Saturday, October 19, 2019

State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

State of Lies
Hello!  I hope everyone had a good week.  Dead Wrong by Vannetta Chapman is the first novel in Agatha's Amish B&B.  It releases on November 5.  Cobblered to Death by Rosemarie Ross comes out November 26 along with Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly.  New releases just in time for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  
State of Lies by Siri Mitchell has Dr. Georgia Brennan enjoying a February day at home with her husband, Sean and their son, Sam.  Sean goes out to get a part for their leaky faucet and fails to return home.  Two officers come to the house that evening to tell Georgia that her husband died in a hit-and-run accident.  Eight months later, Georgia is still struggling with grief. It is a challenge to get through each workday and take care of her active son.  Her father has been nominated for the United States Secretary of Defense and will soon be going through the confirmation hearings.  Her parents encourage Georgia to move into their new home with them.  When Georgia finally goes to repair the leaky faucet, she realizes Sean lied to her that day.  She decides to look at the report from the accident and his personal affects.  Georgia notices Sean’s knife is missing as well as some other items.  Things are not adding up and Georgia sets out to get answers.  The more she learns, the more she realizes how little she knew about her husband.  Georgia begins to hear funny noises in the house and notices some odd happenings.  It seems someone is not happy with Georgia’s quest for answers.  Who are they and what will they do to keep Georgia quiet?
Don't ignore that leaking faucet in your kitchen or bathroom
State of Lies by Siri Mitchell is a political thriller.  Our protagonist, Georgia Brennan is a physicist who works on contracts for the government.  She is also a wife and mother.  Her husband, Sean works for the Department of Defense as a historian.  One day, Sean goes out to pick up a part for their leaky faucet and never returns.  He was killed in a hit-and-run accident which devastates Georgia.  When she realizes Sean told her lie, Georgia begins searching for answers.  I thought it contained good writing with twists and surprising revelations.  I did feel it was a little bit of a slow starter, but the pace soon picks up as Georgia begins looking into her husband’s death.  She begins to hear noises around her home at night.  There are some slow sections in the middle with the pace increasing later in the story.  The mystery is intriguing with its complexity.   It dives into military operations and political figures.  Georgia is not sure who she can trust.  She wants the truth, but Georgia needs to keep her son safe as well as their beloved dog.  There is violence and some gory details.  It can be solved depending upon the number of mysteries you have read.  While State of Lies if put out by a Christian publisher, it is not a Christian story.   I did find the sections on Georgia’s work to be a little dull with their detailed explanations.  State of Lies is a suspenseful novel with one woman searching for the truth amid political conspiracies, mistrust, riddles, falsehoods, and espionage.  
Pentagon facing possibility of third acting defense secretary in less than a month. The Department of Defense is struggling to establish an unprecedented transition plan aimed at ensuring continuity of leadership at the highest levels while there is still no confirmed secretary of defense
State of Lies can be purchased here*.  If you would like to check out Siri Mitchell's other novels, you can find them here, and you can find out more about the author by visiting her website.  Thank you for joining me today.  I am featuring Snow Angels by Nadine Dorries tomorrow.  It is the fifth novel in The Lovely Lane series.  I hope you have a delightful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Penelope Dullaghan Fall and Reading Two <3

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Friday, October 18, 2019

New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by [Hubbard, Charlotte]
Welcome!  Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Richelle Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter is available for pre-order.  It will be out on November 5.  Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton is the ninth A Vintage Kitchen Mystery and it also comes out November 5.  Stamped Out by Tonya Kappes published on October 29 and it is the first A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery.  I cannot wait to read these new releases.
First day of spring in Missouri
New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard welcomes us to Promise, Missouri.  Frances Lehman has been widowed for six weeks after being married for twenty years.  She is glad that they moved to the Promise Lodge with its unusual Amish community.  Woman have freedoms that are not enjoyed in any other Amish community and everyone is so welcoming.  Frances is heading to the Truman and Rosetta’s wedding when her recently widowed brother-in-law, Lester states his intention of moving into her home with plans for them to marry.  Frances and her daughter, Gloria need to think about a way of supporting themselves, but she has no intention of being forced into a marriage.  She is thankful Preacher Marlin Kurtz overheard Lester’s remarks and came to her defense.  Marlin and Frances take a walk later in the day which gets their families riled up.  Just when their courtship is beginning, an accident sidelines Frances which gives her time to contemplate her future.  Frances has no wish to be a burden upon anyone plus she is still grieving which clouds her judgement.  Can the residents of Promise Lodge help bring joy back into Frances life and convince her that second love can be a blessing?
Touring Pennsylvania Dutch Country | Travel + Leisure
New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard is the fourth story in the Promise Lodge series.  I recommend reading this series in order so you will not be overwhelmed by the characters and their various stories.  New Beginnings at Promise Lodge picks up where Weddings at Promise Lodge ended.  Truman and Rosetta are getting married which is a union between an Amish and a Mennonite.  I just love the ladies of Promise Lodge.  They are a lively and caring bunch.  The women support each other.  While the book focuses on Frances, we also catch up with the other characters.  Frances is grieving the loss of her husband, but she is also looking forward to the freedoms offered by their new community. But then her brother-in-law, Lester Lehman begins insisting they marry which is the last thing Frances wants to happen.  Her daughter, Gloria is upset at the loss of her father and she is still chasing after Allen Troyer who is not interested in Gloria.  Allen has told Gloria how he feels, but she is rather persistent (let’s face it, she is a pest).  Preacher Marlin Kurtz, who has been a widower for three years, intervenes when Lester begins making inappropriate assertions.  Marlin is interested in Frances and is totally unprepared for the reaction from one of his grown children.  I thought New Beginnings at Promise Lodge was well-written with appealing characters.  The setting is beautifully described, and the story has a good flow.  I like how Charlotte Hubbard has given us this unique Amish community with a variety of characters.  I thought the situations realistic and I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout this emotional tale.  There is a particularly sad section that had me fetching a tissue.  New Beginnings at Promise Lodge gives us joy, family, heartache, friendship, love, faith, grief, and confusion.  We get to meet Annabelle Beachy at the end who will feature in Light Shines on Promise Lodge.  My favorite saying from the book is “Happiness doesn’t just happen—it’s a conscious choice we make dozens a times each day.” New Beginnings at Promise Lodge is a heartwarming story with a wonderful wedding, a bothersome brother-in-law, twin expectations, a plethora of pies, diminutive dwellings, and a terrible tumble.  
"I love me some Amish in the street" National Geographic June 1965.
New Beginnings at Promise Lodge is available through Amazon* (Amazon UK)as well as other major booksellers.  The Promise Lodge series consists of Promise Lodge (Kindle Unlimited), Christmas at Promise Lodge (Kindle Unlimited), and Weddings at Promise Lodge.   Light Shines on Promise Lodge is available for pre-order and will be published on March 31, 2020. Thank you for dropping by today.  I will return tomorrow to review State of Lies by Siri Mitchell.  I hope that you have a fruitful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Wednesday’s Freebies to Feed Your Reader (11/12/14)

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fatal Memories by Tanya Stowe: Review and Giveaway!

About the Book
Book: Fatal Memories

Author: Tanya Stowe

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: September 1, 2019

She was framed! Or was she?

If only she could remember…

Border patrol agent Jocelyn Walker has no memory of how she turned up unconscious with a cache of drugs—or why a gang is dead set on killing her. With evidence stacking up against her, Joss takes refuge with driven DEA agent Dylan Murphy, who guards—and suspects— her. But will finally trusting each other lead them into a trap they’ll never escape?

Click here to grab your copy!

About the Author

Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction author with an unexpected edge. She is married to the love of her life, her high school sweetheart. They have four children and twenty-one grandchildren, a true adventure. She fills her books with the unusual…mysteries and exotic travel, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey packed with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

More About Tanya

It has long been my husband’s desire to travel the country in a motorhome. So when he retired three years ago, we sold our home and hit the road. We lived in the high desert region of Southern California for almost 37 years. I thought it was going to be a rough transition, but it wasn’t…especially since I came to love one of our new locations.
red Morris Minor  matching mini-caravan
We spend the winter months in southern Arizona where Fatal Memories is set. I love everything about this unique place. We are surrounded by incredible ecosystems…the Sonoran and Chihuahua deserts collide there, so a different environment is around every corner. The beauty of the mountains, streams and lakes (yes, there’s water in southern Arizona—monsoons come up from Baja every summer) and the wildlife is amazing. I’ve been told black panthers have been known to cross the border from Mexico and roam the countryside. My husband and I bought a Jeep so we could go off-roading to see these sites up close and personal.
Wonderful hilton hotel sedona arizona just on travelarize vacations ideas
In addition to all these amazing natural wonders, history jumps out and grabs me. I’m just twenty minutes from Tombstone. Fort Huachuca and Fort Bowie are forty miles away in different directions. Every time I turn around, there’s a history making site or event to grab my interest. I hope you can see why I fell in love with my new home. I hope you will too when you read Fatal Memories.
Fort Bowie | American Southwest
By the way…if you interested, I write about our travels in my monthly newsletter. Be sure to check it out !
*TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA ~ Relive the exciting times of the Old West with historical tours, shoot-outs, reenactments, a walk through Boothill Graveyard and more! (Click on the pin for more info and additional things to do in the Tucson, AZ area - Photo via Instagram by@chikasa55)

My Thoughts

Fatal Memories by Tanya Stowe is an intriguing romantic suspense.  Jocelyn “Joss” Walker, a border patrol agent, wakes up in the hospital without her memories.  Dylan Walsh, a DEA agent, is known as the gang buster and has been on special assignment in Tucson for the last month to eradicate a dangerous new gang.  He found an unconscious Joss inside a collapsed tunnel with a stash of heroin.  While Dylan cares for Joss, he will not let his feelings get in the way of discovering the truth.  Joss finds comfort with Dylan in this unknown world, but she can tell that he distrusts her.  Fatal Memories is a fast paced story full of action and plenty of suspenseful moments.  Joss and Dylan are developed characters.  They each had decisive events that led them to their careers.  Joss and Dylan are devoted to their jobs which leaves them with no personal lives.  Both are Christians and it is Dylan’s hymn singing that Joss remembers while drifting in and out of consciousness.  While there are sparks between them, their baggage and jobs are keeping them apart.  Trying to avoid being killed by a gang is one way of getting to know each other.  Fatal Memories will keep you on the edge of your seat and you quickly devour the story to find out what happens to Joss and Dylan.

To celebrate her tour, Tanya is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter the contest.  Click here to grab your copy of Fatal Memories.   You can find more books by Tanya Stowe on her Amazon author page.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return tomorrow with my review of New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.  It is the fourth novel in the Promise Lodge series.   I hope that you have a joyous day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader
Blog Stops
Bigreadersite , October 16
Genesis 5020, October 17
The Avid Reader, October 17
Emily Yager, October 18
Batya’s Bits, October 19
Andy Carmichael, October 20
EmpowerMoms, October 22
Betti Mace, October 23
Daysong Reflections, October 24
Mary Hake,October 24
Older & Smarter?, October 25
Blogging With Carol, October 25
Texas Book-aholic, October 27
janicesbookreviews, October 28
Gail Hollingsworth, October 29
10 Reasons Why Book Nerds Do It Better - Freebooksy - Free Kindle Books

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

About the Book

Book: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping tale of art and secrets long buried in England.

It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.

Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best BooksRT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
English Castles - Middleham Castle

More from Kristy

About The Painted Castle
A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?
It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.
Queen Victoria by Xavier Winterhalter

"The portrait, comissioned in 1843, shows the Queen with her long brown hair loose around her shoulders, gazing into the distance.

She was just 24 when painted by the German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter and his work was described as her husband Albert's 'favourite picture'. "
Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…
Woman Sketching in a Landscape
1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…
1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…
Anderson Shelter 1940. | These bomb shelters were given free… | Flickr
Anderson Shelter
From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a war-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.

My Summary

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron is the third A Lost Castle Novel.  I was not aware of this when I picked up the book.  It did not hinder my enjoyment of the story until I reached the epilogue which made references the earlier books.  I thought the story contained good writing with thoughtful pacing.  The Painted Castle moves back-and-forth between three time periods which are 1843, 1944 and present day.  The characters are developed and suit each era.  My favorite was Amelia Woods, a widow, who is running the estate and caring for children who need a safe haven during the war.  Then a group of fly boys descend on the estate led by Captain Wyatt Stevens.  I liked the inclusion of the story about the creators of Curious George.  Kiera Foley has an impressive resume and is hired to authenticate a painting discovered in Parham Hall Estate.  She is distrustful of Emory Scott, but the painting draws her in along with a charming beekeeper’s cottage that needs restoration.  Elizabeth Meade saw her father murdered and she sketched a man who witnessed the event.  She grows up determined to get justice for her father while raised under her mother’s domineering thumb.  Eleanor Meade needs Elizabeth to marry well and Viscount Huxley who owns Parham Hall Estate is her choice.  As Kiera researches the painting secrets of the past are revealed.  The Painted Castle is an intriguing story, but it is hard to get engrossed in the story with all the back-and-forth.  I wish there had been a better flow to this multifaceted story. I enjoyed Kristy Cambron’s descriptive writing which brought the scenes alive for me. The romances were fraught with misunderstandings and miscommunication. The Painted Castle is a dramatic and intriguing tale with stolen artwork, protective brothers, a hidden library, a famed artist, a discovered painting, and a regal queen.  
Castle Mclellan, Scotland #abandonedcastles
You can pick up your copy of The Painted Castle here (Amazon UK). The other two novels in A Lost Castle series are The Lost Castle and  Castle on the Rise. To learn more about Queen Victoria's secret portrait, check out this article.  You can find all of Kristy Cambron's titles here on Amazon.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I will return tomorrow to feature Fatal Memories by Tanya Stowe as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  I hope that you have a fascinating day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

The Power of Words, October 15
The Avid Reader, October 16
Betti Mace, October 16
Fiction Aficionado, October 17
AndreaChristenson, October 18
She Lives to Read, October 18
Bloging With Carol, October 18
Back Porch Reads , October 19
KarenSueHadley, October 20
Livin’ Lit, October 20
A Reader’s Brain, October 20
Genesis 5020, October 21
Worthy2Read, October 21
Life of Literature, October 21
janicesbookreviews, October 22
Older & Smarter?, October 23
Mia Reads Blog, October 23
The Becca Files, October 23
Daysong Reflections, October 24
Connect in Fiction, October 24
Texas Book-aholic, October 24
Moments, October 25
Pause for Tales, October 26
Lis Loves Reading, October 26
Hallie Reads, October 26
Remembrancy, October 28
Batya’s Bits, October 28
Leona J. Atkinson, October 28
Thomas Jakob Richter-or alternatively -Emil Theodor Richter-1801-1878, A lady reading a book in a library interior, 1879