Tuesday, October 31, 2023

New Leash on Life by Kathleen Y'Barbo (Gone to the Dogs Book 6)

About the Book

Book: New Leash on Life

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian Fiction / Cozy Mystery

Release Date: October, 2023

How Is a Missing Military Working Dog Related to Two Local Fires?

Snuggle with your trusty hound and settle into a small-town mystery in book 6 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Air Force veteran Dr. Lane Bishop and Nora Hernandez’s romance has cooled. He is busy working as a researcher at the vet school, and she’s busy with her restaurant and opening an antique shop. What Lane hasn’t told her is his PTSD, which manifests mostly with nightmares, makes him believe he’s damaged goods. But that is about to change when he meets a stray pup that acts a lot like a military working dog.

When a tornado hits Brenham, there is damage in the downtown area and a fire is ignited in Nora’s new store. A Belgian Malinois dog is seen at the fire and later Lane sees him at a wedding venue where an explosion occurs. Not long after, a second explosion rocks Brenham and sends Nora and Lane on a hunt for the person responsible. Will the pair find the guilty party before more damage is done to the city’s landmarks? And will Lane find the words to tell Nora how much he loves her before it’s too late? 


Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

I love this series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but you would lose a great deal so I recommend reading the series. Nora and Lane and some lovely dogs, PTSD, and so very much more are in this story. I have a special bond that Lane was Air Force, I can't help that. I totally enjoyed their relationship and the dogs of course. The weather issues had me on edge, because of what I've been through. I felt like everything was very realistic and well-written. It's a fantastic addition to the series. I got attached to Pal, and it's ironic that I have had a pet named Pal before. The themes are courage faith, and it's all done low-key, so you can have this book or series draw in a great many people. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

More for Kathleen

You’ve most likely seen military working dogs (MWDs) on television shows or in the news. Maybe you’ve seen police dogs in action or read about them. They’re often fierce looking and always well-trained and intelligent. Along with their handler, the MWD is a brave and not so secret weapon in the military and law enforcement world. And did you know that an MWD always outranks his or her handler? It’s true.

I was very aware of all of this, but I had no idea what happened to these dogs when they were too old or perhaps physically unable to continue in their roles. People retire from their careers, so it makes sense that MWDs would as well.

I first learned about retired MWDs from watching my friend Ronie welcome a gorgeous Belgian Malinois, Vvolt, to her family. Anyone who knew the family or came to know Vvolt through social media fell in love with that dog. With his ears cocked just so and his bigger-than-life personality, I knew I had to write about him someday.

When I was given the opportunity to co-write a cozy mystery series with my dear friend, Janice Thompson, I knew one of those books would have to include an MWD. Because MWDs are used in so many situations, from military police work to bomb sniffing to PTSD care and more—I had to narrow down the choice of what my dog would be doing. I won’t give anything away, but I can tell you that Pal, the fictional Belgian Malinois in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is very good at what he does. He also loves a good Whataburger when his regular kibble isn’t available, but I digress.

When I set out to create the personality for Pal, I looked to what I knew and loved about Vvolt. Big personality, toothy grin, and the ability to run and jump like a champ were all included in my dog’s version of the MWD. And like Vvolt, my MWD develops a strong bond with his handler and the family who welcomes him into their home. Pal is loyal, friendly, and apt to stand between his people and danger at the slightest provocation.

Pal’s person in NEW LEASH ON LIFE is Dr. Lane Bishop, a Texas A&M University research veterinarian and Air Force veteran. Lane deals with nightmares that came out of his military experiences. As you can imagine, this causes an issue or two with Nora Hernandez, the woman Lane adores but has not shared his worries with.

Then along comes Pal, a stray (or is he?) with a habit of disappearing and then turning up at the most unlikely places just when he’s needed. I won’t give away the story, but let’s just say that sometimes it takes an animal to show the humans what needs to be done.

Perhaps all this talk about MWDs has you curious about them. Maybe you’re someone who would love to explore the opportunity to give a retired MWD a second chance. Check the Airforce 37th Training wing’s website for details on how this can be done: https://www.37trw.af.mil/Units/37th-Training-Group/341st-Training-Squadron/Military-Working-Dog-Adoption-Program/ .

NEW LEASH ON LIFE is the story of new starts and second chances, of how God can doesn’t just use humans to achieve His purposes. For this and so many other reasons, the tale of Lane and Nora and Pal is dedicated to the memory of Vvolt and his people.

Well done good and faithful servant.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 26

Wishful Endings, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Karen Baney Reviews, October 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 30

Boodock Ramblings, October 30

Lighthouse-Academy, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Blogging With Carol, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

Holly’s Book Corner, November 2

Mary Hake, November 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 3

Splashes of Joy, November 4

Pause for Tales, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 5

Bigreadersite, November 6

Cover Lover Book Review, November 6

Labor Not in Vain, November 7

Life on Chickadee Lane, November 7

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 8


To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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.


Friday, October 27, 2023

The Mermaid's Tale by L. E. Richmond (Chronicles of the Undersea Realm Book 1)


About the Book

Book: The Mermaid’s Tale

Author: L. E. Richmond

Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling

Release Date: October 10, 2023

A Tail Could Tell a Tale 

Locklyn Adair has never fit in. The legs she inherited as a result of her great-great-grandmother’s curse make it impossible for her to belong under the sea. When her niece is also born without a tail, Locklyn is determined to save her from similar rejection by sending her to the only place in the Undersea Realm where legs are acceptable – the Lost Island of Atlantis.

Darin Aalto would do anything to protect his family, even spearheading an impossible quest to find treasure that has been lost for over a hundred years. But when his best friend, Locklyn, joins his crew, his ability to keep her safe—and his shot at winning her heart—comes perilously close to being swept away.

A family curse, lost treasure, unrequited love, and a race against time intertwine as Locklyn and Darin seek to save their family, their kingdom, and eventually the entire Undersea Realm without losing each other.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

I love anything mermaid. That's just the easy part. I feel at home in the water, getting to know these characters that sucked me right in. Think of this as picking up where the not Disney story left off in a way. What if Ursula didn't accept payment from Ariel, or Ariel didn't pay her back?

Suffering from a curse, Locklyn can't stand to have it keep happening to her family. So, she's headed to find Atlantis, and change things. She really needs tail abilities back, but that's not easy task. Darin needs to find treasure and so there's a potential romance here, depending on the other "suitors".  They are brave and fun to read. 

My only stress is the ending. I do struggle with clifhangers. It makes me feel like I forgot to read the end of the book. That said, it's a series so I'm trying to not hold my breath, uness I'm underwater, till I can read the next book. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

L.E. Richmond was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest by an American composition teacher and a German bookseller. Her childhood consisted in a large part of imagining stories for her Playmobil characters and checking out as many books from the library as her family could fit on six library cards. Now she spends her time chasing two blonde baby boys, reading aloud to the hazel-eyed young man who has her heart, and attempting to transfer the stories in her head into words for others. Her passion is for words and stories that thrill the soul and she is continually amazed by the One who crafted the most epic story of all time.



More from L.E.

I am a discovery writer, so when I first started The Mermaid’s Tale, I knew only the general plot and that the romance would be between the main character and the older brother of her brother-in-law.

The catalyst for this choice came from a novel published in England in 1815.

Darin Aalto, famous treasure hunting Merman from the Mediterranean, was inspired by none other than Mr. Knightley from Shropshire. He, like Jane Austen’s hero, is kind, experienced, confident, and attentive to the needs of others. On the other hand, my heroine, Locklyn Adair, is not much like Emma Wodehouse, struggling with a lack of confidence rather than the overabundance which plagues the young mistress of Hartfield.

Even though Locklyn differs greatly from Emma in temperament, she shares one marked similarity with her – a deep devotion to her sister’s children. In fact, it is to save her niece from the rejection which legs bring to Mermaids that leads Locklyn to encourage Darin to claim a disputed treasure which in turn leads to hostility from the warrior queen of a neighboring kingdom which leads to a duel to the death which leads to . . . You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Blog Stops

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, October 19

Madi’s Musings, October 19

By the Book, October 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Denise L. Barela, October 21

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Inklings and Notions, October 26

Life, Love, Writing, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 28

Labor Not in Vain, October 29

Holly’s Book Corner, October 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 31 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 1 (Author Interview)

Of Blades and Thorns, November 1


To celebrate her tour, L.E. is giving away the grand prize package of hardcover copy of The Mermaid’s Tale and 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.


Killer Christmas Evidence by Sami A. Abrams (Deputies of Anderson County, 4)


About the Book

Book: Killer Christmas Evidence

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 24, 2023

The search for a criminal…becomes a fight for survival.

The moment detective Cassidy Bowman links a chain of suspicious deaths to a serial killer, she becomes the deadly assassin’s number one target. But a blow to the head robs her of her memory and she can’t put the pieces of the case back together alone. Can she convince detective Kyle Howard to help her catch the culprit by proving her theory…before the killer succeeds in taking Cassidy’s life?


Clicke here to get your copy!

My Review:  

Excellent read! Cassidy is a perfectionist. That makes it so much harder when she's the target of a serial killer. Her protector is not who she planned, not that she'd planned to have this happen. However, he's got to forgive and decide if they can have a relationship without the past being in the way. He's connected to Cassidy in ways he didn't plan on either, through grief and tragedy, and yet, nothing is just like it seems. It holds up through the entire story and while it's a series, it can stand alone. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Award-winning, bestselling author Sami Abrams grew up hating to read. It wasn’t until her 30’s that she found authors that captured her attention. Now, most evenings, you can find her engrossed in a Romantic Suspense. In her opinion, a crime and a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

She lives in Northern California, but she will always be a Kansas girl at heart. She has a love of sports, family, and travel. However, a cabin at Lake Tahoe writing her next story is definitely at the top of her list.




More from Sami

While coming up with the idea for Kyle and Cassidy’s story, Killer Christmas Evidence, I loved the idea of a serial killer that no one knew about. Someone who killed in different places and in different ways to avoid detection. Kim Rossmo’s theory on Geographic Profiling was intriguing, and I wanted to implement that concept. But, as I started to write, I realized the idea was too big for a Love Inspired Suspense length book, so I had to adjust the story a bit to fit the situation. The basics are there, just not the details I had hoped for.


However, when I sat down to write and I got to know Kyle and Cassidy a little better, I realized the story wasn’t about the stealth serial killer, but about learning to let go of guilt and learning to forgive. How many times in our lives due to being hurt or the pain of loss do we assume we know the truth? Yet, if we listened—really listened—we discover not everything is what is appears to be. And the truth is not painful, but healing.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 24

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 24

The Avid Reader, October 25

Lighthouse-Academy, October 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Britt Reads Fiction, October 28

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 29

Elly Gilbert, October 29

Betti Mace, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 31 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 31

She Lives To Read, November 1

The Sacred Line, November 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 2

For Him and My Family, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 3

EmpowerMoms, November 3

Holly’s Book Corner, November 4

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 4

Splashes of Joy, November 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 5

Pause for Tales, November 6

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 6


To celebrate her tour, Sami 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.


Voices in the Sanatorium by Amy Lynn Walsh


About the Book

Book: Voices in the Sanitorium

Author: Amy Lynn Walsh

Genre: Historical Mystery, Women’s Fiction

(This is not horror or paranormal.  Readers will have no trouble falling asleep after reading this!)

Release Date: October 2022

Relocating from Manhattan, teenage Aislyn must adjust to life near the abandoned West Mountain Sanitarium. One night, Aislyn joins new friends in the old ruins — and seems to return home with a different personality. Not long after Aislyn purchases a diary written almost a century ago by Bridget, a young patient recovering from tuberculosis on the sanitorium grounds, strange things begin to happen.


Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

This book is more suspense and what-ifs and what-abouts, with history and mystery and family drama issues than anything that could be classed as "scary". It's a dual timeline story that is told from a first-person POV and it's actually a very interesting story. The author did some more unusual things with this story. Take one stressed and troubled teen, who moved to the middle of nowhere, with her parent's marriage on the rocks, and add in a diary that makes old ruins and long gone people into something much more current and different, and then you have some of what this book did. It's really nice the way the author interconnected it all, the issues, the past, the present, and some future as well. What I didn't like was the ending was very fast and feels like I'm still missing something, but maybe it's made to do that! 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Amy Walsh writes historical and contemporary romance, mysteries, speculative fiction, and women’s fiction.  She  is a 5th-grade writing teacher in an urban public school.  Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children. Amy considers herself greatly blessed in the roles God has given her as an earthling, including aspiring wordsmith, teacher of youngsters, nature appreciator, tea aficionado, avid dessert fan, book fanatic, lover of family and friends, and Christ follower.

More from Amy

Mam’s Apple Cinnamon Scones with Maple Cinnamon Glaze

These are the scones Katherine’s mother makes the morning their new friend Cadence comes for an Irish tea.  This time of fellowship marks a turning point in the plot of Voices in the Sanitorium.

The dough:

2 3/4 cups flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 stick of softened butter

1 diced small apple

3/4 cup cinnamon chips (optional)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup applesauce


For best results, follow the steps below.  However, if you are as busy as Katherine is with four children and a thriving Irish textile business, you can just melt the butter in the microwave and throw all the ingredients together at once, and these scones will still be delicious.


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  • Mix in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly
  • Stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon chips.
  • Mix the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce in another bowl, then add these to the dry ingredients.
  • Make sure you have parchment paper or have floured your baking sheet.
  • Drop scoops of the dough onto the baking sheet. (about ¼ cup scoops)
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees or until golden brown


If pressed for time, Mam just makes drop scones.  When guests are coming, she forms the dough into a circle about ¾ inch high, cuts the dough into pie pieces on the parchment paper, then gently pulls the pieces apart and uses her fingers to form them into perfect isosceles triangles.

Sometimes Mam puts the dough into the freezer after forming it on the baking pan.  She says freezing dough for a half hour makes them softer.  Katherine has never noticed a difference.


  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar,
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup

If the glaze needs to be thickened, add more powdered sugar.  If it is too thick, add more syrup, cream, or milk.  You can put it in the microwave for about fifteen seconds if it starts to get firm while you wait for the scones to come out of the oven.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 18

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 19 (Author Interview)

Avid Reader Nurse, October 19

Texas Book-aholic, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 22

Connie’s History Classroom, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Denise L. Barela, October 25

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, October 26

Blogging With Carol, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 29 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 30


To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of $40 Amazon card, a hardcover copy of the book, and historical memorabilia related to the West Mountain Sanitarium in 1931!!

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