BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski with Giveaway

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About the Book

 

Book:  The Socialite

Author: J’nell Ciesielski

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

An author friend recently asked for the most romantic line from a book we’d read recently. I couldn’t think of one. Now that I’ve read J’nell Ciesielski’s The Socialite, I have the answer. “Most women would have crumbled by now, but not you. And as long as I’m next to you, I’ll not let you.” (Swoon!)

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“For good or bad, family has its way of leaving a mark on you no matter how far you roam.” If I could quote only one line that sums up much of the conflict in this novel, this would be it. Kathleen Whitford has traveled to Nazi occupied Paris to bring home her rebellious, wandering sister, Ellie. Unfortunately, Ellie is running from her controlling family into the arms of a German officer. Kat struggles with Ellie’s behavior, but then Kat begins to realize she herself is desperate to escape her family’s expectations of her. Also desperate to escape secrets is Scots barkeep Barrett Anderson, running from a past threatening to arise from a drunken alley to overtake him. Pawns in a game where the loser forfeits life and/or the war itself, all three are in dire need of escaping the Gestapo.
Ciesielski presents the occupied people, the German conquerors, and the those who mingle in between so well. I don’t read much WWII fiction, and now I remember why not. Ciesielski is not overly gruesome, but just the thought of the atrocities that the Jews or Allied sympathizers faced had my heart beating triple time in terror. Amidst all the double-speak and wondering if the trio could stay out of German concentration camps, I had to laugh when one character well-described consorting with the German hierarchy… “we climb up the social ladder of snakes.”

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I loved some history tidbits. Like how rationing caused women to go from silk stockings to cotton stockings to staining their legs with tea. Ugh! Or how the German officers would require only German music be played. So, talented, wily artists would adapt well-known English tunes to mock their captors and cheer their countrymen.
I had to smile, even as I was very anxious whether the three would be found out.
Themes include betrayal, escaping family expectations, and overcoming pride.
One theme, Barrett repeatedly reminds Kat, is that everybody serves an important purpose in the machinery of espionage. No role is more glorious nor less crucial. So reminiscent of the body of Christ, where each has a job, and all are needed, whether they appear so or not.
What I may have wished for: an inclusion of God in the story, and a little less emphasis on lengthy details of kisses. Physical love is indeed powerful, but I like best when it is subtle and hinted at.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. This in no way influences my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

4 Stars- Excellent – I Would Recommend This Book

 

About the Author

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski CiesielskiJ_Headshotweaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

 

More from J’Nell

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??

Bam. An idea was born.

In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her naïve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out 😉

 

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

Emily Yager, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Back Porch Reads, May 22

Inklings and notions, May 23

Breny and Books, May 23

Stories By Gina , May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24

Connect in Fiction, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Life, Love, Writing, May 25

Livin’ Lit, May 26

Robin’s Nest, May 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 26

For the Love of Literature, May 26

Betti Mace, May 27

Maureen’s Musings, May 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 27

Genesis 5020, May 28

Book of Ruth Ann, May 28

Remembrancy, May 28

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

Quiet Workings, May 29

Mia Reads, May 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

deb’s Book Review, May 30

Older & Smarter?, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Books I’ve Read, May 31

Batya’s Bits, June 1

Blossoms and Blessings, June 1

Splashes of Joy, June 1

Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Moments, June 2

Pause for Tales, June 3

Andrea Carmen, June 3

Just Your Average reviews, June 3

To Everything There Is A Season, June 3

Fiction Aficionado, June 4

Lis Loves Reading, June 4

Hallie Reads, June 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!

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/fa09/the-socialite-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

 

 

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

One Little Lie, #1 Pelican Harbor Series by Colleen Coble

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About the Book

Book:  One Little Lie

Author: Colleen Coble

Series: Pelican Harbor #1

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 3, 2020

 

50852923._SX318_SY475_It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot (If only we didn’t have to wait for the ending!)  😦

My Review

A green police chief, vigilante justice, and a town full of secrets. Mixing these together with Colleen Coble’s compelling suspense and a dollop of romance brings you One Little Lie, a “most excellent” police adventure.
I really loved the storyline and most of the characters. The jury is still out on a few of them, namely the mayor, whom I’m trying to figure out. I did enjoy Jane Hardy and Reid and Will Dixon. Will sounds like one very neat teenager. Jane and Reid work together well. I have to wonder about how involved Reid was in the cases, as a civilian. Yet, my mind argues back that real life can be hard to separate into separate columns, and this just solidifies that point.

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The bay seems to be a little murky and so are so many of the relationships in this faith-filled novel. We see true friendship, bad parenting, misguided parenting, great parenting, and arms that lost the child they should have parented. I can just imagine Jane, if she had a theme song, singing “Lies,” from Jonathan Butler eons ago. The question is, who would she be singing it about? Faith, love, forgiveness, deceit, and revenge all surface in Pelican Harbor. Unfortunately for us, the readers, a neat ending does not. I appreciated Coble’s note that explained her reasoning. I appreciated that we had a “soft” ending, with more to come in the next Pelican Harbor installment ( Two Reasons to Run, coming September 2020), rather than a rushed, messy ending. Definitely a book to pick up, but preferably during daylight hours, with plenty of safe people around.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. This does not affect my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

About the Author

33227Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. You can visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, March 10

Life of Literature, March 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 11

The Avid Reader, March 11

Lighthouse Academy, March 11

By The Book, March 12

Older & Smarter?, March 12

Through the Fire Blogs, March 12

Remembrancy, March 12

Betti Mace, March 13

April Hayman, Author, March 13

Emily Yager, March 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

deb’s Book Review, March 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15

Inklings and notions, March 15

CarpeDiem, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Just the Write Escape, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Robin’s Nest, March 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 17

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 17

Stories By Gina, March 18

Janicesbookreviews, March 18

Mary Hake, March 18

Empowermoms, March 18

For the Love of Literature, March 19

Blossoms and Blessings, March 19

Because I said so – and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Hallie Reads, March 19

A Baker’s Perspective, March 20

Quiet Quilter, March 20

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, March 21

Moments, March 21

amandainpa, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Pause for Tales, March 22

Britt Reads Fiction, March 22

Spoken from the Heart, March 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 22

To Everything There is a Season, March 23

Life love writing, March 23

Daysong Reflections, March 23

Lights in a Dark World, March 23

*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

 

 

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

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About the Book

Book:  A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Author: Jessica Kate

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 28, 2020

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and 44441985romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

 Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile, Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

My Review

“Samuel Payton was an idiot.” What a great opening sentence to A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate. Kimberly Foster and Samuel Payton may work together, but they seem destined to be each other’s number one antagonizer.
GGttO1
Wow, this is the rom-com book to pick up for something light, yet with a message.
I liked and disliked all four main characters by turns, depending on whose point of view examined them. Kimberly, Sam, Jules, and Mick all have lots of personalities but the lies they believe often cause them to act as if there is only one possible trajectory for their lives. When their eyes see their own weaknesses, it tends to be through magnifying glasses that so enlarge their weaknesses and fears they can’t move forward. They have trouble viewing themselves in light of God’s Word, based on their own experiences or others’ perceptions of them.
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I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in a lighter, clean rom-com with spiritual overtones.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. This is no way affects my opinions for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

5 stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author 

jessica kateAustralian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant. Visit her online at jessicakatewriting.com; Instagram: jessicakatewriting; Facebook: jessicakatewriting; Twitter: @JessicaKate05.

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Click here to read an exclusive excerpt of the book!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 3

Just the Write Escape, February 3

Through the Fire Blogs, February 3

Robin’s Nest, February 4

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 4

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 5

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 5

Genesis 5020, February 6

Wishful Endings, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 7

Batya’s Bits, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

deb’s Book Review, February 9

Inklings and notions, February 10

Inside the Wong Mind, February 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 11

Kat’s Corner Books, February 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 12

Hallie Reads, February 12

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 13

Mary Hake, February 13

Moments, February 14

Stories By Gina, February 14

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 15

Britt Reads Fiction, February 15

Pause for Tales, February 16

With a Joyful Noise, February 16

*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

BLOG, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

Synapse by Steven James

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About the Book

Title: Synapse

Author: Steven James

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Released: October 2019

Genre:  Christian Speculative, Sci-fi

Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but with what they believe.

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions Artificials were never meant to ask.

My Review

When I finished, I am reminded why I am drawn to speculative/sci-fi fiction. Being written from a Christian viewpoint, I like the conclusions better than those of a secular book. Steven James packs a lot of solid Biblical truth into Synapse and utilizes key story threads to do so. The lack of bad language or bedroom scenes is a real plus for me!
Synapse 1
I enjoyed seeing how James develops the characters of Kestral, Jordan, Nick, and Trevor. Interestingly enough, ALL of them show growth. You’ll have to read the book to see why that’s an ironic statement. The action really accelerated near the end. I love to be surprised by who some of the villains and allies are, and this book did not disappoint.
It did take me a while to get into the book, as James uses different point-of-views and even tenses for each character. Switching out of third-person past to the first-person present and back again was not comfortable for me. There were spots where James felt it appropriate to write the text all next to each other, with no breaks for words. These spots could be a paragraph long, and unfortunately, I was also fighting off dizziness the day I read this part, so I was doubly dismayed. All in all, though, I did enjoy the book. It came together well in the end. I would read another of Steven James’s novels and see where he takes mankind.
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I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author and publisher. This does not affect my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

4 Stars – Excellent – I Would Recommend This Book

 

About the Author

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

His latest novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, is set to release on October 8, 2019.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book EVERY WICKED MAN one of their “Best Books of 2018,” says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game,” and RT Book Reviews promises that “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, he has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades and has spoken more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking books on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE and TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR NOVEL, have both won Storytelling World Awards. Widely recognized for his story-crafting expertise, he teaches regularly as a Master Class instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers. He also hosts the biweekly podcast, The Story Blender.

When Steven isn’t writing or speaking, you’ll find him trail running, rock climbing, or drinking dark roast coffee near his home in East Tennessee.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock

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About the Book

Book: Smoke Screen

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre:  Christian Suspense

Release Date: November 5, 2019

One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death.Smoke-Screen-197x300 All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

“Innocent until proven guilty.” If only those words were true for Nate Beckett, who left his high school sweetheart behind when Nate’s dad was accused of killing Brenna Strickland’s dad. When the church where Brenna’s father pastored burned down shortly after that, townspeople whispered Nate was responsible. 

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Terri Blackstock is one of the best voices in Christian suspense. I always start her books thinking, maybe I won’t like this one as much as her others. But each time Ms. Blackstock proves me wrong, whipping up the tension into high winds, my reading satisfaction spreading like wildfire as I navigate (in this case) through the very realistic, sad mess that two families have made of their lives once tragedy strikes. I loved the twists that Blackstock incorporates, as well as the strong, solid faith message she projects. Blackstock’s remarks about faith are clear and concise, not preachy. I questioned an event at the end, but then again, people can be unpredictable and don’t always make the decisions one might expect.

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If you love faith-filled suspense, this is a great book for you. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. This is no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own. 

My Rating

5 Stars- Superior- Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAYTerri-Blackstock-200x300 bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: Blackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock

 

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.

An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”

T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”

“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”

“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”

I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”

“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”

It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.

“The family. Were they injured?”

“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”

“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”

“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”

I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.

“I won’t need a month,” I said.

“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”

I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”

“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”

Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.

 

Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Christian Bookaholic , November 9

Fiction Aficionado, November 10

KarenSueHadley, November 10

Quiet quilter, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Among the Reads, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Robin’s Nest, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12

Bigreadersite , November 12

Blogging With Carol , November 12

Betti Mace, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13

Emily Yager, November 13

By The Book, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

A Baker’s Perspective, November 14

Splashes of Joy , November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Through the Fire Blogs, November 15

Andrea Christenson, November 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 16

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Remembrancy, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

EmpowerMoms, November 17

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 18

Older & Smarter, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 18

Lights in a Dark World, November 19

amandainpa , November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 20

For The Love of Books , November 20

Hallie Reads, November 20

Cathe Swanson, November 21

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 21

All 4 and About Books, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Batya’s Bits, November 22

Livin’ Lit, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

janicesbookreviews, November 22

*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

The Painted Castle, #3 Lost Castle series by Kristy Cambron

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 About the Book

Book: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 15, 2019

44441963Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping tale of art and secrets long buried in England.

It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.

Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

Kristy Cambron closes out her Lost Castle series with The Painted Castle, the story of Kiera and Emory. Reminiscent of an old movie, the accused art thief and the art historian/evaluator work together until the fire of rumors and truth gets too hot and combustion takes place.
Happily, we are simultaneously fed snippets of the survival of the castle manor and its inhabitants during WW II, plus another possible love development.
To make things even better, if not more complicated, Cambron weaves in and out yet a third tale of a young girl who sees her father murdered and grows up vowing to get revenge.
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This is one tapestry that shows the immense skill of the author, working so many different strands seamlessly together into a beautiful, satisfying and educational product. Authors like Cambron are opening my eyes to the world of WWII. I have always avoided reading about this time due to the great pain and terror it produced, but Cambron shows there is life between the times of terror. Love, kindness, and a desire to help others can flourish like a determined weed between cracks of cement in an otherwise ugly, resistant world of hate and war. I love seeing the best of humanity come out and shine forth brightly when it seems the worst of humanity is winning for a season. I especially saw this in Amelia and Wyatt’s story, which takes place at Parham Hill during WWII.
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My recommendation? You can read this book as a stand-alone. If you do, hurry and get the first two books like I plan to, and find out the riches you ‘ve missed out on.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

5 Stars- Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot

About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her Cambron-headshot-300x300bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best BooksRT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

 

More from Kristy

About The Painted Castle

A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?

It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.

Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…

1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…

1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…

From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a warn-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.

 

Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

The Power of Words, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 15

The Avid Reader, October 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 16

Betti Mace, October 16

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 17

Fiction Aficionado, October 17

Through the Fire Blogs, October 17

Inklings and notions , October 18

AndreaChristenson, October 18

She Lives to Read, October 18

Bloging With Carol, October 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 19

Back Porch Reads , October 19

Christian Bookaholic , October 19

KarenSueHadley, October 20

Livin’ Lit, October 20

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 20

Genesis 5020, October 21

Worthy2Read, October 21

Life of Literature, October 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 22

janicesbookreviews, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Older & Smarter?, October 23

Mia Reads Blog, October 23

The Becca Files, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Just the Write Escape, October 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 25

Moments, October 25

Simple Harvest Reads, October 25

Pause for Tales, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Lis Loves Reading, October 26

Hallie Reads, October 26

Living Life Free In Christ, October 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 27

Soutgern Gal Loves to Read, October 28

Remembrancy, October 28

Batya’s Bits, October 28

Leona J. Atkinson, October 28

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble

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About the Book

Book: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster42769231 home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

My Review

Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble brings a fresh setting for a romantic suspense adventure. Told in snippets of split-time fashion, this novel will have you kicking your heels and gasping for air as you learn about pen shell beds that Harper and Ridge collaborate on. With key themes of family or lack thereof, relationships and trust, many readers can find common ground with the protagonists.

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Coble makes it easy to learn spiritual lessons, presenting truth plainly and succinctly, without slowing the action. The storylines are woven together beautifully, like the beautifully spun sea silk.

disappointment
There are some great twists and turns in this novel. Coble writes suspense so effectively I still feel the jangling of my emotions and a sense of loss, which will need some time to settle. If you love Christian romantic suspense blended with diving tales and mermaids, detailed via split-time; you will enjoy Colleen Coble’s Strands of Truth.
I was given a complimentary copy of this novel from the author and publisher via NetGalley. No positive review was required.

My Rating 

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

About the Author

colleen-coble-headshot-smallColleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

 

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast-paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3

Inspired by fiction, September 3

EmpowerMoms, September 3

Blogging With Carol, September 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

My Devotional Thoughts, September 4

Christian bookaholic, September 4

KarenSueHadley , September 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

Susan Cornwell, September 5

Inside the Wong Mind, September 5

Godly Book Reviews, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 6

Emily Yager, September 6

Older & Smarter?, September 6

Blessed & Bookish, September 6

Andrea Christenson, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Avid Reader Nurse, September 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7

The Becca Files, September 8

Blossoms and Blessings, September 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Spoken from the Heart, September 9

Betti Mace, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9

Moments, September 10

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10

For Him and my Family, September 10

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11

SusanLovesBooks, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Worthy2Read, September 12

Just the Write Escape, September 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12

Bigreadersite , September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

As He Leads is Joy, September 13

Livin’ Lit, September 13

To Everything A Season, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

For The Love of Books , September 14

Living Life Free In Christ, September 14

A Reader’s Brain, September 15

Quiet Quilter , September 15

Hallie Reads, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions , September 16

By The Book, September 16

Real World Bible Study, September 16

Patiently Waiting, September 16

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

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About the Book

Book: State of Lies

Author: Siri Mitchell

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie State-of-lies-197x300

Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

 

Feelings. State of Lies by Siri Mitchell, published by Thomas Nelson, evoked many different feelings in me.  

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I read in awe as Mitchell wove an intricate, tightly woven net around me, the reader, with her amazing thriller. She certainly seems to be familiar with the inner workings of Washington, DC, which made for an awesome, fast-moving, spy story. 
Those were the great feelings. By the end of the book, I was living in profound sadness. I was absolutely crushed by the discovery of who the “real” bad guys were. I had picked a couple of different insidious government agents instead. 
The most unexpected feelings were the surprise and disappointment as I started the book reading about a bedroom scene (even though it was between a married couple- do we really need that much detail?) I double-checked to see if I was reading the correct book. While the book was free of language, I was disappointed for this kind of book coming from what is known to be a “Christian” publisher. There was no mention of God in the book, either. 

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Do I only read ultra-clean books? Actually, no. But I felt like this one, coming from the publisher it does, masquerades as something it’s not. Is it a great, emotive read? Absolutely! Is it one I wholeheartedly endorse? No. Not without warning. Please don’t make me think I’m getting cake then serve me a cookie. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and CelebrateLit through NetGalley. This did not affect my opinions which are solely my own. 

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

 

About the Author

Siri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has SIRI-MITCHELL_headshot-300x239also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant. Visit her online at sirimitchell.com; Facebook: SiriMitchell; Twitter: @SiriMitchell.

More from Siri

A Sense of Place

I’m so excited about the release of State of Lies! Among the many reasons for my excitement is the fact that I set the story in my own home town: Arlington, VA. Here are some things you might not know about Arlington:

 

  1. Arlington was originally included within the borders of Washington, DC.
  2. Arlington isn’t actually a city – it’s a county. We’re the smallest self-governing county in the nation.
  3. Arlington regularly takes the top spot as the most educated place in the country.
  4. Arlington LOVES books. I count at least a dozen different little libraries in my neighborhood alone.
  5. Our region often has a hurricane warning or two every hurricane season. Can you guess where I’ve seen the longest lines when people start to make last-minute preparations? It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the hardware store. It’s the library! (Why wouldn’t you stock up on books too?)
  6. We host Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon.
  7. We are home to the very first Five Guys hamburger joint location.
  8. We are also home to the headquarters of over a dozen national agencies as well as organizations like Rosetta Stone and Nestlé.
  9. People who attended our high schools include Sandra Bullock, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric, and Patch Adams.
  10. The thing I love most about Arlington? Its people. Countless government contractors members of the federal workforce live here. I number them among my friends and neighbors. I’ve never met a group more dedicated, more informed, or more determined to put their expertise to good use. And guess what? My heroine, Georgie Brennan, is one of them!

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The Pentagon and Washington, DC

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 20

Among the Reads, August 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 20

Blogging With Carol, August 21

CarpeDiem, August 21

Josephine Anne Writes, August 21

Fiction Aficionado, August 22

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 22

Genesis 5020, August 22

Andrea Christenson, August 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Pause for Tales, August 23

Through the Fire Blogs, August 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 24

Inspired by fiction, August 25

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , August 25

Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

Rebekah Jones, August 26

Betti Mace, August 26

As He Leads is Joy, August 27

Wishful Endings, August 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 27

Moments, August 28

Mary Hake, August 28

Remembrancy, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 29

Simple Harvest Reads, August 29

Hallie Reads, August 30

Bigreadersite , August 30

Living Life Free in Christ, August 30

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

janicesbookreviews, September 1

A Reader’s Brain, September 1

Inklings and notions , September 1

Life of Literature, September 2

Real World Bible Study, September 2

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson with giveaway and excerpt

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About the Book

Book: Midnight on the River Grey                          6c783407-6e8e-4344-99de-e6e3427005c1.jpg

Author: Abigail Wilson

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Release date: July 2, 2019

Abigail Wilson returns to Regency England with another tale of murder, mystery, and romance.

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible-Mr. Lewis Browning-known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian. He alone was on the bridge that fateful night and openly admits striking her brother with his horse, but he claims he remembers little else.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation. Yet, Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and whether she too will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Lewis, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

English moors beset by swirling mists and winds; wicked storms, dreary weather, and centuries-old decrepit buildings slowly decaying; combine to make a great Gothic tale, but not a place I would care to visit. Abigail Wilson, in Midnight on the River Grey, carefully employs dark words, effectively painting a very dreary, spooky mood in Regency England. 

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What is the allure of a musty setting like this? It “must” be the reader’s desire to see if the unfortunate characters can find hope or color in their lives, against all the odds of the Dickens-like environment. Rebecca has an overriding fear that she must face head-on. Lewis Browning has a horrible reputation that causes townspeople to ostracize him completely. Under the darkness of this tale is a thin ray of light struggling to find greater purchase and freedom. As a reader, I raced through the pages hoping to free Rebecca from her invisible prison. Would she determine the cause of the turmoil in her new surroundings, or would she become the next victim? 

Who will not like Rebecca? She can’t seem to stay safe, but she is determined to prove her loved one innocent and make the guilty pay. Rebecca has spunk, inquisitiveness, and clear thinking in spades, although some might like her to think otherwise. 
I loved the slow unwrapping of the romance as if one were unwrapping a present covered in layers of newsprint. Lewis was kind enough to sympathize with Rebecca’s feelings. That goes a long ways towards winning her respect, as opposed to just defending her father. Lewis also proves himself to be thoughtful and generous in undeniable ways. By this point, I didn’t care if Lewis was good-looking or not. Actions transform the face and person. 

I wondered if maybe Rebecca had unfairly judged both her father and Lewis. My Bible reading just yesterday cautioned against judging. It seems we point fingers back at ourselves when we refuse to extend grace to others. 
Aunt Jo is very likable and seems to have a quiet caution and wisdom. She is an excellent foil for Rebecca. 
A quote. (I will post longer ones as memes.)

“Sometimes people do awful things when they feel justified.” 

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I recommend this book, with a few caveats. While it is clean, there are, however, a few situations that would make it for mature readers. There was no mention of faith, which is disappointing when the book comes from a Christian publisher. 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

 

About the Author

Abigail-Wilson-1-200x300Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: acwilsonbooks; Facebook: ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.

 

An excerpt from Midnight on the River Grey

My heartbeat turned sluggish as an ache swelled in the back of my throat. This man—the

person responsible for my brother’s death—expected me to live with him? In his house? Madness.

“And if we refuse?”

“I’m afraid there is little choice in the matter at this point. The arrangements are already complete.”

Mr. Browning narrowed his blue eyes, scrutinizing me, no doubt, as the numbing shock of his declaration faded to resignation across my face. He sighed. “I do realize Greybourne Hall might hold unfortunate associations for you—”

 “Unfortunate?” My voice came out a bit louder than I’d expected. “Is that what you choose to call it?”

He gave a sideways glance at Aunt Jo then returned to me, a pained look hovering about his eyes. His voice, however, remained firm. “Forgive me if I startled you. I hadn’t expected such a violent reaction to what I assumed was the logical next step. Perhaps I should make myself a bit clearer.” He gave a curt sigh. “I only intend for you to stay at Greybourne Hall till someplace more suitable can be arranged. Unfortunately, there are few options at present.”

Ice enveloped my heart. I had no wish to travel to, let alone live at that dreadful house, not even for a single night. In his letters, Jacob had described the rambling structure as a gray pile of stones fit for vampires, or worse. I could only image Mr. Browning, this dark-headed devil before me, at home in such a place.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, July 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 11

The Power of Words, July 11

Emily Yager, July 12

Blogging With Carol , July 12

Stories By Gina, July 12

Just the Write Escape, July 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 13

Simple Harvest Reads, July 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, July 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 15

Wishful Endings, July 15

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Texas Book-aholic, July 16

Retrospective Spines, July 16

Seasons of Opportunities, July 17

For the Love of Literature, July 17

Mary Hake, July 17

Genesis 5020, July 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 18

Bigreadersite, July 18

Blessed & Bookish, July 19

Through the Fire Blogs, July 19

Blossoms and Blessings, July 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Remembrancy, July 20

Inspiration Clothesline, July 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 21

Pause for Tales, July 21

A Reader’s Brain, July 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

Inklings and notions, July 22

Hallie Reads, July 23

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 23

janicesbookreviews, July 23

A Baker’s Perspective, July 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of a copy of her 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/e5a8/midnight-on-the-river-grey-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

The Pages of Her Life by James Rubart

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About the Book

Book: The Pages of Her Life

Author: James L. Rubart    Pages-of-Her-Life-cover-198x300

Genre: Christian fiction – suspense

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Award-winning and bestselling author James L. Rubart explores the way our memories shape us . . . and how they affect our beliefs.

Allison Moore has no idea why she got out of her car on that rainy March afternoon and picked up the soaked journal laying on the side of the road. Brought it home. But she did. It was empty. Except for two lines scrawled in the front, too washed out to read. And a Jesus emblem inside the back cover. Something about the journal compels her to start writing in it, capturing thoughts about her newly acquired job that she thought would be heaven, but has turned into hell. Then one day, she finds words in the center of the journal. Words she didn’t write: Mene mene tekel upharsin. After her heart stops hammering, Allison Googles the phrase, and reads the story of Belshazzar’s Feast, where a hand from God writes on the wall, and the king is slain. Fear grips her, certain God is coming after her for what she did twelve years back. What she’s done wrong her whole life. She vows to make things right. Then she discovers more phrases appearing underneath each of her journal entries. Those phrases take her on an emotional roller coaster that forces her to look at everything she believes about her past in a new light, and opens her eyes to a supernatural realm of staggering consequence.

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 Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

My Review

“…secrets did not make for strong alliances.” And yet, in The Pages of Her Life, by James Rubart, we see a family thrown into a Twilight Zone setting by the death of the father and husband who kept unwelcome secrets. Allison, and her estranged brother, Parker, have difficulty in their lives as they try to escape the legacy of inadequacy their father bestowed upon them. An old journal and a stranger are about to shake up their lives forever.
This novel was a great reminder for me that not everything that seems to be of God really is. Certainly, some people claimed to love God in the book, but their actions proved just the opposite. They were their own gods. I wanted to cry with Allison as she begins to figure this out. It is easy to relate with her and her brother, as all the outer trimmings are stripped away and each is forced to look at his most basic needs.
Of course, there is the mysterious working of God. The journal was unpredictable. “God isn’t working on my time frame, I’m working on his.” As I finish the novel, I have to say I feel like it is imaginative, yet there is that piece of me that says, “all things are possible with God.”
In a few places, there were large portions of Scripture written out. That seemed to detract from the smoothness of the story. I felt that in at least one instance, the Scripture story could have been shared shortly and easily without being long and drawn-out, given that it is a familiar story.
My other little issue is a theological one. I can’t share it without a spoiler, but I will say that many Christians, including me, may be surprised when we get to heaven and find out that things we held tightly to as Biblical absolutes are not. Also, the novel couldn’t happen without this theological difference, and that’s ok.
One quote I will adopt as my own for fun:
“She really needed to get in the habit of waking up before she decided to think.”
Most memorable quote?

The Pages of Her Life
“Choose to believe the kingdom is in your midst and is here to set you free.” The Jews missed this when Jesus came the first time. Allison and Parker have their turns to choose freedom or bondage. Now it is our turn; which will we choose?
“Got it” quote?
“Compared to the ocean, she felt small. Insignificant. And that was a good thing. A reminder that He was God, she was not, and that all along He’d had a plan to rescue her.”
What a great tome to cause the mind’s cogs to start turning! And turning mine are. Pass me another Rubart, please.
References by other readers have been made to a previous book, Rooms. I have not read that and understood The Pages of Her Life well. I feel it stands alone on its own merit.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of Days, The Chair, Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Rubart-James-240x300Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest. Website: www.jameslrubart.com Twitter: @jameslrubart Facebook: JamesLRubart

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

Spoken from the Heart, May 22

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

Genesis 5020, May 23

Bigreadersite, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 24

Through the Fire Blogs, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 28

Hallie Reads, May 28

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 29

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 30

Inspired by fiction, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 31

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

janicesbookreviews, June 2

Maureen’s Musings, June 3

Inklings and notions , June 3

Mary Hake, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

Retrospective Spines, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 6

Blogging With Carol, June 7

Just the Write Escape, June 7

For The Love of Books, June 8

Remembrancy, June 8

All 4 and About Books, June 9

Livin’ Lit, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, James is giving away a finished copy of The Pages of Her Life!!

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/e4f2/the-pages-of-her-life-celebration-tour-giveaway