Saturday, December 4, 2021

Blog Blitz: Their Yuletide Healing by Mindy Obenhaus

Their Yuletide Healing JustRead Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Their Yuletide Healing by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Their Yuletide Healing Title: Their Yuletide Healing 
Series: Bliss, Texas 
Author: Mindy Obenhaus 
Publisher: Love Inspired 
Release Date: November 30, 2021 
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance 

As her plans unravel, can she give her children what they truly need? 

Foster mom Rae Girard’s determined to make her children’s first Christmas with her the best they’ve ever had—and she’s shocked when the town scrooge, attorney Cole Heinsohn, offers to pitch in. Rae’s young charges have melted Cole’s heart, and he wants them to experience the special day he never had. But when disaster strikes, an imperfect holiday might bring them something better: a family…

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianBook | BookBub


MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mindy Obenhaus 

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups and countless cattle. She’s passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen, spending time with her grandchildren or roaming the ranch in search of inspiration. She’d love to connect with you via her website, mindyobenhaus.com, or on Facebook.

CONNECT WITH MINDY: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of all four Bliss, Texas series books and a $20 Amazon gift card.

Their Yuletide Healing JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight December 2, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 9, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. (Winners outside the US will receive trilogy ebooks and $20 Amazon gift card) 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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Heart of Stone by David James Warren

Heart of Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Heart of Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Heart of Stone

Title: Heart of Stone 
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #6
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: November 23, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

Rembrandt Stone has nothing left to lose…or does he? 

Detective Rembrandt Stone doesn’t recognize himself in the mirror. Doesn’t recognize the world he’s returned to. Doesn’t even know his own name. But he knows one thing…living in this world is impossible. 

Good thing he has an ally—an unexpected friend from the past. And together, they just might be able to unravel the entire mess. But first…Rembrandt will have to return to the past one final time and intercept himself before he makes a lethal mistake. 

Time has outwitted him. It’s time for him to outwit time. Can he reconstruct a past he just destroyed or is there nothing left of his world to save? 

The explosive ending to the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone!

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub


BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram

EXCERPT

 
They say that without hope, people perish.

I say hope crushes the soul.

That’s why I look away when Frankie Dale’s beautiful gray eyes fall on me as I walk into Alexander Malakov’s third-story office.

The pulse of some electro-dance beat pumps in from the nightclub below, the odor of bodies and a hint of reefer saucing the air. Turbo is on fire tonight, the line to get into the club a half-block long despite the sultry July-heated night.

Alexander leans against the front of his desk, his arms folded over his gray silk Brioni dress shirt, his cuffs rolled up—as if he’d actually do any of the bare knuckle work it takes to keep his multi-million dollar organized crime empire running.

That’s why Vita, Alexander’s “XO,” the guy who delivers his orders, called me. Vita is shorter than me, lean, blond and about my age, his face heavy with lines and a scar that runs from his eye to his chin.

We’re work friends.

“Staz,” he says in greeting and I nod at him and walk over to Alexander. The female—she can’t be Frankie, not right now—sits on the sofa. I can’t tell if she’s been roughed up, but I don’t look at her, just in case.

“Thanks for coming,” Alexander says from his perch on the desk.

“Of course, boss.” I’ve played the undercover game for years, so this can’t be any different. Booker briefed me earlier—wait for that, I’ll catch you up—and apparently, I’ve been at this game for years, so sliding into my persona as Staz, Malakov’s right hand thug is an old shoe.

According to my sketchy research, Alexander Malakov runs the biggest Russian gang in Minneapolis, filling the void after Burke and I took down Somali warlord Hassan Abdilhali some twenty years ago. According to Booker, Malakov’s also recently declared war on the police department, hoping to carve out his own Little Moscow in the North Loop.

I remember this part from past versions of my life—my 1994 Porsche 911 having recently been a victim of this war.

And I know you’re wondering—past versions?

Again, wait for it. It’s worth it, I promise.

Alexander is vaping, and now sets down his cigarette. My guess is that it’s filled with high end snow because he’s edgy and ticking with energy. I walk over and put a hand on his shoulder. “You okay?”

“How did she get in here?” He directs the question to Vita, and I look at him, expecting an answer, too.

“I don’t know. We found her in here rummaging around. Say’s she was lost, but I don’t buy it.” Vita says.

Now I look at Frankie.

The sight of her makes me pinch the corners of my mouth and take a breath. Her lip is bleeding, although that could be from a struggle. Frankie has it in her to cause trouble, thanks to her parentage.

I know for a fact that Booker doesn’t know what she’s up to. But then again, she’s in her mid-twenties and can make her own decisions.

If she were my daughter, I’d put a tracker on her.

Okay, not really, but the thought catches me, and I inhale sharply.

I had a daughter. Once upon a happier time. With blonde hair and blue eyes and the kind of laughter that made me believe in things like hope, and faith, and love.

For the last month, I’ve tried to believe—to hope—that I could find her, save her, bring her home. I haven’t succeeded.

Remember what I said about hope?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren 

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter 

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive one The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone print copy (winner's choice) and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Heart of Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight November 29, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 6, 2021. Winner 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.

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, November 27, 2021

Epic Book Launch: Silencing the Siren by Denise L. Barela

About the Book:

Book: Silencing the Siren
Author: Denise L. Barela
Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale
Release date: January 4, 2022

Andrew Grayson thought he had everything… until he met her.

The indulged son of wealthy parents, Andrew has always gotten whatever he wanted almost before he knew he wanted it—clothes, gadgets… even a car! What more could a young man desire?

Enter Annabel Thompson. Freakshow mermaid extraordinaire… in a wheelchair!

Of course, her beauty attracts him. How could it not? Add to that a kind heart, and Andrew can’t help but fall for her.

Annabel’s connection with the freakshow repels his parents and their society friends. They want him to sever all ties with her and his new friends. Oh, and marry the “right” girl with the “right connections.” But he won’t do it. He’ll defy them and marry his little mermaid.

When Annabel turns up missing, declared dead, things don’t add up, Andrew begins asking some difficult questions, the most important being, “What happened to the little mermaid of the Coney Island freak show?”

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. Silencing the Siren offers a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch the story unfold.


Book Excerpt:

He would find the answer, although he had no clue where to start. He needed to know what led to her death. Needed to know who killed her and why they picked her as their victim. Did her kind heart make her an easy target? Could it be because of him?

He would solve this… well, mystery! And he’d make sure the criminals were held responsible. Make sure they were brought to justice. It was the least he could do for her. Maybe it would serve as a way to distract himself from the pain of her loss and the void she left behind in his heart.

His Annabel didn’t deserve this fate. She deserved the world and everything in it, but he couldn’t give it to her now. Anger clashed and rolled with the grief inside him. A war of fire and ice with no clear winner.

He would solve this mystery and would find her killer.

Even if it was the last thing he’d ever do.

They, whoever “they” were, wouldn’t get away with it.

***

Andrew tiptoed quietly through the house. He wasn’t sure if his parents were home, and he’d rather avoid any confrontation with them today.


About the Author:


Denise Barela’s passion for fiction, her faith, and general creativity define her life. In all things, she strives to glorify God, though especially in and through her writing. She has spent the past six years working for a publicity company and five years working as the head editor for a publishing company. With an MFA in Creative Writing and a Professional Writing certificate, Denise enjoys using her education and work experiences to help authors achieve their own writing dreams. When she’s not working away at her desk, you might find her reading a good book or following Alice down the rabbit hole…

Book Review: Scripture Up Affirmation Journal by Dennis Schleicher

About the Journal:

"When we use the power of words to fuel our life's purpose, we can easily develop more positive, constructive habits and accomplish many of our goals (if not all of them)." -Dennis Schleicher, Author

Why another journal? Why scripture affirmations? 

Not only will the Scripture UP Affirmation Journal help you develop the righteous habit of regularly reading the scriptures, but it will also strengthen your testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. 

We often say, "I should read my scriptures every day" when a more effective way of developing the lifelong habit of consistently studying them would be to say, "I will read my scriptures every day." 

We invite you to record your impressions, thoughts, and feelings as you study the sacred words of God. Develop the righteous, positive habit of studying them every day and making them a permanent part of your life. It's definitely a goal worth pursuing!
My Thoughts:

I have long appreciated the power of affirmations. Repeating truth to myself literally changed my life when I was in my early twenties. I eagerly ordered the Scripture Up: Affirmation Journal by Dennis Schleicher with the hope of forming new affirmations for my current season of life. In this journal, the author, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, pairs both Bible Verses and Articles of Faith from his church tradition with affirmations.

What I liked:

  • Each affirmation has a Scripture (or Article of Faith) and 3.5 pages of lined space to write. All this space allows abundant room to work out thoughts, doubts, and beliefs regarding the affirmation. It’s an invitation to take time and think deeply.
  • There are six sections of topical affirmations: Fear, Hope, Healing, Courage, Strength, and Love. At the end of each section is a page for reflecting on the previous affirmations and recording ideas learned.

What Could Have Been Improved:
  • In a substantial portion of the affirmations, I failed to see how the Scripture or faith statement matched with the affirmation.
  • Certain Bible verses repeated through the journal and I’d prefer a more diverse selection of Scriptures to coordinate with the affirmations.

Final Thoughts: Although the Scripture Up: Affirmation Journal by Dennis Schleicher is not quite ecumenical (I had expected it to be completely ecumenical), I still appreciated the thoughts presented and the large journaling space for responses.

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.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Book Spotlight: Truth Unshaken by Kristina Hall

About the Book:

Title: Truth Unshaken

Series: The Moretti Trilogy, #3

Author: Kristina Hall

Genre: Christian historical suspense

Publication date: 11/11/2021

Whom can they trust?

After losing her parents, Carla Belardi discovers her life was a lie. Now, she must flee unless she wants her parents’ fate to be her own.

Frank Ashton lost the use of his legs—and his desire to live—in the Great War. When Carla is brought to his home injured, he gains a friend. But despite the attraction growing between them, he can never burden her with a cripple.

Alberto Moretti thought he could do good working for the Prohibition Unit—until he finds out his new employer isn’t much better than the criminals he once served. Now, he has to fight both sides—the Prohibition Unit and the crooked Belardis.

When danger surrounds Carla, Frank, and Alberto from too many angles, will they put their trust in the Truth that will never be shaken?

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/truth-unshaken


Excerpt:

Carla Belardi ran her thumb along the novel’s spine. If she kept her movements slow and steady, the numbness would hold her fast. The images would stay buried.

The two caskets at the front of the church. The line of black-clad mourners who’d filed past her.

She drew her hand from the book and clenched her black skirt. Nothing would bring Mamma and Papà back. Just as nothing had stopped that motorcar from hitting their Packard and pushing it into the river.

She closed her gritty eyes.

“Carla?” Mrs. Pasetti’s soft voice echoed through the library.

She opened her eyes and set the book on the little table beside her chair. The aging housekeeper stood in the doorway, hands knotted at her waist, eyes rimmed in red.

Evening shadows draped the library, dulled the oak shelves, and washed out the velvet curtains. Cold slipped in, undeterred by the flames flickering in the fireplace.

“Yes?” She lowered her head. The compassion on Mrs. Pasetti’s round face would shatter the last of her composure.

“Dario and Emilio are here to see you. I know it’s not the best timing, but they insist it’s important.”

They’d been at the funeral. Strangers more than cousins.

She dabbed her eyes and blew her nose. “It’s all right. I’ll see them.”

“I’ll have them come in.” Mrs. Pasetti slipped from the doorway.

The grandfather clock beside the door ticked away the seconds. Footsteps creaked down the hall.

She lifted her head.

Emilio and Dario filed into the library and stopped a couple of yards from the wingback chair she occupied.

She motioned to the sofa pressed against the only wall not occupied by bookshelves. “Take a seat if you’d like.” She swallowed to clear the reediness from her voice. “And thank you … thank you for coming this morning.”

Dario lowered himself to the sofa, while Emilio remained standing. Emilio crossed his arms and pinned her with a steady stare.

She clasped her hands in her lap. Why had they come?

He took a slow step forward, his bulky shoulders stretching his coat. “I’m aware your parents kept much from you.”

He’d come to tell sordid lies? “They kept nothing from me.”

Emilio shook his head. “Then tell me what you know of them, Gian in particular. What kind of work did he do?”

Nausea stirred her stomach. Why would they question Papà’s work?

“He managed a restaurant. You know that.”

Emilio glanced at Dario. “Sure, we know that. Same as we know he operated eleven speakeasies throughout the city.”

Speakeasies? Papà had never touched a drop of liquor. “You’re … lying.” He had to be.

Emilio’s lips twisted. “He ran his restaurant all right. During the day. But at night, he ran a club out of the basement. Real nice. And he had ten others like it.”

Trembling swept through her. “You’re lying. Don’t—don’t speak of him that way.” Not Papà. Not the man who’d swept her into his arms every morning. Not the man who’d sat with her in this very library reading his Bible. Not the man who’d smiled that indulging grin at her and Mamma when they’d brought home boxes of new dresses.

Emilio gestured around the room. “You think he made enough running that restaurant to put you and your mother up in this big house? You think he was raking in enough to afford four new Packards?”

The room descended into swirling reds and browns. “He … was doing … well.”

“How’d he explain taking a bullet to the shoulder? He say it was a robbery?”

But it had been a robbery. He wouldn’t have lied to her. He wouldn’t have.

“Here. Look at this. Tell me he’s as innocent as you think.”

Paper pressed against her fingers, and she blinked to clear her vision. Papà stood against a concrete wall, face blank, his name written in white above his head. A mugshot.

“What’d he tell you about that time he was gone unexpectedly for a week? That he had to take a business trip?” He motioned to the picture. “Well, that’s where he was.”

Jail. Papà had been in jail. The picture fell from her limp fingers and fluttered to the floor.

“He lied to you. They both lied to you. Face the truth.”

The truth?

All the times he’d come home in the early hours of the morning, sneaking through the halls as if she didn’t have ears. All the times he and Mamma had argued behind closed doors. All the times Mamma had ushered her from the room when family had come to dinner. His injury. The mugshot.

Her throat closed, and black edged the library. “No. Please, no.”

Emilio laughed, the sound muffled. “You’re part of our family. And as part of that family, you will be loyal.”

Loyal. Family.

“You will be loyal unless you want to end up like them.”

The wreck hadn’t been—

She lurched from the chair and hurled herself at Emilio. Slammed her fists against his chest, into his stomach.

He’d killed them. Murdered them.

Iron fingers clamped around her wrists, threw her back. His palm stung her cheek, snapped her head to the side.

The seat of the chair drove into her calves, and she collapsed into it. Black fell over her.

And cold metal pressed to her forehead.

“You’re wondering why?” Emilio gave a sharp laugh. “Gian decided he’d rather give his loyalty to the government. He was feeding them information for close to a year before we found out.” His voice dropped low. “But not before they arrested four of our men and killed three others.”

The gun pressed harder to her forehead, and she jammed her shoulders against the back of the chair.

“Unless you want to end up like them, you will be loyal. Your grandfather will take you in, give you everything you ever wanted.”

Mamma and Papà murdered. Papà a government agent. Her life nothing but a lie.

The gun dug into her skin. “Do we have your loyalty, or do you want to die like your parents? And don’t think you can run to the cops. We’ve got our sources there too.”

“You have … my loyalty.” A lie. Just as her life was nothing but a lie.

About the Author:


Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Book Review: Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards

About the Book:

After years as a soldier and mercenary, Rasheed has retired from battle to run the bathhouse in Thebes with his friends Gillen and Eudocia. The simple life suits them, so when Venetian strangers come to town looking to hire the renowned crew, their answer is no. But when one of his friends is abducted, Rasheed is left with no choice but to take up his weapons and join forces with the Venetians, including the beautiful and clever Cecilia, whose betrothed has also been seized by the unknown foe.

As the reluctant allies face ambushes and the looming threat of capture, Rasheed and Cecilia forge a surprising connection. But as the party races to rescue their friends, Rasheed discovers that nothing is as it seems. As his trust in Cecilia begins to waver, he realizes that in the end, they will both be forced to make a choice between love and duty.


My Thoughts:

Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards continues the story of Rasheed, Gil, and Eudocia that began approximately eleven years earlier in Of Sword and Shadow. I recommend reading these novels in order. Although Of Daggers and Deception gives backstory, reading them sequentially establishes the characters and vividly depicts their prior actions.

Rasheed serves as the narrator in Of Daggers and Deception and the story hooked my attention early on. I stayed engaged as the plot clipped along brimming with danger, suspense, and mystery. Although Rasheed seemed super-human in some of the battles, he made an admirable male lead for other reasons: his wisdom, the way he valued contributions by women, his pursuit and protection of Cecilia, his bravery, and his devotion to the Lord.

Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards felt balanced – not too heavy, not too light. A recurring theme of God as a loving God rather than a dictator doling out commands and consequences added spiritual depth to the novel that I appreciated. At times, I found it challenging to keep all the warring factions and their motives straight, but the story earned four stars from me and has a permanent home on my bookshelf beside Of Sword and Shadow.



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.