Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Hearts Set Free

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About the Book

Book:  Hearts Set Free

Author: Jess Lederman

Genre:  Christian Literary Fiction

Release Date: March 12th, 2019

Hearts set free cover updatedJoin me on a journey from the darkness of doubt to triumphant faith and from the ache of loneliness to everlasting love…

“Bold and forthright writing that would set any heart on fire.”–Christian blogger Miranda A. Uyeh

“Readers of inspirational fiction will love this moving story that affirms the power of God’s mercy.”
–Publisher’s Weekly

In 1930, the rag-tag riffraff of a railway stop called Las Vegas need a fighting man to shepherd their tiny church after their pastor is murdered. Might David Gold, a washed-up boxer and Bible-school dropout who fights as the Pummelin’ Preacher, be the answer to their prayers?

At the same time, Luke, a native Alaskan boy, is on a quest to find his father, who has abandoned his family for a beautiful woman his warrior mother vows to kill. The journey of mother and son will lead them to the Nevada desert, and to truths–and terrors–of which they’d never dreamed.

In 2011, Science Cable T.V. producer Tim Faber is determined to prove that mankind has no need of God, while his lover, Joan Reed, strives to regain the faith of her youth. They’re bound for Las Vegas to meet with a 99-year-old man who holds the key to a mystery they must solve–and answers that will forever change their lives.

Their stories will come together at a little house of worship known as the Church of the Heart Set Free.

“I was mesmerized by the characters and how everything unfolded and linked together…”
–Just One More Paragraph (Musings of a Christian Wife)

 

Click here to get your copy!

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I have to say I had a hard time getting into this book.  There were many so many storylines to keep up with easily.  I also believe this book would have been more enjoyable to enjoy if it was broken into smaller parts focusing on one storyline during one time period. The fact that not all the stories are about characters that do not all relate to each other.

I have to say the author did an excellent job of utilizing Scriptures and Bible stories in this book.  Having a desire to travel to Alaska, I enjoyed the descriptions of Alaska.

So I recommend you check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

After I graduated with a degree in music from Columbia University, a lust for expensive pianos drew me into an unexpected career in finance. It turned out that I had a knack for business; I gained much that the world had to offer and became a hedonist, a gambler who haunted the poker rooms of Las Vegas, and an arrogant atheist. I’ve written fiction for most of my life, and at one point I quit work to devote myself to writing a novel. During that time, my late first wife, Teri, and I lived in Paris, down the street from where Hemingway once lived, and later in the mountains of Idaho. But the novel was never published, for I was a man whose soul had not yet awakened, who did not yet have anything important to say. So I went back to the business world.

One day, when we were living in Dallas, Teri heard a radio interview with Francis Collins, an eminent scientist who wrote The Language of God, which tells the story of his journey from atheism to becoming a disciple of Christ. Collins’ book led us to the writings of C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald*, who became the midwives of our rebirth from above.

There’s no hiding from the Hound of Heaven, once He’s on your trail!

Several years later, Teri was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and we left Dallas and the business world behind and moved to a small town in Alaska. There we looked out on the glory of God’s creation and read to our heart’s content during the last two years of her life. Faced with tragedy, we learned to trust utterly in Him, and He blessed us with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

It was after Teri’s death, while I was still living in the far north, that the idea for Hearts Set Free—which opens in the Alaska Territory in 1925was born. People who know that the novel contains autobiographical elements (and several historical characters) sometimes ask me, “How much of the story is true?’ And I answer, “Perhaps twenty percent—and the rest is even more true!” What drives my writing is the desire to convey truths that transform lives. Truths of the heart.

In 2013, I met a wonderful woman—my current wife, Ling—and soon we began talking about having children. “Impossible!” said our doctors. “According to your test results, there’s no chance at all, even using the latest techniques.” Of course, within two months of that pronouncement, Ling was pregnant with little David, who just turned three, and we subsequently adopted Daniel, who’s now twelve.

After David’s birth, we moved to southwest Washington. I’m currently at work on a novel set in Las Vegas in 1955, and, when I’m not writing or chasing my sons around, can usually be found at the piano playing Chopin nocturnes for Ling.

 

More from Jess

I first conceived of Hearts Set Free in the far frozen north, not long after my first wife, Teri, passed away. She had been diagnosed with ALS, an invariably fatal disease, when we were living in Dallas, and within a month we decided that I’d quit my job so we could move to a small town in Alaska. We bought a small house based on the view out of the living room windows; there we’d be able to spend the time she had left in peace, and gaze out at the glory of God’s creation.

Teri—a woman who untiringly searched for truth—was the inspiration for Joan Reed, one of the main characters in the book, and Alaska—the Last Frontier!—entered into the story as well. We were living not far from the headquarters of the Iditarod, the iconic thousand-mile dog sled race that takes place each year. The Iditarod was modeled after an amazing race against time which occurred in the icy darkness of an Alaskan winter in 1925, when dogsled was the only way to get diphtheria serum to the remote town of Nome and save ten thousand lives. Hearts Set Free begins with that dramatic event.

I put a lot of myself—the bad along with the good!—into other characters in Hearts Set Free. Up until I became a Christian, I had all of the arrogant narcissism of atheist Tim Faber, a T.V. producer intent on proving that mankind has no need of God. I also have the questioning spirit of David Gold, a Bible-school dropout turned boxer who is led by the Lord to become a heroic pastor, and of young Luke Noongwook, a native Alaskan who goes on a quest to find his missing father. Their need to understand difficult aspects of Scripture are based on a passionate desire to love God with all their heart and strength and soul and mind. As is mine!

As a young man, I’d been greatly impressed by E.L. Doctorow’s novel Ragtime, which blended fictional and historical characters, and I decided to use the same approach in Hearts Set Free. Parts of the novel are set in the early and mid-1900s (especially the 1930s), and Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world, and Georges Lemaitre, who was both a physicist and a priest—a man who corrected Albert Einstein, and is probably the greatest scientist of whom most people have never heard!—play important roles.

Finally, the novel is tribute to the beauty of Scripture and features many quotes from the Psalms. If you love compelling tales that combine mystery, adventure, and romance, and enjoy thinking deeply about your faith, I think you’ll find it’s just the book for you!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

For the Love of Literature, February 21

Artistic Nobody, February 22 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

Older & Smarter?, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 26 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 29 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 1

Godly Book Reviews, March 2

Through the Fire Blogs, March 3 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

Giveaway

Hearts Set Free Giveaway updated

To celebrate his tour, Jess is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Hearts Set Free plus a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/f5cc/hearts-set-free-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Fateful Fall

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About the Book

Book:  Fateful Fall

Author: Erin Unger

Genre:  Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: August 9, 2019

FAteful Fall CoverPrivate Investigator Ava Worthington and her partners head to the mountains to solve the death of a farmer’s son who was discovered murdered in an outhouse on the property. Without local cowboy Cory’s protection, Ava won’t get the chance to follow leads as the killer tries to stop her investigation. But Ava’s falling for Cory against her better judgment. She should be working and not pining after a cowboy. And Cory doesn’t want a relationship. His successful career was destroyed by a woman he trusted, and he won’t make the same mistake twice.

One suspect after another is cleared from Ava’s list until she’s sure she has the real killer targeted in her sights, but he’s hunting her, too. How will Ava and Cory find the killer and admit their love before they are buried under a mountain of secrets?

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Having lived in North Carolina and spending time while I was growing up in the Blue Ridge mountains, this setting of this storyline intrigued me.  I have to say it did not disappoint me.  The book provides situations where the characters had to fully rely on God. I enjoyed getting to know Ava better along with Cody.

I enjoyed reading about the interactions between Ava and her team as well.  The intensity of the book with Ava’s life being in danger without the assistance of Cody adds dimensions to this story.

So if you like book with Christian themes and suspense, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

 

About the Author

Erin UngerErin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids.

 

More from Erin

Come join us for the best Fall Apple Festival at Stoneridge Lodge and Farm! We’re waiting to welcome you to our delightful event. Take in the scent of hot apple cider and apple butter simmering over a warm fire. Check out the best hay maze this side of the mountain. And catch an act or two amongst the trees and river, where country dancers will kick up their heels and entertain you all day. And jump aboard our hayride, which trails through the prettiest parts of the Blue Ridge mountains this side of Virginia.

And don’t forget the delectable homemade meals ready for purchase. You’ll get the best funnel cakes and fried cookies you ever had, too.

But please do forgive the murder or two happening in the background. We have Ava Worthington and her investigation team on the books to take care of it. You’re probably not in danger…really. It’s just a family issue. You’re not related to the owners, are you? Because you should be fine if you’re not… Anyway, don’t let a little thing like murder keep you from making our annual fall festival a family tradition.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 18

For the Love of Literature, February 19

My Devotional Thoughts, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Betti Mace, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 25

janicesbookreviews, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Melissa Henderson, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

Blogging With Carol, February 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 1

Just Your Average reviews, March 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize of a $45 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/f5c9/fateful-fall-celebration-tour-giveaway