Tuesday, May 28, 2024

When Hope Sank by Denise Weimer Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: When Hope Sank

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian / Historical / Romance

Release date: May, 2024

Can Hope Resurface After Evil Tries to Drown It?

Introducing a series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

The Civil War has taken everything from Lily Livingston—her parents, her twin brother, her home. Now she works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her head down. Speaking up for her beliefs proved too costly in a part of Arkansas split by conflicting loyalties and overrun by spies and bushwhackers.

Emaciated in body but resilient in spirit, Lieutenant Cade Palmer is crowded onto the Sultana with other paroled Andersonville and Cahaba POWs for the journey north. But a fiery explosion on April 27, 1865, rends the steamer and empties two thousand men into the frigid Mississippi River.

Recovering from wounds that might end his career as a surgeon but clinging to his faith, Cade threatens both Lily’s defenses and her heart. How can she tell him she might’ve prevented the tragedy if only she’d reported a suspected saboteur’s claims? And when the man returns to town and encoded messages pass through the hotel, will Lily follow her convictions to prevent another tragedy?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review 

This series has been enlightening, drawing attention to long forgotten disasters. I appreciate the Author Note at the end explaining what was known about this disaster and what remained a mystery.

Weimer explored the deep feelings still rampant at the end of the Civil War, even affecting family relationships. We also see the reasons for those heightened emotions and why some attempted sabotage. That attempted sabotage provided a mystery and some post disaster suspense. A romance is added to flesh out the story and there is a good faith message included. The characters were believable and well developed.

This is a good book for those who like a very readable novel informing readers of a disaster long ago.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, Denise authored romantic novella Redeeming Grace, as well as The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee Shadows, The Gray Divide, The Crimson Bloom, and Bright as Gold, winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (White, Widow and Witch) with Canterbury House Publishing. A wife and swim mom of two daughters, Denise always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate, and to write any story the Lord lays on her heart.

 

More from Denise

The first novel I ever wrote was set during the Civil War, inspired by travels to historic sites of the Southeast with my parents and scribbled in my eleven-year-old hand in spiral-bound notebooks. Fresh out of college with my new degree in journalism with a minor in history on my shelf, I narrowly missed signing a contract for another Civil War series. Fast forward another decade or so. I was a young mom writing for magazines and directing a volunteer 1800s dance group when my Georgia Gold Series, literary-style historical fiction set between the Cherokee Removal and Reconstruction, found a home with Canterbury House Publishing. Since then, I’ve written everything from Hallmark-style contemporaries to Rev War romances (including my current Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series with Wild Heart Books, where I also work as an editor). Everything but Civil War-era stories … until this one.

It feels a lot like coming home.

Some of that also has to do with the fact that I love writing stories that illustrate how God can bring healing and redemption out of the most difficult circumstances. I also endeavor to work as much real history as possible into the plots of my novels. And I love finding a little-known aspect of the past to center a story upon. When Hope Sank embodies all those things.

Reeling from the loss of over 600,000 men in the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln just the week prior, the nation hardly noticed when a steamer carrying a couple thousand U.S. prisoners of war exploded in the Mississippi River on April 27, 1865. Over eleven hundred perished in the icy waters that swelled several miles past the normal embankments at flood stage, making the sinking of

the Sultana the most crippling maritime disaster in the nation’s history.

The former POWs on their way to muster out at Camp Chase, Ohio, were already emaciated and ill from imprisonment at infamous Andersonville and Cahaba prison camps. A number were badly burned when the boilers exploded, and many did not know how to swim. You can imagine the scene that ensued. While the steamboats docked at Memphis—which had been under Union occupation since the summer of 1862—got up steam, local citizens hurried to help, even those on the Arkansas shore who had fought for the Confederacy. The towns of Hopefield, Marion, and Mound City had suffered harsh reprisals for harboring Confederate guerillas. The area was well-known as a hotbed of spies and saboteurs intent on disrupting Union shipping on the Mississippi.

From this cauldron of chaos, discontent, and pain, an emotionally rich story was born. Focused on survival for herself and her little brother, Lily works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her Union sympathies to herself in her family of Southern sympathizers. The Yankee lieutenant she pulls from the river needs emotional healing even more than physical, though his wounds may compromise his ability to practice as a surgeon. The bond that forms between them from their shared faith and allegiances makes Lily question if she might have another option besides marrying her childhood sweetheart, a former partisan. And when coded message pass through River’s Rest, Lily struggles to find the courage to do what she didn’t the first time—speak out to save lives.

While the sinking of the Sultana may be the inciting event in When Hope Sank, it’s not the main focus. The reactions of the characters in the aftermath are. In our lives as followers of Christ, isn’t that where the real focus should lie? How we respond to tragedy? How we learn to reach for God instead of blaming Him? How, when we walk with Him, He brings beauty out of our ashes? It’s my prayer that the message of When Hope Sank settles deep in your heart.

 

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 28

Bizwings Book Blog, May 29

Life on Chickadee Lane, May 29

Alena Mentink, May 30

Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Book Looks by Lisa, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 3

Life, Love, Writing, June 4

Blogging With Carol, June 4

The Lofty Pages, June 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 6

Blossoms and Blessings, June 6

Stories By Gina, June 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 7

Cover Lover Book Review, June 8

Connie’s History Classroom, June 8

Holly’s Book Corner, June 9

An Author’s Take, June 9

Pause for Tales, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon e-Gift card and 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/2bbf4/when-hope-sank-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.)

Monday, May 27, 2024

The Road Before Us by Janine Rosche Book Review

About the Book:


How far would you go to fix the mistakes you've made?
For Jade Jessup, the answer is 2,448 miles.

Once one of Chicago's significant financial advisors, Jade lost her credibility when her fiancé (and coworker) stole millions of dollars from their clients in a Ponzi scheme. Now she's agreed to help one of them--an aging 1960s Hollywood starlet named Berenice "Benny" Alderidge--seek financial restoration.
 
Jade sets off along Route 66 with Benny and her handsome adult foster son, Bridger, who is filming a documentary retracing the 1956 trip that started the love story between Benny and her recently deceased husband, Paul. Listening to Benny recount her story draws Jade into memories of her own darker association with Route 66, when she was kidnapped as a child by a man the media labeled a monster--but she remembers only as her dad.
 
Together, these three travelers will learn about family, forgiveness, and what it means to live free of the past. But not before Jade faces a second staggering betrayal that changes everything.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is sort of an adult coming of age story told around the framework of traveling Route 66. Benny is reliving an earlier journey along the route and while her companions, Jade and Bridger watch out for her and have a very rocky potential romance.

The writing style of the novel is a bit unusual with three different time periods involved. There is the present day journey along Route 66, the time of Benny and her future husband's trip along the same route in 1956 and a journey Jade took with her father in 2003 when she was eight. The current journey is broken up with flashes back to the two previous journeys. The first person viewpoint consistently used can be confusing if one forgets which time period is currently in view. I did appreciate all the motels and diners visited along the route.

There are a number of issues explored in the plot including child kidnapping, Alzheimer's, financial fraud, forgiveness, and one's identity in Christ. Benny was my favorite character. So nice, so giving. Jade and Bridger needed to mature and frequently acted immature. Thank goodness for Tim and Sandy showing up from time to time.

This is a good novel for readers who would like one about people dealing their past actions in the context of traveling along Route 66.

My rating: 4/6.


About the Author:


Janine Rosche
 is the author of With Every Memory, as well as the Madison River Romance and Whisper Canyon series of novels. Prone to wander, she finds as much comfort on the open road--including Route 66--as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into her stories. When she isn't traveling or writing novels, she teaches family life education courses, produces The Love Wander Read Journal, and takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs. Photo Credit: Sarah Moan Photography.

Revell, 336 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.)

Sunday, May 26, 2024

MIA by John Lansing Blog Tour Book Review

 

MIA

by John Lansing

May 20 - June 14, 2024 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Mia, is the origin story of retired inspector Jack Bertolino as a young undercover, NYPD narco-busting detective and his relationship with Mia, his confidential informant.

Mia, a former Miss Colombia, has the kind of beauty that can make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. She’s a complex character, with a painful backstory, who signs on with Jack to help him infiltrate, and take down, a heavy hitter in the Colombian drug trade. Mia has ice water in her veins and is already responsible for delivering large amounts of cocaine, and millions of the cartels cash into the government’s coffers.

This is Jack and Mia’s story. How Mia became a confidential informant, her evolving relationship with Jack, and how the life and death case they break wide open becomes the prequel to The Devil’s Necktie.

My Review:

 Bertolino has been a popular hard hitting hero. In reading a series, one wonders how he came to be that hero. I like how Lansing has gone back and set the stage for developing the intense and relentless man Bertolino has become.

This novel takes us into the world of law enforcement working to take down a powerful drug cartel. I was amazed at the risks a confidential informant would take to bring down one of the heads. But the later revelation of her past experiences really explains her intensity. And then there are two twists that certainly amp up the action and suspense.

This is a good novel for readers who have read Bertolino's later adventures and want to know about his earlier exploits. Lansing's writing style is good and makes for an entertaining read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thriller
Published by: White Street Press/ Karen Hunter Publishing
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Number of Pages: 252
ISBN: 979-8-89456-000-7 (Print) | 979-8-89456-899-7 (Digital)
Series: The Jack Bertolino Series, Prequel
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Jack Bertolino’s early morning shower gave up the ghost long before he swiped his long-term pass to gain entry to the Staten Island Ferry. Once he landed in the City, he headed for Tango 23’s base of operations. There he picked up his NYPD plain-wrap sedan. The ninety-degree temperature, wetted by ninety-five degree humidity, made a mockery of the air conditioner in the Ford Crown Vic as it crawled through commuter traffic headed for LaGuardia. The air was thick, the stench of exhaust on the Grand Central Parkway overwhelmed as Jack dodged a pothole, rattled into the airport parking lot and came to an engine-clicking stop next to DEA agent Kenny Ortega’s government issue.

The joint narcotics task force case was in its sixth month. Jack had agreed to meet a few old friends and a new confidential informant who had arrived from Miami via Colombia. This CI claimed to be able to provide entry into the inner workings of Manuel Alvarez’s illicit drug operation.

Alvarez, a notorious Colombian trafficker, had been on Jack’s radar for more than a year. Alvarez was responsible for importing a thousand keys of cocaine into Miami on a monthly basis, and the poison

was dripping into New York City. Jack wanted Alvarez’s head on a pike.

At thirty-eight, Jack was already a lieutenant, the boss of the narco-rangers called Tango 23. His crew had great success shutting down drug and money-laundering cells in the five boroughs, piling millions of dollars of the cartel’s money into the city’s coffers.

Jack was a handsome, unpretentious man with thick dark hair he wore brushed back. Creases on his striking face were a roadmap of years exposed to the elements doing undercover narcotics work on the streets of New York City.

As he stepped out of the car, a hot gust of wind blew grit into Jack’s eyes and mouth. It also blasted the long hair of a young woman exiting the passenger side of Ortega’s vehicle, obscuring her face. The deafening sound of a wide-body jet thundered overhead as Jack spit and wiped his stinging eyes.

The woman hand-combed strands of blonde away from her face. When Jack’s vision cleared, he was momentarily stopped in his tracks. The woman was drop-dead gorgeous.

He nodded to Sal Traina, a member of the Tango group, and shook the hand of Mia Ferrero as Ortega made the introductions. Mia, an ex-Miss Colombia, was the confidential informant. Kenny Ortega, the Miami-based DEA agent, was Jack’s partner on the drug task force.

Nick Aprea, a detective from the LAPD narcotics division, had flown in from Los Angeles, where a large quantity of the illicit drugs ended up. He ducked low as he slid out of the back seat, wearing a black leather jacket in the New York heat, and led with a wolfish grin as he proffered a hand the size of a baseball glove. “Jack, good to be back in business.” Aprea was tall, hard, and took life as it came. He had arrived with serious skin in the game. A few years back, his partner had been gut-shot in an Alvarez–Delgado operation. Nick had put fifteen hundred keys of coke on the table, and his partner had been put in an early grave. When Jack invited him to the party, Nick jumped at the chance to deliver some retribution.

Mia signed on to the joint operation between the NYPD, Miami DEA, and LAPD to infiltrate Manuel Alvarez’s operation and help put away a

heavy hitter for the Colombian cartel. She was a proven commodity, already wealthy from delivering large quantities of cocaine and cash to the United States government’s coffers in their ongoing war on drugs. The Feds had a formula in place for paying informants. The bigger the bust, the larger the payoff. A nice way to fatten your wallet, an easy way to die.

Mia started playing Jack—who had a reputation of being a straight arrow—from the moment she touched down at LaGuardia Airport. She’d been summoned for a meeting downtown, organized to get a feel for the principals, define the case, and plan a strategy.

It was time to roll. Sal was sitting in the passenger seat of Jack’s car when Mia rapped on the window. Sal slid out, and Mia stepped in seconds before Jack pulled out of the lot.

“I hope you don’t mind. It was so crowded in the other car,” she said.

Jack wasn’t thrilled. “It’s okay,” he said, always careful when spending time with a CI. First of all, rules and parameters of the relationship had to be set in place, until the informant was proven trustworthy. Too many things could go wrong. Jack was career building and didn’t need any bullshit slowing him down. He had a line in the sand when dealing with informants, and although he always treated them with respect, sharing his personal life was a nonstarter.

Mia started talking rapid fire. Her English was lightly accented but flawless, and Jack chalked her excited banter to nerves.

“I wasn’t supposed to fly first class, but I used my frequent-flyer miles, and thank God because the plane was full, and I was in the air for so many hours. Should I call you Jack or Mr. Bertolino?”

“Lieutenant works.”

“Oh, very formal. It’s so hot in here,” Mia play-whined, and undid the second button on her blouse as she turned to face Jack. “Are you a by-the-numbers kind of guy?”

“Something like that.”

“I know a lot of Italians in Medellín. Not a formal one in the mix. Very sexy though, Italians in general, don’t you think?”

---

Jack kept his eyes trained on the traffic. “Never given it much thought.”

“Oh, I have. Very much so.”

Jack wasn’t going there. He hoped Mia would lose herself in the approaching view of the New York skyline and stop talking. Instead, she seemed content to stare at Jack who was growing increasingly uncomfortable, but didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot with a woman who could break his case wide open.

“And the police in general, what do they call it? Mucho testosterone. You can’t hide it, Jack—I mean, Lieutenant.” Mia’s smile was sly, and Jack kept his eyes on the road, not wanting the conversation to get out of hand.

“Your nose,” she said knowingly, “that must have hurt.”

Jack had a bump on his otherwise straight Roman nose. It was a gift from a crack dealer named Trey, who he traded punches with outside the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn. Trey went to jail, and Jack had a reminder every morning when he shaved to keep his right fist higher and jab with his left.

“Do you like sex on the beach?” Jack hoped she was talking about the cocktail and didn’t respond. “What about sex in the car?” Mia said and ran a manicured nail down his thigh. “I love giving blow jobs, I mean, giving oral sex.”

Jack shot a look in the rearview mirror, tried to remain stoic, but he was getting hot under the collar. He was doing sixty and Kenny Ortega’s car was tight on his bumper. Jack glanced in the rearview again, and saw the men in the trailing car laughing.

He’d had enough. He signaled and pulled the wheel hard to the right, sending Mia sliding against the passenger door. As horns around him started blaring, he skidded to a tire-screeching stop on the shoulder of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway. He was followed by Ortega, Nick, and a few other smirking detectives in the second car.

Jack knew he’d been set up. He picked up the radio and raised Ortega. “Get this woman out of my car.”

Mia feigned being hurt. “Is it something I said?” Over the intercom, Ortega and his crew were howling. Mia jumped out of Jack’s car, her

face split into a sultry grin, and she winked. “Just having some fun, Lieutenant.”

Jack was the only one on the crew not laughing. He pulled back into traffic, riding solo, and dialed his home number.

Jeanine answered on the second ring. “Are you all right, Jack?”

“Huh?”

“An afternoon call. It’s usually bad news.”

“Oh, no, not today. Just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Hmmm, okay... Good.” Jeannine could read Jack’s mood and wasn’t buying it.

Jack started to relax, the earth rotating back on its axis. “Actually, I just made a pickup at LaGuardia, had a moment.”

“Okay. Are you going to make it home for dinner?”

“Don’t wait on me. We have a TAC meeting, breaking in a new informant. You know how that goes.”

Jeannine knew all too well what that meant. And Jack was hit with the familiar chill on the other end of the line. “Okay, Jack. Your son’s asking what happened to his father.”

“Tell him I miss him.”

“Tell him yourself, Jack,” Jeannine said quietly before hanging up the phone.

Jack stifled his growing anger, fully aware that he was an absentee father. From his point of view, he was building a secure life for his family, and they all had to make sacrifices. It was a team effort. He knew he was being defensive, but he also knew what it took to rise through the ranks of the NYPD.

Jack snapped out of it when Kenny beeped his horn and rocketed past in the fast lane. He rolled his eyes, slightly amused as Mia, sitting in the back seat, nailed him with a look that was purely X-rated.

***

Excerpt from MIA by John Lansing. Copyright 2024 by John Lansing. Reproduced with permission from John Lansing. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

John Lansing is the author of six thrillers featuring Jack Bertolino—The Devil’s Necktie, Blond Cargo, Dead Is Dead, The Fourth Gunman, 25 to Life, and MIA—as well as the true-crime non-fiction book Good Cop Bad Money, written with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. He has been a writer and supervising producer on Walker, Texas Ranger, the co-executive producer of the ABC series Scoundrels, and co-wrote two MOWs for CBS. The Devil’s Necktie is in development at Andria Litto’s Amuse Entertainment, with Barbara DeFina attached as a producer.

A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Find out more on:
JohnLansing.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @JohnLansing
Instagram - @johnlansingauthor
Twitter - @jelansing
Facebook - @devilsnecktie

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and opportunities to WIN in the giveaway!

Click here to view MIA by John Lansing Tour Hosts

 

Win Big! Enter Now for Your Chance to Win!

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for John Lansing. 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 through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Tours.

(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, May 24, 2024

Mabel and the Little Green Men by Susan Kimmel Wright Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Mabel and the Little Green Men

Author: Susan Kimmel Wright

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: October 5, 2023

The last thing Mabel needed was a flying saucer, not to mention a rash of similar sightings all over town. Her life’s already been upended by getting fired and moving to Grandma’s old house in Medicine Spring. So far, the deceptively sleepy village has delivered several murders—and romance with a handsome private investigator. Are little green men next?

While Mabel tries to get to the bottom of the apparent space invasion, she also gets herself caught between competing candidates for township supervisor. Small-town politics call for more diplomacy than she has—not to mention the ability to duck, run, and hide.

And unfortunately, her UFO investigation only raises more questions. Long-buried secrets surface, all tied to one night in 1958 and another seeming alien attack. But something more troublesome than any Martian invasion is on its way. A film crew descends, bent on producing a documentary on the historic UFO crash. Hordes of tourists follow, all infected with flying saucer fever. When an all-too-human body turns up at the alleged alien gravesite in a local cemetery, Mabel realizes murder is bound to follow her, whether of this world or not.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I was fascinated by the idea of UFOs when younger so I enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. It starts off well with Mabel seeing mysterious lights in the sky. A murder does not happen until well over half way through so most of the book consists of people with various views on UFOs bickering. But there is a good dose of humor here and there so reading the book is enjoyable. Mabel is a fun amateur sleuth and makes a fine older heroine.

This is part of a series yet read really well on its own. It is a good cozy mystery for those who would like one centered around an interesting topic. Whether you have ever seen a UFO or not, this is an entertaining cozy mystery.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Susan Kimmel Wright began her life of mystery as a child, with reading. That led to writing kids’ mysteries and eventually to Medicine Spring with Mabel. A longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Susan’s also a prolific writer of personal experience stories, many for Chicken Soup for the Soul. She shares an 1875 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs. 

More from Susan

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a…UFO?

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and seen something you couldn’t explain? What did you—or would you—do? Call a friend? The police department? Post a picture on social media? Or maybe you’d keep it quiet, trying to convince yourself it was a figment of your imagination.

In Mabel & the Little Green Men, I had so much fun giving Mabel a UFO encounter and then seeing where it led her, while more sightings and the arrival of a TV documentary crew turned the small town of Medicine Spring topsy-turvy. Wacky characters and situations kept surprising me too!

My best friend has had UFO encounters—twice. Once, while sitting at her desk studying, she looked out to see a strange light hovering beyond her window. Another time, she spotted a large object in the sky ahead of her while driving home alone from a movie. Alas, though I’ve scanned the skies for years, this has never happened to me!

My friend is far from the only sane person to report seeing a UFO. Every year, hundreds of sightings are reported in the US, including many from police, ministers, military pilots, and others not known for fabrication or flights of fantasy. The term UFO (unidentified flying object), as well as the now-preferred term UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon), both simply refer to an airborne object that can’t be readily identified. Neither term has anything whatsoever to do with flying saucers or “little green men.”

Most UFOs are eventually explained—some as atmospheric events, deflated balloons, or experimental aircraft. But the mystery fascinates me—especially for the handful that have never been satisfactorily explained.

While I’ve never personally seen a UFO, many people in my area reported the 1965 crash of the Kecksburg “space acorn,” an event now celebrated with an annual festival benefiting the fire department. Do you have a UFO story in your town?

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 17

Stories By Gina, May 18 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, May 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 21 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 22

Blogging With Carol, May 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24

Vicky Sluiter, May 25 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, May 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 27

Lily’s Corner, May 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 29 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/2b7cd/mabel-and-the-little-green-men-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.)

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Every Time I Go on Vacation Someone Dies by Catherine Mack Book Review

About the Book:


All that bestselling author Eleanor Dash wants is to get through her book tour in Italy and kill off her main character, Connor Smith, in the next in her Vacation Mysteries series—is that too much to ask?

Clearly, because when an attempt is made on the real Connor’s life—the handsome but infuriating con man she got mixed up with ten years ago and now can't get out of her life—Eleanor’s enlisted to help solve the case.

Contending with literary competitors, rabid fans, a stalker—and even her ex, Oliver, who turns up unexpectedly—theories are bandied about, and rivalries, rifts, and broken hearts are revealed. But who’s really trying to get away with murder?

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies is the irresistible and hilarious series debut from Catherine Mack, introducing bestselling fictional author Eleanor Dash on her Italian book tour that turns into a real-life murder mystery, as her life starts to imitate the world in her books.

My Review:

This is a novel written in a unique and entertaining way. Footnotes, for example. Who ever heard of copious footnotes in a novel. (For the record, I skipped most of them.) But Mack says she always wanted to add them so did. And there are a few other interesting features like boxed text and the narrator talking to readers.

The characters are developed well. Eleanor is a kick, going on a trip but not reading the itinerary. That gets her into all kinds of situations she does not enjoy. Harper, her sister and efficient assistant to the rescue. Connor is well portrayed as a troublesome past love and current irritant.

I like the plot where a famous author wants to get rid of one of the characters in her novels (who also happens to be a real person) but other people die. There are a number of suspects from jealous authors to stalking fans but Eleanor is on the case.

This is an enjoyable and clever mystery with fun locations and a good dose of humor from time to time.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:


Catherine Mack
(she/her) is the pseudonym for the 
USA Today and Globe & Mail bestselling author of over a dozen novels. Her books are approaching two million copies sold worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages including French, German, Portuguese, and Polish. Television rights to Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies and its forthcoming sequels sold in a major auction to Fox TV for development into a series, with Mack writing the pilot script. A dual Canadian and US citizen, she splits her time between Canada and various warmer locations in the US. Photo credit: Fany Ducharme

Minotaur Books, 344 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.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Knowing Obadiah by April W Gardner Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Knowing Obadiah

Author: April W Gardner

Genre: Bible Commentary for Women

Release Date: November, 2023

A Christian Women’s Bible Commentary

Experience the excitement of Biblical prophecy with this down-to-earth and captivating exploration of Obadiah.

Walk with author April W Gardner as she steps into the past and brings to life the often-overlooked prophecy of Obadiah. With her typical attention to historical detail, April journeys through Scripture in a down-to-earth and engaging manner. From Jacob and Esau to the terrifying Babylonian siege of Jerusalem and the blazing destruction of Edom, she learns alongside her readers how these 21 verses affirm God’s sovereignty while pointing to a steadfast hope in Zion.

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My Review

This commentary by Gardner is unlike any I have ever read before, in a good way. She has no theological degree so her book is more like friends discussing the Scripture over a cup of tea. There is some great humor included, again making this commentary so unusual but a pleasure to read.

Gardner starts out by explaining what is not known about Obadiah, like who is is or when he wrote. She then digs deep to reveal the possible history and culture behind the book. We get a good dose of the story of Jacob and Esau, setting the stage for the judgment on Edom. She includes relevant material from Jeremiah too.

I like that the KJV text of Obadiah is included so this commentary can be studied without a companion Bible needed. Gardner provides a link to additional resources that can be downloaded too. I recommend this conversational style commentary. It's a great resource for anyone wanting to understand the meaning and impact of this minor prophet.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

APRIL W GARDNER is an indie author whose great passion is historical romance with themes of Native American and Southeastern U.S. culture. Copyeditor, mother of two grown children, and non-trad college student, April lives in South Texas with her husband and two German Shepherds. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

More from April

–Hello, friend! So, I’ve written this Bible commentary for women on the book of Obadiah. You know the one, right? The little one? Like, really little. So little if you blink while flipping pages, you’ll miss it. But don’t let its size fool you. It packs a serious punch. Interested? It covers—

–Wait. April, did you say commentary?

–Sure did.

–For women?

–Yep.

–Oh, uh… Thanks. Sounds great, but I’m not in ministry.

-Hey, me neither! I grew up in church and on the mission field. There was Bible college in there before I got my Mrs. degree, but as you see, I’m just the next girl on the church pew. One who has a curious mind, a love of learning, and a long-standing devotion to Christ.

Because of that, I approached writing Knowing Obadiah from the seat beside yours at home, as if we had our Bibles open on our laps, coffee mugs in hand, and were chatting about the things we’re discovering while we read.

Before we’re done reading, you’ll understand how and why Edom is the object of God’s wrath. You’ll see how Obadiah, like every other biblical prophecy, contains a message of warning, judgment, and hope, and how (unlike the rest of the prophets) the first two (warning and judgment) are for a pagan nation while the last (hope) is for Judah.

The most minor of minor prophets is absolutely packed with treasure waiting to be unburied. Toss in its background and its implications for the future, and you’ve got yourself a fascinating study.

Speaking of study, Knowing Obadiah doesn’t have any set topic related to theology or spiritual growth. Instead, I take an approach that digs for original meaning, versus applying modern interpretation. This commentary will force you out of your comfy chair and into Obadiah’s history and culture. As best we can, we’ll be taking on the author’s perspective of the world, looking at the text’s setting and purpose (and so much more!) through his lens.

What say you? Are you in? Let’s do this, girl.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 22

Inspired by Fiction, May 23

Godly Book Reviews, May 24

Mary Hake, May 24

Vicky Sluiter, May 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 26

Texas Book-aholic, May 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 28

Girls in White Dresses, May 29

Lots of Helpers, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

Cover Lover Book Review, May 31

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 2

Lights in a Dark World, June 3

Lily’s Corner, June 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, April is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card and a paperback set of the A Fire and a Flame series!!

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/2b9d3/knowing-obadiah-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.)