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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. 


Following
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.

Larry Norman - The Outlaw - [Lyrics]

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Chamberlain Key by Timothy Smith



I usually do not review non-fiction, but I am making an exception or The Chamberlain Key. It is an interesting book similar in nature to The Bible Codes. Mr. Smith has discovered his name and his wife's name side by side in the Torah. He claims that there is much information hidden in the original Hebrew scrolls. I am not able to read Hebrew, so I am not able to confirm or deny his findings. I enjoyed reading this book and can see that if people doubt the veracity of the Bible finding hidden messages could convince them. More proof that the Bible is a living document.

From Amazon:

Imagine you are a young, ambitious, successful appraiser of artifacts and antiquities—your services in demand by many of the most powerful individuals and branches of government in Washington, D. C.  Your future could not seem brighter—except for a troubling dream...with the same mysterious message...on the same exact date...three years in a row...

A True Story...Better Than Fiction

Timothy P. Smith, heir to a renowned family business responsible for construction or renovation of some of America’s most cherished landmarks, struggled to understand the significance of his recurring dream...until he had another dream--one that identified a specific location where it seemed he might find answers to his questions. So Timothy drove to a remote spot in British Columbia. There the adventure--which later led to a startling discovery in the oldest Hebrew text of the Bible--began.

It took the convergence of the sacred text, one man’s life, and modern computer technology to reveal messages that may explain dramatic world events, as well as influence every person alive today.

Welcome to The Chamberlain Key.

“However one wishes to interpret the meaning and significance of the text, they may rest assured that the text on which Timothy Smith bases his interpretation has almost certainly been there for a very long time, since before the birth of Christ.”
—Eugene Ulrich, Ph.D.
Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Chief Editor, The Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls

“For more than fifteen years I managed to keep the lid on a discovery that will dramatically redirect biblical scholarship, Christian theology, and perhaps even the trajectory of history itself.” –Timothy P. Smith

What You Will Discover in The Chamberlain Key

   • An encrypted code in Genesis, in the oldest known Hebrew text of the Old Testament, centuries before predicted the birth and resurrection of Jesus.
   •  Scientific evidence that this encrypted code was authored by the divine hand of God.
   • Signs that there are more encrypted codes in this same Hebrew text that will lead to additional messages from God to humanity
   • Hidden clues that may lead to the location of long-missing sacred artifacts, such as the Ark of the Covenant
   • Insights on why Timothy P. Smith was chosen to uncover this encrypted code.
   • A dire warning that God wants us to hear—and heed.

About the author:

TIMOTHY P. SMITH is a noted appraiser and conservator of artifacts and antiquities. He has discovered and recovered many priceless historical items, none of which has amazed and excited him as much as “the chamberlain key.” Timothy and his wife reside in Virginia.

BOB HOSTETLER is the award-winning author of more than thirty books, including American Idols and the historical novel Northkill. His books have sold over three million copies.

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

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham



epper 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.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Lady In Disguise by Sandra Byrd


Gillian Young's father has recently passed away under mysterious circumstances, leaving her a townhouse and a country manor. She has a home and can provide for her needs by designing and sewing gowns for a Lady and costumes for the theater. Thomas Lockwood, a viscount, is her country neighbor. Is he interested in her or her land? Francis Collingsworth, a constable, and son of her father's partner is also interested, but in what? Sandra Byrd has created a delightful mixture of gothic romance and Victorian morals with a touch of the Gospel added to the story. I loved the mystery of never knowing who was truly on Gillian's side. the plot was engrossing and I had trouble putting the book down to sleep at night. A truly enjoyable read.

From Amazon:
 In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

From the author:

From the Author
An interview with Sandra by Jenny Quinlan of Let Them Read Books.

What inspired you to take on the Gothic genre? I loved reading old-school Gothic romances, ones filled with atmosphere and suspense, such as those written by Victoria Holt, but I found it difficult to find many new ones still written with the "traditional ingredients."

As an author, I also wanted to update the concept a little for modern readers, and put my own spin on it, as authors will. I like more of the hero on the page than was present in many of the Gothic romance novels of years past, and I like my heroines to be a little bit less waifish and a little stronger minded than was popular then. I wanted to include just a wee bit more hard history, and I like weaving in an element of faith. But I tried my best to stick to the elements many readers expect from a Gothic romance, which might include:
A large country house in need of attention and affection, already in disrepair. In some ways, the house represents the heroine.

A Byronic hero, who might be questionable and always conflicted. The heroine falls in love, but she has to know before she commits - will he prove true?

Characters--especially servants, but others, too--that may be untrustworthy; our heroine does not know and must puzzle it out.

Psychological underpinnings, perhaps including madness or a suspicion of it.

A supernatural element, whether naturally explained or not.

Parents who are not present or who are dead, so the heroine must rely on her own wit and resources.
Women in the Victorian Era were defined and constrained by strict social mores and expectations. Can you talk a bit about creating a heroine from that era that today's readers can still identify with? They had major constraints, and the heroines in my books cannot just solve their problems like you or I might - but I love them the more for that; they are forced to cleverly use the tools at hand. Truthfully, all of us, then and now, are constrained in some way from the full self-determination we would prefer, and perhaps that is one way we identify with them. And yet ... the human spirit, a strong woman's spirit, faces those challenges head on, tries to think through what she wants, and then plots a way toward it. When roadblocks occur, she finds a way over, around, or through. That was true a thousand years ago and is still true, now.

The very freedom of our age has wrought a new set of challenges. But we still find a way to triumph. Seeing women do that, then, encourages me as a woman to do that, now. If they can be contenders, so can I!

Also - we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines.

How does your faith shape the inspirational aspects of your fiction? My faith is central to my worldview and interests, so it informs the subjects I pursue in my books. Honestly, I felt it would be anachronistic to write about 19th Century England and not have any mention of or interaction with faith; it was completely integrated into daily and weekly life. It interests me how a strong Christian woman approaches challenges in her era and setting. I don't set out, in fiction, to teach, only to show and reveal and understand through the heroine's eyes. Hopefully, that makes a good story whether the reader is a Christian or not!

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock



Available Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Looking for an edge of your seat suspense novel? Well, I say If I'm found is the book for you! It is book two in the series and you really need to have read book one (another edge of your seat read) to know what's going on. The gist of the story is Casey is on the run for a crime she didn't commit and Dylan has been hired to find her. The action is non-stop making it hard to put the book down for things like work or sleep! 

From Amazon:

In this riveting sequel to the USA TODAY bestseller If I Run, evil lurks, drawing Casey out of the shadows . . . but there is light shining in the darkness.


Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.


As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.

About the author:

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.


Life After by Katie Ganshert



Available April 18, 2017

One year ago April Manning boarded a commuter train, a short time later, it blew up. Now she is in search of why. Why was she on the train? Why was she the only survivor? Life After is the story of a woman trying to put her life back together. I really liked some of the questions Katie Ganshert poses throughout the story. Why are we here? Does God really care? How do you live with the guilt that you survived and 22 others did not? Can you ever have a meaningful life? I recommend not starting this book until you have time to spend savoring the story. Katie Ganshert is fast becoming one of my go-to authors of contemporary fiction.

From Amazon:
It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake. 

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

About the author:

Biography
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Without Warning by Joel Rosenberg Releasing today!



<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30821955-without-warning?utm_medium=api&amp;utm_source=blog_book">Without Warning</a>



Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller



The Elusive Miss Ellison is a Regency romance in the tradition of Georgette Heyer. Lavinia Ellison, the Miniter's spirited daughter is determined to neither like nor forgive the Earl of Hawkesbury for a tragedy in their past. I really enjoyed the spirited conversations between the two of them. The settings were described with detail that enabled me to envision the locations. I am delighted to find another writer that writes engaging romance so similar in style to Julie Klassen and Sarah Ladd. So grab your tea and scones and settle back for a truly enjoyable read!

From Amazon:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

A note from the author:

From the Author
I hope you enjoy reading 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' - she was certainly a lot of fun to write about!
I love reading about feisty heroines as much as the next redhead :) but sometimes too much 'feist' can come across as just rude. Miss Ellison has some sass, but a warm heart, and when she meets her match in Lord Hawkesbury, she begins to learn a few home truths.
I try to create characters that face some of the same challenges and problems as we all do at times: issues with families, loneliness, financial constraints, society's expectations. It's my hope that people can identify with, and appreciate the journey these characters go on, from presumption to understanding, from pride to humility, and be inspired with hope, as these characters transform into people we want to be. People who forgive, who extend grace to the unlovely, who care more about other people than they do about their appearance. People who bring kindness into the world.
Miss Ellison has been close to my heart for years - I hope she'll grow close to yours, too.
And don't forget to look out for her cousin's story, 'The Captivating Lady Charlotte', releasing mid-2017!

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

For Love And Honor by Jody Hedlund



I just finished reading For Love And Honor by Jody Hedlund and I loved it! Although it is book #3 in her Young Adult series it can be read alone. Sir Bennet needs a wealthy wife to save his families lands and treasures. Lady Sabine has plenty of money but has a secret that could cost her her life. I loved the storyline. It read fast but kept me engaged until the end. Sabine and Bennet were both very strong characters who did their best to live honorably while longing for love. I am sad to reach the end of this series.

From Amazon:

   Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?


Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?


As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

About the Author:

Winner of 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Hayley Cresswell is a bilingual (English/Spanish) voiceover artist born and raised in Nashville, TN. Her lifelong love of languages, cultures, people, and travel has helped to ignite her passion and talent for using her voice to bring words and stories to life. She also enjoys music from around the world, singing in multiple languages, and a variety of styles of dance.

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller


I am enjoying this book right now. My review will be coming soon!


From Amazon:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

From the author:

I hope you enjoy reading 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' - she was certainly a lot of fun to write about!
I love reading about feisty heroines as much as the next redhead :) but sometimes too much 'feist' can come across as just rude. Miss Ellison has some sass, but a warm heart, and when she meets her match in Lord Hawkesbury, she begins to learn a few home truths.
I try to create characters that face some of the same challenges and problems as we all do at times: issues with families, loneliness, financial constraints, society's expectations. It's my hope that people can identify with, and appreciate the journey these characters go on, from presumption to understanding, from pride to humility, and be inspired with hope, as these characters transform into people we want to be. People who forgive, who extend grace to the unlovely, who care more about other people than they do about their appearance. People who bring kindness into the world. 
Miss Ellison has been close to my heart for years - I hope she'll grow close to yours, too.
And don't forget to look out for her cousin's story, 'The Captivating Lady Charlotte', releasing mid-2017!


About the author:


Biography

Hi, I'm Carolyn Miller, author of 'The Elusive Miss Ellison'.

I live in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia.

I'm married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!) as I do (except not in the Regency genre - funny, that!).

My favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but I also enjoy contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

I try to write stories that are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus 'true love', and other challenges we all face at different times.

I hope you enjoy reading my novels. Thanks for stopping by!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Shine Like The Dawn by Carrie Turansky


Shine Like the Dawn is a fast-moving historical novel that grabs you from the first page and demands to be read.  Master of Edwardian fiction, Carrie Turansky, has created a mixture of romance and suspense wrapped up in the rediscovery of the main character's faith. I love the strong characters and who doesn't love a story set in England? So grab a cup of tea and settle in for a good read!

From Amazon:
Separated by an inconceivable tragedy, can faith and love reunite childhood friends and light the way to a bright future?

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?


About the Author:
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than a dozen inspirational romance novels and novellas, including Where Two Hearts Meet and Surrendered Hearts. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott.

Anne Flosnik is an accomplished, multi-award-winning British actress, with lead credits for stage, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and audiobooks. She has garnered three AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and four Audie Award nominations.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Life After by Kate Ganshert




Hello friends,
          I usually don't add books here until I have read them, but I was so impressed with the opening paragraph, I had to share.

           'We rarely know when death will come.
            Some are warned in sickness---like the track of dirt around the edge of a baseball field, cautioning outfielders that they are running out of room.The end is near. But others--- many others---meet death without any warning at all, in an unforeseen moment that wrenches consciousness in two separating the living from the dead.
            That's how it would come on this particular evening for twenty-two individuals.'
                                              ~from the prologue of Life After


From Amazon:

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
 
A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
 
Paul Elliott lost his wife 

in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.  
 
In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.


About the author from Amazon:

KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

For The Record by Regina Jennings



Although I am a huge fan of Regina Jennings, I have to admit I was slow to warm up to For The Record. I think my problem was that I did not like Betsy Huckabee. To me, she was an immature young lady who by the age of 24 should have behaved better. That said, the story did grow on me and by the end of the book, I was a fan. It was nice to read about some of the characters I met in the previous 2 books.  This book should appeal to folks who like a mixture of romance, humor, and suspense.

From Amazon:
Jennings Offers Another Delightful Blend of History and Romance

Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle's newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don't seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies' pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She'd be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.

Deputy Joel Puckett didn't want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

About the Author from Amazon:
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English. She is the author of Sixty Acres and a Bride, Love in the Balance, Caught in the Middle, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, At Love's Bidding, and contributed a novella to both With This Ring? and A Match Made in Texas. She and her family make their home in Oklahoma City.

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Giveaway!

Marguerite Martin Gray
My Goodreads Giveaway of 25 copies of Surround Me ends at midnight Feb. 5. Please enter by clicking on the link below.
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/218933-surround-me