Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Review: Of Fire and Lions

About the Book

The Old Testament book of Daniel comes to life in this novel for readers of Lynn Austin's Chronicles of the Kings series or Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she'd perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar's court. Now, as Daniel's wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she's safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear--until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar's palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili's tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh's sovereign hand guides Jerusalem's captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

My Review

What a great book! This was the first book I've read by Mesu Andrews, and I am impressed. I was totally engrossed in the book the whole was through.

This book is why I love Biblical fiction. Even though I am familiar with the Biblical account, it is so amazing to walk through the story with the characters. To experience the horror of bloodshed and captivity, the hopelessness of servitude, and still live their lives to the fullest spoke highly of Daniel and Belilli. To watch with them God's miraculous care for His followers was faith-building for this reader. God was faithful throughout, and worthy of their devotion.

The story was epic as it followed the group of friends friends from 12-year-old captives being led out of Jerusalem, to the lives they established in Babylon. I truly enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of Biblical fiction and historical fiction.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

MESU ANDREWS is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah's Daughter and numerous other novels, including The Pharaoh's Daughter, Miriam, and Love Amid the Ashes. Her deep understanding of and love for God's Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband, Roy, and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.

Book Review: Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

About the Book

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again--this time for love...and to someone safe.

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can't help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of "what if" at bay?

My Review

This book takes place in 1890s Boston among the wealthy upper-class, and I thought that the writing style and dialog embodied the setting well.  It embraced the formality of that time and place.  I found that this novella read a little slowly because of that.  I also realized that author Dawn Crandall is highly skilled in describing the attraction between a man and a woman.  The tension between the two main characters was palpable, yet the novella always stayed clean and appropriate.

The main characters, Nicholette and Cal, were quite likable.  I especially enjoyed being in Nicholette's head (as it was written in first person) as she discovered areas of her life in which she needed to grow.

Enchanting Nicholette is a continuation of the Everstone Chronicles.  Although it mentions characters and events from the previous books, it stands alone.  Fans of historical romance will enjoy this novella.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Dawn Crandall's debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, "The Hesitant Heiress," was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader's Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader's Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, "The Bound Heart," received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She's been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the first four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Book Review with a Giveaway: Waiting For God by Xochitl Dixon

About the Book

Book: Waiting for God
Author: Xochitl Dixon
Genre: Non-Fiction, Devotional
Release Date: August 7, 2019

Inhale God’s Word. Exhale in prayer. Rest in God’s love.

If your heart is weary and longing for answers—for healing, for provision, for miracles—Waiting for God renews your hope with strong biblical truth and encouraging Scripture-based prayer.

Conquer your fears and frustrations as you inhale God’s Word, exhale in prayer, and rest in God’s love. Live a life of deeper connection and immediate communion with God that can lead to contentment in His constant presence, no matter what your days hold or how long God’s deliberate delays may last.

Xochitl Dixon writes each chapter with heart-touching transparency and vulnerability, as she shares her own story as well as the stories of others who are trusting God through waiting seasons with no apparent end in sight. As a woman who lives with chronic pain, Xochitl understands constant struggle yet chooses to put God on the throne of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I have been reading devotions written by Xochitl Dixon in Our Daily Bread for quite a while, so when the opportunity came to read this devotional book written by her, I was excited.  Reading through Waiting For God has been a wonderful way to get to know this woman of God and be encouraged through her writing.

The devotions in this book are not to be worked through quickly.  Each one gives a portion of Scripture to be read, then a thoughtful discussion of that Scripture before prayers and application questions.

I really appreciated the theme of this devotional book.  Life is hard, but God is there.  All of us are suffering in one form or another, and Dixon's devotions tackle this truth head on.  They are not light, easy reads, but rather meaty pieces of truth for us to savor and ingest.

This book is appropriate for Christian men and women, and I recommend it.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Discovery House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Xochitl (So-Cheel) E. Dixon has a heart for loving God and people. She’s passionate about intercessory prayer, nurturing spiritual growth, and the prayerful study and application of Scripture. Through her daily struggles with chronic pain, due to an upper back injury she endured in 1992, she writes with transparency, ministers to the hurting, and inspires hope through worshiping God in all circumstances.

She serves as a regular contributor to Our Daily Bread (, a ministry devoted to making “the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.” Her devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace (Discovery House Publishers) is available for pre-order and releases August 7, 2019. She is a contributing author for the upcoming Our Daily Bread devotionals: What Really Matters (August 7, 2019), And He Walks with Me (October 2, 2019), and Moments of Peace for Moms (October 2, 2019).

Her devotions have also been included in All God’s Creatures (Guideposts, 2019), God Hears Her (Discovery House, 2017), Our Help (Discovery House, 2017), and This Far by Faith: Legacies of the Black Church (Discovery House, 2017). Her nonfiction has been published in My Amazing Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2018), Second-Chance Dogs (Revell, 2018), LIVE Magazine (2019), and Church Health Reader (2019).

She followed God from California to Wisconsin and is enjoying Midwest adventures with her best friend and husband of over 25 years, Dr. W. Alan Dixon, Sr. She loves their sons, A.J. and Xavier, spoils her service dog, Callie, and likes serving as a speaker, traveling, photography, reading, singing, sketching, studying Scripture, and nurturing authentic relationships.

Xochitl connects with readers and shares encouragement devotions, prayer, and Scripture-based memes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog at You can also follow her Author Page on Amazon’s Author Central.

More from Xochitl

“Never pray for patience.”

My friend’s warning pricked at the back of my mind. Without realizing it, I began lacing my prayers with fear, doubt, and caution. I couldn’t risk being thrust into situations that would force me to develop patience, so I did everything in my power to avoid asking the Lord to help me be patient.

But even when I didn’t ask Him to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in me, I always seemed to end up in circumstances that stretched my faith as much as my patience.

When my agent challenged me to write the book I had to write, I pitched Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

I thought I’d be sharing tips about how to persevere through trials and endure suffering with grace. But after I signed the contract and received a deadline for my manuscript, my husband received an unexpected job offer.

We followed the Lord from California to Wisconsin.

Writing became a challenge as I suffered a setback in my healing journey. I endured high levels of pain and fatigue. My husband and I struggled with frustration as we adjusted to life in the Midwest during one of the coldest winters in history.

And God changed my perspective on waiting for Him, which has nothing to do with patience.

I’ll be sharing my answers to the end-of-chapter questions on my blog ( I’m excited to invite you to join the adventure.

I look forward to growing with you as we wait for God, inhaling His Word, exhaling in prayer, and resting in His love as we trust daily in His plan and pace.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 2
April Hayman, Author, September 3
Genesis 5020, September 4
A Diva’s Heart, September 4
Through the Lens of Scripture, September 5
AndreaChristenson, September 6
Kelly Harrel, September 7
Mary Hake, September 7
For the Love of Literature, September 8
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 9
Just the Write Escape, September 10
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11
Texas Book-aholic, September 12
A Reader’s Brain, September 13
janicesbookreviews, September 13
Inklings and notions, September 14
Cultivating Us, September 15
God is Love, September 15


To celebrate her tour, Xochitl is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Waiting for God, and a copy of God Hears Her (Our Daily Bread 365-Day Devotional)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Book review: Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble

About the Book

Book: Strands of Truth
Author: Colleen Coble
Genre: Suspense
Release Date: September 10, 2019

Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

Author Colleen Coble really is a master of suspense.  There were so many twists and turns in this book and so many pieces to the puzzle that didn't go together until the very end.  This was a page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed.

While I was reading this book, it was like being in a different world, in lakeside Florida.  There was much to learn about ocean micro-biology and life near and in the ocean.  Readers will also be exposed to discussions about the current topics of DNA testing and embryo adoption.

Harper and Ridge were great examples of living with integrity, but most importantly, of being willing to forgive past mistakes and move forward with relationships through reconciliation.  While the author spent plenty of time helping the reader to know Harper and Ridge, the supporting characters were well-written and believable as well.  

I highly recommend this book to readers of suspense, both male and female, and to those who love ocean life.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3
Inspired by fiction, September 3
EmpowerMoms, September 3
Blogging With Carol, September 3
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4
My Devotional Thoughts, September 4
Christian bookaholic, September 4
KarenSueHadley , September 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5
Susan Cornwell, September 5
Inside the Wong Mind, September 5
Godly Book Reviews, September 5
Through the Fire Blogs, September 6
Emily Yager, September 6
Older & Smarter?, September 6
Blessed & Bookish, September 6
Andrea Christenson, September 6
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7
Avid Reader Nurse, September 7
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7
The Becca Files, September 8
Blossoms and Blessings, September 8
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8
Mary Hake, September 8
Spoken from the Heart, September 9
Betti Mace, September 9
Back Porch Reads, September 9
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9
Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9
Moments, September 10
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10
For Him and my Family, September 10
Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10
Texas Book-aholic, September 11
Retrospective Spines, September 11
Daysong Reflections, September 11
Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11
SusanLovesBooks, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Worthy2Read, September 12
Just the Write Escape, September 12
Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12
Bigreadersite , September 13
janicesbookreviews, September 13
As He Leads is Joy, September 13
Livin’ Lit, September 13
To Everything A Season, September 13
Simple Harvest Reads, September 14
Pause for Tales, September 14
For The Love of Books , September 14
Living Life Free In Christ, September 14
A Reader’s Brain, September 15
Quiet Quilter , September 15
Hallie Reads, September 15
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15
Inklings and notions , September 16
By The Book, September 16
Real World Bible Study, September 16
Patiently Waiting, September 16

Monday, September 2, 2019

Book Review: No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

About the Book

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans--but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans' home before Laura is notified about her family's unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God".

My Review

Author Carrie Turansky has penned a hope-filled novel, in spite of the difficulties the characters faced.

There were many scenes in which the heartbreak, or suffering, or anger was so real.  The romance was sweet, and the characters were likable.  Not everything was neatly tied up at the end of the story, so I'm looking forward to the sequel.

I especially enjoyed getting to know fourteen-year-old Katie.  Until recent events, she had had a happy childhood, but circumstances brought her into some undesirable placements.  She remained hard-working, loyal to her family, and committed to the truth.  Her older sister Laura was equally hard-working and dedicated to her family.

Readers of historical fiction will be sure to enjoy the story of the McAlister family in their quest to reunite.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Multnomah, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Book

Bestselling Inspirational Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: "Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn't put it down!" . . . "Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written" . . . "My new favorite author!" Visit her website and sign up for her email newsletter at Carrie Follow Carrie on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Book reviews with a giveaway: Middle grade books by Melody Carlson

About the Book

Book: Zoey: Meet the Misfits & Zoey: Odd Girl Out
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls
Release Date: April 15/ August 15, 2019

Zoey’s pretty sure her life is over when her wannabe-rockstar mother uproots her from from their home in Seattle and deposits her in Nowheresville, Oregon to live with her whackadoodle grandparents. Things start to look up, though, when she reconnects with Louisa, the girl from across the street. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa won’t mind that Zoey’s always been a bit of a misfit. Louisa’s ex-BFF, however, doesn’t seem too happy to welcome Zoey to the neighborhood. And when they all end up at church camp together, it’s not just a matter of whether or not Zoey can fit in…it becomes a firsthand lesson in what it really means to “love your enemy.”

When the school year begins, Zoey’s terrified to go without Louisa—who’s out with a nasty flu. The same enemies she made over the summer are there to haunt her, but she and another new girl stick together…and even seem to find a place among the in-crowd. But is this who Zoey wants to be? Are they really her friends? Who’s going to stick beside her when cyber bullying leaves her as the odd girl out?

Click here to grab your copy.

My Reviews

Meet the Misfits
The first book of the Being Zoey series, Meet the Misfits, was easy to enjoy.  For being a middle-grade novel, it was a pleasant read for this adult.  Why?  Because the first-person narrative worked.  It was especially important to get inside Zoey's head.  Secondly, Zoey was a believable character.  She was a pretty upbeat, down-to-earth girl, who appreciated beauty and authenticity, and was willing to try new things.  She reacted to good and bad events in a way that is expected of someone her age.  The final thing that I especially appreciated was that even in the midst of plenty of conflict, the story did not get too angsty.  The reactions of characters were always age-appropriate.

Author Melody Carlson gets her audience, and I highly recommend this book for tween readers.

Odd Girl Out
In this continuation of the Being Zoey series, Melody Carlson continues to write a story with its pulse on today's middle-school culture.  Events from the previous book were filled in, so it can be read as a stand-alone, but I enjoyed being able to read about Zoey's continued adjustments to her new town.

What I especially liked about Zoey in this novel was that she had a solid sense about herself:  "I'm good at sports."  "I'm not a techie!"  "I don't want to be a cheerleader."  That made it clear to the reader that something was wrong when her actions deviated from her true self.

There is a theme of bullying and cyber bullying in this book-how easily it can happen, and how damaging it is to a person.  This was done naturally over the course of the story.

I recommend this book to middle grade readers, especially girls.

I received e-ARCs of these books from the publisher, WhiteSpark Publishing, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.
About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

Being a tween these days is more complicated than ever. With our culture’s fast pace, social networking, peer pressure . . . growing up is hard to do. So I wanted to create a relatable character with some tough challenges. And Zoey Petrizzo definitely gets more than her fair share. About to start middle-school, Zoey is forced to relocate her life with her less than conventional grandparents. And it’s not easy! My hope is that readers will either relate to Zoey, or develop more empathy for ‘misfit’ kids like her.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, August 29
Blogging With Carol, August 29
Andrea Christenson, August 30
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 30
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 31
Christian Bookaholic , August 31
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 1
Remembrancy, September 1
Older & Smarter?, September 2
Artistic Nobody, September 2
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 3
Back Porch Reads , September 3
Through the Fire Blogs, September 4
Just the Write Escape, September 5
amandainpa , September 5
A Reader’s Brain, September 6
Patiently Waiting, September 6
Godly Book Reviews, September 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 7
Texas Book-aholic, September 8
For the Love of Books , September 8
Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 9
Vicky Sluiter, September 9
Hallie Reads, September 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 10
janicesbookreviews, September 11
Inklings and notions , September 11


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize package of Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out, Sketching Pencils, and a Sketchbook!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken

About the Book

Book: The Yellow Lantern
Author: Angie Dicken
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: August, 2019

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill, though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

This author really knows how to get a reader's attention!  Without sharing any spoilers, I will say that the opening scene was really, really weird!  And totally not the kind of thing that I am used to reading.  Once the book got going, it normalled out for me, and became very readable.  But, being that it was about crime, there were plenty of other scenes that creeped me out and were quite exciting, in an icky sort of way.   All this to say that the author did a good job of giving me a story that I could read, but certainly made a point about the heinousness of the crime.

The darkness of the criminal activity was pervasive throughout the novel, but Josie and Braham's characters were points of light.  Josie used her knowledge of herbal remedies to heal the sick, and Braham was a wonderful factory manager who cared for the well-being of his workers more than profits.  The other characters were well-written, and sometimes it was difficult to know who was good and who was bad, until the end.

Many readers will consider the crime scenes trivial, compared to other books they have read.  Other readers (like me) may be a little more squeamish.  This book is an interesting read, and I recommend it, especially for those who like historical romance with some criminal activity thrown in.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher, Barbour, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at

More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15
Seasons of Opportunities, August 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15
Bigreadersite, August 16
Emily Yager, August 16
Inspired by fiction, August 16
The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17
Daysong Reflections, August 17
Retrospective Spines, August 18
Spoken from the Heart, August 18
Kathleen Denly, August 19
Through the Fire Blogs, August 19
Christian Bookaholic, August 19
Maureen’s Musings, August 20
For the Love of Literature, August 20
Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Godly Book Reviews, August 21
A Reader’s Brain, August 21
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22
Betti Mace, August 22
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22
Hallie Reads, August 23
Mary Hake, August 23
Inklings and notions, August 23
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24
For Him and My Family, August 24
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24
Connie’s History Classroom, August 25
Pause for Tales, August 25
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26
amandainpa, August 26
Blossoms and Blessings, August 27
Texas Book-aholic, August 27
janicesbookreviews, August 27
Back Porch Reads, August 28
Just the Write Escape, August 28


To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.