Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

SEE YOU MONDAY – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  See You Monday

Author: Kristen Terrette

Genre: Young Adult

Release date: April 30, 2021

Senior year. The homestretch.

Honor student, Grace Warner, had it easy. Popularity, friends, attention from her crush, even a soccer scholarship offer—if only she can figure out her senior project to graduate on time. Getting approval to write about someone’s life-changing event, Grace recruits her sassy grandma as her mentor who can’t wait to tell the crazy story from her childhood.

Events in the early sixties are words in history books to Grace, but her grandma lived them. She witnessed the civil rights movement in full swing, desegregation becoming a reality in her southern town, Martin Luther King, Jr. moving the country with his iconic speech, and the country coming to a halt when President Kennedy was assassinated.

Grace loves finding out her family history but didn’t know the project would have her noticing hardships and prejudices at her school she hadn’t before. When the homecoming court is announced and new kid, Jacob Horton, is nominated as a colossal prank, it brings Grace to a choice, much like her grandmother years before her. God is about to use her in a miracle if she chooses correctly. If she fails, a life could be lost.

Click here to get your copy!

Whether you are old or young, this book contains a message you should read. I found the characters and plot to be engaging. Dealing with the topics of integration in the south, the author masterfully weaves together different generations to show what happens when step out in the way God would have us to go.

Centered on the idea of Grace trying to complete her senior project in order to graduate on time, the story traverses different time periods to convey the story. I found the author handled these transitions well. I found Grace’s story to be worth reading. Sometimes experiencing historical events through the context of a family member grabs our attention in a way that reading about them can not. See You Monday conveys that point. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kristen’s passionate about storytelling and helping people take their next steps in their relationship with Jesus. She lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. where she served as a Children’s Ministry Director for many years. With the support of her husband and two children, she now stays home writing fiction and non-fiction. She also serves on the women’s leadership team at her local church and writes for Crosswalk and Wholly Loved Ministries. You can check out her articles and novels at www.kristenterrette.com.

More from Kristen

In most novels, a touch of the writer’s life scatters itself throughout the words—a phrase, the personality of a character, the circumstances of a heartache or joy. These serve as tiny acknowledgements to those who motivated them. But sometimes it’s something much, much more.

See You Monday is inspired by a family, my family, and a little girl, my mother, who went through a captivating, life-shaping course of events during 1963 and 1964. It’s a story of how God awakened her to Him and how, when we follow Jesus—doing what He asks—our choices cause miraculous ripple effects which spread for generations.

Have you ever thought about that? How one choice can change everything? How the course of someone’s life can be altered for good or bad by someone’s decision?

At one point in my novel, my grandmother (her character’s name is Johnnie) makes a choice when my mom (“Sandy” in the story) was a child. Many years later, we find out this choice had lasting effects, reaching as far as a grown man, from my generation, who lived across town—not even in their neighborhood. And this happens all the time. God is always using us in miracles, we simply have to be attuned to Him and willing say yes.

And since this story brings real people to life in the time-lapse back to the early 60s in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I’d thought I share pictures of the actual Lewis/Baron clan.

These photos, taken between 1958-1961, show four generations who lived under one roof. The cutie pie kids are my mother (the oldest/blonde), my aunt (the adorable redhead who steals every scene in the book), and my uncle (the baby). Also, check out the car in the driveway! I wish we still had it.

What’s your story? What ripple effects have your relatives left behind when they said yes to being used by God? What choice have you made that changed yours or a loved one’s course? Maybe something you didn’t realize until years later?

I hope you’ll think through your own family line and the legacy they leave. And be sure to get a copy of my Young Adult novel, See You Monday, to find out how my own family inspired its timely message in the life of Grace, a seventeen-year-old senior in high school.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 2

For Him and My Family, July 3

Mary Hake, July 3

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 4

deb’s Book Review, July 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 6

Rebecca Tews, July 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 10

Cats in the Cradle Blog, July 11

Nancy E Wood, July 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away the grand prize package of signed paperback copy of See You Monday, Chattanooga-based “Clumpies” signature ice cream pint pack, Chattanooga-based “The Hot Chocolatier” large box of assorted chocolates, and a $25 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card!!

Disclaimer: Some items contain milk, gluten, nuts, soy, and egg products.

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/10e0a/see-you-monday-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Capitol in Crisis – A Review

About the Book

Book:  Capitol in Crisis

Author: Kathy Roy Johnson

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Christian Thriller

Release date: September 2020

Simone Perez, Architect of the Capitol, is stunned when a terrible explosion which rocks the Capitol, totally collapsing the tunnel which connects the House and Senate Chambers and trapping several people. Simone promptly assembles an Interagency Committee to help her assess the damage to the Capitol and develop a strategy to rescue survivors. .  She also assumes responsibility for briefing the press, making her job even more daunting.  As the story unfolds, members of the Committee work together to find survivors and bring them to safety. We meet several true-to-life characters like Fire Chief Earl Bentsen who recognizes that time is of the essence and Rob Tate, a skinny maintenance worker who realizes that he can reach the Café as well as the mechanical room by crawling through an old vent space.  Through several twists and turns, Simone maintains a steady hand, aided by the Speaker of the House, John McIntyre, who finds her very attractive. Although it seems an impossible task, one by one, victims reunite with their families.

Click here to get your copy!

Do you like rollercoasters? If you do, this may be the perfect book for you. Set at the United States Capitol, this book includes danger, laughter, a crisis, and more. Relationships develop while other relationships suffer. Centering on a group of people at the capitol. Some find themselves trapped after a tunnel collapses and people find themselves trapped and waiting to be rescued. Addie, grandmother of three boys, runs the coffee shop in the tunnel where a group of people are trapped leans on God to get her through the situation.

Meanwhile, another group of people work to rescue the trapped individuals. Simone Perez, Architect of the Capitol works tirelessly with the Speaker of the House, the Capitol police, the fire department, and other individuals work together to find solutions to saving everyone. One individual in this group grated on my nerves from the beginning. I loved how the author dealt with this character. I appreciated how the author put people in the grandsons’ paths to take care of them while their grandmother could not. I also appreciate the way she smoothly transitioned from character to character in a way that kept the story moving.

So if you enjoy stories revolving around politics, rescues, relationships, and families, check out this book for yourself. I definitely recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kathy Roy Johnson worked for a U.S. Senator for three years in the mid 1970’s. Thereafter, she worked as a lobbyist for United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. before joining the Federal government as Congressional Liaison. She retired in 2015 and live in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband, Ed and their beagle/basset hound, Jake.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

The Sacred Line, June 16

lakesidelivingsite, June 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 18

For Him and My Family, June 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 20

Blogging With Carol, June 20

Inklings and notions, June 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 22

Mary Hake, June 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting June 23

Betti Mace, June 23

Older & Smarter?, June 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 25

Spoken from the Heart, June 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 26

deb’s Book Review, June 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 27 (Author Interview)

Lights in a Dark World, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 29

*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Murder at Madison Square Garden – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Murder at Madison Square Garden

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Mystery

Release date: July 15, 2020

The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare.

Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit? Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?

Click here to get your copy!

I always enjoy reading the historical works of Christian fiction by Linda Shenton Matchett, and Murder at Madison Square Gardens lived up to my expectations. She excels at creating plots and characters that draw me into the story. Theodora, known as Teddy, is framed for a murder she did not commit. Private Investigator Rick Bogart receives a message from God to help her.

Running from God because of her past while Rick attempts to avoid women after being burned by his ex-wife, these two create the perfect potential relationship as they work to find the actual murderer. The hurts various people face in this book as well as transformations create a powerful Biblical message. I love how faith and God weave through the entire story to create an inspirational and captivating story. Truly, this book is worth reading. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Bestselling author of over twenty books, Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is currently working with the curator to create her first exhibit, Shaped by Conflict that will be on display from May 1 to June 15, 2021. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historical places all her life and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear readers:

I grew up in New Jersey and often went into New York City for school field trips and family visits. One of my favorite places to go was Madison Square Garden. I have lots of happy memories, so I wondered if I could possibly set a book there. I spent a lovely afternoon digging into the building’s past and learning about the important, historic events that took place there. When I discovered that aviator Charles Lindbergh spoke at the Garden about the controversial topic of U.S. isolationism prior to America’s entry into WWII, I knew I had the beginning of a story.

My protagonist came about during one of my shifts as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII. While talking to one of our guests about our wartime print and broadcast journalism display, the conversation turned to the role that women played. Therese Bonney was a one of the photojournalists highlighted in the exhibit. As I studied her picture, I was struck by her determination in the set of her jaw and look in her eyes. My protagonist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer was born.

I enjoyed my trip down Memory Lane at the Garden during my research and had fun subjecting Teddy to uncomfortable situations as she tried to prove her innocence. But most of all, I hope her story honors the men and women who served in countless ways during this difficult time in history.

Enjoy Murder at Madison Square Garden.

Linda

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 15

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 16

The Avid Reader, June 16

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Texas Book-aholic, June 18

Vicky Sluiter, June 18

Inklings and notions, June 19

For Him and My Family, June 20

Blossoms and Blessings, June 20

Betti Mace, June 21

deb’s Book Review, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 23

Connie’s History Classroom, June 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 25 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Visa 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/10d57/murder-at-madison-square-garden-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Island Charm – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Island Charm

Author: Audrey Wick

Genre: Christian Contemporary Beach Read

Release date: May 14, 2021

An imposter in paradise.

When Anna Worthington’s twin sister gets jilted by her fiancé, Anna steps in with a plan for a girls’ Key West getaway instead of a honeymoon trip. Yet when her twin has her own crisis of commitment and doesn’t board the plane, Anna finds herself on a romantic getaway that she’s forced to navigate alone.

A vacation romance with an expiration date.

Gunnar Lockhart, whose specialty is island tourism, is the perfect match for helping Anna complete her vacation bucket list, but time together forges a connection more personal than either anticipate. As they make island memories, Anna has to untangle her mixed emotions. Are her feelings toward Gunnar real? Or like her sister’s wedding day, has this connection been doomed from the start?

Click here to get your copy!

Twin sisters, one jilted at the altar, the other one trying to support and show love to her twin, create the backdrop for this story. The perfect summer read, Anna Worthington winds up visiting Key West for what should have been her twin sister Brie’s honeymoon. But the trip becomes so much more than Anna expected. I loved the inclusion of Anna being a jewelry designer and finding her own way.

Gunnar’s willingness to care for his aging friend Jack also helps bring this book to life. The setting and the details provided about the setting along with the food and the encounters of various characters in the book bring it to life in a way that kept me reading. I loved seeing the development of Anna and Gunnar’s characters along with the development of their relationship. The author takes time to convey emotion and a normal course of a relationship developing rather than making it feel rushed. Also, she does an excellent job of portraying that a genuine relationship takes work, compassion, understanding, and more to be successful. So if you enjoy books set on a island or ones that involve creative or caring people, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Audrey Wick is a full-time English professor at Blinn College and author of women’s fiction/romance. Her writing has also appeared in college textbooks, and she is a guest blog columnist with Writer’s Digest. Wick believes the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories. But travel and coffee help. She has journeyed to over twenty countries—and sipped coffee at every one. See photos on her website audreywick.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @WickWrites.

More from Audrey

 “The Importance of Setting in Fiction Writing”

My favorite element in writing a novel is setting. Making places come alive through storytelling brings special joy, and I’m fortunate to be able to do that in the pages of Island Charm.

Island Charm is my first beach-read, a standalone contemporary novel set in Key West. Key West is a small island in the Florida Keys, an archipelago that stretches west from the southern peninsula of Florida. The Keys dangle into the Gulf of Mexico like a string of island pearls. Key West is the last on the strand.

I first experienced Key West in the summer, but years later, I traveled back in winter. Whether its July or January, Key West is beautiful anytime of year. What I like best about the island is its walkability. It’s roughly four miles long and one mile across, making it easy to explore on foot. The boardwalk, docks, piers, and public beaches means there is plenty to experience. Fantastic views stretch in all directions.

Additionally, the island has an impressive literary history. Authors including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Shel Silverstein, Philip Burton, Judy Blume, and Meg Cabot have all called the island their home at one time or another. It’s easy to see why my heroine, Anna, is so taken with the scenery, just like these writers. I hope readers will be as well!

Follow Anna as she explores Key West in Island Charm. Thanks for traveling with me through the pages, and I hope readers enjoy their time on the island.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 22

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 22

The Write Escape, June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 24

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 25

Inklings and notions, June 26

Blogging With Carol, June 26

For Him and My Family, June 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Simple Harvest Reads, June 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, June 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 30

Kayem Reads , June 30

CarpeDiem, July 1

Genesis 5020, July 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Audrey is giving away the grand prize package of a CD that includes a digital copy of Island Charm as well as multiple full-length novels also published by Pelican Book Group!!

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/10db6/island-charm-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Gold Rush Bride, Hannah – A Review and Giveaway

Gold Rush Bride

About the Book

Book:  Gold Rush Bride, Hannah

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: May 18, 2021

GoldRushBrideHannah

Recently widowed, she’s doesn’t need another man in her life. He’s not looking for a wife. But when danger thrusts them together, will they change their minds…and hearts?

Hannah Lauman’s husband has been murdered, but rather than grief, she feels…relief. She decides to remain in Georgia to work their gold claim, but a series of incidents make it clear someone wants her gone…dead or alive. Is a chance at being a woman of means and independence worth risking her life?

Jess Vogel never breaks a promise, so when he receives a letter from a former platoon mate about being in danger, he drops everything to help his old friend. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time for the funeral. Can he convince the man’s widow he’s there for her protection not for her money?

Gold Rush Bride: Hannah is the first book in the exciting new series Gold Rush Brides. Steeped in romance, intrigue, and history, the story will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Click here to get your copy

When I think about the words “gold rush”, the state of Georgia does not jump to mind.However, I loved this book. Hannah and her husband pan for gold on their claim. But then he dies, and she decides to work the claim herself.

Jess comes to town after receiving a letter from Hannah’s husband.stating that he was in danger. He works to keep her safe. The dedication, determination, and feelings demonstrated by the characters to life. So if you enjoy historical Christian fiction, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Linda Matchett Head Shot

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Readers,

Have you ever heard the quote about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that says, “Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards…and in high heels?” Originally seen in a 1982 Frank and Ernest comic strip, the line has been used by many people from comedians to politicians.

A slight twist on the statement can be made about women in the centuries before modern attire allowed them to wear slacks…they did everything men did, but in floor-length skirts (to say nothing of when they had to wear corsets!). A few examples include cooking over an open hearth, hauling water before the invention of pumps and indoor plumbing, farm work such as milking cows or gardening, and riding a horse.

One of my favorite aspects about writing is developing the characters, especially the female protagonists. Mine are typically…well, untypical. The gals in my books are war correspondents, mechanics, spies, doctors, pilots, and midwives, just to name a few. While thinking about what to write next, I stumbled on an article about female prospectors, and I knew I had my story.

I continued to dig and was delighted to find journals and diaries of these stalwart women who either followed their husbands, brothers, or fathers to the gold field or actually set out on their own. Instead of setting my novel during the well-known California gold rush of 1849, Gold Rush Bride Hannah takes place two decades earlier in northern Georgia where more than one million dollars of gold was unearthed.

The few images I found confirmed my suspicion. These women prospected alongside the men,  swirling their pans of silt hour after hour…all while wearing a dress.

I hope you enjoy Hannah’s story.

Blog Stops

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 22

deb’s Book Review, June 23

For Him and My Family, June 24

Texas Book-aholic, June 25

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 26 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 27

Connie’s History Classroom, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 2

Artistic Nobody, July 3 (Author Interview)

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 3

Splashes of Joy, July 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10e00/gold-rush-bride-hannah-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fantasy

Beneath the Forsaken City – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Beneath the Forsaken City

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: June 8, 2021

With a storm on the horizon, who will stand against the darkness?Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but he must first see Aine safely to her family home on the isle of Amanta. When an unnatural storm tears them apart, they find themselves in even more danger than that which they fled.Because magic is not the only thing to fear in Aine’s homeland, where the Sofarende invaders harry the coasts and shifting clan alliances make it impossible to know who to trust. Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and their enduring love for one another, even when the future looks darkest.But with betrayal at every turn, will they give into fear? Or will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely … before all hope is lost?

Click here to get your copy!

The second book in The Song of Seare series, Beneath the Foresaken City contniues the story of Conor and Aine. This story of faith, love, and willingness to pursue the path they have been set upon caught my attention. This book obviously is a Christian allegory with struggles of faith. The author created relatable characters that you desire to see succeed and find the true path they need to follow.

With the story taking place during the Dark Ages, magic and mystery play a major role in the plot. The suspense in this book will keep you reading on the edge of your seat, unable to put the book down. Filled with action, danger, and adventure, this book lived up to my expectations from the first book. I anticipate reading the third and final book in the series to find out how the series concludes.

So if you enjoy reading Christian fantasy check out this book and this series for yourself. I definitely recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy.A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales andmarketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind towrite fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

More from Carla

Fictional Magic… and Why It Matters to Us

The first book in the Song of Seare series introduced the culture, religion, and characters of my fictional universe, but it’s this second book, Beneath the Forsaken City, that really delves into the magic of the world, both light and dark.

The light magic in the series comes directly from Comdiu (their version of the Christian God), given as gifts to his people to be used in His service. I approached the creation of this magic much as the real-world church views spiritual gifts: everyone might have a different gift, some people may have more than one, but all of them are meant to be used within the context of God’s commands and promises. They come from a purely good source, but when used for our own glory or for selfish ends or even just without full understanding, they have the potential to be twisted into something that’s harmful or ineffective. In Beneath the Forsaken City, Aine learns how carefully she must wield her powers in order not to sow discord in those around her; Conor must come to grips with the limits and the boundaries of his own abilities, battling the ever-present temptation of pride.

The dark magic, on the other hand, comes from the Adversary either in the form of sorcery or in the powers of the sidhe, the spirits who haunt the isle of Seare and beyond. For this, I delved both into the Celtic myths and fairie tales as well as neo-pagan rituals, particularly for details on scrying. I approached the topic thinking it was a somewhat harmless, if ineffective, practice and left with a deep sense of spiritual unease—this is the type of thing the Bible warns against when it forbids divination and witchcraft. Consequently, when Conor is approached with the opportunity to scry for an answer he desperately needs, he battles the temptation of his own desires against his very clear understanding that it’s dark, forbidden magic.

Some of this may seem academic to the modern Christian reader—most of us aren’t going to be tempted by dark magic or pagan rituals. But I meant it to reflect a warning and a lesson in our larger walk with Christ. Things that come from darkness can never be used for light, even when our intentions are good—God has forbidden them for a reason, because of their danger to ourselves, others, or the integrity of our own souls. Even the gifts and abilities that have been God-given for the use of His kingdom can be corrupted by sin if we’re not anchored to the heart and purpose of Christ.

That’s why my deepest wish is that readers of Beneath the Forsaken City will look beyond the fantasy elements of Seare to the real-world lessons beneath—and be both warned and encouraged in their own spiritual walks.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 27

Worthy2Read, June 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 29

Texas Book-aholic, June 30

For Him and My Family, July 1

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

deb’s Book Review, July 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 6

Blogging With Carol, July 7

Labor Not in Vain, July 8

Mia Reads, July 8

A Baker’s Perspective, July 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away the grand prize package of a limited-edition hardcover of Beneath the Forsaken City and a sterling silver Celtic pendant!!

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/10e08/beneath-the-forsaken-city-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Stealing the First Mate – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Stealing the First Mate

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

Sometimes, happily ever after is as elusive as a pirate’s treasure.

Darcy Riggins dove headfirst into the online dating pool and sank. Every time.

Her lifelong dream of becoming a wife and mother becomes more elusive every year. So, taking the lack of a Mr. Right in her life as a decided “No!” from God, Darcy gives up altogether.

Single and happy is not an oxymoron. Right?

Nigel Jones has loved Darcy for ages, but her father (his boss, of course) ordered him to keep his feelings to himself, thanks to a stupid mistake that Darcy (thankfully) doesn’t know about.  Too bad her dad does.

Being single and content turns out to be tougher than Darcy imagined, and when she begins doubting everything she’s ever known, Nigel decides it’s time to admit his mistakes, tell the truth, and trust God for the outcome.

In this “forbidden-love-meets-friends-to-more” novel, Stealing the First Mate continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

I absolutely love reading the books of The Independence Islands series, and Stealing the First Mate lived up to my expectations. Darcy Riggins and Nigel Jones have been best friends for years. But a secret Nigel carries from his past could destroy their relationship. Plus, Darcy’s dad committed to keeping them apart.

The author does an excellent job of illustrating how our own feelings and guilt potentially affect everyone and everything around us. However, something occurs that changes everything. I love how Darcy’s family and their friends help bring this story to life. With a boat with pirates, horseback riding, dolphins, whales, and more, this book will keep you reading. It provides the perfect summer book or anytime you want to relive beach experiences. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been writing since 2015. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

More from Tabitha

I love the friends-to-something-more trope. There’s something invigorating about the challenges of stepping into a different kind of relationship with someone you already know and trust. The risk of losing the friendship if things go badly comes to the forefront and each character has to decide if they’ll take the risk or keep things as they are.

For Nigel and Darcy, there’s the added difficulty of Nigel’s unrequited love. They’ve been best friends forever, and he’s loved Darcy all that time. And she’s clueless! How does that happen?

I wish I could say this story came from my own experience, but that isn’t the case. While my husband and I knew each other for several years before we started dating, we were hardly friends. High school social circles are brutal things. Plus, he had a crush on my cousin, and I was dating someone else.

But it all worked out.

And we’re best friends now.

When it came time to write Stealing the First Mate, I knew Nigel and Darcy were friends. It wasn’t until I worked my way through the first chapter that the depth of their relationship started to emerge, and I realized they were best friends. Darcy runs to Nigel for advice (even dating advice, which became really awkward for Nigel).

Darcy has been looking for Mr. Right so long she can’t see the truth staring back at her in Nigel’s eyes.

Writing their story is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in writing.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 14

Life, Love, Writing, June 14

lakesidelivingsite, June 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 15

The Sacred Line, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

Blossoms and Blessings, June 16

Texas Book-aholic, June 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 17 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, June 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 18

Cultivating Us, June 18

deb’s Book Review, June 19

Connect in Fiction, June 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 20

Blogging With Carol, June 20

Sodbuster Living, June 20

Remembrancy, June 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 22

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 23

Lots of Helpers, June 23

Labor Not in Vain , June 23

She Lives To Read, June 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 25

Joanne Markey, June 25

Splashes of Joy, June 26

Kayem Reads, June 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 27

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

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d56/stealing-the-first-mate-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Songstress – A Review and Giveaway

the songstress

About the Book

Book:  The Songstress

Author: Lori Bates Wright

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 16, 2021

songstress

Rising opera star, Juliana Chamberlain, still has nightmares of the night she witnessed the assassination of the President of the United States from her spot on stage at Ford Theater. Recruited by The Pinkerton Detective Agency, Juliana was instrumental in bringing those responsible to justice.

Now, two years later, the Pinkertons ask her once again to join forces in exposing a corrupt political organization terrorizing her home in Texas.

Texas Ranger, Cade Matlock, has a job to do. He needs no help from a meddlesome diva with big ideas. However, he is a man of his word. He’s committed to partner with the lovely songstress to smoke out the mastermind of a dangerous clan who has proven he will stop at nothing to satisfy his thirst for vengeance.

Cade and Juliana soon discover their greatest strength is in working together until shadows of the past threaten to destroy their future.

Click here to get your copy!

As someone who loves reading historical works, I loved The Songstress. This work of fiction begins at the Ford Theater with the death of President Lincoln from the eyes of a female singer. The story then leaps a few years forward with the songstress Juliana Chamberlain retiring from her singing career and serving as a Pinkerton agent trying to help solve a crime involving her aunt and uncle who raised her.

Perhaps because my father threw me out when I was in my 20s, I could appreciate Juliana’s feelings when she encounters her mother. I know I encountered my father today, a lot of feelings and emotions would pour out. I loved the interactions between Texas Ranger Cade Matlock and Juliana. The pair has to come to terms with her serving as a Pinkerton agent. The adventure and danger in this book help bring it to life. The idea of females serving as Pinkerton agents intrigues me. Reading a different series about women serving as Pinkerton agents during this same time period helped bring this book to life for me. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

lori

Lori Bates Wright is an award winning author with a love for history.

Raised in New Mexico, Lori now lives in Texas with her husband of 38 years. She has two grown kids and four adorable grand boys (who leap tall buildings in a single bound!) When she’s not writing, she’s heading up small group ministries with her husband. She enjoys speaking and interacting with women of all ages.

More from Lori

Growing up, my family loved to laugh.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around my grandmother’s dining room table listening in while my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles told amazing stories. Sometimes I laughed until I’d lose my breath. Sometimes I sat quietly, taking in the bravery and perseverance shown by those who’d gone before me.

History has been a passion ever since. Couple that with an insatiable love for story and there you have the heart of what inspires me to write.

So, when it came time to brain-storm for this brand new series, I decided to take a known historical event and think about it from every angle. Beyond the recognized players, to the “what if” characters that might have played a role. And, ultimately, how such an event would have changed the course of their lives.

Thus, a star was born.

In THE SONGSTRESS, Juliana Chamberlain witnessed the assassination from her place on the stage. Because I love a little mystery and intrigue, I decided that the leading detective agency of the day would have enlisted her help in identifying the accomplices. Allen Pinkerton had been known to hire a lady detective or two, so she would be trained by the best. Her investigative skills proved helpful in bringing a quick resolution to the case.

Fast forward four years and she’s still haunted by what she saw that night. When Pinkerton again approaches her about a case involving her family in Texas, she accepts.

Being from Texas, I was so happy she did. I’ve wanted to write a story based in the Lone Star State for quite awhile. I loved visiting Georgia and the shores of England in my last series, but I have to say it was good to bring this one home. With all the rugged charm of the post-Civil War era, this book has a little more local flavor than my last three. Al-in-all, I believe my readers are in for a treat. A new cast of fun, quirky characters as we revisit a significant time in our nation.

So, here’s to new beginnings! Or as we say in Texas, “Hang on, y’all are in for a wild ride!”

Happy reading!
Lori

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 11

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 12

Connect in Fiction, June 12

Inklings and notions, June 13

Rebecca Tews, June 13

Texas Book-aholic, June 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 14

lakesidelivingsite, June 15

To Everything There Is A Season, June 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 15

For Him and My Family, June 16

Labor Not in Vain, June 16

deb’s Book Review, June 17

Genesis 5020, June 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 18

HookMeInABook, June 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 19

Inside the Wong Mind, June 19

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 20

Connie’s History Classroom, June 20

A Baker’s Perspective, June 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 22

Lis Loves Reading, June 22

Pause for Tales, June 23

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 23

Mary Hake, June 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 24

KarenSueHadley, June 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lori is giving away the grand prize package of a Texas Gift basket including a signed copy of THE SONGSTRESS and a $25 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/10d53/the-songstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Dark Threat – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Dark Threat

Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 1, 2021

Reporter Trinity Lockhart pursues a story but then unwittingly becomes the story.

Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, Trinity investigates an art trafficking ring at a high-end Seattle gallery. She turns to handsome FBI agent Kyle Richards for help after being spotted by the crooks.

Kyle is drawn to the feisty reporter, but he can’t afford a beautiful distraction when lives are at stake. He must trust his friends at Protection Inc. to watch over Trinity while he investigates the gallery.

Will this couple overcome the impossible odds threatening to keep them apart?

Click here to get your copy!

While pursuing a story, reporter Trinity Lockhart finds herself in danger. She winds up going to the only law enforcement agent she feels comfortable reaching out to, FBI agent Kyle Richards. Needing additional help to keep Trinity safe, Kyle reaches out to his friends at Protection, Inc to protect her. I loved getting to see Carissa and the other characters from an earlier book in this series.

I found it interesting that Trinity’s father was a thief. Containing danger, pursuing the story, and figuring out the mastermind behind everything kept me interested while reading this book.

I loved how Trinity sensed the feelings between Dillon and Sally. I look forward to reading their story when it comes out. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes romantic suspense and mystery with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

More from Kimberly

Dark Threat features FBI agent Kyle Richards. We first met Kyle in book one of the Protection Inc. series where he joined the team while working undercover for the FBI. He has since become an honorary member of the team and has been in every book since.

When I set out to write this series I planned to only feature the team members, but Kyle is practically part of the team, so he needed his own story too. I thoroughly enjoyed getting into Kyle’s head for this book.

As with most books, this one took research. Through the years I’ve done all kinds of research to understand the occupations of my characters. For the characters occupations in Dark Threat I did some different kind of research than I’ve done in the past.

I really wanted to understand how FBI agents think and operate so I listened to an audio book written by a former agent. The man was rough around the edges but it really helped me understand the atmosphere in which agents work. Then I read a book written by a female, former CIA as well as FBI agent. It was fascinating to see the differences between the agencies from a former agent’s point of view.

Trinity, the female lead in Dark Threat is a crime beat reporter. I pretty much knew nothing about the life of a television reporter, so I watched You Tube videos filmed by actual reporters about a day in their lives as reporters. One young woman did a series of videos, which I found extremely helpful. Another had the camera following her on the job. From her I learned about what it’s like to go out on location and how meal times during her day on the job were never guaranteed. She’d grab a bite when she could and sometimes she wouldn’t even be able to finish it because she had to rush to a breaking story.

Finally, I needed to better understand the art world. I have a college friend who is an amazing artist. She has a gallery in Boise, Idaho. I contacted her and picked her brain about art and art galleries.

As for anything related to law enforcement I asked my uncle who is a retired police officer.

The thing I loved most about talking to people about their professions is that one question often snowballed into a deeper conversation about the topic. My friend and my uncle would tell me things I didn’t even know I needed to know.

I think Dark Threat required the most research of all the books I’ve written. I’m not a huge fan of doing research, but I truly enjoyed every minutes of it for this book.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dark Threat even more than I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 12

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Blogging With Carol, June 13

Inklings and notions, June 14

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14

For Him and My Family, June 15

Bizwings Blog, June 15

deb’s Book Review, June 16

The Sacred Line, June 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 17

CarpeDiem, June 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 18

Betti Mace, June 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 19

Bigreadersite, June 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 21

Daysong Reflections, June 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 22

HookMeInABook, June 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 23

Kayem Reads , June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 24

Worthy2Read, June 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 25 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly 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 the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d55/dark-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Rabbi’s Touch – A Review and Giveaway

The Rabbi's Touch

About the Book

Book:  The Rabbi’s Touch

Author: Annetta Lammers

Genre: Biblical Historical Fiction

Release date: Sept, 2020

the rabbi's touch HR[5364]

Ten Gospel Encounters

What if you could live in the story? What if you could meet Jesus and have His eyes meet yours and know His great love for you?  What if you could feel his healing touch and know your body was well?   Author Annetta Lammers explores ten encounters with Jesus found in the gospels and tells their stories. Through reflection, study of the Greek and living each story she retells the encounters of Jesus touch, voice and power.

Click here to get your copy!

Taking familiar stories from the New Testament, Annetta Lammers creates a fictionalized version of the stories that stays true to the Biblical version in The Rabbi’s Touch. I loved getting to go inside the minds of these individuals along with their friends and family members who help them reach out to Jesus for healing. Each story focuses on the actual actions of the individual or individuals along with Jesus.

For the blind, the lame, the possessed and more, Jesus providing a healing touch that jumps to life in the pages of this book. I desired to live during the time of Jesus and experience these events for myself. Jesus always had time and energy to do the work of His Father, and this book illustrates that fact. I appreciate the tone and pace the author used to communicate these stories. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Author photo

Annetta Lammers is a wife, mother, homemaker, and educator. She savours quiet walks in the woods, the texture and colour of pottery and reading Biblical fiction with a cup of coffee. Her fascination and love of God’s word has motivated her to study over the years. You will find more of Annetta’s reflections at annettalammers.com.

More from Annetta

I counted my journals, wondering. A drawer filled with thirty-three journals. The years of words held in those pages cover countless seasons of living and following Jesus. Even the gaps of silence speak volumes in the journey.

This passion for writing, evident in that drawer of journals, has had the dream of a book tucked within it.  And, quite by surprise, a book has formed and grown these past years. The Rabbi’s Touch began innocently with the study of Blind Bartimaeus. His miracle took shape in my imagination, taking on sounds, images and emotions.  Notes and reflections about his healing found their way in the current journal. Hidden Greek meanings fed my imagination until I was Bartimaeus meeting Jesus. That encounter took on words that needed to be put down on paper as his story.  Bartimaeus’ story led to another short story, which led to another.  Each story was driven by the desire to enter the lives of those who met Jesus and were healed. Each story was written with the longing to encounter Jesus for myself, as if I had never met Him before. Perhaps I would grow in knowing Him.  And I did.

As the stories grew, so did a quiet desire for others to meet Him as I had. Perhaps others could meet Jesus on their dusty road, make eye contact with Him, hear His voice and feel His healing touch?  Perhaps a conviction of what He can do will grow, and they, too, could be determined to press in to receive what is His to give?  Perhaps they also will cast aside the veil they have been hiding behind and walk free? Perhaps you can meet Him, too?  So, here it is, a collection of first-hand stories, ready for you to encounter Jesus.

Annetta Lammers – Author

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, June 9

Texas Book-aholic, June 10

For Him and My Family, June 11

deb’s Book Review, June 12

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 14

Inklings and notions, June 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 16

Artistic Nobody, June 17 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 17

Connie’s History Classroom, June 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 19

Simple Harvest Reads, June 20 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Annetta is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book (fulfilled through Amazon)!!

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/10d51/the-rabbi-s-touch-celebration-tour-giveaway