Book Review: Smoke Screen

When I read the email for this tour, I immediately clicked the link to sign up for this book. I’d been introduced to Terri Blackstock by a friend when she lent me the If I Run series, and I have officially been a fan ever since! She does suspense so well. Plus, the hero is a firefighter, and I kind of have a soft spot for them since my hubby volunteers for a local fire department.

Keep reading to learn about the book, find my full review and read an excerpt!

About the Book

Book: Smoke Screen

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre:  Christian Suspense

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Smoke Screen

One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

After reading If I Run, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a couple of months! I’ve only recently begun reading Christian suspense, and it didn’t take long for Terri Blackstock to make it onto my list of favorite suspense authors.

Nate and Brenna’s story is definitely full of page-turning suspense. Issues from the past are brought to the forefront as Nate and Brenna fight through new and emergent crises together. Choosing to stay together despite disapproval from their families, Nate tries to help Brenna remember who she is and how she used to trust God. While Nate tries to prove himself in the face of rumors surrounding him and his family.

I loved the innocent and pure way Nate could see Brenna for who she was despite all the pain she carried and the destruction she brought to her own life, and how determined he was to help her find herself. He is a true hero in so many ways, one of which is helping Brenna discover her true worth.

I will admit to getting frustrated with Brenna. Being a mother, I can understand how distraught and desperate she had to be, but turning to alcohol seemed counter-intuitive in the middle of a custody battle. However, I know that it is easy in moments of weakness to seek worldly comfort instead of seeking the comfort and wisdom of God.

I enjoyed the discussions Brenna had with Nate about her faith and her attitude toward God. Brenna’s story brings to light how it can feel when we’ve strayed from our faith, and how welcoming God is when we return to Him. Her fight for her faith was quite encouraging!

There’s plenty of suspense in Smoke Screen to keep you turning the pages, whether it is Brenna’s custody battle, Nate’s fire fighting, past crimes being revisited or the rekindling of Brenna and Nate’s relationship, you will not want to put this book down. If you are a fan of Christian suspense, authors like Colleen Coble and Dani Pettrey, then you will enjoy this book.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website ifat www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.

An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”

T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”

“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”

“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”

I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”

“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”

It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.

“The family. Were they injured?”

“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”

“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”

“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”

I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.

“I won’t need a month,” I said.

“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”

I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”

“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”

Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.

Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Christian Bookaholic , November 9

Fiction Aficionado, November 10

KarenSueHadley, November 10

Quiet quilter, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Among the Reads, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Robin’s Nest, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12

Bigreadersite , November 12

Blogging With Carol , November 12

Betti Mace, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13

Emily Yager, November 13

By The Book, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

A Baker’s Perspective, November 14

Splashes of Joy , November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Through the Fire Blogs, November 15

Andrea Christenson, November 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 16

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Remembrancy, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

EmpowerMoms, November 17

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 18

Older & Smarter, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 18

Lights in a Dark World, November 19

amandainpa , November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 20

For The Love of Books , November 20

Hallie Reads, November 20

Cathe Swanson, November 21

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 21

All 4 and About Books, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Batya’s Bits, November 22

Livin’ Lit, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

janicesbookreviews, November 22

I hope you take a chance on Smoke Screen and take the opportunity to connect with Terri Blackstock through her website. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

–Kristina

Book Review: Serving Up Love

Do you enjoy novellas? I admit I hadn’t read many until the last year or so when several of my favorite authors released collections of novellas together. They are significantly shorter than a full length novel, often around 10 or so chapters. A part of me always craves for more story when I finish reading a novella, but one thing I absolutely adore is the fast pace of such short stories. The authors have such limited time (I don’t envy them that.) to create a full story that there is little time for anything but action. It can be very satisfying to read a novella, even if you still want more by the end!

Keep reading for all the details of each novella in Serving Up Love and my full review below.

From the Back Cover

On the Menu for These Ladies?
Adventure, Independence, and a Big Serving of Romance!

A storied part of American history, Harvey Houses offered women a unique chance to gain independence and see amazing parts of this great country. Celebrated historical romance writers Tracie Peterson, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano offer four fun, romantic tales of Harvey girls whose western adventures lead to love.

Tracie Peterson – A Flood of Love

Returning home to New Mexico for the first time in years to fill in at the Harvey House, Gretchen Gottsacker is sure the past is behind her. But nothing can be that simple. When the man she loved long ago steps back into her life–with a daughter, no less–will she ever be the same?

Karen Witemeyer – More Than a Pretty Face

Rosalind Kemp becomes a Harvey Girl, clinging to the promise of one day transferring even farther west, someplace her youthful indiscretion won’t catch up to her. But the past is hard to escape, and when the worst occurs, will anyone stand up for her?

Regina Jennings – Intrigue a la Mode

When Willow Kentworth is warned that strange things are happening in the railyard after dark, she never intends to get involved. That is, until a handsome new employee at the Harvey House–who has secrets of his own–needs her assistance.

Jen Turano – A Grand Encounter

After her fiancé abandons her, Miss Myrtle Schermerhorn flees New York’s pity for a position at the El Tovar Hotel on the rim of the Grand Canyon. She’s determined to hold fast to her life of independence–but a rugged, frequent guest of the hotel makes that vow difficult to uphold.

Get your copy here.

My Thoughts

Serving Up Love is a collection of four novellas about women who worked in the Harvey Houses that served customers and workers of the railroads out west. Each of the novellas is a stand-alone story and set in a different location and in different years. 

For this historical fiction superfan, this series of novellas was perfection. I can honestly say I couldn’t pick a favorite. Each story was entirely different: some having danger, others mystery and plenty of romance! 

In Tracie Peterson’s, A Flood of Love, I loved the unique history of the setting, especially the swimming horses. And I loved the heartbreaking history between Gretchen and Dirk as well as the hilarious antics of Katiann. What a doll! Gretchen had such an inspiring spirit of forgiveness, and Dirk’s persistence melted more than Gretchen’s heart!

I have been looking forward to reading More Than a Pretty Face by Karen Witemeyer since meeting Rosalind Kemp in More Than Words Can Say. Rosalind is haunted by regret and living in fear that her past mistakes will be revealed. Although she takes great pains not to be noticed, Caleb Durrington see her for the precious jewel she really is. I adored how Caleb loved her knowing she had untold secrets. And his unique wooing skills are adorable, especially to this nerdy girl!

I knew Intrigue a la Mode by Regina Jennings would be full of laugh out loud moments (careful not to wake your sleeping baby or disturb your co-workers), and I was correct. Despite the mystery and danger surrounding the Harvey House in Emporia, Kansas, there were plenty of light-hearted moments between Willow and Graham. I loved how Graham’s swagger was tempered by his gentleman-like qualities and by Willow’s no-nonsense attitude. They make quite the team (and the couple) as they search for potential smugglers.  

I must admit this is my first time reading Jen Turano. I have her books on my TBR stack, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. But I’ll be catching up on the rest of her books soon because I absolutely loved A Grand Encounter! Jack is quite fetching (hehe), and I love the independence and outspoken nature of Myrtle. Plus, they are both book nerds, so we were all meant to be friends. Although their courtship might have been a bit awkward at times, and I might have laughed at Jack’s expense a few times, I enjoyed every minute of their story.

If you are a lover of Christian historical fiction, do not miss this collection of novellas. It is an interesting part of history, and each book gives you a unique perspective. Enjoy!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.                                                                                                  

Happy reading and God Bless!

–Kristina                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Book Review: Aiming for Love and a Giveaway!

Worry. Doubt. Anxiety. There are many forms, but these feelings always lead back to fear. If we aren’t careful fear can consume us, much like the Nordegren sisters in Mary Connealy’s new book, Aiming for Love. And just like Jo turns to her “Good Book”, we should, too!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7.

But this isn’t always easy to remember when we watch the news or watch our children grow more independent. Fear could be a constant companion if we let it. But giving in to our fear is giving up hope in the God that is always in control. Our all-knowing, all-powerful God is good. The world often isn’t, but we can count on Him to bring all things back to good in His own time.

Like Jo says, being scared isn’t very Christian. No, it’s not. But it is human. Thankfully, we have a God who loves us and cares for us even when life gets scary–if only we will trust and rely on him.

I enjoyed Jo and Dave’s story, and I hope you will, too. Continue reading for my full review and check out the amazing giveaway at the end!

About the Book

Book: Aiming for Love

Author: Mary Connealy

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: October 2, 2019

Aiming for Love

Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world–a world she’s been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls’ secret home, her older sister is especially frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

 David’s parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. But his father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Mary Connealy’s books are always full of laugh-out-loud moments, and I’m happy to say Aiming for Love is no different!

I loved the idea of the wild, untamed sisters who’d not had much direction in their lives except for their “Good Books.” And yet, by taking their study of God’s Word seriously through the years, they were well versed on the life of a faithful servant of Christ and obviously had a great love for their Savior.

The spiritual theme of setting aside fear and trusting God is one that resonates with the sheltered Nordegren sisters, but also in our lives today. The struggle inside Jo to go against the strict ban on the outside world imposed by her grandmother in order to help the Warden family. Should she put her family at risk? Should she help a stranger? The answer can be found in one of her “Good Books.”

I also loved how the gorgeous setting of this book was connected to the characters faith. How seeing a beautiful sunrise or a luscious valley makes Jo turn to the Lord in prayer. It made the description of the scene that much more magnificent.

The sweet romance between Jo and Dave was different than some–mainly because Jo had never seen or talked to a man besides her grandpa! But I love how Dave doesn’t judge or make fun of Jo for her ignorance about the outside world. Instead, he wonders at the skills she and her sisters have gained over the years. It is this simple respect that blossoms into more.

I enjoyed Aiming for Love, but it left so many questions unanswered that I’m going to be impatiently waiting for the next book in the series! If you like Christian historical fiction, especially western-type fiction, you will like this book!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Connealy_Mary

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

More from Mary

What it would do to someone to run wild from nearly their earliest memory?

What if three young girls had the basic skills to survive a rugged life but no adults to guide them?

Would they grow up to be a completely odd and untamed version of themselves, or the truest, in some ways most honest version?

I wanted to explore that idea: wild children, tough young women, afraid of the invading world, but lonely, too. So I created the plot for my Brides of Hope Mountain series by mixing the three little girls who’d grown up wild on the top of a mountain with some fairy tale ideas.

Book one, Aiming for Love, is Josephine Nordegren’s story. I had this vision of Ariel the mermaid seeing a man for the first time when strangers invade the high valley she lives in with only her two sisters. Curiosity is her besetting sin, or so she’s always been told. She has wilderness skills, mainly in the form of owning a bow and arrow and understanding wild animals, but for the first time, she is drawn to a man.

Jo needs to be tamed, or Dave, the man she can’t stop watching from in the woods, needs to learn the ways of the wild, because they’re out of place in each other’s worlds.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, October 25

Moments With Mercy, October 25

Bigreadersite , October 25

Emily Yager, October  25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Books, Life, and Christ, October 26

Quiet Workings, October 26

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 27

Stories By Gina, October 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 27

Older & Smarter?, October 28

Betti Mace, October 28

Wishful Endings, October 28

The Becca Files, October 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 29

Mary Hake, October 29

Mamma Loves Books, October 29

A Baker’s Perspective, October 30

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 30

Britt Reads Fiction, October 30

For The Love of Books, October 30

Hallie Reads, October 31

Connect in Fiction, October 31

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, October 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , November 1

To Everything There Is A Season, November 1

Daysong Reflections, November 1

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Moments, November 2

Simple Harvest Reads, November 2

Batya’s Bits, November 2

She Lives To Read, November 2

EmpowerMoms, November 3

Seasons of Opportunities, November 3

Remembrancy, November 3

Blessed & Bookish, November 4

For the Love of Literature, November 4

Through the Fire Blogs, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 5

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Pause for Tales , November 5

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

janicesbookreviews, November 6

A Reader’s Brain, November 7

Inklings and notions , November 7

Leona J. Atkinson, November 7

Lukewarm Tea, November 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away a grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card, a copy of Aiming for Love, and a copy of Fairy Tales from Around the World!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/ed95/aiming-for-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

I hope you put Aiming for Love on your fall TBR stack! Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

Book Review: Hereafter (The Lost Princesses Book 3)

I have been blessed to be a part of the promotion team for The Lost Princess series, and as excited as I was to finally be holding Emmeline’s story, I was also dreading having to say good-bye to the characters I’d grown to love. Each princess is such a strong woman in her own right, but I love how they must have each other to fully reach their destinies–even if those destinies aren’t exactly what they were expecting.

Continue reading for my full review and a link to a free preview below!

About the Book

The third lost princess. The final key to the treasure. And a battle for the throne.

Growing up deep in the forest as a poor charcoal burner’s daughter, Emmeline has always known her identity as a princess of Mercia, and she lives in fear of being caught and killed. When her adopted father returns from town with news regarding the imminence of war, Emmeline has no wish to join the rebellion against King Ethelwulf.

Prince Ethelrex, the strongest warrior in the land, has done everything he can to prove his loyalty to his father, including searching for the last lost princess. When Ethelrex finally captures Emmeline, the king commands his son to marry the princess in order to win the support of the people and undermine the rebellion.

Forced into marriage, Emmeline has one goal—to escape. But Ethelrex takes his marriage vows seriously, including his promise to love and cherish his wife, and has no intention of letting Emmeline get away. As the battle for the throne rages, will the prince be able to win the battle for Emmeline’s heart?

You can get your free preview here.

My Thoughts

Like the novella, Always, and the other novels, Evermore and Foremost, Emmeline and Rex’s story is full of adventure, danger, and romance. The theme throughout this book is courage. Will Emmeline have the courage to do what it takes to create peace? Will Rex have the courage to follow the honor in his heart? There were so many wonderful quotes about courage, and I loved how Emmeline’s faith played such a large part in her finding her own.

It’s hard to say I have a favorite princess, but I would probably pick Emmeline. She is strong and wise, like her sister Adelaide but also compassionate and caring like Maribel. But it is her determination to follow her own way–to seek peace when war is all around her–that sets her apart. 

Rex is an unlikely hero. Brawny and handsome, sure, but an enemy to the princesses. But his honor defines him and shapes him over time into a man worthy of the title of hero. Even though I have a distinct dislike for King Ethelwulf, I found myself cheering for Rex to win Emmeline’s heart.

Since this is the last installment in the series, it was nice to be able to revisit several characters, including Lance and Felicia from the novella, Always. And it was a treat to witness all three princesses finally reunited! They complement each other so well.

In this final part of The Lost Princesses story, the lines between family and foe are blurred, but it’s this complicated web of loyalty and deception that kept me hanging on page by page. I loved the danger Emmeline and Rex faced together, the tender love that dared to grow between them and the inner strength they found together. 

Hereafter is a beautiful conclusion to The Lost Princesses series. I’ve loved each princess’s story, but I must confess I loved this one the most. 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Book Review: Mission Hollywood and a Giveaway

Confession: Mission Hollywood is far from my typical read. I’m a historical fiction kind of girl who only recently has been branching into contemporary fiction. So, a story set in Hollywood with a movie star as the hero is a bit outside my typical TBR stack. But the synopsis caught my eye, and I liked the idea of a Christian mission in the middle of Hollywood. I wasn’t disappointed! I adored Lily and Ben’s story!

I’m so glad I gave this book a try! Keep reading to see my full review below and enter the giveaway! You won’t want to miss these fantastic prizes!

About the Book

Book: Mission Hollywood

Author: Michelle Keener

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 16, 2019

Mission Hollywood

What could possibly go wrong?

Movie star Ben Prescott arrives back in Hollywood after causing a scandal with his ex-girlfriend in Rome. Chased through the airport by paparazzi, he jumps into a limo hoping for a quick getaway. Instead he finds Lily Shaw, a pastor’s daughter and preschool teacher. When the paparazzi capture a photo of the two of them together, Ben’s agent demands that he do whatever it takes to keep the story from hitting the gossip pages . . . even volunteer to work at Lily’s church.
Sparks fly as the movie star and the pastor’s daughter work side by side. When Lily accompanies Ben to the premiere of his latest movie, Hollywood takes notice. Under intense media scrutiny and pressure from the movie industry, Ben must risk his career to follow his heart, but Lily wants the one thing he doesn’t have, faith.
Mission Hollywood is an inspirational story about love, faith, and second chances.

Click here to get your copy! 

My Thoughts

Mission Hollywood was a heartwarming story of coming home. I absolutely loved the cozy family vibe of the Shaws and how each member of the family radiated the love of Christ into their everyday lives. Just like Ben Prescott, I was mesmerized by the depth of their relationship with each other and how much they cared about and respected others in the community. Spending time in their home around the dinner table filled me with a sense of warmth and peace. I can understand why Ben didn’t want to leave!

Ben might have been difficult to like in the beginning when he was making passes at Lily while intoxicated, but as it becomes obvious his wandering and lonesome heart is looking for something new and genuine, he will steal your heart. I loved how the box-office blockbuster movie star just enjoyed being ordinary and doing ordinary things.

Like any good story from Hollywood, there are plenty of twists and turns as Ben and Lily explore the feelings they develop for each other. The end of the book is a bombshell, but I loved how it both tested the characters and refined them.

I really enjoyed Lily and Ben’s story, and will be looking forward to reading Noah’s story soon!

If you enjoy Christian contemporary fiction, then you will enjoy this book!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michelle Keener

Michelle Keener is a wife, mom, and the author of three books. She lives in Southern California with her retired Marine husband, their two children, and one spoiled dog. When she isn’t writing, she is busy homeschooling, teaching creative writing workshops, or baking something involving chocolate.

Michelle loves to hear from readers and you can usually find her on Twitter @MKeenerWrites or at her website www.MichelleKeener.com

More from Michelle

Why Hollywood?

That’s a great question! Of all the places I could have set a Christian romance novel, why pick Hollywood? It isn’t exactly the first place that pops into your mind when you think Christian romance, right?

The truth is I spent four years of my life trying to become an actress. I was a theatre major in the Los Angeles area and I spent a lot of time in Hollywood. I’ve been down Hollywood Boulevard, visited casting offices, and gone to open-call auditions. In those years, I saw the good and the bad of the movie industry. I saw dreams shattered and hearts broken under the glamourous lights of the Sunset Strip. Years later, when I started thinking about writing a Christian romance, I knew Hollywood was the perfect setting to tell the story of God’s unchanging, never-ending love for us.

Mission Hollywood isn’t just one love story, it’s two. The romance between Ben and Lily is definitely swoon-worthy, but there is also the story of how much God loves us. I hope you enjoy Mission Hollywood…it’s only the beginning of the story for the Shaw Family. Book two is coming in February!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, October 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 24

Maureen’s Musings, October 25

Books, Life, and Christ, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 27

Moments, October 27

Through the Fire Blogs, October 28

Pause for Tales, October 29

She Lives To Read, October 29

Older & Smarter?, October 30

Blessed & Bookish, October 30

Inklings and notions, October 31

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 31

Godly Book Reviews, November 1

My Devotional Thoughts, November 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 2

Back Porch Reads, November 2

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

For The Love of Books, November 3

Quiet Quilter, November 4

janicesbookreviews, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5

A Reader’s Brain, November 6

Books, Books, and More Books., November 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a Red Carpet Collection, which includes a signed paperback copy of Mission Hollywood, a custom Pura Vida bracelet in red carpet colors, a signed and numbered print of the original painting “Redemption” by artist Charlotte Lauder, a vintage-Hollywood style postcard, a bookmark, and a magnet!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/ecf4/mission-hollywood-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Hope’s Highest Mountain and a Giveaway!

Now, that we are well into October, we are entering the prime book-reading season! I understand there are those that might prefer to read while basking in the sun on the beach, but I’m from the Midwest. So, beaches are hard to find! However, snuggling under my favorite blanket while sporting leggings and my favorite tartan flannel shirt…reading perfection!

And Misty M. Beller’s newest release, Hope’s Highest Mountain, was the perfect beginning to my fall reading. Keep reading below for a summary of the book, my full review, and Misty’s thoughts on the cute little critter that stole everyone’s heart in the story.

And please, don’t forget the giveaway at the end of the post. It’s a fantastic one!

About the Book

Book: Hope’s Highest Mountain

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October, 2019

Hope's Highest Mountain

When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.

 After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.

 Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Hope’s Highest Mountain was a pleasure to read. It was the perfect beginning to my fall reading TBR (It pairs well with cozy blankets, flannel, and hot tea!). I absolutely loved the setting of the book. The landscape was breathtaking and the constant frigid temperatures and snow definitely played a part in the mood of the story.

And the story is fantastic. It begins with heart-stopping action and palpable heartache, but it is an epic journey not only through the snow-covered mountains but through the natural valleys of faith. 

Ingrid and Joanna are beautiful examples of strong, faithful women. It was heartwarming to see them keep their faith and work together as they struggled through unimaginable situations. I admired Ingrid’s unshakeable faith and the inner strength she leaned on daily to endure the pain of her injuries. It wasn’t difficult to see how a man like Micah, damaged and a little lost in life, would be drawn to her so easily.

Micah is quite the man. A doctor. Mountain man. Grieving widower. I loved his protective instinct of those within his care, and how he liked all the ornery parts of Samuel, the boy who traveled with them. His journey (personally and spiritually), in many ways, was the hardest, but you can’t help but root for him the entire time. 

I hope you take a chance on this story. Not only is the setting amazingly beautiful, but the spiritual message is inspiring (without being preachy) and touched my heart. I fell in love with Ingrid and Micah in the first few pages and was honored to watch their love bloom slowly and sweetly.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Beller_Misty

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.

More from Misty

Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had real dogs I’ve loved too. As far back as I can remember, we’ve had at least one or two dogs, and each one has been my very best friend. They’ve suffered my undying love, even allowing me to dress them up like dolls during my younger years.

But the dogs in my stories have a special place in my heart. Handsome, the sweet little black fluffball in Hope’s Highest Mountain is no exception! He was the runt of the litter, and such a dark black that the story’s hero nicknamed him Shadow. You can see the picture that inspired Handsome at the book’s Pinterest page. Those eyes! Hard not to fall in love, right?

The more I wrote in the story, the more I enjoyed getting to know this little guy, and I could almost feel his soft puppy fur as he snuggled in close. I completely see why Ingrid (the heroine) is smitten him! As you read Hope’s Highest Mountain, I hope you love Handsome as much as I do. Please give him some extra petting for me! ?

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13

Betti Mace, October 13

Blessed & Bookish, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 14

Genesis 5020, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

For the Love of Literature, October 16

janicesbookreviews, October 16

Mary Hake, October 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Connect in Fiction, October 17

Older & Smarter?, October 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18

Life of Literature, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

The Becca Files, October 19

Blossoms and Blessings, October 19

Splashes of Joy , October 19

Through the Fire Blogs, October 20

Moments, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 20

Simple Harvest Reads, October 20

Daysong Reflections, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 21

Joy of Reading , October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

For The Love of Books, October 22

Britt Reads Fiction, October 22

Lis Loves Reading, October 23

Bigreadersite , October 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 23

Live. Love. Read. , October 24

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, October 24

Hallie Reads, October 24

Remembrancy, October 25

Mia Reads Blog, October 25

To Everything There is A Season, October 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/ed1b/hopes-highest-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: The Spice King

You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? Well, when it comes to Christian fiction, it is common for the female lead to grace the cover, but it is less likely to see the hero. It’s not that it’s unheard of, but it’s not common in the genre. So, when I saw the cover of The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden, I was smitten. He looks so regal. So gentlemanly. So…noble.

What do you think? I love having the hero on the cover! Does he look like a king?

From the Back Cover:

Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it’s too late.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is fighting to save?

You can get your copy here.

My Thoughts:

The Spice King is my third Elizabeth Camden novel, and it is officially my favorite! Like usual, Camden is excellent at immersing you in the history surrounding her story and painting a beautiful picture of the setting. I love how the focus of this book is such a rare and unique part of history (food safety), and Camden not only makes it interesting but also memorable.

I loved every character in this book. Annabelle Larkin is a typical strong female lead, and I love her courage and intellect. But I also love her sense of adventure and her ability to find great joy in the small things in life and how much of her heart she gives to others. I always say I have to love the heroine if I’m going to like the book, and Annabelle quickly became a dear friend.

Gray Delacroix is a bit dark and brooding at first meeting. But it was easy to see how Annabelle fell for him with such ease. Not only is he a true gentleman and classically handsome, but his passion for his family’s spice business was contagious. (I want to buy all the REAL vanilla.) And the stories about his travels around the world easily gave this homebody wanderlust. Oh, and I can’t forget his devotion to his siblings. Sigh. So, yes, you will swoon over this aptly named Spice King.

There is such depth to the story as Gray and Annabelle’s lives become entangled, and the tension escalates as Annabelle is forced to make heartwrenching choices. The uncertainty and hope scattered through the pages keep you reading chapter after chapter (well after bedtime!).  

I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about this book. It was obviously painstakingly crafted. A true labor of love. 

Any fan of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Camden 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 she lives in Florida with her husband who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

I hope you add The Spice King to your TBR pile. Be prepared to want to bake something with vanilla and enjoy the intoxicating aroma!

God bless and happy reading!

–Kristina