31 August 2020

Love and a Little White Lie | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


January Sanders grew up believing karma was more reliable than an imaginary higher power, but after suffering her worst heartbreak in 29 years, she's open to just about anything, including taking a temporary position at her aunt's church. Keeping her lack of faith a secret, January is determined to use her photographic memory to help Grace Community's overworked staff, all while scraping herself off rock bottom.

What she doesn't count on is meeting the church's handsome and charming guitarist, who not only is a strong believer, but has also dedicated his life to Christian music. It's a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn't believe in.

Only this time, keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she's constantly running into her aunt's landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past and present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she'd rather keep buried.

Torn between two worlds incapable of coexisting, can January find the healing that's eluded her or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: August 4, 2020


When I Was You | Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


You meets Fatal Attraction in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester's growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son's pediatrician to confirm her upcoming "well-baby" appointment. It's a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there's another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can't stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can't help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician's office, it's simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: August 25, 2020


29 August 2020

Road Out of Winter | Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


In an endless winter, she carries seeds of hope.

Wylodine comes from a world of paranoia and poverty—her family grows marijuana illegally, and life has always been a battle. Now she’s been left behind to tend the crop alone. Then spring doesn’t return for the second year in a row, bringing unprecedented extreme winter.

With grow lights stashed in her truck and a pouch of precious seeds, she begins a journey, determined to start over away from Appalachian Ohio. But the icy roads and strangers hidden in the hills are treacherous. After a harrowing encounter with a violent cult, Wylodine and her small group of exiles become a target for its volatile leader. Because she has the most valuable skill in the climate chaos: she can make things grow.

Urgent and poignant, Road Out of Winter is a glimpse of an all-too-possible near future, with a chosen family forged in the face of dystopian collapse. With the gripping suspense of The Road and the lyricism of Station Eleven, Stine’s vision is of a changing world where an unexpected hero searches for a place hope might take root.

Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: September 1, 2020


28 August 2020

Silver Moon | Excerpt + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


A tale of courage and hope in the darkest of times...

Silver Moon, the third book in the series: By the Light of the Moon, paints a stunning and poignant picture of life on the home front in Webaashi Bay, Ontario, and of three men who are a part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI.

Shamed into joining the war, the tide turns for Luis Wilson when he is steered into the depths of espionage. Injured and presumed missing, will he lose his heart to the very woman who presented him with a white feather?

Oshki and Jimmy offer a grim perspective on life in the trenches. They despair of ever returning home to the women who hold their hearts.

Meanwhile, Lily fights for the cause in her own way and rallies the female troops at home as prejudices run high and the local cafe owner is accused of being a spy.

Will the women of Webaashi Bay receive their men back unscathed? Can the power of love win out over insurmountable odds? All this drama and more plays out under the light of a silver moon.

Fans of WWI historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, and literary fiction will find Silver Moon a moving, powerful read!

Release Date: June 30, 2020


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Ruby Moon
Blue Moon

26 August 2020

Twin Daggers | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Aissa’s life is a web of carefully constructed lies. She and her twin sister, Zandria, are Magi spies, a magical people most believe to be extinct. And they’re on a mission for revenge. 

This action and adventure spy thriller—a fantasy spin on “Romeo and Juliet” from New York Times bestselling author MarcyKate Connolly—is perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Elly Blake and is about to become your new obsession!

By day, Aissa and Zandra play the role of normal young Technocrats eager to fulfill the duties of their new apprenticeships. By night, they plot their revenge to retake their city from the Technocrats. But then Aissa is given a new mission: find and kidnap the heir to the Technocrat throne, who is rumored to be one of the Heartless—a person born without a working heart who survives via a mechanical replacement—and has been hidden since birth.

Aissa is more likely to be caught than to be successful, but she’s never been one to turn down an assignment, even if the hunt is complicated by a kind Technocrat researcher who is determined to find a cure for the Heartless. But when Zandria is captured by the Technocrats, Aissa will do anything to get her sister back. Even if it means abandoning all other loyalties and missions … and risking everything by trusting her sworn enemies.

Publisher: Blink
Release Date: August 25, 2020


23 August 2020

The Crushing Depths | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


They know the power and peril of the ocean.

But as they get closer to the deadly truth…

An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.

Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: June 30, 2020


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


22 August 2020

Rocky Mountain Revenge | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


To survive her deadly homecoming,

she’ll need to trust a man from her past…

Temporarily home to help at her family’s vet clinic, Grace Porter has no intentions of staying—but someone’s determined she won’t live long enough to leave. With both Grace and her sister in the crosshairs, her ex-boyfriend, Police Chief Evan Bradshaw, must protect them. But can the single dad lawman uncover the truth about why a killer’s out for vengeance before time runs out?

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date: July 7, 2020


21 August 2020

The Dazzling Truth | Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


One Irish family. Three decades. One dazzling story.

In the courtyards of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1978, aspiring actress Maeve meets pottery student Murtagh Moone. As their relationship progresses, marriage and motherhood come in quick succession, but for Maeve, with the joy of children also comes the struggle to hold on to the truest parts of herself.

Decades later, on a small Irish island, the Moone family are poised for celebration but instead are struck by tragedy. Each family member must find solace in their own separate way, until one dazzling truth brings them back together. But as the Moone family confront the past, they also journey toward a future that none of them could have predicted. Except perhaps Maeve herself.

Publisher: Graydon House Books
Release Date: August 18, 2020


20 August 2020

Love Her Well | Excerpt + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK


Moms are eager for tips and wisdom to help them build strong relationships with their daughters, and Kari Kampakis’s Love Her Well gives them ten practical ways to do so, not by changing their daughters but by changing their own thoughts, actions, and mind-set.

For many women, having a baby girl is a dream come true. Yet as girls grow up, the narrative of innocence and joy changes to gloom and doom as moms are told, “Just wait until she’s a teenager!” and handed a disheartening script that treats a teenage girl’s final years at home as solely a season to survive.

Author and blogger Kari Kampakis suggests it’s time to change the narrative and mind-set that lead moms to parent teen girls with a spirit of defeat, not strength. By improving the foundation, habits, and dynamics of the relationship, mothers can connect with their teen daughters and earn a voice in their lives that allows moms to offer guidance, love, wisdom, and emotional support.

As a mom of four daughters (three of whom are teenagers), Kari has learned the hard way that as girls grow up, mothers must grow up too. In Love Her Well, Kari shares ten ways that moms can better connect with their daughters in a challenging season, including:

- choosing their words and timing carefully,
- listening and empathizing with her teen’s world,
- seeing the good and loving her for who she is,
- taking care of themselves and having a support system, and more.

This book isn’t a guide to help mothers “fix” their daughters or make them behave. Rather, it’s about a mom’s journey, doing the heart work and legwork necessary to love a teenager while still being a strong, steady parent. Kari explores how every relationship consists of two imperfect sinners, and teenagers gain more respect for their parents when they admit (and learn from) their mistakes, apologize, listen, give grace, and try to understand their teens’ point of view. Yes, teenagers need rules and consequences, but without a connected relationship, parents may never gain a significant voice in their lives or be a safe place they long to return to.

By admitting her personal failures and prideful mistakes that have hurt her relationships with her teenage daughters, Kari gives mothers hope and reminds them all things are possible through God. By leaning on him, mothers gain the wisdom, guidance, protection, and clarity they need to grow strong relationships with their daughters at every age, especially during the critical teen years.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: August 18, 2020


Ignite the Sun | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Once upon a time, there was something called the sun... In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying.

Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.

Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria's need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city--the very center of the darkness--for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court.

But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light ... or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

Publisher: Blink
Release Date: August 18, 2020


18 August 2020

Here to Stay | Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


“Hot, heartwarming, and hilarious...This is a knockout.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Award-winning, highly-acclaimed author Adriana Herrera delivers the sexy, modern enemies-to-lovers romance you’ve been waiting for.

Starting over is more about who you’re with than where you live…

Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year.

She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling…except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.

It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South.

The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.

Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: August 25, 2020


17 August 2020

Bout of Books #29

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. All reading-in-place times, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges are completely optional. For Bout of Books 29 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog. From the Bout of Books team


Time to readathon again! I alway love a good reason to indulge in reading (of course, I do that most of the time anyway...). 

Here's my TBR:




A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
The Rogue of Fifth Avenue* by Joanna Shupe
What Lies Between Us by John Marrs
You Say It First by Susan Mallery

* = started reading before August 17th


Throughout the read-a-thon week, I'll be posting here and on Twitter and Litsy with my progress. (Feel free to join the reading fun by signing up over at Bout of Books!)

Happy reading!

15 August 2020

The Day Lincoln Lost | Excerpt


ABOUT THE BOOK


An inventive historical thriller that reimagines the tumultuous presidential election of 1860, capturing the people desperately trying to hold the nation together – and those trying to crack it apart.

Abby Kelley Foster arrived in Springfield, Illinois with the fate of the nation on her mind. Her fame as an abolitionist speaker had spread west and she knew that her first speech in the city would make headlines. One of the residents reading those headlines would be none other than the likely next President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln, lawyer and presidential candidate, knew his chances of winning were good. All he had to do was stay above the fray of the slavery debate and appear the voice of compromise until the people cast their votes. The last thing he needed was a fiery abolitionist appearing in town. When her speech sparks violence, leading to her arrest and a high-profile trial, he suspects that his political rivals have conspired against him.

President James Buchanan is one such rival. As his term ends and his political power crumbles, he gathers his advisors at the White House to make one last move that might derail Lincoln’s campaign, steal the election, and throw America into chaos.

A fascinating historical novel and fast-paced political thriller of a nation on the cusp of civil war, The Day Lincoln Lost offers an unexpected window into one of the most consequential elections in our country’s history.

Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Release Date: August 11, 2020


14 August 2020

The Woman in the Green Dress | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

This romantic mystery from award-winning Australian novelist Tea Cooper will keep readers guessing until the astonishing conclusion.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 16, 2020


We Go On | Excerpt + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK


Life has been comfortable for the Miller family. Liz and Josh have devoted their lives to raising their two sons. Their oldest son, Colby, reached adulthood and set out on his own. A few hard knocks sent him back to live with Mom and Dad until life got to be too much, that is. As Liz and Josh grapple with the hole in their hearts left by Colby’s early departure from this world, they find themselves at odds with one another and with their faith.

Will they remember that Jesus is enough in the middle of this dark storm? Will they see through their own pain and help each other and their teenage son, Tyler, learn to live despite the grief?

Content Warning: This book deals with loss by suicide and the grief a family endures.

Release Date: June 12, 2020


12 August 2020

A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder | Book Review + GIveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


In Dianne Freeman’s charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister’s wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance.

London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host—or hide—any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily’s imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton’s family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits—shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens.

But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it’s not simply the arrival of Frances’s socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these “accidents” are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily’s fiancĂ©, Leo. Frances’s mother is unimpressed by Lily’s groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George—a man who loves her for much more than her dowry—she heartily approves of Lily’s choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas.

As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll…

Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: July 28, 2020


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


11 August 2020

Accidental Target | Book Review + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK


On an icy road in the dead of night
what she sees might get her killed.

Allison Moore can’t deny what she sees—a lifeless hand sticking out of a tarp in the back of a crashed pickup truck. Seconds later, she’s on the run with a murderer on her heels.

Nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted…except police sergeant Jackson Archer. But with someone set on silencing her, can Jackson keep his promise of protection?

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date: August 4, 2020


10 August 2020

Love's Mountain Quest | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


After losing her husband in the Rocky Mountain wilderness, young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler’s Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missingand the sheriff deadshe enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who’s behind the kidnapping and murder, and if he’s right, he knows all too well the evil they’re chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: June 30, 2020


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES