About To Die, To Sleep

To die, to sleep

After surviving a difficult year, Natalie Marsh is heading for Ellsberg Keep, an exclusive mountain resort that promises to provide the tranquility she desperately needs. She’s eager to relax and to reconnect with her estranged cousin Lily, who works as the Keep’s nurse—a reunion that begins abruptly when an accident on the winding mountain roads lands Natalie in the infirmary in the care of her cousin. They have little time to bond over childhood memories, however. Everything is thrown into chaos when the owner of the Keep is rushed to the medical wing, wildly delusional and raving about a murder plot.

Despite Lily’s care, the owner dies. Is his death simply an accident, or are his frenzied suspicions true? Determined to help Lily cope with the loss of her patient—and the accusations that she’s to blame for his death—Natalie searches for answers and is swept into a mystery that grows more puzzling as frightening hallucinations torment the dead man’s son. When a staff member who asks too many questions disappears, it is clear that this idyllic resort harbors someone with deadly intent—and Natalie may not survive to uncover the truth.

My review

Suspense books are some of my very favorites! I’m always happy to be a little bit scared when I know I’m perfectly safe in my house. Stephanie Black’s books are some of my very favorite suspense novels. I never quite know what to expect when I open one of her books, but I always love them. This one was no different.

I’m just going to say up front that you need to read Mind Games before this one. If you don’t, I think you’ll be a bit confused about a few things. So start there!

This book has so many different characters. And the reader gets to see things through different perspectives. I loved the way the perspectives combined to give the reader a full picture of what’s happening in this one. But it wasn’t enough to let me figure out who the killer was before it was revealed.

Natalie is a repeat character. She’s the main character in this one, as well as Mind Games. It’s always fun to me to be able to read about repeat characters. And I loved the way she was calm about everything going on in this one. She’s a psychologist, so crazy things and or people don’t bother her too much.

There are plenty of crazy things going on in the plot of this one. It keeps the reader engaged from the very beginning. I loved it!

I was sent an e-copy of To Die, To Sleep as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About author Stephanie Black

I’ve enjoyed making up stories since I was a child, when my sisters and I would play long Barbie games full of intrigue and danger, or write and direct plays for ourselves and our younger siblings. I took a creative writing class in high school, but my stories stunk, since I hadn’t yet figured out that a story needs a plot. An encouraging comment from the teacher got me rolling in the right direction (thank you, Mrs. Owen!) and my final story for that class eventually developed–after many years, much studying of fictional technique, and countless hours of writing and rewriting–into my first published novel: The Believer, a dystopian thriller, was published in 2005 by Covenant Communications.

Four of my contemporary mysteries are Whitney Award winners for Best Mystery/Suspense, and my second dystopian novel was a Whitney Award Finalist for Best Speculative Novel. My novella “An Eye for an Eye” was part of the RONE Award-winning anthology Timeless Romance: Autumn Suspense collection.

My husband Brian and I have five children, two children-in-law (with one more on deck), and a rather majestic cat. I love spending time with my family, enjoy homemade pizza and anything chocolate, and have recently developed a fondness for LEGO projects. I play the violin in a community symphony (but never practice enough), and always have unmatched socks, post-laundry. At the center of everything that matters most is my love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Stephanie Black’s Website

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About Back to His Lordship

back to his lordship

Falling in love with an Earl in 1815 was the easy part. The hard part? Leaving him behind.

Evaline Johansen, daughter of mega billionaire tycoon feels isolated and alone until she stumbles upon a portrait gallery and sees herself hanging on the wall. The trouble is, she’s never been there before and doesn’t know the artist.

Lord Oliver Hereford doesn’t know what to do with this new, outspoken, energetic woman who has taken the ton by surprise. She may be London’s new sweetheart, but will he succumb to his initial attraction?

When his confirmed bachelorhood is challenged by the one woman who can, Lord Hereford doesn’t know he’s headed for a much greater choice than whether or not to love.

Read this delightful time travel romance for a journey back into the Regency time period through a modern woman’s eyes.

My review

I’m always up for a good romance novel. This one has a bit of a twist, because it’s about a contemporary woman who travels back to Regency times. I loved that part of the plot! It’s just a fun idea.

This book features Evaline, Eva. She’s heading to England to visit her friend, Anna. There are so many fun guys, parties, and it’s England! She glimpses a portrait of herself in a gallery, one she’s never seen before. And before you know it, she’s gone back in time.

One thing I really loved about Eva was the way she was so adaptable. She had no trouble switching from modern to Regency England. And, in fact, loved Regency more. It didn’t hurt that she met Oliver, Lord Hereford.

I liked Oliver as well. He’s a true gentleman. I loved how he was so traditional. These two made me laugh out loud in certain places because of how different they were. But they just worked.

Another great thing was that the characters from Dating the Duke, Jane and Algernon are in this one as well. So much fun!

I definitely need to read more of these Twickenham Regency Romances.

I was sent a copy of Back to His Lordship as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Emma the Matchmaker

Emma the Matchmaker

Emma Woodhouse is happily single, though that’s never stopped her from making matches for others. Her best friend, George Knightley, thinks it’s a sure way to trouble, but what’s wrong with giving romance a little nudge?

George has been fighting his feelings for Emma for years, but with families so closely intertwined, rocking the friendship boat would complicate more than just their relationship. He won’t do that to her, or ask why she keeps cuddling up next to him on the couch to watch their favorite show at night.

When a matchmaking scheme gone wrong drives a wedge between them, the last thing they want is to face each other. But when Emma’s sister goes into labor and they’re the babysitters for the weekend, they’ll have to set aside their pride and undeniable chemistry to tackle diaper duty together.

A modern take on Jane Austen’s Emma with all the characters you know and love.

My review

I don’t think I’ve read any of Rachel John’s books before. But after reading this one, I’ll for sure be reading more. I loved the light, happy, romantic feel of this one!

Emma is such a great character. I loved the way she cares for her grandpa, every day. She lives with him. But Emma has some flaws, things like not being able to cook and constantly wanting to set everyone around her up. I loved the way she kind of discovered herself as this book went along. She was able to work on some of her weaknesses and be just a bit better by the end of the book.

I loved George too! It’s always my favorite when the reader is able to see the situation from multiple points of view. That just makes it a more complete picture. Reading George’s point of view was always fun. I loved how he always looked out for Emma. Sure it might have been under the guise of being her sister’s brother-in-law, but it was obvious that he cared for her. I also loved the way he cared for the residents of the nursing home where he worked. And the way he didn’t know quite as much about Emma as he thought he did.

The plot of this one is cute. It’s a quick read that you won’t want to put down. Perfect for a fall afternoon!

I won an e-copy of Emma the Matchmaker from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About Maggie’s Place

Maggie's Place

Years ago, Mary Margaret Sullivan changed her name, boxed up her previous life, moved into the Eagle Gate Apartments, and hid her painful memories in her chicken-wire storage unit in the basement. But secrets have an inconvenient way of surfacing when least expected.

Three weeks before Christmas, an elegant man in a penthouse, a young woman named Carly—homeless and ill with pneumonia—and two calculating thieves invade Maggie’s carefully reconstructed life, and in different ways, each is connected to Maggie’s difficult past. As Maggie and friends nurse Carly back to health, hearts begin to heal with a hope for the future. But all is not as it seems. When faced with the shocking truth, Maggie must rely on her wits, her friends, and her own strength as never before.

My review

This book took just a few chapters for me to get into. Once I did, however, I loved it. There are just so many great things about it.

One of my favorite things about it is the characters. This book has so many quirky, fun, characters. I loved all of them!

The main two characters that the reader gets to know are Maggie and Carly. They are connected, but neither of them realizes it for quite a while in the plot. Maggie is an old woman, living alone in an apartment building. Her life made me a bit sad. Her kids wanted nothing to do with her. And it was obvious that Maggie had a secret.

Carly’s life was sad too. Carly had run away from home. Now she lives in Salt Lake City, in an apartment with a bunch of people. Carly has become a thief as she was trying to learn to survive. But I loved how she grew up along the way, and a lot of that growing up was due to Maggie.

I loved the setting of this one. I lived in Salt Lake City, in the area this one takes place for about a year. All the talk of familiar places in this one made me smile.

If you’re looking for a great book, with great characters, plot and message, don’t hesitate to grab this one!

I was sent a copy of Maggie’s Place as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About A Different Kind of Strong

A Different Kind of Strong

Daniel Trotter began a forty-day fast. He was consumed by the question and desperate to know, what do I do? After thirty days in the wilderness, God sent him home with an answer. It was, “Come back to Me.” For decades, Daniel was held in thrall to addiction and depression. He had friends, but life had lost all meaning. During a radical fast, Daniel encountered God – and great temptation. Afterward, he lost his wife, and his home, but he gained a new perspective – God’s. He went back to school and graduated with honors. God blessed him with a remarriage to someone who understands his heart and shares his faith. He has found peace and purpose. Daniel found freedom in God’s love and in following God and living according to his precepts. Daniel’s memoir will show you how God can heal every physical, mental and emotional hurt and help you to become whole.

My review

This book is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. The author, Daniel Trotter, made some serious mistakes in his life. This book talks about some of them. But it also talks about his turning away from those mistakes and becoming a new man.

That’s really the best message you can take from this one. No matter what you do wrong, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ still love you. They’re waiting for you to repent, change your heart and turn to them. And they’ll be there with their arms outstretched. Just like they were for Daniel Trotter.

I was sent a copy of A Different Kind of Strong as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

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About The Heart of the Rebellion

The Heart of the Rebellion

September 1400

King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron fist, and the country is ripe for rebellion. Instantly thrust into the forefront of the conflict, the proud Tudor brothers enter the fight for their freedom.

Lady Catrin Buckley is alert to the unrest swirling around her. As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, she knows too well the trouble her lineage poses. Her own battle, however, is one of the heart: she is to be married to a man she neither knows nor loves. Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.

My review

Sian Bessey has a way with writing historical romance. I love the way I feel as though I’ve changed time and place when I read her books. This one takes the reader to Wales, the land of my ancestors. I loved imagining I was there.

The characters in this one are awesome. I loved Catrin. She is definitely a lady. But she has a wild side. She tears through the country side on her crazy horse. The sweet relationship she had with him was one of my very favorite things about this one. I loved that Catrin knows when she needs to stand up for what she believes is right.

Then there’s Rhys. He’s been serving King Richard II, but now King Henry IV is in charge. And Henry is not kind to the Welsh. And especially not Rhys or his brother. There were so many things happening to the Welsh, taxes so high they couldn’t live, burning of churches and just general injustice. Rhys and his brothers step in and work against the English, making them a target for Henry.

The plot line of this one is great. It’s fun to read about a period in history and imagine you were there. And the love story was beautiful.

You’ll love this one, I know I did!

I was sent a copy of The Heart of the Rebellion as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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About Olive


Meet Olive. She’s optimistic and well-intentioned . . . and a magnet for mishaps. When Olive’s day goes from bad to worse, she wonders if her family and friends can love her in spite of her flaws.

My review

I love to read children’s books! This one is super cute!

I loved the way Olive in this book was always doing something a bit crazy. Something that not everyone liked. This one shows kids that even when they make a mistake, their family is still going to love them. What a perfect message for each one of us to hear! Because we all make mistakes. Every. Single. Day.

One thing that was really great about this book was the little question section at the end. I loved taking a minute after reading this one with our little guy to talk about what had happened in the book that needed fixed. It was fun to talk about how things had gotten fixed and made better. I hope that he learned, even just a little bit, that it’s okay to not be perfect. And that our mistakes can be fixed.

The illustrations in this book are darling. I loved it. And our little guy did too. Make sure to grab this one to read to the kids in your life!

I was sent a copy of Olive as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About the author

Michelle lives in the Northwest with her family, three indoor dogs, and a totally stuck-up cat. And somehow, they all get along. She writes inspirational nonfiction and women’s fiction. Olive is her first children’s book and the most fun to write. Olive came to life in a poem Michelle wrote for her adoptive daughter as a way to express unconditional love for her. Family, faith, and fun are important to Michelle. She loves watching movies, playing Guitar Hero, and taking long walks to the fridge. You can find her at www.michellewilsonwrites.com, Facebook, Instagram.

About the illustrator

Angie is a married mom of three spicy boys. She is an artist at heart, with interests spanning from drawing to painting, crafts, and photography. She runs a successful photography business. Olive is her first illustrated book. She loves watching movies and reading books. She has a collection of crayons her children aren’t allowed to touch and loves everything Disney. Like, a crazy amount of love. You can find her at www.angiepenrose.com

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About Smarter Than a Monster

Smarter than a monster

No monster wants you to read this book. The more you know about monsters, the more you will know how to defeat them. 

Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. But this book helps explain how knowing “Monster Facts” can help kids outwit them. 

Want to avoid monsters? 

Fact: Monsters love dirt and grime, so when faced with two kids, the monster will choose the dirty one every time. 

And if toys and clothes are all over the floor, you may get ambushed by a mess-loving monster. 

Survival Tip: Take baths and keep your room clean. 

Smarter Than a Monster will arm young readers with practical advice in this innovative and imaginative parenting tool that teaches common sense and positive and healthy habits. 

My review

I love a good children’s book! It’s always a bonus if that book also has a good message. And awesome illustrations are a must! This book has all of that. And it’s written by Brandon Mull. Who wouldn’t love that?

I love the way this one’s written. It’s such a cute book and it teaches kids that there really is no need to be afraid of monsters. But it also teaches them sneaky ways to avoid monsters. Things like taking baths and cleaning their room. The author really did a great job with this!

And the illustrations are so great! I loved how the illustrator drew realistic looking pictures and he also added some crazy monsters to each picture. My little guy loved finding the monsters in the pictures. And he loved seeing the pictures were the kids in the book did things like vacuum up the monsters.

This book is just great! I loved everything about it.

I was sent a copy of Smarter Than a Monster as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About the author

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books. www.brandonmull.com

Follow the author on Instagram @writerbrandon and Facebook @authorbrandonmull

About the Illustrator

Mike Walton has been a professional illustrator for more than twenty years. He earned his B.A. in Illustration from art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He’s worked in animation, comic books, web comics, trading cards, and all manner of media throughout his career. Smarter Than a Monster is his debut children’s book. He currently resides in Southern California and considers himself a nerd who loves visiting Disneyland attending the San Diego Comic Con. 

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About The Duke’s Second Chance

The Duke's Second Chance

Second chances often come from surprising places. Will the Duke find another chance at love when everything seems to be combining against him?

Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath. 

Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart. 

But when a secret from Amelia’s past unveils possibilities, will the duke get a second chance at love from an unexpected source?

Buy this first book in a Regency romance series for a taste of deep loyal friendship, beautiful second chances, and the path to heal a heart.

Look for the other books in the series:
The Earl’s Winning Wager
Her Lady’s Whims and Fancies
Suitors for the Proper Miss
Pining for Lord Lockhart
The Foibles and Follies of Miss Grace


My review

I enjoy reading a good Regency romance. It makes me happy when I like the characters, and a good escape is the best. And it’s even better if I get all of that in a book that is quick and easy to read. The Duke’s Second Chance is one of those.

The book starts with a super sad scene. Gerald’s dear wife doesn’t survive the first chapter and he’s devastated. It made me wonder just where the book was going to go from that sad place.

Luckily, Gerald met Amelia. This was also interesting to me, because Amelia worked in the tea room her father owned. This made Gerald and Amelia’s chance of having a relationship in Regency times about zero.

Things change for the two of them, I won’t tell you how, you’ll have to read it yourself. But that’s okay, because you’ll enjoy this one! It’s a fun, quick, easy to read escape to Regency England that you’ll love!

I was sent a copy of this book as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.

About author Jen Geigle Johnson

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. 
She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love.  
Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. 



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About Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle

dragonwatch: master of the phantom isle

Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his experiences, and who he really is. For now he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends. 

Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth. 

With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war?

My review

Brandon Mull writes amazing books! I love the fact that those books are enjoyed at least as much by parents as by the kids who also love to read them. Let’s just say that we have two much fought over copies of this book at our house.

This one opens where Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King leaves off. You’re going to want to be sure that you’ve read at least the first two Dragonwatch books first, and most likely the Fablehaven series as well. Don’t worry, though. They are easily read and so great!

I loved that the reader gets to follow several characters in this book. It has points of view from Seth, Kendra, Knox and Tess. I loved the way this made the plot so much more complete than just having one point of view. Each of the characters has a different experience, and they’re not always in the same location.

It was interesting to be with Seth’s character because he had lost his memory and things didn’t always make sense to him. And he wasn’t with the good guys so he was fed lies that he ultimately had to decide if he believed.

I really enjoyed the way the characters grew in this one. The way Kendra had to take everything upon herself and save the day was probably my favorite part. I loved the way the author used darkness and light in that scene. And the way Kendra learned about herself and was able to grow.

I love this series and I can’t wait for more!

I was sent a copy of Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase links

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About the author

Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books. www.brandonmull.com

Follow the author on Instagram @writerbrandon and Facebook @authorbrandonmull

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