When the daughter of a high-profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls’ boarding school, police detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment. It doesn’t take her long to realize that beneath the veneer of polish and wealth, things are not as they seem at Ivy Hill Academy. But the biggest surprise of all? The only man she ever loved is also working at the school.
Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but now isn’t the best time for their paths to cross again. When their two seemingly disparate agendas begin to intertwine–and startling connections emerge among the players–the danger escalates significantly. But who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse? And how far will they go to protect their house of cards?
Queen of romantic suspense Irene Hannon invites you to scale the heights of human folly and plumb the depths of the human heart in this second gripping book in the Triple Threat series.
About Irene Hannon
Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com
‘In the world he’d occupied for close to a decade, there had been little evidence of the Almighty’s presence-or even the existence of a loving God.’
I am a huge fan of Irene Hannon. Her suspense books are great. She deftly layers on layer after layer of more suspense, thereby giving readers a more difficult time in trying to figure out the culprits. I was shocked at this one! She is very good at what she does and I never miss one of her good books.
My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via the Net Galley platform. The opinion here is my own.
Christmas is in the air in Kedgewick Creek, North Carolina, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Will romance find four couples in the month of December or will the pressure to keep the festivities Mistletoe Square is known for keep these couples apart? Find out in this collection of four novellas from inspirational authors Pepper Basham, Cara Putman, Janine Rosche, and Teresa Tysinger.
This is a wonderful collection of Christmas novellas, all set in a wonderful little town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are so precious. I do indeed recommend them very much.
The Christmas Clue To Finding You by Pepper Basham
‘This was an incredibly delightful and sweet story set during the Christmas season in a small town in the Blue Ridge mountains. And Christmas is such a magical time, too. You can feel it throughout the book. Pepper Basham manages to make this novella seem like a full length novel in this sweet story of forgiveness and belonging. God indeed has a plan for our lives. Sometimes it just takes longer than we think it should. I was invested from the first page. Piper and Gage are great characters! And hello! There is a kilt!’
An Unscripted Christmas by Teresa Tysinger
Teresa Tysinger’s contribution features an older decades long married couple. Oh, how I enjoyed this story. She manages to just pull the reader right into their lives and emotions. I could ‘sense’ it from the very beginning, the troubles they were going through. It was incredible to have such emotions evoked in my heart by two characters. Full and rich, with emotions so powerful it stirred my heart to tears. Incredibly well done! I loved it!
Silver Bell Secrets by Cara Putman
Cara Putman’s offering in this collection gives us a sweet story of a book/coffee shop owner who needs to understand just how much of worth she is, not only to others, but to God. Kedgewick Creek’s book store portrayed here made me want to open the door, grab a cappuccino and settle in for a spot of reading. And there is a super hunky hero, too.
Dreams in Toyland by Janine Rosche
This one is just so sweet. An old fashioned toy shop’s owner, a million dollar toy company owner and a secret Christmas Santa all together in one story. I don’t want to say more for fear of a spoiler but this one just warms the heart strings. I loved it.
My thanks to the authors for providing me with their work. A positive review was not expected. The opinion here is my own.
A captivating new seaside romance brimming with mystery from USA Today bestselling, Christy Award-winning author Melissa Tagg
Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she’s never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who’s searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago.
If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in Scotland, bereft and alone. Instead, he has a full life in Muir Harbor with an adopted family he loves and a blueberry farm to run. But the farm is struggling and strange occurrences have him concerned. Worse, Maggie’s once again caught up in the past, convinced she’s finally found her long-lost granddaughter.
Worried for Maggie, Neil is suspicious of the city girl who shows up at the farm. But there’s something about Sydney that tugs on him, drawing out secrets he never meant to share. While Neil grapples with the future of the farm, Sydney wrestles with a past that’s messier than ever. Together, they’re pulled into a mystery complete with a centuries-old legend, unexpected danger . . . and a love as deep and wild as the sea.
“With complex characters, a swoony romance, and a charming seaside town you can’t help but fall in love with, Melissa Tagg delivers once again!” ~ New York Times bestselling author Courtney Walsh
‘Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times, it’s truth wrapped in undeniable knowing.’
Melissa Tagg has been a favorite of mine since I read her very first book and with each book by her I read, I become even more convinced of that fact. Here she sets her book series in Maine. I’ve always wanted to visit Maine and Tagg takes me there in her story. She brings us Maggie Muir, a wonderful older woman who is desperate to find her lost granddaughter. Maggie has some regrets but she will never regret searching for her Cynthia.
‘You don’t have to do everything on your own, Neil. You’ve got this amazing family. Let them help you.’
We meet the three siblings Maggie has adopted years ago, Neil being one of them. Such a wonderful hero this man is. He ticks all the boxes for literary heroes, honestly he does. I especially loved his bathroom scenes. If that sounds intriguing, good. Go buy the book and read it. You’ll be hooked by the first page.
Tagg always writes with such heart and depth that I feel as if I’m there in her stories. And what a good place to be. God sometimes leads us places that don’t seem like the right place to be, but He knows the beginning from the end and He wants the best for His children. And sometimes that best includes the pain of traveling to that good place. We see faith played out in the wonderfulness of Maine’s beauty, rather than always in a church. Sometimes, too, our heart’s longings are God’s whispers to our souls. This one is so good, folks. I can’t wait for the next one in this series. Well done!
My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. I was not pressured to leave a positive review. The opinions here are expressly my own.
A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways
Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.
Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.
Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community–or will the tangle be too much to unravel?
Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.
To read an excerpt of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Ladyclick here.
About Sharon Mondragón
Sharon Mondragon is not just a nice lady who knits. She’s the author of award-winning fiction that takes you to the place where courage and kindness meet.
Like some of the characters in The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady, she was once content to live well within her comfort zone. At the age of 19, however, she realized that she would not have much to show for such a life. She accepted the challenge and recklessly prayed for adventure.
The ensuing years as an Army spouse and the mother of five wildly individual children were filled with both thrilling and devastating moments, undergirded by the faithful hand of the God who inspired the prayer.
The Army years are over, but the adventure continues in MIdlothian, Texas where Sharon lives with her husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.
An Interview with Sharon Mondragón,
Author of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady
It’s easy to fall into a routine that’s easy and comfortable because it’s what has always been done. But sometimes we need to get pushed out of our comfort zones in order to do the work God really calls us to do. That’s what happens to the members of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry in Sharon J. Mondragón’s debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (Kregel Publications).
Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady.
The four knitters of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry are stuck—in a comfortable mold of ministry, a stagnant church, and at the points of pain they each have in their own life. All this changes when their pastor kicks them out of the comfortable, quiet prayer chapel to take their ministry out into the world. They end up knitting way out of their comfort zone at the local mall during the Christmas shopping season where anything can happen.
Q: Introduce us to the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry. Who are the members and what is the mission of the ministry?
The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry has met from 9:30-11:30 every Wednesday morning for the past seven years to knit prayer shawls. They knit in the peace and quiet of the Prayer Chapel of Hope of Glory Community Church, praying silently. Margaret is the self-appointed leader of the group (she tends to take charge of whatever she’s involved in). Jane, a mother of teens, gives Rose a ride from Fair Meadows Retirement Community every week. Fran is a recent widow learning to knit as she begins to emerge from the fog of grief.
The purpose of their ministry is to make shawls to comfort and encourage people who are ill, bereaved or otherwise going through a difficult time. They pray as they knit to infuse the shawls with a sense of the presence of God. The shawls are a tangible expression of God’s love and care—a hug from God.
Q: The prayer shawl knitters have been meeting in the church’s prayer chapel, but their routine gets turned upside down. What happened?
Their pastor, Father Pete, has been tasked with either reviving Hope of Glory or shutting it down. If he were a betting man, the bishop would put his money on closing the church. Father Pete, however, isn’t someone who gives up easily. He’s tried all the usual ways of stirring things up—sprucing up the church, expanding the children’s ministry, small groups, to no avail.
At a recent clergy conference, however, Father Pete gets a brainwave. The bishop tells the pastors in attendance that people are not coming to church anymore, therefore, they need to take church to the people. Father Pete decides that a great way to do this would be to send Hope of Glory (in the form of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) out to the people who aren’t coming to church. After all, what is as inviting and cozy as a group of knitters? He tells them that for the next month, while work is being done in the prayer chapel, they must meet in public.
Q: What starts to happen as the ladies start knitting in the middle of the mall?
People notice them. It starts with a college student, Sarah, who tells the knitters they remind her of her grandmother who makes afghans. After Rose explains prayer shawls to her, Sarah asks the group to pray about her upcoming test. Word gets out, and soon the knitters are fielding prayer requests from all over the mall—from a tire salesman up for promotion and retail workers barely making ends meet to the assistant manager at the bookstore who is worried about her gravely-ill boss.
The Heavenly Hugs also attract a few young women who want to learn to knit. Rose is delighted to pass on this skill, but the knitting lessons upset Margaret. Not only are they not getting much praying done when people stop by to talk to them, but teaching knitting has never been part of their ministry. She’s convinced the ministry is falling apart, even though some of the people they’ve talked with at the mall start showing up at church.
Q: What happens once a prayer shawl is finished? How is it decided who gets a shawl?
When one of the Heavenly Hugs ladies finishes a shawl, Margaret attaches a tag with the words “Made for you with love and prayer by the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry” on one side and “You are not alone,” followed by the church’s contact information on the other. Then the shawl is delivered to the church, where Father Pete and the congregation pray over it the following Sunday. The shawl is then stored in the church office to be given out to those who request one for someone they know and care about who is having a rough time. On occasion, Father Pete or Lucille, the church administrator, give them to someone who has come for counseling or support.
Q: Why is Margaret so focused on an arbitrary set of rules that it keeps her from seeing the positives of knitting at the mall?
For one thing, Margaret is used to being in charge. She doesn’t like being told what to do. She invokes those arbitrary rules in order to maintain the status quo. She likes having the prayer shawl ministry in the neat little box of the Prayer Chapel, where nothing unexpected happens and no-one challenges her authority.
She is also using those rules much like the Pharisees used theirs—to keep God at arm’s length. It looks like she’s ministering on the outside, but she’s using those rules to keep from engaging with God. Meeting at the mall changes the way the group ministers. It makes them aware of “the wants and needs” of a group of people they hadn’t thought about before. Being out among the people they’re praying for forces awareness of these needs and shakes them out of complacency. While Rose, Fran, and Jane come to embrace this, Margaret continues to be uncomfortable with the changes and unpredictability. She’d rather keep the people and their problems at arm’s length, too, especially as they begin to inch her toward facing a long-buried hurt.
Q: After a couple of months, why is it so difficult for Margaret to admit Father Pete may have been right in kicking the knitters out of the prayer chapel? Why does she always have to be in control?
Margaret is something of a matriarch at Hope of Glory, the church “Dragon Lady.” She’s seen pastors come and pastors go, but she has maintained her firm grip on “the way we’ve always done things.” It’s a matter of pride for her to always be right. Having opposed Father Pete, she can’t swallow her pride and admit that he was right.
This issue of control is something I’ve thought about a great deal. There are a number of bossy women in my life. Not being bossy myself, I’ve been perplexed about how these women can feel so comfortable telling others what to do and always getting their own way. Margaret’s character began as an attempt to understand bossy women. I hoped that by getting inside her head and heart, seeing things through her eyes, I might gain insight into the inner workings of my own bossy women.
What I’ve discovered is that not all bossy women have the same motivations. For some it’s about power, the flexing of “muscles” to be able to make others do things. Others believe they have the best ideas, so naturally, others should do as they say. For women like Margaret, there’s an element of pride. They want everything they do to come out in a way that reflects well on them, regardless of much steamrolling they must do to achieve it.
For Margaret, however, it goes even deeper. She is trying to fend something off by controlling as much as she can. Realizing this was an epiphany for me. I realized that I, too, had struggled with the issue of trying to protect myself vs. trusting God with my future and my heart. I found that my bossy character and I had common ground after all.
Q: What happens that finally starts to turn Margaret’s heart around?
Through one of the prayer requests at the mall, Margaret comes face-to-face with a situation which hits uncannily close to home, a situation from which she has been running for over two decades. This trauma has been at the bottom of her steely and desperate need to control. She is finally moved toward change and healing when she decides to try to save someone else from the regrets that have haunted her for over twenty-five years.
Q: Can you share what the other members of the group are struggling with in their lives?
Rose Harker is eighty-five, widowed, and has relished her independence. She enjoyed her involvement at church, her friendships with the families in her neighborhood, and driving herself whenever she wanted to go somewhere—until she mowed down her daughter’s mailbox while she was backing out of the driveway, that is. Her bossy daughter thinks the best place for Rose is Fair Meadows Retirement Community, so that’s where she’s living now. That doesn’t mean she has to like it, though. At the beginning of the story, Rose is not adjusting well to life at Fair Meadows, shunning new friendships and wishing she could go back to living on her own.
Jane Crenshaw is the harried mother of three contentious teenagers—a nineteen-year-old son, Kenny, and two daughters, Anna and Emily, who are fifteen and thirteen. Jane thought that once troublemaker Kenny was out of the house, things would settle down, but the girls are still intensely quarrelsome with each other and with Jane. Kenny’s behavior has hurt Jane deeply, to the point that she is estranged from him. Rose reminds her that she needs to forgive him, but Jane can’t see how that will ever be possible.
Fran McMillan is beginning to emerge from the shock of sudden bereavement. One minute she was planning a cruise to celebrate her husband Ed’s retirement from a busy, demanding career (he would have time for her at last!), and the next she was planning his funeral after a heart attack. At the beginning of the story, we meet a timid woman who is just coming out of not only the shadow of grief, but the shadow of her husband. She’s learning to knit and has started to venture out into the world again beyond just going to church. Knitting at the mall is out of her comfort zone, but she braves it anyway. Who knows what’s in store for her?
Q: You are involved in actual prayer shawl ministry, aren’t you? Can you tell us more about it?
I made my first prayer shawl in 2008. It was for myself, akin to how flight attendants tell us to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before helping others with theirs. In 2009, I joined my first prayer shawl group. I was, once again, the new girl at church, due to a military move (my husband had been assigned to Fort Gordon, located just outside Augusta, Georgia). I joined the prayer shawl group in hopes of making some friends. It turned out to be so much more!
The Hands of Comfort Prayer Shawl Ministry did not meet at The Church of the Holy Comforter, but in the café of a local health food store. The pastor wanted us to ply our needles in public, not hidden away in the church building. People often stopped by our table to ask what we were making or to tell us about someone they loved who also knitted or crocheted. We were a warm and comforting presence in that space every week.
At first, I thought of prayer shawl making as something nice to do for hurting people, but I soon discovered that God wanted something deeper from me. Most of the shawls I made went into the supply at church. They were an act of faith, as I never knew who would receive them or exactly why the shawls were needed. Then I started to experience what I call “The Nudge,” that urge to make a shawl for a particular person. This involved a great deal of listening as I searched for the right yarn and pattern for each shawl. I began to pay attention to the situations that prompted the nudge and caught a glimpse of how much God cares about fractured relationships, unspeakable sorrow, and weariness of soul. Prayer shawl making has become a way to draw closer to the heart of God, to see people and situations through His eyes.
At the end of my husband’s military career in 2014, we moved to Texas to be closer to family (especially our marvelous grandchildren). I’ve since become the facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at our church. Those who are able meet on Friday afternoons at a local coffee shop. We are not only friends and knitting (and crochet) buddies, but prayer partners, lifting up and encouraging one another.
Q: Do you have a new writing project in the works?
Yes, I do. I’m working on another prayer shawl novel. This story takes place at the retirement community where my character Rose lives. Sam Talbot is barely existing since his wife went into Memory Care at Fair Meadows Retirement Community. Life has lost all color and meaning—until he gets tangled up with flirtatious Jenny Alderman, crotchety crocheter Edna Booth, and the rest of the prayer shawl group Rose is heading up at Fair Meadows. The Woolgatherers make prayer shawls for the caretakers of folks with dementia, but they soon find out that God has much more in mind for each of them. Jenny, Edna, and Sam come face to face with uncomfortable truths about themselves and are challenged to embrace new ways of living and relating to God and others. It’s a story of love and loss, the pain of loneliness, and the power of community.
I’m excited about this book because I feel it’s important to reach out and support those who love and care for people with memory issues. We tend not to want to think about this situation because the thought of developing memory problems ourselves is frightening. It’s deeply distressing to watch someone’s memory and function fade. Caretakers, however, need our love, concern, and support, even if it’s simply a listening ear and a hug from someone who can recognize them. In this book, I hope readers will gain a sense of God’s heart for caretakers and follow Him in loving and caring for them. The care of both memory patients and their caretakers is truly a place where courage and kindness meet.
This precious story took me completely by surprise in a most wonderful way. When four ladies who meet every Wednesday morning to knit prayer shawls and pray in their church’s prayer chapel are told by the pastor they need to knit elsewhere, they are thrown into a bit of a tizzy. One, especially, Margaret Benson, who needs to be in control at all times, bucks against the pastor’s wishes. They all thought that knitting the prayer shawls at the church while praying over them was the place to do it. Each of the ladies, however, has an issue that needs to be addressed and it can’t happen within the confines of the prayer chapel.
Sometimes God interrupts our plans with His own. Because He has something to accomplish in our lives and He uses His children to do it. The ladies move to the mall to do their knitting and praying and many lives end up being touched by their mission. And they themselves just might feel the hand of God in their own lives in a wonderful and totally unexpected way. This was a very precious and fulfilling read. Now I want a prayer shawl.
My thanks to Kregel Publications for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not pressured to leave a positive review and the opinion here is my own.
Out horseback riding, Dr. Katherine Gilroy accidentally stumbles into a deadly shoot-out and comes to US marshal Dominic O’Ryan’s aid. Now with Dominic injured and under her care, she’s determined to help him find her brother—the fugitive he believes murdered his partner. While Katherine’s sure her brother isn’t guilty, someone’s dead set on killing her and Dominic…and finding the truth is their one shot at survival.
‘She’d never been big on trusting or believing in God.’
I love suspense and this offering by Lynette Eason fits the suspense bill quite nicely. From the moment Dr. Katherine Gilroy, while out horseback riding, comes upon injured US Marshall Dominic O’Ryan, the action never stops. And there’s a great dog in the story! Well done!
My thanks to the publisher, Love Inspired, for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is entirely my own.
The day Jack—formerly Winston Stewart—walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. After all, it wasn’t like he’d committed a murder. Just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—his friend and the one guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can Jack refuse?
She can’t seem to escape hers.
Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough. After all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?
But facing the past might put their future together in jeopardy.
When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending… But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.
Cozy up to this perfect Deep Haven drama about discovering a season of second chances.
About the Authors:
Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of more than 85 books. With more than 1.5 million books sold, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at http://www.susanmaywarren.com.
Andrea Christenson lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters. When she is not busy homeschooling her girls, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on, bake bread, eat cheese, and watch Netflix. Andrea’s prayer is to write stories revealing God’s love. Visit Andrea at http://www.andreachristenson.com.
Want more of Deep Haven?
Deep Haven Collection Book 1: Still the One Book 2: Can’t Buy Me Love Book 3: Crazy for You Book 4: Then Came You (July 2021) Book 5: Hangin’ by a Moment (September 2021) Book 6: Right Here Waiting (November 2021)
Deep Haven Series by Susan May Warren Book 1: Happily Ever After Book 2: Tying the Knot Book 3: The Perfect Match Book 4: My Foolish Heart Book 5: Hook, Line, & Sinker (ebook novella) Book 6: You Don’t Know Me Book 7: The Shadow of Your Smile
The Christiansen Family Collection by Susan May Warren Prequel: Evergreen Book 1: Take a Chance on Me Book 2: It Had to Be You Book 3: When I Fall in Love Book 4: Always on My Mind Book 5: The Wonder of You Book 6: You’re the One That I Want
Come on back to the wonderful little town of Deep Haven, MN for the fifth installment in the series. Susan May Warren and Andrea Christenson deliver the goods here and in a great way.
Colleen Decker and Jack Stewart are the stars here as each struggle with inward fears. Andrea Christenson proves she is a voice to watch in Christian fiction as she fleshed out these great characters. The spiritual theme is so good, too, as it always is in a Warren book, too. Our circumstances do not prove our worth to God. God looks at the heart. Well done!
My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own.
A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women’s Army Corps.
Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families’ and country’s chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they’re called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don’t add up.
A member of the Women’s Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother’s pacifism, but she’s shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it’s wrong to lie; she’s willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.
‘Maybe you should take a second look. People are never simple. Once you see past old prejudices and first impressions, you’ll see that the most overlooked ones can be….useful. ‘
Amy Lynn Green’s sophomore nov is better than her first! Based on true stories about conscientious objectors and the women’s army corps, this book explores courage and the heart’s convictions that are powerful.
Set in a time of war that impacted every life it touched, we see how those who refused to fight and take a life suffered at their own countrymen’s hands. And those of their family. There was a distant cousin in my own family that served in that capacity in the same war.
When two main characters must work together to discover the truth behind a soldier’s ‘accident’, one thinks it is totally okay to lie to find that truth. The other’s convictions restrict his participation in the investigation.
Green does a fine job digging into the heart and convictions of her characters. I was in from the very beginning. It was a hard time in this country’s history and she portrays it very well indeed. Well done!
My thanks to Bethany House for a copy of this book. I was not pressured to leave a positive review. The opinion here is my own.
Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.
1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.
This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.
‘It’s the things we don’t say that have the power to rule our lives without our permission.’
When I read Amanda Cox’s debut novel last year, I thought it was astounding! She was a great new voice in Christian fiction and I made sure to keep an eye out for her next offering. I was not disappointed at all in her sophomore effort.
Told over the span of sixty years, the story comes alive in Cox’s pen. Three women in a family feature prominently here as Cox brings them to life vividly. Each has their own cross to bear and have born them for many years. We see their pain, joy, secrets as they deal with the life they’ve lived. Indeed, we feel their pain as Cox fleshes them out fully for us to see.
‘It was a double-edged sword, this life of hers. Loving the blessings she had, sometimes still aching for what couldn’t be.’
This book explores powerfully the mother/daughter relationship and the importance of keeping lines of communication open, and the detrimental effects of secrets kept. Certainly one for the keeper shelf. Amanda Cox knows her craft well.
My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not expected to leave a positive review . The opinion here is expressly my own.
“A feast of small-town charm and characters who feel like dear friends.” —Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn
From USA TODAY bestselling author Kathryn Springer comes a tale of starting over when life takes an unexpected turn.
Winsome Lake, Wisconsin, is postcard-pretty, but for chef Jessica Keaton it’s also a last resort. Fired from her dream job, Jess is starting over as a live-in cook and housekeeper. When she arrives, she finds her new employer is in rehab after having a stroke, and Jess expects she’ll be all alone in Elaine Haviland’s quaint house. A chef with no one to cook for.
But instead, she encounters a constant stream of colorful visitors who draw her back into the world. As Jess contends with local teenagers, a group of scrappy women and a charming football coach, Elaine faces some battles of her own that extend past her physical challenges. For both of them, all the ingredients for a fulfilling life are within reach, if they’re willing to take a leap. And maybe Jess will start to see that it’s not just what’s on the table that matters—it’s the people gathered round it.
A must-read novel from Love Inspired: Stories to Uplift and Inspire.
This is such a delightful town, this Winsome Lake, Wisconsin. When Jessica Keaton, a chef fired from her job, comes to work for Elaine Haviland as a housekeeper, she is quite unprepared for the town and its inhabitants. She discovers she’s gotten more than a job. She finds a town full of people are just what she did not know she needed.
Warmly written and deeply felt, this one will be remembered long after the last page.
My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is my own.
When their wedding venue becomes a crime scene, the bride and groom are in for a real trick-or-treat.
One week before Marissa plans to get married at her fiancé’s farm, Connor is arrested for a murder in the corn maze. Marissa and her maid of honor, Tandy, must prove the groom innocent before the wedding is cancelled.
With a coffee shop to run, family visiting from out of town, and preparations for the big day, time is running out. The senior citizens who’d been at the farm during the homicide offer to help investigate, but are they witnesses or suspects? A cranky military veteran goes rogue and disappears with his gun, a retired spy suffers from dementia, and a former Broadway star still seems to be putting on a show. Unless the real killer is unmasked, death could do them all part.
‘It seems like Grace Springs Manor was a great place to live. Except for the drugs and murder part, of course.
What an absolutely delightful romp this cozy mystery is! Angela Ruth Strong is at the top of her game here! This series has been so good and I’ve enjoyed it so much, but this fourth and final book in the series is just an outstanding bout of hilarity! Strong could not have ended this series on a better note.
Just imagine this: put together a corn maize, a bunch of senior citizens, including a former soldier, former spy, former Broadway star, then add drug deals to the mix, along with an arrested fiancé on the verge of his wedding day and you have everything necessary for a great and hilarious story!
‘I have to go break the news to Connor that his future in-laws think he’s a drug dealing murderer.’
And, by the way, the word ‘mayhem’ is so totally appropriate for this book, because absolute mayhem ensues throughout. Perfection, absolute perfection! I loved every single minute! Well done!
My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. I was not pressured to leave a positive review. The opinion here is entirely my own.