Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Darkness Calls the Tiger

 





About the Book:

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Imperial Japan devours the southern portion of Burma, intent on taking over mainland Asia. Unaware of the coming darkness, Kailyn Moran drifts in her role as the only daughter of a widowed missionary.As whispers of war snake through the Kachin mountains, Kai's father is convinced God will protect the mission. He entrusts the village to her and the kind yet inexperienced new missionary, Ryan McDonough, while he makes routine visits to neighboring villages.

War descends like a tempest upon the mountain peaks, and an unbreakable bond forms between Kailyn and Ryan as they unite to provide solace to both villagers and the flood of refugees. Despite their tireless efforts, a brutal enemy shatters almost everything they love, pushing Kailyn to embark on a path of unrestrained vengeance.Afraid he's losing the woman he loves, Ryan fights to protect Kai from the deadly consequences of her choices. But in the face of destruction, can he convince her of the power and freedom of forgiveness?

My Review: 

I don’t normally read books that are set in war, but Ms. Tromp’s book, Shadows in the Mind’s Eye, was so powerful that I wanted to read it. This was a complex story in not only the political events, but also in the lives of Kailyn Moran, Ryan McDonough, and the missionary village where they live. Kailyn is tormented by the legends that surround her and a feeling like she never belongs anywhere. She must work through difficult emotions she has as she loses those dear to her as they encounter the Japanese that close in on them.

The dynamic nature of love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice all play a significant part throughout the telling of this intense historical tale. You will have a range of emotions as you see the war through both Kai and Ryan’s perspectives. Evil tried to win, but God’s light of goodness always shines through, even in the darkest of times.

I received a complimentary copy of the book. A review was voluntarily given, and all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 29, 2024

A Pocket of Stars


About the Book: 

She’s always dreamed of catching the eye of the earl next door.
But is he the man her heart truly desires?


Miss Annabella Pettiford has long dreamed of capturing the attention of the undeniably handsome Lord Waverly. Now, returned from finishing school, she is no longer a gangly wallflower, but a poised and confident woman ready to turn heads wherever she goes. Dare she hope her newfound allure will be enough to captivate the stylish and gallant Lord Waverly?

Mr. Benedict Drake staunchly opposes his best friend’s pursuit of the once-overlooked Annabella. Convinced that his friend’s self-destructive tendencies spell disaster for any match with Annabella, Benedict hatches a plan.

As he works to separate William and Annabella and introduce her to other gentlemen, an alarming realization dawns—Benedict is falling for Annabella. Entranced by her poise, grace, and shared enthusiasm for life, Benedict finds in her a unique connection. However, it may be too late. How could she ever care for him once she learns all he has done to keep her from the man she first desired?

My Review: 

Annabella has always pictured herself since she was a child being courted by the fun-loving and carefree Lord William Waverly. His very serious friend, Benedict Drake is always by his side and seems to dampen any dreams that Annabella about this. Fast-forward five years and Annabella is home from finishing school. Not much has changed with William and Benedict, but Annabella has grown up and now sees her dream coming true as William begins to show an interest in her. But, what happens when that dream might not be exactly the way she wants it to happen? I loved seeing Annabella realize that her perceptions of these two men may not have been correct.


Benedict was my favorite. His seriousness that is often mistaken as being harsh is not true. He is actually a deeply caring friend and one who is loyal to his friends and family. The courtroom scene is my favorite and perfectly in line with Benedict’s character. 


Things to Love:

The Waverly manor

Scowling

Humor

Bullet pudding

Flowers

Stars

Enemies to more 

The Drake brothers


This is the second book in A Gentleman’s Heart series, but it can be read as a standalone. However, the first book is fabulous! You will want to read that one too! 


I received a complimentary copy of the book. A review was voluntarily given, and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, April 26, 2024

The Sleuth of Blackfriar's Lane

About the Book

Book: The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: April, 2024

Wife. Mother. Homemaker. Detective. Kit Forge wears many hats, and if that’s not enough, she’s partnered with her father to open a new detective agency. It’s hard to be all things to all people, but Kit never shies away from the impossible. Despite her hard work and good intentions, some things fall through the cracks.

Namely, her husband.

But Jackson barely notices. He’s too busy putting out his own fires. As the new chief inspector of a busy London station, he must salvage the disaster left behind by the former police chief—an obstacle made all the harder when the superintendent breathes an ultimatum down his neck.

Against her father’s advice, Kit takes on a case involving a missing child, one in which she and Jackson become a little too emotionally involved. . .and end up endangering their own little girl in the process.

Can Kit and Jackson learn that just because they can say yes doesn’t mean they should? 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

Aw, Jackson and Kit! It is great to see them again as they are settling into married and now have an adorable baby daughter. Jackson has taken on more responsibilities with the police force and the busyness of the staff and his cases. Kit enthusiastically jumps into her role as a partner with her father in an enquiry agency. She has street smarts and a network of people who can help her with her first case. I have loved the series, but I especially loved this story. This is not only a story with a mystery to solve that gets more complicated and more complicated, but you also get to see Kit and Jackson’s relationship continue to develop. Kit is a spitfire and you are not sure what she will do, but you can count on finding her taking risks to track down clues and see justice prevail. Jackson is the perfect balance for Kit. He’s patient, daily eats his burned breakfast without complaint, and wholeheartedly supports Kit’s decision to be a detective. I enthusiastically recommend this book for many reasons, and here are just a few: amazing side characters baby Bella the armadillo circus mayhem humor faith-filled message a complex mystery Favorite Quote: “Pursue love instead of dwelling in past failure. That path can only lead to a denial of the present and a forfeiture of the future.” A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Barbour Publishing through Celebrate Lit and through NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone. 

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

 

 

 

More from Michelle

Oh Inspiration…Wherefore Art Thou?

There are several questions I am asked frequently as an author.

“Hey, how much money do you make?”

“Can you help me get my book published?”

“How come it takes you so long to finish a story?”

But probably the most common query is this: what sorts of things inspire you? Now that is a question I can go on and on about! Don’t panic, though. I’ll be brief.

Story ideas come from every place imaginable. I’ve had plot thoughts from watching kids’ movies or even from eavesdropping at a coffee shop (note: beware what you say in public). TV series are also a favorite of mine, so much so that my latest release, The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane, is loosely based on one of my all-time favorite PBS series.

Have you seen this show? If not, do yourself a favor and ride that pony. If you have, then you know what I’m talking about. Either way, you should know that, the main character, is a detective in Victorian London—a very sassy yet classy lady. And that’s what struck me light a lightning bolt.

This woman is Kit, the heroine in my Blackfriars series, like right there on the big screen.

So, for book III, I decided I’d let ol’ Kit open her own private investigation agency with the help of her father, a recently retired police sergeant. Of course much intrigue and chaos ensues, just like in my all-time favorite PBS series, bringing the Blackfriars series to a satisfying end.

Inspiration honestly comes from anywhere, so next time you’re rubbing elbows with an author, beware. You just might end up as a character in their next book.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 26

Book Looks by Lisa, April 26

Live. Love. Read., April 27

Vicky Sluiter, April 27

She Lives To Read, April 27

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 29

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Sylvan Reads, April 30

Pause for Tales, April 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 1

Blogging With Carol, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 2

For Him and My Family, May 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Betti Mace, May 3

Wishful Endings, May 3

Bizwings Book Blog, May 4

Daysong Reflections, May 4

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

Kristina Hall, May 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 6

The Lofty Pages, May 6

Cover Lover Book Review, May 7

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 7

Blossoms and Blessings, May 7

Holly’s Book Corner, May 8

Back Porch Reads, May 8

Lily’s Corner, May 9

Life of Literature, May 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle 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/2b146/the-sleuth-of-blackfriars-lane-celebration-tour-giveaway



Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Healing Garden

 



About the Book: 

Eighty-three year old Sam Davis has always wondered what happened to his high-school sweetheart. But instead of finding the means to track her down, he’s stuck in an assisted living center, reliant on others around him. His grandson, Wyatt, questions Sam’s memories, and it seems that he’ll never find the answers he’s been searching for.

Anita Gifford, single mom in her mid-30s, is reluctant to spend community service hours at the assisted living center in their town. But her fourteen-year-old daughter Carly has to work off her school suspension. So instead of a relaxing weekend after a long week of work, Anita takes Carly to the center where they meet Mr. Davis. An unexpected bond forms between the teenager and elderly man, one that might bring healing to the both families, past and present.


My Review: 

The Healing Garden by author Heather B. Moore is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and relationships. I enjoyed the multigenerational aspects of the story, all the way from a nursing home to high school. 


Each generation has something to share and learn from each other. There is wisdom from the octogenarian, Sam Davis. He imparts his knowledge to not only his grandson, Wyatt, but also to teenager, Carly Gifford. She is a fourteen year old who benefits from his unlikely and mutually respectful friendship. I admired her vivacity as well as her willingness to take advice from Sam. Wyatt, and her mom, Anita. That girl had more wisdom than many adults! She ended up being my favorite character. 


Has there ever been anyone in your past that you have wondered what became of them? Secrets surface as Sam receives a postcard from his first love, Susan. It was fun getting to see Carly, Anita, and Wyatt investigate what happened to Susan.


I was gifted an advanced copy of the book. A review was voluntarily given, and all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Walking on Hidden Wings




About the Book: 

Geneva Ashcroft Hayes's marriage to a newspaper mogul might have been arranged, but the New York socialite is devastated when her husband's plane crashes a few short months after their nuptials. When the authorities suspect murder, Geneva sets out on a wild mission to find his killer--and to prove it wasn't her!When mysterious notes surface pointing to Geneva's guilt in his death, they only strengthen her resolve. She has little to go on except for a detective friend's cryptic list of locations connected to her dead spouse. When the friend also disappears, she trades her sparkling gowns for coveralls and pilot goggles. Armed with a new name and career as a wingwalker and barnstormer, she travels from town to town in hopes of unearthing clues and locating her missing friend. But Geneva discovers that her past may not belong to her . . . what she once believed as truth may be nothing more than lies and deception.

My Review: 

What a ride this was as I joined Geneva on the wing of a biplane. Would I actually do that in real life? No! But, it sure was fun to imagine.

History, romance, mystery, and a glimpse into the world of the wealthy in the 1920's makes this a fascinating story to read. I loved learning about the flying circuses and would gladly have attended any and all air shows that I could.

Geneva (Eva) and Warren's story shows the beauty of loving through difficulty and choosing to trust. They are just soo good for each other. Eva has a compassionate heart and generous nature but is especially drawn to the downtrodden. Warren sees this in Eva and does everything he can to help her realize she is a treasure.

Things to love (besides what I mentioned) :)
Second chances
History coming to life
Twists and turns
Loving your neighbor as yourself
Surprising conclusion

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!

I received a complimentary advanced copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own and voluntarily provided.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue




About the Book: 

In 1901, Effie James is living a dream for two. Her younger sister is harboring a secret that has left timid Effie determined to fulfill her daring sister's grand plan of seeking out adventure in their small Iowa town. When a British gentleman arrives, disrupting their peace with efforts to find the wife many claim lived her final days at the now abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue, Effie is thrust into intrigue she couldn't have prepared for. But what she finds inside will forever link her to the scandal staining the house's walls and to a woman whose secrets promise a curse.

A century later, Norah Richman is living out her late-twin's dream of running their great aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue--a place Norah believes nothing good can come out of after her sister's abduction and murder thirteen years ago. Her first guest is a crime historian and podcaster, and Norah resolves to stay far away from the charming and enigmatic man--until another guest is found dead. As they dig deeper, something sinister unfurls that will reveal an ominous unknown far greater than the possibility of death itself.

My Review: 

Two murders over one hundred years apart, but they both have connections to the house on Predicament Avenue. As in true Jamie Jo Wright fashion, she weaves two fascinating and suspenseful stories that once I start to read I can’t put down the book! 


Effie James (1901) and Norah Richmond (present) both struggled with fear. Effie was afraid that her actions only hastened her sister Polly’s death and also ruined her family’s name. Norah let fear bind her so that she had panic attacks and was afraid of living. Throughout the book each of them were challenged to let go of their fear, which is a lesson that is well to be remembered. 


“Life is so precious. So beautiful. It is a gift. I want you to live it, sweet Effie. I want you to live it not for me, but for all that God will do for you. All he has planned for you.” 


“Fear steals our joy and is the agony of those with no hope. It will not define us. Fear is the enemy we will defeat.”


Things I loved: 

Mystery 

Suspense

Faith message

Romance


A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through Austen Prose and also NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Vanished



About the Book: 

Janae Simmons left the small town of Kedgewick, Virginia, ten years ago to pursue her legal career and never looked back—until a professional mistake leads her to her grandmother's historic carriage house and to the town where her past threatens to find her. The quiet streets echo with her grandfather's sterling reputation, one that conflicts with fresh questions that claw at Janae, launching her on a reluctant journey to unearth his secrets. When her new job at a local law firm doesn't live up to expectations, she wonders if coming home was the right decision. Carter Montgomery starts his art preservation career with the only job he can get—director at the Elliott Museum of Art. At least Kedgewick is a nice enough town to provide him and his nephew with a safe place to grieve the loss of Carter's sister. But Carter's calm days disappear when an elderly woman claims two paintings in the museum's collection were stolen from her family during World War II. Carter enlists Janae's help to unravel the legal labyrinth of art ownership, and the peaceful facade of Kedgewick morphs into a hot bed of secrets. When an attorney turns up dead and Janae uncovers another painting, what began as a simple legal issue spirals into a race against time. As the web of intrigue tightens, the duo must confront a looming question: What dark truths lie beneath the surface, waiting to be exposed


My Review: 

I have often wondered what became of the artwork of those owners who had to leave their homes in WWII. Ms. Putman writes a story that has several priceless pieces that come into question as to their ownership. Not only are there legal questions that the author is familiar with since she is a lawyer, but also ethical questions. Is the saying, “Finders, keepers, losers, weepers”, something that we should uphold? 


Janae  Simmons is one lawyer that I would love to have represent me. She digs for the truth and puts aside the ramifications of what it might cost her family personally in order to do the right thing. This story still has questions that are unanswered, and there is a budding romance between Janae and Cater. I am looking forward to reading more in the Secrets to Keep series. 


I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Headmistress



About the Book:

Can two solitary hearts discover that their best chance for happiness lies in working together?

The Honorable Sienna Clarke has spent most of her life defying the expectations placed upon women in society. A scientific scholar at heart, she uses the inheritance she receives from her late father to open a special school for young ladies—one where they will be allowed to study any subject they wish, even those traditionally reserved for men.

Jasper Walker left Roderick Glen in disgrace more than two years ago and hasn’t set foot in the village since. Despite his attempts to change his life for the better, he finds himself once more searching for a way to repair a costly mistake. When his latest error results in deadly circumstances, Jasper reluctantly returns to Roderick Glen, hoping to escape from those who wish him harm. Seeking a way to support himself, he takes a job as caretaker for the school for young ladies that has recently opened in the village.

Sienna isn’t certain what to think of the new caretaker. He is handsome and charming, but also quite mysterious. She can’t shake the feeling he has secrets he’d rather keep buried, but despite her misgivings, she can’t deny her growing attraction to him.

Jasper has no desire to fall in love with anyone, certainly not a headstrong, opinionated headmistress far above his station, but when dangerous threats are made against Sienna and her school, he vows to do whatever he must to protect her and find the person responsible. Can love break through the barrier that surrounds his heart and show him what it means to truly put another person’s needs above his own?

Return to Roderick Glen for another glimpse of life in the small, quaint village, and follow its citizens as they struggle to balance life, love, and faith in this fifth installment of The Ladies of Roderick Glen.

My Review: 

It’s great to return to Roderick Glen and to see how everyone is doing. Author Kristie Self writes from multiple POVs and has several stories occurring that I think she’s a genius to be able to provide continuity for each of them. There is a character index in the front of the book for easy reference if needed to help you see where they fit into the story.

The Honorable Sienna Clarke defies the conventions of English society and builds a school for girls that has an emphasis on science and advanced mathematics. She has great determination and compassion for the girls who attend and live there at the school. I admired her vision for the future and felt she had just what was needed for being the headmistress. Jasper Walker becomes involved in the school as its caretaker, and I loved seeing the transformation that has taken place in his life.

This is the fifth book in The Ladies of Roderick Glen and I have enjoyed reading each of them. I heartily recommend reading this book. While it can be read as a standalone, I recommend that you read the previous books to enhance your reading pleasure. I am eagerly looking towards the next book (and more) to come. There are so many possibilities for beloved characters.

Things to enjoy:
Mystery
Danger
Romance
Interesting characters
Forgiveness
Redemption
Faith message

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What the Mountaians Remember

 


About the Book: 

At this wondrous resort, secrets can easily be hidden in plain sight when the eye is trained on beauty. April 1913 —Belle Newbold hasn’t seen mountains for seven years—since her father died in a mining accident and her mother married Indiana gas magnate, Shipley Newbold. But when her stepfather’s friend, Henry Ford, invites the family on one of his famous Vagabonds camping tours, she is forced to face the hills once again—primarily in order to reunite with her future fiancĂ©, owner of the land the Vagabonds are using for their campsite, a man she’s only met once before. It is a veritable arranged marriage, but she prefers it that way. Belle isn’t interested in love. She only wants a simple life—a family of her own and the stability of a wealthy man’s pockets. That’s what Worth Delafield has promised to give her and it’s worth facing the mountains again, the reminder of the past, and her poverty, to secure her future. But when the Vagabonds group is invited to tour the unfinished Grove Park Inn and Belle is unexpectedly thrust into a role researching and writing about the building of the inn—a construction the locals are calling The Eighth Wonder of the World—she quickly realizes that these mountains are no different from the ones she once called home. 

As Belle peels back the facade of Grove Park Inn, of Worth, of the society she’s come to claim as her own, and the truth of her heart, she begins to see that perhaps her part in Grove Park’s story isn’t a coincidence after all. Perhaps it is only by watching a wonder rise from ordinary hands and mountain stone that she can finally find the strength to piece together the long-destroyed path toward who she was meant to be. International bestselling author Joy Callaway returns with a story of the ordinary people behind extraordinary beauty—and the question of who gets to tell their stories.

My Review: 

One of the hotels that I remember most from my childhood vacations was staying at Grove Park Inn that is located in Asheville,NC. It was magnificent! With its mountain setting, its beautiful rock exterior, and its huge lobby it made our house seem so tiny. When I read the description of this book I thought it would be interesting to learn more about its construction.

The author gives detailed information about the building of the inn throughout the book since Belle Newbold finds herself tasked with writing about it. I loved that she not only writes about the building that is occurring, but also about the men who were involved in its construction (engineers, architects, stone masons, etc.). This made the story more personal and interesting, giving tribute to the people who made this beautiful place possible.

Belle’s story of wanting to marry Worth Delafield as an arrangement suits her just fine. Belle and Worth are not interested in marrying for love since they each have deep hurts from their pasts. The story of them trusting each other with their secrets and finding love was what I liked best.

Marie Austen, Belle’s “cousin”, was awful! Her behavior towards Belle, but even more so with men, made me cringe. I didn’t like some of the compromising scenes (nothing explicit) that she was caught in and her attitude towards marriage.

* some mild swearing, and two spicy scenes that I didn’t like (I’m a no spice reader)

I received a copy of the book from the publisher through AustenProse. I voluntarily reviewed this, and all opinions are my own.

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...