Wednesday, March 31, 2021

STAY WITH ME by Becky Wade, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

This is one of those stories that's so difficult to review because I don't want to give a single thing away, but at the same token, want to portray how powerfully impactful it is! It's deeply emotional, thought-provoking, and resonates with so many spiritual truths that they slammed into my heart. The end sucker-punched me, stole my breath, and left tears trickling down my face...but wow, some seriously good stuff. I won't walk away from this unaffected but reminded in such a powerful way just how much God loves me; in spite of my mistakes, in spite of times where I’ve turned away from God, in spite of my doubts and fears, in spite of how stupidly human I can be sometimes.
Okay, whew, I still can't catch my breath, but I'll try to finish my review on this beautifully written story. There were times where I felt so entrenched in this that it became real, the characters felt real, and everything around me dissipated except the world in the pages. 
Becky Wade has a way to weave her words so that the reader can connect to the story practically right away. At least it does for me with every book I've read by her. I'm a fairly new fan, having just discovered Wade's writing through her recent Bradford Sisters series. So when this new one came out, I was almost desperate to read it! I knew I was in for a real treat and Wade did not disappoint. 
I was fully invested in the lives of Genevieve and Sam as soon as he found her passed out in his guesthouse. These two are deeply layered characters and Wade had a way of peeling back those layers to lay bare the deep-seated struggles and issues they've hidden for years. Also, the family secrets that Genevieve and her sister Natasha have come to investigate after threatening letters arrived at their parents house kept me on tenterhooks. I could not believe what was revealed at the end! 
Emotions ran high for me throughout the book and I had such a hard time putting it down. Wade also introduces other members of what's called “the miracle five”; five teens on a missionary trip who survived an earthquake 18 years ago. What they went through is sprinkled throughout the book. I can't wait to learn more about Luke, Sebastian, and Ben!
In conclusion, Wade consistently delivers spiritual truth, emotions so real you can feel them, flawed characters redeemed by God's mercy, a love story that's deep and abiding, and an overall satisfied feeling that leaves you smiling at the end. If this first book in the Misty River Romance series is any indication of what's to come, I cannot wait for the rest!
*I received a complimentary digital copy through Netgalley and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. * 
 Back Cover Blurb:
Loving her is a risk he can’t afford . . . and can’t resist.

When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.

Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life. Yet, can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most?

Bethany House Publishing, May 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover
Buy Stay With Me at Amazon

Buy Stay With Me at

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

MY DEAR MISS DUPRE´ by Grace Hitchcok, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Paula Shreckhise

The cover and premise of this book caught my eye and begged me to read it, and what a charming story it was. Set in the Gilded Age in New York City, and Newport, Rhode Island, it’s an entertaining look at society during this time. The heroine,
Willow Dupré, is delightful and caught in the unenviable position of having to choose a husband from thirty men deemed eligible by her parents. The board members of her father’s sugar company insist that she have a husband by her side to aid her in running the company, as her father’s health is failing. Educated and capable, Willow is perfectly able to run it by herself, but she goes along with the activities planned to winnow down the list of bachelors within a few short months.

With wit, charm, some intrigue, and a lot of crazy antics, the tale comes to a delicious and satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed meeting the suitors—some more than others. I’m looking forward to more books in this series from Grace Hitchcock.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

Madcap fun.

What a predicament Willow
Dupré finds herself in. She is an educated, business-minded miss who is set to take over the sugar empire her father has built. However, the board members want her to find a husband who can rule beside her. Her parents, one of the foremost families in elite New York society of 1883, have given their daughter an ultimatum: Choose a husband in only six months from 30 hand picked suitors.

What a whirlwind romance. Willow has a good heart and relies on her faith to guide her, but oh, the decisions she has to make. And the planned and unplanned circumstances that she gets into! She is down to the final choices and everything comes apart. She has asked God to guide her but can she trust her own heart? And can she see the true motives of her beaux?

Very interesting was a lesson in the meaning of flowers and what messages they send to a courting couple.

An enjoyable spin on The Bachelorette, with added intrigue and promise of more to come from The American Royalty series. I know I want a story about Willow’s best friend, Flora.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Review Crew and BPH Open Book. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 Stars and a solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father's unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan--find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society's elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn't expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.
Bethany House Publishing, March 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Monday, March 29, 2021

THE BLACK ROSE (Empire in Pine #3) by Naomi Musch, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


Having not read the first two books in this series, this one was still an enjoyable story. A hard story, too. It started out with deceit and betrayal but ended on a note of reconciliation and forgiveness. It showed how a faith in God can overcome even bad circumstances we put ourselves into.

I liked that it was set in Northern Wisconsin, where I lived for eleven years. It also referenced the Peshtigo Fire, which happened the same day as the Great Chicago Fire. The second book is the Peshtigo story. I have visited the Peshtigo Fire Museum, a small but fascinating place.

The writing was realistic and showed the characters struggling with their faith, but in the end God is in charge and guides them into what is best for them.
*I received a complimentary ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4stars and a solid faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
1893 ~ Logging has reached its golden era in the growing state of Wisconsin, and twin sisters Jesilyn and Corianne Beaumont enjoy a comfortable life with family in the bustling, Great Lake city of Superior—until jealousy incites Jesi to seduce Cori's fiancé, certain she can claim his heart. When things don't go as planned, a flight and fall from grace lands her in a boom town brothel where a fresh start is denied her.

Camp preacher Paul Winter longs to offer hope in the carousing lumber and mining towns of northern Wisconsin, but his successes have been few, and he’s begun to question his calling. Then his ministry is challenged in an unexpected way when he meets a lost and broken red-head he calls Pie Girl. Though willing to offer rescue, he's never had to battle his own longings quite this way before.

Meanwhile, stung by Jesilyn's betrayal, Corianne finds refuge in refusing to forgive, but bitterness might separate her from a second chance at happiness.

When tragedy causes fresh sparks between them, will love fail forever? Or is there a way for both women to begin new lives—and find budding love blooming in places neither of them expect.
Long Lake Books, May 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Look at Holy Week with Author Suzie Johnson

In a world that preaches tolerance but doesn’t always demonstrate it, the Inkies – with our various differences– are a great example of understanding and acceptance. We don’t attend the same church building, we don’t all belong to the same denomination (or non-denomination), nor do our churches all celebrate the holy time leading up to Easter Sunday in the same way.

Our observations throughout Holy Week depend on different things; mainly what we learned growing up, and how the churches we attend mark the week leading up to God’s most precious gift to us – the indescribably wonderful miracle of his son, Jesus Christ.

Lent commemorates the forty days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and facing temptation. It is commonly spent in fasting and penitence, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending on different days of the Holy Week – depending on the way one’s denomination calculates the days.

Ash Wednesday
I always knew Ash Wednesday as the day when my Catholic co-workers would leave for a short period of time and come back with a gray cross smudged in the center of their foreheads. Ashes were, of course, a part of mourning in Biblical days. They are symbolic now of shame and sadness over our own sin, and sorrow over the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. Though it’s not something I grew up with and have never personally experienced, the smudging of ashes has always tugged deeply at my heart.  

When Moses was called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Pharaoh grants and then recants their freedom several times. God’s people are told to mark their doors with lamb’s blood to protect them when an angel passes over to claim the life of every firstborn in the land. Passover commemorates God’s promise to free his people from slavery.

Palm Sunday
Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey and the people celebrated by singing and laying palm fronds along his path, fulfilling one of the many Old Testament prophesies about his coming. The church I grew up in always began the Palm Sunday worship service with the pastor carrying palm fronds to the front of the altar before taking his place at the pulpit. When he retired, the pastor who took his place would occasionally gift us with tiny wooden crosses from Israel. There are times in my adult life when I long to see palm fronds on Palm Sunday. I’d also be thrilled to come across one of those small crosses, and wish I’d taken better care to keep them safe so I’d always have them.

Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday sometimes known as Holy Thursday, commemorates the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples.

Good Friday
Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. I grew up in a denominational church and have attended a non-denominational church for more than half my life. And still, this day means as much to me as it did the very first time I heard the story of Jesus. That’s a story in itself, but I still can’t read or hear the story without tears welling up in my soul.

Here of course, is our blessed miracle, the greatest of all God’s gifts – the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Some songs to consider in preparing your heart for next week:
In Christ Alone – a beautiful contemporary worship song written by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty, and made popular by the Newsboys and Phillips, Craig and Dean.

TenThousand Angels – a great hymn by Roy Overholt that I love but don’t hear very often. The lyrics are powerful. (There aren't a lot of videos of this hymn. This one is sung by an elderly man and his guitar, and that makes it even more special to me.)

FollowYou – one of my favorite songs of service and sacrifice by Leeland and Brandon Heath has an awesome message. (You may have to watch a commercial first, but you get the official version of the song.)

Whatever your denomination (or non), however you celebrate Holy Week, may you grow in your faith and be incredibly blessed. I would love to know what any one of these days mean to you, and I’d also love to know of any other special days you celebrate.
Reposted from 2007 because the message doesn't change.

Suzie Johnson
You can visit her at the following places:

Saturday, March 27, 2021

LESSONS ON LOVE, a Novella Collection, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

A Barbour Collection from Authors Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, and  Carrie Fancett Pagels

Four teachers find more than they bargained for in their contracts!

Something Old, Something New by Kathleen L. Maher
This story is set in Westchester County, New York in 1840. Gilda Jacobs takes over as schoolmaster after her father’s death teaching Jewish children. Along comes Joshua Blake, a Gentile who wishes become a preacher and has also been partnered with her to teach the Christian curriculum in the classroom. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish customs and way of life in this story. Seeing tradition played out through Gilda's eyes was very interesting to me. I also loved Joshua's gentle but firm way of teaching the Jewish people about faith in Jesus and his passion for the calling God placed on his life. The forbidden romantic spark between these two was palatable, and I really loved how the author brought them together at the end. Making two cultures see eye to eye wasn't an easy task, but it's what kept me turning pages!

Love in Any Language by Susanne Dietze
Kansas 1870. Mary Clarence is an outspoken young lady who learns that Swedish children have been denied schooling because they can't speak English. She takes matters into her own hands and teaches them at her home. It doesn't hurt that she's also attracted to Kristofer Nilsson—her favorite students widowed father! When Kristofer is accused of stealing, Mary sets out to prove his innocence, thus sealing their hearts together. His girls Britta and Agata added their sweetness, giggles and light to the story. I really enjoyed all that happened in this story and also learning a bit about the Swedish culture.

In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894. One of Carrie Pagels favorite places to visit is Mackinac Island Michigan, so the area is well researched, which in turn makes the story come alive! Margaret Hadley pretends to be one of her brothers in order to get work as a dray driver in desperate times. Jessie Huntington met her when his dad purchased two of her families Percheron horses about a year ago. Unfortunately, I was unable to connect with this story or the characters and didn't finish reading it. It wasn't due to the author's writing--I found Pagels to be an excellent story teller!

A Song in the Night by Rita Gerlach
This takes place in Virginia 1904 and is a story of Karin Wiles, a music teacher at The Margaret Brent Academy. After it closes down and then the great fire of Baltimore devastates the city, she and another teacher, Liza, must find a way to survive. A promise of romance brings a bright spot and a future. I really enjoyed this story and getting to know the characters!

All these novellas brought their own unique flavor to the table and spotlighted the authors’ storytelling abilities. I think anyone who loves reading historical fiction will enjoy Lessons on Love!
*I received a complimentary digital copy from Netgalley and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are mine. *

BackCover Blurb:
4 Teachers Find More Than They Bargained for in Their Contracts
Something Old, Something New by Kathleen L. Maher
New York, 1840s
Her father’s sudden death makes Gilda Jacobs the new schoolmaster, but to teach Christian curriculum she partners with fire-and-brimstone revivalist Joshua Blake, who learns a lesson in love.
Love in Any Language by Susanne Dietze
Kansas, 1870
Mary Clarence teaches English to the children of Swedish immigrants, but when her favorite students’ widowed father, Kristofer Nilsson, is accused of robbery, she’s determined to clear his name.
In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894
Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes.
A Song in the Night by Rita Gerlach
Virginia, 1904
Karin Wiles longs to share the uplifting power of music with children. But when she seeks to improve a poorly run school and include orphans, Nathaniel Archer delivers harsh words of opposition from the school board.


Barbour Publishing, October 2019
Available in digital ebook and paperback

Friday, March 26, 2021

THE PRINCE OF SPIES by Elizabeth Camden, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Amazing women have inspired men from the dawn of literary history. Cleopatra, Helen, Guinevere, Juliet, and Dulcinea. To these legendary heroines, I add my own, and her name is Marianne."

What kind of girl risks life and limb to rescue an innocent little canine struggling to crawl out of a frozen river? "Aunt Marianne" would, and since that is the only name that Luke Delacroix can ascribe to the beautiful creature lying beside him on the ice, he is going to have to rely on the fact that he is the prince of spies and should be able to find her again in a matter of hours. Besides, how many young women with the name Marianne work for the Department of the Interior as a photographer. . . . . in a cruel twist of fate, the name Luke discovers is enough to make his blood run cold . . . how could it be? She is a Magruder.

"What a handsome man. Black hair, dark eyes, and a face animated with both fear and admiration."

He literally captures her heart with his eyes, this man on the ice, . . . . . "even through their gloves, it felt like a spark of electricity hummed between them", so powerful was their oddest of first meetings. First . . . because there were going to be many, many more forbidden rendezvous between Luke and Marianne; beginning in a dark room and ending in a yarrow field. . . . . unfortunately, the road in between was going to deliver more detours and blind spots than most humans could endure. Buffeted by a long standing family feud between their two families, the path to happiness was going to require an insatiable, undeniable, uncontrollable, unconditional love. And what a love it turned out to be!
Author Elizabeth Camden has managed to capture the heart of her readers in the palm of her hand, penning a romance for the ages, for this outstanding conclusion to the Hope and Glory series will undoubtedly receive the highest honor that a reader can bestow upon a story; the desire to read it over and over and over again.
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars


BackCover Blurb:
Luke Delacroix has the reputation of a charming man-about-town in Gilded Age Washington, DC. In reality, he is secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission is to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

But trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter, whose job as a government photographer gives her unprecedented access to sites throughout the city. Luke is captivated by Marianne's quick wit and alluring charm, leading them both into a dangerous gamble to reconcile their feelings for each other with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

Bethany House Publishers, February 16, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

THE PURPLE NIGHTGOWN by A.D. Lawrence, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

“God hadn’t changed-His love hadn’t changed.”
Stella Burke is a pampered, sheltered heiress who has a good heart but not much practice in doing good for others. She suffers from migraines. Ms. Lawrence did an admirable job of how Stella experiences these debilitating headaches as well as the remedies of the times. These headaches are the impetus for seeking out Dr. Linda Hazzard and her Wilderness Heights clinic. 
What she finds is chilling and she can not escape. The fear is palpable as Stella tries to flee the clutches of the malicious woman. It is hard to believe this was based on a real person, but the author made this very convincing.
Despite the evil portrayed, there is also hope, faith, forgiveness and charity. This story contains a favorite trope: friends to more. Henry is a staunch friend and he comes to life under the pen of Ms. Lawrence. This nicely rounds out the story from becoming too grim.
I like the way scriptures return to Stella to give her encouragement in her time of need. 
The scenes kept me turning pages well into the night.
This was a very well done debut from a favorite series.
*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.* 4 stars and a solid faith thread.
BackCover Blurb
Step into True Colors -- a series of Historical Stories of Romance and True American Crime

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Barbour Publishing, March 2021
Available in digital ebook, and paperback:

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

TRIAL AND ERROR by Robert Whitlow, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"If I'm honest about it, my life has been a succession of trials and errors - a lot of false starts, wrong turns, and dead ends. I press on, but I've always felt stuck, and I want to get unstuck. Does that many any sense?"

It makes a lot of sense, especially since Buddy Smith's life has taken the sorts of twists and turns that many men would have written off as simply bad luck. Still desperate to find his now teen-age daughter, snatched away by her mother shortly after birth, he has channeled that determination into his law practice, tirelessly advocating for families who are missing a child due to unforeseen circumstances. When a well connected Milton County family is devastated by the disappearance of their own high school daughter, Buddy doesn't hesitate to lend assistance; along with a fairly new local detective and a long time acquaintance, County Clerk of Court, Gracie Blaylock.

Gracie Blaylock has secretly admired Buddy Smith for what seems like forever, albeit from a distance. Their lives intersect occasionally on a professional basis, but her high school crush on the man has long been squashed by the lack of any reciprocation on Buddy's part. However, when a member of her girls softball team goes missing, Gracie doesn't hesitate to get Buddy involved. Who would have thought that unraveling a local disappearance would have any bearing on the deepest burden of Buddy's heart, . . . . . in fact, would anyone have guessed that the entire experience would end up transforming Buddy's heart. For Gracie's words of blessing over a meal and subsequent prayer on his mother's front porch, ushered in a blessing that only God could have orchestrated in Buddy Smith's life.

"Tears began to stream down Gracie's face . . . God had touched Buddy Smith. And Gracie was there to behold it."

You may think portions of this story are left unfinished. Perhaps so. But consider that the un-finishing might represent the opening of a door. . . . a door that every reader is invited to enter; for this book boldly represents issues that many people are facing with fear and trepidation; may they one day look back on them with unabated joy, for the power of prayer is a beautiful gift of the Spirit.
*I purchased a copy of this book and was under no obligation to provide a review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Buddy Smith built his law practice around tracking down missing children. After all, he knows the agony of being separated from a child. Not long after his daughter’s birth, her mother ran away and Buddy never saw either one again.

Gracie Blaylock has known Buddy her entire life, and now that she is clerk of court for the county, their paths cross frequently. When Gracie hears that a teenager in town has gone missing, she knows Buddy is the one for the case.

The girl’s parents are desperate for answers. Together with Gracie and Mayleah—the new detective in town—Buddy chases all leads, hoping to reach the missing teen before it’s too late. And as he pursues one girl, he uncovers clues that could bring him closer to the girl he thought he lost forever: his own daughter.

Master legal writer Robert Whitlow will keep you guessing in this gripping legal drama while reminding you of the power of God’s restoration.

  • Stand-alone legal drama
  • Full-length novel at approximately 120,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Thomas Nelson Publishing, February 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Monday, March 22, 2021

A PROPER PURSUIT by Lynn Austin, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This book was so much fun! An entirely different view of the 1893 Chicago Fair than several that I have recently read, Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green and The White City by Grace Hitchcock. But I expected characters from those books to bump into Violet!

Violet is a true romantic with wild scenarios scrambling in her head. “ My imagination is a gift, but I had to live in the real world.” She does learn to grow up. “ Everything would change. That was the lesson I had learned this summer. Life was all about change.”

Her life is a study in contrasts: What she has been told her life should look like and new possibilities that present themselves when she visits her grandmother and three aunts in Chicago. Her grandmother the widow of a minister, one aunt is an avowed Suffragette, another a rich society wife and my favorite, Aunt Birdie who lost her husband in the Civil War. Although her mind tells her he is still fighting that war, she gives wisdom to Violet. She urges her to seek love in a marriage partner. Thus Violet is faced with conflicting opinions on which of four suitors she should accept.

Her grandmother’s advice: “Don’t make choices in life to please somebody else. The only One you ever need to please is God.”

One of the funniest quotes is about the symptoms of wearing a corset: “ heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and light headed-ness. The symptoms sounded suspiciously like a romance novels description of love. Could it be that thousands of women had married their husbands in the mistaken belief that they were in love, when all along their corsets had been too tight? How disappointing to watch their love mysteriously vanish once their corsets were unlaced.”

Lynn Austin is fast becoming my go-to author for a lighthearted story with real substance and life and spiritual lessons.
*I borrowed this ebook from Prime Reading. All opinions are my own.* (2007 book) 5 hilarious stars and a strong faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
It seems a perfect backdrop for what Violet Hayes longs to experience: a little mystery, a little romance. To be honest, it is more than a little mystery. She schemed her way to Chicago to discover the mother she barely remembered. As for romance well, with the help of her grandmother and three great aunts, that is coming along nicely as well perhaps too well. Each of her relatives including her saintly grandmother seems to have a separate agenda for her. In the course of a summer, Violet's world will open wide before her eyes. But in the wake of discovery, she must find a way to determine which path and which man will ultimately be the right lifetime choice for her.
Bethany House Publishing, September, 2007
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Sunday, March 21, 2021

OPERATION ZULU REDEMPTION by Ronie Kendig, Reviewed by Kim


When I finished Operation Zulu Redemption by Ronie Kendig, I couldn’t stop asking myself, “Why in the world did I wait so long to read this incredible story?” I loved the serialization and how we got to read from everyone’s point of view. I loved how it started with a bang and didn’t let up - ever. The only complaint I have is that it ended.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Ronie Kendig writes the best male characters! They are seriously amazing. In fact, this story has one of my favorite characters ever. The interesting thing is that he might be considered somewhat of a villain. I won’t say much more about him because of spoilers, but I would really love to see him get his own story! As for the non-villains in this story, I loved each and every one of them because they were all perfectly imperfect. And bonus! I was totally shocked at who the true villain was. As in I never saw it coming!

This story is not to be missed! The writing is stellar, the characters are memorable, and the storyline is original. Don’t miss this one! All the stars!!!
*I bought this book and was under no obligation to provide a review. The faith thread is light. 

BackCover Blurb:
They never should’ve existed. Now they don’t.  Zulu, the first all-female special ops team was set up to take a devastating fall. Fearing for their lives, Zulu members vanished with new identities. Isolated and haunted by their past, they are terrified of being discovered.  Over the years, the brave women of Zulu have begun to hope they might be safe and the terrible tragedy forgotten.  Until two of them are murdered.
Shiloh Run Press, December 2014
Available in digital ebook and paperback:


Thursday, March 18, 2021

BRACED FOR LOVE by Mary Connealy, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie


“When he was in a tight spot and pouring out prayers of God’s protection, Kevin had learned to listen to the whisper of an idea.”

Welcome to a new western series by Mary Connealy. Braced For Love sets us up for an unusual story with lots of excitement and clashing temperaments between three brothers who did not know about each other until their no-account Pa died. Now Falcon, Kevin and Wyatt Hunt are joint inheritors of a huge ranch in Wyoming. These three stubborn men must abide by the will their father left.

It took me a minute to get the connections to the female characters but that just made it more interesting. Cheyenne is half sister to Wyatt by their mother. Her best friend, Winona, lives on the adjoining ranch. They are strong, capable women. A description of Cheyenne: “Not a stitch she wore was feminine, but she had a womanly shape, and no one with one working eyeball would have mistaken her for a man.”

Needless to say sparks fly when all parties are thrown together to sort out the terms of the will. And a different kind of sparks fly between Winona and Kevin. What fun to see them pitted against each other.

The descriptions of the majestic scenery was mesmerizing. The family dynamics change from antagonist to standing together against a common enemy, while counting on God to lead them. The most interesting character to me was Falcon. He is stealthy and mysterious and his background is waiting to be uncovered.

This was a solid start to a fun new series. It will be hard to wait for the rest of the stories and new match-ups.
*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.*4 stars and a solid faith thread.


Mary Connealy’s new book, Braced for Love, was just what I needed after reading a tense, heart-pounding suspense novel. I can always count on her for a rollicking, laugh-out-loud, entertaining story. I’m not saying there weren’t any suspenseful, riveting moments, because there were quite a few of those, too.

The premise of the tale is creative and original with Kevin Hunt inheriting his father’s ranch—his father, who supposedly had died long ago. There’s a catch, however. He has to share it with a half-brother he never knew existed. When Kevin and his siblings arrive at the ranch in Wyoming, more surprises await him, including an attack on their lives.

Connealy’s characters are always colorful, well-drawn, and engaging. The main characters, Winona Hawkins and Kevin are wonderful, and I enjoyed their camaraderie as their relationship progressed. A stellar secondary cast of characters perfectly complemented the storyline and added spice to it. I’m looking forward to seeing some of them as major characters in coming books in the series. I was fascinated with trying to work out the family history/genealogy angle with all the half-siblings involved.

With plenty of humor, intrigue, suspense, and a dash of romance, this story is pure Mary Connealy magic and sure to please those who enjoy historical fiction with plenty of wit.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Left with little back in Missouri, Kevin Hunt takes his younger siblings on a journey to Wyoming when he receives news that he's inheriting part of a ranch. The catch is that the ranch is also being given to a half brother he never knew existed. Turns out, Kevin's supposedly dead father led a secret and scandalous life.

But danger seems to track Kevin along the way, and he wonders if his half brother, Wyatt, is behind the attacks. Finally arriving at the ranch, everyone is at each other's throats and the only one willing to stand in between is Winona Hawkins, a nearby schoolmarm.

Despite being a long-time friend to Wyatt, Winona can't help but be drawn to the earnest, kind Kevin--and that puts her in the cross hairs of somebody's dangerous plot. Will they all be able to put aside their differences long enough to keep anyone from getting truly hurt?
Bethany House Publishers, March, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

CAN'T BUY ME LOVE by Andrea Christenson, a JustRead Tour hosted and reviewed by Nicole Cook.

Can't Buy Me Love JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Can't Buy Me Love by Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Can't Buy Me Love

Title: Can't Buy Me Love
Series: Deep Haven Collection #2
Author: Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing 
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He can’t buy his way out of trouble this time…

Housekeeper-slash-entrepreneur Ella Bradley prides herself on being ready for anything. After all, with a father who died—and lied to her—and a stepmom and stepsister who despise her, she has no one else to depend on. But on the biggest night of her life, she’s unprepared to be trapped in an elevator with the man of her dreams. 

Wealthy prince-to-a-fortune Adrian Vassos wants nothing more than to shed his reputation as a party boy and prove that he is a savvy businessman. Even, a gentleman. But when he’s trapped with a woman who knows his reputation but not his face, he gives into the temptation to be someone else—and lies. 

When serendipity brings them together again—this time to work off community service—can their combined sentences spark a new ending? Maybe…if Adrian’s lies don’t find him out. Again. 

The magic of Deep Haven enchants in this modern-day Cinderella story.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub




Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | FacebookInstagram | Twitter

Andrea Christenson lives in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with her husband and two daughters. When she is not busy homeschooling her girls, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on. She believes that a great loaf of artistic bread can turn a meal into a masterpiece. Andrea’s prayer is to write stories revealing God’s love.

CONNECT WITH ANDREA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

 Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.


(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Can't Buy Me Love ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Can't Buy Me Love JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 16, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 23, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Return to the wonderful town of Deep Haven in Andrea Christenson's debut novel, Can't Buy Me Love. With many familiar residents of Deep Haven making cameo appearances, longtime fans of Susan May Warren's will not want their journey back to Deep Haven to end.

Readers will enjoy meeting housekeeper Ella Bradley and her chance encounter with wealthy Adrian Vassos. Suddenly their lives intersect again in a surprising turn of events that neither one expect. This modern day Cinderella tale is complete with a cruel stepmother and stepsister, and readers will be rooting for Ella and Adrian to get their happy ending.

Can't Buy Me Love is recommended for readers of contemporary romance.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.



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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.