Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Cabin by Erin Unger Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book



Book: The Cabin  
Author: Erin Unger  
Genre: Romantic suspense  
Release date: June 14, 2019

Leah Kettridge’s writing career is over before the first book lands on the shelf, when a famous author has claimed she’s stolen his work. If it wasn’t for a story brainstorming luncheon with her sister, he’d have never overheard her conversation about the novel she was writing. Who will she ever trust again if not her most favorite writer? And what about the one fabulous date they had before she knew what a traitor he was? Keenan Brinner has it all. He’s a best-selling author who’s only headed toward more greatness. And he must be the most gorgeous guy Leah’s ever seen. But he’s also a liar and a cheat. When they end up at the same cabin to write, emotions explode. But an unexpected snowstorm traps them deep in the mountains. Is he bent on destroying her in more ways than one? How will love find them amidst all their anger and distrust?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I enjoyed this short romantic suspense. The action takes place over just a few days but I did not feel the action was rushed at all. It was a bit odd that the two ended up at the same cabin, that Keenan thought he could be there any time he wanted. The characters might have been a bit over done. I did get weary of Leah's klutzy behavior. The character transformation in both Keenan and Leah was huge in just a few days. Unger set the stage for that, however, with their similar writing so it did not feel forced.

This is a nice novella to read in an evening.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author


Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her next novel, Fateful Fall, releases August 9, 2019.

More from Erin


Glittery snow. The perfect cabin in the mountains. And sworn enemies trapped together. How could anything go wrong? Welcome to the cabin where writers like to go to get away from the noise and bother of life to write. I hope you don’t mind the two guests already here. They’re stuck together after one stole the other’s novel. But the famous one has firsts rights to the work. Who’d dare believe he’d be the perpetrator of the crime? Or is it the newbie writer who longed to be known for more than her graphic designs who plagiarized? Stay and enjoy a mug of instant coffee and some potted meat. And make sure to bring in your warmest blanket, since this eclectic home has lost power in the storm. You’ll also find a complementary cordless phone with no connection for your accommodations. Enjoy your stay! And take a moment to check out our amenities folder laden with an expert below.

Read an excerpt from The Cabin


Betrayal is such a benign looking word on paper. In real life it could kill a person. Like me. I was dying on the inside as I flipped from one page to the next of the bestselling novel in my hands. And all because of Keenan Brennan—the hottest bestselling author I knew and dated some time ago. Yet some part of me kept praying it wasn’t true as I pressed into the sofa cushion and continued to read. It just couldn’t be. But the book with the startlingly dark cover said it all. “No, no, no.” Hot tears stung my cheeks as I ripped the well-designed cover off the book and then launched it across the living room. It smashed against the refurbished brick wall and landed with its pages bent. Good. It deserved a worse fate than just bent pages. How? When had he stolen my book idea? I face-planted my palm against my forehead. “At the restaurant.” Why didn’t I keep my big fat mouth shut and tell my sister Aeris the storyline in the privacy of my home? Tears stung my eyes. Who’d have guessed my lowdown almost boyfriend would stoop so low. He didn’t need my work. I stared across the room, not focusing on the heap of a good—terrible—book. Well it was on the NYT bestselling list. Not bad for a nobody writer like myself. And since it was my story—not his—then I allowed myself a moment of self-satisfaction. My gaze dropped to the torn book. I had to take another look. Couldn’t it be a coincidence? Maybe the rest of it was different. In a scramble, I grabbed it up and found the page I last read. By chapter forty there was no doubt.

Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away a themed basket that includes a copy of The Cabin!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

I received a complimentary digital copy 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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Biblical Spirituality

This is an informative book about what Scripture, major authors and several Christian traditions teach about the pursuit of holiness. (3723/4980) The first several contributors generally review portions of Scripture, Old Testament, writings of Paul, etc. Next, the writings of major theologians such as Luther and Calvin are explored. Then the writings of many, such as John Owen and Charles Wesley, are covered. Lastly the movements of the last century, such as the Charismatic and spiritual formation movements, are reviewed.

There is a wealth of information included in the book and this would make a fine textbook for a Bible college class or something similar. Readers would become aware of important Bible passages and theologians who have written on the subject. They would also receive a good overview of what various traditions of Christianity have taught over the centuries. The footnotes would give readers lots of resources to consult to study further.

I was disappointed the emphasis of the book was knowledge and not implementing the truths given. There is no practical strategy provided by the contributors. The spiritual disciplines are mentioned, following the works of Richard Foster. There is also a foot note to encourage readers to consult Donald S. Whitey's books to learn how to engage in some of the spiritual practices. (4286/4980) Interestingly, the only specific strategy given is on good nutrition, proper rest, sleep, lust, gluttony, and sloth. Principles are also given for integrating spirituality and work.

This book would be a good resource for pastors and teachers but is not so practical for the general layperson.

You can see the Table of Contents and download an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Contributors include Christopher W. Morgan (series editor), Gregg R. Allison, Anthony L. Chute, Gregory C. Cochran, Nathan A. Finn, George H. Guthrie, Paul R. House, Justin L. McLendon, Charles L. Quarles, Benjamin M. Skaug.

Crossway, 304 pages.

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Danger on the Ranch by Dana Mentink Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: Danger on the Ranch  
Author: Dana Mentink  
Genre: Inspirational romantic suspense  
Release date: June 1, 2019

After putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This novel is a quick read with lots of suspense. The strength of the novel, I think, is in the many character red herrings. Mentink developed them so that I was wrongly convinced one was aiding the bad guy and another who I thought was certainly an innocent character turned out to be anything but. I would have liked a better developed back story as I felt I had missed a previous novel in this series, even though this is the first one. How a wife could be clueless about her husband kidnapping, holding and killing women on their property needed to have a better foundation to be believable.

This is a quick story with action moving it right along. As is often the case with romantic suspense novels, the romance is so quick it is almost unbelievable. Obstacles to the romance suddenly disappear without a more developed struggle. Romance readers, especially those who love a good contemporary cowboy setting, will enjoy this novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author


Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming, Harvest House and Woman’s World Magazine. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)


More from Dana


We’re kicking off a new cowboy series, but this one is going to take you for a wild ride! Set on a ranch that’s sandwiched between the sea and the hills required me to do some on site research of course! I spent quite a while in this gorgeous area of California, looking for cattle. (You can see the zany results in my video.) I found the cattle, and also the perfect setting for this first book. It’s a creepy one, I’ll warn you, as hero Mitch Whitehorse comes face to face with the serial killer brother he sent to prison….and his desperate ex sister in law. Saddle up and enjoy the story! God bless!



 

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 26
Quiet Quilter, June 26
Vicky Sluiter, June 27
Wishful Endings, June 28
Hallie Reads, June 30
Pause for Tales, June 30
Remembrancy, July 2
Moments, July 3
Genesis 5020, July 4
Emily Yager, July 5
Carpe Diem, July 5
Bigreadersite, July 6
EmpowerMoms, July 8

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize package that includes a gorgeous insulated lunch bag, a copy of Danger on the Ranch (winner’s choice of format), and a $15 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

I received a complimentary digital copy 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.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Love Lock by Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell

Is it possible that certain actions and behaviors could actually increase love between spouses? The authors, after years of counseling marriage partners, are convinced we love for reasons. We can provide those reasons to be loved. In fact, we should not expect unconditional love without providing the appropriate reasons to be loved in such a way. (110/1865) We can strengthen the love in a marriage and this book provides the knowledge to do so.

This is a very encouraging and practical book. The authors cover a number of topics such as, conflict, personality differences, listening, and demonstrating affection. The topics are ones spouses face in the course of marriage in general and ones that come up when there has been a break in trust. I was especially pleased that the authors wrote about elements of Christian faith and practice that strengthen marriages.

The authors include lots of practical exercises dealing with how to grow in loving another as well as how to grow in being lovable. Often the exercises include writing thoughts down and then discussing them. I think the strength of the book is the practical exercises and steps given at the end of each chapter. They are exercises the authors have seen work in their marriage counseling.

This is a powerful little book. It contains a wealth of information for couples wanting to lock in the love they have for each other.

You can find out more about the book and read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Rich Rollins, D.Min. Co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness, served as Executive Pastor at Valley Bible Church for over two decades, has appeared on Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey and served as a healthcare professional, college Vice-President and church consultant. For more than forty years, Rich’s work on relational conflict and spiritual growth has made him a sought-after counselor and conference speaker. Rich has also served as director and announcer for Truth for Today, a radio program featuring Valley Bible Church. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s online magazine. Dr. Rollins has also been the key note speaker at over twenty Family and Marriage conferences.
Rich and his wife, LouAnna, live in Southern California. They have been married for over fifty-four years. They have two daughters and sons-in-law, three grand-children, and two foster daughters.
Marty Trammell, Ph.D., is the author of Communication Matters and co-author of Redeeming Relationships and Spiritual Fitness. He serves as Worship and Family Pastor at Valley Baptist and as a professor of Communication at Corban University where students call him “Dr. Love.” With his wife and best friend, Linda, Marty has ministered for over 30 years to hundreds of couples in conferences, retreats and pre-marital counseling sessions. He has written for Zondervan, Tyndale, Moody and others and writes regularly for redeemingrelationships.com and startmarriageright.com. Marty and Linda have three sons and two daughters-in-law who encourage their pursuit of the Father and help them enjoy sports, camping and family road trips.

CrossLink Publishing, 159 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Book Publicity Services. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Five-Minute Writing Prompt Journal by Kate Motaung

I know writing every day is good for one's mental health and general well being. I've even managed to write Morning Pages from time to time. Often I lack inspiration as I stare at the blank page.

Inspiration is exactly what Motaung's book provides. I like how she sets the stage with quotes about writing, about just getting in there and writing. And then she provides the springboard. One word and the space to write about it. Fifty-two words in all.

I have been using her book daily and it has really helped me get into the habit of writing regularly. Motaung suggests five minutes. No editing, no checking for spelling, just write. And it's working.

If you are looking for inspiration and prompts for free writing, this book is a good resource.

You can find out more about Motaung and her program at https://fiveminutefriday.com/ .

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Kate Motaung grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years living in Cape Town, South Africa. She married a South African man and they have three children. She is the author of several books. You can find out more about her and follow her blog at https://katemotaung.com/ .

Kate Motaung, 161 pages.

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

I have mixed feelings about this book. It is very well written and very well researched. The characters were developed well. Barratt really gave a sense of the dilemma Christians felt when the leader of their country went horribly wrong. Some felt it was their duty to serve their country, such as in the military. Others felt they needed to stop Hitler, as did Bonhoefffer. I also got a very good sense of the pain and agony Christians experienced at the loss of their loved ones.

Part of the character development included dialogue and actions. Barratt notes at the end of the book that almost all of the events she portrayed actually happened. She said she did create a German military officer who tried to force Maria into a relationship.

And that bothers me a bit. Authors of historical fiction must imagine the thoughts, words and actions of real people, such as Barratt did with Bonhoeffer. As I read the book, I kept wondering if Bonhoeffer would really think that or say that or do that. It was a distraction for me.

Something else I found distracting was the odd use of a few German words in dialogue when nearly all of it was in English. I know they spoke German and the book is in English. When I read something like, “...vater and brother,” I wonder why Barratt would use the one German word yet not the one for brother. (2430/6248)

I do recommend this book as it portrays the dilemma Christians experience when the leader of the country goes wrong. One could have some good discussions around that issue. Just remember this is a novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of several novels and novellas. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader's Choice Award finalist. She and her family life in northern Michigan. You can find out more at www.amandabarratt.net.

Kregel Publications, 352 pages.

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

This novel is a fun and entertaining summer read. We find out a bit about Yellowstone during the Great Depression years. We learn much more about the Civilian Conservation Corps, Roosevelt's program to put unemployed men to work. There is a little intrigue, a little suspense and a little romance included in the plot too.

I would have liked to see a stronger development of most of the characters. Elsie, the lead female, was crafted well. I had a sense of her personality and her dreams. I thought the other characters could have been fleshed out more, revealing more of what drove them to their actions.

I would have also liked more scenic descriptions of the bubbling pools and geysers. I wanted to feel like I'd been there when I finished the book but I did not. I would have appreciated more information about the geology of the area too. Elsie gave geology lessons to the CCC fellows and it is too bad Barnett did not share them with readers.

The strength of this novel is Barnett's attention to detail. Her Author's Note at the end of the book showed much of the content of the book was based on historical fact. It was interesting to read about beetle infestations and fires and the effects on the trees.

Readers looking for a pleasant novel in an interesting historical setting will like this one. Just don't expect to read very much about the actual geological features of Yellowstone.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Karen Barnett is the author of the Vintage National Parks Novel series as well as four other novels. She has worked as a ranger naturalist and outdoor educator at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Silver Falls State Park, and Mount Rainier National Park. She lives in Oregon with her family.

WaterBrook, 352 pages.

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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Number of Love by Roseanna M White

I am generally not a fan of historical fiction but I really liked this novel. It was the character development that drew me in. Margot is quite a gal. Her personality and her thinking in numbers was well done. And there is some great witty dialogue too. Christian faith is well presented in this novel. It is shown as a regular part of their lives.

I also like the way White gave readers information. For example, Margot didn't like to cook. Here is how we are informed: “...recipes were just mathematics, after all. But they were mathematics she usually happily left to theory.” (187)

One aspect of the novel I didn't like was a bit of head jumping. One chapter, following a male German spy ended and the next followed a male English spy. It took me a couple of paragraphs to realize we had changed characters. I would appreciate such a change being made clear to readers within a sentence or two.

I had to laugh about one phrase in the book. Margot was looking forward to a “hot cup of tea.” (355) My mother would love a hot cup of coffee, she'd say. My father would correct her – a cup of hot coffee. I did laugh, wondering if Margot's cup was hot but her tea cold!

Novels about women with responsibilities during war years usually delegated to men are popular now. This one is a good addition and highlights one feisty code breaker during WW I. There is a discussion guide included so this pleasurable book would be a fine choice for a reading group.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author. She is a homeschooling mom as well as an editor and designer of book covers. She has written several historical novels. You can find out more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

Bethany House, 368 pages.

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