Tuesday, May 30, 2023

"A Cry in the Dark" by Jessica R. Patch

About the Book

Book: A Cry in the Dark

Author: Jessica R. Patch

Genre: Inspirational Psychological Thriller

Release date: February 28, 2023

Deep in the Kentucky hills, three women have been found brutalized and murdered.

But the folks in Night Holler have their own ways and their own laws.

And they’re not talking…

Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder.

As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own unresolved past. For years she’s worked the cold case of her mother’s abduction, which had led to her birth. The need to look into the eyes of the sinful man who fathered her consumes Violet. Until she can, she’ll never have peace. Because she’s terrified she might be exactly like him.

In this chilling novel, when the present collides with Violet’s mysterious past and John’s tragic loss, they must unravel the warped, sinuous connections before the killer strikes again. But solving the case might not be nearly as terrifying as the possibility that Violet’s finally found her roots…

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I found this book to be well written and griping. I kept trying to figure out what was going on and who was behind the crimes and I wasn't right, which is unusual. It was nice to be surprised. There were twists that I didn't expect. I liked the biblical faith thread and the characters' growth. I could see this book as a movie, although the chapters from the bad guy's point of view would have to be done carefully so as to not take away the suspense of who it is. I realized that there was another book before A Cry in the Dark when they kept talking about Fiona and the Nursery Rhyme Killer. I didn't feel like I was missing too much, but I do want to go back and read that book now, too. I look forward to reading more books by Jessica R. Patch.


About the Author

Jessica R. Patch is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author known for her dry wit, signatures twists, and complex characters. She loves reading true crime books, discussing cold cases over chips and salsa with her girlfriends, and hunting down serial killers in her romantic suspense novels and psychological thrillers.

Jessica loves to encourage and inspire people to forward living through her Forward Friday Blog posts and through her monthly email newsletter. You can join the Patched In community at her website: www.jessicarpatch.com.

She resides in the Memphis area with her husband, two young adult children, and her spoiled tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

 

More from Jessica

A Cry in the Dark can’t be compared to Scooby Doo, but I can thank Scooby Doo for being my first introduction into the world of mystery and all matter of things that go bump in the night. But, in the end, the masks of darkness are always revealed in the light and are exposed. Justice served. This is why I write gritty crime fiction/psychological thrillers outside of my Love Inspired Suspense books.

In Luke 22:53 NLT, they come to arrest Jesus and crucify Him. “Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

Darkness gets one moment. Just one. When they crucify and kill Him. But we know what happens next! Light bursts out of that dark tomb and victory is ours. We’re rescued in darkness from darkness into marvelous light.

In a thriller, darkness gets its moment. I don’t shy away from those tough things. The Bible didn’t shy away from it! We read about a Levite who gave cruel men his concubine which they abused all night until she died, and then he cut her up into parts and sent her to the tribes! God never approves of darkness, nor does He edit it out or sanitize the people. We see the depravity of humans when walking apart from God all through the Bible. And honestly, I’m glad He doesn’t edit out things I’d rather not see or read about. God works in broken people’s lives and through brokenness to accomplish His redemptive purposes. I’m broken. You’re broken. He can use the righteous as well as the wicked. I need to be reminded that without Him, I could fall into those same traps (not cutting up women but… you know) and I need to know that despite my weakness and brokenness, God can and will still use me!

A Cry in the Dark has some violence and darker subject matter (though it is not graphic in real time) because darkness gets a moment…and then hope reaches in, hears the cries in the dark of broken people, and rescues them. And in the end, that’s what this book is about. A great and powerful rescue mission out of darkness and into light!

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, May 23

Genesis 5020, May 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24

Walking Fruitfully, May 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 25

Betti Mace, May 26

Cover Lover Book Review, May 26

Pause for Tales, May 27

Texas Book-aholic, May 28

For Him and My Family, May 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Blossoms and Blessings, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

Godly Book Reviews, June 1

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, June 1

Holly’s Book Corner, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

amandainpa, June 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 4

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, June 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jessica is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of Her Darkest Secret!!

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/26265/a-cry-in-the-dark-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Friday, May 26, 2023

"Murmur in the Mudcaves" by Kathleen Denly

About the Book

Book: Murmur in the Mudcaves

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 16, 2023

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

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

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

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

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

This is the fourth book in the Chaparral Hearts series. Some of the characters from the previous books are mentioned, but it isn't totally necessary to read the other books first as this book can function as a standalone book. I liked the biblical faith thread through the book and the growth in the characters.  I want to know more about what happens with Lucy and Ginny now. 



About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

 

More from Kathleen

The Making of a Hero

 

Picture in your mind the typical male rancher or cowboy. Can you see him? If we’re going for the full stereotype, you’re looking at a tall, handsome man who is, above all, strong. Particularly in the nineteenth century, it takes strength to build a house, install fencing, chop wood, haul water, heft hay bales, and most of all manage cattle. Not to mention the 101 other things it takes to start and keep a ranch running. 

 

Now consider the aftermath of the American Civil War. Many men never returned from the battlefields, and those who did often returned with injuries that would remain with them the rest of their lives. Some would suffer chronic pain until the day they died. 

 

In considering whose story I wanted to tell next, I wondered about that last group of men in the context of running a ranch. How could a seriously injured man, suffering chronic pain, keep his ranch going in an era where able-bodied men were more difficult to find? And what about those whose ranches were too new and small to support the cost of hiring help? 

 

This was the beginning of my inspiration for Gideon Swift–a Civil War Veteran still struggling daily with the consequences of having gone to war, ten years after his injuries sent him home. 

 

Raised to believe true men were strong and weak men were next-to useless, Gideon’s identity is shattered when an explosion leaves him with brain damage that causes recurring migraines with aura and the loss of periphery vision in one eye. For those unfamiliar, a migraine with aura is a severe headache preceded or accompanied by sensory disturbances called aura. Examples of such disturbances include flashes of light, blind spots, general blurry vision, and blurry or shimmery lines in vision. There can also be speech or language difficulty, muscle weakness, and/or numbness or tingling in one side of a person’s face, one hand, or one limb. Gideon experiences most of these at different times, but his most common sensory disturbance is a curled shimmery line that appears in his vision.

 

He is further humbled by a series of tragic losses partially triggered by his medical condition. These are the events that send him to California, determined never to work with cattle again, and never to marry.

 

I am often asked how much of myself I put into my characters. In Gideon’s case, I modeled his pain partially after my own. While I have no peripheral vision loss, nor brain damage, I do have recurring migraines. In my case, these are brought about by my menstrual cycle and only occasionally involve aura symptoms. Still, these severe headaches have lasted from a mere hour, up to nearly a week, and are frequently beyond anything my medications can alleviate. Too often, this pain leaves me unable to function. If I’m lucky I can sleep through it. If not, I lay awake in a darkened room for hours with pain preventing me from drifting into blissful unconsciousness. Nauseousness, foggy thinking, dizziness, and exhaustion are frequently parts of my experience. I have also experienced one-sided tingling numbness and the same curly, shimmering line that Gideon experiences. Yet, I know others who have far worse migraines. So, in describing Gideon’s episodes, I combined my own experiences with those of family and friends whom I have witnessed suffering. 

 

Through Murmur in the Mud Caves, we see how God works in Gideon’s life and heart to remind him of where his true value and strength come from. It is my hope that his journey will touch the hearts of readers and encourage them in whatever trials they may be facing. We are never alone. Whatever God brings us to, He will bring us through. He loves us and has a good purpose for everything we endure in this life, even when we cannot understand His reasons.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

Books You Can Feel Good About, May 18

Texas Book-aholic, May 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 20

Melissa’s Bookshelf, May 21

Connie’s History Classroom, May 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

Betti Mace, May 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 23

Madi’s Musings, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 25

Kristina Hall, May 25

Vicky Sluiter, May 26

Blossoms and Blessings, May 26

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 28

Cover Lover Book Review, May 29

Holly’s Book Corner, May 30

Karen Baney Reviews, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of 1 set of beautifully engraved, metal measuring spoons, 1 pouch of “Baking Day” potpourri, 1 Cat and Mouse kitchen timer, 1 vintage wooden sign with Christian encouragement message, 1 Cowboy Hat cookie cutter with recipe for Cowboy Sugar Cookies, 1 Kitchen towel that reads, “This Home is our Happily Ever After”, and 1 Kathleen Denly engraved pen!!

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/2606f/murmur-in-the-mudcaves-celebration-tour-giveaway 


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Monday, May 22, 2023

"A Season at the Grand" by Sherri Wilson Johnson

About the Book

Book: A Season at the Grand

Author: Sherri Wilson Johnson

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 9, 2023

Can the perfect picture reveal the truth before it’s too late?

Photographer Amelia Harris has had enough of her aunts’ meddling matchmaking. So when The Photographic Times commissions her to spend the summer on Mobile Bay taking portraits of the elite and capturing nature for penny postcards, Amelia happily accepts. But this job is not as simple as it appears, and Amelia must defend against naysayers if she’s to ever gain respect in a man’s world. And that doesn’t leave any room for romance.

Point Clear Resort General Manager Titus Overton never wanted the position he inherited when his cousin passed away. If it were up to him, he would be traveling with the Audubon Society to far-off places, enjoying the solitude of nature instead of providing relaxation for his guests. And now he has to deal with the big-city photographer stomping her way through sand dunes that house the migratory birds nesting there. But when she reveals an admiration for his feathered friends, it reawakens a longing in his heart he’d buried after the death of his fiancĂ©.

When threats arise against Amelia and the other resort guests, Titus knows he must step in to help. But she insists they trust God for deliverance. How can he turn to a God who took away his first beloved?

As the danger closes in, he must find the courage to overcome his past before someone gets hurt—especially the woman he’s come to love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I have found this series on Gilded Age Resorts to be interesting. When I saw the title, I thought that this book took place on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel there, so I was a little confused when it was not set there. The book was a quick read and had a nice biblical thread and clear gospel message. The mystery wasn't very deep but was immediately solved. I liked Amelia's spunk. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.


About the Author

Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, graphic designer and lover of all things book related. She’s always been a sucker for a good love story—whether it’s real life or fiction (both historical and contemporary). Completing her first novel at the age of eighteen, and later burning the only copy in the fireplace, she continued learning the craft of writing and now writes Contemporary Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance with a splash of suspense and/or mystery. When not writing, she’s usually assisting other publishing professionals or helping authors realize their dreams of becoming published. Sherri and her husband are empty-nesters and live in Georgia with their two dogs. She loves spending time with family, vacationing at the beach, curling up with a good book or working on her current work-in-progress. She dreams of a second home on some beach somewhere some day, where she can plot and write romantically suspenseful novels.

 

More from Sherri

A Season at the Grand is set in Point Clear, Alabama on Mobile Bay, because it is one of my favorite vacation spots. I adore sitting on the dock and watching dolphins while birds of all types fly overhead. I am always inspired by the ocean, and many stories have come out of my time in the Mobile Bay area.

Point Clear is also the setting of my novella, Bayside Betrayal, which also involves the Grand Hotel but under a fictitious name. Bayside Betrayal is the launching story of my Jeopardized Reunions series, which is a series filled with contemporary reunion romantic suspense stories. Why am I telling you about this series? Well, book five, which I am writing now, holds a special attachment to A Season at the Grand because one of the characters is a descendent of the couple in the story. I’m so attached to this setting that I think I may have to keep writing stories set there for years to come. I hope you’ll check out A Season at the Grand and my other books too.

I’d love it if you’d follow me on social media and join my subscriber list. I’m always excited to hear from readers!

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 14

An Author’s Take, May 15

Books You Can Feel Good About, May 15

Connie’s History Classroom, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

She Lives To Read, May 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 19

For Him and My Family, May 20

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Blossoms and Blessings, May 22

Cover Lover Book Review, May 23

Holly’s Book Corner, May 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 25 (Author Interview)

Sheila’s Reading Corner, May 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sherri is giving away the grand prize package of 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/25f5b/a-season-at-the-grand-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023