In the Bookcase


Book Review: The Secret Place of Thunder #giveaway #newrelease #blogtour


Librarians of Willow Hollow #4

by Alicia G. Ruggieri

 124 pages // published in 2020 // Christian historical fiction


The mountains have imprisoned her long enough...

Edna Sue O’Connell came back to the Kentucky hills out of duty and can’t wait for the chance to escape again. Her work as a horseback librarian in rural Appalachia provides enough income for her invalid father to survive in the midst of the Great Depression, but it affords her with little else.

When an opportunity arises for Edna to take on an additional book delivery area, she spies a glimmer of hope that she might find a way out of Willow Hollow after all… and that she might actually make something of her life apart from the tragedy that has filled it thus far.

But the new routes give Edna more than she ever bargained for. Slowly, she finds that the mountains contain many valuable secrets – if she has the grit to meet them.

The Secret Place of Thunder is part of the Librarians of Willow Hollow multi-author novella collection. Each novella stands on its own but is connected to the others in this historical Christian fiction series set in 1930s Appalachia.

Other books in the Librarians of Willow Hollow series:
A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero
I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum
Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A.M. Heath

Come along as four packhorse librarians find adventures outside the books they carry!

My Review

5 Star Rating

Within my first minute of starting this new book, I was already loving Edna Sue's character! I could tell that she is an always-on-time, spectacle-wearing, book-loving, logical-thinking, hair-in-tight-bun, no-nonsense kind of gal. The perfect picture of a librarian. Except this librarian has to ride out on Molly the mule's back, up into the Appalachian Mountains to give books to the mountain people.

Most people in town conclude that Edna Sue O'Connell is a spinster, with her age of over thirty years. Edna may be bold and may carry a sharp tongue, but she means well in the tasks she sets out to do. She has a sense of adventure, and longs to go back to the big cities like New York. Duty keeps her chained at home with a bedridden father and an exasperating stepmother. So she sets her fiery mind upon her work as a packhorse librarian, and goes at it with all her might, earning for her future.

One of the homesteads she visits on her library route is inhabited by a reclusive man -- which, of course, Edna Sue is determined to poke her nose into such a mystery, even after a gun is pointed straight back at her. Edna also has to deal with Mr. Gaunt, Willow Hollow's schoolteacher, who may have the slightest of romantic intentions, which she certainly intends to keep at bay.

Through her experiences and interactions with all of these Willow Hollow characters, I enjoyed watching Edna's spiritual journey too.

I had been looking forward to Edna's story so much. I'd seen and heard tiny glimpses of her from the preceding three books in the series (each book is a standalone novella, so you can read them in any order). Meeting her "in person" now has been lovely. This story did NOT disappoint. I even wish it could be turned into a movie!

An excellent work of Christian fiction.

Suitable for: 13 and up - Adults

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alicia G. Ruggieri grew up breathing in the salty air of coastal New England. She now writes grace-filled, Christ-centered fiction from her home in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and sweet second-hand mutt. She loves old graveyards, dusty libraries, and excellent cannolis ~ not necessarily in that order. 

Visit Alicia online! // Website // Facebook Page // Instagram

Release Week Giveaway! To celebrate this release, Alicia is giving away an Appalachian music CD, a mini Appalachian Breakfast soy candle, and a set of whimsical bronze bookmarks! (Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is limited to the continental U.S.)


 a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog Tour Stops:

9/15 Welcome to the Tour at A Brighter Destiny –

Amanda @

Raechel @

9/16 Kaitlyn @

J.E. Grace @

9/17 Rebekah @

9/18 Jane @

9/19 Connie @

9/20 Abigail @

Tarissa @

9/21 Tara @

Ryana @

9/22 Wrap-up & giveaway winner announced @




Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Hercule Poirot #4

by Agatha Christie

 368 pages // published in 1926 // Classic mystery


Roger Ackroyd was a man who knew too much.

He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her ― and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he'd finished reading it ― stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study...

My Review

5 Star Rating

An excellent Christie novel, with an unexpected twist ending. For that reason alone, I like this one. A lot! (I think it's one of her most famous endings, so a lot of people probably feel this way too.)

The mystery is set up well. I love the main characters have big roles to play in the plot. The sibling relationship between Dr. James Sheppard and his sister Caroline is just such pure entertainment to watch their bantering and dissimilarities.

What a fun whodonit! So cleverly done. If you're interested in Christie's works at all, definitely try this one.

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paperback // e-book // audio

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Book Review: Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

by Jules Verne

 252 pages // published in 1873 // Classic adventure


One night in the reform club, Phileas Fogg bets his companions that he can travel across the globe in just eighty days. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, he immediately sets off for Dover with his astonished valet Passepartout. Passing through exotic lands and dangerous locations, they seize whatever transportation is at hand—whether train or elephant—overcoming set-backs and always racing against the clock.

My Review

4 Star Rating

Another incredible journey from Jules Verne, filled with adventure, excitement, and imagination! This is a FUN classic, one that I think most people would like.

A wager is placed. Phileas Fogg will traverse the globe in 80 days.. So he says. With trusty Passepartout at his side, they will race for all they're worth.

The journey is fairly fast-paced; it keeps you chugging away to the next new destination. And that ending? The little twist? Yessssssss.

I really, really, really, really want to watch the film version now!

Content: Has a couple of tiny references to opium and suicide.

Suitable for: 10 and up - Adults

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Book Review: Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal

Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal

by Lloyd C. Douglas

 473 pages // published in 1939 // Classic fiction


THIS has been an eventful day. We formally opened our new hospital this afternoon. The city's medical profession was ably represented and many of our well-to-do philanthropists came for tea and a tour of inspection.

Everybody commented on our astounding luck in disposing of the shabby old building in Cadillac Square for a quarter of a million. Lucky, they said, that our site had been chosen for the new skyscraping office building. And what a lucky dog I was, added the mayor, that this exquisitely landscaped four-acre tract came onto the market just as we had begun to look for a new location...

My Review

4 Star Rating

The story behind the story of The Magnificent Obsession...

An entertaining read, especially for fans of the original novel. I still don't agree with the doctrine it teaches (or lack thereof), but I enjoyed hearing more about the doctor's private life and about some of his adventures/acts of kindness.

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Book Review: Hearts on Lonely Mountain #giveaway #newrelease #blogtour

Blog Tour Banner

There is exclusive bonus content for you at each and every stop on the blog tour. Tucked away, inside each post is a key word/phrase. If you complete the phrase,  you’ll earn bonus entries in the giveaway. Have fun!

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A.M. Heath (5 star review)

Hearts on Lonely Mountain
Librarians of Willow Hollow #3

by A.M. Heath

227 pages // published in 2020 // Christian historical fiction


Can two lonely people find more than a fleeting friendship or will a prejudiced town keep them apart?

When Ivory Bledsoe left the city to minister to the people of the rural mountain town of Willow Hollow, she never expected to be shunned rather than welcomed. Seeing the town as a lost cause, she’s eager to return home, but when the bridge leading out of town is washed away during a flood, she finds herself stranded in the last place she wants to be.

Ben Thrasher was content with his quiet life until he met the new librarian. He can’t help but be drawn to the friendly and lively Ivory Bledsoe, despite her being at the center of the town’s latest superstition. It’s only a matter of time until she captures his heart, turning his world upside down in the process.

Has Ivory gotten God’s plan for her all wrong or is there still a way she can serve these people? And can Ben ask her to stay in a place where so few are willing to embrace her?

My Review

5 Star Rating

Ivory Bledsoe hails from Nashville (1936), but she's got a mission in Willow Hollow, Kentucky. She is going to become a much-needed librarian in the little town, to spread books to the mountain's good people. She aims to accomplish her job in the most welcoming manner, since she knows that not everyone in Willow Hollow will even know how to read. Upon arrival, she finds out that she's ever so much more of an unwelcome outsider than she assumed.

Ivory will have many hurdles to overcome, including rumors about herself. The mountain folk are of a superstitious nature. One person publicly pegged her as a Moon Witch, and the whole town will have nothing to do with her. Except for one God-fearing man who believes in scriptures more than superstitions. The same man that kindly shelters Ivory when a storm passes through -- but that act of kindness is cruelly twisted into fresh rumors when she exits his home and goes back out into the world.

A.M. Heath's words shine brightly off the written page. Her storytelling abilities are simply sublime, welcoming me back to Willow Hollow each time I open the book to read more. I felt like the country accents are spot on! And Ben's five-year-old nephew, Gerrit, is one smart cookie.

Overall, this is a lovely, inspirational read!

Suitable for: 12 and up - Adults

I already can't wait to read the final installment of this series, and discover Edna's story.

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I’m so excited to offer this tote from ParLaGrace. Be sure to visit her Etsy page and enter the giveaway


Great Depression Sandwiches

The Great Depression was known for its hardships and these hardships hit all the harder in the pantry. While researching, I found the food rather fascinating. Here are some common sandwiches the people ate:

Ketchup Sandwiches

Onion Sandwiches

Mayo Sandwiches

Bacon Grease Sandwiches

Milk Toast

Creamed Corn on Toast

These common fares are only the tip of the iceberg.

Secret Code #6: there

I have 2 ebook sales for you. Hearts on Lonely Mountain is still .99, but it won’t be for much longer! 

Also by A.M. Heath, the Ancient Words Series is also marked down for a limited time.

Meet the Author: A.M. Heath

 Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office. 


Author Links:

I’d love to hear from you. You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookbub, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens.  

Website // Blog // Facebook // Goodreads // Pinterest // Twitter // BookBub


 Tour Stops:

Aug. 31:
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings: Review and Ivory’s Romantic Fiction Recommendations
Anne @ The Naptime Author: Review and Overview of the WPA

Sept. 1:
Amanda @ Amanda Tero Blog: Review and Character Interview: Curt Armstrong

Sept 2:
Nyla @ Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess: Review and More Horseback Librarian Reads
Julie @ Bizwings Blog: Review and Historical Note on the Horseback Librarians

Sept 3:
Tarissa @ In the Bookcase: Review and Common Great Depression Sandwiches

Sept 4:
Hannah: Nook of Grace: Review and Hearts on Lonely Mountain Inspiration Picture
Deana: Texas Book-aholic: Review and Ben’s Love Song to Ivory

Sept 5:
Kaitlyn: Maidens for Modesty: Review and My Inspiration for Ivory

Sept 6:
Debbie: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations: Review and Ivory’s Children’s Book Recommendations

Sept 7:
Tara @ Tower in the Plains: Review and More Great Depression and Appalachian Reads
Jana @ Reviews from the Stacks: Review and Authentic Horseback Librarian Audio Clip

Sept 8:
Vicky @ Vicky Sluiter: Review and Character Interview: Gerrit Callon

Sept 9:
Connie @ Older and Smarter: Review and Interview with a REAL Mobile Librarian from Kentucky
Loretta @ Just Writing: Review and 1930’s Music

Sept 10:
A.M. Heath @ A.M. Heath Blog: 1930’s Slang
Abigail @ Read Review Rejoice: Review and Character Interview: Ivory Bledsoe

Sept 11:
Virginia: Bigreadersite: Review and Character Interview: Ben Thrasher
Karen: Karen Sue Hadley: Review and Common Great Depression Desserts


Book Review: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice #1

by Lewis Carroll

 96 pages // published in 1865 // Children's fantasy


After a tumble down the rabbit hole, Alice finds herself far away from home in the absurd world of Wonderland. As mind-bending as it is delightful, Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is pure magic for young and old alike.

My Review

5 Star Rating

A wonderful, delightful story! Such whimsy, such humor!

For an old classic book, this one can still be loved by modern young readers. A timeless childhood favorite. (This comes from an adult reader who never officially read this book until just now, but was quite taken with this fun, colorful tale.) It mattered not to me the publication year, while I was swept away into Wonderland.

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paperback // e-book // audio

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