Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel

To Purchase

Eva and Angela must learn to live again. One step at a time.

It has been fifteen months since Eva and Angela lost their thrill-seeking husbands in a scuba diving accident. Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief, but neither one is making much progress. Angela is barely making ends meet, angry at her husband for leaving her to raise three children on her own. Meanwhile, Eva is stuck, unable to move forward after losing the love of her life and her source of inspiration.

But then Eva gets a life-changing phone call. Before Brent and Wes died, they had signed up for a race of a lifetime—an ultra-marathon in beautiful New Zealand. Eva begs Angela to run the race with her in their husbands’ place, and Angela finally agrees, hoping to finally understand her husband's choices.

Training is exhausting, and the race is even more demanding. Their journey grows more complicated by the presence of two men—Marc is Brent’s best friend who is running the race with Eva and Angela, and Simon King is a writer who is covering their inspiring story. With every step, Eva and Angela must ask themselves questions that they haven’t had the courage to ask before. As the women literally put one foot in front of the other, they wonder: Is it possible to find their way forward in hope?

My Thoughts:

The Joy of Falling was about two sisters-in-law who have lost their husbands in an accident. A year later both are still reeling from the grief and the consequences of that fateful day.

Brent had left Eva better prepared in the financial department. Much better than his older brother, Wes, did for Angela and their three kids. Eva has basically made Brent a hero in her mind. Yes, he was her husband, her knight in shining armor, but he became so much more than he was in her mind's eye than when he was alive.

On the flipside of that Angela is having trouble forgiving Wes for leaving and their marriage was not the happiest when he died. 

Both women are grieving in their own ways. Not only that but we have their mother-in-law, Sherry, who lost both of her sons and who had lost her husband a few years before. Than we have Angela's three kids, who are going through a tough time after losing their father. Especially Kylee who is fifteen and hers and Angela's relationship is certainly on rocky ground.

When the chance to remember and honor their loved ones in a race in New Zealand presents itself, Eva is gung ho, while Angela is less than thrilled. But this turns out to be an adventure of a lifetime. A chance for this family to grieve and cry and cheer together. A chance for relationships to grow deeper and for new promises of romance to come true.

I really enjoyed this tale of family and love. I wasn't sure how depressing it might be, but it wasn't. Author Harrel handled her characters and their grief process well. This was a lovely story.

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.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Ranger to the Rescue by Renae Brumbaugh Green

About the Book

Book:  Ranger to the Rescue
Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green
Genre:  Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2020

Amelia Cooper has sworn off lawmen for good.

Now any man who wants to claim the hand of the intrepid reporter had better have a safe job. Like attorney Evan Covington. Amelia is thrilled when the handsome lawyer comes courting. But when the town enlists him as a Texas Ranger, Amelia isn’t sure she can handle losing another man to the perils of keeping the peace.

Evan never expected his temporary appointment to sink his relationship with Amelia. Or to instantly plunge them headlong into danger. But when Amelia and his sister are both kidnapped, the newly minted lawman must rescue them—if he’s to have any chance at love.

Click here for your copy!

My Thoughts:

In Ranger to the Recue it was fun to go back and revisit with the Convington siblings. Evan, now free after the scary debacle of being mistaken for a murderer, now has a chance to open his law business. He is also getting to know and becoming good friends with Amelia the town newspaper reporter.

Both Evan and Amelia like each other as more than friends and due to their friendship are ready to take the next step in their relationship. They have some hiccups along the way. Evan is ever protective and Amelia wants to be treated as an equal. Then for a time Evan is asked to step in as a Texas Ranger. Amelia never wanted to be a with a lawman again after her fiancé was killed, and if that means not having her second chance with Evan, then so be it. 

However, things go from bad to worse as some bad guys come to town seeking revenge that throws Evan, Amelia, and Evan's sister into the crossfires. This was an adventurous romantic read with a few heart pounding moments that I enjoyed.

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

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a city-girl-turned-country-diva. She’s married to a handsome country boy named Rick, and she’s mom to four nearly-perfect, nearly-grown children, two rowdy dogs, and some ducks. They live in rural Texas where Renae wears overalls, western boots, and bubblegum pink nail polish. She’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, an award-winning humor columnist, and an online English teacher. In her free time, she can be found leaping tall buildings and rescuing kittens from trees. Or, she’d like to do those things, if she had free time.


More from Renae

Every once in a while, when writing a character, I become vaguely aware that in many respects, I am that character. In those moments, I also become aware that God is the author, and he’s teaching me something through this particular character’s journey. After all, it’s a lot easier to learn through someone else’s mistakes than to recognize our own mistakes – especially if that someone else is a fictional character.

Amelia’s journey is one of fear and anxiety, which is something I’ve dealt with a lot. Like Amelia, I appear composed and confident on the surface. Like Amelia, I’m often a mess on the inside, scared to death of what will come, scared to death of how it will all turn out.

While writing this story, while dealing with Amelia’s anxiety, I (all-knowing author that I am) wrote that fear is the opposite of hope. Fear is the belief that something bad will happen, while hope is the belief that something good will happen. The Bible tells us that ours is a God of hope (Romans 15:13). When we truly trust Him, we can let go of fear, knowing He has good things in store for us.
At one point in the book, Amelia has this revelation:

”And suddenly, it was as if a haze lifted and she saw herself clearly for the first time. She’d let herself be ruled by fear, and in so doing had confined herself and clipped her own wings.”

Those words, disguised on the page as Amelia’s thoughts, were actually my thoughts. I hope you enjoy Amelia’s journey. And as you read, I hope you’ll remember these words from Isaiah 41:10: ”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, April 16
Betti Mace, April 21
Vicky Sluiter, April 25
Bigreadersite, April 26
Hallie Reads, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 27
Splashes of Joy, April 27
Artistic Nobody, April 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Renae is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Book:  House at the End of the Moor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre:  Christian Historical
Release Date: April 2020

An Opulent London Opera Star Escapes to the Rugged Landscape of the English Moors

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

Click here for your copy!

My Thoughts:

What a drama rich and atmospheric read The House at the End of the Moor is. What impressed me the most was the description of the moors. Not a in a boring way but in such a way that that the moors came to life in my imagination. The landscape became a character as well, that sometimes helped or hindered the main characters.

Maggie Lee lives in seclusion at the house at the end of moor and she prefers it that way. With only two servants, this former opera singer does not want to be noticed by anyone. Why? Well that is one part of the mystery.

Oliver Ward is a convict on the run. He was formerly a representative in the House of Commons, but then he was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. Again, the descriptions come to life here in a most dismal way as the author describes the day to day life-sucking way of the prison. What crime is he being punished for is another part of the mystery.

It was cold, rainy, and windy the day I read this story and that may have helped set the mood. But as I began to read and be pulled into this story all the dreariness of the moors, the escape and dangerous travel across the countryside, the mystery, the internal monologue of the prison goon, all made this a delicious fictional escape. The dark and ominous setting could not stop the truth these two were searching for.

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

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 More from Michelle

What comes to mind when you hear the word moor? For some, images of Jane Eyre spring to life. For others, The Hound of the Baskervilles starts barking. But for most, it’s a big fat goose egg. The fact is that most Americans don’t have a clue what a moor is, but never fear, my friend…after you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll never again go blank-minded when you hear the word moor.

Last summer I skipped across the pond and tromped around Dartmoor with my daughter and husband. What an awesome experience. I learned first-hand just how windy this vast stretch of land can be, for that’s really what a moor is at heart: a vast stretch of land. Webster’s defines it as an expanse of open rolling infertile land. Sounds rather desolate, eh? Yeah. Kind of. But it’s oh so much more.

In spring and summer, green does abound. Gorse bushes.

Scrubby grasses. Lambs and sheep and goats. All these animals roam free so there are trails worn into the dirt that you can hike along. But I hear you…where could you possibly go if there’s nothing besides some farm animals roaming around the place?
You could hike to a tor, which is a “high, craggy hill.” Some of them can be a little treacherous to climb, but sweet mercy, what a view! The earth stretches out like a green and brown quilt. As I hiked that day last spring, whispers in the wind inspired me to wonder a lot of what-ifs, and those what-ifs came together in a story of intrigue and betrayal.

What would you do if you found a half-dead man bleeding in the middle of nowhere? Find out what heroine Maggie Lee does in The House at the End of the Moor.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 18
The Avid Reader, April 18
Among the Reads, April 20
Remembrancy, April 23
Hookmeinabook, April 23
Emily Yager, April 24
Betti Mace, April 25
Stories By Gina, April 25
Splashes of Joy, April 26
Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Vicky Sluiter, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 27
Hallie Reads, April 28
Bigreadersite, April 29
Older & Smarter?, April 29
Genesis 5020, April 30
By The Book, April 30
Artistic Nobody, May 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free 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.