Saturday, June 20, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Dead Silence
Author: Robin Caroll
Genre: Christian Suspense
Release Date: June 2020
Political games can be deadly…
Elise Carmichael is a court sign language interpreter who reads lips all the time. As a widow with a young son who is deaf, lip reading is simply second nature, until the day she reads the lips of someone on the phone discussing an attempt to be made on a senator’s life—a senator who just happens to be her mother-in-law. Before she can decide what she needs to do, she receives the information that her son is rushed to the ER and she must leave. Then she later sees the news report that her mother-in-law has been shot and killed. But when she comes forward, her life, as well as her son’s life, may now be in the crosshairs of the assassin.


Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 

Hold on to your seat and get ready for a thrill seeking adventure. What would you do if you read someone’s lips that spoke of a murder? What if it was about someone powerful and happens to be about your mother-in-law? I think I would run to the police as fast as I could. Elise is ready to do just that when she gets a message that her son has been injured. I bet her adrenaline is pumping as she races to the hospital. At the back of her mind is the thought that she needs to get in touch with the police but right now her son is upmost of importance. Is it a coincidence that her son is injured right as she finds out her mother in-law is in danger?

The story is exciting and I rooted for Elise as much as I could. She does have a problem with her faith and I couldn’t wait to see the road Elise will take to gain her faith again. It is no surprise that there is a murder and Elise is right in the middle of the investigation. The police don’t seem overly friendly towards her when they realize she may have been able to prevent a tragedy.

The author does an excellent job of educating readers about lip reading and sign language which Elise uses to communicate with her son. I took classes in sign language because I had a child in Sunday School who was deaf. I was determined that the child would not be left out. The first Sunday I started signing as I taught, I saw a big smile come from that child. I will never forget the moment she signed thank you to me.

Now back to the story. Oh yes we have Elise in danger after someone finds out what she knows. I was a bit disappointed when Elise’s son was kidnapped because it was very predictable. What I did like was the sheer determination Elise has to rescue her son and end the threats against her. The story does not lack twists and surprises and the author writes a story that had me on the edge of my seat.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing  and Celebrate Lit and was under no obligation to post a review 

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.


More from Robin

Hi, there. . .Robin here. I’m getting so excited for the release of my thirty-fourth novel, DEAD SILENCE. I have to say, I love this book. The heroine is strong, yet flawed. Her love for her son—willing to do anything to protect him is a mother’s instinct I relate to so well, having three daughters and two grandsons. The love of a mother for her child is so ingrained in me that I wanted to share that in a story.

I’ve been asked why I opted for a heroine who is an ASL translator and who has a deaf son. Many years ago, I became friends with someone who is deaf. She shared with me some of her frustrations, but also how her way of life is in comparison to mine. It got me to thinking that being deaf could be thought of as a disability but could also be used as an advantage…it was all in how you looked at it. My friend shared many stories of how she “eavesdropped” by reading lips and learned much about people and how they reacted to issues, enough that it led her into her career field today—a counselor, specializing in providing therapy for the hearing impaired as they live in a hearing world. I hope that I portrayed my characters in this positive light.

While I’m a Louisiana girl at heart, I reside in Little Rock, the capitol city for Arkansas. Since Bill and Hilary Clinton lived here and claimed it home before Bill was President, we have many political plans and posturing here. I saw it as a perfect backdrop for this particular story with the political undercurrents running rampant throughout the story.

I hope that you enjoy reading DEAD SILENCE as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, June 20
Rebecca Tews, June 21
By The Book, June 22
Genesis 5020, June 22
KarenSueHadley, June 23
Betti Mace, June 24
Remembrancy, June 24
Splashes of Joy, June 26
HookMeInABook, June 26
Mary Hake, June 27
Simple Harvest Reads, June 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
amandainpa, June 28
Worthy2Read, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 29
Hallie Reads, June 30
Quiet Quilter, July 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin 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 the link below to enter.

Friday, June 19, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Victoria Grace: The Jerkface
Author: S.E. Clancy
Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 15, 2020
Ever since Tori Weston and MamaBear were abandoned by her dad, finances have been tighter than a new pair of skinny jeans. As if keeping her grades up for scholarships and working every spare moment weren’t enough, Tori gets suckered into visiting a retirement home and paired with ancient resident Marigold Williams. After learning she’s the only one to visit Marigold in decades, Tori becomes a regular at Willow Springs. Besides, someone has to help with her history homework.
Corbin Dallas barges into Tori’s life with a prosthetic leg and a dimple, working his way into her hectic schedule. Though she tries to deny it, there’s something beyond his Texan drawl that gets Tori hoping she’s more than his sidekick. Together, they race to find Marigold’s missing family before she fades away. Tori ditches her soul-sucking job, along with her dreams of having a paint-peeled clunker to call her own, in order to help her friend one last time.


Click here to get your copy!

MY REVIEW 
I have really enjoyed reading this story about a wonderful character named Victoria Grace. The name is quite beautiful and matched her personality. She goes by Tori and I loved her nickname for her mom. They have a great relationship and I liked that her mom checked on her throughout the day. MamaBear is doing the best she can since Tori’s dad abandoned them. Tori is a typical teenager with a goal of buying her own car. 
It was nice spending time following Tori through school and her job at the theater. The best part of the story for me was when Tori met Marigold. It started as a challenge in a youth group, but visiting Marigold became so much more. Not having any grandparents I think helped Tori appreciate her time with Marigold. I could sit for hours listening to her stories about Hollywood in the day. Their friendship becomes  very special and I liked how the author shows how important it is to visit elderly people. 
Corbin is not such a typical teenage boy with his prosthetic leg. It never seemed to bother Tori and I liked how the author took their relationship slow. It is a nice touch to a story that I think teenagers would enjoy reading. There are a few funny moments in the story with a cat that will bring a smile to your face. Animals are so unpredictable and this cat is quite mischievous. I’m hoping the author will do a follow story because I must know who Marigold worked for. 
I received a copy of this story from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

S.E. Clancy (aka Sarah) is a bit of a sci-fi nerd, geek, and self-proclaimed dork. There isn’t much she won’t try at least once…unless it involves mayonnaise, because that stuff is just gross. You can learn more about her at seclancy.com.



More from S.E.

Victoria Grace the Jerkface started as a short story after I’d listened to my favorite song by Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song. I’d overheard a teenager say, “I don’t even know what a chestnut is.” I typed that into a note on my phone because it struck a chord. Within days, a photographer named Tom Hussey issued a series called “Reflections” that featured elderly people gazing into mirrors and seeing their younger selves. That same night, one of my children asked for a project to earn school credits. Like flint to tinder, the idea of this teenager who didn’t know what a chestnut was having to visit an older person left in a care home began to grow.
To add in a bit of my mom and myself to the story, I had my main character Tori (Victoria Grace) love her mom’s meatloaf. It’s a recipe that my mom used from her grandma, an amazing woman we called Grandma Ted.
Ted’s Meatloaf
  • 1 pound thawed ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 – 2 heels of bread torn into dime-sized pieces (1 for turkey, 2 for beef)
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a single bowl. Works best if you use your hands, but mix really well if you use a spoon to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Do not use parchment paper—no one wants a soggy bottom. Plop the entire mixture into the pan and place into the middle of the oven. Cook for an hour.
This recipe doubles easily, just change the cooking time to 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours and check the internal temp with a thermostat.

Blog Stops

Robin’s Nest, June 20
Nancy E Wood , June 21
Batya’s Bits, June 25
CarpeDiem, June 26
Pause for Tales, June 27
Artistic Nobody, June 28 (Guest Review from Kelsey Barela)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, S.E. is giving away the grand prize package of signed book, origami bookmark, marigold seeds, & $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

STORIES THAT BIND US by SUSIE FINKBEINER

There are authors that have the ability to take readers inside a story and make them feel as if they are part of it. This author is one of them. Her writing is emotional, honest and forever feels your heart with warmth. Betty  was easy to like with her gentle spirit. She is only forty and already a widow. My heart broke in pieces as I could feel her loss. I love the time period and how the author lets us experience history making news.

It seems only yesterday that we were watching a man named Martin Luther King Jr. give a speech that was so powerful I have never forgotten it. Yes he had a dream that one day there would be no prejudice and we would all love one another. The author also includes the tragic death of President Kennedy.

When Clara and Hugo were introduced into the story, I immediately knew this would be a journey that would take me through tissues, laughter and hope. The author shares stories about Betty  and Clara’s childhood. It wasn’t easy for them to have a mother who spent more time in bed than with them. Bless their father for trying to make their lives as normal as he could. Hugo is a sweet child who is timid and has fears of being left. Oh if I could hug him I would. That little boy captured my heart and I loved how Betty connected with him through stories. He was easily welcomed into the family and never once was he made to feel anything but family.

The stigma of mental illness is one that many families face everyday. As Clara begins to show signs that she needs help, Betty was right there to help her. I loved how Betty stepped up and took over the care of Hugo and showered him with love and security. It was hard to watch Clara start to descend into a state where hospitalization was needed. I can’t imagine the treatments she received were easy, but Betty was there to give her sister encouragement. I think it helped Clara to know that she had family that cared and would not abandon her.

The story is a look at a broken family that finds their way back to each other in a moving journey through tears, joy and hope. I cheered at the ending because the author gives readers a glimpse at what unconditional love looks like.

I received an arc copy of this book from Revell Reads. The review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


About the Book

Book:  God Did Not Do This To Me
Author: Lisa Stringer
Genre:  RELIGION / Christian Living/Personal Growth
Release Date: May 4, 2020
Lisa and Doug Stringer were ministering in Massachusetts in March 2015 when a lump in Doug’s throat started to bother him. “I don’t feel well,” he told his wife. “The lump I felt in my throat a few days ago feels larger.” When they were able to see a doctor, they were horrified to learn that Doug had Stage 4 large B-cell lymphoma that was 80 percent aggressive.
Doug spent the rest of the day sitting in his car, alone in prayer. Finally, he called Lisa to tell her that he was on his way home and he wanted a family meeting and communion. Emotionally exhausted and noses still running from crying, Lisa, her mom, and Ashley gathered in the family room as Doug told them about his time with God.
“God did not do this to me—and if He did not do this to me, then it doesn’t belong to me!” he told them emphatically. It was just what they need to hear.
God Did Not Do This to Me is Lisa’s story of the family’s trials and triumphs through a cancer diagnosis. Putting on the armor of God, Doug was determined to turn his battle with cancer into an intercession for the country, even joking that the chemotherapy treatments made him resemble a bald eagle.
By the end of the year, Doug’s cancer was in remission.
“We know that the Great Physician heard the numerous prayers of our friends and spiritual family from all over the world, and blessed us all with a testimony of His healing power,” Lisa says. “We are forever changed through this experience. He has expanded my heart of compassion, taught me to pour out more grace, to be an even bigger giver, and to appreciate the little things all the more.”

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
There are many books available to read about cancer. It is not my favorite subject to read because it hits home. My brother was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. I remember the day in the hospital when the doctor asked me to step out in the hallway. He told me that my brother only had at the most two months to live. I felt like someone had hit me in the heart as the pain  was so horrific. I went back into the room and held my brother’s hand as I told him the news. He asked me to promise him that he would not stay in the hospital. I took him home and became his full time care giver until he passed away with me by his side in March.
I appreciate the author’s story because it shares what it is like to be a care giver.  Lisa wanted to be there for her husband but there were times she needed to just fall on her knees and cry out to God. The scriptures used in the book are very helpful and I love how so many people surrounded them in prayer. The author lets us inside her journey with realism. I remember meeting the author and her husband right here in Houston. I was familiar with their ministry and how dedicated they are to ministering to others. 
People want to be helpful during difficult times and most mean well. As the author states there were some not so nice emails. It is hard at times to keep going when it feels like everything is against you. My brother chose not to do chemotherapy but rather to go home to be comfortable. I am thankful for the hospital who never once told him he should try something. They did however show him compassion as he left the hospital to begin his next journey. M.D. Anderson hospital is very well known for its treatment of cancer. I enjoyed reading how the Stringer’s used their time there to pray for others. 
I loved reading how steadfast their faith was during this journey and how supportive their daughter was as well. There were times while I took care of my brother that I held back tears so he wouldn’t see me upset. We never know why we go through things but I know God had a divine appointment for me and my brother. A few days before he passed away, I lead my brother to Christ. As tears streamed down both out cheeks I heard him say, “Jesus I love you. Come into my heart.” Reading this book has comforted me and has helped me know that God is always there holding our hand as we walk through trials. 
One of the things I really liked was how strong this couple was and how they continued to help others. I loved the pillows of peace  ministry they continue even today. What an expression of love to receive one as you struggle through illness. I appreciate the outpouring of love this couple shares as they walked into a new ministry.  This is a well written first hand look at cancer and the journey one family took. It is encouraging and honest and one that others could benefit from. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Lisa Stringer is the wife of Doug Stringer, the founder and president of Somebody Cares America/International, a network of organizations impacting their communities through unified grassroots efforts.
Lisa worked in the secular radio and music entertainment industry for seventeen years, becoming the first female program director of a top-40 station in a major market in the United States. Later, she became the vice president of programming and promotions of a radio group. Lisa has received numerous awards, including gold and platinum records for her contribution to the success of many highly recognizable recording artists and entertainers.
She homeschooled her daughter, Ashley, who is now enrolled in dual programs at a local community college and working on the release of her second EP.
Lisa travels with Doug as they minister to many around the globe, ranging from those of the persecuted church to those suffering in the aftermath of human tragedy, such as the Haitian earthquake, the tsunami in Japan, and Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Lisa enjoys opportunities where she has been able to interpret for her husband as they minister throughout Central and South America. She and her husband are also regular guests on various television programs that air throughout the world.
Lisa has a heart for the less fortunate, widows, and orphans. She has served on various boards and has traveled to over thirty-four nations.
The Stringers live in the greater Houston area.


More from Lisa

Doug continued to listen to whatever the doctor was telling him. I could tell something wasn’t right because Doug’s countenance had changed. It was obvious he was not receiving good news. Whatever it was, at no time did I ever imagine it to be cancer. Doug would not look at me; his eyes were locked in a forward gaze. That alone had my heart beating a tad faster.
I then heard him say, “How bad is it?” Oh, my goodness, was my heart beating right out of my chest! How bad is it? How bad is what? This can’t be bad! I was not expecting bad! Then I heard the heart-wrenching, horrible “c” word come out of my husband’s mouth. He still had his eyes fixed forward. That in itself was painful, not because he wasn’t acknowledging me, but because he was hurting and I knew that if we made eye contact, one or both of us would break down at this point.
We had been on an emotional roller coaster and we were about to take a drop from one of the scariest peaks on one of the worst rides people can experience. I was struggling with everything in me to not allow tears to stream down my face. After all, I was still only hearing one side of the conversation. I recall Doug getting choked up and his voice cracking as he fought back the natural reaction to bad news. He then asked, “What kind of cancer is it?” My heart stopped. I felt like I had been shot and life was moving in slow motion. I could feel every nerve in my body. A deep pain set in…

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, June 14 (Spotlight)
Andrea Christenson, June 18 (Spotlight)
Through the Fire Blogs, June 20 (Spotlight)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 22 (Spotlight)
My Devotional Thoughts, June 25 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Women of the Bible Speak Out
Author: Marlo Schalesky
Genre:  RELIGION/Christian Living/Women’s Interests
Release Date: June 2, 2020
With the recent headlines about gender-based abuse, power, harassment, and assault, it seems as if everyone is searching for answers. Marlo Schalesky provides a biblical response to the tough questions raised by these issues. She explores the stories of twenty women in Scripture, including Eve, Sarah, and Bathsheba—women who were betrayed, abused, endangered, blamed, and shamed. As she leads us in studying the biblical text, she draws our eye to God’s responses to these women and their situations:  Eve: The Way It Was Supposed to Be
Sarai: Betrayed
Hagar: – Used
Lot’s Daughters & A Levite’s Concubine: Abused
Two Tamars: Rejected
Hannah: Devalued
Abigail: Endangered
Bathsheba: Sexualized
Esther: Dominated
Mary & Martha: Oppressed
A Samaritan Woman: Shamed
A Sinful Woman: Scorned
A Woman Caught in Adultery: Blamed
Women at the Tomb: Disbelieved
She points out a way to healing, wholeness, and freedom. In the midst of today’s #MeToo conversations, this book will give new voice to the remarkable women of Scripture—and new hope to many, many women today.



Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
I have been anticipating reading this book for awhile. I wanted to hear from women in the Bible and see what their thoughts were. The author takes a look at several women and lets us see what they may have been thinking and feeling. The first woman we meet is Eve. Rightly so it should be her first since she was the first woman created. I loved how she knew right away that she had sinned. We all are quick to point fingers when someone does something wrong. But do we consider how they may feel? Just like Eve we hide in shame hoping that no one knows we have sinned. Did Eve feel like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders? Where was Adam? Why wasn’t he standing beside his helpmate instead of pointing fingers at her? There is hope in God. He wants to heal us from brokenness and shame. It is not your fault if you have experienced abuse. I loved how the author shows us what Eve may say to us now. “Have hope!”
Each woman from the Bible shared in this book opened my eyes to lies that we have accepted for too long. We are not the weaker ones , but equal in God’s eyes. We don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed. God wants us to hold our head up, know we are loved and forgiven. The enemy loves to whisper things in our ears to discourage us. It is time to brush away the past and allow God to heal your heart. 
As I read these stories I couldn’t believe that I never noticed how women were treated in Biblical times. Some  were abused, sold in slavery and tossed aside when they were not needed anymore. Oh that we will allow the truth to set us free. I end my review with this story about Women at the Tomb. “Jesus entrusted a small group of  faithful women the most important news of all history.” What would it have been like to be among them as they shared that Jesus was alive ? Even though they might not be believed He still chose them to share the news. God loves us. We need to start  lifting  each other up. There is no time for jealousy or gossip. God wants us to stand together and remember these women from the Bible. They overcame great obstacles to proclaim His glory. 
I hope every woman will get a copy of this book. It gives hope to the broken-hearted and frees those who have felt unworthy. This would make an excellent Bible study for women. I can see a group of women going through the chapter one week at a time. As they discuss the women from the Bible they can feel safe to share their own experiences. It would be a time of healing and compassion. A time of hope and building each other up. Together we stand, divided we fall. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Marlo Schalesky is the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization that brings hope through horses to hurting kids. She’s had over one thousand articles published in various Christian magazines, is a regular columnist for Power for Living, and is an award-winning author of twelve books. Schalesky has a master’s in theology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband and six children in a log home on California’s central coast.




More from Marlo

1) Why did you write this book?
When I was first asked to consider writing a book about women in the Bible who experienced abuse, oppression, gender-based bias and discrimination, sexualization, and more, I didn’t know how their stories would intersect with mine and the experiences of women today. I thought I would find only horror, but beyond that I found a surprising hope; a God who is always seeking to redeem, to heal, and to make right where mankind has broken and betrayed.
This book is for others like me, for women who have been hurt, whose wounds sometimes seem too deep to heal. I wrote it for those who know that while justice is necessary, it is not enough. We need to see God. We need Him to see us. We need an experience with the God of Scripture whose fierce love is the only thing that can heal those hurts that lie deep within.
2) What do you hope your readers will take away from reading your book?
I hope they experience a renewed hope. And a deeper understanding of the God who loves them. I want readers to know that God sees them, and He sees what they’ve suffered, and He does not look away. He does not make excuses.
After reading Women of the Bible Speak Out, I hope readers will see that instead of winking at the repression of women, the Bible exposes it. And the Bible reveals a God who not only shares in our suffering but seeks to redeem it.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, June 12
Older & Smarter, June 12
Rebecca Tews, June 15
Holly Jo Morris, June 18
Lighthouse Academy Blog, June 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Hallie Reads, June 21
Splashes of Joy, June 22
Artistic Nobody, June 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marlo is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book plus a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.