Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Roseanna M. White: An Hour Unspent

By Kelly Bridgewater

Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge--and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina's father soon finds his whole family in danger--and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed spending time with Roseanna M. White's family of thieves. An Hour Unspent is a wonderful addition to the series. I have read all three books in this series and have enjoyed them all. London is one of my favorite settings, so I couldn't wait to dive into another book in that setting. Plus, I really couldn't wait to see Barclay's story and why he became a thief. White does a marvelous job at inviting me into the historical world and allowing me to be swept up into the story.

I love how White brought the world of the early twentieth century to life for me. I didn't have a hard time imagining the setting from the clock tower to the watch shop. I love Barclay's family. All of the orphans struck a chord in me. I remember reading books by Charles Dickens and learning about all the horrible conditions of the work houses and the orphanages during earlier times. I'm glad the children did not have to endure such horrible surroundings.

The plot moved quickly and captured my interest. Of course, the romantic ending was predictable, but I still enjoyed watching Barclay and Evelina as they fell in love and learned how to move through their worlds together. I enjoyed learning more about the Rolex's and the world of watch making. It was interesting and taught me something new.

With An Hour Unspent, I finally got to see Barclay's story and see the humble and adoring heart he carries for the troubled orphans in London. He definitely has the heart of a true hero. I really enjoyed him and the transformation he endured from the first book.

Overall, An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White is a fascinating tale of a family of thieves. I loved the concept of a family, which doesn't have to be by blood. I loved the ability to be swept up into London and watch these old thieves change for the better. I really enjoyed White's writing style, and I eagerly await what else she plans to write. Fans of Rachel McMillan, Julie Lessman, and Lorna Seilstad would, I believe, enjoy this series.

I received a complimentary copy of An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

You can purchase the book here.

About the Author:
From Amazon

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at (Taken from Amazon.)



To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Connilyn Cossette: Shelter of the Most High

By Kelly Bridgewater

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I'm not a big fan of Biblical fiction but someone recommended that I read Connilyn Cossette's novels. At first, I was kind of like I don't want to read a dry repeat of the Biblical stories I'm familiar with, but after reading her novel Counting with the Stars, I don't feel that way about Cossette's writing anymore.

She writes with such authority about the time period and the ability to bring the world of B.C. during the Biblical era to life that I have find myself forgetting I'm reading a novel that occurred a long time ago with normal amenities. Like I've mentioned before, I can't imagine all the research that goes into writing a Biblical fiction novel. The author has to be true to the setting and the era without taking the reader out of the story. Cossette does a wonderful job at this.

I really enjoyed Shelter of the Most High. The plot started with a huge climactic moment, and Cossette kept tightening the noose on Sofea and Prezi as they were taken away from everything familiar to them. The novel moves pretty quickly and kept my attention. I finished the book in one day, having a hard time putting the novel down.

The romance between Sofea and Eitan didn't move fast; it appeared just right for me. Their feelings grew as they learned more about each other. It was cheesy or cheap. They didn't do anything to harm their reputation or ruin their perspective of each other.

I really liked the idea of sacrificing yourself for someone you loved throughout the entire novel. It struck a chord with me. Reminded me of Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Thank you, Cossette. It was my favorite part of the novel.

Overall, Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is a fabulous novel taking place in the Biblical era, but I had a hard time remembering that I was reading a novel taken place during that time period. I loved the characters and the idea of sacrificing oneself for another.

I received a complimentary copy of Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette from Bethany House Publishers, and the opinion stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

From Amazon
Connilyn Cossette is the Christy Award Nominated and CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series from Bethany House Publishers. There's not much she enjoys more than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Connect with her at (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Happy Halloween!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Happy Halloween!

I actually like Halloween.

Growing up, my parents didn't let us go trick-or-treating, but I actually look forward to it with my boys. I only have one left that is young enough to go. 

This year might be his last year too because he is ten. 

Image result for free trick or treat clipart

I love the idea of dressing up and having fun. The scary things don't really scare me. But then again, we don't really do anything horrible. Dress up like their favorite movie character or dress like a hippie.

We travel to homes of people we know. I enjoy traveling through the dark and allowing the boys to stay up later.

How about you? Are you the type of person who allows your kids to participate in Halloween? 

Related image

If not, please tell me why. I couldn't understand my parents why they wouldn't let me. Made me feel awful as a kid who couldn't participate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Terri Blackstock: Catching Christmas

By Kelly Bridgewater

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

A Christmas novel in any time of the year is special. Terri Blackstock is known for writing suspense novels, but she decided to switch it up and write a contemporary feel good story that takes place during Christmas. She has written some contemporary novels before, and I have enjoyed them too. 

With Catching Christmas, Blackstock introduces me to a tale of second chances and forgiveness. Finn, the hero is a cab driver who used to be a chef who needed forgiveness for his mother's funeral. While Sydney, the heroine, is the overworked lawyer who feels bad about not taking care of her grandmother. The story has a happy storyline and a feel good ending but not passing through some sad moments first. The romance sprinkled through the ending felt nice and not overwhelming. I enjoyed the story and am glad that I spent the time with it. This is a sweet little novel that took no time to finish. I recommend this novel to fans of Karen Kingsbury and Melissa Tagg's Christmas novels. This story would fit right in.

I received a complimentary copy of Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
From Amazon

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual "new kid," her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 Terri was writing for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening drew her into the Christian market. As she was praying about her transition, she went on a cruise and noticed that almost everyone on the boat (including her) had a John Grisham novel. It occurred to her that some of Grisham's readers were Christians, and that if she wrote a fast-paced thriller with an added faith element, she might just find her niche. As God would have it, Christian publishers were showing interest in the suspense genre, so she quickly sold a four-book series to Zondervan. Since that time, she's written over thirty Christian titles, most of them suspense novels.

Besides entertaining her readers, Terri tackles issues that she hopes will change lives. Her recent book, Predator, was inspired by her experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and her concern that people posted too much personal information about themselves. The book deals with an online predator who uses social networks as his playground. She hopes the book will change readers' online habits. Her New York Times best-seller, Intervention, was inspired by her own personal struggles with a daughter on drugs. In the book, a mother hires an interventionist for her drug-addicted daughter. But on the way to treatment, the interventionist is murdered, and the daughter disappears. Barbara, the mother, sets out to search for her daughter. Terri modeled Barbara after herself, and poured many of her own emotions and experiences into that character. As a result, many families experiencing drug addiction have written to thank her for telling their story and giving them hope.

Other recent books include her stand-alone novel Shadow in Serenity, and Vicious Cycle (Book 2 in her Intervention Series). She's also known for popular series such as the Restoration Series, the Cape Refuge Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as "The 700 Club" and "Home Life," and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins. (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Irene Hannon: Hidden Peril

By Kelly Bridgewater

As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she's fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue--and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly, scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Irene Hannon is one of the go-to author for me when it comes to writing suspense. I know she will have a solid story with plenty of research and high tension enough to grab and keep my attention. With her newest novel, Hidden Peril, the suspense seemed, to me, pretty watered down. It was another novel having to with a terrorist threat on American soil. For me, this type of suspense really doesn't capture my attention. I know the threat is real. I'm not that naive, but I honestly don't want to keep reading it over and over again in my suspense novels. The suspense didn't appear to be that important to Kristin's life until about eighty-five percent into the novel. The romance between Kristin Dane and Luke occurred from the moment the couple met and kept increasing its sparks as the story progressed along. The ending is predictable with, even so far as me knowing who was behind the attacks pretty early in the novel and Hannon proved me correct at the end of the novel. The romance ending was completely predictable too.

Overall, Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon started out with a unique twist but then morphed into a terrorist plot on American soil, losing my attention pretty quickly. I still believe fan so DiAnn Mills novels would enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

From Amazon
About the Author:

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, (Taken from Amazon.)