BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New-to-Me Author

The Master’s Inn by Deb Gorman Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Master’s Inn

Author: Deb Gorman

Genre:Christian Fiction

Release date: October 15, 2022

A novel of human brokenness and God’s still-unfolding drama of redemption.

When two dysfunctional and wounded families wind up unexpectedly at the remote Master’s Inn during a December snowstorm, it’s up to owners Tom and Barb Masters to help—except they’re dealing with their own bitter issues. As the winter snowfall confines them, the three families find themselves coping with their crippled relationships and hard emotions . . . and sometimes tearing one another down in the process.

But when a secret is inadvertently revealed and a rebellious teenage girl takes off into the storm, chaos descends. Will they be tossed into more heartbreak, or will the crisis draw them together against a common enemy?

With a forest in Washington State as the backdrop, join the Masters’ at their B&B as they strive to show Christ’s love to all who cross their threshold . . . even when it threatens their own sanity and safety.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Deb Gorman, owner of Debo Publishing, was born and reared in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She still lives in her hometown with her husband, Alan, and their very smart German Shepherd, Hoka.

Deb is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as a wife, mom, grandmom, and author.

Her purpose is to connect with God’s most beautiful and clever creation, the human family, using the literary talent and imagination God gave her.

Her prayer is that as she journeys together with you, we will discover encouragement and redemption in our most important relationships.

Connect with Deb at https://debggorman.comwhere you will find her blog posts and information about her books, both published and forthcoming.

More from Deb

One Sunday morning in 2012, I listened to our pastor give one of his excellent sermons.

I don’t remember what he said to spark this idea, but I grabbed my church bulletin and began scribbling furiously. By the time the service ended I had a rough outline, character sketches, and the opening scene written. And the title—The Master’s Inn. Some details, of course, changed over the years, but the title stayed the same.

The Master’s Inn was first birthed as a ninety minute play, which my church produced over one weekend in December of 2013. I wrote the play and directed it. I had an excellent cast of characters, plenty of folks lending a hand from technical details to the dinner we hosted for our guests. It was truly a team effort.

The Master’s Inn play was the first serious effort I’d ever made at writing. After it’s success, I began thinking about writing a book. Now, ten years later, I’ve written three creative non-fiction, devotional-style books and contributed to a Chicken Soup for the Soul volume.

During the process of publishing those first three books, the characters from The Master’s Inn pestered me day and night to put them in a novel. Who was I to argue?

And so, those characters got what they wanted. They are no longer confined to ninety minutes and one weekend of publicity. They’re now out there for the whole world to see.

The Master’s Inn is a novel of human brokenness and God’s still-unfolding drama of redemption . . . 

When two dysfunctional and wounded families wind up unexpectedly at the remote Master’s Inn during a December snowstorm, it’s up to owners Tom and Barb Masters to help—except they’re dealing with their bitter issues. As the winter snowfall confines them, the three families find themselves coping with their crippled relationships and hard emotions . . . and sometimes tearing one another down in the process.

But when a secret is inadvertently revealed and a rebellious teenage girl takes off into the storm, chaos descends. Will they be tossed into more heartbreak, or will the crisis draw them together against a common enemy?

With a forest in Washington State as the backdrop, join the Masters at their B&B as they strive to show Christ’s love to all who cross their threshold—even when it threatens their own sanity and safety.

My Impressions

“Some things just don’t go away . . . they hid in the darkest corners of the mind, waiting for an opportunity.”

If there could be one quote that might sum up the root of the problems the three couples/ families suffer in The Master’s Inn by Deb Gorman, this would be it. That, coupled with Barb’s observation about the Masters’s marriage, but still true about all three families:

“We’ve torn our house down with our own hands and left it in ruins.”

An unexpected blizzard traps three desperately needy families together. Will the storm outside the inn destroy them, or the eruptions within?

This was a difficult read for me. A belligerent, difficult teen; an emotionally unbalanced, failing family; PTSD from war; two other couples whose pasts threaten their ability to live in harmony and peace. This novel is very true-to-life. Will the characters decide to grow from their experiences and to trust God, or will they remain stuck in their bitterness and downward spirals, shaking their fists at God?

What really impressed me was how flawed and imperfect these characters were, yet God used them to chip away at the imperfections of each other and smooth out the way for each to follow Him in a closer way.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“We think our children are our own, and then something like this happens and we realize they aren’t—they belong to God.”

“Grandpa said that’s how life is sometimes—the best path is often the hardest.”

“Hope, indeed, was the only thing that could slay fear.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent! Pain can be the gateway for growth if we submit to God.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Blogging With Carol, January 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 28

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Texas Book-aholic, January 30

deb’s Book Review, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

Dee S. Writes, February 4

Spoken from the Heart, February 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 5

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 8 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Deb is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/23cca/the-master-s-inn-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, Purchase

What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:What I Would Tell You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release date: January 1, 2023

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

Three generations later, college student Tessa Payton and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Tessa is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Tessa’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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 http://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

Take a Trip to Greece with Me

I was privileged to travel to Greece last year to research my upcoming WWII novel, What I Would Tell You. God orchestrated it so beautifully. Because of Covid, we weren’t sure my daughter would be able to travel there for the summer internship she had applied for. Eight weeks before her scheduled departure, Greece reopened to foreign visitors. Around that same time, I sold What I Would Tell You, which is set in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Barbour Publishing. I had to go and visit!

Greece is a beautiful country. The pictures you see don’t do it justice. And to someone like me, the history is one of the best parts. My daughter and I explored the old city wall, built in the 1400s, many churches that predated the Ottoman Empire, and many excavated Roman ruins that have been dug up in the city’s process of putting in a subway system.

Because this is a WWII book, we also spent a great deal of time learning about the history of the Jews in the city. The Kapani Market, just down the street from our apartment, was a vibrant mix of colorful fruits, fragrant spices, and a cacophony of languages. I could well imagine what this old Jewish market was like prior to the war with people hawking olives, fish, and oregano.

We wasted no time in visiting the Jewish museum. I was shocked by the heavy security presence with armed guards outside of the building. Once inside, we had to show our IDs and were required to turn in our phones. Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece. But what a place. There were displays after displays tracing the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki from 1492 until WWII. The most breathtaking was the room with stone-covered walls, the names of all 48,000 Salonikan Jews killed in the Holocaust carved into the marble. There’s an entire scene in the book that deals with this room.

What saddened me most was what we saw when we visited the trainyard where the Jews were herded into cattle cars and shipped to Auschwitz. Before we got to where the station once stood, there was a wall on which someone had painted a mural covered with black-and-white figures in their striped uniforms, their eyes and mouths wide in horror. As if that weren’t difficult enough to view, what sickened me was the blue swastikas someone had painted over them.

We also trekked to the other side of the city to visit what had once been the Jewish cemetery, now the grounds of Aristotle University. All that remains to testify that half a million people were once buried here is a small, ill-kept memorial. There were two dead Christmas wreaths placed there. We visited in August.

In addition to a moving and thought-provoking story, I hope to also introduce you to the amazing city of Thessaloniki and give you a peek into the people and the culture of this amazing place. If you ever find yourself in Greece, plan some time in Thessaloniki. Many Americans miss this gem, but it’s packed with charm and history.

My Impressions

“You must be ready. The story of the Jews in Thessaloniki, or Salonika as they called it at the time, is not happy. It is sometimes hard to hear. Sometimes it rips your heart right from your chest. You saw the names on the wall. They each represent a person. They are not just letters written on a piece of stone.”

I must begin my review with this quote, because it sets the tone of much of the book. Yes, there is hope infused by the faith that Liz Tolsma includes, but it must shine out of a very dark time.

“This is the day I dreaded, the day I feared might come, the day I prayed never would. Greece will never be the same.” So writes Mathilda Nissim in her diary in 1941 Salonika, Greece, in Liz Tolsma’s What I Would Tell You. Wow!! My question would be, can I or you, read this book, and be the same? I cried. I think I may cry some for days to come. The historical part of this powerful dual timeline focuses on a young Jewish woman and how her life changes as the German occupation begins and bears down on her people.

Mathilda and her friends are so real with their fears and their love for each other, the way they bolster each other up as needed. I can taste their fears and feel their hunger. My feet freeze and I worry how to keep a young child quiet. Who to trust? And the biggest question, why is God turning His back on His people?

In the present-day timeline, I enjoyed the modern sites and tastes of Thessaloniki with Tessa. Tolsma has sold me on the idea of a trip to Greece. But what a discovery Tessa starts in motion when she visits the Jewish museum in Thessaloniki!! Will discovering the roots of her past lead her to a new and improved future?

A must-read from Barbour Books!

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“I am more afraid of what will happen if we do nothing than of what will happen if we do something.”

“We can’t live in a land where we made different choices. That’s a place where only crazy people live. What we have to do now is face what is to come with our heads held high. We can’t allow them to rob us of our dignity.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chillingly Magnificent!! I learned so much about Greek Jews in WWII.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 29

Blogging With Carol, January 29

Genesis 5020, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 31

For Him and My Family, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 2

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Betti Mace, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 3

Paula’s Pad of Inspriation, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 6

Holly’s Book Corner, February 6

Bigreadersite, February 7

Blossoms and Blessings, February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Pause for Tales, February 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 10

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 10

Lights in a Dark World, February 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and copy of the book!!

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/23ccb/what-i-would-tell-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, Purchase

Barking up the Wrong Tree by Janice Thompson Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre:Christian Fiction / Mystery / Romance

Release date: January 1, 2023

Inquisitive, detail-oriented, Veterinarian Kristin Keller prides herself on winning over any dog. But has this self-proclaimed dog whisperer finally met her match in a Sheltie named Remington who has just won the Texas state agility course competition? The champion pooch is acting out of sorts—almost as if he is not the same dog. Has he, by chance, been switched out with another dog just before the next big competition? Kristin and the other Lone Star employees will do anything to help the Atkinson family figure out this mystery surrounding their beloved Remington.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

Barking up the Tree is book three in the Gone to the Dog series. Kathleen Y’Barbo and I are writing six books, in total, and we’re very excited about this series. I happen to be in the dog rescue business. I’ve worked with multiple Houston-based dog rescues over the past five years and have been blessed to care for over fifty dogs in nearly every shape, size, and breed. I am always interested in dog-themed stories.

As a Texan I wanted to place this series in my neck of the woods. Kathleen and I settled on Brenham, Texas, a town not far from where we both live. It’s the home of Blue Bell ice cream (yum!) a favorite here in the Lone Star state. We created a large fictional cast of characters and placed them in a town we know and love.

Along with writing books I’m also a baker and run a baking blog (www.outoftheboxbaking.com). With that in mind I would love to share a recipe from the book. Enjoy!

Nanny’s Coconut Pecan Cake (aka Italian Cream Cake)

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut (flakes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (powder)

FOR THE FILLING/TOPPING:

  • Toasted coconut
  • Toasted chopped pecans

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 cup (two sticks) salted butter (softened)
  • 1 block cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 rectangle Crisco (can omit if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting)
  • 1 bag (7-8 cups) powdered sugar
  • Clear vanilla extract

Instructions

MAKING THE CAKE:

  • Combine all ingredients except nuts and coconut. Mix well.
  • Work in the nuts and coconut.
  • Grease and flour three 9” pans.
  • Divide batter between the three pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (approximately) until cake springs back to the touch.

MAKING THE ICING:

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature.
  • Mix butter and cream cheese until soft and creamy.
  • Add Crisco and continue to beat until incorporated. (You can leave out the Crisco if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting.)
  • Add extract and then lower the speed of your mixer to add powdered sugar (more or less to desired consistency).

FILLING AND ICING THE CAKE

  • Level all three cakes.
  • Put one cake on your cake board and add a layer of cream cheese frosting.
  • Pipe a ring around the edge of the cake and add some toasted pecans and coconut.
  • Continue to stack and fill.
  • Turn the top cake upside down, so that it’s bottom up.
  • Ice the cake with a crumb coat and chill.
  • Once chilled, ice liberally with frosting.
  • Add chopped (toasted) pecans and coconut to the sides and top then pipe trim or rosettes to add further décor.

My Impressions

“Dogs weren’t the only ones who responded to love. People did too.”

In this third installment in the Gone to the Dogs Mysteries, Janice Thompson has accomplished exactly what she set out to do. Barking Up the Wrong Tree had me thoroughly engrossed in the mystery, loving the focus on the rescue dogs and the Lone Star Vet Clinic gang. I loved how Thompson highlighted her knowledge of dog shows, agility competitions, and the love between dogs and their devoted owners.

I was a bit surprised to find Dr. Kristin Keller to be the first person narrator. Somehow, I expected the series to continue to revolve mostly around Trina and Mari. We do get to see them, and quirky Grandma Peach figures into the equation as a side character.

Kristin’s family is having trouble releasing her to be her own person and allowing her to leave the family. Kristin is having trouble appreciating her family. How often we don’t appreciate our flawed, but more than adequate (actually blessed) backgrounds until someone close points out how much we’re taking for granted. Kristin also learns from Tyler and others how to truly give of herself to others.

We eventually see more of Mari and gain a deeper appreciation of this young vet tech. A real encourager and team player, Mari goes out of her way to help others. Hopefully, as the series progresses, she will come to understand that she can’t save every dog or person. Nor is that her responsibility.

Great twists are a tool Thompson wields well, and I found myself talking back to the book on more than one occasion.

I belly-laughed often. Barking Up the Wrong Tree is great medicine for a troubled soul! A few times I wondered if situations resolved themselves too simply, but then, this is a cozy (and zany) world!

I would highly recommend this book, read in order of its publication. Each book in the series builds on the next.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! I absolutely loved the emphasis on a rescue dog effort and the vet clinic!! Few cozies really get into the dog business as much as this one and yet remain clean!!

Blog Posts

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 27

Remembrancy, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

For Him and My Family, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 29

deb’s Book Review, January 30

Mary Hake, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

The Book Club Network, February 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 5

Blogging With Carol, February 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Divine Perspective, February 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/23cc8/barking-up-the-wrong-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Favorite, Kindle, Love Inspired Suspense

Ambush in Alaska by Darlene L Turner Review

About the Book

Title: Ambush in Alaska

Title by Darlene L Turner, subject of review: Abducted in Alaska

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Darlene L Turner

Release: January 2023

Saving a boy who has escaped his captors puts Canadian border patrol officer Hannah Morgan right into the path of a ruthless child-smuggling ring. Now with help from police constable Layke Jackson, she must keep the child safe. But can they rescue the other abducted children and bring down the gang…all while protecting a little boy and keeping themselves alive?

About the Author


Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at http://www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.

My Impressions

As with all of Darlene L Turner’s books, Abducted in Alaska, her contribution to Ambushed in Alaska, starts out with a bang! Hannah Morgan is a Canadian border patrol officer who finds a very frightened 8-yr-old boy in a blizzard by her station. Hannah works with her boss, Superintendent Doyle Walsh, who is like a father to her, and police constable Layke Jackson to keep young Gabe safe and discover more about a a child labor ring.

There is plenty of snow and cold in this beautiful setting, and you will both realize the awesomeness and the fearsomeness of the Yukon as Ms Turner depicts it so vividly.

Both Hannah and Layke have sworn off a romantic relationships due to their past. It will take much trauma, prayer, and togetherness before they can consider a relationship with each other.

I loved seeing how God is working in Hannah’s life, to bring about her heart’s desire, when all she can see is that desire has been stolen from her. Why is it always so much easier to see God at work in other people’s lives, than to trust Him with our own?

Layke will have quite the journey before he can trust God. His past has made him bitter and sure that God was absent in the hard times of his life. I must admit, it was hard reading about Layke’s background as well as Gabe’s difficulties because they both involved innocent children.

While I thought I had the mastermind of the ring figured out, the ending pleasantly provided several surprise twists. Bravo!!

Two notes: I am reviewing only the first book of this 2 book compilation. Also, Ms Turner’s book was previously published separately.

I received this book from the author. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! All the beauty and fierceness of the Yukon, plus the fierceness of protecting precious young children, mixed with action, romance, and faith.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

Twice Sold Tales by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Twice Sold Tales

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release date: November 2, 2022

If only owning a bookstore didn’t mean dealing with people.

No one was more surprised than Harper Brevig when Great Aunt Lorene (not “Lori,” thank-you-very-much) died and left her least favorite niece her bookstore–including a prime piece of real estate in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.

Making a go of the place shouldn’t be too hard. With her library science degree, she should be set. Then again, the website describing library degrees had said it would teach her excellent communication skills. It had not. Could she get a partial refund?

Still, owning the building should mean crazy-low overhead to offset her less than optimal “book-side” manner.  Ahem. So when yet another huge bill arrives, and she starts getting twitchy about the low bank balance, Harper does the only thing she can think of.

Enter Milton Coleridge. He’d been excited about the possibilities of the store last year, but Harper had sent him packing before he could talk to her about them.  Now he has a chance to make a difference. But she’s right. She’s bleeding money, and it doesn’t make sense!

Milton’s job is to figure out what’s going on, plug the financial leak, and maybe… do a little matchmaking. That dad with the adorable little boy would be good for her… and she’d be good for him. Probably.

Twice Sold Tales: the first full-length novel in the Bookstrings series releasing with The Mosaic Collection

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

“What kind of research does a contemporary book need? I mean, she’s a bookstore owner in a town you’ve been to several times. What’s there to research?”

I can’t be the only author to get questions like this. And I certainly can’t be the only one who has to fight the urge to laugh. Folks, authors research everything. In Twice Sold Tales, I think I looked up almost as much as I did in my Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries!

Because here’s the deal. What I didn’t know about Red Wing, Minnesota wouldn’t have hurt the story most of the time. Who cares that Bev’s Café has amazing creamy cucumbers? It doesn’t technically matter. Well, except to my character who hates veggies but will eat those. They make her feel virtuous. And you get to know about it.

But… what you discover about a place or a time or an occupation or whatever can totally change the course of your story. Case in point? I went to a website about River City Days because my niece suggested it might be a good thing for Noah to do with his son. That led me to the Farmer’s Markets and to other things. How I got to the first Ghost Walk in Red Wing taking place this year? I don’t even know. What I do know is that the moment I read about it, I knew Harper had to go. And if she did, and if Milton were the instigator, Noah had to go. #BecauseMatchmaker.

And this is where it got really cool. To make the walk as authentic as I could, I read everything I could find about it. And I discovered something super cool. Like… blow you out of the water cool.

Red Wing, Minnesota sits near the shore of Lake Pepin. Little House on the Prairie lovers will remember this as the lake that Laura Ingalls crossed in the wagon as they left the Big Woods of Wisconsin (you know, right across the river/lake from Red Wing???) Well… Lake Pepin has a monster—the Nessie of the Mississippi. Yes, you read that right… a monster! I went looking and guess what? The “monster” has a name. Pepie! Needless to say, Pepie became a an important part of my story. Because how could he not?

And… I happened to find a stuffed Pepie at Treats & Treasures in Lake City, just south of Red Wing, so I ordered a couple for giveaways—including the one with this blog tour. Happy reading, and what do you think? Shouldn’t someone write Pepie’s story?

My Impressions

“While our book friends feed our minds, the Lord uses His people to feed our hearts and souls. Don’t let any of your person starve.”

Ugh, Chautona Havig got me this time! In Twice Told Tales, I saw places in my life I need to improve. I identified way too easily with Harper Brevig, the main character. Harper is a booktrovert. “Harper, most people are interesting and even more multi-layered than the best-crafted character. Some you just have to get a little further into the pages of their stories before they show it.” It is way easier to read than to make friends! (Not that reading is wrong, but see the quote at the beginning of my review!) But the snark! (Chautona’s characters always have plenty of snark, but that makes them so fun!!) I love her collection of bookish T-shirts, and if you’re a book lover, you will, too. Harper has good qualities, too. She deeply loves those she takes into her small circle. Compassion and caring are part of her nature.

Milton is fun as he comes in and match-makes along with urging bookstore growth and changes. Anybody who has such a unique pet as a parrotlet has got to be worth getting to know. I hope one of these stories will eventually be his.

My heart goes out to Noah Lampe. He is so focused on being the perfect parent that he can’t see that he is enough for his newly discovered son, Bennie. Then he makes some discoveries about God as our Father.

If you love children at all, you will fall for Bennie hook, line, and sinker. The instability of his former life has branded him, and he needs both Noah and Harper to build into his life. The question is, can Harper be counted on?

Havig loves literature of all kinds. Since the story takes place in a bookstore, there are plugs for every from the classics to contemporary Christian novels. This book is almost a novel suggestion resource in and of itself !

“Harper, most people are interesting and even more multi-layered than the best-crafted character. Some you just have to get a little further into the pages of their stories before they show it.”

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, plus I bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent! You haven’t read until you’ve read a Havig book!!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 21

Vicky Sluiter, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 25

Lots of Helpers, January 25

Cover Lover Book Review, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Splashes of Joy, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

She Lives To Read, January 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 30

Divine Perspective, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 31

Aryn the Libraryan, February 1

Books I’ve Read, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Back Porch Reads, February 2

Pause for Tales, February 3

Spoken from the Heart, February 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback of the book, a stuffed “Pepie” and a few other bookish goodies!!

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/23bc5/twice-sold-tales-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New-to-Me Author

The Letter by Edwina Kiernan Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Letter

Author: Edwina Kiernan

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2022

She wants a new life.

He’s in danger of losing his. 

Will love solve everything — or immerse them in even worse peril? 

Restless and ready for a change, Grace Stratton gladly accepts the opportunity to leave her remote parsonage home to serve as a wealthy spinster’s companion in the idyllic country town of Lindenfell. Its warm atmosphere and friendly inhabitants sooth Grace’s lonely heart. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, she soon discovers things aren’t always what they seem.

Convinced chloroform will revolutionise the medical world, Dr. David Carbury frequently administers it to his London patients — until one of them dies. Facing a grave trial to prove his innocence and defend a drug most people view as poisonous, he makes hasty plans to buy time to bolster his case. But he wasn’t expecting to face an even deadlier challenge.

As attraction sparks not long after they meet, Grace soon suspects he’s hiding something, and David knows he can’t run from the truth forever.

But neither of them could imagine the sinister threat lurking just around the corner…

Immersed in faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of the award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption.

An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research to create hope-infused tales set in times past.

A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood.

She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavours to use her pen to point others to Him.

More from Edwina

Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to a place where quaint buildings are bathed with a golden glow in the afternoon light, where the people are polite and respectful, and where the pace of living allows your soul to breathe and just… be?

In that case…

Welcome to Lindenfell!

The Letter introduces us to Grace Stratton (daughter of the hero & heroine from my award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption), who accepts a position as a lady’s companion in a place she’s never been before, but where she’ll soon discover a whole new world.

“The air in Lindenfell had a scent of its own — one of warmth and peace. Of hope.”

Lord-willing, the Victorian Virtues series will have nine books, each based on an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, and each exploring the historical events and everyday realities that change and challenge eighteen main characters and nine blossoming romances.

Friends and foes, tragedies and triumphs, hopes and heartaches — the best and worst of life, all in one fictional market town in Victorian England.

It is my deepest hope that, as you travel to Lindenfell in each book of the series, you’ll find the truth and hope you need to navigate your own trials and triumphs, and discover that the refreshment your soul longs for is already available to you, wherever you may be.

My Impressions

“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

The Letter is a deceptively simple Victorian novel by Edwina Kiernan. A young lady (Grace Stratton) in the 1840s England goes to another town to be an elderly lady’s companion. At roughly the same time, a London doctor (David Carbury) loses a patient, and is accused of murder by the bereaved family.

Written in third person POV, the focus of narration alternates chapters between Grace and David. We get to know each, and begin to choose who to sympathize with most in the coming crisis. I was happy to see Kiernan point out that both David and Grace have issues to repent of. Sometimes, it seems like such an egregious wrong is committed, that that offender must be the only one who needs to change an attitude or action. Grace discovers that she needs to live up to her name, and follow God’s example of forgiving. Very convicting!

I loved Isaac! As a secondary character, he stole the show for me. He is such an example of a true friend. He senses a need, patiently draws it out, then is there to help his friend in any way possible. I was amazed at the lengths his friendship took him to.

Ooh! There were a few twists that just made this a great story and boosted it from simple to complex. Enjoy!

Discussion questions can be found online at the author’s given website link. I am dying to discuss one question in particular!

I received a copy of the book from the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Love was the problem. So how could it be the solution?”

“There is no such thing as common decency. At least, not apart from God. We need Him.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great! A Simple Story Turns Complex with Twists

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 14

Simple Harvest Reads, January 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Cover Lover Book Review, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

Holly’s Book Corner, January 20

deb’s Book Review, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 22

Mary Hake, January 23

Connie’s History Classroom, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Melissa’s Bookshelf, January 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Book looks by Lisa, January 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Edwina is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of The Letter and 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/23a11/the-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New-to-Me Author, Wild Heart Books

The Heir’s Predicament by Lorri Dudley Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Heir’s Predicament

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: January 10, 2023

He controls the answers to her past and future, but she threatens his inheritance and his heart.

Maggie Prescott may not know her real name, the circumstances of her birth, or her father’s identity, but based on a song her shipwrecked birthmother taught her before she died, Maggie’s certain the answers lie on the island of Antigua. Unbeknownst to her beloved adopted family, she sends her maid to finishing school in her stead and convinces her uncle, Captain Anthony Middleton, to sail her to the Leeward Islands. Time is of the essence to discover her heritage before the next family gathering exposes her duplicity.

Lord Samuel Fredrick Harcourt Granville was groomed to inherit the Cardon title and lands, but the possession of his father’s temper has put Samuel’s future in jeopardy. After discovering his fiancée cavorting with his so-called friend, the ensuing altercation lands Samuel in court before of the House of Lords. As an example, for all aristocratic sons to quell their hedonistic living, the House of Lords banishes Samuel to the island of Antigua until he can prove he’s worthy of his privileged birth.

On the island, Samuel works to rein in his temper and revive a dying sugar plantation. Still, his return to England and all his efforts are threatened when a mysterious woman breaks into his island home, claiming to be the true heiress of the sugar plantation. Guilt, resentment, and fresh yearnings sizzle under the island sun as Maggie’s search uncovers a much greater treasure than either of them expected.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

More from Lorri

Maggie first appeared in The Captain’s Questas the feral child shipwrecked on a deserted island. Readers fell in love with her character and emailed me, hoping to learn more of her story. It didn’t take much coaxing for my imagination to delve into how a child, who’d lived outdoors and struggled with daily survival, would adapt to Regency England’s intricate social conventions of the le bon ton as a grown woman.

Like Maggie, my grandfather and mother-in-law were both adopted. Each felt a disconnection from their roots and a natural yearning to fill a void by learning their origins. The thriving industry of Ancestry.com and 23-and-Me exists due to this pervasive desire to understand one’s background. Understandably, Maggie longs for answers, but the guilt of being disloyal to the family who accepted her into their loving home temps her to fabricate a lie and cover up her journey to the island of Antigua.

Another driving force for Maggie is that in Regency England, questionable heritage could hinder an adopted child from marrying within the upper social ranks. Unknown lineage could taint noble bloodlines, and many aristocrats wouldn’t dare align their families with someone of uncertain origins. Maggie’s marriage prospects would have been limited unless she uncovered her past. She’d have been considered too risky to wed among the gentry but raised too highborn to marry within the lower classes.

The Heir’s Predicament is the last installment of the Leeward Island series, and I will miss immersing myself in the rich cultural history of the Caribbean. I loved exploring different isles and island-hopping with readers through various settings. The island of Antigua, where The Heir’s Predicament is set, boasts of ninety-five miles of scalloped coastlines, white and pink sand beaches, a tropical but arid climate, windmills and plantations, and a sugar and spice history complete with Caribs and pirates. Island tensions create a lively setting and weave their way into the characters’ stories, for instance, the push and pull between the island’s calming beauty and battering storms, water abounding but not much of it drinkable, a laid-back culture of hearty survivors, and a legacy of slavery versus colonization.

The journey, however, isn’t over, my next series will take place in the rolling hills and quaint towns of England’s Cotswold, but there’s hope of a Windward Island series in the future.

To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com, or watch The Heir’s Predicament book trailer by clicking here: The Heir’s Predicament book trailer.

My Impressions

“Knowing her lineage would direct the course of her future.”

Hmmm… sometimes we humans get an idea in our heads that may not be accurate, but our belief in said idea can totally drive the course of our lives! Enter one Maggie Prescott from England, who has convinced her uncle to sail to Antigua in search of her ancestry. If only one Lord Samuel Frederick Granville wouldn’t stand in her way at every turn.

I enjoyed this fanciful look at life in Antigua in 1831. I usually read books that are a little more what I would consider true-to-life. But this stand-alone novel was engrossing, romantic, action-filled, and, surprisingly, truth-filled as well. And swoony.

The storyline I won’t spoil, but it will stay with you. The lessons are many. Anger needs to be controlled. “Getting angry isn’t wrong, it’s what you do with the anger that matters.” Ah, we hope that dashing Samuel can learn this lesson in time. But, if we’re honest, many of us struggle with anger in some way and need this reminder.

Maggie feels like she needs to prove who she is, in order to be accepted in the ton and elsewhere. However, she finally begins to accept the truth of this statement. “…it doesn’t matter if your lineage is good, bad, or plain awful. What matters is the legacy you choose. Your earthly heritage isn’t as important as your heavenly one.” Interestingly enough, it seems to me it is very hard for a young person to grasp this truth. Maturity often brings this revelation.

This novel also serves as a reminder that adopted children, even as adults, feel the need to find their birth families, in order to find closure. “Not knowing my past feels like living in a house without a foundation. One doesn’t know how long the structure will hold or what will cause it to come crashing down. Everything I learn is like setting footings and stones to build the ground formation. “Thankfully today, we have a lot more tools available than Maggie ever did!

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent! A Regency-era novel that takes place mostly in the Caribbean and teaches some important lessons!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

lakesidelivingsite, January 11

Book Looks by Lisa, January 12

Sylvan Musing, January 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 13

She Lives To Read, January 14

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, January 14

Cover Lover Book Review, January 15

deb’s Book Review, January 15

Texas Book-aholic, January 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 17

Betti Mace, January 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 18

Connie’s History Classroom, January 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Holly’s Book Corner, January 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 21

Life of Literature, January 22

Simple Harvest Reads, January 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, January 23

To Everything There Is A Season, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 24

Mary Hake, January 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lorri 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/23a0e/the-heir-s-predicament-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Favorite, PB, Purchase, Revell

The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz Review

About the Book

Title: The Rose and the Thistle

Author: Laura Frantz

Publisher: Revell

Released: January 3, 2023

Genre: Historical Romance

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley’s father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems–a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies–and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.

My Impressions

“Silk and fire dinna mix well.”

“Neither do we, milord.”

“Good things come to those who wait.” This summarizes my thoughts on The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz.

First of all, I (and many other Frantz fans) have been waiting over a year for this latest offering from Frantz, a highly skilled author who writes excellent, authentic historical romantic fiction.

I had to wait in another regard. This is one of the few Frantz novels that I have not been enamored with from the start. However, as I kept reading, I eventually got so caught up in the intrigue of the divided loyalties and the beauty of the impossible romance that I give this book five stars. I tend to rate books by how completely sated my reading soul is when I finish. Let me say, I am well-satisfied with the faith factor, enemies-to-lovers romance and political suspense. Don’t forget the appeal of a child!!

Which brings me to my last point. Frantz, through Lady Blythe Hedley and Lord Everard Hume, teaches me several things through Scripture and its application. I used one quote last night in my own life. “Prayer may be the best weapon we have.” What an immense relief as I relax my own troubled mind and realize “God’s got this” as I pray for my personal heartache. God is indeed in control. Thank you for the reminder, Ms. Frantz!!

And as I talked to a person dear to me today, I referred to another quote. “Tell me something good about her…Surely there are praiseworthy things about her, as she was made in the Lord’s image.” Sometimes we can only see the negatives in another person, and yet, even the worst person is made in God’s image. If we look hard enough, we can find good in almost all people.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher, plus I bought a couple of copies to share. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Good things may come to Everard and Blythe for waiting, and they came to me! The Scriptures and quotes spoke directly to my heart and life!

About the Author


Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Proud of her heritage, she is also a Daughter of the American Revolution. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Frantz has done her historical homework.” With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California. Foreign language editions include French, Dutch, Spanish, Slovakian, German & Polish.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at http://www.laurafrantz.net

*Subscribe to Laura’s seasonal newsletter and receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and reader events, sneak peaks and teasers, signings and appearances, and more! To subscribe, copy and paste this into your browser’s address window:

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BLOG, Kindle, LibraryThing Early Readers, New-to-Me Author, Purchase

Death in the Cabbage Patch by RL Buck Review

About the Book

Title: Death in the Cabbage Patch

Series: The Cabbageville Mysteries

Author: RL Buck

Released: October 2022

When Autumn Bridges, the town coroner, meets Matt Cabbage in a near-collision on Main Street, they discover they have much in common. First, they’re next-door neighbors now that Matt owns The Cabbage Patch, his family’s ancestral estate. They’re also single parents of tween girls. And when screams herald the discovery of a corpse on Matt’s first night in the mansion, the two join forces to prove that neither Matt nor his uncle is guilty. The sleepy little town of Cabbageville, Texas, will never be the same.

This light-hearted and delightfully funny cozy mystery keeps you turning pages with its twists and surprises. The easy and clever dialog between Autumn and Matt sparkles in this first book of the Cabbageville Mystery series.

About the Author

R.L. Buck, the author of Death in the Cabbage Patch, A Cabbageville Mystery Book 1, is retired from a long career as a Renaissance trades-Jack. He lives in the Texas Panhandle with his two fur babies (Dak, the rat terrier, and Jackson, the silver poodle mix), neither of which can reach the kibbles bin. Both adore R.L. as the perfect housemate for his roles as Supreme Doler of the Food and Giver of Belly Rubs.

An avid reader and writer of mysteries, horror, fantasy, and SciFi for as long as he can remember, R.L. has written the second book in the Cabbageville Mystery series and started the third. He also has several other works in progress.

R.L. Buck writes clean and entertaining fiction informed by a Christian worldview without preaching or side-stepping themes many Christian writers tend to avoid. He prefers to call himself a Christian who writes rather than a Christian Writer: he displays his faith in his writing, but it is not the sole point of it.

My Impressions

“We do everything we can to protect our circle. Beyond that, if we’re so paranoid we forget to live our lives, what’s the use? You have to let go at some point, and you figure the Almighty’s better equipped to protect your loved ones than you are.”

With a title like Death in the Cabbage Patch, RL Buck had me intrigued in his first novel of his new cozy series, The Cabbageville Mysteries. I found it to be a fun, clean offering. The victim is someone so unlikeable, that we have a smorgasbord of possible suspects.

Buck creates relatable and realistic characters. I did feel like Matt and Autumn became a couple extremely fast. Sukie and Misty add some reason for their parents to spend more time together. It will be interesting to see how they figure into future books.

Buck also populates his novel with some interesting secondary characters. The pastor and Widow Carmichael with her surprising business are both memorable.

I’m sure we’ll see more of cousin Hedda, who is both Autumn’s friend and Matt’s cousin.

I’ll be looking for the next book in the series to see if the mystery can compare to this one.

I received a copy of the book from the author through Early Reviewers in Library Thing. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Bethany House, BLOG, Kindle, NetGalley

The Apostle’s Sister by Angela Hunt

First off, I must admit I am playing catch-up with my NetGalley list. I’m sure nobody else understands this predicament!!🤪🤪

About the Book

Title: The Apostle’s Sister

Series: #4 Jerusalem Road

Author: Angela Hunt

Publisher: Bethany House

Released: June, 2022

She’s always longed for more, but what if the path she’s chosen requires more than she’s willing to give?

Aya, daughter of Zebulun of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. After years of being overshadowed by her brilliant brother Sha’ul, she wants a chance to use her own gifts beyond being a wife and mother. When her father insists that she marry a Torah student, she reluctantly agrees.

A dedicated scholar, Sha’ul, or Paul, returns to Tarsus to follow the instructions of the Law and wed the woman his father has chosen to raise his profile and help him earn a seat on the Great Sanhedrin–the highest religious court in the land. But when the Nazarene, Yeshua, and his followers bring trouble to the Holy City, Sha’ul will stop at nothing to silence them.

After moving to Jerusalem with her husband, Aya expects to be bored in her role as wife to a Torah student. Instead, she finds herself fascinated by his studies. Then her brother makes a life-altering decision, and she must face a troubling question: Can she remain true to her beliefs and still love her blasphemous brother?

About the Author

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With nearly six million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 150 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her web site at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com.

My Impressions

“When HaShem bestows a gift, does He not expect us to use it?”

I really enjoyed my first Biblical fiction novel by Angels Hunt. While The Apostle’s Sister is #4 in the Jerusalem Road Series, I never once felt at a loss for knowledge of what may have transpired in previous books.

Shaul ( eventually Paul) and Aya, his independent sister who longs to be free to use her voice in public, alternate narrating chapters. We meet the Jewish family who in this novel, have great social Greek connections. Yet, some facets of their lives are very restricted by the law. Shaul studies in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, constantly debating the finer points of the law with other students and teachers. “In this city, perhaps in homes not far from me, other young men were debating similar questions, focusing their energy on minuscule points of the Law while they missed the miracle of what HaShem had done through Yeshua.”

We get great insight into the workings of the Jewish high court and hierarchy system therein. We also see the intense pressure and persecution that comes as followers of the Way are discovered and weeded out. I may have needed Kleenex in several places, so I obviously connected to the characters closely.

Aya especially struggles with a sense of significance under the Jewish laws and customs. How does she “Honor the gift HaShem gave you,” when her culture and life circumstances prohibit it?

“I enjoy singing because when I sing, people see who I am.” Can HaShem help her find the sense of significance we all strive for?

Hunt includes an abundance of Scripture references, which is good thing in this book. I was amazed Hunt could skillfully tie so many in, without info dumping or preaching. Obviously, Hunt has done her Biblical scholar work!

I highly recommend The Apostle’s Sister along with a reading pet companion and plenty of Kleenex.

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House and NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great! Love the insight into Biblical-times Jewish Ruling Council and Culture!