Stratagem by Robin Caroll


I have enjoyed Robin Caroll’s books since I first discovered her early Love Inspired Suspense novels. I have since then made it a point to at least try to read her latest as soon as it was released. I have been fortunate to receive review copies of many of them. Stratagem was not a disappointment. In fact the author seems to have upped her game. This one left me in suspense and guessing the murderer until the very end.

Readers who are also fans of the popular escape rooms that seem to be springing up everywhere should particularly enjoy this book. A similar concept is used by a business that develops adventure games to help companies in their team-building efforts but this time things go terribly wrong and one of the team members is found dead. She just happens to be the ex-wife of Grayson Thibodeaux, one of the partners in the game development business. When investigators decide that her death was murder, Grayson becomes the primary suspect and even his detective friend cannot help him.

The plot of Stratagem was filled with twists and surprises from beginning to end. Strong characters were well-developed and all essential to the story. I felt as though I was present at the investigative sessions which helped me learn more about each character. I was not overly fond of the female detective but as the story progressed I was better able to understand why she reacted so strongly to the situation. I was fascinated by the process developed for the adventure games but would personally not want to work for a company that invaded the privacy of its employees to such a degree. A strong theme of faith and forgiveness permeates this highly emotional book which I appreciated.

I look forward to this author’s next book and can’t wait to see what twisted plot she comes up with for her readers.

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: StratagemAuthor: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November, 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Click here to purchase your copy!


“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting


Behind the Scenes: Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .



Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of Joy, November 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpa, November 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong Reflections, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30


To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

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

Art Journals by Ellie Claire Gifts

I received copies of the Faith & Lettering Journal, the Illuminate Your Story Journal, and the Faith & Lettering Journal from Ellie Claire Gifts to review. Each journal is a lovely, colorful hardback with an embossed cover highlighted with metallic gilding. The journals are attractive enough to earn display space on a table yet portable enough to carry for note-taking or journaling. Pages on all the journals are thick enough to hinder bleed through and are probably too thick for tracing from other sources. The lovely illustrations would appeal to almost anyone from older child to an elderly adult who loves artistic books. I know several people who would probably love to receive one of these gorgeous journals. Instructions for creating illuminated letters or the popular lettering inspired by journaling bibles are clear enough for beginners or more advanced artists to follow. My only complaint is that the journals are so lovely I hate to mar their beauty with my own scribbles.



The perfect resource to discover and develop your own personal style for lettering and illustrating your faith. New from professional letterer Krystal Whitten! With guides, instructions, and tutorials, this is a fun and inspiring way to create beauty with words. It is the perfect place for journalers to practice Bible journaling, lettering quotes and verses, or decorating a page with original thoughts and plans. Exploring your God-given creativity has never been so rewarding.

My Review:  The Faith & Lettering Journal is an attractive hardback journal with beautifully illustrated color pages as well as unfinished pages ready for you to color yourself. Step-by-step lessons and tip allow the user to learn and practice hand lettering and simple illustrations at her own pace. Plenty of lined pages offer a place to either write down your thoughts or add creative lettering, quotations, or verses of your own. The book opens fairly flat which makes it easy to draw or write in. An elastic tube on the spine is an excellent place to keep a pen handy. This is the perfect journal to stretch your imagination and to make it your own.

Use this almost-lost art of illuminating letters to enhance your writing, Bible journaling, or sermon note-taking. Rich illustrated manuscripts in the Museum of the Bible’s collection inspired these gorgeous letters. Easy to follow instructions, practice pages, and encouragements guide you through the creation of amazing start letters, flourishes, and more.


Cloth spine opens for lay-flat journaling; Elastic pen loop on spine; High-quality, non-bleed paper; Uplifting, inspirational quotes sprinkled throughout; Drawing guides, grid background practice pages, plus lined pages for journaling; Ribbon marker, pocket, elastic band closure

My Review:  If you have ever admired the illuminated ancient manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and wished you had the talent to produce similar artwork, the Illuminate Your Story Journal is the perfect book for you. This journal offers step-by-step instructions for illustrating each letter of the alphabet with space to practice your own. Space is available for personal journaling or notes and includes encouraging scripture verses scattered throughout the book. This beautiful volume includes a pen loop on the spine, a ribbon bookmark, a pocket for keepsakes, and an elastic band to keep the book closed when not in use. A good bit of effort went into the creation of this journal. In my opinion it would be a wonderful gift for a teen who loves art or for adding to homeschool curriculum.

Glorious illustrations from ancient manuscripts recreated as line drawings for the reader to color.
Create your own masterpiece with this journal that has forty glorious illustrations from ancient manuscripts that have been recreated as line drawings. Just as medieval monks brought Scripture to life through intricate inked illustrations in handwritten manuscripts hundreds of years ago, you can now create your own stunning keepsake that will be treasured for years to come.
My Review:  The Illustrated Word Coloring Journal is also a beautiful hardback journal that contains not only illustrations from ancient manuscripts but full-page line drawings that the journaler may color herself with her chosen media. Ample room has been included for journaling or taking notes. This book does not have an elastic pen holder or bookmark but nevertheless would also be a welcome gift for a special teacher or pastor, etc.

The Kitchen Marriage by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham


For the most part I enjoyed The Kitchen Marriage. The plot was a unique take on the mail order bride theme with a bride who was mistakenly led to believe she was answering an ad for a position as a chef. The fact that the intended groom had a twin brother who was antagonistic toward the bride made the story even more interesting, especially when the plot took an unexpected twist or two.

Characters were well-rounded and interesting although Zoe’s accent was sometimes distracting.  I would have liked to see Isaak’s character developed more  but enjoyed seeing the changes in Jakob as the story progressed. The bit of mystery was a nice touch but could have been developed further to make the story even better.

I did enjoy this story and would not mind reading more by these authors.

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 Kitchen Marriage

Author: Gina Welborn & Beccan Whitham

Publisher: Kensington Publishers

Genre: Inspirational romance/Historical America set in the old west

Release Date: September 25, 2018

A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .

When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . .

Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .

Click here to purchase your copy!


GINA WELBORN is the bestselling author of sixteen inspirational romances. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers, and serves on the ACFW Foundation Board. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five children, several rabbits and guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn’t realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Visit her online at

BECCA WHITHAM (WIT-um) Multi-published author, paper crafter, and Chai tea lover, Becca and her twelve-foot-long craft cabinet follow her husband of more than thirty years to wherever the army currently needs a chaplain. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories of faith that touch the heart. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a Genesis Contest finalist. Connect with her online at


Dear Reader,

What’s better than fulfilling a dream? Why…taking the journey with a friend, of course. And we have the army to thank for it. Gina, whose father spent most of his army career at Fort Sill, had just moved back to Lawton, Oklahoma when Becca’s husband received orders to Sill. We were both looking for friendship and found a kindred spirit.

When we first conceived the Montana Brides series over Frappuccinos (Gina) and Chai Tea Lattes (Becca) at our local Starbucks, we set out to make our make our mail-order bride stories different.

The first thing we decided on was setting our series in Helena, Montana because, in 1888, the city boasted the most millionaires per capita in the United States. We liked the idea of a former mining town grown into a cultured city and that it wasn’t the usual isolated ranch setting for a Western.

We also wanted to create stories of mail-order bride romances gone wrong. In fact, our original series title was Mail (Dis) Order Brides. We brainstormed all the ways a mail-order bride story could go sideways and settled on our top three: a widow before a wife; two brothers, one bride; and a deceitful—though well-meaning—matchmaker. The Kitchen Marriage is the second book in this series and puts our heroine, Zoe de Fleur, between twin brothers, Isaak and Jakob Gunderson. Like our first bride, Emilia Stanek (The Promise Bride), Zoe shows up in town knowing no one. Does that sound familiar? As a former military kid and current military wife, we are very familiar with needing to start over, forge new friendships, and make strangers into family.

Thank you for taking a journey into the past with us. We pray you find our stories filled with hope, humor, and happily-ever-afters.


Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham


Genesis 5020, November 1

Christian Centered book Reviews, November 1

Carpe Diem, November 1

Cultivating Us, November 2

Remembrancy, November 2

Inklings and Notions, November 3

The Becca Files, November 3

Stories By Gina, November 4

A Baker’s Perspective, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

KarenSueHadley, November 6

Luv’N Lambert Life, November 6

Maureen’s Musings, November 6

cherylbbookblog, November 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

SusanLovesBooks, November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Janices book reviews, November 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day, November 9

A Rup Life, November 10

Baker Kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 11

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, November 11

Britt Reads Fiction, November 12

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 12

Bigreadersite, November 12

Daysong Reflections, November 13

Vicky Sluiter, November 13

Singing Librarian Books, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 14


To celebrate her their tour, Gina and Becca are giving away a copy of The Kitchen Marriage to ten lucky winners!!

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

In Too Deep by Lynn Blackburn


Oh my, another author to add to my “must read” list! I suspected that after reading Lynn Blackburn’s first novel in this series Beneath the Surface but In Too Deep definitely confirmed it for me. The author combines compelling mystery and suspense with engaging characters, a touch of romance, and a splendid sense of humor to provide readers with an exceptional experience.

Like many recent novels, In Too Deep focuses on human trafficking but approaches it from a different angle than most that I have read. When murder is involved, the Dive Team is brought in to investigate and what they find takes them on a dangerous mission. I loved this story that features Adam from the Dive Team and Dr. Sabrina Fleming, a forensic computer analyst. The camaraderie and teasing among the team members added a natural element and helped to relieve the tension. The fast-paced plot was full of twists and surprises that kept me on edge until the very end.

I enjoyed In Too Deep very much and can’t wait to dive into 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.


How do you choose between loyalty and the truth?

When the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren’t prepared to find an encrypted laptop–or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant.

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence implicates members of Adam’s own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case.

The truth could set hundreds free–but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets.

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase a copy here.


Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the Surface, Hidden Legacy, and Covert Justice. Winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel, Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon


The second book in the Code of Honor series, Hidden Peril can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. In true Irene Hannon fashion, the story quickly jumps into action and takes its reader on a breath-taking and suspense-filled adventure. Kristin Dane finds herself and her fair trade shop at the center of more than one murder and has no idea why. Detective Luke Carter becomes involved in the case and is not only attracted to Kristin but determined to solve the case before more people die.

Once again I found myself immersed in Hannon’s brilliant plot as I attempted to discern the perpetrator behind the fatal plans. I had my suspicions which later proved to be correct but the many twists and turns of the plot had me second-guessing myself more than once. Hidden Peril lived up to my expectations  and reaffirmed my love for this author’s novels. I look forward to 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.


The most dangerous enemy is the one who has nothing to lose

As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she’s fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue–and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

Three-time RITA Award-winner and “queen of inspirational romantic suspense” (Library Journal) Irene Hannon doesn’t disappoint in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you up late as you rush toward the explosive conclusion.

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase a copy here.


Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including Dangerous Illusions, as well as the Men of Valor, Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. All of her suspense novels have been ECPA/CBA bestsellers. Learn more at