Monday, May 31, 2021

Book Review: Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

About the Book:

Whispered secrets about her parents’ past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush.

Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents’ tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen’s court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends.

Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline’s story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks.

In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters—including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Books-a-Million | Walmart | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

Great storytelling permeates Jewel of the Nile from beginning to end. Relatable characters, a perfectly paced plot, skillful writing, and a mystery that spans continents combined to make this story a five-star read. I read the entire novel in two long sittings because the story captured my attention from the start and my interest continued to grow with each chapter.

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar brought back Theo, a secondary character from two prior novels, and introduced Chariline, a young woman searching for the truth about her past. I loved the romance between these characters as well as the personal growth that they brought forth in each other.

Amid the action, romance, and mystery, Jewel of the Nile packs nuggets of truth into the many spiritual topics that comprise Chariline’s complex emotional and spiritual journey. Speaking truth, breaking generational patterns, being led by the Spirit, seeking divine direction, and surrendering to God’s purposes are some of the topics addressed within Chariline’s journey to finding her father and embracing her future.

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar includes characters from her prior novels, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction with depth, mystery, and romance.

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

About the Author:

TESSA AFSHAR is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Daughter of Rome was a Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestseller. Land of Silence won an INSPY Award and was voted by Library Journal as one of the top five Christian fiction titles of 2016. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious Christy Award in the Historical Romance category, Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Book Award in the fiction category, and Thief of Corinth was an Inspy Award finalist. Tessa also recently released her first bible study and DVD called The Way Home: God’s Invitation to New Beginnings, based on the book of Ruth.

Tessa was born to a nominally Muslim family in the Middle East and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds a master of divinity from Yale University, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She worked in women and prayer ministries for nearly twenty years before becoming a full-time writer. Tessa speaks regularly at national women’s events. She is a devoted wife, mediocre tomato grower, and chocolate enthusiast. Visit her online at

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Rising Danger by Jerusha Agen

Rising Danger JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Rising Danger by Jerusha Agen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Rising Danger

Title: Rising Danger
Author: Jerusha Agen
Publisher: Love Inspired Trade
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Genre: Christian, Romantic Suspense

It’s up to a K-9 handler and her canine partner to stop a bomber before it’s too late. 

Someone’s planting explosives on dams in the Twin Cities, and Bristol Bachmann and her bomb-sniffing dog must move quickly to find them before everything ends up underwater. That means relying on the dams’ supervisor—an ex-boyfriend Bristol never thought she’d see again. Hopefully Remington Jones has grown up from the rakish charmer she knew in her academy days. Because lives now depend entirely on them… 

It’s an environmental terrorist who wants the dams gone, and his bid to set the waters free has lethal consequences. When he sees Bristol and her K-9 working to stop him, he sets his sights on them. Can they evade him in a lethal game of cat and mouse and protect the cities from devastating destruction before the clock runs out?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


“Hey, Bachmann. Good to see you.” Miles gave her a smile as he passed through with Duke.

“You, too, Miles.”

Toby wagged his tail but held true to his training and didn’t try to smell the other dog as they followed Miles through the entryway and second set of doors.

They rounded the barricade blocking the entry from the escaping people and stopped in the lobby where the crowd dwindled to a trickle as the remaining visitors exited.

“I’m glad the sergeant called the Phoenix K-9 agency to bring you in, too.” Miles’s green eyes pulsed with his characteristic insatiable energy. “Nick is out with an injury.”

“Oh, no.” Heavy blow to the MPD Bomb Unit, losing the K-9 star of their most experienced detection team. “Is it bad?”

“Just a sprain. Training injury. I’m glad we have backup now with your new partner.” Miles grinned at Toby.

“Me, too.” Relief washed through her. Maybe Miles understood why she had left MPD’s bomb squad to join the private K-9 security and detection agency owned by Phoenix Gray. “So what have we got here?”

Miles dropped his smile. “I was told the threat indicated an intention to blow up the dam, so there could be one or more devices anywhere in the building. Or in the dam itself.”

Nerves twisted her insides. She’d hoped the target was the new visitor center, not the actual dam. She swallowed hard. “Wouldn’t that cause flooding?”

“Probably. The safety supervisor for the dam is supposed to meet us—”

“That’s me.” The masculine voice with a hint of roughness singed her ears. It couldn’t be…

“Sorry to be late.”

She turned to see the source of the voice.

“I was overseeing the evac…” Remington Jones stood six feet away, his sentence dying off as his gaze locked on her face. He’d grown a closely trimmed beard and his golden brown hair was longer on top, but there was no change in those unmistakable chocolate brown eyes or the grin that slowly curved his mouth. “Bristol Bachmann.”

The sound of her name on his lips stirred her nervous stomach as though fish decided to take a swim in the tension pooling there.

“You know each other?” Miles cut in like a life preserver.

“Very well.” Rem gave her a too-familiar grin, as if they were still dating and she hadn’t learned his true character.

She tightened her abs, forcing away her silly schoolgirl flutters. She may have fallen for him six years ago, but she never made the same mistake twice. Apparently, she needed to make that clear. “You’re in charge of dam safety?”


Jerusha Agen 

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes romantic suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats, often while reading or watching movies. Find more of Jerusha’s thrilling, fear-fighting stories at

CONNECT WITH JERUSHA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Rising Danger by Jerusha Agen!

Rising Danger JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 26, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 2, 2021. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Music EP Review & Giveaway: Gary LeVox's One on One

About the EP:

ONE ON ONE is Gary Levox’s solo debut, fusing two of his biggest passions - music and faith! Gary LeVox was the lead singer and co-founder of Rascal Flatts. When asked about the role God has played in his musical journey, LeVox said, “I feel like God graced us with a platform where we can not only touch people’s lives through music, but by being men of God offstage too,” explained LeVox. “At those times when we are with fans that are going through something like cancer, it is so wonderful to not only sing for them but to hold their hand and pray with them. I want them to know that they have a friend in me. I’m not just some guy on the stage. I feel like Christ has put me in this position because He knew I could handle the obligation, which often means taking the time to lift someone up in prayer.”

ONE ON ONE released May 21st from Big Machine Records and features artists including MercyMe, BRELAND, and more! “While I Wait” is a precious duet with Brittany LeVox, Gary’s daughter!

$1 of every purchase goes to fight human trafficking through the Tim Tebow Foundation.

Stream ONE ON ONE now and get a copy of this awesome EP at!

#GaryLeVoxMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

My Thoughts:

I loved listening to One on One by Gary LeVox, former lead singer of Rascal Flatts! In the One on One EP, Gary Levox offers songs showcasing his Christian faith. The music is less country sounding than I expected, but with his trademark vocal talent and encouraging lyrics, this album has become a new favorite in my house. My thoughts on each song below.

  • A Little Love (featuring MercyMe): This song has a pop sound that falls in line with mainstream contemporary Christian music. The lyrics focus on showing love to others and features a paraphrase from 1 Corinthians 13 that I find myself singing over and over.

  • Never Forget (featuring Jonathan McReynolds): Never Forget is one of my favorite two songs on this EP. This song of faith in the dark days draws on ideologies in the book of Psalms and would fit perfectly in with the Psalms. I will share my favorite lines of this song: “My soul still remembers what my eyes can’t see / And my heart still rejoices in that memory / My today is witness to our history / Jesus, I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.”

  • While I Wait (featuring Brittany LeVox): This duet of Gary and his daughter, Brittany LeVox, also places in my top two songs in this project. This song doesn’t shy away from the pain of life, but holds to faith in God’s healing and hope for a brighter day. Brittany’s gorgeous voice is on full-display and makes me wish for an album by her!

  • All I See (featuring BRELAND): All I See is perhaps the most country-sounding song in One on One. The song is a raw-edged prayer asking for help to focus on God and His directives – a timeless message for every Christian alive.

  • The Distance: This song is the perfect capstone for One on One. It combines all the hope, faith, and encouragement of the other songs while declaring truth and inspiring perseverance in the lifelong journey of walking in relationship with God.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed every song in One on One by Gary LeVox and recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary Christian music that offers timeless Christian messages while addressing life issues.

Many thanks to Capitol Christian Music Group for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


Thanks to Momentum Influencers, I am able to offer a giveaway for a signed 8x10 poster. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM, EST, on June 1, 2021. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway: The Wonderful Way You Are

About the Book

Book:  The Wonderful Way You Are

Author: Sarah E. Brooks

Genre: Children’s Non-fiction Picture Book (age 3-7)

Release date: October 10, 2020

 Every child deserves to feel fully loved, fully seen, and fully known.

We all long to feel accepted and loved. Our special needs children are no different. Growing up with a disability or chronic medical condition can create a unique set of challenges and may leave a child asking questions like:

”Why am I the way I am?”

”Is there anyone else out there like me?”

”Where do I belong?”

”Is it OK if I don’t look, think, or move like those around me?”

Based on real special needs children, the book’s vivid illustrations and rhyming text help children, with a variety of medical conditions, see their story reflected on the page, because every child deserves to see their story told.

Unlike other books that focus on a single condition, this book highlights a variety of children with different complex needs.

Some of the conditions included:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Gorlin Syndrome
  • Vitiligo
  • G-Tubes
  • Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids
  • Prosthetic Limbs
  • Limb Difference
  • Autism/Neurodiversity
  • Down Syndrome

When special needs children know they are wonderful, not in spite of their differences, but because of them, they are equipped to not just survive, but thrive.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Sarah Elizabeth Brooks is a special needs mom to a warrior princess and three fantastic sons. When she’s not writing or recording instrumental piano albums, you can find her dodging Mt. Laundry to sneak away with a cup of hot tea, some dark chocolate, and a good book.

Author Interview

Please give us a little introduction to your book.

Sarah: As the mother of a kid with a rare genetic syndrome, I wanted my daughter to open the pages of a book and see someone who looks like her. When I couldn’t find a book that reflected her unique needs, I created one.

The Wonderful Way You Are is a rhyming picture book geared for kids age 3-7. The book features illustrations of kids with a variety of unique special needs or medical conditions.

We based many of the illustrations on children that I personally know. I think it’s important for children to see and learn to relate to people who may look or think differently than they do. Rather than focus on one specific condition, this book highlights a variety of different diagnoses - everything from cystic fibrosis to prosthetic limbs or hearing impairments.

The overarching message of the book is one of unconditional love. When we can equip special needs children to embrace their uniqueness, they don’t just survive; they thrive.

I think kids today (and adults too) feel so much pressure to fit in and be accepted. When you’re a child who faces struggles that your peers do not, it can sometimes feel discouraging. I want every child who reads this book to walk away saying, “I’m not alone. It’s OK to be different. I have something special to offer the world.”

Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Yes, I like every part of you.
I’ll shout it near and far
and tell the world I love you
the wonderful way you are.

Would you share something about yourself that most readers wouldn’t know?

Sarah: Besides being a writer, I’m also a pianist. I’ve released a few instrumental piano albums over the last few years ( I recently passed two million streams on Spotify.

Which isn’t too impressive if you’re Beyonce, but if you’re a mom who recorded piano albums during naptime on a keyboard that she bought on sale at Costco, then it’s pretty stinkin’ cool.

In what setting do you enjoy writing the most?

Sarah: There’s a small locally owned coffee shop in my town, that is my absolute favorite place to sit and write. I have four small children at home, so it can be a challenge to write when everyone is home (plus when I try to work at home, my laundry basket usually glares at me menacingly). I don’t get to go there often, but it’s my favorite place to spend a few hours.

I rarely listen to music when I’m writing, but sometimes I turn on “Coffee Shop Background Noise” on Amazon Music just so that it’s not completely silent.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book?

Sarah: I would love to stay connected with you! You can learn more about the book at or you can also find me online at I am also on FB and Instagram and Pinterest @TheSarahEBrooks

More From Sarah

I was always that awkward kid at recess who opted to sit on a bench with a book. Not because I was antisocial, but because I loved being able to experience new worlds and adventures through the pages of a book. As I grew, that love of reading stayed with me, and it’s a pastime that I hope to pass on to my own children.

While, I always knew that I wanted to write a book one day, a rhyming picture book about special needs kids was not on my radar…that is until my youngest daughter was born. At five-months-old, she faced her first brain surgery, with a second brain surgery following two months later.

When we received her diagnosis of Gorlin Syndrome, I went into mama research mode. I wanted to do everything I could to help keep her safe and prepare her for the future. As my daughter prepared to enter a preschool for children with developmental disabilities, I wondered how others would treat her.

The Wonderful Way You Are is a love letter from a parent (or grandparent) to the child they love. It acknowledges some of the unique challenges that can come with being different from those around you, while reinforcing the truth that we all have a unique gift to share with the world.

My hope and prayer is that this book will be a blessing to families with children of all abilities, that it will open up conversations about difference, and encourage and equip children to know that they are wonderful, exactly the way they are.

Thanks for taking the time to join me on this journey!

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, May 19

Inklings and notions, May 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 21

Texas Book-aholic, May 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 24

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 25

A Baker’s Perspective, May 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 27

deb’s Book Review, May 28

Beauty in the Binding, May 29 (Author Interview)

cats in the cradle blog, May 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 31

Vicky Sluiter, June 1 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 1


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of The Wonderful Way You Are!!

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

Giveaway Link:

Friday, May 28, 2021

First Line Fridays: A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright

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 A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright.

"The ball had been a disaster."

Have you read A Captain for Caroline Gray? If not, check out the book blurb below and read my review here.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!

About the Book:

Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.

But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.

Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.

Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Book Review: A Stage for Harriet by Mary-Celeste Ricks

About the Book:

When farmer's daughter Harriet Shore flees her small seaside town to accept a position as a governess in London, attending lavish balls and parties is the last thing on her mind. She long ago gave up her childish notion of acting, but when the Duchess of Dorset notices Harriet's uncanny resemblance to her own daughter, Virginia, the duchess offers Harriet the role of a lifetime.

Befriending and impersonating Virginia is easy enough at first, but Harriet's double life quickly becomes complicated. When her childhood sweetheart, Stephan Grimsby, arrives on the scene, along with some unwanted suitors, the entire charade threatens to unravel.

If Harriet maintains the illusion and pleases the duchess, her dreamed-of happy ending would be within reach, but her new friend Virginia might suffer a terrible fate.

My Thoughts:

A Stage for Harriet by Mary-Celeste Ricks boasts a rich, eye-catching cover that invites the reader into this British Regency period romance. Harriet and Stephan’s childhood friendship blossoms into romance early in the novel, leaving most of the story to focus on this couple confirming their affections and pursuing a way to overcome the obstacles separating them. Sweet, romantic moments laced in with their efforts and kept me reading.

A Stage for Harriet offers a clean romance with young characters who experience limited character development. The friendship between Harriet, Virginia, and Mandie stands as a prominent element in the story and is filled with teasing and sarcastic humor. Although there are some serious situations in the storyline, it maintains a light, YA historical fiction feel.

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

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Crazy for You by Susan May Warren and Michelle Sass Aleckson

Crazy For You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Crazy for You by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Crazy for You

Title: Crazy for You 
Series: Deep Haven Collection #3
Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider. 

Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic. 

When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook | BookBub



Five hundred miles might not be far enough away, but Ronnie Morales had done more with a lot less.

Not that she had a choice. She’d learned early on that no one was going to hand her anything on a silver platter. She rolled her shoulders back and took a deep breath, wiggling her fingers on the steering wheel. She would make this work. She had to. For Tiago.

The SUV headlights barely pierced the darkness in front of them. The scent of stale french fries clashed with the floral air freshener attached to the vent. Muted rap music spilled out of her little brother’s headphones. It grated on her ears. The vibrations of the road put her backside to sleep.

She should stop, find a bathroom and a decent meal, because those Cheetos she ate hours ago were not cutting it.

She checked her rearview mirror. Nah. Better to push through and get to Deep Haven. Besides, where would she stop?

Nothing but a hill covered with forest on one side of Highway 61 and Lake Superior on the other, a black abyss with reflections of moonlight lurking on the water. No other vehicles on the road. No lights.

She was heading to the backside of nowhere.

Still, if she had to go to the end of the state map to find a safe place and keep Tiago out of trouble, so be it. He was only ten. Probably didn’t realize how big a deal this was. Uprooting from their North Minneapolis neighborhood, moving to the opposite end of the state, and starting over…

Hopefully in a place where gangs weren’t recruiting at the local elementary school. Of course, if Mom had spent an ounce of attention on the poor kid instead of her latest loser boyfriend, or better yet, if she had a smidge of backbone, maybe they wouldn’t be in this mess.

But coming home off her tour with the Army to find her mother in jail and her brother in foster care facing arson charges meant something had to change. Ronnie would not sit by and let Tiago throw his life away like Mom had.

So goodbye, military career. Goodbye, Minneapolis. Hello, Deep Haven. If they ever found the place.

Man, it was dark out here.

But no turning back now. Like Papa always said, Press on and move forward, Veronica. Find something good to focus on.

The job Cole offered her was certainly a good fit. Paramedic for the small town. Using her skills for this Crisis Response Team she could totally get behind.

She just needed to help Tiago find some new friends, some good friends, and something for him to do in his spare time besides setting fire to public property. And it wouldn’t be so bad to find a cute little house to fix up and call their own eventually. Something without bars on the windows would be nice.

Ronnie glanced at the clock. It was already after eleven. They had to be getting close. Maybe she should’ve called Cole. Hopefully, he wouldn’t mind her coming in a few days early. Once she was done with her discharge paperwork, put in her notice at her temp job, and packed, it didn’t pay to stick around the Twin Cities any longer. A faint glow in the sky ahead beckoned.

Ronnie nudged Tiago in the passenger seat. “T, wake up. We’re here.”

He mumbled and retreated further into his hoodie. His soft snores resumed. The light grew stronger as she crested the hill. A sign for a cabin resort on one side of the road. A mini golf place and a Welcome to Deep Haven sign on the other. Yes. This was it.

From the top of the hill she spied the town below, one stoplight up ahead. The hill above the harbor was dotted with porch lights, and a small cluster of businesses along the lakeshore gleamed a rainbow of colors onto the surface of the lake.

It looked so peaceful. So…small.

Wow, it was small.

Copyright: Sunrise Media Group, LLC.


Susan May Warren Michelle Sass Aleckson

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | FacebookInstagram | Twitter

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills. 


(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Crazy for You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Crazy for You 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 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2021. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount

Shelter in the Storm JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Shelter in the Storm by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Shelter in the Storm
Title: Shelter in the Storm 
Series: Johns Mill Amish Romance #1 
Author: Laurel Blount 
Publisher: Berkley Books 
Release Date: May 25, 2021 
Genre: Christian Contemporary/Amish Romance 

In this moving Amish romance, two broken hearts find hope in each other after a terrible loss.

Unspeakable tragedy strikes the Amish hamlet of Johns Mill when an unstable Englischer opens fire in the Hochstedler's General Store. In the aftermath, and under the media's spotlight, Joseph Hochstedler struggles to hold his shattered family together, drawing unexpected comfort from a faithful childhood friend. 

Born with a serious heart defect, optimist Naomi Schrock has always longed to live a life of service. She rolls up her sleeves, determined to help Joseph cope with this terrible crisis. But dare she hope that his friendship will finally deepen into love? 

As the media's obsession with the Hochstedler shooting escalates, Joseph and Naomi find themselves caught between tradition and compromise, lingering sorrows and uncertain hopes. And in the end, two people who've already lost far too much must find the courage to trust their hearts one last time.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | IndieBound | BookBub



“Do you like to take chances, then, Naomi?” His heart was pounding so hard now, he could barely think. All his common sense was slipping away, like reins sliding through slack fingers. Something strong deep inside him was taking control, like a horse took his head when the comfort of his barn came into view after a long ride home.

She laughed and the gentle sound tickled up the back of his neck like playful fingers. “Oh, ja, I do. I spent so long not taking any at all, you know. Mamm wouldn’t let me do anything the least bit risky while I was so frail. So I guess now I take them whenever I can to make up for lost time!”

He’d forgotten how to breathe, and he was feeling pretty light-headed, but it didn’t matter. He forged ahead. “I can think of another chance you could take, then, since you like them so much.”

She looked up at him, the metal pastry cutter motionless in her hand. “And what would that be, Joseph?”

“You could marry me.”


Laurel Blount

Carol award-winning author Laurel Blount writes captivating romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart. She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals. Connect with her at

CONNECT WITH LAUREL: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive an Amish Meets Amazon prize package including a silver Shelter in the Storm bookmark, a hand-knitted dishcloth, a package of Amish church mints, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Shelter in the Storm 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 24, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 31, 2021. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Book Review: The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins

About the Book:

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.

My Thoughts:

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins commences the Daughters of Courage series, introducing several women whose stories are to come, but focusing on Miss Eliza Mulgrave and her relationships. The intriguing sisterly dynamic between Eliza, Dinah (her sister), and Rachel (her cousin) flowed throughout the novel. Furthermore, the novel explored female friendship bonds as Eliza and Augusta end up in a love triangle with Lord Lambert.

Speaking of Lord Lambert, I found myself wanting more interaction between Eliza and Lord Lambert at the start of the book. However, as their friendship budded into romance, my interest increased and, by the middle, I was absorbed into the story. The romantic tension heightened once Lambert determined to win Eliza and I thoroughly enjoyed the moves he made in those romantic moments.

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins is a light, Regency-era romance with themes about being true to yourself and the importance of relationships. Readers who enjoy clean, historical reads that entertain while staying light will likely enjoy this novel.

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

Friday, May 21, 2021

First Line Fridays: The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

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 Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White.

"He was a prince at sea. That's what John Mucknell shouted whenever battle was upon him."

The Nature of a Lady released earlier this month. I can't wait to read it!

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!

About the Book:


Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles onto the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, with the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they uncover ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Promise Tree by Janalyn Voigt

The Promise Tree JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Promise Tree by Janalyn Voigt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Promise Tree
Title: The Promise Tree 
Series: Montana Treasure #1 
Author: Janalyn Voigt 
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink 
Release Date: May 5, 2021 
Genre: Christian, Historical/Western Romance 

A preacher’s daughter shouldn’t encourage a troublemaker—no matter what her wayward heart desires. 

Liberty has always believed she should marry a man of God, but Jake doesn’t qualify. The promises they’d made at age twelve can’t change that. If only Jake would stop pursuing her, she might keep from falling in love with him. 

Jake fears he’ll lose Liberty to Beau, the new man in town. He doesn’t trust the smooth-talker—and certainly not with Liberty. Expressing his opinion sounds jealous and pushes Liberty further away. Jake’s efforts to forget the woman he loves lands him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. 

A bounty hunter on the trail of a notorious outlaw gallops into town, and Liberty finds herself in unexpected peril. When Jake rides after her, he faces a test of faith. Jake and Liberty must each overcome their own false beliefs. Only then can they experience the truth of God’s redeeming love. 

Set during a troubled time in America, the Montana Treasure series explores faith, courage, and love in the Wild West. Read this heartwarming story to affirm your faith in love. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | IndieBound



Jake lifted her without invitation and deposited her on the low branch. Liberty frowned. “I don’t need your assistance, thanks all the same.” What had gotten into him? She’d been scrambling onto that limb by herself since she was six.

“Take your nose out of the air, Liberty.” He grinned. “You can blame it on Ma. She’s renewed her efforts to teach me proper manners.”

Liberty could understand Felicity Buckthorn wanting to impress social graces on her son. Jake’s mischievous streak often landed him in trouble. Liberty usually couldn’t fault Jake’s behavior toward her, but today she didn’t mind helping his ma out. “Then maybe you should ask permission before you hoist a person like a sack of potatoes.”

“Sorry to offend you.” Jake levered upward and sat beside her. “I thought we were on different terms, or I’d have asked.”

Liberty didn’t know how to respond. Her friendship with Jake was shifting in ways she didn’t entirely understand. She tilted her head and squinted into the tree’s leafy crown. From that high, a person could see all the way to the Bitterroot Mountains. She’d climbed the laddered branches many times with Jake, but not lately. When had they stopped? She brought her attention back to Jake. “I wish we could act the way we did before.”

His gaze softened. “Things can’t stay the same.”


Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read chapters from classics as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with tales "written" in her head.

Today Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in several genres. The same elements--romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy--appear in all her novels, no matter what the genre. 

Learn more about Janalyn Voigt and the books she writes at

CONNECT WITH JANALYN: WebsiteFacebook Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!

The Promise Tree 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 18, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 25, 2021. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.