BLOG, Lyrical Underground, NetGalley

The Body in the Attic,#1 Jazzi Zanders Mysteries by Judi Lynn

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The Body in the Attic, #1 Jazzi Zanders Mysteries

AUTHOR: Judi Lynn

PUBLISHER, DATE: Lyrical Underground, November 2018

GENRE: Cozy

Welcome to River Bluffs, Indiana, a cozy small town populated with charming homes, close-knit families, and the occasional deadly secret . . .

House-flipper Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod have found their latest project. The property, formerly owned by the late Cal Juniper, is filled with debris that must be cleared before the real renovation begins. But a trip to the attic reveals something more disturbing than forgotten garbage—a skeleton wearing a locket and rings that Jazzi recognizes . . .

Tests confirm that the bones belong to Jazzi’s aunt Lynda, who everyone assumed moved to New York years ago after breaking up with Cal. Soon enough, the whole family is involved, sifting through memories and rumors as they try to piece together what really happened to Lynda—and the baby she gave up for adoption. In between investigating and remodeling, Jazzi is falling for the old house’s charms—and for her gorgeous contractor, Ansel. But with surprises lurking in every nook and cranny, a killer might be waiting to demolish her dreams for good . . .

 

MY REVIEW:

The Body in the Attic, the first Jazzi Zanders Mystery, was a surprisingly emotive cozy for me. Judy Lynn, the author, really causes me to care about the deaths (count ‘em- two) in the novel. I think this may be why The Body in the Attic stands out to me. Usually, the dead people are so odious everybody, including the reader, is glad they’re gone. In this case, I guess I felt real pain for those left behind.
Jazzi and her cousin Jerod are house flippers who find a certain body in the attic of the latest house they are fixing up. I love the love triangle that Ansel, their construction contractor, gets involved in, but it was weird.
For once I thought sure I knew who was guilty. But no, Lynn did a great job and I missed it by a mile.
Great snarky quote?
“…she chased dollar signs harder than greyhounds chase rabbits.”
I do need to add the caveat that I do not agree with all situations and language in the book, but I still enjoyed this new start to a series and look forward to the next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no positive review was required.

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

6308736Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes. Connect with Judi at her website, http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/.

BLOG, NetGalley

A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: A Cold Brew Killing, #3 An All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery

PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground

PUBLISHED: November 2018

GENRE: Cozy

 

 When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . . 
 
Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something’s very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man’s troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .

 

MY REVIEW:

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A small-town homicide puzzles café owner Gia and her friend Savannah, while it sets the rest of the town on edge. As Gia sets out to prove her accused friend innocent, gradually a picture forms of the murky past that lead to the truth coming out.
I liked how much time the main character, Gia, spent working in her cafe. I also appreciated how her routine was explained and the food was made to sound so appetizing. I think I would like to visit the All-Day Breakfast Café when life is quiet.
By the end of the book, I just felt like I was in mourning for a certain group of friends. I wished they had had someone they could have turned to who would have helped them deal with life better. I also wanted to see Hunt spend a little more attention on Gia. It seemed he was an all or nothing guy, and sometimes she got nothing. I will be looking to see how the next books in the series develop the characters and town.
Quotable:
”Sometimes you didn’t need a friend to interfere; sometimes you needed them to stand by while you made a mess of your life, then jump in and pick up the pieces.”
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:

14956514Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.s in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

 

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

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About the Book

Book: Catching Christmas

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Catching-Christmas-210x300.jpgThis Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission-driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

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MY REVIEW

I’ve read most, if not all of Terri Blackstock’s Christian fiction, but I’ve never read Terri Blackstock like this. Catching Christmas is short, sweet, seasonal, and just plain hilarious. I think I laughed out loud every other page, at least.
Callie is an elderly wheel-chair- bound lady whom Finn, a down-on-his-luck cab driver, is called to drive to the dr. The story takes off from there and is so very captivating I almost finished it in one sitting.
I loved reluctant but good-hearted Finn, inhibition-less Carrie and conflicted Sydney.
What a feel-good Christmas book!
Blackstock details a very merry return to faith, roots, and sensibility, with romance mixed in for good measure.
Highly recommended for this season of joy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and CelebrateLit. I was not required to leave a review and all opinions are solely my own.

 

About the Author

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million boTerri-Blackstock-200x300.jpgoks worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock

 

 

 

From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas

https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:

“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby

“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe

“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant

“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon

“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog Stops

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Genesis 5020, December 15

Back Porch ReadsDecember 15

The Power of Words, December 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 16

Among the Reads, December 17

Kathleen Denly, December 17

By The Book, December 17

Lighthouse Academy, December 17

Cultivating Us, December 18

Simple Harvest ReadsDecember 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 18

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, December 19

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 19

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20

amandainpa, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 20

Multifarious, December 21

Cathe Swanson, December 21

Stories By Gina, December 21

Connect in Fiction, December 22

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

Lis Loves Reading, December 23

Mary Hake, December 23

Bigreadersite, December 23

Book by Book, December 24

Pause for Tales, December 24

To Everything A Season, December 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 25

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Vicky Sluiter, December 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 26

Inklings and notions, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 26

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 27

Captive Dreams Window, December 27

Texas Book-aholic, December 27

A Baker’s Perspective, December 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 28

Older & Smarter?, December 28

Janices book reviews, December 28

Carpe Diem, December 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!

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/d776/catching-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Mind Games, #1 Kaely Quinn Profiler by Nancy Mehl

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About the Book

 

Book: Mind Games

Author: Nancy Mehl

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: December 2018

Publisher: Bethany HouseMind-games-194x300

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

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MY REVIEW

I have read several of Nancy Mehl’s romantic suspense novels, and I always enjoy them. In Mind Games, Mehl’s latest thriller, a vigilante is out to avenge himself on a serial killer’s daughter, Jessica Oliphant, now Kaely Quinn, a top FBI profiler. Noah Hunter, Kaely’s new partner, needs to get close enough to this strange agent to protect her, without repeating the mistakes of his predecessor.

We often expect FBI agents to be consummate professionals, but Mehl shows hers as human and flawed, thankfully. This is why her books are so enjoyable. I feel like the protagonists are actually within reach of the average person. While some situations in the novel may create extreme worry and tension for the reader, the circumstances seem so very possible. Kudos to Mehl. Also, I absolutely loved Mehl’s ending. I didn’t see it coming and I have been debating in my mind about how plausible it really is. That is one sign of a great book- it makes you think, ruminate, and wonder.

A quote to think about, when we as Christians wonder how others can deal with all the degradation of certain fields:
“Those who know God should be the ones to confront the darkness, to chase the evil. We have the weapons. Those who don’t know Him have only themselves.”

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and a paperback from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own and no review was required.

About the Author

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.

First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.

There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.

I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.

If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.

So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.

I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

 

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 11

The Lit Addict, December 11

amandainpaDecember 11

A Reader’s BrainDecember 12

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Livin’ Lit, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

By The Book, December 13

Lighthouse Academy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 14

Splashes of JoyDecember 14

Back Porch ReadsDecember 15

Real World Bible Study, December 15

Robin is Bookish, December 15

Janices book reviews, December 15

C Jane Read, December 16

Ashley’s BookshelfDecember 16

The Becca Files, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17

Godly Book Reviews, December 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Just the Write Escape, December 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, December 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

For the Love of Literature, December 20

Remembrancy, December 20

Inklings and notionsDecember 20

Carpe Diem, December 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 21

Locks, Hooks and BooksDecember 21

Pause for Tales, December 21

A Baker’s Perspective, December 21

Have A Wonderful DayDecember 22

Book by Book, December 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 23

To Everything a Season, December 23

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 23

Cafinated Reads, December 24

Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!

Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!

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/d73b/mind-games-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Shelter of the Most High, #2 Cities of Refuge by Connilyn Cossette

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About the Book

 

Book: Shelter of the Most High

Author: Connilyn Cossette36436246

Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

MY REVIEW

“The Almighty Creator spoke your being into existence. How could you be anything less than precious?” This is a quote to end all quotes for me, one I want to memorize, because it is TRUTH.
What a wonderful, yet chilling, story Connilyn Cossette has penned in Shelter of the Most High. As always, I especially pay attention when a book has a double-entendre title. Well- done from the start!
Cossette takes the reader back to the time in Israel’s history when Israel has just entered the Promised Land, captured much territory, and now their revered leader Joshua is ready to die.
One of Israel’s traveling spies, Darek, finds Sofea and Prezi, malnourished and greatly abused, on an island. Taking them back to his family,
Sofea and Prezi slowly heal as they are assimilated into a large family whose God is so very different from their own.
Cossette is a new-to-me author that I can’t wait to begin reading more, starting with the first and soon-to-come third book of this series. This book, although book two of a series, stands well on its own. Spell-binding could describe Cossette’s writing. Once started, it was hard to stop reading. Perhaps gritty also describes Cossette’s style. Not in language, but the physical abuse, carnage, and false god worship may turn a few delicate stomachs.
What else, besides the compelling storyline, history immersion, and sweet romance make this a great book? Themes of unrelinquished guilt, undeserved mercy, and unconditional love. If you have not tried Cossette’s Biblical fiction, or at least not Shelter of the Most High, I strongly invite you back to Cossette’s ancient Israel, the Cities of Refuge, and the Great Sea.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. No review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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About the Author

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Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

 

 

 

 

Guest Post from Connilyn

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course, nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.

So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact, it just went way too fast!

One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part, I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).

Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.

One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.

Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.

Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.

Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.

Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.

Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.

Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!

 

Blog Stops

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Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

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The Becca Files, November 24

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Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a BookwormNovember 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

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All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away

Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts

Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

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/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG

The First Love by Beverly Lewis

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The First Love

AUTHOR: Beverly Lewis

PUBLISHER AND DATE: Bethany House, November 2018

It’s the summer of 1951, and Maggie Esh is in need of some hope. Sweet-spirited and uncommonly pretty despite struggling with chronic illness, she is used to being treated kindly by the young men of her Old Order Amish church district. Yet Maggie wishes she were more like other courting-age girls so she could live a normal, healthy life.

To make matters more complicated, Dat has recently remarried, less than a year after her mother died. And while her stepmother is kind, Rachel is much younger than Mamm, and she simply doesn’t understand Maggie or her illness the way Mamm did.

When tent revival meetings come to the area, Maggie is curious, and the words of the Mennonite preacher challenge her to reconsider what she knows about faith. Can she learn to trust God even when hope seems a distant dream?

 

MY REVIEW:

Packed full of emotion and Biblical truth, this latest novel by Beverly Lewis explores young Maggie’s struggle with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis as she comes of age. The First Love also reveals Maggie’s family’s struggle to accept their father’s new wife, less than a year after their beloved Mamm dies.  
The reason I enjoyed the book was that it helped me see life from the perspective of people who have had a very different experience than myself. 
Lewis carefully brings out the details of a disease like Maggie’s. Life is never predictable, health-wise, from day-to-day. Others may or may not understand the inability of one with RA to do tasks one day that they could do the day before. Bad health can make a romantic future uncertain. I learned to love Maggie and was especially glad when she takes a risk that changes her life. 
I also really enjoyed the wisdom of Aunt Nellie. I am fortunate to have a godly person in my life with that kind of wisdom. 
The camp meetings are an integral part of the narrative, yet I was torn, wondering if there was a way to get this most important message across without being preachy. It felt like the book was only a vehicle for the message at that point. 
On to more positive. Having survived my own kids’ teenage years, I can identify just a pinch with Rachel who feels she is desperately trying to find her place in her stepchildren’s lives, let alone hearts. What a tough journey she undertakes, so courageously! 
Quotables I loved: 
Aunt Nellie’s goal: “Her goal is to make one person smile every single day.” Definitely one of my goals. 
“God won’t guide his footsteps unless he’s willin’ to move his feet.” God works best in those willing to obey. 
And lastly, a prayer for my adult children. “I pray you never disdain prayer. It’s the simplest way you can serve our Lord, and suffering won’t hold you from it…”  
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no review was required. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher’s Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado.”

 

 

 

Barbour, BLOG

The Liberty Bride, #6 Daughters of the Mayflower Series by MaryLu Tyndall

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The Liberty Bride, #6 Daughters of the Mayflower Series

PUBLISHER: Barbour

PUBLISHED: November 15, 2018

GENRE: Historical Fiction

LENGTH: 256 pages

ISBN: 978-1683226178

Lieutenant Owen Masters and Emeline Baratt meet on a British warship as sworn enemies. Where will Emeline place her loyalties when forced to spy against her country?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

War Forces a Choice Between Love and Country
A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him or her love for her country.

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall.

 

MY REVIEW:

“The Daughters of the Mayflower” series has produced some fantastic novels and some that, while interesting, are less than spectacular. You don’t know what you’re getting until you try each different book, written by different authors about different times of conflict in our country’s history. I have read several of MaryLu Tyndall’s books and really enjoyed the adventure and the Christian message. The Liberty Bride seems to lose some of the adventurous feeling as it gets weighed down by the message Tyndall is trying to impart. The Liberty Bride takes place during the War of 1812. I enjoyed meeting Emeline Barratt, who upon returning from England, finds herself in a position to spy for the Americans. Then there is her counterpart, First Lt. Owen Masters, who both intrigues and annoys her to no end. Emeline doesn’t understand the love of the Heavenly Father but equates God’s love with the punitive love of her own father. She is quite worried that God might be punishing her for any past disobedience. Only doing right will bring God’s approval, she believes. “I’m definitely going to Hell!” So says Emeline about all the deception, lying, and spying she has been doing for the Americans. Emeline’s character is actually very full of mercy and grace, what she needs to learn about God Himself. In short, I loved the action, the themes were good, but the conversation got heavy and preachy. Maybe others will not see it so. I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I am not required to leave a positive review, and all opinions are solely my own.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MaryLu Tyndall, a Christy Award finalist and bestselling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but open people’s eyes to their God-given potential. MaryLu is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

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