Saturday, August 8, 2020

Rahab by Diana Wallis Taylor

 


About the Book

 
Book:  Rahab
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre:  Biblical Fiction

Some biblical scholars maintain that the woman in Jericho who hid Joshua’s two spies was a harlot or a prostitute. But if that was the case, how did this woman, Rahab, become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the Father ensure a pure lineage for His Son?
In this historical fiction, author Diana Wallis Taylor offers a beautiful story of intrigue that explains how Rahab came to be the mother of Boaz, grandmother of Obed, and great-grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David.

In Rahab, Woman of Jericho, readers discover a Rahab who is a descendent of the tribe of Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Her clan left Egypt and settled in Canaan before the Hebrews were enslaved. Although they did not wander in the desert with Moses for forty years, nor did they hear the laws that the Lord gave to His people, they still worshipped the one true God.

Rahab marries Radames, a young Egyptian officer, who is to become the new governor of Jericho. They live in the Egyptian embassy set in the city wall. When the Israelites approach Canaan with their army, pharaoh sends word that he is withdrawing his troops. Radames fabricates a story to tell Jericho’s king, but Hammurabi doesn’t believe it…and he has his eye on the beautiful Rahab.

What will happen to Rahab after the lecherous king poisons her husband? How can she save her family from the invading Israelites? God parted the waters of the Jordan River for them—will He likewise provide miracles and blessings to her Ephraimite clan if they can rejoin their people?

Click Here to get your copy!



My Review

If you’re looking for a clean, sweet romance with a Biblical backdrop this one is for you. It was certainly not what I was expecting, but the backdrop was clearly described, the characters were well developed, and the plot was easy to get hooked on. The author used mostly artistic license in my opinion to form the character of Rahab, but I did enjoy the faith journey that she grows in while facing many obstacles of her being a woman and being part of the culture she was. I really enjoyed the account of the Israelite spies and how the author weaves the artistic license in with the Biblical account. However, Rahab is not portrayed as a prostitute in the book, and while it would be a difficult task to characterize her as such in a clean Christian fiction, I feel like too much reality was stripped away. I felt like part of the heart of the story was cut out because it took out the part that God uses anyone and cherishes anyone regardless of their past. Overall if you’re looking for an intriguing sweet faith based romance, and not as concerned about the artistic license taken with a Biblical character, this one is for you.

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


About the Author


Diana Wallis Taylor is an award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including such novels as Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia; Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; Mary Magdalene; and Journey to the Well. She is also the author of Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?
Diana’s additional published works include a collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind; an Easter cantata, “Glorious,” written with a musical collaborator and available on Sheet Music Plus; and contributions to various magazines and compilations.
She received her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University and was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. She operated two coffeehouse/used bookstores and later retired from a private Christian college as Director of Conference Services.
Diana makes her home in San Diego, California. Readers are welcome to reach out to her and read her blog at www.dianawallistaylor.com.

Read an Excerpt

At one large, ornate building that was obviously a temple, young women wearing flimsy garments, much jewelry, and elaborate make-up were lounging on the steps.
“Who are they, Radames?”
“Temple priestesses.”
“Women priests? They do not look like priests.”
He took a deep breath. “They are temple prostitutes who serve their god. By laying with a worshipper, they believe they assist him or her to honor their god.”
She put her hand on his arm. “I cannot judge others, but my people worship one God, Jehovah, who does not require that sort of worship.”
Radames seemed thoughtful and made no reply.
Her family had lived among the Canaanites for years, but she had never seen such a temple before. Beth-horon was so small—wouldn’t she have seen one if it was there? Perhaps her parents and their parents had endeavored to shield their children from the worst pagan practices.
Just before they returned home, she looked back at the palace, looming over the city like some evil monster. It sent a chill through her.
When they were safely in the embassy again, they sat in the dining hall and ate their mid-day meal: fresh bread, goat cheese, figs, and pomegranates, with a cup of beer for Radames and wine for Rahab.
Rahab turned to Radames. “My lord, the Canaanites have so many gods. You said you worshipped a fewer number. I am not familiar with Egyptian gods and would like to hear about them.”
He looked at her thoughtfully and took her hand in his. “Amon is the main one; he is considered the king of the gods and goddesses, and we believe he is father to the Pharaohs. His female counterpart is Amunet, called the Female Hidden One. They had a son, Khonsu, the moon god. Mut, which means ‘mother’ in Egyptian, is a deity who wears two crowns on her head. Osiris is considered the oldest child of the earth god, Zeb, and the sky goddess, Nut. He is the god of the afterlife. That is why many things are buried with the body when an Egyptian dies, so that he has what he needs in the life after death.”
She remained silent, listening, her thoughts twirling round about. She had married Radames out of love and her father had assured her that marrying an Egyptian was not forbidden because of their family heritage. But how was she to deal with a husband who worshipped idols? She smiled at him. “Tell me more.”
He sliced a piece of cheese and playfully fed it to her before continuing.
“Anubis is the divine embalmer. Before Osiris, Anubis patrolled the underworld. He is known for mummifying the dead and guiding their souls toward the afterlife. Horus is the god of vengeance and is the child of Osiris and Isis. He avenged his father’s death and ruled Egypt. Thoth is the god of knowledge and wisdom, who settles disputes between good and evil. He maintains the universe by his mastery of calculations. We believe him to be the author of science, philosophy, and magic. He is also the one who created our calendar. Sekhmet is the goddess of war and healing. She can destroy the enemies of her allies. Geb is the god of earth, who represents crops and healing. We believe he retains the souls of the wicked.”
It was a lot to digest. “Those are all your gods?”
He shook his head. “Only some of them, the most important ones.”
“And you worship all these gods?”
“When I am home with my family or with my soldiers, I profess to worship them. My father would be insulted and perhaps disown me if I even hinted that I did not.”
She stared at him, realizing what he had just revealed. Hope rose in her heart. “You say that as if there is something else you believe.”
Radames hesitated, as if uncertain how to proceed. “I don’t know,” he said finally. “I have grown up with all our gods, but prayers to them are not answered. I have not mentioned this before, beloved, but I was married years ago, at the age of eighteen. My wife was only fifteen. Both she and our infant son died in childbirth a year later. I made offering after offering to the gods, praying for her to live, but there was no answer—and no comfort. So I do not put my faith in any god.”
Rahab reached out to touch his arm. “Oh, Radames. I am so sorry about your wife and child. That must have been so hard to bear. Did my father know of this?”
“I told him that first night I came.”
“And what did he say?”
“He said that I may someday wish to speak to you about your God…when I am ready to do so.”

Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Man Inside the Box by Jimbob Striplin




About the Book


The past fifteen years have weighed heavily on the shoulders of Miss Jackie Neher, as she’s worked hard to suppress thoughts of misfortune that have defined her. Although she has found some comfort in her new life as caretaker in the orphanage, it’s what could have been that continues to haunt her. To add to her struggle, orphan Thomas Henry has made her situation more difficult than ever before. His hatred toward the life he was given has caused him to rebel and his perceived lack of purpose has led him to believe that living is no longer an option. It seems that their lives have become nothing more than a series of unanswered prayers, until the fateful encounter with the journals of a man, long forgotten, emerge from within an old box in the darkest corner of their home and change everything.


My Review


This new author to me certainly impressed with his creative plot line that kept you turning the page. This book would resonate with YA readers and adult readers as well. I certainly did not see the ending coming that did, and there were many twists and turns along the way. We see more than one faith journey and a lot of character development. Thomas and Jackie both have their pasts to work through. We also get a look into a small subplot of historical backdrop (earlier than the book is set) that relates to our characters In unexpected ways. I enjoyed how the author showed how our struggles can be eased or made heavier by the influence of those around us, no matter how little of a role they play in our life. The only difficulties I had was that the flow was a tad choppy, some of the action seemed to go a little too far for feasibility, and the secondary characters needed a little more development. I thought there maybe were just a few too many twists and turns to promote proper flow. With that said, I feel a lot of talent shines through in this book that could be enjoyed by a very wide audience and may lead someone who also has a broken past and is struggling to find the Lord as well. 

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



About the Author

Jim Bob Striplin is a high school football coach, teacher, former college athlete, husband and dad. He graduated from Auburn University with degrees in world geography and physical education in 2000.

These undertakings have prepared him to produce six books to date: The Gift of Christmas, The Gift of Christmas ‘Origins,’ The Gift of Christmas ‘The Final Winter,’ Saving the Coach and The Man Inside the Box, all of which have had positive reviews.His lone non-fiction work is called ‘The Fundamentals of Quarterback Play.’ He categorizes his books as, “Works of inspirational fiction designed to make the reader think.” Please feel free to reach out to “Coach” via email Jrstriplin@yahoo.com if you’d like him to visit your church, civic group or your football team!



 

Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken



About the Book

 
Book:  Still Small Voice
Author: Allen Brokken
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: July 24, 2020

The Still Small Voice Leads the Way

Because of their faith, twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, prevailed in the battle for the Tower of Light. But their victory did not stop the Dark One. Darkness continues to spread across Zoura’s frontier.

Now, in a vision, Mother tells them to light a second tower in Blooming Glen. Before they can set out on their journey with the Knight Protector, their Uncle arrives with a different set of instructions. He doesn’t trust the Knight Protector or the Mighty Mercenaries and believes the children should go to grandma’s house instead.

Unyielding in his belief, Uncle unknowingly leads the children off their path.And a misguided acolyte follows them. Lurking in the shadows, he strikes at every opportunity as the dark forces prepare to descend.

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan are Zoura’s last defense. Can they convince their Uncle of the truth—that he must listen to the still small voice—and make it to Blooming Glen before the Dark One’s forces overtake them?

Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

What a treasure of a book for families to read together! This book is perfect for upper grade school through upper middle school ages and honestly, I had a lot of fun reading it too as an adult. The book came across like an allegory with the darkness being evil and the light being God's presence. The children have adult helpers like Uncle and a knight, but ultimately they must show great bravery trying to fend off the evil and follow the vision to get to Blooming Glen and to the light. The ride is an exciting one, and yet the children are very innocent and honest (and their pets and their names are adorable). I love how their child-like faith reminds us of how the Lord calls us to be when trusting Him, which we forget all too often as adults. Overall, the plot, character development, and fantastical world really flow together to give us a book that makes us want more. Don't miss it!

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




About the Author



Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. Follow his endeavors @towersoflight, @twodadsandajoke, and http://www.brokken.net Your children can grow their own faith and love of God by following the adventures of Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan (plus their pets!) at instagram.com/towersoflight




More from Allen

Still Small Voice is the much anticipated 2nd book in the Towers of Light series.  We will be launching the book with a Celebrate Lit tour on July 24th.  Come on the tour to learn about some of the places author Allen Brokken visited to research the unique frontier setting for the series.  Five of the tour stops are interviews where he shares what he learned at different historical locations as well as his inspiration for the second book which focuses in listing for the Holy Spirit’s still small voice.
As defenders of the light, three children embark on a journey to stop the dark forces invading their land.

Louder than ever before, the message of listening to the holy spirit’s still small voice resonates with an urgency that demands action.

”Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken is an adventure of a lifetime! Filled with mystery, action, family bonds, and a healthy dose of animal friends this second book in the Tower of Light Series is a fantastic continuation of the journey of siblings Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan. Their quest to spread the Light as Darkness creeps across the land is a faith-filled adventure worth joining. ~Katie Clark, author of the Enslaved Series”


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 23

For the Love of Literature, July 24

Artistic Nobody, July 25 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, July 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 27

Vicky Sluiter, July 28 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

A Baker’s Perspective, July 31 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, July 31

deb’s Book Review, August 1

A Reader’s Brain, August 2

Through the Fire Blogs, August 3 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, August 4

My Devotional Thoughts, August 5 (Author Interview)


Giveaway


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



Saturday, July 4, 2020

I AM by Diane Stortz


About the Book



Book:  I AM
Author: Diane Stortz
Genre:  Juvenile nonfiction, Bible stories
Release Date: 2016

Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend. God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, including Jehovah Jireh, The Lord My Shepherd, Immanuel, Rabbi, and I AM.
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I AM more and more.
“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” –Psalm 9:10



Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

Diane Stortz's books are just a treasure for families to enjoy with their children while learning about the one true God. The book itself is lovely quality that is perfect for a gift for the special child in your life. I recommend ages 5-10. What I love is that it's not just Bible stories- it takes the true accounts from the Bible and ties them back to God and salvation and tells the stories in continuum to show the Bible as one larger story centered around Christ like it should be. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking! The way the story is told is perfect for children to understand and really get into. It includes Scripture, further reading, a prayer for the day, and questions to consider. I really can't say enough about how wonderful her books are for families to really dive into with their children to enjoy learning about our Savior. Pick a copy up for your family today!


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






About the Author


Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.


More from Diane

You can often guess someone’s age by considering their name. Diane, for example, was popular in the 1950s, so . . . that tells you something about me.

But God’s personal name? Well, it’s ageless. Just like Him.

When Moses met God at the burning bush and received the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. He peppered God with questions, including, “When I tell the people that I met you here and you gave me this assignment, they’re going to want to know your name. What should I tell them?”

The Israelites had just about forgotten who the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was.
But God hadn’t forgotten them. Not at all. God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

I AM WHO I AM. I always have been. I will always be. I will never change.

Choosing a book title is rarely easy, and choosing a title for this book about the names of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit took a long time. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Tommy Nelson publishing team who developed and settled on the title I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

My prayer for every child who reads this book and every family that goes through the book together, and for myself: May we all grow mightily in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him! As Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you.”


Blog Stops



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away  the grand prize package of signed copies of all three I AM books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma


About the Book



Book:  The Green Dress
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Suspense
Release Date: June 2020

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend

Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?


Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

As usual, the True Colors historical crime series by various authors never fails to amaze! Harriet is perplexed and grieved by all the deaths in the family of her friends- good Christian people who continue to have horrific and unexplained deaths one by one. When Harriet's closest friend dies, she is determined to help take care of her remaining family and yet, family members continue to get sick. It is not long before foul play is suspected, and Harriet recruits Micheal, the kindly new doctor, who both have to put their own lives at risk to unravel the mystery. The book is based off of real history, and man does the mystery keep your skin crawling! At first reading the book, I was a little disoriented trying to grasp what was going on, but slowly the author starts making connections and dropping clues to lead us to the final answer. Micheal and Harriet were both deeply complex each on their own faith journey, and each drawing closer to each other. The book doesn't shy away from the reality of the cruel deaths each person suffered. The conclusion reached is based on real, terrifying history and certainly is a shock. Don't miss this book, and better yet this series!

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



About the Author



Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.




More from Liz

We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.

That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.

I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.

—Liz Tolsma



Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, June 27
Genesis 5020, June 29
Emily Yager, June 29
Robin’s Nest, June 30
Bigreadersite, July 1
Betti Mace, July 3
Remembrancy, July 4
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
amandainpa, July 6
Hallie Reads, July 8
Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the 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.