About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Cleansed by Death by Catherine Finger: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book:  Cleansed by Death
Author: Catherine Finger
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Mystery
Release Date: June 2016

Haunted by an evil presence she can’t quite grasp, Police Chief Josie Oliver finds herself drawn into the crosshairs of a vicious serial killer. Fighting for her marriage, faith, and fate, Chief Josie is confronted by an Adversary that only God can conquer–if she decides to let Him in.

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A Chief of Police who is a woman. An accomplished woman who is hiding a secret. An overwhelmed woman who suffers abuse from her husband. Jo Oliver is the woman described above and now, because of a serial killer and the intense search to find him, her secret is about to be exposed.

Cleansed by Death explores the hunt for the Mentor Sister Serial Killer and Chief Jo's emotional distress that engulfs her during this search. There is a disturbing scene when she contemplates suicide but author Catherine Finger also shows the immense support that she receives from her co-workers and friends. Jo's special friend Gino constantly reminds her that she isn't alone and that she is truly valued by God. And then there is Nick Vitarello! He joins in the hunt for the killer and his support suggests that some old feelings still linger. What if Jo wasn't a married woman? Is is possible that their relationship might be renewed?

If you enjoy reading suspense novels with a faith message running through them, you will certainly want to read Cleansed by Death.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my own thoughts and opinions.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Author

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, was released by Elk Lake Publishing in December, 2019. Anchored by Death, the third of her Jo Oliver novels, was a Bronze Medal winner at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at www.CatherineFinger.com.

Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.com Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.

More from Catherine

Welcome to our Jo Oliver Thriller series Celebrate Lit Tour!

Cleansed by Death, the first book in the series of four novels, began with an idea to write a book about strong women struggling with life, love, and loss while embedded in traditional male roles. I wanted to show real women dealing with difficult internal and external struggles and create tension for my readers. Playing with the question of whether such challenges make our characters better—or bitter—added depth and twists to my story.

It took a long time to get this story to the point of releasing it into the world. I stopped writing it twice, shelving it for about a year each time. Every summer as I percolated over the story, I read it cover to cover and realized I still loved both the voice and the bones of the story. Adding the faith piece in a way that felt authentic and edgy was the frosting on the cake and it happened as a half vision, half spiritual warfare experience in Jo Oliver’s head and heart. This experience developed her unique brand of conversation with God as she understands Him and added a spiritual dimension to my stories.

My Midwestern roots showed themselves with reckless abandon in this debut—becoming a cornerstone of future installments. As I write this kick-off note to you, I sit in front of my computer facing a wilderness scene that features prominently in this story. Writing in the midst of the corona virus leads me back to some of my favorite places for comfort—the woods and lakes of Wisconsin.

Enjoy the read!

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, June 30
Betti Mace, July 1
Emily Yager, July 3


To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse


Peyton Cabot’s fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from WWII a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents’ devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams.

Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle all the way to Key West, Florida. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton’s journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined—namely, the key to his unknowable father, a longed-for reunion, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.



What do you do if your father has suffered a tragic accident and the girl of your dreams has gone to spend the summer in Miami? If you're fifteen, you find a way to honor your father and somehow get to your dream girl by taking a bike ride! All of his life, Peyton Cabot has heard the story of his father's bike ride from Savannah, Georgia, to Key West, Florida when he was just fifteen years old. Peyton decides that this will now become his own story and what follows is a remarkable tale of the places he sees and the people he meets as he uses his father's old map to travel the very same route. His thoughts and reactions, along with the lessons he learns, are all vividly described and I felt like I was right there with him!

The Key to Everything is a beautifully written story about grief, young love, and the love that comes once in a lifetime. Author Valerie Fraser Luesse has written a stunning story that chronicles a son's loss of his father, a wife's heartbreaking grief for her husband, and a teenager's certainty that he has already found the love of his life. Most of all, this is a story of hope and Leusse absolutely captures Peyton's hope and determination as he makes this journey to Florida and travels the road to manhood!

"You can't follow anybody else's path, like I tried to do with Daddy---like Daddy thought he had to do with Granddaddy. Somewhere along the way, you gotta draw your own map." (p. 282)

I recommend this book all who enjoy inspirational novels filled with love, hope, and family. The Key to Everything is one that I won't soon forget.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews. There was no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Valerie Fraser Luesse is the author of Almost Home and the bestselling, Christy Award–winning Missing Isaac. Her third novel, The Key to Everything, was inspired by a true story. An award-winning magazine writer, Luesse is best known for her features and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently the senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, she has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Acadian Louisiana, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. The author lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Dave—and a mischievous orange cat named Cheeto.

Learn more by visiting her Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram
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