Friday, May 13, 2022

Review: Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

 

About:

Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turns out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—all her life, her father sheltered her from his crimes, but now she can no longer turn away from the truth. Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancé who barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world. But can she truly turn her back on her family?

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would become a priest, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. Despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his mafiosi father and brothers. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina, forced her into the arms of the Prohibition agent bent on tearing her family apart? How can they rebuild what has so long been neglected and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following one could mean losing the other.

Amazon | Roseanna’sShop (signed)

My Thoughts:

I always enjoy an author White story and this was no exception, even though it was a little bit different. This time we are introduced to a crime family, one of the mafia families to be exact. This was the story of Sabina, the daughter of the crime lord and her fiancé, Lorenzo, also with ties to the family. The time era is the early 1920's, prohibition is strong, and sometimes the "good" guys were just as corrupt as the bad guys.

I found the history interesting. The author dives into why the mafia rose up and a lot of it had to do with the old world from which they came. Their corruption was high and the police were mostly corrupt. In America, though, they had a new beginning but unfortunately that meant that some of the old ways of doing business were brought to this new country. As they were hard to break.

Sabina as we meet her in the beginning is a very naive and confused young woman. She knows what her family is, she just didn't understand or know of all the less than noble businesses and occupations they were involved in. She is also confused in her love life. Right away she is betrayed by the man she loves, yet she was engaged to another, Lorenzo, for years.

Lorenzo was our hero. He knows full well what Sabina and his family is capable of. He doesn't want any part of it. He wants to begin anew with Sabina without the mafia ties. However their tale and journey to eventual marital bliss is going to take some time. Especially as Lorenzo will now need to deal with Sabina's betrayal. And one lesson they both will learn, is just because you want nothing to do with the family business, the family will still have it's hold on you.

This was a great inside read of what it might look like to live in a family that is close-knit and loving, and yet is the mafia. I enjoyed this novel immensely.

I was provided 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:

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award winning author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

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Review: The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

 


About:

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. 

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.


My Thoughts:

In this time split novel, the story is a little bit different as we get to go along on a treasure hunt for Faberge egg, that may or may not exist. Hopping back and forth between timelines, we are given a story that there was a secret egg that Faberge made and tasked with one of his craftsmen, a woman, by the name of Alma Pihl with hiding and keeping it safe. Especially as 1917-1918 grows dark and closes in on the Russian Romanov family.

Present day Ava, daughter of a renowned treasure hunter and absentee father, is struggling putting her life in some sort of sense. After hardly any contact, her mother and she are called to her father's death bed. What happens is beyond her wildest dreams, but they form a sort of treasure hunting team, along with a few others to try and find this last treasure for her father.

In the course of this adventure, Ava learns a lot, and whether or not she finds this mysterious egg and its treasure, she does find another treasure.

I did enjoy this story; the treasure hunt was intriguing, and the history was mesmerizing. I looked up these famous eggs and their intricate beauty and pondered the dark history in which they were made. In both timelines I also felt for the characters, of their broken relationships, time lost, and the fact that it seemed that for some love had died. The atmosphere combined both artistic beauty with the dark and encroaching death and destruction that was coming as an empire that would not listen was going to be turned on its head. This was a very interesting and gripping historical read.

I was provided 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:

Kelli Stuart is the author of the Carol Award-winning Like a River from Its Course, as well as A Silver Willow by the Shore and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom (with Wendy Speake). Stuart has written for The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, Tonic.com, Disney, American Girl, The MOB Society, Extraordinary Mommy, God Size Dreams, Short Fiction Break, and (in)courage. Kelli is a storyteller at heart, fluent in the Russian language, and has spent the last two decades studying the Russian and Ukrainian culture. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and five children.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Rose for the Resistance by Angela K. Couch

 



About the Book


Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

War is brutal, evil, and chaotic and none knows that more than Rosalie a young woman in war torn France as she must survive for her family and for hope of a better life. Holding out hope for her prisoner father to return home, she does her best to remain unseen and keeping her brother from getting in trouble and killed. But she and her brother, along with others of the Resistance see things differently. She will sit and wait for deliverance while they will fight for it. I thought the author did really well on showing both differing viewpoints and the pros and cons with each.

Unfortunately, the war has come to her door. She has caught the attention of a German soldier, Franz, who seems so different from the other occupiers. Can she trust him and what does he really want? 

Franz is a German soldier trying to come to terms with the years he has been fighting for a leader he does not agree with. His troubling past continues to haunt him but the wound he received fighting puts him in an interesting position. Throw in an injured British pilot and you have a story that is seeped not only seeped in danger and resistance, but also of clashing ideas and a surprising love triangle between unwilling participants.

This was a good read about an occupied country and how the citizens strove to live and survive, a soldier and his conscience who strived to break free from his country's leadership, and a forbidden love that would be tested in the battles of war.

I was provided 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


To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

 

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you. 

Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Corner Booth by Chautona Havig

 



About the Book


Book: Corner Booth

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: March 17, 2015

A daring move forges the love of a lifetime

A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line.

What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for.

Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.

Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

Corner Booth is yet another novel by author Havig that is so unique. It also raises questions for the reader to really think and ponder about. Dean is very knowledgeable, he is a professor at a seminary, but he likes to talk. He is passionate about what he knows. However, one day something unexpected happens. Sitting in his corner booth, as he does every Wednesday, a young woman asks to sit with him as the restaurant is busy. He says yes with no words. What entails is his and Carlie's, the young woman, unique relationship begins and goes on for quite a while with an interesting twist.

Neither Carlie nor Dean knew where this happenstance meeting would take them. Dean was trying to see if he could listen without speaking and in doing that Carlie has become curious about him. Why doesn't he speak? He is not deaf, and he is so different from anyone else she knows. 

The story is told back and forth in both Dean's and Carlie's viewpoints and takes place over several months. What comes out of this little experiment is much more than what Carlie and Dean ever could have known and the reader is given a unique story of friendship, romance, and a deeper look at human interactions.

I was provided 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


USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.

But you know what? That’s the easy character.

When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.

Yeah… I could get into that.

There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?

After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.

How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?

I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).

I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some café romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 10

Lots of Helpers, May 11

Miriam Jacob, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

By the Book, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Spoken from the Heart, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 20

Blogging With Carol, May 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/1d735/corner-booth-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Spines and Leaves by Chautona Havig

 

 


About the Book


Book: Spines & Leaves

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: FICTION / CHRISTIAN / WOMENS FICTION / ROMANCE

Release date: July 8, 2021

Books are the strings that tie hearts together.

With a month to get from Orange County, California to Delaware for his next corporate challenge, Milton Coleridge decides to spend a week at Joshua Tree National Park.

He never expected to find a floundering bookstore in need of his particular business skills. Will his methods of saving companies from bankruptcy or takeover work on such a small scale? And can he convince two people to risk their hearts?

Step into the Spines & Leaves, Tamarisk, California’s oldest (and only ever) bookstore. Come in out of the harsh, desert sun and wind and peruse all the store has to offer. It might just be more than you think.

One man, one store, thousands of books.  What’ll it take to keep this bookstore from becoming a book ghost town… and what’ll it take for Milton to tie two heartstrings together?

Spine & Leaves is the introductory novella to the Bookstrings series.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Thoughts:

Spines and Leaves is a bookstore that is in need of financial help, or it will need to close its doors, going the way of too many indie bookstores already. Milton and his bird are traveling when they come across Mercedes, Ced for short, father's bookstore. Intrigued and loving books anyway, Milton decides to stop for a visit. What follows is Milton's use of his genius expertise in turning failing businesses around that just might give Spines and Leaves a fighting chance.

I found this interesting how just a few changes in the bookstore to make it more comfortable and accessible made a difference. Ced sees improvement right away. Sometimes we have to invest a little, take a chance, before something will turn around.

There is a sweet love story between Ced and police officer Marcus. Both are fighting showing their feelings and their reactions were cute and uncomfortable at times. It takes a little bit for them to open their eyes and see that a little change with each other could also reap some pretty big rewards. This is the start to a new series that sounds great.

I was provided 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


USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Bookstrings series is a process rather than an idea. Each time I saw an indie bookstore close, each time I went in one with no one else in there for the hour or two I browsed, and each time I heard book lovers lament the lack of a store in their town… Yeah. Those experiences slowly grew into a wish—one where I knew how to rescue those stores from extinction. So maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but that’s how it felt.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, Milton appeared—a business genius who, along with his faithful parrotlet, Atticus (not Finch), travels the country saving corporations from takeover or bankruptcy.

Milton went through several iterations. Older, balding, mustache, and always wearing a golfer’s cap. Then I had him as a young hipster dude who got sick of the rat race on Wall Street and took off on his own, using what he’d learned. That just felt too cliché.

Instead, I have a forty-ish guy who wears chinos and oxford shirts with topsiders, shorter than most men, and with a nonchalant air about him. And charm. The quiet guy with serious business skills just oozes quiet charm.

After deciding on Milton, I had to choose where to put the stores. I’ve been watching out for towns for years—using trips different places as research times. Would I create places that felt like real towns or use actual small towns? Though drawn to real towns, I had an idea for where to end the series, and, doing that meant a fictional town. Would it be weird to have four or five books set in small towns across America followed by a final fictional one?

The solution came to me as I learned that the Mosaic authors were doing a summer collection in 2021. If I started with a novella and ended the series with both in a fictional town, at least that fictional bit wouldn’t be out of the blue!

So, the Bookstrings series has two novellas and five full-length novels. (I couldn’t resist a Christmas “noella” in the charming town of Noel, Missouri—the “Christmas City.”) We’ll be off to other small towns around the country—one in Red Wing, Minnesota, another in Berne, Indiana, and one somewhere between Kingsport, Tennessee and Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. If I can find a place in New England, that’d be great, too. Or maybe down in Mississippi… I’d love to visit my sister down there.

The Bookstrings series books all have one very important thing in common (aside from Milton and Atticus, of course). They all illustrate that books truly are the strings that tie hearts together.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 26

Texas Book-aholic, April 26

Lots of Helpers, April 27

Mary Hake, April 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28

By the Book, April 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 29

The Avid Reader, April 30

Vicky Sluiter, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Miriam Jacob, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 3

Blogging With Carol, May 4

deb’s Book Review, May 4

She Lives To Read, May 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 6

Simple Harvest Reads, May 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 7

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/1d0b3/spines-leaves-celebration-tour-giveaway


Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad

 



About the Book


Book: To Bring You Back

Author: Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: August 16, 2021

He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget.

Broke in more ways than one, the last thing Adeline Green can afford is for her now-famous high school crush to descend on her quiet life.

People in the small town of Lakeshore, Wisconsin, think of her as the hard-working church secretary or as the local food truck’s lunch-hour cashier. They’d never suspect the shame she’s hiding.

She attended high school with both the lead singer and the drummer of the rock band, Awestruck. In fact, she used to play in the band herself, but that was back before Awestruck made it big—and before her relationship with lead singer Gannon Vaughn took a turn that ultimately led to tragedy and heartbreak.

She’s living a different life now, but when Gannon shows up, he brings with him a public spotlight that threatens to expose her deepest regret. The closer she gets to him, the more she risks the carefully curated life that’s finally brought her a measure of peace.

Gannon Vaughn and his rock band, Awestruck, have conquered the music industry, but he can’t overcome his feelings for Adeline.

She may have been right to cut off contact between them years ago, but thanks to the grace of God, he’s a changed man. When he hears Adeline’s struggling, he sets out to turn her life around and win back the love he lost to poor choices eight years ago.

But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other?

A meaningful Christian romance with a side of fame and fortune for readers who enjoy faith-filled escapes and happily-ever-afters where no one is beyond hope of redemption.

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Review:

To Bring you Back is about a relationship that went sideways some years ago that still has Adeline Green stuck in the past and constantly trying to do enough good to cover her bad. Rock star Gannon Vaughn has never forgotten Adeline through the years. She is the one woman he has been unable to. He has decided to come back into her life to get her to start living hers. The guilt she carries is drowning her and he wants to rescue her.  Hence, from the title to bring her back.

Adeline carries a lot of emotional baggage, and even though she feels God has forgiven her, she cannot forgive herself. And she cannot stand to be around Gannon. So, we have a story with many ups and downs, as these two navigate not just the life of a rock star and all the paparazzi, but also a friendship which Gannon hopes will be more.

I like how the author brings us into their lives and shows how riches and fame are not everything. Adeline does have some lessons to learn, but so does Gannon as he needs to open his eyes and realize he cannot save everyone, especially those who are good at manipulating. This was a great start to a new series by a new to me author full of drama, love, and truth.

I was provided 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


Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s relevant questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

 

More from Emily

A Guilty Pleasure with a Purpose

When a reader called the Rhythms of Redemption Romances a guilty pleasure, I had to smile because that’s exactly what To Bring You Back, the first book in the series, was to me as I wrote it.

Don’t get me wrong, To Bring You Back is firmly Christian fiction, and it’s not “guilty” of being blush-inducing. Because of the characters’ history, theirs is a slow-burn romance that focuses more on the emotional side of their relationship than the physical.

But, To Bring You Back is a rock star romance.

When I first started writing it, I was embarrassed to admit that’s what I was working on.

After all, rock star romance has a reputation for being an unrealistic and shallow escape from reality with “guilty pleasure” written all over it.

Maybe there was some of that escapism going on. At that point in my writing journey, I was dealing with disillusionment, and I enjoyed the break of writing about rich and famous characters.

However, as I wrote To Bring You Back and went on to read others’ romances about famous characters, I found that the characters’ occupations and net worth don’t impact the most important elements of their stories.

The tales can still showcase meaningful relationships and God at work in the lives of people who—rich and famous or not—need redemption.

Fame, money, and music help up the entertainment value, but those same features add even more rich conflict to explore.

The men of Awestruck, starting with lead singer Gannon Vaughn in To Bring You Back, have allowed me to ask questions like: How good is grace? What does it mean to live in forgiveness? What gives a person worth? And, when is living the dream no longer worth the price?

To write this post, I took a break from working on the first draft of the final book in the series, and it’s been fun to look back and see how much my opinion of these stories has changed.

If To Bring You Back and the books that follow are a guilty pleasure, they’re a guilty pleasure with a purpose. God has worked in my life through them.

It’s my prayer that He’ll also use them in your life, both to explore meaningful questions and to provide a few hours of entertaining escape.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 25

The Sacred Line, April 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 26

Inklings and notions, April 27

Remembrancy, April 28

Wishful Endings, April 28

Texas Book-aholic, April 29

deb’s Book Review, April 30

For Him and My Family, May 1

Spoken from the Heart, May 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 3

Miriam Jacob, May 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Britt Reads Fiction, May 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 6

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, May 8

Of Blades and Thorns, May 8

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of To Bring You Back!!

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/1d0b1/to-bring-you-back-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Review and Giveaway: Shadows in the Mind's Eye by Janyre Tromp

 

About:

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

My Thoughts:

This was such an engrossing and interesting read that I had a very hard time putting it down as the story continued to pull me deeper into the characters and the conflict. The atmosphere was both filled with hope and sunshine and dread and darkness.

I have read many stories that take place during WW2- in many places, on land, sea, and air- but what I really liked was that this one told a story about what happens when a soldier returns home. A soldier that is obviously dealing with PTSD. And that soldier is coming to a home that on the surface doesn't look like much changed, but digging deeper down, it has. 

Sam is a husband and a father who just wants to get home, sleep, and forget his demons. But how can he when he is having trouble keeping his demons under control? Not only that, but they seem to be manifesting in real life. It seems no one believes him. Not even Annnie his wife, who always was on his side. Throw in his best friend who seems to want what Sam has, and his brother who also came back from the war changed but is looking at him a bit warily.

We get both Sam's and Annie's viewpoints. They don't live in a quite mountain town like the surface seems, but much seediness is going on in the darkness. Annie's family history can attest to that. I really enjoyed this story and the back-and-forth viewpoints as both characters are trying to find their way out of the darkness, the past, and into a bright future with a once upon a time wish for a happily ever after. I look forward to more that this new to me author has to offer. 
 
I was provided 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:

Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.

She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. And if you ever meet in person, you pronounce that first name Jan-ear.

You can find her on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).


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