An Engagement of Sorts by Alene Wecker

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: An Engagement of Sorts
Author: Alene Wecker
Genre: Regency Romance
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: August 9, 2021

Much to her mother’s dismay, spirited Anne Fletcher spent her youth seeking her father’s approval by hunting and riding. More comfortable in breeches than ball gowns, Anne sees the freedoms she once enjoyed slowly taken from her in the name of fashioning her into an eligible young lady. When her parents try to force her into marriage, Anne makes a desperate attempt to salvage her last vestige of independence. If she is to marry, she will do so on her own terms. 

Anne strikes a deal: if she cannot secure a man for herself, she will agree to marry the husband her parents approved. She soon finds herself in the last place she would ever choose—that stifling parade of etiquette, the London Season. Anne’s plan is in motion. Now all she needs is a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Deseret | Seagull

About the Author

Alene Wecker (Author of An Engagement of Sorts)

Debut novelist Alene Wecker stumbled into the profession while trying to entertain herself during a banal bout of bedrest. But the characters in her head wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave them space on the page. She hopes you will be as entertained by her character’s antics as she was.

As a mother, voice teacher, and opera singer, she must have a penchant for fun but poorly-paid professions. She likes to pretend that her experience and master’s degree in vocal performance come in handy as she describes debutantes who, like herself, speak several languages and are frequently forced to display their mediocre skills at the pianoforte.

Alene lives in a century-old, Craftsman-style home in Lehi, Utah, with her husband, six children, and a prankster of a ghost whom she has affectionately named Casper.

Connect with Alene: Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Youtube

My Review

An Engagement of Sorts
by Alene Wecker
Rating: 4.5/5

I love finding new authors who write beautiful and witty stories about love and its many mishaps. Alene Wecker does it all with hilarious aplomb and I can’t wait to read more from her. I enjoyed the story so much that I purchased the ebook for myself! 😉

As someone who enjoys reading about strong female leads, especially in times where women were regarded as the “weaker sex”, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main character, Anne Fletcher, was so relatable and passionate and never felt like she fit in the way her mother wanted her to. She preferred to ride and hunt with her father and brother. When Anne is sent to London for her first “season” she must do her best to find a fiancé to prevent herself from marrying her best friend (who she loves as a brother), Will Skinner, the local country vicar. When the flirtatious Mr. Thomas Paling continues to call on her and frustrate her, she must learn to hide her feelings about him. When faced with past trauma, Anne must find a way to rescue her friends from an evil man and Mr. Paling offers to help her. Can she and Mr. Paling work together to obtain the evidence to put an evil man behind bars? Can Anne continue to deny what’s in her heart?

The author weaves a clever and hilarious story about two people who are flashy and passionate and don’t fit the mold that society dictates. I feel like everyone has felt like they didn’t fit the mold at one time in their lives. The characters are so relatable and adorable and I just loved this romantic comedy. Though predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the story and would love to read more. Anne’s vibrant personality was so lively and endearing. I found Mr. Paling to be so endearing and passionate. The way that he believed in Anne was so inspiring and beautiful.

“Do not change who you are because of me. You are a rushing waterfall so loud it deafens all else. Your beauty is in your raw power. Stop trying to tame yourself into a tinkling fountain.”

Highly recommend if you enjoy Jen Turano and Esther Hatch’s writing with feisty heroines and hilarious banter and happenings.

Content: Clean read but some instances of predatory behavior toward women.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

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Follow Along on the Blog Tour!

Monday, August 23
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Tuesday, August 24
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Wednesday, August 25
Books Are Sanity
Inside the Wong Mind

Thursday, August 26
Books and Socks Rock
Julie Coulter Bellon
Bookworm Lisa

Friday, August 27
Why Not? Because I Said So
Min Reads and Reviews

Saturday, August 28
All the Bookish Adventures
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Reading with Emily


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The Sultan and the Storyteller by Lichelle Slater

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: The Sultan and the Storyteller
Series: A Villain’s Ever After #2
Author: Lichelle Slater
Release Date: August 20, 2021

For thirty-nine nights, the sultan of Zunbar has chosen a new wife.
For thirty-nine dawns, they are pronounced dead.

When Sultan Zayne summons my best friend to be taken as his newest victim, I can no longer pretend to be blind and volunteer in her stead. My only plan–weave a story each night and hopefully learn why he would kill in the first place.

As I unravel the tapestry of lies, I learn there’s more going on inside the gilded walls of the palace than anyone in the land could ever realize. I’ve woven myself into the story, and if I don’t pull on the right thread, it’s not only my life at stake but my heart.

The Sultan and the Storyteller is one of twelve short novels in A Villain’s Ever After, a collection of standalone stories featuring villainous twists on some of your favourite classic fairytales. Read the series in any order for magical adventures . . . and fall in love with villains as you’ve never seen them before. Who said villains can’t have happily-ever-afters?

Click HERE to grab your copy or read on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author

Lichelle Slater

Personal dragon trainer, lover of glitter, writer of fantasy.

Lichelle Slater is a USA Today Bestselling author and was nominated as Best Debut Author at UtopiaCon in 2017 for “Step Right Up.” She was also nominated in 2020 for Mind-Blowing Fantasy of the year with “The Siren Princess” and Unforgettable Book of the Year with “The Beast Princess” at Penned Con.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her adorable King Charles Spaniel, Perseus, and works full-time as a special education preschool teacher.

My Review

The Sultan and the Storyteller
By Lichelle Slater
Rating: 4/5

As someone who enjoys fairytale retellings, I was super excited to read A Villain’s Ever After story based off of 1001 Nights – I’ve never read a retelling of that story before and it did NOT disappoint.

Shahira is the eldest daughter of the vizier who has to hide and contain her magic. She is a storyteller who can infuse her magic into her stories and make them come true. When her best friend’s life is threatened by becoming the next bride of the Sultan, Shahira decides to volunteer in her stead. 39 brides lost is enough and Shahira won’t allow the murderous sultan to continue when she has the power to stop him. When she realizes that there’s more to the story, she and the sultan must learn to trust each other and discover where the evil shadows come from before it’s too late.

Beautifully written characters against a lavish backdrop create such a thrilling story with magic and romance and mystery. Since this book is only the prequel to a new series by Lichelle Slater, I look forward to reading more.

Highly recommend if you enjoy fairytale retellings with magic, romance and mystery.

My thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: The Nature of Small Birds
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction
Publisher: Revell, 368 pages
Release Date: July 6, 2021

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

Read an excerpt here.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it’s a congenital condition, one she’s quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother’s Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (2015), Finkbeiner’s bestselling historical set in 1930s Oklahoma, has been compared to the work of John Steinbeck and Harper Lee (which flatters Susie’s socks off). Pearl’s story continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (2017) and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (2018).

What does she have planned after that? More stories, of course. She’s a junkie. She couldn’t quit if she wanted to.

She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.

Connect with Susie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Bookbub | Goodreads

My Review

The Nature of Small Birds
By Susie Finkbeiner
Rating: 3.5/5

“It’s the nature of small birds to sing their hearts out. And it’s the nature of God to hear them.”

As someone who is a third generation Chinese-American, I was super interested in the story when I read about it. I was unfamiliar with Operation Babylift and wanted to know more. However, as I continued to read the story, I found myself getting confused by the jumping around in perspectives and timelines. It was clearly labeled by chapter but it was harder for me to track. While I found parts of the story really interesting, there were a lot of other parts that did not keep my attention. I struggled with wanting to like the book but wanting to be honest about how the book lacked making an impact on me. The book has some great quotes but it did not connect with me as much as I was thinking it would. The story seems well written and thought out but I just didn’t enjoy it the way I thought I would. 

“Sometimes the dreams of the young were replaced by those they never could have dared to imagine.
It didn’t mean that one dream was better than another. They were just different.”

This book is a story about family and what it means to bring a little child into your home who doesn’t share your culture and language and the journey to becoming one family. It’s a beautiful picture of adoption and the love that grows out of that choice. Does it have its flaws? Yes, but it still resonates with some heartfelt truths which make it worth reading. 

Recommend if you enjoy books that alternate perspectives and timelines and tell a family’s story.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received. 

CelebrateLit Blog Tour & Giveaway: Rahab’s Courage by Naomi Craig

About the Book

Title: Rahab’s Courage
Author: Naomi Craig
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release date: August 17, 2021

A scarlet cord tethers one ruined woman to the salvation of mankind.

Harboring two fugitives in a city slated for destruction, Rahab has one small chance of escape. In exchange for their safety, she bargains for her own. Their agreement rewards her courage, and she flees Jericho and a life of prostitution for a new life among the people of Israel. Never again will she have to depend on anyone—especially men.

Except Salmah won’t take the hint.

High ranking soldier and leader of the tribe of Judah, Salmah is determined not to repeat his parents’ mistakes. He will keep the Lord’s commandments. Rahab’s growing faith fits right in with phase one of his plans: find a wife who loves the Lord and settle down in the new land.

Rahab finds shelter and meaning in the Lord’s ways until her past comes back to haunt her. As her new faith is put to test, she finds herself alone. Isn’t that what she’d always wanted?

With her courage waning, only the Lord can turn Rahab’s life around again, but will He do it before she loses everyone and everything that really matters to her—to her heart?

Click here to get your copy! (Also available on Kindle Unlimited)

About the Author

Hi, I’m Naomi.

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, Pastor’s wife, and mom to an amazing young lady. I love reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. 

When I’m not serving in various areas at church, homeschooling my daughter or trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes, you’ll most likely find me enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee.

Throughout my years in ministry, I’ve learned this:

 Life is hard. God is still good.

My goal is to walk alongside you and offer support. Because you are not alone. 

You have value, even when you are feeling overwhelmed. You are an amazing work of art! You are loved and you belong.

Connect with Naomi: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

My Review

Rahab’s Courage
by Naomi Craig
Book 1 in Yahweh’s Legacy series
Rating: 4.5/5

“Shame has no place if you have been claimed by love.”

Wow. I know I start a lot of reviews with that word but it’s true. This is a WOW story. I’ve always appreciated the story of Rahab and her courage at trusting the God of the Israelites, but this book put so much more into perspective. This book illustrated some of the struggles and prejudices Rahab endured at the hand of the people who should have accepted her. The anguish and the shame she experienced because of her past was not a convenient obstacle for her. She chose to trust but still struggled to see herself the way Yahweh did. I also got so frustrated at Salmah for his pride and arrogance when he was not demonstrating the love and forgiveness of God. I really liked how the author was not afraid to delve into post-traumatic stress and how Rahab had to deal with her past trauma.

The message of hope is harder to read in the Old Testament with the Law, but the hope and forgiveness of the Gospel is still evident in this story. Dealing with past trauma is necessary but not easy and the author highlights the struggle in a very authentic way. Rahab’s story in the Bible is relatively short, so I loved how the author wove a tale that was relatable and heart-wrenching but still spoke of God’s love and healing.

“You were called by name to be a part of Israel because Yahweh has a purpose for you. A purpose no trial or man can diminish.”

PG-13 content. As Rahab was a harlot, this story addresses prostitution, rape, and post-traumatic stress.

Highly recommend this book if you enjoy Biblical fiction that isn’t afraid to address racial and social prejudices and post-traumatic stress.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Naomi

Matthew 1:4b-6a (NKJV)

Nahshon begot Salmon.  Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,  and Jesse begot David the king.

On the brink of war and conquering the Promised Land, The Israelites stand fierce and determined, ready to see God’s victory. This time they will not waiver.  This time, obedience will be their theme. But it wasn’t always that the Israelites stood with resolve as strong as Jericho’s impenetrable walls.

Rewind forty years. The Israelites have just been delivered from slavery in Egypt. 12 spies were sent into the land and brought back a good report. There were bountiful crops peace and giants.

Nahshon, as the leader of Judah (Numbers 2:3), should have been influential in his tribe’s decision to trust the Lord—especially since Caleb one of the two who trusted, was from Judah. Yet nobody believed. They all grumbled. So instead of what should have been a quick journey, it took forty years.

And the entire generation couldn’t enjoy the benefits of trusting God and His promise.

Enter Salmah.

He sees the penalty of his father’s disobedience. It shapes his life he adheres to the ways of the Lord. Plague after disobedience hardens his resolve. He will obey the laws of the Lord so it will go well with him in the new land.

So what is a man with this moral stature doing with a Canaanite? A harlot? Every sordid detail that makes up Rahab goes against his moral fiber.

But faith.

Faith that was spoken about all the way into the New Testament. Rahab steps out in sacrificial faith to a God she doesn’t yet know, for strangers who have no reason to trust her.

As such, the Lord honored her faith. As He does when you and I step out on that limb because we’ve felt that stirring in our soul.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Not only did the Lord spread His mantle of protection over Rahab, He also saw fit to include her in the lineage of His Son, Jesus.

Rahab’s Courage is a love story. A story of stepping out in faith. Of changing expectations of yourself and others. Of how the Lord can redeem and use any who are willing to put off the old and become that new creation.

***The scripture is clear that Rahab is a harlot. Due to the nature of this life, this story addresses prostitution, rape, and post traumatic stress. Please use caution with younger readers and if these subjects would act as a trigger for you. If Rahab’s Courage was a movie, it would have a rating of PG-13.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, August 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 13

Inside the Wong Mind, August 14

Inklings and notions, August 14

For Him and My Family, August 15

Breny and Books, August 15

lakesidelivingsite, August 16

She Lives to Read, August 17

Boondock Ramblings, August 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 18

Betti Mace, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 20

deb’s Book Review, August 21

Cats in the Cradle Blog , August 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 22

Through the fire blogs, August 22

Connie’s History Classroom, August 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 24

Labor Not in Vain, August 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 25

Back Porch Reads, August 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 26


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

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