Archive for the ‘book review’ Category






Conflict on every side, and within as well. The sound of musket fire, the acrid smell of smoke—and the putrid smell of blood and death.

And within her heart, the cry of compassion for a dying man. A man wearing the uniform of the enemy.


When Rachel Garnet seeks her brother and their father after a British invasion, she is heartbroken to learn her father is already dead. Leaving the valley—the battlefield—with her brother, they hear a cry for help.

A British officer.

Rachel cannot bear to leave him to die in the woods—but what does she risk to have the man in their home.

But as the man recovers his health, his memory fails him. Who is this man Rachel and her brother have rescued? Who are they harboring within their walls?

As the enemy begins to regain his health, he also struggles to recover his memory. Rachel is drawn to his mild manner, and to his knowledge of Scripture.

And the conflict in her heart takes a dangerous turn as she falls in love with him. Will the conflict get them both killed? Or will their love triumph?



Ms. Couch has portrayed love that takes root in the most unlikely circumstance. She has given us genuine characters that display every emotion, and volley back and forth within those emotions. She has written characters who struggle with the reality of their lives and the brutality of war. I felt Rachel’s heart as she was torn to do her Christian duty to her sworn enemy. And I felt the conflict as her heart stirred toward him. I walked alongside her in 18th century America, felt the strain of daily life, and the constant threat of discovery. A vivid story of faith and compassion and love.




This book was given to me as a gift. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



Angela K Couch is an award-winning author for her short stories, and a semi-finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis Contest. Her childhood was spent listening to her father read chapters from his novels, and Angela decided young to follow his path. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. Angela lives in Alberta, Canada with her “hero” and three munchkins. Visit her at http://www.angelakcouch.com, or follow on Twitter or Facebook!
To learn more and to see her latest news, please visit:







#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Scarlet Coat, Angela K. Couch, Mail-Order Revenge, I Heard the Bells, Patriot and the Loyalist

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When one tidal wave crashes into another is a double disaster? Or do two negatives make a positive?


Losing at love becomes her second crisis when Liddy Buckle receives an unwelcome diagnosis. As she wades her way through post-surgery recovery, and a cold and distant faith, the last thing she wants is romance.


After the loss of his wife, the last thing on Beau Quinn’s mind is romance, too. And yet he is drawn to this fragile woman, Liddy. The loss of his wife shook his faith—and he is stronger for it.


But when Liddy continues to visit Beau’s church, her faith begins to take hold. And they develop a connection. But will her heart give in to her fears? Or will love overcome them?




Ms. Carobini’s story drew me in from the first page. Her natural style of writing brought me quickly into the story. I particularly love the dialogue, the way conversation really happens, the natural flow and hopscotch of comments and banter.

Liddy became my friend, and I was with her as she moved to start her life over. I was with her when the first symptoms appeared and then her diagnosis. I was post-surgery last year (different issue altogether) and I felt her struggle to regain strength through her recovery. I rooted for Beau as his affection for Liddy grew, and wanted to throttle her for turning away. And with both of them, I know all too well, the struggle with faith as it ebbs and flows.




I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.





Julie Carobini is the bestselling author of Walking on Sea Glass, The Christmas Thief, the Chocolate Series, and the Otter Bay Novels, including the popular, Sweet Waters. She has won numerous awards, and RT Book Reviews says, “Carobini has a talent for creating characters that come alive.” Julie and her family live in California where she loves all things coastal (except sharks). Please sign up for her occasional newsletter, where you’ll learn about new releases and freebies for your Kindle: http://www.juliecarobini.com
















#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Walking on Sea Glass, Julie Carobini, Chocolate Beach, Sweet Waters, Truffles by the Sea, All Was Calm, Mocha Sunrise

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A young pastor who doesn’t know his strength or calling. A mythical queen who needs him to save her land.


Brian Reynolds had a plan. But God had a different plan. Brian had a heart for the Gospel but he wanted to pastor an easy little church in a comfortable country town. Not in a crime ridden, inner city neighborhood. What did he have in common with thugs like that?


Fauna’s world was dying and it was time for the vision to become reality. But she must leave her realm, Bellanok, to bring the man to her world.


That man is Brian Reynolds.


Confronted with Truth he denies, Brian resists Fauna and her guardian’s proposition. Until demons materialize and Brian comes face to face with evil in flesh form. Suddenly he is fleeing with Fauna and Roman—straight to Bellanok.


The land is nothing he’s ever seen and everything he’s heard of—in fantasy tales. But even he can see the destruction of death and sin upon Fauna’s world. What he doesn’t see is how he is their savior.


Will Brian rise to the occasion? Can he embrace this role thrust upon him? Will he see Creator’s purpose in all that is foreign to him? Can he save Bellanok?



Ms. Burke’s debut novel brings to life a bevy of favorite fantasy creatures, living in an innocent protected realm. As these creature encounter sin and death, the Gospel message becomes reality, even to fairies and centaurs and dragons. Ms. Burke weaves Truth into fantasy, and victory into darkness. The world she creates is vivid and real, the characters alive with passions and fears. She portrays evil with discernment and understanding of its power—that of deception and fear.

In a classic tale of good vs evil, Ms. Burke brings truth to the battle, and characters that readers will love.




This book was given to me as a gift from a friend. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE BEYOND! She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

















#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Bellanok, Ralene Burke, The Reluctant Savior Series

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WOWIE! This story grabbed me from the first words and didn’t let go to the end. It still hasn’t.


I once read that all families are dysfunctional in some way. The Masters family embodies it. With the mother deceased and the father in prison, one sister on drugs and one deformed, and a stepbrother out for number one—and willing to sell his own sister for personal gain.


Lily, however, clings to the shred of survival instinct she possesses. A blizzard changes the course of her attempt to escape her brother’s plans, and lands her in the care of Cam Taylor.

Cam, however, has stumbled into a hornet’s nest of his own—a cold case racially charged murder.

As these two volatile issues collide, Cam and Lily sift through layers of lies, revealing truth underneath.




Ms. Lickel gave me not only real people with whom I could sympathize, but plausible situations that elicited my own apprehension. With each new twist, and there were a bunch, I was as lost as Lily, my trust waning, my desperation for her ratcheting up. I wanted to spit on her father in his cell and gouge her brother’s eyes out (or worse.) I bit my nails as her nephew fought for his life and wept for a ten-year-old little boy so neglected. Ms. Lickel has brought so many pieces to the puzzle of a story and created a mosaic of hope in the end. She has won a new fan in this reader.





I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



51gry3o9ful-_ux250_Lisa Lickel lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book #reviewer and #reader, writing mentor, workshop leader, freelance #editor, and blogger. She loves to encourage new #authors and is a member of Chicago Writers Association, Council for Wisconsin Writers, Womens Fiction Writers of America, and Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp & Writers Retreat. Find more at LisaLickel.com.








#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Understory, Lisa J. Lickel The Newspaper Code, The Last Detail, Meow Mayhem


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Series: Penned in Time
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Publication date: December 6, 2016
Number of pages: 327Fiction, Historical, Romance, Christian

Jessica Ross’ scars run much deeper than the wounds of war. Determined to escape the ghosts of her past and the German influence on her nightmares, she returns home to the sleepy Appalachian town of Hot Springs, NC, only to find the renowned Mountain Park Hotel has been converted into a ‘prison’ for displaced Germans. To Jessica’s dismay, her grandparents have befriended one of the treacherous internees.

August Reinhold has not only found kinship with Jessica’s grandparents, but as they share their granddaughter’s letters from the Front, he discovers a

surprising bond drawing him toward the independent and beautiful woman. Displaced by a war and a painful history, he finds Hot Springs and the intriguing Jessica Ross a tempting place to start over. Determined to scale the heights of her bitterness and show her the power of love, August faces more than just Jessica’s resistance but a more devious design to harm the civilian sailors housed in Hot Springs.

Will August’s tender pursuit bring Jessica the healing and hope she needs, or will bitterness force her into the hands of a “true” enemy waiting to destroy much more than her heart?



slide-5Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, Facebook, Instagram, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.







1.What do you want readers to take away from reading The Thorn Healer?
The Thorn Healer is really a book of hope – hope for healing, in particular, and peace. Life is not easy. It’s a broken place filled with broken people who all need to know there’s a love much bigger than our suffering – a Savior who can mend our brokenness in a way nothing else can.

2. Do you ever travel for research?
Oh YES! I would at every chance I could get if I had the money J In this case, the setting for TTH is only an hour away from my house, so I did get to travel to Hot Springs for my research.

3. What type of research did you do to write the Penned in Time series?
Lots of reading! I have several books, both fiction and non-fiction, related to the history of this little town in Western North Carolina’s history, but I also did lots of interviews with people in Hot Springs as well as the authors of some of the research books. Of course, using the same time period as the previous two books in the series helped with basic information and also being a product of the Blue Ridge Mountains helped with culture J

4. I know you have a season pass to the Biltmore.  What makes you love the Biltmore so much?
Oh goodness, I’ll share pics of the Biltmore ANY TIME! 🙂 There is something truly magical about being able to step back into time in a place that celebrates such time-travel. Not only is the Biltmore beautiful and a surprising find in these Blue Ridge Mountains, but it also holds a unique and heartwarming story about a couple who truly touched the lives of the Appalachian people in this community – something very close to my heart.




  1. What are you currently reading?  What drew you to or inspired you to read this book?
    I’m actually reading two books for two reasons. I’m reading Such a Hope by Sondra Kraak and I’m also reading my crit partner’s, Amy Leigh Simpson, newest book. Sondra’s I’m reading to influence, and such a great, brooding hero! Amy’s I’m reading for fun – and wowzah! GREAT romance and suspense – as usual. She does such snappy and fun dialogue.


6. When you are not writing or working as a Speech Language Pathologist, what do you like to do?
Hang out with my kids! I also enjoy spending time in the mountains, walking and looking at the amazing scenery. Research is super-fun too. And, of course, I read. 🙂



  1. Holiday– Christmas
    2. Cookie– Preacher Cookies (aka chocolate/oatmeal no bakes)
    3. Date option – Nice dinner and then the local bookstore…maybe ending with a stroll through the park or drive through the mountains
    4. Tea – sweet, warm or cool
    5. Vacation location – UK….EVERY time!
    6. Animal – wolf, followed quickly by labs
    7. Scripture – (One of my favorites) Ephesians 3:14-19
    8. Chocolate – ALL, but I guess my favorite is dark
    9. Restaurant – I really like Carrabas, but I’m open for a new favorite
    10. Book genre – romance…all kinds



  1. Jessica was an EXTREMELY difficult character to write, from beginning to end. I think it was a personality trait for her 😉
  2. I had not planned on Anna showing up in this story…or Cliff – but I’m so glad they appeared.
  3. Hot Springs is a real place that had a real German internment camp during World War 1 (not 2)
  4. The author of the book The German Invasion of Hot Springs was an amazing resource for history into both Hot Springs AND the internment camp
  5. A little historical tidbit here – many of the people in Hot Springs didn’t know about the existence of the internment camp because everyone stopped talking about it when World War 2 broke out. They were ashamed of their involvement in having Germans in their town.
  6. There is still one artifact left in Hot Springs of the Germans presence there – but only one – except for any personal artifacts family members have passed down (a painting is one I know of)
  7. The Hot Springs in the town are still active and people still come to use them, though the site is NOTHING like the grandeur and elegance of the former hotel that used to stand on the site.
  8. In history, nobody knows who started the typhoid epidemic that takes place in the book.
  9. I created Sylvie to go with Jude so I could write a World War 2 romance of them 😉
  10. There’s a funny story to the cover design. The stock photo of the woman used is of a woman in a strapless wedding gown…neither of which was appropriate for the era OR my heroine. So…we had to decide on a ‘romantic’ way to cover those shoulders….thus the train smoke emerged.



He’d learned hard lessons on patience—lessons, no doubt, she’d push to the edge if his first few days with her proved typical. But he’d found his home in Hot Springs. He’d never known what it meant to belong somewhere until he’d run to the assistance of Dr. Carter when a woman collapsed at the train depot a few months after his arrival to the camp. From that moment, the gentleness and forbearance, the trust, offered by Dr. and Mrs. Carter began the long and sweet healing August’s heart needed.
A place of belonging.
And Jessica’s entrance, along with the three-inch block of resentment on her shoulder, threatened to wedge distance between August and his beloved Carters. If nothing else, he had to win her indifference, but he wanted much more.
“You have had a busy entrance, no?”
She slid him a glance from her periphery and continued moving forward without a response.
“It must be difficult returning after so long. Much has changed for you but stayed the same for your small town.”
Her sudden exhalation of air broke the quiet and she shot him a heated look. “My small town hasn’t stayed the same from where I’m standing, Mr. Reinhold. The flood. The camp.” She focused ahead. “Not the same at all.”
“The spirit of your town is the same. Kind people, like your grandparents, and the beauty of the —”
“You need to understand something.” She stopped on the trail, her palms planted on her hips as she turned the full brunt of her fiery gaze on him. “We are not going to be friends.”
He combatted her statement with a shrug. “I am an optimist.”
She groaned and resumed her frantic pace up the hillside, slowed only by the limp in her stride. Silence moved between them like a wall. August glanced up at the afternoon sky, awash with a mixture of clouds and sun. He had to return to camp by dusk or he would endanger the freedom his good name allowed.
“Just because you think you know my grandparents doesn’t mean you know me.” Jessica’s words erupted in a harsh whisper, fueling her steps to an even faster rhythm.
He kept the pace. “No. But knowing the kindness and the welcome from your grandparents has made me wish to know you as well. They assure me you can be kind.”
She turned the power of those emerald eyes on him, her mouth dropped wide. “Of course I can be kind. I’m a nurse, for heaven sakes.”
“I would not see the two as related.” August shoved his hands in his pockets, holding his grin in check. At least he had her talking. “Nurses have always brought needles and stings to me.”
Her brow tilted skyward. “Perhaps you deserved the needles and stings.”
The grip on his smile loosed completely. “No doubt, Nurse Ross. No doubt.”
Her gaze hesitated in his before she jerked her attention back to the path ahead and tightened her jaw into a line of defense. The fiery glint in those large eyes fascinated him. He knew the gentleness and longing braided through her letters, the dry humor and compassion infused onto the pages. But those eyes added a dimension of depth he’d failed to anticipate. Fascinating. Challenging.




Jessica Ross has seen things. She had seen men bleeding and dying, she has seen bodies dismembered, she has seen unthinkable disease. She has seen death.


She has seen war.


Jessica returns from the ravages of war wounded and with her own scars, scars that have left her lame. And scars that have left her soul crippled. She comes home to the town that nurtured her as a child, only to find the enemy has preceded her there—a German internment camp is now situated right there in town.


And a certain German sailor continues to cross her path.


August Reinhold is well familiar with emotional wounds. A father’s disapproval and a Fatherland on the warpath. A path August could not reconcile with. And yet, through all the turmoil life has pitched at him, his deep and profound faith is his hallmark. One that flies in Jessica’s face.


Can Jessica allow that faith to be the balm to her battered heart, and allow her own battered faith to emerge again? Can she release her heart from the grip of prejudice toward the Germans and embrace the man? Can she let her heart love, truly love again—and be loved?


Ms. Basham is magical with words. She weaves her stories and draws the reader right into the story world. The struggles and heartaches that both Jessica and August face are very real, as are their reactions. Ms. Basham has poignantly illustrated the juxtaposition of living in love, and running from it. I felt Jessica’s terror as it returned to her again and again, and I felt her heart as it melted, oh so slowly, like snow in the sunshine. I felt August’s certainty, and his assurance as he fought his way through her shell of armor.


I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.











December 5Bookworm Mama | cherylbbookblog
December 6Bibliophile Reviews
December 7Faithfully Bookish | Singing Librarian Books
December 8Flowers of Quiet Happiness
December 9Smiling Book Reviews
December 10Reading Is My SuperPower
December 11Red Headed Book Lady | Christian Bookaholic
December 12Cherry Drop Princess
December 13Toni Shiloh Soulfully Romantic | Robin’s Nest 212
December 14Book by Book
December 15Cordially Barbara
December 16The Green Mockingbird


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 In the darkness of the storm’s shadow, only truth can light her way.


In a time when sexual purity was paramount for new brides, even rape was considered a reason to be rejected by a prospective groom.


The stain on Shira’s soul became a stain on her family, and condescension was all she knew. Her confidence non-existent, Shira obeyed her mother’s expectations—and derision—without question.


And yet, as her skill with midwifery becomes evident, Shira strikes out to learn what she can, and to practice her trade.  Until disaster strikes, and her new confidence is smashed to the ground. No amount of pep talk or coercion can dissuade her.



Ayal, too, has a stain on his past. And yet their mutual attraction grows. Can they overcome the obstacles that come against their affection? Will his confession drive her away?  Will the cruel scheming of another drive them apart?


Or will the Truth have victory in Shira’s heart? Will she come to know and accept her own strengths and the love of a good man? Will she rise from the ruin of her past to become the woman Yahweh has created her to be?



Another favorite story by a favorite author! Ms. Cossette has created a sparkling sequel to her first novel. As with the first story, I was riveted from the first page. With each spark between Shira and Ayal, my heart leapt. And with each turn that came against them, my heart plummeted                    along with Shira’s. This reviewer knows all too well the sense of worthlessness and failure, and I identified deeply with Shira’s struggle to do what is right and best. And with the notion that her dreams are lost.

And I triumphed with Shira as she overcame each obstacle.

Another skillfully woven tapestry, Shadow of the Storm, is a story that adds depth and dimension to the Biblical truth of the plagues of Egypt.




I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.






slide-4Connilyn Cossette is the author of the Out from Egypt Series with Bethany House Publishers. When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kiddos (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on scraps of paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Texas where she loves the people but misses mountains, tall trees and barefoot-soft green grass. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into fiction. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com










Shadow of the Storm, Connilyn Cossette, Out of Egypt, Counted With the Stars, Biblical Fiction

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Seems Logan Dermott’s carefree ways aren’t so carefree anymore. Has love finally clipped his wings? Or has love finally set him free to fly?


Linnea Ranta on the other hand, is freer than she’s ever been, testing her wings and gaining confidence she never had before.


What can two such opposite people have in common? As their shared interest bonds them together in more than casual acquaintance or passing friendship, both Linnea and Logan struggle with emerging feelings of love. And neither of them knows quite what to do  with it. Neither of is sure they can trust their heart. Can Logan trust his heart when all he’s ever known is broken promises? And running away from heartache? Can Linnea trust love when all she’s known is controlling, manipulative love? Can they trust each other—and God—that love this time is genuine and real?



Ms. Comer has once again created a delightful story world with real life struggles, and real life failures. With enviable skill, she has woven intense issues into her charming story. She has put issues this reviewer is well familiar with, and told a story of love triumphing over the deepest heart wounds. In a roller coaster of emotions, Ms. Comer has conveyed the Father’s love stronger than an absent father, stronger than   an overbearing father. And Ms. Comer has written a story of damaged hearts mended.




I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.




6136j5uhtrl-_ux250_Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Her debut novel, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance, won the 2014 Word Guild Award for best contemporary romance by a Canadian author. She injects experience laced with humor into her tales of farm living in this farm lit series that includes Wild Mint Tea, Sweetened with Honey and Dandelions for Dinner. Valerie also writes fantasy as Valerie R Comer.

Find out where food meets faith and fiction at http://valeriecomer.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.


Connect with Valerie at:









Butterflies on Breezes, Tuesday Reviews-Day, Book Review, Valerie Comer, Urban Farm Fresh Romans, Secrets of Sunbeams




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