Saturday, June 3, 2023

New and notable author: Edie James

  I use Goodreads a lot, and they pop up recommendations of books similar to ones I leave reviews for. It kept recommending this author's books to me. To be honest, I didn't realize they were Christian fiction. There is nothing about them that doesn't sound Christian, but I had never heard of her and just assumed it was not. I finally checked her books out, and discovered they are Christian fiction, and that they sounded really good. She is still a fairly new author. Her first book, Hard Landing, came out in August 2020. 

James has two series: The 8 book Hope Landing Series and The 5 book MacKenzie Cove Series. The first series is completed, but there is one more book coming out in June in the MacKenzie Cove Series. All of the Hope Landing Series has Landing in the title, and all of the MacKenzie Cove Series has the word Rising in the tile.

Starting in March 2022, I read the whole Hard Landing Series on Kindle Unlimited, then went on to read the only book out in The Mackenzie Cove Series, Rising Storm. I loved all of the books. Really loved them. The Hard Landing Series is about a group of guys that provide security and protection. The MacKenzie Cove Series is about a family of 5 siblings that are all in some sort of law enforcement.

In January, I bought the whole Hard Landing Series and the first three MacKenzie books in paperback, and read them all again. (Told you they were really good.) Book four in The MacKenzie Cove Series has not come out in paperback yet. I) emailed the author in January asking when the paperback would be out for book #4, and she said it was supposed to come out the next week. It still has not come out. Sigh.

All of James' books are suspense, my favorite genre'. I like her characters, and the books have a lot of action and suspense. The two series are different, but both are excellent reading. I don't think I could pick a favorite book....or even series. I totally loved all of the books I have read of hers, and hope she has more books coming after her upcoming release later this month, Rising Hope.

And speaking of Hope.....I hope book #4 comes out in paperback soon.

About the Author

Edie writes faith-filled romantic suspense featuring adventurous women, and the heroic men who love them. 

Don’t let the smile fool you. She spends way too much time considering murder, mayhem, and former Navy SEALS with private jets and high tech toys. 

She lives within sight of the real-life town that inspired the Hope Landing series with her firefighter husband, a creaky senior border collie, and three mischievous cats. 

Join Edie in the gorgeous mountain town of Hope Landing, where the men of Knight Tactical Protection encounter danger, tests of faith…and true love.

Check out her website at

Fairest of Heart, Texas Ever After #1 by Karen Witemeyer

Book description: 

Once upon a time in Texas . . .

Beauty has been nothing but a curse to Penelope Snow. When she becomes a personal maid for a famous actress whose troupe is leaving Chicago to tour the West, she hides her figure beneath shapeless dresses and keeps her head down. But she still manages to attract the wrong attention, leaving her prospects in tatters--and her jealous mistress plotting her demise.

After his brother lost his life over a woman, Texas Ranger Titus Kingsley has learned to expect the worst from women and is rarely disappointed. So when a young lady found in suspicious circumstances takes up residence with the seven old drovers living at his grandfather's ranch, Titus is determined to keep a close eye on her.

With a promotion hanging in the balance, Titus is assigned to investigate a robbery case tied to Penelope's acting troupe, and all evidence points to Penelope's guilt. But Titus might just be convinced that the fairest woman of all has a heart as pure as her last name . . . if only he can prove it.

My review:

It may sound weird for a guy to describe a book this way, but this was truly a delightful read. When I saw the author was writing a book that was a modern - well, Old West spin on the story of Snow White, I was intrigued and have been looking forward to reading it.....and I was not disappointed. This is a masterful story that definitely has its parallels with the story of Snow White. And it shows what an awesome imagination this author has.

There would be a danger of going over the top with parallels of the timeless fairy tale, but I don't feel Witemeyer did that.

There are the names of the main characters of course: Penelope Snow, and Titus Kingsley....King instead of prince.

And then there are the delightful seven drovers: seven older guys running a farm who are not called the names of the seven dwarves, but some have the characteristics: grumpy, sneezy, bashful, etc....though Titus' doctor grandpa is called Doc.

I won't give anything else away, but this is a great and suspenseful read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am thankful it came on a day off so I was able to read the whole thing in one sitting.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Voted #1 Reader's Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling and Carol and Christy Award-winning author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at

Fairest of Heart will be available June 6 from Bethany House Publishing,  part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Heart's Choice, The Jewels of Kalispell#1 by Tracie Peterson, Kimberley Woodhouse


Book description:

They must uncover the truth before it's buried forever.

After witnessing a wrongful conviction as a young girl, Rebecca Whitman--the first female court reporter in Montana--is now determined to defend the innocent. During a murder trial, something doesn't sit well with her about the case, but no one except the handsome new Carnegie librarian will listen to her.

Librarian Mark Andrews's father sent him to college hoping he would take over the business side of the family ranch, but Mark would rather wrangle books than cows. When a patron seeks help with research in hopes of proving a man's innocence, Mark is immediately drawn to her and her cause.

In a race against time, will Rebecca and Mark find the evidence they need--and open their hearts to love--before it's too late?

My review:
Peterson and Woodhouse are a dynamic writing duo who consistently put out quality Christian fiction, so I have been looking forward to this series....though I had no idea what Kalispell is or what the jewels of it were. (It is a town in Montana, and the jewels are famous landmarks, this book being about the Carnegie Library).

  This book is an awesome start to what promises to be a great series. I read it in one afternoon, and it truly is a book I didn't want to put down. The authors came up with a great setting for the series, and of course a terrific setting for this book: a library. Not everything in the book happens there, of course...but the main male character is the director of the library, so it does play a big part in the story.

 Speaking of characters......I loved the main characters. Rebecca, determined to pursue justice and go where no woman had ever gone least in Montana...and determined not to marry the first man she met. Then the main male character.....I don't think I have ever identified so much with a fictional character as I did in this book. And ironically, his name is also Mark.

 And there are other likable characters, even the busybody interfering wife of the judge who had me chuckling at her antics.

 The book also had a great plot that involved a bad guy with devious intentions. And I admit I was pretty surprised at who the bad guy was. There was definitely enough mystery and suspense to keep me happy. 

 And there is the Christian aspect of the book. These authors never shy away from that, and often - as they have shared with their readers - include in their novels what they have been studying in their Bible studies. And evidently when they were writing that book, Jonah is what they were studying. There were some great truths shared about that passage/story from the Bible.

 There was also the spiritual journey of Rebecca that was part of the story.

 This was a great read full of romance, suspense, mystery, history, and Biblical truths.....all things you can expect from a Woodhouse/Peterson novel. I am looking forward to what comes next in this series, and what "jewel" will be the focus of the second book.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the authors:

Kimberley Woodhouse ( is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in Pennsylvania, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.

Tracie Peterson
( is the bestselling author of more than 100 novels, both historical and contemporary, with more than 6 million copies sold. She has won the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her avid research resonates in her many bestselling series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.

Check out the other two series by this dynamic writing duo:

                                              The Heart of Alaska Series

The Treasures of Nome Series

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

New and notable author Hallee Bridgeman


Hallee Bridgeman is a fairly new to me author. I had run across her last year at some point, and downloaded a few e-books she was giving away. For some reason they didn't grab my attention, and  sat unread on my Kindle for several months. 

Then I had the chance to review her first book with a publisher I review for, Revell. It is unusual for a major publisher to put a series out so fast, but the trilogy came out a month apart. Book 1 came out in September, book 2 came out in October, and the third and final one came out in November. The series is a military/ special ops series, and is likely the best series I read in 2022. Seriously, it is an awesome series. I reviewed all three of them, and loved all three.

 After I read the first book, I decided to go for the ones sitting on my Kindle. I first read A Melody For James, #1 in the Song of Suspense Series. I liked it well enough that I bought it and the other 3 books in paperback, and read through the whole series in a few days.

Bridgeman does something I don't know of any other author doing. If you join her reader's group, you can pick any paperback of hers for free. She writes a variety of styles: military, suspense, romance, I think most of her books are contemporary. She had a really good deal on paperbacks back around Christmas. A really good I bought up most of the paperbacks I did not have. There are still several I have not read since my to-read stack is pretty big. In fact, it is a 5 shelf bookcase plus. 

Of her books that I have read, her Love and Honor Series - mentioned earlier -  is my favorite, and is some of the best Christian fiction I have read. I am just one of many giving that series glowing reviews. She did a prequel to the series, Love In Any Language, and has another prequel coming out in August. Both are considered novellas, and both are 190 pages. Neither book is through Revell, the publisher of the main three books.

After that series, my next favorite would be The Song of Suspense Series. Each book has a musical term in the title:

#1 A Melody for James

#2 An Aria for Nick (had to Google that one)

#3 A Carol for Kent

#4 A Harmony for Steve

  Of those four books, my favorite was the 4th, A Harmony for Steve. Yes, the story is fictional. but it was amazing the transformation in Steve, the male protagonist. When the book begins, he is a druggie in a rock group that is pretty much demonic, and hates Christians and Christianity. I won't give any spoilers away except that he is an entirely different person at the ending of the book.

Bridgeman is another author I am glad I discovered in 2022. And not only is she a great author, she is an interesting person to follow on social media .

**I had written this up last week and was planning on posting it this week or next. On Saturday April 29, Hallee's 14 year old son, Jonathan (Jeb) was walking home from a store and struck by a truck, and killed. Please remember this author's family in prayer.

About this author:

Hallee Bridgeman is the USA Today bestselling author of several action-packed romantic suspense books and series. An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee and her husband finally settled in central Kentucky, where they have raised their three children. When she's not writing, Hallee pursues her passion for cooking, coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. An accomplished speaker and active member of several writing organizations, Hallee can be found online at

A couple other of her series to check out:

                        The Dixon Brothers Series (4 books)

Monday, May 1, 2023

The Shifting Current, Coastal Guardians #4 by Dani Pettrey


Book description:

An elusive killer. A false identity. A deadly maze of lies.

When Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent LOGAN PERRY’s beloved grandfather is murdered, Logan races to his hometown of Cauldron Creek, New Mexico to investigate the murder. His teammate and friend, EMMY THORTON, insists on joining him. Not a good idea—not when he loves her, but carries a secret that he knows will tear them apart.

Emmy knows Logan will pursue the investigation no matter the cost, and she won’t let the man she loves plunge into a dangerous situation alone. She needs to be at his side, even if he believes friendship is her only reason for joining him.

What looks like a robbery gone wrong rapidly shifts, drawing Emmy and Logan into a dizzying maze where nothing is as it appears. Every lead slips through their fingers as threats against them grow deadlier at each turn. Having only each other to rely on, their love for one another deepens, but will they live long enough to admit their attraction to each other?

They’re in the killer’s sights. One wrong move puts their future together and their lives on the line.

My review:
  This has been an awesome series, and it kind of ended with Deadly Shallows, the third book in the series. 

 However, readers wanted Logan and Emmy's story, so if I understand correctly that is why this book came about. And it is shorter than the other three, coming in at 210 pages.

 Though shorter in length, this book was still awesome. (But is it possible for this author to not write an awesome book?!) It was different from the rest in a couple of ways: the rest of the team were not in most of the book, and their role was different.

  I loved the characters in these books, but Logan has been a favorite. For most of the series, he was pretty much an agnostic or atheist, and fought against Christian ideals and beliefs. He had an implied conversion in book #3, and is a full out Christian in this book. It was cool to see such a change in him. Yeah, fictional character...but still cool.

 Also different: Logan investigating the murder of a family member.

 This book was a great way to wind up the series, and had everything one could want in a suspense novel: great suspense, a great plot, terrific characters whose interplay and relationship was fun and entertaining, romance, and of course bad guys. It did keep me guessing to what was going on, and had a great conclusion to both the suspense and the long brewing romance.

Looking forward to what this author has coming next.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Publishers Weekly and #1 Amazon bestselling author, Dani Pettrey has sold nearly 800,000 copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. 

Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]," (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Interview with author Stepenia H McGee


As part of the book launch for The Swinder's Daughter by Stephenia H McGee, I signed up to do an interview with the author. My review of the book is in the previous blog post.

Me: Question #1. Why do you write Christian fiction instead of secular fiction?

Stephenia: I never intended to write fiction at all. I’d decided to be a veterinarian and horse trainer, but it turned out that God had other plans. I had always been an avid reader and came up with story ideas all of the time. One day my husband insisted I start writing these ideas down. It took a lot of time and work, but I knew that writing books was what God had designed for my work life. My relationship with Jesus is very important to me, so I can’t imagine using this gifting and calling he has given to me to do anything other than to write stories that aim to bring the glory back to Him. 

Me: Question #2. What do you hope to get across to your readers as they read the words you have written?

Stephenia: My newest book, The Swindler’s Daughter, has a theme I’ve noticed shows up in several of my books. “What do I do when God’s plan isn’t what I thought I wanted?” As you can probably gather from my previous answer, this theme hits home with me. In the story, Lillian and Jonah both have to learn what it means to trust God with their futures. I hope my readers will see a little of their own lives and trials through the story and it will encourage them to deepen that trust as well. 

Me: Question #3. You are an author who writes more than one genre'. From what I have read and seen, mostly historical and time travel books. Do you have a favorite genre' to write......and is there a genre' you have not written, but would like to some day?

Stephenia: I don’t know that I can say I have a favorite, though one did come from the other. I enjoy history and so I first became a historical writer. Then I kept thinking, what would it be like to actually get to visit those times that I’m always researching? That’s when the time travel stories began. I love them because they are just so much fun. I love imagining what it would be like to be a modern person suddenly dropped in a very different era—and all the comical challenges that brings.

I have also written a contemporary Southern women’s fiction book, and I hope to write one or two more set in that same town someday.

I’ve never attempted to write fantasy, but I’d love to try. I think the freedom of creating an entire world from scratch (and not having to make sure all of my historical details are accurate!) would be a ton of fun. 

Me: Question #4. As a reader, what is your favorite genre', or genre's? Who are authors that are on your must read stack?

Stephenia: Oh goodness, well, my shelves are packed with everything from historical romance to fantasy to suspense. I love them all. I went to Baker Book House and filled up an entire shopping cart. I don’t really have a favorite so much as “what am I in the mood for.” Sometimes that’s light and airy like a romantic comedy, and sometimes I’m looking for “edge-of-my-seat can I figure out the killer” kind of books. 

My go-to authors who I read everything from (no need to even read the back of the book) are Jocelyn Green, Laura Frantz, Joanna Davidson Politano, Patricia Bradley, Brandon Sanderson, Morgan L. Busse, Bethany Turner, Pepper Basham, and honestly probably at least a dozen others I’m not thinking of off the top of my head. 

Me: Question #5. Can you tell your readers a little about you and your How long you have been married?

Stephenia: I’d love to. I have been married to the most wonderful man God could have ever picked for me for 20 years this coming August. We got married at 19 (after three months dating, three months engaged) and have been happily building our romance ever since. We have two awesome boys, ages 15 and 13. They are polar opposites and keep us on our toes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I also have an honorary fur baby. If you’ve connected with me on social media, you’ve probably seen Spinnie. She’s my writing buddy and spoiled princess dog. 

Me: Question #6 Do you have anything in the works after The Swindler's Daughter?

Stephenia: After The Swindler’s Daughter, I have book five in my Back Inn Time series, A Gilded Age Getaway, releasing in July. Then we start off a new historical romance series (The River Romances) with The River Queen, releasing in October. I’ve just finished up edits on A Gilded Age Getaway, and am currently starting to plot out book six in the Back Inn Time Series, A Taste of the Twenties, which will come out this December. 

Me: Question #7. Is there anything you would like your readers to know about you and your books?

Stephenia: I hope my books will transport you to another world where skirts are a bit longer, hats a bit bigger, and hometown goodness and the value of family tugs your heartstrings. But really, beyond any of the settings or characters of the books I write, I hope you close the final page filled with hope. I want you to know how much God loves you and that your life has great purpose and meaning. I love books, and so for as long as God keeps giving me the ability, I hope to keep bringing them to you. Together, we get to share a special kind of friendship through the power of story.

  Thanks to Stephenia for the interview, and for writing quality Christian fiction. I highly recommend her books.

Definitely check out her newest book: The Swindler's Daughter.

Check out some of her other books: 

                                              The Back In Time Series

               Ironwood Plantation Family Saga

Saturday, April 29, 2023

The Swindler's Daughter by Stephenia H. McGee

Book description: 

A surprise inheritance. A cache of family secrets. A choice that will change her life forever.

Lillian Doyle has lived her entire high-society life with her widowed mother, believing her father died long ago. But when news arrives that her estranged father only recently passed away--in jail--Lillian is startled to find that he has left a business and all his possessions to her, making her a rather unusual heiress.

When she arrives at her father's house in a backwoods Georgia town, the dilapidated structure is already occupied by a woman who claims it was promised to her son, Jonah. In her attempts to untangle the mess, Lillian will discover not only a family she never knew she had but a family business that is more than meets the eye--and has put a target on her back.

To discover the truth and take hold of the independence she's always dreamed of, she'll have to make friends with adversaries and strangers--and Jonah, the dusty and unrefined cowboy who has secret aspirations of his own.

My review:
  This author is still fairly new to me, and I have enjoyed every book I have read by her. This one is a standalone, and is one I have been looking forward to reading.

  I thought the book had a slow start  - but that may just be me. After a few chapters, I easily got into the story and didn't want to put it down, and found a lot to like about the story.

 The characters: Jonah and Lillian are the main characters, and were very likable. She wasn't particularly at first, but finally adapted to her situation and surroundings. I admit though I figured the two would end up together by the end of the book, it didn't look that promising at first. 

 Jonah's family was a big part of the story, and though I wasn't crazy about his mother at first, she grew on me. Lillian's mother did not. :)

  This maybe could be described as a cozy mystery. There are no wild police chases - but it is set in 1912 - and there is definitely mystery and suspense, and of course bad guys.

  The book also had some great Biblical truths, including trusting God and that He always works things out for the good of those who do trust him.

 The Swindler's Daughter had a great plot that kept me guessing a lot to what was going on, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Lillian's father and legacy he left behind had a lot of surprises for her and the reader. The author has shown again that she can write a great story no matter the genre' or time setting.

 I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:
Stephenia H. McGee
is the award-winning author of many stories of faith, hope, and

healing set in the Deep South, including The Secrets of Emberwild. When she's not reading or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she's a writer, dreamer, husband spoiler, and busy mom of two rambunctious boys. Learn more at

The Swindler's Daughter will be available May 2 from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Company.