Castle on the Rise - Kristy Cambron

Friday, March 8, 2019

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

A storied castle. A band of rebels.
A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom.
And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

My Thoughts

Kristy Cambron's books are always bursting with so many emotions. Castle on the Rise is no different. While in the same series as The Lost Castle, with some of the same characters reappearing, there is a decidedly different tone to this story. With the focus of the historical threads around Irish uprisings and their fight for independence, there are several aspects of the present day thread that cause all the feels. (There are some things that could be triggers as well.)

Traveling through the different eras can seem a bit quick, but it definitely made me want to keep reading. Getting to know Laine on a deeper level and learning more about the history of Ireland was simply a fantastic combination. The hope and love and rebellion woven throughout this story captures the heart and imagination in a very real way. Cambron's ability to write raw, tangible faith has always blown me away.

Even though the setting is different from book one, I highly recommend starting this series with The Lost Castle. There is background information that I would consider crucial to the storyline in this book. And don't miss book three, The Painted Castle, arriving on shelves October 2019.

I received a complimentary copy of Castle on the Rise from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She's a Women's Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews' Best BooksRT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

More Books by Kristy Cambron on Bookworm Mama

A Return of Devotion - Haven Manor Book Two - Kristi Ann Hunter

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My Rating
 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book
Daphne Blakemoor was content living in her own secluded world for the last twelve years. She had everything she needed--loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes to a new marquis with an undeniable connection to her past, everything she's come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford's main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect . . . until his housekeeper turns his life upside down. 

Both Daphne and William have spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, forge a new path for the future together? (From Bethany House)

My Thoughts

After meeting Daphne in Book One of this series, A Defense of Honor, I was super excited to find out more about her and follow her journey to a happily-ever-after. Kristi Ann Hunter never disappoints in the romance and humor department with her books. Little quirks about the characters that make them all the more endearing. And the last few chapters of this book, I laughed out loud regularly as Hunter brought it all together.

Having such a life-altering event happen to her early in life, Daphne has been consumed by the rearing of orphans. She has such a tender and loving heart. Even though she has severe social anxiety, she is at ease caring for people. This is something I can TOTALLY relate to! I don't do well in large crowds of people I don't know. BUT, if I have a job to do, or am taking care of my kids, or am the one giving orders and delegating, I have no problems. Might sound strange, but THAT gives me peace. Because I have something to focus on other than the fact that I don't know anyone.

Lord Chemsford is dashing, eccentric, and a man of honor. When he sees a wrong, he wants to right it, or at least try to make amends the best he can, even if HE wasn't the one in the wrong. I loved watching him fall in love with Daphne. Even with all the secrets and scandal, he never (truly) lost his cool and remained gracious and understanding. I love that he defied the "family traits" and became the man he WANTED to be and not the man that society EXPECTED him to be.

All in all, a lovely story and I can't wait to read the next installment...I believe I saw a peek into the hilarious antics that are yet to be explored in book 3. Kristi Ann Hunter is not only a fabulous author, but a wonderful person as well! Check out her website and follow her below, you won't be disappointed!

I received a complimentary copy of A Return of Devotion from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author
Kristi is the RITA® award-winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her books include the award-winning Hawthorne House series as well as the newly published first stories of the Haven Manor series. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers' groups, schools, and young women's groups at churches. 

When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today. 

More Books by Kristi Ann Hunter on Bookworm Mama

The Hawthorne House Series


The Haven Manor Series

Novella Collection

The Unstoppable Entrepreneur: The Empowering Truth About Success - Stephen and Rachel Jackson

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

About the Book

How would it feel to reach your full potential? To win big—despite past mistakes and setbacks? What would it feel like to conquer your giants and bring to life the dreams of your heart? 

What if you knew you would live fulfilled and confident the rest of your life despite the uncertainty of tomorrow? To know the future you’d always hoped for wasn’t just possible—but inevitable? 

We all want to be the hero of our own story—to rise above mediocrity to the pinnacle of success. We long to find the inner strength to finally breakthrough, especially in our businesses. We want to be unstoppable entrepreneurs, but most days we hardly feel like it. 

What is the secret of unbreakable determination? Unrelenting will? Where do these businessmen and women get their unending perseverance? Those that built their brand from the ground up, these juggernauts of vision, were not born blessed to get ahead. They learned, and grew and became a force to reckon with, just like you will. 

The truth is you’re not as far off as you might think. In fact, you’re only four-steps away from your unstoppable future. My wife and I have built a business on our passion; building unstoppable entrepreneurs. 

Throughout our journey we encountered thousands of motivated, dedicated, all-in leaders many of whom are 6, 7, and 8 figure earners. Out of this tribe of incredible entrepreneurs there are those who gave everything; their health, their relationships, their finances to an idea of success that wasn’t a true reflection of their values. Many of them lost in business, but all of them lost in life. 

Others have found a better way—the road less traveled. Leaders who have become unstoppable and redefined success for themselves and have triumphantly built a business that genuinely supports that definition. 

What if that’s what true success is? And what starts us on the path to becoming unstoppable? Constructing a life built on what you love as defined by the individual. 

Sure, you can have a generalized picture of success wrapped up in a couple hundred-thousand Instagram followers who gawk over the outrageous and luxurious. But when the dust settles and no one’s around you’re left with your own life. It’s just you and your definition of success and fulfillment. 

Success is defined by you and only you. Whether it’s having a corner office on the top floor of a skyscraper, making more so you can give your money to orphans in Thailand, or serving on your children’s P.T.A. it all comes down to your individual stamp of SUCCESS. 

There is no One-Size-Fits-All-Blueprint to success and fulfillment. Instead it’s individuals willing to work this four-step process for themselves, because every blueprint must be personally realized. 

Let this book be your breath of fresh air, defibrillation shock, and paradigm shift to an unstoppable future. Vulnerability will become your faithful ally. All your doubts and let downs will be your launching pad. 

Have courage and peel back the lies. Take down the safety nets. Wipe off the makeup. 

We’ve made it our mission to build Unstoppable Entrepreneurs. Today, if you choose to face yourself, your past, your abilities without judgment, then you can become unstoppable in any venture, but it comes at a cost. A cost we encourage you to pay now. Face the inner corridors of your mind and fight back the temptation to compromise or settle on a mediocre half-lived life. Your dreams and passions are worthy of your time and energy. 

Do you want to win in life? Then let us lead you on the better way—the road less traveled. It’s calling your name. (From Goodreads)


About the Authors

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson
Speakers, authors, consultants and married business partners Stephen and Rachel Jackson are fulfillment thought leaders in the entrepreneurial industry. Currently serving as Certified Brain Health Specialists, and Cross-Generational Connection Consultants to corporations and CEO’s across the globe.

Stephen's fusion of real-life stories, passion, and humor connect with his audience at an intimate, and individual level. While Rachel’s genuine care for people and innovative solutions communicate hope both on and off the written page.

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson

Author Interview - Amber Crawley

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I am THRILLED to have Amber Crawley visiting with us today! If you haven't read my review of On Luna Time yet, you can find it HERE. And don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!!!

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Amber: England! My dream is to rent a cottage in the countryside for a summer before my kids grow up and leave home. Social media free with lots of reading, writing, and baking. 

Rachel: Oh that sounds absolutely lovely!!! Sign me up too!

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Amber: When I’m not writing books I’m homeschooling my kids and dyeing yarn for my business, Makers Haven. Owning my own business where I can be as creative as I want is a dream and I’m so thankful for it every day. 

Rachel: I just love that you are living your dreams! 

How many books do you average per month?

Makers Haven
Amber: It depends on how much free time my kids give me, but I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I work (and clean, and shower, and do all the things). I prefer to read with a physical book in my hand, but I also love getting lost in the world while listening. I’d say on average I read one physical book per month and listen to anywhere from 2-3 audiobooks. 

Rachel: Oh, I adore audiobooks! Multi-tasking at it's finest!

How do you organize your books?

Amber: By color! I don’t have a huge selection of books that are solely mine, but we have two large family bookshelves that are filled with all the books - from Harry Potter to Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin. 

Rachel: I love the LOOKS of shelves organized by color...but for my own...I don't know if I could do it...How do you find anything? LOL!

How many books have you written? Published?

Amber: From start to finish, 3, all written in the past year. But the number of stories that are lingering with a couple of promising chapters all the way up to nearly finished - I’m not sure. So many.

On Luna Time is my debut novel, it will be self-published on February 17th!

Rachel: YAY!!!! I'm so so excited for you!!!

What genre(s) do you write?

Amber: YA with a touch of magical realism.

Rachel: That is the PERFECT description...and I absolutely love it!

What are you working on now?

Amber: The second book in my On Luna Time series! As well as a really fun novella that will be coming out in December of 2019!

Rachel: YES!!! I can't wait!!! <3 

What is your next release?

Amber: I’m aiming to publish the second book in the On Luna Time series in fall of 2019.

Rachel: Oh good!!! Because I can't wait much longer than that to find out what happens next!

Do you have any strange writing habits?

Amber: I’m not sure if this is strange or not, but I get all my best ideas in the shower or when washing dishes. It’s something about the contact of the warm water and the sound that just moves my characters into action. 

Rachel: Hehe, this seems to be the frequent place for good ideas! 😉

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?

Amber: Editing and grammar. I have struggled with this from day one, way back in high school. I’ve always known I wanted to write a book but the fear of not being taken seriously because of my lack of grammar skills has stunted my growth as a writer for years. I’m trying my best to put it behind me and let my editor help me along the way. 

Rachel: Editors work wonders and miracles don't they?

Which aspect is most natural for you?

Amber: Drafting, hands down. I’m a big pantser and I love the entire process of feeling myself get lost in the story. I truly believe that my best writing comes from letting my characters come alive on the page and surprise me with the plot twists as I write. The plotting I spend hours on before I begin never ends up being where the story wants to go.

Rachel: Our "fictional" friends really do like to run the show don't they? I absolutely love where they took you in On Luna Time

Oh! It has been such a pleasure to chat with you, Amber! Thank you for writing and being here today!

About the Author
In my non-writing life, I’m a homeschooling mom of three, a wife, and an indie dyer of watercolor-inspired yarns in the Piedmont of North Carolina. In the midst of daily life and various hobbies that have come and gone, I’ve been writing. From the minute I knew how to put words into sentences, I’ve had a story to tell. After nearly a decade of hiding this passion, I'm ready to share my words with the world. But through it all, I'm still only tiptoeing.

Amber Crawley and I are proud to offer TWO giveaways! One: 1 (ONE) winner will receive a box of goodies from Amber Crawley, including a PRINT copy of On Luna Time. This is open to US mailing addresses only. Two: 1 (ONE) winner. INTERNATIONAL ONLY. Open to residents OUTSIDE the US. Prize will be 1 eBook copy of On Luna Time. Giveaway will be open 2/4/2019 - 2/11/2019 11:59pm EST. Both giveaways are sponsored by Bookworm Mama and Amber Crawley. Amber Crawley is the sole provider of the prizes. Void where prohibited. Please enter via the Rafflecopter forms below.

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