It’s 1935. Clarissa Wilding refuses to leave her homestead, despite the ravages of drought and relentless dust storms plaguing the Kansas plains. The competing influence of a local pastor and a helpful stranger plant seeds of doubt about her decision. With her husband away looking for work, the elements and poverty threaten to overcome her resolve to stand firm, especially when her wealthy estranged sister from New York surprises her with a visit. The sisters must work together to answer the challenges of living in the dust bowl years. Courage and surrender build in both their hearts, while the ultimate test makes each of them face what really matters in life.
Clarissa Wilding and her family have just arrived at the train station in Kennewick, Washington. Their decision to move from the drought and dust storms on the Kansas plains seemed like a good one, until Clarissa sees her husband Frank embrace his half-brother William—the man who has offered them the chance to start fresh on his vineyard.
Clarissa knows this man, but by a different name. And it is obvious that William also recognizes her, though he says nothing of their past together.
The Wilding family settles into a cottage on the farm. Frank is thrilled to be back on a productive farm, having lost their crops to the relentless dust storms back home. He is anxious to rekindle his relationship with his brother, but doesn’t understand Clarissa’s resistance to William. Frank is eager to learn the grape and fruit growing business and hopes his work ethic will please his brother. But he is disturbed to see that William has not held on to the Christian teachings of their mother, but instead is angry and resentful of his drunken father, Frank’s step-father.
Both parents are deceased, but unpleasant memories linger for both Frank and William, even after William explains he changed his name to be rid of his father’s reputation.
Clarissa cruelly discovers that you cannot always escape your past. A clandestine meeting is about to test her faith, and expose secrets that could challenge her marriage.
Will Clarissa and her husband cling to God’s promise for a new beginning? Or be destroyed by tragedies and trials.
my point of view:
Bonus review post today – two books for the ‘price’ of one, lol! Honestly, these two stories combine for one of the best reads I have had in a while! 1935 Kansas during the drought seems like a very sad time, indeed, and Jan Cline brings this era to life vividly in Heaven’s Sky. I admit, it is a period of history I truly knew very little about, but I have learned quite a bit from this story, to the point it even had me googling the dust storms and hardships people faced then.
What really got to me was how Clarissa was so determined to stay ‘planted’ in Kansas through everything, even her husband leaving to try and find work. I was honestly a little frustrated with her in the beginning….but it was definitely worth continuing the story! When her sister Treena shows up along with a drifter, Elijah, the story takes on a whole new level for me. Elijah reminds me there are angels placed here on earth for a season in our lives – just when we need them the most! I have always considered myself a fairly independent woman, and reading how Clarissa and Treena learn to deal with such difficult circumstances to prevail in the end was absolutely inspiring.
While Heaven’s Sky had a lovely ending, I could not wait to dive right in to The Pruning, for these character’s were quickly finding a place in my heart. Little did I know just how embedded they would become! This second book takes on a whole different set of problems, ones I could not have imagined while reading the first book! Life in Washington State is a definite reprieve from the dust storms, but there is a whole other storm a brewing with Clarissa’s inner circle.
There is a lot more suspense in this story, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I don’t want to give too much away of the details, but let me tell you this much – I adore Frank. He is probably one of the best male character’s I have come across in Christian Fiction, he absolutely touched my heart! Keep reading to the end of the post to see how to enter for a chance to win a copy of EACH of these stories in ebook versions!
Jan is an author and speaker from the Pacific Northwest. She is a former writer’s conference director and speaks at writer’s conferences and writer’s groups in the region. Her love for history and writing combine to bring the stories of America’s past to life in the women’s fiction genre. She is passionate about researching, and the travel it requires to learn about the interesting places and people in her stories.
Jan enjoys golf, crafts, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Jan’s website: https://jancline.net (sign up for her newsletter and receive a free short story)
You can also see info on Jan’s speaking topics on her website.
Social Media links:
Facebook: Jan Cline Author
Other books by Jan:
Emancipated Heart, a novel
A Heart Out of Hiding, a women’s self-help book
Heaven’s Sky, book 1 of the American Dreams series novels
Jan Cline is so generous to offer a giveaway ebook version of BOTH stories to one of our amazing readers! Simply comment on this post and tell us what your favorite season is! Contest will be open for one week from publication of this post and winner will be notified via email.
Lukas Frye has moved to Kellersburg, Ohio, to renew his relationship with his grandfather, who lives there. For the past six years, Lukas has worked hard to put his reckless past behind him, and Kellersburg seems like the perfect place to do that—until he encounters Juliane Keller. She could derail all his plans.
Juliane remembers Lukas from her college days, and her memories of him are anything but good. He says he’s a changed man, but can she trust that claim? Besides, his presence in town is a constant reminder of the secret her family harbors.
When secrets are revealed, will love find a way to forgive?
my point of view:
Wow, did this story ever hit home with me! I have experienced several different types of addiction related relationships, and this story packed a punch for me. Juliane is such a great character, she’s the glue that holds her family together, but deep inside she feels so inadequate that you just want to reach out and hug her!
I love how she was able to recognize her own issues and try her best to work through them by putting them in God’s hands….but like so many of us, she keeps pulling them back and builds a wall around herself with them. From keeping her parent’s business afloat, dealing with insecurities revolving around her sister, and trying her best to keep the family secret intact, it’s no wonder she has a hard time accepting Lukas into her life! Of course, Lukas has his own problems to deal with – moving to a new town, new management position, trying to reign in his independent grandfather – not to mention constantly stressing over his own secrets of his past.
I don’t want to give too much away, but this story is so much more than ‘just a love story’ it is a story of forgiveness and learning to open up and trust in God that He will not steer you wrong! Once we open our hearts and our lives to all the God has in store for us, we can only become better for it! I also thoroughly enjoyed the setting of Kellersburg, and look forward to visiting there again soon!
Fall in love with these uplifting and inspirational romances set in London, Paris, and Edinburgh!
Books 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 in the Love in Store series of sweet and clean Christian romances celebrating love and faith, together for the first time in this collection! Each story follows a different couple connected to a grand old London department store through the trials and joys of falling in love, to their commitment to a happy-ever-after. Book 1 in the series, The Wedding List is available as a solo ebook, but there’s no need to read it first, as each story is a complete romance.
Love in Store Book 2: Believe in Me
When Nick Gallagher, the Hollywood actor playing the store’s celebrity Santa challenges Ms Scrooge accountant Cara to a Christmas dare, can she overcome her painful past and rediscover love, joy and faith? A heartwarming reminder of the importance of believing in God’s promises, along with a lot of London Christmas sightseeing!
Love in Store Book 2.5: Least Expected
Maggie Golding, unconventional and artistic 50-something designer for the Christmas store windows at Pettett & Mayfields, never expected to fall in love with Edgar Pettett, staid and sensible heir to the business.
Between her shaky faith, their huge differences, and his mother’s disapproval, how will they possibly work things out?
Love in Store Book 3: A Model Bride
Christmas in London, New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, where next? Nothing in her Europe trip goes as Tiffany Gallagher planned, but when she meets wounded Scottish photo-journalist Mac while volunteering at a homeless shelter, she discovers God’s purpose for her life is far more than she imagined!
Love in Store Book 4: Forget Paris
When anti-romance researcher Zoe Gallagher meets Gabe Ross in Paris on Valentine’s Day, even she finds it hard to resist the most romantic city in the world on the most romantic day of the year. Zoe tells herself their one wonderful day together proves nothing. But on her return to London, she discovers she needs Gabe’s help to learn the biggest lesson of all, that love does last. Especially God’s love…
When a struggling bakery owner is rescued by a wannabe songwriter with hidden culinary talents, they discover they can make sweet harmony … if they can only learn to work together.
Rhett Foster longs to change the world with his music, yet he can’t even finish writing one song. Battered by a string of failures and disillusioned, he returns home to Portland, Oregon. While he desperately wants to create a chart-topping hit, his dad mandates a new mission: move to coastal vacation hotspot Seabrook, Washington and expand the family’s successful restaurant chain.
In danger of destroying her late parents’ legacy if she doesn’t diversify her menu, Lindsay Carmichael will try anything to save her bakery. But with a tiny budget and an injured employee who can’t work, she has no choice but to sink the last of her savings into buying a dilapidated food truck and hiring Rhett as a part-time barista. What she doesn’t know is that the handsome songwriter has a secret … one that could destroy her business and her heart.
my point of view:
You know the song “These are a few of my favorite things….’ well, reading books is right up there for me, so are bakery treats – of just about any kind – COFFEE, and wonderful music certainly tops the list too. Just about the only thing missing for me in this book was some football, but, hey, the season opens up tonight, so I will be okay, lol!
Seriously, though, this story truly resonated with me…I have had to struggle with trust issues for many (many) years and found this to cause a great deal of stress and undue pressure placed on myself for too long. I could so sympathize with Lindsey in stressing over her business and doing it all “on her own”. Then there is Rhett, not only has he all but given up on his dreams, but now he is desperate to please his father in any way….oh yes, I have been there too!
I won’t give too much away, let’s just leave it at they need to allow God some room so they can each become the people they are meant to be, oh, yeah, and there is a super sweet and romantic ending that you won’t want to miss out on!
PLUS A PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY! SEE BELOW TO ENTER!
Welcome to Pettett & Mayfield, a once-grand central London department store now fallen on harder times, despite the eccentric owner’s schemes to attract customers. But from the basement kitchenware department through to the top floor management offices, love and faith can still find a home.
You never forget your first love…
With her eye for design and her cut-glass accent, no-one would guess Beth Forrest’s impoverished background. It’s all throw pillows, china patterns, and upper class brides as she manages the Wedding Registry at Pettett & Mayfield, the stately maiden aunt of London department stores. So it’s not quite her dream job? Each bride she helps to select beautiful and oh-so-expensive items for their gift list brings her one step closer to buying a little home of her own, and financing the education she longs for.
When physics professor James Tetherton-Hart, brilliant in his research lab but awkward and disorganised in everyday life, comes to the store in desperate need of both a gift and a partner for a wedding that evening and recognises her, all her careful plans and meticulous checklists are turned upside down.
Now her first love is back, determined to make her his partner for life, not just the evening. But unless Beth can let go of the mistaken beliefs that separated them in the past, and appreciate the depth and breadth of God’s love for us all, her only gift from the wedding will be another heartbreak.
Book 1 in the Love in Store series, set in a London department store. Series may be read in any order, as every story is a complete romance featuring a different couple. Clean, sweet, and wholesome Christian inspirational romance from a USA Today bestselling author!
my point of view (from April 2019):
If you have not read the Love in Store series yet, why not?? Actually, you are lucky, because for the next few days ONLY you can get the first book for FREE! That is correct, everyone can get this book absolutely free, and the next 4 books for only 99 cents….I promise you will not be disappointed!
Okay, so let’s talk about The Wedding List and our first adventure at Pettett & Mayfield! I have never been to London, but I get a total sense of this amazing department store from Autumn’s descriptions, and I would totally shop there. I enjoyed this book on so many levels, the second chance at love has always been a favorite theme of mine, and this one is so special! The two characters fell in love as teens, but through unforeseen circumstances had to separate now suddenly find themselves face to face on Halloween. I mean, what woman doesn’t wish she could be reunited with her one true love while she is in costume and make-up looking like dawn of the dead, right? Hahaha!
Seriously though, these two adorable characters stole my heart and made me so happy! The personalities of Beth and James, plus all the minor characters truly pull you into their story world. You also get the chance to tour a bit of London – something I have always wished to do, so travel to England without ever leaving your recliner! I cannot encourage you enough to grab this book while you can and enter the world of Love in Store!
About Autumn Macarthur
A reformed party boy wants to make an honest woman out of his baby’s mother in this second chance romance.
Dixie Wayling thought she’d found love with her third child’s father until the guy found Jesus. Right. Like she wanted anything to do with killjoy religion, especially when Dan issues his ultimatum: get married… or one of them moves out. Wasn’t going to be her.
Dan Ranta can’t give up his newfound faith to keep Dixie, but after she leaves the kids to go drinking with friends, he turns the tables and boots her out of the house he’s paying rent on. She declares her own conditions: give up Jesus and she’ll take him back.
What will it take for Dixie to overcome her past and find a deep faith of her own? How can Dan stand strong? Sorrow has certainly come for the night, but will there truly be joy in the morning?
”This story has crawled inside me and given my heart wings.”
“…masterful storytelling and realism…”
“I will read this story again and again in the years to come because we all need the reminder we are never good enough for God’s mercy, that is why there is Jesus…”
DANCING AT DAYBREAK is the seventh story in the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, an off-shoot of the original Farm Fresh Romances. If you love Christian contemporary romance series that focus on engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith — clean, wholesome, sweet, and inspirational romances — you’ve come to the right place
Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging, and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but she runs after a disastrous first meeting.
Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.
Finding a monetary backer and sticking with a search that’s turning up nothing will take all their dedication–and every secret they’ve tried to hide. If they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world–love.
I was blessed to receive an ARC copy of this amazing novel, but believe me, I would NOT be posting about it on my blog if I didn’t absolutely love the story! That being said, this book is wonderful! I love the setting, off the Coast of Georgia in Tybee Island, I live right down the road in Jacksonville, FL, so feels like home. The descriptions are so enticing, and you feel like you are right there on the beach! I always enjoy a contemporary romance novel….but, I also love a good historical, so this book is right up my alley!
There is also some great suspense….both from the historical side and the current day side! The story has rich characters that both have their own issues to deal with, and Liz Johnson does an amazing job in writing their story. Oh, and did I mention pirates? No? Well there are pirates in this story too, yes! What adventures the journal tells of the life of a young girl searching for her brother by boarding a ship for parts unknown! You can’t help but become anxious to have Anne finish reading the journal to see what ever happened to Rebecca and Samuel!
I felt so connected with Anne, I was so taken by how she dealt with her guilt and shame for her past mistakes. It’s so hard when you feel guilty for things that you don’t always have control over – believe me – I know. Carter has his own problems dealing with his family, and unfortunately, I know a thing or two about that as well. The entire story was pulled together so beautifully, from the past to the present, I loved every moment of it!
Reluctantly, Chef Isaac finds himself working in the kitchen of his nemesis, Chef Piper Peyton. Why would he want to cook his way into her heart?
To save a landmark family restaurant in Savannah, two chefs must put aside their twenty-year-old feud and cook together. Can they at least try to be kind toward each other without digging up old hurts? At the end of the day, is he simply too hot for her kitchen?
Right before a long and busy Thanksgiving weekend, Piper Peyton is confronted with a series of impossible problems…
Chef-owner Piper Peyton can handle one disaster at a time in her restaurant, but not two unexpected catastrophes within hours of each other that threaten to shut down Piper’s Place for good and possibly end her career as a restaurateur.
Sometimes bad things happen. But hopefully not all at once, right?
Yet, no matter what, she has to keep Piper’s Place open for business. Her customers expect it. This is their favorite twenty-four-seven restaurant where Riverside Chapel members frequent after church on Sundays and throughout the week. This is where people, young and old, gather to talk about life, solve their problems, meet new friends, and critique her new test dishes.
Oh, this place absolutely needs to stay open.
What to do, Lord? What to do?
How long can a person bear a grudge? For cruise ship chef de cuisine Isaac Untermeyer, he can hold it for twenty years and then some.
How can he forget that high school sophomore with the topknot bun on her head and a big smile on her face, who robbed him of the high school cooking competition trophy, and ran off with the prize of full tuition paid to any college of her choice? Not that Isaac needed the money. It was a matter of pride.
Even if he tries to forget how he lost the trophy to a supposedly better cook, his family won’t let him forget it. As soon as he arrives in Savannah for a vacation, his mother takes him to none other than Piper’s Place.
However, something is wrong in their kitchen that night when meals don’t arrive and the customers start to leave without eating.
The chef in Isaac senses a crisis.
He wants to do something, but his pride says don’t bother. Yet, somehow Isaac finds himself responding to the call for help and going to her rescue…
And he doesn’t know why.
Call You Home is the last novel in USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson’s Savannah Sweethearts series of clean and wholesome contemporary Christian beach romances celebrating faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ. The series is set in the historic southern coastal city of Savannah, Georgia, and on the nearby idyllic beach town of Tybee Island by the Atlantic Ocean. If you enjoy Call You Home, you might also enjoy the other books in the series.
my point of view:
It seems I cannot get enough of Jan Thompson’s amazing story telling! I was so sad that this is the last of the Savannah Sweethearts series, but, alas, all good things must come to a close/ Jan assures me we will still get glimpses of these amazing characters and families in her future books! This was a fantastic way to close out the series, I will say that! Piper and Piper’s Place has always been a mainstay in all the stories, so it was about time she had her tale written!
One of the amazing things this author manages to do is develop a character that is completely deaf and can only communicate via American Sign Language or texting. While this issue complicated matters for Isaac, who does not know ASL at all, the writing of this story is so spot on and seamless that it is not the main focus of the main hero’s issues. While sometimes I read a book where a character”s “handicap” becomes the entire story, that is not the case here!
Piper and Isaac’s story is definitely one for the ages! I loved how the character’s have a history together and come back face to face after twenty years apart. That is one of my favorite tropes, and this does not disappoint. All of the characters are so well developed that you feel like you could drop in to the Riverside Church and great them all as friends. I look forward to reading more of Jan Thompson’s amazing other series of books!
Jan Thompson has a special way of weaving the most important Bible verses into all of her stories, and they are so fitting to the characters lives, but also to our own everyday life. I have saved many a verse in my own bible from reading her fiction.
About Jan Thompson
Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his back was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.
I have a serious love for this author’s stories! I love historical novels…….and I love contemporary novels….so when I found Sarah Monzon and her abilty to blend both worlds into one book , I was SOLD! I am so lucky to have been able to read an ARC for it, and I seriously recommend you get it pre ordered (will be released 09/23/19) so you don’t forget!! Just click on the photo below!
She’s trying to save her company. He’s trying to salvage his reputation. Only one of them can be right.
Vice president of operations Melissa Ellis might have met the first challenge she couldn’t overcome. Her company is hemorrhaging money, and her boss blames her. The deeper she digs, the more trouble she finds. She turns to the one person who can help: the confident and dangerously charming Scott Blake.
Naval aviator Scott “Superman” Blake is recovering from the accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Driven to salvage his reputation and regain his career, he must prove it wasn’t pilot error. When Melissa asks for his help, he jumps at the chance to spend more time with her and salvage his name. But if he’s right, he’ll take her company down.
When their investigation turns up a bigger problem than software glitches, Melissa is caught in the crosshairs of their unknown enemy. As they work together, their casual flirtation turns to something much deeper. Can they make a relationship work, or will it crash and burn?
As the stakes rise and the clock ticks, can they figure out who’s behind the danger before someone else dies. Or will they lose everything, including each other?
Special Assignment is book 3 in the Hometown Heroes series, but it can be read as a stand alone. If you like Christian romantic suspense and nail-biting page turners, you’ll love this journey of risk and trust. Buy Special Assignment and jump into the adventure today.
my point of view:
Wow, another new to me author, I can’t believe I have never read anything by this author until now! What an amazing story this was. It is book three in the series, but honestly, this novel can totally stand on it’s own. While I was aware that the other characters most likely had their own story already written, it took nothing away from the intensity and enjoyment of this book.
I was able to relate to the heroine, Melissa, in a very personal way, I am all about my company, my co-workers are like family, and I truly look up to the president of my company as a father figure. I could easily imagine how much it would hurt to be in her position! My specialty is also solving problems, just not usually with numbers, lol!
As for the background, well, I also have a bit of a soft spot for the military, Navy especially, as I live in a city that had three naval bases at one time, and my hubs is a veteran! I always wonder at how difficult it must be to be injured in such a way that you may never be able to return to the work you love. Both Scott and Melissa make a great team while trying to solve a mystery and find justice as well.
The suspense was as every bit as good as the romance, and I enjoyed every moment of the story! I cannot wait to read more form this ‘new to me” author!
About JL Crosswhite