Freedom in the Mountain Wind and a Giveaway!

Freedom in the Mountain Wind is the third book I’ve read by Misty M. Beller, and it won’t be my last! In fact, I’ve already checked the release date of the second book in the Call of the Rockies series, Hope in the Mountain River. Do you have an author who you always read whether you’ve read the blurb on the back or not? Ms. Beller has worked her way onto my list with her western novels full of spectacular views and genuine characters. Share your favorites below!

Keep scrolling to find my full review of Freedom in the Mountain Wind, some extras from the author and a great giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Freedom in the Mountain Wind

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: January 14, 2020

The last epic journey before her life changes forever.

Susanna Wilkins will do anything to make her father’s final dream come true, including trek along the path Lewis and Clark explored into the untamed wilds of the Rocky Mountains. Every mile is more crucial now that lung cancer is stealing Pa’s last days faster than she can come to terms with losing him. The journey becomes harder than she ever expected, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies isn’t what terrifies her the most.

Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here for your copy.

My Thoughts

Misty M. Beller has yet to disappoint me! I love how each of her books comes with a remarkable setting, and Freedom in the Mountain Wind is no different. The majestic country of the Rocky Mountains is painted beautifully and inspires the common thread of freedom throughout the story. I enjoyed retracing the steps of Louis and Clark with Susanna and Beaver Tail as they hiked around the falls of the Missouri river, wondered at the large herds of bison, and stared into the magnificent peaks of the Rocky Mountains. I love how you felt right beside them the entire journey.

Just like with other Misty M. Beller books, I fell in love with the characters right away. She has a way of creating such depth to her characters, and there is not a single exception in this book. Susanna is an amazing woman–so strong and full of love for others. I adored the relationship she had with her father and how they both yearned for adventure together. 

Beaver Tail is a quiet man, but his heart speaks for itself. A protector. Loyal. Not to mention strong and handsome. He is a swoon-worthy hero, although his humble attitude and gentle nature may make him a little atypical. I loved following him and Susanna on their short journeys away from the camp when he would teach her about the land and its furry or scaly inhabitants.

Their romance was so genuine and sigh-inducing. I just adored watching them grow closer throughout their journey.

The rest of their group–Joel, French and Caleb–were also well crafted and oh, so memorable. I can’t wait to get to know them all even more in future books! I’ll be waiting for the second book to release!

Freedom in the Mountain Wind is full of many journeys both physical and spiritual. It will tug at your heartstrings and make you yearn for a taste of the freedom the characters experience as they travel through a magnificent and dangerous wilderness.

Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves Christian historical fiction, especially those stories set in the West. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

When God Directs a Google Search…

I’m a history lover, but you may have guessed that since I write historical romance stories. 😊 Most of my books are set in the Rocky Mountains during the mid-1800s, but as I began brainstorming ideas for this new series, my heart became drawn earlier to the earlier part of the century—a time period with which I wasn’t quite as familiar with the history.

I love when God orchestrates even the most mundane part of our lives, including Google searches! During one particular search (I can’t even remember what I was originally looking for), I stumbled across part of a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition, which trekked across Montana during the time period I was looking into. I’d forgotten that expedition had even entered the territory that would later become Montana, but now I was fascinated.

After finding an audiobook of the abridged journals of Lewis and Clark, I happily listened to almost 19 hours of fascinating stories from the Corp of Exploration’s journey up the Missouri River and across the mountains to the Pacific Ocean, then back mostly the over the same path they’d come. The stories the men told were so amazing, and the detail of their trials so absorbing, I’ve actually re-listened to the audiobook twice! Many of the true tales wouldn’t be believable in fiction, but as I listened, my mind formed the premise for Freedom in the Mountain Wind: a father/daughter duo who sets out almost two decades after Lewis and Clark’s journey, determined to retrace the steps of that famous expedition.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I loved writing it! And whether you’re a history lover or not, I pray that you too will be touched by this “epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.”

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, January 15 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Daysong Reflections, January 15

My Devotional Thoughts, January 15

Genesis 5020, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Connect in Fiction, January 17

SPLASHES of Joy, January 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 17

Emily Yager, January 18

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, January 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 18

A Baker’s Perspective, January 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 21

Wishful Endings, January 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 21

Pause for Tales, January 22

Bigreadersite, January 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 22

Through the Fire Blogs, January 23

Betti Mace, January 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 23

Older & Smarter?, January 24

For the Love of Literature, January 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 25

Rebecca Tews, January 25

For Him and My Family, January 25

She Lives to Read, January 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 26

Inklings and notions, January 26

Blessed & Bookish, January 27

janicesbookreviews, January 27

deb’s Book Review, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Hook Me In A Book, January 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

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/f49e/freedom-in-the-mountain-wind-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor

Ahh! So many amazing books have released in the last month! It’s been a rush to keep up with all these book birthdays, but I’ve been loving getting lost in one story after another–especially since the weather around here has been less than spectacular.

Today, I’m reviewing The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd. This is my first time reading a book of hers, but she has automatically been put on my list of Regency-era authors I adore.

Keep reading to find my full review and get a link* to purchase your own copy.

Links are affiliate links. This means if you choose to use my link to purchase the book, I will get a small percentage of the sale. Thank-you!

About the Book:

In Regency England an advantageous match could set up a lady for life. Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?

Cornwall, England, 1818

Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. The manor is located at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks within the home’s ancient halls.

As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and that of the people around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made clear his intentions to court the lovely visitor. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and valuables go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.

Get your copy here.

This is the second book in the Cornwall series, but it can be read as a stand alone. The first book, The Governess of Penwythe Hall can be found here.

My Thoughts:

I have recently learned that I enjoy novels that have a gothic feel to them. The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd definitely has many of the typical gothic themes–a large, dark, scary mansion, strange happenings inside the said mansion and an ongoing, complicated mystery. 

However, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor’s overall feel is not all dark and dreary. In fact, it catches your attention with the very first line and whisks you away into a series of strange circumstances. You barely have time to stop and try to piece together the multiple working parts of the mystery because you will be busy keeping the pages turning! There will be no sleep until all is revealed!

I loved the adventurous and independent spirit of Julia Twethewey (I may have had a difficult time pronouncing that even in my head.). She may have known how to be the beautiful socialite, but I also loved her desire to know more about common things, like running an orchard or a mine. I also found her bravery shocking at times (no way I’d climb into the attic of a creepy house), but also refreshing for a woman of the time period.

Isaac Blake is a gentle and kind man, and I believe it is this quiet determination to do good and his humble ability to care for all kinds of people that make him hero-worthy. Although the romance is not front and center in this story, I still enjoyed the development of Isaac’s relationship with Julia. 

If you like Regency-era sweet romance, I believe you would like this book even though the romance is not as prominent as in other books. And if you enjoy books with a gothic theme, then you would definitely enjoy this book. 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed in my review are my own.

About the Author:

Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance.

If you’re looking for your next Regency-era read, then I hope you will take a chance on The Thief of Lanwyn Manor!

Happy reading and God bless!

The Duke's Refuge and a Giveaway!

This Midwestern girl has been craving some warmer weather, and I found the perfect escape in my latest read. The Duke’s Refuge is set on the beautiful island of Nevis in the Caribbean. I mean, who doesn’t want to disappear into pages of crystal clear water and warm summer breezes while your phone alerts you to the next winter storm warning?

So…if you’re already a Regency-era romance fan, you’ll want to get your hands on this treasure. Keep reading for my full review and to find the link to enter the amazing giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  The Duke’s Refuge

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: January 7, 2020

When love comes in a tempest, who knew it would wear pink?

Georgia Lennox has traded in her boyish ways for pink gowns and a coy smile to capture the eye of the Earl of Claremont. However, on the day she’s convinced the earl will propose, Georgia is shipped off to the Leeward Islands to care for her ailing father. But when she arrives on Nevis, the last thing she expects is to learn that her abrupt departure was not at her father’s bidding but that of the infuriating, yet captivating, island schoolmaster. And now her plans may well be shipwrecked.

Harrison Wells is haunted by the memories of his deceased wife and hunted by the subsequent women who aspire to be the next Duchess of Linton. Desiring anonymity, he finds sanctuary in the Leeward island of Nevis. He’s willing to sacrifice his ducal title for a schoolmaster’s life and the solace the island provides. That is until unrest finds its way to Nevis in a storm of pink chiffon—Miss Georgia Lennox.

As Georgia and Harrison’s aspirations break apart like a ship cast upon the rocks, a new love surfaces, but secrets and circumstances drag them into rough waters. Can they surrender their hearts to a love that defies their expectations?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Lorri Dudley is a new-to-me author, but I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read her book! I loved The Duke’s Refuge from start to finish. It is beautifully written with a dreamy setting and well-developed characters. I could NOT put this book down!

I love Regency-era romance, but I’ve never read one with such a beautiful setting. The island of Nevis was painted skillfully until you could almost feel the sea breeze wafting through the window and alleviating some of the oppressive humidity. I love the feeling of freedom and simplicity the island brought to the story. 

Island life seems to have a cleansing effect, especially for Georgia and Harrison, both carrying painful burdens from the past. I enjoyed watching the complete transformation of Georgia Lennox from the stiff and proper woman who thought she had life figured out to the humble and brave woman who finally realized her worth. Don’t let Georgia’s initial bitterness deter you from getting to know her better. She is a treasure!

And Harrison…swoon. A secret duke. Father to a darling son. Good looks. And a little bit overconfident. (Maybe more than a little bit.) The love he shared with his deceased wife is endearing and heartbreaking. The fact he lives up to the description of a gentleman adds to his charm–and he is quite charming.

There are so many things I love about this book, but one of the biggest is the development of the romance. Georgia and Harrison become friends first, and I love, love, LOVED how he could truly see her. Not the socialite Georgia–but the selfless, brave, kind and adventurous Georgia she’d hidden for years. It is so sweet and REAL.

If you are a fan of the Regency-era romance, then this book will NOT disappoint. It will likely earn a spot on your favorites list. I already have the second book in the series on my TBR!

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit. All opinions expressed in my review are my own.

About the Author

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

More from Lorri

After being buried under the largest snowfall in Massachusetts history, I wrote The Duke’s Refuge as an escape to warmer tropical climates, and what better respite than a romantic Caribbean isle with a mysteriously missing Duke? In the process I fell in love with the beauty of Nevis, it’s rich culture, and history.

My heroine Georgia lured me in the moment I realized she only wore pink. My psychology background had me digging deeper. I needed to know why. Why the obsession? What was the root behind the hurt? Why pink? How did she go from being a Tomboy to a dignified, Regency socialite? And how did she wind up in the Leeward Islands? Enter her beloved, sick father who always saw Georgia’s potential even when it was hidden under boy’s clothing and often smelled of marsh. Although, he held the best of intentions, his relocating to Nevis left Georgia with deep abandonment issues.

Harrison was a completely different beast. After reading about Mudlarks who trolled the Thames River searching for treasure and even picking the pockets of dead people washed up on the shores, I knew Harrison’s would wind up caked in the Thames’s thick mud and devastated at the loss of his wife. The Leeward island became not only a reprieve from his grief but also from the women who snuck into his carriage or cornered him at parties clamoring to become the next Duchess.

Oddly enough, part of the story formed when a friend of mine spoke of their family trip to visit his mother. She happened to own a parrot, and after a week of the kids yelling each other’s names, the parrot imitated their shrieking. Even long after they returned to the U.S. the bird still screeched out their names. I couldn’t resist adding a mimicking parrot to add a comical element and harass my main characters.

The Duke’s Refuge is meant to be a fish-out-of-water, case-of-mistaken-identity, love triangle romance with a happily-ever-after. It demonstrates how God’s love fervently pursues us, no matter how far we run, and that sometimes, something we would never have chosen can bless us in a way we would never have expected.

To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com or click here to watch The Duke’s Refuge’s book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D65yeAhswnI&feature=emb_logo

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, January 9

Genesis 5020, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 10

Betti Mace, January 11

KarenSueHadley, January 11

janicesbookreviews, January 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 12

Remembrancy, January 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

Through the Fire Blogs, January 13

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 14

Kat’s Corner Books, January 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 15

Books, Life, and Christ, January 15

She Lives to Read, January 16

Blessed & Bookish, January 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Daysong Reflections, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Inklings and notions, January 18

April Hayman, Author, January 18

For Him and My Family, January 19

Britt Reads Fiction, January 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 20

Hallie Reads, January 20

Pause for Tales, January 20

deb’s Book Review, January 21

Life of Literature, January 21

Just the Write Escape, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/f468/the-duke-s-refuge-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thank-you for stopping by the blog! I hope you find your winter escape in The Duke’s Refuge!

God bless and happy reading!

–Kristina

Book Review: On Wings of Devotion plus a Giveaway!

On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White

Title: On Wings of Devotion
Series: The Codebreakers #2
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She’s Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as “Black Heart”

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed “Black Heart,” she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing–and some of her own to do as well.

With Camden’s court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope–and to each other–if they want to survive.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook 


MY THOUGHTS

On Wings of Devotion is my first Roseanna M. White book, and I was blown away. She is a masterful storyteller, weaving together the details of World War I ravaged London with the lives of her beautifully crafted characters. My friends can confirm how impressed I was by the subtle beauty of her writing since I can’t quit talking about it! It all results in a spectacular reading experience, the kind that leaves you a little sad to close the book and say goodbye to the hero and heroine.

It’s always easy to fall in love with the hero in a romantic story, but liking the female lead is just as important to me. And Arabelle Denler is amazing! Her heart is full of Christ-like love, mercy, and forgiveness. I was in awe of how she responded to one unpleasant situation after the next. She becomes an anchor for Camden who adrift on a sea of guilt and sorrow. I absolutely loved the development of their relationship from kidnapper/hostage to friends to romance. 

Phillip Camden, or ‘Black Heart’, is such a tragic figure. He uses his good looks and his reputation as a bad boy to manipulate his way through life–while keeping most people at arm’s length. I love how the people closest to him are loyal to a fault even as he is trying to push them farther away. I enjoyed watching him let down his walls not only for Ara, but for the others in his life who were taking a risk trying to stay close to him. 

The complexities of the story are amazing. Ara is trying to find herself after losing her fiance to another woman. Will her profession of nursing be enough to fill the void of losing her dreams of a family? Camden is suffocating under the accusations he killed his entire squadron. Will he let the guilt destroy him? Add in a beautiful German spy and a vengeful, grieving widow, and Ara and Cam’s lives become hopelessly tangled. 

As the story unfolds, I guarantee, you won’t be able to put this book down! So many twists and turns. Try not to hold your breath!

If you enjoy WWI era historical fiction or historical fiction in general, you will want this book on your TBR!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher. All views expressed in my review are my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna (Winner’s choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit http://www.roseannamwhite.com/tea-party-book-club/.)!

On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Major's Daughter

I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Regina Jennings writing, Bound and Determined, while reading a collection of novellas. I was so enchanted by the history (a camel calvary?!?) and engaged by the vivid characters, that I immediately went looking for more! I was ecstatic to find Holding the Fort (Fort Reno Series, Book One) available at my library, and I devoured it. I knew it was impossible to wait for my library to acquire the second book, The Lieutenant’s Bargain, so I pre-ordered it. I believe it was the second book I reviewed on this blog! I loved it!

So, I was happy dancing when I was asked to help promote the release of the third book in the series, The Major’s Daughter. I loved Caroline from the previous books and was eager to see how she would change and stay the same as she grew into a woman. I am a fan of strong and quirky female leads, and Caroline fits the bill in every way!

Keep reading below for my full review and to find a link to purchase your own copy!

About the Book:

She Staked a Claim on His Land,
So He Decided to Stake a Claim on Her Heart

Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run about to happen, she may just join the rush.

Growing up an orphan, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder he fought to open the Unassigned Lands to people with the same longing. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to build a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim.

But when the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.

Get your copy here.

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed EVERY book in this series, but The Major’s Daughter is my favorite. I am a total historical fangirl, and I loved being part of the Oklahoma land rush. The anticipation of thousands of people is palpable from page to page. So many hopes and dreams depended on being successful in staking a claim, and Ms. Jennings did an amazing job of describing how chaotic, awesome and breathtaking the events of the race and the following days and weeks were for those involved. I loved how the untamed and raw quality of the land influenced its inhabitants–including Caroline and Frisco.

For a book to really catch and hold my attention, I must like the heroine. I can confess I more than like Caroline. I adore her, her courage and her confidence. She has her own goals, yes, but she’s far from selfish. The way she can see Frisco’s weaknesses and pain and only love and respect him more is endearing. 

Frisco is a man of many layers. A boomer, who was often in jail. A foundling with a painful past. A visionary with aspirations for a better future. From previous books, I thought him a bit of a rogue, but it wasn’t hard to fall in love with a man with such a heart of integrity. His vulnerability only added to his charm. I loved every minute of the scenes with him and Caroline–whether they were sparing, sharing stories or surviving the wreckless prairie. Their love story is one of my favorites.

If you loved being immersed within historical fiction–to feel the sights, sounds, and emotions of another time–then you will enjoy this book. In fact, it will likely grab your attention and not let loose until the dust settles. Don’t miss the sheer excitement of this adventure!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of numerous novels, including For the Record, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride,and Caught in the Middle,and has contributed novellas to several collectionsShe now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com.

I hope you add The Major’s Daughter to your holiday TBR list. It won’t disappoint! And if you haven’t already, get caught up by reading the first two books in the Fort Reno series, Holding the Fort and The Lieutenant’s Bargain.

Happy reading and God bless!

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