Wednesday, January 31, 2024

My Thoughts on Double Take by Lynette Eason


She survived a murder plot and her attacker is dead--isn't he?

Detective James Cross has been honorably discharged from the Army's Criminal Investigation Division due to wounds sustained when an IED blew up near him. Now with the Lake City Police Department, he's rooming with his good buddy and partner, Cole, while he figures out his family dynamics.

Physician Assistant Lainie Jackson is eighteen months out from an attempted murder perpetrated by her ex, which ended when she managed to grab the weapon and shoot him. When he appears to have survived and is back to finish the job he started, Lainie insists it's not possible. But someone keeps trying to kill her, and she keeps seeing his face.

Together, Lainie and James must work together to find out who exactly is after her and why he wants her dead. And failure is not an option.

My Thoughts:

So, this review starts off with a big WOW. I was significantly engrossed in this story and how the characters were going to make it. I had a hard time putting this story down as the characters were presented with scenarios that just didn't make sense. I mean how could it. The man who is causing Lainie to fear for her life, and for good reason, is supposed to be dead. And at Lainie's own hand. Is this her ex-boyfriend who wouldn't take no for an answer, or someone who is trying to finish what he started?

Her best friend's brother and her once upon a time crush, James Cross is a detective who has just moved back to town. He has made it his mission to help Lainie get to the bottom of this stalker with nefarious plans against Lainie and help her understand that she is not losing her mind. He's got her back, but what happens when the evil seems to always be one step ahead?

This was a riveting suspense that will keep the reader up at night and quite possibly make said reader make sure no one is following them. This was a story that not only offers suspense, but romance, second chances, and being able to come home again.

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:

Lynette Eason is the USA Today bestselling author of Double Take, as well as the Extreme Measures, Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband. They have two adult children. Learn more at

Friday, January 26, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Vivienne in Paris by Maria Castellucci Moore Illustrated by Emanuela Mannello



Book Details:

Book Title:  Vivienne in Paris by Maria Castellucci Moore
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 5 to 9), 38 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Mascot Kids
Release date:   May 2, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

Vivienne in Paris follows a young Parisian girl on a journey through Paris to find what makes her tick. Join Vivienne as she discovers the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of the city that make her feel alive. What better place to explore, observe, and delight in her senses than Paris?

This book tells a story of mindfulness and insight into how the surrounding world can really move you. It unites curiosity, wonder, and marvel to enlighten, surprise, and tickle your deepest spirit. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that bring you the greatest joy.

Meet the Author:

Entrepreneur, first-generation American, writer, and mother to four children, María strives to bring passion and enthusiasm to all her endeavors. A lover of all things European, María has found great passion through her travels to Paris, Italy, Spain, and South America. Her affection for winemaking, foreign languages, the arts, ballroom dancing, and traveling has given María a unique and grateful perspective on life. Her love for her family and helping others through charitable giving has enabled María to thoughtfully curate purposeful life adventures.

María Castellucci Moore earned her bachelor of arts degree in finance from Dominican University on a tennis scholarship, and later pursued studying at New York University and the London School of Economics with a focus on global affairs. In 2016, with her siblings, María founded Castellucci Napa Family, a luxury wine and real estate brand. María runs her wine label and a family real estate development company in the greater Bay Area. She is a board member of the San Francisco Opera Guild and is enthusiastic about building opportunity and community through the arts.

connect with author: website facebook instagram goodreads

My Thoughts:
In this storybook we get to travel with a young girl by the name of Vivienne in her hometown of Paris, France. Yes, Vivienne gives us inside look through a child's eyes of what it might look like to spend a lazy Sunday traversing through Paris.
Vivienne is excited to start her day and first visits her grandfather. He in turn tells her to go about her day with her senses. Really focus, kind of hyper focus on all that you do, don't just let the joys of the day pass you by. Rejoice in them instead. That is exactly what Vivienne does as she goes about her usual activities through Paris, she brings the reader along and through her senses gives us vibrant and rich descriptions of all that she is experiencing.
Whether she is eating or shopping, tasting and smelling, even what she hears, Vivienne takes her grandfather's advice and really stops to smell the roses, so to speak. This is a bright, colorful storybook that shows the thrill that an ordinary day and ordinary things can be. Just in Paris!
I was provided a copy of this storybook by the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Enter the Giveaway:
Vivienne in Paris by Maria Castellucci Moore Book Tour Giveaway

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Book Spotlight: Behind Her Smile by Beverly Golden Cuevas



Book Details:

Book Title:  Behind Her Smile: The Adventures of a Tall Girl from WVA and Her Life as a Stewardess by Beverly Golden Cuevas
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  392 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Publisher:  Urlink Print & Media, LLC
Release date:  August  2023
Content Rating:  PG. Suitable for adult audiences.
Book Description:

Being raised in Parkersburg,WVA, Janie didn't have big aspirations for her life. Tired of her dead-end job at the phone company her best friend suggested she interview to become a Stewardess. Fearful she would be rejected because of her height; she was shocked when she was accepted. A whole new world opened up to her. Seeing places she had only read about, spending time with politicians, movie stars and professional athletes. One special athlete, a professional basketball player named Wendell Ladner stole her heart with his southern charm. An extraordinary 'connection' with Elvis Presley allowed her the unique experience to spend 'one on one' time with him and remain in touch until his passing. You'll share with her the challenges of marrying someone so different from her upbringing and coping with attempts to try and fit in. Behind Her Smile reveals a devastating event that deeply affected Beverly and made her reexamine her life and what she truly wanted out of it.
Amazon B&N ~ BAM ~ Bookbub
add to goodreads

Meet the Author:

Beverly Golden Cuevas was born Beverly Jane Golden in Ironton, Ohio in 1945. She spent the first 10 years of her life in Parkersburg, West Virginia with her family. Her father had a job opportunity in Columbus, Ohio in 1955 so away they went. Beverly started working at the age of 14 to contribute to her family finances. She graduated Columbus North High School in 1963. She moved on to work at the Ohio Bell Telephone Company after graduation. In 1965, on the dare of her best friend she went to an interview to be a Stewardess for American Airlines. American hired her and she started her flying career in New York, then commuting from Tulsa, Oklahoma to her Dallas base. She flew both domestic and international. During her career, she never received a bad passenger letter. In 1977, she was 1 of 12 Flight Attendants selected out of 16,000 to participate in a highly coveted special assignment to work at the prestigious American Airlines Golf Classic. Her flying career ended on December 1, 2001 after 35 years. Beverly now lives in Dallas, Texas. She has been married to her wonderful husband Randy for 43 years. She has two sons, Joshua and Kaleb. She is a loving wife and mother, never missing a baseball game or school talent show, in spite of her flying schedule! Mimi is blessed to pass on her knowledge and love of life to her grandchildren Eden, Elijah, Ellie, Logan and Holly.

connect with the author: goodreads 

Enter the Giveaway:

BEHIND HER SMILE by Beverly Golden Cuevas Book Tour Giveaway

My Thoughts and More on Loving Beth by Bonnie Rose Ward



About the Book

Book: Loving Beth

Author: Bonnie Rose Ward

Genre: Christian Historical Romance Fiction

Release Date: June 8, 2023

A courageous woman, a bitter man, and God’s plan.

Times were hard after Beth McCullough’s father died in the Civil War, but she and her mother are getting by on their little farm outside Rosewood, West Virginia. The kindly banker holding the loan lets them pay what they can. Then Beth’s mother dies suddenly, and the banker’s arrogant son gives her only thirty days to pay her full debt. Beth is left alone and lonely and fears losing the only home she’s ever known. It would be nice to have someone in her life like Jacob, the handsome man who found her mother. Then to her horror, Beth discovers two small children who’ve been abandoned. It’s one more thing for her to worry about, but Beth has to keep faith in God’s ability to work miracles.

Although he has to travel to Baltimore to care for his ailing mother, Jacob Wallace can’t stop thinking about Beth, but he’d promised his late wife he’d never love again after her tragic death. After receiving a letter with terrible rumors about Beth, Jacob returns to Rosewood, angry, bitter, and disillusioned, more determined than ever to keep his vow to never love again. He’s right to close his heart against Beth.

As Beth struggles to protect the children and keep her farm, she’s also defending against Jacob’s unfounded suspicions. The danger escalates with an attack and threats to her life. But God moves in mysterious ways. Is there room in Jacob’s heart for a new love? Will they learn to trust each other and have faith in God’s plan to find their way together?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Beth, at only seventeen, is dealing with a world of grief and responsibilities that have fallen on her shoulders due to the sudden death of her mother. Beth is not a stranger to a hard life; she and her mother have been scraping by the best they could since her father's death during the Civil War some years ago. But this time, she is all alone. Not only must she deal with her grief, but also the foreclosure of her home.

Jacob Wallace is a widower who is trying to run from his grief. He has made a promise to his late wife that he will never love another woman. He is doing pretty good with that promise until he meets Beth and becomes involved in her circumstances. And when their paths come to halt due to rumors and outright lies, well Jacob finds it all too easy to turn away in anger.

These two have quite an uphill battle and many revelations that they need to get through. There is danger and secrets that come to life and many twists and turns that I was not expecting. Jacob realizes it is quite an honor and a task to love Beth.

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

Bonnie Rose Ward, an award-winning author celebrated for her vivid memoirs recounting life in the Alaskan wilderness, currently resides in West Virginia with her husband. Bonnie’s homestead is nestled within the serene foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The spirit of these mountains and her husband’s familial tales from the region breathe life into her compelling narratives of Appalachian resilience, strength, and the quest for love. Drawing from her fifteen-years in the wilderness, Bonnie’s present lifestyle encapsulates the essence of self-sufficiency. Together with Samuel, she tends to a menagerie of goats, chickens, Zebu cattle, and other barnyard animals, while also cultivating their verdant gardens. When not immersed in her rural responsibilities, Bonnie transitions into her writer’s persona. At her keyboard, she masterfully weaves new tales echoing the valor of women, the fidelity of men, and the extraordinary miracles that God orchestrates in their lives. Bonnie Rose Ward is not just an author, but a storyteller—painting vivid pictures with her words that resonate with the human spirit’s trials, triumphs, and faith.

More from Bonnie

My husband, and I lived in the Alaskan wilderness for many years. We built cabins and lived off the land. While there, Sam shared stories about his ancestors—especially those of his spunky great grandmother, Easter Mullens. I was fascinated by her life. We eventually purchased my husband’s mother’s old homeplace nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, and together we built our home by hand, reminiscent of the cabins we built in Alaska. Living in the wilderness for fifteen years gave me the skills and understanding of how our forefathers and mothers’ must have lived in the 1800s. Sam often talked about his aunts foraging from the land—they knew what vegetation you could eat and what you couldn’t. I became enamored with these hardy, resilient mountain people and their stories.

I started to write Easter’s story as nonfiction, but my imagination took over and a fictional story grew from the fragments of her life and circumstances.

As you know, characters are typically a composite of people we know and characters we imagine, with a bit of ourselves sprinkled in there. Beth originally was a combination of Sam and my ancestors—at least, how I imagined them to be. As I worked with her, she took on a life of her own. Instead of simply being impressed by her courage, I realized how vulnerable she is. I also realized that being so young, she is going to make mistakes a more mature person wouldn’t. But I think her driving characteristic is her spunk. She does what she has to do to survive in a harsh world and to protect those she loves.

Jacob is a decent man whose devotion to his departed wife leaves no room for another. He has to come to terms not just with his wife’s death, but with what is expected from him as he puts the pieces of his life back together. Most importantly, he must realize his harshest expectations are those he has cast upon himself—and that his stubbornness is destroying not only his own happiness, but the happiness of those he loves.

Faith, love, and determination are the main themes of the book. Faith has been so important in my own life and got me through so much when we lived in the Alaskan wilderness. Therefore, I wanted to illustrate the role faith played in the lives of Beth and Jacob. Love comes in so many different forms, and I wanted to explore the different types of love. There’s the love between a man and a woman; the love between parents and children—even if they are not biologically related; and, of course, the love that grows from relying on good neighbors and friends. Determination is what allows us to survive the unsurvivable. Without the determination that seeds in our guts and grows to see us through the worst times of our lives, we would not succeed. Of course, determination can also work against us. When we stubbornly adhere to principles that are no longer relevant, our determination cause much more harm than good.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13

Bizwings Book Blog, January 14

Exploring the Written Word, January 14

Holly’s Book Corner, January 15

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Madi’s Musings, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 18 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Cover Lover Book Review, January 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 20 (Author Interview)

Devoted To Hope, January 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 21

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

Books I’ve Read, January 26

Connie’s History Classroom, January 26


To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & 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.

Monday, January 22, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Tangled Lives by Carol McClain


About the Book

Book: Tangled Lives

Author: Carol McClain

Genre: Women’s fiction

Release Date: July, 2023

Two sisters and one man. Both women love him, but only one is meant for him.

Crystal Snow struggles with the paralysis caused by her biological parents’ drug use. She convinced herself no one will ever love her. Roxie, devastated by chronic childhood rejections, knows anyone who loves her must be intrinsically flawed. Both want only what is right for their sister who is also their best friend.

Dreams upend careers. Destroy friendships. End love.

When searched out by their biological grandmother, the past tangles with the present. Issues the girls wished to forget resurrect and threaten their dreams.

Who gets the man and career of her dreams?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What happens when two sisters love the same man? A whole lot of drama and as the title suggests, tangled lives that need a bit of straightening out. This is book three in the Treasured Lives series and continues to follow those little girls we met in the first book. However, they are all grown up now. 

Roxie and Crystal are very close as sisters. Roxie is a photographer of nature and loves what she does. Life continues looking up for her as she is nearing college graduation, and her longtime boyfriend loves her deeply. In fact, he wants to marry her. Can Roxie put aside her fears and step into marriage with Jesse?

Crystal who has suffered some paralysis her entire life due to her biological parents' drug use, is happy for Roxie and Jesse at times. However, deep down and what she tries to keep hidden is her own feelings of love for Jesse. It is a hard battle and Crystal knows it will be hard to call him brother-in-law.

As in their journey through life already, nothing seems to go according to plan. There are mess ups and fall outs. Things are said in the heat of the moment and things are done in desperation. Many pieces need to be picked up and the picture they thought they were putting together changes dramatically.

I have enjoyed this series and following this family and getting to see what happens to all three of the sisters.

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

Carol McClain is the award-winning author of five novels dealing with real people facing real problems. A fifth book will be out next summer.

She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, a budding glass fuser. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband who finally gave into her dreams. They own five goats—three of them does who she milks from which she makes yogurt and cheese and butter. She’s raising bunches of chickens.

More from Carol

Have you ever:

  1. Had a crush on your sister’s boyfriend?
  2. Loved your sister beyond measure?
  3. Hated your sister beyond measure?
  4. Been confused about your career?
  5. Waylaid by your past?


If your life’s been tangled, you’re not alone. You laugh at, root for, and not be able to put Tangled Lives down.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 13 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

Artistic Nobody, January 15 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Guild Master, January 17 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

For the Love of Literature, January 20 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, January 21

For Him and My Family, January 22

Beauty in the Binding, January 23 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, January 23

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, January 24

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 25 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook 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.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Aivan: The One Truth by Kayla E. Green



About the Book


Book: Aivan: The One Truth

Author: Kayla E. Green

Genre: Young Adult Christian Fantasy

Release Date: July 23, 2022

Two young people from opposite sides of the Great Continent must make sense of their life.

Rune has grown up all of her life in the mountainous northern nation of Kansanai. As granddaughter of the Senior Elder, she has been a devout believer of the Vihishki gods her whole life. Yet, when a prophet challenges the Vihishki gods against his Aivan, the One Truth, everything she thought she knew is turned upside down. Will she be able to let go of the life she thought she deserved for something far greater than what she could have ever imagined?

Rolf goes through the motions of everyday life in the southern nation of Etalentin. Yet, his routine is disrupted when a voice claiming to be the one true God speaks to him. Listening to his heart, he follows Aivan, but he is thrown temptation after temptation on his journey. Will Rolf be able to resist the temptations in order to fulfill Aivan’s plan for him?

Aivan: The One Truth is a story about self-discovery, identity, and faith.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This story is a fantasy story about two young people who are meant to be together to help save their world. It also seems to be an allegory with many Biblical examples and situations throughout. Especially since this is the story of Aivan and how the creator wants his world to come back to him.

Now I don't mind allegories, and some can bring me to tears. However, for a fantasy story, which usually are so much longer, this one packed a lot in for just over a hundred pages.  I felt the world and their customs could have been a bit more fleshed out, it needed more of a backstory.

The other thing that was not a favorite was the idea of a female savior, their messiah. I won't say anything more on that, but it wasn't something I thought that needed changed.

Then their magic system which seemed very ordinary and complex at the same time. I liked their magic system, not necessarily the incantations spelled out on the page, but the idea that magic played an everyday role in their lives was neat. Again, here I wish we had more details about it, the truth as they find it out and the mythology. Overall, the story was one that kept me interested. I think it could have been longer for the reader to really dive right in. The author can tell a compelling story, and except for the things I disliked and the shortness of this story, it is a fairly good start.

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

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet who adores her husband and their furbabies. When she isn’t writing, reading, or taking photos for her bookstagram, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, napping, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies, contest-winning stories published with Clean Fiction Magazine, and several flash fiction stories available online through Havok Publishing.



More from Kayla

Working in education, it often is disheartening to see how much darkness bombards today’s youth. With Aivan: The One Truth, the forthcoming Chronicles of the One Truth series, and all my writing, my primary goal is to offer young readers a beacon of hope in this dark world. Alluding to many stories and lessons found in the Old Testament, Aivan is a fast-paced novella designed to capture young readers and pull them into the world of the Great Continent. It is my biggest prayer with this book that Rune and Rolf’s journey in this fantasy narrative will serve as a guiding light to lead readers of all ages to seek truth in our reality—the truth that can only be found through our one true God.

One of my current projects is developing a companion devotional for Aivan: The One Truth as well as the full-length novels that will be part of the complete Chronicles of the One Truth series (which will be released at a later date). The devotional would be a tool for parents, teachers, and pastors to use along with the book to help young readers understand the themes and biblical parallels.

Two major themes within the novella center around identity and purpose. Rune’s struggles with disappointment with shattered dreams and the heartache of feeling lost, alone, and unfulfilled are struggles that are arguably universal. In looking at Rune’s journey, young readers as well as adult readers can recognize the real-world challenges of identity: Who exactly are we? In today’s world, there is a constant battle between God and society. How can one embrace their identity as a child of God when the world demands us to rage and rebel against that title?

In Exodus 3:11 (NIV) Moses asks God, “Who am I?” after he is told to go to the Pharaoh to rescue the Israelites. God tells Moses, “I am with you,” (Exodus 3:12, NIV). Similar to Moses’ walk of faith, Rune, like us all, must learn to accept the truth. Like Aivan in the fantasy novella, our God, the one true God, is always with us. We may not immediately—or ever—understand His plan; however, through Him we are whole, redeemed, and loved. And in that, we have great purpose.

I pray that whoever reads Aivan: The One Truth finds parallels to our own world and finds solace knowing that we are because God is the great “I Am.”

In my upcoming companion devotional, I will explore the concepts of identity and purpose from a biblical perspective. Anyone who wants updates on this, should follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to know!

Blog Stops

Splashes of Joy, January 11 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Blossoms and Blessings, January 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 13

Artistic Nobody, January 14 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, January 15 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 16

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 18

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 19 (Author Interview)

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, January 19

Pause for Tales, January 20

By The Book, January 21 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, January 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 23 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, January 24 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Kayla is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback of Aivan: The One Truth, a paperback of Metamorphosis, an Aivan inspired booksleeve, Rune and Rolf character art cards, and a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card!!

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

Friday, January 19, 2024

Review: Protecting Her Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen



London, 1887

When newly graduated medical doctor Charlotte Duvall receives word that her father has died, she immediately leaves America and returns home to see to her family's estate. Among her father's possessions is a box of her late mother's letters, which feels like a balm to Charlotte's grief-stricken heart. But the letters contain some inconsistencies that suggest there was more to her mother's death than Charlotte had been told. She turns to the one man she trusts more than anyone--her treasured friend and director of London's police force, John Ellis.

John Ellis has harbored feelings for Charlotte ever since he first met her. Tucked into his heart are thoughts of her sharp mind, quick wit, and remarkable beauty. Though he has not yet found the courage to share his feelings with the young doctor, he is eager to help her in her hour of need.

Investigating the details of a death was not how Charlotte imagined she would find love, but as she and John work to unravel a dark web of secrets and lies, she finds herself relying on him more and more--and opening her heart to him in the process.

As the danger draws ever closer, John vows to do everything in his power to protect Charlotte from harm. But he fears protecting her heart might come at the cost of breaking his own.

My Thoughts:

What an absolute delight this read was. After a bit of a slow start, this book turned into one that I could not put down and was constantly looking for time to pick back up. The swoony romance between two longtime friends combined with the cold-case murder of the heroine's mother, all while taking place in 1887 London, was captivating.

Charlotte Duvall has already broken out of the norms for women of her day. She has gone to America to continue her education in the medical field and has come back home to London as a doctor. She is coming back home with a heavy load on her shoulders as her father has died unexpectedly, and not before he has stirred up many questions regarding the death of her mother twenty-some years ago. Charlotte did not make it back in time to question her father's cryptic messages. Now that he is gone, will she ever find out the truth?

Well, if it is left to the murderer, no, she won't. Teaming up with her cousins and her very best friend, Officer John Ellis, Charlotte might just get the answers she is seeking, unless one of the attempts on her life succeeds. And concerning her feelings for John, well, let's just say that it was a delight to see them fall hard in love with one another.

This was the first novel I have read by author Allen. I am excited to go through her backlist. This was a fun read.

I was provided a copy of this novel by Shadow Mountain Publishing through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Cover Reveal: Labrinth of Lies and Sacrifice by C.F.E. Black

Today is the final day for the Sacrificed Hearts cover reveals. Today's book is C.F.E. Black's treasure, Labrinth of Lies and Sacrifice. This one is dark and light, with a creepy, shadowy thing in the background. Coming April 12th. I am looking forward to this read of mortals, monsters, and mazes. I can't wait till all these fantastic books grace my bookshelves.










About the book: 

All Vera wants is to survive her wedding day without disaster striking, no easy task for a quarter-mage like Vera. But all her hopes fade when a stranger traps Vera, claiming she’s dangerous. The day gets worse when she is shoved inside the Labyrinth, an enchanted prison for the worst of criminals.

In this place, madness reigns. The monsters—both real and imagined—are all ruled by a terrible force that feeds on fear. Vera must keep her wits about her as she navigates this deadly place, searching for a way out.

When she meets another mortal trapped within, she doesn’t know if she can trust him. But as their paths continue to cross, it seems as if the maze is forcing them to work together. Can they help each other defeat the monsters and survive in this nightmare world? But in the Labyrinth, nothing is as it seems.

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Cover Reveal: Assasin of Fire and Sacrifice by Mary Mecham

We are at day 5 of the Sacrificed Hearts cover reveals. Today is Mary Mecham's book, Assassin of Fire and Sacrifice, featuring a phoenix and a forced marriage for peace. Look at this beauty, the drama and the moodiness are just oozing off of that cover. There is just something about a phoenix story and starting over anew, throw in an inconvenient marriage and that just makes it better. Winging your way on April 5th.










About the book: 

To assassinate her target, she must marry the one man capable of killing her.

Azora has dedicated her life to exacting revenge on the phoenix shifters who murdered her parents. When Prince Tarquin of Pyren demands a bride as part of a peace treaty, the elite strike squad of assassins Azora belongs to agree—she’s the perfect candidate to eliminate the monstrous shifter.

The traces of phoenix blood in her veins that grant her near immortality will allow her to slay Tarquin. But, since only a phoenix can destroy another, the gift is also her curse. 

With the tantalizing offer of peace on the altar, Azora weds Tarquin, knowing that as soon as the peace treaty is broken, either bride or groom will be the first casualty. But just as Azora begins to uncover the man behind the monster, skirmishes erupt throughout the land. When the time arrives to finally eliminate the threat to Termarth, Azora’s loyalties are torn.

She intended to gamble her life away, not her heart.

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Cover Reveal: Island of Secrets and Sacrifice by Deborah Grace White

Today is day 4 for the Sacrificed Hearts series cover reveal. Today we have Island of Secrets and Sacrifice by author Deborah Grace White. This one has one of my favorite backgrounds, ones that are by the sea. Everything looks peaceful for the most part, or does it? There just may be a storm rolling in. Releases March 29th.










About the book: 

A girl marked for death, a man branded a monster…a reality that is very different from what it seems

Ember’s defiance has always been a frustration to the rest of her island community. But even she didn’t expect to be selected as the next sacrifice, years before another is due. And she can’t help but wonder if it relates to the strange new ability that’s just begun to stir within her. She doesn’t intend to go down without a fight—in fact, the chance to confront the monster demanding sacrifices is a more welcome path than the marriage her parents had arranged to a local farmer.

Haiden has never heard of Ember’s island, and he couldn’t care less about their plight. He’s fully occupied trying to lift the curse that has turned him into a monster while fending off the stream of maidens determined to break it for him—both feats that are proving impossible in spite of his considerable magical ability.

When Ember charges into his purposely isolated life, badly wounded, full of nonsensical accusations, and entirely undaunted by his hideous form, their paths and plans collide with a force neither is prepared for. It will take more than Ember’s fledgling magic and Haiden’s superior training to lift both his curse and the lies holding her island captive. They’ll first have to learn to actually let each other in, which may prove the hardest sacrifice of all.

It’s set in the world of The Singer Tales, a completed series of six clean fairy tale retellings by Deborah Grace White. Island of Secrets and Sacrifice takes place six years after the end of the series, but can be enjoyed without any prior reading.

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Cover Reveal: Mask of Deception and Sacrifice by Callie Thomas

Day three cover reveal for the Sacrificed Hearts is upon us and this cover is giving me some, how should I say it, creepy, sinister, gothic vibes. I mean there is a lot of detail happening here. From the cathedral like background, candlelight, heroine's cup spilling contents, and what is That in the background? Really excited for this one, Mask of Deception and Sacrifice by Callie Thomas, and it is coming March 22nd.










About the book: 

If she can remove the monster’s mask, she will earn her freedom…but failure will cost her life.

Thirteen years ago, Princess Fiona fled the bloodshed within Ravenwood Castle. She has no desire to return to the place of her childhood nightmares, especially not as a prisoner locked in chains. Using the power of illusion, she glamours her appearance to conceal her royal identity, hoping that her facade won’t crumble before she can escape. 

When the usurper king forces her on a deadly mission to subdue a wild man terrorizing his kingdom, Fiona must earn the trust of a masked monster who uses his sharp tongue and shifting personalities to keep her away. But the longer she’s with him, the more she sees beyond his disguise and succumbs to his charms.

With her life on the line, the last thing she needs is a distraction. But when he offers her another path to freedom, will she sacrifice everything for him?

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Monday, January 8, 2024

Cover Reveal: Pearls of Salt and Sacrifice by Everly Haywood

Day two for our cover reveal for the Sacrificed Hearts series is here. This one is by Everly Haywood and is called Pearls of Salt and Sacrifice. I am really enjoying the seafaring details on this one. Coming your way on March 15th.










About the book: 

To save a kingdom, she must sacrifice herself…and her heart.

When Princess Reva seeks a trade alliance, she doesn't realize her hand in marriage may be required to save her people from starvation. But with more than one suitor fighting for her hand, her plans are thrust into chaos when there's a fatal attack in the cove.

After she is ripped away from negotiations against her will, loyalties are tested as rumors of a deadly magic pearl--and the constant meddling of a determined sea elf and a dastardly pirate captain--put Reva into an impossible position.

When a monstrous creature attacks her homeland, can this swashbuckling princess solve the mystery of the forbidden Death Pearl before everyone she loves is dragged beneath the sea?

Loosely inspired by Perseus and Andromeda, this hilarious romantasy set on the high seas is sure to enthrall fans of The Princess Bride and Howl's Moving Castle.

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Cover Reveal: Mountain of Dragons and Sacrifice by Tara Grayce

This is going to be a fun week on the Pause for Tales blog. I am once again a part of a wonderful romantasy cover reveal for the series Sacrificed Hearts. Every day this week. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The first absolutely gorgeous cover reveal is for Tara Grayce. Her book, Mountain of Dragons and Sacrifice will be debuting on March 8th. Now feast your eyes on the cover...










About the book: 

It’s a tale as old as myth and legends: the village maiden sacrificed to a monster.

Every year, Nessa’s village sacrifices a maiden to the dragon in the mountain. If they don’t, the dragon will sweep down from his lair and destroy them all.

When Nessa is chosen to be that year’s sacrifice, she’s prepared to be eaten, as much as anyone can prepare for such a thing. Instead, she finds herself swept away to a world of dragons, gnomes, and fae creatures beyond her imagination, leaving her with more questions than answers. If the maiden’s purpose isn’t to be eaten, then what is the dragon’s reason for the sacrifices? And why is the dragon nothing like what she had been told he would be? 

And, most frightening of all, what would happen if she lit the candle and looked upon the dragon’s face?

Loosely inspired by the myth of Psyche and Eros, this humorous romantasy features dragon shifters, quirky fae, and swoony no spice romance, perfect for fans of Sylvia Mercedes, Kenley Davidson, and K.M. Shea!

The cover is by @moorbooksdesign

Saturday, January 6, 2024

My Thoughts and More on The Juliet Code by Pepper Basham


About the Book

Book: The Juliet Code

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

Release Date: December, 2023

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley Finally Reach Their Honeymoon Destination Only to Encounter a New Mystery in Need of Solving

Frederick and Grace Percy finally make it to Italy to enjoy a delayed honeymoon and explore the beauties of the historic city of Venice. To their surprise, their friend, Detective Jack Miracle, is also in the city, investigating a series of art heists starting at the house of eccentric millionaire, Laraby Covington. Drawn into a world of boat races, mysterious houses, and parties of the rich and unusual in Venice, Frederick and Grace learn of the existence of the Juliet paintings, (Renaissance paintings feature Shakespeare’s tragic heroine) rumored to hold a secret code to an underground vault of similarly treasured artwork assumed lost over the centuries. As Freddie and Grace are pulled deeper into the mystery and their beloved Detective Jack disappears, can they use their wits and work as a team to find the thieves and Jack before it’s too late.

The Juliet Code is a Freddie and Grace Mystery, sequel to The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The continuing adventures of Grace and Freddie shows them just trying to fit in their honeymoon between all the mysteries. This time we find them in Venice, enjoying the sites as newlyweds when they get caught up in an adventure they didn't see coming. First, I think their relationship is adorable, as Grace keeps things interesting for Freddie, and Freddie grounds her.

Freddie is coming to realize that he and Grace may not have a normal honeymoon, and maybe not a normal life. But in the beginning of these chapters, he realizes that the gift of adventure and sleuthing is the best gift he can give to Grace. It pleases her so, and he loves her so. What's a guy going to do?

Their adventure consists of a secluded rich man's island and stolen artwork which may or may not hold a hidden message to a long-buried treasure. This was another fun addition to this series, though I do admit I felt for Freddie and his dreams of a quieter life. However, Grace is happy as can be as her reading adventures are coming to life and her life is much more fascinating than a fictional book. 

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

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.


More from Pepper

The Ever After

I’ve always loved fairytales.

Especially the romanticized version (#romancewriter).

The wonderful sense of a two people meeting, overcoming obstacles to be together, and then the happily-ever-after?

Well, those are some of my favorite reasons to read and write fiction. However, I didn’t realize the challenge I took on when I agreed to write a second and third book with the main characters staying the same!

You know what I mean?

In most series, the main characters from book one become secondary characters in the consecutive books so that the secondary characters in book one can become the main characters in book 2 (everybody still following along? 🙂)

One of my favorite book series that do this so well is the Amelia Peabody series. I fell in LOVE with Amelia and Emerson in book one, but just loved watching their continued dynamic as a couple grow with each new book. I felt as if I got to know them so much better in their “ever after” while they engaged in all sorts of adventures together.

So…that’s what I hoped to accomplish with Freddie and Grace.

Where The Mistletoe Countess ends with a happily-ever-after, The Cairo Curse and The Juliet Code take over to show us more of the…ever after – my attempt at showing how two main characters continue to grow beyond the end of book one.

I didn’t realize what a daunting feat it would be. Watching two characters meet, fall in love, and show some growth in book 1 was what I was used to doing. But how was I supposed to continue that character growth in consecutive books?

Well, I had to grow myself as a writer to understand how small changes can make lasting differences especially when writing about a beloved couple.

I think The Juliet Code shows a little of that growth – of our Freddie and Grace have not only matured spiritually and, in Grace’s case, experientially, but also as a couple.

Do you have a series that you love where the main characters stay the same?

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, December 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Bigreadersite, December 28

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

Devoted To Hope, December 29

Mary Hake, December 29

She Lives To Read, December 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, December 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 31

Blogging with Carol, December 31

For Him and My Family, December 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 1

Back Porch Reads, January 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, January 2

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Book Looks by Lisa, January 3

Aryn the Libraryan, January 3

Girls in White Dresses, January 3

Daysong Reflections, January 4

Holly’s Book Corner, January 4

Splashes of Joy, January 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 5 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, January 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 5

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 6

Pause for Tales, January 6

Tell Tale Book reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 7

Live. Love. Read., January 7

Labor Not in Vain, January 8

Mornings at Character Cafe, January 8

Worthy2Read, January 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

The Lit Lady, January 9

Lily’s Corner, January 10

By The Book, January 10

To Everything There Is A Season, January 10



To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a print 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.