Friday, January 31, 2020

THE GRAY CHAMBER by Grace Hitchcock, Reviewed by Kim and Rebecca

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes skyward, for there you have been , and there you will always long to return." Leonardo da Vinci

Would she ever be free to walk the earth again with her eyes turned skyward, or had her world turned forever gray? Edyth Foster was terrified that color had been forever removed, that love had become forever denied, and that justice had been drowned in the depths of the sea. How had it come to this?

Exceptionally eccentric, but undeniably vivacious, heiress Edyth Foster never imagined that her unusual hobbies and accidental tendences would forfeit her entire future. Deemed insane by her greedy uncle, Edyth is whisked off to a mental asylum on Blackwell's Island without a trace. Desperate to find his beloved, Raoul Banebridge works feverishly to find her, while the answer to Edyth's predicament may be found within hospital's walls . . .. or will everyone be too late?

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me." Psalm 23:4

What an outstanding story; a balance of hope and desperation that so many readers will identify as timeless.

3.5 stars
*I won a copy of this book but was no obligated to provide a review.

The Gray Chamber is my first book by Grace Hitchcock. I was kind of worried as to whether I would like this story or not because of the prominent part the Blackwell Lunatic Asylum plays in the story. While this part is very chilling, suspenseful, and eye opening, it really makes you feel for those that were wrongly committed and the conditions they all lived under. It also makes you thankful for those like Nellie Bly who helped expose these horrific conditions.

I really liked Edyth and her “unconventional” ways and always positive personality. I was so happy that she kept her positivity and never gave up after she was committed. Otherwise, this could’ve been too dark. I also loved that Bane never gave up on Edyth! There is also a great secondary character, Lavinia. I would love to see her get her own story!

I really like Ms. Hitchcock’s writing style and look forward to reading more of her stories. And, this cover is the perfect cover for the feel of this story.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime
Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?
On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.

At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for
The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:
Buy The Gray Chamber at Amazon
Buy The Gray Chamber at

Thursday, January 30, 2020

THE REBEL BRIDE by Shannon McNear, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney, #INTERVIEW with the Author, by Paula and Deb

See Rebecca's Review below!

Paula asks: Shannon, do you think you will write another book set during the Civil War?

Shannon: I don’t have any plans for doing so right now, but that could change! I’m definitely more open to it than I was. 😊

Paula: As a military wife, have you ever researched other American Wars other than the Revolutionary War or the Civil War?

Shannon: A little bit on the French and Indian war, and some on the various conflicts involving native peoples. Some on WWII. Most recently, because of my newest novella, I’ve been focusing on WWI, which was an almost complete unknown to me and very eye-opening.

Deb asks: Did you have an hesitation to write in this time period, based on the emotional weight involved? 

Shannon: Oh, yes. In fact, I wrote about that very thing in the preface and historical note. It was daunting to tackle, especially after recent flare ups of racial tension in our country. A couple of reviewers commented that they thought my reader’s note was too apologetic, but I think living in the South made me more sensitive to the nuances of this issue than I might otherwise be.
"Seems all we can do sometimes is just keep choosing the right thing to do, right in front of us, and trust He'll bring good of it."

Sometimes the strength of a story is in its perspective, especially when the subject matter is as tremulous as that of the Civil War. Caught between the battlelines along the Chickamauga River bordering Tennessee and Georgia, Pearl MacFarlane's home is conscripted as temporary housing for Federal prisoners whose injuries appear dire. One of those entrusted into her care is Sergeant Josh Wheeler, whose amputation and ensuing infection will result in his death if not properly treated. Spending time with the handsome Yankee, Pearl's heart begins to beat with words better left unsaid, and questions better left unanswered. It could never work between them.

What lovely treatment of a jagged piece of American history. References to actual people, places, and events are carefully tucked into a story whose characters come alive on the page, impressing upon their readers' hearts a remarkable amount of believability. 

"If thine enemy hunger - feed him; if he thirst, give him drink."

* I purchased The Rebel Bride and was under no obligation to provide a review.
See reviews for THE REBEL BRIDE from Winnie Thomas and Paula Shreckhise

BackCover Blurb:
Can Love Form Amidst Tensions of War?During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family’s farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing—as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian—in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union—if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger.

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

Available in digital ebook, library binding and paperback:
Buy The Rebel Bride on Amazon
Buy The Rebel Bride on

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

ON WINGS OF DEVOTION by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie

Roseanna M. White is one of my go-to authors for compelling and riveting historical fiction. Her beautifully flowing prose never fails to keep me turning pages, and On Wings of Devotion was no exception. With rich historical detail, intriguing settings, and multi-layered, engaging characters, it kept me enthralled to the last page and left me wanting more. Phillip Camden is a flawed, hurting hero whose outer demeanor and public persona as Black Heart hides who he really is inside. Nurse Arabelle Denler sees beneath the exterior to a far different man. I loved her courage, strength, resiliency, and compassion despite the circumstances thrown at her. Their witty banter added a sense of fun to their growing relationship.

The story is well-paced with obvious depth of research, and the many twists and turns kept my interest through to the end. Threads of redemption, courage, faith, and mercy are woven through the tale and add a layer of inspiration and depth to it. This is a book for the keeper shelf, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment in The Codebreakers series. This book can stand alone, but The Number of Love (book 1 in the series) is so fantastic, you’ll want to read it.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

On Wings of Devotion is the second installment of The Codebreakers by Roseanna White.

When people are confronted with seemingly impossible and humiliating circumstances, they handle things differently. Ms. White crafts a wonderful story around her characters’ reactions to the painful realities that have been handed to them. Not only has war complicated things in England but sometimes life gets in the way. The story is complex but superbly executed, rich in detail. A completely satisfying tale but leaves you wanting the third book as soon as possible.

The hero, Phillip Camden, is haunted by “The Incident” that caused him to be ostracized and has put him in the job he now occupies. He knows the truth of the Gospel but it hasn’t been made real to him because he is still trying to atone in his own strength.

Arabelle Denler is an heiress but is considered plain. She is lonely, so she becomes a nurse in order to feel useful during wartime.

This novel is full of intrigue, fascinating facts about WWI, codebreaking, spies and life in London in 1918. Spiritual truths ooze from the pages through Cam and Ara’s ability to see past the superficial and into the heart and soul of each other. And who could resist a hero who gives a puppy to the heroine to keep her company?

Having just binged Downton Abbey, this novel seems to fit right in. I could definitely see The Codebreakers as a Mini Series.

Beyond 5 stars
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy On Wings of Devotion at Amazon
Buy On Wings of Devotion at

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A GIRL'S GUIDE TO THE OUTBACK by Jessica Kate, Reviewed by Kim

A Girl’s Guide to the Outback is the first novel I’ve read by Jessica Kate. I’m so glad I took a chance on this story! I really enjoyed everything about it!
I love humor in any story I read and this story was full of it! The humor nicely balanced out the serious issues that Kimberly and Sam had to tackle. I really liked both Kimberly and Sam and their chemistry was perfect!

I also loved the secondary characters and their romance! The setting of Australia really added to the story and I loved learning some Australian slang!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:
Buy A Girl's Guide to the Outback at Amazon
Buy A Girl's Guide to the Outback at

Monday, January 27, 2020

PROMISE FOR TOMORROW by Michelle DeBruin, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Michelle De Bruin is a new-to-me author so when I saw an opportunity to read “Promise for Tomorrow” I didn't hesitate to sign up for it! If it's one thing I love, is discovering new writers to follow.
I really enjoyed this story! Even though it's the second one, I had no trouble keeping everything straight. She gave enough back-story from “Hope For Tomorrow” as to not be confused or lost. Both Karen and Logan are people of strong faith and values. It shows in all their actions, words and how they treated those around them. I really admire men who are called to ministry, especially those who become pastors. Logan had a heart after God. Even in his struggles he sought the Lord in his heartfelt prayers. It helped that Peter was a fellow pastor, friend and mentor in Logan's life. I felt Karen was the perfect helpmate to him. She was encouraging, helpful in ways that mattered, and a spiritual match to his ministry. I really loved watching their courtship develop into a strong connection. They faced many trials with tenacity, grace, and a willingness to allow the Lord to work His will in their lives. They are both a wonderful example to us all!

In some places in the story, I felt it drag a bit and some details that could have been left out without affecting the storyline. In my opinion, if the story was tightened up, it would have really showed off the authors writing talent more. Also, I felt there were situations that were resolved almost too perfectly and too quickly.

In spite of that, I still felt the story was well-written, the characters were ones I came to care about, and the faith thread was very much a natural part of it. I think one of my favorite parts was at the end when Logan felt a bit like Abraham when he went to sacrifice his son on the mountain. Logan felt tested and tried. But instead of running away, he sought God even more in his heart, willing to give up what he loved the most to fulfill God's will in his life no matter the outcome. I really think that's a lesson we can all learn in our walk with the Lord. Learning to give up what we want for what God wants. Because ultimately what the Lord has for us is good, right and to our benefit!

I would recommend this to Christian historical fiction readers who like a good faith theme, characters real enough to connect with, and a good love story to follow along!
*This book was provided courtesy of the author through Interviews and Reviews. No favorable review was required and all opinions are my own. *

BackCover Blurb:
Karen Millerson dreamed of teaching high school but now finds herself boarding with a farm family and teaching country school. She is engaged to marry Logan De Witt and is getting prepared to share in ministry with him. But when she gets blamed for the tragic fire at the school, Karen's future grows uncertain.

Logan De Witt is working to clear his family's name with the bank. But when he breaks his leg, hindering his ability to work the farm, Logan is faced with life-changing decisions. When his best friend can't offer the help he requested, can Logan find a way to care for his family and court Karen at the same time before his love for her destroys all of them?

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Promise for Tomorrow at Amazon

Sunday, January 26, 2020

AS THE LIGHT FADES by Catherine West, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

This is one of Winnie's TOP READS for 2019, so we're happy to share her review!
When I pick up a Catherine West book, I know I’m going to find an engrossing and touching story inside, and As the Light Fades is no exception. Although poignant and heart-wrenching, it’s also a moving story of healing, forgiveness, and grace. It seems as if every character had hurts and problems they were battling, but isn’t that the way life really is? We all have things in our past or present that affect us and our relationships.
West has tackled some hard, gritty subjects in this book, and she’s done it with great sensitivity. She is a master at creating broken, hurting, and realistic characters that are also endearing. Elizabeth Carlisle has made some unfortunate choices in her life, and she’s definitely hurting. Matt has just been made guardian of his niece, Mia, who has plenty of baggage of her own. I love the way the author threw these three together, along with Liz’s artistic, ailing father whose “light is fading” and started them on a healing path.

Although I’m sure it was hard to have a teenager show up in his life, I loved Matt’s determination to do his best for Mia and show her the love he hadn’t felt from his parents. The threads of forgiveness, grace, and mercy that run through the story give added depth and dimension to it and make for a very satisfying read. Although this is a standalone book, it was a fun touch to see some of the characters from the author’s book The Things We Remember show up.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love. 

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy As the Light Fades at Amazon

ECHOES AMONG THE STONES by Jaime Jo Wright, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

With a gripping plot, a unique historical setting, memorable characters, and subtle inspirational messages woven in, Jaime Jo Wright has once again penned a riveting, convoluted story. The book cover sets the stage perfectly and establishes a gothic feeling for the tale. Wright excels at penning dual timeline stories. I admire her ability to take two different, but related, stories and tie them together and make them not only work, but intertwine cohesively. She’s also a master at creating complex, multi-layered characters. Her ingenious and intricately woven stories pull me right in from the beginning and won’t let go.
The main characters in this story were vividly drawn and engaging. Imogene is tenacious in trying to solve the mystery of her sister’s murder, Aggie is thrown into her grandmother’s obsession, and Collin is a calming, leveling force in the tale.

“Sometimes . . . you must step outside of your own strength and realize there’s a greater Strength waiting to hold you.”

“You can’t compare your grief to another’s. It’s yours to hold, and yours to heal from.”

Wright fills her books with enough suspense, mystery, and intrigue to keep the reader turning pages far into the night. She throws in enough romance to provoke some sighs and also adds inspiration in the form of redemption, healing, and mercy.

“. . . don’t let grief tie your years up into a lifetime of regrets. Let the good Lord take care of your aches and heal you. So that you don’t miss out on the good---on the blessing He hides in the middle of all that hurting.”

This story drips with atmosphere and enough creepiness to keep you on the edge of your seat. I would recommend it to those who enjoy dual-timeline suspense with a touch of romance. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

See our other reviews of Echoes Among the Stones by Trixi, Paula and Nicole!
Back Cover Blurb:
After Aggie Dunkirk's career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her vintage, though very outdated, home. Aggie didn't plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene--even going so far as to re-create it in a dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow Aggie when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the town's cemetery. Forced to work with a puzzling yet attractive archaeologist, she exhumes the past's secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep hidden--even if that means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Grayson works in a beauty salon but has her sights set on Hollywood. But coming home to discover her younger sister's body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the burgeoning world of forensic science and, as a woman, not particularly welcomed into the investigation, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister's case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . no matter the cost.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, audiobook and hardcover:

Buy Echoes Among the Stones at Amazon
Buy Echoes Among the Stones at

Saturday, January 25, 2020

DOUBLE JEOPARDY by Donna Schlacter, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

When Becky Campbell travels from New York City society to join her adventurous father at his silver mine in Colorado, she is sadly disappointed. She has to contend with the fact that he was murdered and she has little means or know how to keep up the mine. She is like a fish out of water but tries very hard to make a go of things with the help of two hired hands and a handsome farmer, Zeke Graumann.
The author captures the quirkinesses and struggles of Miss Becky and the honesty and steadfastness of our hero Zeke. With humor and colloquial sayings and an easy faith thread, this book is lots of fun. But the plot thickens when “accidents” happen at the mine. Who is out to undermine the mine? And when a mix-up sends Becky’s mother on a long train ride to join her...... she needs a groom FAST!

See what antics abound in this well-written story of the old west.
*I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author. I wasn’t required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 

BackCover Blurb:
Mining, murder—and a mock marriage?

New York City socialite Becky Campbell inherited more than a speck of her father’s wanderlust. Now his murder bequeaths her a mystery, a ramshackle homestead, and a silver mine.

Zeke Graumann signs on as Becky’s foreman to keep his portion of his family’s ranch. He shares the workers’ reservations about a woman boss, especially one who burns water and prances around in dungarees. Even though she did look awful good in the dungarees.

Then a series of accidents add threat to tension. Can Becky trust Zeke, find her father’s killer, and turn her mine into a profitable venture? Will Zeke be forced to give up his ranching dream to win Becky’s heart?

Available in digital ebook at Amazon

Friday, January 24, 2020

LAKE SEASON by Denise Hunter, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Mi piacerebbe molto discutere di libri con te. "

"I would very much like to discuss books with you". . . . "He said the sweetest things", even though Adam Bradford had no idea that Molly was actually quite fluent in Italian and understand every single thing that he was supposedly telling himself. The more time that she spent with the reclusive researcher who was residing in her family's inn for the duration of the summer, the more endearing he became. Especially when he turned his full attention on a little research project of their own.

"He found her gift of gab charming and was envious of her easy way with people."

Molly Bennett had become his muse. Author Adam Bradford had traveled to the small lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina hoping to escape a serious attack of writer's block and his publisher's impending deadlines. After all, it was the area where his mother had enjoyed staying while researching her ancestry. Since his best selling novels were written under a pseudonym, he knew it would be tricky to hide his true identity from the gregarious, and quite lovely innkeeper, (who just so happened to love his books) but Adam was totally unprepared for the price he would have to pay to bare open his heart.

What a lovely story! The setting is quaint, but believable and the characters practically jump off the page, they are so appealing. The strength of this story though is in the full realization that God, in fact does, work all things together for good. . . . . .even when the truth hurts. 3.5 stars

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to review. 

BackCover Blurb:
Romance and old secrets beckon in this small North Carolina lake town.

When her parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream of turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina, home back into an inn. Staying in town would be temporary—three years at most—then they plan to sell the inn, and Molly can get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There, he meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn, she and Adam embark on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets he isn’t ready to share. Past and present collide as truths surface, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:
Buy Lake Season at Amazon
Buy Lake Season at

Thursday, January 23, 2020

SEW IN LOVE collection, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Sew in Love by Jacquolyn McMurray, Debby Lee, Kimberley Woodhouse and Darlene Panzera
I've always enjoyed Barbour novella collection books and “Sew in Love” is no exception! I only knew two authors in here but happily discovered two new ones. Another thing I love, being introduced to writers I would have never known had they not been included in the set. These are always a win/win for me!

The stories take place from 1850 to the end of WW2 in 1945. The most modern one was Debby Lee with “Tailored Sweethearts”. I haven't read too many war time stories as they aren't my favorite, but I really enjoyed this one. I admired Captain Irving Morgenstern in his unselfish devotion to his squadron and heroism in the face of danger. Stella McGovern did what she could to bring comfort to injured military men in the hospital where these two met. From there, it was love at first sight! They both clung to their faith when things were bleak and encouraged each other in difficult times. I really like the historical details Debby Lee included in her story, bringing it to life in my mind.

All the stories showed how love can conquer all and faith can get you through most anything in life. Enjoyed these very much!
*I received a complimentary copy from one of the authors and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. * 

BackCover Blurb:
When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their sewing lead to love?

HEARTS SEWN WITH LOVE by Darlene Panzera
Gold Bar, California, April 1850
During the California gold rush, a beautiful seamstress finds her heart torn between the men who want to marry her and the one fortune hunter who won’t.

WOVEN HEARTS by Jacquolyn McMurray
New York City, 1911
A shirtwaist factory fire survivor struggles to provide for her family despite the disastrous misguided intentions of the handsome union organizer who tries to help.

A  LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Kimberley Woodhouse
New York City, 1911
A milliner with thick Irish accent and a renowned baseball player with speech impediment meet at the office of a language teacher. But the issues with their backgrounds that first brought them together will also drive them apart.

Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Summer 1945
A parachute seamstress struggles with her faith in desperate circumstances. A fighter pilot teaches her to hope in her darkest hours.

Available in digital ebook, paperback and library binding:

Buy Sew in Love at Amazon
Buy Sew in Love at

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

AN UNCOMMON WOMAN by Laura Frantz, Reviewed by Winnie, Paula and Kim!!

Brimming with adventure and rich descriptive imagery, An Uncommon Woman showcases Laura Frantz’ impeccable research and attention to detail beautifully. The setting in 1770 on the western Virginia frontier with all its difficulties and hazards is a wonderful, intriguing backdrop for this captivating story. Frantz is a master at creating colorful, engaging, and multi-layered characters that come alive on the page.

Courageous, hardworking, and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is indeed an uncommon woman who bravely goes about her daily life while dreaming of the day she can live someplace where she doesn’t always need to have her guard up—where she can feel safe. Clay Tygart is an intrepid, likeable hero who enjoys the open country as opposed to the social life of the more populated towns. I enjoyed the slowly budding courtship and romance that simmered between the two. When I read a Laura Frantz book, I’m always torn between wanting to savor each page and needing to hurry to finish the story, and this one was no exception.

Filled with intrigue, suspense, rich historical detail, and just the right amount of romance, An Uncommon Woman is historical fiction at its finest. It has earned a spot on my keeper shelf and is a contender for my favorite books of the year list. I heartily recommend it to those who enjoy outstanding historical fiction.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.

Through the beautiful prose of Laura Frantz, I was taken back to the rich history of our western frontier in 1770’s Virginia. I was mesmerized by the story as if I were right there alongside the characters.

Clay Tygart was captured and raised by the Lenape Indians. After returning to civilization, he is now a colonel on his way to command a fort that bears his name on the far reaches of western Virginia. Tessa Swan is an uncommon woman living at Swan Station, not far from the fort, on the Buckhannon River with her widowed mother and five brothers. Ms. Frantz paints stunning word pictures of the area and gives us an honest rendering of what life was like in the wilderness of early America.

A tender love story is told among the danger and conflicting emotions of the characters. How are they to treat their Indian brothers? Are they friend or foe? While trying to eke out an existence, are the settlers pushing the Indians westward away from their rightful lands? Not all were out to eradicate the Redman. Ms. Frantz tells of the Moravians who had outposts to minister to the tribes thereby reaching them for Christ. It was refreshing to return to a time when people’s faith was the underpinning of their very lives and their reliance on God a thing to be cherished.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 

This is only the second Laura Frantz novel that I’ve read and now I’m wondering why, because I’ve really enjoyed both of them! Her writing style pulls you in to the story and you just want to keep reading. I am definitely adding her back list to my TBR!

This story is one to be savored. The descriptions and writing style made me feel completely immersed in Clay and Tessa’s lives. Their story is filled with so much depth and emotion. They are both wonderful characters that you root for the entire time you’re reading. I also loved the secondary characters, especially Keturah. I really want her story - all of it! She is the measure of a true friend!

I was really sad to see this story end! I wanted more and I really would’ve liked an epilogue! I can’t wait to see what Laura Frantz writes next! In the meantime, I’ll be accumulating her back list!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand--and heart--are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

END GAME by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula and Kim

End Game is the first book in a new series by Rachel Dylan entitled Capital Intrigue. It centers around our nations Capital.

With the alphabet agencies teaming up to solve multiple murders, the clues get more and more confounding. The deeper the agents dig, the more complex and dangerous things become.

I have read several of Ms Dylan’s books and this one is my favorite. It is full of confounding clues and many players but they are not hard to keep straight because each one is unique.

I like that there are more than one blossoming romances to peek in on. The characters seem to realize that they need to take things slowly because the circumstances are fraught with danger. It is great that FBI agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS agent Marco Agostini have a faith to base their decisions on and they voice their prayers in difficult situations.

This was a page-turner with a great plot. The dialogue and action scenes were very realistic. Just the kind of Romantic Suspense I enjoy. Excellent beginning to a new series. Bring on the next one.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

This is my first Rachel Dylan book. I have been wanting to read her for awhile now, so I was excited to see that End Game is the beginning of a new series. I really wanted to love this story, but sadly, I had a lot of issues with it.

I never really felt immersed in this story. I felt more like a spectator. There is a lot of telling instead of showing- especially when it came to Marco and Bailey’s growing feelings for each other, which made it harder to be invested in their relationship. I also felt like some things that should’ve been obvious to those investigating the crimes weren’t. The secondary story about Izzy felt unneeded and was kind of distracting and the negative way she talked about Marco - her superior- made me kind of dislike both of them. Finally, I felt like the ending a was bit anticlimactic. All that being said, I do seem to be in the minority about how people are liking this story!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


Back Cover Blurb:
When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there's a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:

Buy End Game at Amazon
Buy End Game at

Monday, January 20, 2020

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Jolina Petersheim, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Ruth Neufield's life has not only cracked, but there is a gaping hole where her future used to be. Travelling to Wisconsin with her two young daughters, she buries her husband's remains alongside those of her father-in-law, after the two were tragically killed in an overseas act of terroism. Settling into a Mennonite community there, Ruth and her widowed mother-in-law try to overcome sadness and grief, while accepting the hospitality of Elam Albrecht, her husband's cousin and a prosperous cranberry farmer.

It's in this quiet little corner of the world that Ruth begins to walk the road of recovery, not only away from the wounds of a disappointing marriage, but towards the hope of a new kind of tomorrow . . . and then it happens. . . . the unthinkable theft of her happiness.

To say that this book bulges with emotional triggers is an understatement, for the unique plot structure leads the reader along a path that seems almost impossible to navigate, and yet too captivating to abandon. And then the light comes in, shining its brightest through all the cracks and broken places. What a stunning story! 

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


BackCover Blurb:
From the highly acclaimed author of
The Outcast and The Alliance comes an engrossing novel about marriage and motherhood, loss and moving on.

When Ruth Neufeld's husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband's cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she'd lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn't dead after all.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy How the Light Gets In at Amazon
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

VALENTINE GOLD by Danielle Thorne, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“True, not all that glittered was gold, but all that was truly golden didn't always come in a sparkling package.”
As Natalie Boyd navigates a new path for her life, moving into the mountain cabin her aunt Polly left her, she discovers treasure. Not so much the precious gems or gold once mined in the Appalachians, but in the peaceful setting and community that embraced her late aunt. Setting her heart against anything to do with love, being burnt by her ex-husband, will she be able to open old wounds to let someone special come in again?

I was quickly drawn into this story! The setting and descriptions of the Appalachian mountains called to me. Upon meeting Jonathan, my heart fluttered knowing he was the one to get under Natalie's battered armor. With his boyish charm, ever-helpful manner, and patient outpouring of grace, you just can't help but fall in love with him! He too has hidden wounds that we learn of later in the story. I wished more of it was told from his perspective, but Thorne gives enough of his backstory so you're not completely left in the dark about what makes him tick. 

I like the sparks between these two; Natalie is so hard set against falling in love again and Jonathan is so gun shy to try again. This type of story always makes me anticipate how the author will bring two wounded souls together and make them fall in love in spite of themselves. Thorne did not disappoint! And even though this wasn't so much labeled as Christian fiction, there are strong hints that God was centered in it. I found it refreshing and added a layer of faith I love reading about. Lastly, I wished I could have meet Natalie's Aunt Polly. She sounds like a wizened old soul with many life experiences to share with the next generation. Her words of wisdom resonated in Natalie’s thoughts whenever she needed them and I loved it.

In conclusion, this is a heartwarming story about finding peace with our past, forgiving ourselves, and realizing what really matters in life. It's not the gold that glitters, but rather the things that are far more precious; family, love, community and friends.
* This book was provided courtesy of the author and I was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
Her chances of finding love are about as good as striking gold, but an old cabin, a new neighbor, and the mountain of Good Hope just might shift the odds.

When Natalie inherits an old cabin in the Georgia mountains, she thinks it's the perfect place for peace and quiet. Then she learns her neighbor has plans for his place, and that means noise, traffic, and people. To make things worse, the man is drop-dead gorgeous and could charm the skin off a snake.

Natalie braces herself to do battle over the land and to resist Jonathan Wilby's charms, but her healing heart, an incredible discovery, and an unexpected friendship along the way bring a gold mine of change she never expected - and just in time for Valentine's Day.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Valentine Gold at Amazon

Saturday, January 18, 2020

FIRE STORM by NANCY MEHL, Reviewed by Kim

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is the second book in the Kaely Quinn, Profiler series. I would say you could read it as a stand-alone, but you will learn a lot about Kaely in the first story, which will help you to understand her character a bit better. More on Kaely in a minute!
First, what I liked about this story. Ms. Mehl has a writing style that draws you in and makes you want to read the story. I liked the suspense in the book. The entire time I was reading, I was trying to figure out who the villain was. I also like Noah and many of the other secondary characters in this story.

Now for a few issues I had. Kaely is a very different character from any other character that I’ve read. She does some things that are very questionable and honestly make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but I wonder if a real FBI profiler used her tactics, what would happen to them. I also felt like she was very uncaring with her sick mother. She went to Dark Water to take care of her and relieve her brother from doing all the caregiving, but she ended up caring more about a case, which was not even hers, than her mother. I also wished the relationship between Kaely and Noah and Kaely and her mom would have moved farther along. That being said, I am looking forward to book 3, Dead End, which comes out in March.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn's mother is diagnosed with cancer, Kaely takes time off work to go to Dark Water, Nebraska, to help her brother care for their mother. Upon her arrival, she learns of a series of fires in the small town, attributed by the fire chief to misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter. But Kaely is skeptical, and a search for a pattern in the locations of the fires bolsters her suspicions.

After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother's firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely's suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Fire Storm at Amazon
Buy Fire Storm at

Friday, January 17, 2020

SECONDS TO LIVE by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Paula Shreckhise

Suspense is among my favorite genres and Ms. Sleeman does a fantastic job with Seconds To Live, the first in the Homeland Heroes series.

Who is the Phantom hacker who has breached the Witness Protection data base? Can FBI agent Sean Nichols and US Marshall Taylor Mills track him down with the help of a victim who got away? A thrill a minute in this taught drama with protagonists trying to trust in God’s plan as they unravel the clues to the Phantom’s identity, while dodging bullets and shaking cars that are tailing them.

Dustee is on the run. Does she know who is chasing her? “Anger and hatred emanated from his body. Finding her was personal to him- this could be the end for her. She didn’t want to die.”

So starts Seconds To Live and the excitement builds. Ms. Sleeman uses up to the minute information to make her story seem very real. Take a ringside seat into the workings of the US Marshall’s Witness Protection Program and marvel as the good guys put the clues together to protect and stay one step ahead of the evil Phantom.

But not all cases get resolved and we get a glimpse of a case that carries over into the next book in the series. It will be hard to wait for the next book to come out. I am hooked.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

Filled with the heart-pounding suspense and masterful writing I’ve come to expect from a Susan Sleeman book, Seconds to Live starts off the Homeland Heroes series with a bang. Her impeccable research and plot development, along with realistic, well-developed, and endearing characters never fail to satisfy. With her vast knowledge of criminal investigation, forensic evidence, and investigation procedures, I always come away with a deeper appreciation for the depth of the research Sleeman puts into her novels.

Main characters Sean Nichols and Taylor Mills are engaging and multi-layered, and I enjoyed getting to know them. They both had major trust issues to deal with which made them reluctant to form deep attachments. I liked the way their relationship evolved slowly, even though they had communicated for months online before meeting in person. It made for a unique and fascinating connection.

Threads of inspiration are seamlessly woven into the story without being preachy. Trust, forgiveness of self and others, and faith, are major takeaways. “One thing he’d forgotten, and important thing: God didn’t betray. Didn’t turn His back. He was always the same loving God. Always wanting the best for His children.”

If you like riveting, nail-biting stories filled with suspense, intrigue, and romance with a side measure of faith and inspiration, you’re sure to enjoy Seconds to Live. Sleeman has fast become one of my favorite Christian suspense authors, and I’m looking forward to more of her fantastic books in the future.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
When cybercriminals hack into the US Marshals' Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses' personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness's help, as she's the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom's identity.

Trouble is, she's a witness under the care of US Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom claims he knows where the witness is hiding and will kill her, so to stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must work through their personal pain and learn to trust each other. . . . The seconds are ticking down before someone dies.
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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