Sunday, August 30, 2020

Jaime Jo Wright: The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

 By Kelly Bridgewater

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the "Watchman," she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa's search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk's shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot's history, she's also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

53837403. sy475
From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Jaime Jo Wright does a fabulous job at crafting a story that makes readers beg for the rest of the story in a hurry. While Wright crafts the two timelines from 1928 versus the present day, she somehow wraps the story up by the end. It makes total sense and captures my attention. I was really excited when I started to read about a serial killer that was killing innocent woman at the circus, but it seemed not to be about the killer. It was more about the people and their change. The plot is different and unique. I really liked it. But my overall complaint is that it was hushed down a lot with the mystery element. I wanted more.  Romance seemed a little downplay too. It made the plot seemed cheapen with the romantic elements. I wish they were there. I do enjoy Wright's style. Her writing is delightful to read. I love her word choices, and as an English Major, I love how she structures her sentence. It is a delight to just reread sentences for their pure beauty. Overall,  The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus may not be my most favorite book of Wright's, but I definitely have been recommending Wright's stories to everyone who enjoys a clean, safe mystery.

I received a complimentary copy of The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

Friday, August 28, 2020

Most Anticipated Reads for 2020 (Historical Romance)

By Kelly Bridgewater

I usually do this list right about the turn of every season. I love the new covers. I love giving a shout out to the hardworking authors who create such wonderful and delightful stories for me to pass the time.

I usually have a lot of books, so this season, I have decided to do two different posts.  This post will feature all the Historical Romance books I can't wait to read. (All images come from Goodreads.)

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

52536408. sx318 sy475

Her Secret Song by Mary Connealy

51267857. sy475

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd

50697472. sy475

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

51272900. sy475

A Haven for her Heart by Susan Anne Mason

51268119. sy475

To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano

51269867. sy475

Courting Misfortune by Regina Jennings

51272389. sy475

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep

53124253. sy475

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

51272603. sy475

What about you? Are you interested in any of these books? So many of these titles have fabulous covers? What a great job by the various publishing companies.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Kathleen Y'Barbo: The Black Midnight

By Kelly Bridgewater

Two Series of Murders Seem Mysteriously Connected
Step into True Colors -- a series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

Could a series of murders in London in 1889 be related to unsolved murders in Austin, Texas, 1884? Queen Victoria wants to know and asks her granddaughter—who left the queen’s good graces by going off to America to become a Pinkerton agent—to quietly look for any connection. The catch is the queen doesn’t want her to do it alone. Alice Anne must find her former Pinkerton agent partner—now an attorney in Austin—and enlist him in the hunt. As the pair get closer to finding their suspect, their lives become endangered, but they refuse to be intimidated. Can this case be solved?

From Goodreads
My Thoughts:

Historical mysteries are a big hit. At least for me. I have been fascinated with the murders done by Jack the Ripper for  a long time. So when I read the synopsis for The Black Midnight, I couldn't wait to read the story. While I like my mysteries to focus on the solving of the crime, The Black Midnight does that at times, but to me, it read more like a contemporary romance with a hint of the mystery. Not a lot of thrills. It did jump from London to Austin, Texas and ended up in London. I am obsessed with London and hope someday to visit, but for now, I visit through stories. I wanted some more of the setting too. It seemed to not be that important. Overall, the mystery is safe with plenty of romance. I just wanted a little more to satisfy my taste. I'm sure others will love this story. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y'Barbo from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Black Midnight

Friday, August 21, 2020

Most Anticipated (Suspense or Romantic Suspense)

By Kelly Bridgewater

It is that time of the year again.

Time to show the covers that I'm interested in reading.

This time, I have decided to show the covers in two different posts. Today, I am doing suspense or romantic suspense. Next week, come back, and I'll show you the titles of historical romance that I'm most interested in. (All covers come from Goodreads.)

The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

50285637. sy475

The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren

51273023. sy475

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon


Soul Raging by Ronie Kendig

51268392. sy475

The Escape by Lisa Harris


Wow! This  suspense list is pretty short!! We need more writers to craft suspense novels!! This lists needs to be longer.  Anyway, how about you? Do you want to read some of these fabulous novels?

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Lynette Eason: Acceptable Risk

By Kelly Bridgewater

Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she's taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander--Sarah's imposing father--to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she's discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother's suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah's career--if she can survive long enough to write it.

Strap in for another breakneck nail-biter from bestselling romantic suspense author Lynette Eason that will have you up turning pages long into the night.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Lynette Eason does it again! What a great action packed novel! From remarkable characters to a dynamic plot, the story kept my attention and didn't let go until the final conclusion. Eason delivers exactly what fans of a suspense with a hint of romance want in a novel. I love how her novels lean more toward the suspense side than the romance side. There are some authors who layer on the romance a little more, and I tend to not enjoy those novels as much. But not Eason. Acceptable Risk is a fast paced action novel with plenty of moments of grasping of what is going to happen next as I flew through the pages. I can't wait to read the third book in this series. 

I received a complimentary copy of Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Acceptable Risk

Friday, August 14, 2020

New School Year

By Kelly Bridgewater

School this year will be different.

Hopefully, it is nothing like the last two and half months of last school year. Kids will actually attend their schools and participate in school activities.

March through May was a crazy time in the world in general.

I pray we are over that by now.

If we are, this school year appears to be different for my family.

My oldest has now graduated from high school and has moved onto different things.

But I still have a sophomore and sixth grader at home who need to keep doing Awana's at church and band at school.


Help every student who is going back to school already or in the next couple of weeks. Keep their mind focused on learning and help them to succeed. Help the students who shine for you to shine even brighter. I pray for confidence and encourage as they enter the next stage in their lives.


Good luck this year students of all ages!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Dani Pettrey: The Crushing Depths

By Kelly Bridgewater

 Crushing Depths FB banner

 About the Book:

Title: The Crushing Depths

Author: Dani Pettrey

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Genre: Romantic Suspense

They know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . .
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below.

Mounting evidence shows the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.

From Goodreads


My Thoughts:

Dani Pettrey does a fabulous job at keeping readers on her toes. From the first chapter of her newest novel, The Crushing Depths, I was taken for a ride. The action does not stop. It keeps twisting and moving fast. The romance is a little too much for my personal taste. I get it. The hero and the heroine like each other. Let's focus on the mystery at hand instead of their budding romance. The writing is fabulous. Pettrey definitely allows readers to feel all the five senses when she takes her readers for a ride. I enjoy reading all her books and can't wait to read the finale in this series. Fans of Pettrey's other novels should add this to their TBR pile, then store it on their shelf to return to later.

I received a complimentary copy of The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey from Bethany House Publishers through the Celebrate Lit Program, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase: The Crushing Depths

 About the AuthorDani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today). She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit

More from Dani

Enjoy this special recipe for a Lavender and Honey Latte that makes a special appearance in my book!

Blog Stops

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 12

Losing the Busyness, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Texas Book-aholic, August 13

Fiction Full Of Faith, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 13

Artistic Nobody, August 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 14

Through the Fire Blogs, August 15

Mia Reads, August 15

April Hayman, Author, August 15

Emily Yager, August 15

Inklings and notions, August 16

Stories By Gina, August 16

CarpeDiem, August 16

Betti Mace, August 17

Lighthouse Academy, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 17

KarenSueHadley, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18

lakaesidelivingsite, August 18

Livin’ Lit, August 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 19

Life, Love, Writing, August 19

Blogging With Carol, August 19

Life of Literature, August 19

Older & Smarter?, August 20

Inside the Wong Mind, August 20

Mary Hake, August 20

Melissa Wardwell- Back Porch Reads, August 21

Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 21

Empowermoms, August 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 21

Amanda Tero, August 22

Splashes of Joy, August 22

Simple Harvest Reads, August 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, August 22

Blossoms and Blessings, August 23

Worthy2Read, August 23

Spoken from the Heart, August 23

Hallie Reads, August 23

The Artist Librarian, August 24

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , August 24

Daysong Reflections, August 24

Hebrews 12 Endurance, August 25

Live. Love. Read., August 25

Remembrancy, August 25

Lights in a Dark World, August 25


To celebrate her tour, Dani is giving away the grand prize package of a necklace, tumbler and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Susan Sleeman: Minutes to Die

By Kelly Bridgewater

It's the intel every agent fears--terrorists have been smuggled into the country, intent on unleashing the most deadly attack since 9/11. With the threat imminent, FBI Agent Kiley Dawson and ICE Agent Evan Bowers are charged with taking down this terrorist cell. The only problem is Kiley blames Evan for the death of her former partner, and she can barely be in a room with him. But with millions of lives on the line, she has no choice.

If it wasn't for a bad call Evan made, Kiley's former partner would still be alive, and Evan has to live with that guilt for the rest of his life. When he starts falling for her, the agent's death seems an impossible obstacle--but it's also the last thing he needs to think about. As the terrorist plot targets Kiley's family, the two are pushed to the breaking point in a race to save countless lives. 
From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I love a good suspense or police procedural novel. I have read a couple of Susan Sleeman's book, so I was familiar with how she writes. With Minutes to Die, the heroine is definitely a brave woman who struts across the pages of the story. Sometimes a little too much. The hero, Evan, is remarkable that he would want a woman so forceful. As for the plot, it was a terrorist plot that has been over done. It could be just be, but I'm not really interested in thrillers that have terrorist trying to destroy our country again. Too close to reality might be why. Sleeman is a wonderful storyteller who really shows how the police work and what they actually have to do to stop something as horrific as a terrorist threat from happening. I enjoyed the inside look. I enjoyed the race against the clock. I enjoyed the plot as it twisted and turned. Overall, Susan Sleeman's newest book Minutes to Die is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours. I believe that fans of Janice Cantore and DiAnn Mills would enjoy this story. 

I received a complimentary copy of Minutes to Die by Susan Sleeman through Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, August 7, 2020

Transition to Life

By Kelly Bridgewater

Do you remember that summer after graduation from high school?

Do you remember working at your part time job, but now became a full-time job?

I remember hanging out with friends way past my old curfew.

 I remember traveling places without asking my parents' permission. I just told them where I was going.  We didn't have cell phones then, so you would call home as soon as you could to let your parents know you reached your destination and was okay.

I remember looking toward my future with uncertainty.

The fear.

The thrill.

The what-if.

Now twenty years later, I'm watching my first born son do the same thing.

He graduated high school last May. Survived the pandemic of the Corona bug.

Now ready to face the world.

I don't know what he plans to do with his life.

The uncertainty of what is to come.

His father and I have worked really prepare all three of our boys to enter the world as Godly-man who want to change the world.

I pray for his safety and what the Lord calls him to do with his life.

What about you? Have you done this already? If not, do you think you're preparing your kids enough?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Rachel Fordham: A Life Once Dreamed

By Kelly Bridgewater

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you're going.

From Goodreads


My Thoughts:

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham is a sweet romance. If it was set in modern time, it would have definitely been labeled as a contemporary romance with the completely predictable ending and plot line. Even though, the story has been done a ton of times, the story mainly my attention until the end when Fordham gave the hero and the heroine the predictable ending. I, for once, would have loved to seen something else happen to the couples besides knowing they are the ones for each other and deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. Fordham does a wonderful job at crafting this story. I believe fans of westerns would enjoy this novel. Fans of Misty Beller, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jaguers might enjoy this novel too. Not that it was a bad book. Just a little dry for my personal taste.

I received a complimentary copy of A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Thoughts: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Life OnceDreamed

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Rachel McMillan: The London Restoration

By Kelly Bridgewater

In post-World War II London, determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II's secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville's experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London's churches intersect in MI6's pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King's College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

48856403. sy475
From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I adore this cover. Rachel McMillan has a fabulous cover. The red hat really shows up, but the picture of Big Ben and Parliament next to the River Thames really captures my eye. As someone who has been dying to visit London for a very long time, I enjoy reading stories that take me there and allow me to travel as I read the novel. With The London Restoration, McMillan does a fabulous job at allowing readers to see the ruins of the London churches before World War II, during World War II, and after World War II. The churches represent the pain and joys of the London people as they seek refuge, but tried to be strong under the Germany's invasion on their soil. The characters told their story in 3 different time frames. They were telling us what happened when they met, right before the separation to fight in the war, and after they came home. Personally, there were many moments that I was confused as to what was actually going in the plot. Then I would have to flip back and reread the time period to try to set myself in the story. Not a lot of action. A little PTSD. What was the heroine, Diane actually doing during World War II? It took a long time to figure that out. I adore McMillan's ability to use words to craft a delightful story; however, this one didn't hold as much moving forward dynamics I needed to give it a higher rating. 

I received a complimentary copy of The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars