Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

His Brother’s Atonement ~ A Celebrate Lit Tour Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: His Brother’s Atonement

Author: Amy Walsh

Genre: Contemporary romance – western

Release date: April 26, 2022

Shane Phillips had given up hope of ever meeting the nephew born to the woman his brother assaulted. After checks he sent to Aubrey Anders were returned, Shane decided the most he could ever do was pray for the Anders family. When Shane discovers that he and Aubrey work for the same graphic arts company, he must find a way to assure her he means no harm before both Wyoming branches meet for a conference.

Aubrey thinks she has worked through most of her trauma with the help of her psychologist and loving community. However, meeting Shane Phillips seems to have unleashed suppressed anxiety and insecurity. But as their paths continue to intersect, Aubrey begins to wonder if Shane could be part of God’s plan for her despite their painful connection.

Click here to get your copy!

His Brother’s Atonement introduces the reader to Aubrey Anders, her son, her parents, Shane Phillips and his family plus their co-workers and community. Written in a way that kept my interest and left me wanting to read more about the community and the people.

Shane Phillips wishes to atone for his brother’s actions and to help Aubrey and his nephew. Amy Walsh conveys the trauma, the fear along with a variety of other emotions in this story.

I loved reading about the design firm Aubrey and Shane work for and the projects they complete. I want to read the stories about Blair, a co-worker, and Cody, Shane’s best friend.

So if you enjoy stories filled with faith, family, forgiveness, and reconciliation, check out this book for yourself. I highly recommend it.

Out of a traumatic event comes Aubrey’s greatest blessing, but when she thinks she sees the person who traumatized her the trauma returns.

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

About the Author

Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching, and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

More from Amy

Thank you for helping me spread the word about my first Whispers in Wyoming novel! I am thrilled to be part of this gospel and heritage-themed series! If you haven’t read any of the novels yet, you are in for a treat! There are thirty-three novels ahead of His Brother’s Atonement — and they are all STANDALONES, so they can be read in any order!

Meet Aubrey, Shane, and Jayson

Aubrey is a young mother and graphic designer from Engelmann, Wyoming. Her terrible experience during college has caused her to keep to herself. Aubrey has no close friends and has never dated. But her parents are supportive, her son keeps her happy and busy, and she loves her job. Aubrey believes she is doing pretty well emotionally until the brother of the man who assaulted her turns up in town.

Shane suffered quite a bit when his brother was tried and imprisoned for assaulting Aubrey. People  actually turned their backs on his family, and Shane’s fiancé ended their engagement. Even worse was watching how it affected his parents. After Shane’s brother died in a freak prison accident, their mother spent several days in the ICU. For years, Shane has yearned to do something to help Aubrey and her son, wanting to atone for his brother’s terrible action. But Shane gave up hope of ever meeting his nephew years ago.

Jayson is Aubrey’s six-year-old son. He is obsessed with cowboys, horses, and the wild west. Art runs in Jayson’s genes from both sides of his family, so it is not surprising that he loves drawing and helping his grandpa with woodworking. Jayson never seemed to notice that he doesn’t have a dad, but when he finds out that his father died, he is so heartbroken that Aubrey promises to let him meet his uncle. So much for her thinking that she would never have to see Shane again!

The Creation of His Brother’s Atonement

I never really know when or how a story idea will enter my head.  I can drive by a house that catches my eye, and the next thing I know, I am imagining the characters that live there and writing their story in my imagination.  Sometimes watching the interactions of people prompts a story.  Other times my ideas come from research.

For His Brother’s Atonement, there were a bunch of factors that came into creating Aubrey and Shane’s story as far as the setting.  I had just been to a writing conference where one of the speakers said that many readers still love contemporary westerns. Adding to that, I had been following the multi-author group Whispers in Wyoming and other authors who wrote westerns, and I had been enjoying their posts.  Additionally, one of my teacher friends has spent portions of her summers out west and I love to hear her talk about landscapes and small communities.   A camping trip to Yellowstone and other western parks has been high on my bucket list for several years.

As for the situation that Aubrey is in, how she became a single mother and how she now deals with anxiety, her story just came to me while I was brainstorming.  Her and her son’s personalities developed in my mind as if they were real people.  I have wondered what it must be like to have a family member who is a criminal, the conflicting emotions it must bring: to still love that person; to be ashamed for what that person has done; to yearn to find a way to help the victim.  So I am sure those thoughts helped me create Shane’s struggles.

I wrote most of Aubrey and Shane’s story while I was spending nights with my grandmother in hospice.  Grammy was often sleeping while lovely hymn instrumentals were playing, and I felt as though I was in a sacred space.  I think some of my own inner struggles with trusting God’s sovereignty, with remembering that God does work out everything for our good, may have become part of the novel.  And in the last chapter when Aubrey prays during the Thanksgiving dinner, you can see some of my own angst about life changing and my own feelings of grief being resolved.

His Brother’s Atonement is a fundraiser!

As I was researching for this novel, I read too many firsthand accounts of women who had been assaulted and the devastating effects of the violence in their lives. According to rainn.org, every 68 seconds another American is assaulted, and one out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. According to multiples sources, there are at least 30,000 rape-related pregnancies in the U.S. each year. Sexual violence is a significant problem in the U.S., and in other countries around the globe, it is even more rampant.

As I was delving into Aubrey’s thoughts and pondering how her assault had affected her and her family, I decided that I needed to do more to help women and children who have been victimized. As a first step, ten percent of the profits from the sales of His Brother’s Atonement will be donated to Heaven’s Family. To find out more about this organization, follow this link:  https://www.heavensfamily.org/ministries/victims-of-sexual-violence/

Here is the recipe for Nana Ander’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pie.

Shane and Aubrey’s Anti-Meet-Cute

Aubrey and Shane don’t get to have a “meet-cute”, you know that sweet moment when a couple-to-be meet for the first time? In fact, when Aubrey sees Shane across Engelmann Park, she almost has a panic attack thinking that he is the man who assaulted her.

In the next book about Engelmann Wyoming, Portrait of Redemption, Cody will help Shane set up a “meet-cute” redo. I think it is so adorable that Shane wants to do that for Aubrey!

Two special characters mentioned in His Brother’s Atonement are from another of my novels, Elsie Whitmore. Elsie meets famous actor Graham Thurston for the first time when he tracks her down at her school, determined that she will audition for a movie he is producing. A somewhat spoiled star, he is annoyed that she hasn’t taken calls from his talent agency, so he is cold and judgy during their first meeting. In return, she thinks it is ridiculous for Graham to assume that she would consider giving up teaching just because he liked one of her YouTube videos. They also do not have a cute first meeting!

Here is my meet-cute!  I worked part time at a Sears in a mall while I was going to college. My husband, Pat, was a loss prevention agent there.   A coworker  who had a crush on Pat asked me to draw a Christmas card for her to give to him. In the PS, she told Pat that I was the one that illustrated the card. That led to Pat investigating who I was, and soon he was regularly stopping by my register at Sears to make small talk. He would have silly excuses to stop by, like having me help him put a baby outfit on a stuffed animal to purchase for his nephew.  It could have become very awkward if my co-worker hadn’t developed a crush on someone else in the meantime!

During the launch party for His Brother’s Atonement, some of the readers shared the stories of their first meeting with their husbands.  Some were adorable, and some were so awkward.  Have you shared your “meet-cutes” with your children and grandchildren?  Surprisingly it is something we forget to talk about, but it is part of their heritage!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

deb’s Book Review, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 1

A Baker’s Perspective, October 2 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For the Love of Literature, October 4 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 6 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 gift card along with His Brother’s Atonement, a Rocky Mountains Shirt and a Rocky Mountains wooden bookmark!!

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/21a6a/his-brother-s-atonement-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Ezekiel’s Song ~ A Celebrate Lit Tour Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Ezekiel’s Song

Author: Naomi Craig

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: August 16, 2022

A prophet’s heart broken, a woman’s joy gone. What does Yahweh have planned for His people?

On the brink of Jerusalem’s demise, devoted priest, Ezekiel, sees the insincerity of Judah’s worship. Despite his efforts to call the people back to true worship of Yahweh, priests, artisans, valiant warriors, and royals are exiled to Babylon. When God gives him messages of continued judgment for the people in his homeland, his heart breaks. How can he minister to the people from so far away?

The presence of the Lord is tangible when Shiriel sings in the temple, and her voice prepares the hearts of many to worship. When she is exiled to Babylon, her faith is shaken. Does the Lord’s presence extend beyond Jerusalem and His holy temple?

Ezekiel is struck mute and paralyzed as he begins his prophetic ministry, and Shiriel devises a plan to get the Lord’s message back to the unfaithful people of Judah. Shiriel struggles with discontentment as serving the Lord looks nothing like she’d imagined. Can she provide for her family and carry out her husband’s ministry when her joy is gone, and her own dreams are placed on hold?

How will Yahweh save His people from themselves? Find out in Ezekiel’s Song!

Click here to get your copy!

As the wife of a Primitive Baptist preacher for over 30 years, I recognize the value in knowing the Word of God and following it. I also recognize that stories in the Bible for many come to life as Biblical Fiction. Ezekiel’s Song, the second book in Yahweh’s Legacy series takes the story of Ezekiel and his efforts to bring the Jewish people back to God in fictional form based on the Bible. Having read the first book in this series, I knew I wanted to read this second book.

In this book, Shirel sings in the temple and the presence of the Lord is tangible. But, she finds herself banished to Bablyon from Jersusalem. Meanwhile, Ezekiel becomes paralyzed and mute just as he begins his prophetic ministry as Jerusalem teeters on the brink of destruction. The two struggle to find their place and their role in Babylon that will allow them to serve God and communicate God’s message to His people.

Because I am familiar with the stories of the Bible, I look at Biblical fiction as a way of looking at one version of what might have occurred in Biblical times based on the author’s view. I appreciate how the author brought this story to life and illustrated how the Jewish people turned away from God. In these days, it seems like many people have turned away from God, so I feel this book may help bring some back to the fold of God.

If Biblical fiction fails to excite or interest you, you may want to skip this book. However, if you like reading Biblically based fiction, you should check out this book for yourself along with Rahab’s Courage, the first book in the series.

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

About the Author

SONY DSC

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.

More from Naomi

What do you recall about Ezekiel?

The wheel within the wheel?

The dry bones living.

Ezekiel 4:9 bread?

Did you know the Lord asked him to prepare his food over human dung? Or that he was paralyzed for about 14 months? What about mute for seven years?

There are so many bizarre prophecies and symbolisms in the book of Ezekiel. So many prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. Raise your hand if you tend to skim through these parts of God’s word.

I do.

But when I read Ezekiel a couple years back, the story really jumped of the page.

What about the people who lived with the prophecies and symbolisms?

Ezekiel saw the Lord, and the message He gave was one of Jerusalem finally meeting their just reward.

Only problem is Ezekiel is already in Babylon.

Oh and there’s the whole paralyzed and mute thing.

How is a man who is physically and geographically bound able to get this message a world away?

What was it like to live on rations of war (contrary to how today’s scientists have discovered the right combination to make nutrient dense, protein packed super bread?) in a land that wasn’t suffering from famine or scarcity.

How did the prophet respond when the people who heard the message in Babylonia and Jerusalem brushed it aside as inconsequential?

Ezekiel’s Song explores the lives of those affected by the prophecies. You’ll meet Ezekiel–in the priestly service, turned prophet, Shiri—the Bible states Ezekiel had a wife, her name and her backstory is my imagination, and Gilead—a fictional valiant warrior from Jerusalem.

Discover the book of Ezekiel like you’ve never seen it before!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 19

Holly’s Book Corner, September 19

lakesidelivingsite, September 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 25

Connie’s History Classroom, September 26

Books I’ve Read, September 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 28

She Lives To Read, September 29

Blogging With Carol, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi 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/21815/ezekiel-s-song-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Calm in the Mountain Storm ~ A Celebrate Lit Tour Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Calm in the Mountain Storm

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 13, 2022

This epic journey will test his strength and ability to protect his children—and they’re all he has left.

When Elise Lane and her brother set out as missionaries to the native tribes in the Rocky Mountains, she knew the work would be challenging. But nothing fully prepared her for the hardships, nor the joys of getting to know the people. And even more so when some of them decide to accept God’s grace. When they discover the entire village where they’ve been working has been massacred, the mysterious brave standing at the edge of the devastation appears to be part of the danger. Especially when Elise realizes he’s holding a baby she recognizes as the daughter of one of the women who now lies dead.

Gone far too long on a mission to return his son who’d been taken by an enemy war party, Goes Ahead is relieved to return home with the boy. Until they reach their village, and the death they find there ignites his fury. His wife has been killed, along with all their friends and neighbors. No one is left alive—except their infant daughter. It can’t be coincidence that both his children have survived such evils. Now he must keep them alive and cross the mountains to return to his family, people who can help protect his family from further danger.

Traveling with an infant not yet four moons old—and no mother to feed her—is more than even Goes Ahead can overcome. Allowing the white strangers to accompany him seems the only choice since one in their party is already nursing a babe of her own. As winter closes in and the mountains prove treacherous beyond anything Goes Ahead can control, only a strength and love greater than his own can save his children—and the woman he’s come to love.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

Continuing the saga of the Call of the Mountains, Calm in the Mountain Storm chronicles the lives of Elise Lane and Goes Ahead. She, her brother, and her friends White Owl and Lola along with their baby daughter Anna. Goes Ahead and needs the help of the group to care for his two young children.

As missionaries, Elise and her brother Benjamin strive to share the gospel with all they encounter. So when they find Goes Ahead with his baby daughter, and in need of help with her and her older brother, the entire group agrees to come together.

This work of historical fiction illustrates the importance of being the hands and feet of Christ to those we encounter. Even though Goes Ahead’s wife and the mother of his children was murdered, he finds himself trusting the group even in times of trouble.

I loved seeing the way Elise and Goes Ahead come together for the children and eventually recognize their feelings for one another. So if you enjoy works of historical Christian 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

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

More from Misty

Early Missionaries to the Rocky Mountain Native American Tribes  

One of the things I love about writing stories set in the 1830s Rocky Mountains is that Eastern civilization hadn’t yet touched the frontier. The only people who lived in or visited the Rockies during that were Native Americans and mountain men (usually trappers, but sometimes just explorers).

From that limited experience with white people, two of the native tribes realized they wanted to learn more about the white man’s God and his “Book of Heaven” (the Bible). In 1831, a delegation of four Native Americans—two Nez Perce and two Flathead—showed up in St. Louis, Missouri, asking for someone to come and teach their people about God.

Over the next several years, a number of people went west as missionaries, and this was the real-life inspiration for the heroine in Calm in the Mountain Storm. Though the characters in this story are fictional, the events certainly could have happened!

When Elise Lane heard that the Indians actually wanted to learn about God and simply needed someone to come tell them, she knew she had to answer that call. Of course, her brother Benjamin couldn’t let her go into that danger alone, so together, they set out on an expedition they knew would likely change them forever. Elise doesn’t have any idea exactly how much!

I pray you enjoy reading the story of Elise and Goes Ahead, the brave she meets who’s desperate for help getting his young children across the mountains. As with our hero and heroine in the story, I pray your faith is inspired!

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 16

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Holly’s Book Corner, September 17

Inklings and notions, September 18

Pause for Tales, September 19

Betti Mace, September 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 21

Blossoms and Blessings, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 24

Connie’s History Classroom, September 25

For the Love of Literature, September 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Mary Hake, September 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty 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/21812/calm-in-the-mountain-storm-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Vermillion Riddle ~ A Celebrate Lit Tour Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Vermilion Riddle

Author: Dana Li

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: March 1, 2022

“To enter Faerie’s blessed demesne
four secrets must be found:
the land unbound by time and space
opens only to the one who knows
the Light, the Song, and Mortal Gate.”

In the sheltered town of Carmel, women do not have a future outside of a good marriage. That future is threatened when Leah Edwards’ father gambles away the family’s livelihood and estate. She and her sisters must hurry to find husbands. Then August Fox, a Guardian from Cariath, comes to town and purchases a supposedly haunted manor. Charged to keep the peace between mortals and Faerie, the Guardians are the stuff of legend. After he stuns her with a marriage proposal, Leah reluctantly journeys to Cariath, discovering there is more to August and the legends than she guessed.

Nimrod and his Oath-breakers betrayed the Guardians, seeking to solve an ancient riddle that would unlock the Faerie realm. Not all his followers share his desire for conquest. Benedict Fox, his second-in-command, has different motives. But as he continues fulfilling Nimrod’s plan, Benedict hurtles towards a choice between saving his family and settling a personal vendetta.

For Leah, August, and their allies, it is a race against time to solve the ancient riddle before the Oath-breakers, and reunite the Guardians to save the mortal realm. The war is never really over, and this time, the battle lines cut through blood ties and brotherhood.

Click here to get your copy!

The Vermillion Riddle, a fantasy novel, brings together the mortal world and the Faire realm. After her father gambles away the family’s wealth and home, Leah and her sisters attempt to find men willing to marry them. I loved how the author developed all of the characters in this book as well as created a story I could not put down.

Brothers find themselves facing each other in an epic battle that reveals secrets and truly develops the storyline. Sometimes things we believe to be true are clouded by our own thoughts and desires. Other times mercy is extended when we least expect it.

So if you enjoy fantasy novels where good triumphs over evil and justice is served, 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

Dana Li is a software product manager by day, and a novelist by night. She holds an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University and a BS in computer science from USC, but she’s always been better at writing stories than code. Her writing misadventures began with a dozen now-deleted Star Wars fanfiction tales. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). Dana currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Vermilion Riddle is her first novel.

More from Dana

Two of my favorite fiction authors are J.R.R. Tolkien and Jane Austen. Besides both being British, their works are worlds apart, literally – one wrote epic, sprawling stories of the battle between good and evil, while the other wrote of small town families, romance, and culture in the Regency era. If Tolkien’s heroes failed, death and darkness would sweep across the land. If Austen’s heroes failed, a lady would be single at thirty. (The horror!)

As different as they are, I had a desire to blend the best of both genres. I didn’t think it’d be the most marketable book, but then, I also thought no one else would write this. That concept sparked the genesis of The Vermilion Riddle. I wanted an epic fantasy that was also character-driven and intimate. I love how Austen deftly explored familial and romantic relationships in the framework of her society, and I was curious to see how that would unfold in the context of a traditional fantasy. I shamelessly drew influence from the Regency era for parts of my story’s culture, simply because it’s got that quaint, cozy vibe, stored inside a broad, sweeping world.

This is a snippet of what I wrote in my original query letter for The Vermilion Riddle: 

“While the novel evokes elements of classic fantasy—quests, duels, and the battle of good versus evil—it thrives on character exploration. The plot hums to the beat of a cosmic conflict and climax, though the struggles within a family—between fathers and sons, brothers by blood (and not), husband and wife—forms its core melody.”

When it came to the characters and relationships in the story, three questions framed my writing.

What makes a strong, relatable, and feminine heroine?

What happens to brothers who are pitted against each other ideologically?

What does a love story that happens after marriage look like?

I did not know, concretely, the answer to any of these when I began, and Riddle was going to be my way of exploring them. In retrospect, I was in over my head. I’m not sure if I ever found totally satisfactory answers, but as I worked on the novel over the years, I felt the story mature quietly alongside of me. There were nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from life and other people that made their way into the story. There were also surprising insights that emerged from the characters as I was writing.

In the end, I wanted to write characters who, though born into another world, were achingly human. Though they chase ancient secrets and face the fury of the faerie-kind, they aren’t wrapped in an air of mythology that makes them feel far removed from us. They are the sort of people who could be legends – but a legend is usually formed in retrospect. They are like Merry and Pippin, hobbits who felt like useless baggage for much of their journey before they were hailed as heroes.

That’s what I strove for, at least – a story that’s epic yet intimate, that’s far-flung and yet close to home.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Blogging with Carol, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Inklings and notions, September 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 24

Holly’s Book Corner, September 24

Christina’s Corner, September 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 26

Rebecca Tews, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29

For Him and My Family, September 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 1

Pause for Tales, October 2

Artistic Nobody, October 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of The Vermilion Riddle (e-book for those outside the US)!!

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/21816/the-vermilion-riddle-celebration-tour-giveway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Characters Within ~ A Celebrate Lit Tour Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Characters Within

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Inspirational Fiction / Romance / Humor

Release date: July 30, 2020

Brittany Myers is stuck. She hates her role as a Cheese Crusader to Florida’s popular Cheddar and Such theme park! She is sick of the guests, the heat and working at the Fun at the Parm Attraction which features the animatronics Patty the Pretzel and Peter the Breadstick.

Her only relief from the monotony is writing chapters in her upcoming novel “The Carnival Ride” where she tells stories with theatrical scenes about her co-workers, her fears and the struggles she faces day in and day out.

With the help of her work family, the man of her dreams and her best friend, Brittany discovers that the magic she is looking for was right inside of her the entire time.

Click here to get your copy!

Maybe my first real job when I turned sixteen being at a theme park caused me to initially want to read this book. But once I started reading, I could not put it down. I loved getting to know Brittany Myers, her best friend Travis, and the other characters in this book.

Sometimes, we feel stuck where we are, and can not seem to move forward with our heart’s true desire. Brittany feels stuck in her job, finds herself unable to initially to get her book published, but she continues writing. Eventually, she discovers that her heart’s desires have been right in front of her.

This story moved along at a good pace, and kept my interest. I also loved the inclusion of the dialogue from Brittany’s book she is writing. I also appreciated how Brittany continues writing and submitting her work until she finally receives an acceptance letter.

So check out this book for yourself. I definitely recommend it.

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

About the Author

Sunshine Rodgers is   an International Best-Selling Author on Amazon. She has written 11 books which have landed on 26 different Best Seller lists, including #1 in the United Kingdom, #2 in the United States and #25 in Canada. Her books have been translated in several languages (Spanish, English and Portuguese). She has participated in 5 book tours and dozens of book signings. When she is not writing, Sunshine is a guest and featured author on radio, podcasts and online magazines. Sunshine is a Brand Ambassador, a Blogger and an Entrepreneur to her 32,000 social media followers. Sunshine is married to the love of her life, Travis, and they reside in sunny Florida.

More from Sunshine

“This book is about…me. I spent over 5 years working at a theme park, barely surviving the mess, the mayhem and the craziness that often occurred on-stage and backstage. I used that immersive experience to write my novel,  “The Characters Within.” This story is about Brittany Myers, a Cheese Crusader who has to wear this silly costume and repeat these corny sayings and hear the same annoying tunes playing over and over again. But she really wants to be an Author. 

And that’s where I found myself. At a backstage break room, writing this book as Brittany was writing hers. I have included 35 real-life people as characters (those who survived the madness with me!) and together we invite you to join us…as I now lift the curtain to “The Characters Within” – a Book-within-a-Book, Part Musical, Part Love Story and 100% pure entertainment!” 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

Simple Harvest Reads, September 18 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Texas Book-aholic, September 19

Beauty in the Binding, September 20 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 23

Blossoms and Blessings, September 24 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 25

Susan K. Beatty, Author, September 26 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 27

Guild Master, September 28 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa 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/21813/the-characters-within-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

As Silent as the Night ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: As Silent as the Night

Author: Danielle Grandinetti

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: September 13, 2022

He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.

Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.

Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.

Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love.

As Silent as the Night is the Christmas novella to To Stand in the Breach and A Strike to the Heart.

Click here to get your copy!

Set in the 1930s, As Silent as the Night chronicles the lives of Lucia Critelli, her grandfather, and Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella, along with additional friends. Lucia wishes only to ensure her grandfather has enough to eat. So she stands in a breadline for food but winds up being taken by a mobster. Fortunately, she leaves her bag behind, which Gio finds. He then sets out to rescue her.

This book comes to life with well-developed characters and storylines. I loved seeing Lucia discover God along with His love and mercy. Gio believes he only desired to help Lucia like he helped many others. However, through his friends and Lucia himself, he finally discovered his love for Lucia.

This historical Christian novel kept me engaged until the very last page. I loved everything about this book. Even the mobsters in this book captured my interest.

So if you enjoy reading Christian historical novels filled with love, friendship, danger, and suspense, 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

Danielle Grandinetti is author of A Strike to the Heart and To Stand in the Breach. She is also a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com. Her short stories have appeared in several publications and her writing has won the University of Northwestern Distinguished Faith in Writing Award. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she now lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline with her husband and their two young sons. Danielle especially loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.

More from Danielle

I have this memory, from when I was a little girl, of Christmas at my grandma’s house. The table was expanded to hold a dozen people. The little Christmas tree stood on a table before the window, the Nativity beneath it. A gingerbread house sat on the radio cabinet, which played my grandpa’s old Christmas records.

In the kitchen, my Italian grandma, now a widow, had on a ruffled apron as she cooked the Christmas meal. She had short, graying black hair, perfectly curled, and large, round glasses. And, was still taller than me, though she was under 5 foot in height.

Through the haze of childhood memory, I can’t recall everything she cooked that Christmas, I just know it filled the table to overflowing. I can guess who celebrated with us, but I know the large table was completely surrounded by people I loved. And, I’m sure I received gifts, but that’s not what I remember from that day.

What fills my memory is the feeling of family and the love my grandma showed us, through food. My full belly. My contentment. The wonder of the holidays. All through the eyes of my young self.

In As Silent as the Night, I attempt to capture some of this nostalgia, lace it with suspense, and wrap it in romance. I show about some of the traditional holidays celebrated by my characters, from St. Nicholas Day to Christmas Eve. And, while Gio can find anything, love eludes him. However, Lucia may hold the key, but he must first save her.

Silent as the Night concludes my Strike to the Heart series, which began with prequel novella To Stand in the Breach. As sad as it is to say goodbye to the farmers of Eagle, Wisconsin, I have loved sharing the stories of Katy and Joey, Lily and Miles, and Gio and Lucia with you. I hope you’ll enjoy this last installment and I look forward to sharing more stories from other places with you.

Buon Natale.

Merry Christmas.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 13

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 14 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, September 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions, September 16

For Him and My Family, September 17

deb’s Book Review, September 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 20

Inkwell Inspirations, September 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 21

Connie’s History Classroom, September 22

Betti Mace, September 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 24

Holly’s Book Corner, September 24

Labor Not in Vain, September 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Danielle is giving away the grand prize package of a Bag of Books Bundle, which includes a signed copy of each book: To Stand in the Breach, A Strike to the Heart, and As Silent as the Night, plus a Donkey Tote to carry the books!! (https://www.etsy.com/listing/1130961309/donkey-canvas-tote-bag-heavy-duty)

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/2159f/as-silent-as-the-night-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Trusting Her Amish Heart ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Trusting Her Amish Heart

Author: Cathy Liggett

Genre: Amish Inspirational Romance

Release date: August 1, 2022

Her heart may learn to love again…

But can it trust?

Running from betrayal, Leah Zook finds purpose caring for the older owner of an Amish horse farm. But when he’s injured and his estranged son returns home looking for redemption, Leah’s resolve is tested. The mysterious Zach Graber has all the power to fix the run-down farm— and Leah’s locked-down heart. But together will they be strong enough to withstand his secret…and hers?

Click here to get your copy!

Trusting Her Amish Heart grabbed my attention from the very beginning. I loved getting to know Leah Zook and discovering what made her run away from her family. Caring for her elderly neighbor who owns a horse farm gives Leah purpose, but after an injury forces her to reach out to his estranged son Zach Graber, things become a little more challenging for Leah.

As she works to heal the rift between the two men, she also deals with her own challenges. Secrets that the two keep from each other, but finally being honest with each other heals past hurts and allows them to pursue a future. Other characters in this book help bring the story to life.

So if you enjoy Amish stories filled with faith, family, and friendship, 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

ACFW award-winning author Cathy Liggett is an Ohio girl who never dreamed writing would take her across the world and to Amish country, too. But she’s learned God’s plans for our lives are often more creative than the ones we imagine for ourselves. That includes meeting her husband at a high school reunion and marrying three months later–forty years ago. Together, they enjoy visiting kids and grandkids, and spoiling their pup Chaz. Visit her: http://www.cathyliggett.com

More from Cathy

Trust.  It’s a small word with huge implications, isn’t it?

When I think of trust, the first thing that comes to mind is our dog Chaz. We – or rather she – rescued us when she was a little over one year old. At the time she first came into our home the poor pup was too scared to even sleep.  She’d start to doze off, then jerk and open her eyes, looking all around trying her utmost to stay on guard. Now, at 13 years old, our furry gal has cushy dog beds in every room in the house. Which makes perfect sense since she undoubtedly rules our roost.  It’s been our joy to be able to spoil her all these years. But I have to say, Chaz isn’t the only one who has had trust issues.

While penning Leah and Zach’s story, I was so happy because it took me back to Sugarcreek, and not just in spirit or through sweet memories.  As it happened, my critique partners (and dear friends) decided Ohio Amish country would be the perfect spot for a writing retreat. How could I disagree?

In the four days we spent in a rustic cabin we got ideas flushed out and chapters written too. But we also laughed, shared, celebrated, and ate more snacks and sweets than we should have.

I’m telling you this because coming home I thought how the chance to know and share with these special women may have never happened.  Many years ago, I almost didn’t say ‘yes’ to their invitation to join their critique group. I’d been working in a creative field but writing a book was something new, and they were so far ahead of me. Can I tell you that as I sit typing this, that I’m so thankful I shared my writing and myself with them?

As just noted, like Leah and Zach, I know it’s not always easy to open up and to trust. But, also like the two of them, I’ve learned when I do trust God and the special people (and pups) He sends into my life, those relationships can be beyond rewarding.

Oh!  And lastly – if you’re in the mood for something sweet like the characters in this book, here’s the recipe for the “Chocolate Chip Cake” they all raved about.  It’s quick, easy and delicious.  Trust me!

Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

4 eggs

½ cup oil

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package vanilla instant pudding

6 oz. package of chocolate chips

4 oz. bar of Baker’s German Chocolate grated

3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Floured tube pan

Wax paper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour tube pan and line bottom with wax paper.

Set aside 3 Tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.  Mix everything else together except for chocolate.

After mixed, fold in all chocolate chips and ¾ of the grated German chocolate.

Add to pan and bake for 1 hour (a little prior to 1 hour, check for doneness).

Mix the remaining ¼ of the grated German chocolate with the 3 Tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.  Sprinkle this chocolate sugar mixture on top of cake. Bake 3-4 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.  Remove from pan.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

The Avid Reader, September 12

Lighthouse Academy Blog, September 12 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Writing From the Heart Land, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 14

Britt Reads Fiction, September 14

Bigreadersite, September 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 16

deb’s Book Review, September 16

She Lives To Read, September 17

SusanLovesBooks, September 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 18

Holly’s Book Corner, September 18

Bliss, Books and Jewels, September 19

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

Mary Hake, September 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 22

Vicky Sluiter, September 22

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 23

For Him and My Family, September 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and with a copy of my 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/2159d/trusting-her-amish-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Where Are You & How to Get There ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Where You Are & How to Get There

Author: Nolan Ryan Recker

Genre: Lifestyle

Release date: August 4, 2022

Have you ever had the thought or asked yourself the question, “How did I get here?”

You know, the kind of question examining the indirect decisions and circumstances that led you to the point life that you even need to ask such a question.

One of the oldest questions ever recorded in human history speaks to this very question we ask ourselves in moments of doubt. What if that ancient question was a question we ought to ask ourselves on a regular basis?

Journey with me as we wrestle with a question that if meant for us, today, would change everything about we view the life we choose to live.

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading Where You Are & How to Get There, I appreciated the author including the parable of the prodigal son because it illustrates God’s love, mercy, and willingness to forgive us.

I also appreciate how this book emphasizes we should ask questions. Through questioning things, I believe we can get a greater understanding. But for Christians I believe it is imperative for us to question using the filter of what God’s Word tells us to be truth.

The author also emphasizes the importance of spending time with God and having fellowship with like-minded believers. At other times, I found the author’s thoughts to be hard to follow.

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

Nolan’s toughest and rewarding opportunities are being a husband and a father. As a husband and a father, Nolan wants his family members to discover and live a flourishing life. Nolan’s life experience has covered the spectrum from being a camp counselor to a school teacher to a custodian to a Lead Pastor of a church. This, is why he writes. If he wrestles with the ideas he writes about, maybe others wrestle with the same things, and if they do, would they benefit from a different perspective? He’s honored to listen to anyone who graces him with their time to tell their story; especially if it involves coffee or pizza.

More from Nolan

Hi there! The name’s Nolan & I love this book.

Seriously, it was a labor of love.

Sometimes writing for the sake of the enjoyment and scrutiny of others can lead to some pretty sad writing days. One of my favorite writers recently said something along these lines, “Sometimes, writing is opening up a blank word processor, staring at it for eight hours, closing the processor, and not writing a thing. It still counts!”

For me, I used to seek perfection in much of what I attempted to do. I wouldn’t try something if the odds weren’t favorable. It wasn’t until I learned that life is a lot like staring at a blank word processor. Even though I didn’t accomplish anything on a specific day or season of life, the fact that I showed up is what counts.

Learning to live life in this way. Discovering rhythms of creating, rest, consuming, pain, work, play, purpose, and my people; helped me to rediscover a life-story worth living.

A life-story worth writing.

I am so many things and wear so many different “hats,” but first and foremost, I am a loved human being, created in the Image of a loving and creative God.

I enjoy being a husband and a father.

I love the passion of writing.

When something comes together, there is no greater treasure than to put something into the world that brightens someone else’s experience of this life.

Wearing the “hats” of Pastor, Teacher, Coach, Friend, Advocate, etc. time and I again I would have conversations with people regarding the very things you will read in “Where You Are & How To Get There.”

We are all on this life journey together, and I am glad to journey on with all of you.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 9

Texas Book-aholic, September 10

A Reader’s Brain, September 11 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 13

Splashes of Joy, September 14 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 16

Spoken from the Heart, September 17 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

For the Love of Literature, September 20 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 22

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Nolan is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/2159c/where-you-are

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Mabel Goes to the Dogs ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Mabel Goes to the Dogs

Author: Susan Kimmel Wright

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: June 5, 2022

Mabel plans to bring the thrills of volunteering to the masses—if she doesn’t go to the dogs first.

When Mabel finds herself sharing a thicket with a dead body while volunteering with canine search-&-rescue, her life has clearly—once again—gone to the dogs!

After her losing her job at age forty-nine, Mabel thought she’d turned things around. Now she’s doing good by volunteering, and surely, she’ll soon be a successful author, writing about her experiences. After solving two notorious decades-old cold cases while serving as a historical society volunteer, she’s already getting invitations to appear on TV.

Her new assignment couldn’t be simpler. All she has to do is hide in the woods and let Millie the search dog practice finding her. But to her horror, Millie finds more than Mabel—there’s a dead body hiding in the same patch of brush. To make things worse, Mabel’s maybe-boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow, has a dark history with the victim.

While struggling with maid-of-honor duties for best friend Lisa, a string of disasters created by handyman Acey, and a disagreeable new neighbor, can Mabel solve another murder in time to save John’s detective license—if not his neck?

Click here to get your copy!

Canines, cats, murders, missing people, arson, missing artwork, and more fill the pages of Mabel Goes to the Dogs. When Mabel volunteers to be the “victim” for training canine search and rescue dogs, she never expects to share her hiding place with a dog. Nor does she really care for having her boyfriend spend time with an ex-girlfriend. Even though Mabel wants to work on writing her books, she spends more time helping her boyfriend, a private investigator turned professor, figure out what happened to his last client, and why dead bodies and crime seem to follow her.

Add in a mystery-solving loving best friend to the mix, and the cast of characters becomes delightful. This book kept me reading until the end to figure out who committed the murders and what happened to the missing artwork.

As the second book in the Mysteries of Medicine Springs series, you could read this book on its own. However, I recommend reading the books in order so you get the full experience of the characters. I loved getting to know Mabel, John, and Lisa. I also found a certain female detective to be interesting.

So if you enjoy murders and mysteries with a group of interesting animals with interesting quirks thrown in, 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

Susan Kimmel Wright is a child of the Appalachian Mountains. A former lawyer, Susan has published three children’s mystery novels and is a prolific contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mabel Goes to the Dogs, Book Two in Mysteries of Medicine Spring, her first cozy mystery series for adult readers, is now available from Mountain Brook Ink. Susan shares an 1875 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs.

More from Susan

A bit about Mabel and how she got herself into this situation…

One of the great joys of writing this series has been the wonderful reaction my main character Mabel has gotten from so many readers. Typical comments are: “I love how quirky and imperfect Mabel is…Mabel is a fun character with a big heart who has the best of intentions.” (I also hear “hilarious” a lot… 😉)

Mabel is fifty, and her entire life has just unceremoniously changed. For the past twenty-three years, she’s had a job as a low-level attorney in a law firm. Boring, yes, but every day, she knew where she was going, what she was doing, and when and how much she was going to get paid. But suddenly, she gets the ax, and her old life is over. Blessed with a severance package from her former employer, as well as an inheritance from her grandma (also named Mabel) that includes a cluttered Victorian house in the town of Medicine Spring, Mabel resolves to reinvent herself. She will do good by volunteering while building a glamorous new career as a writer.

Many readers have told me they see themselves in Mabel. As one reviewer said, “She’s a bundle of insecurities ironclad in over self-confidence and I can relate to that!” And I guess I do too!  While Mabel is certainly a product of my imagination, she also reflects a bit of me. I left my job as a lawyer after about twenty years too (though I didn’t “get the ax!). I also live in a somewhat ramshackle Victorian farmhouse with a bunch of animals, and I see many of Mabel’s insecurities in myself. (Not to mention Mabel’s love of food—writing about Mabel’s diet gives me the opportunity to indulge in all the yummy things I try to limit in real life!)

Of course, nothing goes according to Mabel’s master plan. Mabel knows little about writing, her new old house is stuffed to the rafters with her grandma’s accumulations and comes with a hostile neighbor bent on continuing a decades’ old feud, and her first volunteer endeavor comes complete with a dead body. On the plus side, Mabel and her cat Koi acquire a new family member—Grandma Mabel’s big dog Barnacle, and Mabel seems also to have acquired a possible boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow.

By the time we run into Mabel in Mabel Goes to the Dogs, she has stumbled through two homicide investigations and also discovered the solution to an eighty-year-old cold case—the ax murder of a father and son in a neighboring historic house. This has gotten her an invitation to appear on a local morning TV show—and little else. Then Mabel undertakes a new volunteer assignment, helping train search-and-rescue dogs. The discovery of yet another body makes her wonder if she’s somehow bringing this on herself. Boyfriend John assures her, “You’re not causing dead bodies with the power of your mind, you goof.” Mabel isn’t so sure. Nobody else seems to be having this problem.

At least, life is now far from boring in the village of Medicine Spring…

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 8

Lily’s Book Reviews, September 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Pause for Tales, September 13

deb’s Book Review, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 15

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 18

Blogging With Carol, September 19

For Him and My Family, September 20

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Mabel Goes to the Dogs!!

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/2159b/mabel-goes-to-the-dogs-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Freerunner – A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Freerunner

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: YA

Release date: March, 2022

Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.

Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?

Click here to get your copy!

Freerunner packs intensity with moments of finding courage, finding friends, finding answers, and more for young adults. While this story explores an adult behaving inappropriately with a child, I felt the author wrote it in a way that deals with the emotions and consequences rather than shoving the actual act into your face. Kia’s grandfather took inappropriate liberties with Kia when she was younger. Now she deals with his actions every day in her mind and emotions.

As a mother who homeschooled our four children, I believe books like this need to be written and then to be read. These books potentially convey powerful messages to their readers.

I appreciate how this story developed and concluded. The friendship between Thorn and Kia touched me. I also appreciated how Thorn’s grandparents assisted Kia in the story. Not knowing freerunning, I think the author did an excellent job of explaining what this looks like.

The book illustrates how sometimes the most courageous thing a person does comes from standing up for someone else. It allows for healing to begin. 

So if you want a story dealing with hard topics meaningfully, 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

Kathy Cassel is author of more a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles for preteens and teens, including 2021 Selah Award finalist Freerunner and the iParenting award winner Christian Girls Guide series. Kathy has lived on three different continents with her USAF husband, has eight children, five adopted from Haiti and the United States, and six grandchildren. To better relate to her characters, she enjoys learning their skills such as whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and riding a motorcycle, but draws the line at sky diving.

More from Kathy

For many years I wrote devotion books for preteens and early teens. I tried to make the devotions both fun and interesting. I wanted preteens and early teens to see that the Bible is relevant to them today. But I realized that the readers I most wanted to reach weren’t likely to pick up the Bible or a daily devotion book. But they might read a story. These are the teens who are hurting inside. Those who have been abused, neglected, bullied, abandoned, or who  face challenges. Those who may have lost hope and who need healing. Those who need to realize that God still has a plan for them no matter what has happened.

So I turned to writing faith-based, issue-based young adult books. It hasn’t been easy. There are a multitude of issue based books in the general market, but these can be graphic and offer little hope or healing, yet they are snatched off the shelves and are some of the most popular books. Mine are not graphic and mention God throughout the book. They are not likely to reach library shelves. So the challenge is to get them into the hands of the readers who most need them.

Freeerunner is about a 15-year-old girl who is sexually molested/abused (I never give details so readers can interpret what happened based on their own knowledge and experiences) by a family member when she is only six. She doesn’t get help. No one talks about it. So when the abuser walks back into her life now that she’s 15, she has a lot of unresolved feelings. For adults reading this book, the story may trigger negative feelings or bring up a painful past. But don’t let that turn you away from the book because it may be a powerful resource for those experiencing what Kia did. For teens, the book gives them a character they can relate to. The story lets them know they are not alone and don’t need to suffer in isolation. Like Kia they may find the courage to finally speak out and get help. And they may come to realize that God has an amazing plan for them no matter their past.

So for some the book may simply be an entertaining sports story, while for others it can be a springboard to talk about their own problems. I am hoping this book will become a resource for parents, counselors, pastors, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers, and librarians to share with teen readers.

And above all, I hope the story is a source of hope and healing to those who need it.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 4

Through the Fire Blogs, September 5 (Author Interview)

Naked and Unashamed, September 6

For Him and My Family, September 7

Splashes of Joy, September 8 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 9

Inklings and notions, September 10

Spoken from the Heart, September 11 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 12

Vicky Sluiter, September 13 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 15

Blogging With Carol, September 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million 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/21366/freerunner-celebration-tour-giveaway