Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky Book Review

About the Book:

Two women--a century apart--embark on a journey to healing, faith, forgiveness, and romance.

In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. While at Longdale Manor, she meets David Bradford--the owner's handsome grandson--who is desperate to save the crumbling estate by turning it into a luxury hotel. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she's left searching for answers.

In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. She and her family travel to the Lake District to stay on a sheep farm, hoping eventually to find a home with Charlotte's grandfather at Longdale Manor, but old wounds and bitter regrets make it a difficult challenge. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This dual time novel, in addition to being entertaining, explores a number of thought provoking issues. A major one concerns fathers. One daughter grew up not knowing her father at all and the other daughter discovered her father's betrayal to his wife shortly after he died. Along with the latter is the issue of appearing to be really godly when the truth is something else. Forgiveness is a theme woven through both time periods.

Turansky has created a number of characters I liked. Each needs to overcome obstacles in life. Gwen feels she needs to prove herself after making a serious mistake in her work. Charlotte needs to work through feelings of hurt and bitterness toward her father. I also liked the setting of the beautiful Lake District in England.

There is a clear gospel message included, reminding us of the importance of forgiveness and clarifying God's love for us. I always appreciate learning about a topic when I read fiction and here it was about the Keswick Convention and caring for sheep at lambing time.

This is a good novel for readers who like the intertwining of a contemporary story with an historical one, both with sweet romance elements.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of twenty-one inspirational novels and novellas and a winner of the Carol Award, the International Digital Award, and the HOLT Medallion. She loves traveling to England to research her Edwardian novels, including No Journey Too Far, No Ocean Too Wide, Across the Blue, and the Edwardian Brides series. Her novels have been translated into several languages and have received starred reviews from Christianbook.com and Library Journal. Learn more at carrieturansky.com. Photo credit: Emilie(Hendrix) Haney.

Bethany House Publishers, 352 pages.

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

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

Snowbound Escape by Dana Mentink Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Snowbound Escape

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: October 24, 2023

To rescue a witness…

this K-9 team must face a killer and a storm.

After months tracking a colleague falsely accused of a double homicide, officer Tanner Ford and his K-9 partner finally locate crime tech Mara Gilmore—but the real murderer is closing in. Now they must run into a frozen wilderness to survive. Evading the killer is the only way for Mara to clear her name. But will the harsh winter conditions cover their tracks…or bury them forever?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is an entertaining romantic suspense that concentrates more on relationship development than action. Mara and Tanner are on their own as they travel through a snowy landscape. They periodically interact with the villains but most of the time they are talking with each other or thinking about their relationship. Mara is a strong and likable character. Tanner is a good hero and Britta the dog was great. This is part of a series but reads relatively well on its own.

This is a book for readers who like an emphasis on relationship building with periodic times of suspense.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

What a challenge to write the eighth book in this fabulous Pacific Northwest K-9 Unit series! Writing a continuity (linked books with an overarching mystery) with seven other authors requires us to work closely together which is a rare blessing in this solitary business. There were so many good conversations, emails and texts that went into the construction of this series. Since wilderness escape novels are my favorite, it was great fun to write Tanner, Mara and Boxer Britta’s dramatic survival story. I hope you enjoy the book and the entire series as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

The Avid Reader, November 1

Pause for Tales, November 1

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, November 1

Texas Book-aholic, November 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Devoted to Hope, November 3

Bizwings Book Blog, November 3

She Lives to Read, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5

Betti Mace, November 6

Pens Pages & Pulses, November 6

A Good Bok and Cup of Tea, November 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Blogging With Carol, November 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Simple Harvest Reads, November 8 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 9

EmpowerMoms, November 9

Wishful Endings, November 10

Blossoms and Blessings, November 10

Bigreadersite, November 11

Labor Not in Vain, November 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 12 (Author Interview)

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 12

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 13

Holly’s Book Corner, November 13

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.)

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Second Term by J M Adams Blog Tour Book Review

Second Term by JM Adams Banner

Second Term

by JM Adams

October 23 - November 17, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Second Term by JM Adams

A lame duck president's desperate power grab threatens democracy in the United States—can former intelligence operative and single mother Cora Walker prevent catastrophe?

September 2012. Cora Walker, a DIA defense operative, learns of a terrorist plot in Benghazi and rushes to a secret installation to stop it. When her superiors ignore her dire warnings, she’s forced to mount an unsanctioned attempt to thwart the attack. Her team barely repels the large force of invaders determined to kill Americans.

Sixteen years after her heroic actions in Benghazi, Cora is the press secretary for the Speaker of the House. As a single mom, she’s struggling to balance her demanding job and her home life. Soon, things get more complicated at work as the lame duck president suspends habeas corpus and begins arresting members of Congress in a desperate attempt to retain power.

Cora springs into action to save the Speaker and prevent catastrophe. She’ll have to work strategically to keep everyone safe—alliances turn sour, and her trust in others begins to falter. It’s an uphill battle for Cora until an explosive finale exposes what can really happen to democracy when political extremism reaches new heights.

Praise for Second Term:

"Second Term is second to none when it comes to high stakes action and nonstop thrills. J. M. Adams has fashioned a ticking time bomb of a political thriller that evokes the best of classics from Seven Days in May to Six Days of the Condor."
~ Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author

"A battle of wits that heats up the pages, this one will hold you tight until all is revealed."
~ Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author

"In his debut novel, Second Term, J. M. Adams keeps the pages of his political thriller turning at a blistering pace, led by a character you’re going to root for aloud. If only she were real!"
~ Jerome Preisler, New York Times best-selling author

"I sat down with Second Term and didn't stop reading until I finished it. Breakneck pace and an all-too-plausible scenario, with a vivid and memorable protagonist. I hope we see more of Cora Walker."
~ Joseph Finder, New York Times best-selling author

"Adams effectively harnesses the headlines to create suspense."
~ Publishers Weekly

My Review:

This novel is the nightmare those appalled by January 6, 2021 lay awake worrying about. Although it is an extrapolation of the thoughts of some today, I think it presents an all too possible political future with a lame duck president determined to remain in power.

Cora is quite the superhero, perhaps a little too over the top. I am not sure why she was asked to be involved in the final, suspenseful action nor could I really follow her changes in attitude. Some of her actions and those of the congressman puzzled me too. But then, that may very well be how congress people and secret operatives function.

The message of the potential danger was clear. “...[I]t doesn't matter what's true, it matters what the American people believe and what you can get them to believe.” (892/3295)

This is a chilling novel exploring what might be in the future of a nation with its democracy in jeopardy.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Action, Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781608095919 (ISBN10: 1608095916)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

September 10, 2012
Mediterranean Sea, North Africa

A heavy breeze rolls off the Mediterranean Sea pushing away the stench of the city slowly dying around me. The deep salty air offers a snippet of comfort although I have no idea why. There are no childhood memories of the sea. I grew up in western Colorado and southwestern Virginia. Maybe it’s the brief respite from the taint of chemicals and human waste that’s embedded itself into the pores of this city. I feel like I’m constantly gagging on smoke from the unseen forest fires that raged in Colorado when I was a kid.

The buildings around me are pockmarked with bullet holes. Sandbags stand watch in front of every entrance with piles of rubble towering from thirty to fifty feet high. This place is a giant landfill waiting to fall into the sea. I walk another block and come across a building that looks like something took a mammoth crescent-shaped bite out of it. Rebar splinters off in several directions like webs constructed by a giant spider.

There’s no way to underscore the toll of human suffering here. My line of sight follows another tower of rubble going up to the second floor where a little kitchen comes into view. On the left side of the room there’s vibrant yellow wallpaper, a Roman numeral wall clock, and a table topped with a bright floral Persian table runner. On the right, the walls are stained with blood and black scorch marks. There are more weapons than food in this cursed city and the reminders are everywhere.

Western leaders continue to fool themselves into believing that the death of Muammar Gaddafi would have brought some semblance of sanity or stability to this region. The Brother Leader’s forty-year reign of terror against his people might have ended, but death and chaos rule this city with an iron hand.

Libya is a slave to its violent history, and no one is looking for a way out. But what do I know? I’m just a covert foot soldier for the American Department of Defense. I can’t begin to understand why Washington believes that with Gaddafi gone, it’s nothing but butterscotch and ponies here in North Africa.

I have a wake-up call to deliver to my superiors that may realign some of that thinking, but only if I can make it to the CIA installation in one piece. I’ve been collecting intel for the past two months posing as an English teacher for a wealthy family living in a chateau in Derna.

Derna was the perfect place for undercover work. The charming Libyan port city is about 200 miles east of Benghazi and doesn’t begin to fit in with the rest of Libya. It’s one of the wealthiest areas in the country, a quaint little town nestled into beautiful green mountains rich with exotic sea cliffs and waterfalls. Two days ago, I obtained information that forced me to blow my cover and run. There was no way to securely transmit the sensitive information I’ve gathered without landing in a cell never to be seen again.

My pickup time is slated for the conclusion of the Muezzins’ call to Fajr prayer. The Fajr is the first of five daily Muslim prayers broadcasted from speakers atop the mosques that are still standing around the city. They stick to strict schedule and this morning’s devotional is set for 4:58am (the true dawn) although the sun won’t rise until after 6:30 this morning.

I emerge from the shadows of the long-abandoned Benghazi Cathedral. It’s ironic that one of the most prominent structures in this old Muslim city is a decaying Roman Catholic Church. I have little time to get to the parking lot at the 7th of October Hospital without drawing attention to myself. Good luck with that, I laugh out loud. Hopefully my baggy clothes, hat, and short haircut can fool anyone who doesn’t get too close.

I pull the wide brim of my camouflage bucket hat lower to cover more of my face. My oversized camo jacket is untucked over a dark t-shirt hanging over black jeans. The street is still deserted as I execute what I like to call my husky “man-walk.” I emit an audible sigh of relief rounding the corner by the burned-out Hamzawi Café. I’m less than a hundred yards away from the hospital and have a straight shot to my destination where I can hole up until my ride arrives. At the same time, two militiamen turn the corner and are coming my way. So much for a smooth escape. Why aren’t they preparing for morning prayers?

I ease my Cressi finisher knife into my right hand spinning the blade backwards against my forearm to keep it out of sight. The sharp pinprick of the blade against my skin provides some small comfort. The knife is specifically designed for underwater hunting, but it’s always done the job for me. Five inches long with a deadly stiletto tip. I have zero interest in any confrontation, but that pipe dream is starting to evaporate.

“Asalaamu alaikum,” I say in my practiced husky “man-voice” trying to sound masculine friendly, but in a hurry.

Thankfully, both of their AK-47s remain slung to their backs.

The guy on the left is slightly built, with a camo hat that looks a little like mine. He’s not paying any attention, but the bigger man closer to me answers with a slight edge to his reply, “Wa alaikum salam.”

His eyes are alert and suspicious underneath bushy caterpillar eyebrows and a tangled mane of black facial hair.

I try to politely pass them on the right when the hairy man lashes out seizing my shoulder and reaching for a compact revolver from his belt. I wonder what prompted him to grab me at the same time I plunge the length of my blade deep into his armpit underneath an outstretched arm. His eyes pop wide open in horror. He grunts in confusion as I turn my blade twice before yanking it out of his body and jabbing two explosive thrusts deep into his throat.

Blood erupts from the neck wound covering my hands as I step forward to his companion who is in the clumsy process of unslinging his rifle. I dispatch him quickly with a sweeping arc of my blade and survey the area for witnesses. I’m lucky that this unfortunate incident took place in the cover of darkness. We are the only people on the street, and our encounter made very little noise.

The entire altercation took less than ten seconds. My arms are covered in bright red arterial blood with one of the men gurgling bubbles from his open neck wound at my feet. I lean down and try to leave as much of the mess as I can on his jacket. I switch jackets with my second victim as the loudspeakers crackle to life around the city signaling the start of the morning prayers. Any sane person would want to sprint from the scene, but my training forces me to walk casually away from the dead men lying in the street. I walk into the hospital parking lot. There’s a black Mercedes. The plate matches the numbers I’m expecting as I throw open the passenger door and slam it behind me.

“That’s a good way to get shot,” says the smiling driver in place of a greeting, his hand resting on the Glock 19 in his lap. He studies me with open curiosity.

“If you don’t want company, you should probably keep your doors locked in a neighborhood like this,” I answer.

“Jesus,” he asks, voice rising in concern as he stares at the blood-soaked jacket on my lap. “You hit?”

“It’s not mine. I had a run-in with a couple of locals around the block,” I say quietly.

“A run-in? You’re covered in blood,” he says. I nod.

“Those two militia dudes? Big shaggy guy?” I nod my head again.

“We need to get out of here,” he says.

“Better wait until prayers are over,” I answer. “We shouldn’t be on the streets during prayers.”

“Muhammad will have to see his way past our sins,” he says, slamming the car into gear and pulling out onto the empty street. “I’m Deckard by the way. Welcome to Benghazi.”

I nod, scanning the streets for anything out of place.

“There’s wipes in the glove box. You should clean up the best you can. We should be back at the ranch in fifteen to thirty depending on roadblocks. You sure you’re OK?”

I reach for the wipes as a violent cough escapes my lips. The worst thing about Benghazi isn’t the people waving guns; it’s the never-ending cloud of macabre dust that dominates the air here. North Africa is hot, the air is thick, and it’s only rained once since I got here two months ago.

A bottle of water appears in front of my face, and I suck it down in two gulps.

“The station chief told me to look for a seasoned operative. You don’t look old enough to drink. Are you Langley? Everyone else here is.”

Langley is shorthand for CIA. I wonder if he’s going to prattle on all the way to the station.

“Something like that,” I say.

“So what should I call you?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye. “Jane the Ripper?”

“Jack is fine,” I chirp back. “Got another water?”

“You don’t look line any Jack I’ve ever met. Anyway, the station chief has a hard-on for you already,” he says handing me another water. “Says you’re compromising the Agency’s mission in Benghazi and you shouldn’t be coming in at all.”

I lean my head back and close my eyes. The last thing I need now is some sad little station chief crying to me about his little slice of turf in the desert. I need to talk to Washington and get the American ambassador out of Libya or at least stop him from coming to Benghazi.


I have to admit, the driver is quite competent, and that’s high praise coming from me. He’s avoiding the main roads and driving around in haphazard circles. The last thing he needs in life is to be caught up in one of the impromptu militiaman roadblocks with an armed woman scrubbing blood off of her skin. There is no rule of law here. It’s survival of the fittest and open season on Westerners.

People are shot dead in the street every day. Benghazi is inundated by a tsunami of guns, rocket launchers, and grenades, courtesy of the raided Gadaffi stockpiles around the city. Once Gadaffi was dead, the grand prize was a leaderless country where everyone suddenly had access to military-grade weapons.

“You got a change of clothes?” I ask.

“In the duffle behind the seat.”

I climb into the back and start rummaging through his bag. “Please,” Deckard says dryly. “Help yourself.”

I pull off my jacket and shirt, happy to see my sports bra didn’t catch any blood. I only have one more in my possession. I pull on his shirt, about two sizes too big, and tie it up at the bottom. I ball up my blood-covered jacket and hand it up to him. “Get rid of this, please.”

“Pockets empty?” he asks.

“No, just a blueprint for the U.S. Consulate, signed confession, and the bloody knife.”

He chuckles at my amazing wit and tosses it out the window.


Excerpt from Second Term by JM Adams. Copyright 2023 by JM Adams. Reproduced with permission from JM Adams. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

JM Adams

J.M. ADAMS has more than 15 years of on-air television journalism experience, reporting for CBS and NBC news affiliates across the United States.

Highlights from his career include sea patrols with the Navy after the 9/11 attacks and reporting on location from Kuwait, Iraq, and a number of hurricane disaster zones across the country. Adams was briefly detained in East Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Second Term is his debut novel.

Adams lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and a pair of Cavashons who appear to have taken over the house.

Catch Up With JM Adams:
BookBub - @JM_Adams
Instagram - @jmadamsauthor
Twitter/X - @JM_AdamsAuthor
Facebook - J.M. Adams
TikTok - @jm_adamsauthor


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 Second Term by JM Adams Tour Hosts


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 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.)

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Caught on the Book by Laura Gail Black Book Review

About the Book:

The annual fishing tournament and festival in Hokes Folly, North Carolina, is the high-water mark event of the year. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn, owner of the Twice Upon a Time bookstore, is ready to catch some new customers with her fishing-themed book display at the festival. That is, until a local author is found dead in his booth.

All fingers point to Frank Sutter, a former detective with the police department. His soon-to-be ex-wife had been dating the victim, and Frank had been seen having an argument with him earlier that day. When Keith Logan, Jenna’s boyfriend and detective with the local police, asks Jenna for help to solve the case, she’s shocked. Frank was Keith’s former partner and someone who had been determined to pin more than one murder on Jenna. Frank doesn’t want Jenna’s help any more than Jenna wants to help him, but the two will have to put aside their animosity for each other if they want to reel in the killer.

This bookselling sleuth knows she will have to cast a wide net in order to catch the killer, even if means dangerously luring them in. Will her novel idea help her catch the killer, or is she bound for a more deadly ending?

My Review:

This is an entertaining cozy mystery but not the best in the series. I like Jenna but in this novel she does things like meet suspects alone and fuss with evidence. I was disappointed that the bookshop itself was not more central in the plot. The plot was fun to follow with surprises along the way. This novel is a good read of an evening.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Laura Gail Black
writes cozy mysteries on the beautiful shores of Lake Marion in South Carolina, where she lives with her husband and four rescue dogs. She began collecting antique books when she worked in a used an antique bookstore in college. Today, Laura’s bookshelves contain many antique books, some of which are close to 200 years old. When not writing or playing with her dogs, Laura creates her own jewelry, crochets, cross-stitches, spends time on the water with her husband, and enjoys all things tea.

Crooked Lane Books, 272 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.)

Friday, October 27, 2023

FearLESS by Marta Greenman and Maureen Maldonado Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: FearLESS: God is calling you to be fearless and to FearLESS

Authors: Marta E Greenman and Maureen H Maldonado

Genre: Christian Devotional

Release Date: April, 2023

What makes you afraid? Does your fear keep you from obeying God or living a free life in Christ?

Explore God’s remedies for overcoming your fears in this thirty-day devotional that gives an in-depth scriptural look at facing your fears and God’s ways of living a life free from fear.


  • How the reverential fear of the Lord erases earthly fears and gives boldness to lead a victorious life in Christ.
  • The difference between healthy fear and unhealthy fear.
  • The individual Hebrew and Greek meanings of fear in Scripture.
  • How to apply God’s strategies for living a life free of fear.

Old Testament and New Testament accounts of fears faced and overcome are interspersed with personal stories and examples from everyday living from two veteran Bible teachers. Thoughtful reflection questions provide a jumping-off point for personal or group study.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is another wonderful collection of devotions on a topic. It is a mix of Bible character studies, personal stories and insights in Hebrew and Greek words. I like how the authors identify healthy and unhealthy fears while focusing on how the fear of the Lord gives one boldness.

The most interesting character study was on the Israelite midwives who feared God more than man. (Exodus 1:20-21) They even lied to the king yet God blessed them. (88) My favorite word study was of the Hebrew word yare. I like how the authors relate it to worship. (99)

There are wonderful illustrations included as well as thought provoking reflection questions. This is a good book for Christians desiring to work on understanding their unhealthy fears and building up their fear of the Lord.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Authors

Marta left corporate America in 1998 to become a staff missionary with a church-planting organization known today as e3Partners. She led American churches in planting new ones with international church partners. During this period, Marta spent much of her time in the field on evangelism and discipleship, traveling to Colombia, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Romania, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. She also had the privilege of leading women’s conferences in biblical training.

Marta began teaching inductive Bible studies in 1997 at her home church, where she taught faithfully for fifteen years. Debbie Stuart, the former women’s ministry director, said, “Marta Greenman is a master teacher, weaving biblical principles, personal stories, and clear application with every lesson. She walks in truth, loves the Word, and has dedicated her life to teaching that truth to women.”

After seven years on the mission field in Romania, Marta began to write Bible study curriculum. Her first study, Bound to Be Free, was published in 2011. Marta founded Words of Grace & Truth in May 2011, a ministry devoted to teaching God’s Word to the nations and teaching others to do the same, using curriculum God birthed through her teaching ministry. Since then, Leaders, Nations, and God and ACTs420NOW have been published. Her fourth book is a thirty-day devotional entitled FearLESS, co-authored with Maureen H.  Maldonado. LoveMORE: Your 30-Day Devotional to learn to love like Jesus is also co-authored with Maureen H. Maldonado. She continues to write additional biblically-based materials.

Marta’s latest ministry venture is GraceAndTruthRadio.World (GTRW), a global radio station outreach with God’s message of grace and truth. Her program Under God, with co-host Maureen Maldonado, airs on GTRW Mondays at 3:30 p.m. CST. Marta’s passion, regardless of the nation where she may be, is teaching God’s Word and equipping others to teach. She is a gifted teacher, speaker, and expositor of God’s Word. Marta lives in the Dallas–Fort Worth area of Texas with her husband of almost thirty years.

Maureen is the second of seven children. Growing up in a home where worldly wealth was a foreign concept, she always felt treasured by her parents and knew she was rich in love. Maureen married young and raised two amazing daughters. Her grandchildren are a blessing beyond anything she could imagine. Recently, she was able to add a granddaughter-in-love who adds joy to the mix.

Maureen has a master’s degree in education from California State University and spent her career as a teacher, vice-principal, and principal in elementary education. Maureen never planned to leave California or the education system, but God had other plans. After Maureen’s husband was transferred to Arizona in 2006 and then to Texas in 2011, she spent several years teaching Just Moved, a Christian-based ministry program developed by Susan Miller for women who are moving home due to life changes (https://justmoved.org). God used her teaching education and experience as a training ground to begin teaching for Him. Involved in Bible studies in California, Arizona, and Texas, Maureen grew exponentially in her faith, love of God, and His Word. The culmination of these experiences led her to co-host the radio program Under God on GraceAndTruthRadio.World, where God’s Word is taught to the nations. Maureen’s first book FearLESS was co-authored with Marta E. Greenman. LoveMORE is Maureen’s second book, also co-authored with Marta.

Today Maureen is using her new-to-her method of studying the Bible and her long-applied teaching methods to teach the next generation of believers. Her prayer is for others to gain as much insight into God’s transformational Word as she has received. She describes it as “opening the shades and letting in all the sunlight on a gloomy day.” Maureen feels honored and humbled to be a part of Words of Grace & Truth and asks others to join in prayer for this needed ministry and for the church, our country, and our world. Maureen and her husband, Raymond, reside in Texas, where they have transplanted almost their entire family from California.

More from Marta

For years I wanted to write a devotional on Fear. God’s Word teaches us to Fear NOT! Since my original thought was a 365 Day devotional, I knew I needed at least one writing partner to accomplish the devotional in a reasonable time frame. Years would come and go, I would ask people, but nothing ever materialized. Finally, God brought the right person, my friend, my ministry partner, my co-host of Under God radio show, and my co-author Maureen H Maldonado. A woman whom God has uniquely designed to be my co-laborer in the Lord. Of course, God’s timing was perfect, FearLESS was published at a time when the world was in a fearful place, but God wanted and wants His children to be FearLESS.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 27

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

Christina’s Corner, October 29

Book Looks by Lisa, October 30

Artistic Nobody, October 31 (Author Interview)

Life on Chickadee Lane, October 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 1

Guild Master, November 2 (Author Interview)

Its Mama Safe, November 2

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 6

Cover Lover Book Review, November 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 8

Mary Hake, November 9


To celebrate their tour, Marta and Maureen are giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift 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 egalley oof 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, October 26, 2023

Mind Shift by Erwin Raphael McManus Book Review

About the Book:

Throughout his thirty years of work as a mindset expert and leadership coach
Erwin Raphael McManus has been obsessed with these questions: Why do some people succeed despite having all the odds stacked against them? How do others achieve the unthinkable, only to watch their lives slip away? Are there mental structures for failure and success?

McManus has come to realize that too many of us have “near-life” experiences. We almost pursue our dreams. We almost make the decision that changes everything. We are always one choice away. If we want to live without regret, we need to make a mind shift—trading beliefs that limit our potential for ones that help us move toward optimal performance and pursue the success of being fully alive. We must move from a life of obligation to a life of intention.

In Mind Shift, McManus brings together twelve mental frameworks that have helped some of the most accomplished people on earth create internal structures of success. Among them:

• You have to choose between acceptance and uniqueness. If you are addicted to affirmation, you will become what others want you to be rather than who you were created to become.
• You don’t need an audience. It’s what you do in private that makes you who you are.
• Talent is a hallucinogen. It will make you believe that hard work and discipline are for everyone else.

Sharing experiences from entrepreneurs, artists, professional athletes, and his own career, McManus shows us how to transform our thinking—and, in turn, transform our lives.

My Review:

McManus tells stories. That's his writing style in this book. This is a book for readers who are encouraged most effectively by reading stories of the success of others. While he does identify 12 mind shifts needed to break through limiting beliefs, he writes about them in a very conversational way.

This is not a book containing bullet points nor strategic steps to success nor reflective or stimulating questions to answer. McManus writes of his own success and the success of others having no plan at all for that success. He just did not let the lack of experience or expertise stop him. He is very encouraging but mapping out the journey will be up to the reader to figure out.

This is a book for readers who are ready to make changes in beliefs and already have a strategy figured out. This book will be an encouragement for the self disciplined and self directed.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Erwin Raphael McManus is a mind, life, and cultural architect and an award-winning author and artist. His books have sold over one million copies and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. As a world-renowned communicator, McManus has spent the last thirty years advising and coaching CEOs, professional athletes, celebrities, billion-dollar companies, universities, and world leaders, and is passionate about helping people destroy their internal limitations and unlock their personal genius.

Convergent Books, 160 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.)

New Leash on Life by Kathleen Y'Barbo Blog Tour Book Review


About the Book

Book: New Leash on Life

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian Fiction / Cozy Mystery

Release Date: October, 2023

How Is a Missing Military Working Dog Related to Two Local Fires?

Snuggle with your trusty hound and settle into a small-town mystery in book 6 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Air Force veteran Dr. Lane Bishop and Nora Hernandez’s romance has cooled. He is busy working as a researcher at the vet school, and she’s busy with her restaurant and opening an antique shop. What Lane hasn’t told her is his PTSD, which manifests mostly with nightmares, makes him believe he’s damaged goods. But that is about to change when he meets a stray pup that acts a lot like a military working dog.

When a tornado hits Brenham, there is damage in the downtown area and a fire is ignited in Nora’s new store. A Belgian Malinois dog is seen at the fire and later Lane sees him at a wedding venue where an explosion occurs. Not long after, a second explosion rocks Brenham and sends Nora and Lane on a hunt for the person responsible. Will the pair find the guilty party before more damage is done to the city’s landmarks? And will Lane find the words to tell Nora how much he loves her before it’s too late? 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This novel is more about relationship difficulties than the previous novels in this series. I had a difficult time liking Lane. Yes, he did not want Nora to suffer through his nightmares due to his PTSD so he delayed asking her to marry him. That I can accept. What a shame, however, that he did not trust her enough to be honest about his nightmares.

What I really did not like about Lane was his assurance to Nora that he loved her yet missed time with her or was late because of his research work. If he really loved her, he would have dealt with his work to be with her. Like Nora, I would certainly doubt his love.

There is a dog in this novel and I would have liked more about him. I would have liked to see more personality put into the animal. This is a series about dogs and I would have liked more of a focus on him.

The mystery plot was mild and quite complex. I am not sure the locked apartments, the missing furniture, the blackmail, the people who were not who they said they were, and other elements all worked out to a suitable end.

I have enjoyed reading this series, especially the ones that focused more on animal rescue and the animals involved.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

More for Kathleen

You’ve most likely seen military working dogs (MWDs) on television shows or in the news. Maybe you’ve seen police dogs in action or read about them. They’re often fierce looking and always well-trained and intelligent. Along with their handler, the MWD is a brave and not so secret weapon in the military and law enforcement world. And did you know that an MWD always outranks his or her handler? It’s true.

I was very aware of all of this, but I had no idea what happened to these dogs when they were too old or perhaps physically unable to continue in their roles. People retire from their careers, so it makes sense that MWDs would as well.

I first learned about retired MWDs from watching my friend Ronie welcome a gorgeous Belgian Malinois, Vvolt, to her family. Anyone who knew the family or came to know Vvolt through social media fell in love with that dog. With his ears cocked just so and his bigger-than-life personality, I knew I had to write about him someday.

When I was given the opportunity to co-write a cozy mystery series with my dear friend, Janice Thompson, I knew one of those books would have to include an MWD. Because MWDs are used in so many situations, from military police work to bomb sniffing to PTSD care and more—I had to narrow down the choice of what my dog would be doing. I won’t give anything away, but I can tell you that Pal, the fictional Belgian Malinois in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is very good at what he does. He also loves a good Whataburger when his regular kibble isn’t available, but I digress.

When I set out to create the personality for Pal, I looked to what I knew and loved about Vvolt. Big personality, toothy grin, and the ability to run and jump like a champ were all included in my dog’s version of the MWD. And like Vvolt, my MWD develops a strong bond with his handler and the family who welcomes him into their home. Pal is loyal, friendly, and apt to stand between his people and danger at the slightest provocation.

Pal’s person in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is Dr. Lane Bishop, a Texas A&M University research veterinarian and Air Force veteran. Lane deals with nightmares that came out of his military experiences. As you can imagine, this causes an issue or two with Nora Hernandez, the woman Lane adores but has not shared his worries with.

Then along comes Pal, a stray (or is he?) with a habit of disappearing and then turning up at the most unlikely places just when he’s needed. I won’t give away the story, but let’s just say that sometimes it takes an animal to show the humans what needs to be done.

Perhaps all this talk about MWDs has you curious about them. Maybe you’re someone who would love to explore the opportunity to give a retired MWD a second chance. Check the Airforce 37th Training wing’s website for details on how this can be done: https://www.37trw.af.mil/Units/37th-Training-Group/341st-Training-Squadron/Military-Working-Dog-Adoption-Program/ .

NEW LEASH ON LIFE is the story of new starts and second chances, of how God can doesn’t just use humans to achieve His purposes. For this and so many other reasons, the tale of Lane and Nora and Pal is dedicated to the memory of Vvolt and his people.

Well done good and faithful servant.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 26

Wishful Endings, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Karen Baney Reviews, October 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 30

Boodock Ramblings, October 30

Lighthouse-Academy, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Blogging With Carol, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

Holly’s Book Corner, November 2

Mary Hake, November 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 3

Splashes of Joy, November 4

Pause for Tales, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 5

Bigreadersite, November 6

Cover Lover Book Review, November 6

Labor Not in Vain, November 7

Life on Chickadee Lane, November 7

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 8


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

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


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.)