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 ★★★★★ Review of the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible for Girls | Available in Various Versions Including International Children's Bible and New King James Version!

*I received a complimentary copy of these two Bibles free of charge from Tommy Nelson (an imprint of Thomas Nelson) in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links to purchase the book and I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links that helps me keep this blog going!


A sparkly, fun treasure for young girls to cherish as they grow spiritually!

These beautifully crafted Holy Bibles are not only gorgeous and well designed, they’re an invaluable gift and resource to young girls as they seek to read God’s word, learn how to pray, grow in Jesus and deepen their relationship with the One who created them!


A ★★★★★ Review of the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible for Girls | Available in Various Versions Including International Children's Bible and New King James Version!

★★★★★ | What better gift can a young girl receive than the Word of God in a format she can relate to, understand and feel empowered by? I distinctly remember receiving my first Bible, shortly after I asked Jesus to come into my life at age six. I still have that little white Bible to this day, it’s cover worn, pages ear marked and Scriptures highlighted or underlined from years of Bible drills and Sunday School.

Flipping through these beautiful new Bibles brought back floods of memories and encouraged me as I eagerly anticipate the day when my daughter is old enough to read and hold God’s Word in her little hands. The Sparkle and Change Holy Bible is available in various versions so you can decide what fit is best for your child and family.

Each Bible comes with a sequined cover that girls will enjoy flipping to reveal sparkly hearts and designs. The Bibles are hardcover formats making them durable and sturdy for years of use. Inside, there are 24 high gloss pages inserted throughout that offer places for girls to easily study and learn things like the Biblical timeline, maps, and topics such as“Why Should I Read the Bible?”, “How Do I Know Jesus Loves Me?”, “ How Do I Forgive” and “How Can I Let God’s Love Shine Through Me?”. In addition, these pages offer places for girls to write their favorite verses, plus review cheat sheets on topics covering the Disciples, Names of God and Miracles of Jesus. The fonts and colors on these pages are soft, girly and fun, encouraging young minds to dive deeper in the Word.

The Bible pages are light and easy to read with chapters and verses split apart for easy reference. One feature I personally loved was how there are 300 pre-highlighted key verses throughout the Bible that are perfect for memorization or study points on the promises of God. At the back of Bible is a helpful dictionary, “Where Do I Find It?” guide, a section on God’s promises and memory verse index

The International Children’s Bible is a translation younger kids can read and understand on their own. The New King James Version can be understood by mature young girls, but felt a bit more pre-teen to me. Of course, I always highly recommend reading Scripture with your children! These Bibles are a good resource and tool for a young girl to use independently or at school as her freedom in Christ grows.

The Sparkle and Change Holy Bible would make a great gift for your daughter, granddaughter, niece, friend or any young girl. I personally think this would make an excellent birthday, spiritual birthday or Christmas gift as well! It seems to be geared best for elementary school children to pre-teen. Keep scrolling for options on where to buy!


WHERE TO PURCHASE THE SPARKLE AND CHANGE HOLY BIBLE:

Shop/Sample the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible on Amazon:


Shop the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible at Target:


Shop the Sparkle and Change Holy Bible at ChristianBook.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! 


An Exciting Announcement and ★★★★★ Review | Dani Pettrey's newest romantic suspense novel, The Killing Tide, is available NOW!

* I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Dani Pettrey and  Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley 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.


The Killing Tide… An emotionally charged, riveting new novel from one of romantic suspense’s best authors, Dani Pettrey!

This edge of your seat novel is the first installment in Pettrey’s new Coastal Guardian series. As an award-winning suspense author, Dani Pettrey introduces readers to the Coastal Guard Investigative Service team in coastal Wrightsville, NC, characters readers are sure to enjoy! Follow the story of Gabby and Finn as together, they track down a killer who is wreaking havoc on the area and interfering with the lives of those close to them!


When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter--and Finn's boss's sister--Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she's back, the tug on Finn's heart is strong, but with the risks she's taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?” -
Synopsis from The Killing Tide


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ | I’m excited to be here sharing with you today as part of author Dani Pettrey’s Suspense Squad, a team of readers who got a first look into her newest novel, The Killing Tide, available for pre-order now and debuting on August 5, 2019.

I’ve been a long time fan of Dani’s, thoroughly enjoying her Alaskan Courage series from years ago. Now, she’s back with another highly anticipated novel that delivers exactly what readers want… Mystery, murder, suspense, romance, and a team of friends who are fiercely equipped and devoted to protecting those they love. Also, can we just take a moment to swoon over the gorgeous cover?

Without giving too much of the story away, I’ll say that I loved Finn and Gabby, and their unique dynamic together. It was interesting learning about these two characters who had a history together and watching them reconnect on a new level.

Pettrey keeps readers on the edge of their seats from the dramatic opening chapters to the nail biting ending with exciting events taking place throughout The Killing Tide. She kept me guessing until close to the end when process of elimination really helped me determine the villain and even then, I was still surprised with how the story played out.

One of my favorite parts of Pettrey’s series is how the books interlock, following the lives of friends, who in this case also happen to be teammates on the CGIS team. Readers will meet the entire team in this novel and as they dive into Finn and Gabby’s story, they’ll get a peek into the lives of the characters from the next novel she has planned. I always enjoy the strong friendship and fierce determination Pettrey’s characters have. Their faith, their loyalty, and their morals are always honorable. I also really enjoyed the coastal setting, for obvious reasons!

The only tiny drawback for me was the part of The Killing Tide that Pettrey penned from the villian’s point of view. I found myself rushing through those parts, not really caring what the villain was up to or thinking because I was enjoying Finn, Gabby and CGIS team more! I preferred to be surprised with the next turn of events just as the character’s were, always wanting to side with them and cheer on their defeat of whatever bad circumstances came their way.

I highly recommend The Killing Tide to those who enjoy romantic suspense, mysteries and even popular, fictional investigative television shows.

The ocean settled her soul like nothing else. Being near God’s creation reminded her of His sovereignty and majesty. Setting the moon in the sky to control the tides . . . it awed her. Jesus walking on water, calming the storm . . . Knowing He tamed something so wild and free settled her soul in a way nothing else did.
— Dani Pettrey, The Killing Tide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography

Dani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of the  Chesapeake Valor series, and the  Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels  Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and  Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.  

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

Author Image: © Michael Pettrey Photography


Lastly, pick up your own copy of The Killing Tide or borrow it from your local library when it is available.  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 ★★★★★ Book Review of Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes, a 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.


A SOUL STIRRING DEBUT NOVEL FROM A MARVELOUS AUTHOR!

This deeply emotional novel ties two time eras together in a beautiful and spellbinding way. With captivating characters and melodic words, Amanda Dykes draws readers into the fictional world of Ansel-by-the-Sea where a story of love, honor and hope takes root in readers hearts and minds. A novel so well written, it deserves more than five stars!


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

★★★★★ | When author Amanda Dykes reached out to me on Instagram and asked if I would be interested in reading and promoting her debut novel, I immediately agreed and felt a kinship to her on a soul level. Fast forward a few months to when her novel, Whose Waves These Are, landed on my doorstep… I couldn’t wait to dive in to this story! What I didn’t anticipate was the way my very soul would connect to her novel - the characters, the story, and how it and they would be forever written on my heart.

Whose Waves These Are is captivating, soulful, emotional and layered but not overwhelming. Rather, it is a beautiful tale that evokes joy, laughter and hope amidst the trials life deals. The characters’ stories are real and heartrending, yet triumphant. I’m certain readers will find a piece of this story that they relate to and empathize with.

The pages of Whose Waves These Are stirred my soul, filled my heart and brought tears to my eyes. The characters and their unique stories, the way the book split history and present day, plus the way Amanda Dykes masterfully pulled it all together into one novel is extraordinary. It is so well written and so beautiful…

When I finished this story, I sighed. An audible, tear filled sigh that the story had come full circle. Love won, redemption was found and my heart was full. Now, as I write this review, I fear my words aren’t going to do justice for this novel. Instead of revealing the plot or mentioning the characters by name, I’ll simply leave my review at this - I recommend you read this book. Allow your heart to feel the writer’s words, absorb the narration and embrace the characters. When you’re finished, you won’t be the same.


“In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Its message? Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss's humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the harbor village on the coast of Maine, and he sets his callused hands to work.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when GrandBob, the man who gave her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is the one in need of help. But what greets her is a mystery: a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Memories of stone ruins on a nearby island ignite a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

Together with the handsome and enigmatic town postman, Annie uncovers the story layer by layer, yearning to resurrect the hope GrandBob once held so dear and to know the truth behind the chasm in her family's past. But mending what has been broken for so long may require more of her and those she loves than they are prepared to give.” -
Synopsis from Whose Waves These Are


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com


Image courtesy of www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Amanda Dykes (www.amandadykes.com) is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she'll be happy for hours. She's a former English teacher, and her novella, Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, was met with critical acclaim from Publishers WeeklyReaders' Favorite, and more. She is also the author of a novella in The Message in a Bottle Romance CollectionWhose Waves These Are is her debut novel. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Lastly, pick up your own copy of Whose Waves These Are 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!