First Line Friday #48 – End Game by Rachel Dylan

Hi Readers!

I know I haven’t written in a while, but things have been so crazy around here! I’m probably not going to get to write/review much until the end of the year, but I will try to do a better job with my First Line Fridays and maybe (my goal) a few reviews by Christmas. Sooooo, enough about me, let’s get to my featured book! Yesterday I started End Game by Rachel Dylan and so far it is fantastic! I will say this is probably my most intense first line… or so it would seem. 😉 But I promise that this is one book that you have to read past the first line. So without further ado, here we go!

I think they might be keeping dead bodies in their condo!”

First line of End Game by Rachel Dylan

Well just like you can’t judge a book by the cover, you can’t judge it by the first line. 🙂

Here’s the information from the back cover.

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, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there’s a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

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

About the Author

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader’s Choice Award. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find her at I would also encourage you to follow her on Facebook, she puts out some awesome posts and I love her sing along Tuesdays (she puts out a few lyrics to a hymn, and you need to figure out which one it is).

I’ve really enjoyed showing you another book on my must read list and I pray that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and that you are all staying safe. Happy Reading!

Backlash by Rachel Dylan – Review

Hi Readers! Happy Thursday 🙂

Although it’s been a busy week, I have another book to show you and this time it’s from Rachel Dylan! I’ll be honest, I’ve never read any of her books, but now that I’ve read Backlash, I’m going to have to read all of her previous books! So without further ado, let’s head to Washington D.C to find out why Layla Karam is now the target of a dangerous Cartel.

About the Book

Book: Backlash – Capital Intrigue Book 2 (can be read as a standalone)

Author: Rachel Dylan

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 6th 2020

From The Back Cover

With a Target on her back, she’s determined to find answers.

But can she escape the deadly backlash?

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel that puts a target on her back. Though Layla never wanted to be a field agent, Langley had other ideas. After one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens up an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team’s identity to the cartel. She must clear her name with the Agency and protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter–the man who broke her heart–and hope they both come out of it alive. 

For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault.

What Did I Think

Have you ever finished a book and then, just because the ending was so unexpected, you just sat back to think about what you just read? That is what happened with me after reading Backlash. I’ve never read anything by Rachel Dylan before, but I am so glad I gave this book a chance! This book is filled with unexpected twists and turns, that keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to keep reading. The story is about Layla Karam, a CIA analyst who just came back from a field op in Honduras, to find herself the target of the Mejia cartel. Then after an almost fatal attack at her favorite restaurant, she finds out that she is now under investigation, because there is evidence that she is in cahoots with a top ranking member of a terrorist group in the Middle East! Layla has no choice, but to accept the help of her ex-boyfriend whom she thinks cheated on her. And while all this is happening Layla’s friend Izzy is being accused of murder and now she has to keep reliving the worst day of her life.

I know that there is a warning at the bottom of the book about physical and sexual assault, but I wanted to let those who are not content sensitive know, that there aren’t any vivid or graphic descriptions – Izzy just has to tell her side of the story to the cops who thinks she murdered her attacker. Overall, I absolutely LOVED the book, and cannot wait for the third book to come out (at least I have the first book in the series to read in the meantime). I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and definitely list it as one of my Must Read’s.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader’s Choice Award. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find her at I would also encourage you to follow her on Facebook, she puts out some awesome posts and I love her sing along Tuesdays (she puts out a few lyrics to a hymn, and you need to figure out which one it is).

Thank you so much for stopping by – Hope you have a book-filled week!

Happy Reading 🙂

>>Special thanks to Bethany House Publishers,NetGalley and Rachel Dylan for allowing me to read and review this book – all opinions are my own.

The Escape by Lisa Harris – Review

Hi Readers!

I’m thrilled to be a part of the launch team for The Escape by Lisa Harris for two reasons. One, because Lisa Harris is one of my FAVORITE Authors and Two, because this book was AMAZING!! I really can’t wait to tell you about it, but first let me tell you the bookish details. 🙂

About the Book

Book: The Escape. US Marshals Book 1

Author: Lisa Harris

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: November 3rd 2020

From The Back Cover

US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest.

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead–and one fugitive on the run. They’ll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear–and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.

What Did I Think

Wow, wow, WOW!! I didn’t think that Lisa Harris could write a book better than her previous books, but this has to be my new favorite. Seriously, the story grabs your attention from the very first page, when you meet Madison James, a US Marshal who is struggling with the anniversary of her husband’s death. Madison hasn’t been able to find peace in 5 years because she has searched, but never found any clue about his murderer; however, she throws herself in her work so she doesn’t have to think about it. When she is paired with US Marshal Jonas Quinn to escort two dangerous criminals to Denver, everything seems normal — until the plane crashes. Suddenly, they are on a race against time, to find their fugitive before he hurts someone else.

With edge of your seat suspense, a bit of romance and some hidden truths about God’s love and forgiveness mixed in, this book is near impossible to put down. And don’t get me started about the cliff hanger ending!!! I was literally holding my breath for the whole chapter when Madison met her husband’s murderer. Overall, I loved everything about the book – the cover, characters, plot and even the fact that it is a “too be continued”. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars (because they wouldn’t let me do more then 5) and I cannot wait until the next book comes out!!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, as well as Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For,and Deadly Intentions,Harris and her family have spent over 16 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope that you check this book out! If you do, I would love to know what you thought.

Hope you have a book-filled week!

Happy Reading 🙂

>>Special thanks to Revell and Lisa Harris for allowing me to read and review this book – all opinions are my own.

Texas Holiday Hideout Celebration Tour Stop# 35 – Review

Hi Readers!!

Welcome to the Celebration Tour stop# 35, I’m honored to be a part of another tour by Celebrate Lit and I’m so excited to be able to show you another fantastic book to put in your TBR pile. So without further ado, let me share with you Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan.

About the Book

Book: Texas Holiday Hideout (Book 2 in the Cowboy Lawmen Series, but can be read as a standalone)

Author: Virginia Vaughan

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 1, 2020

From The Back Cover

When her identity’s exposed,

hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.

After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

Click here to get your copy!

What Did I Think?

I really wanted to read this book, because I read the first book in the series (Texas Twin Abduction) and LOVED it and this book did not disappoint me at all! I loved reading Miles and Melissa story and this book was so hard to put down – Seriously, I finished it in a couple of hours 😉

The story is very well written and Melissa is incredibly relatable (she is very strong and brave, but also vulnerable. She didn’t ask to be a part of WITSEC, she was kind-of forced to be a part of it for her sake as well as her son’s). The story is that Melissa didn’t realize she was in the Witness Protection Program until she saw her mom murdered (the event happened before the book, so this isn’t graphic). Now she has become the target of a Mob boss, all because she saw the killers face and can testify that he killed her mom. Since there seems to be a leak in the US Marshal’s, US Marshal Miles Avery decides to take Melissa and her son home to his family and pretend that she is his wife. He didn’t tell anyone his location, but somehow Melissa is found rather quickly. After several attempts are made to kill Melissa and no leads can be found anywhere, Miles must tell his secret, in order to get the help that he desperately needs. With page turning, edge of your seat action this book is definitely a must read!! Overall, I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and cannot WAIT until the next book (which comes out in March of 2021)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.

More from Virginia

What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?

This is the premise for my October book, TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target. US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

So, in celebration of TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.

  1. The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
  2. You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
  3. No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
  4. People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
  5. Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
  6. If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
  7. Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
  8. Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
  9. Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
  10. WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.

Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF in March of 2021.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, October 8

Genesis 5020, October 8

Hallie Reads, October 8

Artistic Nobody, October 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

reviewingbooksplusmore, October 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 10

deb’s Book Review, October 10

The Cafe Scholar, October 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 11

KarenSueHadley, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 11

Older & Smarter?, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Simple Harvest Reads, October 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

She Lives To Read, October 13

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

Betti Mace, October 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Lighthouse Academy, October 15

To Everything There Is A Season, October 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 16

Blogging With Carol, October 16

Book Love, October 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Emily Yager, October 18

Labor Not in Vain, October 18

HookMeInABook, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 19

Mary Hake, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

For the Love of Literature, October 20

Bigreadersite, October 20

EmpowerMoms, October 20

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 21

Pause for Tales, October 21


To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Texas Holiday Hideout!!

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

Thanks so much for stopping by, hope you have a wonderful book-filled week!

Happy Reading 🙂

>>Special thanks to Celebrate Lit, Love Inspired Suspense and Virginia Vaughan for allowing me to read and review this book — all opinions are my own.

Miss Tavistock’s Mistake by Linore Rose Burkard Celebration Tour – Stop#24

Hi Readers, Happy Tuesday!

I’m thrilled to be a stop in Celebrate Lit’s Celebration Tour for Miss Tavistock’s Mistake by Linore Rose Burkard and can’t wait to tell you about it! So, without further ado, here’s the book!

About the Book

Book: Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Author: Linore Rose Burkard

Genre: Clean and Wholesome Regency Romance/Romantic Comedy

Release Date: June 4, 2020

From The Back Cover

Can Miss Tavistock’s mistake ever be undone?

Young Miss Tavistock is promised in marriage to Captain Rempeare by the wish of her dearly departed papa. But the captain’s been at sea for a decade. When she finally meets him, tempestuous sparks fly, and she impulsively adopts a daring false identity. Going by “Lady X,” she vows never to marry such an infuriating man. Captain Gabriel Rempeare is prepared to fulfill his duty and marry Miss Tavistock—if only he can clap eyes on her. One circumstance or another keeps them apart, though he cannot seem to avoid the maddeningly lovely Lady X. When fate throws them together in London, Miss Tavistock discovers the real nature of the captain, and regrets her subterfuge. But can such a noble man forgive deceit? Or has her mistake already cost her everything?

Click here to get your copy!

What Did I Think?

This book was so much fun to read! From the moment that I read about Feodora (Miss Tavistock), being saved by her betrothed when they were both children, I knew this was going to be a good story. The book introduces us to Feodora Tavistock, a young lady who has been waiting for her betrothed for several years, even though she hasn’t received any letters from him. When she finally hears that he’s back, she finds out (by reading the newspaper) that he has been keeping questionable company while he’s been resting in London. Unsure of what to think, she creates a test, the ultimate masquerade to see just what kind of person she is engaged to; however, what follows isn’t what she expected and the Captain isn’t who she thought he was.

Overall, this story has a good blend of romance, humor and even danger. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars! *****

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

More from Linore

Miss Tavistock experiences a frightening crush at the Prince Regent’s palace (Carlton House) toward the end of the book which leads to a romantically pivotal scene. But many readers don’t know that what happened that day at the palace really happened.

Here’s the scoop:

The fete in June of 1811 was the Prince of Wales’ first real chance to celebrate his becoming Regent in February of that year in the lavish style he loved.

Like Miss Tavistock, many in the haut ton anxiously coveted invitations. At first reserved only for the peerage and their offspring, by the time of the event, more than 2,000 invitations had been issued to all classes. The details in the story regarding the enormous preparations really happened, and much, much, more.

Since our heroine was not able to garnish an invitation to the actual grand banquet, the extraordinary magnificence of the décor, food, and costume of that night had to be excluded from the book. But it was an unprecedented display, and both amazed and perplexed the guests.

The prince was so happy with his lavish spectacle that he wished to share it with the public. The unruly crowd described in the book happened on the third day following the banquet. It was reported that more than 30,000 people tried to crowd their way in that day. Men and women lost hats, bonnets, coats, shawls, shoes, and even their under clothing. London papers afterwards claimed there were great tubs at Carlton House filled with all the lost items. Our beleaguered heroine escapes with only her shoes and bonnet missing, but her stockings and gown are torn. Perfect situation to be rescued from!

Contemporaries both praised and harshly criticized the affair. It was described as “an assemblage of beauty, splendor and profuse magnificence,” by admirers, but as one of the princes’ “greatest follies and extravagances,” by detractors.3

If you’re not previously familiar with the Prince Regent (later George IV), this might give you an idea as to why I sometimes find him too irresistible a figure to leave out of a Regency novel. His extravagance, flamboyance and tempestuous lifestyle are just too ripe fodder to ignore. Though he doesn’t appear in Miss Tavistock, I have numerous scenes in my first Regency series where he interacts with Phillip Mornay, ‘the Paragon,’ and hero of the books.

NOTE: This post is an abbreviated account of the event, which is included in more detail at the back of the book.

Question: Have you ever been trapped in a crowd? What was it like?

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

Rebecca Tews, September 26

Just Your Average reviews, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 27

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 27

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 28

Genesis 5020, September 28

Worthy2Read, September 29

Connie’s History Classroom, September 29

For Him and My Family, September 30

Betti Mace, September 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Remembrancy, October 1

Artistic Nobody, October 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blogging With Carol, October 2

Labor Not in Vain, October 2

Blossoms and Blessings, October 3

The Book Chic Blog, October 3

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 4

deb’s Book Review, October 4

Simple Harvest Reads, October 5 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

CarpeDiem, October 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 6

HookMeInABook, October 6

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 7

Godly Book Reviews, October 8

Romances of the Cross, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

As He Leads is Joy, October 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 9


To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

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

I really appreciate you stopping by and I hope if you read this book, that you will like it as much as I did.

Happy Reading!

>>Special thanks to Linore Rose Burkard, Celebrate Lit and Book Funnel for allowing me to read and review this book — all opinions are my own.

Pretending to Wed by Melissa Jagears- Celebration Tour Stop# 30

Hi Readers! Can you believe it? Two blog tour stops in one day?!? Well, I LOVED this book and am honored to be a stop in the Pretending to Wed Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. The cover is gorgeous and the story was a great reminder of how God works in mysterious ways and that He alsways has a plan for us. So, without further ado, here’s the story!

About the Book

Book: Pretending to Wed

Author: Melissa Jagears

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 28, 2020

From the Back Cover

It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

Click here to get your copy!

What Did I Think?

I really enjoyed this book! The characters were so relatable and although there was mention of “romantic nonsense” (as the characters in the book call it), there was nothing distasteful, and there weren’t any parts that made me uncomfortable. My favorite thing in the story was Nolan and Corinne’s relationship -how they both had such different personalities, but somehow they worked so well together. I will say that broke my heart that Corinne didn’t feel like she was worthy to be loved, but I loved how kind Nolan was and his caring, selfless personality. I also loved that he wanted to help Corinne follow her dream, even if it crushed his.This may be a classic marriage of convenience story, but I will say it some unexpected twists. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and althrough I haven’t read a lot from this Author, I’m definitely going to check out her other books! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Award winning author, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at

More from Melissa

The Elusive Electrical Spark to Awaken Frankenstein’s Monster

The plot of Pretending to Wed just wasn’t coming together for me. I had the romantic dilemma, but I didn’t love the characters. They were boring. And if I’m going to write a book, a.k.a. read it a bazillion times, I have to really want to read the book myself. I decided to take a break from the weeks of struggle and read. I was recommended a book because of the author’s great voice (I can’t recommend it because it’s not a clean novel), but I loved the fact that the heroine was a scientific illustrator. I wondered if I could give my heroine a scientific hobby and came up with inventing. That single character tidbit was the jolt that awakened Frankenstein’s Monster. She came alive! The research into what she could have patented at the time led my imagination to the egg hatching romance scene in the middle of the story and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to read my book that didn’t yet exist.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17

Writing from the Heart Land, September 17

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 19

Batya’s Bits, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

lakesidelivingsite, September 21

Genesis 5020, September 21

The Book Chic Blog, September 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22

The Collaborative Press, September 22

Betti Mace, September 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24

Remembrancy, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 24

Life of Literature, September 25

Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, September 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 26

Labor Not in Vain, September 26

CarpeDiem, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Splashes of Joy , September 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29

Blessed & Bookish, September 29

Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, September 30

NovelsCorner, September 30


To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!! 🙂

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

I really appreciate you stopping by and I hope if you read this book, that you will like it as much as I did.

Happy Reading! 🙂

>>Special thanks to Melissa Jagears, Celebrate Lit and Book Funnel for allowing me to read and review this book — all opinions are my own.

Jack by Chautona Havig – Celebration Tour Stop #14

Hi Readers!

Welcome to stop# 14 on the Celebrate Lit Celebration Tour for Chautona Havig’s book, Jack; a lot of hullabaloo on the Prairie. I’m so excited to be a part of this tour and cannot wait to show you the book, so here we go!

About the Book

Book: Jack

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2016

From the Back Cover

Women are trouble—lying, cheating, untrustworthy bundles of trouble.

Jack Clausen doesn’t need anyone but his horse and a boss who won’t interfere in his personal life—or lack of one. Sure, he’s a lonely cowboy, but better lonely than brokenhearted. If only he hadn’t met a girl who made him hope that honest and true women do exist. Maybe he wouldn’t be riding off into a snowstorm with a fresh determination to avoid women—indefinitely.

When Hazel Meissner sees a cowboy risk life, limb, and horse to save a child, she knows he’s someone special. When he finally gives her his heart, she considers herself the most blessed woman alive. However, when he rides off without a word, she wonders if her heart will survive the loss.

One broken man. One trusting woman. One orchestrated misunderstanding that tears them apart. What’ll it take to bring Jack home again? It’s Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing mashed up with the old ballad, “Cowboy Jack.” Don’t miss a cast of characters inspired by the Bard himself—especially Dirk and Deborah (Benedick & Beatrice).

Jack: a lot of hullabaloo on the prairie.

Click here to get your copy!

What Did I Think?

First of all, I love that the inspiration for the story was one of the songs her father used to sing– I thought that was awesome!! Reading in the prologue about her dad and the songs he used to sing really made me want to read the book . Now onto the story…

I really enjoyed the first three quarters of the book, but I have to admit that the last quarter was a bit of a struggle for me. Almost immediately, I fell in love with both Jack and Hazel, and I really enjoyed reading how they fell in love, and about how Jack’s past had overcome his past mistakes; however, I felt that everything they had worked so hard to overcome fell apart in the last quarter of the story.

I’ll be honest, I thought about not finishing the book because I was mad at Jack (if you read the book, you’ ll understand) and now that I read the extra note from the Author, I do fell silly, because I didn’t realize that this story also has a little bit of Shakespeare in it and I’m not a huge fan of his stories (which is probably why I didn’t care for the end) Overall, I really liked that it had a sweet story line, and that there is a happy ending, but honestly if it weren’t for Dirk and Deborah, I don’t think I would have finished the book. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars, because although I didn’t like the end, it was a good story and was very well written.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About the Author

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

The Inspiration I Hate to Love

The plaintive notes of a ballad filled the living room. People sat on couches and chairs or stood in the doorway, listening. Three steps up the staircase, out of view of most of the room, a little girl sat, chin in her hands, listening.

If you looked close, you’d see freckles dotting her nose and crooked teeth that never were too large for her mouth like most children’s were. Just a bit closer, and you’d see wide, hazel eyes riveted to the man with the guitar seated on the hearth. To his right, a cup of coffee and sometimes a shot of whiskey.

With a voice like Jim Reeves (the non-twangy Reeves, mind you), the songs told stories, like all ballads do—a little blind girl praying for her father’s future happiness, a girl of thirteen who barely escaped a massacre in 19th century Wyoming. “Hazel eyes,” the man called her. California Joe—he was a real man, although not as good of one as the song made out.

Sometimes the man sang happier songs, but most of them were slow, western ballads that could keep Nicolas Sparks writing for decades.

And the little girl loved them all—especially California Joe and one about a cowboy who left his sweetheart alone on the prairie after a quarrel. One called “Cowboy Jack.”

As you’ve probably surmised, I was the little girl, and that man who sang and stirred the hearts of our family at nearly every gathering was my father.

How I miss those days.

For years, I wanted to give Jack a happier ending. See, the song goes like this. A lonely cowboy (with a heart so brave and true) meets and falls in love with a maiden (with eyes of heaven’s own blue). Alas, as with all good romances, the couple quarrel and Jack rides away. He finds a new band of cowboys and would have been just fine, but someone asks him to sing a song to “drive all cares away.” Alas, the song he devises is one about a “lonely maiden who waited for her Jack.”

Of course, he rides off to ask forgiveness. It’s all his fault. He arrives too late. She died of a broken heart on the “lonely prairie where skies are always blue.”

After I began writing, the idea came to me to turn those songs Dad sang—old ones that had been passed on and down through many different versions—into novels. I’d write all the subtext the songs left out.

I’d give them happy endings.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. One by one, I figured out how to do it, but Jack… well, I didn’t want to change the stories. I just wanted to leave on hope instead of despair

Shakespeare to the rescue!

I was watching Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado about Nothing adaptation, and the answer came to me so clearly. It had the solution I needed. So, I smooshed the song and the play together. Inside, you’ll find the characters Shakespeare created (including Dirk and Deborah and their biting repartee—they steal the show!) in the setting and with the elements of the ballad, too.

Dad’s older now. His hands are gnarled with age, swollen with arthritis. His mind is slipping away. Today, you’ll find his guitar at my house. My son now owns it, but he doesn’t know the songs I heard played on the old Goya. Still, when I take it out of the case, tune it up, and pluck the strings, everything shifts. Suddenly, I’m nine years old again, sitting on my uncle’s stairs, just out of sight, watching. Listening. Heart breaking.

See, I’ll never hear my father play again, and I can’t play either. So, the songs will have to live on with stories of Mary, Jethro, Maggie… and of course, Jack.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 21

Connie’s History Classroom, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23

Bigreadersite, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

lakesidelivingsite, September 24

Inklings and notions, September 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 25

For Him and My Family, September 26

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 30

Lots of Helpers, September 30

She Lives To Read, October 1

Mary Hake, October 1

Daysong Reflections, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Spoken from the Heart, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

Thank you so much for stopping by – Happy Reading!

>>Special thanks to Chautona Havig, Celebrate Lit and Bookfunnel for allowing me to read and review this book — all opinions are my own.

The Shopkeeper’s Widow by Izzy James – Celebration Tour Stop# 19

Hi Readers!

I’m excited to be apart of CelebrateLit’s Celebration Tour for Izzy James latest book, The Shopkeeper’s Widow! So this is a Historical Fiction that takes place in the year 1775 – so without further ado, let’s travel back in time to Norfolk Virginia.

About the Book

Book: The Shopkeeper’s Widow
Author: Izzy James
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: August 21, 2020

From The Back Cover

Delany Fleet, a widowed former indentured servant living in the colonial port of Norfolk, Virginia, dreams of having an estate of her own where she will never have to compromise her freedom.
When the only man she ever loved shows up with a load of smuggled firearms, Delany is forced to leave her home and her livelihood to protect her family and property from Lord Dunmore’s raids and the conniving plots of a man who claims to be her friend.
Now, with her destiny forever altered, Delany must find a new way to happiness. Can reconnecting with her husband’s family and a former love be the path that God has for her?
 Click here to get your copy!

What Did I Think?

I have to admit that I wanted to read this book because of the cover, because I think it’s absolutely gorgeous! The story however, wasn’t as awesome as the cover. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a good story and there were moments that I absolutely loved (like when Delany pretended to be a ghost– which was probably my favorite part), but I also lost interest in the book a couple of times during the middle.

The story is about Delany Fleet, who is my favorite type of heroine. She is brave, strong and is not afraid to stand up for what’s right. She has freed her slaves and is determined to help the militia, but she also longs for a family of her own (especially children). After she closes her shop one day, she runs into her childhood crush; however, she remembers that he only viewed her as an indentured servant and not an equal. She decides to help him with his dangerous mission; however, her heart may be in more danger then her life. Overall, I liked the story and the characters; however, it did lag at times… But don’t give up – this book is definitely worth finishing! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About the Author

Izzy James grew up surrounded by history and story in coastal Virginia. She still lives there with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

A Note from Izzy

Hello! My name is Izzy James. My new book is The Shopkeeper’s Widow. It’s about freedom and second chances. I learned quite a bit of history while researching and writing this book. Did you know that the first showers began to appear in the early 1760’s? I gave Delany one of them in Shopkeeper’s just for fun. It is not likely she would have had a shower at that time, but it is fiction and as such I thought it would be a fun detail to add. We do know that some people did rig up for themselves a semblance of a daily shower by using a bucket full of water suspended above them.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29

Inklings and notions, August 30

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

For Him and My Family, September 1

lakesidelivingsite, September 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 2

Artistic Nobody, September 3 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 6

Connect in Fiction, September 7

Batya’s Bits, September 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 9

The Book Chic Blog, September 9

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 10

HookMeInABook, September 11

Books I’ve Read, September 11


To celebrate her tour, Izzy is giving away the grand prize package of a a book, a can of tea and an Ingenuitea teapot!!

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

Thanks so much for joining me today! I hope you will give this book a chance and if you do.. please let me know! I would love to know what you thought.

Happy Reading! 🙂

>> Special thanks to Izzy James and CelebrateLit for letting me read and review this book — all opinions are my own<<

Almost A Bride by Jody Hedlund-Review

Hi Readers!

I’m honored to be a part of Jody Hedlund’s launch team and I’m thrilled to be able to share with you her latest book, Almost A Bride — So here we go! 🙂

Book info from Amazon.

From The Back Cover

Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

What Did I Think?

Wow, wow, WOW! I really thought that Jody Hedlund couldn’t make a book better than A Bride of Convenience, but this one was by far my FAVORITE!! So the story is about Kate Millington, who has accepted several marriage proposals, but hasn’t followed through with any of them, because she is afraid that she will make a huge mistake — you could say that she has been “almost a bride” several times. She actually came to Williamsville to marry Herb Frank, but she couldn’t go through with it and was rescued by her childhood crush, Zeke Hart. She starts to fall in love with Zeke again, but knows that she cannot have a relationship with him, because she cannot marry someone like her father. The rest of the story is AMAZING, but I don’t want to give any spoilers, so all I will say is that it’s a wonderful blend of romance, humor and suspense.

I absolutely loved how Kate would not go against her beliefs, even when it was apparent that it was breaking her heart. Another thing I loved reading was how Zeke’s character grew – how he was hunted by the guilt of his past, how he ran away from God but ultimately, how he found out that although he pushed God away, God didn’t (and wouldn’t) push him away. My FAVORITE part was the end of the story, When Zeke realizes just how he feels about Kate and his way of showing her is beyond sweet!! but I won’t say anymore then that. Overall, I LOVED this book and wish I could give it more then 5 stars (maybe 10?)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About The Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

**You can join Jody Hedlund’s Reader Room on Facebook for a fun time full of books AND opportunities to join a future launch teams by clicking here

**You can also find out more info about this book and her others on her website by clicking here.

Thanks so much for joining me on this trip to British Columbia — I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! Let me know what you think about the book, cover, characters, or really anything!

Happy Reading!

>>Special thanks to Jody Hedlund, Northern Lights Press and BookFunnel for letting me read and review this book – all opinions are my own.<<

First Line Friday# 47 – To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Hi Readers! Can you believe it’s almost the end of August?!? I feel like Summer just started and now School is starting. *sigh* Anyway, I’m re-reading one of Karen Witemeyer’s books (that I absolutely love!!) and I wanted to share the first line. So without further ado, here’s the first line (actually first few lines) from To Win Her Heart.

“After two years, they’d finally cut him loose. Gave Him a new suit of clothes and everything. Funny though, the shame of the convict stripes still clung to him, as if tattooed horizontally across his skin.

First few lines from To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

From the Back Cover

Do They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she’s reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi’s prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

About the Author

Voted #1 Reader’s Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer ( offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.

What are you reading this week?

I would love for you to join in on the First Line Friday fun by commenting below! Also, don’t forget to check out what other first lines Readers and Bloggers are sharing by heading over to our host blog, Hording Books!

Happy Reading! 🙂