Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Last Way Home



 About the Book: 

"A disgraced former NHL player and a local artist are thrown together when her pottery studio burns to the ground on the day he returns to Prince Edward Island. But as they work together to rebuild, their secrets will come out, putting even their hearts on the line".


My Review: 

Eli Ross has made a huuuge mess of his life and professional hockey career and the only option left to him is to return home after a stormy departure years ago. Violet Donaghy fled from her guilt and pain to the place and very family that Eli had left behind. 

I loved the way that Ms. Johnson wove the lives of Eli and Violet’s brokenness, pain, and their healing together. The story of the prodigal child was masterfully crafted and was a reminder of how much love can transform us. 


The Ross men and their mother are such a wonderful family that you just want to be a part of their family. The townspeople are fun and I can see myself going to the hockey games and rooting for Eli's team. I loved how the town all rallied around Eli to help him. This can be read as a standalone, but I am looking forward to reading more stories in this series. 


Thank you to the Revell Reads program and NetGalley for an advanced electronic copy of the book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Deception




About the Book: 

When ISB Ranger Madison Thorn arrives in Natchez to investigate a white-collar scheme, she has no idea she will be thrown back into the violent crimes division--or that it will get so personal. She'll have to work with her childhood-enemy-turned-handsome-charmer to unravel the clues before it's too late.


My Review: 

You know how your English teacher says the way to read your story is to have a good hook.  Well, how about this one? “Today was not a good day to die.” This sure had my attention and the opening scene was not only exciting, but also surprising and wanting to read more. 

Secrets, corruption, murder, and action had Madison, Clayton, and me all trying to untangle the web of deceit that Madison had been completely unaware of even existed. That is, until someone totally unexpected comes crashing into her life and turns everything upside down. With twists and turns and several false leads, you are sure to want to read this book. It is this fourth book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, but can be read as a standalone. I have read the other three books, but there are only cameo appearances from other characters in the series and they are only there to provide assistance and support to Madison and Clayton. 

I received this book through Net Galley and the publisher, Revell, and was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Heart of the Mountains Giveaway


About the Book

Book: The Heart of the Mountains

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance

Release date: July 1, 2022


Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?

 


Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

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



 More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

 The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

 I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

 Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

 Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

My Review: 

What caused Cora to flee to the Appalachian mountains was desperation; what caused her to stay was determination. Pepper Basham’s familiarity with the Appalachian culture and her family’s roots in the area the story is set brings richness to the characters and depth to their way of life.  


Cora Taylor was an outsider (flatlander) and at first didn’t understand the ways of the mountain folk.  But, she fell in love with the people, their fortitude, and their loyalty to each other. I admired her courage as she put aside her fears to help when she was needed. The opening scene of Cora riding a mule into the wilderness to find her uncle and her brother was both hilarious and hair-raising. I would have been tempted right then to go back to town, but I quickly realized that Cora doesn’t give up easily.  She was one of my favorite characters for not only this reason, but her heart of compassion as she serves the people of Maple Springs and wins the hearts of many of them. 


Jeb McAdams was a big-hearted man who ends up coming to Cora’s rescue again and again. Helping Cora tend the medical needs of the community comes at a great price to himself, but he puts aside his misgivings to do whatever she needs. He was a true treasure that I’d definitely want to be my friend. 


Some favorite quotes of mine are:


“Adventure and danger are often thrust on a person here.”


“There is no fast thaw with these people. Slow and steady faithfulness and authenticity reach them.”


“Love’s worth being brave, Ain’t it? Brave again and again and again.”


I highly recommend this book. I would add it to your library as I am sure you will read it often.  


I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Boondock Ramblings, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Reading With Emily, July 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Live. Love. Read., August 2

Betti Mace, August 3

Book Looks by Lisa, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Books, Books and More Books, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Connie’s History Classroom, August 7

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Back Porch Reads, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Labor Not in Vain, August 10

Miriam Jacob, August 10

To Everything There Is A Season, August 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/20389/the-heart-of-the-mountains-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Crossfire




 About the Book: 

FBI special agent Julianna Jameson is a top-notch negotiator who has never lost a hostage. Surely she can manage to take care of her much younger sister, Dottie, who showed up unannounced to live with Julianna while she finished her senior year of high school.

A former sniper with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Clay Fox left the army after a tragic incident that he can't get past. Now he's working as a high school resource officer until he can figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

Their paths cross when Julianna is called in to negotiate a courtroom hostage situation involving Clay's sister. Impressed and a bit intimidated by the calm, capable woman with the dark hair and blue eyes, Clay invites her to speak at his school. Dottie's school.

But as the anniversary of a school shooting from Julianna's past approaches, it becomes clear that her perfect record is about to be tested and that Dottie is at risk. If Julianna and Clay can't figure out who's behind the attacks, more innocent people will die--and Dottie is next in line.

This intense story of revenge and redemption from bestselling author and master of suspense Lynette Eason will have you up all night as you race toward the explosive finish.


My Review: 

Getting to see the story of Julianna Jameson and how her mistakes as a teen were turned from tragedy to triumph made this such a great book. The subplots were well done, giving an air of mystery and suspense, and the masterful telling of the story had all of the pieces fit together with a satisfying conclusion. I was happily surprised by some and saddened and surprised by other parts of the story. 


I really enjoyed the characters of courageous Julianna, her love interest Clay Fox, and her tough yet compassionate little sister, Dottie. Julianna had what it took to be a hostage negotiator: calm, clear-thinking, and cool under pressure when things were tense. Clay is a steadying force in the lives of Julianna and his students. He was a wonderful influence on the students who needed someone to care. Dottie had faced a great number of difficulties growing up, but she chose not to let them embitter her. She was one of my favorites and hopefully she will be in future stories. 


This is the second book in the Extreme Measures series, but it can be read as a standalone. However, you would enjoy the first book too! If you like suspense with some mystery and romance, and a faith element, this is one to read. 


I received a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sabotaged Mission

 



About the Book: 

Framed and on the run…

With nowhere left to hide

When a failed mission leaves CIA operative MacKenzie “Mac” Sharp injured and her partner presumed dead, going off-grid is the only way to survive. But her old flame, CIA officer Gabe Denton, has tracked her down and led a well-connected enemy right to her door. Now with someone trying to frame and kill her, working with Gabe is the only way to clear her name…and stay alive.

My Review:

From the cover of the book to its last page, Tina Radcliffe’s story had me turning pages in this romantic suspense.  There is lots of action, beginning as soon as Gabe Denton convinces Mackenzie (Mac) Sharp to accompany him to Denver to discuss the failed mission that left her seriously injured. “Back!Get back in the house!” Gabe glanced over his shoulder in the same second that the vehicle exploded. 


There are also funny comments like this one to break the tension so you can relax some before the next thing happens to try and stop Mac from reaching Denver. “Are you okay?” Mac repeated. “Your house hit me.”


I always like when I can figure out who the mastermind in a crime and I was happy that I figured out what was happening before a couple of CIA agents! Courage. Danger. Faith. is the motto for the Love Inspired stories and this had them all.  I recommend making this your next read.


I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Matters of the Heart



Book Description: 

She determines to champion the needs of others, no matter the fallout.

He’s determined to be his own man and make his own way.

Will stubbornness keep them from discovering God’s best?

Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War who are searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. Katie’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter whom she has to outwit to get the job done.

Hans vows to stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.

Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.


My Review: 

The story of the fiery and spirited Katie Murphy and the ex-soldier Hans Korhonen brings to life the struggles we all face in what’s in our hearts. Both of them were deeply wounded by others and it was encouraging to see the transformation both of them went through as they let God heal their brokenness and find out who they truly are as His children.


This is book three in the Discovering God’s best series. This can be read as a standalone because this is the first I have read and I was able to easily follow the story. I recommend this book to readers of all ages for its clean and wholesome love story and its hope-filled Christian message.

I received a complimentary copy and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Byway to Danger Giveaway

 



About the Book

Book: Byway to Danger

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: July 19, 2022

Everyone in Richmond has secrets. Especially the spies.

Meg Brooks, widow, didn’t stop spying for the Union when her job at the Pinkerton National Detective Agency ended, especially now that she lives in the Confederate capital. Her job at the Yancey bakery provides many opportunities to discover vital information about the Confederacy to pass on to her Union contact. She prefers to work alone, yet the strong, silent baker earns her respect and tugs at her heart.

Cade Yancey knows the beautiful widow is a spy when he hires her only because his fellow Unionist spies know of her activities. Meg sure didn’t tell him. He’s glad she knows how to keep her mouth shut, for he has hidden his dangerous activities from even his closest friends. The more his feelings for the courageous woman grow, the greater his determination to protect her by guarding his secrets. Her own investigations place her in enough peril.

As danger escalates, Meg realizes her choice to work alone isn’t a wise one. Can she trust Cade with details from her past not even her family knows?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review: 

History comes alive through the story of Meg Brooks and Cade Yancy as they risk everything to help the Union win the war.  Secrecy is paramount and neither Meg nor Cade at first trust each other with sharing their role in the spy network. I enjoyed seeing them slowly grow to rely on each other and share their concerns. Watching their courtship blossom gave me the opportunity to see the courageous woman Meg was during a crisis and the stalwart man Cade was who helped Meg and many others. 


Faith, generosity, and loving your neighbor as yourself were all evident in this story. I would recommend this book if you like any of these genres: historical fiction, Christian fiction, or clean romance. 


 I read this book without having read the other two in the series. I could easily follow the story. I received a digital copy of Byway to Danger through Celebrate Lit,  but was not required to write a positive review. This review is my own opinion.


 About the Author

Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

 More from Sandra

In Byway to Danger, Book 3 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, both Cade and Meg—our hero and heroine—are Union spies living in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. As if this isn’t dangerous enough, Meg is also a former Pinkerton spy. One Pinkerton spy was hanged in the spring and three others now sit in Richmond jails.

 

Meg works as an assistant in Cade’s bakery. The strong, quiet man keeps a secret from Meg to protect her, for he’s a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He provides food, clothing, and a safe place to stay until he’s able to take them on to the next stop several miles outside the city. Cade has done this for years before the Civil War and continues as the war rages, a perilous mission.

Historically, early in the war on May 23, 1861, three men escaped slavery and fled to Fort Monroe. Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend had worked on Confederate fortifications before escaping on a rowboat. They sought the safety of Union soldiers at the fort. The men informed Union Major General Benjamin F. Butler that they escaped from Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory of the 115th Virginia Militia. 

The next day, Confederate Major John B. Cary arrived at Fort Monroe under a flag of truce. Cary met with Butler and requested he return the enslaved men to Mallory as required by the Fugitive Slave Act.

Butler did some fast thinking. Since the three men had been building fortifications for war, they could be seized as “contraband of war” and didn’t have to be returned. His refusal to return the men was a pivotal decision and sparked a future law that protected fugitives who sought the protection of Union camps.

Dozens of fugitive men, women, and children had joined Baker, Mallory, and Townsend at Fort Monroe within three days. Many others fled to the fort in the following months. “Grand Contraband Camp” was established about three miles from Fort Monroe on the charred remains of Hampton to accommodate the hundreds of fugitives.  It was the nation’s first self-contained black community. By 1865, thousands lived in this camp.

Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Virginia’s Fort Monroe. (If you love history and have never visited Fort Monroe, I recommend it!) Though I wasn’t certain of my story at the time of my visit, I was so inspired by the fort’s history that I knew it had to be part of my story. And it is!

 Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion and Byway to Danger are set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

 Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

 I invite you to read the whole “Spies of the Civil War” series beginning with Book 1 Avenue of Betrayal, Book 2 Boulevard of Confusion, and Book 3 Byway to Danger!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

Spoken from the Heart, July 22

Bizwings Blog, July 23

Inklings and notions, July 24

Betti Mace, July 25

Book Looks by Lisa, July 25

Texas Book-aholic, July 26

For Him and My Family, July 27

Connie’s History Classroom, July 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 29

deb’s Book Review, July 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 31

Vicarious Living, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 3

                          Giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/1f7f8/byway-to-danger-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Last Way Home

 About the Book:  "A disgraced former NHL player and a local artist are thrown together when her pottery studio burns to the ground on ...