Book Reviews

Book Review: The House on Harbor Hill by Shelly Stratton


Title: The House on Harbor Hill

Author: Shelly Stratton

Publication Date: March 27, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars=Non-stop Page Turner

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The House on Harbor Hill was pure historical fiction with unsuspected twists and turns that made me stay up all night to get to the bottom of things.

My Thoughts

Book cover-the book cover is pleasing to the eyes. The neutral colors, the symbolism of the suitcase and steps leading up to the white door is calming. It convinces you to turn the book over and read the synopsis, which I did.

Plot/Structure-the structure of the book was split into four parts switching back and forth from 2016 to 1968. This helped me understand why the main character acted the way she did and helped in learning all the characters personalities. The plot was consistent in moving these characters lives forward making it easy to follow.

Characters-These characters kept me up late anticipating their next moves. In 2016, I received the strong, compassionate and caring Delilah Grey, who is a widower. In 1968, I received a timid, shy, not yet coming into her own Delilah Grey, who had to accept what life offered her. I fell in love with her character. Tracey is a mother trying to hide from her husband, Paul. She is struggling until she meets Delilah. Aidan keeps his hurt and pain well-hidden but something in him changes once he meets Tracey and her children.

The remaining characters frustrated me and some got under my skin but it was worth it. I want to tell you all about them but I can’t give away anything, so to learn more you need to read the book.

Message-my take away from this book is your blessings are not always for you but for someone else, with patience the truth will finally be revealed and running away never solves anything.

This was a wonderful page turner of suspense and murder mystery with powerful characters wrapped within a strong story line. After finishing it, I wanted to read it all over again and that never happens, so you know this book is good.

*This book was provided by the author for review purposes only.

Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Comes the Winter by Samantha St. Claire #giveaway


She recalled the small photo Mr. Nash had sent her, so little to explain the man who’d penned the letters. How strange, apprehending the essence of the man without ever having really known him. She wouldn’t even be haunted by his ghost because nothing bound them in this world aside from an agreement to marry. This was a grief of sorts, she supposed, not for herself, but for a future that might have been. Perhaps their relationship might have become more than one of business. The unlikely event that love might grow from such a relationship had not even tempted her. She was a realist, honestly born to it by two very pragmatic parents.

A sudden rise in men’s voices from the room below was followed by a whispered hush, as though someone had remembered the women were asleep in the room above them. That act of consideration she found endearing. Strangers can be kind. Somehow the kindness of these strangers touched her as the news of Mr. Nash’s passing had not. A single tear rolled from her eye to drop upon the pile of papers atop the desk. She brought her hand to her cheek and wiped it away. No more need fall. One was enough.

For a long while she sat in the oversized chair, his chair, with her feet tucked up beneath her. From here she had a view of the shadowy form of the mountains. The voice of her father whispered in her memory. Beware the dangers of making decisions after the sun sets. Best to tuck your worries under your pillow and sleep on them till morning. Sometimes in the night the worries will be ironed out by your sleeping head. So, she resolved not to decide what to do tonight. That decision would wait until the clear light of day.

But sleep refused to come. When all sounds in the room below had ceased, she wrapped a quilt around her shoulders, slid her feet into her slippers and tiptoed down the stairs. Opening the front door, a cacophony of night music met her. Gently closing the door behind her, she padded to the west end of the porch, settling herself in a generous chair with a view of the western sky where the ragged edge of the mountains made a darker shade of night. Stars danced above the distant peaks, and the moon cast a pale light upon the mountain’s craggy face.

A calm that should not have been her companion after a day of upheaval took a seat beside her. She had no idea when her weary body succumbed to its need for rest and her eyes closed in sleep.


Avalanches, isolation and snow blindness were stark realities for those daring to remain in Idaho’s Sawtooth Range through the harsh winter months. For city dweller, Lena Sommer, the warnings seemed exaggerated.

In the fall of 1886, Lena leaves behind a life fraught with disappointments and loss only to arrive in Sawtooth City and find the man she’d pledged to marry has been killed. To return east is unthinkable; to stay is ill-advised, but she resolves to remain and manage the man’s lodging house despite the warnings. More than her stubborn nature influences her decision. From her first glimpse of this mountain valley, she falls captive to its wild beauty. Feeling she has at last found a hearth to call her own, she eagerly puts down roots.

Sharing her love of literature with her lodgers before a warming fire, she builds a family of lonesome souls, where dreams awaken.

However, one man stands apart, disturbing her peace with ominous warnings to leave before winter comes. Evan Hartmann knows from personal loss that winter snows bring to these mountains both unimaginable beauty and death. He is also a man conflicted, because as much as he’d like for Lena to leave the mountains, his heart longs for her to stay.

Praise for Comes the Winter

“This story has a surprise ending which will delight fans of romance/adventure novels who have read too many scripted endings. This is a terrific read, a great novel!” ~Readers’ Favorite five-star review

“St. Claire has a wonderful ability to make the characters, the history and the scenery come alive. She is an enchanting writer! Romances normally would not be my genre of choice, and yet I find myself totally engrossed in her stories. I have actually found it difficult to put the book down. Wonderful job! I look forward to more of her writing.” ~Amazon customer

“A most emphatic 5 stars. I’ve already bought the first two now that I finished this one, and will bookmark this author as one to follow. I will recommend this book to anyone – wonderful!” ~Amazon customer


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 4/18/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

*Learn more about Samantha St. Claire and her books at

Book Features

Spotlight Wednesday: Get Me Through by Cedric Nelms

About The Author

Cedric Nelms was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from St. Bernard High in Playa Del Rey, CA. He attended Morehouse College, where he majored in Biology, with a minor in Psychology.

Cedric has been in the ministry for 18 years and has been working in different areas of ministry, from youth ministry, men’s ministry, teaching, community development, social justice, and civic engagement. He was also the radio host of the Chosen Generation Ministry Radio Show, an internet program/podcast that deals with the intersection of culture, life, and faith. He is the lead pastor of Chosen Generation Fellowship Church, in Long Beach. In addition to that, he is the newly appointed Los Angeles City Director for World Impact, where he is actively working on being a bridge builder between Los Angeles and the Faith Based community.

Cedric has been married to Karen, for 18 years and they have been together for 20 years. They have 5 beautiful children, Erika, Jonathan, and a set of triplets, Isaiah, Khalid, and Courtney. He loves to spend time with his family, reading, watching sports, traveling, going out to eat, writing, and just having a good time!

About The Book
Get Me Through….The Makeover of My Life is a book for all seasons of life. It will lead you through getting out of the places that you are stuck, picking up the pieces after disruption, and releasing yourself to dream again my the future. Get Me Through is path through life’s most questionable moments.
The title of the book is purposely open-ended and ambiguous because most people are trying to get through. From Kindergarten to College, people are trying to get through school. Whether you are a high paid executive, entrepreneur, or occupying a cubicle, the daily grind of work and handling life issues is a reality. Still others are trying to get through the seasons of a relationship; the harsh winter or the warm summertime feel that relationships bring. 

On the other hand, the death of a loved one or the death of one’s self-esteem may seem like, to some, as trying to wade through a cloud of never-ending darkness. Ultimately, getting through is a part of the human experience. At some point, trying to get through is a part of everyone’s process, the only difference is each person’s process is tailor made. Even so, no matter what you are struggling to figure out, you are just trying to get through it with your character and sanity intact.

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Book Features

Looking for Beta Readers!

*This cover is subject to change. It is a tentative cover.

Hello Readers,

I am currently looking for beta readers for my debut novel, It Happened to Me, a book about two teenage females trying to cope with the loss of their fathers and how it affects their lives. It is very important for me to get a readers opinion before the editing stage.

I am looking for avid readers that can provide an honest critique of the novel within two weeks. If you would like to be considered as a beta reader, email the following information to


Birth date:



Are you an author/blogger or both?

What genres do you read?

What type of books do you prefer?

Why do you want to be a beta reader for It Happened to Me?

Do you prefer chapter-by-chapter, full manuscript, or section of chapters (chapters 1-5 etc.) for beta reading?

Can you complete beta reads within two weeks?

If chosen as a beta reader, you will receive a nondisclosure agreement, once it is signed and returned the novel will be emailed to you. Once you have read the book a questionnaire will be emailed to you. Please answer all of the questions. Provide honest opinions, suggestions and criticism in the questionnaire and email it back.

I will appreciate all suggestions and any criticism because it will help me become a better writer.  Thank you for wanting to be one of my beta readers. I look forward to your feedback.


Teresa Beasley