Sunday, October 30, 2022

Book Review: Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby


  • Title: Godmersham Park: A Novel of the Austen Family
  • Author: Gill Hornby
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Historical Fiction, Austenesque
  • Publisher: ‎Pegasus Books (November 1, 2022)
  • Length: (416) pages
  • Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook 
  • ISBN: 978-1639362585
  • Tour Dates: October 24 – November 13, 2022


A richly imagined novel inspired by the true story of Anne Sharp, a governess who became very close with Jane Austen and her family by the #1 International bestselling-author of Miss Austen.

On January 21, 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. At thirty-one years old, she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died, and she has nowhere else to go. Anne is left with no choice. For her new charge—twelve-year-old Fanny Austen—Anne's arrival is all novelty and excitement.

The governess role is a uniquely awkward one. Anne is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family, and to balance a position between the "upstairs" and "downstairs" members of the household is a diplomatic chess game. One wrong move may result in instant dismissal. Anne knows that she must never let down her guard.

When Mr. Edward Austen's family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming, and competent; she is clever too. Even her sleepy, complacent, mistress can hardly fail to notice.

Meanwhile Jane's brother, Henry, begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess. And from now on, Anne's days at Godmersham Park are numbered.


Godmersham Park: A Novel of the Austen Family by Gill Hornby transports the reader to Anne Sharp’s years as governess to Fanny Austen, the daughter of Edward Austen who is brother to Jane Austen. I deeply admired the writing in this novel. Using Anne’s life events as a plot-basis, the story flows with an Austen-like feel that was neither forced nor poor imitation. The crafting of the descriptions and the chosen words felt very much 1800s England. As for the ending, I had mixed feelings, but appreciated it after I read the author’s note about the characters’ subsequent years.

In Godmersham Park, Anne Sharp is the star of the story. She’s clever, resilient, and knows her own mind. Anne’s character growth runs from start to finish and I was invested in her character within a few chapters. Later, I fangirled with Anne at Jane Austen’s presence. Their friendship developed quickly, but believably. Anne’s fascination with Jane may be borderline obsessive, but I enjoyed watching them interact, advise, and encourage each other.

Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby is biographical fiction for the general market, which is a bit out of my normal reading genre. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was not offended by anything in the novel. Henry’s actions are morally gray at times, but I liked him as a character. No cussing, violence, or sex scenes, but jealousy, unkindness, and petit theft do occur.

Five stars for Godmersham Park: A Novel of the Austen Family by Gill Hornby.


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.


·         "This is a deeply imagined and deeply moving novel. Reading it made me happy and weepy in equally copious amounts…I read it straight through without looking up.”— Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Bookclub

·         Hornby’s skillful mix of fact and fiction captures the complexities of the Austens and their era, and her crisp, nimble prose sparkles throughout. Best of all, Hornby genuinely channels the sentiment of 19th-century English literature. Janeites aren’t the only readers who will relish this smart, tender tale."— Publishers Weekly, starred review

·         “…a well-written and delightfully observant novel…an excellent read.”— The Historical Novel Society




Gill Hornby is the author of the novels Miss AustenThe Hive, and All Together Now, as well as The Story of Jane Austen, a biography of Austen for young readers. She livens in Kintbury, England, whit her husband and their four children. 


Friday, October 28, 2022

Author Interview: Love Matters by Neil Tolsma

About the Book

Book: Love Matters

Author: Neil Tolsma

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release date: September 13, 2022

The Bible answers with one word: Love. What am I to do when my love is weak and in short supply? What difference does godly love make in the rush of everyday living? These are questions that Christians ask and need answered.

Love Matters answers these vital questions and others through a careful examination of what the Word of God has to say about reproducing God’s love in the exercise of personal faith. Love Matters is unique in developing this study of love in a redemptive-historical setting.

Love Matters is a biblical study of the divine call to love God and others wholeheartedly and the means by which the believer can overcome deficiencies in that call.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Neil Tolsma was born on February 5, 1935, Saddle Brook, NJ. Met his wife, Lenore Merop, at Garfield Community Church (where he had made his profession of Christ as his Savior at the age of 17) and they were married on August 29, 1959. They had both been part of the Billy Graham Choir that introduced the popular hymn, How Great Thou Art, to America the summer of 957. He graduated from Shelton College, Ringwood, NJ, 1962 with  A.B. And from Westminster Theological  Seminary 1965, B.D./M.Div. Ordained by the Presbytery of the South, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1965. Served as pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1965 to 1974, Falls Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1974 until his retirement in 2004. They are the parents of three daughters  and 8 grandchildren. Neil is the author of This Is Love: Tracing the Love of God throughout the Biblical Story. 

Author Interview with Neil

Q: Please give a little introduction to your book.

Neil: In the course of my life as pastor, I counseled many people and found how weak or false was their understanding of true love. This is no small problem. The action word in the great commandment is love, You shall LOVE the Lord. It is the same in the second like it, You shall LOVE your neighbor. It is also true of Christ’s new commandment, You shall LOVE one another as I have LOVE you. LOVE MATTERS not only includes a study of the love of God but offers biblical guidance on how to truly love in the different areas daily life: love in marriage, love of children, love within the church, love in the workplace and love of neighbor.

Q: How long did it take you to write this book?

Neil: It took me six years of research and actual writing. But behind those years are 50 years of study of the Bible and sermon composition.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Neil: It is my prayer that my readers will will be drawn into a living relationship with Christ—to know him and to love him as he loves them—and through the biblical study of LOVE MATTERS may they grow in knowing true love and seek to live such love in their daily lives.

Q: Are you working on another book?

Neil: Yes. I recently completed a small devotional, KIND AND COMPASSIONATE, that will be available without cost to those who pre-order LOVE MATTERS. I am presently working on a third book that would complete my redemptive-historical study of love in the Bible. Tentatively titled, Love, The Fruit of the Spirit: A Biblical Study of Galatians 5:22-23, it will seek to define love in terms of the forms of love Paul lists in these verses and the love of God. My first book is called. THIS IS LOVE: Tracing the Love of God Throughout the Biblical Story.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Neil: I can’t think of a favorite quote but here is one that I would like to share. "In Christ, and by his example, we know how to love as never before and are able to love as never before."

More from Neil

Why Another Book on Love

Walk into any bookstore, Christian or general market, big or small, and you’re sure to be inundated by books on love, both fiction and nonfiction. How to love your spouse or significant other. How to love your children. How to love yourself. Love, love, love. That’s all we seem to hear about today. Love in all its forms, both good and evil.

So, then, why would I write another nonfiction book on love? Aren’t there plenty to choose from already? Well, yes and no. There are many on the shelves. Have your pick. But how many of those talk about what real, biblical love is, why we are to love, and where our one and only source of love is?

So many people today don’t know what love truly is. We have romanticized versions of flowers, chocolates, and violins. We dream of being swept off our feet and spending every waking minute with someone who will cherish us above all else. One of the most popular sayings of the day is Love Is Love.

Is it really? How do we know what true love is? That understanding only comes from God and his word to us. Only through him and in him do we find pure, holy, agape love. Love that sacrificed his only Son for us to give eternal life to us sinners—the impure, unholy, and filthy.

And so that’s why I wrote Love Matters. Because it does. It matters to our lives today, in how we relate to our spouses, our children, our family members, and the world at large. It matters to our eternity in how we view our salvation and how we are to love our Lord. It matters when we’re old and when we’re young, when we’re at home and when we’re at work, when we agree with someone and when we disagree with them.

Throughout my fifty years of in-depth Bible study as a pastor and counselor, I was brought back time and time again to the Bible to discover what love is. Over and over, I returned to the command God gave in Exodus, that we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Because God is love and love matters to him, it has to matter to us.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 15

An Author’s Take, October 16

Spoken from the Heart, October 17 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Inklings and notions, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Splashes of Joy, October 25 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 27

Beauty in the Binding, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 28


To celebrate his tour, Neil is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

Link for giveaway:

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Book Review: Meeting Jesus in the Holy Land by Ignatius Fernandez

About the Book:

Ignatius Fernandez's MEETING JESUS IN THE HOLY LAND covers the holy sites, churches, and other information that should make the pilgrimage memorable. Fernandez also gives the reader information on areas outside the Holy Land that tour operators often include in their itineraries.

By design, the book is short and relevant to tourists.

My Review:

Meeting Jesus in the Holy Land by Ignatius Fernandez is a travel resource to be used during and after a trip to the Holy Land.  Much of the content is informational as it explains the sections of the city, the ethnic and religious groups in the area, and popular sites to visit. The guide includes just enough historical and visual detail to jog a traveler’s memory after the trip when reminiscing.

Meeting Jesus in the Holy Land contains several chapters on Biblical events and places that have reflections to consider. I am unsure of the author’s exact faith tradition, but he included church tradition/lore that I was unfamiliar with. I found the material interesting and liked having a different perspective to consider. As for the ideas more familiar to myself as a Protestant believer, I found those to be both challenging and encouraging.

Chapter Eight on the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross) stood out to me. As I read of the different points in Jesus’ path to be crucified, it reminded me of just how real, painful, and terrible the ordeal was. It made me more thankful that Jesus was willing to do such a thing.

Meeting Jesus in the Holy Land includes a handful of color photos to accompany the text. For best effect, I recommend using either the physical copy or the ebook on a newer tablet. My old second-generation kindle had trouble displaying the photos.

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.

The Newton Chronicles: Soldiers, Crystals, and Temples Epic Book Launch


Book: The Newton Chronicles: Soldiers, Crystals, and Temples
Author: Terry Overton
Genre: Middle Grade Christian Fiction
Release date: November 22, 2022

Luke Alexander’s father is “missing, presumed dead.” But Luke is confident that his father has set off on an adventure and needs his help. Searching through his father’s office, Luke – along with his friends Nathan, a pastor’s kid, and Lydia, a world traveler who knows several languages – discovers some confusing notes about Isaac Newton and finds a strange watch that once belonged to his grandfather. Knowing his archeologist father was on the hunt for Solomon’s temple, Luke and his friends decide to start a search of their own. Little do they know that their search will take them on the wildest adventures of their lives and make the stories of Solomon’s temple and other biblical events seem more real than they ever thought possible. But will their adventures lead them to Luke’s father, or will they only wind up with more questions than answers? Soldiers, Crystals, and Temples is an excellent book for anyone who loves a good adventure and who wants to find the truth that is found only in God’s Word. This first book in The Newton Chronicles will make history and the Bible come alive for readers both young and old.


If I had known the length and complexity of what I was about to begin, I might have changed my mind. I guess I could ignore the name Isaac Newton and continue playing Fortnite on my phone. But my curiosity is alive with the name

Isaac Newton ringing in my ears.

So, it begins.


I sit straight up in the pew to see what Nathan’s father would say next.

“Science and religion are related. Isaac Newton wrote more papers on the subject of God than he did on the subject of science. Better yet, Isaac Newton believed that God imparted all knowledge to man, including science and mathematics. So, we turn to God for guidance and knowledge . . . ” And then he rambled on about faith.

Science and God?

A quick search on my phone, and there it is. The door has been opened. For the first time since I can remember, church is over too soon. I can hardly get my phone placed inside my zippered Bible before my mother catches me. She gives me the look. I search the room to find Nathan so I can escape the next words that I know were about to emerge from my mother’s lips.


Excerpt One:

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Excerpt Six:

Excerpt Seven:


Terry Overton obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology and her Ed. D. in special education. She taught in public schools and was a school psychologist and a professor before retiring in 2016. She began her second “career” after retirement and now writes Christian fiction books and devotionals and hopes to share the Christian worldview through her writing. Her novels, middle grade readers, and picture books seek to entertain readers through the travel experiences and characters included in her books. She currently resides in Laguna Vista, Texas, near the Texas-Mexico border. She enjoys Biblical history and general Bible studies, writing, and enjoying family and friends. She has seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Movie Review: Paul's Promise (In Theaters Now)

Movie Synopsis:

Set in the peak of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, PAUL'S PROMISE is the inspiring true story of Paul Holderfield, former racist firefighter-turned-pastor who started one of the first integrated churches in the American South. It's one man's journey to hope and healing during a troubled time in our Nation's history that resulted in one man's decision to serve God and stand up to injustice - a story that continues to make a huge impact on the community to this day.

Watch the Trailer:

My Review:

PAUL’S PROMISE steps back to the 1960s with authentic stages, behavior, and props. I loved the women’s hairstyles and fashion. From the “Beehive” to the “Bombshell” and all the hair accessories, I marveled at how women did their hair back then. All the characters possessed strong Southern accents, with a few that seemed over the top. The stages and memorabilia reflected the decade and reminded me of my grandparents’ house before it was remodeled.

Sadly, the 1960s was also a time of seated racism and the uphill fight for civil rights. Racism always saddens me, and PAUL’S PROMISE made me cry a lot. Violence against Black men and women appeared on screen several times. The term Negro is used. Powerful hatred displayed verbally and created dangerous situations. Add to that domestic violence and end-of-life issues, and the movie is a heavy one.

Yet, PAUL’S PROMISE highlights the power of prayer and the miracle of a changed heart. Again, the movie felt realistic as Paul’s mama desperately prays for her son for such a long time. Yet, it is her terminal diagnosis that finally forces Paul’s addictions, racism, and bitterness to the surface. His character change is slow to come (as is often the case in real life). At the end, I wished that the story had continued beyond the expected climax to tell more of how Paul founded a racially integrated church. I think that would have created a more inspirational feel and lightened the heaviness of the movie.

PAUL’S PROMISE is not appropriate for young viewers due to the racism, domestic violence, hatred, smoking, and alcoholism that is presented. It is a movie that brings awareness to racism of the past so that Christians can (and should) do much better today and in the future. 4/5 Stars.

Many thanks to Damascus Road Productions for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

More about PAUL'S PROMISE:

  • An encouraging film about the power of a praying mama!

  • This film is based on a true story!

  • Buy your tickets TODAY to see PAUL'S PROMISE in theaters starting 10/21! Tickets available at:  ©2022 Momentum.


One reader of this post will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. US only. Giveaway ends 10/23/2022 at 11:59 P. M. EST.

Enter by leaving a comment on this post that includes your name and email address.

Book Spotlight: The Secrets of Emberwild

The Secrets of Emberwild JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Secrets of Emberwild Title: The Secrets of Emberwild 
Author: Stephenia H. McGee 
Publisher: Revell 
Release Date: October 4, 2022 
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They're easier to handle, they're more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father's passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father's death--even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he's come to admire.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub


Nora slid down from Arrow’s back and scratched the base of his mane. He lowered his head, becoming more complacent with each rub of her fingers. Silly boy. Even with all his bravado, he was still the sweet foal she’d loved since he took his first steps on spindly legs. They’d bonded during those times, and no matter what Roger said, Arrow would never hurt her.

Not intentionally, anyway.

“He’s got nice form,” a man’s voice said from behind her, “though you could use a bit more caution on those turns, boy.”

What? Nora whirled around to find a tall man casually leaning on the fence, watching her. “Who are you?”

Surprise flickered over his tanned features, deep brown eyes widening slightly before settling into a calm gaze once again. “Silas Cavallero.”

He spoke with an easy cadence, his voice both deep and smooth. He watched her openly, as though trying to figure out all of her secrets. She bristled. “And what are you doing here, Mr. Cavallero?”

“Looking at your horse.”

A buyer? She’d heard nothing about a buyer coming by today. This man in his dusty dungarees and once-white hat didn’t look like the type, but appearances could be deceiving.

Satisfaction swelled as she ran a hand down Arrow’s neck. “You won’t find any better. He won’t be ready for breeding until next year, but I hope to start putting him on the books soon. Are you looking for a new stud?”

The man stared at her, strong jaw set against a serious mouth. “I’m not here to secure stud services. Mr. Reed hired me to get a handle on this colt.”


Stephenia H. McGee

Stephenia H. McGee is the award-winning author of many stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she's not reading or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she's a writer, dreamer, husband spoiler, and busy mom of two rambunctious boys.

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


(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Secrets of Emberwild and $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!

The Secrets of Emberwild 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 October 19, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on October 26, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Author Interview: Halloween Hi-Jinx by Annee Jones

About the Book

Book: Halloween Hi-Jinx

Author: Annee Jones

Genre: Clean Cozy Mystery

Release date: October 14, 2022

Jinx the cat has a bad reputation for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time – and this Halloween turns out to be no different….

His former owners called him “Cursed” – blamed him for their troubles that began occurring after they got him, which is reason he was turned back into the shelter.  But Clarissa Lightfoot, owner of the new Cat Café doesn’t believe it and wants to help clear his name, so she brings him to the new café (doubling as a halfway house for homeless animals).  – There’s no such thing as a Cursed Cat…. Or is there???

The Cat Café is hosting a costume party fundraiser for Halloween to help homeless animals.  After the party, it’s discovered that someone stole $$ from the cash register, and Clarissa is implicated in the crime.

Someone wants her & her new café to go “Poof” and disappear – but who & why?

Can Jinx – along with handsome police officer Cody Shelton – help discover who’s playing tricks on Clarissa this Halloween?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Author Annee Jones loves to write all things romance, fantasy, cozy mystery, & more. She is passionate about writing stories where dreams come true, and love wins in the end!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Subscribe to Annee’s newsletter to stay up to date on new releases, sneak peeks, author parties, and exclusive giveaways:

More from Annee

The story is told in part from Jinx the cat’s point of view!!  😉

Author Interview with Annee

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Annee: The inspiration behind this novel was my own cats & love for animals. I have a heart for pet rescue and helping homeless animals. I also know pets have their own (sometimes very big!) personalities, and I couldn’t wait to showcase the animal characters in this book. 😊 I also love cozy mysteries and have been reading mysteries ever since I was a little girl. Writing them has been even more fun that I could have imagined!! The animals definitely hold a special place in my heart – as do all my characters..

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Annee:  I hope that readers take away a light, clean, non-murder fun Halloween mystery (no violence, sex, language, etc.), that includes lots of humor, ambience, a cute mystery, and touch of romance. I hope they finish the book smiling from ear to ear!

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

Annee:  Something about myself most readers wouldn’t know….I’m barely 5’ tall and 90 lbs if I’m lucky. I wear kids’ clothes and shoes. My daughter is taller than I am. I was also raised in a small town in rural Texas next to a ranch. Now I live in the city of Seattle. Definitely worlds apart!! I’ve been a mom to 1 daughter, 6 cats, and 1 dog. The animals have all crossed the rainbow bridge over the last several years and I feel another kitty is in our future sometime in the next year. I actually have a tattoo of the cartoon cat from Bewitched on my back. Along with the word Faith.

Q: How many bookshelves are in your home?

Annee:  I have 7 bookshelves in my house LOL (and multiple Kindles). I have an easier time parting with my grandmother’s estate jewelry than I do my physical books!!

Q: Who is an author you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Annee:  An author I would recommend to anyone/ everyone – God. Reading the Bible & Bible studies is one of the best things a person can do. I highly recommend the Daily Grace Company for Bible studies.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?



Want to join Annee’s private Facebook reader group, Annee's Angels? Request your spot now:

You can also connect with Annee on her FB author page:

Subscribe to Annee’s newsletter to stay up to date on new releases, sneak peeks, author parties, and exclusive giveaways:

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Artistic Nobody, October 15 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Inklings and notions, October 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 18 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Beauty in the Binding, October 21 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 23

Through the Fire Blogs, October 24 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Blogging With Carol, October 26


To celebrate her tour, Annee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and copy of the book!!

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

Link for giveaway:

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Book Spotlight: Range by Ronie Kendig

Range JustRead Blog + Review Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for Range by Ronie Kendig, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Range Title: Range 
Series: The Metcalfes #3 
Author: Ronie Kendig 
Publisher: Task Force Press 
Release Date: September 30, 2022 
Genre: Clean with faith elements, Romantic Suspense

He's back and he's out for blood.

Fed up with living in the shadow of his brothers, Range Metcalfe struck out to carve a name for himself—one written in the blood of many a terrorist. Now, he’s targeting the notorious Madam of Kandahar, who has trafficked children and women. Finally given the green light, he captures her and quickly finds himself entrenched up in a deadly encounter that forces him into the Afghan wilderness—with the madam. 

Ten years trapped in human trafficking and five of those spent overseeing a compound, Kasra Jazani has little left of her soul. No longer able to live with herself, she takes matters into her own hands and coordinates an escape, a massive coup against the man who has kept her and so many others captive. They flee into the night—right into the fierce and capable hands of American operators, who ruin everything and put lives at risk. Livid, she knows death is coming for them, because she also holds a very dangerous, very powerful secret: the name of the man at the top of the trafficking ring. Now that monster wants her—and her American protector—dead.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Arms folded as he propped against the wall outside the interview room, Range trained his focus on the woman sitting on the other side of the one-way glass. “She gave up too easy.”

Pike joined him. “Who cares as long as we have her, and now a couple dozen women and children freed of her.”

Though Range nodded, it still didn’t add up.


“Something’s not right.” He peeled off the wall and faced the onetime master chief. “You’ve seen it—these women are terrified to flee. Yet we infiltrated a heavily fortified compound and find them ... what? Escaping.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t add up.”

Pike studied him for a long second.

“I’m not overthinking it.”

“It’s what you do best.” Laughing, he slapped Range’s shoulder. “Relax. We got them—her. She’s there and she’s not going anywhere.”


Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a nearly ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share--sometimes--with Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

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


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Range and an Operation Underground t-shirt.

Range JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 18, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 25, 2022. 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

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Author Interview: The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker



Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Dark Guest by Sarah Hamaker, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: The Dark Guest 
Series: The Cold War Legacy #1 
Author: Sarah Hamaker 
Publisher: Seshva Press LLC 
Release Date: May 15, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Romantic Suspense 

The Cold War is over, but The Wolf is still at the door. 

When Violet Lundy isn’t cleaning rooms at Happy Hills Assisted Living Facility, she loves spending her free time with resident Rainer Kopecek. Hearing his stories of the dangerous life he led behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin makes her own life seem more tolerable. But when Rainer is found dead and his room in disarray, Violet suspects foul play. 

Dr. Henry Silverton lives among his books, teaching and writing about the Cold War. A letter about an East German traitor known only as “The Wolf” propels Henry out of academia and into Violet’s life. Together, they embark on a perilous quest to uncover the truth about Rainer’s death and the traitor’s identity. 

Can Violet and Henry uncover the secrets of the past before one of them ends up as The Wolf’s next victim?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound


“You have date tonight?” Rainer Kopecek smiled from his seat by the window, which overlooked the manicured lawn of the Happy Hill Assisted Living Facility.

Violet Lundy returned the old German’s smile as she removed the pillows from his bed. “Only if you’re available.”

He cackled with glee. “If I were only—”

“Forty years younger.” she finished his sentence before stripping the bed and tossing the sheets into her cart. “I don’t mind being alone.”

“Ah, you are much too young to give up on love. Too pretty as well.”

“You sound like a matchmaker.” She snapped a fresh sheet on the twin bed, then sprinkled a little lavender on it to help cover the strong disinfectant odor that permeated all the laundry. Of all the residents at the facility, she liked Mr. Kopecek best because of his optimism.

“Nothing wrong with that.” He waggled a gnarled finger. “I would like you settled before I meet my Maker.”

“I thought you were going to live as long as Methuselah.” She chuckled. “So I have plenty of time.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Life, it can be cut short. You should not wait too long to find someone.”


Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats.

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


Q: What was the inspiration behind The Dark Guest

Sarah: I’ve always been fascinated with the Cold War and East Germany in particular, given how tightly controlled the population was by the government and Stasi. So when this germ of an idea came to me about a mystery based in 1980s East Berlin that impacted lives today, I jumped on it. The result is Violet and Henry’s story, the first in a trilogy (The Cold War Legacy series) about something that happened in 1980s East Berlin with implications for today.

Q:  How long did it take you to write this story? 

Sarah: Which version—ha, ha. This has been a long time coming, given I started this particular story about 10 years ago. I entered it into the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for three years in a row, revising the entry and book based on judges feedback. It won in 2015, and several publishers considered it, but ultimately decided not to publish it. Then a little over a year ago, I decided to finish writing books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, then begin indie publishing the series. So here we are! The Dark Atonement (book 2) released in September and The Dark Reckoning will be out in early 2023.

Q:  Do you have a favorite quote from this book? 

Sarah: I don’t have a favorite quote, but I do have a favorite character—Rainer Kopecek, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain before emigrating to the United States in the 1990s after the Berlin Wall came down. I liked him so much that I wrote a short story based in East Berlin so I could spend a little more time with him and his wife, Verna.

Q: . What do you hope readers take away from The Dark Guest

Sarah: That what happens in the past doesn’t have to color our future. The title comes from the Puritan book of prayers called Valley of Vision. This poem, entitled “The Dark Guest,” refers to how we invite sin into our hearts as if it’s a guest, but that through Christ’s work on the cross, we don’t have to keep the guest in our hearts—we’re freed from the bondage of sin.

Q:  Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know? 

Sarah: This is always a hard one for me, as I don’t think I live a very interesting life—or, perhaps, more accurately, I think my life is interesting and fulfilling but others might not. But I will say that as an introvert whose husband now works from home (and is therefore home all the time), I’ve started having an annual birthday getaway (since my birthday’s in June, this works out well!) all by myself. I’ve been very grateful my wonderful husband understands how important this is for me to recharge my batteries, so he’s been very supportive of my solo writing retreats.

Q:  What are you reading now? 

Sarah: I tend to juggle several books at once, dipping into them throughout the week. I’m reading Toni Shiloh’s In Search of a Prince, Pam Green’s Church on Fire, Nana Dolce’s The Seed of a Woman, The Connected Child, and Susan Cain’s Bittersweet.

Q:  How many bookcases are in your home? 

Sarah: I love this question! I have to go count. Be back in a sec. 18 bookcases! Wow, I knew we had a lot but didn’t realize we had that many. All but four have books on every shelf (the other four have CDs, games or DVDs). Thank goodness you didn’t ask me to count how many books we have!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

Sarah: Watch BritBox and knit! I’m currently working on a blanket—well, when one of my three cats lets me knit instead of taking over my entire lap. I’m a little obsessed with British crime shows, and last Christmas, decided to ask my four teenagers if they would purchase an annual subscription to BritBox as my Christmas/birthday/Mother’s Day gifts for 2022. They thought that a fantastic idea, and I’ve already warned them they’ll need to renew for 2023.


(1) winner will receive a copy of The Dark Guest (print or ebook, winner's choice), a 20 oz Wolf Tumbler-Stainless Steel Travel Mug With Lid And Straw, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an assortment of specialty teas, a The Dark Guest tote, and The Dark Guest notebook.

(1) additional winner will receive an ebook copy of The Dark Guest, a Wolf Wristlet Keychain, an 
assortment of specialty teas, and The Dark Guest notebook.


Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 11, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 18, 2022. 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 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Book Review: Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:

Years ago, he shattered her heart. Now she must trust him with her life.

As the only girl in her family, and with four older brothers, Ivy McQuaid can rope and ride with the roughest of ranchers. She's ready to have what she's always longed for--a home of her own. She's set her heart on a parcel of land south of Fairplay and is saving for it with her winnings from the cowhand competitions she sneaks into--but her dream is put in jeopardy when the man she once loved reappears in her life.

After two years away, Jericho Bliss is back in South Park as an undercover Pinkerton agent searching for a war criminal. He has no intention of involving a woman in the dangerous life he leads, but one look at Ivy is all it takes for him to question the path he's set out for himself.

Even though Jericho tries to resist his longtime attraction to the beautiful and vivacious Ivy, he finds himself falling hard and fast for her. In the process, his worst fear comes true--he puts her smack-dab in the middle of danger. With Ivy's life in the balance, will Jericho give her up once again, or will he find a way back to her, this time forever?

My Thoughts:

Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund takes the enemies-to-lovers romance trope back to 1869 Colorado Territory. Cowgirl Ivy McQuaid and undercover agent Jericho Bliss have the hots for each other from the start. Their love/hate relationship comes with an overload of physical attraction, and I wished for a more nuanced approach to the sexual tension. Still, Hedlund keeps the narrative in the “closed door” category.

Falling for the Cowgirl reads quick and easy despite its substantial length. It held my attention from start to finish, even in the moments that I sighed and wished Ivy and Jericho would stop repeating the same thoughts and harmful actions. The novel focuses primarily on the romance, but contains a treasure hunt, a murderer-in-hiding, and themes about women’s equality. Quite an entertaining blend of elements.

Falling for the Cowgirl lands as the fourth installment in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. The story works as a standalone, but the couples from previous novels make frequent appearances. With so many characters and backstories, I think it’s best to read the novels in order. Three stars.


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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

My September 2022 Reads and October 2022 TBR

My September 2022 Reads: 

  1. The Lady's Mine by Francine Rivers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I liked this book even more this time around. Read my original review.

  2. Mothering by the Book  by Jennifer Pepito - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  3. Prayer Without Pretending by Angela Ashwin - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Absolutely amazing book on prayer.

  4. The Hidden Prince by Tessa Afshar - ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ - Review available closer to release date.

  5. Defending Honor by Lynette Eason and Kelly Underwood - ⭐⭐⭐½ - Read my review.

  6. Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review..

  7. Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

Expected October 2022 Reads:

  1. The Brilliance of Stars by J'nell Ciesielski.

  2. Life After by Katie Ganshert - My book club's October selection. 

  3. Giving Your Words by Sally and Clay Clarkson - Sally is one of my favorite authors on parenting/homeschooling!

  4. Embracing Advent by Jen Ludwig.

  5. Suncoast Empire: Bertha Honore Palmer, Her Family, and the Rise of Sarasota by Frank A. Cassell - This has been on my TBR for several months and I'm not sure if I'll get to read it this month, but I'm keeping it on the list anyway.

  6.  The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano.

What will you read this month?

Monday, October 10, 2022

Epic Book Launch: The Letter by Edwina Kiernan

About the Book

Book: The Letter
Author: Edwina Kiernan
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: November 1, 2022

She wants a new life.
He’s in danger of losing his.
Will love solve everything — or immerse them in even worse peril?

Restless and ready for a change, Grace Stratton gladly accepts the opportunity to leave her remote parsonage home to serve as a wealthy spinster’s companion in the idyllic country town of Lindenfell. Its warm atmosphere and friendly inhabitants sooth Grace’s lonely heart. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, she soon discovers things aren’t always what they seem.

Convinced chloroform will revolutionise the medical world, Dr. David Carbury frequently administers it to his London patients — until one of them dies. Facing a grave trial to prove his innocence and defend a drug most people view as poisonous, he makes hasty plans to buy time to bolster his case. But he wasn’t expecting to face an even deadlier challenge.

As attraction sparks not long after they meet, Grace soon suspects he’s hiding something, and David knows he can’t run from the truth forever.

But neither of them could imagine the sinister threat lurking just around the corner…

Immersed in faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.


“Grace, my dear.”

Grace turned to see her father, the Reverend Henry Stratton, striding toward her. His dark eyes shimmered with delight, and his grin made her momentarily forget the frustration that had coiled her hands into tight balls at her sides.

“Papa. Another fine sermon.”

“Thank you, my dear.” He studied her for a moment, his grin slipping away. “Are you all right?”

Grace swallowed hard. Her father could read her better than anyone. “It is nothing.”

He gave her a knowing look. “Are you quite sure?”

Grace sighed, shaking her head gently. “Only the usual.”

Her father glanced about at the different clusters of people who were chatting and greeting one another now that the meeting was at an end. He drew his lips into a thin line. “Ah. I see.”

Grace followed his gaze, which seemed to have fallen upon the group of gossiping ladies at the end of the pew. She looked again at her father, gratitude stirring within her. He was gentle and kind, but a fierce streak of ardent protectiveness lay within him, and her great aunt had told her how daringly and passionately he had defended her mother. She still found all the stories she’d heard quite hard to believe sometimes, but what was clear was the deep love that each of her parents had for one another, and for God.


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Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of the award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption.

An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research in hope-infused tales set in times past.

A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood.

She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavours to use her pen to point others to Him.

When she’s not writing, Edwina loves spending time with her dashing husband and lively little son, reading and studying the Bible, getting lost in a captivating novel and drinking more types of tea than most people realize even exist.

Join her mailing list for free gifts, updates, regular giveaways, and lots of classic and historical fiction goodness.

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