The French Encounter ~ Window to the Heart Saga by Jenna Brandt (A Book Review)

About the Book:

While fleeing from danger and searching for her long-lost brother, Lady Margaret encounters new love. Despite her past, can Lady Margaret discover hope for the future? Deeply passionate and intensely gripping, The French Encounter weighs the struggle between giving in to temptation and sacrificing for refuge.

The French Encounter (Book 2).

Ruined by a night she will never forget, Lady Margaret, Countess of Renwick must flee from England with her infant son to hide from the man who destroyed her life and from the sister-in-law who hates her. Relentlessly, the Duke and Viscountess hunt for them, planning to take the child to whom they both feel entitled. Margaret turns to God, believing he will protect her family and help her find her long-lost twin brother, Randall. While searching for Randall in France, Margaret is pursued by two enticing men: Pierre, the alluring Vidame of Demoulin, and Michel, the powerful Marquis de Badour. One man promises passion while the other offers security. Will Margaret surrender the chance for love to secure her safety?

🌼💕

Between turning the pages as quickly as possible to keep up with the intense pace of the story, drinking copious cups of tea to keep warm, and depleting an entire box of tissues … I have read and thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book.

Once again, the plot structure and character development are superb. Again, I felt every moment and each emotion, often guessing what may happen, and pleading with the book that it would turn out differently. That’s a problem with us writers, we almost always try to guess what happens next.

I found myself asking the age-old question, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’  Sometimes the words ‘It is all part of His plan to strengthen us’ are rather difficult to swallow. However, throughout this book we learn both the importance of love and trust, and the fact that once lost, they can both be restored through time, at great cost, but with patience, understanding, perseverance, and faith, anything is possible.

The timeline of the story slots in neatly at the end of book one (The English Proposal). This second book in the saga could be read as a standalone as there is sufficient back story, however, I wouldn’t recommend it. After all, who wants to read just part of a story?

Ms. Brandt did it again. Jenna captivated my senses, got my undivided attention until the final sentence. But alas, I did not get my happily-ever-after ending. I am assuming this is because there is still one more book to be read to complete this intriguing saga.

The theme throughout this book while distressing and just so damn heartbreaking, is a good one. It makes you think. It makes us realize that we are not perfect in our human form. We make mistakes which mostly we regret over time. Even when we have what one would consider a strong faith, there will always be moments of doubt. We are after all, only human … don’t you think?

Throughout The French Encounter, happiness was constantly overshadowed by tragedy and immense sadness, with a glimmer of hope, shining towards the end.

The third and final book in this saga is entitled The American Conquest. You may and should pre-order it here

I am looking forward to reading the final installment in this saga of unrequited love, betrayal, trust, grief, happiness, and healing, and I am hoping with all my heart that there will be a happy ending, or at least a satisfying one.

Lord knows, Margaret deserves to be content, just as we the readers do, and I have faith that Ms. Brandt won’t let us be disappointed. “No pressure, Jenna.”

So, if you have purchased one or both gorgeous books, you should consider owning all three. And if you haven’t read any of them yet, why not go for broke and buy all three now?

The English Proposal

 

 

 

 

 

The French Encounter

 

 

 

 

 

The American Conquest

 

I do hope you enjoy reading the stories Jenna writes as much as I enjoy reading and reviewing them.

The author kindly provided me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

About the Author:

Jenna Brandt is an on-going contributor for The Mighty website and had her blog published on YahooParenting as well as being featured on the ABC News, The Grief Toolbox and Good Morning America websites. Jenna started writing stories as a little girl and has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College and was Editor-in-Chief of her college paper. Writing is her passion but she also enjoys reading, cooking, social media, being active in her local church including leading a grief support group and spending time with her three young daughters and husband. Discover more about Jenna and her lovely books right here

 

The English Proposal ~ Window to the Heart Saga by Jenna Brandt (A Book Review)

 

The English ProposalAbout the Book:

The English Proposal (Book 1). Sheltered on her family’s country estate, Lady Margaret, the daughter of an English Earl, is betrothed due to a family promise. Although Henry, the Viscount Rolantry, has been her best friend since childhood and she is expected to marry him, she never felt butterflies until she meets the Duke of Witherton. Against her father’s wishes, Margaret finds herself captivated by the forbidden duke. Caught between family loyalty and her own wishes, Margaret searches for a way to satisfy both her responsibilities and her longings. When tragedy strikes, Margaret finds herself seeking answers at church. But when she finally makes her choice, through her newfound faith, will she be able to live with the repercussions of her decision?

My Thoughts:

“Inspiring Stories: Feel Every Moment”

Only in recent times have I immersed my senses so deeply into historical fiction, especially historical, suspenseful, romance. I loved reading Jenna’s debut novel which is the first of three books in the Window to the Heart Saga series.

I just, could not … put this book down!  You may purchase your own copy right here

The all-consuming theme of love and trust flows beautifully throughout this book, as does the curse of hatred and betrayal.  Fortunately, the love that wins over is not our typical and often superficial human love, but a love most divine.

💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕🌼💕

Margaret and Henry’s story also brought to mind the fact that even when we do our very best in life, or what we sincerely consider to be the best, God still has His own agenda. We are often left lonely and confused as to why our circumstances have turned out the way they have. We question our faith, but hopefully, eventually, we do learn to trust His purpose.

The plot for The English Proposal has been well thought out, allowing for the adventures and surprises which are yet to come.  Jenna’s scenes are expertly crafted throughout, and the characterisation is splendid. You can visualise each character, and it is as though you are there, inside the story. You will be able to feel each moment and emotion as it passes.

“Margaret found herself sitting at the windowsill again. It was the only thing that brought her comfort. She would stare out, searching for something – anything that would ease the pain.”

“The tears came down quickly and harshly, one on top of the other, leaving streaks and trails behind.”

The English Proposal Teaser 2 

I cried a bit while reading this book … actually, I cried a lot. Why?  Well, I think everyone knows by now that I love happy endings. This sweet book didn’t have that usual happily-ever-after, however, it does instil hope and a promise of a more joyful future.

 

The French Encounter by Jenna BrandtIf you’d like to join me in following Margaret’s journey, you’ll need to read the other two books in the series. Book Two: The French Encounter will be released at Amazon on Monday, 12 June 2017 as well as Amazon Australia, and other eBook sellers.

And there’s no need to wait, you can preorder your copy  here

I do hope you enjoy reading the stories Jenna writes as much as I enjoy reading and reviewing them.

The author provided me with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

 

Jenna BrandtAbout the Author:

Jenna Brandt is an on-going contributor for The Mighty website and had her blog published on YahooParenting as well as being featured on the ABC News, The Grief Toolbox and Good Morning America websites. Jenna started writing stories as a little girl and has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College and was Editor-in-Chief of her college paper. Writing is her passion but she also enjoys reading, cooking, social media, being active in her local church including leading a grief support group and spending time with her three young daughters and husband.

Love Among the Lilacs (Book Review, Blog Tour and Giveaway)

Love-Among-the-Lilacs-216x300About the Book

Book title: Love Among the Lilacs

Author: Jenna Victoria

Release date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Sweet Romance

Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk. Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean’s own family but knows the clock is ticking. Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is truly where your heart is?

Purchase ‘Love Among the Lilacs’

 

 profile-photo-jpg-50My Thoughts:

“Mollie’s merry-go-round had chipped wooden horses that inflicted splinters and a calliope organ that played only unhappy tunes.”

 I love happily-ever-afters. I really do!

Both Molly and Sean have good reason to be mistrusting of other people and relationships. To expect that those they get close to will eventually betray them. Jenna Victoria writes beautifully, adding just the right amount of conflict and suspense, with a healthy dose of humor. I love the lilac theme, which wafts its way throughout the entire book. In fact, I found myself ‘googling’ and researching the various types of lilacs. Wasn’t I pleasantly surprised – so gorgeous. I am hoping they will grow where I live.

All of the characters are well developed and rounded, even Alma who isn’t physically around for long. I love Emily Rogers and Maria but absolutely adore Aunt Genevieve. She is full of wisdom but at the same time such a hoot. As I read Jenna’s lovely story I was frequently in stitches of laughter. It is sad that we weren’t able to know Aunt Alma better, however, Ms. Victoria gives us many hints and clues, from which we can only deduce, she was a beautiful soul. Quite often the true heart of a person isn’t fully revealed until after they have passed away. Jenna Victoria portrays this well. The analogies throughout were perfectly done.

“Life did not often go in Mollie’s favor, yet the entire real estate closing process had unfolded as seamlessly as a bolt of well-made silk”.

“Never look back”.  “For the first time, her mantra represented a flower unfolding in the sunlight, rather than one cut off at the root.”

I found myself just about unable to put this sweet book down, reading it over two sessions. I’d have read it in one go if chores and other commitments hadn’t taken priority. Yes, the ending was perfectly beautiful (not apologizing for ‘unnecessary’ use of adverbs). Mollie and Sean’s relationship came to a satisfying conclusion after so many bumps in the road. All of the loose ends, for all characters, were neatly and fragrantly tied together by the end of the book.

My only misgiving about this book is that it had to end. A sequel would be nice *hint hint*.  Would I read ‘Love Among the Lilacs’ again sometime? That’s a resounding ‘yes!’.

This is the first book penned by Jenna Victoria that I have read, but I guarantee I will be looking out for more. What a gem!

For its portrayal of human weaknesses, the assumptions we often make about others, and the importance of anticipation and forgiveness, all married together by fragrant love, I have given this book 5 stars.

I received this book as an ARC from the author via CelebrateLit at no cost. I was under no obligation to give a positive review, just an honest one. All thoughts are entirely my own.

Please feel free to jump on board and read the other blog stops along the way. It is always a wonderful opportunity to discover the sites of other writers and bloggers, and of course, offer invaluable support to the author.

Past Blog Stops

May 25: Pause for Tales

May 25: Avid Reader Book Review

May 26: Carpe Diem

May 27: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 28: Live.Love.Read.

May 29: Lane Hill House

May 29: Christian Bookaholic

May 30: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 30: Karen Sue Hadley

You are here May 31: Josephine-AnneWrites

Blog Stops Still to Come

June 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 2: Have A Wonderful Day

June 3: Inklings and Notions

June 4: A Baker’s Perspective

June 5: Caffeinated Reads

June 6: His Grace is Sufficient

June 7: my site/autism mom

beth-head-shot-smaller-300x300About the Author

Ever since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs & Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1955, Jenna has yet to taste a cake she hasn’t liked.
Jenna writes books for readers who enjoy sweet & compelling romances, and also for those who look for her “fiction that feeds your faith” titles – happily-ever-after romance & romantic suspense stories with a Christian worldview. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading…with a heroine who is in grave danger & a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt and takes down names… and those that feature satisfying fairy-tale-endings.
Her clean romances won’t put you into a diabetic coma, and her faith-based romances aren’t preachy or unrealistic. It is her glad purpose to glorify God and His sacrificial love through His Son, Jesus Christ through books that illustrate hope & peace in unbearable situations. Her first triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 has led to surgeries, radiation, reoccurrences and incurable metastasis. Still, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books.

ebdbd602-34f2-4074-bfbf-e106d8206271-300x157Don’t forget to enter the giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jenna is giving away a grand prize of an authentic, new in unopened gift box Coach zipper accordion leather wallet – from their Disney X Collection (Value $140.00)!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! enter Jenna’s Giveaway here

Guest Post from Jenna Victoria

I am thrilled you will be introducing my newest novel, Love Among the Lilacs, to your readers and visitors through CelebrateLit. I am excited to share this sweet love story with quirky characters who hijacked the plot mid-stream, and took me places I did not anticipate!
So – Why Love Among the Lilacs? I chose the title and a subplot regarding lilacs for one reason – I absolutely adore the scent! The fact that a lilac’s bloom is so fleeting, makes their fragrance that much more memorable and anticipated.

jenna pic 1Mollie Wright anticipates something too – finally buying her own home, Lilac Cottage, after a childhood of homelessness. Genevieve Carter, one of the two elderly sellers, leaves her a note of welcome next to a small bouquet of lilacs in Mollie’s new bedroom, after the closing. This helps readers experience Genevieve’s spirit of generosity. Isn’t the bedroom phone antique? The sisters lived in the cottage for more than 50 years and changed little of its amenities.
How did I choose to write about Mollie? What if a character dreamed and saved and finally bought a house after a childhood of homelessness? Then, due to a real estate closing error and interference by the seller’s great-nephew, her sweet cottage ownership is in real peril. Dare she hope for a positive outcome?

 

Jenna pic 2Attorney Sean Grady didn’t want his maternal great-aunts, who lovingly raised him and his younger brother Mark, to sell Lilac Cottage. After a rookie mistake led to a tragedy when he was an associate at his family law firm, Sean decided to concentrate on elder law. He’s seen plenty of abuse of the elderly in his ten-year career, and something about Mollie Write doesn’t sit well with him.

Mollie finds support from her neighbors – including long retired Emily Rogers (Genevieve’s BFF) who often visits Lilac Cottage’s back garden through this connecting gate. It’s so beautiful! She reveals her profession which is perfectly suited to Mollie’s needs. We see selfless giving and stalwart friendship in Emily’s character.

 

Jenna pic 3Mollie has secrets to hide, and a far away half-brother and Mother who aren’t exactly upstanding members of society.

When her half-brother unexpectedly surfaces, bringing a mountain of trouble with him, the budding love between Sean and Mollie takes a hard tumble.

 

The theft of an antique necklace, Sean’s renewed lack of trust and Mollie’s shame at her past – not to mention the final outcome of legal decisions – pull them further apart.

 

Jenna pic 4The intervention of others gives Mollie and Sean a chance at reconciliation – but is it too late? Can they finally unpack and empty baggage from their past?

 

I hope you enjoy Love Among the Lilacs as much as I did writing it!

 

Happy Reading!

 

p.s. my selected giveaway, an authentic Coach Disney X Mickey Mouse accordion zip wallet in glove-tanned leather was chosen to represent the transformation of Mollie’s negative childhood experiences into memories of acceptance and joy among the trials.

 

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: “A Spring of Weddings” by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell

About the Book

Book: A Spring of Weddings: A Contemporary Spring Weddings Collection

Authors: Toni Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell,

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: March 30, 2017

A Spring of Weddings is delightful. Two beautiful novellas encased within one book. Although they are both stories of love, they are entirely different from each other … in an interesting way.

“A Proxy Wedding” by Toni Shiloh

“Just keep it together, Nichols. A few more days in her company before you part ways again and all will be right back to normal.”

Carly and Damien have been asked to stand in as proxy bride and groom by their best friends Brenda and Adam. This ‘proxy wedding’ was to take place in beautiful Montana, so lovely a place that almost anything could happen. Maybe, two strangers could fall in love. But the road wasn’t meant to be easy, both Carly and Damien had their own demons and fears in life. Would they be able to overcome these fears and superstitions, and go on to live a happy life together?

My Thoughts:

What a beautiful story. Toni Shiloh, you had me at the first line.

Yes, I am willing to concede that there was a fair amount of predictability, but if there is to be a happy ending, and I just love a happy ending, then some things are slightly predictable. This was a gorgeously, romantic (sorry about the adverb … not! I love adverbs) story. My heart was a-flutter right the way through. Adequate suspense was provided … was it ever! I couldn’t stop turning (clicking) the pages. Conflict was present in all his shapes and forms. You were kept wondering right until the end … “what is going to happen?”  Now, for those who haven’t read this beautiful story, please don’t assume that ‘happy ending’ means ‘girl gets boy’ or vice versa. These two characters are so incompatible in so many ways. Want to know what happens? Hear all the gossip? You’ll just have to read the story.

 

“Hope Beyond Savannah” by Melissa Wardwell

 “The fringed Atlantic waves crashed onto the sandy shores of Tybee Island as Lily Allman nestled deeper into the arms of her boyfriend, Nik Lagatuo. Wrapped in a cocoon of blankets, they sat on the beach waiting for the clock to strike midnight.”

It was obvious to both of them that they were totally infatuated with each other, and those strong feelings had turned into love; but would the differences in culture, upbringing, and individual personalities, allow them to be together forever? More importantly, would Nik’s very traditional Samoan parents ever be able to accept Lily as a member of their family? Lily was definitely not the ‘good Samoan girl’ that tina had expected Nik to choose for his bride.

My Thoughts:

I loved this gorgeous story. I found this story to be going in almost the opposite direction to the first, within this beautiful book. It was New Year’s Eve, the most romantic time of the year, and a time for new beginnings. Two young people were in love, what could possibly go wrong? Suspense held onto me right throughout the story, constantly hoping with all my heart that everything would be okay, differences could be settled, misunderstandings forgiven, and a love so perfect, gifted from God, could become reality.

I loved the imagery throughout, whether on a beach or a backyard deck, the scene was perfectly set. I could visualise myself being with each of the characters as they went through their own private turmoil, and when they were interacting to find solutions. The main characters were very well rounded and I feel that I know each of them personally. The inclusion of a glossary of some Samoan words was delightful. Those beautiful words added to the intensity of the romance.

Several issues to do with intercultural marriage were tackled successfully. Nik and Lily won’t go through their married life problem free, but who does? There will always be some issues and conflicts to be dealt with, as with all marriages, but especially when two cultures join. I loved the fact that they both knew and loved Jesus. This will be the saving grace that keeps them together.

If you are looking for some lovely romance to while away a few hours, then I would highly recommend that you buy “A Spring of Weddings”.  Both stories are superb, suspenseful, well written, and full of good, clean, innocent love.

Giveaway:

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

 

“A Spring of Weddings” is now available on Amazon and Amazon Australia

I was kindly provided with a free copy of this book by CelebrateLit Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

Upcoming Blog Tour Posts:

May 7: God is Love

May 7: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 8: Autism mom

May 8: Caffeinated Reads

May 9: Bibliophile Reviews

About the Authors

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mother, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honour her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

 

 

 

 

Melissa Wardwell was born and raised in a small mid-Michigan community living there still with her Husband and three children. She enjoys taking pictures, reading, and leisurely rides with her husband on their motorcycle. All her stories revolve around women who are mothers. Single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own. Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.

Guest posts from Toni & Melissa

A Proxy Wedding

By Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine springtime, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.

It. Was. Rough.

It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, the risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.

Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.

In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.

Hope Beyond Savannah

By Melissa Wardwell

I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.

With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.

My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what colour our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Life After E.L.E. by J.C. Morrows

My Review:

download

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

I’ve just discovered another favourite author, there are quite a few on my bookshelf and on my Kindle.

Life After E.L.E. is a young adult, post-apocalyptic, dystopian story, but anyone from sixteen to one hundred and sixteen would enjoy reading it. Thirty years after a rogue moon had crashed into the earth, leaving a frozen world in its wake, we learn about how the human race had only just escaped extinction, and how they had to revert to living as cave people, the harsh systems that had been put into place by an unrelenting government, and the many secrets and conspiracies that would make daily life extremely difficult and dangerous.

The story reeled me in from the get-go. From page one I was hooked on every word, wanting to know what would happen next. About one-third of the way through reading this book, the mystery and suspense had built to such an extent that I just couldn’t put the book down. Not bad for someone who didn’t previously enjoy fantasy/Sci-Fi or Speculative Fiction. Just as Eve was starting to become more suspicious and paranoid about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death … so was I.

… and the young people who had been executed, what had they done to deserve such a harsh punishment?  What secrets had Eve’s father entrusted to her before his untimely death? I found myself wishing she would divulge those secrets, because I wanted to have some answers too, and the suspense was killing me … but in a good way.

Life, it seemed, wasn’t too dissimilar to how it would have been thousands of years ago, after all, they had to start from scratch and rebuild their world, such as it was. Celebrations were rare in the caves, within the compound. Families had even been restricted to having two children. Times were tough, however, what seemed to make things worse was the fact that as only thirty years had passed since E.L.E., many had fond memories of how life on earth used to be.

downloadSome good Christian values were subtly introduced. There were regrets. Just as Eve was angry with her father for ‘not trying harder to survive’, her mother regretted being angry with her husband the last time she’d seen him. ‘The last words I spoke to your father were in anger. I’m not going to do that to you.’  Gently reminding us of the importance of forgiveness, love and understanding, no matter what.

Although the kissing scenes may have been a little overdone for strict Christian taste, I loved them. Why? Because it meant that these poor people were just as human as anyone else. Under such difficult and confusing circumstances … life after the event, and with the new, cold, and harsh world they now found themselves in, love could and would still blossom. It had to I guess, for life to continue.

Even now after E.L.E., it would seem that human beings had learnt nothing from their past. There were the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, and the ‘haves’ were just as greedy, jealous, suspicious and malicious as their fore-bearers had been. Life was survival of the fittest, although in the animal kingdom more decorum would have been displayed. Very little if anything had changed.

Rules around what couples could/couldn’t do in public unless they were ‘bound’ were similar to the strict cultural laws of various countries in the old world. Great emphasis was put upon how our actions in any situation, would affect not just ourselves, but all of those around us. Eve’s compassion and caring nature towards others, even when she was in pain, was extraordinary. What a world we’d have if everyone’s heart was like Eve’s.

‘If only the people on the moon base had survived … If the government had gone on the way it was supposed to after that rogue moon had hit earth …’

Many wonderful things will happen in life, but there will always be equal devastation. Our lives seem to be full of “what if’s” … but isn’t hindsight a glorious thing?

I love how Morrows describes the world by the use of dialogue, both spoken and in thought. I felt my mind connect with some of the characters, and it was as though their thoughts were my own.

My only real complaint about this book was the enormous cliff-hanger of an ending … darn it JC! Now I just have to wait with baited breath for the next instalment.

One of the discussion questions for book club readers intrigued me.

‘If you found yourself in a post-apocalyptic world, how do you think that would affect your faith? Would you hold on tighter to God – or would you maybe begin to question His plan?’

cI gave this question some thought, and I don’t believe it would make much difference. Our current world is made up of believers and non-believers, and even those who either believe something entirely different, or nothing at all. Often we hang on to our faith out of sheer fear of what might happen if we don’t … a kind of insurance if you will. What do you think? How might you answer this question?

What a riveting, enthralling adventure reading this book was. JC I love your work!

A little about the author:  JC Morrows, author of the bestselling young adult dystopian series: Order of the MoonStone and the new Frozen Earth series (Post-Apocalyptic with a Dystopian edge), spends her days writing, arguing with her evil computer, juggling two kids, and wishing someone would invent a coffee IV.

A storyteller in the truest sense of the word, JC has been telling stories in one form or another her entire life, and once her mother convinced her to write them down, she simply couldn’t stop.
And . . . as a true believer, she gives God all of the glory for her talent and ability!
“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2

Giveaway: To celebrate her tour, JC Morrows is giving away a themed basket including the book and swag and some specially chosen surprises!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fd.

Link to purchase this book: Life After E.L.E. JC Morrows Amazon

I was generously provided with a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Lakwi’s Lament: a short story (Tamrin Tales Book 2) ~ by Jeannette O’Hagan

My Review

 lakwis-lament‘Lakwi would love to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. Her passion for books attracts the attention of her dashing older brother, Prince Rokkan, and her suave (but cunning) cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?’

Although this story is aimed at Middle-Grade to Young Adult readers, I believe any age group would love it.  Previously I haven’t been a huge fan of fantasy, but after reading some of the other writings of Jeanette O’Hagan that is fast changing.

Lakwi’s Lament is charming, suspenseful, and informative with a powerful message. This lovely story first appeared in ‘Like a Girl Plan Anthology’ (Far Horizons, 2015). Like a Girl celebrates and supports education and opportunities for girls and women.

Princess Lakwi is thirsty for knowledge in a world where only the males are considered worthy to gain an education. ‘Girls and puppies weren’t welcome in the library.’ Girls and women are present in this life to cook, sew, and arrange flowers among other things, and ultimately bear children for their husbands.

It was fitting that this sweet story was included in ‘Like A Girl’ because this message of equality and fair rights of the female gender to educate themselves and receive support in doing so, is portrayed well here.

Jeanette’s descriptions of the surrounds, the Palace … and many details right down to the colourful, elegant clothing worn by the individual characters, enable the reader to clearly visualise this different, but interesting world.  ‘Once Papa had taken her into the tiered room with its large skylights and rows and rows of entrancing scrolls and books.’  Her analogies throughout are brilliant … ‘his eyes like chips of ice.’

Lakwi’s Lament is a follow on from Jeanette’s story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (originally published in Tied in Pink, Anthology), both set in the world of the ‘Akrad Legacy Series. I am looking forward to reading the complete series when it is published. I believe Book One is to be released later this year.

Ms O’Hagan is a masterful storyteller, who entices you to read, and keep reading until the final page. I loved this eBook, and I’m certain you will too!

I received a free copy of ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ in return for an honest review.

You are my home… — a cooking pot and twistedtales

Sweet husband of mine, You touch me in the depths of my being in ways that I can’t sufficiently express. The communion of body, mind, and soul experienced with you by my side always makes me know that I’m home. Saying that I love you is so paltry; I adore you and would be lost […]

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