Saturday, April 30, 2022

A NEED TO PROTECT by Susanne Dietze, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas #NewRelease

What a treat it was to return to the fictional town of Widow’s Peak Creek in the newest book by Susanne Dietze. I love small-town stories, and Dietze is a pro at capturing the essence of small towns and creating colorful, engaging characters to inhabit them. This book is part of her Widow’s Peak Creek series, but it can easily be a stand alone book. It was fun to revisit some of the characters from her other books in this one.

The main characters in this charming tale, Clementine Simon and Liam Murphy, get a second chance when Liam returns to town to recover from an injury he sustained filming travel documentaries. Clementine is raising her niece and nephew after their parents died in an accident. When Liam volunteers to help Clementine with the town festival old feelings come into play. Two adorable children, some sheep, and a matchmaking grandma add fun to the story. This delightful tale has an inspirational thread woven through it which gives it added depth and meaning.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

See Paula's Review

BackCover Blurb:
Their peaceful life is about to be shaken up
Protecting them is her priority
Is there room for love?

A safe, quiet life—that’s what shepherdess Clementine Simon wants for her niece and nephew. There’s nothing safe or quiet about globe-trotting cameraman Liam Murphy. It’s only right that life pulled them in separate directions. But when he returns—temporarily—old feelings resurface. Can she take the biggest risk of all…falling in love?

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


Book 1: A Future for His Twins
Book 2: Seeking Sanctuary
Book 3: A Small-Town Christmas Challenge
Book 4: A Need to Protect
Book 5: The Secret Between Them

Love Inspired, April 26, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback 
Buy A NEED TO PROTECT at Amazon and Christianbook .com


Thursday, April 28, 2022

ALL THAT IS SECRET by Patricia Raybon, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Truth doesn't stay hidden. Neither do secrets. One day, to a praying heart, they disclose themselves."

When theology professor Annalee Spain leaves her teaching position at a Chicago Bible College in response to a puzzling telegram, the details surrounding the death of her father in Denver, Colorado become her new mission . . . why did someone want a weathered-old-nobody cowboy dead? What had he seen? Who did he know? How could Joe Spain have been a threat to anyone?

Annalee arrives at her destination under duress. Picking up a familiar stray orphan in the baggage car was just one of her worries. The biggest surprise (besides running for her life and hiding under a rail car) was that Reverend Blake, the assumed sender of her summons, was not at all who she expected . . . he was much younger, and far more handsome . . . than his aged uncle. The question was, how far would a popular young black pastor go, ministering in a klan-invested city like Denver, to fuel Annalee's amateur detective tendencies?
What a breath of fresh air ! . . . with its clever, creepy, corrupt criminals and its invigorating, innovative, inventive heroine this book will capture the rapt attention of many a sleuth! Its pages practically turn themselves (not really, but it sure seemed like it), for there are a wealth of clues to follow and three characters who can barely keep up with their own story. Romantic? Absolutely. Spiritual depth? Let's just say that Jack Blake is born to preach, (and in spite of, and maybe because of Annalee's muted protests) any time, anywhere!

I'm just glad this is only the beginning of time spent with Annalee Spain! 
*I received a copy from the publisher but was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars 
*Deb's Mini-Review:
 Historical mysteries are my favorite genre, so I was eager to listen to ALL THAT IS SECRET and its interesting (and rare) era and setting, and Black female sleuth. Yes. Listen. I was able to listen on my Hoopla app thanks to whatever library ordered it. Here's a good time to say that the narration was wonderful! 

Ms. Raybon's storytelling pulled me along from chapter to chapter. I credit this to her protagonist, perfectly immersive setting details, and a very compelling mystery full of multiple secrets and possible villains. It gave great insight into this dark era, and the bright light of faith that kept so many going when just being in the wrong place could lead to death. I had a few moments with actions that felt like a stretch, early on, but I remained too busy caring about the story and characters to stop reading. I will definitely pick up the next story in Annalee Spain's interesting life!
BackCover Blurb:
From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle confronting the hidden secrets of class, race, family, and love.

Can an amateur detective solve the cold case mystery of her lost father’s murder?

In the winter of 1923, Professor Annalee Spain—a daring but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college—receives a cryptic telegram calling her home to Denver to solve the mystery of the murder of her beloved but estranged father.

For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young white boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome Black pastor who loves nightclub dancing and rides in his sporty car, awakening Annalee’s heart to the surprising highs and lows of romantic love.

With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver’s powerful elite. But when their sleuthing unravels sinister motives and deep secrets, Annalee confronts the dangerous truths and beliefs that could make her a victim too.
Tyndale House Publishing, October, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy ALL THAT IS SECRET at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

SHADOWS IN THE MIND'S EYE by Janyre Tromp, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #BlogTour #NewRelease

Fantastic debut novel about Sam who, upon returning home after WWII, struggles with nightmares. While away during the war, Sam tried to hang on to the shadows of home to get him through the awful things that he experienced. Now the shadows of the war haunt him at the most unlikely times. But what others assume are figments of his war-torn imagination, turn out to be real threats. Sam wants to protect his family but no one believes him. His wife, Annie, thinks she is weak, but proved her strength in the years Sam was away. Previously, she stood up to her mobster father but could circumstances prove him to be a help to her or a hindrance?

A favorite character was Dovie May. Even though she has suffered a stroke and seizures, she is feisty and the voice of reason and Godly wisdom. “You’d think holding joy right up against sadness would shatter a body. But it don’t. Joy... it sneaks in all around where things is broke, sticks it all together, and finds a way to make you whole. It’s where things is broke that the joy shows through.” “ The same God who made rainbows and sunshine also made thunder and lightning. I have to believe He knows what He is doing.”
The author tells such a vivid story with danger and hidden turmoil that I believe it would make a memorable movie!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel through I Read With Audra. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars and. Strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on—responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand—but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds—or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

To read an excerpt of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye, click here. 

To buy SHADOWS IN THE MIND'S EYE visit Amazon, Baker Book House, or Christianbook .com  


About the author:

Janyre Tromp (pronounced Jan-ear) is a historical suspense novelist who loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas

A firm believer in the power of an entertaining story, Tromp is also a book editor and published children’s book author. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, two kids, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. 

You can find her on Facebook (@JanyreTromp), Instagram (@JaynreTromp), Twitter (@JanyreTromp), and her website, where you can download a free copy of her novella, Wide Open.


“Tromp weaves a complex historical tale incorporating love, suspense, hurt, and healing—all the elements that keep the pages turning.”

~ Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials

The prize pack includes:

- A copy of Shadows in the Mind's Eye,

A custom made silver peach tree necklace inspired by the book,

- A "Light speaks through the broken places" t-shirt also inspired by the book.


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY as part of the Read With Audra Tour:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A NEED TO PROTECT by Susie Dietze (Widow's Peak Creek #4), Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Clemmie Simon comes to realize that her need to protect her orphaned niece and nephew may be bordering on the obsessive. Liam Murphy senses his need to protect his childhood love may bring them back together again.

Liam is a worthy hero, injured in his high-risk job as a photographer in dangerous places. Back at Grandma Marigold’s house in Widows Peak Creek, he is healing from a broken collarbone. He did not expect to team with old love Clemmie on a project for the town festival. But he brings fresh ideas and expertise to both the town and to Clemmie’s business, where she raises sheep and makes soap.

It was great to get back to the small-town atmosphere and meet old and new friends.

Ms. Dietze writes effortlessly about relationships and captures the children and animals in an engaging way. She brings out spiritual truths naturally as her characters encounter daily problems and emotional obstacles.
* I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
Their peaceful life is about to be shaken up
Protecting them is her priority
Is there room for love?

A safe, quiet life—that’s what shepherdess Clementine Simon wants for her niece and nephew. There’s nothing safe or quiet about globe-trotting cameraman Liam Murphy. It’s only right that life pulled them in separate directions. But when he returns—temporarily—old feelings resurface. Can she take the biggest risk of all…falling in love?

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


Book 1: A Future for His Twins
Book 2: Seeking Sanctuary
Book 3: A Small-Town Christmas Challenge
Book 4: A Need to Protect
Book 5: The Secret Between Them

Love Inspired, April 26, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback 
Buy A NEED TO PROTECT at Amazon and Christianbook .com


DEATH VALLEY HIDEOUT by Dana Mentink, Reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

Dana Mentink has long been one of my favorite LIS authors. Her books always have a lot of action, wonderful characters, interesting plots and perfectly timed pops of humor to lighten some very tense situations. This series centers around the Duke family who all live in Death Valley and all have the knack of running into trouble or knowing someone who does!

In this story, Willow Duke’s friend Tony is the one in trouble. He is in WITSEC with his niece and nephew. Once the hired killer finds out where they are at, the action starts and doesn’t stop until the last page is turned. While I would’ve liked to have a bit more romance between Willow and Tony in this story, I did enjoy the action scenes and guessing whether or not a certain character was good or bad.

Death Valley Hideout by Dana Mentink is book 4 of 6 in the Desert Justice series. It can easily be read as a standalone.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.

BackCover Blurb:
Running from a murderer
with only the desert as refuge…

Placed in WITSEC while his brother testifies against a terrifying criminal, Tony Ortega must guard his young niece and nephew from the hit man hunting for them. Death Valley local Willow Duke’s hideout might just be the difference between the little family’s life or death. When bullets start flying, can they thwart a killer long enough to survive and become a family for real?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
Desert Justice
Book 1: Framed in Death Valley
Book 2: Missing in the Desert
Book 3: Death Valley Double Cross
Book 4: Death Valley Hideout
Love Inspired Suspense, April 26, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Death Valley Hideout at Amazon, or Christianbook .com

Monday, April 25, 2022

MULBERRY HOLLOW by Denise Hunter, Reviewed by Kim and Rebecca, #NewRelease

Mulberry Hollow is a sweet romance that I ended up really enjoying. Both Avery and Wes were very likable characters. I loved how they had an immediate connection, which led to friendship, before it led to romance. I also loved how Wes was so honorable when it came to his promise to his best friend. I did wish that he would’ve worked out what that would look like earlier in the story.

I also felt like a decision Avery made didn’t really make a lot of sense, especially considering her profession. But, in the end, I am glad I took a chance on this story because after reading book one, Riverbend Gap, I wasn’t sure I was going to read any more books in this series. There was an issue in that story which I just couldn’t get past. Thank goodness this story had no such issues and I’m glad I took a chance on it! Even though this is book two of this series, it easily reads as a standalone.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.


"She took the porch steps and was withdrawing her key from her purse when her foot connected with something solid. The shadowed lump a low, male groan."

The last thing that Dr. Avery Robinson expected to find on the front porch of her local medical clinic was a nearly unconscious man; a very sick man if his fevered, disheveled appearance was any indication of his condition. Barely able to speak and unable to stand on his own, Avery had to practically drag her unexpected patient inside the door. Apparently he had been hiking the nearby Appalachian Trail, based on his rather rip odor and discarded backpack; it seemed her only option was to put him in a bed for the night (in her clinic, of course) and begin to hydrate him as quickly as possible. The rest would have to work itself out on its own.

That stubborn doctor had Wes Garrett over a barrel. He was too sick to leave and had no money to pay her if he stayed. Upon learning that she needed some renovation done rather quickly on the property's carriage house, Wes convinced Avery to let him work off his expenses. After all, he was a licensed contractor and it was the least he could do to repay her kindness. Postponing his completion of the Trail in honor of his friend could wait a couple of weeks, couldn't it? And after that, he would travel on to Albany, New York, complete a deathbed promise, and begin his brand new life.

Neither of them figured a sizzling attraction into the equation.

"I had it all planned out, what I was going to say, and now that you're standing in front of me I can't remember any of it. "

With a heartfelt return to Riverbend Gap, the author brings her readers what they love the most; a sweet romance riddled with obstacles that transform the poorest of circumstances into the richest of blessings.
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Living life to the fullest always requires sacrifice.

Avery Robinson decided to be a physician after helplessly watching her mother lose a battle with a terrible disease. Now at risk of developing the same illness, Avery guards her heart from love. She’s driven to protect her loved ones as a workaholic doctor in the tiny mountain town of Riverbend Gap, North Carolina.

Contractor Wes Garrett is hiking the Appalachian trail, in memory of the man who died saving his life, when an illness racks his body. After an agonizing fifteen-mile hike to Avery’s clinic, he collapses on her doorstep. He recovers to find himself in debt again, this time to a beautiful doctor.

When he decides to help her renovate a rundown carriage house, the obstacles to their attraction sprout like weeds—starting with the woman waiting for Wes at the end of the trail. Will he be able to relinquish the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?

The second book in Denise Hunter’s popular Riverbend Romance series explores what it might be like to live fearlessly and free.

Thomas Nelson Publishing, April 19, 2022 
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook:
Buy Mulberry Hollow at Amazon,, or Baker Book House


Sunday, April 24, 2022

CARVED IN EBONY: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shape Us, by Jasmine L. Holmes, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"What if we told the story of America as the story of God's faithfulness - not our own?"

"What if we took a note from the people of Israel, and every time we stood on the precipice of a defining cultural moment, we reminded ourselves of God's providential hand protecting us in spite of our waywardness?"

Sometimes the strongest part of a story is perspective and this author has written chapter after chapter of living proof that oftentimes the heroes of a generation have remained woefully obscure. Carefully placing each woman's life experiences into the prism of perspective she has adamantly reinforced the "dignity and worth of women, whom God created in his image. God's image carved in ebony".

Will this book be for everyone? While it should be, it might not be, and that's a shame.

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

BackCover Synopsis:
Elizabeth Freeman, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Maria Fearing, Charlotte Forten Grimke, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Sara Griffith Stanley, Amanda Berry Smith, Lucy Craft Laney, Maria Stewart, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

These names may not be familiar, but each one of these women was a shining beacon of devotion in a world that did not value their lives. They worked to change laws, built schools, spoke to thousands, shared the Gospel around the world. And while history books may have forgotten them, their stories can teach us so much about what it means to be modern women of faith.

Through the research and reflections of author Jasmine Holmes, you will be inspired by what each of these exceptional women can teach us about the intersections of faith and education, birth, privilege, opportunity, and so much more. Carved in Ebony will take you past the predominantly White, male contributions that seemingly dominate history books and church history to discover how Black women have been some of the main figures in defining the landscape of American history and faith.Join Jasmine on this journey of illuminating these women - God's image-bearers, carved in ebony.

Bethany House Publishing, November, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy CARVED IN EBONY at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House
Note! A 'Young Reader' Version will soon be available!

Friday, April 22, 2022

WILLOW by Ronie Kendig, Reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

I have been waiting for this series for what feels like forever, and once I heard that Chiji, from the TOX Files, was going to be the male character, I was doubly excited to read it! Not only was I hoping for a cameo from TOX, my absolute most favorite character of Ms. Kendig’s, I was so ready for Chiji to have his own story!

While this story deals with human trafficking and, at times, is hard to read as Ms. Kendig does not try to make things pretty, I loved Chiji and Willow and their strength that helped them get through this harrowing time. I loved how they helped and relied on each other and all the times they sacrificed to help others in need. But, mostly I loved Chiji’s reliance on God and how he explained things to Willow. And wow, does this story make me want to read Range’s story!

Willow is the fourth story that I’ve read in the last few years that deals with this heartbreaking subject and these stories, while fictional, have really made me realize how bad this is in our world and how many people are suffering. I’ve never felt the need more to help these charities and I am so thankful that there are people giving their time, money, and lives to help those that are trafficked and trying to stop this horrific problem.

While this is the second book in this series, it easily reads as a standalone. I am so looking forward to reading the rest of stories in The Metcalfes series!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. I also purchased my own copy. The faith thread is medium

BackCover Blurb:
To save her, he must become the evil he fights.

Aftercare specialist Willow Metcalfe joined Mission: Liberate Everyone to help trafficking survivors navigate the healing process. When MiLE’s Obioma Compound is attacked by the Nigerian mafia, she’s taken hostage. Against nightmarish odds, she and the victims attempt an escape—and are thwarted.

A decade after leaving his beloved homeland, Chijioke “Chiji” Okorie returns to find his sister and fight for his own country. Believing a global trafficking ring behind her abduction and a string of kidnappings across Nigeria, he goes undercover to find the head of the serpent and his sister. Chiji is stunned to discover among the hostages a familiar face—a friend’s sister, Willow. The woman he vowed years ago to marry.

The man who has interfered with her escape attempts seems … familiar, kind—but Willow knows better. He reeks of the warrior ethos that has devoured many a good man. Engaged in an impossible battle and losing at every turn, Chiji is determined to complete his missions—all of them. Even if it kills him.

More Metcalfe Family thrillers:
The Metcalfes
Book 1: Stone
Book 2: Willow
Book 3: Range (coming soon)
Book 4: Brooke (coming soon)

Buy Willow in digital ebook at Amazon

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN by Kelli Stuart, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This dual-time novel showcases the artists who crafted the fabulous Fabergé eggs and a treasure hunt in modern day. What if there was a secret egg that was taken out of Russia just after the Revolution?

Ava is summoned to her estranged father’s death bed. He wants her to find an object steeped in the elegance of 1900s Russia and The House Of Fabergé.

With extensive research, the author takes us to St. Petersburg in the early 1900s and the almost fairytale setting amidst political turmoil. Ms. Stuart brings us to the present with a cast of characters that can be surprising. I was disappointed that in the past, Nick chose treasure hunting over his daughter, Ava and wife, Carol. Things change when his health deteriorates. Ava is adrift in her go-nowhere job when Nick gives her the task that has her creative dreams yearning to follow. She is to hunt for a Fabergé egg that might not exist.

This is a very interesting story that smudges the lines between good and evil and keeps you on your toes. I kept looking for a spiritual thread. Since Revell is the publisher, I expected this to be a Christian novel. It is not, but it is a clean-read and very enjoyable to see the progression of the characters.
* 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.*4 stars and a clean read

BackCover Blurb:
In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.

Revell Publishing, April 5, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy The Master Craftsman at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Blessings of The Third Day

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. 

Hebrews 13: 20-21

Saturday, April 16, 2022

COUNTERFEIT LOVE by Crystal Caudill, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie

It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. It is packed with information about the Secret Service in 1883. The characters are richly drawn and the story moves at a fast pace with danger at every turn of the page. The romance was complex and the villains were crafty.

I so enjoyed this story with well researched facts about the Secret Service. Agent Broderick Cosgrove is tracking a counterfeiting ring which leads him to a very interesting lady, Theresa Plane. Theresa is doing her best to cancel the debts that her grandfather accumulated. But he is keeping things from her and that puts her in danger. Broderick, in agent mode, trusts no one and tries to separate lies from the truth. There in lies the conundrum when Broderick and Theresa start to favor each other. In addition, Theresa is having a crisis of faith but she finds support in her friend, Lydia: “I know you have been struggling, but no matter what happens or what you think you’ve lost, you cannot lose God... if you have nothing left, turn to the One you do have. He is there waiting.”

Interesting, also, were references to other characters and their back story. I hope that Ms Caudill will favor us with a prequel. I am anxious to read the next book, Counterfeit Hope.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread.

With obvious impeccable research and a very creative premise, author Crystal Caudill has penned an intriguing tale of suspense with her debut novel, Counterfeit Love. Carefully crafted and colorful characters are plopped down in a counterfeiting investigation in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 1880s. Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove has been working to identify the main members of a ring of counterfeiters when he finds his former fiancé, Theresa Plane, may be involved. Theresa is a strong, sometimes stubborn, heroine who is currently engaged to Edward Greystone. While trying to pay the debts her grandfather owes and save the family home, Theresa stumbles upon evidence he’s involved in the counterfeiting ring.

Action, adventure, suspense, lots of twists and turns, and a dash of romance all add to this absorbing story. A strong faith element is present and gives the tale added depth. I enjoyed the author’s historical notes in the back of the book which explained interesting facts about this particular slice of history.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves--or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he's been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors' threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn't all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancée is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career--but that's better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there's no question they're both still keeping secrets--and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

Combining rich history, danger, suspense, and romance, Crystal Caudill's debut novel launches this new historical series with a bang. Fans of Elizabeth Camden, Michelle Griep, and Joanna Davidson Politano will be thrilled to find another author to follow!
Kregel Publishing, March 15, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook
Buy COUNTERFEIT LOVE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House 

Friday, April 15, 2022

ALL THAT IT TAKES by Nicole Deese, Reviewed by Rebecca, Winnie, and Kim

"My mom just tried to kill you with my lightsaber. Look, she even dented it!"

And just like that, Val Locklier and Miles McKenzie meet their future, they just didn't know it yet.

Entering a prestigious filmmaker's mentoring program was not on Val's radar when she and her ten year old son Tucker moved from their Skagway, Alaska home to Spokane, Washington. Expecting to work in her best friend's starter business that would outfit women struggling to enter the marketplace, Val faced a life-altering decision when her employment was delayed. But nothing compared to "the man downstairs".

So . . . his sister Molly had rented out his second level apartment again in his absence. Arriving back in the States physically and mentally exhausted, outreach pastor Miles McKenzie had just wanted to make sure everything was on the up and up after hearing noises. . . upstairs. Instead he came face to face with a "she-bear" and her cub, looking very much like the lovely woman he had barely met, but not forgotten, at his sister's wedding.

As Val and Miles build upon an acquaintance relationship, the core goals of their lives begin to shift. After years of international missions, was it even possible for Miles to put down roots, re-directing his passion for outreach and discipleship into a fledgling local ministry? And sweet, gentle, talented Val; could she find the courage to share her heart, her "story", even if it meant shedding a long ingrained tendency to hide behind the curtain of disability? If not, what kind of connection did they really have?

"At the heart of of every human born on this planet lives the felt need for connection-- to a parent, to a peer, to a Creator whose imprint is in every fiber of our beings."

"I'd much rather my life be defined by a thousand little moments of faithfulness than by one big moment of fame."

This, my friends is a masterpiece, a story worth telling and thus; well told. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions stated above are entirely my own.

“. . . sometimes all that it takes is one person being willing to step out in love for the betterment of another to change the trajectory of an entire life.”

Deep, thoughtful, and beautifully written, Nicole Deese’s book, All That It Takes, showcases her great talent for crafting exquisite stories with unforgettable characters. Miles McKenzie and Val Locklier are realistically-flawed and emotionally-layered main characters who are both faced with major life changes. When their lives collide, with help from Miles’ twin sister Molly, they find their futures may look differently than they had planned. I enjoyed seeing them grow and change in their relationship and outlooks.

With Deese’s signature sense of humor, vivid imagery, and emotional depth, this story kept my interest from the first page. Powerful themes of faith in God, service to others, and the impact our actions can have on others are seamlessly incorporated into the tale without being preachy. When I pick up a book by Nicole Deese, I’m guaranteed a thought-provoking, touching read, and this one certainly delivered. It’s headed right to my keeper shelf.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.

I know when I pick up a Nicole Deese book that I’m in for a well written, heart-tugging story with wonderfully relatable characters, humor, and an in-depth message. I also know I will need to make room on my keeper shelf!

While I loved all of the main characters, I have to admit that Tucker stole my heart! I loved him and he really added to this story. I also loved how Val and Miles connected from the start and how their relationship grew throughout the story. The growth of both Miles and Val was perfectly done and so believable. The faith message was perfectly woven throughout this story and while their were some tough subjects, Ms. Deese handled them beautifully.

I really enjoyed everything about All That it Takes and while this book is connected to All That Really Matters, you don’t have to read that one first. But, you should definitely read All That Really Matters because it is amazing and Silas is perfection! I highly recommend this series!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is medium.


BackCover Blurb:
When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she'd planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend's brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers' mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val's community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord.

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future.

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

Bethany House Publishing, April 5, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy ALL THAT IT TAKES at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Thursday, April 14, 2022

LOVE'S FORTRESS by Jennifer Uhlarik, (Doors to the Past Series), Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"I told you, I do not consider you my enemy. I hope that one day I might prove to you that I am your friend."

Forced to leave his Cheyenne tribe, Broken Bow is transported to St. Augustine, Florida where he and seventy-three others are considered prisoners within the walls of Fort Marion. Except for the kindness and compassion bestowed upon him by several unexpected persons, Broken Bow might have succumbed to the hate and bitterness festering within his soul. Among those were a young woman and her intended, an exceptionally kind British officer and a local citizen with a passion for education. One of the items afforded Broken Bow was an art ledger and the implements needed to catalog his experience. Providentially, it was that very ledger that spanned the centuries to help another young woman, who struggling with her past, was tempted to give into despair.

The history between these pages is absolutely amazing. Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt and Sarah Mather are unsung heroes, putting one foot in front of the other as they walked right into the setting of this book. And while the transitions from one time period to the other may have had some awkward moments and noticeable gaps, the overall effect was transforming. And that, I think, was exactly what the author desired this book to be.

(And charming little Brynn and kind of scary Matty stole the show!)
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
An Epic Love Story From the Past Brings Closure to Dani’s Fractured Family Roots

​Walk through Doors to the Past via a series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Upon receiving word that her long-estranged father has passed away, Dani Sango inherits the former art forger’s entire estate. Among his many pieces of artwork are a series of obviously Native American drawings and paintings, which lead her to research St. Augustine of 1875. White Elk is transported to Florida to join other Cheyenne braves already being held in Fort Marion. Sally Jo Harris is at the fort teaching the Indians. When a friendship develops between them and false accusations fly, it could cost them their lives. Can Dani discover how their story ends and how it shaped her own father’s life?

Barbour Publishing, March, 2022
Available in digital ebook and paperback
Buy Love's Fortress at Amazon, Christianbook .com, and Baker Book House

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