Thursday, January 28, 2021

"Un-Put-Downable" Suspense -- Deadly Intentions

Recently I decided to take part in a reading challenge for this new year. The challenge for January was to read a book by a new-to-me author who was suggested as as a "copycat" of one of my favorites. When I mentioned several of my favorite romantic suspense authors, Lisa Harris was suggested. I decided to give her a try and picked up Deadly Intentions. I now owe a debt of gratitude to the person who made that recommendation.

It took about 3 or 4 paragraphs (if that much) to pull me in to this story, and I couldn't put it down! Thankfully, I didn't have much that had to be done on the day I started reading Deadly Intentions because almost all I accomplished that day was reading this book. It was a day well spent!

The suspense level stays high during the whole story. With plenty of suspects to choose from, there is plenty of room and time for guessing. The romance is a pretty slow and gentle, growing at a very comfortable level. There is an element of scientific research at the root of the story which provides an extra level of depth.

I highly recommend Deadly Intentions to fans of great romantic suspense. It is one of the author's stand-alone novels, so there is no worry about having missed anything in a series. This was my first book by Lisa Harris, but I doubt seriously that it will be my last!

About the Book

There is no such thing as random.

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victims' husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.

Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn's theory, Josh soon realizes the attack that took his wife's life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn's team--and what their end game is--before it's too late.

About the Author

Lisa Harris is a USA Today bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The EscapeThe Traitor's Pawn, Vanishing PointA Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, as well as The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent over 17 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. She is currently stateside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Learn more at

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Page-Turning Suspense -- Active Defense

As in any Lynette Eason book you might pick up, in Active Defense you will find page-turning suspense and just the right level of romance. This is the third book in her Danger Never Sleeps series, and it certainly has its share of danger.

The well-developed characters carry the movement of the story, with great variety of emotions and interactions. There is enough intrigue and uncertainty to keep the “who-dun-it” level high. At least for me, there were more and more questions coming up as the story developed, with no clear-cut answers coming in too early and spoiling the conclusion.

I highly recommend Active Defense to fans of great romantic suspense. Although this book is part of a series and several characters carry forward, it can be well enjoyed as a stand-alone.

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

About the Book

She's used to life-or-death situations.
She just didn't expect them to follow her home.

When former field surgeon Heather Fontaine returns from a party to find that someone has broken into her house--and threatened her friends--she assumes it is the stalker who has been creeping her out. She hopes to find safety and peace of mind by leaving the city and hiding out in a small town. But trouble follows her even there.

Luckily, a stalker isn't the only one observing Heather. Travis Walker has been secretly watching out for her for weeks. As owner of his own security agency, it's what he does. Together, Travis and Heather must figure out who wants her dead--and why--before it's too late.

About the Author

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Collateral Damage and Acceptable Risk, as well as Protecting Tanner Hollow and the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Suspense Across the Decades -- The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

Since I follow several authors and readers on social media, I hear about a lot of "must-read" books and "must-read" authors. Because of an already never-ending TBR (to-be-read) backlog of  books and  a constant stream of new releases by my several favorites, I just don't have the time to read every "must-read" that I see recommended.

But . . . I am so glad I caved to the pressure and decided The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright was one I must read. What did I like about the book? Pretty much everything! The characters, the circus setting, the mystery, and the dual timeline all come together into a well-crafted story. There are dark, almost spooky elements that are important parts of the story, but they just serve to keep the mystery alive. At the real heart of it all, though, are deep searches for truth, love, belonging, and healing stretching across decades of history of a small town and its circus.

If this book is a good representation of this author's writing, I hope to find the opportunity to read more of her books.

I highly recommend The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus to anyone who might enjoy a deep, complex mystery carried along by hope and faith.

About the Book

Welcome to Bonaventure Circus,
where misfits go to hide.

In 1928, the Bonaventure Circus has become a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby and is no longer content to leave the reason for that rejection unquestioned. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the "Watchman," she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa's search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Decades later, an old circus train depot's future hangs in the balance--it will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its fate rests on Realtor Chandler Faulk's shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot's history, she's also balancing a newly diagnosed disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

About the Author

Jaime Jo Wright ( is the author of six novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo; her husband, Cap'n Hook; and their littles, Peter Pan and CoCo. To learn more, visit

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sweet Rhyming Book for Little Ones -- I Spy a Tiger (with Giveaway)

About the Book

Book: I Spy a Tiger

Author: Clyde San Juan

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Worship daily in rhyme, reading I Spy a Tiger with the young ones in your life. On this colorful journey, introduce them to some of the beloved characters Adam named into the Animal Kingdom, God’s awesome design, along with a bit of His humor too! I Spy a Tiger invites young and old alike.

“There is so much for us to see and explore! Go on … have a look … it’s right out your door!”

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I Spy a Tiger is a sweet little rhyming book with eye-catching illustrations and "ear-catching" descriptions of some of God's animal creations. The animals show up in mostly expected settings, but involved in silly activities sure to bring joy to young eyes and ears. Some of  the rhyming rhythm seems just a little "off" or forced, but I don't think it will take away from the enoyment of the listeners. The opening and closing pages of the book point to the Creator and encourage exploration of God's great big, exciting world, starting right out their own door.

This book is one that is sure to be requested and enjoyed multiple times by toddlers, as well as by early readers who begin to learn the familiar vocabulary for themselves.

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

(I have to admit that I had a little help with this review. I think you can see my three-year-old grandson's opinion expressed in the cute little smile on his face!)

About the Author

Native SoCal author and illustrator, backpacker on crooked trails, amateur photographer and more recently, creativity encourager, Clyde enjoys teaching foundational basics and appreciation for drawing and painting to as many aspiring artists as 
he can. With unprecedented changes in the current social and commerce atmosphere, he is exploring the realm of Virtual Online classes in Art Instruction. As an author, like many dealing with the push and pull of life, he is working under the radar on four projects, ranging from three illustrated, fiction novels and a home cook targeted cookbook addressing the hurdles of ingredient intolerances.

With the anticipation of the momentous arrival of a first grandchild, the August, 2020 Redemption Press relaunch of his Children’s Book, I Spy a Tiger, he’s seeing the book in a different light.

More from Clyde

“I’ve been blessed to be able to combine visual conceptualization with writing. Right from the get-go, nothing but an exciting synergy leading into any project! Is it the writing, or the illustration that incites a certain section or aspect of a book? At every turn, a toss up, but the reciprocalities are always movement forward.

I Spy a Tiger, a project my wife and I collaborated on while our boys, Tyler and Bryce were little was a bright season of creativity and joy I’ll always cherish. Anne, writing the first draft while I designed and executed the layout and illustrations and later, contributing copy rewrites and additions.

Birthdays, anniversaries, intertwined with school, sports, scouting and all the natural inevitabilities maturing families encounter, quickly moved us into cascading seasons of life. Unceremoniously, I Spy, was slipped “underneath the bed,” along with some forgotten toys, for quite some time until, finally, its first edition was published in 2008.

The seasons of life are many. And what we see, looking back over the years of our family’s tapestry, are divine gold filaments of God, indelibly sown in and amongst our bound human threads.

We easily see it with all the good, but also, in all the not so good, despite our choices in self-power and self-will. Testimonies to His providence in all the victories, but more glorious, His presence with each advent of His protective shield through our trials. Grace and mercy ever present throughout the entirety of our family’s legacy.

And now, with this latest season, in the only way a good God can, I’m seeing I Spy’s second edition in a different light! We’re all anticipating a first grandson, due in December. And come Spring, 2021, another grandchild! With impeccable timing, more golden threads of His glory spun and sown in!

What fun, my new life as a Grampy, highlighted by the first reading of I Spy with grandson, Sonny! And in the blink of an eye, another baby San Juan in April.

The blessings of reading of a book together with the little ones in your lives are eternal. Miraculous, serendipitous, laughter laden moments forever! In this fast-paced, virtual world, the interactive hands-on intimacy of a book between an inquisitive child and a nurturing parent or guardian, represent three cords of love coming together in a strong, invincible bond.

Close fellowship like this can only help edify families and relationships; never losing its high place in championing childhood imaginations.”

Last night, I went outside, experiencing the first nip of the new season and was prompted to a romantic ditty . . .

tell me of the season’s changes . . .

frosty mornings with steaming mugs of cocoa.

piles of fiery leaves tromped through, buffeted
about in all directions . . .

listening to the wind, I sketch in the shadows
that cling to every detail like the lichen . . .

and when I run with that fox, flash of reddish fur,

to the place where the great owl sleeps,

tell me of the honkings of Canadian Geese overhead.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 6

Remembrancy, January 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 8

Simple Harvest Reads, January 8 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Fiction Book Lover, January 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Adventures of a Travelers wife, January 10

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 10

deb’s Book Review, January 11

Spoken from the Heart, January 11

Older & Smarter?, January 12

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Splashes of Joy, January 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Inklings and notions, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Southern Gal Loves to Read, January 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 18

Artistic Nobody, January 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Vicky Sluiter, January 19


To celebrate his tour, Clyde is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Awesome Second Installment -- First Light in Morning Star (includes EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY)

I'm always excited to start a new series from Charlotte Hubbard, as I expect to meet a new group of characters in a new setting and then get to explore in detail the stories of some of the individuals in that group. First Light in Morning Star is an awesome second installment in her newest series and one of my favorites of her books. 

The basic premise of the Morning Star series is a refreshing one. The Marketplace that was dreamed up and organized by a close group of young Amish women has brought new direction and success for them and many others in their community. 

Lydianne, who is one of those maidels, has a story that is quite an intriguing one. Not surprising with this author, you will find much forgiveness and compassion, a great deal of that being what Lydianne has to show for herself. Following the developments in the story is captivating and somewhat emotional, as you just can't be sure what will come next.

Besides the major emphasis on Lydianne, there is plenty in the storyline to keep the interest level high in the other characters, with hopes of learning more about them in future stories. And as Charlotte Hubbard is known to do, she also gives her die-hard fans a chance to revisit old friends from one of her other series. 

I highly recommend First Light in Morning Star to fans of great Amish fiction. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

Founded by five enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a joyous success. What’s even more remarkable is the gift the business bestows upon each of these unmarried women—the unexpected blessing of love . . .


Leaving Flaud’s Furniture to teach at the community’s new school is a joy for Lydianne Christner. Old Order Amish, but new to Morning Star, she’s grateful that the congregation trusts her with the position—but she panics when handsome Bishop Jeremiah Shetler asks about the life she left behind. If anyone discovers the secret she’s hiding, she would, quite rightly, be shunned.


A widower, Bishop Jeremiah admires young Lydianne’s youthful energy and skill with the children. He’s also curious about her past, and the burden he senses on her heart. When his request to court her is refused, he’s stung, and lonelier than ever. It isn’t until a crisis prompts a tearful Lydianne to confess to him that Jeremiah is faced with a choice that requires all of his faith—and teaches them both that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Read an Excerpt:

Hope fluttered like a butterfly in Lydianne Christner’s heart as she parked her rig in the pole barn just north of the new white schoolhouse. It was barely dawn and she was more than an hour early for her interview with the members of Morning Star’s school board, but she needed time to collect her thoughts and plan her answers to the questions she anticipated from the five men who would decide her future. It had been a spur-of-the-moment decision when she’d blurted out her wish to apply for the teaching position at the members’ meeting after church a week ago—but in the days since, Lydianne’s soul had reconfirmed her impulsive outburst.

She really wanted this position. The trick would be replying to the school board’s questions without hinting at the very personal reason she wished to become Teacher Lydianne. Did she stand a chance?

Sighing nervously, Lydianne stepped onto the front stoop of the schoolhouse and opened the front door.

Her heart fluttered at the sight of fresh white walls, low-maintenance tan flooring, and rows of new metal desks and chairs—the front row filled with shorter desks for the youngest scholars. The white board that covered most of the wall behind her awaited whatever instructions she would write with a variety of colored markers, and the built-in bookcases at the back of the classroom would soon hold a small library as well as a collection of textbooks. Sturdy tables along the side walls would provide space for class projects. A stairway led to the lower level, where the scholars would hang their coats and store their lunch buckets when they came in each morning.

The prospect of beginning a new job—a new life—in this fresh setting filled Lydianne with an even greater excitement than she recalled from when she was a scholar, buying paper and supplies as she anticipated each new school year. Even at twenty-three, she loved learning new things and she eagerly looked forward to passing on her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and arithmetic to—

“Ah—gut morning, Lydianne,” a familiar male voice pulled her from her musings. “Somehow I’m not surprised that you arrived early.”

About the Author:

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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