Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Pattern of Lies: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

A Pattern of Lies (429x648)

About A Pattern of Lies

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (August 18, 2015)

Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice
In 1916, at the height of the war, an explosion and fire at an armament factory in Kent killed more than a hundred men. With Ashton Powder Mill situated so close to the coast—within reach of German saboteurs—the Army investigated, eventually ruling the event an appalling tragedy. Now, two years later, suspicion, gossip, and rumor have raised the specter of murder—and fingers point to the owner, Philip Ashton, whose son is battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s friend and former patient.
While visiting the Ashtons, Bess finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege. The police are hostile—the Inspector’s brother died in the mill explosion—and refuse to consult either the Army or Scotland Yard. Why, after two years, has the village turned against Ashton?
In France, Bess searches for the only known witness to the explosion, now serving at the Front, and tries to convince him to give evidence about that terrible Sunday morning, only to find herself and the witness hunted by someone intent on preventing anyone from discovering what—or who—is behind this web of vicious lies. Uncertain whom to trust, she can rely only on her own wits and courage, but how can she stop a killer whose face she has never seen?
Philip Ashton is urged to throw himself on the mercy of the court—where he will surely find none. Time is running out. And Bess, at the point of a gun, has only one choice left: to risk her life to save the Ashtons.
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My Thoughts:

One of my favorite mystery series is the World War I-era Bess Crawford Mysteries by Charles Todd, so I was thrilled that there would be a new installment just in time for summer reading!
"A Pattern Of Lies" is the seventh book in the series and continues the story of the life and adventures (and misadventures) of the competent and curious Bess Crawford, a nurse in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. As well as being a proficient nurse in service at the French Front during WWI, Bess often finds herself caught up in the most baffling murder mysteries, and this time around is no exception. During her time of leave back in England, Bess runs into an old patient that she had grown close to during his recuperation and discovers that his family is being targeted as causing a gunpowder mill to explode, killing hundreds of workers. As Bess works to discover the real cause of this horrendous accident (while still traveling back and forth to her job at the frontlines) she turns up witnesses and evidence that could possibly change the outcome of the troubles back home.
The mother/son team who make up Charles Todd always do an outstanding job with their mysteries (they also write the Ian Rutledge series) - with endearing characters, great story lines and fascinating settings that teach a great deal of history while entertaining with an intriguing mystery - a fine feat of writing in itself!
It is probably advisable to have read some of the previous novels in the Bess Crawford series, as there are many reoccurring characters that pop in and out, but it isn't strictly necessary - but if you enjoy a well-written, lively series you will want to go back and indulge in all of the wonderful books that have preceded this one!

About Charles Todd

Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

Visit their website at and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to William Morrow Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

War Room: Prayer Is A Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry - Book Review

About The Book:

Juggling motherhood and her job as a real-estate agent, Elizabeth Jordan wishes her husband could help more around the house. But Tony’s rising career as a pharmaceutical salesman demands more and more of his time. With a nice home in the suburbs and a lovely young daughter, they appear to have it all—yet they can’t seem to spend time together without fighting.

Hoping for a new listing, Elizabeth visits the home of Clara Williams, an elderly widow, and is both amused and uncomfortable when Clara starts asking pointed questions about her marriage and faith. But it’s Clara’s secret prayer room, with its walls covered in requests and answers, that has Elizabeth most intrigued . . . even if she’s not ready to take Clara’s suggestion that she create a prayer room of her own. As tensions at home escalate, though, Elizabeth begins to realize that her family is worth fighting for, and she can’t win this battle on her own.

Stepping out in blind faith, putting her prayers for her family and their future in God’s hands, might be her only chance at regaining the life she was meant for.

Award-winning author Chris Fabry brings page-turning drama to the inspiring War Room screenplay by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, creators of Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants. The book's bonus features include a reading group guide and production and movie photos. Available in hardcover, softcover, and eBook formats.

My Thoughts:

I've been waiting anxiously for the new faith-inspired movie, "War Room," to make it's debut, so I was delighted to find that there is a novelization of the movie available in bookstores now! And what a great way to gear up for the upcoming movie!

Author Chris Fabry takes readers on the journey that finds Tony and Elizabeth Jordan seeking a new commitment to their lives that they never dreamed of - and it's all with the help of prayer-warrior Clara Williams. Guiding Elizabeth to strengthen her prayers as she battles to keep her marriage from falling apart, the wise older woman shares her faith and her experiences in an effort to keep this young family together. And through it all, a tiny prayer closet is the base for the heart-felt submissions and prayers for the Lord's help.

"War Room" is one of the most powerful and spiritual novels that I've had the pleasure of reading this year. If you have ever wondered if a strong prayer life is essential, then this is the book for you.  This is a beautifully presented story with a cast of unforgettable characters and a fast-paced tale that will remain in your heart long after the last page is turned.

Included in the book are still-shots from the movie, which opens nation-wide this weekend, giving the reader a chance to get a "sneak peek" at the film upon which the novel is based on.  I can't wait to see the movie, and will have a review of it up next week!

I highly recommend "War Room" for those who enjoy faith-based, spirit-filled stories. It will be a blessing on your life!

About The Author:

chris fireplace p5041357_300.jpg

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris' novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, Borders of the Heart, and Every Waking Moment, have won three Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and Christianity Today's Book Award of Merit, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction, film novelizations, and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

Check out his website at

Here is a glimpse of what this powerful movie promises to bring!

I purchased this book for my personal library. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas - Book Review

About The Book:

Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn't believe in love-at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can't resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening. After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can't afford distractions. She's been hired to plan the wedding of the year-a make-or-break event. But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he's not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget. The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything-including her well-guarded heart-will she find out what matters most.

My Thoughts:

Single wedding planner meets handsome millionaire nice-guy Texan and she's not sure she wants to embark on a relationship with him??  Shaking my head!  To say I was a little frustrated with the female main character in Lisa Kleypas' latest novel, "Brown-Eyed Girl," is an overstatement. And I supposed that from an author's viewpoint that is a good thing as it brings out emotion and involvement from her readers. I understand that the character had a lot of past issues, but I still want to shake "Avery Crosslin" real good and tell her to "Snap out of it, girl!"

This novel is the fourth and final installment of Kleypas' "Travis Family" series, and it is the first of these novels that I have read. It is a fine story to read as a stand alone novel, but having a little more background about the previous three books would make some of the secondary characters' actions make more sense.

I did enjoy the male main character, Joe Travis - he seems like a very good guy who is ingenious, kind and ready to lavish Avery with all the love she has missed out on in her past. I liked the Houston, Texas setting, and the secondary stories that revolve in and out of this tale are good reading too.

I would recommend this novel, with the caveat that it is the last book of a four-part set.

About The Author:

LISA KLEYPAS is the award-winning author of thirty-seven novels and four novellas. Her books are published in twenty-eight languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children. Check out her website at

My thanks to St. Martin's Press for the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Now by Max Lucado - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Are you stuck in the wilderness known as midlife misery? Can you name the day you became a Christian but can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer? Find encouragement in Max Lucado's new book, Glory Days.

With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

About the book:

Glory Days

(Thomas Nelson, September 2015)

The wilderness. Maybe you know it well.

The Israelites sure did. After all, they spent forty years wandering the desert. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved but stuck.

Sounds a lot like midlife misery. Caught in a rut. Stalled out. Running on empty. Are you mired in the same?

You can name the day you became a Christian and escaped Egypt. But you can't remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. You're fighting the same battles you fought the day you came to Christ. You're out of Egypt, but Egypt's not out of you.

Isn't the Christian life supposed to be better than this?

Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The epistles speak of grace. You shoulder guilt. You are more than a conqueror yet are commonly conquered by temptation or weaknesses.

But there's good news. With God's help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

This is God's vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as you were intended. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants. You, minus the stumbles, hurts, and hate.

You and your Promised Land life.

Purchase a copy:


My Thoughts:
I have always enjoyed Max Lucado's writing style - he really talks to the normal, everyday person in normal, everyday language that is easy to understand and easy to apply to your life. In his latest book, "Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Now," follows the Biblical book of Joshua as he gives his readers a plan for living out God's promises in their lives today.
Joshua faced his Jericho and overcame the great odds against him to bring his people to the Promised Land - and today's Christian's can overcome their odds and hardships to find their own promised land through acceptance and forgiveness. Lucado lays out the verses in a logical and uplifting manner, using personal stories along the way to emphasize how God's plan can work in everyone's life. He also includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter that give the reader a chance to ponder on what they have just read.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs reassurance in their lives.
About the author:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online:
website, Facebook, Twitter

Special Offer!

Now through August 31, 2015, pre-order Glory Days and receive free gifts!


There are two pre-order options:

Option 1:
Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format), and receive a free digital download of the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.

After you've pre-ordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Option 2:
Pre-order one copy of Glory Days (any format) AND one copy of God is With You Every Day (Max's brand-new, 365-day devotional—any format), and receive both the abridged audio version of In the Grip of Grace and a paperback copy of Traveling Light by Max Lucado (U.S. addresses only).

After you’ve preordered, please claim your free gift by submitting your email and proof of purchase at

Pre-order today and get your free gift by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the offer ends on August 31, 2015.


My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this tour and to Thomas Nelson Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

 Litfuse Publicity Group  - Something is always stirring here!

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman - Book Review

About The Book:

#1 international bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman follows The Life List with Sweet Forgiveness, in which a woman’s receipt of two “forgiveness stones” sends her searching for atonement. The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans' favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn't biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.

Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.

My Thoughts:

A little sass, a little brass, a little love, a little hate - all can be found in Lori Nelson Spielman's latest book, "Sweet Forgiveness." Friendships, mother/daughter relationships, old romance, new romance - you could just go on and on with lists about what's to like about this book. Spielman's writing is a joy to read, her characters are lively, and the plot premise is wonderfully unique - well, here I go on a list again!

Go get this book!  You'll be glad you did!  Perfect summer reading - or anytime reading, for that matter!

About The Author:

Lori Nelson Spielman lives in Michigan with her husband. Sweet Forgiveness is her second novel. She is currently on leave from her teaching job while she works on her third. Please visit Lori’s website at

My thanks to Penguin/Random House for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Cover Reveal! America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Coming in March 2016!

Tasty Book Tours is Pleased to Present…
Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Releasing March 1st, 2016
William Morrow
Historical Fiction
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. And it is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that she learns of her father’s liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age.
Patsy too has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist intent on a career in Europe. Heartbroken at having to decide between being William’s wife or a devoted daughter, she returns to Virginia with her father and marries a man of his choosing, raising eleven children of her own.
Yet as family secrets come to light during her father’s presidency, Patsy must again decide how much she will sacrifice to protect his reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

Pre-Order Now

Click Here for a chance to win one of ten advance reader's copies of America's First Daughter!

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Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye.
Her debut historical novel, America's First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Find Laura Here


STEPHANIE DRAY is a bestselling and award-nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf.
As STEPHANIE DRAVEN, she is a national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Find Stephanie Here

My Thanks to William Morrow Books and Tasty Book Tours for including me on this blog tour.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Life Is Short (no pun intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning To Enjoy Every Moment by Jennifer Arnold, MD and Bill Klein

Life Is Short (No Pun Intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning to Enjoy Every Moment

About The Book:

From the beloved stars of TLC’s The Little Couple comes an uplifting and moving behind-the-scenes account of how the pair met, fell in love, and overcame huge obstacles to become successful professionals and parents.

Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein have inspired millions as stars of TLC’s hit show The Little Couple. Though they both have dwarfism, they have knocked down every obstacle they have encountered together with a positive, can-do attitude. The show has featured the lives of Jennifer (a respected neonatologist) and Bill (a successful entrepreneur) from their marriage in 2009, to the launch of their pet shop, to the adoption of their children, to Jen’s overcoming cancer. Now, for the first time Jen and Bill are letting readers into their private lives with behind-the-scenes, never-before-told stories about how they fell in love, what inspires them, and the passions that drive their success.
Jen and Bill have a simple purpose in life: make the world a better place through encouragement and education. A must-have for fans of the show or anyone who has ever faced a difficult challenge, Life Is Short (Pun Intended) gives readers a glance at what inspires these positive people to approach life with such optimism and share their lives with the public every day.

My Thoughts:

One of my favorite reality shoes is "The Little Couple," which stars Dr. Jennifer Arnold and her husband, Bill Klein. So I was excited to see that they had written a memoir of their lives, both singly and together.

This couple have overcome amazing odds to have a happy and very successful life, and their stories of growing up and their adult lives so far are upbeat and very positive. Both Jennifer and Bill talk about their various medical procedures they had to undergo as children and they explain it in very readable terms. (and I was surprised to find that I actually had some of the exact surgeries and castings as they did when I was a kid - ie the spica cast that doctors used to try to fix my own hip dysplasia).

My favorite section of the book is Bill and Jennifer's love story - finding each other through the internet dating site designed just for Little People, their beautiful beach wedding, and their hilarious honeymoon in Bora Bora.  And I so admire their story of finding their children, Will from China and Zoey from India, and how much love is surrounding that family.

This is a very inspiring book that is full of laughs, love, some tears and a lot of happiness.

I highly recommend this amazing book.

About The Authors:

Jennifer Arnold, MD, completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD and graduated in 2000. She is currently an attending neonatologist at Baylor College of Medicine and Medical Director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Arnold is married to her best friend Bill Klein. They live in Houston, TX and have adopted two special needs children. Jennifer and Bill are the stars of TLC’s The Little Couple.

Bill Klein grew up on Long Island, NY. After earning a degree in Biology from NYU, Bill became an entrepreneur. Today, he works with companies large and small, in the area of strategic direction, sales, and operational efficiency. He plays an active role in every business he owns, including Candu Enterprises, where he and his wife Jennifer provide a variety of media-related services, including making appearances at schools and other institutions to aid in the campaign to stop bullying. Most recently, Bill created Rocky & Maggie’s, a pet supply business named after the family dogs. Bill Klein is married to his best friend Jennifer Arnold. They live in Houston, TX and have adopted two special needs children.

My thanks to Howard Books for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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