Spotlight: The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter (review + book excerpt + giveaway)

The Earl's Lady Geologist_NEWThe Earl’s Lady Geologist
by Alissa Baxter

Publication Date: February 28, 2021
Vinspire Publishing

Series: Linfield Ladies Series, Book One
Genre: Regency Romance

Cassandra Linfield is a lady fossil collector who declares she will never marry as no man will ever take her studies seriously. When circumstances force her to travel to Town for the Season, Cassy infiltrates the hallowed portals of the Geological Society from which she has been banned. She is horrified when she comes face to face with her nemesis, the infuriating Earl of Rothbury.

Lord Rothbury is a gentleman-geologist with a turbulent romantic past. After a youthful disappointment he vows never to fall in love again, and makes the decision, instead, to seek out a convenient wife when he returns to England from his geological travels abroad.

Brought together by their close family ties, Cassy and Rothbury collaborate on a geological paper and discover a powerful attraction. Marriage, however, is the one subject they cannot agree upon. But when Cassyís life is threatened, the two realise that love matters more than their objections.

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Praise for The Earl’s Lady Geologist

“A gentle Regency romance, full of sweetness and intelligence. Alissa Baxter’s writing is period perfect.” -Mimi Matthews, USA Today bestselling author of The Matrimonial Advertisement

“The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter deftly weaves together the charm of a traditional Regency romance, fascinating information on scientific society of the time, with a quiet subtext about the challenges faced by women interested in pursuing science. This first book in a new series is wonderfully satisfying on many levels!” -Mary Jo Putney, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author

“While immersing the reader in the mores and life of the Regency era, Alissa Baxter manages to write strong, independent heroines whom modern-day women will cheer and root for. Plus the addition of little details that wrap around the plot and the characters make reading her books all the more special because you never know when you might land on a little Easter egg morsel in the beautiful and engaging prose. Historicals with heart and engaging characters that read real–that’s what you get in Ms. Baxter’s books.” -Zee Monodee, USA Today bestselling author

“A truly traditional Regency romance, with lots of witty banter, very reminiscent of Georgette Heyer. Recommended for anyone who likes a completely clean traditional Regency, with strongly authentic writing, historical accuracy and a satisfying romance. Baxter’s writing is excellent, and her dialogue, manners and settings are true to the era. A spirited heroine, a brooding hero, lots of sparkling banter and an authentic Regency setting–with added fossils! Great fun. From Lyme Regis to the drawing rooms of London, Alissa Baxter takes the reader back to the time of Jane Austen.”
Mary Kingswood, author of traditional Regency romances

About the Author

Alissa Baxter was born in a small town in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. At the age of eleven she discovered her mother’s collection of Georgette Heyer novels. The first Heyer novel she ever read was Sylvester and she was hooked on Georgette Heyer after that. She read and reread her novels, and fell totally in love with the Regency period and Heyer’s grey-eyed heroes! After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first Regency novel, The Dashing Debutante.

Alissa travelled overseas and worked as a flight attendant in Dubai before she moved to England, where she did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote when she moved back to South Africa. Alissa’s third Regency novel, A Marchioness Below Stairs, is the sequel to Lord Fenmore’s Wager.

Alissa has lived in Durban and Cape Town but she eventually settled in Johannesburg where she lives with her husband and two sons. Alissa is also the author of two chick-lit novels, Send and Receive and The Blog Affair, which have been re-released as The Truth About Series: The Truth about Clicking Send and Receive and The Truth About Cats and Bees.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


From their first meeting, Cassandra Linfield and Edward, Lord Rothbury, are at odds over her passion for hunting fossils. Related through the marriage of his mother to her uncle, Edward has been called upon to help ensure the success of Cassy’s first Season. With Cassy set against marriage and Edward’s aversion to love, the missteps, banter, and slight misadventures as they are more and more in each other’s company see them becoming ever more intertwined and slowly less reluctant on their bumpy road to romance. 

Set partly in Lyme Regis with historical figures such as Mary Anning, and references to Jane Austen that feel quite appropriate to the story, along with some favorite Austen quotes and even an impassioned speech that brought a certain part of Jane Eyre to mind, there is much here to delight readers of Regency stories. With a lighthearted feel, even when touching on more serious topics such as heartbreak and grief, and just enough friction and danger to add a bit of excitement, Baxter has crafted a romance that is both well researched and entertaining.

From the first page, Alissa Baxter’s The Earl’s Lady Geologist is sheer reading pleasure. Highly re-readable and with a lively cast of secondary characters, this is a promising start to a series of chaste Regency romance.

This review refers to an advance digital copy I voluntarily received. A positive review was not required and these are simply my own honest opinions.


The beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth, England, December 1817

A cry rang out from the other end of the beach. Cassandra Linfield spun towards the sound. Mary must have found something of interest. Clutching her fossil finds in her hands, she hurried in her friend’s direction, stumbling over a jutting rock in her haste. Regaining her footing, she peered up at the blue-hued cliffs. The limestone-and-clay structure leaned ominously forward. She shivered a little and continued to where Mary crouched on the foreshore, below Black Ven.

After the violent storm last night, the cliff face was unstable. Should a chunk of mudstone dislodge and tumble onto Cassy’s head, it would render her insensible—or worse. Fortunately, in all the years she had lived in Lyme Regis, she had never sustained an injury while fossil hunting.

She took even greater care these days. Cousin Agnes made it clear when she came to live with Cassy after the death of her mother that she disapproved of her foraging activities. If she so much as sprained an ankle, her cousin would probably write to Aunt Ella, who would then insist that she come to live with her.

The wet brown sand crunched beneath her iron pattens as she threaded her way around the fallen rocks to Mary’s side. “What have you found?”

The other girl shoved her hat to the back of her head, leaving a streak of dirt on her forehead. She peered at a nodule sticking out of the mud and then chipped at it with her hammer. “It’s a fossil fish.”

Cassy bent over. “What a fine specimen. The scales are perfectly preserved.”

Mary squinted at her. “It’s a good cury and will fetch a good price.” She returned her attention to the fossil. “See how the skull is undamaged? Ma will be pleased. Have you found anything?”

“Only a couple of belemnites and a sea urchin.” She opened her palm to reveal the treasures, but her friend didn’t even glance at them. Instead, she fixed a wide gaze on something behind Cassy.

What had so captivated the other girl’s attention? Alarm gripped her stomach in a painful clench as she swung in a slow half-circle.

A large male figure strode along the foreshore in their direction. Within minutes, he was upon them, and his expression did not bode well. Tall and broad, he wore buff breeches, black boots, and a form-fitting double-breasted riding coat. A slate-grey gaze swung from Cassy to Mary and then back to Cassy again.

“Miss Linfield?” The clipped tone did nothing to relieve the ache in her stomach.

She nodded. How did he know her name? If she’d ever seen this man before, she did not recall the occasion. She doubted it not, as his was a face not easily forgotten. His hair was dark—nearly black—and a slightly piratical cast to his features brought to mind legends of wild men upon the seas. However, the rigidity of his square jaw and his flinty eyes gave the lie to her initial impression that this was a man ruled by his passions.

His gaze swept from her well-worn straw bonnet to the pattens over her visibly muddy boots. His gaze narrowed on her gloved hands. Stained and filthy, they must present a peculiar appearance to this gentleman who somehow knew her name. For he was a gentleman, that she did not doubt—a gentleman in none too pleasant a humour.

She raised her chin. “I am Miss Linfield.”

He removed his hat and bowed. “I…” He paused as his gaze shifted from Cassy to Mary and the spherical-shaped stone beside which she knelt. Frowning, he took a hasty step forward. “Cease your hammering, girl, before you damage that fossil.” He bent down and studied the nodule Mary had split open. “It appears to be a remarkable specimen.”

Cassy clicked her tongue. “Mary is an experienced fossilist and is in no danger of damaging anything.”

He straightened and glanced at Mary, who now stood defiantly before him. “You are Mary Anning?”

Mary bobbed her head.

“My friend Buckland has spoken of you. My apologies.” His gaze returned to the nodule. “Will you sell me this fossil?”

The dark storm clouds gathering on Mary’s face cleared at these magical words. “Yes, sir…for a crown.”

The man agreed to the price without demur, and the girl’s eyes lit up. “I will take it back to Lyme and clean it for you, sir. Where must I deliver it?”

“I am staying at the Three Cups inn.”

The man’s penetrating gaze returned to Cassy. “Mrs. Linfield requests that you return home directly. I shall escort you.”

She took a step back. “My cousin sent you?”

“Indeed. She is perturbed that you are out here on the beach alone.”

“But I am not alone. I am with Mary, and Miss Elizabeth Philpot is further along the shore.”

“Nevertheless, Mrs. Linfield is in high fidgets, and it would be well to return home directly.”

She took another step back. “With a stranger?”

He bowed. “I have been remiss in introducing myself. Rothbury at your service.”

“Lord Rothbury?”

He bowed again.

Cassy swallowed. So this was the legendary Lord Rothbury. Even though they were related by marriage, she had never met Aunt Ella’s eldest son, Edward, the Earl of Rothbury.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 22
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Probably at the Library
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, February 25
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Monday, March 1
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, March 2
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Wednesday, March 3
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, March 4
Excerpt at The Tea Queen
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, March 5
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, March 8
Review at Book Bustle

Tuesday, March 9
Review at Tangents and Tissues

Wednesday, March 10
Review at YA, Itís Lit

Thursday, March 11
Review at Older & Smarter

Friday, March 12
Excerpt at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Monday, March 15
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, March 16
Excerpt at Heidi Reads
Review at Madwoman in the Attic

Wednesday, March 17
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, March 18
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, March 19
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink

Monday, March 22
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, March 23
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 24
Feature at I’m Into Books

Thursday, March 25
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Friday, March 26
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Earl’s Lady Geologist

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Spotlight: The In-Between Place by Kat Armstrong (book excerpt + giveaway)

The In-Between Place JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for The In-Between Place by Kat Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The In-Between PlaceTitle: The In-Between Place
Author: Kat Armstrong
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Christian Life/Spiritual Growth

Jesus’ journey to the woman at the well in Samaria offers insights and hope for women today to make peace with the past, find hope in the present, and step into the future.

God wants us to move toward the goodness He has planned for us. But what do we do when challenges stop our forward momentum? What’s the next step when we fall into a pit of despair with the determination knocked right out of us?

On his way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus traveled through Samaria, a broken place everyone knew to avoid. In Samaria he stopped in Shechem, where evil had gained such a foothold of power that it eventually reigned. Yet the place once condemned as somewhere no one wanted to visit—let alone hang out in for a while—was the location of one Samaritan woman’s most hope-filled encounter with the Savior.

The In-Between Place offers deeply important insights to anyone who feels stuck and can’t see a way forward. It is for the person who feels that if she looks left, her face will be scraped by an immovable boulder, and if she looks right, she’ll see nothing but hard to handle. It’s for the person who feels lost and is not sure she is worth the effort to be found, for the person who feels overlooked and unfulfilled. Because sometimes Jesus saves our greatest spiritual breakthroughs for our in-between places.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


Kat Armstrong

Kat Armstrong has been emboldening women to be all-in for Jesus for twenty years as a speaker, Bible teacher, author, and podcast host. As cofounder of The Polished Network, a nonprofit connecting and gathering professional women to navigate career and explore faith, her mission is to create holy curiosity.

Kat holds a master of Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Aaron, have been married for eighteen years, and live in Dallas, Texas, with their son, Caleb. They attend Dallas Bible Church, where Aaron serves as the lead pastor.

CONNECT WITH KAT: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Have you ever felt frozen in time while everyone else seems to be moving ahead at Mach speed? Like you’re the only one who’s crashed on some turn in life while the rest of the crowd speeds through detours like future thought- leaders and experts? The feeling is mutual and, I think, universal. Using text messages to poll my friends, I asked if anyone else had experienced feeling stuck—like there was no way out of their current situation and it didn’t make one ounce of sense how their family/work/church happenings were unfolding. Turns out, everyone in my life feels stuck, at least in some form or fashion.

Singles, marrieds, mothers (both single and married), widows, divorcees, stay- at- home moms, gig- economy workers, corporate executives— all the women I asked, even the ones “running in their lane,” mentioned their struggles with decision fatigue, the feeling of being overwhelmed when barraged by constant decision making.

Every single person who confided in me asked, “Is there something wrong with me?” 

This is where my tendency to challenge comes into play. I’ve got to push back on these assumptions. Being stuck is normal because you are not a robot. You are a human. Part of being human is living through unwanted and unexpected change, wading through confusion, and persevering through seasons you wish were much shorter. Although my group of friends expressed concern that their in- between places corresponded with their deficiencies— a lie I wholeheartedly rejected— another pattern emerged. The whole lot of us testified to supernatural experiences with God in the middle of testing times.

Taken from “The In-Between Place” by Kat Armstrong. Copyright 2020 by Kat Armstrong. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of The In-Between Place and No More Holding Back!

The In-Between Place JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 22, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

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Spotlight: A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden (book excerpt + giveaway)

A Mother’s Promise
by K.D. Alden

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

A Mother’s Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman’s courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion.“-V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Hudson | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart

About the Author

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Chapter One

Dr. Price wore a three-piece suit with lots of authority and a kind smile.

As superintendent of The Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded, he looked like God, or at least Ruth Ann Riley’s idea of God. She imagined He would wear a fine-cut, hand-stitched three-piece suit like the good doctor’s, with a white coat over it and have pale, narrow blue eyes, thin, refined lips with neatly trimmed whiskers and a beard. He’d smell nice, too, of shaving cream and cigar smoke and heavy volumes of learning.

Doc checked his gold pocket watch and wrote down the time. Time seemed important to him, not so much to her. Ruth Ann told time by how many peas she got shelled, or by how many shirtwaists, nightdresses, petticoats and overskirts she’d hung on the line.

Doc seemed to want more time, but she wished she had less because it stretched and stretched and it wasn’t ever over with. Not ‘til she went to sleep. Then it started up all over again when the cock crowed.

She didn’t want to be here, the focus of attention. Attention was guaranteed to be a bad thing. Better to be invisible. She tried her best to evaporate, like water into air.

But Doc Price wanted to talk to her again for some reason. He picked up a pen. And a file folder. Then he walked round his monster of a desk to sit down.

Ruth Ann knew he must be very smart, because he had read all those books that climbed his shelves to the very ceiling. She loved books herself—fiction that she snuck out of the Colony library. Not these tomes.

Outside, the wind had picked up, torpedoing poor Clarence’s carefully raked piles of leaves and ruining the handyman’s work. Ruth Ann thought uneasily of what a storm might do to the mountains of laundry she’d wrung out until her arms ached. It all hung on the lines. She peered out the window. In the distance, beyond the neatly landscaped terrace outside of Doc Price’s office, she spied a pair of long-johns kicking, skirts flying up indecently, sheets billowing.

“Sit down,” Doc Price said, waving his hand toward a chair on Ruth Ann’s side of the desk.

She limped to the seat, gritting her teeth and sweating with the pain. She’d dropped an iron on her big toe in the laundry. Gotten screeched at by Mother Jenkins for burning her shoe, and the son of a gun still stunk of fried hide.

Doc Price didn’t seem to notice the smell; his nose was buried in some scribbles in the file.

Ruth Ann wondered if she could ask him to examine her toe. But he looked very busy. And what can he do? Tell me to go barefoot? Can’t do that when you work in the laundry and the kitchen.

Doc asked her questions and wrote down her answers, while she went halfway to somewhere else in her head. She did that a lot.

What’s your name?

Ruth Ann Riley.

How old are you?


Who is your father?

Cullen Riley.

Where is he now?


Who’s your mother?

Sheila Riley.

Where does she live?


Do you know where you are?

Yes, sir. At the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feeble-Minded.

Do you know why your mother is here?

Yes, sir. She don’t have no other place to live. Ruth Ann winced. She should’ve said ‘doesn’t.’ But Doc didn’t seem to notice.

Do you know why you’re here?

Her face heated. She looked down at her lap, at her red, raw hands with their gnawed nails. She just nodded.

Why are you here?

You know that, sir.

Yes, Ruth Ann. But I need to ascertain whether you know it.

Ascertain. Doc did drop some fancy words.

Ruth Ann? His voice was sharper. Do you understand why you’re here?

Pressure built behind her nose, tingling. It pushed unwilling tears into her eyes. She blinked. “Wasn’t my fault.” She couldn’t look at him. Write that down, mister.

“You’ve said so before.” Doc tapped his pen. “It’s all right. It’s not important.”

The hell it ain’t. Her anger startled Ruth Ann. It was usually like a toothache; a dull pain, but not fierce, like this. It blew away her mental fog. All of her was present now, in this chair in front of Doc.

“Ruth Ann. Why are you here?”

“Can I just see her?” she blurted. She forced her chin up, her eyes to his. “Please? Can I just see my baby?”

Ruth Ann had been an open wound when they took her infant, bundled up and howling.

Doc packed soothing into his voice on purpose, like gauze into that wound. “Little Annabel is with Mr. and Mrs. Dade. You know that.”

“Can’t I hold her . . . just one time?” Meh, meh, meh. She hated the way her voice sounded. Like a goat’s. Bleating.

Doc looked down, shuffled his notes. He sighed. “I’m afraid that’s not possible.”

Why? She didn’t say it aloud. She knew it was against the rules.

“Ruth Ann. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”

Right. My matter don’t matter. His does.

“I’m here,” she said, “because I ain’t married and I had a baby. And that’s bad.”

Doc nodded. “And why else are you here?”

She stared blankly at him. Then she remembered. “They say I’m feeble-minded.” News to her.

“And what does that mean, Ruth Ann?”

She looked over at the diplomas. She could easily read the letters that said where he’d studied, even the Latin ones. She’d finished sixth grade before she’d gone to work for the Dade family. “Feeble-minded means that I ain’t smart.”

Doc Price got up from his desk. He walked around it and folded his arms, looking down at her. “Ruth Ann, we’re going to do an operation on you.”

He’s not asking me. He’s telling me.“ An operation?” She didn’t like the sound of that.

“Yes. It’s . . . for the greater good.”

Excerpt from A Mother’s Promise, by K.D. Alden (Copyright 2021; All Rights Reserved.) To purchase a copy of A Mother’s Promiseby K.D. Alden, click here:

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
Review at The Review Crew

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Crystal’s Library

Thursday, February 18
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, February 20
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Girl Who Reads

Thursday, February 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, February 26
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Target! Two gift cards up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Mother’s Promise Tour

Excerpt + Giveaway: They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin

They Turned the World Upside Down JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


They Turned the World Upside DownTitle: They Turned the World Upside Down
Author: Charles Martin
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Christian Life/Spiritual Growth

In the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection, the testimonies of those who had followed him were so bold and so powerful that they turned the world upside down. What would happen if we lived with that same kind of faith today?

Walk in the shoes of the disciples, as New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin brings their stories to life with his storyteller’s perspective.

In the first century, believer didn’t just mean someone who heard and agreed with Jesus; it meant someone who acted on that belief. And when the outside world saw the faith of these new believers, they declared “they turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

That’s the kind of believer Charles Martin wants us to be. The kind who understands that the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is so powerful, it reshaped history. The kind of believer who lives with that same world-changing faith today.

In his second non-fiction work, he uses his talents as a novelist to walk you through the lives of the disciples in the aftermath of the Resurrection and as they spread the message of the Gospel and “turn the world upside down”, leading up to Paul’s ministry in Thessonalica. In his beloved lyrical style, Martin illuminates key moments from Scripture and shares stories from his own life as a disciple.

With the same depth, sensitivity, and emotion that have made his novels beloved to millions, Martin will helps you engage with your faith in a new and inspiring way.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


Charles Martin

Charles Martin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels and two nonfiction books. He and his wife, Christy, live in Jacksonville, Florida.

CONNECT WITH CHARLES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


What Exactly Do You Believe?

The word for “belief” is pisteuo. It means to “have faith in.” Or “put trust in.” Like that little boy jumping off the edge into the arms of his father. Pisteuo isn’t simply a decision of your head. It’s an action of your heart. And legs.

Take bungee jumping. Let’s say you and I are standing on a bridge where people are bungee jumping. It’s one thing to stand there, point at the rope and the little apparatus they lock around their ankles, and then watch as the folks take a swan dive off the bridge as we comment casually

from the comfort of the sideline, “I believe that rope will hold me and so will that thing around my ankles.” It’s another thing entirely to walk onto the bridge, strap the rope around your ankles, and take a Peter Pan off the bridge. Positionally, standing there and watching others jump is believing that. Strapping it around your ankles and jumping into nothingness is believing in.

Big difference. The latter is pisteuo.

At the ends of the Gospels, Jesus was rebuking His friends for failing to believe in. For failing to pisteuo.

People who believe that, watch.

People who believe in, jump.

What gets people from the edge of the bridge to sailing through the air? I’m not sure I can answer that except to say that they do something: they respond to the invitation. “Come.” “Follow me.” And all the others. I can articulate difference between the watcher and the jumper in one word: Faith.

Faith acts. And it acts on what Jesus did and said.

“Taken from They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin. Copyright ©2020 by Charles Martin. Used by permission of Nelson Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson


(1) winner will receive a print copy of They Turned the World Upside Down and What If It’s True?!

They Turned the World Upside Down JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 16, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 23, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Spotlight: The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George (review + excerpt + giveaway)

The Heiress Gets a Duke
by Harper St. George

Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Paperback & eBook; 320 pages

Series: The Gilded Age Heiresses, Book #1
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Even a fortune forged in railroads and steel can’t buy entrance into the upper echelons of Victorian high society–for that you need a marriage of convenience.

American heiress August Crenshaw has aspirations. But unlike her peers, it isn’t some stuffy British Lord she wants wrapped around her finger–it’s Crenshaw Iron Works, the family business. When it’s clear that August’s outrageously progressive ways render her unsuitable for a respectable match, her parents offer up her younger sister to the highest entitled bidder instead. This simply will not do. August refuses to leave her sister to the mercy of a loveless marriage.

Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, has no intention of walking away from the marriage. He’s recently inherited the title only to find his coffers empty, and with countless lives depending on him, he can’t walk away from the fortune a Crenshaw heiress would bring him. But after meeting her fiery sister, he realizes Violet isn’t the heiress he wants. He wants August, and he always gets what he wants.

But August won’t go peacefully to her fate. She decides to show Rothschild that she’s no typical London wallflower. Little does she realize that every stunt she pulls to make him call off the wedding only makes him like her even more.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


“A fun, fresh historical romance that gives both formidable characters their due.” – Publishers Weekly

“A delightfully entertaining read, rich with romance, glamour, and lush Victorian detail. Harper St. George truly captures the spirt of the era.” – USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews

“THE HEIRESS GETS A DUKE is a sexy, emotional romantic tale, set against the backdrop of the changing Victorian England. August Crenshaw is exactly the strong, intelligent, self-reliant heroine that Evan Sterling needs – the only trouble is neither one believes it. Watching the path of their romance and their battles makes this story a winner. Harper St. George is a must-buy for me!” – USA Today bestselling author Terri Brisbin

“Wit, seduction and passion blend seamlessly to create this deeply emotional romance. St. George weaves an intriguing plot with complex characters to provide the perfect sensual escape. There’s nothing I didnít love about The Heiress Gets a Duke, especially its lush, captivating glimpse into history.” – USA Today bestselling author Anabelle Bryant

“There are only a few authors that make me want to take the day off to devour their latest book and Harper St. George is one of them. Rich with period detail, The Heiress Gets a Duke brings to life the Gilded Age’s dollar princesses in this smart, sexy, and oh so satisfying story. It’s a real treat for anyone who enjoys historical romances with strong characters that will stay with you long after you close the book. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.” – Laurie Benson, award-winning author of The Sommersby Brides series

“The electricity crackles between August and Evan from their gloriously unconventional and improper first meeting, through their first scandalous waltz and continues to sizzle till the very last page. As much as August tries to fight her overwhelming attraction to the most unlikeliest of dukes, through their very practical and business-like courtship and all the trials and tribulations Ms St George throws at them, she soon comes to realise that the man earmarked for her sister is not only her destiny but the unexpected love of her life. You’ll sigh, you’ll cry, and you’ll grin yourself silly as this independent and cynical heiress finally gets her duke.” – Virginia Heath

“The Heiress Gets a Duke is a charming, compulsively readable delight and I can’t wait for the next book from Harper St George’s magical pen!” – Evie Dunmore

About the Author

Harper St. George was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days that instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the historical romance novel which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since.

She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found devouring her husband’s amazing cooking and reading. She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Set in the era of New York’s Gilded Age, when wealthy Americans would travel to England in pursuit of aristocratic associations through marriage, heiress August Crenshaw finds herself the unwilling and unexpected object of an impoverished Duke’s pursuit in Harper St. George’s The Heiress Gets a Duke. That they are both less than ready, and August particularly opposed to marriage, theirs are not the only lives or fortunes at stake.

With moderate expectations that were quickly exceeded, this is a story where the author’s presence fades away as the characters and their personalities, the various challenges and obstacles, as well as the somewhat reluctant attraction between August and Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, combine into a highly enjoyable and riveting read. With twists that are as surprising to August and Evan as the reader, it is the growth and journey for these two characters that hold center court.

The Heiress Gets a Duke is the first of a series and features a lively set of secondary characters – the scene where a friend gives Evan courting advice is minor but so amusing – that make this a good thing indeed. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a high society match with increasing romantic tension. While this may begin as a story of aspiration, it most definitely ends as quite a fine romance.

This review refers to a NetGalley digital copy I voluntarily received and read. A positive review was not required and these are simply my own honest opinions. Open door romance.


“Marriage?” Violet’s voice was a high-pitched screech that might have come close to peeling the wallpaper in the sitting room of their mother’s bedroom suite. August was too stunned to investigate. Their mother had delivered the surprise announcement with all the aplomb of a woman blissfully unaware of its unwelcome reception.

Her smile was so bright that August was certain they must have misheard. She was simply overly tired from accompanying Camille to the fight last night. “Pardon me, Mother, but did you say marriage and something about a duke? That Violet is to receive a proposal of marriage from a duke?”

Their mother paused, preening in the glorious aftermath of her news. Shifting on the settee, she tucked a curl of chestnut hair only lightly touched with silver back up under the silk turban she wore to bed every night. August suspected she was savoring the moment, and her mouth went dry at the implication that she had indeed heard correctly.

“Oh, if I must say it again then I will.” Another maddening pause for effect. “The Duke of Rothschild will attend the Ashcroft dinner later this week. If he finds favor with Violet—and I am certain he will—then I have hope that we can expect an offer of marriage to be forthcoming.”

Violet had gone pale. The announcement had pulled her to her feet, and she stood speechless there before the settee she had shared with August opposite their mother.

August took it upon herself to ask the pertinent questions on behalf of her sister. “Forgive me, but I am having a bit of trouble putting together how this came about. We have never met this family, much less the duke.”

“The Ashcrofts have been very good to us this Season. Lord Ashcroft has a fondness for your father and has introduced him around to his men at the clubs. As luck would have it, Lady Ashcroft is very friendly with the duke’s mother. They grew up together. We met at tea several days ago, and Her Grace implied that her son is eligible and in need of a wife.”

“You mean that she asked you for Violet?” August asked.

Her mother looked heavenward before shaking her head. “Not in so many words, no. They are civilized people, August.” Her eyes flashed a warning, before softening as she transferred her gaze to Violet. “But Her Grace expressed an interest in making Violet’s acquaintance. She’s heard nothing but good things about you, my dear.”

Violet had yet to recover her ability to speak and covered her mouth with her fingers. When it became clear that she had nothing to offer, their mother continued with her explanation. “After Her Grace departed, Lady Ashcroft was kind enough to explain the situation to me. No one knows, you understand, but rumors are that when the elder duke died last year he left them without so much as a penny.”

“How can that be?” Violet asked. Her voice was soft and far away. Whether she meant the Rothschilds’ financial state or the proposed marriage, August couldn’t say.

“It hardly matters,” their mother continued. “The important thing is that they need funds no matter the currency, because they have very little of their own. I suspect their debts are going to be called soon, since the duchess was being a bit forward in her interest. They need us.” There was a distinct gleam in her eye that made August uncomfortable. “Oh, do say something, Violet. This is wonderful news.”

Violet shook her head slowly and, with a hand on her forehead, made her way to the darkened window that looked out over the garden.

“Why do the Rothschilds’ financial woes have to involve Violet? Can’t they and Papa work out some sort of arrangement? An investment?” asked August. “Or better yet, if the Ashcrofts are their friends, they can lend them money.”

“Because that is not how it is done here, August.” Her mother’s voice was sharp again with impatience. “The duke needs an alliance with a powerful family.”

“A wealthyfamily, you mean.”

Her mother’s glare matched the severity of her tone. “Very well, if you insist on mercenary terms, then yes, he needs an alliance with a wealthy family. We are a wealthy family.”

“This is because of Camille, isn’t it?” August had been wary of the covetous look in her mother’s eyes as Camille had shown them around her manor in Sussex. Now she knew why. It wasn’t the wealth that the manor represented that had caught her mother’s attention. It was the history of the estate and the family. The stench of new money could not linger in a home that had existed for centuries.

“You have to admit things have worked out quite well for her.”

Camille was miserable. Anyone could see that. Anyone who cared to look could see that, August amended. “Financially, perhaps, but do you truly think Camille is happy?”

“Happy?” Mother’s laugh grated as it climbed the ridges of her spine. “Of course she’s happy. She has everything a young woman could ask for.”

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 26
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 27
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, January 28
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, January 29
Review at Novels Alive

Monday, February 1
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Tuesday, February 2
Review at Madwoman in the Attic

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, February 4
Review at Bibliostatic

Friday, February 5
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Monday, February 8
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Excerpt at Cross My Heart Writing & Reviews

Tuesday, February 9
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, February 10
Review at The Romance Dish

Thursday, February 11
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, February 12
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, February 15
Review at Flea with a Degree

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Reader_ceygo

Thursday, February 18
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Friday, February 19
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Heiress Gets a Duke

Spotlight: Thunder on the Moor by Andrea Matthews (excerpt + giveaway)

Thunder on the Moor
by Andrea Matthews

Publication Date: October 30, 2019
Paperback & eBook; 432 pages

Historical Fiction/Scottish/Time Travel

Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched–to say the least–especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth century Scottish home with her in tow.

Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.

Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.

To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. In fact, it was while doing some genealogical research that she stumbled across the history of the Border reivers. The idea for her first novel came to mind almost at once, gradually growing into the Thunder on the Moor series. And the rest is history, as they say.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


   Maggie lounged back amongst the fragrant blossoms, the soft sunlight no more than a golden glow along the horizon. Though the air remained damp, the promise of warmth comforted her, and she closed her eyes, letting its delicate cocoon engulf her weary body. A few yards away, a thrush welcomed the coming day, tweeting its morning song in perfect harmony with the steady bass of a croaking frog. The sweet melody soothed her cluttered mind and lulled her into a light sleep.

Images of beaches and warm summer days at the shore filled her dreams. Memories of sandcastles and dabbling her toes in the ocean sent her senses reeling. She could almost smell the salt air, hear the surf crashing against the shore. But wait—those were no breaking waves she heard, but something else, something far more menacing.

With a sudden jolt, she woke, the predawn tranquility shattered by a distant rumble. Maggie sprang up, her eyes widening as she recognized the thunderous beat of hooves rising from beyond the ridge. Behind her, about five hundred yards away, pressed against the graying sky, stood her uncle’s tower. He’d warned her about venturing from the safety of its walls, but

she’d been too stubborn to take his words to heart. Perhaps she should have put her dislike of the man aside just this once.

Frantic visions of vengeful reivers sprang to mind, and she rose, determined to make a sprint for the distant peel tower. With the creak of leather armor already echoing in her ears, she struggled to gain purchase on the dew-covered ground, but she slipped and fell into the tall grass of the gentle slope.

Pushing herself up, she chanced a glance over her shoulder and froze. He was nearly upon her, his steel-blue eyes reflecting the mood of the moor. A wave of terror washed over her, for somehow she knew this time Will Foster wouldn’t turn and ride away.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Madwoman in the Attic

Tuesday, February 16
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, February 17
Excerpt at Bookworlder
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, February 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, February 19
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story
Feature at The Whispering Bookworm

Saturday, February 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, February 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, February 24
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Thursday, February 25
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, February 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Sunday, February 28
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Thunder on the Moor

Spotlight: French Twist series by Sandra Byrd (giveaway + a free ebook 2/11-2/15/21)

French Twist series JustRead Blog + Social Blitz
Welcome to the Blog + Social Blitz for the French Twist series by Sandra Byrd, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Download and devour this delicious series, lashed with romance and fun, and then spiced with a lightly Christian world view. Bon Appétit!

Let Them Eat CakeTitle: Let Them Eat Cake
Series: French Twist #1
Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Quaystrokes
Release Date: 2012
Genre: ChickLit

What do you do when you’ve got a degree in French and absolutely no job prospects? You slide into your favorite French bakery, of course! When a lighthearted conversation with the manager of the local patisserie turns into a job offer, Lexi Stuart gladly accepts.

She indulges in tasty pastries and wins over skeptical coworkers, but the actual glamour is minimal and the pay less than generous. Trouble by the handful is stirred into her life as she juggles the flirtatious baker she has her eye on and a handsome young executive who likes Lexi even more than her Napoleons.

As she folds together dilemma and delight, Lexi learns that it’s not satisfying to try to fulfill everyone else’s expectations. Instead, she embarks on an adventure in trusting herself and God with her future.

February 11-15 Let Them Eat Cake Kindle edition is FREE

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


Bon AppetitTitle: Bon Appetit
Series: French Twist #2
Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Quaystrokes
Release Date: August 25, 2016
Genre: ChickLit

Lexi Stuart is risking it all. Saying au revoir to the security of home, her job, and could-be boyfriend, Lexi embarks on a culinary adventure in France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a pastry chef.

Life in her new quaint French village should be everything she dreamed of, but settling in isn’t nearly as easy as she imagined. Her optimism is greeted with both acceptance and resistance in the people and culture around her—soft and crusty at the same time— like the very best baguettes. Determined to gain her footing, she finds a church, meets new friends, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine – as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father.

As Lexi lives her dream, she realizes she can have anything from life’s patisserie display window, but not everything. How will she choose?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


Piece de ResistanceTitle: Piece de Resistance
Series: French Twist #3
Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Quaystrokes
Release Date: August 25, 2016
Genre: ChickLit

Having earned her chef’s hat, Lexi Stuart bids au revoir to her glamorous and deliciously satisfying pastry mentorship to find life unexpectedly complicated.

She’s put in charge of a high-end catering bakery, but there’s a catch: she has to make this lavish bakery into a successful business in just a few, short months. In over her head and at a loss for creative marketing ideas, Lexi can’t compose the perfect recipe for success.

Stir in a complicated relationship with her French beau, then add a dash of romance with her down-to-earth lawyer, and life suddenly contains more ooh la la than Lexi can handle.

With the fate of her career and her love life hanging by a thread, the phrase “piece of cake” has never been more daunting. Lexi finally trusts the dreams in her heart to the God who put them there.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Sandra Byrd

Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has authored more than fifty books, and her fiction has received many awards, nominations, and accolades, including the Historical Novel Society’s Editor’s Choice award, two Christy Award nominations, Two Library Journal Best Book selections, and inclusion on Booklist’s Top Ten Inspirational Books of the Year list.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, and devotionals, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions and The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional, which was named by Called Magazine, the #1 magazine for Christian Women, as among their favorite, must-read books.

Sandra loves walking, the beach, cooking and baking, photography, watching Escape to the Country, Fake or Fortune, and Chef’s Table, as well as spending time with family and friends.

CONNECT WITH SANDRA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


(1) winner will receive a $75 e-gift card to MarieBelle!

French Twist series JustRead giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 11, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 18, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Being West is Best: A Ginnie West Adventure by Monique Bucheger (middle grade review)

Fourth in the Ginnie West Adventures, Being West is Best finds some of best friends Ginnie and Tillie’s dreams coming true. But for Tillie, one of those dreams is her worst nightmare.

In a twist on the previous books in this series, the drama and adventure of this story are caused more by the adults than the twelve-year old West twins an their friends. When trouble comes to the West ranch, the usual patience and loving guidance of Ginnie’s father and Great-Uncle are put to the test, and Ginnie sees a whole new side of her “lame” dad.

The consequences are more adult as well, and the storylines that deal with alcoholism and domestic abuse may be upsetting to some younger readers. The author does not shy away from the more difficult aspects of life for Ginnie and her friends, but it is, as always, the wonderful family dynamics and the consequences for wrong actions that come to the forefront and make this book and this series well worth the read.

This review is based on a digital copy I voluntarily received from the author. A positive review was not required and it contains only my own, honest opinions.

Simply West of Heaven by Monique Bucheger
Series: Ginnie West Adventures #4
Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: 2014

Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can. Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”

 Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

Spotlight: Driven by Sara Davison with Book Excerpt + Giveaway

Driven JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Driven by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


DrivenTitle: Driven
Series: Night Guardians #3
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date: February 1, 2021
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Children aren’t the only ones who can disappear.

Driven by ongoing grief and relentless dreams, Holden Kelly is determined to track down the child his brother Gage abducted eight years earlier. The kidnapping that saved Matthew Gibson’s life had cost Gage his. Proving his brother hadn’t sacrificed his life for nothing might be the only way Holden can start fully living his again. And it could be the last chance he has to find his way back to the wife he loves but who is also mired in grief and a crisis of faith.

Mikayla Grant has nightmares of her own. A road trip with private investigator Jax Rodriguez—a man she is drawn to even though his primary goal seems to be to drive her crazy—can’t be the way to heal from a terrible loss. Can it?

As Holden, Mikayla, and Jax follow the missing child’s trail from Toronto to Chicago, their mission is not as secret as they thought. Someone knows they are coming and will stop at nothing to prevent them from finding Matthew.

And to make sure that no one ever hears from the three of them again.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub



Sara Davison

Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy. She has been a finalist for ten national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, a Selah, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children. The words on the mug she uses every morning pretty much sum up her life—I just want to sleep, drink coffee, and make stuff up. Get to know Sara better at and @sarajdavison.

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Christina traipsed down the stairs, following the aroma of coffee drifting in the hall. The long day stretched out before her. What should she do? She could clean, of course, although in fits of rage against God and the world in general she had scrubbed every surface in the house free of any trace of dirt, dust, or varnish over the last few weeks.

Cooking was a waste of time, as neither she nor Holden had much of an appetite these days and were content to grab whatever canned, packaged, or frozen food they could prepare and eat without a lot of effort. They’d gone through more boxes of cereal in the last six months than they had the first seven years of their marriage. 

Reading, then. Christina sighed. Since she’d come home from the hospital, reading, one of her favorite activities in the world, had become next to impossible. Words tended to dance across the page when she looked at them. If they did stay still long enough for her to make them out, their meaning was pretty much lost to her. She snatched the carafe off the warming pad and sloshed coffee into the chipped mug she always used. The one Holden had given her on their first anniversary. The black lettering, bold against the yellow ceramic, spelled out World’s Greatest Wife. Although the words mocked her, sent pin-pricks of heat, like fire ants, crawling across her skin, she forced herself to drink out of it every morning. A kind of penance. Maybe, if she drank enough cups of coffee to read the words a thousand times, or a million, it would start to sink in that she needed to start doing whatever it was she should be doing to earn the right to that moniker again.


(1) winner will receive a paperback copy of Driven and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Driven JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 1, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 8, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz (review)

Tasked with helping make matches for the tobacco brides arriving in the Virginia Colony, merchant’s daughter Selah Hopewell finds that she herself has a burgeoning attraction to one of the most eligible of local bachelors. But the history she shares with widower Xander Renick, along with his roles as both a tobacco planter and a member of local government, and her desire to marry only for love may prove even more of an impediment.

With both local politics and relations with the Powhatan chief fraught with dangers, the ongoing animosity between Xander and another man whose interest Selah attracts, as well as the tensions between those who choose to purchase slaves and those like Xander who refuse, this is a multi-layered story that forms a well researched portrait of life in 1634 James Town.

From their first encounter until the final page, Selah and Xander capture the reader’s imagination. Tidewater Bride is a richly imagined and deftly told tale, that grows ever more interesting as each characters is introduced and each event unfolds. 

Each new book by Laura Frantz is one I look forward to, but none so much as Tidewater Bride and it still managed to exceed my expectations. For those who appreciate thoroughly researched history seamlessly woven into a Historical Inspirational Romance, this is a novel to savor. Very highly recommended.

This review refers to a finished paperback copy I voluntarily received from the publisher. A positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz | Revell, January 2021 | paperback, 416 pages

About the Book

They’re both too busy for love . . . but love is not too busy for them

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in Virginia Colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?