Sunday, December 8, 2019

DVD REVIEW: Christmas Jars


Based on the New York Times best- selling novel by Jason F. Wright
Hope is an aspiring reporter who has had her fair share of tragedy in life.
Abandoned at birth, she is grieving the recent death of her adopted mother
when her apartment is burglarized of all her possessions. While reporting
the burglary to the police, Hope discovers a jar full of money labeled
"Christmas Jar." Shocked and grateful for this act of kindness, Hope
discovers that people all over her hometown of Columbus, Ohio have
been receiving Christmas jars for years during times of need. The jars
are always anonymous and always contain different amounts.
In this heartwarming Christmas classic, Hope goes undercover to discover
the secret behind the Christmas jars, putting into motion a series of events
that will change her life, and her community, forever.


This is the best new Christmas movie I've seen this year. As a baby, the heroine, Hope is abandoned in a booth at a diner, where she is found and adopted by a waitress and grows up to be an aspiring reporter. After her mother dies of cancer, and her apartment is burglarized, she discovers someone has left her a "Christmas Jar" full of money outside her door. She begins to research the Christmas Jars and discovers dozen of recipients all over her hometown. With a little more digging, she finds out who was responsible for starting the tradition and decides to write a story about them. That leads her into a complicated situation, and she comes close to losing both her career and her relationship. In the end, things work out even better than you might suspect. I enjoyed this film, both for the storyline and for the acting in it. All of the characters are very well scripted and extremely believable. I look forward to making this movie a part of our family Christmas tradition.



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Friday, November 22, 2019

BLOG TOUR WINTER 2020: MYSTERY/THRILLER The Last Affair by Margot Hunt

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (November 26, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778309223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778309222



Synopsis: Love may be blind, but obsession's a real killer. Nora Holliday is not that kind of woman. Not the kind who has an illicit affair with a married man. But Josh Landon is everything Nora's alcoholic husband isn't. And now she and Josh are so infatuated, they can't stay away from one another. Abby Landon, Josh's daughter, is home from college nursing a broken heart. She's seeking solace, not more scandal, so when she catches her dad kissing Nora, she vows to take the homewrecker down. And as for Abby's mother and Josh's wife, Gwen? To anyone on the outside looking in, the mother of two appears to be living the ideal suburban life. Until she winds up dead. The serene seaside town of Shoreham has always been the perfect place to raise a family--not somewhere housewives are brutally murdered. So who killed Gwen Landon, and how many twisted secrets will be exposed as the vindictive plot comes undone?
Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with both a dining set and outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The paramedics had assessed the situation, and quickly determined that the woman was dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said. He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats. Overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said. Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son. The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.
“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth quirked up in a half smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. Husband said she hasn’t had any recent conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,” Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he did.”
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
“What’s that?”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.

Review: This story grabbed my attention from the prologue and held it all the way to the last sentence. Each character has his or her story to tell, full of twists and turns, all tying together to create a magnificent tale of love, betrayal, vengeance, and murder.

I was disappointed in the reveal of the murderer, though. Having that character do the deed just felt too convoluted to me. I was definitely expecting someone else to be responsible.

I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre.

Rating: Four stars
About the author
Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised by Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

TWITTER: @HuntAuthor

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

100 Words Of Affirmation Your Husband Needs To Hear by Lisa Jacobson


Genre: Christian Marriage
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800736605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800736606

Synopsis: Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our marriages. Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love--breathing life into the heart of your spouse? Or are careless words having a negative impact on your marriage and on the heart of the one you love most?

Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you and your spouse to discover the powerful ways you can build one another up in love with the words that you choose to say every day--words that every husband and wife need to hear. These books offer you 100 Things to say to your husband or wife that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire. Start speaking these words into each other's lives and watch your spouse--and your relationship--transform before your eyes.

Review: One of the things I like about this book is that the affirmations are written in a way that sounds like the average wife could say them, or close enough that they could just be altered slightly. They aren't long, flowery speeches that might put some women off, they are short, simple truths. I also liked that while some of them are things I already say to my husband, some of them made me realize places where I was missing opportunities to encourage him.

This book would make an excellent gift for any wife, whether a newlywed or celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Rating: Five stars

About the author
Lisa Jacobson is an author, a speaker, and the founder and host of, a powerful online community of Christian women authors who write weekly on the topics of husband, home, family, and biblical truths--a strong voice for biblical womanhood. Her combined social media platforms have a reach well over 1 million viewers/visitors per month. She is the author of the best-selling 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, as well as 100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear. She and her husband, Matt, are the co-hosts of the popular FAITHFUL LIFE podcast. Together they live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where they have raised their eight children.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

100 Words Of Affirmation Your Wife Needs To Hear by Matt Jacobson

Genre: Christian marriage
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800736648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800736644

Synopsis: Every one of us has tremendous power to either build others up or tear them down through the words we speak every day, and nowhere is this more evident than in our marriages. Are you being purposeful in how you use the power of your words to speak encouragement, strength, and love--breathing life into the heart of your spouse? Or are careless words having a negative impact on your marriage and on the heart of the one you love most?

Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you and your spouse to discover the powerful ways you can build one another up in love with the words that you choose to say every day--words that every husband and wife need to hear. These books offer you 100 Things to say to your husband or wife that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire. Start speaking these words into each other's lives and watch your spouse--and your relationship--transform before your eyes.

Review: I had my husband read this book before I did, and he read through the entire book in one sitting. While a lot of the affirmations mentioned in the book are things that he already tells me, he did find some that made him say "I never thought of that!" 
One of the things I like about this book is that the affirmations are written in a way that sounds like the average husband could say them, or close enough that they could just be altered slightly. They aren't long, flowery speeches that might put some men off, they are short, simple truths.
This book would make an excellent gift for any husband, whether a newlywed or celebrating fifty years of marriage.

Rating: Five stars

About the author
A1o5-CEyc-LIL-US230Matt Jacobson was an executive in the publishing industry for 25 years and for the past 16 years, has been a teaching elder/pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship. Matt is also the founder and teacher at, an online social media community focusing on the topics of marriage, parenting, and biblical teaching, with a cross-platform reach of 2,200,000 viewers/visitors per month. He is the author of the bestselling 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.

He lives with his wife, Lisa, in the Pacific Northwest where they have raised their eight children.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

BLOG TOUR: Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper (Death By Cupcake #4) by D.E. Haggerty

Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper (Death by Cupcake) by D.E. Haggerty

About Christmas Cupcakes and a Caper

Cozy Mystery Novella 
4th in Series 
Independently Published (November 1, 2019) 
Number of Pages: 80 
It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.
Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire of Callie’s Cakes, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.
Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?
Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna baked.
Review: Anna, Callie, and Kristie are back in their fourth adventure, and they are still as entertaining as ever. While the first three books each focused on one of the three women, giving us a deeper insight into her personality and backstory, this one showcases each of them throughout, using their individual skills and talents to the fullest, proving once again what a great team they make.

The easy rapport between the three women is very well written, drawing us into their inner circle of friendship and teamwork. The story is written with the perfect blend of drama and humor--and cupcakes!--to keep you reading to the end. As an added bonus, recipes for all the cupcakes mentioned in the story can be found at the back of the book, so you can add them to your repertoire of holiday treats.

If you are looking for a fun, quick and easy holiday read, this is definitely the one to choose!

Rating: Four stars

About D.E. Haggerty

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories that have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

Genre: Horror/Thriller
  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 10, 2019)

    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1643851632
    • ISBN-13: 978-1643851631


    Synopsis: A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic--and terrifying--consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

    Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face...

    In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real--and she could prove it.

    That belief got Becca killed.

    It's been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night--that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She's done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn't seen since the night Becca died.

    The night Heather killed her.

    Now, someone else knows what she did...and they're determined to make Heather pay. 

    Review:  This was a perfect story to read just before Halloween! It has alternating chapters of past and present so that we learn little bits and pieces of each story as we go along.  
    I remember as a young girl doing things with my friends to scare ourselves that seem silly now--saying Bloody Mary three times in the mirror, playing light as a feather stiff as a board, playing with an ouija board, etc. But thankfully we never took any of it as seriously as Becca took her Red Lady story.
    I didn't see the ending of this one coming at all, but it certainly made sense of Becca's obsession and made me feel even sadder for her. The same can't be said for Heather, however. As an adult, she is way too paranoid and too suspicious of nearly everyone in her life.
    I highly recommend this one. It's got creepy moments, a few laughs, and tons of head-shaking 'yikes, what's wrong with people' scenes. 

    Rating:  Four stars

    About the author
    Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Cry Your Way Home, Paper Tigers, and Sing Me Your Scars, winner of This is Horror's Short Story Collection of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year's Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including the Shirley Jackson Award Finalists Autumn Cthulhu and The Madness of Dr. Caligari, World Fantasy Award Finalist Cassilda's Song, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, and Apex Magazine. Until the magazine's closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescued pit bulls.

    Better Off Bald by Andrea Wilson Woods

    Genre: Biography/memoir
  • Paperback: 392 pages

    • Publisher: Build Your BLISSS (September 23, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1544504594
    • ISBN-13: 978-1544504599

    Synopsis: Adrienne Wilson is a depressed, suicidal teenager—until the day she receives a diagnosis of stage IV liver cancer. Facing the fight of her life, Adrienne discovered just how much she wants to live. In Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, Andrea Wilson Woods chronicles her sister's remarkable life, from the time she was born to the day she dies at age fifteen. Written like a journal, Andrea takes the reader inside her and Adrienne's journey explaining how she gained custody of Adrienne from their mother and how the sisters' relationship evolved over time. Adrienne's courageous spirit shines through as she squeezes more life into 147 days than most people do in a lifetime. From meeting Jay Leno to spending the day with Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction, Adrienne makes every moment count. As she lay dying, Adrienne teaches Andrea how to live.

    Review:  This is an amazing memoir about two amazing young women. They are sisters, but the older is acting as the parent to the younger. When Adrienne is diagnosed with cancer, both of their lives change in an instant.
    While you may expect this to be a sad story (and it does have its moments), there is a lot of happiness and positivity in the pages of this book. Even in the final days of Adrienne's life, she is an inspiration to everyone around her.
    The book is very honestly written and gives great insight into the lives of both sisters and the emotions they were feeling as they took this final journey together.

    Rating: Five stars

    About the author
    19508511ANDREA WILSON WOODS is a writer who loves to tell stories, and a patient advocate who founded the nonprofit Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association. Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Cancer University, a for-profit, social-benefit, digital health company. With Cancer U, Andrea synergizes her talents of coaching, writing, teaching, and advocacy. For over ten years, Andrea worked in the education field as a teacher and professor for public and private schools as well as universities. Andrea obtained her master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California; her nonfiction writing has won national awards.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    BLOG TOUR: Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner

    Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner


    Speak No Evil

    by Liana Gardner

    on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2019


    Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner
    What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

    My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

    And it’s all my fault.

    Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

    I was wrong.

    But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago.

    Back when I would sing the snakes calm …

    Book Details:

    Genre: YA Mystery
    Published by: Vesuvian Books
    Publication Date: October 1st 2019
    Number of Pages: 285
    ISBN: 1944109366 (ISBN13: 9781944109363)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Review: This is an unusual YA story, and I loved it. Melody Fisher has led a difficult and complicated life which we learn about in flashbacks. Now, at 16, she has stopped talking entirely and communicates through the music she plays. Unfortunately, she's been charged with stabbing a classmate, and her words may be the only thing that can save her from prison. Will her therapist and her caseworker be able to break down her walls and save her in time?

    The author draws us into not only Melody's story but also into her mind. I kept wanting to reach out and comfort the poor girl as she went through so many traumatic events in her short life.  There are possibly triggering scenes of abuse and rape, but they are an important part of the narrative and are presented in ways that show the author is mindful of her young audience's emotions.

    This story does a wonderful job of reminding readers that silence does not equate to consent in any situation, and that the truth should always be spoken even when it hurts...with truth comes freedom.

    Rating: Five stars

    Read an excerpt:

    Uncle Harlan slammed my bedroom door open. “You’re going to learn to show the Lord respect, girl.” He grabbed my neck and forced me to walk in front of him.
    My neck hurt where he dug his fingers in.
    He took me outside and shoved me toward the shed. He slipped the key in the lock and removed it from the hasp. The door creaked as it opened and then he thrust me through.
    “I’m not going to allow you to follow your mother’s footsteps. You’ll learn to make peace with snakes and not show them any fear. Or else.”
    He grabbed a snake case from the shelf, put it on the ground, and opened it. He stepped backward out of the shed and swung the door shut. The latch clicked. Uncle Harlan on one side of the door, and the snake and me locked inside.
    “I’ll come get you in time for school in the morning.”
    His footsteps receded.
    Light filtered through the cracks in the shed slats. In the dim light, the snake coiled in the corner, its tongue flicking out periodically. I slowly lowered to the ground and hugged Raksha Waya tight.
    The inside of the shed was slightly warmer than outside. Staying warm might be a bigger problem than keeping the snake calm. It ignored me and remained coiled, but the cold seeped into my bones. I scanned the shelves. There had to be something in here I could use to help keep warm.
    A tarp sat on a shelf on the opposite side of the shed from the snake. But I might not be tall enough to pull it down. Standing on tiptoes, I grabbed a corner and tugged. My fingers slipped. I set Rakkie on a lower shelf, then reached with both hands and tugged.
    The weight of the tarp almost knocked me over as I caught it.
    Making sure to keep my movements small so I didn’t threaten the snake, I unfolded the tarp and spread it out. Then I grabbed Rakkie and carefully crawled under a corner. Once settled with Rakkie on my lap, I pulled it over us and tucked it under my chin.
    The hours passed as the light changed and moved through the shed. My tailbone ached and my back hurt from sitting still for so long. Twilight came. Surely Uncle Harlan didn’t really mean to leave me here with the snake all night.
    When the darkness was complete and I could no longer see my hand in front of my face, I faced the hard truth—Uncle Harlan meant it. I’d spend the night locked in a small space with a pit viper.
    While my toes still felt frozen, the rest of me was warmer with the tarp. My eyes drooped and closed. Then I heard it.
    Hiss. Rattle. The whisper of something dragging across the floorboards.
    The snake was on the move. The slight rattle as it slithered through the shed made my heart pound. I froze.
    Excerpt from Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. Copyright © 2019 by Liana Gardner. Reproduced with permission from Liana Gardner. All rights reserved.

    Author Bio:

    Liana Gardner
    Liana Gardner is the multi-award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution (most recently the recipient of a 2018 Nautilus Book Award) and The Journal of Angela Ashby. The daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface.
    Liana volunteers with high school students through EXP ( EXP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, EXP helps young people EXPerience, EXPand, and EXPlore.
    Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but her imagination takes her wherever she wants to go.
    Liana is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

    Catch Up With Liana Gardner On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

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    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Vesuvian Books and Liana Gardner. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card and 2 winners of a signed print copy of Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2019 and runs through December 2, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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    Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    BLOG TOUR: Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder (Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery #3), Meg Macy

    Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy

    About Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder

    Cozy Mystery 
    3rd in Series 
    Kensington (September 24, 2019) 
    Paperback: 288 pages 
    ISBN-10: 1496722655 
    ISBN-13: 978-1496722652 
    Digital ASIN: B07MRC5KZG
    This holiday season, teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must solve the slaying of Santa Bear . . .
    Sasha and her sister Maddie are thrilled that the Silver Bear Shop and Factory has won the Teddy Bear Keepsake Contest, which means they get to produce a holiday specialty toy, a wizard bear named “Beary Potter.” Promising to be just as magical is Silver Hollow’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and village parade. Only one hitch: the parade’s mascot, Santa Bear—played by Mayor Cal Bloom—is missing.
    After a frantic search among the floats, Bloom is found dead. When the outfit is removed, it’s clear the mayor’s been electrocuted. Who zapped hizzoner and then stuffed him into his Santa Bear suit? While the police investigate the grisly crime, Sasha attempts to track down the murderer herself, with some help from the Guilty Pleasures Gossip Club. Can they wrap up this case in time for Christmas—or will Sasha meet her own shocking end?
    Review: As a teddy bear collector, I love reading this series. The latest installment does not disappoint. Sasha is once again caught up in a murder investigation when the mayor winds up dead before the annual Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony.
    Along with the murder mystery, which is as well done as always, we get a good look at the holiday festivities in Silver Hollow, Michigan. The usual cast of characters are all present, and readers of the entire series are getting drawn deeper into their relationships. Sasha's mother is one character who irritates me throughout the book...but she is written to be that way, so kudos to the author.  :)
    Solving the murder was not easy for me in this story...I had no clue who, why or how until the reveal. It was well worth the wait, and was quite a "shocking" surprise! 

    Rating: Five stars

    About Meg Macy

    Meg Macy is an award-winning author and artist, and lives in Southeastern Michigan, the setting of her Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington. Her first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Spur Award for Best First Novel from Western Writers of America. Meg is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland, authors of the Eliza and Henry Higgins Mystery series—of which two titles have been Agatha Award finalists. Meg love gardening, watercolor painting, and reading books of various genres.
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    Thursday, August 15, 2019

    BLOG TOUR Shame Off You:From Hiding To Healing by Denise Pass

    Genre: Christian Self-Help
    • Paperback: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 21, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 150186968X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1501869686

    About the book:

    Learn to recognize and process feelings of shame in a biblical way to restore God-ordained self-worth and hope.

    “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” — Romans 8:1 

    Shame is an assault on the core of who we are. It assassinates our character, minimizes our worth, and dashes our hope. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide shame, but hiding never heals it. Left unattended, shame can develop into a crippling reality that paralyzes us. Like an infectious disease, shame impacts everyone . . . but not all shame is bad.

    Shame can either be an oppressive and powerful tool of worldly condemnation or a source of conviction that God uses to bring His people back to himself. Having the discernment to know the difference and recognize shame in its many forms can change the course of one’s life.

    In a transparently honest style, Pass shares of her experience dealing with shame after learning that her former husband was a sexual offender. Having lived through the aftermath, she leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself that God is bigger than your pain, shame, mistakes, and limitations.

    Shame Off You shares how freedom can be found in choosing to break the cycle of shame by learning from the past, developing healthy thinking patterns, silencing lies and overcoming the traps of vanity and other people's opinions.

    Learn more at

    Review: I have read several books on this and similar topics this year as part of my focus on my word of the year, which is CONTENT--learning to be content with who I am, what I have, and all the circumstances of my life. However, this one has been the best read by far, resonating with me time and again, as well as giving me a lot of food for thought.

    The author shares honestly about things in her own life that brought shame to her, as well as how God has taken that shame off her. She also shares Scripture which helped her to see that she was not meant to carry that shame.

    Anyone who has ever carried shame about their past and wants to know how to overcome it should definitely pick up a copy of this book.

    Rating: Four stars

    About the author:

    Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life as a repetitive sex offender, and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts. Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

    Find her online at


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