4.29.2022

Shadows in the Mind's Eye by Janyre Tromp // I Read with Audra Tour, Review, and Giveaway

About the Book:

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear. Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts? Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life? Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.




Review:  

A gripping and gritty story about love, revenge, betrayal, and holding on for better or for worse. 

I didn't want to put this book down for a second, it kept me guessing all the way up until the explosive conclusion and I loved every minute of it. I liked how the book alternated perspectives between Sam and Annie, their scars and ghost from the past hindering their reunion. Sam is a veteran who has seen countless horrors that haunt his nightmares, returning to fight another battle for his marriage and family. I admired his fierce devotion to his family, and willingness to sacrifice him self many times over for the ones that he loves. 

Annie has always seen Sam as her hero, but the man who returns reminds her of her nightmares. I admired Annie for her strength and how she has grown while Sam was away, as well as her inner mama bear. There was  intensity, yet vulnerability to both Sam and Annie, that brought a genuine rawness and gravity to their plight. Rosemary is a darling child, but one of my favorite characters had to be Dovie May, a woman of strong faith, and the most quotable character in the whole book.

This is well layered read, intense and poignant, with honest, raw characters. Masterful storytelling pulled me in and didn't let go until I was finished, I loved the elements of a psychological thriller, as well as how it definitely kept me guessing and holding on tight for the answers. I couldn't have asked for anything more from this stunning and intense read, it checked every box for me and I can't recommend it enough! 

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


Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.

She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. And if you ever meet in person, you pronounce that first name Jan-ear.

You can find her on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).




Giveaway:

The prize pack includes:
 
- A copy of Shadows in the Mind's Eye,
A custom made silver peach tree necklace inspired by the book,
- A "Light speaks through the broken places" t-shirt also inspired by the book.

4.26.2022

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson // Review

My Review:

A sweet romantic comedy that brings the reader into the magical, yet cutthroat world of publishing. 

Savannah Cade is an Assistant Acquisitions Editor for a small publishing house that specializes in high brow titles. Savannah has a secret, she is a romance writer on the side, and is working towards her dream of publication. But when her manuscript needs an emergency rewrite on a tight deadline she finds help from an unlikely source. 

An engaging read set in the fast paced publishing world, I loved the setting of the book and how it felt like getting a sneak peek into the world of books. Savannah is a likable woman, fighting for her dream while trying to be a supportive friend and sister to those around her.

This was a fun clean romance, with a You've Got Mail vibe set in the publishing world. Will definitely has the Darcy-ish charm going for him. This was a quick read, sweet, engaging, with an entertaining premise. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Though published by Thomas Nelson, this is a clean romance and is not a Christian novel as there are no themes of faith subtle or overt. 

4.23.2022

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason // Review

My Review: 

Olivia Rosetti finds her passion for helping women through her own horrific experiences and estrangement from her family. But after making her dreams a reality, it is all threatened by a man who she is both drawn to and who could dismantle everything she's worked so hard for. 

My heart went out to Olivia for all that she had been through, and I loved how Ruth took her in and supported her dreams. Ruth was one of my favorites. Olivia has a big heart for others and I liked how she was able to relate to the women and understand their struggles. Darius is a man who has worked hard for his position, he wants the best for his daughter and has his own ideas about what that is. Sophia is a darling child, I loved her childish innocence and big heart. At first I wasn't sure about Darius, but he did end up surprising me. 

Overall, in some ways this was a difficult read because of everything that poor Oliva had to endure, yet I think that it did a good job of showing the very real struggles that women faced in that time period. I liked that she held to her faith, and used what happened to her to help others rather than be bitter. A gritty and heartwarming romance, with a determined heroine who has a heart for others. 

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

4.20.2022

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright // Review

My Review: 

After three unsuccessful seasons Caroline Gray is forced to consider engagement with a man she's never met in India. But on her journey she meets a man who admires and appreciates the qualities that have turned away suitors in the past. But does their newfound love have a chance?

Caroline is a intelligent, independent, and compassionate woman who is is happily herself, though that has left her without a husband after a number of seasons. I liked how she stands up for herself and others while on the ship, befriending a young boy named Tom. 

Captain Scott is drawn to Miss Gray, a woman unlike any that he has ever met. She isn't afraid to challenge him, yet is full of compassion and fire. He is used to transporting single women to India who are in search of husbands, and he knows that the Englishmen in India have much to be desired by way of character. 

This was a quick read, Caroline is a likeable heroine from the start and I liked how she doesn't let herself be bullied by the other women. I thought that this book had a unique premise, and I liked the setting. An enjoyable period romance, though I wondered if the ending could have sorted itself out quicker. 

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

4.19.2022

Family Camp in Theaters May 13th, 2022!


Family Camp coming to Theaters May 13th, 2022!

When their pastor encourages the congregation to sign-up for a week away at family camp, Grace believes she’s found the perfect cure for her imperfect clan—even if they’d all rather be anywhere but at rustic Camp Katokwah. The first feature film from The Skit Guys, FAMILY CAMP is a laugh-out-loud comedy that will touch the hearts and tickle the funny bones of every family member from eight to eighty. 
 https://familycampmovie.com
 #FamilyCampMovie #FamilyCampMovieMIN 

Facebook: @familycampmovie
Instagram: @familycampmovie2022


Check out the trailer!



 




In A Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem // Review

My Review:

A re-telling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son set in Hollywood during the Great Depression.

Minerva leaves her home in Odessa, South Dakota to chase her dreams in the bright lights of Tinseltown, but things aren't as they appear in the movies and soon she finds herself desperate, making compromises. When she wakes up next to a dead movie star, everything that she worked so hard to keep afloat comes crumbling down. 

A well written read novel that does a good job of bringing to life the gritty underside of Hollywood's early days, with all of the glitz and glamour, and fool's gold promises. I loved the complex and imperfect characters, each with their own secrets and desires. I think that the author did a great job of retelling the parable while making it her own. 

Max is the charismatic and enigmatic agent who takes Minerva under his wing, while Oscar fights for his family's survival while searching for the truth behind his employer's murder. I loved Lupita, her beautiful heart for others and how she offered friendship to Mina. 

This is an engaging read with a well crafted plot, but there also many things that might give readers pause. This book doesn't shy away from the darkside of Hollywood, and Mina makes bad choices that while not explicitly depicted, it doesn't shy away from them either going further than most books in the genre--if you are OK with Redeeming Love then you likely won't have a problem with this book . There is also the repeated use of a racial slur. Also the faith elements are not as overt as other books of the genre until the end.

In the end I did enjoy this book, but I know that it won't be for everyone. I would definitely recommend for more mature readers. A well rendered retelling, with flawed characters, and an engaging plot.


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

4.18.2022

A Strike to the Heart by Danielle Grandinetti // Just Read Tour, Review, and Giveaway

A Strike to the Heart JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for A Strike to the Heart by Danielle Grandinetti, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Strike to the Heart
Title: A Strike to the Heart 
Series: Strike to the Heart #1 
Author: Danielle Grandinetti 
Publisher: Iron Stream Media 
Release Date: April 12, 2022 
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense 

She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her. 

Wisconsin, 1933―When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe. 

Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life. 

Review:

Engaging from the beginning, it definitely kept me guessing as the story progressed. 

Lily Moore likes her life, living alone and training dogs. She doesn't mind that her life is untraditional by the standards of others, and I liked her independent spirit. After the events that initially bring them together Miles is determined to help protect Lily and bring those responsible to justice. Set against the backdrop of milk strikes during the Great Depression, I liked that it brings back characters from the prequel, showing a different side of Joey. 

A historical suspense, with a twisting plot, intriguing characters, and a plot that kept me guessing at the motives. I enjoyed the drama of the historical setting. Miles is a gentleman through and through, I liked how he takes care of Lily, while being mindful of propriety and respecting her opinions. A fast paced read with a strong heroine, faith, mystery, and romance. 

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


MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danielle Grandinetti 

Danielle Grandinetti is author of To Stand in the Breach and a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com. Her short stories have appeared in several publications and her writing has won the University of Northwestern Distinguished Faith in Writing Award. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she now lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline with her husband and their two young sons. Danielle especially loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.

CONNECT WITH DANIELLE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback of A Strike to the Heart & $10 Amazon gift card!

A Strike to the Heart 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 April 18, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on April 25, 2022. 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 HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

4.17.2022

The Catch by Lisa Harris // Review

Lucie's Review:

Deputy Marshals Madison and Jonas are called in to investigate a breach of security at the courthouse, and find they've stumbled upon something so much bigger. 

Continuing the ongoing thread from previous books, while plunging headlong into a brand new twisting trail of deception. Madison and Jonas have come a long way, learning to trust each other through many trials, their shared faith bringing them even closer together. I liked getting to know Ava, as she works to stay one step ahead when it feels like there is nowhere to turn. 

A fast paced read with a suspenseful plot that keeps you guessing, bringing the series to an explosive conclusion! Definitely does a great job with strong relationship building, great tension, action, suspense, and tying up loose ends with twists I never saw coming. Highly recommend this excellent series, the only bad part was that I had to wait in between each book for the next one. And now you won't have to anymore!


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

4.12.2022

Death Valley Double Cross by Dana Mentink // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway

 


About the Book

 


Book: Death Valley Double Cross

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Suspense

Release date: February 22, 2022

A killer seeking revenge

will stop at nothing to get it…

Pilar Jefferson is shocked to learn that her supposedly deceased father is alive and has been in prison—and now his ruthless former partner is after her. Fleeing on her wedding day was the best way to protect her loved ones. But now with her mother held for ransom and her ex-fiancĂ©, Austin Duke, stumbling back into her life, can she keep everyone safe—and escape an assassin?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

Desert Justice

Book 1: Framed in Death Valley
Book 2: Missing in the Desert
Book 3: Death Valley Double Cross
Book 4: Death Valley Hideout

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review:

Pilar is shocked to find the ex-fiance that she left at the altar, on her doorstep.

A fast paced read, with an engaging plot, and a mystery to be unraveled. I liked how this book had Pilar and Austin working together to catch the killer, as well as bringing back a few familiar faces. There was a lot going on in this book, and I liked how the twisting plot kept me guessing. 

Austin doesn't know what to think right away when he sees Pilar, but I like that he wants to stay and help keep her safe, even if it takes him some time to sort out out to feel about it all. I liked how he cares for his dogs, and has a passion for helping older dogs find homes. 

Overall, an action-packed read with a great plot and characters that I could root for, as well as many familiar faces. An excellent addition to a fantastic series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone. A fast paced read that you won't want to put down!

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 as well as a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over fifty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

 

More from Dana

I remember standing on the edge of the lookout and gazing into the wonder that is Artist’s Palette in Death Valley. Artist’s Drive, which takes you to this breathtaking view, rises above Badwater Basin (the lowest spot in North America) and then meanders along twisting canyons and hills until it brings you to this popular tourist stop. The premier view is a place called Artist’s palette. It’s a sprawling pocket of color, hues of rose, ochre, green and gold tucked in the rippling landscape and teased to life by the desert sun. Isn’t that just like God? To lead us to surprises and wonders that await us in a sometimes hostile world? Every day we spent in Death Valley held a surprise, from the rocks that move mysteriously across the sands to the towering twists and turns of 20 Mule Team Canyon. There are only two things to do with a wonderous place like that…enjoy the divine bounty, and write a novel set there so others can come along!

I hope you will enjoy this third installment in the Desert Justice series. The first is Beckett’s story and then we had quiet cowboy Levi’s adventure. Now it’s brash pilot Austin’s turn. Will he get his happy ending after being dumped at the altar and wrecking his shoulder in an accident? Turn those pages and come with me to Death Valley to find out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 29

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, March 29

Daysong Reflections, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

Lighthouse academy, March 31

Inklings and notions, March 31

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 1

Betti Mace, April 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

Pause for Tales, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 3 (Author Interview)

deb's Book Review, April 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 6

Life, Love, Writing, April 6

Bigreadersite, April 7

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, April 7

Bizwings Blog, April 8

For the Love of Literature, April 8

Blogging With Carol, April 9

HookMeInABook, April 9

Simple Harvest Reads, April 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Paula's Persuasion, April 10

Blossoms and Blessings, April 11

Sodbuster Living, April 11

Labor Not in Vain, April 12

Through the fire blogs, April 12


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of the first three books in the series (Paperback for U.S. Only) and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

 https://promosimple.com/ps/1c112/death-valley-double-cross-celebration-tour-giveaway

4.11.2022

The Mulligan // Movie Review and Giveaway


Based on the popular book by Wally Armstrong and Ken Blanchard, THE MULLIGAN is an inspiring reminder that second chances are only one step away. From the producer of BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS, and the director-producer team behind THE ULTIMATE GIFT comes THE MULLIGAN, sporting an all-star cast that includes Eric Close (NASHVILLE, AMERICAN SNIPER) as Paul, Pat Boone as the Old Pro, and PGA golfer Tom Lehman and broadcasting legend Jim Nantz as themselves. See it in theaters for two nights only on April 18 & 19.

Whether it’s a second shot during a friendly round, rediscovering lost priorities, or the opportunity to make something good of a situation gone bad, there are times we all could use a mulligan. Website: https://themulliganmovie.com/





Buy tickets to see The Mulligan in theaters April 18th & 19th, 2022: https://themulliganmovie.com/theaters 





Review:

A parable about second chances, based on the book by Wally Armstrong and Ken Blanchard. 

Paul McAllister is a high powered businessman, too busy for his family, and always chasing the next big deal. Hoping to improve his gold game he meets with a man known as the Old Pro who teaches him the secret of The Mulligan. 

The movie is slower to start, but as the movie picked up it was fun to learn more about the game of golf, and see pieces all come together. I really liked that they didn't shy away from a strong faith-based message of hope. The Old Pro, played by Pat Boone, is such a fun character, with his plaid golfing pants, and patient way of giving out sage advice. The movie was well done, and I thought that it did a good job of showing the importance of family, honesty, and faith. 

Overall, I was a little unsure about this movie in the beginning as I am in no shape or form a golfer or golf enthusiast, but as the story progressed and the foundation laid at the beginning began to pay off I found myself genuinely enjoying it. By the end it had won me over. A solid movie, well acted, great plot, and a powerful message of faith, integrity and family!


#TheMulliganMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork


Many thanks to Reelworks Studios for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. 



Giveaway: Digital copy of The Mulligan novel 




About the book, The Mulligan: THE MULLIGAN is based on the beloved book by former PGA  touring pro Wally Armstrong and bestselling author and business executive Ken Blanchard.  This inspiring story about relationships, forgiveness, and priorities is a shot of grace. Golf's  gracious do-over, a mulligan is the beginning of Paul McAllister’s second chance. Guided by  

the wisdom and advice of the Old Pro, Paul learns about priorities, self-confidence, and  playing a good game both on and off the course. The Mulligan is a parable of second  chances.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

4.10.2022

Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon // Review

Lucie's Review:

Jack Colby is Christi Reece's only hope, so she drives up to Hope Harbor to ask for his help. Though his reception of her is cold, events keep coming up that prevent her from leaving, and she finds herself falling in love with the small coastal community.

Christi has changed a lot since she and Jack were last together. I loved her heart for helping others and how time has matured her, Hope Harbor welcomes her with open arms and I liked how she befriends Beth and supports her through all that she is going through. I liked how Steve keeps reaching out to Beth and his friendship with little Noah. 

This is a well written read, with a wonderful cast of characters, plenty of heart, second chances, faith,  and forgiveness. I loved returning again to the small town community, and seeing some familiar faces along the way. I thought that the character development was well done, with good growth arcs, and a strong sense of community and family. A heartwarming read full of faith and second chances. 

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

Much Ado About a Latte by Kathleen Fuller // Review

My Review:

Anita and Tanner both have dreams of owning and operating their own businesses after working together for years at the Sunshine Diner. Anita has loved Tanner since Middle School, she has always felt pressure from her family to do more with her life than be a waitress. While Tanner grew up poor and has always worked hard to help his family. Will their plans bring them together or pull them further apart?

A enjoyable return to Maple Falls, I loved seeing familiar faces like Irma, Hayden, Riley, and Harper. I liked Anita and Tanner from the start, and finding them both to be very relatable from the start. I loved Tanner's love for his family, and how he wants to help ease his hardworking mom's burdens. Anita is passionate about what she does, but struggles with feeling like she doesn't measure up to her high achieving family she feels like she is constantly trying to prove that she can do things on her own. I liked the relationship between Anita and Tanner, and how it tied back to when they were younger, as well as how they had grown in the present day. 

Overall, this was a fun quick read with a lovely setting and enjoyable characters. I loved getting to know more of the townspeople. There is some drinking to excess, but I think that it was handled well and not shown in a positive way. I'll definitely be reading the next book when it comes out!

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

The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden // Review

My Review:
Another delightful installment in the Dread Penny Society. 

Brogan Donnelly is asked to leave the Dread Penny Society in order to secure his cover in a covert operation to uncover dishonest dealings at a Russian print shop. Vera Sorokina works hard for her father, finding enjoyment in the Penny Dreadfuls that they sell at their shop. She is intrigued by their personable new employee who has a heart for the children working at the factories. 

A thoroughly entertaining read, filled with adventure, mystery, and romance. As always I enjoyed the "bonus" stories given in the form of Penny Dreadfuls. I loved that Brogan has a big heart for others, and that he and his sister are so close and have a good relationship. Brogan is a kind man, creative, and outgoing. I loved how he and Vera got to know each other while working together. 

Overall, an highly enjoyable read, full of mystery with a sweet romance, and wonderful recurring characters. A must read for fans of the series!

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

4.09.2022

Love's Fortress by Jennifer Uhlarik // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: Love’s Fortress

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical fiction / Romance

Release date: March, 2022

A Love Story from the Past Brings Closure to Dani’s Fractured Family

Walk through Doors to the Past via a series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

When Dani Sango’s art forger father passes away, Dani inherits his home. Among his effects is a book of Native American drawings, which leads her to seek the help of museum curator Brad Osgood to decipher the ledger art. Why would her father have this book? Is it just another forgery?

Brad Osgood’s four-year-old niece, Brynn, needs a safe home, and Brad longs to provide it. The last thing he needs is more drama, especially from a forger’s daughter. But when the two meet “accidentally” at St. Augustine’s 350-year-old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Marcos, he can’t refuse the intriguing woman.

Broken Bow is among seventy-three Plains Indians transported to Florida in 1875 for incarceration at ancient Fort Marion. Sally Jo Harris and Luke Worthing dream of serving God on a foreign mission field, but when the Indians arrive in St. Augustine, God changes their plans. Then when friendship develops between Sally Jo and Broken Bow and false accusations fly, it could cost them their lives.

Can Dani discover how Broken Bow and Sally Jo’s story ends and how it impacted her father’s life?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review:

Pictures from the past may be the key to uncover decades of family secrets in the present. 

Dani Sango has lived under the shadow of her father's reputation her whole life, and her journey to understand her father leads her to compelling discoveries. A present day mystery of sorts with roots in the past, I loved uncovering the secrets with Dani and Brad as they got to know each other through their struggles and their search. Belle is a sweet child, and I liked how Brad works hard to make sure that she feels safe in her new home. I also enjoyed Sally Jo and Luke's story set in 1875, their love for each other and dreams of sharing Christ with others. 

 There is a lot going on in this book and it took a while for me to start putting the pieces together, but it grew on me a lot as it built into a powerful and poignant conclusion. It was fun to learn the history of Native American ledger art, and see all the pieces of the story come together. 

Overall, this was a well written book that blends the present day with the past in a beautiful and meaningful way, rich in history, with strong faith, and admirable characters that I could cheer for all the way through. Well worth the read.

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

About the Author


Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.

 

More from Jennifer

Florida has been my home since I was ten, and I’ve visited the city of St. Augustine several times in my many years here. There, I stumbled across the fact that the Castillo de San Marcos, the town’s 350-year-old Spanish fort, was home to several groups of Native Americans in the 1800s. Ever since learning this fact, I’ve considered writing a story about the three-year period from 1875-1878 when seventy-three Plains Indians from various tribes called the fort (known then as Fort Marion) their home. However, since I’m mainly a western and western romance author, all of my story settings to date have been west of the Mississippi—not in Florida. So this interesting historical factoid remained dormant in my imagination for years, waiting for the right opportunity.

 

That opportunity came last year when I was asked to submit an idea for Barbour’s dual-timeline Doors to the Past series. These stories must be set in or around a major landmark, the plot must focus on a newsworthy event, and there must be a bit of a mystery that connects the historical timeline to the contemporary plot. Obviously, as the oldest masonry fort in the United States, Castillo de San Marcos is an important and interesting landmark. Originally built by the Spanish, it later became a British possession, reverted again to the Spanish, and eventually became part of the United States’ holdings. With such a long and varied history, I’m sure you can see why this unique structure would make an interesting landmark around which to base a story.

 

The newsworthy event the plot focuses on is the incarceration of those seventy-three Plains Indians, deemed some of the “worst of the worst” offenders in the Indians Wars of the West. Can you imagine the buzz such an event would create? Once the Indians fell into their routine inside the fort, they were given quite a bit of freedom to interact with the locals and tourists. People came from far and wide to see these men and their historic surroundings along the banks of the Matanzas River. With a simple day pass from the fort’s commander, outsiders could enter, walk among and talk with the prisoners, see the historic fort, and even watch cultural events like dances, powwows, mock buffalo hunts, and archery displays. The Native men could also leave the fort and venture into town to shop or sell handmade goods, from bows and arrows to hand-crafted items made from locally-sourced seashells and plants, to their original “ledger art.”

 

It’s the ledger art that comprises the mysterious puzzle piece connecting the historical timeline of Love’s Fortress to the present day. When Dani Sango learns her long-estranged father has died, she inherits his rundown St. Augustine house. Inside, she discovers a book of Native American art depicting events from one Indian’s daily life. But because her father was a convicted art forger, Dani questions why he would have the strange and rudimentary artwork. She suspects it was his latest scam, so she enlists the help of Brad Osgood, curator of a western art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, to help her discover where the art originated and how her father came to possess it. In the process, the pair digs deep into the history of the St. Augustine fort and its former residents.

 

I found it fascinating to research this brief period in the Castillo’s long history, and I hope you’ll enjoy the story that came from my efforts.

Blog Stops

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, March 26

Remembrancy, March 26

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Inklings and notions, March 28

Jeanette's Thoughts, March 28

Bigreadersite, March 29

For Him and My Family, March 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 30

Betti Mace, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 31

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 31

deb's Book Review, April 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 1

Older & Smarter?, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 3

Life of Literature, April 3

Genesis 5020, April 4

For the Love of Literature, April 4

Connie's History Classroom, April 5

Blossoms and Blessings, April 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 6 (Spotlight)

Splashes of Joy, April 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7

Through the Fire Blogs, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

Pause for Tales, April 9

Labor Not in Vain, April 9

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and paperback 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1c10d/love-s-fortress-celebration-tour-giveaway