Monday, January 31, 2022

Author Interview & Giveaway: After the Prodigal Returned by Cassandre Brissot

After the Prodigal Returned JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for After the Prodigal Returned by Cassandre Brissot, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


After the Prodigal Returned
Title: After the Prodigal Returned 
Sequel to: Six Years and a Quarter Way Through 
Author: Cassandre Brissot 
Publisher: Independently Published 
Release Date: November 5, 2021 
Genre: Christian fiction/romance 

The sequel to Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, After The Prodigal Returned, is a relevant tale about the guilt that condemns and the remorse that leads to repentance. 

Leah Albanese thought the hard part was over. Little did she know it had only just begun. It’s been seven months since Leah heeded God’s voice and returned home to the life she was all too happy to flee. She quit Star Quality, the reality show that was her best and possibly last chance at stardom. Leah gave back the six-carat diamond engagement ring and sent Trenton Shaw packing. 

When filming for the reunion episode brings familiar faces back into her life, some welcome some not, Leah begins feeling the same tugs at her heart that led her to stray from God in the first place. Can Leah resist temptation, or will she go back to the things, future, and fiancé she gave up? 

Leah came back. She never imagined staying would be the real challenge. What happens after the wayward daughter returns home? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon



Cassandre Brissot 

Cassandre Brissot is a Brooklyn, NY native. She earned her bachelor of fine arts in television and radio production at the City University of New York Brooklyn College. Cassandre is the author of Six Years and A Quarter Way Through. When she’s not writing for her blog, she enjoys dance parties with her nieces.

CONNECT WITH CASSANDRE: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram


Q: What was the inspiration behind After the Prodigal Returned?

Cassandre: After The Prodigal Returned is the sequel to my first novel, Six Years And A Quarter Way Through. The series is inspired by real life. I understand a quarter-life crisis and the spiritual tailspin that often follows. Both novels were inspired by the desire to witness and help draw souls to Christ.

Q: How long did it take you to write this novel?

Cassandre: I wrote the first draft of After The Prodigal Returned in four months. However, it took me another few weeks for my first revision. That was followed by my third draft. After that, I went through professional copy and line editing, another round of edits, then proofreading. In total, it took about two years.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Cassandre: My favorite line from the book comes from the protagonist Leah. She says, “I’ve learned to look out the door before answering because it might just be the devil checking to see who’s home.”

Q: What do you hope readers take away from After the Prodigal Returned?

Cassandre: After The Prodigal Returned is a tale of redemption. That’s what I want readers to take away from the story. There is redemption for the weary soul who comes to Christ despite your mistakes.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Cassandre: An interesting fact about me is that I was Miss Black New York USA 2014. I placed top ten in nationals but ultimately lost.

Q: What are you reading now? 

Cassandre: For Christmas, my sister got me The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. The volume contains all six of Austen’s novels bound in a beautiful flower embroidered lavender hardcover. I’ve read all Austen’s works multiple times, but I’m enjoying rereading them. I just wrapped Sense and Sensibility and am now reading Pride and Prejudice.

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Cassandre: My family home has a “library,” an ordinary room fitted with built-in bookshelves. There are about five full-length bookshelves. Most of the books belong to me, but there are a few medical books, which belong to my older brother.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m reading. I thoroughly enjoy karaoke, rollerblading, and spending time with my nieces. 


(1) winner will receive a copy of Six Years and a Quarter Way Through, a copy of After The Prodigal Returned, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

After the Prodigal Returned 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 January 31, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 7, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Book Review: The Lady's Mine by Francine Rivers

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to the California frontier in this sweeping, romantic tale of a displaced New England suffragette, a former Union soldier disinherited by his Southern family, and the town they join forces to save.

When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

Read an excerpt from The Lady's Mine on Tyndale Publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

Francine Rivers rates as one of my favorite authors and I’ve anticipated reading The Lady’s Mine since I first heard of it. I don’t consider this stand-alone, historical romance lighthearted, but it felt less broody than other novels by this author. With Matthias’ flirtations, Kathryn’s quick rebuttals, and a handful of squirrely side characters, the book had plenty of mild humor.

In the author’s notes of The Lady’s Mine, Francine Rivers explains that she explored the question, “Can one person impact an entire community?” Being set in Calvada, California, an 1870’s mining town replete with greed, lust, and lawlessness, the novel probes the many ways an individual affects his or her community.

Equally strong throughout The Lady’s Mine, a study on gender equality plays out. Kathryn and Matthias, the lead characters, clash often as Kathryn refuses to wilt under blatant gender discrimination and boldly pursues her God-given purpose. Avoiding overly feministic rhetoric, the narrative follows the characters as they learn the necessity and benefits of mutual respect. Frequent swirls of attraction add a delicious layer of romance to their relationship.  

In conclusion, The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers will likely appeal to Christian fiction readers who enjoy gritty historical settings, a strong heroine, and a satisfying romance.

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.

Epic Book Launch: Re-Created for Faith by Ashley K. Adams

About the Book

Book: Re-Created for Faith
Author: Ashley K. Adams
Genre: Christian Nonfiction: Inspirational
Release date: March 9, 2022 (eBook)

Re-Created for Faith is the story of Carston Ford Adams and how the spiritual and physical world collided for his existence. When all the voices were crying out “death,” his mother believed for more. There had to be a purpose for these obstacles in her son’s life, but what? How could Ashley triumph over what was sealed for his fate? She was about to find out.

Through intense devotion to God’s word and prayer every day, God gave Ashley a fresh faith and supernatural strength to relentlessly pursue saving Carston’s life. This fight was not merely material but spiritual, a battle between forces of life and death. The hospital room became her training ground of righteousness as God taught her how to use the weapons He has given every believer to fight an enemy only interested in our destruction. Refusing to give up, Ashley experienced many breakthroughs-signs, visions, and answers for some of the biggest decisions she would ever have to make. Miracle after miracle pointed directly to the only One who could truly heal, which may have baffled the experts but spurred her on to keep fighting.

Re-Created for Faith shows what is possible when one mother refuses to back down to the enemy and how to anchor these strategies in everyday life to advance in our battles. When we go beyond belief to action, believing God for a victory regardless of the visible, miracles really do occur, and God’s glory is revealed…big time.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)


Our small talk was nice but it came to a swift end. We were there to discuss how to physically treat Carston, not how God would save him, which would have been a much more productive meeting for me.

They started by presenting many possibilities that could happen at Carston’s birth, most of which were impossible for me to entertain; I don’t know how any mother could. One major concern was that he could have trouble breathing due to the unknown spot on his lung, so in this instance, how far would we want medical intervention, if any at all?

It was easy for us to say we wanted Carston to have life, but apparently, there were consequences if we chose to help him survive—things doctors could try at birth that would work for the moment, but long-term could leave him on machines for the rest of his life. Then they gave us the option of comfort care, just letting him pass away in our arms once he was born. Could you imagine looking down at your precious baby so helpless and simply holding back the care that he needs because you’re too afraid of the unknown? They went on about several other plans and possibilities, needing answers to all of their questions, which were impossible to even process at the moment.

If your baby would be born alive, would you give us permission to intubate or use CPAP to assist breathing?


Excerpt One:

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Excerpt Three:

Excerpt Four:

Excerpt Five:

Excerpt Six:

Excerpt Seven:


Ashley Adams is an inspirational writer, who actively journals God’s voice and direction He has for her every day. Re-Created for Faith is the birthplace of her ministry. She blindly trusts in God for the next big steps to expand the Kingdom, faithfully using her social media platforms to encourage people through real-life heartache and God’s plan for it. Ashley lives to see souls saved, serving as a board member and director at Scioto Youth Camp: Reaching Kids for Christ, along with hosting Bible studies in her home for women of the community.

Ashely and her husband, Justin, now have four children, including their newest baby boy. They recently made a big move out of town and into the country. They now reside on what used to be her great-grandfather’s farm of over one hundred acres and are building a new home, excited for what the future holds. Ashley is determined to obey the Lord as He guides, raising tiny disciples through her homeschooling and pressing in on aspirations to adopt more children. Ashley’s faith has been tried by fire, yet she experiences God’s blessings ten-fold.

To read original posts from Carston’s battle, search #prayersforcartson on Facebook. For current updates and encouragement through life, follow Ashley on Facebook and Instagram @ashleyadams4faith.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Book Review: Stone by Ronie Kendig

About the Book:

She cost him everything. Now, he’s forced to protect her.

Stone Metcalfe embodies the Metcalfe legacy—blue eyes, an unfair amount of good looks, and hardcore patriot-laced character. But a foolish lapse in judgment dismantles his name and career. Humiliated and furious, he retreats to his mountain lodge to hide from media hounds and eke out a new life. However, one phone call from an old Army buddy upends Stone’s best-laid plans.

Supermodel Brighton Buchanan had designers and men eating out of her hand until a terrible mistake trapped her in the soul-eating world of human trafficking. Years later, she is used by her captors to take down the best man she’s ever known. The man she loves. Hope lost, she’s unexpectedly freed—and thrown back into Stone’s life. Being forgiven is out of the question considering how much he hates her.

Believing danger and her are one wrong move away, Brighton will do anything to keep him from being ruined again—even if it means going back to that life. As everything is falling apart and threats mount against Brighton, Stone realizes forgiveness is the easy part. Protecting her—and his heart—is another story.

My Thoughts:

Stone by Ronie Kendig swept me away in a flow of danger, action, and second-chance romance. Both main characters, Stone and Brighton, hold hurt and regret over their shared past. Their emotions and actions/reactions felt real at their unexpected reunion. Temporarily forced together, Stone and Brighton must survive the drama their proximity rouses as they face their past and present circumstances. Character development makes way for the rekindling of love, but danger still pursues Brighton. The romantic tension paired well with the suspense. In short, Stone kept me flipping the pages as I experienced the story.

In Stone’s introductory note, Ronie Kendig conveys her hope that this novel will shed light on the darkness of human trafficking. Within the story, potential triggers exist for those who have experienced sexual assault. The author condemns the terribleness of sex trafficking without dragging the reader too deeply down into the evil. She treads lightly with Brighton’s trauma, acknowledging the challenges of recovery without delving into an extensive healing process.

Stone by Ronie Kendig kickstarts The Metcalfes series, although characters from her other novels appear or are referenced. Stone stands alone in the sense that Stone and Brighton’s story wraps up; however, an overarching plot leads into the next installment (Willow - coming Spring 2022). Readers who enjoy romantic suspense will likely be interested in this series. I am looking forward to the next story.


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, January 25, 2022

Book Spotlight: Dear Beth by Alyssa Schwarz

About the Book:

After finishing his veterinarian training, Tye Prescott is back in Colorado and ready to give his relationship with Beth another chance, only she's made it very clear she wants nothing to do with him.

Beth Walsh is a hopeless romantic, except when it comes to her own love life. In her opinion, love is best left to the storybooks. But when a few nosy octogenarians decide to play matchmaker, she grasps for the only excuse she can think of to avoid another set up.

Set against the backdrop of Loveland's historic Valentine's Day letter re-mailing program, Tye and Beth must work together to convince the town of their rekindled romance. But Tye has his own plans of winning back the woman who got away.

Might it finally be time for Beth to risk her heart again?

Purchase at: Amazon.

Excerpt (Chapter 2):

If you close your eyes and listen, really listen, then you might just hear the whispers of heaven. All that’s required is that we slow down enough to hear that sweet song of peace.

~ Letter from a friend


TYE REARED BACK, his horse’s hind hooves barely missing his face as they kicked against the stall door.

“Whoa, there! Steady.” Mike grabbed the reins and tried to soothe the animal before it took Tye’s head off.

“You got her this time?” Tye wiped the sweat from his face and tried to focus on the horse in front of him.

Towels, check. Calcium test strips, check. Fresh hay, check. Helmet… Tye would add that to the list for next time.

“I think I can see the head. Just keep her calm, and I’ll pull the foal out.” He released his hold on the mare and waited for the owner to get his Appaloosa under control.

There were a lot of things Tye hadn’t expected when he’d taken on the position of large animal veterinarian at Sweetheart Animal Hospital. It was one thing to work on horses and alpacas under the supervision of his professors, but it was another thing entirely when the weight of responsibility fell solely on his own shoulders.

What surprised him most, though, was how many of the surrounding ranches already had him on speed dial. Officially, he wasn’t set to start until next week, but the town must have gotten wind of his early arrival and set the phone tree ringing. Already, he’d untangled a lamb from a barbed-wire fence, popped in on a goat yoga retreat for a hoof-related emergency, and rescued a dairy cow who found herself stuck between two trees in search of the greenest grass in the pasture. And now, he was elbow-deep in his first unsupervised foal delivery.

“I think she’s ready.” Mike stroked the mare’s mane and spoke to her in soothing tones, coaxing her to relax so she wouldn’t accidentally hurt either herself or the foal.

Tye monitored the mare, checking for any complications or abnormalities that could pose a risk to either of his equine patients. According to her records, Daisy’s last foal had been born breech. He was ready to intervene in case another emergency presented itself this time.

Tye was already preparing an epidural when the first hoof appeared.

“Not again.” Mike knelt on the hay, and Tye was right there administering the medication. A few minutes later, he was able to reposition the foal, and the rest of the delivery went without another hitch.

After a thorough inspection, Tye released his newest patient, and within half an hour, she was already attempting to stand and greet her mother.

“Well, would you look at that.” Mike gave Tye a congratulatory slap on the back, a sheen of moisture gathering in his eyes. “Before you know it, she’ll be off racing with some mustang, causing all sorts of trouble.”

Tye laughed as the older gentleman sent him a rueful grin. No doubt he was referring to his experience raising three teenage daughters. “You talking about the horse or something else there, Mike?”

The man pushed back the brim of his baseball cap and squinted into the sunlight. “I don’t rightfully know. But tell me what you think when you get to be my age and have a daughter of your own.” He chuckled to himself. A few tufts of gray hair poked from underneath the worn fabric. His kids might have been a handful, but there was no doubt the man loved his family.

Tye relaxed against the metal gate and smiled as he watched the mare and her foal. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

For the next half hour, Tye stayed in the barn to observe the two horses while Mike went about his other work on the ranch. As he stood there, leaning against the rough, wooden beams, Tye’s mind wandered past the barn walls and to his recent return to the Front Range. Coming back to Colorado had brought with it all the old memories—good and bad.

It had been his dream to work in the city, and thanks to his brother, Micah, he didn’t have to worry about who would help their mom with the family ranch. But despite his promising career, there was one major thing he wished he could have done differently. One person he’d never meant to hurt by leaving.

He believed in second chances, believed God brought him back here for a reason. He only hoped it wasn’t too late to make things right with Beth.

“You planning on sprouting roots and staying there?” Mike’s loud voice echoed as he entered the barn, a bale of hay thrown over his shoulder. “I’ve been gone, what, forty minutes, and you haven’t so much as moved a muscle.”

Tye looked back at the stall where the foal was standing on wobbly legs and nursing. “Just making sure everyone’s healthy.”

“They both look fine to me.” Mike dropped the bale by the door and crossed his arms over the gate. “Why don’t you head on back home and wash up? I’ll make sure to keep an eye on these two and let you know if any problems arise.”

“I guess that’s my cue to leave, then.” Tye chuckled. He gathered his supplies and loaded them into the truck. “But I’ll be back next week to check on them,” he called as he closed the tailgate.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.” Mike gave him a friendly handshake and waved him off down the dirt road toward town.

Warm air pumped into the cold cab space as his truck ate up the miles of grass and shrub-lined road. At the feet of the Rocky Mountains, the small town of Loveland was just a stone’s throw away from several of Colorado’s national parks, ski resorts, and the big city all in one. But at its core, it was a country town, through and through.

Maybe that was an apt description for Tye’s life as well. He’d been drawn to the city ever since he could remember, but despite his better attempts, his heart belonged in the country, with all its bucolic beauty and spirit.

You could take the boy out of the country, but you couldn’t take the country out of the boy. And no one could remove a certain red-head from Tye’s heart, not even that letter she’d sent him three years ago.


Dear Tye,

I’m sorry, but I can’t do the long-distance thing anymore. We both know the past year has been difficult, and it’s not fair to either of us to continue like this. I know you’ll understand. You always see the best in people, and that’s what I love most about you. I’ve missed you since the day you left for school, and I need you to allow my heart time to heal.

Take care, Beth

About the Author: 

Contemporary romance author Alyssa Schwarz is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines with a Master's in Geology & Geological Engineering. She also works as a professional watercolor artist along the Colorado Front Range and is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Alyssa's debut novel, The Glass Cottage, is set in the Colorado mountains, and is the first book in her new series, A Prescott Family Romance. You can find her online at

Monday, January 24, 2022

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson

Healing Skye JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Healing Skye
Title: Healing Skye 
Series: Coastal Hearts 
Author: Janet W. Ferguson 
Publisher: Southern Sun Press LLC 
Release Date: December 16, 2021 
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance 

People can’t be trusted. 

Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s suicide, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start? 

Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter. 

When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBookBub




“Skye,” he whispered. “Look at me.” He cupped her cheeks, and she raised her eyes to his. “We’re all broken.”

Her gaze sought his. Searching. “What if I’m shattered beyond repair?”

“I wish I could take away your pain, but I’m just a man. God can heal our hearts. Your heart. He can lift us up and help us go on, despite what life or evil men dole out.”

“I hope you’re right.” Her hands covered his. “Because I’d like to…”

He shuddered at the slight touch. “You’d like to what?”

Her teeth caught her lip, and she dropped her gaze to his mouth. “I’d like to try.”

“I’ll let you take the lead.” He lowered his forehead almost to hers, so close her breath stroked his skin. “However you’re comfortable.”

Her face turned up, her look penetrating. Heat charged through him, but he didn’t dare move.

Hesitantly, soft lips brushed his, and her fingers feathered through his hair. His pulse thudded, and blood rushed in his ears. His thinking stalled as she took her time exploring his mouth with her kisses. Gently, he kissed her back, and all at once, with every single fiber of his being, he knew.

There was no turning back now. He was hopelessly in love with this woman. With Skye.


Janet W. Ferguson 

Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. ​Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space. 

CONNECT WITH JANET: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Healing Skye, a T-shirt supporting the Manatee Network, magnetic butterfly bookmarks, prayers to share, a creative Bible study journal, a magnet, and a seashell from the author!

Healing Skye JustRead Blog Tour 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 January 24, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2022. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Book Review: A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

About the Book:

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she's never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Can Esmée and Henri's shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past and reunite them?

Read an excerpt from A Heart Adrift on the publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

I read A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz twice before writing this review. I enjoyed the novel more the second time and came away with the same conclusions. Laura Frantz is a master wordsmith. The lyrical narrative amazed me with its beauty and had me adding words like “mayhap” and “ken” to my daily vocabulary. The plot in A Heart Adrift held my attention, even as it meandered. Chapters 69-73 felt like a set up for another book featuring certain characters from this novel (rumored to be a 2024 release). With excellent historical details of Colonial Virginia, I learned much about this time in history and felt immersed in the setting.

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz rekindled my love for hot chocolate. Almost every day since reading this book, I’ve had a cup. Though my chocolate comes out of a pack, I enjoyed reading about Esmée’s chocolate confections and preferred hot cocoa recipe. Like Captain Lennox’s weakness for chocolate, a good romance can make me melt and the romantic tension in A Heart Adrift had me flipping pages to see how the romance would unfurl. The way the reunion came about disappointed me a bit, but Henri and Esmée still made a lovely couple.

A Heart Adrift is not my favorite novel by Laura Frantz, but I’m still a fan of this author and I’m glad I gave it a try. Clean romance readers with a taste for chocolate, beautiful writing, and historical settings will likely enjoy A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz.


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

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Path to Forgiveness by Lisa M. James

A Path to Forgiveness JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Path to Forgiveness by Lisa M. James, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Path to Forgiveness
Title: A Path to Forgiveness 
Series: The Prodigal Woman #1 
Author: Lisa M. James 
Publisher: Independently Published 
Release Date: January 21, 2022 
Genre: Christian Fantasy 

Reckless. Extravagant. Wasteful. These were all words that could describe Esther. Thirteen years of careless living had left Esther and her young son destitute. When her husband disappears at night, leaving Esther with the full burden of their debt, Esther has no choice but to claim her husband is dead and enslave herself and her child to stay alive. So severely had she broken the relationships in her life, she never expected a man from her childhood to speak on her behalf and carry the weight of her debt. Yet Esther soon realizes that escaping the demons of her past would not be so easy. 

Levi had little interest in seeing Esther again. When a promise to her father leaves him honor-bound to take her as his wife, he struggles with the bitterness he holds toward her for allowing her addictions and selfishness to derail her life. Yet, he could not hide the deep desire within him to be a husband and a father, even to a woman he did not love and a child that was not his by blood. 

Discover the story of a reckless woman in A Path to Forgiveness. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon BookBub


When a child was born in The Gourd, their parents had a choice to place them on the Rock of Seeing, a large boulder on a high peak in The Summit, where each child was given a gift, allocated by a Savan. Parents enjoyed bragging on which of the ten gifts their child was given which indicated that they would excel in that area. The gifts were perseverance, faith, beauty, healing, strength, wisdom, compassion, charisma, patience, and joy. Of course, the gifts of beauty and strength were the most coveted, and the least coveted was the gift I was granted as a child, perseverance. It was believed that those who were gifted with perseverance would have a life full of trials. For why would one need to persevere if everything fell in perfect alignment in their lives? And why would one covet a life full of trials?

I hugged my knees against me in the cold cell. Was it truly perseverance if I simply was forced to live through terrible situations I had created completely by my own accord? Could I blame the Redeemer for abandoning me now when I deserved the fate that awaited me? When I willingly lied to the court about my true situation to protect myself?

No. Simon would try, but no one would speak on behalf of a woman like me who had created a disaster of her life by her own choosing. A woman who deserved no mercy or forgiveness for her deeds.


Lisa James

Lisa M. James is an independent author, marketer, and former Sunday School teacher. She loves writing romantic fantasy novels featuring women of color for both young adult and adult audiences to enjoy. Her fictional writing is inspired by historical fiction, fairy tales, and Christian romances. When not writing, Lisa loves chatting about her faith, Disney movies, and football while drinking chai lattes. To keep up with her latest releases, subscribe to

CONNECT WITH LISA: Website | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a Peacock embroidered shoulder bag, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a paperback copy of A Path to Forgiveness!

A Path to Forgiveness 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 January 17, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 24, 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Book Blitz: Hesitant Heroes by Sharon Rene

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Hesitant Heroes
(Divine Destiny #1)
By Sharon René

Young Adult, Christian, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 336 Pages
September 7, 2021 by Anaiah Press

In a future where the planet is ruled by the powerful Global Collective Council, and religion is outlawed, Jordan Scott is chosen to attend Global Collective University because of her phenomenal computer skills. Shy and insecure, she has difficulty fitting in with the intelligent, worldly teens at GCU. She joins a secret Bible study and meets Matthew Thomas, a good-looking jock with a big heart. Jordan’s relationship with Matthew grows deeper, and she even manages to bond with her cranky roommate while growing closer to her fellow teammates. 
When Christian students mysteriously start disappearing from campus, Jordan stumbles upon the shocking truth—these students are pawns in a government plot, and she’s next on their list. Suddenly, she’s forced into a leadership position as she and her teammates journey from the European Alps to the jungles of Venezuela in a race to save the missing students and stop a political assassination. Fighting fears that have haunted her for years, Jordan battles with the strongest political force on the planet. She believes God placed her at GCU for “such a time as this.” Jordan will have to rely on her faith and friends to save the missing students and foil the evil government.

(Affiliate links included.)

Author Thoughts on Quote from Hesitant Heroes by Sharon René

Hello. I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes from Hesitant Heroes.

Jordan Scott and her friends (Team Seven) have become entangled in a dangerous political scheme of kidnapping and assassination. Jordan is emotionally exhausted and ready to give up, but her roommate Hannie won’t let her.

In this scene, Jordan has thrown herself across her bed and told Hannie she was quitting. No more sneaking around and putting herself in danger. Hannie argues that she can’t quit but her arguments don’t work until she says:

“God put you here, didn’t He? Even He knows you’re a born leader.”

Could Hannie be right? Had God placed her at GCU for such a time as this?

Hannie sighed her breath heavy with the scent of spearmint gum. “Jordan, you’re the Queen Esther of Team Seven.”

Why would Hannie mention Queen Esther? She never talked about God. Jordan wasn’t sure Hannie even believed in God. She’d never been to one of their Bible studies and she didn’t know that Esther was one of Jordan’s favorite Bible stories.

Are you trying to tell me something God?

Through the book Jordan has believed that God placed Team Seven at GCU “for such a time as this,” but she never suspected Hannie would feel the same way.

When Hannie brings up Queen Esther Jordan knows that God is sending her the encouragement she needs to continue down an extremely dangerous path.

“For such a time as this” is the theme that runs through Hesitant Heroes. I believe God has placed every one of us in a certain place at a certain time for a certain mission.

This is not always easy to believe. As a teen I hated living in a small town. I’ve always been a city girl at heart. I didn’t understand why God had put me there. I’ve had many ups and downs in my career. I thought I wanted to work in broadcasting but that was a disaster, then I ended up working in a corporate legal department which I enjoy. I’ve always been an introvert, but God led me to teach youth Bible fellowship classes and participate in mission trips and prison ministry.

God engineers our lives.

Can you relate? Are you a teen who hates your school? Perhaps you hate the city you live in, or your marriage is not the romantic dream you hoped for. At times like this it’s hard to believe that God has put us in a certain place “for such a time as this.”

I hope Hesitant Heroes will help readers understand that God doesn’t always place us in beautiful, calm environments. Queen Esther lived in a pagan culture and was married to a pagan king. (Not great husband material). In Hesitant Heroes, Jordan, and her friends, Team Seven, must risk their lives to rescue their kidnapped friends and stop an assassination. Nothing easy about that!

I pray that readers draw strength from Hannie’s words and Jordan’s belief that God does have a special purpose for each one of us. We just need to ask God to direct us and show us what He wants us to do for Him in “such a time as this.”

About the Author

Sharon René loves to write young adult and children’s fiction. Her young adult speculative trilogy has been acquired by Anaiah Press and the first book, Hesitant Heroes, released in September 2021. Hesitant Heroes is an exciting blend of danger, drama and a little romance. Relentless Rebels is scheduled to launch in March 2022. Her first book, A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace, was published in 2018 by TouchPoint Press. This is a book of short stories and devotions for elementary aged children.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed print copy of Hesitant Heroes by Sharon René (US only)

Ends January 22, 2022


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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Author Interview & Giveaway: Crown of the Warrior King by Henry O. Arnold

About the Book

Book: Crown of the Warrior King

Author: Henry O. Arnold

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: December 1, 2021

The desire of Israel…

the first to wear the crown is the warrior king

For decades the nation of Israel had no rest from her enemies. The people cried out, “Give us a king to lead us, to go out before us, to fight our battles.” And Yahweh hears the cries of the chosen. He plucks a king out of the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest of the tribes—Saul, son of a herdsman. The prophet Samuel anoints him as Israel’s first warrior king.

Under the banner of the wolf, the symbol of his tribe, Saul rises to prominence, winning the hearts and minds of the people of Israel with his success on the battlefield and benevolent leadership.

But when the nation of Israel cries out, “For the love of Israel. For the glory of Yahweh. For the honor of the king,” the praises of the people turn the humble heart of the warrior king into one filled with pride—a pride that has fatal consequences.

In this tale of triumph and tribulation, deepest love and burning rivalries, the new epoch is given a voice…and it is a Song of Prophets and Kings.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Henry O. Arnold has co-authored a work of fiction, Hometown Favorite, with Bill Barton, and nonfiction, KABUL24, with Ben Pearson. He also co-wrote and produced with Steve Taylor (director) and Ben Pearson the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith, the screenplay for the authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God’s Ambassador, and the documentary film KABUL24, based on the book which is the story of western and Afghani hostages held captive by the Taliban for 105 days. He lives on a farm in Tennessee with his lovely wife Kay. They have two beautiful daughters married to two handsome men with three above-average grandchildren. For more information please visit:

More from Henry

After the golden age of theatre in the Greek and Roman times, the theatre went dark, very dark as in Dark Ages, and for centuries it was thus. But it was the church that brought the theatre back to life by staging passion plays on biblical subjects. Since most people could not read at the time, it was a great way to tell the folks some Bible stories. The world has certainly improved its literacy skills since then. The delight I have in reading and writing stories from the Bible or on biblical themes has been with me for a long time.

When I formulated the concept of retelling the stories of the first three kings of Israel and matching them with the leading prophets of that age, the title of the series, The Song of Prophets and Kings, was a perfect match for the biblical/historical fiction genre. The first volume in this series, A Voice Within the Flame, was released last year and features the life of the prophet Samuel up to and including the anointing and coronation of Saul as the first king of Israel. Now it is time for the second volume, Crown of the Warrior King. This second novel picks up where the last one left off.

Whether the reader or listener is familiar with the biblical stories or not, I have written these novels in such a way that makes these ancient stories come to life in the modern world. When the reader/listener dives into stories that are 3,000 years old, it will be surprising how we all can see ourselves in these characters.

These are biblical stories that I grew up with and have read and studied all my life. It is a joy to get to share them with you in this series, The Song of Prophets and Kings.

Author Interview with Henry

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Henry: A love of Scripture. I have always enjoyed reading Scripture, and I find it not only supports my faith in God, but I see myself in so many of the characters, in truth, all the characters in these ancient stories. It wanted to share that passion with others. We all share a common humanity if not a common faith and these stories are as profound and modern today as they were 3,000 years ago.

Q: How long did it take you to write this novel?

Henry: Because The Song of Prophets and Kings was conceived as a series, I knew this was going to like running a marathon. I began several years ago writing the first volume, A Voice Within the Flame. I completed the second volume, Crown of the Warrior King, and the third volume, The Singer of Israel, before I found an agent and a publisher. I am currently halfway through volume four (working title The Fugitive King), and plan to start writing volume 5 (no working title as yet), sometime next year. The series will be finished in the fifth volume. So, you can see I am committed to completing this literary journey regardless of the outcome. I appreciate that WhiteFire has committed to the first three volumes. I love this process of writing, and God willing, will see it through to the end.

Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?
Henry: I would say Samuel and Shira hold that special place. We certainly know a great deal about Samuel, but we know nothing about his wife. Samuel had to be married because Scripture says he had two sons…both reprobates. So, I had the wonderful challenge to create in this first volume of this series, A Voice Within the Flame, the romance and marriage of Samuel and Shira. I had the freedom to create Shira out of whole cloth. While being true to the cultural norms of ancient Israel, I wanted her to be a multi-dimensional character that would be compatible with the large personality of Samuel. I hope I have succeeded in creating a woman that is reflective of her times, but also our modern times.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?
Henry: I hope a reader will see themselves in these characters. More important, I hope, a reader will come away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Scripture and the characters. We should be able to see ourselves in these stories and in the choices and actions a character makes in his/her life. When we see ourselves in them, we see ourselves more clearly.

Q: If the novel was made into a movie, who would like you to see play the main characters?
Henry: That is a tricky question for me because I know what it is like to go through the casting process for a stage play and a movie. Star power does not mean great acting. I would want the best actors that could be found who would apply their unique creative genius to bringing to life these great characters. That of itself is a tall order.

Q: What are you reading now? 
Henry: Colson Whitehead, John Grisham, Kristin Hannah, and Alice Munroe.

Q: How many bookshelves are in your home?
Henry: Not enough.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 13

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

Beauty in the Binding, January 15 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

For Him and My Family, January 16

Inklings and notions, January 17

deb’s Book Review, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

Splashes of Joy, January 20 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Connie’s History Classroom, January 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 23 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 24 (Spotlight)

Cats in the cradle blog, January 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 26 (Author Interview)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 26


To celebrate his tour, Henry is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway:

Friday, January 14, 2022

Epic Book Launch: Beneath a Star-Lit Sky by J. L. Crosswhite

About the Book

Beneath A Star-Lit Sky
Author: JL Crosswhite
Genre: Christian romantic suspense
Release date: February 21, 2022

Small town girl looking to mend her broken heart…

…Small town boy needing to repair his reputation.

Who knew those simple goals could unearth life-threatening danger?

Holcomb Springs has a wild past, and the wilderness outside its borders hides a treacherous present.

Teacher Ella Sommer is ready to forget about her broken engagement and escape from running into her ex. An overnight hiking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail offers what she needs to clear her head and breathe out under the stars.

Ex-military Reese Vega left Holcomb Springs with a bad boy rep, but has returned wiser, longing for a fresh start in his hometown. His hiking tour business offers that opportunity, especially when he can get into the great outdoors and let his past evaporate into the mountain air.

When Reese and Ella are thrown together on the overnighter, what starts as a simple trek ends up being filled with danger when they stumble across something they weren’t supposed to see.

Can they put aside their history and use their wits to get out of this situation?

Or will it be too late?

You’ll love Beneath a Star-Lit Sky because while the wilderness can’t be tamed, the human heart can.


The squirrel was probably hoping for a handout. Reese craved the quiet of the outdoors. It soothed him in a way nothing else could, especially after his injury. But this… this was not the kind of outdoors he liked.

But it was a peace offering for his brother who ran Holcomb Springs Outfitters. Maybe it would help mend the fences Reese’s enlisting in the military had broken in his pacifist family. He could only hope. They had wanted him to be someone different than who he was. They hadn’t exactly been in his corner.

He pointed for the group to continue on the trail while he remained behind to check on the stragglers. There were always stragglers. It gave him a chance to grab a minute of quiet. His headache had worsened from the chatter of the women. That and their endless flirting. He’d almost take another tour of duty compared to more tourists.

But due to his traumatic brain injury, that was no longer an option. And he’d told his brother, Raul, that he’d help run his outfitters shop until Raul got back on his feet. Literally. He’d had knee surgery and couldn’t lead the hikes and camping trips.


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Excerpt Seven:


JL’s favorite thing is discovering how much there is to love about America the Beautiful and the great outdoors. She’s a mom to two, navigating the young adult years while battling her daughter’s juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, exploring the delights of her son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native who’s spent significant time in the Midwest, she’s thrilled to be back in the Golden State. Follow her on social media to see all her adventures and how she gets inspired for her books!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: God Is My Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

God is My Hiding Place JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for God Is My Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


God Is My Hiding Place
Title: God Is My Hiding Place 
Author: Corrie ten Boom 
Publisher: Chosen 
Release Date: October 19, 2021 
Genre: Devotional, Christian

"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest."--Corrie ten Boom

Dutch watchmaker Corrie ten Boom, with her courageous, God-fearing family, sheltered Jews from the Nazis during World War II. This led to her arrest and suffering in prison and concentration camps--as told in her bestselling book The Hiding Place. Her dramatic life story and her more than 40 other books have prepared millions to face their own future with courage--relying on God's love to forgive, overcome, heal and restore. 

Through this 40-day devotional based on Corrie's writings, you will find inspiration to strengthen your faith, re-root your soul in Christ and increase your experience of God's peace. 

Receive the courage and comfort of the Holy Spirit, and remind yourself of what Corrie ten Boom knew and lived: God is your hiding place. 

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


“Day 3 - Becoming Childlike” – p. 24, 104 words.

God wants each of us to have the confidence that comes from knowing we are loved, valued and celebrated. The Lord paid a hefty price to be with us forever and to prove how outrageous His love is. When we understand how absolutely and extravagantly loved we are, we can pray with childlike faith, laugh with unreserved joy and be free to be ourselves.

In the midst of hurrying about and being concerned with so many details of daily living, we must always remember that God’s love can make us conquerors and set us free if we receive Him with open and trusting hearts.

Excerpt from God is My Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom provided by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2021. Used by permission.


Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands. After being arrested in 1944 for helping Jews escape the Nazi regime, Corrie spent a year during World War II in prison camps. After the war, she was invited to share her experiences in more than sixty countries and was honored by the state of Israel for her work during the war. Her life story, The Hiding Place, was originally released in 1971. In 1977, she settled in California, where she died in 1983, on her 91st birthday.



(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Hiding Place and One Word for Today!

God Is My Hiding Place 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 January 11, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 18, 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.