I Can't Wait for... Disconnect by Traci Hunter Abramson (Can't-Wait Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #booktwitter #newbooks #suspense #romancebooks @covenantcomms


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've loved this author's books and this series for years and will keep picking them up for as long as she wants to write them. They're all military romantic suspense. Her upcoming addition is my pick this week...

Disconnect
(Saint Squad #13)
By Traci Hunter Abramson
Contemporary Military Romantic Suspense
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 288 Pages
June 4, 2024 by Covenant Communications

Summary

Brent Miller is still trying to get past the nightmares of his last mission into Nicaragua when a new commander takes charge of his Navy SEAL team. Commander Gardner has just one objective: to further his career. And the so-called Saint Squad is in his way. When Gardner makes changes that threaten operational readiness, the squad is determined to fight back―until a familiar threat resurfaces, compelling the once formidable team to battle on two fronts against seemingly insurmountable odds.

When equipment fails inexplicably, Brent and the other members of the squad realize too late that terrorists wield a devastating power that will effectively cripple the nation. Forced to utilize their ingenuity and resources to circumvent their new commander, the team faces a chilling reality: even if they find a way to neutralize the threat, bringing everyone home safely may be their greatest challenge yet.

(Affiliate links included.)


Will you be reading this one?

A light and unique Austen retelling... Pride and Preston Lee (Review) #newbooks #booktwitter #romancebooks #austenesque #retelling

Pride and Preston Lin
By Christina Hwang Dudley
Contemporary Romance, Retelling
Paperback & eBook, 288 Pages
March 19, 2024 by Third State Books

Summary

In this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, the quick-witted and contrarian Lissie Cheng must navigate societal pressures and her growing attraction to the rich and enigmatic Preston Lin.

Lissie is the middle of three sisters, orphaned and taken in by their aunt and uncle. Both she and her older sister, Jenny, work in the family restaurant while pursuing their education and career dreams. When Lissie accidentally serves a dish containing shellfish paste to an allergic customer, she runs afoul of the wealthy Lin family. Their golden boy, Preston, star swimmer and Stanford Ph.D. student, is as handsome as he is self-righteous. Lissie hates him and everything he stands for, but circumstances keep bringing them together. Can she overcome her pride and her initial misgivings about Preston Lin and his condescending mother? Will love prevail, and will these enemies turn into lovers?

Pride and Preston Lin by popular Regency romance writer Christina Hwang Dudley is a hilarious and earnest contemporary riff on Jane Austen’s classic work. And readers will undoubtedly root for Lissie Cheng, a sassy new Elizabeth Bennet for our times, to find lasting love and happiness.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

PRIDE AND PRESTON LEE is a contemporary Asian American retelling of Austen's Pride and Prejudice set in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's cute with likable characters and an interesting plot. Fans of sweet romance and Austen should enjoy this contemporary spin.

I liked the humor and comradery between these characters. Lissie and her family and roommates are all likable and there was an inherent feel of closeness from years of knowing each other. Similarly Preston has some of that with his family and friends although not as much since his group is small. Both fit into these characters playing modern Elizabeth and Darcy rolls. Lissie's older sister and Preston's closest friend also easily fall into replicating Jane and Bingley. I liked that the author made an aunt and uncle the main parental group with a few other changes that made this story her own. I also thought it was interesting to set these characters as college students, which gave this story its own unique twist.

The plot meanders along, which is also a bit like P&P. There are places where Lissie and Preston don't interact for a time and other things are happening in Lissie's life. I appreciated that there wasn't a lot of drama per se since that's something that tends to not work for me. I was engaged enough to want to know what would happen and how the author would retell this classic. There were also a few places that were climatic and a few happenstance meetings that kept the story moving.

I also had some issues with the story. For one, a server who delivers food knowing that one of the clients is allergic would be fired on the spot no matter if it was a mistake or not. Having a son who has an allergy and having the experience of asking about dishes so that we know if he can eat them is an often occurrence for us. If staff don't know, we ask them to find out or we order something else. If something like this does happen, there is a process that is followed between the restaurant and those injured or they would go to mediation. If the injured party decided to let it go then they probably wouldn't go publish an article naming the restaurant as that could be seen as breaking their agreement. As this is the entire set up of the story, I found the whole situation not realistic. Then there were also issues with a swim coach, which I won't go into too much detail to remain spoiler free. That whole situation also didn't work for me, especially as at one point a mom could have been charged with kidnapping and no complaint was even filed, the swim organization wasn't informed, and cops were never called even when no one could be reached and were missing for hours. Again, not really plausible. Lissie is also studying P&P for her master's but doesn't see how her life has become very similar. It would have been a great opportunity to add some humor. I also felt like there was a lack of chemistry. There is banter and some witty remarks, but I felt like what makes this trope and P&P so good is the romantic tension and that was mostly missing here. I also felt like some plot points were forced to fit more in line with Austen's plot regardless if those things fit this story and without Austen's underlying satire of culture, classes, and gender.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I wanted more depth and development from this story, but if you're looking for a light read, with likable characters, some humor, and sweet romance then this will meet those expectations. It's an enjoyable story overall and there definitely need to be more stories like this published.

Content: Some suggestive content, references to affairs, but otherwise clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Have you read this one? If so, what did you enjoy about the story? If not, is it a book you'd like to read?

A perfect beach read... Sandcastle Inn by Irene Hannon (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #romancebooks #christianromance #cleanreads #sandcastleInn #irenehannon


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

Sandcastle Inn
(Hope Harbor #10)
By Irene Hannon
Christian Contemporary Romance, Clean & Wholesome
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 352 Pages
April 2, 2024 by Revell

Summary

Vienna Price never intended to return for more than a passing visit to Oregon and all the bad memories she’d left behind. But when your career tanks, home is where you go to nurse your wounds and chart a new course. Only temporarily, of course—because as much as she loves her quirky mom, anything more than a short stay would drive them both crazy.

A trip to Oregon isn’t in Matt Quinn’s plans, either, until a perfectly timed appeal for help arrives from his sister. What better place to decompress after a shattering loss than a quiet, seaside town named Hope Harbor? But R&R isn’t on the agenda when he arrives to find his sister’s new enterprise on life support.

Vienna, however, may have just the skills needed to resuscitate the foundering B&B—if Matt can convince her to hang around long enough to mend an inn . . . and his heart.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

SANDASTLE INN is a sweet story about fresh starts, forgiving yourself, letting go, and pushing through when life is difficult. It's about family, friendship, trust, and love. Fans of clean romance, Christian romance and this author will enjoy spending time in this cozy beach town with these lovable characters.

This was a nice escape read and perfect for readers looking for a beach read. I enjoyed these characters from the start. They're flawed and complicated while also being likable and people I'd love to have as family or friends in real life. There's also two different storylines, the first on two characters who are supposed to be visiting and find themselves slipping into love, and second a married couple who are trying to find their way. I liked the first storyline the most while also finding the second enjoyable. I love that initial shock of chemistry between two people and watching them fall in love. I thought the author did a good job letting these characters figure things out and work through their challenges to sweet, happy endings, which allowed for a bit of character development. The inspirational elements were weaved through well and didn't feel forced. I also really enjoyed the story and the setting. Who wouldn't want to escape to a cozy seaside town and a bed and breakfast under renovation? Plus one of the characters owns a bookshop. It was a nice little escape and rejuvenation as a reader.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an enjoyable story from beginning to end. It was a great setting, with lovable characters, and a sweet romance. Definitely a recommended read!

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

About the Author


Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.

Tour Schedule














Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 11


The Lofty Pages, April 13




Wishful Endings, April 15

By The Book, April 15


Pause for Tales, April 16

Batya’s Bits, April 17


Tour-Wide Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Irene is giving away the grand prize package of a full set of the Hope Harbor series (10 books) and a $50 Bookshop.org 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 and cozy beach towns? Does this sound like a story you'll be picking up or adding to your list?

A must-read Gothic mystery... Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright (Review) #nightfallsonpredicamentavenue #jaimejowright #historicalfiction #historicalsuspense #inspirationalfiction #gothicfiction #newbooks #bookrecs #bookx #austenprosepr #bhpfiction @jaimejowright @bethany_house @Austenprose


Welcome! I just finished reading this one and have added my review below. It's definitely one to add to your shelves if you're a Gothic suspense, true crime or cold case fan. Find out more below...

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue
By Jaime Jo Wright
Christian Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Dual Timeline
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 368 Pages
April 9, 2024 by Bethany House Publishers

Summary

As the walls of the house at Predicament Avenue reveal their hidden truths, two women--generations apart--discover that fear and foreboding are no respecters of time.

In 1910, Effie James is committed to doing anything to save her younger sister, who witnessed a shocking murder, leaving her mute and in danger of the killer's retribution. Effie must prove what her sister saw, but when a British gentleman arrives, he disrupts Effie's quest with his attempts to locate his wife, Isabelle Addington, who was last seen at the supposed crime scene in the abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue. Just as Effie discovers what she seeks, she finds that the blood staining the walls will forever link her to a scandal she couldn't imagine, and to a woman whose secrets promise to curse any who would expose them.

A century later, Norah Richman grapples with social anxiety and grief as she runs her late great-aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue. But Norah has little affection for the house and is committed only to carrying out her murdered sister's dreams until crime historian and podcaster Sebastian Blaine arrives to investigate the ghostly legacy of the house's claim to fame--the murder of Isabelle Addington. When a guest is found dead, the incident is linked to Isabelle's murder, and Norah and Sebastian must work together to uncover the century-old curse that has wrapped 322 Predicament Avenue in its clutches and threatens far more than death.

(Affiliate links included.)


My Review

NIGHT FALLS ON PREDICAMENT AVENUE is a Gothic romantic suspense, light on the romance, that switches between 1901 and present day in a small American town. The characters are endearing with a story that is so compelling that readers will be turning pages as fast as they can to find out what happens. A very compelling story that is recommended to Gothic suspense and cold case or true crime fans.

This story starts off with a traumatic moment for two sisters in 1901 that then instigates events that shape the community for over 100 years after. There are two very tragic and violent murders over 100 years apart in this small town, and both are unsolved with eerie similarities. What unfolds is a slowly retelling of the history of one murder while in present day the characters are trying to find answers to both murders. The level of suspense grows from the first page on until the climatic ending. The author did a fantastic job of hiding the villains in this story. Readers might catch an inkling here and there, but nothing definite. Thankfully the truth is uncovered in the end for both timelines with everything being resolved. I also appreciated that the author didn't tie this one up too prettily. Not everything is perfect, but there are still some happily-ever-afters and some inspiring words of hope.

I also liked the characters. They are quite flawed and had their own journeys and things to figure out to move forward. All of them let fear rule their lives in one way or another, which is a strong theme of the book, and countered by a few messages of faith and hope in living life. As in one character's words: "We can't be afraid to live just 'case we're afraid of dyin'." I thought the romance wasn't forced, but kind of just fell into place, and it was sweet. It also wasn't the main focus of the story.

There isn't too much to have issue with in this story. Norah's anxiety and fear is fairly uncontrolled and all consuming at one point and her belief that someone is a murderer even when there is no proof came across as prejudiced. It was a bit much for me, but at the same time understandable. The violence with grit in this story is dark. The characters and moments of hope help balance everything out, but it is a lot to wade through, especially in Christian fiction. I also didn't understand one women's choice to remain when she knows she isn't safe. 

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a riveting book with likable characters, edge-of-your-seat suspense, Gothic atmosphere and sweet romance. It was gritty in parts, so best for adult readers.

Content: Some gruesome violence, murder, strangulation, teenage pregnancy, and kidnapping.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


Jaime Jo Wright (JaimeWrightBooks.com) is the author of ten novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also a two-time Christy Award finalist, as well as the ECPA bestselling author of The Vanishing at Castle Moreau and two Publishers Weekly bestselling novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her family and felines.


Are you a fan of this author or this genre? If you've read any of her previous books, do you have a favorite?

Read an excerpt from this contemporary romance... Lovin' on Red by Mary Pat Johns (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #romancebooks #christianromance @justreadtours

Lovin' On Red JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to my tour stop with JustRead Publicity Tours!
Read an excerpt and enter the giveaway below...

Lovin' On Red
Lovin' on Red
(Romance in Valiant #2)
By Mary Pat Johns
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & eBook, 321 Pages
April 9, 2024 by Scrivenings Press

Summary

He has everything … except what he wants most. 

Rory is a wildly successful contractor with all the right connections. He has everything, except the woman who sees past his missing foot. If only the tiny redhead he’s insanely attracted to would go on a date with him, it could work, but Vi refuses. 

Licensed massage therapist Vi Summers needs her childhood home remodeled, and Rory Spence is the perfect man for the job. Only he’s the last person she wants to work with. Despite Rory’s reputation as a flirt, his tender attention to getting her house right helps Vi see into his heart. Too bad her past mistakes prevent a future relationship. 

Drawn together like magnets, they navigate trouble with illegal squatters, family expectations, and fire. Will they finally be honest with each other, or will their secrets tear them apart?  

(Affiliate links included.)

Excerpt

This morning, new strength fortified her and refused to let go.

Even if Rory trampled her heart into pieces, she would get to the bottom of this.

Vi rubbed her puffy eyes, not wanting to look in a mirror— no doubt she looked atrocious.

Decision made, she flew through her morning routine. Plaiting her hair, she remembered Rory playing with the loose strands. With shaky fingers, she undid the long braid, then pulled it back with a band. She wouldn’t go down without a fight. She donned an outfit and applied makeup. The earrings he’d given her stayed on the dresser. Showing grit was all well and good. Acting like a lovesick idiot? Not so much.

If he meant what he said in the break-up text, maybe she’d hang in Houston awhile to figure out Plan B.

Did that mean Rory was Plan A?

Vi left to find out.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate line.)

About the Author

Mary Pat Johns

Mary Pat Johns lives in South Texas with the love of her life and two spoiled dachshunds. You can find her at the gym, on her computer, or  reading a book.

Connect with Mary Pat by visiting marypatjohns.com 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

Lovin' On Red JustRead Tours giveaway

(1) winner will win print copies of Countin' On Jesse and Lovin' On Red, plus sea turtle earrings and necklace!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight April 8, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 15, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours

Have you read any of this author's other books? What did you think of the excerpt?

A story full of deception, danger and romance... Rip Tide by Lisa T. Bergren (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #fantasy #romancebooks #timetravel #cleanreads @EnclaveBooks @Celebrate_Lit


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

Rip Tide
(Oceans of Time #2)
By Lisa T. Bergren
Christian Fantasy, Historical, Time Travel
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 367 Pages
March 20, 2024 by Enclave Publishing

Summary

The trap is set and time is slipping away.

After narrowly escaping arrest, Luciana Betarrini hurtles back to medieval Italy. Once there, she and her brother, Domenico, must decide how far they’ll go to be part of the family, and if they’re willing to risk their lives to hunt down an assassin.

Meanwhile, Lady Tiliani Forelli’s family has disappeared in enemy territory. Fearing for their lives—and secretly hoping to cross paths with the Fiorentini she loves—Tiliani goes to Firenze intent on either rescue or seeing justice done. Yet a trap is closing around them all.

Together, the Grecos and Betarrinis must find the Forellis’ nemesis and force him to confess to his role in the murders. They assume he has slipped into the serpentine streets of Firenze to evade them. But will they find him in time to save the Forellis?

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

RIP TIDE is the second story in this time-traveling series set in Medieval times. Full of likable characters, action, adventure, danger, intrigue, political unrest, family, and romance with an inspirational aspect. If you're a fan of this author's books, you'll be sure to enjoy this one as well!

It was fun to travel back in time with Betarrini siblings to Medieval Italy in this second book in the series. This book picks up right after the first and throws readers right back into the political intrigue and action. There is quite a bit of drama with emotions all over the place with the characters' family and people at stake. The inspirational element was weaved through the story well and felt genuine. The relationships were all sweet and interwoven in this family and those around them. There were also some pretty difficult things that these characters faced, loss and heartbreak at a time when violence and deception was so prevalent along with a desire for power and greed. It was a strong contrast to this family and the characters, who were all wonderful, and the sweet romance.

I did find that there were some things that didn't work for me in this book. I had some trouble keeping all the characters straight and who their romantic counterparts were. The romance is fairly strong and sometimes too strong in certain situations (such as stopping to have a conversation when characters should be escaping). Some things seemed too easy for the villain and for a family who have held their own for some time, they seem more unprepared than I would have thought and also easily led in parts.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was overall an enjoyable read. The action and undertone of suspense starts from the first page and continues to the last, keeping readers turning the pages. Then there was the likeable characters, inspirational themes, and sweet romance. There is much that needs to be accomplished in the next book for these characters to find the resolution to their stories.

Content: Some innuendo and violence but would still consider this clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy 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


Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over sixty books spanning a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to women’s historical fiction to supernatural suspense and time travel. She lives with her husband and three gradually-flying-from-the-nest young adult children.

Tour Schedule

Artistic Nobody, April 9 (Author Interview)


Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 11 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, April 11


Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 13 (Author Interview)


Blossoms and Blessings, April 15 (Author Interview)


Fiction Book Lover, April 17 (Author Interview)


Guild Master, April 19 (Author Interview)


Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

A Reader’s Brain, April 21 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, April 22

Tour-Wide Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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 any of the books in the previous series or the book prior to this one? Have you read any other time travel books, and if you have, do you have a favorite?

Check out a Q&A with the author... Fatal Domain by Steven James (Interview) #booktwitter #newbooks #suspense #thriller #christfic @TyndaleHouse @Crazy4Fiction

I'm sharing an interview from the publisher today for this new thriller release.
I'll be reviewing book one and two soon. In the meantime, check this out...

Fatal Domain
(A Travis Brock Thriller #2)
By Steven James
Contemporary Thriller, Suspense, Christian
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 400 Pages
April 9, 2024 by Tyndale House Publishers

Summary

When the past scratches its way into the present, it can leave deep scars.

A series of cryptic clues leads Department of Defense redactor Travis Brock to suspect that a grim chapter from his past is not yet over. With the help of his eidetic memory and his newly formed team, he must unearth the truth and stop a terrorist group from stealing one of the military’s most highly guarded technological breakthroughs. With it, the group plans to commit a daring act of espionage that could upend the work of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms and impact millions of people worldwide.

In a high-stakes story of action and intrigue that reaches from a refugee settlement in Uganda to the shores of the Potomac in Washington, DC, shattering secrets from the past will be revealed, loyalties tested, and intimate betrayals brought to light as Brock is forced to decide how to forgive what he cannot forget.

From a novelist that Publishers Weekly has called a “master storyteller” comes an intricate and taut thriller that will have you guessing until the final page.

- Relevant, contemporary spy thriller
- Fast-paced suspense
- Issues of terrorism and espionage
- The central theme is the power of forgiveness

(Affiliate links included.)

Author Interview

1. Do you draw from personal experience when you create your characters or scenes?

I think that every character has aspects of our personality within them, and occasionally I will use moments from real life in my stories, but I try to focus more on what is honest to the story and authentic to the characters than tapping into my own experiences. I heard someone refer to it as “plagiarizing reality” and I never forgot that.

2. Tell us a little about your writing process. I understand you don’t outline or plot anything out, but let the story unfold as you write it. How does that work?

As I write, I’m always asking myself what the character would naturally do, how I can make things worse, how I can write myself into a corner—and then how to get out of it in a way that readers will not anticipate. I trust the direction of the story and let it reveal itself to me as it unfolds. I also value narrative promises—trying always to fulfill them and make sure that they point in the right direction.

3. One of the characters, a former Army Ranger, is now writing a cringy romance novel. What led you to make that choice for him? Can you give us an example of his bad writing?

I wanted him to have some contrast—he’s as tough as nails but has this other side to him that you would never expect. As far as an example . . . “She warmed at the thought of his hands around her waist, of his lips against hers. The soft pleasing pleasure of pleasant pressure of lip on lip on lip on lip. Heat flushed through her. She awaited his embrace, her mouth puckered and ready, as she longed to feel his arms wrap around her like two strong appendages jutting from his torso might do.” Eek.

4. This story, even more than the first book in the series, Broker of Lies, explores the concept of forgiveness and how to deal with those who do the unforgivable. What led you to take the story in that direction?

I read a book about forgiveness and started really thinking about what it means to forgive someone. It’s different than excusing the wrong; it’s different from holding a grudge; it’s something much rarer than that.

5. You’re known for including twists in your stories. How do you come up with them?

I look for moments that are unexpected and inevitable—so, they are logical and follow naturally from what precedes them, but also offer surprises to readers. I like every scene to have a touch of this; I also want the story as a whole to have an ending that readers won’t see coming but will appreciate when they get there. That’s the pivot. That’s what I’m looking for.

6. When you’re teaching other writers the craft of writing, what are some of the aspects of the craft that you focus on—that other instructors tend not to?

I really emphasize the contingent nature of fiction (in other words, that everything must follow naturally from what precedes it), understanding and managing the substantive status of the characters in different social contexts, and writing toward a pivot—a moment that is both unexpected and inevitable.

7. In this story, the villains actually seem to have a good goal, one that could help humanity in the long-term. How hard was it to write the part of the heroes trying to stop them?

This dilemma was what led me into the story in the first place. I love to explore difficult questions in my stories and this was one that I just found extremely profound.

8. What’s the most important part of a story to you?

Two things come to mind—the pivots (think twists) and the payoff at the end of the story. Is the story honest about human nature and morality? What aspect of this story is desperate to be told or impossible to ignore? Does the story mean more than it says? Can we overhear an unforeseen truth? Is the action imbued with deeper meaning? Is the takeaway unstated and yet unforgettable? If the story can check off some of those boxes, I’ll be thrilled.

9. I understand that you recently changed your view of what a story is. Can you talk us through that?

Many people think of a story as a progression of events—first act, second act, third act. But stories are much more collisions of desire than they are progressions of events. Because of that, I think that approaching story from that perspective is not as helpful as other approaches. I’ve come to believe that there are four elements in every story (character, setting, struggle, and pursuit), and two additional aspects that all great stories have (pivot and payoff).

So . . . great storytellers introduce us to a memorable and irresistible character who faces a pressing and intimate struggle. They give her choices and sacrifices that matter, invite us to see the pursuit unfold in an evocative setting, then lead us to gasp at the pivot and to nod at the unforgettable payoff. That’s what I’m trying to do.

10. What are you hoping readers will take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want them to be entertained from the first page to the last. I want them to enjoy the light touches of humor, to feel white-knuckle suspense at the right times, and to fall in love with the characters. I want them to think about some big, philosophical questions along the way, but this is a thriller, it’s a roller coaster, and I want them to enjoy the ride.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)

About the Author


Steven James is the bestselling, critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels that have won more than a dozen national and international awards, including four Christy Awards for suspense and an International Book Award. His thrillers have been praised by Suspense Magazine, Booklist, and the New York Journal of Books and received starred reviews from both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, who called his work “thought-provoking” and “riveting.” When he’s not writing, he teaches other writers at events around the globe.

You can find the author here.


Are you a suspense fan or fan of this author? What resonated with you in the interview?

I Can't Wait for... Flat Deception by Paige Edwards (Can't-Wait Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #booktwitter #newbooks #romancebooks #historicalromance #cleanreads @covenantcomms


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 have thoroughly enjoyed all the books I've read from Paige Edwards to date. I have the fourth book in her Pressley-Coombs series to catch up on and then this series. Book two is my pick this week...

Flat Deception
(Roxbury Heirs #2)
By Paige Edwards
Historical Romantic Suspense, Clean & Wholecome
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 320 Pages
May 7, 2024 by Covenant Communications

Summary

Lady Sophie Henderson has worked tirelessly to establish a breeding stable for racehorses on her family’s Scottish estate. But when her father cuts her funding, she’s desperate to find a way to achieve her life’s ambition. Selling precious heirloom jewels enables Sophie to care for her thoroughbreds, though it’s a temporary solution—and one that does not go unnoticed.

Zander Matthews is painfully aware of the role he played in Sophie’s loss of sponsorship. Now, he’s determined to use his hard-earned wealth to help her achieve her dreams. When Zander shocks Sophie with the offer of a business investment, it seems her aspirations are finally within reach. But the new partners discover that finding success will not be simple. There is a dark side to the posh British racing community, and Sophie and Zander have captured the attention of an enemy whose greed knows no bounds. Even as their partnership develops into something more, their happy ending is just beyond reach. Because in a world where people are willing to do anything to win, it’s impossible to know who to trust.

(Affiliate links included.)


Will you be reading this one?

A romantic suspense with a dog with plenty of personality... Tracking the Truth by Dana Mentink (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #romancebooks #suspense #cleanreads #christfic @loveinspiredbks @celebrate_lit


Welcome to my tour stop for this new working dog romantic
suspense! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

Tracking the Truth
(Security Hounds Investigations #1)
By Dana Mentink
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 208 Pages
March 26, 2024 by Love Inspired Suspense

Summary

To expose a suspect, he needs evidence…

and a K-9’s instincts.

After Emery Duncan is abducted and dumped in a lake, private investigator Roman Wolfe and his bloodhound partner rescue her from an icy death. Someone doesn’t want Emery to find out what really happened the night her father confessed to attempted murder. To keep Emery and her baby nephew safe, they must uncover the connection between her father’s confession and the attack…or they’ll be silenced for good.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

TRACKING THE TRUTH is about a man who has found family in others but doesn't feel worthy of being love and has a tough time trusting in others, and a woman whose whole world imploded when her dad was accused of attempted murder and her sister was left in a coma leaving her young baby to be cared for. Add that they're both likable characters, put in a dangerous situation, surrounded by found family with a dog full of personality and you have a story that fans of this line of books and of the genre will enjoy. 

I've been a fan of this author for some time and so I always give her books a read. This one started off strong, which made me more excited to jump in. I liked both of the characters and jumping immediately into the suspense with a touch of humor from a very stubborn working dog. I also liked that the two love interests have a history so there is a bit of a genuine relationship already present, although it's a strained one. I loved Roman's found family who legally adopted him when he was in his young 20s. That whole aspect was heartwarming. I loved Wally! He's the bloodhound working dog and he was hilarious. The suspense was fairly constant as the villain shows up a few times in this book to try to get to the heroine, so the book definitely keeps you engaged. The inspirational element was present but not too heavy. The romance was very sweet. On a sidenote, I found the title to be a bit genius with its play on words.

I did want more development from this story. As I said, it started strong, but then I felt like it kind of lost its way. Things weren't always realistic, nor did it all logically work for me, including some of the characters' reactions and choices. I had to just go with the flow and ignore some stuff. I also felt like the romance was too fast. I think this one could have ended with just a kiss and more open-ended than it did.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a light inspirational romantic suspense. I overall enjoyed the story and especially loved the dog that kept trying to take center stage.

Content: Some violence and reference to affairs, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press.

More from the Author

Bloodhounds everywhere! I was thrilled to be offered a contract to write a WHOLE SIX BOOK SERIES with these amazing creatures and their private eye humans! Bloodhounds have been described as “noses with dog’s attached.” Isn’t that quaint? I hope you will enjoy reading about Wally. He’s a young dog who did not receive the proper training and he’s a tad…well…naughty. Good thing he’s got a handler who’s equally as stubborn. It’s a battle of wills between Wally and Roman and there’s plenty of room for fun along with the suspense. Bloodhounds, take it away!

You can find the author here.

Tour Schedule



Bigreadersite, March 29







EmpowerMoms, April 1



Simple Harvest Reads, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)








Betti Mace, April 8




Pause for Tales, April 10


Tour-Wide Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and 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 the Love Inspired Suspense line of books? Would you like to read this one?

Escape into this 5-star read... These Tangled Threads by Sarah Loudin Thomas (Review) #thesetangledthreads #sarahloudinthomas #historicalfiction #inspirationalfiction #southernfiction #newbooks #bookx #austenprosepr #BHPFiction @SarahAnneThomas @bethany_house @Austenprose


Welcome! This was a marvelous book! Read my review below...

These Tangled Threads
By Sarah Loudin Thomas
Christian Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 368 Pages
April 2, 2024 by Bethany House Publishers

Summary

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three young friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna sees no other way but to seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced to confront the wounds and regrets of long ago. She'll have to risk the job that shapes her identity as well as the hope of friendship--and love--restored.

In this seamlessly woven historical tale, award-winning Appalachian author Sarah Loudin Thomas delivers a poignant novel of friendship, artistry, restoration, and second chances.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

THESE TANGLED THREADS is one of those stories that settles deep into your heart and remains long after the last page is turned. It's full of heart, loss, mistakes, forgiveness, family (both by blood and found), delightful characters, and an immersive setting. A fantastic historical that is highly recommended to general historical as well as Christian historical fans!

As I'm gathering my thoughts after finishing this, what I do know is that this story is absolutely wonderful. Beginning to end. It resonates deeply with its flawed characters and themes of loss, mistakes, forgiveness, caring for others, family and love. The story is steadily paced but grows in emotional intensity as the story progresses, building to a somewhat climatic ending for several of the characters. These characters struggle and face challenges and choices but find a very sweet ending. I also adored the way weaving cloth was carried throughout the story in such a meaningful way.

I loved these characters! Lorna definitely struggles with some choices. She does try but also has had some pretty difficult things she's faced and is still working through. I'm not justifying some of her decisions, but I could see why she might have made them. Her character goes on quite a journey developing into something better at the end. And she's humble and regretful enough to do the hard things to get there. Arthur was honestly my favorite character from this story. He is quiet and reserved while also strong, thoughtful and caring. He's steady, humble, talented, hardworking, and unconditionally loving. Some of the sweetest moments are with him. I couldn't help cheering for him. Gentry is a ball of energy and disruption, but in the most rebellious and sweet way. I know that doesn't entirely make sense, but once you've read this, you'll understand what I mean. They're an interesting group of characters and I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the three of them. Then there all the side characters that brought some great humor and extra personality to the story. The author did a fantastic job with the dialogue and these characters! I definitely didn't mind spending time with them.

There were several poignant parts and quotes, but I will share just this one:
"I'm proud of you." He was about to kiss her when she turned away." I don't see how you can be. All I did was confess that I lied. That's hardly admirable." Arthur turned her face back to him. " I think it's often harder to confess something than it would have been to do the right thing to begin with. What you did was brave." He smiled. "And right. It's never too late to do what's right."

In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes! This was a fantastic read! So full of the complexities and the contrasts of life as these characters seek to make correct choices and reach for their own happily-ever-afters. I can't recommend this one enough!

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

About the Author


Sarah Loudin Thomas (sarahloudinthomas.com) is the author of numerous acclaimed novels, including The Finder of Forgotten Things, The Right Kind of Fool, winner of the 2021 Selah Book of the Year, and Miracle in a Dry Season, winner of the 2015 INSPY Award. She worked in public relations for Biltmore Estate for six years and is now the director of Jan Karon's Mitford Museum. A native of West Virginia, she and her husband now live in western North Carolina.

You can find the author here.


Have you read any of the author's other books or stories set in the Appalachians or the Biltmore?