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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway! Devil in the Dust - By Cara Luecht

Devil in the Dust FB Celebration banner copy


About the Book

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Name of book: Devil in the Dust
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2017
June 1933
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.
Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.
Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.
His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?
Click here to purchase your copy.

 
 

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht


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Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.
One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.
On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care.
I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.
Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.
While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.
Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.
I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.
Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?
I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.
I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.
I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.


My Thoughts:
I really love when I find new authors. This was a new author to me, and I was hooked with the first few chapters. I don't know a lot about this time period - but I learned a lot about the Dust Bowl and what was going on around this time. This was a difficult time in our nation's history. The book is carefully researched, intriguing, well written and the characters are well developed. I enjoyed watching the book unfold. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program - all opinions are my own. 


Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, October 12
A Reader’s Brain, October 13
Blogging With CarolOctober 14
Bukwurmzzz, October 15
Books n Baubles, October 17
Mary Hake, October 19
Pause for Tales, October 20
Bigreadersite, October 20
Karen Sue Hadley, October 21
Daysong Reflections, October 22

Giveaway


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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c201

Saturday, September 30, 2017

BOOK REVIEW!!! Rule of Law --- By: Randy Singer


Book info

About the book:

What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

About the author:

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel "Directed Verdict." In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors.
Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.




My Review: 
This is a new author to me. But I was drawn to the summary and the subject of the book. My husband and I love watching SIX on history channel, and have watched a lot of Seal Team documentaries. I was very excited to read a book focusing on this. This legal suspense book had a lot of twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not read each page quick enough. His characters are well written and I could picture what was going on in my mind. 

I received a copy of this book through the Litfuse Blogging program, all opinions are my own. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review! The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by: Ta`Mara Hanscom






About the book:
Set in South Dakota in 1975, where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beer in a bar, and loaded guns were kept under the counter.
Frankie Valli sang "My Eyes Adored You," and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
It's within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined-and had been for many years-yet they had no idea. 
From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart---and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride's deception.
About the authors:

Born and raised in South Dakota, Ta`Mara loves to write about the Great Plains and the beauty and people of Italia. While her husband and children manage their two pizza ristoranti, Ta`Mara works full time on The Caselli Family Series, and ministers to women. It is Ta`Mara s prayer that as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, forgiveness, obedience, and God's plan for marriage
Find out more about Ta'Mara at https://www.tamarahanscombooks.com.
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MY THOUGHTS 

This was the first book that I have had the opportunithy to read by this author. I was not able to put it down. I enjoyed reading about the setting of South Dakota. I felt that I was on a history lesson through out the entire book. 1975 was a different time period then now, and it was fun to read a story set in a different part of the country. I enjoyed the characters. One does struggle with homosexuality and it is brought up throughout the book. The author well develops her characters and your heart strings will be pulled through out this book. The book leaves off with more to follow. I thought I had the ending figured out - but I was incorrecct. I enjoyed reading a copy of this book. 

I recieved a copy of this book courtesy of LItfuse Blog Tours, All opinions are my own. 



GIVEAWAY!!!
Join Ta'Mara in celebrating the release of the second printing and new covers by entering to win her $75 prize basket giveaway!
ne winner will receive:

—A copy of The Pretender
—A $75 Amazon gift card
—A decorative box containing measuring cups, ten recipes from the book, a potholder, a kitchen towel, pepper and salt grinders, kitchen utensils, and an olive oil dispenser


Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway! Under Fire By: LInda Shenton Matchett - On tour with Celebrate Lit

Under fire FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Matchett Under Fire CoverClick to Purchase
Book title: Under Fire
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Release date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Mystery
Journalist Ruth Brown’s sister Jane is pronounced dead after a boating accident in April 1942. Because Jane’s body is missing, Ruth is convinced her sister is still alive. During her investigation, Ruth becomes suspicious about Jane’s job. Eventually Ruth follows clues to war-torn London. By the time she uncovers the truth about Jane’s disappearance, she has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters and the IRA – all of whom may want her dead.

About the Author

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Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader. She is author of several romance novellas and novelettes. Under Fire, the first in her trilogy about amateur sleuth/war correspondent Ruth Brown, has just been released by eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com).

Guest Post from Linda Shenton Matchett

Writers are often asked where they get ideas for their stories. Many authors start with a “what if” scenario (e.g. what if the fate of a world lies in the hands of a young man who must return a ring of great power to its place of origin: The Lord of the Rings). Other authors find inspiration in news articles (Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express). I begin my stories by creating the main character.
As a former Human Resources professional, I am fascinated by the history of women’s employment and enjoy reading about those who trail blazed in industries and positions formerly dominated by men. When I was trying to decide what my protagonist should do for a living, I knew she needed a job that allowed her freedom of movement, but nothing seemed to fit until I saw a museum exhibit about women war correspondents. Of the 1,600 journalists who received government accreditation, only 127 were female.
In order to get a sense of what these women experienced (derision, hostility, sexual harassment, and more) I read their memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, and articles. As an accredited correspondent they were supposed to received meals, transport to the front, and transmission of their articles. Many military officers refused to take the women into combat zones, so they had to get there any way they could, such as Martha Gellhorn who stowed away on a hospital ship and hid in the head to reach Normandy and cover D-day. It is my hope that Under Fire honors these brave and tenacious women in some small way.


My Thoughts: 
I LOVED this book. I had the opportunity to not only beta read this book way before it's release, but to be able to see the finished product was amazing! I had never read anything by this author before. She has done a lot of research to make her story as historically accurate as possible. The character, Ruth was my favorite. She really wanted to get to the bottom of things. She is bound and determined to find out the truth to what happened to her sister. Follow the clues to connect the story. 
I received a copy of this book courtesty of Celebrate Lit Blog tours, all opionions are my own. 

Blog Spots

Blogging With Carol, September 14
cherylbbookblog, September 17
Carpe Diem, September 17
A Reader’s Brain, September 18
Bigreadersite, September 18
Blossoms and Blessings, September 19
The Fizzy Pop CollectionSeptember 19
Janices book reviews, September 20
Back Porch Reads, September 20
A Baker’s Perspective, September 21
Just the Write Escape, September 21
Pause for Tales , September 22
Have A Wonderful Day, September 22
Karen Sue Hadley, September 24
Vicky Sluiter, September 25
Daysong Reflections , September 25
Mary Hake, September 26


GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize consisting of:
copy of the book, Box of English Tea, Typewriter notepad, and Rosie the Riveter socks!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c221

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review: Chief of Sinners By Caryl McAdoo On tour with Celebrate Lit!

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About the Book

01 CHIEF
Book title: Chief of Sinners
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Release date: September 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Obedience can overcome ruinous choices, and with repentance of wicked ways, God’s faithful forgiveness and mercies never fail.
Set in the afterglow of the Azusa Street Revival, this epic addition to the Texas Romance family saga sweeps through three decades of triumphs and tragedies—from the Texas Hill Country to the beaches of Normandy and beyond.
The faithful flock to his father’s tent where Buddy Nightingale leads praise and worship, but like King David, the young psalmist battles a generational curse, lust. On his first night back in Marble Falls, Texas—the place he heard the angels sang fifteen years prior—he beholds Sandra Harris, an eighteen-year-old beauty, attending strictly for the entertainment of the Spirit filled meetings. Love strikes both, but her Church of Christ father wants no part of any holy roller.
Sometimes choices we make take us places we never intend to go, but God . . .

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and a quick scroll through her novels’ rankings by Christian readers attests to the Father’s faithfulness. She loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs He gives her—look her up on YouTube to hear a few. Her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-one years ago, now they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.
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Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

Here’s the funnest part of this launch—book ten, the last story of my Texas Romance Family Saga that covers five generations of three families over more than a century—CHIEF OF SINNERS was the “first” one written over twenty-five years ago!
When we wrote CHIEF—yes, “we”; my husband Ron (of 49 years!) and I write everything together, have since the beginning. Neither of us would ever have made it on our own, but together, we had ten books published by five houses, including Howard Books before we went Indie. Why isn’t his name on the covers?

Trial 3

Our Benjamen Cash McAdoo (the fourteen-year-old grandson we reared who came home to our house from being born) asked the same thing and didn’t much like it. One night I was writing at the computer and turned and asked Ron a question about the story. Ben spoke up. “Don’t help her, O’Pa! Your name’s not on the book!”
The answer though is that our New York agent AND the Simon and Schuster editor both said only one name was better and that it should preferably be female. So, we took their advice. It works great for us since he doesn’t like marketing, while that’s a favorite part for me—getting to make so many new friends, bonding with readers from all over the world,
Nov 2015
So, back to the CHIEF; when Mary Sue Seymour (God rest her precious soul) told us to write a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, Ron and I started talking about our heroine and where she’d come from and what her crisis would be. As the premise formed, the Lord gave us the wonderful idea to use the same last names as our characters in CHIEF OF SINNERS.
We figured as we wrote one novel to the next, we would eventually get to 1926 when CHIEF opened with hero Buddy Nightingale and his father Nathaniel pitching their revival tent in the small Texas Hill Country town of Marble Falls.
Twelve in 1926, Buddy is the fourth generation from Rosaleen ‘Sassy’ Fogelsong Nightingale Baylor, heroine of book two in the series HEARTS STOLEN. Buddy’s father is the son of Charley Nightingale—Sassy’s four-year-old who readers fall in love with in her story.
MIGHTY TO SAVE, book nine, 1921-1924, was the one where all the loose ends had to be tied to get us into the 1926 circumstances of CHIEF. Only a few dates and minor details had to be changed editing CHIEF, but things had to happen in MIGHTY to open CHIEF OF SINNERS.
My characters are not perfect people. They sin as we all do.
Some of them have disappointed readers—some also disappointed me. No doubt I did things to disappoint my mother. Every one of us face battles and bad choices we have to live with. What is important for all (us and my characters) is coming to repentance, turning back to God, then walking in obedience from that point forward.
I hate to think CHIEF is the last. I still can’t imagine leaving these families behind. The next story, SON OF PROMISE coming in January, is a story of Travis and Emma Lee Harris Buckmeyer’s life together (readers meet them in CHIEF), so there will be guest appearances by many readers will recognize.
And I—we—have started KING OF TEXAS, a new contemporary romance, with “Patrick” Henry Buckmeyer, named after his great-grandfather my readers know as Henry. So, maybe they will always be with me after all with a new story here and there.
I pray God blesses you and that you enjoy CHIEF OF SINNERS!

My Thoughts:

I love this author. She is so down to earth and such a great mentor. When I saw that this book was coming out, I had to jump on the chance to review it. This book was different then previous ones that I have read. It was a great page turner - and a great reminder of God's forgiveness and restoration. The characters are well written and well crafted. This book does deal with adultery - as a repeated sin. But, unfortunately, it's a sin that is so prevalent today.  I have read a few of the books in this series, and sad to see it come to a close. While I have not read every single book in the series, I had no problem following along.  But I know that God will use Caryl to write more and more wonderful stories. 

I was provided a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program. All opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

September 7: Janices book reviews
September 8: Locks, Hooks and Books
September 10: cherylbbookblog
September 11: Just the Write Escape
September 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 13: Carpe Diem
September 14: Bigreadersite
September 15: Mary Hake
September 16: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 17: Karen Sue Hadley
September 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the following:
Grand Prize: ALL TEN books in the Texas Romance series!
1st Prize: Four first books in four of Caryl’s series
2nd Prize: Ebook of Chief of Sinners
3rd – 7th Prize: Print copy of A Vow Unbroken
8th prize: Ebook of Chief of Sinners!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bfd5