Saturday, August 8, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Healing Thru Service
Author: SGT Q
Genre:  Nonfiction
Release Date: April 22, 2020
In this new war, the battlefield of the mind, hope would become my new ammunition, and the mission field would be the centerpiece of my new battlefield.
A proud Marine since right out of high school, Aaron Quinonez (Sgt Q) was trained to fight the enemy and was prepared for war. When he volunteered for a combat tour in Iraq, little did he know his real battle would be fought in his mind. After eight years of military service, Sgt Q suffered from depression, anger, and panic attacks and was diagnosed with PTSD. He nearly ended his own life in the parking lot of a church, where later he was redeemed by Jesus Christ, who gave him a new life.
Sgt Q traded the battlefield for the mission field and found healing and purpose through building homes and churches, feeding children, and supplying precious hope to struggling communities worldwide. God then called him to form QMissions, a pathway for veterans—Sgt Q’s fellow warfighters—to replace the battle scars of their minds with the joy of serving. In Healing thru Service, you’ll find:
  • personal recons—Sgt Q’s anecdotes and adventures
  • scientific research on recovering from PTSD and using hope to create new, positive triggers
  • the award-winning step-by-step process of healing through mission service, leading to a life of gratitude, fulfillment, and purpose
Although originally aimed at struggling veterans, this book also offers help for anyone in crisis and may be your ticket to a more fulfilled life.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
There are books that for some will be emotionally hard to read. The subject is one you deal with and you aren’t sure you are strong  enough to read it. This book could be that for me if not for the fact that it has the hard truth I need to hear. The author is clear in his struggle with PTSD. He doesn’t shy away from the struggles he has had. What he delivers in this book is honesty, transparency and hope.
Have you ever had someone say, “If you have a problem, find the solution?” I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have had people tell me “get over it,” “move on”  and other not helpful phrases. I really liked how he sums up the different camps people can be stuck in if they aren’t careful. 
What is most encouraging in the book are several tools. The first one is the scriptures the author uses to illustrate his points. Another tool he uses is getting out there and serving others. It may be a sacrifice but oh how blessed you will feel doing for others. We all go through trials, but what if we did it together instead of alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone beside you praying and lifting you up? 
The book is a great resource to help those who are struggling in any type of crisis. There are exercises at the end of each chapter to apply the tools learned in the book. I would encourage church leaders and counselors to have a few copies to hand out as you reach out to those who are hurting. It’s time to take back what the enemy has stolen from us. Let’s go out and be His hands and feet and help others who need God’s love. 
“Never be content with where you are.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Aaron Quinonez (Sgt Q) gave eight honorable years to the US Marine Corps. After volunteering for a combat tour in Iraq in 2003, he was diagnosed with PTSD and contemplated suicide, until Jesus Christ rescued him and gave him a new life and a new purpose. Today he heads QMissions (Qmissions.org), restoring hope and purpose to struggling veterans through mission service. In 2017 Sgt Q was named Seattle’s Hometown Hero. He’s married to Holly, who cofounded QMissions and serves as its director of development.



More from Sgt Q

I am excited to release my first book, Healing thru Service, a Warrior’s guidebook to overcoming trauma. My sincere hope is that this book will lead you on a path of healing and restoration. That the lessons within will help you to to lead a more fulfilled life free from your past. God has been so gracious with me as He led me through this process as I am sure He will be with you as well. Each chapter is structured so that I mentor you through the process building one concept on top of another until we get to the final chapter where you will be challenged to put the things you have learned into practice.

Blog Stops

Spoken from the Heart, August 10 (Author Interview)
Through the Fire Blogs, August 14 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, August 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Sgt Q is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book. free access to the online curriculum, and an opportunity to join Q Missions on a mission in 2021!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

The Gentleman Spy –Audra Reads



MY REVIEW 

It is easy to fall in love with this book because the characters are so genuine and intriguing. I love how the historical facts are indeed accurate and take you back in time. The author does a great job of researching the time period to make the story so inviting. 
I loved how the story flows as we are introduced to key characters that will take us on a journey we will cherish. Marcus is a gentleman who stole my heart with his manners, intelligence and vulnerability. His loyalty to others is definitely a plus and propels him to the top of my list of favorite characters. I’m not sure he cared much for his title which brought a snicker from me. It’s why I adored him so because he is a down to earth person who doesn’t care about nobility. 
Charlotte could be my friend with her love for books and that uncanny ability to speak her mind. She has no filter when it comes to letting others know how she feels. Charlotte at times doesn’t trust men so getting to know Marcus would be a challenge for both of them. 
I loved how the author slowly builds on their relationship as they face struggles, danger and a journey that gave me  goosebumps. I am always interested in books where spy’s are involved. The danger alone is enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. 
Get ready for a treat in this Regency story rich in history as Marcus and Charlotte learn to trust and follow God’s direction. I loved reading about Marcus and his adventure as a mystery unfolds to add intrigue to the story. It’s a great look at two people learning to respect each other and finding  unconditional love. 
I received a copy of this book from Read With Audra blog tours. The review is my own opinion.  

About the autHor

A SELF-DESCRIBED HISTORY GEEK, SHE HAS BEEN PLANNING HER FIRST RESEARCH TRIP TO ENGLAND.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ERICA VETSCH AND HER BOOKS AT 
http://www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Twitter (@EricaVetsch), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Giveaway

Grey weathered parchment
– A copy of Erica Vetsch’s The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy
– A library card tote bag
– A bookshelf pouch bag
– A book mug
– A Willow Tree book angel
– A book page holderAll you have to do to enter is to fill out your name and email address, but there are lots of ways to earn BONUS entries. It’s completely up to you how many you want to do. You can even do a daily Tweet!


https://promosimple.com/ps/10029/the-gentleman-spy


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Friday, August 7, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Six Years and a Quarter Way Through
Author: Cassandre Brissot
Genre:  Christian Romance, Coming of Age
Release Date: April 19, 2019
Six Years and a Quarter Way Through is a story about a young woman who’s lost her way. Like many of us, Leah believed that the vision supersedes the process until, at age twenty-six, she stops believing in the vision and the one who gave it to her. Leah has lost her faith, her job, her confidence, and maybe her mind. Utterly defeated and without hope that her dreams to become a star would come true, she meets Trenton Shaw, a rich, powerful, handsome, hot-shot producer who has spent the last six years of his life trying to find her. Leah is weary of Trenton initially, particularly since he is adamant about enlisting her for a new reality show that he is putting together called “Star Quality.” However, after reasoning that she has nothing left to lose, she consents. If she wins the show, she will receive a cash prize, an agent, and most importantly a part in a brand-new feature film; even if she loses, people would still know her name.
Trent and Leah quickly fall for each other, forming an intense and sometimes volatile relationship, which only gets more complicated after she moves into the house she’ll be sharing with her costars and meets Brice. Frightened awake from a nightmare, Leah stumbles into the living room, where she finds Brice looking as haunted as she feels; he confides in her about his dead fiancĂ©e, and she in him about her nightmares and anxiety attacks. Her nightmares recur, worsening with each night as the competition intensifies and her relationship with Trent deepens. Gradually it becomes apparent that Leah’s way of getting everything she’s ever wanted may have taken her on a road she should not have traveled.
At its core, this is a story about the journey we all must take: What do we believe? How strongly do we believe it? Will that belief be steadfast in the face of temptation? Although everyone’s story is different, you only either chose to do it God’s way or your own.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
This has been an epic journey with a young woman who is ambitious yet fragile. I devoured every page wanting to know Leah. I like the slow unraveling story that allows readers to soak up each struggle, success and hope she endures.  It’s not everyday we are allowed into the world of Reality TV in a way that makes the characters vulnerable. I loved how the author peels  back the layers of insecurity and walks us through emotional growth. 
The promises that Leah hears from Trent penetrate any logical reason she has for being weary of him. I loved when her mom told her to be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. How often do we remember that scripture as we jump into circumstances that could harm us? Leah is trying to convince herself that if she was popular, successful and rich she would be somebody. Oh how I know so well how desperate it feels to need affirmation. We seek others approval but forget that God already loves us. The story is complicated yet very simple at the core. 
Leah’s panic attacks are very emotional and one that I can relate to. That fear that grips you is unforgiving as you allow it to consume  her. I loved the times she opens up and allows someone to see beneath the surface. Trent is certainly not making any points with me as he seems to string Leah along. She wants him to be the one that God has called for  her to be equally yoked with. As the story progresses the author gives us glimpses of spiritual turmoil going on within Leah. 
Leah is a character much like some of us. We know right from wrong and when to say no. What we struggle with is walking  our walk. Leah has faith but as the story continues  she starts to compromise her beliefs and we witness her descent into darkness. Sometimes we have to go through tests  to achieve our testimony . This story at the very root is discovering who  you are and trusting God to carry you through the darkness. 
“But know your worth, know your strength, and own your struggle. It’ll make you stronger and all the more worthwhile.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

About the  Author

Cassandre Brissot is the author of debut novel, Six Years And A Quarter Way Through. She completed her bachelor of fine arts in Television and Radio production at the City University of New York Brooklyn College. She then went on to work as a TV production assistant until becoming a flight attendant in 2014, which is the same year she was crowned Miss Black New York USA. Nowadays, she can still be found on set but in front of the cameras, though mostly as an extra, thus far. When she’s not on a set, she’s writing for her blog. She also enjoys dance parties with her young nieces and karaoke, very much.



More from Cassandre

The best part of being young is the possibilities. In your minds eye you’re the next president, or celebrated surgeon, maybe a coveted fashion designer, you might even be Superman. As a child I dreamed fanciful dreams of stardom, celebrity, vast fortune, and a handsome prince to boot. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could start living the fabulous life I knew would be mine. In spite of the hardships of my early years, I never doubted that my life would go according to plan, when it didn’t, it just about killed me.
I received my college diploma with a dangerous amount of pride. I was certain that after one of the best years of my life, which included interning at a prominent television network, success on the pageant circuit, and getting cast in and shooting a great pilot, that the world was my oyster. I had the talent, ambition, drive, and connections. Not to mention, I knew God. Why wouldn’t things work out for me?
Nearly two years passed before I was able to gain employment-as a sales associate, in a small boutique. No one would hire me let alone cast me in a project. The pilot I’d banked all my hopes on was never picked up. Each day that went by brought me to new lows. The successes of my friends and former classmates made the pain all the more acute. I was depressed, making terrible decisions in every area of my life, and loosing it. Thinking about my shattered hopes gave me an anxious feeling in the pit of my gut. Often that feeling turned into a full-blown anxiety attack. I was fledgling and inconsolable until The Holy Spirit spoke to me. What’s more important, He asked, the fame and the money or a relationship with Him?
It’s ironic, I called myself a Christian but I never consulted Christ about my life. I prayed for better but never did I ask God what His will was for me. I wanted what I wanted. I didn’t stop there. I wanted God to bless my endeavors regardless of whether it was His will for me or not because it was mine. Everything I’d done to that point answered the question loudly and clearly. I’d lived in yearning for things not Christ. It was heartbreaking coming to terms with that, however it was also the wake up call I needed. I finally understood I couldn’t serve two masters at the same time. I decided to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the rest of the things would come in His divine time.
The Holy Spirit taught me a lot of things during that season of my life: who you are-your character-is more important to The Lord than where you’re trying to go. Sometimes God will allow you to falter for the sake of truly finding Him, and perhaps most prominently, that nothing matters more than a true relationship with Christ. Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, was born of those lessons and the desire to honor Christ as a witness to His redemptive power and love.
Leah Albanese is a young woman who chooses the things-including the boy who is offering them-over God, but she soon learns that even when you give up on God He doesn’t give up on you.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, August 2
Splashes of Joy, August 3 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, August 6 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, August 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
A Baker’s Perspective, August 9 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, August 12 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, August 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cassandre is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Six Years And A Quarter Way Through, 1 journal (My Story His Way: Journaling your journey to a closer walk with Him), and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Katherines arrangement FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Katherine’s Arrangement
Author: Blossom Turner
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Katherine's Arrangement_final (1)Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.
Katherine William’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.
The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.
Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
I’m not sure where to begin with this review. I have so much emotions stirring inside me right now that I am about to burst. The author has written a story so touching and faith filled that I don’t know whether to cry or jump for joy. I knew this was a story about an arranged marriage so I had already figured I knew what was to come. To my utter surprise this story is so laden with characters that will forever me part of my life. Some stories just stick with you and this is one of them. 
Katie is more than just a character to me. She represents the scripture about laying your life down for another. I know I paraphrased that but I hope you get the meaning. Her unyielding love for her family makes her decision a little easier for her. Marrying someone you don’t love in order to help your mother and father have a better life is a great sacrifice. I could feel her tears as she said those words that sealed the marriage. Now what was she to do? 
Josiah is a wealthy man and has his eyes only for Katie. His willingness to help her family will come at a cost for Katie. I admired his gentle ways with Katie and his patience as she tried to learn how to be a wife. I did like how the author used the story of Ruth to loosely explain Katie’s marriage. There are definitely similarities and helped see where the author was going with the plot. 
I won’t go into much detail because then I would spoil the book. I will say that I loved Katie’s father and found him to be a kind and honest man. He has a secret that will be discovered but oh how his heart is opened to God. It is probably one of the best parts of the book when Katie’s father confesses knowing the hurt it will cost many. It also explains the relationship between Katie and her mother. There are so many treasures in this story that I could gush all day about them. 
I loved the history in the story and how the author explores a subject that even today is still on people’s minds. The way she describes the closeness that Josiah and Katie experience is done with grace and love. The theme of forgiveness and drawing close to God is like a diamond sparkling in the sun. It is beautiful and flawless. The ending is beautiful and a reminder that “God never leaves us nor forsakes us.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  

I About the Author

Blossom Turner_small (1)Blossom Turner is a freelance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and author. Her authentic understanding of the power of love is woven through the pages of Book One in the Shenandoah Bride series—Katherine’s Arrangement. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.




More from Blossom

From the time I was a little girl I had a love for reading, a wild imagination, and the desire to write. At twelve, I received my first Bible and read all the way through a King James Version. My love for Jesus was cemented. I day-dreamed of a Cinderella happily-ever-after story. The traumatic childhood I was living in was gentled by the dream of being whisked away by a handsome prince and truly loved. Put that all together, and the building blocks for writing romantic fiction are all in place.
But how did I get to writing historical romance? Well that was for one reason only…I loved reading stories of arranged marriages and wanted to write one. The drama, the tension, the love that can flourish out of nothing, I just loved the concept but…the scenario had to be believable to me. Thus, the wheels of imagination started turning. What better than right after the Civil War, in the Shenandoah Valley where houses were burned and people left destitute? I’m Canadian and had a smattering of knowledge of that time period, so had to do extensive research to pull it off. To be historically accurate was much more difficult than writing my first novel, Anna’s Secret, set in today’s era. Now I am hooked on writing historical romance. I’m both a sensitive and an old soul and it fits my personality perfectly. Who knew? God did.
I think when you read Katherine’s Arrangement, you will agree that the drama that brings this couple together is both believable and engaging. I am so excited to write this five-book series on five sisters and their love stories, as I come from a large family with six sisters and one brother. I write from family dynamics I know all about.
The reason I write is two-fold. I believe when writing fiction that one must deliver a love story that touches the heart, that draws people in, that makes them both laugh and cry. The entertainment value must be there. Then, I weave in my love for Jesus in a non-preachy, realistic way, with the hopes and failures of everyday people. The resounding theme in Katherine’s Arrangementis that God can work all things for good when we choose to place our life in His trustworthy hands. It is uncanny how love can grow in the fertile soil of good choices. But don’t be fooled, as with most of us, Katherine had to go through her gamut of bad choices before she surrendered.
I pray you will find a little bit of your story in Katherine’s story, and that, above all, you will enjoy the read.

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, August 10
Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Splashes of Joy, August 14
Pause for Tales, August 15
Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.