Saturday, September 22, 2018

Book review: Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

About the Book

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson's first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.'s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don't know who they can trust.

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what's right--but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?

You can get a copy of this book here.

My Review

Lone Witness, book two of the Atlanta Justice series by Rachel Dylan, is a page-turner!  It definitely stands on its own, as just the main characters from the previous novel are mentioned.

I loved Sophie, the feminine lead.  She had a strong sense of who she was and what she wanted out of life.  She was equally aware of potential weaknesses in her life.

There was plenty of action, lots of bad guys, and much looking over your shoulder.  For those who enjoy suspense and courtroom drama, this is a book you'll want to pick up.

I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of Atlanta's most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of Deadly Proof and four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She is active on social media and you can visit her website at www.racheldylan.com.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Ties That Blind by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Title: Ties that Blind
Author: Chautona Havig
Release date: August, 2018
Genre: Suspense


He may not be the only person in the Rockland area to wake up without a memory, but he might be the only killer…

Simon Prescott, the latest victim of spontaneous amnesia in Rockland, is under suspicion of murder. The evidence, though weak and circumstantial, points only to him. He’s confident he didn’t do it, but there’s no way to prove it. Grieving for a wife he doesn’t remember, Simon refuses to allow his family in, refuses to cooperate with police, and is heading straight for the pokey if he doesn’t figure out something and fast.

Enter: Ella Weeks and Vikki Jeffries. The previous two victims are determined to help him, and with jail time looming, Simon capitulates. But what Vikki and Ella find as they work through Simon’s life reveals astounding and rather chilling evidence of a bigger scheme than any of them could have imagined.

They’re on the verge of total discovery, but the closer they get, the less confident they are that they want to know.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

It's bad when you wake up with no memories of who or where you are.

It's especially bad when the police are knocking on your door.

The third book in the Sight Unseen series, Ties That Blind by Chautona Havig, concludes the series well.  One could read it as a stand-alone, but for me it was a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.  New characters are introduced, and characters met previously are essential.  Simon, the main character, was not easy for me to figure out and get comfortable with, but it worked, given the situation that had suddenly come upon him.  Havig is great at keeping both main and supporting characters growing and developing throughout the book.

There was something for everyone in this book-mystery, suspense, and romance.  Both men and women would enjoy this contemporary work.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author



The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.











Guest Post from Chautona

What Does It All Mean, Anyway?

“So why is this series called ‘Sight Unseen’ if it’s about people who lose their memories? Why the vision references?”

I can’t pretend I wanted to answer her question. She isn’t the first to ask, and I doubt she’ll be the last. I tried to explain.

Look, it’s a valid question. Originally, the first book was called From the Cinders, and if it had remained a stand-alone book, it still would be. But when I finished with another person waking up to no memories and a hint that something sinister might be behind it all, I had to change it to fit two books—no, three!

Recall. Rewind. Refresh. I liked those titles. But that still didn’t give me the name of a series. I kept studying. Tried again.

I read what would become None So Blind three times in a row, if I recall correctly. And as I read it, a theme emerged. Ella Weeks hadn’t been blind to her faults even before her memory loss. Even her husband hadn’t been, despite his obvious love for her. But those around her had been blind to her awareness of those faults—to her silent cries for help in overcoming them.

Will Not See emerged with a similar theme.

Vikki had a past that she hid from and refused to acknowledge. And even as those around her drew closer to provide support, she still managed to block out all that she found frightening—even physically shutting down and shutting out life.

So, when it came time to plan the final book in the series, the one that would now tie together everything that had happened, I knew I wanted something that also fit with the other titles. And one night it came to me. Ties That Blind. So often our ties to people blind us to their faults—to the destructive influences they have in our lives. And Simon Prescott will learn that lesson in a rather lonely, horrible way.

The Sight Unseen series reminds us of what Paul said in Corinthians.

Now we see through dark glasses… we can’t really make it all out. But with the Lord, when we’re truly with Him in eternity, we’ll see things as clearly as we do when we are face to face.

And that’s what faith is all about, right? It’s the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we “buy in” to the Lord Jesus, we’re taking it all in faith. We’re trusting in Him, “Sight Unseen,” just as the characters in this series do with every element of their lives.

I hope their journeys bless you as they have me as I wrote them.

Blog Stops


Live. Love. Read. , August 18
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 18
Inklings and notions, August 19
Blossoms and Blessings, August 19
Fiction Aficionado, August 20
Among the Reads, August 20
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 21
Blogging With Carol, August 21
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 22
Lots of Helpers, August 22
Cordially Barbara, August 23
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 23
Multifarious, August 24
Christian Bookaholic, August 24
proud to be an autism mom, August 25
Bibliophile Reviews, August 25
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25
Texas Book-aholic, August 26
Janices book reviews, August 26
A Reader’s Brain, August 27
Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 27
Maureen’s Musings, August 28
Carpe Diem, August 28
Margaret Kazmierczak, August 29
A Baker’s Perspective, August 29
Bigreadersite, August 30
Mary Hake, August 30
Pause for Tales, August 31
Readers cozy corner, August 31
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 31

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the entire Sight Unseen series in paperback!!

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/d295/ties-that-blind-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Toby's Troubles by Carole Brown


About the Book

Book Title: Toby’s Troubles
Author: Carole Brown
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Release date: July 1, 2018

Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectibles and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church’s youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it’s just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what he is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he’s wanted forever, but is in love with him. And he’s not interested.

Amy Sanderson, who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin’ Life—is drawn into capturing Toby’s “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby from childhood, she’s more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or like a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendances to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who’s determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he’ll stop at nothing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This was a fun book to read!  I was familiar with many of the characters from having read the previous book in the series, but it was great to get to know many of them better!  I loved how Toby was so kind, compassionate, giving, and protective of others.  I liked Toby as soon as I started reading this book, but the plot pulled me in quickly, and the book seemed to read more quickly as the plot moved forward.  I thought that the mystery was well-written, because although some of the bad guys stood out as such, there were still some characters that I remained suspicious of until the very end.  I did think that the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but it had a great finish.

Fans of romantic suspense and cozy mysteries will enjoy their visit to Appleton, West Virginia with this book.  It easily stands alone for those who haven't read other books in the series.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author


Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?







Guest Post from Carole Brown

Antique Shops, A Thief, the Community Theater, and Love


Toby’s Troubles, Book Four from the Appleton, West Virginia Romantic Mysteries series

I knew when I wrote this book who Toby was. But capturing Toby’s personality and presenting it in the right way, was a challenge for me. Readers can see his teasing, fun-loving character when he labels the person who’s breaking into his shop as a ghost. But Toby is also serious, smart and successful. The side of him who has had plenty of girl friends, but who’s never gotten serious with any of them, is prominent too. But I didn’t want him to seem frivolous and uncaring, because he isn’t that. With a focus on his interests, love has never—as of yet—been a primary concern, so when Amy Sanderson strolls into his life, she turns out to be his confidant in the time of his troubles. The question is: can she not only have a place in his life as a best friend, but also capture his heart?

Let’s talk about:
Antique Shops:

Who doesn’t love a place filled with valuable items, interesting history, and hard-to-find items? Undiscovered Treasures—a shop of antiques, collectibles and junk—could be described as the town gathering place. Everyone loves browsing there. Deciding on such a place for the business of brother and sister, Toby and Caroline Gibson, was a fun choice. From grandfather clocks to unique-shaped vases, it’s a shop where treasure hunters could just find what they’re looking for.

A Thief:

There are way too many new people visiting Appleton, West Virginia, so how is someone like Toby supposed to guess what the thief is after? The thief definitely knows what he’s looking for, just not where. He’s tall, thin and a fast runner, especially when escaping across a rooftop. But then, maybe it’s not a new person in town. Maybe the thief is Toby’s part time help, who has a mystery all of his own. It makes things interesting, and a bit terrifying for everyone.

The Community Theater:

One of Toby’s loves is directing and overseeing the community theater. Caroline Gibson writes some of the plays, the actors are usually taken from the West Virginia area, and all proceeds go to charities. But when their main actors of the current play elope and leave the play desolate, someone has to step in to fill the gaps. Toby struggles with decisions he doesn’t want to make.

Love:

Toby is smart, funny, and a resourceful man. He’s also busy with his community theater activities and his business. Known as the one man in town who’s not interested, at the current time, in getting married, his reputation of loving and leaving is in danger of being wrecked by one small woman.  Can she sabotage his well-laid plans and help him realize it’s now or never?  Could it be the time when real love is captured by two people, even when one of them seems doomed to ignore what God’s put in their hearts?

I love creating characters. Developing them into real people with real desires, moods, and troubles.


Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, August 21
Godly Book Reviews, August 21
The Avid Reader, August 22
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 22
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, August 23
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 23
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 24
Two Points of Interest, August 24
Connect in Fiction, August 25
Blogging With Carol, August 25
Bibliophile Reviews, August 26
Splashes of Joy, August 27
proud to be an autism mom, August 27
A Baker’s Perspective, August 28
Maureen’s Musing, August 29
Mary Hake, August 29
Janices book reviews, August 30
Pause for Tales, August 31
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31
Lighthouse Academy, September 1
Texas Book-aholic, September 2
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 2
Carpe Diem, September 3
Bigreadersite, September 3

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize that includes winner’s choice of one of the two attached mugs, winner’s choice of a print or kindle copy of Toby’s Troubles and a tote bag!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c2/toby-s-troubles-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Chaos: In the Blink of an Eye by Patrick Higgins

About the Book

Book Title: Chaos: In the Blink of an Eye
Author: Patrick Higgins
Genre: Christian Mystery/Suspense
Release date: September, 2015


It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. More than 100,000 fans were jammed inside Michigan Stadium, on their feet, to witness a heated football rivalry that had spanned more than 100 years. As the football was kicked into the snow-filled sky, they were about to get the shock of their lives, as long-foretold Bible prophecy came to pass before their very eyes, causing many to vanish into thin air without a trace.

But what they soon realized was that it reached far beyond Michigan Stadium. Chaos of unimaginable proportions ensued worldwide. Shock, fear and panic filled each heart and mind. It was just the beginning of things to come, as life as humanity had known it was forever changed in the blink of an eye…

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This short prequel gave an introduction to several characters from various walks of life, in different locales.  Many of them were brought together just before the disappearances occurred.  The characters were all different, and mostly likable..  This prequel gives a good introduction to the Chaos series, and it makes me wonder what would happen next to the characters.

I received a copy of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Patrick Higgins is the author of The Pelican Trees, Coffee In Manila, the award-winning The Unannounced Christmas Visitor, and the award-winning prophetic end-times series, Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye. While the stories he writes all have different themes and take place in different settings, the one thread that links them all together is his heart for Jesus and his yearning for the lost.

With that in mind, it is his wish that the message his stories convey will greatly impact each reader, by challenging you not only to contemplate life on this side of the grave, but on the other side as well. After all, each of us will spend eternity at one of two places, based solely upon a single decision which must be made this side of the grave. That decision will be made crystal clear to each reader of his books.

Higgins is currently writing many other books, both fiction and non-fiction, including a sequel to Coffee In Manila, which will shine a bright, sobering light on the diabolical human trafficking industry.
Guest Post from Patrick Higgins

What started the Chaos in the Blink of an Eye series for me stems from my deep love of sports, which, I admit has diminished considerably over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy watching and attending sporting events whenever I have the time. But these days I view them from an entirely different perspective than when I wore a younger man’s face and displayed a weaker man’s faith in God.

This slow but gradual shrinking away started soon after the Lord impressed upon my heart that the fastest growing religion in America, and the world for that matter, wasn’t Christianity or Islam, but “sports.”  Every day of the week—including Sundays—millions of fans fill stadiums and arenas (or shall I say cathedrals?) worldwide to worship their heroes.

Whatever the sport, fans show up in droves to cheer on mere mortals as if they were gods. When their teams win life is good. When they lose life is miserable.

As a once-guilty participant for many years, I should know.

The passion most fans have for their favorite players and sports teams is the same passion they should have in pursuing the One who saw their unformed bodies from the foundations of the world, the very One who knit them together inside their mothers’ wombs.

Tragically, this is not the case. Hence, the reason for the CHAOS series. The sporting event chosen for this story was the famed Michigan-Ohio State college football rivalry.

Prior to writing the prequel, I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the game. I admit I was just as caught up in the mass hysteria as everyone else. It was impossible not to be swept up into the vortex that had completely engulfed the vibrant college town.

The energy was quite palpable. So much so that I had to remind myself more than once that I was there to research and observe everything connected to the game, then put it all into words for my readers. The sporting event itself was secondary.

Though the prequel initially centers on the football game, in no way is this a sports series. This will become quite clear to you when Bible prophecy comes to pass inside Michigan Stadium, and many vanish into thin air, leaving everyone still inside the stadium utterly panic-stricken.

It was just the beginning of things to come, as life as humanity had known it was forever changed in the blink of an eye…

Enjoy reading…

Blog Stops

To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d0a3/chaos-in-the-blink-of-an-eye-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Book Review with a Giveaway: A Promise Forged by Cara Putnam


About the Book

Book Title: A Promise Forged
Author: Cara Putman
Genre: World War 2 Romance
Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017


Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.
A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:

Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long roadtrips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.

Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.

When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Kat was just a girl who wanted to play ball.  Jack, unable to serve in the armed forces, worked as a reporter for a local paper, until he could get something better.  I loved how Kat was so focused on doing her best for the team and honoring the Lord in doing so.  She was spunky and fun, and knew how to work the crowd.  Yet she was humble and did not seek the spotlight.  It took me a while to be able to trust Jack, but he eventually proved himself.

It was fun being an insider to the All-American Girls Softball League, but it was eye-opening to see what a challenging job that was.

If you're familiar with the movie A League of Their Own, you will appreciate this book.  It's great for anyone who wants to learn more about America's favorite pastime, the WWII era, and experience a little romance in the midst of it.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com.

Guest Post from Cara


Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.

And I started thinking.

What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?

And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?

I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.

He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.

As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.

A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

History, Mystery & Faith, August 4
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 4
Among the Reads, August 4
The Power of Words, August 4
C Jane Read, August 5
The Christian Fiction Girl, August 5
Christian Bookaholic, August 5
Texas Book-aholic, August 5
Reading Is My SuperPower, August 6
Genesis 5020, August 6
lady ansel book vibes, August 6
Kat’s Corner Books, August 7
Carpe Diem, August 7
proud to be an autism mom, August 7
Janices book reviews, August 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8
A Baker’s Perspective, August 8
Blossoms and Blessings, August 8
Mary Hake, August 8
By The Book, August 9
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 10
Lighthouse Academy, August 10
Remembrancy, August 10
Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 10
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 11
100 Pages per Hour, August 11
Luv’N Lambert Life, August 11
Bigreadersite, August 11
Godly Book Reviews, August 12
Cafinated Reads, August 12
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 12
A Reader’s Brain, August 13
a good book and cup of tea, August 13
Book by Book, August 13
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14
Maureen’s Musings, August 14
Daysong Reflections, August 14
The Morning Chapter, August 15
amandainpa, August 15
Inklings and notions, August 15
Connie’s History Classroom, August 16
All 4 and About Books, August 16
Bibliophile Reviews, August 16
Pause for Tales, August 17
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 17
For the Love of Books, August 17

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Argosy Junction by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Book Title: Argosy Junction
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance
Release date: 1st edition: March 11, 2010 ; 2nd edition: August, 2018


“I want nothing to do with Jesus or God.”

After over twenty years of abuses from the cult-like church she grew up in, Lane Argosy has had it with God and His people. Though the Brethren try to make Lane and her family’s lives unbearable, freedom from their warped brand of Christianity is sweet. She’ll never go back… never.

He just wanted to visit the country he’d explored through books. So, when Matt Rushby arrives in Argosy Junction, Montana, he expects idyllic meadows and craggy rocks towering above, old-fashioned friendliness and at least one or two cowboys. Instead, he finds familiar hatred and factions very much like the ones back home in Rockland’s inner-city gangs.

The Argosy family is disillusioned, broken, and floundering. Matt knows the answer is Jesus—just Him and not the trappings of a faith He never designed.

But how can Matt help them turn their hearts back to the Lord when he suspects Lane has stolen his?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

When different worlds collide, will Matt and Lane find any way to make their love work?

It's a theme we've seen before-city boy meets county girl.  But when it's given to readers by Chautona Havig, it is hilarious, heart-wrenching, and hopeful.  Havig's story was full of believable characters whose struggle was real.  It didn't take long for me to love Matt, and then he delightfully surprised me throughout the book.  Lane and her family were delicious characters as well.  I wanted to hang out with them.

And oh!  the plot twists!  The things that happened to the characters I love!

One of the most endearing qualities of this book was the correspondence between the characters.  It was delightful and pulled the plot along uniquely.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author





The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.








Guest Post from Chautona

What Do You Do When the Church Becomes Toxic?


You know how TV shows and movies like to make fun of bridezillas?

Yeah. I know. It can be funny.

But bridezillas aren’t just those gals on reality shows. They’re all over the church, too. People who allow their focus to get off the Bridegroom and onto “their day.” Instead of focusing on the One who loves them so dearly, Who has rescued them from the gutter and holds them close and tenderly, they focus on getting all the trappings right. The right wording, the right clothes, the right rules of…

UGH.

So many friendships have been ruined by a bride gone wild—so focused on details that she forgets the people she hopes will celebrate it with her. She forgets her groom. Unreasonable expectations of the day and of people lead to broken relationships and an ugly taint to what should be a beautiful occasion.

What I find interesting is that people will forgive a lot from a bridezilla. You hear things like, “Well, it’s such a stressful time,” or “She’ll come around after she settles in.”

And it’s true.

So, why don’t we have the same grace for the “bridezillas” of the church? When that deacon decides to become judge and jury of people’s spiritual state based upon what he thinks or knows someone has contributed to the church, why do we write off him and the rest of the congregation (or all congregations out there)? When the church gossip shares private information… or even false information, why do we lash out with thinly-veiled, passive-aggressive rants on Facebook about brutes in the church before flouncing off in a spiritually-superior rejection of that “religious nightmare, otherwise known as the church?” (Yes, I’ve heard it called that).

When we’re blackballed by people who used to call us family, why do we reject all parts of the bride? Why do we cut off an arm, a leg, a hand, and whack away from the body known as Jesus’ bride until only a piece of an eyelash is left—us?

I get it. The bride of Christ gets ugly—like many bridezillas do. But do we love our Groom? Do we trust that He will stay faithful to us even when parts of our body fails us? When we get old, frail, and forgetful, will He remember us? Will He stay faithful and true when we wander to other loves? Can we trust that?

If Jesus can die for that person in the pew across the way, if He can forgive their sins, if He can forgive your sins, can’t you forgive His beloved?

Look, I get it. Sometimes part of the body of Christ becomes ill—gangrenous. Toxic.

When that happens, you need to remove yourself before you become ill, too. I get that. But that local body is just a tiny finger or toe of the whole body. We need to do what we can to help the rest of the body stay healthy while we pray and do what we can to help the sick part.

And I’m not condoning sin. Please understand that. This isn’t about me saying, “It doesn’t matter if the church sins against us. It does. It’s why Jesus gave us a way to deal with that.

But regardless of how someone else behaves, we still have to do what’s right. And I Peter 4:8 reminds us that “Love covers a multitude of sins.”

If you thought I’d wax eloquent about how evil the church is, how we should just abolish the “institution,” and why it’s just so bad…

You’ll be disappointed. I won’t do it.

So, What Do You Do When the Church Becomes Toxic?

I can answer the question in a word.

Love.

And really, that’s all Matt does in this book. Loves. Okay, and maybe a little prayerful ranting as well.

It’s what Jesus did when His creation—you and me—when we became toxic. He loved.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

Blog Stops


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 7
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 7
The Power of Words, August 8
Bigreadersite, August 8
Among the Reads, August 9
Multifarious, August 10
Blogging With Carol, August 11
proud to be an autism mom, August 12
A Baker’s Perspective, August 12
Texas Book-aholic, August 13
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 14
Janices book reviews, August 15
Maureen’s Musings, August 16
Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 17
Bibliophile Reviews, August 18
Carpe Diem, August 19
Godly Book Reviews, August 20

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package that includes a paperback copy of Argosy Junction, “Matt’s” copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and a $25 gift certificate!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d143/argosy-junction-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, July 23, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Revealed by Elaine Manders

About the Book

Title: Revealed
Author: Elaine Manders
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: December 27, 2018


Nothing can be hidden that won’t be revealed.

When her father dies, Katherine Levinson discovers her parents have kept secrets that render her happy childhood a farce. She and her gravely ill mother face eviction, and she has no choice but to appeal to the brother she’s never seen, the famous cattle baron, Rhyan Cason. Over her gravely ill mother’s objections, they move to Nebraska and the sprawling cattle ranch, Sollano.

Instead of the warm welcome Katherine expects, she and her mother are met with whispers and scorn in the little prairie town near Sollano. Gradually, the sins of her parents’ past surface, and Katherine begins to doubt her very identify. With her brother busy with cattle rustlers and her mother too ill to be bothered, Katherine turns to Colt Holliman, a soft-spoken neighboring rancher, for comfort.

Tired of waiting for the right woman to come along, Colt has promised to wait for Charley Ryder, an acclaimed female sharp shooter and equestrian acrobat with the Wild West Show, but it’s becoming clear Charley loves the show more than him. As his attraction to Katherine grows, he finds himself spiritually conflicted. How can he break from past commitments and follow his heart?

Then unexpected danger strikes, testing Katherine’s and Colt’s faith in God—and each other.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Cowboys, cattle rustlers, and Stetsons.

There was much to like about this book.  As a western, the setting, characters, and plot were all in harmony.  The plot kept moving with plenty of action throughout the story.  The dialog was realistic and believable.  The characters faced hardships with grace.

This was the third book in a series, and it is helpful to have read the previous books before this one, but the author included just enough background information so that it could stand on its own.  

If you are looking for an-action-packed western romance, I recommend this book.  It is a solid read.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lite, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. Her stories twist, turn, and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She grew up a small town country girl and now lives in Central Georgia with her fur baby. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, crafts, and spending time with her family.








Guest Post from Elaine Manders

My Backstory

Intrigue under Western Skies Series, Book 3
Revealed

Back when I watched television, drama series were my favorite—Little House of the Prairie, the Waltons, the Virginian. I was caught up in the lives of these characters and looked forward to seeing what they were up to each week. For much the same reason, I enjoy writing episodic series.

Intrigue under Western Skies, a blended genre, historical romantic suspense series falls in this category. Some of the characters show up in every book, with new ones added along the way. But the books can be read out of sequence since each one has a different premise and plot.
In Revealed, Book 3 of Intrigue under Western Skies, I wanted to give Colt Holliman, previously introduced as a secondary character, his own HEA. Also, it seemed the time to reveal what happened to Rhyan Cason’s mother, the woman who’d caused so much angst in the first two books. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to introduce Katherine, the sister he never knew existed.

Unexpectedly, my research led me to the history of show business, and how it developed through the Wild West shows of the nineteenth century. From that, a mystery evolved.

The spiritual thread running through Revealed explores the emotions of a young woman who discovers blood relatives have been hidden from her. Can she accept and love her new family and forgive the sins of her parents?

Maybe the greatest insight I gained from writing Revealed is that one can never trust his own heart without first trusting God.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 17
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 17
The Avid Reader, July 18
Moments Dipped in Ink, July 18
Remembrancy, July 19
A Baker’s Perspective, July 19
The Christian Fiction Girl, July 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 20
Mary Hake, July 20
Connie’s History Classroom, July 21
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, July 21
Bibliophile Reviews, July 22
proud to be an autism mom, July 22
A Reader’s Brain, July 23
100 Pages per Hour, July 23
Daysong Reflections, July 24
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 24
Maureen’s Musings, July 25
Two Points of Interest, July 25
Inklings and notions, July 26
Texas Book-aholic, July 26
cherylbbookblog, July 27
Pause for Tales, July 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 27
Karen Sue Hadley, July 28
Janices book reviews, July 28
Henry Happens, July 29
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 29
Bigreadersite, July 29
Godly Book Reviews, July 30
The Morning Chapter, July 30
For The Love of Books, July 30

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee6/revealed-celebration-tour-giveaway