Review: YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT / Susan May Warren

You’re the One That I Want, / by Susan May Warren (A Christiansen Family Novel, 6)
Tyndale House     ISBN 9781414378466
Adult     Rating: 4

YoureOneIWant

Susan May Warren concludes her series set in Deep Haven, Minnesota, featuring the six adult children in the Christiansen family and their relationships. Each book opens with a letter from their mother, giving insight into the main character. Owen has been the prodigal since the second book in the series, but he is “more than the sum of his mistakes” (back cover).

In You’re the One That I Want, Owen Christiansen works on an Alaskan crabbing boat, and becomes attracted to the no-nonsense Elisa “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter and former police officer. A near-death accident at sea changes their relationship.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

More than just romances, these are stories of flawed individuals with very messy lives and life-changing mistakes. God teaches them about forgiveness of others and themselves. Warren uses these imperfect lives to teach the reader about God’s gift of grace and that strength it takes to live a life of faith.

Have you read the other books in this series? Here are my reviews:

Watch for Susan May Warren’s new series, coming in Fall 2016.

 

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Cover Reveal: THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN / Dawn Crandall

COVER REVEAL!

The Cautious Maiden / by Dawn Crandall
Whitaker House (October 2016)The Cautious Maiden

Publisher’s Summary:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks in the area. When her reputation is compromised, she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right?

Want to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway?

Have you read the other books by Dawn Crandall? If not, check out my reviews linked below:

The Hesitant Heiress / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 1)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629116587

The Bound Heart / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 2)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629112305

The Captive Imposter / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 3)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629116600

hesitant heiress bound heart captive imposter

Crandall’s books are filled with light but evident faith elements, intriguing characters, and a solid plot engaging the reader until the very last page. Told from the first-person perspective, her books combines the elements of inspirational romance with detailed historical elements, mysterious circumstances, plot twists, drama and intrigue. Each book is better than the previous one. Like her first book which won the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, her latest book is sure to be an award winner!

Thrilled to be able to share that these books are award winners:

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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My 16 Anticipated Reads for 2016

I am excited for the following 16 titles coming out in 2016. As I review these books, I will link my review to the titles here. I will read and review more than the 16 titles listed here, but these are the ones I’m most interested to read. So here are my top 16:

JANUARY

thin ice YoureOneIWant undaunted hope

FEBRUARY

cold shot

spys devotion always watching

MARCH

daring sacrifice kings folly sirenssong

APRIL

sound emeralds

three wishes

MAY

beautiful pretender

courageous

OCTOBER

The Cautious Maiden time-to-rise wildmontanaskies

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Review: THE PAINTER’S DAUGHTER / by Julie Klassen

The Painter’s Daughter / by Julie Klassen
Bethany House     ISBN 9780764210723
Adult (HS)     Rating: 5

painters daughter

Award-winning author Julie Klassen pens her newest inspirational Regency novel, filled with love and redemption, and family relationships.

In The Painter’s Daughter, Sophie Dupont helps her father by painting the backgrounds in his work, unbeknownst to others. When not painting, Sophie wanders the Devon coast where she meets fellow artist Wesley Overtree, and her life is changed.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

Klassen is known for her excellent plot and character development. Elements of a gothic novel — family secrets and secret passages – enrich the storyline. Her addition of battle scenes capture the danger faced by the soldiers during the Napoleonic War.

Have you read other books by Julie Klassen? Check out my reviews!

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Review: THIN ICE / by Irene Hannon

Thin Ice / by Irene Hannon (Men of Valor, Book 2)
Revell (January 2016)       ISBN 9780800724535
Adult       Rating: 5

thin iceAward-winning author Irene Hannon releases the next installment in her romantic suspense series featuring the former military McGregor brothers as they settle into civilian life.

In Thin Ice, Christy Reed lost her parents in a car accident eight months ago and her sister in a house fire two months ago. When Christy receives a note from someone claiming her sister is still alive and is a hostage, she turns to Lance McGregor, a new FBI agent and a former Delta Force operator, for help. Can Christy, a former ice skater, trust Lance to protect her and find out the truth? Or is she skating on thin ice?

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

Hannon writes edge-of-your seat inspirational romantic suspense that will keep the reader engaged until the final page. Unexpected plot twists are a Hannon trademark as the villain’s identity and sinister motives are unveiled.

Have you read other books by Irene Hannon? If not, check out my reviews for

 

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CSFF TOUR: The Shock of Night / Patrick W. Carr

The Shock of Night / Patrick W. Carr (Darkwater Saga, 1)
Bethany House Publishers (November 3, 2015)     ISBN 978-0764213465
Adult     Rating: 4

shock of night

Publisher’s Summary:

Patrick Carr Launches a New Suspense-filled Fantasy Epic

When one man is brutally murdered and the priest he works for mortally wounded on the streets of Bunard, Willet Dura is called to investigate. Yet the clues to the crime lead to contradictions and questions without answers. As Willet begins to question the dying priest, the man pulls Willet close and screams in a foreign tongue. Then he dies without another word.

Willet returns to the city, no closer to answers than before, but his senses are skewed. People he touches appear to have a subtle shift, a twist seen at the edge of his vision, and it’s as though he can see their deepest thoughts. In a world divided between haves and have-nots, gifted and common, Willet soon learns he’s been passed the rarest gift of all: a gift that’s not supposed to exist.

Now Willet must pursue the murderer still on the loose in Bunard even as he’s pulled into a much more dangerous and epic conflict that threatens not only his city, but his entire world–a conflict that will force him to come to terms with his own tortured past if he wants to survive.

Just finished this book last night! Carr pens an epic adult fantasy, rich in character development and plot twists. It is darker than his previous series and definitely for adults.

<See my review SHOCK OF NIGHT here>

While it is well-written, I admit to mixed feelings about it because it is darker. Still I look forward to reading the second installment,  The Shattered Vigil (The Darkwater Saga, #2),  published in 2016.

Want to read more Patrick Carr books? Check out my review of his earlier series, The Staff and Sword: CAST OF STONES, A HERO’S LOT, and A DRAW OF KINGS.

A prequel novella — BY DIVINE RIGHT — is available for FREE on AMAZON for your Kindle and Barnes and Noble for your nook (as of yesterday, December  6, 2015).

divine right

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Want to know what other reviewers and bloggers are saying about THE SHOCK OF NIGHT ? Check out the CSFF Blog Tour participants shown below (Christian Science Fiction Fantasy):

Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Carol Bruce Collett
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rani Grant
Rebekah Gyger
Bruce Hennigan
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Rebekah Loper
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas
Robert Treskillard
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Michelle R. Wood

*   *   *

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.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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Review: THE GOLDEN BRAID / Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid / by  Melanie Dickerson
Thomas Nelson      ISBN 978-0718026264
Young Adult / HS     Grades 9-12     Rating: 5

golden braid

Award-winning author Melanie Dickerson, a masterful storyteller, continues her medieval retelling of fairy tales, this time using the story of Rapunzel.

In The Golden Braid, seventeen-year-old Rapunzel lives with her mother Gothel in medieval Hagenheim. Rapunzel dreams of learning to read and marrying one day — dreams Gothel continues to prevent from happening . . .

As in her earlier books, Dickerson’s tales feature wholesome relationships while still building a strong attraction between the main characters, making this a good choice for teen readers.

<SEE MY FULL REVIEW>

*     *     *

Have you read the other young adult books by Melanie Dickerson? If not, check out my reviews for

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Cover Reveal: THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER / Melanie Dickerson

Cover Reveal

THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER / by Melanie Dickerson (A Medieval Fairy Tale, 2)
Thomas Nelson      ISBN  978-0718026288

COMING MAY 2016

beautiful pretender

Publisher’s summary:

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Can’t wait til spring!  Recommended for adult collections in school and public libraries.

I reviewed the first book in this adult series: THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECKE FOREST    – check it out!

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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EVERSTONE CHRONICLES / Dawn Crandall – NEW GIVEAWAY! & Now available in print!

Now available in print! Previously issued only as eBooks!

The Hesitant Heiress / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 1)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629116587

The Bound Heart / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 2)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629112305
Adult     Rating:      4 (Book 1 & 2)

The Captive Imposter / by Dawn Crandall (The Everstone Chronicles, Book 3)
Whitaker House      ISBN     9781629116600
Adult     Rating:      5 (Book 3)

hesitant heiress bound heart captive imposter

Dawn Crandall makes her debut with the Hesitant Heiress, the first book in her Everstone Chronicles series set during America’s Gilded Age (19th century). She follows it with two excellent sequels, The Bound Heart, and The Captive Imposter.

In The Hesitant Heiress, Amaryllis Brigham dreams of opening a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, but her dreams crumble when she is unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory. Just when things look the worst, she discovers that if she marries within the year, she inherits her estranged grandmother’s fortune.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

In The Bound Heart, Meredyth Summercourt is convinced Vance Everstone will finally notice she is a grown woman, now that she is nineteen years old. One kiss leads to an indiscretion but not to marriage. Vance leaves her to travel abroad for five years.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

In her most recent book, The Captive Imposter, Estella Everstone is sent away for her own protection after her brother’s murder. She ends up as a companion to an elderly widow at one of her father’s hotels — where she meets Dexter Blakely, the handsome hotel manager who has no use for privileged socialites like Estella but develops a friendship with Elle Stoneburner (Estella’s false identity).

<see MY FULL REVIEW>

Crandall’s books are filled with light but evident faith elements, intriguing characters, and a solid plot engaging the reader until the very last page. Told from the first-person perspective, her books combines the elements of inspirational romance with detailed historical elements, mysterious circumstances, plot twists, drama and intrigue. Each book is better than the previous one. Like her first book which won the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, her latest book is sure to be an award winner!

And if that isn’t enough, there are 3 giveaways for this series:

Thrilled to be able to share that these books are award winners:

  • 2015 ACFW Carol Award Finalist for Debut Novel (THE HESITANT HEIRESS)
  • 2015 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Readers’ Award (THE HESITANT HEIRESS)
  • 2015 winner, The Clash of the Titles Laurel Award (THE BOUND HEART)
  • 2012 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest
  • 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the Inspirational Category (THE HESITANT HEIRESS)

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: THE SOUND OF EMERALDS

COVER REVEAL:

The Sound of Emeralds, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 3)
WhiteFire Publishing (COMING February 2016)

sound emeralds

Publisher’s Summary:

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Recommended for teen collections in school and public libraries. Fans of Melanie Dickerson, Lisa Bergren, and Jody Hedlund (authors of young adult medieval fiction) will enjoy this new author’s works.

Books 1 and 2 in this series were reviewed earlier this month:

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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Review: THE SOUND OF DIAMOND (and) THE SOUND OF SILVER / Rachelle Rea

The Sound of Diamonds, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 1)
WhiteFire Publishing      ISBN 9781939023599

The Sound of  Silver, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 2)
WhiteFire Publishing      ISBN 9781939023612
Young Adult     Rating: 4

Rachelle Rea makes her debut with a medieval young adult series about a Catholic maiden and a Protestant former rogue in the midst of the 16th century Protestant-Catholic conflict.

Sound-of-Diamonds sound silence

In The Sound of Diamonds, Gwyneth, an eighteen year old  Catholic woman,  has hidden in a Dutch convent after the murder of her parents in England. Suddenly one night, Dirk — the man she accused of their murder — breaks into her convent to abduct her. In truth, he is trying to rescue her from the imminent attacks on the Catholics in the area. Can she trust this Protestant rogue, even when he says he has reformed? Can she afford not to?

<SEE MY FULL REVIEW>

The Sound of Diamonds is filled with plenty of plot twists. At its conclusion, there are a number of unanswered questions, laying the groundwork for The Sound of  Silver the second book.

<SEE MY FULL REVIEW >

The Sound of Emeralds, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 3)
WhiteFire Publishing (February 2016)

Watch for the Cover Reveal coming later this month!

Publisher’s Summary:

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Recommended for teen collections in school and public libraries. Fans of Melanie Dickerson, Lisa Bergren, and Jody Hedlund (authors of young adult medieval fiction) will enjoy this new author’s works.

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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CSFF TOUR: THE FIRST PRINCIPLE / Marissa Shrock

The First Principle / by Marissa Shrock
Kregel     ISBN   9780825443572
HS     Grades 9-12     Rating:     4

first principle

 

MY FULL REVIEW

UPDATE, 6/28/16: This book is now a finalist in the Debut Novel category for the 2016 Carol Award (ACFW).

INITIAL REACTION:

Marissa Schrock makes her debut with this dystopian novel featuring sixteen year old Vivica Wilkins, a governor’s daughter, who faces mandatory termination of her teen pregnancy or following her heart and carrying her baby to full term.

Set in a futuristic North America where the government has ruled that Christianity is illegal and considered domestic terrorism, The First Principle will appeal to readers of The Hunger Games, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Divergent series.The First Principle is filled with fast-action, espionage, religious warfare, and political intrigue.

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Want to know what other reviewers and bloggers are saying about THE FIRST PRINCIPLE ? Check out the CSFF Blog Tour participants shown below (Christian Science Fiction Fantasy):

Julie Bihn
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
April Erwin
Carol @ Worthy2Read
Victor Gentile
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas

*   *   *

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.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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Blog Tour FINALE: GUARDIANS OF THE HEART/ Loree Lough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
We’re sharing the Grand Finale for
Guardians of the Heart
By Loree Lough
 
Nell and Asa have guarded their hearts, but to let love in, they’ll have to let go.
We hope you enjoyed finding out more about their story.
If you didn’t get a chance to get to each stop, you can go back and check them out now…
Launch – Author Interview
 
And how do you develop your deep POV?
I love living in the heads of my characters, and accomplish it (and avoid ‘head hopping’) by writing each scene from a specific character’s point of view. It’s almost as though I take up residence in their brains (like a parasite! LOL). When I’m thinking their thoughts, reacting to what other characters do and say, deep POV is a lot easier.
Bookworm Lisa – Review
 “Loree Lough has written this story in an easy to read voice. The pacing is excellent. She kept my attention and I really came to like the characters.”
 Worthy2Read – Nonna’s Authentic Spaghetti Sauce
 As any ‘on a deadline’ author can tell you, we’re really, really good at procrastinating. We tidy drawers, organize closets, poke around in our flower beds. And we cook. One of my favorite recipes was handed down by my Italian grandmother’s family. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!
 Zerina Blossom’s Books – They Called Her Shoog Guest Post
 The summer I turned ten, a pretty little redheaded girl moved into the house on the corner. Her parents and older siblings called her Shoog…and it was Shoog who introduced the kids on our block to a whole new way to spend our summer days…
 “A sweet heartfelt romance that reminds us of the importance of forgiveness – of other people and especially of ourselves. With true, likable characters and a plot brimming with all the great elements of a story, Guardians of the Heart will gently refresh your soul.”
Christy’s Cozy Corners – A Promise to Jake, Part 1
 When a mysterious package arrives shortly before Christmas, a wealthy author is forced to remember what’s truly important about the holy day…and about life.
Writing Pearls – Review
 “This was a surprising out of bounds romance. It was clean, well-written, with strong characters that become a part of your reality.”
 underneath the covers – Excerpt
 Regrettably, no one was hiring. Few things scared her more than the prospect of being homeless and destitute. Nell sat on the steps of the bank, held her head in her hands and tried to pray. She’d said countless prayers for others—in church, others on her knees before bed—but couldn’t remember the last time she’d prayed for herself. Did she remember how?
 Mel’s Shelves – Review
 “I loved Asa and Nell! Asa puts on a rough front but does care about others while trying not to. He feels guilt for some things he did in the past and needs to learn to forgive himself. Nell was sweet from the beginning! What I loved about this book is that the author didn’t just tell me; she showed me.”
 Oh, what he wouldn’t give to go back in time to the little house on the outskirts of Denver that always smelled of fresh-baked bread, where he’d never gone hungry and never felt cold, thanks to his ma’s talent for turning scraps of cloth into warm quilts.
 Babs Book Bistro – Review
 “I could not put this book down it was wonderful. . . . A nice relaxing read that brings out the love and coziness.”
Mommabears Book Blog – A Promise to Jake, Part 2
 He stared at the blinking cursor. “I’ve let you down big time, Jake,” he said, eyes on the blank white screen. Maybe telling his friend’s story would ease his conscience. Squaring his shoulders, Homer pulled out the keyboard drawer and gave his knuckles one last crack, and began to type:
Wishful Endings – A Promise to Jake, Part 3
 FIVE YEARS LATER:
“Homer, schweetheart,” Bobby said, “so what’s up with your answering machine? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for days.”
 “Don’t have one up here.” Don’t want one, don’t need one.
 Reading Is My SuperPower – Special Author Interview
 Me: You are such a prolific writer! (5,000,000 copies in circulation – 108 books, 72 short stories, and over 2500 articles in print) Where do you get your inspiration for so many new plots and characters?
Loree: Inspiration is everywhere. Literally. I’ve come up with story ideas while reading a dog-eared old magazine in the doctor’s waiting room. At the grocery store. In the movie theater. Here at home, watching the TV news or reading the Sunday paper. Sitting on a bench at the soft ice cream parlor, listening to the conversation of patrons on the next bench. Talking to a neighbor over the back fence. While on hold to make corrections to a DirecTV statement. I could go on (and on!), but I think you get the idea!
Singing Librarian Books – Review (Author Interview here)
 “Throughout the novel Loree has brought her characters to life in a true and heartwarming way. I would recommend this novel to Christian, historical fiction, romance readers.”
 Colorimetry – Excerpt
 They carried their bowls to a nearby bench and sat down to enjoy the treat, and Asa realized immediately that they were facing the wrong direction. Fifty yards due north, he had a direct line of sight to where Gus and Nell sat, munching fried chicken, corn bread, and apple slices. Oughta be you sitting there, he thought.

Guardians of the Heart

(Secrets on Sterling Street, #2)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance

Paperback & ebook, 272 pages
August 3rd 2015 by Whitaker House

Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.

Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited.

Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

The First Book in the Series

 

Currency of the Heart

(Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance

Paperback & ebook, 256 pages
January 1st 2015 by Whitaker House

Young widow Shaina Sterling hates living a lie. Desperate to keep bill collectors from the door, she secretly sells valuable possessions piece by piece, and hopes Denver’s elite never discover that his lavish lifestyle left her a near pauper.

She’s unaware that as her husband lay dying, successful rancher Sloan Remington made him a promise. And Sloan guards her secrets
as carefully as he looks after her safety.

When fire devours Sterling Hall, leaving her homeless and penniless, he brings her to Remington Ranch to manage his household. His kindness makes Shaina beholden to him … and threatens to expose the secret that could destroy him.

Will trials and tragedies bring Sloan and Shaina together?
Or will secrets—and the cost of exposing them—drive them apart forever?

 

Yes, it’s true: Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the U.S. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for the “grandorables,” but mostly, she just writes. (And writes.) Over the years, her stories have earned nearly 100 industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 7 movie options, and over 80 4- and 5-star reviews.

There are more than 5,000,000 (yes, that’s FIVE MILLION) copies of Loree’s books in circulation, and in September of 2015, she’ll have 108 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults) 72 short stories, 2,500+ articles in print. To date, she has received 50,000+ letters from fans (a carton of books goes to Meredith P. in Joliet, IL — which she has elected to donate to her local library –for writing the 50,000th letter)!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in “giving back,” Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between her home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of lighthouses, wind chimes, and “wolf stuff.”

Tour Giveaway Click here to enter
the Rafflecopter giveaway$25 Amazon Gift Card
Print copy of Guardians of the Heart
Kindle copy of Guardians of the Heart (to be gifted through Amazon)
Open internationally
Ends August 29th

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Blog Tour: GUARDIANS OF THE HEART/ Loree Lough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Guardians of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #2)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 pages
August 3rd 2015 by Whitaker House

 

Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.

Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited.

Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

*     *    *

The First Book in the Series

  Currency of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 pages
January 1st 2015†by Whitaker House

 

Young widow Shaina Sterling hates living a lie. Desperate to   keep bill collectors from the door, she secretly sells valuable possessions piece by piece, and hopes Denver’s elite never discover that his lavish lifestyle left her a near pauper.

She is unaware that as her husband lay dying, successful rancher Sloan Remington made him a promise. And Sloan guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after her safety.

When fire devours Sterling Hall, leaving her homeless and penniless, he brings her to Remington Ranch to manage his household. His kindness makes Shaina beholden to him and threatens to expose the secret that could destroy him.

Will trials and tragedies bring Sloan and Shaina together?

Or will secrets and the cost of exposing them drive them apart forever?

With 105 books (5,000,000+ copies in circulation!), best-selling author Loree Lough’s stories have been compared to those by Nicholas Sparks, and she has been dubbed by readers and reviewers as is a gifted writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives.

With a long list of industry awards, it isn’t likely this prolific author will ever retire . . . not even to her cozy li’l cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. She loves to hear from her readers and personally answers every letter sent to http://www.loreelough.com/.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest

  *  *  *

Guest Post – Loree Lough

As any ‘on a deadline’ author can tell you, we’re really, really good at procrastinating. We tidy drawers, organize closets, poke around in our flower beds. And we cook. One of my favorite recipes was handed down by my Italian grandmother’s family. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

NONNA’S AUTHENTIC SPAGHETTI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 – 28 oz. can tomato puree
1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed½ cup chopped onion
2 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. lightly-salted butter
2 ½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. thyme leaves
½ tsp. rosemary leaves
½ cup dry red wine (optional)½ lb. lean ground beef (optional)
¾ cup water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First, you’ll need a large stockpot.
  2. Melt butter over low to medium heat, and add olive oil.
  3. Sauté onions until opaque (about 4 minutes).
  4. Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Add water tomato paste and puree, and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the spices and herbs, making sure to mix well.
  7. Simmer, loosely covered, for 2 ½ hours.
  8. IF YOU’RE ADDING GROUND BEEF, brown it in a medium-sized frying pan. When it’s well-crumbled, drain fat and add meat to sauce.
  9. IF YOU’RE ADDING WINE, do it now.
  10. IF YOU PREFER YOUR SAUCE ON THE THIN SIDE, ADD ¼ TO ½ CUP WATER.
  11. Simmer an additional 30-45 minutes.

Serve over your choice of cooked pasta, with or without sides, top with shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan, and enjoy!

  *  *  *

Tour Schedule

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8/17 

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8/22 – Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card
Print copy of Guardians of the Heart
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Open internationally
Ends August 29th

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Review: THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN [and] A SPARROW IN TEREZIN / Kristy Cambron

The butterfly and the violin, / by Kristy Cambron (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel)
Zondervan          ISBN 9781401690595

A sparrow in Terezin, / by Kristy Cambron (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel)
Zondervan     ISBN 9781401690618
Adult     Rating:     5

butterfly and violin sparrow in terezin

Kristy Cambron presents two World War II historical novels with alternating points of view.

In The Butterfly and the Violin, a contemporary woman and high-ranking Nazi officer’s daughter are connected to a painting.

<See FULL REVIEW>

The Butterfly and the Violin is a juxtaposition of Adele’s life in Auschwitz and Sera’s contemporary life. Although Adele and Sera are separated by decades, both suffer from heartbreak and broken dreams until they find God’s peace.

In A Sparrow in Terezin, the art dealer shares a connection with an imprisoned Polish reporter in Terezin.

<See FULL REVIEW>

Cambron weaves the multiple plot lines and characters expertly. Both character and plot development are intricate and complex.

Kudos to the author of  this debut novel and its sequel!

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Cover Reveal: THE SOUND OF SILVER / Rachelle Rea

COVER REVEAL:

The Sound of Silver, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 2)
WhiteFire Publishing (COMING October 2015)

sound silence

I just finished Book 1, The Sound of Diamonds, by Rachelle Rea — and I LOVED it! I’ll be posting a review of this YA historical fiction in the next few weeks. Until then, I am happy to share the cover for the second book, coming out in the fall.

For more information on this series, see the publisher summaries below, and look for my review in the next few weeks.

*     *     *

The Sound of Diamonds, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 1)
WhiteFire Publishing (June 15, 2015)     ISBN 9781939023599
Young Adult     Rating: 4
Sound-of-Diamonds
Publisher’s Summary:

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.

MY REACTION — Love this new YA series! Can’t wait to read the next book from this new author. How many books are written about this time period (1500s, during Catholic/Protestant conflict)? How many YA titles? I certainly can’t remember any others?

*     *    *

The Sound of Silver, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 2)
WhiteFire Publishing (October 2015)

sound silencePublisher’s Summary:

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God?  Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

*     *    *

The Sound of Emeralds, / by Rachelle Rea (The Steadfast Love Series, Book 3)
WhiteFire Publishing (February 2016)

Publisher’s Summary:

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

 

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Comments: LADY MAYBE / Julie Klassen

Lady Maybe, / by Julie Klassen
Berkley (July 7, 2015)     ISBN 9780425282076
Adult     Rating: 5
Pre-publication copy reviewed

lady maybe

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…

Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.

But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.

MY INITIAL REACTION:

Loved it! Julie Klassen writes excellent historical fiction novels. I have read them all, and this one ranks up there as one of my new favorites! It has LOTS of plot twists, as well as romance, historical details, and mystery that one comes to expect with Klassen’s books.

If you like Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre, and/or Jane Austen, you will enjoy this book!

A longer review will be posted by the end of this week, but I wanted to let you know that Lady Maybe is being released on JULY 7, 2015 by Berkley. If you haven’t ordered it already, do so now!

Her next book, The Painter’s Daughter, will be published by Bethany House on December 1, 2015.

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Review: DESPERATE MEASURES / Sandra Orchard

Review: Port Aster Secret series  / Sandra Orchard

Desperate Measures, / by Sandra Orchard (Port Aster Secrets, 3)
Revell (June 2, 2015)     ISBN: 9780800722241

Blind Trust, / by Sandra Orchard (Port Aster Secrets, 2)
Revell (June 17, 2014)     ISBN 9780800722234

Deadly Devotion, /  by Sandra Orchard (Port Aster Secrets, 1)
Revell (June 1, 2013)     ISBN 9780800722227
Adult     Rating:   4

deadly devotion blind trust Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures is the latest installment in award-winning Canadian author Sandra Orchard’s contemporary mystery series. Unlike many other series, Port Aster Secrets features the same main characters, revealing more layers of secrets in each of her books.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

Sandra Orchard presents an edge-of-your-seat series for suspense fans where plot twists and mysteries abound. Like any good mystery, red herrings and suspects abound. As evidence of Orchard’s writing excellence, Blind Trust is a finalist in the 2014 Selah Awards and won the 2014 The Word Award (Canadian national award).

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Interview & Cover Reveal: A TIME TO SPEAK / Nadine Brandeis

COVER REVEAL

A TIME TO SPEAK / by Nadine Brandes

a tine to speak

Goodreads link, A TIME TO SPEAKhttp://bit.ly/ATtSGoodreads

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

How do you live after you planned to die?

Parvin Blackwater should have died in her brother’s place. She didn’t. Now she’s the only one who can protect her village, but no one wants to listen. When the Council starts forcing “new and improved” Clocks on the public, those who refuse are declared Radicals and exiled.

Having been across the Wall once, Parvin is the only one who can save them. But instead of going through the Wall, she’s packed into a boxcar, loaded on a cargo ship, and forced out to sea.  How will she lead when facing the unknown? 

Worse yet, why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out? 

* * *

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. Her dystopian trilogy, the Out of Time Series, challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by ‘bumbershoot’.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai, editing fantasy novels, or being a Harry Potter super-nerd, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out chasing adventures.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website: http://nadinebrandes.com Newsletter: http://nadinebrandes.com/my-newsletter Facebook: http://facebook.com/NadineBrandesAuthor Twitter: http://twitter.com/NadineBrandes Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/NadineBrandes

* * *

The author is sponsoring a giveaway —

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

* * *

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:  Let’s get to know the author a little bit. I asked Nadine Brandes a few questions recently.

1) How long did it take to write A TIME TO SPEAK vs. your first book, A TIME TO DIE?

I wrote A Time to Die in three years. There’s definitely a bit of perfectionist in me, but thankfully that made the book as good as it could be! A Time to Speak was quite different. I have deadlines now that I agreed to in my contract, so I wrote A Time to Speak in just less than a year. Phew! It was grueling, but came out much better than expected.

2) I know you like to drink chai. What’s your favorite go-to snack when writing?

Goldfish or cheesy toast (because I could eat bags and bags of goldfish until my tongue turns raw from all the salt.) If I’m in the mood for something sweet, I’ll usually have a couple pieces of shortbread with my tea. Not the healthiest of snacks. But I’m not much of a snacker while I write anyway. I’m a sipper. 😛

3) What books are you reading this summer?

I’m trying to catch up on my Christian sci-fi and fantasy lists. I own so many books by fellow Christian authors, but have a tough time finding the space in a day to read them! This summer I’m being especially intentional. This includes Out of Darkness Rising, by Gillian Bronte Adams, The Storm Siren Trilogy by Mary Christine Weber, Hive by John Otte (when it releases), and The Face of the Deep series by Steve Rzasa.

4) How long do we have to wait for your next book?

I’ll be announcing the “official” release date within the next month or so! But for now, I can tell you it comes out in the Fall. You don’t have to wait that long! [grin]

Thanks, Nadine! I’ve reviewed Mary Weber’s first two books, but the others are still on my list. Can’t wait to read your books when my copies come!

* * *

HAVEN’T READ Book 1 yet? Here’s a link to A Time to Die on Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonATtDpaperback time to die

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY (A Time to Die):

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

A Time to Die is nominated to the Clive Staples Award for Speculative Fiction (2015) and for a 2015 Christy Award.

Although I missed reading it when came out, it is on my summer reading list! I will post my review of A Time to Die later this summer, and I am pre-ordering the sequel, A TIME TO SPEAK. I’ll also review A TIME TO SPEAK when it releases later this year.

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Review: TAKEN / By Dee Henderson

Taken, / by Dee Henderson
Bethany House     ISBN9780764215711
Adult     Rating:     4

takenAward-winning author Dee Henderson pens another contemporary romantic suspense featuring a woman who was abducted as a teen and finds a way home, with the help of a private investigator.

In Taken, sixteen-year-old Shannon Bliss was abducted and forced to participate in the activities of the Jacoby crime family for more than ten years. She wants to resume a normal life but also wants to see them pay for their crimes against her and others.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

Henderson is an excellent storyteller, weaving intricate plot twists with complex character development. Violence in the story is appropriate but not graphic, and the faith element is light and not overpowering. Taken is lighter on the romance and relationships than her other novels, with slightly more emphasis on the suspense which will keep the reader guessing who is responsible for Shannon’s abduction.

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Review: Beacons of Hope Series / Jody Hedlund

Review:
Beacons of Hope Series / Jody Hedlund

Out of the Storm, / by Jody Hedlund (Beacons of Hope novella)
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2014) ebook only

Love Unexpected, / by Jody Hedlund (Beacons of Hope, 1)
Bethany House Publishers (December 2, 2014)   ISBN     9780764212376

Hearts Made Whole, / by Jody Hedlund (Beacons of Hope, 2)
Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015) ISBN     9780764212383
Adult     Rating:   4

out of the storm love unexpected hearts made whole

Jody Hedlund pens a new historical fiction series set in the 1860s and featuring life in the isolated lighthouses on the shoreline of Michigan’s Great Lakes.

Out of the Storm is a novella telling the original story of the wooden cross, the cross that Emma finds and eventually gives to Ryan. The cross symbolizes hope in the midst of despair and trials as told in the story of Henry Cole and Isabella Thornton.

In Love Unexpected, Emma Chambers and her brother Ryan are left destitute following a shipwreck. Ryan is able to find work. The only solution for Emma is a marriage of convenience to the Patrick Garraty, a widowed lighthouse keeper with a young toddler – but Patrick has a secret he is hiding from others.

In Hearts Made Whole, Ryan Chambers, an injured veteran of the Civil War, is assigned to the lighthouse. Caroline Taylor has been acting as the lighthouse keeper since the death of her father. She will lose her means of providing for her siblings.  Who is trying to scare Caroline away with escalating violent pranks?

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

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Review: SIREN’S FURY / Mary Weber

Siren’s Fury / by Mary Weber  (Storm Siren Trilogy, 2)
Thomas Nelson     ISBN  9781401690373
Young Adult     Rating:     4

sirens fury

Mary Weber debuts her fantasy series about a teen girl with special powers in a world at war.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

Weber’s books employs memorable secondary characters, imperfect primary characters, and a cliffhanger in the final pages – all of which will keep the reader engaged.

*   *   *

To read more about Mary Weber and her work, check out her blog at http://www.maryweber.com/ and her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/marychristineweber.

 

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Review: NO PLACE TO HIDE / Lynette Eason

No place to hideLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 3)
Revell     ISBN 9780800722104
Adult     Rating:   5

no place to hide

Award-winning author  Lynette Eason concludes her contemporary suspense series with a man framed for a terrorism plot, and his childhood friend who wants to help him to prove his innocence.

In No Place to Hide, Jackie Sellers hasn’t seen her childhood friend Ian Lockwood for almost fifteen years until he suddenly appears on national TV as a person of interest to the FBI. Convinced he is innocent, Jackie tries to persuade him to go to the police. Afraid he will be killed before they clear his name, they run from the FBI and the bad guys who framed him. Who is framing him and why?

<See FULL REVIEW>

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Review: HIDDEN IDENTITY series / by Lynette Eason

No place to hideLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 3)
Revell     ISBN 9780800722104

Nowhere to turnLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 2)
Revell     ISBN 9780800722098

No one to trustLynette Eason (Hidden Identity, 1)
Revell      ISBN 9780800722081
Adult     Rating:  4

81CowhCAvVL._SL1500_ nowhere2turn no place to hide

Lynette Eason kicks off a new contemporary romantic suspense series with No One to Trust, where a wife finds out that her husband is not the man she thought he was — not his name, not his background, and definitely not his relationships.

In No One to Trust, family lawyer Summer Abernathy wakes up to find a gun pointed at her as three men demand to know the location of her husband, Kyle Abernathy, although they ask for him by another name, David Hackett. She is unaware he is in the Witness Protection Program and a key witness  at a crime boss’ trial in three weeks, if he lives that long. While she discovers the truth, others are trying to find him and will use any means to prevent him from testifying.

 <See FULL REVIEW>

She continues her new contemporary romantic suspense series with Nowhere to Turn, where a wife finds out that her abusive husband has built a web of relationships to entangle her even after his death.

In Nowhere to Turn, Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son Simon with her as she tries to escape from her abusive husband. When her husband Kurt is killed that same day, she believes her worries are over. But Kurt’s brother Stuart begins stalking her with unwanted attention.

<See FULL REVIEW>

The final installment in this series is No Place to Hide where a man is framed for a terrorism and his childhood friend helps him prove his innocence while running from law enforcement and the bad guys.

 <See FULL REVIEW >

Lynette Eason is an excellent storyteller, weaving plot twists and character development. Just when the reader thinks the story is almost done, there is another plot twist, a knot in the story line to untangle. Violence in the story is appropriate but not graphic, and the faith element is light not overpowering. Eason’s book will be of interest to fans of Dee Henderson, DiAnn Mills, and Irene Hannon.

 

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ON SALE! The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest/ Melanie Dickerson

ON SALE — The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

The Robin Hood/Swan Lake Medieval romance, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson is special priced for a limited time. Pre-order it before the sale is over!

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest releases in only 11 days! That’s how long the eBook will be at the special pre-order price of $4.99. http://amzn.to/1DExN6D

huntress

It is a bargain at $4.74 — that’s over 50% off. But hurry, this sale price will go away when the book is released in early May.

I’ve read it, and it is a stellar read for adults.

<See MY FULL REVIEW>

 

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