Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: One Transforming Love

About the Book: 

Title: One Transforming Love 

Author: Erin Elise Kiu 

Publisher: Aviva Publishing 

Release Date: July 13, 2021 

Genre: Christian Fiction

Moving on from her past seemed impossible. Until she met the One who promised to give her a future.

When Aubrey moves across the country to San Diego to escape her past, she is hopeful that she can finally discover God’s purpose for her life and meet her future husband. She doesn’t know too much about God, but she is confident her new faith and a new city will help her leave her drunken mistakes and dating history behind.

As she settles into her new beach life, Aubrey meets Jake while watching dolphins play in the ocean. They instantly hit it off and it feels like fate, but soon, Aubrey begins to question Jake’s true intentions and lifestyle.

Is this the guy God has chosen for her? If this is the life God has intended for her, then why does she still feel so lost and alone, and why does she keep making the same mistakes?

Aubrey quickly realizes her past has followed her to her new city, and that going to church every once in a while isn’t good enough. After a few nights she’d like to forget, God shows her that she has a choice to make.

Aubrey can choose God and to do life his way, or she can choose to continue trying to find love and acceptance from the world.

Will she ever be able to move on from her past? Will she have the courage to surrender it all to God?


Purchase Links:

Fun & Holy (Hardcover)

https://www.funandholy.com/onetransforminglove

Amazon (eBook)

https://www.amazon.com/One-Transforming-Love-Erin-Elise-ebook/dp/B098FLGTMR/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=one+transforming+love&qid=1626288953&sr=8-1

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58473061-one-transforming-love?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=BBPgsZTdgi&rank=1


Excerpt:

“Do you want to go down to the altar for prayer?” The guy nodded to the front of the auditorium.

 Hundreds of people were making their way down to the altar, lining up for prayer. Some at the front were ripping up pieces of paper—the contracts they had made with the Devil. A few people were crying, raising their arms in the air, as people prayed for them.

Aubrey felt like she couldn’t move. She felt like for the first time she was awakened to the truth all around her. To this whole world with God, a world of good and evil that she didn’t know existed.

She thought she was doing a good job, learning about God and reading her Bible, but there was so much she didn’t know. No matter how much good she did, it wasn’t going to cut it if she didn’t fully surrender everything to God. If she didn’t rip up those contracts with the Devil.

She had already surrendered drinking to God, but it was clear she had to surrender everything to God. She had to surrender sex to God.

But there was no way she was going up to the altar in front of everyone. She needed to get out of there. She needed to process this alone.

“No, I’m fine, thank you. Have a great day.” She grabbed her purse and quickly moved past the guy before he could say anything else.

The tears kept falling as she made her way to her car. She didn’t know how to process this. She didn’t know how to surrender everything to God, including sex.

It was clear God had spoken to her today. She couldn’t pretend sex wasn’t a big deal to God. She couldn’t ignore what she had just heard—that she had been letting the Devil control her life for so long and she hadn’t even known.

She had already tried to stop sleeping with Jake, but it hadn’t worked. How was she supposed to stop? She closed her eyes and prayed silently as she made it to her car.

How am I supposed to stop, God? How do I just give up sex? How do I stop the Devil from controlling this area of my life?


About the Author:

Erin Elise Kiu is passionate about helping women have a transforming relationship with Jesus. After experiencing her own transformation with God and seeing how God wrote her love story, Erin’s mission is to help other women live the fun and holy lives they were created to live while attracting their future husbands along the way.

Erin is an author and blogger at Fun & Holy, a blog and community for women to grow together as they become the women God created them to be. She has also led Bible studies and women’s groups at her church to help women discover their identity and purpose in Christ.

When she’s not writing, you can find Erin on the beach or biking along the coast with her husband in San Diego.

Join the Fun & Holy Community at www.funandholy.com to get free access to women’s Bible studies, spiritual growth tips, and prayer guides to pray for your future husband.

Are you ready to become the woman God created you to be and attract the future husband God has for you?


Connect with Erin:

Website

https://www.funandholy.com/

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/erinelisekiu/

Fun & Holy Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/funandholycommunity


Giveaway:



Author Erin Elise Kiu and I are hosting a giveaway on Instagram, starting on Friday, 7/30/21. Hop over to my Instagram page and follow me to prepare for the fun giveaway. The winner will receive a physical copy of the book as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Book Review: Halstead House by Aspen Hadley

About the Book:

Grace Natalie Burke was named after her mother's two favorite actresses, but the only thing they have in common is the ability to put on a good show. Growing up under an iron thumb, she's never gone off script, yet as she stares at the candles on her twenty-fifth birthday, she determines to reach for more.

Terrified but hopeful, Grace buys a one-way airline ticket to Lavender Island in order to visit Halstead House, the once upon a time home of the only person Grace had ever been safe with, her honorary grandmother Mary.

When Grace arrives on the island she's immediately caught up in the warmth-filled life she'd always imagined.

What she hadn't imagined, however, was John Lucas Halstead or the feelings he would stir in her – especially when he’ll do anything to keep her at arms length.

Just as Grace is finding her feet, her mother arrives on the island uninvited, forcing Grace to decide where she’ll stand once and for all. Is it finally time to rip up the script? Or will she accept her role and return?

Only Grace can decide.


My Thoughts:

Halstead House by Aspen Hadley makes a lovely summer read. The descriptions of Lavender Island and Halstead House gave me all the beach vibes. With a cast of unique characters to support Grace, the story explored Grace’s journey to discover who she truly is as she opens her mind to new experiences and healthier ways of thinking. I cheered as she made her own decisions and did the hard work of setting boundaries with her mother.

Halstead House started off a bit slow as Grace makes her vacation escape from her extremely structured life. It took a bit longer than I would have preferred for the friendship between Lucas and Grace to commence. Not too much later, all the romance came into play. Grace and Lucas have chemistry and lots of kissing scenes, but the romance stays clean.

Halstead House by Aspen Hadley will likely appeal to readers who enjoy clean, contemporary romances with depth and some touches of humor. This is the first novel I’ve read by Aspen Hadley and I’m glad I have her other books waiting on my shelf. Four 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.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Book Spotlight: Change Begins Here by Randy Siegel

About the Book:

Like many of us, Randy Siegel felt paralyzed. He wanted to make a positive difference, but the world’s multiple ecological, economic, health, racial, spiritual, and social concerns felt too overwhelming.

In his latest book Change Begins Here: Adopt the Mind of Christ and Build a Better World, Siegel turns to a number of faith traditions to conclude that as spiritual people we must awaken to the realization that change begins here—right now—with us. By adopting the mind of Christ, or Unity Consciousness, we can become the change we want to see in the world.

In his down-to-earth style, Randy Siegel shares how heaven is attainable when we adopt the mind of Christ. Not just for saints, sages, and shamans, Christ or unity consciousness is something all of us can employ regardless of our faith. Siegel explains how with three practical spiritual strategies supported by insights, practices, and exercises.

The three strategies are:

  • One: Lean into The Longing: We are creatures who long, and the source of all longing is union, reunion, and communion with the Divine. When we lean into longing, nothing becomes more important than strengthening our relationship with God.
  • Two: Awaken to Our Presence: By being present to the moment, finding God in silence and stillness, and seeing divinity in all people, places, things, and situations, we strengthen our relationship with God and increase our capacity to receive and give love.
  •  Choose Love: We follow what Jesus called the greatest commandments—to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Change Begins Here: Adopt the Mind of Christ and Build a Better World is available on Amazon.

Readers are invited to join the community Facebook page: Change Begins Here: Change Your Consciousness, Change The World.


Excerpt:

"If there is anything that will heal our wounded planet with its immense problems of social injustice, ecological devastation, extreme economic disparities, war, conflict, and terrorism, it’s a deeper knowledge, understanding, and acceptance that we all share the same planet, that all humanity is but a single people, and that people and the environment are interconnected aspects of one organic system."


About the Author:

Randy Siegel has written five books, including the Amazon best seller In Search of The One: How to Attract the Relationship You’ve Longed For. For more than thirty years, Siegel has been inspiring thousands of men and women worldwide to “stand in their power and become the full expression of all they are” through art, workshops, and writing. 

For more information on Randy Siegel’s work, visit LinkToRandy.com.

Book Review: Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren

About the Book:

He’s in Deep Haven to relax.

Detective Daniel “Boone” Buckam is more than burned out. After fourteen stellar years on the job, one bad judgment call—and, fine, a whole lot of cynicism—has forced him into a mandatory vacation. If he can get his head on straight, there’s a job as Police Chief waiting for him back in his Minneapolis suburb.

But then he meets Vivien.

Actress Vivien Calhoun isn’t really a drama queen. Sure, she gets swept up in the emotions of life—but please, she’s an actress. Or, um, was until a stalker made her flee the bright lights of Broadway. Now, she’s passionate about directing her local theater production. But when she accidentally ropes an uptight police detective on vacation into her cast, she can’t help but wonder if he might be the leading man she’s always longed for.

Of course, she’s in trouble.

Boone can’t help but like Vivien. He might even have a type—vivacious and bubbly, with a penchant for attracting danger. He can smell trouble even if she can’t, and is pretty sure her stalker has hunted her all the way to Deep Haven. He’ll have to stay by her side—even if it means being in her silly play—to keep her safe. But Vivien is more than he expected as she helps him discover a part of him he’s locked away…the part that said he could never love again.

So much for relaxing.

It’s summertime in Deep Haven, and the fun is heating up in this laugh-out-loud, charming story.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren. The authors combined a sparky romance, a stalker threat, and occasional moments of intense action to create a story that held my attention throughout. While I struggled a bit to connect with Vivien, Boone’s loyalty and protectiveness made him a great male lead. They each had obstacles to overcome and life-altering choices to make. A satisfying ending capped off the book and left me smiling.

Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren stands as the fourth novel in the Deep Haven Collection. Although the story has a large cast of characters, some of which I recognized from previous novels, Then Came You works well as a stand-alone read. I think it would be fun to go back and binge read all the novels featuring Deep Haven as the setting never fails to charm me. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series. Four 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.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Book Spotlight: A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf


About A Soul as Cold as Frost:

"Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good fright... "

The Quarrel of Sword and Bone was a death sentence for anyone who stepped into the arena with the deranged Queen, whose soul had crisped to frost in an age long since past.

Sixteen-year-old Helen Bell understood tragedy better than most kids growing up. She knew what it was like to wear clothes from donation bins and be mocked by the beautiful girls in school. She thought those brutal experiences made her ready for anything, but she wasn't ready for this.

After an eccentric girl opens Helen's eyes to let her see the realm of Winter—a world with intersects tucked carefully into the cracks of our own, where monarchs have risen and fallen, it's forbidden to mention the name of The Dead King, and the currency is gold rings—Helen discovers things are far from ordinary in Winter. After trying to deny the existence of a disrupting train horn ringing in her ears for days, Helen receives a mysterious summons from a group who call themselves “The Crimson Court” to enter into The Quarrel of Sword and Bone—a traditional duel performed before one thousand witnesses that leaves only one survivor—and she’s forced to finally pay attention to the handsome boy who's been following her around with a warning on his tongue.

When the arrival of wicked villains propels Helen into the heart of Winter where there’s no going back, she finds herself being pursued by something else too—a whispered prayer battling on her behalf, and an ancient Truth that breathes living words of wisdom—the very wisdom forgotten by the Rime Folk when their disunity drove them to draw lines in the snow in an age of the past.

The Winter Souls Series blends action and warm Christmas traditions, bringing the old forgotten tales of the season to life with new and grittier versions of famous characters out of old holiday legends, folklore, and myths, such as St. Nicholas, the Snow Queen, the Scrooge, and the Nutcracker. A Soul as Cold as Frost is Jennifer Kropf's debut novel, ideal for fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Meredith Rusu and Ashleigh Powell.



Book Trailer for A Soul as Cold as Frost (Book #1)





Book Trailer for A Heart As Red As Paint (Book #2) 

Now available for preorder!




About the Author

Jennifer Kropf went to college for marketing and figured out pretty quick that getting a job in marketing was not going to satisfy her book-hunger in the slightest, so as soon as she started having kids, she began to write her debut novel and form the tale that eventually turned into the Winter Souls Series.
She is married with three kids, lives amidst lush Ontario farmland, and attends a fabulous church in the Wilmot Township that is intent on showing the love of God to the Wilmot community.
Her favourite authors are C.S. Lewis for the life he lived and his passion for God and writing, and J.M. Barrie for introducing her to Peter Pan and Neverland, and Stephanie Garber for giving her the Caraval experience, and also Marissa Meyer, Adrienne Young, and Marie Lu for writing books she could not put down.

Connect with Jennifer:

Instagram: @authorjenniferkropf
Facebook:  Jennifer Kropf Books
Twitter:      @KropfJen

Book Review & Giveaway: Mysteries of the Messiah by Rabbi Jason Sobel

About the Book:

Are you settling for half the story? Highlighting connections that have been hidden from non-Jewish eyes, Rabbi Jason Sobel will connect the dots between the Old and New Testament, helping you see the Bible with clarity as God intended.

Most people—even people of faith—do not understand how the Bible fits together. Too many Christians accept half an inheritance, content to embrace merely the New Testament, while Jewish people may often experience the same by embracing only the Old Testament. But God has an intricate plan and purpose for both the Old and the New.

In Mysteries of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel reveals the many connections in Scripture hidden in plain sight. Known for his emphatic declaration “but there’s more!” he guides us in seeing the passion and purpose of the Messiah. Mysteries of the Messiah:

  • Uncovers connections between the Old and New Testaments
  • Connects the dots for readers with details about Jesus, the Torah, and biblical characters
  • Written with the unique perspective of a rabbi with an evangelical theological degree

No matter how many times you have read the Bible, Mysteries of the Messiah will bring fresh perspective and insight. God’s Word, written by many people over thousands of years, is not a random selection of people and stories. Rabbi Jason Sobel connects the dots and helps us see with clarity what God intended.


Excerpt:

Unharness Old and New Testament connections and experience the Bible in Hi-Def.

As a young Jewish boy growing up on the streets of New Jersey, I encountered many things that influenced me. My parents and their faith were my heritage, but my friends and their ways were different. It was a little challenging to reconcile everything. But while I became fluent in the culture, even learning how to “rap with my homies,” I remained faithful to our Jewish tradition. Not just because I had to but because I wanted to. Yet I often felt there was something more.

At the age of sixteen I found myself one day in a state of meditation. This was something I did regularly as I attempted to figure out things in the midst of a world that was constantly pulling me away from spiritual things. It was an ordinary day but a truly extraordinary experience in that I had a personal encounter with Yeshua. This was the first time I’d ever felt as though the Lord was speaking directly to me. It was so unbelievable and yet so real, and I will never forget His words. He said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

In my innermost being I knew exactly what he was saying, but I needed to ask, “Lord, am I chosen?”

He sweetly smiled and replied, “Yes.”

I was overcome by the peace and presence of God— energized and in awe of the experience. I felt as if I were in a state of euphoria. This filling, which was much like an indwelling, kept me in a state of deep contentment. I ran down the steps and into my front yard. Not caring who was watching, I jumped up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs, “I am called to serve Him! I am called to serve Him!”

At this same moment my mom pulled into the driveway and saw her good little Jewish son running around in circles like a crazy man for all the neighbors to gawk at. Surely she thought I was mashugana (a Yiddish term describing a person who is nonsensical or silly). I didn’t care; I was so elated by the fact that God, the God who created the universe, wanted to use me.

Although she did not understand what was happening to me, my mother did not want to rain on my parade. There was only one problem. I wondered, What does it look like for a nice Jewish boy to begin serving Yeshua? I had no clue.

My best friend was John. I met him as part of a wannabe Filipino gang. We became close, practicing martial arts together and discussing spiritual things. By this time, John had become a believer in Yeshua and talked about it with me as often as possible. One day he called and asked, “You went to Hebrew school as a child, right? Do you think you could tell the difference between the Old and New Testaments if I read you some passages?”

I said, “Sure.”

He read me a passage about this guy dying on a cross and asked if it was from the Old or New Testament.

I said, “Obviously it’s from the New Testament because it’s talking about Jesus.”

He read another passage: “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. . . . He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.” Then he asked, “Is this from the Old or New Testament?”

I said, “It must be from the New Testament because it sounds like it’s talking about Jesus.”

John paused, then said, “It’s from the Old Testament, from Isaiah 53 (vv. 5, 7 niv). Isaiah was a Jewish prophet who lived seven hundred years before the Messiah was born.”

That got my attention.

After our conversation I agreed to go with John to the messianic synagogue led by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, who would later write the highly acclaimed and bestselling book The Harbinger.

During the service, Rabbi Cahn talked about being “born anew,” but I didn’t think a good Jewish boy should ever do that. However, when he gave the invitation, I stood up. Rabbi Cahn led me in a prayer to receive Yeshua. My friend had prayed to lead one Jewish person to faith in Messiah Jesus, but he never thought it would be me.

After the service I was given the first New Testament I had ever seen. I took it home, not quite sure what had just happened, and hid it in my room— God forbid my parents should find it. Of course, Mom did find it and confronted me: “What is this? Don’t tell me you’re a Jew thinking about believing in Jesus!”

By then, I had read the New Testament and believed that Jesus was the One that Moses and the prophets had foretold. He was the One who spoke the words of eternal life.

My mom was concerned and called our rabbi to meet with me. I knew I needed to verify for myself that Yeshua was the Messiah of the Hebrew Bible. As I studied in preparation for my meeting with the rabbi, I made a list of all the messianic promises and prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that I could find. I wanted to make sure I clearly understood and could articulate what I believed about the Messiah based on the Hebrew Bible and Jewish sources.

The rabbi asked me how I had come to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah, and I read all the passages that had impacted me.

I believe that by discovering the connections between the Old Testament and New Testament, your life can be transformed like mine. I liken it to experiencing your faith in high definition. When you “see” Jesus and the Bible in HD, you enjoy greater richness, sharpness, and clarity of details that you would have otherwise missed.

Taken from “Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today” by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Copyright 2021 by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson Publishing.


My Thoughts:

In Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today, Rabbi Jason Sobel calls for Christian and Messianic Jews to come together in unity by recognizing and embracing the Jewish heritage of Jesus. As the subtitle indicates, Rabbi Sobel starts with the Genesis creation narrative and highlights the evidence of Yeshua even in the earliest parts of the Bible.

Often Mysteries of the Messiah read like a college term paper as it was highly analytical. At times, Rabbi Sobel expounded on his point to offer a life lesson or spiritual truth, but most of the information was factual about how the promised Messiah presented in those events. The numerical value of Hebrew letters was a new and interesting concept to me that came up frequently throughout the book. While I was not always convinced by Rabbi Sobel’s points, I found his explications very informative and worth consideration. He gave the best explanation of the Torah, Talmud, and Midrash that I have ever read.  My favorite chapters were The Messiah, Our Passover (Chapter 8) and The Messiah in the Desert (Chapter 10).

I recommend Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today by Rabbi Jason Sobel to readers who desire to explore the Old Testament (and portions of the New Testament) in light of Messiah Yeshua. This book is precise and informative, appropriate for clergy and lay people alike.

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:

Raised in a Jewish home in New Jersey, Rabbi Jason Sobel dedicated much of his life in pursuit of a spiritual connection with God. After years of seeking and studying, he encountered God and found his true destiny as a Jewish follower of Yeshua (Jesus). Suddenly, all the traditions Rabbi Jason grew up with took on new depth and meaning as God connected the ancient wisdom of the Torah with the teachings of the Messiah.

Rabbi Jason received his rabbinic ordination from the UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) in 2005. He has a B.A. in Jewish Studies (Moody) and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Southeastern Seminary). He is a sought-after speaker and has made multiple appearances on national television, including the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Daystar Network, and the Dr. Oz Show. Rabbi Jason is the author of Breakthrough: Living a Life That OverflowsAligning with God's Appointed Times, and Mysteries of the Messiah and he is also the coauthor of New York Times bestseller The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi with Kathie Lee Gifford.

You can learn more at www.rabbisobel.com.


Tour Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Cowgirl's Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


The Cowgirl's Sacrifice
(Hearts of Oklahoma #4)
By Tina Radcliffe
Inspirational Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
July 27, 2021 by Love Inspired

This cowgirl has wandered back home…

Will she choose her past or her future?


Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

(Affiliate links included.)


Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)


Excerpt


“I love kids. I love spoiling them and then returning them to their owners. However, I’m probably not a good candidate for full-time parenting.” 

Kate glanced at Jess, then looked away. He’d be a great father. Yes, Jess McNally was a rules guy, and he was patient and slow to anger. She’d be a terrible role model for children with her rebel ways. 

The thought brought a wave of unexpected pain as memories of her parents and the big brothers who raised her filled her mind. She blinked back emotion and crumpled the napkin on her lap.
About the Author


A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is a Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Roll member, and a four-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Her Harlequin novels have won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion and appeared on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list. Besides her novel-length fiction, and her independent publishing releases, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A US Army Veteran, a former registered nurse, and library cataloger, Tina resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance and cozy mysteries. Visit her on the web at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/



Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of The Cowgirl's Sacrifice, a $25 Amazon gift card, Kitchen Aid Aqua Spatula, and Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering (US and Canada)

Ends July 28, 2021.


 


Grab Our Button!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Book Review: Pearl's Promise by Edwina Kiernan

About the Book:

A duty-bound heir. A dejected spinster.

An encounter that could ruin both their families’ demands for their futures…

Pearl Acton’s worst fears are coming true. She’ll be trapped in a loveless marriage—just like her parents—as her family seeks to quickly marry her off to the wealthy Mr. Clarence. Until an encounter with a quiet and soulful heir sparks a fragile hope that somehow Pearl might aid her family and marry for love.

Nicholas Dalton has always been a disappointment to his father, with his poetic soul and disorganised nature. In London for the season, Nicholas finds an instant connection with Pearl, but it would seem her future is promised to another. Or might she feel the same as he?

As Pearl and Nicholas each strive to uphold their family duties, they soon discover that things aren’t quite what they seem. But is it too late to escape their crushing obligations and forge a new path — together?


My Thoughts:

Pearl’s Promise by Edwina Kiernan started out slow as the author introduced the characters and their situations. My attention was a bit sporadic until page 92 when Nicholas sees Pearl for the first time. After that, my interest grew steadily, and I enjoyed the unfolding of their romance.

Nicholas, my favorite character in the book, is a good-hearted hero who longs to help and bless others. His devotion for Pearl grows quickly and his heart toward her is protective, unselfish, and loving. I liked Pearl as well, just not as much as I did Nicholas. Pearl is loving, loyal, and manipulated by her parents. Her actions and personality tie into one of the book’s themes that I found questionable and caused me to like the story a tad less.

Pearl’s Promise stands as book two in Edwina Kiernan’s Gems of Grace series, but works fine as a stand-alone read. I think many fans of Christian historical romances will enjoy this novel.

 


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.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Inventing Vivian
(The Blue Orchid Society #2)
By Jennifer Moore
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
June 7, 2021 by Covenant Communications

Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society.
 
After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.
 
(Affiliate links included.)


Other Books in the Series


Solving Sophronia
(The Blue Orchid Society #1)
By Jennifer Moore
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
May 1, 2020 by Covenant Communications

Lady Sophronia Bremerton is a far cry from the typical debutante, but she's the toast of London's upper class for one simple reason: she's a society columnist for the London Illustrated News, and the gentry loves seeing their exploits printed in the gossip pages. But Sophie has bigger plans - she aspires to be an investigative reporter. When a stuffy ballroom at yet another Season proves to be nothing more than the usual rumor mill, Sophie seeks respite in the library alongside four other young women who, for their own reasons, are also looking for escape. As the conversation turns to their secret ambitions, the women form a sisterhood and a bold plan: they will make their dreams a reality, no matter the obstacles. Thus begins the Blue Orchid Society.

Hearing of a murder in a London rookery, Sophie seizes the opportunity to prove her skills. Detective Jonathan Graham doesn't believe a civilian, a noblewoman at that, should be anywhere near a murder investigation, but Sophie insists on helping bring the killer to justice. Her investigative prowess doesn't go unnoticed by the police, especially Jonathan, who can't decide whether this intrepid reporter is a thorn in his side or the woman of his dreams. But as the case grows more complicated and dangerous, their very lives - and their hearts - may be at risk.

(Affiliate links included.)


Excerpt

Benedict listened to the sound of flowing water, willing his thoughts to still, but his mind would not empty. As it had been since he’d returned to England a month and a half earlier, inner peace was out of his grasp. He shifted on the bamboo mat and drew in a breath, letting it out slowly and trying to concentrate on the flow of energy through his body, but the effort was useless. He simply could not put aside his worries. In truth, he’d not been able to since the letter had arrived at his communal sih yu n house on Mount Heng twelve weeks earlier, informing him of his brother’s death.

In that one instant, he’d gone from being Lord Benedict, feckless younger son of the Duke of Ellingham, to Lord Covington, fourteenth Marquess of Dunworth and heir apparent to one of the oldest and most prosperous duchies in the British Empire.

And he could not be more miserable.

The clatter of carriage wheels on paving stones reached his ears, another harsh reminder that he was in London, not the tranquil mountains of the Hunan province. Benedict’s attempt to make a restful sanctuary in the loud, smoky city was nearly laughable. He glanced at his companion, Zhang Wei, noting that the man sat perfectly still on his mat, his face soft, his expression serene.

Benedict felt a surge of envy at his friend’s ability to push away all his thoughts and let his consciousness float.


About the Author


Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. She suffers from an acute addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.

 


Tour Schedule




Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of Inventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore and a $25 Amazon gift card. (US only)

Ends July 21, 2021.




Grab Our Button!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Book Review: The Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book:

Luke Delacroix has long had a reputation of being an impulsive adventurer, the wild son of one of Gilded Age Washington's most prominent families. In reality, he has been secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission: to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

Trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter. Luke is fascinated by the vibrant Marianne and her daring work as a government photographer, leading them into a forbidden romance. Now they must embark on a dangerous gamble to reconcile their growing feelings with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?


My Thoughts:

The Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden entertained from beginning to end. Luke Delacroix is a bold, adventuresome sort with a penchant for conflict. Thanks to his choices and romantic attraction to Marianne Magruder, the daughter of a politician he is trying to bring down, the plot had plenty of tension and action. Between the secret romance, the feuding families, and personal struggles, I delighted in reading this historical romance.

While reading The Princes of Spies, I noted and appreciated the well-rounded characters. It is expected that main characters will have flaws requiring change and growth. Luke and Marianne both dealt with internal and external issues as they gravitated toward each other. However, the secondary characters, such as Clyde, Vera, and Jedidiah Magruder, held their own complexity. The author captured how people are not always all good or all bad, but a mixture of both. Appropriately, Gray and Caroline stayed true to their personalities from previous novels.

The Prince of Spies concludes Elizabeth Camden’s Hope and Glory trilogy. Although this novel would make a fine stand-alone read for anyone who enjoys Christian historical romance, I recommend reading all three books in order, if possible, as I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

 


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.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: With You I Am by Cleopatra Margot

With You I Am JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for With You I Am by Cleopatra Margot, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


With You I Am
Title: With You I Am
Series: Bryant Family #1
Author: Cleopatra Margot
Publisher: Faith to Love Publishing
Release Date: June 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Christian romance 

Event coordinator Noelle Carter's main priority is running the successful company her grandparents founded. After all, they're the ones who raised her, and she's the one they entrusted their company to after their deaths. So when a letter comes across her desk inviting her to plan the Spring Fling in her grandmother's hometown of Balsam Falls, Nebraska, she's faced with a choice: stay and work on maintaining Carter, Inc.'s current success, or go and take a leap of faith--outside of her comfort zone. 

For contractor Wynn Bryant, helping others is the key to life's greatest blessings. Over the past ten years, he and his brother have built homes for those who need them, creating a reputable name for themselves. Between that and helping out at the Serendipity Inn, his parents' bed and breakfast, he's put his other dreams on the back burner for now. Until the mayor ropes him into restoring The Gardens with a beautiful but guarded young CEO from Mississippi. 

Connected by a desire to help others, Wynn and Noelle dive into restoring a neglected piece of Balsam Falls's history while learning from, and of, their own pasts. Together they uncover past secrets, current challenges, and help each other discover healing and forgiveness in ways neither imagined. Will their discoveries lead to love, or are some things better left as they are? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

EXCERPT


Loud, insistent knocking paired with a growl of thunder forced Wynn from his otherwise peaceful sleep. He squinted as he tried to get his bearings. What time was it? His fingers were still sleepy and lackadaisical, apparently, because he fumbled to grab his glasses and slide them on as the knocking intensified. Who was banging on his door at—he tapped the top of his alarm clock—two in the morning when it was raining and thundering and lightning?

When whoever it was failed to stop, he groaned and rolled out of bed, pulling on his T-shirt from the night before on his way out the door. Nova trailed behind him, her own growl more menacing than most people expected from a sweet girl like her. Lightning flashed, illuminating a short-ish person on his porch through one of the glass panes on the side of his front door. He hoped Ember hadn’t decided she wanted to have a chat in the middle of a rainy night—that had happened before, which was what concerned him.

But really? They’d been at the party until a little after ten, then torn everything down when the clouds got too dark and stormy looking, so did tonight have to be the night for it? He’d see his sister in only a few hours for church, lunch, and whatever came after that. Couldn’t she wait?

Wynn motioned for Nova to stay back, then pulled open his door. “Ember, if you—”

It wasn’t Ember.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cleopatra Margot

Cleopatra Margot resides with her family and their golden retrievers in small town Nebraska. Inspiration for her novels comes from both real life + fictional storylines she dreams up. She was homeschooled alongside her two younger siblings, and she enjoys traveling with her family. When she’s not writing, Cleopatra enjoys reading, time with family and friends, spending time near water, playing games, and enjoying life.

CONNECT WITH CLEOPATRA: Website | FacebookInstagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback book, a bookmark featuring a quote from the book, a vinyl sticker with a quote, and a $10 Starbucks gift card!

With You I Am JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 12, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on July 19, 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, July 10, 2021

Epic Book Launch: Rehab's Courage by Naomi Craig

Rahab’s Courage Epic Book Launch

About the Book

Book: Rahab’s Courage
Author: Naomi Craig
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release date: August 17, 2021

A scarlet cord tethers one ruined woman to the salvation of mankind.

Harboring two fugitives in a city slated for destruction, Rahab has one small chance of escape. In exchange for their safety, she bargains for her own. Their agreement rewards her courage, and she flees Jericho and a life of prostitution for a new life among the people of Israel. Never again will she have to depend on anyone—especially men.

Except Salmah won’t take the hint.

High ranking soldier and leader of the tribe of Judah, Salmah is determined not to repeat his parents’ mistakes. He will keep the Lord’s commandments. Rahab’s growing faith fits right in with phase one of his plans: find a wife who loves the Lord and settle down in the new land.

Rahab finds shelter and meaning in the Lord’s ways until her past comes back to haunt her. As her new faith is put to test, she finds herself alone. Isn’t that what she’d always wanted?

With her courage waning, only the Lord can turn Rahab’s life around again, but will He do it before she loses everyone and everything that really matters to her—to her heart?


Book Excerpt #2


Salmah looked inside the gate. An inner gate opened a few lengths beyond them. Sounds of people milling about bartering and arguing filtered out. Normal sounds.

Salmah assessed the slender woman. Her gray dress spoke of wealth, and its tight fit clearly indicated she didn’t have any concealed weapons. Dark eyes gazed steadily back at him. She didn’t even struggle. Like she had expected to be apprehended.

Nathan caught a glimpse of Salmah’s frown and twisted his head to see the woman’s face.

Her eyes darted around as a clamor erupted. Salmah crouched forward. Any second now she would draw attention to them.

Instead, she pressed back against Nathan forcing them both into the shadows and pulled his hand from her mouth. “Come with me.”

Salmah met Nathan’s contemplative glance. She was an enemy in enemy territory. They had no reason to trust her, but had Yahweh ordained this meeting?

Nathan shrugged a shoulder as if thinking the same thing. He released the woman.

For a tense moment her gaze darted between them and toward the inner gate. She beckoned them urgently. “Quickly!” She darted up a set of stairs set in the outer wall.


Purchase Link

https://www.amazon.com/Rahabs-Courage-Yahwehs-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B08V4DZBSN


About the Author



Naomi writes Historical Fiction set in Bible times.
She lives in a small town in the south-eastern mountains of Arizona.
She is an avid reader, Pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom.

Book Review: Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green

About the Book:

She promised a dying father she would keep his daughter safe. She can't fail now.

The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she would never have--a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears--until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World's Fair, and Sylvie's life unravels.

With nowhere else to turn, Sylvie seeks help from her boarder and Rose's violin instructor, Kristof Bartok. Fluent in several languages, his skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant and international communities where their investigation leads.

From the glittering architecture of the Fair to the dark houses of Chicago's poorest neighborhoods, they're taken on a search that points to Rose's long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?


My Thoughts:

In Shadows of the White City, Jocelyn Green weaves a story of a young woman’s disappearance (Rose) and the desperation of her adoptive mother (Sylvie) with the 1893 World’s Fair. This novel contains deep strands about parent-child relationships and mental health issues (specifically PTSD), both of which the author deftly treats with consideration and hope. Although this novel stands as the second installment in The Windy City Saga and can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading Veiled in Smoke first because some of Sylvie’s issues derived from Chicago’s Great Fire in that novel.

Meeting and experiencing Sylvie’s story in the first novel prepped me for Shadows of the White City. I immediately connected with Sylvie due to my own struggles with PTSD, but some readers may find her less captivating as she is flawed and a bit overbearing when it comes to her daughter. In truth, I disliked several characters in the book, including Rose. Kristof, on the other hand, offered Sylvie a respectful, gentle love that endeared him to me and made me hope that their slow burn romance would blossom.

In conclusion, Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green is a deep, thoughtful novel that I enjoyed returning to nightly. This historical fiction novel offered nuggets of truth to meditate on as it explored relevant issues amid a vibrant World’s Fair setting. I look forward to the next novel in this series. 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.