Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Vanished Without a Trace by Sarah Hamaker August 1, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:41 pm
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About the Book

Book: Vanished Without a Trace

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspence

Release date: June 28, 2022

A missing person case. A new clue. And a fight for survival.

After nine years searching for his missing sister, attorney Henderson Parker uncovers a clue that leads him to Twin Oaks, Virginia—and podcaster Elle Updike investigating the case. Partnering with the journalist is the last thing Henderson wants, until mysterious thugs make multiple attacks on both their lives. Now they’ll have to trust each other…before the suspected kidnappers make them disappear for good.

Click here to get you copy!

About the Author

Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats. Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.

More from Sarah

As a podcaster myself, I’ve listened to many true crime podcasts, such as “Up and Vanished” and “Accused,” so when I was thinking about the plot for Vanished Without a Trace, I decided to have my heroine be a true crime podcaster investigating cold missing persons cases. I also am fascinated by unsolved mysteries, probably because I love history, and have a strong sense of justice—I want those who commit crimes to be caught. Of course, as a Christian, I do rest in the assurance of God as the ultimate and only truly righteous Judge, but I do find myself rooting for cold cases to be solved and criminals brought to justice. Thus the book combines my two of my interests—cold cases and true crime.

Personally, I can’t imagine anything more difficult than to have a loved one go missing and never be found or heard from again. The uncertainty of their fate must weigh very heavily on the family members left behind. I wanted to capture some of that with Henderson’s strong desire to find his missing sister, Helena, and reunite her with their mother. He’s seen how much Helena’s absence has taken a toll on their mother’s health and mental well-being, and when he has a chance to chase down the first real lead in years, he jumps at it.

Elle’s motives are no less personal than Henderson’s—her own heart aches for these grieving families. Having distant parents, she wants to help families heal by discovering what happened to a loved one if possible. But Henderson doesn’t trust her motives and the two clash more often than not over her podcast.

I hope you enjoy seeing how Elle and Henderson learn to work together to find Helena…and perhaps, their own happy ending.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 25

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, July 25

Bizwings Blog, July 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 27

Through the Fire Blogs, July 27

Betti Mace, July 28

For the Love of Literature, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 30

Inklings and notions, July 31

Genesis 5020, August 1

Bigreadersite, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 3

Livin’ Lit, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 5

Paula’s Persuasion, August 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 6

Blogging With Carol, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a Vanished Without a Trace branded tote bag, Vanished Without a Trace pin, a print copy of the book, plus a $75 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/1ffe1/vanished-without-a-trace-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This was a very interesting book. I don’t think I have read anything by Sarah before.

The reader has a slight idea what is going on but not totally. And you wonder does Helena want to stay gone or is she being held against her will? And how did she end up in the place she was? What does this place all involve and WHO is involved in it?

Also, the romance between Henderson and Elle is not fast and is fragile which makes for some great tension.

Overall, a very good romantic suspense.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Mistletoe Village by Kathleen J. Robinson July 21, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:38 pm
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About the Book

Book: Mistletoe Village

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Holiday Romance

Release date: November 30, 2021

Two broken women, two defeated children. Can Grace offer what they’re looking for? When the big city holds nothing but painful memories for sisters Rence and Sandy, they pack it up and head out for Grace and the promises it holds.

Promises of a new start. A new job at Grace General for Rence and a place to begin healing. But most of all, a promise to each of the sisters’ hurting children that a real Christmas awaits them in Grace, complete with snow on giant evergreens and lots of Mistletoe Magic.

But despite its Christmas card atmosphere, Grace, Oregon seems to hold a lot of secrets. Who is that giant of a man they encounter in the woods? Why won’t anyone talk about him? What is the hold the past seems to have over the town? Will they be able to break it before history tragically repeats itself? And will Grace be the place where love and forgiveness finally meet?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.

More from Kathleen

I love Christmas stories, and since becoming an author, I’ve wanted to write one. Mistletoe Village started out as Mistletoe Hermit, but then it wasn’t going in quite the happy direction that I wanted. So Mistletoe Village was born. I wrote this sweet, cozy, slightly suspenseful romance with all the elements that make Christmas … Christmas! But most importantly, it’s always about the faith element, Christ.

The main character Rence Paladin is dear to my heart. She was created with someone extraordinary in mind, and I had that person read the book to see what she thought. When she finished, she turned bright red and answered, even if you hadn’t told me … I knew it was me! However, it’s not her story, but it encompasses her delightful personality, some of her sweet memories of a single-mom, and how she strives to keep her focus on Christ while always serving others.

So let’s go. Let me take you to Mistletoe Village. You’ll find a little of everything that oozes Christmas in the tiny town of Grace. Holiday spirit, decorations, a children’s church pageant, and a Christmas festival. Oh, and I’ll introduce you to little Gus, the feisty family cock-a-poo. But most of all, I hope you, like Rence and Carl, rediscover the joy of Christmas at Mistletoe Village.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 19

Texas Book-aholic, July 20

Genesis 5020, July 21

By the Book, July 22

For Him and My Family, July 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 24

lakesidelivingsite, July 25

Inklings and notions, July 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 27

deb’s Book Review, July 28

Splashes of Joy, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

An Author’s Take, July 30

Bizwings Blog, July 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 31

Miriam Jacob, August 1

Spoken from the Heart, August 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and paperback copy of the book!!

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/1f7f5/mistletoe-village-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

So, let’s focus on the story first. Overall, it was an interesting and heartwarming story. Definitely recommend reading it closer to Christmas, I was reading it outside on my deck in 80 degree weather. I think I would have gotten the “Christmas feels” if I was reading this in November or December.

I could relate to Rence in that she judged people and gave them labels. I tend do this and I appreciated her scolding herself to stop doing that. I also appreciated that faith was an important factor of this book and the characters lives.

I will say after the first two chapters I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading, it seemed like an immature writing style and people just popped up in one place and then another without a transition or page break (which could have been a formatting thing but I don’t think so since other places had clear page breaks). But the writing seemed to get better as the book went on and I enjoyed it.

There were several editing errors, again, maybe this was an advance reader copy? Not sure, but commas in places that didn’t make sense and quotation marks in the wrong places. This didn’t ruin the story, just made me pause and reread to make sure I knew what was going on or who was talking.

There was also a lot of staring going on by characters who were attracted to each other, to the point if this happened in real life it would be very weird. This seemed to be the authors preferred way to show attraction to another character. A little staring is okay but every time just gets weird.

Overall, a nice read and with a great message.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Lineage of Corruption by Robin Patchen July 18, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:17 pm
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About the Book

Book: Lineage of Corruption

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Release date: July 19, 2022

In the world of big money and big politics, nobody walks away unscathed.

The people of Coventry never suspect that Josie Smith, owner of the local coffee shop, is the daughter of a powerful senator. She went to Washington to serve constituents, but her desire to do good morphed into a desire to win at all costs. When one of those costs grew too heavy to bear, she changed her name and left DC, vowing to never get involved in politics again. But when her father becomes his party’s lone voice standing against corrupt policies, his enemies will do whatever it takes to get his vote, and Josie finds herself caught in a familiar web of dirty tricks.

Thomas Windham never planned to run for office, but when Coventry’s disgraced mayor is replaced by a dishonest appointee, he feels he has no choice but to throw his hat in the ring. He doesn’t have a chance against the well-known politician, that is until he meets Josie, who knows more about running for office than a typical café owner would.

When Josie finds herself in danger, they form an alliance—his protection for her wisdom. The election becomes secondary as Josie’s adversaries close in. But can Josie and Thomas come out victorious against enemies determined to get what they want at any cost?

Don’t miss this pulse-pounding Christian romantic suspense that’ll keep you reading late into the night.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Robin Patchen is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense. She grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, the setting of her Nutfield Saga books, and then headed to Boston to earn a journalism degree. Working in marketing and public relations, she discovered how much she loathed the nine-to-five ball and chain. After relocating to the Southwest, she started writing her first novel while she homeschooled her three children. The novel was dreadful, but her passion for storytelling didn’t wane. Thankfully, as her children grew, so did her writing ability. Now that her kids are adults, she has more time to play with the lives of fictional heroes and heroines, wreaking havoc and working magic to give her characters happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s editing or reading, proving that most of her life revolves around the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Visit https://robinpatchen.com/subscribe to receive a free book and stay informed about Robin’s latest projects.

More from Robin

Boston’s Logan Airport was about an hour from the little town in southern New Hampshire where I grew up. I remember pre-dawn drives, sitting in the backseat of our station wagon with my big sister and my little brother on our way to catch a flight. My dad was an airline pilot, so we traveled a lot in those days.

My parents always had a news station playing in the background. The anchor would read the news, and then Mom and Dad would discuss it at length while we tried to doze in the backseat.

They didn’t agree on everything, but they always saw eye-to-eye on politics.

My parents separated when I was a teenager and ultimately divorced. Even today, when they’re in a room together—they get along very well well—their conversations often drift to what’s going on in Washington.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been interested in national politics.

My kids hate it when I talk about this policy or that vote. My husband would much prefer to discuss sports or work or…pretty much anything else. But I’ve always loved politics—the wrangling, the power plays, the backroom deals we can only guess at.

Talk about high-stakes drama on a worldwide stage. Hmm, I’m a suspense writer. Maybe it’s not that shocking that I love politics.

Lineage of Corruption doesn’t take place in the hallowed halls of Washington DC, nor are most of the characters in the story big players in the political scene. No, my story takes place in central New Hampshire, and its main characters are a coffee shop owner and a mayoral candidate. But that coffee shop owner’s father is a senator, a senator who’s being pressured to vote yes on a bill he vehemently disagrees with.

His enemies are willing to do whatever it takes to secure his vote, even if it means threatening his daughter.

So, it’s not exactly a political thriller. But it is all about big money and big names grappling for position in the world’s most powerful nation.

Which I personally think is super fun. To write about, anyway. In reality, politics has gotten way too rancorous and destructive for my tastes. Don’t worry—I won’t be lecturing you about what you should believe. I don’t honor one party or one president while throwing the other under the bus. In fact, I don’t mention either party or any actual politicians by name in the entire book.

This story isn’t about pushing my personal beliefs. It is about examining the lengths to which some people are willing to go to secure their own personal agendas.

(And it’s about man and a woman who fall in love, which is also super fun.)

I sure hope you’ll check it out.

Oh, and Josie, the coffee shop owner, loves to cook. Here’s a recipe she makes for the hero. It’s a great summertime meal and happens to be a staple at the Patchen household.

Linguine Caprese

4 ripe large tomatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 lb. mozzarella cheese (I use the small mozzarella balls (also called pearls), but any whole-milk mozzarella, cut into chunks, will do)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. dried basil (or 1 cup cleaned, fresh basil, cut into strips)

Enough olive oil to coat all of the above—about ¾ cup

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. linguine

Freshly grated parmesan

Combine tomatoes, cheese, garlic, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and let sit at least two hours at room temperature.

Cook linguine according to package directions.

Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato mixture. Serve at once with grated parmesan cheese. (Goes great with crusty white bread on the side.)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 18

Genesis 5020, July 18

An Author’s Take, July 19

Inklings and notions, July 20

Betti Mace, July 21

For Him and My Family, July 22

Blossoms and Blessings, July 22

Texas Book-aholic, July 23

deb’s Book Review, July 24

lalkesidelivingsite, July 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 26

Blogging With Carol, July 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 30

Spoken from the Heart, July 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, copy of Inheritance of Secrets, and a previous book in the series!!

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/1f7f4/lineage-of-corruption-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This is the only book I have read in this series and I have to say I didn’t feel lost at all. Only more interested in the other books.

This was a very good book. I really wasn’t sure who was behind everything until it was revealed. Robin did a great job of keeping the reader guessing.

I also appreciated the strong faith element and the fact that the author didn’t shy away from a hot political topic that many authors would never touch. The struggle the characters faced in staying strong or compromising their values was very relatable and unfortunately I think many Christian do compromise their values when it become too hard to stay strong.

Overall, an excellent romantic suspense.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Hunted in the Wilderness by Kellie VanHorn June 30, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:07 pm
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About the Book

Book: Hunted in the Wilderness

Author: Kellie VanHorn

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

Protecting the evidence
means facing down assassins and an unforgiving wilderness…

Framed for murder and corporate espionage, future aerotech company CEO Haley Whitcombe flees in her plane with a camera full of evidence that could clear her name—until she’s shot out of the sky. Now trapped in North Cascades National Park, her survival in the wilderness depends on park ranger Ezra Dalton. Yet escaping the wild will mean nothing if they can’t outrun their merciless hunters…

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kellie VanHorn is an award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense. She has college degrees in biology and nautical archaeology, but she’s always found her sense of adventure most satisfied by a great story. When not writing, Kellie can be found teaching her four children, camping, baking, and gardening. She lives with her family in west Michigan.

More from Kellie

One of my favorite things about being a writer is living out wild adventures in my imagination. I get to enjoy all the action and feels without any of the unpleasant real-life problems I’d face if I were actually being chased by bad guys with guns. The more exciting and far-off the setting, the better! My family loves to travel and to camp, so we’ve spent a lot of time visiting national parks around the U.S. Our favorites include Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Devil’s Tower, and Badlands. We pile our four kids into the car, fill it to the brim with gear, and tent our way from park to park for weeks at a time in the summer.

For Hunted in the Wilderness, I wanted to explore a park we haven’t had the chance to visit yet—North Cascades National Park in Washington state. In fact, my first glimpse of the story came to me when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a picture of a lake in the Cascades. Inspiration struck, and I knew the heroine of my next book had just crash-landed her Cessna airplane in those mountains, and she needed a handsome, single park ranger to come help her escape the bad guys.

What makes this park such a perfect setting for a romantic suspense is not only the gorgeous scenery, but also the fact it’s very remote. The region is easy enough to access via road from Seattle, but most of the protected land can only be reached on foot, horseback, or float plane. Because I hadn’t been there myself, I relied on a topographic map and lots of research to help me craft the setting and make it an indispensable part of the plot.

Blog Stops

Of course, now that I’ve studied the trail systems so extensively, I’d love to visit the Cascades in person one day. One of my teenaged sons who loves hiking has all sorts of plans for us to take a long backpacking trip out there, even though neither of us has ever backpacked before. I might have to work up my courage a bit before I’ll be ready to hit the trail without our minivan full of gear. 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 30

Genesis 5020, June 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 2

EmpowerMoms, July 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 3

Christina’s Corner, July 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 4

Book Looks by Lisa, July 4

Paula’s Persuasion, July 4

For Him and My Family, July 5

Blogging With Carol, July 5

deb’s Book Review, July 6

Simple Harvest Reads, July 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 7 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Betti Mace, July 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 8

Bigreadersite, July 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 10

Labor Not in Vain, July 11

Through the Fire Blogs, July 11

Bizwings Blog, July 12

Pause for Tales, July 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kellie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

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/1f7ef/hunted-in-the-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This was an interesting read with a sweet ending.

You know from the beginning who the bad guy is but I had a feeling there was someone else behind it. I won’t tell you if I am right or not, you’ll just have to read it to see if I was correct.

I enjoyed the hike through the trails. My family loves to find hikes along Michigan’s pictured rocks so this book made me think of those trails. Of course we aren’t running for our lives.

If you like a quick romantic suspense read I am sure you will enjoy this one.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Undercover Assignment by Dana Mentink June 28, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:19 pm
Tags: ,

About the Book

Book: Undercover Assignment

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

This K-9 will stop at nothing to keep a child safe.

When a little boy is threatened, Officer Daniella Vargas and K-9 partner, Zara, are assigned to pose as his nanny to uncover the culprit’s identity. Suspecting one of the guests in his inn, widower Sam Kavanaugh’s only option is to begrudgingly trust Daniella and Zara to help. But can they solve the case and its mysterious connection to Sam’s late wife before it’s too late?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at http://www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter, Facebook and Bookbub.

More from Dana

What a joy to participate in a series with seven other talented authors! A continuity series is a set of books, each written by a different author, and each with its own suspense plot along with an overarching series plot and characters. It’s a very complicated project to complete, but the fantastic part is chatting, collaborating, and sometimes commiserating with other writers. What a rare treat, since most of our work is done alone in dark rooms with computer screens and bottomless cups of coffee! This series was especially fun to write because of the whole wilderness lodge setting which is my favorite type of story. Picture it! Ancient cliff dwellings, a freak electrical storm, twenty-four hours with no power and a killer on the loose! That’s my kind of suspense novel. I hope you will enjoy this multi author series as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 15

Inklings and notions, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

EmpowerMoms, June 16

Vicky Sluiter, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

An Author’s Take, June 18

Blogging With Carol, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Betti Mace, June 20

Texas Book-aholic, June 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 21

She Lives To Read, June 22

Through the Fire Blogs, June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 23

Labor Not in Vain, June 24

deb’s Book Review, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 26

For the Love of Literature, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 27

Genesis 5020, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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/1eff2/undercover-assignment-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

Another great read by Dana. I always enjoy her books and this one was no exception.

Not only did she develop a great story but she also wove a great message into the story as well. Sam has been so worried about keeping his child safe and making sure his son has memories of his mom that he forgot how to enjoy life.

Daniella has a very broken past that she has overcome but still has trouble letting people into her life.

Dana did a great job of making me suspect everyone, it reminded me of Clue and it wasn’t until all was reveal that all the places fell into place.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: A Sprinkle In Time by Dana Mentink June 2, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:48 pm
Tags: ,
Sprinkle in time

About the Book

Book: A Sprinkle in Time

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Cozy mystery (general market)

Release date: May 24, 2022

Asprinkleintime

It’s Alpenfest in Upper Sprocket! Yodelers are congregating in the square, tourists flocking to the town, and Trinidad Jones is scooping up some fall flavors at her Shimmy and Shake Shop.

The cherry on the sundae is her upcoming feature in Go West magazine. She’s determined to serve up the perfect interview, but it won’t be easy, thanks in part to her meddling Cuban grandfather Papa Luis who has decided to make Sprocket his home for the foreseeable future. Papa Luis has set himself up as a taxi driver in his classic 1951 Buick.

But things take a turn when Papa Luis tells her he’s found a corpse in his trunk. Upon closer investigation, they realize the body has disappeared. With the assistance of Juliette and Bonnie (her sisterhood of exes) and the way too handsome nut farmer Quinn Logan, Trinidad must solve the mystery of the disappearing corpse, before her father is up to his neck in a murderous mess.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

USA Today graphic (1)

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Who wouldn’t want to visit Upper Sprocket? Sure there’s the odd corpse that turns up, but it’s a charming place, complete with a rail riders excursion business and the Shimmy and Shake Shop, run by the determined Trinidad Jones. It’s fall in Sprocket and the locals are hosting a series of Alpenfest events with everything from yodeling performances to sausage cook offs. Papa Luis, Trinidad’s grandfather is happy to shuttle people around in his classic Chevy Bel Air until a body turns up in his truck. But other than that, Sprocket is an idyllic place with a newly opened train car inn operated by Bonnie, one of three women who were married at various times to the same rapscallion of a man. Oh, and then there’s Noodles, Trinidad’s senior Labrador retriever who has learned how to operate the windshield wipers which comes in handy as stormy weather approaches. Trinidad, Papa, Bonnie and Noodles along with other Sprocket residents are going to have their hands full as Alpenfest kicks off and gruesome items begin to pop up around town. Come along on the adventure as Trinidad wades knee deep into the sticky mess.

Railriding research with my sister!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

The Write Escape, May 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 22

Daysong Reflections, May 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 24

Pause for Tales, May 24

Inklings and notions, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

For Him and My Family, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 28

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 30

Simple Harvest Reads, May 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 31

Labor Not in Vain, May 31

Bigreadersite, June 1

Vicky Sluiter, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Lighthouse-Academy, June 3

A Good Book and cup of Tea, June 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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/1df1a/a-sprinkle-in-time-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series so it took my brian a few chapters to remember everything that happened previously. Not that you HAVE to read the first book to enjoy this one, but it does help and give you a deeper appreciation for all the characters.

Even though we are dealing with death this book has a cute, light side to it. The characters are quirky and fun.

You will be guessing who could have committed the murder, the obvious suspects might not be so obvious.

Once again, Dana has created a great story world that you will want to get absorbed in.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Night Songs by Jennifer Sienes May 19, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:15 pm
Tags: ,
Night Songs

About the Book

Book: Night Songs

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction/ Romance

Release date: April 12, 2022

Night-Songs-663x1024

What’s a girl to do when her life sounds ripped from the lyrics of a country music song?

Charlotte Van Cleave’s hissy-fit reaction to her husband’s infidelity sours her world like a pot of boiled chitlins. She’s left with no husband, no job, and no home—well, besides the dilapidated farmhouse inherited from her nana.

But Charlie learned early that southern girls dig deep when things go sideways. She’d climbed out of the mire when her missionary parents were killed in Congo, endured two late-term miscarriages, and survived the death of her nana and papaw. Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash, Charlie follows a new path with her interior design skills.

Derek Daniels spent his life serving his country until a helicopter accident ended his military career. Now back home on the family farm, he’s stuck between his philandering brother, Nicky, and the only girl he’s ever loved—sweet Charlie Van Cleave. Unwilling to cross a line, he vows to keep his feelings to himself. Easier said than done when Charlie discovers a mystery surrounding her parents’ death and asks him to help investigate.

What’ll Charlie and Derek have to do to turn those lyrics into a country hit?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer-Siennes

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

I love everything about the South. The seasons are more vibrant, the pace is slower, and the hospitality warmer than what I’ve previously experienced. I wasn’t born and raised here, but I’ve always felt an affinity for it. When my husband and I relocated from Northern California to middle Tennessee over three years ago, I was happier than ol’ Blue layin’ on the porch chewin’ on a big ol’ catfish head. Yes, there are times we need a translator, but we’re quick studies.

Setting is an important element of storytelling, whether it’s fictional or true. I will be the first person to tell you, I don’t have much imagination. I don’t read or write fantasy or sci-fi because I can’t picture myself in the story. I am in awe of writers who are able to create an alternate world in their minds and then share it in a story. Me? I need to see it to write it.

For that reason, I was very excited about how this move from the only place I’ve ever known to one I’d dreamt about most of my life would impact my novels and novellas. We landed here in the middle of July to magnolia trees with waxy leaves as big as my head and sweet-smelling white blossoms I couldn’t enclose in both hands. Mockingbirds chattering all hours of the day (and a lone guy at night), bright red cardinals flitting from tree to tree, and even an armadillo or two lumbering across our yard.

The character of Charlotte Van Cleave (Charlie) was born out of my imagination. Why I can create fake people but not fake settings is anyone’s guess. Her nana and pawpaw’s dilapidated farmhouse is a real home that had been abandoned outside the city limits of Shelbyville, Tennessee—in Bedford County, which is also the title of the series. I saw the house through a real estate website, and fortunately for me, it was empty. My husband and I snuck around the perimeter looking through broken widows to get a feel for the place. It didn’t hurt that there were several photos on the website, as well.

The rest of the story came in fits and starts. I first decided on Charlie’s personality, because if I know that, it’s easier to trip her up with all manner of chaos. If you’re familiar with the enneagram personality indicator, she’s a three—the Achiever. The other main character, Derek Daniels, is a six—the Loyalist. Throw in missionary parents, sibling rivalry, and southern culture and a story was born.

While I was working on Night Songs the mockingbirds were particularly active. They’re the Tennessee state bird, so they’re always around, but it’s only during the mating season they are vocal. I was lying awake in the middle of the night, and I heard one of them singing. I’d only ever heard them during the day, so I was surprised. Why would a lone mockingbird be singing at night? What I learned after a little research is that only those who are mate-less will do this. It made me sad to hear the little guy over the next several nights, pouring out his heart. Not unlike Charlie Van Cleave. Thus, a title was born.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 17

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Genesis 5020, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 20

Inklings and notions, May 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, May 22 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 22

deb’s Book Review, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 25

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 26

Miriam Jacob, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28

Back Porch Reads, May 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!

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/1db53/night-songs-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

I have read several books by Jennifer and this might be my favorite. I love the real issues she deals with in her books and the faith aspect of them as well.

From the beginning I wondered how Charlie ended up with Nicky and not Derek but that becomes more clear as you read. It becomes even more clear that she definitely should end up with Derek. But Jennifer does a great job of placing doubt in the readers mind and making you wonder if things will work out the way the reader hopes.

Jennifer also developed a wonderful cast of characters that you are sure to adore.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was give to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: A Rose for the Resistance by Angela K. Couch May 2, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:39 pm
Tags: ,
A Rose for the REsistance

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

9781636092072 (4)

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

AngelaCouch

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you.

Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

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/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

What a great read. The tension is high throughout which keeps the reader reading. So many questions, who can Rosalie trust? How could a relationship ever work between her and Franz? I even started to wonder if she could really trust the British soldier? Her and her family were really living on the edge and seemed like there was a chance at any moment they could be found out.

Just reading about how Germany took over France was so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine living that way yet people really did. What a scary time and Angela did a great job bringing this story to life.

If you like WWII stories I am sure you will enjoy this one.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: The Marquis’s Pursuit by Lorri Dudley April 19, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:10 pm
Tags: ,
The Marquis's Pursuit

About the Book

Book: The Marquis’s Pursuit

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 12, 2022

The Marquis's Pursuit (1)

She’s desperate to keep her secret hidden, but he’s a determined Marquis.

As the son of a duke, Maxwell Oliver Weld, Marquis of Daventry, is allowed entry into the finest of London’s ballrooms, access to political figures, and advice from the best physicians. Yet, his wealth and contacts won’t heal his friend, Charlie, who’s dying from consumption. Hopeful for a miracle, Max persuades Charlie to sail across the Atlantic to stay in the Artesian Hotel on the island of Nevis and bathe in its famous healing springs. Max’s optimism is washed in doubt as the truth unravels about the hotel, its hot springs, and the beautiful caretaker.

The blaze of Evelyn Mairi Sheraton’s fiery side has long since been snuffed out. Hunted by a vengeful man from her past, only fortitude and the island’s sanctuary have kept Evelyn alive. She will do whatever it takes to keep her precious secret safe, even work for the demeaning Artesian Hotel owner, Edward Rousseau. However, when a jaunty marquis and his ailing friend arrive, sparks ignite, but Evelyn fears the revealing of her secrets will burn her to ash.

The elusive Evelyn may tend to Charlie’s well-being, but she stirs Max’s protective nature. He’d like nothing more than to remove her from the wretched employment of Edward Rousseau, yet that might endanger Charlie’s health even more. Refusing to give up on a miracle, Max waters her guarded heart, certain beauty will rise out of ashes. But when her secrets come to life, will love be worth the price?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

LorriDudleyProfilePic

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

Some characters whisper to an author from the recesses of their imagination. For me, Maxell Weld, the Marquis of Daventry, commanded to have his story told. Max appears in my first book, The Duke’s Refuge, as a sure-of-himself, fixated-on-fishing, eight-year-old son of the island schoolmaster who happened to be a Duke in hiding. Now Max is grown, and although he still holds the same quirky characteristics of his youth, he bears the weight of being a marquis and the responsibility of adulthood.

The duty to care for and protect those he loves prompts Max to return to the Leeward Islands to save his closest mate, Charlie. He’s confident that God, with a bit of help from the famous healing springs in Nevis, will save Max’s life. However, Charlie has his own plans to unite the caring but secretive hotel caretaker, Evelyn Sheraton, with his buddy Max.

In the middle of writing, The Marquis’s Pursuit, my cousin passed away suddenly. He was newly married, in his early thirties, and in the process of renovating a house when he became sick. He started losing weight, and before doctors could figure out what was wrong, he went into organ failure and died. My heart still aches for those he left behind, especially his wife and my aunt and uncle.

As I wrote, the lines between fiction and reality blurred, and it’s hard to believe my tears didn’t fry out my laptop as I typed. But I’m grateful for how God used Max’s journey to help me to process why bad things happen, and how ultimately, God has a bigger plan that, at times, we can’t see or fathom.

God doesn’t always work in straight lines. Sometimes we must battle problems and issues to touch as many people as possible on our journey toward heaven. Stories, especially romances in my opinion, broaden our understanding of how those we love comfort and carry us through illness, pain, and sorrow.  Max and Evelyn reminded me to stay anchored to those we love, lean on each other’s faith, and most importantly, that love conquers all.

To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com, or watch The Marquis’s Pursuit book trailer by clicking here: The Marquis’s Pursuit Trailer.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 13

Remembrancy, April 14

She Lives To Read, April 14

For Him and My Family, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 16

Miriam Jacob, April 16

Inklings and notions, April 17

Betti Mace, April 18

Genesis 5020, April 19

Life of Literature, April 20

deb’s Book Review, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Connie’s History Classroom, April 22

Blossoms and Blessings, April 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 23

Simple Harvest Reads, April 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

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/1cc7d/the-marquis-s-pursuit-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

I think I have read every book in this series but the problem is I forget what happened and then I am trying to figure out if I know this character from a past book or not.

Such was the case with this one. I enjoyed the story itself I was just trying to figure out if I knew Evelyn and Max from a previous book and if I did, what happened? Because something happened to Evelyn that resulted in a daughter and I wanted to know what exactly?

I also hoped Charlie would be healed and live a long life. I won’t tell if he does or not, you will have to read on your own to find out.

I have enjoyed every book I have read by Lorri and this one was no exception. If you haven’t given her books a read I recommend you do.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: Sweet Rivalry by Terri Gillespie April 7, 2022

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:36 pm
Tags: ,
Sweet Rivalry

About the Book

Book: Sweet Rivalry

Author: Terri Gillespie

Genre: Women’s Contemporary/ Christian Romance/Family Life Fiction

Release date: October 27, 2021

RGB72_SweetRivalry_website

Just an ordinary morning for Sarah Sweeting—watching her favorite baking show, Cupcake Rivalry, getting ready for work at her Granny’s small-town bakery. All that changes when Sarah spots a contestant who looks like her, sounds like her, moves like her.

Was this her twin sister? The twin her mother ran away with twenty years ago? Were hers and Granny’s prayers finally being answered?

When Granny confirms Sarah’s shocking discovery, Granny suffers a heart attack.

Raven Souwer’s morning began at a frenzied pace—incessantly ringing phones and a Beverly Hills’ bakery full of customers. All because everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Cupcake Rivalry contestants—Raven and her best friend, Will Durning.

But a phone call from an excited woman who claims to be Raven’s long-lost sister—a sister Raven has no memory of—informs Raven that a grandmother she never knew was in the hospital.

The call changes the course of Raven’s life and brings up the pain she thought she’d overcome.

Will Sarah and Raven finally be united, or will other rivalries separate them again?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

HEADSHOT_GillespieTerri (small)

Award-winning author and beloved speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture women’s souls. Her novels, devotionals, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father.

Life is a journey. Terri lived in fear most of her life. Stories helped her see life through the lens of adventure and God’s abiding love. Those stories were the seeds that changed her perspective. They empowered her to be brave. She hopes her stories will do the same for you.

She is the author of critically-acclaimed women’s devotional Making Eye Contact with God, the award-winning novel She Does Good HairCUT IT OUT!Really Bad Hair Day, and award-winning novel, Sweet Rivalry.

More from Terri

Where do stories come from? Oh, so many places. Sweet Rivalry began over ten years ago with an idea called the “cupcake sisters.” Two sisters who worked in a small hometown bakery trying to be true to family recipes and not get overrun by the food chains. Not much more than that. Boring, right?

The other day, I ran across my notes written years ago with other ideas for the sisters. No plots could carry an interesting enough story to get the creative juices going.

A dear friend—and amazing author—gave me a life-sized cupcake candle. The vibrant colors and glittery icing were meant to inspire me to develop the idea and write the book. It sat on my inspiration shelf for years. At first every time I looked at it, I would smile.

But, as the years went by the sun faded the candle, as did my hope of finding the right story for the cupcake sisters.

Then, during COVID I got hooked on those reality shows about long-lost families being reunited after decades of separation. Some of the families had no idea the other family member existed.

Each episode meant a fist of soppy tissues. Yet, even with the dramatic music, professional editing, and big build-up, some families’ smiles didn’t quite reach their eyes.

I wondered, what happens to these people after the camera crews leave? After the emotional reunions, the excitement subsides and reality settles into their respective homes? How do these people from very different histories become a family? Do they even try? Do they want to face the secrets that separated them?

Some of the “long-lost” family members were children from affairs. Most were children given up through adoption. Others abandoned. One man found his birth mother, only to learn he was the result of a rape. How do they navigate the choppy and complex psychological waters?

These interesting stories became delicious ingredients for the Sweet Rivalry novel. Twin sisters separated as toddlers by a troubled mother. One sister, Sarah was raised by her loving, Christian grandmother who owned the local Sweet’s Bakery.

The other sister, Raven was raised by her addicted mother, in crack houses. Still, Raven manages to become a celebrated pastry chef.

How do twins with completely different childhoods become a family? How does the sister raised in a loving, stable, Christian environment form a relationship with the sister who has seen the worst of society and had to pull herself from a terrible background all on her own? Who now blames God for the horrific things that happened to her?

And a grandmother that hides a terrible secret?

Now, throw into the mix three handsome men vying for the twins’ affections, then bake with the emotional investments into the lives of these women, and you’ve got quite a recipe for a delectable story.

With humor and passion and delicious recipes, Sweet Rivalry will satisfy the hungry reader looking for a unique story of hope.

You know, Sweet Rivalry’s journey proved to me once again, that creativity can’t be forced, and GOD’s timing is always the best—even if it is a ten-year wait.

How about a recipe?

Raven’s Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cupcakes with Fritos Frosting

The Recipe That Almost Won the Cupcake Rivalry competition for Raven and Will.

Raven’s cupcake recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsalted butter softened

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar packed

2 eggs room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup Dr Pepper

½ cup buttermilk

Will’s Fritos Cream Cheese Frosting

4 cup powdered sugar

½ cup unsalted butter softened

6 oz cream cheese softened

4 T Dr Pepper to taste

Original, Regular flavor Fritos (up to 1 cup)—Don’t use the scoop type

Instructions:

Raven’s Chocolate Dr Pepper Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o F. Prepare 2-12 count muffin tins with cupcake cup liners (22-24 total).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer and large bowl), add in butter, granulated and brown sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Keeping mixer speed on low, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the Dr Pepper.
  5. Add the other half of the dry ingredients as well as the buttermilk. Mix until just combined—do not overmix. Batter should be thick and fluffy.
  6. Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups 2/3 full. Tap the tin on the counter a few times to level the batter.
  7. Bake cupcakes one batch at a time for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Place muffin tin on a wire cooling rack to cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and allow to finish cooling on wire rack.
  9. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before applying the frosting.

Will’s Fritos Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Use a clean stand mixer (or a hand-mixer & large bowl) on high speed beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
  2. Drop speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. May be clumpy at this stage—don’t worry.
  3. Keeping speed on low, slowly beat in softened cream cheese. Will recommends cutting the cream cheese into 4-5 pieces and mixing in one piece at a time.
  4. Finally, add in the Dr. Pepper. Now if you want more Dr. Pepper flavor, you can add more, and you can add up to a cup more of powdered sugar, but after that, you lose the great cream cheese flavor.
  5. Finely ground ½ cup of Fritos. Almost as fine as coffee grounds. Fold in by hand into frosting.
  6. Frost the cupcakes.
  7. Remaining Fritos you can either roughly ground and sprinkled on top, or Will likes to leave one Frito curl nestled on top, right before serving.
  8. Eat immediately—I mean, who would wait?

More recipes can be found at: https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-recipes/

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 6

Miriam Jacob, April 6

Genesis 5020, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Splashes of Joy, April 8

For Him and My Family, April 9

Texas Book-aholic, April 10

deb’s Book Review, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Aryn The Libraryan, April 13

Mary Hake, April 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

Vicky Sluiter, April 15

She Lives To Read, April 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 17

Pause for Tales, April 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 19

Spoken from the Heart, April 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, signed copy of Sweet Rivalry, Sweet Rivalry Coffee Mug, Sweet Rivalry bookmark, and a Hand-poured Cupcake Candle!!

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/1c94b/sweet-rivalry-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

From the cover of this book you might think this is just a light, fun read. But it really has a lot of layers to it and deals with some serious issues and choices theses characters need to make.

So much happened in the first quarter of the book I almost felt like that could have been a book itself. I wondered what more could happen to keep me reading. But more did happen and I kept reading and enjoyed the story.

I loved the relationship that slowly grew between the two sisters and there are a couple of other relationships that grow too, but I won’t give that away.

I also love local bakery’s so this book was right up my ally.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.