A ★★★★ Book Review of Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin, a historical 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.


A romantic tale of espionage, war, loyalty and the bond of family.

This beautiful new novel from one of my favorite authors offers the lovely story of a young woman desperate to find her family, a young man determined to honor his promise and a captivating romance set in Europe during the era of World War I.


"A complex and riveting tale that you won't be able to set aside. Bravo!"--Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of the Ladies of the Manor and Shadows Over England series

In 1918 England, Lieutenant Colin Mabry spends his days decoding messages for MI8 after suffering injuries at the front. When he receives an urgent summons by carrier pigeon from Jewel Reyer--a woman who saved his life and whom he believed to be dead--he can only hope he'll regain the courage he lost on the front lines as he's driven back into war-torn France. 

But Jewel isn't the one waiting for him in Paris. Instead, it is a stranger who claims to be her half sister, Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence. She found Jewel's diary and believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust grows.

That trust is quickly put to the test, however, when their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot and their search for answers quickly turns into a battle for their lives. - Synopsis from Far Side of the Sea

"Blending spycraft with a story of romance forged under the pressure of a life-or-death rescue mission, this action-packed historical will appeal to fans of historical thrillers and will keep readers guessing until the final moments."--Publishers Weekly


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |  In true Kate Breslin fashion, she delivers another exquisitely romantic tale in Far Side of the Sea. This sweet, tender historical fiction novel is all I hoped for and more. Being a huge fan of Breslin’s novels, For Such a Time and Not By Sight, I was looking forward to this newest release.

Johanna Reyer is a young woman, alone in this world, desperately seeking to find her sister and father in war-torn France. Her journey and persistence lead her to Colin Mabry, one of her sister’s friends who works decoding message for MI8. As the pair sets out to locate Jewel Reyer, they work together posing as a married couple and traverse Europe during the era of WWI, working alongside undercover British, French and American secret service agents.

I was captivated with this story from the first few chapters. Both Johanna and Colin battle their own unique past scars and uncover God’s truths along the way. The level of mystery that ensues the characters as the story unfolds is tantalizing. While the ending didn’t quite surprise me (I had my suspicions all along), I found the story was still complex enough to hold my interest and keep me entertained. The blooming romance between the two main characters was so touching plus I enjoyed their banter early on.

In Far Side of the Sea, Breslin educates readers to the unique way in which the various militaries utilized carrier pigeons during WWI, by weaving it into her narrative. I found this fascinating and learned something I hadn’t known before. I believe historical fiction lovers will enjoy this aspect of the novel, along with the WWI setting. Because the story holds a sense of mystery with espionage and the search for Jewel, light suspense readers may enjoy this story as well. As always, Breslin does an excellent job of delivering a beautiful Gospel message through her characters’ experiences and that is something I love dearly about her novels. So in conclusion, while For Such a Time is still my favorite Breslin novel, Far Side of the Sea is a great read also and one to be recommended!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and Christy Award finalist and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at www.katebreslin.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Far Side of the Sea 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 Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright, a time slip suspense 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.


A superb combination of historical and contemporary fiction with powerful characters, a brilliant storyline, riveting suspense and a captivating dash of romance!

Author Jaime Jo Wright completely outdoes herself with this third time slip novel that is sure to capture readers imaginations and hearts in an edge-of-your-seat page turner! Both the depth of this story and the compelling plot are truly remarkable, showcasing the creative way in which Wright delivers the narrative.


Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to turn-of-the-century Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin. When the clues she finds lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a postmortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death. 

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman haunting the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, they must overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined. - Synopsis from The Curse of Misty Wayfair

"Narrated in parallel story lines from 1908 and the present, Wright creates an inspirational mystery with thrilling finesse, blending chilling supernatural elements with the raw interiority of mental illness, and taking readers on Heidi's haunting search for identity, which is sure to keep them up at night."--Booklist

"Stellar writing combined with stellar storytelling is rare. Jaime Jo Wright brings both in abundance to her third novel, The Curse of Misty Wayfair."--James L. Rubart, bestselling author of The Man He Never Was

"The Curse of Misty Wayfair is deliciously thrilling, with a resolution steeped in light and hope."--Jocelyn Green, author of Between Two Shores

"Jaime Jo Wright does it again! The Curse of Misty Wayfair is a compelling and deeply moving story."--Kara Isaac, RITA Award-winning author of Then There Was You


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ |   Since reading the Reckoning at Gossamer Pond, I found myself eagerly listening to the House on Foster Hill by way of my Scribd account, highlighting the fact that I truly loved Jaime Jo Wright’s creative storytelling and suspenseful, time slip narratives. But only time could reveal that my absolute favorite of Wright’s novels is her newest release, The Curse of Misty Wayfair.

As I delved into this new story, I was immediately immersed in two stories… That of Thea Reed, a young woman who’s searching for her roots so to speak at the beginning of the twentieth century, and that of Heidi Lane, a present day woman who’s returned home at the mysterious bidding of a letter penned by her dementia ridden mother. Both stories take readers captive from the very beginning… Wright has a way of creating magnetic, multi dimensional characters that are relatable and likable.

While I loved Thea and Simeon’s story, it was the dynamic relationship between Heidi and Rhett that I found captivating, amusing and enjoyable. Their strength, and stubbornness, made for some great interactions that left me smiling. Not to mention, the intricate way these two stories wove together in a fascinating tale of suspense, mystery and intrigue was phenomenal!

Overall, this was an excellent read. It’s clear that Wright is a master of words and very studious of people and their unique makeup. She portrays her characters and their thoughts in a way so relatable, readers can easily identify with them. I love how each of her books portrays a character with special needs and the unique qualities those characters bring to the story, as well as the concept that everyone is made in God’s image with love and for a specific purpose. The faith elements woven throughout this novel are rich, deep and inspirational. The clear impact a personal relationship with the Lord is evident and following the characters on their journey to uncover God’s truths is enlightening and relevant.

Along with Wright’s other two novels, I highly recommend The Curse of Misty Wayfair to both historical fiction lovers and contemporary fiction readers. It is also a great read for mature young adults and college age readers. Please, don’t miss out on this gripping novel, it won’t disappoint!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Jaime Jo Wright is the Christy Award-Winning author of The House on Foster Hill. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime works as a human resources director in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and two children. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The Curse of Misty Wayfair 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 Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot, One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador

*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.


"No one has had a greater impact on my spiritual development than Elisabeth Elliot. . . . May her experiences--and her confident conclusion--strengthen you for your journey as they have strengthened mine."--from the foreword by Kay Warren, cofounder of Saddleback Church and author of Choose Joy

In this deeply personal account of her first year as a missionary, Elisabeth Elliot shares the challenges she faced as she worked in the jungles of Ecuador to bring the Word of God to a people virtually untouched by the outside world. With fascinating detail, she captures the stark realities of life in the jungle, the difficulties she encountered while developing a written language for the tribe, and her confusion when God didn't "cooperate" with her efforts to accomplish what she believed was His will.

More than just a memoir, Made for the Journey is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to an unfathomable God. - Made for the Journey Synopsis


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★  |   This powerful, insightful glimpse into Elisabeth Elliot’s first year as a missionary in Ecuador is not only heartwarming, but spiritually enlightening as well. Readers will follow along as Elisabeth shares her journey to the jungle, her experiences, her innermost thoughts and feelings and the impressions God laid on her heart in the form of multiple lessons.

In high school, I read about the missionary lives of Elisabeth Elliot and her husband Jim, an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed by the Huaorani Indians in 1956. While I haven’t yet read Elisabeth’s bestselling book, Through Gates of Splendor, I was familiar with their lives and story.

This book, Made for the Journey, is Elisabeth’s own memoirs of her life before marriage. After she graduates college and follows the Lord’s calling to the jungles of Ecaudor, she shares what life was like as a single female missionary, working and living life with three other missionary women, while completely disconnected from the rest of the world. Elisabeth feels led by the Lord to take up the matter of creating a written language for the Colorado Indians and uses her linguistics knowledge to do so with a help of a bilingual gentleman she meets in the Ecuadorian jungle. Upon his death, she begins to question the reason for her calling to that particular task…

I thoroughly enjoyed her story and found it to be relatable, deeply personal and very touching. Elisabeth did not shy away from sharing the harsh realities she faced or the thoughts she struggled with, but she shares in a tender and peaceful way. As she questioned what she felt was God’s will in her life, true human nature is displayed and I found myself identifying with those thoughts and feelings through hardships in my own life. The way Elisabeth presents the lessons she learned and the truths God revealed to her was concise and soul filling. Indeed, God always takes care of His children, even if we don’t understand the “how” or “why” at the present time. This book is well organized, with each chapter reviewing different aspects of Elisabeth’s first year - sharing about the native people, customs, daily chores and necessities, meals, flora and fauna, animals and creatures she experienced, her work in linguistics and more. I believe Made for the Journey is an excellent educational tool for homeschool teenagers, an inspiring read for any teen or adult and could be used as a discussion guide amongst Sunday school or Bible study classes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) was one of the most perceptive and popular Christian writers of the last century. The author of more than 20 books, including Passion and Purity and The Journals of Jim Elliot, Elliot offered guidance and encouragement to millions of readers worldwide.

Other Books By Elisabeth Elliot:


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Made for the Journey 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 Mind Games by Nancy Mehl (Book One in the Kaely Quinn, Profiler series) | A Christian Fiction Romantic Suspense 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.


My favorite suspense novel this year!

A brilliant, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you turning the pages faster than you can say FBI! Author Nancy Mehl showcases her masterfully created plot as readers follow along with FBI profiler Kaely Quinn and Special Agent Noah Hunter as they hunt down a serial killer on the loose who has sights set on Kaely. 


FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn's methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable.

She's done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she's the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem's morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely must race to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed. - Synopsis from Mind Games

"Fans of romantic mysteries will want to see more of the gutsy Kaely."--Publishers Weekly


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ |   As I pause to review this story, words like gripping, mind boggling, exciting, dangerous and marvelous all come to mind as adjectives to describe this book. It’s a top five read for me in its genre. I enjoyed the well crafted cast of characters and the cunning story line. I hesitate to give too much detail, so as not to give any of the excitement away as readers follow FBI agents Kaely and Noah’s quest to uncover who’s behind a series of murders and threatening letters. 

Suspense lovers will enjoy this book for certain. There’s a hint of romance involved, and that’s putting it quite literally. The story line was fast paced and encouraged me to dismiss bedtime and keep reading late into the night; a definite page turner! There were several times I thought I knew who the UNSUB was, but alas, Mehl surprised me! Since this is the first book in this series, I will be anxiously awaiting the books to follow. Also, I felt that Mehl incorporated elements of faith and Christianity quite well. (Side note: It was very refreshing to see the pronouns in this novel that referred to the deity of God capitalized. It’s something I’ve noticed of late that other authors and editors aren’t doing and it disturbs me, for our Lord is to be honored and revered!) 

As the book wraps up, there’s a surprise in store regarding the main character and a feeling that what is to come is going to be pretty exciting. I can’t wait to see how Nancy Mehl tops this story! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Photo Credit: Photo by: Ginger Murray Photography | Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com


Photo Credit: Photo by: Ginger Murray Photography | Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Mind Games 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 Wait For Me, Book 6 in the Montana Rescue Series, by Susan May Warren | An action packed contemporary romance

*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.


An Action-Packed, Heart-Pounding Adventure…

With a gripping first sentence and a heart racing opening, USA Today bestselling author, Susan May Warren, captures readers attention immediately in Wait For Me, the sixth book of her Montana Rescue series. A suspenseful story of redemption, love, faith, adventure and romance…


With Jess and Pete, every day is lived at full throttle. 
Now if they can only stay alive to enjoy it.

Pete Brooks can't believe he's waited an entire year for EMT Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart. Worse, a series of mistakes on the job has cost lives, and Pete isn't sure he wants to continue to work in search and rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward. 

When a terrible fight between Jess and Pete sparks an impulsive decision, Jess finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with two others. Just when Jess thinks things couldn't get any worse, they are taken captive and dragged into the untamed Montana wilderness--with murderous intent. 

Now Pete will have to call on everything he's learned to find them--and pray that his past mistakes don't cost him the life of the woman he can't stop loving. -Synopsis from Wait For Me


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ |   Without giving too much of this riveting story away, I’ll simply jump right to my review of this fabulous, new release from Revell and Susan May Warren. I was captivated by the story from the moment I started this book. It is an easy, yet engaging, read that draws readers in with gripping adventure right from the start. As the main characters battle internal struggles and the story forms, disaster strikes when three friends go missing and are feared in danger, including Jess Tagg, the love of Pete Brooks’ life. On the heels of a muddled romance and recent heartbreak, it is up to Pete and the PEAK team to rescue them!

This book is written from multiple points of view and offers perspective on the story from different angles as the plot unfolds. Readers can identify with the relatable struggles the characters face as they not only work to overcome the scars of their pasts but also work together to fight for life and rescue.

I truly enjoyed the way Susan May Warren intertwined the story behind Pete and Jess’s romance as Pete and the PEAK team work to find and save Jess, Ned and Shae. It was beautifully written and I found the characters engaging and relatable. As the plot would thicken, the adventure intensified, keeping me turning page after page in a hurry. As an adult reader, I enjoyed the romance in this book. It was clean, enticing, passionate and tender, making this book a perfect contemporary romance. I will note that since this book is a part of series, there a LOT of characters introduced that I had some trouble keeping up with. However, because this book was so good, Warren has me wanting to read the rest of this series as soon as possible! I did feel that there were a couple of parts where the backstory of Pete and Jess’s romance was repetitive but I will say I enjoyed their interactions and even felt myself tensing over their squabbles and internally fighting for their love and reunification. Overall, a great read and not only a book that deserves an ovation, but a series that deserves recognition as well.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana SkiesRescue MeA Matter of TrustTroubled Waters, and Storm Front. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook, YouTube and on Twitter.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Wait For Me or borrow it from your local library.  You can also find the other books in the Montana Rescue series available here.

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


A ★★★★ Book Review of In Too Deep by Lynn Blackburn, a Christian fiction romantic suspense 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.


MURDER, INTRIGUE, ROMANCE AND SUSPENSE…

Author Lynn H. Blackburn keeps her readers completely immersed in this thrilling suspense novel. With a cast of likable characters who happen to be coworkers and friends, plus a plot that just keeps thickening, readers won’t be able to put this book down!


How do you choose between loyalty and the truth?

When the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren't prepared to find an encrypted laptop--or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant. 

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence implicates members of Adam's own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case. 

The truth could set hundreds free--but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets. -Synopsis from In Too Deep


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★ |   In Too Deep, book two in Lynn H. Blackuburn’s Dive Team Investigations series, follows investigator Adam Campbell and forensic-skilled Dr. Sabrina Fleming as they work together to uncover the secrets that lay in a case involving a recently recovered body and laptop from a submerged car.

Being a suspense lover, I was really surprised I hadn’t come across author Lynn H. Blackburn before. From the first chapter, she had me completely hooked on this story. Paralleling my other favorite authors such as Dani Pettrey and Irene Hannon, this suspense novel is a must read. The mystery behind the case this team is working on keeps readers interested and turning the pages late at night (and perhaps keeping the lights on too). With a fast paced story line and constant, continued interaction between the key characters, I think this is a great read for any suspense lover. Being that it is book two in a series, this novel has me wanting to read Beneath the Surface now (the story between investigator Ryan Parker and NP Leigh Weston, who make appearances in In Too Deep). Regardless, this novel does well as a standalone.

I’m certain romantic suspense lovers will enjoy the budding relationship forming between Investigator Campell and Dr. Fleming. These two each have their own unique personalities and it’s quite the ride as they work together and connect on a more personal level. I highly enjoyed all the characters in this novel. They were well rounded and each had a story of their own, coming from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. My only drawback to this novel was the ending… There was a quick wrap up that I wasn’t expecting to the case and it felt anticlimactic… But then an information dump from the villain left me reading more slowly to make sure I grasped what had really happened. The chapters became short and somewhat choppy plus there was a lot of narrative from the author tying up the details, but it was still a great story and still enjoyable!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the SurfaceHidden Legacy, and Covert Justice. Winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel, Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

You can visit her website at www.lynnblackburn.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram!


Lastly, pick up your own copy of In Too Deep or borrow it from your local library.  You can also find the other books by Amanda Cabot available here.

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