Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Love Under the Stars Book Review and Giveaway

1861, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Inspired by the true story of John and Phoebe Brashear who developed telescopes and lenses that are still in use today, Love Under the Stars brings the beginnings of their journey to life. Set against the steel mills of Pittsburgh, a young man has a mind for astronomy and physics, the gifted hands of a millwright, and the heart of a minister. Conflicted about which life path to take, he is further confounded when the love of his life shows up teaching Sunday school in the classroom next to his. 

Phoebe Stewart is headstrong, responsible, and meticulous about her role as baker and cook in her family's household. Despite her whip-smart mind, she understands that she will live a single woman's life with her family and revels in the caring and feeding fourteen household members. Then she meets John Brashear. He opens her eyes to a universe of heavenly bodies, a world of possibility beyond the walls of her home. 

Torn between the love growing between the two and Phoebe's devotion to her family, they navigate a path to where they can announce their plans to marry and buy a little home up on the South Side Slopes. It all seems to make sense… until it doesn’t. Can John and Phoebe fulfill their obligations while being true to their hearts? Can they make their dreams come true? 

My thoughts:

This is such a sweet, family centered novella! John works a bunch of part time jobs, in the mill, the church, and helping as needed. Yet his true passion is in the stars. He loves astronomy and loves sharing his knowledge with others. He's also the epitome of family man, who sends nearly all of his earnings back to his parents to help support them.

Phoebe is the rock in her family, doing the majority of the household chores for the huge number of people packed in her house. Yet she too has a very scientific mind, keeping careful track of her recipe adjustments and how things turned out in her kitchen book.

John and Phoebe meet in an unusual manner, and as their relationship develops the challenges continue. John can't support his parents and his own family, and Phoebe's family is dependent on her to keep the house running. As more of Phoebe's siblings marry and move away her father becomes more and more vocal that she will never leave the house.

Do these two have a chance to be together? Or are there just too many challenges to make it work?

This was a wonderful story and gave such an interesting glimpse into the time period!

Available to buy from the following sites...

About Kathleen Shoop
Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. Kathleen coordinates Mindful Writing Retreats and is a regular presenter at conferences for writers.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog and Donora Stories that are coming soon!) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again, Return to Love and Tending Her Heart (Endless Love series). Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

What We Bury Book Review

 What We Bury by Carolyn Arnold


She’s dying, and she knows it. If only she can stay alive long enough to leave one last message. As the rain beats against the metal roof, she uses her blood-soaked fingertip to scrawl on the floorboards... The letters GB.

Detective Madison Knight has been house hunting, but a call from her real estate agent has nothing to do with finding the perfect property. She’s found a woman’s body, stabbed multiple times. Madison arrives on scene and is presented with an unknown Jane Doe and two letters written in blood. There’s no murder weapon, and it seems Doe was attacked somewhere else.

As Madison works to find justice for the victim, Madison’s own life is put at risk. What she comes to discover is some people will go to extreme lengths to protect their secrets—even as far as murder. But will learning that lesson come too late for her?


My thoughts: 

Detective Madison Knight seems to have it all, a career that she loves, a wonderful boyfriend and dog, and a partner who knows all her quirks. But looks can be deceiving, as her health is in question, her relationship is up in the air, and she has quite a few secrets of her own.

But when she gets a call from her realtor about a dead body on a property, she discovers a Jane Doe with a message writted in blood. Can Madison and Terry solve the case before the problems in her private life boil over?

This is a fast paced, intense book that gives us a better understanding of Madison than we have had in past books. A great addition to the series, but this book can be read as a standalone (although you'll want to go back and read them anyways!)

I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own. 


Author Bio

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario with her husband and beagles and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.


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