Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck


About the Book


Book:  The Fifth Avenue Story Society
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 4, 2020

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.



Get your copy of the book HERE.





My Review

This book combined sweet romance, learning to hope and deal with the past, finding the Lord, and a love for books together with beautiful, complex characters that were so down to earth. The book is like an onion with many layers and a story for each character that takes time and effort to unravel. The emotion conveyed really makes you feel part of the characters' lives as they make realizations and feel emotions of their own as the story deepens. The spiritual thread is natural and inspiring, and the romance is real and slow blossoming. This book is one of those rare ones I can say would be perfect for literally any fiction reader because it is so multi-faceted. All the sub plots, each characters so uniquely developed with their own story to tell and realize for the future, and I loved Gilda the librarian and her quirky, secretive self. I honestly recommend this one for any fiction reader- probably more female, but I feel some male readers would enjoy as well.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.




About the Author


Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.



Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt HERE




Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 10
Livin’ Lit, February 10
Genesis 5020, February 10
The Power of Words, February 11
Rebecca Tews, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 11
Older & Smarter?, February 12
Texas Book-aholic, February 12
Inklings and notions, February 12
deb’s Book Review, February 12
Just the Write Escape, February 13
For Him and My Family, February 13
CarpeDiem, February 13
Remembrancy, February 14
Christian Bookaholic, February 14
Connect in Fiction, February 14
April Hayman, Author, February 14
Robin’s Nest, February 15
Britt Reads Fiction, February 15
Blogging With Carol, February 15
Batya’s Bits, February 16
Bigreadersite, February 16
A Reader’s Brain, February 16
Worthy2Read, February 16
Stories By Gina, February 16
Back Porch Reads, February 17
janicesbookreviews, February 17
Inside the Wong Mind, February 17
Mary Hake, February 17
Mia Reads, February 18
Baker Kella, February 18
EmpowerMoms, February 18
Maureen’s Musings, February 19
Coast and Anchor, February 19
Spoken from the Heart, February 19
SPLASHES of Joy, February 19
She Lives to Read, February 20
By The Book, February 20
Wishful Endings, February 20
Moments, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Andrea Christenson, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
For The Love of Books, February 21
Lis Loves Reading, February 21
Hallie Reads, February 22
Godly Book Reviews, February 23
Daysong Reflections, February 23
SusanLovesBooks, February 23

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Good Grief by Sue Borrows LaRue


About the Book


Book:  Good Grief
Author: Sue Borrows LaRue
Genre:  Religion/Christian Life/ Death, Grief, Bereavement
Release Date: August 13, 2019
This is a true story of love, loss and new life. Suzie Borrows battled for her husband’s life praying for a miracle. God answered her, but not in the way she imagined. He had a plan that exceeded her dreams, and through undeniable revelations His purpose became her purpose.


Click HERE to get your copy.



My Review

I thought this book was just really relatable, down to earth, and yet mostly Biblically centered around the process that is grief. In America, we barely are able to take time off work when we lose a loved one, and we push that grief away many times rather than living it , having others support us, and finding our meaning and purpose again in Christ. This memoir brought our author's own experience with this in becoming a widow, stepping into new roles, and remarrying. I can't say I agree totally on theology, but I feel like the overall premise of grief in relation to the Scripture was right. This book may bring up old wounds or fresh wounds for all of us, but this is a great resource, inspiration, and comfort for those grieving. Check it out!


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.


About the Author


Suzie moved from N. Ireland to America as a child, accepted Jesus at 11, married the preacher’s son at 18, had two children, and a loving marriage for 32 years. Nothing she had experienced prepared her for the devastation she would face. She depended completely on God for comfort and direction. Which led her to begin a widows group, Boston radio show, www.sueborrows.com  and www.YouTube.com/WidowsWednesday Suzie now lives in Westport, MA with her husband Bruce.


More from Sue

What do you do when writing a book was never on your radar? Answer, you write it in tune with the Holy Spirit in three weeks! An amazing hand-written letter from God, original poetry, and prophetic words from the Lord delivered to my doorstep and so much more! You are never alone when you are hurting or grieving and if you allow Him, God will be undeniably present and you will know His heart for you.



Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 4
Vicky Sluiter, February 6 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, February 9
Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 11 (Author Interview)
Lots of Helpers, February 12
CarpeDiem, February 13
A Reader’s Brain, February 14
For the Love of Literature, February 15 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, February 17 (Author Interview)


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour. Sue is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift card and a paperback copy of the book Good Grief “A True Story of Love, Loss, and New Life”!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Unwanted No More by B.J. Garrett


About the Book


Book:  Unwanted No More
Author: BJ Garrett
Genre:  Memoir
Release Date: December 1, 2019

I can still feel the emptiness in my heart.

So many memories of ugly… As a preteen shattered by a sexually abusive father and an absent mother, B. J. Garrett is left unprotected, unloved, and unwanted by the people who should have loved her most. Instead, BJ finds herself wanted by the wrong people for the worst reasons.

Her search for self-worth leads to sexual promiscuity and unplanned pregnancies, which only further warps her view of love, leaving a trail of broken relationships. It’s not until losing everything to the blaze of a house fire that the course of BJ’s life takes a turn toward a God whose love is pure. With the shadow of shame lifted by her newfound faith, BJ makes a startling discovery—she’s been wanted all along, and her new love-filled life comes with a call to ministry.

Written with soul-searching vulnerability, this story shows that regardless of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, there is hope and redemption in a relationship with Jesus. Unwanted No More reminds you that no matter how ugly your past, you can experience unconditional, beautiful love and a life of purpose.



Click HERE to get your copy.  




My Review

Wow- what an inspiring, emotional memoir our author gives us from her life experience. This book shows us the compassion we should have for others when we don’t understand their life choices, because like all of us they need love and look for it where they can find it- it’s a human need. We are so quick to judge, alienate, or quietly look down on that person- why not show them the love that Christ has shown you so you can point them to the Savior? This book really hit home to me on that. Also, no matter your past, no matter how dirty you feel, the Lord loves you unconditionally and longs for you to have a relationship with Him. I always loved the saying that God never moves away from us, but we move away from Him. He’s waiting for you dear one, and each and every one of us is a dear one to Him. He’s not overwhelmed by your needs, anger, pain, whatever it is- He’s there for you and will never fail you. This book is written in a clear way that captures your heart and mind and really doesn’t let you go until you finish. The prose flows so naturally and no chapter is overly long. You really are put into our author’s shoes and really get it from her perspective. Don’t miss this one- great for even the non reader.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.



About the Author


B. J. Garrett serves as the executive director for Christ-Centered Abortion Recovery & Education. She holds an associate of divinity degree from Baptist Missionary Theological Seminary, and she has served in church ministries as a youth director, singles director, missions director, and women’s ministry team leader. She and her husband, Jay, live in Texas and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.  


More from B.J.

All my life I have battled with feelings of being unwanted and unloved. Somewhere between the insanity of the Jerry Springer show and the emotional outcry of the Oprah show, the unbelievable redemption details of my life are unfolded onto the pages of this book. Spunky. silly, and sassy are the three words that best describe my personality. I believe the Lord gave me a love for hamburgers to make sure I never return to a life of selling my body to make ends meet. Spending time with my grand kids who are basically perfect is my favorite pastime. I love being Jay’s wife and serving beside him on the mission field. By God’s amazing grace, I have come full circle, receiving complete forgiveness and healing from a childhood full of abuse, teen pregnancy, sexual promiscuity, abortion, and working in the sex industry. If the Lord can use a story like mine, rest assured He will use a story like yours! If like me, you have ugly in your past, I want to encourage you that no matter what you have done, no matter what has been done to you, there is hope and healing through Jesus Christ.


Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, February 7 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, February 8
For the Love of Literature, February 9 (Author Interview)
Through the Fire Blogs, February 11 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, February 12
A Baker’s Perspective , February 13 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, February 14
Inklings and notions, February 15
Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 16 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, February 17
Book Love, February 20 (Guest Review from Gail)


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, B.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and 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.

Release Day! The Beloved by Kelly Harrel

Release Day For Book 2 in the Once Lost Series The Beloved!


Check out my YouTube Channel and see a Release Day Trailer if you just want a sneak peek below:





About the Book

Genre: YA Christian Fiction



Danny
The only thing I hate more than baseball is my father. Now I will do whatever it takes not to think about him, or his God. I’m on my way to pursue my dream of becoming a screenwriter. I don’t know how I’ll get to LA. I don’t know what I’ll do once I’m there. I just know I’m going to do what I want and I’m never going home. The day I walked out that door, I left all that behind. Time to move on to greater things.
***
Lydia
My brother Danny is my best friend and he understands me better than anyone. He makes me laugh. He listens to me. Most importantly, he believes in me like I believe in him. I believed he could be a major league baseball player until he hated the sport. Then I believed he could write plays, and movies, that would change the world.But now, he’s gone. He’s addicted to drugs, on the streets, and far from God. Yet I still believe. I believe God has good plans for Danny, that he will return to God, and that God can heal the brokenness in us all. I will continue to pray, and believe, until God brings him home. No matter what, I will keep believing.



Buy your copy HERE





My Review

Kelly really strives to convey a realistic, yet inspirational look into Danny and Lydia's life and their interactions with God in the midst of their different struggles. This book is completely relatable to the YA audience and really would be great for a high school group or church student group to dive into together. Without being overly preachy, Kelly reminds us that God never gives up on us and that no sin is too great- His love for us never changes and He is always there for us even when we've totally turned our back on Him. Throughout the book we are reminded of this by many secondary characters that may only have a few sentences mention, but remind us of the love that can be found in the hands and feet of the body of Christ. The hopelessness Danny feels truly grips your soul from off the page and helps you to relate to so many living in sin that feel trapped and completely alone. Lydia's perspective really show the heartache the family of a prodigal endures, and how ultimately they have to learn to entrust that family member to Christ. This is the second in the series, so I highly recommend going back and checking out the Deceived, and if you're like me, waiting on edge to finish this story in the next installment! I recommend this one for those looking for a realistic inspirational fiction,  and the YA reader (perhaps with parent, teacher, pastor). Don't miss the quality of emotion and truth inside the Beloved.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.



About the Author

Kelly Harrel is the author of the Lauren Drake series and its spinoff, the Once Lost series. Convertible rides to the beach with the love of her life, Jeff, are her favorite. She also loves hanging out with her son and daughter, and she adores peppermint mochas. Kelly strives to usher others into a deeper relationship with Christ through her speaking and writing. To learn more about Kelly or to book a speaking engagement, visit www.kellyharrel.com.



Guest Blog for The Beloved By Kelly Harrel 



I was a prodigal, and if all you knew about me were my actions during that prodigal year, you probably wouldn’t read my books. You’d definitely question whether I’d ever really been a Christian. But then I came home. My testimony is strong and has been known to inspire people—but not my kids. Nope. Maybe because they know me as the person I am today. Or maybe because they're teenagers. I’m not sure. It’s just the way it is.


That's why they need kids like Danny. The Once Lost series presents the world for what it is. People sin. Young people, old people, and in-between people. Even Christians. The pressures of life can lead to bad choices that not only affect us but those who love us. The Beloved is the prodigal at rock bottom. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Danny drinks, does drugs, lies, and steals. Some parents and adults fear that reading about those things will tempt teens to do them. But here’s the thing—reading about someone else making poor choices and paying the real-life consequences can be a tool to help teens make wiser choices.

My son was fifteen when we read The Deceived together. He was sixteen when he read The Beloved . At seventeen, he went to his first “party.” And not a high school party. It was a party with his rock climbing buddies who were anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four years old. And I let him go. Here’s why. While I was writing the Once Lost series, I realized I needed to give my kids opportunities to make good choices while they still lived under my roof. That way, I had time to guide them into doing the right thing. I didn’t want them to be unprepared for the freedom they’d have at college and go wild. My son went to the party with a set curfew and with directions to be safe and wise. Everything turned out fine, and I thought that would be the end of it. But the next day, he was invited to another party. That’s when fear kicked in. I sat down with him to give him a “refresher” talk. “I need you to know your father and I are not okay with underage drinking. It’s illegal, and breaking the law is a sin. We don’t want you to do that.” “I know.” He shrugged. “People offered me drinks last night, and I told them ‘no.’ Some guy even offered me marijuana. I said, ‘No way, bro, I don’t do that.’” At first, my heart sank thinking of my kid in that situation. Then God reminded me that my boy has the Word of God in his heart. He’s also seen what Danny did to himself and that it cost him his family, friends, home, and eventually his passion. My son recognized that trying to fit in can destroy you—and your future. And that using drugs and alcohol as an escape only brings on more problems. Luke 15:13 says, “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living” (NLT). If that was the only verse you read from the prodigal son story, it wouldn't leave you with any hope. For that reason, The Beloved is not meant to be a stand-alone book.


It’s meant to be read as part of the series—a series that examines the dynamics of the Christian family, the pressures teens face, and ultimately the redemption of Christ. I encourage you to share this series with teens. My hope is that it’ll help them understand not only the depths of sin but the depths of God's grace. While complete redemption comes in book three (I promise!), The Beloved has a lot of beautiful lessons throughout. Danny writes in his introduction to The Beloved : “But I write it in hopes that, as you read, you will see how He never turned His back on me. He sent His people to love me though I mocked them. He continued to provide for me despite stupid choices. While I wallowed in the filth, I was still His beloved. I write that you may realize His love for you is just as strong, regardless of what you’ve done. God is always with us. Watching over us. Loving us. Waiting for us to call out to Him so He can save us from ourselves. … Perhaps, although things aren’t hunky-dory, this is your typical Christian story. After all, everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Some of us just fall harder than others. ” God bless you on this journey, my friend. May God’s love and grace become more real to you than ever before.The Beloved Kindle edition is now available for preorder on Amazon.



Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock


About the Book


Book:  The Gray Chamber
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Genre:  Christian Historical / Suspense
Release Date: January, 2020

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it's too late?

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.

At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?



Click HERE to get your copy!  




My Review

This series by various authors hits a home run once again. Hitchcock actually started this series, and this installment is just as shocking, seamless, and romantic all in one. The author gives us the real and truly evil history behind Blackwell Island and the reality of mental asylums in history. Edyth finds herself admitted for simply not conforming to social norms of the time such as mode of transportation, choice of clothing, etc. This really happened, and it is truly terrifying. This book is realistic and really brings that action-packed horror feeling as you are struggling so much with the character while being inspired by their courage and their hope in God. Each character was beautifully complex, not one page disappointed me, and the romance inside was worth fighting for. I don't know how the author weaved this tale so seamlessly together, but it is a true masterpiece to be read. If you enjoy realistic historical fiction that dives into the dark along with romance, this one is for you. p.s.- check out this entire series by various authors- they have all been beyond excellent!


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.






About the Author


Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.  


More from Grace

I am thrilled to share with you my second novel in the True Colors series, The Gray Chamber, which is set in New York City in 1887. I loved writing about Edyth Foster, our cat-rescuing, spunky heroine who spends her days painting, fencing with her dreamy instructor, and avoiding society at all costs, which as you can imagine, comes back to haunt her before the end. I’ve never written about a character who despised reading, so that was a new one for me. Edyth just doesn’t like to sit still long enough to finish a book, but you’ll find out why later.   I am pretty certain the librarians at my local branch are wondering what in the world my hobbies are, judging from the stacks of fencing books for beginners, histories of New York crime in the 19th century, and Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House, and more that I have continuously checked out since moving back to Louisiana.   The inspiration for this book came from Nellie Bly’s scandalous exposé for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, The World. In reading Nellie’s articles, I was shocked at the grounds by which the asylum would commit women and that’s when I discovered a tiny mention about an heiress with family members who had her tucked away so they could have her fortune. . .and Edyth Foster was born.   I hope you will enjoy reading about our eccentric leading lady and her fencing master hero, Raoul “Bane” Banebridge. If you are interested in seeing pictures of the asylum and to see what I pictured the characters looking like, check out my Pinterest board here.   Thank you for joining the fun for the Celebrate Lit tour! Join my author newsletter for more bookish news and to find out what is coming next! Just enter your e-mail address and name here. Happy Reading!   “With beautiful description and shiver-worthy scenes, Grace Hitchcock has penned an incredible fiction story based on true history. The Gray Chamber was a fascinating and chilling read. Edyth’s story had me glued to the pages. But as I journeyed with the heiress and her eccentricities, the greed of her family which saw her locked up in an asylum against her will made me grateful for the freedoms I have today. And made me pray that my voice would never be silenced. The nightmare was brought to life so vividly that I found myself holding my breath and then cheering on Bane as he never gave up on Edyth. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time…”   ~Kimberley Woodhouse – Carol-Award winning and Best-Selling Author of more than twenty books, including: MissTaken Identity, The Express Bride, The Golden Bride, The Patriot Bride, and The Mayflower Bride.


Blog Stops

A Reader’s Brain, January 20
Texas Book-aholic, January 20
Emily Yager, January 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 21
Older & Smarter?, January 21
Bigreadersite, January 22
Genesis 5020, January 23
deb’s Book Review, January 23
Blogging with Carol, January 23
KarenSueHadley , January 24
Mary Hake, January 24
Godly Book Reviews, January 26
The Becca Files, January 26
Daysong Reflections, January 27
Back Porch Reads, January 28
Robin’s Nest, January 28
Betti Mace, January 29
Rebecca Tews, January 29
Vicky Sluiter, January 29
By The Book, January 30
Hallie Reads, January 30
Remembrancy, February 1
With a Joyful Noise, February 1
Pause for Tales , February 2


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The Gray Chamber!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.