Thursday, February 28, 2013

Anita Higman's A Merry Little Christmas ~ Reviewed

Anita Higman
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Summerside Press 

ISBN: 1609366883


Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds. Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who's preparing to spend the holidays alone...again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny's farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she's more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city. As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart--that sometimes love comes when you're least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?

                A Merry Little Christmas begins with a young woman named Franny Martin.  She has spent several years taking care of the family farm after her parents were killed in a tornado when she was eighteen.  While she loves the farm, there is a restlessness in her.  She loves music and wants to go to the city to try to work for a radio station.  As “luck” would have it, Charlie Landau shows up.  He is a city slicker with a lot of money who wants to buy the farm to prove to his father that he can make something of it on his own.  Franny agrees right away, and also agrees to help him learn the ropes.  There is an instant connection between the two, and when Franny leaves for the big city, they both realize how much they care for each other.  When she makes it there, she is unable to find a job and has no idea what to do.  After accepting a job as a waitress, Charlie shows up and asks her to come back and help him, which she does.  They finally address their feelings for each other, but the next hurdle is getting past Charlie’s father, who never approves of anything he does.

                I LOVED this book.  It was so sweet and full of an innocence that I can’t describe.  I loved the setting on the farm, and watching Charlie’s character turn from a city slicker to a farmer.  I also loved how much he enjoyed the hard work that he wasn’t used to.  This was a great book and I HIGHLY recommend it.  I had trouble putting it down!

Reviewed by:  Sarah Meyers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ronie Kendig's Trinity ~ Reviewed

By Ronie Kendig

Published by Barbour


347 Pages

Book Cover:  

A year ago in Afghanistan, Green Beret Heath Daniel’s career was destroyed. Along with his faith. Now he and his military war dog, Trinity, train other dogs and their handlers. Though his passion is to be back in action, the medical discharge has forced Heath—and Trinity—to the sidelines. Military intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured while secretly tracking the Taliban. Only one dog can handle the extreme conditions to save her. Trinity. Only one man can handle Trinity. Time is running out on the greatest—and most dangerous—mission of their lives.


Christy Award winner Ronie Kendig takes readers into battle through the eyes of Heath and Trinity military war dog.  Both trained at A Breed Apart Organization. Trinity learned to search and rescue people and protect her handler – Heath learned how to work with his new partner.

I’m thankful for the review copy of this book which kicks off a new series showcasing war dogs unique training and the special bond they have with their handlers.

This author has a gift of writing battle scenes and getting to the heart of the matter through the male pov, which is authentic and believable. Her discarded hero series was heart felt and very insightful for those who are not military minded and those who are. Her plots are intricate, with rich characterization all the while taking the reader through tough terrain on the battle field.

This novel has all that with a little twist as it focuses on the military dog and its unique talents. Heath and Trinity set out to go around encouraging troops out in the field about life after battle. Heath had been medically discharged because of a traumatic bran injury. He was trying to put the pieces of his life back together. He didn’t want to go on this mission but encouraging the troops was critical, he knew that first hand.

During his tour Heath is asked to help find a captured military intelligence officer, Darci Kintz. They know Trinity could track her down. That’s what she did best. Ronie takes Heath and Trinity into action redeeming their skills and putting them to the test. These were extreme conditions that could prove to be deadly if a mistake was made. Could Heath find Darci in time?

Darci was determined to stay alive. They wouldn’t break her. She does have time to reflect on her life. What direction did she want to go if she survived? She knew she needed to make things right with her maker now. I like how this author naturally weaves the faith message in the story. Her characters struggle to do the right thing. They are honest,  and not preachy. Love that!

This authors’ world view, and desire to show a side of military life no one normally sees, it’s real, gritty but not gory. I like that. Ronie Kendig spoke to Finding Hope Book club this year. It was a delight to hear first hand about how this story came about and the research she did to write it. I also liked hearing about her military background and her desire to take readers along side these military war dogs. She wanted to give readers an up-close and personal view of what these dogs and their handlers to day in and day out to protect our country. It’s amazing and humbling. She says, “War dogs and specialized search dogs were high-value targets. Terrorists paid big for dead military working dogs!”  It’s a book that makes you think. You’ll be at awe at how these dogs learn, perform the job at hand and protect their handlers. Wow!

Ronie pens another captivating heart-felt read filled with action, drama and surprises. I highly recommend it for a book club pick or just a fun read. There is so much to talk about and learn in this novel, as well as her others her others.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gina Holmes's Wings of Glass ~ Reviewed

Wings of Glass
By: Gina Holmes
Tyndale House
ISBN: 1414366418

Barely an adult, Penny Carson believes she's met Prince Charming---but as soon as they are married Trent hits her for the first time. After suffering a work injury, he's forced to allow Penny to take a job. Will two women help her live and laugh again? A powerful exploration of abuse and the question of divorce.
Penny has been isolated from all who care for her, except Trent who claims to love her more than life itself. Who's life is the question. 
But God has not abandoned Penny and He visits her through friendship with a feisty Southern Belle with a tragic past, and a regal Sudanese woman who vows she will never allow herself to be a victim of cruelty again. 

Callie Mae and Fatimah walk Penny through the emotional minefield of victimization, guilt and addiction to a man who is so broken he only knows how to break others. 

Wings of Glass is not an easy, light read. The subject matter makes it one I can't recommend to uplifting, pure inspirational readers. If you are drawn to escapist fiction you may find that this one costs a little too much of your heart and emotions. However, if you prefer fiction that realistically portrays people who don't live in clean and perfect worlds, this is right up your alley. Penny's life may haunt you, and if you have an abuse issue in your past, it might be too much. Holmes turns the light toward a subject that has been shrouded in darkness for too long.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Janice Thompson's Picture Perfect ~ Reviewed

By Janice Thompson
Published by Revell
ISBN# 978-0800721527  
336 Pages

Back Cover: Feisty wedding photographer Hannah McDermott has dealt with her share of difficult brides. But none can compare to the ultimate Bridezilla she's dealing with now. Still, she's trying desperately to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island's most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella's list of recommended photographers--a spot currently occupied by her arch-rival, Drew Kincaid. What she doesn't count on, however, is falling head over heels for the competition.

Review:  Fans of Bella – Wedding Planner series will applaud Janice in her new series Picture Perfect. It’s a novel that’s just pure fun!

Bella, her family and Club Wed are back with memories you’ll adore. The reader is introduced to Hannah McDemott aspiring photographer who owns her own business. Bella has recommended Hannah to do the biggest photo shoot of her career. She’s been hired to shoot Sierra, famous Country singer’s wedding at Club Wed. It doesn’t get any bigger than that?

This is Hannah’s big break, her dream job – the one that will put her and her company on the map. So, why wasn’t she jumping up and down with joy? Sierra was a high maintence client and her publicist George demanded the impossible. It’s not what she expected. The pressure was on to be perfect! Picture perfect in all her shots! Then there was Drew Kincaid of Kincaid photography – her competition. If she messed up he’d steal this job. Too much was at stake.

Hannah hears her dad speaking to her as she faces this situation, “If being Irish meant I stood a better chance at succeeding in business, I would embrace my heritage as never before…I wouldn’t go down without a fight. A true McDermotto never did!”

Hannah tries to get a grip and expresses her feeling to Scarlett her BFF, “Talk about Diva. I was really excited about getting this gig, but it’s been nothing but trouble so far. Even Bella has struggle with Sierra, and she’s handled every Bridezilla known to mankind. If she’s having trouble, can you ever imagine me trying to manage it?” LOL!

Hannah’s faith is under fire too as demands from this Diva heat up. Hannah begins to realize there are more important things to life than fame and fortune. She begins to look at Drew Kincaid a little differently too. He may not be her competition after all. Maybe they could learn from each other. After all he did shot a famous wedding and lived to do more gigs!

Readers will have fun hanging around Bella’s Italian family again as they take Hannah under their wing and experience some of her Irish family traditions as they are invited to Hannah’s yearly Bing Crosby and Bob Hope party.

So sit back and let the fun begin as Janice Thompson pulls out all the stops in her new novel that is better than a calogne bath. Honest! Grin!

I loved the Irish sayings, blessings, and proverbs in this book. My favorite two are “Enthusiasm is like a fire that needs an occasional poke with a stick.” AND “May those who love us, love us. And for those who don’t love us, May God turn their hearts. And if He cannot turn their hearts, May He turn their ankles, so we may know them by their limping. – Irish Saying! LOL!

I highly recommend Picture Perfect for your next read. It will chase the cares of the day away and bring joy to your heart! This author reminds the reader it’s the little things in life that can bring us great joy! Picture Perfect is fun, fun, fun!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hitchcock and Gansky's 8 Minutes to Digital Winter ~ Reviewed

By Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky
Published by Harvest House
342 Pages

Back Cover: 

Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock and award-winning novelist Alton Gansky provide a suspenseful and fast-moving story of life after a massive cyber attack.

Twenty-two-year-old savant Donny Elton can't tie his shoes, but his computer skills are unsurpassed. Egged on by a shadowy figure only he can see and hear, Donny creates an evolving computer virus that knocks out satellites, power grids, and communication systems. The world is thrown back into a lifestyle it hasn't known for a hundred years. Surgeons find themselves operating without electricity. The military can't use its computers...


Life without computers! It’s hard to imagine! I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that takes a look at this situation and so much more.

This suspenseful drama hinges on a “what if scenario” that could very well happen in the not so distant future. What if someone created a computer worm that wipes out power globally? Communication stops, and so does everything else.

It’s a sobering look at how quickly our society would plunge into chaos. Life for the most part runs smooth, not much thought is given to all that is required to keep our life as we know it moving forward, staying safe, healthy and our tummies full! These authors lift the veil on what it would look like and how people might act after the lights go out for good!

This book is broken down in four acts that take place starting January 20th 2014. Act one thrusts readers in the thick of things eight minutes after all energy sources on the planet fail. Act two takes a look at how things progress eight days after the collapse. Act three gives yet another look at eight weeks down the road and Act four is set eight months after the fall out. Could life ever return to normal?

This is an eye opening novel. I found it fascinating to read about procedures our government and our society has as a whole to address disasters of all kinds. They have these in place hoping we’ll never have to use them. I know the procedures mentioned are what if scenarios not gospel but it makes you think all the same. What would be the first thought our President might have if something like this were to happen? He and his staff would be in search of who and/or what caused this disaster and was it global? It was intriguing to read about how leaders around the world would communicate with each other to ensure no nuclear weapons would be used, which would make matters worse.

Military branches have their own code. They run a game plan according to circumstances. They run these plans by the President as to how they expect people to act. I had never given it much thought at how quickly our world would unravel after our energy sources dried up. I never gave a thought to what people would do first, how fast garbage would pile up- making things unclean, our water supply tainted and how quickly food would run out.

The authors said, “Our goal is to entertain in a way that prompts you to wonder and think. With a topic like this, entertainment is not the ultimate goal. We hope that this work will whet your appetite for the prophetic material of the bible. Much of God’s plan about the future is still hidden, and we have tried to respect that. What is presented here is a creative scenario of what could happen, not what will. Only God knows those details.”

Authors Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky achieve their goal hands down. I was spellbound and could not tear myself away from this believable story where life as we’ve knew it was falling apart hour by hour. The end is near that’s for sure. Thanks to these authors for a peek at one what if situation shown from several different peoples point of views. I liked that. I also liked the spiritual thread. They showed how faith played a big part in how people reacted to their circumstances. I highly recommend this as a book club pick. There is so much to discuss.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jennifer Taylor's Path of Freedom ~ Reviewed

Path Of Freedom (Quilts Of Love)
By Jennifer Taylor (Author) 

Release Date Dec 1, 2012
Publisher Abingdon Press
ISBN 1426752636


When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery.

As they embark on their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.


Path of Freedom is about a group of Quakers who risk their lives to save the lives of other on the Underground Railroad.  Flora Saferight and her sister Irene are talked into escorting a young slave couple to freedom, along with Bruce Millikan, who has done this many times before.  The problem arises in the fact that Bruce has taunted and teased Flora for years, so much so that she develops a low self image of herself and is not comfortable around him, while at the same time, finding herself incredibly attracted to him.  Bruce, on the other hand, realizes he’s only ever teased her because he likes her, and is now afraid that he’s ruined his chances of a future with her because of the way he’s treated her.  In the midst of discovering their feelings for each other, they are also facing the elements of nature and the enemies that are opposed to their mission.
This book was a tad slow  for me in the beginning.  I’m not sure why, because once I got into it I really enjoyed it.  It was almost comical, the way Bruce and Flora kept misunderstanding their actions towards each other.  I admired how hard Bruce worked to win Flora’s trust back, because she did not make it easy on him, but he was diligent and patient.  It showed what a good man he was. 

Reviewed by: Sarah  Meyers

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dani Pettrey's Shattered ~ Reviewed

By Dani Pettrey
Published by Bethany House
364 Pages

Back Cover: When her prodigal brother Reef's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him. 
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.
When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself--and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.


Dani's book Shattered has all the elements I look for in a good novel; mystery, romance, drama and characters I can root for. This Alaskan Adventure starts out with a murder. The McKenna family welcomes their brother Reef back into the fold. I'm thankful for the review copy of a book that had me yelling at Piper to get out of where she was before she got hurt and excited every time Landon Grainger uncovered a clue that got him closer to the killer. One of Landon's "hard fast rules is people lie; evidence doesn't that was precisely how he had to work this case-by the evidence." Not his emotions, they always make a mess of things.
Piper on the other hand was fueled by emotion. She had a hard fast rule too, she didn't care about all the evidence they had against her brother, Reef. He was innocent in her book. She'd do whatever it took to prove it and she meant anything.

Piper is feisty, and determined to do detective work on her own not giving thought to the danger she faced. Piper is willing to risk anything to get information that would prove Reef's innocence. Landon loved that about her, it also was the very thing that drove him crazy. She was loyal, stubborn and jumped into things before she checked them out. Landon feared he would be unable to protect Piper, the woman he loved.

Landon and Piper chase down clues, leaving no rock unturned in hopes of finding evidence that would set Reef free. Landon watches as the McKenna family put their faith in action; it's a mystery to him. I liked how this author naturally weaves a spiritual thread into this suspenseful drama.

Piper explains to Landon about faith, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Landon's struggles internally with this faith walk, and thinks, "Could God really fill the hole eating away inside of him? Could He give him the strength he needed? He wondered; just like on the job, he needed evidence. Blind faith wasn't an option."

This book could be read as a stand-alone but I highly recommend reading Submerged where the reader first meets the McKenna family up-close and personal. Shattered is one adventure you won't want to miss!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 

Friday, February 08, 2013

Kim Alexis's and Mindy Starns Clark's Beauty to Die For ~ Reviewed

Beauty To Die For (Spa Mystery)

By Kim Alexis & Mindy Starns Clark
Release Date   Apr 1, 2012
Pages   352 

Publisher   Broadman And Holman
ISBN  1433672936  

Juliette Taylor walked away from her career as a supermodel twenty-five years ago. Now approaching fifty – an emotionally complex milestone -- she co-owns a beauty supply company that makes skincare products for salons and spas. Her niche is pampering Christian women who usually spend more time caring for others than for themselves under the slogan:Isn’t it time someone took care of YOU for a change?When Juliette arrives at the Palm Grotto Spa to host a spiritual retreat, she runs into an old modeling colleague, Raven, who had always been disliked in the industry for many reasons. She isn’t there for the retreat; in fact, her presence at the spa is somewhat mysterious.Not long after Raven makes a cryptic threat to Juliette, the unsympathetic back-then beauty is found dead, poisoned by something in the green clay of a chai soy wrap. The following morning, a banner for the retreat has been unceremoniously altered:It’s your turn to be nurtured, to be restored . . . to be murdered.Suspicion is directed at Juliette who has history with Raven and certainly knows how to use beauty products. But for murder?! Now she must find the real killer before the police really take care of her.

Beauty to Die For, written by Kim Alexis and Mindy Starns Clark, is a story about long lost love, murder, beauty treatments, and living the life God intends for us.

Twenty-five years ago, Marcus and Juliette met in an airport and their lives were changed by the encounter. However, circumstances kept them apart until Marcus, through his connections with the FBI, found out Juliette's business and maybe her very person are in danger. Marcus comes bearing a peppermint patty and his heart, hoping that his one true love might love him back. Juliette has never gotten over TOTGA (The One That Got Away). When they meet again, sparks fly.

And Juliette and Marcus find hot water beyond the relaxing spa pools. 

This novel is a charming read full of romance and light girlfriend style storytelling. However, it dips into some intriguing twists and turns going where I did not expect it to go. A satisfying and escapist read with enough meat to make it a page turner.   

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Lynn Austin's All Things New ~ Reviewed

By Lynn Austin
Published by Bethany House
412 Pages

Book Cover: 

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.
Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.
Review:  Lynn Austin transports readers to the end of the Civil War through the eyes of the privileged and those of their slaves. “People from the “North” and “South” realize, “Nobody wins a war. We all lose in one way or another!”

I was thankful for a review copy of a character driven story that deeply moved me as I read about the challenges people faced in rebuilding their lives. There were a few plot surprises as well. I Loved it.

“War changes people. Priscilla said, “None of us are the same people we were.” It was impossible to walk out their new lives without God’s help, and the struggle accepting each others help no matter how hard it was to ask for it was challenging.

Josephine (plantation owners daughter) realizes this early on when she says, “I’ve lived here…my whole life and the food simply arrived at my table. I’m sorry to say I never thought much about where it came from.” She was the first one in the family to see and treat their slaves as a person. She couldn’t believe she never thought of Lizzie and her family as a person before. As a woman who was a wife and mother. It was shameful.

Lizzie and her husband Otis were seeing things differently themselves. Freedom? What did it really mean to them and their lives? The war was over but little seemed to change.

Otis asks Lizzie, “Why’re you so nervous? She replies, “This..this here is the first time I ever been off the plantation…Freedom was supposed to mean a brand-new life, a life without fear. Why was she still so afraid?”

Rules of life where changed for everyone. No one quite knew how to act and/or know what it meant to walk out freedom in their every day life. How could they leave their old life behind and make something new? What could they hope for in the future? Many of the people realized it was impossible without God’s help and wisdom.

All sides came to the realization they were powerless, and their lives were unmanageable. They needed God, his wisdom and courage to bring about change. They couldn’t take His role or become Him (God). He would have to help them make all things new! They had to surrender.

Lynn Austin crafts a novel that quickly engages readers and opens their eyes to the attitudes of the North, the South and slaves after the war ended. It was the first time I could see their struggles in a very personal way as they tried to deal with the losses and the pain the war created and how God helped them pave a way in this new scary world.

I took my time reading this novel so I wouldn’t miss a thing and I wanted to hang out with this family a little longer I could relate to them. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it definitely won’t be the last.

I highly recommend this as a book club pick as it’s has a Gone with the Wind feel with so much to talk about. You and your group could have fun in decorating and picking food items for your special meeting. You’ll be thinking about this book and characters long after you finish the last page.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

Monday, February 04, 2013

Allison Pittman's All for a Song ~ Reviewed

Allison Pittman
Format: Paperback
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 1414366809


Small-town girl Dorothy Lynn Dunbar finds joy in her family, church, romance with the pastor, and opportunities to sing for God's glory. But in St. Louis, she discovers movies, dancing, daring fashions, fancy cars---and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. When she joins McPherson's crusade, she's confronted with troubling temptations. Can she embrace the Roaring Twenties without losing her soul?


All For A Song takes place in the 1920’s and revolves around Dorothy Lynn Dunbar.  She’s been raised in a small community, the daughter of a preacher.  Her father has since passed away and she is now preparing to marry the pastor that took her father’s place.  While she loves her home and her fiancĂ©, she still feels restless, like she’s missing out on something.  A few weeks out from her wedding while on a trip to visit her sister in St. Louis, she gets involved with evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson and her crusade team.  She is coerced into traveling with them in order to sing for the crowd every night, something she never thought she would do.  However, as she finds herself more involved in this new lifestyle, she feels herself being pulled away from the life she left at home. 
This story was really interesting.  I like the time frame of the 1920’s.  Such an interesting time of change for our country, especially for woman.  I really appreciated that in the long run, Dorothy stayed true to herself and didn’t let herself get too caught up into things that she knew she wasn’t meant to be involved in.  I’m not sure I would read the story again, but I did enjoy it.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Friday, February 01, 2013

Julie Klassen's The Tutor's Daughter ~ Reviewed

By Julie Klassen
Published by Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0764210693
416 Pages

Book Cover: Emma Smallwood is determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame...and which brother to trust with her heart?

Review: From the beautiful front cover to the contests inside Julie Klassen whisks readers to Ebbington Manor high on a cliff top with the view of the beautiful coast with the water crashing below. It’s the 1800’s. Emma Smallwood and her father embark on an unforgettable journey to live at the estate and tutor two boys that live there. Emma and her father had the older Weston boys stay with them at the boarding school Emma’s father ran years ago.

The Smallwoods are not received well by the Mistress of the house. Emma ponders, “How very disconcerting to arrive at Ebbington Manor after careful planning only to find ourselves unexpected and, apparently, unwanted guests. Had we not already let our house, I would have been tempted to turn right around and return home.” And the fun begins.

At night Emma hears foot steps that stop at her room and notes are slipped under her door. Then one night she hears the most beautiful music. She sets out in the night to find who is playing. No one is in the music room when she arrives with her candle stick. She asks if anyone else had heard the music the next morning at breakfast. Nobody will admit to hearing it. They tell her it must be the ghosts that live at the Manor. They tell her their ghost stories.

The Mistress Weston wants to give the appearance that all is well in her beautiful home and lovely family. She hopes to have the older two boys marry rich well mannered girls. The Weston boys don’t necessarily agree with her plan. What family secrets were they keeping from Emma, she and the reader wonder? Where they out to scare her and make them leave? Miss Smallwood was unwavering in her decision to stay and get to the bottom of this mystery? She was scared but more determined to solve this case. The situation was making her realize God was the only one who could keep her calm and give her wisdom in the days ahead.

This author’s novel is based on real events and places. I enjoyed hearing about this in her notes to readers. This story is intriguing and kept me at the edge of my seat as the mystery unfolded, danger was near and secrets were exposed. Life for everyone at Ebbington Manor would never been the same..

This is the first book I’ve read by this Christy award winning novelist it won’t be the last. I was thankful for the review copy of this regency, romance, and mystery story. I liked how Julie brings the reader into this time period and has them see it through Emma and Henry Weston’s eyes. I like the contrast in the views. It also confirmed to me what I’ve felt all along, I wouldn’t want to live in such a large house with people I didn’t know at all. It’s spooky! Just saying! Grin!

So, If you like regency romance with a hint of suspense, mystery and danger, this is the book for you!!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins