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.

Lawfully Innocent by Robin Helm


About the Book


Book: Lawfully Innocent
Author: Robin Helm
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2019

Benjamin Beckett, a handsome young English lord, lacks purpose in his life of privilege. After learning the truth about his heritage, he decides to leave unbearable boredom behind, making drastic changes in his too predictable life. Adventure awaits Benjamin across the ocean, and he embraces the challenges before him. Can a man who’s not yet thirty be strong enough to impact the New World? Will he find a cure for his loneliness and ennui?  



 Click HERE to get your copy!    



My Review

I found this to be a really little packed novella with some romance and a lot about finding God's purpose for one man's life. Since Robin usually does romance centered reads (with her Austen books anyway), I wanted to make sure I pointed out the book doesn't really center around the romance as much. It centers more around a man faced with some conflicts on what is right and wrong, and actually dives into the reality of slavery for that time. I always enjoy books that bring out a protagonist that realizes just because something is legal doesn't make it right. I thought the time frame was well described as well to transport you. I think it may have been just a little hard to get into because it just needed a little more development and length in my opinion. I think those looking for a faith message historical fiction that contains a romance and a shorter read they could finish in an afternoon should pick this one up. 


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



About the Author


Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction. Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth; and More to Love. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine. She plans to publish Maestro, Lawfully Innocent, and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3 in 2019. Her life in (usually) sunny, small town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching and performing music, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game? And she’s writing a book about it?)  



More from Robin

I grew up in South Carolina during the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. South Carolina did not comply immediately, so I remember my doctor’s office with two waiting rooms, two water fountains, and two doors, both leading to the same doctor and same examination room. It seemed very strange to me even then. I did not know any African American children, because schools, restaurants, churches, the town pool, the public health center, our neighborhoods – everything – was segregated. When I was in high school, that began to change. At first, only a few African-American students came to my school. I really didn’t notice, because we all worked together. I have since looked back and realized the bravery of those students. They left their newly built high school, which was much nicer than the very old one I attended, and came to a place where they knew almost no one. My junior year, our schools and all public buildings were desegregated. Our town handled it very well. Three high schools combined, but everyone kept doing the things they had done. That year, three sets of cheerleaders combined and three of each sports team came together. It was wonderful! We had cheerleaders all the way down the sidelines, and the captain’s position was shared. The school busses were desegregated as well, and I drove a route. I have no bad memories of that time. There were no fights, no arguments, no violence of any sort. This story is set in the mid 1840’s in South Carolina, and it addresses what sorts of things had to happen before we could get to The Civil Rights act and desegregation.



Blog Stops




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Robin 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.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

When Only Faith Remains by Amy C O'Reilly

 

About the Book


Book: When Only Faith Remains
Author: Amy C. OReilly
Genre: Christian Living/Personal Growth
Release Date: May 6, 2019

Hidden just beneath the surface of Mary’s unique calling to serve as the mother of Christ lies an equally captivating story of her journey of faith.

Sometimes when our plans are derailed or we encounter struggles, our faith is the only thing we have to draw upon. Trusting God through those hard times is the bedrock of what will keep us grounded. But what happens when fear creeps in? Perhaps that’s what it was like for the virgin Mary when Gabriel came to her with news that she was highly favored and chosen to bear the Christ child.

Drawing parallels from her own journey-of-faith life experiences and the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Amy C. O’Reilly offers encouragement and inspiration to readers who seek to strengthen and move forward from fear to faith just as Mary did.

With Luke 2 and 1 Corinthians 13 as reference points, readers will connect their faith in ways that bind them to love and hope in the person of Jesus Christ. While your circumstance may differ from Mary’s, the similar deepening of faith through heartache and suffering and hope and triumph will inspire you in your identity, calling, and destiny in Christ.


Click HERE to purchase your copy.



 


My Review

I really enjoyed this Scripture filled study on Mary's life and struggles. The author was really able to make Mary relatable to the every day woman in a way that really points you to Christ. The author does not glorify Mary beyond what she was in real life, she simply shows parallels to the modern woman and how the Lord worked in her life and how she followed God and His plan with sweet surrender and how that is possible for us to do too. It is amazing how when Mary followed God's plan she carried  her own Savior and the Savior of the world. We can never underestimate how God can use anyone- like that saying, God doesn't call the equipped. He equips those He calls. It doesn't matter what your education, background, past, or anything else is- God can use a willing servant to do His will. All he asks is your willingness. This book looked in depth at Mary's life from so many facets that I had never really closely considered before it made just a really great study on how the Lord can use me, and how the example of Mary's life relates to today. The book and the chapters are not very long, and this would make a great book to read and discuss with friends or a church group. 


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




About the Author


Amy C. O’Reilly has a master’s in physical therapy and co-owns Sandhills Orthotics and Prosthetics with her husband. Amy serves as a leader and teacher at her local church and Community Bible Study, and she desires to expand God’s kingdom through writing and speaking at churches and women’s groups. She enjoys running, teaching, and spending time with family at the beach. Amy and her family live in the Sandhills of North Carolina. When Only Faith Remains is her first book. 


More from Amy

When Only Faith Remains is the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she appears in Scripture and her unique journey of faith. The writing of this book was a journey in and of itself as God revealed many spiritual parallels in my own life events and faith journey. As I followed Mary to the cross and beyond, she became more real and relevant to me than ever before and I began to find connection and hope in my own life during the times when only faith remains. Mary’s story is truly every believers story as Jesus calls us all to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. As I pondered Mary’s life and treasured the words she treasured, I knew it was time to take Mary and Joseph out of the boundaries of the nativity box, and help their story come alive in a way modern readers can identify and relate. Mary’s story is heartrending, yet beautiful, and crushing, yet full of hope, and it’s replete with anticipation, insecurity, fears, doubts, grief, hope and love. Her story is one of mystery and intrigue. It is also sobering with a heavy dose of the realities involved in following Christ. And hidden just beneath the surface of Mary’s unique calling to serve as the mother of Christ lies an equally captivating story of her journey of faith. From the first time she says yes to Jesus in the presence of an angel to the day she is filled once again with the Spirit of her risen Savior at Pentecost, we witness a frightened Jewish girl transformed into a woman who overcomes the worst grief imaginable—all by faith. As I dug past the details and circumstances of Mary’s life to unearth her core needs, fears, and desires, I found myself identifying with Mary more and more. I discovered God at work in each detail of her life and in every relationship, teaching her His ways and deepening her faith, just as He has done in my life. In Philippians 2:12, Mary is the perfect example of a believer who “works out her salvation with fear and trembling,” as God teaches her to trust His plan through the life and death of her very own Son. Thus Mary’s journey of faith becomes one in which all roads lead her back to Jesus, the Christ, the Lord and Savior of all. Readers can expect to relate to Mary in surprising ways as they navigate through their own seasons of hardship, heartache, grief, and loss. I have also shared some of my own struggles and heartache with a transparency that is both genuine and encouraging to believers searching for an authentic faith. I invite you to join me on this journey as I share my own life experiences in light of Mary’s journey as found in Scripture. My hope is that Mary becomes real and relevant to you in a very personal way throughout the pages of this book. My prayer is that, as you find yourself and your own journey of faith in the story of Mary, your faith in Jesus Christ will be renewed and strengthened.



Blog Stops




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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.