Friday, February 21, 2020

Book Review: The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck


About the Book

Book: The Fifth Avenue Story Society
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 4, 2020


An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

Get your copy of the book here.

My Review

A book written by Rachel Hauck is something to treasure.  The Fifth Avenue Story Society has so many wonderful aspects.  First, it is heavy.  As in, there are a lot of pages in which to get lost.  Secondly, the cover just draws you in.  You could spend plenty of time imagining the stories, simply found on the front cover.  Then, the title.  You wonder, with the characters, just what is The Fifth Avenue Story Society?  The library-oh, how I would love to walk in and absorb that atmosphere! And the story, with its five characters, whose lives become more complexly intertwined as the story unfolds. 

Hauck writes this story with brilliance, with so many layers to be discovered.  References to previous novels gave this one special meaning and depth.  And as this reader has come to love about Hauck's books, there is a touch of the miraculous in this one, as well.

This is a stand-alone novel, which any reader can pick up and enjoy, but fans of Hauck's previous books will especially love this one.

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

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.








Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt here.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 10
The Avid Reader, February 10
Livin’ Lit, February 10
Genesis 5020, February 10
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 10
The Power of Words, February 11
A Baker’s Perspective, February 11
Rebecca Tews, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11
Older & Smarter?, February 12
Seasons of Opportunities, February 12
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
Inklings and notions, February 12
deb’s Book Review, February 12
My Devotional Thoughts, February 13
Just the Write Escape, February 13
For Him and My Family, February 13
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 13
CarpeDiem, February 13
Remembrancy, February 14
Christian Bookaholic, February 14
Connect in Fiction, February 14
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14
April Hayman, Author, February 14
Robin’s Nest, February 15
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 15
Britt Reads Fiction, February 15
Just Your Average reviews, February 15
Blogging With Carol, February 15
Batya’s Bits, February 16
Bigreadersite, February 16
A Reader’s Brain, February 16
Worthy2Read, February 16
Stories By Gina, February 16
Back Porch Reads, February 17
janicesbookreviews, February 17
Literary Reflections Book Blog, February 17
Inside the Wong Mind, February 17
Mary Hake, February 17
Through the fire blogs, February 18
Mia Reads, February 18
Baker Kella, February 18
EmpowerMoms, February 18
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 18
Maureen’s Musings, February 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19
Coast and Anchor, February 19
Spoken from the Heart, February 19
SPLASHES of Joy, February 19
She Lives to Read, February 20
By The Book, February 20
Wishful Endings, February 20
Moments, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Andrea Christenson, February 21
Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
For The Love of Books, February 21
Lis Loves Reading, February 21
Reader’s Cozy Corner, February 22
Hallie Reads, February 22
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 22
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 22
To Everything There Is A Season, February 22
Godly Book Reviews, February 23
Daysong Reflections, February 23
SusanLovesBooks, February 23
Lights in a Dark World, February 23

Book Review with a Giveaway: Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink




About the Book

Book: Cold Case Connection
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 1, 2020


Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

Need a quick suspense fix?  Cold Case Connection by Dana Mentink is just what you need!

Part of the Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance line, this is a quick read, but contains a full story line with plenty of action.  This is the third of Mentink's Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series, but it stands alone well.

Although she is settled in her job, Helen Pike is still haunted by the murders of her friends, twelve years apart.  The brother of one of those friends, Sergio, now a private investigator, has shown up in town to investigate on his own.

Helen was quite likable.  She took her work seriously.  She was loyal to those who had adopted her as family, and was generous and kind.  Sergio was still adjusting to his new reality as a dad to his sister's twin girls.  He was devoted to those children, and kind, as well.

The plot moved at a quick pace as Helen and Sergio searched for clues in this closed case.  There were attacks against them as they came closer to the truth, which kept the book quite suspenseful.

Those who enjoy romantic suspense will certainly enjoy this book.

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

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)



More from Dana

Cold Case Connection was really fun to write because it’s Helen’s story. She’s an intelligent, sensitive woman who is the sister to the men living on the Roughwater Ranch. Liam is her biological brother, but she’s just as close to Chad and Mitch who might as well be blood relatives. In this novel, Helen has to relive the worst moment of her teenage life, the night when a mysterious murder occurred during a teen prank. Helen is going to have to face the past in order to preserve her future. Cowboys, a case gone cold, a coastal ranch and a whole lot of danger…I hope you will enjoy the ride!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 14
Among the Reads, February 14
Through the Fire Blogs, February 14
The Avid Reader, February 15
Texas Book-aholic, February 15
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 16
Inklings and notions, February 16
janicesbookreviews, February 16
Betti Mace, February 17
She Lives to Read, February 17
Genesis 5020, February 17
For the Love of Literature, February 18
For Him and My Family, February 18
My Devotional Thoughts, February 19
Reading Is My SuperPower, February 19
Just Your Average reviews, February 19
Remembrancy, February 20
Older & Smarter?, February 20
Blogging With Carol, February 20
deb’s Book Review, February 21
Bigreadersite, February 21
EmpowerMoms, February 21
Blossoms and Blessings, February 22
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 22
Christian Bookaholic, February 23
KarenSueHadley, February 23
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 23
Emily Yager, February 24
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 24
Pause for Tales, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25
Maureen’s Musings, February 26
Hallie Reads, February 26
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 26
Livin’ Lit, February 27
To Everything There Is A Season, February 27
Daysong Reflections, February 27

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a bag, a copy of the book, and an Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/f5c6/cold-case-connection-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Book Review: End Game by Rachel Dylan

About the Book

Each New Clue . . .
Every Crime Scene . . .
Brings Them Closer to Discovering the End Game


When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. After Bailey is targeted, it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment, Bailey and Marco rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust in this twisted conspiracy. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of them all.

"Readers who love CBS's NCIS will be thrilled to discover the first book in Dylan's Capital Intrigue series . . . Dylan introduces a fascinating cast of characters in this taut, romantic suspense novel that will keep readers on the edges of their seats. Fans of Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon, and Susan May Warren will be happy to add Dylan to their lists of must-read authors."--Booklist

You can purchase your copy here.

My Review

Those who enjoy investigative suspense will love End Game by Rachel Dylan.  Bailey from the FBI is paired with NCIS agent Marco to investigate the murder of a Navy SEAL.  The investigation becomes more and more complex, as well as exceedingly dangerous for them, especially for Bailey.

When I first met Marco, I didn't think I would like him, but his commitment to doing his work well and his care for and protectiveness of Bailey won me over.  Bailey was easy to like.  She was down-to-earth, warm, and honest.  Both Marco and Bailey were put through faith stretching situations, and they were brave in the face of danger.  The secondary characters were likable, and I look forward to reading more about them in subsequent novels in the Capital Intrigue series.

A book like this contains a lot of details, as the investigative team conducted interviews and followed leads to crack the case.  Readers who enjoy detective work will especially enjoy this novel, which is appropriate for men and women.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Rachel Dylan (www.racheldylan.com) was a litigator in one of the nation's most elite law firms for over eight years and now currently works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the award-winning author of the Atlanta Justice series and a number of Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Cover Reveal: A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Cover Reveal


Isn't this beautiful?  We met these characters in the second book of The Codebreakers series, On Wings of Devotion.  I'm looking forward to reading this book, which comes out soon!

About the Book

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera—and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and no one is quite certain where Zivon's loyalties really lie—until his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he’d feared, and only Lily's skills can save him.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White
BESTSELLING AUTHOR - Sweeping historical tales of romance and suspense - On Wings of Devotion just released!
(Check out Roseanna's many other titles, including 2 free novellas, at:
www.RoseannaMWhite.com | www.RoseannaMWhite.blogspot.com)

EDITOR at WhiteFire Publishing ~ www.WhiteFire-Publishing.com
BOOK DESIGNER ~ www.RoseannaWhiteDesigns.com

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Book Review: Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

About the Book

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series that spans the globe and will have your heart working overtime.

My Review

Lynette Eason's previous novels have set the bar pretty high, and this book, the first in the Danger Never Sleeps series, does not disappoint.

The action begins immediately, and throughout the book, there are many heart-pounding moments.  I was very curious to find out how the events and people in Afghanistan were connected to the events and people in the U.S., and it was pretty amazing to find that out.

The author built sympathy for the characters immediately through their military experience, and the camaraderie that was developed through those shared experiences was exhibited throughout the book.  It was easy to root for the good guys in spite of their flaws.  I especially appreciated the compassion that Brook and Asher demonstrated to army widows and their children.  The bad guys were horrifically bad.

Men and women will both enjoy reading this book.  There is plenty of action and suspense, and the romance is genuine, but low-key compared to the dangerous situations that occur.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Collateral Damage and Acceptable Risk, as well as Protecting Tanner Hollow and the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Book Review With a Giveaway: God Hears Her


About the Book

Book: God Hears Her
Author: Our Daily Bread
Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Devotional
Release Date: September, 2017
Tour Dates: February 1 – 14


When you’re having one of those days, you just want to know that someone is on your side. You have more than just someone . . . you have your Heavenly Father! He is with you. He is for you. He hears your heart’s cry. And He will reassure you of this through the beautifully designed, hardcover devotional collection, God Hears Her. The personal stories, Scripture passages, and inspirational quotes pulled from Our Daily Bread devotionals will lift you up and remind you that God is bigger than the trials you face.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

God Hears Her is a devotional book that is for women, by women.  It is a 365-day devotional book written by female authors from Our Daily Bread.  Each devotional gives a suggested Scripture reading, followed by a key verse, and then the devotional thoughts.  Knowing that the devotionals have come from Our Daily Bread gives comfort and credibility, because as a long-time reader of Our Daily Bread, I know that they will be scripturally sound.  And knowing that they are written from the hearts of other women gives comfort.  The forward by Elisa Morgan is especially encouraging.

God Hears Her is a beautiful book.  It is a hardcover book, with a tastefully-designed cover.  Inside, the pages have a different design than what one usually finds in Our Daily Bread, which makes it appealing for women.  A ribbon bookmark adds to its charm and makes the book very appropriate for giving as a gift.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Our Daily Bread Publishing, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Our Daily Bread Publishing - Our Daily Bread Publishing is a division of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Founded in 1938, the ministry has grown from a small group of dedicated radio listeners to millions of people around the world who use our Bible-based resources, including the beloved Our Daily Bread devotional. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization with staff and volunteers in over 37 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries. Regardless of whether it’s a radio or television broadcast, DVD, podcast, book, mobile app, or website, we provide materials to help people grow in their relationship with God.

More from Our Daily Bread

‘Feels Like Home’ Winter Recipes

As the weather turns colder, it becomes the time to pull out those tried and true winter-time recipes. You know, the ones that make us (or even keep us) warm on the inside. This is the time for the food that just feels like home.

Kirsten Holmberg and Elisa Morgan from the God Hears Her blog have shared some of their families' personal recipes. These are the ones that are good for everyone. Feel free to try them yourself, bookmark them for later, or share them with a friend.

Kirsten Holmberg

In the winter, I’m partial to any slow-cooker soup or stew because I love coming home to it in the evening. My favorite is a Vegetarian Chili with some Italian influences:

2 bell peppers, diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 lb zucchini halved and sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, halved
1 large onion, diced
3 cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted or herbed for the most flavor)
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can black olives, sliced (or fresh in any amount desired)
1 can cannellini beans
2.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
½ cup water

Toss it all in a slow cooker for a few hours on high, or all day on low. Or, put it on the stove instead and simmer until the veggies are cooked through and the flavors blended (about 45 minutes). Parmesan cheese on top for an extra zing.

Elisa Morgan

A Cranberry Nut Bread recipe handed down by my mom, Paige Lee

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ scant tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar

Sift above ingredients together twice. To the juice and grated rind of 1 large orange, add 2 tbs of melted shortening and enough boiling water to make ¾ cup. Mix with dry ingredients and add…

1 beaten egg
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup halved fresh cranberries

Bake in greased loaf pan for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you double the recipe, bake a little less time and use 3 loaf pans. It also makes good muffins and can be frozen.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 1
deb’s Book Review, February 1
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2
Texas Book-aholic, February 3
Mary Hake, February 3
God is Love, February 4
Emily Yager, February 4
Genesis 5020, February 5
A Diva’s Heart, February 5
Girls in White Dresses, February 5
Lighthouse Academy, February 6
amandainpa, February 6
For Him and My Family, February 7
For The Love of Books, February 7
Inklings and notions, February 8
Andrea Christenson, February 8
Blossoms and Blessings, February 9
CarpeDiem, February 9
Older & Smarter?, February 10
She Lives to Read, February 10
For the Love of Literature, February 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12
Godly Book Reviews, February 12
Artistic Nobody, February 13
Back Porch Reads, February 13
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 14
Kat’s Corner Books, February 14
Giveaway


To celebrate their tour, Our Daily Bread is giving away the grand prize package of a God Hears Her hardcover, God Hears Her leather-like, God Hears Her journal, God Hears Her CD, God Hears Her pen, and God Hears Her Scripture & Encouragement cards!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/f540/god-hears-her-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White

About the Book

All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

You can purchase this book here.

My Review

On Wings of Devotion is an exciting book full of amazing characters and intrigue in a World War I London setting.

Arabelle Denler is a nurse who is not afraid to take charge and help those who need aid.  But she is also an independently wealthy philanthropist who uses her fortune to help those in need.  She is deeply spiritual, and uses her resources and abilities to comfort others in a  way that draws them into God's presence.  She is a lovely character.

Phillip Camden has been dubbed, "Black Heart," as the captain of a squadron of pilots on a mission that went very wrong.  Underneath his gruff, selfish facade, he is hurting and guilt-ridden, yet fiercely loyal.

Much of the story is woven around Ara and Cam getting to know each other and exploring their relationship, while the intrigue is ramped up throughout the story, until it comes to a very exciting conclusion.

Book Two of The Codebreakers series, this book picks up where The Number of Love leaves off, yet it entirely stands on its own.  It was a lovely surprise to be reunited with characters from White's previous novels.

I recommend this book for readers of historical romance, those with an interest in World War I, and readers of White's books.  This is one not to be missed!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books...to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.





Helpful Links


The book page for On Wings of Devotion can be found on my website HERE.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Roseanna’s Shop (signed)


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