Friday, October 23, 2020

First Line Fridays: Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund

Happy Friday! 

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today, I'm sharing the first line from Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund.

"Hello, beautiful. Will you marry me?"

Have you read Almost a Bride? Book blurb below.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:


Always close, but never a bride.
Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancĂ©, she finds herself single again.
As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.
When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Review: The Gospel in Dickens

About the Book:

Wish you had time to re-read and enjoy that daunting stack of Charles Dickens novels?

Take heart: Dickens enthusiast Gina Dalfonzo has done the heavy lifting for you. In short, readable excerpts she presents the essence of the great novelist’s prodigious output, teasing out dozens of the most memorable scenes to reveal the Christian vision and values that suffuse all his work.

Dickens can certainly entertain, but his legacy endures because of his power to stir consciences with the humanity of his characters and their predicaments. While he could be ruthless in his characterization of greed, injustice, and religious hypocrisy, again and again the hope of redemption shines through.

In spite of – or perhaps because of – his own failings, Dickens never stopped exploring the themes of sin, guilt, repentance, redemption, and restoration found in the gospel. In some passages the Christian elements are explicit, in others implicit, but, as Dickens himself said, they all reflect his understanding of and reverence for the gospel.

The Gospel in Dickens includes selections from Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, Our Mutual Friend, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Sketches by Boz – with a cast of unforgettable characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, Sydney Carton, Jenny Wren, Fagin, Pip, Joe Gargery, Mr. Bumble, Miss Havisham, Betsey Trotwood, and Madame Defarge.

Read an excerpt from The Gospel in Dickens on the publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

The Gospel in Dickens commences with a foreword by Karen Swallow Prior (whose works I love). Next, editor Gina Dalfonzo introduces the compilation as well as some of Dickens’ history. The selections immediately follow and are sorted into three categories: (1) Sin and Its Victims, (2) Repentance and Grace, (3) The Righteous Life.  More entries are devoted to Sin and Its Victims than the other categories and it sometimes felt heavy. When needed, I skipped around to the other sections for something more hopeful.

The Gospel in Dickens inspired me to check out a Charles Dickens biography and some of his works from my local library. While each reading selection is prefaced by a paragraph or two that explains the background of the selection, I sometimes felt a bit lost because I have not read his works recently. The book is best suited for Christian readers who have already enjoyed the works of Charles Dickens.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Blog Blitz: Dance With Me by Tope Omotosho

Dance With Me Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Dance with Me by Tope Omotosho, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Dance with Me

Title: Dance with Me 
Author: Tope Omotosho
Publisher: Beautiful Feet Publishing
Release Date: January 19, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Fiction

The past is a tricky place. For some, it's a place to be desperately held on to, for others a place never to be revisited. 

For Micah Oramah, the pain of a profound loss has caused his faith to be shaken. Blinded by grief, he questions if serving God is actually worth it. 

Tomboy and makeup artist, Zainab Baruwa-Phillips is head over heels in love with God. The only cloud is her past which she is desperate to erase. However, she'll learn that her past is a strength God is looking to use for his glory. 

In Dance With Me, you'll experience the beauty of our individuality to God.

PURCHASE LINKS*: GoodreadsAmazon

 

EXCERPT

 
            “Apparently, my parents like a big family. They also thought it best to give me an African name as a first name to make up for their sins of abandoning their Igbo heritage with the first four.” She turned her gaze to him. “So my grandmother said.” She looked back at the tall hotel and shop buildings that stood afar. “I’m not bothered by it though. I like to believe I’m the unique one.”

            “So, no English name?” His teeth chattered. His hands balled into a fist in his leather jacket.

            “I have one. Rayna,” she said, her long coat, trimmed with fur across the collar and sleeves inducing slight envy in him.

            “Nkiruka Rayna Nnadi. You have a beautiful name.”

            She smiled. “I think so too. Tell me more about yourself. What university do you go to and what course do you study?”

            Inwardly, he was doing somersaults that she was interested in learning more about him. Pleased when she had noticed the small scar on his forehead; a trophy from younger years of playing football.

            “London Met. Public health.”

            “So, you’re a science geek?”

            He chuckled. “I guess you could say that. But I sense God calling me to a different direction.”

            She arched a brow. “Really? Like what?”

            “Probably to become a pastor.”

            “Interesting,” she said, the expression on her face unreadable so he decided to switch the direction of the conversation.

            “I couldn’t help but notice your dance moves in church.”

            There was a gleam in her eyes. “I love to dance. I took ballet classes in school, but didn’t go far with it. Something about standing on your toes and trying to find balance unbalanced me.”

            They spoke, laughed and got to know each other better as the hours hurried by. Daylight fast running out and the temperature dropped even further. Micah noted two important things as he headed back to London later that evening -he wanted to see her again and he was going to take her dancing no matter how silly it made him look. All he wanted was to see her smile and make her happy.

            Two months and seven dates later, Micah officially asked her to be his girlfriend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Tope Omotosho 

Tope Omotosho is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge found in her thought-provoking stories. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship, and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of God in our everyday life. 

She is a devoted Christian passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love. You can read more about her stories and articles on www.lifegodandlove.com

CONNECT WITH TOPE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Dance with Me!

Dance with Me JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 21, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on October 28, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Book Review: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

About the Book:

Can a Canaanite harlot who made her living enticing men be a fitting wife for a leader of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

This 10th anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand includes new features that will invite you into the untold story of Rahab’s journey from lowly outcast to redeemed child of God. Rahab’s home is built into a wall, a wall that fortifies and protects the City of Jericho. However, other walls surround her too, walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness… Years of pain and betrayal have wounded Rahab’s heart—she doubts whether her dreams of experiencing true love will ever come true…

A woman with a wrecked past—a man of success, of faith... of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

Purchase Link: Amazon.


My Thoughts:

Ten years ago, Pearl in the Sand made it into my top five books of the year. It is going to land there again this year. The 10th Anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand includes a striking new cover, additional scenes, and book-wide edits, but the heart of this amazing story remains the same.

Pearl in the Sand immediately captivated my attention with Rehab’s character. She is intelligent, beautiful, witty, and loyal. Yet, she is so broken – spiritually, emotionally, sexually. Her character growth flows through the story and culminates with a deep healing. The spiritual truths embedded in the narrative touched my heart as I watched Rehab absorb them. Opposite Rehab is Salmone, a classic male lead, who proves to be heroic, romantic, and flawed. As Salmone learns to be who Rehab needs him to be, he creates a safe place for her to heal and flourish. A top-notch love story!

With its combination of powerful themes, dynamic characters, sparking romance, and spiritual truths, I can wholeheartedly recommend Pearl in the Sand to Christian fiction readers. I marked many passages to reread and savor after finishing the story. Five stars!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the Author:

Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of biblical and historical fiction. Her books have won the Christy and INSPY Awards and been voted by the Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of the year. Her first Bible study and companion video teaching, The Way Home, based on the book of Ruth, was released from Moody Publishers in June 2020. 

Born in the Middle East, Tessa moved to England in her teens where she attended boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. 

Tessa holds a Master of Divinity from Yale University, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship for one year. She worked in women and prayer ministries for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker.

Connect with Tessa: Author Website 




Friday, October 16, 2020

First Line Fridays: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Happy Friday!  

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today, I'm sharing the first line from Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar.

"Rehab tumbled into consciousness courtesy of an impatient nudge."

Have you read Pearl in the Sand? Book blurb below.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:

Can a Canaanite harlot who made her living enticing men be a fitting wife for a leader of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

This 10th anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand includes new features that will invite you into the untold story of Rahab’s journey from lowly outcast to redeemed child of God. Rahab’s home is built into a wall, a wall that fortifies and protects the City of Jericho. However, other walls surround her too, walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness… Years of pain and betrayal have wounded Rahab’s heart—she doubts whether her dreams of experiencing true love will ever come true…

A woman with a wrecked past—a man of success, of faith... of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.



First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Love Your Selfie by Tessa Emily Hall

Love Your Selfie Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Love Your Selfie by Tessa Emily Hall, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Love Your Selfie
Title: Love Your Selfie 
Author: Tessa Emily Hall 
Publisher: Ellie Claire Gifts 
Release Date: October 13, 2020 
Genre: Teen/Young Adult Devotional 

God loves the real you-without filters, followers, or fabulous backdrops! This glittery devotional journal helps teens find their inner sparkle so they can love themselves. 

The truth is: the Creator of the Universe stamped His approval on you far before anyone ever had the chance to disapprove. In this 52-week devotional journal, you will be guided through a journey of embracing the unique way you were created. Author Tessa Emily Hall shares her personal struggles of dealing with insecurity and self-shame as a teen, then she invites you to reflect on the weekly message through journal prompts and social media challenges. You will be taken on a journey to understand what Scripture says about your identity, discover how you can tap into your God-given potential, and learn to love who you are inside. 

Ellie Claire's LeatherLuxe® material is given new glittery life in this stunning journal with full-color interior design. The rich feel of leather is finished with round corners to make this journal an extraordinary gift for any time of year. 

FEATURES: 
Premium, thick, acid-free, non-bleed paper 
Guided journal from a teen for teens 
Lightly-ruled space for notes and reflections 
Full-color interior 
Presentation page for personalization 
LeatherLuxe® binding with NEW glitter finish that doesn't rub off 
Ribbon marker 
Smythe-sewn binding 



EXCERPT

It might sound silly to think about waterfalls attempting to pull off the beauty of a garden, but that’s how we must appear to God sometimes. If He wanted us to have a different type of beauty, don’t you think He would have created us that way? But one glimpse at nature proves that His creativity far exceeds just one type of beauty. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Emily Hall

Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who wrote her debut novel when she was sixteen. She is now a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction inspirational yet authentic books for teens, including her upcoming release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (October 2020, Ellie Claire). Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net

Tessa is guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, teaching at writing conferences, coaching young writers, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers is on her mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.

CONNECT WITH TESSA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a book-inspired prize package including an autographed copy of Love Your Selfie, InnerSparkle coffee blend sample from the book, book swag, prayer journal, pink glitter nail polish, lip gloss, facial mask, etc.!

Love Your Selfie JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 13, 2020 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 20, 2020. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only, void where prohibited by law or logistics.  

For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.