Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Bride of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: The Bride of Blackfriars Lane

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian/Romance/Historical

Release date: September, 2022

Detective Jackson Forge can hardly wait to marry the street-sly swindler who’s turned his life upside down. Kit Turner is equally excited to wed the handsome detective, and what better way to show her love than providing him with a gift any man of the law would love? She determines to bring to justice the men who years ago maimed his brother—despite Jackson’s warning to leave the past in the past. As she digs into the mystery of what happened, she unwittingly tumbles into her own history and endangers her future happiness with Jackson.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Griep has given readers another entertaining romp in historical London. We are immersed in the atmosphere of the back streets, the ruffians and even the sewers of the city. What makes this novel work for me, though, is the character Kit. What a feisty woman. And that she has agreed to marry is amazing. Of course, she is so bent on solving a mystery she wreaks havoc to her own wedding day. It was interesting to follow her as she recognizes her independent ways and comes to grips with what that means.

This is a fun historical novel for readers who like a strong and gutsy female heroine who can sometimes be a bit too independent for her own good. There is a good balance of police investigation, personal experience with character development. Griep's writing style is a pleasure to read. I do hope there is a sequel as I'll be watching for it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of the first in the series, The Thief of Blackfriars Lane.

About the Author

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

And guess what? She loves to hear from readers! Feel free to drop her a note at michellegriep@gmail.com.

More from Michelle

A Visit to Borough Market

Whenever I skip across the pond, I make it a point to stop at the Borough Market for some great meals. This area was—and is—a popular place to shop and an absolute must-see for food lovers. From grocers, fishmongers, cheese sellers, and butchers to all kinds of ethnic eats, it’s hard not to want to sample everything. My personal favorite are the buddha bowls.

Believe it or not, Borough market has been in operation for the past thousand years. Yes, you read that correctly. It actually began as a bridge, constructed in 990. But let’s fast forward to the Victorian era, shall we?

In the nineteenth century, a railway viaduct was constructed through the middle of the market, which brought in more people—but also brought in more noise, soot, disruption, and crime. In such a hotbed of activity, it’s easy to imagine cutpurses and pickpockets of all sorts.

And that’s the perfect scene for a certain con-artist turned investigator to meet with an informant. In The Bride of Blackfriars Lane, Kit Turner is up to her old shenanigans, much to Jackson’s chagrin. You can visit Borough Market along with her in this wild ride through Victorian London. It’s just one of the many stops in a city that never gets old.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 27

Life of Literature, September 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 27

Texas Book-aholic, September 28

Book Looks by Lisa, September 28

Bigreadersite, September 28

Betti Mace, September 29

Genesis 5020, September 29

Remembrancy, September 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 30

Christina’s Corner, September 30

A Baker’s Perspective, September 30

She Lives to Read, October 1

Inklings and notions, October 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 1

For Him and My Family, October 2

Blogging With Carol, October 2

Daysong Reflections, October 2

Hallie Reads, October 2

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 3 (Author Interview)

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 3

deb’s Book Review, October 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 4

Holly’s Book Corner, October 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 5

Bizwings Blog, October 5

Back Porch Reads, October 5

Connie’s History Classroom, October 6

Books I’ve Read, October 6

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 7

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Simple Harvest Reads, October 7 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Write Escape, October 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 8

Vicky Sluiter, October 8

Through the Fire Blogs, October 8

Pause for Tales, October 9

Cover Lover Book Review, October 9

Labor Not in Vain, October 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10

Melissa’s Bookshelf, October 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of The Bride of Blackfriars Lane!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/21aab/the-bride-of-blackfriars-lane-celebration-tour-giveaway


I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)


Monday, September 26, 2022

Angry With God by Brad Hambrick

About the Book:


No one gets mad at God for something small. When we’re angry with God, it is because we’ve faced something immensely hard. Anger is an often-overlooked part of grieving
, and as such, is an appropriate response to profoundly painful events. Counselor Brad Hambrick provides a guided process to being honest with God about your pain to restore and deepen your relationship with him. While we are often prone to interpret our anger about intense suffering as being at
 God, this book is an invitation to process these intense emotions with God as a source of comfort who is sturdy enough to support these turbulent emotions. 

If you are struggling with deep grief that is accompanied with anger and confusion, Angry with God will be profoundly helpful in your journey.  Hambrick will patiently walk you through the process of being honest with God (and others) about your pain. You will learn how to articulate your pain, alleviate the effects of this pain, contextualize your experience in light of the gospel, and begin to hope again. God is a good shepherd who is patient and willing to move at the pace of his sheep. God can be trusted in places that merit the name “the valley of the shadow of death.”

Angry with God is part of the Ask the Christian Counselor series. This series walks readers through their deepest and most profound questions. Each question is unpacked by an experienced counselor that gives readers the tools to understand their struggle and how the gospel brings hope and healing to the problem they are facing. 

My Review:


I think this is the most comprehensive book I have ever seen to help a Christian work through hurt, pain and anger. Hambrick's aim is not to offer any answers for why one has suffered but rather to invite readers to be honest in exploring their hurt, pain and anger at God. The book provides an opportunity for the reader to express the anger and process the pain. Hambrick looks at pain and anger from more aspects than I knew existed. Ultimately, he desires we come to the realization God is alongside us as a trusted friend.

This is not a book one just reads. The book requires work. There are scores of questions Hambrick wants us to think through and write our responses. In that sense, this is a workbook. I almost felt like I was sitting in front of a psychologist, following his instructions on processing my pain and anger. At times, the text sounded a little like a psychologist too, my having to work to understand some of the terminology. But the end result is having some good strategies for healing pain and anger.

This book might be hard for some to work their way through. It will take time and determination. I would suggest reading it with a trusted friend for support and discussion. This would also be a good book for a lay counselor as a template for helping others work through issues.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:


Brad Hambrick, ThM, EdD, serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition

He has authored several books including God's Attributes: Rest for Life Struggles, Making Sense of Forgiveness and Angry with God. Hambrick also served as general editor for the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused curriculum.

Hambrick, his wife, Sallie, and two sons live in Raleigh, NC.

Learn more about Brad Hambrick and follow his blog and podcasts at bradhambrick.com. He can also be found on Facebook (brad.hambrick.5)Twitter (@bradhambrick) and Instagram (@bradhambrick).


New Growth Press, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell Blog Tour and Giveaway

 


The Perfect Brother

by Chris Patchell

September 26 - October 21, 2022 Virtual Book Tour


Synopsis:


A scandalous liaison. A killer on the loose. Can a young woman save her sibling from going down for murder?

Vancouver, Canada. Software engineer Indira Saraf refuses to march to her traditionalist parents’ old-world drum. Resentful of her brother’s golden-boy acceptance but still a devoted sister, she encourages him to confess his secret affair before he ends up married to a woman he doesn’t want. So she’s horrified when his student and lover is slain and he’s arrested for the gruesome crime.

Repurposing her own AI technology to prove his innocence, the unorthodox rebel scours the dead college girl's life for clues. But when Indira discovers another missing co-ed and the suspects pile up, she learns the hard way that her digging has drawn deadly attention…

Can she hunt down the culprit before she takes a fatal fall?

The Perfect Brother is a chilling standalone suspense thriller. If you like dogged heroines, complex family relationships, and dangerous twists, then you’ll adore USA Today bestselling author Chris Patchell’s riveting tale.

My Review:

This novel has a very slow build. It was not until about half way through that I really became engaged. The last quarter was captivating, all the way to the suspense filled end. The characters started out unlikable. Amar was having an affair with a student. Indira got drunk at all the wrong times. While Amar never did grab me, Indira did develop as a character to become a brave heroine.

Patchell explores some side issues, including the marriage and other cultural traditions of immigrants from India. An issue that caught my attention was data collection and its use. Some of the possibilities shown in this novel are truly scary.

This is a good novel of mystery and suspense showing what can happen when lies pave the way for murderous intent. Don't be impatient during the methodical plot set up in the first half of the book. The second half is worth the wait.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

  

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Indie Pub
Publication Date: September 27th 2022
Number of Pages: 421
ISBN: 978-1-7335452-4-2
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Katie Lord knew her fiancé Tim couldn’t possibly mean what he’d said when he’d stormed out of her apartment last night. They weren’t over. It was just a stupid argument. But for the hundredth time that morning, she picked up her phone, hoping to see a message. Nothing. Despite the dozens of texts she’d sent him, she hadn’t received a single response. She checked her reception. It wouldn’t be the first time she missed a message because the cellular network was crap.

Four bars.

Dammit.

Katie slammed down the phone, no longer able to deny the ugly truth. He was ignoring her, treating her as if everything was her fault.

Hell yes, she’d been angry. Any girl in her situation with a brain in her head would be. They were engaged, and yet he was getting text messages from a girl at work—a girl he claimed was “just a friend.”

Just a friend, her ass. That damned girl was always sniffing around him. Whenever a group from work went out for beers, she was eager to join, and when the guys had planned an overnight camping trip, guess who wanted to tag along? Then when everyone else had dropped out... Well, it should have been obvious to Tim that the right thing to do would have been to cancel the trip. But no. They’d had to fight about it instead.

“Don’t you trust me?” Tim had snapped, hands on his hips, glaring at Katie as if she was in the wrong.

“This isn’t about you. It’s about her.”

“If you trusted me, we wouldn’t be arguing about this.”

Tim was dead wrong. If he wanted to act naïve and treat Katie like she was a jealous lunatic, then so be it, but Katie wasn’t fooled. She knew how girls operated and this one didn’t give a damn that Tim was engaged. She was trying to drive a wedge between Katie and Tim, and it was working.

Katie wrenched the engagement ring off her finger and stared at the ugly white tan line left behind. She tried to imagine what her life would be like without him, but she couldn’t. Just the thought of it made her ache as if half of her soul had been stripped away. Shoving the ring back into place, Katie shook off her fears.

She was being ridiculous. Dramatic. Didn’t Tim always say so? Once he’d had time to cool off, he’d call her, and they’d make up, the same way they always did.

Until then, she’d lose her mind if she spent another minute obsessing. Grabbing her phone, Katie plugged in her earbuds and headed outside. A run would be just the thing to get Tim off her mind and quiet the drumbeat of panic steadily building inside her.

The morning had started out rainy, but now the sun had pierced a hole in the angry clouds and set the maple leaves ablaze. Stunning shades of crimson and gold adorned the trees that bordered the twisty trail through the woods to the park.

Katie didn’t bother stretching. Surely the steep uphill walk from her apartment to the trail would be enough of a warm-up. Jamming her favorite playlist, she broke into a lumbering jog, losing herself in Meghan Trainor’s rendition of “Me Too.” It was just the right song to shake off her dour mood.

A quarter mile into her run, Katie was already panting. With her chest heaving and heart pounding, she slowed. Damn, this is hard. It had been months since her last run. She didn’t expect to feel winded quite so soon. Katie promised herself she would only walk long enough to catch her breath, then she’d hit it again. If she needed more motivation to get back into shape, her pathetic lack of cardio would be enough.

Besides, just last week Tim made a crack about the five pounds she’d gained since they’d gotten engaged. Five lousy pounds.

He was the one who insisted they swing by the coffee shop every morning before he dropped her off at school instead of going for a run. She would have suggested he go alone, but Katie didn’t like the way the barista at the coffee shop flirted with him. Tim didn’t seem to notice, and when she’d finally worked up the nerve to mention it, he’d accused her of being paranoid.

Easy for him to say. He wouldn’t much like it if some strange guy was hitting on her. And why wouldn’t someone hit on her? Despite the extra weight she was carrying, she still looked cute.

A burst of anger at Tim’s thoughtlessness spurred her into another sprint. She’d get back into shape and then she’d be the one going on hiking trips with her friends instead of wasting hours waiting for a message that might never come. The thought of Tim waiting on her for a change cheered Katie.

By the time she made it to the center of the park, her heart rate crested one hundred fifty beats per minute. Half a mile. Not bad for her first run.

Katie flattened her palm against her chest and waited for her breath to slow, and that’s when she felt it. The first pea-sized pellet of hail streaked down from an angry sky. Charcoal clouds gathered overhead and choked out the sun. The first strike was quickly followed by a second, and then…

Katie uttered an indignant squeal. Desperately scanning the trail, she searched for a place to take shelter and spied a white gazebo. She hurtled across the slippery grass as fast as her neon green Nikes would carry her and pounded up the steps. Katie slid to a sudden halt when she realized that she wasn’t the only runner seeking shelter from the storm.

Tim.

Just the sight of him standing in the gazebo with his back turned sent an electric pulse of relief surging through her. Her hungry gaze devoured his broad shoulders and lean waist. She yanked out her earbuds and rushed toward him when he turned.

Tim’s name died on her lips. Katie’s hopes plummeted as she took in the man’s face. It wasn’t Tim, but there was something familiar about the handsome stranger. She studied his bronze complexion and ebony eyes, trying to place him. She’d seen him before, she was sure of it, but where? As if sensing her confusion, his mouth curved into a grin that made Katie’s heart stop.

“Hell of a storm,” he said.

Katie’s breath sped up, forming dewy clouds in the cooling air. He had a killer smile.

“Sure is.”

“You were running too?” he asked.

With a self-conscious grin, Katie glanced down at her bare legs, which she hadn’t shaved in a few days, and shrugged.

“If you could call it that. I used to run every day, but it’s been a while.”

She was lying. Even back when she did run, she’d be lucky to make it out twice a week, but that sounded pathetic. From the way his rain-streaked hoodie clung to his well-toned torso, he looked in shape. His buff frame showed no hint of the slight paunch that Tim’s belly was starting to form.

“Nice shoes,” he said.

A glimmer of admiration flashed in his dark eyes as his gaze swept over her, from her flushed cheeks, all the way down to her size nine Nikes. She warmed under his lingering appraisal, wondering how long it had been since Tim had looked at her that way.

“The trail over by the reservoir is my favorite,” he said. “What’s yours?”

“I like the one through the woods.”

God, could she sound any more lame? Hailstones struck the gazebo’s tin roof in an atonal symphony that filled the silence between them.

“You’re Katie, right?”

An unexpected thrill raced through her.

“Do I know you?”

He flashed an amused grin. “From school. Business ethics class.”

Something clicked inside Katie’s mind and her mouth dropped open.

“Oh my god, of course. You know how it is when you see someone out of context.”

“Yeah.”

He gave a quick laugh and shifted his gaze beyond her, watching the ice pellets bounce off the tin roof onto the grass. Goosebumps rippled across Katie’s arms and she shivered, wishing she’d brought a jacket. As if reading her mind, he stripped off his sweatshirt and draped it around her shoulders. The soft fabric still held the warmth from his body. Katie hugged it close.

“Thank you.”

“Seeing as how my run’s pretty much shot for the day, want to grab some coffee? I know a place close by…”

Her pulse leapt at the unexpected question. It was dangerous. She was engaged. What would Tim say?

Nestled in the armband strapped around her bicep, Katie’s phone buzzed. In that moment, a sudden realization struck her. She didn’t give a damn what Tim thought. He was the one who had walked out on her. He was the one who saw no harm in flirting with the girl from work. And the barista. And god only knew who else.

It was just coffee. Nothing more.

Besides, a little harmless flirtation never killed anyone, right?

Chapter 1

One hundred seventy-two days until graduation, and then she’d get a real job. One that didn’t start so damned early. Even god wasn’t up yet, Mallory Riggins thought as she eased out of the apartment, locking the door behind her. The wind hissed through the towering pines, sending a damp chill racing through her. Deep shadows fell across the lawn, and not for the first time, she wished the security light mounted to the edge of the house still worked.

It was spooky out here alone. Normally, she parked her car in the garage, one of the few luxuries the small apartment carved out of the sprawling duplex offered, but the landlord’s son had arrived home last night for an unexpected visit and had parked in her spot, which meant that she had to park her rust bucket on the side of the road.

The sound of the closing door triggered the landlord’s dog. From somewhere up above, JoJo erupted into a barking fit. Mallory cringed.

“Hush, JoJo,” she muttered, hoping the dog wouldn’t rouse her roommate. Shelby was already annoyed that after two years, the dog still greeted them as if they were armed intruders.

The barking dog had jarred her awake last night too. Mallory hadn’t bothered to see what was causing all the racket. Between her heavy class load, late-night study sessions, and her new boyfriend, she needed all the sleep she could get. As much as she would have preferred calling in sick and getting some extra rest, the meager funds in her bank account were already dangerously low, and somehow, she still had to make it through the end of the school year.

Then all she had to do was find a job that paid more than minimum wage to cover the rent, the utilities, and still have enough money left over to buy food. In a city as expensive as Vancouver, how hard could that be?

Mallory scrambled up the steep hill toward the roadside, her feet sliding in the wet earth. It had stormed overnight. Pine cones and downed branches lay scattered across the narrow road, shaken free from the fierce wind.

By the time she reached her car, Mallory was shivering, and her day, which already wasn’t winning any awards, got a whole lot worse.

Pebbles of glass crunched beneath her feet. She stared at her car in dismay. The driver’s side window was shattered.

The universe was definitely sending her a message, and if she had an ounce of common sense, she’d crawl back beneath the covers and start over. But that wasn’t an option. With a broken window to fix, she needed the money from her job even more. Sheathing her hand with the sleeve of her coat, she swept the chunks of glass from the seat and climbed inside the car.

Rain had blown in through the broken window. The wet seat soaked through her jeans and Mallory groaned. She cranked the key and the sputtering engine coughed to life. Lights from the neighboring houses flickered on. The sleepy residential neighborhood was just beginning to stir to life as Mallory drove off.

The Daily Grind, with its brick walls, metal stools, and wooden tables, had a homey feel. The earthy scent of freshly roasted beans welcomed her as she pushed through the doors. For the next three hours, this place would be the first stop for every caffeine junkie in a five-mile radius starting out on their morning commute.

No sooner had she entered the shop when she locked gazes with her boss. There was no denying the fact that she was late. Rather than belabor the point, Mallory muttered an apology, strapped on her apron, and went to work.

Nothing about the morning had gone smoothly so far, so it should have come as no surprise when Mallory fumbled a hot cup of tea. It struck the edge of the countertop, spun around in a cartwheel, and sent a plume of hot water flying. Mallory jumped back, avoiding the worst of the spill, but a few stray drops scalded her forearm. She breathed in a painful hiss and grabbed a rag.

Meanwhile, the line tripled in size.

Ignoring the painful burn, she pinned on a frozen smile and greeted the next customer. Mr. Quad Grande Breve. He was cute with dark hair and kind eyes.

“The usual?” she asked.

“You always remember,” he said with a grin. “Toss in an extra shot this morning, please. God knows, I could use it.”

Puffy bags shadowed his dark eyes, and Mallory noticed that the poor guy looked as tired as she felt.

“A quad grande breve with an extra shot of love for Tim,” she called to her boss, Jenn, who was working the machines. “That will be four dollars and ten cents.”

Uncapping a black Sharpie, Mallory jotted down the drink order, and winced at the sting of the red welt forming on her arm.

“Are you okay?” Tim asked, gesturing toward the angry burn. “You really should get that under some cold water.”

If it wasn’t so damned busy, she would do just that, but with the lineup curving out the door, she didn’t have time.

“‘Tis but a flesh wound,” Mallory quipped, making light of the pain.

“Kind of early for Monty Python, don’t you think?”

Mallory grinned in surprise at his quick pick-up on the line. “Well, what can I say? So far, it’s been a shitty day. My car was broken into last night.”

“The Toyota?”

Mallory nodded. “They smashed the window.”

“That sucks. What did they steal?”

She shrugged. “Not sure. I might need to sacrifice a chicken, or an eggplant, or whatever the universe deems necessary to get back into karma’s good graces.”

Tim chuckled, handing her a stack of one-dollar coins. Loonies. Mallory made change, which Tim dropped into the tip jar. The coins rang against the glass and she thanked him with a smile. The next customer in line uttered an impatient sigh. Mallory took the hint.

“Have a good one,” she said to Tim.

“Hope your day gets better. If you need someone to fix your glass, or find a live chicken, I know a guy. He does good work.”

“With the window or the chicken?” Mallory smirked.

“Both.”

With a friendly wave, Tim was gone, and Mallory took the next order. Dozens of customers later, when the line finally began to subside, something he’d said stuck inside Mallory’s mind.

“Wait. How does he know I drive a Toyota?”

She’d muttered the question under her breath. Both Tim and his drink were long gone.

“Who? Mr. Quad Grande Breve?” Jenn asked. “Any fool with eyes could see he’s got a thing for you.”

“Nah, he’s got a girlfriend.”

Jenn snorted. “That bitter pill? She wasn’t with him this morning. Besides, you know how men are. My ex was onto his third girlfriend before I found out.”

A single mother with two exes, Jenn never had a nice word to say about anyone.

“Maybe he’s a stalker,” Joe the dishwasher said.

Joe was an acting student. He was always mimicking someone, and this morning, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger, adapting a line from the movie Kindergarten Cop.

“Not you too,” she groaned.

Joe chuckled and slid behind the counter, carrying a tray of freshly washed mugs. Mallory shook her head and took the next order. They were both paranoid. Mr. Quad Grande Breve…Tim…was a nice guy. He always asked how her day was going, and unlike most people she met, he seemed to care about the answer. And he always bought his girlfriend’s drinks. Few guys she met at the shop were that considerate.

By ten o’clock the rush had slowed to a trickle. Mallory tallied her tips and grabbed her purse.

“Leaving?”

“Gotta run. Class awaits.”

“Do it. Do it now,” Joe called after her, still using the ridiculous Schwarzenegger voice.

Mallory rolled her eyes. “Hate to break it to you, Joe, but you’re a foot and a half too short to make a convincing Arnie.”

Even with his chest puffed out and stretched to his full height, Joe was still an inch or two shorter than she was.

“If Tom Cruise can play Jack Reacher, why can’t I be the Terminator?”

“Point taken,” she said with a laugh.

By the time Mallory left the shop, she’d forgotten all about the burn on her arm and Tim, and pretty much everything but school. Sheets of rain blew across the busy street. Mallory pulled her hood up and waited for a break in traffic. Why couldn’t her car have been broken into on a day when it wasn’t so blustery? By now, with the rain blowing through the busted window, the driver’s seat would feel like a wet sponge.

The stream of traffic slowed, and Mallory dashed across the street. She didn’t see the car that streaked around the corner until its headlights hit her square in the eyes. A burst of panic exploded inside her chest as she dodged out of the way. Tripping over a storm drain, she crashed to the ground beside her car, landing on all fours.

And that was when Mallory’s phone broke.

***

Excerpt from The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell. Copyright 2022 by Chris Patchell. Reproduced with permission from Chris Patchell. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Chris Patchell is an award-winning USA Today Bestselling Author who started writing to curb the homicidal tendencies she experienced during her daily Seattle commute. She writes gripping suspense thrillers with romantic elements set in the Pacific Northwest and believes good fiction combines a magical mix of complex characters, compelling plots, and well-crafted stories.

Over the years, she has written numerous popular books and series, including bestsellers Deadly Lies, In the Dark, and her most recent collection of small-town crime novellas, the Lacey James Series. Along the way, her writing has won several awards, including a 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award, an IndieReader Discovery Award, and a Pacific Northwest Literary Award.

When she’s not writing, you can find Chris reading books, hanging out with her family, watching football, and struggling to keep up with her workout regime, all while shushing her incessantly yapping Yorkies. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two kids.

Connect with Chris:
www.ChrisPatchell.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @chrispatchellauthor
Instagram - @chrispatchellauthor
Twitter - @chris_patchell
Facebook - @authorchrispatchell

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and give away entries!
Click here to view The Perfect Brother by Chris Patchell Tour Hosts.

 

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Chris Patchell. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

 
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)




Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Gift of Joy and Hope by Pope Francis

About the Book:


In this encouraging book, Pope Francis explores the meaning of true joy and offers an inspiring message: even in dark times, the light of hope can shine bright. 

The past few years have been extremely challenging, but even in dark times, the light of joy can shine bright.
 
True joy, says Pope Francis, is not a fleeting sentiment or a short-term solution to suffering; it springs from a solid hope that nothing and no one can take away.
 
Gift of Joy and Hope is an invitation to embrace authentic beauty and a reminder to be open to encountering God, even in the midst of challenges. In this inspiring collection, Pope Francis encourages readers to change attitudes that exclude others; to reveal the deep dissatisfaction we all hide; and to overcome life’s challenges with courage and faith. He also challenges readers to hope without pessimism or doubt, to hope even in the midst of anxiety, to recognize the beauty all around us, and to let God show us how to deal with your doubts and fears.
 
This book aims to encourage readers to look outside themselves and believe that hope is still possible and that joy always has the last word.

My Review:

I am not a Roman Catholic yet I like this collection of encouraging and wise thoughts from the head of that church. Pope Francis shares wisdom from his life experiences, from the Bible, and from other spiritual disciplines. I appreciate the many biblical stories he uses as illustrations in this book.

Some of his comments were quite thought provoking. He writes of the burden of not being welcomed with a smile, something I'll remember the next time I encounter a stranger. In another passage, he asks whether we look down upon a person to show them contempt or to give them a hand to help them up. If we want to be free of sadness, he writes, serve another.

I have read scores of books on biblical interpretation yet Pope Francis surprised me with an insight on 1 Timothy 6:17. I had always thought the end of this verse meant that God has given us everything for our own enjoyment. You know, food, books, wine. We are to enjoy it all. But Pope Francis revealed a new idea to me. “God 'gives us richly all that we need for our happiness'...” (1035/2118) I have no excuse for not being happy with what God has given me. And I like his comments on Christian hope. It is not hoping something will happen but rather “expecting something that has already taken place.” (479/2118)

This is a good collection of encouraging thoughts and teachings on Christian living.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:


Pope Francis Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936, the son of Italian immigrants. He was ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1969 and created a bishop in 1992. He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was named a cardinal in 2001. In March 2013 he was elected Bishop of Rome, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church.

Worthy Publishing, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Stop Waiting for Permission by Stephen Chandler

About the Book


We each have a unique purpose in this life, one embedded within us by the Creator of the universe before time began.


Yet we rarely experience this greatness because the glory of God within us is still waiting to be uncovered. So we spend our lives running after the wrong goals. Eventually we burn out and stop believing that God has any bigger plans for us in light of our past failures and false starts.
However, Stephen Chandler believes God created everyone, including you, for greatness . . . and doesn’t want anything to get in the way of that destiny.

In Stop Waiting for Permission, you’ll discover the keys to unlock your unique calling and activate your innate, God-given strengths by

• identifying what’s holding you back
• discovering your unique genius
• maximizing your God-given greatness
• living in your purpose with perseverance

The time to act is now! Stop waiting for permission.

You can watch the book trailer here.
You can start reading the book here.


My Review


Chandler wants you to be great, finding fulfillment in using your unique gifting. “This book will show you how to prepare your life for the greatness God has planned for you.” (153/2224) That's a tall order but Chandler comes through with encouragement, good teaching and practical ideas.

I was taken aback at first. Greatness? But Chandler convinced me, “Shooting for average and seeking mediocrity is ungodly.” (213/2224) We were created for so much more than we often experience, a fulfilled life.

I was happy to see that Chandler includes practical teaching, not leaving us on our own to figure out how to do what he encourages. He reviews the wrong things that drive us, like fear. He helps us discover our genius. He is also realistic. He tells us this will take time. Self discipline is required. There will be pain. Nonetheless, we will find our purpose, the reason God has put us on this earth. I like that Chandler clarifies our ultimate priority. We are to please God by loving Him and making time for Him.

I recommend this book to Christians who want to know what God has for them. You'll get good teaching and some practical strategy to get you on your life long journey of serving God.

My rating: 5/5 stars.


About the Author


Stephen Chandler
is the senior pastor of Union Church based in Maryland. Since 2011, Union has grown from a group of fifty to thousands of people in weekly attendance, with tens of thousands joining live online every week. Stephen’s obsession with people, systems, and culture resulted in Union Church being named the fastest-growing church in America by Outreach magazine. A sought-after international speaker, he is unapologetic about helping leaders maximize their God-given passion. Stephen’s true legacy is his wife, Zai, and their three beautiful children, Zoe, Roman, and Jade. You can find out more at 
https://stephenrchandler.com/

Waterbrook, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)