Saturday, July 30, 2022

What Will They Think?

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  In this inspiring guide for young women, Grace Valentine shines a spotlight on nine courageous women in the Bible who lived their faith boldly. In a world that pressures you to seek validation from others, learn to focus on what truly matters.

“What will they think?” It’s a question that consumes many women and may even stop them from living the lives God has called them to live. Whether it’s don’t be too loud, don’t be too aggressive, or your role is to be a sidekick for men, women struggle to live a life that is about pleasing others—but Scripture describes women who actually did the opposite.

In this third release from popular blogger and podcaster Grace Valentine, What Will They Think? features the stories of nine incredible women in the Bible, including Esther, Deborah, Sarah, Mary Magdalene, and Tabitha. These women did not bend to peer pressure or seek to people-please but instead turned their focus on God.

What Will They Think? contains:

  • Inspiring and motivating stories of strong women who lived courageously in their faith
  • Practical steps on how to stop caring what others think and focus on what truly matters
  • Personal stories from Grace’s life and her own struggle to stop focusing on the opinions of others

For inspiration found in the lives of these biblical heroes, What Will They Think? provides steps to finding freedom to live life boldly and to stop caring about what others might think.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: The first thing I love about this book is that it is written for young women.  The second thing is that it talks about strong women in the Bible. The third this is it is broken down in sections and you can read whatever section is pulling you in.  My favorite was the "What will they think if I'm a leader?" section. 

At the end of each chapter the next section is 5 things to take away, but relating to the women in the Bible that was being discussed in previous chapter.  My favorite was "Five Things Mary Wasn't Worried About". The 5 things are spot on.....if only I could have been told this in college/right after college.  

This is a great book for a graduation gift (high school or college) or any young women. 

TLC Book Tour Stops:

Instagram features:

Monday, July 11th: @nurse_bookie

Tuesday, July 12th: @peachy.paperbacks

Tuesday, July 12th: @jenniaahava

Thursday, July 14th: @lovemybooks2020

Friday, July 15th: @shejustlovesbooks

Saturday, July 16th: @suzylew_bookreview

TBD: Wednesday, July 13th: @what.ems.reading


Monday, July 11th: @theocbookgirl

Wednesday, July 13th: @thecalicobooks

Thursday, July 14th: @bookshelfmomma

Friday, July 15th: @kristens.reading.nook

Saturday, July 16th: @literannie

Tuesday, July 19th: @parksidereads

Wednesday, July 20th: @travelerswife4life

Thursday, July 21st: @classicallykait

Friday, July 22nd: @webreakforbooks

Sunday, July 24th: @subakka.bookstuff

Monday, July 25th: The Bookish Dilettante

Monday, July 25th:

Tuesday, July 26th: @mama.chels.reads

Wednesday, July 27th: @mommaleighellensbooknook

Thursday, July 28th: Seaside Book Nook

Friday, July 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Sunday, July 31st: @bookish801

TBD: Tuesday, July 12th: @baytownbookie

TBD: Monday, July 18th: @wellreadtraveler

Grace Valentine is an author, blogger, podcast host, and speaker. Her readers love the fact that she is young, ordinary, and relatable; they say her fresh voice helps them navigate their own faith and life. Grace’s mission is to show others that Christianity is not lame–it is an adventure worth living.

Grace grew up near New Orleans, Louisiana, in a suburban town called Mandeville. She graduated from Baylor University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida, where she enjoys going on runs and eating lots of sushi. 

You can find Grace on Instagram @thegracevalentine; her podcast, I’m Tired; Twitter @GraceV96; or her website, Grace loves connecting with her readers, so send her a message!11


Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Lost and Found Girl

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


The small Oregon town of Pear Blossom welcomes the return of its prodigal daughter Ruby McKee. Found abandoned as a baby by the McKee family, Ruby is the unofficial town mascot, but when she and her adoptive sisters start investigating the true circumstances around her discovery, it soon becomes clear that this small town is hiding the biggest, and darkest, of secrets. A raw, powerful exploration of the lengths people go to protect their loved ones, for fans of Lori Wilde and Carolyn Brown.

Ruby McKee is a miracle.

It’s a miracle she survived, abandoned as a newborn baby. A miracle that she was found by the McKee sisters. Her discovery allowed the community of Pear Blossom, Oregon, broken by a devastating crime, to heal. Since then, Ruby has lived a charmed life. But she can’t let go of the need to know why she was abandoned, and she’s tired of not having answers.

Dahlia McKee knows it’s not right to resent Ruby for being special. But uncovering the truth about sister Ruby’s origins could allow Dahlia to carve her own place in Pear Blossom history… if she’s brave enough to follow her heart.

Widowed sister Lydia McKee doesn’t have time for Ruby’s what if’s – when Lydia’s right now is so, so hard. Her husband’s best friend Chase might be offering to share some of the load, but can Lydia ever trust her instincts around him?

Marianne Martin is glad that her youngest sister is back in town, but balancing Ruby’s crusade with the way her own life is imploding is turning into a bigger chore than she imagined. Especially when Ruby starts overturning secrets about the past that Marianne has spent a lifetime trying to pretend don’t exist.

And when the truth about Ruby’s miraculous origins, and the crime from long ago, turn out to be connected in ways no one could have expected, will the McKee sisters band together, or fall apart?


Author: Maisey Yates

ISBN: 9781335503206

Publication Date: July 26, 2022

Publisher: HQN Books

Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she's writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon. Check out her website, or find her on Facebook.

Excerpt: one


Only two truly remarkable things had ever happened in the small town of Pear Blossom, Oregon. The first occurred in 1999, when Caitlin Groves disappeared one fall evening on her way home from her boyfriend’s family orchard.

The second was in 2000, when newborn Ruby McKee was discovered on Sentinel Bridge, the day before Christmas Eve.

It wasn’t as if Pear Blossom hadn’t had excitement before then. There was the introduction of pear orchards—an event which ultimately determined the town’s name—in the late 1800s. Outlaws who lay in wait to rob the mail coaches, and wolves and mountain lions who made meals of the farmers’ animals. The introduction of the railroad, electricity and a particularly active society of suffragettes, when women were lobbying for the right to vote.

But all of that blended into the broader context of history, not entirely dissimilar to the goings-on of every town in every part of the world, as men fought to tame a wild land and the land rose up and fought back.

Caitlin’s disappearance and Ruby’s appearance felt both specific and personal, and had scarred and healed—if Ruby took the proclamations of various citizens too literally, which she really tried not to do—the community.

Mostly, as Ruby got out of the car she’d hired at the airport and stood in front of Sentinel Bridge with a suitcase in one hand, she marveled at how idyllic and the same it all seemed.

The bridge itself was battered from the years. The wood dark and marred, but sturdy as ever. A white circle with a white 1917, denoting the year of its construction, was stenciled in the top center of the bridge, just above the tunnel that led to the other side, a pinhole of light visible in the darkness across the way.

It was only open to foot traffic now, with a road curving wide around it and carrying cars to the other side a different way. For years, Sentinel Bridge was closed, and it wasn’t until a community outreach and education effort in the mid nineties that it was reopened for people to walk on.

Ruby could have had the driver take her a different route.

But she wanted to cross the bridge.

“Are you sure you want me to leave you here?” her driver asked.

She’d told him when she’d gotten into his car that she was from here originally, and he’d still spent the drive explaining local landmarks to her, so she wasn’t all that surprised he didn’t trust her directive to leave her in the middle of nowhere.

He was the kind of man who just knew best.

They’d just driven through the town proper. All brick—red and white and yellow—the sidewalks lined with trees whose leaves matched as early fall took hold. It was early, and the town had still been sleepy, most of the shops closed. There had been a runner or two out, an older man—Tom Swenson—walking his dog. But otherwise it had been empty. Still, it bore more marks of civilization than where they stood now.

The bridge was nearly engulfed in trees, some of which were evergreen, others beginning to show rusted hints of autumn around the edges. A golden shaft of light cut over the treetops, bathing the front of the bridge in a warm glow, illuminating the long wooden walk—where the road ended—that led to the covered portion, but shrouding the entrance in darkness.

She could see what the man in the car saw. Something abandoned and eerie and disquieting.

But Ruby only saw the road home.

“It’s fine,” she said.

She did not explain that her parents’ farm was just up the road, and she walked this way all the time.

That it was only a quarter of a mile from where she’d been found as a baby.

She had to cross the bridge nearly every day when she was in town, so she didn’t always think of it. But some days, days like this after she’d been away awhile, she had a strange, hushed feeling in her heart, like she was about to pay homage at a grave.

“If you’re sure.” His tone clearly said she shouldn’t be, but he still took her easy wave as his invitation to go.

Ruby turned away from the retreating car and smiled, wrapping both hands around the handle of her battered brown suitcase. It wasn’t weathered from her own use. She’d picked it up at a charity shop in York, England, because she’d thought it had a good aesthetic and it was just small enough to be a carry-on, but wasn’t like one of those black wheeled things that everyone else had. 

She’d cursed while she’d lugged it through Heathrow and Newark and Denver, then finally Medford. Those wheely bags that were not unique at all had seemed more attractive each time her shoulders and arms throbbed from carrying the very lovely suitcase.

Ruby’s love of history was oftentimes not practical.

But it didn’t matter now. The ache in her arms had faded and she was nearly home.

Her parents would have come to pick her up from the airport but Ruby had swapped her flight in Denver to an earlier one so she didn’t have to hang around for half the day. It had just meant getting up and rushing out of the airport adjacent hotel she’d stayed in for only a couple of hours. Her Newark flight had gotten in at eleven thirty the night before and by the time she’d collected her bags, gotten to the hotel and stumbled into bed, it had been nearly one in the morning.

Then she’d been up again at three for the five o’clock flight into Medford, which had set her back on the ground around the time she’d taken off. Which had made her feel gritty and exhausted and wholly uncertain of the time. She’d passed through so many time zones nothing felt real.

She waved the driver off and took the first step forward. She paused at the entry to the bridge. She looked back over her shoulder at the bright sunshine around her and then took a step forward into the darkness. Light came up through the cracks between the wood on the ground and the walls. At the center of the bridge, there were two windows with no glass that looked out over the river below. It was by those windows that she’d been found.

She walked briskly through the bridge and then stopped. In spite of herself. She often walked on this bridge and never felt a thing. She rarely felt inclined to ponder the night that she was found. If she got ridiculous about that too often, then she would never get anything done. After all, she had to cross this bridge to get home.

But she was moving back to town, not just returning for a visit, and it felt right to mark the occasion with a stop at the place of her salvation. She paused for a moment, right at the spot between the two openings that looked out on the water.

She had been placed just there. Down on the ground. Wrapped in a blanket, but still so desperately tiny and alone.

She had always thought about the moment when her sisters had picked her up and brought her back to their parents. It was the moment that came before that she had a hard time with. The one where someone—it had to have been her birth mother—had set her down there, leaving her to fate. To die if she died, or live if she was found. And thankfully she’d been found, but there had been no way for the person who had set her there to know that would happen.

It had gotten below freezing that night.

If Marianne, Lydia and Dahlia hadn’t come walking through from the Christmas play rehearsal, then…

She didn’t cry. But a strange sort of hollowness spread out in her chest.

But she ignored it and decided to press on toward home. She walked through the darkness of the bridge, watching as the light, the exit loomed larger.

And once she was outside, she could breathe. Because it didn’t matter what had happened there. What mattered was every step she had taken thereafter. What mattered was this road back home.

She walked up the gravel-covered road, kicking rocks out of her way as she went. It was delightfully cold, the crisp morning a reminder of exactly why she loved Pear Blossom. It was completely silent out here except for the odd braying of a donkey and chirping birds. She looked down at the view below, at the way the mist hung over the pear trees in the orchard. The way it created a ring around the mountain, the proud peak standing out above it. A blanket of green and gold, rimmed with misty rose.

She breathed in deep and kept on walking, relishing the silence, relishing the sense of home.

She had spent the last four years studying history. Mostly abroad. She had engaged in every exchange program she could, because what was the point of studying history if you limited yourself to a country that was as young as the United States and to a coast as new as the West Coast.

She could remember the awe that she’d experienced walking on streets that were more than just a couple of hundred years old. The immense breadth of time that she had felt. And she had… Well, she had hoped that she would find answers somewhere. Because she had always believed that the answers to what ails you in the present could be found somewhere in the past.

And she’d explored the past. Thoroughly. Many different facets of it. And along the way, she done a bit of exploring of herself.

After all, that was half the reason she’d left. To try and figure out who she was outside of this place where everyone knew her, and her story.

Though, when she got close to people, it didn’t take long for them to discover her story. It was, after all, in the news.

Of course, she always found it interesting who discovered it on their own. Because that was revealing.

Who googled their friends.

Ruby obviously googled her friends, but that was because of her own background and experience. If those same friends had an equally salacious background, then it was forgivable. 

But if they were boring, then she found it deeply suspicious that they engaged in such activities.

She came over a slight rise in the road and before her was the McKee family farm. It had been in the McKee family for generations. And Ruby felt a profound sense of connection to it. It might not be her legacy by blood, but that had never mattered to the McKees, and it didn’t matter to her either. This town was part of who she was.

And maybe that was why no matter how she had searched elsewhere, she was drawn back here.

Dana Groves, her old mentor, had called her six months ago to tell her an archivist position was being created in the historical society with some newly allocated funds, and had offered the job to Ruby.

Ruby loved Pear Blossom, but she’d also felt like it was really important for her to go out in the world and see what else existed.

It was easy for her to be in Pear Blossom. People here loved her.

It had been a fascinating experience to go to a place where that wasn’t automatically the case. Of course, she hadn’t stayed in one place very long. After going to the University of Washington, she had gotten involved in different study abroad programs, and she had moved between them as often as she could. Studying in Italy, France, Spain, coming to the States briefly for her graduation ceremony in May, and then going back overseas to spend a few months in England, finishing up some elective study programs.

But then, she’d found that instructive too. Being in a constant state of meeting new people. And for a while, the sheer differentness of it all had fed her in a way that had quieted that restlessness. She had been learning. Learning and experiencing and… Well, part of her had wondered if her first job needed to be away from home. To continue her education.

But then six months ago her sister’s husband had died.

And Dana’s offer of a job in Pear Blosson after she finished her degree had suddenly seemed like fate. Because Ruby had to come and try to make things better for Lydia.

Marianne and Dahlia were worried about Lydia, who had retreated into herself and had barely shed a single tear.

She’s acting just like our parents. No fuss, no muss. No crying over spilled milk or dead husbands.

Clearly miserable, in other words.

And Ruby knew she was needed.

One thing about being saved, about being spared from death, was the certainty you were spared for a reason.

Ruby had been saved by her sisters. And if they ever needed her…

Well, she would be here.

Excerpted from The Lost and Found Girl by Maisey Yates. Copyright © 2022 by Maisey Yates. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Millionaire's Wife

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  When Anna Blackwell opens an email from an unknown sender, the shocking image attached shatters her perfect world. A woman has been killed. And Anna knows who did it. The past is catching up with her.

Is it her turn next?

To protect herself and her husband Will, she must tell him the terrible truth about her first love. But as the secrets of her life unravel, Anna begins to realise that she is not the only one who has been living a lie.

Anna doesn’t know who to turn to: her best friend, her parents, her husband. But she knows that her ex-lover is dangerous and she must stop him, before it’s too late…

One (or more) Sentence Summary: The Millionaire's Wife is a book I couldn't put down.  There are so many plot twists that they kept me turning the next page and reading the next chapter.  It was too hard to put down. 

Anna receives a photo on the day she is planning a party for her husband's birthday. Her past comes flooding back and she must figure out how to not have it ruin her life.

I really like her book The Secret Mother and can't wait to read more of her work.

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England, with her husband and two noisy boys. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers and dark adventures.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Finalist

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  On a beautiful spring day, six college students with nothing in common besides a desperate inability to pay for school gather to compete for the prestigious Hyde Fellowship.
Milo—The front-runner
Natalia—The brain
James—The rule follower
Sydney—The athlete
Duffy—The cowboy
Emily—The social justice warrior
The six of them must surrender their devices when they enter Hyde House, an aging Victorian structure that sits in a secluded part of campus. 
Once inside, the doors lock behind them. The students are not allowed to leave until they spend eight hours with a college administrator who will do almost anything to keep the school afloat, and Nicholas Hyde, the privileged and notoriously irresponsible heir to the Hyde family fortune. If the students leave before time is up, they’ll be immediately disqualified. 
But when one of the six finalists drops dead, the other students fear they’re being picked off one by one. With a violent protest raging outside, and no way to escape, the survivors viciously turn on each other. 
The Finalists is a chilling and profound look at the lengths both students and colleges will go to survive in a resource-starved academic world.

David Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author whose work has been translated into multiple languages. He’s currently a professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Edge of Summer

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Bestselling author Viola Shipman delights with this captivating summertime escape set along the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan, where a woman searches for clues to her secretive mother's past

Devastated by the sudden death of her mother—a quiet, loving and intensely private Southern seamstress called Miss Mabel, who overflowed with pearls of Ozarks wisdom but never spoke of her own family—Sutton Douglas makes the impulsive decision to pack up and head north to the Michigan resort town where she believes she’ll find answers to the lifelong questions she’s had about not only her mother’s past but also her own place in the world.

Recalling Miss Mabel’s sewing notions that were her childhood toys, Sutton buys a collection of buttons at an estate sale from Bonnie Lyons, the imposing matriarch of the lakeside community. Propelled by a handful of trinkets left behind by her mother and glimpses into the history of the magical lakeshore town, Sutton becomes tantalized by the possibility that Bonnie is the grandmother she never knew. But is she? As Sutton cautiously befriends Bonnie and is taken into her confidence, she begins to uncover the secrets about her family that Miss Mabel so carefully hid, and about the role that Sutton herself unwittingly played in it all.

The Edge of Summer

Author: Viola Shipman 

ISBN: 978-1525811425

Paperback Original 

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

Publisher: Graydon House

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble



Forever Books


VIOLA SHIPMAN is the pen name for internationally bestselling author Wade Rouse. Wade is the author of fourteen books, which have been translated into 21 languages and sold over a million copies around the world. Wade chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction. The last Viola Shipman novel, The Secret of Snow (October 2021), was named a Best Book of Fall by Country Living Magazine and a Best Holiday Book by Good Housekeeping. 

Wade hosts the popular Facebook Live literary happy hour, “Wine & Words with Wade,” every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Viola Shipman author page where he talks writing, inspiration and welcomes bestselling authors and publishing insiders.


A small cut in the fabric that is bound with small stitching. The hole has to be just big enough to allow a button to pass through it and remain in place.

My mom told everyone my dad died, along with my entire family—grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all—one Christmas Day long ago.

“Fire,” she’d say. “Woodstove. Took ’em all. Down to the last cousin.”

“How’d you make it out with your little girl?” everyone would always ask, eyes wide, mouths open. “That’s a holiday miracle!”

My mom would start to cry, a tear that grew to a flood, and, well, that would end that.

No one questioned someone who survived such a thing, especially a widowed mother like Miss Mabel, which is what everyone called her out of deference in the Ozarks. Folks down here had lived hard lives, and they buried their kin just like they did their heartache, underneath the rocky earth and red clay. It took too much effort to dig that deep. 

That’s why no one ever bothered to check out the story of a simple, hardworking, down-to-earth, churchgoing lady who kept to herself down here in the hollers—despite the fact me and my mom both just appeared out of thin air—in a time before social media existed. 

But I did. 

Want to know why? 

My mom never cried. 

She was the least emotional soul I’d ever known. 

“How did you make it out with me?” I asked her countless times as I grew older, when it was just the two of us sitting in her sewing room in our tiny cabin tucked amongst the bluffs outside Nevermore, Missouri. 

She would never answer immediately, no matter how many times I asked. Instead, she’d turn over one of her button jars or tins, and run her fingers through the buttons as if they were tarot cards that would provide a clue. 

I mean, there were no photos, no memories, no footsteps that even led from our fiery escape to the middle of Nevermore. No family wondered where we were? No one cared? My mother made it out with nothing but me? Not a penny to her name? Just some buttons? 

We were rich in buttons. 

Oh, I had button necklaces in every color growing up— red, green, blue, yellow, white, pink—and I matched them to every outfit I had. We didn’t have money for trendy jewelry or clothes—tennis bracelets, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans—so my mom made nearly everything I wore. 

Kids made fun of me at school for that.

“Sutton, the button girl!” they’d taunt me. “Hand-me-downs!” 

Wasn’t funny. Ozarks kids weren’t clever. Just annoyingly direct, like the skeeters that constantly buzzed my head. 

I loved my necklaces, though. They were like Wonder Woman’s bracelets. For some reason, I always felt protected. 

I’d finger and count every button on my necklace waiting for my mom to answer the question I’d asked long ago. She’d just keep searching those buttons, turning them round and round, feeling them, whispering to them, as if they were alive and breathing. The quiet would nearly undo me. A girl should have music and friends’ laughter be the soundtrack of her life, not the clink of buttons and rush of the creek. Most times, I’d spin my button necklace a few times, counting upward of sixty before my mom would answer. 

“Alive!” she’d finally say, voice firm, without looking up. “That’s how we made it out…alive. And you should feel darn lucky about that, young lady.” 

Then, as if by magic, my mom would always somehow manage to find a matching button to replace a missing one on a hand-me-down blouse of hers, or pluck the “purtiest” ones from the countless buttons in her jar—iridescent abalone or crochet over wound silk f loss—to make the entire blouse seem new again. 

Still, she would never smile. In fact, it was as if she had been born old. I had no idea how old she might be: Thirty-five? Fifty? Seventy? 

But when she’d find a beautiful button, she would hold it up to study, her gold eyes sparkling in the light from the little lamp over Ol’ Betsy, her Singer sewing machine. 

If I watched her long enough, her face would relax just enough to let the deep creases sigh, and the edges of her mouth would curl ever so slightly, as if she had just found the secret to life in her button jar. 

“Look at this beautiful button, Sutton,” she’d say. “So many buttons in this jar: fabric, shell, glass, metal, ceramic. All forgotten. All with a story. All from someone and somewhere. People don’t give a whit about buttons anymore, but I do. They hold value, these things that just get tossed aside. Buttons are still the one thing that not only hold a garment together but also make it truly unique.” 

Finally, finally, she’d look at me. Right in the eye. 

“Lots of beauty and secrets in buttons if you just look long and hard enough.” 

The way she said that would make my body explode in goose pimples. 

Every night of my childhood, I’d go to bed and stare at my necklace in the moonlight, or I’d play with the buttons in my mom’s jar searching for an answer my mother never provided. 

Even today when I design a beautiful dress with pretty, old-fashioned buttons, I think of my mom and how the littlest of things can hold us together. 

Or tear us apart.