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 promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Friday, December 30, 2022

In Love's Time by Kate Breslin

In Love's Time

In the summer of 1918, Captain Marcus Weatherford arrives in Russia on a secret mission, with a beautiful ballerina posing as his fiancée. Marcus searches for the Romanov Tsarina and her son--who both allegedly survived the murdering Bolsheviks--and the information behind an allied plot to assassinate Lenin. But Marcus's sense of duty battles his desire to return home to Clare--his actual love.

Hospital orderly Clare Danner still suffers from Marcus's betrayal and now fears losing her daughter to the heartless family who took Daisy away from Clare once before, but only Marcus can provide the critical proof needed to save her daughter.

Faced with danger and unexpected circumstances, can Clare trust Marcus, or will he shatter her world yet again?


In Love's Time is Kate Breslin's latest book and it's definitely one to read again. Breslin sets this WWI story in both Russia and London, and she once again weaves intriguing historical details into her fictional plot. Captain Marcus Weatherford is the focus of this story that's filled with action and danger, as his efforts to find some of the royal Romanov family catapult him into a dangerous mission that leaves him wounded, with amnesia. Will he regain the memories that he's lost? Can he help the two people who were once so dear to him?

This exciting adventure kept me turning the pages, but the addition of faith, hope, and forgiveness are what made this so memorable for me. My heartstrings were tugged by Clare Danner's struggle to keep her young daughter Daisy, but it was her total commitment to Marcus, and her strong faith in God, that truly touched my heart. In Love's Time is an impressive historical Christian romance and I look forward to more books by Breslin. She never fails to transport me to another time and place!

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing's 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, was shortlisted for both the Christy and RITA awards and received the American Christian Fiction Writer's 2015 Carol Award for Debut Novel. Kate's fourth novel, Far Side of the Sea, released March, 2019. When she's not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington's beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. 

Learn more by visiting her     Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Pinterest

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Monday, December 26, 2022

Framing the Marshal by Sharee Stover

Framing the Marshal

Proving his innocence

may cost him his life…

After a brutal attack, US marshal Riker Kastell regains consciousness only to find a murdered gang member in his mudroom. Even worse, Eliana Daines—his ex-sweetheart—has a DNA program that pinpoints him as the murderer. And Eliana’s technology has them both targeted by criminals. Now he and his K-9 must protect Eliana…and find the killer who looks just like Riker before they become the next victims.

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.


What happens when the good guy is suddenly accused of murder? How will a law-abiding U.S. Marshall prove that he's not guilty when there's a special DNA program that says he did it? Framing the Marshal is an exciting, action-packed story that kept me turning the pages as Riker Kastell and Eliana Daines struggle to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence. Will they succeed, or will they instead uncover secrets better kept hidden?

Author Sharee Stover offers readers twists, turns, and an enlightening look at DNA phenotyping, but she also shares a heartwarming tale of second chances. I recommend Framing the Marshal to all who enjoy intrigue, romance and surprise endings, and I look forward to more books from this author!

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to transform, ignite and restore. She writes Christian romantic suspense combining heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one. When she isn't writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. 

Visit Sharee at her Website    Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Reclaiming the Rancher's Heart by Lisa Carter

Reclaiming the Rancher's Heart

A surprise homecoming

Brings a second chance for their marriage.

It’s been three years since the loss of their daughter tore Jack and Kate Dolan’s world—and marriage—apart. But now Kate’s back on the ranch with shocking news: their divorce never went through. As Jack and Kate struggle to decide how to move forward, they realize they can’t rewrite the past. But that doesn’t mean the book on their love is closed. Perhaps it’s time for a new chapter…

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness, and hope.


Reclaiming the Rancher's Heart tackles the devastating subject of losing a child and it touched every part of my being. In a note to her readers, author Lisa Carter writes 'For a bereaved parent, the journey to healing is never complete.' This understanding has enabled her to tell Jack and Kate Dolan's poignant story and it's filled with so many conflicting emotions. Raw pain, overwhelming grief, trying to find a new normal, and the hope and comfort that can only come from faith and belief in God. After three years, Jack has found that comfort, but Kate is still struggling. She just didn't say goodbye to her little girl...she also lost the man who has always claimed her heart!

Kate and Jack are both likable characters, but Jack is truly a dream, and there are many secondary characters who make this an unforgettable story. If you're looking for an 'everything is perfect' romance, this book isn't for you. Reclaiming the Rancher's Heart is a realistic 'life can be painful' tale that shows it's possible to go on and that God can help heal all wounds. This was a 5-star read for me, but I dare you to read it without crying! I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy Christian romance.

I received a copy of this book from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review and these are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Multi-published, award-winning author Lisa Carter likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” The Stronghold won a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award. She also writes the popular Truelove Matchmaker contemporary romance series, set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Christmas Bargain won the 2021 Carol Award for Short Novel. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

Learn more about Lisa by visiting her Website     Facebook    Twitter     Pinterest

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Stay True Daily Planner and Father I Pray Teen Edition: Both by Tope Akinsiku

I can't begin to name the times that I've planned to make major changes as I approached a new year. Losing weight, exercising more, and most importantly, increasing the amount of time that I spend in devotion. Well, a new year is fast approaching and I think I've found the tool that will help me achieve my goal! The Stay True Daily Planner is designed to do just that---stay true to what I'm pledging to do!


The Stay True Planner is a carefully curated tool that allows you to set meaningful goals that align with your purpose and values and track your progress throughout the year.

The Stay True full-year planner is undated, so you are not limited to a particular year. In the planner, you will find lined pages for journaling, note-taking, meditating – whatever your needs are.

The Stay True full-year planner includes a free gift! A fully lined notebook to record your overflow of reflections and thoughts. Jot your ideas, journal your day-to-day experiences, write your meditations, and much more.

Your purchase will also give you access to the A.L.I.V.E. Assessment. The assessment is an essential tool that allows you to be aware of your spiritual awakening and intimacy with Christ in all areas of your life. It encourages you to set long-term and short-term goals in line with your purpose.

Access the A.L.I.V.E. Assessment using the Assessment Card found in the planner. This card includes a QR Code and a link that directs you to the assessment page, as well as a unique code to create an account.

The assessment should be used in conjunction with the planner to maximize your growth!



This is a beautiful hardbound book that is perfect for your own use but it would also be a wonderful gift because it comes in a special case! This planner allows you to plan your goals and break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. 

There's even a page for your Big Audacious Goals (Annual)!

It also offers plenty of space for you to record your actions and it's so satisfying to see those actions in print! If you've succeeded...Hooray for you! If you need to try harder...your planner will help guide you to your goal!

I especially like that this covers many aspects of my life. Spiritual, Career, Financial, Relationship, and Health and Fitness. 

There's even a reminder to drink my water and this is something that I struggle with!

Need more room for your notes? There's a notebook with plenty of lined pages to record your thoughts.

I was given a chance to preview this planner but there was no obligation for a positive review. I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.

I was also given a chance to preview another wonderful title from this same author. Tope Akinsiku gives teens a 31 days prayer journal that covers so many topics that are relevant to this age group. Father I Pray Teens Edition has Bible scripture and a place to record thoughts and goals. 


Father, I Pray Teens is a 31-day prayer devotional created for teenagers. Give your teenagers the privilege of learning how to effectively communicate with God through scriptures and build a strong prayer life.

Inside this prayer devotional, you will find:
  • Daily Bible Readings - Guided readings for the day with reflections
  • Daily Bible Promises - Promises to appropriate from the Bible
  • Daily Prayer Prompts - Focused prayers based on the promise of the day
  • Daily Gratitude Prompts - List of things to be grateful for
Father, I Pray: Teens contains 31 important prayer topics pertinent to all teenagers, starting with the Salvation Prayer - the foundation of building a relationship with God. This prayer devotional will equip every teen with engaging tools to empower them to build a prayer life and personal relationship with God.

This Father I Pray Teens Edition is a bright, attractive journal that has Bible scripture and a designated section to record thoughts and goals. Teens are also encouraged to pray daily and to focus on the things that they're grateful for! This prayer journal is a wonderful addition to a teen's devotion time!

I received a copy of this book but there was no obligation for a positive review. I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.


Here's a chance to win both of these books!  Enter HERE

Sunday, December 18, 2022

America's Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge


Will going home help Alexis re-discover the true spirit of Christmas?

YouTube vlogger Alexis Jacobson knows how to create the perfect aspirational Christmas for her viewers. She has made promotional videos for resorts and far-flung travel destinations for several successful years. Still, the fantasy she creates isn't real, nor is her relationship with her co-star and business partner. When keeping up the illusion gets to be too much, Alexis finds herself out of a job with no place of her own to call home. That's when Alexis's Oma asks for help getting some new vacation rentals in Icicle Creek up and running. Alexis agrees to return to the place she used to call home to stop Oma's plans. Someone Oma's age should be taking it easy, right? So when Alexis discovers Justin Karon is the real estate agent behind the proposed deal, she questions his motives. Appearances can be deceiving-as she would know. Justin seems like a great guy, and yes, Alexis had a crush on him back in high school, but a lot has changed since then. Despite her misgivings, sparks start to fly between these two. But are these feelings real? And will going home help Alexis re-discover the true spirit of Christmas?


Two former classmates find themselves back in their hometown, where they soon join forces to help Icicle Creek, Washington become America's Favorite Christmastown. Alexis and Justin are both likable characters, but Alexis's grandmother Oma is the one who quickly stole my heart. It's heartwarming to see the special bond between grandmother and granddaughter, and it's apparent that Oma believes that Justin is just what Alexis needs.

This is an enjoyable romance that gave me all of the emotions of this special time of year, and it made me want to learn more about Icicle Creek, Washington. America's Favorite Christmastown is short, sweet, and a perfect read for the Christmas season!

I received a copy of this book from the author via JustRead Publicity Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dawn Klinge is the author of The Historic Hotels collection, including the books Sorrento Girl, Palmer Girl, and Biltmore Girl. She enjoys writing both contemporary and historical romance novels that feature strong women. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Association. 

Dawn lives in central Washington with her husband. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, play golf, ski, or hike. Saturday mornings, she can often be found browsing through thrift shops with her sister. She loves eating good food but would prefer to leave the cooking to anyone else.

Learn more by visiting her  Website     Facebook    Instagram

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Smell of Spring by Mary Ann Hake

The Smell of SpringABOUT THE BOOK

A fresh sensation fills the air. What is this strange new smell out there?

Join April, a blind girl, in this charming rhyming picture book as she discovers the wonderful—and not-so-wonderful—smells of spring and answers questions like, “Does rain really have a smell?”

The Smell of Spring shows children how we experience the world around us through the sense of smell. Kids will enjoy her many interesting pets and have fun with the activities at the end using the sense of smell.


'The world now smells so clear and clean, A special scent---the smell of spring.'

In this heartwarming book, Mary A. Hake shares a little blind girl's discovery of the many smells that occur in Spring. The sweet smells of flowers and spring rain, the strong smell of a dirty wet dog, and oh my, the horrid odor that only a skunk can produce! This little girl may not be able to see these things, but she can still imagine what they are like. through her special sense of smell.

I've learned, as a former librarian, that children are especially drawn to colorful illustrations and rhyming text, and both of these are featured in Hake's story. The Smell of Spring will surely appeal to a child's sense of hearing and seeing and it will hopefully create an understanding of those who may not enjoy some of these senses. I enjoyed this sweet story that reminded me how blessed I have been!

I received a complimentary digital copy from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 



Mary Ann Hake has loved learning, reading, and writing for as long as she can remember. She has been scribbling stories and poems since she first learned to write and has published hundreds of stories, articles, poems, puzzles, devotions, and more for both children and adults plus written hundreds of book reviews. She loved working in a bookstore and as a librarian and enjoyed reading to children at story times and conducting summer reading programs. She has also taught writing to children and at writers’ conferences. In addition to writing, she continues to work as a freelance editor.  To learn more about updates on future books or to sign up for activities for children, visit her Website     Facebook    Instagram

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Needles, The Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner


Book Details:

Book Title:  Needles the Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Mascot
Release date:   Mar 7, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  Suitable for everyone.
                 ***** MOM'S CHOICE GOLD AWARD WINNER *****
Book Description:

The world is not always perfect. A scraggly little tree named Needles must endure taunts, criticism, and setbacks to realize his goal of becoming a beautiful Christmas tree.

​This is a story of hope, dreams, desires, determination, and never giving up. It also offers the observation that what others think is beautiful may not really matter. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder . . . and paired with the spirit of Christmas, maybe we can make the world just a little more perfect!
Buy the Book:
(release date March 2023)
(pre-order now)
Amazon ~ B&N

Needles knows he doesn't measure up to many of the other Christmas trees at the tree farm, but he still believes that he is just the right tree to decorate someone's home. Will this proud little tree be chosen to become a Christmas tree this year, or will he be alone during the holiday season?
Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree is a heartwarming story meant to be read as a family.  It offers the perfect opportunity to discuss the many aspects of beauty with our children and to remind them that even if they don't appeal to everyone, they are still worthy of love and respect. Author Richard Wagner perfectly captures this little tree's emotions as he wavers between hope, determination, rejection, and sadness until he finally realizes that he can make a difference after all. Isn't this a wonderful message of affirmation to share with children? 
Wagner's story is lovely and Sydni Kruger's illustrations add the perfect touch! I do, however,  believe that this book is better suited for children a little older than the suggested target audience of 3-7.  Ages 5-9 may appreciate it more due to its length and vocabulary but this is definitely a wonderful addition to family and school libraries!
I received a copy of this book via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review and I am voluntarily sharing my opinion.
4.5 Stars

Guest Post

"Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree"

by Richard Wagner

What are our family Christmas traditions?

There are certain traditions at the Christmas holidays that seem to happen each and every year. It starts the weekend after Thanksgiving. Usually on that Saturday, we buy and bring home a Christmas tree. It can't be any tree. It must be a Noble Fir or a Blue Spruce, usually 8 feet in height. Why? All I can say is "a happy wife !"

My wife decorates the tree. We have hundreds of ornaments, many of which date back to our youth. She varies the lights each year, sometimes going multi-color, other times going white. When she is finished, engineer Rich (that's me) puts the LGB train around the base.

While my wife is decorating the tree, I put the Christmas lights up on the house while trying not to break my neck. When he is home, my son helps. Meanwhile, once my wife is done with the tree, she puts out other decorations in the house, including her collection of nutcrackers and Carolers.

About a week before Christmas, our family attends the play "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. On Christmas Eve we have a family dinner at my sister's home and we exchange presents amongst family. Our family then attends a midnight church service with Christmas carols and music from Handel's Messiah.

On Christmas morning, the traditions get into high gear. First, we have champagne, eggnog, cinnamon roles and quiche while listening to carols. We then open presents which can take 3 to 4 hours going one at a time. We then prepare a Christmas dinner which will include other family, and open presents with them after, with the fireplaces roaring and the eggnog flowing. We have found that though we enjoy these traditions, our children, in their early twenties, look forward to them equally as much if not more. It truly brings us all together!
Meet the Author:

Richard Wagner grew up in Southern California. When he was 14-years old, a business friend of his father’s had a small Christmas tree delivered as a thank you. Their family already had a large tree decorated in the house. Not being able to find anyone who needed a tree, that small Christmas tree stood outside by itself for the remainder of the Christmas holiday.
Learn more by visiting this Website
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Sunday, December 11, 2022

So Help Me God by Mike Pence

So Help Me God

The autobiography of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Loyalty is a Vice President’s first duty; but there is a greater one—to God and the Constitution.

Mike Pence spent more hours in the Oval Office than any of his predecessors. On the surface, the affable evangelical Christian from a gas-station-owning family in Indiana wouldn’t seem to have much in common with a brash real estate mogul from New York. But the unlikely duo formed a tight bond. Pence was at Donald Trump’s side when he enacted historic tax relief, when he decided to take more assertive stances toward China and North Korea, and when he appointed three Supreme Court justices. But the relationship broke down after the 2020 election. On January 6, 2021, as the president pressured him to overturn the election, a mob erected a gallows on Capitol Hill and its members chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” as they rampaged through the halls of Congress. The vice president refused to leave the Capitol, and once the riot was quelled, he reconvened Congress to complete the work of a peaceful transfer of power.

So Help Me God is the chronicle of the events and people who forged Mike Pence’s character and led him to that historic moment. His father, a Korean War combat veteran, was a formidable influence, but so was the Indiana history professor who inspired his devotion to the Constitution. And it was in college and law school that he embraced his Christian faith and met the love of his life, Karen—the two pillars that support him every day. You will read how his early political career was full of missteps that humbled him and how, as a talk radio host, Pence found his voice and the path that led him to Congress, the governor’s office in Indiana, and back to Washington as vice president.

This is the inside story of the Trump administration by its second highest official—what he said to the president and how he was tested. The relationship begins in Indiana, when Pence sees how Trump connects with working-class voters. After the election, the vice president comes to appreciate how Trump maintains that connection through unvarnished tweets and how his unorthodox style led to historic breakthroughs, from tax cuts to trade deals, from establishing the United States Space Force to the first new peace agreement in the Middle East in more than twenty-five years. This is the most robust defense of the Trump record of anyone who served in the administration.

But it is also about the private moments when Pence pushed back forcefully, how he navigated through the Mueller investigation, his damage control after Charlottesville, and his work on healing racial rifts after the murder of George Floyd. Pence was at the forefront when “history showed up” in the form of a devastating pandemic, and he provides a detailed account of leading the task force that circumvented bureaucracies to slow the disease in its tracks. Yes, it sometimes involved brokering peace between a president with an itchy Twitter finger and an agitated New York governor, but above all, it meant giving states and America’s eager entrepreneurs the power to come up with the solutions we needed. The result was the fastest development of life-saving vaccines in history.

In So Help Me God, Pence shows how the faith that he embraced as a young man guided his every decision. It is a faith that guided him on that historic day and that keeps him happily at peace, ready to accept the next challenge.


This is a 'big book' and it isn't just because it has 542 pages! So Help Me God gives us a deep insight into the man who served as Vice President of the United States during some of the most controversial years in our nation's history. Mike Pence is very open about his deep religious beliefs as he writes about the road that led him to become Donald Trump's running mate in 2016, the accomplishments of their years in the White House, and the fateful events of January 6, 2021. I must admit that the last few chapters and the epilogue gave me a whole new perspective concerning the attack on our U.S. Capitol. This account alone made it worth the read!

I'm a history nut so I loved the historical detail and I also appreciated that each chapter of So Help Me God begins with Bible scripture. I don't know about his political future but I do respect Mike Pence as a man. I believe that he's a true patriot and that he's remained true to his faith. He loves his country and he loves his God!

I'm sure that there will be criticism of this book but I consider it a great read for all who love autobiographies and history. It would also be a perfect Christmas gift for those book lovers on your list!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via FrontGate Media. There was no obligation for a positive review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am actually giving it 4.5 stars!


Mike Pence served as the 48th Vice President of the United States (2017–2021), 50th Governor of Indiana (2013–2017), and as a member of the US House of Representatives (2001–2013).

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Coming Home (A Woodland Park Firefighters Romance Book #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

Coming Home

When an army vet becomes a firefighter in small-town Colorado, the flames of an old love reignite in this sweet romance by bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray

In Woodland Park, a small town nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak, Anderson Kelly and Chelsea Davis were once the high school "it" couple--the star quarterback and the valedictorian. They broke up when Anderson joined the army and one poor decision at a fraternity party changed Chelsea's life. Now, she works long shifts in a senior center to support her nine-year-old son, Jack.

After multiple tours in Afghanistan, Anderson has changed, too--physically scarred but mentally strong--and he decides to move back to Woodland Park. Anderson and Chelsea steer clear of each other to avoid reopening old wounds, until they are forced to reconnect through the senior center. They soon discover that the love they once shared never completely vanished. But it will take a fire, a dangerous collision, and the love of one little boy to help Anderson and Chelsea see that the future they've always yearned for is in sight...


This book will appeal to so many readers! It has memories of a first love, a second chance to set things right, and the reminder that going home again can be possible. Chelsea Davis returns home to Woodland Park with her 9-year-old son and finds that her high-school sweetheart has come back home also. She and Anderson Kelly once thought they would have forever but forever wasn't possible then. Is this a déjà vu in the making?

Author Shelley Shepard Gray offers readers a peek into the adventure and danger that firefighters face each day and she also shares the issues associated with being a single parent. Chelsea and Anderson are perfect together, and her precious son Jack absolutely needs a father! Coming Home is a heartwarming contemporary romance filled with hope, forgiveness, and second chances. I look forward to returning to this small Colorado community!

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Shelley Shepard Gray has written over one hundred novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full-time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults and she is an active member of her church.

Learn more about Shelley at her    Website     Facebook 
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