Thursday, February 22, 2024

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace Title: The Rhythm of Fractured Grace 
Series: Sedgwick County Chronicles #3 
Author: Amanda Wen 
Publisher: Kregel Publications 
Release Date: February 20, 2024 
Genre: Christian Split Time Romantic Women's Fiction

Is Siobhan too far gone to respond to the song of a God who's calling her back to him?

When a new customer brings a badly damaged violin into Siobhan Walsh's shop, it is exactly the sort of challenge she craves. The man who brought it in is not. He's too close to the painful past that left her heart and her faith in shambles. 

Matt Buchanan has had a rough start as the new worship pastor. A car accident on his way into town left him with a nearly totaled truck, and an heirloom violin in pieces. When he takes it to a repair shop, he's fascinated with the restoration process--and with the edgy, closed-off woman doing the work. As their friendship deepens and turns into more, they both discover secrets that force them to face past wounds. And the history of the violin reveals more about their current problems than they could have ever expected. 

On the nineteenth-century frontier, a gruesome tomahawk attack wiped out most of Deborah Caldwell's family. Her greatest solace after the tragedy is the music from her father's prized violin. Given her horrendous scars, she'd resigned herself to a spinster's life. But Levi Martinson's gentle love starts to chip away at her hardened heart, until devastating details about the attack are revealed, putting their love--and Deborah's shaky faith--to the ultimate test. 

Full of forgiveness and the message that no one is too damaged for God's healing touch, the final book in the split-time Sedgwick County Chronicles will thrill fans of Rachel Hauck, Lisa Wingate, and Kristy Cambron. 



Tucking the violin under one arm, Siobhan held the door for Matt, the bells jingling against the glass, and ducked into the little shop after he hobbled through. The small space was cluttered with instruments of every size, shape, and description, from basses and cellos standing at attention along a far wall to violins and violas hanging from hooks near and far. The comforting scents of wood and varnish enveloped her in a gentle hug.

Of all the jobs she’d pictured herself in, tucked away in a tiny shop learning how to rehair bows and repair stringed instruments hadn’t even made the list.

But after her last job? Tucked away seemed ideal.

More Books in Series

Roots of Wood and Stone The Songs That Could Have Been

About the Author

Amanda Wen

Amanda Wen is a Selah Award–winning, Parable best-selling author of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction, including Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been, and a professional musician. Wen currently lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and three children.

Connect with Amanda by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of the book, a mug, chai mix, and a kitsugi heart necklace!

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace 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 February 21, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2024. 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

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Monday, February 19, 2024

Review: Undetected by Dee Henderson

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: "I'm in the navy."

But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping its crew trained and focused during 90-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and carries it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating in the Pacific Rim, the navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, pretty, and very smart. She's a civilian, but she understands life in the navy. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. But a breakup she didn't see coming has her focusing all her attention on what she does best--ocean science research. She's on the cusp of a breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop's perspective and help. Because what she's told the navy she's figured out is only the beginning. If she's right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter...

My Review

Ever since seeing The Hunt for Red October I've enjoyed submarine stories. This book is thick with technical information that still reads smoothly along with the plot and characters. I appreciated that the men in Gina's life encouraged and supported her in her inventions and endeavors instead of being intimidated or competitive like some boyfriends in her past. She has two great guys to choose between, and it didn't seem quite realistic how easygoing they were about that. The tension comes as she keeps developing technology that gives the US an advantage at sea, but the powers that be understand that it will become dangerous when espionage makes it available to the enemy as well. Mark helps her keep things in perspective, that her talents should not be suppressed but built upon. The pace is somewhat slow but steady with not much suspense until the very end, when the culmination of her projects are used in a way nobody could foresee. The romance was a bit tepid with Gina's insecurity, resistance, and indecision, definitely a slow burn.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Review: Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

My Review

Wynter has been through some trauma that never goes away. It was interesting to discover her past as the story unfolds, and all the secrets that are revealed. Sanctuary sounds idyllic, but it's also the perfect place to hide. Rueben sees the good sides of the people in his community, and is very protective of them. The varying degrees of Mennonite made it difficult to know who would be open for an interview and photography, and Reuben was an invaluable help to Wynter's journalism. There was such a focus on the plot and Wynter's search for her brother, that the romance between her and Reuben seemed like an afterthought, and there were little to no descriptions of her feelings for him, which was disappointing. The story of finding her brother and healing her complicated family dynamics was full of unexpected twists, and culminated in a suspenseful resolution. Adoption is close to my heart so it's devastating to think about the painful ways it goes wrong due to mistakes or selfish plans, when its ultimate purpose is to be a loving solution.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Review: Protecting the Mountain Man's Treasure by Misty M. Beller

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


In the wild mountains of the Montana Territory, the Coulter ranch is a place of family, loyalty, a hidden fortune…and a bride he can’t remember marrying.

Jude Coulter is far more comfortable in his family’s sapphire mine tucked in the Montana mountains than on the bustling streets of New York City, where he’s been sent to deliver a shipment of gems. His relief at boarding the train for the first leg of his journey home is short-lived when an accident renders him unconscious.

Angela Larkin worked hard to earn this assignment for the Treasury—an undercover mission to determine the source of the sapphires brought each year for auction in the city. When an accident causes her target to lose his recent memory, Angela jumps at the opportunity to create the ideal ruse. Jude seems surprised to learn the two of them had married and were returning from a glorious wedding trip, but his severe head injury keeps him from protesting…for now.

But the accident is far from the worst threat they face. When enemies close in, Angela and Jude must depend on each other to survive the treacherous journey home. As the danger mounts, so too does an attraction neither of them anticipated. But can their love withstand the revelation of their tangled beginnings?

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a mountain family saga filled with a pretend marriage, amnesia, undercover agents, and a love worth treasuring far more than riches.

My Review

This story took some unexpected twists and turns! Poor Jude, losing his memory made him lose his confidence, and the things Angela tells him about their relationship that are out of character for him throw him even more. He's in the middle of a long trip, far away from home, and it must have felt almost blind, to be working his way back without the benefit of seeing his memories or what he did. Angela was definitely working off the cuff when she made up the impromptu marriage story, not thinking through the dangers and consequences to come. She is so focused on doing her job right and accomplishing her task, but her heart is in the right place, which we discover along the way. Jude's faith and high standards of behavior intrigue Angela as they are in close proximity and trying to make their way to the ranch amid opposition and returning memories. Trust is a major theme in their story as secrets are revealed and choices need to be made. An exciting adventure!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Don't miss the other books in the Brothers of Sapphire Ranch series . . .


Friday, February 16, 2024

Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway: Nellie by Amy Walsh

Nellie Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Nellie by Amy Walsh, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book


Title: Nellie
Apron Strings #2
Amy Walsh
Walsh Mountain Publishing
Release Date:
February 15, 2024
Genre: Historical Romance

Finances are tight for the O’Dwyer family who live on a mountain outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1931. Life gets even harder when their beloved DadaĆ­ must cease work as a coal miner to become a patient at the West Mountain Sanitarium. 

Nellie is her preferred name, but family and friends have heard Mam shout “Fenella Aileen O’Dwyer!” all too often with the countless predicaments she got herself into throughout childhood. So, it’s not altogether surprising when Nellie impulsively accepts a job as an assistant cook at the Clarinda House in a case of mistaken identity -- though she’s the last person her family would ask to prepare a meal.

Fortunately, along with determination, a talent for acting, and the gift of blarney, Nellie has Mrs. Campbell’s Cookery Book, a treasure she discovered at a Red Cross drought relief sale. 

As her reluctant admiration for her employer grows, Nellie wishes she could be the sort of truthful woman of faith that Mr. Mason Peale esteems. If she confesses all, will she lose her job along with the friendships she’s formed at Clarinda House?  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


Guest Post from Author Amy Walsh


Nellie and Hot Dogs

I’ll be honest, I enjoy a hot dog now and then. I have fond memories of hot dogs, French fries, and cream corn at Grandma Cooley’s house on many Sunday afternoons. She’d filet the hot dogs down the middle and fry them until the edges were dark brown and crispy. There was something about her coal stove that made everything taste so good. These days, I usually buy kosher hot dogs, or a brand of all beef, just to guarantee that there are fewer mysterious ingredients. Sometimes my husband just wants some franks and baked beans for supper. My kids are not so enthusiastic about that meal.

Hot dogs have been around at least since the 1600s in Frankfurt, Germany. They weren’t sold in a bun in the US until the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 (The Columbian Exposition). But they didn’t become popular until the Great Depression, Nellie’s era. One could buy a hot dog in a roll from a street vender for about five cents in 1931.

With Nellie’s father in the West Mountain Sanitarium, her family had to be even more frugal. The O’Dwyers were down to having meat once a week, and that would typically be something very cheap, like chipped corned beef or baloney. When one is used to beans as a main source of protein, like baked bean sandwiches, even cheap meat would taste good. I can only imagine how Nellie would have marveled the first time she opened the Clarinda House mansion’s Frigidaire and saw the abundance of meat.

Hot Dogs Recipes from the 1930s


Hoover Stew

This stew made with hot dogs, stewed tomatoes, corn, and macaroni was named after the president at the beginning of the United States financial collapse. Supposedly a group of women wanted to have a neighborhood party but they wanted to feed a crowd with the ingredients they had on hand, and that’s how Hoover Stew originated. I think I would enjoy this dish, how about you?


Depression Sandwich

I’ve actually had this same combination from Sonic – they called it the Chicago Dog. During the 1930s, this sandwich was a frankfurter topped with mustard, pickle relish, onions, a dill pickle, hot peppers, lettuce and tomatoes.

Poorman’s Meal

This weiner and potato skillet meal also sounds like one I would eat with no grumping. You will love watching this 91-year-old grandmother make this dish.

What do you think of this combo? For me, it's NAY!
Speaking of nays, this one is

A Big Nay! 
Jellied Bouillon with Frankfurters

The fabulous ingredients in this dish are unflavored gelatin, water, beef stock, hot dogs, hard boiled eggs, and diced celery.


In the 1950s there was a new fad – gelatin. We will devote some time to gelatin in the Apron Strings Book Series Readers group on Facebook when Beatrice releases in April. I can’t wait!

About the Author

Amy Walsh

Amy Walsh writes historical and contemporary romance, mysteries, speculative fiction, and women’s fiction. She is a 5th-grade writing teacher in an urban public school. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children. Amy considers herself greatly blessed in the roles God has given her as an earthling, including aspiring wordsmith, teacher of youngsters, nature appreciator, tea aficionado, avid dessert fan, book fanatic, lover of family and friends, and Christ-follower.

Connect with Amy by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card, print copies of Nellie and Voices in the Sanitorium, and some historical memorabilia from the West Mountain Sanitarium!

Nellie JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight February 12, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 19, 2024. Winners 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

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

JustRead Publicity Tours


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Book Tour & Review: Chasing the Horizon by Mary Connealy

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Her only chance at freedom waits across the horizon

Upon uncovering her tyrannical father's malevolent plot to commit her to an asylum, Beth Rutledge fabricates a plan of her own. She will rescue her mother, who had already been sent to the asylum, and escape together on a wagon train heading west. Posing as sisters, Beth and her mother travel with the pioneers in hopes of making it to Idaho before the others start asking too many questions.

Wagon-train scout Jake Holt senses that the mysterious women in his caravan are running from something. When rumors begin to spread of Pinkerton agents searching relentlessly for wanted criminals who match the description of those on his wagon train, including Beth, she begins to open up to him, and he learns something more sinister is at hand. Can they risk trusting each other with their lives--and their hearts--when danger threatens their every step?

My Review

There's something about this story that really resonated with me. I feel like the author was intentional and thoughtful with the themes and difficulties of the characters and the era. The railroads have made travel to the West more accessible and swift, and the wagon trains are tapering off. It provides Beth and her mother an opportunity to hide in plain sight as her father assumes they would escape via rail travel. I enjoyed the people they meet and become close to on their journey, and loved the way Oscar, a former employee, showed his loyalty and decency by aiding Beth in her plans and supporting them on the trail. Jake and Beth have great chemistry, and their relationship and romance developed slowly and naturally as they work together through all the obstacles along the way. There is anticipation of an impending altercation as Beth's father closes in and we have some passages from his villainous perspective. Overall, the pace is steady and I appreciated the character growth as well as the details of the journey. I look forward to continuing the story with the next book, following Sebastian, a mysterious inventor they rescued and brought on the trail, and Kat, who escaped the asylum with Beth's mother.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Check out the next book in A Western Light series . . .

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedies with cowboys. She is independently publishing a contemporary romantic suspense series called Garrison’s Law, book one is Loving the Texas Lawman. Her new historical series, High Sierra Sweethearts begins with The Accidental Guardian. She is also the author of these series: Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Wild at Heart, Cimarron Legacy, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's daughters, and has many other books.

She is a two-time Carol Award winner and has been a finalist for the Rita and Christy Awards. She’s a lifelong Nebraskan and lives with her very own romantic cowboy hero. She’s got four grown daughters and four spectacular grandchildren.


"Mary Connealy’s Inspirational Western Romances have long been on my radar to try, but the new Western Lights series opener, Chasing the Horizon, was my first opportunity. Imagine my chagrin when I started reading and didn’t want to stop. Oh yes, dear friends, I’d waited too long to discover a gem of a writer."— Sophia Rose, The Reading Frenzy

5 STARS "What an incredible book! It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read it.” — Camille Dayton, Fostering Literacy
5 STARS “Loved this story! I was intrigued right from the beginning.”— Melissa Goss, Christian Books and Coffee

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Review: Something Borrowed by Rebecca Connolly

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Forsaking all others...

Gage Trembath is getting married. He is the only one who knows it, but the statement is true nonetheless. The woman he had once loved has been married elsewhere for a time, and he can put off his own marriage no longer. The woman he has chosen to marry, without love, is sensible, quiet, musical, and amenable, which should enable him to have a good marriage and a content life. That is all he wants now, and Honora Berkeley makes the most sense.

Honora cannot believe that a handsome and wealthy man like Gage has any interest at all in marrying her, even without love. She has certainly very little to recommend her, but escaping her life of criticism and abandonment is something she cannot resist. But what about the woman Gage had once loved? The one who was perfect for him and the one who made him determined to abandon love? Are his feelings for her truly gone? Will Honora ever have his affection along with his respect?

My Review

I was so happy to see these two make a match, but disappointed that Gage went into the marriage with unresolved baggage from his previous experience. This is a bit of a marriage of convenience for Honoria since it gets her away from her abusive family, but her feelings naturally grow swiftly for such a considerate gentleman. Their individual hangups provide the conflict in their relationship- Gage thinking he will never love again, and Honoria completely insecure about his affections. I was glad they had the support of their friends and family- the characters from the previous books- that helped them along their bumpy road to happily-ever-after.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Don't miss the previous books in the Cornwall Brides series . . .