December Book Club/First Line Friday — Better Watch Out

1 Dec

Is it really December 1st already?! I am again behind in my Christmas preparations . . . except for my TBR. LOL. I have already finished 5 Christmas-themed books including my book club’s choice for this month, Better Watch Out. I really enjoyed Natalie Walter‘s NYC setting. My husband and I had such a great time there one Christmas, and this book brought back great memories. I am glad I didn’t run into all the mayhem main characters Frannie and Andrew did though!

Here’s the first line:

Bells! Literal jingle bells rang out as if the city of New York was saying, “Welcome to your holiday dreams, Francis Frost, where romance sparkles brighter than the lights in Times Square.”

An accidental meet-cute, a case of mistaken identity, and a bucket-list of Christmas activities befitting a Hallmark movie make this holiday romantic adventure the perfect Christmas read.

Leave the candy canes, take the pepper spray!

Nothing screams Christmas like a week spent ice skating, visiting Santa, and sharing a kiss or two under the mistletoe. Frannie Frost has crafted the perfect bucket list of romantic activities to surprise her boyfriend in the most magical place at Christmas time—New York City. When he unexpectedly becomes her ex, her plans are derailed leaving her with a choice. Wallow in self-pity at Christmas time or take matters into her own hands.

Former NHL defenseman turned personal protection agent, Andrew Bishop, loves his job—when things go as planned—but Frannie Frost is definitely not part of the plan. Still, when her brother, the man who saved Andrew’s life last year, asks him to deliver his sister safely to the airport, he can’t say no.

The only problem? Frannie isn’t leaving. She’s determined to make the most of her trip by checking off a bucket list of cliché Christmas activities that would make even Santa’s elves jealous. Andrew’s content to let her go until he learns that Frannie’s been mistaken for his client and thrust into the midst of danger.

Mini-Book Review — When Stone Wings Fly

1 Dec

Karen Barrett‘s National Park-based novels are always a treat. When Stone Wings Fly is a dual timeline novel set in The Great Smoky Mountains. The modern-day story features a young woman desperately trying to learn about her heritage in the face of her grandmother’s worsening Alzheimers. The Depression-era storyline presents the beginnings of the park with the loss of family farms and homesteads. I knew little about that part of the story. The park today is magnificent, but so much of family legacies were lost when the federal government began buying the land to create it. Both Kieran and Rosie learn the importance of not holding on too tightly, yet continuing a family legacy. There is a good bit of heartache and hard times in this novel, but God redeems when we allow Him to set our flight.

If you are a fan of historical novels based in the early 20th century or love a story about family and faith, then When Stone Wings Fly is a good choice.


Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Kieran Lucas’s grandmother is slipping into dementia, and when her memory is gone, Kieran’s last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, flashbacks of her mother’s death torment Granny Mac and there’s precious little Kieran can do to help.

In 1931, the creation of the new Great Smoky Mountains National Park threatens Rosie McCauley’s home. Rosie vows the only way the commission will get her land is if they haul her off in a pine box. When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for Rosie’s lifetime, her acceptance sets her apart from the other mountain folk. And the bond she’s forming with ornithologist and outsider Benton Fuller only broadens the rift.
Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother’s mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it’s too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers. But what Kieran needs clashes with the government regulations Zach is sworn to uphold. Can she trust God for a solution to heal this generations-old wound?

Karen Barnett, the award-winning author of eight novels, writes historical romance that sweeps readers into the beauty and adventure of our national parks. A former park ranger and naturalist, she worked at Mount Rainier National Park, Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park, and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, and decorating crazy birthday cakes. In 2016, she was named Writer of the Year by the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a 2014 Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken.

Spotlight on An Advent Devotional — Where He Dwells

30 Nov

My friend Chrissie Tomlinson is a Bible teacher extraordinaire plus a great writer of devotionals. This year she shares her thoughts and God’s truth in Where He Dwells: Readings for Advent. If you are on the lookout for a book to help you really discover the Christmas Spirit, then you need to check out her book. It is available in print as well as on Kindle (only $5!). Find out more below.

There is something about Christmas that turns our hearts toward home. It’s the season that we focus on Jesus coming to make His home among us and accomplishing a redemptive work so our home with Him can be eternal. This Advent devotional book for 2023 is about how our Lord longs to dwell with us. It’s about Christmas, but it’s also about Heaven. Your heart will be encouraged and inspired as you set aside time each day of this season to abide with Christ in a deeper way.

If You Liked . . . Daughter of Eden

30 Nov

My book club read Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith this month. We haven’t met to discuss it yet, but I am hoping for some lively discussion. The novel based on the Biblical story of Adam and Eve presents some interesting what-ifs. You can read my review HERE.

If you liked it too, here is a list of books you may enjoy:

Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee

Created, not born. Her name is Eve. Myth and legend shroud her in mystery. Now hear her story.  

She knew this earth when it was perfect – as she was perfect, a creature without flaw. Created by God in a manner like no other, Eve lived in utter peace as the world’s first woman, until she made a choice, one mistake for which all of humanity would suffer. But what did it feel like to be the first person to sin and experience exile; to see innocence crumble so vividly; and to witness a new strange, darker world emerge in its place?  

From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the epic dawn of mankind through the eyes and heart of Eve – the woman first known as Havah.

The Heavens Before by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow

Marginalized by society and mistreated by her own family, Annah befriends a young man she’s never seen before. Shem is captivated by Annah’s courage, and he risks everything to help her gain her freedom. Trusting in the Most High, Annah marries Shem and joins her strange new family in their solitary faith that will ultimately separate them from an ancient world of amazing beauty and appalling violence–a world fast approaching the unimaginable catastrophe of the Great Flood. Out of this chaos, only eight people will survive. Their world is our world. Their future is our own. 

Praise for the first book in Kacy’s The Genesis Trilogy:

The Heavens Before is full of incredible characters living during an incredible time period. It’s a compelling story of one woman’s choices between those contrasts. Highly recommended.
-Tim Frankovich, Christian Fiction Review

This novel breathes life into the familiar story of Noah’s ark. This book is an engaging and informative read for anyone interested in the Flood, but many will also enjoy the insightful characters.
-Christian Library Journal

The Ark And The Dove by Jill Eileen Smith (releases January 2024)

Zara and Noah have walked together with the Creator for their entire lives, and they have done their best in an increasingly wicked and defiant world to raise their three sons to follow in their footsteps. It has been a challenge–and it’s about to get much, much harder.

When the Creator tells her husband to build an ark to escape the coming wrath against the sins of humankind, Zara steps out with him in faith. But the derision and sabotage directed their way from both friends and extended family are difficult to bear, as is knowing that everyone she interacts with beyond her husband, her sons, and their wives is doomed to destruction. And when the ark is finally finished and the animals have been shut up inside, Zara and her family embark on an adventure that will test their patience and their faith as they await deliverance and dry ground.

Experience the story of Noah and the flood like you never have before. With bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith as your guide, you’ll never look at a rainbow the same way again.

Children’s Corner — Twas The Season of Advent

30 Nov

If you are looking for a meaning-filled advent guide for your family, look no further than the beautifully illustrated Twas The Season of Advent: Devotions And Stories for The Christmas Season by Glenys Nellist. This hardcover book features 25 advent readings that are perfect for family reading time. Each day begins with a stanza of a Night Before Christmas-inspired poem sharing the Christmas story. The daily reading proceeds with scripture verses chosen from both the Old and New Testaments. A story is then presented, and the reading ends in a simple prayer. The illustrations will captivate the littlest reader, while older children will have a chance to learn more about the Advent season and discover God’s plan. Great for your home library or as a gift for a special family.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: families with children.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Celebrate the Advent season with this beautiful and heartwarming collection of devotions and stories from beloved, bestselling author Glenys Nellist. Told in the style of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem, make this read aloud your new holiday tradition.

‘Twas the Season of Advent is a 25-day devotional that will inspire your family as you eagerly await the arrival of Christ’s birth. Written in both prose and poetry, this beautiful picture book will engage children and adults alike and become a new holiday tradition for families everywhere!?

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. The author of multiple award-winning children’s books, including the bestselling ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, The Wonder That is You, and five popular series: Love Letters from God, Snuggle Time, ‘Twas, Good News and Little Mole, her writing reflects a deep passion for helping children discover joy and hope in the world. Glenys lives in Michigan with her husband, David.

Mini-Book Review — The Sweet Life

29 Nov

I am a big fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher. Whether its an Amish romance or women’s fiction, her books are always entertaining. I like her style — fresh, light, and filled with nuggets of wisdom. The Sweet Life, book 1 in the Cape Cod Creamery series, was a fun read. The setting was picture-perfect, and this book added to my bucket-list of places to explore. The mother/daughter duo of Dawn and Marnie acted realistically and sure were relatable as they navigated new starts and letting go of plans and expectations.

If you are looking for a quick getaway read, consider The Sweet Life. Also, make sure you have your own stash of ice cream nearby. You will be craving it way before the book is finished! 😉


Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Dawn Dixon can hardly believe she’s on a groomless honeymoon on beautiful Cape Cod . . . with her mother. Sure, Marnie Dixon is good company, but Dawn was supposed to be here with Kevin, the love of her life (or so she thought).

Marnie Dixon needs some time away from the absolute realness of life as much as her jilted daughter does, and she’s not about to let her only child suffer alone–even if Marnie herself had been doing precisely that for the past month.

Given the circumstances, maybe it was inevitable that Marnie would do something as rash as buy a run-down ice-cream shop in the town’s tightly regulated historic district. After all, everything’s better with ice cream.

Her exasperated daughter knows that she’s the one who will have to clean up this mess. Even when her mother’s impulsive real estate purchase brings Kevin back into her life, Dawn doesn’t get her hopes up. Everyone knows that broken romances stay broken . . . don’t they?

Welcome to a summer of sweet surprises on Cape Cod–a place where dreams just might come true.

Suzanne Woods Fisher loves stories worth telling about people worth remembering. With over a million copies of her book sold worldwide, this bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 books is always on the lookout for the unsung hero with an untold story.

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne’s website at:

Spotlight On Romantic Suspense (+Giveaway!) — The Color of Sky And Stone

29 Nov

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About The Book

The Color of Sky and Stone

Title: The Color of Sky and Stone
Series: In the Shadows #1
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Independently Published (through The Mosaic Collection)
Release Date: November 22, 2023
Genre: Romantic Suspense (Christian)

She is the only one who truly sees him.
Which makes her his greatest threat.

Black ops undercover agent Tane Temauri—code name Vapor—has made it his life’s mission to stay out of sight. Given the dangers inherent in his job, the last thing he can afford is to step into the open and become a target. Again.

Then a letter from a mysterious stranger changes everything. Although the letter was not meant for him, somehow, on a greater, cosmic scale, it feels as though it is.

But answering it will make Tane vulnerable.

Can he emerge from the shadows and risk everything for a woman he has never met?

If he does, more than his heart could be on the line. So could his life.

And hers.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Still clutching the stack of papers, Lia propped her elbow on the table and lowered her forehead to her clenched hand. God, help him. Help me. This man was going to kill her. If he’d opened a window to let her catch a glimpse inside him with the last letter, this time he had set off a bomb that blew the sides and roof off the building entirely and scattered the broken pieces around the detonation site as far as the eye could see.

Lia felt equally decimated.

What did this mean for them? Had he freed her by sharing his devastating story? She didn’t feel free. Instead, she felt as though the two of them had just walked through fire together. Somehow, as they had, their lives—some deep, hidden part of both of them—had been inextricably forged together.

Victor didn’t truly want to be rid of her, did he? If he did, he could have simply stopped writing. He almost certainly wouldn’t have referred to their exchange of letters as a relationship. Although she was shocked by his use of the word, as tightly fused as she felt to him in this moment, it did seem apt. In as deep as they both were, what else could they call it?

About The Author

Sara Davison

Sara Davison has a passion for writing stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats—and maybe swooning a little. Beyond that, she longs for readers to discover, as her characters do, that whatever they are going through they are never alone. God is always with them. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, Davison is a Cascade, Word, and two-time Carol Award winner for romantic suspense. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason.

Connect with Sara by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone, a $25 Amazon card, and a Romans 8:39-39 wall hanging

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 27, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 4, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Happy Release Day — Murder on Tour

28 Nov

Happy release day to V. M. Burns! Her newest cozy mystery, Murder on Tour, is now available! I love a cozy mystery, so I’m super excited that Ms. Burns will be a participant on the Coffee, Tea, and Murder discussion panel at Turning A New Page Book Festival on January 27, 2024. If you live anywhere near middle Georgia, put this event on your calendar!

Bookstore owner and Michigander Samantha Washington is thrilled to see her debut historical mystery finally on the shelves, but a killer seems determined to steal away the spotlight . . .
While Sam wraps up her first whirlwind book tour, Nana Jo has kept Market Street Mysteries running smoothly. The last stop is a prestigious book festival in Sam’s hometown of North Harbor, Michigan. But not everyone thinks the guest of honor, bestselling author Judith Hunter, deserves stellar reviews. Sam witnesses nasty arguments between Judith and two different authors—who accuse her of plagiarism and sabotage . . .
When a publicist is poisoned during a cocktail reception, Sam wonders if the killer missed the intended target. It’s a twist that echoes the plot of Sam’s mystery, Murder at Wickfield Lodge. But fact can be stranger—and deadlier—than fiction. How much collateral damage is the killer willing to risk? With feisty Nana Jo and the girls from Shady Acres Retirement Village lending a hand, Sam tries to solve the case before the festival delivers another fatality . . .

V.M. (Valerie) Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She currently resides in the warmer region of the country with her two poodles, Kenzie and Chloe. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Valerie is also a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA program at Seton Hill University. Readers can visit her website at

Top 10 Tuesday — Boats!

28 Nov

Today’s TTT topic is basically a setting freebie. I chose to feature books in which a boat of some kind plays a significant role in the story. From ocean liners to yachts to rowing sculls — these books have it covered.

For more fabulous settings, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books Featuring Boats

Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

The Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

Port of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

Upcoming WWII Novel, Darkness Calls The Tiger by Janyre Tromp!

27 Nov

I cannot wait for this WWII Burma novel, Darkness Calls The Tiger by Janyre Tromp, to release! Look at this gorgeous cover, and then read about the intriguing story. And it releases on my birthday! It will make a lovely gift 😉 !

Go preorder NOW (

Here’s a little about the book:

The battle between revenge and forgiveness is waged in the heart
Raised in the mountains of Burma by a widowed and neglectful missionary father, Kailyn Moran accepts her role as the village’s lonely little tiger. But as war starts to devastate her country and her people, Kai realizes passivity is no longer an option. She craves revenge instead. 

When young missionary Ryan McDonough shows up in the Kachin mountain village, he’s also ignored by the longtime missionary John Moran. The man doesn’t believe Ryan’s warning that war is coming, and he trusts him with few duties beyond teaching students and tutoring John’s daughter. Just as Ryan starts to cherish the time he gets to spend with Kai, the enemy attacks the village and their lives are ripped apart.

The more Kai pursues her goal of vengeance, the further away she drifts from Ryan. But when something happens to place them in each other’s paths once again, will the anger fueling her finally be defused?

Advanced praise for Darkness Calls The Tiger:

“A must-read for fans of Tosca Lee and Amanda Barratt.”~Stephanie Landsem, Code Name Edelweiss

“Intense, passionate, and heartrending, Tromp’s is a retelling of a little known piece of history.” ~Susie Finkbeinger, bestselling author of The All American