Tag Archives: Women’s Christian Fiction

The Plans We Made By Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue-I Read with Audra Blog Tour Plus A Giveaway!

About The Book

When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture-perfect – a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.

Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue joined forces to write a poignant, inspirational and encouraging story.

Stretching from LA to Rhode Island, The Plans We Made places you on a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions certain to leave an indelible impression on you. I was scarcely prepared for the ride.

Linda Riley’s life in Rhode Island begins to fall apart when her oldest son is diagnosed with cancer. During the approximate time frame, Caroline Chapman’s life in LA begins to crumble when she and her fiancé split up, and right on the heels of the breakup she gets an offer for a job in Rhode Island.

I did not see, nor could I have guessed, how these two women’s lives would intersect. The authors did an extraordinary job of setting up the story, tugging at your emotions along the way. The novel is written in a realistic, true-to-life and authentic way. As I read, I could imagine each person’s thoughts, reactions and emotions, and I became genuinely invested in each one.

The Plans We Made is not a book to be read quickly, but instead is one to read, savor and appreciate. As you are reading, the underlying story demonstrates the need all humans have for love, forgiveness and acceptance. The interactions between the parents and children were touching and sometimes very funny. The Biblical references were on point and not too “preachy,” while still making their point.

I’m looking forward to reading other books by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue, both those co-authored together and those each have written alone.

I received The Plans We Made from I Read with Audra Blog Tours. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Book Trailer

  Book Giveaway

     http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b3c91bb20/

About Authors

Kathryn Cushman graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Samford University. After hanging up her lab coat, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her previous works have received multiple nominations for both the Carol Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. The Plans We Made is her tenth published novel.

 Learn more at kathryncushman.com. Follow Kathryn on Facebook (@authorkathryncushman) and Instagram (katiecushman1).

Lauren Beccue graduated from Holy Cross with a BA in English and now lives with her family in Santa Barbara. She writes about faith and family, with an emphasis on agricultural passages of the Bible. This is her first novel.

Learn more at laurenbeccue.com. Follow Lauren on Facebook (@beccue.lauren) and Instagram (@lauren_beccue).

Author’s Giveaway with Purchase

Now, go buy your copy of The Plans We Made online or at a local bookstore, then be sure to head to Lauren’s website to claim your bonus freebie!

THREE CUSTOM PENCILS:

Make Your Plans in Pencil

The Plans We Made

Proverbs 19:21

Just contact Lauren with your name, address, and where you purchased the book, and she’ll send you a set. That’s it! (US only and get ’em while they last.)

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay


Daughters and mothers. . .enemies, or allies? Of course, it depends on the people, and Katherine Reay has touched the very heart of the acerbic relationship between a mother and daughter with her characterization exemplified by the connections between Janet and her daughter, Alyssa, and Janet and her mother.

Alyssa Harrison never wanted to return to Winsome, Illinois. However, circumstances and life conspired heavily against her. Now, she not only feels like a loser but must face her mother, too.

Reay pulls you into the story of a prodigal daughter, her parents and the community of Winsome from page one and never lets you go.

Of Literature and Lattes is written from multiple points of view. I enjoy this, on one hand, because you get to know the people and their thoughts better. However, on the other hand, it can sometimes be confusing. I think more so because, even though Of Literature and Lattes works as a standalone, it is a sequel, and I may have understood the people better had I read the first book, too.

Lest you think the book is only about parental relationships, it is not. It is about relationships of all kinds; the good and the not so good.

The novel is serious, thoughtful and at times bleak and desolate. The Biblical themes, though minimal, are weighty and on point. Through it all runs a thread of optimism and the promise of hope.

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

# Of Literature and Lattes #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

Return to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome, where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.

After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn


Robin Jones Gunn books are always encouraging to read. Gunn, time after time, pens realistic, true to life stories, and Being Known delivers the encouraging read I had expected.

Being Known focuses mainly on Jennalyn, a young mother of two children, and her difficulties in handling home, friends and life alone due to a virtually absent, workaholic husband. Many women can easily and readily identify with Jennalyn’s struggles and frustrations at her husband’s constant excuses, even if they are valid (at least in his mind), and his absences are at times necessary.

The story picks up with the Haven Makers aka DOEs (Daughters of Eve), a group of young married and single female friends who meet periodically to inspire, boost and nurture each other through the good and bad times of their lives. The group is founded on Biblical principles and draws heavily on Biblical truths to guide them.

I had a small problem with this book in the beginning.  I thought it faltered at first, with a spate of short, choppy sentences.  Don’t be deterred.  When the novel hits its stride, the story that emerges develops wonderfully and flows seamlessly.  No one should miss this heartening and inspiring book.

Being Known is the sequel to Becoming Us but works fine as a stand-alone.

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

#BeingKnown #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

From the bestselling author of Becoming Us comes a novel that asks: What does it mean to be truly known? In a marriage, in a friendship, or by a loving God?
 
After her mom passed away, Jennalyn was in the midst of moving, adjusting to life with a new baby, and helping her husband, Joel, work toward his dream job. At the time, she thought she’d processed her mother’s death, but only now that Jennalyn has two small children, a lovely new home, and a husband who is always working does she feel the full impact of what she has lost.

Even among her sweet circle of friends, the Haven Makers, grief silently overwhelms Jennalyn, until an unexpected encounter allows her to express herself in ways she hasn’t fully been able to with her husband. Even though Christy, Sierra, Emily, and Tess provide a soft place to land in times of tension, Jennalyn remains guarded, especially when Tess reveals she is tangled emotionally in a relationship that was thorny from the start.

Will the two women open up and remain honest with the others in their Haven Makers group? Or will their hesitation to truly be known, faults and all, keep them from holding on to the friendships that have been the sweetest gift during this season of life?

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter finishes her Blue Ridge Romance series, focusing on residents in Copper Creek, Georgia.

I love the first line to the book, “Jack McReady had fallen in love with Daisy in one-hour increments.”

Jack, a pastor, and Daisy Pendleton, co-owner of Oopsy Daisy flower shop, have known each other for years. Nevertheless, even though Jack has feelings for Daisy, she does not appear to return them.

Overall, I enjoyed On Magnolia Lane. It was fun catching up with characters from the other books in the series. Also, there is a bit of mystery, and there are several surprises intertwined amidst the main story.

But.. (pesky word that, huh?)

The TORTURE of getting to Jack and Daisy’s romance was sometimes too much. Around 16 to 17 chapters elapsed before Daisy even thought about Jack as a possible love interest, and another four chapters or so before it even looked like romance could be a possibility. In addition, some of Jack’s storyline, primarily because he’s a pastor, seemed less than truthful or pastor-like.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Denise Hunter’s books. She handles true-to-life situations, focuses on forgiveness and has a constant thread of Biblical principles and beliefs interwoven throughout the narrative-all done in such a way as to make for pleasant reading.

On Magnolia Lane can be read as a stand-alone book but is more relatable reading the series in order.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace.