SHADOW OF HONOR, / by Ronie Koenig (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Bookstagram + Review Tour for  Shadow of Honor,
by Ronie Kendig,
hosted by JustRead Tours.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Shadow of Honor, / by Ronie Kendig (The Droseran Saga, 3)
Enclave      ISBN      9781621842347
Genre: Christian Science Fiction / Space Opera
Adult             Rating: 4

ShadowHonor4-535x800 (1)The war he fears may be the very one he’s been called to start.

Held captive, tortured by monsters of a nightmarish alien race, Marco Dusan clings to a final goal: keep these beasts from the Quadrants, even if it means orchestrating his own death. But his dreams betray that singular design. In them his bonded calls to him across lightyears. Does he leave her to fight Symmachia alone, or risk bringing an unwinnable war to every planet in the Quadrants?

On board the alien dreadnought, Eija Zacdari flounders, torn amidst military machinations, prophecies, and an inexplicable bond with one of the fearsome creatures who have imprisoned her friends. Only by uncovering the truth about an ancient conflict now shrouded in deception will she find her place.

Faced with her true identity, Eija sees her purpose snap into focus, and she realizes the war Marco fears may be the very one he has been called to start.


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway_ShadowOfHonor_IGReview_JR

 (1) winner will receive an exclusive handpainted edges hardcover edition of Shadow of Honor, the complete character portrait set from Shadow of Honor, and exclusive Standees of Kersei and Marco.

⇒  To Enter, LIKE and SAVE this post, FOLLOW me @kendigronie @enclavepublishing @justreadtours, and let us know you did in a COMMENT. Add up to 3 friend TAGS in that comment for BONUS entries.

 VISIT each hosted post of this tour for more entries. Schedule at @justreadtours. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2022.)


MY REVIEW

Award-winning author Ronie Kendig continues her action-filled  science fiction / space opera series with this third installment, filled with intrigue, and adventure.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Ronie Kendig excels at creating a world filled with alien and human characters, each with their own languages and customs. On top of that, she writes a story that includes dramatic relationships, interplanetary battles, and non-stop adventure, all elements of a good space opera, making this more than just a science fiction/fantasy series. Her characters – both alien and human – are complex, adding to the drama and adventure. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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SUNBURST, / by Susan May Warren (Revell Reads)

sunburst

Sunburst, / by Susan May Warren (Sky King Ranch, 2)
Revell     ISBN     9780800739836
Adult     Rating:     4

sunburst coverAward-winning author Susan May Warren pens her second novel featuring the Kingston triplet brothers, who joined military different branches.

In Sunburst, former Navy SEAL Ranger Kingston answers the call to rescue his brother Colt in Nigeria, not expecting to find his first love – aid worker Noemi Sutton – also being held hostage. Noemi and Ranger need to work together if they want to leave Africa alive. Can they discover why Noemi was kidnapped by Nigerian terrorists?

 Ranger is a problem solver, but even he doesn’t know how to solve his biggest problems – a medical condition and guilt from an earlier mission weighing him down. Noemi, the only daughter of another SEAL, has been on her own since her father’s death, feels that she is not worthy to be loved by God or anyone else. What will it take for them to overcome their self-imposed emotional isolation from others and recognize the strength in working together? 

Known for her inspirational action-filled novels, Warren writes flawed characters and a captivating storyline. Like her other books, Sunburst has faith journeys, suspense, edge-of-your-seat adventure, and of course, a clean romance (even a Nigerian wedding!). Colt’s story has been slowly unfolding in the second book, setting the stage for the final book, Sundown, coming in late 2022.

Recommended for adult collections and high school readers. Kudos to Warren for having a heroine who is of African descent, and for seamlessly adding Nigerian wedding traditions to the storyline.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Midnight’s Budding Morrow, / by Carolyn Miller (I Read With Audra Tour)

midnights budding morrow giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK

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Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.
Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)


GIVEAWAY

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MY REVIEW

midnights budding morrow giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK

unnamed (1)

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.
Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)


GIVEAWAY

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MY REVIEW

Miller writes a story of forgiveness, love, and redemption with realistic but imperfect characters who struggle to see God’s hand and draw on His strength in their troubling circumstances. They learn to forgive themselves as well as others, and in doing so, embrace the future God has for them.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Adding a touch of Gothic elements, like James’ brooding father, a hidden treasure, mysterious circumstances surrounding his mother’s death, a castle in disrepair overlooking the sea, and a divided staff, contributes to the novel’s darker moments.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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ONE FINE DAY, / by Rachel Hauck and Carrie Padgett (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Bookstagram + Review Tour for  One Fine Day,  by Rachel Hauck and Carrie Padgett, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

OneFineDay_FC

One Fine Day, / by Rachel Hauck and Carrie Padgett (Hearts Bend Collection, 1)
Sunrise     ISBN     9781953783226

All she wants is a fresh start…

Chloe Beason LaRue left Hearts Bend after high school, determined to never look back. She shed her unrequited crush on Sam Hardy, moved to Paris, went to pastry school, found a good job, fell in love, and got married. She was happy in France.

Then her husband tragically died. Now, Chloe just wants to move forward…but when her mom’s health is in jeopardy, Chloe heads right back to Hearts Bend where she’s hired as head baker for Haven’s, the premier bakery in town. She has no idea that moving home will push her right into the arms of the man who broke her heart.

He’s not looking to fall in love…

Tennessee Titans quarterback Sam Hardy has too many broken memories in Hearts Bend to Return. But when he’s sidelined by an injury, he desperately needs to invest in something to safeguard his future. Haven’s Bakery is up for sale—and his business partner believes the deal is too good to pass up. He has no idea that the owners have hired the one girl he can’t seem to forget…and the last thing he expects is to be her boss.

But it’s a recipe for romance…

Back in Hearts Bend for the first time in ten years and thrown together at Haven’s Bakery, Chloe and Sam have a second chance at first love. Indeed, the more time Sam spends selling pastries, the more he sees a new future. But when Paris beckons Chloe back, where does her heart belong? Can they find the recipe for leaving regrets behind and start something new?

Escape to Hearts Bend for a sweet story of romance, faith, and an unexpected happy ending.


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway_OneFineDay_IGReview_JR

Giveaway – (1) winner will receive a copy of the book and $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.

⇒ To Enter, LIKE and SAVE this post, FOLLOW me @carpadwriter @rachelhauck @sunrisemediagroup @justreadtours, and let us know you did in a COMMENT. Add up to 3 friend TAGS in that comment for BONUS entries.

⇒ VISIT each hosted post of this tour for more entries. Schedule at @justreadtours.

(US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on May 30, 2022.)


MY REVIEW

Bestselling author Rachel Hauck and debut author Carrie Padgett return to Hearts Bend, TN in this contemporary inspirational romance.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Hauck and Padgett recreate the small town of Hearts Bend first introduced in Hauck’s Wedding Collection (Wedding Dress Shop, etc.). But one does not need to read those earlier books to enjoy this one. It is a standalone novel that sets up the new series co-written by Hauck and debut authors. Hauck provides the framework (and there are cameos of her Heart Bend characters), but Padgett does an excellent job of taking the recipe and making it her own. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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THE SWEET LIFE, / by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell Reads)

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The Sweet Life, / by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Cape Cod Creamery, 1)
Revell     ISBN     9780800739478
Adult     Rating:    4

The-Sweet-Life-CoverBestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher presents a new inspirational contemporary romance featuring an ice cream shop on Cape Cod!

In The Sweet Life, Dawn Dixon’s life changes drastically when her groom calls off the upcoming wedding, and her widowed mother announces she had breast cancer surgery recently. Marnie Dixon didn’t want her treatment to interfere with the wedding. Since the Cape Cod honeymoon was already paid for, her former groom Kevin insists she use it. 

Dawn, a planner by nature, takes her mother, Marnie, spontaneous by nature, thinking it will be a good place to rest for both of them. While they bump heads, they love each other, making this trip a memorable one, especially when impulsive Marnie buys a rundown ice cream shop – something that had been a dream of Dawn and her father, but not Marnie’s dream. Can they work together – without killing one another – to re-launch the ice cream shop, and find renewed hope in Cape Cod?

Fisher creates a heart-filled story with irresistible characters, ice cream inspired quotes, and faith & grief journeys in a quaint Cape Cod village. Dawn’s former fiance Kevin shows up, feeling guilty and concerned about Dawn as she does very un-Dawnlike things (like taking leave from work to support her mother’s renovation of the ice cream shop, as well as actually making the ice cream from scratch based on a recipe she and her father created). Dealing with the Historical Commission provides some humor as they renovate, and preserve the old building. Themes of love, family, and faith permeate the story like a good fudge ripple!

Recommended for adult readers of contemporary fiction, especially fans of Fisher, Denise Hunter, Irene Hannon, and Courtney Walsh.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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WHEN THE MEADOWS BLOOM, / by Ann H. Gabhart (Revell Reads)

meadows bloom
When the Meadows Blooms, / by Ann H. Gabhart
Revell     ISBN     9780800737221
Adult     Rating:     4

meadows bloomBestselling author Ann H. Gabhart pens a historical novel set in Kentucky when families face challenges during the 1918 influenza epidemic.

In When the Meadows Blooms, recently widowed Rose Meadows is at a sanatorium, recovering from tuberculosis. Meanwhile, her young daughters – Calla and Sienna – live in an orphanage until Rose is finally well enough to reclaim them. 

Having nowhere else to go, they move to the Kentucky farm where her reclusive brother-in-law lives. Dirk Meadows struggles with his own pain, after being scarred by a fire and abandoned by his fiancee. Rose doesn’t know that the girls suffered under terrible conditions at the orphanage. Can all of them find physical, spiritual, and emotional healing together on the Meadowland farm?

Gabhart pens a character-driven story where true healing and trust in God takes place within their hearts. Both Rose and Dirk closed off their hearts in grief, but they learn that healing starts when they stop bottling up everything. The mysterious circumstances surrounding the fire are solved and closure is found by Dirk. Calla and Sienna are endearing characters

Although it seems a little slow in the beginning as Gabhart lays the groundwork for the story, it grabs the reader’s attention until the story’s end. Uncovering the layers of truth behind the past pulls at one’s heartstrings and hope is slowly built. Faith elements that aren’t preachy, descriptive narratives, and well-developed characters show how God can bring new life to even wounded hearts. 

Recommended for Gabhart fans and readers of historical fiction. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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SHADOWED LOYALTY, / by Roseanna M. White (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Bookstagram + Review Tour for Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Shadowed Loyalty frontShadowed Loyalty, by Roseanna M. White
Chrism Press     ISBN     9781941720790

Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turned out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Now she sees how ugly the underworld can be. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—she thought her beloved Papa was above all that, but clearly he isn’t. What does that mean, though, for her and their family? Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancé who has barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world.

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would join the Church, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. But despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his father and brothers, which has always terrified him. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina from his flaws, in fact harmed her? It sure seems that way when he realizes he all but forced her into the arms of the Prohibition Agent now bent on tearing her family apart at all costs. But how can they rebuild what has so long been neglected…and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following the one could mean losing the other.



GIVEAWAY

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 To Enter, FOLLOW me @roseannamwhite @chrismpress @justreadtours, LIKE and SAVE this post, and COMMENT to let us know you did

⇒ In the same comment, TAG up to 3 friends for MORE entries
⇒ VISIT each hosted post of this tour. Schedule at @justreadtours. 

GIVEAWAY: (1) winner will receive a copy of the book and an art deco necklace. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on May 10, 2022.)


MY REVIEW

Historical fiction author Roseanna M. White pens a stand-alone historical novel set during the Roaring Twenties (1922).

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Known for her excellent characterization, realistic faith elements, and eye for historical detail, White deftly applies those to this novel. This is not the usual time period for White, but she does an excellent job in integrating her research into her writing. The reader enters into Chicago’s  shadowy underworld where love, loyalty, and faith are tested – and where brothels, prostitution, murder, and other criminal activities abound.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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A CRUMBY WAY TO DIE, / by Georgiana Daniels

A Crumby Way to Die, / by Georgiana Daniels (A KC Crumb Mystery, 3)
Bowker     ISBN     9781736725030
Adult     Rating:     4crumby way to die

Author Georgiana Daniels returns with another entertaining cozy mystery, set in the small town of Beaver Bluff, OR.

In A Crumby Way to Die, KC Crumb enjoys her life in Beaver Bluff, far from her old life in LA until her ex-boyfriend James Carlisle shows up and complicates things. Shortly after his unwelcome arrival, one of the B&B owners is murdered and James is a suspect. KC and her friends are on the case. The sooner James is cleared, the sooner she can send him back to LA and concentrate on her budding relationship with the handsome police officer Antonio Hamsom.

While this book can be read as a standalone, the reader will enjoy being introduced to KS’s quirky friends in the earlier books (Crumbs of Passion, and Crumbs and Punishment). A Crumby Way to Die is a cozy mystery with humor, red herrings, plot twists, and entertaining cast of characters. Polly, KC’s friend, is a delightful sidekick, as are the non-human characters of Cujo and Pooh Bear.  

Also reviewed: Crumb and Punishment (#2).

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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DRIVING FORCE, by Lynette Eason and Kate Angelo (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Boostagram + Review Tour for Driving Force by Kate Angelo presented by Lynette Eason, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Driving Force, / by Lynette Eason and Kate Angelo (Elite Guardians Collection, 1)
Sunrise Publishing     ISBN     9781953783196

EG_DrivingForce_FC_R_FNL2

He’s the last client she wants to protect…

Elite Guardians bodyguard/former sniper CHRISTINA SHERMAN has protected uncooperative clients before—but this time, well her client is bossy, headstrong and occasionally eats off the floor. Yes, he’s a highly trained military working dog, but certainly her skills could be put to better use, right?

Not according to former Special Forces Air Commando GREY PARKER. He needs her help to protect his dog while he undergoes an experimental surgery that could restore his ability to walk. He just needs someone to keep his canine partner safe. Most of all, Grey wants back on his feet so he can track down a deranged scientist known as The Scavenger who unleashed a nerve agent that left Grey sidelined in a wheelchair.

When an attempt is made on Grey’s life, and dead bodies begin piling up—with evidence the same toxin is responsible—suddenly Christina is tasked with keeping both dog and soldier alive…and with them, the secrets that could stop a terrorist attack. But this time, even Christina might be in over her head.

Dive into the exciting ignition to the Elite Guardians Collection.

Purchase it here: https://amzn.to/3wHUd9g


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway_DrivingForce_IGReview_JR

Giveaway – (1) winner will receive a print copy of the book & $10 Amazon gift card. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on April 11, 2022.)

⇒ To Enter, FOLLOW @sunrisemediagroup @LynetteEason @kateangeloauthor @justreadtours

LIKE and SAVE this post, and COMMENT to let us know you did

⇒ For MORE entries, TAG a friend (up to 3x per post)
⇒ VISIT each hosted post of this tour. Schedule at @justreadtours. 


MY REVIEW

Best-selling author Lynette Eason and debut author Kate Angelo continue the romantic suspense series featuring female bodyguards, originally written by Eason.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Teaming up with Eason to present the first book in the Elite Guardians Collection, Angelo picks up the Elite Guardians storyline seamlessly, recreating the action-packed world, relatable characters, and twisting plot originally created by Eason. Violence in the story is appropriate but not too graphic. The clean romance develops at a realistic pace, and faith elements are present but not overpowering.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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COUNTERFEIT LOVE, / by Crystal Caudill (I Read With Audra Tour)

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ABOUT THE BOOK

counterfeit love

COUNTERFEIT LOVE, by Crystal Caudill
Revell     ISBN  9780825447402

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiance is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crystal CaudillCrystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW.

She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

“More than just an exciting plot, I wanted a romance story where real love and relationships are portrayed as messy and complicated. The ones we love most can and usually do hurt us the worst. How we respond to those hurts profoundly impacts ourselves and those around us,” Caudill shares. “When I wove all those elements together, I ended up with Counterfeit Love—a story of dangerous betrayals, malicious counterfeiters, and the second chance romance between an undercover Secret Service operative and his former fiancé.”

Combining rich history, danger, suspense, and romance, Counterfeit Love launches Caudill’s Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series with a bang. Readers will find a strong faith thread as well.

After readers finish Counterfeit Love, they can head to www.crystalcaudill.com where they can access bonus features including a virtual tour of 1884 Cincinnati, all the Secret Service research facts that didn’t make the story, and a book club kit that includes discussion questions — as well as information about Bearing Precious Seeds (a Bible printing ministry where a portion of proceeds from the sales of Counterfeit Love will be donated). 

Learn more at crystalcaudill.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.


GIVEAWAY

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MY REVIEW

Debut author Crystal Caudill pens a suspenseful historical romance set in the Gilded Age in Cincinnati, Ohio.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Caudill creates well-developed characters, descriptive narratives, and historical details in this Gilded Age novel. Filled with suspense and intrigue, the reader is engaged from the first page to the last. The story is set during the time of the great floods in Cincinnati (1880s). The faith elements address how to keep one’s trust in God when everything is going wrong. Themes of faith, trust, and redemption weave throughout the book.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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MALICIOUS INTENT, / by Lynn H. Blackburn (Revell Reads)

Malicious Intent, / by Lynn H. Blackburn (Defend and Protect , 2)
Revell    ISBN     9780800737962
Adult     Rating:     4

Award-winning author Lynn Blackburn continues her action-packed romantic suspense series featuring Secret Service agents in Raleigh, NC.

In Malicious Intent, as Dr. Ivy Collins begins the clinical trials of her company’s innovative prosthetic, someone tries to sabotage her life’s work. When counterfeit cash brings him into contact with his childhood friend Ivy, Secret Service Agent Gil Dixon uses his skills to save her company’s product launch, and protect her from personal and professional attacks. 

Blackburn turns up the intensity as this story of revenge and greed unfolds. From the first chapter – where Ivy shoots her gun to save Gil’s life – to its final chapter, this book will keep the reader up late at night, trying to unravel the plot twists. Gil and Ivy had a relationship when they were teens, but after moving away, Ivy lost touch with him. Reunited after 15 years apart, they are able to rekindle that love, overcome their pasts, and rescue each other from tight situations. 

As always, faith elements and suspenseful moments are present. Ivy and Gil are strong individuals who care deeply about one another, and theirs is a clean romance. Characters from her earlier series make a cameo appearance. Blackburn’s characters are diverse in their backgrounds and ethnicity.

Recommended for adult collections and fans of romantic suspense, especially fans of Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon, and Dani Pettrey. Watch for book 3 coming in March 2023 and a novella in December 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I received this complimentary copy as part of the Revell Reads blogger program. I am not required to write positive reviews.

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THE LADY OF GALWAY MANOR, / by Jennifer Deibel (Revell Reads)

A Lady of Galway Manor, / by Jennifer Deibel

Revell     ISBN     9780800738426

Adult     Rating:     4

lady of galway manor

In The Lady of Galway Manor, English-born Lady Annabeth De Lacy moves to Ireland with her parents when her father is appointed landlord of Galway Parish. He arranges an apprenticeship for her with the Jennings’ jewelry shop, creators of the famous Claddagh Ring. 

Stephen Jennings wants little to do with the family’s jewelry shop, especially the “legend” associated with the Ring. When impoverished locals show their resentment at her father’s presence, Annabeth works with Stephen to overcome their own preconceived ideas, as well as deal with the English-Irish tension around them.

While Annabeth discovers the art and culture of Ireland, Stephen discovers that she is not like other British aristocrats. Annabeth feels a strong call to familial duty, yet she  struggles with the idea of an arranged marriage which will improve her father’s financial standing but leaves her married to a man she dislikes. 

Deibel crafts a delightful inspirational romance where friendship, love, and loyalty (represented by the Ring) are tested. The reader encounters descriptive narratives, historical detail, and faith elements in this second published work. Stephen closes his heart to love, but Annabeth helps to change that. Theirs is a slow building romance, bringing about significant change in both families, as they discover God’s plan.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries and fans of historical fiction. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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COVER REVEAL: To Win a Prince, by Toni Shiloh

COMING IN SEPTEMBER 2022!

Toni Shiloh

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TO WIN A PRINCE

 ISBN 9780764238963   Pre-order links will be available shortly!

  As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a business to help citizens in impoverished areas. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his countrymen. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he’s forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely—but he can’t allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

As Iris strives to get her business off the ground while keeping her heart intact, will her dreams of happily ever after survive the challenges she faces?

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IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE, by Toni Shiloh

To Search For a Prince, / by Toni Shiloh
Bethany House     ISBN     9780764238956
Adult     Rating:     4

search of a prince
Author Toni Shiloh pens a well-written contemporary Christian romance with a nod to The Princess DIaries, featuring a Black American woman who discovers she is a modern-day princess.

In To Search For a Prince, teacher Brielle Bayo discovers that her mom has kept a secret from her: her father is a recently deceased African prince  – and her grandfather, the king, is in failing health. Accompanied by her best friend Iris, she discovers upon arrival at the island kingdom that not only is she the heir to the throne, but she must marry to secure it. Will she leave her old life behind to accept her new role, accepting a marriage of convenience before the king passes?

Shiloh brings the experience of having written a number of contemporary novels to this new work. The author weaves in the themes of self-identity, forgiveness, and trust, adding a dash of humor and mystery. Shiloh has carved out a niche for herself in this modern-day fairy tale by using Black main characters as well as incorporating African culture and heritage.

The island descriptions make the reader feel as though they are actually visiting this tropical paradise. But no paradise is without a snake, and although there are some hints, the reader will be surprised when the truth is revealed. So To Search For a Prince is more than a clean romance, there are faith elements without being preachy, as well as a mystery and political intrigue involved. 

Recommended for all fans of royal romance fiction, especially fans of Rachel Hauck and Carol Moncado. Readers can look forward to the next book, To Win A Prince, coming in September 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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THE SWORD AND THE SONG (Celebrate Lit Tour)

The-Sword-and-the-Song


About the Book

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Book: The Sword and the Song (The Song of Seare, 3)
Author: Carla Laureano
Genre: Fantasy (Celtic Fantasy – adult)
Release date: January 11, 2022

THE SHADOW OF WAR

Seare is at war. The Red Druid has continued to gain strength and power, and the people of Seare suffer beneath the ravages of the isle’s unbound spirits. The Fíréin are all that stand between the land and certain disaster. But there is strife within the Brotherhood as well: Eoghan still refuses to claim his rightful throne, leaving the responsibilities of rule to Conor and creating an uncomfortable distance between the sworn brothers.

When Conor leaves Ard Dhaimin to find the key to defeating the Red Druid, he delves into a world of shadows and danger which will bring him to the brink of madness and back. All the while Eoghan and Aine are left to pursue their own mission to defeat their adversary through her magical gifts.

But as the final battle looms ever closer, they realize that the cost of defeating the Red Druid may be greater than they’re willing to pay… and that nothing—and no one—is as it seems.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

ND5_9354_p-683x1024Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA® award-winning author of over a dozen books, spanning the genres of contemporary romance and Celtic fantasy. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked in sales and marketing for more than a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write full-time. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, two sons, and an opinionated tortoiseshell cat named Willow.

More from Carla

Why We Should Read About Difficult Things

I’m not going to lie—a lot of my past reading has fallen into the feel-good category. Don’t get me wrong—I like my stories to have some depth, but there’s generally enough turmoil in everyday life that I often feel the need stories with predictably happy endings and not a lot of angst.

But I don’t necessarily think that’s the best approach in times of trouble. Which is why ever since the pandemic hit, I find myself gravitating toward messy, intense reads. Stories where everything goes wrong and it seems like nothing is going to ever work out in the end… until it does. I think it’s a way to work through my own feelings about the state of the world while still being assured that justice will be done, that hope is within reach, that the dawn will still come.

The Sword and the Song is that kind of book. As the third and final volume in the Song of Seare trilogy, things have come to a dangerous tipping point: the rightful High King has been revealed, tensions within the Brotherhood have reached their boiling point, and the Red Druid is slowly but surely moving toward his deadly endgame. Meanwhile, Conor finds his good heart and gentle nature becoming strained by the demands of leadership and the memory of the things that he’s seen and done to survive. It seems that even if victory is still possible—however distantly—it may come at a high personal cost for everyone involved.

There is no doubt that this is the darkest, most dangerous, and most exciting book of the Song of Seare trilogy: on every page, alliances are tested, friendships are shattered, and resolve is stretched to the breaking point. But I would argue that this is the kind of book we need right now. We may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s no arguing that we’ve emerged from it changed in unexpected ways. Some of us may not yet see the light through the darkness. That’s why we find catharsis in reading about difficult things and take hope in their final resolution.

In both this book and in real life, we can be assured that hard times are all part of a bigger plan in the hands of our Creator…and while we may still need to walk through them, there is always One who stays by our side to the very end.


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

Worthy2Read, January 29

By the Book, January 29

A Reader’s Brain, January 30

Inklings and notions, January 31

Texas Book-aholic, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 7 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, February 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 9

Simple Harvest Reads, February 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)


Giveaway

The Sword and the Song Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away the grand prize package of a hardcover set of the series (Oath of the Brotherhood, Beneath the Forsaken City, The Sword and the Song) and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/193c8/the-sword-and-the-song-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Award-winning author Carla Laureano’s final novel in her medieval Celtic-inspired epic fantasy series is filled with adventure, romance, magic, faith, and superstition.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Weaving elements from Celtic history and culture, Laureano has rewritten her 2015 series with some additional material, making her epic fantasy even more engaging. She builds a believable world with strong characters and a clear battle between good and evil. Despite overwhelming odds, good triumphs, but at the cost of personal sacrifice. Her characters face betrayal, faithfulness, death, and love as they continue on their journey. The books should be read in order, as they build on one another. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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SUNRISE, / by Susan May Warren (Revell Reads)

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Sunrise, / by Susan May Warren (Sky King Ranch, 1)
Revell     ISBN     9780800739829
Adult     Rating:     4
sunrise

Award-winning author Susan May Warren kicks off a new contemporary series featuring the Kingston triplet brothers.

In Sunrise, Air Force pilot Dodge Kingston returns home after ten years, and finds his childhood friend (and former love interest) dogsledder and DNR researcher Echo Yazzie homesteading on the Alaskan range. When Echo’s fellow researcher goes missing, she sets off to find her friend, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly, and some dangerous men in the area. Concerned for her safety, Dodge goes searching for her, but will he find her in time?

The Kingston brothers (Dodge, Colt, and Ranger) are triplets who joined different branches of the military. They are also the younger brothers of Larke Kingston – Larke and her husband Riley were main characters in Warren’s earlier book, Some Like it Hot (Summer of the Burning Skies series) and readers will be delighted to catch up with their storyline.

Dodge had a falling out with his dad and his brother Colt ten years earlier and left Echo behind. When he returns, they have to deal with past hurts with each other, as well as their families, before they can move forward with a relationship. Forgiveness and redemption, heartbreak and love, and healing from the past and dealing with family issues are all part of the storyline. 

Warren is known for her inspirational novels, filled with realistic & flawed characters and a storyline that captures the reader’s attention from the first page. Like her other books, Sunrise has faith journeys, adventure, danger, clean romance, suspense, and a teaser for the next book, Sunburst, coming in June 2022 (and Ranger will be the main focus of this book).

Recommended for adult collections and high school readers, as well as Susan May Warren fans.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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LIFE FLIGHT, / by Lynette Eason (Revell Reads)

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Award-winning author Lynette Eason returns with the first installment in her new action-filled romantic suspense series.

life flight

Life Flight, / by Lynette Eason (Extreme Measures, 1)
Revell     ISBN     9780800737337
Adult     Rating:     5

In Life Flight, rescue helicopter pilot Penny Carlton never expected to crash-land her helicopter on a mountainside during a storm with a dangerous criminal hiding in the area. FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield’s task is to prevent that escaped prisoner from using the helicopter to escape the mountains. Will Holt capture him before he kills others? Will the other rescue helicopter reach them in time? 

From the gripping first page to its thrilling conclusion, the reader is engaged as Holt and Penny have narrow escapes, trying to evade the serial killer and his plans, while dealing with their own issues of the past. Penny and Holt dated briefly but haven’t seen one another for some time. Will they pick up where they left off? The addition of another plot line that affects their blossoming relationship adds to the twists and turns.

As expected, Eason creates an intense, edge-of-your-seat story filled with believable characters, faith elements, clean romance, tightly-written suspense, with plenty of plot twists to keep the reader guessing. Violence is present as one would expect in this storyline. 

Themes of family, forgiveness, and the importance of relying on one’s faith in God to weather the storms permeate the novel. Readers will eagerly look forward to Crossfire, the second book in this series, coming in summer 2022.

Recommended for adult collections and fans of romantic suspense, especially fans of Lynn Blackburn, Elizabeth Goddard, and Dani Pettrey

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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OF FIRE AND ASH, / by Gillian Bronte Adams (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Of-Fire-and-Ash


About the Book

OFAA-EBook-revision-1

Book: Of Fire and Ash (The Firstborn Epic)

Author: Gillian Bronte Adams

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Release date: December 7, 2021

She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction. Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people. But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her. With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

gillian-bronte-adams-HR-3-1-647x1024

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander- loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own. She loves to connect with readers online at http://www.gillianbronteadams.com.

More from Gillian

I still vividly remember the moment, years ago, that the idea for this book came to me. It was the end of July, sometime between ten and eleven at night, and the insects outside were buzzing so loudly you could hear them through the window of the back room of the camp office where I sat. Slumped exhaustedly in a chair, shivering in the air conditioning in my sweat-soaked jeans and a t-shirt, I was waiting for the other summer staff to arrive so we could start and finish our planning meeting and stumble off to our cabins to sleep.

Even then, writing felt like breathing to me, so to pass the time and keep myself awake, I drew a ragged notebook out of my backpack and started scribbling sparks and specks of story ideas, barely noticing how my arm left smears of dirt on the page. It was my third or fourth summer as Head Wrangler, which meant I spent my days either on horseback or jogging alongside kids who were learning to ride. Dirt was just a part of life.

So many details of that night remain fresh in my mind, it’s odd that I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea itself—the wide-eyed grin of a boy on his very first ride, the budding confidence in a girl as she raced around the barrels, or the cumulation of all the hours I’d spent atop my own wild thing, clearing wooded trails with a machete, leaping across creeks because he refused to simply wade, and performing amateur stunts for the occasional skit.

Whatever lit the fuse, as soon as I scribbled the first set of words on that crumpled notebook page, I knew I had struck gold. I felt it in my bated breath and leaping heartbeat. “Super-powered horses.” Or better yet, “Magical steeds.” Some that could breathe fire, some with hides like stone that could quake the earth with their hooves, some that rode upon the waves of the sea, and still others that could step into shadow and disappear without a trace.

Seven in all, they quickly cluttered the page, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to write the epic tale that could contain creatures like these. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a page full of fanciful beasts and a head full of wild dreams. No characters. No plot. No premise. Or so I thought.

The meeting started then and I had to tuck my notebook away, but I couldn’t banish the magical horses now roaming in my head. Over the weeks and months that followed, I took them out and let them dance across the page every now and then, gradually fleshing out details, uncovering their secrets, and imagining their world. Yet the story itself remained elusive, until I finally, reluctantly, set them aside and turned my attention to other things. Months before that summer night, I had, in a fit of wild inspiration, outlined a new three book series starring a female warrior who longed to rule like her father before her. It was a bit daring and a lot daunting, but while I liked the characters and the concept, the world itself was lacking that flare of uniqueness, that touch of magic, that allows a fantasy realm to sprawl beyond the confines of the page and take root in the imagination of a reader.

Reading the outline afresh, I lamented that it was the sort of lusterless story doomed to die on a novelist’s hard drive, and perhaps my incredible magical horses with it, for though they were lustrous enough, without a story, they could never truly live. Without a story …

What if my aspiring queen lived in their world? What if she rode a fire-breathing steed? How might those beautiful magical creatures enhance and ultimately, shape her and her story?

Combining any two concepts can be dangerous, as you never know how they will interact until you try it. The resulting explosion shattered my outline and blasted apart my carefully formed plans, but when the dust settled and the heart of the new story emerged, I knew that this finally was an epic tale worthy of my magical steeds, and a world deep and dangerous enough to have forged my aspiring queen. It was, at last, Of Fire and Ash, the first book of The Fireborn Epic.


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Rebecca Tews, December 11

Worthy2Read, December 12

Texas Book-aholic, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

deb’s Book Review, December 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 19

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

April Hayman, Author, December 22

Blogging With Carol, December 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 23 (Spotlight)

Through the fire blogs, December 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24


Giveaway

amazon gift card (2)

To celebrate her tour, Gillian is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/14831/of-fire-and-ash-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Award-winning author Gillian Bronte Adams pens a new YA epic fantasy with a thrilling  action-adventure storyline filled with hope and sacrifice, battles and bloodshed, courage and magical horses.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The three main characters – a young priest (Jakim), disinherited heir (Ceridwen), and reluctant fighter (Raki) – struggle with their self-worth as they face their enemies and their pasts.

Epic battles, courage, bravery, sacrifice, horses with amazing powers, and more await the reader.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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HEART OF STONE, by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

Heart of Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Heart of Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Heart of StoneTitle: Heart of Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #6
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: November 23, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

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!

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

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 http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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 traveling 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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive one True Lies of Rembrandt Stone print copy (winner’s choice) and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Heart of Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight November 29, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 6, 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
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

 This is the last novel with Rembrandt and while the reader will miss him, they will be satisfied with its ending. Heart of Stone is filled with hope, suspense, action, faith, and plenty of twists! The plot twists will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, especially in the final chapters.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

See my reviews of the earlier books: Cast the First Stone (#1), No Stone Unturned (#2), Sticks and Stone (#3), Set in Stone (#4),and Blood from a Stone (#5)

Carol R. Gehringer

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THE DEBUTANTE’S CODE, by Erika Vetsch (I Read With Audra Tour)

Grey weathered parchment


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erica Vetsch

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.

Vetsch is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at http://www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on
Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)                    Instagram (@EricaVetsch)                         Pinterest (Erica Vetsch)


The Debutante's Code 3DAn Interview with Erica Vetsch , Author of The Debutante’s Code

Do you have a fiction lover on your holiday shopping list? Look no further for a gift suggestion! Just in time for the gift-giving season, award-winning author Erica Vetsch is kicking off her new Thorndike & Swann Regency mystery series with the release of The Debutante’s Code (Kregel Publications). This new series combining a historical setting, romance, and mystery has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. With that combination, where can you go wrong?

Q: Introduce us to the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series which has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes.

This story has been a long time in the making! It has to be almost ten years ago that I first thought up the story idea, and originally, it was set in Gilded Age New York. But when I began writing stories set in Regency England, I realized the original tale could easily be adapted to the Regency Era.

Our heroine longs to be reunited with her parents and have her debut season in London, but her plans go awry when her parents do not meet her at the docks and are, in fact, missing. She discovers that she comes from a long line of spies for the Crown, and she has a choice, either to finish what her parents started, or turn her back on her heritage and become the socialite she assumed she would be all along. Her mind is made up when murder is afoot.

Our hero is a Bow Street Runner, one of London’s earliest policemen, and he’s on the hunt for a stolen painting…then other valuables from the same shipment of rare items disappear one by one, and an art dealer is found murdered in his gallery. Each clue leads our hero closer and closer to the thief and killer, but he’s disconcerted to find that his chief suspect has become the debutante he finds so attractive.

Q: Tell us more about your leading lady, Juliette Thorndike.

Juliette is fresh from finishing school in Switzerland, where she has been for several years. Because of Britain’s ongoing war with France, her parents determined a cloistered school in Switzerland was a safe place for her to remain, especially while they were doing daring deeds for the monarch. Juliette is an accomplished toxophilite, avid reader, puzzle solver, and good dancer. 

Most of all, Juliette yearns for her family to be reunited. She was a child when she was sent to Switzerland, and she longs to know her parents as an adult. They have been in frequent communication via letters, but it isn’t the same as being together in person. When she discovers that her parents have kept such a dire secret from her all these years, she wonders if she’s ever known them at all.

Q: Juliette has a somewhat fantasized view of who her parents are, yet she really hasn’t spent that much time around them. What happens to make her realize she’s never really known them at all?

They’ve hidden so many things from her—from her heritage to their activities and hidden rooms in their house. She has created an image in her mind of what life will be like once they are reunited, but now she wonders if any of it is even possible, much less probable. 

She’s always felt secure in her parents’ love, but if they can lie about something so big, what else have they lied about?

Q: Why does Juliette not only feel abandon by her parents, but abandoned by God?

We often form our views of a Heavenly Father from our experience with our earthly parents, for good or for ill. Juliette has not been ill-treated by her parents, or at least she didn’t think she had, but if they could abandon her on the eve of her coming out in society (in what should be the most important year of her life), can she trust anything about them?

Their priorities clearly don’t line up with hers. They put their work ahead of their daughter. Is that fair? Is that right?

They’ve taught her that God is with her, that He will never abandon her, but can she trust what they have taught her when they can lie so easily?

Q: How have Juliette’s parents been preparing her to be a part of the “family business” even though they haven’t been a physical presence in her life? 

A variety of ways, starting with protecting her from the truth when she was very small. They also took great care in the school they chose for her to attend. She’s conversant in French and some Italian as well as English, has been taught the skills required of a young lady in the British aristocracy, such as dancing, deportment, music, and art. 

But she’s also learned a great deal of history, logic, and rhetoric in her curriculum, as well as archery. All skills that will aid her if she chooses to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a spy for the Crown.

And her father added another twist. He wrote to her often, but always in code. A different code each time, growing more complex as she grew and became more adept at deciphering his codes. 

Juliette comes to realize that her parents have been preparing her for her future role, but she doesn’t realize how quickly her skills will be tested.

Q: A Regency novel is not a Regency novel without a swoon-worthy hero. Just who is Daniel Swann?

Ah, Daniel. He’s had very little say in his life up to now, being the illegitimate son of a household servant. He’s done every chore that can be found on a country estate, from being the boot boy in charge of cleaning and polishing all the shoes, to helping the groundskeepers and gardeners with the weeding and planting, to working in the stables and riding the master’s horses out to exercise. In his own way, he’s been training for his future, too.

Through more outside influence, he was removed from his mother’s care, sent to boarding school, and then to Oxford with the understanding that his guardianship would end at his 25th birthday, which is fast approaching. Then he will be in command of his life for the first time…but he wonders if he’s up to the task.

Q: Daniel has a bit of a mysterious past himself—one that even eludes him even though he’s a detective. How has his past directed his career choice?

Daniel has no idea who his mysterious patron is, and he is forbidden from searching out his identity. He’s given other rules he must follow, including cutting off all ties with his mother. He was a bewildered, homesick child, wrenched from his home and shipped off to boarding school, and he believes his mother was only too glad to be rid of him, otherwise why would she agree to such a terrible thing? 

Daniel studied art and history at Oxford, unsure of what he would do for a career, but when a Bow Street officer shows up to investigate a murder in the Oxford Canal, Daniel is hooked on detective work. With the help of his hidden patron, he secures a job at Bow Street, against the wishes of his new superior officer, who is always looking for a reason to dismiss Daniel. 

With his past so shrouded in mystery, his current situation tenuous, and his future racing toward him at his 25th birthday when his patronage will cease, Daniel focuses on being the best detective he can be and hopes things will all work out.

Q: What kind of research was required to write a mystery set in the early 1800s? What are some of the methods detectives of the day would have to depend on?

There was quite a bit of research involved in this one, from police procedures to art history. Much studying of maps and the hierarchy of society, the lives of British spies, and fitting it all into the current political and social situations of the times. I had fun deciding upon the various items that would go missing, from statues to jewelry to artwork, and deciding upon different ways each piece could be acquired.

As to the police methods of the day, the Bow Street detectives didn’t have our current levels of forensic science to help identify culprits. They relied upon eyewitness testimony, circumstantial evidence, catching someone red-handed, and by following the paperwork/money trail. Some things have not changed. The main motives for lawbreaking still fall into three categories: money, power, and sex. Who has it, who wants it, who wants to deny someone else from acquiring it? And in Regency times, the detectives were still looking for motive, means, and opportunity. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Debutante’s Code is my first true mystery, and it’s all wrapped into a heist story, so layering those different threads together was a new adventure for me.

Q: Fans fell in love with the characters from your Serendipity & Secrets series. Is there any chance we might see some familiar faces make a cameo in your new series?

I am delighted that the Thorndike & Swann mysteries take place in what I like to call the “Haverly Universe” first created in the Serendipity & Secrets series. In The Debutante’s Code, several characters from the S&S series reappear, including the Duke of Haverly, Marcus, his duchess, Charlotte, and the Dowager Duchess of Haverly, who is a personal favorite of mine.

Though there is a host of new characters in The Debutante’s Code, as the series unfolds, more of the S&S cast will come into the stories. 

Q: Can you give us a tease of what to expect in the remainder of the Thorndike & Swann series?

The next book, Millstone of Doubt, begins with a bang! Literally! A grist mill on the Thames explodes, but when the rubble and dust are cleared, a man is found dead, not from the explosion, but from a gunshot! Was the mill blown up to cover the murder? Who would want the mill owner dead? Daniel and Juliette put their heads together to sort out the crime, while Juliette juggles her new career as a spy and a debutante, and Daniel uncovers many of the secrets he needs to piece together the puzzle of his past.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).

Click here to read an excerpt.


GIVEAWAY


My Review

Award-winning author Erica Vetsch pens a new Regency series filled with memorable characters, historical details, and mystery elements: secrets, red herrings, and mysteries within mysteries.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Vetsch takes her excellence in historically accurate Regency romances and ups her game, adding more mystery and intrigue into her story. The Debutante’s Code will keep the reader engaged, eagerly turning the pages until the end. Her latest novel is filled with light faith elements, plot twists, a touch of humor, and a clean relationship between Daniel and Julliette, with nothing settled at the book’s conclusion, except for a mutual interest and a hint of romance. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

RIGHT HERE WAITING, / by Susan May Warren and Michele Sass Aleckson (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Right Here Waiting by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren,

hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

06_RightHereWaiting_FCTitle: Right Here Waiting
Series: Deep Haven Collection #6
Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

She doesn’t belong in his world — but she’s determined to try.

Sled dog musher and outdoor adventurer Nick Dahlquist doesn’t mean to be a loner—he just feels at home in the woods, with his dogs, and online in his vlogging world, where he’s amassed nearly a million viewers. But he’s just a simple guy, with simple goals—care for his dogs, teach people how to survive the cold, and run the Iditarod. Unfortunately, life turns cold when his lead dog is injured, and he’s low on funds. Good thing he has LadyJHawk to chat with. She’s become an online friend he can turn to, and he’s starting to need her more than he’d like to admit. But the last thing he wants is for some random woman to show up on his doorstep…

Chopper pilot and Texas gal Jae Lynn Washington has been following Nick’s DogQuest videos and Get Lost in the Woods vlogs since she inherited her deceased boyfriend’s military working dog. Three years later, his online friendship has made her wonder if he could be more than a friend. What if she moved to Deep Haven? Would that be considered stalking, even if she got a bonafide job on the Crisis Response Team?

When Jae shows up in Deep Haven—and on Nick’s doorstep—he’s not at all the man she met online. And when Nick is tapped to train the team, he’s pretty sure petite, summer-loving Jae won’t last a moment in the brutal cold—a fear he pours out to LadyJHawk. As their training takes a personal turn, their chilly start begins to thaw. But what will happen if he discovers that Jae and LadyJHawk are one and the same?

When a blizzard strikes, and the CRT is called out into the storm, 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.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren  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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Michelle Sass Aleckson headshot (1)

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now 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, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at www.michellealeckson.com.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Right Here Waiting ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

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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 9, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 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.

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

Best-selling author Susan May Warren and author Michelle Sass Aleckson take readers back to the tightly-knit community of Deep Haven, MN, with this contemporary novel, filled with a clean romance, light faith elements, and suspenseful moments.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Michelle Sass Aleckson creates a strong Asian heroine in Jae, bringing more diversity to Deep Haven (love the mentions of Korean comfort foods). Jae and Nick have past hurts, but they find healing as they learn to accept help from others and trust in God. Love, family, and acceptance are themes that permeate the story, especially that home is not a place but a situation you choose. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

A PICTURE OF HOPE / by Liz Tolsma (Celebrate Lit Tour)

picture-of-hope


About the Book

9781636090191-1-672x1024

Book: A Picture of Hope
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: October, 2021

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

Why Another WWII Novel Set in France?

You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?

First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.

Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.

Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!

Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.

Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day? How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.

There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.

The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.

So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!


Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 28

Life of Literature, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Genesis 5020, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

The Book Chic Blog, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Sodbuster Living, October 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 30

Elly Gilbert, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Inklings and notions, October 31

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

CarpeDiem, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Life, love, writing, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Betti Mace, November 3

Worthy2Read, November 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 3

Daysong Reflections, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 5

By the Book, November 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 5

Connie’s History Classroom, November 6

For the Love of Literature, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 9

Christian Bookaholic, November 9

Through the Fire Blogs, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season , November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10


Giveaway

A Picture of Hope Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of A Picture of Hope!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/12b83/a-picture-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Tolsma pens a well-written, well-researched World War II story with strong characters and a narrative filled with historical details, a touch of romance, faith elements, and suspense as Jean-Paul and Nellie try to avoid the Nazis (including Jean-Paul’s German father) in hot pursuit. Throughout the story, one finds the themes of hope in the midst of evil, trusting God in all circumstances, and valuing every life God creates.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Although part of a series on heroic women during World War II, each book is a standalone novel, and they can be read in any order.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

1 Comment

Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

PERSONAL THREAT, / by Kimberly Johnson (Celebrate Lit Tour)

personal-threat


About the Book

AMZ-KIMBERLY-ROSE-JOHNSON-PERSONAL-THREAT-Cover-682x1024

Book: Personal Threat

Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Christmas

Release date: September 21, 2021

Bodyguard Sally Wilson has become the target. Can she save her own life as well as her daughter’s?

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but when Sally’s young daughter, Emma, becomes the target of child traffickers, and the little girl’s biological father wants Sally dead, the Christmas season takes a dark turn.

Police officer, Dillon Brady, responds to a call for help at the home of his friend and Protection Inc. bodyguard, Sally Wilson. When their relationship tips beyond friendship, Dillon is determined no one will hurt Sally or her daughter again. Will his resolve be enough?

Sally is drawn to Dillon. He’s a natural with Emma and appears to care about both of them. Sally’s been fooled before by a man she believed loved her, but what if it’s an act? Can Sally learn to trust again and follow her heart, or will Dillon get relegated to the friend zone?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

More from Kimberly

Every year since I signed the contract for my debut novel, a book set at Christmastime, I have made it a goal to write a Christmas book, usually a novella. This year, Personal Threat is that book.

I wrapped up the series with Personal Threat. My husband came up with the title for this one because the threat in this book is very personal for one of the Protection Inc. team members.

We first met Sally in book two of the series and it seemed only fitting she starred in a book of her own. We also get to know Dillon better in this book which for me was super fun to write. He’s played an important and growing role as the series has progressed and is one of my favorite characters in the series.


Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, October 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Worthy2Read, October 15

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Bigreadersite, October 16

Blossoms and Blessings, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Betti Mace, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

An Author’s Take, October 20

The Sacred Line, October 20

Inklings and notions, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 21

Blogging With Carol, October 22

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 27

The space for grace, October 27


Giveaway

amazon gift card (1)

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/12297/personal-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Johnson creates a satisfying mystery adding a dash of clean romance and suspense, as well as faith elements in this novella (only 86 pages!). Characters from her earlier books make an appearance. Her characters are relatable and realistic. Dillon and Sally have a solid friendship that begins to change into something more, as they open themselves to a relationship. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The intrigue is not overly intense but there is plenty of action. It could be read by older teens without posing any concerns. Although this novella touches on human trafficking, it is handled lightly (more of motivation than the actual details). This quick read has all the elements: faith, romance, and danger!

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

ELITE / by Kristen Young (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Elite


About the Book

Young-Elite1-663x1024

Book: Elite
Author:  Kristen Young
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction
Release date: September 14, 2021

Where do you find safety when your world is falling apart?

Apprentice Flick thought the Elite Academy was the answer to all her problems. But the revelation of her past turned everything upside down. Now, she is caught between two worlds set on a collision course.

Will she embrace the chaotic memories that flood her every waking moment? Or will she run to the security of her Elite training?

Discovering her parents’ identities takes her to a secret underground bunker where she finds new friends, opportunities, and maybe even love. But Flick must decide where her allegiances lie soon, or the Triumph of Love festival might bring about her demise.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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A Scottish-born Australian author, Kristen Young has worked in children’s and youth ministry for decades. She writes fiction and non-fiction for teens, and always has a notebook on hand to capture stray story ideas. In her spare time she loves hanging out with her family, watching movies with subtitles, and enjoying a little too much chocolate.

More from Kristen

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” G.K. Chesterton.

Why do we write fiction? There are lots of reasons, really. We write because we have something to say. Maybe we write because we just love creating stories. Perhaps we love to entertain. Or perhaps we write because the stories want to be heard, and we’re just letting them fly.  Or perhaps we know that people want stories for a deeper reason. When life is hard, and work is a struggle, and the world seems just a little too difficult, it’s a great time to escape into a different place. Another world, where even though bad things happen, we know there will be a happy ending.

The responsibility of authors is a heavy one. Our readers entrust their imaginations to us for a short time, allowing us to draw them into a different place. We give them people to follow, and let them see the world through other eyes. Dilemmas, threats, relationships and opportunities — all of these things provide a journey for readers, and give them the chance to explore alternate ways of dealing with life’s problems. We give people the thrill of knowing that even under the heaviest challenges, there is a chance to grow and survive.

Chesterton said that children didn’t need to learn about dragons, but to know the dragons could be overcome. Perhaps even as adults we need a little bit of that, too.


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 30

Artistic Nobody, September 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 1

Inklings and notions, October 2

Inside the Wong Mind, October 2

For Him and My Family, October 3

deb’s Book Review, October 4

Library Lady Kid’s Lit, October 5

Simple Harvest Reads, October 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 8

Blogging With Carol , October 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 11

Worthy2Read, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Through the fire blogs, October 13


Giveaway

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour,  Kristen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11dca/elite-celebration-tour-giveaway


MY REVIEW

In Elite, now an Elite Apprentice, Flick is training to be a Watcher. She is balancing her training, her restored memories, and involvement in a secret society, the Sirens. Can she balance her dual identity as a Siren and a Watcher?

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The book is filled with memorable characters and a tightly-written storyline. Intensity builds in the latter half of the book as secrets are revealed and an enemy masquerading as a friend is discovered. Apprentice (Book 1) should be read first, as Elite builds on where it ended. Apprentice was the 2021 Realm Award winner for Science Fiction and Book of the Year.

SEE FULL REVIEW

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

4 Comments

Filed under BOOK REVIEWS, Young Adult Reviews

CRUMB AND PUNISHMENT, / by Georgiana Daniels

Crumb and Punishment, / by Georgiana Daniels  (A KC Crumb Mystery, 2)
Cozy Cove Press     ISBN     9781736725023
Adult     Rating:     4unnamedAuthor Georgiana Daniels returns with another entertaining cozy mystery, set in the small town of Beaver Bluff, OR.

In Crumb and Punishment, amateur sleuth KC Crumb and her friends try to solve the murder of the town busybody Ruby, who dies in the local ice cream shop making the shop owner the main suspect. But their efforts to clear their friend’s name can be deadly as KC has several attempts on her life. Will they solve the mystery before someone else gets killed?

KC’s quirky friends are diverse in age and occupation, yet they are able to work together — despite the red herrings and false clues — to discover who is really behind Ruby’s murder. Secrets from the past are revealed, and relationships are explored as they follow the clues. While this book can be read as a standalone, the reader will enjoy being introduced to KC and Beaver Bluff in Daniels‘ first book, Crumbs of Passion.

Crumb and Punishment has all the elements of a good mystery — memorable characters, a good storyline with plenty of red herrings, as well as a dash of humor and romance thrown in. Just when the mystery is solved, the author throws in a twist on the last page, setting up for the next book. Watch for A Crummy Way to Die, coming 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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BLOOD FROM A STONE, by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

Banner_BloodfromaStone_BlogReview_JR

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Blood From a Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Blood from a Stone NEWTitle: Blood From a Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #5
Author: David James Warren

Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

He fled the future with blood on his hands. Now, he’ll do anything to stop a killer.

Tragedy has yet again taken from Detective Rembrandt Stone everything he loves. Now, he has one last chance to get things right and stop a killer he’s been hunting across four timelines. Instead, he gets tangled in a petty crime that just might cost him his one chance at justice.

With two murders to stop, and thirty-eight lives still in the balance, Rembrandt must play his hand against time just right if he wants to win his future. Play it wrong and his life will stay shattered beyond repair.

What sacrifices will he have to make to come home to his wife and daughter?

The stakes have never been higher in the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat fifth story of the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TriStone Media

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 http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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 traveling 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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Blood from a Stone and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway_BloodfromaStone_BlogReview_JR

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 5, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 12, 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
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

In Blood from a Stone, police detective Rembrandt Stone returns to stop a crime that prevents the justice he has been seeking in the future. Can he prevent two murders and save the lives of those closest to him? Every time he tries, it affects the lives of others, and not always in a good way.

With each rendition of his life, Rem continues to change into a better man, and his relationship with Eve and his parents improves. Faith elements are stronger in this book, especially through the words of his father.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

See my reviews of the earlier books: Cast the First Stone (#1), No Stone Unturned (#2), Sticks and Stone (#3), and Set in Stone (#4). Watch for Heart of Stone, coming in December 2021.

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THE UNLIKELY YARN OF THE DRAGON LADY / by Sharon Mondragon (I Read With Audra Tour)

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady, / by Sharon J. Mondragon
Kregel     ISBN     9780825447020

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.


Sherry MondragonABOUT THE AUTHOR

An Interview with Sharon Mondragón, Author of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady

It’s easy to fall into a routine that’s easy and comfortable because it’s what has always been done. But sometimes we need to get pushed out of our comfort zones in order to do the work God really calls us to do. That’s what happens to the members of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry in Sharon J. Mondragón’s debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (Kregel Publications). 

Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady.

The four knitters of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry are stuck—in a comfortable mold of ministry, a stagnant church, and at the points of pain they each have in their own life. All this changes when their pastor kicks them out of the comfortable, quiet prayer chapel to take their ministry out into the world. They end up knitting way out of their comfort zone at the local mall during the Christmas shopping season where anything can happen. 

Q: Introduce us to the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry. Who are the members and what is the mission of the ministry?

The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry has met from 9:30-11:30 every Wednesday morning for the past seven years to knit prayer shawls. They knit in the peace and quiet of the Prayer Chapel of Hope of Glory Community Church, praying silently. Margaret is the self-appointed leader of the group (she tends to take charge of whatever she’s involved in). Jane, a mother of teens, gives Rose a ride from Fair Meadows Retirement Community every week. Fran is a recent widow learning to knit as she begins to emerge from the fog of grief.

The purpose of their ministry is to make shawls to comfort and encourage people who are ill, bereaved or otherwise going through a difficult time. They pray as they knit to infuse the shawls with a sense of the presence of God. The shawls are a tangible expression of God’s love and care—a hug from God.

Q: The prayer shawl knitters have been meeting in the church’s prayer chapel, but their routine gets turned upside down. What happened?

Their pastor, Father Pete, has been tasked with either reviving Hope of Glory or shutting it down. If he were a betting man, the bishop would put his money on closing the church. Father Pete, however, isn’t someone who gives up easily. He’s tried all the usual ways of stirring things up—sprucing up the church, expanding the children’s ministry, small groups, to no avail. 

At a recent clergy conference, however, Father Pete gets a brainwave. The bishop tells the pastors in attendance that people are not coming to church anymore, therefore, they need to take church to the people. Father Pete decides that a great way to do this would be to send Hope of Glory (in the form of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) out to the people who aren’t coming to church. After all, what is as inviting and cozy as a group of knitters? He tells them that for the next month, while work is being done in the prayer chapel, they must meet in public.

Q: What starts to happen as the ladies start knitting in the middle of the mall?

People notice them. It starts with a college student, Sarah, who tells the knitters they remind her of her grandmother who makes afghans. After Rose explains prayer shawls to her, Sarah asks the group to pray about her upcoming test. Word gets out, and soon the knitters are fielding prayer requests from all over the mall—from a tire salesman up for promotion and retail workers barely making ends meet to the assistant manager at the bookstore who is worried about her gravely-ill boss. 

The Heavenly Hugs also attract a few young women who want to learn to knit. Rose is delighted to pass on this skill, but the knitting lessons upset Margaret. Not only are they not getting much praying done when people stop by to talk to them, but teaching knitting has never been part of their ministry. She’s convinced the ministry is falling apart, even though some of the people they’ve talked with at the mall start showing up at church.

Q: What happens once a prayer shawl is finished? How is it decided who gets a shawl?

When one of the Heavenly Hugs ladies finishes a shawl, Margaret attaches a tag with the words “Made for you with love and prayer by the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry” on one side and “You are not alone,” followed by the church’s contact information on the other. Then the shawl is delivered to the church, where Father Pete and the congregation pray over it the following Sunday. The shawl is then stored in the church office to be given out to those who request one for someone they know and care about who is having a rough time. On occasion, Father Pete or Lucille, the church administrator, give them to someone who has come for counseling or support. 

Q: Why is Margaret so focused on an arbitrary set of rules that it keeps her from seeing the positives of knitting at the mall?

For one thing, Margaret is used to being in charge. She doesn’t like being told what to do. She invokes those arbitrary rules in order to maintain the status quo. She likes having the prayer shawl ministry in the neat little box of the Prayer Chapel, where nothing unexpected happens and no-one challenges her authority.

She is also using those rules much like the Pharisees used theirs—to keep God at arm’s length. It looks like she’s ministering on the outside, but she’s using those rules to keep from engaging with God. Meeting at the mall changes the way the group ministers. It makes them aware of “the wants and needs” of a group of people they hadn’t thought about before. Being out among the people they’re praying for forces awareness of these needs and shakes them out of complacency. While Rose, Fran, and Jane come to embrace this, Margaret continues to be uncomfortable with the changes and unpredictability. She’d rather keep the people and their problems at arm’s length, too, especially as they begin to inch her toward facing a long-buried hurt. 

Q: After a couple of months, why is it so difficult for Margaret to admit Father Pete may have been right in kicking the knitters out of the prayer chapel? Why does she always have to be in control?

Margaret is something of a matriarch at Hope of Glory, the church “Dragon Lady.” She’s seen pastors come and pastors go, but she has maintained her firm grip on “the way we’ve always done things.” It’s a matter of pride for her to always be right. Having opposed Father Pete, she can’t swallow her pride and admit that he was right.

This issue of control is something I’ve thought about a great deal. There are a number of bossy women in my life. Not being bossy myself, I’ve been perplexed about how these women can feel so comfortable telling others what to do and always getting their own way. Margaret’s character began as an attempt to understand bossy women. I hoped that by getting inside her head and heart, seeing things through her eyes, I might gain insight into the inner workings of my own bossy women.

What I’ve discovered is that not all bossy women have the same motivations. For some it’s about power, the flexing of “muscles” to be able to make others do things. Others believe they have the best ideas, so naturally, others should do as they say. For women like Margaret, there’s an element of pride. They want everything they do to come out in a way that reflects well on them, regardless of much steamrolling they must do to achieve it. 

For Margaret, however, it goes even deeper. She is trying to fend something off by controlling as much as she can. Realizing this was an epiphany for me. I realized that I, too, had struggled with the issue of trying to protect myself vs. trusting God with my future and my heart. I found that my bossy character and I had common ground after all.

Q: What happens that finally starts to turn Margaret’s heart around?

Through one of the prayer requests at the mall, Margaret comes face-to-face with a situation which hits uncannily close to home, a situation from which she has been running for over two decades. This trauma has been at the bottom of her steely and desperate need to control. She is finally moved toward change and healing when she decides to try to save someone else from the regrets that have haunted her for over twenty-five years.

Q: Can you share what the other members of the group are struggling with in their lives?

Rose Harker is eighty-five, widowed, and has relished her independence. She enjoyed her involvement at church, her friendships with the families in her neighborhood, and driving herself whenever she wanted to go somewhere—until she mowed down her daughter’s mailbox while she was backing out of the driveway, that is. Her bossy daughter thinks the best place for Rose is Fair Meadows Retirement Community, so that’s where she’s living now. That doesn’t mean she has to like it, though. At the beginning of the story, Rose is not adjusting well to life at Fair Meadows, shunning new friendships and wishing she could go back to living on her own.

Jane Crenshaw is the harried mother of three contentious teenagers—a nineteen-year-old son, Kenny, and two daughters, Anna and Emily, who are fifteen and thirteen. Jane thought that once troublemaker Kenny was out of the house, things would settle down, but the girls are still intensely quarrelsome with each other and with Jane. Kenny’s behavior has hurt Jane deeply, to the point that she is estranged from him. Rose reminds her that she needs to forgive him, but Jane can’t see how that will ever be possible.

Fran McMillan is beginning to emerge from the shock of sudden bereavement. One minute she was planning a cruise to celebrate her husband Ed’s retirement from a busy, demanding career (he would have time for her at last!), and the next she was planning his funeral after a heart attack. At the beginning of the story, we meet a timid woman who is just coming out of not only the shadow of grief, but the shadow of her husband. She’s learning to knit and has started to venture out into the world again beyond just going to church. Knitting at the mall is out of her comfort zone, but she braves it anyway. Who knows what’s in store for her?

Q: You are involved in actual prayer shawl ministry, aren’t you? Can you tell us more about it?

I made my first prayer shawl in 2008. It was for myself, akin to how flight attendants tell us to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before helping others with theirs. In 2009, I joined my first prayer shawl group. I was, once again, the new girl at church, due to a military move (my husband had been assigned to Fort Gordon, located just outside Augusta, Georgia). I joined the prayer shawl group in hopes of making some friends. It turned out to be so much more!

The Hands of Comfort Prayer Shawl Ministry did not meet at The Church of the Holy Comforter, but in the café of a local health food store. The pastor wanted us to ply our needles in public, not hidden away in the church building. People often stopped by our table to ask what we were making or to tell us about someone they loved who also knitted or crocheted. We were a warm and comforting presence in that space every week.

At first, I thought of prayer shawl making as something nice to do for hurting people, but I soon discovered that God wanted something deeper from me. Most of the shawls I made went into the supply at church. They were an act of faith, as I never knew who would receive them or exactly why the shawls were needed. Then I started to experience what I call “The Nudge,” that urge to make a shawl for a particular person. This involved a great deal of listening as I searched for the right yarn and pattern for each shawl. I began to pay attention to the situations that prompted the nudge and caught a glimpse of how much God cares about fractured relationships, unspeakable sorrow, and weariness of soul. Prayer shawl making has become a way to draw closer to the heart of God, to see people and situations through His eyes.

At the end of my husband’s military career in 2014, we moved to Texas to be closer to family (especially our marvelous grandchildren). I’ve since become the facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at our church. Those who are able meet on Friday afternoons at a local coffee shop. We are not only friends and knitting (and crochet) buddies, but prayer partners, lifting up and encouraging one another.

Q: Do you have a new writing project in the works?

Yes, I do. I’m working on another prayer shawl novel. This story takes place at the retirement community where my character Rose lives. Sam Talbot is barely existing since his wife went into Memory Care at Fair Meadows Retirement Community. Life has lost all color and meaning—until he gets tangled up with flirtatious Jenny Alderman, crotchety crocheter Edna Booth, and the rest of the prayer shawl group Rose is heading up at Fair Meadows. The Woolgatherers make prayer shawls for the caretakers of folks with dementia, but they soon find out that God has much more in mind for each of them. Jenny, Edna, and Sam come face to face with uncomfortable truths about themselves and are challenged to embrace new ways of living and relating to God and others. It’s a story of love and loss, the pain of loneliness, and the power of community.

I’m excited about this book because I feel it’s important to reach out and support those who love and care for people with memory issues. We tend not to want to think about this situation because the thought of developing memory problems ourselves is frightening. It’s deeply distressing to watch someone’s memory and function fade. Caretakers, however, need our love, concern, and support, even if it’s simply a listening ear and a hug from someone who can recognize them. In this book, I hope readers will gain a sense of God’s heart for caretakers and follow Him in loving and caring for them. The care of both memory patients and their caretakers is truly a place where courage and kindness meet. 

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


GIVEAWAY

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady giveaway

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MY REVIEW

In a style reminiscent of Jan Karon’s At Home in Mitford, Mondragon writes about a community of women who find themselves in an unfamiliar setting which brings about changes into their lives corporately and individually. By stepping out of their comfortable patterns, healing — physical and emotional — comes from their taking a more active step in praying for others while they knit prayer shawls and draw closer to one another.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

By moving to the mall, where the public not only can see them, but can interact with them, the women open themselves to seeing God answer prayers. People are drawn to them and open themselves up to request prayer from the knitting group.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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THE INN AT WALKER BEACH, / by Lindsay Harrell (Just Read Tour)

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Inn at Walker Beach - Front Cover

The Inn at Walker Beach, / by Lindsay Harrel (The Barefoot Sisterhood, 1)

Blue Aster Press     ISBN     9781736194492

Adult     Rating:     4

A dream years in the making becomes reality with the inaugural meeting of The Barefoot Sisterhood…

This feel-good women’s fiction novel is Book 1 in The Barefoot Sisterhood Collection, a spin-off of Lindsay’s Walker Beach Romance series that takes place in the same small town and includes some of the same cast of characters. While you may wish to read that series first, it is not necessary in order to enjoy this one.

Jenna Wakefield has been through a lot in her twenty-seven years—losing her mother, becoming a teen mom, and battling depression, just to name a few. And working a dead-end job, barely paying her bills, and fighting unrequited feelings for her boss aren’t exactly part of the life she always imagined.

With her six children grown and her husband constantly traveling for work, Elise Griffin finds herself utterly without purpose for the first time ever at age sixty-three. But “retirement” isn’t as wonderful as it might sound—it gives her far too much time to think about the affair her husband had a year ago … the one she’s never told anyone about.

When both women are invited into the mysterious Barefoot Sisterhood and asked to help restore an old beachside inn for a good cause, they find themselves supported and encouraged in new and exciting ways. This inspiration leads to dream seeking … and new romance as well.

Discover what happens when women give each other the space to finally dream—and in doing so, make the world a better place.

Purchase your copy of The Inn at Walker Beach here!


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway_TheInnAtWalkerBeach_IGReview_JR

 Giveaway – (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon egift card + copy of the book(print US only, ebook international. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on October 4, 2021.)

⇒ To Enter, follow @lindsayharrelauthor @justreadtours & Tag 2 friends in the same comment on this post or any other hosted post of this tour. Enter up to 3x per post. 


MY REVIEW

a diverse group of women are invited to become the Barefoot Sisterhood and help restore an old beachside inn which then would serve as a refuge for battered women. 

Working together to physically restore the old inn leads to new friendships and inspiration for their dreams. The women themselves come from all stages of life and support one another in their struggles.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The Inn at Walker Beach has faith elements, memorable characters, and descriptive narratives. Throughout the book, one sees the themes of forgiveness, second chances, and being inspired to be who God called you to be. Harrel doesn’t shy away from hard topics: abuse, depression, marital affairs, etc. and does a wonderful job handling them sensitively.

The second book, A Refuge by the Sea, is expected in August 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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HANGIN’ BY A MOMENT, / by Susan May Warren and Andrea Christenson (JustRead Tour)


Hangin' by a Moment JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Hangin’ by a Moment by Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hangin' by a MomentTitle: Hangin’ By a Moment
Series: Deep Haven Collection #5
Author: Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He just wants to erase his past. She can’t seem to escape hers. But facing it might put their future in jeopardy.

The day Jack Stewart walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. The whole thing was 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—the guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can he refuse?

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?

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.

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

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Andrea Christenson lives in a Minneapolis, MN suburb 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. She believes that a great loaf of artistic bread can turn a meal into a masterpiece. Andrea’s prayer is to write stories revealing God’s love.

CONNECT WITH ANDREA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive 3 Hangin’ by a Moment ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Hangin' by a Moment JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight September 14, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 21, 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
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


MY REVIEW

Readers return to the tightly-knit community of Deep Haven, Minnesota, with this inspirational contemporary romance, a collaboration by author Andrea Christianson and best-selling author Susan May Warren.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Andrea Christianson’s second novel is filled with memorable characters, a believable storyline, and a clean romance. Her debut novel Can’t Buy Me Love was excellent, and her second novel continues to prove she is a welcome voice in Christian fiction. Redemption, second chances, and recognizing one’s self-worth comes from God, not our circumstances are the themes in the novel. Readers can look forward to Christianson’s next Deep Haven novel in 2023. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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Review: Carved in Stone, by Elizabeth Camden

carved in stone

Carved in Stone / by Elizabeth Camden (The Blackstone Legacy ,1)
Bethany     ISBN     9780764238437
Adult     Rating:     4

Bestselling author Elizabeth Camden kicks off a new historical fiction series set in the 1900s, the Gilded Age of America.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Camden’s novels are filled with well-researched historical details, while weaving a suspenseful mystery. The faith element is minimal but evident, and the storytelling is excellent with strong, flawed characters and descriptive narratives. Patrick and Gwen are very different — Patrick is a proud Irishman, while Gwen is a woman from a wealthy family. Despite this, they are able to eventually look past that. 

Camden is a master at taking a period of time that is not well-known to readers and crafting an engaging story. In this case, the story teaches the reader about the clashing of social classes, the unions, the tetanus vaccine, and the merger of steel companies. 

Book 2, Written on the Wind, will be available in 2022.   Reviews of other books by Elizabeth Camden: A Dangerous Legacy, A Daring VentureA Desperate Hope, The Spice King, and The Gilded Lady.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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HUSBAND AUDITIONS, / by Angela Ruth Strong (I Read with Audra Blog Tour)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Husband Auditions, / by Angela Ruth Strong
Kregel     ISBN     9780825447105
Adult     Rating:     4

Author Angela Ruth Strong pens a delightful romantic comedy in this inspirational romance.

Strong writes inspirational romance with endearing characters, and this book is no exception. Husband Auditions is written in alternating points-of-view, with some of the 101 ways to catch a husband listed at the top of each chapter (the entire list is at the end of the book). 

Both Meri and Kai discover some things about themselves, their dreams, and their faith. Filled with humor, romance, and important lessons on love, Husband Auditions is a swoon-worthy light-hearted read — and not your typical happily-ever-after!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An interview with Angela Ruth Strong,
Author of Husband Auditions

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s? Those are the questions Meri Newberg finds herself asking in Husband Auditions (Kregel Publications/August 17, 2021), the latest release from award-winning author Angela Ruth Strong.

For Meri, it seems the world is full of happily-ever-after love, or maybe it’s only because she’s just gotten home from the wedding of her now-former roommate. As of now, Meri is the only one left in her friend group who is still single, so she inherits “the list” from a 1950s magazine that has been passed from friend to friend. The list outlines “101 Ways to Get a Husband,” and out of desperation, Meri decides there’s nothing to lose and she might as well try some of them out. After all, she can’t get any more single than she already is, can she?

Q: Please introduce us to your new book, Husband Auditions. Where did the inspiration for “the list” come from?

Husband Auditions tells the story of Meri Newberg who is the last single woman among her friend group. At the latest wedding, she’s handed a strange present—a 1950s magazine article with a list of “ways to get a husband.” She starts thinking about trying out a few of them because it sure couldn’t hurt.

Her brother’s roommate, Kai Kamaka, sees the whole thing as a great opportunity to jumpstart his career as a cameraman. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show in the hopes of it going viral. 

I got the idea for Husband Auditions from a real article “129 Ways to Get a Husband” that was published in McCall’s magazine in the 1950s. (You may have seen it online when it was floating around Facebook a couple of years ago like I did.) Some of the suggestions were quite outlandish (ex: stand on a street corner with a lasso), and I imagined what would happen if a modern-day woman tried them out.

Q: You wrote your own list for the sake of the book. Can you share what some of your favorite activities from the list were?

While a lot of the ideas from Meri’s list were definitely inspired by the original, I did set out to create my own. I went to my reader group on Facebook for inspiration. I’m so thankful for the help in coming up with some of these. I had so much fun with them all! 

Here are just a few:

  • Wear a bandage in public and have a tale of daring to go with it.
  • Create suspense like Alfred Hitchcock by buying a convertible to go with your headscarf and cat-eye glasses.
  • Faint in front of him. Seeing a woman’s weakness awakens a man’s nature to take care of her.
  • Let your date do the ordering. Never directly ask the waiter for anything.

Q: What piece of advice from the list comes up again and again, making it almost a theme of the book?

When brainstorming the book at a writing conference, my friend and historical author Peter Leavell was intrigued by the idea of Meri carrying around a hatbox. I laughed and said, “Only you, Peter.” So, I had to stick him in the novel. He’s the character who gives better advice than anything on Meri’s list. He says, “A gentleman always chooses what he wants most over what he wants in the moment.”

This is what gets to Kai. At first Kai is content in not being a gentleman. Because being a gentleman would take work. And sacrifice. And patience. But the advice haunts him, and he has to ask himself what he really wants. He still tries to take a shortcut to getting what he wants, but Meri has also learned this lesson, and she’s not going to settle for a relationship with a man who chooses not to be a gentleman just so she can be in a relationship.

This line about choosing what you want most in life over what you want in the moment fits both character arcs. I also felt it perfectly blended the classy 1950s era with our modern day entitled society.

Q: Husband Auditions is told from both the perspectives of Meri and Kai. Did that make the plotting out and writing of the book more difficult?

I love playing with point of view. Being that this book is primarily for women, most readers will relate more to Meri’s POV, but Meri is such a character that it was fun having Kai’s perspective on her.

They are complete opposites so readers go from the end of one chapter where they see her thinking this is the worst thing that could ever happen to her to the beginning of another chapter in Kai’s head where he’s enjoying every minute of it. I also wanted to have chapters from Kai’s point of view because he doesn’t say everything he’s thinking the way Meri does. The reader needs to understand where he’s coming from so they can better root for Meri. 

Q: Tell us more about Meri and Kai. Is theirs a case of opposites attract?

Meri is a nurse who planned her whole career around what would be the best way to raise a family. She is a planner who wants nothing more than to be a wife and mother, but everyone in her friend group has gotten married except for her. She’s at the point in her life where her friends are starting to get divorced, and she’s realizing that there’s more to happily-ever-after than just walking down the aisle.

Kai doesn’t want to get married, and he tries to avoid responsibility. He works the night shift job that started out as a college internship, and he hates planning because he’s been disappointed one too many times. Sometimes he itches for more, but he’s afraid to scratch that itch—especially where Meri is involved because he cares too much for her to ever want to let her down. His mom thinks he’ll outgrow this phase like a pair of old shoes, but if he doesn’t, he’ll never be able to go the distance.

I recently read a book about dysfunctional relationships and it listed seven different heart issues. One of them was laziness, which is said to be the most frustrating for a woman to have to deal with, and it seems to be common in the younger generations. I wanted to explore the idea of a lazy but likable hero and what it would take for him to have to grow.

I gave Meri the heart issue of fear because the fear of being alone could trap her into a relationship with a man who was just going to sponge off her. I believe many women choose bad love over no love at all, and I want to encourage them to invite their significant other into the light rather than join him in the dark.

Q: Kai seems to understand Meri pretty well, but there are some things that it seems Meri misunderstands about Kai. Why didn’t Kai ever just explain himself (such as with the car)? 

Ironically, Kai prides himself on not having selfish ambition. Plus explaining himself to Meri takes work. He’d rather keep other people’s expectations of him low. He’s been let down before, and the risk of wanting more just doesn’t seem worth it to him. As Kai’s writer roommate tells Meri, he has a good backstory. Unfortunately, it could keep him from seeing his own flaws and growing…unless Meri points them out for him the way he likes to do for her.

Meri is all about growth. She’s action oriented and not afraid to go after what she wants. She hates when Kai points out that in all her haste to start a family, she might have missed out on the life God had for her along the way.

Q: What does Meri get wrong about her idealistic views of marriage? 

Meri believes that if God had the right man for her from the beginning, then she would just have to wait for God to bring him along. It scares her when she sees relationships that she’d once envied start to fall apart. She’d put so many dreams and desires on hold to become the perfect candidate for matrimony, but what if she were to finally have the perfect wedding, but the marriage didn’t last?

She realizes marriage doesn’t offer the guarantee of happiness that she’d been hoping for, and she starts pursuing her dreams again. Rather than trying to become the kind of woman a man would want to spend his life with, she’s going to be the kind of woman she would want to spend her life with. The kind of woman who can choose to be part of a healthy relationship and do the hard work it will require to keep it healthy because she’s not expecting her significant other to make her happy.

Q: One Sunday there is a sermon on marriage at church that opens both Meri and Kai’s eyes. How do each see themselves in the context of that sermon?

When the pastor starts his sermon about marriage, Meri is poised with pen and paper to take lots of notes while Kai is ready to tune out for the next twenty minutes. Neither quite expected to have their beliefs rocked by the sermon.

The passage their pastor focuses on comes from Jesus, and I used the Message translation because I love how it words the passage. In Matthew 19:12 He says, “If you are capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.” But before that, he says, “Marriage isn’t for everyone.” And Jesus lists the kinds of people who don’t get married. Meri sees herself as someone who “never gets asked.” Kai sees himself as someone who “from birth seemingly never give marriage a thought.” Key word: Seemingly.

Q: What advice would you give to single women about the desire to find love and their dreams for marriage?

The best advice I ever got was this: When two people are in a relationship, they have to be relatively close in emotional health. When one person starts to grow, it creates tension in the relationship like a rubber band stretched between two fingers. With such tension, one of three things has to happen. Either the less healthy person chooses to grow, the more healthy person has to regress, or the less healthy person leaves.

In all your relationships, choose to grow. If the person you want to be in a relationship with chooses NOT to grow, you are going to be healthier without them. Don’t ever choose “bad love” over no love at all. You are worth much more than that. And you are already loved more than you can even imagine. Let Jesus be your enough, and as you run towards Him, look for a man who wants to run by your side.

Q: Why do women think they can change something about a man once they are in a relationship? Does that ever turn out well?

Codependency says, “I control you, you control me.” So when you are trying to change someone, you are saying, “I will make you who I want you to be so I can be happy.” 

In a healthy relationship, you say, “I control me, you control you.” In that situation, you can invite them to make better choices, but you’re going to be happy either way. Like I mentioned above, this creates tension. It’s soooo hard.

In my relationship, my husband will sometimes ask, “What can I do better?” I’ll answer, and he’ll try, but he doesn’t always succeed. And vice versa. We’ve created a relationship where we try to please each other but there is also grace when we fail.

Q: How does each character grow spiritually as the story progresses?

Meri learns to pursue the purpose God has given her that she’d shied away from for fear of having to pursue it alone. She goes from feeling like a failure for being the last single woman in her group of friends to believing she is whole even without a husband. She sees the way she was holding herself back and allows herself to be true to who she was created to be.

Kai, on the other hand, realizes that there is a lot more to scripture than the “thou shall nots.” He’s really good at the shall nots but has to learn that “whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” For the first time, he sees his laziness as a sin. He steps out of his comfort zone to win Meri with a grand gesture, but he learns the hard way that genuine change takes time, and it has to happen in his relationship with God no matter what happened between him and Meri. It couldn’t be her job to grow him.

Q: Why is this book special to you as the author? 

I absolutely loved writing this book. I’d finished it, and my agent was shopping it when I got breast cancer. Through cancer, I didn’t have the energy to write. I didn’t have energy to do anything but lie on the couch and stare off into space. As I stared, I relived this book in my mind. I played it like a movie in my head. And I looked forward to this day—to the day I could share it with you. It kept me going through five months of chemo and a double mastectomy. No other book will ever hold this place in my heart.

Q: Do you think readers will get to read more about Meri and Kai in the future? What can readers look forward to next?

I’d considered writing romances for Meri’s brother and roommate, but I prefer standalone novels. My next rom/com is called Football is My Boyfriend. It’s about a woman who unexpectedly finds herself single and in possession of four college football season tickets. She invites her mom, sister, and a friend to join her at the games, not realizing she’ll see her ex at the stadium. As the women cheer together, she learns enough about teamwork to make a relationship work…but it’s going to take a Hail Mary to win her boyfriend back.

Learn more about Angela Strong at www.angelaruthstrong.com, or find her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page)Instagram (@ang_strong), and Twitter (@AngelaRStrong)


Giveaway

Win a copy of Angela Ruth Strong’s HUSBAND AUDITIONS. Giveaway ends on 9/14/2021.

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway here

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My Review

Strong writes inspirational romance with endearing characters, and this book is no exception. Husband Auditions is written in alternating points-of-view, with some of the 101 ways to catch a husband listed at the top of each chapter (the entire list is at the end of the book). The List was used by Meri’s friends, and is supposedly based on a 1950s article. Meri tries everything from lassoing a man on a street corner to a billboard, all in the name of snagging a husband. Kai films her attempts and watches as Meri pursues her dream, even in the face of failure. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Both Meri and Kai discover some things about themselves, their dreams, and their faith. Filled with humor, romance, and important lessons on love, Husband Auditions is a swoon-worthy light-hearted read — and not your typical happily-ever-after!

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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SET IN STONE, by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

Set in Stone Just Read Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Set in Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Set in StoneTitle: Set in Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #4
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

Rembrandt Stone is on the case of a serial killer. But when the killer finds him first, he puts the one person Rembrandt loves in his crosshairs. Now, Rembrandt must outwit time to save the people he loves.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

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 http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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 traveling 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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

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

Set in Stone JustRead Blog Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 10, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on August 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
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

Rem continues to evolve as a character, rethinking decisions he made especially those that affect others. Faith elements are more evident, and Rem is more likeable. His relationship with Eve and his partner in this book is closer to what it was in the first book, but not everything is the same. Can Rem live with that?

Since each book ends on a cliffhanger, the reader is encouraged to start with the first book, Cast the First Stone. Each book is filled with intense action as Rem chases down leads. The plot twists will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, especially those in the final chapter of each book.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

See my reviews of the earlier books: Cast the First Stone (#1), No Stone Unturned (#2), Sticks and Stone (#3), and Set in Stone (#4). Watch for Blood from a Stone, coming in October 2021.

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SHADOW, / by Kara Swanson (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Shadow


About the Book

Swanson-Shadow-666x1024
Book: Shadow (Heirs of Neverland, 2)
Author: Kara Swanson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland.
But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kara-Swason-_-Floral-Headshot-768x768

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

We can conquer.

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

We are not finished.

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

It comes from our King.

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

The important thing is that they can be slain.


Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13


Giveaway

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Award-winning author Kara Swanson concludes her Peter Pan retelling in this young adult version, revealing a darker side to this children’s story.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Swanson’s character development and world building is excellent, as is her creativity in the development of the plot. While one doesn’t need to read Dust (book 1) first, it is recommended to get the full experience of Neverland in a way one hasn’t experienced before.

As this engaging story unfolds, the emotions of the characters are explored in more depth. There is more pain, action, adventure, and uncertainty that things will resolve in a positive way. The overall theme is when all looks bleak, there is light that shatters the darkness. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Recent Reviews Posted (MARCH 2021)

Click on a book cover to read my review!


Anderson-Torch-666x1024


The Indebted Earl

unknown threat
groom for gracie 
  

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DARK OF NIGHT, / by Carrie Cotten (Just Read Tour)

Dark of Night JustRead Blog Blitz
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Dark of Night by Carrie Cotten, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dark of NightTitle: Dark of Night
Series: Dreamwalker #2
Author: Carrie Cotten
Publisher: independently published
Release Date: March 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Speculative Fiction

A new life, a new love, and even a new name. For former secret agent Andromeda Stone – now Joanna Carter – a normal, boring life with her handsome husband was the happy ending. But an old enemy resurfaces, determined to leave nothing unfinished, and Andy must step back into the nightmares once again. Andy and Will each face their own worst fears in their search for answers. Will this new mission cost Andy more than she’s willing to pay?

When the journey takes her to deeper and darker places than she’s ever been before, Andy discovers it’s more than just answers she’s looking for.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Carrie Cotten

Carrie Cotten is a recent transplant to the Appalachian mountains where she and her family are trying their hand at homesteading in the tranquil community of Grassy Creek, North Carolina. By day she is a farming, homeschooling mom of four and by night, a writer of intense, emotional and intriguing Christian fiction novels.

While she has been writing her whole life, the Dreamwalker books are her first complete and published series. Her ultimate goal is to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ through her words. Her characters, though dealing with unbelievable situations experience real, raw, and believable faith.

CONNECT WITH CARRIE: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Dreamwalker prize pack including The Dreamwalker
paperback book, a Dreamwalker charm, Dreamwalker bookmark,
and (4) stickers!

Dark of Night JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 25, 2021

and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 1, 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
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

;


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Recent Reviews Posted (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021)

Click on a book cover to read my review!

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS, GENERAL INFORMATION, General Reviews, Young Adult Reviews

Recent Reviews Posted (November/December 2020)

Click on a book cover to read my review!

 

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS, GENERAL INFORMATION, General Reviews, Young Adult Reviews