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Book Review — In This Moment

4 Jun

I absolutely loved When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer, so when I was given the opportunity to read the second book in the Timeless series, In This Moment, I grabbed it! While it’s possible to read In This Moment on its own, I recommend you begin at the beginning — you do not want to miss a moment of this series.

Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever. 

In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.

While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the upper Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. You can learn more about Gabrielle and her books at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

Find Gabrielle on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer, Pinterest at http://www.Pinterest.com/gabriellemeyer/, Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MeyerGabrielle, Goodreads, and her Website at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

My Impressions:

I loved the first book in Gabrielle Meyer’s Timeless series, When The Day Comes. When I learned that book 2, In This Moment was available, I jumped at the chance to read it. The books are part historical fiction, part romance, and part time-travel, which the author has wonderfully wrapped up in an intriguing read that I just could not put down! Book 2 features the first person voice of Margaret/Maggie,/Meg, daughter of main character Libby from book 1. Maggie has not just two paths to live but three. As her twenty-first birthday approaches Maggie must decide if she will stay in 1861, 1941, or 2001. I am not going to elaborate on the rules of time-crossing — that’s part of the fun of the novel — but will say that Maggie is aware of the importance of two of her paths. Only the reader knows what she will encounter in 2001. The history in this book is fabulous. If that was all there was to her story it would be enough, but Meyer introduces romance too! But that’s not all. Maggie knows she has a purpose for her life; she just needs to decide which time period best fulfills her desires and God’s will. I know this sounds really complicated, but the narrative flows effortlessly. I never was confused by the time period change — Maggie is Maggie in each era. There are twists and turns galore which Maggie faces with fear, doubts, grief, hope, and faith — everything a non-time-crossing person faces in life. 😉 I approved of Maggie’s choice, and loved how Meyer wrapped it all up. There’s a teaser at the end that sets up book 3. Can. Not. Wait!

Don’t be daunted by the time travel aspect of In This Moment. It all comes together in wonderful ways that will keeping you thinking about this book for a long time. Get a reading buddy or two and settle in for some riveting reading.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults and Older Teenagers.

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

Book Review — The Late Mrs. Willoughby

29 May

The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby’s new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who’s returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby’s new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman’s newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKSHOP | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

PRAISE FOR THE LATE MRS. WILLOUGHBY

  • “An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance…. More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo
  • ”Gray makes her endearing leads’ sleuthing both plausible and entertaining while evoking the wit and feel of Austen’s classic novels. Admirers of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley will be delighted.” Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
  • ”Absolutely delightful! Fans of Jane Austen and historical mysteries will fall in love with this series. Gray remains true to Austen’s style and intent for her beloved characters while still adding her own spin on them and their progeny—one that is both refreshing and absorbing. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA Today bestselling author of the Lady Darby series

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series,A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

My Impressions:

Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney are back in a fun Austen-inspired Regency mystery, The Late Mrs. Willoughby by Claudia Gray. After a successful case in the first book in the series, The Murder of Mr. Wickham, the two are thrown together at a dinner party that goes terribly wrong. Willoughby is back in Barton with a new wife after his aunt’s passing. Still not liked very much, especially by his new bride, Willoughby makes life miserable for a number of characters. But it’s his wife that dies, not him. I guess a reader can’t always pick the victim. 😉 I have found this series delightful. I really like Austen knock-offs and the addition of a mystery makes it that much more fun. Numerous characters from Sense And Sensibility make an appearance — it is great to see how their lives could have progressed. Jonathan and Juliet are sweet characters. I especially like the quirkiness of Jonathan. He has many traits of autism, and I love his outlook on life, even if he struggles with the society of the day. There are plenty of twists in this book, and things aren’t always as they seem. The mystery is solved and the murderer is captured, but Jonathan and Juliet leave Barton with plenty of doubts about their relationship. Fortunately, Gray gives the reader some hints as to their future. Wonder who is next on Gray’s hit list?

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

Mini-Review — The Alice Network

25 May

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is a general market historical novel set during WWI and in the years following WWII. That being said there are adult situations and adult language. Plus content that may be distressing or offensive to some readers (war, torture, abortion). Okay, that’s out of the way. If any of that is not your cup of tea, you can quit reading now. 😉 It was definitely a hard read for me, and I am not sure I would have stuck with it if it had not been a book club selection. But as one friend put it, the ending more than made up for the hard stuff. The characters are complex, if not totally likable, the historical references fascinating, and the plot made it a page turner. There’s intrigue, suspense, mystery, and romance. There’s revenge and justice too. The backdrop of the WWI spy network known as the Alice Network made me Google. Did I like everything about the book? No. But I am glad I read it. My book club did agree, however, that we needed a recovery book following this. 😉

Audience: Adults

(I purchased the novel from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose. 

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” “The Rose Code,” and “The Diamond Eye.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.

Book Review — The Sound of Light

24 May

Sarah Sundin is a must-read author for my book club. This month we are reading her latest WWII-era novel, The Sound of Light. The historical novel takes the reader to Denmark. To say my knowledge of this small country’s big impact on the war was limited is a huge understatement. I knew nothing! The revelations of the heroics of the Danish people filled me with awe and hope. This standalone is highly recommended!

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. 

American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research–her life’s dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement’s legendary Havmand–the merman–and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels, Sarah Sundin offers pens another story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of Until Leaves Fall in Paris (February 2022), When Twilight Breaks (2021), the Sunrise at Normandy series, and three more World War II series. 

A mother of three, Sundin lives in California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.

My Impressions:

I loved The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin. That’s not a shock since she is a favorite of mine. But this historical novel set in Denmark during WWII was a surprise. I had no idea the role that Denmark played in the course of WWII, especially in the lives of its Jewish citizens. I admit to Googling quite a bit. Really, the whole history in this time and place was fascinating. As was the folklore and storytelling of the nation. You can tell that Sundin really did her homework — the book is richly detailed. Inspired by the heroics of the Danish people, many historical figures make their appearance (be sure to read the Author’s Note). Main characters Hemming/Henrik and Else struggle with doubts that are common to all making them relatable to a modern-day reader. Their relationship is a sweet friendship that develops into much more — loved that too! 😉 There’s suspense and intrigue surrounding the increasing crackdown of freedoms by the Nazis, something that came later on in the war than in most other countries under Nazi occupation. I loved how the Danish people met the challenges. Fiercely loyal to their country and countrymen (regardless of ethnicity), they were not afraid to fight injustice. There is one very surprising element to the story that made me proud of the Danes. There is also a wonderful reconciliation and restoration that made this book a highly recommended read.

With a unique setting for a WWII novel and a story perhaps unknown to many, The Sound of Light is another winner from Sarah Sundin.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased this novel from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Mini-Review — Turn to Me

15 May

I love a book by Becky Wade! While contemporary romance is not my go-to genre, her books are. Turn to Me, the final book in the Misty River series, was a delight. Its setting is my happy place — the North Georgia mountains. While that might be inducement enough to fall into the book, the engaging and relatable characters are the star of this novel. Luke, one of the Miracle 5 from previous books, has been a bad boy since the event that took his younger brother and changed his life. He has lots of baggage, but is determined to live on the straight and narrow. Finley, whose father was a friend to Luke in prison, is a flower child with all the charm and quirks that entails. The two come together to embark on a treasure hunt set up by Finley’s now deceased father. It is certainly a puzzler that keeps Luke and Finley on their toes while requiring they spend more and more time together. There is definite chemistry there! Fans of romance will love their relationship. If you don’t mind a mystery, it’s a great one. It kept this reader guessing until the end. For those who have been following the returning characters, you will love how Wade finishes their stories.

Turn to Me was such a fun book — some lighthearted moments, some soul-searching, a mystery to keep the pages turning. I’m a bit sad that my time in Misty River is at an end — it’s such a fabulous series. If you haven’t read it, you are in for a big treat. make sure you get all the books. You’ll want your stay to continue.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her eleven novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.

Book Review: The Long March Home

10 May

The Long March Home, a WWII-era novel set in the Philippines, is a collaboration of two talented authors — Tosca Lee and Marcus Brotherton. They have created an astonishingly beautiful, yet hard story, with one voice uniting the sacrifice and survival of the courageous men who experienced the Bataan Death March. They don’t shy away from the brutality, and it is again hard. But I feel this is a must-read book: first to understand the time and place, and secondly to understand those who went before us. Very highly recommended!

Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire. 

Life in the Philippines seems like paradise–until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history. 

What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive. 

Inspired by true stories, The Long March Home is a gripping coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting hope.

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Between, The ProgenyFirstborn, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker.

She is the recipient of two International Book Awards, Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion, ECPA Book of the Year in Fiction, and the Nebraska Book Award. Her work has finaled for the High Plains Book Award, the Library of Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, two Christy Awards, and a second ECPA Book of the Year. The Line Between was a Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Mystery/Thriller of 2019. In addition to the New York Times, her books have appeared on the IndieBound bestseller list, and Library Journal’s “Best Of” lists..

Tosca received her B.A. from Smith College and lives in Nebraska with her husband, three of four children still at home, and her 160-lb. German Shepherd, Timber.


Marcus Brotherton
 is a New York Times bestselling author and coauthor dedicated to writing books that inspire heroics, promote empathy, and encourage noble living. His commendations include the Christopher Award for literature “that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

Born in British Columbia, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree from Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors.

He lives with his wife and their three children in the Pacific Northwest.

My Impressions:

I first have to say that The Long March Home is a must-read novel. It is so many things — a coming-of-age story, a tribute to those who sacrificed for their nation and world. a riveting account of an historical event — but it really goes much deeper than that. It explores the triumph of the human spirit, the love one has for a brother born not of blood, but of shared experiences, and search for purpose in the midst of hell. The book has two narratives, both in the voice of Jimmy Propfield. We get his growing up recollections in a past tense POV, and the present tense experiences of three childhood friends who are not quite men forced to endure extreme hardship and brutality. The structure of the novel is important and really works to get the whole of who the characters were and became. The chapters featuring their childhood also help relieve some of the intensity of the war scenes. Jimmy, Hank, and Billy grow up in Mobile, Alabama during the Depression. They impulsively enlist in the Army for varying reasons prior to America’s entrance into WWII. They land in paradise — boot camp in the Philippines. That is, until December 7, 1941. I was woefully ignorant of just what happened when the Japanese were successful in bombing Pearl Harbor. It was not the only serious Allied defeat that month. The Long March Home is an excellent historical account including fictional and historical figures. It reveals the horrors of war, the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese, and the astonishing bravery of American soldiers and the people of the Philippines. The war is ever present in the book — it spans days leading up to the attack through the end of the war. Jimmy, Hank, and Billy are larger-than-life characters that are realistically drawn. Their struggles, doubts, fears are relatable to the modern reader. Their story gives insight into the character of those real men who lived through the nightmare of Japanese POW camps. As you can imagine, the will to live ebbs and flows. But strength was shared between the three men ensuring some bit of survival. Lives are changed irreparably, but not always for the worse. There is healing and hope.

The Long March Home was an emotional read for me. It drew me in immediately and never really let me go. I’m still thinking about it days after finishing. I believe it will stay with me forever. It gets a very rare Very Highly Recommended rating. I also strongly recommend you read this with your book club or reading buddy. I will be pressuring my husband to read it in the coming days. 😉

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults (please note this book does not shy away from the brutality of war)

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

Book Review: Finding Me

8 May

My book club read Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman in April. This women’s fiction has been on my shelf for a very long time. I’m so glad I was finally able to read this novel of personal discovery. Recommended.

What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire–a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father’s death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction. How far would you go to discover the truth? 

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the acclaimed author of ten novels, including her recent release The Plans We Made. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

My Impressions:

What would you do if you discovered you weren’t who you thought you were? Sounds impossible right? In Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman, main character Kelly discovers that her father lied to her her entire life. She has a family she thought had died years before when she was an infant. Inspired by two real life stories, Cushman explores the importance of identity and the repercussions when that is turned on its head. There are a number of issues explored in this contemporary women’s fiction — seeking truth regardless of fears/doubts/loss, the importance of finding personal faith, and the dangers of fitting/changing God’s word to suit our circumstances. My book club had a wonderful discussion of this book. We had several favorite characters, as well as some who annoyed us. 😉 Kelly was a relatable character whose emotions rang true. Plus we all had a rest of the story wish for the novel. Finding Me was a thought-provoking read which earned a unanimous thumbs-up!

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review + Giveaway! — The Shifting Current

5 May

The Shifting Current JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for The Shifting Current by Dani Pettrey, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About The Book

The Shifting Current

Title: The Shifting Current
Series: Coastal Guardians novella
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Gracie & Johnny Inc.
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

An elusive killer. A false identity. A deadly maze of lies.

When Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent LOGAN PERRY’s beloved grandfather is murdered, Logan races to his hometown of Cauldron Creek, New Mexico to investigate the murder. His teammate and friend, EMMY THORTON, insists on joining him. Not a good idea—not when he loves her, but carries a secret that he knows will tear them apart.

Emmy knows Logan will pursue the investigation no matter the cost, and she won’t let the man she loves plunge into a dangerous situation alone. She needs to be at his side, even if he believes friendship is her only reason for joining him.

What looks like a robbery gone wrong rapidly shifts, drawing Emmy and Logan into a dizzying maze where nothing is as it appears. Every lead slips through their fingers as threats against them grow deadlier at each turn. Having only each other to rely on, their love for one another deepens, but will they live long enough to admit their attraction to each other?

They’re in the killer’s sights. One wrong move puts their future together and their lives on the line.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

Excerpt

Death. It permeated her hair, her skin. She wanted to crawl out of it, but there was nowhere to go.

He depressed the accelerator to the floor board, putting distance between her and the body. But more was required.

Infinitely more.

She feared she’d never outrun it.

The booming ricochet of the shotgun still rang in her ears.

Stop! She scratched at them. Why wouldn’t it stop?

Cold slithered down her face.

“You’re clammy.” He chucked a rag at her.

Her stomach churned. She pressed the back of her hand against her mouth.

He flew over the hill.

“Slow down,” she eked out. “You’ll get us pulled over.”

“Yeah.” He chuckled. “If you get arrested, he’ll know you didn’t follow the plan. Then you’ll be as good as dead.”

She already was. It was just a matter of time before he figured it out and came for her.

My Impressions:

Fans of Dani Pettrey’s Coastal Guardians series will be delighted with The Shifting Current, a novella focusing on Logan and Emmy. The two leave the Atlantic coast to go to cowboy country New Mexico. But it is not a pleasure trip. Logan’s grandfather, Colt, is murdered and the two join the investigation. The tension is high and the case takes on some twists, but Logan and Emmy are determined to find out who the killer is. There is also some help from coded messages left by Colt — I liked that element of the story a lot. Coming in at 200 pages, the suspense takes off fast. As does the romance between the two. They have been friends for a long time and both have strong feelings for the other, but their relationship rockets as the suspense builds. It’s believable because of their background, and I was glad to see them own up to their feelings, not try to down play them. Logan does have baggage, but with Emmy’s guidance he comes to trust in God’s love and His redemption. 

If you are looking for a fast-paced page-turner for a weekend read, then The Shifting Current is a good choice.

Recommended!

Audience: adults.

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

More Books in This Series

The Killing Tide The Crushing Depths The Deadly Shallows


About The Author

Dani Pettrey

Publishers Weekly, #1 Parable, #1 Amazon, ECPA, and CBA bestselling author, Dani Pettrey has sold nearly 800,000 copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters (Publishers Weekly), gripping storyline[s], (RT Book Reviews), and sizzling undercurrent of romance (USA Today). She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland.

Connect with Dani by visiting danipettrey.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a “The Best is Yet to Come” mug, gourmet roasted coffee from NYC, and the full Coastal Guardian series including The Shifting Current in paperback!

(1) winner will receive a “The Best is Yet to Come” notebook, gel pens, and a paperback copy of The Killing Tide!

(1) winner will receive a “The Best is Yet to Come” vintage sign and a paperback copy of The Crushing Depths!

The Shifting Current JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 5, 2023 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 12, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Audiobook Mini-Review — Next Year in Havana

24 Apr

Next Year in Havana was the first book Chanel Cleeton authored. I picked it up from Audible because I really liked The Last Train to Key West, and I was eager for another book in the same vein. This novel introduces the Perez family (various members of the family are characters in other of Cleeton’s books), specifically Elisa, a privileged young woman caught up in the Cuban Revolution of 1958. The dual timeline novel also features Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol, who is tasked with returning to Cuba after Fidel Castro’s death and surreptitiously spreading her grandmother’s ashes. Cleeton does an excellent job of bringing Cuba past and present to life. She presents various sides of the revolution, sympathetic to those who fled into exile and those who chose to stay. The communist regime is not viewed favorably — all the injustices are exposed. While the politics of the times are the backdrop, the human element is what kept me turning the pages. There is love, loss, and a hope for a future. I liked both time periods equally, causing me to keep listening to find out what was going to happen to each of the main characters. There are some twists that I found very satisfying. Please note that this a general market offering — there are some adult situations. Specific to the audiobook: two narrators lend their voices allowing for Alissa and Marisol to shine through.

Bottom line, I liked this book and would not hesitate to pick up another by Cleeton.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook through Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity—and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest—until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba, The Last Train to Key West, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Learn more about her on her website at http://www.chanelcleeton.com.

Book Review: A Novel Proposal

19 Apr

If you are looking for a fun beach or pool read this summer, then look no further than A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter. A sweet romance, a fun mystery, and plenty of book references to please the discriminating bookworm 😉 , this book has it all! Highly recommended.

When western novelist Sadie Goodwin must pen a romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: she’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer and devote herself to this confounding genre. After all, where better to witness love than on the beautiful South Carolina shore?

But Sadie soon finds many ways to procrastinate the dreaded task—like getting to know the beach regulars and installing a Little Free Library on the property. She even attempts conversation with Sam Ford, the frustratingly stubborn neighbor on the other side of the duplex. But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie finds inside her library an abandoned novel with a secret compartment—and a beautiful engagement ring tucked inside.

Suddenly, locating the ring’s owner becomes the perfect way to put off writing that romance. Sadie draws a reluctant Sam into her mission. And as the two close in on an answer to the mysterious proposal, she discovers a tender side to him. She begins to wonder if he just might make the perfect hero for her romance novel—or maybe even her heart.

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than forty novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and been featured in Southern Living and Woman’s World.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling, drinking chai lattes, hiking, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters.

You can learn more about Denise through her website http://www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter.

My Impressions:

What a fun read! A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter has everything you could want in a summer romance. The premise is that a talented, yet undersold, Western fiction author has to write a romance novel in order to keep her already spent advances. The trouble is she has never been in love. Headed from NYC to the South Carolina coast for the summer, Sadie is armed with lots romance novels and a romantic playlist for inspiration. Enter her grumpy and hunky next door neighbor and the sparks fly. I liked both of the main characters a lot. They both had plenty of baggage to work through, yet they were so great together from the beginning. Sam agrees to help Sadie find the owner of a lost ring if she will accompany him to a wedding. They grow from friends to more quickly. I like that the book is anything but predictable. Yes, it’s a romance and you know there will be a happily-ever-after, but the characters take a twisty journey to get there. Readers can relate to the obstacles that stand in their way. The mystery of the lost ring is a great story thread that came with its own twists and turns. When you add the beach setting and the many book-ish references, A Novel Proposal must be added to your Summer TBR list!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)