As a lifelong Southern girl who enjoys romantic suspense, I am loving Mary Ellis’ Secrets of the South Mysteries. Even better is the fact that “What Happened on Beale Street” mostly takes place in Memphis, the city with which I am most familiar. I have visited many of the places in this book so it was an especially fun read for me.
I can say that Mary Ellis can definitely construct a mystery that is difficult for me to solve ahead of time. She can really drop some red herrings and take her readers through some convoluted twists and turns along the way. The story has just the right blend of suspense, romance, and humor with a subtle touch of faith. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments that helped to ease the tension at just the right times. I loved meeting new characters as well as catching up with those from earlier books in the series.
If you are a fan of Southern mysteries, or just a mystery fan, I can almost guarantee you will love “What Happened on Beale Street”. Be sure to pick up a copy soon.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What Happened on Beale Street is an exciting addition to the Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These standalone, complex crime dramas follow a private investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.
A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis, the home of scrumptious barbecue and soulful blues music. When they arrive at Danny Andre’s last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the former choirboy they fondly remember.
Danny’s sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren’t on the best of terms due to a complicated past, yet they will have to get beyond that if they want to save Danny.
On top of Danny’s alarming disappearance and his troubled relationship with Isabelle, Nate also has to rein in his favorite cousin’s overzealousness as a new and eager PI. Confronted with a possible murder, mystery, and mayhem in the land of the Delta blues, Nate must rely on his faith and investigative experience to keep one or more of them from getting killed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of many books, including A Widow’s Hope, An Amish Family Reunion, and Living in Harmony. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.
I have very mixed feelings about “Gladden the Heart”. It has an intriguing and unique plot that is filled with quite a few very interesting events. Unfortunately I did find it to move along at a snail’s pace and I had difficulty connecting with its many characters. I will also admit that my difficulty reading it may have just been a matter of timing and could have an entirely different opinion if I picked it up again at another time. The author’s skill is excellent and I found no real complaints with the book itself. As I said, it was probably just not the right time for me to read it.
I enjoyed reading this historical novel about an Amish community that lived in close proximity to evangelical Methodists who often held tent meetings. Knowing how strictly the Amish adhere to their own beliefs, it was a surprising twist when one of the Amish men suddenly began to have frequent “episodes” where he began preaching in his sleep in the style of the Methodists. As can be imagined, this caused no lack of controversy and curiosity within the Amish community. Was it really the Holy Spirit or was Noah trying to pull something over on them all?
This is one book that devoted Amish fiction lovers should enjoy. I personally learned a good bit about how many of the Amish were taught to dwell on their trials and suffering as what God expected from them and resisted the good news of His love of His people.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”
When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?
The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.
Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.
When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
Click here to purchase your copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.
GUEST POST FROM OLIVIA NEWPORT:
Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.
What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.
I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.
Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.
I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
|July 4: Cafinated Reads
July 5: Book by Book
July 6: Genesis 5020
July 6: A Baker’s Perspective
July 7: Reading Is My SuperPower
July 7: Connie’s History Classroom
July 8: Daysong Reflections
July 9: God’s Little Bookworm
July 9: Inklings and Notions
July 10: A Reader’s Brain
July 10: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 11: Bibliophile Reviews
|July 11: Artistic Nobody
July 12: Karen Sue Hadley
July 12: Blogging With Carol
July 13: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 14: Have A Wonderful Day
July 14: cherylbbookblog
July 15: Bigreadersite
July 15: Carpe Diem
July 16: Splashes of Joy
July 16: The Power of Words
July 17: His Grace is Sufficient
July 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Finding Love at the Oregon Coast by Angela Ruth Strong, Christina Coryell, Heather Woodhaven, & Lisa Phillips
I was intrigued by the setting of this book because my daughter and her husband recently spent nearly a year working as traveling physical therapy assistants in a small town on the Oregon Coast. Other than some scenic photos and a few conversations about the nursing home where she worked, my daughter didn’t supply me with much information to help me imagine their life there. Through the pages of “Finding Love at the Oregon Coast” I was able to get a bit more insight into life in a small town in coastal Oregon.
The short prologue to the book set the stage with bride Christina who realized at the last minute that she had made a mistake and walked out on her wedding. Each of the following novellas features one of Christina’s bridesmaids and their activities shortly after the derailed wedding, ending with Christina’s own story after she decided to spend her honeymoon alone.
I enjoyed each and every one of the novellas as I read about Christina, Liz, Anabeth, and Kadence and the different men who quickly became important to them. Each story was fun and romantic with plenty of humor and drama that kept those pages turning. In my opinion, all the stories ended perfectly as every young woman found the man God had intended for her. I particularly loved the contrast between Christina’s original intended husband and the man the Lord led her to.
Happy endings for all the young women – now you will have to read for yourself to find out who God had waiting for each of them and all the details of how they got together. “Finding Love at the Oregon Coast” is a perfect book to take along on your vacation, even if it’s only in your own backyard.
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author.
A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When a wedding is cancelled, three bridesmaids and a runaway bride contemplate the true meaning of love in four related romance novellas.
By Heather Woodhaven–Finding Love in Lincoln City: Liz feels stuck at her little beach magazine until a handsome rival sparks more than just friendly competition.
By Lisa Phillips–Finding Love in Oceanside: Anabeth is looking to get out of her rut when a fender bender and a bizarre date with a former marine leads her to a life of love she could never have imagined.
By Christina Coryell–Finding Love in Cannon Beach: Kadence feels the pressure to write a perfect love song, but an unexpected meeting with a musician will have her living one instead.
By Angela Ruth Strong–Finding Love in Seaside: Christina plans to spend her honeymoon alone, but when the bed and breakfast owner offers her a position as cook, she starts to feel at home in his kitchen…and in his arms.
Read the prologue HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
|Angela Ruth Strong writes light-hearted and life-changing love stories. The “light-hearted” part comes from her ability to get into interesting situations–such as a hamster ball race or riding on the shoulders of a unicyclist. The “life-changing” part comes from the power of God’s love and the beauty of her very own romance. The “story” part comes from her passion for books that she got from her writer mama. And there’s nothing else she’d rather do than share these stories with you. Find out more (than you ever wanted to know) at www.angelaruthstrong.com.|
|Heather Woodhaven earned her pilot’s license, rode a hot air balloon over the safari lands of Kenya, assisted an engineer with a medical laser in a Haitian mission, parasailed over Caribbean seas, lived through an accidental detour onto a black diamond ski trail in the Aspens and snorkeled among sting rays before becoming a mother of three and wife of one. Now Heather spends her days celebrating laughter, adding to her impressive list of embarrassing moments, and raising a family of aspiring comedians who perform nightly at her table. She channels her love for adventure into writing characters who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances–whether running for their lives or battling the insanities of life.|
| USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell was born and raised in southwest Missouri, where she lives with her husband and children. She had plenty of people tell her that her degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing would be useless. They were probably right. Added to her dual major in History, she became the least likely candidate for nearly every career on the planet, save being a writer. That suits her just fine.
Christina has written from the back hatch of an SUV, in a lawn chair while at soccer practice, in the front seat of her car, with kids climbing on her, and often with extremely loud noise in the background. At least half of her books have been written during baseball games.
She believes great fiction mirrors life, and great life contains a little humor, so it’s difficult not to sprinkle a little funny business throughout her work. Oh…and character is everything.
She loves hearing from readers. You can find all the ways to connect with her at www.christinacoryell.com.
| A British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London, Lisa attended Calvary Chapel Bible College where she met her husband. He’s from California, but nobody’s perfect. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Since then she’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.
Lisa can be found in Idaho wearing either flip-flops or cowgirl boots, depending on the season. She leads worship with her husband at their local church. Together they have two children–a sparkly Little Princess and a Mini Daddy–and an all-black Airedale known as The Dark Lord Elevator. Find out more at www.authorlisaphillips.com
What an incredible book! Courtney Walsh has written a novel that nailed so many areas to which so many can relate. The pain of not meeting the expectations of others. The feeling of standing on the outside, always looking in. The fear of speaking out for fear of rejection. Knowing you are different than the others whether physically, mentally, etc. and not fitting in and maybe even made fun of because of it. Lane Kelley had experienced it all but had managed to change her life and was on the brink of achieving her dreams when she is called home after her brother is injured in a terrible accident.
For Lane, home was not a comfortable place. Her family and others in the community had unknowingly hurt her with careless remarks about her weight for most of her life. If she could just be there for her brother a few days and go right back to work where she found her true identity, everything would be fine. Of course nothing ever works out as planned and Lane learns that betrayal can come from unexpected sources and so can love.
“Just Look Up” is a story filled with emotions and truth that touched me deeply. I could go on and on and tell Lane and Ryan’s story but it is one that each reader must discover for herself. I will say that it is a story filled with romance, lessons in forgiveness, and learning to trust friends and family but most importantly to look up to the source of it all.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home – a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work – something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along – if only she’d just look up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.