Murder at Madison Square Garden by Linda Shenton Matchett

MY REVIEW:

In 1941 World War 1 is still fresh on the minds of many Americans and understandably many of them are not in favor of going to war again as Hitler’s troops march across Europe. Rallies often sprang up as one side or another gave their opinion on what the U.S. should do. Teddy Schafer, a photojournalist hopes to redeem her tarnished image by capturing a few amazing shots during a speech by Charles Lindbergh at Madison Square Garden. Things go terribly wrong when Teddy attempts to foil a gunman and ends up holding the gun herself after the shooter made a quick getaway in the crowd.

The author takes her readers on an exciting journey back in history through the experiences of Teddy and Ric Bogart, the private investigator who cannot decide whether he believes in Teddy’s innocence. Plenty of action ensues and readers will root for a romance to develop between the unlikely pair as they race against time to identify the true murderer.

Murder at Madison Square Garden was a fun read that hit just the right notes for my enjoyment. Characters were both likeable and somewhat unique and the plot moved along at the perfect pace. I definitely plan on reading more by this author.

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:

Book:  Murder at Madison Square Garden

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Mystery

Release date: July 15, 2020

Click here to get your copy!

The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare.

Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit?

Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bestselling author of over twenty books, Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is currently working with the curator to create her first exhibit, Shaped by Conflict that will be on display from May 1 to June 15, 2021. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historical places all her life and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

MORE FROM LINDA:

Dear readers:

I grew up in New Jersey and often went into New York City for school field trips and family visits. One of my favorite places to go was Madison Square Garden. I have lots of happy memories, so I wondered if I could possibly set a book there. I spent a lovely afternoon digging into the building’s past and learning about the important, historic events that took place there. When I discovered that aviator Charles Lindbergh spoke at the Garden about the controversial topic of U.S. isolationism prior to America’s entry into WWII, I knew I had the beginning of a story.

My protagonist came about during one of my shifts as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII. While talking to one of our guests about our wartime print and broadcast journalism display, the conversation turned to the role that women played. Therese Bonney was a one of the photojournalists highlighted in the exhibit. As I studied her picture, I was struck by her determination in the set of her jaw and look in her eyes. My protagonist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer was born.

I enjoyed my trip down Memory Lane at the Garden during my research and had fun subjecting Teddy to uncomfortable situations as she tried to prove her innocence. But most of all, I hope her story honors the men and women who served in countless ways during this difficult time in history.

Enjoy Murder at Madison Square Garden.

Linda

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GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Visa Gift Card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d57/murder-at-madison-square-garden-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Written Off by Barbara Cornthwaite

The third book in Cornthwaite’s Wilkester Mysteries, Written Off is a satisfying conclusion to the series. Katrina is counting down the days to her happily-ever-after with Todd when a series of hate crimes occur in the area. In itself, that would be disturbing enough but each of the incidents has an eerie connection to the students in her writing class.  

Written Off moves at a slower and more gentle pace than the previous two novels of the series, possibly because no murder actually takes place in it. Much of the focus centers on preparations for the wedding, working on their new home that may turn out to be a money pit, and investigating the growing number of what appear to be racist based crimes. Katrina’s connection to the incidents as well as Todd’s involvement in the case added an extra level of tension to what should have been a happy time in her life.

I enjoyed reading details about Katrina’s classes, especially the writing assignments. The emphasis on faith and the importance of friendships was appreciated. Touches of humor kept the story from becoming too heavy and it was fun to observe interactions between Katrina and her friends as well as Todd’s family.

Written Off could be read as a stand alone but I would recommend reading the entire series in order to gain the most enjoyment from it.  

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:

Book:  Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

Click here to get your copy!

“Break a leg?”  They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

MORE FROM BARBARA:

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story.  Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

BLOG STOPS:

 

GIVEAWAY:

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ca5/written-off-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Captain’s Quest by Lorri Dudley

MY REVIEW:

With its feisty and often impulsive heroine and a bigger-than-life hero, The Captain’s Quest takes the reader for an exciting adventure that is filled with danger, betrayal, mystery, and romance. What could be more thrilling than being stranded on a deserted island with a handsome sea captain?

An attempt to keep her friend out of trouble backfires and leaves Priscilla in more trouble than she bargained for. Her solution to save her reputation as well as that of her family results in another problem that can’t be reversed and she finds herself on a sea voyage she did not expect.

Captain Tobias Prescott discovers that he has two surprise passengers on his ship but it is too late to turn back. Obviously he is not pleased that two women are aboard but he decides to make the best of it because he has a lot to prove to his father.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of The Captain’s Quest. The author’s humorous touches as well as a strong spiritual theme and character growth were the perfect blend. Excellent plot development offered unexpected twists and surprises along the way and I loved how the situations were resolved.

I love reading books by this author and look forward to her next one.

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:

Book:  The Captain’s Quest

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 22, 2021

Click here to get your copy!

Innocent mistakes can have dire consequences. 

Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects.

Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned on a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume command of a friend’s ship, and he must weigh anchor the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to return her to England.

The Middleton name has always brought Tobias trouble, and Pricilla is no exception. As the waters clear and the temperature warms, the danger escalates too. Yet Tobias discovers the intuitive and strong woman who struggles to hide her anxiety is nothing like her disloyal brother. He may lose the opportunity to help his country, but perhaps he can still save the woman who’s rescued his heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

MORE FROM LORRI:

Priscilla Middleton’s character begged for her story to be told. The Captain’s Quest is the fourth book in the Leeward Island series. While it can read as a stand-alone, the heroine, Priscilla, had a brief guest appearance at the beginning of book two, The Merchant’s Yield, as Lottie’s closest friend. With Lottie now living on the isle of St. Kitts, that left Priscilla to navigate the London season all on her own. I imagined what mischief a young woman would find whose parents allowed her too much freedom, especially with her friend, the voice of reason, across the Atlantic.

When my close friend moved to Michigan, the loss of her physical presence left me feeling disoriented, lost, and out of place, even in familiar surroundings. There was loneliness, a desperate need to replace what was missing, and fears about being forgotten. In Lottie’s absence, Priscilla clings to an unhealthy friendship, landing herself in a precarious situation, with no other option but to hide aboard her brother’s ship to save her reputation and that of her family.

The biggest issue with running from problems is that we can’t run from ourselves. Priscilla avoids one catastrophe only to walk right into another as Captain Tobias Prescott takes command of the ship. She blames the brooding captain for her predicament only to realize she’s battling the wrong enemy. The more Priscilla tries to hide from the problems she must face within herself, the further she drifts from everyone she knows and the chance to be fully loved.

Although Priscilla’s story was drafted pre-pandemic, her struggles are similar to those that surfaced during the lockdowns. Anxiety, loneliness, isolation, fear, and feelings of being disregarded mounted as the pandemic spread. Vacations, Thanksgivings, and Christmases were canceled. Families couldn’t visit or see each other—the feeling of being forgotten sliced open raw wounds.

Cory Ashbury’s song Reckless Love was popular as I plotted The Captain’s Quest, and the lyrics from the book of Matthew of how God will leave the ninety-nine to chase after the one lost sheep developed Priscilla’s story. Through its comical mishaps, dramatic twists, and struggles to prevail, The Captain’s Quest is a reminder of the heights, depths, and lengths that our great God will go to show His passionate love for us.

To learn more, checkout my website at LorriDudley.com, or watch The Captain’s Quest book trailer by clicking here: The Captain’s Quest trailer.

BLOG STOPS:

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10cce/the-captain-s-quest-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma

MY REVIEW:

The Silver Shadow is another contribution to Barbour’s True Crime series by Liz Tolsma. Set in turn-of-the-century Denver Colorado in 1900, the story features a suspect who accosts women who are alone on the street after dark, usually by hitting them in the head and disappearing immediately. As very little true information is now available about the crimes, this installment is primarily a work of fiction based on what little is known.

Newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is determined to make a name for herself writing “real news” rather than stories about social events that are normally assigned to women reporters. When she learns of the evening attacks on women, not only does she decide she can make a name for herself writing about them but soon becomes frustrated with the police department’s lack of progress in the case and becomes determined to find the perpetrator herself.

Edwin Price, the detective working on the case has made little progress and soon finds himself listening as Polly tries to convince him that the cases are connected. When the case gets too close for comfort when a friend and family member are attacked, Edwin joins Polly in a quest to permanently stop the attacks.

With a plot that moves at a steady pace, interesting characters, increasing danger, growing mystery, and a touch of romance thrown in for good measure, The Silver Shadow had no problem holding my attention. It was fun trying to guess along with Edwin and Polly who was behind the attacks and I was happy with how the story ended.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the True Crimes series books that I have read and hope that the series will continue

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:

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

Click here to get your copy!

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

MORE FROM LIZ:

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

BLOG STOPS:

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10c96/the-silver-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway