Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Hero Debut By Angela Ruth Strong

Hero Debut
by Angela Ruth Strong
Publisher: Kregel
Series: Love Off Script
ISBN: 978-0825447938

I have been impatiently waiting since Husband Auditions came out to read book two, Hero Debut!! That's a good thing and it showed up just in time! You don't want to rush a good thing... and this story was a VERY good thing. I received the book for review!


Gemma Bennett is the leading lady of her own life, and her true love is writing
screenplays. With her trusty pink notebook in hand, she signs up for the Citizen’s Safety Academy to research her newest blockbuster hope, a rom-com with a police officer as the hero. And the fact that the handsome and heroic Lieutenant Karson
Zellner is the one leading the training? Well, who can blame her for wanting to spend evenings with the man she swooned over months ago when he responded to a call at her apartment?

Karson already has his fair share of problems before Gemma shows up, and he’s not exactly a fan of the ditzy blonde who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress to rescue; there are plenty of people in real need of his help. The fact that she seems to think his job makes him a superhero is just one more strike against her. This isn’t a movie, and he feels like the furthest thing from a leading man.

Gemma can’t seem to stop doing the worst, most embarrassing things at just the
wrong time. And as time goes on, Gemma begins to realize that the scripts for a perfect screenplay and a real-life happily-ever-after are two very different things. Can she step out of her own way to find the hero her story needs?

My Review:

I have been looking forward to Hero Debut since book one, Husband Auditions! That was my "book of the year" in 2021!! This book lived up to its predecessor and I loved it!!

We meet all of the main characters in the first book: Charlie, Kai, Gemma, and officer Karson. Karson had been called in to "save" Gemma, who actually didn't need saving. Now, she's doing research for her screenplay where Karson is her hero.

To say that this story is only hilarious would be to take away the incredibly powerful and deep parts of this story. The author has this innate ability to make us laugh hysterically and then dropping a strong truth right in the middle of it. One that makes us stand back and think deeply. There's a deeper message on how others perceive us, forgiveness, reconciliation, and a strong faith message.

Gemma, that poor girl. So many times I wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her she's loved. Not for how she looks or anything she's done (or hasn't done), simply because she's fearfully and wonderfully made. I loved, loved, loved her insight to Karson (with her evil twin's help). Don't even get me started on Jewel! hahahaha

Kai and Charlie add so much comic relief to the story, I really appreciated them being in this one as well. The mishaps that Gemma finds herself in are hilarious, but you can sort of see why Karson looks at her with a side eye and not much appreciation. 

This will absolutely be one of my top books of the year! Now, for Charlie's story...

About the Author:

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first romance novel in 2009, and her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been a finalist for the Christy, won the Cascade Award, and become Amazon bestsellers. Her book Finding Love in Big Sky released as a movie in 2022. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she blogs for Inspy Romance and My Book Therapy. Get to know her even better at

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Lost Manuscript By Mollie Rushmeyer

The Lost Manuscript
by Mollie Rushmeyer
Publisher: Love Inspired
ISBN: 978-1335508423

After reading Mollie's debut novel, The Bookshop of Secrets, I couldn't wait for The Lost Manuscript to make its appearance. I was incredibly happy to make her launch team. I received the ebook ARC for review.


It’s not just Ellora Lockwood’s home that’s being emptied as she prepares to sell—her heart seems to be empty too. Since the mysterious disappearance of her beloved Grandma June and separating from her husband, Alex, Ellora has felt adrift. Then comes an invitation from Alex to teach history at a summer program at Alnwick Castle in England. He’s even found information about the location of a medieval manuscript that was her grandmother’s obsession before she vanished.

Warily, Ellora accepts Alex’s offer. Surrounded by lush English countryside and captivating history, she pieces together clues about the manuscript’s whereabouts—and uncovers new questions. Could someone have been sabotaging her grandmother’s work? Anonymous threats lead Ellora to suspect she too may be in danger, but as she and Alex work together, she’s finding strength, new purpose and the courage to see this quest through, wherever it may lead…

My Review:

If you enjoy stories in the vein of National Treasure, then you're going to enjoy The Lost Manuscript! There's mystery, intrigue, and fun history lessons throughout. On top of that, a marriage that's falling apart while the main characters try to figure out if it's worth saving.

Who can resist a story based around finding a manuscript written centuries ago, by a woman no less, and Grandma June missing while trying to find it? Oh, and let's top it off with a thread of Vikings mixed in.

Ellora and her best friend, Lanae, head to England for two different reasons. Ellie to see if she can find her missing grandma and Lanae for work at Alnwick in their "study abroad" program. The problem with this trip, aside from her missing grandma, is her estranged husband. There's a lot of history between those two, and we learn more and more as we go deeper into the story. THEY even learn more about each other as the story goes on.

I really had such a heart for Ellie. She's been through so much in her life and things don't seem to be getting easier. Her husband, Alex, has also had some hardships, which has hardened his heart to certain things that relate to Ellie. On a positive note, their quest to find out what happened to Grandma June and to see if the illuminated manuscript actually exists forces them to work together. Even with their growing chasm they still love each other.

In the meantime, I suspect nearly everyone being involved in June's disappearance. Ellie and her band of treasure hunters find clues along the way to help them move forward. Sometimes those clues were a little confusing to me. The team was able to piece each one together so I never would've been able to help them.

It was hard to be on the outside looking in when it came to Ellie and Alex. I could see both of their perspectives in each circumstance that arose, and if it was hard for me to reconcile it all, I could understand why it was even harder for them. I appreciated that the author used Scripture to move their hearts and minds towards each other as well as helping them be more introspective of their thoughts and emotions.

This is a pretty fast-paced story and if you like adventure, you'll like this one!

About the Author:

Mollie writes Contemporary Fiction with a Heart for History, a blend of modern settings and fascinating historical elements woven throughout.

A born and bred Midwestern gal, Mollie Rushmeyer, makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She is not only a bibliophile (the dustier the better, in her opinion), she’s a true Britophile at heart. Tea and coffee fuel her travels, by Google maps at least, and her passion for the written word.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A Beautiful Disguise By Roseanna M. White

A Beautiful Disguise
by Roseanna M. White
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: The Imposters
ISBN: 9780764240928

Roseanna is hands down one of my go-to authors when I want to absolutely enjoy a story! When I found out she was starting a new story, I could only hope I'd be on her launch team!! I am and I'm thrilled to share about her new release. She sent me her book as part of her team.


In Edwardian London, not all that glitters is gold as a lady and an intelligence officer's secret mission take them from the city's dazzling ballrooms to its covert intelligence offices.

Sir Merritt Livingstone has spent a decade serving the monarch in the field, but when pneumonia lands him behind a desk in the War Office Intelligence Division just as they're creating a new secret intelligence branch, he's intent on showing his worth. He suspects an aristocrat of leaking information to Germany as tensions mount between the two countries, but he needs someone to help him prove it, so he turns to The Imposters, Ltd. No one knows who they are, but their results are beyond compare.

Left with an estate on the brink of bankruptcy after their father's death, Lady Marigold Fairfax and her brother open a private investigation firm for the elite to spy on the elite. Dubbed The Imposters, Ltd., their anonymous group soon becomes the go-to for the crème of society who want answers delivered surreptitiously. But the many secrets Marigold learns about her peers pale in comparison to her shock when she and her brother are hired to investigate her best friend's father as a potential traitor.

Lady Marigold is determined to discover the truth for her friend's sake, and she's more determined still to keep her heart from getting involved with this enigmatic new client . . . who can't possibly be as noble as he seems.

My Review:

Once again, another story I had a hard time putting down thanks to the author's incredible writing! Where do I even begin?!

First, let's talk about the cast of characters in A Beautiful Disguise. I loved them all. The end.

Kidding, but I really did love them all. Marigold, because while she wears the most outlandish outfits to distract people from really "seeing" her, I don't think she would've done so had life taken a different course. I found her endearing from the beginning. She has an incredible mind and like me, a love for large, wild beasts. Plus, hello, she can fly on a trapeze!

Then there's her brother, Yates. He's younger, but still a protector of his sister. He has skills that wouldn't be expected of a lord, but they come in handy as they pose as the Imposters. I just adored their sibling relationship.

I thoroughly loved the idea of this aristocratic set of siblings spying on others in their ranks as well as others! How their history plays into the story of who they become really was bittersweet.

The next set of fellows who show up on the scene are Xavier and Merritt. Xavier adds some levity to the story whereas Merritt adds concern and depth. For me, I wasn't immediately smitten with Merritt. He grew on me rather quickly and I knew I was going to love his character... and I did.

The humor in this story was once again fantastic and reminiscent of the stories in The Secret of the Isles. The banter, especially between Yates & Marigold had me cracking up! I also loved their loyalty to not only their friends, but those who live with them.

Watching the story unfold kept me turning page after page. The way the Imposters went about their sleuthing had me wondering if I have what it takes to join them. Towards the end though, when all of the pieces of the puzzle were coming together, I was more than a little confused. A LOT happened at once and I had a hard time understanding what was going on. Thankfully, that was only for a handful of pages.

I can't wait to get to know the other Imposters better in the next few stories. I'm hoping there will be love for Yates, learning more about what happened between Gemma & Graham, and how Genie & Lavinia are doing.

About the Author:

Roseanna M. White ( is a bestselling, Christy Award-winning author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of numerous novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Day One At The Mississippi River Reader Retreat

A year ago this past July my mom was asking me what I wanted for my birthday. I had no idea what I might want. THEN, I saw the Mississippi River Reader Retreat announcing that tickets were going on sale for July 2023! I immediately told my mom I'd like a ticket to to retreat. And then the waiting...

My first instinct was to find a place to stay while I was at the retreat. The local hotel seemed a bit spendy so I started checking out AirBnBs in the area. I found one that was extremely affordable and reached out on social media to find roommates! And find them I did. 4 people got private rooms and 4 of us were sharing a room on bunkbeds.

Slowly, but surely the MRRR released the list of the authors who would be at the retreat. Oh my goodness, I was so excited! One author after the next, ones who I thoroughly enjoy reading and then others I'm insane over. Lemme just say for the record, when Ronie Kendig was announced I went a little crazy. To say I'm a super fan is putting it mildly. Sadly, Janine Rosche and Michelle Sass Aleckson weren't able to make it.

Me & Ronie Kendig

This year for our book club we've been blessed to have Laura Frantz, Gabrielle Meyer, and Mollie Rushmeyer. So, to be able to meet them in person had me over the moon!! And seriously, to be with all of the other authors, was beyond my wildest dreams. I met Julie Klassen about 15 years ago when I still lived in Minnesota. It was SO fun to be able to see her again. She was our inaugural author when we started our Inspired Readers Book Club 2 1/2 years ago.

Row 1: Michelle Sass Aleckson, Misty M. Beller, Mary Connealy, Angie Dicken, Amanda Dykes, Laura Frantz, Michelle Griep, Ronie Kendig, Julie Klassen, Stephanie Landsem
Row 2: Gabrielle Meyer, Christina Suzann Nelson, Tracie Peterson, Janine Rosche, Cynthia Ruchti, Mollie Rushmeyer, Carmen Schober, Janyre Tromp, Erica Vetsch, Kimberley Woodhouse

In January, I saw Wick & Sarcasm on Instagram (I was already following them) and decided I wanted to bless the ladies who were sharing the AirBnB with me! I'll tell you more about that in a future post, but let me just say I was so happy with how my candle turned out.

I picked up Alissa from the airport on Friday and we headed up to Little Falls, MN to check in to the AirBnB before the garden party. Kelly-Ann was already there and I think Vickie & Charity showed up right about the same time. Stephanie and Stacey joined us as well!! Jenny came later that night.

The garden party was being held at the Weyerhaeuser Mansion. It ended up not being in the garden because it was hotter than hades outside. Sadly, the a/c units inside the mansion weren't all working. It was pretty hot in the house as well. We walked in and were able to choose a bag with a book in it and a few other goodies. Then we were able to mingle with readers & authors alike.

Me, Tracie Peterson, and Kelly-Ann

Kelly-Ann was dubbed my "handler". hahahaha She knew that I was going to be super excited about seeing all of these authors. Listen, I'm an extrovert. So, in these situations, I'm going to talk to pretty much everyone! On top of that, having been on quite a few launch team with these authors and talking with them online for the past few years, it feels like we've built friendships that are coming into reality by being in the same room together. It was like a reunion over and over.

Gail Helgeson, Mollie Rushmeyer, Cynthia Ruchti, and Erica Vetsch

It was fun to see Julie, Erica, and Michelle dressed up in period clothes. I would've done it, too if I had the right apparel. Seriously, so fun!! I think one of my favorite moments is when Janyre Tromp "recognized" me. I think she was being sweet, but it truly made my day. ME, being "recognized" by an author? Never in a million years would I have imagined that happening. I'm still a small guppy in a sea of influencers.

Me & Janyre Tromp

All of the authors were incredibly warm and sweet. Kimberley Woodhouse is one of those gals who is just as sweet in person as she is online. I couldn't get enough of her loveliness!!

Kelly-Ann, Ronie Kendig, Kimberley Woodhouse, Me

We spent two hours mingling with authors and readers. You better believe I made a beeline for Ronie when I got my sights set on her. I know that she didn't think many people would know her and her writing so I was bound and determined to show her a hefty dose of fanning - which was thoroughly authentic. Stephanie and I were both gushing having the opportunity to meet her!

Me & Carmen Schober

Carmen Schroeber is as cool in person as she is online as well. She's one kick-butt gal and I was kind of in awe of her while we sat with her in one of the side rooms. As much as she could get into a ring and land a few blows, she's feminine and stunning!

Needless to say, it was a wonderful, albeit stifling hot, evening. It was a fantastic precursor to what would come tomorrow when we all got to spend the day together.

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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.