Monday, May 31, 2021

ALONG A STORIED TRAIL by Ann Gabhart, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca

Release Day, June 1, 2021!

Ann Gabhart has such a winsome way with words as she captures the dialect of the mountain people of Kentucky.

Tansy Calhoun is a book woman who delivers books by horseback to people in the hills with no access to a library. Caleb is an honorable man trying to do right by his family and following his heart. “Caleb was someone you could depend on to do the right thing. The best thing.” I grew to love Caleb and Tansy in their struggles during the Depression. Tansy was maturing, securing a dream job as a packhorse librarian but finds her dreams may go farther than parceling out books to neighbors in the hills. “A day chin deep in words and stories seemed the next best thing to heaven to Tansy.”

My favorite character was Aunt Perdy. Even though she is prickly, I quickly warmed up to her quirky personality. And she is very wise: “Whilst you might be remembering your wrongs, the Good Lord has done sunk them down deep in the sea where they can’t never float back to the top.”

This was a story of hardship, steeped in faith, forgiveness and a bit of a quandary with excitement thrown in for good measure.

I don’t know how she could top her last book, but each book is uniquely wonderful. Ms. Gabhart cannot write a bad story. She is a natural storyteller. I highly recommend her books.

* 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.*I give this 5+ stars and a strong faith thread.

"Would that be how Tansy ended up? An old lady in a lonesome cabin . . .Youngsters then might be sharing Aunt Tansy stories. Could they already be talking about that crazy book woman, even though they were glad to see her coming."

That crazy book woman . . . they had the book woman part right, but crazy? Tansy Calhoun loved her job as a packhorse librarian, serving the mountain people of eastern Kentucky, her people . . . even if they did agree with her father that she was "thinking above herself". She was only twenty years old, for goodness sake, and "she had a horse, access to more books than she had time to read, and money to keep food on her mother's table". And she had absolutely not been heartbroken over "Jeremy marrying Jolene. Never was any truth to that rumor along the mountain gossip grapevine". But when Caleb Barton returns from his job in Tennessee where he had been working for the Civilian Conservation Corps? That's when Tansy's "I'm perfectly happy the way things are" begins to shift. It might come down to the outlier or the chestnut trees; not surprisingly, Aunt Perdie has her own opinion about that!

This mountain tale is filled to the brim with colorful characters, delightful banter, and generational wisdom. But don't be fooled, beneath it all run undercurrents of grief, regrets, tough decisions and "confounded contentment" . . . which blend together perfectly into quite a "storied trail".

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I also purchased a copy. 

BackCover Blurb:
Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn't mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it--or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she's nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it's easier to see what's best for others than to see what's best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love--love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime--from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.
Revell Publishing, June 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Sunday, May 30, 2021

WINNING THE GENTLEMAN, by Kristi Ann Hunter, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Mr. Whitworth had said she was trouble . . .  She'd thought it was more the type of trouble that made someone uncomfortable or doubled their workload for a day. Instead, she was the sort of trouble that crushed a man's life . . ."

And Sophia Fitzroy certainly did not want to ruin Aaron Whitworth's livelihood, for he had thrown Sophia and her twin brother a lifeline, albeit under dubious circumstances; nonetheless, her new employer had provided them with an opportunity to leave one life behind and literally race towards another. Why did making a right decision, suddenly feel wrong, unless . . . had she missed God's voice? Were her dreams, just that . . . dreams? A woman jockey, horse trainer, instructor? And at the tip top of her concerns; how to handle the sizzle of attraction towards the moody, broody Aaron Whitworth.

Aaron Whitworth had fought off feelings of inferiority his entire life. Being the illegitimate son of an earl placed him squarely in the crosshairs of English society. He had the monetary advantages of the gentry, comparatively speaking, but with it came the scorn and disownment that one would expect. Except for horses; he had always loved working with horses, building a solid reputation among his few titled friends in order to manage two reputable stables. And then . . . .along came Sophia, who could ride like the wind, and whisper endearments to the most powerful of creatures. And fool that he was . . . he had hired her to race.

"What if, instead of trying to imitate what he'd been taught a gentleman should be, Aaron started living by God's standards for one?"

When you turn every page with eager anticipation for discovery, it's a guarantee that you have landed between the covers of an extraordinary book. And "Winning the Gentleman" is just that . . . extraordinary! So romantic, so inspiring, so well balanced between pause and pursue. May every reader rest in the the truth that God's intentions for their future are the only ones that truly matter. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars

See Winnie's and Paula's Reviews

 BackCover Blurb:
Aaron Whitworth hasn't had control over most aspects of his life, but he's always taken pride in being an honorable businessman and better-than-average horseman. When both of those claims are threatened, he makes the desperate decision to hire the horse trainer of a traveling circus as a temporary jockey for his racehorses.

Sophia Fitzroy knows that most horsemen don't take her seriously because she's a woman, but she can't pass up the opportunity to get away from the tumultuous world of travel and performing. As she fights for the right to do the work she was hired for, she learns the fight for Aaron's guarded heart might be an even more worthwhile challenge.

As secrets come to light and past vulnerabilities are confronted, will Aaron and Sophia sacrifice their former dreams and forge a new one together--against all odds?

Bethany House Publishing, April 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Friday, May 28, 2021

AT LIGHTHOUSE POINT by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Honey, life doesn't always turn out the way we plan."

Isn't that the truth. In other words, could God possibly have an even better plan in store for Blaine Grayson. Her French house guest Jean-Paul seems to think so, telling her that "He has dreams for you that you could not even imagine" . . . and hopefully he is right, because Blaine is already trying not to question her return home to Three Sisters Island, Maine; where nothing, and everything has changed.

Blaine's notion of returning to her family's island property, Camp Kicking Moose, with a coveted degree from a French culinary school, led her to believe that she could remodel the camp's kitchen in order to offer fine dining for the many guests visiting the camp during peak season. Finding out that her father and older sister, who never cook, have done a terrible job of putting in what they considered upgrades to the old kitchen, has effectively ruined that idea. As if the sister dynamics weren't frustrating enough, the one person whom she considered her best friend is giving her the cold shoulder; in fact, Dr. Artie Lotosky is doing a fine job of totally ignoring her, putting another dent in her tender heart.

Digging deep into her faith, and quoting many precious Proverbs to herself, ("a fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control . . . ") Blaine dares to believe that God may have a new dream in store for her. But in order to reach for it, can she truly, "pray and release"?

This lovely series conclusion has only one flaw . . . it ended far too soon.

*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews, and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars
BackCover Blurb:
Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan--to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor's kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn't know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the coast of Maine for a story that reminds you to release what doesn't matter and cling to what does: faith, family, and friendships.
Revell Publishing  May 2021
At Lighthouse Point is available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy At Lighthouse Point at Baker Book House

Thursday, May 27, 2021

A SOJOURNER'S CHRISTMAS by Linda Brooks Davis, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

(A Valley of Promise Novella)
I have not read the first book in this series but I do know that Blossom Evans and her extended family of twelve have left Oklahoma in 1923 to travel to Texas. Their covered wagons draw up on Winter, Texas on Christmas Eve. The events that happen on this night and the next day show 22 year old Blossom’s spirit and spunk. The McFarland family pulls together and helps the underdog. They are living out their Christian Faith and stand on the side of right.

I am looking forward to the next step in the journey of young Blossom and her family.

*I received a complimentary ecopy from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4 stars and a strong faith thread. 
BackCover Blurb:
She relinquished her childhood home. Abandoned her former life. And set off for a faraway valley that’s touted as magical. As an aspiring newspaper reporter, Blossom Evans expects to find plenty of material with which to carve out a career. But alarming tales about the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas abound. Barely tamed, rugged brush land. Mexican bandits. Wildcats, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas as big around as dinner plates. 
Where will she find the courage to face—and overcome—such foes, even for her dream career?The first hint of an answer lies in the sleepy little West Texas town of Winters. An unexpected conflict is brewing, one that could launch a reporter's career—or crush it before it begins. How will Blossom be lured into the fray? And where will she find the temerity to confront this particular brand of evil? It's Christmas Eve 1923, and Blossom Evans is about to discover what's she made of.

May 2021
Available in ebook and paperback:
Buy A Sojourner's Christmas at Amazon

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

CRAZY FOR YOU by Michelle Sass Aleckson and Susan May Warren *a JUST READ TOUR hosted by Nicole Cook #Giveaway


Crazy For You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Crazy for You by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Crazy for You

Title: Crazy for You 
Series: Deep Haven Collection #3
Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider. 

Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic. 

When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook | BookBub

Nicole's Review of CRAZY FOR YOU! 

A delightful return to the small town of Deep Haven originally created by Susan May Warren. Longtime fans of hers will recognize some beloved characters from Deep Haven making an appearance in this novel.
In her debut novel, Michelle Sass Aleckson introduces a strong, confident heroine and her younger brother, who just like many of us, are trying to find a place to belong. Their Hispanic heritage brings a welcomed diversity to Deep Haven.

Crazy for You
is recommended for readers of contemporary 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.



Susan May Warren Michelle Sass Aleckson

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

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: 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 Crazy for You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Crazy for You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 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.

DUSK'S DARKEST SHORES by Carolyn Miller, *I READ WITH AUDRA blog tour with #Giveaway; Reviewed and Hosted by Paula Shreckhise

This is not the typical Regency story with aristocratic characters. Mary Bloomfield is a spinster. Everyone assumes she does not want marriage or children but she longs to be loved for who she is. She helps her father in his doctoring profession. She has the heart for helping people and sees it as a calling from God. Adam Edgerton is not typical either, having grown up expecting to inherit his father’s farm. But he is also a war hero struggling with a debilitating disease. “The heart was a strange country, filled with odd fancies, twists and turns. Adam barely knew himself these days.”

The author brought the emotions of her characters to the point where they sought God for the answers. She aptly portrayed Mary as having the personality to be able to help Adam. “God’s goodness did not fade away simply because she did not perceive it. Circumstances were not a faithful prism through which to see God’s love. God’s love, like the sun, always remained.”

The story was true to life and dealt with some hard issues but Ms. Miller gave us the perfect way to overcome: to have Faith in God. “Trusting God seems to be about pushing away the confines of the easy and explained, to a daring place where one needed God in a deep, profound way.”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel through Read With Audra Jennings Tour, I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 4 stars and a strong faith thread.

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”

ABOUT THE BOOK (BackCover Blurb):
How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?

Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England's beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it's a peaceful life.

That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary's caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer--but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he's plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?

Adam wants no charity, but he's also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal--and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.

Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.

Purchase Links:  Amazon, Baker Book House, 

Click here to read an excerpt.

About the author:

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.


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. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 


Learn more about Carolyn at, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor).

Enter to win a fun prize pack inspired by the book and its English setting that includes:
- a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
- a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
- a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
- Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
- “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
- “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
- Black currant preserves from England
- Wax Lyrical candle from England

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

TAKEN IN THE NIGHT by Elizabeth Goddard, Reviewed by Nicole Cook #ReleaseDay #Giveaway

Please leave a comment and let us know if you'd like to be in the drawing for a signed paperback copy of TAKEN IN THE NIGHT, provided by Nicole Cook! (Sorry, but U.S. addresses only)

Elizabeth Goddard definitely ramps up the action and danger in her latest Love Inspired Suspense novel, Taken in the Night. In this third installment of her Mount Shasta Secrets series, readers are in for a wild ride. The fast paced and explosive action will keep the readers invested in the storyline and flipping through the pages, eagerly anticipating who the villain is. A quick, easy read sure to delight fans of romantic suspense.

This book is recommended for readers of inspirational romantic suspense.
*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 rating (2) – light

Her child is in danger.

Protecting her is all that matters.

Widow Danielle Collins runs into her ex, Reece Bradley, just in time—right after she and her daughter are abducted from their campsite. Only the former navy SEAL can save them from a mystery enemy who shot her brother. Now as they run for their lives, Danielle must figure out why they’re being hunted…and how to tell Reece the little girl he’s protecting is his daughter.

From Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith. May 2021
Available in digital ebook and mass market paperback: 

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Present Danger and the Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over one million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at

Please leave a comment to be in the drawing from Nicole! Tell us about your reading habits when it comes to romantic suspense, and don't forget to leave your email address safely  name (at) or message Deb on Facebook (debra e marvin). Drawing ends June 8th, 2021

ONCE UPON A SUMMER - a novella collection, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Four clever and cute stories based on Fairytales, from Authors ANDREA BOYD, TONI SHILOH, TERESA TYSINGER, and JAYCEE WEAVER

A New Beginning - Andrea Boyd
Cute take on Rapunzel with a very modern twist. The meet was very unusual. It included foster kids and a lesson on not judging on appearances. It dealt with hard subjects in a faith-filled way.

Ever After Summer - Toni Shiloh
Absolutely the best rendition of Beauty and the Beast! I loved Bell and Jean Luc. Add in France and a trip to Paris Disney and it was perfect! Even pompous Dominic was great. All with a faith underpinning. Manifique!

Gwen and the Three Dates - Teresa Tysinger
Mr. Too Hot, Mr. Too Cold and Mr. Just Right. Gwen Lochs doesn’t see what’s right in front of her. God works in mysterious ways. Lots of fun with references to Nicholas Sparks Movies and Tom Hanks. Just Right for movie buffs.

- Jaycee Weaver
Reality diva Charlotte escapes to New Mexico and runs into her former co-star Jaime and her frog turns into a Prince. She finds Christ and looks outside herself. This was a real soul searching story.
*I received an ecopy of this book from one of the authors. 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:
Embrace the enchantment of summer with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.

A New Beginning — Who is she? Acacia Martin raised by an impostor mom serving a prison sentence for her sins, or Jasmine Callahan abducted at birth from a family she’s yet to meet? Luckily, she has Drake to help her untangle the mess that is her life. Will he ensnare her he art in the process?

An Ever After Summer — The employees of In a Bind are terrified of Jean-Luc Thibodeaux, so Bellamy Larson hops on a plane to France to deal with the beastly client. Yet once she arrives, she's convinced he merely needs a friend. Then her heart begins to want ever after, not just one summer.

Gwen and the Three Dates — Life isn't a romantic movie, but Gwen Lochs is determined to find her leading man. When she joins a cheesy dating site, Gwen agrees to just three dates. Can Ben Smith watch his best friend and soulmate find someone else? A romantic comedy about searching for that just-right love.

Unkissable — Reality diva Charlotte Lavigne's on-camera meltdown reminds former teen-TV prince Jaime Reyes exactly why he left Hollywood ten years ago. A chance encounter leads to a bargain that transforms them both. When it’s time to face her past, will their rediscovered love be strong enough to build a future together?

Let these four sweet contemporary Christian romances take you away this summer.

Available in digital and paperback at Amazon


Monday, May 24, 2021

AFTERMATH by Teri Blackstock, a "Partners in Crime" Tour hosted by Paula Shreckhise (plus review!)


May 10 - June 4, 2021 Tour


Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

This gripping new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Terri Blackstock will leave you on the edge of your seat.

A devastating explosion.

Three best friends are at the venue just to hear their favorite band . . . but only one of them makes it out alive.

A trunk full of planted evidence.

When police stop Dustin with a warrant to search his trunk, he knows it’s just a mistake. He’s former military and owns a security firm. But he’s horrified when they find explosives, and he can’t fathom how they got there.

An attorney who will risk it all for a friend.

Criminal attorney Jamie Powell was Dustin’s best friend growing up. They haven’t spoken since he left for basic training, but she’s the first one he thinks of when he’s arrested. Jamie knows she’s putting her career on the line by defending an accused terrorist, but she’d never abandon him. Someone is framing Dustin to take the fall for shocking acts of violence . . . but why?

Praise for Aftermath:

“In Aftermath, Terri Blackstock plumbs the depth of human emotion in the face of devastating tragedy, grief, and loss. Yet, she still manages to give readers her trademark suspenseful story, sweet romance, and hope for the future. From gut wrenching scenes in a cancer patient’s hospital room to seeing the world through the eyes of a young woman with a debilitating mental health disorder, Blackstock pulls no punches about human frailties. Does the end justify the means? Romantic suspense lovers won’t want to miss Aftermath.”
—Kelly Irvin, bestselling author

“Justice may be blind but that doesn’t keep it from facing mortal danger. In Aftermath, expert storyteller Terri Blackstock ratchets up the suspense in a novel that delivers on every level. Conflicts rage and loyalties are tested to the ultimate limit. Set aside plenty of time when you pick up this book—you’ll not to want to take a break.”
—Robert Whitlow, bestselling author

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 11th 2021
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0310348587 (ISBN13: 9780310348580)
Series: Aftermath is a stand-alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:


Chapter One

Taylor Reid’s phone flashed as she snapped the selfie with her two friends, their heads touching and their backs to the stage. The shot from the third row, with the lead singer in the background and the three of them in the foreground, was perfect. No one would believe their seats were so close.

They turned around to face the band, dancing to the beat of the song they’d been listening to in the car on the way to Trudeau Hall.

Taylor quickly posted the pic, typing, “Ed Loran targets nonpoliticals for his rally with band Blue Fire. Worked on us!”

She put her phone on videotape and zoomed onto the stage.

“I don’t want it to end!” Desiree said in her ear.

“Me either!” Taylor yelled over the music.

“Maybe they’ll play again after his speech,” Mara shouted.

The song came to an end, and the crowd went crazy, begging for one more song before the band left the stage.

But an amplified voice filled the auditorium, cutting off the adulation. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next president of the United States, Ed Loran!”

The crowd sounded less enthusiastic as the band left the stage and Ed Loran, the Libertarian celebrity magnet, made his entrance. Taylor kept cheering and clapping, letting her enthusiasm for the band segue to him.

It happened just as the candidate took the stage. The deafening sound, like some confusing combination of gunshot and lightning bolt, a blast that blacked out the lights and knocked her to the ground. Smoke mushroomed. Screams crescendoed—shrieks of terror, wailing pain, shocking anguish . . . then sudden, gentle silence, as if she were underwater. A loud ringing in her ears filled the void.

She peered under the seats, choking for breath as dimmer lights flickered through the smoke. Even from here, she could see the fallout of whatever had happened. Blood pooling on the ground, people hunkering down as she was, feet running . . . What was happening? An explosion? A crash? She looked around and couldn’t see her friends.

She clawed her way up and looked over the seat. Smoke and fire billowed from the stage into the crowd, and heat wafted over her like some living force invading the room. Muffled, muted sounds competed with the ringing.

Get out! Now! She dropped back down and crawled under two rows of seats until she came to someone limp on the floor. She felt herself scream but couldn’t hear her own voice. Scrambling to her feet, she went to her left to get to the aisle, but her foot slipped on something wet. She grabbed the seat next to her to steady herself, then launched into the frantic crowd in the aisle. The room seemed to spin, people whizzing by, people under her, people above her, people broken and ripped and still . . . She stepped and fell, crawled and ran, tripped and kicked her way to the bottlenecked doorway, then fought her way through it.

The ringing in her ears faded as she tumbled downstairs, almost falling into the lobby below. The sound of crying, coughing, wretching, and the roaring sound of pounding feet turned up as if some divine finger had fiddled with the volume.

She set her sights on the glass doors to the outside and pushed forward, moving through people and past the security stations they’d stopped at on the way in. She made it to the door and burst out into the sunlight.

Fresh, cool air hit her like freedom, but at first her lungs rejected it like some poison meant to stop her. At the bottom of the steps, on the sidewalk, she bent over and coughed until she could breathe.

After a moment, the crowd pushed her along toward the parking garage until she remembered that her car wasn’t there. She had parked on the street, blocks away. She forced her way out of the flow of people and ran a block south. Where was it?

She turned the corner. Her car was here, on this block. Near the Atlanta Trust Bank. Wasn’t it? Or was it the next block?

Sweat slicked her skin until she found her silver Accord. There!

She ran to it and pulled her keys out of her pocket, wishing she hadn’t lost the key fob. Her hands trembled as she stuck the key into the passenger side lock and got the door open. She slipped inside on the driver’s side, locked it behind her. Instinctively, she slid down, her head hidden as if someone were coming after her.

What just happened?

One minute they’d been taking selfies and videotaping the band, and the next they were on the floor . . .

Where were Mara and Desiree? She hadn’t even looked for them! Should she go back for them?

No, that would be insane. She could smell the smoke and fire from here. They would know to come to the car when they got out.

Call the police!

She tried to steady her hands as she swiped her phone on.

“911, what is your—”

“An explosion!” she cut in, her voice hoarse. “At the Ed Loran rally at Trudeau Hall!”

“Where are you now?” the woman asked in a voice that was robotically calm.

“I got out. There’s fire . . . People are still in there. Please send ambulances!”

“Ma’am, did you see what exploded?”

“No . . . the stage area, I think. I don’t know where my friends are. Please . . . hurry!”

“We’ve already dispatched the fire department and police, ma’am.”

She heard sirens from a few blocks away and cut off the call. She raised up, looking over the dashboard for the flashing lights. She couldn’t see any, but the sirens grew louder.

She knelt on the floorboard, her knees on her floormat and her elbows on her seat, and texted Desiree.

I’m at the car. Where are you?

No answer. She switched to a recent thread with Mara and texted again.

Got out. At car waiting. Where are you?


She dictated a group text to both of them.

Are you all right?

They were probably running or deaf, fighting their way out like she had. She tried calling them, but Mara’s phone rang to voicemail. When Desiree’s phone did the same, she yelled, “Call me! I’m waiting at the car and I’m scared. Where are you?” She was sobbing when she ended the call.


Excerpt from Aftermath by Terri Blackstock. Copyright 2021 by Terri Blackstock. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.


Paula's Review:
5 stars and a solid faith thread.

This was a very quick read for me, I just couldn’t put it down!
From the first scene it was mesmerizing. After the *incident*, the story is told from several points of view: Taylor, who was a witness; Dustin, the accused; and Jaime, who is a defending attorney. The connection to the culprit was intricately woven into the plot. I especially liked the reunion between Jaime and Dustin who grew up next door to each other. The health issues of PTSD, OCD and cancer were very well represented and realistic. The story dealt with family, reconciliation and how faith affects our circumstances. It was great to see the growth that Dustin experienced throughout the story. “ The sure knowledge that God had his back filled him with strength laced with calm. He would fight this, but wouldn’t be fighting alone.”
Ms. Blackstock has proved herself again as a wonderful suspense author. One of my favorite writers.
*I won an ebook of this title from Kav at Best Reads. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

Author Bio:

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She’s the author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, Moonlighters, and the Restoration series.

Visit her at:
Instagram - #terriblackstock
Twitter - #terriblackstock
Facebook - @tblackstock



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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Terri Blackstock & Thomas Nelson. There will be ONE (1) winner of one (1) physical copy of Aftermath (US Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 10, 2021 and ends on June 5, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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by Terri Blackstock

Saturday, May 22, 2021

HOOKED ON YOU by Kathleen Fuller, Reviewed by Kim

Hooked on You by Kathleen Fuller is a sweet, slower paced, small town romance. The cover was the first thing that drew me to this book. In the blurb it describes this story as a “lighthearted romantic comedy” which I’m always in the mood for.

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect with Riley. She was a bit too dramatic at times and even though she liked Hayden, when she was with him, it seemed like she was always trying to get away from him. Hayden was my favorite character, but I struggled to see why he was so drawn to Riley.

I enjoyed the small town feel and I really enjoyed Riley’s grandma, Erma, and her friends. If you enjoy small town romance, this might be the story for you!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread was light.
BackCover Blurb:
She never wanted to come back. He never wants to leave. The town of Maple Falls has plans for them both.

Riley McAllister is living the dream in New York City . . . if the dream means being a struggling mixed-media artist, part-time food delivery driver, and having a carefully curated social media to hide all of the above. She refuses to admit defeat and move back to small-town Maple Falls, but when her grandmother breaks her leg sliding into third base during a softball game (she was safe, by the way), Riley reluctantly agrees to go home and help the woman who raised her—while secretly hoping she can convince Mimi to sell her house and yarn shop and move in with a good friend. Then Riley can return to her new life in NYC, on her own and for good.

But Mimi has her own plans, which include setting Riley up with local baseball star Hayden Price, who returned to Maple Falls after an injury ended his major league career. Now he works at his father’s hardware store, coaches the church softball team, and worries about the declining town. It’s not the life he dreamed of having.

With a little meddling and a lot of kindness from the town, Hayden and Riley find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other as they discover the true meaning of home.

Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name and your business.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:


Friday, May 21, 2021

PAINT AND NECTAR by Ashley Clark, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Ashley Clark has penned another captivating split time story with the second novel in her Heirloom Secrets series, Paint and Nectar. The gorgeous cover attracted me first, and after I read the premise, I knew I had to read it. Although it can be read as a standalone book, I would recommend reading the first novel, The Dress Shop on King Street first, as there are several characters from it that show up in the new tale. With beautiful prose and skillful weaving of the storylines, Clark brings the realistic, colorful and engaging characters to life and paints a delicious picture of southern life in Charleston.
An old family feud between the Pinckneys and the Legares over stolen family silver carries over into both of the timelines and wreaks havoc in the lives of William and Eliza in 1929 and Lucy and Declan in the present day. Various twists and turns add intrigue and adventure to the story. Themes of preserving history and following your dreams run through the tale with an added takeaway of forgiveness and hope. I’m looking forward to reading more stories from this talented author. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
In 1929, a spark forms between Eliza, a talented watercolorist, and William, a charming young man with a secret that could ruin her career. Their families forbid their romance because of a long-standing feud over missing heirloom silver. Still, Eliza and William's passion grows despite the barriers, causing William to deeply regret the secret he's keeping . . . but setting things right will come at a cost.

In present-day Charleston, a mysterious benefactor gifts Lucy Legare an old house, along with all the secrets it holds--including enigmatic letters about an antique silver heirloom. Declan Pinckney, whom Lucy's been avoiding since their disastrous first date, is set on buying her house for his family's development company. As Lucy uncovers secrets about the house, its garden, and the silver, she becomes more determined than ever to preserve the historic Charleston property, not only for history's sake but also for her own.

Bethany House Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:

Thursday, May 20, 2021

HER EVERY MOVE by Kelly Irvin, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"She'd moved a backpack and Estrella had died. . . . . . God forgive me."

People are dying in San Antonio, Texas. Librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro has landed directly in the epicenter. One of her very best friends, one of her mother's very best friends, an experienced caterer, city officials, the police chief, . . . and the list of victims from multiple bombs continues to grow; for some reason law enforcement is determined to link Jackie's family to these heinous crimes. Or at least, it seems that way. One very curious and determined detective seems to be around her every corner, Detective Avery Wick.

Detective Wick likes to fit random pieces of crime puzzles together, and nothing about the San Antonio serial bomber fits. The perpetrator claims to be part of an organization that doesn't exist and he/she seems to continually be ahead of any attempts to prevent the next catastrophe. Jackie Santoro's family has plenty of reason to hate city bureaucrats, but Avery's gut instinct tells him that she is innocent . . . . the beautiful city librarian is giving off multiple vibes, from anger all the way to something else, and it's that "something else" that could be equally dangerous . . to his heart.

A little jagged around the edges, this story gives off mixed signals when it comes to how the characters actually feel about their faith and about each other. While the language on the page is clean, Avery obviously has no self control over his expletives. Thankfully, balance is the key to every good book, and while the characterizations might have been marginally off-putting, the story itself is fascinating. I never did figure it out, and the last chapter was one of the best. 

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a review.

BackCover Blurb:
He’s a cop trying to stop a serial bomber. And she’ll stop at nothing to clear her own name.

When a deadly bomb goes off during a climate change debate, librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro becomes the prime suspect. Her motive, according to Detective Avery Wick: to avenge the suicide of her prominent father, who was accused of crimes by a city councilman attending the event.

Though Avery has doubts about Jackie’s guilt, he can’t exonerate her even after an extremist group takes responsibility for the bombing and continues to attack San Antonio’s treasured public spaces.

As Jackie tries to hold her shattered family together, she has no choice but to proceed with plans for the Caterina Ball, the library system’s biggest annual fundraiser. But she also fears the event provides the perfect opportunity for the bomber to strike again.

Despite their mistrust, Jackie and Avery join forces to unmask the truth—before the death toll mounts even higher.

Bestseller Kelly Irvin is back with a nail-biting romantic suspense where nothing is certain until the very last page.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, February 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:

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