Holly, Ivy, & Intrigue by Joanie Bruce, Alexa Verde, & Denise Weimer



MY REVIEW:

“Holly, Ivy, & Intrigue” is the perfect companion for one of those cold winter evenings prior to Christmas when your shopping and baking are done or you just need a little time to yourself to unwind from all the seasonal busyness. The book is comprised of three separate suspense novellas that take place during the Christmas season.  Most readers should easily be able to read each novella in one sitting.

As can be expected, these stories move along very quickly with less character development than a full-length novel. Fortunately that did not detract at all from my enjoyment – in fact I found it refreshingly relaxing. Each novella was well written with ample mystery and tension to satisfy most suspense lovers.

Christmas Murder Mix-up was quite suspenseful yet had clever bits of humor woven through the story that kept me entertained as I read. Misunderstandings abound but of course everything works out well in the end.

Holiday Pursuit was an exciting tale that revolved around a dead body found in a stolen car. The spunky heroine found her share of danger and maybe even romance as she attempted to locate her brother who was suspected of the crime.

A Holiday Intruder may not have as much danger and excitement as the first two novellas but it is a satisfying mystery with an unexpected romance.

I would definitely recommend “Holly, Ivy, & Intrigue” for everyone interested in a bit of light and entertaining reading pleasure for the holidays. Be sure and check it out.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

Christmas Murder Mix-Up

“I have to get rid of her now.”

After four months of a blissful marriage, Paige is devastated to overhear her husband, Cooper, say those words to his best friend. Because of a suspicious Christmas gift, a gas leak, and a home invasion, Paige’s love for Cooper is tested to the limit. Will their marriage survive the Christmas Murder Mix-up?

Holiday Pursuit

When Brianna Rockwell’s brother finds himself in danger and disappears three days before Christmas, she does everything to rescue him. Brianna dodges bullets, escapes fire, and even turns to her longtime crush for help. But the closer she gets to solving the mystery and finding her only sibling, the more desperate someone gets to silence her forever…

A Holiday Intruder

Kelsey Jordan prefers upcycling junk and refinishing antiques for her store in a Georgia mountains town to being the center of attention. When a robbery and an unknown benefactor shove her in the middle of a decades-old mystery, and a real estate developer and a former baseball star compete for her attention, Kelsey isn’t sure who to trust.

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

As an avid reader, Joanie Bruce welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful new experience to please others with her words. She has three published Christian suspense novels, and enjoys writing from her home in the country. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write, draw and paint, Joanie strives to use them to encourage others and to honor Him in all her accomplishments.

Alexa Verde penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has a bachelor degree in Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules.

Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. An associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Denise is the author of The Restoration Trilogy, The Georgia Gold Series, romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, and ACROSS THREE AUTUMNS: A Novella of The Backcountry Brides Collection through Barbour Publishing (May 2018). This wife and swim mom of two daughters always pauses for coffee, chocolate, old houses, and to write any story God lays on her heart.

BLOG STOPS:

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 3

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 4

History, Mystery & Faith, December 4

Zerina Blossom’s Books, December 5

proud to be an autism mom, December 5

Mommynificent, December 6

Inklings and notions, December 6

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

Allofakindmom, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 8

Have A Wonderful Day, December 8

Janices book reviews, December 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Daysong Reflections, December 12

Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

Remembrancy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 15

Pursuing Stacie, December 15

Vicky Sluiter, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/c515

 

The Heart of an Agent by Tracey J. Lyons



MY REVIEW:

“The Heart of an Agent” is one of those books that makes one wish for a kinder, gentler world than the one we now live in. Of course if you actually think about it, the world probably wasn’t quite as kind and gentle as it seemed or there would have been no need for the Pinkertons. Nevertheless, Tracey J. Lyons paints a gorgeous picture of life at a Great Camp in the Adirondacks during the late 1800s that made me wish I could visit.

Although the series is entitled The Adirondack Pinkertons, this particular novel does not involve an actual case but features Lily Handland, a former Pinkerton agent who hopes to settle in one place and make a new and safer life for herself. Opportunities for a different job are either scarce or do not suit Lily’s skills but when she learns that the camp owned by grieving widower Owen Murphy needs someone to help get it back in operation, Lily quickly decides it is the job for her. Of course it might take some work to convince Owen of that fact.

I loved every minute of this heart-warming story about the determined and spunky former agent and the resistant and stubborn Owen. It was also fun to read more about Elsie and William as well as John. It is a beautiful tale of changed lives and renewed hope that is of course peppered with a few secrets, misunderstandings, and roadblocks to happy-ever-after. A subtle theme of faith is woven throughout the story.

“The Heart of an Agent” was the perfect follow-up to “A Changed Agent”. I eagerly look forward to the next book in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. (I also purchased a digital copy.) A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

Tracey J. Lyons, the author of A Changed Agent, returns to the Adirondack Mountains of the 1890s in a novel of love, faith, and secrets…

Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.

Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all?

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Adirondack Pinkertons and the Women of Surprise series, Tracey was a 2017 National Excellence Romance Fiction Award finalist. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know. Her historical romances are all set in the New York State area. Tracey considers herself a small town gal who writes small town romances. You can learn more about Tracey and her books by visiting her website at www.traceylyons.com.

GUEST POST FROM TRACEY LYONS:

My family and I spent a lot of time in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. When I came up with the idea for the Pinkerton series, I knew the books had to be set in a place that I loved. The Heart of An Agent, book 2 in The Adirondack Pinkertons series takes place at an Adirondack great camp. Imagine a time when people would travel from faraway places to hike the many trails or lounge on a porch in one of the famed Adirondack chairs. These intricate, grand structures, built during the latter part of the nineteenth century are part of the unique landscape and history that makes up the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. I enjoyed creating the fictional Murphy camp, the setting for Lily Handland and Owen Murphy’s story.

BLOG STOPS:

Just the Write Escape, November 30

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

Locks, Hooks and books, December 1

A Greater Yes, December 2

Faery Tales Are Real, December 2

Multifarious, December 3

To Everything a Season, December 3

Reader’s cozy corner, December 4

Janice’s book reviews, December 5

Carpe Diem, December 6

Bibliophile Reviews, December 7

Pause for Tales, December 8

Have A Wonderful Day, December 8

With a Joyful Noise, December 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 11

Mary Hake, December 11

My Writer’s Life, December 12

Books n Baubles, December 12

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 13

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Tracey is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a tea-time themed gift box (Valued at over $75) and a $25 Visa Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f6

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman



MY REVIEW:

I have read and enjoyed a number of books by Cara Putman during her career as an author that include both historical and contemporary suspense. Although each one has been very good, I believe that this author has excelled with her latest legal suspense series entitled Hidden Justice. “Imperfect Justice” is the second installment of the series and may be the very best one yet.

“Imperfect Justice” offers the reader not one, but two mysteries to help solve (you know we all get that involved with our books). When one of attorney Emilie Wesley’s clients dies after apparently shooting and killing one daughter and injuring the other one, Emilie is not convinced that her client could do such a thing. Working with the client’s brother Reid Billings to find the truth and thus potentially save the surviving daughter, Emilie is also plagued by an unknown stalker whose escalating actions make her increasingly uncomfortable if not fearful.

With almost perfect pacing, the plot of “Imperfect Justice” features vivid characterization and detailed descriptions. Action, danger, and a few surprises blend with a touch of romance to produce a gripping story that managed to hold my attention until I reached the very end. I also enjoyed that fact that Hayden and Andrew from “Beyond Justice” are featured secondary characters. It’s always fun to meet up with characters you loved from a previous book. I look forward to the next book in the series, “Delayed Justice” but it looks like it will be a wait of several months. If you haven’t read the first two books, do yourself a favor and pick up copies to read while waiting for the final book.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Litfuse Publicity. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cara Putman is the author of more than 25 legal thrillers, historical romances, and romantic suspense novels. She has won or been a finalist for honors including the ACFW Book of the Year and the Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. Cara graduated high school at 16, college at 20, completed her law degree at 27, and recently received her MBA. She is a practicing attorney, teaches undergraduate and graduate law courses at a Big Ten business school, and is a homeschooling mom of four. She lives with her husband and children in Indiana.

Find out more about Cara at http://caraputman.com.

Christmas Embers by Chautona Havig



MY REVIEW:

I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed “Christmas Embers”. I’m not certain anyone would actually “enjoy” it. It is a story filled with hard-hitting truth about adultery and how it affects everyone it touches including family, friends, and even strangers. The emotionally charged plot is sometimes difficult to read because it is so realistic and touches that place inside the reader that tells them “this could happen to anyone – even me”.

“Christmas Embers” is beautifully written and the author does an excellent job of getting her message across. How true that the very ones who believe they would never fall are usually the ones who do. I have seen it happen over and over, even in the church. One thing I have learned is to try not to be too quick to judge lest I fall in the very same trap.

If you are looking for a fluffy, feel-good Christmas story, “Christmas Embers” is probably not for you. But if you would like a novel full of Biblical truth and a bit more “meat”, I would recommend this book. I would also say that it’s not a just for Christmas story but could easily be appropriate for any time of the year.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchaseIt’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.

Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergartners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.

Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?

As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.

Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.

A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?

Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.

Click here to purchase your copy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

GUEST POST FROM CHAUTONA HAVIG:

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.”

An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.

She wasn’t.

It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity. As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”

I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!

But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.

I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.

Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.

And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.

They’re there as a warning.

This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.

Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

BLOG STOPS:

Carpe Diem, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

Moments Dipped in Ink, December 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 6

Daysong Reflections, December 6

Fiction Aficionado, December 7

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 8

The Power of Words, December 8

Bigreadersite, December 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 9

A Greater Yes, December 9

Radiant Light, December 9

Just Jo’Anne, December 10

For The Love of Books, December 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Aryn the Libraryan, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 12

Books, Books, and More Books., December 12

Quiet Quilter, December 13

Seasons of Opportunities, December 13

Christian Book Devourer, December 13

Allofakindmom, December 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Pursuing Stacie, December 14

Pause for Tales, December 15

Reader’s cozy corner, December 15

margaret kazmierczak, December 15

Red Headed Book Lady, December 16

Purposeful Learning, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Janices book reviews, December 17

Christian Bookaholic, December 17

Karen Sue Hadley, December 18

Remembrancy, December 18

Blossoms and Blessings, December 18

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/c512

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