Review of “Sabotaged Christmas: An Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery” by Carole Brown

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About the Book:

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions—all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s been receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubling history—but the first man in years who’s interested her—is building to a peak. Yet Perrin’s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business may ruin Christmas for Toni’s employees as well as her own happiness.

Will a mysterious person succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen? And will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?

About the Author:

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Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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At Christmas time everything should bring joy to the world, but for Toni Deluca everything is not joyous.  Someone is trying to sabotage her father’s construction company that Toni now owns.

Perrin Douglas, a writer and widower, has come to Appleton, WV to work on his book.  He intends to hire Toni’s company build an addition on his house, but believes Toni is a man.  Perrin’s son, Blake, likes Toni and is impressed she is running her own construction company.

I found myself wanting to read to the end to find out how the book ends.  So if you love Christmas, mysteries and romance, check out this book for yourself.

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Review of “Escape” by Glenn Haggerty

 

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About the Book

“I’d never seen a dead body before, but I was pretty sure the guy in the car trunk was dead.”

Middle school’s tough, and Tyler Higgins just wants to hang with the cool kids. But Dustin’s idea of quality entertainment is spying on parked cars on Lover’s Lane. When two creeps show up with a body, Tyler doesn’t want to stick around. Then again, he might not have much choice.

About the Author

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Glenn is a member of ACFW, a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, father of six and grandfather of seven. He likes tandem biking and kayaking and lives in Minneapolis with his wife. Glenn is also an award-winning author who combines his love for teaching God’s word with his passion for writing exciting fiction. You can visit him at glennhaggerty.com

Link to Book

https://amzn.to/2ImyCIu

You can find Glenn Haggerty on social media at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/GlennHaggertyAuthor

https://twitter.com/grhaggertyjr

https://www.instagram.com/glennhaggertyauthor/

https://amazon.com/author/glennhaggerty

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15943355

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This book about bullying offers a lot of action and captivates the reader.  The book’s target audience is for ages 10 and up and I found it appropriate for those ages.  Based on my initial information about the book, I wanted to really be drawn into this book.  While it had moments where I was drawn into the story, others left me wondering what was going on in the story.  I feel most young people in the target age group will enjoy this book.  So check it out for yourself.

 

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Review of Prayer Warrior Confessions and Giveaway

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About the Book

Prayer Warrior Confessions

Book: Prayer Warrior Confessions

Author: Harriet E. Michael & Shirley Crowder

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Living, Inspirational

Release Date: November, 2018

Publisher: Write Integrity Press

Come along with other prayer warriors and read their stories. Some of the stories will make you cry while others will make you laugh. Each story ends with a confession from the writer in which he or she shares an insight about prayer or something new they learned through their experience.

Readers of Prayer Warrior Confessions will learn more about prayer as they enjoy the true and candid stories of other people’s experiences with prayer. They see the stories through the writers’ eyes and glean the insights the writers learned.

True stories of prayer in action that will make you cry, laugh, sigh, smile, and stand amazed.

Click here to purchase your copy!

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Prayer Warrior Confessions represents a compilation of real-life testimonies involving prayer.  The authors do a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the book and realizing just how truly powerful prayer can be.  I like how each testimony stands alone so you can take your time reading the book in order to contemplate what importance prayer played in the entry.  This book will inspire, amaze and delight you as you read it.  So if you are looking for a book that demonstrates the tremendous power of prayer, check this book out for yourself.

About the Authors

HMichael                                          Shirley Crowder

The authors, Shirley Crowder and Harriet E. Michael are lifelong friends whose parents served as missionaries in Nigeria, West Africa. Their friendship has spanned across two continents, numerous states, and many, many years. Learn more about them at http://www.WriteIntegrity.com/authors.

Guest Post from Shirley & Harriet

God writes the best stories … and sometimes we get the privilege of recording them.
Co-writers Harriet E. Michael and Shirley Crowder have a common interest in all things Biblical. Over the past few years they have worked together on a series of books on the topic of prayer. “Prayer Warrior Confessions” is the fourth & final book in that series. It is a book filled with true stories of experiences with and lessons learned about prayer. This collection of true stories was written by various contributors who retell a story from their lives about a time they saw prayers answered, and/or learned a new lesson about prayer. These stories are heartwarming, exciting, sad, funny, and will touch your heart in so many ways while also sharing deeper insights into prayer.
Yes, God creates the best stories & He writes them on the parchment of our lives, teaching us lessons through them.

Blog Stops

Real World Bible Study, December 18

A Diva’s Heart, December 19

Just the Write Escape, December 19

Lights in a Dark WorldDecember 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 21

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

Mary Hake, December 23

Texas Book-aholic, December 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Janices book reviews, December 25

Carpe Diem, December 26

A Baker’s Perspective, December 27

Bigreadersite, December 28

the midnight bookaholic, December 29

margaret kazmierczak, December 29 (Interview)

Truth and a Grace Homeschool Academy, December 30

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 31

Reading is my Super Power, December 31 (Interview)

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and the whole Prayer Collection set: Prayer It’s Not About You, Study Guide on Prayer–A Companion to Prayer: It’s Not About You, and Glimpses of Prayer, Prayer Warrior Confessions!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stop for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d6d1/prayer-warrior-confessions-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Decrease Your Morning Stress

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Are you tired of starting off your days with processed breakfasts, too many carbs or sugars – or maybe no breakfast at all?

 

We all know starting the day with a wholesome breakfast is a game-changer in many ways (boosts metabolism! better brain function! balances blood sugar! kids learn & focus better!) but that doesn’t make it easy to pull off week after week.

 

My friends at Ultimate Bundles have created something to help just in time for the New Year. It’s called the 5-Day Bootcamp to Better Breakfasts: Conquer Morning Stress and Eat Cleaner in 20 Minutes a Day.

 

When you sign up for this bootcamp, you’ll get a daily, short lesson with breakfast planning tips and practical steps for nourishing your family with the first meal of the day (but with less time and stress).

 

You’ll learn smart, time-saving and health-promoting strategies such as:

 

  • How to plan healthier breakfasts in advance so that it’s easier to follow through.
  • Keeping your pantry, fridge and freezer better organized and stocked up through regular inventories.
  • How to easily incorporate veggies into your breakfasts, so you’ll have no excuse not to get a handful of veggie servings in your diet every day.
  • How to save time and set yourself up for success by creating clean-eating, whole-food convenience breakfasts (yes, really!) that you and your kids can grab on your way out the door. #winning
And remember, we’ll be doing ALL of this in just 20 minutes per day. Seriously — set your timer!

 

The 5-day bootcamp starts on December 29th and will run until January 2nd.

 

You’ll receive each day’s tips and task in your inbox bright and early every morning, so you can work it into your schedule at the best time for you!

 

And if you implement each of the 5 daily challenges, by the end of the bootcamp, you’ll be on track to starting each day much healthier, but without the stress. And everyone will magically find their shoes and backpacks in record time. (Okay, that might be pushing it…) 😉

 

Get FREE access to the Better Breakfasts Bootcamp right here: https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/hmpb2019-breakfast-bootcamp?a_aid=a8720&a_bid=c8c655af

 

So check this out for yourself!

 

P.S. Registration for this free 5-day Bootcamp is only open for a few days! Make sure to sign up right away, before it starts on December 29th. 🙂 https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/hmpb2019-breakfast-bootcamp?a_aid=a8720&a_bid=c8c655af

Review of “Catching Christmas” by Terri Blackstone and Giveaway

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About the Book

Catching Christmas

Book: Catching Christmas

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 9, 2018

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

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

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

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

Click here to purchase your copy.

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If you want a book to make you laugh, cry, shake your head and more, then “Catching Christmas” is the book for you.  With an 80-year old feisty grandmother, a first-year law associate and a cab driver, this book offers something for everyone.  It focuses on Jesus and the reason for Christmas without becoming preachy.  I also love how the characters come alive through the pages of the book.

Having a grandfather who died from asbestos exposure, this book spoke to a lot of what our family went through during his last days.  Moreover, with two parents who were both only children, I could relate to Sydney and all that she went through during her grandmother’s last days.

Growing up, my father was consumed with his work so I could see how Sydney became so focused on doing the right thing for her job, even if it was at the detriment of her relationship with her grandmother.

Finn, a cab driver who becomes tasked with driving Sydney’s grandmother everywhere she wants to go, fights tooth and nail against driving Callie Beecher where she wants to go.  He refuses to just abandon her even though many cab drivers would have.  The mention of Uber and an Uber driver having to rescue Sydney and Finn after his cab gets a flat tire and the spare is flat, provides a level of amusement to the story.

The amazing force Callie is reminded me of other elderly women I have known.  Her ability to just say what she wants to without any filter also reminds me of some of these individuals.

Rather than spoil any part of the book for you, I will just conclude by saying this book is one not to be missed.  Truly, it conveys the heart and spirit of Christmas and having a true relationship with Jesus Christ.

 About the Author

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY, bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock

From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas

https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:

“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby

“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe

“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant

“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon

“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 15

Daysong Reflections, December 15

Genesis 5020, December 15

Back Porch ReadsDecember 15

The Power of Words, December 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 16

Among the Reads, December 17

Kathleen Denly, December 17

By The Book, December 17

Lighthouse Academy, December 17

Cultivating Us, December 18

Simple Harvest ReadsDecember 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 18

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, December 19

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 19

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20

amandainpa, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 20

Multifarious, December 21

Cathe Swanson, December 21

Stories By Gina, December 21

Connect in Fiction, December 22

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

Lis Loves Reading, December 23

Mary Hake, December 23

Bigreadersite, December 23

Book by Book, December 24

Pause for Tales, December 24

To Everything A Season, December 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 25

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Vicky Sluiter, December 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 26

Inklings and notions, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 26

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 27

Captive Dreams Window, December 27

Texas Book-aholic, December 27

A Baker’s Perspective, December 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 28

Older & Smarter?, December 28

Janices book reviews, December 28

Carpe Diem, December 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d776/catching-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Review of “I Know the Plans” by Melissa Wardwell with Giveaway

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About the Book

I Know the Plans

Book: I Know the Plans

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Romance

Release Date: October, 2018

All the plans Tiffany and Brad made for their lives as individuals were thrown to the wind the moment they met. Now, after almost a decade of marriage, they spend more time apart than together. Though plans remain unfulfilled, their hearts seek to remain steadfast and connected.

After Brad returns from his latest tour in Afghanistan, it is evident that the man Tiffany married is no longer the same. As Brad struggles with reacquainting himself with his life, Tiffany questions how it could be part of God’s plan. Have the sins of their past finally come back to haunt them? No matter how much support they have in their family and friends, the choice is still theirs. Will they continue to trust God with their lives or will they choose their own course?

Click here to purchase your copy!

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Two things really drew me to this book:

  1. I had a lot of plans before I met and married my husband that changed once we became a couple.
  2. My husband currently is serving active-duty in the Army Reserves and we are surrounded by friends and family who have served or are serving.

So I was really interested in reading this book by Melissa Wardwell.  I found the characters to be realistic, the military aspects to fit, and the storyline compelling.  Truly, this book is one worth reading.  As a military spouse, I know that nothing is guaranteed and every time my husband goes somewhere anything could happen.  Although we have not personally lived with overseas deployments many family members and friends have.  It takes a special type of person to be a military spouse, and Melissa Wardwell does an excellent job of capturing those characteristics with Tiffany.

Moreover, the family members and friends that surround Tiffany and Brad add many dimensions and layers to this story.  The way that Tiffany and Brad deal first with his injuries and subsequent amnesia followed by the way they deal with Tiffany’s own health issues drew me deeper into the story.  I have a hard time putting this book down.

I also loved the way the book ended, rather than just leaving the readers hanging Melissa Wardwell does a masterful job of wrapping up the book.  I can not wait to read more books by this author.  So check it out for yourself.

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell

Melissa Wardwell resides in the quaint town of Owosso, Michigan with her husband and their three teenaged children. She began her writing journey in August of 2014 with her debut novel “What God Brings Together”. She decided to give writing a try after she shared a story that nagged at her with a friend. Unsure in her own abilities to craft a story she plunged ahead anyway. After reading the first draft of that first book, she then understood that God had a much bigger plan. “God does not give his children a desire just so that it can go to waste.” Since then, she has added three more novels and taken part in two anthologies. Melissa also has a review blog and is a contributing blogger for Heart”wings” Blog.

Being a mother and wife herself, Melissa understands the importance of taking care of yourself from time to time. So, all her stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of their own.

To see the full list of her work, visit www.melissawardwell.com

Guest Post from Melissa

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This verse has been my “Go To” verse since the day I married. It is a constant reminder that no matter what struggles I endure, God has a plan. I may not be able to see through the fog, I may not like or understand the journey, but it is all part of a plan. All I can do is trust God’s design for my life and be willing to move when He tells me to.

God used the writing process of “I Know the Plans” to remind me that He has a plan for me and book and I need to just trust the process. This book has taken me over a year to complete. If it wasn’t one thing to keep me from committing to it, then it was another. I don’t begrudge the events that kept me away, but as soon as I would begin to grumble to God about not having the energy or the brain power to write, I would get this preverbal reminder that I was not the one in control. If I am going to write faith lessons in fiction, I need to trust the Master Author.

In “I Know the Plans”, Sergeant Bradley Jones and his wife, Tiffany, are hit with one whopper of a plot twist that leaves them wondering if they can get through some major medical issues, PTSD, and infertility in one piece. Their family and friends do their best to support the couple but sometimes, trusting God’s plan is all they can do. Something we all try to learn to do in our own lives.

Due to the military thread in this book, I asked my veteran friends what charity they hold in high esteem. Almost every single one of them suggested “Wounded Warrior Project” and offered rave reviews of their humanitarian efforts in the military community. So, a portion of my royalties from this book will be going to “Wounded Warrior Project” in honor of their service and the service of thousands of others.

https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org

There is another group of people I wanted to honor. Those who fight with infertility. I know many who have fought the battle to have children of their own. Some eventually find success, while others have not. Some have even taken the route of adoption and have saved the lives of young ones who needed all the love in the world. Then there are some that just choose to embrace the fact that children of their own were not going to happen and have given all their love to others. All of these groups of people fight a battle that is riddled with pain, confusion, endless medical procedures, and thousands of dollars. There isn’t one group or another that could support these people as much as our love, prayers, and thoughtful kindness can. So, I encourage you to embrace those around you and shower them with love. Sometimes what they need is just a friend that will listen and not try to fix the problem. Just as you have received the Father’s love, now you can give it away.

Finally, I want to thank the CelebrateLit blog team for signing up for this tour. I am honored that they choose to read this story and offer their honest opinions on this book. As always, I pray it ministers to the readers as much as it ministered to the author. “You all are amazing!”

Blessings,

Melissa Wardwell

Blog Stops

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 13

Real World Bible Study, December 13

Connect in Fiction, December 14

Inklings and notionsDecember 14

Godly Book Reviews, December 15

Blogging With Carol, December 15

Blossoms and Blessings, December 16

Mary Hake, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Carpe Diem, December 17

Maureen’s Musings, December 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Christian Bookaholic, December 20

cultivating us, December 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 21

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

A Baker’s Perspective, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, December 25

The Becca Files, December 26

Bigreadersite, December 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away a grand prize that includes an “I know the plans” coffee mug and print copies of books 1, 2, & 3 from the Promises From Above Series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d76f/i-know-the-plans-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Review of Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

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About the Book

Mind games

Book: Mind Games

Author: Nancy Mehl

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: December, 2018

Publisher: Bethany House

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.

First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.

There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.

I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.

If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.

So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.

I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 11

The Lit Addict, December 11

amandainpaDecember 11

A Reader’s BrainDecember 12

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 12

Livin’ Lit, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

By The Book, December 13

Lighthouse Academy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 14

Splashes of JoyDecember 14

Back Porch ReadsDecember 15

Real World Bible Study, December 15

Robin is Bookish, December 15

Janices book reviews, December 15

C Jane Read, December 16

Ashley’s BookshelfDecember 16

The Becca Files, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17

Godly Book Reviews, December 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Just the Write Escape, December 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, December 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

For the Love of Literature, December 20

Remembrancy, December 20

Inklings and notionsDecember 20

Carpe Diem, December 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 21

Locks, Hooks and BooksDecember 21

Pause for Tales, December 21

A Baker’s Perspective, December 21

Have A Wonderful DayDecember 22

Book by Book, December 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 23

To Everything a Season, December 23

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 23

Cafinated Reads, December 24

Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!

Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d73b/mind-games-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Mind Games by Nancy Mehl focuses on FBI Behavioral Analyst, Kaely Quinn and her partner Special Agent Noah Hunter, who are forced to work together to solve the killing spree of a serial killer, where Kaely is supposed to be the last victim of the killing spree.

I loved how this book focused more on the case than on romantic entanglements or other distractions. Before this book, I can not remember reading anything else by this author, but I definitely would like to read more.  Nancy Mehl does a masterful job of combining the tensions from dealing with a serial killer, Kaely’s past and Noah Hunter’s feelings about Kaely based on her reputation within the bureau.

I found the book to be realistic and captivating.   I kept wanting to read more.  So if you like suspense and murder mysteries, check this book out for yourself.

 

 

 

Review of “Shadows of Deception” by Ashley Dawn

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About the Book

Shadows of Deception

Book: Shadows of Deception

Author: Ashley Dawn

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: May 1, 2018

“Get to work cowboy or you’ll be too late to the table to get any pie.”

A short getaway to a nice Texas ranch isn’t why Tiffany is at Colorado’s home. She is a seasoned LA PI and used to the fast paced life. The problems on the ranch are different from what she is used to but she is determined to solve them one way or another. There is one slight problem—a tall dark and handsome cowboy distracting her and occupying more and more of her thoughts.

“…I would hate for anything to happen to remove you from my favor…or organization.”

Danger on the ranch is real and escalating quickly. Colorado doesn’t know who to trust or what is coming next. The thing he does know is Tiffany Reiley is the woman he wants for the job.

Thinking the case will be quick and easy to solve, Tiffany doesn’t anticipate the depth of the horrors she has stepped into.

As Colorado and Tiffany’s attraction grows, the danger gets closer. Will God guide them to the answers they are so desperately searching for?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Author Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent’s office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant.

Ashley has been writing professionally for the past twelve years and has four published books. Her Shadows Series include Shadows From The Past, Shadows of Suspicion, Shadows of Pain, and Shadows of Deception. She is currently working on multiple projects including the fifth in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled “Shadows in Black and White” and also a standalone suspense titled ‘One of Their Own’. She an­­d her family make their home in Texas.

Guest Post from Ashley

Shadows of Deception was a fun book to write.

I love writing my Shadows books because the characters have become so ‘real’ for me. The Reiley family is a large, close family. Each of the siblings is their own person with their own life, but they will always be there for each other.

Deception focuses on Tiffany Reiley. Tiffany loves her family completely, but in such a big family, feels like she has to prove herself. She isn’t looking for a man, and certainly not a man like Colorado. Her story honestly didn’t unfold as I had planned, I wrote it one way but it felt forced and like I was making my characters do things that didn’t fit their personalities. Letting the story just ‘flow’ and the characters be themselves was scary and thrilling at the same time.

There is a touch of difficult subject matter, but for me the story is more about how God is in our lives no matter what. God is always there and His love for us, even when we don’t feel loveable or deserving is ours for the taking. When we don’t understand why things are happening, He does. My hope is no matter what someone gets from the book, they see God’s love through it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 4

Bukwurmzzz, December 4

Blogging With Carol, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 6

Real World Bible Study, December 7

Godly Book Reviews, December 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 9

Janices book reviews, December 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 11

Pause for Tales, December 12

Carpe Diem, December 12

A Good Book and Cup of tea, December 13

The Mimosa Blossom, December 14

Bibliophile Reviews, December 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Ashley is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8a3/shadows-of-deception-celebration-tour-giveaway

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From the moment I opened this book and began reading the story had me captivated.  This fourth installment of The Shadows Series is definitely a book not to be missed. Ashley Dawn has done a remarkable job of creating a storyline that is believable and spell-binding.  I found myself having difficulty with putting the book down.

Tiffany Reiley provides a strong, dedicated and hardworking private investigator.  While Colorado Wiley epitomizes everything about being a cowboy and rancher.  Tiffany’s cousin, Curtis Coulter, who shows up as a new cowboy for Colorado’s ranch adds quite a plot twist and protective family factor to the story.

I found myself deeply moved by the lengths Tiffany’s brothers and family members were willing to go to ensure her safety.  When a fire breaks out at the barn and Tiffany’s first thought is for the cat and kittens and other animals in the barn, I found myself drawn even more into the story.

With danger, loving family relationships and ties, down-to-earth characters, realistic settings, animals and more, this suspense novel will keep you on your toes and wanting to read more.  I also loved the integral part Christian faith played in the story.

Of this series, I have only read one other book, Shadows from the Past, but I have put the other two books, Shadows of Suspicion and Shadows of Pain on my list of books to read.  But I strongly recommend you check out this book for yourself along with the other books in the series.

 

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Monday Musings

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So last week was a very busy week around our home.  We were preparing for our Band and Strings concert.  Our youngest son was supposed to have a tennis class.  Plus, my husband and I went on a partial weekend date to San Antonio – primarily so we could pick up a produce order from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday morning before we rushed home to play in the concerts.  Here are some pictures of our Bountiful Baskets produce.

But before I write more about the concert I have to talk about our date weekend.  This weekend we went someplace we had never been before – which is Wimberley, Texas.  This place amazed and astounded us.  Having moved to Texas from the mountains of Pennsylvania, the views and scenery around Wimberly took our breath away.  Even though it rained and was cloudy, we were still able to take a short walk to see the river/stream in Wimberley.  Here are some pictures.

 

The problem with all of our family members being in the band and strings groups is that it makes it difficult to take pictures.  Also, because I am one of the moms who helps coordinate things like the food for after the performances, it is even harder to get pictures of our whole family.  This time I failed completely at getting any pictures at all.  Here is one picture another mom took of us during the beginner strings performance.

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So now the Homeschool Band and Strings program are both on break until after the first of the year, but Nathan, Dennis (my husband) and I still have two performances this coming Saturday with the Community Band.  So be watching for updates next week about how that goes.  This Thursday we have a Christmas party for the tennis group as long as the weather cooperates.  Then Dennis, Nathan and I will be heading to Austin/Round Rock to go to Ikea and more.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are blogging about this week, click here or on the image below.

Review of “The Three Faces of Nellie” by Robynne Elizabeth Miller

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About the Book

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Book: The Three Faces of Nellie

Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller

Genre: Non-fiction, Historical

Release Date: November, 2016

Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press

Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Nellie Oleson is one of the most recognizable literary figures of the 20th century. But Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series in which Nellie appears, had a secret. . .Nellie wasn’t a real person! Instead, she was a composite character created from three girls Laura knew in childhood: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.

The Little House character of Nellie Oleson is one-dimensional: snobbish, selfish, and thoroughly unpleasant. But what about the real women behind Laura’s creation? They were an intriguing mix of the not-so-nice and the unexpectedly redeemable. In short, they were human.

Discovering the true stories behind Nellie, Genevieve, and Estella has been a fascinating journey. All three ended up on the West Coast at one point. . .true westward movement! One was widowed twice, one ended up divorced, and one died way too young. Two only had one child, and one had three, though she outlived her youngest by a very long time. There’s even some “Nellie-like” drama in there: Embezzlement. Lying on censuses. Shady land deals.

But there are some beautiful things, too. . .like the enduring love of a husband after his young wife died. Or the rare closeness of a mother and daughter who shared their lives as adults. Or the strength of a young widowed mother who not only cared for her son, but headed out west, in true pioneer fashion, while she did so.

Laura Ingalls Wilder did a masterful job of creating the character of Nellie Oleson. But the three real-life women behind that iconic character are, in my opinion, infinitely more intriguing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Robynne Elizabeth Miller is a speaker, writing coach, and author of multiple books, articles, and essays. Her larger projects include From the Mouth of Ma, Pioneer Mixology, The Three Faces of Nellie, and Nonfiction, Memoir, or Fiction? Dissecting the Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Robynne speaks nationally at writing and historical venues and teaches at writer’s workshops and conferences. She also serves as the Board President of Inspire Christian Writers, as well as their Director of Leadership, and leads two Northern California critique groups.

She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Westmont College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction from Ashland University.

She lives with her wonderful British husband and the youngest of their four cheeky children in the snowy woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not writing, Robynne loves singing, felling trees, and making bacon from scratch.

Guest Post from Robynne

Nasty Nellie Oleson. One of the most iconic literary characters in literature. Whether you loved her … or hated her … or loved to hate her, she probably left a lasting impression on you. At least if you were a fan of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder like I was growing up!

As a young girl, I loved Wilder’s tales of wagons, prairies, and grand westward adventures. Strangely, growing up didn’t change my love for all things Little House one tiny bit. But I did become deeply curious about the real life people behind some of the more fascinating Little House characters.

Namely, Nellie Oleson.

As I began to research Nellie, I learned a ton of interesting things. She wasn’t one person, for example. Laura Ingalls Wilder wove three girls she knew in childhood into one composite character for her books. One of the first “Nellie’s,” Nellie Owens, did have a brother named Willy, but did you know that he went blind from two separate incidents, one in childhood and one in adulthood? And did you know that all three of the “Nellies” ended up on the west coast at one point? Talk about true westward movement! One married a man who eventually went to prison for embezzlement, one did some shady land deals, and one shouldn’t have been a “Nellie” at all.

I suppose I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned redemption story. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the mean girl in Wilder’s stories grew up to work with orphans or rescue unwanted animals? Alas, that’s not exactly what happened. But the stories of these three women were fascinating all the same.

I hope you have as much fun discovering the real stories behind the famous Nellie Oleson as I did!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 6

Blogging With CarolDecember 6

multifarious, December 7

Carpe Diem, December 7

Bibliophile Reviews, December 8

The Morning Chapter, December 8

Just the Write Escape, December 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

A Reader’s BrainDecember 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 10

Maureen’s Musings, December 11

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Girls in White Dresses, December 12

Artistic Nobody, December 13

Connie;s HIstory ClassroomDecember 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 15

Pause for Tales, December 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 16

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsDecember 17

Janices book reviews, December 18

margaret kazmierczak, December 18

Lots of Helpers, December 19

Bigreadersite, December 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robynne is giving away a grand prize of a Little House Treasures basket that includes an authenticated piece of the original Loftus Store is De Smet, authenticated sand from Laura’s Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, a Loftus Store slate and slate pencil, chokecherry preserves from De Smet, a Christmas Tree ornament from De Smet, a corn-cob doll kit, a tin cup, maple syrup, a set of pioneer recipe books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s actual gingerbread recipes, and other treasures from various Little House sites!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries in to the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d774/the-three-faces-of-nellie-olson-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Growing up, I can remember reading the “Little House on the Prarie” series of books by Larua Ingalls Wilder and being fascinated by the stories she told.  I loved reading about Pa playing his fiddle and all the adventures she had.  But there was one character I could not stand – Nellie Olsen, so when I found out about this book tour, I knew I wanted to read this book.

I was amazed to learn that Nellie Olsen was actually created from three different girls who interacted with Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The idea of changing names to protect or prevent people from knowing who Laura Ingalls Wilder was actually writing about intrigued me.

This book is not a story, instead, it is facts and is not written for entertaining the reader.  Instead, it is meant to provide the reader knowledge and information about the three individuals who actually resulted in the character of Nellie Olsen: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.  This book provides family information and other facts about these characters. The author does an excellent job of illustrating the true human attributes of these three individuals.  She also does a masterful job of portraying the real human nature of Laura Ingalls Wilder as well.

So if you are someone who desires to learn more about the individuals behind the character of Nellie Olsen, check out this book for yourself.

 

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