Posted in Book reviews, Heather Day Gilbert

“Guilt by Association” by Heather Day Gilbert ~ Book Review

Review (1)


“Guilt by Association” by Heather Day Gilbert

Book Three in the “A Murder in the Mountains” series

Review copy from author, being a launch team member

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars




About the Book:

Tess Spencer hadn’t planned on returning to her hometown, but when her ex-prisoner mom puts in a special request, Tess overcomes her hesitance to help her turn over a new leaf.

Pearletta Vee’s drug-dealing past is resurrected when the body of an overdosed teen shows up—right next to her trailer. Tess decides to stick around and investigate, yet the evidence is stacked against Pearletta. Tess suspects a setup—but why?

Never one to back down from a challenge, Tess takes on a wayward teen, an abusive grandma, and more than one drug dealer in her quest for the truth. But it’s going to take a miracle to keep her from becoming a casualty in her own personal war on drugs.

Plunging into the shadowy reality of the drug epidemic in West Virginia, Guilt by Association is the third book in the award-winning Murder in the Mountains mystery series.




My Thoughts:


:D  <—- That’s how I feel to be reading a Heather Day Gilbert book. I love her writing!
“Guilt by Association” was an absolutely excellent read. So very easy to get into, and if I could, I would’ve read it straight through – I can’t do that with a lot of books (weird quirk of mine) but I could have easily done that with this book if only time had allowed. But I so enjoyed the time I got to spend within its pages.
The mystery was very well-done, gripping to the end, yet not overly…disturbing. I hope that makes sense! There are definitely some dark murder-mystery books out there, but I don’t think Guilt by Association was dark at all, which I appreciate. It was serious without being morbid.
The drug involvement was fascinating, sharing facts I hadn’t previously been aware of. I am thankful the author included this subject and so smoothly worked it in, educating her readers a bit. I was impressed.
And of course, I absolutely loved revisiting the characters! Tess Spencer is such a strong lead character, and so enjoyable to follow along with.
Truly, reading this book was pure pleasure, and felt so realistic, so believable.
The mystery had me curious till the end, with a very satisfying conclusion. And that ending!!! Oh my word, I teared up. Yes, the ending conclusion to the mystery itself was fantastic, but the last page….yep, it hit me right here (imagine me pointing to my heart ;)). You’ll just have to read the book to find out what I mean!
So good. I don’t know what else to say other than that I loved it, enjoyed every minute of it, was impressed, and definitely recommend this series to good-mystery-suspense-homey fiction! I think “Guilt by Association” may actually be my favourite of the series so far! And I hope there’s more books to come, because…yes, very much-needed, in my opinion!! I don’t want to be done with this series. :)
And look! If you buy a copy of this book this month, you will be helping an excellent cause. So do go pick up a copy of this book! (And the first 2 books in this series!)
Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Tessa Afshar

The Big Ol’ Wrap Up

It’s that time of year….where we wrap up this previous year and prepare for the new. On my blog, that mainly means: Books. ^.^
And because I am doing this post, I won’t be doing the Monthly-Wrap up of books like I often do. I did aquire some good books in December, but I didn’t actually read many at all. In fact, all I read was a short story (“Last Wish: a Short story” by Valerie Howard) –  I started “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell at the beginning of the month, and am just finishing it now, so I’ll count it for 2016 but I’m afraid I may finish it on the first. XD. It’s a 600 page book, heavy English. But very good! :)
I read quite a few books during 2016; not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still a good amount, rounding out at a total of 63 books, and a total of 15,048 pages, according to Goodreads.
I won’t list them all, because that’d take time I don’t really have, and some people (most?!) probably won’t care. XD If you *want* to see what all books I’ve read, you can check out my Goodreads page here:
In this post what I *will* be doing, is listing some of my favourites. I read quite a few good ones, so narowing it down is always hard. I’ll try to just list 5.  So, shall we?
Family Lies, Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx. This was a 5 star book for sure. I loved it.
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar – Mrs.Afshar does it again, writing a brilliant, heart-touching, encouraging read!
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert – This is an easy one for “Best of 2016” for sure. Absolutely magnificent!
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall – My first Dawn Crandall book and it was amazing. So sweet!
Light of the Last by Chuck Black. – A fantastic ending to a great series!
But I can’t forget these other amazing books that I thoroughly enjoyed:
Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, and One Enchanted Christmas, all by Melissa Tagg – all of these were SO good! So cute.
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin  – one simply cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin book! Her WWII fiction is fantastic.
…and so many more books. ^.^
NonFiction: I only read a few, but two of my favourites were these:
“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias and “I Dare You” by Isabella D. Morganthal.
Honourable Fiction Mentions:
“If He Lives” by Sarah Holman
“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cosette
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin
“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews
“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald
Augh, do you know how hard it is to narrow down great books?! I realize a lot of you do. ^.^
So, what do I plan to read in 2017? Um…well…I’d like to get through my TBR bookshelves! XD That’s a lofty goal. But realisitcally, I really would like to check off a couple on my shelf that have long been waiting to be read. I also want to reread the first book and novella in the Ilyon Chronicles, and continue on with that series, and also reread The Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, finally getting to read the third one! I have many other “To Read”s though. We’ll see what get’s done! What is on your 2017 Read List? Did you have a favourite book of 2016?
Here’s to a year of pleasurable reading!
Posted in Heather Day Gilbert

Book Review: “Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert

I’m so excited to share about this book. Why? Because I adored it. But I’ll get to that in my review…


Forest Child (Vikings of the New World Saga, #2)


Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert

Book Two in The Vikings of the New World Saga


About the Book:

Viking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother.

Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland.

But nothing can prepare her for the horrors she must confront in Vinland…and nothing can stand in her way when her family is threatened.

In her race to outrun the truths that might destroy her, Freydis ultimately collides with the only enemy she cannot silence—her own heart.

Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. This immersive tale is Book Two in the bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.


My Review:


I devoured this book. Wow. How does one put coherent words together after reading a Heather Day Gilbert book? I’m blown away each time.
Ever since reading “God’s Daughter” (book one in this series), a year or two ago, I was hooked and anticipating a sequel. And it’s finally here! “Forest Child” was amazing. And raw. And…a little shocking, yes, disturbing, maybe….but still amazing. Mrs. Gilbert captures the Viking life-style in such a real way. It is so beautiful. I love her books so much!
It was so great getting to really know Freydis more through this book, and reading through her point of view. She could be frustrating (she didn’t always listen to my advice. ;)) but I loved her. What a strong character. The lessons she learned too were so good.
When I read both “God’s Daughter” and “Forest Child”, it is very much like watching a person’s life unfold before you. It’s so very real, and you’re swept away in it. Each character is so well-constructed, it isn’t any trouble imagining them as the real life characters they are.
Now, this book is not for the faint of heart. No, it was rather gruesome to be honest. There were several parts that were hard to read. But also key to the story. So yes, they were on the gruesome side, but it gave understanding to the reader. It helped shape and mold the story.
They’re Vikings, after all. And vikings weren’t all cushy, always nice people. Mrs. Gilbert shows their strengths and weaknesses very well.
I loved it though. Absolutely. Reading it felt so good, and I can’t wait to read it again. Describing The Sagas best would be by saying they are real and raw.  And so well written.
So yes, in conclusion, this book met my expectations so very much so. I would highly recommend it be read by a mature audience, probably no younger than 18 or so, because of the unfavorable events shown in this book.
However, those of you who love a good Viking historical series with real depth, these books are for you. :)
Thank you SO much to Heather Day Gilbert for providing a copy of this book! Reading and reviewing it has been my pleasure. :)
Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Litfuse, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, Tessa Afshar, Tyndale House, update

Another year past/2015

Hello! Today is the last day of 2015. I hope it was a good year for all of you! And I hope 2016 brings lots of blessings and lessons from our Lord too. :)

I am going to do my yearly post of books I read over the past year…so, here we go! I’m showing them from the latest I read to the first I read back in January of 2015. Each image should bring you to their GoodReads page and my review if applicable. :)


The Daughter of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides, #2) 
Meant to be Mine (Porter Family, #2) A Dream Not Imagined: A Cinderella StoryThe Art of Losing YourselfFive Glass SlippersThe Choosing (Seer, #1)
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, #1) The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (Thornbeck, #1)Esther: The Story of a Woman Who Saved a NationSide by SideTrial by Twelve (A Murder in the Mountains, #2)
Beauty (Folktales, #1) The Salt CovenantsJoseph of Arimathea: A Tale of the ResurrectionFinding MeRise of the Fallen (Wars of the Realm, #2)
For the Joy Set Before Us: Insights into the Missionary Journey Brothers and BetrayalLove by the Letter (Unexpected Brides, #0.5)The Tomb: A Novel of Martha (The Living Water, #3)Remember the Lilies
Stay in the Castle Adventures and AdversitiesHow to Catch a Prince (Royal Wedding, #3)An Uncertain Choice (An Uncertain Choice, #1)Dauntless (Valiant Hearts, #1)
The Vow (An Uncertain Choice, #0.5) The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks (The Regency Adventures of Jemima Sudbury, #1) The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #1) Paper Hearts Journey to the Well
Both of Me Waltz into the Waves: A Cinderella StoryTiger LilyDeliver Me from Evil (Freedom #1)  Beyond All Dreams
 Cloak of the Light (Wars of the Realm, #1)
Most of them were very good, and some were so-so, and other’s weren’t a favourite. But ultimately, I had a very good reading year! Top ten favourites? Hard choice! But here are SOME, in no order:
“Resistance” and “Half-Blood” by Jaye L. Knight
“Not Abandoned” by MacKenzie Morganthal
“Brothers-in-Arms” by Jack Lewis Baillot (not published yet)
“The Fragrance of Geraniums” and “All Our Empty Places” by Alicia G. Ruggieri
“The Tomb” by Stephanie Landsem
“The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” and “Golden Braid” by Melanie Dickerson
“Better than Peanut Butter Ice Cream” by Kristen Krueger
“Through Waters Deep” by Sarah Sundin
“Rise of the Fallen” by Chuck Black
“Dauntless” and “Chivalrous” by Dina L. Sleiman
Okay, so I realise I cheated a little and did more than ten, but there are only ten lines, so… :D
Some Honourable Mentions:
Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden
Waltz into the Waves by Sarah Holman
A Dream Not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu
The Tethered World by Heather FitzGerald
Side by Side by Jana Kelley
For the Joy Set Before Us by Erica Fye
Annnnnd there were more I enjoyed. :) But I will end here. What books were your favourites of the year? Could you pick just a few? :D
Here’s to more reading in 2016!
Posted in blog tour, God's Lessons, Guest Post, Heather Day Gilbert, Human Trafficking, lists, reading

Blog Tour Kick-Off “Not Abandoned” – Guest post by author, MacKenzie Morganthal

Today begins the blog tour for my sister-by-heart’s first published book, “Not Abandoned”! She has written the post to start of this exciting blog tour, so please read on!



Hello, everyone! I am so excited that today is the first day of my blog tour for “Not Abandoned”! A special thank you to my amazing friend, Rae, for allowing me to start this tour with a guest post on her blog, since I don’t have a blog of my own. :)

As I prepare for this week long blog tour, I think back on the journey of writing and self-publishing that God has brought me through. He has opened so many doors for me through this process, and whenever a door closed, He always gave me a window in its place. I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately:

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

He has known of this day even long before I started writing “Not Abandoned”. Through all the long nights of writing, and through the frustrated tears I shed during the editing and publishing process, He was right there already knowing of the beautiful outcome it would have. And He has made this day so amazing for me! Eight years of dreaming about becoming a published author, and now that day is finally here! :)

“Not Abandoned” is a very dear story to my heart because it gives readers a peek into one of my deepest passions. From the day I heard a human trafficking survivor telling her story in an interview, I knew that I had to do something to bring more of an awareness to the subject. It is truly heart breaking to me, and when God told me to write a story dealing with this topic, I was actually terrified of the idea! I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write the story well enough and I really didn’t even have a clear idea of where the story plot was even going. But God guided my hands to write this story, and it turned out so much better than I ever could’ve imagined, thanks to having Him as my co-author.

So because I’m not the greatest at writing things like this, I’m going to end here by saying: Never be afraid to give God your everything. He will always make something beautiful out of it!

Thanks for joining me on this opening post of my first ever blog tour! I hope you’ll stick around the rest of the week to learn more about the story of “Not Abandoned”. :)


Curved, Lines, Curves, Black And White, Strings

The Book:

“Not Abandoned”



Two words….human trafficking.

Four different lives…are altered forever.

Haley, a police officer in training, is thrust right into the heart of an organized human trafficking ring when a family friend is mysteriously abducted. Once the problem hits even closer to home, Haley will stop at nothing to see justice prevail.

With no way out once trapped inside the trafficking ring, is there any hope for rescue? When trouble arises and Caryn’s life is compromised, will she be able to survive or will help come too late?

Strength is tested and trust is broken in this mystery of seemingly impossible rescue and God’s loving redemption. After hearing those words, human trafficking, these girls will never look at their lives the same way again… and neither will you.

Curved, Lines, Curves, Black And White, Strings

The Author:

MacKenzie Morganthal is an eighteen year old, Christian, Homeschool graduate. She loves writing, music, and most importantly Jesus. She resides in Pennsylvania where she keeps busy as a freelance author, worship leader, and creative arts director. She also loves going to concerts, and all things chocolate. While some people say she can be a little crazy, she always takes that as a compliment. She has been writing stories for eight years, and “Not Abandoned” is her first self-published novel.

You can find out more about MacKenzie and her book through these links:

CreateSpace estore:




Twitter: @authorkenzie

Curved, Lines, Curves, Black And White, Strings

More Stops on the Blog Tour: 

Be sure to stop by these blogs participating in this book release! And a big thank you to the bloggers themselves who have generously offered to help! We appreciate you!!

June 14th:

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae (tour introduction) – you’re here!

June 15th:

Claire B. The Overactive Imagination

    Heather FitzGerald (character interview)

June 16th:

Alicia R. A Brighter Destiny

      Shantelle H. The World of the Writer

June 17th:

      Amada C. ASC Book Reviews

         God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae (book review)

June 18th:

Valerie Howard Books

June 19th:

Faith Blum (author interview)

  Heather Day Gilbert (book excerpt)

June 20th:

 God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae (tour wrap-up)

Curved, Lines, Curves, Black And White, Strings

Note from Rae: Thanks Kenzie for allowing me to be apart of this! Congratulations on your book release!!


Posted in Books, Heather Day Gilbert, Pinterest, Pinterest favourites, reading, Reviews

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week Twelve


As you might have noticed, my blog is a wee bit changed – I’m still working on it. And the background is actually a picture of snow not stars and moon…but what can you do? =)

Anyway, here are some pins that took me fancy this week!

The stable boy ~ #story #inspiration #character

So, most of what I pinned was story-inspiration, apparently castles specifically! They are lovely though. :) And the one with the horse is for character inspiration. =)

2 timothy 2:11-13 Needed this verse today.

Lovely verses. :)

I finished reading this:

New blog post, book review of: Trial by Twelve (A Murder in the Mountains Book 2) by Heather Day Gilbert – you might have seen my review of it posted recently. The book was a good one. :)

Now I am reading this:

Side by Side by Jana Kelley It’s very good so far!

So, that brings this post to an end. =) As always, I’d love to hear how your week was and what it was filled with! :)