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Thursday, September 21, 2017

BOOK REVIEW! Gone with the Wings (Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series) by Leena Clover On tour with Great Escapes!



Gone with the Wings (Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series)
by Leena Clover

If you could smell the story inside books, you would be able to smell “Gone with the Wings” from across the bookstore when you walked in. And it would make you very hungry! Meera’s family dynamics are centered in the kitchen, and the author does a fantastic job of setting a plate for the reader and making them one of the group.
~Student of Opinions
Meera Patell and her pals are entertaining and provide the reader with a look into a loving and close knit family…Gone With The Wings was a fun introduction to a new series.
~My Reading Journeys


Gone with the Wings (Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Publication Date: June 3, 2017
Paperback: 269 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1521448984
E-Book ASIN: B071WHNM6K
Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.
Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.
Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.
Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.
Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.About The Author
Leena Clover is the author of the brand new Meera Patel Cozy Mystery Series, starring a 20 something Desi girl as the protagonist. The series is set in a small Oklahoma college town Meera calls home.
Leena Clover offers plenty of clues for her readers so that they can solve the mystery as they read along. Readers can expect a unique look into Indian/ South Asian culture and plenty of yummy recipes.Author Links
Purchase Link:

MY THOUGHTS

I have not read anything by this author before this book. This is the first book in the series and it is a easy read. I liked following along with the mystery trying to figure out who the murderer was. This is a cozy mystery book. This book had some good twists and turns. I liked the culinary snippets that were through out the book. I enjoyed this book. The characters were likeable, and it has a great story line.

I received a copy of this book through the Great Escapes Blog Tour program, all opionions are my own.




Enter to win an e copy of this book! Enter:  HERE

Book Review! GATHERING THE THREADS BY CINDY WOODSMALL

GATHERING THE THREADS BY CINDY WOODSMALL

Will Ariana and Skylar be able to overcome their doubts about what love, relationships, and family will look like in their futures? Don’t miss the conclusion, Gathering the Threads, in Cindy Woodsmall’s Amish of Summer Grove series. Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana’s cafĂ© while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.



{MORE ABOUT GATHERING THE THREADS}

Gathering the Threads(WaterBrook, August 2017)
Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?
After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.
Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Cindy Woodsmall

{MORE ABOUT CINDY WOODSMALL}

Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of nineteen works of fiction and non-fiction with more than a million copies sold. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline,” the “Wall Street Journal,” and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.
Find out more about Cindy at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.

My Thoughts
This is the final book in the Amish of Summer Grove series.  This book continues the story of Ariana and Skyler, two young women who were switched at birth. I have been a fan of Ms. Woodsmall for a long time and I love reading anything that she puts out. She always puts a different perspective of Amish Fiction with her careful crafting. Her characters are tangible. This is not your typical sweet Amish book - it collides with the English world, and the different areas that Amish are not accustomed to dealing with. This book is a great read and easy to follow. 

I recieved a copy of the book courtesy of Litfuse Blog Tours, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review! Plus Giveaway! Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery) by Kathleen Valenti on tour with Great Escapes



Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

The plot was intriguing and twisty turny …You’ll be on the edge of your seat while your wondering who is behind all the mayhem.
~My Reading Journeys
Protocol by Kathleen Valenti will keep your pulse racing and keep you on the edge of your seat.
~Reading is my SuperPower
Protocol by Kathleen Valenti is definitely not a cozy, but a gripping medical thriller and suspense/thriller. Protocol is a fast-moving page-turner, with a complex, intriguing, and exciting plot.
~Jane Reads
Kathleen Valenti has written an excellent suspense novel combining greed and medicine and the lengths people will go to for that almighty dollar. I am shocked this is her debut effort in the mystery realm. She hit it out of the park!
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
What a powerhouse of a novel! The authors descriptive writing style brings the story to life.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Medical Thriller/Mystery
1st in Series
Henery Press (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112399
E-Book ASIN: B072JZK43D

Freshly minted college graduate Maggie O’Malley embarks on a career fueled by professional ambition and a desire to escape the past. As a pharmaceutical researcher, she’s determined to save lives from the shelter of her lab. But on her very first day she’s pulled into a world of uncertainty. Reminders appear on her phone for meetings she’s never scheduled with people she’s never met. People who end up dead.
With help from her best friend, Maggie discovers the victims on her phone are connected to each other and her new employer. She soon unearths a treacherous plot that threatens her mission—and her life. Maggie must unlock deadly secrets to stop horrific abuses of power before death comes calling for her.

About the Author

When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. Protocol is her debut novel and the first of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.
Author Links
Purchase Links
Amazon – B&N  kobo iTunes

MY THOUGHTS: 
This was the first book that I had read by this author. This book was a page turner and I could not click through my Kindle fast enough. The characters are well written, well developed and I could see the plot unfolding in front of me. There is some crude language that is sprinkled about - but overall this was a great cozy mystery. 
*I received a copy of this book through the great escapes blog tours - all opionions are my own* 


Enter to win: 
4) E-Copy Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery) by Kathleen Valenti

Enter: HERE

Thursday, September 7, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Journey into Grace: 150 Encouraging Devotions for Women by: Darlene Sala , Bonnie Sala , Luisa Reyes-Ampil

Journey into Grace: 150 Encouraging Devotions for Women  -     By: Darlene Sala, Bonnie Sala, Luisa Reyes-Ampil


I recently was presented the opportunity to review: Journey into Grace: 150 Encouraging Devotions for Women 

I was excited about this book since I love devotions that are written just for women. 

I started the day that I got the book. I love to have little bible snacks throughout the day in addition to my quiet time. I enjoyed starting my day or ending it with this book. 

Here is a summary of the book: 

Life is a journey of joyful moments and painful moments, including twists and turns that threaten to undo us. But if we allow God to work through the joy and the pain, that journey can lead to the life-sustaining richness of His Grace and an intimate relationship with Him.  That truth is the core of international speaker and teacher Darlene Sala’s new women’s devotional, Journey into Grace. With Darlene’s heartfelt voice alongside two coauthors, including her daughter, Bonnie, the 150 readings explore themes such as fear, forgiveness, learning, loving, prayer, and relationships.  This book offers women quiet moments with God as they bring their real life challenges to His feet.

My Review:

I loved this book. I have not done every single devotion in it yet, but from what I have done - it was been very pleasing. There was a lot of time where the verses at the top of the devotion kept popping up throughout the day. I love when God affirms that for me. This book is great in addition to quiet time, or those who are just looking to connect in a few minutes a day. I enjoyed this book. 



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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

God's Crime Scene for Kids by: J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace Review and Giveaway.

God's Crime Scene for Kids by: J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace Review and Giveaway.

 About the book: Hone your reasoning skills as you investigate evidence in the universe to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation. In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God's existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe. In God's Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God's existence. 

Purchase Book: HERE

About the authors:

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity: God's Crime Scene," "Forensic Faith," and "Cold-Case Christianity for Kids." He has a master's degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master's degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California. Find out more about J. Warner and at http://www.coldcasechristianityforkids.com.

My Thoughts: 
I was excited when I saw this title as an option for review. My oldest son, Colton, who is 6 is starting to ask questions about Salvation. I thought this would help along with the process and would help answer questions that come up when talking about Salvation. My son and I enjoyed reading this book - It's not only a kids bible study book, it also has a lot of great pictures in it. Some of my favorite things were the different verses that are in the margins. For example (pg. 51) CSI Assignment: God wants you to ask questions so you can be certain that He exists and the Bible is true. Read James 1:5 --- then it has some blanks to fill in.  I loved that it shows how God created the universe, and how He is involved in our every day lives. 
The book also gives definitions and breaks down detective lingo. We enjoyed this book. 
I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Blogging program. All opinions are my own. 

GIVEAWAY!!!

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!

Enter: Here


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Out of Darkness by Erynn Newman + giveaway on tour with Celebrate Lit

To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Click to purchase
Book title: Out of Darkness
Author: Erynn Newman
Release date: May 18, 2017
Genre: Romantic suspense
Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.
As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.
Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.
Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.
When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

About the Author


Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.


20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Lightthe prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

My Thoughts.

First and foremost, Wow. Like, seriously wow. My heart was pounding the entire time through out this book. I could not click the next buttons on my kindle fast enough. Love, Mystery, suspense, all in a clean book. This author is new to me, and I can't wait to read more from her. These characters were so well written it was like I knew them. The way the author crafts her words had me able to visualize the story as it unfolded. Elisabeth is very likable, reminds me of an all American Girl, or the girl next door. I hope that you pick this up and read it as much as I did!

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all opinions are my own 

Blog Stops

August17: Genesis 5020
August 19: Fiction Aficionado
August 21: Blogging With Carol
August 22: Faithfully Bookish
August 22: Mommynificent
August 24: 100 pages per hour
August 25: Carpe Diem
August 26: J.E. Grace Bog
August 26: Karen Sue Hadley
August 27: Back Porch Reads
August 28: Daysong Reflections
August 29: Remembrancy
August 30: Henry Happens

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac