Dust by Eva Marie Everson ~ Review

My Review:

Deriving its title from Kansas's famous song Dust in the Wind, this book follows the lives of four people and the way that other people's choices, as well as their own, affect their lives.

The characters realistically jump off the page in all their flawed glory, drawing me into their lives through the ups and downs, as well as the triumphs and struggles. I think that the author did an amazing job of creating credibly real characters, mixtures of misguided good intentions, dreams, jealousy, and pain. She doesn't shy away from the more adult situations, including multiple scenes that while not overly explicit, you do get the full gist of what happened, so I would not recommend for younger readers. 

The book's main character is Alison, a young housewife forced to cope with the bombshell dropped by her new husband. I found it easy to be drawn into her story, as we follow her through the years and decades of her life. I loved her friendship with Rose Beth and Aunt Justine, who were 2 of my favorite characters. Westley was an interesting character, almost predictable and unpredictable in the same breath. I didn't like reading Cindi's parts of the story, and downright disliked Patterson's chapters.

Overall, this is a poignant read with realistically raw characters, brought to life almost tangibly, in a way that had me riveted to the pages. I think that the ending does a great job of tying everything together in a satisfying way that really pays off, though there were times that I found the storyline to be so disheartening and depressing that I wondered if I would make it through. Honest and heartbreaking, yet inspiring in the ordinary and everyday choices. Recommend for older readers who like Women's Fiction, and don't mind more adult content.

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


Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble ~ Review


Jane and Reid are facing every parent's worst nightmare when their 15 year old son Will is falsely charged with manslaughter. Meanwhile Jane is investigating the murder of a local woman, and face from her past some back to haunt her, and questions swirl about what they should to to protect their son when all the evidence points to Will. 

A thrilling, suspense-filled conclusion to the Pelican Harbor Series, nail-biting and heart pounding emotionally, in a way that made this book near impossible to put down because I just had to know what would happen next!

A must read for people who have read the other books in the series, as this book gives it a satisfying, yet suspenseful conclusion, as well as draws on information revealed in previous books. The series is well worth the read!

I loved the character development over the course of the series and how Jane has grown in her faith, and we have gotten to know Will. Jane has an amazingly supportive best friend who is also going through a health crisis of her own during this trying time. Reid is a wonderful man who has also been through a lot, and I like that he has been there for Jane while also given her space to process everything that they have been through. 

Overall a heart-pounding and heart wringing read, with terrific characters and plot that makes the book impossible to put down. There is so much going on, and all of the threads are woven together in a satisfying way, with plenty of twists along the way. Highly recommend!

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


Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Welcome back to Hope Harbor, a beachside community filled with warmhearted citizens, where love blooms and new beginnings are found. 

Katherine Parker is ready to take some time off from acting and get her life back on track, so she rents a house in Hope Harbor. I loved how she is drawn into the goings on in the community through her visits to the local coffee shop and volunteer work with the local foster rehab center. 

Zach loves his home in Hope Harbor, a picturesque small beach town, where he has built up his coffee business carving out his own place to belong. He is passionate about what he does and where he lives, I like that he is very outgoing and active in his community. 

This is a enjoyable read from beginning to end, a delightful summery beach romance, with endearing characters, and a terrific parallel storyline that follows Zach's retired aunt and one of his friends. A heartwarming read that was over too soon, I loved coming back to Hope Harbor and revisiting many familiar faces along the way. Great as a standalone as well!

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


From This Moment by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~ Review

My Review:

Heartwarming faith filled read follows three main characters in small town Kansas, new-to-town Youth Pastor Jase Edgar, spunky Lori, and ex-Amish weaver Kenzie. 

Jase Edgar is still struggling to come to terms with the death of his fiancé, he feels like a fraud answering their call alone. He is welcomed warmly, I loved Merlin and Leah, and how everyone helps him feel at home.

 Lori, while she is outgoing, struggles with the pain of a distant father and a troubled upbringing. I love that she is a supportive friend, and willing to lend a hand, always bringing her infectious enthusiasm to the table. 

 While Kenzie's faith has flourished away from the Amish community, her heart aches for the family that she left behind. I admired her heart for others, and how she has kept modest habits. She loves her family fiercely, and is a great friend to Lori. 

This is a small town set read with engaging characters, more of a gentler read, where more of the conflicts are internal, with strong themes of faith. I loved how the author portrays people who are Christians, but still struggle with doubting and not having all the answers in an honest and relatable way.

Overall, a well written heartwarming read, filled with faith, and heart-tugging characters. Definitely recommend for people who like excellent faith fiction with a gentler pace, and sweet romance. 

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


The Curator's Daughter by Melanie Dobson ~ Review


A time split novel that tells the story of Holocaust researcher Ember Ellis who has a past shrouded in darkness, hoping to bring light to a racially tension fraught landscape as she uncovers the story of Hanna Tillich, wife of an SS officer and "friend to the Jews."

A bit slower to start as I familiarized myself with all of the story threads, but the story builds as it all comes together and I became more invested in each of the women's stories. I loved how this book highlights the unlikely heroes who risked everything to preserve the history in hopes that a dawn was coming. 

A heartbreaking read, rich in history, that realistically brings to life Nuremberg in the 1940's, as well as exploring modern day tensions and trauma. I admired how Dakota had changed and was determined to show Ember that he was a different man now, grounded in faith. I think my favorite character was Mrs. Kiehl as we uncover her connection to the story. 

Overall, a compelling historically realistic read that brings to life the challenges faced by German citizens living under Himmler's edicts for an Arian society. I admired Hanna's faith and quiet courage. A well crafted read, that opens up many important talking points. Well worth the read!

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


Cooking Up a Mystery by Gail Pallotta ~ Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway


About the Book


Book:  Cooking Up A Mystery

Author: Gail Pallotta

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: April 24, 2020

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.


Click here to get your copy!


A fun sweet romance and cozy mystery, with a fun plot, engaging characters, and a collection of recipes to try as well. 

A bit slow to start as the mystery doesn't quite take center stage, and the book takes time to introduce the characters and situations. I felt that this book leans more towards being a sweet romance that contains a cozy mystery, which I actually really liked, but it did take some time for the mystery to heat up. 

Laney works hard to make her business a success, working herself to the bone, pulling late night and early morning hours. I liked how the mystery, brings her and Eric closer together. I also really enjoyed the character of George who acts as her assistant, accountant, janitor, and surrogate little brother, a young man with his head on straight--I think he was one of my favorite parts of this book!

Overall, a fun read with interesting characters, and a plot that builds.

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

About the Author

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.


More from Gail

In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”


I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.


Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.


A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.

Laney’s Pineapple Rice



Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)

Cooking oil or spray

One small onion (chopped thin)

Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)

One tablespoon fresh grated ginger

One cup fresh pineapple

Small amount of pineapple juice

One teaspoon sugar

One lime


Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.


Chill rice


Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb's Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22


To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away  the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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



Born After Midnight by A. W. Tozer ~ Review

A compilation of writings by A.W. Tozer, combined into 34 chapters exhorting readers to move past settling for mediocre Christianity that is no Christianity, but to continue striving, growing, and clinging close to God for sanctification.

Tozer quickly has become one of my favorite authors after reading a few of his books like Knowledge of the Holy. The chapters are short in length but chock full of edifying and convicting insights that encourage me in my faith and remind me to stay alert.

 The title of this book comes from the saying that revivals are born after midnight, not because that is the best part of the night, but because those with a genuine seeking faith will continue in endurance, pushing past the midnight hour and into eternity. We must not settle for a convenient faith, one that fits into a nice little box, but one that continues to strive to walk more nearer God, and bring greater glory. 

Easy to read, concise, and powerful. This book took a while for me to get through not because it was long in length, but because often I would have to takes breaks to sit back and meditate or absorb the chapters, and often out of a convicted heart. Highly recommend this book, well worth the read, and excellent book on living the Christian life. 

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


Amish Midwives: Three Stories by Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepherd Gray, and Kelly Long ~ Review

My Review:

Three novellas about women with a passion for midwifing, who find love and a family of their own along the way.

Bundles of Blessings by Amy Clipston
Old flames reunite in this story about lost love and second chances. Kristina gave up her dreams of family after the death of her husband, finding joy in helping other women bring children into the world. Kristina and Aidan are convinced that there is too much in their past to consider getting back together, despite the encouragement of friends in the community. This is a engaging read, with compelling characters and the mystery of what broke them up in the first place. I liked their chemistry throughout as they reconnected, though the ending seemed rather sudden. But an enjoyable read!

A Midwife for Susie by Shelley Shepherd Gray
After a birthing gone wrong, Joanna is unsure about continuing her work as a midwife. But when her childhood friend becomes pregnant, she wants Joanna to attend her and has enlisted her brother Dwight to help convince her. Dwight is a wonderful brother to Susie, and his is supportive and encouraging of Joanna throughout. A beautiful novella of overcoming fear and trusting God. 

Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long 
Anna Stolis is covering for her midwife aunt over Christmas, but a busy night finds her attending multiple births in one night with the help of Asa Lapp. A sweet Christmas novella of love and new beginnings. Asa is more reserved, but finds himself opening up to Anna and I liked how he is willing to help as much as he can over the course of the busy night. I loved the stories behind the quilts and how the eventful night brings Anna and Asa together.

Overall, three wonderful heartwarming romantic stories of courageous women with a passion for helping other women, who find their own chance at family in this collection. Great for fans of sweet Amish romance.

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


Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard ~ Review


A twisting fast paced suspense, with personal implications and revelations for both Terra and Jack as they work to get to the bottom of things. 

Terra is a Forest Service Special Agent, dealing with the protection of artifacts and protected property, which is a specialization that I'd never heard of before and thought was really fascinating. Jack is a former FBI agent working with the sheriff's department, since coming home to be with his ailing aunt. He is struggling to get back on track after failing to save his cousin, but he wants to help Terra get to the bottom of the murder. And I liked how he was there for her throughout the story, supportively helping her navigate the dangers of dealing with traffickers.  

Terra is a strong woman, passionate about following in the footsteps of her mother. I liked that she is close to her brother, Owen, and is strong in her faith.

The story is fast paced with plenty of twists, as well as relationship building along the way. I liked how the plot has ties to the past, and the personal, with high stakes and a wonderful cast of characters. A fantastic suspenseful read with great character development, and plot that made it hard to put down as there was so much going on! Excellently balanced read, definitely recommend to suspense fans!

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


Dearest Josephine by Caroline George ~ Review

My Review: 

A well crafted novel told in various parts, through letters, a novel, text and email, about a young woman struggling to deal with the death of her father on the crossroads of life altering decisions. Josie discovers the letters of a young man named Elias Roch, who lived over 100 years ago, written to a woman who shares the same name as herself. Through the letters she falls in love with the writer, but can she love a man who lived over 100 years in the past?

 A beautiful time slip novel that blends past and present, real life and fiction, that follows two people dealing with love and loss in different centuries. Smart, and well written, I loved the supportive friends that Josephine had around her, Faith and Oliver. It is an intriguing story with many twists along the way, and a wonderfully satisfying ending that I adored. 

A thoroughly modern historical romance, and an utter delight to read. Perfect for people like me who wish that they could slip into the pages of a book, who love a well done period drama, and want to live in a different time period. A delightfully imaginative read, with truths that shine through. 

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


Matchmaker's Best Friend by Kari Trumbo ~ Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway

About the Book


Book:  Matchmaker’s Best Friend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: March 30, 2021


“You’re just like a brother to me. I don’t like you in that way.”

When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him.

She’s still paying for that lie.

A brilliant plan to set Mike and a friend up and get over him has one problem.

It’s breaking her heart.

When Pen pushed him away, Mike Gaines assumed she just didn’t understand his faith. People like her persnickety aunt even claim he’s part of a cult—ridiculous, but it’s true. Still, if she wants him to play the part of a big brother, fine. At least he can stay close this way.

At first, Pen’s attempt to set him up with one of her close friends hurts. But what if it’s the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s missing if she sees him with someone else?

In this friends-to-more-meets-second-chance romance, The Matchmaker’s Best Friend continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.


Click here to get your copy!

 Review: The road from friends to lovers is often fraught with misunderstanding, a lesson that Mike and Pen learn all too well. 

A sweet romance about love, friendship, and misunderstanding. Pen has worked hard to build her career, leaving her little time for romance. She's always been able to count on her best friend, Mike through it all. This book has a fun premise, and I thought that it was interesting to have a not so mainstream denomination represented in regard to Mike faith, and I admired how he lived what he believed.

This is a lighthearted romance, with fun characters, that at times frustrated me because I wondered if all of this strife could have been avoided if they'd just sat down and had a conversation.  But I really enjoyed many of the supporting characters, and I'm a sucker for a friends to lovers romance! A fun addition to the series!

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

About the Author


Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.


More from Kari

Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Especially in sparkly, stacked espadrilles and pink power suit. Don’t let Pen Reese’s pink façade fool you, she’s a businesswoman to the core, with a heart of gold. She has built a party planning business from the ground up, and she’s about to create another.

Pen is one of those characters that I could just see CLEARLY as I was writing. She is about ninety percent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and ten percent a close personal friend. I heard her voice in my head. I could hear her talking as I wrote the book. Her personality was perfect for the energetic party planner.

I’m sure if I put a character description up without context or clarity many people wouldn’t want to read the book, they would write Pen off as shallow. But she’s not. She’s heartbroken.

Do you still remember your first love? Maybe you still care for them? Pen fell hard for her first love and no matter how professional she is or how many lavish weddings she plans, she can’t forget the one wedding she’ll never get to create. Her own.

Pen things that if Mike falls for someone else, goes off and gets married, she’ll finally be able to move on. So, she sets a plan in motion. That’s when her world completely falls apart and you see the tender parts of Pen that she doesn’t show to just anybody.

She is a very complex character and I hope she touches you like she touched me.

I hope you enjoy Pen’s tale of matchmaking gone wrong.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 14

Books and Everyday Life, April 14

Labor Not in Vain, April 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 15

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 15

lakesidelivingsite, April 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 17

Rebekah Reads, April 17

Artistic Nobody, April 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

A Novel Pursuit, April 18

She Lives To Read, April 19

deb’s Book Review, April 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 20

Splashes of Joy, April 20

Aryn the Libraryan, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Blogging With Carol, April 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 23

CarpeDiem, April 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, April 26

Godly Book Reviews, April 26

Batya’s Bits , April 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27


To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a 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.



The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard ~ Just Read Tour, Review and Giveaway

The Storm Breaks Forth JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Storm Breaks Forth

Title: The Storm Breaks Forth
Author: Terri Wangard
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

World War I rages in Europe, and now the United States joins in. 

Peter Bloch heads to France with the Wisconsin National Guard, but his wife Maren is the one under attack. She’s German-born, and anti-German hysteria is running high. Simple suggestions for coping with wartime measures lead Maren into an active role in the community, but her service doesn’t help deflect suspicion from her. Zealous patriots target her with a vengeance. Peter caught the eye of a major who seems intent on using him as a spy. He’s been fortunate to avoid injury so far, but these activities are likely to get him killed. 

Peter and Maren dream of the day they will be reunited, but more and more, that day appears to be a mirage.

A historically rich novel that captures the triumphs and struggles of a German American couple during the first world war. 

This book follows both Maren and Peter, from the training camps to the battles overseas, as well as the battles at home. I like to think of this story as being told in snapshots, easy to read, rich in detail in a way that brings history to life. This book does an excellent job of showing the advances in warfare, and how WWI was unlike any war before it.  I loved how Maren get's more involved in her community, while facing prejudice. 

This book has strong characters, and a compelling storyline. I think that this book does a great job of capturing the time period along with the sentiments and emotions. Well worth the read, and an excellent historical novel set in a not often talked about time period. 

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

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBookBub



Terri Wangard

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

CONNECT WITH TERRI: Website | Facebook | Instagram


(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of The Storm Breaks Forth and a $15 Amazon gift card!

The Storm Breaks Forth JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 13, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 20, 2021. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer ~ Celebrate Lit Tour, Review and Giveaway

About the Book


Book:  Operation Grendel

Author: Daniel Schwabauer

Genre: Christian Fiction, Futuristic Action & Adventure

It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind.

Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.


But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.


However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn’t the only operation underway.


Click here to get your copy!


Thrusting the reader right into the thick of things, we find journalist Raymin Dahl on the brink of breaking the biggest story of his career, when his source and commander is killed. Now it is up to Raymin to complete the mission and save millions, or is it?

Told in the first person point-of-view, we experience this imaginative sci-fi, political thriller, through the eyes of Raymin, as he is pushed into the thick of things, reliant on Captain Sterling's old AI to guide him. But the answers are far from clear cut, as questions rise about corrupted software and other missions at play. 

A twisting plot, with a fascinating world of politics in a fight for truth, and a hero with no one to trust. It took a while for me to get orientated at first because of how the book just throws you into the thick of things in the beginning. I liked learning more about the world, characters and the situation while on the go, but sometimes resented the flashbacks for keeping me from the present happenings. Raymin is a likably flawed character, and I admired his passion for the integrity of a story.

Overall, this was a fast paced read, with political intrigue, intense action, with many twists along the way. And I was intrigued by the unique relationship between Raymin and Ivy over the course of the twisting story. Great for fans of sci-fi adventure!

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

About the Author

Daniel Schwabauer, M.A., is a lifelong reader of speculative fiction. He studied the genre under science fiction great James Gunn before graduating with honors from Kansas University’s Masters program in Creative Writing in 1995. Winner of the Eric Hoffer and Ben Franklin awards for his middle grade fantasy series, The Legends of Tira-Nor, Daniel enjoys riding his motorcycle on country roads and pondering other worlds. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and dog.


More from Daniel

The Operation Grendel Origin Story
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of storytelling, especially as a lever for moving culture.  For several years I studied the development of modern propaganda, the rise and fall of yellow journalism, and the relationship of these to psychological warfare. This culminated in 2017 with a brief investigation into quantum computing and the rising popularity of trans-humanism. Sometimes the best story ideas are combinations of things that have rattled around in the back of your mind for years.
Operation Grendel is a keyhole glimpse of a future in which every person in the galaxy is bonded to an artificial intelligence. Some AIs are embedded in the brain, and some are snapped onto the wrist as a wearable device. I didn’t realize when I started writing the book that Elon Musk had already launched Neuralink to create this technology in real life. I discovered the corporation after finishing my fourth draft.
The use of this technology probably means a lack of autonomy. How can you think for yourself, or even know what you think, if your thoughts are constantly being shaped and influenced by a quantum computer wirelessly connected to your brain?
Then again, is that all we really are as humans—biological computers? I don’t think so. But if not, then there will surely be resistance to the trans-humanist movement. Which means, in a work of fiction, clearly opposing sides. One empire supports this integration of man and machine; the other places limits on AI technology.
But “warring empires” was not a story I felt capable of telling. I wanted something closer to home, something smaller and more accessible, something more human. I wanted to show what a life spent entirely under the influence of an inner nanny—a substitute Holy Spirit—might look like.
Well, who better to tell that story than a man who has, in his own way, been manipulating others through storytelling? In other words, a journalist.
This fit my desire to write the story as military science fiction. Since I never had the honor of serving in the armed forces, I needed a way to give my narrator a believable voice. Corporal Raymin Dahl, a military reporter who barely scraped his way through reservist boot camp, fit the bill.
Before long the story seemed to take on a life of its own.


To celebrate his tour, Daniel is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card, a signed copy of the hardcover first edition, and 2 laptop stickers!! (photo attached)

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