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

When Tomorrow Came by Hannah Linder Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: When Tomorrow Came

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre:Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: April, 2023

They Waited Their Whole Lives for Their Papa to Return

Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them—bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was.

Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves.

They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come—but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.

More from Hannah

Love interests me. Not just in the romantic sense, but in every sense, because love is the driving emotion behind so much of what we do. It’s the heartbeat of everything. What do we have but love? Yet isn’t it the very essence of our greatest pain?

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes love has no reason. Like a tumultuous wind or a wet branch that sways in different directions, love is often petulant and aimless and powerful. But sometimes it’s soft, like a flower lifting dewy petals to the sunshine. The epitome of everything good, sweet, and true.

What makes love change? What makes two friends who have always been fraternal one day confess romantic affection? How much wrong, how much affliction, does it take for sweet love to sizzle into hatred? Even then, is it really hatred? Or merely the charred crust of the adoration still throbbing beneath? And how strong are the cords of new love? Will they break at every pull and tug, or are they more unfaltering than anyone might think?

Maybe those are silly questions. Maybe, like snowflakes, every heart knows a different answer. But if I explored anything in When Tomorrow Came, it was this. I glided through the story and felt love shift from brotherly to intimate, from hopeful to disappointed, from untested to proven, from safe to betrayed.

Just as love is the heartbeat of life, it is also the heartbeat of this story. I hope you will find yourself falling in love with the characters and their journey as much as I did.

My Impressions

“When’s Papa coming back?” “Today or tomorrow.”

Young, starving, street urchin siblings from London in the 1800s are separated and raised quite differently, in When Tomorrow Came by Hannah Linder. Nan is raised in high society, by the Stanhope family, with a special attachment to her older foster brother, Gilbert. Nan’s brother Heath is taken in by a poor, caring rector, who teaches Heath how to show people the love of God. This is a balm to my reader’s heart, as Heath is so abused as a child that he cannot understand or love a God who allows many horrible things to happen on His earth.

When Heath and Nan’s absentee biological father finally reappears, the expected bliss of belonging and unconditional love do not come with him. Instead, a papa they don’t remember, who is given to drink, meanness, lies, and threats has arrived.

I did love Nan and Heath and their devotion to each other, as well as Gilbert and Nan’s relationship of deep sibling love. Loftus and Temperance added much to the story. While I loved Mr. Stanhope for his wisdom and caring ways, he was not as developed as other characters.

Linder paints great, but not pretty, pictures of child poverty, abuse, and the machinations of minds bent on revenge.

The loyalties we see in different relationships are beautiful, but choking for Nan and Heath, in the case of their father.

I found the narratives hard to follow as there is no distinction or separation between which characters are being discussed. I had to go back and re-read many times, when the character discussion switched with no warning to the reader, from one sentence to the next.

While an emotionally-charged novel, I had trouble becoming fully engaged until the last third, when it seemed finally all story seeds sprouted. Action, danger, suspense, mystery, romance- it all seemed to come together here and the novel became unputdownable.

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:

“Why couldn’t he just grab her onto his lap, hum the old songs, and be the papa the little girl inside of her still needed?”

“Perhaps it is as important to forgive as to ask for it.

“Love was too powerful to die, so it shriveled and formed into something new. A kind of hatred. A bitterness…”

“There was no changing what already was. There would never be room for tomorrow until Papa let go of every yesterday—and all of its hurt.”

My Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Great! I enjoyed the story.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

To Everything There Is A Season, April 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 29

Connie’s History Classroom, April 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, April 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 2

Betti Mace, May 3

Book Looks by Lisa, May 3

Labor Not in Vain, May 4

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, May 4

Cover Lover Book Review, May 5

Blogging With Carol, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 8

Holly’s Book Corner, May 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 10

Splashes of Joy, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 11

Books I’ve Read, May 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/25adf/when-tomorrow-came-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

The Bark of Zorro by Kathleen Y’Barbo Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Bark of Zorro

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian/Cozy Mystery/Romance Fiction

Release date: April, 2023

Who Is Spray Painting the Dogs in Brenham, Texas?

Strange happenings are afoot in Brenham, Texas, as dogs start showing up at the Lone Star Veterinary Clinic with a Z spray painted on them. The cops blame pranksters, while pet owners are blaming each other. Receptionist Cassidy Carter uses her social media expertise to try to get the culprit caught on camera, but Texas game warden, Jason Cameron, thinks online media attention is the last thing this case needs. When Cassidy’s post goes viral, more dogs are found painted and the clinic gets marked with a big Z too. How could her good intentions have backfired so badly?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

More from Kathleen

MEET BAXTER: LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCHNAUZER

Recently I’ve been working on a series of cozy mystery novels set in a veterinary clinic in Brenham, Texas. I love Brenham. It’s one of my favorite cities and I’m thankful that it’s very near to me. Without Brenham, there would be no Blue Bell ice cream.

But I digress.

While preparing for the release of the fourth book in the series, The Bark of Zorro, I thought about what drew me to writing this series, other than ice cream, of course. It didn’t take me long to realize it was the dogs. During the course of the series there are fancy pets and sassy strays, but they all have one thing in common: they steal our hearts.

Let me tell you about a pup that stole my heart.

Meet Baxter.

Baxter has very little stress beyond whether his water bowl stays full, his food bowl is consistently replenished, and his trips outside are not withheld. In short–which he is–Baxter is a low maintenance guy, er dog.

He makes our house a home and gives us ears to scratch and a built-in vacuum cleaner to handle any kitchen messes that reach the floor.

Unfortunately, this fellow has one rather annoying habit. He likes to walk a half-step ahead of me while looking back to be sure I am following. Not the best way to make progress of any kind. In fact, life would be much less complicated if Baxter would just let me do the leading while he does the following.

I said this recently. Aloud. Yes, to a Miniature Schnauzer. And as the words left my mouth, I was struck with the thought that maybe I am guilty of the same thing.

How many times have I gotten ahead of God only to realize He wasn’t having any of it? How many more times did I think I knew exactly where God was going–or what He was going to do–only to realize I was nowhere near close in my guess? Just as Baxter –who has appointed himself guardian of our home– sometimes barks when there’s nothing there, I too, let nothing (in the form of fear, worry, angst, or just plain imagination) grab my attention and hold it.

Here’s something else about Baxter: he’s small. Eleven pounds soaking wet small, to be precise. So small, my husband has to be careful where he steps lest he accidentally squash the poor pup with his size 13 shoes.

Though we’re physical much larger than my Baxter, I cam certainly relate to that feeling of being easily overlooked. Have you ever felt small? Really, really small? The kind of small where someone could walk right past and not even notice you?

Maybe it’s the people in your world who just don’t seem to know you’re there. Or it’s a goal you’ve long since given up accomplishing because it seems there are so many others doing it already.

Life can be that way. It’s all enough to make a person want to fade into the wallpaper or hide behind a potted plant. To make us feel as though we’re not at home, even when we are home.

I know that feeling. As a writer of Christian fiction for twenty years, I have been blessed to have sold more than two million copies of my more than one hundred novels, novellas, and nonfiction books. That’s anything but small. And yet when I look at all the amazing things that others have done, compare myself to others, well…small is exactly how I sometimes feel.

There’s just one remedy for that. Stop comparing! I’m a work in progress on this issue, but Baxter has this skill mastered. There are no comparisons in the Miniature Schnauzer world—something I could definitely learn.

Baxter has another side to him, a loyal and faithful side that I adore. Where I am, Baxter wants to be. My return from a brief trip away sends him into a crazy dance of joy that requires several rooms of the house to adequately perform. My presence is his source of joy and comfort.

So, the thought struck me: what if I looked at my relationship with God like that? What if I found contentment and joy merely in resting in his presence? What if I followed Him rather than leading?  What if my home was filled with the evidence that God was not just welcome here but adored. What if…

I learned something years ago about this journey called the Christian life. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize how much I do not know and how very far away from any sort of perfection I am. That knowledge is sobering. Humbling.

And yet it is encouraging.

I wish you could all meet Baxter. But since you can’t check out The Bark of Zorro and the other books in the Gone to the Dogs series to meet our cast of fancy pets and sassy strays. I think you’ll like them and their humans. But then what’s not to like about a handsome game warden, a red-haired office manager with a penchant for her word-of-the-day calendar and the rest of the Lone Star Vet Clinic crew? Check them out and you’ll see!

My Impressions

Dog lovers of the reading world, come take a look at this fourth book in the Gone to the Dogs cozy series. I heartily recommend The Bark of Zorro by Kathleen Y’Barbo and its three predecessors! While Bark can read alone, it will give a few spoilers if the books are read out of sequence.

I was thrilled to be returning to the little town of Brenham, Texas, and the Lone Star Vet Clinic, plus the Second Chance Dog Rescue that keeps several of the clinic’s workers busy in their off-hours.

This time we are treated to Cassidy Carter’s story. She is the office manager for the vet clinic, as well as one of Mari’s volunteers at the dog rescue. The mayhem, hilarity, and whispers of romance start when Cassidy is called upon to rescue a dog by herself, in the dark, from an area that she grew up dreading.

Jason is the by-the-book new game warden, with a few secrets. He may have movie star looks, but he seems to have less-than-stellar regard for Cassidy and her ways, where a rescue justifies the means. As the two appear to become an item, can their romance survive their individual philosophies and commitments?

I loved that I was guessing about the perpetrator all throughout the book. Y’Barbo creates some unique and quirky characters that are memorable, even though they aren’t the main characters.

I had fun imagining with Cassidy and Nora what their new place would develop into. By now, I almost feel like I would like to try to draw a map of Brenham, as Y’Barbo and her series co-writer have made it seem so fun and appealing.

Y’Barbo throws some curve balls you won’t see coming which help muddle the mystery. There are a few loose ends in my mind, but they may be answered in the (yay)! remaining two books of the series.

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

My Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Magnificent! I’m a sucker for cozies that feature dogs prominently. This series is both hilarious and heartwarming!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27

Cover Lover Book Review, April 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28

Vicky Sluiter, April 29

Lily’s Book Reviews, April 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 3

The Book Club Network, May 3

Remembrancy, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Blogging With Carol, May 6

Debs book review, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 7

Mary Hake, May 7

Holly’s Book Corner, May 8

Splashes of Joy, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 9

Labor Not in Vain, May 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/25add/the-bark-of-zorro-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, New-to-Me Author

The Escape Game by Marilyn Turk Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Escape Game

Author: Marilyn Turk

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: March, 2023

A Board Game Holds Keys to Prisoners’ Escape

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

After the Nazis started the bombing blitz of England, Beryl Clarke puts her college on hold to return to Leeds, care for her mother, and work as a secretary at the Waddington game company. While she endures the war at home, her brother James fights the enemy in the air. When he is shot down, injured, and captured, James meets American POW Kenneth Anderson, and they plan to escape the Nazi prison camp. Beryl knows there is a board game with escape plans being delivered to POWs by the Red Cross. But how will the men discover the game’s secret?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Award-winning author Marilyn Turkwrites historical fiction flavored with suspense and romance. Marilyn also writes devotions for Daily Guideposts. She and her husband are lighthouse enthusiasts, have visited over one hundred lighthouses, and also served as volunteer lighthouse caretakers at Little River Light off the coast of Maine.

When not writing or visiting lighthouses, Marilyn enjoys boating, fishing, gardening, tennis, playing with grandkids, and her golden retriever Dolly.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; Faith, Hope and Love; Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; and Word Weavers International.

More from Marilyn

The Story behind The Escape Game

In the process of writing my books, I’ve become fascinated by the real stories that happened during World War II. I’ve discovered information I didn’t know before and am finding out that many people I know, even those older than myself, didn’t know either. Every time I come across an interesting tidbit, I want to write about it. Since my husband knows I look for such things, when he came across a story about how the Monopoly game was used during the war, he shared it with me.

The true story was kept top-secret for over fifty years after the war, so few had heard about it, especially outside the United Kingdom. Of course, my writer’s mind set off asking “What If?” So the story developed about a woman who works for the company that makes the game and what happened after she found out about the secret. What if she had a close relative who had been captured before the British informed their soldiers about the game and he needed to know the information? How could she convey that to him?

I wish I could have gone to the UK for research, but that was not a possibility. Maybe someday. However, the people I contacted there were very helpful, and I was thrilled to make contact with the great granddaughter of the president of Waddintons, the company which manufactured the game. She was able to fill in a few details about the company, although when she was a child, her grandfather ran the company.

One thing many people find hard to believe, based on the horrible treatment the Nazi army inflicted on people they thought inferior, is that the treatment of POW’s was somewhat better, especially for pilots. Thanks to the rules of the Geneva Convention after WWI, the Germans abided by them for the most part. That involved treatment of prisoners who escaped. Most of them were caught and returned to the camp from which they escaped. And normally, the punishment was solitary confinement. The biggest hardship of the POWs besides lack of freedom was the meager food they were given, especially as the war continued, since the Germans themselves were facing food shortages.

The challenge for me as a writer was to accurately describe life in both England and the POW camp. The other big challenge was writing a love story when the two characters were apart for so long. But it’s true that many soldiers fell in love with women they corresponded with back home. That fact is verified in the many letters on record, including the ones my father-in-law wrote to a fellow soldier’s fiancé after the soldier was killed in action. Their relationship grew into love, and after the war, the two met in person at the train station for the first time and married the same day.

My Impressions

“…as members of the Royal Air Force, it is our duty to try to escape.”

Bravo for Marilyn Turk, who, in The Escape Game, has penned a very different kind of WWII book than I have yet read. Part of the Heroines of WWII series from Barbour, each novel stands alone. This is a slightly dual-timeline novel, where we meet Grandmother Beryl at nearly 100, then go back and learn of her life in war-torn England.

So many themes are presented, while the storyline is so engaging, you won’t want to stop reading until you find out what happens to the POW’s. Of course, you’ll want to discover whether the relationship between Beryl and American Kenneth can grow by heavily edited correspondence.

A bereaved widow, young women helping the war effort in ways that take bravery I can only imagine, an elderly lady with no family, and men desperate to escape the POW camp. What wonderfully diverse characters, each with their particular strengths and weaknesses. The thought that impressed me, was from the King of England down to the average Britisher, so many gave so much in the way of self-sacrifice. And many understood the value and hope provided by trusting in God at such a horrific time. Plus, the need to pull together to be successful. Kenneth may have some room to grow in all of these areas! Thankfully, people around him blaze the way spiritually as he attempts to blaze the way physically.

My fave secondary character? It would have to be a tie between Beryl’s mother (what a journey she makes in this book), and Mrs. Dowd (she both complicates and enriches others’ lives).

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:

“The greatness of any nation is in the spirit of its people.”- King George during WWII

“As far as Kenneth was concerned, if he wanted a miracle, he’d have to create it himself. And if God wanted to help, He was welcome. He could start with a hot dish of jambalaya.”

“He pitied those who didn’t have that hope, because it was hope that kept them going.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! I love the way Turk works all the elements together so beautifully!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 31

Pause for Tales, March 31

Sylvan Musings, April 1

deb’s Book Review, April 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 2

Labor Not in Vain, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 3

Cover Lover Book Review, April 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 4

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 5

Stories By Gina, April 6 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 6

Betti Mace, April 7

For Him and My Family, April 7

She Lives To Read, April 8

Remembrancy, April 8

SodbusterLiving, April 9

Holly’s Book Corner, April 9

Lily’s Book Reviews, April 10

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, April 10

lakesidelivingsite, April 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, April 11

Lights in a Dark World, April 12

Blossoms and Blessings, April 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marilyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift 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/25256/the-escape-game-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Cairo Curse

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Romance / Adventure / Mystery

Release date: February 1, 2023

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter

Read an Excerpt from the Book!

February 1914, Havensbrook

Gunfire erupted from outside, sending Frederick Percy, Earl of Astley, leaping from his chair. The seat crashed against the floor behind him in time with another shot. What on earth! He grabbed the first weapon-like item he could find—his grandfather’s cane—and dashed toward the sound, nearly colliding with his butler moving in the same direction.

“Did you hear the gunfire, Brandon?”

The older gentleman’s brows rose as high as they could go without becoming part of his snowy hairline. “Indeed, my lord. From the south garden, if I guess correctly, sir.”

“My thoughts exactly.” Frederick tapped the cane against the floor and took a step in the direction of the garden door. Then stopped, a sudden sense of dread forming a lump in his stomach. His butler’s response was much too cavalier for an emergency. “Have you seen Lady Astley of late, Brandon?”

“Not since after breakfast, sir.”

“Well, then.” Frederick returned to his office for his own pistol and prayed whatever inspired a gunshot near his home would prove more benign than dangerous. After surviving several near-death experiences over the past Christmas season, Frederick was quite finished with drama for a while. Though drama seemed to follow his new bride in spades.

He met the butler back in the hallway.

“Might I offer an insight, sir?”

Frederick pivoted in his approach to the door and turned back to Brandon. “Insight?”

“Yes, sir.” The man released a deep sigh which pulled his pristine posture into a slight slump. He then sent Frederick a look which somehow inspired a grimace before Frederick even heard the man’s words. “Her ladyship was speaking with Mr. Blake after breakfast, sir.”

“Mr. Blake?” Frederick rolled his gaze heavenward, the tension in his jaw uncoiling into a slight annoyance that manifested in an ache over his right eyebrow. He loved his cousin. There was no man Frederick trusted more. But for some reason, the idea of Blake and Grace together followed by the sound of gunfire did not bode well.

For anyone.

“About pistols, my lord.”

And the answers emerged, along with an increased throbbing in Frederick’s head. “Thank you, Brandon.”

Setting a slower pace, he moved toward the south side of his manor house, another shot reverberating nearer. Within a month since Christmas, his American wife had learned how to drive the car and throw knives, two skills she appeared to excel in more than knowing the fashion of the season or how to address the complicated hierarchy of the aristocracy. His lips almost split into a grin as he recalled her stumbling over addressing the Duke of Westonbridge two weeks ago by calling him “Your Honorable Lord” and then in quick correction, “Your Grace, or at least I hope you are since I fumbled your title so atrociously.”

Of course the duke had fallen under Grace’s spell within five minutes, as everyone else who met her seemed to do since she’d moved to his crumbling Derbyshire estate two months earlier. Well, everyone except the villainess who’d tried to kill them just before Christmas. But that was hopefully a distant story, and their next chapter would be a lovely, peaceful belated honeymoon—he increased his steps at the idea—with a little surprise tagged on for his lovely Lady Astley.

Frederick nodded a good afternoon to the police officer inconspicuously posted near the house so that Frederick’s mother could work out her sentence of house arrest in connection with his father and brother’s deaths. He released a sigh. No, she was no murderess, unless glares and harsh words counted, but she’d harbored information that could have protected others. The law had been gracious with her due to her age and status, merely revoking her freedoms from leaving Havensbrook, so his mother’s life stayed very much as it had since Frederick’s father’s death; however, the added blemish of “criminal” to her reputation ensured she spent her days away from the public eye.

And if the police officer appeared in no great distress over the gunfire, Frederick knew all too well what must be happening.

Just around the edge of the house, a large garden opened to the south, its walls still well intact, though ivy-grown and tangled. Another shot reverberated through the damp air, followed quickly by laughter and his wife’s exuberant exclamation of “I hit it.”

Frederick’s lips pinched into a frown. Why he ever expected his cousin Blake to mind Frederick’s subtle requests was beyond him! The garden gate stood open, welcoming him forward into an even more tangled array of vines and twined greenery, the winter roses, a remnant of the garden’s healthier days, sleeping until spring.

He hadn’t had the means to make things right with Havensbrook before but, with Grace’s wealth and her generous heart, he could now. Another way to make amends for the past, he hoped, though

God had already bestowed on him much more than he deserved.

His cousin stood to the right, hands on the hips of his gray suit jacket, but Frederick’s gaze followed Blake’s focus to the woman in the center of the garden. Her bright auburn hair was twisted up beneath a deep purple hat that matched her coat, both in contrast to her pale skin. Her laughter echoed toward him, so filled with joy and hope. Two things he’d thought lost forever before he’d met her.

Yes, God had given him much more than he deserved, and sometimes, he wondered if God had given him more than he could manage.

My Impressions

Thank you, Pepper Basham! How else can I start a review of The Cairo Curse, a book that flew to the top of my faves for 2023?

What surprised me about this is, that I was not a super fan of the Mistletoe Countess, the first book of the series. But The Cairo Curse? It blew me away, like the sandstorms that would sweep across the desert, covering ancient tombs.

Speaking of ancient tombs, Basham’s book sees plenty of malfeasance and disaster at the Egyptian pyramids, where Grace and Frederick have gone to visit his cousin, Georgia, whose husband is financing a dig. One of the guests of Georgia and her husband is a tipsy fortune teller, who predicts that the group will incur the wrath of the gods for interfering with the pharaoh’s burial grounds.

I loved Grace. She loves her husband with all her heart, she loves God and puts her faith in Him when times are bad. Grace is adventurous (which lands her in trouble- some hilarious and some not!) and always ready to sleuth. She is no wall flower. “Lady of Fire.” “Lady of Fire?” “Yes, Sitt.” Akeem patted his head. “You have fire hair and fire spirit.” Grace is also very optimistic. As Zahra says, “She paints sunshine with her words.”

My fave secondary characters are Zahra, the street urchin that Grace rescues and Frederick’s butler, Elliot. Both are testimony to the fact that God and love can change anyone, and everyone deserves a second chance.

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

Notable Quotables:

“The wrong marriage can make all the difference in the world to a person’s life and demeanor.”

“…it all reminded Grace how people carried darkness with them. They rarely needed to go in search of it.”

“Everyone needs a second chance. You are no exception.”

“Bitterness has a tendency to speak in a loud voice.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Historical CF, Romance, Faith, Great Humor, & a Trouble-prone Spouse!! Lead me on, Pepper Basham!!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Bigreadersite, February 23

By The Book, February 24

Just Your Average reviews, February 24

Remembrancy, February 24

Sylvan Musings, February 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 25 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Mary Hake, February 25

Worthy2Read, February 26

Christina’s Corner, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Betti Mace, February 27

The Sacred Line, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

Labor Not in Vain, February 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 1

Cover Lover Book Review, March 1

Daysong Reflections, March 1

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 2

Wishful Endings, March 2

Melissa’s Bookshelf, March 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 3

Simple Harvest Reads, March 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Rebecca Tews, March 3

Connie’s History Classroom, March 4

Blogging With Carol, March 4

To Everything There Is A Season, March 4

Cathe Swanson, March 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

Artistic Nobody, March 5 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Where Faith and Books Meet, March 6

For Him and My Family, March 6

Holly’s Book Corner, March 6

She Lives To Read, March 7

Splashes of Joy, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 7

Back Porch Reads, March 8

Blossoms and Blessings, March 8

Through the Fire Blogs, March 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/24703/the-cairo-curse-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

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, New-to-Me Author, Purchase

Passages of Hope by Terri J Haynes Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Passages of Hope

Author: Terri J. Haynes

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Discover the Story Behind a Secret Passageway 

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Gracie Kingston begins renovations on the Philadelphia house inherited from her grandmother and finds a secret room. It is connected to a house nearby, the home of William Still, the man known as the father of the Underground Railroad. As she researches, she discovers a mystery in her house’s ownership. In 1855, Olivia Kingston helps a mother and her young child by hiding them in a secret room in her home. As she helps, she learns that there may be an impostor conductor in their community. As Gracie’s and Olivia’s stories intertwine, they learn the meaning of sacrifice and love.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Terri J. Haynes, a native Baltimorean, is a homeschool mom, writer, prolific knitter, freelance graphic artist and former Army wife (left the Army, not the husband). She loves to read, so much that when she was in elementary school, she masterminded a plan to be locked in a public library armed with only a flashlight to read all the books and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As she grew, her love for writing grew as she tried her hand at poetry, articles, speeches and fiction. She is storyteller at heart. Her passion is to draw readers in the story world she has created and to bring laughter and joy to their lives.
Terri is a 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest finalist, and a 2012 semi-finalist. She is also a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist. Her publishing credits include: Cup of Comfort for Military Families, Crosswalk.com, the Secret Place Devotional, Urbanfaith.com, Vista Devotional, and Publisher’s Weekly.
Terri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and a certificate in creative writing and graphic design, meeting the minimal requirements of being a geek. She and her husband pastor a church where she serves as executive pastor and worship leader. Terri lives in Maryland with her three wonderful children and her husband, who often beg her not to kill off their favorite characters.
Website: http://www.terrijhaynes.com
Blog: http://www.inotherwords.terrijhaynes.com

More from Terri

Family, Underground Railroad, two strong Black women, and knitting in one book? Yes.

In addition to being an author, I am a knitter, crocheter, indie yarn dyer, business owner, unofficial historian, wife, mother, and sister. At first glance, all those things seem too different to combine in one book. But they weave together so perfectly.

As an author, I explore my world with curiosity. I find many subjects interesting and it shows in this book. It’s not often that an author can combine such a range of topics in one novel. I’m so glad I got to do it for this one.

Life is a tapestry of many colors knit together and my goal was to show that. That family and history, grieving and crafting, struggle and triumph, are all entwined threads. Their vibrancy can be combined to create a beautiful project, the pain and joy both add hue and color to life. This is what I hope you find in this book.

My Impressions

“…she was a strong Black woman in a long line of strong Black women.”

“With a little time and patience, any mistake can be fixed.”

Each Doors to the Past dual timeline novels has been incredible, and Passages of Hope by Terri J Haynes will be seared into my memory for a long time.

The suspense of the 1860s story line is palpable and almost unbearable as Olivia Kingston works as a stationmaster on the Underground RailRoad. Who can be trusted and who is the enemy? Olivia’s tendency to try to handle problems on her own creates some real dangers.

I loved the two romances. While the one is more traditional, the other shows a marriage needing mended. I am glad that Haynes allows the reader to see both loves developing and deepening.

Speaking of love, Gracie McNeil is convinced she is a loser and will need a special realization of how much she is loved, if she is to overcome her negative, self-fulfilling thoughts. “Her childhood knitting teacher had told her that she took to knitting like she was born with needles and yarn in her hands. The compliment stung. She had not been born with yarn and needles. She had been born with trouble.” What an intrinsic self-doubt that only God can help an individual overcome!

Haynes populates both stories with wonderful characters. Douglas stands out, as do Clarence, Ms. Lila, and Ada. But the person who is most intriguing to me, is one we never actually meet, Gran.

All these novels stand alone, so if you haven’t read any, Passages of Hope is an excellent place to start. I can’t recommend it enough!

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

Notable Quotable:

“‘God’s business—’ ‘—ain’t your business,’” “But Gran kept telling me that. That God has His own ways of doing things that we may not understand.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! A novel of tremendous hurt and inhumanity with Hope peeking through!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 29

lakesidelivingsite, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Cover Lover Book Review, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 2 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Holly’s Book Corner, December 6

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7

Mary Hake, December 7

Remembrancy, December 8

For Him and My Family, December 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 9

Lis Loves Reading, December 9

Through the fire blogs, December 10

Spoken from the Heart, December 10

Pause for Tales, December 11

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

Betti Mace, December 12

Marriage, Motherhood, & Homeschool, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/22cd0/passages-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

The Dog Days of Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Dog Days of Summer

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian/Mystery/Romance Fiction

Release date: October, 2022

Trina Potter, Nashville country music star, buys a ranch near her hometown in Brenham, Texas, to help her niece open a rescue facility for dogs. Her presence in town stirs up some old high school rivalries—and romance. Finding property to buy is a challenge, convincing her mother to move there with her is daunting, and navigating a string of strange accidents is perplexing. Sometimes Trina feels like she’s purchased her own three ring circus instead of a beautiful piece of land. But her first priority will be figuring out who wants Second Chance Ranch shut down before they even have the grand opening.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

More from Kathleen

Do you love dogs…or cats…or both…? I’m firmly in the “both” category. Since childhood I’ve always lived in homes that had at least one or the other, usually several of each. With every dog or cat comes at least one good story. One of my favorites is the tale of Bandit, the inspiration for the cover of my cozy mystery DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.

Once upon a time there was a black and white dog named Bandit. He was an English Springer Spaniel by birth but was completely convinced he was human. Bandit loved his people—three growing boys and a baby girl—even more than he loved popcorn and playing keep away (his version of catch). After many years, Bandit’s people grew up and he grew old. Toward the end of his very long and pampered life, he was plagued by the unwanted and yet much appreciated friendship of an ornery orange striped cat named Baby and a snooty pedigreed feline named Fifi.

Everyone loved Bandit…except the territorial squirrel who lived in a tree in our back yard in Southeast Texas. From the moment Bandit joined the family, the furry fellow was determined to rid himself and his back yard of the trespassing canine. The squirrel’s favorite tactic was to tease Bandit until the dog chased him up a tree. Once treed, the crafty critter would run around the trunk just out of Bandit’s reach. Once the squirrel tired of this, it would retreat to a limb. There, the battle of the backyard beasts would commence again but with the squirrel lobbing pinecones and the dog trying to catch them.

While every good story has a beginning, middle and end, unfortunately at the end of this one there was no winner in the dog vs. squirrel wars. A job transfer led us to Houston where squirrels were in abundance in our new neighborhood but none of them were nearly as much fun as the one Bandit left behind. The last time I spoke with the owners of our old house, they told the funniest story: they loved their new home, but there was this squirrel in the back yard that kept throwing pinecones at everyone.

In DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, I tell the story of another Texas back yard. This one is located in Brenham, Texas, and it is about to become a very special place for some very special dogs named Patsy and Cline. Have I mentioned these dogs belong to a country singer named Trina who has a mother named Mama Peach who happens to own a cat named Hector that dislikes almost everyone and can open doors? Then there’s the problem of the next door neighbor and his penchant to forget to close the lid on his grill when he’s cooking? Did I mention that Patsy and Cline enjoy nothing more than whatever they happen to find on an unguarded grill? While the two furry scoundrels are rounding up trouble next door, there is even more trouble happening at the building site for Second Chance Ranch Dog Rescue on the other side of the property. Apparently not everyone is happy about the new neighbors. The mystery is who that person might be. While you’ve got to read DOG DAYS OF SUMMER to find out, I can give you one hint: it’s not the squirrel!

I’ve told you mine; now tell me your favorite dog or cat story. I can’t wait to read them.

Do you love dogs…or cats…or both…? I’m firmly in the “both” category. Since childhood I’ve always lived in homes that had at least one or the other, usually several of each. With every dog or cat comes at least one good story. One of my favorites is the tale of Bandit, the inspiration for the cover of my cozy mystery DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.

Once upon a time there was a black and white dog named Bandit. He was an English Springer Spaniel by birth but was completely convinced he was human. Bandit loved his people—three growing boys and a baby girl—even more than he loved popcorn and playing keep away (his version of catch). After many years, Bandit’s people grew up and he grew old. Toward the end of his very long and pampered life, he was plagued by the unwanted and yet much appreciated friendship of an ornery orange striped cat named Baby and a snooty pedigreed feline named Fifi.

Everyone loved Bandit…except the territorial squirrel who lived in a tree in our back yard in Southeast Texas. From the moment Bandit joined the family, the furry fellow was determined to rid himself and his back yard of the trespassing canine. The squirrel’s favorite tactic was to tease Bandit until the dog chased him up a tree. Once treed, the crafty critter would run around the trunk just out of Bandit’s reach. Once the squirrel tired of this, it would retreat to a limb. There, the battle of the backyard beasts would commence again but with the squirrel lobbing pinecones and the dog trying to catch them.

While every good story has a beginning, middle and end, unfortunately at the end of this one there was no winner in the dog vs. squirrel wars. A job transfer led us to Houston where squirrels were in abundance in our new neighborhood but none of them were nearly as much fun as the one Bandit left behind. The last time I spoke with the owners of our old house, they told the funniest story: they loved their new home, but there was this squirrel in the back yard that kept throwing pinecones at everyone.

In DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, I tell the story of another Texas back yard. This one is located in Brenham, Texas, and it is about to become a very special place for some very special dogs named Patsy and Cline. Have I mentioned these dogs belong to a country singer named Trina who has a mother named Mama Peach who happens to own a cat named Hector that dislikes almost everyone and can open doors? Then there’s the problem of the next door neighbor and his penchant to forget to close the lid on his grill when he’s cooking? Did I mention that Patsy and Cline enjoy nothing more than whatever they happen to find on an unguarded grill? While the two furry scoundrels are rounding up trouble next door, there is even more trouble happening at the building site for Second Chance Ranch Dog Rescue on the other side of the property. Apparently not everyone is happy about the new neighbors. The mystery is who that person might be. While you’ve got to read DOG DAYS OF SUMMER to find out, I can give you one hint: it’s not the squirrel!

I’ve told you mine; now tell me your favorite dog or cat story. I can’t wait to read them.

My Impressions

I am already looking forward to the next book in this series. This is a fun cozy dog rescue series. In the Dog Days of Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo, we find ourselves back in small town Brenham, Texas. Mari Evans, vet tech and pet rescuer, shares the spotlight with her famous aunt Trina, who must decide which of her two worlds to live in. If, in fact, she and Mari can stay alive.

I liked the fact that there are really two heroines in this novel, one older than the other. I find that refreshing. I appreciated the choices that Trina has to make and the difficulty those decisions could cause.

I loved Wyatt Chastain. He is a patient man, the voice of reason, has a good people sense, possesses a sharp wit, and seems rather laid back. He has learned how to deal with life’s difficult circumstances calmly.

Mama Peach. What can I say? She, along with her cat, Hector, add humor, warmth, and eccentricity to the novel. You’ll want to keep reading just to discover what those two are up to next!

Y’Barbo throws out several red herrings until I was unsure who the perpetrator is. She produces a satisfying conclusion with a few twists I didn’t see coming. Next book in the series, please!

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

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! I am really enjoying this series!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 30

Inklings and notions, October 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Remembrancy, November 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 6

Boondock Ramblings, November 6

Labor Not in Vain, November 7

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 8

Mary Hake, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Divine Perspective, November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Book Club Network, November 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/2244a/dog-days-of-summer-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

Mary by Shannon McNear Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Mary

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Historical/Christian/Romance Fiction

Release date: October, 2022

Worlds Collide Along the Shores of the Outer Banks

Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. What if an English boy and a native girl met in the wilderness? The push-and-pull between two very different worlds begins as one seeks simple friendship and the other struggles to trust. And can it—dare they—allow it to be more?

Sparks fly between Mushaniq, free-spirited daughter of Manteo, and Georgie Howe, whose father was brutally murdered by undiscovered native warriors before they’d been on Roanoac Island a full week. As Georgie struggles to make sense of his life and to accept that not all they call “savage” are guilty of his father’s death, Mushaniq grapples with her own questions about who Manteo has become. As tentative friendship becomes more, forged in the fire of calamity and attack upon their community, both must decide whether the One True God is indeed who He claims to be and whether He is worthy of their trust.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at http://www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.

More from Shannon

Why did I write Mary? The series started as an idea suggested by my editor and soon became something of an obsession. This installment was inspired partly by the Legend of the Coharie, a fragment of the very murky history surrounding the Roanoke Colony and the Lumbee people of North Carolina. According to this legend, George Howe, the son of the colonist by same name who was brutally murdered a few days after their landing on Roanoke Island, married a daughter of Manteo, the Native man who traveled twice to England, later led a group of the colonists inland for refuge and eventually became an ancestor of the Lumbees. Then, as my Lost Colony research expanded, my interest in the nuances of two cultures meeting and blending grew into a desire to pay tribute to what might have been the first (and possibly only) example of European and Native peoples living together in peace. Imagine if this had been the defining moment of our country’s founding?

As usually happens, fictional characters (even those based on historical figures) sooner or later run away with the story—and that’s the part I find most exciting! I hope you, the readers, also enjoy this tale of Mushaniq (squirrel in Carolina Algonquian) and Georgie, which serves as both a parallel story and sequel to Elinor.

My Impressions

“We can walk in holiness and yet do it in such a way that is loving and gracious!”

Mary by Shannon McNear is an emotional and spiritual coming of age story of two young people from different cultures. McNear strives to show both the good and the ugly of both the English and the Native American cultures. Manteo is the dominant physical thread that holds these two tenuous cultures together. What an unusual man he is! Can Elinor and Sees Far help Manteo guide the fledgling love of Georgie and Mushaniq, as well as guide the racially diverse colony to unity?

McNear’s research is impeccable. I learned a lot of history. But hopefully, mostly, I learned to give grace for those of different from me, so that unity can prevail whenever possible. “The sacraments and doctrines are clear enough! That is not our trouble here. It is that we wish to administer the letter of the law and not be mindful of the spirit thereof.” Would the Roanoke Colony as portrayed in Mary be dissolved from within by disagreement and insistence upon each culture’s mores?

While a sequel to “Elinor, ” Mary by Shannon McNear has quite enough backstory one can read this as a stand-alone.

Different personal rivalries helped drive the action, creating tension and suspense. The outcome of all of them surprised me.

One last note: due to the subject matter, I would recommend this book for mature readers.

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

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Rating for history, compelling story, fair presentation of both cultures, and message our own world could use today.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 26

Remembrancy, October 27

Inkwell Inspirations, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

Hallie Reads, October 29

Inklings and notions, October 30

For Him and My Family, October 30

deb’s Book Review, October 31

To Everything There Is A Season, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 1

Holly’s Book Corner, November 1

Betti Mace, November 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 2

Connie’s History Classroom, November 3

Mary Hake, November 3

Bizwings Blog, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 5

A Reader’s Brain, November 6

Sylvan Musings, November 6

Through the Fire Blogs, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 8

Spoken from the Heart, November 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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/22447/mary-celebration-tour-giveaway

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, NetGalley

Escape to Amsterdam by Lauralie Bliss Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Escape from Amsterdam

Author: Lauralee Bliss

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Historical / Romance / Intrigue

Release date: September 1, 2022

A University Student Smuggles Children Out of Amsterdam

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Helen Smit believed she was called by God to become a teacher. Little does she know that her care for kids will take a drastic turn for survival when the Germans occupy Amsterdam and Jewish children and parents begin to be deported. Now all she can think of is helping all the kids escape before it’s too late.

Erik Misman’s newfound love for Helen is tested when he joins a plot to help move Jewish children to a safe place in the countryside. If danger can foster a closer bond with Helen and save the lives of the little ones, he will do it all. But a German patrol that stumbles upon the farm where they are hiding with three children and a soldier who takes an unexpected interest in Helen, could well destroy their plans for safety and love.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“The Germans had done more than just invade Poland. They were invading everyday lives and relationships, bringing fear and uncertainty.” This novel, the seventh of the Heroines of WWII, and written by Loralee Bliss, was difficult for me to read. In Escape to Amsterdam, Bliss writes with an easy-to-read style, but the fear and uncertainty mentioned above are so real that I could hardly bear the emotional pain.

We see Helen Smit, a teacher, and Erik Minger, a grocery store worker, take on the challenge of their lives as they ponder what it means to follow the advice of a new friend, Mr. Visser. “We must care for each other as God would have it. There is no greater calling on earth.”

How will this affect their lives? Occupied Holland comes to life with its stifling oppression, great deprivation, and horrible injustices.

So why am I recommending this novel? “ Those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.” This novel made me feel like there are many parallels to our world today. We have to choose if we will stand up and support what is right, or if we will be silent and slowly let evil overcome.

Another overarching theme: we are stronger working together, and we need to help everyone. Bliss presents the strong Christian message of trusting God when the worst is happening.

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:

“Jesus was also tested and that He sympathized with struggle. He was looking down at them—especially those caught in a deep pit either of their own making or by others, and praying over them in love.”

“One can’t live in peace under tyranny.”

“Live life one day at a time, filled with the unexpected—both the easy and the difficult.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! WWII Novel for Our Times

About the Author

Lauralee Bliss is a published author of many romance novels and novellas, both historical and contemporary. Lauralee’s prayer is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that speaks to the heart and soul. When not writing, Lauralee can often be found on the trails where the author has logged over 10,000 miles of hiking. She makes her home in the Blue Ridge mountains with her family. Visit Lauraleebliss.com for more information about the author and her adventures.

More from Lauralee Bliss

Oh, the simple beauty of the Netherlands. Windmills. Tulips. Dutch wooden clogs. Beautiful Delftware and delicious speculaas cookies. Quaint villages nestled beside the waters. And here I am, an American that was able to visit this beautiful country on the heels of my husband winning a contest through his work. We had planned to immerse ourselves in Dutch culture, see the sites, and yes, visit places like the Secret Annex of Anne Frank and the town where Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place existed. Little did I realize though that this unique trip would become a journey into the heart of a hurting country in World War II. During our time there, we visited the Jewish Quarter in the center of Amsterdam and learned the details of Nazi occupation for many years that eventually caused two-thirds of the Dutch Jewish population to be exterminated. Walking in the place where a theater once stood and Jewish people gathered there to be deported was indescribable. Seeing the Jewish stars embedded in the pavement and noting the name of a man or woman killed at Auschwitz, was heart-wrenching. But through these horrendous details came the strength of courage and heroism. Across the street from the theater, Jewish children were rescued because of the efforts of those who gave everything to see them go into hiding. Thus the book, “Escape from Amsterdam” was born. It honors those that aided and hid Jewish children from the Nazis to avoid deportation. I am grateful for the opportunity to write this story of two common Dutch people, a college student and a grocery store clerk, called to a dangerous mission to save the innocent when the odds were the greatest. It is a timely book that magnifies the strength of courage in adversity and allows us to become better people because of it. I hope you enjoy this journey and as you do, remember those who came before us and allow their acts of courage to encourage you to persevere, no matter what.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 29

The Write Escape, September 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 30

Inklings and notions, September 30

deb’s Book Review, October 1

Holly’s Book Corner, October 1

Texas Book-aholic, October 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 3

Mary Hake, October 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 4

Through the Fire Blogs, October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 5

Cover Lover Book Review, October 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6

Labor Not in Vain, October 6

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

Betti Mace, October 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 8

Remembrancy, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Splashes of Joy, October 11

Lights in a Dark World, October 11

Blossoms and Blessings, October 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lauralee is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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/2224b/escape-from-amsterdam-celebration-tour-giveaway