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Friday, April 22, 2016

Join Becky Wade for a Facebook Party May 5

wade event promo - fb 

A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.

Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.

wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My review coming soon!

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Counted With The Stars: Book Review/Author Interview



When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, our-of-print history books.  There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus.  Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, TX.  Counted With The Stars is her first novel.

Connect with Conni at www.connilyncossette.com.






Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation.  When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

Choosing to flee with the Hebrews, Kiya finds herself reliant on a strange God and drawn to a man who despises her people.  With everything she's ever known swept away and now facing the trials of the desert, will she turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?





AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

  1. What inspired you to write Counted with the Stars?  Counted with The Stars was inspired by a study I was doing on my own into Exodus and the roots of my faith.  I ran across the verse in Exodus 12:38 that said "a mixed multitude went up with them."  I thought to myself - who were these people that went with the Hebrews on the Exodus?  I wondered whether some of them might be Egyptian and what would have inspired them to follow an invisible God into the wilderness when all they had ever known were the gods of Egypt?  Kiya's story began as a product of my own curiosity about the motivations by those we would call "Gentiles" who journeyed with the Hebrews.
  2. How has the book affected you?  One thing i never considered when I began to write a book was how much it would affect me personally.  Due to a number of circumstances and the choice to be a stay-at-home mom, I did not finish my teaching degree.  I love being at home with my children and began homeschooling them when my son was in Kindergarten.  But honestly, i had labeled myself "just a housewife" and figured that my family would be my only sphere of influence and ministry.  But pursuing the dream of being an author has changed my perspective on many things, not the least being that my dreams were not too big for God.  I have found new confidence in myself and my God-given talents.  I have opened myself up to new exciting ways that the Lord is leading me in developing a platform to minister to women.  And I have discovered that although there were valleys that I waled as a young woman, God is using all my experiences and trials in my writing to speak truth and life into other people's lives.  And most of all, I have realized that God is using my writing to refine me spiritually, in ways I never could have predicted.
  3. Why did you decide to write biblical fiction?  I grew up reading some wonderful and inspiring Biblical fiction but it was not a conscious decision to write in this genre.  Kiya's story simply came out of my own personal study into Exodus and the foundations of my faith in the Hebrew Messiah.  Kiya's story began with an image in my mind of an Egyptian woman standing on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, waiting to enter the Promised Land.  Kiya would not leave me alone until I told the story of how she turned away from the gods of Egypt to follow Yahweh to that place.
  4. What makes Counted with the Stars different from others of the Biblical Fiction genre? Kiya's story spilled onto the page in a first person point of view.  Since the majority of historical fiction and biblical fiction novels are written in third person, this makes it different from most. Although I struggled over the decision to change the POV, I decided that I really wanted readers to immerse themselves in Kiya's story, to feel as though they are actually going along this journey from slavery to freedom with her.  I think that we have a tendency to look at the Old Testament through the filter of our modern Western lenses and relegate it to dusty old stories that have little meaning to us.  But the bible is a vibrant account of the foundations of our faith in Jesus and without an understanding of the front of the book, the back of the book has little meaning.  The people who lived out the stories on its pages were not flannel-board characters; they were living, breathing people and if we understand the Bible for what it is, a record of not only the past but of the future, then we too are living between Genesis and Revelation.  I want the reader to understand how the Exodus and its lessons and prophecies are absolutely relevant to our lives today.
  5. What do you want readers to get out of Counted with the Stars?  Kiya's story is, in many ways, the story of all of us who were once in bondage to sin.  Like Kiya, there is a point where God confronts us with a choice, will you accept the free gift of salvation and turn away from your idols?  Or will you cling to the world in which you are comfortable and refuse to surrender to God?  As we all do, Kiya struggles with laying aside the idols she has long held in esteem and allowing the Lord to speak love into her life.  When we hold tightly to the world we cannot receive the abundant blessings God has for us.  And above all, I hope that the reader will see the marvelous grace that Yahweh shows his people from Genesis to Revelation and on every page in between.
  6. How does the Out From Egypt series continue after Counted with the Stars?  The next book in the Out from Egypt series is Shadow of the Storm, which is a continuation of the Exodus journey, but from the point of view of Kiya's Hebrew friend Shira.
(Releases October 2016) 

As I wrote Counted with the Stars, Shira became one of my favorite characters and I was eager to discover more about her, and her journey in the wilderness.  Shira will be forced to deal with the wounds of her past and take steps toward an uncertain future, while learning about who she is and who God created her to be.  The third book in the series, Wings of the Wind, brings us forward in time to the year before the Hebrews enter the Promised Land.  This book is from the point of view of Alanah, a Canaanite woman, who is determined to avenge the family killed by the Hebrew invaders by stepping onto the battlefield herself.  When she is captured by a Hebrew warrior and her deepest fears become real, Yahweh will reveal himself and his plan for her life in a mighty way -a way that will affect not only the Hebrew conquest of the Promised Land, but the very bloodline of the coming Messiah.

My Thoughts:
I always find it exciting to discover a new author and even more thrilling to find that I love that author's writing.  Connilyn Cossette with her debut novel Counted with the Stars has earned a place on my "keeper shelf" and will be someone I follow closely.  Cossette walks readers through the Exodus through the eyes of a young Egyptian slave named Kiya and provides a perspective on the Exodus I've never considered previously.  I didn't get but a couple of chapters into the book and I had already fallen in love with this character and new I was emotionally invested in the remainder of her story.
Cossette's character development is phenomenal and her lyrical descriptions of people and places transports readers to another time.  The research and study involved in the writing is evident on every page.  Cossette captures emotions and draws readers into the story very early and sustains that emotive effect until the very end.  As a matter of fact, the intensity is almost palpable at times and I felt like I was there with Kiya and Shira on their journey.  I felt what they felt and saw the things they were seeing. The plagues were really brought to life.
I think what I appreciated most in Counted with the Stars was the way Cossette portrayed the transformation that the grace and mercy of God can bring about even in a doubting and confused heart like Kiya's.  Cossette also does an exceptional job of showing how God desires to be known and reveals Himself in simple and extraordinary ways.  Connilyn Cossette has knocked it out of the ballpark with this first installment in her Out From Egypt series!  Order your copy today and be prepared to encounter the Exodus and the One True God who leads us all out of bondage.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Monday, April 4, 2016

Song of Silence


Cynthia Ruchti tells stories Hemmed in Hope.  She's the award-winning author of 16 books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events.  She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors ad books they love.  She lives with her husband in central Wisconsin.

Visit with Cynthia at cynthiaruchti.com.

You will also be encouraged and have fun connecting with Cynthia through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and GoodReads.



Music taught Lucy love and beauty.
Could silence teach her hope?

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing:  they're committed to each other for life.  Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this.  While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career...until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith's song has gone silent too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees - and hears - everything.

My Thoughts:
If you were to ask me how I would describe Cynthia Ruchti's writing, these are a few of the words I would use:  hopeful, encouraging, grace-filled, genuine, emotional, soulful...and I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  In our current time, Cynthia Ruchti's voice is one that needs to be heard.  Her stories are truly Hemmed in Hope!  I'm not sure there is another writer that reaches into the reader's heart quite like Cynthia.  Everything she has written is on my keeper shelf and will have multiple re-visits.
In her latest book, Song of Silence, Cynthia writes a captivating story that involves a look at family dynamics, the marriage relationship, friendship, crises of faith, disappointment, and personal worth and calling. Cynthia weaves these themes fluidly through each character in Song of Silence; even a little boy with Asperger's and his deaf mother.  On top of all this, Cynthia finds a way to seamlessly weave in humor at appropriate places throughout the book.  Yes; this is one story that draws you in with a good ole belly laugh on one page and tears streaming on the next.
I identified immediately with Lucy, particularly in her relationship with Charlie and felt like I had my own personal therapy sessions as I peaked in on Lucy's with Dr. Hanley.  And Lucy's son's wedding ceremony is still slaying my heart weeks after I've finished reading the book.  Everyone's story in Song of Silence is a heartfelt look at how we react to changing directions in life...when life doesn't turn out like we expected.
Some of my favorite quotes/passages were:
"Some days there won't be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway."
"Perspective is my specialty."  Dr. Hanley smiled.  "I'm glad you keep making appointments, Lucy.  Your crisis, crises rather, are still in their early stages.  I encourage you not to judge your final outcome by the first walk-throughs of the storm damage."
"Good musicians understand the crucial role silence plays in music." 
Rests.  Pauses.  These are important in music and in life.  Just as in music, what we do during and with the rests and pauses can make all the difference. Song of Silence  tells this story and will make a difference in your life.  I encourage you to buy the book and then pass it along to someone you may know who needs to be reminded that God isn't finished with them until He's finished with them.  What that looks like may be the unexpected.  Lucy finds this in the end and it is a beautiful discovery!

*I was provided a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of Song of Silence in exchange for providing an honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Friday, April 1, 2016

Behold The Man

Bodie and Brock Thoene have written over seventy works of historical fiction.  That these bestsellers have sold more than thirty-five million copies and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards affirms what millions of readers have already discovered - that the Thoenes are not only master stylists but experts at capturing readers' minds and hearts.  In their popular A.D. Chronicles they stepped seamlessly into the world of Jerusalem and Rome, in the days when Yeshua walked the earth.  Most recently, in the Jerusalem Chronicles, the Thoenes continue that journey through the most crucial events in the life of Yeshua on earth.

You can connect with the Thoenes at www.thoenebooks.com and www.familyaudiolibrary.com as well as Facebook.

Encounter the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in this culmination of the Jerusalem Chronicles.

How could Jesus - who preached  righteousness before God, and love and mercy toward neighbors - be so hated and pursued?  To the Temple officials, he was a threat to the livelihood and authority of the priesthood.  To Herod Antipas he was a threat to his ambition to be the King of the Jews.  And to the Roman overlords, he was seen as a dangerous threat; a man who commanded an army of the common people.  He could heal wounds, offer miraculous provisions, and even raise from the dead.  If Jesus had accepted popular acclaim and become an earthly king, he would have been unstoppable.

Jesus's last days are explored through three people who interacted with him:  Governor Pilate, for whom Judea will either make or break his career; Pilate's wife, Claudia, desperately seeking aid for her much loved, crippled son; and Centurion Marcus Longinus, caught in the middle between loyalty to the Empire, love for Claudia, and an ever-increasing belief in Jesus as the Son of God.  After encountering Jesus, none of them will ever be the same.

My Thoughts:
In typical Thoene fashion, Behold The Man, was an emotional ending to the Jerusalem Chronicles series.  Bodie and Brock bring the biblical narrative to life for their readers.  While Jesus is of course "the God-Man of the hour", the Thoenes give readers the perspectives of three other characters which brings a stark dimension to a familiar story from the Bible.  The Thoenes stay true to the biblical narrative and are able to seamlessly weave artistic liberties (with a few surprises!) without taking from the truth of the Scriptures.  Their books are always a joy to read.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for giving an honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Thursday, March 31, 2016

You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be - LifeGrowth Guide





Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, certified life coach, and speaker.  She's also the cofounder of (in)courage.me and a writer for DaySpring, and she loves encouraging the hearts of women through her popular blog at www.holleygerth.com.











Embrace who you are and become all God created you to be.

With her bestselling book You're Already Amazing, Holley Gerth dared and empowered women to discover who God made them to be and pursue his purpose for their lives.  Now Holley helps you build on that foundation and experience even greater life transformation.

In this interactive LifeGrowth study, Holley will guide you through an engaging process that helps you apply heart-freeing truths to every aspect of your life, from relationships to work to how you pursue your dreams.  God's plans for your life are better than you can imagine, and you'll see them unfold in new ways as Holley guides you to embrace this life-changing truth - that you truly are already amazing.



My Thoughts:
Holley Gerth and Revell have created an amazing resource for personal or small group study.  The You're Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide is a study companion to be used alongside the book by Gerth, You're Already Amazing.  The study is organized with beautiful graphics and easy to follow directions.  All of the resources needed to complete the study can be found at Holley's website (www.holleygerth.com/amazing) making this an affordable resource.  Participants would need to purchase the study guide and the book.  The study is divided into six-sessions covering the following topics:

  1. Who God Created us to Be
  2. What's True No Matter How We Feel
  3. Our Amazing Journey with Jesus
  4. God's Plan for Our Relationships
  5. God's Purpose for Our Lives
  6. How We Can Thrive for a Lifetime
Gerth presents solid biblical principles about personal identity and calling clothed in Scripture.  This will be a valuable resource for many!

*I was given a complimentary copy of the workbook for the purpose of giving an honest review.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Catch A Star: Shining Through Adversity To Become a Champion

Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever was the WNBA's 2011 MVP.  A three-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time WNBA ALL-Star, Catchings was a four-time All-American and a member of the National Chapion University of Tennessee Lady Vols under legendary coach Pat Summitt.  Catchings's story of overcoming adversity, growing in faith, and achieving success despite the many challenges she's faced inspires the Indianapolis boys and girls served by her Catch the Stars Foundation.




Growing up, Tamika Catchings suffered from profound hearing loss, bullying, and the anguish of her parents' divorce.  But she wasn't about to allow those challenges to determine her destiny. Through perseverance and God's grace, Tamika became one of the top female basketball players of all time.

Catch a Star is her story of overcoming.  Of leading the Indiana Fever to its first championship.  Of being named one of the WNBA's top fifteen players in history.  Of earning three Olympic gold medals.  And of founding the Catch the Stars Foundation to help young people achieve their dreams.

Her story will inspire you to fave your doubts and fears and reach for your own dream, no matter what challenges come your way.





My Thoughts:
"There's only one way to go from here...forward."
That is Tamika Catchings story in one simple sentence in her own words.  Tamika partnered with Ken Petersen to write her biography and I'm so very glad she did.  Her story is one of tenacity and of moving forward and not looking back.  My little boy is ten and he loves basketball and has recently developed a love of reading the biographies of sports figures.  He has Tamika's book in his "too be read" pile.  Tamika shares her story with an honesty and transparency that is inspiring.  Her book should be in the hands of every kid aspiring to forge their path in sports.

*I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for providing an honest review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Annabel Lee


Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, as well as a bestselling and award winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide.  When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allen Poe scared him silly. Today he owns everything Poe ever wrote.  A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.


Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden.
The secret's name is Annabel Lee.

She doesn't know why her enigmatic uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military style bunker.  He's left her with a few German words, a barely controlled guard dog, and a single command:  "Don't open that door for anybody, you got it?  Not even me."
Miles away in Atlanta, private investigator Trudi Coffey is visited by a mysterious older man calling himself Dr.Smith.  He's been trailing a man for a decade - a man she met through her ex-partner Samuel Hill - and the trail has led him to her office.  The last thing Trudi wants to do is to contact Samuel.  But it will take both of them to unravel this mystery - before it's too late.



My Thoughts:
This is my very first book to read by Mike Nappa.  I must say that I am now a fan.  If he writes it, I will read it!  Annabel Lee is the first of Nappa's Coffey & Hill Mystery novels.  The second installment, The Raven, releases Fall of 2016.
I loved that Nappa tells the story from the different perspectives of Annabel, Trudi and The Mute. Nappa fills readers in on the backstories of the characters with fluidity that does not interrupt or confuse the story line.  I could not put this book down!  This is one amazingly written novel that is both narrative and character driven.  I can't wait to read more from Nappa.

*I was given a complimentary copy of Annabel Lee by the publisher for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer