All in Good Time by Carolyn Astfalk

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ABOUT THIS BOOK 

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With three rambunctious, young children, Melanie Lombardi can’t see beyond the day-to-day struggle to maintain her home and her sanity since her husband’s sudden death. A second chance at romance isn’t on her radar.

Brian Perella is done with dating, resigned to being the fun uncle and never the dad. Until he meets Melanie and her brood of lively kids on the sidelines of a Little League game.

But when Brian uncovers a co-worker’s secret, it re-ignites a temptation that Melanie can’t know about. It’s his secret to keep until an unexpected diagnosis brings everything to the surface, jeopardizing his future with Melanie and her children, who, when threatened by an unknown stalker, may need him now more than ever.

Catholic Christian contemporary romance.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Carolyn Astfalk resides with her husband and four children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it smells like either chocolate or manure, depending on wind direction. She is the author of the contemporary Catholic romances Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic Teen Books, Pennwriters, and is a CatholicMom.com and Today’s Catholic Teacher contributor. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea.

The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

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 About the Book

Book:  The Camera Never Lies

Author: David Rawlings

Genre: General fiction/allegory/magical realism

Release Date: December 3, 2019

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David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler, returns with another probing story: what would you do if your secrets were revealed to those around you?

Daniel Whiteley is a successful couples counselor who regularly puts families back together, helping them face up to the things in life they hide. But his own marriage is falling apart.

His wife, Kelly, knows Daniel is hiding something from her, but she doesn’t dare probe for fear her own secrets will be revealed.

When his grandfather dies, Daniel inherits an old SLR camera from a time when cameras pointed away from the person taking the photograph. On the camera is an inscription: “Use this camera wisely and remember, regardless of the picture you think you took, the camera never lies.”
When Daniel first uses his new camera he finds someone has already filled the roll of film. Annoyed, he processes the film and finds photos of a secret that he’s been hiding from his wife and daughter.
He has no idea who took them.

Now every time he uses the camera, the photographs reveal another secret about himself the he is desperate to keep-as well as those of his wife, which he is desperate to uncover.

Click here to get your copy.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Im not sure what I was expecting from this book but it is different than what I thought. And in a good way! Counselor Daniel Whiteley seems to be able to fix everyone’s marriage except his own! It is when he inherits an old case with his grandfather’s camera in it that he begins to see just what the camera picks up about people.

This is a book I really enjoyed. David Rawlings kept me in just enough mystery to make me keep reading until I finished the book. The characters were awesome, and their development throughout the story was strong. Even though this is fiction, I learned a lot from Daniel. His counseling tips can be used by anyone. And I loved the wisdom and guidance of his grandfather through the old camera and the photos. Some of the recent photos taken were a little disturbing, but you need to read the book to find out about this, knowing this info will ruin the read for you. This is a pretty fast read, and I’m finding that Mr. Rawlings is an author I want to hear more from. I cant wait for his next book! This is just an all around great read that I highly recommend.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

About the Author

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David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

 

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of The Camera Never Lies here.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 5

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Older & Smarter?, December 6

Through the Fire Blogs, December 6

Blogging With Carol, December 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

Christian Bookaholic, December 8

Emily Yager, December 8

Splashes of Joy, December 8

As He Leads is Joy, December 9

Mamma Loves Books, December 9

Vicky Sluiter, December 10

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Robin’s Nest, December 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

Genesis 5020, December 12

Remembrancy, December 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 12

Pause for Tales, December 13

A Reader’s Brain, December 13

For the Love of Literature, December 14

Seasons of Opportunities, December 14

Inklings and notions, December 14

Artistic Nobody, December 15

To Everything There Is A Season, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 15

Just the Write Escape, December 16

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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Hallie Reads, December 17

My Devotional Thoughts, December 17

Quiet Quilter, December 18

Literary Reflections Book Blog, December 18

Godly Book Reviews, December 18

 

COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS BY RAEANNE THAYNE

COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

BY RAEANNE THAYNE

Coming Home for Christmas

BOOK BLURB:

Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…

Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

With Elizabeth dealing with depression, she felt she had to leave to protect her family, but in the mist if that, she suffers memory loss because if an accident. Being home with their son and daughter, Luke is angry that his wife just up and left, leaving him to care for their kids.

I enjoyed this story, though I felt there was a lot of repeating information the first half of the story, which got to be a little annoying at times. I reallt liked the characters, but Cassie could be a brat when she wanted to be. The story was a sad one, because of the issues Elizabeth had to go through that kept her away from her family. If only she or Luke would have thought to get her some help.

RaeAnne Thayne does a really nice job explaining depression as well as memory loss. This is two very difficult issues to deal with, and I think the excellent writing of this author smoothed out the issues in a way everyone can understand. I loved the Brambleberry House, though I’ve not read any of that series, I’m glad I was able to get a glimpse of what it was like staying there. There is so much more to this story, so much I want to tell but you need to read it for yourself. This is a nice, clean Christmas read, and I hope you will check it out and see for yourself how enjoyable it is.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

EXCERPT

Her throat closed with emotions, regret and sorrow and guilt. She had to clear them away to speak. “Why…why didn’t you try to have me legally declared dead?”

“Because I didn’t want to.” The raw emotion in his voice seared through her.

“Luke.”

His name. That was all she could manage through the tangle of emotions.

He gazed down at her, his expression almost…tortured.

One moment he was skewering her with his furious expression; the next he threw his arms around her, yanked her toward him and lowered his mouth to hers.

Shock held her motionless for only a moment. Then the sheer delicious glory of being in his arms again overwhelmed her. She wrapped her arms around him and returned his kiss with all the pent-up longing she had held inside her these long years of being alone.

The heat that had always been between them flared, wild and unrestrained. His mouth was hard on hers, fierce, demanding. Delicious. There was no trace of tenderness, only anger and loss, betrayal and sorrow and desire, all twisted together.

When he finally yanked his mouth away and released her as if she had scorched him, she stumbled backward, her knees drained of all strength. Her soul felt drained, too.

“Does that answer your question?” he asked, his voice raspy and low. “I never stopped hoping you would come back. Even when I was ninety-nine percent certain you were dead, that tiny one percent of hope wanted desperately to be wrong.”

He released a heavy breath and she watched in fascination as he tucked away any trace of emotion, becoming self-contained and expressionless once more.

“Do what you want to the house. Paint or don’t paint. I don’t care. This place means nothing to me anymore. The kids and I have moved on and are happy in our new house. I just want this one sold and out of my life.”

Like her. She meant nothing to him either, that wild, heated kiss notwithstanding. She did her best to blink back tears but was afraid he still saw them.

“I don’t know how much I can do in only one day but I’ll…I’ll try.”

He looked as if he wanted to argue but finally gave her one more long look and headed out the door.

After he left, Elizabeth touched her lips, the long-familiar taste lingering there. Oh, how she had missed him.

She still loved him.

Had never stopped.

She collapsed onto the sagging sofa, unable to contain all the emotions raging through her. She loved Luke and wanted what was best for him. That could never be her. Not then and especially not now, with all her baggage.

She might not be able to be part of his life or their children’s lives, but she could do one small thing for them. She could freshen up this house a little bit, make it more attractive to prospective buyers.

It was a small gift, but one she wanted desperately to give them.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/33OudrF

Harlequin → https://www.harlequin.com/shop/pages/christmas.html

About the Author

Raeanne Thayne

#1 Publishers Weekly, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including seven RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.raeannethayne.com.

12 Books of Christmas anim(1)

In Love by Christmas by Cari Lynn Webb

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

In Love by Christmas (City by the Bay Stories #5) By Cari Lynn Webb Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

This Christmas, two worlds collide

…under the mistletoe!

All Theo Taylor wants for Christmas is a profitable year-end and a flawless wedding for his sister. Hiring beautiful but unknown designer Josie Beck is a huge risk, especially when the Taylors’ reputation is at stake. Josie is sweet, kind and impossible to resist. But is Josie about to destroy Theo’s perfect wedding plan…or is she the answer to his heart’s secret Christmas wish?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

I really enjoyed reading In Love by Christmas. It covers the Christmas holidays pretty well, with Thor being the CEO of his large family business, with no time to really spend with family because he is always working. To the vintage wedding dress found my his sister one she wants to wear in her own Christmas wedding. But there is a lot if family drama to weed through if Adriana wears this family heirloom. And can the family agree on anything? It seems as though they can not.

I like the fact that author Cari Lynn Webb writes clean Heartwarming stories, and especially this one we can read during the Holiday Season. I love these characters, they seem so real, and the story is so realistic, it’s like watching day to day lives of real people. I love the contrast of Thor and his busy company, and Josie and her small designer business. And I love Josie, she has a heart of gold, and money doesn’t drive her. She and Adriana would make a good team. And I dont want to spoil the story for you, there is much going on in this story, with Thors company, and Josie’s work, and you really need to read the story yourself to enjoy it’s fun and enjoyable entertainment. This is a really great story to read during the Christmas Season!

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | Harlequin | iBooks | Kobo

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She’s been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent’s 70 year marriage and her parent’s marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn’t always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & a stocking filled with The Return of the Blackwell Brothers five-book series, a Christmas ornament and candy (if an international winner, will receive the eGift Card and ebooks of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series)

Open internationally Ends December 11, 2019

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We’re blitzing about A CHILD’S GIFT by Linda Warren!

We’re blitzing about A CHILD’S GIFT by Linda Warren! #ChildsGiftBlitz


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Child’s Gift
(Texas Rebels #8)

By Linda Warren
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages

December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will an abandoned child bring them together?

Or tear them apart?

Cowboy Jericho Johnson lives a good life working on the Rebel family’s Texas ranch. All he’s missing is a wonderful woman like Anamarie Wiznowski. But Rico’s troubled past and Ana’s disapproving family conspire against them. When Rico is named guardian to a four-year-old boy, he asks Ana for help. And suddenly, he’s falling faster than Christmas snow…for Ana, sweet little Dusty and life as a family man!

 
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Excerpt

“So you’ll be busy.”

“Not so busy that I can’t take care of Dusty.” Why wasn’t he asking her to marry him? They loved each other, didn’t they?

“Well, then.” He placed his hands on his knees. “I guess we should get married. We can go to the courthouse or Wyatt can marry us.”

In all the years she dreamed about someone asking her to marry them, it wasn’t like this. She stood up, anger in every part of her body. “I’m not getting married at the courthouse or by Wyatt Carson.”

“Why not?” He was genuinely puzzled and that eased the anger inside her.

“Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of walking down the aisle on my dad’s arm in a white dress. My sisters and I used to play Bride. We’d walk down the hall with a pillowcase over our heads holding some fake flowers of our mom’s. Sometimes Bubba played dad. I want to get married in the church.”

He frowned. “Anamarie, I’m not into big weddings.”

“It would be just my family and your family.”

“I don’t have a family.”

“Excuse me. Who are the Rebels?”

“They’re my employers.”

He was putting up walls and she had to go at this another way. “Where do you spend your holidays?”

“At Miss Kate’s and on Christmas morning I go to Egan’s first and then to Miss Kate’s.”

“Really? I don’t know many people who go to their employers’ house on Christmas.”

“They’re good to me, but we’re not blood.”

“And that matters to you? Because I don’t see it mattering to the Rebels.” Why was it so hard for him to admit that he was a part of the Rebel family? The walls he had built around himself were getting thicker and she didn’t know if she could get through to make him understand how much she loved him and how much the Rebels loved him.

She sat on the coffee table again, giving him a few minutes. As the clock ticked away, he said nothing. She finally asked, “What are you going to do about Dusty?”

“I can’t let him go into foster care.”

“Then do something about it.”

After a moment, he said, “Okay, I guess we’ll do the wedding thing you want.” His voice held a tinge of resentment that didn’t sit well with her.

She got up from the coffee table. “I’m going to pack my things, but I won’t leave until the morning. I want to say goodbye to Dusty.”

“What? Wait?” As she walked by his chair, he caught her hand. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t want to feel as if I’m forcing you into marriage. It has to be something you want, too, and clearly you don’t.”

“I’m just trying to get this right.”

“Well, you got it wrong.” She took a deep breath. “Rico, when a man proposes to a woman, she wants to hear more than we should get married. I need more if I’m going to spend my life with you. And you seem very hesitant to offer that.”

“What do you mean? You know I love you. I’ve been crazy about you for years.”

The magic words would have been wonderful if he hadn’t tacked on you know.

She placed her hand over her heart. “I love you, Rico, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

He got to his feet, still holding her hand. “The only person I’ve ever loved is my great-grandmother and it’s hard for me to recognize those emotions after everything that has happened to me. But I know that I love you. I love you more than I’ve loved anyone in my whole life. Will you marry me and help me make a home for Dusty?”

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)
About the Author

Two time Rita® nominated author Linda Warren has written forty-five books for Harlequin. A native Texan, she’s a member of Romance Writers of America and the West Houston Chapter. Drawing upon her years of growing up on a ranch, she writes about some of her favorite things: Western-style romance, cowboys and country life. She married her high school sweetheart and they live on a lake in central Texas. He fishes and she writes. Works perfect. You can find out more about Linda at http://www.LindaWarren.net.
Blitz Giveaway

One winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook of A Child’s Gift
Three winners will each receive an ebook of A Child’s Gift
Open internationally
Ends December 6, 2019

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Tony Evan’s Study Bible

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About this Bible

Tony Evans is one of today’s most influential church leaders and has faithfully studied and preached the gospel for over 50 years. He serves as senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX and founder of The Urban Alternative, a ministry which promotes a kingdom agenda philosophy to equip people to live all of life underneath the comprehensive rule of God.

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The Tony Evans Study Bible includes extensive study notes and other ancillary resources to assist in both men’s and women’s Bible study that are carefully crafted and curated by Dr. Tony Evans as General Editor and adapted from his sermons, teachings, and writings. These features are strategically placed alongside the biblical text to explain God’s Word in a fresh way. Applying these truths will empower readers to have transformed lives and transfer the values of the kingdom of God to others.

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Features include:

  • Elegant design
  • Study notes crafted from Tony Evans sermons and writings
  • 40 inspirational articles
  • 50 “Lessons on Kingdom Living”
  • Plethora of “Questions & Answers”
  • Numerous “Hope Words”
  • Over 150 videos of sermons
  • Devotionals, and teaching from Dr. Evans, page-edge cross-reference system
  • Black-letter text
  • Presentation page and introductory front matter
  • Special back matter section with key definitions
  • Theological and doctrinal charts, and other study helps
  • Concordance
  • Bible reading plan
  • Full-color maps

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The Tony Evans Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). CSB Bibles by Holman stays as literal as possible to the Holy Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others. Whether you are looking for CSB study Bibles, an easy-to-understand Christian Bible, a mens or womens study Bible, the CSB is a translation that focuses on the accuracy and readability of God’s Word.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BIBLE

Wow! What a really nice Bible this is. My copy is the black and brown LeatherTouch imitation. It’s a handsome looking Bible that I think would be awesome for any man. It just has that male touch and feel. But, anyone can use this Bible. This Tony Evan’s study Bible is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). And just a little bit about the CSB Bibles by Holman, these Bibles stay as literal as possible to the Holy Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

Other things about this Bible that stand out to me is the study notes from Tony Evan himself, from his many sermons and teachings. The many articles and lessons. The questions and answers offered, and the videos it gives access to. The first page to each book has an intro, and the format is very attractive.

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And to give you a little info about the videos that are offered, here is what you will find.

Video Devotionals

“Brief videos on various topics can be found throughout the text, which you can access on your mobile device using the provided QR code. Some are devotional; others are segments from Tony Evans’ sermons. Each video is designed to enhance your study experience by helping you dive deeper on a topic or providing you with encouragement in your study.”

This will be an awesome study Bible for the favorite person on your Christmas list. Or maybe you are in need if a new Bible, this would be a really nice pick for you. And if you already have a Bible, this would be a great addition to your study tools. Especially ially with the CSB translation so you can compare to your other Bibles. Any way you go, this Bible will be a good fit for you.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

GIVEAWAY 

win bible

For a chance to win a copy if this Bible, click on the link below. Ends 12/11

https://www.blessedfreebies.com/tony-evans-bible-giveaway.html

Check out these videos of Tony Evan’s talking about this new Bible

https://vimeo.com/364136402
https://vimeo.com/367863361

Here is the purchase link with full description of the Bible.  It’s on sale right now!

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/csb-tony-evans-study-bible-black-brown-leathertouch-P005817842

 

Take the Day Off by Robert Morris

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Book Description:

This review is to promote the FaithWords Book Club.  You got a copy of the book they are using this month, Take the Day Off.  Certainly talk up the book but really promote joining the free book review group on FB.

FaithWords Book Club

ABOUT THE BOOK CLUB

The FaithWords Book Club is a private Facebook group that is only available to join upon request. We select a new book to discuss each season and we have had authors like Joyce Meyer, Victoria Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and more stop by to answer questions or say hello. We do exclusive giveaways in the group, share unseen videos from our authors, and let bloggers, influencers, and readers connect with one another, our authors, and our FaithWords publishing group.

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For October and November we will be studying Take the Day Off by Pastor Robert Morris with special “guest visits” from other FaithWords authors as well!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Rest your mind, body, and spirit and focus on God’s principles for rest with this helpful guide from bestselling author Robert Morris.

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A constant stream of busyness can slowly wear away at us over time: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet believers often forget that taking a day of rest is one of the Ten Commandments! When we don’t give our minds and emotions a break, our will to make good choices can often become compromised. Resting is also important to those around you. If you have a weary soul, you can’t pour yourself into others at home, work, or wherever you are. It’s vital-you must take the day off.

In Take the Day Off, Pastor Morris explains why rest is central to your wellbeing, how to do it, and how helpful it can be. You will be inspired to experience true rest and make it a priority in the rhythm of your weekly schedule. Don’t wait and delay God’s blessings in your life. Start implementing the principle of rest in your life and you will see eternal benefits.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

This is a very interesting book. Robert Morris knows from experience how it is to be tired, stress out, and really just completely out of it because of the demands of life. Our society has completely forgotten what it means to ‘remember the sabbath’ because now days, everything goes on Sunday as if it is any other day. We forget to rest.

As I read through this book, so much of it hit right at me, because I’m with everyone else, I don’t give God the one day he requires from us. I appreciate that Robert Morris is so honest as he tells of his own struggles with these issues. And gives us as Christian’s what we should do in order to have that day of rest we all need to experience. I’m old enough that I remember when stores were closed on Sunday, and we would spend the afternoon after church with family and friends. People would actually visit each other on Sunday afternoons. I miss that time, and though it will never be like that again, we can choose to make the sabbath our day of rest.

This is a book that every Christian should read! I want to read it slow, a few pages a day, to fully get the meaning of this book. If you haven’t read Take the Day Off, I strongly encourage you to check out this book. And what a wonderful book to give friends and family for Christmas!

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

What others are saying about it:

“I strongly encourage every believer to read and reread this book. I pray it becomes a staple in every Christian home, where we function at our highest level, and can in turn raise a generation to do the same.”

– Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Author of The Way of Life and Raising Giant-Killers

“I discovered a deep revelation of the importance of Sabbath from Pastor Robert’s teaching years ago. Applying these principles of rest to my life has greatly impacted me and my family and has allowed us to run the marathon of life well. I encourage you to read and apply the wisdom of this book to your life!”

– Kari Jobe Carnes, Worship Leader, Songwriter

“A must-read if you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling for a light at the end of the tunnel.”

– Danny Gokey, Grammy-nominated recording artist

“As I work with CEOs and other high performers, overload is one of their biggest issues. The boundaries of time and space have disappeared…You are never safe until you remember that God has commanded us to protect some time to rest. Neuroscience and other fields have proven it to be true, and Robert gives us some practical ways to do it.”

– Dr. Henry Cloud, psychologist and co-author of Boundaries

 

 

Promises in the Dark by Eric McLaughlin

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Author: Eric McLaughlin

ISBN-13:978-1-64507-029-0

Publication Date: 10/14/2019

My Rating:

ABOUT THIS BOOK 

Promises in the Dark by Dr. Eric McLaughlin strengthens the hearts of readers to persevere in God’s calling to walk with those in need. As a missionary doctor in Africa, McLaughlin knows how walking closely with those who suffer and bearing others’ burdens can easily lead to burnout or cynicism—unless we find the path to perseverance that the Lord provides.

This resource explores how to find both calling and hope, living in the tension between a difficult present and God’s promises of renewal, how to cope with despair and futility, the importance of the suffering God for those who suffer, and how the manifestations of God bring life into a dying world.

McLaughlin explores how to endure in such a yet-to-be-redeemed world as ours, which is full of tragedy and heartache, pointing to God’s promises.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

 

ENDORSEMENTS

“As a missionary coworker of Eric’s for two years in Kenya, I attest that these ‘promises in the dark’ arise from the heart of a humble servant of Christ whom God has gifted with profound insight for the challenges faced in caring for the sick and dying without losing hope. Each chapter, and the discussion questions that follow, will serve as powerful tools for personal or group discipleship.”
Mike Chupp, MD, FACS, FCS (ECSA), Chief Executive Officer, Christian Medical and Dental Associations

“Eric McLaughlin brought me to tears with this honest look at the difficulties of the life of a compassionate caregiver. When dealing with this broken world, there are no simple answers. But there can be hope. Promises in the Dark is essential reading for anyone who walks with others through suffering and questions how to keep on going.”
Dr. Kent Brantly, Ebola survivor; coauthor of Called for Life

“Why do we love lawyer and doctor shows? We know both worlds bear extremity, suffering, and passion, and that is at the core of what intrigues and terrifies us. Eric McLaughlin, a missionary physician, engages the raw and compelling questions of what it means to be human and trust God in the face of a world that is stark and at times cruel. Eric offers no simple answers or trite truisms. Instead, he invites us to engage the questions with the confidence that there is nothing we face that Jesus has not first entered. The song sung in this brilliant book is that death is real and horrible, far more so than our antiseptic Western world can bear, but death never gets the final word. There is something about life and love that lingers far longer than heartache, and it is this story that enables us to enter all other losses with hope. This book will intensify your passion and encourage you to live the best story ever told.”
Dan B. Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

“Eric McLaughlin’s new book, Promises in the Dark: Walking with Those in Need Without Losing Heart, profoundly impacted me at many levels. As a pastor, friend, and family member, I’ve walked in many stories of brokenness, illness, and loss which have left me feeling overwhelmed and helpless, and frustrated because I couldn’t fix things. I came away from Eric’s book realizing, once again, that God’s promises claim us more than we claim them. The pressure is off. We’re called to be servant-lovers, not omnicompetent-fixers. Hope is certain because of Jesus’s resurrection and return, but life between those glorious markers is anything but predictable and controllable. This book will be an invaluable guide for many who are tired of empty clichés and baseless formulas and long for honest reflections and encouragement for loving well, even when the healing doesn’t come.”
Scotty Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN; teacher in residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, TN

“What does a lived-out faith look like in the throes of an African field hospital? In a world of disease, death, and brokenness—of broken promises—how does one live as a light to the world? The answers to these questions are to be found in the pages of this honest book.”
Michael Card, Songwriter, Bible teacher

“Brilliant prose! Gripping stories! Profound discernments! I love this book and will be recommending it to everyone I know.”
Dr. David Stevens, CEO Emeritus, Christian Medical & Dental Associations; author of Jesus, M.D.

 Promises in the Dark provides a transparent account of the arduous and even sometimes despairing work of medical missions in the field. McLaughlin wrestles with questions of theodicy in this book in the context of extreme poverty and disease in developing nations, and he finds hope and solace in a return to the promises of God in life and love. This book is not for the faint of heart.”
Jenny Eaton Dyer, Founder, The 2030 Collaborative

“Dr. Eric McLaughlin has walked with those who suffer. For over a decade, he has served patients well in East Africa through sacrificial medical care, and has witnessed the abject suffering of many. Yet he has heard the healing whisper of God; his voice quietly yet convincingly projecting promise of ever-present hope and inexplicable miracles. If we too are to walk with those who suffer and not lose heart, it is imperative to remember the promises of God. Dr. McLaughlin has most articulately crafted a must-read book for those who serve and hold the hand of those in need.”
Dr. Lance Plyler, Director, World Medical Mission; a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse

Promises in the Dark is a warm lamplight to accompany pilgrims whose progress has been dampened by the doubt and discouragement that often pervade those who live amid scenes of persisting darkness. These words can give even the weariest of souls the courage to utter once more, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”
Andrew Greer, Dove Award–nominated singer-songwriter; author; television host of the Amazon Prime show Dinner Conversations with Mark Lowry and Andrew Greer

“To serve and live among the poor is not an easy road. I’ve seen firsthand what taking on the responsibility of the health and well-being of a rural African village looks like. It’s a walk with suffering and slow, small victories. McLaughlin and his brave community of doctors have willfully brought their families behind the dark curtain of poverty in one of the poorest corners on earth. There are stories of hard-fought hope here, along with haunting brushes with life and death. McLaughlin shows us how the burden of knowledge and conviction are gifts not to be wasted. God’s promises of faith, hope, and love far outweigh the doubts and disappointments.”
Brandon Heath, GRAMMY®-nominated, Dove Award–winning recording artist

“Ministry to those who acutely experience sin’s effects in this world leads many Christians to reconsider their calling. For those at risk of having compassion and optimism replaced by despair and cynicism, Eric McLaughlin offers much-needed hope. This hope is anchored in the promises and character of God himself. The reader will not only empathize with Eric’s honest confessions, but identify how they too can actuate these life-giving Truths.”
Mark Tatlock, President, The Master’s Academy International

“I had to stop repeatedly, often in tears, to respond to what God stirred in my heart as I read Eric’s articulate account of life in an African hospital where many die, often after much prayer for healing, with evidence pointing to recovery, yet others healed when that appeared impossible. Both experiences kept bringing Eric back to God’s Suffering Redeemer Son Jesus. Eric’s book is so passionate, articulate, raw honest—dealing with death when it looks like that person would have recovered and when many prayers had been offered for their healing, but also rejoicing when all evidence would point to death and some recover to health.”
Don Finto, Author; Pastor Emeritus, Belmont Church, Nashville, Founder, Caleb Company

“Real, honest, vulnerable, and with a depth that strikes the core is how I would describe this book. If you have served in areas of need, you can relate to each story. It gives opportunity for discussions on very pertinent issues, and maybe as we face the uncertainties and many questions with openness shall we turn to the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”
Dr. Matilda Ong’ondi, Physician and Clinical Hemato-oncologist, Kenya

There are many books exhorting Christians to go and serve the Lord in cross-cultural contexts, but few that are meant to be read while wrestling through the sorrows and struggles they’ll encounter in those situations. Eric McLaughlin has written such a book, indispensable for all who feel the pain of death and suffering in their day-to-day work.”
Matthew Loftus, Missionary Physician in Kenya and writer at MereOrthodoxy.com

Promises in the Dark is a profound, realistic, and thought-provoking book that offers insight into the daily struggles of a missionary doctor serving disadvantaged populations. There is a shining light amidst darkness of insufficiency, despair, and hopelessness in the loving sacrifice and mercy of our Savior Jesus, who has called us to his labor. I recommend it to every coworker in the front lines of Christian service.”
Dr. Castro Mugalla, Family Physician, Iten County Referral Hospital, Iten, Kenya

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Eric McLaughlin, MD, is a medical missionary with Serge in Burundi. He and his wife, Rachel, live at Kibuye Hope Hospital, where they care for patients while training national doctors as professors for Hope Africa University, a Christian Burundian University. They have the distinction of having three children born on three continents.

The Rank Game

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Description:

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THE RANK GAME is a brand new, super-fun party game about YOU and your people. Great for friends or family, you compete to guess each others’ preferences in categories like everyday life, leisure time, adulting, culture, sports & outdoors, relationships and more! Learn to play in under a minute and then watch everyone’s personalities explode as you team up, compete and get surprised by how well (or not well) you know each other.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS GAME

I have had a chance to check out this new game coming in January 2020  Called the Rank Game. This game was  created by Chip and Donna Brown because they wanted to see families and friends doing something fun other than playing on their phones. The Rank Game is  easy, it involves many people sitting around playing this game trying to gain more points than their opponents. The one having the most points after 10 rounds wins the game. They do this by guessing each others preferences in a variety of different categories.

I love this idea! I miss playing board games so much like we use to do. And The Rank Game takes playing games together to a higher level. And it comes in beautiful packaging, with the colors of the game. As in the picture below.

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It’s so much fun because it challenges you to get to know your friends and family better. I can’t wait until January and I can get a full copy of this game. I only got a sample of this game to play with my family and review it.

AND THE EXCITING THING ABOUT THE RANK GAME are expansion packs. So the information never gets old. You will have fresh and new ideas as you add to your game.

I STRONGLY encourage you to support THE KICKSTARTER that you can find here

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/414292359/883857612? ref=9fgp97&token=5ab26630

A copy of this game was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

About Chip and Donna Brown

The Rank Game is produced by a new family game company started by Dana Brown (homeschool mom and former Disney Imagineer) and Chip Brown (former Disney Studio producer and publisher at Zondervan, Thomas Nelson and Walk Thru the Bible). Chip and Dana created The Rank Game and their new company Storyastic to appeal to people’s desire for fun while at the same time providing tech-free together time during which people’s relationships become stronger.

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The Piper’s Pursuit By Melanie Dickerson

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Piper’s Pursuit

(Hagenheim #10) By Melanie Dickerson

YA Fairy Tale Retelling, Christian, Historical

Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 320 Pages December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson

A fairy-tale journey of intrigue and romance that reimagines the classic Pied Piper story.

A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village’s children, and Katerina’s evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for—even though the only gentle thing about him seems to be the sweet music he plays on his pipe. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds herself drawn to him despite her misgivings.

Together Katerina and Steffan must stop the enemy from stealing the children of Hamlin. But their interference might create an even worse fate for the entire village.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

Katerina and Steffan are both wonderful people, and amazing characters. I love them both so much and they made this story so much fun, enjoyable and entertaining. I have read most of Melanie Dickersons books and this is one if the best. I love how she took an old fairytale and turns it into a new Christian fiction by adding her own creative imagination. With just enough twists and turns that kept me wanting to find out what Katerina and Steffan were up to next.

It takes a lot for an author to take an old loved story and make it her own, and Melanie Dickerson is an expert at it. She breathes her own new life into these fairytales, and just maybe someone can find the Lord through her books. I highly recommend this book to anyone because I believe everyone can enjoy this one.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

Praise for The Piper’s Pursuit

The Piper’s Pursuit is a lovely tale of adventure, romance, and redemption. Kat and Steffan’s righteous quest will have you rooting them on until the very satisfying end!” —LORIE LANGDON, author of Olivia Twist and the DOON series

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | TNZFiction

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for history, adventure, and romance. Her books have won a Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader’s Choice Award, the Christian Retailing’s Best Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Golden Quill, and the Carol Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in the U.S., Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama.

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Real Change for Students By Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne;

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Authors:  Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne; Edited by David Powlison

ISBN-13:978-1-64507-033-7ISBN-13 (eBook):978-1-64507-034-4

Publication Date:  9/23/2019

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:

ABOUT THIS BOOK 

Every honest Christian knows the need for change. But how to get there? How do young adults move forward from struggles both big and small? And how does our faith in God affect our everyday thoughts, feelings, and actions?

In this six-session small group resource for students, participants have the opportunity to reflect on one particular area in their lives and then to learn more about how God changes us to become more like Jesus. All of us struggle to love God and those around us, but God has promised to keep working on us. And God always keeps his promises. The change his gospel produces will make your life and your relationships truly beautiful.

This self-contained resource with leader s notes will encourage small group participants to understand and apply a biblical view of change to their lives and relationships.

Real Change for Students is based on the CCEF model of change from David Powlison s course, Dynamics of Biblical Change. The easy-to-use six lesson format and included leader s guide encourages students toward an honest discussion of their own struggles while providing an understanding of how a relationship with Christ brings change.

Topics addressed include understanding how we typically respond to trouble and pressure; how the cross of Christ brings comfort, help, and change; and how we can grow to be like Christ in the hardest circumstances.

Within this small group resource are biblical insights, discussion questions, and a personal change project to help young adults seeking to change negative patterns and live by faith in all circumstances. While the study material is designed for young adults within small groups, it can also be used for one-to-one discipleship study, too.

Rooted in Scripture, Real Change for Students draws on the established CCEF Three Threes model of change in simplified form to help young adults better understand biblical change and grow to be more like Jesus in everyday life.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

 

ENDORSEMENTS

“Having taken CCEF’s Dynamics of Biblical Change course as a student and having it taught several times as a recitation instructor for CCEF and for our church, I’ve long known that the material is tremendously beneficial for helping people know the God of the Bible better and understand how biblical change works. However, answering the question, ‘how do we get this information more widely disseminated among the people at our church—especially through our small groups?’ has been elusive to me. Real Change is just the resource I’ve been looking for! Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne have created an effective tool for introducing more people to the basics of how the process of being changed more and more into the image of Christ over time works in the life of a Christian. It’s short in duration (six sessions), making it ideal for a Sunday school or small group curriculum. And yet it is faithful to communicate the essence of David Powlison’s Dynamics course. I am eager to commend and utilize this new tool for creating more discipleship opportunities in our church.”
Bryan Pickering, Pastor for Care & Counseling, Bethlehem Baptist Church Downtown Campus

“God intends every believer to grow into the likeness of Christ—and because we all have such a long way to go it’s never too soon to get going. This edition of Real Change is a resource specifically designed to help students apply the power of the gospel to the details of life. It is an engaging, manageable, and thoroughly biblical exploration of spiritual growth. Buy it and use it with your friends.”
Steve Midgley, Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; senior minister, Christ Church, Cambridge

“Finally! This book is long overdue! Real Change gives light to unlit paths of guiding students to a lifestyle of cross-centered faith and repentance. As a student walks across the stage on graduation, you can be confident that no matter what trials or failures they encounter they’ll know how to examine their own hearts and turn to Christ. I look forward to giving a copy to every one of our youth leaders!”
Pavel N. Bugriyev, Youth Pastor, Hilltown Baptist Church

“Let’s be honest: We all battle with deep-set issues, stubborn sins that hinder us from following Jesus. Real Change gets right under the skin and chisels the heart. It’s not going to be an easy ride. Be prepared to be challenged, transformed, and brought to your knees as you allow God’s Spirit to make you more like Jesus. This is genuinely a book I can’t wait to introduce our teenagers to.”
Dave Cornes, Head of Youth Ministry, St. James Muswell Hill, UK

“This brilliantly practical course will help you work out your faith in a really tangible way. It calls us to think through real struggles in our Christian lives, gives us a helpful biblical framework to work them through, and reminds us at every stage to bring them before our loving Heavenly Father who cares for us. What a great resource for God’s people!”
Olly Elliott, Associate Minister for Youth and Families, St. Peter’s Harold Wood

“We all have things in our lives we would like to change. But often we don’t know how, and can even find it hard to begin talking about it. This course helps do exactly that, helping young people to understand themselves better, talk honestly, and see the real change that is possible as God works in us. With clear biblical input and lots of time to discuss, it will be a very useful resource.”
Sarah Bradley, Youth and Children’s Minister, Holy Trinity Church, Manchester, UK

 

ABOUT THESE AUTHORS

Andrew Nicholls, MA, MB, BChir, is a former doctor and pastor who is now Director of Pastoral Care at Oak Hill Theological College, London. He is married to Hilary and they have two children.

Helen Thorne, BSc(Hons), MA is the Director of Training and Mentoring at London City Mission. She is a trustee of Biblical Counselling UK and involved in pastoral care within her local church. She is an experienced speaker and author of Purity is Possible, 5 Things to Pray for your City and Walking with Domestic Abuse Sufferers.

David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, serves as CCEF’s executive director, as a faculty member, and as senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. David has been counseling for over thirty years and has written numerous articles on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books include Speaking Truth in Love; Seeing with New Eyes; Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare; The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context; Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining and Bitterness; Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken; and God’s Grace in Your Suffering.

A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff plus GIVEAWAY

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  • Series: A Shepherd Suspense Novel (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (October 15, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • My Rating:
  • #acrosstokill
  • #andrewhuff

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God’s calling. He’s not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf–an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow–even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he’s learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer . . .

Andrew Huff’s thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it’s also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

As this book begin, Christine is in the hot seat, ready and waiting to be executed, but John comes to the rescue, a rescue that doesn’t go as  planned, but he is still determined to save her. And so the journey begins.

And Wow, what a debut novel for author Andrew Huff. I was on the edge of my seat after the first page, and stayed there until this book ended. Scene after scene there is so much going on here in this book. And the details are amazing. The characters were so well developed from the beginning. With John’s character,  being an undercover agent for the CIA, being on the run wasn’t new to him, he knew exactly what to do. For me it was so much fun reading this story. I love suspense, and if this is a genre you enjoy, I highly recommend A Cross to Kill. And the title is very clever as well!

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Click here to read an excerpt.

CLICK HERE TO SEE BOOK TRAILER

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Huff-1Andrew Huff spent 10 years in local church ministry before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the Product Director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com). He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014 & 2017) and also won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion degree from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in North Texas with his beautiful wife Jae and their two boys.
Learn more at andrewhuffbooks.com.
Facebook (@huffwrites)
Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff)

An Interview with Andrew Huff,

Author of A Cross to Kill

Q: A Cross to Kill is your first book release. Tell us about your journey to become an author.

A: Storytelling is something that’s been a part of my life since an early age, though I wasn’t convinced I could actually be an author until much later in life. I would write stories every day using toys, sometimes turning those stories into drawings, and on occasion, writing ideas down. I spent my high school years telling stories through video, even helping develop narrative projects with my home church. Yet I still wasn’t motivated to sit down and attempt to write something longer than a five-minute screenplay. That changed right around the time I finished college.

I was an avid reader growing up, and after finishing my undergraduate degree, I started consuming full length mystery/suspense novels. The problem I ran into was that many of the authors I enjoyed did not hold to the same worldview or values that I did. And whenever I found a thriller that did, I was often left wanting. So, I decided if I couldn’t find the type of book I wanted to read, then I should try to write it. It took many years of learning the craft and discovering the right story before I was able to sit down and not only start, but successfully finish, a full length, action-packed, suspense story that I was ready to share with readers.

Q: Introduce us to your new series, and specifically A Cross to Kill. What inspired the story?

A: I love letting real-life events inspire fiction, and my new series is no exception. When I first started developing the storyline, there were a handful of high-profile executions of journalists at the hands of terrorists overseas. What made these executions unique to this era was the fact that videos of the killings were spread across the internet. As these tragic events were taking place, I found myself wishing someone had intervened. Thus, the rescue attempt at the beginning of A Cross to Kill was born.

The other aspect of real-life that inspired the story was my own experience in ministry and the reality of how unique that calling is in the life of a person. I not only spent time in local church ministry myself, but my father was also a small country church pastor during my early elementary years. I loved the idea of capturing the fish-out-of- water experience of someone who did a very different job finding themselves learning what it means to spiritually care for a group of people. I also have to admit, I’m greatly inspired by the thrills of such action franchises as Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, and James Bond. I want my series to take the Bible and the Church seriously while offering the same kind of jaw-dropping action those novels and films excel at.

Q: The main character, John Cross, is a small-town pastor with a top secret past the members of his church would find hard to believe. What are some of things John left behind in his former life?

A: John didn’t just leave behind a past filled with poor choices and immoral behavior. Almost immediately, we get a sense that he performed actions in his role with the CIA and on behalf of his country that he is unable to forgive himself for. At a key moment in the story, we discover that John’s marksmanship was put to use by his superiors in unpleasant ways. You’ll have to read the book for all the details, but what I can say is John can’t help but evaluate his actions through a rigid view of Scripture, and as a result he’s struggling to believe God could truly forgive him.

What I find interesting is the theological question surrounding his previous life that he’s finding himself at odds with. Is the taking of a human life ever justifiable? There’s much to unpack with that question, but when we first meet John, he’s not yet taken the deep plunge into his theological training, and therefore, has very black and white opinions on complicated issues. This creates a conflict within him as he struggles to cope with the memories of his time with CIA and strive to live under the forgiveness of God in Christ.

Q: What events led up to John finding and following Christ?

A: John’s conversion has already happened when A Cross to Kill begins, but later in the book we get to hear his version of it. It’s a rather unconventional story, but that’s what I like about it. The fact that his conversion happens while he’s on assignment is such a great picture of the two competing forces in his life, that of his ingrained training and his newfound commitment to Christianity.

The short version is that after performing operations of a lethal nature with the CIA for so long, John lost his sense of humanity. While tracking a target in Spain, he ends up in a cathedral during a Catholic service. Unable to understand the liturgy, he still found himself drawn to the religious symbols. Compelled to know more about the man hanging from the cross, he forgot about his target, found an English Bible at a local shop, and devoted himself to knowing more. While everyone’s story is different, John’s story is one of God reaching down with an irresistible draw to set aside an undeserving man for His great purpose.

Q: What are some of the faith struggles that John faces along the way that readers can identify with?

A: I know there are faith struggles John faces that readers can identify with because they are ones I struggle with even to this day! For one, John can’t seem to shake loose from past habits and hang-ups. Sometimes those habits can be used for good, but more often than not, John finds himself fighting to walk in faith and love and not let his flesh take control when things go awry. Much of the Christian life is about this same battle. I am at constant odds with the desires of my flesh, and at times, I have sympathized with the ancient monks who punished themselves to try and defeat their own impulses (a practice called flagellation, and one which John has adapted in his own way).

Another faith struggle that I know many readers can identify with is the difficulty of accepting God’s forgiveness for not only the sins we’ve committed in the past, but the sins we will commit in the future. John struggles to believe God could forgive him for what he did while in the employ of the CIA, and that affects his ability to pass forgiveness on to others. This is something I, myself, have also found difficult. It’s not hard to believe God might forgive a single mistake here and there, but after failing again and again and again, it’s easy to expect a limit to God’s forgiveness. That’s when we can become trapped in the erroneous belief that faith is not enough, and we must work to retain God’s favor.

Q: Writers usually write what they know. Is there any of you in John Cross?

A: If there was, I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you. Just kidding! The more exciting aspects of John’s story are nothing like mine, and I only wish I had half of his intuition and skill. It is true, however, that writers usually write what they know, and I’m no exception. The part of me in John Cross is less the man and more the day-to-day experience in local church ministry.

When I wrote A Cross to Kill, I was on staff with a Southern Baptist church in Central Virginia, though a much larger church than Rural Grove. So much of what John experiences with the church and its members is based on real experiences that I drew from during my time on a church staff as well as from growing up as a preacher’s kid in rural Tennessee churches. The congregants we get to know are not based on individuals as much as an amalgamation of wonderful people I had the opportunity to get to know through the years.

Q: The book description states that A Cross to Kill is not only a riveting story of suspense, it’s also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world. Can we talk more about the moral quandaries?

A: A big moral quandary John faces, and I believe many of us wrestle with, is whether there is any legitimate justification for the taking of the life of another person. Is it ever right to kill another person? The Scripture could not be clearer that we are not to murder, and Jesus goes further by condemning any hateful thought toward a fellow human. There is much more Scripture to consider on the issue, but the answer to the question is not cut and dry.

The debate always seems to yield the same “yes,” “no,” and “sometimes,” answers. I didn’t want to try and provide a rigid response one way or the other in the novel, but I did wanted the characters to wrestle with the question and answers. Naturally, they probably wouldn’t ultimately agree. But for John in particular, what the characters decide, would drive the decisions they make when faced with danger. This is what we have to understand about the issue ourselves: If we believe Scripture gives a clear answer, whatever answer that might be, we must be prepared to let that answer influence how we respond to particular situations and issues regardless of how unconventional and perhaps even countercultural that may be.

Q: Is it possible to truly put our pasts behind us? How should we respond when our previous mistakes and decisions don’t stay in the past?

A: I don’t believe it’s possible to truly put our pasts behind us, and I don’t think that’s ever been God’s intention. We see many times in the Scriptures how God seeks to remind His people not only of the good they’ve experienced, but also the bad. The past is not meant to be forgotten, but to shape our response today. And that can be both the pleasant memories as well as the painful regrets we carry from before.

When we remember God’s goodness in our past, it is cause for celebration and worship. In much the same way, when our previous mistakes and decisions come back into our present, it is a moment for us to acknowledge how God continues to be good in the midst of a broken world. We see His goodness in the fact that those mistakes are still covered by the blood of Jesus Christ and there’s nothing we did then or could even do now to change that. When our past mistakes return and remind others of pain we may have caused, it’s important to not only acknowledge God’s grace and mercy but also seek reconciliation and restoration to the best of our ability. Ultimately, when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He is faithful to do a work in us and in others so that even in our shortcomings, He can be glorified.

Q: Without giving away too much, what can readers expect as the Shepherd Suspense series continues?

A: I’m so excited to continue the story with these characters, and I can’t wait for readers to pick up the next books in the series. One thing that is true about the Christian life is that it is a life-long pursuit of Christlikeness includes many ups and downs. We won’t find our sanctification complete this side of heaven, and so neither will my characters!

For John, he may have crossed a hurdle with accepting God’s forgiveness for his past, but that doesn’t mean he’s dealt with every decision he’s made leading up to becoming the pastor of Rural Grove Baptist Church. And John’s not the only one with a complicated past. The thing I’m most excited about sharing is the action-packed twists and turns that promise to keep the characters on their heels and the readers up past their bedtimes.

A Cross to Kill tour and giveaway-1

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Safe and Sound by DAVID POWLISON

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ABOUT THIS BOOK 

Safe and Sound by best-selling author David Powlison guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness.

Counselors tend to be interested in what they can easily describe: psychological dynamics, social influences, and physiological givens. But how does the uncanny power of darkness fit in with the more accessible factors in a person’s life?

By carefully unpacking Ephesians 6 with vivid case studies and biblical wisdom, Powlison helps readers humanize those struggles and bear the relevance of the love of God in Christ for those struggles.

In this helpful guide, Powlison addresses many questions with gospel answers regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, including What is spiritual warfare? and How does Ephesians disciple us in spiritual warfare?

Safe and Sound presents Ephesians as a book about our conflict with darkness within ourselves, with other people, and with the spiritual forces of evil. Powlison demonstrates how the message of Christ’s triumph over all that is evil, dark, and deadly rings true, and how spiritual warfare is our participation in the Lord’s cosmic war with darkness.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

 

 

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR 

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DAVID POWLISON, M.Div., Ph.D., is a faculty member at CCEF and a counselor with over thirty years of experience. He has written many counseling articles, booklets, and books including Seeing with New Eyes; Speaking Truth in Love; and Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare

Blitz for THE THIRTEENTH GUARDIAN by K.M. Lewis! Plus GIVEAWAY

We’re blitzing about THE THIRTEENTH GUARDIAN by K.M. Lewis!

#13GuardBlitz


On Tour with Prism Book Tours
***For a limited time, grab this on sale in ebook for $2.99!
Soon available in audiobook! Listen to the first four chapters here.***

The Thirteenth Guardian
(The Thirteenth Guardian #1)

By K.M. Lewis
Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Thriller
Paperback & ebook, 307 Pages
June 11th 2019
DA VINCI’S SECRET PALES. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Adam fresco in the Sistine Chapel. Eve did not cause the fall of man. She carried a far more devastating secret for millennia—one that will change the world forever.
As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt,” Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation. Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.
The Thirteenth Guardian is Book One of a daring new Trilogy that will shake you to your core.

(Affiliate link included.)
About the Upcoming Audiobook

Book reviewers raved that the opening chapters of The Thirteenth Guardian hooked them immediately: so, I am excited to release the first four chapters (and a bonus excerpt) in free audio format. The audio chapters are available on all major podcast platforms—including iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and TuneIn. Check them out here.

I interviewed quite a few voice actors. I chose the “Three Days” excerpt (which I released first) as the real test of the voice actors because the chapter, in many ways, represents the overall tone of the novel – fast paced, full of suspense, and totally gut wrenching. I needed a voice that would truly capture the weight of the story and convey the gravity of what unfolds in the book. I still shudder every time I listen to the “Three Days” audio excerpt—its pretty powerful. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

I also wanted to provide a window into what was going through my mind as I wrote the novel. So I thought a short behind-the-scenes commentary tied to each of the free audio chapters would be a cool addition. The Thirteenth Guardian is a pretty daring novel, and I think the commentary gives the reader an added dimension to the story that really brings it to life.

—K.M.

About the Author
K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at farflung airports around the globe. He currently resides on the East Coast of the United States with his family.
Blitz Giveaway

 
One winner will receive an ebook of THE THIRTEENTH GUARDIAN
Open internationally
Ends November 30, 2019

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The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr plus giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

 

 

The End of the Magi By Patrick W. Carr

 

Christian Historical Fiction

Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages November 5th 2019

by Bethany House Publishers

My Rating: 5 Stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#EndMagiPrism

Centuries before the magi arrived in Bethlehem, a prophecy sets a young magus on his path . . .

Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel calls forth a select group of men who will count down the calendar until the arrival of Israel’s promised king. Centuries later, as the day draws near, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are slain by a ruthless Parthian queen.

Equipped with very little, in haste Myrad escapes the city and, searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is keeping secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable asset, an epic journey filled with peril, near captures, and dangerous battles begins.

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can’t forget, and the promise that the world will never be the same.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

The End of the Magi is like a story I’ve never read before. In all of the years of knowing the story of our Saviors birth, I’ve never known very much about the Magi, so I was really excited about reading this book. For me it was a little slow going at first, but never fear, soon the story burst in action and I was totally into this story. The main character is a young Persian boy, Myrad, who encounters many difficult issues as he is trying to find a specific star. My heart so hurt as this young guy went through so much, and I’m trying not to give away anything that will ruin the story for you.

As for the excellent writing, this is my first book by Patrick Carr and I was captivated by this book. The characters, the plot, everything all weaved together to make this historical Biblical fiction an amazing read for me. I learned a lot about a group of people I didn’t really know a lot about and for that I am so glad I choose to review this book. And I highly recommend this as a book to read during the Christmas Season. But it can really be read anytime! But one thing about it, it’s a story that will stay with you for a long time.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Praise for the Book

“Carr retells the story of the Magi in this bustling biblical adventure . . . . Myrad’s divine vision of the star and his arduous trek battling his own physical problems to pay homage to the Messiah capture the majesty of biblical narratives and will appeal to Christians well versed in scripture.”–Publishers Weekly

“Patrick Carr brings us a captivating tale in The End of the Magi. Based on the Holy Bible, he weaves a fictional tale of the adventures of a group of magi from the east looking for the Messiah. Myrad is a strong main character even though he doesn’t see himself as strong. He has great character traits and these help him find triumph over tragedy. . . . The End of the Magi is a great holiday read and gives us much to think about in our journey to know God better.”–Fresh Fiction

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook | Publisher

About the Author

Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. A Cast of Stones and The Hero’s Lot were both finalists for 2014 Christy Awards. He teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

– One winner will receive a print copy of The End of the Magi and a $20 B&N gift card – Four winners will each receive a print copy of The End of the Magi – US only – Ends November 29, 2019

ENTER HERE

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Grand finale for Home for Christmas

It’s the Grand Finale for HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Catherine Lanigan! #HCPrism


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On Tour with Prism Book Tours
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch – Note from the Author

Home for Christmas was pure Joy for me—in every chapter and word. I was thrilled when my editors gave me the green light to write this, the first Christmas story set in Indian Lake. I certainly hope it’s not the last for my beloved characters.

This story is especially dear to me because it’s cut right out of my life. In my hometown of La Porte, Indiana, there was a magical all-glass greenhouse just like the one Joy Boston inherits. From my earliest memories of Christmas, visits to the Bernacchi Greenhouse to choose the right poinsettias for aunts and friends was practically part of my DNA. For decades, even when I moved out of town and lived in big cities and foreign countries, Christmas memories always began in those greenhouses. . .

“I absolutely loved the setting, too! The poinsettia greenhouses anchor this story with their potential and fascinating, town-edifying history. Grandfather Frank’s dreams are renewed, and his memory is revived in a surprising and sweet way. Home for Christmas infused me in the spirit of Christmas and satisfied me with its ending.”

“This is your typical second-chance romance with a bunch of Hallmark movie thrown in. And because it is a Christmas book, that makes it fit absolutely perfectly. You can’t help but love this formula at this time of year, because it always makes you feel good.”

Joy shoved the phone in her purse and saw the Uber driver at the bottom of the escalator, holding a sign with her name on it.

She walked up to him. “Hi! I’m Joy Boston.”

The middle-aged man nodded. “I’m Roy. Happy to see you. I’ll take your bags for you. Do you have more luggage to claim?”

“No, this is it. I won’t be staying long.”

“Oh, that’s a pity,” Roy said, as he politely ushered her toward the outer door.

“Why’s that?”

“Indian Lake is so lovely at the holidays. So many decorations and activities. The Christmas Concert. The symphony. The children’s Christmas pageant. The caroling parties. The Candlelight Tour…”

Pause for Tales – Review

“This was like Hallmark in a book. Another sweet second chance romance between two people who have had their love rekindled again.”

Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post

A CAROLING WE GO

This is my front door where yes, last year, a small group came to my door and sang Christmas carols. Luckily, I still had some Christmas cookies to gift them. . .

onemused – Review

“. . . the second chance romance, Christmas setting, and lovely characters all bring the book together in a lovely way. I would highly recommend for fans of Hallmark movies- this is a sweet and heartwarming (clean) book!”

Woven From Words – Review

Home For Christmas displays how the magic of community and holiday spirit come together to rejuvenate a person’s spirit. Even if you’re away from an extended period time, one can truly return home and find the key to inner peace. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a holiday tale with a strong sense of community!”

“I really loved this book. If you are looking for a book to get you into the holiday spirit look no further. This one did get me a little teary eyed in the beginning because it is sad. This book gave me plenty of heart and feels. It’s also a great second chance romance.”

“First of all, this is a beautifully-composed, sweet romance with no offensive content. In fact, if you love Christmas rom-coms that appear on the Hallmark Channel every year, this is the book for you. This is just like a Hallmark Christmas movie, except it’s even better!”

Roy drove into town, past the red sandstone county courthouse with its one-hundred-and-forty-year-old clock tower and onto Maple Boulevard. They passed houses she remembered, belonging to Sarah Jensen and Mrs. Beabots. Saint Mark’s Church. The Indian Lake Police Station. Specters of past, happy days flew around Joy, pulling her back to Indian Lake like magnets. And with each memory, she missed her mother, her father and especially her grandfather all the more.

That was why when Roy drove up to the three glass greenhouses, which her grandfather had built right after World War II, her vision had been blurred by her tears. She couldn’t possibly be seeing correctly.

“What is this?” she asked Roy, like a stupefied tourist.

“Boston Greenhouses.” He waved his hand across the expanse of the windshield. “This is it.”

Splashes of Joy – Review

Home for Christmas was just the right book to get me in the mood for Christmas. I really enjoyed following Joy and her friends as they prepared to reopen the old greenhouses Joy’s grandfather loved so much. It was interesting to learn everything involved to reopen the greenhouses. . . . If you are looking for good Christmas stories to read during the Holiday season, this is a really great one to check out.”

“Whether you’ve been a fan of Lanigan’s long-running Shores of Indian Lake series from book one or you’re just arriving on the scene, the close-knit small town’s charm will quickly wrap you in twinkle lights and hot chocolate. Joy and Adam’s story is a look at grief, bitterness, forgiveness, restoration… and coming home again. Second chances abound in more ways than one in Home For Christmas, and you’ll love discovering each one.”

Home for Christmas by Catherine Lanigan is a great book that I devoured it. Joy jumped out of the pages and into my head along with the other characters. I love happy endings. Ms. Lanigan is an excellent writer. I am giving Home for Christmas five stars and recommending it to everyone.”

Wishful Endings– Guest Post

TREE FARM DAY

It was a year to pull out all the stops. And I did.

The tree farm was the first stop. I hadn’t been to our “Pine Country Tree Farm” in decades. What an eye-opener. Trust me, the scenes in any movie you’ve seen don’t compare to the real thing. What an operation. There was a gift store. A Santa all suited up sitting in his own cabin! Florals, garlands, wreaths were being shipped out by truckload. A horse-drawn wagon took folks up to the rolling hills to chop down their own tree. Hot apple cider and cocoa awaited them upon their return. . .

Home for Christmas set a beautiful scene for the upcoming holidays for me as I read it. This second chance love story had such heart ad a great setting. . . . This was a very heartwarming story and was lots of fun to read.”

The Power of Words – Review

Home for Christmas is a touching story of forgiveness and second chances – on a personal level between Adam and Joy, and also as the community comes together in support and help. Home for Christmas would make a moving Hallmark movie and the company is missing a great opportunity if they don’t snatch this one up. But the book is even better than a potential movie because of all the richness and depth that a movie can’t convey.”

Heidi Reads… – Guest Post

THE CHRISTMAS POPS CONCERT

The Christmas Pops is truly unique. It’s held at our Civic Auditorium, built in the 1920’s and houses over 3,000 people. The main floor, where basketball used to be played when I was in high school, is filled with linen covered tables and chairs, decorated with flowers and candles and the ceiling is draped, flung and crisscrossed with thousands of Christmas lights. The La Porte County Symphony plays as various choral groups, the Children’s Choir, soloists and local harmonizing groups perform. The night is upbeat and fun. Everyone dresses up, lots of tuxes and gowns; Christmas dresses and fun Christmas ties, I have to say. . .

“This is a wonderful, heartfelt story of love, betrayal, misunderstandings, confusion, forgiveness and grief. The setting is in a small town during the Holidays. . . . The characters are so endearingly realistic, the scenes described in a way they are easily visualized. . . . I feel this novel earns a Five Stars rating. . .”

Cover To Cover Cafe – Review & Excerpt

“Another hit by one of my favorite heart warming authors! Lanigan has done it! Once again, she has created a Hallmark worthy story for readers. Every page turn pulled me farther into the story, and help me captive until the very end.”

She looked toward the back of the retail gift area. Two French doors led to a smaller greenhouse where specialty orchids, amaryllis and hybrid poinsettias used to be displayed on long wooden tables. That was Joy’s favorite area, where her grandfather would test his yearlong projects of coral-and-white-striped poinsettias, yellows, ambers, and try as he might, the absolute impossible task of creating a blue poinsettia. Blue poinsettias didn’t exist naturally, and he would dye white ones to please designers in Chicago, but he was a dreamer. He’d often told her he wanted to create a flower that was not only beautiful but timeless. Something the world would never have seen if it hadn’t been for him.

janicesbookreviews – Review

“The book has so much meaning to it. There are lessons we can learn — especially one concerning Joy’s grandfather.”

Locks, Hooks and Books – Excerpt & Review
 

Adam took off his hat, and as he did, his thick black hair fell over his forehead.


Joy nearly gasped as the movement reminded her of when they’d been in love.

“I know that Frank didn’t want to destroy your memories of this place. How it was.”

“It was glorious, wasn’t it?” Joy felt her first smile creep slowly to her lips as she remembered so much.
“It was,” he replied wistfully, still staring at her.

“I loved this magical tale! . . . I am giving Home for Christmas a very well deserved five plus stars. It is most definitely a must to add to any reader’s Christmas reading.”

Remembrancy – Review

“This settles it. I want to live in Indian Lake surrounded by friends who show up, a mentor like Mrs. Beabots, and the romance that permeates the town. . . . Catherine Lanigan gifts readers with a story of second chances, forgiveness, and finding home again through Joy and Adam’s eyes. I didn’t want this story to end.”

Kat’s Corner Books – Interview & Review

5. What is your favorite thing about having a “story world” that you can return to in new books?

C: For my series set in Indian Lake, I truly cherish the ability to go back with each story and see what mysterious, elegant and tight-lipped Mrs. Beabots is up to. Though she is the doyenne of the community, she is the wise sage. The giver of all gifts. The mirror for every heroine or hero to face at one point during the story.

“This was my first book by Catherine but it won’t be my last. Beside sharing a name, and thus automatically qualifying as awesome, she has a talent for weaving a sweet story with just enough depth to keep the characters growing throughout. . . . I look forward to returning to Indian Lake and getting to know the residents better.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

“So, Dad,” Titus said as he dipped thin chicken tenders in a mix of flour, chili powder, granulated garlic and black pepper, “do you think we should ask Mr. Boston’s granddaughter over for Thanksgiving dinner?”

Adam stopped pouring the olive oil into the frying pan. “How do you know anything about Joy Boston being in town?”

“Mrs. Beabots. She came over to Timmy’s house and made oatmeal cookies for us.”

“Oh, she did? And how many did you eat?” Adam asked, hoping to change the subject.

“. . . when you find a romance as good as this one (and the whole series really) you just have to keep reading!

Home for Christmas will keep you reading. It will feel like you just sat down with a good friend and before you know it, the whole book is over and you’re still longing for more time to chat.”

Peaceful Pastime – Review

“Catherine Lanigan has become one of my favorite authors because she truly does write heartwarming novels that are suitable for all readers, ones you can share with your daughters, mothers. grandmothers, friends and family. I love a sweet, clean romance and Ms. Lanigan is one of the best authors in this genre.”

 

The excitement on Titus’s face hit mega wattage. “We’re gonna have the biggest, bestest tree ever! We’re going out to Pine Country Tree Farm, where you can ride out to the groves and pick any tree you want. They cut it down, unless you wanna do it yourself.” He tilted his head up to Adam. “You gonna do it again this year, Dad?”

“Probably.”

Titus turned back to Joy. “Then we ride back and they bundle it up and put it in our truck. I want a really, really huge one this year.”

“Wow,” Joy replied. “Just how big is that?”

“If you are ready for some happy tears and heartwarming scenes, start looking for HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. It will have you in a festive and giving mood in no time plus you might just end up a happy puddle of happy Holiday goo!”

CHRISTMAS COOKIES


I get it that a lot of people don’t bake anymore. Slice and bake or pick up from the local bakery or grocery store. As long as they look like Christmas cookies that’s good enough, right? Well, not in my house. Every year I make hundreds—bordering on a thousand—Christmas cookies for friends and family. I mail them all over the country and to Canada. I know. I must be nuts. That’s another thing. I order my nuts from a local charity every year. If I’m not Suzanne’s larger client/supporter, then the honor must go to a retailer. I plow through a lot of nuts, butter, flour and sugar.

Hallie Reads – Review

“Travel to Indian Lake for a sweet, second-chance romance this Christmas. . . . Catherine Lanigan’s Home for Christmas is everything I love to find in a holiday romance. Heartwarming and feelgood, it’s one to add to the Christmas TBR if you love contemporary romance.”

Harlie’s Books – Excerpt & Review

Adam pulled up to the bank. He put the truck in Park and turned to her. “What are you asking me?”

“Have you got an ulterior motive, Adam Masterson? Because if you do, it’s time to lay your cards on the table.”

“Initially, I wanted to show you that Indian Lake wasn’t the hall of horrors you thought it was. That the people here were wonderful and loving and that maybe you could come to need them.”

“Yall, this book had all the feels. I got caught up with all my friends from the other books and it warmed my heart to see them come together for Joy and Adam. Sometimes it does take a village and it was evident here. . . . If looking for a feel-good second chance romance with the backdrop of poinsettias, this is for you. Adam and Joy are ranking up there as one of my favorite couples in Indian Shores. Mica and Grace, you have competition. Thank you, Ms. Lanigan, for this book. It is what I needed for the start of the holiday season.”

underneath the covers – Guest Post

IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS WITOUT POINSETTIAS

My love for this book, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, is far more emotional than I’d thought when I started out writing it. Poinsettias remind me of nearly every “passed on” family member of my life. My grandmother, Ethel, who was born in the deep South and lived in Northwestern Florida most of her adult life, adored tropical flowers. Both she and my mother not only absolutely, indisputably had to have poinsettias in the house, but they also always had red anthuriums on the dining table for Christmas dinner.

“I love how Home for Christmas opens the door into Joy’s life by a heartfelt wave of sentimental nostalgia for her grandfather’s Thanksgiving at Indian Lake. . . . I personally have always appreciated the compelling ways in which Ms Lanigan pulls you back through her vision for Indian Lake. . . Lanigan makes us feel as cosy comfortable in Indian Lake as if we had been reading it since the first novel released. And, that is one of the reasons I love this series as much as I do. . . . The story was a bit sweeter round the edges due to the Christmassy inclusions and the back-drop of this revolving round a favourite (and cherished!) holiday flower which is only available during the holiday seasons.”

“. . . I loved loved this story on 2nd chances. . . . Her story is putting me in the Christmas spirit and I can almost see this as a Hallmark movie with a happy ending for Joy and Adam. . . . This is a new to me author that I will look forward to in the future. Her writing is sweet. I love sweet and heartwarming stories like this one.”

Becky on Books – Interview

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. They should know I take my writing very seriously. I feel a responsibility to deliver the best of my talent at the age I am when writing it.
  2. I’ve been writing for 40 years.
  3. I work endlessly on screenplays.
  4. My first Hallmark movie, THE SWEETEST HEART was aired last year
  5. I love to cook.
EmpowerMoms – Review

“I love holiday books and I have read other books by this author so I was excited to read this book.This story is book 12 in the “Shores of Indian Lake” series but they can be read as stand alone books. I have only read one other book in this series and I really enjoyed it! . . . This was a sweet romance about second chances, family, and making a home with the people around you. I really enjoyed reading it!”

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post…

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake #12)
By Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

About the Author
Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER and HERS TO PROTECT (2019).
Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com.
Tour Giveaway

– One winner will receive a $100 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Two winners will each receive a signed copy of Home for Christmas with a bookmark (US only)
– Ends November 27, 2019

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A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham and giveaway!

A Match for Emma JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham  hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours

MY RATING 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Match for Emma by Pepper BashamTitle: A Match for Emma

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 21, 2019

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

Emma Mitchell was so busy trying to find a match for everyone else,  she didn’t think about needing the man of her dreams. And her long time friend Jon Noble just surprised everyone by moving back to Randsom, so she can resume her friends relationship with him. But their journey doesn’t exactly as planned.

Thought this book started out a little slow for me, but then the story gets better and better. I really like Emma’s character,  she just so full of life and enjoys helping others. And her matchmaking skills are really, good, that is until she made a mess of one couple. And Jon is a sweetheart! But I did get annoyed at him for being so secretive sometimes. But that all said, Pepper Basham does an awesome job of writing this book to make people keep reading it until it end. She deals with several different issues that are realistic, describing each scene so vividly it seems like reading about my neighbors. There are a lot of characters in this small town of Randsom, and the way the  author introduces them to the story, they are easy to remember and soon felt like old friends. There is a lot of love in Randsom, but theres sometimes a lot of tensions flying around sometimes too. And all in all, it is a great third book in the Mitchell’s Crossrodes Series, and even though I didn’t read the first two stories, this one was fine for me as a stand alone. This is a good clean read. If this is what you like to read, it’s an awesome story.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pepper Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her upcoming release, A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media. You may also learn more about her on her website!

CONNECT WITH PEPPER: Website | FacebookTwitterInstagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Paris cube decorative tote, paperback copy of Jane Austen’s Emma, paperback copy of A Match for Emma (or another one of the Mitchell’s Crossroads books, if preferred), a ‘love’ ornament,  a mug that reads “You’re my cup of tea”, and Misty Mountain handcrafted soap (made locally) – the scent is Mountain Berries!

A Match for Emma JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

 


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

A Beautiful Mess by Brenda S. Anderson!

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A Beautiful Mess (The Mosaic Collection)

Print: $12.99 eBook: $5.99

ABOUT THIS BOOK 

A single mother’s journey from bitterness to forgiveness

About the Book

Can she love the child who broke up her marriage?

Nearly four years ago, Erin Belden’s happy life became a shattered mess. After her husband admitted to an affair and that a child had been conceived, he left her and their young daughter for his new family. Now, she’s finally ready to put the pieces of her life together. She’s set to launch her own business and even thinks her heart might be open to romance—should the right man come along.

But just when everything seems to be lining up, she receives a devastating call: her ex-husband and his wife have been killed in a car accident, and Erin is listed in their will as their daughter’s legal guardian.

How can she be a mother to the child—let alone love the child—who broke up her marriage? Does she have the courage to start over yet again and turn this mess into a mosaic of beauty?

A single mother’s journey from bitterness to forgiveness.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK 

A Beautiful Mess is a bittersweet story that could very well happen in today’s world! In this messy story, Brenda S. Anderson deals with several heartwrenching issues. It had been four years since Erin’s life was turned upside down when her husband dropped the latest on her that he was seeing another women and she was pregnant. She was ready to finally move on with her life when another bomb was dropped on her, and Erin is not ready for the way her life is headed. Can her ex really control her life from the grave?

My heart hurt for Erin throughout this entire book. She, like so many people today had to suffer the heartbreaking news of an affair. And while her husband was living it up with his new wife, she was left trying to put the pieces together, dealing with all of the feelings that come with betrayal.  But this story took a twisted turn and a journey began for Erin that she did not want. Ms. Anderson does an amazing job of laying out all of the pieces of this story, emotions flying high in every possible way, and weaving them back together to give a beautiful ending that will stay with me for a long time. A Beautiful Mess is a story that you don’t want to miss. I encourage you to check this book out, you may enjoy it as I did.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

About Brenda

Brenda S. Andersonwrites gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. Brenda_Anderson_05-400-x-600When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of thirty-plus years and one sassy cat.

WRITING AWARDS

Genesis Award

Genesis-Award

2012 ACFW Genesis Finalist
Contemporary Romance
for
Hearts at Risk
(Now titled Risking Love)

2012 ACFW Genesis Semi-Finalist
Women’s Fiction
for
Pieces of Granite

MEMBERSHIPS

ACFW
American Christian Fiction Writers
ACFW Minnesota NICE
(Novelists Inspiring Christian Excellence)

The Birth of Imagination …

I grew up in the best place in the world: a dairy farm in Minnesota. Oh, I know, many of you are wrinkling your noses and thinking, what about Hawaii? California? The Rocky Mountains? Any number of places could be better, definitely warmer, and a whole lot less work.

Yet, in spite of stepping in fresh manure piles, tossing bales in 90 degree heat and stifling humidity, and suffering through temperatures cold enough to freeze breath and limb, fun was had and stories were born.

My daughter tells me I grew up spoiled. I had everything a child could possibly want: hay sheds for building forts, hay lofts with rope swings, tons of swimming lakes within biking distance, a sledding hill right across the road, our own pond to skate on, snow piles–high as our house–in which we created little cabins, acres of trees to climb and and to weave bike paths through, corn fields in which to play hide and seek, all the homegrown sweet corn we could eat, a baseball field with unique boundaries … I could go on.

To make it even better, I have four brothers and two sisters who were built-in playmates. At the farm next door, they had eight children so it was never difficult to find enough players for football or softball or whatever game we wanted to play.

Our farm was laid out over rolling hills. The sunsets and sunrises were filled with hues city dwellers can only imagine. The northern lights could be seen in their full cascade of colors. Shooting stars were commonplace. Nothing says it better than Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

The farm was also fertile ground for imagination. I’d often go for walks, with my faithful German Shepherd at my side, and imagine myself in a different time and place. Some of those stories made it onto paper and several teachers encouraged my imagination.

Like so many authors, I always dreamed of writing a novel, but for many years that’s all it was: a dream. Practicality said that there was no career in writing, so why waste my time?

Fast forward several years later. In the spring of 2005 I was a stay-at-home mom whose three kids were in school full time. I considered doing the practical thing by getting a job to help support the family. I even picked up an application from the local Christian book store.

Then I felt the nudging. The LifeKeys course at our church taught me that God gave us our passions for a reason. Our passions had a purpose. I’d never believed that before, but then I gave it consideration. My imagination had never stopped; the stories had become more real, more complex.

It was time to write.

Two weeks later I confessed to my husband that I spent my free time writing. His answer? “It’s about time.” How’s that for confirmation?

So now, it’s eleven years later with five books published and more on the horizon, all stories written in a partnership with God, stories I believe He placed within my psyche for a purpose. It’s my prayer, as I record the stories God has given me, that my words will do them justice, that others will hear the message God wants me to convey.

How Great Is Our God Devotions by Louis Giglio

9781400215522

ABOUT THIS DEVOTIONAL 

Show the children in your life the awe-inspiring connection between the natural world and the God who created it. 

HG 3-2

The bestselling children’s devotional Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science resonated with more than 200,000 kids, parents, and teachers. Now Louie Giglio offers 100 more devotions about God and science that will expand the curiosity of your 6- to 10-year-olds. Including amazing scientific facts, beautiful photography, fun illustrations, and simple activities, How Great Is Our God covers topics like

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  • Space and time
  • Earth and weather
  • The human body
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • And more!
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With this science devotional, which is based on Giglio’s well-known “How Great Is Our God” and “Indescribable” messages, children will embark on a journey to discover more about God and His incredible creation. From the pink lake in Senegal to the earth’s trip around the sun to the water-holding frog that can live up to five years without a drink, the wonders of the universe will deepen your kids’ appreciation for God’s wild imagination.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS DEVOTIONAL 

We here the phrase How Great Is Our God all of the time, we sing the song, we talk about it, and now we have a devotional that kids can read about the greatness of our God. This Devotional has 200 indescribable devotions that go through the Bible with amazing stories of God. The devotions are on a child’s level, they are short, there are pictures on the pages that go with what the kids are reading. Another thing with each devotion is a section that says HOW GREAT. I think this section is great for the kids because it is a scientific fact about something that goes along with the devotions. Like one of the devotions talk about Butterflies and the scientific facts are about Butterflies. Which I found amazing because it’s something I’d never heard! So you can see adults can benefit from this great book as well.

HG 1-2

This is a really great book of devotions. The book itself is beautiful with its blue cover and the globe with all of the kids at different places in the world. And as you can see in the pictures that the inside is just as attractive, with pictures of kids and they are pictures that will capture any kids attention. If you are looking for a new devotions for the kids in your life, this would make an amazing Christmas gift or stocking stuffer! Though it says it’s for ages 6-10, I know younger kids that would love these devotions read to them. As you can tell, I love this Devotional book, and I sure hope you love it as much as I do.

HG 2-2

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

How Great-3

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Learn more about this Devotional HERE

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR 

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Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church and the Original Visionary of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus.

Since 1997, Passion has gathered collegiate-aged young people in events across the US and around the world, and continues to see 18-25 year olds fill venues across the nation in pursuit of lives lived for God’s glory. Most recently, Passion hosted 40,000 college students and their leaders in four venues linked together across three cities at Passion 2019.

In addition to the collegiate gatherings of Passion Conferences, Louie and his wife Shelley lead the teams at Passion City Church, sixstepsrecords, Passion Publishing and the Passion Global Institute.

Louie is the national-bestselling author of Not Forsaken, Goliath Must Fall, Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science, The Comeback, The Air I Breathe, and I Am Not But I Know I Am.

Louie and Shelley make their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Christmas in Newfoundland by Mike Martin

 

CHRISTMAS IN NEWFOUNDLAND

Mike Martin

* Mystery/Memoir *

 

 

 

Title: CHRISTMAS IN NEWFOUNDLAND: MEMORIES AND MYSTERIES

Author: Mike Martin

Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing

Pages: 113

Genre: Mystery/Memoir

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries comes

“Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries,” a welcome addition

to the Sgt. Windflower family of books.

Christmas in Newfoundland is a special time. In the depths of long

winter nights memories are made and stories are told. Of Christmas by

candlelight and horse and buggy rides to church. Of shopping on Water

Street in St. John’s before malls and the Internet.

In later years, Sgt. Windflower came to work and then to stay in the

quiet town of Grand Bank by the Atlantic Ocean where the salt air froze

in the wind and the Mounties were welcomed to warm themselves by every

fire.

Come and warm yourself by the fire and hear their stories. Some

memories and some mysteries. Enjoy some holiday time with Sgt.

Windflower and all the familiar characters that you’d come to know and

love. Good food, good friends and always another chair at the table.

★★★★★ ORDER YOUR COPY ★★★★★

Amazon → https://tinyurl.com/y39fby3r

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I enjoyed Christmas in Newfoundland so much. A part of it reminded me of Christmas as I was growing up in a small community much like Grand Banks, Newfoundland. Through the eyes of a young boy, this story tells of Christmas as he remembers, a much quieter, calm and simpler time, without all of the stores, advertisements, lights, and things happening today much sooner than Christmas Eve.

There are so many stories, stories of this young boy of all of the first time things happened in his life. Christmas was a fun and memorable time in his life. Times he will always love and cherish throughout his lifetime. One thing that I found interesting is the kids were not allowed to see the christmas tree until Christmas morning, very different than now, where we have our tree and decorations out for a month or more. I do remember that we never put our tree up until a few days before Christmas. I think the most fun for me reading this book was comparing these stories to my Christmases as a young child, and many were very much like the stories here. Author Mike Martin does an awesome job of writing this special story.  I haven’t read any of the Winston Windflower Mysteries Series, which this book is a part of, but I would like to read this series.

Christmas in Newfoundland is a special book to read durning the Christmas Season. It is a book that will have a calming affect as you rush through the days leading up to Christmas day. I highly recommend this book to everyone this Christmas Holiday, I think it will do you a world of good reading it, and you will be able to enjoy a few moments of Christmas past.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

 

______________________

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

A Windflower Christmas

It was just days before Christmas, and Sergeant Winston Windflower only had one big problem. That was what to get his girlfriend, Sheila Hillier, for Christmas. Other than that, life was good for the RCMP officer in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Crime was low, if not non-existent, and spirits were running high as the holiday neared its peak in this little seaside town.

Of course, being the holiday season, the Mountie was concerned about impaired driving. But Windflower and his team had been out on the roads for the past two weekends with the R.I.D.E. program. He figured that meant everyone would be on their best behaviour for the next couple of weeks. That was especially true since one town resident had been charged with impaired driving and two others had received suspended licences because they were just over the legal limit of alcohol.

Fortunately, even the weather was cooperating. They hadn’t had any snow in Grand Bank for almost two weeks. That was a relief to not only the snow shovellers catching a break after a series of early winter storms but also to the RCMP officers, as they had already worked several overnight shifts because of storms. The best news was that there wasn’t even any snow in the short-term forecast.

All of this meant the town could be festive and safe during the holiday season already well underway.

The old Town of Grand Bank went all out to pretty itself up for Christmas. Almost every house had some form of decoration, and Christmas lights were aplenty all over town. Some people went old-fashioned and just had a wreath on their front door and a couple of strings of lights hanging from their eaves. Others decided to splurge on nativity scenes and blow-up Santas, as they held nothing back in their gaudy and joyous celebration of the season.

Old Saint Nick had already made one visit. That was last weekend during the Santa Claus parade led by the antique pumper truck from the volunteer fire department. Local RCMP vehicles were decked out in flashing lights and ribbons as the Mounties collected toys and gifts along the parade route for the Salvation Army. Sheila had rounded up a few extra dollars from local businesses to ensure that even the abandoned buildings near the wharf were gaily festooned with ribbons, bows and the essential Christmas lights in time for the parade. Now, Saint Nick’s return engagement on December 25th was eagerly anticipated.

 

All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and

now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. The Walker on the Cape was his

first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery

Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the

Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was

shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light

mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest

book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe

Award in 2019. A new book in the series, Fire, Fog and Water is being

released in October.

Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a

national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.

★ WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: ★

Website → www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter Link: → http://ww.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook→https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore/

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

 

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