Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Seasoned Grace ~ A Review and Giveaway

Seasoned Grace copy

About the Book

Book:  Seasoned Grace

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: August 31, 2021

Wardwell_Seasoned_Grace

You can run from your past, but you can’t escape it.

Though he disappeared that day, Raylin McReynolds never believed her father died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

So, when a mysterious letter arrives from Breakers Head, informing her that she would find him on the Independence Islands off the coast of Georgia, she has no choice but to find a job, get there, find her father.

As mainland troubles encroach on Hooper Island, Sean Anderson devises a plan and presents it to the island pastors and his cousin, Scott. The result: Grace Mission—a place where those struggling can find the help they need.

What he didn’t need was a distraction in the form of a newcomer to the islands—a mission volunteer, no less.

Others at the mission, Beth and Scott, see more than just frustration brew between Raylin and Sean. What will it take to convince Sean and Raylin to stop bickering long enough to see what’s obvious to everyone else?

Raylin’s on a mission to find her father and protect her heart, but neither seem willing to cooperate.

Seasoned Grace continues the Hooper Island stories 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!

As part of the Independence Islands series, Seasoned Grace continues the story of characters such as Beth, Sean, Scott, Thaddeus and more. We learn more of the backstory of who Old Thad really is. We also meet Thad’s daughter Raylin McReynolds. I love how the various authors of this story weave together a beautiful tapestry of words that links the characters and storyline from one book to the next.

I also appreciate how the authors take their time developing the relationships between characters rather than rushing them off into marriage. We see how running from your past creates difficulties for those left behind. We also see how simple communication often helps avoid hurt feelings. The ending of this book left me wanting to read the next installment. So if you enjoy reading a well-paced book filled with demonstrations of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness, check out this book along with the other books in this series for yourself.

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

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell

She doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee.

When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

Here we are, in the middle of the collection. The third island—Hooper Island. Have you enjoyed the journey so far? I hope you have, I’m sure you have 😉

Seasoned Grace quickly became my favorite addition to the Independence Islands Collection. It is a little more serious on a few of the topics than my first two contributions. Now that a foundation has been set, I felt like I could get a little deeper into my character’s emotions and pasts. People are complex so writing two-dimensional characters are not something I like doing. I want readers to see the secret hurts that mold them into the person they are, and how God can heal those painful areas.

Grace is the running theme throughout this book. Grace enough to let things go, the Father’s grace, showing grace to those around us, and any other form of grace that might come up. Grace is like salt and pepper. It gives the right kind of flavor to our lives. At least I think that is a life quote Gram would tell Beth.

There is one chapter that you will see one of the new characters lay out their painful past in a rather quick way in a conversation with another character. This character suffered much in their life that some will struggle with understanding how they could talk about it so freely (which is why I am shining a light on it now).

When a person has found healing in life by following Christ and has allowed Him to take away the sting of what others have done to them, those moments become easy to talk about with others. Especially if it means that the one listening will seek healing for themselves.

This conversation in the book is intense and thought-provoking. It also displays the level of grace required to see people the way God might see them instead of through our tainted lenses. I found myself crying as I wrote it because I know how freeing it is to forgive and let the Father heal a wounded heart.

Seasoned Grace also has several returning characters—Beth and Scott, Thaddeus, Amara and Dante, Sarah Reid, and her boys. There are also two new faces, Raylin and Sean, as well as a couple of other mobile business owners who come together to help Elnora Island bounce back from a hurricane.

All my contributions to the collection flow from one book to the next like a television series. While the other writers may have written their stories to be independently read from the others, that is not something I have done. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t my original intent. As I saw my five stories develop, there was a constant feeling of community and character interaction throughout the books. I couldn’t just leave some characters behind, never to be heard from again, while I bring in new faces. It just wouldn’t be right. They have developed friendships and that cannot be overlooked. That said, when they come together at the end for Thanksgiving diner, they, and you the reader, will have a pleasant surprise.

So, stay with me, push through, read on—it will all be worth it in the end.

P.S. I realize that I gave a recipe for Scrumptious Independence, but not Heart Pressed. I apologize for that one.

I hope this one makes up for it. Scott’s favorite

Fish Tacos

Oil

If you don’t have a deep fryer (like me), get a thick bottom, deep pan

Use natural oil, like corn or canola oil

Gauge the temperature with a candy or deep fry thermometer

Fill your pan no more than 2/3 of the way

Heat the oil slowly to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit

too low of heat, you will get greasy fish

too high of heat, you will burn the fish

Fish

Cod works the best, but Salmon is pretty interesting option as well.

Rinse it off after thawing if you use frozen fish, excess water will make your oil spatter

Pat it dry with paper towel – I use a lot of paper towel, but I feed five adults

If fish pieces are thick, cut into 1 inch-ish strips.

I use Panko fish batter for my batter. I don’t make it from scratch

Slowly place coated pieces of fish into the hot oil and let it cook until golden brown.

While that cooks, prepare your toppings.

Cole Slaw

8oz. bag of pre-shredded Cole slaw mix

1 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp of sugar

1 cup of mayo or Miracle Whip

1/4 cup of mustard or 1/2 tsp of mustard powder

Avocado

Make sure it is ripe—soft, not hard

Mash it wit a fork

Cut a lime in 1/2 and squeeze the juice over the mashed avocado

Sprinkle salt and pepper on it

Stir together

Layering the taco

Spread some of the Avocado mixture on a tortilla

Place a strip or two of fried fish on top

Finish with Cole slaw mix

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Blossoms and Blessings, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

HappyWhenReading, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 27

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

deb’s Book Review, September 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 28

Aryn the Libraryan, September 29

The Sacred Line, September 29

She Lives To Read, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Life, love, writing, October 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 4

Simple Harvest Reads, October 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 5

Splashes of Joy, October 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 7

Mary Hake, October 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of 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/11b5d/seasoned-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Sixth Trumpet

About the Book

Book: The Sixth Trumpet

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Mid-Grade & Young Adult Dystopian

Release date: June 22, 2021

And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, a day, a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. Revelation 9:15

The sixth trumpet has sounded. The world is at war.
Compelled by a night terror, Jackson leaves the relative safety of Red River County on a quest to rescue his missing mother. He plans a quick dash to retrieve her from bondage in Rockwall, but he is thwarted by others who need rescuing at every turn. Big girls, little girls, a medium-size boy, the smartest kid he’s ever known, and one giant dog comprise his army. If there is a God in Heaven, is He really watching out for him? Fifteen-year-old Jackson still hasn’t decided.

Click here to get your copy!

As fifteen-year-old Jackson determines he needs to set off to save his mother from captivity, he accumulates a collection of individuals to serve in his army. Tied with shared dreams, Jackson along with Al and Aria set out with his dog Bogg set out. Led by visions and dreams, the group encounters two little girls whose parents were killed by “bad men”, followed by a boy and his sister whose parents were also murdered. They form a cohesive family.

This second story in the Days of Dread series creates a powerful message of God’s grace and protection. Those who set out to do His will receive protection from Him. The author does a remarkable job creating a story with well-developed characters and a captivating plot. So if you like reading books that examine the times of the last days as told in Revelation, check out this book and the series for yourself. Personally, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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

About the Author

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story gives God glory, and those best-selling stories—fifty-nine titles now—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen at YouTube! Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three greats), Caryl and Ron (her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-plus years) live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

Some would call THE SIXTH TRUMPET a dystopian fantasy, and it is . . . but it’s also possible that tomorrow, an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) could be detonated over the Midwest and throw America back into the 1800s, before electricity and instant communication we enjoy today.

The “Days of Dread Trilogy” stories are packed with adventure as their young hero, Jackson Allison, his genius and devoted sidekick Albert Einstein Hawking, and his sort-of girlfriend Aria face dangers at every turn trying to save others.

An editor asked, “Why would you write a book about the end times for mid-grade and young adult readers?”
My answer?

“To let them know through reading them that when tough times get here—and they will come—I want my readers to realize God will be right there with them and protect and provide. My hope is to build their faith.”

Jackson starts out an agnostic, but God loves agnostics, too. Jesus died on the cross for them like He did for you and me. He loves Jackson so much that He shows him His power and provision time and time again—

Of course, the boy’s mother and sister, and grandparents, and Uncle Roy are all praying for his salvation. We know what can happen when God’s people pray! How many times have you prayeds, “Father! Whatever it takes, draw my loved one to Your heart!”

Jackson, though, is a stubborn as a Texas Ranger on a mission!  His lieutenant succumbs to Holy Spirit’s calling in this story, but not Jackson, although he is being drawn to believe by all the things he cannot explain.

Who do you know who would love these stories? Besides you, I mean! I know you will! Who do you know who needs to read them?

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 23

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 24

Mary Hake, September 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 26

Texas Book-aholic, September 27

Inklings and notions, September 28

Girls in White Dresses, September 29

deb’s Book Review, September 30

For Him and My Family, October 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 4

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl 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/11b5a/the-sixth-trumpet-celebration-tour-giveaway