27 July 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: A Heart Most Certain & A Tapestry of Secrets

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: A Heart Most Certain
Author: Melissa Jagears
Publisher: Bethany House
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2016

While Lydia King's reasons for joining the Teaville Moral Society might be suspect to some members, her heart is in the right place. Because of her father's debts and her mother's illness, her best chance at securing her future and curing her mother is to impress the politician courting her. Her first task-to ask the town's wealthiest man to donate-seems simple enough…until he refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas Lowe wants to help others, but prefers to keep his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, but Nicholas still intends to do things his own way. Neither predicts what they'll learn about true charity or foresee the complications their actions will bring to the town, forcing Lydia to decide where her beliefs and heart truly align.

Title: A Tapestry of Secrets
Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas
Publisher: Bethany House
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2016

Now in her eighties, Perla Phillips has carried a secret since she was eighteen years old. When she sees her granddaughter, Ella, struggling for perfection, she decides to share her secret to show that God can use even the biggest mistakes for good. But before she can reveal what happened during that summer sixty years ago, she has a debilitating stroke.

Carrying a secret of her own, Ella arrives back in Wise, West Virgina, to help her aunt Sadie care for Perla. Both know the woman wanted to tell them something, but she's now locked in silence. Together they begin looking into the past, but they may learn more than they expected.

Will they have the courage to share their hearts? Or will the truth remain buried forever?

22 July 2016

A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson

Little does Phoebe know that her father's plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don't miss Tracie Peterson's A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

beauty refined - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

beauty refined - enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

About the Book
★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions---both for her and the gemstones---are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie---a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel.

The second book in the Sapphire Brides series, A Beauty Refined, takes readers on an adventure to Montana to acquire gemstones, and it’s full of romance, secrets, and danger. The characters have interesting backstories to drive them through the twists and turns of the plot, and all in all, it’s the type of story I expect to read when I pick up one of Tracie Peterson’s novels. While it seemed pretty predictable to me, I did enjoy A Beauty Refined - it kept me entertained from beginning to end. Any reader who loves historical romance (particularly the ones by Tracie Peterson) could enjoy it, so be sure to check it out!

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity Group, I received a copy of A Beauty Refined and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. To read other opinions, be sure to check out what other reviewers think here, and purchase a copy of the book here.

About the Author
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

21 July 2016

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon 
Too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case--it's time for reporter Branigan Powers to investigate.

Branigan Powers knows a good story when she sees one--and the ten-year-old cold case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Resnick was stabbed in her home after she let it slip that she was planning to change her will. There are plenty of suspects in the death of the matriarch of the town's founding family, but the killer has never been caught.

Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story. She knows the town's homeless community might have seen something; she also knows that the local cops wouldn't have thought of questioning these often invisible people. There's a big problem, though; as Branigan starts digging, the homeless start dying. When her twin brother, a long-time addict, gets involved, the consequences of her investigation may hit a little too close to home.

Set in the fictional small town of Grambling, Georgia, The Cantaloupe Thief is the first in a new mystery series by Deb Richardson-Moore. The author is herself a former journalist and works extensively with the homeless, lending weight to the portrayal of a believable and engaging whodunit.

The first Branigan Powers mystery, The Cantaloupe Thief offers a compelling mystery that kept me hooked from beginning to end. The premise is intriguing, the discoveries and revelations steadily paced, and the characters and setting w
ell established. And having previously worked with members of the homeless population, I appreciated Richardson-Moore’s ability to realistically incorporate this aspect into her story. All in all, The Cantaloupe Thief is an interesting and delight read with plenty of unexpected twists, and I recommend it to fans of mystery.

Thanks to Kregel Publications, I received a copy of The Cantaloupe Thief and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

20 July 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Without Warning & Flash Point

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Without Warning
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2016

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard-and a female one at that-is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats-before a would-be killer strikes again.

Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller. Eason exercises complete control of her readers' emotions as they race through the pages to discover the truth.

Title: Flash Point
Author: Thomas Locke
Publisher: Revell
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2015

What if the limits of time and space were breached?

Junior financial analyst Lena Fairchild loves managing risk and making money. Yet when she gets a mysterious invitation to take a leap into the unknown, she does not hesitate. Soon a series of events takes her to the brink of destruction. But Lena refuses to give in, entranced by glimpses of a future that redefine everything.

Reese Clawson emerges from prison gripped by the slow burn of revenge. She will track everyone who hand a hand in destroying her-and take them out. First on the list is Charlie Hazard.

As time and space become jumbled, Lena and Reese are pulled into a collision course that could alter the parameters of human consciousness.

19 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the U.S. I've Enjoyed

Hosted weekly by The Broke and the Bookish.


Artemis Fowl (+ the other seven books) by Eoin Colfer


Cinder (+ Scarlet, Cress & Winter) by Melissa Meyers


Close to You by Kara Isaac
Doon (+ Destined for Doon & Shades of Doon) by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon


One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson


Starflight by Melissa Landers


Now, tell me... what's are your favorite book set outside the U.S.?

15 July 2016

Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

like a river - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

like a river - enterbanner

About the Book
★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little--known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Fuhrer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

I read a lot of books set during World War II, so I always love picking up a book able to show an aspect of the conflict unfamiliar to me - like Kelli Stuart’s Like a River From Its Course does. Focusing on the Ukrainian experience throughout the war, Stuart tells an utterly heartbreaking but still inspiring story of intersecting characters. Their circumstances are tragic, horrific, and haunting, but their perseverance and resilience shine in the midst of the darkness. It’s a truly beautiful and captivating story, enhanced by the depth of Stuart’s research. One of my favorite reads of the year so far, I highly recommend Like a River From Its Course to any historical fiction readers. It’s worth a read as soon as possible.

Thanks to Kregel Publications, I received a copy of Like a River From Its Course and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

14 July 2016

They Danced On by Carre Armstrong Gardner

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
Nothing is more important to Jane Darling than her family. She’s dedicated her life to raising her children, and they all appear to be doing well. She can finally relax and enjoy life. But when her husband becomes seriously ill, Jane finds herself taking on the most difficult role of her life.

Laura Darling moved away to escape the expectations of her family. Ever since she went through rehab, they watch her like a hawk. Now she has a good job, new friends, and no one to criticize her or comment on everything she’s doing. But when everything begins to unravel, Laura’s heart turns toward home.

Follow the Darling family through triumph and tragedy as they struggle with an uncertain future.

They Danced On offers a bittersweet and beautifully satisfying conclusion to Carre Armstrong Gardner’s series about the Darling family. Gardner allows her readers to catch up with all the beloved members of the family, but focuses on Leander and Jane dealing with his illness and Laura her addiction and subsequent problems. An emotional story of family and faith, They Danced On will not disappoint readers who have become fans of this darling series. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend the entire series for those who enjoy contemporary inspirational family sagas.

Thanks to Tyndale BlogNetwork, I received a copy of They Danced On and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Q&A with the Author
Carre Armstrong Gardner is a former worker with children at risk in Russia. Now she lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and three teenagers, where she writes books and works as a nurse. Visit her at her website.

1. They Danced On is the final book in The Darling Family series. How have the Darlings changed throughout series?
The books each focus on different characters in the family, and of course the characters each change in some way. But the Darlings have changed as a family too. Grief is chiefly what has changed them: grief over one family member’s terminal disease, and another member’s addiction. In Book 3, they’ve also said good-bye to another daughter/sister who’s moved away to Africa. So lots of changes for this family. By the end of the final book, grief and good-byes have deepened and transformed them. In particular, the mother Jane grows in her faith in Book 3. She’s always believed that God operates on an input/output system: if we ask in faith, God will give us what we want. But now she has to face the reality—with all its accompanying pain and joy—that God is deeper and more mysterious than that. She has to grow up.

2. What led you to want to write a family drama series?
Roots are important to me. I think it’s because I’ve lived such a transient life: I’ve moved 14 times, and I live in a socially fluid part of the country: people come, and stay for a few years, and move on. It seems we’re always saying good-bye to friends. So I rely on the solidity of family relationships: they’re something you can count on, even when you don’t live near each other. There’s no fun like the fun you have with family, and no griefs affect you so deeply as those that touch this particular nerve. My very favorite times in life are family Christmases or birthdays, or picnics….any time we get together. Now that I’m grown up, my siblings and their spouses are also my friends. It’s wonderful to have people who know your history; people you don’t have to explain yourself to.

3. What is next for you, writing-wise?
I’m working on a young adult series. Sort of a futuristic mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Very different from the Darlings! I’d like it to be an allegory of the Gospel for people who would not read the Gospel otherwise. And I’m working on some short stories.

13 July 2016

The Runaway Wife by Elizabeth Birkelund

About the Book
★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
Three beautiful French sisters entrust an American hiker with the mission of rescuing their mother high in the Alps. 

But what if she doesn’t want to be found? 

Recently fired from his high-power finance job and dumped by his fiancĂ©e, Jim Olsen has come to the Swiss Alps to clear his head. At the charming Cabane des Audannes, he meets Clio, Thalia and Helene Castellane, who are on a quest of their own: their mother, Calliope, has fled to these mountains to escape her philandering politician husband’s most recent scandal. As snow threatens to descend upon the Alps, the women have come to bring their mother home. 

But the sisters are at the point of surrender; it is time for them to return to Paris. Buoyed by wine and inspired by their beauty, Jim impetuously volunteers to assume their search, but soon realizes that he is in over his head. The Alps are filled with beauty and danger, not the least of which is Calliope’s desire to stay hidden. And all the while Jim finds himself haunted by the memory of her daughters and conflicted in his desire for them.

The Runaway Wife is a story of adventure, survival, and romance—and of a man’s discovery of a world outside his conventional life and a new vision of himself within it.

Elizabeth Birkelund’s The Runaway Wife posed a bit of a challenge for me. Full of adventure, its premise intrigued me, and of course, its alpine setting captured my imagination, but I’m still not quite sure I actually liked it. The more I read of The Runaway Wife, the less I care about the characters - since the plot moves quickly, I never felt like I connected with any of the characters enough. Still, it’s a quick and fun read - readers in need of an easy getaway and adventure, The Runaway Wife could be a good choice for you, even if I didn’t enjoy it as much as I initially hoped.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a copy of The Runaway Wife and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. To read other opinions of the novel, click here.

About the Author
Elizabeth Birkelund is the author of one other French-inspired novel, The Dressmaker. As a freelance magazine journalist, Elizabeth was the personal finance columnist for Cosmopolitan and wrote for more than fifteen years for Working Woman, Self, and Glamour, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Elizabeth on Facebook.

Waiting on Wednesday: A Lesson in Love and Murder & The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: A Lesson in Love & Murder
Author: Rachel McMillan
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Expected Publication Date: 1 September 2016

The legacy of literary icon Sherlock Holmes is alive and well in 1912 Canada, where best friends Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts continue to develop their skills as consulting detectives. 

The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem's flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin-a man with a deadly talent. 

While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads-and hearts-with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her own hands full with a husband who is distracted by his sister's problems but still determined to keep Jem out of harm's way. 

As Merinda and Jem close in on the danger they've tracked from Toronto to Chicago, will they also be able to resolve the troubles threatening their future happiness before it's too late? 

Independence, love, and lives are at stake in A Lesson in Love and Murder, the gripping second installment of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries series.

Title: The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
Author: James L. Rubart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Expected Publication Date: 9 August 2016

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed…

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

11 July 2016

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

Anne Tyler’s retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew,” Vinegar Girl, is definitely my favorite book of the Hogarth Shakespeare series so far. Witty and humorous, it transports the Shakespearean comedy into the modern age through an enjoyable tale and quirky characters. I had a lot of fun reading the story between Kate and Pyotr - it made me laugh and smile - and I highly recommend it to Shakespeare fans looking for an entertaining and quick contemporary read.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of Vinegar Girl and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

08 July 2016

Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor

About the Book
★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations...

She a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they're probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs.

Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair's stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college's incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse.

Murder, scandal, campus politics… Murder Mezzo Forte by Donn Taylor has all the makings of an excellent mystery as the Preston-Mara duo (first introduced in Rhapsody in Red) determines to prove their innocence. This book kept me turning page after page with delightful twists and humorous wit, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the complications of this mystery played out (even though I haven’t yet read Rhapsody in Red - fortunately for me, Murder Mezzo Forte can be read easily on its own). Its characters are great, its mystery well-written, and I highly recommend it to fans of mystery - you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity Group, I received a copy of Murder Mezzo Forte and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. To read other opinions, be sure to check out what other reviewers think here, and purchase a copy of the book here.

About the Author
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

07 July 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

I couldn’t put The Things We Knew down! It’s a messy story of mystery and secrets and family dysfunction, and Catherine West tells it so well. Her characters have plenty of flaws and challenging relationships, but the plot allows for excellent, well-paced character development with a good dose of romance and grace and forgiveness. As each page reveals a little bit more, I absolutely loved The Things We Knew - it’s an emotionally captivating read and has me looking forward to reading more from Catherine West. I highly recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, I received a copy of The Things We Knew and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all 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.”)

Lethal Harvest by William Cutrer & Sandra Glahn

★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
"A Machiavellian plot…[and] a satisfying medical thriller." -Library Journal

In order to save the president's life, a brilliant embryologist--the president's nephew--made a "devil's bargain" with a secret group of federal agents. But Tim Sullivan's illegal genetic manipulations of human embryos place everyone he knows at risk. Before he can finish his work, a freakish accident kills him and leaves only troubling questions behind.

Now his partner, Ben McKay, and Tim's widow, Marnie, must uncover the hidden truth about Tim's research before more lives are swept away. In the process, they're forced to face their feelings for each other and the dark secrets in their own pasts. This story of love, loss, and danger crosses international borders from Mexico to the former Soviet Union in order to answer one searing question: if Tim's research is completed, what form will the strange and dangerous harvest take?

Ambition, jealousy, and the ultimate meaning of love move this riveting story through the dark labyrinth that may lie buried under breakthroughs in genetic research and cloning.

Lethal Harvest by William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn offers an excellent read to anyone interested in medical thrillers - it certainly kept me interested as one embryologist’s secret and illegal research directs a plot full of mystery, suspense, and questions about genetics, ethics, and faith. Although, in a few places, the research-related terminology and explanations seemed a bit excessive to me, the plot moves at a fast pace with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats. I really enjoyed Lethal Harvest and now need to check out the other Bioethics books.

Thanks to Kregel Publications, I received a copy of Lethal Harvest and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

06 July 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Guide Me Home & When Death Draws Near

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Guide Me Home
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2016

Working in the massive cave might allow Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family. But will it claim more than it gives?

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin's family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother's memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky's renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable "men." But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a "himself," then she's up to the job.

Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, Reb begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. 

The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnelsnot to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin's ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?

Title: When Death Draws Near
Author: Carrie Stuart Parks
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Expected Publication Date: 2 August 2016

Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her there, Gwen turn her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity there—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

05 July 2016

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he’s determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

Chris Fabry’s The Promise of Jesse Woods is a compelling coming of age story. From the start, the characters and their unlikely but budding friendship made me love them, and the historical setting around them seemed vividly authentic. As the plot of the novel progressed, I felt thoroughly engaged, and all my emotions went through the ups and downs with the characters. It’s easy to say that I absolutely loved The Promise of Jesse Woods, and I now highly recommend it!

Thanks to Tyndale BlogNetwork, I received a copy of The Promise of Jesse Woods and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.