

Charisse is recently widowed and trying to stay above water not only for her sake but also for her young son, Vance, Jr. (V. J.) Her only hope is to go to work as the clerk for Judge Gideon Tabor, the man that releases the monster who killed her husband.

I ran the gamut of emotions reading Charisse’s story. I could understand her anger and feelings of wanting to avenge her husband’s death by remaining cold and distant toward Gideon, even though she had a crush on him in high school. I could also understand how his kindness could throw her off and make her vulnerable. I fell in love with her son, V. J., and wished I could take on his pain. I alternated between righteous indignation and cheering for Gideon. I also wanted to shake some sense into another judge, Delilah James, more than a few times!

Fay Lamb has a real, rare gift for placing you right smack in the middle of the action and making you feel as if you, too, are one of the key players.

Her portrayal of the Christian faith displayed by the characters in the book is authentic and uplifting. It is written in a natural, relatable way, woven expertly and seamlessly throughout, giving us a feeling of optimism and promise.

I honestly would love to have Charisse and V. J. as neighbors and friends. I’m also very excited that there are two more stories!! I am dreading the end of the series, as I love the characters.

Fay Lamb’s story Charisse is well-written, relatable and endearing.

I received Charisse from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Review

****The author is donating 100% of her royalties from this book to hurricane relief through Samaritan’s Purse.****

Charisse Wellman’s husband has been gone a year, and she’s about to lose the only home her son, V.J., has ever known. She’s quit law school, but the money just isn’t there. Her only option is to work as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The only problem: Gideon is the judge who let her husband’s killer go free, and Gideon doesn’t know the connection.

Gideon Tabor can’t believe that the woman interviewing for the job is the girl he loved in high school. Charisse is hesitant about accepting his job offer, and when she does, Gideon makes every attempt to apologize for his relationship-ending blunder in high school. Charisse accepts his apology, but she keeps him at a distance. When Gideon learns that Charisse’s anger actually stems from his release of the man who ran down her husband, he tries to explain, but Charisse doesn’t want Gideon’s excuses or the love he has to offer. She wants her husband’s killer to pay.