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Saturday, February 25, 2023

About the Book

Book: A Ransomed Grete

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: December 28, 2022

October 1939—What happens when you run from danger… and into a trap?

After the Anschluss, Austria becomes a place its citizens don’t recognize—especially its Jewish citizens. Whispers ripple through Jewish communities—whispers about a chalet where a woman protects Jewish children from discovery. She’ll keep them safe, fed, and far away from Nazis.

Parents are forced to make horrific decisions. Send their children away to safety, possibly never seeing them again, or keep their families together and risk their children’s lives?

Hans Hartmann arrives at the chalet with a chip on his shoulder and a little girl in tow. He found Grete waiting at the train station. Alone. But life at Chalet Versteck feels more ominous than the streets of Vienna. Children sometimes vanish, and before Hans can figure out what’s happening, a high-ranking officer appears—and is killed.

It’s a race to find out who killed the man and get himself (and probably that pesky Grete) out!

A Ransomed Grete is the bridge book between the 1920s and 1940s Ever After Mysteries, combining fairy tales with mysteries.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Picture it. Ventura, California,1982. Why I went to the lock-in, I still don’t know. It wasn’t my church, I didn’t actually like the girl I went with, and I knew no one else. In hindsight, I think God put me there, because that was the night I was introduced to Corrie Ten Boom.

Yes, they showed The Hiding Place, and a near obsession with all things Holocaust followed.

I don’t remember when my brain connected The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to that same war and helped me realize that the people bombing London and making the need to protect those children were the same ones ripping fathers, mothers, and children from homes in other countries and sending them “out into the country” too. But it happened. A sickening, nauseating understanding that still infuriates me today.

I railed against the evil soldiers. How could they do such a thing? My ever-patient father said, “Like our airmen should have refused to drop the bombs that ensured we’d end the war with Japan? When do soldiers get to decide which orders they will obey and which they will not?”

In my self-righteous, ever-black-and-white mind, I remember saying something to the effect of, “If they’d all refused, then the generals would have to listen. You can’t kill all your soldiers for insubordination.”

Dad’s quiet voice (it wasn’t always, but it was when he was deadly serious) answered that with a… “Considering the millions of Jews they slaughtered, I think they might have. Live soldiers can make a small difference.”

Look, Dad wasn’t defending the Nazi regime. He wasn’t defending sending innocent people to their deaths because some madman said they must. He did, however, point out that sometimes what seems to be acquiescence is really a front for helping people under the radar. Without proof of someone’s guilt, we could hope there was more to it than fear for self.

And that taught me another lesson—to assume the best of people until they gave me a reason to know otherwise. It also sparked ideas. How many men, women, and children pretended to be in league with the Nazis when they weren’t? How many people cowed to Nazi ideals out of self-preservation? How many others didn’t really see the evil until it was shoved down their throats?

It took forty years to do it, but those questions became the basis for A Ransomed Grete(pronounced Gret-uh, if it matters to you). What happens when the horrific occurs and self-preservation becomes a means of evil? I hope I offered enough hope amid the horror of Jewish genocide.


This has been a book that captured the essence of a fairytale that many are familiar with grace and truth. I was amazed at how the book  was transformed into a take on Hansel and   Gretel. The author takes us back to a time when danger surrounded Jewish  people in 1939. I remember the horrible fate many of them faced from books I have read.  The horror that was forced on the Jewish people make my heart hurt . I will never be able to understand why this happened but hope that this never happens to anyone again. 

We follow Hans and Grete as they are dumped at a place where they are suppose to be safe until they can get on a train to a safer country. Hans was such a warrior to me. He may be small and young but he took his responsibilities to watch over Grete with honor. I loved how he always made sure Grete was safe and had food when he could provide it. 

The children have no idea that the  place they are at will become like a prison to them. The woman they thought took children in, was not compassionate at all. She didn’t care for children at all and their  lives are in danger the longer they stay. Through the darkness in this story arises hope and trust when the children face their darkest moment. I loved how the author shows us the journey that many Jewish families endured whether it was death or deciding to send their children away in hopes that they would be spared . 

The emotions in the  book are felt deep within the pages and I could picture the desperation the children felt as they weren’t sure if they would be able to trust anyone. I can’t imagine the dark room they stayed in with barely any warmth or food to sustain them. The author does an excellent job of delivering a realistic look at a part of history that can only be described as heartbreaking and unjust. 

Thank you Chautona  for  writing a book that illustrates how hatred can cause people  to turn on others.  The evil that was brought to these innocent people should never be forgotten. This story is a reminder to trust God and stand up against evil.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

deb’s Book Review, February 25

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Lots of Helpers, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

An Author’s Take, March 3

Denise L. Barela, Author, March 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 4

Connie’s History Classroom, March 5

For Him and My Family, March 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 7

Betti Mace, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

About the Book

Book: In Spotlight and Shadow

Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Romance

Release date: February 1, 2023

A Gem of a Mystery Takes Center Stage

​Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Peirson Brooks. Peirson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.

A century earlier…
Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.

More from Rachel


The Loew’s Penn theater in Pittsburgh opened its doors on September 6, 1927. Thousands of Pittsburghians crammed the streets hoping to enter. Those who were fortunate to claim a seat gasped at the grandeur of what that has been billed the ‘Temple of Cinema.’ The new hotspot in the Steel City was regarded as the most magnificent theater between New York and Chicago.

The Loew’s Penn was five stories high and could seat over 3,000 guests. The grand lobby had a 50-foot-high vaulted Venetian ceiling, gilded Corinthian columns, and two spectacular chandeliers. The crystal for the chandeliers was imported from Vienna. From silk drapes to artwork by Renaissance masters to Italian marble staircases the theater seemed more like a museum than a cinema palace. As for the entertainment, the night began with a live stage show followed by a silent film feature.

Attendance averaged around 60,000 theatergoers a week. And with an admission charge of $.50, the theater made around $30,000 a week. Which was a substantial fortune during the 1920s. The theater hosted live stage shows and they also brought in national acts including Paul Whiteman and the Rhtyhm Boys featuring Bing Crosby. Also Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor graced the stage.

Over the years, the allure of the Loew’s Penn faded, and the theater fell into disrepair, finally shutting its doors in 1968. The Howard Heinz Endowment purchased the building, saving it from demolition. After a 16-month renovation that had cost over $11 million, the doors opened yet again under the new name of Heinz Hall. The plush red carpet is bold and beautiful, but also a subtle nod to … you guessed it … Heinz Ketchup. The grand lobby features the original marble flooring as well as the two 15-foot chandeliers. The main auditorium seats 2,661 guests. Heinz Hall is now the home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra it also hosts concerts and Broadway touring companies.


This dual time -line story  has all the makings of a wonderful movie. The synopsis of the book gives readers details of what the story is about so I won’t go into too much of that. What I do want to talk about is how the author seamlessly ties us back and forth from the past to the present. I usually have a favorite of which I like most in stories like this. In this book I adored both the past and present so much I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stay with Sophie or go with Elise. 

What really grabbed my attention was how both women yearned for acceptance They felt like castaways from their parents and desperately wanted to prove they were worth loving. Sophie dreamed of being famous on stage but instead was propelled to stardom for something else. I couldn’t believe all the emotional pain she endured as she tried to solve the mystery of the stolen jewelry. I loved how Sophie had such a big heart and was willing to sacrifice herself at times to protect those she cared about. The author does an incredible job of  describing the era with details of the theater and all its hype. Dreams were made on stage as well as hearts  broken when others try to dash their  hopes. I especially loved the clever plot twists and was quite surprised who “The Mirage” was. One final note about this part of the  story  must acknowledge the dashing romance that one only dreams about. Make sure to pay extra attention to Sophie and the man who stands beside her through trials and helps her understand who has always loved her unconditionally.

Elise is our present day heroine who needed answers to who her father was. It has been something she has wanted to know all her life. The mystery for  her really starts when a mysterious package arrives. It doesn’t say who it is from but there are hints that it has something to do with her father. I liked how Pierson comes back into Elise’s life and helps her solve the  mystery that she received in the mail. Both of them are dealing with acceptance and being enough but I think Elise still holds on to the fact that she never felt wanted. She purses a dream that she thought would please her mother. What she realizes is that it was not really her dream at all. As the story unfolds we see how she has trust issues and keeps Pierson at a distance because she doesn’t believe he will stay around. 

The book is rich in history, mystery and a yearning to find acceptance. What I love about the story is how the author illustrates that God accepts us and loves each of us unconditionally. When we finally get to a place where we can accept ourselves, God is able to  unlock pain from the past and shower us  with hope and a new understanding of what love is. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Melissa’s Bookshelf, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Just Your Average reviews, February 26

Rebecca Tews, February 26

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Simple Harvest Reads, February 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 1

Blogging With Carol, March 1

Remembrancy, March 2

Connie’s History Classroom, March 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 3

Betti Mace, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Cover Lover Book Review, March 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)

Christina’s Corner, March 5

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

For Him and My Family, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 7

Bigreadersite, March 7

lakesidelivingsite, March 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Blossoms and Blessings, March 9

Holly’s Book Corner, March 9

Labor Not in Vain, March 9

Book Looks by Lisa, March 10

Pause for Tales, March 10


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, February 23, 2023


 When the owner of the local zipline is found dead on the ride, the small town of Normal, Kentucky is in a state of shock. With the local ranger and sheriff at a loss for leads, it falls to the Laundry Club Ladies - a group of nosey sleuths led by Mae West - to crack the case.

Mae is more than happy to put her nose to the grindstone and get to work, especially since it gives her a chance to escape her pesky new sister-in-law, Ellis.

As Mae and the Laundry Club Ladies dig deeper into the mystery, they uncover a slew of suspects in the cozy town. But with the killer still on the loose, the investigation takes a dangerous turn. Can Mae and the Laundry Club Ladies catch the killer before it's too late?

Join Mae and her team as they navigate the twists and turns of this intriguing murder case in this page-turning cozy mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.


Oh what a glorious feeling it is to be home again with Mae and her friends. I absolutely love this series and feel like I have made lifelong friends. The setting is a spectacular view of God’s creation where a picture is worth a thousand words. The Happy Trails  Campground is nestled near the mountains which seems to hug the camp with its beauty and calmness. Mae’s wedding is drawing close so her focus may be a little off at times. Suddenly she finds herself agreeing to be the inspector for the  Star Gazer. If only Mae was more focused on the meeting instead of the smear of donut on the judge’s chin, she may have gotten the assignment she wanted. 

Laughs abound in this cozy mystery starting with Ellis and her terrible time living with her new husband at Happy Trails Campground. To be fair if you don’t know what type of toilet paper  to use, disaster is soon to follow. Poor Mae is ready to pull her hair out with Ellis’s constant “cry wolf” phone calls.” 

The added bonus of the constellation is so good I was right there with Mae as we glanced up to the sky. What a beautiful view  to enjoy as Mae  takes in her surroundings. Mae takes her turn at the  telescope anticipating a view worthy of oohs and ash’s. To her dismay she instead sees a body hanging from the zip line close by. Hey that is not suppose to be there on display, so what is going on? Looks like another case for Mae and The Laundry Club Ladies. 

I was excited when we are introduced to Colt Lincoln the bounty hunter. He is famous and has the town in an uproar. I wonder what he is up to coming all the  way from Texas? He has his eyes on a certain someone and I couldn’t wait to follow this storyline. The author sure knows how to deliver a story filled with laughter, unforgettable characters and  a mystery that keeps everyone on their toes. Get ready for another adventure that is sure to keep readers entertained till the very end. 

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

About the Book

Book: A Heart’s Rescue

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 4, 2022

He’s been tasked to protect her, but his heart has become far too involved.

Angelina de la Fuente Delgado, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is on her way home from a trip to Spain when her ship is attacked by pirates. The brigands capture her and her aunt and steal all the merchandise on the ship. After forcing most of the crew to walk the plank, they sink the vessel into the Atlantic.

Brian O’Doule was sent by Angelina’s father to protect her, but keeping her safe among the dangers of the sea is as hard as concealing his love that’s been growing for years. When they’re kidnapped by pirates, he does everything in his power to protect the women and to find a way for them all to escape. Will Angelina ever see her home and her beloved father again? Or will she be forced to marry the fierce pirate captain?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.

More from Lena

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, all the way from 1805 through the early 21stcentury.


Several decades ago, I read about a tavern in New Orleans that had been there since the late 1700s. I found that fascinating, so I researched it and found the history of the place interesting. It was Pirate’s Prize. I don’t know if it is still there after all the recent hurricanes.


When I was writing A Heart’s Forever Home, book 3 in my Love’s Road Home series, I wrote some of the heroine’s family history from the characters in A Heart’s Rescue. If you read book 3, you’ll be glad to learn even more about those characters who were ancestors of some of the characters in book 3.


I adored this book that was about pirates  on the sea and land. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to be on a ship that rocked back and forth. The author helps readers visualize the scene where pirates come aboard and overtake Angelina’s fathers ship. It must have been terrifying for her and her aunt. Watching her father’s ship sink was heartbreaking and now she finds herself being held captive by the ruthless pirates. 

Brian was sent to accompany Angelina and her aunt to keep them safe on their voyage. It doesn’t quite work out for him when the ship is overtaken. Now he has to be extra careful to be sure no harm comes to those he was asked to watch over. He assures Angelina that they will escape but once they reach land they  are whisked away to a plantation house. There he funds  that he must do everything to get them away  from this place. It doesn’t feel safe as the pirates bring in the loot they stole from Angelina’s father’s ship.  

I loved the adventure and how Brian with the help of God plan a way to rescue the  women. When he reaches Angelina’s father  he asks  for forgiveness. He blames himself for what happened at sea and confesses to her father. What a great example of how someone who could have been angry showed grace and told Brian that he is forgiven. Now they must get a plan together to rescue the women before their captive does  something to harm them.  

The story takes on quite an adventure as Brian teams up with Angelina’s father to help in the rescue. The plot was clever and I liked how faith was very evident throughout the book.  The ending is sweet and I loved  the romance in the story. It was clean  and  never was the main focus of the  story. The author illustrates courage, faith and trust in God.  One character becomes closer to God and finds peace that helps them during their time of need. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

deb’s Book Review, February 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 25

Pause for Tales, February 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26

Connie’s History Classroom, February 27

Cover Lover Book Review, February 28

Betti Mace, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 4

For Him and My Family, March 5

Holly’s Book Corner, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 7


To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of 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.