Synapse Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Synapse FB banner About the Book

Book: Synapse

Author: Steven James

Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Release Date: October 8, 2019

cover SynapseThirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe. Is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking—and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Life is so precious and brief and fleeting, and… experiencing all that it has to offer without despairing at its brevity truly did lie at its heart.”
Wow, what an incredible and powerful sci-fi thriller from Steven James! This is the first book by the author I have read and I am stunned by his creativity, his flawless execution of a detailed and complex plot, and his seamless and emotion-packed writing style that grips you from page one and doesn’t let go. The philosophical, spiritual, and social questions and dilemmas the author raises through an intensely personal look at a world 30 years into the future, where artificial intelligence is so advanced to look human, will linger days after you finish the book. This thought-provoking novel about the essence of human-ness – addressing grief and suffering, faith and hope, love and forgiveness, and the afterlife – will resonate with everyone, not just fans of sci-fi or thrillers. It is one of the most captivating and stirring novels of 2019 and an absolute must-read.
The story is written in multiple points of view:
1) first person narrative from Kestrel, a Methodist pastor suffering from losing her daughter
2) third person present omniscient narrative from Jordan, Kestrel’s artificial companion and
3) third person narratives from Nick, the police officer tracking down domestic terrorists, and a couple of the villains/terrorists working to violently destroy the next innovation
The multiple points of view bring the plot together on a larger scale and enhance the reading experience rather than confuse or detract. The three major characters Kestrel, Nick, and Jordan are multi-layered and well-developed and their interactions truly tug at the heart-strings. Who would have thought that interaction between an artificial intelligence and a human would bring tears? But be prepared. Jordan is nothing like any robot you’ve met and he WILL make you cry.
I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

stevenjamesSteven James is the critically acclaimed, national bestselling author of sixteen novels. His work has been optioned by ABC Studios and praised by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books, and many others. His pulse-pounding, award-winning thrillers are known for their intricate storylines and insightful explorations of good and evil.  When he’s not working on his next book, he’s either teaching master classes on writing throughout the country, trail running, or sneaking off to catch a matinee.

 

More from Steven

“James is a pro at creating suspense.”

Criminal Element

 

“stimulating tale…thrilling story of greed and corruption”

Publishers Weekly STARRED review

 

Read my op-ed on robots and faith in the New York Times

 

I grew up reading and loving science fiction stories. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of artificial intelligence, but as I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized that our lives are not based just on what we know, but also what we believe. So, I started asking myself, “What would the world look like if machines developed artificial belief?” Within a few decades, advanced AIs might very well have consciousness and self-awareness. At that point, what will they choose to believe about the meaning of live, God, and the afterlife?

All of these questions were in my mind as I wrote Synapse, a story that takes place 30 years from now in a world very much like our own. This is a cautionary tale with implications that are both chilling and revealing and I think that if you like suspense, you’ll love this near-future thriller.

Steven

Learn more at stevenjames.net

Facebook and Twitter: @readstevenjames

Buy the book: https://www.tnzfiction.com/synapse-a-novel/

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 8

Just Your Average reviews, October 9

Emily Yager, October 9

amandainpa , October 10

Wishful Endings, October 10

Just the Write Escape, October 11

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 11

Pause for Tales, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

For The Love of Books, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Hallie Reads, October 15

Blogging With Carol, October 15

Remembrancy, October 16

Through the Fire Blogs, October 16

Simple Harvest Reads, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 18

janicesbookreviews, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 21

By The Book, October 21

Once Upon a Christmas Review & Giveaway

Once Upon A Christmas Facebook Banner

About the Book

Book: Once Upon A Christmas

Author: Andrea Boyd, Mikal Dawn, Toni Shiloh, Angela Ruth Strong, Jaycee Weaver

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 1, 2019

PrintEmbrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.

Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.

Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.

A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.

Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.

A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What a fabulous collection of modern-day fairy tale retellings set around Christmas time! Even if you’ve never heard of the authors in this collection, you should rush out to get this book if you’re a fan of fairy tale retellings. Each novella is well-written and absolutely delightful. A couple of the authors are new to me and I really enjoyed the introduction to their writing.
Andrea Boyd spins a fascinating retelling of Sleeping Beauty in Upon A Dream, complete with interesting “fairy godmother” aunts, a lively production of Sleeping Beauty on stage, and an obscure medical condition. It reads like a full-length novel with a detailed plot and well-developed characters.
Mikal Dawn plunges into the world of corporate law in Claim My Heart to cleverly recreate Mulan in the heart of Seattle during a hostile takeover. It’s definitely a laugh-out-loud kind of romantic comedy, filled with funny scenes and tender relationships as Colin and Li find their purpose as attorneys.
Toni Shiloh’s A Snow White Christmas brings together an isolated and lonely heiress with a mountain doctor and his seven vertically-challenged uncles. It’s a fun spin on Snow White with well-crafted plot details and lovable characters to make the story feel complete.
Angela Ruth Strong takes Cinderella and sets the story in the midst of a reality TV show production with different twists to the traditional storyline thrown into the plot along the way. A very cute story with lots of fun secondary characters and backstories that surface.
Jaycee Weaver brings Little Mermaid to life in a Las Vegas casino as two family-owned businesses work to expand their prospective clientele reach. It’s a very cute rendition of the classic fairytale and has quite a few lines from the Disney movie intermingled into the story. The first person perspective is different from the other novellas in the collection and works well as the wonders, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of New Mexico are unwrapped through the first person.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Authors

AndreaBoydAndrea Boyd Author–
Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at www.andreaboyd11.com.

 

MikalDawnMikal Dawn Author
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at www.mikaldawn.com.

 

option2Toni Shiloh Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

 

 

Angela Ruth Strong AuthorAngelaRuthStrong
Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon bestsellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Visit her at www.angelaruthstrong.com.

 

JayceeWeaver smallJaycee Weaver Author 
Jaycee Weaver is a wife, mother, and substitute teacher living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jaycee writes contemporary Christian romance with lifelike characters in everyday situations who always get their happy ending. Visit her at www.jayceeweaver.com.

 

More from the Authors

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Once Upon a Christmas. We are so excited to bring you this Christmas collection. All of us had a lot of fun writing it as we delved into the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid.

What we discovered when writing is that in the heart of every girl is the desire to be a princess. Now, I’m not talking about dressing up in a beautiful gown and wearing a crown while twirling around (although I, Toni, admit I would do that in a heartbeat). No, we discovered that in the heart of every girl (sister, mom, daughter, etc) is the desire to be loved and accepted.

Can Talia find someone who can accept all of her, including her health issues? Can Amala find someone who will love her for her and not her money? Can Li find acceptance for who she truly is and not the façade she presents? Will Ella find a familial kind of love? And Gabrielle, can she find a love so powerful that all her dreams will come true?

As the heroines of our stories journey down their path to love and acceptance, they all come to realize a deep-seated truth. They are loved. They are princesses. They have a love of a King who laid down His life for theirs. A King who is preparing a home for them. A King who sees who they truly are and loves them without hesitation.

As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.

Blessings,

Andrea, Mikal, Toni, Angela, and Jaycee

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 2

Back Porch Reads , October 2

Activating Faith, October 2

A Baker’s Perspective, October 3

Genesis 5020, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Just Your Average reviews, October 4

Through the Fire Blogs, October 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife , October 5

Quiet Quilter, October 6

Blogging With Carol , October 6

Stories By Gina , October 7

Batya’s Bits, October 7

Cordially Barbara, October 7

Melissa Henderson, October 8

Connect In Fiction, October 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 9

A Diva’s Heart , October 9

A Reader’s Brain, October 10

Maureen’s Musings, October 10

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 10

Remembrancy, October 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 11

For Him and My Family, October 12

She Lives to Read, October 12

Inklings and notions , October 13

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 13

Blossoms and Blessings, October 13

Simple Harvest Reads, October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 15

janicesbookreviews, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Once Upon a Christmas authors are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!

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/ed0e/once-upon-a-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Key to Dreaming Again Q&A with Rick Unruh

The Key to Dreaming Again FB Banner About the Book

Book: The Key to Dreaming Again

Author: Rick Unruhkey to dreaming again

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational

Release Date: July 10, 2019

“We parked our car in front of Yankton’s Federal Prison Camp and walked through the doors of the control center. ‘I’m Rick Unruh, and I’m here to self-surrender,’ I told the corrections officer. There is no way I could comprehend what those words would mean over course of the next year, as God would begin a new work in me.”

Born and raised in a small town in Kansas, Rick Unruh was called to be in the ministry. But when he lost his mother to cancer despite her unwavering faith that God would heal her, it planted seeds of doubt in his heart. He served as a traveling evangelist for years but later faded away from the ministry.

He and his wife lost their house in a fire, but a year later, far worse pain was ahead when they[dori1] , lost their twelve-year-old son in an ATV accident. Just when it seemed there was hope and recovery ahead, Rick was blindsided by a federal investigation into a mortgage consulting group he’d been involved with. He was eventually charged and then sentenced to over a year in prison, embarrassed and sure that God was done with him this time. But God wasn’t finished.

This book is a testament to the God who restores us and allows us to dream again—if we will only surrender ourselves to him.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Rick Unruh

What inspired this book?

Traveling and sharing my testimony, I was continually asked about a book because I can only hit a highlights of the book and can’t get into details or what’s going on behind the scene.  This book gave me a platform to share the utter heartbreak and the victories.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

Chapter 10, Takotsubo – Broken Heart.  I share about the loss of our son.  When I am traveling I share our story about the loss of our son and it is always painful, it always brings a few tears, but I am on the subject for a few minutes and then moving on in my message.

But to go back and write about it, I was re-living every detail of that dreadful night.  Then having to keep editing it was tough each time I had to work on it.  One morning my wife walked into my office and casually asked what I was working on, I simply pointed to all the used Kleenex on my desk and she says “the Landon chapter” and quietly walks out.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

PS 34:17,18

17    When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears

and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18    The Lord is near to the brokenhearted

and saves the crushed in spirit.

It is a promise that brings comfort that God hears us when we cry for help and a promise that he will deliver us.

He is near the brokenhearted (takotsubo).  Losing a child is clearly breaking your heart.  I remember so many times saying, God I don’t feel you close by, but you said you hear my cry and you are close to the brokenhearted and my heart is clearly broken and I need to know you are close, even when I don’t feel it.

Faith is standing on a promise, not a feeling.  I desperately wanted to feel Him close, but I had to trust that He was close and he still had a plan!

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

The ocean.  There is such peace there and you can see God’s beauty.  But I also sit there at times and see the ocean as life and wave after wave tried to break me and it definitely came close, but God was faithful and brought peace in the troubled waters.  Now, I see the waves coming as I sit there, but I don’t fear them because I know God is in control and I can enjoy the moment and feel close to God!

Thank you Rick for your time in letting us get to know you better!

About the Author

Rick Unruh is a US MAPS missionary and is the founder of Dream Again Ministry. He holds a master’s degree in counseling from Logos University (Jacksonville, FL), with a special interest in grief ministry. He lives in Kansas with his wife, Tamela, and travels the country sharing his Dream Again testimony, a message of hope and finding our purpose. He recently added workshops for the church, helping them understand and minister to the grieving. Rick also recruits full-time missionaries to serve with MAPS.

 

More from Rick

I actually wrote the first chapter of my book in 2011 and then it just sat there until December of 2018.  I continually have had people ask me to write a book about my story, since I travel nearly every weekend sharing my story.   I could just never get the desire or focus to finish it.  After writing it, I realized, that I was hesitating because I didn’t want to go back to some of those places and dig deep, stirring painful emotions, just to write about them.  I would feel the anxiety building as I was getting closer to those moments. There is great healing in writing, but the early process of writing this book caused me to shed many tears.  But, if it can help others who are struggling with the loss of a loved one or a major setback in life, and bring hope and encouragement, then it has all been worth it.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture.com, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 14

Betti Mace, September 15

Spoken from the Heart, September 16

Older & Smarter?, September 17

Genesis 5020, September 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Blossoms and Blessings, September 21 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, September 21

janicesbookreviews, September 22

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

Just the Write Escape, September 24

Inklings and notions , September 25

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Rick is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a eBook 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/eb9b/the-key-to-dreaming-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Strands of Truth Review from Mindy Houng

Strands of Truth FB BanerAbout the Book

Book: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: September 10, 2019

cover Strands of TruthHarper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

 

Click here to get your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

I have read quite a few of Colleen Coble’s books and loved many of them, but this book is my favorite so far. The author is well-known for her complex plot, heart-pounding suspense, the gasp-inducing “that’s who the villain is?” moment, easy-to-read writing, and deeply layered characters. She doesn’t skimp on any of these in this book for sure. If you enjoy fast-moving romantic suspense that will suck you in from page one, you will totally love this book.
The book opens with a flashback and the flashbacks are peppered throughout the book to coincide with the current day investigations so that the readers are more aware of the meaning and importance behind what Harper and Ridge find. Though Harper and Ridge have been at odds since teenage years, they must pull together their resources and wits to try to figure out how the attacks on Ridge’s father who is also Harper’s mentor and champion, the attacks on Harper herself, and the attacks on Harper’s newly found half sister Annabelle may be related. The plot is so well-crafted and well-executed that confusion with all the different information and dead ends leads slowly to understanding as strands of truth are pulled out from the muddy past and laid out to be seen without causing frustration on the reader’s part because things don’t seem to make sense at first. I’m not sure if this book is a stand alone or a part of a series but I would love to read more about Ridge’s sister Willow and Harper’s nephew Scott!
I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

colleen-coble-headshot-smallColleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

 

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under? 

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3

Inspired by fiction, September 3

EmpowerMoms, September 3

Blogging With Carol, September 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

My Devotional Thoughts, September 4

Christian bookaholic, September 4

KarenSueHadley , September 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

Susan Cornwell, September 5

Inside the Wong Mind, September 5

Godly Book Reviews, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 6

Emily Yager, September 6

Older & Smarter?, September 6

Blessed & Bookish, September 6

Andrea Christenson, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Avid Reader Nurse, September 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7

The Becca Files, September 8

Blossoms and Blessings, September 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Spoken from the Heart, September 9

Betti Mace, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9

Moments, September 10

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10

For Him and my Family, September 10

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11

SusanLovesBooks, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Worthy2Read, September 12

Just the Write Escape, September 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12

Bigreadersite , September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

As He Leads is Joy, September 13

Livin’ Lit, September 13

To Everything A Season, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

For The Love of Books , September 14

Living Life Free In Christ, September 14

A Reader’s Brain, September 15

Quiet Quilter , September 15

Hallie Reads, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions , September 16

By The Book, September 16

Real World Bible Study, September 16

Patiently Waiting, September 16

Surf Smugglers Review and Giveaway

Surf Smugglers FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Surf Smugglers

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 15, 2019

Surf Smugglers CoverIn the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.

Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.

Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the third book in Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series and the three books should be read in order since the sequels start off immediately where the previous book ends. This book follows the lives of Anna and her daughter Katy as Anna continues on as the chief of the town’s newspaper and Katy works as the owner of a dress shop in the small Oregonian coastal town of Sunset Cove. Rum running in 1917 is still rampant in Sunset Cove as the country prepares to enter WWI and politics run hot. All the characters from the previous two books return to propel the plot forward and they stay true to character even as they mature. Anna and Katy both have romances that bloom and other social issues of the day like racism are addressed in the book. The plot moved a bit slowly for me this time around but those who enjoy historical fiction will surely enjoy this entire series.
I received a copy of the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

More from Melody

My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.

Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!

Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.

Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.

By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.

I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, August 31

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Among the Reads, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 1

Through the Fire Blogs, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Just the Write Escape, September 3

Patiently Waiting, September 3

Blogging With Carol , September 3

CarpeDiem, September 4

Betti Mace, September 4

Christian Bookaholic , September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

Wishful Endings, September 5

Remembrancy, September 5

Maureen’s Musings, September 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 6

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 7

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker, September 7

Connie’s history classroom , September 8

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Hallie Reads, September 8

Moments, September 9

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9

FOR THE LOVE of Books , September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Pause for Tales, September 10

To Everything A Season, September 10

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Older & Smarter?, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 12

janicesbookreviews, September 13

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

Inklings and notions , September 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!

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/e982/surf-smugglers-celebration-tour-giveaway

Beautiful in His Sight Review and Giveaway

Beautiful in his Sight FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Beautiful In His Sight

Author: April W. Gardner

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: May 11, 2019

Beautiful in His SightIt’s 1917, and Halifax is at war. Silas Quinn, street sweeper and army reject, remains on the home front, shunning God and society as religiously as they shun him. But the night he stumbles across a half-frozen prostitute, his eyes blink open, and his greater purpose is born: preserve and protect.

There’d been a day when shop girl Helen Fraser was desperate enough to believe a few nights in a brothel would cure her troubles. By some miracle, Major Jack Gordon deemed her worth saving, but Helen knows her meticulously recreated identity cannot last. What she doesn’t expect is for its destruction to come about, not by an old john or one of the madam’s goons, but by a force great enough to flatten a city and bury her alive.

Set against the backdrop of the Halifax Explosion, Beautiful in His Sight is a Christian historical romance that explores unequivocal grace and identity in Christ.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Today, the Voice of the Holy Christ, compelling and painfully tender, drowned it all in the well of His shed blood, leaving only the reminder of a ceaseless love.”
This is the first book by April Gardner that I have read and it is indeed a very interesting and fascinating book centered around Halifax, Nova Scotia explosion in 1917. In the midst of WWI, Helen, a broken woman with a past, tries her best to build a new life with innate compassion, tenderness, love, and generosity. Silas, an immigrant from Ireland, also has a broken past and a heap of guilt which have him sweeping the streets and living like a beggar when he’s a skilled woodworker. Silas is faithful, loyal, compassionate, determined, and extremely kind. The story starts out the day of the explosion and then backtracks to when Silas and Helen first meet and then returns to the day of the explosion and moves forward. Silas’ faithful and unwavering love for Helen is so beautiful and touching; his faithful and humble following of his Lord’s leading is inspiring. Silas is an unlikely hero, but a real hero he is.
The themes of forgiveness, redemption, and true and abiding love are woven so intimately throughout the plot and are quite uplifting. The story, though, moved slowly for my taste and the book felt a bit long. Though it didn’t completely resonate with me, you may enjoy this historical fiction as so many other Christian fiction readers and bloggers have.
I received a copy of the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

April headshotAPRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

April loves to hear from her readers at: aprilgardnerwrites@gmail.com

 

More from April

The Story Behind the Story

My novels are never purely fiction. They are stories constructed around truth, around some segment of the past that’s both stunning and stunningly forgotten. My latest novel, Beautiful in His Sight, is set during the Halifax Explosion, a WW1 event little known in most of the world. For those in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in December of 1917, it literally shattered their world.

That’s the setting we find my characters Silas and Helen struggling to survive, but—as in every good romance—love (and God’s grace!) brings them through.

 

The Story Behind the Setting

By December 1917, Halifax had passed tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors through its railyard and onto the naval vessels in its harbor. With the military came the prostitutes who migrated in droves to the slums. It’s reported that some days, the only passengers disembarking from the trains were women in short skirts. Slumdom’s seams overflowed with carnality, public drunkenness, and solicitations. Prostitution wasn’t the only job to be had for women. With so many men wearing army green, ladies of the proper class and training stepped behind registers and bookkeeping desks and kept Halifax running.

This is the world in which we find our female lead, Helen Fraser, a reformed prostitute desperately trying to start over as a salesclerk.

 

The Story Behind the Explosion

As Silas, the story’s male lead, puts it, the explosion was “a tragic accident, a miscommunication between passing ships.” In short, it was a dozen small decisions that accumulated to one very horrific event. The collision and blast released the equivalent energy of 2.9 kilotons of TNT and instantly obliterated everything within a half-mile radius. The munitions vessel that exploded, the Mont Blanc, rained iron shrapnel all over Halifax. Its 1,160-ton anchor landed 2.5 miles away where it can still be found today.

The numbers: Over 2,000 deaths. Over 1,000 injuries. Almost 300 blinded.

 

The Story Behind the Name

The name Helen Fraser (female lead) is an honoring nod to Helen Clark, a courageous young woman who survived the explosion. This is her story.

Helen Clark, age eight, was beginning her school day at St. Joseph’s when she felt something disturbing. “Like thunder was taking place alongside of you,” she later said, “instead of up in the sky.” She looked to the window and gaped at the glass bowing inward. She flung her arms over her face and ducked an instant before it blew in. Then, in her words, “The ceiling above gave way at one corner and down two sides of the room, hanging like the flap of a great envelope and spilling out children from the room above.”

A nun grabbed her arm and said, “My heavenly God, the Germans have arrived! Get down on your knees girls.” In lieu of prayer, Helen wrenched away and jumped out the second-story window, narrowly missing the debris that, in the next moment, struck and killed the nun. A snow mound broke Helen’s fall. Suddenly very tired, she laid down right there, feeling no cold or pain, and went to sleep.

Eventually, two men approached to see if she was dead. Though she couldn’t speak, she managed to get to her feet. They straightened the bow on the top of her head and told her to go home if she had one to go to. The blood crusted over her eyes limited her vision, but she shambled along best she could, recognizing nothing. She knew her street only by the change to cobblestones under her feet, and her grandmother recognized her only by the bow in her hair.

Quick-thinking and bold, little Helen avoided both death and blindness, and I’m honored to name my heroine after her.

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9

Emily Yager, September 10

Betti Mace, September 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11

Avid Reader Nurse, September 11

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 13

Connie’s History Classroom, September 14

JosephineAnneWrites, September 14

For Him and My Family, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 16

A Reader’s Brain, September 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 17

Inklings and notions, September 18

CarpeDiem, September 19

Through the Fire Blogs, September 20

Bigreadersite , September 20

Inspired by fiction, September 21

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

janicesbookreviews, September 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, April is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of her 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/ec01/beautiful-in-his-sight-celebration-tour-giveaway

State of Lies Book Review

state of lies FB bannerAbout the Book

Book: State of Lies

Author: Siri Mitchell

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: August 13, 2019

State of liesMonths after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.

 

Click here to grab your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Siri Mitchell I have read and I am completely blown away! I’ve heard great things about her historical fiction and was quite curious about her venture into the world of suspense. For fans of contemporary suspense, this book is not to be missed!
The book flows seamlessly from Georgie’s first person point of view as the young physicist finds herself suddenly widowed. In the midst of her grief, she finds strange clues into her deceased husband’s work life as a historian at the Pentagon and personal life prior to their meeting, courtship, and marriage. Georgie’s father, a four-star army general, is on the brink of being appointed the Secretary of Defense as Georgie and her son’s lives get turned upside down once again as Georgie follows these clues to something unknown but certainly sinister. The plot has plenty of twists and turns in a nail-biting kind of atmosphere that will suck you right into Georgie’s world.
I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

SIRI-MITCHELL_headshotSiri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant. Visit her online at sirimitchell.com; Facebook: SiriMitchell; Twitter: @SiriMitchell.

 

More from Siri

A Sense of Place

I’m so excited about the release of State of Lies! Among the many reasons for my excitement is the fact that I set the story in my own home town: Arlington, VA. Here are some things you might not know about Arlington:

 

  1. Arlington was originally included within the borders of Washington, DC.
  2. Arlington isn’t actually a city – it’s a county. We’re the smallest self-governing county in the nation.
  3. Arlington regularly takes the top spot as the most educated place in the country.
  4. Arlington LOVES books. I count at least a dozen different little libraries in my neighborhood alone.
  5. Our region often has a hurricane warning or two every hurricane season. Can you guess where I’ve seen the longest lines when people start to make last-minute preparations? It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the hardware store. It’s the library! (Why wouldn’t you stock up on books too?)
  6. We host Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon.
  7. We are home to the very first Five Guys hamburger joint location.
  8. We are also home to the headquarters of over a dozen national agencies as well as organizations like Rosetta Stone and Nestlé.
  9. People who attended our high schools include Sandra Bullock, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric, and Patch Adams.
  10. The thing I love most about Arlington? Its people. Countless government contractors members of the federal workforce live here. I number them among my friends and neighbors. I’ve never met a group more dedicated, more informed, or more determined to put their expertise to good use. And guess what? My heroine, Georgie Brennan, is one of them!

 

The Pentagon and Washington, DC

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 20

Among the Reads, August 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 20

Blogging With Carol, August 21

CarpeDiem, August 21

Josephine Anne Writes, August 21

Fiction Aficionado, August 22

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 22

Genesis 5020, August 22

Andrea Christenson, August 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Pause for Tales, August 23

Through the Fire Blogs, August 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 24

Inspired by fiction, August 25

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , August 25

Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

Rebekah Jones, August 26

Betti Mace, August 26

As He Leads is Joy, August 27

Wishful Endings, August 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 27

Moments, August 28

Mary Hake, August 28

Remembrancy, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 29

Simple Harvest Reads, August 29

Hallie Reads, August 30

Bigreadersite , August 30

Living Life Free in Christ, August 30

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

janicesbookreviews, September 1

A Reader’s Brain, September 1

Inklings and notions , September 1

Life of Literature, September 2

Real World Bible Study, September 2

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide Spotlight & Giveaway

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide FB banner About the Book

Book: The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical 

Release Date: July, 2019

The Awakening of Miss AdelaideOrphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare. The Great War—and the Great Influenza—knock, and Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials. 

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

 

Click here to grab your copy!

 

About the Author

Linda Brooks DavisLinda Brooks Davis was born and reared, educated, and married in Texas. Her children and six grandchildren were born in Texas. She devoted the bulk of her 40 years as a special educator in Texas schools. But her mother and grandmother hailed from Oklahoma, the setting for Linda’s 2015 debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, which won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award and the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. Linda continues to write from her home in San Antonio, Texas. She and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church. Linda enjoys chatting with readers through her website www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More from Linda

Awakening Miss Adelaide begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up grim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders.

My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest.

Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork?

Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself.

Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose the name McFarland to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life.

Sometimes research for a novel can feel like digging up bones. In a way, it is.

One such “bone” I got my teeth around and refused to let go was an article in a 1913 edition of Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It described a murder committed in the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. This violent act occurred in connection with an adulterous affair.

Consequently, heightened emotions, lowered common sense, and the control males exerted over females resulted in one man’s murder and the murderer’s acquittal. The “offending” woman’s husband dragged her home kicking and screaming and committed her to a mental asylum for “emotional insanity.”

wondered if the “offending” man had been treated in like manner. Hardly.

How could I NOT include this morass in a novel?

Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care.

With an abundance of love and respect for my great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all.

offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He sees fit. May this story inspired by the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load.

Blog Stops

Bettimace, August 10

Godly Book Reviews, August 10

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 10

Connect in Fiction, August 11

Mary Hake, August 11

Genesis 5020, August 12

Through the Fire Blogs, August 12

For Him and My Family, August 13

Just Your Average reviews, August 13

Life of a traveling wife, August 14

Connie’s History Classroom, August 14

Bigreadersite , August 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 15

Blessed & Bookish, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

CarpeDiem, August 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 18

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 19

Pause for Tales, August 20

For The Love of Books , August 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 21

Texas Book-aholic, August 21

janicesbookreviews, August 22

A Reader’s Brain, August 22

Inklings and notions, August 23

Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/e682/the-awakening-of-miss-adelaide-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Yellow Lantern Review & Giveaway

The Yellow Lantern FB Banner

About the Book

Book: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August, 2019

The Yellow Lattern CoverJosephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

 

Click here to grab your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“How he’d wish that some of those yesterdays would stop creeping into his todays…”
This is the first book by Angie Dicken I have read. It is well-written with a fascinating premise, a plot that contains surprises, main characters who have experienced grief and suffering, and faith woven into the characters’ lives. The atmosphere of the story is eerie with a gothic undertone, set in 1824 Massachusetts, as Josephine gets blackmailed into finding fresh graves that can be dug up and the deceased sold to those conducting “scientific research”. She finds work at a cotton mill as she awaits opportunities and meets the factory manager Braham, who has his own past and prejudices to deal with. Darkness hangs over their lives and the lives of those working at the factory as incidents pile up in the village as well as at the factory and the boarding house where the mill girls live. It is interesting to see how facts regarding grave robbing and dangerous conditions of factory work in early 1800s have been incorporated into the plot line. If you enjoy historical fiction with suspense and intrigue, you will enjoy this book.
I was given a copy of the book by Barbour Publishing as well as via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

AngieDickenAngie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.

 

More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!

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/e71c/the-yellow-lantern-celebration-tour-giveaway

Full Circle Review & Giveaway

Full Circle Celebration Tour BannerAbout the Book

Book: Full Circle

Author: Athena Dean Holtz

Genre: Memoir

Release Date: February 11, 2017

Full Circle CoverAthena’s driving desire for affirmation and attention pulled her away from her family, husband, and children into what she thought would bring happiness. Deceived by Scientology, forays into mysticism, and twelve years in a restrictive and legalistic cult, she lost everything—her marriage, relationships, home, business, money, and reputation.

This is the candid and inspirational story of how her eyes were opened, how God restored what had been lost, and gave her the desires of her heart, including a new love.

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

I have a confession to make – anything about Scientology intrigues me. I am curious as to what the draw is and why people stay. I have watched shows and read articles to see what I can find. You can see how people have been hurt – so many people – and I would love to know how to help them.
I was excited to read a copy of Full Circle by Athena Dean-Holtz because I had met her at Mt Hermon and found her to be a delight to talk to. I was even more excited when I learned more of her story and her connection to Scientology.
The conversational tone of this book made me feel as if I was sitting in Athena’s living room listening to her tell her story. Each chapter has a circular theme that re-inforces the theme Athena is making with the book. At first, it felt disjointed and hard to follow but once I got to the mid-way point and understood what the author was trying to accomplish, it became an easy read.
Being able to see Athena’s story unfold has given me a better understanding of who she is and what the Lord has done in her life.
I was given a copy of Full Circle by Athena Dean Holtz. No compensation was made for this review and all opinions are  my own.

About the Authors

Athena HoltzAthena Dean Holtz has been at the forefront of Christian custom publishing for the last 30 years. The co-founder of WinePress Publishing, she now leads Redemption Press. Author of three previous books, and a highly-rated personal blog, she serves as president of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association, is a president’s club member of the Christian Women in Media Association, and a member of Advanced Writer & Speaker Association. She recently retired as host and interviewer on “Always Faithful Radio,” KCIS, Seattle. Married to Ross Holtz, pastor of The Summit, Athena enjoys her grandchildren and time spent sailing. The couple makes their home in Enumclaw, Wash.

Inger J. Logelin is a freelance writer, author, and senior editor of Redemption Press. Ministry experience includes pioneer church planting among the Inuit, and a wilderness camp for First Nations youth of Canada, as well as short-term missions around the world. She and her husband make their home on Whidbey Island, Wash.

 

More from Athena

When people hear about my Job-like experience with the modern-day Cinderella story ending, I often hear remarks like “WOW, that should be a movie!” It has been six and a half years of full-on redemption and restoration and, honestly, I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming this!

After 12 years of spiritual abuse that left me a shell of a person, devastated and distraught, I began a breathtaking journey of healing for all the loss I’d endured. The loss of my 18 year marriage, destroyed relationships with my adult children, the death of my well known publishing company and destruction of my career, along with the fatality of my credit score as I lost my home, my income, and all material things that meant anything to me. Those 12 years of deception cost me big time, but we serve a Romans 8:28 God who uses all things, even that, for good.

I’m on the other side now, healed and restored, proclaiming the faithfulness of a God who used what the enemy meant for evil … for good! I love the creativity He uses in the redemption process … to think He would allow me to be a pastor’s wife now … hand-picked by my pastor-hubby’s late wife of 49 years … with restored relationships with my adult children and grandchildren … to be a radio show host interviewing authors whose stories ring of the faithfulness of God … to steward well another publishing endeavor called Redemption Press … so many full circles where God’s sovereignly connects the dots and brings insight that mends my soul.

I’m excited to share my story with you, to be authentic and transparent, and to reflect the glory of God. I pray that you’re encouraged by all that God has done, and that you’re left with a healthy dose of hope in His faithfulness and His ability to bring good out of bad, every time.

And now, I’ll leave you with an inviting peek into some trivia about my life…

My Uncle Skeeter is a famous actor, James B. Sikking. Known for his part as Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser’s Dad.

When I was 14 years old, I owned 7 horses and showed most of them in horse shows across the country, with my last official show being Madison Square Gardens.

I absolutely LOVE Vizslas…also known as Hungarian Pointers…I’ve had 2 of them over the last 14 years and am addicted. They are THE COOLEST dogs!

I used to work for Helen Reddy, as an administrative assistant to her manager/husband, and before that, for the manager of Rufus & Chaka Khan when they recorded their first hit, Tell Me Somethin’ Good.

My Grandma’s house overlooked the Santa Monica beach and originally belonged to the silent movie star, Mary Pickford.

When I was five years old, my grandma, Dr. Sue Sikking, was the honored guest on the popular TV show “This is Your Life” with host Ralph Edwards. I was part of the cast when our family surprised her with our attendance, and fervently tugged on Mr. Edwards suit jacket to try to get his attention!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 10

CarpeDiem, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Texas Book-aholic, August 13

Girls in White Dresses, August 14

Power of Words, August 15 (Spotlight)

A Reader’s Brain, August 16

Inklings and notions , August 17

Just the Write Escape, August 18

janicesbookreviews, August 19

Simple Harvest Reads, August 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Athena is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and  signed copy of her 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/e71a/full-circle-celebration-tour-giveaway