Friday, December 7, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1) by Nancy Mehl

Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers 
 
Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--including Kaely herself--is killed.
 
Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"It was time. Let the mind games begin."

Struggling constantly against the misconceptions of others, F. B. I. profile expert Kaely Quinn does use rather unconventional techniques. Being the daughter of a notorious serial killer doesn't endear her to many of her colleagues, but her inclination to have conversations with imaginary suspects might typically place her into the "nutcase" category, except that she is incredibly talented in her field; some would even say brilliant.

When a chilling poem clearly targeting Kaely arrives on the desk of an overzealous newspaper reporter, it becomes up to Special Agent Noah Hunter to take the lead on the case, solve the riddles and keep Kaely Quinn alive. Her reputation and eccentric methodology precedes her, but Noah has been instructed to keep his "mind on the game" and not allow himself to be attracted to the person within; easier said that done, because Kaely's broken spirit is wrapped in a tender and authentic faith, fully clothing her in courage and strength.

An absolutely brilliant thriller!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions stated above are entirely my own.
 
 
Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".
 
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review ~ The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray

Published October 16th 2018 by Zondervan

An Amish Homecoming story from bestselling author Shelley Shepard Grey.
After going against her better judgment, Irene Keim fell for a wayward Englisch man, sending her life into a downward spiral. But upon his death, she knows it’s time for a fresh start and new adventures.
Irene quits her job and embarks on a month-long bus trip out west and is presented with the opportunity to rent a room from one of the older couples she befriended along the way. Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd are more than happy for the company and the help around the house.
But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

My Review
5 STARS!!!

An Amish Homecoming: Four Stories
The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray

This novella brought back fond remembrances of His Risk, the fourth book in Gray’s The Amish of Hart County series. Irene Keim was introduced in that story and in The Courage to Love we find her living with the Wengerd’s, an older Amish couple that befriended her. With Irene’s volatile family past, the Wengerd’s affection is a balm to her lonely soul and they enjoy many laughter-filled evenings playing Clue. Their home is a safe haven for Irene until their son Marcus returns from an out of town trip and discovers her living there. Marcus has some superiority issues and negative emotions from a former breakup that he hasn’t dealt with but once that is done, the game is on.

The Courage to Love is a quick and enjoyable read. My heart was stirred because of the references to West from His Risk. I won’t give a spoiler in case you haven’t read that one, but he was one of my favorite characters. I loved how Gray builds a complete story in under a hundred pages. Her talent is admirable, for sure and for certain. 

Amish fiction fans will undoubtedly be entertained for a few hours. I’m looking forward to reading the other three novellas included in this collection by authors Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, and Kathleen fuller. 

I was gifted a copy of the book from the author and publisher. No review was required. No compensation was received.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Catching up and...A Caffeine Conundrum by Angela Ruth Strong

The calendar is beginning to fill up with gatherings and I need some downtime to get some housework, cooking, and decorating done. I don't want to feel all frazzled during Advent. That is not what it is about. I want time to focus on the Lord and my family and church. 

From Bold Radio KBLD 91.7
I'm participating (although it's not an official sign-up or anything) in reading a chapter a day in the book of Luke and also a Scripture writing plan for December from 


 She also provides one in Spanish so please visit Sweet Blessings. It's not too late to start!

Of course, it's always fun and relaxing to snuggle in with a cup of hot cocoa or tea and watch TV or read. I've seen a few Christmas movies so far but none that stand out as original. But...as far as reading goes, I just had to share this book. It's called...

A Caffeine Conundrum by Angela Ruth Strong
5 STARS!!!

I’m selective on the books I purchase but I kept hearing about this one. I snagged a Kindle copy and I am delighted I did. A Caffeine Conundrum is funny!!! Marissa and Tandy are two of the zaniest characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Marissa’s antics and Tandy’s thoughts kept me entertained and laughing almost the whole time. Two women—one loves tea, one loves coffee—start out as business rivals. I mean…Come.On! How are they ever going to get along?? πŸ˜‚

Their journey to becoming friends is nothing less than pure ingenuity on Strong’s part. She has brought a whole new dynamic to this contemporary genre of cozy mystery.

If you're looking for a good read this Christmas season, grab a copy! You won't regret it. 



I'll be popping in and out with other tidbits through the month but this week will be several books and then I am done with reviewing until next year! Whew!!

Any yummy baked goods happening in your home this week? Special gatherings with friends and/or family? Are you participating in either of the activities I mentioned concerning Advent? I would love to know how you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, the Messiah! 

Micah 5:2 

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.


Review ~ His Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Avon Inspire 

It’s set to be a white Christmas in Hart County, and Grace King is pet-sitting in a beautiful home with only a difficult dachshund for company. Just as she starts to miss the bustle of her large Amish family, Grace runs into a familiar face. Living right next door is John Michael Miller. He’s a fireman now, but five years ago, he had courted her older sister, then broke her heart. Seeing him again stirs Grace’s anger, but also reminds her of deeper feelings she’s done her best to deny.

The infatuation John Michael once saw in Grace’s eyes is long gone, though his complicated attraction to her remains. He had walked away all those years ago when he realized he was falling in love with the wrong sister. Now, as suspicious fires are set in their community, that’s not an option. Grace dismisses his warnings, and John Michael vows to keep an eye on her. But he can’t help wondering if he’s reconnected with Grace, only to risk losing her again.

Now all John Michael wants for Christmas is to keep Grace safe, in the hopes that they can one day have a future together.
 

Purchase:


Short Review
4 STARS!!!

Revisiting Hart County during Christmastime feels like being snugly wrapped in a favorite fluffy blanket. Gray combines the perfect touch of intrigue and romance. I enjoyed a few hours of simpler days during this time of year with the focus on family and community and charitable actions rather than the standard hustle and bustle and consumerism of the “Englisher” life.  
His Promise is a refreshing cozy mystery read. 

I received a copy from the author and publisher. No review was required.
No compensation was received.
 


Sunday, December 2, 2018

WINNER!!!


Wendy Newcomb!!!

You won The Making of Mrs Hale by Carolyn Miller! 
I sent you an email. :-)

Thanks to all who commented. Be the first to know about future giveaways by signing up through email or GFC to follow the blog. 

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Giveaway ~ The Making of Mrs Hale (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #3) by Carolyn Miller

New Release!!! 


Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 27th 2018 by Kregel Publications

Marry in haste, repent in leisure--Mrs. Hale is about to find out how painful that repentance can truly be.

Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn't turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn't know where--or if he's ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they'll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage.

Carolyn Miller's clean and wholesome Regency romances continue with The Making of Mrs. Hale, following familiar characters as they learn how restoration can occur by finding hope and healing through a deep relationship with God. Full of rich historical details and witty banter, this series continues to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

Purchase:
Amazon
CBD


I am giving away my gently used copy of The Making of Mrs Hale 
(Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #3) by Carolyn Miller.

Leave a comment below including your email address in a non-spam 
format (jane at doe dot com). No email. No entry.

Following the blog is not mandatory but much appreciated. :-)

Giveaway ends 11/30. US Only due to postage costs. (Contiguous 48 states)


Monday, November 26, 2018

WINNER!!!



Betti Mace won the Kindle book, 
The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky!

Thanks to all who came by and left a comment, sharing about how you were going to spend Thanksgiving. 

The Lord has truly blessed us all!!!


 

Monday, November 19, 2018

GIVEAWAY!!! The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky (Kindle edition)


Published: Multnomah (October 15, 2013)

 You can read my review from 2013 HERE.

Obviously, I loved the book! 😍

Carrie wrote a three book series that will satisfy even the most particular of Downton Abbey fans. 


Purchase Links for KINDLE editions:




 I am not affiliated with Amazon and make no money if you use the links to purchase. They are provided as a courtesy only.


I hope you'll pick up the entire series but to start with, I'm giving away ONE Kindle copy of The Governess of Highland Hall to a blog follower. 

Leave a comment below and tell me how you plan to spend Thanksgiving. 

Include your email or your comment won't count. 

If you live outside the US and think you can retrieve the book, please comment!

Giveaway Ends 11/25 
Winner will be announced on 11/26

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!



Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review ~ An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England #3) by Roseanna White

Paperback, 413 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
 Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancΓ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Purchase:


My Review 
5 STARS!!! 

Roseanna White has delivered another impressive and historically fascinating story. Set in 1915 London, it made my heart pound when I read about the airships dropping their bombs. I was captured by the detailed war atmosphere and I could feel the tension and fear fueling much of the cast of characters emotions and mindsets.

Barclay Pearce has undertaken great responsibilities with his ragtag family of orphans. I love how determined he is to instill a sense of security in each one and make sure that they are gently and lovingly cared for. He has a big heart, along with a compassionate and giving spirit. He has become one of my favorite fictional characters. 



There is so much more to this story, that I find it challenging to put the words on paper. Suffice it to say that if you are a fan of historical fiction filled with plenty of action, intrigue, forgiveness and renewal, you will enjoy An Hour Unspent, the thrilling conclusion to Shadows Over England series.

I was provided a copy of the book from the author and publisher. No review was required. No compensation received. 



*I am not affiliated with Amazon or CBD and make no money if you use the links to purchase. They are provided as a courtesy only. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review ~ Stratagem by Robin Caroll

Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Purchase:
 *CBD

My Review
5 STARS!!!

This was my first Robin Caroll book but it won’t be my last. I can see why all the hoopla surrounding her stories. The psychological twists and turns in Stratagem are mind-blowing. The way businesses use these freaky games to encourage team work and/or choose which employee is worthy of promotion is kind of sick and twisted yet absolutely fascinating at the same time. 

For reasons I cannot explain, by the third chapter I knew who the killer was. The frustrating part about that was there was not a single clue to point me in the right direction. It was just a gut instinct. By chapter 10, I did what I never do…I looked at the last chapter, just enough to confirm my suspicion. At first, I was disappointed (in myself) but then the game became to see how the author was going to bring out all the players fears and secrets, and show me why the bad guy was the bad guy. I was not disappointed! I was completely drawn into this story to the point of having a little chat with one of the detectives. I didn’t like all the characters but that’s just a mark of a well-written book.


If you like a thriller mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning pages as fast as you can, you will want to read Stratagem. Not only does it have an interesting plot but the faith theme is deeply moving. There is an incredibly sad element in this story that isn’t glossed over but it is tempered by showing God’s love and forgiveness that leads to freedom.

I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received.
 


*I am not affiliated with CBD and make no money if you use the link to purchase. 
It is provided as a courtesy only.

The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through the Generations by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade


In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Purchase a copy:
*CBD



My Review 
4 STARS!!!  

The Christmas Heirloom, a collection of four Christmas stories following an heirloom brooch through generations of a family, is a unique and enjoyable read. I liked all of the stories but Witemeyer’s is my favorite. It think it's similar to Ruth and Boaz, with a slight twist. ;)

Beauregard aka ‘Bo’ appears to be gruff but as the story progresses we see he has a deep tenderness underneath. Even though this is a novella, it was well fleshed out and I never felt like it was rushed. It is definitely a sweet and romantic story. 

Take a few minutes out of your busy holiday schedule and enjoy a relaxing evening with the fine characters gracing the pages of The Christmas Heirloom. You’ll appreciate the beautiful themes of faith and hope, all wrapped up in love. 

 I was provided a print copy of the book from the publisher. No review was required. No compensation received.


*I am not affiliated with CBD and make no money if you use the link to purchase. 
It is provided as a courtesy only.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fun Christmas Craft Ideas

I realize Thanksgiving isn't even here yet but I signed up to participate in an ornament exchange. The ornament has to be mailed out by Dec 1 so I am on the hunt for something quick and easy yet still pretty. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment and let me know.

As I was perusing YouTube, I came across a couple of super fun looking crafts and messy is always better, right? :-)

This one uses paper and glue (lots of glue!), food coloring and sea salt. 




I'm pretty sure you could do the same thing with clear plastic ornaments and it would be safe for the kiddos to make some too!




I am a fan of rustic and shabby so this next ornament might be my favorite!
I think I will definitely be trying this one out.



What do you think? Any of these ideas you might want to try?

I'll be sure and share my finished Christmas ornaments!

~Happy Crafting~

LIMITED TIME OFFER!!! Ends Nov 30th.

πŸ‘€LOOK what's on SALEπŸ‘€
Tamera Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation series on E-Book!!!

 
 

Buy the eBook Collection


eBook:






I am not affiliated with any of these retailers and make no money if you use the links to purchase. They are only provided as a courtesy! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga #1) by Morgan L. Busse

38485496
Paperback, 352 pages
November 6th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
 Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?




Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"There were no choices . . . . . . . her future was dark and bleak."

As heir apparent to the House of Ravenwood, Selene has just been gifted; she's now a dreamwalker, and according to her mother, a surprisingly powerful one. Curious about an ability that the other six regions of her kingdom thought was destroyed, she listens as Grand Lady Ragna describes the seriousness of honing her skills, for she is to be the savior of her people by . . . . . . . . . . controlling the dreams of others to the point of death? It cannot, it must not, be true.

Grand Lord Damien from the House of Waters is convinced that the Seven Houses must unite their gifts in order to avoid an aggressive attack from the nearby Dominia Empire. When called to the House of Ravenwood for a strategy summit, he hopes to build an alliance that will bring peace, the kind of unity that his deceased father longed to establish. Fascinated by the dark beauty that resides in Rook Castle, he cannot help but wonder what kind of strength lies beneath Selene's cold veneer. . . . if he only knew, he is about to find out.

"A leader can serve her people by sacrifice and love."

"Mark of the Raven" captures the essence of light and darkness within an ingenious package of daunting expectations and ingenious characterizations. . . . . .taking its readers on a journey that leads straight to their souls.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

 
Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".
 
 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Short Review ~ Cold Pursuit (Cold Harbor #6) by Susan Sleeman

 Now Available!!!


She’s on the run…
When Whitney Rochester’s brother-in-law kills her sister, Whitney fears for the life of her niece and nephew. She can’t leave them in her murderous brother-in-law’s care so she goes on the run with the children to be sure they’re out of his reach. Or so she thinks until a killer shows up—weapon in hand—at the ski resort where she works and targets her.

But he’s in pursuit.
Former Recon Marine Alex Hamilton is working an undercover investigation at the resort when a crazed man wielding a gun takes out a guy in close proximity to Whitney. Despite not having the support of the Blackwell Tactical team, other than their forensic expert, Samantha Willis, Alex isn’t about to let the shooter harm Whitney or anyone else. When a blinding snowstorm triggers avalanches in the area, it’s too dangerous for the police to reach the secluded resort to stop the killer. Alex and Sam must protect everyone at the resort while they feverishly work to figure out if Whitney or the victim were the intended target. As Alex and Whitney grow close and the killer strikes again, Alex has to find and take down this madman, even if it means risking his own life.

 Available (eBook)




My Review
4 STARS!!!

Cold Pursuit is an arresting story with a line of intrigue that makes it hard to put down. Whitney and Alex are intelligent and savvy, with a pretty good chemistry on the page. Fans of contemporary suspense will enjoy this rendering from Sleeman. This is the sixth book in the Cold Harbor series but the first I've read, and yet I had no trouble figuring out characters etc. I'm looking forward to going back and reading the series from the beginning because I hear there is another book coming. I was gifted an electronic copy of the book from the author. No review was required. No compensation received.



*I am not affiliated with Amazon and make no money if you use the link to order. 
It is only provided as a courtesy.