Tag Archives: romance

The Thrill of Facing the Impossible: A Book Review of Davis Bunn’s “Burden of Proof”

54583315._SY475_

Perhaps not overtly so, but Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn is an apropos book for 2020, right down to the title. This year I have read several works within the speculative fiction genre, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them because I am much more of a historical fiction devotee. In a sense, however, Davis Bunn’s novel also falls within the dual-timeline category, and it is a legal thriller too. Such a formidable combination of genres promises a high yield and begs the question of whether or not they all blend well and complement each other.

Speaking generally, Burden of Proof falls in the middle of the spectrum as far as my personal ratings are concerned. There are parts of the story that I enjoyed, but also loose ends and some questions that I would have liked to have seen answered. I also have concerns about the implication that Adrian’s life is worth more than Ethan’s, taken from the opening chapters of the story; a life-limiting disease resulting in a poor prognosis, combined with the fact that the individual has no living relatives, leads to a decision that could change the future and the past. I will refrain from elaborating so as to avoid spoilers, but this realization of human worth greatly discomfited me. Along with this, there is no mention of Christianity in the book; given that it is marketed as Christian, I believe that it should be held to that standard, and while the story is clean, the focus is given to weaving the present with the outspoken past rather than in spiritual growth.

Time travel forms the crucial event in this story. Despite being so over-done as a theme, Bunn gives it a unique twist here, fictionally broadening its potential use. This brings in the Butterfly Effect, as found in any time travel scenario, as well as the Grandfather Paradox and, as one of the characters explains, the theory of quantum entanglement. Due in part to all of the unknowns, the bonds of family and friends become especially important. As what was thought to be an isolated incident grows into a full-blown conspiracy theory, Ethan and his brother Adrian fund themselves caught up in “the thrill of facing the impossible” for what may be the last 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: 3 stars ♥♥♥

Buy your copy HERE

A Longing Fulfilled is a Tree of Life: A Book Review of Amanda Cox’s “The Edge of Belonging”

If the story of my life could say one thing, I’d hope it would show the importance of venturing into the highways and the hedges to let invisible people know they’re seen and loved. To invite them in.

A breathtaking tour de force, Amanda Cox’s The Edge of Belonging tugs at the heartstrings and reminds readers that belonging goes beyond having a place to live to encompass the people who love us and, by so doing, help us to truly belong. Cox employs a split-time structure to tell Ivy and Harvey’s story, and what I love about this format is the short time lapse; the two main storylines take place in 1994 and the present day, creating a small generational gap that allows readers to follow the same characters from one period of time to another. For a debut novel, The Edge of Belonging hits the perfect notes, drawing all of the characters together in a symphony both heartwarming and bittersweet.

With this intricately nuanced cast of characters, Cox demonstrates her keen understanding of and insight into the human psyche. In the present: a broken 24-year-old young woman who does not know who she is anymore and wonders if she ever did. Twenty-four years prior: a homeless man with a sorrowful past who finally has solitude and routine until he finds a newborn baby. An older woman heartbroken from recent losses but with much love still to give. A couple aggrieved by their inability to have children. And the thread of hope and faith that binds them all together.

My favorite aspect of the characters is how they exemplify Jesus amidst their mistakes and brokenness and humanness. Pearl is a prime example of this, and she is my favorite character, despite my incorrect characterization of her when she is first introduced. As a result of this and of several scenarios in the narrative, I find The Edge of Belonging to be convicting. How often do we judge someone based on their behavior or appearance without making any effort to reach out to them or know them on a personal level? Pearl is one of the foremost characters who demonstrates openhearted compassion, which she sums up in a simple and beautiful way: “Nurturing is nurturing. It doesn’t take a blood relative. We’re all adopted into God’s family through Jesus. And I decided long ago that if it was good enough for God, it was good enough for me. So I set in my heart that I would love and mother anyone who crossed my path who needed that kind of love.

By far one of the best debut novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading, The Edge of Belonging gently speaks to many current issues, including PTSD, fostering and adoption, domestic violence, abuse, grief, and both platonic and romantic love. Most of all, it guides us toward the unconditional love of the One Who gave His life for us, and in Whose arms we will always find our place of belonging.

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

Brought to Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

QJ6MRsGc

About the Book

6fIYiWCk

Book: Brought to Book

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian cozy mystery

Release Date: June 24, 2020

There’s nothing in Emily Post about dealing with murder.

Katrina just wanted to spend time among the books at Frank’s Bookstore. Yes, that’s an unimaginative name for a store, but Frank’s an unimaginative guy–or he was.

Now he and his murder are the reason Katrina is spending her spare time with Wilkester detective, Todd Mason. Or, that’s what she tells herself.

Why would anyone want to kill Frank Delaney? Who would do it? And is Katrina herself even safe?

Mixing faith, literary humor, sweet romance, and a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing, Barbara Cornthwaite’s first Wilkester Mystery has everything you want for a cozy read.

Begin your investigation of Brought to Book today.

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

Meeting of the Minds

A Wilkester Mysteries Introduction

Detective Todd Mason knew Katrina was the one the first time he met her. The woman had witnessed a murder—if not with her eyes, at least with her ears. She’d seen the man dying and called for help, afraid all the while that the killer would return for her. So much he’d been told before he went into the interrogation room.

“How’s she handling it?” he asked the officer who had arrived first at the scene and escorted her to the police station.

“Not too badly,” said Gary. “She’s in shock, of course, but she’s trying to hold it together. Katrina Peters. She’s in Room 2.”

He’d gone in then and gotten his first look at her. Late thirties or early forties. Brown hair that fell to her shoulders in loose waves. Brown eyes that were red-rimmed from crying. Hands clutching a tissue. She managed a faint smile when he walked in.

“Hello, Ms. Peters. I’m Detective Todd Mason. I need to ask you some questions, if that’s all right.”

“Miss,” she said, almost as a reflex.

“I beg your pardon?” Todd wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly.

“It’s Miss Peters.” She said it firmly, repudiating the term Ms. even at such a stressful moment. Something made her blush then, and he saw her glance at his left hand. “Never mind,” she murmured.

She’s afraid I’ll think she’s trying to advertize her availability. It amused Todd to see the blush—if only she knew how refreshing it was to see a woman who would even be conscious of such a thing. Old fashioned, he thought. In a good way.

She answered his questions as calmly as she could, and even apologized for the tears that insisted on coming out now and then. When she alluded to Daniel in the lion’s den, he knew she really was out of the ordinary, and it took all his self-control not to offer to drive her home himself.

To join the investigation, read your copy of Brought to Book today.

My Review

In general, I don’t gravitate toward romances, and while I love a good mystery or suspense, cozies tend not to make my to-read list. So how did I end up requesting to review Barbara Cornthwaite’s Brought to Book? Through the recommendation of fellow readers who have highly praised this novel. There are so many interesting points that make this story memorable, and as such, it will appeal to a broader audience than it may have otherwise.

As book one in the Wilkester Mysteries series, Brought to Book introduces readers to Katrina Peters, an adjunct English professor at Wilkester College. Her faith in God has brought her to this current place in her journey through life, in more ways than one, and I felt an empathetic connection with her character. She is definitely multi-dimensional and dynamic, and I delighted in her triumphs and also sympathized with her losses. Battling a mid-life crisis of sorts, she wonders what God would have her do with the rest of her life, and the options that she considers are all godly and fruitful, but until true and complete surrender occurs, no decisions will be clear. Murder and other crimes increasingly affect her life and come closer to her as she finds herself running the gamut from suspect to witness to victim.

Cornthwaite’s skill at creating characters finds expression in Katrina’s self-doubt while wrestling with her ordeals and uncertainty: “How can anyone as ineffectual as I make an actual difference in anyone’s life?” This is a question that we all ask in some form or another at some point in our lives. However, the answer lies not in our ability but in the already-accomplished work of Christ on the cross and His ministry while on earth. As Todd tells Katrina, not taking chances or leaps of faith may be sins, “Especially if you think following the rules will keep bad things from happening to you.

Brought to Book offers many such spiritual truths and nuggets of wisdom, none of which feel forced, as well as multiple topics that are so common today, including the victories and the tears of foster care, serving as missionaries, marriage and divorce, second love, small town history and its secrets, and literature. This last one is my favorite because I have a great love for literature through the ages and of language in general, and I love how Cornthwaite implements so many literary techniques. I am now eager to read book two!

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 10

The Avid Reader, October 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 11

Remembrancy, October 11

For the Love of Literature, October 12

Worthy2Read, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 13

Robin’s Nest, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Losing the Busyness, October 14

April Hayman, Author, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Inklings and notions, October 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 16

Daysong Reflections, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 18

Just Your Average reviews, October 18

Lis Loves Reading, October 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

As He Leads is Joy, October 19

Emily Yager, October 19

Sodbusterliving, October 20

Artistic Nobody, October 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 20

She Lives To Read, October 21

Bizwings Blog, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Godly Book Reviews, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Vicky Sluiter, October 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 23

Giveaway

LwnNeeMY

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/10210/brought-to-book-celebration-tour-giveaway

Forsaken Island Review and GIVEAWAY!

jCXPSSr0

About the Book

hsUwceME

Book: Forsaken Island

Author: Sharon Hinck

Genre: Christian Romantic Epic Fantasy

Release Date: September 15, 2020

On an uncharted world, happiness is effortless and constant … but can true joy exist without sacrifice?

The people of Meriel have long believed their island world floats alone in the vast ocean universe, so they are astonished when another island drifts into view. With resources becoming scarce, Carya and Brantley quickly volunteer to search the new land for supplies.

After navigating a barrier of menacing trees, the pair encounter a culture of perpetually happy people who readily share their talents and their possessions. But all is not what it seems. At the core of the island is a horror that threatens everyone, including Brantley and Carya.

Freeing the villagers of the bondage they’ve chosen may cost Carya and Brantley more than they could have imagined. Even if the two succeed, they’ll have to find a way to return to Meriel quickly … or be cut off from their home forever.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

SMWyG9l8

Award-winning author of The Sword of Lyric series, Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us” about women on extraordinary adventures of faith. Her novels are praised for their authentic characters, strong spiritual themes, and emotional resonance. For this series, she drew on her experience as a ballet teacher, dancer, and choreographer.

More from Sharon

Inspiration Behind Forsaken Island

In the first book of The Dancing Realms series, we learn about a floating island world guided by the work of dancers. The assumption of everyone on Meriel is that their island IS the world—the only existing place on a vast empty ocean.

But in this second book, currents have pushed a new island into view. Our intrepid dancer Carya, and her stenella-riding friend Brantley, set off to explore, hoping to find resources for their world of Meriel.

The story was influenced by some of my favorite classics in the adventure/exploration genre. Jack London (particularly The Sea Wolf), or Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Or anything by Jules Verne or Robert Louis Stevenson. As the characters explore a new world, we experience both wonder and danger with them. I love that sort of story, so I set my two beloved characters of on an adventure to see what they would discover.

But of course, the book is also about the developing relationship between Carya and Brantley, and the conflicts they confront. And once again, an undercurrent (no pun intended) of spiritual themes is at play. The island holds dark secrets, and time is running out for the opportunity to find their way home.

I love the verse from Psalm 94:14. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Even on a “Forsaken Island” – the Maker of His people finds a way to reach out and bring hope.

My Review

Forgotten, forgetting, forsaking.

With characteristic prowess, Sharon Hinck brings readers another intriguing fantasy with Forsaken Island, book two of The Dancing Realms series. Carya and Brantley’s story continues where Hidden Current left off, a sighting of another island in the previously-considered uninhabited ocean sparking hope for finding supplies to replace Meriel’s dwindling reserves. The duo arrives to a seemingly-impenetrable wall of tree branches, and once they enter this strange new world, everything becomes increasingly off-kilter. Paradise becomes a nightmare as the island’s secrets are revealed and the truth behind the façade of the inhabitants’ happiness comes to light. All is not as it appears…

Faced with the threat of the island’s core and the possibility of never being able to navigate back to Meriel, Carya and Brantley work to liberate the islanders from the prison they’ve created for themselves. Their fight becomes a parallel to humanity’s ongoing battle against sinfulness, and Carya learns to trust the Maker more while contending against her own wounds. Including the internal battle of allowing herself to love someone after being indoctrinated for years regarding her life as one set apart from society. Forsaken Island may fall into the fantasy genre, but it contains many truths for the soul. Surrender to the One who made the heavens and the earth and who watches over and guards those who are His is the only way to true freedom and joy.

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

Through the Fire Blogs, September 30

Fiction Aficionado, September 30

Wothy2Read, October 1

Texas Book-aholic, October 2

deb’s Book Review, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

For Him and My Family, October 4

April Hayman, Author, October 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 5

Daughter of Increase, October 5

For the Love of Literature, October 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 8

Blogging With Carol, October 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Artistic Nobody, October 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, October 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 11

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

Giveaway

j9SwRROA

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize package of a Forsaken Island book bag, a personalized and autographed hard cover copy of Hidden Current, book marks, and some decorative goodies on a plant-life theme!!

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/10195/forsaken-island-celebration-tour-giveaway

Six Years and a Quarter Way Through Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

MNAsU-Bg

 

About the Book

yChdYFag

 

Book: Six Years and a Quarter Way Through

Author: Cassandre Brissot

Genre: Christian Romance, Coming of Age

Release Date: April 19, 2019

Six Years and a Quarter Way Through is a story about a young woman who’s lost her way. Like many of us, Leah believed that the vision supersedes the process until, at age twenty-six, she stops believing in the vision and the one who gave it to her. Leah has lost her faith, her job, her confidence, and maybe her mind. Utterly defeated and without hope that her dreams to become a star would come true, she meets Trenton Shaw, a rich, powerful, handsome, hot-shot producer who has spent the last six years of his life trying to find her. Leah is weary of Trenton initially, particularly since he is adamant about enlisting her for a new reality show that he is putting together called “Star Quality.” However, after reasoning that she has nothing left to lose, she consents. If she wins the show, she will receive a cash prize, an agent, and most importantly a part in a brand-new feature film; even if she loses, people would still know her name.

Trent and Leah quickly fall for each other, forming an intense and sometimes volatile relationship, which only gets more complicated after she moves into the house she’ll be sharing with her costars and meets Brice. Frightened awake from a nightmare, Leah stumbles into the living room, where she finds Brice looking as haunted as she feels; he confides in her about his dead fiancée, and she in him about her nightmares and anxiety attacks. Her nightmares recur, worsening with each night as the competition intensifies and her relationship with Trent deepens. Gradually it becomes apparent that Leah’s way of getting everything she’s ever wanted may have taken her on a road she should not have traveled.

At its core, this is a story about the journey we all must take: What do we believe? How strongly do we believe it? Will that belief be steadfast in the face of temptation? Although everyone’s story is different, you only either chose to do it God’s way or your own.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

xb5qL2O4

Cassandre Brissot is the author of debut novel, Six Years And A Quarter Way Through. She completed her bachelor of fine arts in Television and Radio production at the City University of New York Brooklyn College. She then went on to work as a TV production assistant until becoming a flight attendant in 2014, which is the same year she was crowned Miss Black New York USA. Nowadays, she can still be found on set but in front of the cameras, though mostly as an extra, thus far. When she’s not on a set, she’s writing for her blog. She also enjoys dance parties with her young nieces and karaoke, very much.

 

 

 

More from Cassandre

 

The best part of being young is the possibilities. In your minds eye you’re the next president, or celebrated surgeon, maybe a coveted fashion designer, you might even be Superman. As a child I dreamed fanciful dreams of stardom, celebrity, vast fortune, and a handsome prince to boot. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could start living the fabulous life I knew would be mine. In spite of the hardships of my early years, I never doubted that my life would go according to plan, when it didn’t, it just about killed me.

I received my college diploma with a dangerous amount of pride. I was certain that after one of the best years of my life, which included interning at a prominent television network, success on the pageant circuit, and getting cast in and shooting a great pilot, that the world was my oyster. I had the talent, ambition, drive, and connections. Not to mention, I knew God. Why wouldn’t things work out for me?

Nearly two years passed before I was able to gain employment-as a sales associate, in a small boutique. No one would hire me let alone cast me in a project. The pilot I’d banked all my hopes on was never picked up. Each day that went by brought me to new lows. The successes of my friends and former classmates made the pain all the more acute. I was depressed, making terrible decisions in every area of my life, and loosing it. Thinking about my shattered hopes gave me an anxious feeling in the pit of my gut. Often that feeling turned into a full-blown anxiety attack. I was fledgling and inconsolable until The Holy Spirit spoke to me. What’s more important, He asked, the fame and the money or a relationship with Him?

It’s ironic, I called myself a Christian but I never consulted Christ about my life. I prayed for better but never did I ask God what His will was for me. I wanted what I wanted. I didn’t stop there. I wanted God to bless my endeavors regardless of whether it was His will for me or not because it was mine. Everything I’d done to that point answered the question loudly and clearly. I’d lived in yearning for things not Christ. It was heartbreaking coming to terms with that, however it was also the wake up call I needed. I finally understood I couldn’t serve two masters at the same time. I decided to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the rest of the things would come in His divine time.

The Holy Spirit taught me a lot of things during that season of my life: who you are-your character-is more important to The Lord than where you’re trying to go. Sometimes God will allow you to falter for the sake of truly finding Him, and perhaps most prominently, that nothing matters more than a true relationship with Christ. Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, was born of those lessons and the desire to honor Christ as a witness to His redemptive power and love.

Leah Albanese is a young woman who chooses the things-including the boy who is offering them-over God, but she soon learns that even when you give up on God He doesn’t give up on you.

 

Author Interview

 

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

I’ve never considered that I was ‘hiding’ things in my stories for readers to find, although that’s exactly what I’ve done. There are key moments in Six Years And A Quarter Way Through where I mirror a biblical scene or lesson. I’m always waiting for someone to point out the correlation. The perfect example of this is when Leah and Trent meet for the first time and he offers her a spot on his new reality show. Leah’s enticed through the three temptations of sin: lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  1 John 2:16 describes this principal and warns against it. I used Genesis chapter 3 verse 6 to frame Leah’s seduction. Eve ‘sees the tree is good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise.’ It is after that she sins and eats of the tree. Leah sees that Trent is attractive, has a physical desire for him, and comes into agreement with his plan to give her everything she wants. It’s after that she gets involved with him.

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

Most of the books I own are electronic. For four years I was a flight attendant basically living out of my suitcase, between my clothes and toiletries I had no space for books. I’m grateful for eBooks however there is nothing like curling up with a physical copy.

 

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

Not to sound cliché, but if I could meet any author living or alive, I would want to meet Jane Austen. I love her work¾how she was able to create strong female characters that were equally feminine, witty, and moral. If I had the opportunity to speak to her it wouldn’t be out of a desire to enhance my writing it would be for the pleasure of getting to know the brilliant mind that weaved wonderful stories.

 

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

I absolutely love the parable of the Prodigal Son. It convicted me when guilt and shame wanted me to stay where I was; it has shaped my understanding of Grace, The Gospel, and the love of The Father. I’ve been so affected by The Prodigal son that it has fashioned my story telling. One of the hidden things in my book I hope readers pick up on is that Leah is a prodigal daughter.

 

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

The character that speaks most to my heart is Leah because she’s loosely based on me. When the story begins Leah’s in a bad place spiritually, mentally, and emotionally; the despondency she feels I’ve felt. Many of Leah’s despairing emotions and their cause are a reflection of my own desolation during a particularly painful time in my life. By the end of the book we see the beginning of redemption and reconciliation. Bringing Leah to life brought back some bad memories but it also reminded me of God’s love for and patience with me. Leah is a witness to myself and other young women who may have made mistakes that in Christ there is forgiveness and newness of life.

 

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1

Rebecca Tews, August 2

Splashes of Joy, August 3 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 4

Inklings and notions, August 5

Simple Harvest Reads, August 6 (Author Interview)

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

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

A Baker’s Perspective, August 9 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 10

For Him and My Family, August 11

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 13

Pause for Tales, August 14

 

Giveaway

 

Ts1OubG8

To celebrate her tour, Cassandre is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, 1 journal (My Story His Way: Journaling your journey to a closer walk with Him), 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/fe94/six-years-and-a-quarter-way-through-celebration-tour-giveaway

New Release! The Dark Shadows Book Review

Cross in Darkness

 

About the Book

The Dark Shadows

 

Book: The Dark Shadows

Author: Carol Alwood

Genre: Young adult romance with a supernatural twist

Release Date: July 26, 2020

First love can be dangerous.

Seventeen-year-old Violet Blackstone is in love, but everyone seems to think she’s making a cosmic mistake. “You don’t know him the way I do,” she tells her friends and family. But the moment she accepts a promise ring from Dakota, she must fight harder to protect her relationship.

Dakota’s ex-girlfriend returns to town, a coven member makes threats, and Owen Parker tries to prove Dakota isn’t what he seems. The closer Violet gets to Dakota, the more she sees his dark side and the terrifying Shadows she thought she’d never see again. Can she fight the forces seeking to destroy her relationship and life? Should she be with a Christian guy like Owen Parker instead? Violet leans on her faith to keep going, but the dangerous forces grow stronger every day.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

Carol Alwood

Author Carol Alwood grew up in the green haven of Bellingham, Washington, the setting of The Good Shadows series. Now living in Southern California, she misses the raindrops on maple leaves, so when she isn’t home for a visit she writes stories that take place in her hometown. Carol adores fiction and is the author of the novelette, Ghost of a Girl. She also wrote Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, a newly released writing-craft book. Connect with Carol on her website or on Facebook, and check out all of her books on Amazon.

 

My Review

It takes a talented author to pen a sequel that not only lives up to its predecessor’s potential, but even surpasses it. As impressed as I was with The Good Shadows, I have to say that this continuation of the story moved me even more, and I did not want to put it down until I had read the last page. The target audience may be young adults, but anyone from that age group onward will absolutely benefit from reading this series, particularly if they are being influenced by the New Age movement or know others who are. This is an excellent series to read and study with teens, and author Carol Alwood has provided a seven-week Bible study at the end of her story (as she does with The Good Shadows) that addresses the occult elements in the book, what the Bible says about them, and what God tells us our response should be according to His Word. I really love and appreciate this extra effort on her part because it can be difficult for people of all ages to understand why a certain practice or activity is wrong, particularly when it seems like the status quo.

As witchcraft and other occult practices become more widespread and normalized in contemporary society, books like The Good Shadows series shine the light of God’s truth on the darkness by exploring the inherent dangers that are always involved in dabbling with magick. Whereas book one introduces the characters and shows how no one is immune to the enemy’s attempts to influence us and turn us away from God, The Dark Shadows takes readers deeper, further demonstrating the consequences of inviting demonic influences into our lives. I appreciate that Alwood does not shy away from the fact that there are always negative consequences from meddling with the occult, and that she lists multiple Scripture references regarding this in the Bible study section. Given that the subject matter of this series could be considered controversial, Alwood makes her intentions and viewpoint clear in the foreword and again in the introduction to the Bible study.

The story itself has a dual first-person narration, told sometimes from Violet’s point of view and sometimes from Dakota’s. I found this very insightful in understanding both perspectives: that of someone who is a Christian and that of someone who has been raised as a Wiccan, because as a Christian myself, I admit to being largely in the dark about Wicca and related practices. While I certainly don’t advocate for Christians to spend time diving into the occult, as Alwood states, it is important not to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and to always be willing to be a witness for Christ without compromising our convictions. As Violet wisely observes regarding the darkness, “Just because it chose you doesn’t mean you have to choose it back. What if you were meant for something else?” Indeed, one of the main messages in The Dark Shadows is that “God is stronger,” and that is a fundamental truth no matter what we face, and a fact that we can hold on to even if we encounter dark shadows.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

The Ring Does Not Fit Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

e7v5vyK8

About the Book

1lr5waMU

Book: The Ring Does Not Fit

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Christian, Fantasy

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Alena is stuck in a mundane marriage and longing for something
different. New clothes. Bigger bling. Flashy cars. Miraculously and
inexplicably, it all happens in a flash and she is finally married to
the man of her dreams, but something still seems to be missing. In all
her excitement, the one thing she’s looking for is the one thing she
can’t seem to keep.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

UWa4mREA

Sunshine Rodgers is an International Best-Selling author, speaker and
motivator who excels in sharing the hope and light of the gospel in
her books. Her characters experience the love and grace of Jesus
Christ and the beauty of Heaven. Sunshine hopes her pages will get you
passionate about your faith. Her books have been made into audio books
and translated in different languages. Her social media sites and
personal blog reach thousands of readers a week. Sunshine has appeared
in magazines, newspapers and live media interviews and is working on
her merchandise line (available on her website!). Sunshine now enjoys
her days traveling for signings, author events, speaking engagements
and book tours.

 

More from Sunshine

 

Why are we never satisfied? I mean, we can have
houses, cars and money and still want more! If I were to break it
down, I would have to say…insecurity. Maybe we feel like we’re not good
enough. I don’t know about you, but I compare myself with others
all the time just by looking at social media and feeling like I don’t
measure up.
My book “The Ring Does Not Fit” concentrates on appreciating what is right in front of you, celebrating those who are still with you and staying humble.
Because the grass is not always greener on the other side and there
is always more going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.
I wanted to explore the issue of contentment in my book.
The only way to really get over any personal frustration
and constant comparison is to have
an attitude of thanksgiving and praise where you are thankful
for what you have, no matter how little or big it is.
That’s the first step to loving life.”
– Sunshine Rodgers

Author Interview

 

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I enjoy anything from C.S. Lewis and I  definitely incorporate  a lot
of his influence on my pages. In fact, my best selling book “After
You: A Demon is Always Lurking Nearby” is a modern-day twist on his
classic novel “The Screwtape Letters.”

My all time favorite author is John Eldredge because the passion for
his faith just jumps off the pages and that’s what I want for my
books…. where people are inspired by my message and in love with the
content.

 
Describe your book in five words.

Heaven intervenes in Alena’s marriage

 

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. I have read that book so many times; I have it memorized! I own the paperback copy and audio book version of his book. Though this book  is primarily written for men, I still answer the call to Eldredge’s challenge to open up to life’s adventures and to live a daring life.  This book has truly helped me to be the person I am today! And since Eldredge is my favorite author, I have read mostly all of his books, truly captivated with each page!

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I prefer traditional books, hardcover or paperback.  I like to “dog-ear” the pages, highlight parts I enjoy, underline and write on the pages. I have three bookshelves in my home-library completely full of just books, books and more books! Some stacked on top of each other, others in a separate plastic case near the floor. And for birthdays and holidays,  my wish-list is always…you guessed it, more books! I can read 2-3 books at a time! I’ve never read an eBook and I only own one audio book.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

This is a three-part answer.

First, I would say…know your audience. I write in the Christian genre because I read in the Christian genre. I know what the audience in that genre expects. And I write with my audience in mind and promote my books with keywords associated with the target audience.

Second, Ask the personal question… “Why are you writing?” If it’s because you have a passion and a calling to share your craft, then you’ll make it! A writer faces intense scrutiny when it comes to critics, reviews, readers and publishing rejections.  Successful Authors need to be able to  stand on their message and constantly go back to the original  reasons why they started writing in the first place.

And third…knock down those walls. Throughout my writing career, I  faced a lot of dead-ends and I’ve had to come up with Plans E, F and G to further proceed with my vision. So be creative in pursuing publishers. Think outside the box when promoting your work. And know that there are options for you as a writer, you just have to be innovative when moving forward and soon, you too, will see your literary dreams coming true!

 

 

 

Blog Stops

Quiet quilter, July 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 9

Through the Fire Blogs, July 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 10

 Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11

Texas Book-aholic, July 12

Blossoms and Blessings, July 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, July 14

Inklings and notions, July 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 16

For the Love of Literature, July 17 (Author Interview)

Andrea Carmen, July 17

Quiet Workings, July 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 19

Just Your Average reviews, July 20

Artistic Nobody, July 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 

Giveaway

45ZzS1Rs

To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa 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/fda3/the-ring-does-not-fit-celebration-tour-giveaway