Monday, November 14, 2022

Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham Reviewed


About the book:

Title: Authentically, Izzy
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Comedy

“Dear Izzy—I feel certain there’s a book-loving man living relatively nearby waiting to speak bookish to you ’til death do you part. You just haven’t met yet.” 

Izzy Edgewood is a wannabe bookstore owner, quote queen, and Lord of the Rings nerd who has been waiting for Prince Charming to sweep her off her sneakered feet. But it’s hard to meet people when you spend more time with fictional humans than real ones. This is why her pragmatist cousin Josephine decides to take Izzy’s future into her own meddling hands and create an online dating profile for the hopeful romantic.

To Izzy’s shock (and suspicion), Josie’s plan works. Soon, she’s dialoguing with a Hobbit-loving man named Brodie who lives in a small town an ocean away from her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But is their shared love of books, family, and correspondence enough to overcome Izzy’s fear of flying and the literal distance between them? And is a long-distance relationship even worth considering when a local author has been frequenting the library where she works and is proving to be a perfectly fine gentleman?

In this epistolary novel from award-winning author Pepper Basham, bookish dreams and happily-ever-afters collide
to create a beautiful sort of magic that’s even better than fiction.

Purchase links: Amazon || B&N || Baker Book House || Goodreads 

My Thoughts

I have come to love epistolary novels and Pepper Basham is at her charming amusing best in this book. I fell in love with Izzy immediately! I loved how Izzy was talking about her ridiculous cousin, Josephine, who signed her up on a dating site, with her brother and her cousin's sister via texts and emails. I was literally rolling!! 

All of the Lord of the Rings references had me wanting to watch the movies again. 
These are some of the best quotes!

"There's not really a job description for a 'book pusher,' and even if there was, it sounds like a profession where one might get arrested."

"If any animal should have the power to resurrect, I think it should be a faithful dog. They're such wonderful companions and the very best listeners in the world."

"Of course, I talk to myself. Sometimes I need an expert opinion."

These are just a few of my highlights. I have so many more! You have to read this book! If not for all the fun comedic parts, which is nearly the entire book, but the sweet romance between Brodie and Izzy. The secondary characters, mainly Luke, are just as fun! I hope there is a sequel with Luke!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I wasn't required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I did preorder a copy.

About Pepper Basham

I love a good romance, whether it’s set in an Edwardian era manor house or a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Readers enjoy my fun, dramatic, heart-warming, and inspirational novels with the certainty of a happily-ever-after.

Though some of my contemporaries have a Britallachian twist, others are Mayberry-esque, while others bring about the elegance and struggles of the Downton Abbey era. If any of these story ideas sound good to you, take some time to peruse my cyber corner of the world. “Sit a spell” as we’d say in my neck of the woods and let me ‘spin you a yarn’ filled with a few of my favorite things.

You can find Pepper on the following social media sites. Website || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano Reviewed


About the book:

Title: The Lost Melody

Author: Joanna Davidson Politano

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romantic Fiction

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman's portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women's independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era--and now.

Purchase Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Baker Bookhouse

My Thoughts

I know that I will not have enough adjectives or words to give this book the review it is due.  

The musical theme that was woven throughout the book was really touching. I love music and have been able to watch music help my dad who is currently battling dementia.

Vivienne was a strong character with the determination to figure out who the ward of her father is.

This book felt very Jamie-Jo Wright-esque and I loved it! This was a beautiful, historical novel; that kept me engrossed until the end. 

The faith thread was very present. Ms. Politano did a fabulous job of showing the need for light in such a dark place which mirrors our need for the light of Christ in the dark places of our lives.

I highly recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I wasn't required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan.

You can connect with Joanna on Facebook || Twitter || Instagram and her Website.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Featuring Series I Need to Finish!


Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Today's prompt is a series I'd like to start, catch up on, or finish. One of the drawbacks of being a reviewer is trying to fit the non-blog tour books into your schedule. I also get really distracted so, I forget. This is also why my TBR is forever long!

1. Age of Conquest by Tamara Leigh

2. River of Time by Lisa T. Bergren

3. The Lost Princesses by Jody Hedlund

4. Legacy of Faith by Robin Lee Hatcher
I've read book one . . .  but not the
 rest of the series.

5. The Regency Spies of London by Melanie Dickerson

This is just the tip of the series iceberg I need to finish and or begin. 
I didn't get five . . .you can blame my dentist. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Scars by Linda K. Rodante Review with Giveaway


Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for SCARS by Linda K. Rodante, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: SCARS 
Series: Spiritual Warfare #4 
Author: Linda K. Rodante 
Publisher: independently published 
Release Date: September 2022 
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense

He tried to leave the past behind, but it won’t leave him…

Ex-gang member Garrett Lovett is a new creature in Christ. At least, he’s trying to be. He’s got a wholesome routine, a place on the IronWorks football team, and a pretty woman he wants to know better. But when the old gang resurfaces with the ultimatum to re-up or face consequences, Garrett has tough decisions to make. These guys know how to get to him—his addictions, his fears. When things get life-threatening, Garrett must decide if this God he’s heard about is real or not.

And if so, can he rescue Garrett and those he loves before it’s too late?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


Linda K. Rodante is a Florida transplant now living in Tennessee. She loves sweet tea, apple butter, and both the mountains and the oceans. Her work with crisis pregnancy centers and anti-trafficking groups gave her a heart for women struggling in today’s society, while still respecting the role God has given men.

She writes Christian romantic suspense novels. Her books wrap sweet romance in real-life issues women face today with an edge of mystery and suspense. She desires to entertain and encourage women in their walk with the Lord. Her books can be found on Amazon She’s a past finalist of ACFW's Genesis contest and a member of Word Weavers International.

Connect with Linda by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

My Thoughts

I didn't realize that this was the fourth book in the series when I signed up. I clearly wasn't paying attention. I wish I would've read the other three books in the series so I could've had more connection with the characters. 

The story centered around a church ministry focusing on ex-gang members, addicts, and alcoholics. I really liked that Ms. Rodante used that as her premise. It also gave way to showing the darkness of spiritual warfare throughout the book. Which she portrayed very well. It makes you stop and look at what's going on in our world today. 

I was married to an alcoholic and I know firsthand the demon that exists within a bottle of booze.

Linda K. Rodante is a new author for me and I enjoy reading books with spiritual warfare in them so I definitely will be adding her books to my list.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher in association with Just Read Publicity tours. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of WARRIOR (Spiritual Warfare Series #1) and $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 26, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 2, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Wishtress by Nadine Brandes Reviewed

 About the book:

Title: Wishtress

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Inspirational Young Adult Fantasy

She didn't ask to be the Wishtress.

Myrthe was born with the ability to turn her tears into wishes. It's a big secret to keep. When a granted wish goes wrong, a curse is placed on her: the next tear she sheds will kill her. She needs to journey to the Well and break the curse before it claims her life--and before the king's militairen track her down. But in order to survive the journey, she must harden her heart to keep herself from crying even a single tear.

He can stop time with a snap of his fingers.

Bastiaan's powerful--and rare--Talent came in handy when he kidnapped the old king. Now the new king has a job for him: find and capture the Wishtress and deliver her to the schloss. But Bastiaan needs a wish of his own. When he locates Myrthe, he agrees to take her to the Well in exchange for a wish. Once she's fulfilled her end of the deal, he'll turn her in. As long as his growing feelings for the girl with a stone heart don't compromise his job.

They are on a journey that can only end one way: with her death.

Everyone seems to need a wish--the king, Myrthe's cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they're ready to bully, beg, and even betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one of them, Myrthe would have to die. And if she tells them about her curse . . . they'll just kill her anyway.

Purchase a copy HERE

My Thoughts

Nadine Brandes did an amazing job with this book. She created a world that I could visualize and be apart of.
I loved that Myrthe had a disability. Especially, not being able to walk easily. That was me just a few years ago so I could not only relate to her it made me cheer for her all the more.
Ms. Brandes’s note at the end of the book brought tears to my eyes. 
Not sure how I feel about the ending. I hope she writes a sequel.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I did purchase a copy.

About Nadine Brandes

  • I’m the author of six Young Adult books: WISHTRESS, ROMANOVFAWKES, and The Out of Time Series.
  • I’m an adventurer.
  • I’m a Harry Potter super-nerd who has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family-size) by herself.
  • I watch Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. (Wait…you don’t?)
  • I love the word bumbershoot.
  • I learned to write using a fountain pen. They are the magic behind avoiding hand cramps. For reals.
  • hate kale with an immeasurable loathing, but I like brussel sprouts. (Sorry if you just gasped and gagged at the same time.)
  • I’ve driven a dogsled, eaten a raw potato, walked a tightwire, and waded through a cattail marsh all for the sake of book research.
  • I’ve been journaling since I was 9-years-old.
  • I love love love Jesus. He’s my auto-buy author. 😉
  • I have new books coming in 2024 & 2025 and the best way to not miss any of the news is to be subscribed to my newsletter!

You can connect with Nadine on the following social media platforms:

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || and her Website.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Featuring An Excerpt From The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

The Secrets of Emberwild JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Nora slid down from Arrow’s back and scratched the base of his mane. He lowered his head, becoming more complacent with each rub of her fingers. Silly boy. Even with all his bravado, he was still the sweet foal she’d loved since he took his first steps on spindly legs. They’d bonded during those times, and no matter what Roger said, Arrow would never hurt her. Not intentionally, anyway. “He’s got nice form,” a man’s voice said from behind her, “though you could use a bit more caution on those turns, boy.”

What? Nora whirled around to find a tall man casually leaning on the fence, watching her. “Who are you?” Surprise flickered over his tanned features, deep brown eyes widening slightly before settling into a calm gaze once again. “Silas Cavallero.” He spoke with an easy cadence, his voice both deep and smooth. He watched her openly, as though trying to figure out all of her secrets. She bristled. “And what are you doing here, Mr. Cavallero?” “Looking at your horse.”

A buyer? She’d heard nothing about a buyer coming by today. This man in his dusty dungarees and once-white hat didn’t look like the type, but appearances could be deceiving. Satisfaction swelled as she ran a hand down Arrow’s neck. “You won’t find any better. He won’t be ready for breeding until next year, but I hope to start putting him on the books soon. Are you looking for a new stud?”

The man stared at her, strong jaw set against a serious mouth. “I’m not here to secure stud services. Mr. Reed hired me to get a handle on this colt.”

Doesn't that sound good? I want to know who this guy is that just showed up to "get a handle on this colt." 


Stephenia H. McGee

Stephenia H. McGee is the award-winning author of many stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she's not reading or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she's a writer, dreamer, husband spoiler, and busy mom of two rambunctious boys.

Connect with Stephenia by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


The Secrets of Emberwild Title: The Secrets of Emberwild 
Author: Stephenia H. McGee 
Publisher: Revell 
Release Date: October 4, 2022 
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They're easier to handle, they're more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father's passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father's death--even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he's come to admire.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub


(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Secrets of Emberwild and $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!

The Secrets of Emberwild JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 19, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on October 26, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Author Interview With My Friend, Carrie Schmidt: How To Get Past the Publishing Gatekeepers


Hi! Today, I am interviewing my good friend, Carrie Schmidt from Reading is My SuperPower. She is a contributor to the book How to Get Past the Publishing Gatekeepers. which just released and we'll be talking about today.

RL: Hi, Carrie! Welcome, to Radiant Light.

Carrie: Hi, my friend, thanks for having me.

RL: It's my pleasure. Let's kick this off with some fun get-to-know-you questions.

If you could hang out anywhere for a week would you go to the beach or a mountain lake?

Carrie: Oh, mountain lake for sure. The mountains are my happy place. I’m not a fan of the beach… though I do like a rocky coast.

RL: I vaguely remember us talking about this. I'm not surprised.

Do you like apples or oranges?


Carrie: Apples. I live on apples. Especially Honeycrisp apples. Also, I’m allergic to oranges.

RL: I had no idea you were allergic to oranges! I just bought some Honeycrisp apples at Costco and they're yummy. I see why you like them.

When it comes to curling up with a good book would we find you drinking coffee, hot or iced tea, water, or something else?

Carrie: Usually a diet coke but if a hot beverage is required then it must be hot cocoa 😊

RL: I can't drink any diet drink because they usually have aspartame in them and they cause seizures . . . so, I'm usually drinking water or sweet tea. I love hot cocoa, too! Especially, in the winter.

What is your favorite book character from your childhood?

Carrie: Oh man…. That is a toss-up between Nancy Drew and Aslan. A very odd combination, I realize LOL.

RL: I love them both! Spent many hours reading Nancy Drew and The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid. 

Here on my blog, I say that it is a radiant light, and source of encouragement for both readers and authors. What do you hope radiates from your daily life?

Carrie: That’s a great question. I hope that Jesus radiates from my daily life. His love, His grace, His truth. I also want people to be encouraged that their story matters.

RL: That's beautiful my friend! I love it and pray that Jesus radiates from my life and hope authors and readers alike know the story is important.

You are one of the busiest ladies I know; reader, reviewer, blogger, blog tour company owner, etc. .., How did you get involved in this book project?

Carrie: Busy … insane … it’s a fine line LOL. I was minding my own business, with no plans to ever write a book, when I was approached by Hope Bolinger & Linda Fulkerson with the invitation to represent the reader/influencer industry gatekeepers in this book. I honestly did not have time for a project like this, as already noted above haha. But I felt God nudging me to say yes. So I did 😊  

RL: I love how "You were minding your own business." Isn't it great how God nudges? When we say yes, it can definitely stretch us which is a good thing. I'm so glad you said, yes!

What does it feel like to be a published author?

Carrie: Excited & terrified all at the same time. Lol. Actually, it’s very surreal to be on this side of the curtain, so to speak. I’m still not sure it’s sunk in yet. 

RL: I can't even imagine. I am so incredibly excited and happy for you! 

What is your hope for people who read this book?


Carrie: I want people to know that their story matters, to be encouraged not to give up in this publishing journey, and – for my section in particular – to feel less overwhelmed with the process of finding and keeping readers.

RL: That is awesome and I so hope this book does that for so many authors; whether beginning the published journey or already in the throws of the journey.

RL: Thanks for spending some time with me today, Carrie. I really enjoyed learning more about you.

Carrie: You're welcome. Thank you so much for such fun questions.

Here is more about Carrie Schmidt:

Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie started the popular in 2015 and since then has had the honor of co-founding the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat and JustRead Publicity Tours. In addition to these endeavors, she is a regular contributor to Seekerville and has written for magazines such as RT Book Reviews and Christian Market. Carrie now lives in Georgia with her husband, though her roots range from East Tennessee to Central Kentucky and northern Illinois. You can connect with Carrie on, Facebook @meezcarriereads or @meezcarriewrites, and everywhere else social at @meezcarrie.

About the book:

Remember when Dorothy finally reached the Emerald City only to be halted by the Gatekeeper, blocking her hopes of seeing the Great and Powerful Wizard?

The path to publication is like that. Agents, and Editors, and Publishers, oh, my! Each one is a barrier between you and a publishing contract.

But what if you understood what agents, editors, publishers, and readers really want?

If you’re struggling to get past the publishing gatekeepers, this book will give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how to win the heart of each type of publishing professional. In fact, Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers won’t just give you a peek—it will give you a guided tour. In this book, four publishing professionals—an agent, a publisher, an editor, and an influencer—share what it takes to unlock each “gate” within the publishing industry.

Getting Past the Publishing Gatekeepers is a must-have resource for all aspiring authors, and it offers insights to help multi-published authors as well.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham Reviewed

  About the book: Title: Authentically, Izzy Author: Pepper Basham Genre: Inspirational Romantic Comedy “Dear Izzy—I feel certain there’s a ...