Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Podcast Episode 5 Links

Don't forget my podcast is now on iTunes! Also, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. See links to the side of the screen if you're on desktop, or at the bottom of the screen if you're on mobile. Thanks friends!

Links to purchase:

The Pink Bonnet:


The Cabin:

Bipartisan Love:

Lulu's Cafe:

Married to a Stranger:

Blessing Bentley:

Risking Love:


Starla's Christmas:

Over the Line:

Midnight on River Grey:

Fragments of Fear:


No Greater Love:

Love's Belief:

All In:

I received a complimentary copy of each of these books, and all opinions given are entirely my own.

All In by L.K. Simonds

About the Book

Book: All In  
Author: L.K. Simonds  
Genre: Women’s Fiction  
Release date: May 7, 2019

Cami Taylor: a blackjack dealer, a bestselling author, and a fraud. Cami’s boyfriend, Joel, loves her in spite of her flaws. He wants to marry her, buy a house on Long Island, and raise a family–a life that’s a million miles from Cami’s idea of happiness. Her therapist suggests compromise and trust, but Cami bolts like a deer. She breaks off the relationship and launches on a new quest for happiness, not knowing that a nasty surprise waits around the corner. What follows is a fight to the death. Who will be the one left standing?

Click HERE to purchase your copy

My Review

Deep breath ... ok I'm ready to give this review. This one was a tough one to review ya'll. I really had to think it through and absorb the book. So first up, let me say this book is for adults only mostly because the premise delves into the life of a person in bondage to sin that is desperate for happiness because they don't know the Lord. I think reading this book was very uncomfortable, but necessary because we have to remember none of us, none of us, is anything without the Lord. Our sin is no less than anyone else's because the Lord is truly perfect and holy, and this books smacks us in the face with that truth. This book also opens our eyes to the desperation those without the Lord experience, and reminds us rather than being judgmental thinking how could someone live in this horrible sin? We should see them as God does, and realize the hopelessness they feel. When we look through those eyes, we have compassion, and show them the love we have found in Jesus and let Jesus do the work of changing their lives. I feel I have never read a book that puts us into these people's shoes more realistically. The characters were complex, salvation was clearly presented, and the emotion was very, very real. People live this in real life, ya'll. We need to understand their feelings. The quality of writing was excellent as well. 

Second part to my review- while this book was obviously not meant to be pleasant or comfortable, there were aspects that made me uncomfortable because I didn't feel the detail was necessary. One was the sensuality. It was realistic, and that is not what bothered me- it was the detail. Some detail was necessary to understand why the character turned to that, but it was just too much. Also, language. I can forgive some mild language, but it makes me shudder when someone takes the Lord's name in vain, and I felt that was completely unnecessary. I understand again the reality of it, I just felt it didn't have to take that form. Last, the theology. While I found the salvation message to be done well, some very controversial theology just about ruined the book for me. I think the book could have done without it because it alienates readers when you include such controversial theology, and in reality, isn't the point of Christian fiction to point the world to the Lord? It's sad to me because a book about not being judgmental ended up feeling judgmental if you didn't jive with the theology presented outside of the salvation message.

Overall, this one is tough to read, but I feel like everyone should read it because it is the most realistic take I have seen on a modern person struggling to do life without God, and I feel that is something we all should understand. 

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

About the Author

L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local. She has worked as a waitress, KFC hostess, telephone marketer, assembly-line worker, nanny, hospital lab technician, and air traffic controller. She’s an instrument-rated pilot and an alumna of Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. All In is her first novel.

More from L.K. Simonds

How I came to write ALL IN.

 Back in the 1990s, I was vacationing in NYC with my buddies. We got out the phonebook—as we always did while traveling—to see how many people with our last names were listed. In that thick Manhattan phonebook was one listing for a person with the same name as my friend’s. Two initials and a surname, as a single woman might’ve listed her number back in those days. The address was only a few blocks from our Midtown hotel, and we joked about calling to see if she was a long-lost cousin, who might take us to her favorite shops and restaurants. We didn’t call, but the “what if?” stuck with me. What if you did call? What if the person you called was in crisis? Or about to face a crisis? What if that serendipitous phone call resulted in a friendship that became a lifeline? That notion was the inception of ALL IN. ALL IN is my first offering as a novelist—my best writing to date. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, L.K. Simonds is giving away a $25 Visa gift card and a hardback copy of All In!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Love's Belief by Linda Shenton Matchett


About the Book

Book: Love’s Belief
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction
Release date: May 15, 2019

Midwife Pia Hertz and her mother Sabine have been delivering babies long before the Nazis came to power. Now, the Third Reich has implemented mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution. Is Pia’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man?

Despite the agony of the injury at the Battle of Drøbak Sound that took his arm, Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army. He returns to Berlin and discovers Jews are being deported by the thousands. When he realizes the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence.

Inspired by the biblical story of Shiprah and Puah, the midwives who saved Jewish babies during Pharaoh’s reign, Love’s Belief shows how one person’s actions can change the world.

Click HERE to grab your copy.


My Review

I am always left in awe of the historical detail our author manages to educate us about in her books while offering an intriguing story that gives a modern retelling of a Biblical account. I feel she takes so many elements there and weaves them together so well. I found the history behind how midwifery was effected by the Nazi reign to be devastating and very informative. I found the way the action came about in the plot along with all the history was presented in such an intriguing way that I felt truly transported. While our author has given us another shorter novel, I found the characters complex for the most part, relatable, and inspiring on their faith journey. While I think the story could have been lengthened, or more detail given in between the major scenes of action, I felt the emotion was there and the elements, for the most part, were realistic for the time. The romance was sweet and full of hope among a bleak backdrop, and not sensual. I always find books that delve into the Holocaust and the underground that attempted to help save those from destruction to be so moving and so informative, and our author truly excelled at that. I recommend this book for clean romance readers, historical fiction readers, or those looking for a shorter, faith-filled fiction. 

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

About the Author

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

Read an Excerpt

Berlin, late February 1943 Chapter One  

 “I thought Frau Schmidt was going to die.” Pia Hertz blew out a deep breath. “We haven’t had a difficult birth like that in a long time, Mutti.” “Ja, but you are a gifted midwife, Pia. I wasn’t too worried.” Pia chuckled. “You always say that.” Mutti linked her arm with Pia’s. “We must have confidence, otherwise fear will make us prone to mistakes. Now, let’s reward ourselves with strudel, if we can find it, hmm?” “A wonderful idea. I’m starving. Hopefully, the baker has some, and the line won’t be too long at this early hour. Selections at most of the shops have been meager as the war has ground on.” Leaning close to Pia’s ear, Mutti whispered, “Be careful what you say. You don’t want to be accused of sedition.” Pia cast a glance over her shoulder. “You’re right. It doesn’t seem to take much to get arrested these days.” She sighed. “I don’t understand why God has allowed Herr Hitler to succeed. Why has He not stepped in to save His people, the Jews?” Dust coated their shoes as they sauntered along the sidewalk, skirting the piles of rubble from the most recent RAF bombing raid. “There are some things we will never have an answer to, Daughter, but we must trust in His plan. It is difficult. Despite being a believer since childhood, I still struggle with doubts. It’s understandable that you do, too.” She stroked Pia’s cheek. “When we get home, let’s pray together and see what He would have us do.” Pia stifled a gasp. “What are you suggesting?” Her lips pressed in a thin line, Mutti frowned. She jerked her head toward the SS officer standing about ten meters away, then tugged on Pia’s arm. Continuing down the sidewalk, they arrived at the bakery. Unlit windows and lack of women waiting indicated there were no more treats to be had for the day. “Ach, we’ll have to assuage our penchant for a sweet another time.” Mutti rubbed her belly. “Let’s take a shortcut down Rosenstrasse then head for the river. It would be nice to look at something other than damaged buildings and debris.” “Good idea. It is warmer today than yesterday, and there is a market at the end of the street. Perhaps they have some bread or cheese we can nibble on.” A chill swept over Pia as they walked past a police officer, their eyes averted to avoid any interaction. An elderly couple tottered along in front of them, holding hands and speaking softly. Pia’s heart tugged. Would she ever find someone to spend her life with: someone to look at her like the wrinkled, gray-haired man gazed at the petite woman by his side? At twenty-eight, it seemed unlikely. Der Führer’s desire to rule the world was destroying an entire generation of young men, and she certainly had no interest in a black-coated member of the SS.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize package with a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each book in the series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, July 29, 2019

No Greater Love by Gina Holder

About the Book

Book: No Greater Love  
Author: Gina Holder  
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense  
Release date: April 30, 2019  

He said he’d never risk leaving a widow. She said she’d never love a man in uniform.

Paige McDonald collects antique literature and works at the largest bookstore in Portland, Oregon. When her grandfather, a firefighter, was killed, she vowed never to fall in love with a first responder. An old Bible leads to an unexpected discovery and disrupts everything she knows about herself, her family, and God. Her desire to know the truth sends her to the town of Whitman directly into the radar of Patrol Officer Hamilton Bryant. After the loss of his best friend and fellow officer, Hamilton vowed never to marry. He won’t risk leaving a widow. Instead, he reserves his passion for serving his family and the town he’s sworn to protect. When a series of robberies and threats against the mayor correspond with Paige’s sudden appearance in Whitman, their paths intersect.

Click HERE to purchase your copy.

My Review

So, overall, I felt like this book showed so much potential for a newer author, especially in conveying emotion as well as clearly portraying action in a way that makes the story seem more real. I really related to Paige and her book loving self. I liked how the book came from two sides to those that are first responders and are family members of them, and I felt she made their fears and lives really understandable to someone who hasn't experienced that before. I felt that the plot was steady paced, the suspense was just the right amount, and the multiple storylines converged really well. I felt the characters overall were well developed, but some of the sub-characters seemed a little flat, and felt a little overdone perhaps to fit into a certain mold. Coming from my personal experience, saying simply in regards to family relationships in the book, I had issues with some aspects of the ending of the book that were a let down to me and resulted in a lower rating for me. (Don't want to give away spoilers!!) The book flowed pretty well, but I just felt like information and action seemed a little awkward and the transitions just weren't quite there like I felt they should be. Overall, kudos to the author for giving us a realistic look at a difficult topic for people that live these lives, and making it understandable for the rest of us with a really nice thread of faith throughout. I recommend this one for those looking for some suspense, a nice contemporary romance, or enjoy a nice length contemporary Christian fiction.

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

About the Author

Gina Holder completed the Long Ridge Writer’s Group “Breaking into Print” course and graduated from Faith Bible Institute. In August 2017, she published her first novel, Whither Shall I Go. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Her Website and Blog is found at She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. When she’s not working on her next novel, she enjoys reading, watching movies, singing, and playing the piano and organ.

More from Gina

Fun Facts about No Greater Love (Don’t worry, spoilers weren’t invited to this party.)
  1. I love the smell of coffee, but I don’t like the taste. I asked my coffee-loving friends on social media for their favorite coffee drinks to use in the story.
  2. Tyler, Tony, and Timothy Thorne were modeled after three brothers I saw playing on a beach in Hurgadah, Egypt.
  3. R. Electronics was based on an actual store my husband and I saw in a mall.
  4. When Paige and Hamilton meet, he is looking for a runaway goat. This happened to my husband and me. We were out admiring large mansions, when a police officer pulled up behind us. We thought we were in trouble for loitering. Instead, he asked if we’d seen a goat running around the neighborhood.
  5. Hamilton’s deceased best friend is named after my childhood friend, William Donnelly. Will was a U.S. Marine killed in battle in Afghanistan. Like the character in the story, he got married only two months before his death and was killed on Thanksgiving Day. No Greater Love is dedicated in his memory.
  6. The character Jessie Faye is named after an elderly woman my husband knew while living in Fossil, Oregon.
  7. The diners in the food court scene were written from personal observations at a food court in Colorado Springs.
  8. While Whitman is a fictional town, it is modeled after the real town of Enterprise, Oregon, at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains.
  9. Several locations in the book are real establishments in Enterprise, including Heavenly’s Restaurant, the Espresso and Car Wash, El Bajios, and the Bowlby stone courthouse.
  10. There are several beloved pets in No Greater Love, including a parrot named Gerald, a Persian cat named Delilah, and a labradoodle named Bruce. All the pets have names except for Aunt Hattie’s Dalmatians.
  11. Paige McDonald works at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon when the story opens. Powell’s lays claim to the status of the “largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.”
  12. Portland is the fifth city in America with the most coffee shops per capita.
  13. The statistics for the Whitman school—100% graduation rate and a 1:13 student-teacher ratio is not fictional. They are the actual statistics of the Enterprise High School.
  14. Behind the cash registers at Powell’s, there is a fake dictionary definition—“Smell bound: held as if under the spell by the scent of books.” This is the inspiration behind the opening scene of No Greater Love. The word, Bibliosmia, means the smell of old books.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Gina is giving away a grand prize of a signed paperback copy of No Greater Love and Whither Shall I Go plus 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.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pulse by Linore Burkard

About the Book

Book: Pulse
Author: Linore Burkard
Genre: Christian YA/Apocalyptic Suspense
Release date: August 24, 2015

What do you do when the whole world stops?

Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens until a mysterious event shuts down all technology. In the dead of winter, there’s no heat, no internet, no cell phones–not even a working car. In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn’t survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?

Click HERE to get your copy.

My Review

So ... I have mixed feelings on this review. What I liked is the kind of apocalypse backdrop that was framed as a quite possible event in the future that I have heard a lot of talk about- an EMP. Knocking out all forms of technology, communication, transportation, etc. would definitely have a crushing effect and put our country into apocalypse mode no doubt. I feel like bringing that occurrence from the viewpoint of 3 teen girls and their families was an interesting way to tell the story. I also liked the thread of faith and questioning their faith in the three girls (which were all very different in background and personality) as I felt it shared the gospel well and also made the characters relatable to the YA reader. I felt like with the girls being different, every reader could find one that they relate to. I felt the topic discussed was a difficult one, and the author gave us a realistic look at the horrors that an EMP would cause while giving us the thread of faith. What lacked for me in this book was that, while a character can certainly have political viewpoints, it was just overdone and too specific in my opinion. Whether I agree with the viewpoints or not, I feel like the way it was so specific could alienate some readers, especially considering the audience. Also, it took me a while to get into the story which seems odd for a thriller/apocalyptic type vibe. To be honest, the action just seemed sudden and took a long time to get there. I realize this is a trilogy, but it just didn't seem to have the same push that an apocalyptic type book usually has- not to say there isn't some horrifying scenes in it, because there is. So while I have mixed feelings, I would suggest a parent check it out first and share with their YA reader, or just someone looking for a realistic look at an apocalyptic book might enjoy this one.

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

About the Author

Linore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, Linore home-schools her youngest daughter, teaches workshops for writers, and is the Vice President of the Dayton Christian Scribes.  Her latest  PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a “chilling possible future for America, while affirming the power of faith in the darkest of times.”

More from Linore

When my sweet historical romance series was published, I never dreamed my next would be YA/dystopian. What a switch in genres! So, how did I go from one end of the writing spectrum to another? Blame it on an idea that refused to die. I read a headline about how close the earth came to suffering a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, in 2012. We missed the worst effects of a solar flare by a hair (in space terms); but the “what if” factor had been set in motion. What if that flare hadn’t missed us? What if I was a teen raised on electronics–or an adult medically dependent on them–and it all went dead in a matter of seconds? What if the next flare doesn’t miss? PULSE, the first book in my PULSE EFFEX Series, was born.

The books shows life in the aftermath of such an event for three teens and their families. With the world plunged into a new dark age, can they keep hope alive?

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

About the Book

Book: Fragments of Fear
Author: Carrie Stuart Parks
Genre: Suspense
Release date: July 23, 2019

From award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.

Evelyn Yvonne McTavish-Tavish to her friends-had her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine-with her name and address-makes it hers. Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body. After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancé’s death, a late-night radio show, and the dog. And the clock is ticking.

Click HERE to purchase your copy.  

My Review

I feel like our author hit so many marks of excellent writing in such unexpected yet well thought out ways. We delve into the world of microchipping which I think has always had an element of fear as to what the government could eventually do with it with us as humans- as all things, it could be used for good or bad intentions. I felt like the topic covered was really a difficult and out of the box one when we think of suspense/thriller, so I felt our author really educated us well and gave us a really convincing backdrop for us to watch this once in a lifetime story unfold. There was faith and romance intertwined in all this violence and action and it all weaved together so seamlessly. This book twists, turns, jolts you, shocks you, and leaves you breathless wondering what's coming next. I certainly got the fear, and felt that all the characters were beautifully crafted, complex, and relatable. If you are looking for an unexpected suspense thriller that has a small thread of romance and faith intertwined, this one is for you.

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

About the Author

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.  

More from Carrie

Using Art to Solve Crime: Techniques Used by Forensic Artists   Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.
  1. The pencil. Any forensic artist worth her weight in graphite knows the power of the lowly pencil and a sketchpad. Law enforcement would love a photographic image of the suspect, but all we have to work with is memory…and memory is faulty. The more the image looks perfect, the more imperfect it is for helping to identify a suspect. We want the drawing to just suggest a likeness and eliminate those not similar.
  2. Now that we brought up the subject of memory, a forensic artist needs to understand how memory works. The average witness will remember between four and five facial features. When they describe the person they saw, they will do so from their strongest memory to their weakest memory, from most important to least important. We listen carefully to the order of facial features.
  3. Whole vs Parts. We don’t look at faces as individual parts, although a particularly outstanding nose or Marty Feldman eyes might catch our attention. We will remember the face as a whole, with the proportions of the face an unacknowledged part of that. Forensic artist prefer to use reference photographs where the whole face is viewed.
Want more? Check out the rest of my article at The Strand Magazine

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 24
CarpeDiem, July 24
Livin’ Lit, July 26
The Becca Files, July 26
Cathe Swanson, July 27
Bigreadersite, July 29
Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, July 29
EmpowerMoms, July 30
By The Book, August 1
Remembrancy, August 2
amandainpa, August 2
Pause for Tales, August 3
Hallie Reads, August 4


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