Sunday, January 31, 2021

Review: All That We Carried by Erin Bartels



The most treacherous terrain is found within

Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. They haven't seen each other since the funeral. Olivia coped with the loss by plunging herself into law school, work, and a materialist view of the world--what you see is what you get, and that's all you get. Melanie dropped out of college and developed an online life coaching business around her DIY spirituality--a little of this, a little of that, whatever makes you happy.

Now, at Melanie's insistence (and against Olivia's better judgment), they are embarking on a hike in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In this remote wilderness they'll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

My Thoughts:

This is a story of two estranged sisters that are traveling through life after a horrible accident that killed their parents and left them both adrift spiritually and emotionally. After not seeing each other for ten years, Melanie (the younger sister) plans a hiking trip with Olivia. Hoping to reconnect and have a better relationship.

The sisters are as different as night and day, not unusual and the differences between them are normal. Olivia as the oldest is the planner, the detail oriented. Melanie tries to see the good and is more forgiving and a little more freer. Neither one of them are strong spiritually, though.  Olivia believes in nothing, no after life, that once their parents died that was it. Melanie wants to make sure she has all the bases covered. She believes in a little bit of everything.

As they journey on their hike I found it almost ironic that they are surrounded with God's beauty in the natural world. Surrounding them and awing them if they would just look up and open their hearts. They have a lot to work through. Forgiveness is the big one.

I have never been on a hike that takes days but the author's excellent descriptions made me picture the beauty and the danger very well. I would have liked a little bit more closure in the end. But as with life, Olivia and Melanie have more to live and their journey to the truth has only begun.

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

About the Author:

Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things (2020 Michigan Notable Book, 2020 WFWA Star Award-winner, 2019 Christy Award finalist) and The Words between Us (2020 Christy Award finalist, 2015 WFWA Rising Star Award finalist). Her short story, "This Elegant Ruin," was a finalist in the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest in 2014, and her poetry has been published by The Lyric. A publishing professional for 18 years, she is the director of WFWA's annual writers retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Lethal Intent by Cara Putman


About the Book

Book:  Lethal Intent

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Romantic Suspense

If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman.

Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home. 

When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda? 

Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her? 

This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What do you do when seemingly good science crosses the ethical line? In Lethal Intent we have two people who truly care about others, but also know that following rules of the law are very important.

Caroline and Brandon were a couple of characters that were very mature and were ready to move on to the next step in their lives. They had been good friends for awhile and Brandon is now ready to become more serious with Caroline and she is ready too. On the cusp of their new relationship status, Caroline has just gotten a new job as a legal counselor at an up and coming research lab.

Brandon a former football player is working to keep siblings in the foster care together with his group home, Almost Home, with the help of foster parents. Both have jobs that can help make a world of difference, but both are surrounded with laws.

On top of all that, one of Brandon's kids is a little girl who is very sick and qualifies for the experimental research that Caroline's company is trying to get fast tracked. It was very interesting how all the pieces came together. Caroline is trying very hard to keep her company on the straight and narrow and not risking legal problems.

I learned some things while reading this story, especially about the He-La cells. I found that part so interesting that I looked it up for more research. Very intriguing indeed and not without ethical problems. This was a good medical/ legal thriller with two mature people trying to make a go of their lives while helping others along the way. 

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

As a preteen Cara Putman watched lawyers change legislative opinions at an important legislative hearing in Nebraska. At that time, she wondered if she became an attorney if people would give her words the same weight. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, George Mason University School of Law and Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, Cara has turned her passion for words into award-winning stories that capture readers. Her legal experience makes its way into her stories where strong women confront real challenges.

An award-winning author of more than 30 books, Cara writes legal thrillers, WWII romances, and romantic suspense because she believes that no matter what happens hope is there, waiting for us to reach for it.

When she’s not writing, Cara is an over-educated attorney who lectures in law and communications at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and homeschools her children. She and her family live in Indiana, the land of seasons. You can read chapters for most of her books and connect with Cara at her website:


More from Cara

Each novel has a unique genesis story. The spark that launches it into a journey of 90,000 words. For Lethal Intent, that journey began with a friend’s journey of childhood leukemia with her oldest. From watching their family wind through years of treatment including cutting edge therapy trials. Then it developed with the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack and the thought what would someone be willing to do if they believed they’d found the next strain of immortal cells. The lead characters made appearances in other books, but now would have their opportunity to step to center stage. The story morphed and changed, dictated by the vagaries of the law and changes.

Each story has a spark. For Caroline it was a brainstorming session with my writing buddies Rachel Hauck, Colleen Coble, and Denise Hunter. That was when her backstory developed, all the things that happened to her to form her into the adult she is on the pages. One who cares deeply about others but who is fundamentally scared, longing for a place she can relax and take a deep breath.

Each story has a spark. For Brandon, it was brainstorming with another writing friend Tricia Goyer that lead to a creative job for a hero that wasn’t the typical law enforcement. His role with the group foster home was set and the backstory filled in quickly. What would it be like to be separated from and lose a brother in the foster care system? Would that generate this need to keep sibling groups together? And then the law changes and the fabric of your professional identity and something so much deeper is threatened.

Each story has a spark. The pharmaceutical start-up where ethics collides with the desire to save children. The push to do whatever it takes overshadowing the guardrails of the law. If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman. But does Caroline really have the strength to battle and does she need to?

Lethal Intent grew from each of these sparks and many more to develop into a story I can’t wait for you to read. In the process I learned immense amounts about CAR-T cell therapies and foster care law. Most of all, I hope you’ll fall into the pages and be engrossed in a story you can’t bring yourself to put down until the final page.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 21

lakesidelivingsite, January 21

Texas Book-aholic, January 21

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 22

A Novel Pursuit, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 23

Betti Mace, January 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Blogging With Carol, January 24

HookMeInABook, January 24

For the Love of Literature, January 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Fiction Book Lover, January 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, January 26

EmpowerMoms, January 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 27

By The Book, January 28

Older & Smarter?, January 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 29

Simple Harvest Reads, January 29

Blossoms and Blessings, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Splashes of Joy, January 30

Pause for Tales, January 30

Spoken from the Heart, January 31

Just Your Average reviews, January 31

deb’s Book Review, January 31

Hallie Reads, February 1

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 1

Genesis 5020, February 1

To Everything There Is A Season, February 2

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 3

Daysong Reflections, February 3



To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away  the grand prize package of a “Just one more chapter” pillow cover, a copy of the book, an Erin Condren journal, and a hand-stamped bracelet!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink


About the Book

Book:  Cold Case Pursuit

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

A cold case solved by the K-9 unit…

but the past is not so easily escaped.

Decades after her parents’ murders, Penelope McGregor’s grateful the killer’s finally been identified—until he comes after her. Now Detective Tyler Walker and his K-9 partner, Dusty, must protect Penelope and catch the culprit…while making sure his little girl stays out of the crosshairs. But can the single father outplay a killer whose endgame will leave no one safe?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

So this thriller of a read was pretty creepy from the start. The feeling of always being watched and constantly looking over your shoulder permeated the entire book. What happens when a psychopath has decided to take it upon himself to upend your entire life. To make himself judge and jury and in some sick way expect thanks for it?

Penny's parents were killed in a cold and heartless way when she was a little girl. The man who did it has never been caught. And the creepy part is he may have struck again on another little girl's family. To add to the creepiness scale, he is dressed as a clown and I was getting serious vibes of Pennywise the clown. 

I like how the author showed the trauma of how that night so long ago affected  and is affecting both Penny and her brother. Penny was a loving character and went out of her way to be of service, a help to others, and not be a hinderance herself. But sometimes we do need help and Detective Tyler Walker wants to be that help to her.

Plenty of creepy vibes in this story along with the twists and turns. Throw in some adorable children and police canines and the story is a little bit less scary. Maybe don't read this one right before bed.

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, Poisoned Pen Press, and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself puttering around her Northern California backyard. 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, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)


More from Dana

I love book covers with adorable children on them, don’t you? There’s something so angelic about those wee folks on the covers. I have two bear cubs myself, young adults now, and I love them devotedly. Tell you what though. Sometimes, just occasionally mind you, they were a wee bit naughty. Don’t tell anyone, but one reason I enjoyed writing Cold Case Pursuit so much is that hero Tyler is the single dad of a little girl named Rain who is….er…a handful. Sure, she’s adorable, but she’s prone to disobedience and the occasional tendency to flush things down the toilet. So in addition to the edge of your seat pursuit of a murderous clown killer, there are the shenanigans of a precocious preschooler, a highly trained yet distractible police K-9, and a romance that doesn’t exactly run smoothly. Fun to write? You betcha! I hope you enjoy coming along with me on this True Blue adventure!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19

KarenSueHadley, January 19

Bigreadersite, January 19

Through the Fire Blogs, January 20

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

Remembrancy, January 21

Genesis 5020, January 21

By The Book, January 21

For the Love of Literature, January 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

Blogging With Carol, January 23

Inklings and notions, January 24

Fiction Book Lover, January 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Batya’s Bits, January 24

Betti Mace, January 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 25

Labor Not in Vain, January 25

Hebrews 12 Endurance, January 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 27

Lighthouse-Academy, January 27

Older & Smarter?, January 27

Artistic Nobody, January 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Mary Hake, January 28

For Him and My Family, January 29

Simple Harvest Reads, January 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, January 29

deb’s Book Review, January 30

Hallie Reads, January 30

To Everything There Is A Season, January 30

She Lives To Read, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Daysong Reflections, February 1

Bizwings Blog, February 1



To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a $50 Amazon gift card and a tote bag!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Review and Giveaway: A Rush of White Wings by Pamela Ford



Book Description:

The best journey brings you home. Boston, 1849. Shattered by the devastating loss of his wife and children during the Irish famine, Sean Deacey has given up on love and happiness. So when he rescues an infant from an immigrant shipwreck, he gives the orphaned babe to his sister Kathleen and her husband. They raise the boy as their own – until Ailish Sullivan arrives two years later claiming the child is her last living relative and demanding his return. A legal fight ensues, and Sean befriends Ailish, determined to change her mind and keep her from destroying his sister’s family. But when friendship leads to understanding, he is torn between the desires of both families. And as his feelings grow for a woman he knows he should not want and can never have, he faces an agonizing choice – stand with his sister or follow his heart. Award-winning author Pamela Ford explores the bonds of family as she takes readers on an uplifting emotional journey through grief, sacrifice, and the power of forgiveness.

Buy the Book
B&N ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ GooglePlay
Add to Goodreads

My Thoughts:

A Rush of White Wings is a historical story that put me in the mind of the movie Far and Away. This was an epic story that revolves around the love of a little boy, Will or Liam as his different families called him.

The Irish were coming to America in droves due to the deadly potato famine in Ireland where they were starving. Now I have read enough history to know that the English had no love for them so when they could, they came to America to have a better life. Oftentimes that did not happen and they would find themselves living in poor slums in a busy city in rundown tenement apartments. However, Sean Deacey is determined to own his own farmland out west and work the land and forget the heartbreak of the loss of his wife and sons.

His sister Kathleen and her English husband Jack are deeply in love and are just so thankful to have their families here in America. One thing that they are missing is a child. One fateful day though, brings a little baby boy out of the ocean to give this family the one piece of happiness this family has been missing.

Two years later the little boy's kin shows up in the form of his Aunt Ailish, newly arrived from Ireland and very poor herself. This sets up a moral dilemma of what if's and turns everyone's lives upside down. It also gives Sean, who wants nothing but to spare his sister heartbreak, time to get to know Ailish. On their outings with Will, Sean and Ailish get to know one another, and both glimpse a second chance for love. But are both to stubborn to take the chance?

The author touches on some delicate subjects such as infertility, prejudice of a group of people, and gives us a really good picture of what life was like for some of the Irish immigrants. Starting off with a bit of Irish mythology, this romantic story with it's ups and downs and the heartbreak of it all kept me glued to the pages.

For content information, there are a few Irish swears and a couple of mild love scenes.  

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.

Also Available in Pamela Ford's An Irish Historical Love Story Series:

Book Description:

Gold Medal Winner, IPPY Awards • Finalist, National Readers’ Choice Awards • Finalist, Maggie Awards for Excellence • Finalist, Kindle Book Awards

“A sweeping historical love story that hits all the marks.” –Publisher’s Weekly starred review

Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.
Ireland 1846. With Ireland ravaged by famine and England unsympathetic to its plight, Kathleen Deacey faces a devastating choice – leave her country to find work or risk dying there. Despising the English for refusing to help Ireland, she crosses the ocean to support her family and search for her missing fiancĂ©.

But when her voyage goes awry, she must accept help from an English whaling captain, Jack Montgomery, who represents everything she despises – and with whom she is reluctantly falling in love. As Kathleen fights to save her family back in Ireland, she finds herself facing yet another devastating choice – remain loyal to her country or follow her heart.

Award-winning author Pamela Ford captures the anguish of a devastating period in Irish history and delivers a historical saga of hope, loyalty, the strength of the human spirit, and the power of love. With more than a half million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is known for creating stories that are emotional and moving.

Buy the Book
B&N ~ Apple ~ Kobo ~ GooglePlay
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot. After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam spent many years as a copywriter and freelance writer before inserting a plot twist in her career path and writing her first book. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a National Readers' Choice Awards finalist, a Kindle Book Awards finalist, a Maggie Awards for Excellence finalist, and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist.

Connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook  ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Tour Schedule:
Jan 6 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 6 - Library of Clean Reads – book review of TO RIDE A WHITE HORSE / giveaway
Jan 6 - Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 7 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 7 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 12 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of TO RIDE A WHITE HORSE / giveaway
Jan 13 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 14 – Literary Flits – book review of TO RIDE A WHITE HORSE / giveaway
Jan 15 – Sadie's Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of TO RIDE A WHITE HORSE / giveaway
Jan 20 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 - Library of Clean Reads – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 21 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 22 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of TO RIDE A WHITE HORSE
Jan 25 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 - Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 – Literary Flits – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 28 – Pause for Tales – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Jan 28 - Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 29 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 29 - Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS
Feb 1 – Corinne Rodrigues – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / giveaway
Feb 2 – High Society Book Reviews – book review of A RUSH OF WHITE WINGS / guest post / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Review and Giveaway: Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Altered Helix
(Altered Helix #1)
By Stephanie Hansen
Young Adult Fantasy Novella
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 96 Pages
May 19, 2020 by Hypothesis Books

I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria's life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Thoughts:

So this is an interesting and a very different read from what I am used to. This is a three book series that all three should be read to get the whole picture.

The beginning really sets up the unknown that permeates this story. Austria is in a very bad situation when we first meet her, when and where we don't know. Then the story starts. She has taken a job at a themed haunted house for scares and laughs and things are not as they seem. Not with her co-workers or even with the house. There are some creepy things going on, shadows and what not, and Austria is not sure if they are real or just tricks of her mind.

To me the atmosphere almost feels dizzying. Austria has no idea what is going on, with her family, with the guy she likes, even with herself. And we the reader are right along with her. The setting also seems to be sometime in the future. Not too far away but certainly enough has happened to alter the world as we know it.

This was a unique little read, definitely young adult in nature. 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.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft Award Winning Author. Her short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of Altered Helix (US only)

Ends February 3, 2020

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Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Heart's Gift by Lena Nelson Dooley


About the Book

Book:  A Heart’s Gift

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian historical romance

Is a marriage of convenience the answer?

Franklin Vine has worked hard to build the ranch he inherited into one of the most successful in the majestic Colorado mountains. If only he had an heir to one day inherit the legacy he’s building. But he was burned once in the worst way, and he doesn’t plan to open his heart to another woman. Even if that means he’ll eventually have to divide up his spread among the most loyal of his hired hands.

When Lorinda Sullivan is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she’ll never allow a man to make choices for her again. But without a home in the midst of a hard Rocky Mountain winter, she has to do something to provide for her infant son.

A marriage of convenience seems like the perfect arrangement, yet the stakes quickly become much higher than either of them ever planned. When hearts become entangled, the increasing danger may change their lives forever.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

I adore marriage of convenience stories, and this one is about two people who actually genuinely like each other. They both want to have a real family, but both are way to stubborn to sit back and listen, to common sense or their feelings.

Understandably, Franklin Vine is a wounded hero. His first intended left him for another man and he has decided to close up his heart nice and tight.

Lorinda Sullivan just wants to be her own woman. She took orders from her abusive father until her late husband rescued her. Then he did not give her much say either. Lorinda was trapped in her cabin in the wilderness and in a life where men devalued her worth. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Franklin and Lorinda find each other and marry. Both a bit gun shy but not at all immune to one another.

However their marriage turns out very differently than what they thought. They actually glimpse freedom in love if they could just grasp it. Throw a mystery into this slow burn romance and you have a really exceptional 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. 

About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.


More from Lena

The Story Behind A Heart’s Gift

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, from 1805 through the early 20th century.

I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of information about their relationship. But by his actions, we can assume that Joseph believed the angel and Mary about her baby. He didn’t do the usual thing and put her away quietly. Instead, he protected her, and from the day He was born, he became the earthly father of Jesus. I’ve often thought about what that meant for Joseph and for Mary. When I wrote a story of a marriage between a man and a single mother, I used the emotions that I feel God has revealed to me about their relationship.

The first time I read a marriage of convenience novel, I loved it. And I’ve read quite a few. I’ve also written a few. A Heart’s Gift is one of them. This book was an easy and interesting book to write.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my mind. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

During the writing of A Heart’s Gift, there’s a place where I just stopped and said, “God, what am I going to do now?” When you get there, you’ll know what scene I mean, but I don’t want to give a spoiler.

I never dreamed that the book would turn into a suspense novel in the last quarter of the book, but God knew. And it made it a better book.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Maureen’s Musings, January 14

Reviewingbooksplusmore, January 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 15

Inklings and notions, January 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Writing from the Heart Land, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Betti Mace, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Artistic Nobody, January 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, January 20

Older & Smarter?, January 21

lalkesidelivingsite, January 21

For Him and My Family, January 22

Labor Not in Vain, January 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

To Everything There Is A Season, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 25

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Splashes of Joy, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Mary Hake, January 26



To celebrate her tour, Lena 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.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Lightning on a Quiet Night by Donn Taylor


About the Book

Book:  Lightning on a Quiet Night

Author: Donn Taylor

Genre: Historical  romance

Release Date: Summer, 2014

In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder.

Despite  the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The town of Beneficent is full of good people. Especially when all but one of their boys return from World War 2. They are also a town filled with heroes. But something isn't right and it manifests itself in the murder of one of their own. 

Lisa Kemper is new in town and has put her life on hold to help her father. She is bitter about this and sees no good in this town at all. She even has pre-judged and thinks she may know who the killer is.

Jack Davis has come back to the town he loves so much and sees nothing but good. This town and his memories is what got him through the injustices and inhumanity he saw while fighting. He likes Lisa and would like to show her how great the town is, but she is a bit closed off to that.

This was a good and at times scary mystery with a touch of romance. I liked reading how people were trying to pick up their lives after the war, start families, and move forward. Unfortunately, darkness can seep in anywhere and can upend lives- especially when everyone is blaming someone else or when they just think they can't fall.

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

Raised in Mississippi, Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include six suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.


More from Donn

There’s a very personal background to my historical romance Lightning on a Quiet Night. When I was seventeen, my parents moved from central Mississippi to teach at a college in the northeastern corner of the state. I quickly came to love the region’s wooded hills and small, fertile valleys, and I developed an appreciation for the people who lived there. That region was also where I met Mildred, who taught me the meaning of love. The critical stage of our courtship occurred when the area was snowbound. By the time the snow melted (with no help from us, of course) we were engaged.

So when, decades later, I came to write a historical novel, I set it in a fictitious town in that region, and in 1948, the time period Mildred and I had known together. I wanted to write about love, of course, but I also wanted to write about the everyday citizens of that region—the storekeepers, small-town bankers, farmers—people of good will who seemed never to be accurately represented in fiction.

Readers will find the main focus of the novel to be romance, suspense, and comedy—with a snowbound love scene, of course. But as the writing progressed, the scope of the story broadened. What would happen if a town too proud of its virtues had to deal with its first murder? How would its citizens struggle against the reality of human imperfection? I’d started out to write about love and solving a murder but found myself grappling with the most basic problems of human life.

How successful was this? Readers will decide, but I can say I was gratified when Publishers Weekly wrote that the novel had “passion and heart” and showed “a keen understanding of the human condition.”

Among my books, this was Mildred’s favorite, and she helped in many ways during the writing. She lived long enough to read its dedication to her and to see the novel contracted, though not to see it in print.

But enough of the personal: Readers want mostly to be entertained by a good story, and I hope that is what I have given them.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 13

deb’s Book Review, January 14

Mary Hake, January 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Connie’s History Classroom, January 17

Artistic Nobody, January 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

A Novel Pursuit, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25


To celebrate his tour, Donn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus one paperback copy of Lightning on a Quiet Night!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Review and Giveaway: The Christmas Promise by Janice Carter


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Christmas Promise
By Janice Carter
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages
January 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The Christmas season…

Is perfect for new beginnings

After a tragedy seventeen years ago, author Ella Jacobs never wanted to come back to Lighthouse Cove. Not to the whispered rumors, the judgment or even to Ben Winters, the boy she loved. Now she’s returned in time for Christmas—and some much-needed closure. But old flames burn bright. Can Ella find her way back to Ben…or will the secrets of their past extinguish their love for good?
(Affiliate links included.)

My Thoughts:

The Christmas Promise deals with a heavier theme than some other Heartwarming stories, and shows how mistakes, assumptions, and lack of forgiveness can change people's lives.

Ella Jacobs is coming back to Lighthouse Cove to promote her book. The Cove was a place where she and her family went for summers and it used to be her favorite place in the whole world. Her best friend Grace lived there along with Ben, Grace's brother and Ella's boyfriend. Ella and Ben were making plans for the future when the summer of tragedy turned their lives upside down, including a lot of other people's as well. Ella was blamed and she and her family never returned. Seventeen years later, all involved have learned that you can't outrun the past, you just keep carrying the baggage throughout your life.

I really felt for Ella as she is the one that lost the most, through no fault of her own. The rejection she experienced and the blame that was laid on her young shoulders did her some damage that she never could shake. I also wonder if it affected her family life as well. Misplaced blame can be very damaging to a person's soul.

There is a lot that needs to be worked through, and "I am sorry and please forgive me" may not be enough. This was a story of forgiveness, letting go, and starting over. It is also a story of reconciliation and a chance to dream again.

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

Writing has been a passion for Janice Carter since elementary school but her second career after teaching began with the publication of a Harlequin Intrigue, many years ago. Since then, she's been very lucky to be able to do what she enjoys most - writing about the connections between people, their families and the places where they live. And of course, love is always at the heart of those connections.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

Three winners will each receive print copies of His Saving Grace and Her Kind of Hero along with a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open to US/CAN)

Ends January 27, 2021

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