Friday, September 22, 2017

Good Night, I Love You by Jene Ray Barranco

She was awakened by the dogs barking. Police officers were at the door. They were there to report a fatality. Her husband of over twenty years had been killed in an automobile accident. With a masterful use of language, Barranco tells of her journey through grief.

This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to understand how one woman made it through the tragic loss of her husband into a life on a new dimension. Barranco found healing in writing. She tells of friends who helped her through the first weeks, grief washing over her at unexpected times, the numbness, the silence with and from God, the paper work, having to make decisions because life goes on.

I really appreciated Barranco's open and honest writing. The book is a good exploration of how people handle grief and make the journey through it. Each of her children handled the grief in their own way, an enlightening look at how grief is handled in a variety of ways.

The strength of this book is Barranco's writing style. It is beautiful. I savored many of her sentences, letting their impact flow over me.

I recommend this book. It is evidence of God's strength supporting Barranco on her journey through grief. She ran toward God, not away from Him. She experienced His grace daily. Her hope did not die. Hers is an encouraging account of doing the hard things with God by her side. It is not a “how to” book of going through grief but her own personal journey.

Food for thought: “God is the great Creator of life. I am made in His image. He's showing me how to create life and beauty in this broken, fallen world.” (190)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jene Ray Barranco is a motivational speaker to Christian and secular groups, churches, and women's conferences, and founder of a ministry to single moms. The mother of three children, she lives in Jackson, Mississippi. You can follow her blog at http://jenebarranco.blogspot.com/ although the content is dated. You can also read newer posts from Barranco at www.eyesstr8ahead.blogspot.com .

FaithWords, 240 pages.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent Giveaway


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Waiting for Butterflies  
Author: Karen Sargent  
Release date: April 4, 2017  
Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing. Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence. Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out. A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.


My Review:


Sargent has crafted a very moving novel that centers on the mystery surrounding the intersection of the physical and spiritual worlds. It deals with the issue of how the remaining family members continue on after the loss of a loved one. The novel is very well written with well developed characters and a good plot line. You might want to have a tissue handy near the end.

The premise of the book is firmly founded on the possibility that Christians who have died can observe the remaining family members and can, at least a little, interact with physical things. Sargent includes, as part of the plot, a website that references “lingering spirits.” I think this aspect of the book is on very thin theological ice. While it made for a touching story, I found the idea of a lingering spirit disconcerting and not supported biblically.

Questionable theology aside, this is a very well written and touching novel. It certainly made me think about loving family members and making sure they know it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author


Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com. When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at http://www.karensargentbooks.com/.


Guest Post from Karen Sargent


Waiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy. As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe. But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all. When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home. Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs. I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one skeptical reader shared in her review: “While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.” I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.

Blog Stops

Avid Reader Book ReviewsSeptember 21
Blogging With CarolSeptember 22
The Power of WordsSeptember 22
D’S QUILTS & BOOKSSeptember 23
Carpe DiemSeptember 23
A Baker’s PerspectiveSeptember 24
Christian BookaholicSeptember 24
Reading Is My SuperPowerSeptember 25
Smiling Book ReviewsSeptember 25
BigreadersiteSeptember 26
Cultivating UsSeptember 27
The Fizzy Pop CollectionSeptember 28
Pause for TalesSeptember 29
RemebrancySeptember 30
A Readers BrainOctober 3
Cafinated ReadsOctober 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes a few of Karen’s favorite things – one of which is a Hobby Lobby gift card!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!



I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Becoming Resilient by Donna Gibbs

As a professional Christian counselor, Gibbs has seen the deep pain suffered because of tragedy. She offers her practical thoughts on how to make it through that pain. This book contains a wealth of information and good suggestions.

Many have tried to explain why a good God allows suffering. I like what Gibbs concludes. “I have come to the conclusion that God allows some suffering in our lives to expose the fullness of His character – His love and mercy, His compassion and concern, His forgiveness and redemption, His grace.” (Loc 111/2666) That really makes sense to me. We could not know those aspects of God without suffering.

I like Gibbs' suggestion that we move beyond the “why.” Getting stuck there is fruitless. She helps us see the causes of suffering and its various kinds. She reminds us that Scripture tells us suffering will be part of our Christian life. We need practical help in experiencing the suffering, coming through it well.

She helps us identify the kind of behavior that gets us stuck in coping. I appreciated her identifying behavior that is a normal reaction to abnormal events but when we stay in that behavior, it turns into a psychological dysfunctional state creating further suffering. She has good information and suggestions for developing the right coping skills.

She includes many illustrations of people who have made it through suffering and came out well on the other side. She also includes biblical illustrations and some of her own experience of suffering. The stories are positive examples of people who allowed their suffering to be used for a greater purpose.

Gibbs assigns homework to her patients and she does the same in this book. She also includes application questions. She suggests we discuss these questions with a trusted friend.

I highly recommend this book to those who are suffering and are ready to allow God to use it for good. You'll read many encouraging stories and be offered practical suggestions to help you get unstuck and get through to living with resilience. Gibbs is clear that this will take work. This book will inspire you and help you on your path.

Food for thought: “If you want resilience, giving up is simply not an option.” (Loc 2089/2666)
More food for thought: “Remember, God ultimately provides our resilience. We simply cooperate.” (Loc 2289/2666)

You can find out more and read a chapter at https://www.becomingresilientbook.com/.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Donna Gibbs is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, a National Certified Counselor, and a Board Certified Christian Counselor. She earned a PhD in Christian Counseling and Psychology from Louisiana Baptist University in 2007. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is on the referral network for Focus on the Family and Crisis Care Network. She is director of A Clear Word Counseling Center and of marriage and support ministries for Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She and her husband have four sons. You can find out more at www.clearwordcounseling.org. (Author Photo: © Tanya Leshe Photography)

Revell, 208 pages.

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane Giveaway

A Face to Die For

by Andrea Kane

on Tour September 18th - October 20th, 2017


Synopsis:

Urban legend says that everyone has a double, or exact look-alike. Would you search for yours? And if you found them, would you risk your life for theirs?
When a chance encounter outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan results in mistaken identity, wedding planner Gia Russo is curious to find the person whose cell phone picture has been shown her—veterinarian Dr. Danielle Murano, her exact look-alike. A Facebook private message blossoms into a budding, long-distance friendship, and the two women agree to meet in New York and see the truth for their own eyes.
Shocked at the sight of one another, they quickly bond over drinks, childhood pictures and an uncanny feeling that they share more than just a visual resemblance. Together they decide to end the speculation and undergo DNA testing for siblingship. But when the tests confirm they’re identical twins, more questions are raised than answered.
And with good reason. The same mysterious forces that separated the sisters years ago are still at large, frantic to keep the two women apart. Their attempts to do so become more violent once it becomes clear that the two sisters have found each other. But when the danger escalates and the sisters fear for their lives, Gia turns to a former client of her wedding planning company, Marc Devereraux of Forensic Instincts, for help.
Despite being embroiled in another case, Forensic Instincts agrees to help Gia and Danielle discover who has been threatening them. And when Forensic Instincts discovers that this case is linked to the Organized Crime, they must dig up skeletons better left buried, and get at the frightening truth without destroying the sisters and the families they have grown to love.

My Review:


I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has a good plot but what I liked best about it was the characters. They made the novel a delight to read. The Forensic Instincts group is made up of people with unusual abilities. One reads body language well. Another is great at acting. One fellow is a technological expert while yet another senses the psychological states of others as well as their emotional history. It was fun to read how the group worked together to solve the mystery. I really enjoyed the wit and humor in their verbal interaction too.

I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy great character interaction as well as the solving of the mystery. You'll also get to ponder the idea of siblings being separated shortly after birth, being adopted, and then being reunited. I'll be looking for the next novel in the series. Kane can't write them fast enough for me.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1682320103 (ISBN13: 9781682320105)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York
March 1990
Anthony slid behind the wheel of his Ford Taurus and started it up, cranking up the heat the instant the engine turned over. It was friggin’ freezing outside. Even in the five minutes it had taken him to walk the babysitter to her front door, the temperature outside felt like it had dropped ten degrees, and his car was an icebox.
Shivering, he zipped his parka up as far as it would go and gripped the steering wheel, maneuvering the car away from the curb. He’d finally shared an evening out with his wife. It should have eased the knot in his gut. After all, it had been the first time that he and Carla had left their infants with a sitter since the babies had been born a month ago. And Judy was the perfect babysitter—a good girl from a good family, one who studied rather than doing drugs and screwing horny guys.
Still, dinner had been strained.
Anthony had only picked at his manicotti, his favorite dish at Raimo’s. His mind was far away, and acid kept building up in his stomach.
Carla couldn’t stop worrying and talking about the babies. She’d checked her watch a dozen times, intermittently giving Anthony puzzled looks and asking if he was okay.
Each time she asked, he’d assure her that he was fine, just exhausted from work and midnight feedings. As if to contradict his words, some new waiter had dropped a tray of dishes on the floor, and Anthony had nearly jumped out of his skin at the crash.
Carla rose, asking him to order her another drink and to get one for himself to calm his nerves. Giving in to her new-mother concerns, she went to the pay phone in the back to call Judy for an update. So far, so good, Judy had reported. But that didn’t totally erase Carla’s fretting. She tried her best to be bright and chatty, but the truth was that, as this point, she was ready to go. She’d fiddled with her napkin and sipped at her drink, making small talk and glancing at the door.
Getting the hell out of there had worked for Anthony. He was more than ready to be home with his family and not out in the open. He’d use his fatigue as an excuse. He had to continue keeping the inevitable from Carla, until he had no choice but to tell her. He’d soften the blow as best he could. But the important thing was that his family would be protected at all costs.
Now, the heat in his car roared to life, warming his body but doing nothing to extinguish his inner chill. He knew the rules. No transgression went unpunished.
Why the hell had he been so preoccupied with new fatherhood that he’d forgotten to make his collections from the designated list of construction foremen these past two weeks? That in itself was a huge black mark against him—one he’d be punished for. But the outcome of his stupidity opened the door to a far more lethal punishment. Someone else had been sent to handle his route, and his money. They would have collected and turned over twice the amount he’d been handing over. And that meant he’d better be able to explain the discrepancy—assuming he’d even be asked before he was killed.
Please God, let him have that chance. He was just on the verge of buying that gas station he’d been single-mindedly building his bank account for, just about to provide for his family’s future.
And now this.
With shaking hands, Anthony switched on the radio, gritting his teeth as Madonna’s voice blasted off the windows, followed by Michael Jackson’s. He turned the dial until finally the soothing tones of Frank Sinatra’s voice filled the car. Sinatra. Perfect. The Chairman of the Board’s crooning was just the right medicine to ease his clawing anxiety.
He reached his street and turned down the line of small brick row houses, all identical in their flat lines, gated fronts, and tiny gardens. There was a certain comfort and peace about the sameness of it all; it made it feel like a neighborhood.
Would he ever feel that sense of comfort and peace again?
He pulled into his narrow driveway and spotted Carla standing at the front door with a broad smile, giving him a thumbs-up. That meant the infants had come through their first babysitting experience with flying colors.
He forced himself to smile back, but even as he did, his gaze swept the area around the house to see if he was alone. It appeared so. Quickly, he turned off the car and then made the frigid dash to his house.
He couldn’t shut and lock the door behind him fast enough.
The soothing warmth from the heating system enveloped him when he stepped inside. Comfort in yet another form. He was home. Carla and the babies were safe. And for the moment, so was he.
With a wave of relief—however temporary—he let the tension in his body ease. He shrugged out of his jacket and hung it on the coatrack.
“You look happy,” he teased Carla. “What’s the final report?”
Carla’s eyes twinkled. “They were perfect. Judy said they’d only woken up once for their bottles and a diaper change. Now they’re sleeping like little angels.”
“Good.” Anthony looped an arm around his wife’s shoulders and led her toward the living room. “How about a nightcap before bed—to celebrate the success of our first night out?”
“That sounds wonderful.” Carla walked beside him, making a left into their comfortable living room.
They’d barely taken half a dozen steps when a tall masked man dressed in black rose from behind the large armchair, his .22 caliber pistol raised.
“Hello, Anthony.”
Anthony knew that voice only too well, and it elicited the chilling knowledge that there was no way out. No threats. Just death. “Welcome home.”
The man’s finger tightened around the trigger.
“No!” Carla screamed.
She threw herself in front of her husband just as the pistol fired.
The bullet pierced her skull, and with a shattering cry, she crumpled to the floor.
“Carla… no… Carla!” Anthony shouted. He dropped to his knees beside his wife’s lifeless body, grabbing her into his arms and openly weeping. “God forgive me. Oh, God forgive me.”
He looked up in dazed anguish, just as a second shot was fired.
The bullet struck Anthony between the eyes. His head jerked backward, and he fell over his wife, dead. Upstairs, the babies started to cry.
The gunman shoved his pistol back in his waistband. He knew the mob code like he knew his own name. No women. No children. Omertà.
A woman lay dead before him, the taunting evidence of a fuckup.
He took the steps two at a time.
Tucked in their cribs, the babies were still crying as their parents’ killer entered the nursery and hovered over them.
Not even the nightlight could eradicate the darkness.
***
Excerpt from A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane. Copyright © 2017 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:


Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including fourteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.
Her latest storytelling triumph, A Face To Die For, extends the Forensic Instincts legacy where a dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators continue to solve seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement. The first showcase of their talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks and The Murder That Never Was.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Catch Up With Andrea Kane On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the A Face to Die For Participants
 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be one (1) winner of an Amazon.com Gift card AND five (5) winners of one (1) eBook edition of A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane! The giveaway begins on September 18th and runs through October 22, 2017.
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.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Beneath the Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin

I like a good police procedure novel and Coffin is one of my favorite authors in that genre. His nearly thirty years in law enforcement shows. This novel is a good combination of character development and investigative technique. There is also a good balance of action and scene description.

I like that his detectives come across as real people, flawed but dedicated to their work. Byron is a good lead character. Many of his thoughts about the case, his work, and his personal life are included. That helped give depth to his character. It also revealed his struggle to continue the investigation when it became politically incorrect. He had to battle superiors who gave greater importance to protecting benefactors than solving the case.

This novel journeys through the darker side of Portland, Maine. It reveals some of the nastiness of a high power legal firm in the city. We are taken to some of the strip joints too and get a glimpse of the lives of some of the women working in them.

I recommend this novel to those who like a good combination of character development, scene description, and police investigative procedure. Readers who like the Harry Bosch series, like I do, will enjoy this John Byron series.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Bruce Robert Coffin retired from the Portland, Maine, police department in 2012, after more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, he spend four years with the FBI. He lives and writes in Maine. You can find out more at http://www.brucerobertcoffin.com/.

Witness Impulse, 432 pages.

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Last Christians by Andreas Knapp

We read the headlines of Islamist terrorists taking over a city in Iraq. What that means for Christians in Iraq became a reality for Knapp when he began to get to know Iraqi refugees who had moved into his Leipzig neighborhood beginning in 2014. He shares here the stories of many as well as his own visit to Ankawa and the refugee camp.

I was shocked, as was Knapp, when he heard the stories of those having to flee Mosul. Terrorists overran the city in June of 2014. Christians were given an ultimatum, convert, pay a tax or leave. He writes, “...there is no place for Christians under IS's black banner.” (Loc 120/2695) Christians had flourished there for 1600 years but were now forced to flee to Syria. There may be no Christians in the city now as it has been declared a “Christian-free” zone by the Islamic State.

I was appalled at the suffering Christians had to experience as a result of the U.S. and British invasion of 2003. “In response to the American invasion of Iraq, Muslim clerics called for a holy war.” (Loc 189/2695) Western countries were associated with Christianity and Christians in Iraq were the ones who suffered the attacks.

The personal stories Knapp has included are heart breaking. Yet the global community has not risen to protect Christians in Islamic states. He shows that this has often been the case historically. The brutal treatment of Christians in the Middle East over the centuries has been generally ignored. Knapp spends quite some time on the Armenian Genocide of 1915, a topic Turkey would like to see erased.

I highly recommend this book. It will be shocking to those who have not paid attention to the persecution of Iraqi Christians, particularly those in Mosul. It will be enlightening to those who have opposed Syrian Christians entering the U.S. as refugees. It will bring to light the human tragedy that has caused those Christians to seek asylum.

You will receive insight into the history of Christian persecution as well. It is not a pretty story. Body mutilations and repeated rapes do not make for easy reading. The first hand accounts of such atrocities still happening today are difficult and shocking but they cannot be ignored. They are clear evidence of a Christian faith worth dying for.

You can find out more about the book, watch a trailer and read a sample here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Andreas Knapp left his position as head of Freiburg Seminary to work among the poor. He is a member of the Little Brothers of the Gospel, a religious order inspired by Charles de Foucauld.

Plough Publishing House, 233 pages.

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

The Happiness Prayer by Evan Moffic

Moffic takes us through a Hebrew prayer that has made a profound difference in his life. The Eilu Devarim is ten short verses written some two thousand years ago. Moffic has been saying the prayer and living the ten practices for the last eight years.

The prayer reveals spiritual truths that will benefit all people, Moffic says. “No one religion is the sole path to happiness,” he writes. (13-14) Each of us can make the choice to live these practices, making us happier. These practices include gratitude, kindness, learning, celebration, forgiveness, and more. Moffic offers many stories from his own life and the lives of others to illustrate the benefits of the prayer.

Moffic is a Jewish rabbi. The happiness prayer, the Eilu Devarim, is based on the Jewish understanding of God. Moffic does not recognize the saving and sustaining faith of Jesus Christ nor the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For Christians, this book lacks the essential truths about happiness and inner joy taught in the New Testament.

Moffic has included questions for personal reflection or for discussion in a group. One minor irritation for me was that Moffic made reference to authors and studies, such as the benefits of journal writing, for example, but provided no bibliography for our further study. (This, even though “keep learning” is one of the wisdom practices.)

I recommend this book to readers who are not Christians yet are looking for wisdom practices to increase their happiness and enjoyment of life. You will also find out quite a bit about Jewish tradition and contemporary practice.

Food for thought: “Happiness begins in the mind.” (62)

You can find out more about the book at https://happinessprayerbook.com/.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Evan Moffic leads Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. A graduate of Stanford University, Moffic was ordained as a rabbi in 2006. He speaks at book festivals, religious groups, and organizational gatherings across the country. He appears regularly on cable news stations as a commentator on religious events. He and his wife have two small children.

Center Street, 208 pages.

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Under Fire by Linda Shenton Matchett Giveaway


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: Under Fire  
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett  
Release date: July 25, 2017  
Genre: Mystery  

Journalist Ruth Brown’s sister Jane is pronounced dead after a boating accident in April 1942. Because Jane’s body is missing, Ruth is convinced her sister is still alive. During her investigation, Ruth becomes suspicious about Jane’s job. Eventually Ruth follows clues to war-torn London. By the time she uncovers the truth about Jane’s disappearance, she has stumbled on black marketers, resistance fighters and the IRA – all of whom may want her dead.


My Review:



I enjoyed this historical novel. While the first half seemed to be a little slow in action and plot movement, the second half was a page turner. One of the underlying issues in the novel is the introduction of women in the workforce during WW II. I liked that Ruth was a strong women who could hold her own against the sneers of men yet was feminine all the way. She was a well portrayed character.

I always like to learn something when I read a novel and in this case it was about the IRA aiding the Nazis during WW II. I would have liked an afterword from the author identifying this as a true historical aspect of the novel. A little research on my part found it so.

I recommend this novel to those who like historical novels of WW II. This one has a good balance of character development and action. It also contains a very strong Christian message about God, tragedy, and trusting Him.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author


Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, and author. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a Trustee for the Wolfeboro Public Library. Active in her church Linda serves as treasurer, usher, choir member, and Bible study leader. She is author of several romance novellas and novelettes. Under Fire, the first in her trilogy about amateur sleuth/war correspondent Ruth Brown, has just been released by eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com).

Guest Post from Linda Shenton Matchett


Writers are often asked where they get ideas for their stories. Many authors start with a “what if” scenario (e.g. what if the fate of a world lies in the hands of a young man who must return a ring of great power to its place of origin: The Lord of the Rings). Other authors find inspiration in news articles (Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express). I begin my stories by creating the main character. As a former Human Resources professional, I am fascinated by the history of women’s employment and enjoy reading about those who trail blazed in industries and positions formerly dominated by men. When I was trying to decide what my protagonist should do for a living, I knew she needed a job that allowed her freedom of movement, but nothing seemed to fit until I saw a museum exhibit about women war correspondents. Of the 1,600 journalists who received government accreditation, only 127 were female. In order to get a sense of what these women experienced (derision, hostility, sexual harassment, and more) I read their memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, and articles. As an accredited correspondent they were supposed to received meals, transport to the front, and transmission of their articles. Many military officers refused to take the women into combat zones, so they had to get there any way they could, such as Martha Gellhorn who stowed away on a hospital ship and hid in the head to reach Normandy and cover D-day. It is my hope that Under Fire honors these brave and tenacious women in some small way.


Blog Stops

Blogging With Carol, September 14
cherylbbookblogSeptember 17
Carpe DiemSeptember 17
A Reader’s BrainSeptember 18
Bigreadersite , September 18 
Blossoms and BlessingsSeptember 19
The Fizzy Pop CollectionSeptember 19
Janices book reviewsSeptember 20
Back Porch ReadsSeptember 20
A Baker’s PerspectiveSeptember 21
Just the Write EscapeSeptember 21
Pause for Tales September 22
Have A Wonderful DaySeptember 22
Lights in a Dark World September 23
Karen Sue HadleySeptember 24
Vicky SluiterSeptember 25
Daysong Reflections September 25
Mary HakeSeptember 26

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize consisting of: copy of the book, Box of English Tea, Typewriter notepad, and Rosie the Riveter socks!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!



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.