BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Uncategorized

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

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About the Book

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Title: The Seamstress

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

MY REVIEW:

1788 Paris is dark, gritty, and terrifying; beautiful, lavish and out-of-touch. While the Seamstress by Allison Pittman has much action in the poor countryside, much thought and control are determined in the capricious capital. With its model being The Tale of Two Cities, The Seamstress yet holds forth rays of hope peeking through the backdrop of the dank Bastille on a hot, steamy day. What an incredible, overall effect the completed story has on one’s heart. Abandonment, adoption, intrigue, faith, faithlessness, famine, excess, forgiveness, greed, love, lust, loyalty, rebellion in every form; all are here and present in Paris where the food is scarce and the anger is plentiful. Pittman relates her tale through two cousins, Laurette and Renee. Unsatisfied Laurette’s part is told in the third person, while innocent Renee’s is narrated in first. I half wondered if that encouraged the reader to favor the purer Renee? Silver-tongued Marcel and godly, poor farmer Gagner are major players in the drama. This is certainly a character-driven novel as we see a nation fighting against itself for survival. I loved the great attention to historical detail and political climate, while God’s Word was seamlessly woven into the story in small but efficient sound bites at just the right time. This is a book to leave you reeling!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.

 

MY RATING:

 

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About the Author

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

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Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.

This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

 

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9

The Lit Addict, February 9

The Power of Words, February 9

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10

Lis Loves Reading, February 10

Maureen’s Musings, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12

Emily Yager, February 12

Mary Hake, February 12

Stories By Gina, February 13

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13

Inspired by fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Remembrancy, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 15

Seasonsofopportunities, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Books, Books, and More Books, February 16

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 18

By The Book, February 18

Multifarious, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Pause for Tales, February 19

Bigreadersite, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20

Janices book reviews, February 20

For the Love of Books, February 21

Book by Book, February 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22

To Everything A Season, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

 

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Uncategorized

Gone to Texas, #1 Cross TimbersRomance Family Saga(Thanksgiving Books and Blessings, Collection #1)

Gone to Texas FB Banner copyGone To Texas

About the Book

 

Book Title: Gone to Texas

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 6, 2018

Can beauty truly come from ashes?

Deception drives seventeen souls to hard choices. Either stay on the land they thought they’d bought or heed the lure of free land in the faraway wilderness of a new Republic. Rife with peril and hardship, three families knit together by blood and friendship head out with a widowed man, daughter, and his slave, gambling everything they own on the prospect of land ownership and working it together. Does friendship pave a way to marriage? Can puppy-love survive through a harrowing journey to blossom into a forever lover? With duress at every turn, can the clan stay together all the way to Texas and accomplish their goals?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY REVIEW:

“The truth would be the right answer of course. But the truth… it was so hard.” This could have been the statement of any of the half-dozen or so of the travelers whose lives we see in Caryl McAdoo’s Gone to Texas novel.

Having been sold land in Tennessee by a shyster, a close-knit group of three families decides to reject the idea of sharecropping and head for the wide-open, cheap land of Texas. What starts out as a party atmosphere of friends and relatives becomes a journey of growth and change for many of the group.

While the immediate focus is the young love between Alicia and Flynn, we are treated to see other, more mature loves, as well as familial loves and friendship, loves. Trust has to be both earned and given, and characters are shown both in their best light and at their worst. Forgiveness and mercy are huge themes replayed many times. How sweet it is to see them displayed, especially with certain people we might say don’t deserve those kindnesses. The gospel is clearly laid out.

I liked the support and pride especially one character showed in her loved one’s dreams and plans. I think that kind of support glorifies God and enables the spouse to do great things.

I found the novel hard to enter into at first because the colloquialism was so thick and used without a break for a while. As I kept reading, this improved, and I was able to better enjoy the book. At one other point, there were numerous typos to the point I had to reread sentences and put in my own pronouns to make sense of what was really happening.

Bottom line: I enjoyed this book and will recommend it to others. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions and I was not required to leave a positive review.

About the Author

Top priority is God’s glory, and that’s exactly what Caryl McAdoo prays her stories will bring. To entertain and draw readers into a closer walk with Him is next. A quick check of stars and reviews attest to the success of this award-winning, best-selling author—all by the Father’s faithfulness. Besides writing, she loves singing praises, including the new songs He gives her! Visit her YouTube channel. Ron, her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live oCaryl 6-18n thirty-four acres ‘The Peaceable’ in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

Guest Post from Caryl

As much as I hated leaving the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales and the Red River Valley, I loved starting this fresh Family Saga series with all new characters! GONE TO TEXAS is Book One of the Cross Timber Romances and features three families—the O’Neals, Van Zandts, and Worleys—joined by blood and friendship through Liberty O’Neal. Laud Worley is her little brother and Mallory Van Zandt, her best friend since school days.

Together, they’d traveled south to settle in Tennessee and were about to harvest their first cotton crop that fall in 1840 when they discovered the deed to their land—the land they’d spent all their pooled savings on—was forged and no-good.

The legal owner graciously allows them to stay through harvest, taking his portion of their labor and cottonseed. At the gin, Seve Van Zandt hears rumors of Texas, a new Rebublic out west, offering free land to pioneers willing to tame its wildlands. This first story—book one—is all about their journey to the new country filled with hope and dreams.

A hired widower who with his daughter and slave helped harvest the clan’s cotton asked to join them on their journey, and so, on that fateful September morn, seventeen souls set out after they hung a hand painted sign on one of the cabins they left behind. “Gone to Texas”!

Another very special thing about this novel, one hundred twelve thousand words—about three hundred fifty pages, is that it is also book one in a brand new collection! The Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection that includes stories from eight other authors besides me: Lena Nelson Dooly, Heather Blanton, Kristin Holt, Kit Morgan, Suzette Williams, Pauline Creeden, George McVey, and Lynette Sowell!

All nine books will have Thanksgiving Dinner with family around the table, giving thanks to God for all his blessings. I’ve noticed many series launched in December, but Thanksgiving is my favorite. I love giving thanks to the Lord!

And as always, I pray my story gives God glory, and that its readers will be drawn closer to Him through it. He blesses and highly favors me daily. I cannot thank or praise Him enough!

Thank you, too, for reading my stories, reviewing my stories, and participating in the most AWESOME CELEBRATE LIT‘s Blog Tour!!

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 11

Captive Dreams Window, September 12

proud to be an autism mom, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 13

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 13

cherylbbookblog, September 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Janices book reviews, September 16

Abba’s prayer warrior princess, September 17

Carpe Diem, September 17

Creating Romance, September 18

Madeline Clark, September 18

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 19

The Mimosa Blossom, September 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

Back Porch Reads, September 21

Bibliophile Reviews, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Godly Book Reviews, September 24

Bigreadersite, September 24

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

GRAND PRIZE : $50 Amazon Gift Card

1st Prize: THREE Choice-of-Caryl’s Titles (print–US only or eBook)

2nd-4th: ebook of JOHN DAVID’S CALLING

5th-7th: print copy VOW UNBROKEN

8th-10th: $5 Amazon gift cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops to earn nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1a6/gone-to-texas-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG, Uncategorized

Exposed: A Christian Romantic Suspense Boxed Book Set by Alford, Bonner, McDaniel, Phillips, Strong, Terry, andVaughan.

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About the Book:

by
Lynnette Bonner,
 Mary Alford,
Lesley Ann McDaniel,
Lisa Phillips,
Angela Ruth Strong,
Alana Terry,
Virginia Vaughan
Kindle Edition, 1802 pages
Published August 2nd, 2018 by Serene Lake Publishing
ASIN
B07G5DDQYR

 

 Mary Alford – Hallowed Ground
After a terrorist attack claims the life of her partner, CIA Agent Erin Sandoval would not have survived Blake’s death without the help of fellow agent, Jax Murphy. When Erin’s unit is deployed to Afghanistan to find the elusive terrorist the CIA believes responsible for taking Blake’s life, the mission proves to be a setup, wiping out almost the entire team. As the only survivors of the attack, Erin and Jax must cut through a wealth of lies and misdirections to uncover the killer’s identity. Yet nothing prepares them for the truth, and the biggest threat to their survival might prove to be their growing feelings for each other. When you’re running for your life, the most dangerous place to fall is in love.

Lynnette Bonner – Fire
Years ago, teacher Kyra Radell’s brother died because of drugs, so when students in her school start buying a new street drug called Fire–and dying because of it–she’s determined to help. Even if that means putting her own life in danger.
Case Lexington, an undercover cop, has been sent in to pose as a high school senior. He wants her to stay safe, but she’s not willing to listen to a mere student.
Can he protect her and keep his cover intact? More importantly, will he be able to find the drug dealer before any more students–or teachers–die?

Lesley Ann McDaniel – Jill Came Tumbling After
Jill Martin has finally kicked her alcoholic husband to the curb. Now, with two kids and no money, she has no choice but to take a job at the new factory that’s about to open in Madison Falls. When she begins to suspect that the owner plans to illegally dispose of toxic waste, will she be strong enough to blow the whistle…or will her boss do whatever it takes to keep her quiet?

Lisa Phillips – Deadly Exposure
Navy SEAL Bradley Harris returns home to find his sister, Senator Rachel Harris, has been abducted. The FBI’s prime suspect is Alexis Calvert, Rachel’s best friend and the woman he gave his heart to long ago. Proving she’s innocent is going to be tough. Especially when he realizes the truth behind Alexis’s public shaming. Bradley must get his sister back and protect the woman he loves before the worst happens…and he loses everything.

Angela Ruth Strong –  Dead on Arrival 
The daughter of the Peruvian President, Maritza Rosado, arrives in Washington D.C. only to discover the world thinks both she and her father died on a plane crash in the Amazon. Worse, the man she’d once considered an uncle has taken over her nation and ordered two consulate workers in the U.S. to assassinate her. Desperate and alone in a foreign country, she hides out in a soup kitchen where youth group leader Levi Parker recognizes her from a recent mission to Peru and wants to help.
Can they possibly take down the crime ring together, or will Levi’s involvement do nothing more than put his life–and the life of every teen in his youth group–at risk?

Alana Terry – Termination Dust
After her mother’s death, Kimmie has no reason to stay under her stepfather’s abusive rule.
No reason, that is, except for her innocent half-brother who would bear the brunt of his father’s anger if Kimmie ran away.
After befriending a compassionate Alaska state trooper, Kimmie is emboldened to hope for a better future.

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MY REVIEW: ( I read only DEAD ON ARRIVAL by Angela Ruth Strong, but I can see I will also have to go back and read the others!)

Just finished Dead on Arrival by Angela Ruth Stong. Tremendous faith, great twists, and more suspense than I thought I could handle! Great work!

The action starts in the first sentence of the book, with incredulity at what had or hadn’t happened. From that point on, it is a hot race to keep the President of Peru’s daughter, Maritza, alive while she is on American soil.

In a “God-incident,” Maritza is recognized by a youth leader in DC with his youth group on a mission trip. Both Maritza and Levi will be stretched to their emotional, physical, and spiritual limits as they attempt to thwart determined assassins.

The spiritual thoughts about God occurred very naturally and were well-woven into the extremely action-packed book.
I received a copy of this book from one of the authors. This in no way affected my opinions and I was not required to leave a positive review.

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About the Author: (Angela Ruth Strong)

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Born
in Glendale, The United States
Twitter AngelaRStrong
Tamara Leigh
Tracey Bateman
Rachel Hauck
Deeanne Gist
Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

More Than Meets the Eye,#1 PatchWork Family by Karen Witemeyer

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About the book:

Paperback, 347 pages
Published June 5th, 2018 by Bethany House Publishers (first published June 2018)
ISBN
0764212834 (ISBN13: 9780764212833)
Edition Language
English
Series  Patchwork Family #1

Seeking justice against the man who destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront the person responsible. But his quest is derailed when, instead of a hardened criminal, he finds an ordinary man with a sister named Evangeline–an unusual beauty with mismatched eyes and a sweet spirit that he finds utterly captivating.

 

MY REVIEW:

This fantastic Christian historical fiction story by Karen Witemeyer is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. More Than Meets the Eye will pull on your heartstrings as you realize the pain Evie goes through all her life because of her miss-matched eyes. People can be so cruel, not just back then, but even now, when others are different from themselves, in a way they don’t understand.

I loved the way the orphans joined together to form a formidable, unshakable bond they considered family. They learned how to deal with each others’ needs in order to create the strongest possibility for each to survive.

Both Logan and Zach need to learn that the future is not theirs to shape, no matter how desperate they are they retain their tenuous hold on the future. “…control was an illusion. No man controlled fate. God alone claimed that honor.”

Healing from brokenness is a big theme in the book. At first reading, it seems obvious who has the biggest holes in their hearts and who may have transgressed the most. However, broken people heal best when they and those who may stand in judgment all realize that we are all broken somewhere. “People might try to hide their broken places and pretend to be whole, but the truth is that we all have failings. That is why we need each other.” We all need to work together to forgive and forge a new path.

I highly recommend this book. I both bought a copy and received a complimentary copy from Bethany House. This in no way affected my opinions, which are freely given and for which I am solely responsible.

About the Author:

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Karen Witemeyer

Born

in The United States

Website

 

Genre


For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.

 

Uncategorized

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristen Billerbeck

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About the Book:

Paperback, 277 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Revell
ISBN
0800729447 (ISBN13: 9780800729448)
Edition Language
English

Other Editions (3)

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, Kristin Billerbeck’s The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile–because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

 

MY REVIEW:

What better setting for a chick-lit book than a singles’ cruise! Kristen Billerbeck certainly takes off on the right boat here in the Theory of Happily Ever After.

Each chapter starts with a quote from Maggie’s own book, The Science of Bliss. Yet, of course, Maggie can’t find bliss herself. Her friends feel the need to drag her on a cruise to restart her work and social lives.

Maggie seems unable to pull herself out of her own swamp of despair and live by her own advice. That was just irritating. Maybe I am beyond the Chick-lit genre.

The ending glosses over the hard feelings that have been building. Yes, people forgive. However, sometimes it takes a while for the feelings to catch up with reality and sometimes relationships change because of issues, even forgiven ones.

“The church is simply people, Maggie. Flawed and sometimes just plain wrong when they make their own rules.” Haley says this to comfort Maggie. While Maggie needed to realize the humanity of the people in the church, I would hope that she would find the God of the Church very real, and another congregation better showing His love. Church was mentioned a lot, but God Himself didn’t seem so important in the characters’ daily lives.

This book might work well for twenty-something singles who want a light read. I gratefully received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley and the publisher. This in no way influences my review, which I am voluntarily leaving.

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Kristen Billerbeck

About Kristin

I grew up with a strong sense of justice. I simply knew the way things should be. And since I’m not smart enough to be a district attorney, I am a novelist. My childhood was slightly confusing. I blame my parents for this. Oh heck, I’m going to blame them for everything. I think I would have turned out normal if it weren’t for them. the billerbeck’s

Okay, probably not. I am a fourth-generation Californian, and an American mutt, but identify most strongly with my Italian heritage. My mother’s family, of strong Norwegian/German descent, tried to teach me how to do things right. How to cook, clean, sew, budget accordingly – all the things a proper young girl should know to be a contributing member of society. I, however, failed miserably. For my 40th birthday, my grandmother gave me a cookie gun, so it’s clear she hasn’t given up on me yet! That is eternal optimism!

My dad’s Italian family taught me about the good life. The indulgent life. How to eat, shop and be merry. My Nana had very tiny feet and a penchant for shoes (she worked at the Emporium, no doubt to fund her shoe addiction). My afternoons at her house had no lessons, other than how to walk in her high heels, drape myself in her mink stole and drip myself with rhinestones. Tastefully, of course. I picked up on this lifestyle much quicker.

I graduated San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications (emphasis in Advertising), gave my life to Jesus during college and found my true love in a Christian Singles’ Group, which yes, I skewer in “What a Girl Wants”. He is German. Practical. And a Contributing Member of Society. I am still Italian, fluffy and an aficionado of fine shoes & handbags. Together, we have four children and now it’s our turn to confuse them. The circle of life. Dysfunctional family style.

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot, #1 Ditie Brown Mystery by Sarah Osbourne

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About the Book:

Pediatrician Mabel Aphrodite Brown adores kids. So when a childhood friend asks Ditie to babysit her kids for a few days, she jumps at the chance. She never imagined she’d be solving a murder too . . .
 
Despite growing up together, Ditie hasn’t seen Ellie Winston in two years, and she didn’t even know Ellie was living in Atlanta. But when Ellie asks her to take care of Lucie and Jason for the weekend, she thinks nothing of it. They’ll bake cookies together, play with her dog—it’ll be fun! Until the police call with terrible news . . .

Ellie may not have been the best friend, but who would want her dead? Could it have something to do with the vague get-rich-quick scheme she mentioned to Ditie? Or the men in a black truck following her and breaking into her home? Not sure who to trust other than her best friend, Lurleen, Ditie’s buried maternal instincts kick in to protect the kids and find their mother’s killer—before they’re orphaned again . . .

Includes Family-Friendly Recipes!

MY REVIEW:

I am always on the lookout for a new mystery or series. Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot by Sarah Osbourne is a fast-moving, intriguing mystery that has some very likable characters, a few to dislike, and a few from which to run.

Ditie(short for Aphrodite), Lurlene, and Jason and Lucie are arguably some of the most likable. Ditie is a pediatrician who finds herself suddenly in charge of her friend’s children. Jason and Lucie are adorable, childlike and adult-like by turns, making one’s heart ache and eyes overflow. Lurlene pretends to be French in a cute way and also helps with childcare.

Mason and Dan give the ladies in the book some romance. My complaint would be that Mason never really romances Ditie, he just acts “settled” that she is for him.

The author does a great job of providing plenty of twists and turns in this mystery until my head was reeling with suspect possibilities. I found it hard to figure out who was really behind the murders.

One thing I didn’t care for was a spate of bad language thrown in towards the middle. Maybe to keep the book from getting a PG rating? I would personally prefer the PG rating. One of the tenets of a cozy used to be “no bad language.”

The recipes at the back were quite reasonable, even for someone who considers herself a non-cook. Yum!

I will be checking out the next book, to see how the series progresses. If you like children, police business, and cozies, you may want to check it out this series, also.

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      Sarah Osbourne
Uncategorized

A Rebel Heart, #1 Daughtry House by Beth White

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About the Book:

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.

MY REVIEW:

I am beginning to appreciate more and more how divided our country is at this time. How could things be any more ready to ignite? And yet, throughout our history, there have been times of great cataclysm. The Civil War was surely one of those times. In A Rebel Heart, by Beth White, after Ithaca Plantation has been destroyed by marauding Northerners, how can genteel Selah Norton work with an out-of-favor neighbor and a northern carpetbagger to restore the glory of her former home?

Courage has to be one answer. Whether it is Selah’s courage to follow Levi Riggins’s directions in their first mutual disaster, or her willingness to head up the whole project that Riggins later proposes. The former slaves have to have the courage to agree to work with Selah, trusting they would be treated well, not like the slaves they have been. Wyatt Priester, agreeing to live with Selah and her sister and work, hoping to get some apprenticing, again shows a great amount of courage. He is only 14 when he makes that decision. Riggins himself is quite brave. While helping restore Ithaca, quite a bit of scheming is going on which could cost him everything. Riggins says,
“Doing what you have to do when you’re afraid. That’s what courage is.”

I really enjoyed the great mix of history, romance, intrigue, and even plotting, involving the Pinkertons.

I would have appreciated a small glossary. There were several big words I had to look up. Good thing I was reading on my Kindle!

“A couple of quotables could go a long way today if only people would take them to heart:
“History always matters because it impacts the present and the future.”
and
“When everyone knows something is
true, you don’t question it.”

There is, of course, a teaser at the end for the sequel, which will be Joelle and Schuyler’s story. I am ready for it!

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

 

 

About the Author:

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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 writing 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.