Tag Archives: contemporary

Promises Broken, Promises Kept: A Book Review of Lynette Eason’s “Hostile Intent”

Bestselling Christian fiction author Lynette Eason brings her Danger Never Sleeps tetralogy to an electrifying finale with Hostile Intent. As with the previous three books in this series, this one can be read as a standalone, although there is strong character overlap and therefore spoilers; having previously read only the first book so far myself, I still encourage everyone to read all of them for the pleasure of the plot intricacies and the obvious research that has gone into them. Even as someone who typically shies away from contemporary military stories, I could not put this book down, and it definitely increased my heart rate a time or two!

From the first page, Hostile Intent ratchets up the suspense and lays the foundation for an intense romantic thriller. A caveat is necessary for those who are profoundly disturbed by the murder of children, as well as violence and torture because they are integral to the plot, but Eason handles these sensitive issues with grace and leaves out graphic details. As such, while this may not be a light read, it does take on the all-too-real brutality and antagonism that fuels so many in modern society, offering some insight into how this type of behavior comes about and where it can lead when left unchecked: “Just two more families and his mission would be complete, his promise kept. His grandmother was wrong. Vengeance didn’t belong to God. It belonged to him. And it tasted sweet.” However, teaching someone to hate another person or group of people for any transgression, perceived or real, will never lead to a positive outcome for anyone.

Amidst this backdrop of reprisal, Ava Jackson, who recently left the Navy to care for her dying mother, finds herself somehow involved in a case of several murdered families, of which hers might be next. Working with FBI Special Agent Caden Denning to put the puzzle pieces together before time runs out, the duo uncover secrets that someone went to great lengths to conceal—and keep that way. Just as revenge can be a powerful motivator, so too the desire to protect the ones you love, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. After all, Jesus Himself showed us that sometimes the most unpleasant situations can lead to the most blessed destinations. As Caden remarks, “It’s funny how life can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it—or how God can change your perspective.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Buy your copy HERE

Lethal Cover-Up Review and GIVEAWAY!

ck62hyHQ

About the Book

IsRYalTA

Book: Lethal Cover-Up

Author: Darlene L. Turner

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Some secrets are dangerous…

But uncovering the truth could be deadly.

Border patrol officer Madison Steele knows her sister Leah’s fatal car crash was no accident. Someone’s willing to kill to cover up a pharmaceutical company’s deadly crime of distributing tainted drugs. Now they are after Madison to tie off loose ends. But with her high school sweetheart, Canadian police constable Tucker Reed, at her side, can Madison expose the company’s deadly plan before she becomes the next victim?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

qTKAJYaA

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.

More from Darlene

The Hidden Staircase, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Sign of the Twisted Candles—these were just some of my favorite Nancy Drew books. I couldn’t get enough of them growing up! My family often saw me with my nose stuck in one of Nancy’s many tales. When I was finished with those, I’d sneak my brother’s Hardy Boy books and devour them too. This is where my love of writing and of a good mystery/suspense began.

Creating stories in the romantic suspense genre was a natural journey for me. I had always wanted to be a policewoman after watching Charlie’s Angels (they even kicked butt while wearing high heels…what could be better than that?!), Cagney and Lacey, Police woman, Murder She Wrote, etc. My love for all-things-mystery carried into my adult life. Who doesn’t love Sydney Bristow and Kate Beckett?

I enjoy creating strong female characters in a law enforcement role. Madison Steele fits the bill head on as she works to bring down a ruthless pharmaceutical company. While she has nerves of steel, I also wanted to make her vulnerable. In the beginning Madison loses her long-lost sister in a heart-wrenching crash. One she knows was not an accident. This thrusts her into a deadly pursuit of the perpetrators with her estranged high school sweetheart, Tucker Reed, by her side.

I wrote this book during the tough year our world faced living in the unknown. Madison and Tucker are stuck in their own fears but eventually find hope. Hope in the unknown and hope in knowing God is in control and with us—no matter the circumstances. We just need to know where to look.

I hope you enjoy reading Madison and Tucker’s story as much as I loved crafting it. I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me through my website www.darlenelturner.com and also sign up for Darlene’s Diary newsletter to receive exclusive subscriber giveaways.

My Review

Review to come.

My rating:

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 18

Lighthouse-Academy, August 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 19

Genesis 5020, August 19

Simply Susan, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 20

Bizwings Blog, August 20

She Lives To Read, August 21

HookMeInABook, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 22

Mary Hake, August 22

Betti Mace, August 23

Daysong Reflections, August 23

For the Love of Literature, August 24

deb’s Book Review, August 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 26

Pause for Tales, August 26

Blogging With Carol, August 26

For Him and My Family, August 27

Simple Harvest Reads, August 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 28

Batya’s Bits, August 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 29

Kayem Reads, August 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie , August 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 30, August 30

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 31

Labor Not in Vain, August 31

Giveaway

XHBlotrw

To celebrate her tour, Darlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of Lethal Cover-Up!!

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/1141b/lethal-cover-up-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story Author Interview

oZsBxt_A

About the Book

EFYd7HLg

Book: The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story

Author: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade Novel

Release date: June, 2021

Foster kid Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa, drummer for the Rubber Band, chooses Elvis for his 4th grade living biography report. With little money to create a costume, Rocky believes he’ll be the worst Elvis impersonation ever, destined to fail.

When his ex-con father Eduardo, sneaks into his life demanding attention, Rocky’s best friend and lead guitar for the band, Eddie, comes to his rescue. Eddie involves the entire band in Rocky’s protection to be “secret service” and comedic chaos erupts.

After the Rubber Band performs its first set at the mayor’s 50th birthday party, Rocky mysteriously disappears. The band realizes it’s no longer about fun and games. Friends and family are what matter most in life. The bond of the band demands that secrets be revealed.

Will friends, foster or blood family win the battle for Rocky’s future?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

hHuUw80g

Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation:

Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

The Rubber Band Stretches, Rocky’s Story is the second book in The Rubber Band middle grade novel series by Christy Hoss.

More from Christy

Why the Rubber Band?

Sitting in the front row keeping an eye on my students, the stage curtain opened to our elementary school assemble. A sign over the group declared “The Rubber Band.” With one stroke the lead guitar caused my inner groupie to emerge. I screamed in delight and crooned out. ‘Born to Be Wild’ along with the kid band delivering professional sounds. Our usually reserved staff soon joined me in my whoops of delight and the band had the entire assembly on its feet, dancing and clapping.

I was so impressed by this rock and roll group of fourth and fifth grade students, I asked them to play at my fiftieth birthday party.

Returning to our classroom, I put on my writer’s hat, thinking about what a cool kid’s book The Rubber Band would make. But I had to come up with a plotline. It was then I noticed a rubber band on the floor and knew instantly what needed to be done. It had to be about a good guitar-playing kid getting trouble for a mis-shot rubber band. He’s sent to the principal’s office where he sees the sign advertising the talent contest and he begins his quest to recruit a diverse group of misfit kids to form a garage band.

My imagination took off as I thought about the many children I have taught through the years. Most of my characters are inspired by those actual students and events. Rocky is a fictional name given to a real foster kid who came to our school temporarily. He used to walk alone around the perimeter of the school boundaries – just like Rocky. Edison and Oliver are actual names of maternal twins I taught my first year at Kenwood Elementary, the school I derived Wildwood elementary from. Even Principal Haymaker is based on my friend, Principal Bales.

The band is not without troubles and Eddie soon finds himself challenged by an incurable illness. But the bond of the band is strong, and they will not snap but hang tight to see the dream through no matter how it turns out. Rocky longs to be a part of a permanent family, but has his heartstrings pulled when his freshly paroled birth father shows up. Becca is the lonely, spoiled-rotten rich girl with no friends but a voice of gold. Manny plays bass and Oliver the keyboards, but not without adding their own unique personalities to the mix.

You’ll be hearing more from The Rubber Band as I plan to write about their adventures into adulthood and beyond, and there will be many.

I no longer look at a rubber band and think of it as just an elastic ring to hold things together. It’s a simple, useful object. that inspired a novel series.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

In second grade my teacher, Mrs. Olson, told me I was destined to be a writer after winning a writing contest with a story about my dachshund dog, Noodles. I never lost sight of that dream and began to pursue it 15 years ago by attending writing conferences.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

My first writing conference, I mentored under Brandilyn Collins. She taught me to write a hook at the end of every chapter. I love reading her Seatbelt Suspense books that are always hard to put down, page turners to the very end.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I can’t write unless I’ve had my nails done

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

One hour on, three hours off…do some chores, then try to write some more

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am definitely a pantser, but an aspiring plotter.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I love to write in my backyard in the shade while sitting in the bench swing my husband built for me, otherwise I’m in my office where I find most of my inspiration.

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

I like reading modernism because I can relate to it.

Describe your book in five words.

Rock Music Roller Coaster Ride

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

Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa speaks to me the most because as a kid, I was always looking to belong and be loved, and this is his heart’s desire- to belong to a forever family

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Yes- but I’m not giving them up…

What are your hobbies?

I love to sculpt and create art, mostly with clay, but when I get an idea in my head, it doesn’t have to be ceramic for me to create it

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My Dad. He was the kindest, most patient man who taught elementary school 40+ years and always supported my endeavors

What is your favorite book?

Little Women

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

There is nothing like a good page turner. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. A traditional book smells better and is easier on the eyes.

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

Joseph from the Old testament. I love how he was a dreamer, overcame extreme difficulties and was able to forgive his brothers, forging a way for the survival of the Israelite nation

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

The Wizard of Oz

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

C.S. Lewis

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Revise, revise, revise and never stop learning the craft

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

For the Love of Literature, August 12 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 14

deb’s Book Review, August 15

Vicky Sluiter, August 16 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 18

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

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Giveaway

Sr_GLKew

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of both The Rubber Band and The Rubber Band Stretches!!

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/111b5/the-rubber-band-stretches-rocky-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shadow Review and GIVEAWAY!

Jwd7lOHw

About the Book

6kWtyydA

Book: Shadow

Author: Kara Swanson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

 
Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

ig3EdBdw

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

 

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

 

This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

 

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

 

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:

 

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

 

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

 

We can conquer.

 

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

 

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

 

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

 

We are not finished.

 

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.

 

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

 

It comes from our King.

 

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

 

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

 

The important thing is that they can be slain.

My Review

Review to come!

My rating: 

Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13

Giveaway

7JV__snk

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

Missing in the Desert Review and GIVEAWAY!

T6nytaAQ

About the Book

NL5qKEww

Book: Missing in the Desert

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Five years ago, her sister disappeared…
Now someone is coming for her.

Who would believe that Mara Castillo’s sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer’s sights with her brother’s best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

NFlZgAiQ

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Hello, readers! Boy am I excited! Since the virus-that-not-shall-be-named is being brought under control, I am cautiously venturing out again and our first vacation spot will be a return to Death Valley. Papa Bear and I love the amazing diversity of Death Valley, from the salt flats, to the sand dunes, mountains, and everything in between. Writing this book allowed me to relive the incredible topography, as well as let my mind run loose imagining a cold case that warms up to fiery levels in this ferocious climate. Part of this story revolves around “Camp Town Days” which was inspired by the Encampment Days, an event held in November by a volunteer group called the Death Valley 49ers that aims to capture the pioneer spirit with their wagon rides, parade, poetry readings, a vendor show, and historical talks. I hope you can feel the desert wind in your face and hear the distant howl of the coyote as you dive into the second book in the Death Valley Justice series.

My Review

Was this real? Was she in the grip of a heinous nightmare?

The second Desert Justice story by Dana Mentink, Missing in the Desert, shoots out of the gate with a gripping first chapter that sets the pace for the rest of this Love-Inspired Suspense installation. While technically it could be a stand-alone, I recommend reading Framed in Death Valley first; I did not have a chance to do so, and I think that if I had, I would have had a richer understanding of the relationships between the characters. Nevertheless, this did not at all detract from my enjoyment of this novel.

Suspense relies, naturally, on action and plot, but carefully developing the characters and how they interact with one another is likewise imperative. Mentink introduces them here in a rapid-fire style and then proceeds to explore them throughout the narrative, an effective technique that underscores the power of first impressions and demonstrates that people are not always as they appear. Everyone has something in their past that they regret, and for some, the past becomes the present. Five years after her younger sister Corinne disappears and is presumed dead, Mara Castillo reluctantly steps in to help Levi Duke on his ranch, only to find herself in the crosshairs of a killer. Her name stood out to me immediately, and as Naomi called herself Mara in Ruth 1:20, the forename is fitting here, also; Mara Castillo is bitter and sad about her circumstances at the beginning of the story, but as she begins to see things differently, her heart changes.

As a dog and horse lover, this cover caught my eye before I knew anything about the story itself. I enjoy the inclusion of the ranch animals in the narrative, often offering a bit of comic relief during or after tense scenes. For instance, in an amusing twist, Banjo the dog goes from stalwart guard to unlikely mother. The animals also signify the importance of home as a place of belonging, refuge, and freedom to pursue dreams. Even when those dreams end up looking differently than expected, which is when faith must truly believe that the Lord will keep His promise to “make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

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, July 28

Simply Susan, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Remembrancy, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 30

For the Love of Literature, July 30

deb’s Book Review, July 31

Through the Fire Blogs, July 31

She Lives To Read, August 1

Batya’s Bits, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 1

Pause for Tales, August 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 3

Genesis 5020, August 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 5

Blossoms and Blessings, August 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 6

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 6

Older & Smarter?, August 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7

Labor Not in Vain , August 7

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

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Life, Love, Writing, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Betti Mace, August 9

Daysong Reflections, August 10

Splashes of Joy , August 10

Blogging With Carol, August 10

Giveaway

gv3BwEvg

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/110df/missing-in-the-desert-celebration-tour-giveaway

Ablaze Review and GIVEAWAY!

ny6O5hrc

About the Book

ax8_HEq8

Book: Ablaze

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Genre: Christian YA

Release date: February 25, 2021

This summer the Stanley sisters and the Miles boys are excited to hike together again, and now they have the unique opportunity to help two of their ranger friends with an outdoor program in the beautiful Montana mountains.

Marlee has always considered herself a willing follower. Give her a direction and she’s happy to help. Her older sister Ellie is a natural leader, and Marlee is content in her role as assistant.

Marlee and her sisters have been assigned to help with Ranger Rose’s team, and they are savoring the adventure. But in a heartbeat while the group is divided by a few hundred feet, fire breaks out between Ranger Rose and Marlee’s group. In this enthralling finale to the Off the Itinerary series, Marlee must face her fears with courage that only God can provide.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

xCEQWR6E

Liz is the author of the Off the Itinerary series, the wife of a professional tree climber, and the homeschooling mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She makes adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone).

More from Liz

After sending my five teenage characters through an avalanche and subjecting them to a lunatic with handcuffs (during a flash flood), I decided that a wildfire was the next disaster they should endure. From a plot perspective, a wildfire allows for much excitement; but I especially love the character refinement that takes place as my cast faces this natural disaster in the finale to my Off the Itinerary series. I hope your family will find encouraging entertainment in Ablaze.

My Review

Review to come!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

EmpowerMoms, June 5

Texas Book-aholic, June 6

Remembrancy, June 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 8

Inklings and notions, June 9

For Him and My Family, June 10

deb’s Book Review, June 11

Rebecca Tews, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

For the Love of Literature, June 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 17

Giveaway

HWXVWCAI

To celebrate her tour, M. Liz is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of Ablaze and a $25 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/10d04/ablaze-celebration-tour-giveaway

Written Off Review and GIVEAWAY!

-h3HQrHY

About the Book

j1-ab260

Book: Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

“Break a leg?” They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

dKUjbbCM

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story. Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

My Review

The third and concluding book of the Wilkester Mysteries, Written Off finds Katrina Peters preparing for her upcoming wedding to police detective Todd Mason. Because this trilogy follows the same character arc, it is best read in order, but the mystery plot in each stands independently. My favorite aspect of these stories is author Barbara Cornthwaite’s literary allusions; the witticisms that she employs stem from Katrina’s work as an adjunct English professor, the details of which are imparted in Brought to Book. I was an English major myself, so I get a particular glee from the quotations and references.

Given the subject matter of Written Off, this book is very germane to current events in the news. Hate crimes seemingly fueled by racism incite the otherwise quiet college town of Wilkester, and the flashpoint may be Katrina’s Writing Detective Fiction class. In an example of Cornthwaite’s clever humor, Katrina considers this and exclaims to herself, “I’d been unwittingly training a cohort of felons!” Of course, as with any mystery worth its red herrings, the solution is not so straightforward. Add in wedding planning and house hunting, and this is a fast-reading cozy that demonstrates a realistic approach to the challenges that everyone faces at some point, whether single or married.

As such, I recommend this trilogy to those who enjoy cozy literary mysteries combined with Christian romance and contemporary societal issues. I personally enjoyed the first two books the most; I prefer mystery over romance, and if I’m being completely honest, Katrina annoyed me a bit in the lead-up to the wedding. I definitely appreciate Cornthwaite’s insight into the nature of criminal activity, as evinced by Katrina’s friend Kim: “Trying to stop other people’s sin—how overwhelming. Although I don’t think they would call it sin. They would probably call it evil, which for some reason calls for destruction rather than repentance.” As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Ultimately the message of the Gospel comes down to this, too, as Jesus tells the Pharisees in Matthew 22: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

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: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

See my review of Brought to Book HERE and Snuffed Out HERE

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

April Hayman, Author, June 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 2

Losing the Busyness, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

CarpeDiem, June 3

Remembrancy, June 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 4

She Lives To Read, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 7

Inklings and notions, June 7

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Joanne Markey, June 11

Through the Fire blogs, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Daysong Reflections, June 13

Giveaway

ML7lULr4

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/10ca5/written-off-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dynamic Duo: A Book Review of Melissa Koslin’s “Never Miss”

412HePJnLOS._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Like always, she pretended the pain wasn’t there, hadn’t ever been there. If she didn’t pretend, she’d never survive. And if her training had taught her anything other than how to kill, it was how to survive.

Categorizing this novel proves to be challenging, as it has an amalgamation of elements that all blend together into one taut thriller. It is equal parts suspense and romance, with intrigue, a military component, and psychological twists thrown in to make things even more interesting. I would be hard-pressed to recall another book like it that I have read, and I am planning to read the author’s next book, a sneak peek of which appears at the end of this one.

For a debut, Never Miss aims high and hits the mark. Melissa Koslin demonstrates an impressive ability not only to craft an exhilarating plot, but also to create quirky, sympathetic characters that in most settings would seem aloof yet fit ideally into their roles here. In fact, despite not being much of a romance fan and accustomed to glossing over those scenes, in this novel I found my heartstrings tugged and at times outright wrenched. I felt able to identify with the characters, Kadance Tolle and Lyndon Vaile, on the basis of being the odd one out most of the time, not really fitting in with any groups of people, and living a solitary life. I appreciate how Koslin writes them as complements to each other but does not make their relationship a completely linear journey. Their complexity and neurodivergence is what sets them on the path of preventing a bioweapons attack, and as the plot unfolds and they learn more about each other, the story only becomes more compelling.

Admittedly, reading about the lethal Ebola virus as a synthetically-produced bioweapon while the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing may seem like overkill, but, in my opinion at least, Never Miss does not concentrate on the biological or medical details as much as it does on the personal development of the characters and their interactions. Theirs is the storyline that dominated my attention, and Koslin digs deeply into the psyche of each, unearthing their unconventional childhoods and their skill-honing years since. I thought that both Kadance and Lyndon were fascinating, despite how improbable their characters were with regard to abilities. Mac the Maine Coon fit in perfectly, and while I am a dog person, I loved Mac’s character, especially since it was often more canine than feline.

As for the faith element, it exists largely in the background, a “show-don’t-tell” aspect of the story that I might have been disappointed by had Koslin not already set up the framework for why it is this way. Without giving anything away, I will say that it again comes down to the characters. I do love that the author is not afraid to take on the fact that science and Christianity are not mutually exclusive, and that the Bible confirms this. Lyndon sums it up when he says, “For me, Jesus is more than logical. His teachings do make the world a better place—you can find empirical evidence for that. But even stronger than that, for me, is that his teachings reflect who I want to be. I probably fail more than I succeed, but I keep trying.

Readers who enjoy high-octane adventures full of twists and clean romance, with at times questionable plausibility that makes the story all the more entertaining will devour this debut novel from Melissa Koslin.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Buy your copy HERE

Prairie Review and GIVEAWAY!

88i7q010

About the Book

_R_DQjNQ

Book: Prairie

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fantasy

Release date: February 13, 2013

What if you could literally wish your life away?

My name is Jessa Davidson, and I awoke one day in the place of every dream I’ve ever had—the prairie. I don’t know how I got here or where here even is, but I know one thing for certain. I can’t go home again. Ever.

If I’ve learned one thing being in this beautiful place, it’s that no matter how perfect it and its people seem, sin lives in the hearts of men and women in Prairie, too. The differences between Prairie and Pittsburgh? There are too many to count.

I grew up hearing the words of the Apostle Paul. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Here in Prairie, they’re not a lesson. They’re a warning.

I’ve been given a gift—the greatest desire of my heart. A life in the place of my dreams, a chance at love and family, a sense of real belonging.

Can I hold onto it? Time will tell—time I may not have if I can’t learn to be content.

Prairie is the first book in the Journey of Dreams, a series of related but stand-alone contemporary Christian fantasy novels exploring truths in a whole new way.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

bjukapI4

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

When Your Novel Teaches You an Important Lesson

I’ve told the story before, but I’ll tell it again. Prairie began as a dream. For several days in a row, I fell asleep and found myself lost in the sway of prairie grasses undulating to the strains of “Theme from a Summer Place.”

It’s a bad habit of mine, but despite being in the middle of a writing project, I wrote down my thoughts—my impressions. Two strange things happened.

First, the story came out in first person. Folks, I don’t write in first-person perspective. Not my novels, anyway. I don’t enjoy reading it, and I really don’t enjoy writing it.

Jessa, however, demanded I let her tell her story… her way. So I did. And it’s one of the fastest novels I’ve ever written.

There’s irony in that.

You see, I didn’t know where that story would go. My dream only replayed the scene of Jessa waking up on the prairie and not knowing how she got there—only knowing she could never go home. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

And though I wanted to rush through so I could see where the story would take me, and though I wrote at breakneck speeds, the story unfolded at its own pace.

The people of Prairie live a different life from anything you’ve ever seen—and yet it is mostly very familiar. One thing, however, sets it apart.

Time.

Only in Prairie does time not work as it does here, and that changes everything. The story begins slowly and for a reason. Line by line, observation by observation, step by step through the grasses and down rutted lanes, the story draws you out of the breakneck speed of modern life and into a world that, if you aren’t careful, will whiz by faster than is even possible.

Here in our world, that is.

There… you’d better watch out.

Has anyone ever warned you not to wish your life away? It’s just a gentle reminder that if you’re always eager for today to end in hopes of a more exciting tomorrow, you may find you never lived.

In Prairie? It might actually happen.

My Review

I actually purchased this book last Christmas, as a gift for both my mom and myself, so I was quick to sign up for the blog tour. My mom passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks after Christmas and never got a chance to read the book, and in the ensuing upheaval of these following months, I’ve fallen behind in everything, including my reviews. I intend to read and review this one soon, though!

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 29

For the Love of Literature, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Inklings and notions, June 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

deb’s Book Review, June 3

Spoken from the Heart, June 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 4

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

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 7

Pause for Tales, June 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 8

Lots of Helpers, June 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10

Giveaway

IO-Oq4Y8

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book & a $25 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/10ca2/prairie-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shattered Guilt Epic Book Launch

About the Book

cXUXJtFI

Book: Shattered Guilt

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 15, 2021

When they told her about Southern hospitality, no one mentioned human trafficking.

The move to Bay Town, Mississippi was supposed to be a fresh start for single-mom Melanie and her daughter, Lacy. The quiet Southern town offers a nice relief after the frenetic-paced life of Los Angeles, but something sinister lurks beneath the surface.

Her bridal business struggles to take off, and instead of turning to the Lord, Melanie makes a desperate plea for help–from her ex-husband. Lacey is attacked, and while she is hospitalized, her friend goes missing—a victim of human trafficking out of New Orleans.

With her ex-husband showing true signs of repentance, the pastor she’d begun to fall for is taking a step back, and her daughter’s friend lost to the animals who stole her, Melanie goes on a desperate, dangerous mission to rescue the girl and get their lives back.

And she’ll do it with or without the Lord’s help.

How can Melanie find the girls and rescue them without getting caught herself? Why can’t she trust the Lord to keep them all safe, and which man in her life is the right one–if either?

Read this heart-gripping, pulse-racing novel and see how the Lord’s hand is on us, even when He seems so very far away.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

Dbyb75J8

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American. Born in Okinawa, raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels are the inspirational settings for her stories. She and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with fourteen grandchildren and counting. The diversity of their 31 family members provide the inspiration for more lively characters than can be imagined. Her husband grew up in the streets of Los Angeles raised by a single working mom, and that life provides fodder for many of the conflicts of her characters.

Tackling difficult life’s trials with God’s strength are the central theme of Kathleen’s stories. She hopes to inspire her readers to trust God and with His strength, weather through and rise above trials and tragedies. If you like suspenseful stories with a thread of romance, you will enjoy Kathleen’s Bay Town Series!

Book Excerpt

Melanie felt terrible for putting the poor man on the defensive. “Oh, you didn’t. I’m fine with it. My daughter, Lacey, and I started out living with my parents, and they helped me out. It was my father that pushed me into getting this business going.”

He seemed to be interested.

“So, Lacey’s father and I were married for barely a year. He wasn’t even there when she was born. He came back once, but we got divorced before her first birthday.”

“Doesn’t sound like such a great guy.” His eyes grew wide. “Oh. I’m sorry again. I didn’t mean to judge. I don’t even know the guy.” He removed the sunglasses resting on the top of his head and attempted to shove them in his front shirt pocket. Twice.

Melanie laughed. “Actually, he was a great guy, just a terrible husband. I made some foolish choices back then. But God blessed me with a wonderful daughter.”

“Yes, Lacey’s pretty special. She sure brightens up the church on Sunday mornings.”

Hearing him say her daughter’s name warmed her heart and made something spark. A sigh escaped. “So, let’s make an appointment for this couple.”

Missed Any Excerpts? Go Here