Monday, October 31, 2022

Mary: Daughters of the Lost Colony Review

About the Book

Book: Mary

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Historical/Christian/Romance Fiction

Release date: October, 2022


Worlds Collide Along the Shores of the Outer Banks

Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. What if an English boy and a native girl met in the wilderness? The push-and-pull between two very different worlds begins as one seeks simple friendship and the other struggles to trust. And can it—dare they—allow it to be more?

Sparks fly between Mushaniq, free-spirited daughter of Manteo, and Georgie Howe, whose father was brutally murdered by undiscovered native warriors before they’d been on Roanoac Island a full week. As Georgie struggles to make sense of his life and to accept that not all they call “savage” are guilty of his father’s death, Mushaniq grapples with her own questions about who Manteo has become. As tentative friendship becomes more, forged in the fire of calamity and attack upon their community, both must decide whether the One True God is indeed who He claims to be and whether He is worthy of their trust.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at, or on Facebook and Goodreads.


More from Shannon

Why did I write Mary? The series started as an idea suggested by my editor and soon became something of an obsession. This installment was inspired partly by the Legend of the Coharie, a fragment of the very murky history surrounding the Roanoke Colony and the Lumbee people of North Carolina. According to this legend, George Howe, the son of the colonist by same name who was brutally murdered a few days after their landing on Roanoke Island, married a daughter of Manteo, the Native man who traveled twice to England, later led a group of the colonists inland for refuge and eventually became an ancestor of the Lumbees. Then, as my Lost Colony research expanded, my interest in the nuances of two cultures meeting and blending grew into a desire to pay tribute to what might have been the first (and possibly only) example of European and Native peoples living together in peace. Imagine if this had been the defining moment of our country’s founding?


As usually happens, fictional characters (even those based on historical figures) sooner or later run away with the story—and that’s the part I find most exciting! I hope you, the readers, also enjoy this tale of Mushaniq (squirrel in Carolina Algonquian) and Georgie, which serves as both a parallel story and sequel to Elinor.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 26

Remembrancy, October 27

Inkwell Inspirations, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

Hallie Reads, October 29

Inklings and notions, October 30

For Him and My Family, October 30

deb’s Book Review, October 31

To Everything There Is A Season, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 1

Holly’s Book Corner, November 1

Betti Mace, November 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 2

Connie’s History Classroom, November 3

Mary Hake, November 3

Bizwings Blog, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 5

A Reader’s Brain, November 6

Sylvan Musings, November 6

Through the Fire Blogs, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 8

Spoken from the Heart, November 8


To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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

I have always been fascinated with the history of the Lost Colony. I love thinking up ideas on mysterious events in history that have little explanation. This book surprised me but in a good way. The first book in this series was very slow for me because I didn't feel fully invested in the characters. This story captured my attention right away. I love the characters and the historical details are DELIGHTFUL! The back of the book has a list of Carolina Algonquian words that are used throughout the book and I referenced it multiple times. 

The author does type a bit of a "caution" prior to the first chapter. She is sticking with historical accuracy and some of the things that happen in the book are not necessarily what we are accustomed to in our current culture. This is a clean book but there is a lot of discussion about coming of age and how the settlers vs. the Native Americans handled purity and sexual relations. There are many differences of course on a lot of things between the two cultures and I found it to be completely fascinating from a historical standpoint. 

All that to say, this is not your typical story, so grab a copy and get ready for an adventure! 

I really enjoyed it! 

Five Stars. 

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




Saturday, October 29, 2022

Body of Evidence Review

About the Book

 Forensic pathologist Grace Reilly has seen her share of unusual deaths in rural Missouri. But when she begins to notice a curious pattern in autopsies of elderly residents whose demise appears to be natural, she takes her concerns to Sheriff Nate Cox.

Nate is skeptical about the link Grace is seeing between the deaths--and her suspicions of foul play. But her persistence is compelling. Once she finally convinces him her theory is credible and they join forces to investigate, danger follows. Because exposing the truth could destroy several lives--including Grace's. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This is my favorite book from the Triple Threat series. I really loved Grace Reilly as the leading lady and the suspense carried throughout the entire book. I wasn't on the edge of my seat but I did want to know what in the world was going on with the murders! The small town setting reminded me of home and I liked how certain things weren't drawn out to the ridiculous point. There wasn't any wishy washy romance drama and I thought it was well written and didn't take away from the plot. The ending wasn't terribly shocking but settled the story nicely. This is not my favorite book by Irene Hannon but still an enjoyable quick suspense read. 

Four Stars. 

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

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Secrets of Emberwild Review

 About the Book

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They're easier to handle, they're more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father's passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father's death--even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he's come to admire. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

I wasn't sure what to expect with this story as this is a new to me author. I really found the overall plot to be interesting and Silas a great hero. I had a difficult time loving and sympathizing with Nora and I think that is partly why this story was a little bit of a struggle for me to read. The first few chapters I was totally invested but it got a bit slow and drawn out for me. There are some twists at the end that complete the book in a good way but the middle was a challenge. It took me until the end to appreciate Nora's character and the ending was very well done. While much of this book was predictable, I did enjoy the last plot twist and I think others will also. For those that enjoy southern historical fiction with a touch of suspense this book is for you! 

Three Stars.

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





Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Paul's Promise Movie Review & Giveaway!


 About the Movie

Set in the peak of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Paul's Promise is the inspiring true story of Paul Holderfield, former racist firefighter-turned-pastor who started one of the first integrated churches in the American South. It’s one man’s journey to hope and healing during a troubled time in our Nation’s history that resulted in one man’s decision to serve God and stand up to injustice - a story that continues to make a huge impact on the community to this day. 


 IN THEATERS October 21, 2022


Paul's Promise chronicles Paul Holderfield, Sr.’s life, who is raised poor and knows what it’s like to go to bed hungry and hear his mother pray at night for food for her children. In the 1950’s, during the Little Rock Central High School crisis, Holderfield is a North Little Rock fireman who remembers turning his back on a Black man, hoping he will not recognize him, but he does. His childhood best friend Jimmy Lipkin approaches Paul for a handshake, but Holderfield puts his hands in his back pockets and refuses to shake Lipkin’s hand. Later convicted by his actions, Holderfield tells his wife Barbara that he will never again treat a human being that way.





My Thoughts

I really found this movie to be interesting for many reasons. It is based on a true story, prayer is key and Paul's mom does not give up and remains strong in her faith, and it shines a bright light on the history of the racism in our country. We would be foolish to think that many of these things regarding racism don't happen still today. This isn't a cheerful movie and it has a lot of gritty difficult issues within the story line. There is a lot of humor peppered in to add levity to an otherwise very sobering film. I really enjoyed the added humor because it was done well. Basically the film revolves around Paul and his mother not wanting to die before he becomes a changed man in Christ. It was truly a good movie.  There are some great lines one of which Paul's mother says, "He (God) can change anything, even a man's pride." Most all of our sin boils down to pride so I really appreciated that sentence.

This is a great movie and I am glad it was made. It is well worth watching!  



 I would use caution if watching with children as there is a lot of heavy issues such as: drinking, racism (in many forms), yelling, domestic abuse (not too graphic), hospital scenes of someone dying, etc. There is nothing I would say that isn't "clean" but I would still use caution if you have children watching with you.

 Many thanks to Damascus Road Productions for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

 #PaulsPromiseMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork



One $10 Amazon gift card

Giveaway is limited to U.S. winners only

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Millstone of Doubt Book Review

About the Book

 Regency London's detective duo is back on a new case--and this one is going to be a killer. Caught in the explosion of the Hammersmith Mill in London, Bow Street Runner Daniel Swann rushes to help any survivors only to find the mill's owner dead of an apparent gunshot.

Even though the owner's daughter, Agatha Montgomery, mourns his death, it seems there are more than a few people with motive for murder. But Daniel can't take this investigation slow and steady. Instead, he must dig through all the suspects as quickly as he can, because the clock is ticking until his mysterious patronage--and his job as a runner--comes to an abrupt and painful end. It seems to Daniel that, like his earthly father, his heavenly Father has abandoned him to the fates.

Lady Juliette Thorndike is Agatha's bosom friend and has the inside knowledge of the wealthy London ton to be invaluable to Daniel. She should be in a perfect position to help with the case. Still, her instructor in the art of spy craft orders her to stay out of the investigation. But circumstances intervene, dropping her into the middle of the deadly pursuit.

When a dreadful accident ends in another death on the mill floor, Daniel discovers a connection to his murder case--and to his own secret past. Now he and Juliette are in a race to find the killer before his time runs out. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

I really do love the little historical details that Erica Vetsch adds to her stories and this book is peppered with them. This is the second in the series though you could read it as a stand alone. The story moved a tad slow for me even though there was a lot happening. I really can't decide why but for some reason I just had a hard time clicking with these particular characters. I did enjoy the over arching mystery though and there are some fun scenes that add some humor and depth. The latter part of the book I fully enjoyed and I am curious where the next book will take us. While I did enjoy the first book more, this one was still well worth reading. 

Four stars. 


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