Sunday, January 31, 2021

A SLOWLY DEVELOPING STORY by Shaen Layle and Nancy Mehl, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

A great cozy mystery centering around decades old film found in a camera from an estate liquidation.

Sisters Martha, Elizabeth and Mary own a thrift shop: Secondhand Blessings. They help out friend Laura who is clearing out her grandfathers house. The mystery begins when old photos are able to be processed but are then stolen. The plot thickens when Lauren has a break in and the sisters try to figure out what secrets the photos hold.

This is an interesting plot with a peek into the relationship of the sisters and how old secrets can affect the present. An enjoyable visit to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with a little light romance thrown in. I especially liked Mary and her adventures in baking. 4 stars and a solid faith thread.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
Lauren sells a vintage camera of her grandfathers to Secondhand Blessings. Elizabeth opens the back and discovers undeveloped film. With permission she gets it developed. The prints reveal a mystery of and Amish man who disappeared decades earlier. Mary gets involved with making baked goods for a local program.
Guideposts Publishing, January 2020


Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson, Reviewed by Paula and Kim

I have only read two Abigail Wilson novels. The two that I have read, The Vanishing at Loxby Manor and Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, have both had a slightly gothic feel to them with a nice mystery that keeps you guessing. Ms. Wilson excels at giving you just enough information to keep you interested without giving you too much. I always like her main characters and the mystery is never what I am expecting. And bonus, this story is a second chance romance, one of my favorites!

In The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, I was completely surprised at how the mystery of the story unfolded. It was not what I was expecting at all. There was also a surprise near the end that I did not see coming, well actually two of them. I really liked Piers and Charity together, although I wish there had been a bit more romance throughout the story. I immediately liked Piers, but when we found out why he did something that made him sort of an outcast, I liked him even more!

This story is filled with mystery, intrigue, a gothic feel, and history, and it will keep you guessing all the way through until the very end! 4 stars.
•I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.

Told from a Christian World View amidst dark and sinister circumstances, this book exudes an air of foreboding.

After five years away, Charity Halliwell returns to Loxby Manor, the estate of family friends. Strange things begin to happen, including the disappearance of her best friend, Seline, on the very night she arrives. She is warned by those close to her but whether for her protection or to prevent secrets from coming to light, is something she is determined to find out. She does not know who to trust. “It was as if I had wandered into a dreamland where all my childhood acquaintances had elevated themselves to villains of their own stories.”

With beautifully descriptive words, the author tells a tale of many secrets. Some begging to be set free, some best left buried. Piers Cavanagh, eldest son of Loxby Manor who has secrets of his own, pairs with Charity to uncover the truth about his missing sister. What they find is almost more than they can comprehend. But Piers and Charity are forced to confront their shared past. “I am not certain anyone can go back, not really. It is more about finding a way to go forward, to trust that God will take something bad that has happened and work it for good.”

Ms. Wilson is one of the best Gothic Regency authors of today.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 stars and a slight but solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister. 

Her friend is missing.

After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth. 

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.

Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes. 

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.

As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return. 

Settle in, because once you start The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down. 

Thomas Nelson Publishing, January, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


THE THIEF OF BLACKFRIARS LANE by Michelle Griep, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

 “Perhaps I cannot save the world, but that doesn’t mean I cannot make it a better place.”

With a setting in the streets of London in 1885 and a colorful, amusing, and sometimes strange cast of characters, Michelle Griep has penned another adventure that kept me absorbed to the last page. Not only did I visit the underground sewer tunnels, but I also traveled to the lavish mansion of the Lord Mayor, and everywhere in between.

Jackson Forge and Kit Turner are an unforgettable pair. Jackson is a constable trying to make his mark in life and save the world. Kit is trying to take care of her poor friends by conning the rich. Together, they make a madcap dynamic duo that go on one adventure after another. I loved the interaction between the two, with Kit showing Jackson her side of London, and Jackson trying to stay above the law and keep his job.

“It was blackguards like this that gave swindling a bad name.”

Filled with all sorts of unusual characters, this story was typical captivating Michelle Griep fare—amusing, adventuresome, and sometimes thought-provoking. The threads of inspiration woven seamlessly into the tale add depth and dimension without being preachy at all.

“Things can change. You can change. God can make all things new."
I thoroughly enjoy Griep’s writing and look forward to more of her stories. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own. 


BackCover Blurb:
There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint
Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.
Barbour Publishing, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Thursday, January 28, 2021

TIDEWATER BRIDE by Laura Frantz, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca

Laura Frantz is a wonderful storyteller, immersing us in a tale of life in distant 1634 James Towne, Virginia Colony. She aptly conveys the everyday struggles from merchanting, to owning and farming land, to dealing with the native people who live nearby. Her background in history and fine research shine through. She brings the characters to life, showing the customs of the era and personalities of Xander and Selah.

Though based in part on the real inhabitants of that long ago community, Ms. Frantz gives us a winsome child in Watseka , a young Indian girl living with Selah Hopewell and her family. This is part of a peace gesture where children are exchanged to live in the opposite culture for a time.

Xander Renick is a laudable hero. He is kind, prosperous and an envoy between the Powatan and the English settlement of James Towne. He lost his Indian wife to sickness but is pursuing Selah.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read in one of my favorite time periods. A history lesson packaged in a beautiful story. It seemed to wrap itself around me with spiritual truths and the comfort the characters found in their faith. However, it was not without tension and exciting conflict. The story is brought to a satisfying conclusion.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars, Strong faith thread.
"Time will tell I love thee well.

As the daughter of a successful town merchant, Selah Hopewell's days were full, even before she was tasked with overseeing a ship load of tobacco brides. Everyone was hopeful that bringing in an abundance of purported genteel ladies would help tame the often raucous nature of the James Towne port community. Selah had no clear intentions of marrying anytime soon herself, if at all, for there was only one man who had managed to capture her attention; the widower Xander Renick, and his attention, as the most successful planter in the entire region, was almost always on fields of liquid gold; his prized tobacco. But perhaps she had judged him too severely, because there were those rare moments when his gaze would linger, or amusement would flare up briefly in the corner of his eyes . . . just long enough to give Selah cause to pause and perhaps wonder.

Attraction aside, there were many things that Selah didn't know or pretend to understand about the elusive Master Renick, who had hurriedly married an Indian princess, only to grieve deeply following her death, leaving their young son behind in Scotland after a trip they had taken there. Xander's friendly relations with the local Indians increasingly put him in the middle of heated political discussions among those who wished to push the indomitable Powhatans further out of the region. When Selah begins to avoid unwanted advances from a man that Xander loathes, their relationship takes a sudden turn towards friendly, and then yet again towards something more precious, for once Xander makes his intentions crystal clear, Selah is incapable of denying her heart.

The Tidewater Bride is the quintessential embodiment of inspiring historical romance. Vividly describing life in colonial James Towne, the author adds her own aura of elegant enchantment to the colonists' daily struggles to fight the elements while managing vast fields of valuable crops, endeavoring to treat those indentured into employment with fairness and grace, continually diffusing political squalls, and yet carving out enough time to bare one's heart and soul before another . . such were the circumstances that surrounded Xander and Selah's tender beginnings. . . until things took a turn for the unimaginable worse.

In her end notes, Frantz credits the words of well known historical figure John Rolfe, penning his eloquent words from the mouth of Xander Renick; "It is she to whom my heart and best thoughts are and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I could not unwind myself thereout."

It's no wonder that this is one of the author's favorite stories. "Truly joy cometh in the morning. And the evening too."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
4.5 stars
BackCover Blurb:
Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family's shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they've been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.
Revell Publishing, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

GLORY FALLS by Janine Rosche, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas


I’ve loved Janine Rosche’s Madison River Romance series set in the beautiful Madison River area of Montana—one of my favorite places. Glory Falls is the third and final book in the series, and what a fantastic story it is! The main characters, Thomas Beck and Cecelia “Blue” Walker are realistically-flawed, hurting, and so relatable that it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with them. Best friends since they were preschoolers, they had a lot of background together, and it was such fun for them to have their second chance and to see their relationship grow. I enjoyed revisiting some of the characters from the first two books and catching up on their lives.

This beautifully written, heart-wrenching story will take you on a journey of forgiveness, healing, and hope. Although it is part of a series, it can be read alone. I’m looking forward to more stories from this talented author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

4.5 stars 

BackCover Blurb:
Two people scarred by past trauma have a chance to write a new chapter in their lives, overcome loss, and find love in the third entry in the Madison River Romance series.

Screenwriter Cecilia "Blue" Walker is victim to life's worst plot twists. Having lost her daughter to the depths of the Madison River and her husband to the arms of another woman, she finds herself yearning for something to restore her brittle faith and once-vibrant career.

Hope arrives in the form of her childhood friend, Thomas Beck, a firefighter with a legacy of larger-than-life rescues who doesn't see himself as a hero. Haunted by his past, Thomas only agrees to a movie adaptation of his story if Blue, his longtime crush, is the screenwriter.

However, as Blue and Thomas work together to bring his heroism to the big screen, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood threaten to shed light on secrets that could tear their fragile relationship and their lives apart.

Berkley Publishing, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

AN UNLIKELY PROPOSAL by Toni Shiloh, Reviewed by Nicole Cook #ReleaseDay!

An Unlikely Proposal by Toni Shiloh is a fabulous modern-day marriage of convenience story. Often novels with this trope, especially in contemporary storylines, seem unrealistic, but Toni Shiloh reveals convincing reasons why the two best friends should marry and creates a delightful tale that readers are sure to enjoy. The gorgeous cover draws readers into this book, but the incredible writing keeps readers invested in the storyline until the very last page.

Best friends Trinity Davis and Omar Young consider marriage as a solution to both of their problems, but soon realize that their feelings for each other take a surprising turn. Omar’s adorable young daughters and their toddler antics add humor into the story, while Trinity’s health issues are realistically portrayed.

Toni Shiloh continues to bring a needed diversity to Christian fiction, and her writing style is very appealing to readers of contemporary romance.

An Unlikely Proposal is highly recommended for readers of inspirational fiction and fans of Love Inspired Inspirational Romance.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. 

Inkwell Faith Content Rating – 2.5 (Moderate Faith Content)

Their friendship can survive almost anything…

For two best friends,

marriage could be their greatest test yet…

Trinity Davis must not have heard firefighter Omar Young correctly. Did her handsome widowed best friend just suggest they get married? Omar needs a mom for his adorable little girls, and it’ll fix Trinity’s financial woes. But saying “I do” isn’t just business. Especially when the only vow they’re in danger of breaking is their promise to not fall in love…

From Harlequin Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope. 

Harlequin Love Inspired, January 2021
Available in digital ebook and paperback

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at




Monday, January 25, 2021

RESTORING FAIRHAVEN - Carolyn Miller - Celebrate Lit Tour hosted by Trixi Oberembt

Book: Restoring Fairhaven
Author: Carolyn Miller
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.


This story begins when Max Fairhaven and Samantha Green meet after she takes the job of restoring the once beautiful Fairhaven Gardens. He's a reclusive author who prefers the company of his fictional characters to real life people. She's just doing her job and trying to run her father's landscaping restoration business after he lands in the hospital with a heart attack. That, my reader friends, is where the fun begins!


Be warned; there's plenty of snappy dialogue between Max and Sam. One thing I absolutely love in a story is witty banter between the hero and heroine. The sparks that fly between these two are hilarious! But then something happens, somehow Samantha begins pulling out the human heart beating beneath Max's gruff exterior. Sure there's plenty of attraction between the two, but it goes deeper as the wounds each have are revealed layer by layer. The relationship changes and grows as they start to open up to each other & they find they have more in common than they thought. I adored watching these two fall in love, it was a slow burn, but oh so full of anticipation it made me giddy.


Not only is this about restoring Max's garden, but also about restoring hearts. Both Max and Samantha have scars only God can heal. Facing those hurts and scars is painful for them, but I thought Miller did an excellent job of showing that sometimes we have to face the pain head-on for healing to take place. With faith in God, the confidence of a blossoming friendship, and opening themselves up to love, this hard-won romance was deliciously delightful!


I loved this inspirational contemporary romance penned by Miller & will happily look for more in the future!

*I was provided with a complimentary copy and was under no obligation to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

More from Carolyn

I’m a long time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees! I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, the site of Mr. Darcy’s magnificent Pemberley from the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, and who has also worked at Kew Gardens in England.

Some of my garden and plant highlights include visiting Blarney Castle’s Poison Garden in Ireland, New Zealand’s Hamilton Gardens, Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, Frederik Meijer Gardens in Michigan, the redwoods of Yosemite, California, Butchart Gardens in Victoria Island, Canada, and Jardin Botanique in Montreal, Canada.

I love to post pictures of flowers and trees on Instagram (  and have included pictures of some of these places at my website ( I have incorporated some of the gardens and plants in a number of my historical novels, including the gorgeous gardens at a castle in Scotland where I set Misleading Miss Verity.

 I’m so excited to be introducing readers to my new contemporary books, where I can bring some of my love of gardens (& my hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Restoring Fairhaven sees readers introduced to a range of gardening experts who together will bring the gardens of the Independence Islands back to life.

If you’re someone who has enjoyed The Secret Garden, or Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, you’ll be sure to enjoy this story of a reclusive writer and the gardening guru sent to restore his gardens – and his heart.

Happy reading!


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 16

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

April Hayman, Author, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Rebekah Reads, January 18

Blogging With Carol, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 21

CarpeDiem, January 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

Cultivating Us, January 22

Kathleen Neely, January 22

Livin’ Lit, January 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, January 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 25

Inkwell Inspirations, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Blossoms and Blessings, January 26

Joanne Markey, January 26

She Lives To Read, January 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, January 28

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Godly Book Reviews, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Daysong Reflections, January 29


To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon prize and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

DREAMS OF SAVANNAH by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Kim and Winnie


Roseanna White is one of my favorite authors. Her writing style always immerses me in the story and the character’s lives. Her last two series contain some of my favorite books and characters. She is definitely one of my few auto buy authors.

While Dreams of Savannah is well written, as usual. I just didn’t connect with the characters and the storyline was heavier than I was expecting. I missed the elements of humor that are normally in her stories and the lightness that humor can bring to a story set in a difficult time in history. I’m sure that this story is historically accurate, which also made it harder for me to read.

While this is not my favorite Roseanna White story, I am sure those that like this time period and a historically accurate read will enjoy this story.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element is medium.

Set in Savannah during the Civil War and populated with colorful, realistic, and engaging characters, Roseanna M. White’s latest novel grabbed my interest from the first page and wouldn’t let go. I liked Delia’s spunk, her penchant for storytelling, her slightly unconventional ways for her time, and her disregard for wealth and status. Phineas was an appealing hero with his honesty, his regard for others no matter what their status was, and his courage. The stellar cast of secondary characters showcases White’s talent for creating riveting and intriguing people for her books. I thought the title Dreams of Savannah is interesting as it can be taken more than one way.

With a perfect blend of action, suspense, romance, adventure, and inspiration, this story will appeal to those who enjoy reading fascinating historical romance. I enjoyed the historical detail, and the inspirational messages of courage, hope, and the brotherhood of man. 
*4.5 stars I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don't seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia's smiles can't erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
Bethany House Publishers, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:
Buy Dreams of Savannah at Baker Book House

Friday, January 22, 2021

DREAMS OF SAVANNAH by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Rebecca and Paula

"Cordelia bolted upright in her bed . . . . What a terrible dream. Hissing flames and acres of water, darkness pressing in on every side. Then - what had it been? More water. A storm. Something bad, something dangerous. Pain, searing and throbbing. Then the gritty taste of sand in her mouth."

Troubled by re-occurring dreams after her barely intended young suitor, Phineas Dunn, takes to the seas on behalf of the Confederate Navy, Cordelia Owens is terrified that Phin has experienced life-threatening circumstances. Living in their Savannah, Georgia home while Yankee troops encroach closer and closer along the coast, Cordelia's family encourages her to pursue a match with a wealthy cousin whose attentions Cordelia continues to spurn. Using her gift of story-telling , Delia chooses to regale Phin's family with her combinations of delightful words, conjuring up grand adventures before his eventual return as a celebrated hero. Thankfully for everyone, Phin does return home, but as an entirely different type of hero than Delia could have ever imagined.

"The water enfolded him, warm as a dream, and silenced the thunder of traitors."

When a mutiny aboard his ship goes terribly awry, Phineas Dunn finds himself sinking to the bottom of the sea, his last thoughts being those of a beautiful blonde belle promising to wait for him, forever. He can only pray that it won't take that long. Washed up upon an unfamiliar shore, barely clinging to life, Phin is at the mercy of an imposing black British freedman, Luther Bromley, whose search for his beloved wife had stalled on this remote Cuban island. Luther has the means to give Phin aid, but he asks a nearly impossible favor in return.

Ushering in a panoramic view of the complexities of the Civil War's impact upon the South, "Dreams of Savannah" debates the moral issues of the day using the thoughts, dreams and actions of its characters as a landscape. And what wonderful characters they turn out to be; each allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to mold their thoughts and intentions, while wielding the sword of courage and carrying the banner of compassion. Phin and Cordelia allow their less than ideal circumstances to change them for the better, so that they too might echo those words hummed that day along the sandy shore, "O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come. Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars

This story has all the elements of a fairytale set amid the Civil War. Damsels in distress , a dastardly villain and a flawed hero who returns in time to save the day.

I liked Cordelia Owens from the start. She is not quite the perfect Southern Belle. She has a vivid imagination and writes stories to help keep folks entertained during a dark time in our history. “We need happy stories in the midst of trials. They keep us going . Remind us of what we are struggling for.”

I could say the same for the purpose of Christian Fiction, and this book fits the bill nicely.

Delia comes to realize that all people have a story to tell and she seeks to help them tell it. “Stories of heartbreak and injustice, sometimes. Stories of love and family, always. Stories of redemption and sacrifice, more often than not. Stories of humanity. Stories that had changed her as she heard them, as she wrote them.”

Phineas Dunn is off to war after Delia promises to wait for him. Crisis comes and he finds himself recovering far from home. Luther Bromley, an English free black preacher in search of his kidnapped wife, Eva, nurses Phin back to health. Phin’s flagging faith is rekindled and he searches his soul on the position of slavery.

This is so much more that a great story. It is one to make you ponder a person’s role in this world, and how we can follow God’s purpose for us.
* 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.*5 stars, strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don't seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia's smiles can't erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
Bethany House Publishers, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

LETHAL INTENT by Cara Putman Blog Tour -hosted by Paula Shreckhise


Lethal Intent by Cara Putman

If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman.

Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home.

When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda?

Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her?

This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0785233318 (ISBN13: 9780785233312)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Caroline shifted in the high-backed chair. The massive conference room table made her feel more petite than usual. Quentin Jackson, the man propelling Praecursoria through its rapid growth, vibrated with energy as he studied her.

“We are on the cusp of amazing developments and a transition from the lab to trials. We have a few CAR T-cell therapies in early stages now with more in our pipeline.”

She racked her mind for the importance of T cells, and he gave a hearty laugh.

“Don’t worry if the science overwhelms you. We’ll have you up to speed in no time. All you need to know right now is that T cells are one of the two cells that make up white blood cells. The treatments we’re working on could be the difference between life and death for young cancer patients. We need your legal expertise and quick mind to synthesize the science with the map to market.”

“I’ve overseen several court trials related to patents, which should help with that process.” It had been an unforeseen aspect of her days clerking for Judge Loren. She swallowed against the lump in her throat that still welled up when she thought about his untimely death from pneumonia. A month ago she couldn’t imagine interviewing for a job somewhere else, even if a part of her knew that she should stretch her wings.

“When can you start? Today?”

She felt rooted to the chair. Everything was moving so fast. Could she really transition her experience managing clerks for a judge into managing patents and contracts for a start-up? While Praecursoria had been around for a decade as a cancer research lab, about eighteen months ago Quentin sold off its lucrative genetic testing branch to focus exclusively on the development of cutting-edge CAR T-cell therapies. Starting over that way was a bold if risky move.

She lifted her chin and forced a smile that didn’t waver. “If that’s what you need. First we have a few details to work out.”

He laughed. “I like the way you tackle issues head-on. That will be key in this role. I know how to steer the ship, and my chief scientist can navigate the research, but you’ll keep us on the legal straight and narrow.” He tapped his pen against the legal pad in front of him. Then he picked up her résumé and named a salary that pressed her against the chair. “There will be performance bonuses tied to the successful conclusion of trials. We want to look into stock options as well. That will be one of your assignments in conjunction with HR.” He slapped his hands on the table and she jumped. “My enthusiasm gets away from me sometimes.” He shrugged but never wavered as he examined her. “Let’s start with a field trip. The best way for you to understand why we’re doing this work and research is to show you.”


Excerpt from Lethal Intent by Cara Putman. Copyright 2021 by Cara Putman. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Cara Putman

Cara Putman is the author of more than twenty-five legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at sixteen, college at twenty, completed her law degree at twenty-seven, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Visit Cara Putman:
Goodreads: caraputman
BookBub: @CPutman
Instagram: caracputman
Twitter: @Cara_Putman
Facebook: Cara.Putman

Lethal Intent Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
These are the stops on the tour as of December 16 and are subject to change. Please, let me know if you have any questions.

01/11 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
01/12 Interview @ Sara In Bookland
01/12 Review @ @ delightfullybooked
01/13 Review @ Novels Alive
01/14 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
01/14 Review @ Jane Pettit Reviews
01/15 Guest post @ Nesies Place
01/17 Review @ Books and Zebras @ jypsylynn
01/18 Interview @ BooksChatter
01/19 showcase @ Reading A Page Turner
01/19 Showcase @ sunny island breezes
01/20 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
01/20 Review @ Novels N Latte Review
01/21 Showcase @ Im Into Books
01/22 Guest post @ Novels Alive
01/22 Review @ The Obsessed Reader
01/25 Showcase @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
01/26 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
01/27 Review/showcase @ Avonna Loves Genres
01/27 Showcase @ Splashes of Joy
01/28 Showcase @ Cassidys Bookshelves
01/30 Review @ Books of My Heart
01/31 Review @ Read Review Rejoice
02/01 Review @ @ lovemybooks2020
02/01 Review @ Lynchburg Reads
02/02 Review @ Quirky Cats Fat Stacks
02/02 Review @ The World As I See It
02/03 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
02/03 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
02/04 Review @ Spookys Maze Of Books
02/05 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cara Putman. There will be three (3) winners of one (1) physical copy of Lethal Intent by Cara Putman (US ONLY). The giveaway begins on January 11, 2021 and runs through February 7, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


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.