Sunday, August 29, 2021

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: The Cryptographer's Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

Book:  The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

Author: Johnnie Alexander

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: August, 2021

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?


Click here to get your copy!

I really enjoy Christian Historical Fiction books, as I feel I am learning something while reading a Fiction novel. The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander is Book 1 in the Heroines of WWII series. I enjoy reading books from a Series, especially when I start with Book 1. I had the pleasure of reading this book recently and it was a interesting read. 

The time and setting is 1942 in the US. Eloise Marshall is a Cryptographer for the FBI. She is grieving the loss of her brother who died in the attack of Pearl Harbor. Eloise is given a new assignment to investigate, a letter about Dolls. FBI Agent Phillip Clayton is also asked to take on this investigation. He was set to be enlisted and head overseas, but he agrees to hold off on that and take on this investigation. Being an experienced Cryptographer, Eloise feels this assignment should be easy to decode. Phillip and Eloise are in for some surprises and difficulties as they tackle this investigation. Most of all they are surprised that they have taken a liking to one another. Philip appears to be in danger and that is upsetting to Eloise. Will Eloise and Philip finish this investigation safely? Will there be romance brewing between the pair? 

WOW, this book is very well written and very true to the time period of WWII. I really got hooked on the storyline from the very beginning of the book. Eloise is extremely knowledgeable and fun loving. She has a serious side and loves her work. Phillip is a very determined and well liked gentleman. The pair make a great team for work and add in a little romance. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Romance Fiction. GREAT BOOK! 


Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at and other social media sites via


More from Johnnie

American Traitor in WWII


Not all secret messages involve substitution codes where random letters and numbers replace the original letters and numbers. Velvalee Dickinson, a doll collector who owned a doll shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, used jargon code to pass along information to the Japanese about the U.S. ships that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor.


Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters (as originally written):


The only new dolls I have are THREE LOVELY IRISH dolls. One of these three dolls is an old Fisherman with a Net over his back—another is an old woman with wood on her back and the third is a little boy….I can only think of our sick boy these days. You wrote me that you had sent a letter to Mr. Shaw, well I want to see MR. SHAW he distroyed Your letter, you know he has been Ill. His car was damaged but is being repaired now. I saw a few of his family about. They all say Mr. Shaw will be back to work soon.


Velvalee, who the FBI nicknamed The Doll Woman, wrote this letter on her Underwood typewriter. She used the return address and forged the signature of one of her regular customers, Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio. Then Velvalee mailed the letter to an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Unknown to Velvalee, the Japanese had abandoned the Buenos Aires address as a drop point. The letter was marked “return to sender.” When Mrs. Wallace received it, she turned it in to the Post Office Director in Springfield who passed it along to the FBI.


Cryptographers determined that the letter was written in jargon code. To the casual reader, the letter is about dolls. But the intended recipient would have understood it’s about much more than that.


In this example, only one of five letters given to the FBI between February and August of 1942,

cryptographers decoded the message as follows:


  • Old Fisherman with a Net over his back ~ refers to an aircraft carrier which has anti-torpedo nettings on its sides.
  • Old woman with wood on her back ~ refers to an older battleship, one made of wood.
  • A little boy plus our sick boy ~ a damaged ship.


Cryptographers believed that the words Mr. Shaw and Your were purposely capitalized and that the word distroyed was purposely misspelled to draw attention to them. Mr. Shaw referred to the USS Shaw, a destroyer (distroy + your = destroyer).


The remainder of the letter says Mr. Shaw is ill but “will be back to work soon.”


The ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. As the heroine in The Cryptographer’s Dilemma explains, “About two weeks before this letter was written, it [the USS Shaw] was undergoing repairs in San Francisco.”


In the novel, Eloise Marshall is a naval cryptographer who teams up with FBI agent Phillip Clayton, to find the person responsible for forging the signatures on the letters. Their search takes them from Washington, DC to the Springfield, Ohio, to the west coast and back again. On their journey, Eloise will confront an unexpected specter from her past and Phillip will risk his life to save hers.

Life of Literature, August 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

Daysong Reflections, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

A Baker’s Perspective, August 28

Inklings and notions, August 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 29

For Him and My Family, August 30

Simple Harvest Reads, August 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, August 31

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 31

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, September 1

Rebecca Tews, September 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 3

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Mary Hake, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, September 4

Sodbusterliving, September 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 5

Labor Not in Vain, September 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 6

Moments, September 6

Splashes of Joy, September 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Pause for Tales, September 7

To celebrate her tour, Johnnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Read With Audra Blog Tour: Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she's handed a strange present at the latest wedding--a 1950s magazine article of "ways to get a husband"--she decides there's nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can't get any more single, can she?

Her brother's roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love--Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it's an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she's looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

I really enjoy Christian Romance books, so I was really interested in reading this book. I also like that it has a 1950's time theme, as the 50's are a cool decade. Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong is the latest book that I have read. Angela Ruth Strong is a new to me author and I am always interested in new to me authors. 

Meri Newberg feels she is the only person who is still single, at least among her Christian friends. Meri is inquisitive about an article she receives one day. The Article is from the 1950's and is titled "101 Ways to get a Husband". She reads the article and decides to tackle the list to see if the list has any truth to it and can she find her a Husband. Kai Kamaka is her brother's roommate and an aspiring Cameraman. He asks Meri if he can film her for an online show as she goes through the list and she agrees to be filmed. Kai named the show "Meri Me", and when it debuts online it is a HIT!! Everyone who has seen the show is loving it. Kai and Meri continue filming episodes and Kai has a new hope. Although Kai has no intention of falling in LOVE with Meri, he finds himself hoping Meri doesn't find a husband through her antics of going through the list. He is actually hoping she falls for him and wants a chance at a relationship with Meri. Will Kai have a chance with Meri? Does Meri find herself a Husband by following the list or is LOVE right in front of her and has been for a long time? 

WOW, just WOW! I LOVED this book from the very first chapter. I like the fact that the theme is focused on a List from a magazine article from the 1950's. Magazines from the 50's truly had some of the best things in them. Meri is such a fun loving and determined woman. Kai is a motivated and career minded guy, but also has a good sense of humor. Meri is an introvert, but through doing these antics she is learning so much about herself. I was laughing, I was crying, I was involved in this book!! AMAZING BOOK! I highly recommend this book for those who love Christian Romance with Humor and Fun! 

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about.

She is the author of the Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Finding Love in Big Sky was recently filmed on location in Montana and will air soon. Her latest release is Husband Auditions.

Strong also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho and teaches as an expert online at Write That Book.

Learn more at, and follow her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page), Twitter (@AngelaRStrong), and Instagram (@ang_strong). 

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Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Lethal Coverup by Darlene L. Turner

Book:  Lethal Cover-Up

Author: Darlene L. Turner

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021


Some secrets are dangerous…

But uncovering the truth could be deadly.

Border patrol officer Madison Steele knows her sister Leah’s fatal car crash was no accident. Someone’s willing to kill to cover up a pharmaceutical company’s deadly crime of distributing tainted drugs. Now they are after Madison to tie off loose ends. But with her high school sweetheart, Canadian police constable Tucker Reed, at her side, can Madison expose the company’s deadly plan before she becomes the next victim?


Click here to get your copy!

LOVE Inspired books are a FAVORITE of mine. The books have different genres and are written by many different Authors. Lethal Cover-Up by Darlene L. Turner is the most recent LOVE Inspired book that I read. Darlene L. Turner is a new to me author. Lethal Cover-Up is a Suspense and Romance novel. 

Madison Steele lost her sister in a Fatal Car Accident. As a Border Patrol Police, she has a feeling that this was not an accident. A Pharmaceutical Company has been distributing "tainted drugs" and there is a "Cover UP" happening. Madison has some info on the company and wants to reveal their deadly plot. Tucker Reed, who is a Canadian Police Constable and is also her High School Sweetheart, is helping her to unravel the mystery plot by the company. Will Madison and Tucker reveal the truth before either is hurt by the Criminals? Will Madison be able to prove that her sister's death was not an accident? 

WOW, this book has got to be the most SUSPENSE filled book I have ever read! I was on the edge of my chair reading this book, practically the entire time reading it. I was soo engrossed in the book that I did not put it down until I was done and I finished in about 3hrs. The Twists and Turns are AMAZING! Madison is angry with God and Tucker is a strong Christian and he does try to encourage her with talk of God, but Madison doesn't want to talk about Christian Faith. I really like how 2 High School Sweethearts can come together to work on a Criminal Case. I am looking forward to reading more books by Darlene L. Turner, she truly has a GREAT Writing Style! FANTASTIC BOOK!


Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at where there’s suspense beyond borders.


More from Darlene

The Hidden Staircase, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Sign of the Twisted Candles—these were just some of my favorite Nancy Drew books. I couldn’t get enough of them growing up! My family often saw me with my nose stuck in one of Nancy’s many tales. When I was finished with those, I’d sneak my brother’s Hardy Boy books and devour them too. This is where my love of writing and of a good mystery/suspense began.

Creating stories in the romantic suspense genre was a natural journey for me. I had always wanted to be a policewoman after watching Charlie’s Angels (they even kicked butt while wearing high heels…what could be better than that?!), Cagney and Lacey, Police woman, Murder She Wrote, etc. My love for all-things-mystery carried into my adult life. Who doesn’t love Sydney Bristow and Kate Beckett?

I enjoy creating strong female characters in a law enforcement role. Madison Steele fits the bill head on as she works to bring down a ruthless pharmaceutical company. While she has nerves of steel, I also wanted to make her vulnerable. In the beginning Madison loses her long-lost sister in a heart-wrenching crash. One she knows was not an accident. This thrusts her into a deadly pursuit of the perpetrators with her estranged high school sweetheart, Tucker Reed, by her side.


I wrote this book during the tough year our world faced living in the unknown. Madison and Tucker are stuck in their own fears but eventually find hope. Hope in the unknown and hope in knowing God is in control and with us—no matter the circumstances. We just need to know where to look.


I hope you enjoy reading Madison and Tucker’s story as much as I loved crafting it. I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me through my website and also sign up for Darlene’s Diary newsletter to receive exclusive subscriber giveaways.

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 18

Lighthouse-Academy, August 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 19

Genesis 5020, August 19

Simply Susan, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 20

Bizwings Blog, August 20

She Lives To Read, August 21

HookMeInABook, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 22

Mary Hake, August 22

Betti Mace, August 23

Daysong Reflections, August 23

For the Love of Literature, August 24

deb’s Book Review, August 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 26

Pause for Tales, August 26

Blogging With Carol, August 26

For Him and My Family, August 27

Simple Harvest Reads, August 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 28

Batya’s Bits, August 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 29

Kayem Reads, August 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie , August 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 30

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 31

Labor Not in Vain, August 31

To celebrate her tour, Darlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of Lethal Cover-Up!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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JustRead Tours Blog Tour: Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount

Lost and Found Faith JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Lost and Found Faith
Title: Lost and Found Faith
Author: Laurel Blount
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance 

A terrible tragedy nearly broke him. Can love put him back together again? 

Widowed history teacher Neil Hamilton has lost his way—at work, with people and even with his faith. But Neil's shut-down existence is disrupted when a small toddler and his would-be foster mother, vibrantly pretty Maggie Byrne, come crashing into Neil's yard and his life. Can this absentminded teacher find himself again…and take a chance on love, too? 

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope. 

People had hurt this woman, Neil realized, and she still bore the scars, no matter how well she covered them up with cookies and smiles. “Did something like that happen to you?”

He sensed her reluctance to answer his question. “Almost. If it hadn’t been for Ruby—” Maggie paused and swallowed. “It almost happened to me. And I knew other kids in the foster-care system who weren’t as blessed as I was. Their stories didn’t end well. How could they? If you shut your heart off, if you can’t love people because you’re terrified of getting hurt again, what kind of life is that?”

He could have told her. He knew exactly what kind of life that was. But she didn’t seem to expect an answer so he didn’t offer one.

“I won’t let that happen to Oliver,” she said fiercely, “but I’m going to need your help. And who knows? Maybe it’ll help you, too....”

That was his cue. Time to refuse politely, to back away from this, and retreat into the closed-off lifestyle that kept him reasonable functional. 

He suddenly recalled that moment when Oliver had run to him instead of to her—and how he’d wished he could help her.

Well, now he could. She needed him. Nobody had needed him for a very long time.

“All right,” he heard himself saying. “I’ll try. Just tell me what I’m supposed to do.” 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub



Laurel Blount

Award-winning author Laurel Blount writes inspirational romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart! She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals.

A enthusiastic multi-tasker, Laurel writes for both Berkley/Penguin Random House and Love Inspired/Harlequin. She’s the recipient of ACFW’s Carol Award, The New England Reader’s Choice Award and GRW’s Maggie Award. She’s represented by Jessica Alvarez of Bookends Literary Agency. 

Lost and Found Faith is Laurel’s sixth book—and five more stories are in the works! Stay tuned!

Website | FacebookInstagram


(1) winner will receive an embroidered dishtowel with Maggie’s favorite saying “The kitchen is the heart of the home” and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Lost and Found Faith 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 August 23, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 30, 2021. 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 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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