Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review for Synapse

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 About the Book

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Book: Synapse

Author: Steven James

Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe. Is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Kestrel, her AI Jordan, and Nick Vernon create an interesting trio to read about.  I found the story to keep my interest and attention.  The idea of reading a book set in the future with artificial intelligence, and suspense made me wonder about what the book would be like. As a conservative Christian, I had to broaden my ideas to accept a female pastor, but the storyline really worked at some points.  However, the idea of a devastating event forcing a Christian to step away from his or her faith is completely believable.

Jordan, the AI, poses thoughts and questions that cause Kestrel to stretch her ideas and beliefs.  The multiple storylines caused me to occasionally lose focus and interest in the book.

So if you want to read a book set in the future dealing with artificial intelligence and the future, check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

Steven James is the critically acclaimed, national bestselling author of sixteen novels. His work has been optioned by ABC Studios and praised by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books, and many others. His pulse-pounding, award-winning thrillers are known for their intricate storylines and insightful explorations of good and evil.  When he’s not working on his next book, he’s either teaching master classes on writing throughout the country, trail running, or sneaking off to catch a matinee.

 

More from Steven

“James is a pro at creating suspense.”

Criminal Element

 

“stimulating tale…thrilling story of greed and corruption”

Publishers Weekly STARRED review

 

Read my op-ed on robots and faith in the New York Times

 

I grew up reading and loving science fiction stories. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of artificial intelligence, but as I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized that our lives are not based just on what we know, but also what we believe. So, I started asking myself, “What would the world look like if machines developed artificial belief?” Within a few decades, advanced AIs might very well have consciousness and self-awareness. At that point, what will they choose to believe about the meaning of live, God, and the afterlife?

All of these questions were in my mind as I wrote Synapse, a story that takes place 30 years from now in a world very much like our own. This is a cautionary tale with implications that are both chilling and revealing and I think that if you like suspense, you’ll love this near-future thriller.

Steven

Learn more at stevenjames.net

Facebook and Twitter: @readstevenjames

Buy the book: https://www.tnzfiction.com/synapse-a-novel/

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 8

Just Your Average reviews, October 9

Emily Yager, October 9

amandainpa , October 10

Wishful Endings, October 10

Just the Write Escape, October 11

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 11

Pause for Tales, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

For The Love of Books, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Hallie Reads, October 15

Blogging With Carol, October 15

Remembrancy, October 16

Through the Fire Blogs, October 16

Simple Harvest Reads, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 18

janicesbookreviews, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 21

By The Book, October 21

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

Review and Giveaway for Hope’s Highest Moutain

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About the Book

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Book: Hope’s Highest Mountain

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October, 2019

When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.

After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Misty Beller is one of my favorite authors.  I love her style of writing and the stories she creates. Having read numerous books by her, I was excited to get to read this book.  I have to say it did not disappoint.  Micah and Ingrid are characters that pull me into their story.  My heart broke for Ingrid when an accident claims the life of her father and leaves her injured.

Micah escaped to Montana when tragedy befalls his family.  He lives a solitary life by choice, but when he discovers Ingrid, he is pulled into helping her deliver smallpox vaccines to help with an outbreak of the disease in a nearby village.

I wanted them to realize that two are better than one, and heartbreak and loss can be overcome.  So if you want to read a heartbreaking, yet inspiring book, check this book out for yourself.

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

About the Author

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After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.

 

More from Misty

Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had real dogs I’ve loved too. As far back as I can remember, we’ve had at least one or two dogs, and each one has been my very best friend. They’ve suffered my undying love, even allowing me to dress them up like dolls during my younger years.

But the dogs in my stories have a special place in my heart. Handsome, the sweet little black fluffball in Hope’s Highest Mountain is no exception! He was the runt of the litter, and such a dark black that the story’s hero nicknamed him Shadow. You can see the picture that inspired Handsome at the book’s Pinterest page. Those eyes! Hard not to fall in love, right?

The more I wrote in the story, the more I enjoyed getting to know this little guy, and I could almost feel his soft puppy fur as he snuggled in close. I completely see why Ingrid (the heroine) is smitten him! As you read Hope’s Highest Mountain, I hope you love Handsome as much as I do. Please give him some extra petting for me! ?

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13

Betti Mace, October 13

Blessed & Bookish, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 14

Genesis 5020, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

For the Love of Literature, October 16

janicesbookreviews, October 16

Mary Hake, October 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Connect in Fiction, October 17

Older & Smarter?, October 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18

Life of Literature, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

The Becca Files, October 19

Blossoms and Blessings, October 19

Splashes of Joy , October 19

Through the Fire Blogs, October 20

Moments, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 20

Simple Harvest Reads, October 20

Daysong Reflections, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 21

Joy of Reading , October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

For The Love of Books, October 22

Britt Reads Fiction, October 22

Lis Loves Reading, October 23

Bigreadersite , October 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 23

Live. Love. Read. , October 24

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, October 24

Hallie Reads, October 24

Remembrancy, October 25

Mia Reads Blog, October 25

To Everything There is A Season, October 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!

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/ed1b/hopes-highest-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Better Than Fiction

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 About the Book

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Book: Better than Fiction

Author: April W. Gardner &  Michelle Massaro

Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: April 4, 2016

Imagining him was harmless…until it wasn’t.

Romance novelist Meghan Townsend’s marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband’s waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend—the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson—she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts…

In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan’s hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man’s overalls.

After a racing accident claimed her father’s life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy’s trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell’s offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt?

Under Meghan’s skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis’s face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn’t go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?

 

Click here to get your copy!

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I have often wondered if authors finding themselves caught up in the pages of their writing, living out fantasies through the words they write.  I remember watching television shows and movies where the lead characters became involved with filming a television show or movie within their jobs.  The characters would have conversations with each other.  I always found it interesting to think of writers becoming wrapped up in the stories they are telling.

The two stories within this book are skillfully and interestingly told.  One set in the present day deals with a woman, Meghan Townsend, who tries to recapture the love of her husband by losing weight and writing her own fictional novel.

The second story deals with the character in the wanna-be novelist’s book and the hero, Russell Keegan is based on a man Meghan knows in real life.  She becomes caught up in seeing Curtis as being the ideal man.  But I wanted her to recognize real life is better than fiction, and marriage takes work and is worth fighting for no matter what it takes.

So check this book out for yourself.

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

About the Author

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April W Gardner writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our southeastern Native tribes. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and mother of two who lives in South Texas. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

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Michelle Massaro writes contemporary fiction, soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

 

More from April and Michelle

April and Michelle get a lot of questions about how exactly co-authors write a book. Who writes which part? Did you have any trouble, any conflict? Valid questions! But in the case of Better than Fiction, it was no trouble at all, and neither author can remember a single heated disagreement. In part, because they’d been critique partners for eons and were already working together seamlessly.

It also helped that the story is made up of two intertwining novellas. Each author had her own blank canvas to color on with the other looking on and offering feedback. The most enjoyable part of the process was the challenge of making sure the events in the life of Michelle’s contemporary character (an author) influenced the characters’ decisions in April’s historical plot.

Why intertwining stories? The idea behind it was to show what it’s like to live in the mind of a writer, how her real-life makes its way into her stories. The theme of emotional affairs was a good fit, as it is often all too easy for women—even Christian woman—to be drawn to another man and justify it as harmless friendship rather than admit she is looking to this person to fill a need that only God and her husband are meant to fill.

They decided to set the story against the backdrop of Michelle’s hometown of Corona, California in 1916 and the real-life Corona Road Race that took place in April of that year. It was the third race and, due to tragedy, the last.

From concept to “The End,” it took a span of about four years for Michelle and April to publish Better than Fiction, and as far as teamwork goes, it went off without a hitch. April was able to fly from her home in Georgia to stay with Michelle’s family and do research, and later, Michelle flew to Georgia for a concentrated writing weekend. The two had an amazingly fun time writing and working together.

Another question the authors get…will there be a sequel? Only time will tell.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 9

Among the Reads, October 9

Genesis 5020, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 11

Betti Mace, October 11

Artistic Nobody, October 12

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Remembrancy, October 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 16

Maureen’s Musings, October 16

Godly Book Reviews, October 17

Moments, October 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 18

Bigreadersite, October 18

Texas Book-aholic, October 19

For The Love of Books, October 19

janicesbookreviews, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

A Reader’s Brain, October 21

Inklings and notions , October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, April and Michelle are giving away the grand prize bundle of a $20 Amazon gift card, themed mug and bookmarks, and handmade throw pillow that says, “Books, my happy place”!!

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/ed92/better-than-fiction-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Whispers in the Pews

 About the Book

Book: Whispers in the Pews

Author: Chris Morris

Genre: Mental illness & Spirituality

Release Date: November 9, 2018unnamed

Mental Illness is real. Will the Church get real?

This book is a collection of essays from various authors: men and women, pastors and congregants, counselors and nurses, parents and children. All have a unique view of how mental health conditions affect people, and how the church has responded to these circumstances. Whispers in the Pewstackles how the mentally ill have been, and still are, treated in the church at large by sharing stories.

This is not fundamentally a teaching book, but a book of moments and lives, knitted together by the common theme of mental health. No sermons will be included, though lessons learned from difficulties and their foundations in Scripture are encouraged.

This collection will expand your vision, and your heart, about what the church does well for the mentally ill, and where we can improve.

 

Click here to grab your copy!

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Whispers in the Pew examines how faith and unresolved pain can collide.  Chris Morris captures stories of what other people have gone through.  Mental illness has a way of plaguing people and often I feel the church lacks in its response to those individuals.  Individuals suffer from immeasurable pain that requires care and compassion rather than judgment.  The stories opened my eyes and my heart.  Truly this is a book that every Christian should read.

Often I know we try to mask our pain by pretending we are happy.  This book captures those feeling and more.  So if you are looking for a book that does an excellent job of examing the church and its response to mental illness and pain check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

ChrisMorrisFINAL (12 of 94)Chris Morris writes about the juxtaposition of faith and unresolved pain, those moments where we feel like God should show up, but He doesn’t His writing focuses on bring hope, encouragement, and practical steps to those disappointments, we we don’t get stuck.

He is familiar with the confusion and pain of a life interrupted by an illness. He’s had seizures of one kind or another for his entire life. Some days, he loses hours of his day. Other times, the steel trap that used to be his mind…leaks like a sieve.

His daughter is epileptic, and has had over 5000 seizures in her life. She is also a high-functioning autistic, with increasing frustration as she begins to realize she is not like her peers.

Every day, he is reminded in some way that his family will never be normal.

But he won’t give in, he won’t give up. He won’t let the pain and aggravation, the injuries and difficulties that are part of his normal keep him from living a full life. At least, most days that’s true. His heart is to show his readers how to do the same.

 

More from Chris

Mental illness isn’t going away any time soon, as statistics say more than one in four people are diagnosed with a mental illness in the United States. And yet, the church at large has had a mixed response to mental illnesses. The church should be the one place where people are accepted as they are, no matter the details. Jesus accepted everyone who came across his path—adulterers, tax collectors, fishermen, critics. It didn’t matter. As His footprint upon the earth, the church should be the same.

Even with, or perhaps especially with, mental health conditions, the instinct should be to lean into kindness and love. The local church body should gather around, provide a place of safety and transparency, upholding those who are not well in their midst.

And this is exactly what happens, sometimes. There are pastors who are actively looking to normalize mental health conditions by mentioning depression alongside diabetes as an illness that can be overcome.

But for every pastor looking to build a healthy understanding of mental illnesses, there is a pastor lumping depression in with pornography, equating anxiety with faithlessness, telling their congregation to avoid medicine for treatment, or otherwise refusing to recognize the complexity of mental illnesses.

Definitely there are spiritual disciplines that can help those suffering from depression, but often it’s not enough. And yes, talking with a pastor or a counselor can certainly provide some relief for anxiety, but that’s not always the path forward either. Sometimes medicine is the answer, or at least part of the answer. And sometimes, there is no answer. Sometimes, trauma has left an indelible mark upon a person that cannot be overcome.

How can anyone tell the young man who is battling depression because of his abusive upbringing with a violent alcoholic father that a little more Bible reading and some memorization of a few verses will make the nightmares go away? No, that’s not how it works.

That’s not to insinuate every mental health condition comes from trauma. But even when the root isn’t trauma, there is still complexity involved. Some come from chemical imbalances…and no, that’s not a cop out. This is why antidepressants ease the burden for many suffering from severe depression, because these medications work to balance out various neurotransmitters. This is why some diagnosed as bipolar are able to find rest from the highs and lows with lithium, because a lithium imbalance was the problem in the first place.

Unfortunately, these truths are not always appreciated or understood in the church at large. No, many pastors paint with broad strokes, equating any mental illness with immaturity in the faith. It’s uncomfortable at best, and fear inducing at worst, to tell a pastor that he’s wrong. Especially when it’s hard to nail down why it is that he’s wrong.

Because of this discomfort, many choose to put on a happy shiny Christian mask and act like they’re not hurting. It’s more painful to confront church leadership and answer all the accusations and questions.

Even more disheartening than putting a mask on, many with mental illnesses choose to step away from the church altogether. They’ve been hurt too often, and too consistently, to have any space left in their hearts for trust. So they hang tight to a belief in Jesus, but walk away from the church because it hurts too much. Some of the voices you’ll read in this book have walked away from church for this very reason.

We can do better as the church. We must do better.

This reality is why I’ve gathered almost two dozen voices to share their stories. It’s only in listening—truly listening with every fiber of our being—to story after story of mental illness that we are able to see just how different every person is, even when the diagnosis is the same.

Mental illness isn’t a simple diagnosis, under any circumstances. It’s not like a fractured shoulder blade, where the path to healing is clear. With a shoulder, the bone needs to be set, the shoulder needs to be immobilized, and healing will take place. If there’s a complex fracture, then surgery might be necessary. But, the basic path is the same. This is never true with mental health conditions. Too often the church has treated those with mental illnesses as though there is a straightforward path toward healthier living, and that’s been painful to bear.

Whispers in the Pews has been written because I am convinced that it is fundamentally stories that will change the allowances for bad theology and inconsiderate (or worse) treatment of people. By hearing the pain and the victories that others have experienced in the church, my hope is that there will be room for a new way to approach mental health—one that sees the person before the health condition.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

As He Leads is Joy, October 14

Kat’s Corner Books, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

janicesbookreviews, October 17

Just the Write Escape, October 18

Mary Hake, October 18

Kathleen Anderson, October 19

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Rev. Rebecca Wtites: Read, Write, Pray, October 21

Inklings and notions , October 22

Artistic Nobody, October 23

Inspired by fiction, October 23

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Chris is giving away the grand prize 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/e97f/whispers-in-the-pews-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Bible Studies, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Non-Fiction Books, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for ACTS42NOW

acts420nowAbout the Book

Book: ACTs420NOW

Author: Marta E. Greenman

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Jesus, the Gospel and Acts

Release Date: November 25, 2015

ACTs420NOW FC copyAfraid to take a stand for Jesus?

 What would you do if asked to defend or recant your faith?

Discover how the apostles, as well as other historical believers, were equipped to take a stand and defend their faith. The book of Acts comes to life in Marta E. Greenman’s relevant Bible study and will strengthen you to overcome difficult circumstances in your own life.

Take an in-depth look at:

  • The lives of Peter and John, and other first-century believers who answered their culture while standing firm for Christ in spite of persecution
  • Little-known facets of the stories of pilgrim, William Bradford, Martin Luther and martyr, William Tyndale.
  • The faith of heroes of the U. S. Revolution and our nation’s early leaders that shaped our great nation.

Strategies for overcoming, and powerful biblical principles, are intertwined with lessons from the believers of history in this eight-week, interactive Bible study. Five strategic lessons each week will encourage you in your faith, and equip you to face difficult days. Interactive questions will help you examine your own life and leave a deposit of faith.

“For we cannot stop about speaking what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20 NAS)

 

Click here to get your copy!

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My husband has been an ordained Primitive Baptist Preacher for almost 27 years.  So Bible studies, Bible Word Studies, and more have been a tremendous part of our lives.  Acts is one of my favorite books of the Bible.  I love reading about the early church, the day of Pentecost, and about Saul/Paul.  So when I received the opportunity to review ACTS420NOW, I was thrilled.

The words of this study challenged me to dig deeper into God’s Word and think about what I truly believe.  I loved the format of the workbook and how it was written.  I found the questions to complete to cause me to reflect on what it must have been like to live during the time after Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.

When looking for a Bible Study workbook, I love finding ones that are broken down into daily assignments.  This feature allows me to really dig deeper into what is being studied that day.

So if you are looking for a Biblically sound study about the book of Acts and the early Church, check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

Marta HeadMarta E. Greenman was called out of corporate America in 1988, then joined a church-planting organization and traveled the world in evangelism and discipleship campaigns. In 2002, she and her husband, Marshall, moved to Romania to help church plant and work with street children. In 2011, Marta founded Words of Grace & Truth Ministries, which is dedicated to teaching God’s Word to the nations, and teaching others to do the same. She is the author of two other Bible studies, Bound to be Free, and Leaders, Nations, and God, teaches and speaks nationally and internationally, and makes her home with her husband in Plano, TX.

 

More from Marta

What can we learn from the first century church to make the twenty first century church more “successful.” Join me in a journey to rediscover principles from the first century church to apply them to your life. We will start from the foundation of Christianity, there is salvation in none other than Jesus Christ, and build from there. We will start our journey in Acts 4 and explore strategies for overcoming.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 7

Just the Write Escape,October 8

Mary Hake, October 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Godly Book Reviews, October 11

The Becca Files, October 12

She Lives To Read, October 12

Texas Book-aholic, October 13

Through the Fire Blogs, October 14

Older & Smarter?, October 15

Genesis 5020, October 16

A Reader’s Brain, October 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

janicesbookreviews, October 18

Inklings and notions, October 19

Kathleen Anderson, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marta 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/ed1e/acts420now-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Once Upon a Christmas

Once Upon A Christmas Facebook Banner

About the Book

Book: Once Upon A Christmas

Author: Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, Jaycee Weaver

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 1, 2019

PrintEmbrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.

Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.

Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.

A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.

Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.

A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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I freely admit it, I am someone who looks forward to the Hallmark Channel beginning its run of Christmas movies in July or October.  I love the feel-good nature of Christmas movies and books alike.  So when I received the opportunity to review this collection, I was thrilled.  I loved watching Disney movies about the various princesses.  So combing fairytale princesses with Christmas just sounded like the perfect combination.

What collection about fairy tales would not be complete with modern twists on stories about Snow White, Cinderella, as well as the Little Mermaid and Mulan.  This book created the perfect blend of characters and tales to keep the reader interested.  What I like about a collection like this is that I can read one selection at a time and not lose anyting by waiting until another time to read the next story.

As I began reading the first story in the collection – a take on “Sleeping Beauty” meets modern world, I loved it.  Talia is such a fascinating character even though she suffers from a medical condition that can cause her to fall asleep for days or weeks or even longer at a time.  Add in the fact that she and her aunts run a theater and the book becomes even better. This story was one of my favorite in the collection.

So if you love Christmas and fairytales, check out this collection for yourself.

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

About the Authors

AndreaBoydAndrea Boyd Author–
Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at www.andreaboyd11.com.

 

MikalDawnMikal Dawn Author
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at www.mikaldawn.com.

 

option2Toni Shiloh Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

 

 

Angela Ruth Strong AuthorAngelaRuthStrong
Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon bestsellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Visit her at www.angelaruthstrong.com.

 

JayceeWeaver smallJaycee Weaver Author 
Jaycee Weaver is a wife, mother, and substitute teacher living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jaycee writes contemporary Christian romance with lifelike characters in everyday situations who always get their happy ending. Visit her at www.jayceeweaver.com.

 

More from the Authors

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Once Upon a Christmas. We are so excited to bring you this Christmas collection. All of us had a lot of fun writing it as we delved into the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid.

What we discovered when writing is that in the heart of every girl is the desire to be a princess. Now, I’m not talking about dressing up in a beautiful gown and wearing a crown while twirling around (although I, Toni, admit I would do that in a heartbeat). No, we discovered that in the heart of every girl (sister, mom, daughter, etc) is the desire to be loved and accepted.

Can Talia find someone who can accept all of her, including her health issues? Can Amala find someone who will love her for her and not her money? Can Li find acceptance for who she truly is and not the façade she presents? Will Ella find a familial kind of love? And Gabrielle, can she find a love so powerful that all her dreams will come true?

As the heroines of our stories journey down their path to love and acceptance, they all come to realize a deep-seated truth. They are loved. They are princesses. They have a love of a King who laid down His life for theirs. A King who is preparing a home for them. A King who sees who they truly are and loves them without hesitation.

As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.

Blessings,

Andrea, Mikal, Toni, Angela, and Jaycee

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 2

Back Porch Reads , October 2

Activating Faith, October 2

A Baker’s Perspective, October 3

Genesis 5020, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Just Your Average reviews, October 4

Through the Fire Blogs, October 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife , October 5

Quiet Quilter, October 6

Blogging With Carol , October 6

Stories By Gina , October 7

Batya’s Bits, October 7

Cordially Barbara, October 7

Melissa Henderson, October 8

Connect In Fiction, October 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 9

A Diva’s Heart , October 9

A Reader’s Brain, October 10

Maureen’s Musings, October 10

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 10

Remembrancy, October 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 11

For Him and My Family, October 12

She Lives to Read, October 12

Inklings and notions , October 13

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 13

Blossoms and Blessings, October 13

Simple Harvest Reads, October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 15

janicesbookreviews, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Once Upon a Christmas authors are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!

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/ed0e/once-upon-a-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for No Turning Back

No Turning Back FB BannerAbout the Book

Book: No Turning Back

Author: Katie Vorreiter

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: December, 2016

No Turning BackChronic panic attacks have stolen Livvy Fischer’s classically trained soprano voice and derailed her life. Due partly to a mix-up, partly to her crush on Pastor Lucas, Livvy joins a worship team bound for the chapel at San Quentin. But when a full-scale riot breaks out, she is separated from Lucas and the rest of her group. Survival becomes this song bird’s sole focus.

Snatched from the chapel by an inmate, Livvy doesn’t know who to trust. Tobin says he’s protecting her, but she’s been blindsided before. She struggles to put her trust in God, while all too aware that free will can wreak horrible consequences. Tobin wants her to hide and ride out the prison storm, but Livvy becomes the obsession of another inmate who is a serial killer. Will God protect her? Will Tobin?

It’s one thing if Tobin is turning his life around behind bars. It’s quite another to fall for him.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

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Sometimes a trauma steals our joy, our faith, and even our ability to use a gift God gave us.  Such is the cae for Livvy Fischer, who suffers from chronic panic attacks and is unable to sing even though she is a classically trained opera singer.

But sometimes God uses unusual circumstances to bring us back to Him and to step out in faith again.  Livvy steps out in faith and joins a group visiting San Quentin primarily because she has a crush on Pastor Lucas.  But when a prison riot breaks out, Livvy becomes separated from the group.  With only a prisoner named Tobin to protect her, Livvy has to decide if she can trust him and God to keep her safe.

This book resonated with me because all too often we find ourselves feeling separated from God and in a “prison” of our own making in our mind.  The way the church group and some of the prisoners worked together to survive the riot captivated me.

So check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

Katie VorreiterKatie Vorreiter is an award-winning writer and copyeditor. She makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children rapidly morphing into young adults, and a ridiculously adorable cockapoo. No Turning Back is her debut novel.

 

More from Katie

I’m often asked where on earth I came up with the premise of No Turning Back. My good friend and pastor had me spellbound with his stories of taking softball teams into San Quentin, the maximum security prison for men. What a ministry! He had a few funny tales, but what stood out to me were the cautions the team was given upon entry: they had to sign a form acknowledging that in the event they were taken hostage, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not negotiate for their release.

Say what?

That got me thinking about what it would be like for a woman in such a situation. There are female corrections officers, certainly, as well as woman food service workers and volunteers in a range of capacities. But I wanted a true fish-out-of-water character, and thus Livvy was born. Because of a terrible event in her past, she’s hypervigilant about her personal security. She’s also tiny and, of all things, an opera soprano.

Once I had my Livvy, I threw her into a full-scale riot at a men’s correctional facility. Poor thing. But, of course, she’s got God on her side, and he tends to tip the scales. Yet, as all Christ followers are aware, prayer, even unto the God of the universe, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Pun intended. We know—all too painfully sometimes—that Jesus was right when he said we’ll have troubles here on earth. God is with us through the storm and works all things together for good, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll remove the storm and it’s often hard to see the good when we’re in the middle of not-so-good.

What role, then, does prayer have in the face of the free will of a person intent on evil? If you want to know the answer, read the book. Just kidding. The story is a fast, fun ride and delves into some deep areas, but I don’t pretend to answer the questions of the ages. If you like chewing on these kinds of issues—on your own or with friends­—check out the No Turning Back discussion questions on my website.

Don’t worry: the story isn’t all dark. In most situations, I can’t stay serious for long, so you’ll find some humor, as well as not one but two hunky romantic options. I really hope you like it. If you want to chat, drop me a note on Facebook or on my website.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, October 5

Betti Mace, October 5

Remembrancy, October 6

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 6

Through the Fire Blogs, October 7

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 7

Quiet Workings, October 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 9

Just the Write Escape, October 10

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 10

Blogging With Carol , October 11

Emily Yager, October 11

Godly Book Reviews, October 12

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 12

amandainpa, October 13

Bigreadersite, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 14

For The Love of Books , October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Older & Smarter?, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

janicesbookreviews, October 17

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

Inklings and notions , October 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katie is giving away the grand prize of a $40 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/eb99/no-turning-back-celebration-tour-giveaway