Friday, September 21, 2018

Review and Giveaway: The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible by Doris Wynbeek Rikkers and illustrated by Fernando Juarez

God’s Spirit is living among God’s people.
He always was, always is, and always will be.
These are the stories that tell about him and what he does.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, written by Doris Rikkers and illustrated by Fernando Juarez, presents over 40 Bible stories from the old and new testaments that show how God’s Spirit has been with his people from the beginning of time. Keep reading to learn more about this new release from ZonderKidz!

You can also enter to win a copy of The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible and other awesome kids' releases in a giveaway hosted by Read with Audra. Details below!

About the book:

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
~ Psalm 139: 7–10

My Thoughts:

I am always interested in new children’s’ Bibles and how they teach the children the Word of God. In this particular book, the focus is on the Spirit of God and shows His presence was always there and working throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. As a parent I am very careful of what I give my kids to read, so I took the opportunity and checked on all the scripture passages given at the beginning of each story and much to my amazement I was to find all these verses that state His special work. Whether I had not paid attention before or had just not seen the relevance, I was pretty shocked at what even I could learn from a children’s book. This is a great addition to a child’s library and a book that parents and kids can read together and discuss.

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

About the author and illustrator:

Doris Wynbeek Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and also works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself, and if he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.


Review and Giveaway: Love & Secrets as Cassfield Manor by Sarah L. McConkie

About the Book

Genre:  Adult, New Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: August 14, 2018

Wealthy socialite Christine Harrison’s life seems perfect until the man she planned tomarry, Mr. Davenport, proposes to someone else. Heartbroken, Miss Harrison vowsnever to love again, and to distract herself, she sets out to rescue a fallen youngwoman. Little does she know that her journey will reveal more than she expected about her friends, her seemingly perfect life, and her own heart.
What an ingenious novel this was. I will say that at first the characters seemed very shallow and the mundane details of their privileged life made me not really care for whom these four young women actually ended up with, even if some of the matches were questionable. However, what the author showed was the changes in these ladies, from their shallowness to looking at a person deeper than their position or wealth and this was shown behind the scenes, until eventually I very much did care what happened to these young ladies, especially Christine.

This was a gradual awakening even to the point that there was a certain beau that I had really been hoping would be just the right match for Christine. This is the author’s first novel and I must state that I look very much forward to her future books as this story slowly unraveled and showed itself for the true gem it really is. Bravo!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

From writing an award-wining tale of a dragon falling from the stars in the 3rd grade to regency romance written at thirty, Sarah McConkie has always had a passion for creating intriguing stories. After years of singledom looking for romance (and teaching Junior High Choir to fill up real life), Sarah began a Master’s degree in Literacy. When love finally found her, she married and became a wife and eventually a mother. After tucking in her own little princess one January evening she determined to attempt her life-long dream to write and publish a novel. Using her many years of experience in the single realm, a robust knowledge of regency classics, and a love of all things old fashioned and proper, Sarah wrote Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor. She now lives with her own Mr. Right and her two daughters, and believes providing stimulating and moral stories promotes literacy in a world which needs more readers. This is her first novel.

Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Lethal Legacy by Carol J. Post

To Purchase

Someone wants her family secrets buried

He’s her only chance to survive

Andrea Wheaton thought her parents’ tragic deaths were accidental—until she’s attacked during a burglary at their home. Now she’s also being targeted. Her ex-sweetheart Sheriff Deputy Bryce Caldwell insists on protecting her, though she refuses to trust him again. But with a killer closing in, can she and Bryce uncover her family’s secrets before it’s too late for them both? 

My Thoughts:

Author Post has delivered another thriller with a bit of a romantic mystery that had me wanting to know the history of these two leading characters. I really felt for Andrea Wheaton as she had absolutely no one left in her family after her parents are tragically killed. Coming home to her and her father’s favorite vacation spot, a cabin that has been in their family for generations, she gets more than she has bargained for when someone is searching for something her father left behind. The one who comes to her rescue is her first love Sheriff Bryce Caldwell who royally broke her heart when they were 18.

Bryce realizes he really messed up all those years ago and I was hooked on that story line and wondered how they would ever get back together especially since someone was really trying their hardest to kill Andrea. This was an engrossing thriller and romantic mystery that had me guessing all the way through.

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Weekend Briefing

Welcome back, agents! It's an adventure every week, so let's get started!

Mind of Darkness is now up to twenty-two chapters! That means we're only ten chapters away from the end. Lots of excited stuff coming...

Mind of Darkness

Emily Rogers is ready for a summer that doesn't involve being cast away on islands or being chased around the globe. So when she's invited to an elite pre-college class along with her boyfriend, she jumps at the chance. But things are not all they seem at the Yin Program. Students are disappearing, and someone seems to be toying with their minds...

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Charisa O'Dell is anticipating a summer of romance and adventure with her crime-fighting partner. But she never expects that they'll be kidnapped and taken to an underground bunker to be guinea pigs to a mad scientist named Jin Yin. Most shocking of all, she learns that they are not the only super humans in the world...

Somehow, Emily and Charisa have to break out of the prisons imposed upon them to decipher the conspiracy before their minds are enslaved by the darkness within...

Also, the Mind of Darkness fan art contest is still going, so if you haven't had a chance yet-  Enter Here!

Speaking of entering, Agent Nicki Chapelway and I are are putting together a blog tour for our werewolf-themed books, A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses (hers) and my own The Howling Twenties Trilogy for October. Anyone interested in participating, from a blog spot to a review Sign up here!

Wolf Claw:

Jane Delane has always lived an unusual life, having survived a freak wolf accident and then growing up in the woods, completely sequestered from 1920s society. But as her seventeenth birthday draws near, her life becomes even more unusual when her father falls ill and her brother goes missing. When she decides to go searching for her absentee sibling, she joins leagues with a werewolf hunter named Amos Hood. Together they plunge into a world completely new to her- all the while she begins to learn of a darker one that has haunted her since childhood. And as she continues her hunt for her brother, it soon becomes apparent that something is hunting her.

And now, some more news about the upcoming release...

Ruptured Reality

Warning: Spoilers in synopses if you have not read the first two books

I'd tell you I love you... but then you'd make me change the baby's diaper. 

Kristian Clark can go undercover for months on end, combat multiple enemies at once, and even teleport through dimensions. He should be ready for everything. But having a newborn child... is a little outside his skill set.

And the universe isn't ready for little Shannon either. The tentative layers of the universe begin to peel apart and his adopted son gets pulled through a portal in the hospital.

Along with an angry wife and reunited best friend, Kristian travels the dimensions to find his son and somehow save reality without giving up his little girl.

Also includes seven other stories.

All profit goes to charity.

Coming November 1!

This special giftable book includes several illustrations from the talented Maddy Moore (Check her work out here).

Here's a special look at how she does her art- and a sneak peak at another picture included in the collection...

Join us next week, agents, for more fun and updates. Until then, try not to do anything that might get you brain-wiped. Ciao!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Review, Guest Post, Giveaway: Shadow Sister by Katherine Scott Jones

About the Book
Book Title: Shadow Sister
Author: Katherine Scott Jones
Genre: Woman’s Fiction
Release date: August 28, 2018
Working on her father’s vineyard allows Sarah Lanning to bury memories of a lost love and a career that might have been. But then her fractured family receives word that her estranged sister, Jenna, is dead, leaving behind an unexpected request: that Sarah travel to Bolivia to scatter her ashes.
Accompanied by pilot Chase Maddox, Sarah embarks on an Andean journey that tests her devotion to home and exposes Jenna’s secret life. Each staggering discovery creates new mysteries—until the last, which leaves Sarah questioning everything she understood about family loyalty. At a crossroads, she must decide whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness—and whether she can lay claim to a future of happiness without it.
Bittersweet and bold, Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:
Shadow Sister was a story of layers and uncovering them of a relationship between two sisters who have grown apart. This was a bittersweet tale of discovering a person and the secrets they kept after they passed away. I think it also really shows how important it is to keep communication lines open between family and friends no matter the hurt or cost. However, people are a stubborn lot and sometimes we must journey to find these answers on our own.

Taking place in the beautiful wine country of Washington State and traveling to Bolivia, we step into Sarah’s shoes as she must do the last wishes of her estranged sister Jenna. I really liked how the author wrote Jenna’s voice, that even though she is gone, we still get her viewpoint- especially in the snippets of her past.

This was a beautifully told story, with a subtle love story, family secrets, and the message that the truth can only set you free. I look forward to more work from author Jones, a new to me author.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Katherine Scott Jones grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas as her family moved with her father’s Navy career. Seattle became home when she married her husband twenty-eight years ago. After graduating Whitworth University with a degree in communications, she established herself as a freelance writer before turning her hand to fiction. She blogs about books that celebrate beauty at Katherine and her husband have two teenage children. Shadow Sister is her second novel.

Guest Post from Katherine Scott Jones

Shadow Sister: Outtake Reel
By Katherine Scott Jones
Much as I love a good movie, my favorite part often comes at the end when the director includes outtakes—those false starts and bits from the making of the movie that wind up on the cutting room floor.
In a similar vein, I’m going to let you in on some of what went into the creation of my novel, Shadow Sister, but did not make the final cut.
Shadow Sister is a work of inspirational women’s fiction with a global accent—written for women with a heart for complex relational issues as well as a passion for biblical justice. It is the story of a vintner’s daughter who travels to Bolivia to scatter her estranged sister’s ashes. There, she unravels secrets that test her devotion to home and make her question whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness. Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.
Now that you know a bit about what it is, come along as I pull back the curtain and share an exclusive peek at what Shadow Sister is not.
Working Titles
It took me a while to finally land on the right title. Early contenders:
The Sweetness of Light
– Variations on Shadows and Light.
It also took a bit of experimenting before I found the right combination of people and places:
– Sarah, the main character, was originally a marine biologist. I first imagined the story set in Seattle before moving it to the fertile plains of Eastern Washington wine country.
– Sarah was originally engaged; and Chase and Rachael were involved.
– The gender of Matilde’s baby changed from what I first plotted. That simple switch got me unstuck from a perplexing snag of writer’s block.
– Names:
o Nicole, Stasi, Rees, and Stephen were all main-character names I considered and rejected.
o Little sister Sarah and big sister Jenna began as litter sister Jenna and big sister Kate. Then Jenna became Somer and finally Sarah, while Kate became Jenna.
o Sassy Britches is named after an actual racehorse by the same name.
Unused research
Of course, story exploration turned up far more tidbits of interesting info than I could possibly fit into the pages of a novel! Some of what I wished I could have used…
– Bolivian fun facts
o Customs.
  • Bolivians tend to eat outdoors when it is not raining. Many men do not feel comfortable eating in front of strangers, so they will often face a wall or sit hunched over their food when they are eating in public.
  • Cha’lla is a ritual blessing drawn from Catholic tradition, indigenous religious ceremony, or—typically—a combination of both. Performed by a yatiri (spiritual leader) or Catholic priest, a cha’lla ceremony is performed whenever a new building is finished to ensure future peace in that building.
  • Many Bolivians believe in karisirus, or night phantoms. These harmful spirits catch people out after dark or when they’re sleeping. Legend says that they split their victim’s stomach and extract some of the fat.
o Drinks. While the traditional Bolivian beverages api and mate de coca are featured in Shadow Sister, several others are not:
  • refresco (fruit juice with a dried peach at the bottom of the glass)
  • tostada (a mixture of barley, honey, cloves in water)
  • chicha (homemade corn beer)
  • singani (made from grapes, a cross between wine and whiskey)
o Language. Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua are Bolivia’s three national languages, and they differ from each other greatly. For example, the number one in Spanish = uno, Aymara = ma, Quechua = hoq.
– Quotes:
o On wine: “Wine is sunlight held together by water.” ~ Galileo
o On art: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton
I hope this glimpse into what didn’t make it onto the pages of Shadow Sister piques your interest for discovering what finally did!

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, September 4
The Power of Words, September 5
Among the Reads, September 5
Fiction Aficionado, September 6
The Becca Files, September 6
RebekahsQuill, September 7
Bigreadersite, September 7
Just the Write Escape, September 8
Bibliophile Reviews, September 9
Texas Book-aholic, September 11
Livin Lit, September 11
Janices book reviews, September 12
Remembrancy, September 12
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 13
Inklings and notions, September 13
Pause for Tales, September 14
The Mimosa Blossom, September 14
Kelly Harrel, September 15
Two Points of Interest, September 15
Godly Book Reviews, September 17


To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a grand prize that includes a personalized signed print copy of the book, a Shadow Sister bookmark, a Frame-able print, Book-lover’s tea, 6 Handcrafted notecards, and a set of vineyard-themed playing cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click link below to enter.