Friday, September 14, 2018

THE HOUSE AT SALTWATER POINT by
COLLEEN COBLE

Ellie is a crackerjack at fixing up houses and making a profit after selling them. I sure would like to have her talent. I loved her nickname of "Hammer -Girl." The story is very intriguing and I enjoyed trying to figure out what happened to Ellie's sister Mackenzie.  I would like to have known a bit more about Mackenzie and didn't quite relate to her at times.

Ellie doesn't believe the rumors about her sister stealing cocaine. When Mackenzie turns up missing the hunt is on for the truth. I liked how the author gave us a bit of background on Ellie and why she has a hard time believing in herself. Grayson is a bigger than life person with his size and fierce protectiveness. He wants to help Ellie but he also has a job to do. Will he help find Mackenzie and prove her innocence?

The story is unpredictable and really kept me on my toes. I wasn't sure who to believe at times which made the story so good. The author has an ability to take a plot and expand it with explosive details that keep you guessing. There is danger all around Ellie and Grayson. The terrorist part in the story was unexpected and made the book even harder to put down. It's funny what some people will do for power and money. Don't miss this intense action packed story that will have you on the edge of your seat.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
COLD CASE by SUSAN SLEEMAN

I have been waiting for Eryn to have her own story and it is finally here. She is my favorite character in this series. Eryn is very computer savvy and her intelligence is over the top. I don't think there is anything she can't do on a computer. Companies would be standing in line to hire her. To me she is the glue that holds Blackwell Tactical together.

The plot is perfect for Eryn as her computer is locked with ransomware. I never heard of this term, but with the excellent research by the author I know about how hackers do their dirty work. Eryn tries to play off that the threat against her isn't a big deal, but her team isn't taking any chances.

Trey has been assigned to protect her since she is determined to teach her classes at a conference.  Trey is a good guy but his feelings for Eryn could get in the way and distract him from his job to keep Eryn safe. The tension between the two is heavy and I'm not sure Eryn will let Trey into her life.

I loved how the author used the character's faith to pray protection over each other. It's a race to the end to save Eryn as the person behind the cyber attacks inches closer. Get ready for an edge of your seat ending.

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

God’s Spirit is living among God’s people.
He always was, always is, and always will be.
These are the stories that tell about him and what he does.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, written by Doris Rikkers and illustrated by Fernando Juarez, presents over 40 Bible stories from the old and new testaments that show how God’s Spirit has been with his people from the beginning of time. Keep reading to learn more about this new release from ZonderKidz!

Want a peek at what the bible looks like? Click on the link below for a tour.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=13DoRB0HUU0at5VHCA6fFTfMEUxw_Ghgl




Doris Wynbeek Rikkers is a freelance writer and editor who has written many bestselling children’s books and Bibles. Although she loves the ocean, she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, surrounded by her books, her flower gardens, and her family and friends.

Spanish artist Fernando Juarez illustrates children’s books and also works as an art supervisor at the Madrid studio Ilion Animation. The company produces 3D feature films for children. Fernando has three kids himself, and if he has any time left after work and family, you might catch him playing guitar in a rock band.



You can also enter to win a copy of The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible and other awesome kids' releases in a giveaway hosted by Read with Audra. Details below!Would you like to win your own copy of
The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible?

Win a children's book prize pack from Read with Audra!

The prize pack includes a copy of:

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible
Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations
NIV Kids Visual Study Bible
Explorer's Bible Guide
Words to Love By
Love Letters from God 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

















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This is such a beautiful bible that children will love to have. The gorgeous pictures are vibrant and help tell the stories in an easy to understand way that guides you through the bible starting  in Genesis. It is well made with a hard cover and pages that are thick and durable.

I loved reading the different stories and each one was illustrated perfectly. It is certainly an eye catcher and children will be excited to have their own copy. Parents and Sunday School teachers can use this as they go through the stories and help the children visualize what is being taught. It is a perfect bible for those who like to see stories come to life and is written in a version that is easy to understand. I like the way it is set up with where the story can be found by giving the Book of the Bible and scriptures.

At the end of the Bible is a wonderfully written summary just for children. It encourages them to trust God, call on Him when you need Him and if a child hasn't asked God into their heart, it will guide them how to do it. I can't say enough good things about how this bible is designed and set up. I highly recommend this bible to children, teachers and parents who want an easy to read bible with illustrations that pop off the pages.

I received a copy of this bible from Read with Audra Tour . The review is my own opinion.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

COLD FURY by SUSAN SLEEMAN

This is the third in a series and it sure does take off with a bang. I love how the author has developed a series that follows a group of people and their lives. Each story is packed with action and I love getting to know the team members better.

Maggie is a very smart woman who has had to overcome a great loss in her life. Her past comes back to greet her in a way that will impact her thinking and safety. I enjoyed getting to know Jackson and how his life intersected with Maggie's. What I really enjoyed was reading about computers and hacking. I'm somewhat of a geek and find programming intriguing. The author does a great job of giving details about how computers can be hacked and the danger it can cause.

Maggie is in danger when she happens upon a crime. Now she must rely on Jackson and the  Blackwell Tactical Team to keep her safe. There are many twists in the story that keeps readers engrossed. I loved the unexpected chemistry between Maggie and Jackson, but I'm not sure she has forgiven him for the past. Will she be able to trust him as he risks his life to find out who is after her? Don't miss this story filled with intrigue and danger. I did like the theme in the book of forgiveness and trust. You will have to read for yourself what happens as the team takes on a dangerous cat and mouse game that will have you turning pages as fast as you can.

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

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About the Book

Shadow sister
Book Title: Shadow Sister
Author: Katherine Scott Jones
Genre: Woman’s Fiction
Release date: August 28, 2018
Working on her father’s vineyard allows Sarah Lanning to bury memories of a lost love and a career that might have been. But then her fractured family receives word that her estranged sister, Jenna, is dead, leaving behind an unexpected request: that Sarah travel to Bolivia to scatter her ashes.
Accompanied by pilot Chase Maddox, Sarah embarks on an Andean journey that tests her devotion to home and exposes Jenna’s secret life. Each staggering discovery creates new mysteries—until the last, which leaves Sarah questioning everything she understood about family loyalty. At a crossroads, she must decide whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness—and whether she can lay claim to a future of happiness without it.
Bittersweet and bold, Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.


About the Author

Katherine JonesKatherine Scott Jones grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas as her family moved with her father’s Navy career. Seattle became home when she married her husband twenty-eight years ago. After graduating Whitworth University with a degree in communications, she established herself as a freelance writer before turning her hand to fiction. She blogs about books that celebrate beauty at www.katherinescottjones.com. Katherine and her husband have two teenage children. Shadow Sister is her second novel.

Guest Post from Katherine Scott Jones

Shadow Sister: Outtake Reel
By Katherine Scott Jones
Much as I love a good movie, my favorite part often comes at the end when the director includes outtakes—those false starts and bits from the making of the movie that wind up on the cutting room floor.
In a similar vein, I’m going to let you in on some of what went into the creation of my novel, Shadow Sister, but did not make the final cut.
Shadow Sister is a work of inspirational women’s fiction with a global accent—written for women with a heart for complex relational issues as well as a passion for biblical justice. It is the story of a vintner’s daughter who travels to Bolivia to scatter her estranged sister’s ashes. There, she unravels secrets that test her devotion to home and make her question whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness. Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.
Now that you know a bit about what it is, come along as I pull back the curtain and share an exclusive peek at what Shadow Sister is not.
Working Titles
It took me a while to finally land on the right title. Early contenders:
– The Sweetness of Light
– Variations on Shadows and Light.
Characters
It also took a bit of experimenting before I found the right combination of people and places:
– Sarah, the main character, was originally a marine biologist. I first imagined the story set in Seattle before moving it to the fertile plains of Eastern Washington wine country.
– Sarah was originally engaged; and Chase and Rachael were involved.
– The gender of Matilde’s baby changed from what I first plotted. That simple switch got me unstuck from a perplexing snag of writer’s block.
– Names:
o Nicole, Stasi, Rees, and Stephen were all main-character names I considered and rejected.
o Little sister Sarah and big sister Jenna began as litter sister Jenna and big sister Kate. Then Jenna became Somer and finally Sarah, while Kate became Jenna.
o Sassy Britches is named after an actual racehorse by the same name.
Unused research
Of course, story exploration turned up far more tidbits of interesting info than I could possibly fit into the pages of a novel! Some of what I wished I could have used…
– Bolivian fun facts
o Customs.
  • Bolivians tend to eat outdoors when it is not raining. Many men do not feel comfortable eating in front of strangers, so they will often face a wall or sit hunched over their food when they are eating in public.
  • Cha’lla is a ritual blessing drawn from Catholic tradition, indigenous religious ceremony, or—typically—a combination of both. Performed by a yatiri (spiritual leader) or Catholic priest, a cha’lla ceremony is performed whenever a new building is finished to ensure future peace in that building.
  • Many Bolivians believe in karisirus, or night phantoms. These harmful spirits catch people out after dark or when they’re sleeping. Legend says that they split their victim’s stomach and extract some of the fat.
o Drinks. While the traditional Bolivian beverages api and mate de coca are featured in Shadow Sister, several others are not:
  • refresco (fruit juice with a dried peach at the bottom of the glass)
  • tostada (a mixture of barley, honey, cloves in water)
  • chicha (homemade corn beer)
  • singani (made from grapes, a cross between wine and whiskey)
o Language. Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua are Bolivia’s three national languages, and they differ from each other greatly. For example, the number one in Spanish = uno, Aymara = ma, Quechua = hoq.
– Quotes:
o On wine: “Wine is sunlight held together by water.” ~ Galileo
o On art: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton
I hope this glimpse into what didn’t make it onto the pages of Shadow Sisterpiques your interest for discovering what finally did!




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The story sweeps across oceans from the States to a small town in Bolivia. It centers on two sisters who are very different. Have you ever felt like you were in the shadows of one of your siblings? Sarah has always thought that her sister Jenna was the center of  attention in the family. It seemed that she always heard praises about Jenna especially from her dad. There was definitely jealousy on Sarah's part.

I loved reading about the relationship the sisters had and the author really explores what happens when a secret is hidden that ruins their bond. It is hard to repair a fractured relationship when one of them takes off to Bolivia. Sarah is heartbroken and also bitter. Why would Jenna stop talking to her and go thousands of miles away? I did enjoy the way the  author had us travel back in years as we saw a glimpse into the life Jenna as she matured into a young woman. I did feel sorry for Sarah as she felt unloved at times by her father. 

When a tragedy occurs in the family, I think the story really took off on an emotional journey that made the story so touching and real. As Sarah travels to Bolivia she questions why she alone was requested to come. Why would Jenna want her to be the family member who fulfills her wishes? The author does a good job of describing the way people in some areas of Bolivia live. I was very surprised to read what is done to young women there. It is something I can't fathom any human ever doing. The way that women are treated there is appalling at times. I loved how the author reminds us of how much God loves women and want them to be treated with respect. 

Another part of the story that fascinated me was learning about vineyards. I could see the beautiful grapes as they were ready for harvest glistening in the sun. The family has worked hard to keep it going and it has become a prosperous business for them. I'm not sure how I felt about the dad at times. I could see how he gave most of his attention to Jenna, but as I read the story I began to see the secrets that had been hidden for so long cast a shadow . The shadow crept into Sarah in a way that made her feel invisible at times. 

The best part of the book for me is when Sarah is in Bolivia and discovers the real Jenna that she never knew. Does Sarah regret the bitterness she had for her sister? Why did Jenna keep her life in Bolivia a secret from her family? I liked how the author shows how much each sister loved God and was able to see through His eyes the beauty a woman possesses inside and out. The story is filled with deep emotion, secrets, redemption, forgiveness and an understanding of being His hands and feet.  I will remember this story for its openness about how women are treated in other countries. I appreciate the way the author examines family relationships and how each moment is precious that you spend with them. Above all, I love the story for its message of hope and unconditional love. 


I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, September 4
The Power of Words, September 5
Among the Reads, September 5
Fiction Aficionado, September 6
The Becca Files, September 6
RebekahsQuill, September 7
Bigreadersite, September 7
Just the Write Escape, September 8
Bibliophile Reviews, September 9
Texas Book-aholic, September 11
Livin Lit, September 11
Janices book reviews, September 12
Remembrancy, September 12
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 13
Inklings and notionsSeptember 13
Pause for Tales, September 14
The Mimosa Blossom, September 14
Kelly Harrel, September 15
Two Points of Interest, September 15
Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a grand prize that includes a personalized signed print copy of the book, a Shadow Sister bookmark, a Frame-able print, Book-lover’s tea, 6 Handcrafted notecards, and a set of vineyard-themed playing cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d25f/shadow-sister-celebration-tour-giveaway