Monday, May 23, 2022

Liz Tolsma: A Promised Engraved

By Kelly Bridgewater

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?


My Thoughts:

A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma invites readers into the story of the Battle of Alamo. With plenty of battle scenes and the rush through the Texan landscape, Tolsma invites her readers into a different world than the current Texan landscape. Josie Wilkins, the heroine from the past, is a brave woman who has a horrible past that she is trying to forget, yet cling onto certain aspects too. The present heroine, Kayleigh, also wants to know some truth about her biological parents. As both women seek to figure out the truth, they learn more about themselves and their past. Tolsma shows how understanding one’s legacy and ancestors is important to everyone. Similarly, the plot of the story was okay. As a reader, I had a hard time personally wanting to stay with the story. At times, it was boring and not a lot of movement on the page. I wanted, personally,  a bigger mystery to dive into. Overall, A Promise Engraved does fit well into the Doors into the Past series, and I believe readers will enjoy the novel as part of the complete series.

I received a complimentary copy of A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma  from Barbour  Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Promise Engraved

Friday, May 20, 2022

Most Anticipated Suspense for Summer 2021

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Last week, I shared with my most excited novels for Historical Romance that I am most excited to read. 

This week, I am sharing the suspense novels that I can not wait to get my hands on. 

(All covers come from Goodreads!)

Code of Courage by Janice Cantore

Dark Angel by Andrews and Wilson

Sunburst by Susan May Warren

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

Free Fall by Nancy Mehl

Crossfire by Lynette Eason

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

Deception by Patricia Bradley

Elysium Tide by James R. Hannibal

What about you? What would you add?

Monday, May 16, 2022

Becky Wade: Turn To Me

 By Kelly Bridgewater

His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey's life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke's release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he's hidden. Worried that she won't be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke's promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke's help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return--by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he's long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He'll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who's going to shield him from losing his heart?

My Thoughts:

Fans of contemporary romance, rejoice. Fan favorite Becky Wade has crafted another contemporary romance novel for fans of the genre and Wade’s stories. The story has a hint of a mystery with the treasure hunt that Finley has to go on. A little bit of a risky adventure. But since this is a contemporary romance, the whole story centers around the romance between Finley and Luke. From their first encounter, Finley and Luke start having feelings for each other. They spend the rest of the story trapped together trying to solve the treasure hunt pieces and working together at the animal rescue place, so they are in constant contact, so of course, their attraction to each other becomes center stage. As for Finley, the heroine, she did seem a little flaky and pushy. What kind of person would demand her employees take home a brand-new puppy, even though they persisted that he did not want to take one? After a horrible week with the dog, he still had feelings for her. I found this hard to believe. I would not like someone that forced a snake or something on me. Puppies are hard to handle just like a new baby. While I found the plot a little too unbelievable, I believe that fans of contemporary romance might completely disagree with me and enjoy the hint of the romance with the “mystery” element. Overall, Turn to Me by Becky Wade does fit nicely into the contemporary romance genre, but it was not to my liking. Not my type of book.

I received a complimentary copy Turn to Me by Becky Wade from  Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Purchase Turn to Me

Friday, May 13, 2022

Most Anticipated Historical Romance Summer 2021

 By Kelly Bridgewater

It is that time of year again!

I love showing off all the covers of the stories that I look forward to in the next three months. 

Here are the Historical Romance that I am looking for to reading:

(All covers come from Goodreads!)

A Hundred Crickets Singing by Cathy Gohlke

Long Way Home by Lynn Austin

Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden

The Italian Ballerina by Kristy Cambron

A Feeling of Home by Susan Anne Mason

In Honor's Defense by Karen Witemeyer

A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma

Laura's Shadow by Allison Pittman

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

What about you? Any books to add?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Angela Couch: A Rose for the Resistance

 By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

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.


My Thoughts:

The Rose for the Resistance by Angela Crouch dives into the world of the French Resistance during World War II. The background and the research to bring this story to life is well-crafted and shows in the world of the story. I felt like I was walking the streets of France while the Nazi’s were standing ground and imitating the French people. On the other hand, the romance between Franz and the heroine seemed a little off for me. Not that Europeans did not fall in love with Nazi’s soldiers during World War II. It was more of having the heroine believe what he said right away and not doubting it. Even so far as she told him secrets of the French Resistance and kept him in the loop. Many Nazi soldiers were more worried about keeping themselves alive that I was not surprised he did not betray her a number of times to make himself look better. He was a forced soldier, for a logical reason, but I still did not buy that he would have helped her as much as he did. Whereas, the plot does feature French Resistance that has been shown in a number of other stories like The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron, so I believed the actions she made the characters go through. It was an interesting story and a delight to spend time with.

I received a complimentary copy of The Rose for the Resistance by Angela Crouch  from  Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Rose for the Resistance

About the Author

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


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.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Elizabeth Camden: Written on the Wind

 By Kelly Bridgewater

He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it?

Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone.

Natalia is the lead analyst for her father's New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both. 

From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal?


My Thoughts:

Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden introduces readers to the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia in the later stages of the building. While the story does not actually focus on the building of the railway, it does involve the people who were active in a horrible situation that occurred because of the building of this massive structure. If readers are familiar with the first novel in the Blackstone Legacy, Carved in Stone, then the readers would be familiar with the name of Natalia, the heroine. This time around, it is her story that readers are allowed to follow. The romance between Natalia and Dimitri is what starts the story through telegrams from Russia to New York City. There are moments of survival through the Russian wilderness through the early winter. There are moments of high society in New York City. There are moments of life on a farm in Russia. Plenty of scenery to capture a readers’ attention. The plot tickled my interest, giving readers an interesting plot centered around the Blackstone Family. Overall, Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden is an interesting peek into the world of the banking system and Russian politics. A delightful novel.

I received a complimentary copy Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Written on the Wind

Friday, May 6, 2022

College is Not the Answer

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Our college system is not working. (I do this does not apply to ALL universities.)

Our high school system is not working.

Majority of the students admitted to college cannot write an essay. They cannot do simple math in their heads. Then the colleges have to dumb down the education to re-teach these basics, before moving forward. Then by the time the students earn the Bachelor's Degree, they are where they should have been when they graduated high school.

College is such a joke anymore.

Not everyone HAS to attend college.

Our students are not anymore educated when they arrive.

A lot of them are failing out the first semester. Then they beg and plead to stay. The school allows them to stay. They earned all F's, but go ahead and give them the degree.

I do not want a doctor to work on me who barely made the grades.

Then you make the college students like me who graduated with my undergraduate degree with a 3.85 out of 4 and my Masters with a 3.70 out of 4 look like an idiot because my degree is from the same place.  


Blue collar jobs like working for the electronic or gas company. Plumbers and other skilled labors are making more than college graduates.

But nobody wants those jobs.

How about you? What do you think of our college system?