Book Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway: ‘Bride By Blackmail’ (Moonlight and Magnolia series) by Debbie Lynne Costello

About The Book:

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan MacKenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

About Debbie Lynne Costello

Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s Director. She loves the Lord and hopes people will be uplifted and inspired by her writing. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘His prayers were never answered.  Not unless he made it happen.’

Debbie Lynne Costello is in fine form here.  She totally had me at writing a Scotsman for  a hero!  Seriously, I do love all things Scotland, but this is a very good book.  A Southern belle who wants to do things her own way, a hero who wants to marry said belle, but needs to move the obstacles standing between the marriage.  Oh, did I mention the Scotsman is a spy for the queen of England?  Good, huh? 

I love the marriage of convenience trope,  pretty fond of mail order bride stories, too, but a bride by blackmail?  That was a new one.  Costello makes it work wonderfully, though, and I could barely put it down.  This one is a keeper.  Recommended.

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

I am so happy to have Debbie Lynne Costello on my blog today.  Let me tell you, she is so nice!  Debbie Lynne lives here in my hometown and we have met on several occasions and she is precious.  Each time we meet, we just talk for hours.  So settle in as I ask Debbie Lynne some questions and get to know her better.  And be sure to enter to win one of her books! The Rafflecopter link follows the interview.

When did you know you wanted to write books? 

This probably sounds a little crazy, but about 2 weeks before I started. That was 2008.  Now, I had started writing stories when I was 8 years old and I loved doing that. And I went to school for journalism, thinking I’d like to write for a magazine perhaps. But write a 300 page book? That seemed like a mountain! It never crossed my mind until my husband told me one day I needed to write a book! 

Describe a writing day. 

I get up and have 2 cups of tea while I talk to my daughter who lives in Charleston. When I hang up from her I call my mom and talk to her. While I talk to her, I go outside and let my ducks out of the trailer and get them fed and all ready for their day then I play with my German Shepherd with the water hose. She won’t leave me alone if I don’t! When I come in I read my bible/listen to my bible and have my quiet time. I get something cold to drink, sit down, check emails and read over the last thing I wrote. If there is research to do on something I might look that up before digging in to my story. I write until lunch and grab a bite to eat, usually I eat and write. I usually push my writing til I have to stop and get dinner or it will be late. LOL. Then in the evening when the TV goes on, (I don’t care for TV) I work on blogs or promotion things. The promotion stuff takes so much time from an author. I wish I didn’t have to do it!

How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends. I wrote Sword of Forgiveness in 4 months. Shattered Memories was about 8 months but it had a lot of research. Bride by Blackmail took about 6 months I believe.  It just depends on if I have a lot of interupted days or not. The sequel to Sword of Forgiveness is 3/4 written but I’ve not been able to stay with it because of Joe’s treatments and building a house. I had to put it on the back burner for quite some time. But now that Bride by Blackmail is out I am going full steam on Sword of Trust. 

What is your biggest writing challenge?

That would have to be interuptions. Phone calls, appointments, animals, family that needs me. It is a challenge and it slows my writing down, but writing is not my life, I have a wonderful family that sometimes needs me, animals that I love that need me, and then all the every day things that life throws at you.

What are your hobbies? 

I have lots of hobbies. I love to horseback ride with my neighbor and huband.  I raise Shetland Sheepdogs aka Shelties. I enjoy painting and drawing. I love to make things for family and friends for Christmas so I sew, embroider, crochet and do random crafts. 

How big a part does prayer play in your writing?

In all my books I always give credit to the Lord. Without Him I’d not have a story to write. He guides me through the stories and I talk to Him abou them. I never want to write anything that will be displeasing to Him. He’s my Rock and I couldn’t pen a word without Him.

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:31

Bride by Blackmail  Book 1 in Moonlight and Magnolia Series Coming in September 15th 2020 Cup of Christmas Cheer (Guideposts Books) 
Sword of Forgiveness Book 1 in Winds of Change Series (Medieval)
Sword of the Matchmaker Novella in the Winds of Change Series

The Perfect Bride Novella in the Winds of Change SeriesSword of Trust Book 2 in Winds of Change Series coming 2020

Shattered Memories Book 1 in The Charleston Earthquake Series

Book Review: ‘The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About The Book:

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.
During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.
But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone’s Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.
As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?

About Kim Vogel Sawyer
Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer is a wife, mother, gramma, chocolate-lover, cat-petter, and–most importantly–a daughter of the King! With more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages, Kim enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Her “gentle stories of hope” are loved by readers and reviewers alike. Kim and her retired military husband, Don, reside on the plains of Kansas, the setting for many of her novels.
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Kim Vogel Sawyer has written a book that goes way down deep and makes your heart smile. Based on the true stories of the packhorse librarians in Kentucky in the early twentieth century. Sawyer gives us a glimpse into the lives of the hill folk who are proud even though they are incredibly impoverished. She has created wonderfully memorable characters in Emmett, Addie and Nannie Fay, even Bettina. I was in tears near the ending. Filled me up. Highly recommended.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is my own.

Publisher: WaterBrook
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Inspirational Historical

Book Review: ‘Five Simple Gifts’ (Love That Counts #5) by Sondra Kraak

About The Book

Langley Taft is a firm believer in the narrow way. She trained to work alongside her father in their lumber dynasty and married the man of her parents’ choosing. A man who turned around and issued her a humiliating divorce. Left alone to raise her sister’s illegitimate son, she defies her family to do what she knows is right: deliver the baby to his father—even if that man is Wilder Monaghan, the irresponsible heir to a rival lumber company who lives on the other side of the country. And who happens to be the scoundrel she once fancied in her youth.

A lover of adventure, opportunity, and all things exciting, Wilder isn’t prepared for the surprise appearance of the son he thought was dead, or for the woman who shows up with her life shaded by unjust accusations but determined to help him raise his son. Parenting alongside the stringent Langley might be his most challenging adventure yet. Or his most rewarding, provided he can teach her how to have fun and in the process win her affections. But why would a studious, responsible woman like Langley Taft look twice at him, a reprobate trying to find his course back to the narrow way?

As secrets are revealed, driving a wedge between Wilder and Langley, they both must humble themselves to receive a gift they did not earn, a gift not bought with money or charm: the gift of a second chance. 

A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. After attending Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, she moved to North Carolina to work for a small non-profit ministry. It was in the backroom of that office, amid the clamor of copy machines and printers, that love blossomed. She married her mountain man in 2004, and they spent the first season of their marriage in New England where Sondra attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and graduated with her Masters of Biblical Studies.

Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she works part-time at her church doing worship ministry and leading Bible studies. Life at home with her husband and two children is full of board games, four square competitions, read-aloud-marathons, and magically multiplying loads of laundry.

She writes historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, through which her passion and delight is to provide readers with stories that not only entertain but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was a Genesis semi-finalist and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘If he could change one thing about his life, he’d change the silence of God.’

Wilder has a reputation as a fun loving young man, never serious. But Wilder knows his flaws–after all, he has an illegitimate son. Wilder has his hidden pain that hinders him from achieving the holiness he so desperately seeks from God.

Langley knows she is rigid and judgmental at times, but letting to is so very hard for her. These two people want to change but sometimes the pull to flesh is hard to combat. However, God’s grace truly is sufficient and Wilder and Langley are recipients of that grace in the most wonderful of ways.

Sondra Kraak has certainly done a wonderful job in the fifth book in this series. Heart-deep and full, this one will linger in your heart and mind a while. Recommended.

*My thanks to the author for an early copy of this book. The opinions in this review are my own. 

Publisher: Trail House Publishers
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Length: 458 pages
Buy Link:

Book Review: ‘The Edge of Belonging’ by Amanda Cox

About The Book

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

About Amanda Cox
Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, she spent her time counseling children, families, and individuals through life’s challenging moments. Now she uses those same skills to develop layered characters and stories, bringing them on a journey of hope and healing. A journey she hopes her readers experience in their own lives as they read.

A few of her favorite things are the sanctuary of the great outdoors, the feeling of pen on paper, the sound of her children’s laughter, and exploring new places with her husband of 15 years. (Oh, let’s not forget good fiction and good coffee. She’s addicted to both.) You can stay connected with her latest writing updates at
My Rating: 5 Stars!!

I almost passed this book by. My reading schedule was full and there were books I wanted to reread, but it kept calling to me. I am so very glad I listened to its voice. Let me tell you now: this book is worth way more than the allowed five stars. Way more.

One night a thirty year old homeless man named Harvey finds a just born baby girl abandoned on the side of the highway near the woods in which he lives. He takes her in, names her Ivy Rose and starts loving her. But how will Harvey manage to raise a baby when he lives in the woods? He doesn’t even have a job, so how will he feed and clothe her? From this point on, we see clearly God’s magnificent orchestration in the lives of these people. It is absolutely amazing. This book is so incredibly profound. It squeezed my heart and then cause it to burst with joy. If it had been a physical book instead of digital, I would have clasped it to my heart and hugged it. Then, I wept, literally wept, with tears dripping off my face, during the last part of this tremendous story. I don’t ever recall a debut novel moving me this much. Never. I not only highly recommend this book, I urge you to read it. Seriously. Read this book. It’s going on my list of top reads for 2020.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Buy Link:

Book Review: ‘An Ivy Hill Christmas’ (A Tales From Ivy Hill Novella) by Julie Klassen

About The Book

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

About Julie Klassen
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Minnesota Book Award, the Midwest Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit and for more information.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Something in his chest cracked, then loosened, and a tendril of joy sprouted in his heart.’

Oh, how good it was to visit dear Ivy Hill again! This charming village with it’s wonderful mix of residents have quite grown attached to my heart.

Richard Brockwell comes home for Christmas at the near demand of his mother. Richard-who quite sees himself as so jaded as not to need anyone. But Richard has not reckoned on these dear inhabitants of Ivy hill.

Full of charm and so delightful, An Ivy Hill Christmas will just, quite simply, make your heart smile. In fact, I found my face and heart doing just that and often. Julie Klassen is incredibly adept at a stunning Regency. I have been reading her since her very first book and she just ticks all the boxes for a great Regency novel. Her work this time has just been amazing-so amazing that this book just may be my favorite of the entire series! And a plus is the gorgeous cover! An Ivy Hill Christmas if so full and rich and will warm your heart with it’s precious holiday cheer. Highly recommended.

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

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: Inspirational historical
Length: 224 pages
Buy Link:

Book Review: ‘Until I Met You’ (Restoring Heritage) by Tari Faris

About The Book:

When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?

Novelist Tari Faris invites you back to the small town with a big heart in this second book in the Restoring Heritage series.

About Tari Faris
I have been writing fiction for more than twelve years. It has been an exciting journey for this math-loving-dyslexic girl. I had read less than a handful of novels by the time I graduated from college and I thought I would end up in the field of science or math. But God had other plans and I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. As someone told me once, God’s plans may not be easy, and they may not always make sense but they are never boring.​

When I am not writing or working, I spend time with my amazing husband. We have been married for fifteen wonderful years and have three sweet children. In my free time, I love coffee, rock hounding with my husband and kids, and distracting myself from housework.

I love to hear from readers. You can connect with me at my website at
My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Why did everyone want her to pray all the time?’

Tari Faris gave us her first book last year and she became a wonderful new voice in Christian fiction. I enjoy discovering new authors and now I add her to a favorites list.

Libby Kinsley comes to the incredibly sweet small town of Heritage, Michigan hoping for a new life and heading up a new library. Her new neighbor, Austin Williams is not so fond of her and spurns her at every turn. They begin clashing almost daily. Did she make a mistake coming here?

‘I finally ditched the grave clothes.’

This book carries a powerful theme of forgiveness, both for others and for self. Heart deep, it will touch you and help make you a better person. The book also tells the story of Nate and Olivia, who both touched me deeply. I was totally all in and could not put it down.

*My thanks to the publisher, Revell, for a copy of this book. The opinions in this review are expressly my own.

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Inspirational Romance

Book Review: ‘Two Reasons To Run’ (The Pelican Harbor Series) by Colleen Coble

About The Book:

A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol. 

A crisis looms.

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good.

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays? 

“Colleen Coble’s super power is transporting her readers into beautiful settings in vivid detail. One Little Lie is no exception. Add to that the suspense that keeps you wanting to know more, and characters that pull at your heart.” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run 

“Colleen Coble’s latest has it all: characters to root for, a sinister villain, and a story that just won’t stop.” —Siri Mitchell, author of State of Lies  

  • Full length romantic suspense
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs
  • Perfect for fans of Allison Brennan, Terri Blackstock, and Dani Pettrey
  • Part of the Pelican Harbor series
    • Book One: One Little Lie
    • Book Two: Two Reasons to Run
    • Book Three: Three Missing Days (available April 2021)
About Colleen Coble
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Pray? Would God even listen to her? She wanted to spring into action, to be the warrior she’d always been.’

Colleen Coble does a mighty fine job with the second book in her Pelican Harbor series. Police Chief Jane Hardy, only recently reunited with a son she thought dead, and his father, and still reeling from a huge scandal that shook her small town police department once again is battling a murder. The murder exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood the bay with crude oil. Jane must put her life on hold, including her feelings for her son’s father, while she deals with this. Then their son is threatened and all stops must be pulled out to save his life before the sabotage.

Coble is quite good at suspenseful series. Her Rock Harbor series is my all time favorite and I was definitely glad to see her back with a super series. Well written with a credible plot and good characters, this one is on top of the game! Recommended.

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

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 8,2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Inspirational

Book Review: ‘Hometown Hope’ by Laurel Blount

About The Book:

He’ll do anything for his daughter…Even fight to regain an old classmate’s broken trust.

In the three years since her mother’s death, widower Hoyt Bradley’s daughter, Jess, hasn’t spoken—until she suddenly begs him to save her favorite bookstore from closing. Hoyt is desperate to hear his daughter’s voice again, but he and the bookstore’s pretty owner, Anna Delaney, share a less-than-friendly past. Working together is complicated enough…but can they avoid falling in love?

About Laurel Blount
Laurel Blount lives on a small farm in middle Georgia with her husband, their four children, a milk cow, dairy goats, assorted chickens and ducks, three spoiled cats and one extremely bossy goose with boundary issues. She divides her time between farm chores, homeschooling, teaching foreign language and writing. She’s busy, but she’s never bored!
Her debut novel A FAMILY FOR THE FARMER was the recipient of the 2017 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements category. This book also received two 2017 Holt Awards of Merit and was a finalist in the 2017 Carol Awards.
Whenever she’s not working, you can find Laurel with a cup of tea at her elbow, a cat in her lap, and a good book in her hand.
My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘A man’s life could change on a dime. Hoyt had lived long enough and hard enough to know that firsthand.’ I discovered Laurel Blount’s writing two books ago and I am now a forever fan! This book was absolutely wonderful! I have a very vivid imagination when reading and love to plop myself right down into the book, every scene. For that very reason, it is supremely important to me to be able to connect with a book’s characters early on. This happened on the first page of the book. Hoyt and Anna were real people in my imagination, and I fell in love with the story. Blount is an amazing writer, conveying every emotion into her characters. Hoyt was such a true hero, hard working, honest, great heart. My heart soared when reading this book. She’s also quite good at wit. I really loved that part. Honestly, this story just filled me all the way up! I highly recommend this author. Now I’m off to read the remainder of her books.

Publisher: Love Inspired
Buy it here: