Forged in Love by Mary Connealy


The heroines in Mary Connealy’s books have always been unique in their own ways but I am really enjoying the heroines from her last few series who have especially unexpected gifts and/or occupations. Forged in Love continues in that vein with none other than a female blacksmith. How unexpected it that? Of course motherless Mariah Stover has grown up in the smithy run by her father and has learned everything he could teach her about the art. When he and her brother are killed by an outlaw gang, Mariah is determined to continue to run his business despite those who doubt that she can.

Although Mariah was the only survivor of the stage ambush, she remembers absolutely nothing about the event. Her friends attempt to protect her from the outlaws by making sure everyone knows she can not remember what happened or who was involved. Clint Baker was especially determined to keep Mariah safe and did so with the aid of her two best friends, strong women in their own right.

I loved the reversal of roles in Forged in Love – Clint as a gourmet cook with his own restaurant and Mariah working as a blacksmith. The relationships between the friends was especially touching and I can’t wait to read about the romance the other two women will encounter.

As I always expect, this was another book by Mary Connealy that I found difficult to put down once I opened it.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?


Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?

Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.

Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase a copy here.


Mary Connealy ( writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard


Cold Light of Day is the latest suspense filled novel by Elizabeth Goddard who has become one of my go-to authors. Like her previous books, this one hits the ground running and the action and suspense do not let up until the end.

Police chief of a small Alaskan town, Autumn is fighting to hold onto her job in the upcoming election despite those who want her out. A sudden influx of newcomers to town as well as the discovery of more than one body has her jumping through hoops as she attempts to solve the case(s). It appears that the murders are connected but if so how?

Newcomer Grier just happens to be in the right place at the right time to rescue a woman from the sea but is he really the hero he seems? Autumn has no choice but to accept his help but questions and secrets between them make her wonder if she is doing the right thing. As the pair face numerous threats to their lives, the chemistry between them is one thing that cannot be denied.

As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed Cold Light of Day and cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders, and an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community.

Grier is in Alaska for the same reason many others are–to disappear–when Chief Long enlists his help. He emerges from the shadows and proves his mettle, but his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both. If his secret is exposed, all will be lost. And he’s not sure even Autumn could save him.

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase a copy here.


Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including Cold Light of Day and the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold nearly 1.5 million copies. She is a Carol Award and Reader’s Choice Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham


Another Freddie and Grace adventure, oh my! I never dreamed Pepper Basham could possibly equal The Mistletoe Countess but I was wrong on all counts. And I’m not sorry I was.

Grace has such a joyful zeal for life that is difficult for her to contain. (She may have even bounced off the walls as a small child.) Freddie is her perfect counterpart with his calm demeanor, patience, and his totally unexpected dry wit. It is such fun to read their dialogue and to accompany them on their adventures.

The Cairo Curse has everything I look for in a good book. Wonderful characters, excellent dialogue, interesting exotic settings, a touch of history, and a perfect blend of mystery, action, danger, romance, and faith all worked together to make me a contented reader for several hours. Not to mention – camels!

I loved traveling to Egypt with Freddie and Grace and am eager to accompany them on their next adventure. The Cairo Curse is not to be missed but please begin with The Mistletoe Countess. I guarantee you won’t be sorry.

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


Book: The Cairo Curse

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Romance / Adventure / Mystery

Release date: February 1, 2023

Click here to get your copy!

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?



Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter



February 1914, Havensbrook

Gunfire erupted from outside, sending Frederick Percy, Earl of Astley, leaping from his chair. The seat crashed against the floor behind him in time with another shot. What on earth! He grabbed the first weapon-like item he could find—his grandfather’s cane—and dashed toward the sound, nearly colliding with his butler moving in the same direction.

“Did you hear the gunfire, Brandon?”

The older gentleman’s brows rose as high as they could go without becoming part of his snowy hairline. “Indeed, my lord. From the south garden, if I guess correctly, sir.”

“My thoughts exactly.” Frederick tapped the cane against the floor and took a step in the direction of the garden door. Then stopped, a sudden sense of dread forming a lump in his stomach. His butler’s response was much too cavalier for an emergency. “Have you seen Lady Astley of late, Brandon?”

“Not since after breakfast, sir.”

“Well, then.” Frederick returned to his office for his own pistol and prayed whatever inspired a gunshot near his home would prove more benign than dangerous. After surviving several near-death experiences over the past Christmas season, Frederick was quite finished with drama for a while. Though drama seemed to follow his new bride in spades.

He met the butler back in the hallway.

“Might I offer an insight, sir?”

Frederick pivoted in his approach to the door and turned back to Brandon. “Insight?”

“Yes, sir.” The man released a deep sigh which pulled his pristine posture into a slight slump. He then sent Frederick a look which somehow inspired a grimace before Frederick even heard the man’s words. “Her ladyship was speaking with Mr. Blake after breakfast, sir.”

“Mr. Blake?” Frederick rolled his gaze heavenward, the tension in his jaw uncoiling into a slight annoyance that manifested in an ache over his right eyebrow. He loved his cousin. There was no man Frederick trusted more. But for some reason, the idea of Blake and Grace together followed by the sound of gunfire did not bode well.

For anyone.

“About pistols, my lord.”

And the answers emerged, along with an increased throbbing in Frederick’s head. “Thank you, Brandon.”

Setting a slower pace, he moved toward the south side of his manor house, another shot reverberating nearer. Within a month since Christmas, his American wife had learned how to drive the car and throw knives, two skills she appeared to excel in more than knowing the fashion of the season or how to address the complicated hierarchy of the aristocracy. His lips almost split into a grin as he recalled her stumbling over addressing the Duke of Westonbridge two weeks ago by calling him “Your Honorable Lord” and then in quick correction, “Your Grace, or at least I hope you are since I fumbled your title so atrociously.”

Of course the duke had fallen under Grace’s spell within five minutes, as everyone else who met her seemed to do since she’d moved to his crumbling Derbyshire estate two months earlier. Well, everyone except the villainess who’d tried to kill them just before Christmas. But that was hopefully a distant story, and their next chapter would be a lovely, peaceful belated honeymoon—he increased his steps at the idea—with a little surprise tagged on for his lovely Lady Astley.

Frederick nodded a good afternoon to the police officer inconspicuously posted near the house so that Frederick’s mother could work out her sentence of house arrest in connection with his father and brother’s deaths. He released a sigh. No, she was no murderess, unless glares and harsh words counted, but she’d harbored information that could have protected others. The law had been gracious with her due to her age and status, merely revoking her freedoms from leaving Havensbrook, so his mother’s life stayed very much as it had since Frederick’s father’s death; however, the added blemish of “criminal” to her reputation ensured she spent her days away from the public eye.

And if the police officer appeared in no great distress over the gunfire, Frederick knew all too well what must be happening.

Just around the edge of the house, a large garden opened to the south, its walls still well intact, though ivy-grown and tangled. Another shot reverberated through the damp air, followed quickly by laughter and his wife’s exuberant exclamation of “I hit it.”

Frederick’s lips pinched into a frown. Why he ever expected his cousin Blake to mind Frederick’s subtle requests was beyond him! The garden gate stood open, welcoming him forward into an even more tangled array of vines and twined greenery, the winter roses, a remnant of the garden’s healthier days, sleeping until spring.

He hadn’t had the means to make things right with Havensbrook before but, with Grace’s wealth and her generous heart, he could now. Another way to make amends for the past, he hoped, though

God had already bestowed on him much more than he deserved.

His cousin stood to the right, hands on the hips of his gray suit jacket, but Frederick’s gaze followed Blake’s focus to the woman in the center of the garden. Her bright auburn hair was twisted up beneath a deep purple hat that matched her coat, both in contrast to her pale skin. Her laughter echoed toward him, so filled with joy and hope. Two things he’d thought lost forever before he’d met her.

Yes, God had given him much more than he deserved, and sometimes, he wondered if God had given him more than he could manage.



Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Bigreadersite, February 23

By The Book, February 24

Just Your Average reviews, February 24

Remembrancy, February 24

Sylvan Musings, February 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 25 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Mary Hake, February 25

Worthy2Read, February 26

Christina’s Corner, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Betti Mace, February 27

The Sacred Line, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

Labor Not in Vain, February 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 1

Cover Lover Book Review, March 1


To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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.

Operation: Restoration by Kari Trumbo


To date, I have read only historical western novels by Kari Trumbo but because I have enjoyed them I decided to try her new contemporary, Operation: Restoration. I was particularly intrigued when I saw that the primary male character was Junior Morrison. My husband has been known as Junior Morrisson by family and friends for his entire life so I just had to see what this fictional Junior was like. Needless to say, he had very little in common with my retired farmer but nevertheless I enjoyed the book.

Set on a ranch that ministers both to victims of human trafficking as well as to their former military employees, Operation: Restoration lived up to its title. A story of former sweethearts who have been separated for many years and brought back together by circumstance, the story reaches beyond their love story. Filled with plenty of emotion, action, danger, and suspense, this book has it all and was a totally satisfying read. I can’t wait to see if the author will offer more stories in this vein. I highly recommend it.

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


Junior Morrison walked away from her to start a life with the military.

Now he works at a special ranch to help rehabilitate victims of human trafficking. When his boss is challenged to fix his one regret, he passes that challenge to all his men. Junior wants to see Gabby, the woman he left behind, again, but how can he explain that he’s not the man he was before?

Gabby Loftens abandoned her girlhood dreams of marrying Junior and went off to school to be a counselor, convinced she could help others heal where she couldn’t help herself. Her life is not full, but she gives wherever she can.

When Junior calls her to come help with a patient, Gabby is skeptical. Why call her? Especially when the ranch is an hour away and he hasn’t talked to her in ten years. She can’t deny she’s curious and what she finds at the ranch draws her in. She wants to help, but more than that, she wants to know what she did to make Junior walk out of her life. Because she wants him back, if he’ll accept her.

When Gabby unwittingly leads a victim back to her trafficker, Junior and Gabby, along with the team at Wayside Ranch, must keep her protected. If they don’t, their ranch, and all the people safely living there, could face their worst enemies all over again.


Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari Trumbo is an international bestselling author of historical and contemporary Christian romance and romantic suspense. She loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota—where the trees and lakes are plentiful—with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, a few cats, and a bunny who’s the star of one of her books.

Fraser by Susan May Warren

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Fraser by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Susan May Warren fans will be excited to see a new series featuring more of the intrepid Marshall family, this time the Minnesota branch. Those familiar with the previous series know to what lengths a Marshall will go to protect and rescue one of their own, whether it be family or friend, or even a stranger in need.

Everything one might expect from a Warren book is present in spades in Fraser, her latest. More action and adventure and romance than you can shake a stick at plus a surprise or two. It is such fun to see how characters from previous series manage to find their way into yet another book and this time readers will find some crossover from a series by Rachel Hauck. What fun!

I loved meeting new characters in Fraser as well as touching base with old favorites. I honestly don’t know how the author keeps up with them all because sometimes I have trouble sorting them all out. Needless to say, if you are already a fan of Susan May Warren books, grab a copy quick. If you aren’t already a fan, why not? You need this book!  

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


Title: Fraser

Series: The Minnesota Marshalls #1

Author: Susan May Warren

Publisher: SDG Publishing

Release Date: February 14, 2023

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Fraser Marshall is pretty sure his career as a Spec Ops fighter is over. Yes, he’s gone into private security, working for Jones, Inc, but his last gig ended with him wounded and taken captive. And those wounds just won’t heal. The last thing he wants to do is stick around his family’s winery pressing grapes. But what choices does he have?

The answer comes via a panicked phone call from his kid brother, Creed.

Help, Fraser. I’m in over my head…

Yeah he is, because he’s run away with a princess, with her bodyguard hot on the trail. And said bodyguard, Pippa Butler is going to hunt them down, no matter the cost.

Even if she has to join forces with a bossy, arrogant former American SEAL. But Pippa has her own set of lethal skills, and if Fraser gets in the way, she’ll leave him on the side of the road. Still, maybe he’s not a terrible side-kick. He is handsome, and he makes her laugh…

No, no, bad Pippa! She has no room for a man—an American—in her life. And Fraser hasn’t ever considered slowing down. Even if Pippa has him wondering if there is a different future ahead.

But there’s more to the story than a Romeo-and-Juliet runaway romance. Princess Imani has seen a murder, and the perpetrator isn’t going to let her get away. Will Fraser and Pippa find the couple first?

And if they do, can they work together to keep them safe?

It’ll be tough if their hearts get in the way…

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | IndieBound  | BookBub






With nearly 2 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA, and Carol award-winning author of over ninety novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill, and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com, and Christmas novellas. With books translated into eight languages, many of her novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. She’s a three-time RITA finalist and an eight-time Christy finalist.

Connect with Susan by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Fraser and a $10 Susan May Warren Store gift card!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight February 21, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

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

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Confession Musical


“The Confession Musical” is based on the New York Times best-selling book series “The Heritage of Lancaster County,” written by Beverly Lewis and written for the stage by Emmy-Nominated screenwriter Martha Bolton. Katie Lapp, a young  Amish girl, discovers her parents have been keeping a secret from her… she is adopted. Katie decides to seek her birth mother, defying the rules of her Amish village and risking a shunning. Meanwhile, her wealthy birth mother, Laura Mayfield, battling an illness that might take her life, begins searching for her long-lost daughter to bequeath her inheritance before it is too late. Secretly plotting against her is the gold-digging husband Dylan (played by John Schneider), who is scheming to make sure he inherits her fortune. With the help and prayers of her Christian maid/servant (played by Chonda Pierce), they try to foil Dylan’s plan and reunite Katie and Laura.


Buy Tickets LinK:




New York Times bestseller author of Amish fiction

Shipshewana, Indiana, we soon discovered not only a delightful musical play but also the miracle of a musical.

I was nine-years-old when I wrote my first stories, around the time I learned of my maternal grandmother Ada’s excruciating shunning. Being ousted from her Plain church community and the only people she’d ever known was heartbreaking. Her father warned if she was to remove her prayer covering, and wear a forbidden, gold wedding band, she was never to darken the door of their home again.

As a child, I had no way of comprehending what this shunning meant to Grandmother Ada and to our entire family. Years later, as a young woman—and a budding novelist—I conducted extensive research into Lancaster County’s Amish traditions and secret practices. It was at that time my now-famous lead character, Katie Lapp, was birthed in my heart. You see, Grandma Ada’s great sorrow following her shunning planted the seeds for my Amish series, “The Heritage of Lancaster County,” from which came The Shunning, and its sequels, The Confession and The Reckoning, and subsequently, “The Confession Musical.”

Previously, I had written and published nearly 60 books for young readers, including for pre-teen and teen girls, but I questioned whether the story burning within me, The Shunning, would translate to adult fiction.

Write your heart and cling to the Lord. Those words kept coming back to me, encouraging me onward. And, while in deep prayer, I asked God to guide this family story I felt such urgency to write: the story of my precious grandmother who followed her heart right out of her ultra-strict community to marry a ministerial student instead of the farmer her father had picked out for her.

When I think of all she endured, my heart is tender realizing that I am truly a recipient of Grandmother Ada’s brave move to follow the Lord. And I am certain I would not be writing stories set in Amish farmland otherwise. Ada’s dedication to her Savior, Jesus, and to the ministry altered the entire half of our family tree and set me on a path of writing a new sub-genre category: Amish fiction.

To begin writing my first novel for adults, I gathered the pieces of everything I knew about that terrible time for Ada, and included Katie Lapp’s unique circumstances of adoption and the search for her birth mother. (The compelling theme of adoption was heavily influenced by my own children’s adoptions.)

More than a decade later, when producer Dan Posthuma approached me about a possible Amish musical based on my popular Heritage book series, I was admittedly surprised. It was hard to imagine someone compressing the story lines from three novels spanning more than a year’s time, into a single stage production. But my husband and I committed the project to prayer.

On Opening Night at the Blue Gate Theatre in of Martha Bolton’s script-writing skills, embellished by Wally Nason’s beautiful and well-integrated musical score. “The Confession Musical” was a hit! And we traveled to see it numerous times with our extended family and many avid fans in various venues in both Indiana and Pennsylvania. Katie Lapp’s story set to music was truly captivating.

Fast forward to the present….

Blue Gate Musicals recently created “The Confession Musical Movie,” to debut in theatres for one night only, on February 20, 2023—thanks to the top movie theatre distributor Fathom Events. It is exciting to know that thousands more live theatre fans will have the opportunity to see this entertaining musical inspired by the Beverly Lewis Amish novels. And with Chonda Pierce and John Schneider in their starring roles, viewers will be both wowed and inspired by Katie Lapp’s heartwarming love story, rejection (shunning), redemption and celebration during a story journey like no other…which strangely seems so true-to-life.

Chonda Pierce’s spontaneous antics on stage (her facial expressions!) bring the jovial maid, Rosie, to bursting life. What would this musical play be without the comedic humor Chonda delivers so freely? For comedy lovers, Chonda’s stage presence is pure joy.

John Schneider’s strong portrayal of the deceiving and debonair Dylan Bennet’s character is something to behold. Viewers will love to hate. His lines are delivered so effortlessly, you’re convinced he is Dylan Bennet.

The epic story, the flow of dramatic scenes, and the soaring music, will have you clapping right along with the live audience. “My Heart Has Found A Home” will echo in your mind long after the credits, as will the toe-tapping opening and finale “Something ‘Bout A Life that’s Plain.”

I laughed so hard during the song, “What A Mess,” and brushed tears away at the show-stopper, “Where You Are,” an enthralling, if not heartbreaking trio sung by Katie Lapp, her Amish mamma, Rebecca Lapp, and her birth mother, Laura Mayfield.

For sure and for certain, you must see this movie musical to believe it!

~ By Beverly Lewis, author of The Orchard, released September 2022.


I didn’t realize when I agreed to watch and review “The Confession Musical” that my husband and I had recently watched the drama version on TV. Truthfully, I wasn’t so sure how much I would enjoy the musical version but I was committed so we both watched it The basic plot is similar but there are obvious departures from the drama – you know this is a musical. Be prepared for a lengthy film and you might want to have a few tissues handy. Despite the sometimes serious content, this musical has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, mostly due to the antics of Chondra Pierce as Rosie and Colin Alexander as Fulton. I think their scenes were my favorites. John Schneider also played his part well as anyone familiar with his work would guess. Musical interludes varied from seriously lovely to lively, amusing, and entertaining. “The Confessions Musical” is a film you can enjoy with your entire family.

Many thanks to Blue Gate Musicals for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.