Review: This Life by Jennifer Rodewald

Well, wow! I love the Murphy Brothers series and This Life is an amazing, redemptive addition to it. This novel is my new favorite of the series, which is funny because I sure did not like Kate and Jacob when they appeared in the previous books. If you have not read the stories that come before this one, you could still pick up This Life and understand what is going on. The author does a great job of showing us what happened in the past and how that has impacted this couple’s married life.

This book is about two broken people who actually truly love each other. Yet, they started out their lives together in a way that broke bonds and hurt Jake’s family. Not only that, but they have been carrying the secret of Kate’s past for their entire marriage, as well. They both feel like outsiders looking in on the Murphy family and don’t really see how things can ever be better. Throw in a bunch of heartache and grief that they have had to deal with in their marriage, as well as the ever present doubt that both Jake and Kate carry about whether their spouse actually loves them, and there is good reason for this marriage to be struggling.

I loved seeing Jake and Kate start fresh. It was not easy to leave the life that was falling apart around them, but I liked that they both put their full effort into doing what needed to be done to live the Boondocking lifestyle. It became apparent that God had a hand in every little step along the way and I loved seeing Kate and Jacob realize that. This was an amazingly beautiful reconciliation novel that will stay with me for a long time.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


They’ve been stripped of everything but a refurbished bus and each other. And it might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

Jacob Murphy always felt like the invisible brother…until he fell in love with and married the woman who dated his younger brother. Then he became the despised brother. Driven to prove himself worthy of respect, he gambled everything on becoming the successful brother, but with his property speculation business falling apart, he’s ready to admit defeat. He’s lost nearly every worldly good he’s acquired, and after years of disappointments and heartache, it looks like his marriage is about to go the same way.

Kate Murphy lied her way out of life in a trailer park—a life she felt both trapped in and ashamed of. Only Jacob knows the truth about her background. But keeping up appearances has slowly strangled her life and relationships, and even her marriage has become strained at best. In desperation, she makes a plan to escape from it all—ironically, in a skoolie. But there’s still a tender place in her heart for the man she married, and in a moment of compassion, she offers to take Jacob with her.

Stripped of pride and pretension and struggling to adjust to their new 160 square-foot mobile lifestyle, Jacob and Kate are forced to confront the deception, hurt, and loneliness that have plagued them both. Will their strained circumstances be the death knell for their marriage, or will they allow humility to usher in the healing they need to rebuild?

This Life is a tender love story of second chances in marriage, of romance and redemption.

Purchase your own copy here.

Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Always You
In Spite of Ourselves
Everything Behind Us
This Life


Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald is a Christian author of fiction who is passionate about the Word of God and the power of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Born in Colorado, she experienced both the seclusion of rugged mountain living and the busy streets of a Denver suburb during her growing up years. Somewhere in the middle of college, she married a Husker and found her way back to the quiet lifestyle of a rural area, which suits just fine.

Blessed with a robust curiosity, Jen loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new. Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence, and she incorporates that pursuit as a Christian writer.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.

Website   Facebook   Twitter

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly

This is the second book that I have read by this author and, once again, she has crafted an intriguing tale. Sing in the Sunlight is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series, but it is very much a stand alone novel.

I really enjoyed this marriage of convenience story and felt for both of the main characters. Clarinda frustrated me at times, however the things she believed about herself and others were the direct result of the attack she survived as a child. Her experiences and the way she felt that people had treated her made her a very wounded character emotionally. Her faith journey toward total healing was a deep one, spurred on by a husband who had a special kind of love and patience for her.

Richard was a great character. He made so many right choices in how he related to Clarinda. He loved God, learned to love Clarinda, and loved Clarinda’s child even before the birth. I really liked his attitude. However, I also thought the author did a good job of showing that he wasn’t perfect. He struggled with frustration and on one occasion became angry with the way Clarinda kept herself emotionally closed off from him. He also struggled with doubt about whether Clarinda would ever love him.

There was a lot to this book and many interesting characters and situations that arose. Clarinda and Richard had to not only grow in their marriage together, but faced many obstacles due to the wild and dangerous area they lived in.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

Purchase your own copy here.


Kathleen Denly

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review & Giveaway: The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter, hosted by
JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: The Earl’s Lady Geologist

Series: The Linfield Ladies Series

Author: Alissa Baxter

Publisher: Vinspire Publishing

Release Date: February 28, 2021

Genre: Clean Regency Romance

Cassandra Linfield is a lady fossil collector who declares she will never marry as no man will ever take her studies seriously. When circumstances force her to travel to Town for the Season, Cassy infiltrates the hallowed portals of the Geological Society from which she has been banned. She is horrified when she comes face to face with her nemesis, the infuriating Earl of Rothbury.

Lord Rothbury is a gentleman-geologist with a turbulent romantic past. After a youthful disappointment, he vows never to fall in love again and makes the decision, instead, to seek out a convenient wife when he returns to England from his geological travels abroad.

Brought together by their close family ties, Cassy and Rothbury collaborate on a geological paper and discover a powerful attraction. Marriage, however, is the one subject they cannot agree upon. But when Cassy’s life is threatened, the two realize that love matters more than their objections.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


What a delightful Regency novel this was! This was a story that I had trouble setting down.

I liked the way things developed between Cassy and Lord Rothbury. Neither one was very impressed with the other when they first met. Lord Rothbury even thought Cassy was a bit plain. However, I loved the way Rothbury’s eyes and heart opened up to the wonderful and smart woman Cassy was as they spent time together.

Cassy fought her attraction to Rothbury because she never planned to marry. Cassy’s reasoning actually made sense, even if those reasons meant that she wasn’t fully embracing life. I thought the author did a good job of creating a well-rounded character in Cassy. She had plans and fears and once her heart got involved, decisions she had to make became painful and complicated. I so enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by this author.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance, The Dashing Debutante, during her long university holidays. After traveling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency romance, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England.

Alissa then published two chick-lit novels, The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive (previously published as Send and Receive) and The Truth About Cats and Bees (previously published as The Blog Affair).

Many years later, Alissa returned to her favorite time period and signed a three-book contract with Vinspire Publishing for her Linfield Ladies Series, a trio of Regency romances that feature women in trend-setting roles who fall in love with men who embrace their trailblazing ways… at least eventually.

Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons. She is a member of The Beau Monde – Regency Fiction Writers.

CONNECT WITH ALISSA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 2, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 9, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in book, book review, contest, giveaway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review & Giveaway: The Soldier’s Unexpected Family by Tanya Agler

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Soldier’s Unexpected Family
(Heroines of Hollydale #3) By Tanya Agler
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 230 Pages
March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He had a plan…
She changed it all!

Major Aidan Murphy arrives in the charming small town of Hollydale to take full guardianship of his six-year-old nephew. Only there’s a slight problem—his vivacious, fiery co-guardian. School teacher Natalie Harrison has no intention of letting Aidan take her best friend’s heartbroken little boy away. Now Aidan must convince Natalie that blood is stronger than love…even if his heart tells him otherwise.

(Affiliate links included.)
Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop | B&N | Target |
BAM | IndieBound | Apple Books | GooglePlay | Kobo | Harlequin

My Review

What a fun meet cute this novel had! I was laughing out loud at Aidan misunderstanding what Natalie was complaining about and Natalie misunderstanding who Aidan was! Of course, once the situation became clear, the real conundrum began. As co-guardians, living in different places, what arrangement would be best for Danny?

In this opposites-attract story, the romantic tension that built between Natalie and Aidan was heightened because even as they fell for each other, all signs seemed to be pointing to imminent heartache when Aidan left, either by himself, or taking Danny with him.

Danny was very well-written. He was a grieving little boy who loved his Aunt Natalie and his Uncle Aidan. The moments where he missed his mom and was reluctant to laugh and have fun because he missed her were very sweetly written.

I enjoyed this small town story. I have read the other two books in the series, so it was fun to return to Hollydale, however, this novel can definitely be read as a stand alone. I am hoping that there will be a future book starring Natalie’s twin sister, Becks.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Tanya Agler remembers the first set of Harlequin books her grandmother gifted her, and she’s been in love with romance novels ever since. An award-winning author, Tanya makes her home in Georgia with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable rescue beagle. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies and a good cup of tea. Visit her at or email her at

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule

Author Interview

What inspired you to write The Soldier’s Unexpected Family?

This book is the third in a trilogy that began with The Sheriff’s Second Chance. When I was thinking about the heroine for the first book, the theme of friendship spoke loudly to me as Georgie is independent and never connected to friends or the community. During the plotting stages of that book, two characters came to mind of women who would befriend Georgie: Lucie Decker, who would be jaded by life events but not defeated, and Natalie Harrison, who was also the hero’s sister. Natalie is a happy person, always ready for a new challenge.

When I started writing this book, at first I was in a corner. Natalie believes in hope and happiness, which are wonderful attributes but sometimes not the best character for a whole story. Her optimism drew me to her character in the first place as a foil for Georgie, but it left me wondering what I could do with someone with a naturally sunny disposition. So at first, I was wondering what could stand in the way of Natalie finding happiness. With this book, the character came first, and the story followed.

And the answer came from something a writer friend told me a while back. When you start a story, ask why. Once I started asking why, Natalie turned into someone real for me. Why did she start projects and not finish them? What is one project you can never turn your back on? What is the one thing she would never turn her back on? And even though Natalie wouldn’t have a qualm about turning her back on a project or something trivial, Natalie loves people. She’s an extrovert who loves fun and craves excitement. She’d never turn her back on someone she loves so that inspired the character of Danny, who is a sweet six-year-old boy whose mother, Shelby, died of natural causes.

Then that brought the next piece of the story into play. If Natalie somehow were to end up as Danny’s guardian, who would fight her for custody? And enter Aidan Murphy. I was fortunate to brainstorm this book with my editor, who made so many great suggestions. My father and both my grandfathers served in the military, so for Aidan to be in the military would be a reason for him not to have lived in the same town as his sister, Shelby.

From there, once Danny and Aidan came into the picture, I kept asking why and the story clicked into place. Natalie’s vivacity and her love for her friends and family first inspired me to write her as a character into the first book, and the theme of friendship led me into catapulting her into her own story.

What do you love the most about this story?

This might be my favorite book I’ve written to date. I’m sure most writers say that, but I loved writing this story. To wake up and have the opportunity to jump into Natalie’s sections with her optimism and bright outlook was such a joy, and writing Aidan’s scenes with his careful deliberate manner interacting and opening to the town that embraces him was also such a pleasure.

But as much as I love Natalie and Aidan, two characters took me by storm and just stole the show. Hyacinth Hennessy and Belinda Chastain are two amateur pie bakers who are total opposites in their approach to life and baking. Hyacinth is a flighty extrovert who loves everything and everyone, including her two boxers. Belinda is more cautious, but they are both adamant they bake the best pies to the extent the town takes sides and people are either Team Hyacinth or Team Belinda as far as who is the better baker. They’ve both won thirteen blue ribbons for their pies, and this Fourth of July’s pie contest will be a tiebreaker year where one of them gets bragging rights for a year.

They’re funny and animated, and their feud is the stuff of small-town legends. I love books that present a touch of humor, and I hope these two make people laugh as much as they made me laugh while I was writing.

What challenged you about writing it?

There were different challenges about the book. The timing itself was challenging as I wrote the last half of the book and edited it while under lockdown. My kids learned to do schoolwork to classical music playing in the background as that seemed the least intrusive music and was a signal that it was time for work. However, there were different challenges about the book itself.

When Natalie came into books one and two, her personality was bright and sunny and just plain happy. These are great qualities in a supporting character who is trying to show the heroine that goodness and hope will prevail. In a heroine, though? It was hard to put someone that happy into impossible situations. The more time I spent with her and this book, the more I discovered she is happy, but there were layers to her and I hope those come across to the reader.

Another challenge revolved around Aidan. My father and grandfathers served in the military. My father was in the Air Force, and both my grandfathers were veterans of World War II with my maternal grandfather serving in the Navy and my paternal grandfather being part of what became the Flying Tigers. One interesting sidenote about my paternal grandfather was he was an amateur photographer who once met Babe Ruth and the last king of Hawaii and they posed in the same picture. Because of my family’s ties to the military, I wanted to make sure I did justice to Aidan, a major in the army.

On a much lighter note, it was rather challenging but fun to write a book set in summer during the doldrums of winter! I kept looking at pictures of the Fourth of July and fireworks and parade floats at the same time I saw snow out the window (yes, Georgia had snow in February of 2020!) and wore thick sweaters. It’s great fun, though, and it feels like it’s the best of both worlds to write a summer book while it’s winter.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

With The Soldier’s Unexpected Family, I relate a little to each of the characters: Natalie’s optimism, Aidan’s planning, Diane’s family focus, and Belinda and Hyacinth’s competitiveness. Overall, however, if I have to choose one character with whom I relate the most, though, I think it would have to be Aidan. We both grew up with fathers who served in the military. He’s a planner at heart, and his protective nature is something that’s endearing to him. When he arrives in Hollydale, he is laser focused on his objective (which is something I can also relate to!), which is taking Danny home with him and becoming the best guardian he can be. Over the course of the book, Aidan changes (and I won’t say how because I hope you’ll read the book and find out!) and this impacts how he sees the people around him.

I also relate to Natalie’s hope of a better tomorrow. Her attitude of hope and bringing people together is one of the qualities I love about her.

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

That’s such a great question. I hope readers will take a little laughter and a lot of happiness with them after they read The Soldier’s Unexpected Family. Aidan has a precise idea of what he wants to take with him from Hollydale, and when he arrives, nothing goes according to that plan. He didn’t account for Natalie’s underlying strength and determination. He didn’t expect to meet formidable rivals in Hyacinth and Belinda. And, most of all, he wanted to reconnect with his only family member, not realizing the town had adopted Danny and loved him and considered him part of their family. During the book, he runs into unexpected encounters that make him laugh and unexpected memories that starts him on the road toward grieving for his sister. Throughout his visit, unexpected moments lead to new possibilities, and I hope that theme resonates with the reader.

I love books that make me laugh and tug at my heartstrings, and I hope this book provides that same type of feeling for the readers.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

In October, my family recently adopted a beagle who came with a blue blanket and so we named him Linus. He now loves his afternoon walks around the neighborhood. Walking has always been one of my favorite forms of exercise. When I attended the University of Georgia, I enrolled in the walking class to satisfy my PE requirement. I loved taking walks along the hilly streets of Athens. Now I love hiking the trails of Georgia, especially ones that end up on trails with waterfalls. Cloudland Canyon and Amicalola Falls are two of my favorite places for walking or hiking in Georgia.

I’m also a huge fan of classic movies, especially anything with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, or Irene Dunne. I love curling up on a couch and popping in a DVD and getting lost in a screwball comedy or some other romance from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

I love reading, and one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is reading a book with a cup of hot tea in winter or unsweet ice tea in summer.

And I miss going to plays or eating out in restaurants. Those are two activities I look forward to resuming in the near future.

Bookstagram Tour

Check out the Bookstagram Tour here, which has its own giveaway!

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive an ebook of The Sheriff’s Second Chance and a $25 (USD) Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

Ends March 17, 2021


Grab Our Button!
Posted in book, book review, contest, giveaway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Review & Giveaway: A Brother’s Promise by Mindy Obenhaus

Welcome to the Blog Tour for the A Brother’s Promise by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: A Brother’s Promise

Author: Mindy Obenhaus

Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired

Release Date: February 23, 2021

Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

A little girl will change his world…

He didn’t realize he wanted a family…

until he suddenly became a single dad.

After his sister’s death, rancher Mick Ashford’s determined to ensure his orphaned niece, Sadie, feels at home. And accepting guidance from Christa Slocum is his first step. But just as Christa and Sadie start to settle into Mick’s heart, Sadie’s paternal grandparents sue for custody. Now Mick must fight to keep them together…or risk losing the makeshift family he’s come to love.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


A Brother’s Promise was such a sweet story! It is part of the Bliss, Texas series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. I really liked seeing these two neighbors, who were only acquaintances, grow into friendship and then much more.

Sadie was a sweet girl and it was heartwarming to see how much she loved her Uncle Mickey and how much he loved her, too. They were both grieving a huge loss and Mick was doing all he could to make a good home for her.

I thought that Mick and Christa were great characters who didn’t expect to fall in love or have a family. They both carried some things from their pasts that hindered them a bit emotionally and made them doubt whether the other person could possibly want them.

I really enjoyed this book and that snowstorm felt very realistic, as I just experienced the same thing recently! The ending felt a bit rushed to me, however, it might just be because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. I hope to see them appear in future books in the series.

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at

CONNECT WITH MINDY: Website | Facebook | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a “Drink Tea, Read Books, Be Happy” teaspoon, English Breakfast tea, a $15 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of the book!

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 1, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 8, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction, contest, giveaway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Review: Not Until Now by Valerie M. Bodden

This book had my emotions all over the place! When the story started out, Cam was really a piece of work. It is hard for me to think of a main character that I have liked less than him at the beginning of a book. However, I really, really enjoy this author’s novels, so I realized that I was probably going to be amazed at the changes that Cam went through by the time I turned the last page. And I definitely was!

Cam’s personality transition from egotistical and self-centered, with a large helping of disgruntled, slowly and realistically began to change as the story progressed. A man began to emerge who valued and loved his niece and had a whole different set of priorities for his life than the shallow ones that he started out with.

Ruby was a great character and a very realistic example of the resiliency of childhood. I loved the way she interacted with Cam and Kayla and the connection that grew between the three of them.

Kayla was a strong and independent character, who had to learn that opening her heart to someone and sometimes allowing them to help her did not make her a weak person. Kayla was a great example in this story of overcoming extreme trauma and hard circumstances and trusting God deeply through the event that changed her life forever.

This story examines the question of why God allows bad things to happen to people and whether we can really trust that He is able to use all things for good. Forgiveness, grace, doubt, and grief are also major themes in the story and the author handles them in a beautiful way that stays true to God’s word.

This book is part of the Hope Springs series and there are some characters who overlap in this story. However, Not Until Now can definitely be enjoyed as a stand alone novel.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


They both know what they want. And it’s not each other . . .

Kayla has worked hard to regain her independence after her spinal cord injury, and she isn’t willing to give up that independence for anyone. Which is why she is willfully single, with no intention of dating, marrying, or starting a family—ever. But when she witnesses an accident in Hope Springs, she finds herself drawn inextricably into the life of the young girl whose mother is now in a coma—and the uncle she has to convince to take care of the girl.

On the verge of the perfect life, Cam doesn’t owe his estranged sister anything. So he doesn’t appreciate the call informing him that he needs to care for the niece he didn’t even know he had. And yet, somehow he can’t say no to the woman on the other end of the phone. He soon finds himself on a plane for Hope Springs. He’ll go there, make alternate arrangements for the girl, and get back to his real, nearly perfect life.

But as Cam gets to know his niece—and Kayla—he starts to question what the perfect life really means. And as Kayla experiences the pull of family, she wonders whether being independent really means closing yourself off to others. Can they both let go of what they thought they wanted and let God give them the love they truly need?

Hope Springs Series

Not Until Forever

Not Until This Moment

Not Until You

Not Until Us

Not Until Christmas Morning

Not Until This Day

Not Until Someday

Not Until Now

Purchase your own copy here.

Also available on Kindle Unlimited.


Valerie Bodden

Valerie Bodden has three great loves: Jesus, her family, and books. And chocolate (okay, four great loves). She is living out her happily ever after with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and their four children. Her life wouldn’t make a terribly exciting book, as it has a happy beginning and middle, and someday when she goes to her heavenly home, it will have a happy end.

​She was born and raised in Wisconsin, and aside from a short stint in Minnesota while her husband trained for the pastoral ministry, has lived there her entire life, in spite of an aversion to all things cold and snowy (except Christmas—a snowy Christmas is good). She periodically tries to coax her snow-loving husband and children to pack up and move to a warmer climate with her but so far has had no luck. So she tolerates the snow for them. That’s some kind of love, if you ask her.

​Valerie writes emotion-filled Christian fiction that weaves real-life problems, real-life people, and real-life faith. Her characters may (okay, will) experience some heartache along the way, but true to her tendencies as a hopeless romantic, she will always give them a happy ending.

​In addition to writing Christian fiction, she has written more than 250 children’s nonfiction books and also helps other authors perfect their stories with her editorial services. When she’s not wielding a pen or keyboard (can you wield a keyboard?), she enjoys time with her family, managing the church library, gardening, and, of course, reading.

Website   Facebook   Bookbub   Goodreads   Pinterest   Instagram   Twitter

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review & Giveaway – Lady Wynwood’s Spies 1: Archer by Camille Elliot


About the Book

Book:  Lady Wynwood’s Spies 1: Archer

Author: Camille Elliot

Genre: Christian Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: December 8, 2020

Archer cover

A Christian Regency Romantic Adventure serial novel with a supernatural twist

Lady Wynwood’s Spies volume 1

She met him again by shooting him.

Part one in a Christian Regency Romantic Adventure epic serial novel with a supernatural twist. After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.

And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

When I first began reading Archer, it took me a bit to sort out who the characters were and what was happening. The story jumped right in, after a quick prologue, and I realized that there were things that had happened in a previous story that I did not know about. I have discovered that those events are covered in a prequel novella. However, the author did a very good job of filling in the details in a general way and so I was able to start enjoying this book from that point on.

What a dynamic and exciting story! This is a serial novel series and the book is definitely a full-length novel. It wraps some things up, but an overarching problematic situation continues throughout the entire series.

I really liked the characters in this book. I was appalled at the way Phoebe’s father and his intended bride treated Phoebe. I couldn’t help but empathize with her, feeling her anger and hurt. Michael was another interesting character. His focus on finding out who was behind the poisoning death of his brother pretty much set all kinds of dangerous events in motion in the story.

The two characters I found myself most interested in were Laura, who is Lady Wynwood, and her friend, Sol. I felt an underlying tension and possible attraction between these two that may have been showing itself as a friendship for the past ten years. However, things are not so simple and there are plenty of secrets that they have been keeping from each other which could definitely end in hurt.

I am very excited to see what happens in the next book and am happy to see that it is already available to read!

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


 Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She was a staff worker for her church youth group for over 20 years and she currently plays on one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at and to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

More from Camy

I love Regency romances! I started reading them when I was 13 years old and haven’t stopped since.

There’s something about the Regency time period and culture that’s glamorous and decadent and the epitome of elegance. The resplendent dresses! The brooding, romantic Lord Byron and the distinguished Beau Brummell! Dashing naval captains and army lieutenants, glittering ballrooms and winsome debutantes!

The flip side of my personality loves romantic suspense and action adventure. I love seeing strong women face danger with courage and smarts, and strong men willing to do anything to protect their loved ones and fight for justice.

So, basically, the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series grew out of my desire to see Mission: Impossible in the Regency era!

My Regency “IMF” team is brought together when my spinster heroine, a botanist and a skilled archer, discovers that her late uncle had ties to a mysterious group. She goes to her aunt’s best friend, a gentleman who has secretly been a spy for decades, and he forms his team of ex-agents and uniquely gifted civilians to battle this group of alchemists who want to ensure that Napoleon wins the war with England. (Cue the Mission: Impossible theme music!)

I’ve also structured the series a little differently. It’s a very long serial novel, similar to a Japanese manga or light novel series, with 12 volumes that each have a completed story arc, but the main plot isn’t resolved until the end.

I hope you’ll join me on this epic Regency romantic adventure!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 15

CarpeDiem, February 15

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 16

Artistic Nobody, February 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inside the Wong Mind, February 17

Through the Fire Blogs, February 18

Mia Reads, February 18

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19

HookMeInABook, February 19

Betti Mace, February 20

Inklings and notions, February 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 21

Texas Book-aholic, February 21

Connie’s History Classroom, February 22

The Artist Librarian, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 22

For Him and My Family, February 23

Labor Not in Vain, February 23

deb’s Book Review, February 24

Fiction Book Lover, February 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 25

Just Your Average reviews, February 25

Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 27

Britt Reads Fiction, February 27

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 28

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 28

Blogging With Carol, February 28


To celebrate her tour, Camy is giving away the grand prize of a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited!!

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

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction, contest, giveaway, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: His to Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid

This was the first book that I have read by this author and I was very impressed. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which was set in the early 1200’s on the border of England and Scotland.

The main characters were great! There was some humor sprinkled throughout, especially toward the beginning of the book as the hero, Ian, struggled with his very ornery and stubborn bride-to-be, Claire. Claire had a few reasons why she did not want to be forced to marry the Scot and they truly made sense. However, in the time that these two lived, she had to eventually face the fact that she was powerless to escape the marriage.

I liked that Ian was such an honorable man and the way he approached the need for marriage to Claire, as well as the way he worked to bring the castle and lands back to working condition.

His to Keep was packed with interesting characters, a good faith message, lots of great chemistry between the two main characters, and plenty of danger to add in some uncertainty and excitement. I look forward to reading more from this author.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


He’s fighting for his inheritance—she’s marrying her sworn enemy.

When Ian McGowan attempts to claim Whitfield Castle as his rightful inheritance, he finds himself barred by a tempestuous lass who is entailed to be the bride of the castle’s new owner.

Claire Beaumont, the orphaned ward of Whitfield, has good reason to hate Scots, and she is not about to let a Scot enter her beloved home. But when the handsome knight steals into the castle and proves his claim on the land, she must face her ultimate nightmare—marriage to her sworn enemy—in order to save those she cares about most.

Restoring the failing Whitfield Castle while wooing his defiant intended proves more challenging than Ian anticipated. His struggles reach a crisis when his nemesis arrives at the castle, and he must overcome his past demons to prove his worth. He must fight for what is his to keep—and it could well cost him his heart. 

Purchase your own copy here.

Also available in Kindle Unlimited.


Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside.

Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibal

As I read this novel, I felt transported to Ireland in the 1920’s. Seeing things through Moira’s perspective as she tried to navigate a people who held rigidly to traditions and superstitions was eye-opening. I loved seeing Moira connect with Brid, Peg, Colm, and Sean. The strong faith guidance that Peg and Colm lent to both Moira and Sean was a beautiful part of this story.

There was a mysterious undercurrent running throughout the entire novel and Moira knew it had something to do with her mother. Moira had quite the faith journey in this book as she worked to follow what she felt God leading her to do, regardless of the way people treated her.

The romance between Sean and Moira built gently throughout the book and I loved seeing the way Sean cared for Moira in both big and little ways.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends–and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced–as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.

Purchase your own copy here.


Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.

Website Facebook Instagram Bookbub

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audio Book Review: The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is the first book that I have read by Abigail Wilson and I am very excited to read more by this author now. I thoroughly enjoyed this mysterious story from start to finish.

I listened to the audio book version and overall I enjoyed the narration. The author changed voices for the different characters and occasionally I wasn’t fond of a couple of the voices, but the main characters were voiced very nicely and I was definitely drawn into the story right from the beginning.

The mystery of Seline’s disappearance and the feeling that things were not quite right at Loxby Manor truly drove the story. I loved that Charity and Piers came together with a second chance at friendship and perhaps something more as they worked to uncover the strange happenings going on in the area. The overall mystery kept me guessing for most of the book and I found the second chance romance delightful.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary of this book. All opinions are my own.


Disappearances, strange activities in the night, and secret organizations abound in this mysterious Regency romance.

Haunted by the assault she’s kept hidden over the past four years, Charity Halliwell finally has a chance to return home to the quaint village she left more than five years before and the happy life she wants so badly to reclaim. All she needs is good conversation with her old friend and an opportunity to find a governess position, and she can leave the fear and guilt behind. But the family who agrees to her yearlong visit turns out to be a far cry from the one she thought she knew, particularly when her friend disappears and the one man she made certain would not be at the house is forced to return. How can she possibly heal and claim her independence when day in, day out she must face the only gentleman who ever held a piece of her heart?

Piers Cavanagh was branded a coward when he failed to show up for a duel he arranged. He had his reasons, of course, but disclosing them would hurt far more than continuing life as an outcast. And worse, with the mysterious departure of his sister, the strange nightly occurrences in the ruins of an old abbey, and the uncomfortable whispers of a secret organization, Piers must overcome his aversion to society and work with the last person he ever thought he would get the chance to speak to again—the girl whose heart he had no choice but to break.

Purchase your own copy here.

Purchase the audio book here.


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 in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 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.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Posted in book, book review, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment