Saturday, June 19, 2021

THE NATURE OF A LADY by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney PLUS... #GIVEAWAY of paperback

" I always say that there are some born here. Some who visit. Some who leave. Others who stay. . . . . When we stay, it's because the islands know our names . . . "

Did these islands possibly know her name? Lady Elizabeth Sinclair wondered if anyone in her life had truly known her name, the hopes and dreams it represented . . . certainly not her brother, or he would have never insisted that she marry a man whom she hardly knew, much less loved. Surely sneaking away on a summer holiday would only postpone the inevitable, nevertheless, the Isles of Scilly would provide her with hours of uninterrupted enjoyment, for she was a lady who loved exploring nature far more that tittering away her time mingling with polite society. But never in her wildest imagination could Elizabeth have anticipated getting mixed up with the perplexing, albeit dangerous secrets of Isles. Or its handsome vicar.

"I'm just not a man of science, my lady. I'm also a man of faith. The sort who says God created an orderly universe, set rules in motion, . . . but who also believes that a God who made such rules can also break them on rare, very special occasions. . .. . . He can raise the dead."

Oliver Tremayne was a puzzle, to be sure. So knowledgeable about creation, and yet willing to have faith in a God whom he couldn't see. So kind, so genuine, so manly . . . . Elizabeth had never entertained the thought that she might take delight in studying a specimen of the male species. Birds, bugs, and flowering plants usually held her attention; but this man . . . and his friends, and his family (one of whom was missing, the other being missed already), and his faith. And they would need ever bit of all three to find the kind of treasure that others had been willing to kill for.
Enticing, entertaining, and enchanting all describe this considerable volume of pure reading pleasure, with its myriad of interesting characters who serve to evoke a lush, imaginative mirage of an island paradise where everyone knows your name.

"Libby . . . . listened to the night insects as they made their debut. And could swear that when the wind blew again, she could hear the islands whisper, 'Elizabeth'. "
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars
 
GIVEAWAY!! SEE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW
 
 
BackCover Copy:
 1906
Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.
 
Bethany House Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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Friday, June 18, 2021

NO JOURNEY TOO FAR by Carrie Turansky, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

In No Journey Too Far, Carrie Turansky continues her captivating saga of the McAlister family and their experiences as British Home Children. This story focuses on Garth McAlister and his search for his sister Grace and his sweetheart Emma. After serving in WWI, Garth returns to Canada with his friend Rob to continue his quest to reunite his family. Meanwhile, Grace has found a way to try to reconnect with her birth family, and Emma is trying to regain contact with Garth. I was struck by the difficulty of communicating with others over 100 years ago compared with the relative ease of today.

Turansky has created some memorable, colorful, and engaging characters for this series, and I enjoyed learning more about them and their struggles and triumphs. One of my favorite things about reading historical fiction is learning more about different slices of time and history while I’m enjoying an absorbing story. I didn’t know about the British Home Children before reading this series. Some of them fared quite well, but others were treated horribly. Turansky’s impeccable historical research is obvious in her attention to detail, and I learned much about this time period while reading this book and the preceding one, No Ocean Too Wide.

Filled with history, suspense, romance, and inspiration, this story is a tale of faith, hope, and a longing for family ties and love. I’m looking forward to more from this talented author in the future. 4.5 stars
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
A family long divided, a mysterious trunk, and a desperate journey across the ocean—all in the name of love. The epic saga of the McAlisters continues in this riveting sequel to No Ocean Too Wide.

In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Though she is fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for ten years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth?

After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon—his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart.

Multnomah Publishing, June 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Thursday, June 17, 2021

NEVER MISS by Melissa Koslin, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"I was in the CIA, Special Activities Center."

Kadance Tolle had been trained to hit targets from long distances since she was old enough to position a rifle. Following years of covert operations as a highly trained black ops sniper, her return to normal life had been plagued by a family who stubbornly refused to give her a choice about anything but following orders. No more. Kadance had finally broken free, only to find herself in the line of fire after she instinctively befriends a total stranger in order to save his life.

Dr. Lyndon Vaile is so brilliant that he can hardly carry on a normal conversation, but when a gorgeous avenging angel literally knocks him out of harm's way, he forms an odd alliance in order to survive. Whoever is seeking Lyndon's knowledge about the Ebola virus is deadly serious, and while neither Kadance or Lyndon consider personal attraction a good idea, it seeps into their psyche without their permission. The larger question being, can it survive; can they survive. Hundreds of lives are depending on their combination of instinct and intelligence to do just that. Never miss.

Reading this book could be likened to drinking several cups of black coffee on an empty stomach, the adrenaline factor is high octane from the very first page until the last. What a unique story line, matched by characters who are as individual as their talents, thus offering readers far more questions than answers until the very end. While a bit foggy on spiritual detail, the power of God's presence in a life is certainly lauded, and encouraged . . . making Lyndon and Kadance's cautious steps toward romance all the sweeter. This is an outstanding debut, leaving suspense fans clamoring for more!

Note: The thought patterns surrounding physical attraction between these two characters are just that; thought patterns, and while their blunt interruptions might raise an eyebrow, they fit the metamorphosis of their characters.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.

Revell Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

PLOT TWIST by Bethany Turner, Reviewed by Kim

 
After I read the dedication at the beginning of Plot Twist by Bethany Turner, I felt this might just be the story to get me out of my reading slump! And I’m happy to say, it did just that!

What really worked for me in Plot Twist was its unique storyline, engaging writing style, and subtle humor. I also enjoyed the references to some of my favorite movies. What didn’t work for me was the plot twist at the end. Without drifting into spoiler territory, I will just say that Olivia wasted too many years of her life for the story to end how it ended. I also think this would’ve worked so much better if it only spanned 5 years instead of the 10 years it did or if Olivia would’ve been 20 at the beginning of the story instead of 30.
All in all, Plot Twist is an engaging humorous story that kept my interest and, thankfully, got me out of my reading slump! 4 stars!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I would label this a clean read as there was no faith thread. 
 

BackCover Blurb:
An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.

For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

THE SILVER SHADOW by Liz Tolsma, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"I WILL GET YOU. . . That was it. Four small words. Four small, powerful words."

A rather ominous four words. They should scare most women to death. But Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe didn't scare easily, or maybe she did . . . but she was still determined that the "silver shadow", the man who had been slinking around the city at night, attacking innocent women at will, had to be stopped; even if it meant being part of the process. And she knew exactly who could help her. Detective Edwin Timmer. Polly was determined to make a name for herself, to prove to her father and her editor that she could write stories of substance, and this case had practically "hit her over the head".

"Has anyone ever told you that you are the most hardheaded woman?"

Polly Blythe was going to be the death of him; Edwin had been unsuccessful in his efforts to convince the pretty little reporter to leave crime solving in the hands of the police . . . but then again, he could hardly blame her. Even in his own estimation the chief was not putting enough importance on the continual random muggings on the streets of Denver. However, when the case looms very close and personal, Edwin and Polly realize that some things are just out of their hands.

Such a fascinating story! Not only the fictional version, but the historical one as well. Readers will feel the urgency and the angst to catch this disillusioned killer, not only to make the streets of Denver much safer, but to clear the way for Polly and Edwin to live outside the shadows for the rest of their days.
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  3.5 stars


BackCover Blurb:
Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Barbour Fiction, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, and paperback.

 
 
 

Monday, June 14, 2021

POWER PLAY by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


Viv Steele is an attorney for the State Department. It is NOT a cover for a CIA operative. But somebody thinks it is!

While attending a diplomatic dinner, two diplomats suddenly collapse. Viv is put on a task force with Jacob Cruz, security for the diplomatic corps. They don’t hit it off right away but they soon learn to trust each other. They are pitted against formidable foes and things ratchet up the closer they get to the truth. The romance is there but light and with a promise of more to come for Jacob and Viv.

Written with expertise on the inner workings of Washington D. C. agencies, this is a top notch, suspenseful novel. While not overdone, the faith thread is underlying. The protagonists are principled and Christians. “There is no doubt in my mind. The God I worship is bigger than any of this.”
A great conclusion to the Capital Intrigue series.

*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4.5 stars and an underlying faith thread

SEE REBECCA'S and NICOLE'S REVIEWS

BackCover Blurb:
Trapped in a dangerous game, can she counter the enemy's deadly power play?

When Vivian Steele, an attorney at the State Department, witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event's security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, unhampered by rules and regulations.

As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, she turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob's reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks? 

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

Friday, June 11, 2021

RESISTING ROSE by Tara Grace Ericson, Reviewed by Kim

Resisting Rose is everything I’ve come to expect from a Tara Grace Ericson story. This is a sweet friends to more romance, which is one of my favorite tropes. While this is book 6 of The Bloom Sisters Series, it easily reads as a standalone.

I loved Rose and Tate’s friendship and their unexpected first kiss. I also liked the growth of their relationship. Tate’s personal growth and his relationship with the Bloom family really added to this story. I did struggle a bit with Rose and how she assumed things rather than taking the time to clarify them. A little communication would’ve gone a long way!

I really enjoyed catching up with all of the couples from the previous stories in this series and I’m really curious to see what Andi’s story is going to be!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread was medium. 

BackCover Blurb:
Working with your best friend is great.
Falling in love with her is definitely not.

Rose Bloom has never wanted anything more than to take over the family farm and care for the animals she loves. The goats make better company than men in her experience, anyway. She’s determined prove to her father that despite being the youngest, she’s the best person for the job.

Tate Russell left Montana desperate to buck his own family’s expectations. Landing on Bloom’s Farm four years ago was a stroke of pure luck. He knows more about animals than farming, but he’s learned to love it. Plus, Rose lets him exercise the horses whenever he needed time to think. If only so much of his thinking wasn’t about her.

They want totally different things out of life, but their friendship grows stronger every day. As friendship slowly evolves into something more, they both struggle to maintain the status quo. When Tate’s past comes calling and Rose's ambitions are on the line, will their relationship survive?

Resisting Rose is Book 6 in the Bloom Sisters Series. This small town, family saga is full of heartwarming themes, swoony-worthy kisses, and sweet happy endings.

1. Hoping for Hawthorne
2. A Date for Daisy
3. Poppy's Proposal
4. Lavender and Lace
5. Longing for Lily
6. Resisting Rose

Resisting Rose is available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

HOURS TO KILL by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"The screen went dark. Black. Black as the night, and so did all of Addy's hopes for rescue."

Extremely dire straits. After Homeland Security Agent Addison Leigh is brutally attacked and suffers a severe head injury, she loses a considerable amount of her memory; both about the firearms smuggling ring that she was investigating and the devastating separation from her husband. She had called U. S. Deputy Marshall Mack Jordan shortly before her accident, but she can't remember why and he had not been able to take the call. That doesn't prevent Mack from dropping everything and flying across the country to be by her side.

Suffering from post traumatic stress after his years in the military, Mack Jordan had forced himself to leave his beloved wife after unknowingly trying to harm her during a nighttime flashback. It doesn't seem possible that she can't remember him. Assigned the lead role in investigating the case that Addy had become involved in, Mack pulls in his current team to assist. They had mere hours before highly dangerous weapons were scheduled to be smuggled across the Mexican border and into the United States. On the other hand, was that enough time to win back his wife's trust and affections? Mack could only pray that it was.

What a story! The sweetness of forgotten love provided such a romantic interlude in the midst of a high stakes investigative thriller.

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, and love, and self-discipline."
*I purchased the book, and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

 See Winnie's Review and Paula's Review!

BackCover Blurb:
Just as Homeland Security Agent Addison Leigh reaches the pinnacle of her cyber investigation into a firearms smuggling ring, she's attacked and left for dead. Her estranged husband, ICE Agent Mack Jordan, is notified that she's at the hospital in a coma. He may have let his past military trauma ruin their short marriage, but she never gave up on their relationship, and he remains her next of kin.

Mack rushes to her bedside, where he promises to hunt down the man who attacked her. Mack failed her once when he bailed on their marriage, and he's not about to let her down again. But when she wakes up in the hospital, she remembers neither the attack nor ever being married to Mack. And when a second attempt to take her life is made, it's clear something very sinister is going on, and Mack and Addison are in for the ride of their lives.

Bethany House Publishing, March 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Hours to Kill at Amazon
Buy Hours to Kill at Christianbook.com
Buy Hours to Kill at Baker Book House

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

COVER REVEAL!! ... IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE by Toni Shiloh, hosted by Nicole Cook

In Search of a Prince is on preorder at Baker Book House (https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/381267)


In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh-- Cover Reveal!

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells—Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Oloro Ilé, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.

Distraught by her mother’s betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Oloro Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council’s list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.


 

Stunning, isn't it?

CONGRATULATIONS TONI! We expect great success with this novel and look forward to its February, 2022 release!

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, and The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to encourage authors in the writing industry. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com or go to https://tonishiloh.com/in-search-of-a-prince/ for more info, and...

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortonishiloh
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www.twitter.com/tonishilohwrite
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Blogs: www.inspyromance.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com






CHASING SHADOWS by Lynn Austin, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

“The only truly safe place to be is in God’s hands.”

What an emotionally impactful story set in Holland during World War II. In my opinion, this is a must read, so that we do not forget the sacrifice of these precious people during a horrible time in history.

It is a story of triumph during adversity, of clinging to God when there is no other hope. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God.” It is a story of courage and how God can show mercy and draw you closer to Him. “When faced with a dilemma, we can ask, What is the best way to show our love for God and for our neighbor.” We can even forgive if it is required. It is a story showing how we can build on our foundational faith and be reminded of scripture and the catechism when we need it. “Keep your eyes on the Cross and the Resurrection. When we remember how much Christ sacrificed for us, we will know we can trust Him with anything.”

An excellent book by one of my favorite authors. Do not miss this one!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5+stars and a very strong faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence.
Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death?

Lena’s daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy.

Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined.

The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.
 
Tyndale House Publishing, June 8, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
 

Monday, June 7, 2021

SPILLED MILK by Heather Day Gilbert, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

 "It was a person. And that person was most likely dead, because he was lying flat on his face, with a sword protruding from a bloody wound in his back."

Dead body number one. Unfortunately for the little town of Lewisburg, West Virginia the count would continue to climb; each and every one with loosely or tightly connected to Bo and Macy Hatfield's barista, Kylie Baer. But a frazzled employee isn't Macy's only dilemma; her brother has to make an extended trip out of town, her ex-husband, aka Jake-the-Snake, shows up oozing way too much charm, and Kylie's little sister Chelsea is bound to know more than she's saying.

No one needs to waste time crying over spilled milk, but the future just has to look a lot brighter, right? Enjoy this cozy "cozy" with its coffee-induced selection of personalities!

When you finish a book before you even realize that you have turned the last page, it must be something special! And it is!
*5 Stars. I purchased the book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 

BackCover Blurb:
BOOK FOUR in the BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

The fall flea market has arrived in Macy's small mountain town, and she's taking a day off work to check out the local wares. As she and her Great Dane, Coal, wander through the booths, Macy's more than a little taken aback to discover that her enigmatic tattooed barista, Kylie, is selling antique weapons at the event.

She's even more shocked when Coal sniffs out a dead body...and the man appears to have been struck down by one of Kylie's swords.

As rumors begin to circulate, the Barks & Beans Cafe also takes a hit. Customers are reluctant to order their mochas from a murderess. Macy stands by her employee, but even she believes there's a whole lot more to Kylie's history than the woman lets on. To make matters worse, Macy's brother Bo is out of the country, leaving the cafe's future in her hands.

And then her ex-husband Jake shows up, begging to make amends.

With the past rearing its ugly head, Macy has to ignore Jake's distractions, appease the angst of her nervous customers, and convince Kylie to trust her, all before an elusive killer strikes again.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.
 

Woodhaven Press, April 2021
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Friday, June 4, 2021

LOVE AND THE SILVER LINING by Tammy L. Gray, Reviewed by Kim

Love and the Silver Lining is book 2 in the State of Grace series by Tammy L. Gray. While this story can easily be read as a standalone, the background of Darcy and Cameron’s relationship, which is an integral part of this story, begins in book 1, Love and a Little White Lie.

I was really looking forward to reading this story. In book one, Bryson was portrayed as a moody dark character that I wasn’t sure I would like and I wasn’t sure how he would pair with Darcy. I’m happy to say that I really like this couple together. I liked how Bryson opened up to Darcy so we could know who he really is deep down, not the persona he shows everyone. I also liked how Bryson made Darcy see what was really holding her back. I can’t go into more details because of spoilers, but I feel it will make the next story very interesting.

I did feel like there needed to be a bit more levity in this story as a lot of it was tragic. It picked up at the end, but the overall feeling of the story was heavier than I usually like to read. That being said, I am looking forward to the next story, which I am hoping is Cameron’s. I really want to see how everything wraps up!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 

BackCover Blurb:

This disaster may be just what she needed.

Darcy Malone's dreams of mission work are dashed on the eve of fulfilling them: The Guatemalan school she was going to teach at has closed, and she's already quit her job and given up her apartment. Stuck in her worst-case scenario, Darcy accepts an unexpected offer to move in with Bryson Katsaros's little sister, despite the years of distrust between her and Bryson, the lead singer in her best friend Cameron's band. But as she meets those close to Bryson, Darcy quickly discovers there is more to him than just his bad-boy persona.

Needing to find a purpose for all her sudden free time, Darcy jumps at the chance to care for and train a group of unruly dogs, with the aim of finding each a home before their bereaved owner returns them to animal control. But it's Darcy herself who will encounter a surprising rescue in the form of love, forgiveness, and learning to let go.

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

 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A CASTAWAY IN CORNWALL by Julie Klassen, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“I feel like a castaway, set adrift on the tide by the long-ago deaths of my parents, and left wanting answers. Is there a plan in all this? Does God truly hold my fate in His hands, or has my life all been happenstance, the mysterious ebb and flow of chance? ~Laura pg. 8.”
I think we all have asked this at one time in our life or another; is there truly a plan God has for us, or is it all happenstance? Julie Klassen explores this in her newest novel where she takes our heroine, Laura Callaway, on a journey to discover the answer to that very question. She feels adrift after the deaths of her parents and never really a part of her uncle’s family, though he cares a great deal for her. Until one day she finds a barely alive stranger washed ashore after a shipwreck, thus changing the course of her life as she sets out to discover who he is.

Alexander Lucas is our hero; a mysterious, dark stranger who keeps hold his secrets. I don't blame Laura for being a bit wary of him! The more she begins to get to know and trust him, the more tangled this story got, all in a good way. I enjoyed peeling back the layers of who his character was to get a deeper understanding of his life. I fell in love with him the moment Laura brought him into her care and just had a feeling he was one of the good ones.

This story had a definite Poldark feel that I very much savored! There's not a character in here that I didn't like, with the exception of our villains, who truly made my skin crawl. There's plenty of mystery in A Castaway in Cornwall along with danger, secrets, and an immersive atmosphere that will take you on an adventure through the pages. Julie Klassen is already one of my top historical writers and I really liked the feel of her latest installment. It's a bit more suspenseful than her usual Regencies, but definitely a good change! Oh and you can't forget the romance, it sizzles and sparks so when our hero and heroine are finally able to get together...wowser....pure magic! The faith message is strong with many deeply rooted truths and reminders of God's promises in our lives. Watching Laura taking those truths in her heart and finding her place in the Lord was very encouraging to me. I recommend this book to inspirational historical fans, Julie Klassen fans and those who love all things Cornwall or Poldark!

“I used to wonder if there was a plan in all the loss I experienced. Now I know the answer. Yes. Once, I feared I would never belong anywhere again. But I no longer ask myself if I am flotsam or jetsam, cast off and unwanted. I finally understand that in God's hands, and now in Alexander's arms, I am truly home. ~Laura pg. 378”
*I received a complimentary digital copy through Netgalley and wasn't obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are mine. *

See Winnie's Review!
BackCover Blurb:
Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast--known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors--Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents' fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?
 
Bethany House Publishers, December 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:






 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

AFTERMATH by Terri Blackstock, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"This was the Twilight Zone. He couldn't have been more confused if he'd been on a three-day bender, but he hadn't had a drink since he got out of the army."

Arrested, due to an anonymous tip regarding the explosive materials found in his trunk, Dustin Webb places a call to the one person who had always believed in him. Jamie Powell.

Surprised would be an understatement. Criminal attorney Jamie Powell couldn't imagine why her best friend growing up, whom she had not spoken to in years, would be calling her from the county jail. After listening to Dustin's predicament, she couldn't agree with him more, he needed legal representation quickly. Jamie was determined to learn why the authorities had arrested Dustin as a suspect in an explosives heist, in addition to an horrific downtown bombing that killed dozens of people, including an up and coming politician. He had clearly been set up.

Put on your seat belt. This amazing romantic suspense takes dips and curves at a very high speed, sending your heart into overdrive and muddling your brain to the point that you may feel as sleep deprived as the characters. Desperate people do desperate things, leaving Dustin and Jamie tangled in the "after math".

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. . . . . For it is he who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence . .. " Psalm 91
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
 
BackCover Blurb:
This gripping new thriller will leave you on the edge of your seat.
A devastating explosion.
 
Three best friends attend a concert. Only one makes it out alive.
A trunk full of evidence.
 
When police stop Dustin Webb with a warrant to search his trunk, he knows there’s been a mistake. He’s former military and owns a security firm. But he’s horrified when the officers find explosives, and he can’t fathom how they got there.
 
An attorney who will risk it all for an old 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 person 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?
 
Thomas Nelson Publishing, May 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
 
 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

ON THE CLIFFS OF FOXGLOVE MANOR by Jaime Jo Wright, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca #ReleaseDay

PAULA'S REVIEW:
I am so glad I discovered books by Jaime Jo Wright. I have read all of them. She is an automatic read for me.

“How did one not fear evil? It was so real, so active, that not fearing it seemed foolish.”

Ms. Wright evokes foreboding from the first page. I frequently found myself stopping and saying * Oh No!* out loud. Her writing style is*creepy good*. She spins a spooky, intricate, dual-time novel that never disappoints. This one deals with a remote, cliffside mansion on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The tentacles of evil and greed reach down through time from 1885 to the present day. A tale of missing Civil War gold, a ghost girl who guards it, and unexplained kidnappings years later will keep you turning pages.

The two storylines came together in a satisfying way and added another layer of mystery to the Civil War tales and the intriguing connection to the Upper Peninsula.

Besides the main characters in each time period, I liked the portrayal of Kailey’s autistic brother Jude. He played an important part in the story and the insight into this often misunderstood condition was handled with compassion.

The author conveys a realistic picture of superstition and the steadying faith that is needed to combat it. “The world is broken. God can fix it. So stick to Him and stop trying to do it yourself.”
*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.*I give this 5+ stars and a solid faith thread

REBECCA'S REVIEW:
"The cliff beckoned to her. Its flat outcropping like a ledge where one might determine which evil was worse. To live or to die? Perhaps they were of equal evil, only one was guaranteed to plague, where the other was deceptively final. There was a peace in finality . . . . . . . . oh, that she was worth fighting for . . . . . . "

Driven to despair after realizing that her father had only released her from one prison into the cells of another, Alexandria Fontaine had been given an ultimatum before arriving at the remote cliffside manor along the northern shores of Lake Superior; "find it". . . . "it" referring to a treasure of an unknown nature, that once secured meant a precarious freedom from her family's cruel clutches. Assuming her father's nefarious pirating habits along the lake had resulted in a windfall profit, that had in turn had been stolen by his one of his now deceased business partners, Adria determined to dig deeper into the secrets of Foxglove Manor, despite being repeatedly warned to leave the past in the past. Turns out, it was a warning worth heeding.

"And since when were stories of ghosts, gold, and modern-day kidnappings surrounding an old manor ever anything but a classic story written on the musty pages of forgotten books?"

Many years after Adria Fontaine's stay at Foxglove Manor, Kailey Gibson returns to the place where her family began its eventual descent towards utter destruction. A childhood vacation there had morphed into such a severe nightmare that Kailey's subconscious had blocked it from memory, prompting her autistic brother Jude to incessantly write down disjointed numbers and letters that could, to the trained eye, be deemed as some sort of code. Employed as an aide in the now senior convalescent home, Kailey hopes to find some answers. Instead, she uncovers many more questions.

Two women living centuries apart. One place in common. Foxglove Manor.

With its dark, gothic-like undertones, one would think that delving deep into the troubled psyches of the two young women in this story would make the narrative lose its luster; after all, who wants to be surrounded by death and danger at every turn. Surprisingly, the opposite was true. . . . . because, speaking of opposites . . . . the opposite of death is life . . . . and despair's opposite turns out to be hope. Likewise, hate is dwarfed by love and lies disappear within the truth. And the rock of salvation is never more precious than on the edge of a cliff.
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy.
4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
 1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor--a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior--Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse's aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She'll have to risk it all to banish the past's demons, including her own.
 
Bethany House Publishing, June 1, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor at Amazon
Buy On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor at Christianbook.com
Buy On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor at Baker Book House

A LADY IN ATTENDANCE by Rachel Fordham, Reviewed by Paula, Winnie, and Rebecca! #ReleaseDay

June 1 Release Day!

PAULA'S REVIEW:
“Forgive yourself. Take the forgiveness that is yours.”

Hazel is looking to God to repair the years that injustice has taken away. Gilbert is kind enough to give her a job attending him in his dental practice, a new concept.

This is a story of hope and making the best of a bad situation with God’s help. “Her father had called Hazel stubborn as a child, and that trait had stuck. She determined now was the time to make that weakness her strength.”

Ms. Fordham conveys the misgivings of Hazel, the friendship bond with Ida and a growing fondness with Gil. Add in a search for unscrupulous bad guys and this story is brimming with adventure. There are elements of faithful steadfastness, reconciliation and setting things right. The romance is sweet and contains two match ups!

A great historical book.

*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
*I give this 4 stars and a Strong faith thread.

WINNIE'S REVIEW:
Set in New York in the late 1890s, Rachel Fordham’s new book, A Lady in Attendance is a lovely story of redemption, forgiveness, and overcoming life’s obstacles. After spending time in a reformatory for a crime she didn’t commit, Hazel has almost given up finding a way to support herself when she is offered a job as a lady in attendance to a kind, quiet dentist named Gilbert. Determined to prove herself and make her own way in the world, she soon makes herself indispensable with her rapport with the dental patients. I enjoyed the amusing banter between Hazel and Gilbert, and the way Hazel draws him out. It was fun to see a more playful side to Gilbert and to see their relationship progress and grow.

I liked the way Hazel could look back and see that her former behavior contributed to the situation she found herself in, and she was could change and become a better person. Some of the story was rather predictable, although there were some twists and turns toward the end that added some suspense and intrigue. I also enjoyed the side story about Hazel’s friend Ina, and the insight into dental practices during this time period. This is a sweet, clean, and charming historical romance that is an engaging read. I’m looking forward to more stories from this author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell through LibraryThing. All opinions are my own.
4.5 stars 

REBECCA'S REVIEW:
"There was a time when Hazel felt irreplaceable and important. But now she was merely a rent payment. A wayward soul with no real place, and the reminder was humbling."

Sometimes life had a way of dismantling one's sense of importance; thus Hazel McDowell had been demoted into a life of humility through no fault, or even every fault, of her own. Five years of reformatory had left her nearly penniless and unable to return home dragging the heavy burden of a tainted reputation. Thrilled to secure a position as a "lady in attendance" to Doctor Gilbert Watts, a local dental physician in a small New York town, Hazel never imagined that this particular employment might provide the opportunity to re-discover herself, begin to atone for her mistakes, and possibly discover love in the process.

"Women were a mystery, that was for certain. And Hazel was no exception. "

Gilbert Watts was content with his life as a dentist, following in his beloved father's footsteps, serving the citizens of Amherst. Now second guessing his decision to hire a lady in attendance, he reluctantly supposed that he could at least allow Hazel McDowell an opportunity to prove her worth. The fact that she didn't bat her eyes at him all the time (like some of the applicants) bode well, and she had readily accepted his terms of firm profession boundaries without question. But before long, it turned out to be Gilbert that actually looked forward to Hazel's lively presence in his office, admiring how she managed difficult tasks with efficiency and appreciating her ability to calm difficult patients with ease. But she's hiding something, he's sure of it. He just had no idea how big.

What a lovely story! With precision plot balance, the author penned a picture of life after . . . navigating the results of grave errors which most would agree could potentially breed anger, resentment, and revenge but had produced humility, kindness, and compassion instead. The blend of character traits in both hero and heroine served them well, painting a picture of grace . . . lived without and within, some very difficult circumstances. And of course the combination of romance and intrigue added to the overall ambiance . . . repeat after me, "a red ear of corn".
*I received a copy of this book from the Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews.  3.5 Stars

BackCover Blurb: 
 Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter 
of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose--to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving--and perhaps find love along the way.
 
Revell Publishing, June 1, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

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