Friday, July 21, 2017

"Searching for Irene" Review & Giveaway

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ae98b8a99/


Title:  Searching for Irene

Author:  Marlene Bateman

Pages:  268

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.

My rating is 4 stars.

I always like to read a good mystery and this was a good one!  I was unfamiliar with this author, but when the chance came to review it, I jumped!  The story is set in the 1920s in Virginia.  Anna Coughlin is in her mid-20s and has something not many women have…a college degree.  She works as a financial advisor of sorts, preparing tax documents, payroll records and estate planning.  Her younger sister, Irene, works for the same firm.  A few months ago, Irene accepted a live-in position to get all the paperwork in order for taxes at a wealthy estate in Virginia.  She writes to her sister frequently, but the letters stop coming and Anna begins to worry.  She finds out that her sister has disappeared.  A search was undertaken at the time of her disappearance, but all that was found missing from her room was a suitcase.  Most of her possessions were left behind, giving the impression she was planning to return.

Anna has always protected Irene as she had to raise her when their mother was always at work.  Irene is headstrong, impetuous, beautiful, full of life and not afraid to push the envelope of propriety.  Anna has always lived in her shadow, but loves her sister deeply and will do whatever is necessary to find her.  She decides to investigate on her own as the police don’t seem to be doing much.  She takes a job as Irene’s replacement at the mansion in Virginia, but she tells no one of her relationship to Irene.  She begins asking questions and stirs the pot as strange things begin to occur.  Anna is also at odds with the young heir-to-be, Tyler Richardson.  He is attractive, but gruff, distant and sometimes downright rude.  He is against Anna being hired, but his father overrules him.  Tyler and Anna butt heads initially, but Tyler soon learns that Anna is quite efficient and knows her job well, plus his father likes her.  As Anna keeps her identity secret and continues her quest, the stakes are increased and her heart ignores her brain when she falls in love.  What happened to Irene?  Did she leave to meet a man and run off to get married?  Did she steal some things from the mansion and take off for the big city?

The had a Gothic feel in certain creepy parts that I liked as it raised goosebumps on my arms!  The ending was a surprise reveal, which I found well done.  I didn’t really like the character of Tyler much as he seemed too hot and cold, going from rude and mean to smoldering gazes for Anna.  Anna had a determined mindset that she didn’t waver from even facing danger to herself.  The mystery was a little slow in some portions, but overall flowed well.  I liked the crusty character of the father, Lawrence Richardson the best.  I would like to read more from this author and would recommend this book for any mystery buff.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)


Title:  My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (Maude’s Mooring)

Author:  Carrie Fancett Pagels

Pages:  256

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Maude Welling is the main character in the story.  She is expecting to inherit an inn on the island.  The inn has been in the family through her mother’s side though her father doubted she could run it without a husband.  When her childhood friend returns to the island and she expects to become engaged to him, imagine her surprise when he returns with a friend!

Maude is a very independent, head-strong woman who sets her course with little thought of how it will impact her or anyone else.  When a young wealthy man shows up on the island, Maude begins to be drawn to him, but doesn’t really understand what she is feeling.  There are many other interesting characters in the story that bring depth to the book.  It was very fun and exciting to read!

I hope you grab a cold soda and relax as you enjoy a wonderful tale from author Carrie Fancett Pagels!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery #2)


Title:  The Cover Story (A Branigan Powers Mystery #2)

Author:  Deb Richardson-Moore

Pages:  280

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 5 stars.

News reporter Branigan Powers is looking forward to the Christmas holiday as her nephew and niece are coming home from their respective colleges.  Branigan’s niece, Charlie, however is involved in a serious car accident that leaves her in the hospital.  When Branigan first visits her niece, she tells her that an old-fashioned style hearse ran her off the road and that her passenger, Janie Rose, seemed scared even before they left campus to drive home.  A death results from the accident, causing devastation to a family.  Curiosity and a need to find the truth drive as well as being assigned to do a story on the accident, drive Branigan to begin searching for answers.

She is led to the town’s local college where she makes some startling discoveries with the help of a local homeless man, Malachi Martin.  Malachi wants the truth too because he has watched Charlie grow up and sees her compassionate heart for others.  He wants to find out who caused her harm.  Malachi and Branigan pool their resources as they once again interact with some homeless people as in the first mystery in the series titled, The Cantaloupe Thief.  Branigan uncovers secrets that cause the danger to herself to escalate.  She has also begun perhaps a budding romance with a detective, Chester Scovoy.  He wants her safe, but knows her instinct to ferret out the truth will lead her to investigate no matter what he thinks or says.  He just knows he will try his best to keep her safe.

This was a great mystery!  I couldn’t put it down as I was so interested in finding out where the story would take me and who was guilty of murder.  I was totally surprised at the ending!  I liked the character of Branigan because she refuses to give up and wants justice served.  She will keep asking questions until she gets an answer one way or another.  I also liked the romance element that has begun with this installment.  Malachi is a homeless veteran who still has problems, but they don’t keep him from helping others.  He doesn’t help in the hopes of getting something from someone, but because it is the right thing to do.  I’m excited for the next book in the series and have no reservations with recommending this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Letter from Lancaster County (A Novel)


Title:  A Letter from Lancaster County (A Novel)

Author:  Kate Lloyd

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Two sisters are on their way to visit with an aunt they haven’t seen in years after the death of their mother.  Angela and Rose are as different as two sisters can be and unfortunately, they don’t currently enjoy a close relationship.  What was really intriguing to read was their inner thoughts about how they really felt about each other among many other topics.  Angela has a marriage that is less than satisfying and Rose is a single woman who truly is a unique character.

Through their time with their aunt readers will enjoy seeing the adventures they have, the talks, walks, and interactions with their aunt and others in Lancaster County.  As I read further and further into the novel, I was captured by the tale woven not just about the women, their experiences and such but about their spiritual life or lack thereof.

It was fascinating to see how in the story the truth about things not always being what they seem came true in a couple of instances.  I enjoyed Rose’s character because her personality just seemed to be determined, independent and a little bit of a stinker.  Whereas Angela seemed to be one who liked to take things personally and yet came to see herself in a different way by the end of the book.

I can’t wait for the second book to come out to see what the future holds for the sisters or any of the other characters I met for a short time in the pages of the novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”