Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Healing and Love in Hope Harbor -- Sandcastle Inn

About the Book

Book: Sandcastle Inn

Author: Irene Hannon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 2, 2024

Vienna Price never intended to return for more than a passing visit to Oregon and all the bad memories she’d left behind. But when your career tanks, home is where you go to nurse your wounds and chart a new course. Only temporarily, of course—because as much as she loves her quirky mom, anything more than a short stay would drive them both crazy.

A trip to Oregon isn’t in Matt Quinn’s plans, either, until a perfectly timed appeal for help arrives from his sister. What better place to decompress after a shattering loss than a quiet, seaside town named Hope Harbor? But R&R isn’t on the agenda when he arrives to find his sister’s new enterprise on life support.

Vienna, however, may have just the skills needed to resuscitate the foundering B&B—if Matt can convince her to hang around long enough to mend an inn . . . and his heart.

Click here to get your copy! 

My Thoughts

Sandcastle Inn, where Irene Hannon takes us on our tenth visit to her fictional little town of Hope Harbor, Oregon, may be the best yet in the series. Or it could just be that it's the last one I've read and they are all equally fantastic stories. Either way, it's a great one!

As has happened in this entire series, the characters immediately drew me into their stories. Vienna and Matt both find themselves visiting family in Hope Harbor as they are dealing with their own deep losses. When their paths unexpectedly cross, and no matter their attempts to fight it, the magic of the charming town soon starts to do its work on the personal challenges they carry with them. Vienna and Matt eventually reevaluate their priorities and learn to start moving on from past suffering, leading to hearts healing and love blooming. And of course, none of it would have ever happened without the help of Charley the taco guy and his favorite pair of seagulls, Floyd and Gladys.

I highly recommend Sandcastle Inn and the entire Hope Harbor series to fan of great inspirational romantic fiction. This book, like each in the series, can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest reading them all to get the full benefit of the series.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.

More from Irene

In my world, the approach of April signals not only tulips, dogwoods, and daffodils, but a return to my little seaside town of Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast. And this year marks a milestone. Sandcastle Inn is the tenth book set in this charming locale.

When I conceived of this series back in 2013, neither I nor my editor had any idea how long it would run—or that Publishers Weekly would deem my small fictional town “a place of emotional restoration that readers will yearn to visit.”

But visit they have. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the books have been sold worldwide, the novels have been translated into multiple languages, and taco-making artist/town sage Charley Lopez has become an iconic figure.

It’s been an amazing journey—with more books to come.

If you’ve never visited Hope Harbor and are reluctant to dive in at this stage, no worries. Each book stands alone, with a whole new cast of main characters. Each story also begins and ends in each book, with no hanging plot threads from book to book. The town is the unifying element in the series—along with a few secondary characters like Charley, the bantering town clerics from neighboring churches, and the seagull couple Floyd and Gladys, who always seem to be around when romance is in the air.

If you’re new to the series, Sandcastle Inn is a fine jumping-off point. This story features a hero struggling to recoup from a tragic loss and a heroine still reeling from an unplanned career detour. When they join forces to save a floundering inn, challenges ensue…and sparks fly. Because if it’s Hope Harbor, there has to be romance!

The book resonates with multiple other themes too—dealing with grief, moving on, changing direction, mending past relationships, taking a leap of faith. And of course there’s a happy ending.

It’s the kind of book that will put a smile on your lips and hope in your heart.

So I invite you to find a comfy spot, pour a mug or cup of your favorite beverage, and travel with me to Hope Harbor, where hearts heal…and love blooms.

Insider’s Tip: If you ever decide to book a stay at Sandcastle Inn, ask for the seaside room upstairs at the end of the hall that leads to the right. The view is stunning!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 4

Texas Book-aholic, April 5

Blogging With Carol, April 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 6

For Him and My Family, April 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 7

Splashes of Joy, April 7

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 8

She Lives To Read, April 8

lakesidelivingsite, April 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 10

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 10

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 11

Cover Lover Book Review, April 12

The Lofty Pages, April 13

Melissa’s Bookshelf, April 13

Blossoms and Blessings, April 14

Labor Not in Vain, April 14

Wishful Endings, April 15

By The Book, April 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 16

Pause for Tales, April 16

Batya’s Bits, April 17

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, April 17


To celebrate her tour, Irene is giving away the grand prize package of a full set of the Hope Harbor series (10 books) and a $50 gift card!!

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Beautiful Story of Hope and Redemption -- The Songbird of Hope Hill

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . I always know I'm going to get a beautiful gentle story of hope when I see the name Kim Vogel Sawyer on the cover. And The Songbird of Hope Hill certainly does not disappoint!

The story definitely has its elements that are filled with anything but hope, but those seemingly hopeless places are just temporary stops along the journey. The characters have to struggle and grow through a variety of major challenges to reach their destinations of hope. 

As the Overly family lives out sacrificially the mission God has given them at Hope Hill, countless young women (as well as some young children) are given a place to find a chance for better lives, even some who spend time and effort fighting against those opportunities. Birdie readily accepts the opportunity to hope for a better life but still finds it hard to believe that God would really forgive her and redeem her from the past she so regrets.

This story's music of hope keeps shining through for Birdie, Ephraim, and so many others in a beautiful display of God's grace and redemption. I highly recommend The Songbird of Hope Hill to fans of great inspirational fiction.

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Desperate to simply survive, Birdie Clarkson was driven to a life at a house of ill repute. Now she longs only for escape. So when Reverend Isaiah Overly and his son, Ephraim, appear and offer a better life, she jumps at the chance. Ignoring the furious raging of the madam, Birdie climbs into the back of the preacher’s wagon. 
The men take her to Hope Hill, the haven the reverend and his wife, Ophelia, founded so women like Birdie can be taught skills to help them rise above their pasts. Soon a resistant Birdie finds herself singing in the choir Ephraim leads at revival meetings, even though she’s certain she’s the last person who should be representing God. 
Reverend Overly teaches that no one is irredeemable, but even as Ephraim is falling in love with her, Birdie remains convinced that she’s past saving. After all she’s been through, can she ever believe that God’s redemption wipes every soul clean? And can Ephraim convince her that God loves her more than she can grasp—and that he does, too?

Inspired by historical events.

About the Author

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, bestselling author with more than 1.5 million copies of her books in print in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her petting cats, packing Operation Christmas Child boxes, or spending time with her daughters and grandchildren.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Thrilling Romantic Suspense -- Cold Pursuit and Cold Threat

Nancy Mehl is one of my go-to authors for great romantic suspense. Cold Pursuit and Cold Threat, the first two installments of her Ryland + St. Clair series, are great thrillers that are almost impossible to put down. From page one of each book to the very last sentence, the story is filled with gripping details that kept me wondering and guessing what was around the next corner. 

In Cold Pursuit, River Ryland and her former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair, open a private investigation firm and immediately find themselves involved in a tragic cold case that becomes more and more complicated and dangerous to anyone near the case. In Cold Threat, River and Tony work alongside police detective Ray St. Clair (Tony's dad), trying to help him put pieces together to solve a different set of murders and again find themselves in life-threatening situations.

The plot, pace, character development and well-researched background information make for riveting stories. A very tantalizing technique that the author scatters throughout the stories gives the reader some of the thoughts, words, and actions of the "bad guy" without revealing who that is. And a strong faith element that is an important part of the characters' development is woven into the story in a very unforced, natural way.

I highly recommend Cold Pursuit and Cold Threat to fans of great inspirational romantic suspense. The books need to be read in order to fully understand the flow of details. I am anxiously waiting to see how this series wraps up in Cold Vengeance, due to be released in summer of 2024.

About Cold Pursuit

Ex-FBI profiler River Ryland still suffers from PTSD after a case went horribly wrong. Needing a fresh start, she moves to St. Louis to be near her ailing mother and opens a private investigation firm with her friend and former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair. They're soon approached by a grieving mother who wants them to find out what happened to her teenaged son, who disappeared four years ago. River knows there's almost no hope the boy is still alive, but his mother needs closure, and River and Tony need a case, no matter how cold it might be.

But as they follow the boy's trail, which gets more complicated at every turn, they find themselves in the path of a murderer determined to punish anyone who gets in his way. As River and Tony race to stop him before he kills again, an even more dangerous threat emerges, stirring up the past that haunts River and plotting an end to her future.

About Cold Threat

Twenty years ago, several people were murdered in Des Moines, and the only evidence left behind was a snowman ornament hanging ominously on a tree in the victims' front lawns. With a suspect behind bars, the killings have come to an end--or so everyone thought. But now crimes with a similar MO are happening in a small Iowa town, and a local detective believes the killer is back and ready to strike again.

With little time left on the clock before they have another murder on their hands, private investigators River Ryland and Tony St. Clair must work alongside Tony's detective father to find evidence that will uncover an evil that has survived far too long. As the danger mounts and the suspect closes in, it will take all they have to catch a killer--before he catches one of them.

About the Author

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than fifty books, a Parable and ECPA bestseller, and the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, a Carol Award, and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She has also been a finalist for the Christy Award. Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson.