Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Buried Cold Case Secrets ~ A Review and Giveaway

Buried Cold Case Secrets

About the Book

Book: Buried Cold Case Secrets

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: December 28, 2021

cover

Recovering her missing memories…

Could be the key to solving a murder…

Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first. For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?

Click here to get your copy!

Kidnapped as a teenager, Melanie Hutton becomes a forensic anthropologist with one goal – to find her memories and the remains of her best friend. Returning to her hometown, her best friend’s brother finds himself struggling to protect Melanie from danger. This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning and caused me to keep reading until the story concluded.

Detective Jason Cooper blames Melanie for leaving his sister behind after an abduction when the girls were teenagers. But as a detective, he finds himself having to working to keep her safe. Others around them see how they truly feel about each other. The supporting characters help to bring the story to life. The way this book ended and the twists and turns it took to reach the conclusion kept my interest.

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

About the Author

Headshot (3)

Two-time Genesis winner Sami A. Abrams and her husband live in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She enjoys visiting her two grown children and spoiling their sweet fur babies. Most evenings, if Sami’s not watching sports, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

More from Sami

What writer doesn’t grow up reading every chance they get? That would be me.

Until my thirties, I hated to read. Then someone told me about Terri Blackstock, and I decided to give her books a try. I was hooked. I guess there’s something to finding the right genre. Romantic Suspense is it for me. Of course, that makes sense. I love CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Over the years, I have expanded my taste, but there’s just something about suspense that keeps me coming back.

A little over five years ago, I decided to start checking off some of the items on my bucket list. I learned how to rock climb and got my scuba certification, among other things. When I got to the item, writing a novel, I sat down and pounded it out. Check the box; I was done. Wrong. God had other plans and placed some amazing people in my life.

One of those plans was attending MurderCon, a conference for writers where they learn from experts about, you guessed it…murder. Actually, it’s about police procedures, crime scene analysis…the list goes on and on. One of the workshops I attended was with a forensic anthropologist, and the idea for Melanie Hutton and Buried Cold Case Secrets was born.

I loved writing Melanie’s story. She’s a fighter and refuses to let anything stand in her way, including the man, Jason Cooper, who blames her for her best friend’s death. Jason holds on to the past and his hatred toward Melanie, but he soon learns that if he puts aside his assumptions and listens, he’ll discover the truth about the day his sister died. Letting go of his anger and blame is tough for Jason, but when he does, he finds the life he’s always wanted.

I hope you enjoy reading Melanie and Jason’s story as much as I did writing it.

I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my website at samiaabrams.com and sign up for my newsletter.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 8

The Avid Reader, January 8

Bigreadersite, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Bizwings Blog, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

The Sacred Line, January 10

Inklings and notions, January 11

Labor Not in Vain, January 11

Betti Mace, January 11

For Him and My Family, January 12

For the Love of Literature, January 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 13 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 13

Lights in a Dark World, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Elly Gilbert, January 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 15

Mary Hake, January 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 16

Kayem Reads, January 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 17 (Spotlight)

Through the Fire Blogs, January 17

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 18

Britt Reads Fiction, January 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Blogging With Carol, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Simple Harvest Reads, January 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, January 21

Pause for Tales, January 21

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sami is giving away the grand prize package of a book, a coffee mug, a notebook, a pen!!

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/17198/buried-cold-case-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Harmony on the Horizon ~ A Review and Giveaway

Harmony on the Horizon

About the Book

Book: Harmony on the Horizon

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 4, 2022

Harmony-on-the-Horizon-Kindle

Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.

On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.

After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.

As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.

Click here to get your copy!

Imagine being on the edge of having everything you desire, including a courtship with the new beautiful teacher. Everett Thompson finds himself in that position. Then some investments go bad, and a blackmailer tries to destroy everything.

Margaret Foster, a Northern abolitionist, comes to San Diego to teach after Everett Thompson offers her the job. But she finds herself under scrutiny when she fails to meet the expectations of several parents and board members.

The author does an excellent job of creating a story where relying on and discovering a relationship with God proves the only path to having the desires of one’s heart. The supporting characters in this story provided a large portion of creating a story I could not put down. 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

Kathleen Denly Headshot 3

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More from Kathleen

Who Invented Romance?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but romance novels are sometimes viewed as the black sheep of the fiction industry. For various reasons, some people view romance stories with a disdainful eye. Knowing this, I still choose to write romance stories and some may wonder why.

First and foremost, I’ve had a passion for romance for as long as I can remember. I was absolutely one of those typical little girls who played dress-up in her mother’s clothes (or in my case, her lingerie. Eek! I had no idea. LOL) and planned my future wedding day. For reasons I can’t explain, the idea of a man and woman falling in love and pledging their life to one another has always enthralled me.

Or perhaps I can explain.

You see, I was raised in a Christian family and have always been exposed to the Bible. Have you ever looked at your Bible from a romantic perspective? When you stop to consider it, there is more than enough romance in God’s Word to justify placing it on the Romance Novel shelf in a bookstore. At least there would be if novels weren’t inherently fiction and the Bible wasn’t entirely true. (And aren’t we grateful that the Bible is completely true?)

So, in a way, one could say that God is the first romance author. After all, what is more romantic than a groom sacrificing his life for his bride? It even has the requisite happy ending, because He rose from the dead and will return for His bride.

The thing is, God isn’t just a romance author, He’s the inventor of romance. He was the first to demonstrate what love truly is. He is the one who defines it and describes its fruits so that we can recognize it when we see it. It’s His love that gives us life.

And the thing about romantic love is that it has a unique power to change people, to break down their emotional walls in ways that might not happen otherwise. There is a reason God designed man and woman to be together. Many reasons, in fact. But I am convinced that one of them is His ability to use that beautiful relationship to draw His children closer to His own heart.

So yes, some may look down on romance novels and those who read or write them, but I stand tall and proud, because I know that true romance–the kind God authors–is something to cherish and honor. I am blessed to be able to share God’s truths through the wondrous stories of two hearts joining together as one.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 6

Bizwings Blog, January 7

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 7

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 9

Inklings and notions, January 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

deb’s Book Review, January 12

For Him and My Family, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Connie’s History Classroom, January 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, January 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Fire HD8 Plus, a custom Harmony on the Horizon Kindle case, a Harmony on the Horizon altered notebook, a Chaparral Hearts pen, a pair of earrings, a pin, and a scripture keychain!!

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/17190/harmony-on-the-horizon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Elinor ~ A Review and Giveaway

Elinor

About the Book

Book: Elinor

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release date: December 1, 2021

9781643529547 cover

A Journey Full of Hope…
Escape into a riveting story based on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

Click here to get your copy!

Taking a look at the historical events of the Lost Colony, and adding possible fictional ideas of what might have happened helps bring this story to life. The author definitely did her research for this book. With an artist as a father who serves as the governor for the colony, his daughter Elinor Dare in the advanced stages of pregnancy and her husband Ananias join him on the journey to the new world.

This historical work shows how even in the face of adversity Elinor clings to her faith and relies on God. The author examines various characters and their experiences and thoughts in a way that kept me reading.

If you prefer to view historical events only from a factual view, you may prefer to not read this book. But if you are open to exploring the possibilities of what could be, 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

ShannonMcNear

Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.

More from Shannon

Why did I write this story? Well, God shoved the opportunity under my nose, and I didn’t want to be guilty of taking the easy way out, by saying no. 😊

Really, while the concept was fascinating, the execution was daunting, and sometimes terrifying. The Elizabethan Era—before the King James Bible and even before Shakespeare was popular! As a student of the Revolutionary War and surrounding times, I felt very much out of my depth.

Though the research sucked me in, it was also daunting. Sifting through various interpretations of the primary accounts and their own speculations on why they felt things must have gone a certain way. Trying to “find” my story amongst all the theories and opinions. Above all, getting to know my characters and letting them come alive in my own imagination.

And come alive, they did—in full color, with a vividness I did not expect. I hope I was able to translate even a portion of what I envisioned to the page, so that you also can see them!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 4

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 4

Joanna Bair, January 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 5

Rebecca Tews, January 5

For the Love of Literature, January 6

Remembrancy, January 6

Texas Book-aholic, January 7

Betti Mace, January 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 8

Inklings and notions, January 8

For Him and My Family, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

deb’s Book Review, January 10

Labor Not in Vain, January 10

Blogging With Carol, January 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 11

Connect in Fiction, January 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 12

To Everything There Is A Season, January 12

Mary Hake, January 12

Bizwings Blog, January 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 13

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Splashes of Joy, January 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 15 (Spotlight)

Sodbuster Living, January 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 16

Through the Fire Blogs, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Pause for Tales, January 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/15d5e/elinor-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt ~ A Review and Giveaway

saving Mrs. Roosevelt

About the Book

Book: Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Adventure

Release date: December, 2021

9781636090894

Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.

Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.

Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.

Click here to get your copy!

I love reading historical works of Christian fiction, and Saving Mrs. Roosevelt lived up to my expectations. The story captured my attention. I also enjoyed reading about Shirley. She reminded me of our daughter, who has three brothers.

With a husband n the military, I enjoyed reading about the military aspects of the story. The relationship between Shirley and Captain Weber kept my attention.

So if you enjoy Christian historical 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

CandicePatterson

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.

More from Candice

The idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt literally came overnight. I had just finished writing a contemporary romance set in Maine, centered around a harbor town where lobstering is prevalent. My agent called me and told me about the Heroines of WWII series and asked if I’d be interested in writing a WWII novel. If so, I needed to come up with a story and proposal fast because spots were limited and filling quickly. My mind was so consumed with research of the lobster industry that I felt I couldn’t clear my brain fast enough to come up with another story on such short notice. That’s when I started wondering how I could take the knowledge I already had and make it work for a WWII novel. I googled Maine during WWII, came across an article that mentioned the SPARs, and the idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt was born.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the Nancy Drew deep inside me figured out a unique way to merge lobstering with espionage.

Though the plot is purely fiction, there are some characters and events that are historically accurate that were fun to include as well. I love Maine, but I’m Hoosier born and raised, and in my SPAR research, I discovered that Dorothy C. Stratton–the woman the Coast Guard asked to direct the SPARs–was the Dean of Women at Purdue University in Indiana. She was a woman of true character, grace, and strength. I knew right away she needed a cameo in my story.

Within twenty-four hours of receiving my agent’s call, I had plotted the entire story and sent a proposal. Weeks went by, and as fall ushered in its beautiful colors, my husband surprised me with a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine. We walked the trails, ate amazing seafood, and took in the gorgeous view. While on the island, my agent called again, this time to let me know that Barbour had contracted Saving Mrs. Roosevelt. What a special moment it was to be standing on the very shoreline where the book is set when I received the good news.

Since the book is set in Maine where the heroine works on a lobster boat with her father, I wanted to share my favorite recipe for Maine blueberry pie.

Maine Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

2 Pie crusts

1 quart of fresh Maine blueberries

1 ½ tbsp lemon juice

Freshly grated nutmeg

¼ c light brown sugar

¼ c white sugar

¼ c flour

2 tbsp tapioca for thickening (if the berries are juicy)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the berries into a large bowl, add lemon juice, and toss. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the berries are well coated with the flour and sugars mixture. Line the pie plate with one crust. Put the berries into the pie plate and top with a solid or lattice-top crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Blog Stops

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 15

Girls in White Dresses, December 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 15

Remembrancy, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Genesis 5020, December 16

Lighthouse Academy, December 17 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, December 17

The Sacred Line, December 17

Betti Mace, December 18

Boondock Ramblings, December 18

Inklings and notions, December 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 19

Older & Smarter?, December 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 20 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, December 21

Blossoms and Blessings, December 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 22

Through the Fire Blogs, December 22

Mary Hake, December 22

For Him and My Family, December 23

Spoken from the Heart, December 23

Labor Not in Vain, December 23

She Lives To Read, December 24

Elly Gilbert, December 24

Splashes of Joy, December 25

Pause for Tales, December 25

deb’s Book Review, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 26

Connie’s History Classroom, December 27

To Everything There Is A Season, December 27

The Author Reads, December 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 28

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 28

Lights in a Dark World, December 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/14f18/saving-mrs-roosevelt-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Next Fithian ~ A Review and Giveaway

The Next Fithian

About the Book

Book: The Next Fithian

Author: Rick Barry

Genre: YA Christian Science Fiction

Release date: September 14, 2021

Final front cvr-Hi res

Was this a new life — or a death sentence?

When Rankin Johnson boards a flight to Israel, he expects an adventure in archeology. But the airplane comes under attack and explodes in midair. Rankin shouts, “God, I’m yours!” Instantly, he’s in some other place. An angel informs Rankin the Lord is pleased to accept his offer. He dubs Rankin “the next Fithian” — a messenger from God, not to Earth, but to planet Zemna in the alternate dimension. What happened to the previous Fithian? “He was killed,” the angel says before vanishing.

On Zemna, Rankin finds a perplexing, violent world. Futuristic technology mingles with primitive ways. Also, a bizarre symbol—the Intersection of All Things—has appeared on his left palm. It’s a tool to aid his mission, but how? Rankin is supposed to share God’s message with this planet. Instead, he becomes a slave. What he really wants is a trip back to Earth.

With the aid of Prahv and Theena, a brother and sister who become his best friends, Rankin escapes. He hopes to fulfill his mission and return home as fast as possible. But now there’s a price on Rankin’s head. More than one Zemnan would rather kill him for the reward than hear what he has to say.

Click here to get your copy!

On a plane trip to Israel,teenager Rankin Johnson expects to find archaeology. However, when his plane explodes, he finds himself in another dimension as a messenger of God.

The author masterfully illustrates how even those who are young may spread the message of God and His mercy and goodness. Struggling to survive, Rankin works to spread the gospel message.

This book provides a Christian Science fiction story for those who are young or young at heart. 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

SONY DSC

Rick Barry has climbed mountains, jumped from perfectly good airplanes, toured World War 2 battlefields, and visited Eastern Europe over 50 times in Christian ministry. He has a degree in teaching foreign languages and speaks Russian. His fiction and non-fiction have been published by Kregel Books, Focus on the Family, JourneyForth Books, Answers in Genesis, and others. His previous novels are Kiriath’s Quest, Gunner’s Run, The Methuselah Project, and Methuselah Project S.O.S.

More from Rick

Years ago, I received an unexpected phone call. Michael Ross, then-editor of Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, asked me to brainstorm a big, bold adventure for teens: “Maybe fantasy. Maybe science fiction. Maybe both mixed together. I don’t know. Just make it big!”

Such an intriguing challenge! I accepted the assignment and developed a 3-part Christian sci-fi story, The Next Fithian. Those three installments reaped enthusiastic reactions from readers. However, after Part 3, that assignment was done. I moved on.

As years passed, my Fithian characters refused to let me forget them. They kept coming to mind, urging me to create an exhilarating, novel-length adventure for them. At first, I refused. I was giving priority to my novels about World War II airmen.

However, whenever I attended homeschool conferences to sign books for shoppers, teens visited my table to talk. What were those teen guys and girls wearing? T-shirts portraying the Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk … It was obvious what kinds of adventures captivated these young adults. I wondered—what kind of uplifting novel could I pen for Christian fans of the Marvel universe?

In reply, my thoughts jumped back to The Next Fithian, a story brimming with action, adventure, danger, faith—plus a positive role model. This time, I yielded and began brainstorming ways to extend the original 5,400 words into an 80,000-word sci-fi novel with a Christian worldview. I didn’t want simply to create a gripping adventure. I wanted to give readers something unique. I wanted to touch their emotions, to make them laugh, to make them cry, to inspire them, and make them ponder things they had never considered before. I also wanted to transport them to another world where they might see better how to live in our own real world.

Responses from volunteer readers give me hope that The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World will appeal to diverse readers, both teens and adults. One teen, Kaden E. wrote, “WOW! I just finished the book, and boy was it fantastic!” Another teen, Victoria S. declared, “Rankin is exactly the kind of protagonist we need—he’s mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature; intelligent; and compassionate.” Adult test reader Marali S. emailed, “I enjoyed this! You must write more!” Another, Jude U., wrote, “I pronounce excellence! The ‘romance’ was sweet and just enough.”

A mix of other test readers gave similar encouragement. So, even though my target audience is young adults, I hope adults will also enjoy it, just as adults enjoyed 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame.

Christian sci-fi might not be your style, but pause and think—maybe you know a young adult who might benefit from such a story?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 13

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Inklings and notions, December 15

For Him and My Family, December 16

deb’s Book Review, December 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 21 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 25

Beauty in the Binding, December 26 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, December 26

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Rick is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/14834/the-next-fithian-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Of Fire and Ash ~ A Review and Giveaway

Of Fire and Ash

About the Book

Book: Of Fire and Ash

Author: Gillian Bronte Adams

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Release date: December 7, 2021

OFAA-EBook-revision-1

She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction. Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people. But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her. With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?

Click here to get your copy!

Magical horses and more fill the pages of this first installment of a Young Adult Epic fantasy novel series. When the story opens, we meet Ceridwen tal Desmond, who dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds. The magical horses help create a storyline that kept my interest. I also enjoyed reading about Ceridwen and seeing how her character developed through the pages of this book.

Ceridwen searches for her place in her world after banishment from her own land by her father. Other characters in this story help weave together a powerful story. As with most series, the book ends at a point where the author leaves the reader wanting more. So if you have young adults in your life, or just enjoy really gripping epic stories, 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

gillian-bronte-adams-HR-3-1

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander- loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own. She loves to connect with readers online at http://www.gillianbronteadams.com.

More from Gillian

I still vividly remember the moment, years ago, that the idea for this book came to me. It was the end of July, sometime between ten and eleven at night, and the insects outside were buzzing so loudly you could hear them through the window of the back room of the camp office where I sat. Slumped exhaustedly in a chair, shivering in the air conditioning in my sweat-soaked jeans and a t-shirt, I was waiting for the other summer staff to arrive so we could start and finish our planning meeting and stumble off to our cabins to sleep.

Even then, writing felt like breathing to me, so to pass the time and keep myself awake, I drew a ragged notebook out of my backpack and started scribbling sparks and specks of story ideas, barely noticing how my arm left smears of dirt on the page. It was my third or fourth summer as Head Wrangler, which meant I spent my days either on horseback or jogging alongside kids who were learning to ride. Dirt was just a part of life.

So many details of that night remain fresh in my mind, it’s odd that I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea itself—the wide-eyed grin of a boy on his very first ride, the budding confidence in a girl as she raced around the barrels, or the cumulation of all the hours I’d spent atop my own wild thing, clearing wooded trails with a machete, leaping across creeks because he refused to simply wade, and performing amateur stunts for the occasional skit.

Whatever lit the fuse, as soon as I scribbled the first set of words on that crumpled notebook page, I knew I had struck gold. I felt it in my bated breath and leaping heartbeat. “Super-powered horses.” Or better yet, “Magical steeds.” Some that could breathe fire, some with hides like stone that could quake the earth with their hooves, some that rode upon the waves of the sea, and still others that could step into shadow and disappear without a trace.

Seven in all, they quickly cluttered the page, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to write the epic tale that could contain creatures like these. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a page full of fanciful beasts and a head full of wild dreams. No characters. No plot. No premise. Or so I thought.

The meeting started then and I had to tuck my notebook away, but I couldn’t banish the magical horses now roaming in my head. Over the weeks and months that followed, I took them out and let them dance across the page every now and then, gradually fleshing out details, uncovering their secrets, and imagining their world. Yet the story itself remained elusive, until I finally, reluctantly, set them aside and turned my attention to other things. Months before that summer night, I had, in a fit of wild inspiration, outlined a new three book series starring a female warrior who longed to rule like her father before her. It was a bit daring and a lot daunting, but while I liked the characters and the concept, the world itself was lacking that flare of uniqueness, that touch of magic, that allows a fantasy realm to sprawl beyond the confines of the page and take root in the imagination of a reader.

Reading the outline afresh, I lamented that it was the sort of lusterless story doomed to die on a novelist’s hard drive, and perhaps my incredible magical horses with it, for though they were lustrous enough, without a story, they could never truly live. Without a story …

What if my aspiring queen lived in their world? What if she rode a fire-breathing steed? How might those beautiful magical creatures enhance and ultimately, shape her and her story?

Combining any two concepts can be dangerous, as you never know how they will interact until you try it. The resulting explosion shattered my outline and blasted apart my carefully formed plans, but when the dust settled and the heart of the new story emerged, I knew that this finally was an epic tale worthy of my magical steeds, and a world deep and dangerous enough to have forged my aspiring queen. It was, at last, Of Fire and Ash, the first book of The Fireborn Epic.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Rebecca Tews, December 11

Worthy2Read, December 12

Texas Book-aholic, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

deb’s Book Review, December 18

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

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

April Hayman, Author, December 22

Blogging With Carol, December 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 23 (Spotlight)

Through the fire blogs, December 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gillian 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/14831/of-fire-and-ash-celebration-tour-giveaway

About the Author

gillian-bronte-adams-HR-3-1

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander- loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own. She loves to connect with readers online at http://www.gillianbronteadams.com.

More from Gillian

I still vividly remember the moment, years ago, that the idea for this book came to me. It was the end of July, sometime between ten and eleven at night, and the insects outside were buzzing so loudly you could hear them through the window of the back room of the camp office where I sat. Slumped exhaustedly in a chair, shivering in the air conditioning in my sweat-soaked jeans and a t-shirt, I was waiting for the other summer staff to arrive so we could start and finish our planning meeting and stumble off to our cabins to sleep.

Even then, writing felt like breathing to me, so to pass the time and keep myself awake, I drew a ragged notebook out of my backpack and started scribbling sparks and specks of story ideas, barely noticing how my arm left smears of dirt on the page. It was my third or fourth summer as Head Wrangler, which meant I spent my days either on horseback or jogging alongside kids who were learning to ride. Dirt was just a part of life.

So many details of that night remain fresh in my mind, it’s odd that I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea itself—the wide-eyed grin of a boy on his very first ride, the budding confidence in a girl as she raced around the barrels, or the cumulation of all the hours I’d spent atop my own wild thing, clearing wooded trails with a machete, leaping across creeks because he refused to simply wade, and performing amateur stunts for the occasional skit.

Whatever lit the fuse, as soon as I scribbled the first set of words on that crumpled notebook page, I knew I had struck gold. I felt it in my bated breath and leaping heartbeat. “Super-powered horses.” Or better yet, “Magical steeds.” Some that could breathe fire, some with hides like stone that could quake the earth with their hooves, some that rode upon the waves of the sea, and still others that could step into shadow and disappear without a trace.

Seven in all, they quickly cluttered the page, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to write the epic tale that could contain creatures like these. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a page full of fanciful beasts and a head full of wild dreams. No characters. No plot. No premise. Or so I thought.

The meeting started then and I had to tuck my notebook away, but I couldn’t banish the magical horses now roaming in my head. Over the weeks and months that followed, I took them out and let them dance across the page every now and then, gradually fleshing out details, uncovering their secrets, and imagining their world. Yet the story itself remained elusive, until I finally, reluctantly, set them aside and turned my attention to other things. Months before that summer night, I had, in a fit of wild inspiration, outlined a new three book series starring a female warrior who longed to rule like her father before her. It was a bit daring and a lot daunting, but while I liked the characters and the concept, the world itself was lacking that flare of uniqueness, that touch of magic, that allows a fantasy realm to sprawl beyond the confines of the page and take root in the imagination of a reader.

Reading the outline afresh, I lamented that it was the sort of lusterless story doomed to die on a novelist’s hard drive, and perhaps my incredible magical horses with it, for though they were lustrous enough, without a story, they could never truly live. Without a story …

What if my aspiring queen lived in their world? What if she rode a fire-breathing steed? How might those beautiful magical creatures enhance and ultimately, shape her and her story?

Combining any two concepts can be dangerous, as you never know how they will interact until you try it. The resulting explosion shattered my outline and blasted apart my carefully formed plans, but when the dust settled and the heart of the new story emerged, I knew that this finally was an epic tale worthy of my magical steeds, and a world deep and dangerous enough to have forged my aspiring queen. It was, at last, Of Fire and Ash, the first book of The Fireborn Epic.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Rebecca Tews, December 11

Worthy2Read, December 12

Texas Book-aholic, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

deb’s Book Review, December 18

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

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

April Hayman, Author, December 22

Blogging With Carol, December 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 23 (Spotlight)

Through the fire blogs, December 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gillian 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/14831/of-fire-and-ash-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Lost Dutchman’s Secret ~ A Review and Giveaway

Lost Dutchman

About the Book

Book: The Lost Dutchman’s Secret

Author: Rebekah Jones

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 2, 2021

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There’s a deadly secret in them thar hills—and gold, or so they say.

Deeply in debt to a wealthy local, Charles Sinclair, Dorothy Hodges’ father finally promises she’ll pay and in gold, no less. If only Dorothy could take to take the promises he spins out of thin air and turn them into that gold, all would be well.

With the help of a strange, rumpled man, Dorothy does manage to bring payment to one of Sinclair’s sons only to discover it won’t pay off the debt. Will the next payment be enough?  The next?

When Charles Sinclair ends up dead, Dorothy is the obvious prime suspect, but Sinclair’s son isn’t so certain. Together they work to clear her name and find the real murderer of the Superstitions, but will they find the answers buried in those hills?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. The Lost Dutchman’s Secret offers a retelling of “Rumplestilskin” that requires more digging than a miner searching for The Lost Dutchman Mine.

Click here to get your copy!

As part of the Ever After mystery series, this book takes place during the 1920s. This book combines the fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin with a murder mystery. As with all the other books in this series, the author pulled me into the story. Joseph Hodges owes Charles Sinclair money that Charles Sinclair is determined to collect. Joseph’s daughter Dorothy finds herself caught up in the situation.

I disliked the way Joseph and Charles each treated their respective children. Dorothy relies on God and prayers to attempt to find her way out of the situation. When Charles Sinclair winds up murdered, Dorothy becomes the prime suspect. I appreciated how the author kept the suspense moving throughout the story.

So if you enjoy historical stories set in the 1920s along with fairytales, 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

Rebekah-Jones-Author-200x300

Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories.
Rebekah is an old soul in a young body (she’s not 12 —honest!) While her exact age is classified, her interests are not. Among them are reading a variety of books, singing, playing, and composing music, studying all manner of subjects, nannying an adventurous group of youngsters, and, of course, writing her books, poems, articles, and short stories. She writes a wide range of books from gentle children’s adventures to family sagas to murder mysteries.

More from Rebekah

“They say that no one had ever seen gold ore like it before, neither have they ever since. Except in the possession of Jacob Waltz. His mine had ore of higher value and higher potency than any other mine found in Arizona…”

What if the Miller’s daughter from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin didn’t have to spin gold, but pay it? And because of an enormous debt – that she had no way of knowing the value? And her father wasn’t a miller, but an old miner with a penchant for carving animals while living in the Arizona desert? And what if, for her pains, she found herself mixed up in a murder?

And what if, somehow intermixed with this poor young woman and her troubles, came the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine?

If you don’t know about the legend of that lost mine, you should. Or I think that you should. It’s a real legend as old as the 1860’s. Except, it wasn’t lost when Jacob Waltz went bragging about it. That came later.

The mountains that house the legend are magnificent. When a friend of mine came to visit me, she and I went to explore the area around the Superstition Mountains, as well as a part of the mountains themselves. Standing in a forest of cacti and brush, the jagged rocks and sharp peaks towered above my head, while a critter skittered unseen. Beautiful isn’t quite a strong enough word to describe it. As we hiked up the mountain, making our way through a myriad of desert plant life, rocks of so many shapes and sizes, and tiny critters, I could picture Dorothy, the miner’s daughter.

The modern structures and buildings in sight, faded in my mind’s eye, and I could imagine the young woman partway up the mountain in 1929, wearing her old, faded dress, and staring out across the valley. We plotted out where her father’s shack would have stood, and I made note of a perfect crevice of rock where she might have sat to think or read. I rather found myself wishing I could live out there myself, even if living in a shack in the heat of the Arizona summer doesn’t wholly appeal to me.

When I finally got in front of my manuscript again, I could see Dorothy’s world so clearly, I can only hope I managed to capture it in the book itself. I doubt if I could have captured the beauty of those mountains in words, the sight of them as they changed colors in the sunset, or the glowing starry sky above them after dark.

As for the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine, I would be lying if I said I didn’t entertain fantasies about exploring the mountains to discover it, but we certainly did not go that far into the mountains. Besides, it was June in the Arizona desert. One does not blindly venture into the mountains on such an errand in such a time of year, unless one has a death wish. It’s rather fun to imagine though. Perhaps one day, I can go on a search – though I confess, I doubt it.

As for the book, I won’t say whether that lost goldmine is discovered or not. I’ll leave that for a reader to discover for themselves.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 17

An Author’s Take, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

For Him and My Family, December 22

For the Love of Literature, December 22

deb’s Book Review, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, December 24

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

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 26

Vicarious Living, December 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 27

Connect in Fiction, December 27

Connie’s History Classroom, December 28

Mary Hake, December 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 29

Back Porch Reads, December 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 30

Through the Fire blogs, December 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away the grand prize package of $25 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/14f1b/the-lost-dutchman-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

A Shadow on the Snow ~ A Review and Giveaway

A Shadow on the Snow

About the Book

Book: A Shadow on the Snow

Author: JPC Allen

Genre: YA Mystery

Release date: December 1, 2021

A Shadow on the Snow lg

Nineteen-year-old Rae Riley can barely believe her gamble paid off. After spending seven months investigating the identity of her father and whether he tried to murder her mother, Rae has been accepted by her dad, Sheriff Walter “Mal” Malinowski IV, and his immediate family with open hearts. And for the first time in her life, Rae is making friends, jamming with three cute cops who play outlaw country music.

But someone is leaving Rae threatening notes, reminding her of her late mother’s notorious past when Bella Rydell wrecked homes and lives during the few years she lived in rural Marlin County, Ohio. Fearing the threats will make Mal and his family reject her, Rae investigates the mystery on her own. But her amateur sleuthing may cost her the father she’s always wanted when the stalker changes targets and takes dead aim at Mal.

Click here to get your copy!

When I started to read this novel, I quickly found myself caught up in the story. The storyline kept me in suspense wanting to know who was Rae’s stalker. Moreover, I found myself wanting to read more about Rae, her father Mal, her grandmother as well as her brothers. Hurting people fill the pages of this book, but mended relationships bring this story to life.

Rae learns how a father’s love knows no limits or bounds. I feel some of the supporting characters, including Chirs and Devon deserve those own stories. I love how the author created characters with depth and emotion. I felt the author did an excellent job with the conclusion of the story.

So if you enjoy young adult suspense novels 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

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JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. She’s been tracking down mysteries ever since and has written mystery short stories for Mt. Zion Ridge Press. Her Christmas mystery short story, “A Rose from the Ashes”, was a Selah-finalist at the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference in 2020. Online, she offers tips and prompts to ignite the creative spark in every kind of writer. She also leads workshops for tweens, teens, and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. A lifelong Buckeye, she has deep roots in the Mountain State.  A Shadow on the Snow is her first novel.

More from JPC Allen

“Write what you know.”

This piece of advice is given to a lot of beginning writers. But many writers are successful concocting stories in fantasy worlds or researching 18th century Russia and writing brilliant historical fiction. I’ve never been comfortable in any genre but mystery, and the more I’ve written, the more I’ve come to write what I know. There’s only one me, and if I pull from my experiences, I hope to give my mysteries a unique touch.

A Shadow on the Snow is set in southeast, or Appalachian, Ohio, because that’s where I grew up. I based Wellesville on St. Clairsville, the town I lived in as a kid. The library my main character Rae Riley works in looks like the library there, and the courthouse is right across Main Street, just like in my novel.

Until I was thirty, my mom’s parents lived out in the country on a ridge between St. Clairsville and the Ohio River. Their home was my favorite place on the planet, so when I needed a farmhouse for Rae’s family, I modeled it on Grandpa and Grandma’s house. I’m sure when my sisters and cousins read about the breezeway that runs between the house and the garage and the steps that lead from it to the outside door to the walkout basement, they’ll instantly know where I got my inspiration.

None of the characters are exact copies of real people I know, but I do use traits of real people to bring my characters to life. Aaron has my oldest child’s enthusiasm for science. Jeanine shares qualities with my youngest sister. Jason Carlisle is based on a man I saw once at my youngest child’s soccer game. All the other dads who coached wore baggy t-shirts and shorts. This man looked like he’d stepped off a yacht with perfectly styled hair, a navy blue windbreaker, and tailored white shorts. In my fictional Marlin County, where most men consider a plaid shirt without a tear to be formal attire, I thought a man who is fashionable would be an interesting contrast to the other characters.

Rae has a lot of me in her. She works at a library, which I did for ten years, but I was a children’s librarian, instead of a check-out clerk. She’s interested in photography and horses like I am. Both of us are shy, don’t like to inconvenience people, and worry what others think of us. However, I have never had the courage or the nerve to set a trap for a stalker, and that experience, as well as the most heart-pounding scenes in my book, are pure inventions. There’s a limit to writing what you know, and as a mystery writer, I’m very glad I can write about crimes without having to experience them!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Nancy E Wood, December 19

Texas Book-aholic, December 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 21

Inklings and notions, December 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 23

Bigreadersite, December 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 24 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living, December 25

For Him and My Family, December 26

deb’s Book Review, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 30 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, December 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, JPC is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path, a signed copy of A Shadow on the Snow, and a bookmark based on the artwork of an Ohio artist!!

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/14f21/a-shadow-on-the-snow-celebration-tour

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Armor of God ~ A Review and Giveaway

Armor of God

About the Book

Book: Armor of God

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release date: November 19, 2021

Armor Of God - ebook

In a battle to possess the armor of God, Lauren, Aiden and Ethan stand against their father as he fights for the enemy.

The Dark One has a foothold in the Iron Mountains, and his steel warriors have corrupted the giants. With a formidable army behind him, he fights to secure power over the heathlands. Darkness pervades Zoura’s frontier.

Reunited with Mother and Uncle, twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, must light the Tower of Light in Blooming Glen to save Zoura. But the enemy stands in their way. They need the lost Armor of God to overcome the forces of darkness.

As the children search for the armor, the enemy raises a new champion—their father. Knowing the power of the armor and the children’s plans, their father dispatches the Steele Brothers to retrieve the armor for the Dark One.

Zoura’s last chance for salvation will be lost, if darkness corrupts the armor before the children can take it back. Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan have prevailed against the forces of darkness before, but do they have the faith to stand firm against their father as he fights for the enemy?

Click here to get your copy!

As the fourth book in the middle grades Christian fantasy series Towers of Light, Allen Brokken creates a compelling series for middle grade students. Telling the story of three siblings – Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan, along with their parents, these books need to be read in order

The children, reunited with their parents, work to light the tower. But forces of darkness work against them. As with all the other books in this series, I found the conclusion made me want to read the next book immediately. I feel this series with its focus on God will resonate with people of all ages. 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

cool-dad

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age appropriate way.  He’s dedicated 15 years of his life to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development.  Now that his own children are off to college he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media @allenbrokkenauthor, and through his blog https://www.allenbrokkenauthor.com

More from Allen

Armor of God is the fourth book in the series, and it takes a significant departure from the others in that the children’s mother has joined them in their journey.  After rescuing her from the Iron Mountain in Fear No Evil, she is ready to take charge of the group to save Father.  However, things are a lot more complicated than they appear, and her children have grown used to making important decisions independently.

This book challenged my writing skills.  On the one hand, middle grade so often sends the parents away to give the kids agency to be the heroes of the story.  But what happens when the parents are active participants?  Most middle grade goes one of two directions. The parents are incompetent fools who the wise all knowing children must save, or the parents become wicked antagonists working against the children’s best interests.

As a parent, I cringe when those stereotypes come up in a read-aloud.  The parents I know are not bumbling fools and generally work hard to provide the best for their children.  So stories that emphasize something else tweaks something in my mind as I’m reading. After talking to a lot of parents, they feel the same way.

So I worked hard to give Mother a very specific objective, save Father. At the same time, the children have concerns that could take them off that path.  With the help of my editor and critique partners, I was able to cast Mother in a good light.  Armor of God provides readers a realistic portrayal of the family working through conflicts in a positive way, which makes the surprise ending all the more powerful.

So if you are looking for a middle-grade story to read to your kids where the parents aren’t bumbling fools or wicked abusers, you should check out Armor of God.

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 4

Sodbusterliving, December 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 5

Texas Book-aholic, December 6

Inklings and notions, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 8

deb’s Book Review, December 9

Spoken from the Heart, December 10

For the Love of Literature, December 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 14 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, December 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 16

Lights in a Dark World, December 17

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Allen 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/14198/armor-of-god-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

A Convenient Risk – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Convenient Risk

Author: Sara R. Turnquist

Genre: Clean Historical Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, only adds to her frustration. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang.

What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

Click here to get your copy!

Containing twists and turns this book kept my interest. I believe the author created well-developed characters that kept my interest. As the first book in the Convenient Risk series. It explores a couple who marry for convenience who then have to work to make their marriage succeed.

If you enjoy Christian historical 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

Sara is a coffee lovin’, word slinging, clean Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story.

But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning.

Sara is an avid reader and also enjoys reading clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American Wild West and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady Bornekova, Hope in Cripple Creek, The General’s Wife, Trail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.

More from Sara

Hello, Readers!

I am always asked about the inspiration behind my work. These tidbits can be wide and varied from one story to the next. But none is so interesting, in my opinion, as the thing that sparked A Convenient Risk.

It just so happens that one of my good friends, best-selling contemporary romance author Hannah R. Conway, is my conference buddy. We go to writing conferences and retreats together, networking with other writers and learning more about the craft of writing.

And…at one such conference during some down time, Hannah (who is a fellow lover of history) said, “hey, let’s go to the cemetery.” I wasn’t quite so certain about that particular jaunt, but it was daytime and she raved about the history to be mined there, so I was in.

As we walked around, indeed we did look at stones—especially older ones—and thought about the lives of the people based on the era they lived in and whatnot. Just a heyday for our writer brains. We came upon a particular set of stones from the early 1900s. And, according to the little bit information on the stones, we determined that the woman had first married a man who was much older. Then he died. And she married a man closer to her own age. My writer wheels started turning!

Did her parents arrange a marriage for some sort of benefit? Maybe she was from a poor family and they needed her to have a better circumstance? At any rate, the man died a few years later. Then she married a man closer to her age…perhaps a man she had previously been in love with and had always wanted to marry?

I thought, then, about second marriages after a spouse passes. And how we tend to memorialize loved ones who pass—remember the good times and gloss over the hard, more challenging things. I don’t think this is a conscious thing, more of a way our mind handles grief.

So, if a widow must make a marriage of convenience, how does that affect her ability to develop love for the second husband if she is comparing him to this image of her first spouse in a way he wasn’t actually in real life.

Now, I don’t know for certain…I’ve only been married once (and thank the Lord my Prince Charming is patient enough to stick it out with this writer). But I wanted to work this scenario out within this fictive bubble…play with this concept…see where it led. After mixing that with a bit of history, throwing in a dash of a famous American outlaw, A Convenient Risk was born.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, December 1

Boondock Ramblings, December 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Inklings and notions, December 4

Britt Reads Fiction, December 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 5

deb’s Book Review, December 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 10 (Spotlight)

Cats in the Cradle Blog, December 10

Blossoms and Blessings, December 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of A Convenient Risk!!

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/1417f/a-convenient-risk-celebration-tour-giveaway