Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Book Review: Times of Perseverance by Gregg L. Grossman

About the Book:

Times of Perseverance: Hope and Healing on the Battlefields of Life is a gripping narrative chronicling a Jewish man’s tenacious survival from personal and family traumatic brain injury, while capturing a transparent glimpse into the soul of a wounded man. His brother’s severe traumatic brain injury reveals that God leads a person to himself in times of tragedy. Moreover, his near-death experience which was a result of human error teaches about God’s forgiveness from Scripture. This is not only a story of a Jewish man coming to faith in Jesus Christ and his theological progression to becoming a Messianic Jew. Rather, it encapsulates a genuine, longitudinal account of overcoming life adversity and grief while providing hope, encouragement, and inspiration to the wounded of society.

Gregg’s experiential account of loss from the coronavirus breathes comfort into the wearied soul contemplating meaning to life in this twenty-first-century postmodern era. Hence this poignant story inspires the reader to acquire life purpose and experience restoration on their battlefields of life.

My Thoughts:

My fascination with stories of those who transition from Reformed Judaism to Messianic Judaism or Christianity led me to read Times of Perseverance by Gregg L. Grossman. Part-memoir, part-devotional, this book chronicles various life events and the resulting spiritual lessons. Occasionally, I wanted more details about an event, but I respect the author’s desire for privacy about certain matters. The devotional portions reflected practical, hard-won wisdom and spiritual truths.

Times of Perseverance demands to be read slowly. One chapter per day was ideal for me. The writing is often analytic and academic, but I enjoyed that aspect because it forced me to pay greater attention to the narrative. The journal entries that the author included were stunningly beautiful. Though Time of Perseverance is unique in its format and writing style, I stayed interested through the entire book and found it encouraging during a difficult season.


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

Monday, March 28, 2022

Book Spotlight: Refuge From the Storm by Kristina Hall

About the Book: 

Title: Refuge From the Storm

Series: Refuge, #2

Author: Kristina Hall

Genre: Christian Dystopian/Suspense

Publication date: 03/22/2022

Doubt. Persecution. Forgiveness.

Tony Dorence should be dead. But after months in prison, he’s home. Yet even at home, he’s not safe from trials that hit from every angle.

Merri Dorence couldn’t be more thankful her brother is home, yet doubts have attacked her newfound faith and left her questioning all too much.

When they face a threat greater than either of them could’ve imagined, will they find refuge from the storm or be overcome by a relentless evil?

Excerpt (Scene 2):

Monday. Another day in an endless sea of days.

Merri Dorence stacked the breakfast dishes in the sink and grabbed the dry sponge.

Matilda’s house slippers rasped against the linoleum floor. “I told you I’d do that for you, honey. Wes and I didn’t move in here so you could wait on us.”

No, they’d moved in with her eight months ago to keep her from losing the house because she was on the government’s do-not-hire list.

She dropped the sponge into the sink and turned, a smile pasted to her lips. “It’s okay. I’ve got it.”

The lines on Matilda’s worn face deepened. “It’s best to keep busy, isn’t it?”

That’s what people always said. Too bad the kind of busy she had didn’t keep the thoughts at bay. “I guess.” She forced the smile a little wider. “Wes is reading his Bible on the porch. It’s a really nice day. Almost kind of warm.”

Matilda laughed, the light sound filling the kitchen. “I see what you’re doing. Trying to keep me from staring over your shoulder.”

Merri let herself laugh along with her. “I’m afraid you’re going to push me aside and wash them yourself.”

Matilda patted her arm. “Excuses. Excuses. But I don’t need an excuse to go sit in the nice weather with my Wes.”

The floor creaked as she walked away.

Merri turned to the sink. The Smythes had been married for close to sixty years, and they still loved each other, still enjoyed being in each other’s company.

They had something she’d never have.

Ah, jealousy wasn’t a good thing. Better she’d found out who Drew really was before she’d married him.

She turned on the faucet with more force than necessary, wet the sponge, and squirted a good amount of soap on it.

The front door squealed open, and low voices filtered from the living room.

Matilda’s and … Brent’s? What was he doing here on a Monday?

Matilda’s footsteps again scuffed behind her. “Brent’s here. He’s wanting to talk to you.”

She dropped the sponge into the sink, rinsed her hands, toweled them dry, then eased around. “Why?”

Matilda shrugged her fragile shoulders. “All he said was that he wanted to talk to you.”

Why to her? Why not to Wes or Matilda?

Scrambled eggs and toast twisted in her stomach.

Matilda offered her a smile probably meant to be comforting. “I left him sitting on the couch. I’ll keep Wes company outside while you all talk.”

“You don’t need to do that.” No, she needed Matilda with her to keep the conversation going.

Matilda smoothed a hand down her light blue cardigan. “He asked to speak to you alone.”

That didn’t do anything good for her breakfast. “Did he say something about Tony? Does—does he have news?”

Matilda took her arm and guided her toward the living room. “He didn’t say. Just go in there and talk to him. I’ll be outside. And I’ll be praying.”

She needed those prayers. How she needed them.

She slipped into the living room. Matilda shuffled out the front door and closed it behind her.

Brent sat on the couch, hands clenching his knees, dark brown hair disheveled. He pushed to his feet, tried for a smile, and failed. “Merri.”

“Hi.” Of all the lame ways to greet him. She edged farther into the living room. “You wanted … wanted to see me?”

He nodded and shoved his hands in the pockets of his ratty jeans. “There’s no easy way to say this.”

She was going to throw up. That or grab Wes’s concordance from the coffee table and hurl it across the room. “Then just say it.” Nothing about the last ten months had been easy. And nothing about the next ten months would be either. Or the ones after that.

He pressed his lips together. “I’ve got a friend who used to be in the military. You know, he’s still got connections. Well, he called me last night and told me the government has ordered that everybody in the government prisons is to … is to be … executed.”

No. Not Tony. No. Lord, please don’t let that happen. Please no.

He rounded the coffee table and gripped her arm. “You might want to sit down.”

“Is he …? When …?” Shaking swept over her.

He led her to the couch and tugged her down beside him. “C’mon. Breathe. You’ve got to breathe.” He settled his hand on her back and rubbed spastic circles.

She hauled in a breath. “Please answer me.”

He kept rubbing. “I don’t know what prisons they’ve done. All I know is my friend said they started late last week. That they’ll announce the whole thing when they’re done.”

He could be dead. He could’ve been dead for days.

She bent over, hands braced against her knees, eyes on fire. “Why? Why are—are they doing this?”

He pulled his hand from her back. “I don’t know. My friend didn’t know either. He was thinking maybe because the economy’s so bad. It takes a ton of money to keep all those prisoners. Or … or maybe it’s some kind of message. You know most of the people in there are basically political prisoners. Maybe it’s a message to people who’d try to stand against the government. But I don’t know. Maybe they’re emptying out the prisons so they can refill them.”

“He could be dead. He could be dead right now.” Tears escaped and dropped onto her jeans.

He gripped her shoulder. “If he is, he’s in heaven. But either way, God’s with him.”

She swiped the back of her hand across her eyes and shoved to her feet. She couldn’t fall apart in front of Brent. “I’ve—I’ve got … got things to do.” She couldn’t thank him for coming, couldn’t do anything but hurry from the room.

But even then, she couldn’t escape Brent’s words and the truth behind them.

About the Author:

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

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Easter with Pure Flix: Movie Review & Giveaway

It's Easter season!

Today's post is a bit out of my normal sphere as I'm talking about preparing for Easter using movies, specifically with the movies available through Pure Flix, an online movie streaming service.

For most Christians, Jesus' death and resurrection stand as hallmarks of their faith. Pure Flix offers films to help deepen one's understanding of these monumental moments in human history. Options include: modern Easter movies, classic Easter movies, Easter movies for kids, and Easter documentaries.

While The Passion of the Christ will always have a place in my movie drawer, this year I'm going for less-intense Easter movies. I started with a documentary designed to bring the user into the Middle East and dig into the History of Easter. My review of Behold the Man: History of the Real Jesus is below, but I will say here that it was a good reminder of what Jesus endured and why I believe in Him.

Here's a link to PureFlix Easter Movies. Read on for my review and to enter the giveaway. 👇

About the Movie:

 Behold the Man: History of the Real Jesus
Genre: Documentary
Rating: NR
Length: 43 Minutes.

Three scholars help prove that the extraordinary claims made by and about Jesus warrant serious consideration today.

SIGN UP for Pure Flix now to prepare for Easter!

My Thoughts:

Behold the Man: History of the Real Jesus is a documentary featuring Jakob Van Bruggen, Ph.D., Steven Notley, Ph.D., and Michael Green, Ph.D. These experts address three questions essential to the Christian faith: 
  •  Did Jesus really exist? 
  •  Was Jesus just a human being or more than this?  
  •  Did Jesus really rise from the dead?  

Relying mainly on the Holy Bible and the writings of Josephus, the scholars bring out their explanations to these questions. Dr. Steven Notley's contributions were often my favorite as they addressed the problems of lifting stories out of Jewish culture. He gave insights into the historical setting of the Bible as well as how Jesus and his teachings were viewed and received in his day.

Behold the Man is certainly suitable for personal viewing, but I think it would also work well in a Christian high school or new believer's Sunday School class. Most of the content was review to me, though there were a few things I hadn't heard before. I enjoyed the refreshment of ideas and the focus on Jesus. 

One thing to note about Behold the Man: History of the Real Jesus is that it was made in the year 2000, without the benefit of 4K, high definition cameras. It uses full screen format rather than the now-popular wide screen format.

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own. 


One reader of this post will receive a 3-month Pure Flix subscription. Similar to Netflix, but with a Christian ethos, Pure Flix offers many faith-based movies for online viewing.

Enter by leaving a comment on this post that includes your name and email address.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Book Review: Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen

About the Book:

This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts.

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary.Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

My Thoughts:

Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen contained all my favorite story elements: emotional depth, perfectly paced character development, and swirling romance. The characters in this beautiful story experience loss and brokenness with genuine sorrow; yet, the novel is not a heavy read. By the time I got a few chapters in, Sloane and her story had me captivated to the point I read through most of the book one Sunday afternoon. Sloane rates as my favorite character, but Jack is another favorite because he’s so honest and raw about his struggles. I loved the authenticity to the characters and their journeys.

I appreciated the themes in Roots of Wood and Stone. Perhaps the most poignant for me was about finding redemption even when restoration isn’t possible. I’ll leave a favorite quote here: “Though painful, Papa’s abandonment had led her here. To Jack. To this hard, messy, wonderful adventure of a life. The Lord had indeed wrought beauty for her life’s most bitter moments.”

Roots of Wood and Stone, Amanda Wen’s debut novel and first in the Sedgwick County Chronicles series, surpassed my expectations. Reading this story was time well-spent. I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy Christian fiction with romance and depth. 4.5 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.

Blog Blitz: Battle Prayers by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling

Battle Prayers JustRead Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Battle Prayers by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Battle Prayers Title: Battle Prayers 
Author: Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling 
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: Feb 15, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Spiritual Growth, Prayer 

Do the unending obstacles you face make you feel like you’re in a constant spiritual battle? Arm yourself with 100 prayers that will uplift and encourage you during the difficult moments of life. 

It can be difficult to find the right words when you’re praying through hard times. In Battle Prayers, find a classic model to lift your prayers to God, not only for yourself, but others. 

Each prayer is woven together with Scripture, reminding you that the answers to your struggles can be found in God’s Word and by listening to Him. Battle Prayers: 

1. Shows how the power of prayer can lead you to find lasting encouragement 

2. Provides inspiration and theological accuracy 

3. Offers prayers ideal for helping move the mountains that can sometimes stand in between us and God 

Whether a gift or for yourself, this volume of 100 prayers features: 

1. Specific Scriptures and cross-references to other prayers in the book for additional encouragement 

2. First-person prayers addressed directly to God, ideal for reading aloud during morning, evening, or devotional prayer time 

3. A helpful and encouraging Appendix: "The 10 Essential Qualities of an Effective Battle Prayer" 

Prayer doesn’t stop with the “Amen,” and is merely the beginning of deeper, daily, more meaningful communication with our Creator. Find peace in stress, healing for broken relationships, and protection for your loved ones in this essential volume of prayers.

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


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Battle Prayers!

Battle Prayers JustRead Blog Blitz

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 23, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 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.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Book Review: In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

About the Book:

It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha's Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell--Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

Read an excerpt from In Search of a Prince on the publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh boasts a beautiful cover that invites the reader into the world of Ọlọrọ Ilé, an island kingdom off the coast of Africa. Descriptive world crafting by the author made this fictional island a vibrant place for Brielle’s unexpected journey from middle school teacher to royalty. Genuine feelings and thoughts laced Brielle’s new season of life and contributed to her substantial character growth.  

As the book synopsis for In Search of a Prince indicates, Brielle must choose a husband before she ascends the throne. Naturally, this external tension surrounds Brielle and her man. However, they complement each other so well that little romantic tension exists between the two of them. I wished for a little more conflict between personalities or within their relationship to add spark.

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh felt akin to The Princess Diaries movies and a bit predictable. I prefer novels with more originality, but the story’s strong emphasis on seeking God’s direction set In Search of a Prince apart from like stories. Readers who can overlook the storyline’s familiarity will find a slow-burn royal romance with strong spiritual themes and solid character development. 

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, March 16, 2022

Author Interview & Giveaway: Weep in the Night by Valerie Massey Goree

About the Book

Book: Weep in the Night

Author: Valerie Massey Goree

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: October 24, 2014

After three years in the witness protection program, Sadie Malone’s life in Texas is bland and humdrum—until she meets a new co-worker. Bowen Boudine ignites a flame in Sadie’s long-dormant heart, but when she discovers he knows her true identity, she attempts to flee. He thwarts her escape and reveals the reason he’s been sent to locate her. Bowen, a seasoned operative with International Retrieval Organization takes his job escorting Sadie safely back to California seriously, but quickly finds he’s falling for her. Can he maintain a professional relationship while he protects her from the crime boss her testimony helped to convict?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award winner Valerie Massey Goree resides with her husband on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

After serving as missionaries in her home country of Zimbabwe and raising two children, Glenn and Valerie moved to Texas. She worked in the public school system for many years, focusing on students with special needs. Now retired in Washington, Valerie spends her time writing, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Novels include: Deceive Me Once; Colors of Deceit; The Stolen Lives Trilogy, Weep in the Night; Day of Reckoning; and Justice at Dawn, to be released July, 2021. Valerie’s latest novel Forever Under Blue Skies, is now available from Amazon.

Valerie loves to hear from her readers.

More from Valerie

Story ideas invade my mind at the oddest moments. One day as I sorted laundry, I thought how interesting it would be to begin a novel with: “I’d been in the Witness Protection Program for three years when my identity was compromised.”

The idea bubbled and churned in my mind for a while. When I sat down to outline possible scenarios, the ideas hit me like an avalanche. Why was she in WITSEC? Who outed her? I scribbled as fast as I could—yes, I’m behind the times and use paper and pencil to plot my novels.

And so IRO was born. The International Retrieval Organization is my topnotch investigative service, with unlimited resources and experienced operatives.

Weep in the Night is the first novel in my Stolen Lives Trilogy. IRO agents are the heroes or heroines in the series. Which agent will save the day?

Interview with Valerie

 What was the inspiration behind the novel?

Valerie: Possible plots and story ideas are always swirling in my mind as I do mundane chores. One day as I sorted laundry, I generated this opening sentence: “I’d been in the Witness Protection Program for three years when my identity was compromised.”

WITSEC, the Federal Witness Protection Program, has always fascinated me. Now I had reason to conduct research and flesh out my plot. And so IRO was born. The International Retrieval Organization is my topnotch investigative service, with unlimited resources and experienced operatives.

Although I didn’t begin Weep in the Night with that sentence or write in the first person, WTSEC does play a major role in the story. Weep is the first novel in my Stolen Lives Trilogy. IRO agents are the heroes or heroines in the series.

Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?

Valerie: Yes, Sadie, my heroine. She endured so much sorrow and loss, yet tried to continue a life without her family. To top it all off, she had to leave behind friends and everything familiar when she entered WITSEC. Have you ever wondered how difficult that would be? She can’t discuss anything that happened in her previous life. No one to share her memories or accomplishments or dreams for the future. I had to give her hope and a happy ending.

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

Valerie: I have many, but this one gives an indication of Sadie’s struggle with a new dream.

Bowen filled the sink and rolled up his sleeves.

A tiny sigh puffed through her (Sadie’s) lips. With his (Bowen’s) muscled forearms deep in suds, he looked nothing like a bodyguard. Images of future domestic bliss warred with her resolve to forget him once she… (I don’t want to give away the plot.)

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Valerie: After surviving tragedy, Sadie drove a wedge between herself and God. However, she didn’t hardened her heart. As time passed, she heard and heeded the “still, small voice.” (I Kings 19:12) As she grew closer to God again, she was able to help Bowen in his spiritual journey. As we face hardships, it’s important to remember God never separates himself from us. Even while enduring pain and suffering, we need to be open to His whisper.

Q: In what setting do you enjoy writing the most?

Valerie: My optimal setting is sitting at my desk while music plays in the background, jazz, classical, or easy listening. Occasionally I’ll play a CD— yes, I’m old fashioned and have a three-CD player in my office—with upbeat words or music that I can sing along to just to liven the scene. But usually the words of songs fade as I get engrossed in the act of composing my story.

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

Valerie: My website and Facebook author page are my only forays into social media at this time. I love to hear from my readers.


Thank you for hosting me, Jolene.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 4

Texas Book-aholic, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 7

Blogging With Carol, March 8

For Him and My Family, March 9

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, March 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 11

Bizwings Blog, March 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 15

Beauty in the Binding, March 16 (Author Interview)

CarpeDiem, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


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

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

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/1b4c1/weep-in-the-night-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, March 14, 2022

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Stolen Heart by Clarissa Kae

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Stolen Heart
(Victorian Retellings #3)
By Clarissa Kae

Historical Romance, Fairy Tale
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 264 Pages
January 29, 2022 by Carpe Vitam Press

A Victorian twist on Robin Hood.

The Earl of Rochelle, Nikolas Whitworth, is handsome, charming. And a traitor.

He can outwit and outcon any Englishman—and any Englishwoman. When his debts are called in a savior appears, the criminal mastermind known only as the Tailor.

Nikolas is bought and sold, his future no longer his. But when a beguiling thief picks his pocket, Rosalyn Devereaux steals more than his coin. Orphaned as a child, Rosalyn trusts no one. She picks the pockets of lords and ladies alike, donating her spoils to the poor. The Tailor notices her skills and demands Rosalyn enlist in his cause.

With every moment beside Rosalyn, Nikolas changes from a life of lies to a man with a conviction. She occupies his every thought but can Nikolas outcon the Tailor and secure Rosalyn’s heart before the Tailor steals his love?

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series


On her bed she separated the coins from the banknotes. She hiked up her skirt and pinned the notes to undergarments. She would drop off her deposit to Mr. Thomas, a solicitor recommended by a friend.

The money would be out of reach from even the most talented pick pockets. Cupping the coins, she filled her pockets and made her way toward the church. With a quick flick, she opened the top of the alms box and placed the coins inside. The vicar didn’t charge her a penny for her meek quarters in the hidden garden, nor did he ever express surprise at the sudden increase in donations. The old man was a widower twice over and left Rosalyn as much privacy as she desired. The sound of the coins hitting the bottom of the box brought a nod from the vicar sweeping between the pews. Rosalyn had once vowed to burn every church in England but the quiet vicar had made her pause. Perhaps there were a few good men left in this forsaken country.

A wicked grin crept across her face. She didn’t care how many men—good or bad—were left in England. She only cared about the man she was hunting.
Excerpted from A Stolen Heart by Clarissa Kae, Copyright © 2022 by Clarissa Kae. Published by Carpe Vitam Press.

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She's the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.

Since her first novel, she's explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.

Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.

She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

Three winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (US only)

Ends March 23, 2022


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Friday, March 11, 2022

Book Review: Bible Verses for Today by Valeria Wolfl

About the Book:

How can this prayer journal help me read my bible every day?
  • 37 Questions to help you discover the meaning of the scripture even if you feel that you may not have enough knowledge to understand bible verses. The questions are categorized in 3 groups:
    1. Scripture Questions: to help you understand doctrines and meanings of Scripture better.

    2. Life Application Questions: to help you apply what you learned from the scripture in your everyday life to improve your daily walk with God.

    3. Prayer Questions: to help you set good motivates to pray for and keep you going in the walk with God.
  • About 10-15 minutes reading time a day: The verses are picked to be short that can be read while you are drinking your morning coffee or evening tea.

  • 365 topics: The hardest part is to decide what to read every day. The daily bible reading plan gives you 1-9 short verses put together by topics. Every day you can learn something different. Using the question sheet (take it out and laminate it) write down quick notes for each bible verse. Then move on to the prayer questions and take notes on what God revealed for you to pray about.

  • Decorative elements on each page to color: Beautiful flowers and leaves to color to make your prayer journal look good and turning it to a memorable piece of art you can keep for the years to come. Also while coloring you can meditate on the Word of God you just have read.

  • Large space to add planner style stickers and writing notes: Have your creative veins ready! You can prepare (print and cut) your stickers over the weekend to decorate your journal every day. This also helps you to commit for reading Bible verses daily since you already put work into preparation to make the stickers for the week.

  • Three full pages with Bible verses to color.

  • Large font size. Bible verses are 12 point.

  • Topic index that can be used to trace your progress: You can mark the day what you've already read. Visualizing your progress may help you keep going.

  • Works with your favorite Bible translation.

Purchase at: Amazon.

My Thoughts:

I recommend the Bible Verses for Today: Daily Scripture Reading Plan, Bible Study, and Creative Journal for 365 Days for Women by Valeria Wolfl to any Christian woman who enjoys mixing creativity and Bible study. This beautiful resource supplements daily Bible reading by presenting a topic and coordinating Scriptures for personal reflection. There are 365 topics, one for each day of the year, but the journal can be started at any time. Bible Verses for Today also includes a study helps page with questions for textual consideration and life application, plus prayer prompts.

One characteristic I love about Bible Verses for Today is its flexibility. The provided topics guide, but how to glean from the given Scriptures and what to write about them is completely open to individual preference. Personally, I like to read the Scriptures for the daily topic and write out those Scriptures in the journal. Next, I note any thoughts that come to mind and color the accents on the page. Often, I finish my time with this journal feeling uplifted and peaceful.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using Bible Verses for Today: Daily Scripture Reading Plan, Bible Study, and Creative Journal for 365 Days for Women by Valeria Wolfl. 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.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Author Interview & Giveaway: With Every Step by Natasha D. Frazier

With Every Step JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for With Every Step by Natasha D. Frazier, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


With Every Step
Title: With Every Step 
Series: McCall Family series #2 
Author: Natasha D. Frazier 
Publisher: Encouraging Works 
Release Date: December 20, 2021 
Genre: Christian fiction, contemporary romance 

Born and groomed to be CEO, Darius is ready to run the family business, except Jeffrey McCall has reserved that position for the oldest son. 

Darius McCall’s CEO ambitions have driven his choices since junior high school. He’s worked alongside his father, preparing for the position most of his life. 

When Jeffrey McCall names Andrew, Darius’ older brother, as McCall Resorts’ new CEO instead of him, Darius becomes furious. He’s determined to prove that CEO is his rightful place - and spearheading the construction of their new Houston resort is just the way to do that - except Kennedy Slaughter may be a bigger distraction than he expected. 

Kennedy Slaughter becomes Slaughter Construction Inc.’s President after the sudden death of her twin brother. She now bears the weight of the company’s success on her shoulders. When McCall Resorts hires her company to build their Houston facility, she works to make her brother proud and fights against anything that will hinder the project’s success - including the undeniable attraction between her and Darius McCall. 

What will it take for Darius and Kennedy to secure the success they desire and balance the growing emotional bond between them? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBoundBookBub



Natasha Frazier

Natasha D. Frazier fell in love with love around the age of twelve because of artists like Babyface, Boys II Men, Whitney Houston, and New Edition. Around sixteen when her mother purchased a romance novel and left it lying around the house untouched, Natasha read it and a spark for the written word had been ignited.

Natasha believes that writing is one of her purposes and contributions to the world. She feels accomplished when she can get a few words written and like blah when life gets in the way. Her hope is that at the end of every novel, readers will feel like they’ve been wrapped in a cozy blanket with a mug of their favorite coffee/tea/warm drink. 

When she isn’t reading or writing, she is likely watching movies with her family. Natasha resides in Richmond, TX with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations. Natasha and her family attend Parkway Fellowship in Richmond, TX, where she volunteers as a small group leader for elementary students. Natasha is also a member of the Houston Area Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

CONNECT WITH NATASHA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Q: What was the inspiration behind With Every Step?

Natasha: Darius McCall – our male main character. He inspired the story. While writing With Every Breath, book 1 in the McCall Family Series, his voice grew louder and louder. His side of things needed to be shared, so here we are.

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

Natasha: I think the first draft took roughly two months to write.

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

Natasha: I can’t say I have a favorite quote, but I do have a favorite scene–and that is when Kennedy and Darius first meet each other. The electricity that sparks at the first meeting gets me every time.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from With Every Step?

Natasha: Life is about balance. I know this, but it’s a concept I constantly struggle with, simply because when I commit to something, I go all in, full force. Because of this, sometimes I can lose focus of what’s most important–and that is family and those I love (and who love me) most.

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

Natasha: Caramel is my jam. I’d likely try anything with caramel in it. It’s showed up as a favorite of one of my characters in many of my books. 😊

Q: What are you reading now?

Natasha: Evidence of Innocence by Shirlee McCoy

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Natasha: Two. One for the kids and one for me, which is more like a long shelf.

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

Natasha: I work as an accountant during the day, so that takes up a huge chunk of my time. Otherwise, I’m probably watching a movie with my family or catching up on my reading.


(1) winner will receive an autographed copy of With Every Step and a $10 Amazon gift card!

With Every Step 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 March 7, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on March 14, 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.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Book Blitz: Relentless Rebels by Sharon Rene

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We're celebrating the release of the second book in the Divine Destiny Chronicles, Relentless Rebels! Today, we learn the Top 10 things to know if you are new to the Divine Destiny trilogy. Next, author Sharon René discusses the major themes of Hesitant Heroes and Relentless Rebels. On the final day, we explore the ancient city of Petra as a setting in Relentless Rebels. Plus, there's a two book giveaway to enter below. Enjoy!

Relentless Rebels
(Divine Destiny Chronicles #2)
By Sharon René

Young Adult, Christian, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 315 Pages
March 8, 2022 by Anaiah Press

After rescuing their kidnapped friends and stopping the government from assassinating Councilor Sierra Stone, Jordan and Team Seven thought the fight was over, but the real battle is just beginning. Sierra must now try to regain her role in the Global Collective Council while also convincing them that River Wallis, co-chair of the Council, tried to kill her. But her success could very well lead to a civil war.

The Council will do everything in their power to stop Sierra, including killing her allies. Barely surviving an attack on their mountain hideaway, Jordan and Team Seven’s lives are on the line. Again. But Team Seven won’t give up that easily, and they set out to rally support for their cause. Unfortunately for Team Seven, they’re caught in the middle as the world takes sides.

Amidst attacks, lies, betrayals, and devastating losses, Jordan’s faith is shaken, and she struggles with her hatred for River Wallis. She knows that judgment belongs to God, but when she finally comes face to face with River, Jordan must rely on her faltering faith to choose wisely—give in to her need for vengeance, or give it up for God to decide.

(Affiliate links included.)

Top 10 Things to Know if You are New to the Divine Destiny Trilogy

1. The Global Collective Council controls the planet. They are powerful and practically worshiped by their followers.

2. Hunter Wallis and his sister River Wallis are the leaders of the Global Collective Council.

3. Sierra Stone is a member of the Global Council. She is trying to make the government fair for all of the world’s citizens.

4. The main character, Jordan Scott, is from Old Memphis. She attends a boarding school called Global Collective University (GCU) with teens from all over the planet.

5. Jordan and her housemates are called Team Seven. Each member of the team has a special skill or talent such as ballet, martial arts, healing, and weightlifting.

6. The government kidnaps Christian students to use them in a plot to assassinate Councilor Sierra Stone. Team Seven must rescue the students and stop the assassination.

7. Team Seven travels to Old Venezuela and collaborates with a rebel leader, Hector Alvarado, to rescue the missing students and stop the assassination.

8. After accomplishing their mission Team Seven becomes wanted fugitives.

9. Team Seven escapes to the mountains of Old Venezuela and hides at Hector Alvarado’s rebel camp.

10. River Wallis, vice-chair of the Global Collective Council, vows to locate Team Seven and kill them.

Other Books in the Series

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.)

About the Author

Sharon René loves to write young adult and children’s fiction. Her young adult dystopian trilogy has been acquired by Anaiah Press and the first book, Hesitant Heroes, released September 7, 2021. Hesitant Heroes is an exciting blend of danger, drama and a little romance.

The next book, Relentless Rebels, released March 8, 2022. It continues Team Seven’s exciting adventures. Defying Destiny, the prequel, is the last book in the trilogy.

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.

Sharon René grew up in Louisiana and now lives in Tennessee with one very spoiled cat.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive signed copies of Hesitant Heroes and Relentless Rebels by Sharon René (US only)

Ends March 13, 2022


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Friday, March 4, 2022

February 2022 Reads & March 2022 TBR

My February 2022 Reads:
  1. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  2. Bradenton by Merab-Michal Favorite - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

  3. Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaugh - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

  4. The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review

  5. The Samurai's Honor by Walt Mussell - ⭐⭐⭐⭐- Read my review.

  6. In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh. - ⭐⭐⭐1/2 - Review to come.

Expected March 2022 Reads:
  1. Times of Perseverance: Hope and Healing on the Battlefields of Life by Gregg L. Grossman.

  2. Drawn by the Current by Jocelyn Green.

  3. Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin - My local book club's selection for March.

  4. The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell.

  5. I'll Start Again Monday by Lysa Terkeurst.

What will you read this month?

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Defending David by Barbara M. Britton

Defending David JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Defending David by Barbara M. Britton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Defending David
Title: Defending David 
Series: Tribes of Israel 
Author: Barbara M. Britton 
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (Harbourlight Books) 
Release Date: February 25, 2022 
Genre: Christian Historical Biblical Fiction 

When a quiet journey to Jerusalem turns tragic, newly orphaned Rimona must flee a kinsman set on selling her as a slave. Racing into the rocky hills outside of Hebron, Rimona is rescued by a Philistine commander journeying to Jerusalem with six-hundred warriors. 

Exiled commander, Ittai the Gittite, is seeking refuge in the City of David. Protecting a frantic Hebrew woman is not in his leadership plan. Although, having a nobleman's niece in his caravan might prove useful for finding shelter in a foreign land. 

Rimona and Ittai arrive in Jerusalem on the eve of a rebellion. In the chaos of an heir's betrayal, will they be separated forever, or can they defend King David and help the aging monarch control his rebellious son? 

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



Stifling a laugh, Ittai surveyed the approach of the closest stranger. Why was anyone traipsing over rock and crevices in the dark when sunlight wasn’t far off? Some men had no sense. How many fools had he encountered in battle? Too many and they were dead.

Crouching near a tower of rocks and a spindly sapling, Ittai unsheathed his blade. He breathed in cool air untainted with kicked-up camel dust. His eyes overcame the darkness to rest on a form breeching the top of the hill.

Sandal slaps. Wheezing. One fool had made it to the crest. Hamuran would cut off the others.

Nearer and nearer the climber came. Ittai swallowed. The sour taste of bile pulled his jaw tight.

Lord, give me victory.

The man stumbled over a rock and whimpered.

Ittai lunged.

He grabbed the stranger and pulled the thin frame taut to his chest. His knife rested against the flesh of the prowler’s neck.

“Stay silent, or I will send your head thumping to the dirt.”

His captive turned to stone. Trembling stone.

A swell of breast rose and fell beneath Ittai’s arm. No stench of sweat or body odor offended his nose. This quivering climber smelled of scented soap even after a trek up a hill. An abundance of soft curls tickled his chin.

He’d caught a woman.


Barbara M. Britton

Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures from Ancient Israel to Modern Day USA and especially enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. You can visit Barb online at www. barbarambritton.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

CONNECT WITH BARBARA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a Defending David Book Box with an autographed copy of Defending David, a CD of harp music, a historic-looking journal, colorful pens, a copy of "Lioness," and a $25 Amazon gift card, swag!

Defending David 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 February 28, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on March 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 only. (international winner prize: ebook copies of Defending David and Lioness) 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.