No Chance Meeting Blog Tour: Interview+Review

Looking for a clean romantic read? Check Jaye Elliot’s newly released book, No Chance Meeting. You can read all about it below, and don’t forget to enter the giveaways!

About the Book
Alex Jennings is done with life. After losing her brother in Afghanistan, everything has collapsed around her. Getting laid off from her day job and failing in her art career, she has nowhere left to turn. She once had faith to believe that all things would work together for good, but that faith died with her brother. Now she just wants the pain to end.
Riley Conrad served thirteen years in the military until three bullets sent him home. After a year and a half of physical therapy and scraping together a living, all he wants is to live a simple life and perhaps even open the coffee shop he dreams about. However, the weight of failing his parents’ expectations doesn’t make it easy, and working as a bartender isn’t getting him anywhere fast.
Could a “chance” meeting between Alex and Riley set them both on the path God always intended?
Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!
20% of all February sales will go to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs.

My Review

Disclaimer: I had the privilege of beta reading an early version of this book a year and a half ago, and, while I quickly read the updated copy prior in preparation for this blog tour, I have not yet thoroughly read the final version. Because of that, I’m focusing this review mainly on what I enjoyed about the book.

What I Loved

Pace and flow: I loved the overall pacing of the story! It’s a long story, but it’s interesting. I loved how it didn’t necessarily follow a typical romance novel structure. I loved how there wasn’t major conflict between Alex and Riley –  there seems to be too much of that in most romance novels I’ve read. Instead, this book was a slower upward journey for both characters. There was conflict, change, growth, turmoil, and happiness, but I could feel the upward slow climb all the way until the biggest crisis (apart from the opening scene). The slow journey style carried me right with the characters, and I enjoyed seeing their small daily victories and successes. 
Characters: The characters were quite vivid. I LOVED Joe. I liked Zach, too, though he didn’t end up having a huge unique part – mostly just Mindy’s sidekick or the guy Riley talked to while Mindy and Alex talked. The families were well-described as well. The author did a great job giving everyone unique interests and styles.
Spiritual focus: The characters’ spiritual journeys were excellent. They weren’t forced or rushed; they seemed entirely natural. I loved how God is shown as the most essential One underlying all else.
Happy daily life: I loved the little glimpses of everyday fun. 🙂 And the coffee shop, even though I’m not a coffee drinker. 😉
Respectful romance: The romance was well-written. I loved how the main focus was who Riley and Alex were as people – their maturity and personality – and not so much the physical aspects. We need more romance novels with the focus on the person/spirituality/character/manliness or ladylikeness! So many books rush too fast into romance or proposals, but this wasn’t one of them. I loved how the author allowed the characters to develop individually as well – the characters had lives besides just the romance. That made the characters much more realistic and relatable. People are more than their love life, which so many romance novels forget.
Family closeness: I loved the growth of the family relationships! So many books lack family bonds. At first, I wasn’t sure what direction the parent-subplot was going – the relationships looked so bad to start with. Too many books portray the parents as the bad guys and don’t give readers a chance to get to know them as people too. And if you love holiday scenes, you might love this book.
What I Didn’t Love

I wasn’t a fan of the bar that figured so prominently. It’s a personal conviction that will be widely different for everyone: for me personally as a Christian, to supply people with the means for drunkenness would not sit right with my conscience. I will say, however, that since it was in the story, the author did a good job handling it. And this book does not come across to me as being okay with drunkenness.

Content Advisory: intentions of suicide, PTSD-type issues, mild kissing, creepy drunk speaks inappropriately to a woman before being interrupted, a person gets beat up

Romance novels are popular today for good reason. There’s something about a “feel-good” happy story and happily ever after endings. While the market is saturated with novels that don’t uplift the Christian reader to the best thoughts and meditations, I’m glad for one like this with Christian values and depth of character growth.

Interview with the Author!

What’s the story behind your series title No Chance Love? (I know it wasn’t your original title.)

At first, I had no series title because, well, No Chance Meeting wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a standalone novella that came upon me by surprise. But, being the writer that I am, my ideas tend to grow a bit out of control. I was barely into writing NCM when I started to have ideas for two more loosely connect stories. These two followed the “No Chance” title theme, so I wanted the series title to as well. Book three (which has since shifted to book two) took on the title “No Chance Romance.” I thought that fit well for the series as well and would work fine since that was the last book. Or so I thought. Many more ideas later, a fourth book idea jumped into the mix and book three became book two. After that, the series title didn’t seem to work as well anymore, so I changed it to No Chance Love. The entire theme of the series is that nothing in our lives happens by chance. God is always working behind the scenes. That includes bringing people into our lives who we come to love.

What’s the hardest part for you of writing romance?

I love writing romance. As long as I know my characters well and they are well developed, it comes pretty easily and naturally to me. I think the hardest part doesn’t come in the writing, but in wondering how readers will respond. Everyone has their own set of standards and views. For writers, you put a huge part of yourself out into the world to essentially be judged. Romance is definitely a topic that people can have strong opinions about.

How does romance rank on the genre scale for what you prefer to write?

I’m not sure I can rank it. Everything I write has romance in it. I may predominately write fantasy adventure stories, but there is always at least one romantic subplot. However, I would say that I like writing a mix of romance and adventure more than straight up romance most of the time.

About the Author

Jaye Elliot is an award-winning author, country girl, and hopeless romantic at heart. She loves a good hero and will always sigh happily during the lights scene in Tangled. She writes from her home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, which she shares with three cats she considers her kids. When not writing romance novels, she pens fantasy and adventure stories as Jaye L. Knight.

Giveaway #1
To celebrate the release of No Chance Meeting, Jaye is giving away a reader bundle that includes a signed copy of NCM, a hand-painted watercolor bookmark, a coffee mug, and a bag of Dove chocolates! Enter using the form below. U.S. entries only. Not open internationally.



Giveaway #2


For her second giveaway, Jaye is offering 3 ebook copies of No Chance Meeting. Open internationally!







a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops
Friday, February 14
Tour Intro at Jaye Elliot
Review &
Author Post at
Review at Losing the Busyness
Saturday, February 15
Author Interview at Angela R. Watts
Review & Author Interview at Resting Life
Author Post & Excerpt at Lady Grace: A Quiet and Gentle
Sunday, February 16
Spotlight at The Music of a Story
Monday, February 17
Author Post at Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
Author Post & Excerpt
A Day In The Life
Tuesday, February 18
Review at Tricia Mingerink
Review and Excerpt at Read Review Rejoice
Wednesday, February
Review & Author Post at Leah’s Bookshelf
Book Spotlight at The Page Dreamer
Thursday, February 20
Review at Stories by Firefly
Review &
Author Post at
Peculiar Treasure Rae
Author Interview & Post
Read Review Rejoice
Friday, February 21
Author Post at Backing Books
Review at Poetree
Saturday, February 22
Tour Wrap Up at Jaye Elliot



Hymns in the Hills Book Review


p“Could you not teach them what you do know?”

Separated from her parents and sent to live with unknown relatives for the summer, Belle Standish clings hard to the promises found in her dear Bible and her beloved hymns. As she grows to love her newly discovered family, she finds much work to be done for her Lord in this neglected field.

But when danger threatens those she loves, Belle’s faith and courage are tested in ways she never imagined. Will God’s promises hold true even in the midst of the storm? And what can she possibly accomplish with just her one little light?


Click here to enter to win a free ebook of Hymns in the Hills. One way to enter is to find the hidden sentence in all the blog posts for this tour (the links for all the posts are at the bottom of this post). There is one word hidden in every post. The hidden word in this post is in all-caps somewhere in my review below. 🙂

My Review

What a sweet little old-fashioned story! This is a style I particularly love. Told from the perspective of a dear little child who is sincerely seeking God with her whole heart (notwithstanding her very human mistakes and struggles), Hymns in the Hills is heartwarming and refreshing. I enjoyed meeting Belle, a young girl who is sent to live with her aunt and uncle for several months. I enjoyed each one of the many hymns she would SING as she went about her daily work. Some of the hymns were very familiar to me; others were old favorites I rarely hear sung nowadays; still others were new to me and yet equally beautiful and beloved.  I loved how their theology wove about naturally with Belle’s everyday life, shaping her character, encouraging her heart, ministering to those around her, and guiding her decisions.

The plot was well crafted. It wasn’t complicated, and I found much of it quite predictable, but that did not in the least detract from my enjoyment. It was inherently Christian, with Biblical messages and morals unapologetically woven throughout the pages, but I didn’t find it contrived or forced to forward the Christian themes, but rather quite realistic and believable for the work and purpose of God in the hearts of His people.

The more exciting parts of the plot were handled well. Although there was danger from human and natural forces, it wasn’t inappropriately frightening. Nothing was shown “on page” that I’d hesitate to let a child read, and yet just enough hints were woven within the background threads of the story to allow older readers to appreciate what was going on without dwelling on evil.

The characters! The characters were so well-drawn! At first, it’s difficult to keep track of all the many cousins, but since we get to know them slowly right along with Belle, it’s not hard to put everyone in their places as quickly as needed. Each cousin’s personality shone through the pages, each contributing to the well-rounded flavor of the story. The older relations were also well-characterized – no cookie cutter characters here! I also enjoyed the minister and his wife. I even loved the distinct personalities of the dogs, though I’m by no means a dog person. 🙂

Tom Beck remained a puzzle to me throughout the book. I would have liked a bit more explanation as to his motives and methods, though there was enough to be satisfactory for the most part. The one part of the story I didn’t find entirely realistic was his interaction with the girls – he seemed quite careless in regards to them.

Another element of the book I enjoyed was how long it took to travel to each isolated cabin in the hills! So often stories gloss over this, but I was happy to see that this wasn’t the case here. The long treks between neighbors came across quite realistically.

The ending was satisfying. The storylines of the aunts, uncles, cousins, Belle, and her parents all wrapped up quite well in the sweet old-fashioned style the book was written in. All in all, I found Hymns in the Hills to be encouraging and refreshing. I’d love to meet Belle in person, and I’d love to read a sequel about her future life!


View book on Goodreads

View book on Amazon

View the Author’s Blog

rebekahmRebekah A. Morris is a homeschool graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great WarThe Unexpected RequestGift from the Storm and her best-selling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes, when she isn’t writing, include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. The Show-Me state is where she calls home.



This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing an item through one of these links may give me a small payment at no increased cost to you. I only link to products I’ve personally enjoyed and/or recommend.

Tour Schedule
Monday, May 27
Tuesday, May 28
Kaitlyn S. – Review and Author Interview –
Rebekah Ashley – Book Spotlight –
Wednesday, May 29
Sarah – Book Spotlight –
Thursday, May 30
Kaylee – Review –
Friday, May 31
Esther – Author Interview –
Jessica – Book Spotlight –
Saturday, June 1
Kassie – Review and Author Interview –
Rosalyn – Book Spotlight/Review –
Rebekah – Final post + book covers –

Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy have been released! Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles.

Tricia Mingerink’s newest novel Decree is also releasing! Decree is the fifth book in the Christian fantasy/kingdom adventure series The Blades of Acktar.

Read about these books below and be sure to check out the other blog stops on the tour by visiting the official tour page. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

I’ve read all three of these books, and they are seriously amazing. Today I’m reviewing all three, and to avoid creating a monster post, I’ll be posting the reviews separately.

For information on the books and to enter the massive giveaway, keep reading. If you’re here just for my reviews, click the following links:

The Ilyon Chronicles

Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!



About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

The Blades of Acktar

Decree Cover 101518 Final

About Decree

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been

A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission

When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains

A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Available now on Amazon!


Haven’t discovered the The Blades of Acktar yet? Find out more at on the official Blades of Acktar page.

DSC09450-2About the Author

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with Tricia on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter.

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

Bitter Winter Book Review

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header

Bitter Winter is the fifth book in the Jaye L. Knight’s Christian fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve heard my excessive praise for this amazing series.

Well. You haven’t heard the end of it yet. I’ve now read Bitter Winter, and it just might be my new favorite of the series. And if you know anything about my views on the previous four books, you know this one is excellent.

Before we get into the review, here’s the official tour page.

Here’s my spotlight of this book and the two others in this tour. You can also find a giveaway for the whole Ilyon series at that link.

Bitter Winter
This is an amazing, beautiful, deep book. It’s just what a story of believers ought to be. Sarah Holman beautifully summed it up in her review: “I think the reason that these books mean so much to me is they are so true to life while being a good escape.” It’s full of tragedy, clinging together, trying to solve issues in one’s own strength, and the all-encompassing, all-sufficient power of God. There are no words to describe the depth and beauty of this book.

I love that character development is a strong element of this series. I love how I still feel like Jace and Kyrin are the same Jace and Kyrin from Resistance, only so much more mature. There weren’t a whole lot of new characters in this book, which I actually appreciate. The cast of characters is so large already, and time spent with our favorites is a joy.

Alex was a refreshing character to get to know. I loved having him in the story – he was not at all stereotypical. I’m quite interested in what he may do next. His goals and motives were very understandable – I appreciated the depth of his motives. He was very well crafted.

The description in narrative sections is a weaker part of the story for me. For me, when the story is shown through the character’s eyes, it immerses me in the story, draws me along, and makes me feel like I’m experiencing, not reading. However, the action, dialogue, romantic, and emotional scenes excelled at this!

Bitter Winter is absolutely cohesive. I loved the flow of the scenes and plot: very natural, easy to read, logical, and appropriate. The description of the emotions connects with me well. Reactions felt very appropriate. High emotion scenes felt real. The author does an excellent job portraying real emotions without being unnecessarily dramatic.

Dialogue feels great to me. I love how I can especially feel Trask and Daniel’s unique voices throughout their POV scenes.

Overall, Bitter Winter is a great length with a great plot and a great message. It’s exactly what a story should be – especially the spiritual flow of Jace’s storyline – so perfect. The ending is so sweetly done and beautiful. It’s everything I hoped it would be. I love how the whole book ties together with the themes when the story begins and in the ending scenes.

Despite one particular sad incident in this book, I love this story. Despite what the author puts the characters through, it’s a beautiful tale. I wish the story could have gone differently for one particular character in this book, but I love this story and all Jace and the others learn through it. I love how the author set up Jace’s choices – set him up so gently and yet desperately that it’s easy to see why it’s impossible. Overall, it’s a tale of love – love that must be sacrificed, love that must to be placed entirely in Elom’s hands.

I especially love what the author is doing with this series. This book in particular has an important message to believers woven throughout its pages. It’s something deep and near to everyone’s hearts – the suffering, the helplessness, the difficulty of surrender, and the need to let God be Lord. This is beautifully shown through Bitter Winter, and it’s what causes this book to rate as one of my favorites in this series so far. I love stories that get down to that personal deep level, and seeing that in Jace – after he’s come so far – was beautiful.

Carrie Mouse Book Review

Morgan and Rebekah Huneke are releasing an adorable children’s book! Morgan wrote the story and Rebekah did the illustrations.


About the Book

Martha Squirrel made her journey down the big hill seem like a grand adventure. But what happens when Carrie Mouse disobeys her mama and explores the giant garage?

Inspired by a true story, Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage tells the story of a young mouse who gets trapped in the garage of the human house at the bottom of the hill. Beautifully illustrated with clay sculptures, this is a book you won’t want to miss!

Buy Now

Add to Goodreads

IMG_4127 croppedAbout the Author

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. She is the author of several middle grade novels including the Time Captives fantasy trilogy and one YA fairy tale retelling novella entitled Twisted Dreams. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first picture book.

To learn more about Morgan and her work, visit or

IMG_4522 - Copy croppedAbout the Illustrator

Rebekah Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia with her parents, sisters, and yellow Labrador named Sophie. She has been working with Sculpey since age nine, and sells her creations in the Klay Kottage Etsy shop. She also creates and sells stuffed animals and knitted goods. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing cello and piano. Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is her first book.

To learn more about Rebekah and her work, visit or follow @klaykottage on Instagram

My Review!

carrie2Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage is a short moral tale of learning to listen to the wisdom of parents and those older and wiser than you. Throughout the book, we follow Carrie Mouse as she discovers the importance of this valuable lesson.

I read this book with my toddler and we both enjoyed the story. As a parent, I can be quick to testify that this book carries the values and character that I’m happy to model for my children through their reading material. While all books don’t have to be such strictly “moral tales,” I appreciate those that are – especially when my child finds the book fascinating as well.

I especially appreciated the respectful, loving way in which the parents spoke to Carrie. So often children’s books portray parents as – quite frankly – rude, yelling at their children, telling them “no” for no evident reason, and just downright being negatively-minded towards the child. Carrie’s parents speak out of true love: not giving in to Carrie’s wants and not relenting in their job as her protectors, but also showing through their words and manner how much they care about Carrie and how their words are only motivated from a desire for her well-being.

My toddler also loved the book. She still keeps asking to “read the Mr. Mouse book” (either he was the character that stuck with her most, or else she thought Carrie’s full name is Mr. Mouse). Her favorite page was near the beginning, when Mrs. Mouse and Carrie have their important conversation. (“Read the cat page, Mama!”)

As I was posting this review, my toddler and her five-year-old aunt came over wanting to read the book again. The five-year-old’s comment after we finished: “A story about a mouse. That’s cool!”

The illustrations are fabulous! So homey, quaint, and cute. The colors are vivid, and the style is consistent throughout. The attention to tiny details truly causes the pages to shine.

All in all, this is a fun little story I highly recommend.


Morgan and Rebekah will be giving away a signed copy of Carrie Mouse and the Giant Garage with a handmade Carrie Mouse doll! ISN’T THIS FANTASTIC? My toddler, for one, would love a stuffed animal that matches her favorite stories. 🙂 Second prize is a signed copy of the book only. Be sure to enter the giveaway! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Five Fall Favorites: Top Five for 2018


Welcome to the last day of Five Fall Favorites, a week-long book party hosted by Read Another Page with party “rooms” at various literary blogs! Each blog had a different theme for the day and each blog shared five favorite books each day in a specific genre.

Things are winding down at the Literary Lodge – giveaway winners will be announced as well as other exciting happenings. But today we have a special treat for you: free and cheap books! So be sure to read to the end to find them.

Today I’m hosting the Blankets party room, and today I’ll be sharing my top five reads from 2018: my favorite books I’ve read so far this year.blankers

Pick your favorite blanket from one of these baskets here and join me on the swings.

The creaking of the chains blends with chirping of birds and the gentle whispering of the breeze, bringing a definite autumn chill. I wrap my blue and white crocheted blanket more firmly around me as readers select their blankets and find a seat. Continue reading