Tag Archives: inspirational

Hearts on Fire: A Book Review of Amanda Cabot’s “Dreams Rekindled”

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As much as I enjoyed Out of the Embers, I have to say that I loved Dreams Rekindled even more. There will be one more book in this trilogy, and I presume that it will also have a fire-inspired title. Symbolic of so many things, in this case I personally think that the connotation evokes a sense of renewal and the presence of the Holy Spirit. While the books could be read as standalones, the stories have much more depth when read in their proper order; the backgrounds of the characters and of Mesquite Springs itself all contribute to the series as a whole, and seeing how they connect enhances the impact.

Combining romance and suspense with the happenings of small-town Mesquite Springs, Texas in the 1850s, Amanda Cabot tells the story of two people on a mission to take a new direction in life—one that sets them straight in each other’s path. Sister to Wyatt from the first book in the trilogy, Dorothy Clark dreams of a career as a writer, fueled by the recent publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Brandon Holloway seeks a quiet town to start over and establish his newspaper after an editorial brings devastation. However, “A newspaper is more than entertainment or simply reporting what happened. When an editor sees important issues, it’s his responsibility to bring them to everyone’s attention,” according to Dorothy. Truly, no matter what our past and present struggles, the Lord can use them for good in ways that we would never have thought possible, and usually there is a part of the resolution that speaks directly to us as a special nudge from God.

Dreams Rekindled raises issues that are mirrored in our current society. One of these is the feeling of guilt over perceived culpability in an unexpected situation over which someone had no control, as is the case with Brandon. Most of us have experienced this to some degree at one time or another, blaming ourselves for something beyond our control and thereby carrying a heavy burden that was never meant for our shoulders. Sowing division also plays a large role in the story as well as in today’s world. Then, as now, pitting citizens against one another is a sure way to tear a community apart and ultimately destroy it. Dreams Rekindled illustrates how this is so often done through nefarious means, planting lies and turning people against one another. As the apostle Paul exhorts in 2 Corinthians 13:11: “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

One of the prominent themes in the novel is forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. Compassion and empathy go a long way toward healing wounds, especially when we seek to understand someone else’s point of view and perspective. Our own might not change, and while the other person may be in the wrong, some understanding can encourage better conduct and communication in the future. That is, after all, part of our mission as Christians: to be encouragers and to communicate well with the Lord and as witnesses for our faith. As Dorothy thinks to herself, “What an amazing answer to prayer.

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

A Unique Perspective on Moses’ Story: A Book Review of Jill Eileen Smith’s “Miriam’s Song”

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As she watched the fire of God move and breathe like a spirit ablaze, somehow she knew. He cared for her. She might never see His face, but she had felt His touch. And that was enough.

This may be the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last! Biblical fiction is difficult enough as a genre when using fictional characters who serve as onlookers to major historical events, but taking on the formidable task of writing about some of the main Biblical figures is something else altogether. As Smith herself mentions in her note to readers at the end of this book, there is not much information about Miriam in the Bible, and extracting her character means working through that of her brothers Aaron and especially Moses. In doing so, Miriam emerges as a woman who has been called by God to serve, alongside her brothers, in leading His chosen people out of Egyptian slavery.

So many aspects of this familiar Old Testament story struck me anew as I read Miriam’s Song, not the least of which is a fresh appreciation for the men and women who paved the way for the eventual coming of Jesus. To think that at the time of Moses and the Exodus, the people had not heard from God in four hundred and thirty years! Jochebed refers to her son, the infant Moses, as their “tikvah,” or hope, and years later Miriam’s husband Jephunneh tells Miriam to “Pray God will do something, because if He does not, there is no hope.” Those whom God raised up throughout the Old Testament prove that every person has a propensity for sin, thereby making Christ’s coming and sacrifice necessary to enable God to live among us.

As I read, Smith’s perspective of this time in Biblical history revealed connections that I hadn’t necessarily made before. I can see parallels between the Exodus and the coming Tribulation, as well as between some of the Egyptians joining the Hebrews in fleeing Egypt and, later, the Gentiles joining God’s chosen people for salvation through Jesus. Similarly, I don’t think that I had ever really honed in on the fact that the ten plagues which God released on Egypt also afflicted those Hebrews who had followed sinful Egyptian practices, or that each plague was clearly aimed at defeating a specific Egyptian god. As Miriam attests, “She had never considered that God would judge His own people as well as their oppressors. But sin was sin, and she knew deep within her that no sin went unnoticed by their God.” Miriam learns that they are the ones holding themselves back from the Promised Land, and instead of becoming frustrated and angry with God and with Moses, she recognizes that “If only the people would realize that to obey was freedom. To rebel only brought heartache and loss.” Some things never change!

Related in five parts with third-person narration, Miriam’s Song by Jill Eileen Smith delves into the largely-unknown life of Moses’ older sister, Miriam. While fictional, it remains true to the Biblical account in regard to historical events, taking artistic liberty to explore the possible perspective and life of Miriam, prophetess of God and leader of women during the Exodus and afterward. Time lapses in the narrative can be a bit abrupt but are understandable and handled well, with a succinct explanation of the intervening years. I highly recommend this Biblical fiction novel to fans of the genre and to anyone interested in the Exodus and the life of the Hebrews during that time.

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

Providence Epic Book Launch

About the Book

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Book: Providence

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

How can she forgive a man she isn’t sure she ever knew?

Melissa Bainbridge doesn’t have time to grieve. She has three kids to feed, bills stacked high enough to crush her, and guilt–oh so much guilt.

When her husband’s death is ruled a suicide, her financial stability and identity die with the man she now wonders if she ever knew. How could he choose to leave them like this? How could she have lived with him for 15 years and not known of his fragile mental health?

A journey of discovery reveals more questions than answers until Melissa finally faces her fears and tries to understand the mind of the man she thought she knew and never did.

The journey from despair to hope leads Melissa beyond grief and into the light of forgiveness in Providence.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

Book Excerpt

Trevor wouldn’t come in through the front door.

Out of habit, I flip on the porch light and peer through the glass sidelight, hoping to see Trevor’s hangdog expression—his attempt to work me before I can even voice my anger. Instead, I’m slapped with the image of two police uniforms.

* * *

It seems appropriate that anemic flakes of snow drift from the steel-gray sky on just such a day. Placerville sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills and sees the occasional winter white, but it’s rare enough that when it makes an appearance, the kids run outside, their heads tilted back, mouths open to catch a flake or two on their tongues.

But not today.

We sit graveside in the cemetery. Graveside. The word bounces around in my mind as all else fades away but the soul deep pain of knowing Trevor lies in that casket. And even knowing that, anger at him has a visceral grip on my heart.

I didn’t sign up for this. We had a plan. We were a family. And now it’s like a chair missing a leg—it doesn’t work.

Pastor Kent’s voice drones on in the background.

Missed Past Excerpts? Go Here

Excerpt Onehttps://vickysluitercom.wordpress.com/book-tours/

Excerpt Twohttps://beckiebythebook.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-providence/

Excerpt Threehttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-excerpt-

providence/

Excerpt Fourhttp://www.simpleharvestreads.com/posts/providence-book-excerpt/

Excerpt Fivehttps://abakersperspective.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/

Excerpt Sixhttps://litteraegaudium.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/providence-epic-book-

launch/

Excerpt Sevenhttps://www.susankbeatty.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/

Framed in Death Valley Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Framed in Death Valley

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Suspense

Release date: March 1, 2021

Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, firefighter Beckett Duke gave up on everything—including his marriage to spirited Laney Holland. That is, until Laney’s life is threatened. Knowing the real killer is still at large, Beckett now has one purpose: protecting the woman he loves…and their unborn child. But sometimes an innocent man’s second chance comes with a deadly price.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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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 the 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. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle.

More from Dana

What’s up in Death Valley?

As the desert vistas opened up in front of Papa Bear and me, I felt an amazing sense of peace. Mind you, we were visiting Death Valley in the fall. No braving the 130 plus summer temperatures for this couple! I simply cannot describe to you the wonder I felt, as a suburbanite from a bustling, noisy Northern California city. There is never a moment at home when I see only open horizon, when I hear nothing but quiet breezes. I was, quite simply, stunned.

I had done some research about places to visit as potential series settings, and Death Valley was at the top of the list. The websites did not disappoint. Artist’s Palette, the gorgeous peak painted in a rainbow of rock colors? Check! Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, glistening with salt and not so lifeless as one might think…check! How about my favorite moment…jouncing along the precarious trail through Titus Canyon? Check! Would all of these incomparable locations be suitable for a six book suspense series? Roger that!

It’s ironic that I felt so welcomed by such an inhospitable locale. Visiting is one thing, but it takes a certain rugged breed of individuals to live in such a hostile climate. What fodder for fiction! I simply could not wait to get home and start creating the Duke family. And you know what? When this pandemic is over, Death Valley is the first place I want to return…in the fall, of course! Do you have a place near and dear to your heart? What’s first on your travel list after the world opens up again?

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

Blog Stops

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 16

Among the Reads, March 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 17 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, March 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 18

Genesis 5020, March 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 19

Betti Mace, March 19

Lighthouse Academy, March 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 20

Bizwings Blog, March 20

Texas Book-aholic, March 21

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 21

Inklings and notions, March 22

Remembrancy, March 22

Simple Harvest Reads, March 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, March 23

Blogging With Carol, March 23

Older & Smarter?, March 24

Fiction Book Lover, March 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

KarenSueHadley, March 24

She Lives To Read, March 25

deb’s Book Review, March 25

Through the Fire Blogs, March 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 27

Labor Not in Vain, March 27

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

Pause for Tales, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 29

Daysong Reflections, March 29

Hallie Reads, March 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card, a set of six mini cactus candles, 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/1093d/framed-in-death-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway

Texas Target Standoff Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Texas Target Standoff

Author: Virginia Vaughan

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 1, 2021

A sniper lurks closer…

and only a navy SEAL can save her.

When psychologist Shelby Warren suddenly becomes a sniper’s target, navy SEAL Paul Avery springs into action to protect her. He needs her evaluation to get back to his team…and rescuing her might finally give him the redemption he’s been searching for. But when danger follows them to his family’s Texas ranch, keeping Shelby safe could be his most difficult assignment yet.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Bestselling author Virginia Vaughan writes inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love or writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.

More from Virginia

As writers, we discover many new and interesting things while researching a story. For TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF, I decided I wanted the hero to have a dog so I started looking at different photographs of dogs online until I found the one image I wanted to use—a sweet little border collie I named Bullet. He helps my navy SEAL hero find comfort and friendship while he’s recovering from injuries at his family’s ranch. But looking at dog photos on the internet did more than help my character grow, it also inspired me to adopt a dog of my own.

My home had been pet-free for many years since my beloved dog Miss Duchess died from cancer five years ago and, although the ten-year-old nephew I’m raising had been asking for a dog for about a year, I hadn’t reached the point of pulling the trigger and bringing another one home. Only the research I did for this book reopened that desire inside of me for canine companionship. In September of 2020, my son and I searched the shelters in search of a family dog and, when I spotted this adorable border collie mix, I knew we had to bring her home. We named her Ivy and, since joining our family, this sweet girl has brought us lots of love and laughter, plus a new adventure—dog training. I’ve never trained a dog in my life and little Ivy is a stubborn one. I’ve scoured YouTube for videos, taken classes, and worked daily on the simplest of commands like sit, wait, lie down. Slowly, we are making progress although barking, jumping, and walking on a leash are still some areas where we’re struggling.

I’d love to hear about your pets or your best training tips! To learn more about my family, including my training journey with Ivy, follow me on Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter at the links below. And look out for the next book—little sister Kellyanne’s story—in my Cowboy Lawmen series coming June 29, 2021.

Blessings!

Virginia

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 12

For the Love of Literature, March 12

Through the Fire Blogs, March 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 13

Bizwings Blog, March 13

Texas Book-aholic, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

Fiction Book Lover, March 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

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

Genesis 5020, March 15

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 16

Artistic Nobody, March 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, March 17

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 17

Older & Smarter?, March 18

deb’s Book Review, March 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 19

Blogging With Carol, March 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 20

Betti Mace, March 20

Mary Hake, March 20

Lighthouse Academy, March 21

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 22

Blossoms and Blessings, March 22

Labor Not in Vain, March 22

KarenSueHadley, March 23

She Lives To Read, March 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 24

Pause for Tales, March 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 25 (Author Interview)

HookMeInABook, March 25

Simple Harvest Reads, March 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Texas Target Standoff!!

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/1095e/texas-target-standoff-celebration-tour-giveaway

Faith’s Mountain Home Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Faith’s Mountain Home

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Nate Long has always watched over his identical twin brother, Aaron, even when it put him on the wrong side of the law. When Aaron is wounded in a shootout, the brothers are taken to Settler’s Fort to recover. As Nate works to make reparations for their past, he marvels at the nursing Aaron receives under the care of a woman with all the reason in the world to resent him.

Laura Hannon knows what it is to start over, and she knows Nate’s newfound faith is real. What she can’t look past is how far he allowed himself to be led astray by his brother’s weaknesses.

As a fledgling trust grows between Nate and Laura, they stumble upon a mysterious cave in the mountains that may not be as uninhabited as it seems.

As they work together for a common cause, will the new lives they seek for themselves include love, or is there too much that stands between them?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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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.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

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Who doesn’t love a good cave?

Well, maybe not everyone, but I have to confess, I love exploring!

While there aren’t many caves near my South Carolina home, I’ve always loved the idea of finding an opening hidden in the rocks. Then venturing in and finding a huge cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites and a host of other beauties I can’t pronounce!

And dark tunnels? As long as I have a light and a string to unravel as I go so I can get back out, I’m game!

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a large cave in real life that had never been explored, but in Faith’s Mountain Home, Nate and Laura found exactly that! Although…turns out, it had been discovered by someone already. I won’t give you (too many) spoilers, but let me just tell you there’s a precocious Native American girl involved, and a few other things not so delightful.

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The good news is, you can enjoy the story without actually entering the pitch black cavern!

Last summer, I had the opportunity to tour a cave with many features like Nate and Laura discovered in their hidden cave. The Caverns of Sonora in Sonora, Texas was a fantastic experience! As you can imagine, it’s hard to get good pictures in solid darkness, but here are a few of the amazing formations still growing in those two miles of underground tunnels.

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

My rating:

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, January 27

Bigreadersite, January 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 27

Betti Mace, January 28

Connect in Fiction, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, January 29

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Through the Fire Blogs, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 31

Fiction Book Lover, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inspiration Clothesline, January 31

Wishful Endings, February 1

Life of Literature, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Splashes of Joy , February 3

Simple Harvest Reads, February 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blessed & Bookish, February 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 4

To Everything There Is A Season, February 4

Older & Smarter?, February 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Remembrancy, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 7

Hallie Reads, February 7

She Lives To Read, February 8

HookMeInABook, February 8

Genesis 5020, February 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of the entire Hearts of Montana series, plus a “Faith Moves Mountain” sign!! (See Here: https://etsy.me/2JjZAVV)

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/1062c/faith-s-mountain-home-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Moonlight School Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Moonlight School

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn’t expected: love.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Carol award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, Suzanne is the best-selling author of more than thirty books, ranging from non-fiction books, to children’s books, to novels. She lives with her very big family in northern California.

More from Suzanne

I’m Suzanne Woods Fisher, the author of The Moonlight School. This historical fiction will release on February 2, 2021, and is based on a true story featuring Cora Wilson Stewart, a Kentucky educator way ahead of her times. In 1911, Cora had a crazy idea—to open rural one-room schoolhouses in her county on moonlit nights to teach illiterate adults how to read and write.

So what happened next? Well, it’s so astonishing that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Instead, I hope you’ll read the book and find out for yourself.

In the meantime, this infographic provides a fascinating look at illiteracy THEN…and NOW. Makes you want to thank your teachers, doesn’t it?

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My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

My rating:

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 30

Batya’s Bits, January 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30

CarpeDiem, January 31

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 31

A Novel Pursuit, January 31

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 31

The Avid Reader, February 1

Bliss Books & Jewels, February 1

lakesidelivngsite, February 1

Connie’s History Classroom, February 1

She Lives To Read, February 2

For the Love of Literature, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3

Through the Fire Blogs, February 3

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Inspiration Clothesline, February 3

Fiction Book Lover, February 4 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 4

Blogging With Carol, February 4

Lis Loves Reading, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 5

Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

HookMeInABook, February 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 6

Artistic Nobody, February 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, February 7

EmpowerMoms, February 7

The Write Escape , February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Older & Smarter?, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 8

Splashes of Joy, February 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 9

Beauty in the Binding, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Remembrancy, February 10

Bigreadersite, February 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10

By The Book, February 11

Wishful Endings, February 11

Vicky Sluiter, February 11

Pause for Tales, February 11

Spoken from the Heart, February 12

Hallie Reads, February 12

To Everything There Is A Season, February 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne 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/1068a/maryann-s-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian historical

There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint

Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

More from Michelle

Zootopia in Victorian London

I admit it. I like kid’s movies. You know, the animated sort that entertain both young and old alike. One of my favorites is Zootopia, a rollicking adventure about a bunny whose dream it is to be a police officer and make the streets of the big city safe for all animals. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought why not set it in Victorian London?

So I did.

And that’s what The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is all about, but that meant I had to do a little digging into the history of police force of the late 1800’s. Here’s what I learned…

The Metropolitan Police (founded in 1829 by Robert Peel) was composed mostly of young men, many of whom were recruited from rural areas. Few were from London, the philosophy being that they would thus be free from local patronage and influence.

It is a bit of an anomaly that hero Jackson Forge and his friend, Officer Baggett, carry a sidearm. Some did, but most relied on truncheons. It was up to the officer. Revolvers were usually only supplied after the death of a police officer by an armed criminal, at the discretion of the Divisional Officer, or if a constable requested to use one during night duty. In 1884, after the deaths of several police officers, the Home Office ordered nearly a thousand revolvers from Webley & Scott to be issued to branches of the London police. . .which is where I got the idea of a shipment of guns for the villain to attempt to steal.

Police detectives were recruited from within the ranks of existing uniformed officers. There were actually women on the force at the time, employed as police matrons. But these were behind-the-scenes workers, tasked with guarding women and children. If my heroine, Kit, were to be out in public, serving as Jackson’s assistant, she’d have to keep her job secret. The first female police officer wasn’t seen on the streets until 1919.

And so, armed with that information, I wrote the adventures of not a police bunny and a con artist fox, but of Jackson Forge, a fresh-faced constable, and his thorn in the side, swindler Kit Turner. Snatch up your own copy and enjoy a visit to Victorian London!

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

My rating:

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 23

Inklings and notions, January 23

Bizwings Blog, January 23

Remembrancy, January 24

Connect in Fiction, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

Blogging With Carol, January 24

She Lives To Read, January 25

Blessed & Bookish, January 25

Genesis 5020, January 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 25

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 26

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 27

CarpeDiem, January 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 28

For the Love of Literature, January 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 28

Connie’s History Classroom, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Rachael’s Inkwell, January 29

Life of Literature, January 29

Betti Mace, January 30

Older & Smarter?, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 30

HookMeInABook, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 31

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 31

Mia Reads, January 31

Godly Book Reviews, January 31

Through the Fire Blogs, February 1

KarenSueHadley, February 1

The Book Chic Blog, February 1

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, February 1

Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mamma Loves Books, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

Splashes of Joy, February 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 3

Vicky Sluiter, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 3

The Write Escape, February 4

Wishful Endings, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 4

Hallie Reads, February 4

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 5

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 5

To Everything There Is A Season, February 5

Daysong Reflections, February 5

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane!!

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/1062a/the-thief-of-blackfriars-lane-celebration-tour-giveaway

In His Presence Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: In His Presence

Author: Dr. E.W. Kenyon

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Prayer

Release Date: December 11, 2020

Here, at last, is a real solution to the prayer problem!

In His Presence by E. W. Kenyon is not about who others were and what they did in prayer, but about who we are and what we can do in prayer. It lifts the curtain to the Holy of Holies and reveals our ability to enter in and stand before the presence of God.

In this book, you will discover that God’s ability is available to every one of His children. You will be challenged to climb the heights and sound the depths of tremendous spiritual realities, including the authority of the name of Jesus and how to use it.

In His Presence has been a challenge and blessing to countless multitudes all over the world. It removes the mist surrounding the prayer life, leading us out of spiritual mysticism into the true light of life.

This is your invitation to open the door…enter…and stand in the Father’s presence!

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Dr. E. W. Kenyon (1867–1948) was born in Saratoga County, New York. At age nineteen, he preached his first sermon. He pastored several churches in New England and founded the Bethel Bible Institute in Spencer, Massachusetts. (The school later became the Providence Bible Institute when it was relocated to Providence, Rhode Island.) Kenyon served as an evangelist for over twenty years. In 1931, he became a pioneer in Christian radio on the Pacific Coast with his show Kenyon’s Church of the Air, where he earned the moniker “The Faith Builder.” He also began the New Covenant Baptist Church in Seattle. In addition to his pastoral and radio ministries, Kenyon wrote extensively. Among his books are The Blood Covenant, In His Presence, Jesus the Healer, New Creation Realities, and Two Kinds of Righteousness.

More from Whitaker House

In His Presence by EW Kenyon is not written about what others were and did, but about what we are and can do! It is a lifting of the curtain and a revealing of the holy of holies and our ability to enter it and stand in the presence of the Father. In His Presence is a discovery of the fact that God’s ability is available to every child of God. This is your invitation to open the door…enter…and stand in His presence, in the presence of the Father!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 7

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

Inklings and notions, January 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 10 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, January 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 12

Artistic Nobody, January 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For the Love of Literature, January 14 (Spotlight)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18

Vicky Sluiter, January 19 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, January 19

For Him and My Family, January 20

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, Whitaker House is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10533/in-his-presence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Justified Means Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Justified Means

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release date: January 7, 2013

How could she not be terrified?

When Erika Polowski is abducted from her bed and held captive without explanation, she has one goal. Get away before they kill her.

Keith Auger’s job as an agent is to keep Erika safe—even if it means keeping her locked in an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere. At gunpoint.

What should be a routine “involuntary extraction” goes south when someone finds out where they’re hiding. Add to that a coworker with a chip on her shoulder and too many unexplained “accidents,” and it all adds up to one unlikely, terrifying explanation.

There’s a mole in The Agency.

He’s promised to protect her, but can Erika trust a man whose job it is to hold people against their wills? Does his deep faith make it any better or just a whole lot creepier.

And just who wants Erika dead anyway?

The Agency Files: They’ll do whatever it takes to keep their clients safe. Period.

Grab this first book in the series today.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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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

Isn’t That Idea a Bit Crazy and Farfetched?

Black ops teams. They’re the stuff of TV shows and movies. I have no doubt such things exist—military groups that have to exist and work outside the normal scheme of things to give those who answer to the public plausible deniability or some such thing.

Then one of those “what if?” questions hit me. They’re an occupational hazard, those “what if?” questions. They appear out of nowhere and start crazy thoughts in your head. Ones like, “What if a private company existed to do things that couldn’t be tied to the government in any way—no money exchanged?”

What if sometimes a protection company had to work outside the law in order to do the job they needed to do? What if that meant they might just have to abduct someone to save his or her life?

Those of course led to the granddaddy of all questions. What if that someone didn’t appreciate being saved?

The Agency was born and with it their motto: Whatever it takes.

That’s what they’ll do to keep their clients safe. Only the wealthy can afford their services. Some of the poorest of the poor receive them. But it always boils down to one primary goal. Protect their clients at all costs.

Even if the client doesn’t want protection.

Is the idea a bit crazy and far-fetched? Yeah… probably. But I wouldn’t be surprised to discover there are similar agencies out there, and if there are, I hope they save lives with the sort of compassion my guys have.

My Review

You’re here. You’re here for your own good. I’m here to protect you. That’s all you need to know.

Suspense has always been one of the genres that I most enjoy reading, fueled by the first Nancy Drew mystery I picked up in elementary school. After years as an avid reader, it is very difficult for me to find a mystery or thriller that is genuinely different and that I don’t figure out within the first few chapters at most. Not that this inhibits me from reading them, but it does detract a bit from the entertainment factor. However, once in a while I hit literary gold and find a book that offers a new perspective and an intriguing challenge. As such, Justified Means by Chautona Havig is one of the most unusual suspense novels that I’ve ever read—and I love it!

From the eye-opening first chapter, this book is one that keeps readers guessing and also intrigued by the novelty of the plot. I can easily envision it as a movie, and it would qualify as action and adventure, drama, mystery, and a whisper of romance in addition to suspense. The story itself is divided into two clear sections in my mind, and this marks the book’s halfway point. Had I not known better, I would have assumed that the narrative was drawing to a close, and I did want it to be over so that a happily-ever-after could happen, but the second half brought more twists. I will say, however, that this story does end, which is always an important factor for me, regardless of genre. In fact, the denouement occurs fairly quickly, but not to such an extent that it seems trivialized.

Havig touches on several current trending topics throughout the pages of Justified Means, some in an unconventional way. The plot itself is a kidnapping story, but one that is quickly turned on its head. The idea of a vigilante protection agency is not new, but this approach demonstrates one way in which such an organization might exist and operate. The fact that this is a Christian fiction book makes it all the better because it raises the bar for success higher, and Havig executes this element of the novel thoughtfully and gently, with an empathetic eye toward those who have not been raised in the faith or who are coming to it later in life. Keith is a good role model, but thankfully not to the extent of being impossibly perfect and flawless. I love the author’s description of him: “Rejection of Jesus wounded him, but derision of his faith hardly registered. Christianity wasn’t about him.” As with any good novel, he learns about himself throughout the course of the story, just as Erika’s attitude shifts. She even reminds him, in a dire moment and with a quotation that provides an accurate summation of the Christian faith, that “You have someone, Keith. You’ve got your god. You have to believe he’s watching out for you, or why would you even believe in him? If you need someone to back you up, look there.

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

For the Love of Literature, January 5

Inklings and notions, January 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 6

Texas Book-aholic, January 7

Artistic Nobody, January 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Amanda Tero, Blog, January 8

deb’s Book Review, January 9

For Him and My Family, January 9

Through the Fire Blogs, January 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 12

Lots of Helpers, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 14

Spoken from the Heart, January 15

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Pause for Tales, January 16

Adventures Of a Travelers Wife, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona 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/10708/justified-means-celebration-tour-giveaway