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Lost in the System ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Lost in the System

Author: Nancy Jo Wilson

Genre: Christian Science Fiction

Release date: September 7, 2021

Jaded, 24th century grifter Smullian O’Toole has been sentenced to 1000 days of Life Modification Therapy. All is well until the glitch.

Smullian enjoys serving his prison term. Other than the daily upchucking, Life Modification Therapy is the sweetest sentence 24th century Earth offers. The system biotransposes his essence into a different 21st century person daily, whereas his body stays in the future. The therapy rehabilitates felons by teaching them the value of honest labor. On day 777, Smullian hears a disembodied voice utter, “Father to the Fatherless.” Thus, begins the mother of all system glitches that shatters Life Mod rules and regulations.

Instead of following the usual program, the system thrusts Smullian into the case of David Hawthorne, a missing teenaged orphan. The case cuts a little too close to home for the grifter, who has been on his own since he was twelve. As Smullian bounces from host to host, he realizes the glitch shows purpose and design. Someone, maybe the Father to the Fatherless, controls the situation, not the technicians at Life Mod. This someone peels back the façade Smullian has placed between himself and the world. Against his will, he begins to care about the kid and his older sister, Lydia. Each new host forces him to confront his own inner demons—as well as pointing him to David.

What initially seems the clear-cut case of a runaway—grows more ominous with every clue. Smullian knows he’s not the hero type. But he’s all David has.

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading Lost in the System, I knew I wanted to learn more about Smullian O’Toole, and the Life Modification sentence that sends him from the 24th Century back to the 21sr Century to spend one day in the life of a person the help rehabilitate him for his crimes.

As a character, Smullian typifies a grifter, but I still liked him. Each day the system typically sends him to a different city so he avoids running into someone else he inhabited. But on this particular day, he winds up hearing someone say “Father to the Fatherless”, which sends him down a path he never expected to take. He attempts to find a way to save a young man named David who only has his sister Lydia.

He found himself going back each day into someone else who potentially could help David. I enjoyed seeing how Smullian reacted to discovering the life of his host, and I felt the author created characters and a storyline that I enjoyed reading.

My only complaint about this book stems from the abrupt way it ended. I wanted more of a conclusion. But if you enjoy reading Christian Science Fiction, check out this book 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

Nancy Jo Wilson wrote her first short story in second grade and continued writing throughout childhood. In high school, she wrote for the teen section of the local newspaper and received a writing scholarship from the state of Tennessee. After high school, she moved on to the college of her dreams—Florida State University. The dean who spoke at the college orientation encouraged students to major in what challenged them, not what came easily. So, she pursued science, majoring in Biology Education, as well as Theater electives. She came to regret the decision, because her first love was always the written word.

She returned to writing in her mid-thirties. Through mystery shopping reviews and online writing challenges, she sharpened her skills. Many times, she earned the distinction of editor’s choice on Faithwriters.com. She published a few articles, but mainly focused on her blog, six5mom.com. She wrote her first book Escape the Amoz, for her oldest son and published it through Kindle Direct. It won second place for science fiction in the 2009 Do it Write! competition. Lost in the System, her current book hit stores in fall 2021.

Now, she balances ministry, writing, and homeschooling. A Jacksonville, FL native, Nancy currently resides in Thomaston, GA with her husband, younger son, dog, and three cats.

More from Nancy

Street signs often inspire my character names. Not kidding. Drive through downtown Jacksonville, and you’ll see many of the names from my first novel spelled out on those green rectangles. When I drove past Smullian Trail, a handsome, charming, fast-talking character popped into my head. I immediately thought, “He’s mischievous.”

Before long, I wondered what would happen if Smullian, who has no knowledge of Christianity, meets the holy God. What obstacles would Smullian have to overcome? How do you explain to someone who views love as a transaction that God is love? Lost in the System tackles the tough questions unbelievers ask about Christianity but wraps the heavy content in a fuzzy blanket of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor. Science fiction may be the core of this story, but mystery, romance, and redemption fill it out.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 7

Inklings and notions, September 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 9 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

Blossoms and Blessings, September 12 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 14

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Through the Fire Blogs, September 17 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 18

Guild Master, September 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, September 19

Blogging With Carol, September 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Visa gift card and a 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/21599/lost-in-the-system-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy

Author: Julia Keanini

Genre: Clean and Wholesome Romance

Release date: July 26, 2022

Jackson Ashford seems to have it all. Gorgeous looks, fulfilling job, loving relationship with his family . . . and he looks amazing in a cowboy hat. He may be a bit of a grump at times, but that doesn’t deter the women of Blue Falls from vying for his attention. So when Ruby Ellison arrives at his doorstep and hates Jackson on sight, he’s confused, to say the least.

Ruby Ellison never intended to come to the tiny town of Blue Falls, Idaho, but when her best friend’s search for her birth father takes her there, Ruby follows. She comes because she’d never let Madi down, but she stays because she quickly comes to love the small town. It’s the best place she’s ever lived . . . with one exception. Jackson Ashford. But Ruby figures she’ll just avoid him. Blue Falls is a small town but surely it’s big enough for two people to keep their distance.

But when Jackson and Ruby are both asked to coach an eight-year-old girls’ basketball team, Ruby realizes there will be no avoiding the man. She’ll just have to hate him up close rather than from afar. But as Ruby gets to know him she realizes that maybe the man she thought she knew isn’t really who Jackson is at all.

Join Ruby and Jackson as they fight and flirt their way to a happily ever after.

Click here to get your copy!

Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy kept my interest from the moment I began reading. Jackson Ashford seems to have it all, but he finds himself struggling to understand why newcomer Ruby Ellison immediately expresses an extreme dislike for him, he struggles to understand why. I also found myself unable to put this book down until I discovered the reason for her intense feelings towards Jackson.

Madi, Ruby’s best friend and her reason for being in Blue Falls, along with Jackson’s family and friends help create a world I wanted to learn more about the place and the people. As the first book in a series based around the Ashford family, I look forward to reading more books in the future. Maybe having friends of our family with 7 brothers and finally having one sister brought this story to life for me.

I also appreciate how the author took the time to develop the characters and storyline before revealing Jackson and Ruby’s past history. When the truth finally came to light the two discussed it and were able to move forward.

So if you enjoy stories with great characters and character development along with a great plotline, check out this story for yourself. I definitely recommend it.

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

About the Author

Julia Keanini is just a city girl living in a country world (and secretly loving it). She loves the mountains and would adore the beach, if it weren’t for all the sand and salt (wait, that is the beach?). A good book, a great song, or a huge piece of chocolate can lift her mood, but her true happiness is found in her little fam. She writes about girls and women who deal with what life throws at them and always about love, because she LOVES love.

More from Julia

I almost got run over by a cow when I was thirteen. I homeschooled during my middle school years and my parents decided I needed to do more with my free-time. So they sent me to work at a friend’s ranch. I was a typical very self-conscious teen and I had been near horses and cows probably at most five times in my life. You could see that this maybe wasn’t the best combination but my parents were sure and they promised me a juice at the end of every shift so I was game.

I started by brushing horses tails and braiding them. I was the oldest of five girls so this was totally in my wheelhouse. I also shoveled a whole bunch of manure. This wasn’t my favorite part of the job. But I quickly fell in love with horses. They were majestic if not a little stinky, but I loved them all the same.

Then came the big day. The cows needed to be branded and it was my job (who decided this I will never know) to get the cows into the chute where they would be branded. Granted I did this with four other grown men, the people who should have been doing the job, but I was out there as well. In the middle of this arena. Trying to not get killed. I managed for about five cows and then there was a mean one. I knew from the moment I saw her that she wanted me out of there. The moment she was let free she beelined it in my direction, letting me know that I didn’t stand a chance. Somewhere in the background I heard people yelling my name, telling me to move. But I froze. Did nothing. Thankfully one of those grown men saved me and I lived to tell the tale.

But even after all of that, I loved ranch life. I knew I would one day write a story about it. I saved it in my heart for a long time, this is book number forty-seven for me, but it finally came to fruition. A series about seven brothers (even though I grew up with four sisters) in the most beautiful land in Northern Idaho.

Welcome to Blue Falls Ranch.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 6

Inklings and notions, September 7

For Him and My Family, September 8

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

For the Love of Literature, September 14 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 16 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, September 16

Simple Harvest Reads, September 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, September 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julia is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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/2136a/fighting-and-flirting-with-my-cowboy-enemy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Hair Calamities and Hot Cash ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Hair Calamities and Hot Cash

Author: Gail Pallotta

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: 2018

What happens when a New York stockbroker crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s North Carolina beauty shop … on the same day the young widow’s defective hair products are causing wild hairdos? Soon, Eve finds herself helping the handsome stranger hunt the thieves who stole his clients cash…and hot on the trail of two of the FBI’s most-wanted criminals!

Romance blossoms amid danger, suspense and Eve’s hair-brained plan to get back the money.

Click here to get your copy!

When a car accidentally collides with the a hair salon, romance begins to blossom between Eve Castleberry and the driver. I found the suspense surrounding the romance, danger, and hair products to be the perfect summertime read. Perhaps because I spent time living in Asheville, I appreciate the scenery completely.

I felt the story moved along at a good pace, and the characters were interesting. Defective hair products causing hairdo disasters kept me interested during the entire book. So if you enjoy suspense novels or books centered around a widow finding a second chance at love, check out this book for yourself. I promise you will be glad you did.

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 Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

More from Gail

Even mysterious events and robbery can’t stop the fun, laughs and romance that follow after New York stock broker Philip Wells crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s beauty shop.

Hair Calamities and Hot Cash is a contemporary romance with mystery and comical scenes about a New Yorker and a lonely, young widow in the North Carolina Mountains who fall for each other amid a crisis, danger and suspense.

The story behind Hair Calamities and Hot Cash began many years ago in a small town at the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains, where my mother ran a beauty shop.

Her salon doubled as a meeting place where customers who knew each other discussed how to make the latest recipe, what to do about world affairs and everything in between, including family relations, births, deaths and weddings. Clients planned showers, graduation parties and get-togethers for new neighbors while hair flew.

Mostly townspeople showed up, and the spirit of the community overflowed. The residents had disagreements, but they didn’t abhor those who thought differently from them. They had close friends, acquaintances, people they tolerated and those they kept at a distance. As in most small environments, they gossiped and could be nosey. However, when someone grieved for a loved one, suffered from an illness or any other crisis, prayers went up and casseroles went out no matter whether the person was a best friend or someone held at a distance. They all were God’s children.

The walls of Mother’s beauty shop echoed the spirit of the community, and I wanted to bring it back.  I set the mystery, romance and shenanigans in the Western North Carolina Mountains. Many years ago, a friend my father knew in college came to visit us, and we drove him to the mountains. He said, “I’ve traveled the world over, and I’ve never seen a place any prettier than these hills.”  I wanted to share the awe-inspiring scenery. I believe we need those peaceful surroundings and the sense of community now more than when I wrote the book.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 22

Book Looks by Lisa, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 25

Texas Book-aholic, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

Inklings and notions, June 28

deb’s Book Review, June 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, July 1 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Guild Master, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

A Baker’s Perspective, July 4 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/1f459/hair-calamities-and-hot-cash-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Lily of the Valley ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Lily of the Valley

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Genre: Georgian Romance

Release date: April 11, 2022

Amateur inventor Kester Barrington prefers the peace and quiet of his estate to the bustle of Society. But when his tightknit group of friends, the Gents, descends on Livingsley Hall for their annual gathering, he stoically joins in their activities. It all seems exhausting—until an unexpected addition to the party catches his eye: his new neighbor, the lovely Violet.

Violet Ridley longs to make friends in this new corner of the country, but her family’s fortune was made through investments rather than inheritance, and Society can be fickle. So when tragedy forces her family to shelter at neighboring Livingsley Hall, Violet is delighted to receive a warm welcome from the Gents. In particular, Violet finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kester. The pair is a study in contrasts: Violet, with her sunny disposition, and Kester, with his prickly facade. Their connection is impossible to deny, but both Kester and Violet harbor heavy constraints. As their association becomes increasingly tangled and confused, their only hope of pursuing a life together is to trust one another with the very truths that could tear them apart.

Click here to get your copy!

I enjoy reading books that cause me to step into the past as this book does. I loved getting to know the Gents. Perhaps because I have three sons, and we constantly had their friends in our homes, I loved reading about the pranks of the agents. Their openness and willingness to include others helped bring this story to life.

The author did an excellent job of bringing Violet’s discomfort and difficulties with her prosthetic. The author masterfully created a story I wanted to keep reading. With Violet and Kester Barrington, we witness how sometimes opposites do attract. I loved the pace this story developed the relationship between these two developed. I also appreciated how Kester and the other agents welcome and include everyone.

Truly, this book deserves to be read and provides the perfect escape for a summertime book.

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

About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

More from Sarah

esearch is one of my favorite aspects of writing. Lily of the Valley offered ample opportunities for researching incredibly interesting topics. One main character is an amateur inventor, which tossed me deep into the realm of innovations of the 1780s and 1790s. The other main character has an interest in engineering and mechanics, allowing me to delve into what was known and understood in these fields at the end of the 18th Century. Amongst the supporting cast are a variety of interests, strengths, and passions, all of which saw me pouring over everything I could find from this era on those topics.

A particularly fun area of research I tossed myself into was parlor games played in late 18th Century England. Among my favorites I learned about:

  • The Three Kingdoms, a game very much like modern-day “Twenty Questions.” The guesser has up to six questions to gain clues about what the others in the group have decided among themselves is the thing the guesser is trying to discover. One twist: the first question is always “To which Kingdom does the item thought of belong? (meaning animal, vegetable, or mineral)
  • Short Answers, a game of wits and creativity. The group sits in a circle and one at a time, ask the person to their right a question which that person has to answer in only one word. However, the word cannot be repeated during that round. Once someone has answered a question “Yes” no one else can answer with that word until the round is over. A round ends when someone cannot think of a one-word answer to the question they have been asked and is, subsequently, eliminated.
  • A centuries-old version of musical chairs
  • A game that involved determining which fabricated crime the various players would pretend to have committed.
  • Plenty of games involving forfeits of kisses or handkerchiefs or other shows of affection that the very staid rules of Society would have otherwise looked down on.

Discovering more about the historical context of this book was intriguing and delightful. I hope readers will enjoy learning more of this bit of the past, lose themselves in romance, enjoy the delightful friendship between the characters, and perhaps even find a few new games to try.

-Sarah Eden

Blog Stops

Inside the Wong Mind, June 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Inklings and notions, June 7

Reading with Emily, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 8

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 10

deb’s Book Review, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

The Book Club Network, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

Pause for Tales, June 13

Connie’s History Classroom, June 14

Sylvan Musings, June 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, June 16

Wishful Endings, June 16

Through the Fire Blogs, June 17

Britt Reads Fiction, June 18

Labor Not in Vain, June 18

To Everything There Is A Season, June 19

Miriam Jacob, June 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, print copy of book, and Exclusive Sarah Eden vinyl stickers!!

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/1e7ee/lily-of-the-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar

Author: KD Homberg

Narrator: Lillian Rachael

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: March 11, 2021

Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the bold decision that changed the course of history.

Princess Hagar has always known her destiny in the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty. One day, she will marry Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar when she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. She suspects Sarai  has brought black magic into the palace, but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?

The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance. Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befall Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—position, power, family, and even her life.

Torn between the silent gods of Egypt and the powerful presence that surrounds Sarai, Hagar’s world falls apart around her. She must acknowledge the terrible price of truth and decide for herself who she will serve.

Click here to get your copy!

If you have read the book of Genesis in the Bible, you probably know the story of Hagar, Abram, and Sarai. Hagar serves as Sarai’s handmaiden in the Bible. But how did she achieve that position? This book explores one possible scenario in which a daughter of a pharaoh – a crowned princess of Egypt may have found herself in that position.

I love getting to know Hagar, and seeing her interactions with her family, servants, and others who come in contact with her. The storyline moves at a good pace, and the characters are well developed. I especially enjoyed reading the interactions between Hagar and her mother,

The author illustrates the time and attention detail spent to make this book interesting and well-written. So if you enjoy reading Biblically-based books that explore possibilities supported by historical documents, but not told in the Bible directly, check out this book 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

KD HOLMBERG is a retired flight attendant who turned an empty nest into a workshop for creating stories around remarkable women. She and her husband live in the foothills of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and love to travel and golf. They also run a girl gang of seven granddaughters, courtesy of their five adult children, and have one male grandchild that the author can safely declare as her favorite grandson.

About the Narrator

Born in the United Kingdom, LILLIAN RACHEL grew up in East Anglia and moved north to Durham before marrying her US military man and Atlantic hopping between Europe and North America.
She’s now settled in the Washington D.C. area, where she is an award winning narrator from her personal home studio.

There’s not much she loves more than telling your story in the most engaging way. Sophisticated or sassy, with a range of accents and character personas, she brings your words to life and draws your listeners in.

More from KD Holmberg

Novel Inspiration and Tiger Nut Sweets

Who was Hagar?

That thought occurred to me during a Bible study in Genesis, which revealed:

  • God met with Hagar twice.
  • He called her by name.
  • She was the first to give Him a name, El Roi
  • She received the same promise as Abraham to become a great nation.

I was aware of Hagar’s general gist of her love triangle with Sarah and Abraham that produced Ishmael and how mother and son were sent into the desert to die. But her name niggled at me because she didn’t die. She survived and thrived as a single mother in the ultimate man’s world. How could a throwaway, uneducated handmaid accomplish such a feat?

The Hebrew and Arab traditions of Hagar gave me insight into that question. They teach that she was the daughter of the pharaoh who seized Sarah in Genesis 12. This quote from Amenhotep III made me even more curious, ‘from old, the daughter of an Egyptian king has not been given in marriage to anyone.’ A practice that prevented foreigners from having a claim on the Egyptian throne.

So how did a princess of Egypt end up in the tribe of Abraham?

I researched what life looked like for a princess in ancient Egypt. I discovered Pharaohs educated their daughters along with their sons. They learned reading, writing, medicine, politics, religion, and mathematics. An education and growing up in the luxury and privilege of the most sophisticated culture on earth rounded out my view of Hagar. It also reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (NKJV) God had gone before this remarkable woman and prepared her with the tools she would need to exist and endure.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar is fiction, but the historical details in my world-building are as accurate as possible. I created an ancient Egyptian harem and placed Sarah and Hagar together. I added plagues and other information from Hebrew history and imagined a twist-and-turned, life and death scenario where a princess of Egypt ended up in the first Hebrew tribe.

Book two in The Women of Valor series, More Than a Handmaid—which releases March 22. 2023 —picks up where this one leaves off. We follow Hagar as she navigates life as a handmaid and steps into the world alone, holding firm to her faith and hope in the Lord.

Tiger Nut Sweets

Tiger Nut Sweets are a favorite treat of one of my supporting characters. Foodies out there; this is one of the oldest recipes in the world and was found on a piece of ancient Egyptian pottery dating to 1600 BC. The tuberous root of the yellow nutsedge (also known as tiger nut) was used in the original recipe.

1 cup pitted fresh dates

Splash of water

1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)

2 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts

Honey

2 tablespoons finely ground almonds

Grind the dates with a splash of water to form a rough paste. Use a food processor. The Ancient Egyptians would have used one if they had it!

Place the honey and almond meal in a shallow bowl.

  1. Transfer the date paste to a bowl and add cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
  2. Mix thoroughly with your hands and roll into small bowls.
  3. Mix honey and ground almonds in another bowl.
  4. Coat balls in honey and almond mixture and serve. I like to coat in honey first and roll in the almond mixture. Enjoy!

Many blessings,

KD Holmberg

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

Connie’s History Classroom, June 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 6

deb’s Book Review, June 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 10

For Him and My Family, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 12

Artistic Nobody, June 13 (Author Interview)

Books I’ve Read, June 13

Through the Fire Blogs, June 14

For the Love of Books, June 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, KD is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and an audiobook!!

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/1e7d9/the-egyptian-princess-the-story-of-hagar-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

A Promise Engraved ~ A Review and Giveaway

A Promise Engraved

About the Book

Book: A Promise Engraved

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction/Romance

Release date: May, 2022

9781636092492 (3)

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?

Click here to get your copy!

A ring, the Alamo, and a search for answers in both the past and the present bring A Promised Engraved to life. I loved getting to know Josephine,her family, John Gilbert, Charlotte, Kayleigh Hernandez, her friends, and Brandon Shuman.

The author weaves an amazing story that jumps from the past to the present. I loved experiencing the events leading up to the battle of the Alamo, along with the events both Josephine and Kayleigh each experienced while searching for the their own truth. The setting, characters, and storyline make this story jump to life.

This book as part of the Doors to the Past series deserves to be read, so check it out 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

LizTolsma

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

The Story of Susannah Dickinson, Alamo Survivor

When asked how many died at the Alamo, many would answer that everyone did. While it’s true that all fighting on the side of Texas independence perished, there were survivors, all women and children and one slave. The only white woman (the rest were of Mexican descent) was Susannah Dickinson, along with her daughter Angelina. Susannah had followed her husband, Almaron, to Mexican Texas in 1831. They had married two years before when Susannah was just fifteen. She never learned to read or write.

She and the other women hid in the sacristy of the church, one of the surviving buildings in the mission and what we now think of as the Alamo. Her husband died, but Mexican General Santa Anna found them and spared their lives, sending them to Sam Houston with $2 each and a blanket.

She married again the following year but divorced him almost immediately on the grounds of cruelty. She married a third time the following year and was married for five years until her husband died of alcoholism. A fourth marriage occurred in 1847, but she divorced again in 1857, this time allegedly because she was having an affair. That same year, she married for a fifth time. This marriage lasted until her death in 1883.

The ring in A Promise Engraved is based on a cat’s eye ring supposedly given to Angelina by William Travis before the battle. Angelina was Susannah’s only child. She married and had three children, but that marriage ended in divorce. She gave the ring to a man she’d become involved with in New Orleans. She married again and had one more child but died in 1869 from a uterine hemorrhage.

Today there are many descendants of Susannah Dickinson. If you visit the Susannah Dickinson house in Austin, you’ll see a quilt that is signed by many of her living descendants.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 28

Bigreadersite, May 28

The Write Escape, May 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 29

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 29

lakesidelivingsite, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

Betti Mace, June 1

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Daysong Reflections, June 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Books, Books, and More Books, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 3

Older & Smarter?, June 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

deb’s Book Review, June 5

Mary Hake, June 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 6

Blossoms and Blessings, June 6

Connie’s History Classroom, June 7

Life of Literature, June 7

Back Porch Reads , June 7

Bizwings Blog, June 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

For the Love of Literature, June 8

Through the Fire blogs, June 9

Pause for Tales, June 9

Labor Not in Vain, June 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 10

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/1e37a/a-promise-engraved-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

To Bring You Back ~ A Celebration Tour Review and Giveaway

To Bring You Back

About the Book

Book: To Bring You Back

Author: Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: August 16, 2021

ToBringYouBack_Amazon

He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget.

Broke in more ways than one, the last thing Adeline Green can afford is for her now-famous high school crush to descend on her quiet life.

People in the small town of Lakeshore, Wisconsin, think of her as the hard-working church secretary or as the local food truck’s lunch-hour cashier. They’d never suspect the shame she’s hiding.

She attended high school with both the lead singer and the drummer of the rock band, Awestruck. In fact, she used to play in the band herself, but that was back before Awestruck made it big—and before her relationship with lead singer Gannon Vaughn took a turn that ultimately led to tragedy and heartbreak.

She’s living a different life now, but when Gannon shows up, he brings with him a public spotlight that threatens to expose her deepest regret. The closer she gets to him, the more she risks the carefully curated life that’s finally brought her a measure of peace.

Gannon Vaughn and his rock band, Awestruck, have conquered the music industry, but he can’t overcome his feelings for Adeline.

She may have been right to cut off contact between them years ago, but thanks to the grace of God, he’s a changed man. When he hears Adeline’s struggling, he sets out to turn her life around and win back the love he lost to poor choices eight years ago.

But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other?

A meaningful Christian romance with a side of fame and fortune for readers who enjoy faith-filled escapes and happily-ever-afters where no one is beyond hope of redemption.

Click here to get your copy!

Examining some tough topics including suicide and drug use, the author creates a powerful story of redemption and transformation. Adeline creates a safe life for herself away from her past. Gannon, a rock star with the band Awestruck recognizes his love for Adeline and attempts to convince her he has changed.

This story illustrates the power of redemption. So check this book out 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

Conrad

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s relevant questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

More from Emily

A Guilty Pleasure with a Purpose

When a reader called the Rhythms of Redemption Romances a guilty pleasure, I had to smile because that’s exactly what To Bring You Back, the first book in the series, was to me as I wrote it.

Don’t get me wrong, To Bring You Back is firmly Christian fiction, and it’s not “guilty” of being blush-inducing. Because of the characters’ history, theirs is a slow-burn romance that focuses more on the emotional side of their relationship than the physical.

But, To Bring You Back is a rock star romance.

When I first started writing it, I was embarrassed to admit that’s what I was working on.

After all, rock star romance has a reputation for being an unrealistic and shallow escape from reality with “guilty pleasure” written all over it.

Maybe there was some of that escapism going on. At that point in my writing journey, I was dealing with disillusionment, and I enjoyed the break of writing about rich and famous characters.

However, as I wrote To Bring You Back and went on to read others’ romances about famous characters, I found that the characters’ occupations and net worth don’t impact the most important elements of their stories.

The tales can still showcase meaningful relationships and God at work in the lives of people who—rich and famous or not—need redemption.

Fame, money, and music help up the entertainment value, but those same features add even more rich conflict to explore.

The men of Awestruck, starting with lead singer Gannon Vaughn in To Bring You Back, have allowed me to ask questions like: How good is grace? What does it mean to live in forgiveness? What gives a person worth? And, when is living the dream no longer worth the price?

To write this post, I took a break from working on the first draft of the final book in the series, and it’s been fun to look back and see how much my opinion of these stories has changed.

If To Bring You Back and the books that follow are a guilty pleasure, they’re a guilty pleasure with a purpose. God has worked in my life through them.

It’s my prayer that He’ll also use them in your life, both to explore meaningful questions and to provide a few hours of entertaining escape.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 25

The Sacred Line, April 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 26

Inklings and notions, April 27

Remembrancy, April 28

Wishful Endings, April 28

Texas Book-aholic, April 29

deb’s Book Review, April 30

For Him and My Family, May 1

Spoken from the Heart, May 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 2

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

Miriam Jacob, May 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Britt Reads Fiction, May 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 6

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, May 8

Of Blades and Thorns, May 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of To Bring You Back!!

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/1d0b1/to-bring-you-back-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized

Blogging A to Z ~ Homeschooling A to Z – A is for….

A” is for Art

Welcome to my Blogging A to Z series for April 2022. I will be blogging about homeschooling from A to Z. Rather than having specific topics, I will blog about what ever captures my imagination for a given letter. Each day you can click the links to go to the page with the links to all the letters.

As a homeschooling mother, through the years certain subjects captured my children’s attention more than others. Art captured their attention the most. Through the years, I have enjoyed seeing the various items they created.

While we lived in North Carolina and our children were in elementary grades, they attended an art camp during the summer. During this camp, they created a variety of items including sculptures, paintings, and more. I loved seeing their excitement.

As they moved through the grades, I found various art programs to spark their creativity. We discovered some of those programs through our time with the Home School Review Crew. Here are some images of some of their creations.

You can click here to go to the page with links to all of my posts for this challenge.

Click here to go to the page with all the posts for this series.

Posted in Uncategorized

Leah: Unnoticed. Unwanted. Unloved. ~ A Celebrate Lit Review and Giveaway

Leah

About the Book

Book: Leah: Unnoticed. Unwanted. Unloved

Author: Amanda Bedzrah

Genre: Bible Fiction

Release date: November, 2020

Leah (1)

Lying in bed next to ‘the man of her dreams’, Leah is crippled with fear and unable to sleep. She knows that her husband Jacob is going to wake up to her, not “the woman of his dreams”.

Jacob worked and served Leah’s father Laban for seven years to marry her younger sister Rachel, but on the night of their wedding, the brides were switched; the right man was married to the wrong bride.

As Leah anticipates, his dissatisfaction is not hidden; his rejection is immediate. Seven days later, Jacob marries Rachel after promising to work another seven years for her.

Leah is now left in a place of pain and bitterness. A fearsome war erupts. She is in a battle for her husband’s affection – not with an enemy, but with her own sister!

Will she ever be loved and accepted?

Can God use a woman like Leah: unnoticed, unwanted, and unloved, to change history?

This book is a fictional retelling of one of the greatest Bible stories of all time. It is a story of love, deception, betrayal, competition, heartbreak, and forgiveness. It reminds us that God has a plan and purpose for our lives.

No pain is ever wasted with God!

Click here to get your copy!

I have always been fascinated by the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel. I imagine life was very difficult for Leah. This story picks up at the marriage of Leah and Jacob. The strife and heartache experienced by Leah through the actions of her father. The treatment she received at the hands of Rachel proves to be heartbreaking.

Some fictional accounts of Biblically based stories prove to be worth reading. This book proves to be one of them. The author captures the emotions and possible events along with the Biblical account into the perfect blend. I found the story worth reading.

I loved reading about Leah finding and relying on faith in God. So if you enjoy Biblically-based fiction, check out this book 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

Amanda

Amanda Bedzrah is married to Francois and they have three wonderful children. They live in the county of Kent, best known as “The Garden of England” in the United Kingdom.

Amanda is a passionate Bible teacher, an inspirational speaker, a prayer minister, and a senior NHS professional. She is a Law graduate (LLB Hons), she is also certified in Business Analysis Practice and Project Management.

More from Amanda

An Interview with the Author

Who is Amanda Bedzrah and what does a day in your life look like?

I am just a girl who loves Jesus. I have been saved, redeemed and restored by the Jesus and my life is dedicated in service to Him. I am married and I have three wonderful children. I live in the county of Kent, best known as “The Garden of England” in the United Kingdom.

A day in my life will consist of praying, reading, working, writing, cooking, cleaning and being wife and mum. My life is actually quite busy, there is always something going on.

How many books have you written? And are there more books in the future?

To date, I have written six books (1 fiction) and designed two Journals on Kindness. My most recent book is a Bible study guide called An Introduction to women in the Bible which is a synopsis of women in the Old and New Testament.

I have another Bible fiction books due in 2022 so yes, I absolutely see more books in my future, I love writing- it’s a gift and a calling, my purpose. If I could, I would spend the rest of my days writing.

What or who inspired you to write LEAH?

Leah is definitely a God project. I remember reading her story about four years ago and I wondered what it would have been like for her. I was so drawn to Leah, and for many years, I looked for novels based on her life and it seemed like her story had not written, or there was none that I could find. I kept waiting, until last year, frustrated I complained to God and He said – “you write it”.

I was like whatttttt? Me? No way. Initially, I allowed fear to deceive me, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling inside me, the direction God had given and the hidden excitement about the challenge that slowly bubbled to the surface and so I sat down one day and started writing on my phone and the words just fell out and the rest as they say is history.

Why did you choose this type of book (a novel)?

I love the Bible and I love Bible fiction. For many, the stories will be familiar. They know the story from the Bible or have heard it, but a novel truly brings it to life. It may answer some of their own questions about the story or make it easier for people to find themselves or their situations or someone they know within the pages of the book, and that sparks something within that helps the reader connect deeply.

The bible is rich with stories that are relevant to our lives today and I consider it an honour to be able to give life to the characters, and use my imagination in collaboration with the word of God to create a beautiful story. A story that entertains, educates, motivates and inspires but most importantly, to write a novel that encourages people to read the bible for themselves.

Is there anything you found particularly challenging in your writing of this book?

Initially, I found it hard to separate my own feelings and reactions from Leah’s. I had to remind myself that this was her story not mine and I didn’t want to bring my own preconceived ideas into the Bible story. It was also challenging to not cry when I was writing, for me, certain parts were so emotional.

It also required a lot of research. The Bible is silent on many things about their lives and so it was a challenge to capture who and how they were in detail. I got to the point where I had to decide how much imagination I wanted to use and how much Bible text. My preference was to stay as close to the Bible as possible, in fact I made sure I used up every single bit of information from the Bible first and then weaved imagination into it.

I know that although these are real people in the bible, they actually existed and there are some historical data about their lives that can be found in Jewish history and so I did a lot of research to get a good idea of the characters themselves or similar characters in their timeline.

I tried as much as possible to capture the culture of their time and write from that context. I gathered as much information about their tradition used that to fill out the character. The rest really was God breathed imagination.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I enjoy writing in my reclining couch in my front room. I have one of those portable lap tables that I use. I sit in front of the TV and write. I would however love to have a home office. I imagine a quiet space filled with lots of books, an oak desk, sofa, lamp and a large bay window with a wonderful view of nature. I don’t have that yet, but if I did, that would be my favorite writing place.

What is your greatest hope for this book?

I would love to see this book on the big screen. It is my hope that one day it will be turned into a movie to reach a wider audience. I also hope that when people read this book, they find Gods love within the pages of the book and it draws them towards the Bible so they can experience the word of God for themselves.

What would you say is special and unique about this book?

It is based on the word of God and I believe everything about Gods word is special and unique. I think it is an interesting book and brings the story to life. I used my imagination to give readers an insight into the world of these Bible heroes and possibly answer some questions they might have asked. Also, for women who have experienced rejection, I pray that Leah’s story will inspire and encourage them as well.

How has this book impacted your life?

This novel has had a huge impact in so many ways. As this is my first fiction novel, it is so humbling to see how it has been well received. I enjoyed stretching my creativity and I want to do this more. I learnt so much from writing this book. I’ve read it six times. Each time, I learn something different and each time I ask myself “Did I really write this”?

I honestly can’t take much credit, I know that it was God who wrote through me and it truly humbles me to be so used by God.

What is your favorite part of the book?

There are so many good bits. I love every part of the book. If I had to pick a favourite bit, it would be the voice of God. Each time He spoke, it was just lovely. I particularly like the last few sentences on page 56.

What would you say is the greatest obstacle you have overcome as an Author?
The confidence to write and not worry about whether it is good enough or if anyone else will like or read the book. The enemy always comes to attack and deceive and it takes the Grace of God to overcome that hurdle.

What would you say to the Ladies who may be going through a difficult marriage feeling unloved, unwanted, and not worthy?

I would say that this novel is for you. I dedicate this book to you. Please, know that you are completely loved by God and His plan and purpose for your life is not dependent on the acceptance of man. Being rejected by the man who should love you can be a very painful experience. Know that God sees your pain, just like He saw Leah’s.

The Bible tells us in Genesis that when God saw Leah was hated He opened her womb. He gave her a gift of children to bring love and comfort into her life that is how merciful He is. God has a very tender heart towards women who are rejected, we see that even in the life of Hagar, right there in the desert, running away from Sarah, God met her and ministered to her needs. We see Gods heart with the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, rejected by society but accepted by Jesus.

Jesus was rejected by the people who should have loved him, but it did not stop Him from fulfilling His purpose. The rejection of man does not and will not disqualify you from your destiny. God has accepted you. God sees you. God loves you.

Take courage, trust in God and lean on Him. He can turn any situation around, and He can bring beauty out of any situation if we let Him.

In the book you decided to make it a happy ending for Leah, why did you choose this ending?

I love a happy ending and I wanted to give Leah that. I also wanted an ending that will inspire other women to not give up hope. I don’t know what the relationship with Jacob and Leah was like after Rachel died, but we can assume that her death brought the end to the controversy and strife that already existed, something must have changed because Jacob asked to be buried next to Leah.

Leah was buried with the Patriarch’s and most importantly – she is the mother of Judah from which our salvation comes from. She was rejected by man but chosen by God to start the lineage of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I wanted to celebrate this amazing woman.

What would you say to the many Authors’ to be?

Just go for it. You have a story inside of you that will change someone’s life, even if that person is you, it is still significant. Don’t listen to the voice of fear that says your story is not good enough, just keep writing.

Like any other gift, it takes time and practice so just write. You will be surprised how much you will enjoy it and how much you will bless others.

Also, the Holy Spirit is always willing to write through you, if you invite Him and allow Him, you will be surprised at the words that will pour out of you.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19

A Reader’s Brain, February 20

Texas Book-aholic, February 21

For Him and My Family, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 23

deb’s Book Review, February 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26

Connie’s History Classroom, February 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 28 (Spotlight)

Miriam Jacob, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 2

Blogging With Carol, March 3

Spoken from the Heart, March 4 (Author Interview)

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, March 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amanda is giving away the grand prize of 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/1ab31/leah-unnoticed-unwanted-unloved-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Free At Last ~ A Celebration Tour Review & Giveaway

Free at Last

About the Book

Book: Free At Last

Author: Marcel Becker, with W.A. Fulkerson

Genre: Memoir/Inspirational

Release date: July 2, 2021

Abused and isolated, Marcel Becker ended up on his own at the age of 15, and his descent into the cycle of addiction, crime, and incarceration followed the typical pattern. He became, in his own words, a “prolific offender” – an outlaw biker, a criminal mastermind, and the sole target of a multi-agency federal task force. When Marcel received custody of his children, however, he knew he had to make a change or the consequences would fall on them. Breaking out of his old life was full of struggle, uncertainty, and setbacks, but it proves that anyone who is willing can find true freedom and escape the dark cloud of the ex-con.

A United States Congressman once called Marcel’s life a story “of redemption and triumph,” and so it is.

Click here to get your copy!

For anyone who struggled in life, this book provides an insightful view into one man’s path through life. This book proves easy to read. I love how this memoir provides the perfect balance of life experiences and paths towards leaving the past mistakes behind.

As I started reading this book, I found it hard to put down. It contains the perfect balance of information along with encouragement. So check out this book 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

Marcel 3

Marcel Becker is a businessman, a designated community leader, and a motivational speaker. Once a five-time offender, Marcel turned his life around over twenty years ago, and since then has served on innumerable boards, political campaigns, and civil causes, finding great success in all of his endeavors. He is currently the Vice President of Propulsion Controls Engineering, a Job Force Motivational Speaker, has received several certificates of congressional recognition, has had two resolutions introduced in the California Legislature honoring his service to the community, and received a “Hero” award from California State Senator Joel Anderson for his efforts with the Second Chance Program.

Marcel shares stories of his life before and after taking the high road to success in order to encourage others to be the best they can be. He lives in San Diego, California.

More from W.A.

If Marcel Becker sat down next to you in a coffee shop today, you would assume him to be a respectable, mild-mannered business man, and you would be right. What you would not think is, “I bet that guy has done time – and a LOT of it.”

And yet, he has. Marcel Becker was one of the most notorious criminals to come up from his neighborhood of Oceanside, CA during the eighties and nineties, when his activities landed him behind bars on federal charges five times. His activities also earned him a lot of scars, plenty of fear and admiration among the criminal class, and admission into one of the most dangerous biker gangs in the country. He’s done eighteen months of solitary confinement in a single stretch, been labeled a flight risk and an extremely dangerous martial arts expert, and the government tried to use his rival gang to illegally execute him. His nickname on the streets and throughout police precincts and prisons?

Flash. Because if you mess with him, he’ll knock you out immediately.

When Marcel talks about his past (and shows the newspaper articles to prove it), the experience is quite a rollercoaster ride.

To make a long and fascinating story short, at the height of his life of crime, Marcel became responsible for his two children, and he had to make a change fast. He started at the bottom as a grunt laborer on the docks, and eventually he rose through the ranks to become a majority owner of a ship repair company and a serial entrepreneur. Today, he is a titan of industry, a civil servant, a friend to mayors and senators, and a living testimony that anyone can turn their life around.

When I’ve expressed regret for a boneheaded decision I’ve made and some wasted time, Marcel reminds me that he spent his youth in and out of prison. If he focused on how terrible his mistakes were, he would never have done anything else. The message is, ‘If I can get past my mistakes, so can you. Move forward, hombre.’  I could give example after example like this – knowing Marcel is a real blessing, and he offers more than just interesting stories. He offers hope and encouragement, a reminder of God’s grace and the masterful plan of redemption awaiting us all if we will only turn to it.

You wouldn’t think that this man sitting next to you at a coffee shop was once tormented by an abusive upbringing, a brilliant master of crime, and public enemy number one.

But that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?

  • W.A. Fulkerson, Co-Author of Marcel Becker’s memoir Free at Last: Trading a Life of Crime for Family, Faith, and Success in Business

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 1

Girls in White Dresses, February 2

Lots of Helpers, February 3

Texas Book-aholic, February 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 5

For Him and My Family, February 6

Inklings and notions, February 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 13 (Spotlight)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 13

Spoken from the Heart, February 14

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, W.A. and Marcel are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Free at Last!!

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