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Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward

Authors: Mark Henderson and Michael Snuffer

Genre: Non-fiction; Interpersonal Relations; Religion

Release date: April 13, 2023

WHY AM I SO MISUNDERSTOOD? I am only trying to do what is right! Of course, I forgive, but I can’t seem to get past the pain. God seems distant. Does he even care about me?

Do any of these questions hit close to home? It may surprise you that the underlying cause is often hidden unforgiveness. Our closest relationships, emotional health, and perhaps even our faith seem to be crumbling around us, but most of us have no idea that forgiveness is the way forward. If we are honest, we don’t even know what forgiveness is. We may have a vague idea that it has something to do with “forgetting” or “letting go” but would be hard-pressed to come up with a working definition. Worse yet, we have no idea how to practice forgiveness in a way that brings lasting relief from the hurt we carry. Most of us are not trying to hang on to the pain, but freedom is elusive.

Freedom from your pain is within reach! Forgiveness is not a vague, esoteric concept, nor is it a lofty, out-of-reach ideal. Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward digs into the biblical definition of forgiveness, tells real stories of real people who have found healing, clears up some huge misconceptions surrounding forgiveness, and teaches us how topractice forgiveness. If we do not address the wounds of our past, they will shape our future. God has provided a powerful tool to help us find freedom—forgiveness is the surprising way forward!

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Authors


Mark Henderson received a Masters of Pastoral Counseling, was a licensed counselor, and served as a pastor of counseling for twenty years.

In Memory of Mark Henderson

Mark David Henderson, co-author of this book, passed away from cancer as this book was being finalized. Mark was a loving husband, father, and friend. He touched lives all over the world through his counseling ministry and often said he had a front row seat to God’s miracles. He always made sure the individual knew it was God’s healing, and Mark was simply the servant. His desire was to take what he learned and share it with others, which is the reason for this book.


Michael Snuffer has ministered as a counselor for more than ten years. Mark and Mike founded Equip2CounselTM, a ministry dedicated to providing simple yet powerful counseling tools globally to ministers.

More from Michael

Challenging relationships, frustration with unfair treatment, bursts of anger, and disconnection from God are persistent problems for individuals who carry burdens from their past. Most are unaware unforgiveness is an underlying cause. Time, by itself, rarely brings healing. Instead, the wounds fester and become more painful. Many feel stuck and see no way forward to joy and peace. For most, forgiveness is the first step to healing.

Modern culture and thinking have muddled the meaning of forgiveness. Most don’t understand what forgiveness is or how to practice it. The result? Relief remains out of reach. Forgiveness is a powerful tool which brings healing and freedom.

Mark and I launched the Equip2Counsel™ ministry to provide powerful counseling tools which bring healing to hurting individuals around the world. We soon realized the limitations of in-person training and began to consider how written materials could extend the reach of these tools. We wrote Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward to provide a clear, step-by-step process. We wanted to share the stories of real people who found hope and healing through forgiveness. Whether you are a hurting individual or a counselor helping others, we hope many learn and apply the practice of forgiveness which brings freedom.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

For many years writing was more a chore than a joy. My gifts and passions are helping hurting people find their way to joy and the abundant life Jesus promises. I guess I started to enjoy writing when I realized this could be a tool for helping many individuals find the life God wants for us.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I personally love Bob Goff’s fearless approach, his transparency sharing his life with others, and the way he teaches spiritual principles through storytelling. In the same way, Mark and I set out to demonstrate the truth of scripture through the real stories of individuals who have applied the principles and practices of forgiveness.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I love telling stories with a bit of shock value. I write because I want to help people take positive, life-changing action. I am not sure a new idea will convince someone to make a change unless it is surprising or pulls them out of their comfort zones a bit. Mark often toned down my writing to be less jolting to readers. Most of the time he was right, and I think it is a better book as a result.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My mom and dad are both intelligent and highly entrepreneurial. I have no doubt they would be extremely successful had they chosen to pursue business careers. Instead, they followed God’s calling to full-time ministry. Other than Jesus Christ, they have influenced me most to be involved in the caring and counseling ministries which inspired this book.

Describe your book in five words.

Authentic, illuminating, unshackling, compassionate, hopeful

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I am a small business owner, which takes the lion’s share of my time and energy. For many years, I wrote in my spare time. Family, work, client demands, and ministry are all important, but can make it difficult to find the energy to invest in my writing.

Recently, I decided to switch up my schedule and start the day with authoring activities before moving on to the day’s normal demands. I find myself able to make consistent progress when I set aside even a short block of time at the beginning of the day for my writing activities.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a plotter. I think it would be impossible to write a book that would bring help or healing without possessing a clear and comprehensive understanding from the outset. Of course, sometimes I alter course when I have veered into an area which is irrelevant or missed a critical concept. Overall, though, I must lay out the entire message of a book before I write the first word.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

Wherever my laptop is. Mark Henderson and I worked together in business for several years driving back and forth across Midwestern states. We spent hours writing together in coffee shops, restaurants, and while traveling. I often manned the laptop in the passenger seat while Mark drove. Perhaps 80% of this book was written on highways crisscrossing America’s heartland.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy being with my wife and best friend, Mary. Together, we enjoy visiting with our adult children and love traveling.

What is your favorite book?

The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolken. I am amazed by the complexity, creativity, and unparalleled scope of this body of work. It’s one of the few series I read repeatedly and still feel drawn into the characters and story.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

Depends on the setting. When I am driving, audiobooks are perfect (and much safer). I do appreciate the convenience of eBooks. When I am looking for a quote, I take full advantage of the ease of reviewing notes and highlights within digital readers.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12)

I love the transparency and determination Paul expresses in this verse. While he is an Apostle of Christ, he realizes he has not yet achieved perfect maturity. He continues to push forward to become the person Jesus has made him to be. This brings me hope and encouragement to press forward toward the life God has planned for me.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

When I read fiction, I find myself with mostly late 20th and 21st century writers. I suspect this is because much of the older language, idioms, and cultural references are lost on me. I find it easier to relate to more contemporary works of fiction.

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Floating down the river on a raft for several weeks sounds carelessly adventurous and wonderfully peaceful.

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

I’d love to have coffee with Pastor Charles Swindoll. He is a student of the scriptures, a great communicator, and a wonderful storyteller who brings characters of the Bible to life. I love his playful spirit and the joy he brings to his teaching and writing style!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be patient, tenacious, and a persistent learner. Writing a book is not a straight line. Hold your writing loosely and be willing to change course when needed. Be ready to write and rewrite and rewrite until you create a manuscript that achieves your goals and is ready for your readers.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 22

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 24

For the Love of Literature, May 25 (Author Interview)

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 25

An Author’s Take, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

Artistic Nobody, May 28 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, May 29

Guild Master, May 30 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 1

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2 (Author Interview)

Vibrant Wings by Valerie, June 2

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, June 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 4



To celebrate his tour, Michael is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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


Gold Rush Bride Tegan Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Gold Rush Bride Tegan

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 25, 2022

Tegan Llewellyn has always been different than her adopted family, except Grandmother Hannah, a prospector during the 1829 Georgia gold rush. Now, seventy years later there are reports of gold in Nome, and the opportunity is too good to pass up. But Tegan doesn’t count on the dangers that strike from the moment she steps off the steamer, including the threat of losing her heart.

Elijah Hunter has prospected for gold all over the US and Canada and likes being on the move. The last thing he expects to find on his latest search is a lady miner who proves to be nothing but trouble. Can he convince her that leaving is for her own good before it’s too late…for both of them?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of World War II and a former trustee for her local public library. She now resides in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities are exploring the state’s historical sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary things women did over the course of history (mostly done in dresses and skirts until about eighty years ago!). When I stumbled on the fact that women were involved during the gold and silver rushes that occurred in the US and its territories, I knew I had to tell their story.

A significant number of women followed husbands, brothers, or fathers, but an intrepid few set out on their own to find their fortune for as many reasons as there were women. Some went to escape difficult (or abusive) situations at home and others because they felt they had no choice. But there was a small percentage who made their way across thousands of miles for the sheer adventure.

The Nome Gold Rush started 175 years ago in 1898, and was different than previous rushes in that much of the gold was on the beach and could be plucked from the sand without any need for a claim. Later, claims were required to mine gold from the Snake River, and this is when things got dirty.

Initially, the courts upheld original claims, but after some of the “claim jumpers” offered to share proceeds from their invalid claims, a few crooked judges and politicians decided this was a great opportunity to line their pockets. Already guilty of stealing votes and voter intimidation, Alexander McKenzie, National Committeeman for North Dakota headed the pack and created an elaborate scheme with the help of Judge Arthur Noyes. It would take nearly two years for the men to be arrested and brought to trial. I included a fictionalized version of this situation in Gold Rush Bride Tegan.

I visited Alaska before writing Tegan and was overwhelmed by its majestic beauty. The photos I’d seen before the trip didn’t do justice to the reality of the state’s glaciers, mountains, rivers, and forests. Wildlife is so abundant that it literally walked or flew through town giving us “up close and personal” experiences with moose, wild sheep, eagles, and more.

Because of the inaccessibility of much of the state, one in fifty Alaskans hold a pilot’s license as compared to the national average which is one in seven hundred. However, in 1898, prospectors didn’t have that luxury, instead making their way to San Francisco by rail and then either going overland with wagons and mules or up the coast on schooners, either choice a difficult and arduous journey.

It is my hope that Gold Rush Bride Tegan honors the stalwart women who left all they knew for the chance of a lifetime.


Linda Shenton Matchett

Author Interview

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I love historical fiction, and a historical novel that teaches me something is the best of both worlds. Author Elizabeth Camden excels at writing interesting stories with relateable characters that educate the reader. It’s my understanding that she’s a librarian by trade, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I devour every one of her books. My aim is to do the same thing: highlight a person, event, or historical fact in a way that engages the reader but expands their knowledge.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am most definitely a plotter. In my personal life, I make lists and am a very scheduled person, so that personality trait has seeped into my writing career. I have a specific process I use to come up with the story idea, character names, setting, etc, then I create a spreadsheet to outline the story that includes dates and times, texture (such as weather), and the end of chapter “hook.” Every now and then, a character will wander off the page or head somewhere I didn’t plan, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I have an office that my honey-husband created for me. After closing the bed and breakfast we ran for twelve years, I attended a writing conference. While I was gone, he cleared out the room and set up my desk (that had been crammed into our living room), book cases, rocking chair and reading lamps. It was ready when I returned on Sunday. We moved to a new home four years ago, and I set every up the extra bedroom in the exact layout. Instead of overlooking the street, I now looking into the woods (a much prettier view!) It’s special because its set apart and allows me to focus on my writing, but it’s extra special because it was a gift from my husband.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I would much rather read a traditional paperback or hardback book. I love the feel of turning pages. However, budget-wise and space-wise, I have more ebooks than physical books (although I probably have 500+ physical books). I do like that I can decide to purchase a book, and moments later it shows up on my e-reader. And when I’m traveling, I no longer carry a forty-pound canvas tote full of books!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I have many favorite verses, but the one that tends to come to mind when I’m discouraged or fearful is Jeremiah 29:10 “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The stories of Ruth and Rahab are two stories from the Bible that resonate with me. Both exemplify the verse in Jeremiah.

Blog Stops

Sylvan Musings, May 10 (Author Interview)

Lily’s Book Reviews, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 13 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 16 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

By The Book, May 19 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 19

Books Less Travelled, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 21

For the Love of Literature, May 22 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

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


Persuade Me Not Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Persuade Me Not

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 4, 2023

Forgiveness is only a prayer away… or is it?

As the oldest daughter at Kellynch Station, Elizabeth Elliot prides herself on her exemplary public image. In fact, women could learn a thing or two by following her example—her public example.

There are things Liz doesn’t want known, and she guards them closely. In fact, keeping everyone except her best friend from ever seeing the truth behind her impenetrable facade is the only thing she can control.

Enter Michael Page. Unassuming and too stubborn for his own good, Mick bucks trend by bringing sheep back to cattle country. Just a small flock at first, but their numbers are growing. There’s just one problem to deal with now. Liz Elliot.

With all her airs and fancy ways, and the unreasonable demands she makes of the town and its people, Liz is a walking antagonism. Maybe he should’ve stayed home after that first meeting, but something keeps bringing him back. If nothing else, someone has to foil her outrageous attempts to do who-knows-what with the town.

Then a carefully worded slip of the tongue hints at a mystery that might be worth digging into.

As the truth comes to light, and Liz’s carefully crafted world comes crashing down, who can either of them trust?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Originally from Australia, Joanne Markey now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her wandering the property with her kids in search of whatever seasonal treasure they’re trying to find.

More from Joanne

I don’t remember exactly when it was that I first started thinking about writing Persuade Me Not. I know I was still writing Persuade Me, the first book in the Daughters of the Bush series. At the time I started writing, I only planned to write one book in that setting. However, the more I wrote, the more I thought about the other characters. And somewhere along the way, I started thinking that, if Liz ever got her happily-ever-after, it would have to be with someone unexpected.

That idea slowly took hold. It would have to be a man as unlike her father as it was possible to be. Someone humble and down-to-earth. Someone with both the integrity to dig deeper to find the truth, and the stubbornness to knock down all the walls Liz had put up.

Right about then I came across an interesting coffee table book about old shearing sheds in Australia. Being an Aussie living in the US and finding that book on the shelves in a store here meant I instantly bought it. And after flicking through the pages, another idea started to form…

At one point in time, Clermont—the town where my book is set—had a substantial wool industry. Which meant sheep. Which meant it could theoretically be possible for there to be a run-down shearing shed on one of the cattle stations in that area. And, to Walter Elliot, what could be worse than running sheep in cattle country?

As far as Walter Elliott is concerned, he is a cattleman with a long and illustrious heritage. Therefore, only those who emulated his lifestyle would be worthy of the attention of his daughter. (Obviously, no other man would rise to the heights of perfection as he, but they could try.)

I don’t know if there are any sheep in the Clermont area now, but if there are, they’re not a big thing. I don’t remember ever seeing any when I lived there as a kid. It was cattle country, and sheep were something we saw when we were driving to visit my grandparents in Victoria (south of the dingo fence, in other words).

With all of that in mind, if, for the sake of the story, one man brought sheep back… and that one man ended up being stubborn and determined to uncover the truth… we’d have a book.

And that is how Persuade Me Not came to be.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I didn’t really decide to start writing. It was something that came about over time…

Sometime around 2007 I ran out of books to read. I’d already read and reread everything I owned, and couldn’t pick any of my books up without knowing the story from one end to the other. It occurred to me that, in place of new books that we couldn’t afford at the time, I could write my own. The writing process was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I had fun writing short stories, and creating characters.

That was fun for a while, but with four children under the age of five, one of them a newborn, there wasn’t much time for writing and I eventually put the notebooks away. I didn’t stop creating stories in my head though, and although I didn’t write them down, I continued to dream them up. Until, finally, about ten years after I first started, I realized that I had the time and the means to try writing something again.

By that time, my Mum was in the same position I had been in ten years before—no new books and unable to run down the street to the nearest bookstore. So I started writing for her. A simple idea morphed into a full book, most of which I wrote and rewrote at least three times. Then that led to the creation of another character and a series of books—5 in total, all unpublished—about that character, and then another book about another character…

And then, with that five book series still unfinished, I decided I wanted to write something different. I turn to a dream my Mum had into a book as a gift to her for Christmas. That story was written in November and December of 2018, and published as Dreaming of More in July of 2019.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

The most interesting thing I can think of is that I do most of my writing on my phone. With my thumbs. If you’ve read any of my Postcards books, Dial L for Lovely, or Dial G for Gravity, all were written on my phone. I learned to do that because it’s not always possible for me to sit down to write. My phone is with me almost all the time, so I can pull it out and write no matter where I am or what I’m doing. The ideas that start burning holes in my brain don’t wait for me to get done helping dig a trench through the field for a new pipe, or finish the baking, or wait until a kid no longer needs my company while they do something. With my books on my phone, I can pick them up anytime and continue from where I left off.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My work schedule doesn’t actually change. I try to fit the writing around our home life, but if a particularly pressing idea won’t leave my brain alone I will rearrange our day to fit the writing. Mostly though, that only means delaying lunch for an hour or putting off folding the laundry until another day.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

By far, I prefer to own traditional books that can be held and admired, but space is an issue so I typically buy more ebooks than paperbacks. I actually prefer reading ebooks because I can continue the book no matter where I am, or whether it’s dark or light. We try to stick to a “lights out” rule so any reading after bedtime has to be done in the dark, so if I’m reading a paperback I can’t sneak another chapter before going to sleep. I’m also a little particular about my paperbacks—I very much dislike them to be read. Reading causes the books to no longer be in pristine condition, so if I buy a paperback that I particularly want to keep looking brand new, I’ll see if I can read the ebook through the library.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I have always loved the book of Ruth. It’s a story of great sacrifice, selfless devotion, and it has a touch of romance as well. I also used a couple of verses from chapter one (16 and 17) as part of my wedding vows. Our wedding was held in Australia, but a month later we moved to the US and have remained here ever since. For me, it truly was a case of your people becoming my people, and so I’ve always felt as though I know a little of how Ruth felt in leaving her family. Plus… romance. I’m a sucker for even the slightest hint of romance.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 6

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Author Interview)

Christina’s Corner, May 7

Texas Book-aholic, May 8

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 11

Artistic Nobody, May 12 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 12

Guild Master, May 13 (Author Interview)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 14 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, May 15 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 16

Blossoms and Blessings, May 17 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, May 18



To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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


Rocky Mountain Rendezvous Review and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Rocky Mountain Rendezvous

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 6, 2023

In 1837, Juniper Collins and her sisters are shocked by their father’s final request in his will for a special set of beads to be returned to a Piegan Blackfoot woman he credits with saving his life during his travels west. Together, the sisters set out for the trapper rendezvous to find the woman, but their mission turns more daunting when they come upon the mass of men and lodges spread out in the Green River Valley.

Riley Turner came west to find peace and quiet and live off the land, but when four unprotected women arrive at the rendezvous, he feels compelled to help them and is more fascinated by Juniper than any other woman he’s known.

As their search brings only empty leads and dead ends, the sisters must decide whether to return east or stay in the mountains to continue looking–and that’s if the mystery woman is even still alive. Is the risk to honor their father’s last request worth the danger they find at every turn?

Discover the majesty–and treachery–of the Rocky Mountains in this unique combination of exhilarating adventure, inspiring faith, and sweet romance from USA Today bestselling author Misty M. Beller.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

More from Misty

What IS a trapper rendezvous?

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous is the story of four sisters who head west to accomplish their father’s deathbed request—return a special set of beads to a Blackfoot woman who saved his life during his travels west two decades earlier. The sisters head west with the supply wagons bound for the 1837 trapper rendezvous to find the native woman. But the sight that greeted them in the Green River Valley (in modern-day Wyoming) was nothing like they expected!


Supply wagons would come from the east every summer, and mountain men and natives would come from all throughout the Rockies to trade furs for the supplies they’d need in the coming year. This was usually the only opportunity for trading each year, so EVERYONE came and the camp stretched for miles. This was a great time for friends to catch up, and the festivities always included a great deal of drinking and horse racing. The rendezvous was a sight to behold!

In Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, Riley Turner is one of the trappers at the meet-up, and he realizes immediately what kind of danger the ladies are in from unscrupulous men in the crowd. He helps them with their search, and they find so much more than they expected along the way!

Each book in this series will take place during a different year, featuring a different rendezvous. Definitely fodder for fun stories. I pray you love this first book as the Collins sisters embark on the search of a lifetime. 



My Review

Nothing is quite as exciting as the initiation of a new series by Christian historical Western fiction writer Misty Beller. Her books never fail to have me reading for hours at a time, usually finishing them in two or three sittings. There is just something enthralling about being transported nearly two hundred years back in time to a period when the American West was still largely untamed and unmarred by industry and development. For me, at least, it speaks to a part of my spirit that longs for the simplicity that has become a casualty of modern technology, for the natural wonders felled by progress. That being said, however, one aspect of Beller’s novels that I appreciate the most is that she does not romanticize the lifestyles and hardships of her characters within their historical context. A simple life does not necessarily equate to an easy one, but when a person chooses to walk by faith, the journey always proves worthwhile.

Set in July 1837 in the Green River Valley of what will one day become Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Rendezvous is book one in Misty Beller’s Sisters of the Rockies series. The titular Collins sisters include the oldest and the leader, Rosemary; the second oldest, Juniper; animal-loving Lorelie; and the youngest and most adventurous, Faith. This first book focuses mainly on Juniper, or “June,” who along with Rosemary has taken on the task of raising and taking care of their younger sisters, even now that they are mostly grown, and as a result, the four share an unbreakable bond that has brought them all on a westward journey to find a Peigan Blackfoot woman named Steps Right in order to fulfill their father’s dying request. I found myself relating to the trapper Riley Turner in his admiration of the sisters’ bond, especially as an only child, even as my heart broke for his own circumstances.

Always rich in characters as well as setting, Rocky Mountain Rendezvous likewise follows suit with Beller’s previous stories in its diversity of both trappers and Native Americans, as well as the aforementioned Collins sisters. I do think that a pronunciation guide would be very beneficial for some of the Native American names and terms, particularly given that they are historical and not always as easy to research and find. Along with romance and tense situations, Beller also interjects humor into the storyline at opportune moments to lighten the mood, and I am continually grateful that despite at times describing scenes of violence, this author never ventures into graphic details. Likewise, the element of faith is always present without being overbearing, and in Rocky Mountain Rendezvous Juniper acknowledges the crux of what we who are followers of Christ are all called to do by saying, “We can plant the seed in the sunshine and water it, but only the Lord can bring the crop.” Sometimes we, like Riley and Juniper, try to take on responsibilities that we are not called to bear, and learning to discern this is part of our faith journey and walk with God. Furthermore, in the midst of the inevitable heartache and trials of life, may we, like Juniper, realize that the Lord is always at work in us and in our circumstances, so that “she couldn’t miss the hand of God clearly working all these things together for good.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, May 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

By the Book, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Connie’s History Classroom, May 7

The Book Club Network, May 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 8 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 10

Karen Baney Reviews, May 10

Daysong Reflections, May 11

Books You Can Feel Good About, May 11

Betti Mace, May 12

For the Love of Literature, May 12

Blossoms and Blessings, May 13

Life, Love, Writing, May 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews , May 14

Mary Hake, May 14

For Him and My Family, May 15

Holly’s Book Corner, May 15

Pause for Tales, May 16

To Everything There Is A Season , May 16



To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of 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.


Manhunt: Only the Strong Survive Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Manhunt-Only the Strong Survive

Author: Rena Groot

Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction

Release date: 2020

The Narrow Path Trilogy takes you on a journey that began before the dawn of time when angels rebelled and the dark, broken days of Earth began. Now is the time of the end. The terrifying reality is Josh is being pursued by the Manhunters. He has no idea why. His family has been captured. Are they alive? To survive the Tribulation, the reign of terror of the king, the children’s prison, the re-education camp, PTSD, the great deception, and betrayal by family and friends, deep faith in God and extreme courage are required. Only the strong survive.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


I am an artist, writer, online course creator (Broken to Beautiful…rena-groot.mykajabi.com), BnB host, have a Bachelor Of Education and a Master of Religious Education, have been a teacher in Canada and China, a tour manager from the Rockies to the Pacific, and a missionary to the ends of the Earth. God has given me the honor of being an ambassador with “The Department of Eternal Affairs” to so many cool places–Haiti, a jungle village in Belize, the Ghetto in NYC, behind the Iron Curtain in Poland and Romania, in Israel, China, Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Africa, and Greece. I started a blog to bless, encourage, and sometimes challenge people. Here’s the link: renagroot.com.

More from Rena


The Narrow Path Trilogy takes you on a journey that began before the dawn of time when angels rebelled and the dark, broken days of Earth began. Now is the time of the end.

The terrifying reality is Josh is being hunted and he has no idea why. His family has been captured by the Manhunters and he doesn’t know if they are alive or dead. To survive the Tribulation, the reign of terror of the King, the children’s prison, the re-education camp, PTSD, the great deception, and betrayal of family and friends; deep faith in God and extreme courage are required. The ancient, narrow path is calling you. Come…

Author Interview

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Both, I plot and then I let the characters develop and take on a life of their own.

Describe your book in five words.


What are your hobbies?

I love to read, garden, I am starting Lavender Lane B & B May 1st, I am an artist, and I have an online course called Broken to Beautiful to encourage women who feel they are not enough.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

God. Seriously. John 15;5 says He is the vine and I am the branch. Without Him I can do nothing. I fully acknowledge that He is my everything. Without Him I can’t even take my next breath. He is my inspiration, my life.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I love the story of Esther. There are so many stories within the story. I also love the book of Ruth. I love the way God took two women and radically used their lives for good for His purposes. God used Esther to save a nation. He used Ruth, in the lineage of Jesus, to save the world. I love the romance and intrigue in both stories.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write your thoughts, your dreams, your impressions. Keep them all. You will use them in your books one day. Also, ask God for wisdom, strength, and courage to write whatever He puts on your heart.  One day it may be forbidden to write about God. Write about Him anyway.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 4

Artistic Nobody, May 5 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Splashes of Joy, May 7 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 9

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

For the Love of Literature, May 11 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 12

Lily Book Reviews, May 13

Through the Fire Blogs, May 14 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, May 17 (Author Interview)



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

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


A Troll Falls Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: A Troll Falls

Author: Marji Laine

Genre: ChristianHistorical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: March 7, 2023

Murder. Even the word sounds ugly. Almost as ugly as the corpse on the shore.

Dallas, Texas, 1948

Opal Stedman enjoys caring for old Mrs. Farnesworth. But keeping her sister Ruby out of trouble, well that is another issue entirely. Especially now that Ruby has stepped into high society with her new beau. A dubious man. Maybe even duplicitous.

Even the handsome security guard warns her sister about him.

When a body is dragged onto the shore of the lake that borders their home, rumors and worries over the new man become assurances. But why has he involved her household in these gruesome shenanigans?

And why are Opal’s loved ones suddenly having “accidents”?

Loosely based on the little-known fairy tale of “Snow White and Rose Red” this mystery twists its way all along the banks of White Rock Lake during its heyday.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Marji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com

More from Marji

A Troll Falls is set in my hometown of Dallas, Texas around the time that my grandfather served as one of the fire captains in the area. I have pictures of my mom and my aunt posing near the spillway of White Rock Lake.

Yep, White Rock Lake is a real place less than ten miles from the central district of Dallas. I remember doing a Walk-a-Thon around the lake and playing softball on Saturday mornings at Winfrey Point, overlooking the lake with a view all the way to downtown. Swimming in the lake was never an option in my lifetime, but my mom remembered swimming there. Because the lake was a major reservoir for Dallas, they had to close it to swimming in the early 1950s due to a drought. By the mid-1950s, boating had made the lake dirty and crowded, so the city of Dallas closed it to motor boats that traveled faster than ten miles per hour. Aside from little fishing boats here and there, White Rock Lake is primarily a sail-boat lake now, and a beautiful sight on a clear day with a light breeze.

The Bonnie Barge is a real thing as well. The double-decker party and dance boat sailed around White Rock Lake from 1945-1956. Fraternities, church groups, reunions, and all types used the Bonnie Barge. Even such famous people as Gypsy Rose Lee and Billy Graham are rumored to have sailed on it, though not at the same time! Johnny Williams, Jr. grew up on the barge that his father built, often steering it even though he was underage. The young man who has the “find” in the Prologue is fashioned after him. Johnny actually did find a body once when he was sixteen, in a similar manner to what I described, except the deceased was a woman who had fallen into the lake and drowned after a night of drinking. The Bonnie Barge was a mainstay on White Rock Lake, but it relied on speed boats to come help in case of trouble. When the speed boats were ousted in 1956, the Bonnie Barge floated her last party as well. You can learn more about the Bonnie Barge here: https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/a-boat-named-bonnie/

On the shores of that lake lies the Dallas Arboretum, a beautiful collection of gardens that I visited often, field trips for my homeschooled kids. The focal point of the Arboretum is the DeGolyer House. Built in the 1930s, the house is fashioned after a Spanish Hacienda. I heard rumors about the house and the rare book collection that Mr. DeGolyer kept locked away in his library, and it became the inspiration for the Halling Estate in my book. You can learn more about the Dallas Arboretum (well worth the visit!) and the DeGolyer House here: https://www.dallasarboretum.org/

My fictional Halling Estate is situated on the lake about where the DeGolyer House still stands, but my imaginary house is a two-story hacienda instead of a single story. I also created a covered drive (called a dog-trot) that separates the kitchen from the garage and the servant apartments above the garage.

While I took some liberties with my 1948 Dallas, the Adolphus Hotel is the real deal. (I shared about it in my first book, A GIANT MURDER, too.) They really did have ice skating shows in their Century Ballroom in the 1940s and 50s. And the dance floor really did glide back over the ice for dancing after the shows were over. You can learn more about it here: https://flashbackdallas.com/2014/10/26/century-room/

I’ve always loved writing mysteries. I love the unexpected twists, and I usually have an idea of who the murderer will be before I start the story. Adding the element of history to the mix has been sheer pleasure. I love setting my stories in and around real places, events, and people. I hope you enjoy A TROLL FALLS as well!

Author Interview

Do you have an author hero? If so who and why this person?

I’ve been reading and supporting Patricia Bradley since before she ever published. I love that we’re both Suspense Sisters (www.SuspenseSisters.blogspot.com) and I look forward to reviewing each of her books.

What advice would you give your pre-published self?

Stay involved in social media! Writing is one thing, but publishing requires a lot of interaction, both face-to-face and online.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write mysteries and suspense. My family laughs at how I can see places to hide a body almost everywhere we go. Even when I set out to write romance a few years ago, I had to work at not adding elements of a mystery and a little suspense. Now all of my books have clean romance in them, but mystery/suspense is my genre.

Is there a genre you like to read but don’t see yourself writing?

I would love to write Bible studies. I get to lead one of the ladies’ studies at my church and am in awe of authors/speakers like Jennifer Rothschild and Priscilla Shirer! I would love to do what they do, but I don’t think I have it in me.

Do you have any writing preparation quirks? (For example, do you have a favorite coffee mug you use before you sit down at your computer to write?)

Not really. I usually use Scrivener when I’m writing to keep my pages in order, but there are times when my “writing” is mere dictation into a voice recorder while I’m driving.

What was your favorite character to write?

I really like the character of Ruby in my current story. So much so that I made her the star of her own book, A WOLF’S EXTERMINATION, which is coming soon. I also really love the character of Dani Foster in my Grime Fighter Mysteries. Someday, I hope to continue the saga with Dani through her best friend Tasha Sanderson’s suspense stories.

If you are multi-published author, which book was the hardest to write? Why?

I have a book coming out in August, THE VISITOR CATCHES THE BOUQUET. That one has been the hardest to write because it’s part of a multi-author series that shares a traveling character. I love the final product, but it was hard to keep the character consistent with the details that they other authors had shared about her.

What is your favorite part of your newest released book?

I love the bear. He’s a bear on so many levels, but he turned out perfectly. Better than I could have imagined. And I love “Old Miss.” She’s a feisty old bird!

Are you at work on a new novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

After THE VISITOR CATCHES THE BOUQUET and A WOLF’S EXTERMINATION, I’ll be looking for the next project. Maybe I will see what Dani’s friend Tasha has to offer?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 28

Denise L. Barela, April 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Texas Book-aholic, April 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 1

For the Love of Literature, May 2 (Author Interview)

Lily’s Book Reviews, May 3

Connie’s History Classroom, May 4

Guild Master, May 5 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

Blogging With Carol, May 7

Through the Fire Blogs, May 8 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 10



To celebrate her tour, Marji is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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


A Country of Their Own Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: A Coutry of Their Own

Author: Hope Bolinger

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 4, 2023


Priscilla is an old soul. Carter can’t wait to leave Florida, a haven for the elderly.

Together they’re forced to do community service at a retirement home. But all the residents look like teenagers. Are they meant to bring together the lovable residents Scarlett and Paul—who are actually 80 years old? Or is it too late for them to find love?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Hope Bolinger is a Managing & Acquisitions Editor at End Game Press and the Founder of Generation Hope Books.

More than 1400 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to HOOKED to Crosswalk.com.

She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams.

Twenty-one of her books are under contract or out now with traditional publishers, and she hopes more of her stories will find a home soon. She has also contributed to twelve other books.

More from Hope

Can you write a book based on a photo series.

I did. I stumbled across this photo series in my college days and it never let me go: https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/reflections-of-the-past-tom-hussey/

It made me think about how all people, young and old, are young at heart and wise beyond their years. In the publishing industry, I have experienced a great deal of ageism. You can seldom go to a conference without someone telling you something along the lines of, “Wow. I had no idea that you were so wise. I assumed because you are young that you know nothing.”

And I know that many of my fellow writers who are older have experienced ageism to the same degrees.

So I wanted to write a book that would level the playing field.

I wanted to have two teen main characters who end up good friends with two characters who are well into their 80s—who simply look like teens thanks to the funhouse mirror effects of Country Acres (a retirement home in which the 80-year-old characters are residents).

What made the book hit even closer to home was that I wrote it right after my grandma passed away—and right as the COVID shutdown took effect in 2020.

Grandma had played a huge role in my writing. She and I read my first book together. She owned a bookstore in which, when I was eight, I helped her to run the cash register. And she always supported me in my publishing dreams.

I am sad that she and Grandpa passed long before they could read this. But this book also encapsulates them. That my grandma tap danced well into her eighties, and that my grandpa would ride the waves on a boogie board.

We’re all young, we’re all wise … let’s listen to one another.

Author Interview

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I would say the speed at which I write tends to raise some eyebrows. My fastest YA novel has been written in seven days. And let me tell you, I never want to do that ever again. Especially whilst working a full-time job.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Work will always come first, because I work at a publishing house. I do have a lot of authors who depend on me to turn things in in a timely manner. With that said, if there’s ever a lull in the emails I try to get down another 500-1000 words before the next work task arrives.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely plotting. Although I have pantsed a few books. The one I’m doing right now is actually more pantsing than plotting. I think it comes down to the needs of the book and the speed at which I need to write it.

Describe your book in five words.

The Notebook meets Seventeen Again

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

In this book, I love Priscilla. She’s a teenager but she’s an old soul. She bristles when she receives a lot of ageism, which has unfortunately been my experience in my personal field. People often judge looks and assume that you don’t know anything, based on your age. I could tell stories of blatant ageism, but I know that people of all ages are finding their voices being heard. And I think that’s beautiful.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Texas Book-aholic, April 9

Guild Master, April 10 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 12

Artistic Nobody, April 13 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 15

For the Love of Literature, April 16 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, April 17

Holly’s Book Corner, April 18

Beauty in the Binding, April 19 (Author Interview)

Deb’s Book Review, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 20



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


Targeted in the Desert Review and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: Targeted in the Desert

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 28, 2023

Family secrets have Felicia Tennison, and the sister she never knew existed, on the run. Someone is after them, and Felicia will have to turn to someone she never wanted to see again for help—her ex. Sheriff Jude Duke vows to protect them as they race to uncover why the little girl is a target. But the search to find the answers could cost them their futures.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter (@DanaMentink), Facebook (Dana Mentink’s Reader Page) and Bookbub (Dana Mentink).

More from Dana

At last! We’ve arrived at the final book in the Desert Justice series! It seems like just yesterday I was finishing book one, about cousin Beckett Duke who was falsely imprisoned. Then we met cowboy Levi and his twin Willow, dog lover Austin, donkey rescuer Nora and FINALLY sheriff Jude Duke gets his story! I am a fan of a hero with some miles under his belt, aren’t you? Could it be because I’ve got more than a few under mine? Ending this series is bittersweet because I am thrilled that the Dukes all received their happy endings, but I’ll miss writing about their adventures in Death Valley. Hope you’ll come along on my next series. (Could be there are bloodhounds in our fictional future!)

God bless!

My Review

Death Valley is not the type of place that holds any travel appeal to me, unless it is through the pages of a book, and that is one of several reasons that the Desert Justice Love Inspired Suspense series has intrigued me since the first book. Envisioning the terrain and trying to fathom how anyone can survive in such sweltering temperatures adds to the respect I have for the characters, and is a nice counterpart to a Midwest winter! As sad as I am that Dana Mentink brings the series to a close with book six, Targeted in the Desert, this rounds out the happily-ever-afters for the beloved members of the Duke family with a satisfying conclusion.

With that in mind, the Desert Justice series can be read as standalones, but for the best experience and to avoid any relationship spoilers, I recommend reading them in chronological order. Targeted in the Desert provides readers with the full story of Jude Duke, acting chief and sheriff of Furnace Falls, as it dovetails with that of his ex-girlfriend, Felicia Tennison. When Felicia becomes unwittingly involved in a legal dispute regarding family she didn’t know she had, Jude is thrust back into her life to provide protection, but that only complicates matters. Now she is in danger of losing her heart, again, in addition to her life. And the struggle is not one-sided; Jude finds himself having to confront his worst fear while figuring out his identity and what, as well as who, make him Jude Duke. On one level or another, this issue affects each of us in some way, and ultimately what it signifies is our status as children of God, worthy and redeemed in His sight once we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Additionally, similar themes of striving, trauma, and indecisiveness undergird the narrative and demonstrate that everyone has trials of their own to overcome. One extraneous detail that I found interesting was the legally blind lawyer and the explanation of some of his accommodations, including a feature on his glasses that enabled an automated voice to read documents aloud. Mentink utilizes legal circumstances commonly witnessed today, albeit with more sinister implications for the sake of fiction, and carefully negotiates the effects of former and present trauma. In spite of all that she has been through, Felicia comes to the sudden realization that “She’d learned more about her inner strength and God’s love lying in a hospital bed than she’d known in her previous twenty-seven years of life.” So often, that seems to be the way of it, as we grow in our faith and strength far more in hardship than we do in times of ease. Furthermore, we have a tendency to lose our courage when we try to look too far ahead instead of doing what we know is right and trusting God for the rest. Felicia experiences peace when she recognizes that “She didn’t have to figure it all out, only to take the next right step, and this was it.” So simple, and yet so profound!

In bidding farewell to the Duke clan, I look forward to the next adventure that Dana Mentink will offer readers and reflect on the many lessons that came along with this series. What I think that I will remember the most is how the Duke family always functioned together as the body of Christ, offering whatever was needed to strangers, friends, and each other unhesitatingly and with compassion. More than once, this selflessness led to healing and self-examination for those being served, which is a prime example of the life-changing love of Christ in action for which we should all be striving.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 29

Lily’s Book Reviews, March 29

An Author’s Take, March 30

Vicky Sluiter, March 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 31

Blogging With Carol, March 31

Texas Book-aholic, April 1

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, April 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 2

Betti Mace, April 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 3

Simple Harvest Reads, April 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Holly’s Book Corner, April 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 5

Daysong Reflections, April 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 5

Bigreadersite, April 6

Splashes of Joy, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 7

Pause for Tales, April 8

EmpowerMoms, April 8

Labor Not in Vain, April 9

Book Looks by Lisa, April 9

For the Love of Literature, April 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, April 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 11

Through the Fire Blogs, April 11



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

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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


The Kingdom of God Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: The Kingdom of God: Our life with Jesus the King

Author: John Avery

Genre: Christian Devotional, non-fiction

Release date: March 1, 2023

What is the kingdom of God? Many people only vaguely understand (or misunderstand) it. Is it a future heavenly existence where the nicest dreams come true and nightmares are miraculously purged? After all, it is sometimes called the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps we dismiss it as an irrelevant ideal. Pastors typically prioritize topics like salvation, grace, eternal life, faith, and prayer. Yet, the kingdom was central to the messages of John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and other New Testament writers. Their words and behavior show that the kingdom theme is the framework uniting those topics and the entire mission of Jesus and His followers.

God’s kingdom centers on the King. It’s a life journey shared with other kingdom subjects.

This collection of 38 short pieces (2-3 pages each) explores vital questions like:

  • How well do we understand Jesus’ view of the kingdom of God?
  • What did Jesus mean when He spoke of being in (or outside of) the kingdom?
  • Does the kingdom make any difference to our lives right now? Should it?
  • Will the kingdom grow automatically, or do we have a part to play?

These pieces can be read quickly; they’re relaxed too—but think carefully and deeply.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


John Avery is the author of The Name Quest: Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better (Morgan James Publishing, 2015). The Name Quest won the 2016 Oregon Christian Writers’ Cascade Award for nonfiction. A compilation of short pieces, The Questions of Jesus, was published in 2022.

John is a trained teacher with over thirty years’ experience as a Bible teaching pastor, small group leader, missionary, and disciple maker. He has lived in England, Israel, Africa, and the Caribbean, ministering with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), international student ministry, and local churches. He and his wife, Janet, now make their home in Oregon. John likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. John writes short, thought-provoking Bible devotionals at www.BibleMaturity.com many of which will be compiled into books like this one. He maintains a comprehensive resource for all the names of God at www.NamesForGod.net.

More from John

This book is a collection of short devotional pieces. They’re relaxed, but they challenge the reader to think carefully too. What is the kingdom of God? What does it mean for our lives?

Many people only vaguely understand (or misunderstand) the kingdom of God. Is it a future heavenly existence where the nicest dreams come true and nightmares are miraculously purged? After all, it is sometimes called the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps we dismiss it as an irrelevant ideal. Pastors typically prioritize topics like salvation, grace, eternal life, faith, and prayer. Yet, the kingdom was a priority for Jesus.

God’s kingdom centers on the King. It’s a life journey shared with other kingdom subjects.

The pieces explore vital questions like:

  • How well do we understand Jesus’ view of the kingdom of God?
  • What did Jesus mean when He spoke of being in (or outside of) the kingdom?
  • Does the kingdom make any difference to our lives right now? Should it?
  • Will the kingdom grow automatically, or do we have a part to play?

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

In a way, it just happened. I preached a series about the names of God. As I researched it, I realized that the existing books selected just a few names and dealt with them in a fairly academic way. Very few teachers seemed to answer the questions about why God revealed so many names and how knowing Him by those names helps us. The big theme through the names in the Bible is that He reveals Himself so that we can have relationship with Him and our faith increases as we know Him. So, I gradually developed my material and it became a book, and I became a writer.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

Probably CS Lewis.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Almost every piece in my devotional works begins in my own times with Him and reading the Bible. I might check what I sense against commentaries or reference works sometimes, but the main message comes from those times with Him. Because they are short, they require little plotting. My first book, The Name Quest: explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better, required a lot of careful plotting and considerable rearranging after that. But it is 300 pages and covers a lot more ground.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I write in my office/library. It is quiet and I can focus. Often, I develop ideas as I walk or work.

What are your hobbies?

I am a hiker. I love to be out in the mountains or desert. Summer hiking, winter cross-country skiing. The further into wilderness, the better.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, write, write. Don’t try to perfect it until later. Join a critique group of people who can give honest and helpful feedback and encouragement.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 10

Blossoms and Blessings, March 11 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 12

Splashes of Joy, March 13 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, March 14

Guild Master, March 15 (Author Interview)

Vibrant Wings by Valerie, March 15

deb’s Book Review, March 16

A Reader’s Brain, March 17 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, March 18

For the Love of Literature, March 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 20

Spoken from the Heart, March 21 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 21

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

Artistic Nobody, March 23



To celebrate his tour, John is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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


In Spotlight and Shadow Review and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book


Book: In Spotlight and Shadow

Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Romance

Release date: February 1, 2023

A Gem of a Mystery Takes Center Stage

​Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Peirson Brooks. Peirson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.

A century earlier…
Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.

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About the Author


Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.

More from Rachel

History of The Loew’s Penn/Heinz Hall Theater


The Loew’s Penn theater in Pittsburgh opened its doors on September 6, 1927. Thousands of Pittsburghians crammed the streets hoping to enter. Those who were fortunate to claim a seat gasped at the grandeur of what that has been billed the ‘Temple of Cinema.’ The new hotspot in the Steel City was regarded as the most magnificent theater between New York and Chicago.

The Loew’s Penn was five stories high and could seat over 3,000 guests. The grand lobby had a 50-foot-high vaulted Venetian ceiling, gilded Corinthian columns, and two spectacular chandeliers. The crystal for the chandeliers was imported from Vienna. From silk drapes to artwork by Renaissance masters to Italian marble staircases the theater seemed more like a museum than a cinema palace. As for the entertainment, the night began with a live stage show followed by a silent film feature.

Attendance averaged around 60,000 theatergoers a week. And with an admission charge of $.50, the theater made around $30,000 a week. Which was a substantial fortune during the 1920s. The theater hosted live stage shows and they also brought in national acts including Paul Whiteman and the Rhythm Boys featuring Bing Crosby. Also Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor graced the stage.


Over the years, the allure of the Loew’s Penn faded, and the theater fell into disrepair, finally shutting its doors in 1968. The Howard Heinz Endowment purchased the building, saving it from demolition. After a 16-month renovation that had cost over $11 million, the doors opened yet again under the new name of Heinz Hall. The plush red carpet is bold and beautiful, but also a subtle nod to … you guessed it … Heinz Ketchup. The grand lobby features the original marble flooring as well as the two 15-foot chandeliers. The main auditorium seats 2,661 guests. Heinz Hall is now the home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra it also hosts concerts and Broadway touring companies.

My Review

Had this book not been part of Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I might not have chosen to read it, and that would certainly have been an unfortunate oversight. Topics such as jewel theft, fame, and city life usually do not appeal to me, and, truth be told, romance has never been at the top of my list either. Having read Undercurrent of Secrets and Above the Fold, however, I had no doubt that Rachel Scott McDaniel would write another compelling novel that I would read from cover-to-cover in two sittings, and In Spotlight and Shadow was precisely that!

Bringing together two young women with storied pasts, Sophie Walters from 1927 and Elise Malvern from the present, In Spotlight and Shadow is as much a tale of contrasts as it is parallels. Beyond the title itself, the interplay between light and darkness creates a chiaroscuro effect throughout the narrative, highlighting the two protagonists as each wrestle with the heartache of past love and the pursuit of their burgeoning careers. Elise is a creative marketing intern at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, but she feels her true place is on stage as a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra—if only she had the courage to audition. Sophie, on the other hand, is an actress who didn’t make it in Hollywood and instead performs a minor role at Loew’s Penn Theatre—to become Heinz Hall decades later—until she is suddenly cast into the limelight under suspicion of being a jewel thief who has earned the moniker The Mirage. The shadows of the past overtake the present for both women when Elise’s former best friend and now country music star Pierson Brooks unexpectedly crashes back into her life and the man whom Sophie abandoned at the altar turns out to be the one investigating her case.

Rachel McDaniel employs the theme of courage and perseverance in the midst of adversity as a means of demonstrating a timeless truth: that regardless of circumstances or identity, God loves us and is faithful to use all things for our good and His glory when we put our trust in Him. As Sophie reflects to herself after remarking to a coworker that the world has many weak imitations of love, “But love in its full strength was something we found only in God.” Likewise, amidst struggles and reopened wounds from the past, Elise comes to an undeniable realization: “She needed to trust in God’s faithfulness to bring her through.” Sometimes our plans don’t turn out the way we thought they would or even should have, but when we surrender our lives to the Lord, we find that nothing is wasted, that it is all strung perfectly together into a harmonious symphony uniquely ours.

McDaniel also incorporates interesting lore about Pittsburgh into this dual-timeline story, and as someone who grew up an hour away from the city, the familiar locales add an extra level of enjoyment. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of this story, though, is the gambling grannies, whose well-intentioned scheming stirs up more trouble than their grandkids bargained for. Indeed, there is a wide-ranging cast who are full of surprises for both their fellow characters and readers alike. Even if this isn’t your preferred genre, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give In Spotlight and Shadow a try!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

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Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)

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Through the Fire Blogs, March 7

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Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8

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Blossoms and Blessings, March 9

Holly’s Book Corner, March 9

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Book Looks by Lisa, March 10

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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