First Line Friday: American Omens

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s quote is taken from an Uncorrected Proof I received for review purposes from the publisher, and may differ from the final text.



Once in a while, but rather too often, I have a week where I can’t find time to read, let alone write reviews.  And while I did have one evening devoted to reading, I’ve since been stuck at about 60% of the way into reading a thriller.  And the reading of a good thriller should not be paused at 60% if it can be helped.  But I think I’m far enough into the story to say that American Omens: The Coming Fight for Faith by Travis Thrasher is a good one.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

In this taut thriller that depicts a future where belief is dangerous, faith is deemed hatred, and a group of powerful elite keeps watch, the Reckoner has come to wake up America.

The year is 2038 and Cheyenne Burne is a brilliant young programmer working for Acatour, the world’s top technology firm. Her father converts to Christianity, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. When a stranger hands Cheyenne a coded message that sends her on a collision course with a clandestine group of believers, she must put her life in the hands of those following a man known only as the Reckoner. He claims he wants to bring back true faith in Christ to America and also reveal the forces behind the disappearances of the many renowned people who publicly declared their Christian faith.

Operating in the shadows and living off the grid, this mysterious prophet assembles a ragtag team–including a former bookseller whose store was shut down for selling prohibited books–to help him take the battle for transparency to the top. With a ruthless FBI agent closing in, can Cheyenne and the others expose the truth and lead a return to God in America before it’s too late?


And here are the first lines from Chapter One, “Blackbird”:

Continue reading


The White City by Grace Hitchcock (review)

thewhitecity_hitchcock_barboutThe White City by Grace Hitchcock leads off a new multi-author series from Barbour Books that, at least in this first outing, weaves together a fictional historical romance with notorious American crimes.

Set mainly at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and in a building that became notorious as the “murder castle” of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, this short novel centers around a would-be female detective and the police officer assigned to keeping her out of trouble. Continue reading

Book Excerpt (& Giveaway Link!): The Sewing Sisters’ Society by Ruth Logan Herne

sewing sisters society blog blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for The Sewing Sisters’ Society, a collection of historical novellas by Ruth Logan Herne, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Sewing Sisters Cover 2 (4)Title: The Sewing Sisters’ Society
Author: Ruth Logan Herne
Genre: Historical/Western Romance novellas
Release Date: January 22, 2019

Hattie McGillicuddy might not look like your typical matchmaker, but Hattie makes things happen in the little town of Second Chance, South Dakota. With the arrival of the railroad and official statehood, Hattie’s determined to bring brides west, and not just any brides. Brides who need the wide open prairie as much as the prairie- and the prairie men- need them! Three pioneer stories of unlikely love are woven around a little town full of homespun characters that take us back to another place and another time but with the same faith, hope and love we cherish today. Continue reading

Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin (quick review)

tellhernolies_coverNina Fischer has trust issues stemming from a rough childhood, and with the murder of the uncle who took her and her sister in and the reappearance of her mother, the secrets that begin to come out will make her question everything she thought she knew.  And while the reader may think they know who she should trust, and want to shout at her not to trust others, this well plotted but more sedately paced story of suspense throws twists and more than one dead body in the way.

Kelly Irvin’s Amish fiction is enjoyable, but if her debut in a new sub-genre is anything to go on, her Romantic Suspense might be even better. With an intriguing premise and characters that will hold the reader’s interest, Tell Her No Lies blends murder, betrayal, and mortal danger into a story of healing, faith, and a blossoming love.

Recommended for fans of Romantic Suspense with a faith element.

Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin | Thomas Nelson, November 2018 | ebook, 352 pages

This review refers to a digital galley read through NetGalley courtesy of the publisher.  The digital galley was provided for an Instagram tour.  No review was required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

From the publisher:

Even the most admired families have secrets to hide . . .

Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes—so she can view life through a filter. Safely. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire.

But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She’s determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them?  She’s known Rick since they were children, but now he’s an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss. And then there’s Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career.

Following the evidence leads Nina on a journey of discovery into her father’s shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove fatal, but it’s the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again.

Combining romance and suspense, bestselling author Kelly Irvin’s Tell Her No Lies is a high-stakes race for the truth.

With Winter’s First Frost by Kelly Irvin (review)

withwintersfirstfrost_irvin_zondervanIn the fourth and final novel of Kelly Irvin’s Every Amish Season series, Winter refers not only to the time of year but to what might be considered the season of life for the two main characters.  And in choosing to tell a story of two characters in their seventies, the author tackles some sensitive issues related to aging.  Debilitating illness, forgetfulness, frailty, the changing relationships with different generations of family, loss of independence, and the need to still feel useful despite all of those factors.

Older characters are some of my personal favorites in fiction, but the downright surly nature of Zechariah Stutzman made it difficult to warm up to him. Continue reading

First Line Friday: The White City

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

The featured quote is from a digital galley made available for review through NetGalley and may differ from the final text.


The Chicago World’s Fair and serial killer H.H. Holmes are at the center of The White City by Grace Hitchcock, the first in a new multi-author series from Barbour Books, True Colors: Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime.  Having watched a documentary about “The White City” in 1893 and the horrific crimes of H.H. Holmes, I am curious to see how the romance twines around all of the history and how the author handles such a despicable character.  So I snapped up a Read Now copy on GoodReads, and so far (I’m about 4% in) I am liking the heroine and the hero.

Here is the publisher’s description:

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?


And here is the first line:

Continue reading