Wednesday, January 20, 2021

In Search of Wisdom by Joyce Meyer

The world desperately needs wisdom right now. There is lots of knowledge but proper use of that knowledge, wisdom, is all too often absent. Proverbs is a great source of wisdom but the sayings there may be hard to understand or confusing.

Meyer comes to our rescue. She helps us see that the biblical book can show us how to live lives pleasing to God. While there is a chapter in this book dedicated to each chapter in Proverbs, it is not a verse by verse commentary. Meyer helps us understand the major concepts it teaches along with thoughtful commentary.

My favorite section in the book was on the topic, wisdom loves discipline. Some Christians might think they are not disciplined but Meyer reminds us 2 Tim. 1:7 says God has given us a spirit of disciplines and it is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). “As believers,” she writes, “we have self-control but people do not always use what they have.” (20) If we do not discipline ourselves, she says, God will discipline us. (Prov. 3:11-12)

Some suggest reading through Proverbs every month, a chapter a day. This book would be a great companion to that practice. Meyer is honest, relating how she had to learn many of the principles through mistakes. She includes wise advice: “Always remember we are not called to be like other people, but to be like Jesus.” (80) She doesn't let us off with easy instruction: “The wise person loves correction.” (127)

Meyer reminds us we need to put into practical use what we find in Proverbs. “Simply knowing something does not benefit us, if we don't apply it to our lives.” (181) Reading this book gives us great encouragement to apply the wisdom found in Proverbs.

One odd thing about this book is that Meyer assures us in the introduction that the text of the Book of Proverbs is included. (viii) It is not.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. Her daily broadcast, Enjoying Everyday Life, airs on hundreds of television networks and radio stations worldwide. She has written over 100 inspirational books. She travels extensively, speaking to thousands throughout the world. She lives in St. Louis, MO.

FaithWords, 272 pages.

I received a complimentary 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.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book:  Cold Case Pursuit

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

A cold case solved by the K-9 unit…

but the past is not so easily escaped.

Decades after her parents’ murders, Penelope McGregor’s grateful the killer’s finally been identified—until he comes after her. Now Detective Tyler Walker and his K-9 partner, Dusty, must protect Penelope and catch the culprit…while making sure his little girl stays out of the crosshairs. But can the single father outplay a killer whose endgame will leave no one safe?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is an enjoyable romantic suspense. While it is part of a series it reads well on its own. There is a good deal of suspense as the heroine, Penny, faces potential harm from her attacker several times. There is also psychological suspense as the attacker threatens Penny with texts, calls, and other means. And there are dogs. I do wish the dogs would have had a greater role in the plot. The character development was done pretty well and there were good obstacles to the romance. I was a little disappointed in the work of the police officers. An example was one yelling at the door of the abandoned warehouse where Penny was being held rather than sneaking in closer. Of course, warning the bad guy the police were coming allowed him to escape.

Nonetheless, this is an entertaining novel with a good Christian message. It would be a plus if you are a dog lover.

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 forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Poisoned Pen Press, and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself puttering around her Northern California backyard. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

I love book covers with adorable children on them, don’t you? There’s something so angelic about those wee folks on the covers. I have two bear cubs myself, young adults now, and I love them devotedly. Tell you what though. Sometimes, just occasionally mind you, they were a wee bit naughty. Don’t tell anyone, but one reason I enjoyed writing Cold Case Pursuit so much is that hero Tyler is the single dad of a little girl named Rain who is….er…a handful. Sure, she’s adorable, but she’s prone to disobedience and the occasional tendency to flush things down the toilet. So in addition to the edge of your seat pursuit of a murderous clown killer, there are the shenanigans of a precocious preschooler, a highly trained yet distractible police K-9, and a romance that doesn’t exactly run smoothly. Fun to write? You betcha! I hope you enjoy coming along with me on this True Blue adventure!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19

KarenSueHadley, January 19

Bigreadersite, January 19

Through the Fire Blogs, January 20

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 20

Remembrancy, January 21

Genesis 5020, January 21

By The Book, January 21

For the Love of Literature, January 22

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

Blogging With Carol, January 23

Inklings and notions, January 24

Fiction Book Lover, January 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Batya's Bits, January 24

Betti Mace, January 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 25

Labor Not in Vain, January 25

Hebrews 12 Endurance, January 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 27

Lighthouse-Academy, January 27

Older & Smarter?, January 27

Artistic Nobody, January 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Mary Hake, January 28

For Him and My Family, January 29

Simple Harvest Reads, January 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, January 29

deb's Book Review, January 30

Hallie Reads, January 30

To Everything There Is A Season, January 30

She Lives To Read, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Daysong Reflections, February 1

Bizwings Blog, February 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a $50 Amazon gift card and a tote bag!!

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/105ab/cold-case-pursuit-celebration-tour-giveaway

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.

(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, January 18, 2021

Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso Blog Tour and Giveaway

   

Up the Creek

by Alissa Grosso

January 11 - March 12, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

 

An unsolved murder. Disturbing dreams. A missing child.

Caitlin Walker hasn't had a dream in nine years. But now nightmares torture her son Adam and awaken in Caitlin buried memories and a dark secret. Her husband Lance has a secret of his own, one that his son's nightmares threaten to reveal.

In Culver Creek newly hired detective Sage Dorian works to unravel the small town's notorious cold case, the grisly murder of a young girl.

How are Caitlin and Lance connected to the horrific crime? And how far will they go to make sure their secrets stay hidden? Find out in this riveting thriller.

  

My Review:

This is a very interesting novel about past secrets and keeping those secrets hidden within a marriage. The plot centers on dreams, experiencing them, medicating to not experience them, and what they can mean. The wife and son are the characters who experience or have experienced prescient dreams, ones that reveal a possible future but also place people in danger. The husband is a bit different in that he sleep walks yet that night time activity figures greatly into the plot too.

The narrative has three points of view, roaming between the wife, husband, and a detective in the small town where murders have occurred. Past secrets of all three are revealed in bits and pieces. We eventually get enough back story that we can see the potential danger in the current situation, anticipating suspense.

I really liked the emphasis on activities during sleep. I liked highlighting the issue of spouses not being open within the marriage. If the husband and wife had just been open about their past lives, well, then that would have been a different book. One aspect I did not like so much was the seeming lack of emotion and a certain detachment by the husband and wife when tragedy happened in their family. Granted, the wife was in a drug stupor but it still seemed odd.

The small town detective was the most engaging character for me. He has a secret too and I will be looking for a sequel telling more of his story and solving another murder.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Thriller
Published by: Glitter Pigeon Press
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 356
ISBN: 9781949852080
Series: Culver Creek Series, Book 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Caitlin emerged from a black, dreamless sleep to screams. Adam’s tortured cries sounded almost otherworldly. They turned her blood to ice and made her heart race. She sat straight up, then bolted from bed, blinking sleep from her eyes as she raced toward the door, banging her shin on the dresser as she went. She yanked on the doorknob and almost toppled over when it didn’t yield as she expected. Goddammit. Lance had locked the door again.

She spared a glance toward the bed, but her husband wasn’t there. Instead he was standing, looking out the window. For a moment she thought she was mistaken. Were the screams coming from outside?

“Lance?” she asked.

He turned to her, but his eyes looked past her at some point on the wall.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled, barely awake.

“Adam’s having a nightmare,” she said.

“Again?” he asked. “Maybe we should just let him sleep it off.”

The screams had subsided now, but she could still hear her son’s whimpers from down the hall. Sleep it off? Could Lance really be that clueless? She unlocked the door and flung it open. It bounced almost silently off the rubber doorstopper, which didn’t really give her the dramatic exit she was hoping for.

She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around her husband just standing there looking out the window while Adam cried for them. Usually Lance was the one who woke up first. Maybe he had already gone to comfort Adam and came back to their bedroom by the time she awoke. He seemed so out of it, though. Well, that’s what a lack of sleep could do to a person.

Adam sat on his bed in a nest of tangled sheets. His face was damp with tears and sweat, his dark hair plastered to his forehead. The hippo nightlight cast large, ominous shadows when she stepped into his room. He looked up with a start, then relaxed when he saw it was her.

She sat down beside him and pulled his small body to her, wrapping her arms around him and rocking him gently back and forth. The tears subsided, but he still felt tense.

“Mommy, I’m scared of the bad boy,” he said. “The bad boy’s going to hurt me.”

“Nobody’s going to hurt you,” she assured him. “You’re safe. It was just a dream. Look, you’re safe in your bedroom.”

At this, Adam pulled away from her a little to study the dimly lit bedroom. Maybe they should get a different nightlight. She had never realized how spooky that hippo light made everything look.

“There were trees,” Adam said, “and a river. She was playing in the river.”

Caitlin stiffened. Adam noticed it and looked up at her. She smiled at him.

“It was just a dream,” she said, as much to reassure herself as him. “It wasn’t real.”

There were lots of rivers out there, and wasn’t Adam just watching a cartoon show with cute animals that had to get across a river? That was probably where that detail came from. Plus, she reminded herself, it hadn’t been a river. It had been a creek. She wasn’t sure Adam knew the difference between a river and a creek, though. But a little girl playing in a river? No, wait, was that what he had said? He said only “she.” For all Caitlin knew, this she could have been a girl river otter. Maybe he had been having a cute dream about river creatures.

And a “bad boy,” she reminded herself. She remembered his bloodcurdling screams. There was nothing cute about the dream he had. Still, she clung to the “bad boy” detail. Was he talking about a child? If so, then the river was just a coincidence. She wanted to ask him more about the bad boy, but this was the worst thing she could do. He was already starting to calm down, starting to forget the details of his nightmare. She couldn’t go dredging things back up again.

“Mommy, can I sleep in your room?” Adam asked.

#

Lance was fully awake and in bed when Caitlin returned with Adam in her arms.

“Hey there, champ,” Lance said. “Have a bad dream?”

“Daddy, he hurt her,” Adam said. “He hurt her head. She was bleeding.”

Her son’s tiny body stiffened again in Caitlin’s arms, and she gave Lance an exasperated look as she set Adam down in the middle of the bed.

“We’d already gotten past that,” she said in a whispered hiss.

“Obviously,” Lance said with a roll of his eyes, “which is why he’s sleeping in our bed. Again.”

She slid into the bed beside Adam and adjusted the covers, ignoring her husband. She petted Adam’s head and made soft, soothing noises.

“Remember, that wasn’t real, just make believe, like a movie.” She didn’t want him to get himself worked up again talking about the dream, but it wasn’t just that. She didn’t want to hear any more details from the nightmare because the bit about the bad boy hurting the girl’s head and the blood felt a touch too familiar.

She stroked his face, and his eyelids slowly drooped closed. He looked so calm and peaceful when he slept.

“I thought we said we weren’t going to do this anymore,” Lance said. Even whispering, his voice was too loud. She held her finger to her lips. He continued more quietly, “I’m just saying, I think it would be better for him if he sleeps in his own bed.”

“It’s already after three,” she said. “It’s only for a few hours.”

“That’s not the point,” Lance said. “He’s nearly five years old. We can’t keep babying him.”

It was like the school argument all over again, and Caitlin didn’t want to get into it. Not now. She was still tired and groggy and needed more sleep.

“I want to get him a new nightlight,” she said to change the subject. “The one he has makes these creepy shadows.”

“A new nightlight,” Lance repeated in a skeptical voice. “Sure, that will solve everything.”

“The important thing,” she said, “is that we have to remind him that his dreams are not real. That they’re make believe. We have to be united on this.”

Lance made a dismissive noise and lay back down on his pillow, turning his body away from her and Adam. He muttered something, but his voice was muffled by the pillow.

“Lance, this is important,” she said. “We have to make it clear that his dreams are not real. He has to know they aren’t true.”

He sighed. “What kind of moron do you think I am? Do you really think I’m going to start telling him his dreams about boogeymen are real?” He squirmed around and pulled the covers up in an attempt to get comfortable. She thought he was done, but he stopped shifting around long enough to add, “It’s not exactly like you’re the foremost expert in dreams.”

***

Excerpt from Up the Creek by Alissa Grosso. Copyright 2021 by Alissa Grosso. Reproduced with permission from Alissa Grosso. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Alissa Grosso is the author of several books for adults and teens. Originally from New Jersey, she now resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Alissa Grosso and her books at:
AlissaGrosso.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Twitter
Facebook

 

Tour Participants:

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


Click here to view Up The Creek by Alissa Grosso Participants.

 

Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Alyssa Grosso. There will be two (2) winners each receiving one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on January 11, 2021 and runs through March 14, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

  
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual 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, January 17, 2021

One Decision by Mike Bayer

Bayer is a life coach and shares his insights on living life. The one decision he encourages is for us to be authentic. It is a decision we need to make day after day and he gives us a framework to help us do that.

While there are many good points in this book, the one that stood out to me was whether we make decisions using emotional reasoning or evidence based reasoning. It explained so much of the behavior seen in the U.S. after the 2020 presidential election. “If we're making decisions that are based on feeling, that is emotional reasoning, whereas if we are making decisions that are based in actual, verifiable evidence, that is evidence-based reasoning. When we are reasoning with emotion, we believe that feelings are facts. When we are using evidence-based reasoning, we are able to recognize and then set aside the emotions and lean primarily on the evidence when making decisions.” (208) “Decisions made as a direct result of emotional reasoning are often rash decisions that don't come from or serve our Best Self.” (220) That can cause problems.

Moving from emotions to evidence in making decisions is just one of the strategies Bayer presents in this book to help each of us be our best self. It is the E in his FORCE acronym for issues in making decisions related to our Best Self. This is a good book for those who want to better understand how to make good, life building decisions.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Mike Bayer is a life coach, a New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, popular speaker, and founder and CEO of CAST Centers. He is the host of Stage 29 Productions' Always Evolving with Coach Mike Bayer podcast, writes a regular column in Psychology Today, and is a frequent contributor on Dr. Phil. He lives in Los Angeles, California. You can find out more at https://coachmikebayer.com/.

Viking, 304 pages.

(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.)

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book: Restoring Fairhaven

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review 

Miller has given readers a fun Christian romance. The plot revolves around restoration. One aspect is the restoration of landscape a wealthy author has ignored for years. The other restoration is of the broken hearts of two people.

I really liked the witty dialogue. That helped reveal more about Sam and Max. It was interesting to see how their personalities quickly changed once they reluctantly came to see potential romance. Overcoming obstacles to romance is an important aspect of a romance plot and I felt things went a little too smoothly for this romance. A huge misunderstanding or other obstacle would have provided material for more character transformation.

There is a bit of mystery involved as Sam received threatening phone calls. The calls were quite disturbing and I felt the resolution to them was easy and quick, not fitting the previous gravity given them. I always like it when I learn something when reading fiction and I had hoped to learn a bit about gardening or landscaping. No such information was included.

Nonetheless, this is a fun and enjoyable book, pure romance.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.
 

More from Carolyn

I’m a long time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees! I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, the site of Mr. Darcy’s magnificent Pemberley from the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, and who has also worked at Kew Gardens in England.

Some of my garden and plant highlights include visiting Blarney Castle’s Poison Garden in Ireland, New Zealand’s Hamilton Gardens, Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, Frederik Meijer Gardens in Michigan, the redwoods of Yosemite, California, Butchart Gardens in Victoria Island, Canada, and Jardin Botanique in Montreal, Canada.

I love to post pictures of flowers and trees on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/carolynmillerauthor/)  and have included pictures of some of these places at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) I have incorporated some of the gardens and plants in a number of my historical novels, including the gorgeous gardens at a castle in Scotland where I set Misleading Miss Verity.

I’m so excited to be introducing readers to my new contemporary books, where I can bring some of my love of gardens (& my hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Restoring Fairhaven sees readers introduced to a range of gardening experts who together will bring the gardens of the Independence Islands back to life.

If you’re someone who has enjoyed The Secret Garden, or Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, you’ll be sure to enjoy this story of a reclusive writer and the gardening guru sent to restore his gardens – and his heart.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 16

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 17

April Hayman, Author, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Rebekah Reads, January 18

Blogging With Carol, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 19

Library Lady's Kid Lit, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 21

CarpeDiem, January 21

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

Cultivating Us, January 22

Kathleen Neely, January 22

Livin’ Lit, January 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, January 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 25

Inkwell Inspirations, January 25

deb's Book Review, January 26

Blossoms and Blessings, January 26

Joanne Markey, January 26

She Lives To Read, January 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Christian Chick's Thoughts, January 28

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Godly Book Reviews, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Daysong Reflections, January 29


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon prize and a paperback 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/105a8/restoring-fairhaven-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book throufh 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.)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Faith, Farming and Family by Caitlin Henderson

Henderson's book is a refreshing collection of honest essays on lessons she has learned. She writes about feeling insecure, feeling broken, being authentic, being vulnerable, being a perfectionist, reactions to suffering, fear, and many more. She shares the lessons in the context of her life experiences, telling stories about farm and family life.

Her writing style is engaging and she shares her insights in a very readable way. My favorite essay is the one on control. She is quick to point out we cannot control the actions of others. What we can control is our reactions to them. This lesson and the others encourage readers to focus on God rather than self.

Her book is also an interesting commentary on social media. We are told several times about how some of her social media posts were well received, even going viral, pouring her heart out to thousands of strangers. (Loc 1133/2256). She would be on cloud nine. (Loc 1718/2256) At another times, scrolling through comments on a post, she played the comparison game and went from feeling content and joyous to feeling frustrated and doubtful about her efforts. (Loc 1591/2256) I am sure young women who put much store in social media will identify with her various reactions.

Henderson encourages her readers to be vulnerable and open to others, pointing them to Jesus and the hope He offers. The idea is to let God bring healing to you and others through the vulnerability. She is a good story teller and has an engaging writing style. Young women will like the honesty and vulnerability she shares in this book.

You can find out more about Henderson and farm life at her blog, https://www.faithfarmingandfamily.com/

You can watch the book trailer here.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Caitlin Henderson is a small town girl from Kansas who fell in love with a farmer. She and her husband have three kids who keep her on her toes and clinging to coffee. She is passionate about showing people Jesus and writing about her family's life full of grace, craziness, love, dirt, and cows. The Henderson family lives on a grain and cattle farm in south central Kansas.

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.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Lightning on a Quiet Night Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book:  Lightning on a Quiet Night

Author: Donn Taylor

Genre: Historical  romance

Release Date: Summer, 2014

In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder.

Despite  the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Taylor has created an interesting setting of a town where the inhabitants think they are all nice Christian people. The town is rocked when a murder occurs. Taylor explores what it means to be a nice Christian, to be good. Does it mean doing good actions, like attending church? Yet can one be doing all those good things and be a murderer? Does being good have more to do with loving God or looking good on the outside?

Balancing the shocking murder aspect of the plot are relationship issues including loneliness, loyalty, forgiveness and romance. The romance is nicely framed with increasing affection challenged by doubts as to who the murderer might be, including the potential boyfriend.

Taylor's writing style is engaging and the characters are crafted rather well. It is not a page turner but it did keep my interest throughout. A reading group could have a good discussion about all the relationship issues although a discussion guide was not included in the copy I read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Raised in Mississippi, Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include six suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics

More from Donn

There’s a very personal background to my historical romance Lightning on a Quiet Night. When I was seventeen, my parents moved from central Mississippi to teach at a college in the northeastern corner of the state. I quickly came to love the region’s wooded hills and small, fertile valleys, and I developed an appreciation for the people who lived there. That region was also where I met Mildred, who taught me the meaning of love. The critical stage of our courtship occurred when the area was snowbound. By the time the snow melted (with no help from us, of course) we were engaged.

So when, decades later, I came to write a historical novel, I set it in a fictitious town in that region, and in 1948, the time period Mildred and I had known together. I wanted to write about love, of course, but I also wanted to write about the everyday citizens of that region—the storekeepers, small-town bankers, farmers—people of good will who seemed never to be accurately represented in fiction.

Readers will find the main focus of the novel to be romance, suspense, and comedy—with a snowbound love scene, of course. But as the writing progressed, the scope of the story broadened. What would happen if a town too proud of its virtues had to deal with its first murder? How would its citizens struggle against the reality of human imperfection? I’d started out to write about love and solving a murder but found myself grappling with the most basic problems of human life.

How successful was this? Readers will decide, but I can say I was gratified when Publishers Weekly wrote that the novel had “passion and heart” and showed “a keen understanding of the human condition.”

Among my books, this was Mildred’s favorite, and she helped in many ways during the writing. She lived long enough to read its dedication to her and to see the novel contracted, though not to see it in print.

But enough of the personal: Readers want mostly to be entertained by a good story, and I hope that is what I have given them.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 13

deb's Book Review, January 14

Mary Hake, January 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Connie's History Classroom, January 17

Artistic Nobody, January 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

A Novel Pursuit, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Donn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus one paperback copy of Lightning on a Quiet Night!!

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/10537/lightning-on-a-quiet-night-celebration-tour-giveaway

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.

(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.)