16 August 2017

Book review My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island
Carrie Fancett Pagels
Barbour Books (July 1, 2017)

Journey now to Mackinac Island where...
A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds.

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

My Review:

Firstly thanks to Netgalley for my review copy.

I have read a couple other My Heart Belong books this year all set in the west and more westerns. It was refreshing to have a different location and era. I really loved the story. It made me want to go there and see the island and to also taste some of the famous fudge.

Maude wants to run the inn that has been in her family for generations but her father thinks she needs to be married. When the man she hoped to marry breaks her heart she sets about trying to prove herself to her father. On the flip side Ben is posing as a wealthy industrialist when he is in fact a journalist who is trying to expose how men come to the island pretending to be rich to snare a heiress at the famous hotel. Ben is really struggling with his assignment as he feels more comfortable with the locals than the wealthy. He has a story that has scarred him.

As both Maude and Ben seem to be coming closer there are issues arising they need to deal with. 

I loved the different area of America which I haven't read about before. The places are real with the story fiction, and we get a feel of what it would be like to live on the island. Also what it is like when you live year round on a place where in the summer the wealthy will come and stay at The Grand or other Hotels. It then becomes very much a division of the people. There are also other issues that both Maud and Ben have to deal with, which added to the story. 

I really loved the story and have heard Carrie will be writing about one of the other characters in an upcoming book.

12 August 2017

ACRBA Tour Lakwi's Lament by Jeanette O'Hagan

7 - 11 July 2017

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance 

Is Introducing 

Lakwi's Lament 

(By the Light Books 20 January 2017)

Jeanette O'Hagan

Book Description:
A middle-grade to Young Adult short story set in the fantasy world of Nardva:

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 cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?

Lakwi's Lament originally appeared in Like a Girl Anthology and is related to The Herbalist's Daughter and the Akrad's Legacy series.

About the Author:
JEANETTE O’HAGAN first started spinning tales in the world of Nardva at the age of nine. She enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing. 

She is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. Her short stories and poems are published in a number of anthologies including Glimpses of Light, Another Time Another Place and Like a Girl. She has recently published her short novella, Heart of the Mountain and, in Mixed Blessings: Genrellly Speaking anthology, also a flash fiction 'Space Junk'.

Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master of Arts (writing). She is a member of several writers’ groups. She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends and pondering the meaning of life.  Jeanette lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Sign up to Jeanette O'Hagan's Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bbLJKT
Website: jeanetteohagan.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JeanetteOHaganAuthorAndSpeaker
Twitter: @JeanetteOHagan
Instagram: @bythelightof2moons

My Review
Firstly Thanks to Jeanette for a copy of this book.

I enjoyed the story of Lakwi as I do like fantasy or this style of book. I loved them as a child and still enjoy reading them. What I found interesting is that while this book is set in an imaginary land I can see similarities to some of the places of years ago. I could see the different kingdom's as ruled by clans. We see Lakwi wants to go into the royal library and read the books and study like her brothers and cousin but that is not what girls do. They learn to needle work and weave etc.

Her half brother can see how much she wants to read the books and maybe able to help her. She is also being paid attention by her cousin Lord Haka. Being such a short story I can't say much more except Lakwi isn't the typical princess. I liked her spunk and how she thinks on her feet so to speak. My one complaint is the story wasn't long enough. I wanted to know what happens next and would gladly read more in the series.

6 August 2017

Book Review Mermaid's Song by Darlene Franklin

Mermaid's Song 
Darlene Franklin

Book Discription:

At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.

Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.

Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.

Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.

How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?

My Review:

Firstly thanks to the Author for my review copy.

I love the story I couldn't stop reading and due to insomnia I was reading in the early hours of the morning which is not normal for me, but I just didn't want to put the book down. I have read a couple of books dealing with the French Acadian people and them being forcibly resettled and this gives another insight into what happened. I really love how the language barrier proved to be no real barrier in the end, yes it did make things interesting but there are things that transcend language such as music.

When Justine is shipwrecked it is her song that draws Nobel to her. He can hear a beautiful sound and recognises the tune but not the words. I love how even though both worship the same God they can worship in their own languages. Thankfully there is a citizen who knows French in the village although she has a hidden agenda that becomes clear as the book progresses. I would like to say more about the story and what happens but being its a novella I don't want to give the story line or hidden gems away.

This is my favourite novella I have read so far this year.

25 July 2017

Blog Tour: Anything But Simple By Lucinda J. Miller

Blog Tour:
Anything But Simple

If you live in a conservative Mennonite community, edges are sewn shut and questions have answers. So if you’ve got a saucy tongue and a roving curiosity about the world, you’ve got a story to tell.

As a schoolteacher in a small Mennonite school in rural Wisconsin, Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering, like her grandmother, and she knows a lot about cooking and making do with what you’ve got. But she uses a cellphone and posts status updates on Facebook.

So why would a young woman with access to all these technologies remain within a sheltered community like the plain Mennonites? How can someone with an eye for beauty and a sometimes sardonic wit stay within a tradition that values discipline and submission and uniformity?

Anything but Simple is the stirring memoir of a young woman’s rich church tradition, lively family life, and longings for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith.
Lucinda J. Miller is a writer, teacher, blogger, and member of a conservative Mennonite community in Wisconsin. She teaches elementary school at the Sheldon Mennonite Church, and her writing has appeared in Daughters of Promise and Red Cedar Literary Journal. Her children's book, The Arrowhead, is forthcoming from Christian Light Publications. Connect with her at lucindajmiller.com.

$12.99 USD
5.5 x 8.5 in. paperback
ISBN 978-1-5138-0160-5
eBook  $8.99 │ 978-1-5138-0176-6

Release date: July 25, 2017 

Click the image below to view the trailer.

Available from Herald PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and your favorite bookseller.

Visit our new Herald Press Facebook page for more details and updates.
More information on our upcoming books

12 July 2017

Book Review Acadian Hearts by Darlene Franklin

Arcadian Hearts
 Darlene Franklin

Rich summer cottager Lucretia “Luc” Phillips and Eddie Bourgoin, the son of a local fisherman, were once best of friends—until he went to work in the family business and she went on her European tour.

Upon her return, their childhood friendship bursts into full-grown love, but the walls separating them have grown higher than ever. Will their risky plan lead them to a lifetime of happiness—or break them apart forever?

My Review:
Firstly thanks to the author for my review copy.

This is a sweet novella. I am not a fan of rich girl/poor boy stories normally but this was well done. While Luc is from a wealthy family she longs to just enjoy a simpler life with her childhood friends. She would be just as happy enjoying the summer time in the beauty of the area rather than with the other rich families. Eddie is now working as a fisherman and certainly not what her father want for her.

What I drew me to the story was the area as I have read a little about the history of the Acadian people and how the lives intertwine. I also wondered how they would be able to overcome the obstacles in their way to find true happiness. Another good read from Darlene.

11 July 2017

Blog Tour:
Love in a Time of Hate

Love in a Time of Hate tells the gripping tale of Magda and André Trocmé, the couple that transformed a small town in the mountains of southern France into a place of safety during the Holocaust. At great risk to their own lives, the Trocmés led efforts in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to hide more than three thousand Jewish children and adults who were fleeing the Nazis. In this astonishing story of courage, romance, and resistance, learn what prompted André and Magda to risk everything for the sake of strangers who showed up at their door. Building on the story told in Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, German journalist Hanna Schott portrays a vivid story of resisting evil and sheltering refugees with striking resonance for today.

$16.99 USD
5.5 x 8.5 in. paperback
ISBN 978-1-5138-0125-4
eBook  $12.99 │ 978-1-5138-0159-9​​​​​​​

Release date: June 13, 2017

Available from Herald PressAmazon, Barnes and Noble and your favorite bookseller.
Visit our new Herald Press Facebook page for more details and updates.
More information on our upcoming books

10 July 2017

RABT Book Tour Cool Science Experiments for Kids by Sumita Mukherjee

Children’s Learning and Education
Date Published: June, 2017

 With this book all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. Meant for kids between six to ten, it is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction book for children. It introduces kids to the magic of motion, energy, chemistry, art, games, math fun; understanding basic scientific principles and most importantly, having a blast making them. Inside this book you will find projects that bursts, glows, erupts, spins, runs, ticks and more!

There is also a BONUS: A FREE downloadable book on young kid inventors and their inventions. 

About the Author

Sumita Mukherjee is a NASA STEM certified leader and children’s book author. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the globe, explore many countries and meet different people. Mysteries and adventures have been captured from there in the form of Keiko and Kenzo’s travel adventure series. These books are to inspire young readers to know and appreciate various countries, develop a love for discovery and learn about the world around them. Her series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) books encourages kids to invent and explore, to empower themselves and see themselves as world leaders and problem solvers. Her books celebrate diversity, spark curiosity and capture children's imaginations! Sumita currently lives in Toronto with her family.

Her website, WizKids.Club was created with a vision to raise the next generation of creative leaders. WizKids.Club offers highly engaging kids activities, educational books, experiments, hands-on projects, DIYs, travel stories and engineering books perfect for children 4-12 years to spark creativity and scientific learning.

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Make a simple pulley using a wheel and axle from household goods


1 yarn ball
1 empty ribbon spool
1 plastic cup
Pencils or wood for the axle


TIME: 30 mins

SCIENCE FUN FACTS: Learn about a simple machine like a pulley. How it can make things easier to move from one place to another. Understand how wheel and axle can be used to make lifting easy and effective.


STEP 1:  Make the pulley basket: Take the plastic cup and make 3 holes like a triangle.

STEP 2:  Feed some yarn through the holes and tie, giving the cup a short handle.

STEP 3:  Construct the pulley: Tie the yarn to the basket. The length of the yarn can be 10 feet or more, depending on how long you want the rope to be.

STEP 4:  Run the yarn over the spool.

STEP 5:  Insert the pencil through the spool hole and tape both the ends to the staircase railing bars. This should be done in such a way that the basket dangles from the stairs and can be easily pulled up or down. Your pulley is ready! Have fun lifting things all the way to the top of the stairs!

The pulley with the basket is ready! Have fun pulling and moving things from one place to the other.

My Review 
Firstly thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book

This is a fun book of experiments for children from six to ten. I remember a book with some experiments when I was little and loved it and this book should have the same response with children today. It has lovely pictures which help to show exactly how to carry out the experiments. As I mention there are simple experiments a six year old could do and then harder ones for the ten year olds. This book would be a great book for days when you need something to keep the children entertained like days where it's either to hot or cold to be outside. It will also keep the children of their ipads and teach them something at the same time.

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