Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fantasy, Christian Fiction, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for “The Arrow Bringer”

About the Book

the-arrow-bringer-cover-194x300

Book: The Arrow Bringer

Author: Lisa Mayer

Genre: Allegorical Fantasy

Release Date: March 19, 2019

Evie could’ve saved Aletheia. Now it might be too late.

Evie Lewis has just been diagnosed with leukemia at sixteen. Then, a powerful being called the Arrow Bringer offers her a choice: spend her last days in peace or save Aletheia. She stays. But then Shawn Lawrence—the closest person she has to a friend—goes in her place. Now Evie must save Shawn and race to fix her mistake as a shadow falls over Aletheia. Even as leukemia consumes her body, a new enemy and more imminent perils pursue her. And she must endure all and save Aletheia while keeping her darkest secret:

that it’s all her fault.

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

The Arrow Bringer is the first book in The Aletheian Journeys series.  The book starts off on an emotional rollercoaster with Evangeline and her family receiving the news that she has leukemia.  Shawn is her best friend in school and the only one she really allows to get close to her.  Although Evangeline knows she is adopted, she knows very little about her biological family.

Aletheia is a mythical place that Evie (Evangeline) believes is just in her dreams, but she discovers it is much more than that.  The Arrow Bringer is a powerful being who offers Evie the chance to help save Aletheia or spend her last days on Earth.  Unbeknownst to Evie, she is actually from Aletheia, and both Shawn and herself get pulled into attempting to save this mystical place.  Even as leukemia rages in her body, Evie fights to save her land and maintain her secrets at the same time.

Truly this book had my attention from the moment I started reading.  If you like fantasy books like C.S. Lewis wrote, check this book out for yourself.  The characters are wonderfully rich in depth, and the story moves along at a pace that kept my interest.  So check this book out for yourself.

About the Author

Lisa Mayer recognizes, far better than most, the power of words. She also understands that what people need to know about Jesus is that His love is unconditional, His mercy is unending… and that there are no lengths to how far He’ll go to save His people.

Jesus melted Lisa’s hard heart through words. Now, she hopes to use her words to do the same for others. She loves Jesus and His people and you won’t find a judgmental bone in her body. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Rich, and her furbaby, Scooby. She loves writing, and in her free time, you’ll find her curled up in her superhero pajamas binge-watching her favorite movies and TV shows.

More from Lisa

The Lamp Post

The inspiration to write a book often starts with a dream. Mine started with a lamp post.

I had no idea that after watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in December 2005 my life would never be the same. From that moment, I read every Narnia and C.S. Lewis book I could get my hands on. I searched for Narnia in every wardrobe and ended up finding it deep within my heart… and that’s when I knew I wanted to write a modern Christian-fantasy series inspired by Narnia. And the first book of The Aletheian Journeys came to life—The Arrow Bringer.

I’d like to say that my first draft was pure magic. But my journey was only beginning, and I had a lot to learn. Writing is an art and requires the patience of a sculptor. I began with a large block of marble and a vision, and then sculpted away until I discovered the beauty underneath.

In truth, it wasn’t just the writing in and of itself that makes The Arrow Bringer special to me. It’s about what The Arrow Bringer reflects—that as I became a better writer, in a way I also became a better person. I learned who I am and accepted myself, my characters taught me to be strong, and I fell more in love with Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong. I want The Arrow Bringer (and the six following novels in The Aletheian Journeys) to make it—make an impact, make a difference, make straight His paths. C.S. Lewis changed the world with Narnia. Anyone who reads it knows what it is to love Aslan better here by knowing him first in Narnia. And yet all of us still hunger for something that we can’t explain—and that is Jesus Christ.

At its heart, The Arrow Bringer is a love story. The story of the love of the Arrow Bringer for this people, for friends and family struggling to save Aletheia, and a story of love between us and Jesus. The story is meant to inspire, to bring hope, and to remind you of how much you matter. I sincerely hope, with all my heart, that you will find the Arrow Bringer not only in Aletheia… but in every chapter of your life.

It wasn’t just my writing journey that began with a lamp post… but my journey with Christ. By coming further up and further in, I found more than I ever could have dreamed. I hope the spark from that lamp post will fuel The Arrow Bringer, honoring the legacy of C.S. Lewis, and inspiring a new generation. Within The Arrow Bringer, I hope you’ll find joy, romance, friendship, and adventure. Most of all, I hope you discover that Jesus’ mercy has no end… and He loves you far more than you could ever imagine.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

Stephanie’s Life of DeterminationMarch 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 21

Multifarious, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 23

janicesbookreviews, March 24

A Reader’s Brain, March 25

Inklings and notionsMarch 26

Aryn The LibraryanMarch 27

The Becca FilesMarch 28

Through the Fire Blogs, March 29

Artistic Nobody, March 30 (Spotlight)

Real World Bible Study, March 31

Just the Write Escape, April 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away a grand prize of a Narnia gift basket that includes a signed copy of The Aletheian Journeys: The Arrow Bringer, the entire The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on Blu-ray and a movie companion booklet, and two of Lisa R Mayer’s favorite Narnia reflection books in pristine condition from her personal collection: The Heart of the Chronicles of Narnia: Knowing God Here By Finding Him There by Thomas Williams and Believing in Narnia: A Kid’s Guide to Unlocking Secret Symbols of Faith in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia by Natalie Gillespie!!

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

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Vivir el Dream

viver el dream FB Banner

About the Book

vivir-kindle-cover-188x300

Book: Vivir el Dream

Author: Allison K Garcia

Genre: Christian Latino Fiction

Release Date: May 19, 2017

The fates of an undocumented college student and her mother intertwine with a suicidal businessman’s. As circumstances worsen, will their faith carry them through or will their fears drag them down?

Linda Palacios crossed the border at age three with her mother, Juanita, to escape their traumatic life in Mexico and to pursue the American dream. Years later, Linda nears college graduation. With little hope for the future as an undocumented immigrant, Linda wonders where her life is going.

Tim Draker, a long-unemployed businessman, has wondered the same thing. Overcome with despair, he decides to take his own life. Before he can carry out his plan, he changes course when he finds a job as a mechanic. Embarrassed about working at a garage in the barrio, he lies to his wife in hopes of finding something better.

After Juanita’s coworker gets deported, she takes in her friend’s son, Hector, whom her daughter Linda can’t stand, While Juanita deals with nightmares of her traumatic past, she loses her job and decides to go into business for herself.

Will the three of them allow God to guide them through the challenges to come, or will they let their own desires and goals get in the way of His path?

Click here to purchase your copy.

img_1508-1

This book deals with the issues of illegal immigrants and the issues that surround them.  I was hoping I would enjoy this book, but I could not handle the way Allison K. Garcia seemed to glorify the illegal immigrants over actual United States citizens.  I believe the Dream Act does an injustice to those immigrants who follow the letter of the law in order to come legally to the United States.

I found the constant use of Spanish to be distracting and made it difficult to read.  But if you know Spanish you will enjoy this book.

About the Author

Allison Garcia

Allison K. Garcia is a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Shenandoah Valley Writers, Virginia Writers Club, and is Municipal Liaison for Shenandoah Valley NaNoWriMo.

Allison’s short story, “At Heart,” was published in the Winter 2013 edition of From the Depths literary magazine, along with her flash fiction. Her work, “You Shall Receive,” was published in GrayHaven Comics’s 2014 All Women’s anthology. Winning an honorary mention in the ACFW Virginia 2015 short story contest, “Just Another Navidad” was published in A bit of Christmas. Allison’s book, Vivir el Dream, published May 2017, has won several prestigious awards: 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest Finalist, 2018 Eric J. Hoffer Montaigne Medal Finalist, Honorary Mention in the 2018 Eric. J. Hoffer Awards E-book category, and 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards Finalist in the Christian/Relgious Fiction category. Her highly-anticipated novel, Finding Amor, was released in September 2018.

Latina at heart, Allison has been featured in local newspapers for her connections in the Latino community in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A member of cultural competency committees for work and a participant in several pro-immigrant rallies and other events in her region, she also sings on the worship team and enjoys get-togethers with the hermanos in her church. With the help of her husband, Julio, and their son, Miguel, she has been able to nurture her love for the Latino people.

More from Allison K. Garcia

Authenticity and Love

When I wrote my debut novel Vivir el Dream in 2012, I never imagined that it was going to win five awards, that I would be invited to churches and universities and NPR to speak about it, or that it would be taught on a college campus. That’s not why I wrote it. Sure, I hoped that people would read it and love it, but I never imagined the impact it would have and the book’s relevance seven years later.

There were two main reasons I wrote Vivir el Dream: authenticity and love.

They go hand-in-hand, but I shall tell you a little about how God sparked the story in my heart.

In 2011, we had three church members deported, and one of them was a dear friend—a good man who loves his family, greeted the congregation at the door, helped take the collection every Sunday and set up the tables and chairs for special programs. To see our friend, and hermano en Cristo, treated in a way that traumatized his children and nearly tore apart up his family, was something that broke my heart. But what broke it worse was seeing how the media spoke about undocumented people and sadder yet, having conversations with other Christians who spoke anger and hatred towards “illegals.”

God spoke to my heart about this. How could my brothers and sisters in Christ be so unkind and uncaring? Hadn’t they read The Good Samaritan? Didn’t they remember about loving our neighbors? It happened again and again, and I realized, with God’s help, that one of the challenges was that people didn’t understand the real story. They were fed a certain stereotype by the media, an image of a tattooed person in a gang or a drug dealer.

They hadn’t actually met anyone undocumented. Or at least they hadn’t realized they had.

In my life and in my job as a counselor, I had met tons of undocumented immigrants, and I had known them the great majority to be kind, hard-working people who wanted the best for their family and were willing to risk it all for the chance at the American dream. I saw love, I saw bravery, I saw strength, I saw faith. And I believe that God showed me those things so that I could reflect that in my novels.

A wonderful thing happens when we’re reading a book. We jump into the shoes of the main character. We understand their plight. Their hopes are our hopes. We feel their story, their dreams, their love, their anguish, their joy. That is one of the great things about reading. We escape our own lives for a while and experience a new adventure, gain a new understanding. We go places and meet people and do things we would never be able to in our own lives.

So that is what God placed on my heart to share with the world: an authentic experience of a mother and daughter who are undocumented Christians.

It’s controversial, but then so was the Gospel. What is more controversial than Jesus’ teachings? To love those who hate us. To turn the other cheek. To give away all possessions to join Him. I mean, what is more controversial than being asked to believe that a man born over 2,000 years was the Son of God and was risen from the dead after three days and that giving one’s heart over to Him will save one’s soul so as to live for all of eternity with God in Heaven?

And yet, that is the very heart of the Gospel.

To love God and to love others.

So, in the spirit of loving God and listening to Him, I wrote Vivir el Dream and published it even when the world pushed against it and continues to do so, perhaps more now than in 2012. All the more reason to love our neighbor more and to hold tighter onto God and His teachings.

I hope you enjoy my book. I hope it takes you on a new, heartwrenching adventure that carries you from the anguish in crossing a desert with your three-year-old daughter on your hip to the freedom in cooking tamales in the kitchen while swaying to cumbia, from the stabbing fear of living in a country that doesn’t want you to experiencing the joy of first love, and from the desperation of staring down an empty barrel to the understanding of truth for your fellow man.

God bless. And happy reading.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 16

100 pages per hour, March 17

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 20

Texas Book-aholic, March 21

janicesbookreviews, March 22

A Reader’s Brain, March 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 24

Inklings and notions, March 25

The Becca Files, March 26

Real World Bible Study, March 27

Power of Words, March 28

Just the Write Escape, March 29

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a gift basket that includes 4 Christian novels, secret recipes for some of the Mexican cuisine described in Vivir el Dream, and authentic arts and crafts from Guadalajara, Mexico or by preference, a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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