10 June 2021

Prairie by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway


About the Book

Book:  Prairie

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fantasy

Release date: February 13, 2013 

What if you could literally wish your life away?

My name is Jessa Davidson, and I awoke one day in the place of every dream I’ve ever had—the prairie.  I don’t know how I got here or where here even is, but I know one thing for certain. I can’t go home again. Ever.

If I’ve learned one thing being in this beautiful place, it’s that no matter how perfect it and its people seem, sin lives in the hearts of men and women in Prairie, too. The differences between Prairie and Pittsburgh? There are too many to count.

I grew up hearing the words of the Apostle Paul. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Here in Prairie, they’re not a lesson. They’re a warning.

I’ve been given a gift—the greatest desire of my heart. A life in the place of my dreams, a chance at love and family, a sense of real belonging.

Can I hold onto it? Time will tell—time I may not have if I can’t learn to be content.

Prairie is the first book in the Journey of Dreams, a series of related but stand-alone contemporary Christian fantasy novels exploring truths in a whole new way.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

 Chautona Havig is a unique author and makes reading a book feel like you are reading out of the box. She is unique among authors with her books. They are always so memorable and make you do some thinking after you have read the book. She has a genre style that is all over in style. I guess this book was published 8 years ago.

At first, the book had me trying to piece it together but it was intriguing trying to grasp it and piece it together. In some ways, the book has an allegoric style to it but, at the same time, it is not your typical allegorical style you expect to find in a book.

The main character is Jessa from Pittsburgh who one day wakes up and is living a different life on the prairie. She is sure how she ended up on the prairie but she still recalls her memories. While wandering on the prairie she is found and taken into the local town. This town and the people are kind and have a much simplier life. The town folks are mostly Christians.

Jessa wonders if she has gone crazy or if she will one day wake up into her old life. She learns to be a better person and starts to accept her new reality.

The characters are well developed. Chautona is very descriptive in her writing.

 A unforgettable book that will leave you pondering the message woven into the story.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

When Your Novel Teaches You an Important Lesson

I’ve told the story before, but I’ll tell it again. Prairie began as a dream. For several days in a row, I fell asleep and found myself lost in the sway of prairie grasses undulating to the strains of “Theme from a Summer Place.”

It’s a bad habit of mine, but despite being in the middle of a writing project, I wrote down my thoughts—my impressions. Two strange things happened.

First, the story came out in first person. Folks, I don’t write in first-person perspective. Not my novels, anyway. I don’t enjoy reading it, and I really don’t enjoy writing it.

Jessa, however, demanded I let her tell her story… her way. So I did. And it’s one of the fastest novels I’ve ever written.

There’s irony in that.

You see, I didn’t know where that story would go. My dream only replayed the scene of Jessa waking up on the prairie and not knowing how she got there—only knowing she could never go home. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

And though I wanted to rush through so I could see where the story would take me, and though I wrote at breakneck speeds, the story unfolded at its own pace.

The people of Prairie live a different life from anything you’ve ever seen—and yet it is mostly very familiar. One thing, however, sets it apart.


Only in Prairie does time not work as it does here, and that changes everything. The story begins slowly and for a reason. Line by line, observation by observation, step by step through the grasses and down rutted lanes, the story draws you out of the breakneck speed of modern life and into a world that, if you aren’t careful, will whiz by faster than is even possible.

Here in our world, that is.

There… you’d better watch out.

Has anyone ever warned you not to wish your life away? It’s just a gentle reminder that if you’re always eager for today to end in hopes of a more exciting tomorrow, you may find you never lived.

In Prairie? It might actually happen.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 28

Library Lady's Kid Lit, May 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 29

For the Love of Literature, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Inklings and notions, June 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

deb's Book Review, June 3

Spoken from the Heart, June 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 7

Pause for Tales, June 7

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, June 8

Lots of Helpers, June 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book & a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


09 June 2021

Wordless Wednesday


07 June 2021

Something Stinks by Jonathan Fenske Book Review

Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor-winning author-illustrator Jonathan Fenske's appealing illustration style and clever text make this intriguing book a must-have for every young reader's shelf.

In this delightfully funny picture book, an awful stink is invading the nostrils of its furry protagonist, a clueless skunk. Skunk is ready to sniff out the source of the stench, but where could it be coming from? Find out in this foul-smelling story--just be sure to hold your nose!

My Thoughts:

What an incredibly stinking cute book! The skunk is addressing the readers in this humorous stench-filled story.

He can’t seem to figure out what stinks. He finds a rotten sandwich, moldy cheese, and stinky socks. He even finds a pair of underpants. Mr. Skunk can’t seem to locate the smell as the cloud of stink seems t0 follow him everywhere.

A cute book that will have little ones laughing out loud. And maybe trying to tell the skunk what the small is. The illustrations are simple and bold with a monotone color of green, browns, and grays. My teenage son noticed the colors and thought the colors represented yucky smells! I guess it takes a kid to notice something settle like the colors.

I highly recommend this adorable foul-smelling story.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

Thoughts Are Air by Michael Arndt Book Review


When a trio of friends happen upon a neighborhood tree falling into decay, an idea catches hold. But what makes a dream become a plan, and how does a plan lead to a brighter tomorrow? With deceptively simple verse, Thoughts Are Air brilliantly links thoughts, words, and actions to the water cycle. Just as air becomes water becomes solid matter, thoughts become words become actions. The comparison is subtle yet powerful--air condensing into matter; ideas condensing into doing something that matters. Completely unique and utterly accessible, this is a book to inspire curiosity and spark change-making ideas in readers young and old.

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful poetic book that flows easily with the words as they weave the words in almost a sing-style story.

“If you think it, you can do it.” Quoted from the back of the book.

The book depicts thoughts with actions in a poetic grace with the whimsical illustration throughout this full colored book. The pastel colors remind me of watercolors. Throughout the pages you will see bees, plants from flowers to trees. The illustrator Irena Freitas does a beautiful job capturing your imagination. For younger kids they may not see the message. Older kids will see the message of kids coming together and planting trees.

A beautiful and whimsical story.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest thoughts.

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway


About the Book


Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort? 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Thoughts:

Another interesting book in the True Colors series centered on Historical Stories of American Crimes. Each book is a standalone book. These true crime stories are captivating. Some liberty is added more so to fictionalize this story due to the lack of source materials. This book is the most fictionalized version in the True Colors Series.  

Polly Blythe is a journalist in a male dominate field in Denver. She is determined and is more interested in reporting on the news and not society events. She goes against her boss in many ways as her position in the society events. In reality her motivation is trying to make her father proud of her. She is brave and sometimes a bit too much in my opinion. With her friend being attacked it becomes a bit more personal to her. The Silver Shadow starts sending her threats.

Edwin Timmer is a detective with the police department. Him and Polly become acquainted from this case and team up to solve the mystery. He isn’t sure all the cases are related at first. It becomes personal and he teams up with Polly.

The other character is the Silver Shadow who is murdering women on the streets of Denver. In his delusion he feels that by him doing this he is doing the works of the Lord and teaching the residents of Denver a lesson. He thinks women should be at home taking care of the family and not working. Not too farfetched considering most men at that time felt that way.

The story is in Denver, Colorado in the 1900s. The author describes the crimes but doesn’t go into the gruesome details or glorify the crime at all. This is a Christian based book and the faith of Polly and Edwin is very realistic as they are both at different levels in their walk. On the other end you see that the Silver Shadow is using faith to kill women.

The romance between Edwin and Polly is realistic and sweet. The story is intriguing and I had a hard time putting it down. This might be my favorite one out of the series.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts.


About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

Blog Stops



For the Love of Literature


A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Texas Book-aholic,

Genesis 5020

Christian Bookaholic

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Vicky Sluiter

Happily Managing a Household of Boys

The Write Escape

Betti Mace

Inklings and notions

Southern Gal Loves to Read

For Him and My Family

Rebecca Tews

Older & Smarter?

deb’s Book Review

Blogging With Carol

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess


Locks, Hooks and Books

Pick a Good Book

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

Connie’s History Classroom

Godly Book Reviews

Mary Hake

Through the Fire Blogs

Melissa Wardwells Back Porch Reads

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews


Amanda Tero, Blog

Tell Tale Book Reviews

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy

Grace-Filled Writer

Pause for Tales,

Little Homeschool on the Prairie

Blossoms and Blessings

Daysong Reflections


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


28 May 2021

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin Book Review


Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.

My Thoughts:

An interesting plot drew me to this story and not to mention a stunning book cover. The book starts with some action but nothing too fast pace. It was just enough to keep me not wanting to put the book down right away.

The main characters Kandance Tolle and Lyndon Vaile’s were unique and opposite of one another. Kandance is tough as nails and honed with her skills as a former military sniper and CIA. Lyndon is a genius with several degress and a photogenic memory. His research of the Ebola virus has him as a target or someone to convert for the cause. At the same time, they had other similarities like not getting close to other people and some quirkiness about them. Both of them are extremely good at their profession. Them coming together as a team seems impossible. The author does a good job setting up their meeting and the plot.

Another character that added a lot of interest to the story is Max. Max is brave and fearless. Knows stealth with getting people out of places when they are being detained. At the same time he is fun. He knows how to bring calm to the situation, and how to distress you when you are feeling overwhelmed. He can sleep anywhere and doesn’t let too much bother him. If only we had more Max’s in the world it would be a better place. What’s not to love about a cat who is that well behaved and trained.

There is action throughout the story but at the same time, there is downtime to get to know the characters. This is a Christian novel but not a lot of depth in that area with faith being subtle. I would have loved more done here. Not to be preachy in the story but the story seemed like a perfect opportunity to drop a few things in throughout.

Overall an interesting and unique story. I would love to see all the characters in another novel in the future. This isn’t a  series.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Revell in exchange for my honest thoughts.

26 May 2021

Wordless Wednesday


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