Monday, October 3, 2022

It's News to Me by R G Belsky Blog Tour and Giveaway


It's News to Me

by R.G. Belsky

October 3-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour.


Synopsis:


Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she's dead at 20

When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.

After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect's mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son's innocence.

As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service's website offering paid dates with wealthy men.

Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt's death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.

Praise for It's News to Me:

"[It's News to Me is] witty, clever and engaging. Clare Carlson’s irreverent comments and dogged reporter’s instincts make for a propulsive ride as she races from the chaos of a newsroom’s inner sanctum to the dangers of a murder victim’s deepest secrets. Once you start, you won’t put it down."

Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times best-selling author

My Review:

This is the latest novel from Belsky featuring Clare Carlson, once crack newspaper reporter now TV news reporter and executive. I have followed her amateur sleuthing through several novels, liking every one.

Clare has two tasks in this novel. One is to survive the ruthless executive placed over her. Endicott has only ratings in mind, no matter who is harmed. That goes against Clare's personality and the sparks fly. Clare must also find out who brutally murdered a college student and why. Clare is tenacious, going after unanswered questions even when the police think they have the murderer behind bars.

Belsky provides a good balance of mystery and personal life. Clare's a brave and savvy amateur sleuth. She also has a tough time living a successful personal life. She's a flawed character having made some very stupid personal decisions. Yet I still get the impression she has a good heart, often following it to relationship disaster. Her character provides some snappy relationship dialogue and thoughts. “When the going gets tough, the tough go eat.” (2504/3089)

Belsky was in the news profession and it shows. I like how he relates the tension in the news room, contrasting the pressure for ratings with compassion for the victims and their families. Belsky also lives in New York and he does a great job creating the setting for us. His writing style is good and I like how he portrays Clare's quick wit, troubled relationships and tenacious investigation.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

  

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 4th 2022
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1608094561 (ISBN13: 9781608094561)
Series: Clare Carlson #5 (each is a stand alone work)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

I met Brendan Kaiser, the owner of my TV station Channel 10 and about a zillion other properties, for lunch on a sunny spring day at a restaurant called Tri-Bar in lower Manhattan.

Tri-Bar is what’s known in New York as a celebrity restaurant. In other words, whenever you read the gossip columns, there’ll be an item about how “so and so said such and such over dinner last night at Tri-Bar . . .”

Robert DeNiro sometimes ate there. So did Jimmy Fallon and Alec Baldwin and Julia Roberts when she was in town.

I’d been to trendy hotspots like this a few times to see if I could spot someone famous. Mostly all I ever saw were a lot of other people like me hoping to see if they could recognize anyone. The closest I ever came to a celebrity was when I ran into Sally Struthers once in the ladies’ room of a restaurant on the Upper East Side. It had been a long time since Sally was a big star on All in the Family. My last memory of her had been doing those late-night infomercials about world hunger, and she sure didn’t look much like Gloria Bunker anymore. I decided not to ask for her autograph.

There was some kind of a maître d’ standing at the entrance to Tri-Bar. He wore a black tuxedo like outfit, highly shined shoes, and white gloves. I had on a pair of tan Calvin Klein jeans, a chocolate-colored silk blouse, and beige sandals. I thought my outfit was pretty swell, but he looked me over coolly.

“Is there something I can do for you, ma’am?”

“I’m looking for Brendan Kaiser. My name is Clare Carlson.”

“And?”

“I’m the news editor of Channel 10 News.”

He still didn’t seem too impressed.

Maybe he didn't like my color coordination.

“And what might your business be with Mr. Kaiser?”

“Well, I might be here to pick up his dry cleaning, but I’m not. How about I discuss my business with him?”

He scowled and picked up a phone to check with someone inside.

The truth was I wasn’t sure why Brendan Kaiser wanted to meet me here. I’d had a few dealings with him in the past on big stories in my job as the news director for Channel 10—but he’d never invited me to lunch. Maybe he was going to give me a raise. Maybe he was going to tell me I’d been named Employee of the Month. All I knew is that when the big boss asks you to go to lunch with him, you go to lunch.

The maître d’ still looked unhappy when he got off the phone, but he eventually directed me to a table inside. Brendan Kaiser was already there. Kaiser was in his 50s, with thick gray hair. Not a bad-looking guy, but he did have a bit of a paunch. I noticed it when he stood up to greet me. Probably from eating too many lunches at a place like Tri-Bar.

“Thank you for coming on such short notice, Clare,” he said. His office had just arranged the meeting with me a few hours earlier. “I hope I didn’t interfere with any other lunch plans you had for today.”

“Well, until I got your call, my lunch plan had been to go for a Big Mac at McDonald’s. That special sauce they put on it is to die for.”

He smiled.

We made small talk for a few minutes, and then a waiter came over and took our orders. Kaiser was having some kind of duck dish with orange sauce and shoestring potatoes. I went for the tortellini with a salad. According to the menu I’d scanned, this meal was going to cost a lot of money. What the hell—he was paying, not me. Whatever happened next, maybe I’d at least get a good meal out of it.

“So do you want to tell me what this whole lunch deal between me and you is all about?” I said after a bit more conversation.

“You do get to the point, don’t you?”

“I’m a journalist. I used to be a newspaper reporter. I like to get to the lead of the story as quickly as I can.”

He nodded.

“The reason I asked to see you like this was to discuss a situation we need to deal with, Clare.”

“What kind of situation?”

“A situation involving Channel 10 News.”

“I didn’t know we had a situation.”

I took a drink of some iced tea I’d ordered with my meal. I wished now it was something stronger.

“Look, I think that everyone at Channel 10 news is doing a really terrific job,” Kaiser said.

“Glad to hear it.”

“Especially you as news director.”

“Glad to hear that too.”

“And you’re a star, besides being the news director. You’ve broken some big stories for us, gotten a lot of publicity and notice in the media world. The Charles Hollister murder case. The serial killer you helped catch. I appreciate that from you, Clare. I appreciate all of your success and all your hard work. I really do.”

“But?”

“Excuse me?”

“There is a ‘but’ coming here, right?”

“Yes, there is,” Kaiser sighed. “Despite all your hard work, the ratings—and, as a result, the advertising revenue—isn’t quite at the level we need at Kaiser Media to run a profitable news operation. I want to do better. I think we can do better.”

The waiter brought our food. We both ate in silence for a few minutes. I waited to see what Brendan Kaiser would say next. I didn’t really have anything to say. So I stuck my fork into the tortellini and bit into a piece. Pretty tasty. Good cream sauce too. Almost as good as the sauce on a Big Mac.

“I’ve decided to make some changes at Channel 10 News,” Kaiser said finally, nibbling on a shoestring potato.

“What kind of changes?”

“Changes at the top.”

“Wait a minute—are you firing me?”

“No, of course not.”

“Demoting me? Is that the reason for this lunch?”

“You’re still going to be the news editor.”

“But you said you were making changes at the top so . . .”

That’s when it hit me.

“Jack Faron?” I asked.

“Yes.”

Jack Faron was the executive producer at Channel 10 News. My boss.

“I’m replacing Faron. Jack’s done a good job, but he’s more old school than we need right now. I’d like to put someone in the job with more drive, more energy, more new ideas. So I’ve hired a new executive producer. Jack will still be with us at Channel 10 News. But moving forward, he’s going to be in a more . . . uh, advisory role.”

“Does Jack know about this?”

“Not yet. I know you’re close to him, so I wanted to make sure you were the first to hear about this.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Jack Faron had been my mentor at Channel 10 News. The one who had hired me when the newspaper I worked for went out of business. The one that stood by me when my early on-air appearances as a TV reporter bombed. The one who promoted me to news editor and had backed me on every story and crisis since then.

And now he was not going to be there for me.

At least not in the same way.

I asked Kaiser the obvious question.

“Who’s replacing him as executive producer?”

“Susan Endicott,” he said. “Do you know her?”

“Not really.”

“I think you two will get along really well. That’s why I wanted to have this conversation with you. I want you to accept this. I want you to understand the reason for it. I want you to be happy. I want you to help make Susan Endicott feel welcome here. Are you good with all that, Clare?”

“Hey, you know me—I’m a team player.”

“No, you’re not.”

I sighed. “Yeah, you’re right, I’m not.”

“Let’s try to make this work, huh?”

I wasn’t sure what to say next, but it turned out I didn’t have to. I got a break. My phone rang, and—when I looked down at it—saw it was from Maggie Lang, my top editor at Channel 10 News.

“Where are you?” Maggie said.

“At lunch.”

I hadn’t told anyone who I was having lunch with.

“We’ve got a big story breaking. A murder. Female college student found murdered near Washington Square Park.”

“Who is she?”

“Her name’s Riley Hunt. She came here from Ohio to go to school at Easton College, not far from the park. Family has money, it sounds like. Her father’s a doctor back in Ohio, her mother a lawyer.”

“All hands-on-deck for this one,” I said.

“Already done. We’re gonna lead the newscast with it at 6.”

After I hung up with Maggie, I told Kaiser what was happening. I said I needed to get back to the station right away to direct the news coverage. That wasn’t totally true, Maggie could have handled it on her own. But I wanted to get out of here, and this seemed to be the perfect excuse. I didn’t like what was happening to Jack Faron. I didn’t like the fact I knew about it before him. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like Susan Endicott, even though I’d never met her.

And so I did what I do anytime I can’t deal with problems in my life. I threw myself into a big story. And this murder sounded like a big story.

I said goodbye to Kaiser, walked through Tri-Bar and out the front door to catch a cab back to the Channel 10 newsroom.

The maître d’ didn’t bother to say goodbye.

Excerpt from It's News to Me by R.G. Belsky. Copyright 2022 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky is an award-winning author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His new mystery, It’s News to Me, will be published on October 4 by Oceanview. It is the fifth in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. Belsky has published 19 novels—all set in the New York city media world where he has had a long career as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine and NBC News. He also writes thrillers under the name Dana Perry. He lives in New York City and is a contributing writer to The Big Thrill magazine.

Catch Up With R.G. Belsky:
www.RGBelsky.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @dickb79983
Instagram - @dickbelsky
Twitter - @DickBel
Facebook - @RGBelsky

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaway entries!
Click here to view It's News to Me by RG Belsky Tour Hosts

 

GIVEAWAY:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for R.G. Belsky. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

 
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Dead Sea Conspiracy by Jerry Jenkins

About the Book:

In this thrilling adventure, archaeologist Nicole Berman is about to discover the key to unifying three major religions—if a dangerous enemy doesn't stop her first.

Archaeologist Nicole Berman is the first woman to be awarded a permit to lead a dig in Saudi Arabia. Nicole believes what she hopes to discover has the power to to rewrite world history. She assembles a team that will ultimately surprise – and in some cases – betray her. 

In a parallel storyline, readers are launched back to ancient Ur where young Abram is sent to learn from his forebears, who tell him firsthand stories of being on the ark during the Great Flood. 

My Review:

This is the second in a series by Jenkins. I was disappointed there was not more of a recap of the first in the series since it was released four years ago. You can read my review of it, Dead Sea Rising.

This is a dual time novel, a contemporary archaeological dig alternating with the enhanced biblical story of Terah and Abram. I had some trouble with the ancient story line. Jenkins adds a great deal to what is found in the Bible. Terah works for Nimrod, has some very questionable interactions with God, received the promise of Abram becoming an exalted father (rather than Abram receiving the promise himself), and travels at least 3,500 miles to Canaan, where he had sent his wife and ten year old Abram and then travels the 3,500 miles back with them, all apparently in a chariot. All of this is truly fiction and I thought unnecessary for the contemporary story to have relevance. I would tremble at putting words in God's mouth and Jenkins does it with abandon.

I had mixed feelings with the contemporary story. On the positive side, we learn some about the different views Christians and Muslims have on Genesis. We also get good information on how an archaeological dig is done, though not so much on how it is organized because this one falls very short there. Nicole is an odd character. She should be smart as she is very educated. Yet, as she says of herself, “I've been so stupid.” (3311/3358) And she should be wary of her own safety. Her mother had been attacked and then died suddenly while on the mend. (Ever think of murder?) But Nicole trusts unknown people with abandon. As she later says, “How could I have been so blind?” (3201/3358) I had difficulty liking and engaging with Nicole.

There was an unbelievable scene in the contemporary story where a person gives a lengthy account of their conversion to becoming a Christ follower in a setting where Muslim officials are in charge of the small meeting. I just do not think that would happen. And another problem with the contemporary story is that no one saved information to the cloud, to servers back home? I cannot imagine scientists doing work in a contrary culture being so stupid.

There are just too many issues with this novel for me to be enthusiastic about it.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Jerry B. Jenkins' books have sold more than 72 million copies. Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. The phenomenally best-selling Left Behind series inspired a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Guideposts, and dozens of other periodicals. Jenkins owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild coaching thousands of aspiring writers in both fiction and nonfiction. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown sons and live in Colorado. (www.JerryJenkins.com).

Worthy Publishers, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Pursued in the Wilderness by Loretta Eidson Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: Pursued in the Wilderness

Author: Loretta Eidson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: September 27, 2022

Her baby’s life…depends on one man and his K-9

The murder of her ex-husband at a remote cabin and the discovery that the killers want to take her about-to-be-born baby sends Brooke Chandler running into the Tennessee mountains. She stumbles into the campsite of K-9 handler Trent Williston and his search-and-rescue dog, Rex. Trent vows to get Brooke and her baby to safety. But with the killers on their heels, the impending birth of Brooke’s baby and the threats of the wilderness, they must first survive…

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This short novel is for readers who like more character thought and interaction than suspense. There is some suspense at the beginning and near the end but the rest of the plot is pretty much Brooke and Trent interacting as they make their way through the forest. Brooke is fearful of the forest so we read much of her reactions to noises, some of which I felt was repetitive. We learn a bit about all kinds of forest animals, from fire ants to majestic elk. We read a bit about rescue dogs and their training too. And, since this is a romantic suspense, a romantic bond quickly develops during the few days of the experienced trauma.

Eidson's writing style is easy to read and this is a good novel for readers who like an outdoor survival adventure with a quickly developing romantic bond.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Award-winning author Loretta Eidson lives by the motto ‘never a dull moment,’ especially with her husband, four children, and thirteen grandchildren. Her love of reading began in middle school, where she devoured Phyllis Whitney’s mystery novels. Loretta’s heart is writing romantic suspense. She believes in the power of prayer and loves putting her hero and heroine in realistic predicaments where they must trust God to pull them through.

Connect with Loretta on social media or through her website at www.lorettaeidson.com. Be sure to sign up for her quarterly newsletter www.lorettaeidson.com/newsletter-signup/

More from Loretta

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been mesmerized by the majesty of the mountains. I love log cabin vacations on the mountain top, sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, and enjoying my early morning coffee. Low-lying clouds hang over them like a soft blanket and slowly dissipate while birds sing their wake-up songs. The perfect place to reminisce about life and dream about the future. Serene and beautiful.

One would think with my admiration of the mountain range I would accept all the mountains have to offer. Not so. Even though there are many hiking trails, I have ventured out on very few. Animals of the wild frighten me, but none near as much as a bear. I am certain every bear in the forest hides in the tops of trees, waiting for my arrival so they can pounce on me. I know it’s silly, but my apprehension is real.

What could be more suspenseful than to write a novel about Brooke Chandler, thirty-eight weeks pregnant, running for her and her baby’s life through the mountains? She must face her fears of the wild, including bears, if she wants to save her baby from the killers that murdered her husband. To make it worse, she’s in the forest alone in the inky darkness.

Handler Trent Williston and his K-9, Rex, escape the city, away from all pregnant women. He refuses to deliver another baby after a mishap with an emergency delivery while on the job. A camping trip to the mountains with Rex is his go-to for relaxation – until Brooke falls into his camp with three killers on her trail.

I hope you enjoy Trent and Brooke’s story as they face their challenges together.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 1

Texas Book-aholic, October 1

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, October 2

Blogging With Carol, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

deb's Book Review, October 4

Paula's Pad of Suspense & Detection, October 4

Betti Mace, October 5

Lily's Book Reviews, October 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 6

Simple Harvest Reads, October 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 8

Hallie Reads, October 8

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, October 9

Holly’s Book Corner, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

Mary Hake, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 11

For Him and My Family, October 11

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 12

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 13

Labor Not in Vain, October 13

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 14 (Author Interview)

Lights in a Dark World, October 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loretta is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21c37/pursued-in-the-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, September 30, 2022

Meeting Jesus in the Holy Land by Ignatius Fernandez

Traveling to the Holy Land is a life changing event. It was for Ignatius Fernandez when he visited in 2017 along with others from his parish. He wrote this book to help people remember a similar visit or prepare for an upcoming one.

He relates the historical and biblical significance of major sites. He also adds his own reflections, drawing the readers to reflect on spiritual truth and Christian behavior. He then reviews many of the major characters and events of the Old and New Testaments, again adding his own thoughtful reflections as they relate to Christian living.

This is a good book for those who have visited the Holy Land and want to remember major places visited and be challenged in the spiritual significance of them. It is also a good book to read in preparation of a visit to the Holy Land, encouraging readers to heighten their spiritual understanding of places they will visit and events they represent.

This is an informative and inspirational book on locations and events of the Holy Land. It would be of particular interest to Catholics.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the author:

Ignatius Fernandez is an author, speaker, blogger, counselor, mentor, coach. He has written twelve books and over sixty articles published in various magazines and websites. He has spent over four decades in industry, including several leadership roles. After a successful career, Fernandez turned to academia as a professor of management studies for MBA and Executive MBA students. He is now a full time author. He is a post graduate in chemistry and Business Management. He also has a certificate in Higher English from Cambridge University. He and his wife have four sons. You can find out more at www.ignatiusfernandez.com.

Notion Press, 138 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through a publicist. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

1 Peter by Robert Thune

Our world is becoming more post-Christian. How are we to live in it? Peter's first letter was written to Christians living in a pagan world and there is much we can learn from it. Thune helps us understand our identity in Christ, that there will be trials and suffering. Life won't necessarily be easy. We are also reminded of the hope we have, the necessity of believer's community, the example of Jesus, and more.

The lesson that impacted me the most was the sixth one. Thune identifies many examples of sinful speech, what in the heart fuels it, and how the gospel has already met that need. An example is criticism, feeling I need to be right. We are reminded we are right with God and that's what matters.

The format of the study is for small group use as there is an emphasis on discussion. There is a specific outline used with articles to read and then questions to discuss. There is also an exercise with each chapter to help establish biblical truth. Instructions for the group meeting are specific so even a new Christian could participate in leading the study. Leader's Notes at the end of the book give additional study leading information.

This is an encouraging study and good teaching for those who want to live gospel shaped lives in a contrary culture. Obedience to the way of the cross may bring suffering, Thune reminds us. This study will help you suffer well. And remember, after suffering is glory.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can watch the book trailer here.

About the Author

Robert H. Thune, MA, is the founding pastor of Coram Deo Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He is also the creator of The Daily Liturgy Podcast and the author of Gospel Eldership and 1 Peter: Life as an Outsider and coauthor (with Will Walker) of the best-selling small-group studies The Gospel-Centered LifeThe Gospel-Centered Life for Teens, and The Gospel-Centered Community.

Thune Bob holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma and Reformed Theological Seminary. In addition to his work as a pastor and writer, he helps to lead a classical Christian school, coaches and trains church leaders, and serves on the Council of The Gospel Coalition.  

Bob finds joy in good music, good books, good steaks, and good conversation. In his spare time, he enjoys working with his hands and riding his mountain bike. Bob and his wife, Leigh, have four children.

Learn more at www.bobthune.com and find him on Facebook (Bob Thune)Twitter (@bobthune), and Instagram (@bobthune).

New Growth Press, 128 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Escape From Amsterdam by Lauralee Bliss Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: Escape from Amsterdam

Author: Lauralee Bliss

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Historical / Romance / Intrigue

Release date: September 1, 2022

A University Student Smuggles Children Out of Amsterdam

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Helen Smit believed she was called by God to become a teacher. Little does she know that her care for kids will take a drastic turn for survival when the Germans occupy Amsterdam and Jewish children and parents begin to be deported. Now all she can think of is helping all the kids escape before it’s too late.

Erik Misman’s newfound love for Helen is tested when he joins a plot to help move Jewish children to a safe place in the countryside. If danger can foster a closer bond with Helen and save the lives of the little ones, he will do it all. But a German patrol that stumbles upon the farm where they are hiding with three children and a soldier who takes an unexpected interest in Helen, could well destroy their plans for safety and love.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a good historical novel highlighting the efforts of the Dutch to save Jewish children from the hands of the Germans during WW II. It was heartbreaking to read how the neutral country of The Netherlands was slowly taken over by the Nazis. We follow the lives of two people whose future was changed forever by the desire to save others.

Bliss explores several issues in her novel in addition to loosely representing historical events. How one treats the enemy was a question many faced. Another issue was an exploration of trusting God when such evil was happening all around. Readers may think about what we would do when faced with similar situations.

Being of Dutch descent, I loved all things Dutch in the novel. I am familiar with many of the Dutch phrases and even sang the Sinterklaas song as a child, wondering what I would get in my shoe, something nice or a piece of coal.

The first half  of the novel progresses at a consistent but rather slow pace. It picks up in the latter half. It is a good representation of how God fearing people helped others in need.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Lauralee Bliss is a published author of many romance novels and novellas, both historical and contemporary. Lauralee’s prayer is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that speaks to the heart and soul. When not writing, Lauralee can often be found on the trails where the author has logged over 10,000 miles of hiking. She makes her home in the Blue Ridge mountains with her family. Visit Lauraleebliss.com for more information about the author and her adventures.

More from Lauralee Bliss

Oh, the simple beauty of the Netherlands. Windmills. Tulips. Dutch wooden clogs. Beautiful Delftware and delicious speculaas cookies. Quaint villages nestled beside the waters. And here I am, an American that was able to visit this beautiful country on the heels of my husband winning a contest through his work. We had planned to immerse ourselves in Dutch culture, see the sites, and yes, visit places like the Secret Annex of Anne Frank and the town where Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place existed. Little did I realize though that this unique trip would become a journey into the heart of a hurting country in World War II. During our time there, we visited the Jewish Quarter in the center of Amsterdam and learned the details of Nazi occupation for many years that eventually caused two-thirds of the Dutch Jewish population to be exterminated. Walking in the place where a theater once stood and Jewish people gathered there to be deported was indescribable. Seeing the Jewish stars embedded in the pavement and noting the name of a man or woman killed at Auschwitz, was heart-wrenching. But through these horrendous details came the strength of courage and heroism. Across the street from the theater, Jewish children were rescued because of the efforts of those who gave everything to see them go into hiding. Thus the book, “Escape from Amsterdam” was born. It honors those that aided and hid Jewish children from the Nazis to avoid deportation. I am grateful for the opportunity to write this story of two common Dutch people, a college student and a grocery store clerk, called to a dangerous mission to save the innocent when the odds were the greatest. It is a timely book that magnifies the strength of courage in adversity and allows us to become better people because of it. I hope you enjoy this journey and as you do, remember those who came before us and allow their acts of courage to encourage you to persevere, no matter what.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 29

The Write Escape, September 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 30

Inklings and notions, September 30

deb’s Book Review, October 1

Holly’s Book Corner, October 1

Texas Book-aholic, October 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 3

Mary Hake, October 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 4

Through the Fire Blogs, October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 5

Cover Lover Book Review, October 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6

Labor Not in Vain, October 6

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

Betti Mace, October 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 8

Remembrancy, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Splashes of Joy, October 11

Lights in a Dark World, October 11

Blossoms and Blessings, October 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lauralee is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


https://promosimple.com/ps/2224b/escape-from-amsterdam-celebration-tour-giveaway


I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Avignon Affair by Gary McAvoy and Ronald Moore

About the Book:

A corpse cloaked in secrets rests in an ancient tomb deep beneath Notre-Dame Cathedral, but its identity remains elusive. One priest is determined to find out who the dead man is and what he’s hiding…

Father Michael Dominic is called to France for an unusual assignment. A fourteenth-century bishop was found in a crypt buried under the burnt remnants of Notre-Dame—but he’s wearing the ring of a cardinal, and two parchment scrolls had been hidden in his garment sleeve. Who was this 700-year-old custodian of carefully guarded secrets?

Once Father Dominic decodes the rolled scrolls, long-hidden confessions are exposed that throw France into political turmoil while creating havoc within Dominic’s own team of friends. Relationships are tested and shocking new revelations emerge in The Avignon Affair.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My Review:

McAvoy and Moore have provided readers with another entertaining novel combining historical religious events with current political unrest. Some of the basis for the intrigue in this book goes back to the times when the Church and kings were intertwined in their influence and power. Documents from the past could have influence on the present political situation in France. The current political events seem all too possible in that unrest might be planned as a way to initiate a coup.

The authors do a fine job of combining the lives of the characters with adventures to religious sites in France. Tensions rise between Hana and Michael and Marco as growing affections are dealt with. Michael is dedicated to unraveling the puzzle of recently discovered religious documents. We learn about document recovery and new technology available to read especially fragile ones.

I appreciate the identification of fact and fiction at the end of the book. I find it amazing how a fictional plot can be woven around an actual event. In this case it is the 2022 discovery of a previously unknown sarcophagus at the Notre-Dame Cathedral. One aspect of the novel that intrigued me was the possible use of DNA testing to determine whether religious relics in the form of remains of saints were actually what they were claimed to be.

This is another informative and engaging novel of religious and political intrigue that could be out of today's headlines.


My rating: 5/5 stars.

You can read my reviews of his earlier novels. The Magdalene Chronicles: The Magdalene DeceptionThe Magdalene ReliquaryThe Magdalene Veil. Vatican Secret Archive Thrillers: The Vivaldi CipherThe Opus Dictum and The Petrus Prophecy


About the Authors:


Gary McAvoy 
began his writing career writing columns for a small town weekly newspaper and articles for a regional Southern California magazine. That laid the foundation for corporate communications work supporting his own and clients' businesses. He was fascinated with cryptology and intelligence during his U.S. Army tour in Germany. Following his military service, he built a number of successful ventures in Southern California and then moved to the Pacific Northwest. You can find out more about him and his books at https://www.garymcavoy.com/.

Ron Moore
 has an undergraduate degree in biology from University of California Riverside and a JD from Western State University College of Law, a master's in Forensic Toxicology from 
the University of Florida, and an AA in culinary arts from Saddleback College. He also obtained a Catholic Lay Ecclesial Minister certificate. He worked for over 18 years in forensics and CSI, the practiced law for 8 years before returning to forensics as a toxicology consultant. He was also an EMT for four years. He was a reserve deputy sheriff for over 14 years, assigned to the Search and Rescue unit. He was also a Sergeant in the Bloodhound Team. He holds a black belt in Judo and a brown belt in Aikido. Moore and his wife live in Southern California where he enjoys outdoor activities. You can find out more at https://www.ronaldlmoore.com/.

Literati Editions, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)