Book Review: The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie #Romanticfantasy

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Lolly Blanchard’s life only seems to give her lemons. Ten years ago, after her mother’s tragic death, she broke up with her first love and abandoned her dream of opening a restaurant in order to keep her family’s struggling Seattle diner afloat and care for her younger sister and grieving father. Now, a decade later, she dutifully whips up the diner’s famous lemon meringue pies each morning while still pining for all she’s lost.

As Lolly’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift—three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. What if her mom hadn’t passed away? What if she had opened her own restaurant in England? What if she hadn’t broken up with the only man she’s ever loved? Surprising and empowering, each experience helps Lolly let go of her regrets and realize the key to transforming her life lies not in redoing her past but in having the courage to embrace her present.

The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie is a delightful story of lost love and second chances. It asks the question, “What if I go could back and make a different decision?” The characters are endearing and the “road not taken” plot is one of my favorites. In this book, Lolly gets to explore some roads not taken. Will she choose one of them? Can she? The book transitions well between the past, the present, and possible futures. It is a fun dream–magic lemon drops that can change your life. Mix together a sweet romance with a few “what ifs” and some fairy dust in the form of lemon drops, and you have an entertaining read. I really enjoyed all of it, from the captivating cover to the lemon meringue pie.

I received a free copy of this book from Berkley via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of Larks, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, WA where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

RACHEL’S SOCIAL MEDIA

WEBSITE|FACEBOOK|INSTAGRAM

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In Remembrance

Powerful poem shared by writer, blogger, and Vietnam Vet Tim Dittmer. If you’re not following him, I recommend it and his book The Valley Walker.

T. W. Dittmer

The Wall

I can still see their faces, late at night, all alone with my dreams.

I can still hear their laughter. I can still hear their screams.

Didn’t they do right by you?

Didn’t they do all they could do?

Tell me, didn’t they? Didn’t they do right by you?

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Memorial Day Tribute to a Hero #VietnamWar #MemorialDay #MemorialDayTribute

This is a tribute to my uncle, Wayne D. Jenkins, who died in Vietnam in 1968 just before he would have turned 21. I was only four years old when he passed, so I never got to know him. I will always wonder what his life would have been like and what additional family members we would have had if he was not taken so young. He is a hero to our family.

FIND A GRAVE MEMORIAL

From the Find-A-Grave website:

SP4 Wayne Daniel Jenkins, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Bryson City, NC.

Specialist Four Wayne Daniel Jenkins was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Army Selective Service and a Draftee, SP4 Jenkins served our country until September 12th, 1968 in Bing Long, South Vietnam. He was 20 years old and was not married. It was reported that Wayne died from small-arms fire or grenade. His body was recovered. Wayne was born on September 16th, 1947 in Bryson City, North Carolina. SP4 Jenkins is on panel 44W, line 038 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for one year.

Sp4 Jenkins, this is in remembrance of you and the members of your squad who were ambushed on September 12, 1968, while on reconnaissance 5 kilometers Northeast of Loc Ninh, Binh Long Province, Vietnam. That day was a long and sad day for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. You will never be forgotten. Niner One.

He was the son of Mr. Ed C Jenkins, Bryson City, NC.

He served with Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, USARV.

He was awarded The Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), Bronze Star Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart Medal for his combat-related wounds, the Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Army Achievement Medal, and The Army Commendation Medal.

-I will never forget that day. We lost 11 men. Richard Smith, 11571 Hadar Drive, San Diego, CA.

-I served with Recon 1st/28th. I won’t forget you or that day. Love and Peace to your family. Recon was as close to family as you can get. Larry Schluter, Renton, Wa 98056

-Brother, I miss you. Thank you to all who survived and knew Wayne Jenkins. God Bless You! Ed Jenkins Jr., 333 Ed Jenkins Rd, Bryson City, NC (My Uncle Ed has since passed away)

VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

Blog Tour and Book Review: Midas by Alan Meredith

Hearing voices when no one is talking to you is a bad sign right?

When twelve year old Tyler follows the calls of his name into the burnt-out house on the roundabout, and finds a golden lizard called Midas, his luck appears to have changed for the better.

Right?

BOOK REVIEW

Tyler and his mother struggle financially and often supplement their meager income by selling things they find in dumpsters. Although poor, they have a close and loving relationship. All of this changes when Tyler meets Midas, a lizard who eats gold and communicates through his thoughts. Suddenly, Tyler has money, but Midas begins to change, becoming more and more demanding. This clever middle-grade story reminds us that money cannot buy happiness and that things are not always as they seem.

The story is unique and engaging and stresses the importance of relationships with others while downplaying the importance of money and material things. It could be a good lesson for kids, but it is not a typical feel-good story.

I think the cover should be redone as it does not have the potential to attract readers when they are scrolling through millions of titles on Amazon. The cover needs to pop. A professional illustration of Midas the lizard as he is described in the book would make a great cover. This book also needs another edit for typos, grammar, and spacing issues.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Meredith lives in sleepy West Sussex with his wife and two children.  He relocated there after suffering a psychosis back in 2000. Writing stories was a childhood love that he lost as he mistakenly believed that imagination had no place in the grown up world.

He likes taking reality and weaving fantastical elements into it.  Alan’s writing reflects his belief that life is a journey of highs and lows and the idea that ‘life should be fair’ is an unrealistic expectation to give anyone, especially kids.  If you are looking for the sugar coated ‘Happy Ever After’ you have come to the wrong place.


Follow him at: Facebook |GoodReads|YouTube

BUY LINKS:

Amazon UK|Amazon US

Book Review: Prayers for Prodigals by James Banks #Prayers #Prodigalson

This is an amazing devotional for those with children who are in trouble, whatever that trouble might be. It is a resting place for parents, who for a few minutes a day can feel the love coming from someone who has been there and knows what you are going through. James Banks has been there with both of his children, and he provides scripture and well thought out daily devotions that encourage, strengthen, and support. For parents who feel all alone and don’t know which way to turn, this is a guide that provides scripture and understanding to help you take on each day.

Having a kid who has lost their way can be very depressing and this is an uplifting guide that is focused when you may feel scattered, helpful when you may feel helpless, and supportive when you are searching for support and understanding. The scriptures you are searching for are all there. Mr. Banks has found them during his journey and shared them with us.

If you are a parent praying for a child or anyone praying for someone in trouble, this is a great resource for daily strength and encouragement.

I received a free copy of this book from Our Daily Bread Publishing via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

PRAISE FOR PRAYERS FOR PRODIGALS

“My mother, Ruth Bell Graham, would have loved this book…. Why? Because she loved prodigals. I know–I was one. James Banks certainly captures the hearts of many mothers and fathers who agonize over wayward children. James has shared from the depth of experience the secret of parental prayers for children and reveals the truth for effective prayer: God s Word. I believe if every parent would peruse these pages they would find guidance and comfort in trusting the Lord with their dearest possessions.” –Franklin Graham

As a father and grandfather, I have sometimes searched hard for words to express both gratitude and longing for our young ones. I find James Banks’s words of prayer honest and helpful, and have already shared them with my grown children for their own use!–Leighton Ford, president of Leighton Ford Ministries

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. James Banks is the author of Prayers for Prodigals, Prayers for Your Children, Praying the Prayers of the Bible, Praying Together, and Praying with Jesus. Through books, blog posts, and magazine articles, he regularly encourages people to pray. Dr. Banks has been a pastor and church planter for more than twenty-five years and lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife, Cari.

TWITTER |FACEBOOK

BUY LINKS

AMAZON|AMAZON UK

Sunday Post: Unwinding in the Mountains

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at the @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news and a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See the rules here.

This week I spent Monday through Wednesday in a work frenzy, trying to get everything done before going on vacation. The rest of the week after that has been much-needed bliss, hanging out with family and taking in majestic views. Looking at the mountains reminds me how anything is possible for God, who created them. It’s almost time to return to work, but this weekend has been much needed and appreciated.

Review of Last Week

Monday I reviewed Drawn by the Current, a historical novel set around the sinking of the SS Eastland in Chicago, 1915.

On Friday I reviewed Shimmer by Alan Meredith as part of a tour for Zooloo’s Book Tours.

On Saturday I spotlighted some great self-published books on sale. I also put up spotlights for two additional indie books, Distant Stars and The Eye of the Storm.

Plans for Next Week

Sunday I will review Prayers for Prodigals, a devotional by James Banks.

MONDAY I will review Midas by Alan Meredith as part of a blog tour for Zooloo’s book tours.

TUESDAY I will review The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie by Rachel Linden

From Wednesday through the rest of the week, I’ll be reading books for the August edition of Historical Novels Review.

For Self-Published Saturday, I will review the latest in Brett Salter’s Talisman series, Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures.

MORE MOUNTAIN BEAUTY

Self-Published Spotlight: The Eye of the Storm #Christian #Fantasy #YoungAdult

Two brothers, one prophesied for greatness, one unworthy of a gift. Both must face a cataclysmic event that could wipe out not just their herd but all life as they know it.

As the days grow darker and the impending danger is upon them, the Stargazers have reason for hope in young Bravehorn — the one deemed the Chosen One.

But they are not the only herd who knows about the prophecy. Dark forces have their own plans for him, and Bravehorn soon learns that life as the Chosen One is not all fun and games.

While his older brother struggles with living in his shadow, he struggles with the responsibility of his new acclaim. One he’s not sure he wants anymore.

Both brothers will have their loyalty and faith tested in a battle as old as time— light versus dark, good versus evil—as each discovers the true meaning of sacrifice.

BUY LINKS

Amazon|Amazon UK

Self-Published Spotlight: Distant Stars

Will Rutledge needs a fresh start. After aging out of the foster care system, he and his brother, Kane, have nothing but each other. Maybe that is why he agreed to his brother’s insane plan. With his brains and his brother’s muscle, what could go wrong?
Enter Hannah Cole. After a devastating loss, her faith in God is shaken. No amount of money could fill the hole in her life… not even if her dad has plenty of it. Suddenly, Hannah finds herself in the middle of the brothers’ reckless scheme.

Plans start to unravel when Will and Hannah develop feelings for one another despite their seemingly insurmountable differences. With Kane determined to finish the plan, the star-crossed lovers question God’s purpose and ask:

Are some stars just too far apart to collide?

Genre:  NA/Adult Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date:  July 9th, 2022. Preorder for 99 cents!

BUY LINKS: Amazon|Amazon UK|B&N|Bookbub

Self-Published Saturday: Books on Sale!

Here are some great books from two indie authors that are on sale today!

First up are two books from award-winning historical novelist Gail Meath: Songbird, which is the first book in the Jax Diamond mystery series, Framed, which is the second book in the series, and Fire Blossom, a historical western. Click on the photos to buy these books on Amazon.

See all of Gail’s books on her Amazon page.

Next up is a wonderful book of Christian poetry with accompanying photographs from amazing Christian poet Louise Belanger.

See Louise’s books on her Amazon page.

Blog Tour and Book Review: Shimmer by Alan Meredith #Middle Grade #Fantasy #Cats

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Lyla is having the worst year of her life and then her Mum announces they are moving to a strange new town.

The only silver lining is the signs that a cat has made itself home in the new house.

Lyla quickly finds out though that Shimmer is no ordinary cat….

BOOK REVIEW

Shimmer is a middle-grade fantasy adventure starring a special cat and a girl who is having a rough time. After Lyla’s father dies, her mother decides to move and get a fresh start. Lyla is angry and upset at having to move away from familiar surroundings, and she is instantly bullied at school. On top of that, Lyla would like a cat, but her mother has adamantly refused. Then she begins to hear a cat mewling in the house.

This is a sweet and magical fantasy with a surprise twist in the middle. Although this is a short book, it packs a lot of story into 86 pages and it’s perfect for the middle-grade reader. There are some school fights included, so parents may want to be aware. All in all, this is a sometimes sad, but always sweet adventure with a magical and special feline star. Kids will love it, but so will their parents and grandparents.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Meredith lives in sleepy West Sussex with his wife and two children.  He relocated there after suffering a psychosis back in 2000. Writing stories was a childhood love that he lost as he mistakenly believed that imagination had no place in the grown up world.

He likes taking reality and weaving fantastical elements into it.  Alan’s writing reflects his belief that life is a journey of highs and lows and the idea that ‘life should be fair’ is an unrealistic expectation to give anyone, especially kids.  If you are looking for the sugar coated ‘Happy Ever After’ you have come to the wrong place.


Follow him at: Facebook |GoodReads|YouTube

BUY LINKS:

Amazon UK|Amazon US