Throwback Thursday — Dash

Welcome to Throwback Thursday this final Thursday of May, 2020. In recognition of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I would like to share a poignant middle-grade historical novel about the Japanese American internment camps in the United States during World War II.

About the Book

What happens when a war comes between a girl and her dog?

New from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson, the moving story of a Japanese-American girl who is separated from her dog upon being sent to an incarceration camp during WWII.

Although Mitsi Kashino and her family are swept up in the wave of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mitsi never expects to lose her home—or her beloved dog, Dash. But, as World War II rages and people of Japanese descent are forced into incarceration camps, Mitsi is separated from Dash, her classmates, and life as she knows it.

The camp is a crowded and unfamiliar place, whose dusty floors, seemingly endless lines, and barbed wire fences begin to unravel the strong Kashino family ties. With the help of a friendly neighbor back home, Mitsi remains connected to Dash in spite of the hard times, holding on to the hope that the war will end soon and life will return to normal. Though they’ve lost their home, will the Kashino family also lose their sense of family? And will Mitsi and Dash ever be reunited?

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

I am a huge fan of Kirby Larson’s historical fiction. Her books are well-written and well-researched. Her characters are multi-dimensional and her settings are so well-developed they become like characters in and of themselves.

A couple of summers ago I read her Young Adult historical series, ‘Hattie Big Sky’ and ‘Hattie Ever After’. Those stories are set in 1917 in Montana. I read and reviewed her fourth book in this ‘Dogs of World War II’ series, ‘Code Word Courage’.

One of the things I enjoyed about each of these books, including ‘Dash’, is the author’s ability to capture a reader’s attention and interest right from the start! In this book, we are introduced to the main character, Mitsi Kashino, and her beloved dog, Dash, in the first paragraph of the book. The story opens in Washington state right after Christmas, 1941.

Upon returning to school after the Christmas break Mitsi and the other students of Japanese descent are met with anger, resentment, and hatred from the majority of their classmates. The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, fueled these negative feelings about the Japanese in the United States.

I believe this theme is an important historical issue to introduce to and discuss with middle-grade readers because we live in a diverse culture. Respect and acceptance are keys to thriving in our society.  I feel fiction can reach out to youngsters and touch their hearts in ways merely telling them to show ‘respect’ or ‘be kind’ cannot.

Throughout this moving story Mitsi navigates the serious issues of shame, prejudice, loss of friends, evacuation from her home, and internment in two Japanese relocation camps. She meets many cruel and insensitive people along the way. I found the author’s portrayal of these unkind individuals to be realistic and frankly, heart-wrenching.

The depiction of the depolorable conditions at the internment camps is accurate as far as my research into and knowledge of this subject matter. Family life at the camps was not easy for the internees because of the rustic/crude living conditions, lack of privacy, unfamiliar food, and severe weather conditions. I could almost taste the grit from the dust blowing around everywhere and smell the horrible odors in the latrines as described by this author.

A theme in this book which I especially appreciated was the kindness and understanding of several of the surrounding characters who were not internees.

Miss Wyatt, Mitsi’s school teacher, is a lovely person who does whatever she can to make Mitsi’s situation a little more bearable for the eleven-year-old. Mrs. Bowker, the Kashina family’s widowed neighbor, is loving and compassionate toward Mitsi and models what being a good neighbor and friend is all about. Some of the workers at the camps go out of their way to smile at and treat the internees with kindness. And then there is Dash, Mitsi’s loyal best friend! The two shared a deep bond and were both heartbroken when they were separated when the Kashina’s were evacuated.

Highly recommended for teachers, librarians, and parents/grandparents. Fans of World War II/American/California history and stories with diverse characters will appreciate this richly-layered story, too.

To learn more about this subject, follow this link to the United states national parks service website: 

Japanese American Confinement


Kirby Larson

About the Author

Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, HATTIE BIG SKY. Her passion for historical fiction is reflected in titles such as THE FENCES BETWEEN US, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL, as well as the sequel to HATTIE BIG SKY, HATTIE EVER AFTER, and her two latest titles, DUKE–which was nominated for 5 state Young Reader Choice awards as well as being a finalist for the Washington State Book Award– and DASH–which has garnered two starred reviews, a NAPPA Gold Award and a Capitol Choices nomination.

In 2006, Kirby began a collaboration with her good friend Mary Nethery resulting in two award-winning nonfiction picture books: TWO BOBBIES: A TRUE STORY OF HURRICANE KATRINA, FRIENDSHIP AND SURVIVAL, and NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE AND A MIRACLE.

Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she’s not reading or writing Kirby enjoys beach combing, bird watching, and traveling. She owns a tiara and is not afraid to use it.

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First Line Friday: The Trouble with Love

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! 

On Diversity Between the Pages, we are featuring the first line of The Trouble with Love by Toni Shiloh. This is the first book in her new Christian Chick Lit series: Faith & Fortune, which releases on May 26, 2020. Let me tell you…this book is fabulous!!

and the first line is….

“I strolled down the path through Central Park and exhaled.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

I, Holiday Brown, have it all. A platinum record. Multi-million dollar home in Manhattan that I share with my two best friends. Life is looking fantastic until my roommate’s brother decides to bunk in our guestroom while his house gets renovated.

W. Emmett Bell has always been the bane of my existence. He’s annoying, stubborn, a know it all, and just might be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I refuse to fall for him. But when his sister’s threatened by a stalker, dynamics change. His unwavering faith isn’t quite as self-righteous as I’d always thought, and maybe he has a good side I’ve overlooked all these years.

Or maybe it’s all too much trouble.

The Trouble With Love is the first book in the Christian Chick Lit series: Faith & Fortune.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub


Let us know the first line of the book closest to you & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Throwback Thursday: Beneath the Surface

Happy Thursday! Today I am featuring a book written by one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, Lynn H. Blackburn. I’m throwing it back to 2018 with Beneath the Surface, the first book in Lynn H. Blackburn’s Dive Team Investigations series. Leigh Weston, the heroine of Beneath the Surface, is a nurse practitioner who was adopted from a Chinese orphanage as a young child.

There is a fabulous cast of characters in this series, and just wait until you meet the handsome and charming Investigator Gabe Chavez, who is a supporting character in this novel. He completely stole my heart in Beneath the Surface, and I was thrilled when he finally had his own story told in the third book in the series.

One Final Breath, the third and final book of the series released in September 2019, so if you haven’t had a chance to read this wonderful series, here is the perfect chance to get some binge reading done!

Photo courtesy of Lynn H. Blackburn’s Facebook page

Have you read any books by Lynn H. Blackburn yet?


ABOUT THE BOOK

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the SurfaceIn Too Deep, 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’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

Book Review: Safe Harbor

Happy Monday!

Today, I’m pleased to bring a book review for Safe Harbor by Christy Barritt, book 2 in the Lantern Beach Blackout series. But don’t worry if you haven’t read book 1 yet (though you really should because it’s good!) – this book works ok as a stand alone too.

NOTE: Lantern Beach is not only the setting of this Blackout series but several other of Barritt’s series as well. You can find a mostly complete list here, and since these books are all set in the same universe, readers get the chance to catch up with beloved characters from previous series in subsequent books as well. Each series can be read as a stand alone series, however, and for the most part the books can be read as stand alones too. And while each book in the Blackout series has its own plot that ties up at the end, there is also an overarching plot that carries over through each book, not to be fully resolved until the last book of the series. So, as I said, you can read Safe Harbor as a standalone but I would recommend reading Dark Water first.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Safe Harbor by Christy BarrittA JOB AS EASY AS SUNDAY MORNING

Guilt over past mistakes haunt former Navy SEAL Dez Rodriguez. When he’s asked to guard a pop star during a music festival on Lantern Beach, he’s all set for what he hopes is a breezy assignment.

UNTIL HE MEETS BREE JORDAN

Bree hasn’t found fame to be nearly as fulfilling as she dreamed. Instead, she’s more like a carefully crafted character living out a pre-scripted story. When a stalker’s threats become deadly, her life—and career—are turned upside down.

DANGER RISES UP THE CHARTS

From the start, Bree sees her temporary bodyguard as a player, and Dez sees Bree as a spoiled rich girl. But when they’re thrown together in a fight for survival, both must learn to trust. Can Dez protect Bree—and his carefully guarded heart? Or will their safe harbor ultimately become their death trap?

GOODREADS | AMAZON


MY THOUGHTS

Dez Rodriguez, former Navy SEAL & current member of an elite security team called Blackout (made up of his fellow SEAL teammates and headquartered on the island of Lantern Beach, NC), is a man with “muscles that could be seen for miles, and a smile that could be seen even farther.” I’ll give you a moment to swoon appropriately at that description …  He’s protective, sometimes broody, prone to long-held feelings of guilt & a sense of duty, but also bighearted and a loyal friend. His reputation as a player may be exaggerated but he’s definitely good at flirting when it counts.

Bree Jordan is a pop star whose career has skyrocketed, though she disagrees with many of her manager’s decisions. She wants to sing her own songs – songs with depth, not the ‘bubble gum’ fluff that is responsible for her rise to fame. Her reputation as a spoiled, rich starlet may also be exaggerated, but she definitely knows how to throw her wealth around when it counts. She lives under a lot of pressure to keep up a certain image but really just wants to be herself.

The tension between these two vivid characters keeps sparks flying throughout this quick-read story. Between their definite romantic attraction to each other and the high-stakes suspense that has them – and readers – on their toes from start to finish, the electricity crackles like a summer storm off the ocean.  And buckle up for that ending – wow!

I loved getting to know Dez more – my interest in him had been piqued in Dark Water and I was curious about his backstory. It was nice to see a couple of peeks into the Cuban culture that gave him part of his heritage, and I also enjoyed seeing him directly in that role of protector that he makes so swoony. Bree became a favorite character, and her character growth throughout the novel was done really well.

Bottom Line: A great read from beginning to end, with a yummy hero & an engaging heroine, a charming island with a host of characters and intriguing backstories , a team of former SEALs with an unsolved mystery between them, and a message of finding your own worth and staying true to who you were created to be. Definitely recommended for romantic suspense fans!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christy BarrittUSA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

Christy, a Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author, writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She has more than seventy books published with nearly two million copies sold.

website | facebook | twitter | pinterest | instagram


What about you? What makes you want to read Safe Harbor?

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Romantic Suspense Reads

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a genre-related freebie so I thought I’d take a look at some diverse reads in my fave genre – romantic suspense!!


beneath a navajo moon

Beneath a Navajo Moon by Lisa Carter
Goodreads |Amazon

a bond fulfilled

A Bond Fulfilled by Lee Tobin McClain
Goodreads |Amazon

brett billionaire bodyguard

Brett, Billionaire Bodyguard by Verde & Macarthur
Goodreads |Amazon

captured

Captured by Terri J. Haynes
Goodreads |Amazon

frost heaves

Frost Heaves by Alana Terry
Goodreads |Amazon

narrow escape

Narrow Escape by Camy Tang
Goodreads |Amazon

pursued rodante

Pursued by Linda K. Rodante
Goodreads |Amazon

red ohagwu

Red by Joy Ohagwu
Goodreads |Amazon

Safe Harbor by Christy Barritt

Safe Harbor by Christy Barritt
Goodreads |Amazon

tellyousoon

Tell You Soon by Jan Thompson
Goodreads |Amazon


 

Have you read any of these diverse romantic suspense novels?
Do you have some faves you would add to the list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Reads Spring TBR

Happy Tuesday! And welcome to Diversity Between The Page’s leap into the popular Top Ten Tuesday linkup hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

Today’s theme is our Spring TBR so I’m looking at books with diverse characters that release in April, May or June. (Please note: there are probably many others but these are the ones I know for sure.)

theirhappyhome

Their Happy Home by Joy Ohagwu
Release Date: April 29, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

Lost Down Deep front cover

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison
Release Date: April 1, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

Redeeming Grace crawford

Redeeming Grace by Bridget T. Crawford
Release Date: April 20, 2020
Preorder on Amazon

the trouble with love

The Trouble With Love by Toni Shiloh
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

an uncommon beauty

An Uncommon Beauty by Kari Trumbo
Release Date: May 4, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

herhiddenhope

Her Hidden Hope by Jill Lynn
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

analaskantwinsurprise

An Alaskan Twin Surprise by Belle Calhoune
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

where tomorrow leads

Where Tomorrow Leads by DiAnn Mills
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

she knows her god

She Knows Her God by Joy Ohagwu
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon

stories that bind us

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon


Which of these diverse reads are on your TBR? Got any to add to the list?

Book Review: The Solid Grounds Coffee Company

We made it to Friday! WOOHOO! This has been a week, but you know what I do when weeks are frustrating? I grab some coffee and read a good book. This week I read The Solid Grounds Coffee Company which is the last book in The Saturday Night Supper Club series by Carla Laureano. This series has been fantastic to read!

 

About the Book

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company (The Saturday Night Supper Club) by [Laureano, Carla]

Analyn Sanchez can handle the long hours and arrogant clients that come with her job as a crisis management associate at Denver’s largest publicity firm. The high-powered job, expensive condo, and designer wardrobe are all part of her plan to prove to her family that her life choices haven’t been in vain. But when she’s asked to cover up a client’s misdeeds with serious moral and legal ramifications, she can no longer sacrifice her conscience for her career . . . and the cost is no less than her job.

Ever since a devastating climbing accident in South America eight months ago, and a bad decision that dried up his sponsorships, professional rock climber Bryan Shaw has found himself at similar loose ends. When the opportunity to buy a coffee farm in Colombia arises, he jumps on it—only to discover his wandering ways have left him utterly unprepared to run a business.

When Bryan returns home and offers Ana a role in his company as a solution to both their problems, she’s desperate enough to consider working with the far-too-flippant and far-too-handsome climber, even though he’s the polar opposite of her type A nature. As they delve deeper into the business, however, she begins to suspect there’s much more to Bryan than she’s given him credit for . . . and that sometimes the best plans are the ones you never see coming.

Goodreads | Amazon


My Thoughts

Laureano has proven once again that she is a fantastic story teller. Readers have been waiting patiently for this story, and it did not disappoint. What I didn’t expect was to have the prodigal son story to hit me so hard, so fast. Bryan is a character we can all relate to at some point in our lives. He lived life for himself, until he came to a point where all he could do was look up and realize who he needed to live for. From that point on Bryan is different. Yes, he still had some faults and bumps. But Laureano weaves an encouraging tale of how the broken can be made whole over time. They will continue to have imperfections, yet still grow as individuals.

Bryan and Ana’s love story is probably my favorite of this series. The attraction is always there for sure, but Laureano took her time with them. Their relationship wasn’t forced. There were obstacles to overcome, as there is with any new relationship. Readers have been waiting for this story for the entire series after all! What I loved most is that Bryan and Ana were real with each other. They had some real conversations, sweet moments, laughable moments, and all around great chemistry.

While I am sad to see this series go, I can honestly say Laureano ended it with a bang. And the good thing is, we can visit these friends at any time! I highly recommend reading this series, from start to finish. I think you’ll find the friendships and relationships will bring a smile to your face, and some encouragement to your hearts.

 

 


About the Author

Carla Laureano
Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Connect with Carla online at her website (www.carlalaureano.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest


 

Do you enjoy reading friends-to-romance stories? 

Book Review: A Long Bridge Home

Happy Friday everyone! I’m happy to be sharing book two in the Amish of Big Sky Country Series by Kelly Irvin. Set in the Montana mountains, it’s sure to make you want to go and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation for a while.

 

About the Book

alongbridgehomeAfter her community in the awe-inspiring Montana mountains is suddenly consumed by a raging wildfire, one young Amish woman finds herself in a new town where she’s introduced to the Native culture of the Kootenai people.

When the Mast family is forced to evacuate their home in the West Kootenai region of Montana, Christine chooses not to move with her family to her father’s childhood home in Kansas. Instead, she wants to stay closer to home and to her beau, Andy Lambright, who has yet to ask for her hand in marriage and who seems to be holding tightly to secrets from his past.

Now, living with her aunt and uncle in St. Ignatius, Christine is on her own for the first time in her life. While working in her uncle’s store Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, whom she befriends, and he introduces her to his rich native culture with strong ties to the earth and nature. Despite the warnings of her aunt and uncle, Christine is inexplicably drawn to Raymond, and her mind is opened to a history and heritage far different from her own.

With her newly expanding horizons, Christine wonders if she can return to the domestic life that is expected of her. Her heart still longs to be with Andy, but she isn’t the same person she was before the fire, and she wonders if he can accept who she is becoming. Has too much distance grown between them? Or can they bridge the gap from past to present and find their way back together?

 

Goodreads | Amazon


My Thoughts

Irvin takes readers into the beautiful West Kootenai region of Montana in A Long Bridge Home. My heart ached for Christine and the entire community as the wildfires spread and took their homes. Irvin’s descriptive writing had me right there with them, running throughout the house, trying to get the necessary items. At times I felt as if I could even smell the smoke, see the haze in the distance, and feel the fear of having to escape. At a time when wildfires seem to be across the world, it certainly made them more real to this New Yorker, and my empathy for those in the path of the wildfires has doubled.

But Irvin paints a picture of how God can turn something tragic, life a wildfire destroying a community, into something beautiful. Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, and their friendships is perhaps the most beautiful part of this entire story, and just what readers needs to see in today’s world. Two people, with different cultures and beliefs, are able to come together and teach each other about their ways. Each had an open mind to listen to the other, contemplate what they’d heard, and amicably speak about their differences. Neither placed judgement. There was no heated arguments, or pressure to change viewpoints. It was simply talking, teaching, and inspiring. Christine learned that while Raymond’s beliefs were different, there was some value to them. There was away she could apply portions of it to her own life while still honoring God. And isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Find ways to honor our Lord? I can’t express how deeply their friendship moved me as I was reading.

Rest assured there is much more to this beautiful story. Romance, faith, community, family, restoration, and the beauty of God’s creation. I highly recommend reading this delightful read. I hope it speaks to your heart as much as it did my own!

 


About the Author

Kelly Irvin

Best-selling novelist Kelly Irvin’s latest series, The Amish of Sky Country, features an Amish community in Northwest Montana affected by wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres in the state in recent years. The first book, Mountains of Grace, debuted in August 2019, and delves into the impact on not only an Amish man and woman, but also a smoke jumper, a sheriff’s deputy, and a young English woman forced to confront her past because of the fires.

Kelly also writes romantic suspense novels. Her most recent forays into this genre include Tell Her No Lies and Over the Line, both set in San Antonio and South Texas. Of Tell Her No Lies, The Library Journal says, “Irvin creates a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end. Known for her Amish novels, this two-time Carol Award finalist shows that her talents span subgenres from tranquil Amish stories to rapidly paced breathless suspense.”

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Sisters in Crime.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for more than 30 years, and they have two young adult children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies.

For more information, visit http://www.kellyirvin.com


 

Do you enjoy reading books set in the mountains? What aspect of this book do you most look forward to?

Book Spotlight: Breaking Point

Happy Wednesday! The weekend and MARCH are almost here. How did that happen? It’s like we blinked and skipped January & February. And if you live in Kentucky like I do, you skipped winter too lol. Ah well, at least there are a plethora of good books to read, right?

Today I’m delighted to spotlight Breaking Point by author Dayo Benson!

ABOUT THE BOOK

breaking point dayo bensonSERIES: Drew Ashley #1
GENRE: Christian Chick Lit with an edge
PUBLISHER: Bennos Press
RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2012

It’s every girl’s dream to find Mr Right, but what happens when there are two candidates who fit that description? Drew Ashley finds herself torn between the logical safe choice and what her heart really wants.

Drew experiences the ultimate heart break when she finds out that both men have secrets. She is forced to do some rethinking, especially since she has a secret of her own. A secret that she has never shared with anybody: she sees visions!

Add a zany mother and a series of shocking crimes to the mix, and things are bound to go slightly off-kilter.

GOODREADS | AMAZON


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dayo bensonDayo Benson is passionate about using fiction to convey powerful messages about redemption and God’s love. She is the author of over forty Christian novels. From sweet contemporary fiction and gritty romantic thrillers, to paranormal Christian romance, Dayo writes in a wide variety of niches. A message of hope is common to all her books regardless of genre.

When she is not writing, Dayo enjoys music, reading and going for long walks. She lives in North West England with her husband and their two beautiful daughters.

Learn more about Dayo and her upcoming books at www.dayobenson.com.

Book Review: Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge

It’s Fri-yay!! I hope you’ve had a great week and have a weekend ahead full of great reads! One of my very fave authors is Ruth Logan Herne – her warmth and heart exude from the pages of her stories into a soul-deep hug. I’m delighted to bring you my review of her upcoming release, Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge! Jazz has been a prominent secondary character in the first two books of this series, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for her story.

About the Book

findingpeaceinwishingbridgeCreator of the bestselling “Welcome to Wishing Bridge” and “At Home in Wishing Bridge” award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne invites readers back to the little town with the big heart with “Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge”.

Being a supermodel isn’t just hard.

It can be a killer, so when international sensation Jazz Monroe answered a friend’s call for help, she’d just taken a hiatus from the job that made her a very rich woman and almost took her life. Outwardly Jazz was everything anyone would want to be. Beautiful, confident, rich and famous, and often seen on the arm of some of the world’s most eligible bachelors, Jazz knows the truth she hides. Her self-confidence is an act and the eating disorder that plagues her refuses to let her rest.

But then she and her old friend Thea are called to help a friend and fulfill a pledge they’d made a dozen years before as high school seniors. If any one of the three ever needed help, the others would come running. Last December, Kelsey made that call and her two old friends, the other members of the “Soul Sisterhood”, responded. They’re here now. Thea is practicing medicine, Kelsey has married the hero deputy that saved her life and Jazz is finding the hints of peace that have eluded her for nearly two decades. She settles into the little town, helping out at a local diner, waiting for the sky to fall.

It doesn’t. Instead, the sun begins to shine, winter fades to spring, and surrounded by new and old friends, Jazz begins to believe in herself. She loves the small town, the kindness of the locals, the warmth of the family diner and the special attention from two very different and distinct men makes her think new thoughts. Thoughts of family and picket fences and settling down.

But an unexpected attack on a wood-edged path reignites her fears and insecurities. Now she’s looking in shadows again, doubting herself and others. In Manhattan, locked elevators and a staffed entrance desk kept her safe from intruders.

Wishing Bridge has nothing like that. Here, she lives life at ground level, with no bodyguards watching out for her. But when a local contingent makes it their job to keep her safe, Jazz learns not to sell the small town short. Folks here mean what they say because that’s the kind of town Wishing Bridge is.

As Jazz rediscovers the most important things in life, she realizes that happiness isn’t about where you are: it’s about who you’re with. And who you love.

Join Jazz, Kelsey, Thea and the rest of the Wishing Bridge cast as they band together to help the town and one another because together– in Wishing Bridge– they can make anything happen.

Goodreads | Amazon


My Thoughts

First, let me say that I’m THRILLED to learn that Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge is not the last book in the series. I was afraid that, since we’ve been given a story for each of the three friends in the Soul Sisterhood, this would be our last visit to Wishing Bridge. But I wasn’t quite ready to leave yet – I enjoy the secondary & even tertiary characters and the setting so much. This town is truly a special place, albeit a fictional one, and I’m delighted that we’ll be returning there in 2021.

Now, on to the review of this book. Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge was everything I hoped it would be and more. Jazz’s story, like Kelsey & Thea’s before her, is complex and layered – a former international supermodel who realized quickly that the industry can destroy you from the inside out, finding her footing again in this sweet little town and enjoying the freedom of just being herself. Until her past comes back to stalk her – literally – and now I want Herne to branch out into romantic suspense. Because the scene snippets from the stalker’s point of view, the feeling of danger that exuded off the page whenever Jazz was alone, the protectiveness of Garrett & her other friends – it was all pitch perfect and kept me glued to the story.

Keep a tissue box handy for this read though – there are some gutwrenching moments walking alongside the heartwarming ones. One particular plot twist left me absolutely bereft, and another plot point had me blinking back tears more than once.

Another thing I love about this series are the children. Herne is nearly unparalleled in her ability to create child characters that you want to reach inside the pages and hug close. Endearing, precocious, charming… even with backstories that sadly reflect the reality for many children today. Yet, each word is penned with heart and compassion and the author’s love for children is clearly felt. In Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge, we get to know more about Emerson, whom we met briefly with his dad in the previous book. And oh my stars, what a sweetheart. He kept a grin on my face in every scene he was in – despite a little lump in my throat as well thanks to his story.

Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge is at its heart a story of friendship, faith, and the kind of family you create above & beyond the one you’re born into. Endearing, diverse characters you’ll quickly fall in love with and a charming setting welcome you to Wishing Bridge with each new book and Jazz’s long-awaited story is no exception. Definitely put this series – and the latest book – on your must-read list!


About the Author

ruthyUSA TODAY bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is about to welcome her 53rd and 54th books to book shelves in March and April, so she’s pretty stoked about romance, about love and crazy-stoked about faith!

You can friend her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, visit her website ruthloganherne.com or email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com She loves to chat with readers and writers and she also loves God, family, faith, friends, fun and fiction…. and add chocolate and coffee to that list!


What interests you most about Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge? Have you read the other two books in this series?