Friday, March 24, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Murder For the Time Being by Joanie Bruce


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Book: Murder for the Time Being
Author: Joanie Bruce
Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

My Thoughts:

Murder for the Time Being was an interesting addition to the suspense genre.  It had fewer heart pounding thrills than some other books I have read, but made up for it with its complex plot and mystery.  I found myself surprised by some plot twists a few times.  Nothing is as it seems in this book.  Not the bad guy’s motives, not Lexi and her mysterious past, and certainly not Drew, the extremely handsome funeral director with a murky history.  In this book you are given lots of different point of views to help you unravel this peculiar medical mystery.

The characters were believable, and likeable, especially Drew who was my favorite.  The faith elements in this book were strong.  All around the story was very interesting, and lovers of Christian suspense books will certainly enjoy this one.

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

Reviewed by Nicki

About the Author


Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.


Guest Post from Joanie Bruce


Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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"Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions." That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect. That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

My Thoughts:

The Elusive Miss Ellison was a delightful regency era story that surrounded my senses with all that fascinates me with the time period. This story moves a little bit slower so that we are truly immersed in Lavinia Ellison and the Earl of Hawkesbury, Nicholas’s life and town.  We have two very different people coming from two diverse world views seemingly separated all the more by money and class.  We are treated to a slow build up from a friendship turned romance that painfully at times seemed doomed from the beginning. 

I would consider this book like a miniseries.  We walk through so much with the characters, see how their lives are lived in regards to the challenges each face, and the changes that happen to both as they get to know one another and their feelings begin to blossom into something more. And frankly, Ms. Miller can write an excellent romantic story that seems to literally leap off the pages with all the pride, stubbornness, and tension these two had between each other.  There were times I was holding my breath and wincing as they bantered and sparred with the sting that their words could bring to one another.

There is so much packed into this story that you must simply experience it for yourself.

I am very pleased with this book and I consider it my favorite regency read this year.  And I have read some pretty good ones. 

My thanks go to Kregel Publications for providing me with a highly entertaining book for free.  I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.  I look forward to next two in this series.

Review: Recruits by Thomas Locke

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It's a world they've seen only in their dreams--until now.
Twins Sean and Dillon Kirrel have dreamed about a world beyond their own since they were children, but it has always been a fantasy. Not long before their eighteenth birthday, however, the arrival of a mysterious new neighbor and the revelations he shares bring that far-off world within reach. 

When Sean and Dillon learn they share a unique gift--the ability to transfer instantly between worlds--they are offered an opportunity to prove themselves as recruits to the planetary Assembly. But unlocking their abilities awakens an enemy beyond anything they ever imagined, thrusting them into an interplanetary conflict that could consume the entire human race.

My Review:

The world of the Recruits was a fun, cool concept for a young adult book.  This was an action packed adventure with some violence and romance, about twin 17 year old brothers who are very loyal to each other and do not want to be separated no matter what.  They come in contact with a very strange new neighbor, who gives them some startling news regarding a world that they didn’t know truly existed, except in their dreams and imagination.  All of a sudden they are on top of the world: their education is paid for, new cars, pretty girlfriends… but all of that comes with a price.  They must past the test that is put before them.  Sean and Dillon find out that they are pretty unique in the human race.  And that comes with advantages and disadvantages. 

The author paints very vivid word pictures of the secret government Assembly of humans and the different worlds that Sean and Dillion travel too.

There were times where I was confused in the plot and needed to reread a section, but other than that this is a good alternative in regards to the content that is becoming normal for young adult fiction.

I won a copy of this book through Goodreads and I was not required to post a positive review.  All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Bubba


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review and Giveaway: A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd


“Pride can masquerade as standards; control can masquerade as a concern.  Self –righteousness masquerades as religion.” Pg. 246 A lady in Disguise

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In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

My Thoughts

A Lady in Disguise is a Gothic story filled with intrigue and mystery told in first person that really put me in the heroine’s shoes.  Starting out rather sadly and continuing along with that theme, we have Gillian Young bereft of her family and looking toward an uncertain future, quite possibly alone.  Her father’s death and the absence of support from his fellow friends and officers have definitely caused Gillian to pause.  Strange occurrences and threatening confrontations only begin to make her very suspicious of the events surrounding her father’s death.  Add to that the growing unease that something sinister has been hidden and shadows of doubt have been cast upon her concerning her beloved father.

Gillian is a costume designer who finds she is the heir to her family’s ancestral home.  She meets her neighbor Viscount Thomas Lockwood who mesmerizes her yet she is unsure of him and his possible ulterior motives.  We watch with her trying to interpret his actions and looks that are as puzzling to the reader as to the heroine.  I waited in anticipation at each visit he had with her and hoped he revealed he was a noble character.

I was also intrigued with the history that author Sandra Byrd brought into her story.  I was not aware of the pantomime children in Victorian England who on one hand delighted the wealthy with the very elaborate plays they were involved with, and then to be turned out as outcasts when they are too old.  Looked and judged oftentimes with an air of being disreputable.  Gillian’s heart was very open to these poor children and her charity was love in action.

This novel was filled with mystery, themes of love (neighbor, family, romantic), danger, and foreboding all set against an atmosphere that was growing only tenser with each page turning.  I liked that there was just a brief touch of the supernatural, to give us a ray of hope when all else looked doomed.  What a satisfying ending and a very nice nod to a certain favorite fairy tale.   

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

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Review: Home At Last by Deborah Raney

About the book:

Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?


Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?


My Thoughts:

Home at Last is a story about what it means to love and be loved no matter what.  This is the fifth book in the series about the Whitman family and this one is about Link Whitman who falls for Shayla Michaels.  There is quite a bit of challenges that stand in the way for this couple and not least of all is that Shayla has a black father and she had a white mother.  Already experiencing prejudice from her own family, white and black, Shayla does not hold out much hope for her happily ever after.  Until Link.  Link pursues her because of who she is, not her color.  He doesn’t really see that and not until they have a few dates does he realize what he may be up against.  Not only that but there are a few other obstacles that he needs to get past that are a little bit more unsettling for him instead of the color of her skin.

This is a contemporary read that really shows that there is still prejudice that people of mixed races face even today.  Not really fitting into either world can seem daunting and harrowing.  And can be a very lonely existence.  I like that Link and his family showed her acceptance and love, and viewed her relationship with Jesus as the most important instead of where she came from.  I think though the biggest obstacle in Shayla’s life was herself and how she put labels of unworthiness and pity on her own self.  If we could but glimpse the way God sees us. I liked how this novel showed realistically the extra challenges that an interracial couple may face.

I received a copy of this book for free through Litfuse.   I was not required to give a positive review and the views and opinions are my own.   

About the author:

Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.

What others are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/DRaney

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: The Super-Heroes Devotional by Ed Strauss

About:

For more than 75 years of comic book history and dozens of gigantic cinematic releases, Superheros have captivated our imagination--filling our senses with heart-pounding adventures, riveting plots, and spectacular special effects—and sometimes they have profound messages woven into them. Often the underlying themes reveal a Judeo-Christian influence, and even when it isn’t intentional, you can still draw deep lessons from them.  Whether it’s the self-sacrifice and humility of Captain America and the Hulk’s struggles with anger or the parallels between Superman and Jesus or between Black Widow and a ruthless Bible heroine, your favorite heroes and heroines (and even villains) have much to teach.

My Thoughts:

The Super-Heroes Devotional by Ed Strauss felt like it was written by my kindred spirit. If you’re a Christian and love superheroes- especially Marvel- like me, it will feel like that for you. Each chapter is about one of your favorite superheroes and their stories, whether movie or comic, and gives you some information about them before moving on to compare the information to spiritual truth, like comparing the character to a Bible hero or heroine. I learned some new things about both the superheroes and the Bible. I couldn’t seem to put it down. The sections are short and readable on comic book-esque paper, with an adorable equally comic book-esque cover. It would be a good gift for the Christian superhero lover in your life- or even the non-Christian one.

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

Reviewed by Jes

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Review and Giveaway: Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering


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Book: Murder on the MOOR, A Drew Farthering Mystery
Author: Julianna Deering
Genre: Historical Mystery
Release Date: February 2017

At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.

Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

What a fun atmospheric read this one was.  A murder mystery set in the moors along with all the creepiness that goes along with that: ghost stories, legends, pagan rituals, a mansion falling to pieces, you get the picture.  Old friends, shifty characters, suspicious encounters and in the midst we have Drew and his lovely wife Madeline looking into the situation for Drew’s old buddy, Beaky.  I really liked the relationship between Drew and Madeline their banter and obvious love and respect they have for each other.  They make a great detective duo team.  The author really paints the town and help puts us there with the speech and phrases that they use.

Drew has a bit of prejudice against a certain someone, solely based on a betrayal done to him in the past.  So we get to watch as he tries very hard not to let that cloud his judgement.  But he is a very cool and confident detective.

This is the fifth book in the series and the first one I have read.  It reads very well as a standalone; however I really want to go back to the first and read the series from the start.  I really want to see the beginnings of Drew and Madeline’s relationship.  This is not the first I have read of Ms. Dearing’s.  I have read her medieval series written under another name and those have been placed on my keeper shelf.  Having already read her stories before, I knew I was in for a treat with this one.

With nods to Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes this was a quick read and hard to put down.  The mystery kept me guessing, and I never did figure it out on my own.

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

About the Author


Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. For more information visit www.juliannadeering.com.




Blog Stops


March 6: Splashes of Joy
March 11: Book by Book
March 12: Radiant Light
March 12: Bigreadersite
March 13: Carpe Diem
March 14: Pause for Tales
March 15: Back Porch Reads
March 15: Baker Kella

Giveaway



 To celebrate her tour, Julianna is giving away a set of the A Drew Farthering Mystery (5 Book Series)!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b0499