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

Matchmaker’s Best Friend, #3 Elnora Island: #9 Independence Islands, by Kari Trumbo

About the Book

Book:  Matchmaker’s Best Friend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: March 30, 2021

“You’re just like a brother to me. I don’t like you in that way.”

When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him.

She’s still paying for that lie.

A brilliant plan to set Mike and a friend up and get over him has one problem.

It’s breaking her heart.

When Pen pushed him away, Mike Gaines assumed she just didn’t understand his faith. People like her persnickety aunt even claim he’s part of a cult—ridiculous, but it’s true. Still, if she wants him to play the part of a big brother, fine. At least he can stay close this way.

At first, Pen’s attempt to set him up with one of her close friends hurts. But what if it’s the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s missing if she sees him with someone else?

In this friends-to-more-meets-second-chance romance, The Matchmaker’s Best Friend continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“She’d always imagined life would be like a swing. Sometimes you could see the sky, sometimes only the ground coming at you fast, but all of it could be glorious if you worked at it. Lately, all she saw was the ground coming at her…”
This explains poor Pen Reece, wedding planner extraordinaire, and her miserable condition. Splitting her time between a thriving business on the mainland and an upstart on the islands that just isn’t starting, Reese sets up her best friend Mike (whom she has loved forever) with another friend. Now the matched friends are headed for the altar, and Pen’s businesses and reputation are about to crumble.
Truth, please. Somebody tell the truth. I wanted to scream this a few times during this novel. But maybe because I can’t keep a secret, I have a hard time believing so many people can cover up the truth and deceive each other, hurting each other in the process.


The Matchmaker’s Best Friend, Elnora Island, #3 Independence Islands, by Kari Trumbo, might be best suited for those in their 20s and 30s. I like to think that a person older than that would think through the situations more maturely than the main characters do. I enjoyed the book, but feel like I need to help guide Pen, Mike, and their friends into clearer thinking and better decision-making. Maybe that’s because I realize that marriage is indeed for life, and not something to be trifled with, which Pen only partially appreciates, by her actions.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my opinions.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.

More from Kari

Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Especially in sparkly, stacked espadrilles and pink power suit. Don’t let Pen Reese’s pink façade fool you, she’s a businesswoman to the core, with a heart of gold. She has built a party planning business from the ground up, and she’s about to create another.

Pen is one of those characters that I could just see CLEARLY as I was writing. She is about ninety percent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and ten percent a close personal friend. I heard her voice in my head. I could hear her talking as I wrote the book. Her personality was perfect for the energetic party planner.

I’m sure if I put a character description up without context or clarity many people wouldn’t want to read the book, they would write Pen off as shallow. But she’s not. She’s heartbroken.

Do you still remember your first love? Maybe you still care for them? Pen fell hard for her first love and no matter how professional she is or how many lavish weddings she plans, she can’t forget the one wedding she’ll never get to create. Her own.

Pen things that if Mike falls for someone else, goes off and gets married, she’ll finally be able to move on. So, she sets a plan in motion. That’s when her world completely falls apart and you see the tender parts of Pen that she doesn’t show to just anybody.

She is a very complex character and I hope she touches you like she touched me.

I hope you enjoy Pen’s tale of matchmaking gone wrong.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 14

Books and Everyday Life, April 14

Labor Not in Vain, April 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 15

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 15

lakesidelivingsite, April 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 17

Rebekah Reads, April 17

Artistic Nobody, April 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

A Novel Pursuit, April 18

She Lives To Read, April 19

deb’s Book Review, April 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 20

Splashes of Joy, April 20

Aryn the Libraryan, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Blogging With Carol, April 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 23

CarpeDiem, April 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, April 26

Godly Book Reviews, April 26

Batya’s Bits , April 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kari 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/10acd/matchmaker-s-best-friend-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, LibraryThing Early Readers, NetGalley, Revell

Unknown Threat, #1 Defend and Protect, by Lynn H Blackburn

About the Book

Title: Unknown Threat

Series: #1 Defend and Protect

Author: Lynn H Blackburn

Publisher: Revell

Released: March 2021

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He’s an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor. 

My Impressions


“Mondays were the worst.” Who doesn’t agree with that statement?! And with that sentence, Lynn H Blackburn deftly hooks the reader. The timbre of Unknown Threat, ( #1 Defend and Protect) escalates as we find out that Secret Service agents in the Raleigh office are being picked off systematically. Can FBI Special Agent, Faith Malone, work with Luke and get past his hatred of the FBI, to discover who wants to eradicate his team?


Plenty of drama, sweet romance, and explosive action make this a story to remember. I love the way that Luke and Faith must put aside their pasts with their hurts and baggage to forge a relationship. Little snippets make us aware of another team member whose romance may be the subject of the next book. I appreciate that Blackburn adds a humorous dimension to very tense moments and keeps the suspense below heart attack level.
I have read Blackburn’s Dive Team Investigations series and was pleased to find the same level of team camaraderie and loyalty between members of Luke’s Secret Service agency. That pervading sense of family makes me eager to get my hands on the next book in the series.
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Library Thing. All opinions are my own, unsolicited thoughts. 

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

It’s probably no surprise to any of you that two of my favorite things are reading books and writing books.

If I’m not reading or writing, there’s a decent chance that I’m talking about reading or writing, which is part of what makes doing interviews for my books so much fun. 

I’ve compiled a running list of all the places where you can see/hear/read about everything from my feelings on dogs and cats to how I do my research. All of these interviews have been tied to the release of Unknown Threat in some way.

If you click on this page and scroll to the bottom, you’ll find a plethora of interviews. Some are video, some are written, and some are links to specific podcast interviews. I’ll be updating this list weekly, so be sure to check back from time to time!

And speaking of Unknown Threat – y’all! The response has been amazing! As of this writing we are only 2 weeks past the release and there are already 105 reviews on Amazon and it has 4.8 stars. My mind is blown, my heart is full, and it makes me ridiculously excited to dive into writing the next book in the series!

Grace and peace,

BLOG

A Dark Beauty, #1 Victorian Retellings by Clarissa Kae

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty

Author: Clarissa Kae

Genre: Fairytale

Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“You cannot complain of fleas when you run with dogs.” “You cannot inspire bravery—” Dom hissed “—when your tail is tucked between your legs.” One of the things that made A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kay so enjoyable for me was the quick repartee between characters. While the future of England is at stake, it is a battle of personal wit that will solve the puzzle of who or what Georgiana’s family really is and who is ultimately betrayed by whom.
What I loved: the characterization of both Georgiana and Demand the chemistry that built between them, ever so slowly. Then I loved the fleshing out of Victoria, Lord Rochelle, Lady Pichon, and Lucien. I wasn’t sure until the end where the author would take those characters.


What I didn’t love: I was halfway through the book before a major plot event happened that I thought happened much earlier in the original tale. Also, there were loose ends at the end of the book. This doesn’t need to be super-realistic, because it is, after all, a fairy tale retelling.
Bottom line: would I recommend this book? Yes, to lovers of clean Victorian romance and fairy -tale retellings.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are only my opinions.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director. Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller. Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success. She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!
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/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway
Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, New Author

The Purple Nightgown, #10, True Colors, by AD Lawrence

About the Book

Book:  The Purple Nightgown

Author: A.D. Lawrence

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: March, 2021

9781643528922

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Book 10 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Arguably the creepiest and most gruesome of the True Crime series so far, The Purple Nightgown is the fictionalized true story of Linda Burfield Hazzard. AD Lawrence writes a tautly woven story of Hazzard’s compound where she employs outrageous, torturous methods to bring “true health” to wealthy, sickly rich. I loved seeing the gradual change of attitude in Stella, from entitlement to understanding we are all equal in God’s sight, and learning to totally depend upon Him. Henry is just lovable in all his protective, caring ways. Jane’s action’s surprised me.
Warning: it may be hard to sleep after reading this book! The true historical notes at the end are a real bonus. Highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts. All opinions are my own. 

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist.

More from AD Lawrence

Times have changed. And like so many things, health retreats have experienced their own metamorphosis. Sure, they’ve always catered to people with both spare money and time, but aside from similar clientele, the face of the health spa is nothing like its early 20th century sister.

If you could afford a getaway to a modern-day health spa like The Golden Door, you’d be treated to the luxury of rest. Yoga on the beach. Deep tissue massages. A much-needed break from technology and life’s constant pressures. Mental well-being is valued almost as highly as physical health, and the two are thought to be connected. After days or weeks of pampering, you would return home relaxed, recharged, and ready to dip back into the hustle of the real world.

In 1911, during the time of The Purple Nightgown, the medical community took a diametrically different approach to health. Weight equaled health.The prevailing assumption was that any ailments were directly connected to weight. Thus, ‘fat camps’ grew in popularity. Men and women checked into sanatoriums where the aides put them through grueling exercise regimes and provided them with just enough food to sustain life. No coddling. Not many of us would subject ourselves to the treatments early health spas required.

In this era of already extreme health measures, Linda Hazzard made her mark in Washington State. Obsessed with fasting, she ran her patients through an unfathomable course of ‘diet and exercise’ that proved the undoing of many. She did give massages though, which you’ll learn more about when you read The Purple Nightgown.

Although it’s fun to long for a simpler time while reading historical books and watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, there are some modern ways of thinking and advances in human comfort I’d rather not give up. One of those is the vastly superior spa experience we have today. Somehow, a facial with soothing background music sounds much more appealing than running mile after mile every day with nothing to look forward to but a glass of orange juice or a bowl of canned tomato broth.

Hot stone massage anyone?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 24

Godly Book Reviews, March 24

Through the Fire Blogs, March 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 25

For the Love of Literature, March 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 26

Mary Hake, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

deb’s Book Review, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

Remembrancy, March 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 29

Babbling Becky L’sBook Impressions, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 31 (Author Interview)

Cathe Swanson, March 31

Older & Smarter?, April 1

Betti Mace, April 1

Rebecca Tews, April 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 3

Amanda Tero, blog, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 3

Christian Bookaholic, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Splashes of Joy, April 5

Artistic Nobody, April 5 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.D. 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/1098d/the-purple-nightgown-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, New-to-Me Author, PB, Purchase

The Indebted Earl, #3 Serendipity and Secrets, by Erica Vetch

About the Book

Title: The Indebted Earl

Series: #3 Serendipity and Secrets

Author: Erica Vetch

Publisher: Kregel

Released: March 2021

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiance and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

Click here to read an excerpt.

My Impressions

Erica Vetch is one of those authors whose name has been publicized in my reading groups as a Christian Regency author not to miss.
I finally got the opportunity to taste Ms. Vetch’s ability in this last book of the series, The Indebted Earl, #3 Serendipity and Secrets.
I loved Sophie from the moment I met her. Sweet, strong, and determined to take care of her almost-mother-in-law who is settling into dementia, Sophie has a loveable, calming influence on those around her. She is also fiercely loyal.


The captain was not quite so easy to love, but Vetch doesn’t set out to make him super loveable. He’s rigid, unbending, operating with military-like precision, and not good at showing affection. So, Vetch pulls off a coup as she convinces the reader to love him and root for this marriage of convenience between Sophie and Charles.
Both Sophie and Charles are realistic individuals. They struggle with God’s will going against their own carefully constructed plans. Vetch allows both Charles and Sophie to question God, to cry out to Him, to wonder where He is in the valley of suffering. “Why, God? Why did You allow this to happen? How can this possibly be Your will?”
Eventually they will stretch and grow through their trials.
For those who have read previous books, characters from former novels put in appearances, but I enjoyed the book as a standalone. (However, I do plan to rectify that situation.)
Several twists move the storyline along in surprising directions and a bit of suspense kept me eagerly reading.


My attention was especially captured by the young children, all three with unique personalities. I adored each of them. Will Sophie and Charles attach themselves to these orphans or wash their hands of them?
Vetch touches on the subject of suicide (briefly), and deals tenderly with dementia.
For me, The Indebted Earl lived up to its hype. Highly recommended.
I received a copy from the author and publisher through Read with Audra. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!!

About the Author:

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 
 
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Click the link below to enter:

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ba3/the-indebted-earl

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Purchase

Framed in Death Valley, #1 Desert Justice by Dana Mentink

About the Book

Book:  Framed in Death Valley

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Suspense

Release date: March 1, 2021

framed in death valle

Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, firefighter Beckett Duke gave up on everything—including his marriage to spirited Laney Holland. That is, until Laney’s life is threatened. Knowing the real killer is still at large, Beckett now has one purpose: protecting the woman he loves…and their unborn child. But sometimes an innocent man’s second chance comes with a deadly price.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

They call him “Monster, a title he’d earned in high school.” Now, Beckett Duke can’t outrun his past or present nightmarish realities. Instead of starting over with his new wife, Laney, he feels forced to give up… right after he warns her of the danger she now faces.
Laney Duke thought she finally found a forever family in Beckett when they married a few weeks ago. Little did she know life would become so ghoulish and dangerous.
Mentink brings two characters together that you want to nurture and rescue right from the start. Then she piles on unjust disasters, enemies, and an unforgiving environment. What could be more unforgiving than a small town and Death Valley?!


I really enjoyed this nerve-wracking, nail-biting novel from page one. Mentink deftly weaves God’s unconditional, accepting love into a very temperamental, mercurial environment. Highly recommended.
My fave quote:
“You are who God says you are.”


I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit, plus I bought my own copy. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts. All opinions are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!!

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle.

More from Dana

What’s up in Death Valley?

As the desert vistas opened up in front of Papa Bear and me, I felt an amazing sense of peace. Mind you, we were visiting Death Valley in the fall. No braving the 130 plus summer temperatures for this couple! I simply cannot describe to you the wonder I felt, as a  suburbanite from a bustling, noisy Northern California city. There is never a moment at home when I see only open horizon, when I hear nothing but quiet breezes. I was, quite simply, stunned.

I had done some research about places to visit as potential series settings, and Death Valley was at the top of the list. The websites did not disappoint. Artist’s Palette, the gorgeous peak painted in a rainbow of rock colors? Check! Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, glistening with salt and not so lifeless as one might think…check! How about my favorite moment…jouncing along the precarious trail through Titus Canyon? Check! Would all of these incomparable locations be suitable for a six book suspense series? Roger that!

It’s ironic that I felt so welcomed by such an inhospitable locale. Visiting is one thing, but it takes a certain rugged breed of individuals to live in such a hostile climate. What fodder for fiction! I simply could not wait to get home and start creating the Duke family. And you know what? When this pandemic is over, Death Valley is the first place I want to return…in the fall, of course! Do you have a place near and dear to your heart? What’s first on your travel list after the world opens up again?

Blog Stops

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 16

Among the Reads, March 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 17 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, March 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 18

Genesis 5020, March 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 19

Betti Mace, March 19

Lighthouse Academy, March 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 20

Bizwings Blog, March 20

Texas Book-aholic, March 21

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 21

Inklings and notions, March 22

Remembrancy, March 22

Simple Harvest Reads, March 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, March 23

Blogging With Carol, March 23

Older & Smarter?, March 24

Fiction Book Lover, March 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

KarenSueHadley, March 24

She Lives To Read, March 25

deb’s Book Review, March 25

Through the Fire Blogs, March 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 27

Labor Not in Vain, March 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 28

Pause for Tales, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 29

Daysong Reflections, March 29

Hallie Reads, March 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away  the grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card, a set of six mini cactus candles, and a signed 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/1093d/framed-in-death-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Sing in the Sunlight, #2 Chaparral Hearts, by Kathleen Denly

About the Book

Title: Sing in the Sunlight

Series: #2 Chaparral Hearts

Author: Kathleen Denly

Publisher: Wild Heart Books

Released: March 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk? 

My Impressions

Wow! Sing in the Sunlight, by Kathleen Denly, was so much more than I expected! Set in California in 1857, Clarinda Humphrey feels like neither people nor God views her as loveable or acceptable following a horrible childhood event. Denly uses Clarinda’s character to show how God is faithful even in hard times. Richard is an amazing example of Christ’s love for His bride.
While I expected a sweet, clean historical western with a Christian worldview, I got so much more from this book. God brought this book to me just at the time He was dealing with a certain area of my life and I was really convicted about my wrong attitude, much like Clarinda’s.


I couldn’t believe how many sudden twists Ms. Denly wove into the story that threw me for a loop. How many times I thought, “I didn’t see THAT coming.” These unforeseen turns heightened my enjoyment of the book immensely. There was a lot of plausible, exciting action in this tale. Denly managed to include some pretty amazing historical facts in her love story.
On the strength of this book, I have pre-ordered Denly’s last book of the series, Harmony on the Horizon (Chaparral Hearts Book 3), which includes the story of Clarinda’s cousin.
I received a copy of this book from the author. I am voluntarily leaving these thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting. 

Kathleen is the award-winning author of Chaparral Hearts, a three-book series of stand-alone novels set in nineteenth century Southern California (plus a prequel novella available exclusively to her newsletter subscribers).

Kathleen would love it if you visited her website at KathleenDenly.com.

You can also connect with her on social media: 

Instagram & Twitter @KathleenDenly
Facebook Author Page: KathleenDenly.author
FB Group: Armchair Adventure Krew

To see photos that inspired her novels, follow her on Pinterest.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Purchase

Soon the Dawn, A Valley of Promise Novella by Linda Brooks Davis

About the Book

Book:  Soon the Dawn

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical fiction

Release Date: February 9, 2020

Ella thought becoming a mother to five daughters a month after marriage would be difficult.  Sixteen years later, letting go is even harder.  What should be a joyous time of Amaryllis spreading her wings as she graduates from the College of Industrial Arts… isn’t.

Ella fears that Amaryllis will lose a grip on her faith, her upbringing, and the goals Ella believes she should have.  Will Ella’s mother-in-law’s high society friends puff up the girl until Amaryllis loses sight of what’s important?  If Amaryllis stays away, can Ella trust that the Lord will keep the girl safe? Can she trust Him with her daughter’s well-being period?

Of course, she can!  But will she?

When everything begins to crumble around her, Ella must decide where she will place her trust—in her own capable hands or in the Lord’s sovereign ones.

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions

Soon the Dawn, A Valley of Promise Novella, by Linda Brooks Davis, receives 5 stars from me based on the last half of the book. The first half quietly depicts the setting of Oklahoma and the beginnings of the family of Andrew and Ella Evans in the 1900-the 1920s. What an unusual beginning it was! Ella loves her daughters and worries about their futures while her gentle husband reminds her the Heavenly Father can be trusted, come good or bad. In the second half of the book, the bad comes as if invited in on a whirlwind. I cried. Lots. I hurt for poor Ella. The novel is quite an emotional experience for any mother. I had strong negative feelings for her mother-in-law while loving her father-in-law and formerly estranged sister. Will Ella curl up and curse God, or will she trust that she is sheltered beneath His wings, come what may?


The book may seem a little preachy to some, but is written to people of faith, encouraging them to trust the Father.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving these thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland, Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian CathleenBook Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

More from Linda

When the Backstory Is Tragic

Family lore abounds in my family tree, much of it tragic. There’s the Boyd Irish crystal heiress who forsook her heritage for love in 1747 colonial America. The Billingsley American patriot hanged in his front yard by Tories in 1776. The Brooks great-grandfather who lost his three brothers in the Civil War and its aftermath. And the De Graffenried Swiss baron who brought a group from Switzerland to establish New Bern, North Carolina in 1711 and was captured by Indians.

Among the most tragic stories is how my grandmother, Ella Pyle Banks, buried 5 daughters and 2 husbands. Mama Ella and Papa Tribble’s story has waited years to be told. Part of it is the inspiration for my latest novella release, Soon the Dawn.

Ella Jane Pyle met William Tribble Banks in Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. They married in Elmore City in 1904 and welcomed seven girls over the next 18 years. Papa Tribble, a kind and sensitive one-armed man, farmed. And Mama Ella, known for her salt-of-the-earth character and neighborliness, was the one folks called on to tend their sick and prepare their loved ones’ bodies for burial. She possessed a will of iron, but her voice was whisper soft. I love the story about how Papa tried to kiss her while they were courting, and she responded with a slap. “No kiss from me until you’ve proposed.”

When I decided to write for publication, I knew I would create stories based on my family’s experiences. There are transatlantic stowaways, rejection by Quaker brethren, murder of a groom at his wedding reception, prisoners of war, deaths by lightning, fortunes won and lost, and more disease and death than I can imagine. With such drama hanging on the various branches, how could I not include these stories?

What’s an author to do with such tragedy?

Tragedy and loss are integral parts of life on fallen Earth, but triumph invariably attends each loss. Wellness follows disease. Light peeks through the darkness. Blessings attend tragedies. And life follows death. It’s the space between the two that intrigues me as a storyteller.

My task, then, in creating a story inspired by Papa Tribble and Mama Ella’s experiences was to find the colorful strands among the black, the shining light amid the darkness, and the blessings tucked into the folds of the woe.

Soon the Dawn contains dark and light strands and many colors between. But it’s the stitching—Jesus—who binds the strands together. He turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By.” As the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon, He scents the sultry stillness before a summer storm. And He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.

I offer Soon the Dawn to Jesus as a tale that reaches beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of His grace.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 25 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Rebecca Tews, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 26

Betti Mace, February 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 27

For Him and My Family, February 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 1

Bizwings Blog, March 1

deb’s Book Review, March 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 3

Artistic Nobody, March 3 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

She Lives To Read, March 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 7

CarpeDiem, March 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a handmade 8×12 wooden cross suitable for shelf or hanging with winner’s personalized engraving on back!!

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/1086b/soon-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway

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A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

About the Book

Title: A Dance in Donegal

Author: Jennifer Deibel

Publisher: Revell

Released: February, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

To fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn’t expect to fall in love–or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.

My Impressions

Could it really be that this is Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel? A Dance in Donegal by Revell is so gloriously rich in Irish culture, lore, and the magic of the Emerald Isle itself, a reader who is even the slightest fan of historical romance and mystery will be swept away. I certainly was.
In 1921, Moira Doherty leaves Boston to teach school in her deceased mother’s hometown of Ballymann, in Donegal. What starts as an adventure becomes an arduous trial as Moira finds the Irish folk distrusting of her and her motives. With a very small handful of friends, Moira must decide who or Who she will please and learn to live well with the consequences.
Sean McFadden, the young, searching, roof thatcher, is such a quiet gem. Thoughtful, humorous, quick to learn from his mentor, Colm, Sean is a deep well as opposed to the babbling brook personality of a certain returned barrister.
I love the warmth of Brid, and the great depth and wisdom of both Peg and Colm. What it would be like to have them for friends!
I love how God’s quiet voice speaks His Word into Moira’s heart, calming her and giving her peace. Comforting Scripture is quite naturally sprinkled throughout.
“Once again, the words allowed a sense of peace to settle over Moira’s heart. She might not know what the future held, but she knew the One Who did, and she knew of His love for her.”
Forgiveness, obedience despite consequences, and grace vs. judgment are all themes Deibel presents well.
So many Notable Quotables. Here are a few:

“When ya seek to love the Laird wit’ all year heart, soul, an’ mind, and then seek ta love others selflessly, ye’re a man who will make a difference in this world one person at a time.”

“Smack in the middle of what God is askin’ us is the best place for any of us to be.”

“The Laird can change even the coldest man’s heart.”

“It doesna matter what the world says I am. It doesna even matter what I believe myself to be…if I believe in the Laird Jesus Christ and what He did fer me, I canna be condemned.”

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! I expect A Dance in Donegal to be in the running for CF Book of the Year!!

About the Author

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher and freelance writer. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic Magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona.

Debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, releases February 2, 2021 from Revell. Follow Moira Doherty to the wilds of rural Ireland in 1921. Available for preorder wherever books are sold.

Connect with Jennifer on her blog at jenniferdeibel.com or on Twitter @thisgalsjourney.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, PB

Alabama Days, #2 A Southern Saga, by Daphne Self

About the Book

Book:  Alabama Days

Author: Daphne Self

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 16, 2020

updatedcoverAD

How could a loving God hurt so many people?

Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.

But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.

When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Troubled, young paramedic Scott Wilson wants nothing to do with a God Who would take both his parents and his best friend. Newspaper reporter Angela Mabry has relocated to the town of Garrettville to get away from her hurtful past. But she moves right into Scott’s painful past, literally. As the two get to know each other, they are attracted, but Scott refuses to turn to Angela’s God. I loved following Scott and Angela as they grow and discuss God while fleeing from an enemy that gets bigger with time. I also loved Tom, the small-town newspaper editor, and the relationship he has with his granddaughter. Nana Debbie is a gem.


This is a suspense story of “eminent domain” gone terribly sideways, and a God-hater discovering that he has misinterpreted his need of the Almighty.
We know we’re in for real trouble when we read Angela’s statement, “Every town has secrets, and it’s my job to discover them.”
Nana Debbie and Angela are both so patient with Scott’s obstinate disbelief:

“God doesn’t demand our praise. He wants our love; and when you love with all your heart, you can’t help but praise, even through the bad times!”
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are only my opinions.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!





About the Author

“I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me” (Psalm 119:119). This verse is Daphne’s life.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). This verse is the promise made to Daphne.

Daphne Self, formerly published under the name D.M. Webb, resides in Iowa. As a Mississippian transplant, she spends her days in the Midwest state writing, editing, reading, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. She pursues her dream as an editor and author with one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. Daphne is also an avid reader who devours books in many genres.

More from Daphne

Why Did I Write What I Wrote?

One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”

Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.

After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”

And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.

Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?

I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.

We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?

Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.

So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

Among the Reads, February 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Older & Smarter?, February 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 22

Betti Mace, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Pause for Tales, February 28

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Daphne is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Mississippi Nights, a copy of Alabama Days, a floral mug, a leather Is. 40:31 bookmark, 2 mini notebooks, and a Paramedic Prayer keyring with velvet pouch!!

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/10867/alabama-days-celebration-tour-giveaway