Sunday, March 3, 2024

Black & White by Justin M Kiska Blog Tour Book Review

 

Black & White

by Justin M. Kiska

February 19 - March 15, 2024 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Parker City, 1985 . . .

A picturesque spring morning takes a disturbing turn when the frozen body of a young woman is discovered in a field on the outskirts of the city. As Detectives Ben Winters and Tommy Mason arrive on the scene, they have no idea upon what type of an investigation they are about to embark. With no identification, no breadcrumbs to lead them to the girl’s origins, or even a cause of death, they face a daunting task ahead as they take on their latest case.

As the investigation lingers in limbo, a surprise revelation connects it to a mysterious chapter from Parker City’s past. One that Tommy's own uncle was a part of four decades early as a debonair private investigator working for the venerable Stride Detective Agency, tenaciously searching for the missing daughter of a former diplomat. It's a connection that binds two generations of detectives in an intricate web of intrigue.

In this captivating new installment of Parker City Mysteries, both investigations unravel simultaneously, forging an unbreakable link between the past and the present. As Ben and Tommy navigate their way through the case, they must confront the truth to a secret that has remained concealed for far too long.

My Review:

I enjoyed reading this historical novel with dual mysteries decades apart. It was refreshing to read of a murder investigation without all the modern forensic technologies. Both mystery investigations required the old fashioned dedicated investigative techniques. I appreciate the parallel plot developments although we do know the ultimate life and death outcome of the older mystery before it is solved in that time. I like to learn about something when I read a novel and I found out about Nazi art looted by U S servicemen.

This is an entertaining historical mystery. While it is part of a series, it reads well on its own. It's a good book for any lover of mysteries.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

I have read two of the previous books in the series and you can read my reviews of them: Vice & Virtue and Fact & Fiction. 

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedural
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: February 2024
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: Coming Soon!
Series: Parker City Mysteries, Book 4
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Stepping out of the car, the weather was so nice, Ben left his suit jacket laying on the backseat where he’d tossed it before leaving the station. But, as he always did when he was about to enter a new crime scene, he placed his hand on the Smith & Wesson on his hip. The weight of the cool metal helped to center him so he could focus on whatever he was about to be confronted by. It reminded him how important his work was and the duty he believed so much in. It was thinking like that that earned Ben a reputation of being a Boy Scout. An idealist who truly wanted to protect and defend the people of Parker City. He always wondered how some people could make that sound like a bad thing.

Some of the older members of the department liked to live in a gray area of the law, while Ben tried his very best to always do what was right. It’s when what was right fell into those gray areas that Ben needed to rely on his partner to help make sense of what needed to be done.

Trying to imagine what they’d been called out for he knew no two crime scenes were ever the same. Sure, elements could be similar. There was always a tragedy overshadowing them, but each was unique. Which is why Ben walked into each with a completely open mind and a keen pair of eyes trying to take in every single detail. It was always the details that cracked a case. Which meant one never knew how important the smallest piece of evidence could really be. If something was out of place, it was important until it wasn’t. That’s how he thought. And sometimes-and this was often the more confusing part-the absence of something was just as important. If not more.

“Not putting your jacket on?” The voice of Ben’s partner, Tommy Mason, came from the other side of the car. “I didn’t realize this was a casual crime scene.”

Ben raised an eyebrow and shook his head.

The two were always picking on one another. It’s what they did. It’s what made their friendship so strong. When it came to what to wear as police detectives, there was a continuing debate between the two. Ben felt a suit and tie was most appropriate. Not only did it look more professional and attract a certain level of respect but, with his clean-cut babyface, it helped him look a little older than his thirty years. Though not much. Tommy, on the other hand, saw nothing wrong with wearing jeans and a T-shirt under a leather jacket. While he looked like a cop on one of the popular crime shows on television, Ben always pointed out that that was Hollywood’s version of a police detective. Since Ben technically was his supervisor and commanding officer, Tommy begrudgingly put a tie on every morning. Most days though, he usually left it loose with his collar wide open. Ben still took it as a victory.

Blowing a cloud of smoke into the air, Tommy dropped what little remained of his cigarette on the ground and stamped it out before taking his corduroy jacket off and tossing it back into the car. If Ben didn’t have to wear his jacket at the crime scene, he sure as hell wasn’t going to wear one.

“Doesn’t this feel much less constricting,” he asked with a grin. “And it’s so much easier to get to our guns in the event we’re in danger.”

“Shut up,” Ben said as he started toward the cluster of men in the field.

“I’m just saying. If your life was in danger, it would be so much easier for me to shoot someone to save you–which you know I would do–if I didn’t have to worry about my jacket getting in the way. Those few precious seconds could save your life one day. Natalie would agree.”

Stopping and turning to look at his partner a few steps behind him, Ben asked, “Why exactly do you think it would have to be you saving me and not the other way around?”

“Because that’s just the way it is,” Tommy answered very matter-of-factly. “Think about how many times I’ve saved your life?”

Ben’s forehead wrinkled, a puzzled expression appearing on his face. “What the hell are you talking about? I’m the one that saved you at least two times that I can think of in the last year alone.”

“Clearly we remember things very differently.”

“You’re a pain in my ass. You know that, right?”

Smiling the thousand watt smile for which he was known, Tommy answered, “I like to think that I keep you grounded.”

So was the way of Detectives Ben Winters and Tommy Mason. More often than not, they sounded like an old married couple bickering about one thing or another. Completely devoted to one another, they were closer than brothers. They’d grown up together, gone to school together, joined the academy together, and when the order was given for a new Detective Squad to be created within the Parker City Police Department, they were tapped for the job.

As it was, for the last four years, they were the only two members of the department’s official criminal investigation team. Though Parker City was by no means a hotbed of criminal activity, they’d been involved in several major investigations which rocked the city. Two of which even attracted the national spotlight, making the pair famous for a few minutes. Most police officers could go their entire careers without being involved in the types of cases which had kept them up at night, but the two young men had earned their detective shields through trial by fire.

Catching his foot in a clump of thick weeds, Ben knew if he tripped and landed in the dirt, Tommy would never let him hear the end of it. Thankfully, he was able to quickly regain his balance and keep himself upright.

His hope that Tommy didn’t see the awkward contortion the lower half of his body performed to avoid hitting the ground was dashed when from behind him he heard the sarcasm-laced comment, “As graceful as a gazelle.” Which was then followed almost immediately by the unmistakable sound of something hitting the dirt. Hard.

“Sonofa…”

Ben turned in just enough time to see Tommy jumping to his feet and dusting off his pants.

“Not a single word,” Tommy admonished, vigorously shaking his head. “I’m well aware Karma’s a bitch.”

Deciding to take the highroad, Ben valiantly stifled the laugh fighting to burst free.

“You’ve got a little bit of something there on your…” Ben started, pointing to his partner’s pant leg.

“Shut it!” Tommy said. At which point Ben couldn’t contain himself. The laughter won and overpowered him.

As the two detectives reached the other men standing in the field, they recognized one of the patrolmen as a new officer who’d just recently joined the department and the other was one of Tommy’s least favorite people on the planet, Buck LuCoco. An overweight, lazy throw-back to the days when the police in the city did as little as they needed to. Neither Ben nor Tommy understood how he was still on the force. Or why he wanted to be with his attitude.

“LuCoco, Brown,” Ben said giving the uniformed officers each a quick nod of his head.

“How is it, Buck,” Tommy began, “whenever a body drops in this town, you’re the first man on the scene?”

“Just lucky, I guess,” LuCoco said, mopping his sweaty brow with a wrinkled handkerchief from his pocket. “It could also be that the scumbags in this city do their dirty work at night and since I’m the first one outta the door in the morning, I get the call. Either way, it’s crap. I tell ya!”

“Being that it’s after lunchtime already–,” Tommy began to say before Ben placed a hand on his arm, giving him the signal to let it go.

Then, turning to the younger officer who appeared quite eager to give his report to the department’s chief detective, Ben asked, “What have we got?”

“This is Sam Ruppert,” Brown introduced the man, referring to his notebook. “He’s one of the city’s engineers. He was doing some routine work out here this morning when he found the body of a young female. D.O.A.”

Turning to Ruppert, a tall, beefy guy in a flannel shirt, jeans, and work boots, Ben took his own notebook from his shirt pocket. “Morning, Mr. Ruppert. I’m Detective Ben Winters. You’re with the city?”

“Public Works Department,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Almost fifteen years now.”

“What brought you out here today?”

“The city’s getting ready to do some work in this field and I needed to take a few quick measurements. We’ve been out here every day for the last week. I thought I’d be here and gone in a few minutes. Then I found…” His voice trailed off as he looked away toward something another twenty or so feet away.

“What did you find?”

“A body. She wasn’t there yesterday. I know that for a fact because I was here all day with a couple other guys. We were all over this place. We’d have seen her for sure.”

Pointing at the mound the engineer was staring at, Tommy asked, “Is that the body?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Did one of you cover her up or did you find her like that?” Ben asked, referring to the tattered, green checked blanket.

“She was like that,” Ruppert said taking a deep breath. “At first, I thought it was someone in a sleeping bag or something. Thought maybe they’d slept out here last night. Sky was clear. They could see the stars. But when I got close and hollered, there was no… She didn’t move. When I got up close I saw... Geez. I’ve never seen anything like it. This isn’t how I thought my day was gonna go.”

Other than the occasional funeral, it was true, the average person didn’t have much exposure to dead bodies. But there was something in the way the man was acting that made Ben think there was more to the story. He was too shaken up. If one could be too shaken up after finding a dead body on the job.

“What is it you’ve never seen before?” Ben inquired, interested to hear the conclusion to Ruppert’s story.

“Oh, I think you should just see for yourself, Detective” LuCoco said interrupting, a twisted smirk on his fat face.

“What is it, LuCoco? Just tell us.” Tommy had no patience for the man. There was a time he used to hide his contempt, now he didn’t even try. Not that LuCoco was very observant. Or he just didn’t give a damn.

“Sirs,” Officer Brown interrupted, “let me show you.”

Walking the group over to the covered body, Brown knelt down and, using a handkerchief he’d had in his pocket, pulled the blanket back revealing the naked body of a beautiful young woman with dark wavey hair. But something wasn’t right. Not that the naked body of a woman in the middle of a field was right. But in this instance, it was her skin.

“What the hell?” Tommy’s reaction matched what Ben was thinking. “She’s blue.”

Blue wasn’t entirely accurate, but it was pretty close. The skin was a pale hue, almost white. And there was a frosty sheen to it, with small ice crystals visible around her eyes and mouth. Little droplets glistened on her eyelashes.

“She’s frozen,” Brown said, looking up at the detectives.

“It was cool last night,” Tommy said, kneeling down himself to get a better look, “but not cold enough to freeze to death.”

“No. I mean, she’s frozen like a block of ice.”

***

Excerpt from Black & White by Justin M. Kiska. Copyright 2024 by Justin M. Kiska. Reproduced with permission from Justin M. Kiska. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

When not sitting in his library devising new and clever ways to kill people (for his mysteries), Justin can usually be found at The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, outside of Washington, DC, where he is one of the owners and producers. In addition to writing the Parker City Mysteries Series, which includes Now & Then (Finalist for the 2022 Silver Falchion Award for Best Investigator), Vice & Virtue, and Fact & Fiction, he is also the mastermind behind Marquee Mysteries, a series of interactive mystery events he has been writing and producing for over fifteen years. Justin and his wife, Jessica, live along Lake Linganore outside of Frederick, Maryland.

Catch Up With Justin M. Kiska:
JustinKiska.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @JMKiska
Instagram - @JMKiska
Twitter/X - @JustinKiska
Facebook - @JMKiska

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and more!

Click here to view Black & White by Justin M. Kiska Tour Hosts.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

 
I received a complimentary egalley 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.)

Friday, March 1, 2024

The Diabolical by David Putnam Book Review

About the Book:


Ex-cop, ex-con Bruno Johnson is hiding from US law enforcement in Costa Rica with his wife, Marie, and the twelve children they rescued from toxic homes in south central Los Angeles. Bruno works at the Lido Cabana Bar at the Punta Bandera Hotel, and his friend, Karl Drago, is getting married on the beach right outside. After the festivities, Bruno and Marie go skinny dipping in the ocean, but they’re quickly interrupted by a visit from law enforcement.


A shooting has just occurred at El Gato Gordo nightclub, and the victim is a prominent local figure and Bruno’s close friend. The chief of police asks Bruno to help investigate, but the stakes are higher than ever—if Bruno doesn’t find the shooter, the chief will turn him over to US authorities.

Everything is complicated further when Bruno becomes a victim of a crime himself, realizing that someone else may be after him. Bruno has to juggle the police investigation with figuring out who’s targeting him—if he drops the ball, it might be the last thing he ever does.

My Review:

This is a good addition to the ongoing saga of Bruno. He is a complex character, rescuer of endangered children, among other pursuits. Bruno's location in Costa Rica is a hideout for many evading the law. Many of the people he knows are not who they claim to be. Trouble seems to follow him around and in this novel Russian agents play a part. My favorite character, though, was Waldo, a helpful canine sidekick.

Putnam writes from his own experiences on the force and I really like his Author's Note at the end explaining that. There is lots of violence, blood and death in this novel. While it is part of a long running series, it reads pretty well on its own. The are enough bits of backstory included to understand Bruno's history and current actions.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:

During his law enforcement career, “Deputy Dave” Putnam worked primarily in California on teams for Patrol, Investigations, SWAT, Narcotics (street level and majors), Violent Crimes, Criminal Intelligence, Internal Affairs and the Detective Bureau.

He rounded out his law enforcement career with a few years in the Hawaiian Islands as a Special Agent–part of a real-life “Hawaii-50” team.

He’s now retired from law enforcement and spends his time growing organic California avocados and writing, with his wife Mary and their three dogs.


Oceanview Publishing, 320 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.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Who Brought the Dog to Church by Tracy L Smoak Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Who Brought the Dog to Church?

Author: Tracy L. Smoak

Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: June, 2023

Betty is sure that Ida Lou does not belong in their church when the woman shows up to the Good Friday service with her small dog in tow. But before she knows what’s happening, Betty is pushed into helping the woman as she deals with the sudden hospitalization of her husband. Having lost her own husband just one year ago, Betty is chosen as the perfect person to help walk through this valley with the newcomer—along with the other women of the WUFHs (Women United For Him).

Sarah McAdams knows her husband loves her. He just loses his temper sometimes. It comes with the stress of being a highly recognized police officer. But when Sarah makes the decision that this is not the life she wants for her young son, will she be able to get out alive? Where can she go? And who will help her?

God works in mysterious ways—and through ordinary people. The town of Prosper is about to experience some drama—and it all starts with a dog who comes to church.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Smoak has given readers a delightful novel, one I thoroughly enjoyed. Her writing style is compelling and engaging. There is some humor, such as a prayer chain getting information totally wrong. There are also some serious issues addressed, such as domestic violence and the death of a spouse. Small town politics is countered with church women committed to the truth and helping one another.

The characters are well developed as we see the events through several individual's eyes. I loved how we get the thoughts of each of them and how information and nudging from the Holy Spirit changes critical complaints to compassionate concern, such as with Betty. And giving extraordinary courage, as with the wildly dressing Letitia, going nose to nose with an egotistical police chief.

The plot is well crafted to show how God works through circumstances and people to move to the reconciliation of those estranged. That one needs to submit to God for that to happen, however, is clearly shown. I really liked how various people, from a recent immigrant to the town's mayor, came together in the end to ensure protection for the vulnerable. There is a bit of suspense but no romance. (It wasn't needed.)

This is a well written debut fiction effort. I am impressed with it and hope to see more novels from Smoak.

My rating: 5/5 stars.


About the Author

A native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak grew up riding horses and climbing citrus trees. Her passion is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak writes for Guideposts. Ambassador International released her debut novel, Who Brought the Dog to Church?. Bold Vision published her Bible study about encouragement titled Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place.

She loves photography and authored two hardcover devotionals with her original nature art (Living Water to Refresh Your Soul – tranquil lake scenes; and Arranged with Love– floral landscapes).

Smoak holds a master’s in Education and a bachelor’s in Communication. At her church home, she leads small-group Bible studies. She is an active member of Word Weavers International.

More from Tracy

What secrets are hidden behind your neighbor’s door? What do you try to hide?

The idea for this contemporary fiction began in a small country church during an Easter prayer vigil a decade ago. As I sat in the pew late at night, I heard a strange scratching noise. When I turned to locate the sound’s source, I saw a woman across the aisle with a little Yorkie.

The vigil was silent, so I didn’t approach the lady, but I did wonder why that pooch accompanied her in the sanctuary. That scenario, connected with others in my weekly involvement in several volunteer roles, sparked imagination. We judge appearances and may completely miss needs of the heart. Do we know our neighbors?

Experiences as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence started me wondering how do people get free from damaging situations? What are the obstacles holding them back?

Serving as a Stephens Ministry leader in my home church exposed me to people suffering loss. How are we to stand with those crushed with grief?

Another volunteer role helping immigrants settle in the U.S. reminded me of the difficulties they face. How can one fill out an online job application when a person relocates from a refugee camp with no electricity and never has had a computer?

The story’s heart is learning to really see, and know, our neighbors. Three women and their friendships reveal how doing good unites a community. Through comic misunderstandings and risky undertakings, the characters show us how to be Christ’s hands and feet.

Short videos to introduce the main characters can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kuEoU7pFvU&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMcocMuZDOZUvLxZG48BiWm5&index=1.

Audio book excerpts can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwxqS2mNisI&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMcocMuZDOZUvLxZG48BiWm5&index=9.

Video resources for survivors of domestic violence are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3Aq2myofjo&list=PLf6ZzeQjavMd0mkdKujmZeq7iKDzi8IoQ&index=2.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 1

Texas Book-aholic, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Pause for Tales, March 5

Artistic Nobody, March 6 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, March 6

Cover Lover Book Review, March 7

Fiction Book Lover, March 8 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Books I’ve Read, March 11

Girls in White Dresses, March 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tracy is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy each of Who Brought the Dog to Church? and Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place!!

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/2a3cd/who-brought-the-dog-to-church

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.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Forged in Peril by Kendra Warden Book Review

About the Book:

Ambitious paralegal Bristol Chaplin knows that achieving her dream of becoming a lawyer won’t be easy, but there’s a price that even she isn’t willing to pay. When a dark secret threatens to destroy her career, she’s forced to seek help from the man she thought she’d left behind forever.

Private security operative Cameron Forge is content to spend his life serving God and protecting the innocent. But as the woman who broke his heart brings danger straight to his doorstep, he realizes that keeping her safe might be his toughest mission yet.

With hidden threats lurking behind every shadow, they have no choice but to uncover the truth about who is hunting Bristol before it’s too late. Even if it means putting their lives–and hearts–on the line.

My Review:

I am impressed with this debut. The character development was crafted rather well. Bristol is a good heroine even if she was contrary on occasion. That she and Cameron had a history allowed some romance obstacles to quickly develop. Warden's writing style is clear and kept my interest to the end. The plot was pretty well crafted although I was surprised that an informative revelation near the end clarified the villain and the reason for the suspense. The information was previously hidden. I prefer a more subtle lead up to the villain identification with hints along the way.

This is a good debut effort. There will be more novels about the Forge brothers and I will be looking for them.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author:

Kendra Warden lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, three young children, two cats, and a whole lot of books. She's passionate about (very) early mornings, long walks, and buffalo sauce. She loves to write exciting suspense stories that encourage readers to trust in the protection and love of Jesus.

Fearless Faith Press, 300 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Book Sirens. 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.)

What I Promise You by Liz Tolsma Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: What I Promise You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 1, 2024

A Family’s History Is Lost to the Ravages of WWII in Southwest France

1942
NoƩmie Treves, a young, pregnant Jewish woman, had her entire world shattered when she is arrested and taken to the Camp de Rivesaltes transit camp in Southwest France. No sooner does she arrive, though, than she assists in helping two young girls scheduled for transport escape to a nearby maternity hospital. The matron there befriends her and changes her name to help hide her. But nothing goes according to plan, and Hannah finds herself doing the unimaginable to save one precious life.

2022
Caitlyn Laurant is haunted by recent events in her life and hopes becoming a nurse on the mission field will help her forget. While in training, she and her friends travel to France where her grandfather was born. What should have been an easy search for his birthplace turns into anything but and reveals secrets that no one alive has ever heard.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Tolsma has given readers another informative and entertaining novel focusing on one aspect of efforts to save Jewish mothers and children from death during WW II. I really appreciate Tolsma's note at the end of the book identifying the historical facts upon which she wove her fiction.

There are a number of issues explored in this novel. One issue is the time and effort needed to recover from from a traumatic experience and the false guilt experienced when helpless to prevent the tragedy. Other issues include still birth and ancestry issues. The most interesting issue for me was discerning God's will in a calling and not trying to live a friend's dream nor live to the expectations of others.

This book is a good one for readers who like finding out more about WW II and the courageous heroes who put their own lives in danger to help others. There is a good faith message and a little bit of romance as well.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping.

More from Liz

The Story behind the Cover of What I Promise You

In the late summer, I got the preliminary cover for What I Promise You. While Barbour Publishing always does a great job with their covers, and the one they sent was very nice, I wasn’t crazy about it because it didn’t tell the story at all. The mansion that plays such a big part in the novel was nowhere to be seen. Barbour is fantastic when it comes to working with me to get great covers, so I asked if we could include the real mansion that the story is based on. Turns out that they were having trouble getting copyright permission to use any image they could find of the maternity home.

That was disappointing. But I got brave and let them know that I took a picture of it when I was in France last year, and they could use it, but I’m not a very good photographer and I only used my iPhone. I attached the photo to the email and didn’t hear anything for a while.

Then in October, I wanted to include a preorder link to the book on social media or something and went to Amazon to grab it. And there was the cover. I went back and forth between the cover and my picture, and sure enough, it was the picture of the maternity home I had sent them! So I not only wrote What I Promise You, but some of my photography is on the front. I never thought that would happen. Am I in the wrong profession?? Just kidding!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 27

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 27

Lots of Helpers, February 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 28 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 29

For Him and My Family, February 29

Betti Mace, March 1

Devoted To Hope, March 1

She Lives To Read, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 4

Blogging With Carol, March 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 5

Lily’s Corner, March 5

Bizwings Book Blog, March 5

lakesidelivingsite, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 7 (Author Interview)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 7

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 8

Cover Lover Book Review, March 8

Connie’s History Classroom, March 9

Holly’s Book Corner, March 9

Pause for Tales, March 10

Labor Not in Vain, March 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, March 11

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 11

Lights in a Dark World, March 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift card and print copy of the book!!

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/2a3ce/what-i-promise-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. 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.)

Friday, February 23, 2024

Ephesians by Joy Suzanne Hunt Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Ephesians (Real World Bible Study)

Author: Joy Suzanne Hunt

Genre: Bible Study Guide

Release Date: December 15, 2023

God’s Word + YOUR Real Life

If you’ve ever had trouble building a Bible study habit or understanding God’s Word for yourself, you’re not alone. But God’s Word was actually written about real life, for real life! It’s meant for the real world!

Connect with God’s Word in 15 min a Day

Whether you’re a Bible Study veteran, or you’re brand new and don’t know where to start, this study guide is for you. In this study, you’ll learn the steps to understand Scripture for yourself and connect it to your life and community. Each week, you’ll complete 5 days of study on your own (in manageable chunks that allow you go to deeper if desired), followed by a group session to explore the text with friends or family, because we interpret Scripture with the help of the Holy Spirit and community.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

The book starts out with a good teaching on Bible study in general, such as the steps in determining the meaning of a passage. That, and the well defined plan for daily study, makes this a good book for new Christians. I like the format of five days of personal study and then one day of group gathering. I like the way the daily personal study is designed so one can do a minimum or go deeper with additional reading and questions. One may want to have a journal nearby to record thoughts on the Scripture reading and the answers to the questions. Hunt has also provided a verse or small passage each week for memorization, giving ideas for memorizing in a related online resource.

Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the Bible and I recommend this study to all who would like to understand it more fully.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Joy Suzanne Hunt is the Pastor of Adult Education for CityWide Mosaic Church in Temecula, CA and a professor with SoCal School of Ministry.  Her mission is to equip men and women to take ownership of their lives, faith, and finances. When she’s not teaching, writing, or coaching, you can find her walking her Temecula neighborhood, trying out crockpot recipes, or playing board games with friends.

More from Joy

As a Bible college professor, I’m always looking for books written “by the seminary guys but for normal people,” meaning that I want the best scholarship and teaching out there, written in a way that everyone can understand. (Let’s face it: even if you’ve been to grad school, chances are reading someone’s PhD dissertation isn’t actually fun for you.)

And as a pastor, I choose study guides for our small groups that help teach members how to study the Bible and give them a framework to build Bible study into daily life. My favorite study guides pull in great background information and teach hands-on study skills, and are structured in a way that helps readers to spend time in God’s Word every day (whether they spend 5 minutes or 30). This study was born from our church calendar: all of my favorite study guide series’ are 13-week studies, and I needed to plan for a small group series that would last 7-8 weeks. What do you do when you can’t find the book you want? You write it, of course!

This study guide is built around the “3 Steps to Interpret a Bible Passage” that I’ve been teaching to my School of Ministry students for years. If you’ve never looked into the historical context of a passage on your own and made the connection to our lives today, you’re in for a treat. Getting into the context really makes God’s Word come alive for us and it helps guide how we handle difficult topics. I hope this study leaves you hungry for more – and armed with the tools to encounter and interpret God’s Word for yourself every day.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 24 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Godly Book Reviews, February 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 2

Batya’s Bits, March 3

Beauty in the Binding, March 4 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, March 4

Cover Lover Book Review, March 5

Aryn The Libraryan, March 6

Blossoms and Blessings, March 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, copy of the book, and NLT Filament Bible Journal: Ephesians (Softcover)!!

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/2a258/ephesians-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.)