Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

A Call to Mercy by Mother Teresa; Edited by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC

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I received a copy of Mother Teresa’s writings, A Call to Mercy, from Blogging for Books. This book was published to coincide with our recent Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, and also with Mother Teresa’s canonization.

The book is organized to highlight the seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. It is full of quotes from her writings. Questions for reflection and prayer are added for the reader.

It is the kind of book that you can pick up at any time and read a portion of. I found it inspiring and moving.

Now I know that there are some folks out there who have an issue with Mother Teresa and her work. I, personally, find her both humbling and inspirational.

You can find A Call to Mercy online at Amazon or at an indie bookstore near you.

Thank you for my review copy!

(above image via Amazon)
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MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco

I recently received an ePub copy of this book as part of the Litfuse Blog Tour of MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco.

Now if there’s one thing I know, it is that marriage takes work. This book goes over some of the basic tenets of marriage — things that often get overlooked or are difficult to work on: expressing anger, being a good listener, gender roles and stereotypes. Greco peppers her chapters with personal anecdotes and stories of couples with whom she has worked. I have to say that her husband was a good sport for contributing so honestly to this work as well! Each chapter ends with thoughtful discussion questions and it is all set into a framework of Biblical guidance. It would make a nice wedding gift for a Christian couple!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Book info
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy?
All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.
Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.
Making Marriage Beautiful
 reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.
Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy’s writing has been featured in “Relevant Magazine,” “Christianity Today,” “Sojourners,” and “Her.meneutics.” She is a regular contributor for “Gifted for Leadership,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” and “Start Marriage Right.” The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.
Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest View on Instagram

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule: Follow Along and Discover a New Blog!

(Dates may have been changed from those originally listed)
1/24
Sara | SK Bell
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Tami | This Mom’s Delight
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life1/25
Shannon | Mrsreadsbooks
Jennifer | Jen Around the World

1/27
Dawn | Dawn Crandall’s Passion for Pages

1/28
Krystal | Live To Read ~Krystal
Lisa | Little Writer Momma
Amanda | The Talbert Report

1/30
Crystal | Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

1/31
Sherry | My Journey Back
Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Amber | Seasons of Humility

2/1
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Kristie | Moments
Erin | Connected2Christ
Beth | Beth’s Book-Nook Blog

2/2
Dominique | Mama Bear Outpost
Denise | Ramblings of a California Couponer

2/4
Terra | Heck Of A Bunch
Jennifer | A Peace of Mind
LeAnne | Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
Beth | For The Love of Books

2/5
Theresa | Thoughts on books
Sara | Embracing Destiny
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower

2/6
Mindy | A Room Without Books is Empty

2/7
Stacey | WORD Up!
Bethany | The Perfect beginnings
Jill | I am believing God
Chardae | Lioness Dae
Carol | Carol Cooney
Christy | Welcome to Our World

Megan | Crazy Bananas
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Litfuse Tour for THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR by Ace Collins

I’m part of the Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour today for Ace Collins’ THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR – A Christmas devotional. This is a super little book chock full of scripture, reflection, recipes, and crafts. I plan to share mine with my family.Thank you for my review copy!See below for more info and to enter the fun giveaway!The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Ace Collins

Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins’ new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas. Download a free sampler of the book by clicking here.

About the book:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.

For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.

With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

About the author:
 
 
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Join Ace’s Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! 

The giveaway ends on November 21. The winner will be announced November 22 on the Litfuse blog.

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THE TEN MYTHS OF TEEN DATING by Daniel Anderson

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A father and daughter author team combines the latest scientific research with poignant, personal stories to help you engage your daughter in wise conversations about dating. Don’t miss The 10 Mythsof Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future, releasing September 1. Weaving solid Biblical truths with practical application and discussion starters, Daniel and Jacquelyn seek to equip parents to teach their daughters how to date for today . . . and tomorrow.
If you have daughters in the dating scene or who are ready to embark into dating, I encourage you to read and discuss the book with her. For more information on Daniel and Jacquelyn, please visit the Myths of Dating website.
About the authors:
 
 
Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson—a twenty something and also a high school teacher—decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.
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So – I received this book through Litfuse Publicity to be part of their tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This is a seen as a Christian book and I wondered what the message would be. Many years ago a sweet nun told me that if I ever felt overwhelmed by sexual desire before marriage to “say a prayer and read a good book”. Would this be the same?
Let me tell you – this is a GREAT book. I read it. I had my husband read it. And I strategically left it lying around so that my teenage daughter would pick it up and read it. It has good, common sense advice in it, but it is also quite realistic and practical. The “message” here is simple: “You are loved. You are unique. You are worthy. You don’t need to compromise yourself and your body”. It acknowledges that sexual desire is real and healthy, but its focus is on having young people – primarily young women – avoid having sex for all the wrong reasons.
The author is a high school teacher, so I could truly relate to him (as an educator myself), but perhaps the most striking parts of this book were the vignettes that his own daughter added throughout, about being a teen, about her relationship with her parents, etc.
 Highly recommended! Thank you so much for making me part of the tour!
Find this book at an indie near you or on Amazon, where I am an Associate:

http://amzn.to/2e3tAl3

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Litfuse Publicity Tour for GOD BLESS US EVERYONE by Eva Marie Everson

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Today I’m taking part in the Litfuse blog tour for Eva Marie Everson’s new novel: GOD BLESS US EVERYONE. This is a title I’d classify as Christian romance. Here’s the overview:
About the book:

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. 
For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bUfaqD

About the author:
 
 
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament,Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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This was my first novel by Ms. Everson. It read quickly and easily (in one day) and I enjoyed the plot and storyline. I did have a slight challenge accepting Charlie’s reason for termination at her job (probably because I work in a similar setting!), but that was just a way to get the story rolling. Of course I wanted Charlie and Dusty to get together, and I always enjoy a Christmas theme and one that encompasses forgiveness. One clever aspect of this story was the way that sections of the original A Christmas Carol started off each chapter and were tied in to the plot.
If you enjoy Christian romances, then you should pick up this one for the holidays!
Thank you for my review e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
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Litfuse Blog Tour for WHEN DEATH DRAWS NEAR by Carrie Stuart Parks

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I’m happy today to be part of the blog tour for WHEN DEATH DRAWS NEAR by Carrie Stuart Parks, through Litfuse Publicity.
Here’s an overview of the novel:

When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2auSB8Y

About the author:
 
 

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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This story was a little different than I expected, but I enjoyed it. (I was thinking it might be very “noir”). It is number three in a series, but it is a stand-alone title (I hadn’t read the previous books and didn’t realize they they existed until after I was done with this one).
Gwen is a strong female character, struggling with numerous personal issues (divorce, parenting, health, general self-esteem, etc.). I liked how her emotions and feelings were realistic; what I struggled with was that some of her actions required me to suspend my belief (would you take your teenage daughter along if you knew you were in danger? I wouldn’t). I liked the story, though, and found it fast-paced.
This is under the Thomas Nelson imprint, which is a Christian imprint line, however, this story didn’t seem like the typical Christian novel I receive. I have readers who do not pick up books classed as “Christian” as they feel they don’t relate (basically because they aren’t Christian), however I think this book would appeal to a wide range of readers. One thing I did like about this story line and the character of Gwen was the underlying theme of accepting yourself for who you are and accepting your challenges in life with grace, and knowing that you aren’t alone.
I will look for other books by Carrie Stuart Parks – including those in this series!
Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review e-copy!
But wait, there’s more!!
A Giveaway!
 For an “Undercover Artist Starter Set” ==

When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks
Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey’s world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks’ new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

when death draws near - enterbanner
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BETWEEN US GIRLS by Trish Donohue – a Litfuse Book Tour

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Today I’m part of the Litfuse tour for BETWEEN US GIRLS – Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. If you know me at all, you know I have a pre-teen daughter. This Christian book focuses on sharing and guiding your daughter through some tough discussions of adolescence.

Here’s the overview:

You feel more than mommy guilt. You feel a deep and growing conviction that you must do something to disciple your daughter. But what? How can a busy mom make sure that her daughter learns about the most important things in life: what Jesus did for her on the cross and how to be faithful to him in this broken world?

Author Trish Donohue has been there, and that’s why she wrote Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

Between Us Girls is more than a devotional; it’s a conversation guide, and the twenty-six “chats” are just the beginning. Ultimately, Donohue’s book teaches mothers and daughters a new way to communicate and starts them on a wonderful, lifelong journey of getting to know one another better and learning to love their Savior more.

Between Us Girls was written by a busy mom for busy moms, so no prep time is needed! Just schedule some time with your daughter, grab this book, head to your destination of choice, and cherish every moment you share with your girl.

Here’s a bit about Trish:

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Trish Donohue is a wife and mom who writes from her kitchen table in West Chester, PA. With twenty years experience as a pastor’s wife involved in women’s ministry, Trish has spoken to women in a variety of settings. A desire to disciple her own daughters combined with a love for writing inspired her first book, Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. Trish and her husband, Jim, are the happy parents of two sons and two daughters.

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This is a lovely little book that you can do as much of as you like at a time. There are sharing questions, ice breakers, suggested scripture to read together, and things to talk about with your daughter, all focused on helping her to understand and talk about challenges in life and making good decisions. There is an emphasis on the mother’s discipleship, so this is a perfect choice for a Christian household.

Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!

You can find this book online (e.g. Amazon) or at a library or bookstore near you.

 

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Illuminated by the Message -LOUISA MAY ALCOTT – A Literary Portal to Prayer

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My friend Susan Bailey – whom I know through Orchard House – was kind enough to gift me with a copy of her new book: LOUISA MAY ALCOTT Illuminated by the Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series. This selection is one in a series of books from Catholic publishing house ACTA that takes beloved writings by authors such as Dickens, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen and paisr them with similarly themed passages from the Bible.

Using a variety of Louisa’s writings, Ms. Bailey has made connections between some of the most touching passages of Louisa’s children’s books and her journals, linking them to Bible passages of both the Old and the New Testaments. One of my favorite passages links an excerpt about Beth in Little Women as she cares for her broken but beloved dolls to a psalm that cites God as a safe-house for the battered.

This would be a nice volume to keep nearby for daily reflection. It makes me realize how deeply one can interpret Louisa’s work, too.

Thank you, Susan, for my beautiful gift copy!

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Litfuse Blog Tour and Giveaway for ANCHOR IN THE STORM by Sarah Sundin

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I really enjoyed Sarah Sundin’s THROUGH WATERS DEEP, so I was thrilled to join soe of the characters again in the next book in this WWII series: ANCHOR IN THE STORM and to take part in this blog tour!

Here’s the description from Litfuse:

Anchor in the Storm (Revell, May 2016)

One plucky female pharmacist + one high-society naval officer = romance—and danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

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I loved this book which was a mystery with suspense, a bit of a romance, a historical novel of WWII experience, and a journey of faith. This book stands alone as a title as well if it is your first book by Sundin.

I love Sundin’s characters who are basically very “human” – and thus flawed – and yet able to forgive themselves and accept themselves for who they are. They learn to put their faith and their trust in God, and in doing so, realize that they don’t need to fight all their battles alone.

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Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including “Anchor in the Storm.” Her novel “Through Waters Deep” was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in “Where Treetops Glisten” was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy this genre!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my review copy!
But wait! There’s more!! A Giveaway!!

Celebrate the release of Sarah’s Anchor in the Storm by entering to win her All Hands on Deck Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A signed copy of Anchor in the Storm
  • Nautical tote bag lined with anchor fabric
  • Anchor necklace made from copper reclaimed from the USS Constitution in Boston during restoration
  • 365 Devotions for Hope by Karen Whiting
  • Shine: Nautical Inspirational Adult Coloring Book
  • “Hope Anchors the Soul” journal
  • Set of two nautical tea towels
LF AIS full group 2

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 8th. The winner will be announced June 9th on Sarah’s blog.

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Litfuse Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY for THROUGH THE SHADOWS by Karen Barnett

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I’m excited to be part of the Litfuse Publicity blog tour for Karent Barnett’s latest novel in the Golden Gate Chronicles: THROUGH THE SHADOWS. This story continues on with some of the characters we have come to know from the previous books in the series: OUT OF THE ASHES and BEYOND THE RUINS. That said, it can be a stand alone title as well.

Here’s the description of this story from Litfuse:

Through the Shadows (Abingdon, May 2016)

As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

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If you are reading this series, you know it is Christian historical fiction, and I like how the story line is able to encapsulate faith right alongside the action and romance plot lines. Elizabeth is a likable and strong character, and I will give this book credit for highlighting an issue that personally I have never read about (so I am assuming it is often overlooked or ignored) — the plight of the young Chinese prostitute in turn of the century California.

Barnett’s writing flows smoothly and this is an easy read – perfect for starting off the summer!

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Karen Barnett is the author of “Beyond the Ashes,” “Out of the Ruins,” and “Mistaken.” Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs.
Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!

But wait! There’s more!!! There’s a book giveaway for this tour — click below for info and entering:

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LINK FOR GIVEAWAY: https://promosimple.com/ps/99f1

 

 

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