Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Irish Encounter by Hope Toler Dogherty

image.png

About the Book


Irish Encounter - FC
Book:  Irish Encounter
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre:  Sweet, inspirational romance
Release Date: May 7, 2015

After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she’d buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn’t ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he’s longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?

My Thoughts:
This was a fun, sweet book.  It wasn't what I expected but I still enjoyed it.  The descriptions of Ireland made me want to go today and explore.  I loved how close Ellen was in her walk with God.  That spoke to me and pulled at my heart.
The encounter with her meeting Payne was totally a God thing and I loved it.  The ease and flow of the story was nice.  I usually read romantic suspense and it was nice to just slow it down and read a nice book.  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Hope Dougherty
Hope holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Forever Music is her fourth novel. Residing in North Carolina, she and her husband enjoy visits with their daughters and twin sons.




More from Hope

Inspiration Behind Irish Encounter
A few years ago, I was staring at the first day of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter was set to graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.
Life as I’d known it for the preceding eighteen years was about to change enormously.
Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d written for publications—sporadically—but I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.
That May afternoon, I decided to write something for Guideposts, a magazine filled with inspirational, faith-filled stories. I’d just completed “The Life of Moses” with Bible Study Fellowship, and I envisioned sharing wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty two weeks of study.
I penned What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I immediately began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.
In my daydream, a woman in an Irish cafĂ© scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began talking about his late wife.  I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap clutched in his hands.  Suddenly another man, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.
This scene interested me infinitely more than the Moses idea. I turned the page to a fresh sheet and wrote everything I saw and heard in that Irish coffee shop.
Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I just hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study, like Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV)
I’d pray for guidance and help, and then I’d travel to Galway.
God led me onto this writing journey with a lot of prodding and pulling and nudges toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day He did, and I hope readers will enjoy the trip to Ireland with Ellen and Payne, too!

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, July 28
Genesis 5020, July 30
Older & Smarter?, August 3
Betti Mace, August 6
Pause for Tales, August 8
Emily Yager, August 10

Giveaway

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Direct Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson

image.png

About the Book

 Book: Direct Threat
 Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
 Genre: Romantic Suspense
 Release Date: June 1 2020
One little girl. Two bodyguards. Only one chance to guard their hearts.
 Protection Inc. co-owner, Carissa Jones, an ex-cop turned bodyguard, has one goal—keep her young client safe. When her business partner brings in a new guy to help, she discovers her heart desires more. Can she still do her job and follow her heart without compromising her client’s safety? Marc Olsen, a former Military Police officer, struggles to find his way as a civilian. He agrees to help out an old friend for the summer. He gets more than he bargained for when he’s assigned to work with the feisty co-owner of Protection Inc. When sparks fly faster than bullets, will the bodyguards be distracted from their task, or will they work together as an even stronger team?
 
My Thoughts:
Yes!  This was a fantastic book.  Marc and Carissa were wonderful characters and I loved getting to know them.  The book started out with action and didn't really let up.  There were some unexpected plot twists and I really liked the kiddo they were assigned to.
The romance was good and not forced.  I always wonder with these kind of books how realistic the romance will be but this was good.  The author did a good job in making me feel invested in the characters and I can't wait to see what happens next with the security firm.
An absolute 5/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!
     

About the Author


  Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/
   



More from Kimberly

Direct Threat is the first book in the Protection Inc. series. The series follows a group of bodyguards who are all either former cops or military police. They are on location in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast in book one, but their business is based out of Seattle.   I’ve been to Lincoln City more times than I can remember, but I took a research trip there with my husband, specifically for this book.   While in Lincoln City my husband and I walked the same beach my characters walk. I studied the access points to the cliffside homes from the vantage point of the beach, as this was an important aspect in the story. We also visited the ice cream shop mentioned in the book. You’ll understand significance of the shop when you read the story.   My writing career has taken some twists and turns. When I first began writing in 2006 I wrote romantic suspense. Then switched over to writing contemporary romance, which turned out to be the genre of my first contracted book and many more after that. After writing several romantic mystery novels for my publisher, I decided to dust off my romantic suspense manuscripts and publish them. Direct Threat is one of those manuscripts.   I absolutely love reading and writing suspense as well as romance, so joining the two together comes naturally for me. I hope you will read and enjoy this story.   You can learn more about Kimberly Rose Johnson and her books at https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

Blog Stops

Quiet quilter, July 30
Batya’s Bits, August 5
Mary Hake, August 5
Simple Harvest Reads, August 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Betti Mace, August 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly 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.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard

Book Description:
Don't Keep Silent (Uncommon Justice, #3)Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her.

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .


My Thoughts:
This book is the third in the series, but can be read as a stand alone (I did and loved it!).  Rae and Liam have a complicated history to say the least.  Rae asks for his help and Liam gives it.  I wasn't certain how the two were going to work together but the author did a fabulous job with it.  There is action, mystery, suspense and more right from the start.
I loved that there were very few moments of 'down time' in reading this book.  I didn't want to put it down because I was so invested in the characters and story that I had to know what was going to happen next.  I am looking forward to reading the previous two books as I'm assuming some of the previous characters made an appearance here and I loved the authors writing style.
5/5.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

The Seer by Erin R. Howard

image.png

About the Book


Book:  The Seer
Author: Erin R Howard
FC-The-Seer---LargerGenre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 27, 2018

Viktor has one order to follow:

Kill the girl before her eyes are opened.

For thousands of years, his job has been to torment and kill seers: humans that have the gift of seeing the spiritual realm. So it was no surprise when his brother Matthias was once again sent to stop him and protect the girl.

Now the last of the seers’ bloodline hangs in the balance, as the estranged demon and angel brothers are forced to work together to save a girl’s life and escape to the sanctuary city of Bethesda.

My Thoughts:
Wow.  I was surprised by this one.  I wasn't sure what to expect, I guess, but what I got was better.  There were wonderful characters, very similar feel to some other YA books I've read and I will have my kids read this one because instead of gods from Greece, Roman, etc. it has a Christian perspective.
I liked the action in it and the story line flowed really well.  I think this has a wonderful set up to be a great series.  There are battles and then there are internal struggles.  There is a lot to take from this book even if it is just a 'good read', there are many things in here that make you think twice.
It was a 4/5 for me.  Can't wait to see what happens next.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Erin R. Howard is a Developmental Editor, YA Urban Fantasy Author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.


More from Erin

If I’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that I’m still not a fan of change. It’s always been hard for me to transition from what I know, to the unknown, and then find a new normal. Let’s be honest. Stepping out of our comfort zone isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to challenge and stretch our faith. And as a result of stepping out, we hope that we will learn and grow.
I love messy characters, because life is messy, and it doesn’t always work out the way we expect. It’s full of changes and situations. The characters in my series, The Kalila Chronicles, are no different. Each character has unique challenges. For some, they didn’t ask for change, and for others, they are stepping out on their own.
Here’s a little bit more about The Seer. The first book in The Kalila Chronicles:
For thousands of years, Viktor has carried out his orders from Lucifer faithfully. But after a recent demotion in rank, he has grown weary of the bloodshed. His latest order is to kill Thea, a seventeen-year-old Seer before her gift manifests, and she can see into the spiritual realm. However, his estranged angel brother, Matthias, intervenes on his plans. Seeing this as his way out, Viktor proposes that in exchange for leaving Thea alive, Matthias must escort him to the sanctuary city of Bethesda. Although, getting through the portal isn’t as easy as Viktor thought, and now he has to work with Matthias to protect the very girl he was ordered to kill.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Seer, a Behind the Story Booklet of The Seer, and a $25 Amazon card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Second Helpings by Linda Wood Rondeau

About the Book


Book:  Second Helpings
Author: Linda Wood Rondeau
Genre:  Short, humorous contemporary women’s fiction
Release Date: April 19, 2020

Today is Jocelyn Johnson’s 45th birthday. Unhappy with her marriage of 22 years, the parenting talk show host has planned a noonday tryst with her cohost. A phone call from her college daughter, a peek into her teenaged son’s journal, a sick preschooler, a Goth daughter’s identity crisis, a middle-school son’s prank, and her husband’s inflamed suspicions, not only interfere with her hopeful birthday plans but throw her family into more chaos than a circus on steroids.

In desperate need of counsel, Jocelyn invites a Christian to dinner, her guest from her morning talk show segment. However, the evening holds little promise of calm. In the midst of bedlam, a forgotten faith rekindles causing Jocelyn to rethink her life and her marriage.

You will laugh and you will cry from the first page to the last as you journey through the day’s events and Jocelyn’s search for Second Helpings.

My Thoughts:
I know this is supposed to be humorous and maybe it is just where I am in life but it didn't strike me as funny.  That being said it is a fairly good read.  It's about a completely dysfunctional family and their issues.  Each person in the family has their issues.  It almost stressed me out to read it because there was so much going on and so many issues.
Jocelyn's marriage has gone stale and she has an almost affair.  Her husband is too focused on his career and doesn't acknowledge issues at home.  Unexpected pregnancy.  There was just so much going on and maybe later in life I can read this and truly enjoy the book, but it wasn't for me at all.  The author wrote it well but the story just wasn't for me.
It was a 3/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!


About the  Author


A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is no stranger to family bedlam. Her stories of encouragement and hope come from the heart. She resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over forty-years. When not writing, the author enjoys the occasional round of golf. She also enjoys theater and is actively involved with her local church. Find more encouraging words in her blog, Snark and Sensibility, found on her website, www.lindarondeau.com. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.



More from Linda

When I first set out to write Second Helpings, I envisioned writing a story about a harried housewife with a passel of kids. I thought of my mother who went around the house with her hands outstretched toward heaven saying, “Lord, give me strength.” Words she uttered each time we kids did something wrong, which was quite often.
And so I envisioned my own version of, Please Don’t Eat the Daises.
The movie came out in 1960 and starred Doris Day and David Niven, a comedy about a university professor who leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends. There’s an iconic scene where the harried housewife rescues her toddler who tries to climb out of the barred NYC windows. One wonders, can this marriage be saved?
As the story developed in my own addled brain, I saw a larger picture than a  madcap comedy. I asked myself, what would happen if a woman who ran a radio show about parenting found herself in a marriage about to fall apart and anticipates an affair? Since the woman, at the outset of the story is not a Christian, what might cause the affair not to happen? What driving force might be greater than her unhappiness? And why was she so unhappy in her marriage in the first place?
The answer came. However unhappy she might be, she was first and foremost a mother. Though married to a psychiatrist, she was the fixer in the family. What problems might her children face to make Jocelyn think twice about an affair? Which of  her children’s crises would be the first signal to abort her affair? The answer came.
When Jocelyn receives a phone call from her college-aged daughter, plans for a tryst suddenly change. Lisette announces she is coming home tonight. Jocelyn’s worst fears for her daughter are confirmed. Not only is Lisette pregnant, she wants to get married next month. History seems to be repeating itself. And Jocelyn does not want her daughter to make the same mistake she thought she made by marrying her baby’s father. Jocelyn sets out on an immediate campaign to convince her daughter she has other options than a hurried marriage. Jocelyn’s tryst will have to wait.
Lisette’s pregnancy revelation has set the stage for twelve hours of bedlam … all on Jocelyn’s 45th birthday. These serious situations create a comedy of misunderstanding against the backdrop of a failing marriage and begs the question, “Can her marriage be saved?”

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda 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.

Monday, July 20, 2020

6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles

image.png
[Insert Tour Banner Here]

About the Book


Book:  6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families
Author: Dr. Magdalena Battles
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Family & Relationships
Release Date: June 9, 2020

Families are complicated.

There is no such thing as a perfect family…or an easy family. We all make mistakes that hurt or disappoint our family members, and we’ve all been hurt or disappointed by those we love.
Within our human makeup is a deep and basic need for healthy family relationships. Family was designed to provide us with love, a feeling of belonging, a shared history, traditions, comfort, affection, quality time, feedback, learning, and a safety net. When our family fails to provide for these needs, we feel a deep sense of loss.

6 Hidden Behaviors That Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles addresses the top conflicts in extended families that cause relationships to become strained, disjointed, or broken. These hidden behaviors are: criticism, gossip, lack of inclusion, deception, refusing to accept differences, and a failure to apologize and forgive. Dr. Battles provides practical tips and solutions based on research, biblical principles, and her own observations of what has worked in families.

Most families have some dysfunction, causing pain, damage, and division. While every family has problems, what really matters is how we deal with those issues. Are we working in a way that heals and resolves problems, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, causing tremendous damage to our relationships? Families are always in a state of change, and they are a work in progress. But they can function in a way where love, support, belonging, and kindness are exemplified and practiced.

Doing nothing about our family conflicts often contributes to the problems. The healing in your family can begin with you. To have a family that is loving and supportive, you need to be part of the solutions and healing. You just have to take those first steps! It is a process, but the result will be happier lives and more fulfilling relationships.

My Thoughts:
This book hit home for me on several levels.  People are all different and God intended us to live as families.  In doing that, we have to accept our differences and realize there will be conflict.  There are some very good tips for dealing with multiple situations.
It may be that we are the problem, it may be that we are the only ones trying.  Either way there are some tips and healthy ways to deal with the issues.  It is heartening to know that it is a problem for more than just my family but at the same time it is really sad.  I plan to put some of the tips to good use in my life and recommend this book to anyone and everyone. 
It was a 5/5 for me.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author



Dr. Magdalena Battles is a writer and conference speaker whose specialties include parenting, child development, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She shares her real-life experiences and professional insights on her website, LivingJoyDaily.com, and on Lifehack.org, where she was named one of their top writers. She is also the author of Let Them Play: The Importance of Play and 100 Child Development Activities (September 2019). Dr. Battles earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, both from Liberty University, and a doctorate in Clinical and Academic Psychology from Walden University. She has also completed post-graduate studies on “Technologies in Education” at Harvard University. While she may seem all business, in her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, visiting national parks, reading nonfiction, decorating, organizing, shopping, spending time with extended family, and incubating/raising Silkie chickens. She is also an active volunteer in her community and church. Dr. Battles and her husband, Justin, reside in Texas, where they are raising their daughter, Brielle, twin boys, Alex and Charlie, a dog named Max, and a Silkie chicken named Marshmallow.

More from Magdalena

While every family has its problems—some minor, some major—what really matters is how we deal with these issues. Are we working to heal and resolve the conflicts, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, perhaps causing irreparable damage to our relationships? The six hidden behaviors that destroy families are described as “hidden” because we often ignore, deny, or cover up our family issues. The family unit is a living organism, never remaining the same. Sometimes, it is healthy and working well, and other times, it is not as healthy or functional. All it takes is one person to start a trend of love, compassion, and support that can change generations to come.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)
A Baker’s Perspective, July 16 (Spotlight)
Simple Harvest Reads, July 19 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, July 21
Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Spotlight)
Splashes of Joy, July 23
For the Love of Literature, July 24 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Magdalena is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Christian Christmas Condition by Scott Rankin

The Christian Christmas Condition: How Does Our Lord Feel About Christmas Today?Book Description:
What do you want for Christmas? We all hear this question everywhere, but author Scott Rankin invites us all to slow down for a moment and ask a different question... What does God want for Christmas? Our Lord desires that we become more Christ-like every day (1 Corinthians 11:1). To accomplish this goal, He tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). But how do the Christmas holidays help accomplish this goal if so much busyness and stress make it hard to focus all our attention on Christ and completely rest in His peace? In an easy-to-read format, "The Christian Christmas Condition" takes a new and refreshing look by asking the question, “How does our Lord feel about Christmas today?” encouraging Christians of all ages to examine Christmas-time traditions from God's perspective. Filled with Bible references, this study will boost your faith, increase your knowledge, and strengthen you to fully honor Jesus in the midst of Christmas, traditions, and busy holiday activities, and reveal the secret of what God says in the Bible about Christmas today! Whether your family participates in Advent, Hanukkah, midnight mass, uses a Christmas tree, or watches for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, this powerful book encourages all Christians to become more Christ-like in our thinking and our actions each, and every day of the year... not just in the winter holidays! 

My Thoughts:
Wow.  The author does a really good job of calling Christians out for what we have let Christmas become.  He didn't do it in a harsh way, but it absolutely made me stop and think.  When he says at the start we all think 'Christmas isn't what it used to be'.  That's completely true.  We need to turn the focus back to God and not material things.
I agree with most everything he says through here.  My children never were told that Santa existed, the exact opposite actually.  But I never saw any harm in the concept either....until I read this.  I believe he is right that we need to put more of the focus on God and what the Bible says, no matter what the world says, labels us, or pushes back.  Christmas is literally supposed to be a celebration of Christ's birth.  We need to remember that and make sure that is what we are focused on.
It was a 4/5 for me.  It truly was thought provoking.  

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book via PUYB.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.