Friday, November 29, 2019

First Line Fridays: A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott

Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today I'm sharing the first lines from A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott:

"You can't be the photographer."

Have you read this book? The book blurb is below and my review can be found here. What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!

About the Book:

Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart. He can't afford to be distracted during this survey, which is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides--and even from within--Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Book Review: The Moon is Always Round by Jonathan Gibson

About the Book:

Even young children want answers to the hard questions about God and suffering. In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God's goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.

In this beautiful, full-color illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his sister's death. Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life.

A section in the back of the book offers further biblical help for parents and caregivers in explaining God's goodness to children. Jonathan Gibson reminds children of all ages that God's goodness is present in the most difficult of times, even if we can't always see it.
My Thoughts:

The Moon is Always Round, written by Jonathan Gibson and illustrated by Joe Hox, aims to remind children that God is always good, just like the moon is always round. Though we can’t always see the full shape of the moon, we know it is always round. Though we can’t always see God’s goodness, we know He is good all the time.

The Moon is Always Round makes me cry every time I read it. The boy’s baby sister is stillborn and he struggles to understand. It’s based on the real-life experience of the author and his son. The illustrations in The Moon is Always Round are lovely and the story captured both of my daughters’ interest. However, both agreed that they don’t want to read it again because it is so sad.

The Moon is Always Round by Jonathan Gibson is a good resource for a family dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one, but it is not a book that my children want to return to for entertainment.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Book Review: 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls

About the Book:

Praying girls are world-changers! And this deeply inspiring storybook proves it!

Just for the girls in your life, ages 8 and up, this collection of 100 extraordinary stories of praying women of faith--from the Bible, history, and today--will empower girls to know and understand how praying women have made a difference in the world and how much smaller our faith (and the biblical record) would be without them. Featuring full-page, colorful illustrations alongside the true stories of praying women like Anna, Esther, Hannah, Anne Bradstreet, Shirley Dobson, Lottie Moon, Ida Scudder, Corrie ten Boom, Phyllis Wheatley, and dozens more, the stories of these 100 women will encourage and inspire girls to become the praying world-changers God created them to be!

My Thoughts:

I read through 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls: Unforgettable Tales of Women of Faith by Jean Fischer without my daughters. Normally, we’d sit down together and read through, but I plan to give it as a Christmas present.  Both of my daughters (ages 7 & 4) enjoyed its predecessor 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls and I’m pretty sure they’ll enjoy this as well.

While reading though 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls, I noticed some overlapping stories between it and its predecessor. So, I pulled out my daughters’ copy of 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls and compared the two.  It’s the same format with a story on the left page and an illustration on the right page. While some of the stories are basically the same, the narrative is worded differently and the illustrations are different.

Things I liked:
  • The built-in bookmark!
  • The emphasis on prayer. Some entries focus on a woman’s specific prayer that was answered. Others focus on someone who was known for praying, but are more biographical rather than citing a specific request and answer.
  • The diversity. The stories included people from different faiths – Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Quakers, and Puritans. It included several women who stood up to racism and fought for racial equality. It advocated for gender equality and cited examples of female preachers. (Which some readers may disagree with.)

Things I did not like:
  • In the original 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls, it would give the story and usually ask a question for reflection. However, in 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls, there was often an imperative at the end of the narrative. I felt like the author took these women and their personal callings and twisted it to create a principle that applied to everybody. Because of that, when I read through this with my girls, I will be sure to examine and discuss those statements with them.
  • The story of the Canaanite woman who cried out to Jesus to heal her daughter. This story has been interpreted in many different ways and I found the message in this book pretty revolting: “Sometimes when you pray, God will ask you to be like the Canaanite woman, to be like a patient dog at a dinner table.” (Pg. 30). This just didn’t sit well with me. If I’m a child of God, then I’m a child of God – not a dog (even if it’s a beloved lap dog).  Frankly, I don’t like the message it sends to my daughter and I really wish the author had left this story out. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham

A Match for Emma JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour and Giveaway for A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham Title: A Match for Emma
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 21, 2019

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository


 “How is it you knew what groceries we needed and where to place them all?”

She stopped in front of him on her way back to the last few items. “I know what wasn’t in your cupboards from cleaning last week, and you guys have kept your groceries in the same places for decades.”

 “Wait.” He caught her before she could slip away. “You cleaned the house? We paid your mom.”

Her eyes widened as her palm went to her hip, as if the two motions were attached. “I helped sometimes.” She shrugged and turned back to her work. “It always makes me feel closer to you when I’m here.”

Her words, muttered as an afterthought, dug into his conscience like an unyielding knife. Jonathan had known his leaving had wounded Emma, as it would any two friends separating, but…well, he’d never considered how deeply. He studied the back of her head, working through questions he’d never posed because he’d been so focused on making plans, starting a business, adjusting to his new life. His stomach dropped. Too busy running after a dream.

What did it feel like to be left behind in this friendship?

“Don’t look so distraught.” Emma smacked a loaf of bread against his shoulder. “Just because I love your dad more than you doesn’t mean you’re not on my top ten list.”

“Top ten, eh?”

“Yep, right under Narnia.”

He caught his laugh. “Glad to know that I fit somewhere near your cat.”

“Hey.” She pointed a jar of peanut butter at him. “Someone had to take over your spot on the couch on movie nights.”


Pepper Basham 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her upcoming release, A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media. You may also learn more about her on her website!

CONNECT WITH PEPPER: Website | FacebookTwitterInstagram


(1) winner will receive a Paris cube decorative tote, paperback copy of Jane Austen's Emma, paperback copy of A Match for Emma (or another one of the Mitchell's Crossroads books, if preferred), a 'love' ornament,  a mug that reads "You're my cup of tea", and Misty Mountain handcrafted soap (made locally) - the scent is Mountain Berries!

A Match for Emma JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, November 22, 2019

First Line Fridays: Unscripted by Davis Bunn

Happy Friday! 

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today I'm sharing the first line from Unscripted by Davis Bunn:

"The entire Beverly Hills jail was nonsmoking and air-conditioned."

Have you read this book? If not, check out my review here! What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!

About the Book:

Line producer Danny Byrd is well known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner--and former best friend--makes off with their investors' money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.

LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to impossible bosses, only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it--even though she's not entirely clear what "it" is.

Danny and Megan are each other's best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other's best hope for love.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Book Review: The Newest Books in the Good News for Little Hearts Series

About the Books:

Tori Comes Out of Her Shell, Gus Loses His Grip, and Henry Says Good-Bye are part of the Good News for Little Hearts series, bringing gospel help and Biblical counsel to families. Based on the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation's (CCEF) model of help and hope, each story focuses on an animal family's real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus amid challenging circumstances. Each individual story guides parents toward meaningful conversations with their kids, based on what Scripture has to say about living by faith in everyday life.

Thoughts on Tori Comes Out of Her Shell:

Both of my daughters were eager to read Tori Comes Out of Her Shell. They enjoyed the colorful illustrations and spotting characters from other books in the Good News for Little Hearts series. My seven-year-old seemed to connect with Tori as they share a natural shyness. This book focuses specifically on moving and changing schools and I think it would be an excellent resource for helping a child deal with such a transition. Outside of such situation though, it offers a reassuring message to the shy child (or any child) that Jesus is a friend who will never leave them. 5 Stars!

Thoughts on Gus Loses His Grip:

My four-year-old enjoyed Gus Loses His Grip. I’m not sure if it was the love of candy, the naughty behavior, the colorful illustrations, or a combination of the three aspects, but this book was thoroughly entertaining for her.

Besides her enjoyment of this book, what I really appreciated about Gus Loses His Grip is its moral messages. There are the direct ones about it being wrong to steal and that we need help from Jesus when we struggle with temptation. But, there’s also an emphasis on honesty. Gus has a confessional conversation with his Papa, but then the Papa shares his own struggles and teaches that everyone, including grownups, needs help from Jesus. Being only four years old, I think my daughter was able to understand the moral messages of the story, but I’m not sure how deeply those messages sunk in. Fortunately, it’s a hardcover book and I expect it will hold up to her revisiting it over time.

Thoughts on Henry Says Good-Bye:

Henry Says Good-Bye addresses the sad situation of losing one’s beloved pet. As the story progresses, Henry goes through different emotional states and his father helps him process the grief. He learns to remember, to talk about his feelings, and to find comfort in his Heavenly Father who is presented as close to the brokenhearted and sensitive to one’s pain.

The illustrations in Henry Says Good-Bye are beautiful and the narrative held both of my daughters’ attention. They liked finding characters from other books in the Good News for Little Hearts series. My oldest daughter said her favorite part when Henry was recalling the time that Lila (his pet ladybug) escaped from his backpack during math. It’s a sweet taste of humor within the story of Henry’s sadness and it stood out to my daughter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Home for Christmas

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake #12)
By Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback and ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

(Affiliate links included.)


The excitement on Titus’s face hit mega wattage. “We’re gonna have the biggest, bestest tree ever! We’re going out to Pine Country Tree Farm, where you can ride out to the groves and pick any tree you want. They cut it down, unless you wanna do it yourself.” He tilted his head up to Adam. “You gonna do it again this year, Dad?”


Titus turned back to Joy. “Then we ride back and they bundle it up and put it in our truck. I want a really, really huge one this year.”

“Wow,” Joy replied. “Just how big is that?”

Adam chuckled. “Titus’s imagination is always a bit over the top. Our living room ceiling is only eight feet.”

“I know,” Titus groaned. “Not like here. Right, Mrs. Beabots? Last year we got her a really, really big tree. Timmy and I and Mr. Luke and Dad went out to get the tree.”

“Yes, but I go in November and pick my tree out. Tagged. Purchased and bailed by the time they get there,” Mrs. Beabots added.

“What’s your tree like, Joy?” Adam asked.

“I don’t have one.”

“What?” Titus shook his head. Adam nearly choked on his wine. Mrs. Beabots clanked her fork against the plate.

“You, of all people, don’t have a tree?” Adam said.

Joy bristled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

His tone softened as he said, “You and your family, your parents, Frank—you were the heart of Christmas for this town. For someone like me with no family, when I found yours and worked at the greenhouses during Christmas, and saw how beautiful you made everything, it was...magic.”

“Magic?” Titus’s eyes widened.

Adam nodded. “What happened to you?”

Joy’s defenses rose. “Life. Work. You wouldn’t understand how crunched for time we are at the firm. That’s why I loved having Grandpa with me in New York for Thanksgiving. If you ever came to New York at Christmas, you’d understand. The entire city is decorated. I never felt the loss of not having decorations of my own. New York is amazing. And as far as a big tree, Titus, the one in Rockefeller Center is truly ‘blowout.’ I’d love for you to see it.”

“Cool! Can we go to New York sometime, Dad?”


Joy’s hand traced the scalloped edges of the spoon to her right. “You’re right, Adam. The greenhouses were part of Christmas for a lot of people in Indian Lake. But they’ve been closed for a long time. Certainly, Titus didn’t get to experience them.” She took a deep breath. “It seems they died long before my grandpa.”

Adam leaned forward. “What do you mean?”

“Cate worked up the comps and did some digging for me today. She says the greenhouses are worthless.”

“That doesn’t sound right,” Adam retorted.

She shrugged her shoulders. “I mean, the land has value and she says the house might sell before the end of the year. But it’s far less than what I’d thought it was worth.”

Mrs. Beabots reached over and placed her hand on Joy’s arm. “Do you need money, dear?”

“I’m not destitute, but I’m not wealthy by any means. My job pays well. But it’s the craziest thing. I feel like I’m giving away my legacy—as if I failed by not knowing that Grandpa was in trouble. And I don’t like this feeling.”

“Then fight it,” Adam said. “The greenhouses were a thriving business until the heating costs skyrocketed. I’m sure Frank kept all the old revenue reports and tax returns that show how successful it had been. The man kept everything, he told me. And now my geothermal system is nearly finished. If you were to fill those greenhouses with poinsettias, stock the shelves with garlands, ornaments, decorations, candles—all that stuff he used to sell—and then, after a successful season, put the greenhouses on the’d have a viable business. That’s the plan Frank and I had.”

“Adam, I can’t possibly do anything that foolhardy.”

“My idea is foolish?” He frowned.

“It doesn’t make good business sense. The cost of buying the poinsettias will be huge...”

“I’ll help,” he said quickly.

Joy was astonished and she knew it showed on her face. “Adam, I couldn’t ask you to do that.”

“You didn’t. I offered. There’s a difference,” he ground out with finality.

Titus turned his wide eyes from his father to Joy. He couldn’t be more intense if he’d been watching a scary movie.

“It’s impossible,” she countered.

“Nothing is impossible,” Adam shot back, leaning toward her, his eyes stern and determined. “You’re just chicken.”

“Am not.”

“Are, too.”


Joy and Adam looked at Titus, who was smiling at them both.

They all burst into laughter.

“What are we doing?” Joy asked, covering her mouth with her hand as she laughed harder. When she calmed down, she looked at Mrs. Beabots.

“You need to think of the bigger possibilities, Joy,” Mrs. Beabots said. “If the property was improved and potential buyers saw the activity of the business...”

“I’d get a better price,” Joy surmised.

“And you wouldn’t feel like a failure,” Mrs. Beabots said.

Joy looked from one excited friend’s face to the other. “But it’s nearly Thanksgiving and we have to clean the floors, replace the broken glass...”

“So?” Adam jumped in. “We have lots of friends here. I’ll help clean up.”

“Me, too!” Titus chimed in.

“Joe Peterson over at Quality Glass could get that work done in two days. You handle calling the suppliers in the morning. Get the orders going. I’ll supervise the cleanup and construction. What do you say?”

“I say it’s crazy.” She shook her head at the red flags she recognized from her years in accounting and business. “Absolutely not. Besides, I have to be back in New York.”

She watched their faces fall. For a moment she’d actually felt excited. The possibility of fulfilling her grandpa’s dream was thrilling. She could almost feel Frank in the room, egging her on. Begging her to try. But her penchant for reality, the stuff of bottom lines and profits, was enough to squelch even an angel’s dreams.


Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER and HERS TO PROTECT (2019).

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- One winner will receive a $100 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- Two winners will each receive a signed copy of Home for Christmas with a bookmark (US only)
- Ends November 27, 2019

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

November 2019 Book Giveaway

Time for the monthly giveaway! This month's prize is Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock. This Christmas novella that generated lots of discussion at my book club's Christmas party last year!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Entries will be verified. Please don't follow to unfollow. Must be a resident of the US, 18 years of age, and legally able to enter. Book is in gently used condition and will be shipped via Media Mail. No purchase necessary.

About the Book:

Catching Christmas, Releasing October 9, 2018!This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time
As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.
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Friday, November 15, 2019

First Line Fridays: One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick

Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today I'm sharing the first line from the prologue of One More River to Cross by Jane Kirkpatrick:

"Mary Sullivan stood outside the circle of men, watched through the triangle of elbows as they nodded and commented about the markings the Paiute drew in the dirt."

Are you interested in reading this book? Read my review of One More River to Cross or read an excerpt on the publisher's website.

What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!

About the Book:

Adversity can squelch the human spirit . . . or it can help us discover strength we never knew we had.

In 1844, two years before the Donner Party, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company leaves Missouri to be the first wagons into California through the Sierra Nevada. They enjoy a safe journey--until October, when a fierce mountain snowstorm forces difficult decisions.

The party separates in three directions. Some go overland around Lake Tahoe. Others stay to guard the heaviest wagons. The rest of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddle in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River awaiting rescue. The months ahead will be long and at times terrifying. But with friendship, family, and enough courage to overcome their fear, these intrepid pioneers will discover what truly matters in times of trial.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book Review: Stories Behind the Songs & Hymns About Heaven

About the Book:

Behind every song is a story . . .

In times of doubt, fear, and loss, we turn to the songs and hymns that remind us that this world is not all there is--that what awaits us as followers of Jesus is a heavenly kingdom. Songs like "Face to Face," "Amazing Grace," "Victory in Jesus," and "I'll Fly Away" were written amid circumstances of great personal pain in the lives of the songwriters. In sharing their stories, we can find even more comfort in our own circumstances.

Award-winning author Ace Collins offers this collection of thirty inspiring true stories that provide hope for this world and insight into the next, painting a picture of eternal life filled with joy, peace, and happy reunions. Perfect for music lovers, pastors, hospice workers, counselors, and all of us who have lost someone we loved.

My Thoughts:

Reading Stories Behind the Songs & Hymns About Heaven by Ace Collins took me longer than expected. Learning the stories behind the songs was highly interesting, but sometimes very sad. Many of the songs were born out of slavery, death of a loved one, or the Great Depression. It speaks to the how well-written the entries were that the narrative could draw me in and evoke emotion in such a short form.

Though I grew up in a church that sang many old gospel hymns, I was familiar with only about half the songs in this book and hadn’t heard of most of the song writers/singers featured. Fortunately, the author supplied sufficient information as well as sources for further reading. I appreciated that the lyrics were included when possible. Two of my favorite entries were: When We All Get to Heaven and Victory in Jesus. Other popular songs included in the book are: Amazing Grace, I’ll Fly Away, I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.

Stories Behind the Songs & Hymns About Heaven by Ace Collins is a beautifully designed hardcover book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys music history and/or gospel music.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Sleuth's Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for The Sleuth's Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Sleuth's Conundrum 
Title: The Sleuth's Conundrum
Series: The Librarian Sleuth #3  
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink  
Genre: Cozy Mystery  
Release Date: November 1, 2019  

Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?

Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?

Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?

Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?

When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


Thunder boomed and rattled the windows. Tara jumped—she hated storms. “I don’t
remember the last time we had thunder like that.” She crossed her arms. “Who would abandon a helpless baby on a day like today?” Tara looked down at the infant and her heart melted. She squatted and unhooked the safety restraint. “How long was the power out?”

“Thirty minutes tops. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Nancy moved around her desk and powered on her computer. “I’ll pull up the security footage while I get my mom on the phone.”

Nancy’s mother was the local sheriff, so it made sense that she would call her directly rather than 911. “And I’ll see if she needs a diaper change. Do you think she’s hungry?”
Nancy shrugged. She had her phone to her ear.

Tara lifted the light-as-a-feather baby from the carrier and cradled her. “Shh. It’s going to be okay.” The baby quieted and snuggled against her. Her heart melted. Sudden tears burned her eyes. She blinked them away.

Tara knew little about babies, but how hard could changing a diaper be? She peaked inside the diaper bag and spotted an envelope. “What do we have here?” She reached for it then drew out the single sheet of paper.

“This is Amelia. She’s a week old. I wish I could keep her but my circumstances won’t allow it. Please love her for me and take good care of her.” Clearly her mom cared deeply for her so why leave her baby at the library?


Kimberly Rose Johnson

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at:  

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub


(1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Giveaway

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

About the Book:

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep.

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

My Thoughts:

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep boasts a beautiful cover, deckled pages, and the pleasing thickness afforded by three novellas. Included in this collection are: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, A Tale of Two Hearts, and The Old Lace Shop. Of the three, The Old Lace Shop was my favorite.

All three novellas had highly interesting plots, themes about second chances, and brief cameos by Charles Dickens. The mystery in 12 Days at Bleakly Manor was particularly well-done. I enjoyed the romantic tension in A Tale of Two Hearts. Nearly all the characters in The Old Lace Shop have an intriguing struggle to deal with. I think each of the stories would have made amazing full-length novels. However, as they were constrained by the novella length, the plots progressed quickly and offered limited character development.

Overall, the novellas were entertaining and I'm glad I tried Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. I’m a fan of Michelle Griep’s full-length novels and I’m happy to add this to my collection of her works even though it’s not my favorite from her.  I recommend to readers who enjoy shorter historical romances with Christian themes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.