Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

SKULLDUGGERY ~ A Review and Giveaway

Skullduggery copy

About the Book

Book:  Skullduggery

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: ChristianHistorical Mystery

Release date: July 15, 2021

Skullduggery, Small

A friend loveth at all times, but a brother is for adversity.

In a decrepit shack on a piece of river bottom property Henry Buckmeyer bought, he finds a human skull with a hatchet embedded in it. Much to Charity Lowell’s delight, her husband  Morgan agrees to co-author a mystery based on the find with dime novelist, May Meriwether, Henty’s wife! After digging into county records and interviewing  locals, plenty of facts are discovered and blanks filled in. A story takes shape, but is the novelists’ narrative what truly happened? It’s hard for Charity not to get in the big middle of the investigation. After two decades, will they be able to learn who the skull belonged to and who left the hatchet behind?

Click here to get your copy!

Typically, I love reading books by Caryl McAdoo including ones with Charity and Morgan Lowell. Unfortunately, this one failed to live up to my lofty expectations. The plot revolves around Henry Buckmeyer’s discovery of a skull with a hatchet in it. The Lowells along with Henry Buckmeyer and his wife/novel writer May Meriwether set out to write a book about the possible events leading up to the tragic murder.

I found myself disliking the two brothers and the woman they both fall for for basically the entire story. I felt they were shallow and self-centered in many ways. However, I appreciated the lengths Henry, May, Morgan, and Charity were willing to go to research the story.

I felt the transitions between those writing the story and the scenes where they were writing about the events failed to flow smoothly for me. Frequently, I found myself rereading pages to figure out what was going on at the time. If you are someone who loves reading about murders, mysteries, and historical fiction and enjoy reading books told from multiple perspectives, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

March 2021

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—fifty-nine published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three greats), Caryl and Ron (her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-plus years) live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

At the end of DUPLICITY At The Lowell House, book one in my new Cross Timbers Mystery series, Henry Buckmeyer travels from Red River County to Dallas to serve as a character witness in the big murder trial.

At a supper with friends in that book, he mentions he and Levi Baylor found a human skull with an ax still embedded in it inside a falling-down shack on some timberland property they bought together.

What starts out as an off-handed comment—merely mentioned for interesting conversation—turns into a great way to unite four of my all-time favorite characters together again for SKULLDUGGERY In The Sulphur River Bottoms!

Charity Lowell (Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, book four and DUPLICITY) pulls out all the stops to persuade her husband, salivating to investigate and discover whose skull it is and who left the hatchet behind!

She’s got to talk him into first, solving the mystery and second, writing another novel about it! If only she can convince him to collaborate with May Meriwether, Henry’s famous dime novelist wife, things will be perfect! Just imagine!

Poor Morgan. Strong as he is, he cannot tell her no. He never could. So, with an invitation from the Buckmeyers, as much as he hates leaving home and his own bed, he agrees.

My favorite part is having Henry alive again! SKULLDUGGERY is set in 1866, so he’s still got almost twenty years to live!

—It so hurt my heart in COVERING LOVE (book eight in the “Texas Romance Family Saga”) when the patriarch passes to his reward in 1885. I wept while writing his demise then couldn’t get through reading those chapters at our writers’ workshop without crying—

So being able to resurrect his character in the Cross Timbers Mystery DUPLICITY made me so happy! SKULLDUGGERY became the perfect vehicle for me to be joyful again! Plus, I adore joining the characters from both my family sagas into a new story!

I was right up in Morgan’s face with Charity trying to talk him into going to Clarksville and staying a few weeks to investigate and write that book! Yes, he agreed, but he tells her in no uncertain terms, that’s the last one!

Ah ha ha ha ha! Yeah, right, Mister Lowell!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29

Mary Hake, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 30

Inklings and notions, August 31

For Him and My Family, September 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 2

Connie’s History Classroom, September 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

deb’s Book Review, September 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 7

lakesidelivingsite, September 8

Pause for Tales, September 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the 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/1161e/skullduggery-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

saving faith ~ a review and giveaway

saving faith

About the Book

Book:  Saving Faith

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: July 13, 2021

Saving Faith take 1b

Hearts and flowers might pay the bills, but that’s all they’re good for.

Still clutched in the grip of guilt over her youthful indiscretions, Faith Nicholson can’t seem to move past her parents’ disappointment in her—or her disappointment in herself.  Determined to make something in her life a success, she focuses on her floral design.

After all, she has quite the past to atone for.

Then her little sister decides to get married, and everyone but Faith chooses her for the job of coordinator. The family florist is the perfect choice. Right? Overruled, Faith agrees.

Enter a widower and his precocious daughter. A friendship with Michael Jacobs becomes more than a refuge in stress of wedding preparations. It becomes a catalyst for her entire life.

Hiding from her past hasn’t worked until now. Perhaps Michael is right.  Facing it is exactly what she needs if she has any hope of a real future.

Faith never would have imagined that her grudging agreement to help her sister could become an olive branch between herself and her family—and the Lord.

Click here to get your copy!

Faith lives with a past that keeps her doubting her worth and the truth regarding God. She feels disappointment in herself and fears the disappointment her parents will feel if they discover the truth. Focusing on floral design helps give her purpose. Then her younger sister gets engaged, and everyone feels Faith needs to be the wedding coordinator.

Add in Michael Jacobs, also known as Pastor Jake, and his adorable daughter, and Faith finds herself dealing with emotions and truths she would rather hide from entirely. I especially loved the interactions between Faith and Michael’s daughter. The threesome provides the perfect focus for this story.

The author illustrates how facing our pasts and speaking truth allows someone to move forward with their lives. So if you enjoy reading books that include family, faith, fun, and even a wedding, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jennifer

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

Where does inspiration come from? When I wrote Illusions and Providence (books 2 and 3 of my Apple Hill series) it came from real-life tragedies I’d lived through. The characters and stories were pure fiction, but the inspiration was heartfelt and dark—just where I needed my emotions to be in order to write redemption stories. When I wrote Surrendered (Book 1) in the series, the inspiration came from one character that was eventually deleted in the second draft of Providence. Are you confused yet? Just to set the record straight, although Surrendered was the first book published in the series, it was the last one I wrote. Why they were published in the order they were is unimportant.

Saving Faith is unlike any other book I’ve written. It was the first novella I wrote in the series, although it isn’t the first to be published (are you sensing a pattern?) I’ve since written two Christmas novellas, both based on side characters introduced in my novels. All That Glitters released last November starring two characters from Surrendered—Julia and Marty. Wish Upon a Star will release this coming November, and the main characters are Elaina and Ryan from Providence.

But the characters in Saving Faith were created from thin air. Well, mostly. Although Addie Jacobs is a side character, she was inspired by a little girl in my Sunday School class—adorable, precocious, intelligent, and headstrong. Once I had her in place, the rest of the novella came together. It was also the first book I’ve written without plotting it out in advance, which was quite disconcerting for a control-freak like me. It was as if the Holy Spirit introduced me to the story as I wrote it. I’ve heard of those pantsers (they write by the seat of their pants rather than outline the plot), but until Saving Faith, I’ve never been successful at winging it. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t the main writer; I was just the co-pilot. I believe the story of Faith, Michael, Chloe, and Addie is better for it.

Another first for me was writing a story where romance was the main genre. I write women’s fiction with an element of romance. But Saving Faith is a romance with an element of women’s fiction. This set the bar for my other novellas. It’s these shorter books that allow me to delve into the world of romance, although it’s not the typical boy-meets-girl kind of story. It’s more boy-knows-girl and loves her anyway kind of story. Because truth be told, none of us are loveable without the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 30

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 30

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

Inklings and notions, September 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 4

CarpeDiem, September 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 6

Kayem Reads, September 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 8

lakesidelivingsite, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 11

Splashes of Joy, September 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11620/saving-faith-celebration-tour-giveaway