Thursday, December 30, 2021

Rebecca's 2021 Top Reads

Before I change my mind – here are my top reads of 2021 (out of over 215 reads . . . so hard to choose).  

Top Three

Burying Daisy Doe – Ramona Pope Richards
When Twilight Breaks – Sarah Sundin
Under the Magnolias – T. I. Lowe

Top Ten

Tidewater Bride – Laura Frantz
The Curator’s Daughter – Melanie Dobson
Let It Be Me – Becky Wade
Yours Is the Night – Amanda Dykes
A Midnight Dance – Joanna Politano
Shiloh – Lori Benton
The Paris Dressmaker – Kristy Cambron
Between the Wild Branches – Connilyn Cossette
Prince of Spies – Elizabeth Camden
The Ice Swan – J’nell Ciesielski
Honorable Mention

The Lady in Residence – Allison Pittman
Is It Any Wonder? – Courtney Walsh
On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor – Jaime Jo Wright


Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your favorite books once again. I can't imagine how difficult it is to choose so few out of so many but these books look worthy of reading. The covers are some of the most appealing too. I really want to read a couple of these, especially The Prince of Spies! 

Check out Rebecca's Goodreads book list for these books and more reviews! If you’ve read any of her 2021 Top Reads, let us know in the comments. If not, share what you read this year and enjoyed. Do you have any recommendations for us?

Anne's 2021 Top Reads

While I wasn't any kind of marathon reader in 2021, I did read some really good books! I had set a goal on Goodreads to read 20 books. I managed to exceed that and read 36. Now mind you, they weren’t all fiction. I actually read and reviewed several non-fiction titles that consisted of devotionals and journals, an Amish cookbook, and a lovely photography book. I only read 28 fiction books in 2021, of which three or four were audio books.

I have found that as much as I love to immerse myself in a good book, when my creative side suffers, I suffer, so I put aside my desire to read many of the popular CF books available to learn the art of slow stitching and beading. My sister is a master craftswoman in anything to do with a needle so through many texts, images, and video chats she helped me along the way to learning a new craft that I absolutely love!! I have a lot to learn but I was pretty pleased with how my first piece turned out and my granddaughter loves it so that’s all that matters, right?!

My husband and I officially moved back to NC just before Christmas after six years in VA. We just couldn't let our little "hobby farm" go over the years so we're back in the same place we fell in love with almost 23 years ago. There is a lot to do to get rid of extraneous items we don’t need so we can start back a couple of the things we enjoyed so much the first 18 years we lived here, like raising chickens and starting our greenhouse back up.

Oh yeah, back to books, right? In no particular order, I’ve listed seven books that I would highly recommend to my friends. One author made the list twice!!! Each book title is a hyperlink to my review on Goodreads, in case you want to see what I thought. J

When Forever Fades (Spencer Family 2) by Andrea Boyd


Sword of Trust (Winds of Change 2) by Debbie Lynne Costello


Hours to Kill (Homeland Heroes 3) by Susan Sleeman


Let It Be Me (A Misty River Romance 2) by Becky Wade


Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

Hope Between the Pages by Pepper D. Basham

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper D. Basham

Thanks for hanging in here! If you’ve read any of these books, let me know in the comments. If not, share what you read this year and enjoyed. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Have a blessed New Year!!

Rebecca Reviews ~ Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen


In pursuit of an author who could help get her brother published, Rebecca Lane stays at Swanford Abbey, a grand hotel rumored to be haunted. It is there she encounters Sir Frederick--the man who broke her heart. When a mysterious death occurs, Rebecca is one of the suspects, and Frederick is torn between his feelings for her and his search for the truth.

Rebecca's Review ~ 4 STARS

"Calm down. Talk to her before you do anything you might regret."

As the town magistrate, Sir Frederick Wilford has been called upon to settle typical local disputes, but a murder; where to even begin? The Swanford Abbey hotel guests and employees are all under suspicion of course, but there's only one whom Frederick is hoping and praying is as innocent as he believes her to be.

When the very man who has caused her beloved brother so much angst turns up dead, Rebecca Lane is terrified to tell the truth about what she knows, and horrified to admit her half-truths. Especially to Sir Frederick, her childhood friend and admittedly the object of her girlish affections. Time has changed them both, for Frederick is now a widower and Rebecca has been under employment as a lady's maid. Is there room for more? "Thankfully God offers second chances."

This author has long blended history with an air of mystery, but this story takes the concept a step further and reads more like a crime novel, with its "who done it" creeping around every corner and invading every shadow. Utilizing a game of chess and a clever trap, the characters ultimately expose the true culprit while readers enjoy being thoroughly entertained in the process. And the bonus? A sweet romance between two long time friends.

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

Monday, December 20, 2021

2022 is Gonna Start Out with a BANG—Action, Romance, and Suspense—in a NEW Series from Author Ronie Kendig!!!


She cost him everything. Now, he’s forced to protect her.

Stone Metcalfe embodies the Metcalfe legacy—blue eyes, an unfair amount of good looks, and hardcore patriot-laced character. But a foolish lapse in judgment dismantles his name and career. Humiliated and furious, he retreats to his mountain lodge to hide from media hounds and eke out a new life. However, one phone call from an old Army buddy upends Stone’s best-laid plans.

Supermodel Brighton Buchanan had designers and men eating out of her hand until a terrible mistake trapped her in the soul-eating world of human trafficking. Years later, she is used by her captors to take down the best man she’s ever known. The man she loves. Hope lost, she’s unexpectedly freed—and thrown back into Stone’s life. Being forgiven is out of the question considering how much he hates her.

Believing danger and her are one wrong move away, Brighton will do anything to keep him from being ruined again—even if it means going back to that life. As everything is falling apart and threats mount against Brighton, Stone realizes forgiveness is the easy part. Protecting her—and his heart—is another story.

Check out the authors website for more information on STONE and other awesome books:

I pre-ordered my copy back in October but I also made the launch team! Hooray!!! Y'all know she is one of my favorite CF authors. Her talent is bar-none; amazing stories with unforgettable characters and intense storylines. I look forward to sharing my review in a few days!!! 


I'm not affiliated with any retailers so I don't make any money if you use the link(s). They are provided as a courtesy only. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Christian Fiction Book Recommendations for the Book Lover on Your Christmas Book Graphic Form

This is not an extensive list but a few that I thought to share with y'all that I've enjoyed reading, whether this year or in the past. Some  are part of a series so be sure and check them out on your favorite book info site.

I've also read some really fun novella compilations, especially last year's Something Borrowed with authors Teresa Tysinger, Andrea Boyd, Jaycee Weaver, Toni Shiloh and Mikal Dawn. Each of these authors has since released the novellas independently. I think they're all available on Amazon. Here are the graphics I did for those with updated book covers.

Can you recommend any books that you've enjoyed this year to give as gifts?

Leave a comment and let's chat!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Author Interview & Review + Giveaway - The Debutante's Code | Thorndike & Swann ~ Regency Mysteries | by Erica Vetsch


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Do you have a fiction lover on your holiday shopping list? Look no further for a gift suggestion! Just in time for the gift-giving season, award-winning author Erica Vetsch is kicking off her new Thorndike & Swann Regency mystery series with the release of The Debutante’s Code (Kregel Publications). This new series combining a historical setting, romance, and mystery has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. With that combination, where can you go wrong?

Q: Introduce us to the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series which has been described as Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes.

This story has been a long time in the making! It has to be almost ten years ago that I first thought up the story idea, and originally, it was set in Gilded Age New York. But when I began writing stories set in Regency England, I realized the original tale could easily be adapted to the Regency Era.

Our heroine longs to be reunited with her parents and have her debut season in London, but her plans go awry when her parents do not meet her at the docks and are, in fact, missing. She discovers that she comes from a long line of spies for the Crown, and she has a choice, either to finish what her parents started, or turn her back on her heritage and become the socialite she assumed she would be all along. Her mind is made up when murder is afoot.

Our hero is a Bow Street Runner, one of London’s earliest policemen, and he’s on the hunt for a stolen painting…then other valuables from the same shipment of rare items disappear one by one, and an art dealer is found murdered in his gallery. Each clue leads our hero closer and closer to the thief and killer, but he’s disconcerted to find that his chief suspect has become the debutante he finds so attractive.

Q: Tell us more about your leading lady, Juliette Thorndike.

Juliette is fresh from finishing school in Switzerland, where she has been for several years. Because of Britain’s ongoing war with France, her parents determined a cloistered school in Switzerland was a safe place for her to remain, especially while they were doing daring deeds for the monarch. Juliette is an accomplished toxophilite, avid reader, puzzle solver, and good dancer. 

Most of all, Juliette yearns for her family to be reunited. She was a child when she was sent to Switzerland, and she longs to know her parents as an adult. They have been in frequent communication via letters, but it isn’t the same as being together in person. When she discovers that her parents have kept such a dire secret from her all these years, she wonders if she’s ever known them at all.

Q: Juliette has a somewhat fantasized view of who her parents are, yet she really hasn’t spent that much time around them. What happens to make her realize she’s never really known them at all?

They’ve hidden so many things from her—from her heritage to their activities and hidden rooms in their house. She has created an image in her mind of what life will be like once they are reunited, but now she wonders if any of it is even possible, much less probable. 

She’s always felt secure in her parents’ love, but if they can lie about something so big, what else have they lied about?

Q: Why does Juliette not only feel abandon by her parents, but abandoned by God?

We often form our views of a Heavenly Father from our experience with our earthly parents, for good or for ill. Juliette has not been ill-treated by her parents, or at least she didn’t think she had, but if they could abandon her on the eve of her coming out in society (in what should be the most important year of her life), can she trust anything about them?

Their priorities clearly don’t line up with hers. They put their work ahead of their daughter. Is that fair? Is that right?

They’ve taught her that God is with her, that He will never abandon her, but can she trust what they have taught her when they can lie so easily?

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceQ: How have Juliette’s parents been preparing her to be a part of the “family business” even though they haven’t been a physical presence in her life? 

A variety of ways, starting with protecting her from the truth when she was very small. They also took great care in the school they chose for her to attend. She’s conversant in French and some Italian as well as English, has been taught the skills required of a young lady in the British aristocracy, such as dancing, deportment, music, and art. 

But she’s also learned a great deal of history, logic, and rhetoric in her curriculum, as well as archery. All skills that will aid her if she chooses to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a spy for the Crown.

And her father added another twist. He wrote to her often, but always in code. A different code each time, growing more complex as she grew and became more adept at deciphering his codes. 

Juliette comes to realize that her parents have been preparing her for her future role, but she doesn’t realize how quickly her skills will be tested.

Q: A Regency novel is not a Regency novel without a swoon-worthy hero. Just who is Daniel Swann?

Ah, Daniel. He’s had very little say in his life up to now, being the illegitimate son of a household servant. He’s done every chore that can be found on a country estate, from being the boot boy in charge of cleaning and polishing all the shoes, to helping the groundskeepers and gardeners with the weeding and planting, to working in the stables and riding the master’s horses out to exercise. In his own way, he’s been training for his future, too.

Through more outside influence, he was removed from his mother’s care, sent to boarding school, and then to Oxford with the understanding that his guardianship would end at his 25th birthday, which is fast approaching. Then he will be in command of his life for the first time…but he wonders if he’s up to the task.

Q: Daniel has a bit of a mysterious past himself—one that even eludes him even though he’s a detective. How has his past directed his career choice?

Daniel has no idea who his mysterious patron is, and he is forbidden from searching out his identity. He’s given other rules he must follow, including cutting off all ties with his mother. He was a bewildered, homesick child, wrenched from his home and shipped off to boarding school, and he believes his mother was only too glad to be rid of him, otherwise why would she agree to such a terrible thing? 

Daniel studied art and history at Oxford, unsure of what he would do for a career, but when a Bow Street officer shows up to investigate a murder in the Oxford Canal, Daniel is hooked on detective work. With the help of his hidden patron, he secures a job at Bow Street, against the wishes of his new superior officer, who is always looking for a reason to dismiss Daniel. 

With his past so shrouded in mystery, his current situation tenuous, and his future racing toward him at his 25th birthday when his patronage will cease, Daniel focuses on being the best detective he can be and hopes things will all work out.

Q: What kind of research was required to write a mystery set in the early 1800s? What are some of the methods detectives of the day would have to depend on?

There was quite a bit of research involved in this one, from police procedures to art history. Much studying of maps and the hierarchy of society, the lives of British spies, and fitting it all into the current political and social situations of the times. I had fun deciding upon the various items that would go missing, from statues to jewelry to artwork, and deciding upon different ways each piece could be acquired.

As to the police methods of the day, the Bow Street detectives didn’t have our current levels of forensic science to help identify culprits. They relied upon eyewitness testimony, circumstantial evidence, catching someone red-handed, and by following the paperwork/money trail. Some things have not changed. The main motives for lawbreaking still fall into three categories: money, power, and sex. Who has it, who wants it, who wants to deny someone else from acquiring it? And in Regency times, the detectives were still looking for motive, means, and opportunity. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Debutante’s Code is my first true mystery, and it’s all wrapped into a heist story, so layering those different threads together was a new adventure for me.

Q: Fans fell in love with the characters from your Serendipity & Secrets series. Is there any chance we might see some familiar faces make a cameo in your new series?

I am delighted that the Thorndike & Swann mysteries take place in what I like to call the “Haverly Universe” first created in the Serendipity & Secrets series. In The Debutante’s Code, several characters from the S&S series reappear, including the Duke of Haverly, Marcus, his duchess, Charlotte, and the Dowager Duchess of Haverly, who is a personal favorite of mine.

Though there is a host of new characters in The Debutante’s Code, as the series unfolds, more of the S&S cast will come into the stories. 

Q: Can you give us a tease of what to expect in the remainder of the Thorndike & Swann series?

The next book, Millstone of Doubt, begins with a bang! Literally! A grist mill on the Thames explodes, but when the rubble and dust are cleared, a man is found dead, not from the explosion, but from a gunshot! Was the mill blown up to cover the murder? Who would want the mill owner dead? Daniel and Juliette put their heads together to sort out the crime, while Juliette juggles her new career as a spy and a debutante, and Daniel uncovers many of the secrets he needs to piece together the puzzle of his past.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor) and Instagram (@EricaVetsch).

My Review 4.5 STARS

I’ve said often that Regency is my favorite genre to read and this one hits it on the mark for me. I always adore the stories that are filled with ball gowns and romance but when you add in elements of mystery involving spies and secret codes and such, well….I am hooked!!

The Debutante’s Code was a fun read! Early on I thought I knew who would be the culprit of one of the thefts. While I was correct in whom I was guessing, I was completely and utterly wrong about motive, which made me even more of a fan of this book because I usually figure out mysteries pretty quick.

Juliette’s and Daniel’s romance flows organically in the story while they sleuth and I look forward to their future books. It was also nice seeing Lord Haverly from Vetsch’s Serendipity & Secrets series. If you enjoy Regency era stories, be sure and grab a copy of this one. It’s a keeper!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher through Audra Jennings PR for review purposes. No compensation has been received.