Bookblast: The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi with giveaway link

The Quality of Mercy
by Malia Zaidi

Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Book Baby
Paperback & eBook; 416 pages

Series: The Lady Evelyn Mysteries, Book 5
Genre: Historical Mystery

After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies…ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer. It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.

Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future. From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Thursday, August 20
Reading is My Remedy
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, August 21
Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday, August 22
Robin Loves Reading

Sunday, August 23
Jorie Loves A Story

Monday, August 24
Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, August 25
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, August 26

Thursday, August 27
100 Pages a Day

Friday, August 28
Books, Cooks, Looks

Saturday, August 29
A Darn Good Read

Sunday, August 30
Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a set of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries series! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Quality of Mercy

These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker (review)

In a village in the shadow of a mountain that boasts a warning sign straight out of Dante’s Inferno, a small group of traumatized people are waiting with no memory of their lives before the horror that each has escaped from across that mountain. As the story unfolds and memories begin to return, this mystery thriller holds the reader on that uneasy line between suspecting and knowing.

Continue reading “These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker (review)”

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert (blog tour review)

First of three books in Heather Day Gilbert’s new Barks & Beans Cozy Mystery series, No Filter opens with Macy Hatfield joining her brother Bo’s new Cafe/Dog petting venture in their West Virginia hometown. With both siblings still reeling from the end of their relationships, their cafe and it isn’t long before Macy is a bit distracted by a local murder and Bo is joining in on the investigation.

Continue reading “No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert (blog tour review)”

Excerpt: The Philosopher’s Daughters by Alison Booth + a giveaway link

The Philosopher’s Daughters
by Alison Booth

Publication Date: April 2, 2020
RedDoor Press
Paperback & eBook; 356 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

A tale of two very different sisters whose 1890s voyage from London into remote outback Australia becomes a journey of self-discovery, set against a landscape of wild beauty and savage dispossession.

London in 1891: Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters’ lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life’s work or devote herself to painting. Continue reading “Excerpt: The Philosopher’s Daughters by Alison Booth + a giveaway link”

Book Blast: The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts by Jenetta James

The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts
by Jenetta James

Publication Date: August 10, 2020

Quills and Quartos Publishing

Genre: Historical Romance

A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries.

In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors. Continue reading “Book Blast: The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts by Jenetta James”

Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert (review)

Exotic pet-sitter/game reviewer Belinda Blake has barely started her temporary job at a wolf preserve before the inevitable occurs. Murder.

Written in Belinda’s distinct voice, an assortment of new characters are quickly introduced, many with both motive and opportunity. And, of course, the wolves are not above suspicion either, but that’s what seems to happen when you are first on the scene.

This is an entertaining and well-written cozy mystery with good pacing. As with the first Exotic Pet-Sitter mystery, the story is lightened and lifted by Belinda’s slightly off-kilter personality, her romantic prospects and by her family, particularly her psychiatrist sister Katrina.

Again, author Heather Day Gilbert has struck just the right notes of depth and heart. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, then this series just might tick a lot of boxes for you. I’m looking forward to reading the third Exotic Pet-Sitter book soon.

This review refers to a digital galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

~About the Book~

Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .

Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide—dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.
Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas—Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.

Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert (Exotic Pet-Sitter, #2) | Lyrical Underground, October 2019 | ebook & paperback, 256 pages

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin (review)

Second in the Weaver Trilogy, The Story Raider finds Tanwen feeling isolated. Following closely on from the events in The Story Peddler, this is a story with adventure and plot threads that all weave together in the pursuit of healing from the past ills of the Tirian Empire.

The Story Peddler was about rebellion and identity. The Story Raider is a quest story as Tanwen and her allies travel to different corners of the empire, searching for a cure to the curse brought on by subverting natural gifts and bringing a message of decolonization, beginning with a visit to the quite Italianate Meridione. Meanwhile, there are forces still at work against Tanwen and the former rebels, and this world’s belief systems are further explored as we begin to hear more of the Creator and evil works to lead some astray.

I sometimes find that the second book in a trilogy serves more as a bridge, somehow sagging between two more exciting works. Not the case with Franklin’s writing. Told from multiple viewpoints, though only Tanwen’s in first person, this is a strong mid-trilogy book that furthers the story while giving the reader a different flavor of adventure and a wider sense of this fictional world. I’m looking forward to seeing what the final part of this story holds.

The Weaver Trilogy is upper YA/coming of age and does include loss of life and survivors of past trauma. This review refers to an Overdrive e-book I borrowed through my local library. All opinions expressed are my own.

~About the Book~

Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game

Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret—Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse.

As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone—least of all herself.

The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent.

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin (The Weaver Trilogy, #2) | Enclave Publishing, 2019 | ebook and paperback, 384 pages

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin (review)

With one of the most interesting magic systems I’ve read in some time Lindsay A. Franklin’s The Story Peddler is a new favorite in upper YA fantasy.

Set in the Tirian Empire (map included!), this is the beginning of a coming-of-age trilogy, with 17-year-old Tanwen as the plucky narrator who doesn’t always do as she’s been told. Tanwen’s heritage quickly comes into play, as a forbidden story finds it’s way out. Throw in an oppressive regime, a despotic king, a desperate princess, political machinations, and rebel pirates, and Tanwen’s story is off to a terrific start.

Franklin’s characterizations and world building are a delight. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy and seeing what is in store for Tanwen and her friends and enemies, as well as seeing where that forbidden story may lead.

This review refers to an Overdrive e-book borrowed from my local library. All opinions expressed are my own.

~About the Book~

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories–she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down…and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers…and they’re after her too.

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin (The Weaver Trilogy, #1) | Enclave Publishing, 2018 | paperback or e-book, 332 pages

At Love’s Command by Karen Witemeyer (review)

If Karen Witemeyer was not already a favorite, must-read author, then At Love’s Command would definitely put her in that category.

With a capable and forthright heroine, a no-nonsense ex-calvary officer hero, and his band of mercenaries dedicated to non-lethal justice, this is an action-packed start to the Hanger’s Horsemen series that is at turns amusing, riveting, tense, and touching.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy Historical Christian Romance with action and a sometimes contentious but ultimately tender romance, where an unlooked-for love blooms in spite of their resolve as they look to God for strength through difficult times.

This review refers to a digital galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

~About the Book~

At Love’s Command by Karen Witemeyer (Hanger’s Horsemen, #1) | Bethany House, June 2, 2020 | paperback or ebook, 384 pages

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she’s not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger’s dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine’s respect, and when she hears of her brother’s abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.

Spotlight: The Trouble with Love by Toni Shiloh with excerpt + giveaway link

The Trouble with Love Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Trouble with Love by Toni Shiloh, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Trouble with Love by Toni ShilohTitle: The Trouble with Love
Series: Faith & Fortune #1
Author: Toni Shiloh
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Christian Chick Lit

I, Holiday Brown, have it all. A platinum record. Multi-million dollar home in Manhattan that I share with my two best friends. Life is looking fantastic until my roommate’s brother decides to bunk in our guestroom while his house gets renovated.

W. Emmett Bell has always been the bane of my existence. He’s annoying, stubborn, a know it all, and just might be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I refuse to fall for him. Then his sister’s threatened by a stalker and dynamics change. His unwavering faith isn’t quite as self-righteous as I’d always thought, and maybe he has a good side I’ve overlooked all these years.

Or maybe it’s all too much trouble.

The Trouble With Love is the first book in the Christian Chick Lit series: Faith & Fortune.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


Toni Shiloh

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at

CONNECT WITH TONI: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


From Ch 18

“We can talk about anything and everything that comes to mind.”

“Really?” My lips pursed as I pursued this line of thinking. He was giving me carte blanche? So not a good thing to offer me.

“I promise I won’t balk.”

I asked the first thing that popped into my mind. “Why don’t you date?”

“Who said I don’t?”

My stomach twisted. He did? I interlaced my fingers to prevent the tremors from showing. I felt ridiculous but couldn’t explain why. “Who was your last girlfriend?”

“A woman I met on assignment in Australia. We dated the entire four months I was there.”

“What happened?”

“She said I held back.”

“Huh.” Were you supposed to bare all to people you dated? “Did you agree with her?”

He tilted his head as if considering my question then straightened it. “Actually, yes. Though at the time, I thought she was being a little needy.”

I laughed. “I can see that. But now you think differently?”

“I do. I think when you’re with the right person, nothing is off limits because you trust them. You trust them to take care with your secrets. Your dreams. The love you’re offering them.”

My breath hitched, and I struggled to fill my lungs. That had to be the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. And mind-numbingly terrifying. “How do you know you can trust that person?”

“They show it. In everything they do, they prove they can be trusted.”

I bit my lip as an intense ache so filled my being. I wanted to trust someone. Wholeheartedly. But who? A whisper stirred something deep in my soul. I glanced at Wally, then averted my gaze to the partition. “Is that why you believe? Because God proved Himself to you?”

“He did.”

“And you think you can find that in a romantic relationship as well?”

Wally propped his right ankle on his left knee. “I pray I can. From the moment I decided I wanted to marry, I prayed for my future wife. Prayed that God would be very present in her life. That He would protect her and bless her. That I would know when I found her and be the man she needs me to be.”

Oh. My. Heart. I had to look away from the earnest expression in his eyes as tears filled mine. What would it be like to know that someone out there cared enough to pray for me? Holiday Brown. Not because I was Rick Brown’s daughter. Not because I’m some heathen pop star who needs Jesus—I’d received plenty of those fan letters, if you could even call them that considering the obvious distaste they expressed—but because I was cared for. Loved.


“Yes?” I sniffed.

“God loves you. Jesus loves you.”

Tears spilled over, and I nodded to acknowledge his comment. I didn’t want him to think I was ignoring him, but speech would not be happening anytime soon. I needed to get myself under control. I couldn’t do anything that would alter my voice or make my nose appear like a Christmas lighting special.

I heard a movement before Wally placed his arm around me, giving my shoulder a squeeze. I fell into his embrace. Security cloaked me like a warm blanket and calm slowly pushed away the hurt and tears.


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Trouble with Love JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 2, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 9, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. 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!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.