Monday, October 28, 2019

Review ~ Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian England by Michelle Griep

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.


I am in no way affiliated with any vendors. Links are provided as a courtesy only.

My Review
4 STARS!!!

"I may be uneducated in the ways of business, but there is one thing I know. Either your faith will move mountains, or your doubt will create them." 
~Bella, The Old Lace Shop

Griep does a good job depicting Victorian era locales; homes, businesses, countryside. I could 'see' the finery and manners, or lack thereof, of each character. Scruffy and dirty and/or neat and tidy, they all came alive in my mind. Each story is full of drama, mystery, romance, and human condition. Grab a copy of this illuminating trio and settle in for a few hours of Dickensian delight!

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

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Always Look Twice (Uncommon Justice, #2) by Elizabeth Goddard

Paperback384 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Revell

While photographing the Grand Tetons, Harper Reynolds unwittingly captures a murder on film. But when she loses the camera fleeing the scene, can she and rancher Heath McKade find the camera and solve the murder before the killer makes her his next victim?

CBD (best price)

I am in no way affiliated with any vendors. Links are provided as a courtesy only.

Rebecca's Review
3.5 stars

"She had answers to questions she hadn't even asked, and those answers left her gutted. Broken again."

Harper Reynolds has lived her entire life wondering what would have happened if she had forced herself to look into the face of her father's murderer. Regrettably, she'll never know. As an adult, her recompense is peering through the lens of a camera, becoming a crime scene photographer, until the graphic nature of her work prompts her to take a break.

Harper and her sister Emily decide to travel through national parks, giving Harper a golden opportunity to utilize her eye for detail in a different sort of way. . . . until; upon return to the Teton National Forest in Wyoming, the home of her childhood, her camera makes her an eyewitness to a cold-blooded murder and the ensuing investigation leads her back to a cherished childhood friend, Heath McKade.

The pace is frantic, the story line a bit wrinkled in places, the attraction between Harper and Heath struggles to take root, but in the end, fans of romantic suspense will likely concur that "Always Look Twice" is a fascinating read.

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 over 30 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".

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Review ~ Once Upon a Christmas: Contemporary Retellings of Timeless Tales by Andrea Boyd, Toni Shiloh, Mikal Dawn, Angela Ruth Strong, Jaycee Weaver

Kindle Edition437 pages
Published October 1st 2019

Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.
Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.
Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.
A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.
Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.
A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Once Upon a Christmas is comprised of some of the most imaginative fairy tale re-tellings of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid I've read. They're all highly creative! Three of the stories I found most enjoyable with engaging characters and plots, and would definitely give five stars. The other two were inventive but didn’t quite hit the five star mark for me, hence my overall four stars.

With themes of love and acceptance woven along with faith in Christ, each re-telling definitely has a refreshing quality. I found a new-to-me author that will be on my future TBR list too. For fans of contemporary fiction, it’s worth buying for a few hours of charming distraction that will bring more than a few smiles and chuckles. Just wait until you meet the Uncles. J

I was provided a copy from the publisher with no obligation to post a review but I also purchased my own Kindle copy.

What Christmas stories are you looking forward to reading?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review ~ WYATT (The Montana Marshalls #4) by Susan May Warren

Kindle Edition298 pages
Published October 2019 by SDG Publishing

About the Book

He’s lost her twice…he’s not going to lose her again...

NHL Hockey Goalie Wyatt Marshall has everything--fame, money and a thriving career. But he’s hiding the two things that matter most...a career-ending injury, and his broken heart. He’s been in love with Coco Stanley since she walked into his life at age fourteen, a foster child for the Marshall family. She stole his heart years later, when, after a secret tryst, she returned to her home country of Russia. But she won’t let him back into her life—and he can’t figure out why.

She’s harboring a secret that could cost lives...

Coco Stanley is tired of living her life undercover. Or at least, with an assumed name, always pretending to be someone she’s not. And that’s not the only secret she’s harboring. If Wyatt discovers the real reason she left him, it might just destroy him. She’s resigned herself to loving him from afar...

But when he discovers she’s in danger...

Wyatt is horrified when he learns Coco has been shot and left in Russia, her fate unknown. There is nothing—nothing—that will stop him from finding her. So what if he’s not one of his super-heroic brothers, not a Ranger, not a SEAL...Wyatt is a hockey goalie, a special kind of crazy brave. Except, is he brave enough to face the secret Coco is keeping, or will it destroy everything he’s hoped for?

What will it cost them to save her?

What Wyatt and Coco don’t know is that revenge is stalking her and bringing her home just might cost them their long-awaited happy ending.

Continue the breath-taking Montana Marshalls series!

Susan May Warren

About the Author
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember – I won my first book writing contest in first grade! Over the years, writing has become, for me, a way to praise God and see Him at work in my life. Click here to read more about Susan May Warren.


My Review
5 STARS!!!

“You should have forgotten about me, like I said.”

WYATT is my favorite in the Montana Marshalls series! I’ve loved all the characters but his tugged on my heart the most. Deep-seated insecurities and comparison thinking drive Wyatt, leading to numerous misunderstandings and eventual heartache. Lost love, Coco, has resurfaced and he is intent on rescuing her from whatever circumstance is causing her so much pain. He has no idea what’s really going on but things are about to heat up in the frozen tundra of Russia. J

Warren is the cream-of-the-crop in contemporary romantic suspense. Her ability to accurately portray family dynamics is amazing, all the while digging into the faith of each member and making them stronger apart and together. It blows my mind how similar so many of the root causes of the trials Wyatt goes through mirror my own. And I’m not a man or a hockey player. J It’s a matter of the heart.

If you’re a Warren fan, you’ll love this book. If you’ve never read her books, I would advise you not to read these out of order. Each one definitively builds on the next. I'm on pins and needles waiting for Ruby Jane, thrilling conclusion to The Montana Marshalls, to come out next month.

I was provided a digital copy by the author. No obligation to review. No compensation received.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

THREE Book Reviews ~ KNOX, TATE, & FORD: The Montana Marshalls by Susan May Warren


Montana rancher Knox Marshall's danger years are behind him. A former bull-rider, he now runs the Marshall family ranch, raising champion bucking bulls for the National Professional Bullrider's Expo (NBR-X). Wealth and success are his, but life is stable, expected, and...ordinary. He can't help but wonder if his best years are behind him.

Kelsey Jones just wants a safe life, a family, a home. Onstage, the beautiful rising star of the Yankee Belles becomes the person she longs to be—vivacious and confident—burying the brokenness she carries from a violent assault. Becoming NBR-X's next country act is key to outrunning her past and achieving the success and security she craves.

Knox and Kelsey's paths collide when an explosion at an NBR-X event traps them in the rubble and leaves them reeling. Kelsey's crippling nightmares return, but for Knox, an obsession to find the bomber is ignited.

When Kelsey's past threatens Knox's family, he'll have to choose between saving the Marshall legacy or becoming the protector he's always longed to be.

The explosive beginning to the Montana Marshall series. 

My Review
4 STARS!!!

“You’ll never find your path by looking at yourself, Knox.”

Now I know what all the hype was about with this series of books. A friend loaned me Knox and I was hooked from the first page. A master at storytelling, Warren has impeccably set the scene for the Marshall family with plenty of action, drama, emotion, and humor. I was pleasantly surprised by the deep emotional pull one of the characters had on me. I could so clearly relate to the frustration felt when her world was turned upside down. I especially like that the book spends an almost equal amount of time on two siblings and their love interests. Warren gives multiple POVs from the characters and I love it! The second book will pick up where this first one leaves off like a season finale of a TV show. This is a contemporary romantic suspense and showcases the famous chemistry between characters that Warren is so good at writing. 


Personal security guard, Tate Marshall, has always been the family troublemaker. Maybe it's his propensity to get entangled in other people's problems. Now, he's in over his head because he's desperately in love with the woman he's tasked to protect, the beautiful Gloria, "Glo" Jackson, daughter of US Senator and presidential hopeful Reba Jackson. A member of the country band, the Yankee Belles, Glo was targeted in a recent terrorist attack designed to deter her mother from running, and Tate will do anything to keep her safe. Even if it means letting her go.

Stubborn and brave, Glo isn't about to hide from threats, at least the kind that won't cost her heart. She's already paid a terrible price for the war on terror, and she refuses to fall for a man who might die, especially because of her.

As the presidential campaign heats up and the threats deepen, so does the attraction between Tate and Glo. But what will it cost Tate to keep her alive? And what will Glo do to keep from losing another man she loves?

My Review
4 STARS!!!

It’s hard to believe someone who is a former Army Ranger could doubt his courage and noble deeds but Tate Marshall is such a man. His past haunts him and is tangibly felt within the pages of his story. Gloria Jackson is his perfect counterpart, if only they can figure it all out. Another thrilling ride with the Marshall family, along with more great characters introduced. Warren is one of the best at creating a fascinating and compelling family on paper. You’ll feel like you know them by the time you’re finished and wish you could take a long vacation at their ranch in Montana, a safe place where family is everything. As with the first book, this second offering incorporates another Marshall brother, and long before I was finished with Tate, I was chomping at the bit to read Ford. Thank you, SGS, for loaning me the book! 


Family…country…or the woman he loves…

Navy Seal Ford Marshall isn’t the kind to stand by and let a woman get hurt—especially when it involves his twin sister, RJ. So, when she makes the news, accused of sparking an international incident, he doesn’t care what it takes—he’s going to find her and bring her home.

But he might need a little help, so he calls on the woman who has had his back during the last three years—Petty Officer Scarlett Hathaway, former communications expert-turned Rescue Swimmer candidate. She’ll help him get into the country, watch his back, and…well, they might be able to have one last mission together before she leaves for a new life, a life he very much wants to be a part of now that she is off his team. Maybe he can convince her to give them a chance to kindle the spark that’s simmered between them for years.

Scarlett Hathaway isn’t sure what future she wants—not when she suddenly has to care for her little brother. Maybe she should quit the Navy and start a life with the man she can’t seem to get out of her heart. So yes, she’ll help Ford find his sister. And maybe, along the way, figure out if they have a future.

But finding RJ somewhere in the vastness of Russia with the FSB chasing them will push Scarlett beyond even her courage and make her question everything she thought she wanted…including Ford. What will it cost her to love a man who saves the world?

And when Ford is asked to choose between saving his sister, saving the world from a war, and rescuing the woman he loves…can he live with his decision?

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Ford is a fast-paced story with great family dynamics. That's one of my favorite aspects of the Marshall clan. Warren writes family better than any author I'm familiar with. This book was loaned to me by a friend and I'm so glad she got me started on this series!

There's probably a lot more I could have said about FORD but the synopsis does an excellent job. All I needed to add was that I enjoyed the book and how great Warren is at incorporating deep faith themes into her stories. 


A dear friend loaned me all three books in September so I would be ready to read WYATT when it comes out this month, TODAY, in fact!!! Little did I know at the time I borrowed these books that I would apply for the upcoming launch team and actually get chosen! I have been a huge fan of Susan May Warren for years! If you enjoy action-packed, fast-paced, faith-filled fiction (both contemporary and historical, because Warren writes them both), then she is an author you need to read. 

Do you have any recommendations for other authors that cross genres and still do an amazing job at creating meaningful stories? I would love to hear from you in the comments! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


SUSANNE is the winner of 

An email has been sent and if we don't hear back from her in 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks to all who came by and participated in the giveaway!

Rebecca Reviews ~ A Distance Too Grand (American Wonders Collection, #1) by Regina Scott

Paperback384 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Revell

When a spunky photographer wrangles her way onto an 1871 survey crew of the Grand Canyon she thinks nothing can stand in her way. But her mind changes when she finds out she'll be working alongside the one man she doesn't want to fall in love with.

3.5 stars!!!

"Men don't like haggling with women, Meg . . . . Just smile and look pretty, then show them you can do the job better than any of them."

With her father's advice ringing in her ears, Meg Pero stares down Fort Wilverton's clerk and asserts herself right onto the army's survey team as the contracted photographer on an expedition along the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that the officer in charge would be someone she knew. Knows. Rather well.

When Captain Ben Coleridge steps into the middle of a rather heated discussion between a lovely young lady and one of the fort's clerks, he can scarcely believe his eyes; it's none other than Meg Pero, still as stubborn as ever, and quite alone in the world with the passing of her father. In spite of their past, Ben doesn't question Meg's abilities to document their assignment. It's just that there is more going on that he can divulge, and he is not sure how to maintain a professional distance from the woman he once petitioned to become his wife.

"Then let's follow the path and see where it leads." . . . . "Spoken like an Army engineer."

Interesting subject matter, lovely word flow, and characters who fit quite comfortably in their own skin, combine to make this historical romance both fascinating and entertaining.

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 over 30 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".

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Hopes Highest Mountain (Heirs of Montana #1) by Misty Beller + GIVEAWAY

Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

On her way to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, Ingrid Chastain never anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man, she's hesitant to trust him, but the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

Rebecca's Review
3 STARS!!!

"God has a plan in this . . . . We need only to make sure we follow His leading."

Ingrid Chastain's plans were to accompany her father to Settler's Fort with life-saving vaccines, but when a tragic accident leaves her critically injured on the side of a Montana mountain, she suddenly has to rely on a reticent savior, a mountain man who introduces himself as none other then Dr. Micah Bradley.

Micah Bradley has been battling hopelessness and despair since losing his young wife and daughter to the ravages of small pox. Happening upon the wreckage of a supply wagon, he is able to rescue the lone survivor and transport her back to his rustic camp site.The lovely young woman has suffered much and is in no shape to travel, yet she insists that they continue across the snow-laden wilderness with the contents of a carefully wrapped crate. Their journey, and that of those they meet along the way, proves that eternal hope may be found on the highest mountains as well as the darkest valleys.

Readers will feel as if their own feet are slipping along the icy trails in this dramatic story of survival against all odds, as Micah's faith is rediscovered and strengthened through the sweet example of the one whom he declares that, "God kept you alive for me."

I received a copy of this book from the author and 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 over 30 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".

Giveaway Instructions

Rebecca is offering a copy of Hopes Highest Mountain to one blog follower.

1) You must follow the blog through GFC in the right sidebar >>>

2) You must leave an email address in a non-spammy format
(jane at here dot com) so you can be contacted if you win.

No email. No entry.  

(Unless I know you really well!!) I won't chase you down. :-)

3) Answer the following: What book are you looking forward to reading this month?

US Only (48 contiguous states) because postage is a bear!

Winner will be drawn on Oct 8th.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Time Flies When You're Having FUN!!!

I'm not sure where September went but it flew by! I can't believe it's October already.

This my dear friend, Tracey and I, at work. Yes. Work!!! 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

This was after a busy non-stop four hours! 
I started a part time job in September as a Keto Baker's Assistant!!! I haven't had a 'real' work-outside-the-home job since...well...ever!!! And by that, I mean a paying one! Not since I graduated high school and before I got married, that is. It's a lot of fun and even though it's not too many hours, I am not used to standing on my feet for several hours at a time. It has shown me how out of shape I really am!!! As if I didn't already know.  :-) 

You can check out some of the sweet treats Pro Baker Tracey Ferguson and I make right here. Tracey is also a certified Essentrics Instructor and Keto Health Coach. 

Read more about Tracey on her website at: Live Sprightly Co, or connect with her on Facebook (Be sure and LIKE her page to receive updates), and Instagram

What's everyone up to now that summer is officially over?? 
I still can't believe that!