Sunday, December 31, 2023

A Different Kind of Gone by Catherine Ryan Hyde Book Review

About the Book:

When nineteen-year-old Jill Moss goes missing near the Utah-Arizona border, everyone has an opinion. Only Norma Gallagher, a search and rescue volunteer, knows the real story.

Norma’s already found Jill, huddled in a cave and terrified that her abusive boyfriend, Jake, will kill her. If he ever sees her again. To protect Jill from a dangerous man, Norma quietly delivers the girl to her grateful parents in California, even though she’s conflicted. Keeping Jill safe and hidden from Jake, the press, and the public will be their secret. But secrets can’t last forever.

Five years later, the disappearance stirs a new media frenzy when Jake is arrested for the murder of Jill Moss―and Norma knows he didn’t kill her. As Jake is about to stand trial, lust for retribution inflames public opinion and Jill’s family refuses to come forward, forcing Norma to make a life-changing decision.

What are the consequences if she stays silent? And what are the risks if she dares to finally tell the truth?

My Review:

Our actions have ramifications. One choice can change the lives of so many. But, can one act change the world, or even a part of it? Can one act make right that which is wrong?

This is an interesting novel of choices, relationships, and secrets. There is quite an exploration of character, whether one is totally a monster or if there are good parts and bad parts in each of us. The plot might have been predictable but still an entertaining novel as there are thought provoking aspects to it, such as not believing it when domestic abuse is indicated.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 40 published and forthcoming books.

Lake Union Publishing, 300 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.)

Friday, December 29, 2023

Feel-Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal Book Review

About the Book:

The secret to productivity isn’t discipline. It’s joy.

We think that productivity is all about hard work. That the road to success is lined with endless frustration and toil. But what if there’s another way?

Dr Ali Abdaal – the world's most-followed productivity expert – has uncovered an easier and happier path to success. Drawing on decades of psychological research, he has found that the secret to productivity and success isn't grind – it's feeling good. If you can make your work feel good, then productivity takes care of itself.

In this revolutionary book, Ali reveals how the science of feel-good productivity can transform your life. He introduces the three hidden 'energisers' that underpin enjoyable productivity, the three 'blockers' we must overcome to beat procrastination, and the three 'sustainers' that prevent burnout and help us achieve lasting fulfillment. He recounts the inspiring stories of founders, Olympians, and Nobel-winning scientists who embody the principles of Feel-Good Productivity. And he introduces the simple, actionable changes that you can use to achieve more and live better, starting today.

Armed with Ali’s insights, you won’t just accomplish more. You’ll feel happier and more fulfilled along the way.

My Review:

Like Abdaal, I thought the answer to productivity was to work harder, do more and be more disciplined. But that did not result in a more happy life. I was intrigued with his emphasis of working on well being first, focusing on making work feel good.

Although there are many practical ideas included in this book, Abdaal says it is not specifically a “how to” one in design. Rather, we are encouraged to move toward developing a new way of thinking about productivity altogether. He has included suggested experiments so we can figure out our own best practices.

The most helpful suggestion for me was in relation to procrastination. Abdaal suggested asking ones self the purpose behind the project, getting to the big why. That often identifies the reluctance to engage in action.

I appreciate this book. Abdaal draws from many resources. Some of the information I have read before but some of his work includes new insights. This is a good book for anyone desiring a clearer understanding how feeling good ultimately increases productivity.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Ali Abdaal is a doctor, entrepreneur, amateur magician, and the world's most-followed productivity expert.

Ali became intrigued by the science of productivity while juggling the demands of medical training at Cambridge University and building his business on the side. While working as a doctor in the UK's National Health Service, Ali started to document his journey towards living a healthier, happier, more productive life on his YouTube channel and other social media platforms. To date, Ali’s evidence-based videos, podcasts and articles sharing insights into the human mind, have reached hundreds of millions of people all around the world.

In 2021, Ali took a break from his medical practice to focus full-time on his work popularising the science of human flourishing and high performance. In this book, he reveals everything he has learnt from a decade studying the secrets of feeling better and achieving more.

Celadon Books, 302 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.)

Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Juliet Code by Pepper Basham Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: The Juliet Code

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

Release Date: December, 2023

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley Finally Reach Their Honeymoon Destination Only to Encounter a New Mystery in Need of Solving

Frederick and Grace Percy finally make it to Italy to enjoy a delayed honeymoon and explore the beauties of the historic city of Venice. To their surprise, their friend, Detective Jack Miracle, is also in the city, investigating a series of art heists starting at the house of eccentric millionaire, Laraby Covington. Drawn into a world of boat races, mysterious houses, and parties of the rich and unusual in Venice, Frederick and Grace learn of the existence of the Juliet paintings, (Renaissance paintings feature Shakespeare’s tragic heroine) rumored to hold a secret code to an underground vault of similarly treasured artwork assumed lost over the centuries. As Freddie and Grace are pulled deeper into the mystery and their beloved Detective Jack disappears, can they use their wits and work as a team to find the thieves and Jack before it’s too late.

The Juliet Code is a Freddie and Grace Mystery, sequel to The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is an enjoyable historical mystery set in an exotic location. The mystery plot is complex with missing paintings, one character who loves to create deceptive suspense and many characters who are not who they claim to be.

I enjoyed the relationship between Grace and Frederick with their witty and humorous interactions. Grace knew more about solving crime than clothes and fashion and Frederick admired her for it. This being their honeymoon, there is a good dose of clean romantic dialogue. The couple frequently express their faith and trust in God as well.

While this is part of a series, I felt it read well on its own. You can read my review of the previous book in the series, The Cairo Curse

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

More from Pepper

The Ever After

I’ve always loved fairytales.

Especially the romanticized version (#romancewriter).

The wonderful sense of a two people meeting, overcoming obstacles to be together, and then the happily-ever-after?

Well, those are some of my favorite reasons to read and write fiction. However, I didn’t realize the challenge I took on when I agreed to write a second and third book with the main characters staying the same!

You know what I mean?

In most series, the main characters from book one become secondary characters in the consecutive books so that the secondary characters in book one can become the main characters in book 2 (everybody still following along? 🙂)

One of my favorite book series that do this so well is the Amelia Peabody series. I fell in LOVE with Amelia and Emerson in book one, but just loved watching their continued dynamic as a couple grow with each new book. I felt as if I got to know them so much better in their “ever after” while they engaged in all sorts of adventures together.

So…that’s what I hoped to accomplish with Freddie and Grace.

Where The Mistletoe Countess ends with a happily-ever-after, The Cairo Curse and The Juliet Code take over to show us more of the…ever after – my attempt at showing how two main characters continue to grow beyond the end of book one.

I didn’t realize what a daunting feat it would be. Watching two characters meet, fall in love, and show some growth in book 1 was what I was used to doing. But how was I supposed to continue that character growth in consecutive books?

Well, I had to grow myself as a writer to understand how small changes can make lasting differences especially when writing about a beloved couple.

I think The Juliet Code shows a little of that growth – of our Freddie and Grace have not only matured spiritually and, in Grace’s case, experientially, but also as a couple.

Do you have a series that you love where the main characters stay the same?

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, December 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Bigreadersite, December 28

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

Devoted To Hope, December 29

Mary Hake, December 29

She Lives To Read, December 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, December 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 31

Blogging with Carol, December 31

For Him and My Family, December 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 1

Back Porch Reads, January 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, January 2

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Book Looks by Lisa, January 3

Aryn the Libraryan, January 3

Girls in White Dresses, January 3

Daysong Reflections, January 4

Holly’s Book Corner, January 4

Splashes of Joy, January 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 5 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, January 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 5

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 6

Pause for Tales, January 6

Tell Tale Book reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 7

Live. Love. Read., January 7

Labor Not in Vain, January 8

Mornings at Character Cafe, January 8

Worthy2Read, January 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

The Lit Lady, January 9

Lily’s Corner, January 10

By The Book, January 10

To Everything There Is A Season, January 10


I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of thee 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.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Death Writes by Andrea Carter Book Review

About the Book:

A local author dies on stage at a literary festival. Ben O’Keeffe has to sort through his complicated estate—and find his murderer while she’s at it.

Solicitor Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe and her boyfriend Police Sergeant Tom Molloy race to Dublin after hearing that some strangers had moved in with Ben’s parents. When they arrive, only Ben’s parents and their strange lodger remain, but come morning the lodger has left. Not wanting to leave them alone, Ben persuades her parents to come and stay with her in Inishowen.

In Glendara, preparations are underway for Glenfest, Glendara’s literary festival. Phyllis Kettle, the local bookshop owner, is especially pleased to have persuaded Gavin Featherstone, the local best-selling recluse writer, to take part.

The festival begins, and an eager crowd awaits Featherstone’s appearance on stage. He is unexpectedly engaging, but when he stands to read from his new book, he stumbles and keels over on the platform.

Ben discovers that she holds Featherstone’s will at the office, drafted by her predecessor. Soon, she’s drawn into a complicated legal wrangle over the man’s estate involving his family and the assistant who lived with him.

But nothing can yet be resolved, as a killer cannot inherit from their victim—and Gavin Featherstone’s death was a murder.

My Review:

I have read a few in this series and have liked them. Ben is a good amateur sleuth though she does have the help of her detective boyfriend. Carter does a good job of providing us with a number of suspects. Some may have a grudge against the author. Some may have financial gain from his death.

I like how Carter gives us good descriptions of the setting. One gets a real sense of place. I also like the additional plot element dealing with wills. The murdered man had two wills so some issues must be clarified. Also, Ben's parents seems to have written a will under the influence of a questionable individual. Carter gives us a good picture of all the issues a solicitor must address.

Readers who like an Agatha Christie style mystery will like this one. Although it is part of a series, it reads well on its own.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Andrea Carter grew up in the midlands of Ireland, studied law at Trinity College Dublin, and worked as a solicitor on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, where she ran the most northerly solicitor’s practice in the country. Following that, she moved to Dublin to practice as a barrister before turning to write crime novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin.

Death Writes is the sixth in the Inishowen Mystery Series. Carter’s first book, Death at Whitewater Church, a winner of the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, was followed by Treacherous StrandThe Well of Ice, Murder at Greysbridge, and The Body Falls. She has been the recipient of two Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary Awards and a Dublin City Council Bursary Award. The series is being adapted for a television crime series to be titled “Donegal—The Inishowen Mysteries.” Andrea Carter lives in Dublin with her husband, documentary maker Geoff Power.

Oceanview Publishing, 320 pages.

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

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

Saturday, December 23, 2023

All's Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon Book Review

About the Book:

Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.

Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham--Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they'll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she'd be a contender in her company's holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?

Jeremy Fletcher's life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year's promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she's his rival, he can't stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he's afraid that if he can't get his head on straight, the promotion isn't the only thing he'll end up losing to Mackenzie.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is a fun Christian romantic comedy. It's a quick read, the story itself coming in under 240 pages. It is entertaining, featuring realistic characters facing a seemingly impossible task. There are good doses of humor that add to the lightness. There are also a few serious issues, however. Mackenzie is socially awkward, for example, producing periodic anxiety. Her mother has Alzheimer's too. Jeremy has had tragedy in his family and is now raising his niece and nephew. The plot is fun, even if a little predictable, and there is a good twist near the end.

There are a couple of issues with the writing style that I found distracting. The first is the change in point of view. Some chapters are more about Mackenzie's thoughts and they are in first person, her POV. Some chapters are more about Jeremy and they are in third person POV. Another issue was the changes in tense, Mackenzie's in the present tense while Jeremy's was in the past tense. I found that change in tense particularly disconcerting as the same people are involved in both styles of writing. “Keri dropped her hand.” (196) “Keri screws up her lips.” (200) It grated on my sense of writing consistency.

This is a fun romantic comedy rooted in the Christian faith of the characters, if readers can overlook the changes in POV and tense I did not like.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

HOLT Medallion and Selah Award-winner, and a Carol Award finalist, 
Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain's wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her. Learn more at

Bethany House Publishers, 256 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.)

Friday, December 22, 2023

You Make it Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh Book Review

About the Book:

It's the most wonderful time of the year--for everyone except Starr Lewis.

As if going home for the holidays jobless and single wasn't bad enough, she's dragged into a holiday season full of activities leading up to her sister's uber-romantic Christmas Eve wedding--to Starr's ex-boyfriend. But when her brother's best friend, Waylon Emmerson, attends their family Thanksgiving, she starts to wonder if maybe coming home for Christmas isn't so bad after all.

As Starr finds the perfect distraction in helping Waylon make over his late mother's Christmas shop, the most wonderful time of the year works its magic and the spark between them grows. But with the holidays fast approaching, Starr must decide what she wants out of life after the gifts are unwrapped and the ornaments are put away--to go back to New York City or to open her heart to a love that will last beyond Christmas Day?

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is a fun Christian romance for the holiday season. At around 200 pages, it is a quick but entertaining read. Shiloh does a good job of describing the Christmas events and scenes. Her descriptions of the characters were not as clear but their lives are presented in an engaging way. While this is a light romantic novel, Shiloh does explores meaningful issues. There was a particularly good discussion about finding God's will for an important decision. There was also an interesting amount of drama over sibling relationships.

I liked this short novel as a good one to read during the Christmas season. While it is a light one, there are some serious sections in it too.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Toni Shiloh
 ( is a wife, a mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince won the first ever Christy Amplify Award. It has also been praised by Oprah Daily, POPSUGAR, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable bestseller. Her books have won the Selah Award and have been finalists for the Carol Award and the HOLT Medallion. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. Photo credit: EAH Creative.

Bethany Fellowship Publishers, 208 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.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The Legacy by C L Tolbert Book Review

About the Book:

A quiet tree-lined street in New Orleans erupts in panic when the body of Sally Wilcox is discovered by her landlord. Sally had been stabbed, and she was clutching a kitchen knife in her hand at the time of her death. Later, police discover evidence at the scene which implicates Sally’s son, Jeremy, in her murder. He was arrested the next day.

Law school professor Emma Thornton is convinced by a friend to take Jeremy’s case. She begins her investigation into Jeremy and his family, and the facts surrounding the night of the murder. Layer after layer of family secrets slowly reveal themselves, as the numbers of murders and kidnappings multiply.

Holding the key to the killer’s trail and the case’s final resolution, Emma’s success depends on whether she can maintain control over her own reckless impulses.

My Review:

I liked this legal procedural mystery. Emma is a good heroine. This novel gives a good picture of a dedicated attorney working on a difficult case while also trying to parent a son beginning to make wrong decisions. To understand her client, Emma must understand his family background. She find lies and deceptions the deeper she digs. Mental illness and dysfunctional relationships are two areas Emma must explore to find out if her client is really innocent. And there is a good dose of suspense when Emma talks to people who have something to hide.

I like the structure of the plot. In addition to the murder mystery is the issue of bullying. Emma faces a bully in a prosecutor who lies and is pushy, trying to quickly advance in her field. Emma's son also faces a bully at school. It was interesting to see how the two handle their conflicts.

This is a good novel for readers who like an amateur sleuth who investigates murder to prove her client innocent.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

I have read two of the previous books in this series and you can read my review of them: The Redemption and Sanctuary.

About the Author:

After winning the Georgia State Bar Journal's fiction contest in 2010, Cynthia Tolbert developed the winning story into a full-scale novel. OUT FROM SILENCE was published in December of 2019, and is the first novel in the Thornton Mysteries series. Her second book, THE REDEMPTION, was published in February of 2021.

A recovering attorney, Cynthia retired after thirty years of practice and began writing full time several years ago, although she occasionally volunteers with Atlanta Legal Aid. She also has a Masters of Special Education, and taught school earlier in her career. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and schnauzer.

Visit Cynthia at

Level Best Books, 305 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.)

Monday, December 18, 2023

The Lies You Wrote by Brianna Labuskes Book Review

About the Book:

The double murder of a married couple in a small Washington town draws FBI forensic linguist Raisa Susanto into an investigation that mirrors a decades-old crime. Twenty-five years ago—to the day—Alex Parker murdered his parents, then took his own life, leaving behind a note admitting everything.

Raisa, paired with forensic psychologist Callum Kilkenny, uses her skills to read between the lines. Especially now that paranoid postings on a conspiracy thread suggest that Alex was a victim himself—theories that have piqued the interest of a perceptive content moderator and a true-crime podcaster eager for a big break.

As old and new crimes converge, messages from the living and the confessions of the dead take on new meaning for Raisa. Something more sinister than a copycat crime is at play, and plundering the darkest corners of a killer’s mind leaves her vulnerable to a deadly twist even she never saw coming.

My Review:

I liked this beginning to a new series featuring a linguist FBI agent. I know one has to accept the unlikely nature of a linguist actually doing field work but I enjoyed that possibility. I had no idea so much could be discovered from word order, sentence structure, etc. The main characters are rather quirky and we get hint after hint of life changing events in their past.

Besides being a good FBI murder mystery, the plot also questions whether an FBI profile agent could be completely fooled. There are a couple of great twists near the end that provide the answer.

This is the first novel I have read by this author. I like the plot development, character construction, and the amount of action balanced by the personal life of the agents. I will certainly be looking for the sequel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Brianna Labuskes is the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Amazon Charts best-selling author of psychological thrillers and historical fiction. Her books have been translated into several languages worldwide. She grew up in Pennsylvania, lived in Washington D.C. for many years and now calls Asheville, N.C. home. She enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with her pup. For more: visit her at

Thomas and Mercer, 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.)

Saturday, December 16, 2023

12 Days by Heidi Glick Novella Review

About the Novella:

Scott Newton retires from the sheriff' s office after a fellow officer is killed. Wracked by sorrow and the need for justice, Scott grows distant from his girlfriend, aspiring crime writer, Lindsay Billings. But, when Lindsay goes missing, and Scott discovers her research on the missing person cases thought to be the work of a serial murderer known as the Christmas Killer, Scott vows to find her at all costs. Police have never found the bodies of the people who went missing many Christmases ago, and Lindsay won't become just another statistic.

Then, someone kills again in Blanchardville. Police locate a corpse atop one of seven inflatable swans on a pond, and another body in a pear tree. Scott receives odd texts from Lindsay' s phone and deduces they' re from the killer.

In order to save Lindsay, Scott agrees to meet the madman and play his game. As time runs out, Scott must learn to trust in God again, no matter what.

My Review:

I liked this entertaining short mystery for the Christmas season. It got off to a bit of a confusing start for me. There is a gap of ten months between chapters one and two. The situation has totally changed for Scott, the hero. He went from being a sheriff deputy to working in an insurance office and from being nervous at asking Lindsay to go with him to a church dinner to dating her regularly. While there are vague hints, we do not find out what actually happened in that intervening time until much later. I do like backstory as soon as possible so I can enjoy the present situation completely.

When past events are explained, Scott's current actions begin to make sense and the novella takes off with a good pace. Plenty of action and suspense follows. A serial killer is using a Christmas song as a template for murders, also giving clues to Scott about the next victims. One of those victims is going to be Lindsay.

After the initial lack of backstory, this novella is a compelling read. It can be read in an evening so don't get started until you have a couple of hours free because you won't want to stop until you are finished. 

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Heidi Glick
 grew up in California but now calls Ohio home. Heidi taught middle and high school science and edited technical science documents before becoming an author. She has a passion for writing suspense novels from a Christian worldview. When she is not busy discovering unique ways to wreak havoc upon the lives of her fictional characters, she spends quality time with her family. You can find out more at

Harbourlight Books, 79 pages.

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

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

Friday, December 15, 2023

Long Live Love by Rena Roberts Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Long Live Love: Walking Out Freedom From Painful Generational Patterns

Author: Rena Roberts

Genre: Spiritual Memoir

Release Date: May 6, 2023

While utterly broken and at the end of herself, Rena Roberts broke free from spiritual bondage…and you can too.

In real life, victory over destructive generational patterns is rare. Psychologists have studied pathological family patterns for decades, trying to discover why they persist but to no avail. Part memoir, part psychological education and application, and part Christian living, Long Live Love is an invitation and opportunity for self-reflection and healing from family-of-origin issues.

Rena Roberts grew up in a profoundly dysfunctional home and set out to create a healthy, loving Christian family of her own. But when her daughter began to rebel in her late teens, Rena found herself stripped of her faith and everything she counted on from God. It was then that He began to radically transform her as she surrendered to His will and word, no matter what.

Rena’s approach to overcoming deep bondage and spiritual darkness will embolden others to go after freedom recklessly and bring the power of God’s supernatural love to their family line. This journey of freedom from generational jail is told in three sections: Longing, Living, and Loving. Each chapter ends with spiritual growth and reflection questions to examine the longings we have throughout our lives, how we try to live differently from our family of origin, and how we can truly love those we never thought we could.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a good example of the transforming journey to Christlikeness and an intimate relationship with Him. This is a raw story showing the reality of growing up in a dysfunctional setting and the struggle, even after becoming a Christian, to find true freedom from past influences.

Much of Roberts journey includes battling what she identifies as generational curses or familiar spirits, transmitting desires and strong tendencies to the next generation. While I do not feel comfortable with the idea of generational curses affecting Christians (Jesus did free us from the Curse and curses), I do accept generational patterns of life being passed down from one generation to the next. She includes valuable insights on overcoming those patterns, on spiritual transformation, becoming Christlike and being free from influences toward spiritual bondage.

This is a good book for Christians who want an example of the struggle to be free of generational influences and move to live a life free to love as Jesus loves. Roberts has included penetrating questions to help in the growth process. Keep a journal nearby and be ready to be transformed.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Rena Roberts grew up in poverty amongst a profoundly dysfunctional family. She muscled her way through college and a graduate degree in Psychology/Counseling. Rena became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 1998. She specialized in the treatment of eating disorders for twenty-five years. She has worked as a primary therapist at a residential treatment center, a clinical director of a day treatment center and in private practice over the course of her career. After homeschooling her three children and holding leadership positions in her local church, she underwent a spiritual crisis that ultimately led to the authorship of her first book, Long Live Love: Walking Out Freedom From Painful Generational Patterns. She now speaks by invitation to various women’s and youth groups sharing her life’s work and God’s work in her so far.

More from Rena

I wouldn’t say there’s anything fun about my book. It’s intense and raw and very real. It has been super fun to receive feedback from readers! They love it. They are inspired by it. They all thank me for writing such a vulnerable book. They love the reflections questions..I think my chapters on forgiveness are most inspiring to my readers and
some have applied the practices I encourage and report to me that it has been life changing, saved their marriages, etc. That’s super fun!

I also realized that I love to write and that I am a writer. I did not know that prior to this project. I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to your thoughts.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 15

Batya’s Bits , December 16

Artistic Nobody, December 17 (Author Interview)

Chronicles of Courage, December 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 19

Guild Master, December 20 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 22

Fiction Book Lover, December 23 (Author Interview)

Splashes of Joy, December 23

The Lit Lady, December 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 25 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 26

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, December 27

Life on Chickadee Lane, December 28

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.)