Book Review: Calculated Risk

Happy Monday, Everyone!!

I’m excited to bring you a new book review on Calculated Risk by Lynn Shannon. It was my first read of hers and certainly won’t be my last. Have you read it? Keep reading to find out why you should.


About the Book

He carries the burden of his mistakes.

The wounds on Jason Gonzalez’s body are nothing compared to the ones on his heart. The former Marine avoids getting close to anyone new, especially his gorgeous next-door neighbor. Until he hears a scream coming from her house in the middle of the night.

Her enemies are too numerous to count.

Addison Foster escaped an abusive marriage and has become an advocate for others. When an intruder breaks into her home and nearly kills her, Addison is rescued by an unlikely protector. But the threats against her aren’t over and she needs help.

Danger around every corner.

Jason makes it his mission to keep Addison safe, but keeping her out of his heart proves impossible. As the threats increase, there’s no room for mistakes. Will his calculated risk pay off or will it end in tragedy?

Amazon | Goodreads


My Thoughts

Y’all, this was my first Lynn Shannon read! I was so happy I picked it up. The cover is amazing, and definitely conveys the mood of the story.

Jason Gonzalez makes an epic hero. He’s strong, loyal, and protective. I loved his heart and desire to protect Addison.

And Addison is an awesome heroine! Brave, determined, and a heart for those who have been abused, what more could you ask for?

I loved seeing these two navigate through the romance aspect and I was riveted for the suspense portion of the story. I loved Lynn Shannon’s writing so much, I went and got another book of hers. I’m happily working my way through her backlist as I wait for book 2 in this series.


About the Author

Lynn Shannon writes novels that combine intriguing mysteries with heartfelt romance. Raised in Texas, she believes pecans and Blue Bell ice cream are must-haves for every household. Lynn lives with her husband, two children, and a couple of very chirpy cockatiels. You can find her online at: www.lynnshannon.com.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

TBT: Troubled Heart by Tyora Moody

Happy Thursday!!

I wanted to blog about Tyora Moody’s Troubled Heart for Throwback Thursday. Maybe because I share a name with the heroine. 😉

It’s book 2 in here Reed Family series and released in 2016. If you haven’t read the book or the series, now’s the time!


About the Book

Forensic artist Toni Reed loves when her work helps the police catch criminals. Tasked with helping a traumatized woman identify her attacker, Toni is troubled when she sketches a face that resembles a man from her past. Is it the same man who brutally attacked her two years ago?

Despite longtime family friend Detective Cam Noble’s insistence that she not interfere with the case, Toni becomes obsessed with seeking justice. Will she let God lead her to come to terms with her past?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Tyora Moody is the author of Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the compilation editor for the Stepping Into Victory Compilations under her company, Tymm Publishing LLC.

As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. Popular services include virtual event planning, book covers and book trailers.

To contact Tyora about book club discussions or for book marketing workshops, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com.

Links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Top Ten Tuesday: Mardi Gras Style

Happy Fat Tuesday!!

I thought it would be fun to join The Artsy Reader Girl‘s Top Ten Tuesday prompt of Mardi Gray style covers since I have family in New Orleans.

I decided to do 12 instead of ten just so it would be even :). Click on the picture to be taken to Goodreads.

Let’s see if I can pick some interesting covers. 😉


Purple

Green

Gold


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Review: A Future for His Twins

Happy Monday, Reader Friends!

I hope you had a great weekend. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Susanne Dietze’s A Future for His Twins. Have you read it? If not, check it out.


About the Book

Will these children get their greatest wish?

A battle over a building

could lead to a mother for his twins.

Tomás Santos and Faith Latham both want to rent the same building in town, and neither is willing to give up the fight. But Tomás’s young twins want a new mom—and they’re sure Faith’s the perfect fit. Can these little matchmakers inspire Tomás and Faith to put their differences aside and become a family?

Amazon | B&N | CBD | Goodreads


My Thoughts

This was my first Susanne Dietze read and just as sweet as the cover. Tomás Santos and his twins are adorable and have some scene-stealing moments. I also liked the heart and kindness in the heroine Faith Latham.

Both Tom and Faith want to enhance their community but can’t see how they can do so without crushing the others dreams. And there may even be a secondary character or two who don’t want to see them together.

This book was an adorable read and a great way to pass the afternoon.


About the Author

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s an award-winning, RWA RITA®-nominated author who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama.

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First Line Friday: Forever In My Heart

Happy Friday everyone! You know what that means…it’s time for First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books. Grab the book nearest to you and share the first line!

Today we are featuring the first line of Forever In My Heart by Dionne Grace. And the first line is…

Sherry Palmer listened to the gentle rustle of the trees and green foliage in the distance.


About the Book

Sherry’s God-given gift allows her to see far beyond the naked eye, just not what He has planned for her.

Throughout Sherry’s life, there was only ever one man. Adrian Chase. She fell deeply, and when they made plans to marry, she thought her life was set.
Strong in the Lord, she has a gift to see into the spiritual realm. But when unforeseeable, uncontrollable circumstances change the course of their lives, the only man she has ever loved ends up with someone else.
Years on, plagued with memories of their past, she is left in limbo and has given up the possibility of ever seeing Adrian again.
All it takes is one fateful weekend and one look into his soulful brown eyes to undo the years of work it has taken to bury the pain that now threatens to tear her apart all over again.

Plagued by her past and the love in her heart, can she move forward with her life?

Amazon | Goodreads


What’s the first line of the book you’re reading?

Post by Contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: Time to Need

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Today I’m sharing a book spotlight on Dionne Grace’s  Time to Need. Looks like a great one to add to your TBR pile!

Happy reading!


About the Book

Fabien is offering Diane a future filled with love, but with her past, will she ever trust again?

Diane Tyler knows Fabien is everything a woman could ever want in a man.
If men weren’t off her agenda for the foreseeable future, he would be perfect. He’s her best friend’s brother, single—unlike two years ago—and has all the attributes that would have any woman swooning at his feet.

Despite her best efforts, convincing Fabien that they aren’t meant for one another has become more of a challenge than she bargained for, and just when she thinks she’s safe behind the wall she’s painstakingly built, Diane finds herself being pulled into something she believes she can’t have, leaving her desperately trying to hold on to the pieces of the barrier falling apart around her.

Fabien Reynolds thought his marriage would bring him everything he wanted—a wife, children, and the perfect home—until he discovered his wife wasn’t the woman he thought. Separated and on the brink of divorce, he finds himself surprisingly drawn to Diane, and it isn’t long before she captures his heart. Now divorced, he has unfinished business, and he isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.

Unfortunately for Fabien, his powers of persuasion don’t seem to be working: the teasing, mischievous woman he’s wanted for so long is no more. Still, despite the defences she tries to raise, he knows it’s love. He wants her in his life and is not going to let her push him away, even though he’s aware she’s hiding something.

Diane may have her secrets, but Fabien is looking forward to revealing every one of them.

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Dionne Grace is a romantic at heart.  She loves reading books, which in her early teenage years enhanced her vivid imagination. She would often invent fascinating love stories to entertain her school friends involving famous pop stars.  She used to scribble notes on the back of school books while her teacher’s backs were turned! Her friends loved it, and remind her of it to this day!

She loves to write and when she is not writing, she is reading and juggles this with her full-time job.

She writes sweet romances, about couples in relationships who have a passion for each other.  Sometimes this passion leads them into situations where they lose themselves, taking them down a path which possibly they should not have gone down, or in contrast, through life’s experiences; they reject the love that is offered, not having the faith or forgiveness to trust it.

Her books are intentionally thought-provoking, and real life. A message about a discovery of how the scars of life can be healed, no matter how difficult this sometimes seems in this imperfect world. And ultimately, through God’s divine intervention he imparts a revelation of what his purpose was all along.

As you must have guessed, she has a love for God and everything spiritual; she hopes this shines through in her books.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: The Melody of the Mulberries

Happy Wednesday!

Just thought I’d drop in with a book spotlight on Tonya Jewel Blessing’s The Melody of the Mulberries. Check out the excerpt below!


About the Book

This Appalachian Big Creek sequel is set in West Virginia, during the 1920s, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart. Emerald Ashby’s younger sister, Coral, determines to visit the family’s nemesis, Charlie, now stewing in prison.

When Mercy returns to the holler of Big Creek, she comes well-armed to re-enter Ernst’s life, but he has already found a new romantic attraction. No matter, Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools and a special friend who guides her way around this inconvenience.

“Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish-purple berries were soft and sweet – perfect for pies and jams.

“When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds, and when the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.”

Where Emerald Ashby’s story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, her pure and innocent sixteen-year-old sister Coral Ashby’s story begins. Like the changing mulberries, the Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate their lives and love interests through the Spanish Flu epidemic, poverty, and various as sundry prejudices.

Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.

Clean reading romance, a cozy mystery tucked in at the tails, and a fun, but realistic history of the people and cultures of the Appalachian trail make this story uplifting to many varied audiences.

Amazon | Goodreads


Excerpt

Charlie and Charley were coming to Big Creek. Charlie was a man. He had a spirit, soul, and body. He had grown up in the hills and been sent away because of the harm he had done to others. Coral had invited Charlie back to the holler. He wasn’t physically present, but, according to Emie, Coral might as well have sat him down at the table to enjoy Sunday family dinner.

The other Charley was an evil spirit. He was ancient and from a faraway land but traveled with others when invited. His ways were frightening and mysterious. He was best left alone, but, had also been invited to Appalachia. Mercy, a returning resident, considered him a friend.

He heard rustling in the school yard and spotted, next to the log where he and Rudy had sat earlier, a black bear and her two cubs. The female was larger than most. Ernest, trying to stay still and assess the situation, estimated her weight to be 300 pounds or more. She was blue black. The cubs, which were busy wrestling, were cinnamon colored.

Ernest grew concerned when the mama put her nose in the air and began to sniff loudly. The bear then slapped the ground with her large clawed paw and started to shake her head. In general, black bears were usually shy. Mostly when seeing a human, they grunted and bluffed aggression, but with cubs close-by Ernest was troubled. He knew not to run and to remain submissive in his posture.

His heart seemed to quit beating when he heard Lottie approaching. She had entered the back door of the schoolhouse. He could hear her brisk steps on the worn wooden floor. The mama bear began a slow approach and started to growl. He yelled a warning to Lottie, but within seconds the front door opened to the porch where he was standing. She had her bow and arrow in hand and was preparing to shoot.

“Where do I aim?”

“Upper chest, but wait,” Ernest cautioned. “She’s movin’ slow. I think she’s bluffing.”

True to his words, the bear turned tail and headed back to her cubs. Eruptive gas escaped from her backside which signaled her cubs that it was time to move on.

When the odor reached Charlotte, she began to gag. “What is that?”

Ernest couldn’t help but laugh. “Bear fog.”

When Charlotte joined in his laughter, it seemed natural and right to place his arm around her. She lowered her bow and snuggled next to him.

One of the older boys described the mystical Yahoo and another Dwayyo. Snarly Yow was also mentioned. Ernest did his best to expose the fear filled stories as Indian legends and wild imaginings of the early Appalachian settlers, but the learners couldn’t be dissuaded. Thoughts of giant hairy creatures; wolves that walked like humans and had fangs; and snarling monsters who appeared after dark had the students in a fearful state.

In order to redirect their attention, he thought about telling the story of Goldilocks and the three bears but remembered in one of the earlier versions of the fairy tale that Goldilocks was an old woman who ended up impaled on a steeple. He shuddered at the thought.

“Students start pushin’ the tables and chairs to the sides. I’m gonna teach you a rollick called the dancing bear.”

The supposed talking bird was medium-sized. It had a long-tail with green and blue plumage. Its neck was yellow, and its head was red. The bird looked at her, held its head upside down, and then when right-sided again spoke plainly, “Hot damn.” Then added in a husky voice, “Hello, beautiful lady.”

What kind of creature is this? Charlotte thought.

Next, the bird flew from its perch, landed on her shoulder, and started singing.

Every mornin’, every evenin’, ain’t we got fun? Not much money, oh, but honey, ain’t we got fun?

The granny witches in the holler believed that snakes visited in pairs, and if one snake was killed that the other would return for vengeance. Ernest knew it was nonsense. He wondered what the grannies would have to say if they knew that male snakes had two penises.

The sow’s teats were full. It was obvious that she was miserable. Ernest approached her cautiously. His hand was filled with grain and his voice filled with song.

Wake up and end the day thinking of you. Oh, why does it do this to me. Is it such bliss to be thinking of you. And when I fall asleep at night, it seems you just tiptoe into all my dreams. So, I think of no other one ever since I’ve begun thinking of you…

He knew that Rudy was trying his best not to laugh. Ernest also knew that some sows appreciated a good love song. When he was a boy, raising hogs with his father and brother, he had learned that a gentle touch and soft voice accomplished more than a hickory stick and harsh words.

The mama took the grain from his hand. Ernest began to rub the pig’s back. His hand traveled lower toward her side. The sow then laid down, and Ernest gently patted her belly.  As the piglets drew near, he placed them each on a teat. As he continued to sing his love song the mama relaxed, and her babies nosed and nursed.


About the Author

Tonya grew up in rural Ohio. She currently lives in South Africa with her husband of 35 years. Tonya decided to trust Jesus for the destination of her young soul at the age of four.  As a young adult, she worked for a well known television evangelist, and traveled with a Christian drama group throughout the Midwest.

Tonya attended Arapahoe Community College and Akron University, and has enjoyed a trusted position in formal and informal ministry settings and training opportunities. Tonya also worked as a children’s pastor, youth pastor, and women’s pastor. She served on staff at Praise Church in Littleton, Colorado for a number of years, and also worked as the Director of Women’s Ministries for Journey Church in Strasburg, Colorado. She has served on a number of ministry boards that support concerns for women.

Tonya and her husband operated Strong Cross Ranch Colorado for over eleven years, a place of respite for missionaries and ministers. They had the honor of hosting over 2,000 guests during that time frame. The Blessings relocated their ministry to South Africa in June of 2012. The ministry continues to serve and partner with local pastors and missionaries through a variety of creative and responsible means.  The Blessings oversee building projects, feeding programs, educational services, interventions, and church planting.

Tonya is a well-known national and international speaker, often serving women in areas of the world which cannot be publicized.  She writes articles and devotionals for missions’ magazines and women’s groups and is also a published author.  She is the author of two historical fiction books The Whispering of the Willows and The Melody of the Mulberries. Both novels are set in Big Creek, West Virginia, during the late 1920’s. Tonya has also co-authored a devotional called Soothing Rain – Living Water to Refresh Your Soul. All three of Tonya’s books have received literary awards.

Tonya enjoys speaking and sharing her life with women at retreats and events.  She thinks that women are amazing, and appreciates that the female gender is multifaceted yet fragile creations of God. In her personal life and as a speaker, Tonya believes that God’s Word is powerful, and needs to be read and written on her heart and on the hearts of women everywhere. For additional information, please review her author and ministry webpage: www.TonyaJewelBlessing.com

She was ordained in 2011 and is currently pursuing further pastoral and biblical studies.  For additional information regarding Strong Cross Ministries South Africa, please visit the ministry web page – www.strongcrossministries.org.


Post by contributor Toni Shiloh

Throwback Thursday – Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love

Happy Thursday, Reader Friends!

Today we’re featuring author Natasha D. Frazier’s book Kairos: The Perfect Time For Love. This throwback takes us back a couple of years. Check out the excerpt below!


About the Book

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… Ecclesiastes 3:1
Have you ever been in a position where you believed you were about to get exactly what you’ve been praying and working for, but instead the door is closed in your face?Well, meet Kensi Jacobson. She was positive that she’d gotten closer to her dream job, but instead, she hits a roadblock. She put in the work and trusted God for what she believed was her season of elevation, but her boss’ idea of promotion was to send her to Pepperton, TX for another assignment.

This new assignment pairs her up with a handsome widower, Darren Shaw, who helps her learn that delay and disappointment can sometimes become a catalyst for something greater. Seemingly burdened with the fact that she is the only one in her circle who isn’t married with children and a career that isn’t headed in the direction she planned, she begins to wonder when her time and season are coming. Will Kensi learn that Kairos – God’s perfect timing, is much more powerful than Chronos – her chronological timetable, and trust that things will fall into place at the right time? What begins as a crush to her ego and life plan may become the perfect time for love and the answer to her prayers.


Excerpt

It seemed as if most of the town had the same idea to head to the coffee shop after the tree lighting ceremony. There was only one table left in the place and it was closer to the door than they would have liked. Kensi held the table while Darren ordered their drinks. He returned to the table with a goofy smile plastered across his face. He draped his jacket over her shoulders and took the seat across from her.

“I’m sorry. This is not what I pictured when I asked you to have coffee with me. I was thinking nice and cozy, not dodging wind chills. I won’t keep you here too long.” Spending a few moments with her here and there wasn’t working for him anymore. It was time he did something about that before it was too late.

“Believe it or not, I’m okay.” She smiled to reassure him.

Kensi wrapped her hands around the mug of caramel latte sitting in front of her and then rubbed her hands along her arms each time someone walked into the coffee shop. The gush of wind gave her chills and temporarily drowned out the sound of the holiday music playing over the speakers.

“You’re not the New Yorker I thought you were,” Darren teased.

“What kind of New Yorker did you think I was?”

Darren peered over his cup of hot chocolate at Kensi, careful to keep his eyes locked on hers while he took a sip. He could go on and continue beating around the bush about how he felt, but he knew all too well that the next minute wasn’t promised. He thought he had forever with Jessica and that proved not to be true.

“How about we not worry about what I thought and let me get a chance to see for myself? I want to date you, Kensi, seriously and exclusively, once your assignment is over.”

Kensi’s eyes grew wide with surprise. She took several sips of her latte in order to compose her thoughts and contemplate her response. She was aware that he was fond of her, and that feeling was mutual. However, she wasn’t expecting him to be so direct. In a matter of seconds, her mind went into complete overdrive as she pondered her decision. If she said no, that would go against all the whining that she’d done to God a few weeks ago about her turn for happiness. But saying yes could mean that she would likely have to move to Pepperton if things went well. She’d need a new job. She’d have to give up New York and months of the cold weather that she loved so much plus she’d be even farther away from her family.

She closed her eyes for a moment to calm down and reel her mind back into the present. Although those things were important, that could easily be worked out later. She liked him, so she owed it to herself to see if their relationship could grow wings.

“I’d like that too,” she finally answered.

“Good. You had me worried here for a second,” Darren said with a nervous chuckle. “I’m looking forward to spending more time getting to know the woman behind the camera and the pencil.”

“Of course you are!” Kensi joked, breaking up the seriousness of the moment.

Darren reached across the table and squeezed her hand. Tomorrow was the theatrical production and he had never looked forward to it more than he was now. Closing the curtains after the Christmas program tomorrow set the stage for them to move forward to see what life had in store for the two of them—together.


About the Author

Natasha Frazier has authored both devotionals and Christian fiction titles. Throughout her writing career, she has published ten books. Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences Book 4 is her most recent release and is the final title in the award-winning Love, Lies & Consequences series. With her writing, Natasha hopes to inspire readers to grow in their relationship with our Heavenly Father, in spite of past mistakes, holding on to the truth that God loves us no matter what we’ve done. Because of His love for us, we should desire to live better lives.

Natasha is also a licensed CPA and alumni of THEE Jackson State University and Texas A&M University. Natasha resides in the Houston Metro area with her husband, Eddie, and their three children.