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Monday, July 26, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Over Her Head: In the Shadow Author: JL Crosswhite On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Over Her Head: In the Shadow

Author: JL Crosswhite

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 21, 2021

She’s working on a new start…

…He’s trying a new work venture.

Can they build a relationship that fits their new life?

Fresh out of cosmetology school Jessica and whiz software engineer Austin have been thrown together by mutual friends. They even escaped a wildfire together.

But do they have something more than friendship?

Maybe a singles’ camping trip will make their future clear.

But when they encounter someone who needs their help, the relaxing weekend away becomes anything but. As the danger mounts and the challenges reveal who they truly are, will it pull them together or push them apart… for good?

You will get lost in Over Her Head because the biggest adventure is falling in love.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Jennifer’s favorite thing is discovering how much there is to love about America the Beautiful and the great outdoors. She’s a mom to two navigating the young adult years while battling her daughter’s juvenile arthritis, exploring the delights of her son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native who’s spent significant time in the Midwest, she’s thrilled to be back in the Golden State. Follow her on social media to see all her adventures and how she gets inspired for her books!


More from Jennifer

MacGyver might have come from my family tree. I grew up hearing stories of how my grandpa turned a horse trailer into a travel trailer for camping and how he finagled something out of what he had if he didn’t have the actual thing he needed. I grew up seeing my dad do this. And I’ve been known to do it a time or two myself.


My grandpa grew up during the Great Depression, so I could see how making do with what he had came to him naturally. The rest of us saw the usefulness of it and continued the tradition. Even though there are times I’ve stopped and said, “I should just go by the thing I need instead of trying to make do.” Maybe it would have saved me some time and frustration.


But there is something satisfying about seeing a problem and creating the solution yourself. It’s like solving a puzzle. And for me, writing a book is a lot like that. I start out with various pieces and no idea how they are going to fit together.


When I began Over Her Head, it was the third book of my In the Shadow series. This series explores the idea of what it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a hero. Jessica’s brother, Scott, is a Navy pilot. Their oldest brother died before Jessica was born, so she’s always felt like she’s been in the shadow of her older brothers. How would she become her own person and find the purpose that God has for her?


That was one piece. A big one. But I still needed to find a love interest, a plot, and a supporting cast. I started sorting through what I had, looking for pieces that could fit, could be molded into something new and different. A trip to the hair salon provided a fun conversation with my hair stylist about what a newly graduated cosmetology student might be doing and the politics of working in a salon.


The pieces were coming together. Finally, I decided to set the story around one of my favorite activities: camping. Okay, maybe it’s more like glamping. I like a real bed.  But it is a great way to force a group of people to be close together for a period of time. There’s an element of stress, and even danger, since nature isn’t predictable.


Hopefully the end product looks smoothly finished and not MacGyvered together. But I don’t ever let the rough beginning or different looking pieces discourage me from pressing on with the story. And I think that’s a good lesson for life. What rough spots need a little creativity to bring them to life and smooth them out? Spend some time letting your inner MacGyver play.

My Thoughts

Over Her Head  is written by JL Crosswhite and is the third book in the In The Shadow series. This is my first exposure to this author. While I did not have any issues following along, I feel like this should be read as a series so you get the full picture of what is going on. This book does take on an issue that has been talked about the last few years. Human Trafficking. The author does a wonderful job handling it - but it is a difficult subject to read about. 

Jessica and Austin have been thrown together by mutual friends. They go on a singles' camping trip. They have a good friendship. They both have pasts, and they have each other to lean on for support.  However, on this trip they run into someone that needs their help. The book has a great mix of suspense and romance in it, and I had fun going along for the ride. The author has done a phenomenal job writing her scene descriptions, you feel like you are there watching everything unfold around you. Her characters are well written and well developed (which is why I am sad I did not read the other books in the series) 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 19

For Him and My Family, July 20

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 21 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, July 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

deb’s Book Review, July 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 24

Inklings and notions, July 25

CarpeDiem, July 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 29

My Journey Back the Journey Back, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 31

Cats in the Cradle Blog, July 31

Pause for Tales, August 1


To celebrate her tour, J.L. is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Bentley and the Magic Sticks by Claire Eckard On Tour with IRead


Book Details:

Book Title:  Bentley and the Magic Sticks by Claire Eckard
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mill City Press, Inc
Release date:   April 2021
Format available for review:  print-hardback (USA), pdf
Tour dates: June 21 to July 16, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.
Book Description:

Bentley and the Magic Sticks follows this extra-large canine as he finds out that his favorite sticks have magical powers, thanks to a wonderful Fairy Dogmother called Tia! Because other dogs are afraid of his large size Bentley has no one to play with. However, with his magic sticks he manages to make new friends and he also discovers the special secret of why he is so big.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ IndieBound
add to goodreads

add to bookbub
Author Claire Eckard
Meet the Author:

Claire Eckard is an animal lover and believes in volunteering to give back to her community, especially to the homeless animals that need to find their forever homes. Her animals often inspire her writing, weaving their way into the stories that she writes, blending reality and fiction to entertain, teach, enlighten, and share the joy that animals bring to our lives! Claire is an author, poet, songwriter, wife, mother and grandmother! She lives in Arizona, splitting her time between her home in Yuma, Arizona and her ranch in the mountains of Prescott. Claire has three dogs, eight horses, and a miniature mule!

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~instagram ~ goodreads ~ bookbub

An Interview with award-winning author Claire Eckard.

What inspired you to write Bentley and the Magic Sticks?

I wrote Bentley and the Magic Sticks to honor a wonderful dog I had of the same name that I had adopted from our local shelter a few years ago. He’d had quite a rough life and it took me a long time to bring him back to health and discover what a wonderful character he was. He looked a little scary because he was so big, and it took a while for my other dogs to accept him, but once he was welcomed into the pack, he just became the coolest, kindest dog ever!

Do you have any other books about animals?

I do! In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to write about. I just had a new book released called Geribo, The Shelter Cat which tells the story of a cat exploring the shelter while he waits to be adopted. Through his eyes we learn of the inner workings of a community shelter, and how it takes a whole village of people to help a homeless animal find it’s forever home. I also have a Young Adult series coming out later this year called The Gallant Series, which is about the journey of two horses and two teenage characters set against a background of the sport of endurance riding. Each character grows and changes throughout the series as they experience the joys and challenges that endurance riding can bring.

What led you to becoming an author?

I have always loved to write. I write songs, poetry, books for young children, teenagers, and for adults. I’m so fortunate that my husband is supportive of my efforts as I am often sat at a computer typing away, or scribbling notes in a notepad which doesn’t make me the most interesting person to be around!  I have only recently been able to turn writing into more of a full-time effort as for many years I was working full-time and raising our children. I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to follow my dream of writing now.

Do you have a favorite character in the Bentley book, other than Bentley, of course?

Ooh. That’s a tough one. I really like Tia. In real life Tia belongs to my stepmother in England. I’ve never actually met her because COVID restricting travel and she’s only about a year and a half old. My stepmother sends me lots of pictures of her though, and she is very expressive and beautiful, so I thought she would make a wonderful Fairy Dogmother!

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?

I think the most surprising thing is how attached to my characters I get. They really do become real to me, and I think about how they would respond in certain situations, and how they would react to certain things. In my chapter books, such as The Gallant Series, I become extremely attached to them. I cry with them when something bad happens, and I celebrate when its something good. I think that’s the only way to become a good writer though. To immerse yourself in what you do and take the ride along with the characters you have created. 

My Thoughts:
Bentley and the Magic Sticks is written by Claire Eckard. This is a   Children's Fiction story that is geared toward ages 3 and up. I read this story with my 10 and 8 year old sons and we all enjoyed it very much.  This book is 38 pages long. We have an extra large puppy dog, Theodore Roosevelt aka Teddy. He is a German Shepherd and he is almost 8 months old. He is currently almost 90 lbs and stands over 5'5 tall when he stands on his hind legs. We compared Bentley to our Teddy since other dogs seem to scatter when they see him coming down the street and down the aisles when we take him to the pet store. Like Bentley, Teddy also has a stick collection, however his are not magical. 
The takeaway from this book that my boys discovered is that it is ok to be different - that we are all unique. That you also want to be nice to everyone, for you don't know what challenges they may be facing. My 8 year old son wishes that Teddy did have a fairy godmother so that he would stop jumping, but we are working on that. 
This book is well written, engaging, humorous and packed full of wisdom. The illustrations match the story beautifully. I highly recommend this to all children ages 3 and up. It was a great read. 
Tour Schedule:

June 21 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
June 22 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway
June 23 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 23 - @twilight_reader – book review
June 24 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
June 25 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 28 – The Bespectacled Mother – book spotlight
June 29 – Lisa Everyday Reads – book spotlight / guest post
June 30 – Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 30 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 1 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
July 2 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
July 6 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – Reading is My Passion – book review
July 8 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
July 8 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 9 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / author interview
July 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 13 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / author interview / giveawayJuly 14 – Sandra's Book Club – book review
July 15 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 16 – Kam's Place – book review

Enter the Giveaway:

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Blood Sisters Author: Jim O’Shea On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Blood Sisters

Author: Jim O’Shea

Genre: Christian Suspense/Thriller

Release date: June 16, 2020

Libby Meeker is seeing things.

The young Salt Lake City architect is experiencing visions of her twin sister, despite the fact that Melissa died mysteriously almost one year ago.

If that’s not bad enough, a serial killer surfaces in northern Utah, and a series of bizarre clues lead Detective Troy Hunter to Libby…and unspeakable possibilities that begin to shatter her fragile world.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

head shotThe author of two previous highly-rated thrillers (The Linen God and The Reluctant Disciple), Jim O’Shea spends his time crafting novels of suspense that frequently tackle the dynamic between faith and science. Jim believes God continues to reveal his creation masterpiece through scientific discovery, and that Christian fiction is a great tool to expose those emerging truths.

His third novel, “Blood Sisters”, is also very highly rated on Amazon but takes a more traditional approach to mystery/thrillers with a mind-bending whodunit in the tradition of Agatha Christie. His fourth novel, “The Beacon”, will return to his faith/science roots and feature a compelling blend of espionage, leading-edge science, and salvation.


More from Jim

I’m fascinated by science in general, but more specifically by discoveries over the past hundred years that point directly to a Creator and His creation. The new findings fly in the face of mainstream physics which suggests matter and energy make up everything in our universe and that all things, including our consciousness or soul, are direct results of their interactions.

Fortunately, humankind’s advancements in physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology, etc. point directly to the fact that the universe had an actual beginning as claimed in the Bible and our existence can not be explained by natural processes such as evolution. This should be a great comfort to every Christian, and my writing often tries to take these emerging truths and wrap them up into page-turning stories that provide the reader not with just a thrill ride, but also a glimpse into God’s glory!

My Thoughts

 Blood Sisters is a Christian Suspense/Thriller that is written by  Jim O’Shea. This book pulled me in from the beginning and I read it late into the night. I will admit that this had me looking over my shoulder. It is definitely a psychological thriller. I was so pulled into this book that I lost all sense of what was going on around me.  This is my first introduction to this author, and I hope to read more from him. He definitely ha d the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up. 

Libby keeps seeing her sister everywhere. There is a problem, she was killed in an explosion a year ago. The thing is, it is not just Libby seeing her, it is their parents also. Libby begins to think she is on the verge of a mental breakdown. (This book does deal with mental illness, but the author does it in a way that is not shameful). The author introduces so many different aspects of what could have happened - I was shocked by the ending. Is the sister dead? Is the sister the killer? Is Libby the killer? Who is targeting these women? Throw in a Detective that has his hands full with a serial killer that is targeting girls who look like Libby. 

The characters are well written. The story line is super suspenseful. Make sure that you have a lot of time to read this  book. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 3

Beauty in the Binding, July 4 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, July 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 6

Mary Hake, July 6

Inklings and notions, July 7

For Him and My Family, July 8

deb’s Book Review, July 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 10

Blogging With Carol, July 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 15

SodbusterLiving, July 16


To celebrate his tour, Jim is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Review and Giveaway - Shattered Guilt Author: Kathleen J. Robison On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Shattered Guilt

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 15, 2021

When they told her about Southern hospitality, no one mentioned human trafficking.

The move to Bay Town, Mississippi was supposed to be a fresh start for single-mom Melanie and her daughter, Lacy. The quiet Southern town offers a nice relief after the frenetic-paced life of Los Angeles, but something sinister lurks beneath the surface.

Her bridal business struggles to take off, and instead of turning to the Lord, Melanie makes a desperate plea for help–from her ex-husband. Lacey is attacked, and while she is hospitalized, her friend goes missing—a victim of human trafficking out of New Orleans.

With her ex-husband showing true signs of repentance, the pastor she’d begun to fall for is taking a step back, and her daughter’s friend lost to the animals who stole her, Melanie goes on a desperate, dangerous mission to rescue the girl and get their lives back.

And she’ll do it with or without the Lord’s help.

How can Melanie find the girls and rescue them without getting caught herself?  Why can’t she trust the Lord to keep them all safe, and which man in her life is the right one–if either?

Read this heart-gripping, pulse-racing novel and see how the Lord’s hand is on us, even when He seems so very far away.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American. Born in Okinawa, raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels are the inspirational settings for her stories. She and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with fourteen grandchildren and counting. The diversity of their 31 family members provide the inspiration for more lively characters than can be imagined. Her husband grew up in the streets of Los Angeles raised by a single working mom, and that life provides fodder for many of the conflicts of her characters.

Tackling difficult life’s trials with God’s strength are the central theme of Kathleen’s stories. She hopes to inspire her readers to trust God and with His strength, weather through and rise above trials and tragedies. If you like suspenseful stories with a thread of romance, you will enjoy Kathleen’s Bay Town Series!


More from Kathleen

Guilt comes from within. Shame comes from without ~ Voddie Bouchman


I homeschooled my eight children, and they all attended a conservative Christian university. My husband is a pastor. So, when I started writing Shattered Guilt, the running joke in the family was, “Mom wrote a book, and it has no bad language, no sex, and no graphic violence, but it’s about human trafficking.” And they were right, but God gave me the words to depict a passionate stance against sin, a pure romance, and horrific tragedy…hopefully, all without offending my readers.

The story begins with Melanie. A delightful single mom and her teenage daughter living in a charming little town on the gulf coast of Mississippi. I love their relationship and their faith, but Melanie’s past mistakes linger in the back of her mind, and she somehow thinks herself not worthy. The theme of guilt runs throughout this book in both the lives of those trafficked and those not. When young girls are targeted for human trafficking, Melanie lays aside the self-imposed shame of her past and fights to save those who will suffer far worse feelings of guilt and shame, for which they had no control.

My heart breaks for those whose lives are paralyzed by their pasts. While writing Shattered Guilt, I didn’t realize the connection between Melanie’s shame and the victims of trafficking. The latter suffer guilt and shame through no fault of their own. Yet, all of us carry baggage; if it’s something that needs forgiveness and confession, and we’ve done that, it’s a done deal. We shouldn’t let the past paralyze us from living a life of fullness in Christ. Melanie and even Pastor Desmond come to realize this in their lives. We need to be the best that God desires for us to be, and to be effective in His work, we must experience his love and forgiveness.

Years ago, when I was first writing the rough draft of this novel, human trafficking was finally getting recognition in the world, and the horrors of who was being trafficked were shocking. That’s what gripped my heart, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t have a clue about the scope of this morally reprehensible practice.  Enslavement of human beings by another has been on this earth forever, and that’s why awareness and action are so important today. In addition, there are so many facets as to how one becomes a victim in this tragedy. I now try never to assume how someone’s life takes the path it does, but I only care that they find a way to hear God’s voice calling them. Every Christian story is about God’s love.

Although I love writing a suspense story, I love creating my characters too. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the people of Bay Town as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I look forward to sharing more about these endearing characters and the trials they face. Please come back and visit the charming community of Bay Town in the continuing series.

My Thoughts

Shattered Guilt is a  Christian Romantic Suspense that is written by Kathleen J. Robison. This is her debut novel. I am excited to see more from her. This is book 1 in her Bay Town Series. This book is a great read. Be transported to Bay Town, Mississippi where single-mom Melanie and her daughter, Lacy have moved to start a new life. She was hoping that small town southern life will be everything that she has heard, but there is something dark and sinister that lies beneath. 

Melanie is trying to get her bridal business up and off the ground. This is proving to be hard. She is struggling to find herself in this new place. She keeps going back and asking things of her flaky ex husband, Chris. One of the lessons that the author teaches in this book is to bring your problems to God first before going to those who may have hurt you in the past. Melanie does not learn this right away. 

Melanie becomes attracted to the pastor of Bay Town, Desmond Brooks. This was a weird kind of relationship. I felt he was very interested, but she was holding him at arms length, and when Chris comes back into town, she pushes him away. Desmond has a big heart and wants to help others. 

I also love how the author tackled a topic that is hot in the news lately, human trafficking. She handles it with grace and with respect. She also tackles a bunch of other sins that affect many of us. I am thankful for this. This small town life is not perfect - and the author had no problem showing this. The author did a good job laying down clues for the mystery. I did have it figured out by the end of the book. 

Bravo to the author for a great debut story! I cannot wait to read the next one. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging Program, All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 2

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Blogging With Carol, July 3

Simple Harvest Reads, July 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5

Inklings and notions, July 6

For Him and My Family, July 7

deb’s Book Review, July 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 9

Stories By Gina, July 10 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 14

Cats in the Cradle Blog, July 15


To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.