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7.09.2020

The Crushing Depths ~ Review with Giveaway

The Crushing Depths Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey 

The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey
The Crushing Depths
Coastal Guardians #2
By Dani Pettrey

Rissi Dawson was more than a little shocked when Mason Rogers walked through the office doors as the newest member of her CGIS team. He knew about her past and just what she had gone through during her teen years. She was also in love with him but it has been years since she's seen him.

Mason Rogers has wondered for years about the teen girl he befriended in the children's home they both lived in. But he aged out and couldn't be there for her anymore. Now he and Rissi are working for the Coast Guard Investigative Services and assigned to the same case. But what sounds like a fairly straightforward case quickly evolves it something more and it could cost them their lives.

An accident on an oil drilling platform resulting in the death of a man requires an investigation. But soon a series of accidents has Rissi and Mason convinced that something is going on. Is it sabotage? The work of environmental activists? Or is it the ancient curse that is a local fishing legend? With time and someone or something working against them, Rissi and Mason have their hands full.

Meanwhile, Noah Rowley is working a case of his own, Brooke Kesler, Coast Guard medic, is dealing with a stalker. Brooke has her suspicions of who is behind the escalating harassment but the evidence just isn't there. Doing this as a favor for his sister Noah is more than a little surprised by his protective feelings towards Brooke, but once the case is over he'll have no problem going back to confirmed bachelor status.

As both cases reach a critical point, a tropical storm bears down on the North Carolina coast. Can you say suspense? And a word of caution, don't start this book if you have only a limited time to read, believe me, you won't want to put it down. Experience speaking here, I started it and stayed up until 6:00 am with that all too familiar promise "Just one more chapter," only coming true when there were no more chapters to be read. Whoops, who needs more than half-an-hour of shuteye anyways.

This is yet another page-turner from Dani Pettrey. Though it is the second book in her Coastal Guardians series one could easily read it without having read the first book, The Killing Tide. I do recommend reading the first book so you are properly introduced to all the characters. But get ready for several hours of suspense-filled reading that will totally capture your attention. Fans of Dani's previous work won't be disappointed. If you are new to the author's work but are familiar with Love Inspired Suspense or authors Lynette Eason, Lisa Harris, Rachel Dylan, Nancy Mehl, Lynn, Patricia Bradley, Sandra Orchard, or Lynn Blackburn you should enjoy this book. And don't be surprised if an unexpected twist gets tossed into the mix. Overall a good read to escape the summer heat with.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.



About the Book:
Title: The Crushing Depths 
Author: Dani Pettrey 
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers  
Release Date: June 30, 2020 
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

They know the power and peril of the ocean. 
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . . 
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface. 

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below.

Mounting evidence shows that the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani Pettrey 
Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storylines" (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside nearby.

For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.

CONNECT WITH DANI: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive an Up All Night Suspense Survival Kit including:
a Book hangover mug,
Booklovers Readers Fuel coffee,
a Coastal Rain candle (tin not pictured)
so you can share the ambiance of Rissi and Mason stuck in a storm,
a Library scrunchie to pull your hair up,
Snack Mix (can be swapped out if food allergies exist),
and Reading socks!

The Crushing Depths JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. 
The full tour schedule is here
The giveaway began at midnight July 6, 2020, and
will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 13, 2020. 
Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of the close of the giveaway
and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of the prize. 
US only, void where prohibited by law or logistics.  
For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

7.06.2020

A Bride of Convenience ~ Review

A Bride of Convenience
The Bride Ships #3
By Jody Hedlund

Zoe Hart's goal in joining the Bride Ships is two-fold - obtain a better life in British Columbia and to find her brother, Zeke. She never expected to take on the care of an abandoned baby just days later, but Violet needs her. Pastor Abe (Abraham) Merivale is helping Zoe get supplies she needs while hoping to reunite Violet with her grieving father.

But when finding a husband becomes imperative to keeping Violet, Zoe lets the eligible bachelors know that she needs a husband. There is just one problem with her plan, Violet's mixed heritage is a definite deterrent in Zoe receiving many offers. One miner alone promises not only can she bring Violet along, but he just may be able to help her locate Zeke. Pastor Abe knows that Dexter is among the worst possible choices for any woman to make if only he can get Zoe to see the truth in time. In a most intriguing chain of events, Abe and Zoe find themselves wed hastily.

But this marriage of convenience has a few drawbacks, especially when both Zoe and Abe start having confused feelings for one another. And then there is Abe's bishop who is anything but supportive of Abe's new married state - with, of all things, a common laborer. And offering a home to a Native child is just not to be done. Marriage is not quite either expected, and they both have some serious work to do if they hope to have a marriage partnership that is more than just a convenience and in name only.

A Bride of Convenience, the third book in the Bride Ships series, focuses on women from a different bride-ship than the first two books in the series. Zoe is determined to not have her heart yet again broken, but she's determined to make sure that Abe doesn't come to regret his decision to marry her and bring Violet into his home. Abe wants, no needs to prove to Bishop Hills that having a wife and won't distract him from his ministry. Can two such determined people come to understand just what God's purpose in their marriage of convenience is?

I have to admit each time Bishop Hills makes an appearance, I like him less and less. As a reader, one can hear the main characters' thoughts, and it can, at times, be exasperating that they just don't talk and clear the air, so to speak. Just think of all trouble they could save themselves in the long run by saying what they are feeling. Of course, then we would have a far less intriguing book to read. And this indeed is and was an enjoyable book to read. This can be read as a stand-alone title, and the reader will have no getting caught up in the story.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria, where he joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as a groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

7.04.2020

Thinking about Independence, Tyranny, and Responsibility



Have you ever thought much about our independence other than what you learned in history class or celebrations of national import?

We hear about Constitutional rights and amendments that are guaranteed and protected - free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to vote, due process, and the right to representation in the government. 

But how did we get here - a government of, by, and for the people?

In a word, we rebelled. We took matters into our own hands and stood up to tyranny. 

What is tyranny? Tyranny is the cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control. But what does this look like? What form does it take?


Tyranny is a repeated pattern of injury and usurpation against a group of people. Laws for the common good are not passed. The power of the local government is opposed and threatened with dire consequences by tyrants. People are expected to forfeit their right to representation in the name of the greater good of the ONE. Expected protections are eroded or weakened. Prevents the naturalization of foreign-born citizens. Obstructs justice and threatens the independence of judges. Gives assent to legislative measures not following the laws of the land. Cuts off our trade with all parts of the world. Alters the fundamental forms of our government. Incites domestic insurrections among the people.

Such acts are unworthy of the head of a civilized nation, and such a person, whose character is marked by such acts of tyranny, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Such a person will have no qualms about removing the protections we are guaranteed, leaving us at the mercies of foreign threats.

Now in case you are wondering just where these thoughts have come from, I have a ready answer for you. These thoughts were taken from the Declaration of Independence, summarizing the explanation of why the American States could no longer submit themselves to the will of England and her king. 

When we think of the Fourth of July, what first comes to mind is freedom. After all, isn't that what independence is all about? But with freedom and independence comes greater responsibility. Some liberties are limited for our own good - with age, we have a better understanding of what our own limitations are but not always. As we age, these rights and responsibilities grow. When we reach a certain age, we can drive, but there are rules and laws we must obey for the greater good and safety of all who share the road with us and to avoid an indiscernible pattern of chaos. When one lives in a country with others, people must work together, coming to a consensus on just how this freedom will take form. For us, this takes the form of elections. When we turn 18, we can vote, this gives us a voice in who represents us, on new laws, and measures of taxation. Sometimes one will have to give up something for the greater good of the whole, but we have so much to gain in the end. 


As we celebrate this Day of Independence, please give thought as to what this means in your life, community, state, and nation.

6.29.2020

The Key to Everything ~ Review

The Key to Everything
By Valerie Fraser Luesse

Peyton Cabot's father came home a changed man - the war and its horrors were too much - they broke him. Seeking to numb his pain he has sought refuge in bourbon, but it just may be his downfall.

There was nothing Peyton could do to stop the accident from happening and now his father's body was as broken as his spirit. With another family tragedy on top of his father's injury, Uncle Julian seeks to seize control of the Cabot family fortune and further destroy Peyton's father. Peyton's willing to do all he can to help his mother and protect his father, even if it means the summer he planned to spend with Lisa is only a lost dream.

When Peyton's parents send him to spend time with Aunt Gert in Saint Augustine his summer is about to become one he never imagined. Hoping to get a chance to better know the man his father used to be Peyton sets out to follow the journey his father made when he too was just fifteen years of age. Can he learn what his father discovered all those years ago? Or have too many changes come?

As Peyton pursues his journey he grows into a person he hopes his father would be proud to call son. But, as his mother tells, this journey is more than pedaling a bike. Peyton has choices to make - choices that will stay with him long after he puts his bike away and returns to his life. He makes discoveries about his family that will forever alter how he sees them.

This is an excellent read and one I would have no hesitation recommending to most readers. It is set in the post-WWII South but it has a timeless message that is for any era. There's right and there's wrong and those who pick the right with no thought of gain are few and far between.

The Key to Everything is well-paced with an emotional tug throughout most of the book. It is a celebration of family and of life. Sometimes we have to risk everything to obtain that which is most important and the journey from here to there often helps us to see more clearly just what is truly important. Valerie Fraser Luesse brings her characters to life so that reader has no choice but to be drawn into their lives and care about what matters to them. In my opinion, this book is worthy of more than one read and I applaud the author's work.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.


About the Book:

"Promise me you'll never come back here, Peyton.
It's too much-it's just way too much."
Peyton Cabot's fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from WWII a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents' devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams, Lisa Wallace.

Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle all the way to Key West, Florida. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton's journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined--namely, the key to his unknowable father, a reunion with Lisa, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.

6.27.2020

Stories That Bind Us ~ Review

Stories That Bind Us
By Susie Finkbeiner

Betty Sweet's life is just about as close to perfect as it could be. She's married to her first and only love, Norman. But all of that changes when she is left a widow at 40 years of age. Lost in her grief she cuts herself from her life until her sister-in-law won't take no for an answer and helps her see that the rest of the family is hurting too. Just because Norman died doesn't mean Betty is no longer part of the Sweet family.

When Betty's long-estranged sister Clara returns, parts of Betty's past return to her. Memories of her mother and the darkness she often found herself in. Memories of her childhood with Clara. But Clara isn't alone, she has a son Hugo whom no one knew about. Hugo stands out in LaFontaine, Michigan as biracial persons don't call the small-town home.

Betty almost instantly falls in love with the 5-year-old nephew she has just met. But she is concerned as Hugo shows signs of having a mother just like Betty's. Clara is slipping into a darkness and despair that she seems unable to pull herself out of. With love and care, Betty shows Hugo that love can be given freely and that accidents happen without outbursts of anger. As Hugo begins acting like a little boy instead of a careworn old man Betty finds herself dreading whenever Clara decides it is time to again leave home behind.

The Stories That Bind Us is a beautiful and moving read about the power of family and the stories of our past that bind us together. This book is set in the tumultuous days of the 1960s - calls of equality, threats of war, and political upheaval with the assassination of President Kennedy. What seems so far removed LaFontaine finds itself becoming news that enters Betty's world when she is mourning her own private loss. Betty is about to become a fighter - fighting for her sister and the nephew she has come to love - inspired by a story she shared with Hugo of Clara's determination years before. Family and love are worth taking a risk for.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Rediscover the power of story
to open the doors of our hearts.

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at 40. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what's next. She couldn't have imagined what God had in mind.

When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a 5-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960's small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

Learn more at SusieFinkbeiner.com

Purchase today at your favorite retailer:

6.23.2020

The Woman in the Green Dress ~ Review

The Woman in the Green Dress
By Tea Copper

The Woman in the Green Dress is an excellent read. The book takes place in two time periods 1853 and 1919 with the majority of the story taking place in Australia.

Fleur Richards is a newly-wed widow who has inherited her late husband's properties in Australia. Fleur doesn't believe Hugh is dead as she never properly received notice. But once she arrives in Australia all is as confusing as it was when she first received word of her altered state while in London. Fleur is on a mission to make sure that Hugh's rightful kin get his holdings. But finding the truth of the matter and discovering who her husband truly was is no easy task. She will have to delve into the past to get to the truth.

Della Atterton has removed herself from Sydney following the death of her parents. She is carrying on the work her father entrusted to her. But when she receives unsettling news that points to someone misusing her father's business and threatening the local population she finds herself returning to Sydney.

Captain Stefan von Richter has made a name for himself in his service to the man who saved his life. He has a definite sense of right and wrong, which is aroused when he witnesses a display of excessive cruelty, though he is but a visitor to Australia he refuses to allow the evil he has seen continue. But the prejudices of those who have taken Australia and called it home are not easily swayed.

This book is a historical romantic mystery that offers a glimpse into the past of Australia, a past that subjugated those deemed less worthy as little better than animals (or in some cases less than). When people turn a blind eye to this behavior they lower themselves to perpetuate this continuance of hate and evil.  This is an excellent but harsh read. Della and Stefan are people who are to be admired as they try to stop and right the wrong they see. And Fleur is a woman of determination who wants to do the right thing and learn more about her husband. If you like a story that will intrigue and capture your attention you have found it.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.


About the Book:
A cursed opal,
a gnarled family tree 
a sinister woman in a green dress 
emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.
In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkably preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.
This romantic mystery from award-winning Australian novelist Tea Cooper will keep readers guessing until the astonishing conclusion.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Tea Cooper

Tea Cooper is an Australian author of historical and contemporary fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.

Connect with Tea

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Tea Cooper’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, June 16th: She Just Loves Books and @shejustlovesbooks
Wednesday, June 17th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, June 18th: @meetmeinthestacks
Friday, June 19th: Reading Reality
Monday, June 22nd: Into the Hall of Books
Monday, June 22nd: Run Wright
Tuesday, June 23rd: Blooming With Books
Wednesday, June 24th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife
Thursday, June 25th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 29th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Tuesday, June 30th: Beauty in the Binding and @beautyinthebinding
Wednesday, July 1st: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, July 1st: @bibliolau19
Thursday, July 2nd: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Friday, July 3rd: @rendezvous_with_reading
Friday, July 3rd: @booktimistic
Monday, July 6th: Buried Under Books
Monday, July 6th: Drink. Read. Repeat and @drink.read.repeat
Tuesday, July 7th: Careyloves and @careylovestobook
Wednesday, July 8th: Books Cooks Looks
Thursday, July 9th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookworm
Friday, July 10th: Read Eat Repeat and @readeatrepeat1
Monday, July 13th: @babygotbooks13
Tuesday, July 14th: Running Through the Storms
Wednesday, July 15th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, July 15th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Thursday, July 16th: @lostinastack
Friday, July 17th: Wellreadtraveler and @wellreadtraveler
TBD: Monday, June 15th: Hallie Reads

6.18.2020

The Neglected C.S. Lewis ~ Review


The Neglected C.S. Lewis
By Mark Neal and Jerry Root
Foreword by Dr. David C. Downing

Exploring the Riches of His Most Overlooked Books this statement quite aptly describes this book. People are always dreaming of finding treasure. Well, this book is a treasure that will delight and educate readers who want to truly know the works of C.S. Lewis. 

This work examines eight of his scholarly works. Describing them as scholarly should in no way scare off potential readers. Nothing worth knowing is without effort and once one gets into this book it is no effort at all, rather, it is enjoyable getting to see a side of Lewis that one knows so little about. 

There is much in this book to examine and in my opinion, this is most definitely a book one will want to read more than once and have on hand if one should explore any of the titles mentioned within. 

There is much spiritual food for thought and much that the reader can take away for one's day-to-day life as he examines the literary works of the past through the eye of a reader. The works he examines were of importance to his life both professionally and spiritually - he opens the door for us and invites us to enter. He encourages readers to respect the past while accurately judging through the truth of reality. 

The Neglected C.S. Lewis will open the reader's eyes to the wealth of insight and thought that Lewis put into his books both the more well-known and the lesser-known scholarly works that are presented all too briefly here. Scholarly does not mean boring, dull, or tedious if the author truly fulfills his (or her) role of being the window through which the reader sees. This is not a book to rush through as there is much that one will ponder and contemplate while working through the all too brief look taken at these eight works.

Several of the gems I discovered include: 
  • Truth is not reality; truth is what one thinks about reality when thinking accurately about it.
  • Challenges must be validated objectively
  • Sin is man playing God in his own life. It estranges humankind from God and from one another. It fractures lives, making the community unstable and eventually atrophying one's humanity.
  • We are to serve people - to give of ourselves. This is our God-given purpose.

I have to thank the authors for introducing me to a new C.S. Lewis, though my checking account may be less than thrilled with the results. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.




About the Book:

Most people don't think of C. S. Lewis as a neglected author. 
Who hasn't heard of Narnia, Aslan, the White Witch?

But many of his most important ideas are buried in the pages of his lesser-known literary works—books that were vitally important not only to his profession but to his spiritual growth.

Readers who can quote word for word from C.S. Lewis’s theological classic, Mere Christianity, or his science fiction novel, Perelandra, have often never read his work as a professional literary historian. They may not even recognize some of the neglected works discussed, here. Mark Neal and Jerry Root have done students of Lewis a great service, tracing the signature ideas in Lewis’s works of literary criticism and showing their relevance to Lewis’s more familiar books. Their thorough research and lucid prose will be welcome to all who would like to understand Lewis more fully, but who feel daunted by books of such evident scholarly erudition.

For example, when you read The Discarded Image on the ancients’ view of the heavens, you understand better why Ransom has such unpleasant sensations when first descending toward Malacandra in Out of the Silent Planet. And when you come across Lewis’s discussion in OHEL  of a minor sixteenth-century poet who described the hellish River Styx as a “puddle glum,” you can’t help but chuckle at the name when you meet the famous Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair. These are just two examples of how reading the “Neglected Lewis” can help every reader understand Lewis more fully.


About the Authors:
Jerry Root is a professor at Wheaton College. He has lectured on C.S. Lewis at 77 universities in 17 different countries. He has been teaching college and university courses on Lewis continually for forty years. He has published many books on C.S. Lewis, including C.S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme

Mark Neal is the co-author of both The Neglected C.S. Lewis and The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis. He has lectured, taught, and published nationally and internationally on Lewis for the last ten years. He works as the VP of a Chicago-area marketing firm and is married with two children.