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The Orphan's Wish ~ Review with Excerpt link

The Orphan's Wish
Hagenheim #8
By Melanie Dickerson

Forced to steal for a master he doesn't want when Ala ad'din is given the opportunity to leave it all behind and go to a faraway land he does.  Taken to Hagenheim Ala ad'din's name is changed to Aladdin. He has plenty and he is cared for by Priest. He is schooled and he has other children with which to be with. But Aladdin has one true friend Lady Kirstyn daughter of the Duke of Hagenheim. Their friendship, which began as young children, goes through much including a daring rescue (Not saying more so as to not give a spoiler).

But Aladdin feels that he, a poor lowly orphan of foreign birth, is beneath Kirstyn. Determined to be worthy of her he sets out to earn his fortune.  By seeming chance Aladdin quickly finds employment with Herr Kaufmann in Luneburg. Soon Aladdin has made himself indispensable to Herr Kaufmann - he finds satisfaction in his work and yet something is missing.

Shortly after Aladdin left to seek his fortune Kirstyn's gentle and caring heart is used to betray her and she finds herself in the hands of a truly evil man. And Kirstyn is but a commodity to him that he plans to use for his own gain. Kirstyn's one hope is that those she loves will soon find her.

The Orphan's Wish is definitely written for older teens and adults with some of the more serious matters that it touches on - kidnapping, abuse, prejudice, and post-traumatic stress. That being said this is yet another fabulous book from Melanie Dickerson which takes a well-loved fairy tale and gives it her own unique spin setting it once again within the Hagenheim world. I really enjoyed getting to know these two characters who each had their own deeply rooted fears that needed to be faced in order to heal.

What I most like about these books is that there is no magic involved. The actions and outcomes are all plausible and totally able to occur. For those who are opposed to magic in their books, you will enjoy this book. These books are complete in and of themselves and reading the previous books is not necessary to enjoy this one.

I was provided a copy of this book through TLC book tours and the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the Duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

Do you want to get a short feel for this book? Well, check-out this link to enjoy 
an excerpt provided by the publisher

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Purchase Links

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 Connect with Melanie

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Melanie Dickerson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 25th: @ladyofthelibrary
Tuesday, June 26th: Read Eat Repeat
Wednesday, June 27th: Write Read Life
Thursday, June 28th: @megabunnyreads
Friday, June 29th: Splashes of Joy
Monday, July 2nd: What is That Book About – author guest post
Tuesday, July 3rd: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, July 3rd: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, July 5th: Broken Teepee
Friday, July 6th: @createexploreread
Monday, July 8th: Girls in Books
Tuesday, July 10th: Here’s to Happy Endings
Tuesday, July 10th: Mel’s Shelves
Wednesday, July 11th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, July 12th: All of a Kind Mom
Friday, July 13th: @abookishpeach & A Bookish Peach – author guest post
Monday, July 16th: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, July 17th: The Sketchy Reader
Wednesday, July 18thBlooming with Books
Thursday, July 19thReader’s Cozy Corner


Minding the Light ~ Review

Minding the Light
Nantucket Legacy #2
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Minding the Light is the second book in the Nantucket Legacy which further explores the beginnings of Nantucket and its Quaker roots. This book like the previous one takes place in two different times, in this case, it takes place in the 1660s and the 1820s.

The 1660s portions are excerpts taken from Mary Coffin Starbuck's journal which amongst those living in later Nantucket generations is the stuff of legends. Mary is settling into married life with Nathaniel and having to adjust to her new living situation. When slavery comes to the island Mary and the other residents must decide where they stand on this issue.

The 1820s finds Mary's descendants still living on Nantucket and though life has changed and progressed the same basic issues plague those who call it home. Daphne Coffin has been there for her sister Jane while her husband took to the sea following the whales whom would enrich him. For six long years, Captain Reynold Macy has been away, anticipating his return to Nantucket and to his Jane. But life has continued without him and he has missed much to both his regret and his surprise. But rebuilding his life is no easy task and he will need the help of Daphne to do this.

I really enjoyed this book - the characters have their faults (some more than others) and these make them more believable and relatable. Both time periods find the people struggling with the issue of slavery. I found the Quaker stance on slavery and social interaction with persons of color to be an interesting one. To champion freedom while ignoring the very people they were championing seems a little out of whack in my opinion. And Jane and Daphne's mother is quite a disagreeable individual whom I can honestly say I can't see myself ever being able to be in a room with. If you like historical fiction I would highly recommend this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.   

About the Book:

"How could I have expected so much? 
How could I have given her so little in return?"

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship's hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. 

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn't defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and "mind the Light," finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be--honorable, wise, faithful--she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? 

My Israel Trail ~ Spotlight with Snippet and Giveaway

My Israel Trail
By Aryeh Green

About the Book:
Genre:  Contemporary, Historical, Inspirational, Non-Fic, Memoir, Self-help, Religious
Publisher: Plain Sight/Cedar Fort
Publication date: May 1, 2018
Mayim Bialik calls the book a “fascinating journey” and “beautiful exploration of self and identity”. Natan Sharansky celebrates Aryeh’s “engaging passion and persistence”.
After his devastating divorce, which rocked his world and confounded his deeply-held optimism, Aryeh Green’s goal was to get his life back on track. His hike along The Israel National Trail enabled the discovery of a number of universal truths for living based on Jewish tradition.
In a uniquely moving and uplifting book, Aryeh invites you to join him on his trek, as he shares with you both a new perspective on Israel – the land, the country, its history and people – and illuminating insights from the experience.

About the Author:

Aryeh Green is a passionate lover of Israel – the people, the land, the country, and the idea. Residing in or around Jerusalem for the past three decades, Aryeh lives and breathes a vibrant and living Judaism, which affects all he does – including serving as Chief Strategy Officer of EnergiyaGlobal, a Jerusalem-based renewable energy platform for Africa; as Director Emeritus of MediaCentral, providing services for the foreign press in the region; formerly as a senior advisor to Israel’s deputy prime minister Natan Sharansky; as a backyard vintner; and as a writer, activist, husband and father.


I’m scared, standing on a thin ledge on the side of a cliff. To my left is a sheer rough wall; to my right, a drop of 30 feet or so to the river bed below. But directly ahead an angry tree blocks the way. (How does it hold to the side of the rock?) It seems threatening as it jumps in the hot wind. With about 50 pounds on my back, I’m too afraid of falling to turn around. Turn to the right and my backpack hits the rock face; turn to the left and the weight of the pack puts me off balance. And the boulders down below aren’t very welcoming.
What to do?
The trail leads into an abyss. Literally. I guess I’ve lost the path, which, while it’s happened before, has never been such a problem. Usually you just retrace your steps, find the last trail marker, and then pay a bit more attention to discover where you missed the next one. But here, on a cliff in Nachal Amud, the Stream of the Pillar connecting the holy city of Tzfat (Safed) with the Kinneret, the Sea of
Galilee, it’s just not that easy. Even with the backpack on (including the small guitar hanging from its side), just a minute or so ago I pretty nonchalantly leapt over a three-foot gap in the ledge a few paces back. But I just know—with all my casual confidence built up over the preceding weeks of hiking through Israel’s desert mountains and northern reaches—I can’t do it again.
That is, if I can even turn around on this one-foot-wide ledge.
It may be the perfect metaphor.
Sometimes you reach an impasse. Not only is it unclear what the next step is, but you’re also not sure how the heck you got there and are too scared to move. All the alternatives you can imagine are dangerous, or unpalatable, or frightening. You’re stuck, and the panic starts to rise.
Times of personal hardship, relationships, work situations, and other challenges we face test our mettle. Rabbi Herschel Schachter taught that the biblical “value” of a person in Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus, is calculated by his or her response to suffering and adversity. Elie Weisel and Victor Frankl took the personal and national horror of the Shoah/Holocaust and translated their experiences into timeless lessons for humanity. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl stresses the importance of having a goal to strive for, pushing us to move ahead, to take the next step, and the next.
My goal that day was to get to the Kinneret by nightfall (and not to plunge down the cliff face onto the rocks below). My grander goal was to finish what I’d started, hiking the Israel National Trail (“Shvil Yisrael”) from one end of our tiny country to the other. (It’s not that tiny—the Shvil runs some 1000 kilometers or 600 miles from the Red Sea in the South to the border with Lebanon in the North.) And after my devastating divorce, my ultimate goal was to get my life back on track, or to find a new track for myself.
I take three deep breaths—thank you, Thomas Crum—to calm down, focus, and discover the possibilities open before me; then I make a decision. Not moving my feet an inch, I lower the pack slowly to the ground, managing to lean it against the rock. Freed from the weight of the bag, I turn carefully and retrace my steps along the narrow path on the side of the cliff—jumping over the breach—and yes!—find the trail-marking high up on the rock face above an almost invisible foothold carved into the cliff. I did that ledge once with the pack, I know that; all I have to do now is convince myself I can do it again, this time in the opposite direction.
Retracing my steps, it’s funny, but when I (carefully!) heft the pack on my back, it seems somehow lighter, more manageable. It hasn’t changed; I have changed. Or rather, my attitude, my sense of self and sense of direction and purpose, my confidence and belief in my ability to walk the path, has changed.
It’s not that I’m no longer afraid; I just know I have it in me to keep going.
Sometimes we need to set aside our baggage and re-evaluate. My hike along the
Israel Trail—or my Israel Trail as I’m calling it—enabled the discovery, or rediscovery, of a number of essential truths for living. All come from the ancient wisdom of the
Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition, but at the same time they are universal and universally relevant for anyone seeking inner peace.
I was overwhelmed by the daunting challenges facing me—on the Trail, in my life, and at the national level. Every day brought a new difficulty, from scorching heat and impossible inclines to aching loneliness and crises of confidence, from news of family problems to news of terror attacks. I meditated on mountaintops and cried in dry creek beds; I wrote anguished journal entries and composed songs to lift my spirits. I looked back, and inward, and up to the night sky, and over the valley to the next mountain range, and down at the ants in the dirt, and back along the trail to see how far I’d come.
What I discovered on the Shvil was a sense of self, a sense of personal and national history…and a perspective of sorts on the human condition. These are my reflections, a meditation as it were on existence, relationships, happiness, challenges, and hope.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule:

July 20-July 21-Heidi Reads…

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The Hope of Azure Springs ~ Review

The Hope of Azure Springs
By Rachel Fordham

When a young woman is found alone and shot she is brought to Azure Springs, Iowa. Her identity is unknown and why she was attacked is of utmost concern to Sheriff Caleb Reynolds. When Em wakes up Caleb is even more concerned to learn that Em wasn't the only victim of these men. And Caleb is sure that if these killers learn that Em survived they will come looking for her.

For the last seven years, Em has had to survive without the love and care of family, living with a guardian who seemed to care little for her day-to-day needs. The care that those in Azure Springs offer her is something she never expected.

But Em has a sister she needs to find - one that she was separated from seven years ago. She promised herself that she would go back for Lucy and her chance has finally come.

The Hope of Azure Springs is a story that offers the hope of healing after heartbreak. Healing comes not in hiding and burying the hurt but rather in remembering the joy that came before. And when we see beyond our own pain to reach out to others we allow ourselves a chance to offer comfort and to be healed. There are definitely moments when you'll want to have a tissue or two on hand while reading but it will be worth it.

Fans of Janette Oke's books will enjoy this book - Em reminds me a little of Damaris (A Woman Named Damariswith her struggles and her efforts to overcome.  Those who enjoy historical fiction that deals with the different aspects of the Orphan Trains will want to add this to their to-be-read list.

Rachel Fordham has created both likable and unlikable characters who don't always do what you expect them to do. The writing style keeps the story moving even when the action slows down and the characters have moments of contemplation. I recommend this to anyone who desires a well brought together story and this would be an excellent book club choice.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Revell with no expectations of a positive review ~ all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Alone in a strange town, 
can she find healing for her new home . . . and herself?

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won't be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He's determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn't expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Welcome to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, 
where people care deeply for one another 
and, sometimes, even fall in love.


King's War ~ Review

King's War
The Kinsman Chronicles #3
By Jill Williamson

War is coming to Er'Rets - the remnants of the Five Realms have not settled into a peace in this new land. Those clinging to the old ways with its gods and magic are determined to keep it in this new world. While others seek out new magic with which to enhance their old beliefs. And others specifically the kingdoms of Armania and Sarikar are determined to follow Arman and his teachings. But even among those who seek out the will of Arman temptations to fall into the old ways abound.

Trevn-Rosar Hadar is now king of Armania following the death of his elder brother Wilek. This is a duty Trevn never wanted nor expected to inherit. But no matter how reluctant he might be he's determined to try to do his best to defend his people against the war that was coming.

Armania and Sarikar have allied themselves in the deaths of their respective kings and in their worship of Arman. But there are some who resent the leaving behind of the old gods and the old traditions and they are more than ready to stand against the new king and queen. With those he most trusts aiding him, Trevn hopes to gain the respect and support of his people while offering Princess Saria Pitney whatever support he can in ruling Sarikar.

But the thrones of Armania and Sarikar have captured the eye of King Barthel Rogedoth who desires to defeat and rule both. Chieftess Charlon of Magosia believes the throne of Armania should go to her own son Shanek (who is Barthel's ). Rogedoth holds to the old ways and the old magic while Charlon delves into the new magic that this world offers. Both are against the teachings Arman as they call upon the magic that is at their disposal.

Now there is a considerable amount of fighting throughout this book which with the title King's War should not be surprising. There are several deaths that may surprise reader's in how they come about - I know there was one I didn't at all see coming (not saying which as that would be a total spoiler). Readers who love classics like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or newer works like Patrick Carr's The Staff and The Sword will enjoy delving into this world.

The Kinsman Chronicles concludes with this book but it is not a quick conclusion to this series. This book is over 600 pages which may sound daunting but there are three parts so if the thought of large books scares think of this rather as 3-books-in-1. And this is not a series that can be read out of order - you must read them from first to last or you will be completely lost. And if it has been awhile since you've read the first two do yourself a huge favor and reread them and give yourselves a refresher you'll be glad you did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House with no expectation of a review positive or otherwise - All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Book:
Will the Gifts of Arman Be Enough to Defeat the Armies Gathering against His Name?
One battle is over, but the war has just begun. The Kinsman remnant escaped the Five Realms and have found a home, but peace is much harder to find. The aftermath of the Battle of Sarikar should have been a time to mourn those lost in the slaughter. The enemies of Armania are many, however, and when one steps back to regroup, another surges forward in attack.

While the remnant must take responsibility for the evil they brought to Er'Rets, it would seem that something just as dark already existed in this new world. The growing struggle between Armania and Barthel Rogedoth is but a pale reflection of a far more dangerous battle for the souls of humanity.

The Hadar family and their allies prepare to make one final stand in the name of Arman. There shall be war--in Er'Rets and in the Veil--to vanquish evil or be ruled by darkness. And so begins this rousing and epic conclusion to Jill Williamson's The Kinsman Chronicles.

This third volume collects parts seven through nine of The Kinsman Chronicles originally released as ebooks.
Part 7--The Reluctant King
Part 8--A Deliverer ComesPart 9--Warriors of the Veil


Arctic Wargame ~ Review

Arctic Wargame 
Justin Hall Spy Thriller #1
By Ethan Jones

Arctic Wargame introduces us to Justin Hall a member of the Candian Intelligence Service (CIS) who finds himself in a hostage extraction in Libya gone wrong. Well, when a mission goes bad and you happen to take out a building of both historic and religious importance you end up on desk duty.

With desk duty in their foreseeable future, one would think that Justin and his partner Carrie O'Connor would be thrilled with an off the desk job. Icebreakers of unknown national allegiance have crossed into Candian waters in the Arctic circle region. Is it a navigational error or is it something more? CIS and the DND (Department of National Defense) want, no need to know. And desk bound agents Justin and Carrie are given the mission along with Colonel Cindy Gunn (with National Defense HQ) and Anna Worthley with legal services.

But sub-zero temperatures are the easy part of the mission when evidence shows something bigger is going on. And when a betrayal leaves the team in dangerous waters (obviously frozen with the sub-zero temps) a bad situation is about to turn deadly. Worse nothing is what it seems and time is running out to stop what has started.

Arctic Wargame is an international thriller with misdirects and betrayals waiting just across every border. If you want a fast-paced book to pass the hours with you have to give this one a try! 


What Does God Sound Like? ~ Spotlight with Giveaway

Book Details:

Book Title:  What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale
Category:  Children's Fiction,  34 pages
Genre:   Children's Books, Values and Virtues, Christian Books
Publisher:  Mindstir Media
Release date:  September 14, 2016
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

We tell our kids that God is everywhere. Pray and maybe He will answer. But if God is everywhere and has created all things, then He must be talking to us all the time. This is my short story to help my Grandchildren understand they can talk with God all day, everyday, everywhere.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Books-a-Million ~ Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

Watch the trailer:

Meet the Author:

Bernie was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and now resides in Joppa, a small community just a bit north up the I-95 corridor. He has spent his entire professional career in Education and Financial Services. More importantly he is a husband, father, and grandfather to a beautiful family.

Connect with the author: 

Enter the Giveaway!
Win an ebook copy of What Does God Sound Like?
(open to USA & Canada - 2 winners)
(ends July 28, 2018)