BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Beauty in Hiding:#1 Beauty in Flight by Robin Patchen

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About the Book

Book: Beauty in Hiding

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Book 2 in the Beauty in Flight series:43608957

Harper’s second chance at life will become a second stint in prison if anyone connects those two dead men to her.

Nutfield, New Hampshire, is as good a place as any to hide from the murderer Harper left behind in Maryland. All she has to do is lie low and make enough money to keep herself and Red alive until she can figure out who her enemies are.

Jack Rossi isn’t sure what to make of his beautiful new tenant and her confused grandfather. Something’s not right, but the love he sees between them and the care she takes of the old man convinces Jack they’re trustworthy. As drawn as he is to Harper, she’s his tenant, so she’s off limits.

Derrick, Harper’s ex-boyfriend, and Red’s grandson, needs to find his grandfather and get his hands on the old man’s money before Derrick ends up with a bullet in the skull. And when he gets his hands on Harper, she’ll be sorry for what she’s put him through.

Harper and Jack grow closer, but so do her enemies. If Harper can’t trust Jack with the truth, she may lose more than just this glimpse of true love. She may lose her freedom—or her life.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY REVIEW:

Robin Patchen has won me over to her style of romantic suspense with this novel, Beauty in Hiding. You will notice in my meme that there are three books pictured. Beauty in Hiding is book two of a series of three titled, “Beauty in Flight” (also the title of book one). Why do I belabor this point? I strongly urge you to purchase all three books before starting any. You will want to read them all together. I read two and three without one, but these seem to be a continuing story. ‘Nuff said.
What a whirlwind of action and intrigue this book is. An elderly man with dementia; his young, beautiful caretaker, who moves them both far from home; a great-looking landlord who wants to share his faith and some friendship with these two; numerous squirrelly and questionable characters who are best avoided at all costs. It took me very little time to become engrossed in the story and personally interested in sweet, scared Harper; friendly, undemanding Jack, and uncertain Red.
Why am I laughing (or is it sighing) over the town name of Nutfield where one character has dementia and another’s actions seem nutty if one doesn’t know her backstory? The faith element is real, timely, and appropriately woven into the novel.
Beauty in Hiding meme
Some shareable quotes:
“If not for the kindness of strangers, I do not know where I would be. So I will be a kind stranger to you.”“She needed more than a drive in the country and some ice cream. She needed a brain transplant.”

“Harper’s perch was her floor and her knees, and her prayers were for a glimpse of freedom from this crazy situation she’d found herself in. A hope for the future.”

“My brain…I used to be able to rely on it. Now it’s turning against me. Now, I never know if I can trust what I remember.” (This one made me want to cry.)

Run to your nearest bookstore and purchase the entire series, Beauty in Flight, Bks 1-3, to add to your collection if you like sinister Christian romantic suspense. I bought books one and three but was given a complimentary copy of Beauty in Hiding by the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my responsibility.

MY RATING:

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About the Author

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit everyRobin-Patchen-300x199
place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 

More from Robin

I was raised in a Christian home. Our parents took my sister, my brother, and me to church every Sunday. They taught us right from wrong, but eventually, kids have to make their own choices. In my case, I chose wrong for a long time.

Don’t misunderstand: I was always a pretty nice person. I wasn’t a thief, and I didn’t kill anybody, but I made a lot of bad decisions. Sinful decisions. I discovered that one bad choice often led to the next and the next until I was trapped in a life of my own making with no idea how to get out.

But God… two of my favorite words in the English language.

God had a different plan, and He pulled me out of the muck and changed my life. He showed me that I was not the person I’d been acting like. He showed me who I was, and He taught me to walk in the truth of my identity.

Harper Cloud isn’t me, not at all. First of all, she is tall and blond and drop-dead gorgeous. More than that, her choices are nothing like mine were. But she’s in the same boat I was. Thanks to a series of bad decisions, Harper was in a hole, and she didn’t know how to get herself out of it. She used drugs to quiet the condemning voices and told herself lies to make herself feel better. Someday, she told herself, she’d get her life together enough to go home to her parents. Because she couldn’t go when she was a mess. She couldn’t go until she’d done something they could be proud of.

Thanks to a bad choice in boyfriend, Harper not only didn’t go home, she ended up in prison.

Harper’s story begins two years after she’s released. It’s the story of a woman desperate to be free of her past, clinging to hope when there’s every reason to despair, and desperate to believe what she’s been told about this Savior, Jesus Christ.

Harper will learn about love and redemption and salvation in the course of the three books that make up the Beauty in Flight series. That is, if she can survive the danger that seems to follow her wherever she goes.

 

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 13

amandainpa , April 13

Through the Fire Blogs, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 15

Spoken from the Heart, April 15

Lights in a Dark World, April 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 16

Among the Reads, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

Living Life Free In christ, April 17

Remembrancy, April 18

Just One More, April 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

Emily Yager, April 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 19

Daysong Reflections, April 20

Carla Loves To Read, April 20

janicesbookreviews, April 20

Just the Write Escape, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 21

EmpowerMoms, April 22

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, April 23

Bigreadersite, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Real World Bible Study, April 24

The Lit Addict, April 24

Older & Smarter?, April 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25

Inklings and notions, April 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 26

The Becca Files, April 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and the entire Beauty in Flight Series!!
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/de7a/beauty-in-hiding-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, LPC, NetGalley

The Songbird and the Spy

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About the Book

 

Book: The Songbird and the Spy43080349

Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

Genre: Clean historical romance

Release Date: Feb 19, 2019

As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy.

Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire.

As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY REVIEW

J’nell Ciesielski’s second novel, The Songbird and the Spy is a masterpiece of espionage, secrets, divided loyalties, and suspense. While not usually a WWII novel fan, I am a new devoted fan. Ciesielski’s characters covertly work their way off the page into your heart. Poor Claire only wants to return to her music studies in unoccupied France. But finding a safe route back is impossible and Claire must pose as a bar singer, attracting both the French nationals and the German soldiers.
One of those soldiers is Captain Michael Reichner, whose true identity is a carefully guarded secret.
This a very heart- wrenching story, lightened by a love that cannot be denied, yet must stay under wraps. I liked Michael’s strong sense of confidence. This can be very appealing in a man.
The tension is drawn even tighter when a female Gestapo agent, eager to earn her way to Berlin, begins to haunt Michael and his men and the very bar where Claire earns her keep.
I found it very interesting that the butcher’s son was named “Savon,” which means “soap” or “soap maker.” The Germans are determined to cleanse the land of undesirables, the French are desperate to wash the German army out of their land. Definitely a story worth reading and sharing.
One note: I was thrilled to see a map at the beginning of the book. The author’s short note was also appreciated.
Some great quotes:

“Trust is rather unreliable in your line of work.”

“If you give him a name, he becomes a person, a man. He is anything but!” 

“…the situation was so tangled that she could no longer determine if lies or truth were the better option.”

“She was the most important mission he’d ever undertaken.” 

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.

MY RATING

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About the Author

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days creating heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found 17735994dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle. Find out more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’nell

The most popular question an author is asked is where did the inspiration come from. Most of the time, if not always, my inspiration comes from a trifecta of resources: movies, music, or books. A single song lyric, or secondary character, or novel setting can trigger a whole world of possibilities that has to be explored. In the case of Songbird and the Spy, it was a movie. A Quentin Tarantino movie to be exact set during WWII where one of the characters is a British officer posing as a Nazi meets up with other spies in a French bar. Another character was a Jewish woman posing as a theater-owning Frenchwoman. My brain immediately tingled with ideas. What if identities were all in question? What if you fell in love with the wrong person? Not just the wrong person, but the enemy? The drama and tension in such a situation would be unbelievable!

And that is how Songbird was born.

Here are a few bits of trivia for you:

  • Songbird was originally titled Iron Shepherd for Michael’s call sign.
  • There have been three or four different endings written.
  • Michael Reiner was based off of Michael (see what I did there?!) Fassbender’s character in Inglorious Basterds. The actor was born in Germany to German and Irish parents, and later grew up in Ireland J Art imitating life.
  • Music always makes its way into my stories and here it takes center stage.
  • I’ve always wanted to write a USO story so the ending was my perfect chance to squeeze it in.
  • Ilsa von Ziegler was based off of Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones.
  • There was a scene showing Michael at SOE training in Scotland, but it was later cut.
  • Nazi headquarters in Paris really was located on Foch Ave. The building is still there.
  • The molten lead that Michael’s new assistant talks about is a German New Year’s tradition to divine fortune in the coming year. A small bit of lead or tin is melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal predicts the future.
  • Chanteuse is a female singer. Edith Piaf, the most famous French singer of all, was known as The Little Sparrow. Songbird and chanteuse are both used to reference Claire and pay homage to Piaf.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 2

Among the Reads, April 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 3

Wishful Endings, April 4

Carpe Diem, April 4

Connect in Fiction, April 5

Emily Yager, April 5

Through the Fire Blogs, April 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 6

Hallie Reads, April 7

Lis Loves Reading, April 7

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 8

Genesis 5020, April 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 9

Godly Book Reviews, April 9

Stories By Gina, April 10

Maureen’s Musings, April 10

Carla Loves To Read, April 11

Mary Hake, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 11

Inspired by Fiction, April 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

Bigreadersite, April 13

As He Leads is Joy, April 13

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

The Becca Files, April 14

janicesbookreviews, April 15

A Reader’s Brain, April 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away a grand prize of a print copy of Songbird and $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfe9/the-songbird-and-the-spy-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Bethany House, BLOG

A Desperate Hope, #3 An Empire State Novel by Elizabeth Camden

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ABOUT THE BOOK

TITLE: A Desperate Hope, #3 Empire State Novel

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Camden

PUBLISHER: Bethany House

RELEASED: February 2019

GENRE: Christian Historical Romance

Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she’s finally put behind her—or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she’s now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town—but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he’d lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it’s too late.

 

MY REVIEW:

What would life be like if the government decided our land was worth more to the general public than to the individual? (We actually saw this locally when many disgruntled people sold their homes cheaply to make room for a new highway to pass through.) In Elizabeth Camden’s novel, A Desperate Hope, a whole town is being dismantled so New York City can build a much-needed water reservoir. I had difficulty getting interested in these people’s lives at first until I could realize what was truly at stake for this community.
Ah, a first love that simmers and never quite gets extinguished. Sounds great for Alex Duval, now mayor of Duval Springs, and Eloise Drake, an accountant and numbers whiz, except they are on opposing sides of the town demolition/reservoir issue. Polar business aims and clashing personalities don’t make for a good love match… or do they?
This book has some real surprises and unlikely alliances that made it well worth the read. This is a novel that leaves me ruminating well after the fact, “could this be? Would this work out in real life?!” Discussion questions further stimulate this line of thought.
Great quotes:
“Your accounting ledgers don’t have a column for the size of a human heart.”- Alex

”You can be brave and scared at the same time.”-Alex

”We’ve got the most important element on our side. We’ve got hope, and hope can build bridges and tame storms and fuel our muscles until drag ourselves across the finish line. We aren’t quitters.”

”We don’t have scarlet letters in this town. We have imperfect people who sometimes make mistakes.”

”It is in tackling the new and the scary that we become who we are meant to be.” (Enzo, Italian engineer)

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and via NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are solely my responsibility.

 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in gilded age America featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her4373995 favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Award, and she lives in Florida with her husband who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Hannah Claire’s Wilderness, Bk #2 The Revivalist Trilogy, by Caryl McAdoo

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About the Book

Book: Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Right after she marries in 1970, love carries Hannah Claire to Nigeria, following her husband David to the mission field—for only two years, she thinks. Miracle upon miracle 43704864brings five-year-old African orphan Adaolisa into the young wife’s life and she becomes a mother. Can the love for a child keep her where she doesn’t want to be? The children of wickedness threaten to make her a widow; they threaten everything, and danger abounds! Only by obedience can Hannah and her revivalist husband survive and prosper in a land torn by violence.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

MY REVIEW

Surprise! Having read another of the author’s novels, I really expected this to be a historical romance, as in the 1800s or so. What Caryl McAdoo serves up in Hannah Claire’s Wilderness couldn’t have been further from my expectations. A very young, freshly married couple heads to Nigeria to preach the gospel. Reflecting the Jesus movement popular in the 1970s, David and Hannah praise loudly and often; expect unbelievable miracles as if ordinary; and also expect God’s financial blessings. While some of this makes me slightly uncomfortable, McAdoo also tackles gritty life problems including human trafficking, martyrdom, adultery, and honesty. Trusting God, obeying Him, praising Him and overcoming fear with meditation and Scripture are key themes, as is forgiveness. I must say, the themes are so relevant to today that I applaud the book much more than I anticipated when I started. McAdoo has given me much to chew on for some time to come. 
Favorite quotes: 
“That’s between you and God though, I can’t be your Holy Spirit.” 
“…either God was on the throne in control or He wasn’t. She had nothing to worry about.” 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

 

MY RATING

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About the Author

Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory which is what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With forty titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as caryl-mcadoo-1-216x300singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and high school sweetheart Ron celebrated fifty years of marriage June 22, 2018, and share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

Guest Post from Caryl

Have you ever thought you heard from God, and acted on that in obedience—oft at great sacrifice—only to doubt that you heard Him at all when things don’t go as you’d planned? Actually, everything almost goes just the opposite, and your world is turned upside down.

Did you really hear Him?

That’s what my heroine Hannah Claire faces, when a two-year stint looks like it’s turning into a lifetime commitment. Though I’ve never been abroad to the mission field, I’ve faced much the same thing as Hannah, believing I heard Him and then nothing happening as expected!

Personally, I’ve been waiting over thirty years, but have found great peace in that waiting and trusting God—knowing that He is on the throne and in control. I will never doubt that the vision He’s given, the call He’s placed on mine and Ron’s lives WILL come to pass, just as it did for Abraham.

Hannah doesn’t have to wait that long, but her experience takes her to the depths of fear and depression before she comes to know her Heavenly Father is altogether trustworthy. The Shepherd walks her through the valley of the shadow of death and makes her to lie down in green pastures. He stills the raging waters and leads her beside them.

Book three, King David’s Tabernacle, coming sometime in 2020, will bring the reward and give you glory bumps every step of the way as God makes Himself known in a mighty way, but first . . . there’s the refining. Gold is passed through the fire seven times to be purified.

Silver as well, until the smith can see his reflection. Followers of Christ are all being made into the image of God’s Beloved Son, and we can rest in the fact that He who began that good work in us at salvation will be faithful to complete it until His coming again.

I pray you will enjoy your journey through Hannah Claire’s Wilderness.

 

Blog Stops

The Becca Files, March 21

Inklings and notions, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

janicesbookreviews, March 30

Bigreadersite, March 31

A Reader’s Brain, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Real World Bible Study, April 3

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Hannah Claire’s Wilderness

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books

5th Prize $5 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/dcad/hannah-claire-s-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley, Revell

On a Summer Tide, #1 Three Sisters Island by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: On a Summer Tide, #1 Three Sisters Island

AUTHOR: Suzanne Woods Fisher

PUBLISHER, PUBLISHED: Revell, April 2019

GENRE:  Contemporary Romance (Not Amish or Mennonite)

When her father buys an island off the coast of Maine with the hope of breathing new life into it, Camden Grayson thinks he’s lost his mind. An unexpected event sends Cam to his rescue, and she discovers the island has its own way of living . . . and loving.

_I don't think that's God's view of Life, Cam. You don't earn purpose._ (2).png

MY REVIEW: 

Family dynamics can be really messy. I can’t imagine a father selling his home (the children are grown, or nearly so); buying an island in the state of déshabillé; AND expecting all three daughters to move there improve it. Maybe Paul Grayson truly has lost his mind.
Suzanne Woods Fisher writes about this widower’s family with three disconnected sisters in such a beautiful way that I found myself quickly mired in the quicksand of uncomfortable and dysfunctional family relationships.
Each sister is delightful, yet shortsighted in her own way, which leads to a mess for them and an intriguing story for us, the readers. The island and its wildlife sound wonderful, yet there are drawbacks.
Anybody not born there is a foreigner. No wi-fi. And a diner with a lady who can’t cook anything, let alone make coffee. I laughed and laughed over the silly antics until the tale wove back upon itself in a serious way that calls for tears.
So many worthy quotes.
“Mom always told us that life would surprise us with important choices, and our true character would emerge in how we responded.”
“…life was full of simple miracles if you just opened your eyes to them.”
“Life presents you with important choices. You can lash out, become bitter. Or draw closer to God, become better.”
“…it’s never too late to learn to listen.”
“We love each other, we tell each other the truth, and we keep working on things. That’s what families are all about.”
Woods leaves just enough threads dangling that I am anxious for the next book in the series already. Good discussion questions follow, making this an excellent choice for book clubs.
I received this complimentary book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review is required and all opinions are my own.

 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. 1922565

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living.

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can’t life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found online at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

 

 

Just one more word… look for this amazing book on April 30th!

Barbour, BLOG, NetGalley

The White City: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crimes by Grace Hitchcock

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The White City: True Crimes: Historical Stories of American Crime

SERIES: True Crimes

AUTHOR: Grace Hitchcock

PUBLISHER: Barbour

PUBLISHED: March 2109

GENRE: Christian Historical Suspense

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

 

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MY REVIEW:

It seems it is always fun to read about one great event that changed the face of Chicago, the World’s Fair of 1893. The White City by Grace Hitchcock helps to sharpen our modern focus on a time when Chicago had a “mini” city of large white stucco buildings well-lit, even at night, to house the fair. The character HH Holmes was a real criminal, detailed in another non-fiction book. White City also caused me to research how the giant Ferris Wheel looked back then. It was nothing like our modern Ferris Wheels, having glass “rooms” holding up to 60 people each! 
I thought this was the perfect vacation read, with a smattering of history, and romance, and suspense.  
I enjoyed the love triangle and truly wasn’t certain how it would turn out. 
Jude Thorpe is a new detective in Winnifred Wylde’s father’s precinct and is assigned the dubious duty of protecting Winnie from her efforts to prove her crime sightings are more than her imagination. Winnie appears attracted to him, but he has competition.  
Winnie fights off many of her aunt’s hand-picked suitors, but will Percival Covington turn out to be the perfect man? 
For myself, I was glad to see Winnie could be a reader and still be a respectable heroine. Often readers are passed over in real life as those who just don’t want to work, instead of those called to nourish an inner need. 
“He didn’t deserve to have her heart’s sloppy seconds.” Said about one of Winnie’s suitors, it hit me how applicable this is in our relationship to God. 
This was one book I would almost have liked to have seen the author write an alternate ending too. That is if she had made a few character adjustments, of course. It just seemed the book teetered on a precipice and the author had to think for a moment which way she wanted to take the action. I know I seriously considered which way I would have counseled her to take it. Indeed, that really brought me thoroughly into the tale, as if the adventure didn’t already have me there. Good point for a book club discussion. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are solely my own. 

 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 16145482

Grace Hitchcock is the author of The White City and The Gray Chamber from Barbour Publishing. She has written multiple novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.

BLOG, Revell

Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE:  Courting Mr. Emerson

AUTHOR: Melody Carlson

PUBLISHER: Revell

PUBLISHED: March 2019

GENRE: Christian Romance

When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause–and finds herself falling for him in the process.

A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around–which to him seems like all too often. He’s not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.

But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?

With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.

MY REVIEW:

Why should you read Courting Mr. Emerson? The first line might snag your attention. It sure did mine. “George Emerson didn’t need anybody.”
Melody Carlson’s narrative has an easy flow about it. Like a weekend afternoon car ride on a warm spring day. This is going to be fun, enjoyable, humorous, etc, …until it isn’t.
Which brings me to the two next reasons to read Courting Mr. Emerson. Because this is a romance between two mature adults, we have a departure from the usual beautiful, young heroine and wonderfully handsome, young Adonis. Some readers will especially appreciate this. I know I did.
Which leads into the next motive for reading this wonderful book. After a few chapters, it stops being the “joyride” I described above. Instead, real life hits from many angles and Willow, George, Collin, and others have to figure out how to navigate around obstacles to find the peace and relationships they desire. One thing is for sure… I thought this would be a cute, breezy romance. Instead, it is a slightly humorous romance filled with broken people with weighty problems, who need God to help them.
Quotes I would like to share:

“I don’t know if you can measure pain…it’s probably relevant, different for everyone…The thing is, you have to keep going.”

“…when I discovered God was really real, well, I grabbed on tight and I’ve been holding on ever since.”

“…an atheist is simply a seeker who is hoping that God will show up.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own. 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 7383

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.