Monday, November 28, 2022

My Thoughts and More on Unbreakable by K.J. Rowe

 



About the Book

Book: Unbreakable

Author: K.J. Rowe

Genre: Teen/YA

Release date: June, 2021

It is early summer in the beachside town of The Valley.

Lexi Slaydon flips her long auburn hair in an attempted display of confidence before she steps into her local church for the weekly Friday night social.

No matter how many times she attended youth nights, the butterflies always took flight within her stomach in the hours leading up to youth night.

So, when a normal day at work sees a handsome stranger move into Lexi’s path and an opportunity at church presents itself that could set her up to finally conquer her fears, Lexi feels a spark; a spark of that thing she sees so often in her best friend Hope: Confidence!

Just as Lexi begins to get a grasp of how her new reality feels, another new reality hits. She discovers too late that she is a naïve pawn in a game of conquests her new beau is playing. Rocked to the core, Lexi tries to break it off, only to find his determination intensify. A night that should have been a night to remember for one of her best friends, quickly becomes a night to remember for Lexi as she and her beau face off with potentially devastation results.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

In this novel we meet Lexi and her friends, who are all new adults, and ready to step up and take on more responsibilities and involvement in their church's young adult ministries. Everyone seems ready for this next stage of life, but Lexi, on the inside is not sure she is up to the challenge. Not wanting to be left out she accepts anyway, and she is determined to work through her fears and insecurities.

As we watch Lexi grow more emotionally and even spiritually, she also meets Brad, who seems to be a dream come true. He says all the right things, makes her feel special, he just seems a little bit on the controlling side. Lexi really likes him, but something just seems off. Her close and loving brother tells her to break up with him, but this just leads to tension between the two of them. As time passes, Brad's true motives begin to emerge, and Lexi is not so sure she wants to be with Brad anymore. But what if he is not done with her?

This story does deal with some abuse in relationships, but it is also hopeful in the way her family and friends are there for Lexi. And amidst all this, there may be someone who is just right for Lexi waiting on the sidelines. I enjoyed this new adult story that took place in Australia and getting to 'visit' there.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Since I could hold a pencil, I’ve be writing.

In primary school, I wrote stories about my pets, my own version of princess stories, a classroom crush…

In high school, I wrote stories about horses, adventures, my sister…

However, as strong as the writing hobby was, I still pursued a career in Veterinary Nursing.

It wasn’t until God intervened and moved me out of the city and into a small country town to be a farmer’s wife, that he resurfaced the writing desire – and gave me the stories. So was born my debut series, each book holding a part of my own testimony, Casts of Silver.

It is my prayer that you enjoy the journey these stories take you on, and that they challenge, encourage and inspire you.

 

More from Karen

Hello! Im Karen, or Kazzy Wazzy to my husband. 😃

Since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been writing.

In primary school, I wrote stories about my pets, my own version of princess stories, a classroom crush… *grin*

In high-school, I wrote stories about horses, adventures, my Sister…remember that story sis? *smile*

However, as strong as the writing hobby was, I still pursued a career in Veterinary Nursing by day, and a professional Ballroom Dance teacher of an evening.

It wasn’t until God intervened, moved me out of the city at into a small country town to be a farmers wife, that He resurfaced the writing desire – and gave me the stories. So was born my debut series, each book holding a part of my own testimony, Casts of Silver.

Centred around five youth group leaders, the stories look at very real circumstances young people face without sugar coating consequences of individual actions. However, where is God when problems arise?

Well, He’s always closer than you think, and He’s always working for your good.

It is my prayer you enjoy the journey these stories take you on and that they challenge, encourage and inspire you.

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, November 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 15

Texas Book-aholic, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Cover Lover Book Review, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 28

For Him and My Family, November 28

Giveaway



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

https://promosimple.com/ps/228af/unbreakable-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, November 25, 2022

My Thoughts and More on Laser Trap by Frank DiBianca

 



About the Book

Book: Laser Trap

Author: Frank DiBianca

Genre: Thrillers/Suspense

Release date: June 7, 2022

Laser Trap is a multi-layered Thriller/Suspense. Quincy University engineering grad students Dan Butler and Lana Madison are trying to unravel their mutual confusion about how attracted and attractive they are to each other, when Dan’s lab laser unexpectedly begins to produce unheard of amounts of brightness and power in its laser beam, making it a candidate for super-weapons.  StarWay Labs, an organization of criminal scientists, has been conducting research on this same phenomenon for two years, but without success. When they learn of the discovery at Quincy U, they kidnap Dan and demand he replicate his work in their secret lab.

Lana, alarmed at Dan’s disappearance, forms a high-tech team of friends to help the authorities rescue him. They make remarkable breakthroughs in tracking him down while the criminal cadre at StarWay pushes Dan close to his breaking point. The life-or-death question is whether the authorities can rescue Dan before he succumbs to his captors’ savagery.

Laser Trap is a story of love, danger, cruelty and faith that takes place on a university campus and in an invisible laboratory.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Laser Trap takes the reader on a dangerous adventure that surrounds lasers and their power and those who want that power along with greed and money. In the middle of all this global espionage is a scientist by the name of Dan Butler, who for the most part is an ordinary guy. Except for his extreme fear of talking to beautiful women. And the poor fellow just wants to settle down and get married. His roommate tries and fails to help Dan out, instead Dan believes he needs a female's help instead.

In steps Lana Madison. Lana is also searching for true love and going on a date that her mother arranged with her former bully is not something she wants to do. But that is a fateful date when Dan steps in and stops a man and his unwanted attention towards her. Dan sees her as classy and someone he could learn from. So, he hires her as his love coach, not knowing they met before.

Then their world turns upside down as Dan becomes an unwilling pawn in a dangerous world. Lana, caring too much, is bound and determined to search for him and help him.

This was a story that dealt with a lot of science, mystery, danger, and a touch of romance.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

About the Author


Frank DiBianca is a former medical physics and biomedical engineering teaching and research professor. He has written numerous novels and short stories in the suspense, romance and sci-fi genres. His first traditionally published novel is LASER TRAP (A QUINCY U SUSPENSE), Iron Stream Fiction (2022), a mystery and romance laden suspense. Frank and his award-winning wife, Kay, are both full-time writers who assist each other in their manuscript development.

 

More from Frank

The Seven Biggest Surprises in my Laser Trap Journey

1. The Time It Would Take to Complete the Manuscript. The first words of a romantic short story entitled The Love Coach that would eventually become the thriller/suspense novel Laser Trap were written on June 29, 2009, almost exactly thirteen years before the book was released on June 7, 2022. (I’m not superstitious.) The prolonged manuscript completion time included periods of learning how to write modern fiction, turning to several other writing projects, such as a 120,000-word sci-fi novel entitled Centaur about the threatened collision of a monstrous deep-space planetoid with the Earth, and many other writing-related detours.

2. Learning a New Language: How to Write Modern Fiction. When I began this writing journey, the fiction I’d been reading was largely from the nineteenth century, including Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, The Brontës, and Charles Dickens. I’d never heard the literary expressions “third person close narrator, point-of-view, show-don’t tell,” and many others. My first editor, Mel Hughes, took me by the shoulders, figuratively, and patiently showed me the ropes via several manuscript rewrites based on “footser” notes of recommendations (she said humorously I was shooting myself in the foot). Would I ever learn modern fiction techniques?

3. The Genre Switch Late in the Game. The book would likely not have been published by Iron Stream Media (ISM) absent two crucial people/occurrences. I met Karin Beery, Managing Editor, Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, LPC, at a writers conference in 2019. She liked my preliminary book proposal and asked me to send her a polished proposal when it and the manuscript were complete. A year later, I did that. Karin’s queue was filled, but she passed my submission on to colleague Darla Crass, Managing Editor, Lamplighter Mysteries and Suspense, LPC. Darla offered to publish the book on condition I would collaboratively rebalance the story toward more suspense compared to romance. With much joy and a twinge of trepidation, I signed the contract and the jaws of Laser Trap snapped shut—most auspiciously.

4. The Number of Editors Involved. Editors are essential, but having a novel edited through multiple drafts is expensive. I expected that one or two editors would be needed. I ended up with seven. Here’s what they focused on and [who paid them]: 1) Mel Hughes -developmental editing [FD]; 2) Barbara Curtis -copy editing/proofreading [FD]; 3) Jeanne Leach -book proposal development [FD]; 4) Darla Crass -rebalancing toward suspense [ISM]; 5) Sally Shupe -general editing [ISM]; 6) Denise Loock -editing/proofreading [ISM]; and 7) the publisher’s final review [ISM]. This surprise showed the level of commitment and investment both the publisher and I made in improving and polishing the book.

5. The Effectiveness of a Book Launch Team. Book launch teams were another modern device I was unfamiliar with. Working with my Author Care Specialist at ISM, I received instructions on forming a team and advice about managing one. I was fortunate to enlist thirty friends and family members who agreed to promote Laser Trap. Some of the activities they engaged in were promoting the book via email, social media and word of mouth, in addition to, as appropriate, submitting book reviews to Facebook and Goodreads. Team members were also asked to distribute digitally a two-page summary brochure on the book. The unforeseen effectiveness of the launch team is evident in its contribution to the surprising successes described in items 6 and 7.

6. The Reader Reaction to the Book. The seven endorsements we received for Laser Trap were so gratifying, ISM decided to insert them verbatim in the front pages of the book. The reviews in bookselling and reviewing websites were likewise very positive. For example, over the first seven weeks from release, Amazon’s rating averaged 4.8 out of 5 stars. None of this was expected.
7. Amazon #1 Best-seller Status. However, the biggest surprise of all came when Amazon ranked Laser Trap the #1 Best-selling New Release in Religious Mysteries from two days before release through the next two weeks.

So, a number of beneficial surprises that came during the development and release of Laser Trap have significantly boosted the quality and stature of the book.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the many people who contributed to my novel, especially my author-wife, Kay, and I’m eager to see what happens in the upcoming months.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

The Write Escape, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

Mary Hake, November 15

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 20

Betti Mace, November 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 22 (Author Interview)

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 22

Blogging With Carol, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Pause for Tales, November 25

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Frank is giving away the $35 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/228ab/laser-trap-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, November 24, 2022

My Thoughts and More on A Flame of Mercy by Eleanor Bertin

 




About the Book

 

Book: Flame of Mercy

Author: Eleanor Bertin

Genre: Contemporary Christian

Release date: November, 2021

Two families, worlds apart. Can they each find hope in the crucible of suffering?

All Lynnie Min ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. But when tragedy strikes her family, she’s left with nothing but her faith to begin life again. While pursuing a career she never wanted, can the precious faith she was raised on withstand betrayal by a hostile former friend, now a professor whose ideologies conflict with her own? And why do her puzzling dreams feature only one of her daughters, not both?

Out of a smoking ruin in northern Nigeria, Ihsan bin Ibrahim stumbles upon the solution to his wife’s barrenness and longing. But family ties have a long reach. Will he make the ultimate sacrifice to follow his conscience, even if it means losing the child he loves?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Flame of Mercy is a story that delves into what it looks like to walk the Christian life in the face of adversity, sorrow, and unbelievable grief. Lynnie Min has always wanted to be a wife and mother and as she told her story, my heart went out to her. Especially when everyone looked at her as if she had grown two heads, so she decided to add missionary as well. As Lyn grows up, she eventually meets and marries her true love and becomes a wife and a mother. Not only that, but she also is a missionary too. She had her dream come true, until she didn't due to a senseless act of violence. Her grief was palpable.

This story was not just a journey for Lyn, but also for another family in Nigeria. Another woman who grieved due to loss and her husband who has a very difficult choice to make. Really there was no choice, but it was still going to be hard. 

I went into this novel not knowing what to expect and then as I read, the pages flew by, and I was in Lyn's world. This was an experience and one for each reader to unpack. It was not an easy read, there was much sadness, but there was joy unexpected as well. So, keep the tissues handy.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

About the Author

From her home in central Alberta, Canada, Eleanor Bertin writes fiction that ponders the depths of God’s love and mercy to humanity.

She is the author of The Ties That Bind series, Lifelines, Unbound, and Tethered, as well as the memoir, Pall of Silence, about her late son, Paul. She lives with her husband of more than 40 years and their youngest son, in what will someday be a beautiful century home. www.eleanorbertinauthor.com

 

More from Eleanor

If you’ve read any amount of secular fiction these days, you must be shuddering at the landscape of the family in the world today. Strife and resentment, rivalry and spite–seems there’s nothing but dysfunction as far as the eye can see. And while conflict is necessary to any novel’s plot, I wanted to write about a stable family, a loving family, one that, while imperfect, still nurtured and protected its members with acceptance and harmony.

On top of that, I wanted to depart from my previous novels where the main characters were not believers. In Flame of Mercy, Lynnie is the main character whose trust in Jesus stands firm despite going through the fires of adversity. Her family is one of the reasons for that strength.

But of course, even the best, most faithful families have their quirks. Enter the grandmothers. Grandma Hardy is stiff, stilted, and staunch in her Christian beliefs. Nanny Roundell is sugar-loving, jolly, and lets mentions of faith slide off her chubby body with a smile. Their beliefs do not align with their personae. This paradox was suggested to me by a friend as I described the contrast between two elderly relatives, sweet Christian and sour unbeliever.

“Aren’t you glad it’s not the other way around?” she asked.

Because we all know it can be. Sometimes Christians look nothing like their Lord. And non-Christians can live blissfully inconsistent with their evil master’s agenda.

And so, I had fun writing these two ladies! “The grandmothers sat next to each other, one short and round, one tall and skinny. The Ball and Bat, we used to call them when we were kids, and I’d never been able to see them differently ever since. Come to think of it, Nanny, the Ball, was like a baseball in other ways besides physical. She had always been reactionary, flung here and there with every wind of doctrine but without any viewpoint of her own. By contrast, Grandma Hardy was the Bat. She stood alone, stiff and sturdy, unwavering, and if necessary, could give you a good whack to get you moving in the right direction.

“My sister was what Grandma frowningly called ‘frivolous.’ And Lissa was mischievous enough to purposely do things that would get Grandma’s goat. I mean, deliberately cavorting through the sprinkler in a bikini directly in front of Grandma’s kitchen window was outright asking for a lecture. You couldn’t call it a scolding since Grandma never raised her voice, but it was always a one-way communication generously salted with Bible verses. Lissa told me Grandma even referred to hand-written notes a couple of times while talking to her. And Grandma’s tone carried the expectation that we would change our ways accordingly. We had been taught to respect our elders so there was no answering back. We only meekly listened.” With Grandma, there was no statute of limitations and past sins could receive present censure.

Nanny’s eyes twinkled. “I’m feeling better every day. It’s given me my life back. Why, with my dentures and glasses, a new knee, and a titanium hip, I’m eighty percent fake.” She cackled her infectious laugh and we joined in, exchanging glances. Being in Nanny’s presence infallibly lifted my spirits.

“This cheesecake is delicious, Sue,” Nanny chimed in. “I could keep on eating and eating if I weren’t already so full after an excellent meal.”

Grandma frowned at what she doubtless saw as gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins. Thankfully she restrained herself this time…She set her fork down beside her plate that still held half her slice of cheesecake and taking her napkin, dabbed at her lips. “This is certainly a rich dessert.”

I hope you enjoy reading about the Hardy family’s faith and foibles as much as I have in writing them. Look for a bit of Grandma’s back story in my story in this year’s Mosaic Christmas anthology.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Rebecca Tews, November 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

lakesidelivingsite, November 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 18

Mary Hake, November 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Blogging With Carol, November 22

Cover Lover Book Review, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 24 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, November 25

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Eleanor is giving away the grand prize package 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/228a3/flame-of-mercy-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Thoughts and More on Why They Call It Falling by Christina Sinsi

 



About the Book


Book: Why They Call It Falling

Author: Christina Sinisi

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: June 7, 2022

Formerly the wild child of three sisters, Emma Marano grew up to be a single mom working two jobs, estranged from her mother, and lying to her friends. She’d told everyone that her daughter’s father wanted nothing to do with his child, but in reality, her own inability to deal with her mistakes and shame led to the biggest lie of her life. But her daughter, Haley, is all Emma has in the world, so how can she regret keeping Haley to herself? Emma’s struggling, though, and her life is slowly imploding.

Right after high school, Justin Lee broke up with Emma Marano and joined the Army, leaving her and all her drama behind. Years later, he stumbles upon her and what turns out to be a daughter he never knew he had. Angry and confused, he insists on having a relationship with his daughter, but to do so, he’ll need to rebuild some sort of relationship with Emma, too. As he gets to know his daughter—and Emma again—he soon realizes that his biggest mistake was leaving her all those years ago. What he dismissed as drama turns out to be a serious mental health issue, and Emma needs help. Now, Justin has to decide if he can see past her flaws and forgive her lies, and together, they’ll have to work to reclaim their love and a faith in each other and in God, or they risk losing something precious in the process.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What happens when you find out something that upsets your whole life? Are you angry, mad, sad, or happy, or maybe all of them. That is precisely what happens to Justin Lee when he finds out quite by accident that he has a four-year-old little girl with his ex-girlfriend who never told him or his family he was going to be a father. Not only that, but she let her family believe he didn't want anything to do with his baby.

I understood why Justin would be so angry with Emma Marano, but as we delve deeper into her story, there are some things that she is dealing with. The book opens up with the death of her beloved father which rocks her family's world. On top of that she blames herself which does some serious damage to her mentally and emotionally. The only one she could really talk to was Justin, who was just a teenager and when he could, he hightailed it out of their town, breaking up with her, and not looking back. Add abandonment issues on top of already escalating problems and Emma has an uphill battle to fight.

Now four years later a reckoning has come. Emma understands she must let Justin in on their little girl's life including his family. And tell her family the truth. But all is not so easy and these two must learn to forgive, become friends, and eventually love again for the sake of all involved. Their journey was both emotional and uplifting.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.                                  

About the Author

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and the American Title IV Contest where she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include Christmas Confusion, Sweet Summer, and Christmas on Ocracoke. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the LowCountry of South Carolina with her husband, two children and her crazy cat Chessie Mae.

 

More from Christina

In Why They Call It Falling, the hero discovers he has a daughter he didn’t know existed when he sees his ex-girlfriend in a strawberry patch at Boone Hall Plantation (here in Charleston, South Carolina). In the book, the name of the plantation had to be changed to protect the innocent, but the recipe below doesn’t.

This recipe comes from a cookbook titled, Charleston Receipts Repeats. This book has modern recipes, as well as old-fashioned ones dating back through generations. It’s a perfect accompaniment to my Charleston-based romance.

Strawberry Pie I

1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

Dash salt

1 3-ounce strawberry jello (delete 1 tablespoon)

1 pint strawberries

Whipped cream

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and clear.

Add strawberry jello.

Pour half of mixture into pie shell.

Arrange strawberries in jello mixture.

Pour remaining mixture over strawberries.

Refrigerate until congealed.

Serve with whipping cream.

Serves 6 to 8. Chill 3 to 4 hours.

 

Enjoy, and think of the sweet taste of summer and the enduring love of fall. Second chances are often the most delicious!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Inklings and notions, November 16

deb’s Book Review, November 17

By the Book, November 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Stories By Gina, November 24 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, November 25

Splashes of Joy, November 26 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, November 26

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 27 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 27

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Christina is giving away the grand prize package 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/228ae/why-they-call-it-falling-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, November 21, 2022

My Thoughts on The Call of the Sea by Sian Ann Bessey

 

About:

A Viking Historical Romance

On the eve of her betrothal to a nobleman she’s never met, Rhiannon seeks comfort on the shores of the sea she loves so well. But instead of offering peace to her uneasy heart, the ocean heralds doom with the arrival of dreaded Viking ships. A vicious raid leads to the death of her beloved father and leaves Rhiannon’s life in tatters. Heartbroken, she travels to Ynys Môn, where she takes up residence at the royal court of Owain Gwynedd.

Leif loves voyaging on the open water. As the son of a Viking chief, he’s accustomed to his people’s practice of plundering and looting. But when one of his companions ruthlessly kills an old man in front of the man’s beautiful daughter, Leif is haunted by the memory. Desperate to find forgiveness for the atrocity he allowed to occur, he’s offered a chance at redemption through the kindly teachings of an Irish priest and the unexpected arrival of a royal fugitive. Suddenly thrust into the midst of the Cymry’s political turmoil, Leif is reunited with the dead man’s daughter―Rhiannon. Forced to work side by side to uncover the truth behind the turmoil, they come to discover that love can grow from even the most tragic of beginnings. But with such incompatible backgrounds, surely a future together can never be theirs.

My Thoughts:

After reading this story, I firmly believe there are just not enough Viking romances out there. Beginning in the year 1141, we meet the hero and the heroine on a fateful night that will change both of their lives. 

Rhiannon, a young noblewoman with ties to the king, lives a simple life with her father and their servants along the sea. The sea calls to her heart and soul and she loves it. Then one night a Viking raid happens upon their shore with dire consequences that Rhiannon must now learn to live with.

Leif is a Viking who enjoys pretty much everything about being a Viking except for the raids. After the fateful night that he meets Rhiannon, Leif decides no more raiding for him, he will become a silversmith instead, much to his father's dismay. 

This was a book that took its time to tell the story and was not a love at first sight romance either. This had a depth to the characters growth and meaning of what was precious for our characters as time passed for them. 

In the history books the Vikings eventually settle down and intermarry with those they raided and stopped their raiding. I like how this delved into how that might have played out with a Viking and what the reasons for settling down might have been, especially as they would have been introduced to Christianity. 

The author also does not shy away from the brutality of the Viking raids nor their consequences. She also shows how the other peoples could be just as cruel as the Vikings were in their lust for power and revenge.

I enjoyed this story very much and all the machinations of the political powers, the friendship, and especially the deep seeded love that eventually conquers the prejudice and all the hurt and pain. The author has great information in the beginning that includes a map and a glossary and even a QR code for pronunciation. At the end she gives the historical information that was quite intriguing with how much of the story was based on historical facts versus her imagination. This was a good story.

I was provided a copy of this novel from Covenant Communications, Inc. through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

My Thoughts on A Fallen Sparrow by Lynne Basham Tagawa

 



About the Book


Book: A Fallen Sparrow

Author: Lynne Basham Tagawa

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: August 13, 2022

Ruth Haynes uses the pen name Honorius when she writes for her father’s newspaper. Boston has changed beyond recognition, and her Loyalist views soon get her in trouble. With war looming, what will their family do?

Jonathan Russell hides a guilty secret. The Battle of Bunker’s Hill sweeps him and his Shenandoah Valley family into the war. The unthinkable happens, and he’s forced to deal with both his grief—and his guilt.

Lieutenant Robert Shirley is summoned by his godmother and introduced to the Earl of Dartmouth, who charges him to gather intelligence in Boston. He is horrified but must obey.

Gritty, realistic, and rich with scriptural truth, this story features Dr. Joseph Warren, Major John André, Henry Knox, and Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

A Fallen Sparrow's first pages drops the reader right into the night of the Boston Massacre and doesn't let up as the tensions between Britain and her colonies intensifies. This was a rich historical journey that took us with these characters who mingled with historical ones as the turmoil of this nation was entering its birthing days.

The sacrifices that were made and the tenacity of these thirteen colonies to stand up for their freedom come what may still amazes me. In this story we see how people are still living and still falling in love even with the threat of war and eventually the war occurring and disrupting their lives. These characters, and there were a few, keep marching on for the promise of a better future while living in an uncertain present.

Some of my favorite books that I have read are books that I read with my kids about the Revolutionary War and all the great men and women that lived at that time. The clashes of their opinions that didn't stop the unity of a new county, because they looked beyond themselves. Author Tagawa's research really shows in this volume of historical fiction, and from what I have learned this is third book in the series about the Russell family. I unfortunately did not read the first two, but I hope to change that soon. This was a story that transported me back to the United States early days. 

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Lynne Tagawa is an educator and author with four sons and five grandchildren. She is the author of a narrative Texas History curriculum, Sam Houston’s Republic, and enjoys writing historical fiction. She lives with her husband in South Texas.

 

More from Lynne

When writing my books, I study all sorts of things: soapmaking, rifles and muskets, and horses. What breeds come to mind when you think of horses?

Here in Texas today, quarter horses are quite common, although you will find a plethora of other types: Arabians, Tennessee Walking horses, Morgans, even Friesens! Interestingly, in the 18th century, the quarter horse did not exist. Thoroughbreds (“hunters”) were fairly common as well as carriage / early draft horses: Cleveland Bays and Canadians. Narragansett pacers were popular as riding horses; George Washington was partial to pacers, and their descendants include the Tennessee Walker. Ponies and mules thrived in the backcountry.

Exotic breeds were imported as well. I included a Friesen stallion in A Fallen Sparrow because—well, because I could. Friesens were part of the ancestry of one of the very first American breeds: the Morgan.

In my stories, the horses all have names and personalities. I hope you enjoy these characters as well as my human ones!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 8

Texas Book-aholic, November 9

Holly’s Book Corner, November 9

Inklings and notions, November 10

deb’s Book Review, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 13

Connie’s History Classroom, November 14

Books You Can Feel Good About, November 14

Betti Mace, November 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 16

For Him and My Family, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Pause for Tales, November 19

Cover Lover Book Review, November 20

Labor Not in Vain, November 21

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Lynne is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of the book, and handcrafted soap based on the soap a character makes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/22674/a-fallen-sparrow-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

My Thoughts on Annie's Hope by Merrillee Whren

 



About the Book

Book:  Annie’s Hope

Author: Merrillee Whren

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: September 27, 2022

The Village of Hope: A community built on service and love

Annie Payton hopes for one thing—to regain custody of her children. She believes the Village of Hope’s lawyer will give her this chance until she learns that lawyer is Ian Montgomery, her ex-husband.

Since Ian has turned from his life of substance abuse, he’s all about helping others, but he doesn’t know if he can help his former wife. Her betrayal still brings him pain, and most people at The Village don’t know about his past relationship with Annie.

As Annie and Ian’s lives intersect, can she show him that she’s clean and sober and wants a second chance not only with her children but with him?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

I don't always read the synopsis on the back of books, a lot of the time I read it after the first chapter or so. So going into this book and seeing a new start for a young mother who is bound and determined to get her kids back after becoming clean and sober is what I was expecting. However, what a surprise I got to find out that the lawyer assigned to her is her ex-husband. Wow, that was a doozy.

Anna and Ian got married at a young age and made many mistakes before, during, and after their marriage. Both were looking for acceptance anywhere since neither really received it at home. Now some years later both Anna and Ian have gotten on the right track. Anna would like to regain custody of her children, whose father is an old boyfriend. The Village of Hope is a center to help people in all walks of life to begin anew. Anna is very thankful to have been given a second chance to start over.

Ian is still nursing some old wounds from his relationship with Anna, along with a secret he has been keeping. However, he loves the Village and wants to see it succeed and help as many people as it can. The Village is having some financial problems and others on Ian's team think Anna with her financial background will be a great asset to help keep the Village open. Ian is not so sure if Anna can be trusted. I think his hurt was still blinding him, which was understandable, and he wasn't sure he wanted to work so closely with her. 

Ian and Anna realize their feelings for one another have never truly gone away. But how can they overcome all the obstacles between them? I thought this book really showed the providence of God and how miracles are ripe to happen when all looks dark and when people choose to forgive, watch out.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Website and signup for her newsletter and connect with her on Facebook.

 

More from Merrillee

One of my writing goals is to set at least one book in every state in which I have lived. So far I have written books set in Washington State, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, Montana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. I still have to write books set in Illinois and Arizona to complete my goal. Just for fun I’ve gone astray and have written a couple of Christmas novellas set in Maryland, where my older daughter lives. The third book in the series, Puppy Love and Christmas Cookies is ready for preorder.

Annie’s Hope is one of my books set in Georgia. It is the first book in The Village of Hope series. We lived in the Atlanta area for nine years when our daughters were in elementary and middle school. I have many found memories of that time. One of the things I remember is a ministry there that served older adults and had children’s homes. When I got the idea for this story, I thought of that ministry. I also have friends who served many years at a children’s home in Oklahoma. I expanded on those ministries to create The Village of Hope, a multifaceted ministry, a place that provides hope, love, and a helping hand for those in need. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” This verse fits Annie’s Hope perfectly.

Because I’m what they call an organic writer, I don’t plot my stories. I start writing and see how things unfold. I start with a set of characters and wonder what if. In the case of Annie’s Hope, I wondered how a divorced couple might find love with each other again, despite hurt and betrayal. I’m always thankful that somehow God brings everything together when I write a book.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

lakesidelivingsite, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Susan K. Beatty, Author, November 6 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, November 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool,Academy, November 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 11

Britt Reads Fiction, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 14

SusanLovesBooks, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Merrillee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of A Match to Call Ours!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2266f/annie-s-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway