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 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:

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=";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 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.