Tuesday, April 30, 2024

THE ROADS WE FOLLOW by Nicole Deese, Reviewed by Winnie and Paula #ReleaseDay

(A Feel Good Contemporary Family Drama Romance Novel) 

(A Fog Harbor Romance)


The Roads We Follow is a perfect blend of realistically flawed characters, a captivating plot, a budding romance, and an intriguing mystery. Talented author Nicole Deese has written an exquisitely-crafted story of the importance of family, the power of love, and the necessity of following your heart. She deals sensitively with some deep topics as she carefully unfolds the story layer by layer.

It was easy for me to relate to Raegan as she tried to deal with her sisters and their varied personalities and quirks, since I have several sisters myself. Micah was a trooper as he drove the bus for the three sisters and their mother Luella. That would be quite a daunting task for most people, and to do it while trying to solve his own mystery had me rooting for him. I enjoyed the trip across the United States visiting some interesting areas with the Farrow family as they recreate the road trip Luella took with Micah’s mother, Lynn, many years before.

Deese’s stories are always infused with plenty of deep meaning and brimming with wit and charm. This one is a beautifully written tale that takes the reader on a journey of healing, hope, and discovery. I recommend it to those who enjoy clean contemporary Christian fiction.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.

Throw mom Luella Farrow, who is a Country Music Icon, her three daughters, and the son of her deceased best friend onto a refurbished tour bus for a two week nostalgic road trip and you have unexpected consequences. Driver Micah: *I am not here by chance. And neither are any of my passengers.*

Youngest daughter Reagan wants to be able to shine on her own, not in the shadow of her well-known mom. But her dream of becoming a writer of fiction stutters when someone threatens her family and its treasured history.

*Forgiveness. Both given and received. It is meant to come in a perfect pair, no matter how pride may tell us otherwise.* (Luella)
What struck me besides being a highly readable story about family, was how the characters were living out their faith and that God and scripture were their foundation. As in real life, the players were not without their mistakes and fears, but the author clearly showed the family working through obstacles thrown in their path. Long held secrets and old hurts surfaced to help the characters grow in their faith.

But do not think this book is morose or solemn. There are wonderful descriptions of places visited and a liberal sprinkling of humor in the right places. I loved the old Inn where they stayed out in farm country. It was decorated in Wizard of Oz splendor. And romance is included as Micah and Reagan learn to trust each other.
A well-rounded womens fiction with a dash of romance.
*I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House via NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
A cross-country road trip. A secretive box of journals. An unforgettable summer romance.

As the youngest daughter of a country music legend, Raegan Farrow longs to establish an identity away from the spotlight and publish her small-town romances under a pen name. But after her dream is dashed when she won't exploit her mother's fame to further her own career, she hears a rumor from a reliable source regarding a tell-all being written about the Farrow family. Making matters worse, the unknown author has gone to great lengths to remain anonymous until publication.

Raegan chooses to keep the tell-all a secret from her scandal-leery sisters as they embark on a two-week cross-country road trip at their mother's request and makes it her mission to expose the identity of the author behind the unsanctioned biography. But all is complicated when she discovers their hired bus driver, Micah Davenport, has a hidden agenda of his own--one involving both of their mothers and an old box of journals. As they rely on each other to find the answers they seek, the surprising revelations they unearth will lead them down an unexpected road of love and reconciliation.

Bethany House Publishing, April 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy THE ROADS WE FOLLOW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

Saturday, April 27, 2024

THESE TANGLED THREADS (A Novel of Biltmore) by Sarah Loudin Thomas, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"He marveled, uncertain how the tangled threads of their lives had come together to create this gorgeous pattern."

Tangled threads. Master weaver Lorna Blankenship was tearing her hair out over untangling the tangles that her young weaver constantly manufactured, if in fact she was actually doing what she was supposed to be doing, which was consistently rare. Gentry had plenty of energy, it was simply unharnessed, unpredictable and undeniably going in wrong directions. Ironically, the fourteen year old ended up possessing something that took Lorna by complete surprise . . . Gentry had extraordinary patterns stashed away in her room, the kind that would produce exquisite fabrics for Biltmore Industries  . . . and the little scamp claimed they were her mother's? It becomes a moot point who had ownership of what, when Gentry disappears, leaving Lorna with a guilt-ridden hole in the pit of her stomach.

Years later, Lorna accepts a commission for a one-of-a-kind design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's upcoming nuptials, and uncharacteristically begins to panic when inspiration eludes her. She turns to friend Arthur Westcott, (with whom her relationship has taken many confusing twists and turns) to help her search for an artisan weaver whose talent she happened upon in a local market. The ensuing journey takes the two on a crisscrossing of mountain towns and trails, spending the kind of time together that could weave the complicated experiences of their past and present into a fabric strong enough to ensure their future.
Told with the beautiful Biltmore Estate and Village as a backdrop, concurrently using a three tiered set of character voices, the author succeeds in bringing the illustrious history of the area into the spotlight while celebrating the talented artisans whose stories should be impossible to separate from the success of their benefactors.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Interviews and Reviews. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three young friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna sees no other way but to seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced to confront the wounds and regrets of long ago. She'll have to risk the job that shapes her identity as well as the hope of friendship--and love--restored.

In this seamlessly woven historical tale, award-winning Appalachian author Sarah Loudin Thomas delivers a poignant novel of friendship, artistry, restoration, and second chances. 

Bethany House Publishing, April 2, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook

Friday, April 26, 2024

ONE LAST SHOT (Alaska Air One Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . God will do amazing things with someone who is willing to let him."

Country music star Oaken Fox joins a reality show deep in the woods of Alaska in order to do an "amazing thing" . . . earn a hefty donation for a charity group that is near and dear to his heart for personal reasons, and maybe, just maybe paying off a debt of guilt at the same time. When things go terribly wrong and Oaken is picked up on the side of the road half-frozen by Air One Rescue EMT Boo Kingston, he extends his time in Alaska while his film crew takes the plan in a different direction: inserting Oaken into the rescue team to play the role of a "celebrity hero".

Oh . . . no, no, no. Boo Kingston is not going to make the same mistake twice, falling for a handsome face, no matter how easy it is to be mesmerized by Oaken Fox and his inherent charm. Except, it feels different than before, the "before" being a public fiasco that dubbed her "Boo Hoo" and sent her scurrying away from family and friends . . . all the way into the Alaskan wilderness.
Almost immediately, I felt at home with these characters. Yes, there are adrenaline rushes (helicopter drops, cliff rescues, icy mud flats with tidal waves - no thank you) and tender by-the-light-of-the-moon moments, (humming with romantic lyrics), but there's also life lived together under the tutelage of an incredible leader who never shies away from giving out spiritual wisdom at just the right moment, (a big guy appropriately named Moose) and in this case, a hero who gets his head on straight just in time to be . . . well, a hero. And a heroine who "wasn't lost. She was found."

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
When country music star Oaken Fox joins survivalist Mike Grizz's new adventure show in the Alaskan wilderness, he just wants to boost his fan base. But when tragedy strikes, and Air One Rescue must save them, Oaken just wants to quit. Too bad his producer has other plans—signing him on with Air One Rescue as a recruit and making a reality show...

EMT Boo Kingston did not join Air One Rescue to train a celebrity. But she's a rookie to the team, so yes, she'll train Oaken and keep him alive and not for a minute pay attention to his charm...

And then five women go missing from a resort during a bachelorette weekend gone south. Now, Air One and the rescue team will have to use all their skills--and manpower, including Oaken--to find them before a blizzard settles in. But can they work together before tragedy strikes?

Alaska Air One Rescue
Book 1: One Last Shot
Book 2: One Last Chance
Book 3: One Last Promise
Book 4: One Last Stand 

March, 2024 Available in digital ebook, hardcover, and paperback.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

WALKING ON HIDDEN WINGS by Rachel Scott McDaniel, Reviewed by Kim and Paula #ReleaseDay


WOW!!! All the stars for Walking on Hidden Wings by Rachel Scott McDaniel! This story has it all! Swoon worthy male character? Check. Amazing female character? Check. Romance? Check. Great banter? Check. Intriguing mystery? Check. In fact, if I were forced to choose, I would say that Walking on Hidden Wings is my favorite story by Ms. McDaniel and that is saying something! I have loved all of her other stories. They are all on my keeper shelf and I highly recommend them to everyone!

I loved Geneva! She is strong, smart, and loyal! I loved her the second she appeared on the page! Rachel McDaniel writes the absolute best female characters. They are strong, yet likable, which is very rare and takes such talent to pull off. And now, let’s talk about Warren, sigh, he is absolutely swoon worthy and I loved everything about him! He too was loyal and he didn’t compromise his principles for anyone. He was just perfect for Geneva! And did I mention swoon worthy? Romantic? Kind? Perfect? Can you tell he’s a new favorite of mine? The mystery in this story was perfection. It was very intriguing and kept me guessing and accusing everyone, with good reason, until the very end.

This is a story you do not want to miss! Rachel Scott McDaniel is one of the best storytellers out there! I cannot wait to read whatever she writes next!
*I purchased this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 5 amazing stars.

“Oh that invitation to adventure. There was not a cell in my being that was immune to it.” Adventure turns to danger when Geneva Hayes is accused of murdering her husband.

In 1922, Geneva feels confined by her posh lifestyle so she finds adventure in wing-walking and flying a Curtis Jenny airplane. Yes Geneva finds adventure- more than she bargained for.

There is so much to love in this book: heartache and hope, mystery and peril, and the romance of married life. The author puts it all together beautifully and gives us spiritual lessons as well. There is soul searching, learning to trust and acting out forgiveness. And there are so many possible suspects that you are constantly kept guessing. One thing remained: God’s love and provision.

Warren was a great example of compassion and steadfastness. I love Geneva and Warren as a couple. Even when they had doubts, they were there for each other.

Ms. McDaniel is on her A game with this intriguing, thrilling, romantic tale. This novel has it all and will be on my keeper shelf.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel via NetGalley. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

 Back Cover Blurb:
Geneva Ashcroft Hayes's marriage to a newspaper mogul might have been arranged, but the New York socialite is devastated when her husband's plane crashes a few short months after their nuptials. When the authorities suspect murder, Geneva sets out on a wild mission to find his killer--and to prove it wasn't her!

When mysterious notes surface pointing to Geneva's guilt in his death, they only strengthen her resolve. She has little to go on except for a detective friend's cryptic list of locations connected to her dead spouse. When the friend also disappears, she trades her sparkling gowns for coveralls and pilot goggles.

Armed with a new name and career as a wingwalker and barnstormer, she travels from town to town in hopes of unearthing clues and locating her missing friend. But Geneva discovers that her past may not belong to her . . . what she once believed as truth may be nothing more than lies and deception.

Kregel Publications, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


THE GARDEN GIRLS by Jessica Patch, reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

Wow! This series is just so good. If you like thrillers that keep you guessing until the very end, this is the book, no, the series, for you. I have been anticipating reading The Garden Girls by Jessica Patch since I finished A Cry in the Dark. It was not a disappointment!

The Garden Girls was original, creepy, thoroughly unpredictable, and totally satisfying. This story ran me through the gamut of emotions. I laughed (I love Ty’s sense of humor), was completely shocked- many times (like jaw dropping shocked), anxious (this killer is one strange character), and I cried (more than once). I was also mad, but due to spoilers, I can’t reference why. I loved seeing all the characters again. Violet’s character growth is one of my favorite things. She may just be my favorite character. I really love this team and their relationships with each other. I am hoping for more stories in this series!
If you want a read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and will keep you guessing- incorrectly!- the entire time, this is the book for you!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. I also purchased a copy. All opinions are my own. 5 stars! 

BackCover Blurb:
On a remote Outer Banks island, a serial killer collects his prized specimens. And to stop him, an FBI agent must confront his own twisted past.

FBI agent Tiberius Granger has seen his share of darkness. But a new case sets him on edge. It’s not just the macabre way both victims—found posed in front of lighthouses—are tattooed with flowers that match their names. There’s also the unsettling connection to the woman Ty once loved and to the shadowy cult they both risked everything to escape.

Bexley Hemmingway’s sister has gone missing, and she’ll do anything to find her—including teaming up with Ty. That may prove a mistake, and not just because Ty doesn’t know he’s the father of her teenaged son. It seems the killer is taunting Ty, drawing everyone close to him into deeper danger.

As the slashing winds and rain of a deadly hurricane approach the coast of North Carolina, the search leads Ty and Bex to an island that hides a grisly secret. But in his quest for the truth, Ty has ignored the fact that this time, he’s not just the hunter. Every move has been orchestrated by a killer into a perfect storm of terror, and they will need all their skills to survive…

More chilling novels from Jessica R. Patch:
Her Darkest Secret
A Cry in the Dark

Love Inspired Trade, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


Monday, April 22, 2024

IF THE BOOT FITS (Texas Ever After #2) by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . the man I marry must fit the boot I found the night of my ball."

After saving a life, only a boot is left behind . . . of course the fleeing trespasser could have been any sort of a man, but Samantha Dearing chooses to dream big dreams and make the mysterious cowboy into a hero who has just made one teensy, weensy mistake . . . her cattle baron father doesn't exactly share her assessment, but that was a conversation for another day. Her brother did not drown, nothing had been stolen, end of story . . . right?

Actually, the story has only just begun for Asher Ellis. To Asher's utter dismay his path keeps crossing with that of the lovely Samantha Dearing; however, thank the Lord above, she doesn't seem to recognize him. Spending a frequent amount of time with Samantha, Asher's sour opinion of her father begins to soften into a "maybe I was wrong about him" admittance. But still, something isn't quite right on the Three Cedars Ranch; Samantha is experiencing a fair number of "accidents" and Asher's protective instincts are beginning to hum with a few too many thoughts of calling her his "darling" . . . which in turn means the truth about that boot will most certainly have to come out.

Picking up a book by this author is always and forever an absolute delight! Only in Texas could a forsaken boot form the basis for such an entertaining fairy tale re-telling between two characters whose impromptu rendezvous at a party ends up in a pond . . . and boy howdy, enjoy reading how that turns out!

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

See Winnie's Review

See Paula's Review

BackCover Blurb:
One fateful night will change their destinies forever. . . .

Convinced that his stepmother and half brothers have been wrongfully evicted by cattle king Eli Dearing, Asher Ellis uses the cover of an extravagant ball to break into the Three Cedars' ranch house to search for proof. On the verge of discovery, he flees, but a boy's cry compels him to make a daring rescue.

Spunky and independent Samantha Dearing balks when she learns the ball her father is hosting is nothing more than a matrimonial ambush. Taking a break from unwanted suitors, Samantha spots a thief fleeing her home. When the stranger ends up saving her brother's life, she hides the only clue to his identity left behind--his boot--and resolves to find him herself.

When Samantha encounters the older brother of a student she tutors, all thoughts of the bootless mystery man vanish. Asher values family above wealth, a rare trait that opens her heart. Afraid she will discover his past misconduct, Asher tries to keep his distance, but when a series of suspicious accidents befall her, he vows to protect her, even though saving her life could mean losing her love.

Bethany House Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



Saturday, April 20, 2024

A NOBLE SCHEME (The Imposters #2) by Roseanna M. White, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . this house had never been meant to be his alone."

Pushing aside his wayward thoughts, Imposters, Ltd. operative Graham Wharton responds to a request for their private investigative agency to find and retrieve a kidnapped child, whom the kidnappers had mistakenly thought to be his cousin, the son of an aristocrat. The time line to pay an exorbitant ransom was just days away and Graham's architectural knowledge would most certainly come into play as his cohorts researched how to slip in and out of large manor houses under the guise of attending a fashionable Christmas gathering.

Gemma. Just the thought of her, the sight of her, the sound of her voice (even under disguise) . . . would being around her again be more than he could bear? It had been a year . . . since their hearts had been shattered into a million tiny little pieces. And according to Graham, even God, especially God, could not put them back together again . . . could He?

Underneath an impressive shroud of mystery and intrigue, the author plunges heart first into an emotive display of personal, spiritual, and relational angst; positioning her characters in a fight for their lives on multiple levels, while seamlessly weaving their current assignment into a cloudy image of their private affairs. It's nothing short of brilliant.

"She prayed God's will was for life. Reconciliation. Joy." 

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


BackCover Blurb:
In the opulent and perilous world of high society's most elite--and most dangerous--families, two investigators must set aside their broken hearts to uncover the truth.

Gemma Parks is known to the London elite as G. M. Parker, a columnist renowned for her commentary on the cream of society. Behind the scenes, she uses her talents to aid the Imposters in their investigations by gathering intel at events and providing alibis for the firm's members through her columns. Yet her clandestine work would be more exhilarating if it weren't for the constant presence of the gentleman who broke her heart.

Graham Wharton has never had eyes for anyone but Gemma, and she left his heart in tatters when she walked away from him. When the Imposters take on a new job to recover a kidnapped boy mistaken for his aristocratic cousin, Graham is determined to use the time with Gemma to not only restore the missing boy, but to also win back the only woman he's ever loved. As they trace the clues laid out before them, Graham and Gemma must devise a noble scheme to save the boy's life and heal their hearts.

Bethany House Publishing, March 15, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Friday, April 19, 2024

FATAL DOMAIN by Steven James, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #NewRelease

*Be loved. Betrayed*

Wow what a rollercoaster of a story full of intrigue and danger. DOD agent Travis Brock has a remarkable memory that he uses at the Pentagon. He is a widower who was scarred when a fire burned him and took the life of his wife. Travis is a man trying to do his job and having life throw things at him along the way.
Lots of criminals in this one who are crafty and evil. Get into the mind of people who will do anything to advance their agenda. 

*We are as much drawn to the light as we are lured by the darkness. Both. Always both.* A few unique scenarios keep this spy thriller very interesting. Add in some family drama and an impending threat and this was a great page turner.

This can be raw in some scenes but completely believable and current. The author infuses his story with characters who are searching for spiritual answers and a reformed convict who is asking for forgiveness. *When we play God, there are always unintended consequences that makes it clear we are not up to the task, He creates life in His own image. We create monsters in ours.* 

Some things are not resolved in this story but the promise is there of more to come from Travis Brock in book 3.
I received a complimentary book from Tyndale via NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.* 5 stars and a strong faith thread 


BackCover Blurb:
When the past scratches its way into the present, it can leave deep scars.

A series of cryptic clues leads Department of Defense redactor Travis Brock to suspect that a grim chapter from his past is not yet over. With the help of his eidetic memory and his newly formed team, he must unearth the truth and stop a terrorist group from stealing one of the military’s most highly guarded technological breakthroughs. With it, the group plans to commit a daring act of espionage that could upend the work of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms and impact millions of people worldwide.

In a high-stakes story of action and intrigue that reaches from a refugee settlement in Uganda to the shores of the Potomac in Washington, DC, shattering secrets from the past will be revealed, loyalties tested, and intimate betrayals brought to light as Brock is forced to decide how to forgive what he cannot forget.

From a novelist that Publishers Weekly has called a “master storyteller” comes an intricate and taut thriller that will have you guessing until the final page.

Relevant, contemporary spy thriller
Fast-paced suspense
Issues of terrorism and espionage
The central theme is the power of forgiveness

Tyndale House Publishing, April 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



Thursday, April 18, 2024

THE SLEUTH OF BLACKFRIARS LANE (Blackfriars Lane #3) by Michelle Griep, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Three years ago Kit Turner had been skiffing marks. Gaming dupes. Looking over her shoulder to stay one step ahead of the law."

"No one would believe it of her now, not standing next to a retired police sergeant in a smart blue suit and married to the chief inspector of one of the city's busiest stations."
And with the sweetest little baby girl in the whole wide world . . . if only Bella would babble "ma ma" instead of "ba ba" . . . her life would be just about perfect. To add the proverbial "icing on the cake", Kit and her father (the above mentioned retired police sergeant, Mr. Graybone) were partnering in a brand new venture, "The Blackfriars Lane Enquiry Agency". What could possibly go wrong?

By now all of us are accustomed to Kit Turner Forge's good intentions, her handsome husband (the above mentioned chief inspector, Jackson Forge) however, was quickly becoming an expert in reading between the lines, discerning how saucy smiles and passionate displays of affection were all a ruse for weasling her way in or out of trouble, which happened often enough that Jackson would be terribly suspicious if she acted in any other manner. But neither Kit nor Jackson, nor Graybone (or their friends Charles Baggett and Martha Jones or a litany of others) could have ever imagined the mounds of trouble that Kit's first client as a private investigator would churn up.

"It is God who numbers our days, not you or I or anyone else. . . What I want is you just exactly as God has made you. That's all I've ever wanted . . . you're all I've ever wanted." (catch me while I swoon over a godly man who loves his wife!)

If it were up to me, this series would last forever. The characters are cast in a most spectacular fashion, their escapades are daunting, daring, and deliver outcomes of epic proportion, (for justice is even ... t . u . a . l. l. y served) leaving the supporting cast to be just as entertaining to spend time with, even if they are as peculiar as Catchpole.

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


BackCover Blurb:
Wife. Mother. Homemaker. Detective. Kit Forge wears many hats, and if that’s not enough, she’s partnered with her father to open a new detective agency. It’s hard to be all things to all people, but Kit never shies away from the impossible. Despite her hard work and good intentions, some things fall through the cracks.

Namely, her husband.

But Jackson barely notices. He’s too busy putting out his own fires. As the new chief inspector of a busy London station, he must salvage the disaster left behind by the former police chief—an obstacle made all the harder when the superintendent breathes an ultimatum down his neck.

Against her father’s advice, Kit takes on a case involving a missing child, one in which she and Jackson become a little too emotionally involved. . .and end up endangering their own little girl in the process.

Can Kit and Jackson learn that just because they can say yes doesn’t mean they should?

Barbour Publishing, April 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

THE VANISHED by Cara Putman, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay


Highly interesting and absorbing from page one. This is my kind of book.

Janae, a lawyer, and Carter, a museum director, tackle the problem when two paintings exhibited in the Elliot Museum could belong to a Jewish WWII survivor.

This was a fascinating story told from the perspective of a museum being on the defensive in a very complex situation. There was a lot of legalese, but it was efficiently and effectively explained, thanks to the expertise of the author, who is a lawyer. You could tell that a lot of research went into this book. I was looking up the paintings in question to see if they really existed.
There was an underlying faith thread that seemed to underscore the way the main characters behaved and how they made their decisions to do the correct thing. This contrasted with the convoluted thinking by the villain.

Along with the conundrum of the paintings, there is more mystery, some family issues and a budding romance. The premise kept me turning pages and and wanting to read more stories in subsequent books in this series. 

A stunning offering from an accomplished author.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author via NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.* 5 stars and an underlying faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
Janae Simmons left the small town of Kedgewick, Virginia, ten years ago to pursue her legal career and never looked back--until a professional mistake leads her to her grandmother's historic carriage house and to the town where her past threatens to find her. The quiet streets echo with her grandfather's sterling reputation, one that conflicts with fresh questions that claw at Janae, launching her on a reluctant journey to unearth his secrets. When her new job at a local law firm doesn't live up to expectations, she wonders if coming home was the right decision.

Carter Montgomery starts his art preservation career with the only job he can get--director at the Elliott Museum of Art. At least Kedgewick is a nice enough town to provide him and his nephew with a safe place to grieve the loss of Carter's sister. But Carter's calm days disappear when an elderly woman claims two paintings in the museum's collection were stolen from her family during World War II.

Carter enlists Janae's help to unravel the legal labyrinth of art ownership, and the peaceful facade of Kedgewick morphs into a hot bed of secrets. When an attorney turns up dead and Janae uncovers another painting, what began as a simple legal issue spirals into a race against time. As the web of intrigue tightens, the duo must confront a looming question: What dark truths lie beneath the surface, waiting to be exposed? 

Kregel Publications, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audio. 


Saturday, April 13, 2024

FATAL DOMAIN (Travis Brock Series #2), by Steven James, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney #NewRelease

"I am thinking of denial and second chances and the cages of unforgiveness that are strewn across the landscape of my past. That place is a dominion of darkness and death and self-imposed chains. Yes, it is my choice - and also my hope - to leave that fatal domain."

Endowed with an eidetic memory, Department of Defense redactor Travis Brock remembers many things that he would rather forget. On the other hand, his skill set is a tremendous asset to a team of three whose assignment is to protect one of the military's highly guarded secrets and explains why this story opens with Travis and one of his co-patriots perched on the top of a building while monitoring the movements of a drone that was imaging the dots and dashes from a computer across a ravine. Unfortunately, Travis would have to remember those sequences in order to translate them into usable data, because . . . there may have been a five story plunge involved . . . which meant plan B.

This story twisted and turned within itself one chapter at a time. Tangles turned into tentacles which straightened into trails that stumbled back into twists. . . But there was a definite design if you stood back far enough . . . and became as sticky as a spider web if you ventured too close. The formatting was brilliant, short chapters kept the complexity from becoming suffocating, allowing multiple characters to appear and disappear from behind their self-imposed curtains.

Ultimately, the final outcome became rather murky before clearing up just long enough to satisfy justice. . . and to usher in forgiveness . . . plus, there's more to come.

Note: a few expletives uttered in context.

*I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
When the past scratches its way into the present, it can leave deep scars.

A series of cryptic clues leads Department of Defense redactor Travis Brock to suspect that a grim chapter from his past is not yet over. With the help of his eidetic memory and his newly formed team, he must unearth the truth and stop a terrorist group from stealing one of the military’s most highly guarded technological breakthroughs. With it, the group plans to commit a daring act of espionage that could upend the work of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms and impact millions of people worldwide.

In a high-stakes story of action and intrigue that reaches from a refugee settlement in Uganda to the shores of the Potomac in Washington, DC, shattering secrets from the past will be revealed, loyalties tested, and intimate betrayals brought to light as Brock is forced to decide how to forgive what he cannot forget.

From a novelist that Publishers Weekly has called a “master storyteller” comes an intricate and taut thriller that will have you guessing until the final page.

Relevant, contemporary spy thriller
Fast-paced suspense
Issues of terrorism and espionage
The central theme is the power of forgiveness

Tyndale House Publishing, April 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


Thursday, April 11, 2024

8 DOWN by Kimberley Woodhouse, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"People are dying. And they will keep dying . . . I've left you clues . . . One might think you don't care about the citizens of Alaska."

Didn't care? Alaska Bureau of Investigation investigator Carrie Kintz cared very much about the citizens that she had vowed to protect, but the bizarre string of deaths in the city of Anchorage had left her department verily stumped. Recognizing early on that someone with highly honed technical skills might be responsible, Carrie brings in cyber security specialist Scott Patteson as a consultant. Turns out it was a very smart move, for Scott knew someone who suggested there was a connection between the crimes and crossword puzzles published in newspapers nationwide . . . the clues were being dropped into the 8 DOWN position. Why? What was the motive?

It didn't take very long for the killer to let them know.

An unbelievably clever plot! (with a pleasant amount of romantic tension) As investigators race to solve the puzzles, the unidentified subject (fitting the profile of a serial killer), begins to escalate in cruelty. If there was ever a time to seek wisdom, it's now.

"If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault . . ." (James 1:5)

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
8 bodies down.

8 more lives at stake.

Investigator Carrie Kintz is new blood with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage. But with a serial killer on the loose, there's no easing into the job. It's sink or swim. The only clues to help law enforcement stop this madman are the taunts he drops into crossword puzzles across the country--always in the same 8 DOWN position.

Carrie is desperate to prove her worth to the force and the community by catching the killer. But when she discovers signs that these deaths are just the tip of the iceberg in a frighteningly elaborate cyberattack, it's time to admit she needs help.

Calling in security specialist Scott Patteson for his expertise seems like the right move--until Carrie realizes that he may be a dangerous distraction for her heart. With her faith fading in the face of horror and uncertainty and her career in danger of ending, this is no time for flirtation.

But with a killer who is determined to prove that he's smarter than everyone else, it may be impossible to fight both the madman and their feelings for each other . . . 

Kregel Publishing, February 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and library binding
Buy 8DOWN at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House




Wednesday, April 10, 2024

WHEN THE FLAMES RAVAGED by Rhona Dragomir, Reviewed by Paula for #CelebrateLitTour #Giveaway


This is book two in the A DAY TO REMEMBER series from Barbour


Tragedy strikes on July 6, 1944 jn Hartford, Connecticut. Evelyn Benson was supposed to join her brother and his family at the circus that fateful afternoon. Now she has to search for her missing family members after a fire sweeps through a tent with disastrous results. The story relates how Evelyn, a waitress, and Hank, a circus clown, embark on a quest to find niece Lily and nephew Jamie.

Such a heartbreaking story with many obstacles for Evelyn to overcome, including putting her trust in Hank who has his own past to deal with.

A remarkably told story of a frightening event and the grim aftermath. It was intense and sympathetic while conveying some mystery and a budding romance. It had a solid faith thread that delved into the spiritual growth of the characters.
This is the first book I have read from this author and I will be on the lookout for her next offering.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through Celebrate Lit via Netgalley. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a solid faith thread 

Author Rhona Dragomir

BackCover Blurb:
Will Faith Perish in the Big Top’s Flames?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Evelyn Benson’s husband perished in the Bataan Death March but not her faith. The World War II Gold Star widow is taken in by her brother and soothed by the love of his wife and children. Evelyn refuses to cower to grief. She may not understand God’s mysterious ways, but she has never questioned Him—until the circus fire.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train chugs into Hartford, Connecticut, on a sweltering day one month after the Allies invaded Normandy. Among the roustabouts is a reluctant clown, Hank Webb. He may hide from his murky past behind grease paint as Fraidy Freddie, but God wants to offer Hank a chance to be found. Though first, what little Hank believes about God will endure a fiery trial.

On Thursday, July 6, 1944, a devastating blaze of unknown origins consumes the circus tent along with Evelyn’s hopes and Hank’s anonymity. 

Barbour Publishing, March, 2024
Available in digital  ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

To celebrate her tour, Rhonda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card & a copy of the book!!

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


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

THE BRITISH BOOKSELLERS by Kristy Cambron, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

With strong characters and an arresting plot, this was a memorable WWII story set in Coventry, England, when the unthinkable happened to devastate this quiet village.

Told in split time between WWI and 1940, the story revolves around the lives of Charlotte Terrington Holt and Amos Darby and their roles in the class system of days gone by. The author takes us back to a time when the whole country banded together to support the war effort by conservation, rationing, uprooting their lives and putting aside long held dreams for a united cause. “Childhood dreams had no place in the real world...”

The author delves into the background connections of Charlotte and Amos to give us the differences between classes and how that perspective changed during wartime. And as times change new romance takes wings. “To love meant to accept all the grit and grief alongside the beauty. To endure the harshness of life not with despair, but hope.”

Blackouts, sirens, Land Girls, loneliness, hidden secrets, surprising connections, second chances, a common goal. All these things and more come together in one emotional tale.

An exceptional story that gives yet another slant on what people went through during WWII on the home front.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book through NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a subtle faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:

Inspired by real accounts of the Forgotten Blitz bombings, The British Booksellers highlights the courage of those whose lives were forever changed by war—and the stories that bind us in the fight for what matters most.

A tenant farmer’s son had no business daring to dream of a future with an earl’s daughter, but that couldn’t keep Amos Darby from his secret friendship with Charlotte Terrington…until the reality of the Great War sobered youthful dreams. Now decades later, he bears the brutal scars of battles fought in the trenches and their futures that were stolen away. His return home doesn’t come with tender reunions, but with the hollow fulfillment of opening a bookshop on his own and retreating as a recluse within its walls.

When the future Earl of Harcourt chose Charlotte to be his wife, she knew she was destined for a loveless match. Though her heart had chosen another long ago, she pledges her future even as her husband goes to war. Twenty-five years later, Charlotte remains a war widow who divides her days between her late husband’s declining estate and operating a quaint Coventry bookshop—Eden Books, lovingly named after her grown daughter. And Amos is nothing more than the rival bookseller across the lane.

As war with Hitler looms, Eden is determined to preserve her father’s legacy. So when an American solicitor arrives threatening a lawsuit that could destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to preserve, mother and daughter prepare to fight back. But with devastation wrought by the Luftwaffe’s local blitz terrorizing the skies, battling bookshops—and lost loves, Amos and Charlotte—must put aside their differences and fight together to help Coventry survive.

From deep in the trenches of the Great War to the storied English countryside and the devastating Coventry Blitz of World War II, The British Booksellers explores the unbreakable bonds that unite us through love, loss, and the enduring solace that can be found between the pages of a book.

-Split timeline: WWI and WWII
-Stand-alone novel
-Book length: 118,000 words
-Includes discussion questions for book clubs 

Thomas Nelson Publishing, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

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