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Monday, November 23, 2020

Lisa Harris: The Escape

 By Kelly Bridgewater

US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead--and one fugitive on the run. They'll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear--and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.


My Thoughts:

                The Escape by Lisa Harris starts out reminding me of Con-Air, a plane full of criminals and something goes wrong. While Harris' story does not go as realistic and vivid as Con-Air the movie does, it still captures my attention as I am chasing through the woods of Idaho to Colorado to chase after an escaped criminal. There is a hint of romance, but it definitely is not the most important element of the story, which I truly enjoyed by the way. The suspense is what drives the stories. Every time the hero and heroine get close to capturing the criminal, he throws a loop in their carefully laid out plans and runs for the hills.  Some of the movements by the police officers were predictable. I believe fans of suspense novels will have seen them coming. They have been done before. Even with this, I still enjoyed the story. The heroine's name is mentioned in the next one, so I can't wait to see what other trouble that Harris allows these characters to dive into.

I received a complimentary copy of The Escape by Lisa Harris by Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Escape

Friday, November 20, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

By Kelly Bridgewater

I pray your Thanksgiving is wonderful and spending time with family!

Not like we didn't do enough that this year. Maybe we should celebrate with friends instead :).

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Joy to the World

 By Kelly Bridgewater

In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome both their obligations and their fears to find their way back into each other's arms?

"Far as the Curse Is Found" by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

"Wonders of His Love" by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.


My Thoughts:

I love the cover for Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection. What a great delightful introduction to what Christmas should look like. Snow and greenery. Just the sights and smells of Christmas.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller

This novella wasn't my favorite of the three. Not because Carolyn Miller couldn't write. That is not the issue at all. Miller is a wonderful writer who really dives into the time period and brought Christmas of the old to life for the readers. I think the plot because the hero and heroine already had a past didn't strike me as something interesting. It has been done a number of times, and it was old news. I did enjoy the attention to detail that Miler gave to her stories. I have read other stories by her and enjoyed her stories.

"Far as the Curse is Found" by Amanda Barratt

I enjoyed this the most. If readers are fans of Beauty and the Beast, then this is definitely a novella up their alley. Barratt does a wonderful job at crafting a story where the heroine needs to look past the mask and look into the heart of the hero's character. I love how the hero took in a woman with her nine-month-old daughter without any question. It was a sweet romance and made me happy to see them fall in love and have a memorable Christmas.

"Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

This is my second favorite story. I enjoyed who the hero, who is a painter, looks past the dull, dreary world around him and can add colors to it. I loved how the hero was there for a job, but her brought so much more to the home. The heroine transforms by the end of the novel, and I liked to see her transformation too. The romance was sweet, yet a little sappy at times too. This was a delightful way to end the book. I liked how Vetsch shows a little further in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of Joy to the World by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Eric Vetsch from Kregel Publications, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Joy to the World

Monday, November 16, 2020

Jen Turano: To Steal A Heart

 By Kelly Bridgewater

After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.


My Thoughts:

Jen Turano. What can I say. She makes me laugh at her heroines or heroes in every story. I don't know how she does it, but I love reading her stories. I love how she centers majority of the them in New York city during the height of the rise of  the Astors and the Vanderbilts populating the pages along her characters. With her latest story, To Steal a Heart, Turano jumps into women crime fighters. With being such a mystery lover, I couldn't wait to see how Turano was going to pull this off. Right from the beginning of the story, Turano puts her heroine and hero in an awkward situation that has be laughing and anxiously flipping the pages to see what hysterics Turano is going to throw her characters into.  There is no other writer like Turano. She is a wonderful storyteller and a delightful writer.  With each of her new cover reveals, I always can't wait to get my hand on that book. With To Steal a Heart, Turano stays true to her genre and personality. Can't wait to read more!

I received a complimentary copy of To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Purchase To Steal a Heart

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Murder Mystery Weekend

By Kelly Bridgewater

I would love to do a murder mystery weekend. They seem so mysterious, yet fun. I would enjoy dressing in period costumes and playing a role. It would be really fun to be the murderer and have people not have any idea that it was me. 

I have read and loved mystery novels majority of my life. It would be nice to use my investigative skills and try to figure out the clues for myself. It would be fun to actually have to solve the crime.

I would love to hang out in an old Victorian house and work with or against others as we try to solve a mystery. 

Have you ever done a murder mystery weekend? How about a murder mystery dinner party? Those look fun to, but I don't think I know of any close to where I live. 

That would be a fun gift and a weekend away with my husband. Maybe I should find one and line one up for our anniversary next year. It is October. Maybe find somewhere where it is actually cool around our anniversary. Where we live, it is usually really warm, and I don't want to do anything remotely outside. 

It would be cool to do it with friends. Maybe rent a house for the weekend and make our own murder mystery up. 


Need to plan one!

Has anyone ever planned one? Want to give me some advice on how to put one together? Or have you ever attended one and want to tell me how it actually works?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Rachel Russell: Still the One

By Kelly Bridgewater

It’s never too late to finish a love story…
Former Army Ranger Cole Barrett has a new mission objective—sell his grandfather’s house in Deep Haven, and leave the town that contains his childhood hurts for good. Unfortunately, the tenant in the garage apartment refuses to move. Even worse? It’s his childhood crush, Megan Carter, and her son.
Wedding planner and single mom Megan Carter loves Deep Haven. To her, it’s the place where she makes dreams come true—at least, everyone else’s. Hoping to purchase a local B & B and turn it into a premier event venue, she’s oh, so close to her down payment…until Cole Barrett returns to Deep Haven. Even if he’s not back to fulfill a silly childhood promise to marry her, she never expected him to evict her!

When a blizzard strikes Deep Haven, and Megan is overrun with wedding catastrophes, it takes a former Ranger to step in and help. Besides, the more he comes to her rescue, the sooner she’ll be able to move out…and he can move on. And that’s what they both want, right?


My Thoughts:


I have read all of Susan May Warren’s Deep Haven and Christiansen’s family's series. I have really enjoyed these family's members and the small cozy feeling of Deep Haven. Warren has decided to grace readers with a chance to read more about her familiar characters and helping budding writers to make a name for themselves by allowing them to write stories in their own voice, but feature Warren’s beloved characters. Rachel D. Russell is the first published author to come through the Sunrise Publishing and has a book coming out in 2021 with Still the One. My favorite aspect of Still the One was the setting. I love the snow. The beautiful deep snow that encompasses the whole town. I loved how Russell describes the snow in all the scenes. I could feel the cold as I flipped through the story. As for the plot, It was nice to see familiar characters return from Warren’s Deep Haven world. I loved how they interacted with the new heroine and hero, offering Godly advice to help them back the correct decisions. I love how the element of hockey gets woven into the characters. Being a huge fan of the Colorado Avalanche, hockey is a huge part of my winter life. Being a contemporary romance, the romance storyline does fit the description and answers all the boxes. I really enjoyed this story. I hope the rest of them happen either in the winter again or in the fall. Russell’s writing definitely shone on the page just like Warren does. But Russell has her own voice. She has taken beloved characters and brought them to life. This is a neat idea from Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel. I can’t wait to see what the next two books that take place in Deep Haven by budding writers will entail. I anxiously await the next book in this series.


I received a complimentary copy of Still the One by Rachel D. Russell from Sunrise Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Pre-Order Still the One (Releases January 12, 2021) 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Pepper Basham: The Red Ribbon

By Kelly Bridgewater



About the Book:

Title: The Red Ribbon

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Historical Romance

Publication Date: October 6, 2020


An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912

Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned.

The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham is a delightful story. I loved the twists and turns. The main part I enjoyed was the slow burning romance between Jeremiah and Daffiodil. I'm not a huge fan of romance. Usually I shy away from the romance and head straight to the mystery. But I enjoyed all the ways Jeremiah would work hard to protect her and build her a future home. He even created a room for her in their new home. He showed he loved her more than just staying it and allowing his emotions to run across the page of the story, driving the plot. The mystery was a nice treat too. It captured my attention. The only issue I had with the story is I wish the story was longer, so I could see more of the background of the feud. It didn't feel explained enough. As a reader, we were lead to the background of the feud, but never shown what the feud actually was. Overall, I enjoyed The Red Ribbon and can't wait to see what the next story is about. Some of these stories are a hit out of the park for me while others don't fit with what I accept, but Basham's is definitely a good one.

I received a complimentary copy of The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham from Barbour Books through Celebrate Lit, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Red Ribbon


About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains where her family have lived for generations. She’s the mom of five kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at the award winning Writer’s Alley blog. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in April 2015, and the second in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuted in April 2016.


More from Pepper

Feuds, Moonshine, and Family Loyalties by Pepper Basham

My upcoming release for Barbour’s True Colors series is really close to my heart…and pretty close to my house.

The Red Ribbon, my first foray into a historical suspense novel, takes place in the county where I grew up. Carroll County, Virginia, is a county on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, not too far from Mt. Airy (Mayberry).  Nestled in the foothills and mountains of the Blue Ridge, it is a part of the Appalachian Mountains, and with that comes similar histories as other backwoods Appalachian communities: feuds, moonshine, and family loyalties.

One thing I love most about my Appalachian upbringing is the intense closeness of family – and when I say ‘family’ I mean, of course, my mom, dad, and brother, but also my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…the whole “gang”, as my granny used to say.

The closeness of family, and the protection of the family name, is a big deal in Appalachia. There’s a lot of pride in the way your ‘name’ is thought of throughout the community, so when someone insults your name, there’s a good chance the repercussions aren’t going to be pleasant. Especially back in the early 1900s, when The Red Ribbon takes place. In fact, insulting someone by “stealing a kiss” is one of the events that leads to The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre/Tragedy.

A long-time feud between the Allen family and the “Courthouse Clan” came to a head inside the Hillsville Courthouse in March 1912 and this event resulted in the largest shootout within a courthouse in Virginia history. The story followed with a nationwide manhunt and made national news until the sinking of the Titanic the following month.

Growing up in Carroll County, I knew a few things about this story. Rumors and whispers, really. Most folks didn’t talk about it because it still caused a stir among those who were descendants (because another thing about Appalachia is that families tend to stay on or around family land for generations). People still took “sides”. So, when I decided to write this book, I knew I was stepping into precarious territory. Not that anyone would start up a shootout nowadays because of a book, but because people still have some deep feelings about how their ancestors are portrayed in history, and since many of my family members still live in Carroll County, I wanted to tread carefully into the events of “The Allen Tragedy”.

What I discovered was a story that still held a whole lot of mystery even one hundred years later. Bullet holes still mark the courthouse steps from that fateful day, rumors still circulate about who was to blame, and no one knows who fired the first gunshot that began the tragic shooting.

I’m not a “scary” book writer or reader, but I love a good adventure, so this book takes the reader on an adventure into Appalachia to my neck of the woods, and follows the journey of Ava Burcham and Jeremiah Sutphin as they live among the illegal moonshiners, dirty cops, and mountain gunslingers of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

(To learn more about the true events of the Courthouse Tragedy, you can read about it here:

Have you ever read a book set in Appalachia? If so, what was the title and what did you learn about the Appalachian culture? Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Let’s chat mountain people, mountain ways, and mountain books 😊

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

Fiction Aficionado, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 29

Blossoms and Blessings, October 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 30

Inklings and notions, October 31

Emily Yager, October 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 31

Hallie Reads, October 31

For Him and My Family, November 1

reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Christian Bookaholic, November 1

Betti Mace, November 2

Genesis 5020, November 2

For the Love of Literature, November 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , November 2

Rebecca Tews, November 3

Robin’s Nest, November 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 3

Connect in Fiction, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 4

To Everything There Is A Season, November 4

Artistic Nobody, November 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 5

By The Book, November 5

Remembrancy, November 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 6

Britt Reads Fiction, November 6

Life of Literature, November 6

Connie’s History Classroom, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 7

A Reader’s Brain, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 8

Through the Fire Blogs, November 8

Godly Book Reviews, November 8

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

Where Faith and books Meet, November 9

Books I’ve Read, November 10

Just the Write Escape, November 10

Adventures of a Travelers Life, November 10

Amanda Tero, blog, November 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11


To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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.