Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Review: Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

To Purchase
About:

Back and broke in Stoney Ridge, Jimmy Fisher has coasted as long as he could through life on charm, good looks, and deep-set dimples. They always worked just fine for him--until they didn't. His smile has no effect on the violet-eyed beauty he met at the Bent N' Dent, the one with that stunning horse. She's offered him a job, but nothing else.

The last thing Sylvie Schrock King needs around Rising Star Farm is a grown boy working for her, especially her neighbor Edith's son. The woman holds a serious grudge against Sylvie and her son, and hiring Jimmy Fisher will only fan the flames of Edith's rancor. But Sylvie is desperate for help on the farm, and Jimmy understands horses like no one else.

While Jimmy's lazy smile and teasing ways steal Sylvie's heart, Edith is working on a way to claim her land. Has Sylvie made another terrible mistake? Or is it too late to outfox the fox? More importantly . . . just who is the fox?

Writing with both wit and warmth, Fisher delivers a supremely satisfying conclusion to the popular Deacon's Family series.

My Thoughts:

I liked visiting Stoney Ridge and catching up with all of its characters. This story starts off with Jimmy Fisher coming back home and his first meeting with widow Sylvie King. She thinks he is homeless and he thinks she keeps "winking" at him. More on that later.

This town has a lot of colorful characters and on more than one occasion I found myself laughing out loud. This story focuses on Sylvie, her son, and Jimmy. How they begin to work together to clean up her ranch and start a business with her Arabian horse, Prince. However we do get to continue Izzy's story as well. Izzy is struggling with the fact that she does not know her own biological father and the fact that she still has not conceived. She is also learning to be thankful for the blessings that God has already provided for her. I understood her struggles, the wanting to know why, and how does she make peace.

Jimmy was quite a charmer and very good natured. Quite unlike his bitter mother. Oh, and the "winks"- well Sylvie has an eye twitching problem. Jimmy does not realize this and her "winks" drive poor Jimmy to distraction.

I liked that these characters are real and quirky. Sylvie was the type of character who knew that she needed to look after herself So that is why she married Jake (her first husband) whom she did not love, and he was twenty years older, but she set out to make the marriage work. If only for her son and the ranch she dreamed of. She was certainly not a romantic but a practical woman.

This was a nice visit.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveway: Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink


About the Book


Book:  Cold Case Connection
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 1, 2020

Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

Click here to get your copy.


My Thoughts:

This was an incredibly intense read about a cold case murder and how a more recent hit and run accident may be connected. Add to those facts, way too many accidents or are they and attacks are happening to Helen.


Going back to her high school days, Helen and four of her friends go down into tunnels that they shouldn't have been in and only four of them make it out. Trish's murder had never been solved. Fast forward years later and Fiona, Helen's best friend, has discovered something. But before she can talk to Helen about it, Fiona is killed by a hit and run driver. Coincidence? Fiona's brother certainly doesn't think so and neither does Helen as she appears to be the next target.


There were many times I felt like I had to come up for air reading this as it seemed almost non-stop action. I liked both of Helen's and Sergio's growth as characters. From guilt and blame to a team then friends, and then just maybe something more. For a shorter story with lots of suspense the character growth was top notch.


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


Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)


More from Dana


Cold Case Connection was really fun to write because it’s Helen’s story. She’s an intelligent, sensitive woman who is the sister to the men living on the Roughwater Ranch. Liam is her biological brother, but she’s just as close to Chad and Mitch who might as well be blood relatives. In this novel, Helen has to relive the worst moment of her teenage life, the night when a mysterious murder occurred during a teen prank. Helen is going to have to face the past in order to preserve her future. Cowboys, a case gone cold, a coastal ranch and a whole lot of danger…I hope you will enjoy the ride!


Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 14
The Avid Reader, February 15
Texas Book-aholic, February 15
Inklings and notions, February 16
janicesbookreviews, February 16
Betti Mace, February 17
She Lives to Read, February 17
Genesis 5020, February 17
For Him and My Family, February 18
Remembrancy, February 20
Older & Smarter?, February 20
Blogging With Carol, February 20
deb’s Book Review, February 21
Bigreadersite, February 21
EmpowerMoms, February 21
Christian Bookaholic, February 23
KarenSueHadley, February 23
Emily Yager, February 24
Pause for Tales, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Maureen’s Musings, February 26
Hallie Reads, February 26
Livin’ Lit, February 27
Daysong Reflections, February 27

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a bag, a copy of the book, and an Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Anna's Secret by Blossom Turner


About the Book



Book: Anna’s Secret
Author: Blossom Turner
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2019

Anna Clarke has faced loneliness for years, caring for a sick and distant husband. Recently widowed, with all that brought meaning to her life gone, the consummate good girl falls from grace in a moment of weakness and passion.

Horrified to find she is pregnant, she is surprised when those closest to her assume the baby is her late husband’s. Guilt and pride allow the lie to live until her deceit hits a wall when the biological father Dr. Matthew Carmichael comes calling.

Shocked at how one lie bled so easily into another, Anna realizes her reputation of devout Christian living is about to disappear like a leaf caught in a windstorm. She hears the whisper of her loving Heavenly Father, who longs to restore her soul, but does she have the courage to face the scandal and the truth of her feelings toward the handsome Dr. Carmichael?

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:


Wow. This book had my heart breaking at the first page. When Anna wanted to speak to her husband Steven and he just looked away, I knew this was going to be an emotional read.

Anna is a woman who has sacrificed years to care for her sick husband and basically raised her two boys on her own. Now her Steven has passed away from cancer, her boys are off to college, she is 39 years old and alone. And lonely. And has been for some time.

In all of this she does have her twin sister, her husband's parents and her husband's doctor, Matt, who has been with them since the beginning of their cancer journey.

Dr. Matthew Carmichael is in love with Anna. Now that her husband is gone he still feels responsible for her and wants to protect her. He plans to move slowly while she grieves. However in one passionate night things get out of hand and their lives change forever.

This is Anna and Matt's journey. To one another and most importantly to God, who is forgiving and loving all the time.

Anna who has been a Christian for awhile does the guilt and shame game. Even blames God at times and begins looking at the world's solution for her situation. Then the lies begin. One on top of another- till the truth finally steps in and demands answers.

I really liked how the author showed Anna's struggles of trying to be the perfect little Christian. I also liked seeing Matt's struggles before and after he was a believer. Their blame, grief, and love were palpable and oh so heartbreaking for so many reasons.

This story is really good on so many levels and shows the consequences of our actions, our lies, and the forgiveness and blessings that are waiting only for the asking. Beautiful.

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


Blossom Turner is a free-lance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and published novelist. Her authentic understanding of the power of love in the darkest of circumstances is woven masterfully through this first book in a five-book series—Katherine’s Arrangement. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.

More from Blossom


MORE ABOUT WHY I WROTE ANNA’S SECRET

I am a hopeless romantic, it has been at the core of my being from a child up. I dreamed of a love that would whisk me far from the pain of my childhood upbringing.

When I first started to write Anna’s Secret, I had not yet learned all I needed to know about forgiveness. I was half-way through the book when sorrow and betrayal hit my marriage. (See “About Me” at https://blossomturner.com) I stopped writing for years.

However, as God healed the broken and restored my soul, words of love once again danced within my being. God directed that I finish this book weaving in all I learned from the crucible of suffering in her own life. Through understanding the restorative power of God’s forgiveness when humanity fails, I wrote Anna’s Secret with a strong thread of hope woven into its fabric.

Readers have expressed the authenticity has brought them to tears, given them a love story that entertained, but the part I love the most … Anna’s Secret has inspired some readers to ask God for the help to forgive themselves, or ask Him for power to offer the gift of forgiveness to another.

My prayer is that you will find Anna’s Secret an entertaining romance, inspiration to your soul, and that you will enjoy the happy ending … always a happy ending. After all, God is the God of happily ever after, and heaven is the home in which all His children will find the greatest love of all.

Blog Stops

Robin’s Nest, February 18
Rebecca Tews, February 19
Maureen’s Musings, February 20
Texas Book-aholic, February 21
Blogging With Carol, February 22
deb’s Book Review, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
janicesbookreviews, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 26
Quiet Quilter, February 27
For Him and My Family, February 28

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Anna’s Secret and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Review: The Blizzard Bride by Susanne Dietze

To Purchase
About:

A Blizzard Changes Everything
Abigail Bracey arrives in Nebraska in January 1888 to teach school…and to execute a task for the government: to identify a student as the hidden son of a murderous counterfeiter—the man who killed her father.

Agent Dashiell Lassiter doesn’t want his childhood sweetheart Abby on this dangerous job, especially when he learns the counterfeiter is now searching for his son, too, and he’ll destroy anyone in his way. Now Dash must follow Abby to Nebraska to protect her…if she’ll let him within two feet of her. She’s still angry he didn’t fight to marry her six years ago, and he never told her the real reason he left her.

All Dash wants is to protect Abby, but when a horrifying blizzard sweeps over them, can Abby and Dash set aside the pain from their pasts and work together to catch a counterfeiter and protect his son—if they survive the storm?

Join the adventure as the
Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Blizzard Bride by Susanne Dietze.

More in the
Daughters of the Mayflower series:The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)
The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah (July 2019)
The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1863 Tennessee (December 2019)

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a read with tension, romance, and danger- The Blizzard Bride just might by what you are looking for.

Abigail's life has not turned out at all like the fairytale she once imagined it would. Her father murdered, mother dead of a broken heart, and the love of her life left without saying goodbye. She now has the opportunity to go undercover as a teacher and find the man who murdered her father. One problem- Dash, her former sweetheart, is in charge of the investigation.

What follows is a lesson in forgiveness, of love, and second chances with quite a bit of danger as there is a murderer/counterfeiter coming to town or he might already be there. That makes many newcomers suspect. To top it all off we have a monstrous blizzard that descends on the town without any warning that puts everyone in danger. 

Overall I thought this was a well-written novel with just the right amount of tension and historical detail about a killer blizzard, with a romance that was always meant to be if our two leads can learn to let go and forgive. A very exciting addition to the Mayflower Bride series and one of my favorites.

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

Review and Excerpt: The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck


About the Book


Book:  The Fifth Avenue Story Society
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 4, 2020

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

Get your copy of the book here.


My Thoughts:

This was a mysterious and hopeful story, filled with true friendship and love as five almost strangers are invited to a special story society. Two of them, Lexa and Jett are exes, but that doesn't make them no less strangers as they both receive their invitations.

All the characters are from different walks of life. From a divorced Uber driver trying to get visitation with his kids to a "pampered" princess trying to make her own in her families business and to stay out of the spotlight. And then we have widower Ed, the eldest of the group, who wants to write his and his wife's amazing love story.

We are pulled into this society and watch them grow as strangers then friends, while also walking along side of them through their lives. Each are hiding something: long held secrets, themselves, and all are on the lonely side of life.

This is a sweet story about opening up to others, even if you have nothing in common, second chances at love, and letting others walk with you in life and sharing your burden. That was the most important lesson to me. How often we think we can do this life on our own, but in reality, we need family and friends.

This was a beautiful and unique story and one with a bit of a mystery as to why the five of them were brought together in the first place.

I was provided 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.

About the Author


Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt here.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 10
Livin’ Lit, February 10
Genesis 5020, February 10
The Power of Words, February 11
Rebecca Tews, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 11
Older & Smarter?, February 12
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
Inklings and notions, February 12
deb’s Book Review, February 12
Just the Write Escape, February 13
For Him and My Family, February 13
CarpeDiem, February 13
Remembrancy, February 14
Christian Bookaholic, February 14
Connect in Fiction, February 14
April Hayman, Author, February 14
Robin’s Nest, February 15
Britt Reads Fiction, February 15
Blogging With Carol, February 15
Batya’s Bits, February 16
Bigreadersite, February 16
A Reader’s Brain, February 16
Worthy2Read, February 16
Stories By Gina, February 16
Back Porch Reads, February 17
janicesbookreviews, February 17
Inside the Wong Mind, February 17
Mary Hake, February 17
Mia Reads, February 18
Baker Kella, February 18
EmpowerMoms, February 18
Maureen’s Musings, February 19
Coast and Anchor, February 19
Spoken from the Heart, February 19
SPLASHES of Joy, February 19
She Lives to Read, February 20
By The Book, February 20
Wishful Endings, February 20
Moments, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Andrea Christenson, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
For The Love of Books, February 21
Lis Loves Reading, February 21
Hallie Reads, February 22
Godly Book Reviews, February 23
Daysong Reflections, February 23
SusanLovesBooks, February 23