Category: Book Review

Quote from More than Meets the Eye: She was stuck. Apparently she had more in common with those foolish dime-novel heroines than she'd thought.

#Throwback Thursday | More than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

A Worthy Pursuit is larger than life in more ways than one.

Miss Charlotte Atherton is happy in her role as headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths in Austin, Texas—at least until Dr Sullivan announces the school is closing. The students will be returned to their families … including Lily Dorchester, an orphan for whom Charlotte is the legal guardian. So she does what any sensible 28-year-old woman would to in 1891: she kidnaps Lily and two other parentless students and takes them to a remote farm where she hopes they won’t be found.

Stone Hammond is the best retriever in Texas—he always gets his man. Or, in this case, his girl. He’s been hired to find little Lily Dorchester, who was kidnapped by her teacher. Only when he finds her, he finds the teacher claims she is Lily’s legal guardian, and she has the papers to prove it. Awkward. The two settle on an uneasy truce while Stone looks into Charlotte’s claim, and he finds the whole experience unexpected: the relationship Charlotte has with the children, the unique talents each child has, and his reaction to Charlotte. Especially his reaction to Charlotte.

I’ve enjoyed every single Karen Witemeyer book I’ve read, and this one is no exception.

The only problem with her books is that she doesn’t write them fast enough – it’s usually the best part of a year between releases. Her plots and characters are both excellent, and she manages to inject a lot of humour into her novels without ever going over-the-top or descending into cliché or cringe.

Despite the light humour, this was also a story of two wounded adults doing their best to follow God and protect the children in their charge from similar wounds. While the Christian aspects of the novel weren’t overpowering, they were powerful.

Overall, an excellent novel. Recommended for fans of historical fiction from authors such as Jen Turano and Carol Cox.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Karen Witemeyer

Author Photo: Karen WitemeyerFor those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website.

Find Karen Witemeyer online at:

Website | Facebook

About More Than Meets the Eye

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

Find More than Meets the Eye online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo | Koorong

Read the introduction to More than Meets the Eye below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

People didn't always understand his humor, which tended to be extremely dry and somewhat rare.

Book Review | An Agent for Clara (Pinkerton Matchmakers) by Nerys Leigh

An Agent for Clara is Nerys Leigh’s second book in the multi-author Pinkerton Matchmaker series.

If you’ve read any of the others, you’ll know the series is about the “daring women who seek adventure and are of sound mind and body” who sign up to join the Pinkerton National Detective Agency only to find they are to be married to a male agent for their first assignment.

If you can buy into that somewhat unlikely premise, then you’ll enjoy the story.

Clara Lee joins the Pinkertons because she’s been fascinated with detecting ever since reading about the first female Pinkerton agent. She is assigned to learn from—and marry—Mr Tobias Campbell. Tobias has an interest in forensic investigation that makes him ahead of his time. (If you’ve read The Bug Man series by Tim Downs, then Tobias is the 1871 version).

Tobias agrees to marry Clara for the purpose of the case, but that’s all. He’s not interested in marriage. He’s not especially interested in training Clara, but he’s not given the option. The couple are sent to New York to locate a woman who went missing almost two years ago—hired by the man who possibly fathered a child with her, and now wants to help.

Tobias finds Clara hard to deal with at first. She’s his opposite in many ways, but they gradually get to know each other and come to value their differences as well as their similarities. Those who have read Nerys Leigh’s Escape to the West series will see some familiar references. I won’t say more, because #Spoilers 🙂

An Agent for Clara is a fun story and Christian romance fans with a fondness for 1900s Westerns will enjoy it.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online at:

Website | Facebook

About An Agent for Clara

Falling in love could risk more than just their hearts.

Women aren’t supposed to fight crime, not in 1871. But solving mysteries is all Clara has ever wanted to do, so when the Pinkerton detective agency advertises for new female recruits, she jumps at the chance.

Not even having to marry her training agent for the duration of her first case fazes her, although Tobias Campbell is overly serious and a little unusual. Clara is exceptionally good with people. She’ll get him to him to loosen up before the case is over.

But when the search for a missing woman forces them into the dangerous underworld of New York’s notorious gangs, Clara and Tobias must learn to rely on each other.

Because it’s not only their hearts that are on the line. It’s their lives.

Find An Agent for Clara online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to An Agent for Clara below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

#ThrowbackThursday | The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of the excellent The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall, an excellent romance set in Gilded Age America.

Excellent end to trilogy!

After the murder of her brother, heiress Estella Everstone goes incognito as Elle Stoneburner, paid companion to an elderly widow. But she doesn’t anticipate the job taking her to Everston, her favourite of her family’s hotels, where she meets Mr Dexter Blakeley, the hotel manager … and Jay Crawford, her ex-fiance.

The story is told in first person, by Elle/Estella.

She’s an interesting character: people treat her differently as Elle Stoneburner, and she finds their attitudes quite different. It gives her the opportunity to find out who she really is, apart from the much-younger Everstone sister, the heiress. The first person gives it a gothic romance field, a little like Victoria Holt (for those old enough to remember her!).

This is especially the case with Mr Blakeley and his mother, both of whom seems to have a low opinion of society women. Elle/Estella is attracted to Mr Blakely, and he seems to be attracted to Elle, but will he have the same feelings for Estella, given she represents so much he appears to despise?

The Captive Imposter is the final book in The Everstone Chronicles trilogy.

Each book covers the romance of one of the Everstone siblings. The Captive Imposter is a standalone novel, but features characters and situations from the earlier books—so if you plan on reading all the books, do start with The Hesitant Heiress.

I’ve read all three books, and they all have solid plots with excellent characters, feisty women with faith and attitude. The books are well-written, and I especially like the way they each include a strong Christian thread without being preachy. Having said that, I think The Captive Imposter is my favourite of the three books, because the plot is something a little different, and because the characters are so good–both well-imagined and well-portrayed.

Recommended for fans of historical romance.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Dawn Crandall

Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the first four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award.

Find Dawn Crandall online at:

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About The Captive Imposter

For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine.

Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can’t refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she’s putting forth, she’s never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

Find The Captive Imposter online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Captive Imposter below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

I wanted to be part of a family. Through all of this I came to realize that the people God puts in my life are my family.

Book Review | Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith

Uncharted Destiny is the seventh book in Keely Brooke Keith’s Uncharted series.

It starts pretty much where the previous book left off. On that basis, you probably need to read Uncharted Journey before reading Uncharted Destiny (better still, read the whole series—start with The Land Uncharted, or Aboard Providence).

Bailey Colburn has arrived in the Land—the strange island in the South Atlantic Ocean, hidden from modern navigational devices (think of Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira, but with men and women and all using 1860s technology). She thought she was the only survivor from her vessel, but now she’s found that Professor Tim Van Buskirk, her mentor and father figure, also survived. But he’s trapped on the other side of the island.

Bailey wants to mount an immediate rescue mission, but it’s not so simple.

Tim’s radio description of his surroundings suggests he’s in the unmapped portion of the island, and it will take at least a week to get there. Fortunately, the Colburn family are willing to help, because it’s not a journey she can take alone.

While the other novels in this series have largely been romance novels in a unique setting, Uncharted Destiny has more of an adventure feel—think Indiana Jones without the archeology, and with natural enemies. It’s a dangerous journey, and the danger doesn’t end when they find Tim …

Uncharted Destiny is another excellent story in this series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Keely Brooke Keith

Keely Keely Brooke KeithBrooke Keith writes inspirational frontier-style fiction with a slight Sci-Fi twist, including The Land Uncharted (Shelf Unbound Notable Romance 2015) and Aboard Providence (2017 INSPY Awards Longlist). Keely also creates resources for writers such as The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Character Journal.

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely grew up in a family that frequently relocated. By graduation, she lived in 8 states and attended 14 schools.  When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Find Keely Brooke Keith online at:

Website | Facebook

About Uncharted Destiny

Bailey Colburn is safe in the Land, but her father figure, Professor Tim, never made it to Good Springs. When Bailey discovers Tim is lost in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain and out of his life-saving medication, she sets out to rescue him. Even with the help of intriguing native Revel Roberts, Bailey faces an impossible journey to save Tim. The mountains are shrouded in dark folklore and full of deadly surprises.

Revel Roberts never stays in one place too long. No matter where he travels in the Land, he avoids the Inn at Falls Creek, his boyhood home and the business he will inherit. But when fearless newcomer Bailey Colburn needs Revel’s help to find her friend, he joins the mission and is forced to return to the place he’d rather forget.

Bailey and Revel’s friendship strengthens as they need each other in ways neither of them imagined. But nothing can prepare them for what awaits in the Land’s treacherous mountains.

Uncharted Destiny, the seventh installment in the beloved Uncharted series, weaves faith and adventure while delivering long-awaited answers in this inspirational story of life in a hidden land.

Find Uncharted Destiny online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to Uncharted Destiny below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

Cover image of The Miracle Thief by Iris Anthony aka Siri Mitchell

#ThrowbackThursday | The Miracle Thief by Iris Anthony

It’s been a few years since Siri Mitchell released a new book. But she’s back, and moving into yet another new genre—thriller State of Lies releases on 13 August. So today I’m sharing my review of one of her two general market historical novels released under the pen name of Iris Anthony.
The Miracle Thief is a historical novel following three women as they seek God’s will in France in  the early 900’s. No, that’s not a typo. The Miracle Thief really is set over a thousand years ago.

About The Miracle Thief

Sister Juliana escaped to Rochemont Abbey many years ago, seeking to atone for her biggest sin. She serves in the shrine of St Catherine, helping the many pilgrims who come to pray for healing by the saint’s relics.

Anne is the newly-orphaned daughter of an impoverished noblewoman. With no home, she has little option but to obey her mother’s dying request and undertake a pilgrimage to St Catherine’s shrine to seek healing.

Giselle is the illegitimate daughter of a king, raised as a princess and about to be forced into a political marriage against her will. She asks to take a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Catherine to seek God’s will.

My Review

The Miracle Thief was an unexpected gem. The characters are real (really. It’s historical fiction based on real people and real events), and were brought to life with all their flaws and foibles. The plot moved steadily, and although (as with real life), the ending wasn’t necessarily what I’d have chosen, it was historically accurate, and it was from a time and place in history that hasn’t been done to death by other authors (*ahem* Tudor England).

Anthony has done an excellent job of melding historical fact with the creativity of fiction.

I never felt I was being ‘dumped’ with historical facts or that the story was being manipulated to stay true to history, yet the note at the end shows the degree to which the story has been researched and is true to the historical record (which, admittedly, has a lot of holes).

Although The Miracle Thief is a general market book, there was still a strong underpinning of Christian faith (albeit featuring some very un-Christlike “Christians”), and it meets CBA standards in that there is no inappropriate language. It left me feeling grateful to live in a time and place where I have freedoms and choices women like Juliana, Anne and Giselle never had.

Recommended for historical fiction fans looking for something a little different.

Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

Book Review | Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

I don’t like snakes—something my Australian friends mock me for. Naming no names, but one of my editing clients wrote a snake into her book especially because she knew I didn’t like snakes. That’s what friends are for, right?

Anyway, about Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass.

I hoped the title was a metaphor, but that hope was dashed with the very first line …

"The first time I saw Stone Carrington the fifth, I had a snake wrapped around my neck."

Yes, the snake is a major feature. But he (I assume it was a he) is also a great character who sets the tone of the novel and provides some much-needed comic relief.

Belinda Blake is an exotic pet sitter and videogame reviewer who’s just moved into the carriage house on the Carrington estate. She’s settling in well … until she finds a dead woman in the garden. As she says:

"I didn't know the ... protocol ... for finding a dead body outside my rental house."

Well, who does?

Belinda starts investigating but soon finds that someone or someones don’t want her sticking her nose in. That—and encouragement from Stone Carrington the fifth—only strengthens her desire to find out what happened and why. And before something happens to her …

This is Heather Day Gilbert’s first Belinda Blake novel, and her first novel for the general market.

I’ve previously read her historical fiction and contemporary Christian mysteries, but I think this is her best yet. The plot is tight, the characters are well portrayed, and the writing is top notch. Most of all, Belinda Blake is a clever and witty heroine (albeit one with strange taste in pets). She’s everything I look for in a contemporary mystery heroine.

Recommended for fans of mystery and romantic comedy who like strong heroines and novels written in first person point of view.

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Heather Day Gilbert

Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love.

Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.”

Find Heather Day Gilbert online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

About Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass:

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .


Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

You can find Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Goodreads

 

Weaver's Needle by Robin Carroll

#ThrowbackThursday | Weaver’s Needle by Robin Carroll

It’s Throwback Thursday, which means it’s time to share a review of an older book or reshare an old review. Today I’m resharing my review of Weaver’s Needle by Robin Carroll, which first appeared at Suspense Sisters Reviews.

Weaver’s Needle was an excellent thriller, with lots of questions, lots of plot turns, an evildoer I didn’t see coming (although I might have if the novel hadn’t been so fast paced), and a real twist ending.

Despite my bias for romantic suspense over straight suspense, I actually preferred the suspense elements of Weaver’s Needle to the romance. Who was behind the murder? Who is threatening Landry and Nickolai as they work together to find the lost map and perhaps solve the murder … and the mystery of the lost mine? What is the significance of the strange scenes about the Native American rituals?

There was also a compelling subplot about Nickolai and his relationship with his teenage sister, a schizophrenic in full-time care. Nickolai blames himself for not recognising the signs difference between normal teenage acting out and serious mental illness—a mistake which had tragic repercussions. It’s tough to incorporate mental illness into a novel, and I thought it was done well.

Next to all that, it might be inevitable that the romance element wasn’t going to be as strong. I could see the building attraction between Landry and Nickolai, but there was always the issue that Landry was a strong, praying Christian, and Nickolai an unbeliever. I thought this was glossed over, which affected my enjoyment of the romance.

But don’t let that deter you from reading Weaver’s Needle if you like thrill-of-the-chase mysteries with depth.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Robin Carroll

Robin Carroll

Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South.

Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

Find Robin Carroll online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

About Weaver’s Needle

Two recovery specialists.
One murder.
A hunt for the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine becomes a race of survival.

Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident—to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.

After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job—maybe even the best.

A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.

Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable. . .true love and understanding?

Find Weaver’s Needle online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo

Read the introduction of Weaver’s Needle below:

Quote from The Line Between: What did it mean that the divine could not only notice but seem delighted in me?

#ThrowbackThursday | The Line Between by Tosca Lee

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of dystopian thriller The Line Between by Tosca Lee, because the sequel releases this month. A Line Between is a great story, and the sequel promises to be just as nail-biting.

It’s near-future North America. Wynter Roth has just escaped the pseudo-Christian cult she’s lived in for the last sixteen years. Disease is sweeping the land. And Wynter is afraid the cult leader might have been right … maybe the outsde world was all heading for hell.

Wynter is a character who is both brave and naive. She knows little of the ways of the modern world, because she was only five when she entered the cult’s compound and has rarely been permitted to leave. Her views of God and the world have been twisted by the cult leader, Marcus. Yet she has a strong sense of right and wrong. And she’s prepared to risk everything she knows for right … which means leaving the cult.

The story is fast-paced and disturbingly believable. That’s the key with dystopian fiction: twist something in our reality (in this case, infectious rapid onset dementia). Use that twist to destroy everything the characters know and rely on. Then see how they react.

The story flips back and forth between Wynter’s present and the events that led her to leaving the cult. This weaving provides added layers of complexity, and propel the present plot forward. It’s masterful writing. I challenge any fan of dystopian fiction to put this one down.

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner.

Thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Tosca Lee

Author Photo: Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory duology (THE PROGENY and FIRSTBORN), ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

 

Find Tosca Lee online at:

Website | BookBub | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About The Line Between

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

You can find The Line Between online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Line Between below:

And don’t forget to watch out for A Single Light, which releases this month! Here’s the book description from Amazon:

Six months after vanishing into an underground silo with sixty others, Wynter and Chase emerge to find the area abandoned. There is no sign of Noah and the rest of the group that was supposed to greet them when they emerged—the same people Wynter was counting on to help her locate the IV antibiotics her gravely ill friend, Julie, needs in order to live.

As the clock ticks down on Julie’s life, Wynter and Chase embark on a desperate search for medicine and answers. But what they find is not a nation on the cusp of recovery thanks to the promising new vaccine Wynter herself had a hand in creating, but one decimated by disease. What happened while they were underground?

With food and water in limited supply and their own survival in question, Chase and Wynter must venture further and further from the silo. Aided by an enigmatic mute named Otto, they come face-to-face with a society radically changed by global pandemic, where communities scrabble to survive under rogue leaders and cities are war zones. As hope fades by the hour and Wynter learns the terrible truth of the last six months, she is called upon once again to help save the nation she no longer recognizes—a place so dark she’s no longer sure it can even survive.

Click here to find The Line Between, A Single Light, and other great Christian fiction at my Amazon shop.

Cover image - No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

Book Review | No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

No Ocean Too Wide is about the British Home Children, and the issues surrounding sending British children to Canada. It is similar to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society scandal depicted in Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma.

The underlying idea behind the stories is the assumption that the children are better off being adopted out to more affluent families. However, the issue with the British Home Children is that many of them weren’t adopted into loving homes, affluent or otherwise. Many of them were little more than slaves, bought for a few dollars.

As such, parts of the first quarter felt a little contrived.

Would Laura really do this? Would Katie do that? I wasn’t sure. But I knew those things had to happen for the story to get going, so I was prepared to look past a few things that didn’t necessarily make sense.

Katie, Grace, and Garth McAlister are placed into an orphanage after their mother falls ill and is admitted to hospital. Their older sister, Laura, is a lady’s maid for the Frasier family, so doesn’t hear about her family’s troubles in time. Andrew Frasier offers to help Laura, but experience has taught her not to trust rich men.

Andrew is asked to look into possible issues with the British Home Children scheme.

He is surprised to find his mother’s maid involved. He’s even more surprised by her claim that her siblings have been sent to Canada, and vows to help reunite her family. But the law is not on their side …

No Ocean Too Wide is the first novel in a trilogy about the McAlistair family and their fictional experiences as British Home Children. Yes, it’s fictional, but the scheme itself—and many of the events portrayed in the novel—are based on fact. As such, it’s an excellent piece of historical fiction, as well as being a strong Christian historical romance. Recommended.

Thanks to Multnomah and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carrie Turansky

Carrie TuranskyBestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels and novellas set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down!” . . . “Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written” . . . “My new favorite author!”

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About No Ocean Too Wide

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

Find No Ocean Too Wide online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads

#Throwback Thursday | One Last Thing by Nancy Rue

An Exceptional Tale of Contemporary Issues

Tara Faulkner is marrying Seth Grissom: her brother’s best friend, the son of their pastor, and the guy she’s loved for ten years. But they have a strange argument three weeks before the wedding, and when she returns to discuss it with Seth, she finds him doing something awful.

He promises he’ll change and never do it again, and she wants to believe him. After all, the alternative is cancelling the wedding. But when she finds he lied, she does just that—but he makes her promise not to tell anyone why. This leaves her dealing with all the fallout, not least two families blaming her for the cancellation.

One Last Thing is written entirely in first person point of view from Tara’s viewpoint. This normally only works for complex characters, and Tara wasn’t complex, at least not in the beginning. She was the perfect pampered Southern princess, and while she hasn’t lived an entirely sheltered life, her family is financially stable and she’s always been given the best of everything. She attends church with her family, but there was little indication she had any personal faith: something that’s normally a must in Christian fiction, especially Christian romance.

At first I was a little frustrated that Seth, a Christian man who worked for a mission organisation, was planning to marry a woman who had little or no personal faith of her own. But as the novel progressed, Tara began to search for God … and it explained why Seth was prepared to be “unequally yoked”.

The explanation was misogynistic or hypocritical or possibly both, but it worked. And it worked without making me feel as though my emotions were being manipulated.

That’s strong writing.

The more Tara digs into Seth’s issues, the more she finds out, and the more secrets she has to keep from her friends, her family, and from Seth’s family. The only person who has any sympathy for her is Seth’s younger sister—who’s seen as a troublemaker. She is helped in her troubled journey by a disparate group of ladies she meets while working in a local coffee shop—her first-ever job.

Tara slowly discovers Seth’s issues, and strangely, this allows us to move from repugnance to sympathy for his problems while still acknowledging Tara did the right thing. Seth acknowledges that he has to take responsibility for his own actions, especially when they have hurt others. This is as a positive thing.

I wish it didn’t, but it does, and One Last Thing does an excellent job in sensitively fictionalising a growing problem in society.

It’s not easy reading, and it’s not nice. But it is real. Unfortunately.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Rebecca St James and Nancy Rue at their websites.

You can read the opening here: