Thursday, January 20, 2022

Driven by Valerie Webster Blog Tour and Giveaway


Driven: A Rita Mars Thriller

by Valerie Webster

January 17 - February 11, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Ex-investigative journalist, Rita Mars loses an old friend to what looks like suicide. She’s convinced he was murdered to cover unethical maneuvers and save reputations in the abyss that is Congress. Back stabbings inside the beltway sometimes extend beyond metaphorical. She’s going to butt heads with the local good ole boy authorities and navigate the deliberately stoked smoke screens of the duly elected, but she is never going to give up.

My Review:

The heroine in this novel, Rita, was a surprise for me as she is gay. Thoughts about her past relationship and a potential one were prominent. I felt too much text was given to the romantic tension. I don't think I have seen such an emphasis placed on the romantic tension when the heroine is a heterosexual. I felt the two cases Rita works on are really enough to carry the plot through so that only a hint of the romantic aspect would have been required.

Rita was a hard character for me to like. She irritates people, is forceful and often rude. I trust future novels featuring her will see her character level out a bit and become more confident in her abilities. Rita has some quirky friends, such as her trans secretary. The characters were well developed though I did think the trans character was a bit overdone.

I like the two thriller plot lines. I like the political aspect with underhanded financial activities being investigated. I like the suspenseful end although we were set up for it. I think this debut effort shows Webster has great potential as a thriller author.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Ignited Ink Writing
Publication Date: May 25th 2021
Number of Pages: 396
ISBN: 1952347033 (ISBN13: ‎978-1952347030)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

“Rita Mars, this is a voice from your past.”

“Who the hell is this?” Rita demanded.

It was eleven o’clock, and the dreary end of a long day. A miserable October rain tapped on the office windows. Through the water slashed glass, Baltimore’s Mitchell Court House next door was a smear of grey and black.

“I first met you devouring Hershey bars in the newsroom at midnight.” The man was gleeful.

“That narrows it down.”

Great clue. Hell, she’d been a reporter for seventeen years before she started the agency. Rita cradled her chin. The police department snitch who gave up the narcs ripping off drug dealers? The accountant with the guilty conscience who squealed on the HUD housing contracts?

“We were a pair and then again we were not.”

“Look, pal, I don’t know –”

“I was the snow king and you were the fire breather.”

Rita started to hang up, but there was something eerily familiar about that line.

“You never know when you’ve had your last chance,” the man said.

“Bobby Ellis.” Instinctively, Rita touched the worn chrome Zippo in her pocket that bore those very words. Chills ran along her arms and the hair bristled at her neck.

“Bingo,” Ellis said.

“God, I’m so glad to hear from you. Where are you? When can I see you?



“The Overlook Inn in Harper’s Ferry. Breakfast at ten. I’ll have a lot to tell you. A story for above the fold.”

Rita scribbled his instructions on a blank notepad. “Tell me now.” Above the fold on a newspaper’s front page was reserved for big time news.

“Just be there.”

Rita thought he was hanging up.

“By the way—ever think you’d see me alive again?” Ellis asked softly.

“No,” Rita said. “I never thought I would.”

Chapter 2

Rita Mars sang along with the Shirelles. She glanced at the Jeep’s speedometer and then at the rearview mirror to check for approaching troopers.

The West Virginia countryside blazed with yellow and scarlet. Sunlight sprinkled the rock-strewn pastures with brilliance and made the car’s white hood shimmer like a snowfield. Even the black and white Holsteins seemed brighter than usual as they ripped up the last shreds of yellowed pasture grass.

Though it was late October, Rita had the top down on the Jeep. It was good to ride on this open road alone with the sun and wind. She couldn’t really be forty-five this year. She ran thirty miles a week and could still get into jeans the size she’d worn in college. Rita peered over the top of her Raybans and took another look in the mirror. Ok, so her dark hair was shot through with silver.

She smiled. It made her look more interesting. After all, how many older women had she fallen madly in love with in her younger years?

Rita flipped the radio off and concentrated on her meeting with Bobby Ellis. She hadn’t seen him in forever. Yes, she had thought he might be dead. A superior journalist, he’d thrown it all away with a coke habit that he paid for with a career and a marriage. No one had seen or heard of him now for more than two years.

After he disappeared, a malaise had set. Rita abandoned investigative reporting and spend her time working on a detective’s license. She was going to right wrongs instead of writing about wrongs as she described her abrupt life change.

She sighed. She wanted to return to the happier thoughts that had so recently danced in her head.

A red truck with a rainbow sticker on the front bumper appeared the in oncoming lane. Rita’s smile came back and she waved as they raced each other.

“We’re everywhere. We’re everywhere,” she hummed to herself.

She returned to her former mood of excited anticipation. She was seeing Bobby again.

They had been reporters together on the Washington Star. More like brother and sister than co-workers, they had fought over editorial recognition, wept on each other’s shoulders, and held each other’s hand during their respective long, dark nights of the soul.

Rita tried sweet talk at first when his habit began to devour him. Then she got tough. They fought bitterly. In the end, he surrendered everything to the white powder.

She’d been as angry with herself as with him. She couldn’t make him stop. Like a flashback, the feelings were the same when she thought about her childhood. She hadn’t been able to stop the runaway train her father rode either. Alcohol carried him far and fast. In the end, he stuck his police revolver into his mouth and killed his pain.

Bad memories again. Rita shook her head and switched the radio back on.

“There she was, just a walkin’ down the street . . . “ Rita sang along at the top of her lungs and pushed the accelerator just a little farther with her docksider.

Five miles and three oldies but goodies later, she slowed as the road narrowed to the twisting mountainside lanes that led to Harper’s Ferry. Down the sheer embankment on the passenger’s side, she could see canoes below on this rocky segment of the Potomac. She took a deep breath. The cobwebs of leftover memory cleared. It was a gorgeous day. At the top of a steep winding hill, Rita spied the flagpole that stood in the center of the Overlook Inn’s circular drive. Old Glory ruffled its red stripes in a soft October breeze that seemed more spring than autumn.

The parking areas along the drive were jammed with American made pickups and SUVs. Lots of military bumper stickers and window decals. Families just out of church hopped out of cars and headed for the Inn’s dining room and Sunday brunch buffet.

As she reached the crest, she had to slam on the brakes. The drive was blocked by two Harper’s Ferry sheriffs’ cars, a West Virginia trooper vehicle—blue gumball lights twirling—an ambulance from nearby Ransom, a fire truck and a dented beige Crown Vic with county plates.

Guests and townies milled around the west annex. A tall, grim-faced sheriff’s deputy held them at bay.

“What the heck is this?” Rita jumped out of the Jeep.

Inside, the interior of the Overlook lobby was cool and dark. The desk clerk was a woman with long red nails and a plunging neckline to her sundress. Her blue eye shadow made her look like an alien. Oblivious to Rita, she leaned across the far end of the registration counter to stare out the front door toward the commotion outside. Rita pulled off her Raybans.

“What happened?” Rita asked.

“Man killed hisself.” The woman continued to lean and stare over the counter.

The taste of metal rose in Rita’s throat. “Killed himself?”

“Room 107. Maid found him.” The clerk’s sense of duty returned and she walked toward the center of the counter where Rita stood. “Can I help you with something?”

Rita felt icy from the inside out. She dug her hand into her pocket to touch that Zippo talisman she always carried.

“I came here to meet someone.” The words jumbled in her mouth.

“Name?” The clerk absently flipped the registration book behind the counter.

Rita said nothing.

The clerk looked up then and said once more. “Name?”

“Bobby Ellis,” Rita whispered.

The two women stared at one another.


Excerpt from Driven: A Rita Mars Thriller by Valerie Webster. Copyright 2021 by Valerie Webster. Reproduced with permission from Valerie Webster. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Valerie Webster spent a career developing law enforcement applications for surveillance, security and forensics. She has also been a triathlete and a crime reporter. She honed her writing skills through "Sisters in Crime" and "Mystery Writers of America's" mentoring program. In DRIVEN: A RITA MARS THRILLER, she weaves professional experiences into a high tension plot that sweeps the reader into the action from Page 1 to the breath-taking conclusion.

Valerie makes her home near Boulder, CO.

Catch Up With Valerie Webster:
Instagram - @rmarsauthor
Twitter - @RMars4Hire
Facebook - @RMars4Hire


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews!

Click here to view Driven by Valerie Webster Tour Hosts.


Join In:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Valerie Webster. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.



Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book 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.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A Three Book Problem by Vicki Delany

This is the seventh novel in a series and the first I've read. I thought it read well on its own. Gemma, manager of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Jayne, owner of Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, are chosen as caterers of weekend Sherlockian get together. Ryan, local police detective and Gemma's romantic partner, is roped into assisting in the kitchen.

The host of the weekend, David Masterson, is a wealthy man and a prominent Sherlock fan and authority. It becomes evident that the people he has invited to the weekend at the Suffolk Gardens House don't like him and some know nothing about Sherlock. When a murder occurs in Gemma's presence, she is on the case, often to the dismay of detective Ryan.

I liked this cozy mystery. I thought the characters were done well although I did have trouble liking Gemma. I liked learning from the people who knew much about Doyle and were really into the Sherlock works. It was interesting that they were knowledgeable of the movies produced and actors involved, debating who was best. The pace of the book is not fast as much of the narrative centered on relationships rather than investigative technique. The murderer reveal came almost by accident although there were many clues to the identity. While Gemma claimed deductive reasoning in the end, she didn't share it with readers until after the reveal.

I do wish more had been said somewhere about the title of the book and the play on the three pipe problem, an allusion to the length of time it would take Sherlock to figure out a complex mystery.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Vicki Delany
is one of Canada's most prolific cozy mystery writers. She
 writes under her own name and her pen name, Eva Gates, for a total of more than forty novels. She is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. You can find out more at by Iden Ford Photography.

Crooked Lane Books, 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.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Live the Impossible by Jenny Smith Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Live the Impossible

Author: Jenny Smith

Genre: Memoir

Release date: July, 2021

Jenny Smith was a typical teenager—a gymnast and athlete who loved hair and makeup, played in a band, and was active in her church youth group.

Then one bright summer morning, a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down and dependent on others for her most basic needs. Privacy and independence seemed like things of the past.

But Jenny refused to give up or give in to her disability, and over time she discovered that a wheelchair could take her places she’d never dared to imagine. She’s traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Mexico for wheelchair distributions and sports camps, and even rolled the New York City runway as a model during Fashion Week.

Today, Jenny Smith is a spokesperson for independent and vibrant living with a disability. Her speeches, articles, and social media presence have touched thousands of lives.

In Live the Impossible, Smith shares what it looks like to live with paralysis, from the everyday details most people never think about, to the countless people who have impacted her life along the way. With honesty and humor, faith and fortitude, Jenny shows us how we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Jenny's is an amazing story. The book is well written and very encouraging and informative. Jenny is very honest in her account too. She shares about the changes in her friendships because they had been based on mutual activities. There was the agony of prayers for healing. She shares how she navigated school, endured muscle spasms, must be watchful of skin conditions, had tendon transfers and more. She even shares some of those details we often wonder about concerning bodily functions.

This is a great book of inspiration for anyone with a disability and even for those without a disability. Jenny's account shows what can be done with perseverance and trust in God. I am amazed at the ministry Jenny has accomplished and the activities she has experienced. Her life is truly an inspiration to all of us.

Food for thought: “You never know what you might find as you stretch beyond the familiar and into the impossible.” (2468/2894)

My rating: 5/5 stars.


About the Author

Jenny Smith is an advocate, peer mentor, and encourager for those living with spinal cord injuries, and anyone who has faced unexpected or seemingly impossible challenges. Her popular blog and YouTube channel, Jenny Smith Rolls On, explore the practical aspects of life as a quadriplegic. She also speaks to associations and businesses, schools and universities, and faith-based groups. Jenny works full-time supporting and encouraging cross-cultural workers. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she rows on the Ohio River with the Louisville Adaptive Rowing program.

You can find out more at

More from Jenny

“I will never write a book.”

I can’t tell you how many times I said those words. How and why did I publish a book after saying I will never so many times?

For several years, I was writing as a side job for a medical supply company. To learn more about the craft of writing, I signed up for an online class. The instructor invited me to take her next class on writing your life story.

That’s when it happened. I felt a little tap on my shoulder and heard—or felt—the words, “It’s time.”

I groaned.

Since my spinal cord injury at the age of 16, I said never and that’s impossible innumerable times. I had said the words before traveling to Mexico and Afghanistan. As I dreamed of living independently as a quadriplegic. I’d said never to playing wheelchair tennis, rugby, and para-rowing. My words that’s impossible and never were proved wrong time and again.

So I started writing.

It turns out I’ve lived what I believed was impossible.

In July 2021, on the 32nd anniversary of my spinal cord injury, my family, friends, and community celebrated with me at the launch party for my memoir Live the Impossible.

Although the book centers on my story of becoming a quadriplegic at 16 and the trials and adventures that followed, the lessons I learned in the years to come are universal:

  • How I found my identity
  • The importance of taking a risk
  • How I became comfortable in my own body
  • Acknowledging I have little to offer and yet seeing God do things I could never imagine

We all have unexpected circumstances in life. But I believe we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18

Texas Book-aholic, January 19

An Author's Take, January 20

Inklings and notions, January 21

Stephanie's Life of Determination, January 21

deb's Book Review, January 22

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 23

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 25 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, January 26

Lots of Helpers, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

Library Lady's Kid Lit, January 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Spoken from the Heart, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31


To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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.

I received a complimentary 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.)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F Walter

While Walter was shocked by the events of January 6, it was, she says, deeply familiar. She has studied civil wars and their origins, hundreds of which have happened in the last seventy-five years. Many started in ways similar to what she was seeing in the U.S. The same elements, the same warning signs she had identified in other countries are now present in the U.S.

Walter helps readers understand how civil wars start by reviewing many that have recently happened. She looks at the patterns and the changes. One change is the transition to wars fought by ethnic and religious groups rather than political entities. Rather than government soldiers, the warriors are now vigilantes and armed militias attacking government leaders. She shows how social media has been used as a catalyst and cohesive force.

We in the U.S. may have thought we were immune. Not so, says Walter. “I have seen how civil wars start, and I know the signs that people miss. And I can see those signs emerging here at a surprisingly fast rate.” (111/4020) The U.S. has entered a dangerous place. She details how, in the last five years, the situation has become precarious. The democracy score for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest point since 1801. (1837/4020) We cannot ignore what happened nor the speed at which it happened, Walter says. “...[W]e are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe.” (2103/4020)

There are actions that can be taken to protect our democracy, such as restoring the quality of governance. I hope our leaders will rise in their responsibility to our country. I have read a number of books about recent political events in the U.S. and this one is definitely the most chilling.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Barbara F Walter is a professor of political science and Rohr Chair in Pacific International Relations and an adjunct professor in the UC San Diego Department of Political Science. Her current research is on the behavior of rebel groups in civil wars. She received her Ph.D. In political science from the University of Chicago and completed postdoctoral research at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and at the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. She is on the editorial board of several political journals and publications. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is co-founder of the blog Political Violence At a Glance. You can find out more at

Crown, 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, January 15, 2022

God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend by Sunshine Rodgers Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Christian Nonfiction

Release date: February 25, 2015

Ever confused about the Trinity? Are there three Gods or One? And how is the Trinity important to my life? Take a deep look inside this book for the answers. There is so much more to your life when you allow God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be inseparable parts of your existence. With your Heavenly Father, Big Brother and Best Friend by your side, you can reach the impossible and do the unthinkable. Learn about Heaven’s family and the Divine resources offered to you to succeed in life. Learn from the real testimonies from people who have been touched by this glorious revelation. Take one step closer to the three greatest loves of your life and have an experience of your own with this great Fellowship.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This book is good encouragement to make God the most important being in our lives, living to please Him. Rodgers assures us that God loves us and wants the best for us. We are encouraged to live with  Jesus as our example. We are also to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Rodgers shares her own charismatic experience and encourages us to listen to the Spirit and follow His direction.

Christians who hold a seriously respectful view of God, His sovereignty, holiness and otherness, may experience some discomfort with Rodgers' attitude toward God. Rather than seeing God as totally sufficient in Himself, Rodgers writes, “His life isn't complete until He has you with Him.” (65/1715) Rather than seeing God as a being very different from humans, Rodgers says, “God is just like any other person on this planet.” (95/1715) Rodgers also writes, “The Holy Spirit is just like you or me, He doesn't like being ignored or made fun of or disobeyed.” (1257/1715) In creating humankind, Rodgers says, “God wanted someone with His looks, His genes, and His bloodline.” (95/1715) Of the very God of the entire universe, Rodgers writes, “You are God's main priority.” (218/1715)

This is a very encouraging book but I would caution readers to compare some of what Rodgers says about God with what is known from Scripture about God's majesty and uniqueness as the eternal creator and ruler of the universe.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Sunshine Rodgers is an International Best-Selling Author on Amazon and she has attended 31 book signings and 4 Book Tours. Her books have landed on 21 different Amazon Best Seller lists in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada including #1 in the U.K. for Bible Study and #2 in the U.S. for Bible Commentaries. She has been promoted in various newspapers, newsletters and magazines and she has been a guest on podcasts and radio. Check out all 10 of Sunshine’s books and feel the love and passion for life on her pages! Sunshine is married to her best friend, Travis and they live in sunny Florida.

Excerpt from the Book

I pray Colossians 1:9-11 over you as the reader. I pray that you will not cease to make your requests known to God, and that you may be filled with the deep and clear knowledge of God’s will operating in spiritual wisdom. I pray that you will have comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God, and that you will be able to understand and discern spiritual things during the day and during your life (vs. 9). I pray that you will live and conduct yourself in a way that pleases the Lord, and that you will desire to make Him smile in everything that you do. I pray that you will bear much fruit walking with God and continue to do good works as well as growing and increasing in your knowledge (vs. 10). I pray that you will be invigorated and strengthened with His power to bring out His glory in your life. I pray that when life gets too tough, you will always choose to get closer to God, and exercise endurance and patience with joy. Know that throughout it all, you are surrounded by your Father, your Big Brother and your Best Friend every step of
the way. excerpt from page 202-203 (Book: God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 15

For the Love of Literature, January 16 (Author Interview)

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Inklings and notions, January 18

For Him and My Family, January 19

deb's Book Review, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 21

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 22

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 24 (Spotlight)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog , January 27

Mary Hake, January 28


To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa card!!

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

I received a complimentary 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, January 14, 2022

Both Sides of the Border by Terry Overton Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Both Sides of the Border

Author: Terry Overton

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: March 30, 2021

Inspired by True Current Events.

Dolores, Ernesto, and Emilio Sanchez are on a quest to America to find work and to save their family, who has been devastated by their father’s accident and the drought in their home country of Honduras. But making their way to America would be too expensive for a family stricken by poverty. With only their faith in God to see them through, the teenaged siblings set off for their new home, despite the threat from the cartel, corrupt police officers, starvation, and death.

Meanwhile, Eva Jordan is determined to start a new life on the American side of the Mexican border, hoping to shake off the scars from a horrible marriage. Despite her mother’s concern for her daughter living so close to the border, Eva decides to take a vacation to the other side to sharpen up her Spanish and relax before her new job begins. She is struck by the beautiful towns of Mexico, but slowly, her eyes are opened to the dangers that are knocking at her front door.

When a hurricane washes away the border walls, will the two sides collide in hatred or unite in perfect harmony?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This novel is an interesting contrast of people enjoying a tourist adventure in Mexico and young siblings escaping Honduras for a better life in the United States. The narrative alternates between Eva, the tourist and soon to be professor in a Texas college, and Dolores, escaping to the US with her two brothers. Eva, with her advanced degree, comes across as immature and naïve when it comes to romance and life in general. Dolores, in contrast, shows maturity and courage well beyond her years.

The novel portrays well the dangers facing those traveling through Mexico to seek a better life in the US. The actions of the cartels figures large with kidnapping a constant threat. Transportation is often deadly and there is always the threat of corrupt government officials.

Overton's writing style is not sophisticated so this novel would be good for young adult readers. The tourist activities provided much information about historic places in Mexico and almost read like a travelogue. The end of the novel seemed more wishful thinking than reality with respect to government action. While I found Dolores' journey much more engaging than Eva's immature adventures, I did find the novel informative and entertaining.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Terry Overton is a retired university professor of educational and school psychology. She has an Ed.D. in Special Education and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Her professional experience includes teaching public school, teaching at the university level, and being a college dean. She has two children and six grandchildren. Her writing and publication experiences include textbook and journal articles in the fields of special education and school psychology. She seeks to answer God’s call to share the good news and grow the church by writing Christian books and devotionals. She recently penned her first poetry book in honor of servicemen and women. Her book “Both Sides of the Border” is a Firebird Book Award winner in the categories of Cross-Genre, Socio-Political Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. She and her husband live in the southern tip of Texas where they enjoy semi-tropical weather and spending time with their friends and family.

More from Terry

As a Christian author, my goals in writing “Both Sides of the Border,” were to have the reader question their own understanding of the people and events of U.S.-Mexico border, analyze these world events through a Christian worldview, and enjoy the plot’s twists and turns. During their travels, the main characters of the story display different levels of their own faith. In the end, both women have increased their faith and understanding of God.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 14

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 15

Texas Book-aholic, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 20

deb's Book Review, January 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 22 (Spotlight)

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22 (Author Interview)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 26

Blossoms and Blessings, January 27 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 27


To celebrate her tour, Terry is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & 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.

I received a complimentary 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.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Count to Three by T R Ragan

About the Book:

For a private investigator on the trail of a missing girl, every second counts in a gripping thriller by New York Times bestselling author T.R. Ragan.

On her first day of kindergarten, five-year-old Tinsley disappeared without a trace…

Five agonizing years later, her divorced mother, Dani Callahan, is a private investigator. She and Quinn Sullivan, a promising young assistant determined to prove herself, are devoted to helping others find missing loved ones. And for Dani, finding Tinsley is still a never-ending obsession.

Their newest case is Ali Cross, a teenager who vanished off a Sacramento street while walking home. A troubled boy’s eyewitness testimony to Ali’s abduction provides their only clues. And as their search for Ali gets underway, new information about Tinsley’s disappearance begins to surface too.

As their investigations lead down two twisting paths, disturbing secrets are revealed and new victims find themselves in mortal danger. Time is running out, and the hunt is only getting grimmer.

My Review:

This is an intense novel of psychological suspense. It is a nail biting thriller. It is a well written page turner. Ragan has created believable characters in Dani and Quinn. They are both compelled to find missing people because of their own experiences. I liked them and their tenacious work in solving crimes.

Ragan has also done a good job creating a villain. He is truly evil but we do get some insight into why he has become the crazed person he is. Like with Dani and Quinn, Ragan has done a good job of developing the human experience behind the behavior.

The descriptions of the torture the villain inflicts on Ali may be too intense for gentle souls. While I found the narrative compelling, it was also quite gruesome. This novel is definitely not a cozy mystery. Readers with a potential sensitivity to female abduction and mistreatment might want to approach this novel with caution.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her exciting Lizzy Gardner series: Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies, has received tremendous praise. In August 2015 Evil Never Dies hit #7 on the Wall Street Journal Bestselling List. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold over three million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. TimesPC MagazineHuffington Post, and Publishers Weekly.

Theresa grew up in a family of five girls in Lafayette, California. An avid traveler, her wanderings have carried her to Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Nepal, where she narrowly survived being chased by a killer elephant. Before devoting herself to writing fiction, she worked as a legal secretary for a large corporation. Theresa and her husband Joe have four children and live in Sacramento, California. 

Thomas and Mercer, 283 pages.

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

(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.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Seven-Day Resurrection by Chevron Ross

About the Book:

Seven years after his mother’s death, Len Holder awakens one morning to find her alive again. Impossible as it seems, Len must relive a strained relationship dating back to his father’s loss in World War II.

At seventy-eight, Len considers himself a failure. In his youth he was a struggling writer who settled for a series of office jobs to pay the bills. While his brother Joey became a famous sportscaster, Len took care of their aging mother. By day he works as a claims adjuster. At night he lives alone in his mother’s house, tinkering with a novel he can’t seem to finish.

Seven days pass as Mom resumes tormenting Len with old grievances. Meanwhile, other mysteries pile up. Len keeps hearing fragments of Joey’s radio show in his childhood bedroom. His sister reports disturbing phone calls from Mom. Strangers he meets look like people from his past. Other strangers have taken over his insurance office.

Then Len gets word that his beloved boss Miranda has been gravely injured in a traffic accident. Eventually, Miranda’s fate and a shocking secret from the past reveal that Sharon Holder’s resurrection is not what it seems to be.

The Seven-Day Resurrection is an intimate parable for senior citizens, and for any reader who has been thrust into the role of caregiver.

My Review:

I found this novel to be an intriguing one although I thought it was somewhat puzzling until the very end. The basic plot line is interesting. A person back from the dead. One can imagine the opportunity it would offer to heal fractured relationships, right wrongs, make good on promises, etc. There was a little of that but I was surprised there was not more. Much of the narrative was reminiscing. I could see thinking back to mother/child experiences but I did not see the point of going through Len's troubled experiences with potential girlfriends.

There is also another plot within the major plot in that Len is a writer and we get to read sections of the novel he is writing. It was hard for me to keep the two plots in a cohesive relationship. Also, there is a great deal of going back in time to a scene or two and then back to current day, jumping around time wise.

The time structure was confusing. Some knew the mother had died and were shocked to see her alive again. Others acted as if seeing her was normal. A newspaper obituary said she died in 2020 but a tombstone said 2013. Len heard sports broadcasts from years ago even though a cell phone registered a current date. I felt as confused as Len must have felt.

It's a bit difficult to describe this novel. It is part magical realism, part fantasy, part a spiritual journey and part alternate history. The final scene does tie it all together and allow the reader to make sense of everything. The author is certainly imaginative and a clever writer. Having read this novel, I think there is great potential for future ones being created with spiritual insight and encouragement.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:

Chevron Ross is a pseudonym for someone unimportant. He is not a writer, but God keeps putting ideas into his head that somehow turn into stories. If you like them, be sure to offer God a prayer of thanks.

Independently published, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Book Sirens. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was from the author's website.

(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.)