Thursday, December 31, 2020

Cold Fear: (Cold Harbor Book 5)


Cold Fear: 

(Cold Harbor Book 5) 

Paperback – ebook, audio 

August 12, 2018

by Susan Sleeman  (Author) 


  • Publisher : Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc. 
  • Paperback : 300 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1949009040


  • A shared past…
    Riley Glen’s former girlfriend, recording artist Leah Kent, is performing at a summer concert nearby and calls to tell him she’s in danger and needs his help. After the concert, he discovers her bending over a woman’s dead body, and the woman has Leah’s name freshly tattooed on her wrist. Leah claims she just found the body and didn’t have anything to do with the murder. When two other bodies are found, both boasting Leah’s name in bright ink on their wrists, she comes under suspicion for the murders. Riley jumps in to defend her from both an imminent arrest and a killer’s deadly rage.

    A new beginning?
    Riley and Leah had once been a music team and deeply in love. But Riley’s lifelong dream was to be a sniper, not a musician. He chose to follow his dream and has been successful in his career just as Leah has found success in hers. He still has feelings for Leah, but their lives are on vastly different courses. But when she begs for his help to clear her name and protect her, he agrees to do what he can. Riley soon discovers this killer is highly trained and vicious, and Leah won’t survive another day unless Riley uses every skill he possesses to try to save her.

  • My thoughts (lvh): COLD FEAR is the fifth book in this riveting series, but it easily stands alone. With a unique story line, there are very few similar books on the market. Plus the suspense is top-notch with all evidence pointing to Leah  How can Riley protect her with her  obvious guilt?

    . There are a few twists I never saw coming and it all adds up to  one five star read I couldn't put down..


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







    Monday, December 28, 2020

    Interview with Linda Hoover about her new book


     

     Today we welcome Linda Hoover to my blog. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. Share your blurb.

     

    Here’s the tagline if you want to use it.

    Julia wants to marry for love… But her father’s secret condemns her to a love-less marriage.

     


    In 1880 Boston, Julia Phillips’s father betroths her to wealthy Lucien Harris to cover up a tragic secret. She has no interest in Lucien, but Jacob Anderson, a kind jewelry store clerk has captured her attention. Can she put off Lucien long enough to convince her parents to accept a man who isn’t in the upper-class?

     

    Jacob works with his uncle in Boston, but plans to buy land for a farm in Iowa when he has enough money. When Julia walks into their store his priorities change. Their mutual attraction grows into love, and he wants to be the man she marries. But how can he with so little money?

    Julia feels increasing pressure from Lucien to pretend she’s happy about the upcoming wedding. Then, she discovers the arranged marriage is based on blackmail. Her family will be ruined if she doesn’t comply.

    Will God make a way for Jacob and Julia to have their heart’s desire?

     

     What is your favorite Christmas song?

    I love Christmas music! There are so many songs I enjoy, but I’ll narrow it down to two. Mary Did You Know and Carol of the Bells.

     
    What are you reading right now?

    The Order of the Flaming Sword by Jeanine Hart-Hipshir

    It’s a YA allegory. The Light represents God and Soot represents Satan. A group of teens and preteens are on a mission to help make sure evil doesn’t win. It kept me up late reading last night. 

     

     

    What would be your dream vacation?

    I’d like to tour England, Ireland, Germany, Italy and Greece.
     
     How do you choose your settings for each book?

    I think about where the story would most likely take place. In my first book, Mountain Prophecy, a lot of the characters were superstitious, so it made sense for it to be set in an area where that’s known to be common., the Appalachians.

     

    I knew I wanted my second book, Lighter Than Air, to be in England at a country estate, within a reasonable buggy ride from a city and in a fairly temperate climate. Maps, books and Google were a big help in finding just the right spot.

     

     For Heart’s Desire, I researched historic places and found 1880 Boston to be a big city with everything I needed. I could show the differences in social classes as well as it having an abundance of activities my characters could take part in. My family vacationed there in June 2019. I loved seeing the places where my characters lived and socialized.

    Will we know what happens to your character after the end of the book?

    Yes, I tie up loose ends for the most part. Heart’s Desire is the first book in the series, so you can expect to see more of the main characters in the next book.

      Where do you like to write? Can you share a picture?

    This is my happy place. 😊


     

     

    How do you handle distractions?

    Distractions usually come in the form of family members coming into my office to sit and chat. I’ll talk for a few minutes then kindly tell them I need to get back to work. Maybe it would help if I didn’t have any chairs in here, other than mine. They might not want to stand around too long. 😊

     

     What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next? 

     

    I have several projects. The first is a short story to give to readers who sign up for my newsletter. Before the middle of January, I’ll be working on book 2 of the Heart’s Desire series. I’d also like to have a Christmas book ready by October.

     

    Share your bio and links.

     


    Linda lives in west central Ohio with her husband, daughters, grandson, two cats and a dog. She earned a degree in psychology from Anderson University where she learned the voices in her head were actually characters from stories waiting to be told.

     

    Linda recently retired from the county’s public library system. It was the perfect place to indulge her love of young adult and Christian fiction. It was also a good place to build a long “To Read” list. These days she enjoys being a fulltime author in her home office, despite interruptions from family members and pets. Linda is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

     

    To learn more about Linda and the books she writes visit her website:

                                                                                               http://www.LindaHooverBooks.com

    While you’re there, subscribe to her newsletter to keep informed about new books, author activities and giveaways.

    Or stop by her Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/LindaHooverAuthor

     

     

    Heart’s Desire is available in print and Kindle at Amazon.

     

    Amazon.com/author/lindahoover

     

    Other digital formats can be found at

    Books2Read  https://www.books2read.com/u/mYAzqo

     

      


    Sunday, December 27, 2020

    Disappointed by B J Bassett

     


    Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

     

    Many years ago, I was expecting our daughter and her family to arrive for Christmas. I’d taken the day off from work to enjoy spending time with them. Shortly after they arrived, they left again to do some last-minute shopping, and they didn’t ask me to join them. My heart sank. It wasn’t what I’d expected.

     

                The door closed behind them, and I slumped into a chair to host a pity party for one. (I read once that a pity party is of the Devil). After a while, I stood, brushed myself off, and headed downtown to look in the pretty decorated store windows. I went into our florist shop and strolled amongst all the lovely gifts and Christmas decorations. I spotted a sign on a stake that read, Santa Please Stop Here. It wasn’t a necessary item since I was on a budget, but I was drawn to it, and I thought the grandkids would like it, so I splurged and bought it. All these years later, it is a reminder to me not to expect others to abide by my expectations.

     

                Over the years, my expectations of myself have changed as well. I no longer stress over the holidays. I do not bake Christmas cookies or make candy, yet our home is filled with goodies from others. I don’t accept every party invitation. And to help family members on tight budgets, we do not buy a gift for everyone—instead, our family exchanges names. Since I enjoy reading, I also take time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea during the holidays.  

     

                I encourage you to put fewer expectations on others and yourself. Enjoy the peace and joy God provides during this time when we remember and celebrate our Savior’s birth.

     

    Father, help me accept what I cannot change—not to cause myself or others stress during this busy season. Amen.

    Reprinted from The King’s Daughters: A Women’s Devotional


     


    B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a contemporary novel, Gillian’s Heart; a historical novel Lily; Sweet Charity; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story; and coauthor of a children’s devotional My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold.

     

    As a contributing writer, publications consist of Writer’s Handbook 2000, The Writer, and The Focus on the Family Guide to Growing a Healthy Home, Wolgemuth& Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.—consistently on Bookstore Journal’s Best-selling Christian Books List from November 1990 - February 1991, and voted the 10 Best Books for 1990 by Today’s Christian Woman.

     


    Magazines, devotional booklets, curriculum and newspaper publishers include Focus on the Family, Woman’s World, The Quiet Hour, Pathways to God, Devotions, Harcourt Brace, WordAction, Gospel Publishing and Times Standard (newspaper).

     

    She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey -- from the seed of an idea to a published book.

     

    Memberships: ACFW and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW).

     

    She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.

     

     

     



    Saturday, December 26, 2020

    ENCOUNTERING JESUS IN THE REAL WORLD OF THE GOSPELS

     


    ENCOUNTERING JESUS IN THE REAL WORLD OF THE GOSPELS                        

    Cyndi Parker

    ISBN: 978-1-68307-310-9

    Publisher:  Hendrickson Publishers

    Pages:  184 pages

    $29.95 U.S. paperback


    Steve's thoughts:

     

    The land of Israel is as much a character of Scripture as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.  And just as important.  Praise the Lord someone has recognized this . . . and written something about it!

     

    It's always a pleasant surprise when an author knows whereof he or she speaks.  Cyndi Parker does, indeed, know whereof she speaks.  Her extensive, intensive association with the land upon which Jesus walked lends color, sound, and texture to her written words, and provides a solid foundation upon which they rest.

     

    When I was offered the opportunity to review this work, by Hendrickson Publishing, I couldn't get to the ordering site fast enough.  True bibliophiles (of which I unabashedly claim to be) recognize, instinctively, important books "on sight."

     

    This is an important book.

     

    It belongs in the library . . . excuse me, on the desk . . . of everyone who spends anytime in the Word of God.

     

    Get this book, and let the land of Israel tell you her story of Jesus!

     

     

    I received this book free of charge in exchange for my open and honest review.




    Thursday, December 24, 2020

    SILENT NIGHT by Kathleen Friesen

     


    And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

    A few years ago, lights from the Christmas tree reflected on my piano’s glossy surface as I opened my new music book, a gift from our church, to one of my favorite Christmas carols, “Silent Night.” My husband wanted to watch the news on TV, so I plugged in the headphones that directed sound from the electronic instrument to my ears only.



    This arrangement of “Silent Night” began simply with the soothing melody. 


    Silent night, holy night

    All is calm, all is bright.

    ’Round yon virgin Mother and Child

    Holy infant so tender and mild,

    Sleep in heavenly peace

    Sleep in heavenly peace.

    I played on, following the written score as it added harmonies, point and counterpoint.

     

    Silent night, holy night.

    Shepherds quake at the sight.

    Glories stream from heaven afar;

    Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!

    Christ the Savior is born

    Christ the Savior is born.

     

    But then the newscast behind me intruded. Some poor homeless man had been found nearly frozen to death. War had erupted in two more areas, details to follow. Financial gurus predicted hardships in the New Year. On and on, bad news assaulted my ears as my fingers played.

    The contrast jarred me. Today, we endure a pandemic and global political unrest and misjustice, but wars, brutality, tragedy were just as prevalent when Jesus took on mortality. Consider what happened shortly after the visitation from the wise man: Herod ordered all little boys up to two years of age to be slaughtered. Oh, the horror! The incredible grief! Where childish laughter had filled the air, screams of agony rang.

     

    I shook my head with the awareness that dreadful times are nothing new. The world needed and still needs the healing comfort of redemption, which only comes through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

     

    Silent night, holy night 

    Son of God, love's pure light
    Radiant beams from thy holy face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace,
    Jesus, Lord at thy birth
    Jesus, Lord at thy birth.


    The dawn of redeeming grace is God’s gift to us. Hardships and trauma still surround us and affect us, but because Jesus gave up Heaven’s glory to live in our mess, we have hope. What a wonderful reason to celebrate!

    Thank you, dear Jesus, for coming to earth as a helpless baby to save us from our sins and give us hope, joy and peace.


    May the blessing of Christmas bring hope for the future, peace in all circumstances and joy every day to you and yours. Amen.


     


    Kathleen Friesen has always loved to lose herself in a good story, especially tales of love and faith that overcome. These days, she'll often get lost in her current work in progress, whatever it may be. Kathleen's stories invite the reader to risk faith, dare to love, and enjoy the results.

    When she’s not at the keyboard, you can find Kathleen gardening, visiting with friends old and new, or helping her husband renovate their house. When the renovations are finally done, there may be a party.





    Grave Christmas Secrets (Love Inspired Suspense)


    Grave Christmas Secrets 

    (Love Inspired Suspense) 

    Mass Market Paperback – ebook

    November 10, 2020




    My thoughts (lvh):  GRAVE CHRISTMAS SECRETS earns five gold stars from this reader. I loved the unique occupations that the heroine and hero both had. And while I did figure out who the rather obvious bad guy was, the story took a surprise twist and I never saw part of it coming. 

    Definitely one of the better LIS that I've read in ages.  Yes, it does follow formula with car chases  and  all knowing villains.

    Can be read at any time of the year though there is the mention of Christmas music and twinkly lights.

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




     

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020

    Book Spotlight: Trusting Grace (Virtues and Vices of the Old West)


    Trusting Grace 

    (Virtues and Vices of the Old West) 

    Paperback – Ebook. Audio 

    May 2, 2017









     

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020

    Is it OK for a Christian to Have Doubts? Part 2 of an interview with Shelby Abbott, Author of DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard


    Doubt should not scare Christians, nor should it become their obsession. In his book, DoubtLess: Because Faith is HardShelby Abbott urges readers to see the difference between doubt and unbelief, assuring them that big questions can press them deeper into the heart and character of God rather than push them away from him. He reminds readers that Scripture recounts the stories of many men and women who have also faced deep misgivings and uncertainty in their walk of faith.
     
    Used for biblical reflection, group discussion, and devotional reading, DoubtLess is full of gospel hope for those grappling with the mysteries of faith.

    Part 2 of an interview with Shelby Abbott,
    Author of DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard

    Q: As Christians, our doubts usually scare us. Is it OK to have doubts from time to time?
     
    Yes, of course. Having doubts as a believer is a normal part of the Christian life. I think they usually scare us, however, because we’re afraid of what our doubts might mean. I think there’s a lot of fear that can flood into our lives when doubt comes along because our doubts might question God’s goodness, sovereignty, mercy, grace, and even existence.
     
    But doubt is a natural part of the Christian experience and can be the avenue God chooses to use to draw us closer to himself, not push us further away. I like to personify doubt and say that he should be a houseguest in the home of your heart, not a permanent resident. Houseguests come in and can shake up things in your life for a time, but they are not meant to set up and live there forever. Eventually they need to pack up and leave.
     
    Q: Normally when doubt starts to creep in, we get anxious and stressed, but you write that we should stay calm. Why?
     
    Anxiety never leads to anything good. It’s like a rocking horse—you spend lots of time and energy going back and forth, but you get absolutely nowhere. Instead of letting doubt distress your life, approach it with faith which can actually lead to something constructive. Faith brings peace, anxiety brings turmoil. Faith draws us closer to God, while worry because of doubt leads us away from God and focuses on our circumstances. Faith changes things, while anxiety changes nothing.
     
    There are great and satisfying answers to our questions about God if we take the time to intentionally go after them instead of letting doubt sideline us in a pit of anxiety.
     
    Q: What does the Bible say about doubt? How does God feel about it?
     
    Plenty...and God is very accustomed to living in relationship with doubters. The Psalms, for example, give us permission to beat on God’s chest in a way that leads by visceral example. Over and over again in the Psalms, we see the authors wrestle very honestly with God and even accuse him of various things...and God allowed those wrestling matches to live on display for us in His Word.
     
    In the New Testament, Mark 9 gives us a great example of how Jesus himself deals with doubt. The father of a demon-possessed boy comes to Christ and asks him to heal his son if he’s able. Eventually, the father cries out to Jesus, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Then, Jesus heals the boy. Jesus doesn’t scold the father for his doubt, nor chastise him because can’t fully believe in his ability to heal his son. The father admits there is an element of doubt in his heart, and that he needs help. If anything, Jesus rewards the man for his honesty. This parent needed Christ’s help in the midst of doubt, and help was, of course, extended to him.
     
    Another great example is in the person of John the Baptist. John baptized Jesus, and when he did, the Spirit of God descended on Christ, and the audible voice of God the Father said, “This is my Son.” Yet at the end of his life, John himself had his doubts about who Jesus really was. When he was in prison, John sent a few of his disciples to ask Christ if he was the one or if they should be looking for another. After hearing the audible voice of God from the sky, John the Baptist still doubted that Jesus was the Messiah. I know it might seem strange, but I’m oddly comforted by John’s doubt. If he could admit it plainly—to the point it’s recorded in Scripture—I certainly have the liberty to doubt and be honest about it too.
     
    Q: For someone wrestling with doubt, how should they seek out someone to talk to about their questions? Where should they go to find a safe place to ask questions?
     
    Look to a trusted friend, family member, ministry leader, or church mentor—someone who won’t recoil at the idea that you are wrestling with doubt. Someone who knows that doubts have the ability to make our faith stronger, not weaker. Someone who isn’t afraid that you are asking tough questions that work your faith muscles out in a way that they’d never be worked out by avoiding important questions/doubts.
     
    I’ve found that if tough questions don’t get asked now, they will eventually bubble to the surface in the future, so get with someone you trust and ask the hard questions you struggle with now—they probably aren’t going to go away. We shouldn’t fear questions and doubts as believers...we should embrace them as a gift of grace acting not as a stiff-arm from God, but an invitation to come and seek Him. There is great joy in the journey when we have someone to help us along the way.

    DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard
    by Shelby Abbott
    August 17, 2020 / Retail Price: $15.99
    Print ISBN 978-1-645070-75-7
    Religion / Christian Ministry / Young Adult

    About the author
    Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States.
     
    Abbott is the author of Jacked, I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life), and Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress. His latest release is DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard. He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
     
    Readers can find Abbott online at www.shelbyabbott.com, on Facebook (shelby.abbott.98)Twitter (@shelbyabbott) and Instagram (@shelbyabbott).



     

    Monday, December 21, 2020

    Road to Harmony





    Road to Harmony 

    Paperback – ebook, audio

    March 23, 2017


     

    Sunday, December 20, 2020

    Wise Men Still Follow by Julie Arduini

     


     

    When I was single and in my early twenties, I remember being with friends talking about embarrassing moments. The one that stood out was when a guy admitted he saw a bright light in the sky, the most brilliant light he had ever seen. It was so magnificent he decided to follow it.

    Down the highway and through winding roads he went. As he drove, he imagined what he would find. A spaceship? An angel ready to make a supernatural announcement?

    Nope.

    At the end of his quest, it was a huge spotlight at an auto dealership celebrating their big sale.

    Embarrassing.

    It also reminds me of a meme I found of a blurry sun. A hint of red, a majestic yellow, I looked at the second picture. The photographer remarked how the first picture was taken far away, and without glasses or contacts, they thought it was the most gorgeous sunset. They followed it for a closer picture.

    It was a Burger King sign.

    Through my 50 years, I’ve followed some “bright lights” that led to disappointment, shame even. When I gave my life to Jesus, I became intentional about not following people, causes, or even dealership lights or fast food signs.

    Like the Magi in Matthew 2, I want to follow Christ. They knew during their quest they would not be disappointed. These men were looking for a savior, the babe who is Christ, Our King.

    My prayer for all of us, this year especially, is no matter what is before us, whatever shiny thing is trying to get our attention and lead us astray, that we stay strong and steady in Jesus. He is truly the only One worth following.

    and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2, NIV



    Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.

     

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/JulieArduini

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    Receive FREE preview of Anchored Hearts: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/sreqjn1tin

     

     


     

    Can two go-getters surrender their need to control and find a happily-ever-after?

    Jordyn Bell Hart succeeds in everything she does. Her promotion to morning show co anchor blossoms her career in the same way her mother’s work did. Jordyn keeps tabs on her family and enjoys helping them grow. When life around Jordyn starts to change, can she surrender her desire to control?

    Spencer Collins knows how to balance a busy life. He has his work as a reporter, his time caregiving for his grieving father, and looking out for his little brother. When he learns he’s the new co anchor of a morning show with Jordyn Hart, can he handle working with a celebrity who brings a lot of challenges to life on and off the set?

    Read a FREE preview of Anchored Hearts by clicking HERE. Book 1 in Surrendering Hearts, a series about nationally celebrated sextuplets who each discover their own identity and find that special true love like their parents shared. https://dl.bookfunnel.com/sreqjn1tin

    Anchored Hearts coming soon.

     






     

     


    Axel: a clean romantic suspense (Lantern Beach Blackout: The New Recruits)

    Axel: a clean romantic suspense  (Lantern Beach Blackout: The New Recruits 2)  Paperback – ebook April 15, 2021 by  Christy Barritt     (Aut...