Monday, July 31, 2023

Paperboy by Dan Romanello Book Review

About the Book:

Raised by a single mother in affluent Fairfield County, Connecticut, Dylan Tomassi grew up poor. As a boy he is befriended by a reclusive widow he meets on his paper route. She mentors him with sage advice on matters facing a young man growing up without a father. She never pays for her newspapers, and he never asks for the money because of all the good advice she dispenses. When she finally does square up, it changes his life forever.

Dylan relocates to Florida and becomes a successful private investor, but people and events affecting his exciting new lifestyle on the Sunshine State’s west coast cause him to realize, with the help of his old friend, that many things going on in the world simply don’t make sense. He vows to use his wealth to make a difference in the world when he’s not sidetracked running into nefarious characters or busy keeping his best friend, wealthy playboy Alex Malloy, out of hot water. With corruption, debauchery, deception, and murder swirling around him, Dylan proves nice guys can finish first.

My Review:

I have mixed feelings about this novel. It is a good coming of age type novel with a young Dylan learning how to be a fine man, responsible and successful. He has a great mentor in an elderly woman. The plot has some clever aspects, like accusations against the relative of a powerful politician and a missing laptop. I always like to learn something when reading fiction and there was quite a bit about investing, the newspaper industry and the myth of objectivity, crooked insurance practices and crooked politicians. Characters are drawn well, both the nice ones like Dylan and the horrible ones.

Romanello's writing style is predominantly prose, something I find not very engaging. There is much detail when giving the setting and initially describing characters. The historical setting is done well with things like period television shows and clothing mentioned. What I liked least about the novel was the amount of descriptive sexual encounters. There were just too many. Some were just way too explicit and that was not needed at all to move the story forward.

This is a good debut effort. It would appeal to readers who like lots of prose and less dialogue and action and don't mind too many explicit sex scenes. I look forward to another novel featuring Dylan as a capable hero. I just hope the sex will be toned down.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Dan Romanello
worked in the newspaper industry before attending law school at the University of Florida. After serving as an assistant state attorney, he spent more than 20 years as a partner in a boutique firm, running the trial practice group. An accomplished trial lawyer, he has litigated cases in courtrooms throughout the state of Florida. After retiring from the active practice of law, he wrote the first book in the Dylan Tomassi series, 
PAPERBOY. He resides on Florida’s gulf coast. You can find out more at

Sanitas Publishing, Inc., 338 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. 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, July 30, 2023

Sketchy Views by Daniel DeWitt Book Review

About the Book:

Is your understanding of who God is and how he works in our lives today a little sketchy? Daniel DeWitt’s Sketchy Views is a beginner’s guide to making sense of God. 

Everybody has beliefs about God. There are a million ways to get God wrong, but there’s only a narrow path to getting him right. In order to understand God, we have to go back to the Bible, but that can be overwhelming if you are new to theology.  

Sketchy Views uses words and sketches to help readers visually connect with and understand what basic Christian theology is and is not. DeWitt helps readers understand why what we think about God is the most important thing about us. Because God is the most important topic a person can think about, the way we think about God (our theology) is our most valuable and important collection of our thoughts and words.    

  • Illustrations clarify the basics of theology, Christian thinking, and making sense of worldview issues. 
  • Skeptics, atheists, and theological novices will learn basic truths about God and how Christians through the ages have come to these conclusions.  
  • Readers will be challenged to examine their basic beliefs about God and themselves and see how they affect every part of life.  
You can watch the book trailer here.

My Review:

This is a good book for young people to help them understand how their thoughts about God are formed and how to make sense of them. I like how DeWitt explains that the starting point of our thinking is so important. He explores necessary terms, like orthodoxy and heresy, making them understandable. He clarifies the need for initial assumptions and how all people make them. He shows how some beliefs are more essential than others, such as salvation over last days details. He covers three major areas of Christian belief, the Bible, God and the world.

DeWitt's writing style is good, especially for people unfamiliar with theological terms like inerrancy and omnipotence. He is clear and explains issues well. He has some cool line drawing illustrations too. There are questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. They could be used for discussion in a classroom setting or for individual use. This book is a good introduction to orthodox belief for new or questioning Christians.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Daniel DeWitt
, PhD, is a senior fellow at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO, where he leads the Center for Worldview and Culture and teaches courses on theology, apologetics, and C.S. Lewis. He is the author of multiple books, including 
Jesus or NothingThe Friend Who Forgives, and Sketchy Views, and posts regularly at He and his wife, April, have four children. 

New Growth Press, 224 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.)

How to Talk With God by Joyce Meyer Book Review

I have read many books on prayer and most have given techniques for an effective prayer life. Meyer's book is a little different in that she encourages us to be our unique selves in relationship with God. We have different personalities and experiences and will relate to God in unique ways. Yes, there are some general principles of prayer that apply to everyone but God wants a personal relationship and will lead each of us individually.

I really like her encouragement to approach God in our own way. Our prayers will not necessarily be like those of other people. We are to follow the leading of the Spirit, not man made rules. We pray as God directs, developing a friendship with Him. Be honest. Don't be fearful of not praying correctly.

Meyer does give general principles for approaching God, like the attitudes of love, forgiveness, humility, gratitude, compassion and persistence. She also addresses possible barriers to effective prayer, such as sin. The only barrier I didn't like was speaking negative words. I believe God is greater than being bound by my doubtful words. Meyer encourages us to be honest with God and for me, that may include voicing my negative feelings.

This is a book for Christians who have not had good experiences with prayer because they have felt bound by prescribed rules of prayer. Meyer frees us to be honest with God, communicating to Him in our own way as we develop our friendship with Him.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Joyce Meyer
 is a #1 
New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. Her broadcast, Enjoying Everyday Life, airs daily on hundreds of television networks and radio stations worldwide. Joyce has written nearly 100 inspirational books. Bestsellers include God Is Not Mad at You; Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits; Living Beyond Your Feelings; Power Thoughts; Battlefield of the Mind; and The Confident Woman. Joyce holds conferences throughout the year, speaking to thousands around the world.

FaithWords, 176 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, July 29, 2023

Devil Within by James L’Etoile Blog Tour Book Review


Devil Within

by James L'Etoile

July 24 - August 18, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


The border is a hostile place with searing heat and venomous serpents. Yet the deadliest predator targets the innocent.

A sniper strikes in the Valley of the Sun and Detective Nathan Parker soon finds a connection between the victims—each of them had a role in an organization founded to help undocumented migrants make the dangerous crossing. Parker discovers no one is exactly who they seem.

There’s the devil you know and then there’s the devil within—when the two collide, no one is safe.

Devil Within is the sequel to the Anthony and Lefty Award nominated Dead Drop.

My Review:

This novel really shows the horror of human trafficking across the southern border. Detective Parker is again involved in trying set right terrible wrongs against vulnerable people. It starts with the mystery of a sniper and a number of murders but then points toward Cartel activity. And Billie, that quirky and lovable desert dweller, is back helping Parker.

The plot is quite complex and includes some surprising twists near the end. There are several suspects presented and even I was fooled. The denouement is long and involved. I am not sure I fully understand who was really associated with which group doing what things.

This is a good novel for readers who would like an idea of how undocumented immigrants are treated and mistreated by those seeking to benefit from them. There are some gruesome scenes revealing how little some value human life. Parker is a good hero and I look forward to his next adventure.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of the first book in this series, Dead Drop.

Book Details:

Genre: Procedural/Thriller
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 2023
Number of Pages: 310
Series: The Nathan Parker Detective Series, Book 2
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Nia Saldana didn’t think today would be the day she died. Why would she? She was careful and avoided situations which drew too much attention. She never wanted to be noticed. When you got noticed, it only led to trouble, or worse.

She cursed herself for snooping around her employer’s office as she tidied up. The big man wasn’t who he pretended to be. If others knew what she saw…

Nia fought off anxiety driving home after another twelve-hour day cleaning homes on Camelback Mountain, the upscale enclave in Central Phoenix. Commuter traffic on this section of the 101 loop was a field of brake lights and her hands gripped the wheel, knowing she’d be home after her two girls were asleep. Her sister Sofia never complained when she watched the girls and loved them as if they were her own. Nia regretted every minute away from them, and the envelope of cash on the seat next to her meant she could stop and pick up a little pink box of day-old Mexican pastries for the girls as a sweet surprise.

A job that didn’t require hours away from her girls was a dream. She didn’t dare look for a better-paying job. There was too much at risk for a single, undocumented mother. One wrong move, like getting caught in her employer’s office, and she would join her deported husband in Hermosillo. What would happen to the girls then?

She pushed a worn stuffed animal away from her leg when she caught a sudden blur from the right. A familiar black SUV cut across her path, nearly clipping the front end of her Nissan Sentra. She knew her boss was furious; in a way she’d never seen before. But to chase her on the freeway because of what she’d discovered? Reckless.

A pop caught her attention. Seconds later, the heavy SUV lurched and bumped Nia’s sedan into the left lane, pushing her into the gravel median. A second pop sounded moments before the wheel wrenched from Nia’s hands sending the Sentra into a hard spin to the left until it faced back into the oncoming traffic.

Rubber barked on the asphalt as a semi-truck slammed on its brakes and the trailer jackknifed, a wall of metal rushing toward Nia’s windshield. The Sentra crumpled from the impact of the heavy eighteen-wheeler. The thin metal roof folded in pinning her against the seat. The steering wheel crushed against the driver’s seat, and Nia with it. The pressure against her chest made breathing impossible. If her brother-in-law hadn’t sold the airbag for a few dollars…. Nia glanced at the blood-spattered stuffed animal and pulled it close to her.

Inside her broken passenger side window, Nia watched as the SUV plowed into the metal rails in the center divider without slowing down. The driver slumped over the wheel after his vehicle came to rest. Why? Why did he? The grip on the stuffed animal loosened as she grew cold. The faces of her two young girls were the last images she held while she slipped away.

Chapter Two

Detective Sergeant Nathan Parker weaved his way through the snarl of traffic on the freeway. Phoenix dwellers took it in stride because commute hours meant a sludge across the valley with a daily multi-car pile-up, or a disabled vehicle in the tunnel. None of the usual reasons for traffic meltdowns would justify a Major Crimes detective call out.

Parker’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Ford Explorer was unmarked, but the antenna bristling on the roof and the flashing red and blue lights in the grill gave it away. As he approached, he wasn’t certain what warranted a major crimes investigator. Parker spotted the vehicles spun out in the median, the front end of a compact sedan crumpled under a big rig trailer. No one would survive this one.

Fire engines stopped traffic in the two lanes near the accident. A single lane of cars bled through the remaining gap in the freeway, going slow enough to glimpse the gruesome wreckage.

Deputy Marcus Stone called Parker on his cell phone rather than make the call over the department radio frequency. The call was quick on detail, other than Deputy Stone needed Parker at the scene. Parker’s mind shuffled through the possibilities as he pulled his Explorer to the far left median. He spotted the wrecked SUV on the center divider, twenty yards from the jackknifed semi-truck. A high-profile victim, or an influential Phoenix power player caught in a deadly drunk driving crash? Maybe. Politics was king, even in the desert. The twisted remains of the Nissan underneath the big rig, however, didn’t scream of valley nobility.

Parker spotted deputy Stone near the rear of the Phoenix Metro Fire Department engine. Stone looked gray.

“Marcus.” Stone didn’t take his gaze from the fire crew using an air powered extraction device, sometimes called the Jaws of Life, to peel back the exposed left front quarter panel of the gutted Nissan Sentra . “We’ve got two deceased.” Stone jutted his square jaw at the Nissan. “A young woman. In the SUV against the guardrail, our second victim, a middleaged white male.”

“Looks nasty. Any statements from witnesses about how it happened. Why’d you call me out, anyway? Traffic accidents aren’t usually our thing.” Stone started toward the SUV. “Come with me.” Stone didn’t wait for Parker and made a path around the littered wreckage toward the black SUV. Parker noticed the driver slumped over the wheel after the fire department opened the driver’s door and left him in place. From experience, Parker knew fire crews extracted accident victims from the vehicles and tried to administer lifesaving treatment.

The driver’s razor cut gray hair lay matted in crimson. His skull disappeared in a jagged mess of blood and bone behind his ear.

“He’s been shot. Dammit, this makes three in a month,” Parker said. “That’s why I called you.”

Instinctively, Parker glanced at his surroundings. The freeway sat in the bottom of a wash, with city streets twenty feet above on both sides. An unnatural valley, but a natural killing ground for the Sun Valley Sniper. “Get any ID on this guy?”

Stone held a plastic evidence bag in his hand. Parker hadn’t noticed the deputy gripping the plastic envelope since his arrival.

“Roger Jessup. Local attorney, according to the Arizona Bar card in his wallet.”

“Can’t say I’ve heard of him before. Gives us an angle to look at—you know, the whole disgruntled client thing.”

They both turned at the sound of ripping metal pulled from the Nissan Sentra. Two fire fighters crouched into the passenger compartment, cut the seatbelt, and pulled the driver from the car. They placed her gently on a yellow tarp spread on the gravel shoulder.

“I take it she wasn’t a shooting victim?” Parker said.

“No. The collision with the SUV spun her out and then the big rig finished it. Wrong place, wrong time, poor thing.”

“You call in the Medical Examiner?”

Stone shook his head. “Didn’t know how you would handle it.”

“No problem. While I call the M.E., could you ask the fire crews to set up some tarps to give our victims a bit of respect?”

“On it.” Stone strode off to the closest fire fighter and started pointing at the scene.

Parker approached the Nissan as the fire department crew draped a tarp over the dead woman. Parker saw she was olive skinned, young, perhaps in her early thirties, with dark black hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was attractive, but even in death, she carried signs of stress, lines creasing her forehead, and dark bags under her eyes. Parker dropped to one knee and scanned the passenger compartment. The driver was crushed. If it wasn’t bad enough, Parker spotted a well-loved stuffed animal on the seat.

“Oh man. She’s got kids.”

He reached for her purse and pulled the inexpensive plastic and cardboard handbag from the floorboard. Parker had seen these knockoff items before, carried by women coming over the border. He fished through the purse for a wallet and ID. Nothing. No driver’s license, insurance cards, or credit cards. When he stood, he spotted a blood-stained envelope. When he lifted it from the seat, it held one hundred dollars. No note or message in with the five twenty-dollar bills. The face of the envelope bore a simple inscription: “Nia.”

“Nia, what happened?”

Parker thought deputy Stone might be right. He was about to write it off as another case of a random victim until he found the bullet hole in the Nissan’s front tire. The tire exploded outward on the opposite side of the path of entry. Likely sending the compact sedan into an uncontrolled skid, careening off any vehicles in the next lane.

What were the chances of two cars being shot at in evening commuter traffic?


Excerpt from Devil Within by James L'Etoile. Copyright 2023 by James L'Etoile. Reproduced with permission from James L'Etoile. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

James L’Etoile uses his twenty-nine years behind bars as an influence in his award-winning novel, short stories, and screenplays. He is a former associate warden in a maximum-security prison, a hostage negotiator, and director of California’s state parole system. Black Label earned the Silver Falchion for Best Book by an Attending Author at Killer Nashville and he was nominated for The Bill Crider Award for short fiction. His most recent novel is the Anthony and Lefty Award nominated Dead Drop. Look for Devil Within and Face of Greed, both coming in 2023.

You can find out more at:
BookBub - @crimewriter
Instagram - @authorjamesletoile
Twitter - @JamesLEtoile
Facebook - @AuthorJamesLetoile


Tour Participants:

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I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. 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.)

Friday, July 28, 2023

Countdown by Lynette Eason Book Review

About the Book:

Raina Price is living life incognito. In order to protect herself from a dangerous stalker, she had to change her name, her identity, and her home. With the help of her friend from juvie, Raina is able to begin life anew. She has a new job as a flight paramedic that she loves. It feels great to put her energies into saving lives. But it is hard to put aside the fact that her own life may still be in danger.

US Marshal Vincent Corelli’s job is to hunt down fugitives and protect those who are assigned to him. When Raina is almost killed in front of him, he is more determined than ever to save her and to find out who is behind the nefarious act.

Together they must work to solve the mystery of Raina’s past. But someone is determined to make sure that she doesn’t live long enough to uncover the truth. Can she trust Vincent with her past as well as her future? 

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This novel centers around Raina, a woman with a troubled past. She is a survivor, however, and has managed to create a good life for herself. That life is now being threatened. Most of the narrative of this novel deals with the developing romance between her and Vince. There is quite a bit of character thought included so the suspense is periodic.

But there is a good deal of suspense. One of my pet peeves is suspense happening because of unwise action by characters who should know better. Shortly after a failed attempt on Raina's life, Vince takes her to a very vulnerable location, a lake. They go on an open pontoon boat with no additional protection around. They have been followed and, of course, shots are fired and suspense follows. They manage to live through it but then, later, they are on a drive, by themselves with no additional protection, and are rear ended and suspense follows again. I don't like danger resulting because the hero makes such unwise choices. I like it much more when the villain outwits a smart hero.

This is a romantic suspense novel for readers who like an emphasis on potential romance and don't mind suspense generated by bad decisions of the characters. The faith message is subtle, but there is a good exploration of forgiving others who have done great damage to us or those we love. One realizes we have probably all made decisions that have hurt others, suggesting we have a more forgiving attitude.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: Life Flight, Crossfire, and Critical Threat.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the USA Today bestselling author of Life Flight, Crossfire, and Critical Threat, as well as the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband. They have two adult children. Learn more at

Revell, 304 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.)

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Shadowed Doubt by Kathleen J Robison Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Shadowed Doubt

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 13, 2023

Is street smart enough to save a life and protect a family?

Finally recovering after the abduction of her mother by a human trafficking ring and the mysterious death of her father years ago, Lacey Thompson wants to live again. But things aren’t panning out. Exclusion from Fashion Design School leaves Lacey nursing rejection when a young stranger shows up in Bay Town. He’s brash but beautiful, and Lacey senses she shouldn’t get involved, but she can’t help it.

Wade Bodine Gardner is heir to Gardner Hotel Enterprises. As a long-lost family member discovered on the streets of New Orleans, Wade is living a second chance. Life is good, especially when he meets Lacey Thompson. But his past comes back to haunt him. The man who raised him is released from jail…the man who killed his mother. Beau Bodine wants a piece of the action and will stop at nothing to get Wade’s inheritance. Stalking Lacey is his first plan of action. How far will Beau go?

Instead of fighting their battles together, Lacey and Wade battle each other. Will Lacey draw on what got her through before? Can Wade learn to trust God and Lacey? It’s a race against time to save those whom he loves.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

As is Robison's style, this novel shows God working in people's lives, even if they are reluctant about acknowledging it. The story is a testament to God redeeming one's life despite heritage or previous actions. It also highlights the importance of honesty in keeping relationships secure.

An interesting side issue dealt with corporate espionage in the garment design industry. The competition is fierce and designs are stolen. Lacey learned about the deceptive practice the hard way. She does come to the point of trusting God, however, when it seems so many things are going wrong.

The focus of this novel is believing God for second chances and it contains a very strong Christian faith message. Robison's writing style is easy to read. The plot has a good amount of danger balanced by character thoughts and feelings. It is the third in a series and some of the actions of the characters would be better understood if the previous novels are read first.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in this series: Shattered Guilt and Restored Grace.

About the Author

Kathleen is an Okinawan-American. Born in Okinawa, raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels lend themselves to the settings in her books, and her large family provides fun fodder for her characters. She and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with sixteen grandchildren, and more on the way! Her ethnically diverse family of 33 plus personalities presents many opportunities to write about God’s amazing love amid trials, tragedies, and blessings. He is the one true inspiration and hope for us all.

More from Kathleen

Writing Shadowed Doubt took a different turn than my other books. I began writing a story about Lacey, Melanie Thompson’s young daughter. But since I write Romantic Suspense, she had to be old enough to be romanced! My husband says that would be age thirty for our youngest daughter, and he’s only half kidding.

But if you read the prequel, Revived Hope, and Book One, Shattered Guilt, you have a complete sketch of this delightful young girl. You don’t have to read those to enjoy Shadowed Doubt, but I hope you will. I think you’ll enjoy the small-town community of characters. Still, like all the Bay Town Series books, I aspire to make them stand-alone, and this book is no different. So you’ll meet Lacey as a young adult, ready to tackle the world.

I have three grown daughters (and five married sons), so watching them grow in their faith, and navigate college, relationships, and marriage, helped me to write Shadowed Doubt and Lacey’s story. Except for the fictional trauma in this story, I portrayed real-life heartache and doubts about what young women experience as they grow up in their faith in our almighty, sovereign God. Even those raised in a loving Christian home struggle with life, especially in today’s dark world. The important thing is to never give up. The Bible calls it perseverance. Trusting in our risen Savior for all things, even things out of our reach, until He gives a clear no.

Doubting is a big part of life. Wouldn’t you agree? We question ourselves, our family, friends and especially every life choices. But as a Christian, doubting God is the most difficult to admit. Without voicing those words out loud, I sometimes doubt that my prayers will be answered in the affirmative. In this book, Lacey definitely experienced this. She often felt like a yo-yo. It’s a lesson her love interest, Wade, also shared. His difficulty? He grew up in a very broken home and on the streets.

Relying on a solid foundation, Lacey trusted in God’s sovereignty and wanted His will above her desires. Something she also prayed for Wade, but sometimes she prayed, not really believing herself worthy of God’s best. But that’s the enemy at work. With spiritual mentors, Lacey came back around, knowing with all her mind and heart that she was worthy because of Jesus’ sacrifice. That she had no doubt. I pray that when doubts arise in your heart, you’ll go straight to God’s Word and be reminded of His height, depth, width and breadth of His love for you. It’s what Shadowed Doubt is all about.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 26 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 31

The Book Club Network, August 1

Guild Master, August 2 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Blogging With Carol, August 4

Betti Mace, August 5

For Him and My Family, August 6

Holly’s Book Corner, August 7

Stories By Gina, August 8 (Author Interview)

Books Less Travelled, August 8

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.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Every Dog Has His Day by Janice Thompson Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Every Dog Has His Day

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre: Christian Fiction / Cozy Mystery

Release Date: July, 2023

A Large Reward Is Offered for a Missing Dog

Kick back with your faithful companion and relax with a small-town mystery in book 5 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Lone Star groomer, Isabel Fuentes, adopts a feisty rescued dachshund, and the two are inseparable. . .until Texans quarterback, Corey Wallis, announces a large reward for his missing female dachshund. Suddenly all of Houston are on the lookout for the MIA pooch that bares a strong resemblance to Isabel’s new pup. Isabel contacts Corey, but soon Ginger goes missing and Isabel is convinced Corey and his agent took her for a publicity stunt. Then there is a reporter who could be trying to manufacture a great story or a cameraman seeking the big reward. Can there be a happy ending for Ginger?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a fun novel. While it is a cozy mystery the mystery really takes a back seat to more of a focus on relationships and possible romance. This is a good book for dog and cat lovers. My favorite part of the book was explaining how pets are acquired. Dog owners will have planned and investigated before adopting from a shelter. Cat owners, well the cats just show up at your door and are taken in, as has happened with two of ours.

Thompson's novel is fun to read. She has some clever dialogue and a good dose of humor. The characters are well presented. There's a bit of Texas football and a subtle Christian message. A delightful, light book to read. While it is down the line in a series, it reads well on its own.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: Off the Chain, Dog Days of Summer, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, and The Bark of Zorro.

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

The Story Behind the Story

For years now, I’ve been in the dog rescue business. I’ve fostered close to 50 dogs—some from the local shelter, some from an amazing dog rescue organization called My Chi and Me, and some directly from the streets of Houston.

About a year ago, (around the same time I set out to write Every Dog Has His Day) I was given a tiny red dachshund to foster. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m head-over-heels in love with dachshunds, especially red ones. I had a female red dachshund named Sasha who lived with me for 15 years. She passed away in 2017, just after my mom died.

When this tiny red doxie came to stay at my house last year, I was tempted to keep her. But I’ve already got three dogs of my own. So, she went to my grandchildren, who live about 30 minutes away.

Here’s the fun part: I got to name her. I gave her the name Ginger because of her color. (Interesting irony: I’m allergic to ginger. Can’t touch the stuff!)

Now that she’s been in the family a year or so, she’s become my favorite grand-dog. Ginger stays with me a lot—when the family is vacationing, when she needs to socialize with my dogs, and when I’m lonely for her.

I love this little girl. She’s an absolute doll. Okay, she’s naughty as can be, but she’s a doll.

So, when I got ready to write Every Dog Has His Day, I decided to include Ginger as part of the story. Trust me when I say the real Ginger is a runner, just like the fictionalized one! If I opened the front door, she would run right out. And, just like the dog in the book, she probably wouldn’t come back.

Our Ginger doesn’t have a white patch on her paw. (Most doxies, other than dapples, are solid color.) But I needed to give my fictional Ginger a distinguishing mark so that the two characters (her rescuer and her owner) could end up squabbling over her.

As is the case in most of my stories, my characters end up romantically involved. Hey, dogs aren’t just great companions; they’re wonderful matchmakers, too! As of yet, the real Ginger hasn’t brought a love interest into my life. (Here’s hoping!)

I hope you enjoy Every Dog Has His Day. As you read about that tiny mischievous doxie, just know that she’s a very real little dog—one who climbed up on my kitchen island just yesterday and got into some carefully-wrapped treats I’d made for the grandkids.

Sometimes life really is stranger than fiction!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 26

Bigreadersite, July 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 30

Blogging With Carol, July 30

Cover Lover Book Review, July 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 2

Mary Hake, August 2

She Lives To Read, August 3

Lily’s Book Reviews, August 4

The Book Nook, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 5

Holly’s Book Corner, August 5

Splashes of Joy, August 6

Pause for Tales, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 7


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

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, July 24, 2023

A Mountain Too Steep by Robin Patchen Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: A Mountain Too Steep

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Suspense

Release Date: July 18, 2023

A car accident that might not be an accident at all. A murderer bent on revenge. And a woman desperate to keep her family together. 

She’s already lost her soul mate. She’ll do anything to protect her children.

For the sake of her kids, Camilla Wright managed to survive after her husband’s murder. When she’s awakened in the night with the news that her teenage son and nephew have been in a horrific car accident, she rushes to the hospital in a haze of shock and panic.

The boys were supposed to be skiing in the mountains east of Salt Lake City. What were they doing so far west? More alarming, the wreck might not have been an accident at all.

While Jeremy fights for his life, Camilla is running out of time to discover who lured her son and her nephew into the desert. With each new clue, the terrifying truth becomes clearer.

Her husband’s killers are closing in…

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a good novel touching on the possible outcome of testifying against a murderer. There is suspense at the very beginning and again at the very end. Most of the novel features the thoughts, feelings and actions of Camilla as she deals with caring for her family in the absence of her husband. There are hints of threat to her well being and it finally happens about two thirds of the way through.

The plot contains scenes of hospital trauma which might be triggers to some readers. The structure of the plot includes backstory of a sort in the form of letters written earlier and read in the current time. Patchen touches on the issue of dedicated work to save others to the extent of leaving one's own family without the support of both parents.

This is a good novel in a continuing saga but reads well on its own. It is good for readers who like an emphasis on character thought and feelings, including the tension of a man wanting to change the love focus of Camilla from her absent husband to himself.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Robin Patchen is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense. She grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, the setting of her Nutfield Saga books, and then headed to Boston to earn a journalism degree. After college, working in marketing and public relations, she discovered how much she loathed the nine-to-five ball and chain. After relocating to the Southwest, she started writing her first novel while she homeschooled her three children. The novel was dreadful, but her passion for storytelling didn’t wane. Thankfully, as her children grew, so did her writing ability. Now that her kids are adults, she has more time to play with the lives of fictional heroes and heroines, wreaking havoc and working magic to give her characters happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s editing or reading, proving that most of her life revolves around the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Visit to receive a free book and stay informed about Robin’s latest projects.

More from Robin

It was Monday, July 16, 2018, at about nine-thirty at night.

I was home with my husband and daughter, watching TV, when my sister called. Since my son was visiting her family in Utah, I rushed to pick up.

“Robin,” my sister said. “The boys have been in a terrible accident. They’re being life-flighted to Salt Lake City. They’re both alive. That’s all I know.”

My knees hit the floor. Then I was lying prone on my kitchen tile. Ninety-nine percent of me was thinking, Oh, God. Please, please…

Nine-tenths of one percent was thinking, Why am I on the floor?

And I’ll be honest. About one-tenth of a percent was thinking, When was the last time I mopped?

Such are the inner workings of a human mind in the midst of tragedy.

The next twelve hours were chaos. We needed to get from our Oklahoma home to Salt Lake as soon as possible. We found a flight that left at eight a.m. and booked it.

And then we waited.

While the minutes ticked past in slow motion, we got occasional updates on the boys’ condition. Joshua, my nephew, had a head injury and trauma to his gut.

Jacob, my son, had severe lung damage. Severe enough that, as soon as he arrived at the ER, they intubated him.

Both boys were transferred to the ICU and pronounced stable.

When my husband and I arrived the following morning, we saw Jacob. A tube down his throat. Tape across his face. Scrapes and cuts and bruises all over his upper body. One arm in a plaster cast from his biceps to his fingertips. Unconscious.

And then the hard part began.

The boys’ accident was such a unique and life-altering event in our lives. Watching a cherished child battle for his life, not knowing if he’ll win or lose, is like nothing you can imagine.

Or maybe you can. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar. People are in car accidents every single day. And motorcycle accidents. And other accidents.

And there are illness and addictions and mental health struggles. The list goes on and on.

If you’ve dealt with any of those, then your trauma was probably very different from ours. And yet, you and I could probably find a lot in common. The fear. The surreal moments. The pendulum swinging between hope and helplessness.

The constant litany of prayers.

We were fortunate. Our son and our nephew both survived and recovered. When we were on the other side, I knew I’d write about the experience someday.

And so…I did.

A Mountain Too Steep tells the story of two boys in a car accident in the middle of the Utah desert. The physical trauma the boys experienced is almost exactly what our boys endured.

The rest of the story is purely fictional, thank God. I like a little danger in my life—safe danger. Let’s leave the vengeful gang members in the realm of fiction, shall we?

I cried throughout the writing. And the editing. And the rereading. Even though five years have passed, the memories are still fresh.

Tears aside, I love this story. It’s about a woman whose husband was murdered, a widow who’s endured her own nightmare and who’ll do anything, anything, to protect her children.

I think you’re going to like it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 25

Betti Mace, July 26

Texas Book-aholic, July 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 29

Blossoms and Blessings, July 29

The Book Club Network, July 30

Christina’s Corner, July 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Lit Lady, August 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 2

Lily’s Book Reviews, August 3

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 5

Books Less Travelled, August 5

Holly’s Book Corner, August 6

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.)