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.

4 Stars
Terror in the Skies Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Terror in the Skies

Author: Alana Terry

Genre:  Christian Thriller Suspense

Release Date: November 12, 2019

A hijacked airplane. A fatal disaster. A desperate soul in need of salvation …

Willow’s spirited, carefree, and far too young to die. Trapped on a hijacked airplane with no promise of survival, Willow’s forced to confront her darkest fear as well as her soul’s deepest need.

Terror in the Skies is the first novella in the Turbulent Skies Christian Thriller series, an unforgettable collection of interconnected novellas about strangers traveling together aboard a doomed flight. Find out why Christian fiction readers can’t stop raving about this heart-stopping, fast-paced series you can devour in a single sitting.

If you like harrowing stories of faith and redemption, spine-tingling adrenaline surges, and heart-pounding Christian suspense, you’ll love these edge-of-your-seat novellas by USA Today bestselling author, Alana Terry.

Dive into the breathtaking Turbulent Skies series today. Just be careful … you may not be able to read just one!

Click HERE for your copy.

About the Author


Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

More from Alana


I’m excited to share my new Turbulent Skies Christian Thriller novella series with all of you! The inspiration behind this series came when I was taking a flight a few years ago … and indulging in one of my favorite past times – people watching! As I looked at the various passengers around me, I started to wonder about their lives … and it was from that line of thinking this novella series was born!

I first wrote a book about a terrifying experience on board an airplane years earlier, (Turbulence, Book #5 in the Kennedy Stern series) and because many members of my amazing Readers’ Club had been asking me to write a book featuring Willow, one of their favorite characters from the Kennedy Stern series, it seemed fitting that Willow gets to be the star in the first of these novellas.

Terror in the Skies is Willow’s story. She’s a chic Alaskan college student, a free spirit who finds herself sharing a dorm room with a conservative Christian missionary kid. Willow first makes her appearance in the Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series, meaning that over a hundred thousand readers have met her!

I can’t tell you too much about this life-of-the-party aspiring actress (mostly because I don’t want to spoil anything for you if you happen to still be making your way through the Kennedy Stern books). But I can tell you she is the first main character in this six-book novella series that helps answer the question: “Who are you really sitting next to hundreds of feet up in the air?”

Maybe, like me, after reading this series, you’ll never look at your fellow passengers the same way!

My Review


A novella and the first in Alana Terry’s Turbulent Skies series, “Terror in the Skies” provides readers with a short yet powerful story about air travel and nascent faith. As with all of this author’s books, this one will make you think, and that is what I like the most about it. Despite its brevity, Terry packs a great deal of emotion and intensity into it without causing it to be overwhelming. The situation that the characters face is indeed terrifying, but because of the pragmatic and spiritual approach employed by the author, this is not a scary book in the classic sense. Instead, it is an examination of the soul, a reflection on who or what you cling to in the moments between life and death, or, as the narrator puts it, “It’s time for me to tell you about the closest I’ve ever come to dying, and how that experience ultimately saved my life.”

“Terror in the Skies” is narrated in the first person by Willow Winters, a Harvard student and Alaska native who is the self-proclaimed “blue-haired second fiddle” and agnostic. In all honesty, I was not that fond of her; although I appreciated her honesty in telling her story, her voice was too informal for me. I think that it is meant to be so, and that it fits her character; it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I think that Terry very effectively bookended the story with Willow’s statements about herself, which you’ll notice if you read the novella. The first half of the narrative is a buildup to the main action, which surprised me with the brevity of its duration, although the adrenaline keeps pumping. Willow also shares her views on human trafficking and environmental justice and how in her opinion they either seem to support or contradict Christian theology. Overall, however, this story is Willow’s testimony, and it demonstrates how God works even through outwardly horrific events to bring us home to Him. And as Willow says, “One step at a time. And maybe what matters isn’t whether or not you’re taking baby steps or giant leaps as long as you’re headed in the right direction.”

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


Blog Stops


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Read Review Rejoice, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Just Your Average reviews, April 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

deb’s Book Review, April 23

Inklings and notions, April 24

Blogging With Carol, April 24

For the Love of Literature, April 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 26

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 26

Betti Mace, April 27

janicesbookreviews, April 27

Emily Yager, April 28

Genesis 5020, April 28

For Him and My Family, April 29

Hookmeinabook, April 29

She Lives to Read, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 1

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Book of Ruth Ann, May 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 3

Bookishly Beverly, May 3




To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away the grand prize of a $30 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


4 Stars
Anchored by Death Review and GIVEAWAY!


About the Book

Book: Anchored by Death
Author: Catherine Finger
Genre: Christian Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: June, 2017
Police Chief Jo Oliver needed a little time to herself. But when her escape to Wisconsin turns deadly, she teams up with FBI agent Nick Vitarello, hoping to catch the Bow Tie Killer. Their romantic past and complicated present leads them into uncharted territory as they match wits with a psychopath bent on destroying everything they hold dear.
Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author


Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

More from Catherine


Thank you for your interest in the Jo Oliver thriller series. Today we celebrate Anchored by Death—book three in the series. The basic plot for this book came as a result of an FBI workshop I attended on how profilers track killers. A particular method was presented that really stuck with me. As I thought it over, I had the idea to combine a map of Wisconsin with the tracking technique I had learned, and I actually built the crime scenes around the theory. I then created a killer who would do the sorts of things I had mapped out, and in that order. This was a satisfying challenge for Josie and I enjoyed my research jaunts throughout Wisconsin while writing the chase and takedown scenes.
When Josie’s off the clock and spending time with family and friends, you can catch our heroine in the kitchen. Ever since her infamous Flourless Chocolate Cake appeared in Anchored by Death, fans have requested the recipe. For the epicurean readers, here is the recipe she used when preparing this special treat:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ sticks butter
¼ salt
6 eggs, room temp
1 ½ cups sugar (white granulated or brown will do)
Confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder for dusting top and cake stand
How To:
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare springform or regular round pans with nonstick spray or butter and flour.
Melt chocolate, butter, and salt—microwave will work in a pinch—or add all to heatproof bowl and place over small saucepan of simmering water to melt without burning. Set aside to cool.
Beat eggs and sugar until light and thickened, around 6-8 minutes. Fold in melted chocolate mixture until completely combined.
Pour batter into buttered and floured cake pan—springform or regular round—and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 90 minutes, until a toothpick comes out wet but relatively clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before removing from pan. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa—Jo used a stencil for a quick and pretty design.
Thanks again for celebrating Anchored by Death—and know that I appreciate you. Readers are a special breed. As a lover of the written word and an author, I invite you to enjoy the read.

My Review


Book three in the Jo Oliver Thriller series, “Anchored by Death” offers a mixture of mystery and romance as Jo becomes involved in another case despite being on vacation to recover from the last one. This is one series that needs to be read in chronological order in order to fully understand each character’s backstory. Because of time constraints, I have not been able to do so and have, due to my blogging schedule, instead been reading them in reverse order, which does give away the details and outcomes of the previous story. This is my issue, certainly not the author’s, and it does not affect my rating, but I want to let other readers know that the books in this series are not meant to stand alone.

Catherine Finger includes a more complex crime plot in “Anchored by Death” than in “Capsized by Death”, in my opinion. This story has a more forensic aspect to it, but it seems to me that there is too much romance and relationship drama. It does have an impact on the case, but I feel that too much time is spent on it; it distracted me from the story. While I consider this book to be a work of romantic suspense, it appears to be primarily listed as a mystery and thriller, so I was definitely expecting more from that angle. However, I will say that this is still a clean, Christian read, which is the most important aspect. I also appreciate that the characters are not stereotypical, nor are they perfect. Each has their own quirks and issues, but Finger demonstrates that God still uses them, weaknesses and all, and He will use us, too. The plotline involving the crime is one that bears fruit in an interesting way, tying main characters small-town police chief Jo Oliver and FBI agent Nick Vitarello, as well as a few other friends and agents, together. Once the dominoes begin to fall, the action intensifies, making the second half of the story my favorite.

For readers of clean, relatively short Christian mysteries with a strong dose of romance, the Jo Oliver series will likely be a good fit.

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


Blog Stops


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 22

Through the Fire blogs, April 22

Texas Book-aholic, April 23

April Hayman, Author, April 23

For the Love of Literature, April 24

Writer Without a Space, April 24

Inklings and notions, April 25

deb’s Book Review, April 25

For Him and My Family, April 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 26

Betti Mace, April 27

Holly Jo Morris, April 27

Older & Smarter?, April 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 29

Blogging With Carol, April 29

Christian Bookaholic, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, April 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 1

Spoken from the Heart, May 2

Just Your Average reviews, May 2

Daysong Reflections, May 3

Bigreadersite, May 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 4

Pause for Tales, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5






To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!


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

5 Stars
Amish Country Murder Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Amish Country Murder

Author: Mary Alford

Genre:  Amish Suspense

Release Date: March 1, 2020

An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer

Is the only living witness…

As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.

Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.

Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at

More from Mary


Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.

Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.

As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.

When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.

FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.

One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.

During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.


  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).

I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.

My Review


“She was completely at her kidnapper’s mercy. And he had none.”

Wow! Of the Love Inspired Suspense titles that I’ve read, Mary Alford’s “Amish Country Murder” definitely takes the top spot! By implementing common thriller tropes in a unique manner and setting, Alford crafts an original and addictive story that you will not be able to put down. The story opens shortly before the main character escapes from the person who kidnapped her, a ruthless serial killer who has already murdered six women and has been nicknamed the Dead of Night Killer. But she won’t get away that easily, as the killer continues to pursue her despite protective measures. To complicate matters, she has amnesia and can remember only her first name, Catherine. As bits and pieces of her life begin coming back to her, Catherine finds herself in increasing danger by a killer with whom she seems to share some kind of connection, if only she could remember what it is before it’s too late.

Alford skillfully writes a page-turning suspense novel that turns the normal genre features on their head and will leave you breathless. I sympathized with Catherine’s character and was rooting for her to remember but also to stay safe. Despite being described as physically small, she is strong for having survived and fought back against the killer both during and after her captivity. I love how her faith in God plays an integral role in her identity, and how even when she does not know who she is, she still communicates with God. FBI agent Sutter Brenneman did not seem to me to fit the bill of hero immediately, but I appreciated his own tangled past and his push to move forward and to protect. The Montana setting is unique and adds to the story’s flavor. As much as I could not wait to find out the answers behind this book’s mysteries, I was sorry to see it end.

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


Blog Stops


Batya’s Bits, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 14

The Avid Reader, April 15

Maureen’s Musings, April 15

Betti Mace, April 16

janicesbookreviews, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

deb’s Book Review, April 18

Inklings and notions, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

Older & Smarter?, April 21

My Devotional Thoughts, April 22

For the Love of Literature, April 22

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Hallie Reads, April 24

Because I said so and other as adventures in parenting, April 25

Emily Yager, April 25

SPLASHES of Joy, April 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 26

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27




To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


4 Stars
Packs a Punch!
Silent Shadows - Walters,  Natalie

Despite its pleasant, seemingly innocuous name, Walton, Georgia is not the place to plan your next getaway, especially if you are trying to escape a dangerous past. Just when you thought it was safe…Nurse Pecca Gallegos has fled to Walton to protect her son from her own poor choices in the past, putting distance between them and the danger. Or so she thinks, until a phone call from her brother upends her fragile sense of security and increasingly disturbing things begin happening. Her newest patient, honorably discharged Army veteran Colton Crawford, steps in to help, but neither is prepared for the consequences.

Romantic suspense tends to be hit or miss for me. I often find that the romance angle is overdone and overpowers the suspense, which is my favorite part. Thankfully, “Silent Shadows” provides an adequate amount of tension, and I wanted to know what would happen in each new chapter, although I did easily zero in on one of the villains right away. While this is book three in Natalie Walters’ Harbored Secrets series, I did not have any difficulty reading it as a standalone. The patients at Home for Heroes quickly captured my heart, and I appreciated that Walters chose for Colton to be affected by psychogenic movement disorder (PMD) rather than the typical PTSD in order to highlight another challenge that may impact our veterans. Pecca and Colton’s first meeting certainly packed a punch and had me laughing!

Throughout the story, however, I found Pecca’s character rather aloof, and I did not feel that I could relate to her; she often seems awkward, and her internal dialogue disrupted the narrative for me. Maceo, on the other hand, was one of my favorite characters, with his natural ability to empathize and make others feel at ease in spite of his young age. I also very much enjoyed Uncle Jack, who in my opinion had the best commentary in this story, telling Colton, “You’re a go-getter, son, but even Lazarus had to die before the Lord could do his work” and “We all die different kinds of deaths, Colt, but they all lead to one truth. Do you trust him enough to bring you back to life?” These are deep facts to ponder when our own lives seem to be going off track and we are faced with trials. We can either try to work things out on our own, or we can turn to the One who already knows the end from the beginning and has a perfect plan for our lives. As Pecca and Colton come to realize, God is sovereign and omniscient, and because nothing is a secret to Him, ultimately He alone is able to keep us safe, even from what lurks in the shadows.

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

4 Stars
Dove Strong Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

Book:  Dove Strong

Author: Erin Lorence

Genre:  Christian YA

Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up and fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges.

But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s followers and Satan’s to take back America. It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody. 
Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


Erin Lorence grew up in rainy Western Washington, an avid reader and the daughter of a published nonfiction author. She attended Washington State University (WSU) where she met and married her husband, Brian. Together, they recently moved to Apex, North Carolina with their two amazing daughters (who also love to read) and their beagle Charlie (who doesn’t read). Her lifelong love of literature, her gratitude to God, and her enjoyment of hiking in Central Oregon all inspired her to write the Dove Strong Trilogy. Visit her at:

More from Erin


I politely smile and keep what I really think inside. But my main character, Dove Strong, doesn’t. She blasts people with the full force of her words. Sometimes Dove’s words sting…but she’s never merely polite or hum-drum boring.

I secretly hug the random and ridiculous moments of life to myself, preserving my appearance of normalcy. But when I write, the true ‘uncool’ me escapes. It is responsible for the caterpillar dangling from a character’s nostril as well as for the little sister who won’t stop harping on about her precious bag of chips.

I write to escape and to help others escape. I write to laugh and make readers smile. I write so ‘the lost’ will wake to find that they crave an intimate relationship with The One who loves them most.

This is why I write. And that is why I wrote Dove Strong.

My Review


Every once in a while, you read a book that is so distinctive and so unlike your usual reading patterns that it makes you rethink certain elements and look at familiar truths in a different light. Erin Lorence’s “Dove Strong” was that book for me. This young adult Christian fantasy challenged me to think about my faith in a deeper way by presenting a very obvious good vs. evil story, yet one that nevertheless pointed out things that most of us know deep down but sometimes forget to put into action. “Dove Strong” is both simple and complex. I confess that for the first few chapters I felt lost and was concerned that I would not enjoy the story or figure out what was happening, which is perhaps attributable to the fact that I read little within the fantasy genre. However, as I gleaned understanding I quickly became engaged with the story and caught up in the action.

To begin with, Dove Strong is the eponymous heroine and the obvious representation of God’s messenger. She is chosen by God to travel the sixty risky miles to Mount Jefferson to the Council, which takes a vote from each Christian household every seven years to determine whether they will continue to live in hiding or go to war against the non-Christians. Having to travel with and work with others is the most challenging part for Dove, who is not a people person. Even though I do not feel that I connected strongly with any of the characters, I do pray that my faith will be as steadfast as Dove’s. She refers to Jesus as “the love of my life” and acknowledges that “It wasn’t by my strength I’d carry this through, but by the Lord’s supreme power.” Despite having moments of fear and doubt, she is unwavering in her commitment to the Lord with the mature yet childlike faith of which Jesus speaks.

In this future world, each Christian has a spiritual gift that is strengthened due to the state of affairs. The armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) is a vital part of this story, both figuratively and literally. What makes Dove’s story so compelling is that it draws a definitive line in the sand. There is no straddling the fence. “It was too late for persuasive conversions. The lines had been drawn. There was us—Jesus’ followers. There was them—Satan’s followers. And there were no crossing sides any more.” This is true today, too, but it’s easy to forget or overlook this truth and be tricked into believing that there’s a middle ground. The United Church of America portrays the perceived wisdom of “unity through diversity” in the novel, and that is the message that our current culture is heralding, as well. God’s Word is clear, however, that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one can come to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Defending this message in a literal way is what I appreciate most about “Dove Strong,” and with the battle just beginning, I know that I want to read book two!

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


Blog Stops


Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 13

Artistic Nobody, April 14 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 16 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, April 16

Inklings and notions, April 17

Simple Harvest Reads, April 18 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, April 18

Emily Yager, April 19

For the Love of Literature, April 20

Rebecca Tews, April 21

Vicky Sluiter, April 22 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24




To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize package of paperback copies of Dove Strong and its sequel Fanatic Surviving!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


5 Stars
Vestige of Legacy Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

Book:  Vestige of Legacy

Author: Sara Blackard

Genre: Historical, Time-Travel, Romance

Release Date: March 10, 2020

A women bent of survival…
…a man intent on saving…
…thrown together by a tumble through time.
After running away from her foster home and surviving several years living on the streets, Samara has finally found her path in life—performing music with the hope of putting down roots. But when she is violently attacked and somehow ends up one hundred and forty years in the past, it appears her dreams for the future have once again been ripped from her.
While trekking through the Coloradan Rockies in 1879, Orlando finds a wounded woman. He questions why God would put this small, weak woman in his path. As he races to save her from the harsh wilderness bent on destroying them, he hopes his failures of the past don’t catch up to them.Continue the breath-taking Vestige in Time series!
Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


Sara Blackard enjoys writing romantic stories full of adventure and weaved with God’s message of love. She makes her home in the sub-arctic of Tok, Alaska with her husband and five children. In between writing and publishing, she can usually be found either homeschooling her children, enjoying the Alaskan wilderness, or helping build their house.



More from Sara


A trip to the Alamo brings introspection and a bit of sweat.

Texas heat could melt a woman…

…I know. I experienced it this last September when I ventured south for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in San Antonio.

I noticed several t-shirts in the gift shops that said “If you can’t take the heat, leave Texas!” I looked at those shirts and told them, “Not until the conference is over, you bully.” They don’t like it very much when you talk back to them.

I visited the Alamo while I was there. I could glimpse it of out the window of our hotel room (Thank you, Jesus for answered prayers!) Inside the walled grounds was a small museum one of the actors told me to check out. There wasn’t much in the museum. Old rifles. A few uniforms. Some personal items. I found Davie Crockett’s brush, and next to it sat this tin box that Crockett carried with him. It surprised me, because this box isn’t small. Crockett was a man in a foreign land, looking for a better future. What would cause a man to carry such an awkward box by horse across miles on his journey?

That box got me thinking about what things I carry? I had just finished the first draft of Vestige of Legacy. Samara, the heroine, carries her mother’s Appalachian dulcimer with her. She has the memories of her mother in the case, but she’s also packed it full of fears, regrets and lies. Do I have such a thing in the items I’ve lugged around the country as we’ve moved from place to place?

Then I started thinking about what do I want to carry with me? The answer quickly came back as God. In all the things I can take with me as I travel across the miles or down the street, I pray I’m taking God with me, pray He guides my thoughts, actions, and words. And here’s the crazy thing, I know He takes me with Him, carries me through all my troubles and through the joy. He says so in Isaiah 46:4  “And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray. I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.”

Wow… aren’t God’s promises amazing? What are you carrying with you? Are you like Crockett, lugging around this awkward box? You can bet, whether you recognize it or not, that God is faithful to carry you.

My Review


Sara Blackard continues to impress me with book two of her Vestige in Time series, “Vestige of Legacy.” This series is compelling and inspiring, and this sequel not only measures up to its predecessor—it surpasses it. Not an easy feat, particularly for books that are independently published. In fact, if I’m being honest, I tend to avoid books that have been published independently because they often have many grammatical errors or inconsistent plot cohesiveness. Therefore it is always such a wonderful joy to come across a new (to me) author who can spin a captivating tale without compromising values or lacking depth.

Indeed, “Vestige of Legacy” takes on a unique situation in literature, particularly as a Christian novel.  It opens straightaway with a tense scene that the author handles well, writing in enough suspense to grab readers’ attention but without overplaying it. The time-travel element enters early, and although I think that this is the first Christian time-travel series that I have read, I am enjoying it thus far; although I don’t personally believe in time travel, it makes for interesting discussions and proves God’s sovereignty and omniscience. After all, He isn’t limited by space and time. As Samara puts it, “she had been enrolled in the most extreme witness protection program possible” by going back in time 140 years. She may escape her immediate situation, but in order to truly heal she, like all of us, must come to terms with her past and find her identity in Christ.

One of the main themes in “Vestige of Legacy” is that of restoration and coming back to God. Each character experiences this at some level. Regarding Samara, Orlando observes that “Fear held her hostage, a slave bound to it”, and that is sadly a condition that so many are in today, especially during this pandemic. God is for us, and He longs for us to come to Him with our burdens. Orlando, although certainly not without his own sins and regret, serves as a guide for the characters within his sphere of influence. Speaking of whom, I enjoyed learning about the Ute Indians, although sadly their story is also one of loss. I appreciate Blackard’s realistic portrayal of the characters; not all are upright, and all struggle in some way with themselves and with God. True healing and joy only come from having a relationship with the One who created us and went on to save and redeem us on Calvary’s cross. Our plan should emulate Orlando’s: “He’d just put his trust in God like he always had and pray for protection and wisdom along the way.” May we all do the same and leave a legacy of Jesus’ love for those who come after us.

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


Blog Stops





To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a copy of Vestige of Hope,and a copy of Vestige of Legacy!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


5 Stars
Grasping Hope Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Grasping Hope

Author: Heather Greer

Genre:  Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: March 2019

When dreams turn into nightmares what’s left to hold onto?

Katie McGowan knows her fears are irrational. They’re also beyond her control. Her mind says her fiancé is faithful, but the betrayal of her past love ignites a fear stronger than her trust. Attempts to overcome it are unsuccessful. Nothing banishes her panic attacks for good. Dreading Austin’s response if he finds out about her struggle to trust, Katie hides the truth nearly destroying their relationship.

It takes a lesson in hope to start healing. Katie is released from the nightmares holding her captive to enjoy the blessings God has given. But when tragedies change her life forever, Katie’s understanding of hope is challenged. Unresolved anger and disappointment leave Katie doubting the sincerity of her beliefs. Desperate to prove her faith and minimize her failure as a believer, Katie buries her feelings beneath all the right words. Katie must learn where true hope is found or risk losing her faith under the weight of the things she has lost.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Heather Greer is a pastor’s kid and pastor’s wife from southern Illinois. Though her nest is quickly approaching the empty stage, with three of her four children out on their own, she enjoys the times she gets to spend with all her children, husband, and grandson. Equal mix geek and romantic, you could as easily find Heather watching an episode of Doctor Who as the latest Hallmark movie. Of course, you may find her baking, reading, or crafting too!

Heather’s writing and teaching ministries revolve around a passion to see believers grow in their faith. Though God has used her most often with teens and adults, she has worked in ministries reaching all age groups through the years. It is Heather’s prayer for God to use what she writes in her books and on her blog to challenge and encourage readers in their faith walks.

More from Heather


Often, we throw around the word hope as if it’s a fancy replacement for a wish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Godly hope is more than wishing our circumstances were different without any indication that our desire could become reality. When our hope is based on who God is and what He has promised in His word, it becomes something to anchor us in the troubling times we go through. It is what allows us to give the circumstances that weigh us down to God and go on living life even though physically there may be no changes in what’s happening.

Hope isn’t pretending the bad stuff isn’t there. And it isn’t acting as if the hard things don’t hurt. Hope doesn’t erase the hurt or ignore the problems, but it does free us from allowing our emotions and circumstances to control us. Hope lets us have peace that makes no sense to the rest of the world. Hope allows us to rest in the middle of the trial. Hope based on scriptural truths allows us to live with joy even when things aren’t going our way.

As I wrote Grasping Hope, God took me to places that challenged and grew my own understanding of what it means to have hope as an anchor to our souls (Hebrews 6:19). When I started writing, I had no idea the path God would take me down to show me just how little I understood about hope. It’s something I never want to repeat and wouldn’t wish on anyone. But the lessons I learned grew me as a believer, and it is my prayer that what I learned through this difficult time in my life comes through clearly for everyone who reads Grasping Hope.

My Review


As with so many of the books that I sign up to review, this one surprised me, and in the best way. Not only is the title exceedingly appropriate during this current COVID-19 crisis, but the biblical lessons that it imparts are just as fitting. In moments of joy and of heartache, God always shows up to remind us that He has been with us all along, and that His strength is truly all that we need.

A sequel to “Faith’s Journey”, Heather Greer’s “Grasping Hope” continues Katie McGowan’s story, but it can also be read as a standalone. For the full impact, however, I would recommend reading both. Of the two, this second one is my favorite because it spoke to my heart on a more personal level. As the story began, I was concerned that it would end up being too despondent, but even though it is in many ways a heavy read, Greer writes it with an uplifting tone. In fact, I am glad that the story did not end with Katie and Austin getting married because a saccharine happily-ever-after would have diluted the power of this story. Greer achieves a seamless balance between joy and despair while taking readers on what could easily be a real-life journey. Katie’s struggles are familiar to so many of us, myself included. She suffers panic attacks from a previous relationship and has feelings of unworthiness and insecurity, acknowledging that “God is working, even in me, even with this mess. I’m just tired of feeling like a flunky of the faith who can’t even pray with the faith of a mustard seed to get through this.” At one time or another, we all feel this way, but that is when we need to draw nearer to the Lord and to His Word. Sometimes when it seems that all hope is lost, that is the point at which God steps in and astounds us with His power and grace.

Engaging and emotional, “Grasping Hope” reveals our need for utter dependence on God. As with Katie, so many things happen in our lives and in the world that don’t seem to make sense, but when we trust and rely on God’s sovereignty over every situation and every tragedy, we can experience the peace that only Jesus gives. In the novel, Katie realizes that “God didn’t promise her that if she followed Him, she wouldn’t have to go through the fire or flood. He promised that He would be there with her when she did.” I love that Greer points this out because it is so easy to forget that God doesn’t always remove the pain or circumstances, but He does go with us through them every step of the way. May our prayer echo Katie’s: “Take my fears and let me face whatever the future holds with real hope that I can only find in knowing You.”

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


Blog Stops





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


4.5 Stars
Desert Willow Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Desert Willow

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre:  Romance

Release Date: February 12, 2020

After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?

College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.

Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website HERE.




More from Patricia


Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry

I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.

Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.

And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?

Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.

The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.

Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.

Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.

We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?

Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry…

My Review


“Dating a soldier always sounded like a good idea, but it was never a good idea.”

Ordinarily, I shy away from contemporary romance. Romance in general is not high on my list of favorite genres, although historical romance often lands on my review list due to the ubiquity of the category in Christian fiction. However, I took a chance with this author’s debut, “A Season to Dance”, and I was impressed, so of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to read and review her next book. As it turns out, I enjoyed this one more! This speaks to the author’s skill in writing an engaging story, and particularly to her Christian perspective, because honestly the military aspect, desert setting, and complicated romances that make up this story would all normally be turn-offs for me.

A standalone novel about the power of the past and its influences and reverberations, Patricia Beal’s “Desert Willow” captures readers’ hearts from the very first chapter. What begins with instant attraction goes on to play out with intentionality and the vagaries of romance between people with complicated histories. As Lysander so aptly remarks in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The course of true love never did run smooth.” There is Renata Lambert and Mario Madeiros, whose paths disastrously diverged decades ago, and Army Captain Andrew James and ballerina Clara Malone, who face their own challenges in building a relationship in the present. Andrew and Clara should repel one another as opposites, yet somehow they continue to grow more fond of each another. However, pieces of their past return and threaten to destroy what they have built, a recurring theme in the characters’ lives.

Beal creates credible backstories for her characters in this evocative novel without overwhelming readers with info dumps, and she also balances the emotions in the story so that the more serious scenes have moments of laughter or lightness afterward. Although unequally yoked because Andrew is a Christian, he and Clara enjoy spending time together, and I always appreciate when an author keeps things clean. In an increasingly immoral world, people like Andrew are becoming more difficult to find, and his positive influence and sweet demeanor endear him all the more. He remains confident in the Lord, certain that “One day dream and reality would occupy the same space.” The path may not be smooth, and the journey may not be easy, but when we trust and follow the Lord’s guidance, we will always find ourselves right where we should be.

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


Blog Stops


Among the Reads, April 13

The Power of Words, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 14

Robin’s Nest, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 15

Batya’s Bits, April 15

She Lives to Read, April 16

Older & Smarter?, April 16

Texas Book-aholic, April 17

deb’s Book Review, April 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 18

Writer Without a Space, April 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 19

Rebecca Tews, April 19

Emily Yager, April 20

Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Hallie Reads, April 20

Inklings and notions, April 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 22

Godly Book Reviews, April 22

For Him and My Family, April 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 23

As He Leads is Joy, April 24

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 26

April Hayman, Author, April 26




To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Love in Pictures Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

Book:  Love in Pictures

Author: Alexis A. Goring

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Wedding photographer Michelle Hadley has a passion for diversity and believes that love comes in all colors. So, she’s working hard to convince editors to feature her clients’ images on the covers of the mainstream bridal and wedding magazines.

Despite having a career that focuses on celebrating forever love, Michelle has never actually been in a romantic relationship, and she’s not looking for love, until she meets the one man she cannot forget.

Since his fiancée broke his heart, Logan Emerson’s focus has been on his career. He’s won awards for his work as a print journalist and dreams of greater success on television as a broadcast journalist. But his personal struggle presents many challenges that might prevent his dreams from coming true.

Michelle doesn’t date often, and since his heartbreak, Logan has shied away from the dating scene.

But something about Michelle awakens Logan’s desire to love again.

Click HERE for your copy.

About the Author


Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and journalist by profession.

She loves the storytelling process, including everything from interviewing people for news media and faith-based publications to writing the story, editing the story and publishing the story.

Alexis is an author of Inspirational Romance fiction stories and nonfiction devotionals that inspire the heart. She has written and published three fiction books and her devotionals have appeared in numerous faith-based publications.

Always up for a new adventure, Alexis has traveled to Italy where she explored the culture, food and language with friends. She even moved to Montana (where the air is fresh and the land is beautiful) to take her first big break in Journalism as the Editor and Reporter for a county newspaper!

Photography is another passion that’s close to her heart. Alexis enjoys using her camera to capture the genuine emotions that people naturally display on joyous occasions. She is experienced in natural light photography and photojournalism.

Music is another passion that Alexis has loved forever. Listening to movie soundtracks from her favorite productions feels like a hug for her heart. She loves it when the bridge of a song makes you feel like you’re taking flight!

A total foodie, Alexis not only enjoys eating delicious food at her favorite restaurants, but she’s also a talented baker and chef.

At the end of the day, Alexis hopes that her love for Jesus Christ will shine through all of her creative endeavors. She prays that her writing will warm hearts and point people to God who loves them with all of His Heart!

You can learn more about Alexis as a creative professional by visiting her official website,

More from Alexis


My book, Love in Pictures, was born out of my love for wedding photography!

A dream of my heart as an adult (not before then) was to be a wedding photographer. I’d always enjoyed taking pictures but it wasn’t until my college years when friends started telling me, based on my pictures, that they’re going to hire me to be their wedding photographer when they get married. These requests sparked the dream within me. After college, I formed friendships with wedding photographers through the blog world.

I’d spend hours browsing through their professional portfolios and reading their photography blogs, completely amazed at the gorgeousness of their pictures. I admired their skills and enjoyed reading their client stories.

After graduating from college, I received requests from my college friends to photograph weddings. However, I could not afford the photography equipment and I’d never actually photographed a wedding. So I kindly turned down those offers and referred my friends to photographers who had years of experience specializing in wedding photography.

Love in Pictures was a wonderful way for me to safely explore my passion for wedding photography through my story’s heroine Michelle. It was fun to showcase her photography studio in a beautiful town, travel with her to one of the world’s most romantic destinations (Italy) where she was hired to shoot her first international wedding, “eat” all the delicious food that she enjoyed, and it was really fun to introduce the possibility of Michelle’s own happily ever after by inserting Logan into her life.

When the reader meets Logan, they will see his passion for running and they will learn of his heartbreak from a previous relationship. As the reader gets to know Logan, they’ll learn that he is a successful print journalist who dreams of greater success on TV as a broadcast journalist. As they turn the pages of Love in Pictures, they will discover that Logan suffers from a personal struggle that threatens to derail his dreams.

I drew on my training as a print journalist and real world experiences in the Journalism industry to effectively write Logan’s character. I pulled on my own imagination along with some real life experience to write the scenes where he faithfully wooed and pursued Michelle.

I always said that if I knew I would never fail, I’d be a wedding photographer. But since failure is part of real-life, I explored the industry of capturing love in pictures safely, where failure is not a reality: Writing a fictional story about a wedding photographer!

I enjoyed writing this story! I hope that you will enjoy reading it.

Author Interview



Question #1: When/how did you decide to become a writer?

Answer: When? Age 9. How? I just “knew.” Always had a love for reading books and after writing my first “book” (only about 15 pages written on the family computer) and “publishing” it (printed out then illustrated by me and bound like a book with staples) when I was nine years old, something within me knew that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up!

Question #2: Which author has most influenced your own writing?

Answer: Becky Wade

Question #3: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Answer: Talking about my characters as if they are real people! Ha! On a few occasions, I went to call one of my real friends from real life and found myself typing in the name of my story’s fictional hero to look up his phone number as if I were about to call him! I think I needed a break from writing that day! Lol.

Question #4: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Answer: Busy but relaxed sometimes.

Question #5: Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

Answer: Yes! I enjoy writing in the comfort of my own home.

Question #6: Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

Answer: None of the above. I prefer reading modern day stories.

Question #7: Describe your book in five words.

Answer: Romantic. Sassy. Sweet. Fun. Swoon-worthy!

Question #8: Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Answer: Michelle (the wedding photographer) because of her heart for celebrating diversity with her photography skills! She’s also persistent in following her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. She manages to maintain a positive attitude when faced with negativity and when life hands her lemons, she makes the world’s best lemonade with sugar, fresh lemons, purified water and a hint of vanilla!

Question #9: What are your hobbies?

Answer: Food (I’m a total foodie with a love for all sorts of foods in America and from around the world that taste good and make my stomach smile!), photography, listening to music, shopping, reading good books and watching movies are inspiring to my heart!

Question #10: Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

Answer: God. My Mama. Oprah. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle!

Question #11: What is your favorite book?

Answer: Anne of Green Gables (the entire eight-book series)!

Question #12: Do you prefer traditional books, e-books, or audiobooks?

Answer: Traditional paperback books!

Question #13: If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

Answer: My book, Love in Pictures, living as Michelle because I sometimes dream of being a wedding photographer with a successful story and business! It was fun to live through her as I wrote this book!

Question #14: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Answer: Never give up! If writing is a dream that God placed on your heart then pursue it! But be prepared for the obstacles and conflict that will threaten your dreams and work against you to prevent it from happening. That’s when you have to push through! Only do this if you’re sure that it’s your calling. And be prepared to work a day job until your dream comes true! But also be prepared for God to allow your dream to come true so grandly that you won’t need a day job or backup plan! It can happen! But every writer’s path is different. Some careers take off quickly, others do not, so don’t compare your journey to others. Stay encouraged.


Blog Stops


Inklings and notions, April 8

Batya’s Bits, April 9

Simple Harvest Reads, April 10 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 10

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 12

For the Love of Literature, April 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 14

Blossoms and Blessings, April 15 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, April 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 16

Through the Fire Blogs, April 17

For Him and My Family, April 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 19 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 20

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




To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away the grand prize package of one e-book copy of Love in Pictures, an e-book copy of Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, and a $10 Amazon card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


5 Stars
Light of Mine Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Light of Mine

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre:  Christian Fantasy Middlegrade

Release Date: November 3, 2019

Light of Mine, introduces Lauren (12), Aiden (9), and Ethan (5) who bear the responsibility of keeping their Father’s newly constructed Tower of Light shining in his absence.

Darkness is spreading through Zoura. Beyond the borders of the heathlands, innocent animals are being turned into monsters, and good men into pawns of the Dark One. Father has vanished after joining the Mighty Mercenaries and mother has gone missing in search of him.

Alone on the farm, twelve-year-old Lauren and her brave little brothers, Aiden and Ethan, must guard the Tower of Light that will guide both parents home. But when a hooded stranger is caught trespassing the farm, and a new bishop claims the church, confusion pervades their close-knit community. Will the children be able to recognize who is a threat to the Tower and who is there to help them protect it?

With little else but the aid of a trio of blessed pets, three mysterious weapons, and their growing faith, Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan find it is up to them to stop the agents of The Dark One from putting out the Light and dooming the heathlands to Darkness.

Fans of Little House on the Prairie will feel at home in the series’ classic farmstead setting, and the sincerity of the children’s love for one another— nurtured by the example of their parents—will bring a smile to readers and listeners of all ages.

Read Light of Mine aloud to your family or confidently give it to your middle grade reader, knowing he or she will be ensconced in a wholesome and riveting experience, beginning to end.

Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author


Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. Follow his endeavors @towersoflight, @twodadsandajoke, and Your children can grow their own faith and love of God by following the adventures of Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan (plus their pets!) at

Stay tuned for book two, launching in June 2020, and book three in December 2020.

The faith journey continues! Onward and upward.




More from Allen


When my kids were young there was really nothing better than getting out of my car at the end of a long day at work and having my three little kiddos run up to me and give hugs because Daddy’s Home!  As a Father of three young children I was very concerned about the direction society was taking.  I wasn’t sure that with how things were going that I had the knowledge or the skill to train them up in the way they should go, as the Bible directs.
Then in 2008 I took a new job that had me traveling four days a week.  It was one of the hardest times of my life, the stress of a high pressure job, the loneliness of being on the road, and uncertainty of being a young parent really brought me to the end of myself.  However, all of the travel gave me a lot of time to study the scriptures and learn from the writing of great bible teachers.
It was during this time that I began to write stories for my children.  At first I brought my children’s stuffed animals to life for silly adventures.  But then one day while we were putting together a play fort in our back yard I saw a sunrise pattern in the wood in the top of the tower.  I thought:
“What if there was a Tower of Light shining God’s goodness over the children and their animals?”
“What if the children experienced the indwelling of the holy spirit in a real way like Sampson or David?”
“What if the full armor of God was physical armor they could use to defeat the darkness?”
As I shared my story with my children, they loved it.
I believe you and your children will love it too.

My Review


Reading is always an adventure, and I love it when the opportunity arises to review a children’s or middle-grade novel. Not only is it a nice change of pace, especially as we navigate this pandemic, but it also offers a fresh perspective. When it comes to Christian literature, Jesus’ teachings about having the faith of a child become so much more clear as we witness the wholehearted and innocent trust that children possess. As Ethan remarks in the story, “Daddy says if we have a need, we pray. God takes care of it.” Instead of becoming jaded by the darkness of this world, we should keep our hearts soft toward others and love God above all else. After all, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

“Light of Mine” by Allen Brokken begins the Towers of Light series, and I intend to read the second book when it releases. This is exactly the type of book that I devoured when I was growing up. It is billed as being in the vein of “Little House on the Prairie”, and I also see delightful similarities with Thomas L. Tedrow’s “The Younguns of Mansfield.” Because I usually avoid looking at the synopsis before reading a book, I expected this one to have a contemporary or even future setting, so the old-fashioned farm location charmed me. It is so refreshing to read a book that does not contain bullying or kids trying to be “cool”, but rather just being kids while also working hard and being respectful. Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan have their disagreements like any siblings, but they work together to solve the problems facing them, taking to heart their father’s words: “Children, as long as we stay faithful to the Lord, this Light will shine over the Heathlands. We must do our work the very best we can as if for the Lord. We must pray, read the Good Book, and honor the Sabbath…We must do our work obediently, with a happy heart, and the Light will always shine.”

Brokken astutely writes this novel to appeal to the younger generation. The theme of obedience runs throughout, but in such a way that it is not forced or repellant. Trying to put myself in the shoes of a middle-grader, I don’t think that this story will be too frightening. There are a few intense scenes, particularly at the end, that might cause distress in sensitive children, but I think that these episodes accomplish their purpose to unveil true darkness vs. true light. This is a very important distinction for children to learn how to make as they grow older, and “Light of Mine” certainly succeeds in helping them to do so. The animal characters in the story, Sparkle Frog, Daddy Duck, and Meow-Meow, lighten the tone and bring some cheerful relief. I did find the epilogue to be rather off-putting, however, although maybe for younger readers it would not be an issue; as it is, I thought that there would either be more resolution or there would be clearer direction as to where book two would go. This may just be my personal preference, however, and I am not deducting stars for it. Whether you are 10 or 100, “Light of Mine” encourages and inspires all of us to “let our light shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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


Blog Stops


Inklings and notions, April 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 5

Texas Book-aholic, April 6

Seasons of Opportunities, April 7

Wishful Endings, April 8 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 10

For Him and My Family, April 11

For the Love of Literature, April 12

deb’s Book Review, April 13

Blogging With Carol, April 14

Blossoms and Blessings, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 16 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, April 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)




To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


5 Stars
Eden Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Eden

Author: Brennan S. McPherson

Genre:  Biblical Fiction

Release Date: April 1, 2020

“You want me to tell of how I broke the world.”

It’s the year 641 since the beginning of the world, and when Eve passes away, she leaves Adam the only man on earth who remembers everything from the beginning of the world.

When Enoch, God’s newly appointed prophet, decides to collect the stories of the faithful from previous generations, he finds Adam in desperate need to confess the dark secrets he’s held onto for too long.

Beside a slowly burning bonfire in the dead of night, Adam tells his story in searing detail. From the beginning of everything, to how he broke the world, shattered Eve’s heart, and watched his family crumble.

Will Enoch uncover what led so many of Adam’s children away from God? And will Adam find the redemption and forgiveness he longs for?

Click HERE for your copy.

About the Author


BRENNAN S. MCPHERSON writes epic, imaginative biblical fiction with heart-pounding plots and lyrical prose, for readers who like to think biblically and feel deeply. He lives with his wife and young daughter in the Midwest, and spends as much of his spare time with them as possible.



Read an Exclusive Excerpt


In my beginning was not darkness, but Light.

As I opened my eyes for the first time, I saw dust motes swirling around five bright points. I reached for them and realized the dust was not blowing past me but instead settling across the complex shapes in my arms.

Distracted, I twisted my wrist, seeing muscle, tendon, bone, and a partial layer of skin. Clenching my fingers one by one, I saw the movement in my joints.

Fascinated, I watched as a swathe of dust poured over me like a sheet of silk and morphed into smooth, brown flesh. I ran my fingers across my new skin, and when the sound of shifting sand settled, noticed what sounded like gentle Music riding on the breath that flowed into me.

I inhaled.


Inhaled again.

“Adam,” I said, for I had heard that name—my name—in the Music.

I realized that my Father was singing over me, and in his singing, he had given me life and form, and had named me Adam.

He smiled at me, with those dark brown eyes, and let soft melodies fall from his tongue as I lay on my back.

He lifted me from the mud and burned the remaining dust from my skin with the heat of his presence. But he did not hurt me as a natural flame might. Instead, he filled and cleansed me. And the joy of him filled me with an insatiable desire to experience everything around me, to understand the world he had sung into existence.

I’ve never since felt so whole as I did with him in Eden. Because inside me was nothing that did not belong. Only him, and the breath he gave, and the Music he sang, and the smells of Eden, and the touch of his Light, and the taste of his name on my lips as I spoke for the second time. “Father.” I smiled and laughed.

He stood magnificent, warm, compassionate. The image of the invisible condensed in a life foreknown before the foundations of the world were formed.

I felt his pride over me and laughed again, only now with tears.

My first moments were not like those of a newborn child come from a womb. Instead, they were of a child gone into the womb. Swaddled in the Light of God. Cocooned in his satisfaction.

I was Adam. Man fully formed. Reflection of perfection.

In joy, I fell to my hands and knees and bowed my forehead to the ground. Tears flowed to the soil I’d been formed from. How great! How wonderful this being was who had made me for himself, and who so unendingly satisfied me. Nothing I’ve experienced in my long years could ever make me forget it. That sense of purpose. Of everything being right.

Ah, yes. I see wonder on your face, Enoch, at how tears could be present in a world yet unbroken by sin.

Have you never wondered why the kiss of a lover can bring tears to our eyes? It is because some goods are so great that they must be given vent. For not all tears spring from sorrow. And not all aches are unwanted.

Yet still, my Father lifted me and wiped my cheeks. Then he led me across hills and valleys, puddles and rivers. He pointed at plants and skittering animals and insects, and it seemed as though I could hear the echo of his melodies in their movements.

My Review


Over the past couple of years, Biblical fiction has become one of my favorite genres—but only when it’s done well. And that is where it becomes thorny, and where it sinks or swims. The key to writing Biblical fiction is twofold: illuminating the Word without adding anything to it or contradicting it, and causing readers to think more about the Bible and to want to study it more deeply. This is especially important when writing about Biblical accounts themselves, as opposed to fictional characters who lived during Biblical times. Suffice it to say, succeeding is very difficult. In spite of this, however, Brennan McPherson excels at crafting Biblical novels that stem from the original Bible stories and that take readers on thought-provoking journeys into the heart of God’s Word.

“Eden,” Brennan McPherson’s latest Biblical fiction novel, approaches the story of the first couple in a unique manner. Told from Adam’s point of view, McPherson employs the mise-en-abyme technique. Thus, instead of a detached third-person account, the story is related by Adam himself to Enoch. This infuses untold emotion and empathy into what is for many a very familiar story. Adam relates, “I was Adam. Man fully formed. Reflection of perfection,” a description that stood out to me because it reminds me that we are all created in God’s image. In the novel, God appears in human form in the Garden, and this is one aspect that I’m not entirely comfortable with; I’m not sure if I can accurately articulate what bothers me about it, but I have issues with how God’s character is portrayed in these passages. I think that what I struggle with is not so much how God appears, because of course He later in history comes to earth as a man to ultimately die for our sins, but some of His actions. Adam notes His reticence as the event of the fall approaches, and how at various times He has expressions of regret or unhappiness on His face. While I agree that He would of course have known that the fall was going to happen, I personally do not think that He would have allowed this foreknowledge to taint the time He spent with Adam and Eve.

While reading, many things caused me to stop and ponder, which is, again, a mark of well-written Biblical fiction. Adam observes in hindsight that God taught him and Eve everything they would need to know in order to survive after being cast out of Eden. There are also some beautiful descriptions of life with God in Eden before the fall, which in my mind prefigure the face-to-face relationship that we will have one day in God’s Kingdom. On the other hand, from the time of her creation, there seems to be tension between Eve and Adam, and this intensifies after they leave Eden. Adam describes fallen human nature by relating that “Everyone strives to blame another for sin, but sin is inside us. Sin is the purposeful twisting of our hearts to anything other than our original Father.” Indeed, this brought up another point; in this novel, Adam is hated and heavily criticized in the story for “breaking the world.” For some reason, this surprised me; I never considered that he would be treated almost as an outcast among his own family, because today I think that most of us acknowledge the fact that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but to bear the blame for all of humanity’s fallen-ness would be tortuous. It is another example of God’s great love for us, that Jesus took our blame, our sin upon Himself.

McPherson has added some commentary at the end of the book; it takes readers through Genesis 1-4, upon which “Eden” is based, and explains some of the choices that the author made in writing this story. The note about Cain and Abel is one that I also found interesting, but I will leave that to readers to discover on their own. I will say that I am intrigued by the author’s view that some level of pain may have existed in Eden based on the phrasing of some of the Biblical text. While much of the story itself is somber and forlorn, there is a thread of hope, just as God has placed in the very first chapters of the Bible. Throughout the heartaches and strife that comprise his life after Eden, Adam eventually comes to a peaceful conclusion: “He realized then that the Father’s will had not been broken by his evil, yet was still coming to be.” Because God had a plan from the very beginning and nothing ever takes Him by surprise, we can always rest confidently in Him, knowing that He holds all our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows, and that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have the promise of an eternity with Him, free of pain and suffering, to look forward to, a glorious promise that shines brightly in the darkness.

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


Blog Stops





To celebrate his tour, Brennan is giving away the grand prize package of a “McPherson Publishing bundle”, which includes the following books: a copy of Flood, Babel, the three Psalm Series novellas, and The Simple Gospel book!!

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


5 Stars
The Merchant's Yield Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

Book:  The Merchant’s Yield

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2020

It was a marriage of inconvenience, but life has a wicked sense of humor.

Charlotte Amelia Etheridge has cowered to her mother’s sharp tongue and endless demands for the last time. In a fleeting moment of rebellion, she recklessly asks a foreigner from the Leeward Islands for a dance. But her one courageous act lands her in a compromising position. Forced to wed a stranger, Lottie leaves the only home she’s ever known to reside on the isle of St. Kitts.

Nathaniel Winthrop’s troubles are mounting, and the rumors of him being cursed are spreading. Due to the dwindling sugar crop, he risks everything to start his own shipping company. The last thing he needs is a wife, especially one with a weak constitution. Yellow fever has already claimed the lives of his mother and siblings. He must guard his heart against falling in love with this gentle beauty, knowing island life will be a death sentence.

No longer under her mother’s scrutiny, the newfound freedom of the island rejuvenates Lottie’s spirit. If her days on this earth are limited, then it’s time she lives life to the full. Now it’s up to her to prove that even though Nathan was coerced into marrying her, she’s the one he can’t live without.

Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at




More from Lorri


The Merchant’s Yield is the second book in the Leeward Island series. The idea for my heroine, Lottie Etheridge, stemmed from a writing prompt—Pretend you are a relative from your past. My family has often speculated where the bright red hair that pops up every other generation (my dad, my cousin, and my niece) originated, since my grandfather was adopted. My opening hook at one time was Lottie’s mother stating, “Red hair is for opera singers and ballet dancers. You should have powdered your hair.”

In my research about the island of St. Kitts, I came across a French-American pirate named Jean Lafitte, educated at the military academy on St. Kitts. The concept of my hero, Nathaniel Winthrop, a merchant who could have schooled with a pirate, set my creative juices flowing, especially after reading about Lafitte’s outlandish and quirky behavior. I couldn’t resist interlacing the lives of my main characters with the daring pirate.

I enjoyed writing Lottie’s struggle between pacifying others, yet trying to stay true to how God made her. Also, I can relate to her attempts at rebellion backfiring, for I too could never get away with anything. Lottie’s soft heart contrasts nicely with the guarded hero, Nathan, as she peels back each painful layer of his thick façade to reveal the devoted and ardent love he holds beneath.

To learn more, check out my website at or watch The Merchant’s Yield’s book trailer:

My Review


Heretical though it may be, the Regency era generally does not appeal to me. I’m a country girl, and I’ve always been much more comfortable with pioneer stories and tales of the Old West. The aristocracy and le bon ton (“the ton”) do not really strike a chord with me except to make me glad that I do not belong in high society. However, since reading and thoroughly enjoying Abigail Wilson’s historical fiction, I have been challenging myself to step into the Regency period occasionally. Thus I came to read this second book of the Leeward Islands series, which can be read as a standalone.

 “The Merchant’s Yield” by Lorri Dudley opens in a London ballroom but moves forward at a fast pace, encompassing a handful of locations along a journey of intrigue, romance, and yes, piracy. Heroine Lottie Etheridge has lived her entire life under her mother’s odious control, never measuring up to her standards, and after one ill-fated act of rebellion, she finds herself with a future she never expected. Nathan Winthrop, owner of both a sugar plantation on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and a shipping company, is struggling to keep himself and his employees afloat, and his life just became more complicated. These two make for a very interesting novel because it is beautiful to watch them grow, in affection and in spirit. As Nathan sagely observes, “Pain is unavoidable, but misery is optional.” And although both are Christians to begin with, their faith undergoes trials and turbulence. Early on in the story, Lottie echoes her friend Priscilla in saying that “Everything would work out in the end. God had a plan for her life. Every miracle began with a problem. Did it not?” What an encouraging sentiment! If there were no problems, there would be no miracles, and that seems like it would be a mundane existence.

A few of the things that I enjoyed most about this story include the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. While I always find these enlightening, in this book they are even more so because they are unique to any other story I can recall; they are comprised of quotations from the characters within the story, either from letters, journals, or other documents written by the characters. This technique offers valuable insight and behind-the-scenes information about the characters and their thoughts and emotions, which greatly enhances the story itself. Also, the curse that seems to plague Nathan is interesting because it speaks to the culture and superstition of St. Kitts and how even Christians can sometimes come to believe things that are only lies the enemy propagates, whereas God’s Word directs us to Romans 8:28. No matter the circumstances, if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and believe His Word, God will work all things out for our best and for His glory, always. “The Merchant’s Yield” is a beautiful illustration of this, especially in uncertain times.

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


Blog Stops


Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 1

Life of Literature, April 1

Inklings and notions, April 2

Read Review Rejoice, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 3

Books, Life, and Christ, April 3

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 4

Older & Smarter?, April 4

Texas Book-aholic, April 5

deb’s Book Review, April 5

Betti Mace, April 6

Spoken from the Heart, April 6

Batya’s Bits, April 6

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 7


For the Love of Literature, April 8

Britt Reads Fiction, April 8

Remembrancy, April 9

Maureen’s Musings, April 9

Through the Fire Blogs, April 9

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Emily Yager, April 11

Blossoms and Blessings, April 12

janicesbookreviews, April 12

Blessed & Bookish, April 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 13

Hallie Reads, April 13

Pause for Tales, April 14

Vicky Sluiter, April 14




To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


4 Stars
Capsized by Death Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Capsized by Death

Author: Catherine Finger

Genre:  Christian Mystery/Thriller

Release Date: December 2019

As Police Chief Jo Oliver prepares for her dream wedding in Maui, she and her team must keep a serial killer with ties to her past from derailing her plans for the future.

Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, will be released by Elk Lake Publishing in December, 2019. Anchored by Death, the third novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, received the Bronze Medal for the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, was a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards, and  Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at

Catherine loves to interact with her readers at Follow her on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author, and on Twitter at CatherineFinger.

More from Catherine


In writing my Jo Oliver Thriller series, I find myself driven by passion. The genesis of the series—Cleansed By Death—was fueled by a passion to create a story about strong women embedded in a male-dominated profession, facing difficulties they could only solve through faith and community. I was vacuuming when I was hit by the idea of pitting two strong women against each other and seeing which one would win, the theme of book 2, Shattered by Death. Information gleaned during an FBI writers workshop on techniques for tracking criminals, superimposed over the mitten map of Wisconsin formed the bones for Anchored By Death, the third book in the series.

My latest novel, Capsized By Death, contains all of my favorite elements. The astute series reader will note that the foundation for the killer’s appearance in this book was introduced years ago in Cleansed By Death. But he first appeared to me during one of my many solo writing vacations on an island.

At the end of a fairytale day spent kayaking, snorkeling and listening to the sound of whales singing under water in Maui, the gorgeous male host of my day trip stood silhouetted in the setting sun. This man was beautiful in every way, and had the sort of personality that describes the essence of attractive—he pulled you into his beautiful ocean world. At that moment, I knew I had found my perfect killer for my next book! It became my goal to create a killer who was beautiful on the outside and evil on the inside. I used the New Testament book of Jude as my guide for the internal workings of my killer and thus the skeletal framework for Jude, my killer in Capsized By Death—book 4 of the Jo Oliver Thriller series—was born.

My Review


Always on the lookout for a good Christian suspense or mystery novel, I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review Catherine Finger’s “Capsized by Death.” It wasn’t until afterward that I realized that this book is the last in a tetralogy; while it can technically stand alone, it is obviously meant to go along with the other three books in this series due to clearly-established relationships and references to people and events that did not mean anything to me but doubtless come from previous installments. As such, it did take me a while to feel that I was absorbed enough into the storyline to feel comfortable, and it was a bit difficult for me to keep the characters straight.

Nevertheless, Catherine Finger’s “Capsized by Death” is an interesting Christian mystery that takes place in Maui as police chief Jo Oliver prepares to marry the man of her dreams. The opening chapters caught me by surprise and get the story off to an unexpected start. As the plot develops, Jo and her entourage find themselves drawn into an open investigation involving disappearances and murder. I will admit that I was hoping for a bit more suspense, particularly after the exciting prologue and opening, but it is still a good mystery novel. I enjoyed having short chapters and having sections within the chapters, as this allows for plenty of stopping points while reading. Maui traditions and phrases add a layer of foreign culture, but they also underscore Christianity and how Jesus saves us from our sin and from the evil in this world.

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


Blog Stops






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


5 Stars
A Consuming Fire
Out of the Embers - Cabot,  Amanda

Beginning a new series always evokes a special joy, and as nice as it is when all of the books have been published and can be read back-to-back, there is a certain thrill that comes with following each book as it first releases. This feeling is augmented when the author is new, either to the writing world itself or to the individual reader. Such proved to be the case with “Out of the Embers” by Amanda Cabot, whose work I have hitherto not had the opportunity to read. What immediately appealed to me, even before knowing any details about the synopsis, was the cover. The young woman (Evelyn) stands with her head to the left, facing a light breeze and gazing into the distance with both hope and a degree of wariness. Below a title banner made of a wooden plank, a dirt road stretches on through fields of bluebonnets. As I read, the significance and aptness became clear.

A captivating mixture of genres, “Out of the Embers” offers a tenderhearted, tragic, mysterious journey through the lives of Evelyn Radcliffe (later Radner when she changes her name) and Polly, the little girl she has vowed to keep safe. I did not read the plot summary prior to picking up this book, and this enhanced the reading experience for me because I did not expect the pivotal event at the beginning of the novel. Throughout the story, Cabot interjects a few chapters that interrupt the flow of the narrative; their significance does not become fully apparent until the final chapters, but they add to the aura of mystery. As for the romance, it is tender and gradual and does not overwhelm the other aspects of the story, which I appreciated, and the secondary characters are likewise well-developed. Dorothy and Isolde, in particular, blossomed in this book, and I am interested in seeing what the future has in store for Sam and especially for Caleb, the latter of whom seems to have faded into the background by the last third of the novel. I love Cabot’s resolution of Evelyn’s story, and I find it particularly fitting for Easter, although its significance never goes out of season.

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

5 Stars
Hope in the Mountain River Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  Hope in the Mountain River

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2020

This epic journey is not at all what she expected.

Joel Vargas can’t believe he’s lost his older brother in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains after surviving their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. And he can’t shake the feeling that Adam—his only living relative—is in dire trouble. No matter what the cost, he and his band of friends won’t stop until Adam is found. He doesn’t have time to contend with the two Indian women who seem to be shadowing his every move.

After the devastating loss of her daughter and husband to a sickness that swept through their Nez Perce camp, Elan is desperate to find an escape from her grief. As she and her friend journey through the mountains toward the great river, a band of white men is the last thing she expects to find, especially as winter blows in full force.

When the dangers increase, accomplishing Joel’s mission becomes the only hope for all their survival. If the elements don’t consume them, Elan has a feeling life will never be the same for any of them.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and intense adventure.

Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author


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

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

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

More from Misty


I’ve always been a horse lover, and was blessed to grow up on a farm. My brother and I each had ponies of our own and rode hours each day. When we were old enough to graduate to full-size horses, we met neighbors who also had horses and loved to ride together. The two mares they rode had a mottled black and white spotted look, which I knew to be part of the Appaloosa breed. Through years of riding together, I developed a deep appreciation for those two Appaloosa horses, as well as respect for the entire breed! Those two mares proved they could outrun and outlast any of the other horses in our riding group.

I’ve long wanted to include Appaloosas in one of my stories, especially since the breed was said to have begun in the Nez Perce tribe who lived just west of the Rocky Mountains. I’m so excited for you to meet Elan, the heroine in Hope in the Mountain River!

Elan and her friend are traveling through the Rockies on their Appaloosa horses, animals who can ride faster and longer than all the other horses in their group—even through the treacherous terrain of the Rocky Mountains!

I pray you love this story as much as I loved writing it. Enjoy a glimpse of the famous Appaloosa horse!

My Review

“From the time she first heard the stories, something had resonated in her heart. A God who created His people, then didn’t leave them to fend for themselves but walked beside them, guiding and helping them. Every time she thought of it, an intense longing stirred deep inside her.”

Although I am a relative newcomer to this author’s work, she has quickly become a favorite. Misty Beller, perhaps more than any other author I’ve known, has a gift for writing variations on a theme without any of her work becoming entrenched in repetition. The nineteenth century has always been my favorite time period, so I was looking forward to this read, and it did not disappoint. Opening in the Bitterroot Mountains in December 1830, “Hope in the Mountain River” brings together a cast of characters who include Joel Vargas, a recent immigrant who is searching for his brother Adam, and Elan, a Nez Perce woman who is desperate to escape the grief of losing her husband and child. Both have heard of the God who loves and walks with His people, but neither have personally encountered Him. As the two groups band together to aid in locating Adam, they soon face trials that will challenge them physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Beller implements a shifting third-person narrative viewpoint in this novel, which serves to provide readers with insight into the thoughts and motives of several characters, especially Joel and Elan. Because they come from such different ethnic backgrounds, this technique is very helpful in understanding them both to a greater extent. Also, their mutual attraction is not straightforward and comes burdened with societal perceptions and their own backstories. Add to this the beautiful yet treacherous landscape and weather, and there is no shortage of conflict to keep readers engaged and anticipating the next step of the adventure.

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

Blog Stops


Inklings and notions, March 31

Mary Hake, March 31

Through the Fire Blogs, April 1

deb’s Book Review, April 1

A Baker’s Perspective, April 2

Genesis 5020, April 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 2

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 3

For the Love of Literature, April 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 4

Rebecca Tews, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 5

Blessed & Bookish, April 6

Splashes of Joy, April 6

Bigreadersite, April 6

Betti Mace, April 7

She Lives To Read, April 7

Book of Ruth Ann, April 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Simple Harvest Reads, April 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)


Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 10

janicebookreviews, April 10

Blossoms and Blessings, April 11

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 11

Artistic Nobody, April 12 (Guest Reviewer Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13




To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


A People Chosen Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book:  A People Chosen

Author: Karen Engle

Genre:  Non – Fiction / Christian / Bible Study

Release Date: March, 2017

Is God finished with the Jewish people? Understanding Israel according to the Bible and not the media, political views, or personal opinion sheds incredible light on why Israel and the Jewish people exist today. God is not finished with the tiny nation and has a great purpose and plan for Israel that will impact the world. A People Chosen: God’s Purpose and Plan for Israel and the Nations is a self-guided eight-lesson Bible study. You will learn about the creation of Israel in Genesis, God’s promises to Israel and the nations, Israel’s scattering and current regathering to Israel, the return of King Jesus to rule and reign from Jerusalem, and why Israel is pivotal in God’s plan of redemption. It is a love story of faithfulness, mercy, and justice. It is the story of a people chosen by God to be a conduit for God’s blessings to all mankind. It is a weighty call, and it has not come without a price.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author


Karen earned a master’s in biblical studies from Western Seminary. She is an adjunct writing instructor with Moody Bible Institute, a copy editor for Faithlife Corporation, and owner of East Gate Editing. Her passion is taking study groups to the land of Israel, which she says brings the Bible from “black and white to technicolor.”




More from Karen


There is something peculiar about the Jews. They are one of the few ancient people groups that has endured into modern times, and their religion—Judaism—is one of the world’s oldest.

The Jewish people have been miraculously regathered together into a thriving nation after being scattered throughout the earth. Hebrew, Israel’s official language, was once a dead speech but has been revived and is now an active, living language with more than five million native speakers.

They have been the most persecuted people in history and as such their existence baffles historians and theologians alike. There is no logical rationale for the Jews’ existence. Considering the Holocaust alone, the Jewish people should not have survived. And yet, they do.

In fact, they have flourished and been a blessing to the world.

The narrative of the Bible is centered on this unique nation of individuals established by God thousands of years ago in ancient Mesopotamia. From Abraham to King David to Jesus, the story of the Bible is knit together with a common thread: the Jewish people. It is a love story of faithfulness, mercy, and justice. It is the story of a people chosen by God to be a conduit for God’s blessings to humanity. It is a weighty call, and it has not come without a price.

Yet, many people, even Christians, don’t give this a second thought.

About twelve years ago, God stirred my heart toward this tiny nation, and I subsequently spent years studying the history of the Jewish people and God’s purpose and plan for them according to Scripture. And it rocked my theological world. I was in the middle of seminary, and no one (outside of one professor, who is still my favorite) talked about Israel. And though there were books on the topic, I could not find one Bible study.

When I talk to people about Israel and its importance in Scripture and thus modern-day world events, there seems to be a disconnect—a lack of understanding as to why anyone would bring up the topic. Why should anyone care? What is so significant about Israel?

I wrote this Bible study to answer these questions. It’s a cross between a book and a Bible study and is designed to take participants by the hand and help them understand why God cares so deeply about this peculiar nation. It’s a culmination of many trips to the land and years of personal study—and I’m still learning. Heavy on Scripture, full of beautiful images from around Israel, and focused on Christ, the study will turn the black and white pages of your Bible to technicolor.

I hope that those who do the study will begin to see Israel as a beautiful example of God’s faithfulness to his Word.

Author Interview


What drew you to the time period that you write about?


The Lord put Israel on my heart about twelve years ago. It was out of nowhere, but the compulsion to study about Israel, the people, and the land was so strong I couldn’t deny it. I went to Israel for the first time in 2012, and that sealed the deal. My Bible went from black and white to technicolor. As I learned more and more about God’s plan for Israel and the nations, I was struck by how there was so much to learn from a biblical perspective but no clear Bible study to teach about it. After creating a 16-week curriculum for the college level student in my master’s program (which never was used because I don’t teach Bible at the university level), I realized God had outlined the Bible study for me through the creation of that curriculum. A People Chosen was half-written before I even put pen to paper.


I now have a deep love for the culture and context the Bible was written in and helping others to understand it better, too. I also have a passion for helping others to understand why what’s happening not only in the land today but around the world as God brings his Jewish people home is so important. He’s a promise-keeping God, and when he says he will “gather [the] again from all the nations where he scattered [them], he will do it—and is doing it in our day.

Describe your book in five words.


Biblical evidence of God’s faithfulness.

What is your favorite book?


Our Father Abraham by Marvin R. Wilson. I’ve read it five times and will read it again next year. It’s the most solid resource I’ve found for understanding the link between Judaism and Christianity, between the Old and the New Testament. It’s biblical and historical yet relevant.



Who is your biggest inspiration?


Carl Laney, one of my professors at Western Seminary and a fellow Israel-lover!



Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?


I prefer traditional books. I’m one of those weirdos who loves the feel of a book cover, the smell of the pages. I like to write in my books (I know, sacrilegious to some!) but it helps me remember important information I want to remember later. I listen to audiobooks, but only for pleasure. If I’m reading anything more academic, it’s a real, old-fashioned book.


Blog Stops





To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of an Israel-themed basket: 6 copies of my book/Bible study A People Chosen, the movie The Hope on the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the book Your People Will Be My People, and a $25 gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.