Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Keeper of Her Heart- Guest Post

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Keeper of her Heart
by Stacy Henrie
Inspirational Historical Romance
ebook, 271 pages
September 26th 2017 by Beyond the Page Publishing

If you like the novels of Deanne Gist and Lauraine Snelling, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie’s inspirational romance set against the backdrop of World War One!

Even at a young age, Ada Thorne knew that she would marry only for love, never money. So when she finds herself irrevocably drawn to Ned Henley, the lowly gamekeeper on a neighboring estate, she defies her parents and society by eloping with him to London to build a new life.

Without her family’s support, life in the city is far more difficult than the one of ease and privilege Ada has always known. She’ll find herself relentlessly tested in ways she never imagined—especially when Ned, answering the call of duty, enlists to serve his country in World War One.

Alone and near poverty with a child to raise, Ada’s resolve will be strained at every turn. And as she struggles to remain true to her convictions and live life on her own terms, Ada will embark on a journey of courage, faith, and love that will surpass even her own humble dreams . . .

Advanced Praise for the Book

“Stacy Henrie possesses superior storytelling skills, her historical accuracy and attention to detail are unsurpassed, and she knows how to create characters we can identify with and whom we really care for.” —Fresh Fiction


Excerpt
Desperation strangled Ada’s breath, making her light-headed. “If I am not to marry for love, then what is the purpose of such a union?”
“To maintain the life you have always known,” her father said, his voice rising again. “You will marry a man of good breeding and fortune who will see that you want for nothing.”
An image of a content and pampered lap dog came to her mind. No wonder she preferred horses and their strength and power to other creatures meant to sit silent and look lovely.
 “Do you understand what we are asking of you, Ada?” This time her father’s tone was softer and more placating.
Rising to her feet, she nodded. “I will not ride out alone anymore, and I will become the well-bred young woman you wish me to be.”
“Very good.” Charles looked relieved. “You may go on up to bed now.”
She kissed her mother, then bid them both good night. But as Ada rushed up the stairs, eager to escape to her room, she felt a heady rush of determination. She would follow through with her word about the riding and her ladylike training, but she would never settle for a marriage without love—never. No matter how rich or poor or well-bred the men who came to court her, she would marry for love or she would not marry at all.


About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $40 Amazon e-gift card and an e-book copy of any of Stacy's books (winner's choice)
- Open internationally
- Ends October 25th

Monday, October 16, 2017

Heart on the Line- Karen Witemeyer

My Rating: 4 Stars

DescriptionGrace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.


My Thoughts: It is not everyday that an author of romance writes a hero with more brain than brawn... and even has that brain win out against a typical ladies man without much contest. Amos is a likable character who, unlike most heroes, is not overly confident in his ability to win the girl's heart. He knows that he is not the most handsome or the strongest man in town, but what he lacks for in more masculine traits, he makes up for in heart and courage. It was sweet to see him fight for the woman he loved even when he knew he couldn't hold his own in a fight. But he was still willing to stand between her and danger, which is what matters.

Honestly, Amos out shined Grace. While he was ecstatic to find that she was more beautiful than he had dared to dream, she was disappointed that he did not live up to her imaginings. Though she soon put aside her initial impression of him in favor of one that reflected his character rather than his appearance, Amos had already shown himself to be the better character of the two.

Though the description makes no mention of it, the book also contains a second romance, that between Helen and... well, that would be a spoiler, now wouldn't it? While this story was sweet, and did play somewhat into the greater story as a whole, I honestly did not think that it needed to be included. Helen's story would have been better served as a separate short story, where the focus could have been on her and her hero rather than their having to compete with Amos and Grace.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hitler's Cross- Erwin W. Lutzer

My Rating: 2 Stars

Description: When Hitler was ruling Europe, where was the church of Christ? “Deine Reich komme,” Hitler prayed publicly: “Thy Kingdom come.” But to whose kingdom was he referring? When Germany truly needed a savior, Adolf Hitler falsely assumed the role. He directed his countryman to a cross, but he bent and hammered the true cross into a powerless substitute: a swastika. And many Christians followed him there.

In Hitler's Cross, Erwin W. Lutzer helps us see how. Outlining a number of lessons from this dark chapter in world history, he teaches us about:


The dangers of confusing church and state
The role of God in human tragedy
The parameters of Satan's freedom

Hitler's Cross is the story of a nation whose church forgot its call and discovered its failure way too late. It is a cautionary tale for every church and Christian to remember who the true King is.




My Thoughts: I believe that a better title for this book would have been Hitler's Cross: How the Cross was Replaced with the Nazi Agenda, as that is what this book is truly about. Through much of the book, Lutzer discusses how Hitler was able to turn people away from the truths of Christ to those the Nazi regime instated. Other chapters detail the history of Hitler before the war as well as the fate of Christians who apposed him during.

As an anthropologist with a background in history and research, Hitler's Cross is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, Lutzer discussions of church history is well researched and honestly portrayed, going so far as to admit to the antisemitism of Martin Luther and many medieval churches. For the most part, I found these portions to be enlightening, however I wish that Luzter had not tried to lessen the stench of those events as simply a mark of their times.

When it came to events during the war, Lutzer also had some good information. Yet it was in the first few chapters, which described Hitler's childhood and interest in the occult, that I found problematic. From the first, I found many of the assertions came across as gross exaggerations, particularly since so few of them were cited. And citation was a major issue for much of the book. While all of the scripture used was cited, along with any direct quotes, very little of anything else was.

Part of the reason I appreciated the portion on church history was that Lutzer used direct quotes to back up his assertions. However, this was not the case for hardly any of the sections discussing Hitler, forcing me to doubt his arguments as to Hitler's occult practices. As well, there instances where he made statements that show a lack of true knowledge in that area.

When I first chose to read this book, I had thought it would be a true work of historical research. While there was some of this, it consisted mostly of assertions that were not defended, as well as criticisms of present American culture that at times seemed to conflict with earlier statements about the failings of the church in Nazi Germany. Ultimately, these failings forced me to lower my rating of the book, despite Lutzer's engaging writing style and knowledge of early church history.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Many Sparrows- Lori Benton

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Description: Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

My Thoughts: Reading this, it did not take long for me to realize that this was going to be one of Lori's best novels. Despite my feelings about Clare in the beginning (more on that later), the level of conflict and grief was already well established within the first pages, promising an enthralling read.


There is no end the heartache within this book. Even at the end, after the characters have learned the novel's lesson, there still remain tender wounds that only a faith in God can keep sealed. Nearly every character has a backstory of pain that only God can heal, no matter how much time has gone by. The intersection of conflicting cultures required very in depth research that is apparent in every detail and strained conversation.

The Christian moral to the story is also well instituted and applied without coming off as merely a fictionalized sermon. Instead, the theme is woven into each character's interactions with both Clare and Jeremiah in a way that is abundantly realistic.

When it comes to Clare, my one complaint for the novel was her attitude in the first portion of the book. From the moment the reader enters her POV, she is negative, refusing even to return her husbands' declaration of love or to put any thought behind her new daughter's name. Though I understood that her mind was set on finding Jacob, her behavior still made it difficult to fully sympathize with her. However, by the time she encounters the Shawnee, Clare's heart has changed for the better, and the rest of the novel (including those scenes with Jeremiah in the beginning) made up for most of my irritation with her.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book through Litfuse.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible-Part of the Action Bible Family

My Rating: 2 Stars

Description: The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God’s redemptive story together. From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus’s gift of eternal life for you and your family—God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God’s Word reflected in your life?

This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story, packed with dozens of scenes—combining stories from God’s Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family’s place in God’s redemptive story and together put your faith into action!

Interactive features include:


Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God’s redemptive story!
The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!


My Thoughts: As an Action Bible for younger children, the images in this book are fantastic (they're fantastic for older kids too, but the story is a bit more simplified). The colors and detail draw the eye and there is plenty on each page for a child to spend time looking at and many of the images can spark further conversation.

However, the actual narrative of the book is not what I had hoped for. As a storybook, I expected for it to simply be the stories, minus much of the gore and violence, that take place in the Bible. And that would have been phenomenal, giving the opportunity for younger kids to become invested in the story of plagues and Israel wondering the desert. Yet instead, the chapters group multiple stories together, sometimes leaving only one or two pages per narrative.

Doing this forced the author to give an interpretation of events (which left out a lot) rather than giving the events and then offering the parents questions to ask their kids about what they had read.  Along with this, there were numerous instances where things were stated as fact when they truly were not facts. In the story about Cain and Abel, for instance, it states that Adam and Eve only had three children, which is not possible if Adam and Eve were the first people and everyone descended from them. While the implication of this reality is not something that young children need to know about, it is also unnecessary to make a statement to children that is false, when it is unlikely that a child of such a young age would question whether or not Adam and Eve had other descendants in the first place.

For younger children around 3-5, the pictures in this book and the streamlined version of the Biblical narratives are suitable for instruction. And for older children, the images would be helpful in catching their attention and allowing them to visualize the story. However, for these ages, I feel that the narrative presented leaves a lot to be desired from something presented as a Bible (even if it is a storybook version) and would caution parents to take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase this for their children.

I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this in ebook form through Litfuse.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WANTED A Superhero to Save the World- Tour and Giveaway



About the Book
Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.

Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.

When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.
Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.

Available on Amazon

About the Author
  
Bryan Davis is the author of the Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, the Reapers Trilogy, Dragons of Starlight, Tales of Starlight, and the Time Echoes Trilogy, fantasy/science fiction/dystopian novels for youth and adults. His first novel, Raising Dragons, was released in July of 2004, and several books in that series have hit various bestseller lists, including Eye of the Oracle, which hit number one on the CBA Young Adult best-seller list in January of 2007.
Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern U.S. From the time he taught himself how to read before school age, through his seminary years and beyond, he has demonstrated a passion for the written word, reading and writing in many disciplines and genres, including theology, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and humor.
Bryan is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S. in Industrial Engineering). In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and voted Most Likely to Succeed.
Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.

Contest Giveaways

There are two contests:

The first contest’s giveaway is the winner's choice of any Bryan Davis book, plus a Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World T-Shirt and bookmark.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The second contest holds the Grand Prize - the items from the first giveaway PLUS a complete Bryan Davis book series of the winner’s choice or a $50 Amazon gift card. Now, you will need to look for all the secret numbers placed on the giveaway pages below and add them together in order to get the correct answer needed for entry into this giveaway (mine is 12).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Schedule


Wednesday, September 20th

Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair

Book Spotlight @ Backing Books

Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books

Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings

Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows


Thursday, September 21st

Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering

Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified

Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways

Book Review @ Ashley Bogner

Book Review @ The Page Dreamer


Friday, September 22nd

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire

Book Review @ Inkwell

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher

Book Review @ writinganyone

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons

Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum

Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, September 23rd

Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life

Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews

Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite

Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits



Links
Author writing blog – www.theauthorschair.com

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mercy Triumphs- Jana Kelley

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God. Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it. Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.

My Thoughts: My favorite part about this book is how well Jana is able to describe life in an Arabic nation from the eyes of an outsider looking in. The things she described held true to my personal experience and filled me with found remembrances, along with agreement that there with things that were tough to get used to, both in traveling there and in returning.


What struck me next was the mercy Jana used to describe the situations presented and the doubts and struggles Mia underwent in wondering if her attempts to minister were falling on deaf ears. Witnessing across cultures and religious barriers is not something that is easy, no matter what country someone is in, something that Mia experiences in the end when comparing her life in Sudan to that in America. And despite the number of scriptural references, there was never a moment were I felt preached at, only encouraged that the author of this story fully understood how difficult being a witness of Christ can be and that it often doesn't feel like we are doing anything at all.


Despite the wealth of compassion in these pages that made me love the story, there were scenes and chapters that seemed to drag on with the only point in them being that sometimes we feel like we are wasting our time when we think could be doing something better with it. While the scenes were important for the characters' spiritual development, as a reader, I was sorely tempted to skip over them. The story is not a fast pace read. Since I have not read the other books in this series, I cannot say what to expect from those, but readers should not step into this one expecting harrowing tales of constant, physical persecution. Instead, it is more a story of day to day struggles and the emotions that come with them.


I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book through Litfuse.