Smoke Screen (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: An Excerpt + My Thoughts

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About the Book

Smoke ScreenBook: Smoke Screen

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre:  Christian Suspense

Release Date: November 5, 2019

One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Terri BlackstockTerri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Website  ℘   Facebook   ℘   Twitter

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.

An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”

T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”

“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”

“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”

I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”

“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”

It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.

“The family. Were they injured?”

“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”

“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”

“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”

I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.

“I won’t need a month,” I said.

“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”

I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”

“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”

Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.

Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of

My Thoughts

I’ve never read a novel by Terri Blackstock before. If I’m honest, it’s because I’m a baby. Her covers scare me. I am a super sensitive woman. If I read or watch anything scary before bed, I will have nightmares. Since I work full-time during the day, most of my reading gets done at night, which means a lot of suspense novels never make it to my TBR pile. But, my husband adores Blackstock’s novels and encouraged me to read this one, and the premise did sound really excellent, so I took a risk. Boy, am I glad that I did! Smoke Screen is a very well-written story: the plot is highly engaging, the characters have depth and are very relatable, and the conflicts are so frustrating I flew through the pages to get to the end because I had to know everything would turn out OK for Nate and Brenna. All in all, Smoke Screen is a seriously good read I highly recommend.

I found so much to love about this novel, but my favorite aspect is the illustration of corporate prayer. I am a BIG believer in prayer. I believe with my whole heart that God hears and answers prayers. And, I know that praying with others makes prayers super powerful. As stated in Mark 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I among them.” I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of Christian fiction books over the years, so I’ve seen characters pray. I’ve seen characters gather together at church to pray during Sunday sermons and masses. But I’ve not read a Christian novel where Christian characters go on red alert, immediately gather together, and corporately pray because a member of the congregation needs help ASAP. This moment in Smoke Screen is AMAZING — prayer warriors going to battle with God in order to help a member of their team. And God moves mountains for the character because of this corporate prayer. It’s one of the most awe-inspiring moments I’ve read in a book.

My review, I fear, doesn’t do Smoke Screen justice. I found this story to be sweet and romantic, frustrating and encouraging, and action-packed. If you are looking for a well-written novel filled with suspense, romance, and timely themes, then Smoke Screen is the story for you!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Christian Bookaholic , November 9

Fiction Aficionado, November 10

KarenSueHadley, November 10

Quiet quilter, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Among the Reads, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Robin’s Nest, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12

Bigreadersite , November 12

Blogging With Carol , November 12

Betti Mace, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13

Emily Yager, November 13

By The Book, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

A Baker’s Perspective, November 14

Splashes of Joy , November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Through the Fire Blogs, November 15

Andrea Christenson, November 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 16

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Remembrancy, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

EmpowerMoms, November 17

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 18

Older & Smarter, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 18

Lights in a Dark World, November 19

amandainpa , November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 20

For The Love of Books , November 20

Hallie Reads, November 20

Cathe Swanson, November 21

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 21

All 4 and About Books, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Batya’s Bits, November 22

Livin’ Lit, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

janicesbookreviews, November 22

Always Look Twice (2019)


About the Book

71kLjeZk6UL.jpgBookAlways Look Twice

Series: Uncommon Justice #2

Author: Elizabeth Goddard

Publisher: Revell

Genre: Romantic Suspense

While photographing the Grand Tetons, Harper Reynolds unwittingly captures a murder on film. But when she loses the camera fleeing the scene, can she and rancher Heath McKade find the camera and solve the murder before the killer makes her his next victim?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I’m just going to lay it out there — I’m not a Romantic Suspense fan. Typically, this genre is not my cup of tea. It’s not because I don’t like romance or suspense, it’s because it’s always been a hit or miss genre for me. I find that some authors write romantic suspense amazingly, and some do not. Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard is a novel I both appreciated and enjoyed, but also struggled with.

What I appreciated and enjoyed:

  • I love Heath and Harper, the hero and heroine of this novel. I found them to be unique and relatable. On the one hand, they are strong, capable, intelligent characters who I knew could solve the murder mystery and every other conflict thrown at them. But I really appreciate their flaws and weaknesses. It is their flaws and weaknesses that made both Heath and Harper relatable to me.
  • There is a moment in the story where Emily, Harper’s sister, tells Harper, “When we were still living in Jackson Hole … we’d see Grand Teton all the time especially if we had to drive into town. That mountain is so big, and as a kid anyway, it made me think of God. And I used to think if I was that mountain, nothing could move me or scare me. Nothing could hurt me. Now I think I’m finally getting it. God is like that mountain for us and we can hold on to Him.” I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! What a great perspective change for me. I often pray to God that He grant me His strength as if He’s the ultimate charger. If I plug into God in prayer, He will fill me up for the day with all the strength I need and I’ll be able to handle everything that comes my way. But this implies that I leave the mountain after I’m done charging. Emily’s revelation implies that I stay connected to God by bringing Him with me throughout my day. This tiny little story in the middle of the book is my most favorite thing about this novel. I LOVE when an author shows me a Jesus Truth is a whole new way.
  • I really loved the first 1/4 and the last 1/4 of this novel. The beginning and end of this book are intense, and in these pages, I could not put the book down. I was completely engaged.

What I struggled with:

  • My number one issue with the Romantic Suspense genre is that often authors do way more telling than showing in their narratives. When I pick up a Romantic Suspense novel, I want to become Sherlock Holmes. I want twists and turns and shocking moments I didn’t see coming. I want clues! I want foreshadow. And, I want to be stumped a little. With Always Look Twice, I had things figured out rather quickly. With so much telling, not showing, I felt the suspense lost its edge and it became simple for me to know where things were going next. I didn’t get to be Sherlock Holmes while reading this book.
  • The middle 50% of this book became slow, and I lost some interest in the novel.

Even with my two struggles, there is a lot that I found appealing about Always Look Twice, and I fully recommend it, just to fans of the Romantic Suspense genre. In fact, fans of this genre are giving rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. If you are a Romantic Suspense fan, then this is the book for you.

I received an eBook copy of this book from the publishers, Revell, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Fire Storm (2019) + Giveaway


About the Book

71zgiPv4eML.jpgBookFire Storm

Series: Kaely Quinn Profiler #2

Author: Nancy Mehl

Publisher: Bethany House

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

FBI Profiler Kaely Quinn visits Nebraska to care for her ailing mother. She can’t help but notice suspicious connections among a series of local fires, so she calls on her partner, Noah Hunter, to help find the arsonist. Together they unwittingly embark on a twisted path to a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be Kaely’s death.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting kind of read. I very much enjoyed my time again with Kaely Quinn; she is an even more endearing and compelling character in this sequel. It was also good to see Noah Hunter, Kaely’s FBI partner, back in full force. It’s fun to watch him do all he can to protect Kaely while she is myopically trying to profile and find a serial arsonist/murderer. The slight romantic tension between Kaely and Noah kept me up late into the night turning pages. While the fireworks currently are minimal, they are there and that makes me super excited to see what Mehl has in store for us readers with book #3. I also really enjoyed the mystery and suspense. While I did figure out who-dunnit earlier on in the read, there are enough shockers at the end of the story to make me feel like I definitely got my money’s worth!

At the heart of this novel is the issue of family. Specifically, Mehl deals with families and the broken people that make them up. At one point, the word dysfunction is used, and I could not agree more. The families in this story are all uniquely dysfunctional and hurting. Some people see family as everything — a source of love, comfort, and stability even through the bad times. Some see family as a nuisance. And some see nothing but the ugly brokenness of the people within. Kaely has reason to see tremendous negative in her family and allows that to color her relationships with her mother and brother. And, for a moment, it looks like Kaely will revert back to her old ways and abandon them. There is a moment when Kaely prays to God, “Why them?” God, in His infinite awesomeness, shows Kaely her truth and fills her brain with images of the way she has treated her family in the past. Kaely realizes she isn’t the innocent victim. God’s message to Kaely is clear. She needs to stop judging her family and spend a minute in their shoes instead. When we take the focus off our selves, when we spend a minute looking at something through someone else’s perspective, we can see others and their actions/choices in a better light. They still might not be the right actions or choices, but at least we can understand our loved ones better. I very much appreciated this reminder.

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is a highly engaging, fast-paced read that I highly recommend. If you are a fan of Romantic Suspense and you are looking for a good read, then this is definitely the novel for you.

I received a copy of this novel in paperback form from the publisher, Bethany House, in order to review. I also received an eBook review copy of this novel from NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.



I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl. The giveaway begins today, 10-8-19 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Friday, 10-11-19 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Sonnetta J.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Finding Lady Enderly (2019)


About the Book

20190830_205741.jpgBook: Finding Lady Enderly

Author: Joanna Davidson Politano

Publisher: Revell

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

If you are planning to read Finding Lady Enderly, which I highly recommend you do, know that you are in for an outstanding journey. This story has it all — mystery, intrigue, adventure, romance, and reconciliation. The characters are excellently crafted. The hero and heroine are relatable and endearing, the secondary characters are complicated and charming, and the villains are the perfect balance of very bad and heartbreaking. And, I love, love, love the very timely and thought-provoking inspirational messages. Truly, this story has it all!

Raina, our heroine, has a metaphorical angel and demon on her shoulders. The demon, Mr. Prendergast, offers her an amazing deal that seems too good to be true. For a good 70-75% of this novel, the voice of Prendergast is so dominant that Raina begins to believe that his lowly estimate of her worth is true. She is, and always will be, just Ragna the useless, worthless rag girl. But then Raina’s guardian angel breaks through Raina’s negative loop in her brain and she begins to hear God’s true Voice — the one that tells her she’s worthy, cherished, and valued.

PhotoCollage_20190830_210341558.jpgI desperately needed this reminder this week. Man has the devil been giving me an earful! Unfortunately, in my weakness, I was starting to believe him. It’s crazy how sinuous and snakelike the devil is. He can slide into the smallest aperture in our brains and sound SO convincing. It’s a little scary, and it really brings the point home that we need to make sure we are daily wearing God’s full armor. My most favorite moment in Finding Lady Enderly is when I read the following: “No human has the power to take away the inherent dignity given by God, or change the identity He has granted you of belonging to Him.” And, the same can be said about the devil. He has NO power to take away our dignity or our place with God. If we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior no one or thing can take this truth away from us. This reminder was a balm to my soul this week, and I feel God immensely blessed me by bringing this book into my life at this time.

Finding Lady Enderly is a masterful novel. I highly recommend this story. I implore you to purchase a copy today. I promise you will not be disappointed that you did!

I received an eBook copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, through NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Yellow Lantern (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

The Yellow Lantern FB Banner

About the Book

The Yellow Lattern CoverBook: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August 2019

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

AngieDickenAngie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at

More From Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kinds of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

My Thoughts

It is often said that Hamlet by William Shakespeare is the thinking man’s play. I believe wholeheartedly that The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken is the thinking woman’s novel. Without a doubt this well-written story had me contemplating some seriously unique topics. I enjoyed the plot and relatable characters, but I especially appreciate that The Yellow Lantern had me considering so many distinctive themes.

Of the many characters in this story, I very much disliked Josie’s father. I actually disliked him more than the bad guys! What bothered me about Josie’s dad is that he plays the victim and he uses his daughter as a fixer. Instead of being the father and the man, he foists his problems onto Josie and forces her to do his dirty work. I hate when parents do this to their kids. It’s wrong and manipulative. There’s a moment well into the story where Josie convinces herself to work even harder for her father because good daughters help their fathers no matter what. This sentiment got me thinking. Is this true? Is Josie correct? Do good children do whatever it takes to help a parent even when the parent causes 98% of his problems? I’m not so sure this is correct.

Don’t get me wrong. We absolutely must obey God’s command to honor our mothers and fathers. But Josie’s father upset me because he behaves like an addict: he’s manipulative, he purposely pulls Josie’s heartstrings, he plays the “poor me” card, and he expects that Josie will succeed and give him what he needs — major financial help. This got me thinking even more. What would God expect of a child in Josie’s situation? God would no doubt want Josie to respect and honor her father, but He would never be OK with a father asking a child to sin for him. The ugliest part of it all is that Josie’s father knows what he is asking her to do is shameful and wrong. He feels awful and guilty. He knows it is wrong to ask his child to commit heinous sins on his behalf in order to fix the problems he has made. That’s just wrong no matter how you slice it! A parent should never purposely force his child into a sinning situation.

See what I mean?! The Yellow Lantern is a thinking woman’s (and man’s) novel for sure!!! And, there’s so much more. Things like grace, and what does it look like when you extend grace to someone? Or, why does it feel like the earth grows a little dimmer when a loved one dies? Or this big question, how did we expect doctors to learn about the body if they were never allowed to dissect an actual body? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. If you are a fan of historical suspense, I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s definitely a story that takes the reader on a strange and unusual ride!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


The Yellow Lantern giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway.

Click the link below to enter.


Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

A Dangerous Legacy (2017)


About the Book


Book: A Dangerous Legacy

Series: Empire State #1

Author: Elizabeth Camden

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Telegraph operator Lucy Drake is a master of Morse code and has made herself a valuable asset to the Associated Press news agency. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Colin is talented, handsome, insufferably charming—and keeping a secret that jeopardizes his reputation.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy can’t deny that Colin has the connections she needs to give her family an edge in the long legal battle they’ve been waging over their rightful inheritance. But when she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, the web of treachery they dive into proves to be far more dangerous than they ever could have known.

Click HERE to purchase a copy!

My Thoughts

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden is an outstanding story. In an attempt to contain myself — I could easily write a full treatise on how amazing this novel is — I’m simply going to share my top 5 reasons why I believe A Dangerous Legacy is a must-read novel.

  • A Dangerous Legacy is one of the most engaging novels I’ve ever read. I literally could not put the book down. It was one of those reads where my actual world disappeared. At one point, my daughter called out to me for a full five minutes before I even registered she needed me. I was hooked by the highly-engaging storyline and hated having to put this book down.
  • Attention to historical detail. Camden has included a textbook-amount of detail within the pages of this novel, but I never once felt like I was reading a textbook. I learned about telegraphing, Teddy Rosevelt and his fight for the Panama Canal, plumbing, and life in New York in 1903, and enjoyed every second. In fact, the historical detail added to my engagement with this novel and is a large part of why I stayed up until 1 AM finishing this book.
  • The romantic tension is superbly done. Colin sees Lucy, Lucy sees Colin, and sparks fly … from page 1. It is clear from the very beginning that Lucy and Colin make the perfect match, but life would say otherwise. Colin needs to marry an heiress, and Lucy can’t marry anyone at all. They attempt to just stay friends, but how is that possible when it’s a soulmate situation?! Lucy and Colin are like magnets — when they are close enough in proximity their chemistry brings them together by an unstoppable force. The best part — their kisses. I may have swooned a little.
  • Camden portrays evil viscerally. This may seem like a really weird thing to like, but I did immensely. Now, I’m not a creeper or anything like that. I’m not a fan of the devil, and I hate evil tremendously. But, I appreciate when the villain is real-life, super bad because when he falls he falls hard. It makes for a satisfying ending. Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite storyline is the one where justice is served. And in A Dangerous Legacy justice is served for sure!
  • PhotoCollage_20190802_121912132.jpgCamden deals with my #1 fear and reminded me how to overcome. The thing I fear the most is being forced into a really bad situation against my will. I loathe the very idea that someone with enough power and money could manipulate a situation to make it so that I have to do something or go somewhere I don’t want. There is a moment in A Dangerous Legacy where Lucy is forced into an evil, awful thing totally against her will because of a vile, greedy, narcissistic group of people. I was terrified for Lucy. I’m actually not sure I breathed during those chapters. What I appreciated though is Lucy’s recognition that even in the absolute worst of times we are not alone. We may feel alone, but God is always with us. We just have to look for Him. After reading this reminder, my fear level for Lucy went from a 10 to a 1. Because the truth is, God makes us strong enough to face anything this world can throw at us.

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden is a masterful story that I love so, so much. I am very sad my time with Lucy and Colin is over. I cannot recommend this novel enough. To me, it is a definite must-read!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from on October 11, 2017, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

No Greater Love (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and A Giveaway

No Greater Love FB Banner

About the Book

No Greater LoveBook: No Greater Love

Author: Gina Holder

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: April 30, 2019

He said he’d never risk leaving a widow. She said she’d never love a man in uniform.

Paige McDonald collects antique literature and works at the largest bookstore in Portland, Oregon. When her grandfather, a firefighter, was killed, she vowed never to fall in love with a first responder. An old Bible leads to an unexpected discovery and disrupts everything she knows about herself, her family, and God. Her desire to know the truth sends her to the town of Whitman directly into the radar of Patrol Officer Hamilton Bryant.

After the loss of his best friend and fellow officer, Hamilton vowed never to marry. He won’t risk leaving a widow. Instead, he reserves his passion for serving his family and the town he’s sworn to protect. When a series of robberies and threats against the mayor correspond with Paige’s sudden appearance in Whitman, their paths intersect.

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About the Author

gina holderGina Holder completed the Long Ridge Writer’s Group “Breaking into Print” course and graduated from Faith Bible Institute. In August 2017, she published her first novel, Whither Shall I Go. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Her Website and Blog is found at

She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. When she’s not working on her next novel, she enjoys reading, watching movies, singing, and playing the piano and organ.

More from Gina

Fun Facts about No Greater Love (Don’t worry, spoilers weren’t invited to this party.)

  1. I love the smell of coffee, but I don’t like the taste. I asked my coffee-loving friends on social media for their favorite coffee drinks to use in the story.
  2. Tyler, Tony, and Timothy Thorne were modeled after three brothers I saw playing on a beach in Hurgadah, Egypt.
  3. R. Electronics was based on an actual store my husband and I saw in a mall.
  4. When Paige and Hamilton meet, he is looking for a runaway goat. This happened to my husband and me. We were out admiring large mansions when a police officer pulled up behind us. We thought we were in trouble for loitering. Instead, he asked if we’d seen a goat running around the neighborhood.
  5. Hamilton’s deceased best friend is named after my childhood friend, William Donnelly. Will was a U.S. Marine killed in battle in Afghanistan. Like the character in the story, he got married only two months before his death and was killed on Thanksgiving Day. No Greater Love is dedicated in his memory.
  6. The character Jessie Faye is named after an elderly woman my husband knew while living in Fossil, Oregon.
  7. The diners in the food court scene were written from personal observations at a food court in Colorado Springs.
  8. While Whitman is a fictional town, it is modeled after the real town of Enterprise, Oregon, at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains.
  9. Several locations in the book are real establishments in Enterprise, including Heavenly’s Restaurant, the Espresso and Car Wash, El Bajios, and the Bowlby stone courthouse.
  10. There are several beloved pets in No Greater Love, including a parrot named Gerald, a Persian cat named Delilah, and a labradoodle named Bruce. All the pets have names except for Aunt Hattie’s Dalmatians.
  11. Paige McDonald works at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon when the story opens. Powell’s lays claim to the status of the “largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.”
  12. Portland is the fifth city in America with the most coffee shops per capita.
  13. The statistics for the Whitman school—100% graduation rate and a 1:13 student-teacher ratio is not fictional. They are the actual statistics of Enterprise High School.
  14. Behind the cash registers at Powell’s, there is a fake dictionary definition—“Smell bound: held as if under the spell by the scent of books.” This is the inspiration behind the opening scene of No Greater Love. The word bibliosmia means the smell of old books.

My Thoughts

Are you a fan of really good romantic suspense? Do you voraciously read novels by authors like Cara Putman and Rachel Dylan? If so, then I highly recommend you check out No Greater Love by Gina Holder. This story has it all: mystery, suspense, thievery, politics, family drama, and romance. No Greater Love gave me papercuts on my fingers I was turning pages so quickly, and I have dark circles under my eyes because I read well past my bedtime.

There is so much to like about this book, I’m not sure where to even start. I love the characters, they’re so unique and endearing and realistic. And I appreciate the various conflicts throughout the story. They’re what kept me turning pages until one in the morning because I just had to know what was going to happen next. I think, however, my favorite aspect of this book is how it made me turn inward and analyze my actual faith and trust level in God.

The hero of No Greater Love is Hamilton Bryant, and he is a cop. A pretty good cop at that. Hamilton is all a girl could want in a hero. He’s strong, intelligent, handsome, heroic, and he loves Jesus. But Hamilton has taken himself off the market romantically speaking. One of his best friends had died in the line of duty, and Hamilton cannot bear the thought of dying and leaving behind a wife and child(ren). He doesn’t want to be the cause of that kind of pain so he has decided he will remain a bachelor for the rest of his days. I’m not going to lie, this bugged me SO badly. I got on my high horse and had some judgemental words to say to Hamilton! Something along the lines of, “Who do you think you are, Hamilton? God!? You don’t determine your steps, Mr. Hot Officer. God does!!!” After my tirade with a fictional man, I heard a very soft Voice say, “Pot calling the kettle black.” I sheepishly apologized to God and then sat down to humbly write this review.

You see, I am Hamilton. I want so badly to never hurt others or cause sadness that I sometimes become the bossy-boss of my own story and force my steps on my own “safe” path. After almost 40 years on this earth, I have learned that when I force my path — even with good intentions — everything gets messed up. I have to really give my life over to God and trust His path for me. Then, and only then, will I ever truly have a genuine trust and faith in God. I won’t spoil anything and tell you if Hamilton learns his lesson or not, but I will tell you that this reader is eternally grateful for this reminder. I had a few things to talk to God about after reading this book.

No Greater Love is a fantastic novel I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. If you are looking for a very well-written, highly engaging, thought-provoking Christian Romantic Suspense then No Greater Love is the novel for you!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form and in paperback from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


no greater love giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gina is giving away a grand prize of a signed paperback copy of No Greater Love and Whither Shall I Go plus a $50 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 16

The Becca Files, July 17

Just Your Average reviews, July 18

For Him and My Family, July 19

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 19

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 20

Godly Book Reviews, July 20

Library Lady Kid’s Lit, July 21

Moments, July 22

Books, Life, and Christ, July 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 23

Retrospective Spines, July 23

Vicky Sluiter, July 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

Pause for Tales, July 25

Texas Book-aholic, July 26

janicesbookreviews, July 27

Inklings and notions, July 28

Mary Hake, July 28

A Reader’s Brain, July 29