Monday, April 29, 2024

Michelle Griep: The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: April, 2024

Wife. Mother. Homemaker. Detective. Kit Forge wears many hats, and if that’s not enough, she’s partnered with her father to open a new detective agency. It’s hard to be all things to all people, but Kit never shies away from the impossible. Despite her hard work and good intentions, some things fall through the cracks.
Namely, her husband.
But Jackson barely notices. He’s too busy putting out his own fires. As the new chief inspector of a busy London station, he must salvage the disaster left behind by the former police chief—an obstacle made all the harder when the superintendent breathes an ultimatum down his neck.
Against her father’s advice, Kit takes on a case involving a missing child, one in which she and Jackson become a little too emotionally involved. . .and end up endangering their own little girl in the process.
Can Kit and Jackson learn that just because they can say yes doesn’t mean they should?

My Thoughts:

The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep shows a realistic question from a mother. Current mothers today have to choose between working outside the home or staying home and raise their children. With current inflation crisis, thanks to Biden's politics, many mothers do not have a choice but to go to work. Griep does a wonderful job at showing the conflicting emotions that Kit has about this chain of questioning. Other than that, Griep does a wonderful job at crafting a moving plot filled with plenty of moments of grace, suspense, and romance. I love novels that feature the same characters. Readers come to the know the characters and enjoy spending time with them as they grow and become part of our lives. Jackson and Kit's marriage is tested as they try to deal with home life, work life, and raising a new baby. Overall, The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep is going to be a wonderful addition to my library, and I'm really anxious to see what Griep comes up with next. She is a wonderful storyteller, and I have loved all of her stories that I have read.

I received a complimentary copy of The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.




More from Michelle

Oh Inspiration…Wherefore Art Thou?

There are several questions I am asked frequently as an author.

“Hey, how much money do you make?”

“Can you help me get my book published?”

“How come it takes you so long to finish a story?”

But probably the most common query is this: what sorts of things inspire you? Now that is a question I can go on and on about! Don’t panic, though. I’ll be brief.

Story ideas come from every place imaginable. I’ve had plot thoughts from watching kids’ movies or even from eavesdropping at a coffee shop (note: beware what you say in public). TV series are also a favorite of mine, so much so that my latest release, The Sleuth of Blackfriars Lane, is loosely based on one of my all-time favorite PBS series.

Have you seen this show? If not, do yourself a favor and ride that pony. If you have, then you know what I’m talking about. Either way, you should know that, the main character, is a detective in Victorian London—a very sassy yet classy lady. And that’s what struck me light a lightning bolt.

This woman is Kit, the heroine in my Blackfriars series, like right there on the big screen.

So, for book III, I decided I’d let ol’ Kit open her own private investigation agency with the help of her father, a recently retired police sergeant. Of course much intrigue and chaos ensues, just like in my all-time favorite PBS series, bringing the Blackfriars series to a satisfying end.

Inspiration honestly comes from anywhere, so next time you’re rubbing elbows with an author, beware. You just might end up as a character in their next book.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 26

Book Looks by Lisa, April 26

Live. Love. Read., April 27

Vicky Sluiter, April 27

She Lives To Read, April 27

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 29

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Sylvan Reads, April 30

Pause for Tales, April 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 1

Blogging With Carol, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 2

For Him and My Family, May 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Betti Mace, May 3

Wishful Endings, May 3

Bizwings Book Blog, May 4

Daysong Reflections, May 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 5 (Author Interview)

Kristina Hall, May 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 6

The Lofty Pages, May 6

Cover Lover Book Review, May 7

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 7

Blossoms and Blessings, May 7

Holly’s Book Corner, May 8

Back Porch Reads, May 8

Lily’s Corner, May 9

Life of Literature, May 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 9


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

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jessica R. Patch: The Garden Girls

By Kelly Bridgewater

On a remote Outer Banks island, a serial killer collects his prized specimens. And to stop him, an FBI agent must confront his own twisted past.

FBI agent Tiberius Granger has seen his share of darkness. But a new case sets him on edge. It’s not just the macabre way both victims—found posed in front of lighthouses—are tattooed with flowers that match their names. There’s also the unsettling connection to the woman Ty once loved and to the shadowy cult they both risked everything to escape.  

Bexley Hemmingway’s sister has gone missing, and she’ll do anything to find her—including teaming up with Ty. That may prove a mistake, and not just because Ty doesn’t know he’s the father of her teenaged son. It seems the killer is taunting Ty, drawing everyone close to him into deeper danger.

As the slashing winds and rain of a deadly hurricane approach the coast of North Carolina, the search leads Ty and Bex to an island that hides a grisly secret. But in his quest for the truth, Ty has ignored the fact that this time, he’s not just the hunter. Every move has been orchestrated by a killer into a perfect storm of terror, and they will need all their skills to survive…


My Thoughts:

The Garden Girls by Jessica R. Patch dives deep into the past of Tiberius Granger. Readers are introduced to “Family” and the ideas that they carried. The serial killer was unique and different. The way that he captured the girls, tortured them, and eventually killed some of them was different, yet fascinating. Patch crafted a character that was definitely hurting, but he believed these garden girls would make him complete. I loved how she showed the serial killer through the eyes of one of the victims. Made him appear sane physically and mentally, but he had little ticks that showed he was not mentally stable. As for the plot, nicely woven together with plenty of trails to lead the reader along. Patch gave Tiberius a complicated past that wove together with Bexley. As the story progressed, emotions that were hidden down deep came bubbling back to the surface. Overall, The Garden Girls does a wonderful job at keeping the focus on the suspense of the story, which is the way that I enjoy my stories. A touch of romance, but really nothing that subtracted from the race to save the girls from the killer. Definitely recommend for readers who like grittier novels.

I received a complimentary copy of The Garden Girls by Jessica R. Patch from Love Inspired Trade Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:   4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Garden Girls

Monday, April 22, 2024

Kristy Cambron: The British Booksellers

By Kelly Bridgewater

Inspired by real accounts of the Forgotten Blitz bombings, The British Booksellers highlights the courage of those whose lives were forever changed by war—and the stories that bind us in the fight for what matters most.

A tenant farmer’s son had no business daring to dream of a future with an earl’s daughter, but that couldn’t keep Amos Darby from his secret friendship with Charlotte Terrington . . . until the reality of the Great War sobered youthful dreams. Now decades later, he bears the brutal scars of battles fought in the trenches and their futures that were stolen away. His return home doesn’t come with tender reunions, but with the hollow fulfillment of opening a bookshop on his own and retreating as a recluse within its walls.

When the future Earl of Harcourt chose Charlotte to be his wife, she knew she was destined for a loveless match. Though her heart had chosen another long ago, she pledges her future even as her husband goes to war. Twenty-five years later, Charlotte remains a war widow who divides her days between her late husband’s declining estate and operating a quaint Coventry bookshop—Eden Books, lovingly named after her grown daughter. And Amos is nothing more than the rival bookseller across the lane.

As war with Hitler looms, Eden is determined to preserve her father’s legacy. So when an American solicitor arrives threatening a lawsuit that could destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to preserve, mother and daughter prepare to fight back. But with devastation wrought by the Luftwaffe’s local blitz terrorizing the skies, battling bookshops—and lost loves, Amos and Charlotte—must put aside their differences and fight together to help Coventry survive.

From deep in the trenches of the Great War to the storied English countryside and the devastating Coventry Blitz of WWII, The British Booksellers explores the unbreakable bonds that unite us through love, loss, and the enduring solace that can be found between the pages of a book.



My Thoughts:

The British Booksellers by Kristy Cambron is throughly researched and crafted with deeply wounded characters. From the first page, Cambron entices the readers with a friend to lover type story. I love these type of stories, so place the romance in a World War II setting with the London Blitz, and I couldn't wait to dive into the story. I enjoy how the story is a time slip novel from World War I to World War II. The similarities are there. Plus the hurt from both time periods play out before the readers. I have been fascinated with the London Blitz since I started personally researching World War II history. Cambron does a wonderful job at showcasing and highlighting the hurt and demise that the Germans had done on London. As for t0eh characters, she dives deep into who each character is and what they have overcome to the misunderstood happenings that occurred in the past. Overall, The British Booksellers by Kristy Cambron was a deeply engrossing tale that I enjoyed spending time with.

I received a complimentary copy of The British Booksellers by Kristy Cambron from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The British Booksellers

Monday, April 15, 2024

Joanna Davidson Politano: The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple

By Kelly Bridgewater

Peter Driscoll, an underground investigator to the wealthy, has never met anyone like Lily Temple. The beautiful silent-film actress spins fairy tales and plays frivolous roles in front of the cine-camera, but beneath the costumes and stage makeup is a woman with a quick wit--and a murky past.

Peter has been tasked with locating the legendary Briarwood Teardrop, an exquisite sapphire, which Lily wears beneath her gown. In order to stay close to her and hopefully unravel the mystery of her story--and the sapphire--Peter employs Lily's help on a case, which leads to a useful partnership. But as they are investigating together, Peter is also investigating Lily. The closer he gets to the truth, the more danger they face. And the closer he gets to Lily, the clearer it is that he needs her even more than she needs him.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano whisks you away to Edwardian England in 1903 for a whimsical and layered tale that treads the crooked line between real and make-believe.


My Thoughts:

The Exclusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano is a story about fairy tales and searching for the gardener in the middle of the garden. At first, readers may be confused as the story presents a number of storylines that had me scratching my head. What was reality? What is going on? As the story moves along, the fuzzy lines become clearer, and the story starts to move forward. The character of Lily Temple is diverse, creative, and sees the world through rose-colored glasses. Stories are her guiding light to help her see the world. Peter Driscoll, the hero, is straight forward, but something draws him to Lilly. The plot features a little bit of mystery that is sprinkled and woven through the pages as the story skips along. I love the ending and how Politano ties everything together, but I want to see justice done. Oh, well. Overall, The Exclusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano is a unique, yet different way of showing how important the gardener is in our life and orchestrating our lives.

I received a complimentary copy of The Exclusive Truth of Lily Temple by Joanna Davidson Politano from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating; 4 out 5 stars

Purchase: The Exclusive Truth of Lily Temple

Friday, April 12, 2024

Hebrews 12: 1- 2

 By Kelly Bridgewater

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

English Standard Version.

Remember that God is in control.

He is allowing all these things to happen so more can come to him.

I need to focus on keeping my eye on God as the world does everything crazy and not standing up for anything.

I can’t wait to enter heaven and praise God for eternity.

What about you? Are you anxious for the coming back of Jesus?

Monday, April 8, 2024

Jaime Jo Wright: Night Falls on Predicament Ave

By Kelly Bridgewater

As the walls of the house at Predicament Avenue reveal their hidden truths, two women--generations apart--discover that fear and foreboding are no respecters of time.

In 1910, Effie James is committed to doing anything to save her younger sister, who witnessed a shocking murder, leaving her mute and in danger of the killer's retribution. Effie must prove what her sister saw, but when a British gentleman arrives, he disrupts Effie's quest with his attempts to locate his wife, Isabelle Addington, who was last seen at the supposed crime scene in the abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue. Just as Effie discovers what she seeks, she finds that the blood staining the walls will forever link her to a scandal she couldn't imagine, and to a woman whose secrets promise to curse any who would expose them.

A century later, Norah Richman grapples with social anxiety and grief as she runs her late great-aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue. But Norah has little affection for the house and is committed only to carrying out her murdered sister's dreams until crime historian and podcaster Sebastian Blaine arrives to investigate the ghostly legacy of the house's claim to fame--the murder of Isabelle Addington. When a guest is found dead, the incident is linked to Isabelle's murder, and Norah and Sebastian must work together to uncover the century-old curse that has wrapped 322 Predicament Avenue in its clutches and threatens far more than death.


My Thoughts:

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright is another time-slip novel where something happens inside a house. From the first chapter, Wright magically opens the mystery with two girls looking into a spooky house and then one screaming. From there, Wright takes readers through a crazy whirl of hunting for clues in the past and the present. Death has hit Wright hard when she wrote this book, so I can totally relate to the feelings that “Her” is having. I lost my Daddy 8 plus years ago, and it still hurts. Coming to terms with death is not easy. When anyone loses someone close to them, the pain does not go away, we just learn to live every day without that person. I believe this story was Wright’s way of trying to face the grief that death has gifted to her. This is the main reason I believe Wright’s characters are the strongest aspect of her novel. She dug deep into her own hurt and dragged into the characters and made them feel her pain. Similarly, the plot was moving and addictive. I enjoyed the story and couldn’t wait to see who the killer was in both time periods. Overall, Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright explores the pain of losing someone with a murder mystery to guide the plot forward. I really enjoyed the story.

I received a complimentary copy of Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Night Falls on Predicament Avenue 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Football vs. Hockey

By Kelly Bridgewater

Hockey Playoffs for the 23-24 Season is about to start. 

GO AVS!!!!!!

I believe, and have said for several years, that Hockey is way tougher of a sport than football.

Football players play 17 games in a season if they make it to the Superbowl.

Hockey players play 82 games plus 16 – 28 games depending on the how the playoffs work out.

Football players finish in early February and start training in early August. 8 months off.

Hockey players finish in mid- June and start training in late August. 2 and a half months off.

Football players may have head concussions.

Hockey players break everything and keep playing.

Football is always on second down or something that takes FOREVER to move across the field.

Hockey is a fast-paced sport that the game is constantly moving from one end to the other end, hoping to score on the other team’s goalie.

Football teams have 11 players on the field at one time.

Hockey has 5 players with a goalie, so a total of 6 players on the ice at once, unless they are in a power play which means less players on the ice. 

In football, if a player plays the whole game, they have clocked anywhere from 12 – 17 minutes of play time.

In hockey, if a player plays the whole game, they have clocked anywhere from 22 – 28 minutes of play time.

What about you? Have you ever watched ice hockey? These players, in my opinion, are tougher than football players every time of the year.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Steven James: Fatal Domain

By Kelly Bridgewater

When the past scratches its way into the present, it can leave deep scars.

A series of cryptic clues leads Department of Defense redactor Travis Brock to suspect that a grim chapter from his past is not yet over. With the help of his eidetic memory and his newly formed team, he must unearth the truth and stop a terrorist group from stealing one of the military’s most highly guarded technological breakthroughs. With it, the group plans to commit a daring act of espionage that could upend the work of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms and impact millions of people worldwide.

In a high-stakes story of action and intrigue that reaches from a refugee settlement in Uganda to the shores of the Potomac in Washington, DC, shattering secrets from the past will be revealed, loyalties tested, and intimate betrayals brought to light as Brock is forced to decide how to forgive what he cannot forget.

From a novelist that Publishers Weekly has called a “master storyteller” comes an intricate and taut thriller that will have you guessing until the final page.


My Thoughts:

Fatal Domain by Steven James takes readers for a wild ride. It was nice to see Travis Brock back in action again. James does a wonderful job at creating action that does not give the reader time to put the book down. I wanted to keep on reading. I needed to know what happened next. Who knows if Travis Brock will be the next Patrick Bowers, but I enjoy watching him try to explore life, relationships, and the job while trying to stay alive. Human Trafficking is talked about in the story, but James does not explore the dark side of it and show the horrors of it to the readers. The story centers around a bad group of people and how much they want to bring harm to the American people. The worst part of the plot is that it is timely and could happen at any time. A very relevant story to our culture today. Overall, Fatal Domain is the type of story that I gravitate toward. Plenty of action that I did not want to do anything else but finish the story. I really hope there are going to be more Travis Brock’s stories.

I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Domain by Steven James from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Fatal Domain