A Mini Review of The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson (A Coastal Hearts Novel) | A Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I received an e-copy of this book from the author and JustRead Publicity tours in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.


The Art of Rivers is an excellent story that deals with the harsh realities of overcoming addiction, social stigmas surrounding them, forgiveness, fear and trauma. I truly loved this book, it tugged on all my heart strings!

The novel is well written, endearing and even cute! I devoured it; a definite page turner.

A Mini Review of The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson (A Coastal Hearts Novel) | A Contemporary Christian Romance Novel

★★★★ | Author Janet Ferguson opens with a chapter that is tender yet shocking then continues to weave a story that is both entertaining and touching. The main and sub characters are charming, witty and relatable. I loved the occasional banter between Rivers and Cooper, was enamored with how their love story unfolds and enjoyed how Ferguson used their relationship to bring about healing in a family. Readers will find it hard not to "feel" along with Rivers and Cooper. They're so lifelike and the things they struggle with are very real. Through them, Ferguson gives readers a look at life after trauma and addiction. She doesn't sugarcoat it, but uses faith as a basis for recovery and depicts the redemption found only in Christ. It's truly beautiful.

The faith based elements of this book are strong, but do not overpower the story in my opinion. I do enjoy books with a Christian viewpoint however and realize that some people may feel this book comes on a little strong. Nevertheless, I encourage readers to read between the lines and see the power that comes from overcoming addiction, helping others and allowing struggles to make us stronger.

This book is a SOLID FOUR STARS and was very good!

I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy a cozy romance, comtemporary fiction and faith based fiction. I believe the story would be suitable for teenagers 16+ as it is clean. Please be aware the story does contain triggers and mentions of things such as a shooting, addiction, teenage death, drinking, drugs, loss and drug trafficking.

SPOILER ALERT! The only thing that kept this novel from tipping over into five stars for me, was simply a personal preference. The ending wrapped up beautifully but the last chapter made me cringe. Throughout the story, I had imagined and felt Rivers as a whimsical romantic with a playful side. The fact that she proposed to Cooper, who supposedly couldn't get enough of her, detracted from their romance. I'm not against women proposing, it just didn't feel right for this couple. I also wasn't a fan of the fact that Ferguson included the song Jesus Freak in their wedding music and used the phrase "I'm always willing to let my freak flag fly." (this was also alluded to earlier in the book). As a Christian, I don't enjoy being stigmatized as a freak and don't think anyone should be categorized that way under any circumstance. Between those two things, I ended the book with distaste but felt it didn't really detract from the story I had enjoyed so immensely up until those last closing lines.


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! 


 

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 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 Stratagem, A Contemporary Fiction Suspense Novel by Robin Caroll

*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.


Murder, suspense, betrayal and forgiveness…

This exciting new novel by Robin Caroll will not disappoint.  With mystery and intrigue wrapped up in a message of the beauty of forgiveness, this book proved to be a fast paced novel that readers will love. 


A ★★★ Book Review of Stratagem, A Contemporary Fiction Suspense Novel by Robin Caroll

A ★★★ Book Review of Stratagem, A Contemporary Fiction Suspense Novel by Robin Caroll

★★★ || There is nothing better than a good suspense novel! Stratagem, a new release by Robin Caroll, was just that. It was a refreshing read that kept me on my toes until the end. Set in modern day, this mystery carries readers along a mind bending journey as the main character, Grayson, becomes the prime suspect in his ex-wife, Anna Belle’s, murder when she suddenly dies while competing in a game he created for her company. Not only do readers enjoy this story from Grayson’s point of view, but they also discover interviews and learn pertinent information from the viewpoint of detective Brandon Gibbons, a friend of Grayson’s as he interviews those who were present when Anna Belle died.

I enjoyed the glimpses author Robin Caroll allowed into Anna Belle’s mind and from her perspective as well.

The story not only has a fast paced plot that thickens around every turn, but are there many characters that are introduced at relevant times making readers feel like they may have figured out the murderer, but Robin Caroll likes to keep you guessing until the very end. In the end, there is a sweet surrender to forgiveness that was so necessary from the beginning of the book. It is a beautiful display of faith and love.

I gave this story three stars because I did enjoy the story and the creativity behind it. The game that Grayson creates, how it works and the unique way the author weaves the characters together is fantastic. What kept me from a higher rating is Anna Belle’s character. She lacked so much… I was actually glad she’d passed away, she sounded like such a miserable person. I feel like readers might have been more concerned for her death and interested to find out “who’d done it” if she was a more likable character. However, in the same respect, had she been more likable, there wouldn’t have been the necessity for Grayson’s inclination toward forgiveness.

Over all, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery! While this is classified as a suspense novel, Stratagem doesn’t involve over the top, descriptive violence or malice. It does however, deal with sensitive subjects such as divorce, abortion and addiction so if those are tender points for readers, they may want to proceed cautiously.


A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the

Prime Suspect . . . for Murder.
 
Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder. - Synopsis from Stratagem


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image courtesy of https://www.robincaroll.com

Image courtesy of https://www.robincaroll.com

Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South. Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

You can find Robin at her website, https://www.robincaroll.com, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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