"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

”The Tutor’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen! Enter to win a “Downton Abbey” Kindle Prize Pack

Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast-a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions-where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.
Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems-and secrets-of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

LINK TO BUY THE BOOK http://ow.ly/gI7qC


Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.  


I couldn't pass up the opportunity to review The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen. I have read a few of her other books and was very much entertained by her works so I knew this one would be another great novel.

I wasn't disappointed. Julie's diligent research in historical background and settings combined with her talent in writing a compelling story kept me glued to The Tutor's Daughter. Set in the early 1800's in Cornwall, I learned about the people who made a living off of freight scavenged from shipwrecks that were common on the coasts of Cornwall. 

Julie also drew me into the life and trials of Emma and her father as they traveled to Cornwall to tutor a baron's younger sons. Emma's sweet temperament combined with her intelligence and tenderheart make her appear soft at first. However, with further reading I found her to be of strong character and determination. In spite of eerie happenings and mysterious piano-playing, Emma stands true for truth and love.

Julie is definitely one of my favorite historical romance/suspense authors. Her style of writing echoes that of Jane Austen (who is one of the best authors for her era). Attention to details, strong characters, excellent suspense with enough romance to keep things exciting makes The Tutor's Daughter another winner for Julie Klassen.

Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a free e-book copy for the purpose of writing this review.


Julie is celebrating by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles, Downton Abbey (season 3) and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (January 31st)


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • Downton Abbey, Season 3
  • A Julie Klassen library (The Tutor’s Daughter, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 30th. Winner will be announced at "The Tutor's Daughter Author Chat Party on January 31st. Connect with Julie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways - gift certificates, books and season 3 of Downton Abbey!

So grab your copy of The Tutor's Daughter and join Julie on the evening of the January 31st for a chance to connect with Julie and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A CAST OF STONES: The Staff and the Sword #1 by PATRICK W. CARR


The Fate of the Kingdom Awaits the Cast of Stones

In the backwater village of Callowford, roustabout Errol Stone is enlisted by a church messenger arriving with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Eager for coin, Errol agrees to what he thinks will be an easy task, but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty nears its end and the selection of the new king begins--but in secret and shadow. As danger mounts, Errol must leave behind the stains and griefs of the past, learn to fight, and discover who is hunting him and his companions and how far they will go to stop the reading of the stones.



Patrick W. Carr teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four awesome sons, Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Learn more at patrickwcarr.com.


I like a good fantasy, especially one that takes me to a different place and time. I also like to read and review new books by debuting authors. So writing this review is going to be fun and I hope you will find it more than helpful.

Now, when I read a subtitle that has a number one in it that tells me there are going to be more books in that particular series, therefore, that book better be a great book for me to consider reading any more of that series.

Well, let me tell you... A Cast of Stones is not only a great book, it is absolutely fantastic. Fantasy is not an easy genre to write in, there are few, in my humble opinion, who can really do it justice. To name three of my favorite fantasy writers, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis (for the classic fantasy) and C.S. Lakin (The Gates of Heaven Series - the current); if you have read anything by any one of these mighty authors, then like me, you have a high standard. It makes it difficult for those breaking into the genre.

Carr has not only broken into it by this extremely well-written tale that takes place in medieval time, but he delivers a story that will capture your imagination. His characters are flawless, strong, and his hero is someone anyone can relate to. Errol Stone starts out his life with nothing, an orphan, no ambition other than to earn enough to "stay in the cups." Little does he know, there is something special about himself and he has to go through many trials to determine what it is.

The plotting is superb. Carr's attention to detail in his plotting, characters, and places paints a vivid picture in the reader's mind. I was totally captured in the story, experiencing what Errol was going through, emotionally.

This book is going to sit next to my The Gates of Heaven Series, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. I am going to make room for the rest of this new author and his wonderful saga. Might I suggest, you better make room on your bookshelves for this saga, as well.

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided me with a free review copy for the purpose of writing this review. I am not obligated to write a positive review. 



J.R.R. TOLKIEN: The Making of a Legend by Colin Duriez


Long before the successful, Lord of the Rings film trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginary world and characters had enthralled and delighted millions of readers. But who was this man who dreamt up the intricate languages and perfectly crafted world of Middle-earth? 
Tolkien had a difficult life for many years: orphaned and poor, his guardian forbad him to communicate with the woman he had fallen in love with, and he went through the horrors of the First World War. An intensely private and brilliant scholar, he spent over fifty years working on the languages, history, peoples and geography of Middle-earth, with a consistent mythology inspiried by a formidable knowledge of early northern European history and culture. J.R.R. Tolkien became a legend by creating an imaginary world that has enthralled and delighted generations. This engaging and accessible biography brings him to life.

READ AN EXCERPT HERE  be sure to click download!



Colin Duriez has appeared as a commentator on DVD's of Peter Jackson;s The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.He has contributed to several definitive reference works, including The Tolkien Encyclopedia.



I have been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien since I was a child. I met Bilbo Baggins at a young age and to this day I own a copy of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

When I saw the opportunity to review a biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, I couldn't pass it up. How did he come up with his ideas, languages and story line, characters, Middle-earth and all that makes up The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Mr. Duriez has written a wonderful biography that was enlightening, entertaining and well researched. He brought back to life J.R.R. Tolkien, from his childhood through adulthood. Now when I read about the Two Towers, I have a good idea of what inspired that idea. 
I wasn't aware or rather I didn't think about it, but reading about Tolkien's war experiences during the First World War made such a huge impact on his writing and descriptions of orcs and balrogs and more. Now when I read about Frodo and Sam trekking through the bogs, I know in Tolkien's mind he was remembering all those young men laying in the mud and mire on the front line.

Though I was a teenager when Tolkien died, reading this biography has really made him more real to me, not a myth of a man, but someone who struggled with insecurities, brilliance and a life-long love with his precious Edith - Luthien.

Reading this book has also encouraged me to obtain another copy (the last one I had belonged to a library) of The Silmarillion. I think I am ready to tackle it again!

Kregel Publications provided me with a free review copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review.