Thursday, August 30, 2018

THE BEST OF INTENTIONS by Susan Anne Mason, review by Trixi Oberembt

I admire Grace’s determination in fulfilling her promise to her ill mother. Not knowing what will happen on the other side of the ocean and facing the Easton’s who rejected her sister Rose is a mighty bold move in my mind. What she finds on the other end is not what she expected when she finds tragedy that scatters her plans awry! Even more bold, is obtaining the nanny position under the guise of an assumed name. Knowing the risk of the family finding out who she is, she forges forward in the desire to get to know her young nephew.

Upon meeting Christian’s uncle and guardian, Andrew, the picture she had in mind is not what reality is. She quickly finds her heart tangling in feelings she doesn’t know what to do with. Not only is he handsome, but he truly cares for the boy and will do what is needed to care and provide for him. Along with the rest of the Easton family who’ve lost too much already--Mr. and Mrs. a son, Virginia aka Ginny, a brother. I think having Christian around is helping their hearts heal and Grace soon finds this to be true the more she observes them.

This is a story of how all of these things play out. For me, it was chock full of emotion both happy and sad. My heart went out to both Grace and Andrew as they struggled with regret, guilt, remorse and feelings of not being enough, especially when it comes to their parents. Also how there were many reminders that in spite of human feelings, they are always enough in the eyes of God and nothing will dampen His love for them. I really love how this came together and how it kept me engrossed in it. When you pick up a book to read and it’s as if you’ve literally stepped into the pages and feel a part of everything going on you know it’s a good one! I couldn’t help but feel like the characters were people I would like to get to know…though Cecilia tried my patience on more than one occasion. She’s the spoiled socialite. If I could have reached through the pages to shake some sense into Andrew, I would have! Grace is the epitome of her name; gentle, graceful, never afraid to speak the truth in love and softhearted. She’s everyone’s friend and feels things deeply. Andrew is the swoon-worthy hero, though he struggles with regret and trying to prove himself to his father. He’s loyal to his family and will do the right thing, even risking losing his own happiness for family obligation. But we all know you can’t fight true love and when it comes knocking on their doors, will they have the courage to open it?

Emotional and gripping, you don’t want to miss this! I can’t express how much depth this holds and all the layers the reader unfolds as the pages fly through your fingers. Susan Anne Mason is a master of telling stories that touch your heart and feed your soul at the same time. It left me smiling and wanting more and I can’t wait until the next book in the Canadian Crossing series!

P.S. It was fascinating to learn about Canada's Dominion Day, July 1st. Seems to be much like our own Fourth of July celebration with family activities and fireworks to end the day with. Probably called Canada day in today's modern world! How fun to learn history through fiction.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers on behalf of the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own*


In the aftermath of WWI, Grace Abernathy is determined to reunite with her family, crossing an ocean to convince her widowed sister to return home to England. Yet Toronto holds more tragedy and her nephew Christian is now in the custody of his paternal relatives, the formidable Easton family, who rejected Grace's sister because of her low social status.

Unconvinced the Eastons can be fitting caretakers, Grace jumps at the chance to be Christian's nanny and observe the family up close under an assumed name. In the course of her new position, she is shocked to discover herself falling for Andrew Easton, the boy's guardian. Unfortunately, Andrew is promised to a spoiled socialite who will make a terrible stepmother for Christian. Will Grace be able to protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
BUY The Best of Intentions at Amazon
BUY The Best of Intentions at

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

WHERE THE FIRE FALLS by Karen Barnett, Reviewed by Kim

First, I just have to mention the cover of this book. It is perfect! Second, it took me twice as long as normal to read this book, because I spent so much time googling all the landmarks at Yosemite, hairstyles, and even songs! I feel like I’ve actually been to Yosemite after reading this story. And it is now on my bucket list! The descriptive writing makes it so easy to picture the scenery while also making you want to actually see the scenery. And I loved the authors note at the end where Karen talks about the true aspects of the story.

Now for my review. In short, this a another great book by Karen Barnett! As I mentioned in my review of The Road to Paradise (another awesome story!), Karen is the best at naturally weaving in Biblical truths and verses into her stories. It never feels forced or like it’s coming out of left field. Clark is such a wonderful character. He’s caring, understanding, protective, and just an overall great guy. He’s at Yosemite trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

Liv is hiding from her past - literally! She’s changed her name, her looks, and even her personality. Once she begins to shed her made up persona, and lets her real self come out, she is a great match for Clark. There is so much more I could say about this wonderful story!

But, I’ll end by saying I highly recommend this book and you should all buy it! I cannot wait for the next in this series. Karen has definitely become an auto buy author for me!

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it. This is my honest opinion.

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as "pervaded with divine light."

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region's wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

 After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he's faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

 As Clark opens Olivia's eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park's story as its vistas--a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

Available in paperback, digital ebook and hardcover:
BUY Where the Fire Falls at Amazon 
BUY Where the Fire Falls at 

Monday, August 27, 2018

BLIND BETRAYAL by Nancy Mehl, Review by Paula Shreckhise

Blind Betrayal by Nancy Mehl is the third installment of the Defenders of Justice series about US Marshalls in St. Louis, Missouri.

US Marshall Casey Sloane and her partner Doug Howard have a federal witness, Valerie Bennet, in custody. They are taking her to Washington D.C. in order for her to testify against a corrupt member of the government. FBI agent E.J. Queen, a former partner of Casey’s, is going to accompany them. An incident at the headquarters in St. Louis forces them to change plans. They are on the run from a seriously bad guy and his minions. Who do they trust and how will they get their witness safely to the feds? 

This was one wild ride. Nancy gives us a glimpse of what a US Marshall might have to deal with in a scary scenario. They need to outwit the evil mastermind who is pulling the strings. But how does he know their every move?

E.J. and Casey, who are both Christians, convey the theme that God is to be trusted and relied upon even when circumstances seem unsurmountable. E.J. and Casey have a history, so a touch if romance is included, too.

If you want non-stop adventure, latch on to this book and don’t forget to pick up the whole series. It is so suspenseful, I can hardly wait for Nancy’s next book!

*I received this book from the author in a giveaway contest. I was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.*

Back cover Blurb:
Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

Available in paperback, digital ebook, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Blind Betrayal at Amazon
Buy Blind Betrayal at

Saturday, August 25, 2018

THE TRUTH BETWEEN US by Tammy L. Gray, review by Winnie Thomas

Tammy L. Gray is a master at creating messy, broken lives for her characters. Then, she throws them in and proceeds to stir them around and mix them up before healing them and bringing them out as better people. In her book The Truth Between Us, the main characters, April and Sean, are both hurting from a major breakup between them. I had a little difficulty liking April at first due to her brash, and sometimes tactless, demeanor. As the story progressed, it was easy to see her defense mechanisms and why she reacted to situations the way she did. I liked Sean with his easy-going manner and his loyalty to April, even when she pushes him away. He’s not without his faults, but his unconditional love for April easily won me over. 

Gray is not afraid to tackle hard, gritty subjects and weave some inspirational threads through them. Forgiveness, mercy, unconditional love, and hope are all part of this compelling, transformational story. The Truth Between Us is the second book in Gray’s Bentwood series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but many of the characters from book one are included in book two. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Backcover Blurb:
Nine years to win her. Three years to love her. And one decision that destroyed it all.

April Duncan was raised with three clear truths: the family name is absolute, ambition and success rule over every emotion, and love always comes with strings attached. Image was everything in her carefully crafted world... until the mirror cracked.

Sean Taylor was April's best friend, the one man who taught her it was okay to let her guard down and to rely on someone. She trusted him. She loved him. Which made his deception the darkest kind of cruelty.

Now, nearly a year later, she’s ready to leave her failed engagement in the past and get back her life and her estranged family, even if it means dating a man solely for his connections. She’ll never again choose love over loyalty.

Sean has spent his entire life breaking barriers, facing challenges, and never giving up. Until one impossible choice destroyed his future and left him no option but to flee from the woman who annihilated his heart.

Now he’s back in Bentwood and determined to make her hear the truth and rebuild the trust he shattered. But April has become a mere shell of the woman who claimed his heart long ago.

Winning her back is more than just seizing a victory, because if he fails… the girl he’s loved for a lifetime will disappear forever.

The Truth Between Us is the second book in the Bentwood series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but it is recommended that you begin with book one to get the full experience among this tight group of family and friends.

Available at this time only in digital ebook:
Buy The Truth Between Us at Amazon

Friday, August 24, 2018

MURDER AT THE FLAMINGO by Rachel McMillan, review by Rebecca Maney

 "You are only as strong as the moment that finds you braver than you have ever been." 

Not many people would consider Hamish DeLuca to be brave; brilliant, introverted, unpredictably anxious maybe, but not brave. Or perhaps he just needed the opportunity. For when Hamish shrugs off an embarrassing debut into his legal career, and travels from Toronto, Canada to the bustling city of Boston, Massachusetts to visit his extravagant cousin Luca, he discovers that courage often needs just the right partner. After all, nothing will test one's heroism like solving a murder and no one fits Hamish quite like the dazzling Regina "Reggie" Van Buren.

Escaping her claustrophobic life as an heiress, while dodging an unwanted suitor, Reggie Van Buren decides that life in Boston is just what she needs. Accepting a secretarial position with the enigmatic new owner of the hottest club in town, she fields the most curious phone calls from Chicago and tries to pretend that everything leading up to the Flamingo's grand opening is above board. Besides, her boss's cousin would never step across any illegal lines; Hamish DeLuca is just as determined as she is to understand Luca's diverse set of business partners. If only a murder had not been thrown into the mix, they could have enjoyed the Flamingo's smashing debut, while making many more of their own memories on the dance floor.

Above all, "Murder at the Flamingo" a story to be savored and enjoyed; written by an author with an uncanny ability to write just the right words, creating a unique pair of charismatic characters who will undoubtedly capture your heart with their perfectly imperfect partnership and keen determination to "breathe" and "hope" towards the future. "Spira. Spera."


“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”
Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin's “right hand man,” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. 

* I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review or provide a favorable review.

BUY Murder at the Flamingo at Amazon
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

DEAD DRIFT by Dani Pettrey, review by Trixi Oberembt

The final installment of the Chesapeake Valor series ends in a thrilling suspense novel to savor! We finally get to meet Luke Gallagher who's remained a mystery from the start. He disappeared seven years ago on a secret mission and broke Kate Maxwell's heart in the process. Back with some chilling news about a biochemical terrorist attack on US soil, he once again joins the gang to stop the threat and catch the assassins all while trying to win back Kate's affection. Will he be successful in both missions or is it too late already? 

Fast-paced and gripping, I absolutely loved the edge-of-your seat feel to Dead Drift, as well as getting Luke's story at last! We now know where and what he's been involved in for the last seven years. His one regret is leaving Kate for so long when his missions with the CIA took him far away from home tracking down a terrorist. Getting to know the past relationship between them and what they needed to work through was fascinating to learn. I loved how both Luke and Kate fueled each other with their faith in God who would see them through and be by their side no matter what. Watching Luke grow in his faith and prayer life was the highlight for me. 

There's also a secondary mystery to solve with Griffin's sister Jenna's murder. With the help of his wife Finley, they track down the clues to close this cold case. Pettrey knows how to seamlessly weave these two together to make a story to keep you on your toes and following along with much loved characters. She's also not afraid to let her faith show in her stories, there's many reminders of how God will see me through my hard times in life. I admire authors who let the light and love of Christ shine in their books.

If you are like me and enjoy a good Christian romantic suspense to keep you up at night not wanting to miss a moment, this book (plus the whole series) is one I highly recommend! Dani Pettrey is a not-to-miss author.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own *

Backcover Blurb:
Burning debris littering the ground . . . smoke pluming in the acrid air . . . this is just the beginning if he fails.

Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target's latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.

Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster.

Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
BUY Dead Drift at Amazon
BUY Dead Drift at

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GHOST HEART by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry, Review by Rebecca Maney

"According to legend, their kind could never die. When they grew old, they simply vanished from this world, like smoke from the cooking fire . . . but not all legends are true." 

Deep within the wilds of Tanzania, brutality is masquerading as philanthropy. Major organs are being ripped from their sanctuary, particularly hearts; and if a man, woman, or child happens to be cursed with albino blood, there is little hope for survival. Caught in the middle of this terrible foray is pediatric transplant surgeon Mia Kendall, whose patients seem to be dying at a surprising rate, in spite of her meticulous techniques and use of anti-rejection medications. Suspecting that foul play is somehow involved at the highest level, Mia coaxes bush pilot Race Daniels into helping her untangle what appears to be an international web of deceit.

Miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio, a young mother is running a race against time; watching her young daughter's life seep out of her body day after day has been an agonizing journey with a very tragic ending in sight. Kelsey needs a new heart and parents with a million dollars in the bank; Catherine and Brad Taylor have neither, and their faith in each other is fading in the process. When it seems that an answer to prayer may be found in Africa, will Catherine risk everything dear to her own heart in exchange for her daughter's life?

This medical thriller is written with an acute sense of the sanctity of life while hurling its readers through peril and darkness before bursting back into the light. 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it or provide a positive review.

Back cover Blurb:
 A mother willing to risk everything for her child.
A surgeon desperate to cover his crimes.
Ripped from today's headlines comes an unforgettable, chilling medical thriller.

"Gripping, riveting, unnerving."

A brutal murder convinces Dr. Mia Kendall there's more than she imagined to the mysterious spike in heart transplant rejections. Determined to find answers before she loses another patient, Mia gets sucked into a dangerous international medical web. With time running out for her youngest transplant recipient, Mia is forced to partner with a disillusioned ex-military pilot who flies brokered organs across East Africa. But searching for the truth will prove costly, because there are some lines that should never be crossed.

From best-selling author Lisa Harris and award-winning author Lynne Gentry comes a haunting story that will take you from the suburbs of Cincinnati to the jungles of Africa.

Dear Reader,

In June, 2008 the Dallas Morning News carried a story on the atrocities committed against albinos in Tanzania. The picture of a terrified albino caught our attention. As we read about the horrors these fragile people face, we couldn't believe that such evil existed in the world. We did a little investigation and discovered that the genocide of albinos was being carried out simply because of the difference in the color of their skin.

The journey of these characters challenged us, comforted us, and pushed us to live life more courageously. But most of all, writing this story opened our hearts to wanting to do our part to create a world that loves no matter what the color of our skin, education, financial status, or nationality. And reminded us that God's light truly does shine, even in the darkest places. 

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
BUY Ghost Heart at Amazon

Monday, August 20, 2018

When is Too Early for Christmas Books?

Happy Back-to-School time! Maybe there's a crispness in the air where you live, but here, we're sweltering. School might be back in session, but it's still officially summer, and at my house, it feels like it.

But I'm getting into the Christmas spirit. Why so early, when the holiday is almost four long months away? Because fellow Inkie CJ Chase and I have a novella collection releasing from Barbour September 1:
Pre-order on Amazon here!
And we're excited! I'm gathering prizes for giveaways to go with the book's release (more on that later!), and thinking about pine needles, bayberry candles, red ribbon, and gingerbread.

The truth is, many holiday-themed books go on sale starting in September. And people buy them early, and read them, even though it's not yet autumn.

I've been known to do this. I have some favorites that I dig out and read every once in a while, all year through, especially when I need a dose of cheer. One particular tough summer, I read nothing but Christmas novellas.

There's something comforting about holiday stories that I crave, I guess--something symbolic of restoration, peace, and goodwill. Something that says "abide and rest" while grand things occur. Something with a touch of whimsy and fun. Something that makes kids' eyes sparkle and their cheeks turn pink.

There's also the deepest, most profound message of Christmas, one we sometimes forget the rest of the year: that the world is sin-weary, and God came into our weariness in humility and love, and opened His arms to us.

Now that's a message that deserves to be shared all year long!


How about you? When do you start reading Christmas stories?


Visit Susanne's website Sept 1 to enter a "Merry Christmas to Me" prize pack, including the book! Each year we tend to run ourselves ragged, so why not take a moment for yourself? Here's the link to click September 1! CLICK HERE

And stay tuned to the Inkwell, where we'll have a party celebrating the book's release!


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor's wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website,, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello:

Sunday, August 19, 2018

MISS SERENA'S SECRET by Carolyn Miller, review by Winnie Thomas

Carolyn Miller has fast become one of my favorite authors. Her novels set in Regency era England are brimming with historical detail, gripping plots, and fascinating characters. Miss Serena’s Secret is the second in the series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope. It can be read as a stand alone book, although characters from the first book in the series make an appearance in this one. 

The main characters, Serena Winthrop and Henry, Lord Carmichael, are realistic and layered, each of them with their own problems. Although Serena is wounded, hurting, and distrustful of men, she is striving to overcome her past experiences. Lord Carmichael is trying to leave his past behind and become a more worthy man. The author brings these two imperfect people together with wit, humor, a big dash of tenderness. A stellar supporting cast and an intriguing story line drew me into the story and kept me turning pages.

Miller has a talent for seamlessly adding elements of faith, forgiveness, redemption, and hope into her stories, bringing another layer of depth and enjoyment.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy excellent Regency stories. I’m looking forward to the next in this series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

How can a wounded young woman ever trust a too-flirtatious earl with her heart?

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He's gambled with plenty of ladies' hearts as easily as he has with their husbands' money. But lately he's wondered if there's more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.

When Serena's guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.

Then the lady's art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy, and familiar characters make appearances here. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen. 

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Miss Serena's Secret at Amazon
Buy Miss Serena's Secret at

Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE FASHION DESIGNER by Nancy Moser, Review by Paula Shreckhise

The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser is the second book in a series about a group of women who are involved in changes in women’s fashions around 1912. The first book is The Pattern Artist. It would be best to read The Pattern Artist first as The Fashion Designer builds on the people and relationships of the first book. 

I would recommend this book for those interested in sewing and early 20th Century fashion. Have you wondered about the beginnings of such fashion brands as Lane Bryant? Or how women went from custom made dresses to off-the-rack or ready to wear clothes? How did the first pattern companies come about?

The Fashion Designer follows Annie Culver and her friends as they try to realize their dream to bring clothes of ease and comfort to the average woman. Through their quest to open a dress shop, their faith is tested. But God is shown as an integral part of their lives. They rely on prayer and seek the best God has for them in their endeavors and in their personal relationships.

I liked how Nancy used the facts about Lane Bryant to further the story. She even uses the suffragette movement and the presidential election to great advantage.

This was an interesting read for me because I love history and I have been sewing for many years.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City

Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.

Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.

Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

Available in digital ebook, hardcover and paperback:
BUY The Fashion Designer at Amazon
BUY The Fashion Designer at

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

THIRST OF STEEL by Ronie Kendig, Review by Kim

I am at a loss as to how to write this review. How to get across how incredibly wonderful this story, no, this entire series is ~ with no spoilers. The twists and turns will keep you reading as fast as you can while holding your breath and hoping for no interruptions. You also might find yourself telling everyone in your house ~yes, everyone ~ what is happening.
So, here is what I can say. I loved reconnecting with all the old characters. The camaraderie between the guys is great and I love the fierce loyalty they have to each other. I love the pops of humor throughout. There is also a wonderful new character ~ Mercy. I love her! She is funny, super smart, and the names she gives people are hilarious! And, of course, there’s TOX. Pretty much the best male character ever! I also have to say I totally cried - a lot. And I shamelessly bugged my reader friends to find someone who has read this story because I needed to talk about it! Thank you Ronie for the spoilers page!

Ronie is a master!! She beautifully weaves the ancient story with the current story. Agh! I wish I could spoiler because this book is just so awesome and beautifully ties everything together. I hate that this series is over. This entire series is in a class by itself as is Ronie Kendig!

Update: I wrote this review the day I finished this book ~ 11 days ago! And I cannot get this story or the characters off of my mind! Ronie Kendig is a master at storytelling! This series should be made into a movie! It’s just that good.

*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell only wants to begin his life with Haven Cortes, but he must first complete a final mission: retrieve that sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order.

The AFO, however, is determined to claim the sword. Wielding their father's life over Tzivia and Ram Khalon, they threaten to expose Ram's long-held and dangerous secret while demanding Tzivia locate the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things only worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the sword is tied to both Ram's secret and a string of unsolved serial murders.

Tox, Ram, and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to focus only on the enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must stop or take the enemy down with them.

BUY Thirst of Steel at Amazon
BUY Thirst of Steel at

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A DANGEROUS DECEPTION by Debra E. Marvin, review by Trixi Oberembt

A story with two Pinkerton agents? Count me in! These are among my favorite kind to read because I know there’s going to be a case to solve, and I like trying to solve it right along with them. 

Andromeda (Andy) Barrington and Connell O’Brien have two separate missions and two criminals to catch. But they can’t alert the town of Jerome, Arizona as to their real identities, and a good Pinkerton agent can pull it off and catch their man at the same time. Another reviewer called Andy sassy and quirky, and I’d have to agree with that. She has enough spunk and smarts to fool the best of them. There were enough clues to guess what her past life was too! As for Connell, I’m a sucker for an Irish accent and he has plenty of that to go around! Putting that aside, he’s a good agent and plays his cards just right to catch his murderer. These two end up working together tangling missions and hearts! My favorite part of the story is always the happily-ever-after. I also found it to be action packed and a little bit of danger to keep me on my toes. 

What I loved the most was Debra put circus definitions before each chapter. For example, did you know that the term “Gag” is the short, silly clown tricks used as transitions between circus acts? Or that “Circus Candy” is the fancy packaged, yet low quality sweets hawked to circus crowds with the promise of secret prizes inside? These little tidbits where fascinating to learn and added fun to the story; makes me want to find a circus near me to go to!

All in all, this was a good afternoon read with just the right amount of pages and plenty to keep me interested and invested.

*I received a complimentary copy from the author and was under no obligation to leave a positive review. *


Jerome, Arizona Territory, 1899
When Andromeda Barr left her colorful past behind in pursuit of a normal—albeit solo—life, she didn’t exactly settle for the mundane. Performing is in her blood, and right now she has to believe she’s lying for all the right reasons—justice for the excluded, the overlooked of society—a debt she owes to the two unusual people who raised her.

Pinkerton Agent Connell O’Brien is on the trail of a wanted murderer holed up in ‘the wickedest town in the west.’ Hiding his identity is part of the job, but when he meets the surprising Miss Barrington, he begins to wonder how many secrets are too many.

Two close calls with disaster seem to suggest it’s time they both stop running from the guilt of the past and let mercy catch up, but will these two solo acts join forces before the danger of discovery becomes a matter of life or death? 

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Paperback coming soon.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS by Rachel Fordham, review by Rebecca Maney

"Soon enough she'd be back to merely surviving, but for now, in this moment, the world felt brighter." 

Sleeping in a barn and working for non-existent wages, the past seven years have not been kind to Em ("a mighty plain name for a mighty plain girl"), but it seems that a near death experience has totally changed her life. Nearly bleeding to death from a gunshot wound, and terribly malnourished, Em is found unconscious by several residents of Azure Springs, Iowa. When the local sheriff begins to unpack Em's story, " . . his gut (tells) him that this was no usual crime"; Caleb Reynolds is a determined man, and the waif like victim has quite the story to tell.

Living with a gracious, esteemed family in the community during her convalescence, Em struggles to find her place; uneducated and rather ordinary in appearance, she wraps herself in their kindness; the likes of which she has never known. When her friendship deepens with the handsome sheriff, uninvited trouble appears on the horizon. And her future remains rather murky; for Em is determined to find the younger sister that she was forced to leave behind.

"Sometimes the steepest roads lead to the grandest views."

A lovely debut with some inevitable predictability, but also sprinkled with glimpses of life's uncertainties and a beautiful ending.  

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing through "Interviews and Reviews". *I was under no obligation to review or provide a positive review.

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won't be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He's determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn't expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

Available in paperback, digital ebook and hardcover:
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

AMONG THE POPPIES by J'Nell Ciesielski, review by Winnie Thomas

Among the Poppies is such a riveting, compelling story that it was hard to believe that it is a debut novel. Not only did it draw me in immediately, but it kept me captivated and turning pages long past my bedtime. Set against the backdrop of England and France during World War I, and populated with realistic, endearing, and courageous characters springing to life on the page, Ciesielski masterfully weaves a story of heartache, turmoil, bravery, and sacrifice. She doesn’t mince words or sugar-coat when it comes to the brutality and suffering endured during the war, yet the witty banter, lovable characters and heart-stopping romance temper it to make an amazing story. 

I loved the rich historical detail, the feisty, independent heroine, Gwyn, and the courageous, honorable hero, William, along with the superb cast of secondary characters. The tender message of faith and hope adds another layer to the story. I’m looking forward to the next book from this extremely talented author. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic historical fiction.

Can their love survive? Or will it become another casualty of war?
The ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never—under any circumstances—fixes an automobile. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps about being the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the English Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffer's daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. She's not about to let her social status or gender prevent her from serving her country. Not even a handsome captain can distract her from her mission. Most of the time.

Captain William Crawford wouldn't wish the ravages of war on any man, much less the captivating woman who insists on driving into battle instead of staying safely at home. He can't deny that the troops need more medical help, but not when it puts innocent women in danger. How can he lead his men against the Jerries while worrying about Gwyn's safety?

Bound together by circumstances, Gwyn and William can't stop the love growing between them. Can their relationship survive, or will it become another casualty of war?

*I purchased Among the Poppies and was under no obligation to review it or provide a positive review. This is my own opinion

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

REFUGE OF THE HEART by Ruth Logan Herne, review by Kim

Ruthy is one of my favorite auto buy authors. Refuge of the Heart was the first book of hers that I read and it’s one of my all time favorite books.

I know that my words will not do it justice.

Lena’s Chechnyan past is just heartbreaking, but she is trying to put it behind her. She is so grateful for the little she has and totally relies on God to sustain her. She is truly a beautiful character. Her little sister Anna is precious. You will love her. Ruthy writes the best children - ever!

Another thing Ruthy is great at? Writing awesome hero’s! Mitch has been through a horrible tragedy. He has closed himself off, but when he steps in to help Lena and Anna, he is smitten. I immediately loved Mitch and how he interacted with both Lena and Anna. 

While this story might make you tear up a bit, it will also make you laugh (poor Lena and those pesky idioms!) and, most importantly, it will make you think. This book is beautifully written and a must read!

I also highly highly recommend More Than a Promise and The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 

 District attorney Mitchell Sanderson lost his family to tragedy. He became a dogged prosecutor, with an enviable conviction rate. But when faith, conscience and love of a troubled refugee ripple the smooth waters of his existence, can Mitch risk everything for love?

Magdalena Serida fought her way out of a government-quelled uprising in Chechnya. The church-sponsored refugee knows the horrors of war first-hand. Now in America with her five-year-old sister, Lena is uncertain who to trust. Her faith has maintained her through the loss of her family, but when Mitch Sanderson shows interest, Lena longs to take a chance. Should she open herself up to this man of law and order, a man who imprisons women like her? Or slip quietly back into the shadowed fringe of anonymity?

Reflecting the world's turbulence and the plight of global refugees, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne shrinks the vast numbers to the story of one woman... one child... the travesty of war and the grace of peace in this Maggie Award-winning book of faith, hope, love... and freedom. Lena's story won't just grab your heart. It will touch your soul.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE by Karen Witemeyer, review by Paula Shreckhise

More Than Meets The Eye (Patchwork Family) by Karen Witemeyer is the first in a series of books set in 1894 Texas.

“When her family is threatened, she doesn’t expect falling in love to be their defense” 

This book is set in Pecan Gap, Texas, 1894.

Everybody is hiding secrets: Evangeline Hamilton, with her mismatched eyes is considered a freak. Evie, along with her adopted brothers, Zach and Seth, are hiding their real last names so they can continue as a family. Logan Fowler is hiding his identity as he seeks justice for his mother— or is it revenge? The main characters keep asking themselves: Where do my loyalties lie? As circumstances change, so do those definitions of justice and revenge. Can the love of God and human devotion overcome and unite these very different people?

Karen Witemeyer delivers a delightful story with her signature humor and fiesty heroine and a hero who is trying to do the right thing. She causes the reader to ponder the issues of prejudice and acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation. And whose justice should we really be seeking?

A satisfying and exciting conclusion to this old west tale will make you glad you ventured into Pecan Gap.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing. I was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? 

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