Monday, March 23, 2020

"Out of the Embers"



"Amanda Cabot has written an intriguing, chilling mystery, and she winds it through the pages of a sweet romance in a way that made me keep turning the pages fast to see what was going to happen next. An absolutely excellent read."--Mary Connealy, author of Aiming for Love
 My Review:
Cover ArtI fell in love with Amanda Cabot's writing with the very first series she had written and I am always eager for her next new novel!  "Out of the Embers" is the first novel in a brand-new series by Amanda, her Mesquite Springs series.  The very first page drew me into the story as I met the main character Evelyn, along with a little girl, Polly, whom she is now responsible for.  However, they are not alone as Evelyn can sense, can feel someone watching her.  Evelyn has a past of heartache and apparently there is someone who is out to get her and has not given up on destroying her life even though so much in her life has been taken from her.  She arrives in Mesquite Springs and finds a place where there may be safety for her, at least for now.  I found myself able to picture this town in my mind with the descriptive writing throughout the book.  Wyatt is a strong character, a strong "hero," who won me over as did this town set in the Texas Hill Country.  I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical romance and be prepared for a side of suspense along with it.  
*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

"Chasing the White Lion"

Book Description from the publisher:
Cover ArtIn Talia's world everyone has an angle and no one escapes unscathed

CIA officer Talia Inger may have reconciled with the man who assassinated her father, but that doesn't mean she wants him hovering over her every move and unearthing the painful past she's trying to put behind her. Still, she'll need him--and the help of his star grifter, Valkyrie--if she hopes to infiltrate the Jungle, the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate, to rescue a group of kidnapped refugee children.

But as Talia and her elite team of thieves con their way into the heart of the Jungle, inching ever closer to syndicate boss the White Lion, she'll run right up against the ragged edge of her family's dark past. In this game of cat and mouse, it's win . . . or die. And in times like that, it's always good to have someone watching your back.


My Review:
First of all, I need to mention that this book is the second book in a series, so I would HIGHLY recommend you read book #1 first, "The Gryphon Heist."  Not only will you be seeing some of the same characters, but it is another really good suspense read as well!  
"Chasing the White Lion" will take you on a whirlwind of a trip from start to finish!  You will travel with the characters to many locations, from Russia to Virginia to the Greek Isles to name a few, some more remote than others.  All along the way there is danger, and suspense and the past threatening to resurface.  Talia is a trained CIA officer and yet she cannot possibly be trained for everything that will soon pop up, at least I know I would feel that way as she sets off on her mission and is having to deal with her past as well.  
Talia is a great main character, I really liked her personality and attitude throughout the book.  The author did a great job with character development as well as setting the scene as the book flowed so nicely even though it took place in so many different locations and settings.  I highly recommend this book and am eager for hopefully a third book!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

"Star of Persia"


Cover ArtEsther is one of my favorite Biblical accounts and honestly, one of my favorite people from Bible times.  Therefore, I was excited to see that Jill Eileen Smith had written a book retelling her story as Jill has done an incredible job with her retelling of other various Biblical accounts.  This book was no exception as it is a beautiful retelling that really brings the story to life.  Esther's beauty is what first of all caught King Xerxes eye, but there is so much more to Esther than just a pretty face.  Her inner beauty shines through in her interactions with others and her heart for people and looking out for others, willing to do what it takes.  Jill follows and sticks to the truth, but then adds details that really brings this story and the characters to life.  This is story that will have you seeing Esther is a fresh, clear way.  


*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Saturday, March 21, 2020

"One Little Lie" Blog Tour!


One Little Lie FB Banner

About the Book

one little lie
Book:  One Little Lie
Author: Colleen Coble
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 3, 2020

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.
After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?
Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

My Review:
 Jane has been living her life in her small town as a sheriff and has recently become appointed as the Police Chief, following in her father's footsteps.  However, she realizes quickly that she most likely was appointed for the publicity she will be getting the town and the mayor as there is a reporter who is going to be following her around as part of his latest documentary.  Reid has an underlying reason for wanting to get to know Jane, and not just for his documentary.  When Reid and his son arrive in town to work on the documentary, things are heating up with murders taking place and increasing pressure placed on Jane.  This latest book from Colleen Coble is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel that kept me turning the pages and guessing as to who could be trusted and who could not all the way to the end.  This is true even more so when Jane's father is arrested.  There are so many story lines intermingled together throughout this book and connections between the characters from the past and also now.  I love how Colleen writes with such detail as I could see Jane sitting out on her balcony reading in the middle of the night while looking down upon the streets and town closing up for the night.  The characters all had such a myriad of emotions throughout the book to that is was easy to empathize with the characters and really feel as if they were real.  I am eager for book #2 to come out in the series and see where the story and the characters' lives progress. 

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Colleen Coble
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. You can visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, March 10
The Avid Reader, March 11
By The Book, March 12
Older & Smarter?, March 12
Remembrancy, March 12
Betti Mace, March 13
Emily Yager, March 13
Bigreadersite, March 14
CarpeDiem, March 15
Robin’s Nest, March 17
Stories By Gina, March 18
Mary Hake, March 18
Empowermoms, March 18
Hallie Reads, March 19
Quiet Quilter, March 20
Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Splashes of Joy, March 21
Moments, March 21
amandainpa, March 21
Pause for Tales, March 22

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"A Little Irish Love Story"

Image result for a little irish love storyThis is such a sweet novel and is so much more than just a Christian romance novel.  "A Little Irish Love Story" is set in Ireland following World War II and the lives of two women trying to start over and live life following this major life-changing time.  Mirroring the Biblical account of Ruth, this book focuses on Sarah and her daughter-in-law Anna, and the hope that they have for a new beginning.  So many things appealed to me about this book just from reading the description as Ruth is my favorite book in the Bible and World War II is a time period that I enjoy reading about.  However, once I started reading I realized that was so much more to love about this book than just based upon what I had read on the back cover.  The characters come to life and immediately I empathized with them.  The author's style of writing really brought the setting to life that I felt like I became a part of the story.  The parallel between Ruth and this story was amazingly portrayed and I loved the elements of mystery and suspense woven throughout the book.  I highly recommend this book and am eager to read more from this author!

*Thanks to JustRead Publicity Tours for including me on this book tour.*

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"Welcome to the Shivoo!" blog tour!

Welcome to the Shivoo FB Banner

About the Book

Front Shivoo w Award Seal
Book:  Welcome to the Shivoo
Author: Laura Bartnick
Genre:  Inspiration/Christian Living/Education
Release Date: January 1, 2020

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A CREATIVE, A WRITER, A MEMBER OF THE MAKER COMMUNITY?

In the beginning, God created. Should this matter?

Do you find incredible value in your creativity, that is, a reason for being and doing that you could never imagine giving up? Okay then. This book will inspire you to join a spiritual party like no other.
Perhaps you’ve heard that the impulse to create is a reflection of the Creator’s image in you and His will for you. Your impulse to create is paramount! The chapters in this book will provide you pages of new perspectives for evaluating your craft. It will help you communicate what you experience with others. It will transform your creative future. Motivation. Spiritual Gifts. God’s own blessing.

My Review:
I was very intrigued by this book when I first heard of it, especially since I had no idea what Shivoo was! As I began reading this I found myself thinking about my life, how I think and live with a different lens, really with how my creativity stems from God, the Creator, and how what I do is really ultimately a reflection of Him. I really do not think of myself as a creative person, I think I am more analytical; however there are at times I feel the creatively glow.  After reading this book, I realized that there is more there than I thought.  This book is inspiring to read through.  I took my time reading through it a bit at a time, here and there when I have a few spare minutes as I found that approach easier than sitting down and trying to read a lot at one time as just like creativity, the pages took you all over, flowing to various points and things.  
 
Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Laura Bartnick
Bartnick has been a youth counselor with Youth for Christ, and a worship musician for many years. She is the managing partner of Capture Books, a small but mighty boutique Christian publishing group. She loves creativity and words. She loves to explore the deeper meaning of the things we casually say to one another, the things we write down.  She earned a double degree in Bible and Composition from Montana Bible College and Colorado Christian University and is a truth-seeker and recipient of God’s love.

More from Laura

ARE YOU A WRITER OR PART OF THE MAKER CULTURE?
This beloved book explains why it matters that “In the beginning, God created.”
A reader coined this title, “The Creator’s Manifesto.”
When you need to find the place of belonging as a creative, look no further than the heart of God. He’s the One Who formed you to be creative in talent, and adventurous in the wild unknown.
Welcome to the Shivoo! This party belongs to Someone bigger than you. Because you are created in God’s image and given specific creative gifts and a life of purpose, you are very special to Him.
Many creatives feel that there is a monkey on their backs, and sometimes that nagging feeling includes the doubt that maybe the terrible distraction is God Himself not wanting them to succeed as a writer or artist. Nothing is further from the truth.
This book is a party and a prayer for the creatives in town.
In Welcome to the Shivoo! creativity begins with the priorities of the greatest Creator, and in that sense of wonder, it moves us into a place of gratitude and thanksgiving.  Creativity always begins with a sense of wonder and awe, even a sense of meekness, “Can I do this?  I have to try…”  In Welcome to the Shivoo!, I try to show that God is the center of a creative’s world, and because of His love and goodness, we have a home and a place to belong. Creativity erupts from that place.
From there, the book shows how there is a Biblical theology for being creative and a means to thrive in creativity. It challenges Christians to be authentic, to focus, to communicate, and to transform.  It explains how there is a kingdom language we are charged to learn, as believers, and to use not in a sloppy way, but responsibly. And, it sends us off with an exuberant blessing to go create something and enjoy the process!

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift certificate!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

"Yours, Mine, & Forever" blog tour!


Yours mine and forever FB banner

About the Book

Yours Mine and forever
Book:  Yours, Mine, & Forever
Author: Joanne Markey
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 7, 2019

Whoever said the course of true love never runs smooth knew their business.

Especially motherly love.

Still, with adoption success just waiting for ink and paper to appear, Norah can focus on more exciting things, like Christmas, and figuring out how this marriage thing is going to work out!

However, never underestimate the craftiness of an antagonist old woman determined to get her own way—or rather, stop Norah from getting hers. If it means resorting to underhanded means to ensure she comes out on top, then so be it. All it takes is a word in the right ear, a nudge here, a wink there, and the natural course of gossip and slander will do the rest.

When the dust clears, Norah’s heart is in tatters and her fledgling relationship is in ruins… Or is it? Will her hero’s patience wear thin, and is Norah’s faith strong enough to see her through whatever comes her way?

My Review:
First of all, I would definitely read the first book in this series ("Dreaming of More") as the story begins in that book and continues on with this one and they are so good of course you would want to read more!  Nora and Clay both want to adopt the same children, but there have been obstacles throughout and possible solutions that have been nixed for one reason or another.  As more hurdles pop up, Norah has to determine how much she wants this and how strong she is and her faith in order to make it through.  
This is a really sweet romance book and series.  The characters become so real and I love the detail that the author goes into that really presents the situations clearly and makes it seem real as we all know it takes time for situations and issues to be worked through.  There are so many pieces to the process of adoption and it is a journey and the author does a good job with portraying this.  


Click here for your copy.

About the Author

Joanne Markey
Originally from Australia, Joanne now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children where she spends her days writing, wrangling children, and trying to determine which phrases originated in which country because she uses them all interchangeably, thereby continually confusing herself as much as those around her.

More from Joanne

When people find out I’m an Aussie living in the US and that I’ve written books, they immediately assume my books are set in Australia. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but, no, they’re not. You see, after almost 19 years of living in the US I’ve lost touch with the culture I was raised in. Things are done differently here than they are over there, and I’ve gotten used to this life.
When I moved halfway around the world, iPads, smart phones, and the like weren’t even a thing. The internet over there (in the places I lived) was something you knew about, but not everyone was online. My family didn’t even own a computer. When you went to town you lost cell phone coverage about 20 kms out. We lived in the bush, which technically falls between the coast and the outback. Not far enough from the coast to be “outback”, but far enough there wasn’t a town worth mentioning in any direction for a good two hour drive (roughly 170km, if memory serves me correct). So yeah, we lived out bush and while it’s hard to imagine a world without the electronics we depend on so much today, the Australia I know, the life I remember, had none of them. And I’m pretty sure things have changed since then!
That’s one major issue standing between me and writing books set in Australia. Another is the language. Half the time I find it almost impossible to remember where a phrase originated. I’m not talking about the “fair dinkums” or the “g’days”, they’re easy to identify. Its the little phrases, the ones that are so ingrained in my thinking I can’t identify their origin. At least, not until every person in the room looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I figure it out pretty quickly after that and usually have to scramble to translate to something they understand. Agreeing with someone by uttering a simple “yes” is a wee bit more effective here than the “too right!” I might use with my family.
Try adding in the whole dropping the R thing Aussies have a habit of doing, and then the clear pronunciation of the R which is pretty common among the people I know here…and yeah, it can get confusing. “Far” is a bad one. Simple word. I never stop to think about how I’m saying it, so part of the time I’ll drop the R without realizing I’ve done so. Then I’ll hear myself say “fah”, so I’ll quickly tack on the R… and it can become an issue.
Some expats might not have an issue with speech, this is just one problem I run into quite often so I ran with it in my book. Anyone who’s read the book will know who I’m talking about. Multiple languages, speech confusion especially when emotional. It’s a thing. Not everyone deals with it, but me… yeah. Sigh.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on everything I once knew. My husband and our kids love a good damper, Aussie meat pies, and Vegemite. They turn their noses up at pavlova (where, oh, where did I go wrong?!), but little did I know when we bought some of my favorite Aussie music that it would become their favorite too. I love where I live now, but I also have a great fondness for the country I left behind, and my family too, of course. They all live over there. And this story… it originated in Australia.
I was looking for a something to write for NaNo in 2018 and my Mum had a dream to share, so she gave me the idea and I ran with it. I changed bits here and there—the setting, most of the story actually!—and finished it up mid-December of 2018. I sat on it for about six months, finally got around to sending it to an editor. And then two weeks before I hit publish, a friend heard how long it was and asked if I’d ever thought about splitting the story in two.
No, I hadn’t, but after hashing it out with my editor, we decided it was a good idea. Dreaming of More became the first half, and Yours, Mine, & Forever was born.
However, giving Dreaming an end meant I’d sort of wrapped up the main storyline I’d used in the entire 135,000 word manuscript. I needed something else because I hadn’t added the bow to the top of the package and without that, Dreaming kind of fell flat. It needed another book… So back to the editor I went and at 2am one morning we started brainstorming. Before I knew what was happening I was in the middle of rewriting the entire book. I didn’t need to follow the same storyline and because the slate had been cleared, I could add in whatever I wanted. So I did.
My friend apologized—she hadn’t meant for me to rewrite the entire book—but no apology was necessary. I loved being able to change things. New characters made it more fun and, as my youngest son would say, I got to add “all the stuffs”. The only thing I refused to change was the ending. I had to keep that because it was the one thing my Mum remembered the best from her dream. For her sake, I kept it. If you want to know what that ending is… it comes after all the other pages in the book. But if you skip over them, you’ll miss all the stuffs and they’re what make the ending worthwhile.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of signed copies of Dreaming of More, Yours, Mine, & Forever, and Christmas Rose!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.