For the Love of Literature

For the Love of Literature

As a bibliophile, my passion for books coalesces with a love of writing, and writing book reviews allows me to share literature with the world.

Redemption Press Fall Scavenger Hunt: A Reel Meaning for Christmas by Carol Foote

 

 

Celebrate Lit is excited to partner with Redemption Press Publishing to feature seven of their authors in a fun, 14 day scavenger hunt. Stop by each of the blog stops to check out the author interview and to collect the word of the day to enter for extra entries into our giveaway.  On day 14, put all the words together into a sentence to enter into the giveaway for additional entries.

 

Tour Landing Page: http://www.celebratelit.com/redemption-press-fall-scavenger-hunt/

 

Most of all have fun learning about new authors and their books!

 

 

 

About the Book

 

Book: A Reel Meaning for Christmas

Author: Carol Foote

Genre: Christmas, Holidays, Religion

Release Date: March 14, 2007

 

Using classic Christmas movies as a theme, this interactive gift-quality devotional emphasizes evangelism and self-worth as benefits of growing closer to the Lord.

 

Get your copy HERE!

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Carol Foote is a practicing speech language pathologist serving geriatrics with communication disorders as well as training college students to work in the communication disorders field.  She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, daughter and son.

 

 

About Redemption Press

 

With our new model in independent Christian publishing, we’re here to serve author and help them see their publishing dreams fulfilled. Our mission is to empower the author, the Christian author. We refuse to see them as a commodity or as just another transaction. We see them as a child of God graced with a message that could change someone’s life, and we treat them as such. This is the Redemption Press way.

 

Blog Stops 

 

A Reader’s Brain, Stop One

Texas Book-aholic, Stop Two

Janicesbookreviews, Stop Three

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, Stop Four

Inklings and Notions, Stop Five

Tell Tale Book Reviews, Stop Six

For the Love of Literature, Stop Seven

Lukewarm Tea, Stop Eight

Blossoms and Blessings, Stop Nine

Wishful Endings, Stop Ten

A Baker’s Perspective, Stop Eleven

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, Stop Twelve

Andrea Christenson, Stop Thirteen

Artistic Nobody, Stop Fourteen

 

Giveaway

 

 

One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card!

 

https://promosimple.com/ps/ecf0/redemption-press-fall-scavenger-hunt

What's Next Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: What’s Next

Author: Daniel Ryan Day

Genre: Non-fiction/Christian living/calling & vocation

Release Date: April, 2019

When your future is filled with more questions than answers and you’re asking for clear-cut direction from the Almighty,

THERE IS HOPE!

Whether you’re looking for your first job, the next step in your education, or a new career path, 

GOD’S WILL CAN BE FOUND.

What’s Next points you to Scripture where you’ll find assurance. No, you have not somehow missed the divine call on your life. And yes, you can embrace the freedom to confidently

STEP INTO YOUR FUTURE.


Click HERE to get your copy.  

About the Author

 


Daniel Ryan Day is cohost of the nationally syndicated radio program Discover the Word, the author of Ten Days Without, and a speaker. He holds a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is married to his high school sweetheart, Rebecca. Their family of five lives in North Carolina where Daniel works as a businessman.
 

 

 

 

 

More from Daniel

 

Searching for your next step in life can be exciting yet overwhelming, intriguing yet stressful, adventurous yet painful. “What’s next?” is a question everyone asks and struggles with at some point in his or her life, and many people end up asking this question multiple times. I have a friend who’s 18 and trying to figure out if he should go to college or not. I have another friend who’s 21 and can’t decide what major to choose. I work with some people who are graduating from college and are taking their first step toward a career. I just got off the phone with someone I deeply care about who’s trying to keep his dream afloat while also paying the bills. All of these men and women are asking “What’s next?” All are searching for answers.
 
For some of us, “What’s next?” is a question of dreams— What could the future look like if I did this or that? There’s an excitement that comes with thinking about all the possibilities and potential. For others, the question is stressful, and the answer may require a major transition, like moving away from family or changing jobs. Thinking about the future carries with it equal parts of angst and anticipation. “What’s next” always ventures into the unknown. If you’re asking “What’s next?”— join the club! You’re not alone.
 
What’s Next: Your Dream Job, God’s Call and A Life That Sets You Free is a book is for dreamers and practicalists (no, this is not a real word, but it should be). It’s for those who are excited about transition, and those who dread it. It’s a book about the hope and freedom that comes with asking God what He wants for your life, and then hearing His voice through the pages of Scripture as He directs your steps.
 

Interview with Daniel Day

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

 

I never really “decided” to become a writer. I’ve always written. I’m a journaler. I like to write real letters to people. But it was in college—after marrying my wife—that I realized I process ideas through writing about them. My wife and I would both have papers due, and what took her three days would take me 1 hour. It was the first time I realized there was something more to writing for me. 

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

 

Tolkien is my favorite author, but I’ve been most influenced by Andy Andrews. Andy has a great way of teaching through story-telling—an art I hope to learn and master one day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 

My writing quirk—I don’t like it. I don’t like writing. I like having written, but I really don’t enjoy the process of writing.

Describe your book in five words.

 

Helpful. Hopeful. Surprising. Contemplative. Freeing.

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

 

Writing books has never been a full-time gig. To complete each project, I would wake up at 5:30am. Write from 6-8:30 and go into work at 9.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Writing takes discipline. To complete a writing project requires faithful obedience in the same—long—direction.

 

Blog Stops

 

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 18

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 19

Mary Hake, October 20

For the Love of Literature, October 21 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, October 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

CarpeDiem, October 24

My Devotional Thoughts, October 25 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, October 26

janicesbookreviews, October 27

All 4 and About Books, October 28

A Reader’s Brain, October 29

Inklings and notions , October 30

Blossoms and Blessings, October 31 (Author Interview)

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Daniel is giving away the grand prize of a copy of the book 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.
 

 

Second Chances Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Second Chances

Author: Shirley Quiring Mozena

Genre: Family and relationships/Death, Grief, Bereavement

Release Date: September, 2012

When Shirley and Bill set out on a dream trip in the beautiful northwest wilderness to celebrate their 40th anniversary, what develops is a nightmare that has no end. Mysterious pangs turn into a vicious virus that makes its way into Bill’s body. Shirley finds comfort through her Savior during the six months of Bill’s illness—an illness which eventually takes his life.
 
After a time, Shirley’s heart aches for companionship. Little does she know that living a few miles from her home, a widower mourns the loss of his wife of 32 years. They meet and fall hopelessly in love, and their love takes them on a two-year journey of joy and adventure until once again overwhelming heartbreak rocks Shirley’s world. This is a story of faith and courage to strengthen your own soul.


Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

 


Shirley Quiring Mozena is an outdoors woman, musician, amateur chef, and former elementary music teacher and librarian. She has survived the hardest test of her faith and now works with others grieving the loss of loved ones.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

More from Shirley

 

They told me there was no hope. How could that be? I’d already lost one husband. Would I have to lose another? We’d had so little time!
 
Four years earlier—nearly to the day—my high school sweetheart and father of my two children had died. We’d gone through so many struggles. Our marriage was nearly broken. Through courage in facing our faults and selfishness, our marriage was restored. And then, after a six month battle with a terrible virus, my husband died.
 
I’d never dreamed I’d love again, but it happened. Six months after our first date, we were married.  It seemed like we were still on our honeymoon when the next tragedy happened. Just like that, he was gone.
 
And then I knew the story needed to be told. For myself. For my children. For anyone who wanted to know. It’s a story of second chances in a restored marriage. In love. In hope for the future and God’s sustaining love and comfort. A story to strengthen your own soul.
 

Interview with Shirley Quiring Mozena

 

When and how did you decide to be a writer?

 

I always dreamed I’d write a book, but raising my children and teaching elementary music at a local Christian school kept me busy. There were some dramatic things that happened after the death of my first husband. 1) the school I taught at for 15 years closed and I had to find a job in the public sector. It was amazing how God worked in my life to find the job I eventually found. Later, I met and married my second husband who after 17 months, died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm. It was devastating because I thought we’d have more time. I decided I needed to tell my story of love and loss and that’s how the book came into being. I was in my sixties when I published my first book and now, writing is my first love.

 

Five words to describe my book:

 

Love/Redemption/Hope/Second Chance/Romance

 

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

 

Francine Rivers, my all-time favorite author.

 

What is your work schedule when you are writing?

 

You’d think since I am retired, I’d have plenty of time, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. When I am really focusing, I try to schedule two hours a day of writing, research, and marketing. Sometimes I devote more time, but it’s difficult. I’m married, have a blended family of 20 grandchildren, some of whom live locally, as well as eight kids. Usually, I will write, then my hubby and I have happy hour where we re-group for the evening and I’ll read what I’ve written. I’m really blessed with my husband, who is willing and enjoys listening and giving input to my writing!

 

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

 

I have a beautiful office I work in. I look out onto the front yard and see goings on when I’m thinking. I’m surrounded by a mini library, and photos of my family. I also have a reminder on the wall that says: “Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself. Love is not puffed up, does not seek its own, is not provoked thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things endures all things.” A good reminder!


Blog Stops

 

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 20

Avid Reader Nurse, October 21

For the Love of Literature, October 21 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions , October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Just the Write Escape, October 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 25

Through the Fire Blogs, October 26

Quiet Quilter, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

janicesbookreviews, October 30

Andrea Christenson, October 31 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 1

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Shirley is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Beyond Second Chances 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.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
An Exegetical Argosy
Bible Prophecy and You: Predictions, Fulfillments, and What to Watch for Next - Woods,  Len

An exegetical argosy of information, Len Woods’ “Bible Prophecy and You” offers a comprehensive study of biblical prophecy and how it pertains to the past as well as the present and the future. Although this is a relatively short book with large print, it took me longer than I anticipated to read it. While it is written for the layman and is very explicative, I found myself reading slowly and often re-reading sections to absorb all of the information, and this is not a complaint. Akin to a textbook, “Bible Prophecy and You” offers a detailed examination of the topic beginning with a definition of terms and plenty of background about prophets and, specifically, biblical prophets. There are plenty of colored illustrations that connect to both historical and contemporary events. Chapter one was the most difficult to get through for me because it was an info-dump outlining terms and laying the foundation for the rest of the book. I was interested to read that an estimated one-quarter of the Bible is prophecy, and that the two types of prophecy include foretelling and forthtelling, the latter of which is the present facet of prophecy, as demonstrated by preachers such as Billy Graham. Appendices include brief notes on the prophets of the Bible and art credits for the numerous illustrations.

Along with being easy to read, “Bible Prophecy and You” provides a straightforward and relatively unbiased approach to biblical prophecy. Even non-Christians can benefit from reading it, and regardless of affiliation, readers will likely not feel pressured to accept a certain viewpoint or stance. For the believer, this is a great reference to looking deeper into your own beliefs, and for the nonbeliever, it presents a factual explanation of Christian prophecy and eschatology that will hopefully speak to and convict their hearts. Something that I very much appreciated was that when a Scripture account is referenced, the chapter and verse are given, and all of the statements made in this book are backed up with Scripture. Of course, different interpretations exist, and Woods’ book elucidates these, including the four main interpretations of the book of Revelation and the four main schools of thought regarding the millennium, with sufficient clarification of each. It is interesting to see what you believe and what others believe according to how each interprets the Scripture. Literal versus figurative interpretations are also discussed. The final chapter ties everything together with what can be known definitively regardless of interpretation and states that the fulfillment of biblical prophecies is not coincidental but divinely ordained, noting that the messianic prophecies could not have been pre-arranged to come to fruition because other people (besides, of course, Jesus) were involved, and also some elements simply can’t be controlled by humanity.

A few points stood out to me and really enhanced my appreciation of and for the Bible. For instance, the prophetic connection between the Psalms of David and the Messiah (Jesus). I also thought that this book did well in demonstrating how several prophets predicted the same events in different words and in comparing biblical prophecies with one another, which reinforces the prophecy of the Bible. Considering the historical context is also imperative, and I enjoyed learning that Paul's words on the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 emulates the custom of ancient people when welcoming a dignitary. Also, I was interested to learn that the Bema seat had a historical significance in the first century that reflects what Paul describes the judgment seat of Christ as being like.

In summation, “Bible Prophecy and You” provides a thorough exposition of biblical prophecy that has already been fulfilled and that which is forthcoming. The second-to-last chapter succinctly answers twenty common questions about the end of the world as described in the Bible, and the final chapter focuses on what we can know definitively. Undeniably, as Woods expresses, “The prophecies already fulfilled in scripture about the first coming of Christ are more than enough to convince us that He is coming again.” Maranatha!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Review
5 Stars
Hope's Highest Mountain Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Hope’s Highest Mountain

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October, 2019

When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.
 
After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.
 
 Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.


Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

 


After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.
 

 

 

More from Misty

 

Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)
 
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had real dogs I’ve loved too. As far back as I can remember, we’ve had at least one or two dogs, and each one has been my very best friend. They’ve suffered my undying love, even allowing me to dress them up like dolls during my younger years.
 
But the dogs in my stories have a special place in my heart. Handsome, the sweet little black fluffball in Hope’s Highest Mountain is no exception! He was the runt of the litter, and such a dark black that the story’s hero nicknamed him Shadow. You can see the picture that inspired Handsome at the book’s Pinterest page. Those eyes! Hard not to fall in love, right?
 
The more I wrote in the story, the more I enjoyed getting to know this little guy, and I could almost feel his soft puppy fur as he snuggled in close. I completely see why Ingrid (the heroine) is smitten him! As you read Hope’s Highest Mountain, I hope you love Handsome as much as I do. Please give him some extra petting for me!?

 

My Review


This is the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly autumn night. The cover alone drew me in, and it being the first installation in the new Hearts of Montana series sealed the deal. Misty Beller’s work has been on my to-read list for a while now, and with “Hope’s Highest Mountain”, she just catapulted to the top of my list of must-read authors. With a plethora of Christian historical fiction set during the nineteenth century, it can be difficult to find a unique niche, but this book accomplishes it beautifully. Setting the story in the Montana mountains in late 1866 opens a fascinating world that I have not encountered before. Add to this the fact that a major part of the plot revolves around medicine and a treacherous journey through the mountains, and this is a novel that you won’t be able to put down!

There are so many ways in which Christian fiction can enhance our understanding of Biblical truths and how to apply them to our own lives, and “Hope’s Highest Mountain” is a splendid example of this. The best stories are those that can transcend their own settings to reach and connect with readers. Although this novel may take place 150 years ago, the struggles of the human heart haven’t changed. Ingrid Chastain, traveling with her father to deliver life-saving vaccines to a small town in the desolate Montana Territory, and Micah Bradley, a former doctor who now lives on his own in the wilderness, both have their share of heartache. However, their approaches are different and boil down to seeing things through the eyes of faith versus through the eyes of fear. As the narrative progresses, it is enlightening to witness their interactions and their methodologies, and it makes the reader reflect on their own attitude toward life.

Action-packed without being melodramatic, “Hope’s Highest Mountain” is a quick read, but one full of encouragement. Each character brings their own gifts and talents to the table, discovering truths about God and about themselves in the process. I particularly loved how the author shows that even those who are bedbound or very young have a divinely-given purpose to fulfill. Romans 8:28 remained at the forefront of my mind throughout the story, as even tragic and seemingly senseless situations serve as stepping stones to something good. I found the inclusion of a travois interesting and enjoyed the ingenuity of the characters in coming up with solutions to problems. I also appreciated that Beller did not fall back on a deus-ex-machina but instead created realistic resolutions and outcomes, and often unexpected ones, at that. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in survival tales, Christian historical fiction, historical romance, mountain tales, and stories full of faith and hope.

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


Blog Stops

 

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13

Betti Mace, October 13

Blessed & Bookish, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 14

Genesis 5020, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 16

For the Love of Literature, October 16

janicesbookreviews, October 16

Mary Hake, October 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Connect in Fiction, October 17

Older & Smarter?, October 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18

Life of Literature, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

The Becca Files, October 19

Blossoms and Blessings, October 19

Splashes of Joy , October 19

Through the Fire Blogs, October 20

Moments, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 20

Simple Harvest Reads, October 20

Daysong Reflections, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 21

Joy of Reading , October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

For The Love of Books, October 22

Britt Reads Fiction, October 22

Lis Loves Reading, October 23

Bigreadersite , October 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 23

Live. Love. Read. , October 24

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, October 24

Hallie Reads, October 24

Remembrancy, October 25

Mia Reads Blog, October 25

To Everything There is A Season, October 25

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
The Glittering Web Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

 


Book: The Glittering Web

Author: Richard & Linda Nathan

Genre: Christian fiction/futuristic

Release Date: July 1, 2019

What if everything you thought was true and good – wasn’t?
 
Stripping away years of deception doesn’t come easily—especially to Loren and Eve Montcrest. They believe they’re following the true path as initiates in Seattle’s Arcane Institute, their society’s elite training academy for the New World Order in 2050.
 
Pursuing spiritual power despite enormous dangers, they are caught up in a fiery, fast-paced succession of intrigues and adventure that rocks their love for each other and even their sanity.
 
Only a shocking, last-minute intervention can strip away the veil of deception and rescue them from destruction—but will they give up everything for it?
 
 
Click HERE to get your copy.
 

About the Authors

 


Whether writing apologetics or page-turners, Richard and Linda write together. The Glittering Web is their first novel, a thriller rooted in their own lives and the occult. Richard has a master’s in Christian history and a B.S. in biology and has worked in psychiatric units for over 25 years. Linda has a B.A. in psychology. She has managed Logos Word Designs, LLC, since 1992, providing professional writing, editing, and publishing consultation services. She is also a staff freelance editor with Redemption Press. Together and singly, they have taught and spoken at conferences, seminars, churches, and on the radio. #glitteringweb ~ www.theglitteringweb.com
 

More from Richard and Linda

 

What if everything you thought was true and good—wasn’t?
 
That’s what we painfully learned from our years in the New Age / psychedelic movement in the San Francisco Bay Area during the ’60s and ’70s–years in which we almost lost our sanity, our souls, and our lives.
 
Like our characters Loren and Eve who are initiates in Seattle’s Arcane Institute in the year 2050, we pursued spiritual power into a glittering web of dangers and deceptions.
 
Although true to our own inner trials and temptations, The Glittering Web is a fast-paced thriller and sci-fi fantasy with a life of its own, an evangelistic thrust, and a call to Christians to wake up to this huge mission field all around us where today a New Age practitioner is running for President. As it exposes the deceitfulness of this popular movement, it also glorifies the great love and power of Jesus Christ to reach the lost.
 
See our author video at www.theglitteringweb.com and join the Insider’s Club for our free quarterly newsletter, articles, contests, drawings, Q&As, and much more. There’s also a glossary of over 60 New Age terms to help you.
 

My Review

 

To quote Sir Walter Scott, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave!” Futuristic, science fiction books are not usually my choice of reading fodder, but the description for Richard and Linda Nathan’s “The Glittering Web” and the desire to expand my literary horizons led me to picking this one up. And wow! There is so much to be explored within this narrative that it will almost definitely require a re-read and further study. As such, I think that it would make a very interesting group Bible study topic, perhaps reading this book and then taking the New Age philosophies and contrasting them with the true Word of God. “The Glittering Web” is based on a true story of what the authors encountered in the 1970s, and although it is set in 2050, the events in it are already happening today, making it a prescient and cautionary tale.

As we draw closer to the end of the age, it becomes all the more apparent that we are headed toward a world akin to that inhabited by Loren and Eve Montcrest. Chosen as initiates to the Arcane Institute in Seattle under the New World Order, they are on the fast track to everything they’ve ever dreamed of, until that dream becomes a nightmare. What the Montcrests, and society, covet is power and authority, which culminates in not only wanting to be their own god but to be God Himself. If we’re being honest, this is true of all of us to some degree; we relish being in control, but while surrendering isn’t easy and can seem counterintuitive, it is only when we surrender ourselves to God that we become truly free because He is omniscient and completely good and will always work for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us, and thus we have access to the most powerful force in the universe!

The New World Order is eerily familiar to the way our society is progressing. A universal mandated religion that is purportedly all-inclusive has taken Christian principles and perverted them by weaving them into Eastern and mystical methods. With end goals of harmony and unity and achieving global godhood, dissenters such as Bible-believing Christians must be tamped out. “The Glittering Web” is a clarion call to everyone that what is going on in this story is also going on right now in real life, and it is truly evil, not harmless or virtuous. Psychedelic drugs, including marijuana, and their effects demonstrate one of the tools characterizing the deception, and opening oneself up to the darkness throws open the door to demonic possession. Virtual reality and technology suffuse the population to such an extent that “most people couldn’t tell anymore where fantasy began and reality ended. Nor did it much matter.” Some of the characters experience moments of conviction, demonstrating that the Lord has not abandoned His creation, and even though they stifle that conviction with flawed rationalization, not wanting to acknowledge what they know deep inside, the Lord still intervenes and invites them (and us!) to a relationship with Him, out of the darkness and into the light.

For the discerning reader who wants to be challenged to remove the veil of harmony and unity that our society is fabricating, “The Glittering Web” is an excellent choice. It is absolutely NOT a lighthearted read, but it is illuminating. I personally would have liked to see a bit more Christian influence earlier on, as the majority of the narrative was disturbing and it wasn’t until about 75% or so through the book, with a few brief exceptions, that the Christian element shone through. I am wondering if this could be a post-Rapture society. Regardless, this is a book that unambiguously depicts spiritual warfare and the dangers of complacency.

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


Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 11

Older & Smarter?, October 12

Blogging With Carol , October 13

CarpeDiem, October 14

Rebecca Tews, October 15

For the Love of Literature, October 16

Wishful Endings, October 17 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, October 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Texas Book-aholic, October 21

janicesbookreviews, October 22

A Reader’s Brain, October 23

Inklings and notions , October 24

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate their tour, Richard and Linda are giving away, to TWO winners, the grand prize of a paperback copy with a membership to the Insider’s Club (see www.theglitteringweb.com).
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
We Gather Together
Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook - Wanda E. Brunstetter

There is much to love about this cookbook. It is very similar to “Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook” in format and design. It features spiral, lay-flat binding and gorgeous color photos throughout, as well as glossy pages that are easy to wipe off if lightly sullied by ingredients. Brunstetter opens her “Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook” with a concise history of the Amish and Mennonites and a succint description of an Amish Christmas, which focuses foremost on the birth of Christ. Between each section of the cookbook are more brief insights into an Amish holiday season. I particularly enjoyed learning about their “Second Christmas” on December 26 because that is my birthday, and I love that they spend it visiting with close friends and just relaxing. Also of note is that they observe “Old Christmas” on January 6, which is referred to as Epiphany in the English world.

With a Bible verse at the beginning of each category, this is a nice collection of recipes for the experienced cook. Due, I’m assuming, to limited space, the directions are laconic. Most do not express a serving size, an at times inconvenient omission. In a couple of the recipes, a hyphen was missing and it made the wording confusing: “Roll up jelly roll-style” should have been “Roll up jelly-roll-style”. I have to admit that I was disappointed by the fact that almost all of the recipes use store-bought, processed ingredients rather than homemade. None of the recipes are exclusively reserved as gluten-free, although some of them are naturally and the others can be made so by substituting gluten-free ingredients. It is neat that each recipe is credited with the contributor’s name and location. My favorite section was “Gifts from the Kitchen” because it featured items and recipes that could be gathered into gifts, such as the cookie or soup mixes in glass jars that you see in stores. The three indices at the end are very helpful, enabling a look-up of recipes by contributor, category, or key ingredients. While this may not be the best cookbook for novices or for those seeking recipes with solely homemade ingredients, Wanda Brunstetter’s “Amish Friends Christmas Cookbook” is nevertheless a beautiful and fun collection of recipes and facts.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Review
4 Stars
A Promise to Break Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book 


Book: A Promise to Break

Author: Kathryn Spurgeon

Genre: Christian Historical

Release Date: July 11, 2016

SIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depression in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.
 
FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.
 
Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?


Click HERE to get your copy.
 

About the Author


A Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author loves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences.
 
Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message.
 
She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women.
 
Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives.
 
Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach.
 
Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.
 

More from Kathryn

 

Nostalgic book
 
Have you ever wished to go back in time and question a relative who is no longer around? Ask what motivated her, discuss her greatest heartaches and how she overcame them, analyze her spiritual journey?
 
My grandmother’s life was full of upheavals and I wish I could have spent more time with her and studied her thought-processes. My mother did spend more time with her. With a clear mind of that time, Mom (and many others) enthusiastically shared memories and discussed the lessons the once wealthy Sibyl Trimble may have gathered in life.
 
What a trip it has been! Autobiographies. Publications. Notes in attic boxes containing information about secret love affairs and heart-breaking losses told with spiritual honesty. The more information I uncovered, the more I wanted to get to know Sibyl Trimble, the person. I wanted to know how God worked in her life. I wanted to write her story.
 
The nostalgic era of the 1930s came alive to me as I travelled to places of lively, boogie-woogie music, old handwritten documents, and tombstones. The amazing, booming town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, was the perfect setting for a Great Depression tale. Some people moved to California during that time. Others stayed in Shawnee. In contrast to “The Grapes of Wrath,” this book relates the experiences of some who remained during one of the worst times in U.S. history. They stayed and thrived.
 
This book is not a recount of simple facts but examines the essence of a brilliant woman who traversed through life, maneuvering the hardships along with the blessings. I uncovered anecdotes, read newspaper articles, and confirmed family lore that had been passed down through generations.
 
Many readers agree Sibyl could have been their grandmother, their heritage, and after reading this book series, they will know Sibyl almost as well as I do.
 
This story is an intimate look at a searching individual during the wistful days of a long-gone era. I expect, after you read “A Promise to Break,” you’ll agree that Sibyl Trimble’s story needed to be told.
 

My Review

 

The 1930s is not a time period with which I am very well acquainted. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but I haven’t read many books set during this decade. The fact that Kathryn Spurgeon’s “A Promise to Break” is based on a true story enhanced my appreciation for this book, and because it is written in the first person, it truly felt like stepping back almost 90 years into the past. Something that struck me almost immediately was how much things have actually remained the same. Issues that our society and our country is now contending with may seem new, but in reality they are longstanding. Sybil Trimble’s father is an advocate for Socialism, and yet as a well-to-do bank auditor, he is more inclined to talk and not to action. He is not willing to sacrifice anything himself but thinks that he has all of the answers to society’s ills. As Sybil remarks, “Papa, not God, decided what was right or wrong for our family. And right and wrong always depended on his mood that particular day.”

As the oldest child and her father’s protégé, Sybil follows a path already set forth for her. It is not until she meets Fremont, a poor young man and a hobo, that she begins to see beyond the close confines of her sheltered life. Spurgeon does well in demonstrating the conflict within Sybil as her upbringing collides with Fremont’s worldview. Up until this point, she has lived under her father’s thumb, and her goal in life is to please him: “I would do anything to make Papa proud. Anything… I promised I would help Papa change the world. I could never break that promise—Papa was my hero.” As her eyes begin to open to the world outside of her own comfortable home, she finds herself questioning her future and what she truly believes. Sybil’s spiritual journey likewise progresses, and her questions and doubts are very credible coming from someone of her upbringing and class. As Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:24, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When we have everything we need to live securely, it is easy to rely upon ourselves and forget that the Lord is the one who blesses us and provides for us. The journey to accepting and trusting God may be filled with bumps and detours, as is Sybil’s, but what a spectacular treasure awaits for the heart of the faithful!

Anyone who enjoys reading historical memoirs and books about the 1930s, the disparity between rich and poor, and flawed but endearing and sympathetic characters will appreciate Kathryn Spurgeon’s debut, “A Promise to Break.” There were some grammatical errors throughout, but none of them detracted from the story itself, which contains an appealing mixture of faith, family, heartache, and triumph.  

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


Blog Stops

 

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 1

To Everything There Is A Season, October 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 2

Through the Fire Blogs, October 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 3

Connie’s History Classroom , October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 4

Betti Mace, October 4

Older & Smarter?, October 5

Blogging With Carol , October 5

Hallie Reads, October 6

Life of Literature, October 6

Genesis 5020, October 7

A Baker’s Perspective, October 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 7

Moments, October 8

Emily Yager, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 9

Maureen’s Musings, October 9

She Lives to Read, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 10

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 10

Pause for Tales , October 11

Connect in Fiction, October 11

Reader’s Cozy Corner,October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Bigreadersite, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

janicesbookreviews, October 13

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 13

A Reader’s Brain, October 14

Batya’s Bits, October 14

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon 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.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Stitches in Time Review and GIVEAWAY!

  

 

About the Book


Book: Stitches in Time

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Contemporary Amish fiction

Release Date: October 1, 2019  

Detachment had worked well as a life strategy for horse trainer Sam Schrock. Until he met Mollie Graber . . .

New to Stoney Ridge, schoolteacher Mollie has come to town for a fresh start. Aware of how fleeting and fragile life is, she wants to live it boldly and bravely. When Luke Schrock, new to his role as deacon, asks the church to take in foster girls from a group home, she’s the first to raise her hand. The power of love, she believes, can pick up the dropped stitches in a child’s heart and knit them back together.

Mollie envisions sleepovers and pillow fights. What the 11-year-old twins bring to her home is anything but. Visits from the sheriff at midnight. Phone calls from the school truancy officer. And then the most humiliating moment of all: the girls accuse Mollie of drug addiction.

There’s only one thing that breaks through the girls’ hard shell–an interest in horses. Reluctantly and skeptically, Sam Schrock gets drawn into Mollie’s chaotic life. What he didn’t expect was for love to knit together the dropped stitches in his own heart . . . just in time.

Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the little Amish church of Stoney Ridge for a touching story of the power of love.
 
Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

 


Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.  

 

 

 

More from Suzanne

Have you ever felt the tug to become a foster parent?
 
On any given day, there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the United States. Most states have a critical need for more foster parents, and the number of children placed in foster care increases yearly.
 
There are plenty of assumptions about having foster children, but most are incorrect. The media has a tendency to focus on the negative, but from all the research I conducted to write this book, for every bad news story, there were two good ones. Good stories just don’t make the news.
 
Below are some of the most common assumptions about foster care, with corrected information that is applicable across the United States (but keep in mind that each state has their own requirements).  
 
Myth: Kids in foster care are bad or troubled.
 
Truth: Children in foster care are good kids taken out of a troubled situation. They need a caring foster parent who is patient and understanding. When given the opportunity, most of these children begin to thrive.  
 
Myth: To be a foster parent, you need to be married and own a home and be a college graduate.
 
Truth: You don’t need to be married or to own a home or even be a college graduate. That means if you’re single or renting, you can be a foster parent.  
 
Myth: I can’t afford to be a foster parent.
 
Truth: There are monthly reimbursement rates for children in foster care based on the level of care you provide. Medical and dental care is paid through state Medicaid programs.  
 
Myth: Most kids in foster care are teenagers.
 
Truth: The average age of a child entering foster care is seven years old.  
 
Myth: Most kids are in foster care because their parents have abused drugs.
 
Truth: Now, this one is not a myth. It’s true. There are fifteen categories that can be responsible for a child’s removal from a home. Drug abuse from a parent has had the largest percentage increase.  
 
Myth: Fostering could require a commitment until the child turns eighteen. Truth: Generally, children remain in state care for less than two years. Only six percent spend five or more years in foster care.  
 
Myth: It’s too hard to give a child up to his biological family.
 
Truth: Most children are in foster care for a short time, returning to their biological families. Reuniting a child to his family is the ideal situation. Foster families provide a safe haven for a child. Healthy grieving is to be expected, but it’s for the right reasons. It’s healthy.  
 
Myth: You can’t adopt foster children.
 
Truth: In 2016, more than 65,000 children—whose mothers and fathers parental rights were legally terminated—waiting to be adopted. Also in 2016, more than 20,000 children “aged out” of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to a “forever family” have a higher likelihood than the general youth population to experience homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration as adults.  
 
Is there room in your heart and family for a child in need? There are many ways to get involved, some that do not even require foster care. One recommendation: volunteer with The National CASA Association (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children. You can find out more information here: www.casaforchildren.org.
 
Or consider small ways to connect to children in need—after school tutoring at your public library. Volunteering at a community center. Buy Christmas gifts for a family in need through an Adopt-a-Family program with a local church. Support a family who does provide foster care with respites—babysitting or meals. There’s many ways to get involved to care for children in need. And every little bit makes a difference.
 

My Review

 

Even without having read book one in this series, I had no trouble following along and jumping right into Suzanne Woods Fisher’s “Stitches in Time”. What initially caught my eye was the cover, and that, along with the rather embarrassing fact that I had not yet read any of this author’s books, led me to request it for review when the opportunity arose. Reading “Mending Fences” first would provide background for the characters in this sequel, as well as the Amish community of Stoney Ridge, but it is not absolutely necessary, and the author has kindly included a character legend at the beginning for reference.

Unique among the Amish fiction which I have read to date, “Stitches in Time” manages to encompass key issues that are pertinent to most readers’ lives but that I would never have thought of in an Amish context. These include marriage struggles, addiction, broken families, church leadership, and chiefly foster families. Fostering children is not something I ever considered the Amish doing, and the different experiences that they undergo in this story run the gamut from good to downright challenging, but their approach of love and discernment speaks to the same care the Savior has for us. This book is mostly split between the story of Luke and Izzy Schrock and that of Sam Schrock and Mollie Graber. And yet despite dealing with such tough topics and multiple characters, “Stitches in Time” never feels bogged down or dismal. Suzanne Woods Fisher writes in such a way that all of the pieces fit together and both the characters and the reader learn some insightful truths.

Psalm 23 underpins this story and beautifully illustrates what shepherding looks like from a Biblical perspective and how it applies to human relationships. For instance, “Sheep weren’t meant to rely on other sheep, only on their shepherd.” Several of the characters in this book have unrealistic expectations that interfere with their relationships and with how they see the world. One of the best pieces of advice comes from the Amish bishop, who tells Luke: “Try to do the opposite of what comes naturally. Listen more than talk. Ask questions more than spout answers.” Another bishop encourages starting each day by asking, “Lord, what do you want me to do today?” What a profound prayer! If we have the courage to pray such and then follow where God leads us, true change can occur as we draw strength not from our own feeble reserves but from the Lord’s omnipotence.

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


Blog Stops

 

The Power of Words, September 26

The Becca Files, September 26

SusanLovesBooks, September 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 27

Through the Fire Blogs, September 27

Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, September 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 28

Inspiration Clothesline, September 28

Texas Book-aholic, September 28

Book bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 29

Blogging With Carol , September 29

Hookmeinabook , September 29

The Avid Reader, September 30

Mia Reads, September 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 30

janicesbookreviews, October 1

My Devotional Thoughts, October 1

Maureen’s Musings, October 1

CarpeDiem, October 1

For Him and My Family, October 2

Stories By Gina, October 2

Activating Faith, October 2

A Reader’s Brain, October 3

EmpowerMoms, October 3

Wishful Endings, October 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 3

Carla Loves To Read, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

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

Inklings and notions , October 5

Quiet Quilter, October 5

Vicky Sluiter, October 5

Hallie Reads, October 5

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

For The Love of Books , October 6

For the Love of Literature, October 6

Bigreadersite, October 7

By The Book, October 7

She Lives to Read, October 7

Moments, October 8

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 8

Girls in White Dresses, October 8

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 9

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
There is No Fear in Love: Book Review of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown

 

Blurb:

How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of a daughter?

 

Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.

Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.

 

Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.

 

Can Dayne's love for Caralynne bridge the gulf of anger and bitterness that divides the community? Or will Caralynne's deadly secrets prove too high a price for her redemption?

 

Purchase Link:

https://amzn.to/2IQk3i2

 

About the Author:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

 

 

 

Social Media Links:

 

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-brown

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/browncarole212/?hl=en

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-brown-79b6951a/

Stitches Thru Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

 

 

My Review:

“Who am I? What have I become besides a mother who adores her daughters?”

 



Thrusting the reader immediately into the world of The Children of Righteous Cain, a radical religious cult that exists in its own self-contained world, “The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman” is both eye-opening and heartbreaking, but with a whisper of hope that beckons throughout. Skeptical as I was when I started reading this story, I am glad that I took a chance on it. With a jarring prologue that begins to make more sense as the novel winds down, Carole Brown establishes a steady pace interjected with occasional moments of serenity that allow the reader to catch their breath. Once I stepped into the story, I had a difficult time putting it down, and it reminded me somewhat of a Lifetime movie. There is the requisite romance, and a forbidden one at that, and plenty of drama. Exposing the cornerstone of the cult, Brown manages to evoke revulsion but also sympathy, and she does so in a non-gratuitous manner that makes readers aware of the abuse and unpalatable issues without including graphic details or profanity.

 



As the narrative unfolds, the characters remain the most prominent aspect, even above the situations. They are my favorite part of the book because of the complexities woven into them by the author. When writing about cults, it can be easy to fall into stereotypes and characters who are either good or evil, with no middle ground. “The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman” offers a more authentic study of human behavior by demonstrating the conflicts within the cult members themselves, and the effects of brainwashing. While there is true evil, it comes through the sin resulting from twisting or denying God’s Word, and the consequences thereof. Indoctrinated with a false religion, the followers are expected to be subservient to whatever the leader proclaims, and anyone who challenges the modus vivendi is a threat. Due to her oldest daughter’s death, Caralynne defies the status quo: “All she wanted was for her girls to have a chance at a good and happy life. Whatever it took, she would do it. Right or wrong.” Ultimately, what causes the cult’s theology to fall apart is its lack of love. 1 John 4:18 encapsulates this missing element: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Thankfully, we have a Savior who does love us with a perfect love, and as this story demonstrates, it is Him we need to listen to and follow.

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

 

 

Tweets:

 

Caralynne is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter at the hands of a radical religious cult. What would you do to avenge the murder of your daughter? The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown https://amzn.to/2qhWV1I 

 

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown - #womensfiction #suspense #mothers #romance Caralynne’s secret seems safe until Dayne returns determined to learn the truth about the cult and his rekindled love for her... https://amzn.to/2qhWV1I 

 

 

Review: Rarely does a book come along with such raw honesty. Compassionate. Sensitivity. Fast paced. #award-winning #best seller. The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by @browncarole212 https://amzn.to/2BRSeV5

Review
4 Stars
Living by the Sword: Book Review of Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Lynne Costello

 

Blurb:

After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.

 

Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.

 

Purchase Link:

 

https://amzn.to/2X2uGSD

 

 

About the Author:

Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat and miniature donkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/debbielynnecostello

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/DebiLynCostello

WEBSITE: https://www.debbielynnecostello.com/

NEWSLETTER: https://mailchi.mp/276616916748/debbielynnecostello

 

My Review:

This book took me outside of my comfort zone because I am honestly not much of a Medieval literature or Medieval setting reader, which is why I signed up to review it in the first place. As a book reviewer, I try to expose myself to different genres and diverse time periods that I would otherwise probably not explore. Book one in the “Winds of Change” series definitely fits the bill.

Opening in Cumberland, England in 1398, Debbie Lynne Costello’s “Sword of Forgiveness” thrusts the reader into a world of nobility, knighthood, and the days of old. My favorite part of this story was the characters. For the first several chapters, I was not sure that I particularly liked either Brithwin or Royce. Brithwin is a strong, independent, proud female figure, which makes her a rarity for the end of the fourteenth century. I expected her faith to be the weaker of the two, but it was the other way around. Royce comes across as being austere and controlling. They are brought together through an arranged marriage that neither is keen on and which is best summed up by this quotation from the narrative: “Could God make anything good come out of a marriage neither participant wanted?” Indeed, intrigue and treachery add obstacles to the plot, and as Thomas Godfrey so wisely states: “Only God knows a man’s heart. Some men are masters at hiding their true nature.” As Brithwin and Royce experience persistent threats and the vicissitudes of their relationship with each other, they also realize the influence of their past as well as the profound impact that a relationship with God provides.

This is an easy read overall, with a glossary of terms included right before the prologue, but I was glad to be reading this on my Kindle so that I could easily highlight unfamiliar terms and find out their meaning without having to navigate back to the beginning of the book. There were some editing and grammatical errors that were distracting to me but which did not detract from the story itself; I actually did have a Kindle edition of this book that I purchased independently a year or so ago, so this was not a rough copy. Readers searching for a sweet Christian romance taking place in the Middle Ages, with some danger and universal questions about faith that remain relevant today, will enjoy Brithwin and Royce’s journey in “Sword of Forgiveness.”

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

Review
4 Stars
Be Strong and Courageous: A Book Review of House of Courage by Susan Beatty
House of Courage: A Faces of Courage Novelette - Beatty,  Susan

Perhaps the first novelette that I have read, at least in recent memory, Susan Beatty’s “House of Courage” can be read in one sitting. Nevetheless, it probes several significant issues and is in that way not a light read. This Italian American family experiences heartache and challenges common to so many, with a prevailing bedrock of faith that is tested but never defeated. The main character, Marissa, is battling metastatic breast cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy while working with her cousin Dante and her father to salvage the family’s orange tree farm. Marissa’s mother has dementia and vacillates between lucidity and confusion. The extended family also owns a restaurant that is under financial distress.

Through it all, this godly family persists and sacrifices, trusting God even when their circumstances seem to not make sense. While reading, I continually thought of Jesus’ parable about the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7. Regardless of our outward circumstances, we have a choice as to whether we will build our lives on the Rock or on shifting sand. As Beatty writes, “The Cinzanos had remained strong here through many trials. Her father often said they lived in a house of courage.” We, too, can live in a “house of courage” when we seek the Lord’s will and truly trust Him in all things, with all things, and through all things. Only then will our hearts be satisfied.

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

Enclave Scavenger Hunt: Edge of Oblivion by Joshua A. Johnston
 

Celebrate Lit is excited to partner with Enclave Publishing to feature 13 of their authors in a fun scavenger hunt. Stop by each of the blog stops to check out the author interview and to collect their special word.  Once you have collected each word, put all the words together into a sentence to enter into the giveaway for additional entries.

 

Tour Landing Page: http://www.celebratelit.com/enclave-publishing-scavenger-hunt/

 

Most of all have fun learning about new authors and their books!
 

About the Book


Book: Edge of Oblivion

Author: Joshua A. Johnston

Genre: Christian/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Futuristic

Release Date: April 15, 2016

A Forgotten Past. A Terminal Future.

                            

Earth has emerged from a cataclysmic dark age with little knowledge of its past. Aided by the discovery of advanced alien technology, humanity ventures into the stars, joining other sentient races in a sprawling, prosperous interstellar Confederacy.

 

That peace is soon shattered. Without warning, the Confederacy comes under attack by an unstoppable alien force from the unknown regions. With hopes for civilization's survival dwindling, Commander Jared Carter is sent to pursue an unlikely lead: a collection of ancient alien religious fragments which may - or may not - hold the key to their salvation ...

Click HERE for your copy.  

About the Author


Joshua A. Johnston was raised on science fiction television and film before being introduced to the wider universe of sci-fi literature as a teenager. A graduate of Truman State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in social science education, he’s an American history and American government teacher, a novelist, and a ruminator on everything from video games to parenting to Aldi.

 

Joshua lives in St. Louis with his wife, Rachael, and their two daughters. When he’s not watching Star Trek or pining after Nintendo’s latest games, he enjoys hiking, camping, and other forays off the grid. 
 
 

About Enclave Publishing

 

Enclave is the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. Whether it’s Christian science fiction you love, or fantasy, time travel, steampunk, alternate history, spiritual warfare, superhero, or technothriller—if it’s speculative and it comes from the Christian worldview, Enclave is the place to go. Enclave strives to get Christian speculative fiction directly into the hands of the fans who love and devour great stories.

 

An enclave is a group of like-minded people in a place where they are surrounded by those who are not like-minded. It is not a place to hide, instead Enclave is a place where authors and fans of Christian Fantasy and Christian Science Fiction can come together and then go out and make a difference through worlds of words. Our stories can seem strange but underneath they contain powerful expressions of Redemption, Truth, and Hope.

 

Blog Stops

 

By the Book, Stop One

Blossoms and Blessings, Stop Two

Lukewarm Tea, Stop Three

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, Stop Four

Tell Tale Book Reviews, Stop Five

A Baker’s Perspective, Stop Six

A Reader’s Brain, Stop Seven

For the Love of Literature, Stop Eight

Through the Fire Blogs, Stop Nine

Wishful Endings, Stop Ten

Vicky Sluiter, Stop Eleven

Texas Book-aholic, Stop Twelve

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, Stop Thirteen

Artistic Nobody, Stop Fourteen

 

Giveaway

 

 
One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card!
 
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Letters From Jesus Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Letters from Jesus

Author: Chris Palmer

Genre: Religion / Biblical Studies/History & Culture

Release Date: September 10, 2019

“In Revelation 2:2, Jesus tells the church in Ephesus something intimate—Google Street View intimate. He says, ‘I know your works’ (Oida ta erga sou). Four words don’t seem like much, but in the Greek, it packs a punch.… Jesus chooses the Greek word oida, which expresses total, comprehensive knowledge. It is intimate knowledge that comes from being up close and personal. This knowledge isn’t hazy on the details. It doesn’t struggle to remember. It preserves the particulars. In the mind’s eye, everything is sharp and clear, like a well-taken photograph.” —Chris Palmer

Letters from Jesus: Studies from the Seven Churches of Revelation explores Christ’s warnings to the seven most prominent churches in Asia Minor in the book of Revelation. These letters date back to 95 A.D., but they help us make a fascinating discovery about civilization: life hasn’t changed that much over the last two millennia. Author Chris Palmer illustrates the truths contained in the Letters from Jesus using modern, everyday day examples. The host of the popular podcast Greek for the Week, he unpacks Greek words and phrases in these verses from Revelation with humor, joy, and biblical scholarship.

Why study Greek, even just a little bit? As Chris explains, looking at the New Testament in the original language in which it was written can offer us some beautiful insights into God’s Word. “It’s like reading the Bible in high definition,” he says. Also, “studying God’s Word in the original language forces us to approach it with reverence and awe, humbling ourselves to obey what it says, whether it’s something we want to hear or not.”

Click HERE for your copy.
 

About the Author

 


The Rev. Chris Palmer is the founder and pastor of Light of Today Church in Novi, Michigan, and founder of Chris Palmer Ministries. He is host of the popular podcast, Greek for the Week, seen on several Internet platforms.
 
Chris began in full-time ministry in 2006 and began to preach internationally in 2009, helping many congregations grow, flourish, and expand. His desire for missions is to train and educate pastors, encourage congregations, support the vision of local church, and show the love of God to the culture. He has done this successfully for a decade in over forty nations of the world in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean, working with both traditional churches and the underground/persecuted church.
 
Chris earned a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from North Central University and an M.A. in Exegetical Theology, magna cum laude, from Moody Theological Seminary. He is a sought-after Greek scholar for his ability to make God’s Word come alive in a unique way from the Greek. Chris is often invited to present Greek and hermeneutics workshops at Bible and ministry schools. He recently began working on his Ph.D. at University Wales, Bangor, in the area of Johannine Literature, particularly the book of Revelation.
 
His previous self-published books include Living as a Spirit: Hearing the Voice of God on Purpose, The 85 Questions You Ask When You Begin a Relationship with GodThe Believer’s Journey, and Escaping the Haunting Past: A Handbook for Deliverance.
 

More from Chris

 

Experience the Bible in high definition and learn some Greek with fun, easy lessons from pastor/scholar Chris Palmer.
 
 
 

My Review

 

As someone who majored in English literature, I have always had an affinity for languages. I took four semesters of Latin in college because of how much this ancient language undergirds English etymology. Similarly, ancient Greek holds an appeal, although I have never studied it. As soon as I heard about Chris Palmer’s “Letters From Jesus”, I requested a review copy, and I am definitely glad that I did. Although I needed to read through this book more quickly in order to post a review, it is best to proceed slowly and take time to absorb the gems of knowledge therein.

Focusing on the first three chapters in the Biblical book of Revelation, “Letters From Jesus” examines the seven churches and how the original Greek language informs the text. This, in turn, enhances our understanding of Jesus’ message to each church and how we can and should apply them to our own lives today. One of many interesting things that I learned while reading was how “the seven spirits of God represent seven functions of the Holy Spirit that make up His fullness”. Palmer hones in on a different area of study for each church, dividing them into sections within the book. The church at Ephesus concentrates on love; Smyrna, endurance; Pergamum, worldview; Thyatira, holiness; Sardis, the Holy Spirit; Philadelphia, Christian living; and Laodicea, faithfulness. Something that stood out to me was that several of these are fruits of the Spirit.

Revelation is a book that speaks of the future and the coming of the Lord’s kingdom here on earth, and while that in itself is enough to make it undoubtedly pertinent, Palmer points out many other facts that demonstrate that God’s Word is truly living and active. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, which was the language of the everyday man, emphasizing that the Gospel was not and is not only for the upper class but rather for ALL people. Indeed, reading Palmer’s analyses is insightful and truly drives home the point that we are in a daily battle against evil and the enemy of our souls. In response to someone wondering where God was when a horrific event occurred, Palmer says that “God puts up with evil so people have a chance to repent and be saved. Until the time of judgment comes, God will be patient and forbearing. Meanwhile, Satan will continue to stir up evil to make the world hateful toward Christ”. This is why it is so important for us as Christians to remain steadfast in our faith and to keep the light of Jesus burning strongly within us. Today’s cultural ethos “will let you keep moving further and further from the Lord without ever saying a word” because the focus is always on you and what is best for you, whereas Jesus will tell us what areas in our lives need to change in order for us to be aligned with His will and to receive His priceless gift of eternal life.

Intended as a weekly devotional, “Letters From Jesus” contains 52 relatively short chapters. Each opens with a Scripture verse followed by the Greek with a few corresponding words highlighted. A personal, contemporary introduction leads into the situation of the church that is being discussed, with bonus information in blue boxes. Then there is both a prayer and an activity for the week, followed by a list of six Scriptures to explore each week. Endnotes are included and are almost exclusively relating to Greek grammar for the word and language lovers among us. I did notice editing errors throughout the book, but although it is not marked as such, my hardcover copy may be an ARC. I hope that the Kindle edition includes hyperlinks to the Scripture passages at the end of the chapters for easier reference. Regardless, I highly recommend this enlightening book, particularly for those interested in Greek and for group studies, but also for intrepid individuals endeavoring to better understand the letters to the seven churches and how they apply to us.

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

 

Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 14

The Power of Words, September 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 16

Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 19

My Devotional Thoughts, September 20

Mary Hake, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

For the Love of Literature, September 22

Retrospective Spines, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

A Reader’s Brain, September 25

A Diva’s Heart, September 25

janicesbookreviews, September 26

Inklings and notions , September 27

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Chris is giving away a grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card, copy of LETTERS FROM JESUS, copy of HEBREW WORD STUDY!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Waiting for God Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Waiting for God

Author: Xochitl Dixon

Genre: Non-Fiction, Devotional

Release Date: August 7, 2019

Inhale God’s Word. Exhale in prayer. Rest in God’s love.

If your heart is weary and longing for answers—for healing, for provision, for miracles—Waiting for God renews your hope with strong biblical truth and encouraging Scripture-based prayer.

Conquer your fears and frustrations as you inhale God’s Word, exhale in prayer, and rest in God’s love. Live a life of deeper connection and immediate communion with God that can lead to contentment in His constant presence, no matter what your days hold or how long God’s deliberate delays may last.

Xochitl Dixon writes each chapter with heart-touching transparency and vulnerability, as she shares her own story as well as the stories of others who are trusting God through waiting seasons with no apparent end in sight. As a woman who lives with chronic pain, Xochitl understands constant struggle yet chooses to put God on the throne of her life. 
 
 
Click HERE to purchase your copy.
 

About the Author

 


Xochitl (So-Cheel) E. Dixon has a heart for loving God and people. She’s passionate about intercessory prayer, nurturing spiritual growth, and the prayerful study and application of Scripture. Through her daily struggles with chronic pain, due to an upper back injury she endured in 1992, she writes with transparency, ministers to the hurting, and inspires hope through worshiping God in all circumstances.
 
She serves as a regular contributor to Our Daily Bread (www.odb.org), a ministry devoted to making “the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.” Her devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace (Discovery House Publishers) is available for pre-order and releases August 7, 2019. She is a contributing author for the upcoming Our Daily Bread devotionals: What Really Matters (August 7, 2019), And He Walks with Me (October 2, 2019), and Moments of Peace for Moms (October 2, 2019).
 
Her devotions have also been included in All God’s Creatures (Guideposts, 2019), God Hears Her (Discovery House, 2017), Our Help (Discovery House, 2017), and This Far by Faith: Legacies of the Black Church (Discovery House, 2017). Her nonfiction has been published in My Amazing Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2018), Second-Chance Dogs (Revell, 2018), LIVE Magazine (2019), and Church Health Reader (2019).
 
She followed God from California to Wisconsin and is enjoying Midwest adventures with her best friend and husband of over 25 years, Dr. W. Alan Dixon, Sr. She loves their sons, A.J. and Xavier, spoils her service dog, Callie, and likes serving as a speaker, traveling, photography, reading, singing, sketching, studying Scripture, and nurturing authentic relationships.
 
Xochitl connects with readers and shares encouragement devotions, prayer, and Scripture-based memes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog at www.xedixon.com. You can also follow her Author Page on Amazon’s Author Central.
 

More from Xochitl 

 

"Never pray for patience."

 

My friend’s warning pricked at the back of my mind. Without realizing it, I began lacing my prayers with fear, doubt, and caution. I couldn’t risk being thrust into situations that would force me to develop patience, so I did everything in my power to avoid asking the Lord to help me be patient.

 

But even when I didn’t ask Him to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in me, I always seemed to end up in circumstances that stretched my faith as much as my patience.

 

When my agent challenged me to write the book I had to write, I pitched Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

 

I thought I’d be sharing tips about how to persevere through trials and endure suffering with grace. But after I signed the contract and received a deadline for my manuscript, my husband received an unexpected job offer.

 

We followed the Lord from California to Wisconsin.

 

Writing became a challenge as I suffered a setback in my healing journey. I endured high levels of pain and fatigue. My husband and I struggled with frustration as we adjusted to life in the Midwest during one of the coldest winters in history.

 

And God changed my perspective on waiting for Him, which has nothing to do with patience.

 

I’ll be sharing my answers to the end-of-chapter questions on my blog (www.xedixon.com). I’m excited to invite you to join the adventure.

 

I look forward to growing with you as we wait for God, inhaling His Word, exhaling in prayer, and resting in His love as we trust daily in His plan and pace.

 

My Review

 

“Hurry up and wait!” With unknown origins but generally attributed to the American military, this phrase encapsulates contemporary culture. Always bustling, stampeding through life at a pace often well above the safe speed limit and bemoaning any red lights we encounter along the way. We want what we want, when we want it. Manifest destiny, right? The American Dream. Have it all, do it all, be it all—on our own timeline, of course. We are not usually patient people; I know I’m not. I try, but far too frequently I fall short and haste reigns. It’s the waiting that trips us up. It’s also the waiting that offers us peace and fortitude.

When I began reading Xochitl Dixon’s “Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace”, I knew that the timing was God-ordained. I just didn’t realize how much so. It dovetailed nicely with my previous read, “Obedience Over Hustle” by Malinda Fuller. Trust is something I’m really focusing on in my faith walk this year. Some days are better than others. This week has fallen into the “others” category. Sometimes the thing we wait for takes us by surprise and turns us upside down, even when we were expecting it. The day after I began “Waiting for God”, one of my very dearest friends and sisters in Christ went home to be with Jesus. We bonded over shared chronic illnesses, and in the short four-and-a-half years that we knew each other, we prayed expectantly for healing. The Lord worked in miraculous ways in her life, bringing her back from the valley of the shadow on multiple occasions. This last crisis was different, though, and in my heart I knew that the time had come for her to meet Jesus face-to-face.

As I slowly read through “Waiting for God”, my mind hazy with a mixture of grief and joy, the devotionals ministered to my heart. I have had my own seemingly long period of waiting, now over seven years into chronic illness life with a body that fails more each year, and waiting is not on my list of favorite pastimes. You know that a book is written through the power of the Holy Spirit when each Scripture cited speaks to you personally and you find yourself continuously highlighting quotations from the book itself. One of my favorites early on was: “When we focus on living for God, like Joseph, we can accept everything that occurs during the wait as an opportunity to grow closer to Him and others.” That’s what it’s all about! Learning to rely upon God completely, and to look beyond the superficial shell of our trials to see the pearls growing within.

Living with multiple chronic illnesses, some days it can be so difficult to see life from the lens of eternity, the way that God does. Our suffering seems to go on forever, and eternal life with the Lord seems so far away. We know that one day all of our suffering will end, yet that one day can seem terribly long in coming. This quotation from the book offers a new insight: “Living by faith one day at a time is of greater value than recounting the number of days we’ve been hurting or trying to figure out how much longer we’ll have to endure our trials.” Indeed, “He promises peace, even when we don’t experience relief from our suffering on this side of eternity.” Our part is to accept it! In order to do so, we must surrender to Him, which is a recurrent theme in “Waiting for God.”

With a devotional format, “Waiting for God” can be read straight through or on a daily basis. Each chapter opens with “Today’s Truth” and a Bible reading, which in the Kindle version is a hyperlink that conveniently takes you to the Scripture online. Each chapter ends with an Inhale, which is a relevant verse from Scripture, and an Exhale in the form of a prayer. There are also 3-4 discussion questions that are relative to what is currently going on in your life and can therefore be re-explored with each read-through. This is a book to be savored, and one that I would recommend for anyone at any point in their life’s journey. Personal stories drive home the point that we all need to be growing in our relationship with the Lord, regardless of what our waiting looks like and whether we are experiencing a mountaintop zenith or a valley nadir.  

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


Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 2

April Hayman, Author, September 3

Genesis 5020, September 4

A Diva’s Heart, September 4

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 5

AndreaChristenson, September 6

Kelly Harrel, September 7

Mary Hake, September 7

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 9

Just the Write Escape, September 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 14

Cultivating Us, September 15

God is Love, September 15

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Xochitl is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Waiting for God, and a copy of God Hears Her (Our Daily Bread 365-Day Devotional)!!

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

 

Review
4 Stars
Surf Smugglers Review and GIVEAWAY!
 
 

About the Book

 


Book: Surf Smugglers

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 15, 2019

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

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

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

Click HERE to grab your copy.
 

About the Author

 

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

More from Melody

 

My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.
 
Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!
 
Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.
 
Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.
 
By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.
 
I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.
 

My Review

 

Although this is likely not a series that I would necessarily gravitate toward on my own, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to read and review each of the three books thus far. Ordinarily, I prefer action and some mystery or suspense when reading fiction, and while there is arguably a bit of this in the Legacy of Sunset Cove series, the true foundation is built on relationships and people. In the first book, I admittedly had a somewhat difficult time connecting with and truly engaging with the characters. This improved in book two, and “Surf Smugglers” presents a blossoming and maturation of the central figures that is realistic and endearing.

If there is a single word that captures the spirit of “Surf Smugglers”, it is “change.” Melody Carlson draws credible parallels between the United States entering the war in 1917 and the battles that each character, as well as the town of Sunset Cove itself, likewise faces. There is a suspicion of continued rum-running, and with the war coming closer to home due to the draft, shortages of both employees and goods become more common. Even women’s fashion adapts, becoming more austere and less frilly. Developing a local Red Cross chapter and making other amendments to the town further highlight how war influences even more backwater locales.

Most compelling, however, is Carlson’s portrayal of the community. The people reflect the challenges and transformations of the time period, because “history did not change itself overnight.” In “Surf Smugglers”, I appreciated the inclusion of a colored woman as one of the important secondary characters, and the ensuing implications. Similarly, there is a theme of second chances and of not judging or forming an opinion too hastily. I know that I have struggled with this myself, and having it raised as an issue in the novel is a reminder of how we should model the redemption that our Savior has given us. One of the characters who matured the most is Katy. Her approach to life, “Take chances and make changes”, leads her to plenty of new experiences. The spiritual element in the narrative is light, and I think that this series would appeal to any readers who enjoy historical fiction, historical romance, and coming-of-age stories.

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

 

Blog Stops

 

The Avid Reader, August 31

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Among the Reads, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 1

Through the Fire Blogs, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Just the Write Escape, September 3

Patiently Waiting, September 3

Blogging With Carol , September 3

CarpeDiem, September 4

Betti Mace, September 4

Christian Bookaholic , September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

Wishful Endings, September 5

Remembrancy, September 5

Maureen’s Musings, September 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 6

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 7

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker, September 7

Connie’s history classroom , September 8

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Hallie Reads, September 8

Moments, September 9

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9

FOR THE LOVE of Books , September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Pause for Tales, September 10

To Everything A Season, September 10

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Older & Smarter?, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 12

janicesbookreviews, September 13

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

Inklings and notions , September 13

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.