Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book

Book: The Wonderland Trials

Author: Sara Ella

Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy / Alice in Wonderland retelling

Release date: July 12, 2022

Solve the clues. Face your fears. Survive the Trials.

All Alice Liddell wants is to escape her Normal life in Oxford and find the parents who abandoned her ten years ago. But she gets more than she bargained for when her older sister Charlotte is arrested for having the infamous Wonder Gene—the key to unlocking the curious Wonderland Reality.

Soon, Alice receives a rather cryptic invitation to play for Team Heart in this year’s annual—and often deadly—Wonderland Trials. Now she has less than twenty-four hours to find her way into Wonderland where nothing is impossible . . . or what it seems.

The stakes are raised when she discovers players go missing during the Trials each year. Will she and her team solve the clues and find the missing players? Or will betrayal and distrust win, leaving Alice alone in a world of her own? Follow the White Rabbit into this topsy-turvy fantasy where players become prey, a sip of the wrong tea might as well be poison, and a queen’s ways do not always lead one where they ought to go.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This novel is an interesting play on the century old story by Lewis Carroll. I haven't read that story in decades but noticed various plays on aspects of it. Alice finds herself in a very unusual world with a multitude of adventures.

I liked the exploration of reality, imagination and dreams. What is reality? Might dreams actually be memories of another reality? “How is the world inside your mind any less real than the one outside it?” (813/4817) There is a scene inside a building where one can make changes to its appearance. Alice tries to wrap her mind around the idea that a mere thought changes how she sees the world. (2309/4817) And several times we are faced with the possibility that there is nothing impossible with faith. Thought provoking ideas indeed.

World building is a difficult skill. The world building for this novel is a bit rough. While we know of the separation, the reason and results are not given until nearly forty pages in. I would have preferred that information earlier. I did not understand all of the complex plot. There were so many deceptions and less than full disclosure by so many of the characters, even the positive ones, I was frequently lost. There was much by which to be confused. This book is long, well over three times the length of Carroll's. I felt this novel was repetitive for the plot.

This is a novel for readers who love everything Alice and fairy tales and imaginative games. There will have to be a sequel as we are left hanging at the end of this one. I'll be watching for it, wondering where Ella's imagination will take us next.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a castle. Now she spends her days homeschooling her three Jedi in training, braving the Arizona summers, and reminding her superhero husband that it’s almost Christmas (even if it’s only January). When she’s not writing, Sara might be found behind her camera lens or planning her next adventure in the great wide somewhere. She is a Hufflepuff who finds joy in the simplicity of sipping a lavender white mocha and singing Disney tunes in the car. Sara is the author of the Unblemished trilogy and Coral, a reimagining of The Little Mermaid that focuses on mental health. Her latest journey into the world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland feels like coming full circle after her time spent chasing the White Rabbit around Walt Disney World. Sara loves fairy tales and Jesus, and she still believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.” Connect with her online at SaraElla.com or find her on Instagram at @saraellawrites.

More from Sara

Welcome to Wonderland!

When I started this journey down the rabbit hole, I had no idea where it would lead me. From switching publishers to signing a book contract during a pandemic, this writing journey has certainly been an adventure for the books!

As with every story I write, life handed me a few trials along the way with this one. I didn’t know how it would end until a few weeks before deadline. With that time crunch came an epiphany that altered a good portion of the plot—an idea that had me scrambling to rewrite entire scenes right up until the final hours before I turned the story in to my editor. It was difficult, but the book is better for it—I am better for it.

It could be said that an author shapes the story, but I personally believe it’s equally true that the story shapes the author. Every book I have written has changed me in some way. With The Wonderland Trials, I can pinpoint three takeaways that helped me grow in ways I never expected.

I learned to not take life so seriously.

We all have to do the adulting thing. We have bills to pay and homes to clean and deadlines to meet. But in the midst of all that chaos and craziness is a time to laugh. To play. To make a mess on the living room floor building Legos with my toddler or take a walk to the park.

I found myself often rushing through time with friends because I had to write or work or check more boxes off my task list. But feeling stressed and cutting friend and family time short didn’t accomplish anything. It didn’t get my book written faster. I’m not saying to put things off that need to be done—it’s important to be responsible. I am saying I learned that I have to balance work and play, and most importantly, I need to be present for those in my life.

It’s not only okay to sit back and relax now and again, it’s necessary. I need to let go of the constant to-do list and invest my time in things that bring me joy. That way, when it’s time to sit down and pound the keys, I’m filled and inspired, rather than tired and anxious.

I learned to see the beauty in found family.

They say you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. I disagree. As a girl who was raised by a stepdad who has loved me unconditionally as his own from the time I was two, I think there is something truly special about family that you find and make your own.

There have been times I’ve felt jealous of my friends who still have their biological parents around. I lost my mom in 2012 and my birth dad in 2020. I have maybe a handful of blood relatives left. I love them to bits, and I’m so grateful for them! But my family extends beyond the boundaries of blood. When I really think about it, I have family coming out of my ears and then some.

I have besties who became my soul sisters and women who stepped in as moms and grandmas. I have big brothers who would protect me with their lives and nieces and nephews I get to spoil on holidays and birthdays. As Alice says in The Wonderland Trials, “​​Sometimes family isn’t the one you’re born with. It’s the one you find. Or the ones who find you.”

I learned to believe in the impossible.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the pessimist in my family. I try to see every worst-case scenario when making a decision. I ask all the what-ifs in the book. I’m like MJ in the Spider-Man movies— “If you expect disappointment, then you can never really get disappointed.”

My husband, on the other hand, has the faith of a child. When I’m lacking in faith, he’s there to remind me of all God can do. And God almost always surprises me with how He goes about doing those things. In a world with drive-thrus, mobile bank deposits, food deliveries, and every other form of instant service we can think of, the call to be patient and wait on the Lord is often forgotten.

I want answers now. I want my family member to be healed now. I want the baby we’ve been waiting over a year to adopt now. God can do the impossible, right? So why doesn’t He hurry up and do it already?

Because God is not a vending machine. And just because He chooses not to perform the miracle I want when and how I want it, that doesn’t mean he isn’t working. In fact, it’s the waiting period when God tends to do His best work on me.

More often than not, I am the impossible one, the impossible heart that needs changing. The stubborn clay that needs molding. The cracked tea cup that needs to be fixed and filled with rivers of gold. What I see as impossible to fix or change, God sees as an opportunity to help me grow. So I’ll keep believing in the impossible. After all, God took me, an impossibly helpless sinner, and made me into something new.

Thank you for taking time to read my thoughts and for giving this little book a chance. Happy reading, Wonders! The impossible awaits!

Sincerely,

Sara Ella

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 30

Rachael's Inkwell, July 30

A Reader’s Brain, July 31

For Him and My Family, July 31

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 2

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 3

Inklings and notions, August 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 4

deb's Book Review, August 5

Live. Love. Read., August 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 8

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, August 8

Library Lady's Kid Lit, August 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10

Melissa’s Bookshelf, August 10

Wishful Endings, August 11

Blogging With Carol, August 12

Rebecca Tews, August 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a signed Limited Edition Hardcover of The Wonderland Trials, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and $15 Starbucks Gift Card!!

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/2038e/the-wonderland-trials-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.)

Friday, July 29, 2022

Prophetic Forecast by Joshua Giles

God has given Giles insight into what is happening today and what will be happening in the near future. Giles' desire is to prepare Christians for what is coming. He reveals some of his past prophetic words, such as one predicting a coming virus. He includes very good teaching on the aspects of prophecy. There is material at the end of each chapter including practical suggestions for remaining faithful in ministry and preparing for the future.

Giles writes about many changes coming in the near future including a new pathogen worse than Covid, a great prophetic movement, money systems changing to digital, changes in national ranks, food shortages to become the norm, changes in weather patterns, a new social media platform, a new political party in the US, a female US president in the near future, a persecution coming to the Church in America and other developed nations not seen in modern times, great unity in the body, and more. “Life as we know it will change along with everything around us.” (1455/2986) Like every prophetic revelation made in the past, time will be the test for Giles' predictions.

There were a couple of things in the book that bothered me. One was Giles taking Jeremiah 29:11, a promise to Israel, out of its context. (355/2986) Another was Giles declaring that the president took the US out of the UN. (1980/2986) This is not true. President Trump did remove the US from UNESCO and UNHRC in 2017 and 2018 respectively but that is far different than being removed from the United Nations in total.

Giles has given Christians a book full of information and encouragement to be prepared for the future. This book is especially appropriate for those called to prophetic ministry. We Christians need to be aware of Satan's tactics and prophetic voices are key to that awareness.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Joshua Giles is an apostle, prophet and sought after conference speaker, traveling worldwide. He has been featured on national TV and media outlets. He is the lead pastor and founder of Kingdom Embassy Worship Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a popular podcaster, with Global Prophetic Forecast averaging sixty to eighty thousand viewers weekly. He has a double bachelor's degree in business management and psychology, and a master's degree in theological studies. You can find out more at www.joshuagiles.com. Photo © Brent Dundore

Chosen Books, 240 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.)

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Confidently You by Joyce Meyer

Confidence is a key to being all God desires you be, says Meyer. Being confident means, “...you become the best, most courageous, most positive version of yourself.” (61/1255) Meyer is quick to point out she is not writing about self-confidence. This is not about relying on your own strength and effort. Our confidence is in Christ alone. We draw our strength from God, trusting His character absolutely.

Meyer encourages us to see ourselves as God sees us. She reminds us of the problems we encounter when we put confidence in something or someone other than God. She explores the benefits of confidence in God, receiving God's love, living authentically. She also addresses cautions and helps us overcome obstacles like fear or opposition. Meyer has included thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter as well as encouraging Scripture.

This is a short book packed with encouragement from Meyer. This material is from her previously published book, The Confident Woman .

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the world's leading Bible teachers. Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches practically and candidly, openly sharing her experiences and helping millions of people to apply biblical principles to their situations and ultimately find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Her book Battlefield of the Mind has been a perennial bestseller, teaching people how to win the war in their minds and “think about what they think about.” Joyce holds conferences across the United States and around the world, and her Enjoying Everyday Life program is broadcast on TV, radio and online to millions in over 100 languages.
 
She has also authored over 135 books, which have been translated into over 160 combined languages. Joyce’s passion to help hurting people is the foundation of Hand of Hope, the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries, which provides humanitarian relief through its hundreds of global outreaches.

FaithWords, 128 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, July 27, 2022

Restored Grace by Kathleen J Robison Blog Tour


About the Book

 

Book: Restored Grace

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 21, 2022

They promised Jesus would be with her through everything, but is that enough?

Free-spirited vintage thrift shop owner, Carol Scape, wallowed in grief after her boyfriend’s murder. However, with newfound faith, she’s finding out what it means to die-to-self and put others first. Even if it could cost her life.

Carol is on a mission to save a runaway teen and an at-risk girl from Will Boudreaux, the man just released from jail for running a prostitution ring. The same man who previously terrorized Bay Town residents. Can’t the town get a break? Can’t she?

She’s up for the challenge, but when sparks ignite between her and the town mayor, it muddles things. Having sworn off men, he’s getting in the way of what she feels she must do. Or is he?

Restored Grace is the second book of the Bay Town Series, continuing one year after Shattered Guilt. It’s a stand-alone, amped-up, romantic suspense. Buckle your seat belt. You’re in for a ride.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is the second novel in a series but dealt with a different major character so read relatively well on its own. The main character, Carol, is a new Christian. Her actions and thoughts are a good exploration of the struggles a new Christian endures when a sinful past keeps rearing its ugly head. Carol was really rough around the edges and I had to keep reminding myself that she was a new Christian and still finding her way into right living.

As in the first novel in the series, this one has a plot that centers on human trafficking. Carol fights the battle against an evil man in somewhat unorthodox ways, much to the dismay of those around her and law enforcement. Because of her past, Carol also struggles with the possibility of romance. It is only by God's grace she can find her way to a life restored to its full possibilities.

I found Robison's writing style a little hard to follow at times. Carol always screamed, never yelled. Other than a few quirky things like that, this was a good novel highlighting a tough woman being renewed by God's grace.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of the first book in the series, Shattered Guilt.

 

About the Author

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.

More from Kathleen

I love writing inspirational romantic suspense featuring heroic women. In Restored Grace, Carol Scape embodies my efforts. She’s impulsive, she’s wild, she’s crazy…and she’s back. With a newfound faith in Christ, she tackles the bad guy with a style all her own.

The main character in Restored Grace is a favorite of mine. In fact, I brought her back from Book One because my Library Critique Group loved her so much. When I read a chapter from Shattered Guilt, where Carol plays a minor role, the Branch Manager Librarian laughed and quipped, “I know women just like her, and you nailed her perfectly!”

Perhaps in some ways, I secretly (I guess it’s not a secret now) wish I was her. Impulsive, the life of the party, indifferent to what people think about her, and confident in her skin. Carol is 50ish, pleasantly curvy, a boho-chic hippie with long wavy, graying, red hair that constantly tangles in her arms, and others because she moves so quickly. She wears lots of loud, jingly jewelry, and always puts on her prettiest face (with light makeup but tempted to use a heavy hand). And I love her fashion style. Colorful swirling, tiered skirts, cowboy boots, peasant tops, and fringed shawls. If I was taller, I’d love to carry that off, so I let my alter ego, Carol Scape do it for me.

Yet, in some ways, women like her used to drive me crazy. They walk into a room, and in minutes their larger-than-life personalities can’t help but draw attention. But I’m so thankful the Lord has humbled me, and if someone drives me crazy … I look at myself and see what I need to work on. Still, call it envy, expectations, or too much energy, but people like her exist, don’t they? And we must admit, they’re a lot of fun. Are you a Carol, or do you know a Carol? Either way, we’re called to love everyone. And the most important thing is caring about all people enough to be concerned for their eternity. I don’t mean judging, but sharing, encouraging, and pointing them to Jesus, whoever they may be and wherever they are in their walk.

Three particular things that I hope you’ll identify in the new Carol are her struggle with God’s grace, her selfless desire to help others, and her discovered confidence in Christ. The beauty of writing inspirational romantic suspense is bringing to life how real people, with real problems, struggle with their faith just like us, as we trust that the victory belongs to the Lord.

I hope you enjoy reading Restored Grace, and I hope you’re encouraged and inspired to receive and extend the precious grace of our Savior, Jesus, to all those whom God puts in your path…much like Carol.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reder, July 27

Blossoms and Blessings, July 28 (Author Interview)

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 31

A Baker’s Perspective, August 1 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 2

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, August 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 4

deb's Book Review, August 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7

Blogging With Carol, August 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 9 (Author Interview)

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

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Cold, Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs

About the Book:


Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. Freed from a heavy work schedule, Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to the subsequent killings uncovered, except that each mimics in some way a homicide that a younger Tempe had been called in to analyze. Who or what is targeting her, and why?

Helping Tempe search for answers is detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit—and still displaying his gallows humor. Also pulled into the mystery: Andrew Ryan, Tempe’s Montreal-based beau, now working as a private detective.

Could this elaborately staged skein of mayhem be the prelude to a twist that is even more shocking? Tempe is at a loss to establish the motive for what is going on…and then her daughter disappears.

My Review:

I have read most of the novels featuring Temperance Brennan and have enjoyed them. It's been a while since I have read one, however, and I did not feel this one was up to the usual fine presentation. I was a bit surprised at how much of the text was rehashing events or Temperance thinking about the many possibilities of the meaning of past events or options of future events. Temperance seemed to be “off” in this novel. At one point she wondered why she hadn't had an epiphany earlier. I wondered too. And she kept going off and doing stupid things on her own, especially when Slidell told her to stay put.

Slidell was way too disgustingly mouthy and I did not like his character at all. The reveal close to the end had previously unknown information identifying the villain. Nonetheless, the villain was pretty easy to identify early on. And Ryan is pretty much a no show. I missed him.

I have liked this series and although I do not think this novel is any where near Reich's best, I will look for the next one.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:

 

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was an international bestseller. Cold, Cold Bones is Kathy’s twenty-first entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.  Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which was based on her work and her novels. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit her at KathyReichs.com or follow her on Twitter @KathyReichs. Photograph © Marie-Reine Mattera


Scribner, 352 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.)

Off the Chain by Janice Thompson Blog Tour


About the Book

Book: Off the Chain

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre: Christian Fiction / Mystery

Release date: July 1, 2022

The Town of Brenham, Texas, Has Gone to the Dogs!

Curl up with your pup and sink into a delightful small-town mystery as riddles and rescues stack up in book one of a new cozy mystery series.

Marigold Evans’ first attempt at rescuing an abandoned pooch lands her in a drainage pipe in Brenham Texas. . .and almost in jail, until Parker Jenson comes to her rescue. Then a bad day only gets worse as the Lone Star Vet Clinic, where they both work, is vandalized and the list of suspects starts to climb. With the help of her fellow employees, Marigold sets out to simultaneously solve the crime, rehab the rescued dog, and help more dogs in crisis. But why would anyone continue to work against all their good efforts?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a delightful novel, one especially of interest to dog lovers. The plot is centered around a veterinarian clinic. There are relationship issues with some of the people who work there. It appears someone wants to damage the business. And there is a crazy business owner next door who hates dogs, and people too it seems.

I liked the characters. Marigold is a sweet young woman. She has a heart of gold. Though her intentions are good, she often gets into a bit of trouble. And she sometimes hurts others with her unregulated mouth. Somehow God causes her missteps to always work out, however. I really liked her grandma. She makes a mean cabbage soup and home made fiber balls, to keep you as regular as a clock.

I liked all of the information on dog rescue and foster care and more. There is a great spiritual lesson included in how things work out. This is an engaging novel illustrating how God can work everything out for good. There's humor, a nice romance, and good characters, both human and canine. A fun novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs! My world is full of dogs. If you follow me on social media you’re probably overwhelmed with dog photos, but I simply can’t help myself. I’m in love with pooches of all shapes and sizes.

My fascination with dogs began when I was six years old and I got my first pup, Spunky. He was a mixed breed terrier. From that day until now I’ve had the pleasure of owning many, many pups—some purebreds, some street dogs that needed a safe place to stay, some elderly with chronic or acute health issues. I can’t get enough. They offer unconditional love, after all!

A few years back I was asked to foster for a local rescue, My Chi and Me. The rest, as they say, is history. For a quick glimpse at some photos, follow this link. You’ll see that I’m mostly enamored with small dogs. (Hey, I live in a tiny townhome and have limited space!) That said, I’m always willing to take on one more.

My most recent rescue ventures landed me squarely in the middle of a book idea: Why not use a dog story as the basis for a cozy mystery? My editor at Barbour Publishing wanted something dog-themed and I was happy to oblige. That’s where the idea for Off the Chain (and the whole Gone with the Dogs series) came from—a simple idea involving dogs and crime.

I took the opportunity to focus solely on rescue dogs as the idea developed. These days (especially post-Covid) the need for homes for these pups is great. I linked arms with my BFF, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and together we set our series in Brenham Texas, not far from our stomping ground in the Woodlands. I felt strongly that we should merge two separate dog worlds: rescue and veterinary. (Hey, Brenham is close to A&M and they know a thing or two about veterinary training!)

Thus, the Gone with the Dogs series was born. And writing the first book, (Off the Chain), was a blast! I hyper-focused on one primary point of view character, a vet tech. (As the owner of three dogs I feel like I’m always in the vet’s office!) My stories, which is written in first person, took me back to my writing roots. I love, love, love writing in first person because I “become” the character. Fun, right?

My editors loved the book and it got some fun endorsements, so I’m excited to see what my readers think. I can’t wait to get their feedback. I hope it’s not too “Ruff!”

But, seriously. . .I’m hyped! And I’m feeling so blessed to merge my worlds—dogs and writing!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 26

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, July 26

Texas Book-aholic, July 27

The Book Club Network, July 27

An Author's Take, July 28

Remembrancy, July 28

deb's Book Review, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

The Avid Reader, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 30

Christina's Corner, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 3

She Lives To Read, August 3

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, August 4

Blogging With Carol, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 6

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

Mary Hake, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 8

Books I've Read, August 8

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

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

Monday, July 25, 2022

Vanished Without a Trace by Sarah Hamaker Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book

Book: Vanished Without a Trace

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspence

Release date: June 28, 2022

A missing person case. A new clue. And a fight for survival.

After nine years searching for his missing sister, attorney Henderson Parker uncovers a clue that leads him to Twin Oaks, Virginia—and podcaster Elle Updike investigating the case. Partnering with the journalist is the last thing Henderson wants, until mysterious thugs make multiple attacks on both their lives. Now they’ll have to trust each other…before the suspected kidnappers make them disappear for good.

Click here to get you copy!

My Review:

I enjoyed this romantic suspense. Hamaker has provided readers with a plot that kept my interest and characters who drew my care. I liked the romance aspect, that Henderson and Elle are initially adversaries. That's because Henderson is looking for his long lost sister and Elle is preparing to make a living off of the situation. I like how they are forced to cooperate and romance develops, despite efforts to the contrary.

I liked Elle. She is an independent woman, willing to go off alone in the dark of night to find helpful information. Henderson was less engaging, not nearly as aggressive in the search. That is odd since he did take extended time off from his job to find his sister.

The ending was like a hopeless situation in those old westerns where the cavalry miraculously comes over this hill to the rescue. The final reveal had a nice twist but seemed a bit unreasonable. In the end, an enjoyable read with a well presented romance and a decent mystery.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats. Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.

More from Sarah

As a podcaster myself, I’ve listened to many true crime podcasts, such as “Up and Vanished” and “Accused,” so when I was thinking about the plot for Vanished Without a Trace, I decided to have my heroine be a true crime podcaster investigating cold missing persons cases. I also am fascinated by unsolved mysteries, probably because I love history, and have a strong sense of justice—I want those who commit crimes to be caught. Of course, as a Christian, I do rest in the assurance of God as the ultimate and only truly righteous Judge, but I do find myself rooting for cold cases to be solved and criminals brought to justice. Thus the book combines my two of my interests—cold cases and true crime.

Personally, I can’t imagine anything more difficult than to have a loved one go missing and never be found or heard from again. The uncertainty of their fate must weigh very heavily on the family members left behind. I wanted to capture some of that with Henderson’s strong desire to find his missing sister, Helena, and reunite her with their mother. He’s seen how much Helena’s absence has taken a toll on their mother’s health and mental well-being, and when he has a chance to chase down the first real lead in years, he jumps at it.

Elle’s motives are no less personal than Henderson’s—her own heart aches for these grieving families. Having distant parents, she wants to help families heal by discovering what happened to a loved one if possible. But Henderson doesn’t trust her motives and the two clash more often than not over her podcast.

I hope you enjoy seeing how Elle and Henderson learn to work together to find Helena…and perhaps, their own happy ending.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 25

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, July 25

Bizwings Blog, July 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 27

Through the Fire Blogs, July 27

Betti Mace, July 28

For the Love of Literature, July 28

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 30

Inklings and notions, July 31

Genesis 5020, August 1

Bigreadersite, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 2

deb's Book Review, August 3

Livin’ Lit, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 5

Paula's Persuasion, August 5

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, August 6

Blogging With Carol, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a Vanished Without a Trace branded tote bag, Vanished Without a Trace pin, a print copy of the book, plus a $75 Amazon gift card!!

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/1ffe1/vanished-without-a-trace-celebration-tour-giveaway


I received a complimntary 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.)