Saturday, July 20, 2019

Book Review: The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

About the Book:

When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. 

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.


A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding.


And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.


When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.


In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.


My Thoughts:

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings is good in so many ways. First, I found the story addictive, not wanting to put it down. It was easy to read even as it jumped around between the stories of David, Gillian, and Michael. Second, I could identify with parts of each character's struggle. I saw a bit of myself in each of them. Lastly, it was emotionally potent for me as I have some emotional baggage. Don't be surprised if The Baggage Handler makes you cry. I sure did.

I recommend The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings to readers who enjoy inspirational fiction. It's as short, but powerful book. If I described it in one word, it would be: moving. It is not a blatantly Christian book, but there are clear parallels between The Baggage Handler and Jesus, if you are a Christian and chose to take it that way.




Friday, July 19, 2019

The Mosaic Collection Author Spotlight: Regina Rudd Merrick

 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz  for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

For His glory...  

The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ's finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

...and our good

We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God's grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.

Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release & follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Regina Rudd Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 35+ years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and Carolina Grace (February 2019) in the Southern Breeze Series.

CONNECT WITH REGINA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

Cornerstone message from the collection: 
Trust God and do the next right thing.

I want my readers to know that they are not alone, and that what they’re going through is not unique to them. Life isn’t a series of obstacles to overcome, but a series of events that point us to Jesus, who loves us more than we can imagine.

Q AND A WITH REGINA RUDD MERRICK


Favorite place to read: In my bed - okay to be honest, on a balcony overlooking the beach, but reality . . . 

Favorite book character from childhood: Laura Ingalls Wilder - I know, she was a real person, but she made me want to be a pioneer so badly!!

Favorite movie: Tough one. I have several: You’ve Got Mail, Sahara, How the West was Won, Notorious, Star Wars. How’s that for variety?

Favorite quote or Bible verse: Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Favorite splurge/treat: Anything with hot fudge on it. :) 

Favorite character you’ve created: Lucy Dixon. She was so much fun to write!

Last 3 great books you read:  “A Bound Heart” by Laura Frantz, “Justice Delivered” by Patricia Bradley, “Where Treasure Hides” by Johnnie Alexander.

Dream vacation: A month on an island off the coast of SC, GA, or FL, doing nothing but soaking up the sun, eating, walking, and reading.

Plotter or pantser: Pantser.

In no particular order, ten of your favorite things (i.e. hot cocoa, a warm breeze, the sound of my kids’ laughter, etc.) : The ocean, chocolate chip cookies, a new computer, shopping for shoes, planning a vacation, decorating a house, my instant pot, hugs from my girls, my new wedding band, walking on the beach.




TOUR GIVEAWAY


Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew?w=600 
(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:
  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



 
See tour landing page for a complete list of authors & book release dates. 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

First Line Fridays: The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

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 lines from The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings:

"The sense of dread that began with Becky's email pressed Gillian Short deep into her seat as passengers filed past her down the aisle, a line of eye-rubbing yawns and bounding impatience."

Have you read this book? I just read it this past Sunday for my local book club's July meeting. If you follow me on social media, you might know it made me do the ugly cry! It's a small book with a powerful message that was especially potent for me because of my personal issues. Highly recommend for anyone.

What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!

About the Book:

When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. 


A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.
A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding.
And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.
When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.
In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Mosaic Collection Author Spotlight: Janice L. Dick

 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz  for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

For His glory...  

The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ's finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

...and our good

We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God's grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.

Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release & follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Janice L. Dick was born and raised in southern Alberta, Canada, into an ethnic Mennonite farm family. She has always loved stories of family heritage and the emigration of her people from Russia. Her aim is not only to share the faith journeys of her forebears, but also to showcase God’s sovereignty in the midst of that milieu. Besides historical fiction, Janice writes contemporary novels and short stories, blogs, articles and book reviews. Janice is the winner of the 2016 Janette Oke Award.

CONNECT WITH JANICE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Cornerstone message from the collection: 

I believe that God is faithful through all things, even when it doesn’t look that way. He does what he does, and is not accountable to anyone, but his love and mercy hold us up. 

Q AND A WITH JANICE L. DICK


Favorite place to read: On the couch, with the fireplace going, if it’s chilly.

Favorite book characters from childhood: Nancy Drew, Jo from Little Women

Favorite movies: Ever After, Indiana Jones…, National Treasure, Pride & Prejudice

Favorite quote or Bible verse: Psalm16:5-6 “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”    

Favorite splurge/treat: Anything dark chocolate.

Favorite character you’ve created:  Debbie Doram McCormick (The Christmas Sweater)

Last 3 great books you read: Wings of the Wind - Connilyn Cossette, A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny, anything by Chris Fabry, also love Sara Rosett. 

Dream vacation: Driving with my hubby wherever the road leads, for weeks! 

Hidden talent/little-known fact: Used to ride a Goldwing (as a passenger).

Plotter or pantser: Plotter; I love lists and charts.

In no particular order, ten of your favorite things (i.e. hot cocoa, a warm breeze, the sound of my kids’ laughter, etc.) : My hubby, my kids, my grandkids, books, did I mention dark chocolate, low-maintenance friends, lol humor, freedom in Christ, green grass and trees, my home.


TOUR GIVEAWAY


Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew?w=600 
(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:
  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



 
See tour landing page for a complete list of authors & book release dates. 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Review: How to be a Courageous Girl of God

About the Book:

Encourage the girls in your life to become courageous girls of God!

Featuring brief descriptions of dozens of  Bible women, your girls, ages 8 and up, will be inspired to become courageous, too, as they learn from the examples of strong women of faith--including Abigail, Anna, Deborah, Dorcas, Elizabeth, Mary, and dozens more! Each section prompts girls to read the complete story in their own Bible, draw a related picture, journal their thoughts about courageous women of the Bible, and think about how they, too, can be a courageous girl! This delightful journal makes a great standalone or companion to 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls and The Bible for Courageous Girls.


My Thoughts:

How to be a Courageous Girl of God: An Interactive Journal Inspired by Extraordinary Women of Faith from Shiloh Kidz Publishing features thirty-four women whose stories are noted in the Bible. Combining inspirational Bible stories with plenty of space for writing and drawing, the journal aims to empower girls to live courageously. Over a span of five pages for each woman, the journal directs the user to read the Bible story, examine why this woman was considered courageous, and contemplate a life application.

In my opinion, some of the stories in How to be a Courageous Girl of God were stretched. Regarding Noah's wife, the text says that “she must have shared Noah's strong faith and trust in God.” While it is likely that she did, we really don't know as it's not addressed in the Bible. For Priscilla, the narrative says that she and her husband spent time with Paul, “making tents and talking about the Bible.” This choice of wording is a bit misleading. While they had the Torah and other sacred texts in the early church, they didn't have what we know of as “the Bible.” Maybe these things seem nit-picky, but they didn't settle well for me.

The How to be a Courageous Girl of God journal is spiral bound with a cover that is slightly thicker than a normal paperback cover. Just from the mailing, three of the four corners have damage and the spine has substantial creasing. Considering that my daughter will likely use this for an extended time period, I think a hardcover would have been a better option.

Despite the things listed here that I did not like, I'm pretty sure my daughter will be happy when I present the How to be a Courageous Girl of God journal to her. At seven, she's developed a love of journaling and likely would understand the concepts, but I'm not sure she's ready for critical thinking and life application yet. Late elementary to highschoolers will probably benefit most from this journal.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Mosaic Collection Author Spotlight: Brenda S. Anderson

 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz  for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

For His glory...  

The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ's finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

...and our good

We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God's grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.


Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release and follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 31 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

CONNECT WITH BRENDA: Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Cornerstone message from the collection: 

Everyone has their own life story that brings them to where they are in life and molds their beliefs and opinions. The problem is, we live in a reactionary world where we don't stop and listen to what others are saying, and too often we're not willing to really hear the other person's side of the story. Rather, we react to their statement or opinion by pointing fingers, and we’re quick to not only say, "You're wrong" but we often resort to name calling. We don’t stop and listen to this person whom God loves.

In each of my books, God has placed heroes/heroines on my heart that I would normally struggle with and want to tell them, "You're wrong!": a pro-choice woman, an arrogant businessman, a bully, mugger, collection agent, to name a few. With each character, God has told me, "I love them. I want you to see the heart that I see." And that's what I've tried to convey in my books. Open up our ears and our eyes to see who God sees, hears, and loves.



Q AND A WITH BRENDA S. ANDERSON


Favorite place to read: It doesn’t happen often, but sitting by the shore of Lake Superior. That’s my favorite place, period!

Favorite book character from childhood: Trixie Belden - I loved how real and relatable she was. She was far from perfect, yet she was loyal to family and friends.

Favorite movie: This is ever changing. Right now it’s Avengers: Endgame. I LOVE the Marvel movies!

Favorite quote or Bible verse: This is also ever changing! Right now my favorite verse is Isaiah 43:19a “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

Favorite splurge/treat: Fannie May candies. Unfortunately (or maybe it’s fortunately …) there are no longer any stores near us.

Favorite character you’ve created: The main character in my first release and series, Richard Brooks. I loved his journey from broken man to bold Christ follower. Though his series is complete, he still makes random appearances in subsequent books because I just can’t say goodbye!

Last 3 great books you read: Oh, that’s tough, separating the Great books from the I really liked books. There’s a fine line, and it’s also a fluid line! But as of today, the last 3 great books I’ve read are: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

Dream vacation: I’ve always wanted to travel to Israel, to walk the ground that Jesus walked.

Hidden talent/little-known fact: I (used to) draw portraits. Someday, I’ll get back to that!

Plotter or pantser: Total pantser, which is unusual because everything else in my life is organized. I think this is God’s way of getting me to release control.

In no particular order, ten of your favorite things (i.e. hot cocoa, a warm breeze, the sound of my kids’ laughter, etc.) :
  • Lake Superior
  • Silence
  • Laughing and spending time with family
  • Reading (of course!)
  • Musical theater (attending, not acting in)
  • Singing with a small ensemble
  • Chocolate!
  • Baseball
  • Encouraging and helping others
  • The haunting coo of a mourning dove


TOUR GIVEAWAY


Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew?w=600 
(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:
  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



 
See tour landing page for a complete list of authors & book release dates. 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, July 12, 2019

First Line Fridays: A Reluctant 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 lines from A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund:

"Hang on a little longer, my lamb."

Have you read this book? It's been on my TBR for awhile, so I'm hoping to read it soon!

What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!


About the Book:


Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship's surgeon, he's in charge of the passengers' welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love. 


With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Book Review: Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette

About the Book:

Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband's brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh's head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.

Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother's death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah's father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.


As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?


My Thoughts:


Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette is one of the best books I've read this year. The author combined a captivating plot, steady romantic tension, and deep character development to create a tale that made me laugh, cry, and stay up way too late.

Despite her immaturity and poor choices, Rivkah is my favorite character in this novel. I liked her even when she was making her mistakes as the prodigal daughter of a priest. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rivkah and Malakhi grow individually and together. Many difficulties, some self-inflicted, trouble their lives and relationship. Brokenness, consequences, and scars made their journeys realistic. However, like the other novels in the series, Until the Mountains Fall presents a theme of something beautiful rising out of tragedy.

Until the Mountains Fall is the third installment in Connilyn Cossette's Cities of Refuge series. I think the novel could be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the series in order to get the vibrant, full experience. Until the Mountains Fall is tied with A Light on the Hill for my favorite book by Connilyn Cossette. Five stars!

Read an excerpt from Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette on the publisher's website.





Disclosure of Material Connection:I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Mosaic Collection Author Spotlight: Eleanor Bertin

 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz  for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

For His glory...  

The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ's finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

...and our good

We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God's grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.


Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release and follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 In a fit of optimism at age eleven, Eleanor Bertin began her first novel by numbering a stack of 100 pages. Two of them got filled with words. Lifelines, her first completed novel, was published in 2016, followed by Pall of Silence in 2017, a memoir about her late son Paul.

She holds a college diploma in Communications and worked in agriculture journalism until the birth of her first child. The family eventually grew to include one daughter and six sons (the youngest with Down syndrome) whom she home-educated for 25 years.

Eleanor lives with her husband and youngest son, Timothy, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta where she reads, writes, sweeps up construction rubble and blogs about a sometimes elusive contentment at jewelofcontentment.wordpress.com.

CONNECT WITH ELEANOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Cornerstone message from the collection: 

Launch out into the far reaches of the universe. Delve deep into the intricate wonders of creation’s minutest particles. The farther humanity goes, the more awe I feel at the God whose power and genius spoke it all into existence. As a very young girl, I relished the delicious thrill of feeling tiny in the face of vast power, whether under a giant prairie sky, or failing in my count of the sparkling night stars. Like holding hands with a grizzly bear, God’s thundering bigness against my feeble smallness terrifies and quiets me.

That shivery awe fills the pages of the Bible, where God’s mighty power and fearsome holiness are vividly on display. There I read of a majestic King, both perfectly holy and utterly sovereign. That’s the terror part! He governs every detail of history, and every detail of my life. 
But layered within that message is the constant harmony line of God’s pure goodness and the astonishing message of His never-ending love in the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus in my place.

“And from my smitten heart with tears 
Two wonders I confess -- 
The wonders of His glorious love 
And my unworthiness.” 
(Elizabeth C. Clephane, Beneath the Cross of Jesus)

I’m flooded with joy knowing I belong to a trustworthy, loving God who forgives me and never leaves me!


FUN FACTS WITH ELEANOR BERTIN


Favorite place to read: On my bed, or stretched out on the couch. With fuzzy blanket. And chocolate.

Favorite book character from childhood: Anne of Green Gables

Favorite movie: Pride and Prejudice (6 hr. BBC version)

Favorite quote or Bible verse: “Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” Dt. 32: 3,4 coupled with “He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph. 3:17

Favorite splurge/treat: Chocolate-covered dried cherries!

Favorite character you’ve created: Can I pick three? None of these are my main characters, but they appeal to me anyway.
Anna Fawcett, a wise senior whose insightful questions and warm caring transform those she touches. (She’s modelled after my own mother.)
Jesse Fawcett, her 24yo son who has Down syndrome. I love his quirky ways, many of which are derived from my own son, Timo, or accounts of real people with DS as told to me by their families.
Jake Adrian, cultish, controlling legalist, manipulative self-styled prophet, tyrant of his family, money lover and secret gambler, northern Alberta farmer. (It was alarming to me how easily his wonky theology flowed onto the page!)

Last 3 great books you read: Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

Dream vacation: leisurely British/European tour of great art, museums, architecture, history

Hidden talent: Pie-making. (“Maybe it should be less hidden,” husband says.)

Plotter or pantser: I plot by the seat of my pants. By that, I mean I have an overarching theme that governs why I’m writing the book, I make a rough outline of key plot points, and then I live with my characters day in and day out, letting the details of their characters unfold. Unbound (my Mosaic book) is my most plotted book thus far. Three-quarters of the way through its sequel, Tethered, I still wish I’d taken the time to plot this one in more detail.

In no particular order, ten of your favorite things: 
  • The swish of a tape measure  
  • The squeal of a power tool {These two reveal my eagerness to see our 16-year whole-house renovation completed!}
  • All my grown sons kibbutzing together (they’re very witty!)
  • A long conversation about Jesus and theology with whoever will indulge with me
  • Listening to Handel’s Messiah
  • Mowing our acreage, seasonally scented by lilacs, chokeberry blossoms, wolf willow, or alfalfa
  • Reading to/chatting/snuggling with my 5 (soon to be 7) grandchildren
  • Sewing (especially quilts)
  • Flower gardening (Lilies! Roses! Delphiniums!)
  • A deep discussion with my husband (or daughter, or sister, or mother, or friend)



TOUR GIVEAWAY


Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew?w=600 
(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:
  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
See tour landing page for a complete list of authors and book release dates. 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

cropped-justread-logo.png

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Stories of the Night by Lauren Smyth

 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Stories of the Night by Lauren Smyth, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Title: Stories of the Night 
Author: Lauren Smyth 
Publisher: Ambassador International 
Release Date: July 1, 2019  
Genre: YA Suspense

Alisen, a teenage girl, is routinely awakened by the same terrifying dream.

The nightmare gets more detailed and longer every night, but the terror remains the same. She tries to dismiss it as something she ate, or maybe a book she read, but then she meets Kale.

Kale is having the same nightmares.

Believing there must be a deeper meaning, Alisen and Kale delve into politics and biblical prophecy. Together, they discover that everything in their dreams has a counterpart in real life, which leads them to believe that something terrible is coming. Is there any way avoid this catastrophe and save thousands of lives? Or will their worst dreams come true? They must choose whether to turn to God or to each other to save them from the very end of the world.

Stories of the Night combines political intrigue, biblical prophecy, and military adventure into a suspenseful story that leaves the reader with the choice of where to place their ultimate hope.



EXCERPT


Suddenly Ethan was interrupted by a loud slam from the back. “Everybody out!” cried the lieutenant colonel. “Out! Quickly!”

“Sir,” protested Jay, who was right behind him, “what are we going to do with them? Where are they going to go?”

The lieutenant colonel turned to Jay and said something in a low voice. Then to the cadets he added, “You heard me! Move out of this hangar!”

“Find shelter outside,” yelled Jay. “It doesn’t matter where you go, just go somewhere! Hurry! And when this is over, meet back here. Go, now!”

The cadets had looked confused at first, but when Jay spoke they moved. Her voice carried with it an undertone of fear. Everyone ran for the door.

Alisen stood still, her thoughts in turmoil, her muscles tightening as her eyes grew wide.

“Kale!” she screamed, looking wildly where he stood in the front row. “The dreams! The dreams!”

His face drained instantly of color. “No,” he mouthed.

Alisen pulled McKenzie to her feet, her eyes wide with fear. “Hurry up, McKenzie!” she cried.

McKenzie shrugged. “You know the C.A.P. does drills,” she said. “This is probably just another one. No need to hurry.”

Alisen turned to face her. She put her hands on her shoulders and stared straight into her eyes.  “Maybe I’d believe you if it wasn’t for Jay,” she said. “She’s serious if ever anyone was.”

McKenzie darted a glance at Jay, who stood ushering the cadets out the door.

“Right,” she said wearily. “Come on then.”

Jay stood watching them as they ran outside. McKenzie stopped. “Where do we go? Why are we doing this?”

“You’re going to find out soon if this is real,” said Jay, replying to her thoughts rather than to her question. “Make sure you cannot be seen either from the sky or from the ground. And hurry.”

“Jay!” Alisen couldn’t think of words. She stammered for a moment, then realized that she had Jay’s full attention and that she was waiting for her to speak.

“You predicted this,” said Jay. “Tell me what you know.”

Alisen was speechless.

“Tell me what you know!”

Suddenly a loud siren shattered the still air and made their ears ring. Jay motioned them to hurry on.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 

Lauren Smyth is a sixteen-year-old homeschooler with a passion for writing, acting, and music. As the daughter of an Air Force fighter pilot and university professor, she has lived in many places across the United States and Europe, from which she gained her love of travel and foreign languages. She currently lives in Ohio with her parents and her two cats.  

CONNECT WITH LAUREN: Website | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a signed print copy (US only) plus (1) additional winner will receive an ebook


Full tour schedule at JustReadTours. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 8, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 15, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print US only. Ebook available internationally.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
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