Wednesday, July 8, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Jane Doe
Author: Lillian Duncan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 26, 2020
A Broken Body. A Broken Mind. What If She Wasn’t The Last Victim?Jane Doe
Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. She wants to put the past behind her, but nightmarish memories won’t let her. . .At first because she doesn’t have them, and then because she does.
Even though her fractured memory can’t recall every detail, she’s haunted by one thought: What if she wasn’t the last victim? Her search for answers leads her to the highest politicians in the land. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.


Click here to get your copy!

MY REVIEW  
I don’t know why, but I kept thinking about this saying I have heard as I read this book. “Sometimes less is more.” It can mean that having less is more important than having more power, materialistic things or more recognition. I bring this up because the beginning of the book is not only hard to read, but goes into graphic details which could be triggers for some. I find that the author needed to give more details to understand the sheer torture and fear that Raven endured. I found myself seeing her as she crawled on the floor with chains securing her. She was at the point that only death would give her peace. The idea of being kidnapped is hard to even think about. Raven not only was kidnapped but spent months in the hands of a monster  who enjoyed inflicting pain on her. 

When she was finally found far away from where she had been held, I think her nightmare began again. The mind does funny things but one thing it does that amazes me is the ability it has to protect us from traumatic and emotional abuse. It blocks out memories and only comes back as God begins to heal that person from the inside out. We have heard that , “God will not give you more than you can handle.” Raven needed God to help her find her way back to Him. He needed to guide her to trust again and open up to people. As her memory started to return she kept secrets from family  and friends. It is sad to think that she was afraid of what people would say about her, so she hid her memory coming back until it became more than she could bare. The faith element is good and I enjoyed reading how others were there to help Raven find out how strong she is. 

I did like Hunter and thought he was good for Raven. I didn’t really like how they met because it was a bit obvious where the author was going with their introduction to each other. I’m glad that the story stayed focused on Raven and not if a relationship would develop between the two. There are hints of attraction but Raven was not ready for anything but healing and finding  out who kidnapped her. 

The story has some definite twists that will keep readers on their toes. There is no time to get comfortable as the book is fast paced and intriguing. I understand why Raven felt she needed to do a little investigating on her own, but it was  not very smart thinking on her part. After going through what she did, she needed to be able to control her life again and go back to her roots as an investigative reporter. 

The ending is well written and even though the author lets us know who the guilty person is halfway through the story, it was more of what the person represented that had a lasting effect on many. Power does something to some that causes them to resort to crimes in order to succeed at their ultimate goal. The author portrays the kidnapper or “monster ” as Raven  calls the person as a calculating, uncaring and deceitful person . The character is one that will not soon be forgotten. It was like reading a scene from a well known crime show. In the end the author succeeds in showing readers how God never leaves us and when we trust Him, He never fails us.

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

About the Author

Lillian Duncan… turning faith into fiction. 
Lillian lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband. She writes the types of books she loves to read. Even though her books cross genres, they have one thing in common, faith-based stories that demonstrate God’s love—and lots of action. OK, that’s two things.
She was a school speech pathologist for over 30 years but retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic disease.
Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:www.lillianduncan.com.

More from Lillian

JANE DOE is my latest novel and it’s a doozy!
What’s the genre you ask? It’s suspense with lots of drama and action…but it also a political thriller…but it also has a lot of mystery components…but there’s the romance element as well… and let’s not forget the spiritual message! No matter what genre you classify it as, it’s one I think you’ll enjoy!
So how did JANE DOE come about?
I’d finished all my edits on a current book and was feeling very uninspired. I had no idea for my next story, so I went on FB and asked people to send me an idea for my next suspense novel. An old high school friend sent me the suggestion to write a story where the main character struggled with memory loss.
Mmmm… but the old amnesia plot has been done and it’s a big no-no that writing experts warn against. I took the challenge and wrote JANE DOE. It’s definitely not your typical amnesia plot, but the main character is haunted by her memories.
First, because she doesn’t have them and then because she does!
Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. Even though she can’t remember the details of her kidnapping, she’s haunted by the thought that someone else is being victimized by the kidnapper she can’t remember.
Her journey to discover the truth leads her to the highest politicians in the state and then the country. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.
I’m not going to give away the plot, but there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading late into the night!

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)
Betti Mace, July 6
Andrea Christenson, July 7 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)
Bigreadersite, July 12
Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lillian 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.

Something I am not FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Something I am Not
Author: Cher Gatto
Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Something I am NotA father who never loved him…
A woman who stole his worth…
And a brother he couldn’t protect.
Where does someone run in the face of his deepest shame?
Billy McQueen works hard to keep his life together … and concealed. At seventeen, he dreams of an escape from the barroom, his father’s manipulation, and the advances of his father’s girlfriend. However, on his eighteenth birthday, Billy is introduced to a younger brother he never knew he had. An eight-year-old who is barely capable of navigating the corrupt world of his father’s boxing club.
Now, in order to secure his freedom, Billy must fight for it. But to save his little brother who is next in line for the slave trade … he must die for it.
SOMETHING I AM NOT, formerly titled Billy, won the ACFW Genesis Award for the Contemporary category. It was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
This is not an easy feel good kind of book. In fact it is one of the hardest stories I have ever read. It drips with raw emotions and sends readers to a place where evil lurks. There has been news reports and documentaries about human trafficking, but this book goes deeper. It goes to the under belly of darkness and exposes the truth that no one is immune from pain, desperation and a loss of hope. 
Billy is a character that I wanted to rescue myself. I wanted to barge in the room, knock Max to the ground and tell Billy  he was safe. The author lets us see inside a world where power controls people and their love of money devours their soul. Billy has been beaten all his life but his loyalty to Max is honorable. He knows  God but I think  he wondered where he was at times. The abuse is constant and savage yet Billy continues to draw strength from inside. 
The scenes are graphic at times but is necessary to understand the emotional and physical abuse a person goes through. I have no good words to say about Max. He is an abusive, power hungry person who sees Billy as a way out of situations. I can’t even fathom how a “parent” could sell their child knowing the atmosphere they were placing them in. Max oozes with darkness and has no remorse for the torture he endures Billy to.
I admired Billy and his determination to survive. He is someone who knows that the truth will set him free. His journey is heartbreaking yet I feel it helped him grow closer to God. I don’t want to go into much detail about the story because readers need to experience it for themselves. Billy makes difficult decisions which define his future. There are a few surprises in the story which helped explained the ending. I admire the author for writing a story that not only exposes evil, but shows us that there is hope. 
“But nothing-not wicked men or even demons that haunt you-can take you out of God’s hands.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  

About the Author

cher ghattoCher Gatto is a native to NJ and lives with her husband (pastor) and five teenagers. Their family spent 10 years in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids (see more about the ranch below) and founded an addictions ministry (R-HUB) back in the states. Cher has a Master’s in Psychology and serves as president of the ACFW NY/NJ chapter. Cher’s debut novel won the Genesis Award in 2016 and the Christian Indie Award for Best YA in 2020. Her new novel, Regent, is scheduled to release this fall, and she has begun a sequel to Something I Am Not.

More from Cher

I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (my husband and I and our five children) lived in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families in impoverished villages surrounding the ranch. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter in the city, and we used the horses to love on the girls there. I say “women’s” shelter, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.
About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. And one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it.
I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. But three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I thought I was writing a fiction novel, but Billy’s journey gave me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.
I needed a different ending—a redemption. Billy’s story became an allegory on life. He lives under the wrong “father,” as an orphan, believing the fear and shame that those lies wield. But in finding the right Father, he finds where he truly belong. Billy’s story is about coming home. It’s his story, and it’s ours.
Something I Am Not was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. It won the 2016 Genesis Award for the contemporary category and 2020 Christian Indie Award for best Young Adult fiction.

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, July 7 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, July 9 (Author Interview)
Rebecca Tews, July 9
For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cher 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.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Flowers from Afghanistan

About the Book

Book:  Flowers from Afghanistan
Author: Suzy Parish
Genre: Christian War Fiction
Release Date: August 10, 2018
FlowersFromAfghanistan_h12364_750Weighed down by guilt following the death of his two-year-old son, Mac McCann accepts a year-long position training police officers in Afghanistan. Leaving his wife Sophie to grieve alone, he hopes the life-or-death distractions of his self-imposed exile will build a wall between him and his pain.
As camaraderie builds between Mac and the men on base—including a local barber and his precocious little boy—Mac’s heart becomes invested in stories beyond his own tragedy and he learns he is not the only one running from loss. But when the hour of attack arrives, will he be able to see past his guilt to believe there’s still something—and someone—worth living for? With touching details based on true events, Flowers from Afghanistan is a redemptive journey of healing, a chronicle of hope in crisis, and a testament to the faithfulness of God through it all.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
This story is a look at a marriage that faces one of the hardest tragedies I can think of. I cried when their son died and could feel the turmoil inside them. Mac is one of those people who internalizes things. He keeps them suppressed deep down where nothing can touch it. His wife is struggling as well, but she soon will find out that her husband  has checked out.
Mac not only abandons his wife but he takes on a new career in Afghanistan. I know I tend to run from things as well. I keep things hidden from everybody expecting to ignore my heart breaking in half. I enjoyed reading Mac’s journey and how he became close to several men while stationed overseas. We get a glimpse into a world where danger lurks nearby and we understand the desperation of those who cry out for freedom. God had a plan for Mac and in the midst of war, Mac must face his anger towards God. His marriage is going through a change and I think his wife was very understanding. She never once turned her back on Mac.
I liked how Sophie discovered herself and realized with God’s help she could heal. Her love of baking becomes a focus for her and I think it gave her confidence she never had before. The story examines how important it is to communicate in a marriage. That is something Mac failed at. He is so wrapped up in guilt and anger that he forgot to lean on his wife and God. 
The story reflects not only marriage but the undeniable need to trust God. Mac faces danger several times but each time God was there to cover him and keep him safe. Sometimes we have to go through  trials for God to get our attention. I loved how well the author was able to communicate through words the emotions that each character goes through. She lets us see what life is like in Afghanistan and the hardship they encounter each day. 
I finished the book as tears ran down  my cheeks with hope that others will experience God’s love and His forgiving spirit. Nothing is impossible with God. We need to be open to receive Him like Mac experiences  and be able to forgive ourselves. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  


About the Author

Suzy Parish AuthorSuzy Parish wrote as a Community Columnist for the Huntsville Times. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Suzy discovered her love of books as a child in Richmond, Virginia when she took refuge from the summer heat in the local Bookmobile. She believes the power of literacy can change lives and stewards a Little Free Library in a local park. She currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband, a retired Investigator from the Huntsville Police Department. Their tennis-ball addicted dog, Charlie, is her writing companion.



More from Suzy

Have you or a family member served in the military or as first responders? I had you on my heart when I wrote Flowers from Afghanistan. You might say this novel is my “Thank you” to families all over who sacrifice their time and sometimes even their lives to help make the world a safer place.
It’s also my hand, reaching out through my keyboard to beautiful children like the character Bashir. These children want the same things as any child the world over, shelter, food, and to know they are loved. And finally, this book is a love letter from myself to Jesus Christ. He is the reason I write.

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 4 (Author Interview)
Genesis 5020, July 6
Artistic Nobody, July 10 (Author Interview)
Quiet Quilter, July 13
For the Love of Literature, July 14 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, July 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzy is giving away the grand prize of a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, July 3, 2020

A RECKLESS LOVE by BETH WHITE

This seems to be a timely book to read right now as our nation faces division. It was quite interesting to read about the Mason-Dixon Line. Not everyone was thrilled that slavery had been abolished and you could feel tension in the air.

Aurora and Zane are quite a pair as they try to maneuver through a relationship. I wasn’t sure who had the stronger personality as they both seemed to get on each other’s nerves. I have to say I enjoyed reading how these two could change their minds about each other at the drop of a hat. The author really does a good job of slowly allowing us to witness their emotional growth in several areas.

The story does tackle sensitive subjects like racism and the  KKK. Zane has his hands full trying to protect witnesses while looking for a murderer. There is a lot of pressure on him and you can sense his need to rely on his faith to not give up.  The author does not shy away from subjects that are uncomfortable but delivers a powerful account of a time period that caused many to become enemies against friends and family.

I’m sad to see the series end but am very pleased with how each book flowed gracefully into the next without missing a beat. I do recommend reading  the books in order to familiarize yourself with characters that make appearances  in the other books. The author’s  writing is like a breath of fresh air as the stories intercept each other in an epic adventure of faith , hope and love.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. The review is my own opinion.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Crystal Witness FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Crystal Witness
Author: Kathy Tyers
Genre:  Christian fiction, science fiction, futuristic
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Tyers - Crystal WitnessHer memories are blocked. Her freedom is gone. Her crime is a mystery.
When Ming Dalamani awakens from twenty years of suspended animation, she recalls only fragments of her former life: the life she led before she was arrested by the governing interplanetary corporation, Renasco, for a now unremembered crime.
Relocated to an alien world far from the only home she has ever known, Ming serves a powerful Renasco representative to repay her debt. But daily she lives with deadly threats from two men—the hideous mutant Zardir Huekk and the handsome, secretive musician Tieg Innig—who both want the same thing: information. Renasco-trained as a calligrapher in three dimensions, Ming begins to remember more: a clan, a mission, and interstellar piracy.
Ming must decide where her loyalties lie: with her powerful new employer, with a budding resistance movement… or elsewhere.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
 Ming is foggy at best trying to remember her past. Why can’t she remember anything and what crime did she commit? For some reason she is in a new dimension and nothing seems familiar. The author has crafted a place where Ming will have to be sharp in order to stay one step ahead of two enemies. 
I was intrigued by the imagination the author uses to give readers a world that has specific rules and when Ming begins to remember her past she feels a threat coming closer to her. As in most sci-fi genres there are strange beings that give me the creeps. There were times when I wasn’t sure what was going on in the story and had to reread a few pages to figure out where the author was taking the characters. 
I did enjoy the suspense in the story and kept wondering what Ming would decide. What would you do if you were ordered to spy on someone? Ming must make difficult decisions that will have a ripple effect on others. I think what I enjoyed the most was when Ming began to remember things. This is where the story really drew me in. I started to become invested in the story and wanted to know who could be trusted. It’s a nice book but not one I fully understood. It is no fault of the author that I was unable to connect to the story.  I am more of a visual person when it com es to sci-fi and this story at times had some very in-depth scenes but overall it didn’t keep my attention. I have read other books from this author and really enjoyed them. This story just felt a bit out of sync at times and I never was able to grasp what the author’s objective was. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  

About the Author

Kathy-20b (1)Kathy Tyers is widely published in speculative fiction, including her award-winning Firebird series and two licensed Star Wars “Legends” novels, as well as a travel book, a writing reference book, and a memoir co-written for classical guitarist Christopher Parkening. Her messiah-in-space novel Daystar, fifth in the Firebird series, won a 2013 Carol Award, and her terraforming/genetic engineering science fiction novel Shivering World won the 2019 Christy Award for Visionary Fiction. At home in southwest Montana with her husband William Gillin, Kathy focuses on writing, teaching music, and freelance editing.



More from Kathy

In 1988, after the initial release of Firebird and Fusion Fire by Bantam Books of New York, my then-editor asked for a stand-alone novel, and my then-agent presented me with a contract to write that book in just over half the time that I actually needed. So my third novel, Crystal Witness, appeared in 1989—and while the plot had strong bones, I wished I’d had several more months to polish it. Much to my delight, Enclave Publishing is re-issuing Crystal Witness in June 2020 with the layers of polishing added. While I was adding those layers, I found myself wondering what would happen next. Maybe … oh, yes … hmmm … Aha!
Now that Crystal Witness is ready to stand up and sing, I am delighted to be working on a multi-book sequel series, The Sunstone Saga, also to be released by Enclave Publishing. Book 1 of the saga, The Long Silence, is well underway. It introduces a new cast of characters and asks a powerful question: Where has God been, while humankind went to the stars?
Crystal Witness is the story of young Ming Dalamani, who wakens from twenty years of suspended animation to find herself “company property” on a distant world, with no memory of the crime she must have committed. She only knows that a powerful corporate monopoly rules interstellar space, and she has been assigned to serve a company representative. Immediately, powerful (and opposing) individuals offer threats and bribes, trying to enlist her to spy for both sides of a deadly intrigue. How long can Ming play both sides of the plot against her urgent wish to find out who she is … and what was her crime?
My background in music and the arts always manages to show up in my books. I made Ming a calligrapher in three dimensions, wielding a set of injection pens to create elegant designs in clear slabs. Another character is a court musician with futuristic technology at his fingertips. My entire family was musical; my mother played in 20thCentury Fox’s prestigious sound stage orchestra in the 1950s, and my father grew up in a family band that toured the U.S. every summer. When I was widowed in 2004 and needed to make a fresh start, I discovered that Regent College in Vancouver BC had a program in which I could study toward a Master’s degree in Christianity and the Arts—and write a science fiction novel as part of my thesis project. That book, Wind and Shadow, picked up the Firebird series at Book 4 and led to its completion in Daystar, Book 5. That series is conclusively finished—as you know, if you have read Daystar!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a still-in-box set of miniature toys that was released in 1996 to go with her novel, Star Wars: The Truce At Bakura, a signed copy of Firebird and One Mind’s Eye!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.