Saturday 25 November 2023

Book Review: The Lost Boys of Barlow Theater

 From the back:

It promises beauty but steals life instead. Will the ghosts of Barlowe Theater entomb them all?

Barlowe Theater stole the life of Greta Mercy's eldest brother during its construction. Now in 1915, the completed theater appears every bit as deadly. When Greta's younger brother goes missing after breaking into the building, Greta engages the assistance of a local police officer to help her unveil the already ghostly secrets of the theater. But when help comes from an unlikely source, Greta decides that to save her family she must uncover the evil that haunts the theater and put its threat to rest.

Decades later, Kit Boyd's best friend vanishes during a ghost walk at the Barlowe Theater, and old stories of mysterious disappearances and ghoulish happenings are revived. Then television ghost-hunting host and skeptic Evan Fisher joins Kit in the quest to identify the truth behind the theater's history. Kit reluctantly agrees to work with him in hopes of finding her missing friend. As the theater's curse unravels Kit's life, she is determined to put an end to the evil that has marked the theater and their hometown for the last century.

From the back:

Jamie Jo Wright never does me wrong. 

Are you up for a good ghost story? Do you love Ghost Busters, Scooby-Do? If so this book is for you my friends! The fist couple of chapters I kind of thought, "ugh, what have I got myself into?" the dark paranormal aspects I have to admit creeped me out at first. I was not sure where the story was going, but by then I was all in, there was no turning back!

This dual timeline was executed with perfection, it moved seamlessly between present day and 1915.

(1915) Greta Mercy's story drew me in instantly. Her struggle to keep her brother and herself out of the poor house had my heart strings pulled taunt. When Greta witnesses a lady in white throw a baby from the balcony of the Barlow theater things start to really get twisted. Thing is no one else actually saw a baby fall other than Greta. Then comes the disappearance of her brother and two other local boys who went into the theater, but never came out. 

(present day) Kit Boyd's best friend disappeared in the very same theater decades later while taping a show called the psychic and the Skeptic. They have just scratched the surface of the theaters past, the lost boys the woman in White. What is behind this disappearance an ages old curse or a perfectly sane explanation?

Delving into the injustices of the 1915 period really had me thinking. The struggles of the less fortunate the stigma of mental illness the disparity of the classes made me ponder about how nothing has actually changed in all those years. It's sad really. Anyway, I digress.

It's funny how during the whole novel I was sure there would be a non paranormal explanation for all of the sightings and disappearances but as I read, I seriously could not figure out the clues! This is such a fun story, abet a little creepy. I always find that when I get to the last page of a novel penned by Jamie Jo Wright, I feel a little bit let down. Not because I didn't love the story, but because I came to the end of the book and would have to wait for her next addition!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Jaime Jo Wright

Jaime Jo Wright ( is the author of ten novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also a two-time...

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Thursday 17 August 2023

Book Review: Cold Pursuit


From the Back:

Ex-FBI profiler River Ryland still suffers from PTSD after a case went horribly wrong. Needing a fresh start, she moves to St. Louis to be near her ailing mother and opens a private investigation firm with her friend and former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair. They're soon approached by a grieving mother who wants them to find out what happened to her teenaged son, who disappeared four years ago. River knows there's almost no hope the boy is still alive, but his mother needs closure, and River and Tony need a case, no matter how cold it might be.

But as they follow the boy's trail, which gets more complicated at every turn, they find themselves in the path of a murderer determined to punish anyone who gets in his way. As River and Tony race to stop him before he kills again, an even more dangerous threat emerges, stirring up the past that haunts River and plotting an end to her future.

My Reflections:

Ahh, Nancy Mehl has done it again!

Book One in the Ryland + St. Clair series is the newest novel by Mehl. I can't wait to read the next edition, as I never tire of Mehl's writing style. Her no-nonsense approach to getting right to the plot gets me every time!

In this novel, we follow River Ryland and Tony St. Clair as they search for answers in a cold case involving the disappearance of a young teenager. Their journey leads them to unexpectedly dark places.

The duo, who both experienced serious trauma, worked together using their strengths to crack the case. The troubled and twisted villain with synesthesia fascinated me, leading me down a rabbit hole of investigation. 

This book's unexpected plot twists kept me glued to the pages. If you are a fan of Nancy Mehl, you certainly will not be disappointed with this one!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than fifty books, a Parable bestseller, and the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, a Carol Award, and the Daphne du Maurier Award. She has also been a finalist for two Carol Awards and the Christy Award....

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Monday 1 May 2023

Book Review: Remember Me


From the Back:

From the Yukon to Seattle, the hope of a new beginning waits just around the corner.

Addie Bryant is haunted by her past of heartbreak and betrayal. After her beau, Isaac Hanson, left the Yukon, she made a vow to wait for him. When she's sold to a brothel owner after the death of her father, Addie manages to escape with the hope that she can forever hide her past and the belief that she will never have the future she's always dreamed of.

Years later, Addie has found peace in her new life as a photographer, training Camera Girls to operate and sell the Brownie camera. During the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo in Seattle, Addie is reunited with Isaac, but after the path her life has taken, she's afraid to expose the ugliness of her former life and to move toward the future they had pledged to each other.

When her past catches up with her, Addie must decide whether to run or to stay and face her wounds in order to embrace her life, her future, and her hope in God.

My Reflections:

Tracie Peterson's newest book "Remember Me" is book one of her new series Pictures of the Heart.

In this novel, we are introduced to Addie Bryant, a remarkably resilient lady who has lived her share of heartache and betrayal. After the mistreatment from the men in her life, Addie pledges to herself that she will make it on her own, without the confinement of any man. Addie settles into a quiet life with her landlords Otis and Pearl Fisher. With Addies help they set off on an ambitious business venture to sell Brownie cameras at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo. 

Trouble is brewing on the horizon as her no-good brothers Shep and Hiram are released from jail. They are released early in return for working on the maintenance crew at the Expo. Shep and his not-so-bright brother Hiram are on the hunt for an easy life. They hope to find their sister who they believe is the ticket to the good life.  

Addie is always looking over her shoulder the last thing she wants is to become a pawn in the grips of her brother's dark schemes. Having escaped their dominion once she is not willing to risk them keeping her hostage and selling her to the highest bidder again. Unfortunately by a twist of fate, their paths cross again. Will Addie find herself at the mercy of her brothers once again?

Isaac Hanson has dreamed of Addie Bryant since he left the Yukon as a young man. Having pledged himself to her he intends to keep his promise even after all these years. When he stumbles across her one day at the Expo, he is determined to keep his decade-old promise. 

Addie however is not so sure about where their relationship could go, she is not the same girl he left many years ago. Her life has taken her down some dark paths, and she doesn't feel worthy of his pledge any longer.

Will Isaac be able to convince Addie of her worth? Could they have a future after all these years? Can she overcome her past hurts and shame? Will Addie's brothers finally get the money they want, once again using her to their own advantage?

If you are looking for a novel that weaves family drama, faith, love and history together in a neat and tidy 295-page novel this may just be the book for you. I quite enjoyed the storyline the flow and the characters. I can't wait to see what book two brings!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson ( is the bestselling author of more than 100 novels, both historical and contemporary, with nearly 6 million copies sold. She has won the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award....

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Wednesday 15 February 2023

Book Review: What Happens Next


From the back:

"An uplifting story of faith, hope, and healing."--Booklist

"Everyone has a story, and maybe everyone needs a little help toward healing."

Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy--but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she's asked to spotlight her childhood best friend's missing person case on her podcast.

Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counseling and to pack up her missing daughter's belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case.

As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and the future?

My Reflections:

Christina Nelson pens another profoundly moving novel with her newest book titled "What Happens Next" This author never disappoints. She writes about issues that matter, digs deeper into the complexities of life, teasing out truth and the courage of the human heart.

Faith a former investigator turned podcaster is recently divorced and at odds with what to do with herself as her daughters spend the summer with their dad and his new wife. When she is asked out of the blue to shed light on the disappearance of her childhood friend she is shaken. Having been left in the dark about her friend Heather's disappearance gives Faith the determination to find out what truly happened that summer 36 years ago.

This novel also delves into the lives of Dora, Heather's mother. Dora has held onto the belief that Heather will return, so much so that it has ripped at the very fabric of her remaining family. 

Lastly, the book shares the life of young Heather at the age of 10, the summer before her disappearance. We get a glimpse into this sweet funny and outspoken girl full of life and promise. Faith and Heather become fast friends that summer and share many adventures and memories together. 

I enjoyed all aspects of this gripping story. It made me take a sobering look at those around me and the consequences of our actions. Healing is messy business, with many ups and downs, it is fraught with emotions and choices. I am slowly learning (I must be really slow because it's taken a while) that I need to stop, take a breath, step back, assess the mess then lean into it and trust in the journey God has set before me. 

Nelson is a master writer her ability to pen characters with depth and substance makes her novels stand out. I am always drawn into the lives of her characters and feel a special connection which leaves me wanting more when the last page has been turned. 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Christina Suzann Nelson

Christina Suzann Nelson ( is an inspirational speaker and Christy award-winning author. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was honored as one of Library Journal's top five inspirational novels of 2017, and her 2021...

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Book Review Yesterday's Tides


From the Back:

In two world wars, intelligence and counterintelligence, prejudice, and self-sacrifice collide across two generations

In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.

Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.

As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.

My reflections:

"Yesterday's Tides" is a slow savoury read. White takes her readers on a journey along duel timelines one set in 1914 and the other in 1942. Both are on the same American island of Ocracoke. This idyllic small island is home to a small number of locals who are close-knit and deeply woven together. 

1914 we become acquainted with Louisa, a down-to-earth kinda soul. She was inventive and able to do the work suited for a man in that era. I was pretty impressed at her get-it-done attitude. Louisa being the innkeeper's daughter usually doesn't pay too much attention to the guests at the inn, that is until a very handsome well-to-do guest comes to stay on the island for the entirety of the summer. 

Remmington never expected to fall in love with a commoner, but that he did. Knowing that their relationship would not bode well in his world due to her ancestry and social standing, Remington tries to talk himself into keeping their relationship friendly, but his heart has other plans. 

1942, Evie is a wickedly smart woman with a grieving heart. She plods along each day with purpose and determination. She however leads a secret life helping the British crack enemy codes with the means of the telegraph as her way of communication. When Sterling, a British spy washes up on her shores, burnt and battered Evie finds herself strangely drawn to him as she nurses him back to health. Within his delirious mumbling, she learns tidbits of his true identity. 

Sterling has a mission and it doesn't include Evie. Still weak and unable to complete his assignment he must lean on Evie to regain his strength and track down a certain German spy. Can he trust Evie? Who is she really, and why does he find himself falling deeper and deeper for her?

I found myself thoroughly invested in both stories, I do however have to admit it got a little confusing at times, as there are so many characters to keep track of. 

Both stories offered well-paced plots with relatable characters. If you are looking for something with a little more substance this would be a good choice to sink your teeth into.

 This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Roseanna M. White ( is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When...

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Tuesday 20 December 2022

Book Review: The Lost Melody


From The Back:

"Haunting. Riveting. Filled with hope."--Michelle Griep, author of Lost in Darkness

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.

But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women's independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era--and now.

My Reflections:

Where do I start? I have never in my long history of reading come across a book quite like this. It touched my soul and moved me in ways that I can't even flesh out. I feel like it would do the book an injustice if I revealed the inner contents, for this reason I will keep my review subjective and let you enjoy the unfettered essence within.

England 1886 sits Hurstwell  Lunatic asylum a place filled with shadows, deep darkness and immense pain. We are able to take a glimpse into the Victorian era of the misunderstood. The fine line between sanity and madness. 

The characters were so well developed that the story came alive for me. I was moved from emotion to emotion harmoniously flowing with the melody of the story. Ah... I never wanted it to end, I was left crying at the injustices while rooting for the truth to be had. Politano weaves faith gently throughout the entirety of the book adding depth and humanity. We are reminded that in the darkness there is light and hope. We can touch others lives even mired in the darkness, we just have to reach out, even when all seems lost.

The romance is heart achingly beautiful, tender and moving. It almost seemed out of place at the start, but as the story progressed it really added an element of humanity. 

I am completely amazed at the Politano's exceptional ability to take a story and craft it into a work of art. This book just took writing to a whole new level.

 Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne DisappearsA Rumored FortuneFinding Lady EnderlyThe Love Note, and A Midnight Dance. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in...

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Book Review: Targeted


From the Back:

Three women. Three men. Three unsuspecting targets.

Get ready for triple the thrills with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors!

In On the Run, IT Specialist Daria Nevsky is a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead--and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper are committed to keeping their relationship professional. But when the vice president's son enters the crosshairs of a killer, some lines will have to be crossed in order to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, there is no love lost between former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman and CIA officer Claudia Gallegos after Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. But to prevent a coup that would put America at risk, they'll have to learn to trust each other--before it's too late.

My Reflections:

Though I love to sink my teeth into a gool full length novel, once and awhile it is nice to dip your feet in a melody of short stories. What is better than a novella with three of my favorite authors. Lynette Easton, Lynn H. Blackburn and Natalie Walters all had well developed characters, a perfectly thought out plot with faith based threads. Some how they packed all of this into a short 120 ish page feast for the senses. If asked I couldn't pick a favorite, each were wildly different yet had the same thrilling elements that you would expect form these authors.

It was delightful how the authors weaved previous stories into their collections. In the depths of the pages you will find stories that are packed with heart warming romance and spine tingling suspense. The characters are well fleshed out and the story lines were full bodied and satisfying. I feel these short stories could be read as a stand alone. It actually would be a perfect introduction to each authors unique penmanship.

I highly recommend this novella, especially for those cold winter nights.

A perfect read for the holidays!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Lynette Eason

  1. Lynette Eason is the USA Today bestselling author of Life Flight, Crossfire, and Critical Threat, as well as the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite...

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  2. Lynn H. Blackburn

    Lynn H. Blackburn is the award-winning author of Unknown Threat and Malicious Intent, as well as the Dive Team Investigations series. She believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift...

    Continue reading about Lynn H. Blackbur

  3. Natalie Walters

    Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out and Fatal Code, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with...

    Continue reading about Natalie Walters

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