Book Review: An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘I’d learned long ago that just because someone was likeable did not mean they weren’t capable of terrible things.’

When I read Anna Lee Huber’s first novel in the Lady Darby series, ‘The Anatomist’s Wife’, I was hooked. I still feel the same way. I eagerly anticipate each new book in the series. In this offering, Kiera, who is still called Lady Darby, even though she has shed that unfortunate husband, is still a newlywed, married to the charming Sebastian Gage. Her past is coming back to haunt her now, because she has been targeted by a blackmailer. It is November 1831 and she and Gage are back in London after escaping two years prior under very distressing circumstances indeed. Now, a gang of bodysnatchers is at work and have been arrested and once again, Kiera’s past, rises up to haunt her. Even though she is not guilty of anything, many in society believe badly of her.

London is horrified by these ‘burkers’ at work in their city. Then the young heir of a noble family is murdered and Kiera and Gage are hired as the inquiry agents to find the culprit. Is this murder the result of the burkers’ attempt at procuring another body or is it another sinister monster on the loose?

Kiera is now expecting her and Gage’s first child, but both of them are determined to solve this crime and indeed clear her name once and for all of the hateful Lord Darby’s evil machinations.

I love Huber’s work, her impeccable research: these bodysnatching events actually happened. And the ‘Italian Boy’ did also happen. Her ability to weave a fascinating story while also giving us every detail into the lives of the Gages is indeed compelling. I recommend this series. Now I long for the next one.

*My thanks to the publishers for making a copy of this book available to me through Net Galley. I was not pressured to leave a review and all the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  • Publisher: Berkley (April 2, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Book Review: Dangerous Sanctuary by Shirlee McCoy

My Rating: 5 stars!

‘She’d never been so scared, so terrified. She’d never been so certain that she was about to die.’

I really enjoy discovering new authors. Especially when they’ve already written more books because then I can go back and read them one after the other. I saw this one on the shelf at Walmart and the cover drew me in, then the blurb on the back did the trick. I was invested from the first page and further reading only confirmed my opinion that Shirlee McCoy knows how to write suspense! The plot was great, her characterizations vividly done and I never did guess the culprit until the reveal. The main characters indeed seemed real to me and I’m very glad I picked up this book. I’ve already downloaded another book in this series and looking forward to reading it.

Publication date: March 1, 2019

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense

Book Review: The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy

My Rating: 5 Stars!!

‘Penny had little patience for a man who pouted.’

Pinkerton agent John McCall has been sent west by the Chiltons, who want him to find their long-lost grandson. The Chiltons are, however, a pair of lying, scheming, no accounts who only want the boy for his dead mother’s inheritance money. When McCall gets west, after having to wait out a deadly winter, he meets up with Penny, part of a group of folks who have a claim in the mountains. They are guardians to the boy and have no intention of letting him go. But first Penny and John have to deal with a dead crook, then they are both kidnapped, escape, travel through the woods for days and then, well, things just escalate from there. Penny is a wildcat, not afraid of anything, can ride, rope, skin an elk, track, read signs, pretty much an all around do anything type of gal. McCall is astounded by her, but then he begins to realize her worth. Things are getting mighty odd around there.

Mary Connealy is back with her cowboy comedies and her trademark wit is in fine form here. She keeps the action moving throughout, the laughter spewing forth and tells a mighty fine tale at the same time. I am a forever fan of this woman and I can’t wait to read what she has for us next. Bravo! Highly recommended.

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

Publisher: Bethany House
Published Date: March, 5, 2019

New From Becky Wade

I have long been a fan of Becky Wade’s books. Her writing is great and she always includes a powerful spiritual message. I have been blessed many times reading her books. She is concluding her Bradford Sisters series with Sweet On You, coming at the end of April. You can get the prequel for free now. I am looking forward to this one so very much.

Knox by Susan May Warren

Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: SDG Publishing

‘He gave a low chuckle and she could feast on it every day of her life.’

Susan May Warren gave us the Christiansens several years ago and now she gives us the Marshalls. I love her family series! Oh, I love everything she writes, actually. Knox Marshall wears cowboy like a second skin. Once a professional bull rider, now running the family’s ranch, raising championship bulls, Knox is steady, strong and safe. Knox is a true hero, too. He cares about those he loves and will always be there for them. Always. When he meets Kelsey Jones at a rodeo event, she is on stage singing with her group, the Yankee Belles. But Kelsey is hiding some serious pain and anxiety. Surviving a vicious attack as a young teen, Kelsey is pretty much miserable with her life. But Knox sees this and wants to help. After an explosion in the arena, he takes her back to the family ranch to keep her safe, but trouble follows them. Knox has already lost his heart to Kelsey, and hopes she will accept it. Kelsey is so full of hurt and is hopeful, but life is full of heartbreaks and she just doesn’t feel her life will ever be peaceful.

Come along as Warren takes her readers on a ride that is sure to get your blood pumping. These Marshalls have already found a place in my heart. We not only get to know Knox here, but Tate plays a major role, too, and I can’t wait to read his story. And there are five books in this series!! Wow. I wish I had them all right now. Susan May Warren is a forever favorite of mine and her books always have pride of place on my shelf. She not only tells an exceptional story, but she also includes great spiritual truths. Top notch! Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher and author for a preview copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Praying For Myself

I used to feel so guilty about praying for myself. Seriously. I had several chronic conditions that, while not life threatening, caused a lot of pain when they flared. I’d feel so bad about asking God to help me or take away the pain. I have no idea why I felt that way, but I felt selfish asking Him to help me. Sort of like I had the ‘gimmies.’ Then one day I happened upon this verse and it was like the V8 commercial where the person gets bopped upside the head. I guess God decided I needed a bop upside my head. When I prayed for myself, I honored and brought glory to Him! Let me tell you, that was an eye opener. No longer did I feel guilty asking God to help me. With anything. After all, that’s what He’s there for!

Wisdom From God’s Word

“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk, so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.” (1 Peter 2:2, NLT)

I have read the Bible from cover to cover. I’ve read this passages dozens, if not hundreds, of times. But God is so amazing. It’s so cool how you can read a verse or passage and then go back and read it again at another time and the Holy Spirit just deposits an insight into your heart! I love those times. I love the Word.

When I read this verse not long ago, it just hit me all of a sudden how we should hunger for the Word of God. I’m a mother and I know how a newborn acts. They eat, sleep and dirty their diapers two ways. That’s basically all they know. Well, except for wanting to be held. (smile) All they want when they are hungry is milk. It’s what satisfied and allows them to grow. And when they are hungry, they will not be satisfied until that hunger is satiated. You can stick a pacifier into their mouth and it won’t be but a few seconds till out it pops because they know nothing is coming out of that thing. They want milk and they want it now! They crave it with their entire being. It’s what causes them to thrive. If a baby doesn’t do well at birth and grow, the medical diagnosis is ‘failure to thrive’.

I do not want to be a Christian with a label pasted on me that says ‘failure to thrive’. But that’s exactly what will happen if I don’t stay in God’s Word. It’s our pure spiritual milk. It is what makes us grow, the very thing that matures us as believers. And the thing that hit me when I read this passage the last time was that it says ‘cry out’. When a baby gets hungry, it cries. It can’t communicate any other way. And it will continue to cry until a bottle or breast is put to its mouth. One thing I have noticed with babies is that if their hunger is not met practically immediately, they will begin to cry harder. And harder. Sometimes they will cry so hard, their faces turn red, they begin to shake and quiver all over. They not only WANT that milk, but they NEED it. And folks, that’s the way we should be with God’s Word. It’s one of the ways He speaks to us. It feeds us, spiritually. It touches us in ways no other book can. I read lots of books and none of will ever touch me and grow me as a believer the way God’s Word will.

I have many times read His precious Word with tears streaming down my face because it is so dear to me. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been going through a trial and opened my Bible and right there was the very verse I needed to sustain me. There are so many notes and highlights in my bible, along with dates and how they touched me. I don’t ever want to forget that. When you get in a jam, the Holy Spirit will bring that verse or passage to your remembrance. When you need to know it, He will bring it to you. I know. It’s happened to me numerous times.

I don’t want to be an immature believer, failing to thrive. I cherish God’s Word and I want to grow from it and yes, be chastened from it. Maybe you’ll just hear me crying out for it some day.

Getting Started

I’ve thought about blogging for quite some time, prayed about it, struggled with a name and then shelved it for later. Then I just figured it was time. But, and this is a big but, I am totally untech savvy. So, that being said, it will take me a while to get this up and running the way I want to. So please bear with me.

I love to read; always have. My mama read every night to my little brother and me, Bible stories and fairy tales. I have very fond memories of being snuggled up next to her side as she read to us. My favorite Bible story was Gideon. After that, she bought us a bunch of little story books with 45 rpm records attached. We could listen to books when she wasn’t reading! Kind of like today’s audio books. We were totally transfixed and even to this day, my brother Jeff can recite entire passages from memory. My favorite was Thumbelina.

So now I read almost all the time. I am never without a book. Ever. Whether it’s a physical book, or an e book, I am ready to read at a moment’s notice. I also influence for Christian fiction authors. I count it a super blessing, too, and one I will never take for granted. So expect to see a lot of book reviews and book related posts here.

I also love Jesus with all my heart and my relationship with Him is the most important in my life. I grew up in church; went the first time when I was 10 days old. I had a brief period of rebellion in my late teens but I’ve loved being in church. My mama always drilled into my brother and me the importance of standing up for Jesus. I love my church and my church family. So expect to see spiritual posts.

I also love to cook, so I may share recipes from time to time, too. I have been married over 40 years to Tom and we have a grown and gone daughter, no grandkids. She doesn’t want any and we’re okay with that. We have some honorary ones at church. We have a little dog, too, so I’ll definitely share Sam stories and pics.

When I figure out how all this blogging works, I’ll have a better looking one. So expect better things to come. Thanks for dropping by. Have a blessed day!