Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn Of The Dragon Lady By Sharon J. Mondragón + GIVEAWAY

The Unlikely Yarn Of The Dragon Lady
by Sharon J. Mondragón
Publisher: Kregel
ISBN: 978-0825447020

Once again I had an introduction to a new-to-me author and I was so glad I took the chance. I mean, the name alone makes one want to try it out, right? So, I was sent the book for review.

Summary:

A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways


Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.


Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.


Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?


Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.


To read an excerpt of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady click here.

My Review:

This story was such a surprise! I had no idea I was going to enjoy it so much.

You know when there's a character that you just can't stand for whatever reason? Because the author has written that character SO well that you are fed up with them almost from the start? This author had this gift with a couple of the characters in her book. On the flip side she created characters who tugged on my heartstrings or made me want to hug them.

This is women's fiction at its best. Four women at different stages in life (mostly) who are dealing with all kind of things. I loved the depth of each one and could see myself in each of them to a degree. I could relate to Margaret and her unhealthy need for control... over everything. I don't know how her legalism didn't push every single person away from her! And Rose... she's a great reminder to all of us that just because someone is older, it doesn't mean they're invalids. Fran and Jane, though younger than the other ladies had a LOT going on emotionally as well.

Their Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry, while a good ministry the way it was, became something of a super natural powerhouse once they moved to the mall. I loved watching God work not only in the lives of mall goers, but even more so in the lives of the women in the ministry. Seeing God move in different and unexpected ways was a treat, even when it was difficult sometimes. I think that's what I loved the most about this story - how God moved in so many ways. He gave evidence of himself over and over again.

I was surprised at how emotional this book was. Coming to care for each of the main characters was easy, but it was just as easy to be touched by the secondary characters. I have to admit, I want to learn how to knit now and wish I Rose was in my life. Crazy as it might seem, but I think she was my favorite character. Yes, the 85 yr old woman living in assisted living is my favorite. I need a Rose in my life.

About the Author:

Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.


Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.


Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.


Visit Sharon Mondragón’s website and blog at www.sharonjmondragon.com and follow her on Facebook (Sherry Mondragón) and Twitter (@SJ_Mondragón).



Friday, September 24, 2021

Quest of Fire: Shadows at Nightfall by Brett Armstrong + GIVEAWAY

Shadows at Nightfall JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Quest of Fire: Shadows at Nightfall by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the ebook for review.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Shadows at Nightfall
Title: Shadows at Nightfall 
Series: Quest of Fire #3 
Author: Brett Armstrong 
Publisher: Scrivenings Press 
Release Date: September 2021 
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy

The shadows of Jason’s past have caught him. Having stepped into the Quest of Fire, Jason is pursued by a league of assassins formed of pure darkness. To his horror he discovers these creatures also were contracted to eliminate Anargen and his friends as they sought to understand the Tower of Light’s oracle. To unravel the mystery of who wants him dead and how he fits into the ages old quest, Jason must travel the lengths of the Lowlands. In the Ziljafu deserts a secret awaits him that will shake him to his core. He’ll have to move fast and cling fiercely to hope, as Anargen’s story twists down a bleak path to almost certain failure.

The creatures of darkness in the Lowlands have long waited for men to spurn the High King’s laws. With few concerned for the light and everything falling apart around them, Jason and Anargen will face the shadows of night’s falling as their world hangs in the balance. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | IndieBound | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

My Review:

I'll start off by saying, if you haven't read book 1 and 2, I highly suggest doing that because coming in to the series at book 3, I was completely lost with the first part of the book. I did have the option of reading the first two, but just not enough time in the day to get to them before doing this review.

While it took me quite a few chapters to shake off my confusion as to what was going on, I finally got a feel for the story and the characters. This is a time-split novel, but an old era and a super old era. lol It had very LOTR vibes. In the super old era, three teens are on a quest with their leader. They rely on the High King (God) as their strength and guide through everything.

Then there's the old era where Jason and Aria are trying to stay alive. They seem to have a relationship that is a bit more than just friends. That develops more as we dive more into this story. I'm with Jason in trying to figure out just how old Aria is. Is she as ancient as her grandfather, Cinaed?

The darkness of the evil that tries to take out the Knights in the super old era and the more current one is relentless, just like our enemy in today's world. I really loved how the author continued time and time again to show the Light of the High King, that that's where all of their strength comes from. I also loved how the High King showed himself in the midst of their battles, occasionally surprising the characters.

In the super old era, I was trying to figure out the relationship with the teens. While they seemed like they were a team, they also seemed like they were at odds with each other. Seren was part of the reason, but it seemed like all 3 had different views on what their quest should look like and how much they should listen to Cinaed. They dynamics really drive this story!

One of the difficulties I had was keeping track of who a couple of the characters were. A couple of the names seemed interchangeable, in that I thought it was one person and then it seemed like another. There were some grammatical errors as well, which stuck out to me, but didn't hinder the reading of the story.

While I think this story would be great for young adults, I really enjoyed it. Now I just need to get my hands on the first two so this all makes more sense. I wasn't prepared for the ending so now I'm wanting book 4 immediately!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brett Armstrong

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.

CONNECT WITH BRETT: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will receive a $10 Amazon gift card, print copy of Shadows at Nightfall, and Quest of Fire digital exclusives (map, theme music, and digital making of the direnoir poster)!

Shadows at Nightfall JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 20, 2021 and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 27, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Under The Texas Mistletoe By Karen Witemeyer

Under the Texas Mistletoe
by Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764239311

If you're anything like me, when you have a favorite author show up with a new book, you immediately HAVE to have it. That's me with Karen Witemeyer. I received her book for review.

Summary:

Three Charming and Festive Holiday Novellas Spiced with Humor, Frontier Action, and Sweet Romance

In this 3-in-1 novella collection, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer presents the new story "A Texas Christmas Carol," in which a town's wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and by the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors. 

It also includes, for the first time in print, "An Archer Family Christmas." When the Archer clan gathers for the Christmas holiday, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie's life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle--and the entire Archer clan--to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.

In previously published "Gift of the Heart," a widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start. But with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near?

Sprinkled throughout the collection, you'll find a hope-filled Christmas devotion, Witemeyer holiday recipes, and fun facts about nineteenth-century Christmas celebrations!

My Review:

Ok, so I'm going to review the Under the Texas Mistletoe novellas one by one starting with the first one A Texas Christmas Carol. If you want a Christmas retelling that will have your heart grow by two sizes, this is the story to read! It was so fun to see the author take the characters from A Christmas  Carol and turn them into Texans. And then names she created for them were really fun like Evan Beazer. lol His closed off heart was put in place to protect himself, but when Felicity makes an appearance in his life and is relentless in softening his heart, he doesn't stand a chance at staying so frigid. I adored how the author used Felicity's gentle and positive spirit to lead him to Christ! You will also love the trio of misfits who show up out of nowhere and keep giving Evan advice. They crack me up!

And if you're an Archer loving fanatic, you DO NOT want to miss out on An Archer Family Christmas. I loved revisiting one of my all-time favorite families! This story was a bit heavier than the first one because it focuses on how hard Christmas Eve is for Jim and Cassandra. With the entire Archer clan getting together there was a lot of excitement and an activity that brought Cassandra face to face with trouble. Through the author's writing it's so easy to feel how close the Archer clan is. I loved that Moses, Myra, and Josiah make an appearance. They're some of my favorite side characters. I wasn't sure what the twist was going to be in this story, but it sure was a surprise! My heart was so full at the end of the story!

I'll be honest with you here, I struggle with romantic novellas because often times the storyline is rushed and it just doesn't feel "true". BUT Gift of the Heart gave me ALLLL of the feels and warmed me all the way to my toes. I love characters who have something they see as an obstacle in their lives, but the author uses the other main character to show them that it's not quite as bad as it seems. I know Bo is supposed to be a rather "hard" character, but I kind of liked him from the start. lol As for Ruth and Naomi they give the reader a huge desire to protect them and make sure things go well for them. And yes, if those names sound familiar, head to the book of Ruth in the Bible! You will have heart eyes even more when you read this novella! I have to admit, I got goosebumps at one point in the story!

The Extras in the story are a devotional at the end of the first novella and an explanation of early 19th century and a couple of recipes!

About the Author:

Voted #1 Reader's Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer(www.karenwitemeyer.com) offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Lines Between Us By Amy Lynn Green

The Lines Between Us
by Amy Lynn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764237171

After reading Amy Lynn Green's debut novel Things We Didn't Say, I absolutely HAD to get my hands on her second book. Trust me when I tell you, you do NOT want to miss this story! Bethany House sent me the book for review.

Summary:

A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women's Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families' and country's chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they're called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don't add up.  

A member of the Women's Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother's pacifism, but she's shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it's wrong to lie; she's willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.

My Review:

What an exceptional story! The prologue of The Lines Between Us plunged me into the story and soaked into my soul.

Having never considered conscientious objectors and what their "options" were in times of war, this story fascinated me. It's easy to understand how strongly people felt about those who they considered dodging their duty to the country in WWII. I appreciate how the author gives us a deeper look into what it might look like from the outside looking into the life of a conscientious objector - how they thought and felt about violence and war.

Gordon and Dorie had such deep convictions on war, and both of their perspectives will cause the reader to reflect on their own beliefs. I wasn't expecting the anger that goes along with personal beliefs, but it comes through loud and clear throughout the story. It's only natural so it was easy to understand both sides.

Can I just say that there was so much unexpected moments in the story. I think the reason why I loved the story so much is that it's not cookie-cutter. Almost right away, after Jack's accident, I started to come up with all kinds of ideas of what might have happened. How the author unfolds everything was so surprising. Just before halfway though the story, I had to hold myself back from turning to the end to find out all of the answers! The depth of the mystery was so unexpected, but I refrained from peeking.

It seemed like Dorie and Gordon came to know themselves so much better after Jack's accident. I loved seeing their growth and questioning their "heels dug in" beliefs. Is there a middle ground to their beliefs? Can they both be right and wrong about their positions? Those questions are fleshed out in the story!


About the Author:

Amy Lynn Green (www.amygreenbooks.com) is a publicist by day and a novelist on nights and weekends. History has always been one of her passions, and she loves speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn't Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and received a starred review from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her husband make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The One Who Knows Me By Joan Embola

The One Who Knows Me
by Joan Embola
Publisher: Love Qualified Press
Series: Sovereign Love
ASIN: B09BG6SN7Z                
 
I was looking forward to reading Joan Embola's book after she reached out to me on Instagram. While I'm thankful to add more diversity to the books I read, the storyline is why I wanted to read it. She sent me the ebook for review.

Summary:

IS GOD SOVEREIGN OVER TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY?

Bullies and family disasters have left eighteen-year-old Teeyana Sparks filled with anxiety and doubt. She feels pressured to believe in God, but as she embarks on her college journey in the hope of one day working at Google as a graphic designer, the only thing she believes in is controlling her own life. Things change when she meets Jayden Williams—the guy with a charming smile and kind heart.

Struggling with grief and recovering from a season of depression, nineteen-year-old Jayden is determined to help Teeyana believe in God’s goodness again. But when yet another tragedy strikes close to home, Teeyana’s response exposes Jayden’s unhealed wounds and tips him into a mental health relapse.

With the looming possibility of not getting her dream life, Teeyana is caught between holding on to her illusion of control and surrendering to a God she’s rejected. And as Jayden strives to break out of his despondency, he has to face that letting God in may involve him letting go of his friendship with Teeyana. Teeyana and Jayden must wrestle with uncomfortable truths, and the pride in their hearts, in order to face their biggest giant—God’s sovereignty over both triumph and tragedy.

My Review:

Is it wrong to start off a review by saying we need more books like this in the world? The One Who Knows Me is so incredible not only for young adults, but for all ages. The author covers SO much in this one book. I think this was also timely having just sent my youngest off to college!

The amount of the Gospel that is shared is excellent! You know I love a good Gospel message, and if it's geared towards college age adults, even better. I appreciate that the author doesn't tiptoe around the difficult things young people deal with in life. Teeyana's struggle with her faith was so true to life. Having a roommate who you don't click with, for sure true to life. I appreciate how the author is part of normalizing seeking help when dealing with depression. She also covers the topic of suicide. See, she hits a lot of hard topics.

I loved how raw and real Teeyana and Jayden were. Their family lives are portrayed like any other in our modern day & age. Life happens and sometimes it brings about a crisis of faith. The secondary characters are proof of how necessary it is to be pouring Truth into our young adults and encouraging their faith walks.

The One Who Knows Me is a story that I think will encourage those who aren't sure about their faith or who are struggling through a time where they're far from the Lord. Time and time again the author shows us through her characters of where our hope lies. 

About the Author:

Joan Embola is a UK-based Cameroonian-Nigerian Christian author who aims to share God's love one word at a time. She writes books about diverse characters whose hope-filled stories point to the sovereign love and goodness of God in our broken world. She is a qualified Physician Associate and also the founder of Love Qualified, a ministry dedicated to encouraging others to experience the sovereign love of the one true God who has qualified us to be His beloved ones. She is a passionate lover and teacher of God’s word, and she shares this passion on her YouTube channel, blog, and podcast. When she’s not writing or curled up with a book, you’ll find her watching movies, YouTube videos, or making memories with her family and friends. 

You can connect with her at www.joanembola.co.uk and on instagram, YouTube, her blog, and her podcast. Join her newsletter to stay up to date with new releases and more book news.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Finding Love in Mountain View On Hallmark Movies & Mysteries + GIVEAWAY

I remember reading Mirallee Ferrell's book, Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon way back in the day and loving it! When I found out I would have the opportunity to watch the Hallmark adaptation of it, I was really excited. Finding Love In Mountain View is the result of all of that.


I can't wait until we live back in Minnesota because when movies like this come out my daughter and I will be doing a movie night! Of course, when my granddaughter is old enough, we'll include her as well.

So, let's talk about the movie!

These are two new actors for me. They were super cute together and had wonderful chemistry. Margaret has a lot to deal with when she finds out she's the new guardian of her cousin's kids. Going back to Mountain View has her immediately face to face with Andrew, who is hanging out with kids, Sammi and Joel. Andrew, of course, is her blast from the past. Oh, and her Aunt Bertha, she was easy to dislike! The actress made her easy to not like.

I liked the kids a lot! The actors did a great job. You could see their struggle of losing both of their parents and the adjustment they were trying to make. Then adjusting to their cousin Margaret showing up, who is supposed to be best friends with their mom, but they have no idea who she is.

Through it all, it was sweet watching Andrew and Margaret get to know each other again. You know there's going to be an issue, right? That issue comes in the form of Nathan, Margaret's boyfriend. Oh my word, he's so clueless as to Margaret's heart and mind. He was easy to be annoyed at as well. hahaha


To celebrate the premiere of FINDING LOVE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, premiering Sunday Sept 19th at 6pm PT/9pm ET, we are giving away a copy of the book the film was based on signed by the lead actors!  Enter to win one of 3 copies here:

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/finding-love-in-bridal-veil-oregon-book-giveaway.html


Thursday, September 16, 2021

White Wolf And The Ash Princess By Tammy Lash

White Wolf and the Ash Princess
by Tammy Lash
Publisher: White Wolf Publishing
Series: The White Wolf
ISBN: 978-1940155661

I'm on the tour for this book via JustRead Publicity Tours. I wasn't asked to do a book review on my blog for it, but I enjoyed it so much I didn't want anyone to miss out. They sent me the book for review.

Summary:

The princess was the guardian of the light of the black wolf and the grey. White boar greatly desired her light, though the boars had possession of their own. When the princess refused to give up the light, both were given to the fire to do with them as it wished.

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she suffered a terrible trauma that left her with physical scars. Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s young stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall into a world that promises possible answers but also great danger.

Gifted with claws of copper and teeth of iron, the black wolf and the grey call him “White Wolf”; for he is the greatest of them with the power of flame and ash.

While running to escape his past, Jonathan Gudwyne rescued Izzy and took her in, but who did she belong to before he became her guardian?

With the touch of the wolf’s great paw, the girl rose out of the ashes a woman—a mighty warrior armed with a copper axe.

A mysterious cellar filled with secrets sets Izzy on a path to the New World where the Wendigo wanders and Water Panther swims. In the wilds of seventeenth-century America, Izzy and Jonathan discover the legends of the New World aren’t the fairytales of their library home in England.

My Review:

To say White Wolf and the Ash Princess surprised me would be an understatement. I actually thought the book was going to be an entirely different genre than what it actually was. The cover and the back blurb gave me the idea that it was going to be fantasy, not historical fiction. I'm not going to give anything away other than to say, it's historical fiction.

Ok, that being said, what a fascinating story. It was so different than the typical historical fiction I read. I think what sets it apart is how the author writes. She brings the characters and setting to life in the lilt of the story. It's almost a storytelling, if that makes sense. There was a sense of authenticity in how the author wrote the thoughts and conversations of the characters.

It was so interesting getting to know the main characters of Izzy and Jonathan. You could feel Izzy's wariness to everything outside of the home she's living in. In Jonathan you learn immediately that he's a protector. While he wants to stretch Izzy outside of her fears, he's incredibly aware of them and will only push "so far".

When the story begins to unfold, a light bulb goes off an all of the puzzle pieces fall into place! Things begin to make sense and for me, I worried about what was to come! I think the author writes the main characters in such a way that your heart is immediately pulled in to the story & the lives of the characters. There are highs and lows... and the lows brought tears to my eyes. Seriously, I ended up loving each of the characters so much, I was completely invested.

This author is new to me, and I'm ready to move on to book 2 immediately, Letters of the Dragon's Son, which is already out. I honestly think you'll be fascinating with this story!

About the Author:

Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy's home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, "hunting" for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children's ministry for over twenty years.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Hostile Intent By Lynette Eason

Hostile Intent
by Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Series: Danger Never Sleeps
ISBN: 9780800729370

I always love a good military/agency suspense novel so when I saw book 4 in the Danger Never Sleeps series come up for review, I jumped at the chance! I thoroughly enjoy Lynette's writing so I couldn't pass it up. I was sent the book by Revell.

Summary:

Secrets are about to be revealed . . . but will the guilty be brought to justice?

Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother's illness has forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there's no way she's going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker.

Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can't discover what it is, Ava may be next on the hit list.

My Review:

Oh. My. Word! Do NOT miss out on Hostile Intent! This may be one of my favorite Lynette Eason stories!

I know that many suspense stories have an occasional lull in the story or parts where things aren't as exciting. That can NOT be said about this book. Readers will either be on pins and needles with the suspense or enraptured with the attraction between Caden and Ava.

Ava is such a fantastic character. She's one tough cookie, but she's also vulnerable to those she's close to. I liked that she was no nonsense, but not in a cold way. Ava knew what needed to be done and she did it. I also loved how her mind worked. She's the down to earth (Caden would laugh) kind of gal who will kick butt and take names.

And seriously, I just loved Caden. He wasn't pretentious or high and mighty with his job. With all of the killings happening he could've asked Ava some questions and then put her on the back burner, but he saw her aptitude and brilliance as they go through the story. He wasn't too macho for her and appreciated what she had to offer to the case.

I really can't say enough about the two of them as characters and how great they work together, but even more so in their personal lives. It was just so sweet I wanted to squeeze them both. While their relationship was growing and changing throughout the story, it's a subtle part of the story.

Now, for the suspense! Holy cow, it had me on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time! How the author wove everything together was amazing! I was surprised that I was able to keep everything connected together because it was a tangled web of spies, families being murdered, and the past. And oh my gosh, it was a nail biter. The killer... terrifying! There was a twist that gave me the shocked emoji face!

I need more of Caden and Ava in my life! That's the kind of story I love... when I want more even though I know it'll never happen. lol

*I received this book for review. This is my personal opinion.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hangin' By A Moment By Susan May Warren & Andrea Christenson

Hangin' by a Moment
by Susan May Warren & Andrea Christenson
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Series: Deep Haven Collection
ISBN: 978-1953783103

I have loved this whole series and the fact that I get to review each of the books has me in heaven! Yes, one day I'll have the paperbacks on my shelves, but until then, I'm enjoying the ebooks I'm sent!

Summary:

He just wants to erase his past.

The day Jack—formerly Winston Stewart—walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. After all, it wasn’t like he’d committed a murder. Just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—his friend and the one guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can Jack refuse?

She can’t seem to escape hers.

Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough. After all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?

But facing the past might put their future together in jeopardy.

When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending…
But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.

Cozy up to this perfect Deep Haven drama about discovering a season of second chances.

My Review:

Visiting Deep Haven is like seeing friends and family each time I start a new book! I love that most everyone I've come to love shows up in some way with each consecutive book! I mean, I need to catch up with everyone, dontcha know?

This time we're meeting Colleen and Jack. Colleen works at HCMC which is notorious for being a hospital in Minneapolis where crazy stuff happens. So, things you read in books can be true to life! An incident at work has her heading home to Deep Haven for some respite. You can sense from the first page how much she needs this even though she's not thrilled with the idea.

Someone else who isn't thrilled is Jack. Boone shows up to bring him to Deep Haven to take time to acclimate to being out of jail. He also wants to bring him onto the new CRT, which he wants no part of. While we don't know why he was in jail, you can sense he just wants to lie low and not connect with anyone if he can avoid it.

Well, we all know better don't we?! Colleen shows her chops throughout the story. I love how she's willing to try new things and put herself out on a limb. She seems to take life by the horns even when she's unsure. Jack gets thrown into the mix of her life and tries to hold back as much as himself as he can while helping her succeed. You can sense his inner turmoil throughout the story. And man, if someone knows how to carry a load of guilt and shame, it's Jack. Even when it's not warranted.

I really liked the high intensity of the training and situations Jack and Colleen go through. And I'm on their side when they say they need a different helicopter pilot! lol Bill stresses me out! Anyhow, they go through a LOT together and I love how they encourage and support each other for pretty much the entire story.

Anyone else ready to move to the fictional town of Deep Haven because I'm game!


About the Authors:

With over 1 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over seventy-five novels with Revell, Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas. 

Andrea Christenson lives in the Minneapolis suburbs with her husband and two daughters. When she is not busy homeschooling her girls, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on, bake bread, eat cheese, and watch Netflix--though not usually all at the same time. Andrea's prayer is to write stories revealing God's love.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery By Amanda Cox

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery
by Amanda Cox
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800737412

After reading Amanda Cox's debut novel last year, I knew that I was going to want to read every single one of her books in the future. To find out I was going to be able to read an ARC of her second book, I was thrilled! She sent me her book for review.

Summary:

Present Day. Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home, determined to finally follow her dream of running the family business alongside her mother and grandmother. So when her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that Old Depot Grocery is closing, Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a plan to save the store. But Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve her family's reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-time story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

My Review:

Once again another wonderful story from this author! I loved getting to know Glory Ann, Rosemary, and Sarah in The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery!

Mother-daughter relationships can be incredibly difficult, especially if there are secrets involved. This story has 3 women with 3 different secrets and a whole lot of hurt. In a sense, it reminded me of generational sin and that there is a power to break it.

I could easily see myself like Rosemary in the sense that I parented like her to a degree. I didn't want my kids to make the same mistakes I did as a young person. That, of course, doesn't always come with the desired effect. As with all three ladies, it can come with a significant amount of relationship damage.

It was fascinating going back to the 60s, knowing the time period, and seeing the domino effect of a single choice that's made. Trying to put ourselves in others shoes isn't always the easiest thing to do. As we watch life unfold from this choice, it was incredible to see how God used it for His good.

I wish we had more stories like this out in the wild. Reading about women working through their hurts, making a decision to break cycles is such a powerful thing! Seeing how God can restore relationships gives a lot of hope as in the case of these incredible, strong women.

About the Author:

Amanda Cox is the author of The Edge of Belonging. A blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, she holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling, but her first love is communicating through story. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children. Learn more at AmandaCoxWrites.com.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Undercurrent Of Secrets By Rachel McDaniel

Undercurrent of Secrets
by Rachel Scott McDaniel
Publisher: Barbour Fiction
ISBN: 978-1643529943

I am so thankful to have been on Rachel's launch team. I was able to read the ebook for review. She's become one of my favorite authors in the past year! This is a do not miss story!

Summary:

Two women, a century apart, are bound by a haunting secret aboard a legendary steamboat.

As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s.
 
A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from the entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.

My Review:

Oh. My. Goodness! Undercurrent of Secrets was such an exceptional story!!

First of all, I loved the present and the past in equal measure. There were cliffhangers at the end of chapters that had me considering skipping chapters so I could finish one era or at least the "moment" they were in. I didn't! That would've totally ruined it, of course.

We initially meet Devyn and I loved her from the moment just before she meets Chase Jones. They have some seriously fun banter and dialogue throughout the entire story. I was drawn in by the photo he brings her, which sets them on a mystery hunt for my next favorite character! She's also been hurt and it's clear she has no desire to help Chase out for any reason, but his offer to her for her help is one she just can't ignore. And Chase, with his secret that Devyn can't figure out. Seriously, you just feel for the guy from the start!

Oh, Hattie! Here we head back to 1926. If only I had the same kind of gumption as she did. It was a kick in the pants as we meet her and Jack. If you're ready for your heart to grow for a couple, be prepared with these two! They're both strong and fiery. I could NOT for the life of me figure Jack out, just like Hattie. Like her, it was kind of making me crazy. lol And her "adopted" father, Duffy just warmed my heart.

I absolutely adored the Belle/Idlewild. She became one of the characters of the story and I actually teared up at one spot towards the end. I know, sounds goofy, but wait until you read it and then you'll understand!

There were some twists that were completely unexpected and that really excited me and as I kept reading, to watch it all unfold was heart-filling! Of course with any good mystery (two for the price of one with this story) there are terrible people who you just want to shove into the river as the Belle/Idlewild is moving right along.

I obviously can't say a lot about the storyline or the plot twists because they are at the heart of the story! Let me just say you will be completely satisfied at the end of the book!

About the Author:

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Lost And Found Faith By Laurel Blount + GIVEAWAY

Lost and Found Faith JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the ebook for review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lost and Found Faith
Title: Lost and Found Faith
Author: Laurel Blount
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance 

A terrible tragedy nearly broke him. Can love put him back together again? 

Widowed history teacher Neil Hamilton has lost his way—at work, with people and even with his faith. But Neil's shut-down existence is disrupted when a small toddler and his would-be foster mother, vibrantly pretty Maggie Byrne, come crashing into Neil's yard and his life. Can this absentminded teacher find himself again…and take a chance on love, too? 

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

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laurel Blount

Award-winning author Laurel Blount writes inspirational romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart! She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals.

A enthusiastic multi-tasker, Laurel writes for both Berkley/Penguin Random House and Love Inspired/Harlequin. She’s the recipient of ACFW’s Carol Award, The New England Reader’s Choice Award and GRW’s Maggie Award. She’s represented by Jessica Alvarez of Bookends Literary Agency. 

Lost and Found Faith is Laurel’s sixth book—and five more stories are in the works! Stay tuned!

CONNECT WITH LAUREL:
Website | FacebookInstagram

My Review:

This was the first story I've read by this author and it was a nice introduction.

Ok, this is going to be a strange place to start off with a review, but the toddler who steals the show was actually believable. Sometimes authors don't give 2 year olds the right vocabulary or behaviors, but this author did a great job. It's a pet peeve of mine when authors don't get this. :)

So, speaking of the toddler, Oliver helps introduce us to Neil and Maggie after wandering off from her house. I loved, loved, loved her foster mom, Ruby. She's a fabulous example of loving without conditions and that clearly had an impact on Maggie's life as she was growing up. She and the rest of the foster siblings certainly benefited being under Ruby's care.

I really appreciate how the author handled teaching readers about foster children and issues they deal with. She did it well through Maggie and Oliver.

Also, the faith element that especially was woven through Neil's storyline. He's had incredible heartache, but throughout the story you can sense God knocking at his heart. He does this especially through Maggie and Oliver.

This is a very sweet story with a strong faith element!


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive an embroidered dishtowel with Maggie’s favorite saying “The kitchen is the heart of the home” and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Lost and Found Faith JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 23, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 30, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 
Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.