Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Review: Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

About the Book

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He's committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn--one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he's failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

Join bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard as she plunges you into a web of deceit made of hidden crimes, open threats, and long-buried family secrets in this gripping first book of an explosive new series.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

Present Danger is an exciting opening to Elizabeth Goddard's Rocky Mountain Courage series!  This book has well-developed, relatable characters, a many-layered plot, and plenty of excitement and danger.

Terra and Jack, the main characters, are both in law enforcement.  They had gone their separate ways after high school, but are now working together to solve a multi-agency case.  They both have troubled family backgrounds that they are working to overcome.  They also found themselves working to develop trust between them.

I loved the suspense in this book.  Reading this story quickly became a situation where I needed to look over my shoulder, because I never knew what would happen next, or whom to trust.

The romance moved slowly, as it should in a situation where lives are at stake.

I highly recommend this book to readers of romantic suspense.  It is a solid read from beginning to end.

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

About the Author

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES--a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Pre-order The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma is releasing on May 1! Come by and pre-order yours now to receive a discounted pre-order price!

Click here for more information:

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Matchmaker's Best Friend by Kari Trumbo


About the Book

Book:  Matchmaker’s Best Friend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: March 30, 2021

“You’re just like a brother to me. I don’t like you in that way.”

When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him.

She’s still paying for that lie.

A brilliant plan to set Mike and a friend up and get over him has one problem.

It’s breaking her heart.

When Pen pushed him away, Mike Gaines assumed she just didn’t understand his faith. People like her persnickety aunt even claim he’s part of a cult—ridiculous, but it’s true. Still, if she wants him to play the part of a big brother, fine. At least he can stay close this way.

At first, Pen’s attempt to set him up with one of her close friends hurts. But what if it’s the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s missing if she sees him with someone else?

In this friends-to-more-meets-second-chance romance, The Matchmaker’s Best Friend continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I have really been enjoying all of the books in the Independence Islands series, and Matchmaker's Best Friend did not disappoint.  It featured Pen, a party planner hoping to expand her business, and Mike, a musician who hadn't settled down yet.  Both were pursuing their dreams, but separately.  They were best friends who should be more.  Neither would be honest with the other about their feelings, and they were both miserable for it.  They both truly cared for each other, but had gotten off course in their friendship.  I liked both of the main characters, but I was really frustrated with their lack of communication and the heartache that ensued because of it. Fortunately, the truth won out, and repentance and forgiveness restored their relationship and made their dreams come true.

Contemporary romance fans and Christian fiction readers will enjoy this book.  Those who have been reading the Independence Islands series will definitely want to read this one, but it does stand alone, for those new to the series.

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

About the Author

Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.


More from Kari

Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Especially in sparkly, stacked espadrilles and pink power suit. Don’t let Pen Reese’s pink façade fool you, she’s a businesswoman to the core, with a heart of gold. She has built a party planning business from the ground up, and she’s about to create another.

Pen is one of those characters that I could just see CLEARLY as I was writing. She is about ninety percent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and ten percent a close personal friend. I heard her voice in my head. I could hear her talking as I wrote the book. Her personality was perfect for the energetic party planner.

I’m sure if I put a character description up without context or clarity many people wouldn’t want to read the book, they would write Pen off as shallow. But she’s not. She’s heartbroken.

Do you still remember your first love? Maybe you still care for them? Pen fell hard for her first love and no matter how professional she is or how many lavish weddings she plans, she can’t forget the one wedding she’ll never get to create. Her own.

Pen thinks that if Mike falls for someone else, goes off and gets married, she’ll finally be able to move on. So, she sets a plan in motion. That’s when her world completely falls apart and you see the tender parts of Pen that she doesn’t show to just anybody.

She is a very complex character and I hope she touches you like she touched me.

I hope you enjoy Pen’s tale of matchmaking gone wrong.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 14
Books and Everyday Life, April 14
Labor Not in Vain, April 14
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 15
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 15
lakesidelivingsite, April 16
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 16
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 17
Rebekah Reads, April 17
Artistic Nobody, April 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18
A Novel Pursuit, April 18
She Lives To Read, April 19
deb’s Book Review, April 19
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 20
Splashes of Joy, April 20
Aryn the Libraryan, April 21
For Him and My Family, April 21
Texas Book-aholic, April 22
Blogging With Carol, April 22
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 23
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 23
CarpeDiem, April 23
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 24
Connect in Fiction, April 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25
Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Inklings and notions, April 26
Godly Book Reviews, April 26
Batya’s Bits , April 26
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27


To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Deepest Roots of the Heart by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book:  Deepest Roots of the Heart

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: January 20, 2015 

The Carrillos have a history in the valley that stretches as deep as grapevine roots in the soil.

During WWII, Avelino Carrillo spent four harrowing years in the South Pacific with one thought driving his survival: to return to his beloved home in Napa Valley.

For a century, they worked the vineyard at their family home, la Casa de los Sueños, until they lost the property to a wealthy land baron. Now, Avelino is determined to reclaim the land and home he loves so much.

When he meets Amelia, a young woman who lives at the vineyard with her grandfather, he finds that regaining his birthright isn’t his only struggle—he battles the longing of his heart as well.

Follow Avelino in this split-time novel as he struggles to overcome local bigotry and personal demons to create the life he desires.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

You'll fall in love, over and over again in this split-time novel by master storyteller Chautona Havig. 

. . . with Avelino, recently back from serving in World War II, with a desire to make his beloved family property a successful enterprise.  He embodied the dreams, the history, and the ideals that his family had lived out for one hundred years at their beloved home.
. . . with Amelia, beautiful, smart, hardworking, and with wisdom well beyond her years.
. . . with Avelino's ancestors, whose stories encouraged, guided, and shaped the family that now is.
. . . with the beautiful sights and smells of Napa Valley's wine country.
. . . with the music of the 1940s.
. . . with the art of storytelling.

Avelino was a character that was easy to appreciate.  He had a big heart, and was committed to doing the right thing.  Amelia was amazing in her discernment, her patience, her willingness to serve, and the many ways in which she expressed love.

I highly recommend this story for readers of historical romance.  Those with an interest in California's wine country will be especially thrilled to read this book.

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

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

I Fell in Love with California & History in the Same Year

When the second pastor of small churches with private Christian schools was hauled off to jail, the pastor of our little school closed the doors—just in case. Several of us went underground as homeschoolers in a time when homeschooling was something people did when they were missionaries or lived in… Alaska or something.

There I sat at our kitchen table in Ventura, doing my schoolwork at our little kitchen table.  On Wednesday and Sunday nights, I’d take tests in the school office, get my new PACEs (“Packet of Accelerated Christian Education”) and go home to work again. Sometimes, I’d sit up in my room to read the bigger chunks of information—like from my California State History PACEs.

Look, I don’t know if all states have such great history, but California’s fascinated me. I remember coloring the state map, the missions, and the flag—despite it not being required.  I looked for more books about it, and in the process, I fell in love with history.

A couple of years later, my aunt brought heaping bags of books for us to read when we lived out in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or running water.  We were bored.  But she brought books.  In those sacks?  A tiny little paperback. The Legend of Susan Dane.

Although that book had its utterly ridiculous moments, it also sparked something in me.  Between eyerolls of disgust at everyone fawning over Susan Dane’s reputed beauty and over a strapless dress in the last quarter of the 19th century, it showed a beautiful picture of the lives of the Californios.

That book fanned the flames of my love of history until I burned with curiosity over what was reasonable.  What wasn’t. And how to find out what really happened.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and a character emerged—a Californio who refused to learn ingles for the sake of the immigrants to his country. Don Ruiz Carrillo said, “If I go to their country, I learn their language, but if they come to my country, they should learn mine.”  In short, I took the words I’d heard my own father say all my life and turned it on its head.  I put an American in California before statehood and without means to learn the language.

When señor Carrillo meets the young Americano with red hair and freckles, she tells a heartbreaking story that she manages to convey through pantomime and her attempts to imitate his language. Here, I deviated from my father. While Dad would be kind and helpful in teaching someone his language in his country, señor Carrillo decides that this young woman is more important than his preferences.

That story is still being written—Crushed Dreams.  However, when I realized how I wanted to end the story, I knew I had a problem. The final book in this series will have a bittersweet ending—one with hope and promise, but not technically “happy.”  So, I decided to write a prequel/sequel to the series—a split-time novel where the reader lives the past with the characters of the present. This way, going into the entire series, you know there’s a happy ending, so you can appreciate the heartache and sacrifice that will come in that last book.

Crushed Dreams is slated to release soon, so I’m eager to share the prequel to the Legacy of the Vines series with you.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 13
A Novel Pursuit, April 13
She Lives To Read, April 14
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 15
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 16
Artistic Nobody, April 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Rebecca Tews, April 17
Connie’s History Classroom, April 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 19
Texas Book-aholic, April 20
Inklings and notions, April 21
For Him and My Family, April 22
Mary Hake, April 22
deb’s Book Review, April 23
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25
CarpeDiem, April 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift card & paperback!!

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

Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Courage in the Mountain Wilderness by Misty M. Beller


About the Book

Book:  Courage in the Mountain Wilderness

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 6, 2021

Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.

Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.

Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband dead, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.

The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Misty M. Beller continues the adventures of an eclectic group of people brought together by God's hand.  If one has not read the previous books in the Call of the Rockies series, know that this book stands alone.  Something I love about this series is the camaraderie amongst this group of people.  They are there for one another, each with special talents to offer, and the group functions well together.  They also have each been through hard things, and have come out stronger for it.

In this story, Otskai is the widowed mother of a toddler, whom she loves with all her heart.  She especially enjoys the freedom that she has as a widow.  She is able to provide well for her son.  And even though Caleb Jackson catches her eye, through his strength, his kindness, and care for her son, she is not willing to give up that freedom.

As the group travels together and faces many challenges and adventures, Otskai is able to see God at work in their lives, and through Caleb, she learns what true love really looks like.  I enjoyed this novel, and recommend it for Christian fiction readers, and those who enjoy western settings and Native American characters.

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

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

Mom Guilt—it’s real, no matter what your race or tribe.

One of the things I love about writing the Call of the Rockies series is the cast of characters that covers almost more races than I can count on all my fingers! From Spaniards, to Frenchman, to Southern Americans, to Blackfoot, to Nez Perce, to Salish, to Shoshone. And let’s not talk about the various sectors within some of the tribes (Peigan Blackfoot, Blood Blackfoot, Pikunin of the Nez Perce…oops, we weren’t going to talk about those!).

But what I love the most about so many people groups represented is learning how much we really are alike, down deep in our cores! Sure, some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some like to swim, some hate to swim. Some like to cook, some like to play with the kids (okay, maybe most like to play with the kids!).

Yet there are common threads that connect us all. As I was writing Courage in the Mountain Wilderness, I discovered a new thread that I have in common with Otskai, the Nez Perce hero of the story.

Mom guilt.

Yep. Our situations are a little different—I’m married with four kiddos, and she’s widowed with one very energetic two-year-old son. But we both struggle with that same push and pull. That same set of conflicting longings. When I’m with my kiddos, sometimes I just desperately want time alone. Time to actually get things done. But then at night when they snuggle close at bedtime, wrapping their sweet arms around my neck and not just saying, but showing, how much they love me, I can’t imagine how I could ever want to do anything but spend time with these sweet little ones God has trusted me with.

Thus, the guilt.

Maybe Otskai and I are the only ones who’ve ever experienced that particular strain of Mom Guilt. But I’ll bet there are other ways you can relate—both to these very real fictional characters who may or may not be the same race as you. And also to the very real real-life characters you meet every day.

The great news is that God loves each and every one of us, Mom Guilt and all.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 6
Blossoms and Blessings, April 6
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7
reviewingbooksplusmore, April 7
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 8
cats in the cradle blog, April 8
Betti Mace, April 9
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 9
For the Love of Literature, April 10
deb’s Book Review, April 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 11
Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 11
Texas Book-aholic, April 12
Maidens for Modesty, April 12
Inklings and notions, April 13
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13
Older & Smarter?, April 14
Blessed & Bookish, April 14
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15
Splashes of Joy, April 15
Wishful Endings, April 16
Mary Hake, April 16
For Him and My Family, April 16
She Lives To Read, April 17
Connie’s History Classroom, April 17
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18
Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, April 19
Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)


To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock

About the Book

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father's unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan--find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society's elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn't expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

You may purchase a copy here.

My Review

Honestly, this book was an 1880s season of The Bachelorette.  However, our heroine, Willow, did not ask to participate, but rather cooperated with her family's plan out of respect for them.  Not intending to marry, she was surprised with the situation, yet graciously acquiesced.  Willow was beautiful, sweet, and smart, and had the desire to continue the success of her family's business.  The young men were specifically chosen for this contest, and each personality was defined.

As the book continued, it became more and more entertaining.  There were a few behind-the-scenes mysteries to be solved, and plenty of angst.  It was also quite illuminating how the New York's wealthy set were always in the newspaper, for good or for bad.  It seemed strange that the entire city would want to read about the balls, dinners, and contests of the wealthy, but that's what was published.

I loved Willow, and I enjoyed the book more and more as I read, so I recommend it.  Those who enjoy reading about the New York Four Hundred in the 1880s will enjoy this book.  I especially recommend this to fans of Jen Turano's novels.

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

Grace Hitchcock is the author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Dakota, and son. Connect with her online at