Magnolia Moonlight by Mary Ellis

Magnolia Moonlight


I love this series! I enjoyed the first two so much that I couldn’t wait to read “Magnolia Moonlight”. As a lifelong Southerner it was fun reading about locations that I am at least somewhat familiar with, especially the Memphis area. The stories are all the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. Throw in a strong message of faith and I am a happy reader.

“Magnolia Moonlight” introduces a couple of new detectives at the Price agency. Beth Kirby and Michael Preston are left with what seems to be a simple case in Natchez, Mississippi while their boss Nate Price and his wife Isabelle take a belated honeymoon in Bay St. Louis after two years of marriage. Sparks fly between Beth and Mike but not necessarily the romantic kind. It will be a miracle if the pair will be able to work together long enough to solve their case. Meanwhile, Nate and Isabelle find themselves embroiled in a case of their own that involves her ex. Things aren’t looking so hopeful for a relaxing and romantic honeymoon after all.

Mary Ellis has created some very entertaining yet down-to-earth characters for “Magnolia Moonlight”. I found it easy to empathize with each one of them (except one police officer that I disliked) and hated to put the book down for even a few minutes.The plot was imaginative and moved along at a steady pace with a few surprises along the way. At times I found Beth to be a little bit testy but Mike’s good disposition and charm made up for it and eventually I liked Beth also. It was fun to catch up with Nate and Isabelle again but I did miss Hunter and Nikki. Maybe they will make an appearance in the next installment.

It was with regrets that I reached the end and will find it difficult to wait until April for a chance to read Sunset in Old Savannah to learn what happens next for Beth and Mike. Lovers of Southern novels, cozy mysteries, or both definitely need to run to the nearest bookstore for copies of the entire Secrets of the South Mysteries series.

A copy of this book was provided for review by the author.


What Sinister Secrets Lurk in the Shadows of Yesterday?

Natchez, Mississippi—Private Investigator Nate Price and his new wife, Isabelle, need a vacation. Their coworkers generously team up to surprise them with a belated honeymoon…but the happy trip turns sour when Izzy spies her ex-husband, who appears to have taken up his gambling addiction once again.

While the boss is away, Price Investigations remains in the hands of Beth Kirby, a former police officer, and Michael Preston, a former forensic accountant. Hardly a dream team, as Beth resents working with a man who has no experience in his new job.

But Beth and Michael must move past their differences if they hope to uncover the truth behind a beloved Southern preacher’s demise. The preacher’s widow suspects foul play, despite the evidence indicating suicide.

With tension escalating between these investigators and local law enforcement—and new threats arising on all sides—how will Beth, Michael, and Nate hold on to faith and bring the truth to light?


Mary EllisMary 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.

A Word from the Author

“The next in my Secrets of the South Mysteries, Magnolia Moonlight, took me to Natchez and Bay St. Louis, both in Mississippi. Natchez in a lovely town sitting high on a bluff above the Mississippi River, and Bay St. Louis is a vacation destination along the Gulf Coast. Price Investigations hires two new PI’s to investigate the suicide of a Baptist minister after his wife suspects murder. When Nate and Isabelle leave on their honeymoon, everyone ends up with more than they can handle in my brand new romantic suspense.”



What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

What Matters Most


What perfect timing for Kellie Coates Gilbert’s latest page turner! With elections and political shenanigans foremost on the current evening news, “What Matters Most” gives readers a behind-the-scenes peek into how politics really works. It’s just too bad that there are not more honest and upright people in the business who will stand up for truth and justice like the principal characters of this novel. I enjoyed reading this novel very much. I had previously read the previous novels in this series so my expectations were pretty high. If anything, “What Matters Most” may be the best one yet. Kellie has a true gift for taking me right into the heart of her stories and making me care about her characters.

Both Leta and Nathan were exceptional people who tried to make the best of circumstances life had thrown at them. Leta had sacrificed so much to care for her mother but was finding it difficult to keep her in a quality medical facility. A new higher paying job seemed to be the answer to her problems but as time went by, she was forced to choose between the job and doing the right thing. Nathan’s heart was in providing better care for aging dementia patients but agreed to run for governor in order to make needed changes in the Texas government. His encounters with Leta grew into a special friendship that left them both wanting more but were they working at cross purposes?

“What Matters Most” is a very relevant story that should give each of its readers something to ponder. As we read about Leta and Nathan and the choices they make, each of us can decide what really matters most in our own lives. I cannot recommend this novel (or any of Kellie’s other books) enough.

A copy of this book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Just when she can’t take it anymore, Leta finally catches a break. But when things seem too good to be true, they often are.

Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mother suffering from dementia. When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization–and that the research she’s been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she’s swiftly falling in love with.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He’s already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician’s wife, but he’s never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart–and his future?

With emotional depth and keen insight into what drives us, Kellie Coates Gilbert offers a salient story that calls us to consider what we value most in this life.

Read an excerpt from “What Matters Most” HERE.


Kellie Coates GilbertKellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, and the author of A Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband. Learn more at




An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Elegant Façade


I found “An Elegant Façade” to be a thoroughly enjoyable read although I sometimes have difficulty understanding all the societal dictates of that era. Although some readers have complained about repetition, especially for the first few chapters, it was helpful for me to refresh my memory from “A Noble Masquerade” and to also see the same events through Georgina’s viewpoint.

Georgina was a piece of work! Her determination to garner attention by her unique style was just a subterfuge to distract from her low self-esteem due to a secret she hid from even her own family. She hoped that if she could marry well, her husband would protect her and her secret from ever becoming public. Her desperation for the right husband led to the brink of disaster on more than one occasion.

I was well into the book before Georgina’s secret was revealed and I was certainly surprised by it. I had actually imagined something more shameful but the revelation brought understanding about some of her actions even though her reasoning was pretty skewed. I was so happy when a close call and a good friend’s intervention helped her to see the truth.

I was rooting for Colin from the very start even if he technically was not qualified as a match to Georgina. He was the perfect hero and most importantly, a true friend to Georgina despite his frustration with her actions.

An Elegant Façade” was the perfect follow-up to “A Noble Masquerade”. I loved both books and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Kristi Ann Hunter has earned her place on my favorite authors list!

A copy of this book was provided for review by the author and Bethany House.


Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?

Read an excerpt from An Elegant Façade Here.


Hunter_KristiAnnKristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Her debut novel, A Noble Masquerade, is a RITA double finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at





Through Raging Waters by Renee Blare

Through Raging Waters


“Through Raging Waters” was action packed from the very first pages. As if severe thunderstorms compounded with spring snow melt threatening to destroy the town of Timber Springs were not enough, personal health crises, a nearly impossible rescue effort, and a dangerous hostage situation complicate matters for everyone involved. The story moves along at a speedy pace that leaves very little room for the reader to catch her breath.

Most of the narrative revolved around the Fitzgerald family and those closely associated. It was evident early on that the Fitzgeralds had some serious problems among its members that played out often through their angry outbursts. Melissa Hampton, a close family friend, had her own issues. She was determined to prove herself and frequently made impulsive decisions that put her own life and those of others in serious danger.

On one hand, I enjoyed reading about life in Timber Springs and how the townspeople worked together to save it. Blare’s descriptions of the terrain and life in the area were intriguing. On the other hand, I never could develop much of a connection with any of the characters. The relationship between Paul and Melissa lacked something vital – I simply couldn’t seem to care one way or another if they got together. Hopefully some of the family issues will be resolved in a sequel to this novel. There were a few signs that was beginning to happen but I did not discern any actual resolution.

Overall, the author handled a very complicated story well. I did like the way her characters grew in their faith as they met nearly insurmountable odds. “Through Raging Waters” would be a good read for those who enjoy fast action and adventure.

A copy of this book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit.


If Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same…

A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin.

Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread…once again.

She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Can two people find each other through raging waters?

Purchase your copy here.


Renee BlareRenee Blare’s nose has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Blog: Renee’s Inspirational Moments

Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction

Website: Renee Blare|Christian Author Website


I Wrote a Book

Five years ago, I wrote a book…and then I wrote another and another and another. Many said that the words flowed like a river onto the page. Or I painted a picture with letters.  As for me? I simply write what I see so you can see it too. What about you? Do you want to write a book?

If so, there’s one thing I’d like you to know. A book’s like a child. It starts out small or simple with garbled language…often repetitive and indistinguishable. Kind of like when a baby babbles “dada” over and over. And then that moment comes when you rejoice because you hear him say “mama.” That’s the growth every book…writer…reader…yearns for.

Different stories float around inside an author’s mind, flowing in a way much like labor. Some authors plot, others don’t. And still others combine the process in a convoluted method. But like birth, no matter how the words eventually find their way to the page, the development of a book doesn’t stop with its first dawn. It takes time, energy, and growth.

Take my first release, To Soar on Eagle’s Wings. Five years ago, I wrote it, my very first book, in three months. And it was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. God brought the plot together in a phenomenal way. But publication wasn’t the next step. I had a lot to learn before that could happen.

My latest release, Through Raging Waters is the example of a writer’s growth, but also her soul. I learned that I had to leave more than my knowledge and my heart on the page. I needed to leave a piece of my soul. When you read Paul’s struggles, you read mine. Melissa’s fear and confusion? Yes, they’re mine. The anger, the pain . . . the trials, the lessons learned are scriptural but also first-hand, taught by my Father.

Writing is more than a job. It’s more than a hobby. It’s sharing your knowledge, your hope with the world. So if you want to write a book. Do it. Then take that next step, and the next. You’ll get there. Oh, and I can’t wait to read it!


July 19: Pause for Tales

July 20:  Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 21: Captive Dreams Window

July 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 22: Singing Librarian Books

July 23: A Reader’s Brain

July 24: A Greater Yes

July 24: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 25: bigreadersite

July 25: Cassandra M’s Place


July 26: Splashes of Joy

July 27: Blossoms and Blessings

July 27: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

July 28: Daysong Reflections

July 29: Quiet Quilter

July 30: Texas Book-aholic

July 30: Lights in a Dark World

July 31: Bukwurmzzz

July 31: Through the Open Window

August 1: Carpe Diem


ThroughRagingWatersGrandPrize-285x300 To celebrate her tour, Renee is giving away a wonderful package that includes a $20 Cabelas gift card, a set of her series paperbacks (books 1 and 2), and fleece blanket.

Click here to enter:







Missing by Lisa Harris



Nikki Boyd usually investigates missing people but when two murdered bodies are discovered in a house and the homeowners are missing, she is called in to help with the case. As she searches for clues to the missing couple, she is drawn into a dangerous situation involving more murders with evidence that could point to a good friend.

“Missing” is one of those page-turners that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. I really have a big problem putting down a book as suspense filled as this one. I am tempted to let everything go – the housework, the laundry, meal prep, and even sleep. I’m glad my husband is pretty tolerant of my reading addiction.

With just the right combination of well-developed characters, danger, drama, suspense, and a developing romance, the plot of “Missing” moves along at a rapid rate. Frequent plot twists and surprises kept me on edge and guessing all the way to the end. I love it when I don’t guess the perpetrator too soon. The only problem I can find with “Missing” is that it left me impatient for the next installment of The Nikki Boyd Files.

A copy of this book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.

Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts you right into the action in this fast-paced thriller.


Lisa HarrisLisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women’s group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8).

When she’s not working, she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa, visit her website at or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit