Thursday, January 29, 2015

Susan Richardson Hiley ~ The Diary Spelled Death

I couldn't be happier today than to have my very own cousin, Susan Richardson Hiley, on my blog.

She is a native Californian but now living in the other sunny state - Florida. She loves her large extended family and all her fur babies. She's also a wife with an administrative career.

This is her very first book and it is wonderful. She's quite the writer - the mystery suspense part keeps you turning pages right until the end and the romance is ahhhh. Delicious!

The Diary Spelled Death was on Amazon's Cozy Mystery best seller list the very first day it was published and well deserved. So Set A Spell - and read this delightful novel by a first time, but very accomplished author.

This is book one in the Set A Spell series - so there's more to come!

Blurb:  Single mom and bookstore proprietor Clara Ferrante was living a quiet life in Morro Bay, CA. A box of books left on the shop's doorstep puts her on the trail of a 50 year old murder and...a new romance? It isn't long before Clara's family and her best friend, Maggie, become entangled in the intrigue. Only when her five-year-old son Danny is threatened, Clara takes action, enlisting the aid of handsome Private Investigator/Security Consultant (and would-be suitor), Sam Cullen.

What the reviewers are saying:  "Really good read; well plotted, good characters, etc." f schaad

"If you're a fan of mystery books, interesting characters, and an engaging plot that both keeps you guessing and keeps you reading, you will not be disappointed with this book. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first work but I eagerly look forward to her next book!" Nittany Mel

My Review:  Clara Ferrante who runs a small used bookstore and bakery along with her friend, Maggie, finds a diary in a box of old books left at the side entrance of the shop. The contents the journal opens up at fifty-year-old cold case.

In the close knit coastal town of Morro Bay, California, Clara’s friends are like family and her family owns and operates the businesses close to the bookstore. Friends come and go from her shop but when her brother brings in Sam Cullen, he recognizes Clara from the day her sister left her infant son in Clara’s care.

Danny is now five years old and Clara’s interest in finding the murder suspect hinted to in the diary puts her son’s life in danger. Sam, an ex-cop agrees to help her, but with the murder of an employee, their plan starts to unravel.

Ms. Hiley’s enchanting words paint a striking picture of Morro Bay, California. The sights, the sounds, and the smells she writes about evoke a memory in this reader of many summers spent in that very place. Her writing skills are captivating and the book was read in one sitting. I can’t express the thrill in enjoying Ms. Hiley’s first publication. Remarkable comes to mind, but somehow doesn’t cover it. Anxious for the next book.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Julie B Cosgrove ~Legitimate Lies

Julie B. Cosgrove makes a return visit with her new book, Legitimate Lies.

If you were as captivated as I was by Hush in the Storm, you won't want to miss Julie's latest novel.

My Review:   The recognition of the baby her husband had fathered by a young Hispanic teen gripped Jen Westlaw with a deeper pain than she could have imagined. The Florida thunderstorm that brewed overhead was only a foreshadowing of what Jen’s future was about to become.

Carefully hidden away, or so she thought, in the WITSEC program with only one true friend, Becky, Jen, now Sheila Williams, would find herself betrayed, hurt and wounded once again by the husband who had delivered her first betrayal and possibly even by the very one who saved her before, Tom.

But her heart told her Tom wasn’t behind any of this, and if she’d trust in God and forgive those who had wronged her, the Almighty would guide her path. Jen yearned to be with Tom but her faith, a deep secret, and her evil husband Robert wasn’t about to let that happen. Will they find a way?

From the first clap of thunder to the conclusion of the book, Julie B. Cosgrove holds the reader in the palm of her hand. Just when you think all might go well for the main character, another event far worse than the one before befalls her all delivered by the expertly crafted and well-accomplished Ms. Cosgrove. I would highly recommend this book as well as others she has written. If you’re looking for a nail biter that will hold your attention from beginning to end – this is it.

What the reviewers are saying:  "Exciting, horrifying, satisfying! Author Julie Cosgrove has used her amazing word-weaver-skills to paint a story full of intrigue, suspense, and humor, with a beautiful love story woven into this second book in the series." DiAnn N. Gates

"Written with emotion, detail and constant suspense, this is a story that will keep you guessing, and devouring the chapters." Nancy Bolton

About the author:  Julie B. Cosgrove is a freelance writer, professional speaker and published author. She is a member of Advanced Writers & Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, North Texas Christian Writers, The Christians Writers Group Two, and Christian Writers Fellowship International. 

She represents Women at Risk International, a Christian missionary group who sponsor safe houses for women and children snatched from human trafficking and slavery in thirteen countries and is actively involved in Prayer For Freedom, a nonprofit anti-trafficking ministry.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Love Takes Flight by Lee Carver

Volunteering in the Amazon to escape a broken heart, American R.N. Camille
Ringold fears she has lost the chance to be married to a doctor and live well in suburbia. Serving two weeks with missionaries living out a sacred calling, she considers whether a more meaningful life might be hers. 

When the Wings of Help plane is hijacked, she and missionary pilot Luke Strong escape into the jungle. Priorities change as experiences of faith mount. Where is the intersection of God’s will and her selfish desires? 
Returning to Alabama, she discovers the controlling side of her rejected sweetheart. He covers his lies with rationalizations. Dangers of the Amazon fade compared to threats from the man she once wanted to marry. 

My Review: Ms. Carver brings us an eye opening glimpse of missionary life as Camille Ringold ventures on a short mission trip to Brazil. Deathly afraid of flying, she finds herself with The Wings of Help group and its attractive missionary pilot, Luke Strong.

He coaxes her through take offs and landings and she marvels at his knowledge, strength and relationship with God. She went on this two week trip to forget her past yet he has dedicated his entire life to his calling.

But the mission field changes Camille. Helping the sick gives her new purpose as she beings to wonder if she could live her life here, too. When their plane is hijacked and Luke becomes ill with malaria, she misses not one, but two flights home. Her state side job is in danger and when she returns to Alabama, she quickly finds out her life is in danger, too. She’s in more peril at home than in the jungles of Brazil.

Luke who has also flown home for the winter months and to recuperate under his mother’s care rushes to Camille’s side. Is he just looking for someone who will return to the mission field with him or someone who will be his lifelong partner? Will Camille manage to untangle herself from her past?

From Anaconda bites to broken bones to malaria, all cared for under impossible conditions, this inspirational look at the mission field leaves the reader with a deep appreciation of their own more fortunate circumstances. Ms. Carver’s amazing ability to paint the scenery as well as the development of her character’s emotions using her poignant words touches the heart.

About the Author:  Lee Carver lived in the Brazilian Amazon for six years, the hardest and best years of her life. She and her husband served in retirement as volunteer missionaries with a Brazilian organization, Asas de Socorro (Wings of Help), formerly MAF-Brazil. Her husband flew this novel's amphibious ten-seat Cessna Caravan over jungle area half the size of the United States. Their home in Manaus—the largest city in the world with no road to it—was a free guesthouse for missionaries, pilots, mechanics, and medical volunteers. She went on missions, speaks the language, and knows the people whose story she tells.

Lee lived in Brazil a total of twelve years, including two postings to São Paulo while her husband worked for Citibank. Other foreign postings were Greece, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Indonesia, and Spain. She studied nine languages and visited over forty-five countries. The Carvers now reside in Texas and are still active in Brazilian aviation missions.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Never too late to share a little Christmas ~ The Christmas Journal by Kimberly B. Jackson

Ashley Moore’s life forever changed the day her mother died, and she was sent to live with relatives. Now, ten years later, Ashley returns home, hoping to connect with her estranged father. When she learns he’s decided to reopen the family’s Christmas lodge for the upcoming holiday season, Ashley volunteers to help. While cleaning, she discovers her mother’s journal detailing the last month of her life. Will the book hold the answer as to why her dad sent her away? Who is the mysterious Adam her mother keeps mentioning in the diary? Can the words of her mother reconcile father and daughter in time for Christmas? 

My Review:  The Christmas Journal is a poignant look into the complicated lives of a long estranged father and daughter. Upon her mother’s death Ashley was sent away to live with an aunt, but when she returns ten years later she finds the father she scarcely knows, and their home and the lodge the family used to operate in shambles.
Ashley works alongside her father and the handyman, Cy, to reopen the lodge in time for Christmas. Her father hasn’t touched any of her mother’s belongings and Ashley asks him if she would be allowed to go through her mother’s things. She finds a journal and a lavender hat box and their contents turn her life upside down.
Ms. Jackson’s finely honed novella filled with the turmoil of unexplained secrets set against the backdrop of a mountain lodge is well-developed while layered with a touching back story. The characters piece together their strengths and weaknesses to bring joy and hope into their lives which touches the heart of the reader. The Christmas Journal is a wonderful Christmas story.

About the Author:  Kimberly first started to write to encourage her little boy to read. After including his favorite stuffed animal in four short children's stories, she decided to tackle her life long dream of writing Christian fiction. After placing second in a writing contest, her career of being a published author became a reality. She has been blessed to be married for over two decades to her husband, Jim and they have one son, Cole.  She resides in a small town, outside of Birmingham, Alabama and attends a local Baptist Church. Kimberly likes to write books that inspire and uplift people.  You can contact her at