A ★★★★★ Book Review of One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick | A historical fiction novel

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A truly remarkable tale of courage, endurance and pioneering spirit. 

Jane Kirkpatrick does a magnificent job of remaining true to the real story in her newest novel, One More River to Cross, creating a narrative that is both historically accurate and beautifully told with dynamic characters based on the exceptional pioneers of the day. 


Adversity can squelch the human spirit . . . or it can help us discover strength we never knew we had.

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company leaves Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada. They enjoy a safe journey--until October, when a fierce mountain snowstorm forces difficult decisions.

The party separates in three directions. Some go overland around Lake Tahoe. Others stay to guard the heaviest wagons. The rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River awaiting rescue. The months ahead will be long and at times terrifying. But with friendship, family, and enough courage to overcome their fear, these intrepid pioneers will discover what truly matters in times of trial.


"Jane Kirkpatrick has turned a scrap of history into a story of courageous women strong enough to meet the challenges of nature--and of men."--Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

"What an incredible journey this novel is! It's moving and beautifully told, and I absolutely loved it."--Molly Gloss, award-winning author of The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ | I can’t say enough about this masterful retelling of the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend pioneer party. Author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves her magic in a soft and easy to read narrative that inspires, delights and encourages the soul with the perseverance, determination and faith of her characters.  In true early American fashion, these Irish Catholics make their way westward in hopes of finding land for their families to experience religious freedom, peace and prosperity.  As they face the challenges that nature presents them, they come to grips with hard decisions, endure hunger and starvation, and bond together while holding onto hope and ultimately preserving.

Kirkpatrick used historical resources to build her dynamic cast of characters in such a beautiful way, they immediately become engraved on the heart and soul of a reader who will find themselves rooting for these pioneers and their families. I personally found myself intrigued by the story enough to do my own research into the history and real people behind One More River to Cross.

I enjoyed the dialogue throughout the book, the historical accuracy, the well developed characters and learning about the struggles these families overcame.  The book is well written; a beautiful unfolding of difficult but triumphant events that evoke a spirit of pride, perseverance and hope. As a result, I can’t recommend this new novel enough to lovers of historical fiction of all ages. It will remain a passionate favorite of mine for this particular time era.

I trust God is with us whatever choice we make. It’s what I draw on in the hard times. That I’m not alone and that God wants good things for us at the end.” Ailbe leaned in. “Truth is, I’d rather be happy than right.”
— Jane Kirkpatrick, One More River to Cross

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, with nearly two million copies sold, including Everything She Didn't Say, All She Left Behind, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award among others. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of One More River to Cross via one of the purchase links below or borrow it from your local library.  

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

WHERE TO PURCHASE ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS BY JANE KIRKPATRICK:


 

A ★★★★ Book Review of Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris | A Romantic Suspense Christian Fiction Novel

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A wonderful new release from bestselling author Lisa Harris! With a threatening potential bioweapon in the balance, two unlikely characters team up to face their fears, confront evil and uncover the truth.

“There is no such thing as random. Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victims' husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.” Synopsis from Deadly Intentions


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |  I was delighted to dive into my e-copy of Lisa Harris’s newest release, Deadly Intentions. Harris is an excellent suspense writer and I’ve enjoyed many of her books in the past.

This novel opens with quick moving action amidst a heartbreaking scene. Readers are introduced to detective Josh Solomon and research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey as their lives take unexpected turns and connect them in a way they never imagined. The two characters work through dealing with their own fears, doubts and real life struggles as the plot thickens and moves along, holding interest. In the lull of action, Josh and Caitlyn find themselves connecting and getting to know each other on a a more personal level.

Both characters are well developed and likable. Their budding romance is sweet, light and believable. I enjoyed reading about the potential bioweapon and felt Harris did an excellent job of making that aspect interesting and easy to understand. As a result, readers grasp onto the storyline of Deadly Intentions and are pulled along with the two characters as they work to uncover the truth.

Harris doesn’t shy away from topics such as murder, domestic abuse, or marital affairs. Instead, she touches on them, using them as an avenue to explore how our faith impacts those realities of life and the redemption that can be found through Christ.

Harris focused more on her plot unfolding than a romance so if you’re looking for a heavy romance with a thrilling plot, this isn’t that type of book. It’s a little more cozy, but at the same time has an edgy tone, which is the magical way Harris writes.

Deadly Intentions was a solid four stars for me.

It was an excellent book. Interesting, exciting, great characters, a sweet new romance and a plot that moved along well. There wasn’t anything in particular that tipped it over into the five stars for me. It was just really good. I highly recommend this book to older teen and adult readers who enjoy romantic suspense and are fans of authors such as Irene Hannon, Dani Pettrey and Nancy Mehl.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Lisa Harris | Photo Courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

Author Lisa Harris | Photo Courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, Harris and her family have spent over 16 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

You can also follow Lisa Harris on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Deadly Intentions via one of the purchase links below or borrow it from your local library.  

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 




WHERE TO PURCHASE MORE BOOKS BY LISA HARRIS:


Shop Lisa Harris’s books on ChristianBook.com:

728481: Vanishing Point #4 Vanishing Point #4
By Lisa Harris / Revell
729179: The Traitor"s Pawn The Traitor's Pawn
By Lisa Harris / Revell
729152: A Secret to Die For A Secret to Die For
By Lisa Harris / Revell

Shop Lisa Harris’s books Amazon:


 

A ★★★★ Book Review of The String by Caleb Breakey | A Christian Fiction Psychological Thriller

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND AND LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS KNOTTED UP!

When the “Conductor” has over half of the campus in his back pocket as he pulls the strings, wreaking havoc and simulating murders, it’s up to one man to break The String and stop this madman… This new fictional thriller came highly recommended and rightly so. With an ever twisting and turning plot that keeps readers guessing and gasping, Breakey delights and horrifies readers with each new page.


Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him. Ready to play? - Synopsis from The String

"Every now and then an author comes along who makes me say, 'Where have you been!' Even though you and I didn't know we were waiting, we were. Breakey's debut thriller is intricate, electric, and twisted--in the best sense of the word. Extremely difficult to put down. Highly recommended."--James L. Rubart, five-time Christy Award winner


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |  Breakey’s debut novel, The String, is an epic thriller all its own. Readers will find themselves tangled up in the pages of this book as they eagerly move through the twists and turns of this well designed thriller with an intense plot.

Breakey magnificently creates a diabolic, evil villain who is characteristically offset by a heroic and daring protagonist. Markus Haas is a man woman might ideally swoon over. His strength, determination and protective nature leave little to be desired as he finds himself up against a monster who hides in the shadows and manipulates those around Markus. While astonishingly deep and masterfully planned, this novel’s narrative reads easily keeping readers guessing, gasping and turning the pages late into the night! With an epic battle over the mind, Breakey not only covers the strength of the human will but the impact our faith can have on it as well knowing God controls all our circumstances and outcomes. The underlying message of good vs. evil was one to relish.

I enjoyed this book immensely and the only thing that kept me from a five star rating is personal preference.

I would have loved to have seen good win over evil in the ending, but alas, there’s a twist! I won’t say more for fear of spoilers, but I do want to encourage you to pick a copy of The String for yourself! It is an excellent read, flawlessly created and quite edgy. It’s fresh and exciting also.

I recommend this thriller to both men and women as it easily appeals to both genders. For readers who enjoy psychological warfare, murder mysteries and suspense, this is a great read. For readers who enjoy cozy mysteries and mild suspense, this book may come on as shockingly strong. It is better than your favorite crime show, I’m convinced!

I’m excited about the fact that this book is book one in a series and I’m already looking forward to Breakey’s next release.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Caleb Breakey | Photo courtesy of www.getthestring.com

Author Caleb Breakey | Photo courtesy of www.getthestring.com

Caleb Breakey and his wife spent their wedding money on 52 books about writing fiction. Then, for years, he spent his days off penning stories for 16 hours straight. He loves fiction because they teach without a lecture, inspire without a speech, and entertain without any props.


Along with being an ECPA Award finalist and a winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers, Caleb is also the Founder of Sermon To Book and Speak It To Book, the premier ghostwriting agencies for faith-filled thought leaders.


Caleb writes in the beautiful Pacific Northwest alongside his wife, Brittney, and enjoys visits from two mischievous mini huskies and a smiley Shiba Inu.

You can follow him on Facebook or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The String via one of the purchase links below or borrow it from your local library.  

Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 

WHERE TO PURCHASE THE STRING BY CALEB BREAKEY:

Buy The String at ChristianBook.com


Buy The String on Amazon.com


 

A TEN STAR Book Review of Storm Rising, by Ronie Kendig, Book One of the Book of Wars Series | A heart-pounding paramilitary Christian Fiction Novel

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


Fast-paced action, secret missions, a highly trained assassin, hidden agendas, high octane courage, daring defeats and so much more!

STORM RISING TAKES THE TERM PAGE TURNER TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

This newest release from best-selling, award winning author, Ronie Kendig, is sure to grab readers’ attention from the very first words. When former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is recruited to lead a team of highly trained professionals in recovering the lost Book of Wars, he finds himself up against secrets, hidden agendas, a highly trained assassin and throngs of storms each with their own intent to kill. Readers will find themselves hungry for the next page as revelations are made and the heart-pounding hunt for the elusive Book of Wars begins…


Does an Ancient Book of Prophecy Hold the Answers to Saving the World . . . Or Predict Its Destruction? Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets--and dangers--never before seen on earth.

Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them.

Iskra "Viorica" Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most--freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of the past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction
.- Synopsis from Storm Rising


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★★★★★★  | Is it possible to give a book ten stars? Because I just did! Storm Rising, penned by author Ronie Kendig, is the first book in her newest series, The Book of Wars. Kendig masterfully creates a powerful, gripping story that not only takes readers along on a secret mission, but opens a world of conspiracies and lost artifacts as readers follow the main characters around the globe.

With this being my first Kendig book, my mind was completely blown. Kendig’s style and story crafting is pure genius. I love her edgy, military style with strong, heroic characters that enamor readers from the moment we meet them. Not to mention, the author clearly knows her stuff and did her research when it came to the creation of this novel.

Kendig introduces us to former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe who is tasked with his own unique team of military professionals to recover the Book of Wars, a book mentioned in the Septuagint but lost to history. As his team sets out, he unwillingly meets up with trained assassin Iskra Todorova, or Viorica, as she’s known, who has her own hidden agenda for retrieving the Book of Wars. When these two unlikely characters come face to face, there is certain to be a dramatic display of willpower, tension and… romance?

I loved the way Kendig wove the characters of Storm Rising together. Again, it’s masterful and creative. Her male characters are diverse, strong, cunning, heroic and dare I say, swoon worthy? The female characters are brilliant, professional, creative and just plain amazing. Half of the time, while reading, I was rooting for Iskra because I loved her devious, scary side! The dialogue between characters was perhaps some of my favorite as they banter and work together. A true team, I felt as if I were right there with them!

I never want to give too much of a good book away, so I’ll wrap up my review by saying this is a book I won’t stop recommending or talking about. Even though I finished it less than a day ago, I’m already tempted to read it again. It was incredibly good. As with any ten star book, I URGE you to grab a copy as soon as you can and dive in if you enjoy military and tactical style books, sci-fi, or even post apocalyptic style books. Storm Rising really does have it all and I can’t imagine a reader who wouldn’t enjoy this book!

Spoiler Alert: While reading the book, I kept talking about it, telling my husband he HAD to read this book. When it was over however, I actually threw the book at him. He glanced at me, completely stunned and said, I thought you liked this book?! I told him, of course I had, but in true Kendig fashion, she totally leaves readers wanting more immediately as she ends with an opening to her next book in this series, which isn’t due out for months!

She wrestled the terrible fear that Leif would die. That the glimmer of hope that had awakened at his incursion into her life would die with him. It was crazy. She barely knew him. But somehow she knew him better than she’d known anyone. He would always be there for her, if he lived.
— Ronie Kendig, Storm Rising

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Image Courtesy of www.roniekendig.com

Author Image Courtesy of www.roniekendig.com

Ronie Kendig is an Army brat who grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.

It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990.  Married more than twenty-five years, Ronie and her husband  have homeschooled for the last eighteen years. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family, and retired military working dog in Northern Virginia.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie speaks and teaches across the country and mentors other writers.

CONNECT WITH RONIE: website |  facebook |  twitter |  pinterest |  instagram 


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Storm Rising or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.



With a short, sweet style of writing that is not only insightful and full of useful suggestions, but also entertaining, Smartt delivers the perfect resource for those looking to create or build on their family traditions. I chuckled out loud and smiled as I identified with her as a woman and mother. Memory Making Mom not only encouraged me, but it inspired me and simultaneously warmed my heart.


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt | Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

★★★★★ ||  From the moment I picked up Memory Making Mom to the moment I laid it down, I was singing it’s praises. In fact, I haven’t yet stopped. I hurriedly snapped a photo of the book and texted it, with a purchase link to several of my closest friends telling them they HAD to read this book. Since then, several of them have texted me back saying they not only purchased the book, but were loving it as well!

Blogger Jessica Smartt shares her ideas, traditions and beautiful insights in this well written resource guide. New to me, this creative author does an excellent job of encouraging moms and homemakers to create traditions for their families with her jammed packed chapters that inspire, delight and entertain readers. I often felt as if she was sitting beside me, encouraging me along the way as a dear friend might. She shared her favorite traditions as a child, traditions she’s began with her children and additional ideas that readers can take and tailor to suit their needs.

Before the third chapter, I stopped reading to grab a notebook. I immediately began jotting down some of the ideas and thoughts that Smartt laid on my heart. I loved how she wrapped up each section or chapter with thoughts to consider and her lists of ideas made my list-loving heart do happy dances. I found myself reading little bits and pieces out loud to my husband, spouting off ideas and exchanging thoughts with him. It wasn’t long before I was reading a full chapter out loud to him, then handing the book over to him to alternate reading chapters aloud.

I filled close to three notebook pages full of ideas and I’m excited to share them in a future blog post. I believe that other moms, homemakers, dads, grandparents and even aunts and uncles can benefit from Memory Making Mom. Even those who are joyfully single will delight in the ideas Smartt offers. Smartt says it well when she states,

I hope this book reminds you just how beautiful it can be when families make memories together. I hope that some of these treasured memories become traditions, repeated and longed for, year after year.
— Jessica Smartt, Memory-Making Mom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Jessica Smartt | Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/SmarterEachDay/

Author Jessica Smartt | Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/SmarterEachDay/

Jessica Smartt is a former teacher, current homeschool mom, and passionate Christ-follower. She has been published on The Huffington Post and has written an ebook on How To Introduce Your Child To Jesus. She is passionate about helping moms to detach from the ever-present lure of technology (which can feel way more fun than parenting), about helping women recover from worry (been there, done that!) and about how to be a confident, purposeful homeschooling mom. You can visit her on her website, http://smarttereachday.com, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Memory Making Mom or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A ★★★★ Book Review of All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner | A story of family, war and America in the 1960's.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


An endearing story of family, war and the heart of an American girl in 1960’s Michigan.

This beautiful, well written story draws readers in as they experience life and family through the eyes of Annie Jacobsen, an eighteen year old girl with a single mom, two brothers and a father who abandoned the family years ago. Truly the heart of this story is about family, war, hope and the coming of age. An emotional, yet comforting read for a lazy summer afternoon.


After Annie Jacobson's brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike's absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.. -Synopsis from All Manner of Things

"Some books are meant to be read. All Manner of Things is meant to be lived in."--Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Between Two Shores


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |   All Manner of Things drew me in from the first few pages. The characters were so very relatable, coming to life for me as I found myself comparing them to members of my own family, or even myself. As the story wove through the fibers of this family and the ways in which they dealt with Frank’s abandonment, return and Mike’s going to war, the story stirred my heart and soul.

This book is very well written, touching on a wide variety of circumstances that families often find themself dealing with such as an elderly grandparent with dementia, single motherhood, PTSD, duty, fear, faith, first love, racism and death. Finkbeiner masterfully crafts a story that is heartwarming, tender and touching. I enjoyed that All Manner of Things was from Annie’s point of view as she experiences coming into adulthood and watching her family change, grow and strengthen. The inserts of letters and reel-to-reel recordings is a stroke of genius on the author’s part as I found myself enjoying those the most. I haven’t read very many stories in this time era, 1960’s American during the Vietnam war, and I enjoyed it. Parts of the book reminded me episodes of the popular fiction tv show, This is Us on NBC.

The novel wraps up with an emotional ending that truly drew me to tears, even if it was predictable. My recommendation is to give All Manner of Things a read. I’m certain you’ll find the Jacobsons walk right into your heart and home, surrounding you with feelings that we as a human race all face similar situations and that even in the midst of that, our faith and our family are the two most important things we have.

Behind the clouds the sun is shining. If only we have the eyes to see it.
— Susie Finkbeiner - All Manner of Things

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Author Susie Finkbeiner | Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Photo Credit: Bree Rose Photos

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the state. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan. Find her online at https://susiefinkbeiner.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of All Manner of Things or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


A ★★★★ Book Review of the Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma, Book Two in the True Colors series | Historical Stories of American Crime

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A Desperate Young Mother Searches for Her Child
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

Synopsis from The Pink Bonnet


A ★★★★ Book Review of the Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma, Book Two in the True Colors series | Historical Stories of American Crime

A ★★★★ Book Review of the Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma, Book Two in the True Colors series | Historical Stories of American Crime

★★★★ | The one thing no mother wants to face is the loss of her child. As a mother who’s experienced loss and as an adoptive mother, The Pink Bonnet yanked open doors and windows into my soul and brought me to tears.

Liz Tolsma took a true story of horrible tragedy and turned it into a beautiful tale of a mother’s love and how that love is a picture of the love God has for His own children.

The True Colors series is a series of books that highlights American crime. This particular story is that of Georgia Tann, the corrupt director of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society located in Memphis, TN. Miss Tann used highly unethical methods to secure and place children under the age of 7 into adoptive families from the 1920’s until the 1950’s. Her methods included deception, forcefulness, and kidnapping, which sets the plot for this fictional story.

Liz Tolsma does an excellent job of creating a suspenseful story line while keeping the details historically accurate. Cecile Dowd is a character that embodies every mother who’s ever lost a child and takes desperate measures to ensure that child’s safe return. As a mother, I identified with her desperation and determination. The cast of characters are all well developed and I felt a connection with each of them. Watching as each of their stories unfolds was a beautiful revelation of how God can use each one of us if only we allow it.

The only thing that kept my rating from five stars was the fact that Cecile’s plight wasn’t immediately taken to the police. I would think, if a child had been kidnapped, police would need to immediately notified. I was disturbed by this in the first half of the book. I did some research online at that point and discovered that oftentimes, these young mothers were considered poor and uneducated, making claims against what appeared to be a respected, licensed social worker. I also discovered the police officers even looked the other way because of affiliations Miss Tann had with high ranking politicians and offcials in the city. While these affiliations were made known in the book, the police aspect wasn’t truly revealed until the last chapters. I personally would have liked to have had that become known much earlier in the book and I would have found the storyline to be somewhat more believable. Regardless of that personal preference though, this novel is still worthy of all four stars.

The Pink Bonnet offers mild suspense, disturbingly accurate details, a heinous villain, a budding romance and a climatic conclusion. The underlying currents of desperation, hope, love and reunification are truly beautiful. I recommend it to readers who enjoy crime/suspense novels and even those who enjoy a historical romance.

While Georgia Tann will be forever known as a corrupt kidnapper and human trafficker who misused her license as a social worker for personal gain, God did use this horrible brokenness to create a more positive stigma surrounding adoptions. As a result we have better laws in place now, social workers who are routinely checked and adoptions are more open and public than they used to be. Our family, for one, is grateful for that as we enjoy an open adoption with our daughter’s birth family and celebrate them for their love and sacrifice. Adoption nearly always stems from brokenness, but there can be healing and beauty in the process if the parties involved choose love.


This mother, this child, loved each other with an overwhelming love, a love that knew no bounds, no limits, no ends. ...there was nothing like a mother’s love, other than God’s love for His own children.
— Liz Tolsma, The Pink Bonnet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Liz Tolsma | Photo Courtesy of  www.truecolorscrime.com

Author Liz Tolsma | Photo Courtesy of www.truecolorscrime.com

Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.

Visit Liz online at LizTolsma.com


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The Pink Bonnet or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A Mini Review of Living Lies by Natalie Walters | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Revell at Baker Publishing Group via NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


★★★★

What a surprise this debut novel from Natalie Walters was!  While the premise of Living Lies is a suspense novel, it is also a beautiful love story and tender tale of discovering God’s purpose for one’s life.  Walter’s characters are relatable, dynamic and immediately draw you in.  The small town atmosphere that Walter’s created for this novel’s setting is picturesque and homey.  This novel opens readers hearts to the topics of depression, suicide and the stigmas surrounding mental health.  Walter’s lovingly depicts the beauty and purpose our Redeemer can offer those who find themselves or their loved ones facing fears and struggles that are larger than life itself.  The suspense and heroism in this story is exactly what readers will find they want from this novel… The mild suspense keeps readers on edge as the mystery unfolds and the hero swoops in to save the day just as readers hope.  My overall rating is a solid four star novel - a sweet and tender romance, a mysterious killer, and a beautiful discovery of second chances and finding a life worth living. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Natalie Walters | Image courtesy of https://www.nataliewalterswriter.com

Author Natalie Walters | Image courtesy of https://www.nataliewalterswriter.com

Natalie Walters is a military wife of 22 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. Visit her website here: https://www.nataliewalterswriter.com


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Living Lies or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

*I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers book review program and Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


This fast paced, dramatic story takes readers on an exciting journey to Lavender Tides, Washington.

Oddly enough, this was my first Colleen Coble novel. Being a prominent suspense novelist in the Christian fiction world and a USA Today Bestselling Author, I’m surprised I haven’t read Coble’s books before. Regardless, I’m glad I chose this book and even more delighted it did not disappoint. Rather, it enticed me to read more books from this clever, creative author. Secrets of Cedar Cabin was a book that immediately drew me in and kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. This novel was well planned, well paced and had enough suspense to keep me hooked!


Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down.

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava.

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems. - Synopsis from Secrets of Cedar Cabin


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Secrets of Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble, a Lavender Tides Novel | A Christian Fiction Suspense Novel

★★★★★ ||  I enjoyed several aspects of Secrets of Cedar Cabin . The first being the pace of the book. It moved quickly and kept me so interested, I finished it in just a day and a half. Being a suspense fiction lover, I really enjoyed the story line and the plot as it thickened and wove. Being an animal lover, I enjoyed Bailey’s cat and the delight Sheba brought to the story. (I’ve since learned that Coble often includes a pet in each of her stories and that made me love her all the more!).

This novel was a great read, the suspense was intriguing and the plot was dark and sinister, but not in a bad way. The story had romance, a touch of faith and drama. None of it was overbearing or overdone. It was all just right! Coble’s characters were endearing and easy to relate to. Following along with them as they grow in their faith and relationships was encouraging.

One thing I will say is that there seemed to be a lot of characters introduced which left me a little disoriented. As a result, I had the sense the book was a part of a series, which I didn’t know at first. Because of my personality and the fact that I enjoy books more when read in order, I wanted to include this fact. I recommend reading the other books in this series first, but it’s not imperative. Coble does a decent job of making her books stand alone novels, but I believe the stories have more impact if read in order.

Since finishing the Secrets of Cedar Cabin , I’ve actually read the entire Aloha Reef collection which I also highly recommend. Coble is a master at her novels and I’ve enjoyed each and every one I’ve read so far!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of https://colleencoble.com

Image courtesy of https://colleencoble.com

Colleen Coble | Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com. You can also follow Colleen on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Secrets of Cedar Cabin or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


 

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup, a suspense novel published by Barbour Publishing

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc. and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.



A psychologist paralyzed by fear.  
A mother propelled by love. 
A stalker bent on destruction.

 
Psychology professor Dr. Denilyn Rossi contends that the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us. The choice is ours, she tells her students. What she doesn’t tell them is that her own past is a shadow she can’t seem to shake. Fear has immobilized her and is taking a costly toll.

Adelia Sanchez, however, has embraced Dr. Rossi’s teaching. She is ready to confront fear and render it powerless—using the trauma of her past to propel her to entrap the man who stalked and brutally attacked her.

As Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Will he uncover the secret Deni and Adelia have fought so hard to protect?

-Synopsis from Convergence


A ★★★ Book Review of the White City by Grace Hitchcock, Book One in the True Colors series | Historical Stories of American Crime

A ★★★ Book Review of the White City by Grace Hitchcock, Book One in the True Colors series | Historical Stories of American Crime

★★★★★ | Hands down, this brand new thriller from Ginny L. Yttrup is a book I will recommend over and over. While this author is new to me, the suspense fiction genre isn’t. I was excited to read Convergence after glancing over the synopsis and happy to report it did not disappoint, but rather, far exceeded any expectations I had.

Readers will follow along, turning page after page as quickly as possible, while Yttrup weaves an intriguing, captivating story of suspense that keeps her readers engaged to the very end. Psychologist, Dr. Denilyn Rossi, is a brilliant character and I thoroughly enjoyed a look into her mind and heart as she struggles to battle a past that still haunts her and the fear that has presently immobilized.

Being cautious not to give too much of this novel away, I will say that I thought Convergence was very well written with an action packed plot. The characters were relatable, strong and solid. As Denilyn flashes between the story of her assault seven years ago and her current fearful situation, the story becomes riveting and truly had me on the edge of my seat. I believe the fear of the unknown is one of the strongest types of fear a human can encounter and Yttrup does a fantastic job of using that to her advantage. Adelia’s strong, faith driven character is beautiful in it’s own right and a great fit to this story. Around every turn, the knowledge of a psychopathic stalker who’s making deadly threats, drives these two women in their every step creating an exciting story of suspense and mystery for readers. The ending left me surprised, satisfied, and made me want to read the book again!

I loved the fact that Yttrup didn’t shy away from personal struggles including fear, control, and divorce but instead embraced them and used them to point to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. The faith based element of Convergence is perhaps my favorite part. It wasn’t over indulgent or forceful but rather encouraging and enriching. Because this novel is written in the first person, Yttrup uses her characters’ thoughts and feelings to expose readers to a wide range of thoughts and feelings… ones we’ve all had at one time or another. As the novel moves forward and the characters’ relinquish their fears and control to God, we see the beauty and redemption in surrendering ourselves to Him as He guides our steps.

I recommend Convergence to mature readers who enjoy Christian contemporary fiction, psychological thrillers, suspense and mysteries. Happy Reading!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Ginny Yttrup, Photo Courtesy of  www.ginnyyttrup.com

Author Ginny Yttrup, Photo Courtesy of www.ginnyyttrup.com

Ginny L. Yttrup is an award-winning author who writes contemporary, issue-driven fiction meant to engage the reader and encourage them to a deeper relationship with God. Ginny is a sought after retreat, even and writer’s conference speaker. Visit Ginny online at http://ginnyyttrup.com.

You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Convergence or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!