Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen // I Read with Audra Tour, Review, and Giveaway

About the book:

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Review: A resurfaced memory, a painful past relationship, can they move forward?

A powerful story about love, redemption, and forgiveness. A story told in the present day with glimpses into a past of forbidden love and lost hopes. I loved that this story picks up with familiar characters from the previous book, but could also be read as a standalone. 

A beautifully told story, well written, with effortless transitions. I think that my favorite part of the book was Ephraim and Rosie's story set in the 1950's and how the author vividly brought that time to life in a realistic and conscious way. 

Compelling storytelling, with strong themes of faith throughout. I thought that the author did an excellent job of showing the heartbreak of Alzheimer's disease, the loss and heartbreak, as well as the bright moments. Lauren and Carter are likable protagonists, flawed, vulnerable, with past regrets that they are still overcoming.

Overall, a memorable read, compelling, engaging,  and well written, dealing deftly with difficult topics. Definitely recommend!

 I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

What Others Are Saying

“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists

“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging

About the author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).




Undercover Assignment by Dana Mentink // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Undercover Assignment

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

This K-9 will stop at nothing to keep a child safe.

When a little boy is threatened, Officer Daniella Vargas and K-9 partner, Zara, are assigned to pose as his nanny to uncover the culprit’s identity. Suspecting one of the guests in his inn, widower Sam Kavanaugh’s only option is to begrudgingly trust Daniella and Zara to help. But can they solve the case and its mysterious connection to Sam’s late wife before it’s too late?


Click here to get your copy!

 Review: When strange things start happening around his inn and endangering his young son, Oliver, Sam Kavanaugh reaches out to the local police to help. 

Daniella Vargas grudgingly takes a job guarding a child along with her K-9, Zara. But as the unsettling events become more frightening, Daniella and Sam must work together to keep Oliver safe and figure out the source of the threats before someone gets hurt. 

Engaging and intriguing, this was a book that I picked up easily and didn't want to put down. Sam is an excellent father, protective of his son, and full of faith. Oliver is such an adorable kid, I loved how he instantly takes to Zara and welcomes Daniella into their lives. I enjoyed how this book was more of a mystery than a guns blazing suspense, wonderful pacing, as well as the great interaction between the characters, and how I grew to love them more as the story progressed. 

Overall, this was a wonderful read, entertaining with strong faith, mystery, and well developed, compelling characters. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


About the Author

Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter, Facebook and Bookbub.


More from Dana

What a joy to participate in a series with seven other talented authors! A continuity series is a set of books, each written by a different author, and each with its own suspense plot along with an overarching series plot and characters. It’s a very complicated project to complete, but the fantastic part is chatting, collaborating, and sometimes commiserating with other writers. What a rare treat, since most of our work is done alone in dark rooms with computer screens and bottomless cups of coffee! This series was especially fun to write because of the whole wilderness lodge setting which is my favorite type of story. Picture it! Ancient cliff dwellings, a freak electrical storm, twenty-four hours with no power and a killer on the loose! That’s my kind of suspense novel. I hope you will enjoy this multi author series as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 15

Inklings and notions, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

EmpowerMoms, June 16

Vicky Sluiter, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

An Author’s Take, June 18

Blogging With Carol, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Betti Mace, June 20

Texas Book-aholic, June 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 21

She Lives To Read, June 22

Through the Fire Blogs, June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 23

Labor Not in Vain, June 24

deb’s Book Review, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 26

For the Love of Literature, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 27

Genesis 5020, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 28


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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



Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman // Review

Review: A delightful rom-com retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in America during the 1980's. 

Nostalgic and full of heart, this is the Pride and Prejudice retelling that I didn't know that I needed. Engaging and original, paying homage to one of literature's most beloved romances. I loved Elyse from the start, the middle of the elder set of Nesbitt sisters she is used to being overlooked in favor of her beautiful sister Jayne or her attention-seeking younger sister, Lydia. As she tries to find her place in a new town and new school, she is intrigued by Billy Fitz, the enigmatic star of the football team and best friend to Jayne's new boyfriend Charlie. 

Told from Elyse's perspective, this was a heartwarming, hilarious coming of age story, filled with swoon-worthy moments, as well as faith. Such a fun read from beginning to end, yet I didn't want it to end and savored every sentence. Easily one of my favorite reads of this year! I'm really hoping for a sequel!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Fatal Code by Natalie Walters // Review


Elinor Mitchell is a dedicated aerospace engineer who stumbles on her late grandfather's research for a government nuclear project, making her the target of nefarious criminals. 

SNAP agent Kekoa Young has been tasked with monitoring Elinor, a job that he is uneasy with, especially as he gets to know her more and more. I liked how Kekoa's outgoing personality draws Elinor out and how he is willing to take a stand to support her. I liked that he admires her more quiet personality, and takes time to get to know her. I also loved the comradery between the SNAP agents as they work together. 

Overall, this was an entertaining read with well developed characters. Elinor is an incredibly intelligent heroine, yet she is humble and has a down to earth personality, with an appreciation for the nerdy. A little slower start, but building as it went, and the twists picked up momentum. An engaging, action packed read with compelling characters!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Going Home : Episode 5 // Review and Pure Flix Subscription Giveaway

“Going Home” is a new series that follows an inspiring team of nurses who help guide patients and loved ones on the ultimate journey – one of transition from this world to their forever home. It’s a race against time as the team must help their clients find peace and wrap up loose ends with compassion and dignity. 

 Everyone has a calling from God and Charley’s purpose is to help people transition from this world to their forever home. Watch this heartfelt series that will inspire you to think deeper about your relationships and how you can live well with the time we’re all blessed with. God gives everyone a calling – and for Charley, it’s to help families during one of the most difficult times of their lives. 

A heartfelt original series from Pure Flix that follows a group of nurses and their patients at an end of life facility as they prepare for their journey to the life after this one.

I was impressed from the start with the excellent writing of this series, dealing with a difficult subject in a way that is compassionate, gives dignity, respect, and is a reminder of the hope for those who believe in Christ. This particular episode was one the hardest to watch, as Katherine's daughter especially is struggling with the facts of their situation, while a child with end stage Huntington's disease is admitted to their facility. I loved seeing how Janey has grown under the mentorship of Charley as a nurse not only dealing with patients, but their families as well. 

Heartwarming and tear-jerking, yet at the same time filled with hope and encouragement for the families who are also facing some of their darkest days. I especially loved how Charley helped Sadie, by encouraging her to make the most of the time she had left with Steph. A inspiring and thought provoking new series that explores many unique topics for a TV series, bringing hope and encouragement even in the toughest trials. 

 #GoingHomeMIN #PureFlix #PureFlixVIPAmbassador #MomentumInfluencerNetwork 

 Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own. 

 Join Pure Flix now and watch Going Home today! 

 Giveaway: One 3-month Pure Flix subscription 

 Note: Giveaway is limited to US winners only.
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Lily of the Valley by Sarah M. Eden // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Lily of the Valley

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Genre: Georgian Romance

Release date: April 11, 2022

Amateur inventor Kester Barrington prefers the peace and quiet of his estate to the bustle of Society. But when his tightknit group of friends, the Gents, descends on Livingsley Hall for their annual gathering, he stoically joins in their activities. It all seems exhausting—until an unexpected addition to the party catches his eye: his new neighbor, the lovely Violet.

Violet Ridley longs to make friends in this new corner of the country, but her family’s fortune was made through investments rather than inheritance, and Society can be fickle. So when tragedy forces her family to shelter at neighboring Livingsley Hall, Violet is delighted to receive a warm welcome from the Gents. In particular, Violet finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kester. The pair is a study in contrasts: Violet, with her sunny disposition, and Kester, with his prickly facade. Their connection is impossible to deny, but both Kester and Violet harbor heavy constraints. As their association becomes increasingly tangled and confused, their only hope of pursuing a life together is to trust one another with the very truths that could tear them apart.


Click here to get your copy!


A sparkling read from Sarah M. Eden, with a full cast of engaging characters, and opportunity for romance. 

A riveting, highly enjoyable, clean historical read, I loved the depth of development of the characters as well as their comradery with each other. I loved how Kester's friends made the effort to always include him, as well as give him space to create and be himself. 

Violet is new to the area and is happy to find a welcoming group of new friends, especially Julia and Kester. She struggles to only show her sunny side. I loved how she and Kester connect over their shared interests, and are able to encourage and support each other. 

Overall, a highly enjoyable read with an excellent cast of characters that I can't wait to revisit! Well written with excellent interaction and growth, though I thought that there was an odd emphasis on the power of fate. A must read for lovers of clean historical romance!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.


More from Sarah

esearch is one of my favorite aspects of writing. Lily of the Valley offered ample opportunities for researching incredibly interesting topics. One main character is an amateur inventor, which tossed me deep into the realm of innovations of the 1780s and 1790s. The other main character has an interest in engineering and mechanics, allowing me to delve into what was known and understood in these fields at the end of the 18th Century. Amongst the supporting cast are a variety of interests, strengths, and passions, all of which saw me pouring over everything I could find from this era on those topics.


A particularly fun area of research I tossed myself into was parlor games played in late 18th Century England. Among my favorites I learned about:

  • The Three Kingdoms, a game very much like modern-day “Twenty Questions.” The guesser has up to six questions to gain clues about what the others in the group have decided among themselves is the thing the guesser is trying to discover. One twist: the first question is always “To which Kingdom does the item thought of belong? (meaning animal, vegetable, or mineral)

  • Short Answers, a game of wits and creativity. The group sits in a circle and one at a time, ask the person to their right a question which that person has to answer in only one word. However, the word cannot be repeated during that round. Once someone has answered a question “Yes” no one else can answer with that word until the round is over. A round ends when someone cannot think of a one-word answer to the question they have been asked and is, subsequently, eliminated.

  • A centuries-old version of musical chairs

  • A game that involved determining which fabricated crime the various players would pretend to have committed.

  • Plenty of games involving forfeits of kisses or handkerchiefs or other shows of affection that the very staid rules of Society would have otherwise looked down on.


Discovering more about the historical context of this book was intriguing and delightful. I hope readers will enjoy learning more of this bit of the past, lose themselves in romance, enjoy the delightful friendship between the characters, and perhaps even find a few new games to try.

-Sarah Eden

Blog Stops

Inside the Wong Mind, June 6

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Inklings and notions, June 7

Reading with Emily, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 8

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 10

deb's Book Review, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

The Book Club Network, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

Pause for Tales, June 13

Connie's History Classroom, June 14

Sylvan Musings, June 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 15

Rachael's Inkwell, June 16

Wishful Endings, June 16

Through the Fire Blogs, June 17

Britt Reads Fiction, June 18

Labor Not in Vain, June 18

To Everything There Is A Season, June 19

Miriam Jacob, June 19


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, print copy of book, and Exclusive Sarah Eden vinyl stickers!!

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



Love in Plain Sight by Kathleen Fuller // Review

Review: New love and healing in Birch Creek. 

Katherine Miller is a kind-hearted young woman who came to Birch Creek for sanctuary away from her painful secrets; not looking for a husband she has slowly made friends in the community. I loved that she had many supportive people in her life that she could call her friends, as well as her budding relationship with Ezra. My heart instantly went out to Katherine, and she is the kind of heroine that you can cheer for all the way through. 

The book also picks up some of the story threads from the previous books in the series, like with Rhoda and Loren as they wonder about the future of their relationship. Ezra is a kind and thoughtful young man, and I liked how he always was making sure that Katherine was comfortable and doing alright. 

Overall this was a quick, emotional, heartwarming read with strong themes of trusting God, forgiveness, courage and second chances. I loved revisiting familiar faces and meeting new ones, as well as finally solving some mysteries that had been going on in the background for quite some time. An excellent addition to the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams // Review

My Review: 

An exciting new fantasy series, with compelling characters and a gripping plot. 

Birdie has heard a song her whole life, but is the song a gift or a curse?

The first in what is set up to be trilogy, this first installment does an excellent job of setting up the plot and introducing us to Birdie, Amos and Ky. The world building was well done, there was a great balance of action and intrigue. 

I liked that this book took familiar fantasy tropes respinning them in a fresh way that grabbed my attention and sucked me in. I liked that the story also follows Amos who is a more mature character who kept me guessing at his intents with secrets of his own. 

Overall, this is an excellent read for young adults and even families to read together. Exciting, with heroes that you can root for, and storytelling that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Engaging, with elements of faith that I sense will grow stronger as the story progresses. 

I checked out this book at my local library. Opinions expressed are my own. 


The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen // Review

My Review: Murder and matchmaking bring Detective Michael Baker and Amelie Hampton together to stop a killer before he strikes again. 

A charming novel set in Victorian England, interlaced with murder and mystery. Amelie is a romantic and writer for her Aunt Sally's Marriage Gazette, her matchmaking leads her to Detective Baker who is investigating one of the perspective lovers. 

Capturing much of the nuance of the time period through the manners and language, this book quickly swept me into the thrill and suspense of the mystery.  I loved the banter between Michael and Amalie who are both likable protagonists, both are self aware of their "flaws" and have a strong sense of justice. I enjoyed the fresh spin on the mystery, as it was more about proving the crime and culprit's connection than figuring out who had done it. 

Overall, a highly enjoyable clean romance and the first in what is sure to be a fantastic series. I look forward to reading about Amelie's cousins and Michael's colleagues in the future, as they are sure to have equally wonderful and thrilling adventures. A suspenseful mystery, mixed with a slow build romance. I loved Michael and Amelie together and their scenes brought a smile to my face. Highly enjoyable and entertaining!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Stars in the Night by Cara Putnam // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Stars in the Night

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: WWII Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 1, 2022

Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer’s sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her but instead must identify her body. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister. Could the killer be the man with whom she’s falling in love?


Click here to get your copy!


Audra Schaeffer must hunt down her sister's killer amid the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood stars. 

Audra is a likable heroine, intelligent and used to living her according to the rules unlike her more free spirited sister who moved to Hollywood to chase the elusive dream of being a star. Brimming with a full cast of characters, this is a romantic mystery suspense. I liked Robert from the start, well-mannered with a genuine charm about him. I admired his honesty and his faith. 

Entertaining and well written, it was an easy book to get immersed in. I loved the historical setting, as well as the vintage murder mystery vibes. Audra is a likable heroine, and for the most part she is pretty sensible. 

Overall, an enjoyable read, great for fans of mystery/suspense, with a healthy dose of romance, and faith. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author

Since the time I could read Nancy Drew, I have wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 I attended a book signing at my local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There I met Colleen Coble. With prompting from my husband, I shared my dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, I’ve been writing award-winning books with the count currently at 35 published and more in the works.

In addition to writing, I am a mom of four, attorney, clinical professor at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband, and my kids. I graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s MBA program. You can learn more about my books at http://www.caraputman.com. And if you’d like a copy of my legal suspense novella, Dying for Love, simply connect with me here (http://www.caraputman.com/contact/), and I’ll send you the link.


More from Cara

One of the things I loved about writing Stars in the Night, set during World War II, is that I learned so many things. As a World War II history nut, that keeps the writing fresh and exciting. Here are a few of the things I learned while writing Stars in the Night:

1) There really was a Hollywood Victory Caravan. The Hollywood Victory Caravan traveled by train Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., then north through cities like Chicago and Minneapolis.

2) If something had happened to the train, Hollywood would have been ravaged. The real caravan was filled with stars like Abbott and Costello, Desi Arnez, Bing Crosby, and Groucho Marx. The papers at the time said the stars would have gone out in Hollywood if anything had happened.

3) The first train entertained the President and Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House. What a great way to launch the tour. And Mrs. Roosevelt had a staff member standing immediately behind her to help her “remember” everyone who came by so she could say something personal to them.

4) The Winecoff Hotel, where I have my stars stay while they’re in Atlanta, was the site of the worst hotel fire in American history and has recently been restored and renovated.

5) I initially considered having the tour appear at Ford’s Theater, but it was essentially abandoned during the World War Two era – and was used as storage. Hard to believe if you tour that beautifully restored theater today.

6) The National Theater has had continuous shows running since December 1835. Fortunately for my story, it had a hole the summer of 1942, which fit perfectly with when I wanted my caravan to have a show there.

7) The Hollywood Canteen didn’t open until later in 1942. Since my first book involved a canteen, I really wanted to include the Hollywood Canteen. Besides, what’s more romantic than movie stars mixing with and entertaining servicemen? Unfortunately, it was in the planning stages during Stars in the Night. Maybe in the next book…

As you can see, I love the details of history. I hope Stars in the Night sweeps you away to a time that was rich in service, glamour, and conflict.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 13

Rachael's Inkwell, June 13

Texas Book-aholic, June 14

Labor Not in Vain, June 14

Splashes of Joy, June 15

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 15

For Him and My Family, June 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 16 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, June 17

CarpeDiem, June 17

Betti Mace, June 18

deb's Book Review, June 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 19

Book Looks by Lisa, June 20

Connie's History Classroom, June 20

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 21

The Sacred Line, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 22

Simple Harvest Reads, June 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

By the Book, June 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 23

Bigreadersite, June 24

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 24

Blossoms and Blessings, June 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 25

Blogging With Carol, June 26

Rebecca Tews, June 26


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stars in the Night!!

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