Monday, November 29, 2021

Have Yourself A Christiansen Christmas By Susan May Warren

Have Yourself A Christiansen Christmas
by Susan May Warren
Publisher: SDG Publisher 
ISBN: 978-1943935543

I have wanted to get to know the Christiansen's better and this book was the impetus for that to happen. I binged the entire series so that when I received this book I'd be ready. I tell ya, that's the way to do it. If you haven't read The Christiansen Family Collection, go get it read now!! If you've read the series, you are going to want to read this story! It brings the whole family together. I was sent the ebook for review.

Summary:

Please…come home for Christmas…

It's Christmas in the winter wonderland town of Deep Haven, and the Christiansen kids are all heading home for the holidays. But no one feels very merry.
  • Grace is worried about her husband's life-changing illness…
  • Eden is facing devastating news…
  • Casper is in over his head (of course!)…
  • Amelia is dodging a walk down the aisle…
  • Owen…well, Owen just nearly died, again…
  • But it's Darek who has news that just might destroy the family legacy.
The trip home for all is filled with secrets, memories and old dreams. But when they discover the real reason they've been asked home for the holidays, it will shake their world. It'll take a disaster for them to discover that home is the place for answers, hope and most of all…miracles.

This year, spend Christmas with your favorite small town family.

My Review: 

If you loved all of the Christiansen stories, this book is one you don't want to miss! It was a homecoming on a grand scale, and who can beat doing it at Christmas? Getting to catch up with all of these characters was wonderful.

Now, I will start off by saying I cried several times throughout the story. Yes, I cried. I didn't realize how much I loved these characters until the emotions came pouring out of me. Listen, once you get to know this family and the extended family, you can't help but be invested with your emotions.

The author smoothly covers all of the family and includes them seamlessly throughout the story. Each transition happens in a way that doesn't seem contrived or forced. And let me tell you, with SO many families involved it has to be tricky.

There were definitely some surprises, which I obviously can't reveal here. I loved that characters from Global Search and Rescue showed up again. When you have an author like Susan May Warren who can bring in some of our other favorite characters, you can't go wrong!

I'm not ready to be done with the Christiansen family. They are absolutely beloved by us readers. And yes, they do truly encapsulate life and family in Minnesota. If you're wondering what it's like, this is a perfect look. I feel like I could be an honorary Christiansen. Just like someone else who shows up in the book!

I adored the faith thread included in the story. The way the author used Mary & Joseph's story to impact each of the couples and them as individuals was incredibly powerful!

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

About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Heart Of Stone By David James Warren

Heart of Stone
by David James Warren
Publisher: Tristone Media
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone
ISBN: 978-1954023109

It was exciting and nerve wracking having come to the last book in The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone series. This has been such an epic series, I had no idea what the ending would look like. They did NOT disappoint! I was sent the ebook for review!

Summary:

Rembrandt Stone has nothing left to lose…or does he?

Detective Rembrandt Stone doesn’t recognize himself in the mirror. Doesn’t recognize the world he’s returned to. Doesn’t even know his own name. But he knows one thing…living in this world is impossible.

Good thing he has an ally—an unexpected friend from the past. And together, they just might be able to unravel the entire mess. But first…Rembrandt will have to return to the past one final time and intercept himself before he makes a lethal mistake.

Time has outwitted him. It’s time for him to outwit time. Can he reconstruct a past he just destroyed or is there nothing left of his world to save?

The explosive ending to the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone!

My Review:

I want to give a warning at the beginning of my review. You are going to need time to recover after you finish this story. Consider yourself warned!

I was SO ready for this story, but I was was NOT ready for this series to be done. This past year tagging along with Rembrandt and all of the other characters has been quite the ride! My heart rate was always high as I dove into each new story. Same went for this one!

I'm still trying to grasp everything in this last story! You wonder how authors will bring so many threads together of a story, and they did it seamlessly. All of the dots connected and came together in a last ditch effort for Rem to find a time he could live in.

Much to say that I can't. The twists and turns keep you turning the page, heart rate raising as you go. But the need to know is so great, you have no choice but to take it all in! Once again, one of my FAVORITE parts of the story is when Rem talks to us like we're right there with him because, hello, we are! Right. There!

I also love how Rem's faith evolved, especially through this story. You could see through each story that Rem is being pulled in so many directions, but Hope is what seems to elude him. I appreciate how the authors incorporated God revealing himself to Rem through so many situations and people!

You guys, do NOT miss this story... this series! It's incredible and will always be one of my all time favorites!!

About the Authors:

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He's the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they'll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He's dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at www.jameslrubart.com

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves travelling and telling stories about life, adventure and faith. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he's never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He's grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Every Word Unsaid By Kimberly Duffy

Every Word Unsaid
by Kimberly Duffy
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764235658

When Kimberly reached out to me asking me to review her book, I didn't even ask what the book was about. I've read her first two books and loved them so much, I immediately said, "yes." She sent me her book for review!

Summary:

Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family's constant disappointment. As the nation's most fearless--and reviled--columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape. 

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel's sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she's long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her. 

My Review:

Kimberly Duffy has a gift of transporting your heart and mind to India! Her characters in Every Word Unsaid immediately work their way into your heart and only grow fonder as you turn the page. The story is as rich and deep in the telling as is the India the author describes.

We meet Gussie as she's on an adventure, which is NOT approved by her family. Nothing she does is looked favorably upon by them, and that is the crux of Gussie's running. Never accepted. Never meeting expectations. How can anyone bear up under that? India is where she ends up after her identity is revealed, and it appeals to her adventurous nature. It's also where her dearest friends, Specs and Catherine, live.

We're also introduced to her Uncle James early in the story, and honestly, I come to love him right away. He's always just one step behind her as he chases her everywhere she goes. As opposed to her immediate family, he sees the gem she is and speaks love & truth into her life. I adored him and his love of Gussie.

As Gussie lands in Poona, India, through the author you can imagine what she is seeing and experiencing. This is where we meet the most wonderful characters who are living in the midst of the plague! Catherine's sisterly love for Gussie is exactly what she needs. Specs, let's just say, he's changed since they were all separated as children. I was enthralled with how Specs, Gabriel, saw Gussie. Of course, nothing is as simple as just realizing how you see someone, especially if you've spent your life running, trying to find yourself, and searching for adventure.

The people who come into her life to help Gussie realize how God truly sees her. That her worth isn't limited to the hurtful things spoken to her. The things meant to bring her in line with expectations - which are completely unrealistic for her. Honestly, Gussie's hurt spoke deeply to me, and I was able to understand her in ways others may not.

I am so thankful for authors such as Kimberly Duffy who pour themselves into a story like this and touch the reader so deeply. She uses her characters to speak Truth to the readers, for which I'm incredibly grateful!

About the Author:

Kimberly Duffy (www.kimberlyduffy.com) is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

You And Me By Becky Wade

You and Me
by Becky Wade
Publisher: Independent
Series: A Misty River Romance
ISBN: 979-8759835783

I have loved this series and when Becky reached out to me, asking me to review this novella, I was very honored. She is easily one of my favorite Christian romance authors. Becky sent me her novella to review!

Summary:

Easy-going, artistic Connor Bryant fell hard for his friend Shay Seaver when they were both in the seventh grade. Sixteen years later, he's returned to Misty River. She's finally between boyfriends. And his crush on her hasn't wavered. Now's his chance.

He tells Shay that he's found someone he wants to date and is in need of a makeover when it comes to his appearance and dating strategies. He asks if she'll serve as his consultant -- in hopes that he'll learn how he can become her ideal man. What he doesn't tell her? That she's the one he wants to date.

Sporty stationery shop owner Shay immediately agrees to Connor's request because he's one of the best guys she knows. However, she quickly realizes she's in over her head. She's pledged to help him win the affection of another woman -- even though she dearly wants to claim his heart.

It's Christmas in the mountain town of Misty River! This sweet contemporary romance novella, penned by Christy-winning author Becky Wade, can be read alone or paired with the other books in the series.

My Review: 

Want a book that gives you ALLLLL the feels. Here you go! Oh my gosh, You and Me hit all of the marks! I think it takes an incredibly talented author to make a novella feel like a full length novel. The story wasn't rushed and it felt perfectly right!

First we meet Connor and in that initial meeting you get to understand the depth of his heart for Shay. Then there's Shay, who has been rather oblivious to Connor aside from a somewhat friend in art class. Connor's idea to of how to let Shay know he cares for her could either go really well or blow up in his face.

Let me just say, the author wrote these characters in such a way that I fell in love with them. They were so incredibly wonderful and any reader will want to root for them. I had no idea that Connor was going to become one of my favorite leading men. I mean, with the work Shay does with him and seeing him through her eyes, it would've been impossible to ignore. The amount of romantic moments were exceptional and nothing forced, but incredibly natural.

The Christmas season just makes it completely "magical". The nativity section of the story was a beautiful way to share the gospel in the story and I could feel the emotions Shay was having as we played Mary and Joseph years and years ago. It's an emotional experience and I felt it through Shay.

I can't say enough about this amazing novella!! Give me more of the Misty River citizens!

About the Author:

Becky is the Carol and Christy award winning author of swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances. 

She loves to connect with readers via her web site at www.beckywade.com, via her Facebook author page at www.Facebook.com/AuthorBeckyWade, or via Instagram at www.Instagram/BeckyWadeWriter 

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since!

Becky lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children. You'll find her power-walking her neighborhood while dictating scenes, reading, chatting with friends on Voxer, planning her next trip, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniels on her lap, or rummaging in her pantry for chocolate.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Hidden Danger By Jerusha Agen + GIVEAWAY

 

Hidden Danger JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Hidden Danger by Jerusha Agen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the ebook for review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hidden Danger
Title: Hidden Danger 
Series: Guardians Unleashed #1 
Author: Jerusha Agen 
Publisher: SDG Words 
Release Date: November 8, 2021 
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense 

The greatest threat to this K-9 team is the one they don't see coming. 

Cora Isaksson’s guilt has shadowed her life ever since drugs ensnared her brother and he disappeared. When Bradley suddenly returns, Cora and her narcotics detection K-9 are thrust into a battle against the drug cartel that wants him back. 

DEA Special Agent Kent Thomson has his own personal reasons for bringing justice to the cartel. Cora and her drug-sniffing K-9 will only get in his way. Or are they assets that will enable him to right the wrongs of the past? 

When the cartel targets Cora, she and Kent join forces with her teammates at the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency to end the cartel before it ends her. They’re prepared for danger, but when more lives than their own hang in the balance, can they trust God for the rescue that’s out of their reach? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianbookBookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE

It's always fun starting a new series, getting to know the characters, and in this instance, the dogs of PK-9! Having never read a series with dogs as large part of the story, I was excited to see the role they played.

Getting to know Cora and Jana was fascinating. It was easy to look at Cora the same way Kent looked at her. She comes from a wealthy family, but has chosen a form of law enforcement as a career. And while it's true she isn't the toughest gal on the PK-9 team, she has a heart for what she does and it comes through loud and clear throughout the story.

Then there's Kent who works for the DEA. Their paths cross at the start of the story and it's a rolling snowball from there. If anything bad can happen to or around Cora, it seems to happen in this story, and thankfully Kent or the ladies from the PK-9 team are there to help her and protect her.

One of the most well done pieces of this story, aside from the non-stop suspense is the faith and gospel message. There is nothing hidden about God's plan of salvation and redemption. Through Cora, the author presents it in a way that will impact any reader!

I'm looking forward to getting to know the rest of the team, especially Phoenix. I have no doubt her story will be intriguing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerusha Agen 

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media. Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

CONNECT WITH JERUSHA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a prize package including a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, one signed copy of Hidden Danger, a Hidden Danger mug, Hidden Danger keychain, Phoenix K-9 Agency notepad, and Phoenix K-9 stickers!

Hidden Danger 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 November 16, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 23, 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.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Lost In Darkness By Michelle Griep + GIVEAWAY

Lost in Darkness JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the book for this book tour participation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lost In Darkness
Title: Lost in Darkness
Series: Of Monsters and Men
Author: Michelle Griep
Publisher: Barbour Books
Release Date: November 1, 2021
Genre: Christian Gothic Romance / Historical Suspense

Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
 

Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein   

Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way. 

Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And guess what? She loves to hear from readers! Feel free to drop her a note at michellegriep@gmail.com.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Lost in Darkness and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Lost In Darkness 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 November 10, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 17, 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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Right Here Waiting By Michelle Sass Aleckson & Susan May Warren

Right Here Waiting
by Michelle Sass Aleckson & Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Series: Deep Haven Collection
ISBN: 978-1953783127

This has been such a wonderful ride through Deep Haven! This collection of 6 books has been an amazing read this past year! I was sent the ebook from the publisher for my review. If you haven't started reading this series yet, do NOT miss it!

Summary:

Can she belong in his world?

Sled dog musher and vlogger Nick Dahlquist has simple goals-teach outdoor survival, run the Iditarod...and chat with online friend, LadyJHawk. Sure, he's starting to like her more than he wants to admit, but has no capacity for an in-real-life relationship.

Chopper pilot Jae Washington has been an avid follower of Nick's DogQuest vlog since inheriting a military working dog. Now, his online friendship has made her wonder if he could be more than a friend. 

Getting a job on Deep Haven's Crisis Response Team seems the perfect next step-so long as he doesn't think she's stalking him.

Nick is pretty sure petite Jae won't last a moment in the brutal cold-a fear he shares with LadyJHawk. Meanwhile, Jae decides to keep her avatar a secret until she can prove to Nick she's not a stalker. But as he trains her-and the chill between them begins to thaw-what if he discovers the truth she's hiding?

When a blizzard strikes, and the CRT is deployed, more than just their relationship is at risk...

Cozy up to this delightful twist on You've Got Mail set in the snowy escape of Deep Haven.


My Review:

I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to get enough visiting Deep Haven and all of the old & new characters who show up on the scene. What I need is for the creator of Deep Haven to create a family tree that includes not only the family, but ex girlfriends & boyfriends as well as friends and other large families like the Dahlquists.

In Vivian's story we all could tell how much Nick liked her, but she just wasn't that into him. Now he got his own story. If you like a story where characters feel like they have to constantly prove themselves to others, but end up seeing they never needed to, then this would be a great story for you.

Nick feels like the town joke, and it's easy to see why. He didn't go into the family business and how many people dream of sled dog racing? Then there's Jae. She's new to town, has a mixed heritage, and is pretty much on the petite size. She's definitely out to prove herself. A history with her extended family has shown that this needs to be done. One would think these two are on a collision course!

I enjoyed the flow of the story and how all of the pieces came together. While it stuck to the CRT crew, because Jae is their new chopper pilot, I loved how Nick's dog sledding was woven in. It doesn't seem like it would make sense, but it fit perfectly from beginning to end. 

I always say that if you want a sense of what it's like to live in MN, you need to read the books in the Deep Haven Collection. The authors all grasp it fully! I'll be adding a quote so you'll see what I mean. Be sure to check that out!


About the Authors:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com. Want more of Deep Haven? Book 2: Can't Buy Me Love (March, 2021) Book 3: Crazy for You (May, 2021) Book 4: Coming Soon Book 5: Coming Soon Book 6: Coming Soon

Michelle Sass Aleckson lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80's music on a Saturday night and getting lost in good stories-especially stories that shine grace. And if you're wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit Michelle at www.michellealeckson.com.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Believing The Hero By Tara Grace Erickson

Believing the Hero
by Tara Grace Erickson
Publisher: Silver Fountain Press
Series: Heroes of Freedom Ridge
ISBN: 978-1949896237

Well, if I've started a series ever WAY out of order, this one would take the cake. hahahaha Tara Grace Erickson sent me the ebook of her newest release. This series has multiple authors and her book is book 9 in the series. It CAN be read on it's own, but I think there might be some fun in reading the first ones as well to get to know the side characters.

Summary:

She’s been alone for years. Can this secret agent convince her to love again?

Jan Clark lost her firefighter husband ten years ago. She fills her days running Stories and Scones and doting on her first grandchild. Finding someone new feels like betraying the husband she loved for decades, and the thought of tragically losing someone again is terrifying. But Pete O’Rourke is handsome, charming, and makes her feel young again—and what could be safer than an insurance agent?

Pete moved back to Freedom, Colorado after 25 years as a CIA operative, not that anyone around here thinks he did anything but sit at a desk. Now, he is content with his quiet life as an insurance agent and real estate investor. When he finally convinces the lovely widow, Jan, to give a relationship a shot, everything seems to be falling into place. Until an unexpected visitor from his past arrives in Freedom and threatens to ruin the holiday.

Now, Pete is pulled back into the dangerous secrets of his past. He’ll do anything to protect his town and the woman he loves, but the high stakes could be too much for their fledgling relationship to handle.

Return to Freedom, Colorado and enjoy the faith, friendships, and forever-afters of the Heroes of Freedom Ridge in this Christian Christmas Romance.

Believing the Hero is book 9 in the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series, but each of the books can be read on its own.


My Review:

Clearly Believing the Hero was a good read for me if I finished it in one day! Now, since this is book 9 in the series and I haven't read the rest, I was glad to see that it could be read as a stand alone novel. Clearly there were characters who have a history in the little town of Freedom, CO, and reading this story only makes me want to go back and read all of the others even more.

I have to say, it was a) nice to see an older man on a cover and b) to have a story for an older generation. I mean, 50 is the new 30, right? Makes sense that more authors would be writing in this age range. And I'm here for it!

This story felt every bit as romancy as a story with characters in their 20s and 30s, just with more of a history in life. It was nice that Jan and Pete were settled down in their lives in the little town they grew up in. Pete's life, not nearly as settled as Jan's, but settled nevertheless. I really enjoyed Jan's relationship with her son & daughter-in-law as well as with her grandson.

As I got to know Pete, I felt bad that he'd never been married, but that left room for Jan when the time was right. Unfortunately, the timing is exactly when his past has caught up with him and things start to unravel. The suspense was a great part of the story that ended way too fast for me. lol

The faith element was incredibly strong in this story and I LOVED it! I appreciate on a deep level when authors are willing to make faith one of the biggest elements of the story. It brings reading to another level for me as a reader. The author does it in a way that seems entirely natural to the story and the characters.

About the Author:

Tara writes small-town, contemporary Christian romance. She loves stories of modern-day characters struggling to obey God, forgive others, and accept themselves - oh, and finding their happily-ever-after along the way. 

She lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband and two sons, writing full-time, in between chasing a two toddlers! 

Get a free e-book by signing up for Tara's newsletter at her website! 
http://www.taragraceer                icson.com

Friday, November 5, 2021

Artza Box - Judaean Desert

I was so surprised when my Artza Box - Judaean Desert showed up! They sent it to me to review and I was AH-mazed! I think this is probably my favorite box to date. There's just so much to love about it and I can't wait to share it with you! I know with my last boxes the items included weren't only things I could enjoy and experience, but that my husband could enjoy them too. This time they really knocked it out of the park!!


Just a heads up on a couple of items! Artza is having a flash sale and you can use the code to get 20% off ARTZA20. This is for a limited time. NOT only that, while available, they're going to have a Christmas box that delivers towards the middle of this month! Of course, my interest is piqued because I want to know what comes in that box! Check it all out HERE.


First, let's talk about this bath salt. This item is one I'll be hogging all to myself. It's not really up Fred's alley. hahahaha The artisan who created this bath salt is Yonat Midbar. From this small business the box included Lavender Patchouli infused Dead Sea bath salts. The scent is heavenly and it came at the perfect time when I'll want to take nice warm baths through the winter months.


When my husband and I go on trips we always try to make it to a local coffee house. We love bringing back different coffee from our trips to Peru. You KNOW we'd bring home a suitcase full from Israel! Hanan created a special blend for the Artza box. How incredible is that? I've been out of town so haven't had a chance to sample it yet, but we will this weekend. I'm looking forward to this Agrocafe!


A handful of years ago I FINALLY became a fan of honey. Now I've grown to really love sampling different flavors of it. The recipe for the Silan Date Cake sounds incredible. I mean, doesn't that photo of it on the card looks scrumptious?! I am wondering if date honey, which is what this jar is, is different than regular honey. Needless to say, my interest is piqued in the taste. Of course I'll want to sample it in a spoonful! This date honey is crafted by Meshek Lin.




If you don't know it already, my husband is the cook in the family. He loves it. I like it, but he LOVES it. He also loves cooking with EVOO. Unfortunately, that means we always have some huge bottle of it sitting on our counter. Eh, not really how I want to do it. SO, this handmade olive-oil jug is perfect for our counter.


Ok, and I'M even excited about this salt. I'm pretty sure Fred puts salt and rosemary into EVERY dish he makes. I'm not even kidding a little bit. There's SO much to love about the salt, but also about 424, which is not only the name of this company, but also the depth of the Dead Sea! They employs people with special needs and develop their talents. How incredible is that?! Oh, and by the way, there's gold leaf sparkle in the salt!


Something that was really amazing to receive was this Dead Sea Scroll ceramic. Zak is an artisan whose family has been in Israel for over 400 years! The ceramic is handmade and includes a scroll copy of Habbakukk. Isn't that really cool to have on display?


And lastly is this shalom ceramic wall tile that is handmade by local artisan Jamil Hosh. It's framed in Israeli grown olive wood. Now I just need the perfect place to display it.


Is there a location in Israel that you'd love for Artza to curate items from? I'd love to know. Check out my video on Instagram where I highlight a few of these items.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Lights Out By Natalie Walters

Lights Out
by Natalie Walters
Publisher: Revell
Series: The SNAP Agency
ISBN: 9780800739782

I'm a huge Natalie Walters fan after reading her first series! So when I found out she was going to have another series I literally screamed out loud!! Let me tell you, Lights Out did NOT disappoint! I'm on her launch team and she sent me her book for review.

Summary:

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

My Review:

Ok, Lights Out was AMAZING! I really read the book in one day because I read the first couple of chapters before I went on vacation.

There was SO much to love about this story: the characters, the detail, the humor, the intensity, etc. It truly hits every note to make an exceptional story! I loved the story so much, I wish the SNAP agency existed so I could be part of the team on a VERY administrative level. lol

Brynn is one tough cookie. Her past created the career path she's on, and you can't miss the passion with which she does her job and how much weight she puts on the program she designed. She ends up working with her ex-boyfriend Jack and when they come face to face the first time in years, my favorite person in that moment is Lyla, who also works for the SNAP agency.

The agency has just the right characters! Their blend of skills, experience, and knowledge makes them small but mighty. I didn't really get a feel for Garcia aside from his adoration of Lyla. Kekoa has already stolen a piece of my heart - he's stinking funny and I want to hear him talk all day long. Lyla is a spitfire and doesn't let anything get past her.

The storyline is incredibly tense and following the leads with the characters is awesome because it's just as confusing to them as it is to us. HOW does it all fit together?! The author gives the reader an insight to how many different agencies are always at work trying to protect us. So many things we're kept safe from that we don't even realize! The story definitely gave me another reason to appreciate those who keep not just Americans safe, but others around the world.

It takes skill to bring together all of the pieces needed to make a suspense novel that includes national security, international intrigue, and organizations working together to figure it all out. Keeping all of the pieces connected and making sense was done in spades with the story.

And seriously, the banter and relationships of the SNAP team members might've been my favorite part of the story. I felt like I got to know them personally and want to hang out with them!

About the Author:

Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Mobster's Daughter By Rachel Scott McDaniel

The Mobster's Daughter
by Rachel Scott McDaniel
Publisher: Ally Press
ISBN: 978-1953290205

I have become such a HUGE fan of Rachel's so when she offered her newest release for review I ran, I didn't walk to download the ebook!

Summary:

The one man who could help her, must never know her name.

If Kate Chamberlin can't reveal her true identity to the world, she must settle for sharing only her talent. Hired as a musician for KDKA radio, Kate plays everything from sponsors’ jingles to complex sonatas. As long as the whispers around the broadcasting room refer to her as “Killjoy Kate” and not “Catarina the crime boss's daughter,” then her life is safe from danger.

Or so she thinks.

When anonymous, violent threats surface, Kate's wary of accepting protection from the handsome private investigator, Detective Jennings. His save-the-world attitude is as charming as his manners, but no one, especially him, can know the gruesome realities of her birth.

The 1924 Pittsburgh underworld is as complicated as it is elusive, and though the dealings of the Salvastanos have dwindled, Rhett Jennings is certain the man responsible for his father's death is still at large. But his personal hunt for justice must be set aside when his day job requires him to investigate threats directed at a young radio broadcaster with enamoring brown eyes and secretive behavior.

When danger surrounds them, will the truth of Kate's past become the key to their survival?

My Review:

I guess it's a good problem to have when the only thing you can do is give an author 5 stars every time you read one of their stories.

I wanted to read The Mobster's Daughter for 2 reasons: 1) the author and 2) the cover. I had no idea what the book was about. That's how much I love this author, and once again, she knocked it out of the park!

We initially meet Catarina as she arrives in America searching for her father. Unfortunately, what she finds doesn't give her hope, but forces her to assume a new name to shield her from the crime boss name. Goodness, I loved Catarina aka Kate Chamberlain. She's so innocent and kind, nothing like the father everyone despises. My heart went out to her as she tried to hide herself at a radio station while trying to figure out what happened to her father.

She immediately runs into Rhett Jennings, but months later their paths cross again and he will do anything to keep her safe. Unfortunately, he doesn't know the truth about Kate and for the reader, it's a mix of feeling sorry and hopefully all at the same time for both of them. Through the author's writing you can feel the struggle both Kate and Rhett go through. She knows she's lying to him and he's struggling with his own damaged past.

I have to admit, this story got my heart racing on numerous occasions! You'll get so entwined in the story you feel like you're in the moment! Whether we're following Kate into her dark apartment or she and Rhett are having a "moment" your heart rate will spike! All in a good way because the author's writing is incredible! My imagination was transported to the 1920's and I honestly don't think any other authors write as wonderfully as she does for that time period, especially when it comes to speakeasies.

There are SO many things to love about this story I can't possibly touch each one in my review. You don't want to miss out on this fantastic read!

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.

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