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“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”- Psalm 138:2

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Next Dish ~ Bethany Turner

I would consider this book to be a little bit or romance, drama and non-fiction reality tv.  When Celebrity Chef Maxwell and Culinary channel star Hadley go head to head in competition it is more than Hadley ever expected.  She meets her challenge to keep her cool and move forward, no matter what Chef Max throws at her.  Cheif Max has a heated temper and a big ego, until the two come together, he realizes he just may have met his match.  After the competition is over, things take a turn, is it for the worse or better for both chefs?  Can they keep their status of television stars and their fans while going head to head or will they decide it is better to work together.

I found this book slow to my reading, it seemed like it dragged on.  It was a good book, but I wasn't tempted to keep reading it.  I would read, put down, and then pick up again when I had time.  It was not big on faith as my usual readings, but I am a fan of reality cooking shows, so that was what kept my interest.  I would recommend to anyone that wants just a light read for a lazy afternoon and a read where you don't have to concentrate.  I think my big problem was, I was so excited to read this book and then it was not as interesting to me as I thought it would be.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.



Monday, May 25, 2020

Storing up Trouble ~ Jen Turano


This is book 3 of the American Heiresses series.  This is the story of Beatrix Waterbury, leaving New York to go live in Chicago with her Aunt.  The book begins when Beatrix takes the train as her way of getting to Chicago, during the trip the train is stopped and taken over by train robbers.  During the robbery, Beatrix, refuses to give up her possessions and Norman Nesbit comes to her rescue, only she ends up rescuing him by having her purse be a made into a pistol..... then when Beatrix and Norman take off with the robbers horses, the adventure begins.  Will they survive the robbers casing after them?  Do they end up as friends in Chicago or even get to Chicago?   

I loved this book, it was a fun and laughable read... so many characters added into the story line to keep the book interesting and non-stop enjoyable.  This is book 3 of the series but can be read as a stand alone as all books are regarding different people.  The story is so relaxing to read that you don't want it to end.  A great summer afternoon read with a cup of ice tea.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Author
 Book:  Storing Up Trouble
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2020

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jen Turano, (www.jenturano.com) a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 More from Jen

Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.

In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshal Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.

What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.

What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshal Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshal and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshal forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshal Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshal Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.
What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,

Jen

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE

Made in Hollywood ~ Michelle Kenner

This is book two of the A Red Carpet Romance.  In this book Noah is a part-time limo driver that lives with his dad a pastor.  He is not sure if he wants to be a pastor or keep the limo business going. When one night he is back late from driving the limo and he finds a beat up girl laying on the church steps.  He calls 911 and goes to the hospital with them.  When the girl (Hannah) will not give any information, for some reason he is drawn to help her.  When Noah's sister visits in the hospital, her and Hannah befriend each other and build a very close relationship.  Hannah is taken in by this family and the relationships between them and God grow.  Everything is going great, when all of a sudden Hannah's past is catching up to her.   Can she stay on God's plan or will she disappear to her past?

I would recommend this book to any age and anyone that likes a read that just doesn't stop with the twist and turns.  This is a read that you won't be able to put down, each chapter leaves you hanging to make you want to read more and more until the end.  I didn't read book 1 and when I was in the middle reading, I thought was there a first book, because of things they talked about, it didn't stop you from understanding this version but you want to know more.  This book will wrap you into the characters.  It felt like a book from all my favorites wrapped into one:  Karen Kingsbury (family & faith), Terry Blackstock (suspense), Melody Carlson (love, fun and romance) with that being said, Michelle is one of my new favorites, I can't wait for book three and now I plan to go back and read book one.  Great Read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.




About the Book
Book:  Made in Hollywood
Author: Michelle Keener
Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 10, 2020

When a pastor’s son saves her life, can a prodigal daughter dare to believe in second chances?

Noah Shaw is almost thirty and he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. Torn between running his business as a limo driver for Hollywood’s elite, and feeling called to ministry, he prays for direction. But he never expects that direction to include finding a woman near-death on the front steps of his father’s church.

Hannah left her family and her faith when she moved to Hollywood looking for adventure. Instead of finding fame in the movies, she was lured into the life of an exotic dancer. Hopeless and ashamed, suicide seems like her only escape. Until the night Noah saves her life.

The Shaw family welcomes her into their home and gives her a chance to start over. When the shadows of her former life threaten to expose her past, she must choose between running away or fighting for the new life she’s built and the man she’s grown to love.

Click here for your copy.

About the Author

Michelle Keener is a wife, mom, and the author of five books. She lives in Southern California with her retired Marine husband, their two children, and one spoiled dog. When she isn’t writing, she is busy homeschooling, teaching creative writing workshops, or baking something involving chocolate.

More from Michelle

The Story of a Prodigal Daughter

Made in Hollywood is the sequel to my first Christian romance novel Mission Hollywood. It’s the story of Lily’s brother Noah and his search for love and direction. In the book, Noah meets a young girl who has been through some truly dark and terrible places. She’s been wounded, abused, and she’s lost hope. She’s worried that her past is too much for God to forgive, and that she’s fallen too far and doesn’t deserve God’s grace. She is a prodigal daughter lost on the streets of Hollywood.

One of the reasons I wrote Made in Hollywood (aside from the fact that I just adore Noah) is to be a reminder that God never gives up on us. Just like the story of the Prodigal Son, if we turn back to God, He will run to us and bring us home.

There is no place so dark that God light can’t reach.

There is no sin, no mistake, no circumstance that can separate us from the love of God. His arms are always open to us. His love is unchanging, unending, and unfailing. His amazing grace reaches the lost and restores what was broken. His love binds our wounds and heals our past. What the enemy intended for evil, God will turn to good. It’s a truth Hannah had to learn. It’s a truth I had to learn. And it’s a truth God wants His people to share. God’s love never fails.
I hope you enjoy Made in Hollywood!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
 Click HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Seeing Voices ~ Olivia Smit

This is a young adult read, but a great read for any age.  When Skylar has an accident that changes her life forever, physical and mental, for a teenager, can she deal with all of this happening at once?
After having a life changing accident, she has to deal with leaving her friends behind for the summer as her family decides to house sit across the country.  As she has to deal with her emotions not only with her family but with some new friends.  As the summer goes on, she works on herself, dealing with her family situation and working on her faith?  Can she finally accept these changes?  Will she just give up and still be angry at God?

I would recommend this to all ages for a story with good meaning.  The story really makes you feel for Skylar and you keep wanting her to work through the problems and have a happy ending.  The book is written in the first person, which I am not a big fan of books written this way, and takes me longer to read.  However, it has a really good message and will keep teens reading. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.



About the Book
Book:  Seeing Voices
Author: Olivia Smit
Genre:  Contemporary Young Adult
Release Date: April 15, 2020

Skylar Brady has a for her life—until a car accident changes everything.

Skylar knows exactly what she wants, and getting in a car accident the summer before twelfth grade isn’t supposed to be part of the plan. Although she escapes mostly unharmed, the accident has stolen more than just her hearing from her: she’s also lost the close bond she used to have with her brother.
When her parents decide to take a house-sitting job halfway across the province, it’s just one more thing that isn’t going according to plan. As the summer progresses, Skylar begins to gain confidence in herself, but as she tries to mend her relationship with her brother, she stumbles upon another hidden trauma. Suddenly, she’s keeping as many secrets as she’s struggling to uncover and creating more problems than she could ever hope to solve.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Olivia Smit loves baking, visiting small towns, and writing stories that face hard truth with hope and encouragement. Olivia has an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature and lives in Canada with her family. Seeing Voices is her first novel. Learn more at https://oliviasmit.ca/

More from Olivia

Although “Seeing Voices” is not the first book I ever wrote, it is the first one that felt like it held a little piece of my heart. Skylar and her older brother, Mike, popped into my head one afternoon, both coping with the aftermath of a car accident in totally different ways. It took me ages to figure out what kind of story they belonged to, but right from the beginning I knew it would be a story about siblings and families, pain and guilt, and also (perhaps most importantly!) togetherness and love.
In so many ways, “Seeing Voices” was for me, before it was for readers. I wrote the rough draft when I was 18, fresh out of high school and still figuring out a few tricky situations within my own family. As I wrote about Skylar and Mike, I poured a lot of my own confusion and emotion into the pages, trying to make sense of my own feelings of responsibility, frustration, and ultimately, hope. Words from the book still float through my mind when I’m in certain situations, little reminders of lessons I learned once and need to hang onto with both hands.
I prayed my way through the writing process, trying (and failing) to find a story that fit with Skylar and Mike, who felt so much like real people. I prayed through querying, trusting that if God wanted this story out there in the world, He would find it a home … and if He wanted Skylar and Mike to be a story just for me, I would be okay with that, too. In so many ways this process has been a team effort, and I feel convinced that this isn’t my story, after all — it’s God’s, and I’m just doing my part to help tell it.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of coasters and a book sleeve!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

 Click HERE

Say & Pray Bible ~ Diane Stortz & Sarah Ward

This bible is a hardbook with lots of cute and colorful photos.  This is for the very young just starting out.  It gives books of the bible in very simple, informative and colorful way.  The book has a bible verse, Prayer and very basic photos of the things on the pages. (trees, people, animals, sky, etc.) The items on each page are the type where you say and point to.  It is made of hardboard, so can be held, pointed at, and used day after day.

I would recommend this for our very little ones that are just learning. It is a very impressive book, such an inspirational learning tool.  Every church nursery should have this book.  It is the type of book that you want to sit, rock and hold your child while reading this book.  You can read it or you can just use to look at the pictures.  Very inspirational book that can be read over and over again.  This would be a great gift book for that new mom to be or any mom that has a newborn.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.



About the Book

Book:  Say & Pray Bible
Author: Diane Stortz
Genre:  Bible stories, board book
Release Date: 2015

Curl up together and experience the Bible in a fresh, new way. Young children will enjoy pointing to and naming objects on each page for early learning. Most important, they’ll discover favorite, age-appropriate Bible stories, with Scripture verses and short prayers that also hide God’s Word in young hearts.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.

More from Diane

Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved his books. Long before he could talk, he loved turning pages, looking at the pictures, hearing his grandpa name the objects in the pictures, and pointing to those objects.
And once upon a time there was a grandma looking for a truly age-appropriate Bible storybook for that same little boy. And the best ones she found still contained too many words.
And she wondered . . .
Why not write a Bible storybook that could be designed especially for babies, toddlers, and young preschoolers? With the shortest stories you’ve ever seen, and with labeled objects and people in the illustrations that little ones could point to and name?
That’s how my book Say & Pray Bible began.
I wanted a book with age-appropriate, SHORT Bible stories. Babies and toddlers LOVE turning pages. Listening to long stories has to wait until they’re older.
I wanted short Bible verses and prayers to go with the very short stories.
And I wanted the illustrations to have lots of LABELED objects to encourage little ones to point and name.
Some days you might just read the stories. Another day, just the verses. Yet another reading, just the prayers. And some days, you might just talk about the pictures.
Most children begin to say single words with meaning, always nouns, at 12–18 months. This is the stage when children can point to—and eventually name—photos or illustrations of objects in their books.
Around 24 months, children begin to say two-word, noun plus verb sentences, such as “Cat run.” In time, sentences become longer and include adjectives and adverbs, but no function words: “Big cat run fast.” Last to develop is the use of function words (such as the and an) and more complex sound combinations and sentence forms.
Human beings seem to be hardwired to acquire language and learn to speak—evidence that, as the Bible says, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). But there’s a lot we can do to help little ones develop language skills and expose them to God’s Word at the same time!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book, a signed copy of the companion book (Say & Pray Devotions), and a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click Here

Oliver's Moving Day ~ Vicky Sluiter

This is a kid's book that deals with change and moving to another home.  Oliver is moving from the city to the country.  It tells of his moving day and gives the road he travels to his new home.  He shows how he is saying good by to his neighborhood, sky scrappers and the man on the corner. Then shows what his new home has.... trees, cows, and lots of green grass.  It describes the difference between city life and country life.

I would recommend this book to children ages 7-9, the younger kids may like the story but the pages are filled with words and little pictures.  Leaving the younger kids to loose attention as they like lots of pictures and color.  It is a good story and leaves kids the opportunity to talk about moving and about how change can be a good thing.  It is a quick read and has one page a photo and the other the story.  This is a good book to have kids start reading on their own.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book: Oliver’s Moving Day
Author: Vicky Sluiter
Genre:  Children’s book
Release Date: December 3, 2019

It’s moving day, and five-year-old Oliver is excited for the adventure ahead. He is full of questions as, along with big sister Edith, Mommy, and Daddy, Oliver moves from The Big City to The Country.

He has never been to The Country and has only seen pictures in his books. What will it be like? Where will they live? Will there be lots of people and tall buildings? Join Oliver and his family as they wave goodbye to The Big City and journey through the suburbs and into The Country. Will Oliver have his questions answered? Read along and find out!

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Vicky Sluiter has had a passion for reading since she was four years old. She started with the back of cereal boxes and moved on to everything else, including books, magazines, and t shirts. As a wife and mom, gramma to five boys, and the proud owner of a bearded dragon named Elliott, she has learned what boys like Oliver want to read. You can follow Vicky’s blog and book reviews at vickysluiter.com.

More from Vicky

I love writing children’s fiction because children are so much fun. So lively and expressive. You never really know what will happen when a child is involved but usually it will involve laughter. I have five grandsons so have experienced this many times over the years. The boys are ages 5 yrs to 14 yrs. Being at different stages the house is full of fun when they are all together. The youngest adores the oldest, and it’s reciprocated even if he won’t admit it. The middle three enjoy hanging together and getting into mischief. This Gramma loves every second of it!
The idea for a little guy on a farm was birthed when I was taking classes in writing fiction for children 30 years ago. I grew up on a hobby farm in farm country so the setting was pretty natural for me. And all the neighbors were boys so that’s what I’m used to. I could drive a tractor and bale hay right along with them. Having Oliver move from The Big City to The Country was inspired by my three youngest grandsons. That’s what they did and when they come to visit me they get excited to see the tall buildings in The Big City. And yes, they actually use that phrase. They are thoroughly convinced that Oliver’s Moving Day was written about them. In a way it was!
I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my dream. It was temporarily set aside, but in the right season it bubbled to the top again. Never let go of your dreams!

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Vicky is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and toy truck!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE 

Friday, May 22, 2020

On a Coastal Breeze ~ Suzanne Woods Fisher

This is book 2 of the Three Island Sisters series.  This is the second season on the island after a long winter and the sisters are continuing with their lives and the way of living on the island.  We continue with Maddie settled into counseling at her new office in the basement of the church, Cam is still working on setting a wedding date along with getting grants for electricity to the island and Blaine is dealing with her culinary school and next step of a cooking career.  In this book we are introduced to the new handsome pastor that comes to the island, Rick.  He and Maddie have a history and can they both forgive each other for the past?  What is up with Cam not able to set the date?  Will Blaine stay on the island or make a difficult choice to leave?

I love this series, one of my favorites in a long time.  When you read this book you get wrapped up in the characters and it moves along very well.  Just when you think you can figure it all out, it doesn't happen that way..... It is one of those books that you can't put down and hate to have it end.  When I started reading, I ended up reading it in bed because I had to see how it all worked out, my husband asked "are you going to read all night?"  I said "almost done, I only have a few more pages"  he replied "the book will be there in the morning" I reply "I know, but I need to know......"  that is how much this book wraps you in.   It is book 2 but can be read as a stand alone, even though you will want to read book 1 to get a little background and it will give you more background of the family and how they ended up on the island.... Can't wait for book 3!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book
 Book: On A Coastal Breeze Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher Genre: Amish Romance Release Date: May 5, 2020 For Madison Grayson, life is good. Newly licensed as a marriage and family therapist, she can’t wait to start her practice. Despite the unfortunate shortage of eligible bachelors on the island–they’re all too young, too old, or too weird–Maddie feels like she’s finally found her sweet spot. Not even one panic attack in the last year. Not one. And then Ricky O’Shea drops in. Literally. Floating down from the pure blue sky, the one man in the world she hoped never to see again–the one who’d been her archnemesis from kindergarten through her senior dance–parachutes into town, landing on Boon Dock, canopy draping behind him like a superhero. Ricky O’Shea. Now Pastor Rick, the new minister on Three Sisters Island. Time to panic. With wit and a bit of whimsy, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Three Sisters Island where family, forgiveness, and a second chance at love await.

 Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including On a Summer Tide, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, The Deacon’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

More from Suzanne

Dear Reader, The minute you step off the ferry and onto Three Sister Island, magic begins. Crisp ocean air acts like an elixir. Stress starts to evaporate, like a wisp of steam from a cup of hot tea. Happiness moves in, and you’ll feel more cheerful, more positive about the future. And then there’s time! Somehow, there seems to be plenty of it. Little things will catch your notice—finding seashells on the beach, watching waves crash against the rocks, gazing at the star-studded night sky. Life just starts to slow down…and you wonder if you really want to ever leave Three Sisters Island. Nor do you have to! That’s the beauty of books—they are the perfect escape. Always available, just waiting to be picked up. Always ready to transport you to a fresh and new state of mind. On a Coastal Breeze is that kind of a read. The Grayson Family saga continues as they move to Three Sisters Island off the coast of Maine for a fresh start. Maddie Grayson takes center stage in this story. Life is finally coming together for Maddie. On the very day she opens her counseling practice, she spots a billowing skydiver. Parachuting in is Ricky O’ Shea—the one person on earth Maddie hoped she’d never see again. But Rick’s the new pastor for the island’s only church and he’s not about to leave. That’s when sparks start to fly. Join me for a getaway by the sea that will leave you in a happy, relaxed, vacation-y state of mind…without leaving your home. Once you board the Never Late Ferry, even in your imagination, the island will take it from there. Warmly, Suzanne

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of her book to five winners!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I'll Take the Lie ~ Nancy E. Wood

This book is a book for young teen readers.  The story is about Paige and the relationship with her boyfriend Justin.  When Justin decides to break up with Paige and then all of a sudden disappears the mystery begins.  Paige is determined to find out what happend to Justin and why, she takes it upon herself to become obsessed to find out the truth no matter what.  When Paige gets information that she wasn't expecting, she has second thoughts of maybe she doesn't want to know the truth.  What will Paige do?  How bad can the truth be?  Should she have left everything the way it was and just let Justin go?

I would recommend this read to young readers that like a little romance and mystery read.  The story had many twist and turns and flowed nicely.  It was a page turner and kept the reader wondering.  The cover of the book doesn't do this book justice, I felt the cover needed to be more interesting instead of black and white trees and the back cover didn't really have much imagination. The design of the cover doesn't really reach the age group this book is for.  If I saw this in a book store shelf, I would have never picked it up which is too bad because I liked the story.  This is a good book and don't judge this book by the front or back cover.  I would read more from this author.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.



About the Book

Book:  I’ll Take the Lie
Author: Nancy E. Wood
Genre:  Christian YA
Release Date: June 28, 2019

Does the truth really set you free?

Paige Hall doubts it, after her boyfriend Justin tells her he’s over it, leaving her with a broken heart and crushed dreams. When Justin disappears, she can’t help but try to find out what happened to him. But when the more she searches, the more problems arise, she can’t help but wonder if it would be better to just accept the lie…

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.
Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.

More from Nancy

What’s truth? Why is it important? Does everyone have their own kind of truth or is there only one?
Those were questions I was dealing with in my college Apologetics class while I wrote I’ll Take the Lie, and I thought that theme would fit so well into the story.
The idea came to me a long time ago. I was really into The Great Gatsby at the time and wanted to write a story from a bystander’s point of view. Originally titled What’s Wrong with Alex?, Paige, the worried sister of Alex, who drastically changed over his first semester of college, wants to find out what happened to him. But the deeper I went into the story, the more Paige’s character shone through, and she soon became the protagonist with her ex boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. The whole theme tied into what I was studying about apologetics and truth, so the messy pieces all came together into a solid plot.
Paige isn’t a believer, and she doesn’t really care about the idea of truth and spirituality until she gets dragged into it. It’s my hope that this book story helps young adults like me think deeper and question their beliefs. We get so caught up with our own happiness, we don’t always want to accept the hard truth. But, like Paige, we need to think about whether we can keep living pretend lives or if the truth really does set us free.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE

The Good Shadows ~ Carol Alwood

This is a young adult book with a mix of Christianity, witchcraft and a little romance.  When Violet meet Dakota she is drawn into his knowledge of tarot cards and the dark side.  Dakota and his family owns Chuckanut House, a mansion that is on land with ocean front.  Violet wants to spend more time with Dakota and is intrigued by his dark side, so she decided to book the House for her parents 25th wedding anniversary.  When Violet gets involved more with Dakota she learns of the dark and deep secrets that are there.  Can she learn the truth and stay true to her faith?  Will Dakota grab her heart and turn her to the dark side?  Will she make the right choices?  Does she see the light again?

I would recommend this to the young adult crowd, 16 and older.  Some of the darkness could be disturbing to younger readers.  This is a book that will draw the young as that is when they seem to be exploring life and what other choices they have, right or wrong.....  I was not into this book, as I am not a reader of the witch craft and voodoo.  This book is well written but will be for those that enjoy reading about this type of subject.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book
Book:  The Good Shadows
Author: Carol Alwood
Genre:  Young adult romance with a supernatural twist
Release Date: January 10, 2020

She believed him when he told her some Shadows were good.

When sixteen-year-old Violet Blackstone seeks to belong outside of her Christian community, she opens doors to a dark world she doesn’t understand.

Her parents’ secret separation and conflict at church fuel her desire to find something more. She sneaks out to a party at Chuckanut House and meets Dakota Selby, the mysterious new guy at Bellingham High School who reads her tarot cards and tells her she doesn’t belong. When she discovers his family owns Chuckanut House, she plans to hold her parents’ twenty-fifth-wedding-anniversary party there to reunite them in the beautiful mansion surrounded by forest and ocean—and to spend more time with Dakota to prove she fits into his world.

Violet works her way into Dakota’s life and must face the secrets and Shadows buried deep within Chuckanut House and her own family’s past. Entrenched in darkness, Violet searches for light and love as she battles Shadows threatening to capture her soul.

When her life falls apart, where will she turn?

Winner of the 2016 Orange County Christian Writer’s book proposal contest.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Author Carol Alwood grew up in the green haven of Bellingham, Washington, the setting of The Good Shadows series. Now living in Southern California, she misses the raindrops on maple leaves, so when she isn’t home for a visit she writes stories that take place in her hometown. Carol adores fiction and is the author of the novelette, Ghost of a Girl. She also wrote Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, a newly released writing-craft book.

More from Carol

Magic isn’t a new topic for Christian fiction.
Many readers of this genre often enjoy spell-filled stories that take place in faraway lands because they know the narrative involves make-believe creatures and battles. But what if by becoming used to magic in stories we have allowed a gentle pathway for magical ideas to trickle into our lives? What if in one sudden moment (in the same way other things have become acceptable overnight) magic, a.k.a. magick, touched our fingertips in the real world, and we felt compelled to wield its power? Could it be that magic is already here? All one has to do is check online for tarot card readings, potion recipes, and steps for casting spells. What if while we scoffed at the thought of magic as something more than the stuff of fantasy our children stumbled upon it? From this logic, The Good Shadows was born.
Violet Blackstone is a sixteen-year-old pastor’s daughter who struggles to feel whole. Her parents hide their secret separation, she feels like she doesn’t fit in at church, and she meets a Wiccan priestess’s son who shows her another way of thinking. Nestled in the shadowy forests of the Pacific Northwest, Violet sets out on a new pathway that leads toward love and magick. Meanwhile, she uncovers disturbing information about her own family’s past. Her friend Owen tries to stop her from heading down this dark path, but she’s drawn in by a boy with forest green eyes and the desire to exercise control over her crumbling life.
What will it take for Violet to realize she has opened doors to a dark world and there are shadows are after her soul?
This award-winning book is available on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook (Kindle Unlimited). The Bible study at the end is ideal for small groups or individuals to enjoy an in-depth study on magick and sorcery. Don’t miss Ghost of a Girl, a novelette in The Good Shadows series, and The Dark Shadows (book two coming out June of 2020).
Carol Alwood is also the author of Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys and the book’s corresponding workbook. Both are available on Amazon. While Carol lives with her husband and two daughters in Southern California, she loves visiting her hometown of Bellingham, Washington, where The Good Shadows takes place. The road to Chuckanut is a real place with stunning views and inviting forests. Check out her website for a virtual hometown tour and to read chapter one of The Good Shadows.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a signed paperback copy of The Good Shadows & $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Volition ~ Chautona Hauig

This book is part of the Rockland Chronicles (10 books) from Amazon.  When Andi is taken from her home and forced into the future world that is controlled by the government.  She is a believer in a non-believer world and forced to marry in the new world.  She is challenged with many obstacles of the future and how changes have occured.  How can she manage living in a non-believer world when she feels the strength of her faith is so strong?  Can the new married couple work together? How can a non-believer manage with a wife that is a such a strong willed believer?

I would recommend this to anyone that likes Sci-fy/futuristic Christian reads.  This book is more than I expected, the cover made me think it was going to be all sci-fy, not my choice of reading.  However, it was one of those books that kept you intrigued and reading chapter after chapter.  I found it to be really quite interesting and different than I am used to reading and was glad I did.   If you want to read something that will take you off the beaten path, this is the book to chose.  I liked how Christianity was wrapped up into a futuristic world.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book

Book:  Volition
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre:  Christian fiction, futuristic
Release Date: December 31, 2019

“I should have made that left turn at Tucumcari.”

It’s Doctor Who meets mail-order brides when “rescuers” from the future arrive to save Andi Flanders from a happy life with her loving family and fiancé.

Okay, so they meant to get her suicidal roommate, but hey. Mistakes happen, right?

And as far as Andi’s concerned, they can fix them—by sending her home.

However, when she learns what happens when she disappears from home, Andi has an impossible choice. Stay in the government-controlled futuristic world she despises and never see her family again or return to the twenty-first century and doom an innocent person to death.

Volition— Life and death decisions are so overrated.


Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

What Happens When You Explore Logical Progressions?

She used chopsticks. Me? I’m a fork kind of gal. But over plates of sesame chicken and fried rice, we hashed out what our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books would be. Every year, I challenged myself.  Once by writing drippy romance (Discovering Hope).  Once by turning a sermon into a story that wasn’t preachy (Argosy Junction). (psst… links are affiliate links—they provide a small commission at no extra expense to you!)
This time, I’d decided the challenge would include writing in the first person.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like the first-person perspective. As we tried to figure out what our plots would be, my friend added another challenge. “Do science fiction.”
I’ll be honest. I almost laughed her out of the restaurant. But then an idea hit me.  Why shouldn’t I?  I could kill two dislikes in one book.  Bam! Done!

That kicked off a book I probably never would have written otherwise.

I knew doing major techno-science stuff wouldn’t be conducive to trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, so I immediately chose futuristic over space travel.  The decision to go with a form of time travel was probably inspired by Doctor Who, now that I think of it. I didn’t back then. I just went with what I thought I might be able to make interesting—to write, if not to read.
That kicked off an idea that sent my brain spinning.
What would happen if you got kidnapped and taken to the future, but returning to your former life means someone’s soul will never be redeemed?
Of course, it would take a really strong, amazing character to pull off that kind of thing. Not everyone could do it. But who… who give up her life for someone else?
That’s when I knew. That soul saved would have to belong to someone my character didn’t even like. Gotta raise the stakes, you know?

That’s also when I discovered that I wouldn’t like her—not at first.

Andi Flanders jumped onto the page with hands on hips and eyes flashing. She was livid that people in the future had interfered with her life. Then she’s broken when she realizes she can’t go back.
Fiercely independent, Andi enters futuristic Rockland with a critical eye and condemning spirit.  Since most sci-fi stuff I’ve seen focuses on sleek, pristine futures full of glass and steel, I wanted to go a different direction.  But how?
That’s when my solution came to me.
I’d take today’s world and push everything to logical exaggerated conclusions.
  • Environmentalism? We’ll have a world that tries not to encroach on nature any more than necessary
  • Population? I took China’s “one child” policy and made it worldwide… and then let the future deal with the fallout.
  • Globalism? I let them have their one-world government that protects everyone from themselves.
  • Apathetic faith? I didn’t persecute Christians. I just let their faith die a slow, natural death.
And then I threw in a character with a love for Jesus and a minor obsession with Ayn Rand’s objectivism.  Yes, I’m aware that those two things can be mutually exclusive. That was the fun of it.
This Rand-spouting, Jesus loving, freckle-faced, fiery redhead had to deal with all if this stuff in a world as opposite from her freedom-loving self as can stand.
Ninety-thousand words later, I was done.  And then I shelved the book.
For ten years.

On December 27, 2019, I got a message from my son.

He’d found a book cover design contest and wondered if he should enter.  And if so, with what book?  We hashed out ideas when I remembered Volition.  It wasn’t edited.  Done, but not edited.  Could I possibly get the whole thing cleaned up before December 31 rolled over into January 1?
I decided to try.
Nolan got to work on a cover while I began editing like nobody’s business.
With the help of my amazing launch team, an incredible editor, and no sleep, the book was live on New Year’s Eve with three hours to spare.
Then my son decided not to worry about entering this year.
He lives. This is a testimony to God’s grace and control over my life.  And my hands.
Or maybe it’s because he lives three hours south of me, and I’ve only seen him once since then. You don’t kill your son at your daughter’s wedding reception. Just sayin’.
But let’s go with the first reason. It makes me sound more spiritual or something. 😉

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click Here

Monday, May 18, 2020

Taking Chances ~ Melody Carlson

This is book 4 of the Being Zoey series.  This is a young readers book, but can be read at any age. 
In this book Zoey is learning about trust and friendship.  When her friend Louisa talks her into starting a band, then she invites two boys over, one that she has a crush on Zoey is torn between friends and having a boys over.  Zoey is also dealing with joining the basketball team and having Kayla come back to school after having an issue with bullying.  No one trust or likes Kayla but Zoey befriends her and learns about trust.  The book covers many issues with friends, bullying, trust and doing what you enjoy doing, not what your friends want you to do.  

I would recommend this to any age and the whole series is very good.  I like how the book moves along fast to keep the attention of the reader.  Melody handles issues that young adults have to go through in real life, she also add faith into the mix, not too much, just enough.  This book can be read as a stand alone, but the whole series ties into each other like a tv series.  I really enjoy reading these books and watching Zoey grow.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book

Book:  Taking Chances
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre:  Middle Grade
Release Date: April 15, 2020

Zoey knows her days are numbered. At least when it comes to remaining in Cedarville. So when Louisa coaxes her to be part of a garage band, Zoey tosses her insecurities aside to make music with her friends. And she even goes out for the basketball team. But what will happen when her mom shows up and pulls the plug on everything?

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

Sometimes I feel guilty for ‘torturing’ my teen and tween characters, but I do it for my readers. It’s not easy being an adolescent, and reading about someone who’s facing hard times is comforting. But in the final Zoey book, I really wanted to give her some victories too. So when challenges come her way, she stands up to them. And she even puts her newly found faith to work. The goal is for readers to feel hopeful about their own lives when they see Zoey rise above her tough circumstances.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize package of the full Being Zoey series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE

Avalanche ~ M. Liz Boyle

This is book one of the off the Itinerary Series for young adult readers.  When a group of friends decide to go on hike in the dark of night and make sure they are back before their parents wake up, they never imagined what could happen.  The group heads out on an ordinary night and are caught in an Avalanche, leaving them to survive on their own.  They are tested to keep faith and their choices in order for them to survive.  They endure many of the elements on the way to make it back to their camp or to find help.  They keep faith and show respect for each other while they fight through some very difficult situations.  Can they all survive?  Are the choices they are making the right ones?  Without the comforts of technology, food and shelter how can they survive?

I would recommend this book for young adults and older, it is a great read.  This book keeps you reading until the end.  The way of the details makes you feel like you are right along beside them.  The faith the group shows is a great lesson of character.  The story is a good book for a teen group read and discussion.  I found it to be very interesting that showed faith and togetherness.  A good lesson of how to work as one and to all care for each other.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book

Book:  Avalanche
Author: M. Liz Boyle
Genre:  Christian YA
Release Date: September 27, 2019

When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the sons of their family friends on a secretive hike in the middle of the night, she is thrilled and nervous. Battling her conscience, she prays that the hike will go flawlessly and that they will return to the safety of their campsite before their parents wake. The start of the hike is beautiful and wonderfully memorable.

In a white flash so fast that Marlee can barely comprehend what has happened, an avalanche crashes into their path. Buried in packed snow, Marlee is forced to remember survival tips learned from her dad and her own research.

This group of friends, ages eleven through seventeen, is about to endure bigger challenges than many adults have experienced. Digging out of the packed snow is only the first of many challenges. Injuries, cold, hunger, fatigue, aggressive wildlife and tensions in the group make this a much bigger adventure than they ever imagined. As the kids strive to exhibit Christian values throughout the trials, they learn numerous life lessons. But they are nearly out of food, and their energy is waning quickly. How will they ever reach help?





Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Liz is an author, the wife of a professional tree climber and the mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. She received her Associate’s of Arts at the University of Sioux Falls, where she received the LAR Writing Award for her essay entitled, “My Real Life Mufasa.” Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She likes making adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone). She has thoroughly enjoyed working on her first novel, Avalanche, and the sequel Chased, which will release in the summer of 2020.

More from Liz

Have you ever been tempted to take a risk even though your conscience was screaming at you? Were you able to justify the pursuit of the thrill, actually convincing yourself that what you knew to be the unwise decision made perfect sense?
I did. So did my sisters. And so did Sawyer and Marshall Miles. When Sawyer first proposed the idea of the moonlit summit on our families’ annual backpacking trip, I was terrified. But I was also hooked. Sawyer convinced us that we would be fine, and we would be back to camp before our parents woke up with the sunrise.
Hearts racing and hands trembling, we five kids snuck away from camp in the middle of the night. Hiking toward the peak, the full moon was breathtaking, the wildlife abundant, and the experience unreal.
It became a whole lot more unreal when an avalanche, roaring, white and enormous, thundered into our path. Buried in the packed snow, I would have given anything to go back in time and change my decision to go along with this foolish idea.
Digging out of the cemented snow was the first of many challenges in the coming days. Physically, emotionally and spiritually, we were all pushed to our limits.
I had always loved hiking Colorado’s peaks. But, of course, I had never had to evacuate my own sister. I had always trusted Dad’s orienteering. Now I had to trust Sawyer, who, by the way, was the brain behind this dilemma. I usually slept best while backpacking. But, mountain nights are warmer when spent in a sleeping bag. But I can’t let my mind go there. I must keep a positive outlook and trust God to bring us to safety. That’s easier said than done.
Avalanche is a Christian teen and young adult novel. This engaging journey, told by fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley, captures a timeless sense of adventure. The five young adults strive to exhibit godly character throughout their escapade, but they have not been in such a dire situation before. It will take immense strength and cooperation to hike out of this mess.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, M. Liz is giving away the grand prize of a gift basket with the items pictured above!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Illusions ~ Jennifer Sienes

This is book 2 of the Apple Hill Series.  This book is about a family that is dealing with alot of emotional issues along with choices they made in the past.  When the families teenage daughter is in an accident and left in a coma, the mother is feeling guilt that she caused the accident.  The father, a pastor of the church is dealing with having the board of directors wanting to meet with him.  He feels it is something he has done and is stressed about it, along with dealing with his daughter being in a coma.  The son, is rebellious with his dad and dealing with his own issues.  Can God put this family back together?  

I am not sure I can recommend this book as it is not one I would read again.  I had a hard time reading because everyone was so mean to each other and so much drama.  The characters were hard to warm up to, as each one of them was unhappy and seemed yelling at each other.  I was stressed just reading this book by their actions.  I like to read to forget about problems and issues, the way to de-stress and relax, this book did not do this for me.  However, others may like this read, I just couldn't get into it.  It did show that Pastor's and their families deal with issues too, God doesn't exempt them from heartaches and tribulations.  It showed a family with real issues and what people do deal with in life.  It was a read that was very true to real life and a dysfunctional family situation.  This is book 2 of the series and can be read as a stand alone.  I didn't read book 1 and was able to follow along just fine. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book

Book:  Illusions
Author: Jennifer Sienes
Genre:  Christian Contemporary
Release Date: April 28, 2020

Corey Schaffer, pastor’s wife and mother of two teens, has spent her entire marriage subconsciously repenting for one reckless night the week before her wedding.

Upon discovery of Corey’s indiscretion, her 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, is in a car accident resulting in a weeklong coma, traumatic brain injury and memory loss. Corey is riddled with guilt and would like nothing better than to confess all to her husband, Paul. But how can she when his pastoral position is at risk, thanks to their son’s thoughtless act of rebellion the year before—an act Paul has yet to forgive?

Instead, Corey loses herself in the day-to-day work of Taylor’s rehabilitation and prays God will give her the courage to face the past. But when a disgruntled church member sees an opportunity for revenge, Corey must find the faith and strength to put her family first, even if it means walking away.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

Since I was twelve years old, I’ve been writing stories. I even wrote fan-fiction before it was a thing—a Happy Days episode, which I’m sure dates me. I took every creative writing class I could, starting in high school, and even declared journalism as my college major until I realized I like fiction a whole lot more than truth because I can create the characters any way I like.
However, my first attempts at writing emotionally charged novels fell flat; I hadn’t lived enough to truly understand what deep emotion felt like. Then life happened—a series of tragedies that made me feel I was more on par with Job than with Jesus. Someone wise told me that all writers must find the core of why they write—that deep part of us that God instilled in our hearts. What is it we, as writers, want to communicate to our readers? What I came away with was that we all need hope, especially in our darkest days.
Illusions was born out of a near-fatal car accident my daughter was in only weeks after her eighteenth birthday. It was walking through that accident with her that started the what if questions years later. What if an accident is the result of a mother/daughter argument? What if that argument was caused by something the mother did in her past—a deep, dark secret that even she cannot face? And what if that mother is held to a higher standard than most others? Say the wife of a pastor? And what if that pastor already has a black mark against him because of an act their other child (a boy) previously committed?
Would the congregation turn against him? We all know people in church who seek any opportunity to throw a wrench into things—that live with a big ol’ log in their eye, blinding them from the concept of grace.
To add to the tension (because, what’s the point of a story without it?), what if the accident caused a traumatic brain injury and the daughter remembers nothing? It may not be on par with Sophie’s Choice, but now a mother is torn between wanting her daughter to be whole again and hoping the deep, dark secret remains lost somewhere in the recesses of her mind.
Admittedly, the two children of Corey and Paul Schaffer (the main characters) are based loosely on my own children, Nicole and Christopher. It is so much easier to write what I can easily envision in my mind. And many of the challenges Taylor (the accident victim) faces were actually those my own daughter experienced. But that’s where truth and fiction part ways. So, Illusions started with inspiration, but God took it to whole new level. It’s one of the ways He uses the challenges I’ve faced in life to connect with readers and hopefully give them His inspiration and encouragement.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click Here

A Life Renewed ~ Olivia Rae


This is book one of the Secrets of the Queens series.  This book takes place in England and Germany, during the era of 1554.  Lady Jane is the main character that has to deal with the journey of escaping her life after she is almost executed.  As she escapes to Germany she hides her identity and goes from Queen to a peasant and changes her name to Ella.   When Asher Hayes is called by Queen Mary to find Lady Jane or else his family will be held and dealt with.  What will he doe? Does he hunt for Lady Jane? Does his family survive?  Can Lady Jane survive one more time and live the life she now has?

I would recommend this book to any of those that enjoy historical reads. This book kept you wondering all through it.  It can be read at any age and gives mean to knowing how God is in control and you need to follow Him and not the ways of others even if you lose loved ones.  It will be interesting to read book 2 of this series and see how Olivia moves the characters to the next one.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book
Book:  A Life Renewed
Author: Olivia Rae
Genre:  Christian Historical
Release Date: April 2, 2020

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason.

But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.

Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Olivia Rae is an award-winning author who spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town next to a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

More from Olivia

The Challenge in Writing About a Real Historical Person
I like creating a story out of a kernel of information. The idea of my new book, A Life Renewed came when I took a trip to England and learned about the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey. Her life was so disastrous, I just wanted to give her a second chance at happiness. So that’s exactly what I did when she escaped her execution instead of dying as she did in real life.
My greatest challenge in writing this book was picking a heroine that actually lived. I had to do a lot of research in Lady Jane Grey’s life and her family. It was very interesting. Lady Jane was what we would call a progressive protestant. The conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants (The beginning of The Church of England) was very real and very deadly at that time. What many people don’t know is that Henry VIII was actually against many other Protestant religions (Calvinists, Lutherans, etc.). He feared their religious influence as much as he did the Catholic’s. His son Edward was more progressive, like Jane. If he would have lived, Jane’s outcome would have been totally different. After Jane’s death, Queen Mary went on a mission to turn England back to Catholicism. In her reign she killed over 300 Protestants. Hence later in history she was known as “Bloody Mary.”

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize packaged of an autographed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift certificate!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click HERE