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.

TAILORED SWEETHEARTS by Debby Lee
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 Christianbook.com












Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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



WINNIE'S REVIEW:
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.

PAULA'S REVIEW:
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.* 



KIM'S REVIEW:
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:

Buy An Uncommon Woman at Amazon
Buy An Uncommon Woman at Christianbook.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

END GAME by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula and Kim


PAULA'S REVIEW:
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.*


KIM'S REVIEW:
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.

SEE REVIEWS BY NICOLE AND TRIXI!

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 Christianbook.com

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. 

SEE THIS BOOK AND MORE IN REBECCA'S FAVORITE READS LIST OF 2019

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
Buy How the Light Gets in at Christianbook.com

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 Christianbook.com

Friday, January 17, 2020

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


PAULA'S REVIEW:
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.*

WINNIE'S REVIEW:
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:
 
-->

Thursday, January 16, 2020

DEAD END by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

When I’m in the mood for romantic suspense, one of my favorite go-to authors is Susan Sleeman. I can always count on a riveting, action-packed read when I pick up one of her books. She knows how to create a story that keeps me guessing to the end, and her characters are always well-crafted, realistic, and engaging. Dead End is another great book in the Truth Seekers series, and I loved reading about Sierra and Reed’s story.

Sleeman always astounds me with her knowledge about criminal investigation. Her research is thorough and detailed, and her characters all have different jobs in this field, so I’m learning so much while reading her stories. With lots of suspense and intrigue, a bit of romance, and a dash of inspiration and faith, this book should appeal to those who enjoy a great suspense novel. Although it’s part of a series, it can be read alone. There are characters from previous books who make appearances in this one, and it was fun to catch up on their activities. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.


BackCover Blurb:
Evaluating trace evidence is her job…

When Sierra Byrd’s father needs a kidney transplant, despite her parents’ protest claiming they could never ask for her help, Sierra insists on being tested for the transplant. But when results prove it is physically impossible for her father to be her biological father, her family finally confesses their long-held secret. She was conceived in an affair her mother had the summer before her parents’ wedding. The man she’d come to know as father is named on her birth certificate, but he truly isn’t her father.

But the job just turned personal.Shocked and hurt, Sierra goes in search of her biological father in the small coastal town where he owns a property management business. But when she arrives in town to find her father has recently disappeared, and she starts asking questions, FBI Agent Reed Rice delivers her second shock in as many days. Her father is wanted for embezzling money from the properties he manages. Despite the evidence staring her in the face, Sierra holds out hope that her father isn’t the criminal that Reed believes him to be. But as Sierra’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and she runs into dead end after dead end, she ignites a killer’s fury, and suddenly her own life is on the line.


Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Dead End at Amazon
 

-->

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

THE BRIDGE TO BELLE ISLAND by Julie Klassen, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Stay at home! Stay safe!"

Her mother's last words . . . . forever etched in her brain; compelling Isabelle Wilder to remain tethered to her beautiful home on Belle Island. And now, unfortunate suspicions are swirling about her trustee's untimely death; murder they say . . . . . and somehow she is connected, albeit impossible, because she never traveled to London on that fateful night. However, she does remember having a troubling dream.

Attorney Benjamin Booker has been assigned to investigate the Wilder case; the murder of Percival Norris leads him directly to Belle Island, where a lovelier-than-expected young woman turns out to be his person of interest. The case poses so many unanswered questions and supplies so many people who refuse to answer them that Ben finds it hard to truly suspect anyone, unless he suspects everyone. The longer he remains a guest of the island, the harder it becomes to think that Isabelle Wilder is capable of inflicting harm on anyone, but regrettably Ben has been wrong about attractive women before.

Beautifully written, the author creates a scenario swirling with intrigue and curiosity, before placing all the pieces of the puzzle in exactly the right places; carefully allowing her readers to savor a slow burn romance, while carefully tucking in valuable faith lessons that will undoubtedly outlast the pages of her book.

"State what you suspect as fact with confidence, and nine times out of ten people will believe you in possession of the evidence and respond accordingly." 4.5 stars

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


BackCover Blurb:
After a humiliating mistake, lawyer Benjamin Booker resolves to never again trust a beautiful woman. When an old friend is killed, the senior partner isn't satisfied with Bow Street's efforts and asks Benjamin to investigate. Eager to leave London for a while, Benjamin agrees. Evidence takes him to a remote island on the Thames, a world unto itself, shrouded in mist and mystery. Soon he finds himself falling for the main suspect--a woman who claims not to have left the island in ten years. But should he trust her?

On Belle Island, Isabelle feels safe and leads a productive life, but fear keeps her trapped there. When Mr. Booker arrives with news of her trustee's murder in London, Isabelle is stunned. She has not left the island, yet she has a recurring dream about the man's death. Or is it a memory? She had been furious with him, but she never intended . . . this.

When a second person dies and evidence shockingly points to her, Isabelle doesn't know who to trust: the attractive lawyer or the admirer and friends who assemble on the island, each with grudges against the victim. Can she even trust her own mind? While they search for the truth, secrets come to light and danger comes calling.


Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy The Bridge to Belle Island at Amazon
Buy The Bridge to Belle Island at Christianbook.com
 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

LOVE YOU, TRULY by Susan Tuttle, Reviewed by Kim

I can’t say often that a fiction book has changed me, but Love You, Truly by Susan Tuttle has! I loved this book! It is has romance, humor, character growth, a fun storyline, and a wonderful message of God’s love. But, there is also a depth to it that totally took me by surprise.

Susan Tuttle has such a way with words that she makes you feel the way the characters are feeling. I laughed and shed a few tears right along with Blake and Harlow. This story also has the most touching, tear inducing salvation seen I’ve ever read. I literally got chill bumps.

In a word, the story is about love. Yes, it’s a love story between Blake and Harlow, but more than that, Susan Tuttle has shown the love of God beautifully. She has shown the fruits of the Spirit in action and I am praying this story gets into the hands of everyone who needs it- which is everyone! Love You, Truly is definitely one of my top books of the year!

*I bought a copy of this book, and was under no obligation to review it.

BackCover Blurb:
Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.

After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.

As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Love You, Truly at Amazon

 

Monday, January 13, 2020

THE MAJOR'S DAUGHTER by Regina Jennings, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise and Winnie Thomas

PAULA'S REVIEW:
The Major’s Daughter is the third book in the Fort Reno series by Regina Jennings. It is best to read all three books in order but I enjoyed reading this book by itself. I hope to read the first two soon.

Caroline Adams is returning to the Fort that her father, the Major commands after being in society in Galveston. She and her friend Amber decide to take a chance on the land run to stake a claim of their own in the Oklahoma Territory. It was fun to virtually be on the front lines to see how the operation of a land run played out. Was this a lark for Caroline, or was she truly planning to put down roots and stay on her claim the required time?

Frisco Smith is an orphan and has long planned to make a home in the Unassigned Lands. He has been working hard to that end but gets a rude awakening when someone gets to his chosen spot ahead of him. That someone is none other than Caroline Adams, with whom he has a history.

Can they come to an agreement? Join the fun as this imaginative story plays out. Are Frisco and Caroline the only ones with something at stake? Ms. Jennings sends some shifty opponents their way.

If you want to learn some history along with an entertaining romance that has twists and turns, I recommend this Historical Christian Fiction story with a feisty heroine and noble hero who both want to honor God.
*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.*
WINNIE'S REVIEW:
Once again, Regina Jennings has written a witty, fun historical fiction with this final book in her Fort Reno series. Set in 1889 during the Oklahoma land rush, this book is populated with engaging, well-drawn, and layered characters. Frisco Smith has never had a real home, and he’s looking forward to owning his own land and building a town. The land rush will give him a chance for a place to call his own. There’s only one problem—he didn’t count on Caroline Adams’ urge for independence and adventure. These two had me cracking up and turning pages. A colorful cast of secondary characters adds to the merriment.

With great attention to historical detail, the author brings this slice of American history to life. I enjoyed learning more about the land rush and its part in settling the Midwest. The character growth was fascinating with the main characters finally realizing what is really important in life. I adore Jennings’ sense of humor and fun, and, sometimes, the absurd! This series has been such an adventure. I’m sad to see it end but look forward to more from her in the future. Although this is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone book.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.





BackCover Blurb:
Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, they find his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run pending, they may just join the rush.

Growing up parentless, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It's no wonder that he fought to open the Unassigned Lands. After years of sneaking across the border, he's even managed to put in a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he's poised to claim.

When the gun sounds, everyone's best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco soon find themselves battling over a claim--and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.


Available in digital ebook, hardcover, paperback and audiobook:
Buy The Major's Daughter at Amazon
Buy The Major's Daughter at Christianbook.com
 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

HOW SWEET THE SOUND by Amy K. Sorrells, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

There's no sweeter sound than amazing grace!

When tragedy strikes a small Alabama town, Bay Springs responds according to the rules of etiquette and prestige, rather than honesty and humility. A young teen finds herself caught in the crosshairs; having faced unfathomable loss, Anniston Harlan cannot help but feel that she is only gaining additional heartache. Expectations can't adequately cover ugly, dark family secrets, and the Harlan family has more than their share of them.

While one young woman's future hangs precariously close to self-destruction, Anniston manages to befriend a young man whose quiet, casual, steady attentions offer solace within the boundaries of her broken places. But even friendships, as solid as they may become, can never take the place of the One who offers light in the midst of the darkness; for "God says, 'Do your part, and I'll do mine.'"

A pure mix of poetry, literature and melody raise their voices in joyful prose, declaring confidently that we can always be "climbing Jacob's ladders"! 4.5 stars
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it nor provide a positive review.

Back Cover Blurb:
“With poetic prose, lyrical descriptions, and sensory details . . . this story dives into the Gulf Coast culture of pecan orchards and debutante balls, exposing layers of family secrets and sins. In the end comes redemption, grace, forgiveness, and faith. Bravo!” —Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author

Wealth and etiquette can hide a lot of things in the South, as the esteemed Harlan family of sleepy Bay Spring, Alabama, knows. But behind the gentle facade of white pillared porches and acres of cultivated pecan orchards, family secrets smolder.

Young Anniston Harlan cares little for high society and the rigid rules and expectations of her grandmother, Princella. She finds solace working the orchards alongside her father and grandfather, and relief in the cool waters of Mobile Bay.

Anniston’s aunt, Comfort Harlan, has never quite lived up to the family name, or so her mother Princella’s ever-apparent scowl implies. When she gleefully accepts the proposal of her longtime boyfriend, Solly, a flood tide of tragedy ensues that strips Comfort of her innocence and unleashes generations of family secrets, changing the Harlan family forever.

While Comfort struggles to recover, Anniston discovers an unlikely new friend from the seedy part of town who helps her try to make sense of the chaos. Together, they and the whole town of Bay Spring discover how true love is a risk, but one worth taking.


Available in digital ebook, library binding and paperback:
Buy How Sweet the Sound at Amazon
Buy How Sweet the Sound at Christianbook.com


Saturday, January 11, 2020

THE WAY OF THE BRAVE by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Nicole and Kim

NICOLE'S REVIEW:
“Today, we save lives.”


The Way of the Brave, the first novel in award winning author Susan May Warren’s new Global Search and Rescue series, takes readers on a journey to the state of Alaska, where Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, can be found in all of its treacherous beauty.

Readers were first introduced to former pararescue jumper Orion Starr in Susan May Warren’s Summer of the Burning Sky series. After devastating losses and injuries during his time in Afghanistan, Orion has retreated to his home in Alaska. His rescue skills are put to the test when three climbers are lost on Denali, including one woman with a painful connection to Orion’s past.

The Way of the Brave starts with a slow build-up to the action and intricate details regarding climbing techniques and the climbing tools needed. Once the action starts, get ready for a fast-paced thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat. One part of the novel even brought me to tears. Orion and Jenny’s story was very well written, but I really connected with their friends Jake and Aria the most. Jake and Aria were my favorite characters in this novel, and the banter between them was so fun to read. I am really looking forward to their story in book 2 of the series, The Heart of a Hero.

Susan May Warren is known for her phenomenal family-centered series and incorporating characters from previous series into her newer series. In The Way of the Brave, which focuses on two groups of friends, longtime fans of Susan May Warren will love the return of some familiar characters along with the introduction of some new characters. Since The Way of the Brave is the start of a new series, this is the perfect opportunity for readers who have never read any books by this author. The Way of the Brave is highly recommended for readers of action-filled contemporary romance.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
 

“What happens in Alaska stays in Alaska.”

KIM'S REVIEW:
I am so torn about how I feel about this book. First, I’m not really sure I would call this a romantic suspense. To me, it’s more of an adventure romance, as most of the story takes place on Mt. Denali where the main group of characters are either trying to climb the mountain or save those in peril from mishaps on the mountain.

I am sure the research done for this book took a ton of time, but I felt that there were just too many climbing terms, techniques, and equipment names that I am not familiar with and that really took me out of the first 1/3 of the story.

I also had trouble buying into the romance between Orion and Jenny. They had only known each other for a few weeks -3 years previous and hadn’t seen each other since - so it was really hard to believe that their relationship meant so much to each other at the start of the story.

Once I got past the first part of the story and the action picked up, it was pretty incredible. I was on the edge of my seat pretty much for the rest of the story! Many of the situations our characters were placed in was very intense!

I felt like the faith element of the story was well done and fit perfectly with what the characters had been through in the past and what they were going through currently.

All that being said, I feel sort of like I read two different stories. One about how to climb a mountain and all of the equipment that is needed and one really good romantic adventure! 3.5 stars!

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

Back Cover Blurb:
Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure--and his injuries--has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team, but he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes--the man she nearly killed.

Her skills and his experience are exactly what's needed to prevent another tragedy--but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They'll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

Leap into action with this high-octane, breakneck new series from bestselling author Susan May Warren.


Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:


Buy The Way of the Brave at Amazon
Buy The Way of the Brave at Christianbook.com
Author Bio:
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over 65 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at Susan May Warren Fiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

--> --> -->

Friday, January 10, 2020

Carrie Stuart Parks #Interview by Nicole Cook! Fragments of Fear


Author Carrie Stuart Parks

Nicole: I am delighted to have author Carrie Stuart Parks join us today at Inkwell Inspirations to discuss her latest suspense novel, Fragments of Fear, which was chosen as the December book club selection for the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group. Carrie Stuart Parks recently led a live Facebook chat in the Avid Readers Group to discuss her book with the members of the group. Carrie, thank you so much for joining us today!

Carrie: Thank you so very much for inviting me!


Nicole: I love reading suspense novels, and the back cover blurb of Fragments of Fear captured my attention immediately. I had heard so many great things about your books, so I was thrilled to finally get the opportunity to read one of them. For readers who have never read your books before, is there a certain book of yours that you recommend reading first?



Carrie: The first four, the Gwen Marcey series, could be read in order, but they are designed to stand alone as well. In order they would be:

-A Cry From the Dust
-The Bones Will Speak
-When Death Draws Near
-Portrait of Vengeance

The rest of the books are stand-alones.


Nicole: Fragments of Fear is an intriguing story filled with mystery, lots of action, and realistically flawed characters. What message or inspiration do you hope that people will get from reading Fragments of Fear?

Carrie: The main character—Tavish—grasps at any belief system (crystals, horoscope, meditation) and is a total neurotic mess. Through the story, with the help of a Bible verse on her Grandmother’s grave and a plucky dog, she learns where she should put her faith.

Nicole: I love being a member of the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group and participating in so many wonderful discussions within the group. As a reader, I get to share my love of Christian fiction with the other members in the group, and I have discovered so many new-to-me authors who have become must-read authors. From an author’s perspective, what do you like best about participating in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group, and what has been your favorite part of having Fragments of Fear as the book club selection this month?

Carrie: I'm fascinated by the discussions of my fellow writer's books--and thrilled that folks are reading and enjoying them. I told my publisher about this Facebook page and said how word-of-mouth talking about books helps readers to find just the right story they're looking for. I mean, where can you have someone ask for a recommendation for a book featuring Santa-turned-Amish ballet-dancer with a fatal disease that falls in love with a career female army pilot while flying to Texas? Boom, three people will mention just such books. I was over-the-moon thrilled when Fragments of Fear was selected and for a chance to talk about my faith, writing, career, and life. Love and blessings to all who participated!


Nicole: Can you share any information about your future releases and/or your current work in progress?

Carrie: Sneak peek back cover copy from Relative Silence:

There are dark closets in every powerful family’s mansion.

Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s nearly perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.

But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.

Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.
Unraveling the family’s true history will be the key to Piper’s survival—or her certain death.

Nicole: Wow, Relative Silence sounds like a fascinating novel. I love the sneak peek! I will definitely be adding it to my list of books to read in 2020. 

It seems hard to believe that we are starting a new decade already. Do you plan to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?

Carrie: I don’t know that I’d call what I do resolutions. More like goals. I’ll be finishing up my bucket list of becoming an AKC Great Pyrenees judge in January and finishing off the year by judging the Canadian National. Of course, I’ll have the next novel due in August, and Relative Silence will be released in July. Our schedule for forensic classes are up and I’ll be working on fine art and writing classes. My class reunion will be mid-summer. I’ll be speaking to a Sisters in Crime group in April as well as attending the National Great Pyrenees dog show — both in Virginia. It’s shaping up to be a busy year.

Nicole: Carrie, thank you again for joining us today! This has been a pleasure to chat with you!

Back Cover Blub of Fragments of Fear:
FBI-certified forensic artist Carrie Stuart Parks infuses her real-life expertise into her award-winning suspense novels.

Evelyn McTavish’s world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.

Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she was commissioned to draw the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner—but she arrives only to discover John’s murdered body.

As Evelyn herself becomes a target, she crosses paths with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. The more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he becomes in keeping her safe. Together, they’re desperate to find the links between so many disparate pieces.

Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that’s worth killing for. And the clock is ticking.


Author Bio:
Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy winner as well as a multiple Carol and Inspy Award–winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Author links:
http://www.carriestuartparks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CarrieStuartParksAuthor/
https://twitter.com/carrieparks
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carrie-stuart-parks




The Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group is a wonderful discussion group for book enthusiasts to talk about what Christian fiction books they are reading. Participation in the group is the perfect way to discover many new Christian fiction authors and books. The group is comprised of numerous Christian fiction authors and readers and is very well moderated. Any readers or authors interested in joining the group can click on the following link and answer a few questions to be added. The questions are easy and are meant to keep out spammers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvidChristFicReaders/
The January book club selection for the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction is Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel.

Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Pinterest