The Heart of an Agent (The Adirondack Pinkerton’s #2) by Tracey J. Lyons

Synopsis:

Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.

Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all?

My Thoughts:

I’ve always wanted to visit the Adirondacks and through the pages of this delightful story, I feel like I have. Tracy Lyons writes with such vivid imagery I felt like I was in the Adirondacks. Enjoying the crisp mountain air, and fresh pine breeze, while watching the deer play hide ‘n seek with their spotted fawns and listening to the various birds singing from the trees.

I haven’t yet read the first book in this series, but you can be sure that I will be picking up A Changed Agent, as soon as I am able. I did not feel lost in the story; you can easily read this as a stand-alone. However, If this book is any indication the first book must be pretty fantastic as well.

I enjoyed the dynamic, full of life characters. This story oozes emotion and you feel it every step of the way.  While the story may not have a lot of spine-tingling action, the emotion and lively characters easily move the story in an enjoyable page-turning progression. I give this story 4.5 stars and I look forward to reading more from this author in the near future.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Bonus:

Visit my blogging friend Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower for “5-Little Known Facts” about our Author Tracey J. Lyons.  You won’t want to miss this!

Favorite Quote:

“Trust me when I tell you the best way to get rid of your pain is to give it up to the Lord.”

About the Author:

TraceyLyons Tracey considers herself a small town gal writing small town books. An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author, Tracey sold her first book on 9/9/99! Tracey’s books have been translated into several languages. She has appeared on the award winning Cox Cable Television show, Page One and at the famous Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC. She holds membership in Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers and Novelists Inc. Tracey writes small town, sweet and inspirational historical romances.

When not busy writing, Tracey enjoys spending time with her family and making her husband crazy with renovation projects on their 1860’s home.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

 The Heart of An Agent (The Adirondack Pinkertons #2)

  A Changed Agent (The Adirondack Pinkertons #1)

 

HeartOfAnAgent

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The Sound of Rain by Sara Loudin Thomas

In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through

Synopsis:

Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.

My Thoughts:

The first thing that captured my attention about this book is the setting. From Mountains of West Virginia to the coast of Myrtle Beach, SC and to the hills of Kentucky this book will introduce to various cultures and people that populate the various regions. I found the descriptions of the locations realistic and believable.

Rich with Appalachian dialect, and feisty characters you are sure to feel like you are right there in the story. I did, however, find it difficult to connect with the main characters. While they are charming and believable, I just couldn’t quite seem to connect with them in this story.

My favorite character is a secondary character, Granny Jane, a cantankerous old woman from the hills of Kentucky. Her wisdom and wit brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion.

If you are looking for a story to read that will give you a glimpse into what everyday life was like for people living the in the 1950’s then you won’t want to miss this story. Overall, I’d give this book 3.5 stars, as this is an enjoyable story to read.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“I’m beginning to think you can do God’s work anywhere. All you have to do is look for someone who’s hurting and see if you can ease the pain.”

Bonus:

Click here to read the first chapter of The Sound of Rain

About the Author:

SarahLThomasSarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

The Sound of Rain

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Waiting For His Return (A Novella) by: Carrie Turansky

Synopsis:

The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor falls in love with an injured artist-correspondent on assignment to cover battles near Union occupied Nashville.

The year is 1864 and the Civil War continues to impact families in the North and South. British born James Galloway, a special artist for Harper’s Weekly, travels with the Union troops, sketching battle scenes to bring war news home to those in the North. It’s dangerous work, but he is committed to the Union cause. When he is captured by Confederate troops, he spends several months in a prison camp. Finally, he escapes and travels north, hoping to reach the Union lines, but a bushwhacker attacks him, steals his horse, and leaves him seriously injured at the side of the road outside Nashville.

Rachel Thornton, a kind-hearted doctor’s daughter, takes James into their to home and nurses him while he recovers. Her feelings for James grow, but she has already lost one man she loves in the war. How can she give her heart to James, when she knows he may become another casualty of the war? With family drama, romance, and inspiration, this novella will lift your spirit and satisfy your romantic heart.

This novella was originally titled Though the Mountains Tremble and published in A Blue and Gray Christmas novella collection in 2009. It has been revised and updated for new readers to enjoy.

My Thoughts:

From the first chapter till the last, I found myself welcomed into the warm embrace of the Thornton residence just outside of Nashville, TN. While the weather outside was cold and dreary, the fire was warm and the company inviting.

This sweet novella is a heartwarming story of love and a tender reminder that if we but take our burdens to the Lord, He will carry us through the darkest days. A perfect story to enjoy snuggled in your living room enjoying the Christmas lights, and your favorite hot beverage.

I appreciated learning about the courageous reporters, who risked their lives to stay close to the front lines of the battle, to draw pictures and write the stories that would not only be printed and told to families around the country but be carry far into the future.

I enjoyed reading this sweet Christmas story. The characters are believable and the story itself is realistic and enjoyable. I give this endearing story 4.5 stars.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“We don’t know what the future holds, but I believe God can see us through whatever comes.”

Bonus:

Click Here to visit Carrie’s Pinterest board for Waiting for His Return to see the characters and the setting.

About the Author:

174914Carrie Turanksy has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and three grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends.

  Web Page / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Available today:

WaitingForHisReturn  Waiting for His Return (Christmas Novella)

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The Esther Paradigm by: Sarah Monzon

Synopsis:

Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally, her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she’ll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.

As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.

In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?

My Thoughts:

I have never visited the desert, or ridden a camel. However, through the pages of this book, I feel like I have. This story is unlike any you’ve read before. From the hidden dangers of scorpions, the powerful sandstorms, and a culture that I’ve only glimpsed of on TV and pictures. Sarah bring the flat, fuzzy images into a focus so vivid and real, that you will feel you that you have stepped into the pages of her book. Come along for an adventure, and learn about a culture many know little about. It won’t take long to find yourself fully immersed in this amazing story. You may even feel like you need to brush the sand off after you finish reading.

Hannah and her parents are missionaries to the Bedouin people. In a region where sharing your faith is illegal. Hannah has always had a heart for the people, and for teaching. After spending several years back in the United States getting her teaching degree she returns to open a school in the clan that she grew up with and the people she considers her community. She has a strong desire to teach the children how to read and write and to shine the light of Jesus. She didn’t expect to find that hostilities have grown since she left and that some in the clan even resent her and her families presence.

Karim Al-Amir is the sheikh, the leader of his people. He carries the heavy burden of leadership and wants to mend the rift that has come between his clan and his missionary friends. As children, Karim & Hannah raced camels and played together. Then she was sent to the United States to finish her schooling and returns amid the clan facing a disturbing problem with the health of their sheep, and the rising tensions against the Missionary family.

I give this fabulous story 5 stars and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading stories about other cultures and also those who enjoy missionary stories. Your mind will be stretched and your understanding of the Muslim culture broadened. This book reminds us that we are all called to share the gospel and that even when our very lives are at risk, we must not stop talking about God and allowing his light to shine through our lives.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Bonus:

Don’t miss the behind the scenes details shared in the Cover Reveal post (click here)!

Favorite Quote:
Esther

About the Author:

SarahSarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book,Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

 

 The Esther Paradigm

Sarah’s Other books:

 The Isaac Project

 Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

 

TheEstherParadigm1

My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah (Leanna’s Choice) by Angie Dicken

Journey now to Castle Gate, Utah of 1910 where…
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him.  When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Rock. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

My Thoughts:

With characters that take a hold of your heart and don’t let go, and a rich story with multifaceted points of interest, like a beautiful crystal sparkling rainbows across the window of your imagination. There is so much to love about this book!

Leanna McKee wanted more from life than to be a living doll in a fancy parlor, smiling, pouring tea, and sharing gossip with the other ladies of fashionable Boston. She left all that behind to follow her heart. But after losing her husband in a mining accident and finding herself alone in a rugged mining town full of prejudice, she is more than ready to leave it behind for culture & civilization.

Alex Pappas has a huge heart, he may feel defeated by the prejudice of those around him, but he doesn’t allow that to stop him from showing kindness to others. He helped bring his parents & his brother and family to America. Together they are trying to survive in a country that doesn’t seem to want them.

I enjoyed my time in Castle Rock with Leanna & Alex and his exuberant Greek family. I learned more about the Greek culture, and about early mining towns of the west. I fell in love with these characters and didn’t want this story to end. I give this book 5 stars and would encourage you to be sure to pick-up a copy of this book to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

CastleGate3

About the Author:

AngieDickenAngie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest //

  My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

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Girls of Faith – Dolls & Companion Stories

Girls of Faith dolls and their companion stories have been created with your girl of faith in mind. As she plays and reads she will be learning more about Jesus and her Christian heritage and beliefs. Our goal is that she will gain a better understanding of what God’s plan is for her life and that she will gain a sense of belonging and community as she reads of other girls who share similar lifestyles and experiences.

We plan to continue to expand Girls of Faith with products that will assist the special girl(s) in your life to grow closer to Jesus every day and to realize the wonderful things God wants to do through her.

 HannaDoll&BookHannah Takes A Stand

Hannah Patterson is a shy, quiet girl growing up in Groveland, Massachusetts, in the late 1800s. Hannah and her family live and work on a dairy farm owned and operated by a mean and uncaring man. In the midst of their difficult life, Hannah finds comfort in the Bible. Although she has many unanswered questions about what she reads in God’s Word, she rests in the peaceful feeling it always gives her. When Hannah witnesses a terrible crime, she learns just how much she truly depends on God. Her life is changed when God comes to her aid in a miraculous way.

 

AudreyDoll & BookAudrey Reaches Out

Audrey Thompson is an out-going, friendly girl who lives in southern Tennessee. When Audrey’s parents invite a new family over for lunch, it starts a chain of events that ultimately leads to the perfect opportunity for Audrey to share her faith with a new friend. Along the way, Audrey learns that although she may not have all the answers, she can make a difference in someone’s life by simply sharing the love of Jesus. With the help of her parents and siblings, Audrey gets the chance to witness the life-changing power of God.

 

 

My (book) Review:

I have long felt that we needed more Christian stories for young girls. About a week ago, a friend of mine shared with me the Girls of Faith Dolls and companion stories. After vising the web page, I reached out to the owners/creators and asked if I might review the books.

‘Hannah Takes A Stand‘ takes place in 1877 and tells the story of Hannah Patterson. On her 10th birthday she received a journal, and begins to write what her daily life is like. Hannah is growing and learning about Jesus. When she is the sole witness to a theft and told that bad things will happen to her family if she tells, Hannah is left with a difficult decision. Will she keep quiet to protect her family, or will she tell the truth and trust that God will keep her family safe? This heart-warming story is written in journal entries and gives the reader an up-close and intimate look at life in the late 1800’s through the eyes of a child. Your little girl is sure to be delighted with the doll and her story and its sure to spark her imagination for many future stories about Hannah as she plays. This story has 42 lovely pages.

‘Audrey Reaches Out’ is a modern day story about a precocious 3rd grader, Audrey Thompson. When a new girl, Trina comes to her school, she shows kindness despite the fact that Trina seems to be angry and does not want to be there. Audrey discovers that Trina recently lost her dog and feels angry at God for letting her dog die. Audrey and Trina learn through reading the story of Job with Audrey’s parents that God’s love for us doesn’t go away when bad things happen, that God loves us all the time. The girls learn that bad things happen because of sin, and that one day soon Jesus will come again and take us to heaven, and there will be no more death, no more sadness. This wonderful story will not only encourage children to be kind when they see other’s hurting, but it also helps children understand that we can trust God even when things aren’t perfect. This story has 35 pages.

These stories are sure to delight young girls and parents alike and spark imaginations for many hours of play and enjoyment. Each story features a brave young girl, who is growing and learning to know Jesus and becoming a witness for Him.

(I received a complimentary eBook for review from the owners of Girls Of Faith, at my request. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Kayla Kayla – coming soon!

Kayla’s story tells of a little girl with big plans for the future. She is inspired by stories her grandparents told of their missionary adventures. This story will help little girls understand that they don’t have to wait until they are grown to do big things for God. There are plenty of missionary opportunities surrounding us each day.

 

Meet the Doll Makers:

SaraMcCord Sara lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three daughters. The idea to create a line of Christian dolls first came to her in 2010, when she was busy caring for her two youngest daughters who were both under the age of 14 months. The idea continued to build in her mind and several months later Sara became convicted to make the concept a reality. She began by getting council and business advice from friends. Next, Sara researched doll manufactures. (You can read more about this in Made in America) Throughout this time she worked on developing the characters and the story-lines for the books. God was leading each step of the way. The “little” miracles that have brought this project together have been many. By 2014 she had two characters and their stories ready for a market test. Using preexisting dolls, she displayed and sold them at an event in North Carolina. The positive feedback she received from the public led Sara to believe this really was something that could encourage and bless little girls and was worth pursuing further. For the past three years she and Shane have been working to develop their own original American made doll.

ShaneHodges

Shane lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and daughter. Shane agreed to do the illustrations for the Girls of Faith books in 2012. She became a co-owner in 2014 when she saw how many people were interested in the dolls at the market test event. Soon afterward she began experimenting with molding clay and within a few months she had designed and hand molded our doll head! Over the past three years Shane has worked closely with our manufacturer to develop our Girls of Faith doll.

 

To learn more visit the Girls of Faith Web page (click here) 
Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

MadeInAmerica

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Synopsis:

Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.

My Thoughts:

Calling all History lovers! If you enjoy reading Historical fiction, then this is the book for you! From the very first pages to the very last I found myself immersed in 1903 New York City. It’s a different NY than you are used to visiting today, so prepare yourself! Running water in the tenement building is a rare luxury. Only the very rich can afford the special valve that will allow water to reach the upper floors. Most have to lug jugs of water from the main floor up several stories to their apartment. Imaging cooking, washing, everything you need for water. Now imagine you have worked 10 hours, on your feet, heavy labor, you have walk 5 or more blocks to get home. Now to cook dinner and get clean you must walk down 4 plus flights of stairs, fill up gallon jugs of water and then be lugging them back upstairs. You may have to do that several times.

Lucy and her brother Nick Drake have been embroiled in a legal battle that is older than they are. Their Grandfather invented the valves that would make getting water to upper floors possible. However, his brother swindled him out of the patent and is now selling the valves for an exorbitant fee that only the very rich can afford. The legal fight goes beyond just the money for Lucy & Nick, it is also helping to ensure that everyone can afford to have running water in their homes. Nick is a plumber and works for the city. Lucy is a telegraph operator working for the Associated Press news. Lucy enjoys working as a telegraph operator, she is very good at her job and has been able to use her knowledge of telegraphy to her advantage.

Sir Colin Beckwith works at the rival British News agency Reuters and is intrigued by Lucy from the moment they meet. However, they are from two different walks of life, and Colin needs a heiress to help save his crumbling family estate in England.

Can Lucy & Nick win the legal war and help the less fortunate by making running water accessible to all?  Will Colin be able to find a way to save his family estate and win the woman his heart longs for?

I give this engaging book 4.5 stars and highly recommend it to any and all who enjoy reading stories with dynamic characters and rich history.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

DangerousLegacy

About the Author:

ElizabethCamden Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

  A Dangerous Legacy

 

The Regency Brides Collection

Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England…
Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love….

Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago.

Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism.

Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans.

Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret.

Esther is empowered to choose between two men.

Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash.

Jamie and William face a daunting London season together.

Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?

My Thoughts:

With a star-studded group of talented authors, and a central theme of love during the regency period, you can’t go wrong!

If you enjoy reading sweet love stories set during the Recency period then you will not want to miss out on picking up this wonderful book. Two of the authors in this collection were new to me, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed their stories as much as the stories written by my favorites.

Each story has it’s own dynamic cast of characters, with their own set of challenges, and a tender love story. Several of the stories I wished had been longer. But of course, there are limits to how long a story can be when it’s in a novella collection.

I would recommend this collection of stories to anyone who enjoys reading stories set during the Regency period.  I give this collection 4.5 stars.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quotes:

Vetsch

About the Authors:

Clicking on the Author’s name will take you to their web page.

2754194  Michelle Griep

AmandaBarratt  Amanda Barratt

Angela Bell  Angela Bell

SusanneDietzeHeadshot  Susanne Dietze

NancyMoser  Nancy Moser

MaryLuTyndall  MaryLu Tyndall

EricaVetsch Erica Vetsch

 

Click on the title below to add this wonderful book to your collection:

  The Regency Brides Collection

 

 

Charming the Troublemaker (Mitchell’s Crossroads #2) by: Pepper Basham

Synopsis:

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.
When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?

My Thoughts:

I am sure it comes as no surprise to my loyal blog followers that I am a huge fan of Pepper Basham’s books. I’ve been an avid reader of her stories from the first book, and I can honestly say that every book is a opportunity to not only to find oneself fully immersed in the life of the characters, but to discover your own personal challenge and growth.

Alex Murdock is such an charming, adorkable character. We first met him in Twist of Faith and I’m so glad that Pepper brought him back, so we could get to know him better! Under his facade of flirtatious quips, lies a wounded heart that is just crying out for someone to understand him. He has to first learn who he is in God, before he can really give his heart fully. Alex is quite the sweetheart, once you give him a chance and get to know him.

Rainey reminded me of a best-friend. She is fiercely loyal to her family and those she considers her friends. Her trust may be hard-won, but worth the effort. She has a huge heart for the community, especially the children in the community. She is willing to learn how to write grants and even step outside her comfort zone to earn the funds to see that the TLC center isn’t closed.

A favorite character of mine in the Mitchell Crossroads series is Mama Mitchell. She is like the proverbial ‘Secret Sauce’. Her strong faith, her wit and wisdom, and of course her amazing cooking. Mama Mitchell is a shining example of loving others right were they are, loving them to Jesus and back.

This wonderful book is chucked full of amazing quotes, surprising twists, amusing quips, and the love of God and Family. It should also come as no surprise that there are a few of Pepper’s signature swoon-worthy kisses. To alleviate any concern you may have about kissing, I’ll tell you that the characters, while honest about their mutual attraction are resolved to save further enjoyments to post-marriage.

If you haven’t yet read one of Pepper Basham’s books, you are missing out! Do yourself a favor and pick this book up. You will be glad you did! I give Charming the Troublemaker 5-stars and highly recommend this book to any and all who enjoy reading Christian Fiction.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

pepperbarnsmile As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website,Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter

  Charming the Troublemaker (Mitchell’s Crossroads #2)

A Twist of Faith (Mitchell’s Crossroads #1)

CharmingTheTroublemaker

 

Returning Home (Freedom Lake #1) by: Toni Shilo (Giveaway tour with Singing Librarian)

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Synopsis:

Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.

Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.

Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?

Snippet:

Evan Carter stared at his girlfriend, admiring her beauty. Brenda’s pixie haircut framed her pretty face and a soft smile graced her lips. She wore charm and gentleness like a cloak as she gracefully changed lanes. She drove his new Altima like it was made for her.
He loved that Brenda suited every aspect of his life. She was a slam dunk in the girlfriend department. He ran his fingers over the velvet box in his pocket. Tonight was the night. The restaurant staff had been informed of his plans. With their help, his proposal would be flawless.
“Should I adjust the temp?” he asked.
“I’m good, sweetie,” she smiled at him, then quickly faced forward again.
Brenda would make the best high-school coach’s wife. His students loved her and she loved basketball as much as he did. It was so easy to be with her.
“Evan, you made the perfect choice. This car is so quiet. I can’t believe we can’t hear the outside noise.”
“I know. That’s what sold me.” He pointed up ahead. “Make a right at the light.” He hadn’t revealed their dinner location. If he didn’t pay close attention, they’d miss a turn.
“Are you sure you don’t want to tell me where we’re going?”
“I’m sure. I still think you should have let me drive. Then it would really be a surprise.”
She laughed. “Of course, it would have been better, but I’ve been itching to get behind the wheel ever since you bought it.”
“Well now—”
A black truck swerved in and out of their lane.
“Baby, slow down. Watch out for that truck!”
There was nowhere to pull over, no way to avoid the impending collision. The two-lane road had no shoulder and the truck was picking up speed.
The black truck righted itself. But before Evan could even sigh in relief, the truck corrected, ending up in their lane, headed straight for them.
They were going to collide.
Evan held his breath, clenched his eyes, and braced for impact. Brenda’s scream pierced the air, but it seemed far away. His seat belt locked tight as the car came to an abrupt stop.
A weight dropped onto his leg. Pain exploded, smoke filled his nose. His body struggled to make sense of what happened. Finally, he closed his eyes and gave in to the darkness.

My Thoughts:

Right from the first few lines, there is action, and I was hooked. I couldn’t put this book down, I had to know what was going to happen next. The action and the characters are so realistic and believable. I stayed up past midnight reading this book. I found myself caring deeply about what would happen to these characters.

The tragic event resulting in Evan’s return to his parent’s home brings about a huge change in his life, one that he didn’t plan for, nor want. He is understandably angry and puts up walls to keep others away. Written with such feeling and emotion, you can’t help but wish you could reach out somehow and offer encouragement.

I appreciated how Toni seamless wove a strong faith into this story and how each character found their own path to a relationship with God. Not that it was easy. This story is real, raw and full of vivacity. It doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects but faces them head-on with a measure of grace and a sprinkling of love.

I sincerely enjoyed my time in Freedom Lake with Evan, Jo, and the other cast of dynamic characters. I look forward to reading more from Toni Shiloh and reading more stories from Freedom Lake! Fans of Becky Wade & Brandy Bruce will find they enjoy Toni Shiloh’s writing as well.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

ReturningHome

About the Author:

SONY DSCToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior.

She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where
they are raising their two boys.

When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, ​making jewelry, and spending time with ​her family.

Toni is a member of the American Christian ​Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia ​Chapter.

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Returning Home (Freedom Lake #1)

 

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Tour Schedule:

October 16-Christian Bookaholic
October 17-Blossoms and Blessings | The Power of Words
October 18-The Green Mockingbird 
October 19-Joy of Reading | Red Headed Book Lady 
October 20-Singing Librarian Books Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
October 21-Faithfully Bookish

PictureOn tour with the Singing Librarian