Saturday, February 29, 2020

WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by Jennifer Rodewald, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Rebecca Maney

“No one can run forever.”

When I Come Home Again is a poignant, emotional, and very satisfying read. I’ve read some of Jennifer Rodewald’s books before, so I knew I’d be getting hit with all the feels and emotions. Rodewald is a master at creating multi-layered, flawed, and relatable characters and throwing them into hard situations. Brenna and Craig are two such characters with a past which ended with pain, misunderstandings, regrets, and heartache. It was very touching to see them go through the tough process of sorting things out and healing their relationship.

“There is beauty in the hard places. Don’t miss the breathtaking wonder because you are too afraid to go through the painful work of getting there.”

Tender messages of forgiveness, healing, hope, and redemption are woven into the story seamlessly and give added depth to it. This is a fantastic start to a new series, Big Prairie Romance. I’m looking forward to more amazing stories in the series. 4.5 stars
*I purchased this book so I was under no obligation to provide a review.


"Some people live with regret their whole lives, never realizing that they don't have to."

Brenna Blaum and Craig Erikson are drowning in regrets. Following Craig's return to his home town, primarily to care for his ill mother and her two foster sons, his reemergence into the daily flow of Big Prairie life loosens a floodgate of memories for both of them. While Brenna is consumed with anger, albeit rage might be a better description, Craig is overwhelmed with guilt and multiple responsibilities; he cannot navigate any of their forced conversations, and the spiteful expressions repeatedly displayed across Brenna's countenance precipitate numerous sleepless nights.

"What had happened that final spring that had forced a change between them that he'd had no idea what to do with? " How had two people, who had once dearly loved each other, arrived at this place of . . ."not even friends".

Author Jennifer Rodewald is always about restoration, allowing her characters to fail miserably on their own, before gently reminding them that the One who heals, also loves. He also forgives, he also rebuilds. He erases shame and he promises new beginnings; he invites us to "come home again".
*I received a copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover blurb:
A tragic fallout drove them apart. When a family crisis calls him back to his small hometown where she still lives, will forgiveness lead them to a second chance?

Brenna Blaum had been sure of three things in her life—her brother, her running, and her dad’s star receiver. But in a matter of a year’s time, everything she’d counted on fell apart, leaving her devastated. Seven years later, she’s stable again. She has a supportive boyfriend, fulfilling career, and close friends. She keeps her past heartache where it belongs—in her rearview mirror. Until the man who broke her heart finds his way back to Big Prairie.

Craig Erikson had it all—popularity, success, and the love of his high school coach’s daughter. But after a year of mistakes that ended in a tragic accident, he’d left Big Prairie—the place he’d thought to always call home—hoping that without his antagonizing presence, Brenna would be able to heal. Now his mother desperately needs him, as do two young boys in her care. Craig has little choice but to return for good.

Unsure that she can forgive him, Brenna does her best to avoid him. Irritated that she ignores him as if they’d never meant anything to each other, Craig becomes determined not to allow it.

Life in a small town forces their interaction, making them confront their unresolved issues and igniting emotions that have smoldered for seven years. As Craig and Brenna are pushed together, can they endure the hard places still littering their lives? If so, is it possible to find their way back to love and home again?

Small town Christian stories of romance and redemption, begin the Big Prairie Romance series today!

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy When I Come Home Again at Amazon

Friday, February 28, 2020

Chatting with (Author, Life Coach, Podcaster and more...) Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Deb: Today, I'm welcoming Dr. MaryAnn Diorio to the Inkwell! I  follow her by email and thought it was a great time to reach out and chat.  
MaryAnn, with your career background, how did you find your way to writing fiction?

MaryAnn: The simplest answer is that God led me to write fiction. In fact, God led me to writing, in general. My formal education was in Romance languages (French, Italian, and Spanish) and Education. For several years, I taught foreign languages, mostly at the college and university level. Writing had never been on my radar, although journalism had once flitted across my find when I was in high school. But after my first day of French class, my fate was sealed. Or so I thought! :)

Then, at age 30, I discerned God’s call on my life to write for Him. In response to that call, I attended my first writing workshop, a session on how to write light verse. Now, I am not a funny person by nature (my husband is the comedian in the family), but I attended this workshop because it was the only one with an opening left. While the workshop was excellent, I left thinking that I would never write anything funny.

About a week later, my two little girls at the time had a terrible argument. I had just read a parenting book about letting children solve their own problems without parental intervention. Well, when the decibel level skyrocketed, I trashed the book and invaded the argument. As I was disciplining my children, I started laughing. I should write a poem about this, I thought. Well, I did write a poem, and, by God's miraculous intervention, that poem was accepted and published in The Saturday Evening Post. This was God’s way of confirming to me that He had indeed called me to write for Him.
Deb: Yes, it's funny how that happens. Our plans are not His plans. Thankfully!

It seems that so much of what you do revolves around helping others deal with the ups and downs of life. Have you always been a Christian counselor and how has your faith helped you in what must be very exhausting work due to the emotions involved?

MaryAnn: First off, I am not a licensed Christian counselor. I am a Certified Life Coach. The difference between a counselor and a coach is that a counselor helps the client look backward into his past to discover obstacles to overcoming problems, whereas a life coach deals with people who are, essentially, emotional healthy and ready to move forward with their lives. I became a life coach because God has given me the gift of exhortation in the Body of Christ, and coaching is an outstanding way to encourage those who need it.

Deb: Thanks for the insight on that. And boy, Encouragers are so badly needed right now. 

CLC Bookstore
Moorestown, New Jersey
November 28, 2015

Tell us about your move to using Podcasts and how we can find them.

MaryAnn: I started listening to podcasts as the result of a writing course I was taking. Up until this time, I had been writing a weekly blog titled “Winning with the Word.” As I was listening to my writing podcasts, the thought occurred to me that I could put my weekly blog posts into the podcast format as well. I had recently read that more people are listening today than reading. They read in their cars on the way to work. They read while working out or doing the dishes. So, because I wanted to reach more people with the Gospel message, I started to record podcasts. My podcast name is “Winning with the Word” and it can be found on Apple Podcasts, Blubrry, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Spreaker, Podbean, Podchaser, Castbox, and Deezer. Listeners can subscribe to the venue of choice to receive “Winning with the Word” in their mailboxes each Monday morning.

Deb: I've just subscribed! It's nice to switch over from audiobooks, (which I listen to all the time), and hear thoughts on so many topics. Podcasts just seem to have boomed in popularity from five years ago. Maybe it's the fact so many of us have smartphones now!

MaryAnn, what do you most enjoy when it comes to free time?

MaryAnn: I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband is now retired, so we spend a lot of time together. One of our daughters lives with her husband and six children within walking distance of our home, so we get to see our grandchildren quite a bit. Our other daughter lives about 40 minutes away, and we get to see her frequently as well. Next to spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, painting in acrylics, playing the piano, and tread-milling (my coined word for exercising on a treadmill. :))

Deb: Perfect! Creative breaks and exercise. Congratulations!

Thanks so much for being my guest, MaryAnn. 

MaryAnn: You are most welcome, Debra! Thank YOU for having me on your blog!

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author and former Professor of Fiction Writing.Her riveting books explore the deepest issues of the human heart.Her latest work is a children’s picture book entitled Who Is Jesus? MaryAnn may be reached at or via her website at


MaryAnn's latest novel is In Black and White, which happens to be on sale in celebration of Black History Month. 

A white woman. A black man. And their forbidden love.

Can endurance and faith sustain the love between a white woman and a black man, threatened by rejection, guilt, and racial injustice? Can love alone reconcile their starkly different worlds, lighting the way to a bright future together?

When graduate student, Tori Pendola, a white American woman, and Jebuni Kalitsi, a Ghanaian exchange student and heir to his tribe's chieftaincy, fall deeply in love, they must face not only their own inner demons of rejection and guilt but also the demons of societal hatred bent on destroying their relationship. Will their love survive the cruel and bitter attacks against them? Or will hatred and prejudice gain the upper hand?

In Black and White is a deeply moving story of the power of God's love to restore all that is broken in their lives.

(Note: The above are MaryAnn's affiliate links)

Find Mary Ann on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram also!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

#INTERVIEW WITH Gabrielle Meyer and #REVIEW #GIVEAWAY of A MOTHER'S SECRET by Trixi Oberembt

Author Gabrielle Meyer

Trixi is offering a #Giveaway of an autographed copy of 
Trixi Oberembt
Trixi: What sparked your story for "A Mother's Secret"?

Gabrielle: I have always loved writing historical novels. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Morrison County Historical Society, I fell in love with the amazing history right in my own backyard and dreamed of one day writing novels set in my hometown. I was able to write for Love Inspired Historical for a couple years, and told some of that history, but when the line closed, I was at a loss. There was still so much history to tell, but if I wanted to share it, I would have to do it through contemporary novels. One of the places in my hometown that has a wealth of history is called Linden Hill. It's a nine-acre estate on the banks of the Mississippi River and it was built by lumber barons in the 1890's. I knew I wanted to set my story there, so that's what initially sparked my idea. I used a lot of the original family's history as my hero's family history, and was able to share my love for architecture, as well. It was my writing friend, Erica Vetsch, who suggested that the hero and heroine would be "fighting" over the estate. They both wanted it, for their own reasons. Friends of ours are in the midst of doing foster care toward adoption, and that's what sparked my idea for the heroine. She is a foster mom, trying to keep a stable home for her children. She's living at the historic estate (which I renamed Bee Tree Hill) and the hero is her old boyfriend who shows up to sell the property, not knowing she's living there.

Trixi: One thing I learned from the back of the book, your family used to live in the carriage house of what's called Linden Hill aka Bee Tree Hill. I loved that you made it Chase's legacy and gave historical background about it in the story! Tell us more about your real life experiences.

Gabrielle: You're right! I did grow up at Linden Hill. Because of that, it holds a very, very special place in my heart. The last living family member, Laura Jane Musser, was in her eighties when she hired my dad to be the caretaker for the property and offered the carriage house for our family to live in. I was only three when we moved in, but I clearly remember the day, because it was so magical. The entire property is enclosed by fencing on three sides and the Mississippi River on the fourth and we had almost all of it as our backyard. Growing up at Linden Hill sparked my love for local history, as well as my love for the river, and almost every story I write has an important river in the setting. The amazing thing about the property is that it hasn't changed since I was little! I love taking my own kids there and showing them where I grew up.

Trixi: You wrote for the Historical line of Love Inspired before it closed down, how was the transition to contemporary? What do you like most about it?

Gabrielle: It took me over a year to wrap my head around writing contemporary! At first, I had no desire to step out of historical, but my editor told me several times that if I was interested, she'd love to see some ideas from me. To be honest, writing this story was one of my favorite experiences! I went without a book contract for eighteen months, and this was the first story I wrote after that time. I tell people it was like dancing in the rain after an eighteen-month drought! It was so much easier relating to these characters on a personal level, because I know what it's like to live in the modern world. It's a lot harder to relate to an English lady living in 1803! It also requires a lot less research, and I never once had to look up an etymology dictionary to see if a word was in use at the time of my story. There's a lot more freedom in writing a contemporary story, to be sure!

Thank you for hosting me on the blog! I appreciate all your support and encouragement.

Readers, visit Gabrielle's home on the web and her Author Facebook Page

A mother will do anything to protect her children and that's exactly what Joy has done for her twin girls Kinsley and Harper for the past four years. Keeping them away from their father Chase Asher was an unfortunate result of his father's ruthless dominance of his life. She never told Chase about her pregnancy but when he literally shows up at her doorstep, the truth could tear them apart. Or could it build a life together stronger than before? Joy has her hands full with not only her gregarious twin girls but three rambunctious boys she's fostering. Living in Bee Tree Hill is a dream come true and the kind of stability this little family needs.

I have loved Gabrielle Meyer's Love Inspired Historical novels and I was so excited to learn she is now writing for the contemporary line. Her stories are always heartwarming and emotional, “A Mother's Secret” is no exception! Having been a foster child most of her life, Joy has been raising three young boys in need, so she understands what it's like to have someone care for and protect them. Her generous heart and loving ways have caused them to blossom into well adjusted boys. When I learned of the reasons they were in foster care, my heart ached for all they had been through. When Chase came on the scene, they took to his influence as if he belonged. Doing “guy” things together helped build their confidence; I loved how Chase treated them as if they were the most important people in his world. He was the kind of caring man Joy needed as well. Watching them overcome the past was emotionally wrenching, but at the same time, they needed to tackle the unpleasant task of untangling what went wrong.

“When we make choices based on fear, we often make the wrong decision. It's the choices we make based on faith that really matter. But thank God that whatever the enemy intents for evil, God will use for good. Nothing has been broken that can't be fixed, Chase. Jesus was a carpenter. He's in the business of mending and repairing. ~page 170”

One other thing I loved about this story was that Gabrielle Meyer gives us true life history of Bee Tree Hill or what's called Linden Hill in real life; Chases family legacy. It really was built in the 1890's by lumber barons and the author's family lived in the carriage house just as Chase did. So she's very familiar with the nine acre property and the history behind it! Today it's used as a conference and retreat center and can be toured if you are ever in the area. She combines her love of history with a contemporary twist and it's a fantastic story to get lost in!

This is a hard book to put down once you start it, the author compels you to stay a while as you get caught up in Joy, Chase and the children's lives. You'll laugh and you'll cry, all while reflecting on what makes a, affection, God in the center, and a lifetime of someone by your side helping you along the way.
*I received a complimentary copy from the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. * 

For those of you who prefer to avoid Rafflecopter, our giveaway today is based on your comments.

Please let us know in the comments if you'd like to be in the drawing (Continental U.S. only, ends March 5 at midnight EST). Tell us:

1) what area or small town would you choose for a 'home town' romance?

2) do you read more historical or contemporary stories or a balance of both?

BackCover Blurb:

Her home is at stake…and her first love holds the key.

Joy Gordon’s life is far from perfect. The lavish house she lives in with her children was loaned to her by a wealthy philanthropist—and his death means she has to give up her home. To satisfy his controlling father, Chase Asher must take his great-uncle’s property from the woman he once loved…but what will he do when he learns he fathered Joy’s twins?

Available in digital ebook, and mass market paperback:
Buy A Mother's Secret at Amazon
Buy A Mother's Secret at

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

AT FIRST GLANCE by Susan L. Tuttle, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

I really enjoyed this contemporary novel. It was packed with so many meaningful messages in a tale of two sisters who are each struggling with self worth.
Penny has moved to Chicago to be an Estate Sales Coordinator ( a job I would love) to distance herself from her dysfunctional family. Younger sister Belle’s wedding is the center of attention. Penny wants to reconnect with Belle so badly that she agrees to a diet and exercise plan in order to fit into a gaudy purple dress for the wedding. Penny suddenly finds herself with two suitors: East, the hunky personal trainer and Jonah, cousin to Belle’s fiancé, Micah.

Penny has a strong faith and will not compromise her standards, which I find admirable. However, she can’t see why East could be interested in her, so she makes a few allowances. Jonah is a businessman with a heart of gold who has taken his widowed sister and his nephew under his wing.

The rapport between Jonah and Penny is perfect, although Jonah is looking for more than the friendship Penny wants. Watch out there are swoony scenes ahead! So, who will she choose? The hunk or the hero? Can Penny find the acceptance that only God can give? 

 *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Justreads Blind Date with a book. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
Estate planner Penny Thornton loves dusting off items others gloss over, especially since she relates to feeling tossed aside for the "bright and shiny." When her younger sister's approaching wedding launches Penny back into the throes of her dysfunctional family, she decides to use the festivities to close the gap in their relationships even if it means appeasing them and finally losing the few pounds they've hounded her about for years.

But she doesn't expect to meet two very different men in the process: East Fisher, the personal trainer who personifies everything she believes she could never attain, and Jonah Black, a man who reminds her so much of herself. Both men are more than they appear at first glance, and each seems interested in her romantically.

As Penny uncovers their hidden layers, she discovers when it comes to love and matters of the heart, she's got a lot to learn about estimating value

Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A GIFT TO CHERISH by Victoria Bylin, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

A Gift to Cherish is the second book in Victoria Bylin’s Road to Refuge series. It can definitely be a stand alone novel, but it was fun to revisit some of the characters from the first book, When He Found Me. I enjoyed traveling back to the town of Refuge, Wyoming and meeting some new residents. Rafe Donovan is a caring, courageous hero who is troubled by PTSD from his past and is in Refuge helping his brother with his construction business while trying to recover. Daisy Riley has a troubled past complicated by abuse and violence, but she is an admirable heroine as she tries to turn her life around. I loved the interaction between the two characters and enjoyed seeing their relationship grow.
Bylin isn’t afraid to tackle some tough subjects, PTSD, abuse, online dating hazards, addiction recovery, but she does so with sensitivity and compassion. A Gift to Cherish is a beautiful story of forgiveness, redemption, personal growth, hope, and courage. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. Her books are always compelling and inspiring.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
When Daisy Riley arrives in Refuge, Wyoming to live with her brother and his family, she intends to stay forever. A victim of violence in Los Angeles, Daisy craves stability, peace of mind, and safety. Her hope comes true when she lands a job as a personal assistant to Miss Joan Prescott, the owner of Cottonwood Acres, a historic ranch that once served as the set for a famous TV show. A retired college professor, Miss Joan has secrets and stories of her own, including a very unusual project that requires Daisy’s skills.

Rafe Donovan, a cop from Cincinnati, is haunted by a recurring nightmare about the death of his high school sweetheart and his failure to save her. Because of the nightmares, Rafe takes leave from the police department and seeks psychological help. He finds shelter in Refuge, where he pounds nails for his brother’s construction business. But he has no desire to stay in Wyoming and plans to return to Ohio as soon as possible.

When he finds Daisy Riley stranded late at night with a flat tire, Rafe is impressed by her courage. Daisy is equally impressed by him. Together they navigate the road to love—one complicated by the arrival of Daisy’s troubled best friend, online dating, and the impossible obstacle of 1,600 miles between her home and his.

AUTHOR NOTE: This story is about our current dating culture, including the risks of online dating. It also looks at the social mores of 1970s and how those values impact us today.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy A Gift to Cherish from Amazon

Sunday, February 23, 2020

#INTERVIEW with Roseanna M. White and Two Reviews ON WINGS OF DEVOTION from Kim and Rebecca


Kim: What is your favorite part of writing a book?

Roseanna: Well, I really love the brainstorming stage—coming up with all those shiny new ideas is so much fun. Everything is possible, there are so many options…and nothing has failed to work yet, ha ha. But then, I do also just love the art of stringing words together, of finding each character’s unique lens and choosing the right words to show the world through their eyes. So I love the planning and I love the writing…which I guess means I just love the whole process. ;) I’m so blessed to get to do this!

Kim: What do you do when you get stuck or box yourself into a corner?

Roseanna: After staring in frustration at the screen for a while, I’ll usually talk it through with my husband and/or my best friend (who’s also my critique partner). I’ll reread the chapter or two leading up to where I encountered the problem…and will usually have to delete some pages. All too often backtracking is necessary, but sometimes it’s just a matter of working out a snarl, so that brainstorming with others can be so useful! Though my husband jokes that I never actually take his advice—it always gets me thinking though, and provides the basis of what then works better when I sit down to write it.

Kim: Thanks for being our guest, Roseanna! 

"Everyone always chose something - or someone - else.

Seemingly underestimated, unnoticed, and underappreciated, Arabelle Denler's broken engagement gave one more indication that she was never going to measure up. After all, her nursing career could provide fulfillment; it could, it absolutely could . . . .until a pilot with a broken spirit lands on her doorstep and opens up an infinity of possibilities.

Major Phillip Camden, dubbed Black Heart for the mistake that he would always regret, knows that he is fortunate to be among the living. Number one; he was the lone survivor of a mission that took the lives of his entire squadron and number two; his court martial was postponed amidst public protest in order for him to serve as a codebreaker for the Admiralty. But when an entirely different kind of assignment presents itself, the young woman whose life he disrupts manages to elude common bitterness in order to choose grace in its stead. What kind of person determines to be "better despite (her) circumstances"? Arabelle Denler testifes that it is God's unconditional love, alive in her heart, that makes all the difference.

While Ara and Phillip cautiously approach a deepening friendship, Phillip's past reappears in the sultry form of one whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc, until death; tossing their fragile relationship to the very edges of its boundaries and sending Phillip to his knees.

Written with this author's unmistakably smooth style, "On Wings of Devotion" exalts the mighty healing power of a God who can transform the darkest of hearts and assure the lonely ones of His everlasting presence.
4.5 stars.
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

This story is amazing!!! I had a feeling when Phillip Camden was introduced in The Number of Love, he might end up being a favorite! Roseanna White did not disappoint! I absolutely loved his character and Ara is his perfect match! My favorite thing about her is how she lives her faith. She doesn’t just say the right things, she does them!

I loved the intrigue and the plot of this story and the way it all came together in the end! I also loved the cameos from previous characters, especially the ones from the Shadows over England series. Also, make sure you read the author notes at the end. I love how Ms. White always perfectly incorporates actual historical events into her fiction.

This story has no flaws! I loved everything about it! I’m so excited for the next book in the series!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. 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 from Amazon
Buy On Wings of Devotion from

Saturday, February 22, 2020

A WALTZ IN THE WILDERNESS by Kathleen Denly, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

With a stubborn but loyal heroine and an honorable hero with a steadfast faith, this story is a bit complicated but that’s what makes it interesting and enjoyable. It was fun to read about Eliza Brooks’ journey into womanhood. The historical facts about early San Francisco and San Diego and ship travel of that time were fascinating. Daniel Clarke is a man with high principles, even as he is escorting Eliza into the wilderness to find her father. He tries to honor God and his fiancée but could he be falling for Eliza? Would they find her father? Would Daniel’s betrothed feel the same after four years apart?
Some characters had much to admire and others were fun to boo and hiss at.

This is the first of a series and I am anxious to see what is in store for the characters in the next book.
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
She's desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother's death, so she'll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend's unexpected assistance is a blessing she can't refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it's been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancée is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy A Waltz in the Wilderness at Amazon

Friday, February 21, 2020

LOVE AND OTHER MISTAKES by Jessica Kate, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Natalie Groves and Jeremy Walters have issues.

After a broken engagement and seven years of silence, they literally reunite on hot pavement while Natalie holds an adorable baby in her arms; Jeremy's baby. He's come back home to Charlottesville as a single parent. And he needs Natalie's help. Not happening . . . .

Natalie has plans. Plans of her own. Plans to secure a ministry position at her church. Plans to continue her father's legacy. Plans that are not going to derail just because one handsome ex-fiance with an equally handsome little "Ollie" show up. On second thought, can she possibly help Jeremy and secure an internship? Maybe. . . . . . . , but then there is Lili, and Chloe, and John. Maybe not.

Ups and downs. Ebbs and flows. Ins and outs. Charateristic of a debut, this somewhat zig-zagging story also had some raw, authentic, contemplative moments. Real life happens, and often at warp speed. Forgetting and forgiving are definitely two different things, people fall shamelessly off of pedestals, the ones we love the most have the power to hurt us the most, and shutting down communication when it matters, is never a good idea.

Entertaining and insightful; undoubtedly, this young author has many more good stories to write!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own

BackCover Blurb:
Jessica Kate’s heartfelt and romantic debut proves that love always comes in God’s own time.

Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancé, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away.

Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast.

An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate . . . and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all. 

Available in digital ebook, paperback, audiobook and library binding:
Buy Love and Other Mistakes at Amazon
Buy Love and Other Mistakes at

Thursday, February 20, 2020

FINDING THE ROAD HOME BY Tina Radcliffe, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt and Winnie Thomas

“This was what her sister's children deserved. Green grass as far as they could see. Trees to climb. Adventures to be had. Maybe, just maybe, living in Oklahoma would help them remember the good times, ease their pain, and remind them all that God had His hand on their tomorrows.~(pg. 17)”

I fell in love with Rebel, Oklahoma! It definitely has it's small town charm and citizens who take care of each other in all circumstances. I loved how they took Daisy, Gran (Alice) and all five kids under their wing and invested time and money to meet their needs. And how they pulled together to come up with and support ways for the PD to win that much needed funding. It just goes to show you how small town dynamics can have a big impact!

I admired Daisy for never questioning taking her five nieces and nephews under her care after her twin sister and brother-in-law died in a car accident. With the help of her Grandma Alice, they start a new life in a new town to help ease their grief. When the department funding is threatened, she doesn't hesitate to roll up her sleeves and fight for herself and the kids future. I loved her determination and tenacity in the face of hardship. Her faith in God never wavers, and Gran's wisdom helps her remember what He has done in the past and how He has her future in His hands. I loved her the best, I think! The voice of reason and Godly wisdom.

“Friendship is a solid foundation for a long-term relationship.~Gran (pg. 174)”

Police Chief Mitch is a charming southern gentleman through and through. He not only cares for his employees but also has a soft heart for Daisy and her kids. He does what is needed to make sure they are taken care of. Even though his brothers relentlessly tease him about liking her as more than his deputy, he takes it all in stride. When it comes to his heart, his own grief has held him from getting close to anyone, including a chance at love. It takes a near disaster for his wake-up call and remind him that the Lord is in charge of his past and future.

“I'm glad you and your family found your way here. This town has a way of healing the soul.~ (pg. 24)”

I think Tina Radcliffe perfectly sums this up in her “Dear Reader” section in the back:
“This is a story of heartaches and hope. Like Mitch and Daisy, we too must turn our burdens over to the Lord and receive the healing power of His love.”

A story of true love, family ties, healing, and hope for the future. 

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

Bursting with small-town charm and filled with lovable, realistic, and caring characters, Tina Radcliffe’s new book, Finding the Road Home is a delicious romantic read. I always love the witty, fun banter and observations she pens. This first book in the Hearts of Oklahoma series is definitely a winner and a great introduction to Rebel, Oklahoma and the wonderful citizens who reside there. I loved meeting the Rainbolt siblings, and I’m hoping to see more of their stories in coming books.

Police chief Mitch Rainbolt is a perfect hero—compassionate, helpful, courageous, and on a mission to keep everyone safe. Enter Daisy Anderson, an independent, lovely, go-getter, who bravely adopts her sister’s five orphaned children and moves to Rebel to be a police officer and renovate a crumbling old house. Of course, sparks fly, and Daisy is the recipient of some good old-fashioned small-town goodness.

Tina Radcliffe’s books are always a delight to read. I love her sense of humor, and I know I’m going to find a deeply satisfying story when I open her books. 4.5 stars

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

BackCover Blurb:
Some paths need courage to follow…

Can they find their fresh start with roadblocks around every corner?

To care for her orphaned nieces and nephews, Daisy Anderson moved to a small town for a new deputy position—but now her job could be eliminated. With potential budget cuts looming, her only hope is to work with police chief Mitch Rainbolt to save their department’s funds. But can their fight for her job lead to something neither dared wish for: a future together?

Available in digital ebook, paperback and mass market paperback:
Buy Finding The Road Home at Amazon
Buy Finding The Road Home at


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

THE THIEF OF LANWYN MANOR by Sarah E Ladd, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Yes, Lanwyn Manor was proving to have introduced her to a number of interesting characters, but she needed to be wary. It was still too early to know whom she could trust and whom she could not."
Reeling from a broken heart, Julia Twethewey travels to her beloved cousin's country home located squarely in the heart of Cornwall's mining country, hoping that a change of scenery might mend the broken places deep within her soul. What she finds is altogether different than what she expected. Accosted before she even arrives at her destination, Julia also learns that her uncle's reputation among the local citizenry is tainted with disgust, his repeated reluctance to re-open his area mine has kept many miners from being able to support their families; causing local unrest and in some
cases, desperation.

When local mine owners Matthew and Isaac Blake gallantly step into the fray, in spite of being nearly identical on the outside, it's soon obvious that they are motivated quite differently on the inside. While Julia aunt's blatantly schemes for Julia to form an attachment with the one, it's the other brother who catches her attention, especially following their shared, quite harrowing experience on the evening of her arrival. In spite of the gentle whispers of her heart, Julia has learned the hard way that her head must not over indulge in romantic notions. Danger is lurking around every corner of Lanwyn Manor, there are mysteries to be solved, and someone is becoming more and more determined for Julia to leave.

The strength of this story is in its beautiful word flow. While the reader may wish that more conversations between Isaac and Julia were actually written down on the page, it's clear that their hearts become fiercely and inextricably entwined. Unfortunately, every relationship has its limits and the secrets embedded within the walls of Lanwyn Manor have the potential to stretch their budding attachment towards, or even past, their dreams of the future.
* I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it, nor provide a positive review. 

BackCover Blurb:
In Regency England an advantageous match could set up a lady for life. Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?

Cornwall, England, 1818

Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. The manor is located at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks within the home’s ancient halls.
As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and that of the people around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made clear his intentions to court the lovely visitor. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and valuables go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.
  • Sweet Regency Romance
  • Full-length novel, approximately 90,000 words
  • Second in the Cornwall series, but can be read alone
Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:
Buy The Thief of Lanwyn Manor at Amazon
Buy The Thief of Lanwyn Manor at

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

#GIVEAWAY of MORE THAN WE CAN REMEMBER by Christina Suzann Nelson, Reviewed by Nicole and Paula #RELEASE DAY

Enter the Giveaway below!

Filled with heartache, pain, and hope for the future, Christina Suzann Nelson’s latest novel, More Than We Remember, will have readers reflecting on the story long after the final page.  After a fatal car accident, three women find themselves connected in a shocking way that will change their lives forever.  A coach’s wife, a deputy, and a counselor…three women carrying burdens of their own, are all searching for answers to overcome the pain of their pasts. 

More Than We Remember is the first book I have read by Christina Suzann Nelson. She realistically portrays issues that both adults and teenagers are facing in society, including addiction to pain medication and the popularity of vaping among teens. The women, their husbands, and children all have struggles they are facing, and everything is not always as it seems.

The characters were well-developed and the readers could personally feel the pain they were experiencing. I did not care for the personality or character of deputy Emilia Cruz, but I could sympathize with the struggles that she was experiencing in her family life as she tried to find justice for victims in her law enforcement career. More Than We Remember is recommended for readers who are looking for a novel focusing on deeper subject material. I am looking forward to reading Christina Suzann Nelson’s next novel.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are mine.        

This novel was so touching. The writing had me emotionally involved.
Emilia, Addison, and Brianne move in different circles. When a horrific car accident happens, their circles intersect like a Venn Diagram.
Each woman is haunted by her own demons. Each one has been shaped by her background and circumstances. Each one has faith, sometimes strong, sometimes floundering. Each one is just trying to live her life. Much like the rest of us.
Ms. Nelson has posed seemingly impossible situations for each woman and through their interaction and through those around them, they are shown to grow in their faith. The everyday things become more than they can deal with. But God is in control and He can change perceptions. As Addison says: “It’s easy to see what we want to see, or even what we expect to see. It’s much harder to stand back and see the truth.”
The author has a way of creeping into the thoughts of her characters and giving us profound lessons. There are shocking moments as well as tender ones and the relief of amusing antics of children and a dog. This novel comes across as real life.
This is the first book I have read by Ms. Nelson and I will be sure to look up her previous offerings. I give this book 5 stars.
*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.*

Back Cover Blurb:
One night changes everything. . . .

When Addison Kilbourn's husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband's memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.

Emilia Cruz is a deputy bearing a heavy burden far beyond the weight of her job. After a traumatic brain injury, her husband is no longer the man she married, and Emilia's determined to prevent others from facing the same hardship. When she's called to the scene of an accident pointing to everything she's fighting against, she's determined to see justice for those wronged.

Brianne Demanno is hiding from reality. She once thrived as a counselor, but when tragedy struck a beloved client, she lost faith in herself and her purpose. When her neighbors, the Kilbourns, are thrown into crisis, Brianne's solitary life is disrupted and she finds herself needed in a way she hasn't been for too long.

As the lives of these women intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they've been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy More Than We Remember at Amazon
Buy More Than We Remember at

Author Bio:
CBA bestselling author Christina Suzann Nelson ( writes stories that focus on changing legacies from dysfunction to hope. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2017 and a Foreword INDIES 2017 Book of the Year. Christina is a part of Oregon Christian Writers and a member of ACFW, where she has served as the northwest zone director. She lives in Oregon's gorgeous Willamette Valley with her husband of 26 years and their children.

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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.