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Book Review (+Giveaway!): Mind Games

13 Dec

About the Book

Book: Mind Games

Author: Nancy Mehl

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: December, 2018

Publisher: Bethany House

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

Click Here to purchase.

 

My Impressions:

Wow! That is my first impression of Mind Games by Nancy Mehl. From the opening paragraph I was hooked on this psychological thriller. It is definitely going on my best of 2018 list. Great characters, taut plotting, and a premise that is as clever as you will find make this one highly recommended!

What is so great about Mind Games? First, the premise of the daughter of a serial killer who becomes a profiler and then has to find a killer targeting her through copy-cat crimes — that is definitely a mind-bending mind game! The plot twists and turns and keeps everyone, including the reader on his/her toes. I had my own list of suspects that constantly changed. Like main character Kaely, I didn’t trust anyone. Mehl did a great job of making everyone look guilty. LOL! Second, main character Kaely is intriguing and complex. Admired, feared, and even ridiculed within the FBI, she is a force to be reckoned with even as she uses unorthodox methods to get into the heads of UNSUBS. I loved her analytical mind and her desire for justice and truth. And while she had a father who betrayed her and friends who abused her trust, she stands firm in her belief in the goodness of God, even as evil seems to win at every turn. Supporting characters are well-written too, making this novel have a depth not always found in plot-driven suspense. I found the references to the many FBI cases a clear clue into the exhaustive research Mehl had to have done to write this book. While there is a definite creep-factor going on in Mind Games, it was never graphic or gory. And the best part of all? This is just book 1 in a series. Yay! I am so looking forward to working more cases with Kaely Quinn!

Mind Games is on my book club’s 2019 reading list. I can’t wait to get the discussion going. My group is going to love it!

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

 


 

About the Author

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

 

Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.

First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.

There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.

I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.

If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.

So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.

I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 11

The Lit Addict, December 11

amandainpa, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 12

Daysong Reflections, December 12

Livin’ Lit, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

By The Book, December 13

Lighthouse Academy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 14

Splashes of Joy, December 14

Back Porch Reads, December 15

Real World Bible Study, December 15

Robin is Bookish, December 15

Janices book reviews, December 15

C Jane Read, December 16

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

The Becca Files, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17

Godly Book Reviews, December 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Just the Write Escape, December 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, December 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

For the Love of Literature, December 20

Remembrancy, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 20

Carpe Diem, December 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 21

Pause for Tales, December 21

A Baker’s Perspective, December 21

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Book by Book, December 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 23

To Everything a Season, December 23

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 23

Cafinated Reads, December 24

Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!

Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/d73b/mind-games-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Book Review (+Giveaway!) — Reason to Breathe

5 Dec

Reason to Breathe_Blog

We are excited to introduce Deborah Raney’s new series with a blog tour and giveaway for book #1 – Reason to Breathe – hosted by JustRead Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

reason to breatheTitle: Reason to Breathe
Series: Chandler Sisters #1
Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love’s plan all along. . .

At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuck—until her father’s protégé, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical.

To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she’s still reeling over her father’s hasty engagement to a younger woman? Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb-Raney-HR-9-17

Deborah Raney dreamed of writing a book since the summer she read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and discovered that a Kansas farm girl could, indeed, grow up to be a writer. Her 30-plus books have garnered multiple industry awards including the RITA® Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers’ Choice Award, Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, shed light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. A Vow to Cherish continues to be a tool for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers. Deborah is on faculty for several national writers’ conferences and serves on the executive board of the 2600-member American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She and her husband, Ken Raney, traded small-town life in Kansas — the setting of many of Deb’s novels — for life in the city of Wichita. They often travel to teach at writers conferences across the country and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

CONNECT WITH DEB: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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MY IMPRESSIONS:

A mix of subjects — a fixer-upper project, a grieving family, and a budding romance — combine in one very good contemporary novel by Deborah Raney. Raney has the knack of bringing her fictional worlds to life, and Reason to Breathe is a great example. The first novel in the Chandler Sisters series, this book had everything I could want — real and relatable characters, great writing, and a naturally developing love story. Add in the Christ-centered message and you’ve got a winner. This one is a recommended read!

I loved all the characters in Reason to Breathe, but Phylicia (Phee) and Quinn are the focus of this first book. Their relationship has a few obstacles — an age gap, trust issues, and uncertainties of family dynamics — but it definitely is a romance readers will cheer on. The fixer-upper story line is a great vehicle for the budding romance and fun for the reader as well. Phylicia and Quinn are both believers, and Raney develops their relationship with an emphasis on God-honoring actions. In today’s world that is indeed refreshing. In fact the entire novel is infused with spiritual truths including the major theme of God’s timing — a message I certainly needed reminding of. Although Reason to Breathe is Phee and Quinn’s story, the two other sisters, Joanna and Britt, play major roles in the action. I am looking forward to the development of their characters and storylines.

Well-written and true to life, Reason to Breathe is a great choice for all readers.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

 


reason to breathe giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Reason to Breathe
  • $15 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 10, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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

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Family Devotional Giveaway from New Growth Press!

3 Dec
For active families, reading the Bible together can feel overwhelming. However, family Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated! With just ten minutes a day, parents have enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known.

Start off the new year resolved to study the Bible together. New Growth Press has you covered and is giving away a family devotional package every family will want to win!

In this third and final Spirit of Giving giveaway of the Christmas season, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of family devotionals (retail value of $148 each). From December 3-8, you can enter to win one of family devotional boxes. 

Click HERE to enter.

Each gift box includes one copy of the following family devotionals written by Marty Machowski:
Children love stories, and the parables provide a wonderful opportunity to engage their imagination and help them understand and live out the good news of the kingdom of God. After teaching a parable, Jesus often said, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” In other words, “This is important, so you better listen up,” and what could be more important than the good news of the kingdom of God? This family devotional provides a unique opportunity for parents to help their children “listen up” and hear the gospel as Jesus himself shared it.
Wise Up is designed to connect the teaching of Proverbs to God’s larger story of salvation. Children will learn that Solomon’s wisdom, life, and failures all point to “something greater than Solomon”—they point to Jesus. The goal of this devotional is to present the wisdom of Proverbs against the backdrop of the gospel to show children that real wisdom comes only as we depend on Jesus for daily help and forgiveness.
Long Story Short guides families through the Old Testament stories and is designed to cultivate honest and powerful discussion about the Bible, which is the catalyst for change in children’s lives. Through 78 Old Testament stories, Long Story Short explains God’s plan of salvation through the Old Testament, focusing on the hero of Scripture and important biblical truths without being corny, confusing, or condescending.
Suited for children from preschool through high school, this gospel-focused book is full of ten-minute devotions to continue the gospel story that began in Long Story Short. The consistent and short structure helps children walk through the life-changing truths of the Christian faith in the New Testament—without overwhelming them. Through 78 New Testament stories, Old Story New does the hard work for moms and dads. Simple discussion questions (and answers!) for each day’s devotion help children understand and connect with Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and the birth of the Christian church.
This beautifully illustrated storybook captivates young readers with the heart of the gospel. The Gospel Story Bible points to Jesus, helping families and kids identify Christ as the hero of every story. While it’s easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities, Machowski reminds families of God’s plan of salvation in Christ, which is continually on display throughout the Bible. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short and Old Story New.

In addition to these books for the entire family, the winners will also receive a new book of devotionals just for parents, and New Growth Press’ latest parenting book.

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t. The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.
Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This child-rearing book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching readers how they can know their own kids well and raise them accordingly. By discussing particular issues moms and dads might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at https://newgrowthpress.com/ to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season (facebook.com/ngpbooks | twitter.com/newgrowthpress | instagram.com/newgrowthpress).

Book Review (+Giveaway): When The Heart Sings

29 Nov

Banner_WhenHeartSings_Blog

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

When the Heart Sings-FINAL-front_cover_020518a-HRTitle: When the Heart Sings
Series: Music of Hope #2
Author: Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose…

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

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MY IMPRESSIONS:

One of the highlights of this year was my trip to Poland in April. The experience was wonderful as we encountered beautiful cities, countryside and people. When The Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma brought all of that back to me, but through a different perspective. The novel set during WWII captures the beauty of the human spirit and its resilience in the face of extreme persecution. Just as my trip introduced me to a country with a strong cultural heritage in spite of the many hardships the people faced over the centuries, this book brought to life the ordinary people of Poland that survived the invasion of Nazi Germany. Powerful in its message and beautifully written, When The Heart Sings is a very highly recommended read.

When The Heart Sings is a small story — small in that it is set in a small town, with a small forced-labor factory, with a small cast of characters. But it certainly is not small in message. Everything about it seeks to put a face on what the people of Poland endured during the dark days of occupation. The characters could be you or me. A young couple displaced from their farm and forced to work under unimaginable circumstances, really slaves to the Nazis. A doctor who against all odds is left to live and practice medicine and do what he can to undermine the efforts of the regime. A young, naive German woman who despite indoctrination and abuse, knows deep down the right thing to do. And the cruel face of evil in the very real form of a Nazi officer. The book also examines the small actions that we can take that have big results.  And under, around, and through all of the drama of the novel, God is not only present, but in control. As one of the character states: “We look at our circumstances and see things as not good. But we don’t see the picture clearly, as the Lord does. He knows what is going on.. Things happen just the way he has planned they will.” (p. 258) A hard truth to accept sometimes, but truth nonetheless. Where is God? is a question asked repeatedly, and in the end the characters and the readers know.

As you can probably guess from the title, song has a large part in the narrative. The music and words of lullabies, love songs, classical works, and hymns encourage, comfort, and help to keep sane those who find themselves in impossible situations. There is an especially moving scene in which song softens the heart of a brutal captor. Even if you have a tin ear (like me 😉 ), you will love the way Tolsma incorporates music.

I absolutely loved When The Heart Sings. It is part of a series, but the books are only connected through theme and setting and can be read as standalones. It is definitely a book you are going to talk about — great for book clubs or friends/family who love to read together.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

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

 


when the heart sings blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • Just One More Chapter’ throw pillow seen HERE

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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

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Book Review (+Giveaway): Shelter of The Most High

26 Nov

About the Book

Book: Shelter of the Most High

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October, 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Guest Post from Connilyn

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.

So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact it just went way too fast!

One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).

Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.

One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.

Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.

Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.

Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.

Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.

Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.

Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!

 

My Impressions:

What do I look for in a good Biblical novel? Evidence of in-depth research, characters and setting that match scripture and the culture of the time, a plot that is not only plausible, but points me to further study, and finally, a message that speaks of God’s truth applicable to my life. All of that is exactly what I got from Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette. This intriguing novel opened up a time in Israel’s history that is often neglected — the era between the conquest of the promised land and the time of the Judges. Based upon the law passed down by Moses and the purpose of the cities of refuge, Shelter of The Most High depicts a time and place I knew little about and made me want to dive into what Scripture has to say about it. The story revolves around Sofea, a girl stolen from her home and lost in a new land, and her interactions with the people of Kedesh, primarily the family of Eitan, a man brought to the city of refuge as a young boy. I found Sofea’s perceptions of those who followed Yahweh fascinating. Her point of view is informed by the pagan worship she grew up with, including human sacrifices and depraved acts. Her knowledge of Yahweh grows as she interacts with His followers. At first she is skeptical and scared — What sort of bizarre religion did these people hold to? (p. 105). But she is drawn to a God who inspires devotion through His kept promises and provision. That message spoke volumes to me. In our modern world, believers are often the first, if not the only, view of Jesus for non-believers. There is romance, intrigue, and danger in the pages of Shelter of The Most High too, making this a page-turner. It should be noted that this book is the second in the Cities of Refuge series and contains spoilers for book 1, A Light on The Hill. I recommend you begin at the beginning and enjoy two wonderfully written novels. Fans of Lynn Austin will especially enjoy these books.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

The Power of Words, November 20

Among the Reads, November 21

Gensis 5020, November 21

God’s Little Bookworm, November 22

Book by Book, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

The Becca Files, November 24

Baker Kella, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

Aryn The Libraryan, November 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away:

Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts

Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spirit of Giving Young Reader’s Giveaway from New Growth Press

26 Nov

Last week, I shared about books from New Growth Press for the youngest members of the family. Maybe your kids have outgrown that stage and are now preteens or teens.

Books are a great gift for those members of the family who need a break from all the electronics in the house. Actually, that may apply to everyone in the house! Books are a great gift for everyone in the family, by the way!

Even if there aren’t kids in your own house, I’m sure you know some young people who would enjoy these books. Maybe you are a youth leader or teacher with young people on your Christmas list.

This week, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of books for tweens and teens. From November 26-December 2, you can enter to win one of three gift boxes of books (retail value of $114).

 

Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d9fd/spirit-of-giving-young-readers-package-giveaway}

 

Each gift box includes the following titles for youth:

The complete Rwendigo Tales series by J. A. Myhre:
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest
A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue
A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star
A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World

Written by J. A. Myhre, a doctor living and working in East Africa, this adventure series teaches readers of all ages important truths about justice, overcoming evil, and the courage to make a difference. The latest release is A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World, a compelling African adventure story that will enthrall eight- to fourteen-year-old youth who love adventure and learning about faraway places. In the exciting fourth and final book in the Rwendigo Tales Series, readers will be inspired by ordinary people who make the extraordinary choice to stand against great evil.

Dragon Seed by Marty Machowski

An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book—a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family’s history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you’ll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!

The Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle Faith by Joshua Cooley

The Biggest Win gives athletes and sports fans of all ages a unique, insider’s look into the lives and faith of six Christian NFL players from the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl team. Through the ups and downs of their experiences, author Joshua Cooley shows how these high-profile athletes remain committed to God’s Word, genuine Christian discipleship, and sharing their faith. Using their voices and stories, The Biggest Win gives sports-minded readers hope and direction for living out their faith while competing.  See your youth athletes’ faith grow as they hear and learn from the amazing stories of these Super Bowl Champions.

Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters by Trish Donohue

Between Us Girls was written for mothers with daughters between the ages of seven and fourteen. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

(Between Us Guys for dads and sons will be available in May 2019!)

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at https://newgrowthpress.com/ to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season:

facebook.com/ngpbooks 

twitter.com/newgrowthpress 

instagram.com/newgrowthpress).

Book Review (+Giveaway): Stratagem

19 Nov

About the Book

Book: Stratagem

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November, 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting www.robincaroll.com.

Guest post from Robin

Behind the Scenes: Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .

-Robin

 

My Impressions:

Stratagem, the newest suspense novel by Robin Caroll, has been described as mind-bending. I’m here to tell you it is! I loved this book with its interesting premise, complex plotting, and a puzzling whodunit that keeps the reader guessing to the end. This one is recommended for readers who want a fully-engaged reading ride.

The main character of Stratagem, Grayson Thibodeaux, is a New Orleans-bassed psychologist who designs team-building, interactive games for companies and organizations. Designed to push buttons and reveal both strengths and weaknesses, his games appear mean on the surface, but he asserts that they help the participants improve their lives and relationships. That is, until a game he designed turns bad and very personal when his ex-wife Anna Belle is murdered. Suddenly, Grayson is the prime suspect. I really liked Grayson’s character. He is a committed Christian and truly concerned for his clients and friends. His knowledge of what makes people tick helps him to analyze the crime and stay out of jail. Detectives on the case are also interesting characters — personal feelings and the evidence often clash as they seek the truth. There are plenty of suspects as corporate politics and personal animosity are revealed. And the victim, Anna Belle, well, the reader gets insight into her actions and motives through the other character’s assessments and the flashbacks from her point of view. The use of these beyond the grave scenes is an effective and clever device. Forgiveness as a theme gets the reader thinking — it is both very hard and very necessary.

Stratagem is sure to appeal to all fans of suspense. Engaging, entertaining, and fast-paced, this novel is a fun read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Shiloh Run Press for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of Joy, November 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpa, November 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong Reflections, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d629/stratagem-celebration-tour-giveaway