Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot

To Purchase
About:


When a Texas Ranger comes to town on a mission to capture his brother's killers, he finds more than he expected--including a young midwife who may hold the key to the justice he seeks.

My Thoughts:

A Tender Hope finishes up the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and all of the story threads throughout the series by bringing four more strangers to town.

Thea Michener is leaving her hometown with her friend Aimee to start anew in Cimarron Creek. After a devastating year, her husband’s and baby son’s death, she just needs a fresh start and as a much needed midwife the town is welcoming her with open arms.

Aimee is also seeking a new start by looking for her birth mother who grew up in Cimarron Creek and to start a relationship with her. Unfortunately distance and time stand in the way of that relationship.

Jackson Guthrie is a Texas Ranger bent on bringing his brother’s murderers to justice. He believes Thea’s late husband was part of the gang who murdered his brother and believes she knows something. Thea does know some things but neither understands the danger that is awaiting Thea from a vengeful gang member.

And last but not least is a little baby boy by the name of Stuart whom Ranger Jackson found on the side of the road and has given his care to Thea and Aimee until he can solve the case of where and who are Stuart’s family.

This story dealt with a lovely hometown, matchmakers, and true love but there was a trace of unease and suspense in the background as the gang that Jackson is after are murderers and torturers and they will stop at nothing and no one to wreak their havoc to get what they want.

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

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor K. Gustafson


About the Book:



Book: An Unpresentable Glory  
Author: Eleanor K. Gustafson  
Genre: Christian, contemporary, literary fiction  
Release Date: July, 2018

“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.” 

Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. It is not so joyful finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, and unpresentable glory.

Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.  

Click here to purchase your copy.  


My Review:


This was quite an unexpected novel for me. The back blurb only gives an inkling of what you may expect in the book. This was a story that really deals with a lot of topics that affect us in today’s culture. Some parts of this book were like watching the news, because it was so relevant the story felt all the more real, especially the role social media can play in destroying people and how the culture would rather believe lies than the truth.

This story is a journey of two souls who briefly have come in contact but have changed each other’s lives forever. There was some interesting learning parts, especially the behind the scenes of certain jobs. This story really focused on how the world judges, even when no sin was committed. I do not want to say much more about the plot as it was an experience to read it not knowing anything about it except for the back blurb.

I will certainly be thinking about this book for a while.


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

About the Author



Ellie grew up in Branchville NJ, in a county with more cows than people. She attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major, then married a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren. 

Music was Ellie’s first love until she tried on the cloak of writing and found it a comfortable fit. However, early writing attempts saw friends—and even her mother—advising her to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, though, and An Unpresentable Glory is her sixth novel.

“God first touched me through story,” Ellie says, “and made the bigger Story come alive. I love Him passionately!”  

More from Ellie

What’s An Unpresentable Glory about? Here’s Linda’s point of view: Linda Jensen, a noted gardener, finds a stranger sprawled near her delphiniums, obviously ill. She gets him into her house and puts him to bed, deciding that water is the only safe thing to give him. Water in, however, must come out. He is helpless; she must serve him; but in doing this unpresentable task, she feels the presence of angels. [See the book Preface for my personal experience with this.]   

Jay’s point of view: Jay finds himself ill and helpless on the lawn of a wealthy but caring gardener. He can’t even reveal his real name. When he leaves at week’s end, he sees the relationship as hopeless because of who he is and enormous repercussions if the hidden week comes to light. Tragedy and disaster haunt him, but a dual set of mentors leads him through churning waters. Will he ever get back to the garden? 

* * * 

Linda’s sun tea was “mostly Darjeeling with lemon and a sprig of mint.” After reading her description, I tried it and found it tasty, indeed!  

Blog Stops

Giveaway


 
To celebrate her tour, Ellie is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Butpee Flower 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/ddb4/an-unpresentable-glory-celebration-tour-giveway


Review: Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

To Purchase
About:

As America enters the Second World War, a melting pot of displaced and disenfranchised boarders enter the boarding house of Dolly Chandler in Blackberry Springs, Alabama. When tragedy strikes, the only hope of salvation lies with the circle of women under Dolly’s roof and their ability to discover what happened to young bride here 100 years ago.

My Thoughts:

There is just something lyrical in the way author Fraser Luesse writes. I thoroughly enjoyed Missing Isaac and I was not disappointed in Almost Home.

The story takes place during World War 2 and many people are out of work, displaced, and finding their lives completely different and turned around. Dolly and her husband Si have turned their home into a boarding house for those folks needing a place to stay to work at the munitions plant. There was quite an array of characters and I enjoyed watching them all become a family under not only Dolly’s and Si’s roof but also under their care.

There are ups and downs as everyone is adjusting to a new normal but the love and friendship they develop was certainly a blessing. There are a couple of love stories, my favorite was the young married couple falling back in love again and sharing their troubles instead of shutting one another out.

The ladies of the house have become quite interested in an old legend of the previous owners from about a hundred years ago. What happened to the young couple on their wedding day: was it murder or did they run away from the town? Who was the mysterious husband who came into town and married the preacher’s daughter? I was riveted right along with Dolly, Anna, Evelyn, and Daisy as they worked to uncover this story’s beginning and end.

This was a fantastic read of people becoming family even in the hard times and even a hundred year old mystery to solve.

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

Weekend Briefing: The Countdown Begins

Twenty-Four Day Countdown Begins


Twenty-four days until what, you wonder? Agents, you should be more alert. Give me twenty push-ups! Since you forgot to  until the official release of Agents Adam and Eve

Don't worry; you forgetful agents can still participate in the three Cs: Countdown, Character Profiling, and a Contest.

Countdown: Starting today, the agency will celebrate every few days with a special blog post as we anticipate the coming release. Today, we are celebrating with a Character Profile and a Contest.

Character Profile:



Kristian Clark is the unthinking superhuman agent of the Shadow American Government called the Amerios. Until he remembers who he is and who he left behind- and will stop at nothing to get back.
Name: Kristian Clark
Official Pseudonyms: Agent Valentino; Agent Warpspeed; Agent Zero
Official Allegiance: The Amerios
Skills: A deep connection with the dimensions that allows him to teleport himself and others within a reality plane, travel to other worlds without technological assistance,  and search people's memories via tactile contact (and also access their doppelganger's memories through them). Also a highly trained agent and especially adept at shooting and fighting multiple opponents.
Weapons of Choice: Revolver and Taser Gun
Internationality and Alternate Status: Native to the Main World; Alternate still alive. 
Quotes
"Fools- they should have always feared me."
"I would never hurt you. Never." 
"They broke her. Blast it, they used me to break her."

(Or, will be once Amazon updates...)

Contest: Today's contest is this. Every comment to this blog post this weekend gets you an entry in a raffle. The winner gets a special non-commercial character/story collage of their choice.

So, what are you waiting for, agents? Comment with your favorite spy stories or lead characters of a story- or face twenty more push-ups.

Or visit the home base and comment there at Agency of Books and Spies


Friday, March 22, 2019

Review: Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson

To Purchase
About:

George Emerson doesn't want his predictable life to change, but free-spirited ex-hippie Willow West has other plans for him. They may soon discover that no one is too old to change their lives--or find love.

My Thoughts:

Courting Mr. Emerson was a delightful read about two fifty-somethings finding a love match. And I do believe it is my favorite Melody Carlson novel to date.

Mr. Emerson is retiring from his school teaching position. Not by choice, but because that is what is best for the school. He thrives on schedules and routines and is quite lost as to what he should do with himself now. He is a confirmed bachelor, set stubbornly in his ways, and deals with OCD. Some would think he was an odd duck, but I understood him. He also surprises himself with some of his other gifts.

Willow West is a widow who has been raising her grandson who is graduating now and one student that Mr. Emerson thinks shows progress. Willow is an artsy and lighthearted character who brings quite a refreshing change to Mr. Emerson’s life. Willow the art gallery owner has gotten under his skin and Mr. Emerson is not sure how he feels about it.

I enjoyed this sweet story that was a refreshing read with an old fashion love story.

I received a copy of this novel from the publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The White City by Grace Hitchcock


About the Book



Book: The White City
Author: Grace Hitchcock  
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense  
Release Date: March, 2019  

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair 

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime 

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard. 

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

Click here to order your copy.  


My Thoughts:


I am quite excited for this new series based on true crime stories in America. Even though the main characters are fictional, they do come across the true criminals. In the White City Winnie has been enjoying the Chicago Fair and not enjoying her Aunt’s constant setting her up with different beaus. When she sees a suspicious kidnapping scene at the fair she goes to her father who is the police chief to report it. However due to a past false claim, her father allows her to continue her little investigation while not truly believing her. He does set her up with a police detective for a body guard, the newly arrived from New York Jude Thorpe.

I have heard of America’s first serial killer before, so this story was a little bit chilling one that had the characters looking over their shoulders frequently. There is also a “forbidden” romance storyline along with another suitor that I also really liked. Winnie is not a damsel in distress; she truly believes what she saw and goes on this investigation adventure to save other women. She has a good head on her shoulders and would make a good detective if women were allowed in that position in 1893. She is, though a bit innocent in how evil someone can truly be.

Jude is her knight in shining armor and the main person that takes her claims seriously. But Jude and Winnie are playing a dangerous game with a very evil person and their lives are in real danger.


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

About the Author



Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.  

Guest Post from Grace

True Colors—Fiction Based on Strange, But True, American Crime Stories 

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series. 

In book one, The White City, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped while attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a detective, for bodyguard. 

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim? 

The Real Criminal Behind the Story 

While Winnifred Wylde is a fictional character, Doctor H. H. Holmes was very real and became infamously known as America’s first serial killer. Learn more about him HERE.  

Blog Stops

The Lit Addict, March 14
Multifarious, March 15
Back Porch Reads, March 15
Livin’ Lit, March 16
By The Book, March 18
Stories By Gina , March 19
EmpowerMoms, March 19
Bigreadersite, March 21
Genesis 5020, March 21
The Becca Files, March 21
Emily Yager, March 22
Pause for Tales, March 22
Mary Hake, March 23
Book by Book, March 23
amandainpa, March 25
Older & Smarter?, March 26

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The White City!!
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/dd7d/the-white-city-celebration-tour-giveaway