Monday, March 27, 2023

Amanda Cabot: After the Shadows

By Kelly Bridgewater

Emily Leland sheds no tears when her abusive husband is killed in a bar fight, but what awaits her back home in Sweetwater Crossing is far from the welcome and comfort she expected. First she discovers her father has died under mysterious circumstances. Then the house where the new schoolteacher and his son are supposed to board burns, leaving them homeless. When Emily proposes turning the family home into a boardinghouse, her sister is so incensed that she leaves town.

Alone and broke, her family name sullied by controversy, Emily is determined to solve the mystery of her father's death--and to aid Craig Ferguson, despite her fears of men. The widowed schoolmaster proves to be a devoted father, an innovative teacher, and an unexpected ally. Together they must work to unmask a killer and escape the shadows of their own pasts in order to forge a brighter future.

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot transports you to 1880s Texas Hill Country for a brand-new series that will have you flipping pages to solve the mystery and get to the happily-ever-after you long for.


My Thoughts:

After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot features a Regency style romantic mystery. From the first chapter, readers are thrown for a loop as they are introduced to Emily and her sister, Loisa. Right away, there is a dead body and a parsonage that has burnt to the ground. A new teacher. Where to put people as the town tries to fix what has went wrong. The writing was nicely handled. Cabot's writing style fits nicely into the Regency genre on the plains of Texas. Readers will empathize with Emily with all the struggles that she has to endure as the plot moves along. Speaking of the plot, readers will enjoy getting to know the numerous characters who make this quirky little town move. A whole cast of characters with different personalities. Emily stands out as a brave, yet timid woman who is determined to solve the mystery of her father's death while trying to stay humble with her visitors. I enjoyed how she wanted to help everyone in the community. Even the new teacher and his young son.  The romance is not the main issue of the story, but it does develop as the story progresses along. Overall, After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot is a small town mystery filled with heart. A delightful story.

I received a complimentary copy of After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase After the Shadows

Friday, March 24, 2023

Welcome Spring!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Spring is here!


I enjoy the pretty flowers.

All the wonderful colors.

All the nice, fresh, clean scent in the air.

I love watching the tree’s bloom in purple, pinks, and whites.

I love the raining days.

I love the little warmer weather. Not enough to sweat. But enough for t-shirt weather.

What about you? What do you enjoy about Spring?

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Marilyn Turk: The Escape Game

By Kelly Bridgewater

A Board Game Holds Keys to Prisoners’ Escape

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

After the Nazis started the bombing blitz of England, Beryl Clarke puts her college on hold to return to Leeds, care for her mother, and work as a secretary at the Waddington game company. While she endures the war at home, her brother James fights the enemy in the air. When he is shot down, injured, and captured, James meets American POW Kenneth Anderson, and they plan to escape the Nazi prison camp. Beryl knows there is a board game with escape plans being delivered to POWs by the Red Cross. But how will the men discover the game’s secret?


My Thoughts:

The Escape Game by Marilyn Turk is a different, yet interesting take on World War II. For readers familiar with World War II novels, they have read tons of stories on the concentration camps during World War II. I, personally, have not read any stories that have to do with Nazi POW camps. This was interesting and fascinating how well the prisoners were actually treated. The plot does have two point of views that had a past before the war started. Monopoly played a huge part in the escape game, which I did not know. The characters, especially the hero, Kenneth Anderson, was brave and willing to do anything to escape the Nazi prison. Nicely crafted. The heroine, Beryl Clarke, worked at the war effort while trying to bring her mother out of her depression since her father died. The writing style was easy to follow and a nicely handled story with plenty of action and surprising moments that kept me glued to the story. I recommend this story to fans of World War II stories.

I received a complimentary copy of The Escape Game by Marilyn Turk from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Escape Game

Monday, March 20, 2023

Stephanie Landsem: Code Name Edelweiss

By Kelly Bridgewater

“What I am looking for—what I desperately need, Mrs. Weiss—is a spy.”

Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.

In the summer of 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler is the new and powerful anti-Semitic chancellor of Germany. But in Los Angeles, no-nonsense secretary Liesl Weiss has concerns much closer to home. The Great Depression is tightening its grip and Liesl is the sole supporter of two children, an opinionated mother, and a troubled brother.

Leon Lewis is a Jewish lawyer who has watched Adolf Hitler’s rise to power—and the increase in anti-Semitism in America—with growing alarm. He believes Nazi agents are working to seize control of Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever known. The trouble is, authorities scoff at his dire warnings.

When Liesl loses her job at MGM, her only choice is to work with Leon Lewis and the mysterious Agent Thirteen to spy on her friends and neighbors in her German American community. What Leon Lewis and his spies find is more chilling—and more dangerous—than any of them suspected.

Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood.


My Thoughts:

Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem promises to be an interesting take on the Nazi’s during World War II, but on American soil. Even in the heart of Hollywood. The cover is fascinating, and the writing is top-notch. My imagination flew away with the characters as they struggled through this trying time in the world’s history. Readers are introduced to Liesl who is brave, cunning, and intelligent right from the first chapter. Liesl wants what is best for her children, brother, and mother, so she is willing to do basically anything to make sure their basic needs are met. Liesl has a pretty harsh background that makes readers empathize with her plight. Similarly, the readers are introduced to “Thirteen” and watch his interactions with other characters and the setting. Readers will discover his backstory as they read the story. Landsem did a wonderful job at crafting the Hollywood world of the late 1930’s. It was nice to be “walking” through the sets and watching the actors walk through the lots. While Landsem did deliver what she promised, the plot does get a little dry in the middle of the story when Liesl is tasked to do somethings. Even though this did happen, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. I learned something new about the Nazi’s terror on the American soil. Overall, Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem is a different World War II story, which I love the idea and enjoyed the execution of the plot.

I received a complimentary copy of Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Code Name Edelweiss

Friday, March 17, 2023

St. Patrick’s Day – Stories Set in Ireland or Characters from Ireland

 By Kelly Bridgewater

 St. Patrick’s Day.

 day to celebrate Ireland and the Irish heritage. Here are some novels that have heroines or heroes who come from Ireland or the story takes place in Ireland (All images come from Goodreads).

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

 A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman


No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

What about you? Think of any other books? Please share them with me!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Kimberley Woodhouse: A Mark of Grace

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: A Mark of Grace

Author: Kimberley Woodhouse

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: January 3, 2023

When everything crumbles, her chance for a new beginning hangs in the balance.

Ruth Anniston survived an injury that left her physically scarred, broken, and angry at God. Now, she finds herself working behind the scenes as a kitchen and dining room supervisor at the El Tovar Hotel, hidden away from curious eyes and with little hope of finding love. When money begins to disappear from the hotel, Ruth's entire livelihood is put at risk when she lands on the list of suspects.

Frank Henderson has at last succeeded in obtaining his dream job as head chef at the El Tovar. But competition in the kitchen is fierce, and one mistake could cost him his future. As the thefts at the hotel continue, and his affection for Ruth grows, Frank's career--and his heart--are in jeopardy.

As tensions run high, Ruth and Frank must work together to save the El Tovar. They find themselves growing closer . . . but can their combined ingenuity overcome the odds against them?


My Thoughts:

A Mark of Grace by Kimberley Woodhouse is Ruth Anniston’s story. If readers are familiar with the other stories in this series, Ruth is the head waitress at El Tovar. After an unfortunate accident, Ruth has a little depression to handle and deal with. Woodhouse’s writing style is nicely done. She writes with such fluidness and accuracy that I forget that I am reading a story that took place over a hundred years ago. The plot is a little mysterious with a touch of realism. Readers will enjoy the hunt for what is actually happening to El Tovar. Who is doing all the damage to their building and their reputation? A nice twist to a historical romance story. Speaking of romance, the romance between Ruth and Frank Henderson comes to a head in this volume. Nothing too over the top. Just enough to see the sparks fly. But of course, what would any type of romance if something did not get in the way and made this romance veer off course. Overall, A Mark of Grace by Kimberley Woodhouse was not a book that I typically pick up to read, but since I downloaded A Deep Divide in December when the ebook copy was on sale and enjoyed it, I choose to read this novel too. A nicely handled and well told story. A delight to spend time with.

I received a complimentary copy ofA Mark of GracebyKimberley Woodhousefrom Bethany HousePublishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Mark of Grace 

About the Author

Kimberley Woodhouse ( is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in the Poconos, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.


More from Kimberley

It is such a thrill to be able to bring readers A Mark of Grace, book three in my Secrets of the Canyon series. These books have been near and dear to me since 2009, right from the moment the idea of setting a Harvey Girls series at the El Tovar on the rim of the Grand Canyon first hit me.

Ever since the release of A Deep Divide, book one in the series, I’ve received tons of messages from readers who hoped Ruth would have her story. All along, the plan was for the final installment to be hers.

Ruth has been a strong character throughout the series. A mentor. A friend. A headwaitress. But when a crisis hits her life, it affects every area—emotional, physical, and spiritual—and her confidence in everything she thought she knew crumbles.

Life isn’t easy for any of us, and I love a good story that I can grow and learn through. I pray A Mark of Grace is that for you.

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Texas Book-aholic, March 12

Karen Baney Reviews, March 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 13

deb’s Book Review, March 13

Cover Lover Book Review, March 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 15

Where Faith and Books Meet, March 15

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 16

Betti Mace, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

She Lives to Read, March 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Stories By Gina, March 19 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 19

Batya’s Bits, March 20

Splashes of Joy, March 20

Pause for Tales, March 21

EmpowerMoms, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 22

For Him and My Family, March 23

Holly’s Book Corner, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 24

Book Looks by Lisa, March 24


To celebrate her tour, Kimberley is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback set of the full SECRETS OF THE CANYON series!!

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

Monday, March 13, 2023

Jocelyn Green: The Metropolitan Affair

By Kelly Bridgewater

Bestselling author Jocelyn Green sweeps you away in a dazzling novel of secrets, betrayal, and romance within one of New York City's most esteemed museums.

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she'd accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father's offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York's wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York's high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger's identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.


My Thoughts:

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green is a unique trip through the world of a history museum. What is better than a fraud system with historical artifacts? The main heroine, Dr. Lauren Westlake, is a unique yet realistic heroine because she is hunting for the affections of her father. I love the connection to the ultimate connection of trying to find satisfaction in another person but knowing the true joy will come when anyone finds that joy in seeking and discovering God. The plot captured my attention with plenty of secrets and moments of intrigue that kept me moving through the story. While reading it, I wished I did not have to go to work because I had to put the story down. The setting is different, yet fascinating. I love museums, so this was a nice way to see the underscore world of a historical museum. Overall, The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green was a unique, yet engaging story. Definitely a book for my keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green through Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Metropolitan Affair