Friday, September 22, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Under Fire by Linda Shenton Matchett


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book
To Purchase


Book title: Under Fire
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Release date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Mystery

Journalist Ruth Brown’s sister Jane is pronounced dead after a boating accident in April 1942. Because Jane’s body is missing, Ruth is convinced her sister is still alive. During her investigation, Ruth becomes suspicious about Jane’s job. Eventually Ruth follows clues to war-torn London. By the time she uncovers the truth about Jane’s disappearance, she has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters and the IRA – all of whom may want her dead.

My Thoughts:

Under Fire takes us back to a time in our history when the world was at war. Life seems to be falling apart more for Ruth Brown and her family as they have just buried her sister Jane, without her body and without knowing what truly happened to Jane. Everybody else seems ready to move on; from her grieving parents to her war haunted brother. But Ruth, a reporter by trade is not content to not know what truly happened to her sister. As Ruth digs deeper into the last days of her sister, she discovers Jane’s activities had become alarmingly unusual. Believing her sister to still be alive, Ruth embarks on her own mission without the support of anyone and oftentimes having to hurdle all of the roadblocks placed in her path by family, friends, boss, and enemies. Why? At times it seemed simply because she is a woman in a man’s world.

Her curiosity and tenaciousness takes her to war torn London to look into some shady business from the company where her sister worked. This is where the story takes quite a turn. The adventure and danger is ratcheted up and there is a lot more at stake, like her life now. Ruth wants answers as I would want and she is dealing with some internal anger as well. The author wrote Ruth in such a way that I felt her frustrations at being looked down upon or even as not equal at her job because she was a woman. I was also surprised with her parents. I would not just want to move on, not knowing what happened or where the body of my daughter was. I was with Ruth every step of the way on her adventure and investigation.

I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views an opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author



Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader. She is author of several romance novellas and novelettes. Under Fire, the first in her trilogy about amateur sleuth/war correspondent Ruth Brown, has just been released by eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com). 


Guest Post from Linda Shenton Matchett


Writers are often asked where they get ideas for their stories. Many authors start with a “what if” scenario (e.g. what if the fate of a world lies in the hands of a young man who must return a ring of great power to its place of origin: The Lord of the Rings). Other authors find inspiration in news articles (Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express). I begin my stories by creating the main character.

As a former Human Resources professional, I am fascinated by the history of women’s employment and enjoy reading about those who trail blazed in industries and positions formerly dominated by men. When I was trying to decide what my protagonist should do for a living, I knew she needed a job that allowed her freedom of movement, but nothing seemed to fit until I saw a museum exhibit about women war correspondents. Of the 1,600 journalists who received government accreditation, only 127 were female.

In order to get a sense of what these women experienced (derision, hostility, sexual harassment, and more) I read their memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, and articles. As an accredited correspondent they were supposed to received meals, transport to the front, and transmission of their articles. Many military officers refused to take the women into combat zones, so they had to get there any way they could, such as Martha Gellhorn who stowed away on a hospital ship and hid in the head to reach Normandy and cover D-day. It is my hope that Under Fire honors these brave and tenacious women in some small way.

Blog Spots

Blogging With Carol, September 14
cherylbbookblog, September 17
Carpe Diem, September 17
A Reader’s Brain, September 18
Bigreadersite, September 18
Blossoms and Blessings, September 19
Janices book reviews, September 20
Back Porch Reads, September 20
Just the Write Escape, September 21
Pause for Tales , September 22
Have A Wonderful Day, September 22
Karen Sue Hadley, September 24
Vicky Sluiter, September 25
Daysong Reflections , September 25
Mary Hake, September 26

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize consisting of:
copy of the book, Box of English Tea, Typewriter notepad, and Rosie the Riveter socks!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c221

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: My Heart Belongs in the Shanandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma

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About the Book:


Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where...

With Very Little Left of the Family Farm, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.


Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more. 


When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

My Thoughts:


I really enjoyed the latest in the My Heart Belongs series. Lily’s Dilemma was not only a page turner but a very romantic and engaging tale about a young woman who has been dealt some harsh blows in 1816 and is now trying to keep the rest of her family together. Lily’s father died suddenly and unexpectedly leaving her, her aunt, and her two younger brothers. According to her so called self-appointed guardian, they are also destitute and penniless.  Being a rather well off family, Lily nor her aunt can understand why all of a sudden they are having money woes. Hence, part of their land has been sold to a Captain McAlister.

The first meeting between Mac and Lily was quite memorable. Mac who has decided to not ever marry cannot stop thinking of Lily and he always seem to be her knight in shining armor. Watching his dilemma and battle within to finally giving in to his heart’s desire was at times frustrating and sigh inducing.

Mr. Everett the so called guardian was a villain not at all hard to dislike. He had such an oily way about him and seemed more harmful than a poisonous snake. A very shady character and one that made me cringe every time he came on the scene. Especially in regards to his plans for Lily and her family. And just to make the story more entertaining we have a secondary love story as well.

I haven’t read a Boeshaar novel in a while so reading her work again was fun.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

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About:


Natchez, MS; 1791

Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.


Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

My Thoughts:

When I found out that author Pam Hillman’s newest offering had an Irish hero, I said, “Yes please!” I really enjoyed this novel of life that takes place in 1791 Mississippi.  This was a time in which slavery was still in progress and very dangerous highwaymen roamed and terrorized the people. We have a story of a family who has had some very bad things happen to them. And as we read we see that some of these things may have been done purposely. When Isabella goes to purchase the indenture of Connor O’Shea she does not realize that she purchased the indenture of a real hero.

I really liked the family closeness of both the main characters. Isabella is trying to run the plantation and the home while taking care of her father and very pregnant sister-in-law. Connor just wants to make enough money to send for his brothers that are still in a poverty stricken state in Ireland.  There was also the unity of the community that without I wonder how any of them could have survived.

There were some really interesting historical aspects to this story. One was that Connor had lived in the old world of Europe with its stages of classes and prejudice, however as he finds out America was quite different. It was interesting to learn that while a lot of slaves came from Africa, there were other countries that had their citizens sold as slaves as well. Ireland was one that was forced to add to the human trafficking conditions of the day.

This story really got to me and I enjoyed reading every minute of it. It is one that will stick with me for a long time to come. The romance was delightful, the danger was real even though we were unaware of the source, and the history was deep and rich. 


I was provided with a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Will Not See by Chautona Havig


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: Will Not See
Author: Chautona Havig
Release date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)

When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.

But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?

Will Not See: Not everything is as it seems.

My Thoughts:

Will not See by Chautona Havig followed its predecessor None so Blind as a not-your-usual-Christian-read. The characters in the first book are still important in this one, but new characters find the spotlight. Vikki Jeffries has the same sort of amnesia- or very similar to it- that Ella had in the first book, but the two couldn’t be more different. While Ella was a middle-aged, Christian married woman, Vikki is a young unsaved woman with a past. And people trying to silence her because of that past- the not knowing why or who was especially creepy.

What I really loved about this story- besides the suspense- were the characters. We got to see two very different people grappling with this strange amnesia and the people around them helping them out. The good Christian family, the hospital Christian ‘widow’, the bad girl with a past, and her conscientious and sweet roommate (if David from the last book was the epitome of patient, Brandon here is the epitome of kindness). But my absolute favorite character was police cop detective Fahrina. Now there’s hero material there. I sure hope he has an important part in this next book!

Note, this is definitely a novel for adults. It grapples with some very dark, adult themes because everybody’s lives are not all sunshine and roses. There is nothing graphic, of course- just some things better left un-remembered. Vikki and I have to go to therapy now.

Anyway, over all, I really enjoyed this book. And Fahrina. It’s nice to read something outside the pigeonhole genres. And reading about Fahrina.

I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Jes

About the Author


Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig


The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially. The bottom line proves it.

My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”

My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes, if he’s a failure at this thing called life. He’ll pray—for hours.

They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much. He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.

But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults. It has been said,

“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”


Or, in the words of Jeremiah,


“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”

What does this have to do with not seeing?


As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past. You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.

Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.

But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what? If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality. That take-charge, gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities. Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.

Vikki Jeffries, is almost the antithesis of Ella in that respect.


The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it? Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.


But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.

Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults. She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”


Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode. As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life. Her soul.

Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true.”


They say ignorance is bliss. Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.” And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance. I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone. Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low! I think we’ll start there.


Blog Stops


August 29: Just Jo’Anne
August 29: Carpe Diem
August 30: Lots of Helpers
August 31: Genesis 5020
September 1: Quiet Quilter
September 1: Back Porch Reads
September 2: Fiction Aficionado
September 3: A Reader’s Brain
September 4: Bigreadersite
September 4: The Scribbler
September 5: Mommynificent
September 6: Christian Bookaholic
September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink
September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 8: Pause for Tales
September 10: Pursuing Stacie
September 11: Reader’s cozy corner

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the None So Blind Paperback,
the Will Not See Paperback, a Journaling Bible (Choice of KJV or NLT), Prismacolor Pencils,
and a Christian Hymns Album!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd17


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig

To Purchase
"If we abandon the past, we lose the ability to prevent repeating it." Cole to Haven

"But we can't let it control or dictate our future." Haven to Cole pg. 467 Crown of Souls


Ok, wow. When I first started this book let me say that I was not expecting the experience that I had. I will say first off that this is the second book of a series. I did not read the first one; I wish I did -not that my enjoyment for this one would have been any less. 

I really was pulled into this story. This is my favorite Ronie Kendig story to date. I thought that I was getting a military tactical action adventure. What you have here in The Crown of Souls is that but with a dash of the supernatural thrown in. Think Indiana Jones, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and The Mummy (Brendan Fraser version). 

This was definitely a reading adventure. I liked Tox- his real name is Cole Russell. He was very devoted to his team and very protective of his love, Haven. Each team member has such a distinct personality and I was biting my nails on some of their exploits. There are overreaching themes it seems that will be running through this series. I am also interested in finding out more about some mysterious characters- are they good or bad or in between.

Another thing which proved to be very important was that there was a little bit of a dual timeline. So what happened in the past was very important and affected the present day. This book was hard to put down and at one time I had to go to sleep but I had left the team in quite a perilous situation. This was an adrenaline filled read that would look great on the big screen. I recommended this to my non-fiction reader husband- there is romance but there is a lot more action adventure.  I look forward to the next Tox File and to see where the team’s next adventure takes them.


I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: For No Apparent Reason by S.K. Derban

To Purchase
My Thoughts:


For No Apparent Reason by author S.K. Derban is a quirky murder mystery with memorable characters that really brought the story to life. We meet Madison a somewhat nosy college student on a stormy afternoon at the scene of a crime and unbeknownst to her, her life is about to get a bit more interesting.

Madison is a law student who is craving something different in her life. She has a boyfriend she is not in love with and pursuing a career she is not sure she is ready for. Enter a certain hunky mysterious FBI agent and Madison’s life suddenly takes a turn for the unpredictable.

I really liked the banter between Madison and Agent Court Braxton. Their verbal sparring hid the emotional turmoil and deeper feelings they had for each other. You could feel their attraction even though they not only did not kiss, but did not even hold hands till much, much later. The attraction was just there. I liked how close Madison was to her family and that she was such an out of the box character that along with Court we never knew what she would do next. She had a big heart for the victims that they became like family themselves.

This was the second book I have read by author Derban and I am really enjoying her writing style. It is a little bit different.


I received a copy of this book for free from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Review: Reunited by Danger by Carol J. Post

To Purchase
My Thoughts:


Reunited by Danger by Carol J. Post is a thrilling, and chilling read. Amber Kingston doesn’t want to go to her ten-year high school reunion, but at the insistence of one of her old friends she finally agrees. At the reunion one of her old friends is murdered and she soon learns that she was set up. And the person who asked her to come- had been killed two months ago.

The murderer will not rest until Amber and all her high school friends are killed. One by one they are picked off. I can only imagine how stressful that would be to see people being killed around you and knowing that you could quite possibly be the killer’s next target especially when the victims are your friends.

Caleb is carrying luggage of his own, despite his goody two shoes appearance. But he’s determined to find the killer before he can get to Amber. But to learn who the killer is first they must unbury the past. The mystery must be solved, and the killer brought to justice before all of the six friends pay the ultimate price. Get ready for an ominous read.


I received a copy of this book for free from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki