Thursday, April 11, 2024

When the Flames Ravaged Review & Giveaway


About the Book

Book: When the Flames Ravaged

Author: Rhonda Dragomir

Genre: Christian / Historical / Romance

Release Date: March, 2024


Will Faith Perish in the Big Top’s Flames?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Evelyn Benson’s husband perished in the Bataan Death March but not her faith. The World War II Gold Star widow is taken in by her brother and soothed by the love of his wife and children. Evelyn refuses to cower to grief. She may not understand God’s mysterious ways, but she has never questioned Him—until the circus fire.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train chugs into Hartford, Connecticut, on a sweltering day one month after the Allies invaded Normandy. Among the roustabouts is a reluctant clown, Hank Webb. He may hide from his murky past behind grease paint as Fraidy Freddie, but God wants to offer Hank a chance to be found. Though first, what little Hank believes about God will endure a fiery trial.

On Thursday, July 6, 1944, a devasting blaze of unknown origins consumes the circus tent along with Evelyn’s hopes and Hank’s anonymity.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Rhonda Dragomir is a multimedia creative who treasures her fairy tale life in Central Kentucky, insisting her home is her castle even if her prince refuses to dig a moat. She has multiple published works in anthologies and periodicals, along with numerous Bible studies studied weekly by more than 10,000 women around the world. Rhonda has garnered numerous writing awards for both fiction and nonfiction, including her selection as 2019 Writer of the Year by Serious Writer, Inc. In 2020 she was also a finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest for her first novel, a 16th century historical romance.



More from Rhonda

The heroine’s last living family members are struck down in a tragic fire. Will she crumble? Will she tumble into bitterness? Will she forsake her faith? We view life through her eyes and wonder, “What would I do?”

The best fiction sails the vast sea of human experiences and explores how we survive when storms roil the waters. Triumph, tragedy, victories, valleys—though we have not lived through the exact events as the characters, we feel the same elation on the crests and despair in the troughs of the waves.

This is why I love to write historical fiction, especially romance. I interweave my own thoughts and feelings with those of my characters. My words become theirs, and their responses mirror my own as I fight to keep my head above water.

I spent dozens of hours researching When the Flames Ravaged, the story of a horrific circus fire in Hartford, Connecticut on July 6, 1944. I gasped, I wept, and I marveled at the courage of rescuers who sacrificed their own lives to save others. True, live-or-die battles fueled my imagination, and composite characters leaped to life.

At one point, my hero dives into dark water, grasping with frail human understanding to comprehend the scope of the disaster. He decides good and evil are locked in an everlasting struggle, and humans are mere pawns stuck in the middle. Then he asks, “What is the use of serving God if He won’t protect you?”

Who has never asked the same thing when tragedy strikes? Pat answers and platitudes won’t suffice. Only a personal quest to discover an acceptable answer to this age-old question will help us find peace in the midst of the churning sea of doubt.

I hope my novel will toss a live preserver to everyone treading water.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 30

Pause for Tales, March 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Simple Harvest Reads, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 4

Betti Mace, April 5

For HIm and My Family, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 7

The Lofty Pages, April 7

Connie’s History Clasroom, April 8

Labor Not in Vain, April 9

Holly’s Book Corner, April 9

Cover Lover Book Review, April 10

Inkwell Inspirations, April 10

To Everything There Is A Season , April 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 12 (Author Interview)

Life on Chickadee Lane, April 12


To celebrate her tour, Rhonda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card & a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



 My Thoughts

This series of books is bringing to light little known tragedies from history. This book is all about the terrible fire that happened in Hartford, CT during the The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I had no idea that this ever happened so the history and facts surrounding this had me totally invested. The people in the book are created after some real people who were there so it is worth reading the details in the back of the book. Most of the pages are just really heart wrenching. You get to see life before, during, and after the fire and chaos that destroyed so many people's lives. Hank has the best plot line and character development and I really enjoyed his side of the story. He is a little rough around the edges but there is a great redemption theme. 

Overall I thought the author did a fantastic job bringing this historical event to life. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from Celebrate Lit for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple


 About the Book

Peter Driscoll, an underground investigator to the wealthy, has never met anyone like Lily Temple. The beautiful silent-film actress spins fairy tales and plays frivolous roles in front of the cine-camera, but beneath the costumes and stage makeup is a woman with a quick wit--and a murky past.

Peter has been tasked with locating the legendary Briarwood Teardrop, an exquisite sapphire, which Lily wears beneath her gown. In order to stay close to her and hopefully unravel the mystery of her story--and the sapphire--Peter employs Lily's help on a case, which leads to a useful partnership. But as they are investigating together, Peter is also investigating Lily. The closer he gets to the truth, the more danger they face. And the closer he gets to Lily, the clearer it is that he needs her even more than she needs him.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano whisks you away to Edwardian England in 1903 for a whimsical and layered tale that treads the crooked line between real and make-believe. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This story takes you on an adventure that you really don't see coming. The plot is wildly unique and different not only from this author's other novels but this genre in Christian fiction. I have mixed feelings after finishing the last page and I sat with my thoughts for awhile. There are so many layers to the characters and the overall plot that it could be worth reading twice to fully grasp it all. Both Lily and Peter go through a lot of character growth and the author did a great job in developing their personalities. Lily is one heck of a unique heroine that keeps the reader on their toes. The overall plot was okay. It got a little slow for me in the middle but the last few chapters really brought everything together. There is mystery and stories upon stories within a story. There is romance and redemption. My favorite part of this plot is the faith story line. I think it really showed how even when we think we can handle it all and when we think we are in control we will soon discover that simply is not the case. God has a plan much more extraordinary than we can imagine. 

Four Stars.

"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall Review

About the Book

 A ghostly estate. A handsome caretaker hiding a secret. And the intrepid Hyacinth Bell who is set on solving the mystery of both.

1887, the Cornwall coast

For years, rumors have flown through the village of Suttonsbury about Ashthorne Hall—that its occupants hoard pirate treasure, that a ghost walks its halls—but botanist Hyacinth Bell only cares about the estate’s extensive, one-of-a-kind orchid collection. As an independent woman, she is eager to focus on her career, even if it means waiting to pursue a romantic relationship. After all, love—like an orchid—must be nurtured and tended before it can bloom.

What she doesn’t expect is to be swept away by Lucas Harding, the manor’s caretaker, upon their first meeting. He is handsome and charming, and the connection between the two is nearly instantaneous. Hyacinth is certain this autumn will be the season that everything good in her life takes root.

But then strange things start happening in the seemingly empty halls of the estate: unexplainable noises, items appearing then disappearing from her room, threatening messages, and glimpses of a woman in white who vanishes into the dark. Lucas dismisses Hyacinth’s worries, insisting that there is no ghost at Ashthorne Hall, but she suspects he is withholding information and decides to investigate the mystery herself.

Armed with little more than her instincts and her courage, Hyacinth must venture deep into the shadows of Ashthorne Hall to uncover the truth Lucas is keeping secret before she herself falls victim to the dangers hidden in the estate. (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I was not expecting this book to be a gothic romance and I was THRILLED when I realized that the author really went for an eerie mystery. I love the cover of this book as it is perfect for the plot that it holds. Hyacinth is a quirky fun character that is not your typical heroine. She is all about her plants and taking care of orchids and her overall personality is like a breath of fresh air. Lucas is an okay hero but overall Hyacinth really made this story shine. I don't really care for the romance trope of "love at first sight" so I will say that I enjoyed this book much more for the gothic mystery than the romance side of things. Hyacinth starts working at this big estate and there are noises and strange gifts and a possible ghost. Spooky late night investigations and a decent mystery keep you flipping the pages eagerly. I enjoyed this book and the conclusion came together nicely and in a way that wasn't entirely predictable. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Someone Like You- Movie Review & Signed Book Giveaway!

About the Movie

 Based on the popular novel by #1 NY Times Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, Someone Like You is an achingly beautiful redemptive love story. Shocking news hits after young architect Dawson Gage loses his best friend, London Quinn. Now in his heartbreak, Dawson is compelled to launch an impossible search for London’s secret twin sister, twins separated as embryos. But along the way, Dawson never planned to fall in love.


Buy tickets today to see Someone Like You in theaters starting April 2!


1 signed copy of the book, Someone Like You

US Entries only!


Oh my goodness this movie is a heart wrenching tear jerker. I have not read this book though I have read many books by Kingsbury. This is such a well acted and beautifully shot film. Karen Kingsbury has such a way with words and it is evident in the script of this movie. There are certain lines that are heartfelt and real and that comes from a great story teller. This story doesn't shy away from the hard and honestly controversial topics in our society especially in regards to IVF. My only negative is that some parts of the film seem a tad slow in getting to the next scene or moving the story along at times. 

I also think that this is just an example of a possible outcome of a life of adoption via IVF. As with any type of adoption it isn't necessarily all happy and joy and found family when a person does discover their biological family. We want to think so and it is possible but often times that isn't the case. BUT these things can happen and God is working in so many ways we can't comprehend His plan. This film is a great example of that! 

Regardless this is a great movie that holds a lot of emotion. There is joy and there is some romance but mostly it's about dealing with the hard in life and Who to look to at all times. 

I recommend! 

*this film does deal with grief, death, infertility, IVF, and adoption. 

#SomeoneLikeYouMIN #someonelikeyoumovie, @karenkingsbury, @someonelikeyoumovie

Many thanks to Karen Kingsbury Productions for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Trapped in Yosemite Review


About the Book

Book: Trapped in Yosemite

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: February 27, 2024

When a massive earthquake levels the region, secrets and unknown dangers are exposed…

The ground in still-icy Yosemite National Park isn’t stable, and K-9 handler Von Sharpe fears the worst. But his worries are pushed aside when he sees an SUV viciously forced off the road…with his ex-fiancée at the wheel. It’s only when Stella Rivers steps out of the vehicle that the very ground under their feet cracks and breaks with the onslaught of a terrifying earthquake.

When her meeting with a mysterious client is ambushed, Stella witnesses the man being gunned down by a sniper and becomes a target herself. With the threat of aftershocks triggering landslides and floods, the new mom has no choice but to run to save her baby girl—even if it means teaming up with the man who has no idea he fathered her child.

Trapped in a dangerously unstable wilderness with a killer closing in, Von and Stella are running out of time to get to safety. And every fissure reveals a new secret that will shake them to their foundation…


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Poisoned Pen Press.




More from Dana

I won’t ever forget October 17th, 1989. I was finished with my student teaching duties, chatting with my mother while we watched the World Series. It was an epic matchup of two Bay Area teams. As we watched, the floor lurched and the entire house began to rattle and pitch. We ran outside and watched the street undulate like ocean waves. We’d later come to learn it was a 6.9 earthquake on the Loma Prieta fault. The shaking only lasted 20 seconds but 63 people were killed, 3,757 were reported injured and 12,053 displaced. The damage estimates reached as high as $10 billion, with 18,306 houses leveled. Approximately 2,575 businesses were impacted and 147 were destroyed. The part I will remember most was the collapse of a section of the freeway in Oakland which trapped people in the pancaked structure. I remember watching the close space rescue teams work night and day to find survivors.

Little did I know that memorable event would someday lead to a book! This novel combines the iconic California setting of Yosemite and the big fear buried deep in every California’s mind…the big one, the massive earthquake we know will be coming someday. Of course you know there will be a happy ending in the novel, but I hope you will feel the edge of your seat suspense that keeps you turning pages. God bless you, dear readers!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 21

Bigreadersite, March 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 22 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 23

Lakesidelivingsite, March 24

Pause for Tales, March 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 24

Betti Mace, March 25

The Sacred Line, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Daysong Reflections, March 26

EmpowerMoms, March 27

Life, Love, Writing, March 27

Cover Lover Book Review, March 28

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 28

Blogging With Carol, March 28

Tell Tale Book reviews, March 29

Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, March 30

Splashes of Joy, March 30

Blossoms and Blessings, March 31

To Everything There Is A Season , March 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 31

Holly’s Book Corner, April 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 1

Life on Chickadee Lane, April 2

Labor Not in Vain , April 2

Lily’s Corner, April 3

Lights in a Dark World, April 3

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, April 3


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My Thoughts

This story starts off with a bang and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Amidst the backdrop of Yosemite this is a second chance romance with the adrenaline of a murderer in pursuit. This book is pretty much non-stop suspense and action. You never know when an aftershock from the earthquake will wreck havoc on an already terrible situation. Stella witnesses a crime that takes her on a run for her life. She has already lived some really hard years and this is the last thing she expected to happen. This story was a bit over the top and I was taken out of the book a few times at how unlikely a plot. The characters have a lot of baggage and that is fleshed out for the moments when chaos isn't happening around them. I struggled fully loving this book but it did captivate my attention because I needed to know what happened in the end. So while this isn't my favorite book it was a decent quick suspense read. 

Three Stars. 

"I received this book from the author for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Someone Like You (2024) Official Trailer - Karen Kingsbury Productions

I have been waiting for this movie! Karen Kingsbury is such a well known author and writes heartfelt Christian fiction. I am excited to see this one! 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Hidden Yellow Stars Review

About the Book

 Based on the true story of two World War II heroines who risked everything to save Jewish children from the Gestapo by hiding them throughout Belgium.

Belgium, 1942

Young schoolteacher Andrée Geulen secretly defies the Nazis in Belgium, who are forcing Jews to wear a yellow Star of David. Andrée is not Jewish, but she feels a maternal connection to her students, who are living in constant fear, and decides to take action. No child should have to suffer under such persecution. But what can one woman do against an entire army?

Ida Sterno is a Jewish woman who works with the Committee for the Defense of Jews in Belgium, a clandestine resistance group tasked with hiding children from the Gestapo. She wants to recruit Andrée because her Aryan appearance can provide crucial security measures for their efforts. Andrée agrees to join and begins work immediately by adopting a code name: Claude Fournier.

Together, Andrée and Ida, and their undercover operatives, work around the clock to move Jewish children from their families and smuggle them to safety through the secret channels established by the resistance. As each child is hidden, Andrée commits to memory their true name and history. Someday, she vows, she will help reunite as many of these families as she can.

But with the Gestapo closing in and the traitorous Fat Jacques who has turned from ally to enemy and is threatening to identify and expose any Jew he meets, Andrée and Ida must work even harder against increasingly impossible odds to save as many children as possible and keep them safely hidden—even if it might cost them their own lives. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This story holds so much it is difficult to put my thoughts into a review. The ladies in this book are remarkable and it still astounds me how resilient people can be and more evident when you can peek into the past. The research that went into this book is well done and while this is a heavy time in history and a difficult story to read it is necessary. I thought the different perspectives from each woman was well written. I didn't get lost in the back and forth and I thought it added a lot to the plot. The start of each chapter has some type of Nazi quote that shows how awful and evil their thought process was. That really brought the reality of this time to the forefront because this wasn't made up, it was reality. This book really shines a light on how hard it was for families to be split a part, specifically mothers and their children. I can't even imagine and yet so many did in order to protect their child. The ending wrapped it up as best as could be expected and for World War II history I highly recommend! 

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review." 

The Winged Tiara Review

About the Book

 After a hasty wartime marriage and an even quicker divorce, two jewel thieves risk it all to obtain the grandest prize of them all, the last Valkyrie tiara, but their hearts may have something else in mind.

It was a match made in champagne-soaked heaven, but all too soon the bubbles dried up and divorce papers were issued just in time to ring in the end of the Great War. Jewel thieves and ex-lovers Jasper and Esme find themselves circulating among the elite of British aristocracy where the diamond-lined pockets are ripe for picking. But when the last Valkyrie tiara ever created becomes the talk of the season neither will stop to obtain it, not even when they inadvertently find themselves in the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse where their lives are suddenly at stake.

Bestselling author J'nell Ciesielski's latest novel combines her signature blend of thrilling adventure, glamorous atmosphere, and sweeping romance in a story readers are sure to be thinking about days after turning the final page. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This story takes you right into Europe during the flashy 1920s. The author does an excellent job in portraying the attitudes, styles, and popular society during the time. Everything from the outfits to the smoking this book covers what you would expect from a 1920s time frame. This story reminded me a lot of the movie Fool's Gold which stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey only in a historical context. It is labeled as historical fiction but this story is very much a romance and boasts a silly adventure type feeling that doesn't really feel like typical historical fiction. You follow the two main characters in hijinks across countries as they lie, cheat, and steal their way through life only this time they are both looking for the same item. It is a typical lovers to enemies to lovers romp that had a bit more spice to it than I was expecting. This book is very different from the author's other novels and honestly I never know what to expect with her writing as no book is similar to the next. While I did enjoy this story for the most part, I was pretty disappointed in the character growth and lack of morals as a whole. As a reader I was frustrated most of the time with Esme and Jasper wasn't a hero I would want to look up to. It was just a bit disappointing in that aspect. The setting and silly treasure seeking adventure was entertaining.

Three Stars. 

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

*Please understand that this is not Christian fiction and it doesn't claim to be aside from the publisher. I read this book as if it was secular fiction because that is how it reads. 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Millie Book Review

About the Book

 From the author of Stella—nominated for fourteen Best Book of the Year state awards—this heartwarming story is about a street dog named Millie and a young girl who are both dealing with abandonment issues and must give trust and belonging a second chance.

Millie is a feisty border terrier who lives on the streets and has a keen sense for finding scraps of food, usually in the shadows or the cover of darkness. She protects herself with a shield of what is perceived by many as aggression—barking and snarling—when in reality, Millie is just plain scared.

Turned over to animal control after a recent run-in with the dogcatcher, Millie is rescued by a special education teacher who also rehabilitates and rehomes dogs. It’s a win-win. Together, the dogs and her students learn emotional resilience, anger management, and other coping skills.

When one of the students, a struggling reader named Tori, shows a natural gift for dog training and working with fearful dogs, Millie is temporarily placed in her care. Tori may be young, but she knows a thing or two about anger, fear, and abandonment after her mother could no longer care for her and she was placed in kinship care with her grandfather. Millie wonders if she’s finally found her person and begins to let down her emotional guard. But when trust and belonging are challenged, Millie reverts to old habits—fleeing, hiding, and growling. Will she end up back on the streets? Or can Millie and Tori embrace their training, trust in each other, and find a forever home together?

Millie is an empathy-building novel for young readers who love dogs and is a tender portrayal of the importance of emotional safety and what it means to truly belong. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Millie is a border terrier and the reader gets to experience life from Millie's point of view. I loved this book! It shows SO much about life, not only a dog's life, but us as humans and how we treat others and our pets. The story line is really a pretty great adventure that tugs at the heart strings. It kept my interest and I was curious to see where Millie would end up. the ending even has some unexpected twists that made the book all the better and realistic. This story shows not just children how important it is to be a part of a family unit, even if it is a family that you stumble upon. The explanation of things is so well done and people young and old will love this book. 

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Saturday, March 9, 2024

An Inconvenient Letter Review

About the Book

 Complications arise when Marietta’s secret love letters are accidentally found by the wrong man.

1828, the London countryside

For years, Marietta Stone has harbored a secret infatuation for the handsome Frederick Finch and has poured out her deepest feelings in a series of passionate love letters that she keeps in a locked drawer. But when Marietta’s private letters are accidentally delivered to Frederick’s house, she must retrieve them immediately before they fall into the wrong hands. If the letters were read by anyone else, the resulting scandal could jeopardize her reputation.

Gerard Hartwell has no time for infatuations, courtship, or even love. He must find a wife with a substantial inheritance if he wishes to save his late father’s bankrupt estate. When he accidentally discovers Marietta’s love letters at his cousin Frederick’s estate, he strikes a bargain with her. If she helps him court her older sister, Anne, he will return the letters and help Marietta win Frederick’s heart.

Marietta agrees, and the two quickly pretend to be courting in order to spend time with their individual love interests. Yet, what appeared to be a straightforward bargain becomes complicated when Gerard realizes that the more time he spends with Marietta, the more he wishes he could court her for real. But can he persuade Marietta to give him a chance when her heart might belong to another man? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I went into this book slightly wary because I am typically not a fan of love triangles. They can be written in a way that isn't terrible but I am always a tad nervous. This book was a pleasant surprise! There is a bit of a "love triangle" but not really how it is typically portrayed. It is obvious to the reader who the best hero will be in the end. This story moves a tad slow in the middle but there are some really fun scenes and quirky character attributes that make the rest of the book most enjoyable. The love letter debacle is fun and made for a unique plot line through the entire book. I enjoyed the setting, characters (except for a select few which you will understand!), and the ending wrapped up nicely. This was an enjoyable light read with a bit of sweet romance. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."