Review of “Shadows of Deception” by Ashley Dawn

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About the Book

Shadows of Deception

Book: Shadows of Deception

Author: Ashley Dawn

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: May 1, 2018

“Get to work cowboy or you’ll be too late to the table to get any pie.”

A short getaway to a nice Texas ranch isn’t why Tiffany is at Colorado’s home. She is a seasoned LA PI and used to the fast paced life. The problems on the ranch are different from what she is used to but she is determined to solve them one way or another. There is one slight problem—a tall dark and handsome cowboy distracting her and occupying more and more of her thoughts.

“…I would hate for anything to happen to remove you from my favor…or organization.”

Danger on the ranch is real and escalating quickly. Colorado doesn’t know who to trust or what is coming next. The thing he does know is Tiffany Reiley is the woman he wants for the job.

Thinking the case will be quick and easy to solve, Tiffany doesn’t anticipate the depth of the horrors she has stepped into.

As Colorado and Tiffany’s attraction grows, the danger gets closer. Will God guide them to the answers they are so desperately searching for?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Author Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent’s office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant.

Ashley has been writing professionally for the past twelve years and has four published books. Her Shadows Series include Shadows From The Past, Shadows of Suspicion, Shadows of Pain, and Shadows of Deception. She is currently working on multiple projects including the fifth in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled “Shadows in Black and White” and also a standalone suspense titled ‘One of Their Own’. She an­­d her family make their home in Texas.

Guest Post from Ashley

Shadows of Deception was a fun book to write.

I love writing my Shadows books because the characters have become so ‘real’ for me. The Reiley family is a large, close family. Each of the siblings is their own person with their own life, but they will always be there for each other.

Deception focuses on Tiffany Reiley. Tiffany loves her family completely, but in such a big family, feels like she has to prove herself. She isn’t looking for a man, and certainly not a man like Colorado. Her story honestly didn’t unfold as I had planned, I wrote it one way but it felt forced and like I was making my characters do things that didn’t fit their personalities. Letting the story just ‘flow’ and the characters be themselves was scary and thrilling at the same time.

There is a touch of difficult subject matter, but for me the story is more about how God is in our lives no matter what. God is always there and His love for us, even when we don’t feel loveable or deserving is ours for the taking. When we don’t understand why things are happening, He does. My hope is no matter what someone gets from the book, they see God’s love through it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 4

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Blogging With Carol, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 6

Real World Bible Study, December 7

Godly Book Reviews, December 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 9

Janices book reviews, December 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 11

Pause for Tales, December 12

Carpe Diem, December 12

A Good Book and Cup of tea, December 13

The Mimosa Blossom, December 14

Bibliophile Reviews, December 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Ashley is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8a3/shadows-of-deception-celebration-tour-giveaway

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From the moment I opened this book and began reading the story had me captivated.  This fourth installment of The Shadows Series is definitely a book not to be missed. Ashley Dawn has done a remarkable job of creating a storyline that is believable and spell-binding.  I found myself having difficulty with putting the book down.

Tiffany Reiley provides a strong, dedicated and hardworking private investigator.  While Colorado Wiley epitomizes everything about being a cowboy and rancher.  Tiffany’s cousin, Curtis Coulter, who shows up as a new cowboy for Colorado’s ranch adds quite a plot twist and protective family factor to the story.

I found myself deeply moved by the lengths Tiffany’s brothers and family members were willing to go to ensure her safety.  When a fire breaks out at the barn and Tiffany’s first thought is for the cat and kittens and other animals in the barn, I found myself drawn even more into the story.

With danger, loving family relationships and ties, down-to-earth characters, realistic settings, animals and more, this suspense novel will keep you on your toes and wanting to read more.  I also loved the integral part Christian faith played in the story.

Of this series, I have only read one other book, Shadows from the Past, but I have put the other two books, Shadows of Suspicion and Shadows of Pain on my list of books to read.  But I strongly recommend you check out this book for yourself along with the other books in the series.

 

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Review of “The Three Faces of Nellie” by Robynne Elizabeth Miller

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About the Book

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Book: The Three Faces of Nellie

Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller

Genre: Non-fiction, Historical

Release Date: November, 2016

Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press

Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Nellie Oleson is one of the most recognizable literary figures of the 20th century. But Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series in which Nellie appears, had a secret. . .Nellie wasn’t a real person! Instead, she was a composite character created from three girls Laura knew in childhood: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.

The Little House character of Nellie Oleson is one-dimensional: snobbish, selfish, and thoroughly unpleasant. But what about the real women behind Laura’s creation? They were an intriguing mix of the not-so-nice and the unexpectedly redeemable. In short, they were human.

Discovering the true stories behind Nellie, Genevieve, and Estella has been a fascinating journey. All three ended up on the West Coast at one point. . .true westward movement! One was widowed twice, one ended up divorced, and one died way too young. Two only had one child, and one had three, though she outlived her youngest by a very long time. There’s even some “Nellie-like” drama in there: Embezzlement. Lying on censuses. Shady land deals.

But there are some beautiful things, too. . .like the enduring love of a husband after his young wife died. Or the rare closeness of a mother and daughter who shared their lives as adults. Or the strength of a young widowed mother who not only cared for her son, but headed out west, in true pioneer fashion, while she did so.

Laura Ingalls Wilder did a masterful job of creating the character of Nellie Oleson. But the three real-life women behind that iconic character are, in my opinion, infinitely more intriguing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Robynne Elizabeth Miller is a speaker, writing coach, and author of multiple books, articles, and essays. Her larger projects include From the Mouth of Ma, Pioneer Mixology, The Three Faces of Nellie, and Nonfiction, Memoir, or Fiction? Dissecting the Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Robynne speaks nationally at writing and historical venues and teaches at writer’s workshops and conferences. She also serves as the Board President of Inspire Christian Writers, as well as their Director of Leadership, and leads two Northern California critique groups.

She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Westmont College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction from Ashland University.

She lives with her wonderful British husband and the youngest of their four cheeky children in the snowy woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not writing, Robynne loves singing, felling trees, and making bacon from scratch.

Guest Post from Robynne

Nasty Nellie Oleson. One of the most iconic literary characters in literature. Whether you loved her … or hated her … or loved to hate her, she probably left a lasting impression on you. At least if you were a fan of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder like I was growing up!

As a young girl, I loved Wilder’s tales of wagons, prairies, and grand westward adventures. Strangely, growing up didn’t change my love for all things Little House one tiny bit. But I did become deeply curious about the real life people behind some of the more fascinating Little House characters.

Namely, Nellie Oleson.

As I began to research Nellie, I learned a ton of interesting things. She wasn’t one person, for example. Laura Ingalls Wilder wove three girls she knew in childhood into one composite character for her books. One of the first “Nellie’s,” Nellie Owens, did have a brother named Willy, but did you know that he went blind from two separate incidents, one in childhood and one in adulthood? And did you know that all three of the “Nellies” ended up on the west coast at one point? Talk about true westward movement! One married a man who eventually went to prison for embezzlement, one did some shady land deals, and one shouldn’t have been a “Nellie” at all.

I suppose I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned redemption story. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the mean girl in Wilder’s stories grew up to work with orphans or rescue unwanted animals? Alas, that’s not exactly what happened. But the stories of these three women were fascinating all the same.

I hope you have as much fun discovering the real stories behind the famous Nellie Oleson as I did!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 6

Blogging With CarolDecember 6

multifarious, December 7

Carpe Diem, December 7

Bibliophile Reviews, December 8

The Morning Chapter, December 8

Just the Write Escape, December 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

A Reader’s BrainDecember 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 10

Maureen’s Musings, December 11

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Girls in White Dresses, December 12

Artistic Nobody, December 13

Connie;s HIstory ClassroomDecember 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 15

Pause for Tales, December 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 16

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsDecember 17

Janices book reviews, December 18

margaret kazmierczak, December 18

Lots of Helpers, December 19

Bigreadersite, December 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robynne is giving away a grand prize of a Little House Treasures basket that includes an authenticated piece of the original Loftus Store is De Smet, authenticated sand from Laura’s Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, a Loftus Store slate and slate pencil, chokecherry preserves from De Smet, a Christmas Tree ornament from De Smet, a corn-cob doll kit, a tin cup, maple syrup, a set of pioneer recipe books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s actual gingerbread recipes, and other treasures from various Little House sites!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries in to the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d774/the-three-faces-of-nellie-olson-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Growing up, I can remember reading the “Little House on the Prarie” series of books by Larua Ingalls Wilder and being fascinated by the stories she told.  I loved reading about Pa playing his fiddle and all the adventures she had.  But there was one character I could not stand – Nellie Olsen, so when I found out about this book tour, I knew I wanted to read this book.

I was amazed to learn that Nellie Olsen was actually created from three different girls who interacted with Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The idea of changing names to protect or prevent people from knowing who Laura Ingalls Wilder was actually writing about intrigued me.

This book is not a story, instead, it is facts and is not written for entertaining the reader.  Instead, it is meant to provide the reader knowledge and information about the three individuals who actually resulted in the character of Nellie Olsen: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.  This book provides family information and other facts about these characters. The author does an excellent job of illustrating the true human attributes of these three individuals.  She also does a masterful job of portraying the real human nature of Laura Ingalls Wilder as well.

So if you are someone who desires to learn more about the individuals behind the character of Nellie Olsen, check out this book for yourself.

 

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Review of Comfort & Joy by The Christmas Lights Collection

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About the Book

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Book: Comfort & Joy

Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas

Release Date: October 16, 2018

The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

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Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

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

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

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Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com

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Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?

“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”

Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas, and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.

No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.

So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”

Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”

“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”

“Yes.”

He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”

Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”

“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”

I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”

“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.

But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.

“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesusbirthday? Isn’t that backward?”

“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”

It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”

Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”

That brought me back to the original question.

“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”

This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.

“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”

What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?

Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”

Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.

So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, November 29

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A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

Blossoms and Blessings, November 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 1

Britt Reads Fiction, December 1

Vicky Sluiter, December 2

Remembrancy, December 2

Among the Reads, December 3

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Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)

Captive Dreams Window, December 7

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Janices book reviewsDecember 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

BigreadersiteDecember 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The LibraryanDecember 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!

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

Click here to enter the giveaway.

You can purchase the book here.

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Out of all the books in this collection, I have to say that “Deck the Shelves” by Toni Shiloh was my favorite.  This novella captured all the charm and holiday spirit I want from a Christmas book.  Being a book lover, this one was one I could really appreciate.  A touch of romance adds just the right Christmas delight to this book.  Also, Toni Shiloh does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the story.  I found the idea of a men’s accountability group something I think men in the real world could use – especially as the mother of three sons.  Kendall and Quinn make a great couple, and I enjoyed getting to read about them.

My next favorite book would have to be Cathe Swanson’s “The Christmas Glory Quilt” because I have aspirations to quilt. Cathe Swanson does an excellent job also of pulling the reader into the story.  Having read other books by Cathe Swanson, I have to say this one did not disappoint.  The misadventures of Penny Anderson and Brian Michaels add a fun dimension to this story.  I also loved Aunt Violet, she added such fun to the story.

The quirks and mystery in Chautona Havig’s The Ghosts of New Cheltenham also captured my attention.  The idea of someone inheriting a house and having to enter a ghost telling story in order to keep the inheritance is intriguing.  Mitchell is a storyteller, but is afraid of ghosts, so that adds an interesting dimension to the story.  The idea that everyone in the community has to decorate for Christmas and abide by certain guidelines brought even more to the story.  Lauren, the younger sister of Brenna appears to be able to cause mischief and mayhem.  This story truly did not disappoint.

Alana Terry’s story, Frost Heaves, deals with some very intense topics including a cult-like group, abuse and more.  It is definitely the most intense story in the collection, so in some ways, I was glad it was the first book in the story so I could finish on a lighter note.

All of these stories were well-written and I definitely enjoyed this third book in the Christmas Lights collections.  I always look forward to reading these collections at Christmas.  So check these out for yourself and let me know what you think.

 

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Review of Murder of Convenience

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Often I find myself reaching for books from specific periods in history – and most recently that period revolves around World War II.  So when I found about this book, I knew I wanted to read it.  It did not disappoint.  With a lot of action, intrigue, suspense and yes – even murder, this book delivers.

Geneva Alexander, suffering from severe tunnel vision and facing the loss of her sight, inspires and amazes the reader with her dedication and determination to find a killer, despite putting herself at risk.  Plot twists and turns abound throughout the story, including some that  I felt were coming along with some I could not see coming.

Throughout the book, I thought I might know who the real killer was but still was not sure until the end.  I loved how Geneva found many old acquaintances along the way and always demonstrated her love of Christ.  Despite her limitations because of her sight, Geneva still manages to find a way to serve by becoming part of the USO.  Her ability to sing is truly a gift.  Her friends (old and new) who come beside her to support her and help prove her innocence provide an important backdrop for the story.  I also love how the detective investigating the case strives to prove her guilty and innocent at the same time.

Devon Royal, the stage manager for the USO, proves to be a worthy protector and defender for Geneva.  The two of them make a perfect pair for getting into mischief and finding themselves in harm’s way while investigating the murder. After all, who better to prove one’s innocence besides one’s own self.

I appreciate the amount of time and effort it must have taken to do the research to make this a believable story.  So check out the first book of the Women of Courage series for yourself and let me know what you think about it.

 

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About the Book

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Book: Murder of Convenience

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Mystery

Release Date: October 15, 2018

May 1942: Geneva Alexander flees Philadelphia and joins the USO to escape the engagement her parents have arranged for her, only to wind up as the number one suspect in her betrothed’s murder investigation. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, she must find the real killer before she loses her sight…or is convicted for a crime she didn’t commit.

Set in the early days of America’s entry into WWII and featuring cameo appearances from Hollywood stars, Murder of Convenience is tribute to individuals who served on the home front, especially those who did so in spite of personal difficulties, reminding us that service always comes as a result of sacrifice. Betrayal, blackmail, and a barrage of unanswered questions… Murder of Convenience is the first in Linda Shenton Matchett’s exciting new “Women of Courage” series.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

Guest Post from Linda

World War II is my favorite era about which to read and write. What I find most fascinating about the time period are the stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, especially women, who until this time, had been provided for and protected.

A woman was typically insulated from difficulties or frightening things, and her husband or father took care of just about everything. When the war took millions of men away, the women had to learn how to take care of themselves in addition to filling the job vacancies.

Yes, there were Rosie the Riveters: women who worked in the factories building weapons, ships, vehicles and all kinds of war materiel, but there were also Land Army girls, many of whom didn’t know how to drive, who learned to operate all kinds of farm equipment so they could bring in crops to feed our nation as well as our Allies. Others donned uniforms to serve in the WACS, WAVES, SPARS, WASPS, Marines, Army Nurse Corp, and Navy Nurse Corp. Millions boosted morale through the USO and Red Cross or served in myriad ways with Civil Defense. Some went overseas to cover the war as journalists. A few even signed on as spies.

The driving force with most of these women was the realization that their country needed them. They put their own needs and desires aside to help win a war they didn’t ask to be part of. And many did it while single-handedly running the household because their husband was somewhere across the globe – ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

My latest release, Murder of Convenience, explores themes of service and sacrifice intertwined with the question of how to respond when God says no. It is my hope that the novel honors the women who lived during WWII in some small way.

Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Bigreadersite, December 1

Just the Write Escape, December 2

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4

Pause for Tales, December 5

Connie’s HIstory ClassroomDecember 6

Multifarious, December 7

Have A Wonderful DayDecember 8

Bibliophile Reviews, December 8

Blogging With CarolDecember 9

Texas Book-aholic, December 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 11

The Lit AddictDecember 12

Maureen’s Musings, December 13

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Janices book reviews, December 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a World War II themed gift basket!!

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/d6d3/murder-of-convenience-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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Review of The Amish Midwife’s Secret

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About the Book

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Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance

Release Date: November 27, 2018

”A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author

They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…

Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…

The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. Once thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores, gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.

Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.

Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.

As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis, but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.

Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.

***

A extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27

Christian Bookaholic, November 27

KarenSueHadleyNovember 27

The Avid Reader, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 29

cherylbbookblog, November 29

Because I said so- adventures in parentingNovember 30

BigreadersiteNovember 30

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

Britt Reads Fiction, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Captive Dreams Window, December 3

Cafinated Reads, December 4

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd CornerDecember 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Maureen’s Musings, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 5

Janices book reviewsDecember 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 8

Moments, December 9

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, December 9

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Miss Tinas Amish Book Review, December 10

The Becca Files, December 10

Vicky Sluiter, December 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

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I do not remember ever reading anything else by Rachel J. Good, but this book definitely makes me want to read more by her.  I found the storyline to be believable and the characters kept me interested.  I could picture the clashes between a medical doctor and an Amish midwife.  I think my favorite character had to be Leah Stoltzfus because she genuinely seems to care about her patients, her family, and her community.  At the same time, I felt concerned she was trying to be everything to everyone.

Kyle Miller, the doctor, also fit beautifully into this storyline.  Even when I did not want to like him, I found myself unable to dislike him.  He too seems concerned about his patients.

While tensions remain between Leah and Kyle, I still found myself wanting the two of them to find a way to work together.  By the end of the book, I felt the author did an excellent job of bringing the story to a conclusion.  Because Kyle is introduced in two other books, I definitely plan on reading those books as well.  You can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

I definitely recommend this book and would love to hear what you think about it.

disclaimer

 

 

Review of “Lost Christmas Memories”

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About the Book

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Book: Lost Christmas Memories

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas

Release Date: November 1, 2018

A witness with amnesia

Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?

Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Dana-Mentink

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22

Christian Bookaholic, November 22

Among the Reads, November 22

Inklings and NotionsNovember 23

Just Your Average reviews, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Because I said so -adventures in parentingNovember 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, November 24

Moments, November 25

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

Genesis 5020, November 26

SusanLovesBooks, November 26

Remembrancy, November 26

Kat’s Corner Books, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Quiet quilter, November 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Book by Book, November 29

A Rup Life, November 29

To Everything A Season, November 29

Older & Smarter?, November 30

Have A Wonderful Day, November 30

Cafinated Reads, November 30

KarenSueHadleyDecember 1

Lighthouse AcademyDecember 1

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

A Baker’s Perspective, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Janices book reviews, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Texas Book-aholic, December 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
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/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway
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Imagine being in a new place and not really knowing anyone yet, and no one knowing you yet.  Moreover, you witness a murder but no one believes you, while also suffering from amnesia.  Plus, someone knows you witnessed the murder and resolves to kill you, no matter the cost.  Or perhaps, you are someone who grew up believing you were unlovable and unwanted because your own father did not want you or believe you have any importance.  Then your two lives cross through a twist of circumstance.  This is precisely what happens with Tracy and Keegan.  While this is book 4 in the Gold Country Cowboys series, I was able to follow along fine even though I have not yet read the other books in the series.
The family dynamics and suspense from the unresolved murder work hand-in-hand to create a perfect story that insists on being read.  I found it very difficult to put it down.  I found the characters with the exception of Bryce and Mitch to be liable.  I really appreciated how everything was not easy and smooth-sailing.  Instead, Keegan and Tracy have to work towards finding their way to each other.
Tracy’s grandfather is another character I loved reading about in the story.  He displayed the typical stubbornness and determination that comes with age and experience.  His love for his granddaughter is apparent.  He also wants what is best for her, including her safety.
I definitely recommend this book.  So check it out for yourself.  Let me know what you think.  Also, be sure to stop by the other stops on this tour and leave comments to be entered in the giveaway.
Disclaimer

 

Review of “Ruth Redeeming

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About the Book

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Book: Ruth, Redeeming the Darkness

Author: Andrea Thom

Genre: Non-Fiction; Bible Study

Release Date: November, 2018

An in-depth, gospel-centered bible study on how Christ redeems even the worst forms of darkness lurking within and around us.

RUTH: Redeeming The Darkness uses God`s truth to touch our daily realities:

  • Fractured relationships
  • Processing feelings of bitterness, confusion, and doubt
  • All-in Christianity
  • Our response to the faithfulness and sovereignty of God

Have you ever felt like God has left you? Struggled with feelings of bitterness or doubt? Hopelessness? Ruth’s message is not presented as a five-point sermon, but as a spectacular, romantic drama. Its story woos us into relationship with its characters and storyline, yet is also true, living history. This workbook-style bible study approach tackles important life topics including fractured relationships, all-in Christianity, God`s faithful devotion, and rightly processing bitterness and doubt.

Ruth is unlike any other book of the bible because words like love story and theatrical are accurate descriptors of its text alongside being historical, and gospel-centred. She’s small enough in her four chapters to rest as a cute hardback on your coffee table, yet profound enough to explode hope and redemption into your darkest pain and everyday frustrations. It is not only magnificent because of its breath-taking storyline between a man and a woman, but because God sovereignly orchestrated and sealed it within the scriptural canon so that we can experience Him as the ultimate lover of our souls. Ultimately, Ruth conveys the love story of Christ coming to redeem His people. Christ is coming for you. The host has ripped your ticket for Ruth’s next performance and you’ll be sitting front row centre as His guest of honor. Come expectantly and settle into your seat prayerfully. The orchestra is cued, and the curtain is pulling back for Act 1…

Can God be kind and all-powerful when the world is filled with despair?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Andrea Thom is a wife, mom to three great kids, and a therapist. Known for being both deeply reflective yet quick-witted, she`s the parent on the sidelines yelling a little too loud for the home team, but also the one who loves to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea on a rainy day…or any day. She loves. Her family and friends – the whole messy lot of them. She loves unexpected belly laughs. Putting on warm clothes straight from the dryer. The colour blue. Efficiency. Reason. Tidy cupboards. Easter. Quietly gleaning through scripture’s pages at night before exhaustion folds her into her pillow. That`s a special space – it`s just Jesus and her there – – a hallowed, secret union that is theirs alone. She wants to live with eternity in mind and be consumed with what she’ll be enjoying forever – Jesus. That’s why she loves God’s word so much. Jesus is the only trustworthy One to offer real hope and redemption for our eternal futures and everyday realities.

Guest Post from Andrea

The Bible is not a book about God, it is God actually speaking! In fact, throughout history, Scripture is the primary and most trusted way that Christ reveals Himself to the world. Ever notice how our experiences become more powerful when understanding runs alongside the experience? A sports match is more exciting to watch when we know the rules of play. The theatre is more captivating when we comprehend the dialogue. Music can impact us more deeply when the sweep of the notes collide with lyrics that we actually grasp. The power of our experience of Jesus is connected to the depth of our understanding about who He actually is!

No matter what you’re like or who you are, the same Jesus who spoke creation to life wants to speak life into your circumstances now through His Word. Pursuing biblical depth is not just reserved for the academically elite who are into that sort of thing. We consume food to survive, but we consume His Word to truly live! So grab some friends to join your Bible study journey because the pursuit of truth through His Word is essential, doable, and awesome. Come – just as you authentically are – and prepare to meet Jesus for who He actually is…

Looking for a new Bible study series with FRESH commentary and RELIABLE gospel-focus?

RUTH – REDEEMING THE DARKNESS

Have you ever felt like God has left you? Struggled with feelings of bitterness or confusion? Hopelessness? Ruth – Redeeming The Darkness is an in-depth, gospel-centred bible study on how Christ redeems even the ugliest types of darkness that can lurk within and around us. The book is one of the most exquisitely written love stories ever penned. Words like love story, theatrical, and screenplay are accurate descriptors alongside historical, and gospel-centred. It’s small enough in its four chapters to rest as a cute hardback on your coffee table, yet profound enough to explode hope and redemption into your darkest pain and everyday frustrations. The book conveys the love story of Christ coming to redeem His people – now Christ is coming for YOU. The host has ripped your ticket for Ruth’s next performance and you’ll be sitting front row centre as His guest of honor. Come expectantly and settle into your seat prayerfully. The orchestra is cued, and the curtain is pulling back for Act 1…

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“I have completed a lot of bible studies over the years, but few have grabbed my attention as quickly and held it as powerfully as ‘Ruth: Redeeming the Darkness’. Andrea guides the reader through the book of Ruth and takes them straight to the cross. This study will grow your appreciation for the Word of God, increase your competency in handling the Word of God, and bless your heart. It is my joy to recommend ‘Ruth: Redeeming the Darkness’ as a powerful tool to aid you in your study of God’s Word.” Bible study participant

“Using beautifully descriptive, poetic language, Andrea does a masterful job of plumbing the depths of both the historical context and modern-day parallels and applications. Its message is both surprising and incredibly encouraging to those of us who find ourselves much like Ruth – pursuing ordinary lives in the midst of God’s great Love Story.” Bible study participant

“As the vivid picture of Naomi reveals your own feelings of hopelessness, bitterness, and despair, you will be captivated by a love story that becomes your own.” Bible study participant

RUTH’S EASY HOMEMADE HONEY-WHEAT BREAD

(No Bread Machine Required)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp active dry instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3-5 cups all-purpose flour

Ø Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually.

Ø Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in an oiled bowl. Turn several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Ø Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.

Ø Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

Blog Stops

Midnight Bookaholic, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

Texas Book-aholic, November 26

Janices book reviewsNovember 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

More Of Him, November 30

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 1

Mary Hake, December 1

Real World Bible Study, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessDecember 3

Moments, December 3

whispering the Word, December 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

A Diva’s Heart, December 5

Carpe Diem, December 6

Inklings and NotionsDecember 7

BigreadersiteDecember 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away a grand prize “Loving the Word” theme basket that includes a gorgeous writing journal with Scripture at the bottom of each lined page, 6 stunning magnetic book page markers,“Be still and know that I am God” Bible verse key chain, Highlighter/ Pink post-it note, Old Testament Bible Reading Checklist by LOVE the Word | LIVE the Word, & RUTH-Redeeming The Darkness Bible Memory Companion Sheet!!

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/d62b/ruth-redeeming-the-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

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From the moment I began reading this study, I was hooked.  I love the easy way Andrea Thom presents the material.  The book of Ruth is one of my favorite books in the Bible, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review this study.

She helps inspire the reader to dig deeper into the Word and connect with God on a personal level.  As a wife and mother of 4 children in their 20s down to 16, time is a limited resource in my home, yet I want to connect with my Bible and God.  This study provided me with the opportunity to do both without taking my entire day.  Obviously, on days I had more time to spare, I could dive deeper into the materials.

I definitely recommend you check out this Bible Study for yourself and also check out the other stops on this tour in order to find out more about the book or to enter the giveaway.  Let me know what you think of this if you check it out for yourself.

 

Disclaimer

 

Review of Strategem

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About the Book

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Book: Stratagem

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November, 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting www.robincaroll.com.

Guest post from Robin

Behind the Scenes: Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .

-Robin

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of Joy, November 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpa, November 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong Reflections, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

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/d629/stratagem-celebration-tour-giveaway

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When I first found out about the opportunity to review this book, I could not wait to receive my copy.  The idea of a suspense-thriller focusing around corporate “games” in controlled environments intrigued me.  I found Grayson Thibedeaux to be a fairly interesting character, and his relationship with his ex-wife caused me to have more questions at times.  Once the two have an altercation over assets not disclosed by Grayson in their divorce settlement, the twists start coming.

My favorite character was Grayson’s assistant Pam.  She was quick-thinking, fast to get things done and just likable in general.  I also loved Anna Belle’s mom, because she was genuine and kind.  I found myself hoping that she and Grayson would develop some type of relationship, despite Anna Belle’s death.

For anyone who likes mysteries, crime dramas, and intrigue, I would definitely recommend this book.  While this is the first book I have ever read by Robin Caroll, I definitely plan on reading more.  If you would like to read other reviews of this book, check out the other blog stops listed above.  If you would like your chance to win the giveaway, make sure to enter above.

Disclaimer

 

Review of “Shelter of the Most High

About the Book

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Book: Shelter of the Most High

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October, 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Guest Post from Connilyn

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.

So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact it just went way too fast!

One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).

Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.

One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.

Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.

Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.

Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.

Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.

Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.

Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

The Power of Words, November 20

Among the Reads, November 21

Gensis 5020, November 21

God’s Little Bookworm, November 22

Book by Book, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

The Becca Files, November 24

Baker Kella, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

Aryn The Libraryan, November 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away

Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts

Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

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/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Thoughts

The violence, death, and destruction this book opens with from the very beginning may provide events that are too traumatic for some to read.  Some of the images are disturbing, to say the least.  To discover the entire village, except for two girls, show a tremendous need for revenge.  I was completely surprised when I found out the carnage was caused by a former member of their own village. Sofea and Perzi only have each other to rely on when they are pulled away from their homes and dead family members, friends and village members.

Only the kindness of Sofea’s mom to Seneturo, when he was a boy being traded from their village by Sofea’s father, resulted in their lives being spared.  While cold-hearted and murderous, Seneturo’s actions reflected the devastating life he lived once he left the village.  He displays one more show of kindness when he allows the two cousins to escape from the boat.

I learned a lot about the idea of sanctuary cities of Biblical times.  It was especially interesting to realize that not only could these cities provide a place of refuge, but also be a prison of sorts.  I appreciated how Eitan and his family and the other residents of their community accepted all who came there essentially without question.

From that point on, life changes for Sofea and Prezi, a group of men rescue the women taking them back to their village.  Over time, they come to know and trust the people who rescued them.  Eitan demonstrates the love of Christ to Sofea, even while other individuals try to discourage her from discovering the truth for herself.

Ultimately, Sofea and Prezi become followers of Yahweh and Sofea and Eitan ultimately fall in love with each other.  By the end of the book, I was glad I had read it.  So check out this book for yourself.

Disclaimer

 

Review of “Secrets” by Beckie Lindsey

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About the Book

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Book: Secrets

Author: Beckie Lindsey

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: February, 2018

Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find–but the demons already have.

Four girls. Four sets of secrets. Four searching for answers.

Mackenzie is the shy, awkward new girl at school, depressed and desperate for a real friend. When she stumbles upon the deepest secret of a sarcastic, angry-at-the-world track star, Krystal, they become instant enemies-especially about the flirtatious baseball player, Bryce.

Tammi, a gloomy singer/musician who couldn’t care less about what others think of her, meets Sadie, a dancer and a people-pleaser with a cotton candy disposition. They have nothing in common until their lives begin to collide in more ways than one.

As the girls’ worlds begin to converge, their secrets rather than their similarities draw them together. Meanwhile, all that’s kept hidden has left them vulnerable to a battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep the girls chained to their pasts while angels of light work to free them.

Can good ever come from evil? Can beauty ever arise from ashes?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Beckie Lindsey is an award-winning poet, author, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

Guest Post from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

By Beckie Lindsey

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

These are the reasons I write YA.

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 15

Multifarious, November 16

Blogging With Carol, November 16

Carpe Diem, November 17

A Baker’s Perspective, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Robin Is Bookish, November 20

Remembrancy, November 20

The Becca Files, November 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 22

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 22

One Emergent Life, November 23

amandainpa, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Janices book reviews, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Bigreadersite, November 26

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away a grand prize of a $30 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/d56f/secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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What if you were a teenage girl who had experienced severe abuse, assault or other devastating horrors as a child and was currently living under attack from those experiences?  In the book Secrets by Beckie Lindsey, the author explores these exact circumstances.

I found it difficult to become interested in the book at first.  The story jumps from characters to characters, including the four teenage girls the story revolves around, the supporting family members, friends, and church members along with angels and demons.  But once I did get into the book, I wanted to keep reading.

The way the author jumps from storyline to storyline about the different girls made it difficult for me to stay interested.  It basically took until the end of the book to know how everything and everyone tied together.  But even so, I was not really satisfied with the ending of the book.

Like I just said previously, I take issue with this book because for me, I did not feel the book came to a satisfactory conclusion.  If one does not continue reading the series, I found the book lacked cohesion.

I would recommend if you have any past experiences with rape, incest, bulimia, or even bullying, this may not be an appropriate book for you to read.  But all in all, I found the book worth reading.

 

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