Book Review: ‘Holiday Mountain Conspiracy’ by Liz Shoaf

Unraveling secrets is their mission…

But the truth can be fatal.

After his last CIA assignment ended in betrayal, the covert operative known only as Ned holes up for Christmas in his remote mountain cabin, preparing to trap the men hunting him. But journalist Mary Grace Ramsey reaches Ned first, injured and determined to uncover why someone is after her and her CIA agent brother. Together, can they unravel a conspiracy that goes higher than they ever imagined?

About Liz Shoaf

Liz Shoaf lives on a fifty-acre farm with her very own hero. She loves dog training, jogging, and singing in the choir when time permits. She has worked in a bank, medical office, and presently helps her hubby run their lumber business while squeezing in time for her favorite thing: writing.

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

‘She’d had about enough of this whole mess and she was sick of getting shot at.’

Wow! That’s how I feel right now after just reading the last word of this book. Liz Shoaf has done a bang up job at this one. Her best ever! From the very first sentence to the last word, it was non stop action and the suspense was absolutely powerful. Shoaf has created characters that seemed to jump off the page from the beginning, they were so real. I had seen Ned’s character briefly in the first two books she wrote and I was intrigued by him and so happy she gave him a story. And what a story! I loved how Mary Grace called him Mountain Man.

And there is a dog in this story named Krieger, who I felt deserved being called a main character. I loved Krieger! Actually, I loved everything about this story. Incredibly well done! Bravo! I highly recommend this one. I have it in digital form but I am getting the physical copy for my shelves.

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: November 1, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Book Review: ‘Smoke Screen’ by Terri Blackstock

A gripping new novel from New York Times bestselling suspense author Terri Blackstock.
One father was murdered. Another was convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado hometown. His mother begs him to come back now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down not long after, people assumed Nate set the fire to get even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left town without looking back.
Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and now she’s fighting a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. Brenna is barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As Nate and Brenna deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—the past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.
Praise for Smoke Screen:
“Full of secrets, lies, and with a visceral impact that grabs from the first sentence, Smoke Screen is Terri Blackstock at her finest.” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author
“Terri never fails to deliver a plot that moves, well-developed characters who are real, flawed, and relatable . . . Just a word of warning if you decide to pick up this book—don’t plan to do anything else until you finish it.” —Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author

About Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 Terri was writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening drew her into the Christian market. As she was praying about her transition, she went on a cruise and noticed that almost everyone on the boat (including her) had a John Grisham novel. It occurred to her that some of Grisham’s readers were Christians, and that if she wrote a fast-paced thriller with an added faith element, she might just find her niche. As God would have it, Christian publishers were showing interest in the suspense genre, so she quickly sold a four-book series to Zondervan. Since that time, she’s written over thirty Christian titles, most of them suspense novels.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘God is powerful. He could be my dread champion, my rear guard, the one who fihts for me. But I feel like I’m fighting all alone.’

Terri Blackstock returns with a captivating new novel told in two different POVs. Nate Beckett’s father spent fourteen years in prison for killing Brenna Strickland’s preacher father. Now, Nate’s father has been released and Nate has returned to town to recover from a burn injury he’s gotten on his job as a smokejumper. Brenna has also returned to town, divorced and fighting for her children from a vengeful ex husband who left her for a younger woman. Brenna is coping with alcohol from this devastating turn of events. In the meantime, a wildfire is threatening their town. This is a many-faceted novel that will draw the reader in over and over and interest is held captive until the very end. It moved me greatly. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Terri Blackstock has not lost her ability to keep a reader enthralled with the depth of emotions and suspense she is known for. Recommended.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions stated in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

‘Carry Me Away’ (Blue Wren Swallows 2) by Dorothy Adamek

Inspired by the incredible true story of an Australian shipwreck and those who survived to tell the tale.

When the Black Swallow sinks off the Australian coast in 1877, Australian midshipman Tom Darley rescues English passenger Ada Carmichael from the disaster that claims her entire family. News of the only two survivors enchants the world, but Ada needs to hide before secrets and old foes find her. Tom is chasing big dreams of a crumbling house he will convert into a small hotel ~ but the promising start he’s acquired now sits at the bottom of the sea.

Inexplicably entangled, Ada and Tom lean upon each other to make sense of the tragedy that’s displaced them. But when scheming journalists observe their affection they drag Tom into life-altering riches and a news-worthy romance he cannot resist. So he arranges for Ada’s protection where only he might find her ~ the quiet Phillip Island farm of his friends Shadrach and Finella Jones.

And that’s where real trouble finds them. When heroic promises fail to shelter, and love refuses to be silenced, only surrender will pluck Ada and Tom from where life has wrecked them.

Riveting and masterfully written, Carry Me Away will do just that, immersing you in a devastating storm, a historic shipwreck, and the idyllic hideaway of Phillip Island in Australia. These flesh and blood characters are so finely crafted they feel more like friends, each winning your heart in unique, soul-stretching ways. A poignant, oft suspenseful, and thoroughly romantic journey through the valleys of loss and grief to the heights of healing and hope. –Laura Frantz, Christy Award-winning author of The Lacemaker

About Dorothy Adamek

Australian author, Dorothy Adamek, writes Displacement Fiction ~ the stories of people upended by trauma and tragedy, and the struggle to belong in their new worlds. Couched in romance, her fiction is set in the late Victorian era.

Author of the Blue Wren Shallows trilogy, she lives at Crabapple House in Melbourne with her Beloved and their three children, twenty fruit trees and Gilbert the Cat.

A graduate of La Trobe University, Dorothy studied Literature, History and Education. She taught secondary school English and English As A Second Language. She loves black and white floors, collects blue and white china, and makes apricot jam every summer.

Her favourite holiday destination is Phillip Island, the real life setting of Carry Me Home, book one in the Blue Wren Shallows trilogy.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Survival is made of many parts. First, your skin will heal. Then your bones.’

1877. The Black Swallow sinks off the Australian coast, a horrific event that leaves only two survivors, Tom Darley and Ada Carmichael. This deftly written novel details the aftermath of that shipwreck, which is inspired by the true story. Ada has lost her entire family and Tom rescues her. Both of these have been through rough waters, so to speak, with forgotten dreams, feared enemies and old secrets.

Soon the journalists of the day converge and clamor for the story from Tom and Ada. Tom arranges for Ada to go to a friend’s home on Philip Island, a beautiful and quiet, peaceful place. We, lucky readers, get a chance to meet old friends again from Adamek’s first novel, Shadrach and Finella Jones. A novel I enjoyed immensely. However, they are not sheltered as completely as they’d hoped from the world’s woes. They must depend on each other and love to rescue them again.

When I read Dorothy Adamek’s debut novel, I thought it was greatly moving and her style continues through to this novel and she will always, I believe, inspire her readers with her deftness of telling the tale. She has written well of courage, healing, redemption and rescue that will grip the reader, and the poignancy of the love is completely heartfelt. As Tom and Ada endeavor to find their home, you will be captivated by the sweeping beauty of Adamek’s writing skills.

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

Publisher: Crabapple House Publishing
Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Book Review: ‘When Silence Sings’ by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Colman Harpe works for the C&O in the Appalachian rail town of Thurmond, West Virginia, but he’d rather be a preacher and lead his own congregation. When a member of the rival McLean clan guns down his cousin and the clan matriarch, Serepta McLean, taunts the Harpes by coming to a tent revival in their territory, Colman chooses peace over seeking revenge with the rest of his family.

Colman, known for an unnaturally keen sense of hearing, is shocked when he hears God tell him to preach to the McLeans. A failed attempt to run away leaves Colman sick and suffering in the last place he wanted to be–McLean territory. Nursed by herbalist Ivy Gordon–a woman whose unusual appearance has made her an outcast–he’s hindered in his calling by Serepta’s iron grip on the region and his uncle’s desire to break that grip. But appearances can be deceiving, and he soon learns that the face of evil doesn’t look like he expected.

About Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle-the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and-you guessed it-reading.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘I’d rather look for the best. The worst usually makes itself known soon enough.’

West Virginia. 1930. Two families, the McLeans and the Harpes, feuding with each other for generations, find things are coming to a head quickly after a McLean guns down a Harpe in cold blood and runs off.

Colman Harpe promised his mother he’d not get involved with the feud and so far he’s managed to keep his promise. Colman has felt the call to preach and then he hears God call him to preach to his sworn enemy, and the head of the clan, in particular. Serepta McKlean is a strong, unbending woman and it’s her son who did the killing. Will she listen to the words from God Colman brings? There are many, many secrets that stand to be revealed if she listens.

This book was fascinating. Told in Thomas’s unique style, in the backwoods and hollers of West Virginia, the reader gets a glimpse of a life that is no longer. Her way with words is special indeed and the cadence of her descriptions is perfect! I was entranced the entire time I was reading. The spiritual element here is good, too: sometimes everything that looks bad is not always bad and God can bring about His work no matter what our eyes see. Highly recommended. Bravo!

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

Book Giveaway & Review: ‘Deadly Deceit’ (Harbored Secrets #2) by Natalie Walters

Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason–to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian’s only hope for finding the truth–and the next big story–is small-town law enforcement’s lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?

Author Natalie Walters welcomes you back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name–but no one knows your secret.

About Natalie Walters

My world revolves around GIJOE and our three adult (or almost adult) children who keep my life anything but predictable. Our boots hit the ground wherever the Army sends us but home is when we’re all together no matter the zipcode. My passion is writing stories where adventure meets love and share my belief that life rooted in purpose is a story worth telling.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘It didn’t matter how much she dressed up on the outside….it wasn’t enough. She wasn’t enough.’

I thought Natalie Walters’ debut novel was good. But she has done an even better job this time around! Seriously, this book is just good. Walters takes us back to Walton, Georgia, and we get to meet up with Deputy Ryan Frost again. The same Deputy Frost who was so geeky in book one. BUT…Ryan has changed. He is a rather swoon worthy hero this go round. And Vivian is so very likeable now. And the banter between her and Ryan is so refreshing and precious. I loved every minute!

The suspense is great. Walters ramps it up with each chapter until you are hanging on, wondering who in the world this culprit is! I never once guessed, either. A cyber criminal is targeting people and no one has any idea what is even going on, or how, much less who this person is. Vivian is determined to find out, being an investigative reporter, no matter if it puts her life in danger. Ryan decides the best way to keep her safe is to let her work with him. That doesn’t stop the bad guys, though.

All through the novel, we see the spiritual theme woven delicately that we are all worthy in God’s eyes. He loves us, plain and simple, and we are worthy of His love. Well done! Highly recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

Publisher: Revell Publishing
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy it here:

‘Royally Yours’ (Royalty Meets Small Town) by Liz Johnson, Melissa Tagg, Ashley Clark & Betsy St. Amant

Tinsel, Vermont is known for its no-paparazzi policy and Christmas decorations that are fit for a queen. This holiday season, join four royals on a stroll through town square as they each find their Christmas wishes for a happily-ever-after…tiaras optional.

About Liz Johnson

By day Liz Johnson works in marketing. She finds time to write late at night and is a Christy Award finalist and a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona where she enjoys theater, exploring local history, and doting on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Find out more about Liz at

About Melissa Tagg

Melissa Tagg is the award-winning author of the popular Walker Family series, the Where Love Begins series and the Enchanted Christmas Collection. Her latest release, Now and Then and Always, kicks off a new series set in her beloved-by-readers fictional town of Maple Valley. Melissa is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl.

Melissa’s books include a 2018 ACFW Carol Award Winner (One Enchanted Noel), an RT Book Reviews TOP PICK (All This Time) and a Publishers Weekly Spring Top Ten Pick (Like Never Before).

Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever (not that she’s biased), bookworming, watching old movies, and spoiling her nieces and nephews. Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Instagram.

About Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She’s dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, Ashley’s usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.

About Betsy St. Amant

Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of more than fifteen romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newly-wed-ish hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, an impressive stash of Pickle chips, and one furry Schnauzer-baby. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored to truth. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. She writes frequently for, a devotional site for women. Look for her upcoming novel with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in October 2020

My Rating: 4s Stars!

‘God had called him to do a hard thing. Now, Jonah simply prayed God would help him carry it out.’

I am a royalty fan. Have been for many decades. So this book on my radar excited me. And the authors have done a wonderful job.

The tiny town of Tinsel, Vermont, does Christmas up on a grand scale. They also have a media ban, so celebrities can come there to vacation and not be followed around by reporters. They are safe in Tinsel. In this charming quartet of novellas, royal personages do just that. They come to Tinsel to get away from it all and while they are there, they find something wonderful: love. I love this little town! Sometimes you read about a fictional place and it is done so well, you simply want to go walk its streets and have conversations with its residents. Tinsel is that town for me. Too bad it’s only fictional. I enjoyed every minute of this book and I truly recommend it.

*My thanks to one of the authors for a preview copy of this book. The opinion here is completely my own.

Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Get Your Copy Here:

‘Book Review & Giveaway’ (Protecting Tanner Hollow) by Lynette Eason

Four nail-biting novellas in one!

Lethal Homecoming
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth’s sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.

Lethal Conspiracy
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father’s campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . .

Lethal Secrets
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help–but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.

Lethal Agenda
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he’s met only once before–and has never been able to forget–he finds himself falling for her. But he’ll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they’re to have a future together.

About Lynette Eason

Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

I thoroughly enjoy romantic suspense. Lynette Eason is very good at this genre and I was excited when I saw she had this book coming out. Eason gives us four wonderfully suspenseful novellas AND one of them gives us Derek St. John’s story! I loved her Blue Justice series and the St. John siblings, so I was very happy to read Derek’s story. I recommend this book.

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

Publisher: Revell Publishing
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy it here:

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‘Soldier’s Christmas Secrets’ (Justice Seekers) by Laura Scott

He’ll do whatever it takes

To protect his family

When a plane crash leaves special ops soldier Hawk Jacobson with amnesia, all he knows is that the plane was sabotaged and he has a target on his back. His survival depends on letting everyone—including his wife, Jillian Wade—believe he’s dead. Until gunmen come after Jillian and the daughter he never knew existed. Can Jillian help him regain his memory in time to expose a killer?

Justice Seekers
About Laura Scott
My name is Laura Scott and I’m a registered nurse by day and an author by night. I have written 50 books for Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense as well as two indie series – Crystal Lake and The McNallys. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband of 33 years. I hope you enjoy my books as much as I love writing them!

Yours in Faith,

Laura Scott

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘If you would just put your future in God’s hands, you’d find out exactly what God has in store for us.’

This was my first book by Laura Scott to read. It was seriously good and full of suspense. A great hero, a plot overflowing with intrigue, and good secondary characters all make for a great read. This was so suspenseful that I was nearly going crazy trying to figure out what would happen next and just who the villains were! Recommended.

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

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

‘Deadly Christmas Pretense’ (Roughwater Ranch Cowboys # 2) by Dana Mentink

A cowboy to her rescue…

but she’s not who he thinks she is.

Posing as her sister for Christmas is the only way to save her, but Maggie Lofton needs help—even if it means working with her twin’s cowboy ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike. But between the bull’s-eye on her back and the dangerous connection she’s forming with Liam, Maggie’s mission is harder than expected. Will their tenuous partnership be enough to shield her when the killer closes in?

About Dana Mentink

Dana Mentink is an award winning author of Christian fiction. She’s written more than twenty five mystery and suspense novels. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at or find her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Dana hosts monthly contests at and on her YouTube channel.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Stick with me, Miss Lofton. I’m locked, loaded and ready.’

Dana Mentink proves once again she knows how to do suspense and create wonderfully swoon worthy heroes. Liam Pike is a dream cowboy–polite, respectful and has a heart of gold, not to mentnion honorable and trustworthy. I loved this guy. Maybe because he’s a southerner like me. Hmmm.

Maggie Lofton decides to pretend to be her twin sister when she is nearly killed by a driver intent on running her off the road. She has no idea what caused this, but soon finds out. She is rescued by the handsome cowboy Liam and he is determined to help her discover the culprit.

Mentink is good here, as always. Her suspense is top notch and I never tire of digging into one of her books. Recommended.

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

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: November 1, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy it here: