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Monday, January 21, 2019

Colleen Coble: Secrets at Cedar Cabin


By Kelly Bridgewater


Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down. 

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava. 

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems.



From Amazon



My Thoughts:

Colleen Coble is a highly acclaimed romantic suspense author. With Secrets at Cedar Cabin, Coble dives back into the world of the missing siblings. This time, I received the story of Bailey, the baby of the family. I learn just at the same time as Bailey does about what happened to her at the beginning of the story. This story touched and dived into the world of human trafficking. This is a horrible topic, but a harsh, disgusting reality in our world today. The story does move pretty fast. It does have moments of rush and calm to it. In my personal opinion, I believe there is more calm than the rush of a typical suspense novel. The story was well-written and kept my attention because I wanted to see how the story ended, but I wish for more suspense. Overall, Secrets at Cedar Cabin does explain the final clues to the missing siblings, and the human trafficking was interesting, but the story didn't flow like a suspense novel with non-stop action. I believe fans of Coble's previous writings, Lynette Eason, and DiAnn Mills would enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
Colleen Coble
From Amazon
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com. (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, January 18, 2019

My Favorite Books of 2018


By Kelly Bridgewater

Can you believe it is now 2019?

Wow! Where did 2018 go?

It seemed like I was writing this blog post during 2017 just a couple of weeks ago.

Last year at this time, a lot of things have changed and broke, allowing me to dip into a lot of finances. I pray this year nothing like that happens.

Anyways, I have decided to include my favorite books of 2018.

I love doing this every year. Plus, I love allowing the author to know that their book has touched me in some way that I still remember it months later.

Here they are in no particular order: (All images come from Amazon unless noted!)

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

 

Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

 

Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

 

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

 

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

 

(I think Nadine Brandes' Fawkes is my favorite cover of the year!)

What about you? Do any of these books make your favorite lists? What other books would you add to this list?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Abigail Wilson: In the Shadow of Croft Towers


By Kelly Bridgewater

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself?

From Amazon



My Thoughts:

Abigail Wilson is a debut author with her Regency novel In the Shadow of Croft Towers. I have read a number of Regency novels, so I had a pretty good idea of what the genre consists of. First, there is going to be romance and a world I haven't lived in. Majority of Regency novels are in honor of Jane Austen's novels, but I can't stand Jane Austen, so I believe the authors today write more captivating stories than Austen ever have. Wilson does a better job than Austen.

Her writing is clear and concise. I had no problem visualizing the setting of Croft Towers. Wilson dives in and allows me to see the surroundings for the first time just like the heroine does. She takes me on a journey just like the first person heroine. I explore the world and wonder about Mrs. Chalcroft and the death surrounding Anne.

Wilson does write the story in the first person point of view. I only knew the main character's name because she mentions it to others, but the story is told completely in her point of view. This is a difficult to write in. I have only read one other author, that I can think of right now, who did the first person point of view justice. Dawn Crandall writes Regency novels in the same fashion. Wilson does a wonderful job at staying in the heroine's perspective and not jumping into others.

The plot is interesting. I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding Anne's death and the reality of the heroine's connections to the family of the Chalcrofts. The plot moved pretty quickly, capturing my imagination as the story dealt with the mysterious death and the idea of spies for the opposite side. It really kept my mystery-loving imagination.

Overall, In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson is a thrill of a Regency novel that I haven't seen written before. It had a couple of mysteries thrown in to capture my imagination, but it also had a number of Regency items to keep the regency fans happy. I believe fans of Julie Klassen, Jane Austen, and Dawn Crandall would adore this novel.  

I received a complimentary copy of In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
From Amazon

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter's gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA's Fab Five contest and ACFW's First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Prayer for 2019


By Kelly Bridgewater

Lord,

I pray for 2019. Another year has begun. I pray for our family to grow closer to you and lean more on you as we move through the year. Join my boys and my husband as we travel through this year together. Be with my boys as they perform in the school band and as they work in the theater. Help them to memorize verses for Awana and read the Bible daily, increasing in their knowledge of you.

I pray for my marriage. Lord, I thank you for a wonderful, loving husband who honors you with everything he does. I pray for  his strength and love of you to grow and increase. I pray for our marriage to keep improving as we work toward our 18th anniversary. May we carve out days and dates together to remember why we are in love in the first place.

Lord, I pray for my oldest son. This year, he will finish his junior year and move onto his senior year. Help guide him on his path as he moves toward what he wants to do with his life. In a year, he has to decide to go to college and move into a career. I know he is a smart and creative boy who really has a heart for you. I pray for his growth in you and keep his love for sharing about you to everyone.

I pray for my middle son. He is musically talented and loves listening to music. Keep his love of music alive and allow him to look forward to starting high school. Keep his love of being a sweet little boy alive. I pray he falls in love with you this year and realize how much he really needs to control his anger and depend on you for everything in his life.

My youngest. Not so young anymore. This year, he finishes fourth grade and moves onto fifth grade.  Keep his love for learning alive. I pray you keep pushing him to work hard and show everyone how much he can learn. Memorizing verses is a lot of fun for him. I pray he grows closer to you and keeps asking all the hard questions about you. Even if I don't know the answer, keep him curious.

I pray for me. Allow this job to give us more financial freedom as we work toward saving more money for retirement and paying off our mortgage. Thank you for my job. Allow me to be inspired to write again, hopefully this year or next.

I pray for authors. The ones I read and the ones I support. Even the ones that write Christian fiction in a genre I don't gravitate toward. I pray they keep using their God-given talent to bring others to you and show what a wonderful God we serve.

Amen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Christy Barritt: Gaffe Out Loud


By Kelly Bridgewater

Actress Joey Darling is beginning a new season . . . of her TV show and her life.

Joey Darling’s life is finally on track. Her hit series has been picked up by a new network, her relationship with Detective Jackson Sullivan couldn’t be better, and she’s even bought a house. But right after taking possession, Joey discovers a dead body upstairs.

Joey knows she won’t have any peace until she figures out why a dead woman was left at her house and who killed her. And she desperately needs peace as the “normal” life she’s trying to establish quickly progresses from great to the brink of collapse.

The countdown is ticking as Joey must soon leave to begin filming. But one gaffe after another slows her investigation and makes her question her choices. The closer Joey gets to answers, the more someone is determined to make sure this season of her life is canceled—permanently.

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From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Reading a Christy Barritt novel is like returning to a family reunion after a couple months away. I get swept up into the character's lives right where Barritt left them in the last book. I watched the characters move forward, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. I enjoy returning to familiar characters and familiar settings. Barritt is also a wonderful creator of cozy mysteries. All of her mysteries are different and unique. I don't know how she does it. As for me, her newest book in the Joey Darling series, Gaffe Out Loud, had a mystery element I didn't see coming, but I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt as Joey and Jackson worked together on their relationship and the hunt for clues. The story moved quickly, and I was sad to see another Barritt novel end, but I know Barritt will write more, so it lifts my spirit. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of any of Barritt's previous 
novels or enjoy a good mystery to pass the time.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Christy Barritt
From Amazon
About the Author:

USA Today has called Christy Barritt's books "scary, funny, passionate, and quirky."

A Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year.

She's married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She has more than fifty books published with over one million copies sold.

For more information, visit her website: www.christybarritt.com. (Taken from Amazon.)