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One Final Breath, #3 Dive Team Investigations by Lynn H. Blackburn

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About the Book

Title: One Final Breath

Series: Dive Team Investigations

Author: Lynn H. Blackburn

Publisher: Revell

Released: September 2019

Investigator Gabe Chavez and Dive Team Captain Anissa Bell have a complicated history. But when Anissa’s fractured past collides with Gabe’s investigation of a shooting, they must work together to catch the murderer before someone else dies.

Lynn Blackburn has returned for the last hurrah for her Dive Team series, #3, One Final Breath. Gabe Chavez and Anissa Bell rise to the foreground on this novel, falling for each other while trying to escape painful pasts.
The rest of the team is back, fleshing out the character list and bringing love, amusement, and memories from former books. Which leads me to relate that this novel is quite capable of being a standalone; it’s just sweeter when the reader can identify with the backstory presented.

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The friendship and camaraderie of the dive team and their significant others really impressed me. Between the locale, the season, and the warm atmosphere the friends create, life was almost idyllic…
Until it wasn’t. Then life was frantic, uncertain, vomiting past terrifying experiences up in front of those who most needed to remain calm and collected.
Paisley Wilson is an interesting character to watch. The reader won’t know what to make of Gabe’s arch-nemesis who is suddenly very much a part of this case.

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If the romance, intrigue, and suspense aren’t enough motivation, Mr. Cook returns and is a great reason to read this book. Everyone needs a Mr. Cook in their lives! He prays his way through adversity and sees much more than is actually visible.
Get this book and dive deep into some great suspense.
I received this book from the author through Revell and NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are solely my own.

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior- Hit my reading sweet spot!

About the Author

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the SurfaceIn Too Deep, Hidden Legacy, and Covert Justice. Winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense, and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel, Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially 17521786those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

 

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Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

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About the Book

Title: Finding Lady Enderly

Author: Joanna Davidson Politano

Publisher: Revell

Released: September 2019

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

 

My Review

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano is a great Christian fiction historical mystery. Like Cinderella, Raina rises from rags to riches. Rothburne Abbey would be a reporter’s paradise, as the questions «Why? Who? Where? When? » and « How? » would, when answered, bring either a great treasure or a terrible calamity.
Once the action started, I was swept away to another time and another land. Were events glorious or were they tragic? Through it all, Raina ponders who she was, who she is, and who she will be in the future.
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I found it interesting and true to life that Raina couldn’t read her Bible and pray while involved in deception.
Great twists and turns throughout until the climax is reached. Also, some great Biblical answers for Raina (which makes the book so much richer). Unfortunately, once the denouement is reached, the wrap-up seems a little weak compared to the incredible action that precedes it.

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Great secondary characters. If this were a movie, some would have won an Oscar for best supporting character.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie 16355029Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.

 

 

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Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

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About the Book

Title: Deadly Intentions

Author: Lisa Harris

Publisher: Revell

Released: August 2019

Detective Josh Solomon always believed his wife’s death was the result of a home invasion. But when he is pulled into a case with striking similarities, it doesn’t take long for him to realize the chilling truth: the attack that took his wife’s life was far from random.

My Review

Deadly Intentions is a masterful Christian romantic suspense novel by one of the best, Lisa Harris.
After three of her coworkers die protecting a top-secret project, Caitlyn Lindsey contacts the detective-husband of one of the victims, Josh Solomon. What could be so important people were expendable to keep it hidden, and who can be trusted to help the fleeing couple as they search for evidence?

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This book rates right up there with the chillers and thrillers. I love the touch of bioterrorism, the medical explanations that are simple enough for a layman to understand, and the absolute terror element without venturing into the horror genre. I love how Harris weaves in the faith component. It is clear, timely, very apropos, and short, not preachy.

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Because of the compelling nature of Ms. Harris’s writing, I was able to read this book through in 5 to 6 hours, at one sitting. Whew! That’s all the excitement I can handle at one time!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not affect my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

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About the Author

BIO: Award-winning author of nineteen novels and novellas, Lisa Harris lives with her husband and their three children in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries.

When she’s not busy writing or homeschooling, she loves traveling, cooking different ethnic foods, and photographing animals and birds in the African bush. Visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com and her blog at www.myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot…

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A Reluctant Belle, Daughtry House, #2 by Beth White

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About the Book

Author: Beth White

Title: A Reluctant Belle

Series: Daughtry House

Publisher: Revell

Released: June 2019

With the Civil War over, Mississippi Belle Joelle Daughtry wants to establish a school to teach freed slaves. But she might have to form an alliance with her childhood nemesis and reveal her deepest secret to make changes in her world and her heart.

Get your copy here.

My Review

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Beth White produces vivid descriptions of anarchy in post-Civil War times in The Reluctant Belle, Daughtry House #2. Reconstruction was a very slow, painful process. Some championed it, some quietly supported it, and some outright spoke against it. Others secretly opposed it with an infectious hatred that developed into the KKK. This terror might start in an area slowly, like a glowing ember, then quite quickly fan into a ferocious, deadly flame that was meant to undo the liberation of the slaves. Author White brings the era to exciting, fearful life for a heart-stopping, engaging read.
So many themes presented here. We learn that God sees us all as we are. We see, if we choose, comparisons for racial issues in our own times.

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I really was impressed by how God used each character, especially the main characters, despite their flaws, using the talents He HAD given them.
I saw more than a historical romance. I saw an example of what I want to be for my husband-what Joelle represents to Schuyler. Am I a refuge for my husband, anchoring him the way Joelle anchors Schuyler?
Great quotes, true for today.
“ If you admitted that you loved, you put yourself in danger of rejection.”
“The only way they got through that year had been laying their bruised souls at the feet of Jesus.”
“People who had a lot to lose, he’d noticed, took more time to pray. They relied on each other, trusted one another, became vulnerable as brothers and sisters.”
The author’s notes at the end are interesting and essential for history buffs. Grab this one for yourself and start following Beth White. This book can stand alone, but I enjoyed it, even more, knowing the background of book one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinions which I am for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

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About the Author

Beth White teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is 7129454writing historical romance with a Southern drawl.

A native Mississippian, she is a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and grandmother of two–so far.

Also published as Elizabeth White, her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

 

 

 

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The Refuge by Ann H. Gabhart

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About the Book

Title: The Refuge

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Publisher: Revell

Released: April 2019

When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.

Get your copy here.

My Review

An author who can grab your attention in the first sentence usually is skilled enough to keep it. I found this especially true of Ann H. Gabhart in The Refuge, her latest about a young widow, Darcie, in a Shaker village. ”You can’t cheat death.” Immediately, the reader wants to know why the narrator, Darcie, feels like this. While life in a Shaker village could be monotonous and dreary, devoid of family and marital relations, Gabhart managed to keep me eagerly reading to see what would befall
anxious Darcie. Her experiences in Harmony Hill as Gabhart recounts them are far from boring. 
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For the founders of communes such as this (and we had one similar in our community, set up in 1930 by a woman, where marriage was “wrong”), the Bible speaks plainly against this type of community. First, the Bible is clear that marriage is to be revered, sacred, and ENJOYED. Secondly, God clearly states that one should not add to His Word. Both in the case of the Shakers and our local commune, the leader’s ideas were considered equal, if not above, God’s Word. Of course, this community also died out.
Gabhart has a great cast of three-dimensional characters. Flynn struggles with how to raise his daughter, Leatrice. Silas struggles with how to help Flynn. The answers they choose have far-reaching consequences. I wished we could have seen more of wise Granny Hatchell.
“A body shouldn’t be trying to change other folks just to make things more convenient for her.”
Overarching themes I saw are learning to trust God day by day and not borrow tomorrow’s troubles; taking that step of faith as we see God leading; learning from others and living peaceably with them even not being in total agreement. How much richer Darcie’s life was for her time with Sisters Genna, Ellie, Helene, and even Eldress Maria.The Refuge... marriage quote.png
For those who will feel the ending was rushed: I believe circumstances in times like those often made it so. We need to stay true to history over having a “more satisfying ending” like we would plan.
Quotes:
“Marriage causes stressful living and not the peace and unity we seek here in our village.”
~ Mother Ann- founder of Shakers 

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“You prayed when my heart was too discouraged to hope.” ~Genna on answered prayer, showing the power of intercessory prayer for others. May this be said of me!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This did not affect my opinions, which are solely my own. 

 My Rating

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About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She’s published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800’s, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960’s. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. Visit Ann’s website http://annhgabhart.com or her two blogs, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com, and the Hollyhill Book of the Strange, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspo…. Giveaways several times a year.

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

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

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

AUTHOR: Suzanne Woods Fisher

PUBLISHER, PUBLISHED: Revell, April 2019

GENRE:  Contemporary Romance (Not Amish or Mennonite)

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

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MY REVIEW: 

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

 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE:  Courting Mr. Emerson

AUTHOR: Melody Carlson

PUBLISHER: Revell

PUBLISHED: March 2019

GENRE: Christian Romance

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW:

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

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

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

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

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

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 7383

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

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

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