Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Review of Counterfeit Faith by Crystal Caudill


Counterfeit Faith JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for Counterfeit Faith by Crystal Caudill, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Counterfeit Faith Title: Counterfeit Faith 
Series: Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age #3 
Author: Crystal Caudill 
Publisher: Kregel Publications 
Release Date: May 16, 2023 
Genre: Christian Historical Romance 

She's losing her faith in mankind. He's lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both? 

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She'll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she's determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don't like to be crossed--and they're willing to kill to get their way. 

Gwendolyn knows she can't quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care. 

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble--and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he's truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife. 

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible--if they can live through this case. At the same time, he's put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds? 

"Page-turning action combines with depth and richness to create a full-bodied, rewarding read." 
 --Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of The Metropolitan Affair 

"Readers who love romance, suspense, and a graceful amount of faith won't want to miss this story." 
 --Toni Shiloh, Christy Award-winning author 

"With a host of sympathetic and likable characters (and a few not so likable), a riveting plot that clips along at the perfect pace, and a relatable faith thread, this book [is a] completely enjoyable read." 
 --Kimberly Duffy, Carol Award finalist and author of A Tapestry of Light

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Christianbook | BookBub

My Review

Counterfeit Faith had me engaged with the storyline and characters within the first few pages. Gwendolyn Ellison is a matron over the girls at the Final Chance House of Refuge. As she cares for the children she finds herself in a precarious position that can threaten her job and her life. She will go to no end to keep the children safe. When Secret Service operative, Josiah Isaacs crosses her path, things become even more problematic.

It is a historical fiction filled with intrigue, mystery, and suspense. The main characters are courageous enduring, and willing to endure whatever to save the ones they love.

The plot is exciting and will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next and whether faith will see them through. An entertaining and faith-filled story from a gifted writer. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and willingly choose to review it.

More Books in this Series

Counterfeit Love Counterfeit Hope

About the Author

Crystal Caudill

Crystal Caudill is the author of "dangerously good historical romance," with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

Connect with Crystal by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive print copies of Counterfeit Love, Counterfeit Hope, and Counterfeit Faith, a set of bookmarks, 2 stickers with quotes, and a magnet with a QR code to a "test your Secret Service knowledge" quiz!

Counterfeit Faith JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 31, 2023 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 7, 2023. Winner 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 the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Review of Clarissa ( Book 1- Chronicles of the Hudson River Valley) by Jean Jacobsen



Book Details:

Book Title:  Clarissa: A Clean & Wholesome American Historical Romance by Jean Jacobsen
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+) ,  324 pages
GenreHistorical Romance
PublisherJean Jacobsen
Release date:   Feb 2020
Content RatingG: Wholesome
Book Description:

Tragedy brings them together. Will love tear them apart?

New York City, 1832. Clarissa Tanner is carefree and lighthearted until the sudden death of her parents. Forced to pay off family debts or lose her horse farm, she's given one choice: auction off her beloved horses or reluctantly enter 1830s New York Society social season to face the dreaded marriage market.

Nicholas is a man on a mission, searching for his missing brother. Fearing Liam may be the victim of foul play, Nicholas needs to keep a low profile while conducting his search. He takes a position as a dance instructor, providing refresher lessons to the beautiful but distracted Clarissa.

Clarissa and Nicholas find a connection through grief and movement as they fight their attraction to one another. Will they give in to their desires and find true love or will family obligations keep them apart?
Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Jean Jacobsen is an award-winning storyteller of Sweet, Historical Romance. Featuring strong female characters, roguish heroes, and 19th Century adventure tales. She pens stories that transcend the heart and always have a happy ending. Because of Jean’s deep passion for history, she includes real events from the time period, making her stories come to life as they transport you to a by-gone era. Join her on the next adventure.

connect with the authors: website ~ facebook bookbub goodreads 

My Review

The first book in the series and the first I've read from this author. I have to say I was thoroughly entertained by the genre set in 1832. I loved the character of Clarissa and her fondness for the horses at Lockwood Manor.

With a new set of circumstances befalling the family, Clarissa finds herself looking for a suitor in order to save the manor. The storyline is exciting, with a sense of mystery and danger. It kept me turning the pages and wondering what would happen next.

I can't wait to read the next one in the series. I'm definitely a fan of the author and highly recommend it.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and willingly choose to review it.

Enter the Giveaway:
Clarissa by Jean Jacobsen Book Tour Giveaway

Friday, May 26, 2023

New Release- Trouble in Dry Springs by Kristina Hall

 Even the peaceful town of Dry Springs is not without trouble.

When Eliza McCoslin's brother sends for her, she exchanges war-torn Mississippi for Dry Springs, Texas. Settling into a new way of life proves difficult though, despite the arrival of the man she's long admired.

Jesse Carrigan comes to Dry Springs seeking work and a place to start the ranch he's dreamed of ever since his parents lost their farm. What he doesn't expect to find is the woman he'd like to court—or his former colonel on the run from a deadly threat.

Given the circumstances keeping Jesse and Eliza apart and the danger looming on the horizon, he and Eliza find themselves facing the loss of future love—and life. When trouble comes to Dry Springs, who will be left standing?

To Purchase on Amazon


Trouble in Dry Springs had me captivated by the vivid descriptions of life in Texas in 1855. The characters of Eliza, Anson & Jesse all brought various traits and values to the story. The story is filled with lots of faith, unknown danger, and moments of compassion.

A great historical western read with lots of action that kept me glued to the pages. Another great read from Kristina Hall. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from the author and voluntarily choose to review it. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Review of Mistaken Mountain Abduction by Shannon Redmon


Tracking a kidnapper

leads to a deadly pursuit

After her twin is abducted and mistaken for her, former army helicopter pilot Aggie Newton must move fast. She has to find her sister and figure out why’s she’s become a target—even if it means working with her ex. But Detective Bronson Young knows these criminals will do anything to stop their investigation. Can they dodge deadly attacks long enough to save Aggie’s sister and expose the kidnappers?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

Order on Amazon

My Review

A mistaken identity incident with her sister sends Aggie into a tailspin trying to find her. With help from Bronson, an ex-boyfriend from her past, they try to work together to find her sister. A recently discharged Army Lieutenant, Aggie, uses her military training to figure out who is behind the abduction.

The storyline takes you on a roller-coaster ride of cat and mouse chases, survival, and imminent danger situations. The characters are well-developed with many layers and I related to them right away. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. A great read from the author and highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and voluntarily choose to review it. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Review of Love in the Headlines by Penny Zeller



About the Book


Book: Love in the Headlines

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 9, 2023

Can paper and paw prints draw these two nemeses together?

All Carleigh Adams wants is a relaxing evening. But Sullivan Theodore IV, her wayward Shih Tzu, has other plans. After escaping from home, Sullivan Theodore unlawfully enters what Carleigh assumes is a stranger’s house via a doggy door. Much to Carleigh’s horror, it is actually the home of her coworker and nemesis, Trey “The Irritating” Montgomery.

Trey Montgomery has had to work with “Quirky Carleigh,” his top competitor for the best articles at The Oakville Daily, for the past two years. It’s safe to say that she and her criminally-minded pet are his adversaries. Trey’s attempts to keep his distance from her are demolished when their boss thrusts them together as The Oakville Daily Duo, forcing them to work as a team on every. Single. Article.

Petty crimes and crazy shenanigans in Oakville soon draw Carleigh and Trey into doubling as detectives. When dogs, including their own pets, begin to mysteriously disappear, Carleigh and Trey join forces to uncover the culprit. As they work to report the daily news and solve the crimes in Oakville, can these two stubborn reporters find love in the headlines?

Faith, plentiful humor, and tender romance round out the latest Christian contemporary romance novel by Author Penny Zeller.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This was a wonderful surprise. The humorous banter between the main characters made me smile and sometimes laugh. It was a lighthearted, warm cozy kind of story that kept me hooked from the beginning. The many dogs in the story were a wonderful addition.

The mystery and slow-burn romance kept me guessing what would happen next. An enjoyable read and highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and voluntarily choose to review it. All opinions are my own.


About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.

Today Penny is the author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. Her desire is to assist and nurture women into a closer relationship with Christ.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, bicycling/cycling, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.

She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,  blog, and on Facebook.

Subscribe to Penny’s newsletter for writing updates, news about freebies and giveaways, and other fun morsels.


More from Penny

The Inspiration Behind Love in the Headlines

When the idea for Love in the Headlines popped into my head, I knew I wouldn’t have to go far to find the inspiration for Sullivan Theodore IV, the spunky and mischievous Shih Tzu in the story.

For, once upon a time, a little white puppy needed a home.

From the second my niece and nephews walked through the door with him, Sulley Jaxx became more than just a pet. He became a member of the family.

It’s definitely not uncommon for dogs to become members of families. However, Sulley’s adoption became even more special because of his new family.

Years ago, my mom suffered a serious accident and she subsequently became wheelchair-bound. Unable to live the active life she once did, she and my dad were blessed to be able to move into the “mother-in-law apartment” of my sister and brother-in-law’s house.

My niece, Ally, has been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder, POTS, which can, at times, seriously interfere with her daily activities.

Enter Sulley.

My mom and Ally have what could only be considered as a “joint custody” arrangement. While Sulley’s favorite person is Ally, he is also quite partial to snuggling with my mom in her chair, and truly, my mom spoils him and lets Sulley get away with everything.

Sulley begs treats off a big softie known as my dad, aka Poppy, to his grandchildren, and Sulley runs like the wind with my nephew, Kolten. He recently gained a new admirer when my nephew, Seth, and his wife, Autumn, had their baby daughter.

And the inspiration behind the newspaper reporters? Back when video cameras were big, clunky, and oversized, my sister, cousin, friends, and I pretended to be reporters. We’d report and record the news, including some fun and very fabricated stories. Sometime I’ll have to do an archeological dig and locate those old VHS tapes.

I also wrote “articles” with friends and co-workers from my after-school job as the main characters of those articles. I wanted to be a reporter, and was blessed to be a photojournalist when my daughters were little. That launched my career as an author, my dream since I was in second grade.

Love in the Headlines takes readers on an enjoyable journey into a small, close-knit, American town where everyone knows everyone else. A town where faith and church are important. A slow-paced town where the newspaper’s main goal is to provide a family-friendly news outlet and everyone is excited when their photos or stories are featured. As Howard, the owner, says, “We should have an entire cache of great photos and well-written articles that will cause parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and everyone twice removed to purchase copies of The Oakville Daily.”

Love in the Headlines is a Christian contemporary romance with an enemies-to-lovers trope as the main theme. And, while most things in Oakville move at a relaxed pace, when a stranger begins committing crimes, including dognapping, Howard puts Carleigh and Trey, aka, The Oakville Daily Duo on the story. Will they realize their feelings for each other in the process?

With tender romance, faith, and abundant humor, I can’t wait for readers to meet Carleigh, Trey, Sullivan Theodore IV, Jaxx, and the rest of the gang.

                    Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 11

Pause for Tales, May 12

She Lives to Read, May 13

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 14 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 19

Cover Lover Book Review, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 21

Bizwings Book Blog, May 22

Holly’s Book Corner, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

Karen Baney Reviews, May 24


To celebrate her tour, Penny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift!!

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

Friday, May 19, 2023

She Who Rides Horses by Sarah V. Barnes- Excerpt, Author Q & A, and My Review


Book Details:

Book Title:  She Who Rides Horses: A Saga of the Ancient Steppe (Book One) by Sarah V. Barnes
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  267 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Publisher:  Lilith House Press 
Release date:  March 2022
Content RatingPG.  It contains two kissing scenes and the death of an animal.
Book Description:

Set more than 6,000 years ago, She Who Rides Horses: A Saga of the Ancient Steppe (Book One) begins the story of Naya, the first person to ride a horse.

Daughter of a clan chief, bolder than other girls but shunned by the boys because of her unusual appearance, Naya wanders alone through the vast grasslands where her people herd cattle and hunt wild horses for their meat. But Naya dreams of creating a different kind of relationship with the magnificent creatures.

One day, she discovers a filly with a chestnut coat as uncommon as her own head of red hair. With time running out before she is called to assume the responsibilities of adulthood, Naya embarks on a quest to gallop with the red filly across the boundless steppe.

Unwittingly, she sets in motion forces and events that will change forever the future of humans and horses alike.

Guest Post – Excerpt from Chapter One

      It was long after noon the next day before Naya was at last able to slip away. This time she was better prepared. In a deer skin bag slung over one shoulder she carried flint tools and kindling for making fire, a flint knife and enough food to last a day, as well as a full water skin. Over the other shoulder was coiled a long length of braided rawhide, strong enough, she hoped, to restrain the filly…

       She found the little band at dusk, when the sun’s afterglow cast blackening shadows across the landscape. She had just gained the top of a small rise and could see for some distance, despite the gathering darkness. There they were – blurred shapes silhouetted against the next range of hills. Succeeding ridges gained in height, verdant meadows giving way to forested slopes, behind which the sun had disappeared. The horses had led her to the edge of the grasslands…

        Naya shivered in the rapidly cooling air. The horses appeared to have stopped for the evening. The mares’ heads hung low, muzzles almost touching the ground in deep relaxation and she could make out several darker shapes that must be the foals, lying in the grass at their feet. Only the stallion stood alert, scenting the air for danger before dropping his head to grab a few mouthfuls of grass. Moments later, his head lifted again, keen eyes scanning the landscape.

    Naya settled herself in the deep grass and rested her folded arms atop her knees. From her vantage on the rise downwind from the small band, she could sit and keep watch without arousing suspicion… Eventually, cheek resting on her forearms, she closed her eyes, and slept…

      At some point later in the night, she thought she awoke. Lifting her head from her folded arms, she checked the herd. They were as they’d been before, dozing in the lee of the hillside across from the rise where she sat. Even the stallion had relaxed his vigilance and stood with his head lowered. The full moon now rode high in the sky, bright enough to cast faint shadows. As Naya’s eyes adjusted to the night, the moon’s light illuminated a faint track leading down the rise at an angle from where the horses rested. She hadn’t noticed it before.

    Rising, Naya moved as silently as she could, following the path in the moonlight. Soon, she found herself ascending another small rise, then descending, then rising again, until at last she stood at the edge of a ravine. Below, she could see a stream, shining in the moonlight, gurgling quietly as it flowed over its stony bed… Slipping and sliding, Naya made her way down the steep slope, scratching her skin against sharp rocks and thorny underbrush. At last she reached the bottom and looked around her. Along the ravine’s floor, smooth white stones marked the water course… Drawn onward, Naya followed the path upstream into a grove of trees.

       There, a wondrous sight met her eyes. Oaks and birches encircled a small pool of water, fed by an underground spring. Reflected in the pool’s clear, still surface was the round orb of the moon, casting its light from high above the rocky cliffs which formed the pool’s backdrop. Beside the pool stood the red filly, burnished coat softly aglow. Naya froze, rooted as if she were one of the trees, and stared. The filly, startled by the girl’s approach, stared back. Neither moved. Eventually, Naya remembered to breathe. In the next moment, she realized that she had left her rope, along with everything else she’d brought with her, back on the rise. Still, she and the filly stood motionless, looking at one another.

      In that moment, Naya’s senses underwent an almost imperceptible shift; the moonlight became just a little brighter, the stream’s murmur became just a little louder, the slight breeze rustling the leaves in the trees became just a little fresher against her skin. In the next moment, she seemed to feel the filly’s thoughts.

     I will grant your heart’s desire, but only if you are able to grant mine. The musical voice resonated within the core of Naya’s being, even though no sound other than the splash of flowing water and whisper of the wind in the trees disturbed the silence of the grove. What is your heart’s desire?

     Awestruck, Naya could only gaze back at the young horse, who now regarded her with luminous dark eyes in which fear had given way to curiosity. Finally, she found her own voice. “I wish to be with you,” she said simply. “I wish to touch your coat.” Then, from deep inside, another longing welled up, a yearning so audacious she almost couldn’t bring herself to speak. Hesitatingly, she uttered the words. “I wish,” she said, “to ride upon your back.”

        Ah, the red filly seemed to reply, if this is indeed your deepest desire, then you must see with the eyes of your heart and create ties without the use of a rope. And when you have succeeded in granting my heart’s desire, then shall yours be granted also.

       Before Naya could begin to ponder the meaning of the words, the filly brushed past her in a chestnut blur and was gone, disappearing through the trees toward the mouth of the ravine. Gazing after her, Naya shook her head, as if to clear her senses. Water still flowed in the creek and a breeze still rustled among the leaves. The moon still cast its dim glow – but the moment of utter clarity had vanished, just as suddenly as the young horse. Shaking herself again, as if awakening from a dream, Naya retraced her steps to the mouth of the ravine. There was no sign of the red filly…


Meet the Author:

Sarah V. Barnes, Ph.D. is both an historian and a horsewoman. When Sarah is not writing stories, she practices and teaches riding as a meditative art. She also offers equine-facilitated coaching and wellness workshops.

Sarah holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and spent many years as a college professor before turning full-time to riding and writing. She has two grown daughters and lives with her husband, her dogs and her horses near Boulder, CO.

connect with the author: website facebook ~  goodreads


Q: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

A: David Whyte has a line in his poem What to Remember When Waking:

“To become human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.”

For me, this speaks to the essence of what we do as writers. Becoming visible means putting yourself and your words out there, for others to read. Writing is an inherently vulnerable act. Even if no one reads what you write other than yourself, you are still making yourself visible, if only to yourself. You are revealing what is hidden – the gift of your true self – the gift each of us alone can offer to the world. The whole poem is a powerful reminder of why we are here – and that line in particular really inspires me, especially as a writer.


Q: Is your book mainly for horse lovers?

A: No – it’s meant to appeal to a wider audience. I describe the story as ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ meets ‘My Friend Flicka.’ Certainly, the horses, and Naya’s relationship with the red filly in particular, represent an important aspect of the storyline, but readers don’t have to be horse people to connect with the characters. The challenges they face are universal.


Q: What is the most courageous thing that you’ve done?

A: There’s more than one type of courage, of course. In terms of physical courage, competing in the cross-country phase of eventing probably took the most courage. Eventing is the triathlon of horse sports and cross-country involves galloping around a course while jumping over stone walls, leaping off banks, crossing ditches, and traversing water obstacles. Like most things that require courage, however, proper preparation takes some of the edge off. If you and your horse have practiced navigating the various types of obstacles, and you’ve walked the course and know what to expect, a good outcome is more likely. As far as the kind of courage that involves emotional vulnerability as opposed to physical risk, the hardest thing that I’ve had to do is allow my children to go out into the world, make their own choices (and mistakes) and forge their own paths. You want the best for them, and that starts with setting them free. Not surprisingly, elements from both these personal experiences of courage show up in my books. 


Q: What are your hobbies?

A: When I’m not writing, I’m often at the barn with my horse. Horses are creatures of the present moment. They can also potentially be quite dangerous if you don’t understand them. Spending time around horses necessitates being mindful, being grounded, paying attention. My horse and I have a relationship which requires that I show up as my best self. Hobby is perhaps not the right word for the time and effort that I devote to her, and the lessons she teaches me. Spiritual practice comes to mind.


Q: What is your writing schedule?

A: Many writers apparently do their best work early in the morning. For me, that’s not the case. While I like to get up with the sun, I spend that first quiet hour journaling and reading, with a cup of chai at my elbow, followed by meditation and movement practice. Once the day is underway, my first commitment is usually going to the barn. Only after I’ve spent time with my horse, do I sit down to write. Once I’m at my desk, other than letting the dogs out and going upstairs for tea, I’m pretty much working away until dinner. I write very slowly – going back to reread and rework passages – so I need big chunks of uninterrupted time. Luckily I’m at a stage of life where I can enjoy that luxury.


Q: What is your next project?

A: I’m nearing the end of the writing/editing process for the second book in the She Who Rides Horses series. There will be a third book, for sure, and possibly more, depending on how the story unfolds. At some point, the novels will be released as an audiobook and ultimately, I’d love to see the story made into a film or limited series.



She Who Rides Horses is a very detailed story about a teenage girl, Naya, who has visions of horses. Although her clan kills the horses for food, her heart's desire is to ride them. One red horse in particular.

The storyline is one of hardship, recovery, trust, and forgiveness. The spiritual aspect of the story lends another dimension of insight, relationships between horses and mankind. I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape, the many-layered characters, and the ever-changing circumstances of their everyday life.

A very exciting and enjoyable read that will take you on an inspiring magical journey. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and voluntarily choose to review it. All opinions are my own.

Enter the Giveaway:


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Review of Murmur in the Mud Caves by Kathleen Denly


Historical Romance/Historical Fiction


He came to cook for ranch hands, not three single women.

Gideon Swift, a visually impaired Civil War Veteran, responds to an ad for a ranch cook in the Southern California desert mountains. He wants nothing more than to forget his past and stay in the kitchen where he can do no harm. But when he arrives to find his employer murdered, the ranch turned to ashes, and three young women struggling to survive in the unforgiving Borrego Desert, he must decide whether his presence protects them or places them in greater danger.

Bridget “Biddie” Davidson finally receives word from her older sister who disappeared with their brother and pa eighteen years prior, but the news is not good. Determined to help her family, Biddie sets out for a remote desert ranch with her adopted father and best friend. Nothing she finds there is as she expected, including the man who came to cook for the shambles of a ranch.

When tragedy strikes, the danger threatens not only her plans to help her sister but her own dreams for the future—with the man who’s stolen her heart.

To Purchase on Amazon


The storyline is full of heartache, danger, and sacrifice. I loved the scriptural references by the main characters that showed their faith in God when they needed to be strengthened. The women in the story are courageous, strong-willed, and adapted to the unknown.

I loved the author's easy-to-read writing style, vivid descriptions of the landscape, and many layers of the characters. The building love story kept the interest in the story moving along, as well as, upcoming dangerous situations.

Murmur in the Mud Caves is a powerful story filled with faith, love, and compassion and is one you will remember well after you close the final page. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from the author and voluntarily choose to review it.


Monday, May 8, 2023

Spotlight of Devotion (Emotions of the Heart Book 2) by Jo Huddleston

 Devotion – Book Description:

An outgoing woman. A sensible bachelor. A happily ever after?

Bernice Thompson is an extroverted legal secretary. When her boss sends her to an out-of-state assignment, she falls for Gene Courtland. But is he as devoted to her as she is to him?

Gene Courtland’s world becomes perfect when Bernice enters it. He wants to spend the rest of his life with Bernice but is too vulnerable to tell her.

A roadblock named Ruth believes Gene loves her, not Bernice. Ruth will do anything to tear them apart. When Ruth’s behavior turns irrational, will Bernice and Gene ever have their happily ever after?


Link to Devotion:

Excerpt from Devotion:

That evening when Gene knocked on Bernice’s door, and she answered looking radiant, it was all he could do not to drop to a knee and propose the moment he saw her. As they walked to his car, the flowing skirt of her yellow sundress fluttered around her knees in the slight breeze. In the early evening, the July day's heat had somewhat lowered.

Inside his club’s dining room, several couples had already arrived, and a gentleman at the piano entertained them splendidly.

“It’s so good to have you sitting across the table from me. I’m repeating myself, but I sure did miss you while you were away.”

“Yeah, me too.”

After finishing their baked salmon with a creamy dill sauce, roasted asparagus, and a simple slaw, they lingered over key lime pie and coffee. Now and then, Gene pressed his hand against his sportscoat pocket to make sure the ring box was still there.

Bernice laid down her fork and sipped her coffee. “That was terrific. I’ll have to go away again to get such a meal to celebrate returning.” Her laugh died away when he didn’t join her.

“Please don’t even joke about going away again. I’ve been down in the dumps with you away.”

“You have?”

She seemed to brighten at his comment as if she took it as a compliment. Should he propose to her now?

Instead, he said, “Yes, I have. Soon after we met, I told you I wanted to continue seeing you.”

“I remember you said so, right here in this dining room. And I told you it was wonderful.”

He reached across the table to take her hand. “I guess you wonder why I haven’t said more words like that. I should have, but something held me back, and you deserve to know what.”


“No, please, don’t interrupt. Please, just listen.” He gazed into her flashing green eyes and wondered if he’d ever get out the words he wanted to say. Then he stumbled on....

Award-winning and bestseller Jo Huddleston is the multi-published author of sweet Southern mid-20th-century romance. She writes stories inspired by her fascination with the 1950s and her love of her Native American South. Her readers describe Jo as a wonderful storyteller whose books will inspire and entertain you.

Jo likes to laugh with people but not at people. The beach is her favorite vacation spot. Jo doesn't like to see or hear about people or animals being abused. She's a spectator fan of several sports, her favorite being tennis. Jo doesn't like being in the dark and is fearful of snakes! Her favorite fast food is a hot dog with all the trimmings and mustard but no ketchup.

Visit Jo's website at where you can read the first chapter of her novels and novellas and receive a free eBook copy of Jo's short stories when you sign up for her newsletter.


A wonderfully written story of Bernice and Gene, as well as, a cast of other interesting characters that entertained and amazed me with their love, understanding, and devotion to their spouses and friends. The story is set in the 1950s and the descriptions of what was happening then are well depicted. I was drawn into the story from the first few pages.

The firm of Colbert & Colbert where the characters worked seemed credible and came to life through the author's descriptions of everyday business. There are some surprises along the way, as well as, some sweet romantic moments.

An entertaining and uplifting story filled with scriptural content which enriched the story. Another good read from the author. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and choose to review it. All my opinions are my own.