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Saturday, October 3, 2020

King of Tennessee-banner

About the Book

Book:  King of Tennessee
Author: David Alan Shorts
Genre:  YA/Teen Fiction
Release Date: July, 2020
1mockup_cover_Sam_1It was an ordinary day in Tabersville, Tennessee, until nearly everyone in town disappeared. Middle-school trouble maker, Stewart Rainquest, soon turns this nightmare into a dream come true as he sets about living like a king in his small southern town.  Things take a turn for the worse as members of the biker gang Stewart idolizes commit murder before his eyes. While doing his best to keep his distance from the killers, Stewart learns how to drive a car and meets Gina, a high school student battling cancer. Their friendship leads them through wild adventures, but only time will tell if Stewart will learn the truth about what happened to everyone in his town.

Click here to get your copy!
This book is very much geared towards middle school and teens but I’m not sure I would recommend the boom to them. The story is unique because it is part adventure and part fantasy with a light touch of faith. I did not like Stewart at all. He was this kid who thought he was tough and was somewhat overconfident. Boy was he in for a rude awakening when his family and most of the town disappear. Not really having faith , he didn’t have a clue what  was going on. The author takes Stewart on a wild ride literally in a car he could barely reach the pedals on. He will soon have to make tough decisions that  will affect his future. 
Gina was a good character but her time in the story was too brief. She did help Stewart on his struggle with God but I wanted to know more about her. The author doesn’t give us much information about her family . She does have an illness that slows them down as they try to escape from the biker gang. I have to say I didn’t care for  this part of the story at all. There were graphic and violent scenes that I felt were too much.  The  focus on how destructive the bikers were became a little monotonous at times and it would have been nice to focus more on Stewart and his search for God in the chaos. The theme of the book is very similar to a series that is well known . The adventure that Stewart goes through definitely calls for use of your imagination as he does things twelve year olds probably wouldn’t do. 
I wanted to like the book but there is too many holes in the book that made the story uncomfortable to read.  I didn’t feel like the author focused enough on faith and it lacked a real redemption factor for Stewart. The characters were hard to relate to and I didn’t connect with them at all.  The ending was abrupt and didn’t entirely make sense. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  

About the Author

David ShortsDavid Alan Shorts has a passion to teach kids things which matter for a lifetime, rather than just the next test or Sunday School lesson. He has written many books, short stories, and magazine articles, along with musicals, plays, and songs. His three children keep him busy and constantly evaluating life through the eyes of youth. He has taught music to thousands of kids in Northern California for more than twenty years. When he’s not doing what matters most, he enjoys flying model airplanes and working out.

More from David

My son and I had just finished watching a Mad Max movie when a conversation began about post-apocalyptic movies and what the Bible has to say. The Apocalypse is real and is described in some detail in the Bible. So, why aren’t all apocalyptic stories told from a Christian world view? That was when I began creating King of Tennessee as an attempt to give depth in today’s contemporary post-apocalyptic stories. It combines action and adventure while still keeping the life-changing message of God’s salvation in the novel.
I would like this to be the book the makes “apocalyptic” a Christian word again. This can be the book that gives some kids a second thought about God, when they might have dismissed Him as meaningless otherwise.

Blog Stops

deb’s Book Review, September 28
For Him and My Family, September 29
Girls in White Dresses, September 30
Texas Book-aholic, October 3
A Reader’s Brain, October 4
Artistic Nobody, October 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 11
Nancy E Wood, October 11


To celebrate his tour, David is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed 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.

Thursday, October 1, 2020


About the Book

Book: Forsaken Island
Author: Sharon Hinck
Genre: Christian Romantic Epic Fantasy
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Hinck - Forsaken IslandOn an uncharted world, happiness is effortless and constant … but can true joy exist without sacrifice?
The people of Meriel have long believed their island world floats alone in the vast ocean universe, so they are astonished when another island drifts into view. With resources becoming scarce, Carya and Brantley quickly volunteer to search the new land for supplies.
After navigating a barrier of menacing trees, the pair encounter a culture of perpetually happy people who readily share their talents and their possessions. But all is not what it seems. At the core of the island is a horror that threatens everyone, including Brantley and Carya.
Freeing the villagers of the bondage they’ve chosen may cost Carya and Brantley more than they could have imagined. Even if the two succeed, they’ll have to find a way to return to Meriel quickly … or be cut off from their home forever.

Click here to get your copy!
 I am happy to be back in an adventure with this author. Her descriptive words help me visualize everything going on in the story. There is much to discover in this journey as the series continues. I love how the author takes us into a fantasy world while using God’s lessons to teach us and remind us of His love. Right at the start of the book we are reminded “not to give fear a place to bloom.” Well that must have been written just for me. Our characters are going into a place they are unfamiliar with but must not let fear stop them. How many times have you allowed fear to take over your life? 
I like how once again we find ourselves among the characters as they race to seek food for their people. The place they came to was eerily creepy. Why was everyone overly nice. Is it a trick so Carya and Brantley will be caught off guard?  I felt a bit of The Wizard of Oz in a part when someone says, “say that ten more times and see if it changes anything.” Visions of Dorothy being told to say , “There’s no place like home ,”several times danced in my head. Carya and Brantley are desperate to find their way out of this strange place. 
I loved how the author uses these characters to teach us about trust and working together. Sharing their belief is strong in this story and I really didn’t want the story to end. I had jumped into the pages and was next to them as they discovered strange things on the island. Their mission to bring food back to their people becomes difficult when they can’t find their way out. I wonder if it would have helped if I tried to guide them? The story is full of excitement and surprises. Once again I’m in awe of an author who can brilliantly take readers to another place and make them feel like they are part of the story. 
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Hinck2015 - Author PhotoAward-winning author of The Sword of Lyric series, Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us” about women on extraordinary adventures of faith. Her novels are praised for their authentic characters, strong spiritual themes, and emotional resonance. For this series, she drew on her experience as a ballet teacher, dancer, and choreographer.

More from Sharon

Inspiration Behind Forsaken Island

In the first book of The Dancing Realms series, we learn about a floating island world guided by the work of dancers. The assumption of everyone on Meriel is that their island IS the world—the only existing place on a vast empty ocean.

But in this second book, currents have pushed a new island into view. Our intrepid dancer Carya, and her stenella-riding friend Brantley, set off to explore, hoping to find resources for their world of Meriel.

The story was influenced by some of my favorite classics in the adventure/exploration genre. Jack London (particularly The Sea Wolf), or Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Or anything by Jules Verne or Robert Louis Stevenson. As the characters explore a new world, we experience both wonder and danger with them. I love that sort of story, so I set my two beloved characters of on an adventure to see what they would discover.

But of course, the book is also about the developing relationship between Carya and Brantley, and the conflicts they confront. And once again, an undercurrent (no pun intended) of spiritual themes is at play. The island holds dark secrets, and time is running out for the opportunity to find their way home.

I love the verse from Psalm 94:14. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Even on a “Forsaken Island” – the Maker of His people finds a way to reach out and bring hope.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, September 30
Fiction Aficionado, September 30
Wothy2Read, October 1
Texas Book-aholic, October 2
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 6
Artistic Nobody, October 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Simple Harvest Reads, October 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Emily Yager, October 12
Pause for Tales, October 13


To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize package of a Forsaken Island book bag, a personalized and autographed hard cover copy of Hidden Current, book marks, and some decorative goodies on a plant-life theme!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

About the Book

Book: Seeking Life
Author: Brianna Holifield
Genre: Christian Nonfiction/Christian Living
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Have you ever wondered what God’s purpose for you is? Or what exactly God wants for your life? Have you ever asked yourself if what you are doing is where God wants you to be? If you have ever asked any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people, including myself, have questions like these every day.
Seeking Life will dive deep into what God’s purpose is for each of us on earth and how the fruit of the Spirit plays a role. It will go into detail about each fruit of the Spirit and how to obtain each one. All the fruit work together to help us become whole in Jesus Christ. Being fruitful will ultimately show others who God really is to others by how we act and respond to things.
Seeking Life will include:
  • An in depth explanation of what exactly a purpose is and how the fruit of the Holy Spirit ties into that
  • Who the Holy Spirit is
  • A chapter dedicated to each fruit of the Spirit, defining what it is, why we need it, and how to obtain it.
  • A practical “How To” at the end of each chapter
  • Evidence on how God communicates to us, and how we communicate to Him

Click here to get your copy!
I wonder how many times I have asked what my purpose is? There is a very clear scripture in the Bible that addresses that and I often remind myself of it. God does have a plan for each of us.  I know that sometimes I strayed away from God and His plan because I though I knew what was best. That only got me in trouble and on a road that took awhile to get off of. Did I stumble in my journey or did God know exactly what I would do? The answer for me is clear. He knew what I would do and how I would react to my journey. After all the things I have been through, I would not change one thing. Why you may ask? Because it has made me who I am today. My tests are my testimony of how God forgives, gives grace and loves unconditionally
This book is very short but it has good insight into what our purpose is. I really enjoyed how the author expanded on The Fruits of the Spirit. Breaking down what the different types of love there is was very helpful. God tells us to “ love our neighbor as ourselves.” He wants us to love  without question or judgment. 
Each chapter covers one of The Fruits of the Spirit and shows us through scripture how we  can attain each one. Some are hard to achieve but with God nothing is impossible. God wants us to trust Him in everything. I liked the book and thought it brought up some encouraging points of how we need to walk the walk and talk the talk. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author. 

Hey there! My name is Brianna Holifield and I wrote this book to share what I have learned over the past few years on my journey with God in hopes to help you live a more peaceful and joyful life with Christ.
I became a Christian in 2015. Over time, I went from being filled with anxiety and fear to being filled with the Holy Spirit and it has changed my life completely. I want to share my love for the Lord so more people can know God’s love for us.
A few other quirks about me: I love coffee and tea, I enjoy hiking and being outdoors, I love animals and I have a passion for nutrition.
So that is enough about me. God is our creator, He is our Father, and He loves us. I am His child and a servant of Him and I want to Glorify Him. This is to be more about God and our relationship with Him than about me.

More from Brianna

Have you ever been so at a loss as to what God wanted for your life because everything you thought you knew and everywhere you thought you were headed was so upside down, sideways, and backwards so much that there was nowhere to turn except God Himself?

Well, this is exactly where my life was before I decided to write this book. My life was shaken. Emotionally, I was distressed, sad, and in pain and I felt alone and helpless.

I can recall the day I knew I needed to write this book. January 7th. The night before I stood in my living room listening to worship music as memories and emotions flooded through my mind until I couldn’t take it anymore. I fell to my knees, let go of everything, and started to worship God like I never had before. I completely, totally surrendered myself to Him.

Sometimes, the only way for us to know we absolutely need God and know for a fact He is in control is to be left with nowhere to turn except to Him. And sometimes, only then are we able to truly listen to what God has been trying to tell us all along.

The next morning I got to work early and just prayed and asked God to show me a revelation and a vision of my life and what He wanted me to do with it. I was ready to do His will, not my own. I wrote everything He told me down. In fact, I still have that ripped up, scribbled on envelope I had found in my car to use that day.

One of the things God told me was to write. I remember the still quiet voice in my heart. Me? Write? I had never considered myself a writer. I also had no idea what to even write.

Over the next two months, God started showing me, teaching me, and transforming the way I saw things. Every single thing God taught me was something I desperately needed. By March, I knew what God wanted me to write about. This book is simple yet so foundational to living and walking in Christ. I hope the contents of this book helps everyone who reads it to grow and strengthen their relationship with the Lord and gain a deeper understanding of God’s purpose for each of us, and a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26, NKJV).

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Godly Book Reviews, October 9
Artistic Nobody, October 9 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 10
Mary Hake, October 12
Splashes of Joy, October 14


To celebrate her tour, Brianna is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 amazon gift card and a signed 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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Phoebes secret FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Phoebe’s SecretPhoebes secret
Author: Sydney Tooman Betts
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Mystery
Release Date: June 20, 2020
In April of 1843, Phoebe’s family hears about a murder while they are traveling to their new home in the Shenandoah Valley. They arrive to learn the victim attended the church her father has agreed to pastor and the crime took place on a leading church member’s plantation.
Eager to make new friends, Phoebe forms a unique relationship that propels her into the middle of the mystery, and she begins to question several acquaintances’ motives. Will she uncover their secrets before the plantation owner’s charming son discovers hers?

Click here to get your copy today!
I enjoy reading books by this author because they always have a faith element that compliments her stories. This story is set in 1843 where slaves were still being mistreated. Phoebe and her family are new to the town and it doesn’t take long for a mystery to take over. I really liked Phoebe and how thoughtful she was. Being a preacher’s kid she has sometimes been treated differently by people. Overall the family is welcomed and I liked how the people made them feel at home. 
I have to say how much I adored Augie. He is full of energy and quite inquisitive. Phoebe has her hands full looking after him while her mother is away. I liked how Phoebe took her chores seriously and helped run the house without her father having to worry about anything. The story flows very nicely and we get to meet several characters that enhance the story. There is one particular character that I kept trying to figure out how  they fit in the story. 
The mystery that flows throughout is good and I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do some of the things Phoebe does. Her compassion for a mysterious person in the woods bring up the question of slavery. I liked how the author used scriptures to point out how wrong it was to own slaves and gave them a voice in the story of their plight. 
The story unravels two mysterious murders while placing Phoebe in danger. Her calmness was very impressive.  I did like the part at the end where the author talks about slaves and how they used particular quilts to warn slaves of danger. I didn’t know about this interesting information and was glad the author included it in her notes to readers. I look forward to the next book in this series.
 I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

About the Author

Sydney BettsSydney Tooman Betts resides with her husband near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several chapters in her series The People of the Book.
While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) took part in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level.
Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.

More from Sydney

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Words spoken fitly are like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I was not a great reader as a child, but I loved stories. We remember stories, whether told through movies, good sermon illustrations, parables, or simple  novels.
Think of something you’ve read in the Bible. Did an instructional verse, a narrative, or a parable leap to mind? Stories have power because we can relate to them. We see ourselves in the shoes of the main character and ask what we might do in the situation. Mysteries, a new genre for me to write, are a little different. You are in the puzzle with the main character, working out the solution as you both come across the clues. I hope you will enjoy joining Phoebe in her first mystery as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sally Lunn Bread
1 cup water
1 cup milk
¼ pound unsalted butter
8 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup yeast
6 eggs
In a saucepan, combine water, milk and butter. Heat until the butter is very soft.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with half the flour. Add the warm liquid, and mix well to form a smooth batter.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add another cup of the flour, and mix well. Add the second 3 eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining flour, and mix until the flour has been incorporated and the batter has formed a smooth ball. The dough should be less firm than bread and more firm than a batter.
Put the dough in a clear bowl with a little oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Proof until double in volume. Divide the dough between two bund pans or two loaf pans, or one of each. Proof again until risen and doubled in volume.  Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Makes 20 servings.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29
deb’s Book Review, September 30
Mary Hake, October 4
Artistic Nobody, October 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Pause for Tales, October 6
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 9
Splashes of Joy, October 10
Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 10 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Betti Mace, October 11
Maureen’s Musings, October 12


To celebrate her tour, Sydney is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a softback copy of Phoebe’s Secret!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.