Monday, April 17, 2017

Sandpiper Cove


Sandpiper Cover
A Hope Harbor Novel, #3
Irene Hannon
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800727680
April 2017/352 pages/$15.99

Wishing for things that can never be is foolish . . . or is it?

Hope Harbor police chief and single mom Lexie Graham has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief?

When Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a troubled young man from heading down the wrong path, sparks begin to fly. Could it be that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine?

Lauded by Library Journal as "a master at character development," Irene Hannon welcomes you back to this charming Oregon seaside village.

Come home to Hope Harbor
where hearts heal--and love blooms


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winningauthor of more than fifty romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have garnered dozens of honors, including three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame. In addition, she has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.


MY THOUGHTS

After thoroughtly enjoying Sea Rose Lane (reviewed here), I loved returning to Hope Harbor with this charming novel! Irene Hannon always crafts such endearing stories with likable characters, and Lexie, Adam, and his reluctant protege immediately grabbed my heart. And what's not to love about Charley and his taco truck? Charley's keen discernment and wisdom makes me wonder if he isn't really an "angel unawares" referred to in the Bible. Hannon expertly weaves together multiple threads into this story, such as regrets, peer pressure, fresh starts, restoration, and a bit of romance. Although I've always been a big city girl, I'd be proud to call Hope Harbor home. Don't miss Sandpiper Cover!.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Titanis


Titanis: A Quiet Professionals Novella
(The Quiet Professionals, Book 4)
Ronie Kendig
Task Force Press
ASIN: B06Y1HW35V
April 2017/143 pages/$3.99 ebook
COMING SOON TO PAPERBACK!

Never Again.
A vow written in the blood of the fallen is threatened in Australia’s rugged Top End.


Eamon “Titanis” Straider left the military and civilization behind after betrayal cost the life of a teammate. Living on this super yacht, the ViCross, Eamon reluctantly agrees to host an event for his parents, who are part of the Australian political machine. When an attractive woman arrives with his mother, Eamon is furious—and determined to find out what she is hiding.

Lady Ellis Rostov-Leclair has never felt so threatened as she does by the infamous “Beast of Cape York,” a man notorious for removing people—by force if necessary—from his yacht. His uncanny perception endangers not only her reason for being aboard the ship, but a secret she’s held for twenty years.

When the yacht is seized by a man with one goal: make those responsible for his brother’s death pay—the Beast of Cape York must live up to his name and protect those under his charge, or die trying.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned over a dozen novels, including The Quiet Professionals series and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. Learn more about Ronie at her website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


MY THOUGHTS

Ronie Kendig revisits her Quiet Professionals series with a novella that focuses on another member of that amazing team. I loved that series, so I zipped right over to Amazon and bought this book for my Kindle as soon as I heard it was available! Wow. Although the term novella obviously puts constraints on the length of the story, don't confuse brevity with superficiality. Kendig doesn't waste a word and packs this tale chock-full of all that her fans have come to expect and love in one of her novels--a hunky hero bearing scars from a past betrayal and determined never to trust again, a brilliant woman with secrets whom he doesn't dare accept but can't ignore, and an enemy who is playing for keeps. Brimming with action, suspense, and a somewhat reluctant romance, Titanis ignites the senses as it transports the reader aboard the ViCross yacht. Available as an ebook and coming soon in paperback, Titanis is a must-read!


THE QUIET PROFESSIONALS - MY REVIEWS

Raptor 6

Hawk
Falcon



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Monday, April 10, 2017

Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes
Apart from the Crowd, Book 1
Jen Turano
(Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0764217944
April 2017/352 pages/$15.99

After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Turano, author of eight books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.


MY THOUGHTS

Jen Turano writes the best books! Her original, clever plots and fresh, creative articulation make reading a delight. What a fun idea to create a series focusing on the overlooked wallflowers of society. (It fascinates me that these young women were essentially ignored by their peers yet still received invitations to such notable events as the Vanderbilt Ball.) I was transfixed from the opening pages until the final paragraph. Turano manages to inject humor into even the most nerve-wracking moments with her inimitable character depictions that would seem over the top in any other novel but which fit perfectly in this setting. And what's not to love about the excesses of an upper-crust ball in 1883 New York, where the most outlandish costume might entail hats fashioned from taxidermied animals and where dances bear names such as The Go-As-You-Please Quadrille (That dance scene ranks among the best in the entire novel and is worth the purchase price on its own!) Trust me: you do not want to be the one standing Apart from the Crowd when everyone is talking about this book. Grab your copy of Behind the Scenes (as well as the free prequel novella) today!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


APART FROM THE CROWD - MY REVIEWS

At Your Request (free prequel novella!)
Behind the Scenes
Out of the Ordinary - coming in November 2017!


Q&A with JEN TURANO


1. Why did you decide to open this story during Alva Vanderbilt’s famed costume ball of 1883?
I’ve been fascinated with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball ever since I stumbled on photographs from that event taken by the famed photographer Jose Maria Mora. Some of those pictures can still be viewed in the digital archives at the Museum of the City of New York, and after I saw a guest wearing a stuffed cat on her head, I knew this was a ball I needed to research. Once I realized the Vanderbilt event was a catalyst in changing New York High Society, since this was when new money began getting a foot in society doors, I decided I needed to include this ball in one of my stories, and Behind the Scenes worked well because I’d planned to set it toward the beginning of 1883.

2. Miss Permilia Griswold has an unusual occupation. How did you come up with that idea?
When I decided to write a series about wallflowers, I wanted to write them, not as victims, but as unseen ladies possessing talents no one seemed to notice. Because wallflowers are known to fade into the walls they languish against, I decided it would be a hoot to have one of my characters offered an opportunity to use her status as a wallflower to gather information for a society column. Then, to add additional mystery to the storyline, I made a list of What Ifs. Halfway down that list, a most intriguing thought sprang to mind: What if an anonymous society columnist was collecting information for her column and overheard a plot surrounding murder?

Well, after that idea, the book just seemed to take on a life of its own, and months later I can present Miss Permilia’s story to the world.

3. Mr. Asher Rutherford owns a department store. Was there a reason you gave him that occupation?
I got my very first job in a department store the day I turned 16. It was at L.S. Good & Company, based in Wheeling, West Virgina, although the store I took a job at was located in the Ohio Valley Mall. From that first day, which was Black Friday in case anyone was wondering, I’ve had a love of department stores, especially those located in the heart of downtowns throughout the eastern states. There’s just something delightful about old-fashioned tea rooms, elevators with grated doors, and gilded mirrors hanging on the walls that makes me sigh in delight. There’s also a scent I’ve only experienced in these old stores, a mix of lemon polish, old wood, and new fabric. Because of the love I have for department stores, I wanted to create a character who opened his own store, adding innovations for the day such as tea rooms and bargain basements. I also have a love of old amusements parks, which means, well, one of those might show up in a book someday.

4. What was the most interesting historical tidbit you uncovered in your research for this book?
The photo album of the actual guests and their costumes was astonishing, but some of those pictures directed me to investigate the quadrille dances that were to be performed during the ball, and that’s when I learned I never understood what the quadrille dances during the Gilded Age entailed. I didn’t know that these dances were danced by only a select few—young ladies and gentlemen who’d been specifically chosen for each dance. They’d then practice at places like Family Circle Dancing Class—founded by Mr. Ward McAllister—or at Allen Dodworth’s Dancing Academy. On the night of the Vanderbilt ball, there were six quadrilles performed: The Hobby Horse
Quadrille, The Mother Goose Quadrille, The Opera Quadrille, The Star Quadrille, The Dresden Quadrille, and then, my favorite, The Go-As-You-Please Quadrille. Now, all the quadrilles except for this last one demanded the
participants dress in specific costumes and perform specific steps, my favorite being the ivory costumes and powdered white wigs the dancers in The Dresden Quadrille wore white, chosen to allow them to resemble pieces of
porcelain. I took the liberty of adding a little drama to The Go-As-You-Please Quadrille, but you’ll have to read the book to see exactly what type of liberty I took.

5. Where did you come up with the unusual names of your characters?
I peruse a lot of old census data, as well as obituaries. I found Permilia in an old obituary, but I got the name Gertrude from a hamster my sister used to have years ago. She was a weird hamster, or maybe she was a guinea pig, but she could escape her cage no matter how well secured she was, and when she was on the loose, she would chew up electrical cords. One can’t help but notice that Miss Gertrude Cadwalader is a little odd, although I did refrain from giving her an unusual habit, such as munching on anything electric. As for Miss Temperance Flowerdew, I got her name from a high school friend of mine who was working on her family tree and uncovered an honest-to-goodness Temperance Flowerdew. As soon as I heard that name, I had to use it, because who wouldn’t want to use a name like Temperance Flowerdew?


Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Jen Turano for providing the fascinating information above!



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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Expedition: Still Life Blog Tour & Giveaway!

I am thrilled to welcome author Dani Pettrey to guest blog today and to be part of her Expedition: Still Life blog tour, which began Tuesday! Read about today's special location from Dani's recent release, Still Life, enter the giveaway on this page, and then be sure to click the special link to get your passport stamp. The tour happens each Tuesday and Thursday until May 1, when the winner will be announced via Rafflecopter. And now, grab a cup of your favorite brew and join me in welcoming Dani Pettrey!




Canton


Welcome to the Expedition: Still Life blog tour! Today we’re visiting Canton, a charming waterfront neighborhood founded in the late 19th century.


If you aren't familiar with this exciting blog tour, or the fabulous grand prize you can win by taking part in it, please visit Expedition: Still Life's main contest page for all the details.


Parker Mitchell, the crime scene investigation hero from my latest release, Still Life, lives in Canton. This Baltimore neighborhood includes a quaint village square full of restaurants, pubs, and unique gift shops.


Traditional Baltimore brick row homes with classic marble stoops and painted screens line the main thoroughfare of O’Donnell Street, where you’ll often see people running along the waterfront path or walking their dogs in the fresh harbor air. Boats bob in the two main marinas. While researching my book series, my husband and I spent a long weekend on a boat in one of Canton’s marinas.


Traditional Baltimore brick row homes with classic marble stoops and painted screens line the main thoroughfare of O’Donnell Street, where you’ll often see people running along the waterfront path or walking their dogs in the fresh harbor air. Boats bob in the two main marinas. While researching my book series, my husband and I spent a long weekend on a boat in one of Canton’s marinas.




The video below is an interview I filmed during that weekend of research.





Parker Mitchell lives off the beaten path in the heart of Canton’s industrial area in a renovated brick warehouse where his loft apartment resides on the top two floors. He loves listening to the rhythmic sound of a ship’s wake and the crabby scent of the harbor. Growing up less than an hour away in a small harbor front town, Canton is a perfect fit for him.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Parker’s loft here.


I hope you enjoyed your insider’s peek at Parker’s neighborhood. This is the second stop on the Expedition: Still Life Tour. Be sure to collect your passport stamp to be entered to win the Grand Prize here.


Collect
The Canton Stamp!

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Thanks so much to Linda for hosting me. To also be entered to win a LifeWay gift card, just answer the question below in the comments by midnight PDT April 30. (The randomly drawn winner will be announced on this post on May 1.) After answering the question, visit http://danipettrey.com/stilllife-contest/ to see all the other stops and giveaways on this tour.

What’s your favorite hometown spot and why?


Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a sigh-worthy romance novel. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent” of romance (USA Today).

Dani’s adventure-focused Alaskan Courage series climbed the CBA bestseller lists, with Submerged staying in the top twenty for five consecutive months. The five-book series also won multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others. She turns her attention to crime and law enforcement in her home state of Maryland in her new Chesapeake Courage series, starting with Cold Shot, which Library Journal called, “a harrowing and thrilling ride.” For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.


* * * * *

Readers, click on the links below for my reviews of Still Life and the first book in Dani's Chesapeake Courage series, Cold Shot!

Still Life
Cold Shot



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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Deep Extraction


Deep Extraction
FBI Task Force, Book 2
DiAnn Mills
(Tyndale House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-1496410986
April 2017/416 pages/$14.99

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader's Choice, and Carol Award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is the co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She also speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own beans. She's an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.


MY THOUGHTS

I don't know how DiAnn Mills does it! Just when I think she's at the top of her game, she releases a new novel that manages to surpass her previous one. Chilling and heart-pounding without being morbid or graphic, this novel kept me on the edge of my seat, reluctant to set it aside until I had finished it. Clever lines add to the enjoyment and bring a smile to ease the tension. Perfectly crafted characters bring authenticity to this novel, and I would certainly want Tori and Cole in my corner if I were falsely accused of a crime! Mills peppers in just the right amount of romance, making the heart pound in a different sort of way! What a great book and series. Don't miss Deep Extraction!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from DiAnn Mills and Tyndale House Publishing. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




FBI TASK FORCE SERIES - MY REVIEWS

Deadly Encounter
Deep Extraction



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Monday, April 3, 2017

A Fragile Hope


A Fragile Hope
Cynthia Ruchti
(Abingdon Press)
ISBN: 978-1426791505
April 2017/320 pages/$14.99

Hope grows when seeds are planted—even in the muddy middle of life.

Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.

Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s the award-winning author of 16 books and a frequent speaker for women’s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin. Visit her online at CynthiaRuchti.com and on Facebook and Twitter.


MY THOUGHTS

Every time I read a book by Cynthia Ruchti, I am awed by the gift God has bestowed on her...the ability to craft a story and communicate hope in such a beautiful and powerful manner. There are so many things to love about this novel, beginning with the exquisite cover and irresistible title. And oh, the story! Though her brushstrokes are made typing on a computer, Ruchti transforms mere words into a work of art. Josiah and Karin are easy to relate to, which makes the story that much more compelling and touching. While most of the story is written from Josiah's perspective, Karin's voice and thoughts are included throughout, and my heart ached for both of them. Although it was initially easy to be annoyed with Josiah, Ruchti wisely avoids making him a caricature, and I empathized with his struggles. Read this one with the tissue box nearby, although wry and humorous moments lighten the story, just as smiles and sorrow often intertwine in real life. Though a tenuous thread is all that separates our everyday routines from the unexpected, A Fragile Hope reminds us that just a tiny seed of faith can make a mountain of difference. Anyone familiar with Cynthia Ruchti's books know that this is a must-read. For those just discovering this gifted author, this may be the first you read of her work, but it won't be the last!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Sunday, April 2, 2017

ACFW New Releases - April 2017

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon -- When a police chief and an ex-con join forces to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks fly. Given their backgrounds, it's not a promising match—but in Hope Harbor, anything is possible. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [Baker])


Oh Baby by Delia Latham -- Dawni Manors seeks peace in Angel Falls, Texas. What she finds is a cowboy, an abandoned infant, and emotional chaos. If the Heart's Haven angels really are there, what in the world are they thinking? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])


General:

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti -- Where does a relationship expert turn when his wife leaves him and carries a tiny heartbeat with her? (General from Abingdon Press)


Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent -- When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother's love never ends--not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her sudden death, she becomes a lingering spirit and returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family's downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing. Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she caused her mother's death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence. Although limited by her family's grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and save her family before her second chance runs out. (General from Walrus Publishing [Amphorae Publishing Group])


Mystery:


Sunset in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis -- When a philandering husband turns up dead, two crack detectives find more suspects than moss-draped oaks in charming old Savannah, including a scheming business partner, a resentful mistress, and a ne'er-do-well brother. (Mystery from Harvest House Publishers)


Historical:

Above Rubies by Keely Brooke Keith -- In 1863, young teacher Olivia Owens establishes the first school in the remote settlement of Good Springs while finding love. (Historical, Independently Published)



Historical Romance:



A Rose So Fair by Myra Johnson -- Caleb Wieland would give anything to win farm girl Rose Linwood's heart, but Rose's stubborn independence is proving as thorny as the flower for which she's named. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)


Under the Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer -- In 1854 Illinois, Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents' farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she's ever known and the man she's begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.
Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)


The Pony Express Romance Collection by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlachter, Connie Stevens and Pegg Thomas -- Nine historical romances revive the brief era of the Pony Express. Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

Plain Target by Dana R. Lynn -- Horse trainer Jess McGrath only wants to clear her disgraced brother's name, but enemies keep coming out of the woodwork and danger only gets closer. Jess soon learns that no place is safe—and no one can be trusted…except for the last white knight she'd ever expect to ride to her rescue. Paramedic Seth Travis was the boy behind her high school humiliation, but he's also the man keeping her alive. When they find sanctuary in the Amish community, can they uncover answers in time to stop a killer—and resolve their past in time to build a future together? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Dangerous Testimony by Dana Mentink -- Four weeks before she's set to testify at a gang murder trial, someone is determined to make sure that Candace Gallagher Andrews never takes the stand. When nowhere is safe for the private investigator or her little girl, Candace turns to the only person she can trust—longtime friend and former navy SEAL Marco Quidel. For Marco, protecting Candace is not just another duty. As the trial date nears and the killer stalks ever closer, Marco knows fear for the first time—the fear of losing Candace and her daughter. But while Marco begins seeing Candace as more than just a friend, her late husband's memory is never far from her mind. So he must keep Candace alive—and not get emotionally involved—long enough to put away a killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills -- Special Agent Tori Templeton is determined to find who killed her best friend's husband. Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan's personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer?and to each other?the more intent someone is on silencing them for good. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)


Final Verdict by Jessica R. Patch -- When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in town—and in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it's his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancĂ©e from a dangerous felon, but he'll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Guardian by Terri Reed -- When a fellow FBI agent is kidnapped and a protected witness vanishes, Leo Gallagher will stop at nothing to find them both. So when he discovers a link between the case and a single mother in Wyoming, Leo and his trusty K-9 partner rush to question Alicia Duncan. Could she be the key to locating the missing persons? Not if a killer has anything to say about it. Someone is determined to keep Alicia from talking, so Leo and his chocolate Lab must keep her and her little boy safe on their family ranch. With danger lurking around every corner, Leo must work overtime to not lose another person who's important to him. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Witch by Denise Weimer -- Having restored Michael Johnson's ancestors' house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer Rushmore expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael's been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love? (Romantic Suspense from Canterbury House Publishing)


Speculative Romance/Fantasy:

The Fairetellings Series (Books 1 through 3) by Kristen Reed -- Discover a trio of enchanting novellas inspired by three beloved fairy tales: Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast. (Speculative Romance/Fantasy, Independently Published)




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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Stolen Heart


A Stolen Heart
Cimarron Creek Trilogy
Amanda Cabot
(Revell)
ISBN: 9780800727567
March 2017/352 pages/$15.99

The future she dreamed of is gone. But perhaps a better one awaits . . .
From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé.

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you into Texas's storied past to experience adventure, mystery--and love.


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet Lake, In Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.



MY THOUGHTS

Amanda Cabaot kicks off her new series with another charming Texas tale. Stories of the women who journeyed to the untamed West to settle it with their men absolutely fascinate me. While this isn't the story of a mail-order bride, the surprise awaiting Lydia at the end of her journey is just as unsettling, considering the limited options that women had in those days! Cabot creates a wonderful story, pairing Lydia's spunk with the formidable Aunt Bertha. Plenty of tense-and humorous!-moments pepper the pages of this thoroughly enjoyable novel. I'm already looking forward to the next one in the series. Don't miss A Stolen Heart!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Amanda Cabot and Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Monday, March 27, 2017

To the Farthest Shores



To the Farthest Shores
Elizabeth Camden
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764218804
April 2017/336 pages/$15.99

The unpredictability of her upbringing prepared army nurse Jenny Bennett to face any challenge at the Presidio Army base, but the sudden reappearance in her life of the dashing naval officer who broke her heart six years ago is enough to rattle even her.

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is one of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring government mission overseas--an assignment that destroyed his reputation and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor-bound never to reveal where he was during those years, he can't tell Jenny the truth, or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?


Read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Camden is the author of nine historical novels and has been honored with the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the Carol Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida. Learn more at www.elizabethcamden.com.



MY THOUGHTS

History, intrigue, and romance combine in the latest novel by Elizabeth Camden. Camden creates a multi-faceted story that drew me in from the opening pages and kept me reading late into the night. This is not a simple man-meets-woman tale but one that deals with deeper issues of hurt, forgiveness, and second chances. Rich historical detail, authentic characters, and relatable inner struggles enhance the reader's experience. Beautiful parallels can be drawn from the cultivation of pearls, which Camden uses as a secondary story. Rife with emotion and depth, this novel takes the reader To the Farthest Shores to discover truth, hope, and love!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH ELIZABETH CAMDEN

1. Can you describe the plot of To the Farthest Shores in one sentence?
When a reluctant spy falls in love with an army nurse, they can’t imagine the web of intrigue and adventure heading their way.

2. Where did the inspiration for this novel come from?
I adore stories about reunited lost loves. To the Farthest Shores opens with two people who fall desperately in love during the rush of blazing infatuation that often happens in a first love. I think there is a purity to that sort of love that can be hard to recapture once people have their heart broken and they become more guarded in subsequent relationships. I wanted to explore a love story in which the characters strive to recapture that dazzling feeling they once shared but are forced to work through the chaos that tore them apart in the first place.

3. What are the spiritual themes in this novel?
The main theme is that of forgiveness, which comes into play in many contexts. Some of this relates to romantic partners who have hurt each other and must work through serious failings in their relationship. I also touch on the heroine’s struggle to forgive herself for the sins of her youth. There are no easy answers here, as the sins are real and alive. How can a person go beyond merely expressing regret and genuinely receive forgiveness? Can forgiveness be earned? Is it a requirement for a Christian to forgive an offense? True reconciliation rarely happens quickly, and this novel explores the issue while delivering a richly detailed love story.

4. Your novels are known for shedding insight into little-known historic developments. What do you focus on in this novel?
Pearls! Before the 20th century, natural pearls were astronomically expensive and dangerous to harvest. The quest to coax oysters to produce pearls dates back more than a thousand years, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that scientists began closing in on a workable technique. Much of the novel is set along the wild coastline of California, where two dreamers undertake the creation of an oyster farm to cultivate pearls. While researching the novel, I delved into pearl farming and the myriad challenges that come with trying to make an oyster produce a pearl without killing it. I was never a big fan of pearls before I started work on this novel, but now I am fascinated by them.

The metaphor of the pearl runs throughout the novel. Pearls are formed when an irritant causes the oyster pain, and it produces layers of lustrous nacre to protect itself. The pearl is a symbol of that pain. Just as the pearl is beautiful, I believe we become more compassionate people as we endure the pain and challenges that sometimes come our way in life.

5. What is the take-away message you want readers to receive after reading the novel?
While I always aim for a thrilling story with equal parts history, romance, and adventure, I try to infuse the story with ethical challenges that are relevant to today’s reader. None of us are perfect, and our lives will be pockmarked by disappointments, but those challenges have the potential to inspire us to become more compassionate people. They can make us stronger as we learn to weather storms. Even during difficult times, our lives can be shot through with glimpses of joy and inspiration if we look for them.


Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Elizabeth Camden for providing the above Q&A!


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Lady in Disguise


A Lady in Disguise
(Daughters of Hampshire)
Sandra Byrd
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1476717937
March 2017/384 pages/$15.99


In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including Mist of Midnight, Bride of a Distant Isle (A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), and her most recent, A Lady in Disguise. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area. Learn more at her website, www.sandrabyrd.com and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

MY THOUGHTS

Sandra Byrd has penned a delightfully intriguing novel with just the right amount of mystery, danger, and romance. Compelling characters and a gripping plot made this book inpossible to put down. Numerous twists and turns kept me guessing and wondering who couuld be trusted as the mystery deepened. Heart-pounding moments--both the suspenseful and romantic kind!--kept my adrenaline flowing as I read. Don't miss this captivating story. Just be sure all the doors are locked before you begin!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Home at Last


Home at Last
A Chicory Inn Novel - Book 5
Deborah Raney
(Abingdon Press)
ISBN: 978-1426770487
February 2017/352 pages/$14.99

Why did their differences matter so much?

Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Raney’s novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb’s novels—for life in the city of Wichita. Find out more about Deborah at deborahraney.com.




MY THOUGHTS

Deborah Raney is a must-read author for me and I have really enjoyed this series. Home at Last brings the Chicory Inn novels to a reluctant close for those of us who have laughed and cried with the Whitman family throughout the span of these novels. Raney explores timely and tough issues in this final novel: interracial marriages, racism, and the challenges they bring. Thoughtful and honest in her approach, Raney neither shies away from difficult realities nor throws in extraneous inflammatory incidents as she develops the story and the relationship between Link and Shayla. As always, she drew me into the story, made me care about the characters, and gave me much to ponder. This is not a fluffy read but is an important one that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. I appreciated Raney's comments at the end of the novel, and have reflected on them as well. Add this book to your reading list today.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity Group for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Conclude Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup—and then the girl's aunt Shayla enters Link's life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there—bring a friend or two who loves to read!




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