Saturday, October 31, 2020

SOMETHING BORROWED: Christmas Weddings Collection (Five Authors!), Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


*True friendships bend gracefully through every season of life.*
This was just the cutest collection of Christmas wedding stories. The connection was the SOMETHING BORROWED tiara that is passed to all the brides who were college roommates and great friends.
Two of my favorites were by Toni Shiloh and Mikal Dawn. All The Moore has a wheelchair bound heroine which is so interesting. A Holly Bolly Christmas had a Scottish groom in a kilt and a bride in a Sari.
Each story told of earthly love and Godly love. Each story was quirky and fun filled. From mishaps to unique relatives, this one is a winner. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from one of the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*I give this 4 stars. Strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurbs
Old friends, new loves, and a borrowed tiara.

Always Been Yours by Jaycee Weaver — Hanady's planning her dream wedding, but her injured best friend Keenan isn't the groom. If she can't see she's marrying the wrong guy soon, his leg won't be the only thing broken.

All the Moore by Toni Shiloh — Leilah Anderson has been living behind the screen to hide her disability, then she meets Reggie Moore face-to-face. Can their relationship survive the truth and distance between them?

A Holly, Bolly Christmas
by Mikal Dawn — A dream wedding venue at Christmas? Sign Chahna Kapoor up. Even if her fiancĂ© doesn’t know it…

Somehow, This Christmas by Teresa Tysinger — When not-so-merry mishaps threaten wedding planner Cate Forsyth's holiday wedding and reputation, will her own happily ever after with sweetheart Noah Bennett melt away?

A Promise So Sweet by Andrea Boyd — Lydia Osborn hasn't heard from her ex in ten years, so imagine her surprise when he shows up proposing marriage. Tis the season for love?

Available in digital ebook and paperback:


Friday, October 30, 2020

WILDFLOWER ROAD by Janine Rosche, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

With a setting in Montana near Yellowstone National Park, Wildflower Road caught my attention quickly, since that is one of my favorite areas to visit. Author Janine Rosche has perfectly captured the exquisite beauty of the locale with her colorful descriptions. They immediately transported me there to savor the sights, sounds, and smells while enjoying her beautifully written, absorbing story of redemption and healing.

The carefully crafted, realistic, multi-layered characters are very relatable with their various flaws and life problems, and Rosche is not afraid to sensitively tackle some tough subjects. The main characters are easy to love. Ryann is friendly, non-judgmental, and fun, despite her tragic past, and Shane is bravely trying to start over after some devastating events. I adored the witty, engaging banter between them as they try to figure out their futures. A stellar cast of supporting characters deepens and enhances the story. Themes of redemption, grace, courage, and healing are seamlessly woven into the tale and add depth and dimension to it.
Although this is the second book in Rosche’s Madison River Romance series, it can easily be read alone. It was fun to see many of the characters from the first book pop up again in this one. This author has an immense talent for storytelling, and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:

A young widow is tempted to love again after her heartbreaking loss in this new Madison River Romance.

After her husband's tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft's only remaining dream is to save her family's struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.

Nicknamed America's rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after. 

Berkley Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, mass-market paperback, and audiobook:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

THE SOWING SEASON by Katie Powner, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

An excellent, heartrending debut by Katie Powner.
The author gives us beautifully flawed but realistic characters searching for a purpose in life. This book shows not only how we affect the lives of others, but how they affect us. Are our goals worthy or are we missing the journey?
Garrit is a crusty old farmer who just retired and is at loose ends. His past haunts him and colors all his actions. Rae is a teen who is reluctant to let anything get in the way of The Plan. “What did she want? The question frightened her. Without The Plan, her future was nothing but a scary swarm of unknowns. A place with more questions than answers. A place she did not want to be.”
Friendships are formed and life lessons learned. There are light moments as well in the scenes with Daisy the dog, Mister Whiskers, the cat and Bernard, the cantankerous rooster.
While not overtly peppered with scripture, faith is lived out by the characters. Forgiveness is sought and godly principles are practiced.
This story demonstrates what it means to invest in people and not just exist in life. And that being a witness will reap fruit.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *I give this 5 stars and a solid faith thread. 
BackCover Blurb:
After he's forced to sell the family farm he's labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn't know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land--his time, his health, his family--with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan--the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father's footsteps. She's always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.

When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit's and Rae's lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it's never too late for a second chance?
Bethany House Publishers, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

THE KEY TO LOVE by Betsy St.Amant, Reviewed by Kim

I loved everything about this book starting with the gorgeous cover! I want to go to the Pastry Puff, order a macaron, sit at one of the tables, and just eavesdrop on Bri and Gerard and their banter, which just happens to be my favorite part of this story! I loved their first meet. It is full of humor, sparks, and, of course, that perfect banter!
Bri is a romantic looking for the perfect romance while Gerard doesn’t believe in love anymore. I loved Bri’s growth in this story and the lesson that things don’t have to be perfect, or what we think is perfect, to be really really good. I loved Gerard for his sarcasm and the way he made Bri “see” things that she couldn’t see and I loved when he, well let’s just say when he helped her during a dramatic moment in her life. 
Actually, I loved everything about him and Bri.
This story has everything I look for in a romance - humor, character growth, an interesting story line, a great and believable romance, and Gerard - did I mention that I loved everything about him?
I really didn’t want this one to end. It left me with quite a book hangover. The Key to Love will be one of the rare stories that I will read again! I cannot wait for Betsy St. Amant’s next story. In the meantime, hello backlist!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. The faith element is light. 
BackCover Blurb:
The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she's created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral--or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He's definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri's bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she's kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri's recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn't always look the way we expect--and maybe that's a good thing.

Revell Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy The Key to Love at Amazon
Buy The Key to Love at

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

BACKLASH by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This is the second book in the CAPITAL INTRIGUE series but it can be read as a stand alone. Nonetheless, its characters have been introduced in the previous book END GAME.
This is my kind of suspense book full of the inner workings of all the government agencies.
Layla Karam is an analyst but the CIA wants her expertise in the field. She is quite happy with a desk job, thank you. After a team effort in Honduras with the DEA, things go terribly wrong. To add to the drama, her old love steps into the picture. In fact there are three romantic relationships featured in this story, which doesn’t detract from the plot, it just makes it more interesting.
Ms. Dylan knows her stuff and lets us peek into a world normally unexposed. What is interesting is that the author based her heroine, Layla, partially on herself, although she went into corporate law rather than saying yes to the CIA.
A quick read with lots of action, intrigue, as well as a solid faith is portrayed. And for me, a surprise ending. Cannot wait for Power Play coming June 2021.
*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.*

See Nicole's Review!

BackCover Blurb:
With a target on her back, she’s determined to find answers.
But can she escape the deadly backlash?

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel, and after one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover that a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team’s identity to the cartel. She needs to clear her name with the Agency in order to protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter–the man who broke her heart–and hope they both come out of it alive.
For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault.

Bethany House Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:

AUTUMN SKIES by Denise Hunter, Reviewed by Kim

I am really enjoying this series by Denise Hunter. I’ve read Carolina Breeze and Autumn Skies, which are books 2 and 3 in the series, and I’m going to read Lake Season, book 1, soon. These books read great as stand-alone’s and while I hate reading books out of order, these two have made me really want to read Adam and Molly’s story. The setting of this series is such a part of Autumn Skies. I can just picture the Inn and the lake and the surrounding areas. This is another town I could easily move to!

I really enjoyed Grace and Wyatt’s story. Normally, stories where the hero and heroine fall in love too quickly don’t work for me. I am happy to say that this one did. It seemed very believable, especially because both characters addressed it and because of how much time they spent together. I loved that Wyatt was part of the Secret Service. This is a line of work that I haven’t read often and it was very interesting. There was also a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but it really added to the story and their relationship. The epilogue was a perfect ending to the series.
Denise Hunter writes well written stories that always keep my attention. I’m looking forward to reading whatever she writes next!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Light faith element. 
BackCover Blurb:
From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both? 
Thomas Nelson Publisher, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

FIVE SIMPLE GIFTS by Sondra Kraak, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Five Simple Gifts concludes the Love That Counts series by Sondra Kraak, and what an outstanding wrap-up it is. Wilder Monaghan finally gets his own story, a story of redemption and a happy ending. Kraak writes with wit and charm and paints a vivid picture of the lumber industry in Pine Creek, Washington in the 1890s. Her characters all have such distinct and captivating personalities, and I’ve enjoyed meeting them all and seeing them reappear in other stories in the series. 

Although Wilder had some growing and maturing to do, he had a wonderful sense of humor and fun, and it was entertaining to see him become more responsible while coaxing some happiness and playfulness into Langley’s life. I’ll miss the characters in this series, but, hopefully, this author will have more tales in store for us in the future.

*I bought this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
 Langley Taft is a firm believer in the narrow way. She trained to work alongside her father in their lumber dynasty and married the man of her parents’ choosing. A man who turned around and issued her a humiliating divorce. Left alone to raise her sister’s illegitimate son, she defies her family to do what she knows is right: deliver the baby to his father—even if that man is Wilder Monaghan, the irresponsible heir to a rival lumber company who lives on the other side of the country. And who happens to be the scoundrel she once fancied in her youth.

A lover of adventure, opportunity, and all things exciting, Wilder isn’t prepared for the surprise appearance of the son he thought was dead, or for the woman who shows up with her life shaded by unjust accusations but determined to help him raise his son. Parenting alongside the stringent Langley might be his most challenging adventure yet. Or his most rewarding, provided he can teach her how to have fun and in the process win her affections. But why would a studious, responsible woman like Langley Taft look twice at him, a reprobate trying to find his course back to the narrow way?

As secrets are revealed, driving a wedge between Wilder and Langley, they both must humble themselves to receive a gift they did not earn, a gift not bought with money or charm: the gift of a second chance.
TrailHouse Publishers, September 2020

Friday, October 23, 2020

THE RED RIBBON by Pepper Basham, Reviewed by Rebecca, Kim, and Paula

"I reckon we all got bad blood, if you think about it girl . . . but . . . . We got something else that's a marvel."
Fear. It has hovered in the back of Ava Burcham's mind her entire life . . . . the what ifs . . what if she turned out to be as crazy as her mama, would she really hurt the ones that she loves the most? Unfortunately, there's more than family history to worry Ava; a heavy darkness is hovering over her beloved Blue Ridge mountains, a wickedness that slinks about in the shadows of the night, fed by greed and desperation, tainting the souls of good hard-working men. Will Ava's dogged determination to get the facts straight land her in a whole heap of trouble?
And then there's Jeremiah. Sweet, selfless Jeremiah Sutphin; who, all of a sudden, is making Ava's heart flutter in the craziest kind of way. Goodness! Why didn't someone warn her about the power of just one kiss?!
"One kiss and you're all sure-fired and sparkin'? . . . . . The kiss just made known what I have known for a long time, Ava Burcham."
Yes, this book is a tragic tale of family disputes turning all ugly and violent; resulting in what history remembers as "The Courthouse Massacre". It's also a peek into the best and worst of life in the Appalachian mountains, back when blood was thicker than water and no one but everyone, typically held a grudge. Granddaddy Sutphin knew what he was talking about when he quipped, "A quick temper and trigger finger makes for some bad company."
Yet the grandest takeaway just might be the love story; not only between a man and the young woman he has loved since childhood, but this narrative beautifully exemplifies and rightfully magnifies the deepest kind of love; that between the Creator and His created. Granny Burcham got it right, "God ain't sittin up in heaven watchin' a show down here on earth. He don't mind getting His hands dirty. Else, He'd never sent the Savior".
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars
“Truth douses fear, Ava. Truth and perfect love. The only way to keep your heart and head in the proper place, is to know both.”
“...the more we remember whose we are, the more equipped we are to handle whatever comes.”
I’ve read several of the stories in this true crime series by barber and this one is my new favorite! I know when I read a Pepper Basham book I’m going to get a good story with a faith thread seamlessly woven throughout and a lot of swoony moments. This one did not disappoint.
I loved both Jeremiah and Ava. I loved how their relationship ship started as friends and then grew throughout the story. It is such a sweet romance. I also love that Jeremiah and Ava were always there to help others, even if it meant they had to sacrifice something. I liked how the suspense in this story built up slowly until the climactic scene at the courthouse and how after that it was pretty much nonstop action. 
Another thing I can always count on with Pepper Basham is that her stories always feel really authentic.
If you haven’t read any of these stories in this historical true crime series, this is the perfect one to start with! 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. The faith thread is medium.

The Red Ribbon is a wonderful love story, steeped in hope but based in the real life incident of a courthouse massacre in 1912.

From her beloved Appalachian mountains, Ms. Basham has crafted a romantic tale among chaos and tragedy. She captures the flavor of her home county and mountain folk of yesteryear. The quaint sayings lend to the atmosphere but they speak wisdom, hope and a few chuckles. And the girl still knows how to write the best kissing scenes! Pepper Basham proves she can write in any genre. She is one of my very favorite authors.

Ava Burcham is capable, resourceful and loves to write. Jeremiah Sutphin is her best friend and they grow to mean so much more. Jeremiah is a brave, hardworking, fair man who weighs the facts properly. “Jeremiah knew enough to steer clear of sides in this particular place, because all too often right and wrong started taking convoluted shades of revenge, pride, and family ties over truth.”

Some of the best quotes, full of wisdom, come from Granny Burcham:

“God ain’t took His hand off none of His young‘uns, through the good or the bad. He’s workin’, moldin’, bendin’ us so we’ll have our hearts less fit for this ol’ world and more fit for the next”

“Granny tapped the Bible: Truth douses fear, Ava,. Truth and perfect love. The only way to keep your heart and head in the proper place, is to know both.”

“Home comes in all shapes and sizes. Round here, it’s mountain-sized with a whole lot of family tossed in for extra flavor.”
And from Granddaddy Sutphin:
“You ain’t responsible for other folks’ stupidity, even if you have to manage the consequences. Your job is to be stupid as little as possible so you can deal with the ones who don’t know how to be anything else.”

This was a thoroughly enjoyable story, shedding light on a historical tragedy and imagining a bright spot of romance in the mix.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
I give this 5 stars and a strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.
Barbour Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

THE LIBRARIAN OF BOONE'S HOLLOW by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

 The Librarian of Boone's Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

"You know what books can do. You know what words can do. Don't give up. Will you promise me? Don't you dare let them make you give up."

Addie Cowherd's reception into the small community of Boone's Hollow is less than hospitable, and that's putting it mildly. Automatically considered an "outsider", Kentucky's mountain folk are leery of anyone encroaching their territory, even if the comely horseback librarian is only bringing magazines and books. In spite of their rude treatment, Addie is thankful for steady employment through the Works Progress Administration; instead of finishing her college education she was forced to take an early leave due to her family's financial difficulties. "Look for the blessings", her mother would say, but right now her dreams of becoming a published novelist have been swallowed up by dusty trails and leveled shotguns.

Emmett Tharp wonders if his college degree is of any value; forced to return home to Boone's Hollow, he is struggling to make sense of having to settle for mine employment, even if it does allow him to spend time learning the job that his father has held for so many years in order to support their family. So it was quite a pleasant surprise to discover a fellow college coed working at Boone Hollow's tiny, remote library; he and Addie Cowherd were brief acquaintances at a university social, but what were the chances of ever seeing her again, especially deep within the Kentucky hill country.

Stories within stories invade every page of this sweet tale; grace, kindness, and forgiveness hover over inherent sadness and misunderstandings as Addie discovers that "every life is a story. . . . . and the lives of these folks on Black Mountain are so unique, so rich in tradition". Perhaps Addie has found her calling after all, and perhaps hers is a story that will blend with another; with the right answer to just one question. 


 3.5 stars. I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone's Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.

As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?


Waterbrook Publishing, September 2020

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

Buy The Librarian of Boone's Hollow at Amazon

Buy The Librarian of Boone's Hollow at




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

THE PRICE OF VALOR by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

The Global Search and Rescue series by Susan May Warren has been a rip-roaring, action packed, suspense filled crazy ride, and The Price of Valor is the nail-biting conclusion that wraps it all up. I’ve been waiting for Hamilton Jones’s story throughout this series and was cheering for him to have a happy ending. Warren keeps the reader guessing with many twists and turns throughout the tale. It’s fun to see the other team members show up during the story with the continuation of their relationships.

Hamilton and Signe are such intriguing characters, and I enjoyed learning more about their background. I admired Ham’s capacity for forgiveness in extremely difficult circumstances but also his capacity for love and compassion. Warren’s characters are always well-drawn and fascinating, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy her stories.

At times I felt the nonstop action was a bit over the top in this book with one adrenaline rush after another. Some of the happenings seemed quite unrealistic to me, and I was left feeling that, although I liked the team members, I’d hate to hang out with them because they were constantly in danger from one thing or another. I was sometimes wishing for just one boring day. I guess it was a good thing there was a strong faith element, because they needed it to just survive and get through each day. All in all, it’s been a great series.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.
 BackCover Blurb:
Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home.

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few?

USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren takes you on a global search and rescue mission where the stakes are higher than ever in this final installment of her popular series. 

Revell Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

AUTUMN SKIES by Denise Hunter, Reviewed by Nicole Cook #ReleaseDay Oct 20

“He gave a lazy smile that made her think of sultry summer evenings and moonlit kisses.”

Autumn Skies is a perfectly satisfying conclusion to Denise Hunter’s Bluebell Inn series. Denise Hunter has been one of my favorite contemporary romance authors for years, and she continues to create amazing stories with handsome swoon-worthy heroes and beautiful messages of faith that consistently find a place among her readers’ favorites.

A handsome, confident, and humble Secret Service agent meets a young innkeeper starting up her own outfitter business. Both Wyatt and Grace have traumatic issues from their past and guilt from their experiences when an opportunity for love and healing presents itself unexpectedly. 

This book can be easily be read as a standalone, but you will want to go back and read the first two books in the series to find out more about this wonderful family. I love how Grace’s older siblings Molly and Levi continue to play a role in Autumn Skies.

Autumn Skies is highly recommended for fans of contemporary romance, especially readers who have enjoyed books by authors such as Courtney Walsh and Becky Wade. 

“You don’t have to do anything to prove your value. You’re worthy just as you are – just as God made you.” 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. Inkwell Faith Rating – (2) Light Faith Content

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both? 
Thomas Nelson Publisher, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including The Convenient Groom and A December Bride, which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.
In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband have raised three boys and are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Love's Pure Light: Behind the Scenes of a Heartwarming Christmas Collection


Hi! Susanne here, and while it might seem early to some readers, Christmas comes early in the publishing world (just as it does in the retail markets!). 

Love's Pure Light, a collection of four connected holiday novellas, released from Barbour Publishing in September, and I thought I'd give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse!

The Origin:

Each novella collection I've been in has come together differently. I've responded to "all-calls" where the editor put out a request for submissions (The Cowboy's Bride, for example). I've submitted proposals with a group of colleagues where we all have different agents (Cameo Courtships). I've been approached by an editor (Regency Brides). For Love's Pure Light, however, each of the authors is represented by the same agent, Tamela Hancock Murray.

Janine Rosche spearheaded the idea, and she, Shannon McNear, and Deborah Raney and I all brainstormed the hook of a nativity scene that is passed from one generation to another from the 1800s to modern day. (And yes, those authors are amazing!!!) We each took a nativity scene figure around which to center our stories: shepherd, wise men, angel, and innkeeper. 

The Lead-Up:

Writing connected stories requires communication, and we had a blast talking about our vision of our characters. We also researched vintage nativity scenes--what they looked like, how they were made, where they came from, etc. 

It turned out my story came first in the lineup. I was in closest communication with Shannon McNear, whose story followed mine. We had to determine how to tie our stories' settings together, as well as create a family tree for the characters.

The Story:

I chose the nativity figure of a shepherd to focus on for my story. I found a photo of a nativity scene that our group used as a model for the figures of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the shepherd holding a sheep. I loved the image of the sheep resting over the shepherd's neck, and I wanted to use it in my story.

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I also decided my hero should be named "Shepherd," and what better occupation for him than a pastor, tasked with serving a flock? I set my story in a mill town, so sheep, literal and figurative, are implied in the setting. (I did not include an actual sheep, though, because I did that once already, in Regency Brides, with a ewe named Barnaby.)

My husband is a pastor. Several times in his career, he's been asked, "What do you do all day? It can't take that long to write a sermon." Or "How do you fill up a forty hour week? You basically only work on Sundays." 

For the record, pastors often work 60+ hour weeks. Some of them only get one day off per week, and that day off is often disturbed. I've seen firsthand how pastors--especially of smaller parishes, where there may only be one or two people on the pastoral staff--work hard, long hours on a wide variety of tasks. 

In seminary, my husband took courses in theology, Greek, Scripture, church history, pastoral care, missions, youth ministry--and so on. But pastors do so much more than that.

In some ways, my story, While Shepherds Watch Are Keeping, is a love letter to my husband. While Seth is *not* a fictionalized version of my husband, I wanted to write about a pastor who reflected some of my experience of clergy life. Seth is a pastor who loves people, spends time with them, grieves with them, and celebrates with them. He delights in the people of his church, ages 0-100. He wants to be faithful to God in every aspect of is life. He undertakes church repairs himself to save money. He makes difficult decisions. And sometimes makes mistakes.

Because pastors are people. Human beings. Called just as the rest of us are to serve the Lord, despite our weaknesses, flaws, difficulties, and quirks. 

We're all called to service, imperfect people following a perfect Lord.

Love's Pure Light ... found here!

Be transported to unique time periods as you follow a treasured family nativity set through four generations of the Shepherd family.

While Shepherds Watch Are Keeping by Susanne Dietze

Massachusetts, 1899

This Christmas, Pastor Seth Shepherd has little to offer his flock of congregants in their time of need until Jessalyn Grant, a mysterious newcomer, comes to his aid.


The Wise Guy and the Star by Shannon McNear

Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, 1919

While journeying by train, Stella Shepherd befriends war veteran Nat Wise. She helps him find renewed faith in God, but could he also be the answer to the wanderings of her own heart?


On Angel Wings by Janine Rosche

Kansas City, Missouri, 1945

Elodie Wise plans a fundraising ball with the help of her friend Benjamin Gabriel. But can she look past the swanky Hollywood headliner to see the man who truly loves her?


Making Room at the Inn by Deborah Raney

Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Present Day

Benjie Gabriel thinks the chef’s position she’s just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary—just a stepping stone. The B&B’s owner, Trevor Keye, thinks the same. Will five months be long enough for them to figure out that what they’ve each been longing for, praying for, is right beneath their noses? 


Susanne Dietze is an award-winning author, pastor's wife, mom, and teatime enthusiast. You can learn more about her on her website,

Saturday, October 17, 2020

PORTRAIT OF LOYALTY by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


With all the polish of a John Le Carre novel, Roseanna White concludes her Codebreakers series.

Although this story depicts a different era, it reminded me of Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. From the nesting Russian dolls to the altering of photographs, this story is full of interesting references to the spy game.

Characters patterned after real people are fascinating and Ms. White crafts them well. Zivon Marin had to flee Russia and now seeks to help his homeland by being of service to British Intelligence. Lilly Blackwell, whose father works for the government, is a photographic expert for the war effort.

I love learning from history and this story proves that old ideas are new again. The old Bolshevik agenda seems to be rearing its ugly head today. But one character says: "I just find it sad that so many people think they can find true happiness by taking. They cannot. We can only ever find it by giving."

Ms. White does a great job of showing us how Lily views the world through a photography artist’s eyes. As her mama says: "The camera cannot capture what you do not first see. You always see the beauty. And you have taught me to find it too. God is there. His promises have not changed just because my circumstances have. He is still good."

This story is rich in human emotion. Zivon struggles with how to forgive and how to be still and wait on God. Lily wants to be a loyal subject but also seeks to please her mother. The manipulations of war and the heartache of the Spanish Flu become real in this book. Ms. White takes the events of 1918 and personalizes them through her very relatable characters.

I am sorry to bud farewell to the Codebreakers but I am oh so glad I met them in these pages.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*How could I not give this book 5 stars? It is beyond excellent.  A strong faith thread. 

See Rebecca's and Winnie's Reviews

See Kim's Review

BackCover Blurb:
Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war

Bethany House Publishers, Sept. 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:


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