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Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron



Wren Lockhart was apprenticed to Harry Houdini, now he is dead and someone will stop at nothing to gain his secrets. Wren has many secrets other than those learned from Houdini. She has never had time for romance. FBI agent Elliot is determined to keep her alive. He must figure out who is the real Wren Lockhart before she is silenced forever. Kristy Cambron has recreated Jazz age Boston and the world of Vaudeville in the Illusionists Apprentice. I really enjoyed the story.

From Amazon:

Harry Houdini's one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny "Wren" Lockhart is a bold eccentric--even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman's dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini's death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini's ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he's known as one of her teacher's greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton's defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren's carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age's bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist's Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life's stage.

About the Author:

Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal's Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews' Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal's Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons. 


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Biography
Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews' Best Books and RT Reviewers' Choice Awards Best lists and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. THE LOST CASTLE (HarperCollins, 2018) is her fifth novel.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

I was given this book by NetGalley.com for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Still Life by Dani Pettrey


Dani Pettrey never disappoints. In Still Life, Chesapeake Valor book 2, I loved watching Avery and Parker fall in love. The way Parker does not hold Avery's past against her is a picture of Christ's love for us. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of Avery, Parker, Tanner, Kate, Declan and Griffin. Between them, I am sure there could be many adventures in the future.  I hope Ms. Pettrey shares many more of their adventures in the future.

From Amazon:

Romantic Suspense's Rising Star Continues to Win Fans

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright--and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead--and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

About the author:


Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Alaskan Courage series and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier award for Inspirational Novel, the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense, and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel. She and her husband reside in the D.C. Metro area.

Biography

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her web site at www.DaniPettrey.com!

Book 3 in the series, Blind Spot, will be available October 3, 2017
books by Dani Pettrey:


Monday, May 1, 2017

A Stranger At Ellsworth by Sarah Ladd



  Sarah Ladd has again written a wonderful tale of life in Regency England.  Annabelle Thorley, an orphan who is dependent upon her younger brother and his wife for everything. When Her brother Thomas declares she will marry his associate, she flees to her uncle at Fellsworth. I loved the gorgeous word pictures Ms. Ladd creates as she describes the settings. The characters were believable, and the story plausible. This story read very quickly and I had a hard time putting it down. As always with Sarah Ladd's books, make sure you have time to sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy!

From Amazon:

Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?


In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.


Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.


As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

About the author:

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Threads of Suspicion: Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2





Evie Blackwell is now appointed to the Governor's cold case task force, and this time she is partnered with David Marshal. It is refreshing to have a male and female partnership without the pair becoming romantically involved. Both David and Evie have their own love interests and they are secure enough to work together and remain faithful. I love reading how they go about investigating these cold cases, how the smallest details can turn the case around. I look forward to reading more Evie Blackwell cases in the future, Dee Henderson has again created an enduring and sustainable character.

From Amazon:

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery

Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

About the author:

Biography
Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online

I was given this book by NetGalley.com for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Only Beloved by Margo Hansen



Eight years ago Delaney Dunn was enduring the worst time of her life.Her mother had died and her father was away working in the lumber camps. At age 11 she was trying to care for her younger siblings including newborn Dylan. She is at the store one-day and meets Ben Blackmoore. Her brother Dylan and Ben's little brother are lying side by side in the store. Delaney becomes ill and Ben leaves. Only Beloved occurs when Ben Blackmoore and his family return to Grand Rapids MN. I loved the theme of this book, 'All things work together for good for those who love  God and are called according to His purpose. Margo Hansen has again written an entertaining story with characters who are among some of my favorites to read about. I am looking forward to reading book 3 in her trilogy, Brother Beloved. 

From Amazon:

"You're kind of cute. If we was stayin' in this backwoods town, I'd be your feller." Delaney Dunn never forgot the words or the face of the impudent boy who spoke to her eight years ago. Perhaps it was her memory of him and the wink he gave her that kept her from being interested in the young men who wished to call on her. Only when the wealthy Blackmores showed up in town and she was face-to-face with Ben once more did she realize why she could never forget him. Ben Blackmore worked a season with one of his father's logging camps to better understand the business and thought he was ready to fill the management role his father had lined up for him, but two events in his life changed everything. First, a sky pilot led him to the Lord, and second, he met Delaney again. Ben and Delaney barely have time to become reacquainted when the town is stunned by a kidnapping. The Blackmores' youngest son is gone, and a ransom is demanded. But Delaney and her brother are also missing. Are they together? Who did this? And why? Only Beloved is Margo Hansen's second book in her Tall Timber Trilogy. Return to northern Minnesota with the Dunn family as they seek God's help to face one of the hardest decisions in their lives.

About the Author:

Margo Hansen is a Minnesota author who enjoys writing about the north woods where she and her husband Bruce live. Margo has three children and six grandchildren and loves getting the family together. Her genre is Christian Fiction Romance and she adds to that a touch of mystery, lots of adventure, and a few twists and turns to keep her stories alive. Her joy is to share the Gospel of the Grace of God with her readers.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham review and giveaway



Pepper Basham has done an awesome job with her new contemporary novel just The Way You Are. Just The Way You Are is a modern fairytale complete with a Prince, a Tower, A castle with a private chapel and a witch! What more could you ask for? There are some very swoon-worthy kisses, treasure hunts, and at least one seemingly death-defying adventure on the London Eye! And woven through the pages as easily as a brook through Pepper's beloved Appalachians, is the theme of forgiveness. Through the events of the novel, both Eisley and Wes learn to accept G-d's forgiveness and also forgive themselves. I loved this novel and sincerely hope that Pepper will revisit the Barrett family in future novels.

From Amazon:
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, takes a vacation from her Blue Ridge Mountain "mom" life to travel to the English countryside in search of answers to an ancestral mystery. Burned by romance, she certainly isn't planning to stumble into her own fairy tale. Leading man and former rogue, Christopher Wesley Harrison is fighting to rebuild a new reputation after a tragedy introduced him to the power of redemption. His self-protective avoidance of romance crumbles at Eisley's two left feet and her authenticity send his heart into unscripted territory. When his past threatens to ruin their second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

About the author:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader's Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW's Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer - released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating.

I was given this book by the author for review purposes, All thoughts are my own.

Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.
Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?
Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?
(Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) J I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel J
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic J
Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.
How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.
And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?
Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate 😉
A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
Click below to enter.  https://promosimple.com/ps/b3e0

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson





Melanie Dickerson has done it again. She has taken the beloved Little Goose Girl fairy tale and turned it into a plausible story. I love the theme of nobility and sacrifice that runs through the story. Both Lady Magdalen and Steffan learn to look for what truly matters. Avery satisfying book.

From Amazon:
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.


But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .


if she makes it in time.


The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.


On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.


When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?


New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

About the author:

Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author whose two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for 2010's Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and being with her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama.

I was given this book by NetGalley.com for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.