Escape into a fantasy dystopian world... Lumen by J.J. Fischer (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #fantasy #cleanreads #christianfantasy @celebrate_lit @enclavebooks

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below ...

(The Nightingale Trilogy #2)
By J.J. Fischer
Fantasy, Christian
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 352 Pages
December 5, 2023 by Enclave Publishing 


What if erasing the past cost more than you were willing to pay?

Having narrowly escaped their enemies, Sephone, Dorian, and Cass continue their search for the elusive Silvertongue, the only one with knowledge of the Reliquary’s whereabouts. But time is running out for Sephone, and with Dorian accused of high treason, the quest takes on a new urgency.

As secrets from each of their pasts drive a wedge between them, Sephone invests all her hopes in finding her homeland, Lethe—where her family may yet be alive. But nothing about Lethe is as she expects, and disappointment, betrayal, and danger await her at every turn.

When the truth about the Reliquary’s curse comes to light, the fragile bonds between the unlikely companions are tested like never before. Meanwhile, Dorian faces a terrible choice: to save the life of one who is beginning to mean more to him than the past he’s so desperate to forget, or to save his beloved Caldera from dangers outside and within.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

LUMEN picks up right after the first book as this motley crew travels to find an artifact and escape their enemies who are in pursuit. Fantasy fans will enjoy the world-building as these characters travel from one place to another. There is a constant underlying feeling of mystery and suspense that helps to keep the story moving as it builds to book three and the conclusion of the series.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was excited to dive back into this world and spend some time with these characters. I continued to enjoy this book at least the first part of the way through. The characters become more familiar and more secrets are divulged while the story progresses. I love the way the magic works, as well as the world-building with the diversity of the various lands and people. I also liked seeing friendships develop further. More things are explained and unveiled. I still also like these characters and am hoping for a satisfying resolution in book three, especially with how things were left. This story does climax as it leads into the next book.

I also found myself getting annoyed with this second installment. Dorian is basically, stubbornly stuck. He has the capability for so much more and yet he limits himself and is almost obsessively focused on this artifact and how it will make him how he used to be instead of seeing that he is still that man and also a wiser, more empathetic version. I also felt in several places that the characters should have been more intuitive, especially with their backgrounds and experiences, but they're not. This made some things that happened, choices and situations, feel forced and inconsistent. It limited the character development as well as my enjoyment of this story. I also wasn't expecting the religious aspect to be such a strong one, especially as in the first book there isn't even a hint of that coming. I think if you're expecting it, then you'll be okay, but for me it felt more forced and rubbed me wrong.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an enjoyable Christian fantasy. The first book felt more general market, but this one heavily steps across into the Christian genre. Just something to be aware of depending on what readers are looking for. Readers will enjoy the world-building and these characters.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary NetGalley through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to my review.)

About the Author

J.J. Fischer’s writing dream began with the anthology of zoo animals she painstakingly wrote and illustrated at age five. Jasmine began writing her first proper novel at age fourteen, which eventually became her debut fantasy series, The Darcentaria Duology, which was published in 2021. She is a qualified psychologist with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in clinical psychology. When Jasmine isn’t killing defenseless house plants, she enjoys devouring books, dabbling in floristry, playing the piano, and wishing it rained more often. Jasmine is married to David, and together they make their home a couple of hours north of Sydney, Australia.

More from the Author

Have you noticed how much less we’re participating in life these days?

Here in Australia, we have a show called Gogglebox where we watch people on their couches watching (and commentating on) our favorite TV shows from the last seven days. Sometimes, you don’t even need to have seen the shows. But it’s fun to watch other people watching TV, often because they have the same reactions we have to particular scenes.

The widespread popularity of a show like Gogglebox is telling because it demonstrates just how comfortable we’ve become with observing and commentating on other peoples’ lives. We’re quick to critique and criticize and dismiss. So much of our human experience is now mediated through screens and technology and social media that we’ve lost a great deal of the beauty and simplicity of life.

How often does a long walk through autumn leaves or a swim at the beach refresh our spirit, yet we rarely get out of the house or away from our busy schedules in order to do so?

In the post-apocalyptic world of The Nightingale Trilogy, people no longer have access to the technology and comforts of the “world-that-was,” so they choose to vicariously enjoy its pleasures by re-experiencing old memories, which can be physically extracted and drunk like potions. Nostalgia is the currency of the day, and the gifted individuals who can manipulate these memories—known as alters or mems—are exceptionally prized.

The female main character, Sephone Winter, is a young slave who can selectively edit memories with a single touch of a person’s skin. But Sephone is increasingly aware that there’s something different about the memories of the old world that she extracts from donors’ minds. They’re much more faded, and less vivid, than the real thing. And she begins to suspect that habitually enjoying these second-hand and third-hand experiences comes at the price of a person’s humanity, self-awareness, and even their capacity to love.

After meeting an old veteran with a first-hand memory of strawberries—who tells Sephone that even this is a shadow of the real thing—she begins a journey to discover what authentic experience really looks like, and if there’s something more to hope for than the faded artifacts of a long-dead world.

Sephone’s discoveries have relevance and meaning for all of us in this world where life’s pleasures are often smoke and mirrors. Since the Fall, our lives are full of counterfeit things. They sound good, they look right—more real, sometimes, than the real thing—but they’re ultimately an imitation that doesn’t satisfy us the way we thought and hoped they would.

As a Christian, I believe that if we rely on counterfeit things to satisfy our souls, we’re always going to end up hungry. As David Foster Wallace famously once said, worshipping the stuff of this world will inevitably “eat us alive.” False truth and false gods always break the hearts of their worshippers.

But unmet needs are a signpost pointing to a better way, a deeper truth. As C.S. Lewis wisely commented: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

The Nightingale Trilogy is another world, a fantasy context, a different time period. But it’s really us. I hope, as you read, that it stirs in you a hunger for truth, for real things; a desire to connect with the Author of your soul. I can testify that He’s out of this world!

Cherish the Real,


Tour Schedule

Fiction Book Lover, December 7 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 8

Artistic Nobody, December 9 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, December 9

Simple Harvest Reads, December 10 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Guild Master, December 11 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, December 14 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, December 15

Through the Fire Blogs, December 17 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 19 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, December 20

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card along with a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read the first book in this series yet? If not, will you be? Are you a fantasy fan?

A sweet Regency romance... Never Hire a Hero by Regina Scott (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #regency #romancebooks #cleanreads #historicalromance @justreadtours

Welcome to my tour stop with JustRead Publicity Tours!
Check out my review and the tour giveaway below...

Never Hire a Hero
(Fortune's Brides: Guarding Her Heart #3)
By Regina Scott
Sweet Regency Romance
Paperback & eBook, 242 Pages
December 11, 2023 by Edwards and Williams


Three children and a marriage of convenience may be his biggest challenge yet

A former elite soldier, Stephen Roth was trained to be ruthless as he served as bodyguard for kings and princes. So why would his English patroness, Lady Belfort, and her cat, Fortune, arrange for him to take a position as the tutor to the heir of Alldene Castle and the boy’s siblings? And why does the children’s mother, Lady Alldene, look at him with shining eyes, as if he could be some sort of hero? This was not the sort of challenge he bargained for!

A peer in her own right, Thea, Countess of Alldene, was raised in Alldene Castle and taught how to rule over it. But nothing prepared her for the death of her husband and the villainy of the man he appointed as guardian for her children. If a tutor with a razor-sharp gaze will prevent that man from taking her sons away from her, she’s willing to put up with Roth’s rough-shod ways.

But the castle holds a secret that may prove Thea’s undoing. When danger threatens, she turns to the one man who might be able to keep them all safe. Could a marriage of convenience over Christmas prove that heroes can turn up in the least likely places?

If you like warm, witty historical romances, with a touch of mystery, then you’ll love this historical romance by an award-winning, bestselling author.

“All readers who love Regency and historical romances need to pick up stories by Regina Scott. The author has never disappointed me. I am very happy to recommend any of her novels.” – Huntress Reviews

Hire yourself a hero, today.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

NEVER HIRE A HERO is a sweet story about a retired soldier who is trying to find his place and a woman who is trying to fully step into her role as the head of her castle and household after her husband's death. There is a mischievous cat and three delightful children who enhance the story, a slightly villainous cousin to add some tension, and of course plenty of romance. Sweet romance readers should enjoy this one! 

I honestly enjoyed these characters and found them delightful. The kids especially added so much to the story and constantly made me smile and laugh with their dialogue and antics. I also found Thea very relatable as she tried to be the mother she hoped to be and struggled with knowing if her decisions are the right ones. She was trying to figure things out and find her way as she was managing the estate and her family on her own. Roth was somewhat lost at the start of this story as well. He had been a soldier for so long and then becomes a tutor for Thea's boys. He had to fight his attraction to her that only grows the more he got to know her. The romance slowly builds from attraction and admiration to love, with a bit of danger and adventure thrown in.

I would have liked some more development in the story. There were places with some fairly trite phrases and others that were overly sweet. I would have liked more depth in the characters and for things to feel more genuine overall.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an enjoyable story and sweet from beginning to end. This would be an ideal read for those who are looking for something light and romantic to relax to.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JustRead Publicity Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing. Since her first novel was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has now published more than 65 works of warm, witty romance and more than 1 million copies of her books are in reader hands. She and her husband of 30 years reside in Washington State on the way to Mt. Rainier. Regina Scott has learned to fence, dressed as a Regency dandy, driven four in hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course.

Connect with Regina by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

(3) winners will win ebook copies of all 14 books in the Fortune's Brides series!

Full tour schedule linked above. The giveaway begins at midnight December 13, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 20, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Books will be delivered via BookFunnel. No country restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Are you fan of sweet Regency romances or this author? Will you be reading this one?

I Can't Wait for... Guardian by Cathy McCrumb (Can't-Wait Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #booktwitter #newbooks #scifi #childrenoftheconsortium @EnclaveBooks

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. Find out more here.

I can't believe I missed posting last week! My computer died this month and I've had to use my son's, which doesn't have all my stuff on it so it's been a bit of a mess. My apologies.

I read the first book in this series, Recorder, when it was first released and enjoyed it. It was such a different world. If you're a fan of sci-fi, it's definitely a book I recommend. This is the third book in the series and my pick this week...

(Children of the Consortium, #3)
By Cathy McCrumb
Science Fiction, Christian
Hardcover & eBook, 368 Pages
February 20, 2024 by Enclave Publishing


The Recorder's fate has been sealed, but the Consortium is not the only enemy.

Labeled an aberration by the Consortium, the Recorder is not yet free. Time is running out as an engineered bioweapon wreaks havoc on friend and foe alike.

Stopping both the biological agent and the people who created it is no easy task, especially since the Recorder and her friends are trapped on a research station infested with behemoth insects. Without Consortium technology, the probability of neutralizing the threat falls to nothing. In order to save her allies, the Recorder must activate a drone, but her success might destroy any hope for freedom, a future, and a name.

(Affiliate links included.)

Will you be reading this one?

A thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery with plenty of nods to Austen... Cyanide and Sensibility by Katie Oliver (Review) #booktwitter #newbooks #cyanideandsensibility #janeaustenteasocietymystery #katieoliver #cozymystery #romcom #austenesque @katieoliver01 @BerkleyPub @penguinrandom @austenprose

Welcome to my tour stop for this cozy mystery! Read my review below...

Cyanide and Sensibility
(A Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery #3)
By Katie Oliver
Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Armature Sleuths, Austenesque Fiction
Paperbook, Audiobook & eBook, 320 Pages
December 12, 2023 by Berkley


Murder is on the menu and Phaedra Brighton is called on to serve up justice in the latest Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery.

While Phaedra Brighton might not have a Mr. Darcy (yet), she's quite content with her loving family and loyal cat. Phaedra's sister Hannah is the Jane to her Elizabeth, and Phaedra is ecstatic that Hannah has decided to move home for her next adventure—opening a business. All of Laurel Springs is out in full force to celebrate the grand unveiling of Hannah's new patisserie, Tout de Sweet, including local celebrity Rachel Brandon. Hannah is a master of her craft, with confections so divine, one bite will make you think you've died and gone to heaven.

Of course, you never want that to happen literally.

When one of Hannah's famous dark chocolate cupcakes sends Rachel's assistant to the hospital with poisoning, Hannah begs for Phaedra's help to save her reputation and budding business. But Phaedra has more questions than answers: Who was the cupcake actually meant for? And how far is the culprit willing to go to take their target off the menu—permanently?

Praise for the Book

“This is the first book I have read in the Jane Austen Tea Society series, but it won’t be my last…If you enjoy cozy mysteries, then this is a book you will enjoy.”— Book Looks by Lisa

“The book is filled with great characters and a fun, twisty plot. Highly recommend.”— Cara Putnam, author of Come What May

5 STARS— Gwendalyn’s Books

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

CYANIDE AND SENSIBILITY is one of those treasures you happen across that you might not normally have picked up on your own. Delightful small-town life and characters bring the story alive, while the mystery keeps readers entertained from beginning to end. Highly recommended to cozy mystery fans, especially those who are also Austen fans!

From the first few pages I knew this story was going to be good. Not in a serious, change-your-life way, but in just pure delight and enjoyment. As a reader you get to step into Phaeda's point of view and watch a murder play out and then try to fit all the pieces together. The author gives plenty of red herrings so that the story has enough twists and turns that you're not completely sure who wants who dead. The town is cute with a diverse group of side characters. There were a few very minor editing or character/story development issues, but nothing that distracted from the story. The mystery is cozy, but also has enough light suspense to keep things pushing forward. As a sidenote, I have not read the first two books in this series but had no issues following and enjoying this one. Also, if this book is any indicator of the first two in the series, I'll be thoroughly enjoying them as well!

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is a very fun, completely delightful cozy mystery! Definitely a book and series recommended to cozy mystery and Austen fans.

Content: Some violence pertinent to the story. Clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Lined to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Katie Oliver is known internationally as a writer of Jane Austen rom-coms with a hint of mystery. In the US and the UK, she is the bestselling author of the Dating Mr. Darcy and Marrying Mr. Darcy series.

Are you an Austen or cozy mystery fan? Does this sound like your kind of book and one you'll be picking up?

An adorable picture book... How to Be a Bigfoot by Andrew McMurdie, Illustrated by Dena McMurdie (Review) #booktwitter #kidlit #picturebook

How to Be a Bigfoot:
A Funny Picture Book for Kids
By Andrew McMurdie
Illustrated by Dena McMurdie
Children's Picture Book
Paperback & eBook, 30 Pages
November 13, 2021 by Red Wolf Press 


This hilarious picture book reveals the "truth" behind Bigfoot myths!

When two young bigfoots get caught sneaking around a human campsite, their dad decides they need to learn how to become proper sasquatches. Staying off the human radar can’t be too difficult — right?

Follow this bigfoot family as their dad teaches them the ins and outs of living in the forest (and away from humans). Meanwhile, their crazy uncle accidentally shows them all the wrong things to do.

Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and inside jokes that every bigfoot lover will enjoy, this giggle-worthy book is excellent for reading aloud at storytime or anytime!

Grab this hilarious picture book in time for holiday gift-giving! It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for children and the young at heart.

(Affiliate link included.)

My Review

HOW TO BE A BIGFOOT is a humorous children's picture book about a father telling his kids how to be good bigfoots and how humans view them. As each page is turned, an uncle gives some good comic relief in the background as an example of what not to do. The dialogue is easy to read and relatable, alongside the great, eye-catching illustrations. This honestly is a really fun read that will bring laughter and smiles. Definitely a picture book kids will adore and ask to read on repeat.

In the end, was it what I wished for? A fun story and illustrations with plenty of humor make this an enjoyable children's picture book.

Source: I received a complimentary eBook through Booksprout, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a Bigfoot fan? Does this sound like something your kids would enjoy?

An historical romance for animal lovers... Rocky Mountain Promise by Misty M. Beller (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #christfic #histfic #romancebooks #BHPFiction @celebrate_lit @bethany_house

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

Rocky Mountain Promise
(Sisters of the Rockies #2)
By Misty M. Beller
Christian Historical Romance
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 320 Pages
November 21, 2023 by Bethany House Publishers 


Lorelei Collins possesses a soft heart for any animal in need, so when she finds a buffalo calf bawling beside its mother’s lifeless body, she can’t help but bring it home to raise on the ranch she and her sisters are building in the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Little does she realize that its white coloring is rare and considered sacred by Native Americans, which makes it highly valuable to them and the European trappers alike.

A flood of men visit their ranch to regard the marvel, some trying to woo Lorelei into marriage so she’ll bring the buffalo calf along as dowry, and others trying to steal the calf outright. When the men’s advances become more sinister, she approaches Tanner Mason, the quiet and mysterious owner of the new trading post, with an idea: She and the calf will move to his post, along with her family’s trusted Blackfoot friend. This will solve both their problems, bringing customers to his trade room and protecting her family from the trouble brought on by so many strangers. Yet as the danger travels with her, Lorelei and Tanner are faced with a threat greater than anything they’re prepared for–one that will test the limits of both their abilities and the love growing between them.

USA Today bestselling author Misty M. Beller delivers an exhilarating addition to the Sisters of the Rockies series fraught with peril, adventure, and romance amid the majesty of the Rocky Mountains.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PROMISE is about a woman who loves animals and learned to care for them under her father's care, and a man who is trying to make his own way to success in the rugged wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Proximity and necessity bring these two together as they care for a buffalo calf. This is a story full of familial relationships as well as friendships, set in a rugged life, with some suspenseful and inspirational moments woven through this overall sweet romance.

I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to the other sisters' stories in subsequent books. Lorelei, the sister focused on in this story, is an animal lover. She is the one who generally takes medical care of the animals on her family's ranch. She has a very soft heart, but also a fierce, protective one. It was interesting seeing her work through different situations and figure out different people she interacted with. Tanner is a fun character. I liked his protective nature as well as good sense and skills that came in handy a bit as he runs his trading post and seeks to protect. He's a solidly dependable guy who has a sense of humor and charm that livened up the book. Together they're a fun match. It was also fun seeing the other characters from the first book and I'm looking forward to seeing which sister gets her happily-ever-after next.

The story is interesting in how a buffalo calf ends up being quite the instigator. It's paced fairly steadily with a few moments of climax, especially towards the end. The religious aspects weren't overdone and were weaved throughout. The romance had some chemistry and was sweet. I liked seeing the different relationship as well.

I think the thing that was hard for me in this story was that I didn't love the heroine. Lorelei is sweet and caring, but she seems very young and naive for who she's supposed to be. She also came across as pretty one dimensional through much of the story. It's really hard for me to love a story when I struggle with one of the main characters. I think she needed more depth and development, as well as more maturity. There were also some parts that didn't feel genuinely realistic.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a fairly enjoyable story and an interesting plot in how the myth surrounding the white buffalo was used. Fans of the author and genre should enjoy this one.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary NetGalley through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to my review.)

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

Tour Schedule

Pens Pages & Pulses, November 30

Betti Mace, December 1

Wishful Endings, December 1

Lighthouse Academy Blog, December 2 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Splashes of Joy, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 5

Avid Reader Nurse, December 7

Lily’s Corner, December 12

Pause for Tales, December 12

Tour-Wide Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Are you a fan of this author or Christian historical romances? Do you have a favorite book or author?