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 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

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Summer Flash Burn

Summer Flash Burn

 About the Book

Book: Summer Flash Burn

Author: Erin Unger

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 4, 2019

summer flash coverWorthington Investigations is on another grisly case in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

When P.I. Shauna Pratley heads up the investigation for Christopher Newen, a rural firefighter, she only wants to solve his father’s murder not fall in love. She’s struggling to decide if God’s directing her to leave the team and re-enlist in the Army.

Christopher Newen may be used to the blazes of fire but not the heat ricocheting between him and Shauna. He needs the team’s help but has no intention of letting flames ignite between him and Shauna…yet her protective nature and fun-loving personality draw him in more than he wants to admit.

How will they work together to find a killer without letting love get in the way? Will they have to admit maybe God has used the horrors of evil to bring them together for good?

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Summer Flash Burn is the second in a series of books about Worthington Investigations, a female team of investigators.  Shauna, a tough no-nonsense type of woman is the perfect fit for this type of work.  She knows what she needs to do, even if she is somewhat rough around the edges.  Her diplomacy skills definitely needed some work.  From the very start of the story, she demanded my attention.

Christopher Newen is their client, looking only to find out who murdered his dad.  Neither of them are looking for love, but the sparks seem to fly from the start (which seems ironic since Christopher is a part-time firefighter).

This book is filled with strong women including the women who form the investigator team as well as a female chief for a Native American tribe.  This book definitely has a lot to offer with danger, intrigue, and adventure.  So check it out for yourself.

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

About the Author

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

 

More from Erin

If you like spicy, you’re gonna love Shauna Pratley. She has the muscles and weaponry knowledge to protect her team—along with a very tough attitude. And she knows better than most what it is to serve and protect after a stint in the Army. But now life is a little upside down to her. Should she re-enlist or solidify her career with Worthington Investigations? Of course, her military background will never wear off even if she doesn’t return. She won’t leave her camo uniforms in the dust, either, no matter how hard her P.I. buddies try to put a little variety in her wardrobe.

But under it all, Shauna couldn’t be a better partner to work with. Her loyalty and protectiveness would make you all wish she was your work buddy and best friend too.

Just take a look in Summer Flash Burn for all the spice and thrills—and love—you could want between the pages of a great romantic suspense novel.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 4

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 5

Blogging With Carol , October 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 7

For Him and My Family, October 7

mpbooks , October 8

Emily Yager, October 9

Melissa Henderson, October 10

Pause for Tales, October 11

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 12

Texas Book-aholic, October 13

Betti Mace, October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

janicesbookreviews, October 15

A Reader’s Brain, October 16

Inklings and notions , October 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin 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/ee26/summer-flash-burn-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway of The Vacant House

 About the Book

Vacant House Kindle Cover

Book: The Vacant House

Author: Tamara G. Cooper

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 3, 2019

She knows she didn’t do it, but everybody thinks she did.

It all begins when best-selling author Sophie O’Brion is the last person to see a murder victim alive. She looks even more guilty when a woman from her church is beaten, and Sophie was seen with her just hours before. Suddenly, people she has known her entire life begin pointing accusing fingers at her.

Marine Master Sergeant Burke Maguire, an old flame who dumped Sophie years ago, has recently been hired as a police officer in Forman Falls, Texas, and is assigned her case. She doesn’t want his help.

As she gets deeper and deeper into trouble, though, she must rely on him, but trusting him is another matter.

Will they be able to work together, maneuver dangerous twists and turns, and finally clear her name?

A clean romantic suspense novel that grips you from the very beginning and won’t let you go! The Vacant House is an unforgettable adventure. Read it today, if you have plans to stay up all night.

 

Click here for your copy!

 

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Oh my!  From the very first page, the very first sentence in fact, this story demanded my attention.  It is full of action, suspense, twists, and more. I love how realbest-selling author Sophie O’Brion is in the story.  She is such an interesting character.  She demonstrates the necessity of being true to ourselves.

When animals appear to go missing, people go missing, and other people wind up injured or even dead, many people look to blame Sophie.  However, Burke Maguire, Sophie’s former boyfriend, enters the scene and sets out to prove Sophie’s innocence.  The characters are incredible.  The story is well told, and the scenario kept my attention.

I was glad Sophie had people who supported and believed in her.  A few times I found myself shaking my head in disbelief.  Perhaps living in Texas really helped capture my attention and interest.  My one complaint about this book is the ending.  This book is another one that is the first in a series, but I do not feel there is complete closure with this book.  I will definitely have to read the next book in order to find out how the story continues.

So check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

Tam's Photo

 

Tamara G. Cooper lives in Texas with her husband, three sons, five dogs, and loves writing mysteries with a touch of romance.

 

More from Tamara

Book 1 of Sophie O’Brion Mysteries introduces us to Sophie O’Brion, a quirky, funny, and reclusive mystery writer who lives in a small town in East Texas. Because Sophie looks at life through a lens of humor, funny moments appear often. There are frightening moments, too, in her quest to clear her name from pointing fingers accusing her of murder and attempted murder. Sophie is vulnerable, yet strong; reclusive, yet kind; funny, yet serious. And she is determined! It doesn’t help that added to all this is the return of her high school sweetheart who dumped her 12 years before to join the Marines. As a new police officer, Burke is assigned her case, but she doesn’t want his help. Sparks fly, trust doesn’t, and love stays comfortably in the past. Will Sophie and Burke be able to save her reputation and re-ignite their love for each other? I hope you enjoy this book! Happy reading!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 3

Godly Book Reviews, October 3

Pause for Tales, October 4

Emily Yager, October 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 6

Mary Hake, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 7

CarpeDiem, October 7

janicesbookreviews, October 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 8

Quiet Quilter, October 9

Betti Mace, October 10

Blogging With Carol, October 10

Remembrancy, October 11

A Reader’s Brain, October 12

For Him and My Family, October 12

Moments, October 13

Inklings and notions , October 14

Maureen’s Musings, October 14

My Devotional Thoughts, October 15

HookMeInABook, October 15

Daysong Reflections, October 16

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tamara is giving away a copy of the book and 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/eeaa/vacant-house-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for A Promise to Break

a promise to break FB Banner About the Book

Book: A Promise to Break

Author: Kathryn Spurgeon

Genre: Christian Historical

Release Date: July 11, 2016

a promise to breakSIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depression in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.

 FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns

upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.

 Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find the strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?

 

Click here to get your copy.

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A Promise to Break is one of those books that took me a while to get into reading.  I found it slow to get started with capturing my attention.  However, the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading.  I found it interesting that the story was based on a true story.

I appreciated how one chance encounter with a young man who was a hobo transformed Sybil’s entire life and introduced her into Christianity.  Learning about God is the most important life-altering event that can happen to a person. The inner war between love and duty, family and religion can set up a turmoil inside one from which it is hard to escape.

I appreciated the historical details and other tidbits that helped bring the characters to life.  While I had a hard time initially getting into this book, I am glad I read it.

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

 

About the Author

Katherine spurgeonA Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author loves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences.

Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message.

She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women.

Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives.

Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach.

Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.

 

More from Kathryn

Nostalgic book

Have you ever wished to go back in time and question a relative who is no longer around? Ask what motivated her, discuss her greatest heartaches and how she overcame them, analyze her spiritual journey?

My grandmother’s life was full of upheavals and I wish I could have spent more time with her and studied her thought-processes. My mother did spend more time with her. With a clear mind of that time, Mom (and many others) enthusiastically shared memories and discussed the lessons the once wealthy Sibyl Trimble may have gathered in life.

What a trip it has been! Autobiographies. Publications. Notes in attic boxes containing information about secret love affairs and heart-breaking losses told with spiritual honesty. The more information I uncovered, the more I wanted to get to know Sibyl Trimble, the person. I wanted to know how God worked in her life. I wanted to write her story.

The nostalgic era of the 1930s came alive to me as I travelled to places of lively, boogie-woogie music, old handwritten documents, and tombstones. The amazing, booming town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, was the perfect setting for a Great Depression tale. Some people moved to California during that time. Others stayed in Shawnee. In contrast to “The Grapes of Wrath,” this book relates the experiences of some who remained during one of the worst times in U.S. history. They stayed and thrived.

This book is not a recount of simple facts but examines the essence of a brilliant woman who traversed through life, maneuvering the hardships along with the blessings. I uncovered anecdotes, read newspaper articles, and confirmed family lore that had been passed down through generations.

Many readers agree Sibyl could have been their grandmother, their heritage, and after reading this book series, they will know Sibyl almost as well as I do.

This story is an intimate look at a searching individual during the wistful days of a long-gone era. I expect, after you read “A Promise to Break,” you’ll agree that Sibyl Trimble’s story needed to be told.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 1

To Everything There Is A Season, October 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 2

Through the Fire Blogs, October 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 3

Connie’s History Classroom , October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 4

Betti Mace, October 4

Older & Smarter?, October 5

Blogging With Carol , October 5

Hallie Reads, October 6

Life of Literature, October 6

Genesis 5020, October 7

A Baker’s Perspective, October 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 7

Moments, October 8

Emily Yager, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 9

Maureen’s Musings, October 9

She Lives to Read, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 10

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 10

Pause for Tales , October 11

Connect in Fiction, October 11

Reader’s Cozy Corner,October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Bigreadersite, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

janicesbookreviews, October 13

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 13

A Reader’s Brain, October 14

Batya’s Bits, October 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon 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/ed93/a-promise-to-break-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for The Trouble with Nancy

Nancy Tour

About the Book

Book: The Trouble with Nancy

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Western

Release Date: July 18, 2019

HAVIG_Nancy-smHer reputation precedes her, whether the bad guys realize it or not.

Nancy Harrison has finally stepped out of her prissy box and tried to do something helpful–but did she go overboard in her first self-less act?

She can’t ride, she hates horses, and she’s terrified of being alone. What’s a girl to do?

Join the Pony Express, of course.

When Nancy Harrison’s family receives a tax bill they can’t pay, there’s only one option open to them. Her brother, Lewis, will have to join the Pony Express and earn the money that way.

It would have worked, too, if ruffians hadn’t attacked him and broken his leg.

She doesn’t want to do it, of course, but what choice is there? Lose everything or ride a stupid, smelly horse for a few weeks? Nancy decides that she’ll chop off her hair, take to the dusty overland trail, and prove that she isn’t a “flighty little thing.”

But things go from bad to worse as she discovers that riding astride is worse than sidesaddle—especially when you’re not used to it.

Can’t she just go back home to balls, teas, and the hope of a suitor before her twentieth birthday? Sans her hair, of course, because that’ll entice the fellows. Sigh.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Some authors have the ability to write about quirky characters you can not help but love and appreciate.  Chautona Havig is one of those writers.  She has a remarkable way of bringing characters to life.  As I was reading about Nancy, I could imagine everything she was going through and doing.  Chautona Havig has a way of writing that makes the characters become more like friends rather than just words on a page.

When Nancy’s family (her mother, brother, and herself) find themselves in danger of losing their family home, drastic measures must be taken.  However, her mother and brother try to keep things from Nancy even though she is older than her brother.  But when her brother is injured before he can leave, Nancy schemes to take his place.

This book is filled with adventure, excitement, dangerous people, gold and more.  Nancy runs into danger, adventure (probably more than she wanted), and excitement, along with some memorable people all while trying to earn the money their family needs to keep their home.  The drama and excitement help move the book along.  The transitions between Nancy and her family back home proved enjoyable to follow.

This is definitely another memorable book from Chautona Havig and definitely one worth reading.  So check it out for yourself.

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

 

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

 

Video Chat with Chautona

Blog Stops

Daysong Reflections, September 25

Quiet Workings, September 25

Blossoms and Blessings, September 26

Books, Life, and Christ, September 26

Pause for Tales , September 27

For Him and my Family, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 28

Texas Book-aholic, September 29

Mary Hake, September 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 2

For the Love of Books , October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

Emily Yager, October 4

Batya’s Bits, October 4

Older & Smarter?, October 5

janicesbookreviews, October 6

Betti Mace, October 6

A Reader’s Brain, October 7

Wishful Endings, October 7

Lots of Helpers, October 8

She Lives to Read, October 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book and a Pony Express book cozy!!

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/ed48/the-trouble-with-nancy-celebration-tour-giveaway