First Line Friday — The Art of Rivers

18 Oct

Happy Friday everyone! This week I am featuring a book from an author I had the pleasure of meeting last April at the CFRR. Janet W. Ferguson has written several contemporary romances, and her latest is The Art of Rivers. Besides being a book written by an author I have met, it is set in my home state of Georgia — win-win on several fronts. I am looking forward to beginning in the coming week. Janet is nominated for a 2019 Christy Award, so I know I am in for a treat!

What book are you looking forward to? Share its first line then head over to Hoarding Books for more First Line Friday fun!

 

 

 

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars — those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing. After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated. Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

 

Book Review: Dark Ambitions

17 Oct

Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently — leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn’t convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn’t want them to succeed–and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.

With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay . . . maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award — the “Oscar” of romance fiction — and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She has also received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. In addition, her books have won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, three Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

My Impressions:

Irene Hannon is my go-to author for romantic suspense, and her latest book, Dark Ambitions, vaulted to the top of my favorites by her. In the third book of the Code of Honor series, Hannon adds a hefty dose of sizzle to the suspense. With the perfect blend of romance and mystery, this book was unputdownable. I give it a highly recommended rating.

Rick Jordan, ex-Army Night Stalker and the third member of the Treehouse Gang introduced in the first two books of the series, is the focus of Dark Ambitions. Determined to help a missing friend from his service days, Rick employs Heather Shields, a PI with the Phoenix group. (If you are a fan of Hannon’s Private Justice series, you will love seeing those characters again.) The mystery is very complex, and there are a number of suspicious characters to choose from. Various secrets and private agendas add to the twists and turns this novel takes.  I loved reading the first person POV of the unnamed bad guy hoping to ferret out clues to just whodunit. Rick and Heather join forces in the case, and their attraction begins right at the start. Kudos on the chemistry that Hannon created. Both characters are believers and place their trust in God’s sovereignty.

Dark Ambitions can easily be read as a standalone novel, but the whole series is excellent. I suggest you begin at the beginning  — perfect for binge-reading goodness!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Two for Fall

16 Oct

I love the fall season — crisp temperatures, colorful leaves, and fresh sweet apples! I have two children’s books to share today that capture the essence of fall. Check them out below!

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings by Glenys Nellist

Snuggle up with your little one and enjoy all the best parts of autumn together—pumpkin picking, colored leaves, hayrides, and more — with this adorable padded-cover board book. Get ready for repeated readings and lots of hugs!

Carving pumpkins. Fresh baked apple pie. Leaf piles. Jack-o’-lanterns. Featuring Glenys Nellist’s whimsical read-aloud rhymes and Cee Biscoe’s cuddly illustrations, the Snuggle Time Fall Blessingsboard book will become part of your new autumn reading tradition.

Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, Sunday School teacher or older bother or sister, the little ones in your life will be ready for all the joys fall can bring when they hear …

Let’s go apple picking,
Shake them from the tree.
Round and fat and juicy,
The big red one’s for me

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. The author of multiple children’s books, including the bestselling ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas and the popular series Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time, her writing reflects a deep passion for helping children discover joy in the world. Glenys lives in Michigan with her husband, David.

My Impressions:

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings is a great board book suitable for the tiniest reader. Adorable illustrations featuring woodland animals participating in fun autumn activities accompany easy rhymes. Each poem flows naturally into the next so that the book can be read in one sitting or during successive reading times. There’s all sorts of fun things within this book — apple picking, pumpkin carving, wagon rides — that your child will identify from your own family activities. And it opens and closes with the same sentiment — thankfulness to God for all He provides. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: preschool aged children.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi

Love Is Kind is a heartwarming story about Little Owl who hopes to buy his grammy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her birthday. On his quest for the chocolates, he’s thwarted at every turn, but ends up discovering the real meaning of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Told in simple prose by bestselling author Laura Sassi, this heartfelt and humorous picture book is a sweet reminder that real love isn’t found in a box – even one filled with chocolates. Love Is Kind takes a charming and gentle approach to teaching kids the true meaning of love, while celebrating the bonds that kids have with their grandparents, and the many forms that love and happiness can take.

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014), GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

My Impressions:

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi tells the tale of Little Owl and his determination to buy his Grammy a present for her birthday. But as Little Owl meets all kinds of troubles along the way, he is reminded of what love really looks like. The story has a simple, yet powerful message found in 1 Corinthians 13. In fact, snippets of the Love Chapter can be found hidden in the illustrations — added fun as you and your child look closely to discover truths from God’s word. While Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi is not specifically about autumn, it definitely gives off a fall-vibe in its illustrations. The cute animal characters are decked out in scarves and sweaters and colorful leaves cover the ground. The color palate is warm with oranges, browns, and yellows making this book perfect for a snuggly family read. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8. 

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Bound to Be Free by Marta E. Greenman

16 Oct

About The Book

Book: Bound To Be Free

Author: Marta E. Greenman

Genre: Non-Fiction, spiritual growth, Christian studies

Release Date: June 12, 2015

Dr. Minirth, President of Minirth Clinic says, “Bound To Be Free is an exceptional book – Theologically correct, psychologically warm, physiologically health producing. I recommend it with enthusiasm. Christians around the globe need this book. Read it and be healed. This book is riveting, but more important, it is life transforming!”

Learn to live in FREEDOM. Free of the consequences of pain inflicted upon us, and pain inflicted by ourselves. God’s Word tells us true freedom is found in HIS word and presence. Christ’s desire is for believers to be transformed, not just saved.

Bound To Be Free leads believers step-by-step through God’s healing process and transformation. The study focuses heavily on scripture, as the only path to lasting restoration, and leads believers through the process of identifying and overcoming hindrances. This enables believers to achieve power in their daily Christian walk and show the transforming power of Christ in the church.

Our Father knows each person’s story. He knows how each one of us can overcome the pain and disappointment in our lives. While some numb the pain others walk through the fire, allowing The Refiner to mold us into the precious treasure He created us to be. Take a step in your journey to victory today

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

For over twenty years, Marta has traveled extensively as a missionary, evangelist and Bible teacher sharing God’s message of truth and redemption. She is a teacher of teachers. She is host of Under God Radio Show and Co-host of Refining Friends. She is the author of three Bible studies, Bound to Be Free, Leaders, Nations, and God, and ACTs420NOW. Marta founded Words of Grace & Truth in 2011 whose mission is to teach God’s Word to the nations and teach others to do the same. She has been married for over twenty-five years to Marshall and they reside in the Dallas, Texas area.

 

Q&A with Marta

BTB: Tell us a little about your research methods. 

Marta: The Bible is always my primary source and from that, I also research the original meanings of the Greek or Hebrew from the English text. My last two Bible studies incorporated the foundation of American history and the genesis of English Christian history, so I utilized biographies and other secular materials in my research of those topics. 

BTB: What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule? 

Marta: Writing is not a daily habit for me. I have a full schedule as the founder of a ministry and a Christian radio host. When God places a topic on my heart, I make time to write until the project is completed. 

BTB: How long does it usually take to write your books — from first outlines/drafts to final edits. 

Marta: I am fond of saying, “It takes a lifetime,” since every Bible study has come from the deep examination of His Word for twenty-six years. Each has taken a different amount of time. While writing, the process, not time, is most important. My studies are organized by weeks and days. Each completed day is reread and rewritten. At weekly editing meetings my team works through each of those days. I then work on any rewrites. After this daunting process, I teach the study to a small group as a test for fine-tuning. Finally, it goes to the publisher. It can take twelve to eighteen months to finish a study. But this investment produces the best product available. 

BTB: Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share? 

Marta: Time permitting, I have an endless number of books to write! Currently, I am involved with two projects. One is a collaborative devotional with hosts from my internet radio station. The second is an end-times Bible study focused on the events leading to the rapture of the church, the tribulation and second coming of Christ. 

BTB: Please share with my readers a little bit about your life leading up to the present. 

Marta: My first mission trip took me to Romania in 1997 and it changed my life forever. The next year I left corporate America for a church planting organization. I traveled with American churches to churches in foreign lands to establish churches and for discipleship. Marshall, my husband of twenty-six years, and I moved to Romania in 2002 to help start a church and work with street children. After seven years God called me to write Bible studies and to teach and train others to study the Word. GraceAndTruthRadio.World was launched in 2018 to provide a platform for people with biblical messages to reach others for Christ. 

Thanks for sharing with us today, Marta!

More from Marta

Are you tired of hurting? Do you want long term answers…not a band aid fix? Bound To Be Free will take you on a journey of understanding, self-contemplation, and questions to ask the Almighty! At the end of your journey you will realize how much God has healed your soul and how to handle hurts and disappointments in the future.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 14

Creating Relationship, October 15

Mary Hake, October 16

By The Book, October 16 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, October 17

Through the Fire Blogs, October 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

A Baker’s Perspective, October 24 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, October 25

A Reader’s Brain, October 26

Inklings and notions , October 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marta is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click HERE to enter.

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Your Name?

15 Oct

This week That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to compile lists of extraordinary book titles. There are some brilliant Top Ten Tuesday lists out there, so make sure to visit her site to find them.

I decided to go with titles that contain a person’s name. The descriptor attached made me want to know more — what was her love, or promise, or curse? The titles of the books on my list are great indicators of the goodness found inside.

What about you? What book title do you find extraordinary?

 

Top Titles with Names

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

Book Review: Always Look Twice

14 Oct

At the advice of her therapist, homicide survivor Harper Reynolds has traded her job as a crime scene photographer for a more peaceful life taking photographs of the natural world. But her hopes for a life surrounded by the serenity of the outdoors are dashed when she inadvertently captures a murder being committed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She flees the scene in fear — and loses the camera.

Former Green Beret Heath McKade is a reserve deputy in an understaffed county who has been called in to protect Harper, a childhood friend he is surprised to see back in the area. When Harper learns that the sheriff’s department can’t find any evidence of the murder she witnessed, she is determined to do what she can to see that justice is done. What neither Harper nor Heath could know is how many explosive secrets from the past will be exposed–or how deeply they will fall for each other.

In this suspenseful page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps you on the edge of your seat as you discover that uncommon justice lies just on the other side of fear.

 

Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of forty romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies — a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire, and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website: http://elizabethgoddard.com
Follow her on Bookbub! https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-goddard
You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook:http://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor
or Twitter: http://twitter.com/bethgoddard

 

My Impressions:

Elizabeth Goddard takes the reader back to the breathtakingly beautiful wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest of Wyoming in Always Look Twice, book 2 in her Uncommon Justice series. This book focuses on McKade brother Heath, introduced in book 1, Never Let Go, and Harper Reynolds, the best friend who disappeared from his life 20 years before. As the two reconnect under extreme circumstances, their past and present collide providing plenty of mystery, danger, and sparks for fans of the romantic suspense genre.

Heath and Harper are wounded characters who have worked hard to overcome their pasts. Former military, Heath still has a strong need to protect, but doubts his abilities to do just that. Harper has chosen the emotionally challenging career of crime scene photographer in an attempt to bring justice to others that she did not have as a child. Goddard lets the reader into the thoughts and emotions of both characters allowing for a complete look at their struggles. Guilt over past mistakes and the actions of others they could not control have contributed to the wariness the two have in entering romantic relationships. But for fans of romance, there is definite chemistry between the two. In this intriguing mystery, danger is never far off, with bombings and sniper fire just two of the threats the characters face. Twists and turns take the reader and the characters on a bumpy ride. As they endure one challenge after another, they learn to trust God more and more.

If you like your suspense with a heavy dose of romance, then consider Always Look Twice. Athough it is book 2 in a series, it can be read as a standalone. But nothing is keeping you from diving into the entire series. 😉 (The Kindle version of book 1 is on sale for 79 cents!)

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

First Line Friday — Dark Ambitions

11 Oct

Happy Friday! I have a new book to read this weekend — Dark Ambitions by Irene Hannon! I am excited to finally dig into the third and final book in Hannon’s Code of Honor series. This talented author never disappoints with her action-packed romantic suspense. What about you? What are you reading this weekend? Please share your first lines in the comments. And don’t forget to head over to Hoarding Books to see what other bloggers are sharing today.

 

Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently — leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn’t convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn’t want them to succeed–and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.

With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay . . . maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award — the “Oscar” of romance fiction — and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She has also received a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. In addition, her books have won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, three Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews. She is also a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.