Book Review: ‘Dead Even’ (Truth Seekers 6) by Susan Sleeman

About The Book

When she discovers her worst nightmare…
When Maya Glass—the Veritas Center’s toxicology/controlled substances expert—goes to check on her scientist friend after a cryptic phone message, Maya stumbles upon her worst nightmare. A deadly toxin has been released, her friend’s assistant has died in his secluded island lab, and her friend is missing. Worse yet, Maya is exposed to the deadly botulism toxin and she needs help. Fast. Problem is, the only person she can think of with the right contacts is her former love, FBI Agent Hunter Lane.

Will she let him help her or go it alone?
Maya sets out on a hunt to find her friend and Hunter warns the feisty and tantalizing Maya to back down. But when it becomes clear that he needs Maya to locate her missing friend and find the killer, Hunter knows they must work together to stop the killing spree before the killer gets even and ends Maya’s life.

About Susan Sleeman
SUSAN SLEEMAN is the bestselling author of over thirty-five novels with more than one million books sold. She writes romantic suspense novels that are clean with inspiring messages of faith. Readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge-of-your-seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police citizen academies, so her research is spot-on and her characters are real.
In addition to writing, Susan also hosts TheSuspenseZone.com. She has lived in nine states but now calls Oregon home. Her husband is a retired church music director, and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.
To learn more about Susan’s books sign up for her monthly email that includes exclusive excerpts, giveaways, and other goodies. http://www.susansleeman.com/susans-newsletter/

Or stop by any of these locations on the web.
Website – http://www.susansleeman.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/susansleeman
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/susansleeman/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4053429.Susan_Sleeman
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susan-sleeman
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Sleeman/e/B003ANF6Z8
Review Site – http://www.TheSuspenseZone.com
My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘He didn’t have the faith he needed anymore to believe he deserved a family.’

I love Susan Sleeman’s books and she is my go-to for suspense. Her books are so detailed with great details of law enforcement and crime solving. It fascinates me to no end. This book gives us the last person’s story in her Truth Seekers series, Maya Glass. Maya reconnects with an ex flame, Hunter, and they discover they still hold feelings for each other, but Hunter is dealing with a great deal of fear. But now they must put aside all that and work together to try to stop a deadly toxin.

Sleeman brings us great suspense as always and the fast run to the finish was breathtaking! I am never disappointed in her good books. Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. The opinion in this review is entirely my own.

Publication Date: June 3, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2ZZoro6

Book Review, Author Interview and Giveaway: ‘At Love’s Command’ by Karen Witemeyer

About The Book:

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she’s not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger’s dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine’s respect, and when she hears of her brother’s abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.

I am so excited to have Karen come visit my blog today and answer some questions. I have read every single one of her books, and have been a fan since the very first. Karen, welcome! Thanks so much for joining me today.

When did you know you wanted to write?

I was always an avid reader but never really thought much about writing. Not until I graduated from college and started immersing myself in fiction again. After graduate school, I vowed to never read another textbook ever again. Ha! I started jotting story ideas down in a journal and thought, maybe someday I’d give writing a try. But it wasn’t until I was a stay-at-home mom with three preschool-aged kids and my husband came home to tell me his position had been cut that I decided to get serious about writing. At first, I thought I could help supplement the family income from home right away while he searched for work. I know . . . don’t choke on your snack while you laugh. I ended up going back to work a couple months later, but by then the writing bug had bitten hard. I haven’t looked back since.

How do you get ideas for your books?

My ideas come from many different places. Books, television shows, movies, historical research, even the Bible. No two books come together the same way. With some, I have a plot idea and I build the characters around it. With others, I have a character or set of characters in mind, and I have to dig around to find a plot to reveal their heroism. The characters came first with the Hanger’s Horsemen series.

At Love’s Command was inspired by three television series I watched as a teen and young adult back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The A-Team inspired my team of four ex-military mercenaries and their determination to help the powerless fight against injustice. I gave them a Magnificent Seven spin to add the western flair, and then created a heroine inspired by Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Dr. Josephine Burkett was even mistaken for a man called Dr. Jo just like Michaela Quinn was confused as Michael when first hired.

This book has such a strong spiritual lesson. Does God deposit those ideas in your mind?

I pray over my writing every day, and I depend so heavily on the Lord for inspiration. Believe it or not, I am not a naturally creative person. I am a paint-by-numbers analytical thinker who rarely veers outside the lines. Yet when I write, I am constantly amazed by the plot ideas or spiritual twists that ignite in my mind. I know they are not my own. The master Creator is generously sparking something inside me and nurturing it into a flame. I love the verses from Psalm 18 where David readily admits that his prowess in battle is not due to his own ability. All the credit belongs to the Lord.

            It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

            He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.

            He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

            You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me;

            Your help has made me great.

I feel like I could easily make this my song:

It is God who arms me with creativity and keeps my stories on track.

            He makes my mind nimble like a deer; he causes ideas to leap into consciousness.

            He hones my craft for battle; my characters can grow and change me in the process.

            You make your saving help my shield,

and your right hand sustains me when doubts and weariness strike;

            Your help is what makes my stories great.

My characters often struggle with the same spiritual issues that I face in my own faith walk. So when Matthew and Josephine both struggle with surrendering control fully to the Lord, I’m on that journey with them.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I am a slow writer. I write one polished chapter a week. My books tend to be around 38-42 chapters, so in roughly 40 weeks, I have a completed manuscript. Because I constantly edit as I go, I write one painstakingly careful draft. My critique partners read and make suggestions along the way, and my editors will give me revisions and suggestions for changes after that first draft is turned in, but overall, I usually plan a full-length novel to take 40 weeks. Novellas take about 10 weeks. That is why I only write one full-length and one novella a year. That’s all I can squeeze in.

What does your writing day look like?

I still work an 8-5 day job, so writing is an exercise in flexibility. During a good week, I write about two pages a day, so that by the end of the week I have an 8-10 page chapter completed. During a harder week, I end up writing all weekend long to make up for the deficit earlier in the week. Thankfully, my husband and young adult children are very supportive. If I need to lock myself away in the bedroom all day on a Saturday, they respect the closed door and give me the time I need.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want readers to enjoy a fun, adventurous story, but deeper than that, my prayer is that God will meet them within the pages. The overarching theme of this story is our need to live fully surrendered to God. Our independent natures want so badly to prove that we are self-sufficient. That we can fix what is broken and achieve our own greatness. Beyond the pride of those thoughts, there is the fear that if we completely surrender to God’s will, he will take us some place we don’t want to go. I admit that I struggle with this myself. In fact, as I was writing the scene where Josephine finally lets down her guard with God and becomes brutally honest in her prayer, I found myself admitting the same fears.

I’m afraid, Lord. Afraid to completely surrender. Afraid that if I have no control over the outcome, it won’t end the way I desire. . . Afraid you’ll take Matthew from me.

And then came God’s response to her spirit and to mine: Lean not unto thine own understanding.

Our understanding cannot see the full picture. It is limited. Small. Far better to surrender and trust completely the One who sees all and understands all, and who loves with a depth I cannot fathom. My character prayed the prayer of my soul. And the Lord gave me an answer that had far more impact in the real world than the fictional one. My desire is that the Lord will touch readers in the reality of their souls as well.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Horsemen never quit. We find a way to achieve the mission and we protect our own.’

Karen Witemeyer begins a new series, ‘Hanger’s Horsemen’ with this book and she’s off to a fabulous start! Matthew Hanger, ex Calvary officer and three of his buddies forma band of mercenaries, bringing justice to those who are oppressed. He lands on Dr. Josephine Burkett’s doorstep when one of his men is wounded. Dr. Jo is sassy and not inclined to allow Matt’s idea of women doctor to deter her. Soon, though, Josie needs Matt’s and the Horsemen’s professional help.

‘God’s warriors had been outnumbered and outmatched before, and that hadn’t stopped them from facing their enemies and emerging victorious.’

I have never missed a Karen Witemeyer book and have enjoyed them all. But this one totally captivated me. From the opening sentence to the last, my interest never once waned. Not one bit. As soon as I saw the cover, I knew I would love this book. Just knew it. Very well written with a cast of characters that completely endeared themselves to me (except the bad guys), I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of this book. And Witemeyer has included some deep spiritual truths here as well, lessons we could all take to heart.

Witemeyer’s portrayal of Hanger’s Horsemen had me loving these men–men of honor and integrity who never abandon a mission and fight for justice. And there are four horsemen, so there are more books coming!! Witemeyer truly shines here! I very highly recommend this book and author. This series is going to be awesome.

‘I might not know you well, Matthew Hanger, but I’ve seen your heart. The world would be a darker place without you in it.’

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2U4Sw1s

Now…on to the giveaway. I am giving away a print copy of At Love’s Command. Sorry, but due to postage costs, it will only be available to those living in the 48 contiguous states. Details and rules below.

To enter to win, here’s what I need from you:

1. Your FULL name
2. Your email (non spammy formula, please)
3. Comment on the blog post.

Contest runs through June 11th. Winner will be notified via email. If no response in 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Book Review: ‘What Momma Left Behind’ by Cindy K. Sproles

About The Book

Worie Dressar is 17 years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie’s mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers–one greedy and the other a drunkard–Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma’s children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

About Cindy Sproles
Cindy Sproles is an author and speaker. She has cofounded ChristianDevotions.us and serves as managing editor for SonRise Books and Straight Street Books, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas/Iron Stream Media. Cindy teaches at Christian Writers Conferences and ladies retreats and ladies conferences across the country. Her devotions are heartfelt and honest. Edgy and inviting. Cindy serves as the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us, a writing mentor, and life-coach.She shares mentoring with best-selling author, Yvonne Lehman at Write Right. Author of four non-fiction books, Cindy’s Fiction debut novel, Mercy’s Rain(Kregel Publishing), was book of the year and her second novel, Liar’s Winter won numerous awards. Cindy’s 3rd Appalachian Novel, Revell Publishing, What Momma Left Behind, releases June 2,2020 She is a contributing author to CBN.com and InspireaFire.com and serves as the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit her at http://www.cindysproles.com or contact her at cindyksproles@gmail.com

Cindy is available for speaking events by contacting her at cindyksproles@gmail.com.
My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Life ain’t easy in these mountains. When the messes happen, you swallow the ache and do what has to be done.’

When you close the last page of a book weeping, you know you have been blessed and moved greatly.
This is what happened as I finished reading ‘What Momma Left Behind.’

Worie Dressar is 17 in 1877 when typhoid and fever is spreading like wild fire through the Appalachian mountains where she lives. Many children are left orphaned on Sourwood Mountain and Worie’s momma has been feeding them. Then her momma is gone and Worie faces a tough decision. She has two sorry brothers, so if a decision must be made, it has to be hers.

‘Mountain women shoved their feelins over their shoulder and go on. It’s what they do. It was what I would do.’

Cindy Sproles brings Worie to life right before our eyes. Worie Dressar is hard-headed, strong-willed in both mind and body and thinks her way is the only way. She does not suffer fools gladly and is not hesitant to tell them so. She’s also pretty much mad at the world and tosses her words out not even seeing how much they hurt they cause.

Cindy Sproles’ last two novels touched me so deeply that I longed to read another from her, so when I saw this one coming, I was eager to read it. Sproles is the best at bringing the people and ways of Appalachia to life right before our eyes. Every word is a treasure to take into your heart as you read.

‘You know I always tried to do what was right. But hard times calls for hard measures.’

Sproles’ writing is a wonder to read as she gives her characters and their emotions a home in your heart, causing you to keep them there long after finishing the book. And there are wonderful spiritual lessons here too: forgiveness, restoration, grace, just to name a few.

Captivating from start to finish, this book is an absolute must read. It moved me deeply and transported me to those wonderful Appalachian mountains.

* My thanks to Revell Publishing and the author for a copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Buy it here: https;//amzn.to/2Mmxg39

Book Review: ‘The Heart Of A Hero’ (Global Search and Rescue) by Susan May Warren

About The Book
Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. Now he can’t get her out of his head, and when he hears she is in the path of a hurricane down in Key West he can’t help but jump on a plane to rescue her.

Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Now driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn’t been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he’s also dangerous, and she’s already lost one person she loves. She can’t bear it again.

It’s not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?
About Susan May Warren
Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I’m a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I’m an adventurer — having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that’s why my characters can’t sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another — they’re too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories.

Here’s my “Official” Bio.

With over 1 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over seventy-five novels with Revell, Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas.

With books translated into eight languages, many of her novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award.

Of her books, Publisher’s Weekly has written, “Warren lays bare her characters’ human frailties, including fear, grief, and resentment, as openly as she details their virtues of love, devotion, and resiliency. She has crafted an engaging tale of romance, rivalry, and the power of forgiveness.”

And Library Journal adds, “Warren’s characters are well-developed and she knows how to create a first rate contemporary romance…”

Susan is also a nationally acclaimed writing coach, teaching at conferences around the nation and winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award. She loves to help people launch their writing careers and is the founder of Novel.Academy and http://www.LearnHowtoWriteaNovel.com, a writing website that helps authors get published and stay published. She’s also the author of the popular writing method, The Story Equation.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
‘You know what a hero is? It’s someone who does the hard thing despite the costs.’

Susan May Warren just cannot write a bad book. She can’t even write a mediocre one. Her books move me more than I have words adequate to describe. They are powerful, moving and so spiritually nourishing.


‘SEAL Jake was lethal, fierce, and willing to do whatever it took to protect her.’

This is the 2nd book in Warren’s Global Search and Rescue series and it is Jake Silver and Aria’s story. Two people w ho never feel they are enough, but must rely on God to get them through a Cat 5 hurricane and the dangers the aftermath brings.

‘Panic comes when we stop believing God is good. Or that God is sovereign.’

Susan May Warren has the unique ability to create characters that just jump off the page in your heart and you soon find yourself forgetting that they are fictional people. They are just that real. And full of emotions that the reader can relate to. Not just a fantasy world populated by make believe characters. This is a story that proves to the believer that God’s plan is for us to accept not only His forgiveness, but our own, to let Him wash us clean, chosen as beloved. I do love this oh so important aspect of a Warren book. She takes us to church and we find spiritual lessons that we can apply to our lives. Reading a Susan May Warren novel is not just a great way to entertain yourself for a few hours or however long it takes you to read the book. It is an experience that lives in your heart long after you close the book. Well done! Very highly recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley.
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0821Q2KHS/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Book Review: ‘Driftwood Dreams’ (The Carolina Coast Series) by T.I. Lowe

About The Book
From the bestselling author of Lulu’s Caf�
Josie Slater has allowed the circumstances anchoring her in Sunset Cove to become a life sentence. Since her mother’s death years before, she’s spent most of her waking hours helping her dad run the Driftwood Diner. As her best friends, Opal and Sophia, make their dreams come true, Josie watches her own art school aspirations drift on by. But when a French-speaking Southern gentleman from her past moves back from Europe, Josie is launched into a tizzy of what-ifs and I-sure-do-hope-sos.

August Bradford left Sunset Cove six years ago to sow some life oats and conquer his ambitious career goals. Finally ready to lay down some roots, the successful artist is back in town and determined to win Josie’s heart. When he enlists Josie’s help in the preparations for a children’s art camp, Josie finds herself unleashing her artistic side in a way she hasn’t since before her mother’s death. August hopes to convince Josie to paint a life with him, but the problem is convincing her to let go of her apprehensions and give him–and her dreams–a fair chance.
About The Author:
Bestselling author T.I. Lowe sees herself as an ordinary country girl who loves to tell extraordinary stories. She knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. A wife and mother and active in her church community, she resides in coastal South Carolina with her family.

For a complete list of Lowe’s published books, biography, upcoming events, and other information, visit tilowe.com and be sure to check out her blog, COFFEE CUP, while you’re there!

She would love to hear from you!!
ti.lowe@yahoo.com
twitter: TiLowe
facebook: T.I. Low
My Rating: 5 Stars!
‘Josie Slater collects people in need like a crazy cat lady collects strays, but she won’t let anyone do that for her.’

Josie Slater has imposed a life sentence upon herself to help her daddy run their café after her mother’s untimely death years ago. She has never even thought to allow her own dream to come to fruition. She’s too busy taking care of everyone else.

Six years ago August Bradford left town and fulfilled his own dreams and goals. Now he is back in Sunset Cove to settle down for good. He is also bound and determined to win Josie. You see, both Josie and August have always had a crush on the other. But August must find a way to convince Josie to let herself be set free from all the expectation she has put on herself. And he is convinced that he will not lose.

I only discovered this author this week and I love her books already! Written expertly with characters crafted so that they jump into the readers heart and emotions so deeply felt that you just sigh so often throughout the book, these are books I love and think about long after I’m finished reading them. The author is a fellow lifelong South Carolinian as well and I totally got her turns of phrasing, too! Loved every minute and highly recommended.

*My thanks to Tyndale House Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion stated here is my own.

Tyndale House
Publication Date: June 1, 2020

Book Review: ‘Dead Silence’ by Robin Caroll

About the Book
Elise Carmichael is a court sign language interpreter who reads lips all the time. As a widow with a young son who is deaf, lip reading is simply second nature, until the day she reads the lips of someone on the phone discussing an attempt to be made on a senator’s life—a senator who just happens to be her mother-in-law. Before she can decide what she needs to do, she receives the information that her son is rushed to the ER and she must leave. Then she later sees the news report that her mother-in-law has been shot and killed. But when she comes forward, her life, as well as her son’s life, may now be in the crosshairs of the assassin.
“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of more than twenty-seven novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of twenty-eight-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home.

Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.


My Rating: 4 Stars!
A court sign language interpreter reads the lips of a person on the phone and he is talking about the killing of a senator. A senator who just happens to be her mother in law. This is the premise for a taut drama as the woman’s life and safety is threatened along with her deaf son. Caroll brings us into this world very well as we race with her to the thrilling conclusion. Recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher, Shiloh Run Press, for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Publisher: Barbour
Publication Date: June 2, 2020

Book Review: ‘Texas Twin Abduction’ by Virginia Vaughan

About the Book
This twin’s past is a blank…

And she might not have a future.

Waking up in a bullet-ridden car with a bag of cash and a deputy insisting she’s his ex-fiancée, Ashlee Taylor has no memory of what happened—or of Lawson Avery. But with her twin missing and someone hunting her down, she must trust him with her life. Can Lawson save her and her sister—even as Ashlee’s forgotten secrets become an inescapable trap?
Award winning author Virginia Vaughan lives by the motto ‘It’s not hoarding if its books’. Always the kid with her nose stuck in a book, becoming a multi-published author hasn’t stopped Virginia from continuing to grow her own collection of favorite reads. Her family has refused to help her move anymore because of the sheer number boxes of books, but she’s no quitter. She’ll keep buying books and, the next time she moves, hire a moving van.

If you love stories where romance intersects danger and faith, subscribe to Virginia’s email list at http://eepurl.com/dtFeVP and be the first to know when a new story arrives.

My Rating: 4 Stars!
Virginia Vaughan writes good suspense and this one is well done. Identical twins whose lives are in danger is the basis for this book. Wonderful suspense throughout. Good writing and nice characters. Recommended.


*My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. The opinion in this review is my ow

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: June 2m, 2020

Book Review: ‘No Filter’ (Barks and Beans Cafe Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

About The Book:

BOOK ONE in the ALL-NEW BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over

About Heather Day Gilbert
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather on Pinterest (heatherdgilbert), Instagram (@heatherdaygilbert), Twitter (@heatherdgilbert), and Facebook (heatherdaygilbert). You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Heather Day Gilbert starts off a new cozy mystery series with No Filter and it totally works. A coffee shop with a dog petting area. I didn’t even need the coffee. Just the dogs would do it for me.

Macy Hatfield has come out of a divorce and moves back to her West Virginia hometown and goes in with her big brother on an odd new venture, the Barks and Beans Café. Soon, though, a murder happens and Macy ends up adopting the victim’s Great Dane. Now, let me tell you: I love a good mystery and Gilbert does it well, but this dog just made the book in my opinion. I want him to come live with me!

Bo and Macy Hatfield make a fine team as they sniff out the suspects in this crime, and more to come in future books! I absolutely love the idea of a petting area in a coffee shop where you can go sit and surround yourself with dog love. The coffee isn’t bad, either. Recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinions here are entirely my own.
Publisher: Woodhaven Press
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2ZHgqDR

Book Review: ‘Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey’ by Abigail Wilson

About The Book:
In this new Regency romance, a young unwed mother must protect her heart from the charms of her convenient new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.
When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity and her reputation, as well as his dangerous mission.
Trapped not only by her duty to her country but also by her limited options as an unwed mother, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her infant son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son’s absent father. There she is met by Torrington’s beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murder, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Meanwhile she must convince everyone that her marriage is a genuine love match if her new husband has any hope of uncovering the enemy.
Determined to keep her son’s true identity a secret, Elizabeth will need to remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless fiend bent on her new family’s ruin.
About Abigail Wilson
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
This book was completely engrossing for me. I couldn’t put it down. Wonderful characters, including a swoon worthy hero, who I loved from the moment I met him, a great plot (which I never figured out the culprit), and it just totally captivated me. The marriage of convenience trope is a favorite, too. Loved every minute. Well done!

*I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081G6XQ2R/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Book Review: ‘The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler’ by Amanda Barratt

About The Book:
Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil
The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor–that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler’s machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife’s edge of discovery by the Gestapo.

Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she’s been brought up to believe in the Führer’s divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.

Soon Annalise joins their double life–students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they’re all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.

A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.
About Amanda Barratt
ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story–a spin-off of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical fiction, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. She’s the author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love.

Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.

Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.



My Rating: 5 Stars!!!
‘Show me what to do. You, O Lord, are my only solace.’

I have studied the Holocaust for decades and when I saw the subject of Amanda Barratt’s newest book, I knew this would be interesting. The books is not directly a Holocaust related book, but indirectly.

‘What worth do you ascribe to freedom?

Amanda Barratt gives us the true story of Sophie Scholl and some of her fellow compatriots who acted to renounce Hitler and his ideas for Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. These young college students wrote and mailed/passed out leaflets in direct opposition to the Nazi regime.

‘What little I have to offer, I will give. No matter the cost.’

Barratt tells their story with writing so stellar it grabs your mind and refuses to let go. I knew the outcome of Sophie Scholl’s story before reading this book, and yet Barratt makes Sophie’s life and her friends’ lives come so alive! She puts you ‘in’ their lives. You feel their pain, their fear, their determination to try and make Germany a better place, a place free of a tyrant’s rule, a place where lives mattered and not just lives that tyrant thought were worthy.

‘Our instincts for evil have been nurtured. Once, acts of violence were condemned. Now, they’re condoned. As long as the targets those deemed deserving.’

Incredibly well written and heartrendingly told, this book will stay with you. It’s not a quick read. It takes time to absorb. While it is based on fact, parts are fictionalized but Barratt stays totally true to the facts. This book is impeccably researched and well worth reading. Bravo!

*My thanks to Kregel Publications for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are expressly my own.
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Buy Link: https://amzn.to/36qG41d