Saturday, February 13, 2016

Renovating the Richardsons

Renovating the Richardsons
Virginia Smith


Time to relax on the veranda with a glass of sweet iced tea and visit with friends from Goose Creek! 

I am loving this series -- it takes the reader away from the stresses of our crazy life and lets her gently smile at the craziness of life in a small town full of big character. Oh, there are stresses for those who live there, but there is a just a different feel about it. Life moves at a different pace, issues are resolved creatively, and love and laughter just come naturally.

Ginny Smith crafts each word in this story in such a way that the reader forgets about the words and steps right into the waiting room of the new veterinarian or sits right on the sidelines of the big softball game cheering for the team. I found myself forgetting that I was reading and I lost all track of time as I got caught up in the story -- that doesn't happen often in our crazy life.

The Tales from the Goose Creek B and B series is just like a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to sit back and enjoy the next book!


Things are finally starting to fall into a steady rhythm in the small town of Goose Creek, Kentucky. Millie Richardson is hard at work renovating a drafty Victorian house into a B&B. Her husband, Al, is busy writing checks for the renovations. And the new vet, Susan, has finally found acceptance from the town—not to mention a hunky new boyfriend, Justin.
But things never stay quiet for long in Goose Creek. The inner-county softball game is coming up, and Millie volunteers Al as team manager. But the softball team is a disaster. If they’re not going to embarrass themselves in front of the whole of Franklin County, Al needs Justin to play. But Justin lives just outside the city limits, and the rules say that players must live in town.
As if that weren’t enough to keep the town gossips busy, a massage therapist has come to town and opened up shop. Imagine—a massage parlor!—in Goose Creek! No decent Creeker will stand for it.
It’s up to Al and Millie—again—to save the day.


Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of twenty-six novels, an illustrated children's book, and more than fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Maggie awards, American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, ACFW's Carol Award, and the National Readers Choice Award. Two of her novels A Daughter's Legacy and Dangerous Impostor, received a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. In 2008 she was honored to receive the prestigious Writer of the Year Award at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Prophetess

The Prophetess
Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith knows how to make the Bible come to life.
She has written several stories about the life and times of women in the Bible, and she is a master of historical fiction.
Deborah, the prophetess and judge of Israel, has always been an intriguing character. She was the only female judge named in the Bible, and she ruled during a deadly time. How did she, as a woman, get the respect of the Israelite people to fill this difficult role? How did that play out in her daily life?
Smith has done a ton of research -- so much so that the reading of the book flows as smoothly as if the reader were watching the action live. She has created life-like relationships between Deborah and her family/community that fleshes out the little information we find in the book of Judges. 
This book will help the reader understand biblical history, life during the tough times of war, and the blessings of following God's lead no matter the cost.

Canaan has ravaged Israel. The people are in hiding. All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman. 

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle--or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates. The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel. Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him. 

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it. Can her family ever understand? Will her people believe God's calling on her life? And can the Canaanite menace be stopped?

With her trademark impeccable research and imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel's most powerful woman in this intriguing and inspiring novel.

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Wives of King David series and The Crimson Cord, as well as the Wives of the Patriarchs and the Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Jill loves to hear from her readers. Contact her at, or follow her on Facebook at or Twitter 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Always Watching

Always Watching
Lynette Eason

Don't pick up this book if you don't have time to finish it! You will NOT want to put it down. 

Lynette Eason is a master of high paced suspense. Her characters are well crafted -- they have strengths and skills as well as weaknesses and faults. She puts the reader right in the center of the action. 
There are a LOT of characters in this book -- many of whom could be the stalker! Even with that many names it was pretty easy to keep track of who was whom as the book progressed. I thought I'd figured out the stalker about four different times -- and it was fun to find out the true one in the end.

If you like a fast paced book full of intrigue and action, this is a great book for you. I"m looking forward to reading more books in this series, Elite Guardians. It is about a group of women who have formed their own body guard/protection agency -- they are strong and well qualified, and they do an amazing job!

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. 

Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him--including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

"Lynette has written another fast-paced book. It's a race against death."--DiAnn Mills, author of Deadlock

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, the Deadly Reunions, and the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Playing the Part

Playing the Part
Jen Turano

I have been waiting for so long (it seems) to read this book -- Jen Turano does such a good job of creating her characters that I long to read more about them. Whenever I pick one up I feel like I'm about to have an adventure with an old friend. Playing the Part gives the reader time to get to know Lucetta Plum, the beautiful actress we've met a few times in prior books.

As usual, Jen creates a whirlwind of activity surrounding some romantic tension and lots of laughs to bring another time in history alive. This book left me thinking about the story line for a long time after I was finished -- each character plays a part in their lives that others perceive as the real 'them'. As we all do in real life I suppose. As a result I've done a good bit of thinking about who I am really versus who others perceive me to be. Good fodder for prayer and contemplation!

Jen has turned out another winner. Playing the Part is full of quirky characters, fabulous homes, great friends, a huge dash of intrigue, and of course a few fun animals that add life and laughter. I'm already looking forward to her next book!


Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucinda’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.
Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.
Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.
JenTuranoJen Turano is the critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House.  Her novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013.
Playing the Part is Jen's eighth book, and the third book in the A Class of Their Own series.
When Jen’s not writing, she spends her time hiking around Colorado, socializing with friends and family, and taking great pride in watching Dominic, who will soon be off to college, turn into a remarkable young man.  (For readers of A Change of Fortune – Dominic was the inspiration behind little Ben – which is why you won’t be surprised to learn Jen’s been slightly taken aback over the fact Dominic’s turned out so well.)
Learn more about her, her books, and the Guilded Age at her website, HERE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thin Ice

Thin Ice
Irene Hannon

I really enjoy Irene Hannon's books. They are always action packed and full of intrigue, and Thin Ice is no exception! From the first chapter when former Olympic ice skater Christy Reed arrives at her sister's house only to find it totally engulfed in flames to the final scene, Hannon creates a riveting story that makes the book hard to put down.

Of course I especially enjoy that her books are set in the St. Louis area -- it's always fun to read about familiar landmarks!

The antagonist in this story seemed just a bit over the top, but then again he's crazy, right? I found myself disbelieving the storyline a bit at the climax of the book, but it didn't ruin the overall appeal of the story.

I fully enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone who likes suspense laced with romance. And I plan to read every book Irene writes in the future!


After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail--addressed in her sister's handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he's coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As he digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: whoever is behind the bizarre ruse has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist Irene Hannon warms readers' hearts as they root for a romance between Lance and Christy, but she pulls out all the stops as this high-stakes thriller chills to the bone in a race to the finish.


Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, and in
 her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Rescuing Finley

Rescuing Finley
Dan Walsh

It's been a long time since a book made me cry and it actually caught me by surprise! It is hard to describe this book in a few words -- sweet, poignant, heartwarming, gut-wrenching are just a few I would choose.

This is a story of unconditional love and hope as told from three perspectives: a dog who gets left behind, a veteran with physical and emotional scars, and a young woman who made too many wrong choices early in her life. Each of them gets a second chance at a future they never expected.

Dan Walsh has done a masterful job at creating a story full of realistic characters that draw at your heart. I love his portrayal of the Paws for Prisoners program -- a real opportunity that seems to make a huge difference in the lives it touches.

I learned a lot about dog training, PSTD, and redemption in this book -- and it was written in such a manner that I couldn't put it down. I was thrilled to discover it is the first in a series - I can't wait for the next book to come early next year!

Another winner. I plan to read every book Dan Walsh writes! Since I've finished the book I keep going back to the story in my mind, and I really appreciate the thoughtfulness Dan put into creating this book. In addition, I learned some great tricks that have helped my three crazy dogs!

Disclaimer -- I was given a free copy of this book to review. This review is totally my own perspective -- I loved it!

You can pick up your copy when it releases on Thanksgiving day here.

Amy Wallace has made plenty of mistakes in her young life, but she didn't see this one coming. Chris Seger is a marine serving in Afghanistan. His life is forever altered by a single, fateful step. A mother of another Afghan war vet suffers a devastating loss, which changes the course of Finley's life for good. Finley is a mostly golden retriever, who suddenly finds himself alone and confused in a dog shelter. Later, he's brought to a prison to be trained in a special program for female inmates. Could this prison actually become the place where Finley finally finds freedom? Rescuing Finley tells the story of how one rescue dog powerfully impacts three tragic lives and puts all of them on a road toward redemption and healing.

Dan’s novels have received popular and critical acclaim, getting rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His very first, Unfinished Gift, won 2 ACFW Carol Awards. It’s still in print 6 years later and has sold over 50,000 copies. It’s available in hardback, paperback, Ebook, audiobook, large-print and in several languages. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.
As of this moment, Dan has 15 novels on the shelves (soon to be 16). His 13th novel (the first to be published independently), is called When Night Comes. It released on November 1st, 2014. In March 2015, his first non-fiction book, Perfect Peace released (a 31 Day Devotional). His last 2 novels with Revell have also come out in 2015. The Legacy, the final book in the Restoration series with Gary Smalley came out in April, and 

Keeping Christmas released in September.
- See more at: 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pieces On Earth -- With an Interview!

Pieces On Earth
Cathy Bryant

This is such a touching Christmas novella! The primary character, Liv, believes her Navy husband has changed positions and will be home for a good long time -- especially over the upcoming holiday. She is surprised by a pregnancy that she didn't think was possible, and chooses to keep it a secret from her husband and family until Christmas day. Then her husband gets called back to Afghanistan, almost immediately, and she is left to be a single mom to her four year old daughter yet again.

Cathy Bryant does a marvelous job of creating the characters in this story. The reader can really feel Liv's pain and frustration. Things get worse, of course, when two members of the squadron are missing and Liv has to go on bedrest.

I love the way Bryant wove the story of Christ through the novella as Liv told it to her daughter. This is a sweet Christmas story full of raw emotions and the true love of Christ.

I received a copy of the novella in exchange for my honest review. I honestly liked this story and I'm so glad I read it -- it got me into the Christmas spirit and I found it hard to put down!

Get a copy on Amazon - here.

As the wife of a naval aviator in sunny Pensacola, Florida, Liv Tulley eagerly anticipates the first Christmas in several years with her husband, daughter, and extended family. Then her husband is unexpectedly deployed for an undetermined amount of time, smashing her white Christmas dreams to pieces. Can she find God's peace in the midst of life's pieces?

Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace. A born-and-bred Texas gal, she enjoys thrift-store shopping, spending time with her family, and romping in the great outdoors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find her up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project. Learn more at  

Cathy was gracious enough to answer a few questions so we could get to know her a bit better!

1. In the story Liv is a Navy wife. You have really gotten a great perspective on the issues of military families -- have you lived this life? If not, what kind of research did you do?

I've never been in the military or a military wife, so I researched the topic via the internet. But my most productive research came from asking Facebook friends about their life as a military wife. One lady in particular could give a great perspective on Navy wives (and answer some of my specific questions), because her husband was a naval aviator and they'd been stationed in Pensacola! :) (Gotta love Facebook friends...)

2. I loved the idea of telling the story of Jesus through the entire Bible in a way a child could understand. When did you first hear this story in a way that was meaningful to you?

I was an elementary teacher in a former life ;) so I relate to kids really easily. I came across a book that takes children through the story from Creation to Revelation, and it struck me as the perfect way to introduce children to the big story of the Bible. As I worked on the story line of PIECES ON EARTH, I knew the overall message of the Bible would be helpful to a young woman searching for God's peace in life's pieces. Sometimes our issue isn't that we don't know the truth, but that we need the reminder. That was certainly true in Liv's case.

3. Christmas novellas are such a great way for a reader to get into the holiday spirit. What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions? 

I love Christmas Eve candle-lighting services, full of music, the reading of the Christmas story, and lighting candles to remind us all that we are to be light-bearers to a very dark world.

4. Writers, I'm told, put a piece of their soul into each book they write. What character is most like you?

I do agree that each of my books has expressed a part of me, usually in a spiritual way. I'm definitely most like Liv in the story, though I'm middle-aged and have no children home. Though I'm not married to the military, I am married to the ministry, and in some ways, the two are very much alike. But the way I am most like her is in going through a time in my life when I wondered if I could experience God's peace in the midst of so many broken pieces.

5. You have written so many great books -- where do you get your inspiration?

Thank you. Inspiration is everywhere for me, but most of the story lines are centered around things that I've been through spiritually--either a lesson learned or a burden God has laid on my heart.

6. And what do you do on those days when your characters abandon you and you have writer's block?

My character's rarely abandon me, though they ALWAYS try to take over. (And I usually let them have their way, because it takes the story in a direction I didn't see coming.) As for writer's block, it's only happened a couple of times--usually when I'm grieving. But usually that grieving leads to some of the better story lines, which was the case for PIECES ON EARTH.

7. What is one question you wish someone would ask you? And the answer, of course! 

Hmm, I'm really struggling with this one... I guess I'll take the easy way out and say: "What are your interests outside of writing?" And my answer would be that I enjoy rummaging through thrift stores (still waiting to find a Picasso hidden in a dusty corner) and mini-farming. We raise chickens, rabbits, fruits & vegetables! 

Find out more about Cathy at her website -