Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Keys to Gramercy Park



About the Book

Book: The Keys to Gramercy Park

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre:Christian / Historical / Romance

Release date: April, 2023

Secrets Sealed Within a Wall Come to Light in Lower Manhattan

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Investigative historical journalist Andrea Andrews is tired of waiting tables to make ends meet. If she could find and write the next breakout story, she could secure a promotion with Smithsonian Magazine as their writer-at-large. But not much happens in lower Manhattan out of the ordinary until she discovers post-Civil War counterfeit bills hidden in the wall of her historic district apartment.

Politics have always been Beau Davidson-Quincy’s passion, despite his family’s real estate empire. His clean image and single status make him a target in the media as he prepares to build his campaign for New York governor. He has nothing to hide until a cute waitress unravels a mystery that could destroy his family’s reputation.

Two centuries earlier, wounded Civil War veteran Franklin Davidson lost everything—his house, his wife, his standing in society. In his darkest moment, he’s awarded a position with the newly formed Secret Service to combat the spread of counterfeit U.S. currency. His life and new home in Gramercy Park are the envy of his peers, but nothing is as it seems. Secrets are meant to be kept, and Franklin will take his to his grave.

Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.

 

More from Candice

A locked secret garden in Manhattan with historical significance and the only ones privileged to step inside are the wealthy residents who purchase a key—count me in! The plot for The Keys to Gramercy Park was born at our dining room table when my husband looked up from the book he was reading and asked if I knew about Gramercy Park. I hadn’t, so we started Googling and discovered it was a real garden in Manhattan built in 1841 for the cream of society. The fact that it’s been off-limits to the public for one hundred and eight-two years instantly brought all kinds of story ideas to my mind.

Not long after, I discovered that Barbour Publishing Inc. was looking for dual-time stories to fill their Doors to the Past series. I love reading dual-time novels but I’d never written one. I love a good challenge, so I began plotting and before I knew it, I had another first—creating a villain.

I’ve only ever seen the New York City skyline from the New Jersey ferry that travels to and from the Statue of Liberty, so after the story was contracted, I spent several weeks researching Manhattan and Gramercy Park. New York is full of rich history and it was so fun to stumble across the historical details of The Player’s, Edwin Booth, and the stories behind each home along Gramercy Square.

One of my favorite things about writing this story was the juxtaposition of the timelines. We don’t have the present without the past, and what happens in the past affects the future, but the future can also determine how we view, feel, and learn about the past. That’s essentially what The Keys to Gramercy Park is about—the butterfly effect of past events reaching ahead two centuries with dire consequences. I love how in one scene the characters are sending telegraphs and in the next scene, they’re sending text messages.

What’s your favorite thing about dual-time novels? Make sure to check out the other books in the Doors to the Past series!

My Review: 

Wow! I loved this latest book in the Doors to the Past Series. Ms. Patterson masterfully wove the past with the present as Andrea Andrews finds Reconstruction Era counterfeit bills in the walls of her home. With her job of writing articles for the Smithsonian Institute, she has a passion to find the story behind the money. But what she uncovers brings a dilemma that she will have to decide whether an advancement in her career is worth what she discovers. 


The plots for both of these stories was so intriguing. I couldn’t believe the evil and treachery of the Davidson twins’ lives, but it was perfect for the present story. I loved Andrea’s inquisitive and investigative mind. I really wasn’t sure how the story was going to end. Kudos to Ms. Patterson, this is one of my favorites in this amazing series. I highly recommend reading this book for young adults through mature readers. 


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


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

lakesidelivingsite, May 26

Melissa’s Bookshelf, May 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

Blogging With Carol, May 28

Book Looks by Lisa, May 29

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 30

Cover Lover Book Review, May 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Holly’s Book Corner, June 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 5 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Inklings and Notions, June 6

Simple Harvest Reads, June 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Labor Not in Vain, June 7

She Lives To Read, June 8

Books I’ve Read, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a 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/2626e/the-keys-to-gramercy-park-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Full of Wonder

 


About the Book:

Everything changed because of one crazy girl…

Roofer Marco Mendez always thought there was only one woman for him: his high school crush, Lillian Harrison. But when he receives her wedding announcement in the mail, he must accept his loss and move on. Following his best friend’s advice, he meets Jose’s cousin and asks her to pretend a temporary relationship and attend the wedding as his plus-one. With a charade so simple, nothing could ever go wrong…yet little does he know what a mess he is getting himself into.

Rosalina Torres has zero interest in a relationship at present. She has enough on her plate keeping her growing dog-grooming business running, without the added distraction of a man in her life. Despite that, when her cousin asks her to go on a dinner date with his best friend, she agrees, with the peace of mind nothing will come of it. But when a conversation gets out of control, she finds herself stuck in a most incredulous ruse.

With each fake date, the lie starts to feel a little more like truth. But when the agreement comes to an end, what will it take for Marco and Rosalina to admit their true feelings? How can they overcome the obstacles created by their deception? And in the end, can God take their mess and turn it into something good, eventually filling their hearts with wonder?


My Review: 

This is a really cute fake dating story with Marco Mendez and Rosalina Torres. At first you think they are never going to make it to the three week “dating” period in order to attend the wedding of Marco’s longtime friend and secret crush Lillian. But, something wonderful happens as they get to know each and realize that letting down your guard and trusting can lead to love.

My favorite part of the story was when Marco helped Rosalina with her dreams of owning her own business. Marco was such a sweetheart and showed her how much he cared.

I received a complimentary copy of the book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Counterfeit Faith

 


About the Book: 

She's losing her faith in mankind. He's lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both?

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She'll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she's determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don't like to be crossed--and they're willing to kill to get their way.

Gwendolyn knows she can't quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care.

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble--and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he's truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife.

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible--if they can live through this case. At the same time, he's put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds?


My Review: 

I love a strong heroine who champions the cause of those who are less fortunate, and Gwendolyn Ellison is the epitome of one when she investigates what is happening at the Final Chance House of Refuge. She is determined, fearless, courageous, compassionate, and she trusts God to help her when the opposition threatens her and the children in the home. 

With the fast paced storyline and the threat of the unknown, I found myself hurriedly reading and turning the pages to see what else Gwendolyn and Josiah Isaacs, the Secret Service agent, would uncover. The danger was palpable as it was all around them and I wondered who was friend or foe.

As far as the romance between Gwendolyn and Josiah was concerned, I felt like she did in the timetable of their relationship. I thought it was a good idea that they decided to lengthen their courtship. It was so sweet when Gwendolyn told Josiah, “I am yours for as long as God allows. "

I highly recommend reading this book, and the others in the series. If you like romantic suspense with a strong faith element throughout it, you will love this book. 

I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher, and a positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Counter Attack

 




About the Book: 

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again--this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex's real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.

Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it's too late.

My Review: 

Video games on the dark web, a chess game, and a past fatality all come together to create a suspenseful story that will keep you turning the pages. While I was able to figure out who the killer was, I didn’t see the twists that the story took to provide some great surprises. Alex stone was great in her new role as police chief and it will be interesting to read more books in the series.


You will enjoy reading this if you have read books by similar authors such as Elizabeth Goddard or Lynette Eason. I was given a copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All options are my own.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

A Heart Worth Stealing




About the Book:

Sowerby, England, 1802

Miss Genevieve Wilde—a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress—is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late-father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.

Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, she takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.

But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade—pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.


 My Review: 

A beloved stolen watch of her late father causes Ginny Wilde to hire Jack Travers to help her track down the thief. As Jack learns more details about the estate, he realizes that Ginny is in danger of much more than a robber. Are the incidents connected, or does Ginny have more enemies than she realized? 

  

Ginny is a young lady who I was rooting for the entire time!  She is so incredibly determined to prove herself capable of keeping the estate going. She has a strong need to continue her father’s legacy and prove she is capable, even using unconventional means such as hiring a thief taker. She has little time for herself and seems like she had to grow up quickly


Jack was a great lead man. He is caring, compassionate, and a fierce protector. He’d be a man that I’d definitely want on my side if I had trouble. “I’ll always be there for you.” is the quote that perfectly describes Jack.


I loved Jack’s family and his shady assistant, Wily. Seeing their relationship to him gave me a more complete picture of what kind of man he was like. I really hope we get to see more of them in future books. It would be so fun to see the Wily and Jack unusual crime solving team in more cases.  


Romance, plot twists, danger, suspense, and mystery make this a book that I am certain I will read again. I highly recommend reading this book. A bonus is there are discussion questions for book clubs, which I really appreciate. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher and NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Wait for Me

 


About the Book:; 

When the darkness closes all around,
Beauty is still there just waiting to be found.

Dawson Huxham blames himself for his sister’s death . . . until he briefly crosses time and discovers she’s alive in the Middle Ages. Hoping to reconnect with her, he searches for the holy water that will help him visit the past for a longer duration. But he realizes he’s not the only one looking for the miraculous water. Terrorists are threatening him and watching his every move.

As Dawson locates holy water from an unlikely source, he crosses fully into the past where he meets a beautiful noblewoman, Philippa Neville, who is desperately trying to escape her uncle’s plans for an arranged marriage. When danger closes in, Dawson agrees to wed her in an effort to thwart her uncle’s schemes. As forces in both the present and past conspire against the newlyweds, will they find a way to be together before the swiftly moving waters of time separate them forever?

My Review: 

Dawson Huxham was an angry, embittered man who was in need of a miracle, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. At the beginning of the story you see him as a person who only true friends could stand to be around. Acey and Chloe were saints to see him through his tough times. It wasn’t until he hit rock bottom that he realized something had to be done. I loved seeing him change and being given a second chance at life and his relationships in this story. 

Phillipa was truly the person Dawson needed. Her optimism and perspective was restorative and life giving for him. I loved how she showed him to be grateful, to enjoy what is around you, to find beauty in the moment, and to thank God for the little things. What she had experiences was not easy for her, but she chose joy and sharing with Dawson helped him to heal. 

I loved the ending of the story and I don’t think it could have been more perfect. I did have some questions about the pharmaceutical company and also the Hamin that I felt were not answered, but I think this also leaves possibilities for another book or two (please) in the series. 

This is the fourth book  in the Waters of Time series. I’d advise you to read the other three books beforehand in order. The characters from the other stories are in this book and events that have happened in the past will be better understood. 

I was given a copy of this book and was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

The Swindler's Daughter

 


About the Book: 

A surprise inheritance. A cache of family secrets. A choice that will change her life forever.

Lillian Doyle has lived her entire high-society life with her widowed mother, believing her father died long ago. But when news arrives that her estranged father only recently passed away--in jail--Lillian is startled to find that the man has left a business and all of his possessions to her, making her a rather unusual heiress.

When she goes to take possession of her father's house in a backwoods Georgia town, the dilapidated structure is already occupied by another woman who claims it was promised to her son, Jonah. In her attempts to untangle the mess, Lillian will discover not only a family she never knew she had but a family business that is more than meets the eye--and has put a target on her back.

To discover the truth and take hold of the independence she's always dreamed of, she'll have to make friends with adversaries and strangers--especially Jonah, the dusty and unrefined cowboy who has secret aspirations of his own.

My Review: 

Can you imagine the surprise you would have if you received a letter that your recently deceased father has left you his home and business when you thought he had died long ago? Lillian Doyle is given the task of seeing to the details instead of her mother whose primary concern in life is being a part of the socially elite in Atlanta.

Things I loved about the book and think you will too:

    Melanie’s optimism, faith, and her plans for a bakery

    the book store

    hidden items in the inherited house

    the mystery

    extended family

    Jonah’s fierce loyalty and protectiveness of those he loves

    Smushing faces

What I wish I had seen was Lillian asking her aunt about her father. I was curious to know some details about him. What was he like? I was surprised that she didn’t ask because I would have wanted to know all about him if it were me.

I recommend this book and would enjoy seeing what happens with the store, Melanie and her daughters and Lillian's extended family.

I was given a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Expired Promise

 


About the Book:

Fire. Family. Faith.
A female fire-fighter and a hero ATF agent get a second chance at love, but when she's targeted, will the secrets of the past destroy them?

She’ll stop at nothing to protect her family.


Probie fire-fighter and EMT Andi Crawford loves her job, but when her family becomes the target of a dangerous drug cartel, she’ll have to choose between firefighting and protecting her family.

Even if that means accepting help from the one man who broke her heart.

The last thing he wants is to return home…

Superstar ATF Agent Jude Brooks never thought he’d return to Last Chance County—and especially not to uncover information about the Crawford family, the family who rescued him as a teen. The last person he wants to see is Andi…mostly because of the love he still has for her.

But working together to uncover the truth ignites all their old feelings and suddenly, he has to decide…the love he can’t forget, or a future he wants.

But what happens when the past shows up to destroy it all…

A romantic second chance at love suspense with a strong-but-wounded hero, a woman in danger, a found family and a fight for justice with a surprise twist!

My Review: 

Andi Crawford feels she has something to prove to her family as she is a probationary fire fighter for Last Chance, never mind that she is an excellent EMT. But, with brothers who are fire fighters a mother who is a well respected attorney, and a father who was a brilliant surgeon, it’s hard for her to just be happy being on the life squad.

Andi’s strong character drives her to prove herself. She finds it difficult to be comfortable with who she is and fit in with the expectations she has placed on herself. Her self reliance has always served her well, but after a series of attacks on her and her family from some extremely powerful and evil men, she realizes she is going to need help from her teenage crush who has been assigned to her family, ATF agent Jude Brooks. Letting down her guard and allowing Jude to protect her was difficult, but I thought is was so rewarding to see her realize she didn’t have to do it all on her own. 

The intrigue, suspense, and the renewal of friendship and love were all elements that I really enjoyed in this story. Combining this with the faith of the characters that was a part of their lives blended all of it together to create a terrific story. While this can be read as a standalone, you’d have a richer reading experience if you have read the other two books in the Last Chance Fire and Rescue series since other characters from these books are part of the story. 

I was given a copy of the book from the publisher and was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

When Tomorrow Came

 

About the Book

Book: When Tomorrow Came

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre:Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: April, 2023

They Waited Their Whole Lives for Their Papa to Return

Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them—bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was.

Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves.

They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come—but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives? 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book! The deplorable living situation that Nan and Heath Duncan find themselves in at the beginning of the book reminded me of the descriptions in England that Charles Dickens wrote. Things are desperate for them as they live on meager scraps of food, waiting for their father to return who has been gone for years at sea. When things look the most desperate, help is given to Nan while Heath chooses to follow a different direction. 


This story of the amazing self-sacrifice of Heath and the contrast of self-serving of Mr. Duncan was done so well! Heath lays aside everything for the sake of his family. Mr. Duncan was a monster and I couldn’t believe how he let his bitterness and disappointment poison his life and the lives of everyone else that he knew. The way the story was all connected, from the prologue to the final page was brilliant. I highly recommend this book.This is one that will be a favorite for years to come.


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


About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.

 

More from Hannah

Love interests me. Not just in the romantic sense, but in every sense, because love is the driving emotion behind so much of what we do. It’s the heartbeat of everything. What do we have but love? Yet isn’t it the very essence of our greatest pain?

 Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes love has no reason. Like a tumultuous wind or a wet branch that sways in different directions, love is often petulant and aimless and powerful. But sometimes it’s soft, like a flower lifting dewy petals to the sunshine. The epitome of everything good, sweet, and true.

 What makes love change? What makes two friends who have always been fraternal one day confess romantic affection? How much wrong, how much affliction, does it take for sweet love to sizzle into hatred? Even then, is it really hatred? Or merely the charred crust of the adoration still throbbing beneath? And how strong are the cords of new love? Will they break at every pull and tug, or are they more unfaltering than anyone might think?

Maybe those are silly questions. Maybe, like snowflakes, every heart knows a different answer. But if I explored anything in When Tomorrow Came, it was this. I glided through the story and felt love shift from brotherly to intimate, from hopeful to disappointed, from untested to proven, from safe to betrayed.

 Just as love is the heartbeat of life, it is also the heartbeat of this story. I hope you will find yourself falling in love with the characters and their journey as much as I did.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

To Everything There Is A Season, April 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 29

Connie’s History Classroom, April 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, April 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 2

Betti Mace, May 3

Book Looks by Lisa, May 3

Labor Not in Vain, May 4

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, May 4

Cover Lover Book Review, May 5

Blogging With Carol, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 8

Holly’s Book Corner, May 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 10

Splashes of Joy, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 11

Books I’ve Read, May 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/25adf/when-tomorrow-came-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shoot at the Sunset

About the Book Book:  Shoot at the Sunset Author:  Kathleen Denly Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release Date:  April 9, 2024 Will lov...