Wednesday, October 31, 2018

ETERNITY BETWEEN US by Stephenia H. McGee, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Eternity Between Us by Stephenia McGee is a top notch historical book set during the Civil War.

This book focuses on a Southern girl, born and bred, and a Northern man at the end of his medical studies. Can the gulf between them be crossed?

Evelyn Mapleton is beholden to her Aunt and cousin while her father is away reporting on the war. They have no real fondness for her, she is more of an obligation to them. She is outspoken about her support of the South and intends to help in some way. 

Samuel Flynn, a Yankee, has one desire: to finish his practical requirements under his Mentor, Dr. Porter, and go back home to help his father in his medical practice. His job for the foreseeable future is to tend to the broken soldiers at a field hospital near Washington D.C.

This book has a different slant of usual Civil War stories. The reasons for loyalty to one side or the other is not so clear cut. It shows the everyday problems that occur when war rears its ugly head.

Stephenia writes a very detailed account of certain happenings. She has researched well and tells us of women spies and how they helped their chosen side.

Each of the main characters has a strong faith in God and staunch reasons why they believe as they do. But they can always be led by the Spirit of God. God comes through and keeps them and shows them the best way to resolve their differences and carry on.

The author’s lyrical prose and characterization is a joy to read. And there were a few surprises just to keep the reader on his toes! Stephenia McGee is fast becoming a favorite author!

I recommend this book to fans of Civil War stories. You will not be disappointed!

*I was given an ebook ARC of this novel by the author. I was not required to give favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Backcover Blurb:

Virginia, 1861

After being forced to use a pistol against invaders, Evelyn Mapleton is no longer the timid girl her extended family expects. The more her aunt and cousin resent her new independence, the more Evelyn is determined she'll make her missing father proud by taking up his cause and aiding Confederate soldiers--even if she has to outmaneuver the Yankees guarding her home to do it. 

Samuel Flynn's life is consumed with two priorities: learning to become a proper guardian for the young orphans he's adopted and obtaining his physicians license. When his final testing sends him to a Federal Army field hospital, the last thing he expects is to be entranced by a mysterious woman. 

But when Evelyn's misguided exploits put her life in danger, will he risk everything he's worked for to save a woman he thinks is his enemy?

Based on first-hand accounts from the Civil War and with a strong romantic thread, this is a tale of faith, espionage, hope, and courage historical fiction fans won't want to miss.

Available as paperback and digital ebook:
Buy Eternity Between Us at Amazon

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

BELONGING by Robin Lee Hatcher, Reviewed by Karen Klepsteen

There have been a few different recent books that have been based on the orphan trains of the 1800s. I’ve absolutely loved all of them thus far, and while browsing at the local library, I discovered another book on the subject. To my surprise, Belonging was published in 2011, and I had completely missed it! To be honest, I didn’t know who Robin Lee Hatcher was at the time since I was still discovering Christian fiction. So a couple of weeks ago I decided this would be my first book by her, and I eagerly dug in! 

Oh my. I had no idea what I was missing! I loved this story about Felicia and Colin! Both of them were independent and headstrong, weighed down by emotional scars, yet determined to make the best possible future for themselves. As they slowly started to figure out that their future could be together, I was absolutely charmed by them! Felicia inspired me with her ability to praise God and realign her thoughts even through her trials. It’s something that I’m working on in my life, and Robin Lee Hatcher writes in such a captivating, uplifting manner! I can’t wait to read the rest of the “Where the Heart Lives” series! Don’t be like me and wait seven years to read it!

*I borrowed this book and was under no obligation to review nor provide a positive review.

Back Cover Blurb:
In the high desert town of Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community’s new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. 
But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with. Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm’s inexperience doesn’t sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity’s heart will be broken once again. A woman who hasn’t known love. A man who lost the love he had. 
In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life’s bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good. 

Available in paperback, hardcover, digital ebook and audiobook. Free on KU

Monday, October 29, 2018

HIDDEN PERIL by Irene Hannon, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

A remote monastery in the Middle East.
Murders of innocent people.
Mysterious candles.
A dead terrorist.
How did they all connect?

Hannon neatly ties these elements together while writing an engaging and thrilling pulse-pounding suspense. For me, she's one of those authors who I'll follow anywhere she leads! Her books are on my automatic “must-read-now” category. That being said, this second book in her Code of Honor series was a much anticipated read, one I've waited a long time to get my hands on! She never disappoints and once I had this in hand, I settled in for the long haul. So reader be warned, you don't want to put this down once you start!

If you've ever watched “The Monuments Men”, you'll enjoy the nod towards the movie and their quest to preserve priceless art masterpieces from under the nose of the Nazis. In the books case, artifacts are being stolen and used for a much more sinister plot! Think ISIS, now isn't that beyond scary? Kristin Dane is an innocent pawn in a terrorists scheme. Luke Carter along with his team must protect her as they try to catch the illusive men behind the plot. I had high blood pressure as I watched things unfolding and dizzy with all the twists and turns Hannon takes her readers on. The breath-stealing ending had my heart in my throat; what a way to wrap up another hair-raising suspense by one of the best authors out there. Whew, I still feel a bit discombobulated from the roller coaster of a ride! It may take a while to get my landlubbers feet under me; that tells me Hannon did her job as a writer. 

Talking about breath-stealing, the romance brewing between Kristin and Luke sizzles under the surface. You can physically feel the electricity between these two. Though for Luke, he's the perfect gentleman playing it cool since much more is at stake than his heart. I think it was a great balance of suspense and romance, another thing I love about Hannon's writing. She consistently delivers on all elements without overriding any of them. Lastly, character growth and spiritual theme are evident throughout. Both Kristin and Luke have family issues in their past they must overcome, and forgiveness plays a huge part in all of it. To sum it up: with gripping suspense, stirring inspirational moments, a frantic race to squash a sinister plot, and affairs of the heart, Hannon once again delivers. Don't miss this exciting addition to a fantastic series!

*I received a complimentary copy from Revell and Netgalley and was under no obligation to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. * 

Backcover Blurb:
As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she's fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue--and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly, scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

Three-time RITA Award-winner and "queen of inspirational romantic suspense" (Library Journal) Irene Hannon doesn't disappoint in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have readers up late as they rush toward the explosive conclusion.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Hidden Peril at Amazon
Buy Hidden Peril at


Sunday, October 28, 2018

FIRETHORN and LYGOS by Ronie Kendig, Reviewed by Kim


I am dubbing Ronie Kendig “Queen of Chapter Cliffhangers!” She masterfully ends so many chapters where you “must” keep reading to find out what happens, but, then she shifts to a totally different scene in the next chapter. To find out what happens in the previous chapter, you dive into the new chapter, which *also* hooks you! The pace continues, and you are now invested in the current chapter, which again ends in a cliffhanger, to get back to the original scene you “needed” to know about - whew! You end up devouring each scene, each chapter, until you’re done! I am convinced my blood pressure was sky high at the doctors office because of this book! 

This story will bring out every emotion you have in you! It is funny, heartbreaking, beautiful, exciting, bittersweet, and just so perfect! Ronie is, hands down, the best romantic suspense author I have ever read. The range of emotions she brings out in the reader is amazing! These characters just come alive and they stick with you long after the story is over. 

Firethorn is the 4th book in the Discarded Heroes series.

I am so glad that we finally get to learn more about the mysterious Legend. His story will break your heart! And Kazi, wow, she is so complex and she keeps you on your toes the entire book! You’re just not sure what she is going to do next! 

And, once again, Ronie puts her characters into some really horrible situations- Canyon! Oh! And poor poor - oops no spoilers! 

As for the faith message, I love these two lines. They really spoke to me. “When you can’t see what God’s hand is doing, trust His heart.” And, “Pop-Pop has taught him to watch for God in the small things, the whisper of the wind, the smile of someone unknown.” 

I am so glad LYGOS is up next in this series. I’m so gonna miss reading about this team and their families! Excellent!!!

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review.

BackCover Blurb:

Don your tactical gear and enter the world of black ops and espionage within the pages of Ronie Kendig’s thriller Firethorn. Former Marine Griffin “Legend” Riddell, a fugitive from injustice, finds it difficult to trust anyone. Covert operative Kazi Faron, the woman sent to free him, has a dangerous secret that may jeopardize her life, mission, and the only man she respects. As Griffin and Kazi race around the globe to save Nightshade, the danger mounts. Will they find the culprit sabotaging their black ops team? Can their newfound feelings and trust survive when Griffin and Kazi face truth and terror?

Available in Paperback:
Buy Firethorn at Amazon

...and now for LYGOS:
I am so glad that Ronie decided to write this novella about Azzan, one of the more mysterious members of the Discarded Heroes. While my only complaint about this story is it’s length, I did not feel like I was reading a novella. I loved that all of the families are in this story and that Azzan gets his HEA! And yay! It takes place in the winter, right before Christmas, and there’s snow! 

You all know by now how much I love Ronie and her stories! I really love this team! I love their camaraderie, their humor, their families, and their protectiveness! I really enjoyed getting to know Azzan better because he is somewhat of a loner - I mean he was previously an assassin so...that’s to be expected right? I really enjoyed reading about a special skill of his - parkour- and the way it was woven into the story. Reading about his history made you understand how he became the loner that he is. What a sad story too. I really liked Everly and think she’s a great match for Azzan. She will also fit in quite nicely with the other wives! 

Now, I just need Ronie to write Stone’s story and maybe even Range’s story - he’s kinda growing on me and what a story it could be with his and Canyon’s background! Another awesome book! I’m actually sad that it’s over and I’m really gonna miss reading about this team! 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review, nor provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:

This Christmas, Azzan's past takes aim at those he loves.

Once nicknamed "Aladdin" by the Nightshade team, Azzan Yasir has found camaraderie--and a new callsign: LYGOS--in his six years with the Nightshade team. When Canyon Metcalfe recruits him to run security for his brother’s gubernatorial campaign, Azzan discovers how quickly long-buried secrets can devastate the best-laid plans.

Campaign manager Everly Sinclair has hidden from the limelight since her grandfather’s death. Assuming a nom de plume, she is out to prove her mettle in the contentious world of politics by launching her first candidate during a pre-Christmas event at an exclusive lodge in the mountains.

When Everly receives a mysterious envelope, she’s convinced the person who killed her grandfather now has her in his sights. But Azzan is convinced the killer is after him to settle an old score. Shedding their masks may be the deadliest move Azzan and Everly make this Christmas.

Available in paperback and digital ebook:
Buy Lygos at Amazon

Saturday, October 27, 2018

BLOOD COVENANT by LISA HARRIS Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"The God I serve is a God of miracles."

Deep within the Republic of Dhambizao, Africa, war rages; rebel forces are terrorizing local villagers, humanitarian aid workers, and innocent tourists, while government officials refuse to admit the severity of the situation to the outside world. Caught in an impossible situation are Volunteers for Hope International's Dr. Paige Ryan and a bush pilot for Compassion Air, Nick Gilbert. Trying to curb a malaria epidemic without proper supplies and access to communication, the two press forward to find a miracle, while the enemy targets their refugee camp and threatens a series of executions. 

"It's tempting to believe that one person cannot make a difference", and yet Scripture seals God's promises with the blood of just One.

Enjoy this international thriller, as author Lisa Harris displays her portfolio of skills. 

*I purchased this book with no obligation to review, nor provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:



With the desperate need of medicine to stop an epidemic in a refugee camp, and rebel soldiers blocking the only road out until their demands for amnesty are met, it won't be long before the disease is out of control ... and there is nowhere to run.

A struggle for survival deep in the heart of Africa

With the refugee camp already experiencing overcrowding, raids, and uprisings, a group of mountain climbers is attacked by rebels. Paige's medical team responds immediately, rescuing survivors and taking them into the camp. When it's discovered that one of the trekkers is carrying an infectious disease, the harrowing conditions of the camp are forgotten.

A team, including Dr. Paige Ryan and Bush pilot Nick Gilbert, is sent to respond at a refugee transit site, where the immediate needs for shelter, water, sanitation, and food are critical.

Bush pilot Nick Gilbert joins the team to help fly supplies in and out of the area, but when an infectious disease is discovered spreading throughout the camp, the volatile situation quickly turns deadly.

Available in hardcover, digital Ebook, paperback and Audiobook:
Buy Blood Covenant at Amazon


Friday, October 26, 2018

MILES FROM WHERE WE STARTED by Cynthia Ruchti, Reviewed by Susan Snodgrass

'Forgive more than you think you should have to. And that includes yourself.'

This was my first book by Cynthia Ruchti and it will not be the last. This one is going on my top ten reads of 2018. Worth a re-read, too, down the road.

 Connor and Mallory Duncan have decided to end their year long marriage. Well, Connor has. He has his reasons but Mallory doesn't agree with him at all. They can't agree on how to end the marriage, though. A last minute situation sends them off on a three thousand mile road trip in a mini camper and Mallory feels like their marriage just might have a chance. Then an 11 year old at risk boy is tossed into the mix and their travel quarters, while impossibly close already, become closer still. This is not a recipe for anything good to happen and quite possibly, disaster will happen. Will their marriage end for good? Can they find a new beginning on this trip?

This book captured my attention from the very first chapter and held me completely until the last word. This young couple truly do love each other, but circumstances cause one of them to think they have no future. I felt their love for each other, their pain and their heartache. The emotions ran deep, hard at times, nearly too hard, but there also was a sweetness to it all. As they set out on their journey across America, they run into some absolutely wonderful people. People that blessed me to no end, making me wish I could run into them myself. Each group they ran into imparted great wisdom and strength and love to them. These people deposited so much grace into Mallory and Connor's life and also to mine! Sometimes you read a book that just doesn't want to leave you for a while. This is such a book.

I wept through the last fourth of this book. Everything about it was so tremendously powerful. I am richer for having read this book. I highly recommend it. Truly. Do not miss this book.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. All opinions stated here are entirely my own.

BackCover Blurb:
These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition. When an at-risk, trouble-seeking eleven-year-old is unexpectedly thrown into their travel plans, close quarters get even tighter. Soon, the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness Mallory and Connor expected. But is it possible they will find a new beginning at the end of the road?

Available in paperback and digital Ebook:
Buy Miles From Where We Started at Amazon
Buy Miles From Where We Started at

Thursday, October 25, 2018

THE CUMBERLAND BRIDE by Shannon McNear, reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

 The Cumberland Bride is the fifth book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series, and it is a thoroughly captivating story of a wilderness journey in 1794.

Kate Gruener and her family are making the difficult trek from Bean’s Station, Tennessee, through the Cumberland Gap then farther into the wilds of western Kentucky. Her father has hired Thomas Bledsoe to scout for the party. Thomas has experience with the Shawnee and Cherokee. The road is very primitive and there are many hardships and dangers along the way. But the travelers bathe their trip in prayer and trust they will make it through to a place where they can put down roots and prosper. By the end of the trip both Kate and Thomas will have answers to the questions of where they truly belong.

Shannon McNear has done extensive research and her narrative puts you into the heart of the story. The historical detail is very interesting and she sheds light on customs and myths that are often associated with this time period. The characters are rich, with hopes and dreams that make them very relatable.

If you like historical fiction that not only feeds your curiosity of the past but keeps you reading because of the exciting content.......don’t miss this wonderful book.

* I was provided an ARC copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

Back Cover Blurb:
Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Love and Adventure Are Discovered on the Wilderness Road
In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like he did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)

Available in paperback, hardcover and digital ebook:
Buy The Cumberland Bride at Amazon 
Buy The Cumberland Bride at


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A SPARKLE OF SILVER by Liz Johnson, Reviewed by Susan Snodgrass

How could she explain? How could she tell him about the war inside her when it stole her breath?'

Millie Sullivan's great grandmother was a guest at an oil tycoon's estate in 1929 on St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Now Millie is working as a guest at the estate's tourist attraction. Millie's Grandma Joy hints that there is possibly a treasure there to be found in her great grandmother's old journal which is hidden in the chateau. Millie thinks this will be an end to her troubles if she can find the journal and treasure. She is working two jobs and barely making ends meet trying to keep her Grandma Joy in an assisted living facility because of her dementia. 

Security guard Ben Thornton catches Millie in an off limits area of the mansion and is about to turn her over to the authorities when Millie makes a deal with him: help her and half the treasure is his. Ben has his own financial woes and takes her up on it. Together they set out on an adventure that will cause pain, bring grace and hopefully, forgiveness. 

BackCover Blurb:
Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan's great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins' palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie's great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.

Liz Johnson has written a wonderfully 'sparkly' tale here, with believable characters, a great plot with some pretty good mystery thrown in, as we, the reader, get a glimpse into the great grandmother's adventures in 1929. And the romance is precious. Engaging and entertaining, well written and hard to put down. Recommended.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and author. All opinions stated here are entirely my own. 

Available in paperback, digital ebook, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy A Sparkle of Silver on Amazon
Buy A Sparkle of Silver on

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

LADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES by Sandra Byrd, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a treasure indeed. 

I found it hard to put aside this exceptional novel to take care of my daily chores. 
Sandra immerses us into the lives of Eleanor Sheffield, a curator and evaluator of antiquities, and the wealthy collectors who seek authentication for their treasures. Eleanor has been taught by her father and uncle how to tell an original piece of art from a fraudulent copy. She has learned to trust her eye to spot a forgery. Can she also trust her instincts when it comes to people? Can she trust her uncle’s failing memory, her firm’s longtime employee, or her own perceptions of her beloved’s intentions? It is clear she trusts God to keep her through the many difficulties surrounding her since the death of her father. It has fallen on her to conserve the reputation of Sheffield Brothers, a firm bult by her father and uncle, while forging her way for women to take their place in the business world of Victorian England.

Sandra has done extensive research and even incorporates a few famous people of the time into the story. The legends of the horse pictographs on the chalk cliffs and the Hawthorne brought from the Holy Land were fascinating and added depth and richness to the novel.

The romance was not lacking and was sweetly represented. The object of Eleanor’s affections, Harry, Lord Lydney, is steadfast, thoughtful and loyal to his friends. Harry and Eleanor share a meaningful faith. They show it by living the scripture that they quote. Eleanor has a heart for the downtrodden and makes friends equally above and below her station.

If you are looking for a sweeping tale filled with symbolism, romance, and a Gothic flair— look no farther! This book accomplishes the task. Sandra carefully crafts the plot and authentically captures the flavor of 1866 England. Definitely among my top picks for this year.

*I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

Back Cover Blurb:
Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

Available in paperback, digital ebook and hardcover:
Buy Lady of a Thousand Treasures on Amazon
Buy Lady of a Thousand Treasures on

Monday, October 22, 2018

MERCY'S RAIN by Cindy K Sproles, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Ain't nobody should have to learn life like I did. No soul should have to claw their way back from the bowels of hell, scared and scraped up like I was."

Mercy Roller is in her own words, ". . . a busted bowl that leaks." Having survived unspeakable abuse from her father, "the Pastor", in the name of the Almighty God, she is finally released from his tyranny, but it costs her the only home that she has ever known and the sting of guilt upon her open palm. Fleeing with only the clothes on her back, she sets out across the mountain to find the source of the river, hoping that life's answers might be found where pure water rises out from among the rocks. Instead . . . . . she is found; by an entirely different sort of preacher, a man who demonstrates remarkable kindness coupled with a loving determination to lead Mercy to the One who gave her, her name.

It's an unforgettable story featuring the cries of a tortured soul; "O Lord. My heart is broke. My life is shattered. My soul is lost. Mercy. Lord. Mercy". 

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

BackCover Blurb:

When your life is built around a father's wrath, how can you trust in the love of Father God?

Mercy Roller knows her name is a lie: there has never been any mercy in her young life. Raised by a twisted and abusive father who called himself the Pastor, she was abandoned by the church community that should have stood together to protect her from his evil. Her mother, consumed by her own fear and hate, won't stand her ground to save Mercy either.
The Pastor has robbed Mercy of innocence and love, a husband and her child. Not a single person seems capable of standing up to the Pastor's unrestrained evil. So Mercy takes matters into her own hands.

Her heart was hardened to love long before she took on the role of judge, jury, and executioner of the Pastor. She just didn't realize the retribution she thought would save her, might turn her into the very thing she hated most.
Sent away by her angry and grieving mother, Mercy's path is unclear until she meets a young preacher headed to counsel a pregnant couple. Sure that her calling is to protect the family, Mercy is drawn into a different life on the other side of the mountain where she slowly discovers true righteousness has nothing evil about it--and that there might be room for her own stained and shattered soul to find shelter. . . and even love.
Mercy's Rain is a remarkable historical novel set in 19th century Appalachia that traces the thorny path from bitterness to forgiveness and reveals the victory and strength that comes from simple faith.

Available in paperback and digital ebook:
Buy Mercy's Rain on Amazon
Buy Mercy's Rain on


Sunday, October 21, 2018

LIES WE TELL OURSELVES by Amy Matayo, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

If you’re looking for fairytale, perfect romances, you won’t find them in Amy Matayo’s books, but if you’re looking for realistic, heart-wrenching stories of imperfect people who are struggling with everyday problems and relationships, you should definitely try her books. Lies We Tell Ourselves should be on the reading list for anyone who is coping with low self-esteem, self-worth, or abuse issues. If you’ve ever felt unloved, friendless, alone, or that you’re not as good as other people, read this book.

Matayo’s characters are realistic and multi-layered. They’re me and you. They’re your next-door neighbor or your best friend. Most people will recognize some of the lies we tell ourselves or the lies other people tell us in this book. We need to replace those lies with positive thinking and know that we ARE of worth. We can do hard things and push through our doubts and anxieties and become more positive in our thoughts and actions toward ourselves.

This isn’t an easy book to read because of the content and the heart-breaking events that occur, but the takeaway is amazing. I was left with a resolve to be more careful what I say and do—not only to others, but to myself. It touched my heart and made me feel all the feels. Lest, you think the whole book is maudlin—it’s not. There are many light-hearted, touching, and humorous parts that temper the wrenching parts. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy realistic books about tough subjects.

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

BackCover Blurb:
Presley Waterman is a rescuer: of animals, of businesses, of people. Like the stray cat she's allergic to, but continues to care for. Like her small-town newspaper, a business that’s been dying a slow death for the better part of a decade. And like Micah. Her best friend and the man she has loved since they were kids, back when no one else cared. 

As for him…

Micah Leven loves Presley. She’s the girl who’s always been there to help, the one who knows all the ugly things about him and makes him believe he can be a better man, the one who will never leave because she’s promised over and over.

But he also loves Mara.

Mara is his ideal. She’s the dream he conjured up as a boy and never wavered from. She’s beautiful, ambitious, driven, a fellow newscaster at his Atlanta station, and the perfect asset for the life he’s always wanted. Together, they could conquer the world and their respective careers. Even better, with Mara he could prove that he did—in fact—finally amount to something. Maybe then his father would be proud. 

There are just a few things Presley and Micah have both forgotten. One, just because you rescue someone doesn’t mean they’ll love you for it. Two, some dreams disappear when reality wakes you up. Three, the only way to silence lies is to face the truth head-on.

This is the story of the man torn between two existences, the woman who finally took the choice away from him, and what happens when you stop listening to lies once and for all.

Even if the biggest liar is you.

Available in paperback and digital ebook:
Buy Lies We Tell Ourselves on Amazon

Saturday, October 20, 2018


After reading Book #1, Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan, I feel like I’ve been on a trip to Vienna! And I really want to go sit in the Cafe Mozart and order Einspänner and Mozart torte! 

I absolutely loved the first meeting between Evelyn and Klaus! It was different, cute, and full of humor. Evelyn is so likable and you know how picky I am about heroines! She has come to Vienna to help Rudy, who she thinks she’s in love with, catalogue his family heirlooms. But as soon as Klaus enters the cafe she’s at, and tells her she’s sitting at his table, both sparks and witty dialogue fly! Speaking of Klaus, what a gentleman! I liked him the second he hit the page! I love how their relationship developed. It seemed natural and romantic and just so perfect! This is such a great novella! 

BackCover Blurb: 
A romantic waltz through a city filled with music, passion and coffee.

Evelyn Watt fell in love with Austrian marketing director Rudy Moser the moment he stepped into their Boston firm. With his ice blue eyes and chocolate-melting accent, he is as refined as she imagines his home country to be. When Evelyn finds herself unexpectedly unemployed right before Christmas, she is left with an unknown future until Rudy steps in with a job appraising, assessing and cataloging heirlooms, lending her American vernacular to the translated descriptions to give each item international appeal. Evelyn will live in Vienna for the months leading up to a grand auction at a party held in conjunction with the Opera Ball—on Valentine’s Day.

Vienna is a magical blend of waltzing, antiques, and bottomless cups of Einspanner coffee at the Café Mozart. When a secret from Rudy's family's past blows in with the winter chill, Evelyn is forced to confront how well she knows the object of her affection. Her café tablemate, the gruff and enigmatic Klaus Bauner might be the only person who holds the key to Rudy’s past. But could that key also unlock her future? In the days leading up to the Opera Ball, Evelyn finds herself in the middle of the greatest romance of her life…as long as she doesn’t trip over her two left feet.

BUY Love in Three Quarter Time at Amazon


Thank you Rachel McMillan for writing this utterly beautiful story! This is one of the most romantic stories I have ever read! I literally loved everything about it! I have always liked marriage of convenience stories and this is one of my absolute favorites!

So, what do I love about it? I love the setting - so wonderfully romantic, I love that we get to meet up again with Klaus and Evelyn from Love in Three Quarter Time, I love that Rose and Oliver start out as friends, I love Rose, I love Oliver, and I love them together, they are perfect! Oliver is one of a kind! He’s honorable, talented, and oh so romantic! There are so many great romantic scenes in this story - my three favorites involve cereal, allergy medicine, and a slight change in a musical composition. Sigh...Highlighted scenes that I’m sure I’ll read over and over again! You must read this story! Cannot wait for the next one! 

Thank you so much Rachel for letting me read this early! Especially after I kinda begged you! 

BackCover Blurb:
Some people marry for love; others marry for music...

Rose McNeil is rising the ranks at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a violinist to watch. Her musical Nova Scotian heritage has loaned an unparalleled technique to her interpretation of some of the most beautiful compositions in the world. The opportunity of a first chair assignment to the Rainer Quartet under the baton of Oliver Thorne is a dream come true--- until her visa expires and the threat of leaving Vienna looms. As much as she grieves the prospect of leaving Vienna and the quartet, it is Oliver—with his dry sense of humour and unexpected charm- she will miss most.

British ex-pat Oliver Thorne’s recent appointment as conductor to the Rainer Quartet make him the youngest in the role during its prestigious history. But it wasn’t the path he wanted. A tragic accident years ago forbade him from ever playing his beloved cello again. Now he spends his life teaching and guest conducting for premiere orchestras at the Musikverein. When he first hears Rose McNeil play, all the dreams he left by the wayside are reborn with her unexpected talent. When Rose learns she may have to leave Vienna, Oliver has to come up with a solution. Losing his first violinist is unfortunate, losing her is unimaginable.

So he comes up with a crazy idea: A marriage on paper only. She’ll take his name and his citizenship. They’ll split rent money and coin toss to decide who takes the bed or the the futon every night. They’ll keep their secret from the orchestra. She’ll play and he’ll conduct and, most importantly...she’ll stay.

Unbeknownst to each other, Rose is in love with Oliver and Oliver is in love with Rose. They might even find a happy ending, if only their pesky marriage doesn’t get in the way.

Buy Rose in Three Quarter Time at Amazon

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