The Red Canary by Rachel Scott McDaniel

About the Book:

In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.

Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing the culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.

Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.

My Thoughts:

This is such an exciting, page-turning story! Plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. I enjoyed the sweet slow romance and the fun banter between these delightfully dynamic characters. This story is one for the keeper shelf for sure!

From first glance, Vera seems to be a bold, independent women. She carries herself with confidence. She is direct and knows what she wants and goes after it. Yet on the inside she is jittery and anxious. Especially after an attack she narrowly escaped, and now a series of mysterious threatening notes keep showing up, even with the bodyguard her employer employed to keep an eye on her doesn’t sooth the anxious feeling that someone is lurking in the shadows. She begins to wonder who she can really trust, when everyone around her seems to have their own personal agenda.

Sergent Mick Dinelo quickly sized up the beautiful singer in the local speakeasy and placed her in the same category as other untrustworthy, independent women. However, when events unfold that place them together will he discover the true beauty that resides beneath the facade she wears? And will he let down his own walls that he’s built up around his heart and learn to trust again?

Will these two wary individuals learn to trust each other in time to unravel the truth about the murder?

(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.)

About the Author:

RachelScottMcDaniel  Rachel McDaniel is an award-winning Christian romance writer. She hopes to inspire the mind and refresh the soul with words infused with faith and heart. Because she could never resist a good mystery, suspense and intrigue routinely sneak into her stories. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn from the Seymour Agency. She is currently enjoying life with her husband and two children. You can connect with Rachel McDaniel at any of these following locations.

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

Three Little Things by Patti Stockdale

One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.

Synopsis:

Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp. He forgot about her ages ago. It’s always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.

Arno Kreger can’t leave town or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Steps from the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever. Always from the sidelines. Because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.

One innocent letter exchange soon morphs into many, with Arno and Hattie disclosing three little secrets in each epistle. With happily ever after close enough to kiss, can their love survive the dangers overseas and a formidable father on the home front?

My Thoughts:

Right from the beginning, I was swept into the story and the lives of these dynamic characters. I didn’t want to put the story down for a moment. Heartfelt and poignant this debut book from Patti Stockdale is sure to keep you turning pages late into the night!

The story takes place at the beginning of World War I. We spend the majority of our time in Iowa, however, we do at one point travel across the pond to France and then Germany with Arno.

I especially enjoyed the letters added seamlessly into the story. They carried such weight and gave the reader an intimate look into the very heart of the characters. The three little things they share with each other through those letters is paramount in allowing us to know these characters on a deeper level, and to feel what they are going through, to see the growth and change in their lives.

I loved the story, and I am eager to read more from Patti Stockdale in the 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.)

About the Author:

PattiStockdale Have you ever followed your dreams and landed somewhere unexpected? That happened to me!

My first novel, Three Little Things, debuts in February 2020. It all began when my mom and her sisters found a tin full of letters their parents had exchanged during WWI. Next thing you know, a pile of inspiration plops into my lap. That one little thing soon led to Arno and Hattie’s eleven-month letter exchange and a heart-thumping romance tied to three little things revealed in each epistle.

I can’t wait to share that story with you and many more to come. Please sign up for my “One More Thing” newsletter and connect with me on social media. I love to make new friends!

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter //

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

 Three Little Things

 

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Can she nab the headline without losing her heart?

Synopsis:

Confined behind a secretarial desk at her father’s struggling newspaper, Elissa Tillman longs for her father and the world to take her seriously—not just as a suffragette, but also as a full-fledged journalist.

When a millionaire is murdered, Elissa sees the perfect chance to nab the headline and save the newspaper all at the same time. Her father agrees.

But there’s a catch.

To get her article above the fold, she must compete for it. Unfortunately, her rival isn’t one of the newspaper’s regular journalists. It’s none other than Cole Parker—the dashing man who abandoned Pittsburgh to chase a high-profile journalism gig in New York, leaving a broken-hearted Elissa in his wake. 

After a series of mistakes, Cole returns to the steel city for a job, but all he can think of is a second chance with Elissa.The competition his boss invents keeps Cole near her, but she regards him as an enemy, both to her dreams and her heart.

Above the Fold

My Thoughts:

This is such a phenomenal debut! I absolutely love everything about this page-turning, story! Vivid and full of page-turning drama, I felt like I was right there in the 1920’s with Elissa and Cole. With a strong plot and dynamic characters, this story is one for the keeper-shelf!

I loved the witty banter between these two characters, as well as their tenacity and vulnerability. The character growth and lessons learned reach far beyond the pages and right into the heart of the readers.

With an sweet reminder that in God you are enough. Our trials and triumphs do not define us God does, and it is in looking to God that we find our identity.

(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.)

About the Author:

RachelScottMcDaniel  Rachel McDaniel is an award-winning Christian romance writer. She hopes to inspire the mind and refresh the soul with words infused with faith and heart. Because she could never resist a good mystery, suspense and intrigue routinely sneak into her stories. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn from the Seymour Agency. She is currently enjoying life with her husband and two children. You can connect with Rachel McDaniel at any of these following locations.

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

   Above the Fold

First Line Friday: The Highlanders

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring The Highlanders (Smitten Historical Romance Collection). Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander in these four romantic novellas set across two centuries from 1715 to 1915. CLICK HERE to read my review.

TheHighlanders(NovellaCollection)

Night Fox by J’Nell Ciesielski
Scotland, 1717
Another Carriage on parade, another plump pheasant ripe for the plucking.

 

A Tender Siege by Naomi Musch
His Majesty’s Forces at Bushy Run, Pennsylvania  August 6, 1763
Lachlan McRae pressed his chest to the earth behind a fallen chestnut tree.

 

The Year Without Summer by Janet Grunst
1816
Cold wind blew off the loch as Grant Cummings headed toward Loch Ness Tavern, one of the inns in Fort Augustus that catered to the men working on the Highland’s Caledonian Canal.

 

The Violinist by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Sandpoint, Idaho  May 1915
Callan MacTavish never saw it coming.

 

Pick-up your copy today!

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

 

The Highlanders (Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander

Synopsis:

Night Fox

After the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, war-weary Deven McLendon returns home to discover a thief creating chaos on his lands. But this thief isn’t like any other. When Rooney Corsen sets out to steal jewels to repay her family’s debts and keep a roof over her little sisters’ heads, never does she imagine snagging the laird’s heart instead.

A Tender Siege

Pontiac’s War, August 1763: “I beg Ye to take me.” Wounded in battle in the American wilderness, Lachlan McRea of His Majesty’s 42nd Highlanders pleads with God, yearning to be reunited with his lost wife and child. As death hovers near, he is discovered by Wenonah, a native widow doing all she can to survive alone while avoiding the attentions of a dangerous Shawnee warrior. In aiding one another, their perils increase. If Lachlan can let go of the woman he once loved, he might find healing for both body and soul.

The Year without Summer

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

The Violinist

In 1915 Idaho, homesick lumberjack Callan MacTavish despairs of ever seeing his Scottish homeland again. With kindness and patience, music teacher Rose Marchmont reaches a part of Callan’s heart he’d long ago locked away. She sees beyond his rough exterior to the artistic heart beneath. He longs for more than he can offer her, but she doesn’t know about the secret trauma that keeps him from crossing the sea.

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed my time reading this fun collection of stories, each with its own braw Scottish Highlander! From a mysterious thief causing chaos and keeping the local laird on his toes, a wounded soldier who faces his past in the most unlikely of places, a young man who’s life is richly blessed by unexpected changes and a homesick highlander with a secret so deep it will take a tender heart to help him open up and move beyond his past.

If you enjoy historical stories with handsome Scottish Highlanders, then look no further! This book is sure to entertain and charm you right from the very first story, all the way to the last. I would have happily enjoyed reading more of these stories!

Each author brings her own unique writing style, and they blended together well with this overreaching theme of love and handsome Scottish Highlanders.

(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:

About the Authors:

 J’Nell CiesielskiWith a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.
Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

Naomi MuschNaomi loves stories rich in American history, but occasionally writes in other genres as well. She pens stories from the pristine north woods, where she and her husband live as epically as God allows near their five adult children and passel of grandchildren. She has worked as an editor for a small press, a staff writer for an EPA award-winning newspaper, a ghost writer, and has published dozens of magazine and internet articles for the encouragement of homeschooling families and young writers. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Lake Superior Writers, and the Wisconsin Writers’ Association. She loves engaging with others and always discovering kernels of a new story. She is available for speaking and book groups. Her newest novel is Mist O’er the Voyageur, and she anticipates re-releasing several of her back-list novels in 2019.
Connect with her through her website:
http://www.naomimusch.com

Janet GrunstJanet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free was the 2016 Selah Award winner for Historical Romance. The second book in the series, A Heart For Freedom was released 2017. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, bring inspiration, and encouragement to the reader.
Visit her at:
https://JanetGrunst.com

Jenifer Lamont LeoAuthor of You’re the Cream in My Coffee and Ain’t Misbehavin’. With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.
Visit her at A Sparkling Vintage Life (
http://www.JenniferLamontLeo.com/blog)

Pick up your copy today by clicking on the book title below:

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

First Line Friday: Lord of Her Heart

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid. This story whisked me away to medieval times! Right from the first page, I was enveloped into this page-turning story. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

LordOfHerHeart

Lomkirk Abbey, England
1198 AD

          “I tire of this endless cleaning.” Jocelyn Ashburne sat on the cold stone floor of the cellarium and put a hand to her aching back.

 

I’m sure many of us can identify with that first line. If you are tired of endless cleaning, then this is the perfect time to take a break with a good book! Click on the title below to pre-order your copy today!

  Lord of Her Heart

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid

Synopsis:

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for. Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives.

My Thoughts:

This story whisked me away to medieval times! Right from the first page, I was enveloped into this page-turning story. I found myself emotionally involved in the lives of these characters and holding my breath to find out what would happen next. As truths are revealed and a tender love blossoms, the mystery of who is behind Lady Jocelyn’s troubles slowly comes to light. But will it be too late?

I look forward to reading more books from Sherrinda Ketchersid in the future! If you enjoy Medieval fiction, then you won’t want to miss out on adding this delightful story to your collection. Fans of Tamara Leigh are sure to find a new favorite to add to their list of must-read authors!

(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.)

  Lord of Her Heart

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

SherrindaKetchersid From an early age, books have been a part of my life. Trips to the library were a grand adventure where new worlds opened and new journeys began. My dream has been to weave stories that will bring as much joy to my readers as books have brought to me.

The road to publication is a wild ride and I’m relishing every step. Writing historical romance is what I love to do, with medieval being my era of focus. There’s nothing I like better than a warrior hero who is made weak in the knees by a feisty heroine who has the strength to stand on her own. (sigh) My first book will be published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in May 2019.

I’m the wife of a minister and mother of three sons and one daughter. When I’m not writing or dreaming of knights and their ladies, I can be found painting in my Bible, reading a variety of romances, and binging on Netflix.Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

  Lord of Her Heart

 

First Line Friday: Sand Creek Serenade

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Sand Creek Serenade by Jennifer Uhlarik. With beautiful descriptions, strong dynamic characters and vivid dialogue, I was swept into the story and blissfully along for the ride! My emotions ran the gauntlet as I enjoyed every page. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

Sand Creek Serenade

Fort Lyon, Colorado Teritory
November 2, 1864

          “Doc?”
     The office door flew open, startling Sadie Hoppner from her reading. Sunlight flooded through the opening.

          “Doc! we got an injured man here.”

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

 Sand Creek Serenade

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Sand Creek Serenade by Jennifer Uhlarik

Synopsis:

Dr. Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to adversity. She’s fought to be taken seriously since childhood, when her father began training her in the healing arts. Finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon, where she’s come to practice medicine under her brother’s watchful eye.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the peace treaty recently negotiated between his people and the Army. But a chance encounter with the female doctor ignites memories of his upbringing among the whites. Too intrigued to stay away, tension erupts with the soldiers, and Five Kills is injured.

As he recuperates under the tender care of the pretty healer, an unlikely bond forms. However, their fledgling love is put to the test when each realizes that a much greater danger awaits—a danger they are wholly unable to stop, and one which neither may survive.

My Thoughts:

There is so much to love about this story! The strong female lead, rich historical details, Native American culture, faith in God, mystery, and a tender romance. You won’t want to miss this delightful, page-turning adventure on the wild frontier!

Sadie Hoppner has studied and worked hard to learn all she can about medicine. She spent long hours reading her father’s medical journals, watching and assisting him with patients. Now working alongside her brother for the Army, she is beginning to see her dream of healing and helping come true.

When an unlikely encounter with a Cheyenne brave sparks tensions already on edge Five Kills is injured and in need of medical attention. A friendship blooms. Amidst peace talks and fragile allegiance, will their friendship bloom or their differences drive a wedge between them?

With beautiful descriptions, strong dynamic characters and vivid dialogue, I was swept into the story and blissfully along for the ride! My emotions ran the gauntlet as I enjoyed every page. The massacre scene was difficult to read. My heart broke for the atrocities that were done by the Army to the peaceful Indians camped at Sand Creek. But we are reminded that even in the darkest moments, love and grace abound!

I truly didn’t want the story to end. I highly recommend this excellent story to one and all, especially those who enjoy story set in the Western frontier! I look forward to reading more from Jennifer Uhlarik in the future!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

About the Author:

Jennifer Uhlarik  Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children

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

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

 Sand Creek Serenade

 

 

The Songbird and the Spy by J’nell Ciesielski

Synopsis:

As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy.

Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives, hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire.

As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?

  The Songbird and the Spy

My Thoughts:

From the first chapter to the last, I was transported back in time. I more than read this story, I experienced it! With vivid details and lyrical prose that both envelope and welcome the reader to be a part of the unfolding drama. I didn’t want to look away for a moment!

Claire has a gift for music, she traveled to France to attend music school and ends up trapped in Nazi-occupied France.  She must keep her true identity a secret while trying to find a way out of France. However, keeping secrets and trying to escape is increasingly more difficult than she first thought.

Captain Michael Reiner has his own secrets that he keeps. He has more to lose than just his position with the Nazi army. But when his cover is threatened and he’s backed into an impossible decision, what will he choose?

This story has something for everyone! A tender romance, a suspenseful, page-turning adventure, drama, witty dialogue, and dynamic characters that will charm you from the beginning!

I give this story 5-enthusiastic stars. Be sure to snag a copy of this newest story from J’nell Ciesielki!

(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:

thesongbirdandthespy.bookquote

About the Author:

J'Nell Ciesielski For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a book in my hand. When other girls went to the library to look at the Babysitter’s Club books, my mom found me sitting in the history aisle with a stack of Civil War books, and autobiographies of legends long gone. I loved being transported to other places and times, where men are chivalrous knights to the rescue and women wear big frilly dresses. I’ve always believed I was born in the wrong time period … but I digress.

With my natural curiosity of all things old-fashioned and love of happily ever afters, it was only natural I decided to pen a few of my own.

Born in Florida, I spent the many happy days of childhood running around our large backyard and splashing on the sugar white beaches known only to the Sunshine State. Just before high school, my dad got a job transfer to Texas and a whole new life began. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology the summer of 2005.

Not knowing what else to do with my life, I joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany I was able to travel to places I’d only dreamed of: France, Austria, Netherlands, England, and my favorite Scotland. I also met my awesome husband while over there. I consider him my consolation prize for the years being forced to wear camouflage and combat boots.

After serving our four years, we now live in Virginia where we’ve been blessed that I can stay home and write all day. Yay! When I’m not writing you can find me baking something with chocolate, making my baby girl laugh, or giving belly rubs to our beagle Daisy.

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Pre-order your copy today!

  The Songbird and the Spy

Also by J’nell Ciesielski

  Among the Poppies