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Book Review: Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

Posted by Julie on June 12, 2014 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |


Book Description:

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.

But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.

Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.

The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter.

Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet.

Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

I found the plot to Seagrass Pier intriguing. It’s not often I read about heart donors, but to add that the heroine remembers her donor’s last moments and who her killer is, that makes for some great suspense. Add that Elin’s paired with the one man she shares a past with and it’s a set up for great conflict and romance.

Seagrass Pier has all of this and more. I truly didn’t know who the bad guy was until the reveal. There was a beautiful secondary story about fear that I really enjoyed. There was a heartbreaking look at dementia and caregiving. Beyond the donor story there was also a treasure mystery. I thought maybe there would be too many things going on, but I don’t think that’s the case. I liked the diary/treasure story, too.

With the backdrop of the Outer Banks, I can’t think of a more entertaining summer read.

To purchase Seagrass Pier, click here.

I received a copy of Seagrass Pier from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




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Book Review: Rosemary’s Cottage by Colleen Coble

Posted by Julie on July 18, 2013 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Amy came to Rosemary Cottage to grieve, to heal, maybe even find love. But there’s a deadly undertow of secrets around Hope Island . . .

The charming Rosemary Cottage on the beach offers Amy Lange respite she needs to mourn her brother, Ben. She’s even thinking of moving her midwife practice to the Outer Banks community. It’s always been a refuge for her and her family. She also wants to investigate Ben’s disappearance at sea. Everyone blames a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. If anyone knew who little Raine’s father was, Curtis could lose his beloved niece. Yet he can’t help being drawn to Hope Beach’s new midwife, Amy. He even agrees to help her investigate what happened to both Ben and Gina.

Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? Or will their quest for truth set them at odds with each other…and with those who will go to any length to keep hidden things hidden?

“Coble provides plenty of excitement for readers who enjoy her unique combination of cozy setting and action-packed mystery.” —Publishers Weekly

Rosemary-Cottage-FeaturedRosemary’s Cottage is the second book in the Hope Beach series. Last year I reviewed Tidewater Inn. I think you could read Rosemary’s Cottage as a stand-alone, but I recommend Tidewater Inn first. The series gives a beautiful glimpse of life in the Outer Banks.

Like Tidewater Inn, Rosemary’s Cottage has a good mystery and lots of suspense. There are also grieving characters in Amy and Ben that could bring them together, but also drive them apart. A huge secret is revealed in the last third, and I know I wasn’t expecting it.

This is a suspenseful page-turner that once again shows off a part of America I love, the Outer Banks. My heart broke a little at the mystery, but I think that’s a compliment to Colleen Coble, because I didn’t see it coming. I also enjoyed re visiting characters from Tidewater Inn.

I think Rosemary’s Cottage is just the pick for a vacation read. It has everything you’re looking for–suspense, mystery, romance, and take away lessons to think on long after. In fact, Colleen shares that this is the book that was inspired in part by her own brother’s death years ago. I pray God blessed Colleen with healing as she wrote as much as her writing blesses her readers.

To purchase Rosemary’s Cottage, click here.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

Posted by Julie on August 13, 2012 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.


Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.


But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.


Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.

Tidewater Inn took the lead for my so-far favorite fiction read of the year. It’s also my favorite Colleen Coble book, and I don’t toss either term around lightly. It has everything a good summer read should have–a well researched destination called the Outer Banks. Family dysfunction and conflict. Mystery and suspense. Colleen Coble takes one of the hardest struggles for man to overcome–greed, and effortlessly weaves the theme and consequences throughout the book.

I’ve been to the Outer Banks and I’ve read OBX based books that didn’t make me feel like I was there. Tidewater Inn does, right down to incorporating severe weather, what tides can do, and shipwreck history. The ending mystery was a little far-fetched but again, it incorporated Outer Banks history so well, I didn’t care.

I loved Libby from the beginning, and Alec made me swoon. Every girl loves a waterman, right? I also enjoyed the complex relationship they both had with Zach, as well as the conflicted issues surrounding Brent and Vanessa.

Summer is fading fast, so my advice is find a beach and throw Tidewater Inn in your bag. It’s a great read.

To purchase, click here.

To see the other Tidewater Inn blog tour stops, click here.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Meet Colleen:

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.


Visit her website at Twitter @colleencoble.


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Character Confession: Hey Irene! You Shall Not Pass

Posted by Julie on August 27, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Each Saturday I share a confession regarding how I’m feeling or what I’m doing. It’s courtesy of Pliable in His Hands.





It’s not the best word but it works.

Last year we took our first family vacation ever. Because we live in one state and have family in another, any vacation time always revolved around going back to our home state. When we were first married we spent our vacation time packing an entire year’s worth of entertainment into one week when my husband’s children came for a visit.

So it was a bit exciting to have an Outer Banks vacation.

We chose Hatteras because it seemed quaint and without all the heavy tourist traffic other OB places had. The people were so kind. The condo a dream. The weather, perfect. Our youngest declared she wanted to be a ferry boat captain in Okracoke when she was older. We left with great memories and a piece of our hearts tied to Dare County.

As I type Hurricane Irene looks like she’s heading straight for the Outer Banks. I remember going over the bridge trying to imagine how thousands are able to leave on a single bridge. If there is one way in, there is only one way out. Hurricane evacuation signs dotted the area. Al Roker has been reporting from Duck and showing empty beaches.

Dare County residents, we’re praying for you. We’re proclaiming in Jesus’ name, You Shall Not Pass! Wither and die in the ocean, Irene. Amen.

We also pray for the entire East Coast, declaring the same message.

Won’t you agree with me in prayer?

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