Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Historical Novel about Ministry and Mercy | Review of All in Good Time

About the Book (from Tyndale House)

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

Available now!

My Rating


My Review

While Dessa isn't a perfect character, I admire her dedication to serving those in need and the way she opens her heart to society's outcasts. She perseveres, works hard, and shows great hospitality (including presenting impressive meals!). She's also humble and willing to acknowledge her shortcomings. While her ministry grows in fits and starts, and the story is slower in nature, it's still enjoyable to see what comes of her faith, kindness, and business efforts.

After the prologue, Henry is introduced as a prickly and sober character...and he generally remains that way for a while. With his attraction to Dessa comes hints of warmth in his character, and he eventually becomes more likable, but I confess he's not my favorite fictional hero.

All in Good Time is a well-written historical novel, and in general the characters and their ambitions or growth encourage the reader to become invested. I didn't particularly love the slower pace, with not much happening for a while. But the excitement does pick up a bit more in the second half. :) Based on my lingering impressions (as well as my review/rating) of the first book in this series, Bees in the Butterfly Garden was definitely my favorite of this duology. But this second book still offers an interesting and encouraging story about reaching out, building relationships, and finding mercy.

*With thanks to Tyndale House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*

Read my reviews of other Maureen Lang books...
Springtime of the Spirit | Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Monday, April 15, 2019

Hilarious Adventures and a Very Sweet Romance | Review of The Lady and the Wish

About the Book (from the author's website)

A King Thrushbeard Romance

Lady Gillian Montmorency is determined to win Prince Fidelio’s heart, but her plans are crashing around her ears. First, Fidelio’s older cousin with a beard like a bird’s nest proposes to her. Next, intimidating Prince Max insists she will be his next trophy. ​

But the worst of all, her parents reveal a financial scandal. To pay off her father’s debt, Gillian must agree to work one year as companion to an old lady at some remote and ramshackle villa. ​ Fine. She’ll go. But she doesn’t have to like it.

Coming Soon!

My Rating


My Review

I'm in love with this sweet, fun, utterly enjoyable series! I still need to catch up on the early books (I've started Ellie and the Prince, and then I need to read The Siren and the Scholar, which I'm looking forward to!). From what I have experienced, though, The Lady and the Wish is a fitting and yet unique addition the series.

Gillian's story starts off at the familiar Faraway Castle resort. But she and her father each make choices that take her far away from her family's vacation destination and her home—and bring her to a new job, crazy circumstances, a big mystery, and an unexpected romance.

While I love Faraway Castle with its gorgeous gardens, fascinating and cute creatures, and awesome amenities, it's too fun to follow Gillian to Lady Beneventi's villa. :) The modern elements of this fairy-tale world are more prominent because of this different location (well, and Gillian is also a very modern girl!). We see the use of cell phones and social media, and that—in addition to the clothing and communication—make this story almost like a contemporary romance. Except for the wishes...

The Lady and the Wish is full of entertaining and creative challenges for our heroine as she attempts to serve as a companion for the unpredictable Lady B. This particular story isn't quite as epic in scope as The Rose and the Briar, but it contains hilarious adventures...and focuses on a very sweet romance full of modern-day difficulties and fairy-tale charm.

I confess I looked up the basics of the King Thrushbeard story early on, as I wasn't familiar with the plot and was curious. Curiosity kills the surprise, so to speak. ;) Still, this retelling has plenty of its own twists, especially with all the wishes, and is relatable, adorable, and just plain happy! I love the change of seasons and the way the characters and romance develop. This is another delightful story from J.M. Stengl, and I can't wait to experience more of this series and see what she writes next!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*


You can check out my review of book 3 in the series, The Rose and the Briar, HERE. And land a FREE e-copy of The Little Siren (a series companion novella) when you sign up for the author's e-newsletter HERE! (It's a sweet story!)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Winner and Tour Highlights | Mercy Blog Tour

Happy Saturday, friends, and welcome to the conclusion of the Mercy blog tour! Come see the name of our giveaway winner and check out the tour highlights and Eniola's ebook freebie. :)

The Winner Is...

Congratulations to the winner of Eniola's giveaway prize pack...

Gina R.!

She's won a signed copy of Mercy, a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and a journal. Woot! Gina, an email has been sent to you. :) And many thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and spread the word about Mercy!

Tour Highlights

This tour came with thoughtful book reviews, enlightening interviews, and inspiring posts from Eniola and our team of bloggers. In case you missed any of them, here are some links to browse...

Articles by Eniola
College-life post by Carissa
  • "One lesson that I learned from my college years wasn’t learned inside a classroom." | Read more
Interviews with Eniola
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The underlying mystery of what happened between Sola and Tayo kept me intrigued right from the beginning." | Anne's review of Still
  • "I loved that the characters were so relatable and easy to find one that you can see yourself in." | Carissa's review of Mercy
  • "Mercy was an outstanding book and I am so so excited for book three to find out what happens next in the lives of Sola, Nikky, Tayo and Ladi! If you enjoy new adult books full of mystery and real-life problems you must check out these two books!!" | Anne's review of Mercy
  • "Prentice has undoubtedly done a fine job with this one; the second installment in the Still series is a work of Art and Heart, worthy of impeccable applause." | Miranda's review of Mercy
  • "Following the life of Nikky, Sola, Ladi and Tayo in this book makes you pause in your tracks to appreciate the love of God and how amazingly thoughtful He is concerning you." | Oyinkansola's review of Mercy

Get Book 1 for FREE

Don't forget that Still, the full-novel prequel to Mercy, is currently FREE in ebook format! Enjoy the series from the beginning when you download your copy today through Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo, or OkadaBooks.

Buy Book 2 Today

Intrigued by all this talk of Mercy? You can purchase an e-copy through Amazon or OkadaBooks!

Eniola and I sincerely thank the wonderful bloggers who participated in this tour and all those who read the posts and commented. :) We appreciate your support of Eniola's work and hope you'll be blessed by her stories!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

3 Things I've Learned About Publishing (Guest Post by Eniola Prentice) | Mercy Blog Tour

The Mercy blog tour continues! Mercy is the second book in a series about four medical students who must face some very difficult challenges in their faith, relationships, and schooling. Today, author Eniola Prentice shares about her writing journey and what she's learned along the way...

3 Things Ive Learned About Publishing
Eniola Prentice

Five years ago, I had an idea to write a series, but I had no idea how to get my novel to readers. I knew nothing about publishing. It was like finding a needle in an enormous haystack. In some ways, it still feels like finding a needle in a haystack—but now the haystack is a little smaller. Here are three things I have learnt about publishing:

1. Do your research. While preparing for publishing the first book, I did a lot of research. I found out that self-publishing is not something failed writers do. I realized the industry had changed, and self-publishing was a viable path to publishing a book. It's not easy, and the wealth of information can be overwhelming at first. But something that helped me was studying the career of a successful self-published author I admired. Joanna Penn was one of my biggest influences.

2. Community is everything. The self-publishing world is a vibrant community of writers supporting each other within and across genres. I formed connections with Christian writers, Nigerian bloggers, and medical bloggers. It made things much easier the second time around. I asked Amber to edit the first novel in the series, but she couldn’t because of her schedule. She referred me to Rachelle Rea. The second time around I reached out to Rachelle, who referred me to Amber. Amber became such a great support for me, and I gained a friend.

3. Set your goals. I think we get bogged down in defining success as being a best seller. I think setting realistic goals unique to you as a writer is important. Sometimes your definition of success is different than another writer’s. When you reach your goals, you can be content that you met your own personal expectations, not the world’s.

How is your journey going?

Eniola and I would love to hear about your own writing journey. What challenges are you currently facing? What goals have you made or met?

And don't miss the opportunity to enter Eniola's tour giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of her new book, a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and a journal! Just fill out the form below to get your name in the drawing. (See the tour introduction post for the giveaway rules and details.)

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Embracing Faith in Medical School (Guest Post by Eniola Prentice) | Mercy Blog Tour

The Mercy blog tour continues! Mercy is the second book in a series about four medical students who must face some very difficult challenges in their faith, relationships, and schooling. Today, author Eniola Prentice shares about her own faith journey through the lows and highs of medical school...

Embracing Faith in Medical School
Eniola Prentice

My faith journey began with questions. I had questions for God right before entering medical school, so many whys I wanted answered. Why, if God loved me, had some negative things happened in my life? Why had things happened the way they had in my life? Why was I unhappy all the time? I started medical school with these burning questions in my mind.

All my questions certainly have not been answered, but I have learnt that the faith journey is a process. No matter how much I try, I can’t rush the Father through the process. Trust me, I do try to rush Him. 😊

I got answers gradually through medical school. In my first year, I struggled with who I was in the past and who I was becoming. I called all my Christian friends “aliens” because I felt I didn’t quite fit in with them, that I was different in some way. But I began to accept the picture God was painting.

My faith in God grew steadily. It wasn’t always easy, but His grace was enough for me. I held on to Him because I had no choice. I held on to His word and believed in it until it became life to me. There was a lot of pain during the journey, but His presence never left me. I always found comfort in whatever situation I was in.

Most doctors would rarely describe medical school as the most important and formative years of their lives. But God surrounded me with friends who became family. I believe the friendships God blessed me with were the second most important inspiration for writing the Still series. Of course, the first was the Holy Spirit.

I believe it is important to always grow and evolve. My faith journey will never end—until the day He welcomes me home with “Welcome, good and faithful servant.”

How is your journey going?

Eniola and I would love to hear about where you are in your faith journey or how you've been growing. If you'd like prayer for your current challenge or next step, please let me know in the comment section! ♥

And don't miss the opportunity to enter Eniola's tour giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of her new book, a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and a journal! Just fill out the form below to get your name in the drawing. (See the tour introduction post for the giveaway rules and details.)

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Celebrate the Release of Book 2 in an Inspirational New-Adult Series | Blog Tour

Kick off spring with this exciting blog tour for Mercy, book 2 in a new-adult series about four medical students navigating faith, romance, and a difficult-but-rewarding career path! I'm honored to be coordinating this tour for author Eniola Prentice. :) Read on to learn more about this new book, the author's writing journey, the tour schedule for the week, an awesome giveaway you can enter, and a free ebook you can download today...

About the Book

Broken. Drowning. Desperate. Lost. 
When the lives and hearts of four friends start to crumble, can God’s mercy reach them still? 

In her second year of medical school, Fadesola (Sola) Cardoso faces an impossible choice: stay with her longtime boyfriend, the one who knows her darkest secrets and loves her anyway, or move forward with Ladi, the man who gives her hope for an unstained future. Even as she wrestles with her options, life as a medical student becomes increasingly difficult—full of endless exams, stressful social activities, and reminders of a past that continues to haunt her.

Ladi struggles with Sola’s divided loyalties while trying to maintain his perfect image as class president, promising student, and model Christian. But scandals inside and outside the lecture hall threaten to break apart the fragile peace once and for all between Ladi, Sola, and their friends Nikky and Tayo, who are fighting battles of their own.

In this epic second installment in Eniola Prentice’s new-adult Still series, the faith of these four medical students will be tested like never before. Discover their gritty troubles and grand triumphs as they navigate friendships, revelations, romance, and career goals in light of the redemptive power of the cross.

Available now!

About the Author

My journey as a writer began with an idea—an idea that blossomed into a vision for the Still series. I became fully committed to Christ around 2008 when I began medical school. Shortly after, the idea for the Still series was birthed. My time in medical school was one of the more formative seasons of my life. I made lifelong friendships and, most of all, my journey with Christ really began. Although there were challenging times, I would without a doubt relive the experience in a heartbeat!

I published Still (book 1 in the series) right before residency, and now—five years later—the next book in the series has been published. In the time in between, I was the prodigal daughter and walked away from my Father. Everything on the surface looked good, but my heart was far away from Him. His love never left me, though, and He welcomed me home when I came back to Him. I went through painful processes, but they changed me and made me a better person. The girl who wrote Still is not the woman who wrote Mercy.

I am passionate about sowing godly seeds into the hearts of young women. I know how it is to be brokenhearted and believe the lies of the devil because his version of events is all you’re told. I know how it is to truly believe that you are not loved by God because of the events of life.

My hope is that, through my writing, you’ll come to know that God truly loves you and cares about you affectionately. He is close to your broken heart and binds up every wound.

I guess the author bio should be about milestones and, like the quintessential dramatic Nigerian aunty, I have missed the mark. I am a Nigerian-born, American-educated physician who lives in Maryland—but I believe I am more than well-constructed bullet points. I am a child of God through the ups and downs of life, and that will remain constant.

Eniola Prentice 

The Tour Schedule

Monday, April 8
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10 
Thursday, April 11
Friday, April 12 
Saturday, April 13


Celebrate the release of Mercy by entering this exciting giveaway! Fill out the form below for a chance to win a signed copy of Mercy by Eniola Prentice, a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and a beautiful journal. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Void where prohibited. Good luck!

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Don't Miss Book 1...

Still, the full-novel prequel to Mercy, is currently FREE in ebook format! Enjoy the series from the beginning when you download your copy today through Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo, or OkadaBooks.