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!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Tides of Duplicity by Robin Patchen: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Tides of Duplicity

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 16, 2021


A jewelry heist, a kidnapping, and a choice. When Fitz’s sister disappears, he’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love. 
Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets and spends time with the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard.  
But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels—and he has the video evidence to prove it. As Shelby’s guardian, Fitz has to focus on caring for his sister, whether Tabby is innocent or guilty. He refuses to help the man—until he learns the mobster has taken his sister.  
The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life.  
Click here to get your copy!


Tides of Duplicity is filled with action, danger, and many twists and turns that include an antique box, a half million dollar's worth of jewels, and a man who is part of an Irish mob operating out of Boston. After enjoying the company of Fitz McCaffrey during a two-week vacation in Belize, Tabitha Eaton plans to return to Coventry, New Hampshire. Instead, she is drawn into a desperate race to find Fitz's kidnapped sister and escape the mobster who will do anything to find the missing jewels. As they struggle to stay alive, it's apparent that their initial attraction has become something more. Will Tabitha and Fitz have a chance to pursue a deeper relationship? Can they overcome the many obstacles to their being together?

"She closed her eyes and begged God for her life, for all her lives. God wasn't about fair. God was about justice. God was about protecting his children."

Great characters, a beautiful setting, and an intriguing mystery help make this an entertaining novel but it is Robin Patchen's strong faith message that really impressed me! I recommend Tides of Duplicity to all who enjoy Christian romantic suspense.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

About the Author

Aside from her family and her Savior, USA Today bestselling author Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Texas, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.


More from Robin

Do you remember the show Party of Five? It ran for six seasons back in the 90s. I wasn’t a huge fan of the show itself, but I loved the premise: the oldest son of five children becomes the guardian for his younger siblings after their parents are killed in a car accident.

Talk about fodder for a great story.

When I was dreaming about Tides of Duplicity, I decided my hero, Fitz McCaffrey, had a similar story. In his case, his parents died when he was twenty-one, leaving him as the sole guardian of his eight-year-old sister, Shelby.

Do you remember being twenty-one? I do, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t have had the first idea how to raise an eight-year-old, especially one dealing with the trauma of losing her parents. Fitz didn’t know, either.

Sure, thanks to insurance, they had plenty of money to survive. He was able to finish college, go to the police academy, and get a job. But emotionally, Fitz didn’t know what he was doing. What he knew was that his sister needed him, and he loved her enough to figure it out.

Our story picks up eight years later when Fitz and Shelby go to Belize for vacation. Shelby meets a teenage boy who takes up all her time. Fitz doesn’t complain when he meets a beautiful woman named Tabby. They spend two weeks together, and by the time those weeks are up, Fitz has fallen hard.

But the morning Tabby leaves, Fitz discovers a few shocking truths:

Tabby was caught on tape stealing from the hotel safe.

The hotel safe held a half million dollars’ worth of jewels belonging to a mafia boss—who happens to be the father of Shelby’s new boyfriend.

And the mob boss wants Fitz to get his stuff back.

His leverage?

He’s taken Shelby.

Shelby’s the only family Fitz has left. He loves her like a father loves a daughter, and he’ll do anything to get her back.

Even betray the woman he’s come to love.

I loved writing this story. I loved writing the conflict Fitz deals with—the desire to save Shelby vs. the desire to protect Tabby from a very dangerous man. I love seeing his newfound faith at work. Frankly, as the world dealt with all the drama of 2020, I loved writing about exotic locations that took me out of my normal life—a couple of resort towns, not to mention Tabby’s hometown, the little snow-covered village of Coventry, New Hampshire.

As the winter winds blow, I hope you’ll take this trip with Fitz and Tabby and Shelby. I think you’re going to love it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 21

Inklings and notions, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

deb’s Book Review, February 25

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Older & Smarter?, February 27

Artistic Nobody, February 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, March 1

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 3

Betti Mace, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite!!

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


View all my reviews

Friday, February 26, 2021

Since You've Been Gone by Tari Faris: Cover Reveal!!

  •  I'm SO excited to share this new book that releases September 7, 2021!  


Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah's past difficult, he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

n is trying to prove to the Heritage Fruits board that he, not his manipulative uncle, should be running the business. The board insists Jon find a new owner for the building that will house Leah's business. To avoid forcing a buyout of Leah's part of the building, Jon strikes a compromise with Leah, and the two go into business together. With her vision and his know-how, it might work. And Leah might realize he's loved her since high school. If only he didn't keep on shooting himself in the foot by boxing her out of important decisions.

Sparks fly in this romantic story of two people who must learn to trust both each other and the one who called them to this journey.


Since You've Been Gone is the third book in the Restoring Heritage series and it's not one you want to miss, if it's like the previous books!

Mark your calendars! Release Date is September 7, 2021 BUT you can Pre-order now! linktr.ee/tarifaris 

Restoring Heritage

Until I Met You

You Belong With Me

Since You've Been Gone

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The In-Between Place by Kat Armstrong: Blog Tour & Giveaway with JustRead Publicity Tours

The In-Between Place JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The In-Between Place by Kat Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The In-Between Place

Title: The In-Between Place
Author: Kat Armstrong
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Christian Life/Spiritual Growth

Jesus’ journey to the woman at the well in Samaria offers insights and hope for women today to make peace with the past, find hope in the present, and step into the future. 

God wants us to move toward the goodness He has planned for us. But what do we do when challenges stop our forward momentum? What’s the next step when we fall into a pit of despair with the determination knocked right out of us? 

On his way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus traveled through Samaria, a broken place everyone knew to avoid. In Samaria he stopped in Shechem, where evil had gained such a foothold of power that it eventually reigned. Yet the place once condemned as somewhere no one wanted to visit—let alone hang out in for a while—was the location of one Samaritan woman’s most hope-filled encounter with the Savior. 

The In-Between Place offers deeply important insights to anyone who feels stuck and can’t see a way forward. It is for the person who feels that if she looks left, her face will be scraped by an immovable boulder, and if she looks right, she’ll see nothing but hard to handle. It’s for the person who feels lost and is not sure she is worth the effort to be found, for the person who feels overlooked and unfulfilled. Because sometimes Jesus saves our greatest spiritual breakthroughs for our in-between places.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

I'm pleased to share an excerpt from The In-Between Place but my review can be seen HERE


Twenty years as a Christian has taught me that following Jesus means abandoning our own way. If I’m honest, I don’t naturally like the fact that surrendering is required to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. But I have come to love it, even glory in it. Jesus had to show me how everything I was doing to survive was actually keeping me from living life to the fullest. He did the same thing with the woman at the well in John 4.

As Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman progressed, he asked her to go and call her husband and come back with the man in tow. It was a request Jesus knew she couldn’t manage. Her response was truthful; she didn’t have a husband. Thanks to the historical context study of great Bible scholars, we see that her circumstances were not a result of rebelliousness. In fact, she was just trying to survive. Jesus affirmed her truth telling with this statement: “You’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband” (v. 17). What I hope we will see together in this woman’s story is that none of us can thrive in life independently. And unless our survival technics include surrendering to Jesus, we will hitch ourselves to people and provisions that won’t meet our deepest needs.

Taken from “The In-Between Place” by Kat Armstrong. Copyright 2020 by Kat Armstrong. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.


Kat Armstrong 

Kat Armstrong has been emboldening women to be all-in for Jesus for twenty years as a speaker, Bible teacher, author, and podcast host. As cofounder of The Polished Network, a nonprofit connecting and gathering professional women to navigate career and explore faith, her mission is to create holy curiosity.

Kat holds a master of Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Aaron, have been married for eighteen years, and live in Dallas, Texas, with their son, Caleb. They attend Dallas Bible Church, where Aaron serves as the lead pastor. 

CONNECT WITH KAT: WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a print copy of The In-Between Place and No More Holding Back!

The In-Between Place JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 22, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Obsession (Natchez Trace Park Rangers, #2) by Patricia Bradley

Obsession (Natchez Trace Park Rangers, #2)ABOUT THE BOOK

Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she's forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed.

Sam knows that he has failed Emma in the past and he doesn't intend to let her down again. Especially since her life is on the line. As the threads of the investigation cross and tangle with their own personal history, Sam and Emma have a chance to discover the truth, not only about the victim but about what went wrong in their relationship.


'It was so hard to believe that she could be the object of some man's obsession.'

Whew! This book kept me invested until the very end and even though I thought I knew the villain, I was never absolutely sure. In fact, I was wrong several times! Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters has trouble committing to a long term relationship but there is apparently someone who believes that he can change her feelings. What follows is a nail-biting, pulse-altering story that kept me guessing, with its twists and turns and multiple characters who appeared to be guilty. The only person that I was sure about was Ranger Sam Ryker and I couldn't believe that Emma wasn't falling into her ex-fiance's arms!

This is labeled as romantic suspense, so you can count on some clean romantic chemistry but Obsession is first and foremost a mystery/suspense novel. There is also a strong faith thread that runs throughout the story, with forgiveness as the key element. Emma needs to forgive herself for lashing out at her twin brother shortly before he disappeared and she also needs to forgive Sam for not being completely open about events from the past. Sam himself has an issue with forgiveness and it seems that he will never be able to forgive the physical and emotional abuse that his father subjected him to during his childhood. Will Emma and Sam realize that they can never truly be free from the past if they withhold forgiveness? Isn't forgiveness a requirement for those who profess to love God?

If you're looking for a story with well-developed characters and an absorbing plot that keeps you turning the pages, you will want to read Obsession by Patricia Bradley. It's the second book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series and I certainly look forward to the next installment!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Winner of an Inspirational Readers' Choice Award in Suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series, the Memphis Cold Case Novels, and the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series. She also has written sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming available as ebooks

Learn more at Patricia's Website     Facebook     Twitter     BookBub

Monday, February 22, 2021

Alabama Days by Daphne Self: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

About the Book


Book:  Alabama Days

Author: Daphne Self

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 16, 2020

How could a loving God hurt so many people?

Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.

But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.

When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.

 Click here to get your copy!


How can a loving God allow bad things to happen? Why would He allow good people to suffer? These are the age-old questions that Scott Wilson finds himself asking as he drifts tarther and farther away from God. Tragedy in his work as a paramedic has been a common occurrence but the death of a friend and her young son sends him over the edge and addiction becomes a crutch to ease his pain. It appears that his downward spiral will continue, until reporter Angela Mabry arrives in town and they both are drawn into danger and intrigue.

Along with Angela, there are other strong female characters who help Scott along his journey to faith and acceptance, and a little boy named Max to spur him on! Alabama Days is a heartwarming tale but suspense, adventure, and romance add to its enjoyment, making this a book that will appeal to all who enjoy Christian romantic suspense.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Author

Daphne Self, formerly published under the name D.M. Webb, resides in Iowa. As a Mississippian transplant, she spends her days in the Midwest state writing, editing, reading, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. She pursues her dream as an editor and author with one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. Daphne is also an avid reader who devours books in many genres.


More from Daphne

Why Did I Write What I Wrote?

One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”

Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.

After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”

And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.

Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?

I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.

We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?

Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.

So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

Among the Reads, February 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Older & Smarter?, February 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 22

Betti Mace, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Pause for Tales, February 28

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2


To celebrate her tour, Daphne is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Mississippi Nights, a copy of Alabama Days, a floral mug, a leather Is. 40:31 bookmark, 2 mini notebooks, and a Paramedic Prayer keyring with velvet pouch!!

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


View all my reviews


Friday, February 19, 2021

The Prince of Spies (Hope and Glory, #3) by Elizabeth Camden


Luke Delacroix has the reputation of a charming man-about-town in Gilded Age Washington, DC. In reality, he is secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission is to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

But trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter, whose job as a government photographer gives her unprecedented access to sites throughout the city. Luke is captivated by Marianne's quick wit and alluring charm, leading them both into a dangerous gamble to reconcile their feelings for each other with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


This is the third and final book of the Hope and Glory series and I believe that it's my favorite. I enjoyed Gray and Caroline's previous stories but oh, my, there's just something about Luke Delacroix! Is it because he chooses to live outside the lines? That he cares deeply for correcting the wrongs of the world? Or his deep faith in God that became even stronger while he was locked up in a Cuban jail? Yes, Luke Delacroix is a hero to remember!

The Prince of Spies is set in 1902 and author Elizabeth Camden offers another look at the wealth and prestige that was prevalent in Washington, DC during this time. She also provides a glimpse of that era's political scene, with the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, and introduces readers to the Poison Squad, a group of young men determined to prove that the artificial chemicals being used in food were detrimental to human health. Best of all, she shares the overwhelming attraction that develops between Luke and Marianne Magruder, the daughter of Clyde Magruder, a longtime adversary of the Delacroix family. Marianne is certainly drawn to Luke but she is also very devoted to her family. Can they overcome the many obstacles or will Luke and Marianne need to sacrifice their happiness?

If you enjoy sweet romance that takes your breath away, suspense that keeps you intrigued until the end, and historical fiction that enlightens as it entertains, you will want to read The Prince of Spies. Elizabeth Camden has once again proven her exceptional writing talent!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher but I wasn't required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Award and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

Visit her at Facebook     Instagram 

Hope and Glory Series

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen: Review & Giveaway


Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

Barnes & Noble     Christian Book Distributors     Amazon


This is an amazing book on so many levels. It is Amanda Wen's debut novel but it appears to have been written by a seasoned author. Roots of Wood and Stone is a split-time story that tells of two young women divided by 150 years and Wen has beautifully laced their stories together until it's easy to forget which one you're reading. Sloane Kelley's love of historic preservation puts her in possession of the diaries of Annabelle Collins and, from the first 1861 entry, Annabelle proves to be an amazing young girl and woman who knew joy and grief but never failed to credit God's presence in her life. These entries inspire Sloane as she searches for love, acceptance, and connections to her own heritage. I was very moved by her assertion that she was "Plan B"; that she was always "Unwanted. Unloved. Not Enough". Watching her find God's presence and her own self-acceptance was a true joy!

Garrett Anderson has his own struggles with honoring the past while moving toward the future and Sloane proves to be a major player with his decisions. Will she convince him to save his grandmother's home from destruction, thus preserving the house where Annabelle once lived? Is Annabelle Collins's legacy connecting them?

Wen has crafted amazing characters, realistic situations, and two beautiful relationships. One, a love story that ended much too soon and the other, a special friendship that could turn into so much more. Roots of Wood and Stone will make you smile and it may make you cry but it is never depressing...instead, it is a story of hope, joy, and faith. It is also a reminder to treasure your past as you navigate your present and future!

This is a book that will surely be nominated for awards and I am so looking forward to more Sedgwick County Chronicles!

I received a copy of this book from Kregel and Read with Audra. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog, and is a regular contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.

In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship band at ACFW conferences. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

Learn more at www.amandawen.com, and follow her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen)


Enter HERE to win a copy of Roots of Wood and Stone

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Dress Shop on King Street (Heirloom Secrets #1) by Ashley Clark

The Dress Shop on King Street (Heirloom Secrets, #1)ABOUT THE BOOK

Harper Albright has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her to sew. As she rethinks her own future, secrets long hidden about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston and the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.


Adored. Adored by the One who created the stars and knew her before she was born. Adored by her mama, who taught her she could win the world if she tried hard enough.

Author Ashley Clark uses Charleston, South Carolina and Fairhope, Alabama as the settings for this dual-time book that alternates between 1861 and present time. I loved Millicent Middleton with her red cloche hat and the two butterfly buttons that are such an integral part of both stories. Millie yearns to own her own dress shop and this desire remains with her most of her life, through her struggles with racism, tragedy, and her decision to conceal her own bi-racial identity. In the modern day story Harper Dupree dreams of being a dress designer and Millie plays an important role in her story also. It was Millie who taught Harper to sew as a child and now, as they both find themselves back in Charleston, it is Millie who may be the grantor of all of Harper's dreams.

The Dress Shop on King Street
is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, even in the worst of times. This powerful story reminds us that even though the ugliness of racism has long existed, it can be conquered with hope and love. Millie and Franklin Pinckney's love story took my breath away and the possibility of the same for Harper and Peter Perkins kept me turning the pages. Several surprising twists made this a book that I couldn't put down!

Clark uses the true legacy of Rose Middleton, her young daughter Ashley, and a cloth sack filled with a dress, pecans, and a braid of hair, to create a stunning debut novel that I won't soon forget. I recommend The Dress Shop on King Street to all who enjoy historical fiction and Christian romance.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. There was no obligation to post a favorable review and I am voluntarily sharing my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She's an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.

Learn more  at her Website  or Follow her on   Facebook     Instagram

Monday, February 15, 2021

Vanished in the Mountains by Tanya Stowe: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Vanished in the Mountains

Author: Tanya Stowe

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 3, 2021

A search for missing women leads to a deadly pursuit.

When domestic violence counselor Dulcie Parker uncovers evidence of a human trafficking ring in the Four Corners area, she’s determined to stop it or die trying. With corruption all around her and killers on her trail, Deputy Sheriff Austin Turner’s the only one she can trust. But can they work together to expose the crime ring before she becomes the next victim?


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This is an exciting and intense story centered around a human trafficking ring and I found myself wondering if these victimized women would ever find freedom. Each time Deputy Sheriff Austin Turner and domestic violence counselor Dulcie Parker are close to finding the leaders of the ring, some one tips them off. It's apparent that there's wide spread corruption but will Dulcie and Austin become targets also?

I've never seen New Mexico or the Mesa Verde National Park and I loved learning about the Four Corners region. If you stand on the Four Corners Monument you're in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Author Tanya Stowe paints a beautiful picure of the open flatlands and the mountains that change from lavender and purple to mauve and gray as the sun goes down. I'm convinced that this is a place I need to visit!

She also offers a poignant look at the fragile relationship between Dulcie and Austin as they each struggle with their own demons. Dulcie is herself a victim of domestic violence and Austin has suffered great loss. Is there a chance that these wounded souls may find a healing bond together?

If you are looking for action, mystery, and a reminder of God's provision, you will want to read Vanished in the Mountains. It is enjoyable Christian romantic suspense from Love Inspired Suspense.

I received a copy from the publishers via Celebrate Lit and was under no obligation to post a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Author

Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction author with an unexpected edge. She is married to the love of her life, her high school sweetheart. They have four children and twenty-one grandchildren, a true adventure. She fills her books with the unusual…mysteries and exotic travel, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey packed with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.


More from Tanya

When my children were very young, my husband and I took a trip to Colorado for a family reunion. After the reunion we traveled through Colorado to see the sights. We stopped in Silverton and my sister and I took my young son and daughter down the narrow-gauge railroad to Durango. Riding the swaying train down slopes covered in pine trees with the rushing white water of the Animas River below, I knew I’d write about the area someday. Many years later my husband and I took our first “kid-less” vacation in our motorhome. We stayed in a campground on the Navajo Nation next to Canyon de Chelly. We had no running water or electricity and that night, a storm blew in from the west. We watched the sky change to hues of purple and pink and then sat mesmerized as lightning strikes crossed the magnificent valley. Once again, I planted the scenes in my mind, determined to write about them one day. Little did I know both vacations would combine into one story. I hope you find my memories of the Four Corners area as unforgettable as I did! Blessings!

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To celebrate her tour, Tanya 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.


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