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Friday, May 25, 2018

Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

About the Book 

Don’t Believe ItMystery/Crime/Suspense
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713803
Digital ASIN: B075CBLSDX
From acclaimed author Charlie Donlea comes a twisting, impossible-to-put-down novel of suspense in which a filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder—only to find she may be a puppet in a sinister game.
The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.
Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.

About the Author

Credit – Carrianne Photography
USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children. Readers can find him online at
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As I started reading the first few pages of the book, I wanted to crawl under the covers and hide. The author grips readers with vivid details of  Julian's last moments on this earth. I felt the slam to the back of the head and saw the red crimson blood dripping onto his shoulders. I knew this would be a book I couldn't put down. Why would someone so viciously murder Julian ? Could it be his girlfriend, Grace who in an act of rage who took his life?

When the verdict  of guilty of first degree murder  is read, Grace showed little emotion except to appear about reading to faint. What must be running through her mind as she is taken away? Her freedom is gone and she must spend her life behind bars reliving the nightmare she just went through. Years later Grace is sill claiming her innocence. 

Sidney is an outstanding character with credentials that are very impressive. Her world will be turned upside down as she receives a letter from Grace ten years later while still in prison. She wants Sidney to prove her innocence. It was very creepy for me to read that Sidney has traveled to St. Lucia to stay in the same room Grace stayed in ten years ago. I liked the description of the area and found it to be very inviting. Sidney is not there to take in the sights , but to see if she can change Grace's life and prove her innocent. The documentary that Sidney is working on about Julian's murder is  intense and very detailed. Will the help of Inspector Pierre help Grace or will she  forever be guilty to the world? Some say the system rushed her conviction because they didn't want to hurt their tourism. Sidney must work closely with everyone to find the real truth behind Julian's murder.

As Sidney starts to interview Grace in prison, I loved the mention of the love lock. In Paris, couples have their names engraved on a lock. They then go to Pont des Arts Bridge and secure the log to the bridge. The key is tossed in the Seine. The lock symbolizes that you have found the person you want to spend your life with. Grace and Julian never made it to Paris, but to Sidney that lock shows their love for each other. I thought it was such a beautiful thing to do and I'm glad the author included it in Graces story.As Sidney starts to dig deeper into Grace's conviction, she starts to question if Grace was wrongly convicted. I loved the details of the crime lab and how the tests were run to prove evidence was not handled correctly. Sidney's documentary about the case being done live has gained a lot of attention. The story is captivating and will have you staying up late to finish. The book is packed with intrigue and has the government starting to take notice of the documentary. There are a few graphic parts in the story that may bother some along with a few cuss words. But I hope it won't keep you from reading on the best thrillers of the year.  Its one of the best thrillers I've read with twists that caught me by surprise. Just when you think you have solved the crime, the author cleverly takes you in an unexpected direction. Expect the unexpected in this explosive story with an ending that will make you shake your head in shock. 

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.

Tour Participants
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I really liked Rose so much. She has a sweet spirit and I love how she came back home to be near her family. It isn't easy for her since her husband passed, but she knows that God has a plan for her. Would it be hard for you to pick up and leave everything behind and start over?

Luke has decided to help Rose on her farm, but I'm not sure their first introductions went well. Rose knows how to run a farm and it may be hard for Luke to take orders from her. It is hard for Luke to be around Rose sometimes, because he knows he is starting to have feelings for her. What will he do when he finds out about the secret Rose has been keeping from him?

I loved the relationship that Luke has with Rose's son Daniel. They seem to have developed a great relationship and Daniel is starting to like having Luke around. When an accident happens , will it bring Luke and Rose closer? It is  very evident that they both love Daniel and seeing him injured hurts both of them. I admire all the work Luke has done to get the farm up and running again. You can sense he aches to be part of Rose's life, but something is stopping her from saying yes to him.I have always believed that communication is vital to a relationship. Luke and Rose really need to sit and have a long talk. It's funny how things get so mixed up in your head when you don't talk about the problem.

As you read the book, you will find that a cardinal is mentioned several times. It is a very significant sign to me, but I want you to experience the symbolism yourself.  I won't give my opinion about it. I loved how it was there throughout the story though. Was it a sign from God? Keeping secrets never turns out good and can cause hurt feelings. I loved how Luke and Rose guarded their relationship and made sure they followed their faith.  I loved the story and thought the author did a good job of showing how faith can restore your trust and allow you to open your heart to new beginnings.

I received  a copy of this book from Gilead Publishing. The review is my own opinion.

Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple
joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and
nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first
Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been
nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from
RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


~ About the Book ~

Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.
Genre:  General/Women’s Fiction
Release date:  22 May 2018
Pages:  368
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iTunes  //  Goodreads  //  Koorong


I must warn you before you read this book to make sure you have several boxes of tissues. When I started the book, I immediately felt the emotions coming from Savannah. I love her character so much. She has been through a lot in the last several years. No parent should have to bury their child, but Savannah and her husband Kevin faced that difficult task. Everyone grieves differently and I can't honestly say how I would deal with the death of a child. My heart went out to Savannah. The author allows us to see deep into her soul where the pain is buried. Will Savannah  be able to stop being angry at God?

Have you ever felt like you keep getting buried in heartbreaking situations? Savannah now must face the fact that her husband doesn't want her anymore. At that moment my tears flowed as I wanted to hug her and tell her she is loved by God. It's time for her to get away and have some alone time. I was cheering her on as she travels to her parents' lake house. From the moment she steps in the house , I could sense a calmness come over her. Everyone is worried that she will fall apart, but God has ordained a plan for her to heal and find hope again. Ending a marriage is like a death. All your dreams are gone and you  feel your hope slipping away. Maybe when Savannah meets her neighbors, things will get better for her.

Brock is a very interesting character. He is a best selling author and one that Savannah has admired over the years. It's funny that they are neighbors and I think he may become a distraction for Savannah. One of the best characters in the book is Clarice. She is such a wise woman who has taken Savannah under her wing. Clarice does not judge others, only prays for them and listens to them. Savannah will find many people wanting to give her advice. When we are going through an emotional time, sometimes all we want is someone to listen to us, not preach to us. I believe in second chances, because I was blessed to receive  one from my husband. I won't tell you the ending of this story, but I will say it is emotional and well written. Who will Savannah choose?

 One thing I really liked was how the author allowed us to see how tragedies affect others around us. It is not just Savannah and Keith going through hard times, but their children as well. We sometimes forget that our children are just as upset as we are when  going through changes that affect the family.  If you are struggling with second chances, forgiveness, grief, hope,  trust issues, relationships, or your walk with God this is the book for you. For those who aren't struggling right now this is a must read to strengthen your hope and faith. The story is a master piece of emotions and will touch you to your soul.

"Second chances don't come around too often in this life. If you get yourself one, grab it good and don't let go for anything."

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The review is my own opinion.

~ About the Author ~

Catherine West newCatherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017, and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018.
Connect with Catherine:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Goodreads  //  Pinterest

~ Other Books by Catherine West ~