Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cold Case by Susan Sleeman

Cold Case: 

(Cold Harbor #4) 

Paperback, ebook

May 18, 2018

by Susan Sleeman

  • Series: Cold Harbor (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc.
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949009033

When her past comes back to haunt her…

Former FBI cyber security agent Eryn Calloway worked many cyber investigations during her career as an FBI agent and while serving as Blackwell Tactical's cyber expert. But when her computer is locked with ransomware, she suddenly finds herself facing the biggest investigation of all. Failure to solve the case and find the hacker could result in the loss of her very life.
Can she let the one man who can protect her get close enough to do so?

Enter former Green Beret, deputy Trey Sawyer who offers to serve as her bodyguard. Trey has been in love with Eryn for a year, but she lost her husband several years ago and isn't ready to open herself to the potential for pain again. She's kept Trey at arm's length and wants to do so now-after all, she can take care of herself. But she has a four-year-old daughter to protect, so Eryn reluctantly agrees to let Trey into her world. But when they're thrown together in a race for her life, she has to combat both a vicious enemy-and the pain from her past. Is Trey trustworthy enough to let him into every area of her life, or is the risk too great?

My thoughts: COLD CASE starts out with a great first line "Cancel your classes or your computer isn't the only thing that will be DOA."  That is an attention-getter for sure. 

COLD CASE is book 4 in Ms. Sleeman's Cold Harbor Series but it easily stands alone. I do have books 1, 2, and 3 but haven't read them yet.  I am looking forward to going back and getting some of the previous stories though.  

Eryn is super intelligent and quite frankly I was very lost at most of the words that came out of her mouth. Highly technical in cyber lingo, I didn't understand a word of. To Ms. Sleeman's credit, she had Trey not understand them either, so the reader was given translations of the computer-eze but it did slow down the reading and make the story somewhat drag at times as this reader got lost in unfamiliar language. 

Trey was a sweetie. He did wear his heart on his sleeve, and didn't bother to even attempt to hide his attraction to the beautiful Eryn. He is a Green Beret, he is a deputy, but he's benched due to a serious hip injury.  He's willing to watch cartoons with Eyrn's young daughter and eat chicken nuggets, so what's not to love?   

Once I did manage to wade through the mumble-jumble of the first several chapters the suspense and the story did pick up. And I did force myself to keep reading during those several first technical chapters because this is a Susan Sleeman book and she writes top-notch, bone-chilling, heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat, romantic suspense.

I was given a copy of this book free. All opinions are my own.

I am going to go back and read the first three books in the series. 

·    Book 1 - Cold Terror
·    Book 2 - Cold Truth
·    Book 3 - Cold Fury
·    Book 4 - Cold Case
·    Book 5 - Cold Fear (coming soon)
·    Book 6 - Cold Pursuit (coming soon)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Candy Apple Blessings

Candy Apple Blessings 

(Sweet Blessings) 

Board book 

July 23, 2018

by Maddie Frost (Illustrator)

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Sweet Blessings
  • Board book: 20 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Brdbk edition 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400317790

Candy Apple Blessings is a cheery seasonal board book that explores the many reasons we love fall! Including a charming embellished cover and whimsical art, this book follows some animal friends as they celebrate the best parts of autumn. 
Whether it’s choosing a pumpkin from the patch, jumping in a colorful pile of leaves, or going on a hayride with friends, Candy Apple Blessings is a fun way to thank God for the beautiful parts of the season that you get to enjoy together!
With charming art and a gleaming foil, Candy Apple Blessings is the perfect way to celebrate all the wonderful things about fall.

My thoughts:  CANDY APPLE BLESSINGS is a cute children's board book for toddlers and babies full of rhyming fun. It is about fall-ish things, like pumpkin patches, candy apples, mazes, hayrides, and more.  It is  a good book that will introduces young children to the wonders of fall.  I was wondering if they were going to work anything Christian in it but the very last one is about giving God thanks for His blessings, so that was a nice touch. 

Parents, grandparents, caregivers, church nurseries, daycares, preschools and more will enjoy this book. I'm putting my copy in the church nursery so our church babies will enjoy it.  I think this board book will be a harvest time book for your favorite toddler. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Perilous Riptide

Perilous Riptide 

(Lantern Beach #5) 

Paperback, ebook

May 20, 2018

by Christy Barritt

  • Series: Lantern Beach
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: River Heights
  • ISBN-13: 978-0999834541

Just when the current seems safer, an unseen danger emerges and threatens to destroy everything. 

When Cassidy Livingston finds a journal hidden deep in the recesses of her ice cream truck, her curiosity kicks into high gear. Islanders suspect that Elsa, the journal’s owner, didn’t die accidentally. Her final entry indicates their suspicions might be correct and that what Elsa observed on her final night may have led to her demise. 

Against the advice of Ty Chambers, her former Navy SEAL boyfriend, Cassidy taps into her detective skills and hunts for answers. But her search only leads to a skeletal body and trouble for both of them. As helplessness threatens to drown her, Cassidy is desperate to turn back time. 

Can Cassidy find what she needs to navigate the perilous situation? Or will the riptide surrounding her threaten everyone and everything Cassidy loves?

My thoughts: PERILOUS RIPTIDE is the fifth book in this series and while it does stand alone with it's own mystery, it does heavily tie in with the other books with an ongoing mystery that is woven through all the books. In order they are: Hidden Current, Flood Watch, Storm Surge, Dangerous Waters, PERILOUS RIPTIDE, and Deadly Undertow. 

When Ty is arrested for murder, Cassidy is desperate for answers. Understandably. But the evidence is overwhelming, and then became almost cliche as if someone has been reading too many mystery/suspense novels (which could be me, but in this case was a character in the book.) However, who? Three police officers who had access to planted evidence. Three bookish females who love mystery/suspense novels... The suspect list for this reader was growing. And then of course there is Jimmy James who seems so clueless but always knows more than anyone else.... Who done it? Why? 

I had to keep reading to find out.  PERILOUS RIPTIDE was a page-turner for sure, though the  riptide mentioned in the title did have my wondering if they were going out to sea... but it was an appropriate analogy for what was actually happening. 

To quote Ms. Dardus on High School Musical, "Bravo, Brava, Bravo".  Great job, Ms. Barritt. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Watch for review on Deadly Undertow coming soon. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Focus on the Positive by Sarah Conaway

Focus on the Positive

I learned early on that choosing to stay positive helped me find my inner warrior.

One of the things that’s helped me from the very beginning of my stroke journey was to focus on the positives. Because there are so many! I’m talking about the cheesy kind of “woohoo” moments that may make you roll your eyes. Eyes - imagine rejoicing in simply being able to open them. I have! I celebrate small victories. For example, I was excited when I took my first steps. Yes I was held up by a gait belt and two therapists, but I wasn’t confined to a hospital bed. I was free. It had been well over 30 years since I took my official “first steps”, so I call these my “second steps”. 

It’s easy to thank God when things are going well—it feels natural. But He calls us to give thanks in ALL situations.To have a heart of thanksgiving even during the most challenging times. I won’t lie, this wasn’t always easy. Be thankful for having strokes? For being permanently disabled? Losing my career? Everything I’d worked for? I can now say YES! Because for every loss, I have a multitude of new things to be thankful for. 

1.          I get to be a stay-at-home mom and spend time after school each and every day with my daughter and her best friend. I love volunteering at her school. 

2.          I get to volunteer at church on Wednesdays and Sundays. I get  to spend time with my hospice patient. I get to enjoy other friends without full-time jobs from my life group. 

3.          I get to be a part of an incredible women’s ministry called Wholly Loved.I’m finally getting comfortable with public speaking again. I got to attend one of their amazing conferences at the beginning of last year and never imagined I would get the opportunity to join them.

4.          I get to attend a women’s bible study on Tuesdays mornings. I love meeting new people who love Christ.  

5.          Last, but definitely not least, STROMIES (Stroke + Homies). The Stromies are a trio of positivity who strive to encourage survivors worldwide. The two ladies I serve with have brought me such comfort, companionship, and FUN! I’m so thankful God brought us together.

When I get a case of the “poor mes”, I focus on any one of the many things that I am grateful for. It always makes me smile.This also helps show others how to do the same.


BIO for website: Sarah Conaway is a two-time stroke survivor who truly believes each day is a gift. Through intense therapy, Sarah has regained much of the ability she lost.  Although Sarah has had a myriad of health problems over the past 15 years, the strokes changed her life forever. Sarah’s story is a true testament of Jesus’s divine intervention.Sarah volunteers with hospice patients and the children’s ministry at her Church. She is a tri-founder of the Stromies (Stroke + homies) who minister to those with disabilities world-wide. She’s excited to be a part of the Wholly Loved team as a speaker, blogger, and Street Team Leader. She loves sharing how God is continuing to shape her into the person she is today.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Son of God Book Spotlights

Sharon Lindsay is a woman who reads the Bible and sees the drama of the ancient stories like vivid movies rolling across her mind. She is the author of the 5-book Son of God Series, a writer who grounds her fast-paced fictionalized account of the life of Jesus in Biblical studies, historical research, and personal experience. Her own experiences, the times when heaven has supernaturally stepped into her life, allow her to write this Biblical story with the authority of someone who has come face to face with the spiritual forces of Good and Evil.

Sharon is a graduate of Washington Adventist University (formerly Columbia Union College). She is a retired teacher with 37 years of classroom experience, elementary through middle school. As a retiree, she continues to teach in the church setting and has found that both adults and teenagers who read The Son of God Series are captivated by her fresh and relatable retelling of the Gospel account. She is an active member of a Messianic Jewish Congregation.

Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 1: Unto Us

About The Book

Sets up the power-struggle between God and Satan. The sweet Christmas story? No, this is the story of a young Jewish couple unexpectedly thrust into the cosmic war between Good and Evil. They have been entrusted with the life of heaven’s king and Earth’s savior. How will they survive?

Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 2: This is My Son

About The Book

In Book 2, This is My Son the supernatural conflict between Good and Evil continues to focus on the boy Jesus. Satan manipulates people and events but is not allowed to directly attack during Jesus’ developmental years. Throughout this period, the Kingdom of the Evil One continually engineers the circumstances of life hoping to bring confusion, fear and rejection into the life of God’s son, the one chosen to bring salvation to humanity.

When the men of Nazareth become involved with the Galilean, Jesus watches the father of his best friend die on a cross. Through the confusion of those years, Father God and Joseph guide Jesus into his true identity, Son of Heaven and Son of Earth destined to die for humanity.

Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 3: Prepare the Way

About The Book

In Book 3, Prepare the Way the major characters in the Biblical narrative are called on stage: John the Baptist, the disciples, Pilate, Herod Antipas and others. The intrigue of Rome clashes with life in a land governed by the Law of Moses. John the Baptist runs afoul of the ruler of Galilee and Pilate must back down after taking a tough stance with the Sanhedrin. In the Judean wilderness Satan tries to end the mission of Jesus before his ministry begins.

In this book, Jesus moves from small-town carpenter to well-known rabbi, scandalously infamous in Jerusalem and faithfully followed in the countryside.



Thursday, July 26, 2018

Research for Launch by Jason C. Joyner


Authors make up so many things in their minds, but if they can go somewhere to research locations or situations that match up with their plot, it allows for more authenticity with their work. My book Launch and its sequels are set in the Bay Area in California. I have family there, so I spend time there every year or two. I've had the opportunity to visit the campuses for Facebook and Google, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman's Wharf in addition to other areas in the region. These trips helped me make things realistic in how I portrayed locations, and it allows me to paint scenarios with greater detail. 

I even visited my brother-in-law's tech company. It was a great model for a similar location that I blow up in book two - but don't tell Steve, okay?

If you're a writer, what's your favorite place you've visited for research? Your favorite thing you've done as research? For readers, is there a book you've read that really shows off the research? 

Sixteen-year-olds Demarcus Bartlett and Lily Beausoliel are among a select group of youth invited to an exclusive, all-expenses-paid conference at social media giant Alturas’ California headquarters. Led by charismatic founder Simon Mazor, the world’s youngest billionaire, this isn’t the typical honors society. It seems that everyone here has some secret, untapped potential, some power that may not be entirely of this world. An ancient prophecy suggests that if these teens combine their abilities, they could change the course of history. The only question is: Will it be for better or for worse?
Jason C. Joyner is a physician assistant, a writer, a Jesus-lover, and a Star Wars geek. He’s traveled from the jungles of Thailand to the cities of Australia and the Bavarian Alps of Germany. He lives in Idaho with his lovely wife, three boys, and daughter managing the chaos of sports and superheroes in his own home. Launch, a YA superhero novel, is the first book in the Rise of the Anointed series that releases in July. Get updates at www.jasoncjoyner.com, or follow him on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.  
Links for purchase: 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dangerous Waters

Dangerous Waters 

(Lantern Beach #4) 

ebook, paperback

by Christy Barritt 

  • Series: Lantern Beach
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: River Heights 
  • (April 6, 2018)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0999834534

Danger lurks on the horizon, leaving only two choices: find shelter or flee. Cassidy Livingston’s new identity has begun to feel as comfortable as her favorite sweater. She’s been tucked away on Lantern Beach for weeks, waiting to testify against a deadly gang, and is settling in to a new life she wants to last forever. When she thinks she spots someone malevolent from her past, panic swells inside her. If an enemy has found her, Cassidy won’t be the only one who’s a target. Everyone she’s come to love will also be at risk. Dangerous waters threaten to pull her into an overpowering chasm she may never escape. Can Cassidy survive what lies ahead? Or has the tide fatally turned against her?

My thoughts: DANGEROUS WATERS is the fourth book in this series and while it does have it's own mystery it is tied in with the first three books in the series. Fans will want to read these books in order:  Hidden Currents, Flood Watch, Storm Surge, DANGEROUS WATERS, Perilous Riptide and Deadly Undertow. 

Cassidy finally comes clean with Ty and Mac in this book and I was glad she did. I understood her reasons but I hated that she hadn't told them why before. She needed them and their expertise in this book and they had her back. 

I loved the way the lighthouse played into the story. Both the building and the reference to God. 

I get a kick out of Cassidy's ice cream truck -- it is wonderful for comic relief.  

With this mystery you know some of the big five questions: Who, what, where, when and how but not all. Who, what, why and where were answered, but when and how were left for the reader to find out. The tension why high all through the book. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Stay tune for review on Perilous Riptide coming soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

From This Moment

From This Moment 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audiobook, audio CD 

June 7, 2016

by Elizabeth Camden

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217210

Award-Winning Historical Romance from a Noteworthy Talent
Romulus White has tried for years to hire illustrator Stella West for his renowned scientific magazine. She is the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry.

But Stella abruptly quit the art world and moved to Boston with a single purpose: to solve the mysterious death of her beloved sister. Romulus, a man with connections to high society and every important power circle in the city, could be her most valuable ally.

Sparks fly the instant Stella and Romulus join forces, and Romulus soon realizes the strong-willed and charismatic Stella could disrupt his hard-won independence. Can they continue to help each other when their efforts draw the wrong kind of attention from the powers-that-be and put all they've worked for at risk?

My thoughts: FROM THIS MOMENT is an older book by Ms. Camden that I hadn't had time to read for ages. I finally moved all her books to my short stack because honestly she is a favorite historical romantic suspense author.  

Stella is needy, but strong, cocky, confident. Romulus is arrogant, but yet so insecure. These two both had their own mysteries to solve but they need each other to do so.  I fell in love with Romulus's brother-in-law Clive and would've loved more of their story.  I figured out who-dun-it when the "Bad guy" was introduced as a POV character. Until then one guess was as good as the other though I had suspicions and wondered about some of Romulus's friends.

I found FROM THIS MOMENT totally engaging and I couldn't put the book down. I had to keep reading to find out what happened.  There is a strong faith moment in Stella's story, but not so much in Romulus's.  

Fans of historical romantic suspense will want to read FROM THIS MOMENT.

I greatly enjoyed it. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 23, 2018

I Am: The Names of God for Little ones.

I Am: The Names of God for Little Ones 

Board book 

June 26, 2018

by Diane Stortz (Author), 
Diane Le Feyer (Illustrator)

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Board book: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Brdbk edition 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400310791

God is the Creator, the Healer, our Savior, and our Friend. And it is through God’s names that we understand His character. Now little ones will understand how great our God is by learning His names and all the ways He cares for them.
Show your little one the character of God with I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones. Capturing the names and characteristics of God through short Bible stories, Scripture, and bright illustrations, I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones helps you learn about God in a way that will draw even the youngest child. Children will close the book feeling loved, protected, and secure in the arms of the great I AM.
Written by bestselling author Diane Stortz and illustrated by Diane Le Feyer, I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones is a great companion to the bestselling Bible storybook I AM.

My thoughts: I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones is a board book with beautiful, glittery, touchy-feely cover that is sure to appeal to babies and toddlers and not only that but it packs a valuable message. The names of God. 

A couple of years ago, my pastor-husband preached a series of sermons about the names of God. It went into greater detail than this book, of course, and mentioned more names of God but this is a board book and not all inclusive. 

It mentions a name - like creator - gives a verse, in this case, Genesis 1:1 and writes a poem about it and  a brief prayer and of course, lots of colorful pictures.  It also gives the Hebrew or  Greek name for the name Elohim is Creator. 

My favorites is Healer and Provider - but of course, He is all that and more.

This is a great beginning devotional for babies and toddlers, can be expanded into more by reading scripture passages for early elementary or can be read in story book form for the snuggle bunny beside you.

Recommended. '

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's Who You Belong To That Matters by Kristen Terrette

Everyone wants to belong.

In fact, you could say everyonealready belongs to something. We belong to a family, whether we want to be a part of it or not. We belong to a certain cultural group, socio-economic status, social club, or belief system (even not believing in God is a belief).

And over the last few months, I began to think on this as certain Scriptures kept jumping off the page and weaving around my heart.I began to notice the word belong throughout the New Testament in the NIrV translation of the Bible, the one I fell in love with from my days in children’s ministry.

Over and over, I saw this small word¾thirty-four times in fact, though I’m sure I missed some. All of these mentions were seen with my naked eye,not prompted by a Google or topical search. I would read a verse and the word,belong,would pop up a few verses ahead or behind. I began paying attention, knowing God was trying to tell me something.

This led me to question, what do I belong to?

When people see my posts on social media, meet me in line at the grocery store, or at my son’s football game, where do they think I fit in? Am I perceived as rich or poor, ditzy or smart, a Christian or Atheist, an American or foreigner? 

Then I realized it’s not where I belong, or what I belong to that matters at all… it’s Who I belong to that defines me. Period.

Are you ready to get into a little Bible study? See all of these thirty-four verses discussedfollowers of Jesus as belonging to God. When you look at the NIV translation¾the parent version of the NIrV¾the phrase is often said like this: “created in Christ Jesus”(Eph. 2:10), “seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), “And we are in him” (1 John 5:20a), or “by being in his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 5:20b).

See the trend? If we are in Christ, then we are a part of Him. We are in Him. But the NIrV knows that’s confusing to our meager minds…so they change it to: “created us to belong to Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10), “seated with Him in heavenly realms because we belong to Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2: 6), “we belong to the One who is true” (1 John 5:20a), and “we also belong to his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 5:20b).

I belong to Jesus, and if you believe in Him, so do you. He does not discriminate. You are His. Belonging to Him is the most important piece of our identity, the only one that matters in this world full of groupings which tend to divide us, instead of unite us.

I’m positive Jesus wants me to know and understand this concept. I am certain if we decided not to focus on what or where we are, but on Whose we are, the world would be a better place.

Psalm 100:3 NIV sums it up well, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”


Safe Harbor, Moanna Island Book One

Eva Elliott is left with a jaded heart after the death of her boyfriend while she was pregnant. She pushed away the idea of God and love, focusing solely on her daughter, Willow. 
She accepts an offer from her mom to move to Moanna Island, off the coast of Georgia. She hopes the move will help her tuck away the guilt for the role she thinks she played in her boyfriend’s death. 

Thad Smith’s Pro-Football career came to a crashing and embarrassing halt, sending him running to Moanna Island. He enjoys living under the radar and finds a new purpose as he dedicates his life back to Jesus, but he feels guilty for the sting of loneliness that’s crept into his seemingly full life. 

When he saves Willow from drowning in the ocean the first day Eva arrives on the island, he can’t deny the electricity between them. Eva stubbornly fights the stirring in her heart the moment Thad smiles, but since Thad coaches the football team where Eva teaches and lives down the street, God continues to intertwine their lives. When he tells Eva he’s not only falling for her, but Willow as well, she thinks maybe…just maybe, it would work between them. 

She doesn’t expect Thad’s ex to throw a kink in the fragile plan, nor for Thad’s relationship with God to convict her own shame and brokenness. Just when she opens the door to God, finally ready to make things right, an accident occurs that could leave Willow an orphan and Thad all alone again. 

Kristen holds a Master's degree in Theological Studies and served as a Children's Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She’s also serves on the women's leadership and teaching team at her church and writes for Wholly Loved ministry at WhollyLoved.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com

Troubled Graves (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by Christy Barritt

  Troubled Gra \  (Lantern Beach Exposure Book 4) by  Christy Barritt (Autho r) Some things are best left buried . . . Gunner Mathias is try...