Thursday, November 14, 2019

Finding my Son by Eric Odell-Hein


About the Book

[Insert Book Picture Here]
Book: Finding My Son
Author: Eric Odell-Hein
Genre:  Christian Memoir, Adoption
Release Date: February 21, 2018



Eric was perfectly happy being one half of a dual income, no kids family. Having the freedom to travel the world with his wife Christine, while indulging his hobbies and furthering his education and career, was a pretty sweet life. 

 Christine wanted to be a mom. 

 Though he was scared he didn’t have what it took to be a good dad, Eric wanted to fulfill his wife’s dream. After years of trying to conceive, however, the couple received a devastating diagnosis: infertility. 

 For Christine, adoption was the obvious answer. Eric wasn’t so sure. 

In Finding My Son: A Father’s Adoption Journey, author Eric Odell-Hein offers an unfiltered view into the heart and mind of a man who has experienced the sometimes messy and often awkward process of becoming a father through adoption. Encouraging men to acknowledge the fears they don’t want to admit while advocating a thoughtful, deliberate transparency as the best approach to even the most unnatural, uncomfortable aspects of the adoption process. Eric shares his misgivings and mistakes with an honesty that does not deny his insecurities. 

 A valuable resource for any man considering growing his family through adoption—or anyone seeking to understand the process—this engaging memoir is a testament to the beautiful gift of adoption and a touching account of a father’s love. 



Click HERE to get your copy!  




My Review

As a parent who adopted in almost identical circumstances to the author, I really connected with this book, though I feel anyone could connect with this book. The book is told like a personal story from a friend and starts with a father who's not really keen on adoption. This book shows the reality of needing to grieve infertility. This book shows the reality of adoption being something you really commit to and think on before making decisions. Adoption is not a fad, and an adopted child is not a puppy. This child is your child long ago chosen by God to complete your family unit and so the process should be treated with that respect. This book dispels myths about adoption that may hold a lot of people back. This book shows how an adopted child is your own child- there is no difference. This book shows us that adoption is not a decision to be made out of desperation, but out of what's truly best for the child. This book shows the reality of meeting birth parents and their grief. If you or someone you know has even thought  about adoption before, or you're just looking for an inspirational story, this one is a must read! 


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





About the Author


Eric Odell-Hein (PhD, MDiv, MRS, ThB) is the president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. The teaching pastor at Summit Evangelical Free Church, he is also the author of Recovering Lost Treasure: Finding Christ in Ancient Myth, Symbol, and Ritual and Systems of Evil: A Study in Comparative Theodicy. Eric lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife Christine and their son Ephraim. All three are passionate travelers.
 

More from Eric

Adoption was a scary prospect for me. My mother and all her siblings are adopted, and the family dynamic for them was challenging. So when my wife decided we should adopt, I initially responded with a flat-out “no.” But my heart changed, and I am strongly convinced that our son, who joined us via adoption back in 2008 when he was just two days old, is the greatest child in the entire world. If you knew where I was emotionally prior to adoption compared with where I am now, you would marvel at the change. My adoption book is for people like me, particularly men, who struggle with the enormity of the choice to adopt and the constant challenges of the process. On a lighter and more personal side, when people learn about all the various aspects of my life, they often have to stop and process the seemingly incongruous pieces. Some people know me as a guy who has spent more than two decades in software and entertainment, primarily in various aspects of behind-the-scenes video game technology and management. My entire family plays games, and more often than not, when I get back home in the evening, I find my wife and son online with other members of the extended family playing Minecraft. Sometimes we’ll all get in an online session together, each one of us at our own TV on our own Xbox, and take on bad guys together in one game or another. Other people know my intellectual side, where I have earned several degrees in areas of theology and religion, including a Ph.D., as well as serving as president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I previously published two books on academic topics (evil among world religions, religious symbology) and have more in various stages of development, the next one being a focus on the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cosmogonic/chaos-order symbolism in baptism. As a teaching pastor, I have a reputation for sermons with an intense ANE contextual emphasis that are part sermon and part seminary course. Check out my most recent four-part series on the Odell-Hein Books Facebook page here. I was born in Germany to an American family, and while my German-language skills have deteriorated, I love German music. I’m very excited that my favorite group, Juli, has a new album coming out later this year. It’s mild stuff compared to most of the rock or industrial music I listen to, but they’re good. Check out the first single from their upcoming album here. I’ll be one of the small handful of Americans who purchase the album on the day it first releases in the US. When not working or playing games with the family, I read primarily academic ANE books. When we’re in the car, I love to subject the family to my go-to podcast, the Naked Bible Podcast. No, it’s not what it sounds like. If you want to hear a serious scholar tackle the ANE context for the Bible, start with Dr. Michael Heiser’s Exodus series (it begins with episode 255).



Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 7 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads,  November 10 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, November 11
janicesbookreviews, November 12
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 13 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, November 14
Inklings and notions, November 15
By The Book, November 16 (Author Interview)
Through the Fire Blogs, November 18 (Author Interview)




Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Eric is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon certificate and a signed copy of each of his three books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock


About the Book


Book: Smoke Screen
Author: Terri Blackstock
Genre:  Christian Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019

One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.



Click HERE to get your copy.     





My Review

I feel like our author's experience really shines through in her seamless plot and beautifully complex characters. I'm not sure if the book really encompasses a traditional suspense genre, but there are plenty of twists and turns. Unfortunately,  I had an issue with Brenna because of the alcoholism. I'm not saying  that it's not realistic that one might turn to alcohol in such deep crisis, and their is redemption for any and all sin. I just don't think it's realistic to think an alcoholic is going to be a decent parent. The romance between Nate and Brenna is really slow blossoming, and the redemption thread is really beautiful. The way the characters develop is true craft, and there's a lot you don't expect that slowly unravels like layers of an onion. I feel any person looking for a redemptive suspense/romance would enjoy this one.


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




About the Author



Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock  

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face. An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?” T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.” “The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.” “They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.” I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?” “Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.” It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here. “The family. Were they injured?” “Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.” “You know I had no choice. They were in the path—” “Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.” I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal. “I won’t need a month,” I said. “Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.” I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.” “Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.” Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.  

 Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.




Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9
CarpeDiem, November 9
Fiction Aficionado, November 10
KarenSueHadley, November 10
Quiet quilter, November 10
Among the Reads, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 11
A Reader’s Brain, November 11
Robin’s Nest, November 12
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12
Bigreadersite , November 12
Blogging With Carol , November 12
Betti Mace, November 13
Spoken from the Heart, November 13
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13
Emily Yager, November 13
By The Book, November 14
For Him and My Family, November 14
Splashes of Joy , November 14
Andrea Christenson, November 15
Just the Write Escape, November 16
Mary Hake, November 16
Remembrancy, November 17
Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
EmpowerMoms, November 17
Blessed & Bookish, November 18
Older & Smarter, November 18
Inklings and notions, November 18
amandainpa , November 19
Pause for Tales, November 19
Hallie Reads, November 20
Cathe Swanson, November 21
All 4 and About Books, November 21
Batya’s Bits, November 22
Livin’ Lit, November 22
Texas Book-aholic, November 22
janicesbookreviews, November 22

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Wonderful Yah: The Unveiling by Matthew Marx


About the Book


Book: Wonderful Yah: The Unveiling
Author: Matthew Marx
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian, Theology
Release Date: July 22, 2019

What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?

This intriguing question from the book of Proverbs seems to echo the question in so many of our hearts: Who is God really? Over the past two millennia, people have tried to understand the mystery of the divinity of God using logic and thinking, but it fails every time. The Godhead does not operate or function as people do, and God is not subject to human reasoning. Yet understanding the mystery of the Godhead is both simple and profound when we know how to use the key Jesus gave us.

This book begins by accepting the challenge of some of the most thought-provoking Scriptures in the entire Bible—Proverbs 30:2–4. Throughout the book’s exploration of the divinity of God, a power hidden within God’s Hebrew name is discovered and then unleashed to answer the question, What is His name, and what is the name of His Son? The mystery of the Godhead is then subdued as God’s Hebrew name erupts as the correct foundation on which to discuss the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scriptural doors that once seemed impenetrable now open easily with a turn of a key, helping you to connect with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a deeper, more focused way.



Click HERE to get your copy.  




My Review

So, I have personally done in depth Bible study before, even looking at original Greek and Hebrew as my husband has a seminary master's degree and so has a lot of resources at home. However, this book just really baffled me. I really tried to get into it, really absorb the Scripture, and really take my time, but I just ended up more and more confused. Honestly, from chapter 1 I didn't really understand all the content the author was getting out of that key Scripture. My husband understood the book, but he said he didn't get the depth the author went into with all the mysteries that were stated within the pages. I honestly can't say if I agreed with the theology or not. From the author's book description, I think he was on to something really good and important, I just think you have to have seminary training to understand it. Honestly I can't recommend this book except for perhaps those with special training looking for a theology book ready to use the Bible to make sure the author checks out.


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




About the Author


After spending twenty-five years working with the severe and persistently mentally ill, Matthew William Marx felt a burden to pray for those struggling to understand Jesus. His prayers led him to a deeper understanding of God, which he is now sharing with his readers. Matthew is a graduate of Oral Roberts University and holds a master’s degree in social work. He is licensed with the state of Michigan, where he lives with his wife, Suzanne.  

More from Matthew

Wow! Who would have known? Normally, non-fiction books like Wonderful YaH: The Unveiling primarily focus on: what is the problem and how to fix it. However, wouldn’t it be intriguing if a non-fiction book incorporated some elements of a fiction book such as mystery, suspense, and drama, with the reader bring the drama as they deal with their internal dialogue on how to answer a proposed question to help solve the mystery. Be aware, however, that this type of adventure and journey is not for the timid or light of heart. Taking fiction elements such as mystery, suspense, and drama and placing them in a non-fiction book could produce a real-world reality shift that is different from what the reader has known or experienced—Wonderful YaH: The Unveiling is one such book.


 Come and join me on a non-fiction journey and adventure that incorporates some elements of fiction that explore, explain, and solve two of the greatest mysteries of the Bible. The two great mysteries to which I refer are (1) the divinity of Jesus Christ in the Godhead, and (2) how our lives and the choices we make fit into God’s will and divine providence. Many smart and wise people, over the past two thousand years, have tried to explain and solve these two mysteries but have fallen short typically. Wonderful YaH: The Unveiling fills the gaps left by previous attempts to solve these two great mysteries by discovering the hidden power in God’s Hebrew name, then harnessing that power to solve the mysteries.

 You might ask, “What is the point of being able to solve these two great mysteries, and what does it have to do with me”? The point is to know the One who created everything and to figure out how our lives fit into His grand scheme of everything. More simply stated, what is our purpose for being on planet earth? Surely, there is more to life than just being born, living for a few decades if you are fortunate, then dying. Isn’t it worth asking: Is our life more than just a blade of grass that is here today then gone tomorrow? If there were an answer to this mystery, wouldn’t it be nice to find the answer to this mystery before we die? People often read fiction for the adventure of mystery and suspense. Why not read a non-fiction book that offers mystery and suspense but with real-life consequences?



Blog Stops

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , October 30 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, October 31
Through the Fire Blogs, November 2 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, November 3 (Spotlight)
Blossoms and Blessings, November 5 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, November 6
janicesbookreviews, November 7
My Devotional Thoughts, November 8 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, November 9




Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Matthew is giving away the grand prize package of the choice of paperback book or eBook, a $75 Amazon gift card, and a $25 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Choices by Jacquelyn Lynn


About the Book


Book: Choices
Author: Jacquelyn Lynn
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Release Date: April, 2019

In a horrifying moment of inattention on a dark morning, lives change forever.

When college student Samantha Lawrence takes her eyes off the road for just a few seconds to send a text, she swerves out of her lane and hits Kevin Wyland as he rides his bicycle. In a panic, she drives away.

After the crash, Samantha tries to find out who the rider is and the status of his injuries. She is shocked to discover that she knows him. Not only does she shop at the pet supply store he and his wife own, they are both regular customers of Joyful Cup, a popular neighborhood coffee shop, and friends with the owner, Joy Shepherd.

Consumed with overwhelming guilt and fear of criminal charges, Samantha decides to do whatever it takes to avoid being identified as the hit-and-run driver. Kevin struggles with anger, bitterness, and a crisis of faith as he embarks on the slow process of recovering from his serious injuries.

As their lives intertwine with increasing frequency, Samantha and Kevin both turn to Joy for advice and guidance. Can she help them find the forgiveness and peace they need?

This is a heartwarming story with a powerful message of forgiveness that will make you smile even as it brings tears to your eyes.



Click HERE to get your copy.  




My Review

I felt like this book was really IN DEPTH, and I really enjoyed reading it. Samantha, Joy, and Kevin were just perfectly developed and continued to develop throughout the story. The premise of a hit and run accident I think is a relevant one, and this book really showed both sides to the story in a seamless way all with the Joyful Cup cafe and Joy in the middle. I was reminded how important it is to have a Christian friend and mentor in my life. I was reminded of how when things that happen to us are very unfair and even turn our lives upside down, it was no surprise to God and He has a perfect plan for it. I was reminded that we can be set free from guilt and sin, and that God accepts and loves us no matter the past or sin we have in our lives. I was just really a part of the action, the emotion, the story, inside the character's minds and more. This book was just really crafted well. I feel like this inspirational story is perfect for any Christian fiction reader, and look forward to more from the author. 


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




About the Author


Jacquelyn Lynn finds joy in her faith, family, and friends, and in the knowledge that she is living God’s purpose for her life. In addition to Choices, she is the author of more than 30 non-fiction books including Finding Joy in the Morning and Words to Work By, as well as the meditations in the Christian Meditations and Faith Words Adult Coloring Books.
 

More from Jacquelyn

The idea for Choices first came to me more than five years ago. Though I’ve written (or ghostwritten) more than 30 non-fiction books, the process of writing a novel was both intriguing and intimidating. Once I voiced my desire, my wonderful husband Jerry Clement became my biggest champion, encouraging and even nagging me along the way as I talked but didn’t write. And when I finally began to write, he listened, offered suggestions, and proofread. Every time I voiced a doubt, he shot it down. As the manuscript neared completion, he designed the cover and supported me through the myriad of details that are essential to finishing and publishing a book. Had it not been for him, Choices would not be in readers’ hands today. As Choices began to take shape, I realized that Joyful Cup, the coffee shop where much of the story takes place, had many more stories to tell. The next book in the Joyful Cup Story series will be released in 2020.



Blog Stops




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Jacquelyn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.