Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert

Belinda Blake 2Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide—dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.
 
Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas—Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.

My Thoughts: I read the first Belinda Blake mystery just last week and was treated to a unique new cozy mystery series. Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing picks up in the life of Belinda, so we find out what she’s been up to since the last book and where life is taking her now. If you read the books out of order, you’ll catch a spoiler or two involving Belinda’s personal life but the previous mystery wasn’t ruined.
Gilbert has a solid writing style. It’s engaging. Not overdone, not underdone, but done just right. 😉
The only struggle I had with Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing was that it felt like it took too long to dig into the investigation portion of the story. But once things picked up, and we were focused and collecting clues, I found the mystery to be spot-on. The clues were there but the conclusion wasn’t obvious. It ended on a great note for me!
The characters are as well-developed as the mystery. They came across as genuine people. There was just enough romance in the story to make me eager to see what will happen next.
I typically read and review Christian fiction, so I do want to point out that this fell in the clean fiction category. There was not anything that would be offensive to a Christian reader, however, there was not any spiritual content.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving this one 4.5 stars and recommending it to cozy mystery fans.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review or required to give a favorable one. 

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden

41uDJ6SuLPLGray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it’s too late.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is fighting to save?

What I Loved: Camden never fails to create a realistic world where she becomes the expert in whatever field her character is involved in. I’m always amazed at the amount of effort that goes into each story and The Spice King was no exception. Here, we’re treated to a side of political conflict that I never knew existed as well as the food safety and a whole world of spices.
As for the romance, I adored Annabelle and Gray’s story. From the very start, these two collided in a beautiful way.
The Christian content was centered around forgiveness and was incorporated naturally.
While I never wanted this story to end, I cannot wait until the rest of the series. It looks as though the Delacroix family has a lot of stories left to tell and I confess that I’ve been stalking the book pages, looking for the first glimpse of the next book in the series.

Rating and Recommendation: I happily give The Spice King 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction.

~ I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own. 

Posted in Book Reviews

FREE E-book: The Accident by A.M. Heath

Accident copy

Hockey season starts THIS week! 🏒
That may not mean anything to you, but it means a great deal to Chris and Ashlyn, so to celebrate I’m offering The Accident for FREE until Friday. 📚
Enjoy and share with a friend!

Accident Quotes 2

“A sweet, thoughtful take on a different kind of romantic beginning.”
~ Laura; reviewer

Writing an epistolary had been on my bucket list, so this was such a treat for me to write. Not only did I try my hand at epistolaries, but I also weaved in some Predator Hockey love throughout the novella. Here’s my favorite hockey-inspired quote: 

Accident Quotes 3

So whether you’ll be cheering on your favorite hockey team or not, I invite you to pick up this story full of heart, romance, honest trials, Godly wisdom, family love, and, yes, even a touch of hockey.
And if you’re a hockey fan, respond back and let me know which team you cheer for!

Posted in Book Reviews

A Season Passed E-book Sale

Season Sale

Great news! Both of my A Season Passed novels are on sale this week. Grab one or both or share with a friend. 
*Both novels are also available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. 

AmazonLiz If Only It Were Yesterday 

Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885.

As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?

Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

Final 1600x2400 Yesterday’s Christmas

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her mind reluctantly travels back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home …

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who had spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to crumble, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

500Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

What I Loved: Politano has a knack for crafting something original and inspiring. Finding Lady Enderly had a slight gothic feel to it with this overarching mystery and the setting of a crumbling abbey. But things are more than they appear. The novel was entertaining, romantic, and the way she weaved in classic novel quotes was delightful. But better than all of that was the deeper message within about our identity being found in Christ and how the outer will eventually reflect what was always on the inside. If you haven’t read a Politano novel yet, you’re truly missing out.

Rating and Recommendation: I give Finding Lady Enderly 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction, especially those who enjoy Brittish settings.

~ I received a copy from Revell. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Tales of Faith 3 Month Tour by Amanda Tero: Month 3

Banner Three Month Tour

This is it! It’s my final post in the three-month tour, which means it’s almost release day for Protecting the Poor. I want to go on and on about how excited I am for this story, but I don’t want to repeat the review I’ll be posting after the release. But I will say that it’s my favorite of the series. 

PP Blurb.jpg

Keep reading for a sneak peek … 

Dumphey removed the last of the rye bread from his pouch. He had but a few minutes before training would begin at the barracks. He knocked on the door of Widow Anith. As soon as he heard footsteps approaching, he laid the bread in a cloth at the doorstep and hurried away. He watched from the shadows as the door opened and a young lass bent down to examine the bread. ’Twas the same lass who always came to the door, no more than four years of age. And, as always, the lass took the bread then looked around—as if making sure a soldier wouldn’t steal it from her—before rushing back inside and shutting the door.

Another lass would not go hungry tonight. Warmth spread through Dumphey as he set off toward the barracks. Eight paces away, he stopped. Unease prickled the back of his neck. ’Twasn’t the first time he felt like he was being followed this week. He spun around as a sword swiped toward him.

Excerpt from chapter one, “Protecting the Poor”

Square cover reveal 04.jpg

ORDER PAPERBACKS

Do you want to get a signed copy of “Protecting the Poor?” Order here!

 

About the Tour

In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

About Amanda

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website:

Facebook
Instagram 
Pinterest
Blog 
Goodreads
Amazon

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

410hV02ZerLAnne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging, and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but she runs after a disastrous first meeting.

Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.

Finding a monetary backer and sticking with a search that’s turning up nothing will take all their dedication–and every secret they’ve tried to hide. If they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world–love.

What I Loved: Liz Johnson is one of those authors who always surprises me when I pick up a new book. I forget how perfectly smooth and comfortable her writing style is. It’s not overdone or underdone, it’s JUST right.
A Glitter of Gold has been a highlight of my reading month. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why that is, and I think it’s because there’s so much working together so flawlessly.
Anne and Carter are delightfully, broken characters. Anne, in particular, is someone who I don’t relate to well, but she still comes across so real and relatable despite our differences. The setting comes across as authentic. I’m not a beach-going gal but it’s been refreshing to visit this coastal setting and to hear about these pirate legends, both real and fictional.
If you follow me for any time at all, you’d know that I’m a historian at heart. The only thing that equals a historical novel in my eyes is a time-slip novel. Although the setting is contemporary, we’re reading a journal written in the 1700s. And both storylines are very well done!
And she brings it all together with a solid message for the soul. I found myself highlighting sections toward the end dealing with grace.

Rating and Recommendation: I gladly give A Glitter of Gold 5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Fiction, coastal settings, pirate legends, and time-slip novels.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

Posted in Book Reviews

A Christmas in July FREEBIE

Christmas in July

My Christmas in July Gift to You

What is a Christmas in July celebration without a gift? For two days only, I’ll be offering an ebook copy of Yesterday’s Christmas for free. You can pick up your copy on Amazon. Be sure to visit Goodreads and BookBub to add it to your reading list and leave your review. And don’t forget to share your gift with other readers!

Final 1600x2400During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home … 

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.


Garland Collection surprise

In other Christmas news, I’m hard at work on a new Christmas tradition. The Christmas in Garland Collection will have a new novella debuting each year. I don’t have the release date for Project Scrooge yet, but December will be here before we know it. To keep up with the latest, follow me on Facebook or sneak over to my Christmas in Garland page to read the official book description.

Posted in Book Reviews

Tales of Faith 3 Month Tour by Amanda Tero: Month 2

Banner Three Month Tour

It’s month 2 of this 3-month tour! And this month, we’re featuring The Secret Slipper. Cinderella is my personal favorite fairy tale, so I was thrilled to know that my little writing sister was working on a retelling. Although I’m a major romantic at heart, I was intrigued to hear how she would turn this romance into a non-romantic retelling. I was not disappointed! You can read my original review of the novella here
I have a special sneak peek of the novella further down, but you can read the full prologue here

Secret Slipper Blurb

Keep reading for a special sneak peek at the novella … 

“From stables to woods, I see.”

Lia grasped the basket tighter, if possible.

“You cannot just leave like that.”

“Dumphey…” Lia turned and looked up at the older lad. His patience must be wearing thin, even though he wore a grin. “I promise, ‘twasn’t me. I would have told you had I the chance.”

“Will you be back or do Noel and I need to take up for you now?” Dumphey didn’t sound accusing, but Lia stiffened as he pried the basket from her hands.

Lia kept her fingertips on the rim of the basket. “You needn’t do this.” She knew he wouldn’t heed her words, but she felt the need to say them anyway.

Dumphey shrugged. “I’m empty-handed walking back to the village. What has Bioti done with you this time?” His earnest eyes met her gaze.

Lia looked away and focused on walking smoothly while keeping up with Dumphey’s stride, though he had slowed down for her. “I shall return this evening. Leave chores for me. You have my word, I shall do it.” She glanced at Dumphey, long enough to see his mouth turn down in a frown.

“‘Tis too much work for a lass your age.”

“I shall have to make do.” Or do without dinner, which might be the situation anyway if she didn’t hurry.

“Hasn’t Bioti any goodness in her heart for one of your condition?”

Lia stopped and grabbed Dumphey’s arm, turning him to face her as the hateful blush heated her cheeks. “What of my condition? I make well enough most of the time.” Her voice turned hard. “You needn’t feel sorry for me, Dumphey.” She snatched the basket from his hands, sending the cloth flying to the ground. She would run away from him if she could. Instead, she limped as quickly as her feet would let her, keeping herself from crying out in the pain.

“I shall leave the lights for you to polish.” Dumphey’s voice was well behind her. Good. He wasn’t chasing her.

“I shall do it,” Lia called, not bothering to turn back and make sure Dumphey got her message.

Her dark blonde hair was plastered to her forehead by the time she returned to the kitchen, and she panted for breath.

“Be the highwayman after you?” The cook took the basket from Lia and looked inside. “You are almost too late. There are potatoes waiting to be scrubbed and diced. Quickly.”

Lia took the hint and hobbled to the table, where she grabbed a potato and began washing. Her fingers flew over the skins, making up for lost time. She would show Dumphey. She wasn’t a worthless lass. She could do the tasks given her, regardless of what he thought.

SS Sale

About the Tour

In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

About Amanda

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website:

Facebook
Instagram 
Pinterest
Blog 
Goodreads
Amazon