Saturday, August 19, 2017

Spotlight (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Out of Darkness



 
To purchase your copy, click here.


About the Book

Book title: Out of Darkness  
Author: Erynn Newman  
Release date: May 18, 2017  
Genre: Romantic suspense

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare. 

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more. 

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go. 

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo. 

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.  




About the Author

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. 

She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.





20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after. And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone. But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Light, the prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris. Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about. The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!




Friday, August 18, 2017

Review + GIVEAWAY: A Name Unknown


A Name Unknown
By Roseanna M. White
Shadows Over England #1
Bethany House, 2017


Summary

She's out to steal his name. Will he steal her heart instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets-now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary's challenge of a lifetime comes when she's assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can't help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the crown-so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she's the right person to help him dig through his family's past.

Anger and danger continue to mount, though, and both realize they're in a race against time to discover the truth-about Peter's past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

Learn more and purchase a copy.


My thoughts

I have enjoyed several of Roseanna M. White’s excellent novels, but there is that intangible “something” that sets A Name Unknown apart for me. Sometimes a story simply resonates in a special way … maybe it has something to do with how the setting (Cornwall), characters (fascinating and complex), storyline, and spiritual theme all blend together. Whatever the reason, I loved A Name Unknown and am excited about the whole Shadows Over England series. I believe these stories wonderfully reflect the author’s God-given creativity.

Cornwall Coast
For someone who loves British settings as much as I do, it doesn’t get much better than the rugged, majestic coast of Cornwall, which is vividly conveyed. And then there’s the hero and heroine, Peter and Rosemary – so real, sympathetic and endearing. Honestly, could there be two more opposite characters? Peter is kind, good, with a great sense of humor, and he stutters! Rosemary is a Cockney girl who became a thief in order to survive, and acquired a unique “family” in the process (I’m already in love with Willa and look forward to her story). Peter, with German family connections, faces doubts as to where his loyalty lies – and Rosemary is out to steal that name. Peter is a believer, and applies those beliefs to his daily life. Rosemary believes in a God who doesn’t hear.

Avid readers will love that Peter is a writer, with a totally messed up home library that Rosemary is hired to organize. Just imagine this … “Shelves lined the walls, floor to towering ceiling. Lined with books, all of them. Then with books stacked in front of them. Books stacked on the floor. Books stacked on the chairs, the tables, lining the windowsills. Boxes of them. Random cases of them at odd places.”

Rich in historical detail and accuracy, the pre-World War I years make a fascinating backdrop for this story. Peter and Rosemary are compelling characters with great chemistry between them. Best of all is how Peter shares his faith and the growth we see in Rosemary. I enjoyed A Name Unknown so much and hated to reach the last page.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

http://litfusegroup.com/author/RWhite

_________________________



Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself.

Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram


GIVEAWAY

A special thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for making this giveaway possible.

To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here. If you’ve enjoyed any of Roseanna’s books and maybe have a favorite, please share. (It was the first Culper Ring novel, Ring of Secrets, that drew me to Roseanna’s writing.)

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on August 24, 2017. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: Wilderness Reunion


Wilderness Reunion
By Elizabeth Goddard
Wilderness, Inc. #4
Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, 2017


Summary

After stumbling on a drug operation, Alice Wilde races through the woods as bullets whiz past, using her skills as a wilderness guide to elude her pursuers. But she doesn't stay safe for long once one of the armed men recognizes her…and starts stalking her.

When the sheriff asks her to guide his men and photojournalist Griffin Slater—her ex-boyfriend—to the crime scene, though, she can't refuse. Alice knows Griffin's just there for a story, but after the two of them are separated from the rest of the group, he's the only person who can save her. And with someone willing to do anything to hunt them down, Alice must put aside their past if she wants to survive.


My thoughts

Wilderness Reunion is an edge-of-your-seat page turner, filled with non-stop action – also impossible to put down. With Elizabeth Goddard’s distinctive gift for conveying vivid imagery and bringing characters to life, I was transported into the Oregon wilderness and caught up in Alice and Griffin’s story from the very first paragraph.

Suspense isn’t my genre of choice, but I’ve consistently enjoyed the Wilderness, Inc. series. For one thing, the stories I’ve read are more action packed than filled with scary suspense or terror. Secondly, in a genre that isn’t known for its character depth, Goddard creates well-rounded characters that readers can immediately connect with.

Blossom Bar, Rogue River
Wilderness Reunion takes place in Oregon’s wilderness, and I could “see” its wildness, rugged beauty and majesty as I read. In the river rafting scenes, I could almost hear the water churning and roaring around me. Griffin, a photojournalist who captured the tragedies of the world, felt he was damaged goods because of all the horrors he had witnessed. Wonderful romantic tension is created when Alice, who literally finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, is forced to rely on Griffin in a life-or-death situation – and both struggle with emotional baggage from their past relationship.

Wilderness Reunion stands out to me because it calls attention to a growing and dangerous problem in our country today –marijuana farms located in remote wilderness areas. Goddard writes at the end: “I wanted to raise awareness of the devastation that’s being inflicted on public lands in our beautiful country. Not only are illegal marijuana farms catastrophic to the land, the wildlife and water, but they’re dangerous to people, especially nature enthusiasts.”

I thoroughly enjoyed Wilderness Reunion and look forward to Elizabeth Goddard’s next series.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

_________________________


Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. She’s a double finalist in the 2016 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense for her books BURIED and BACKFIRE in the Mountain Cove series.

A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time. She currently makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and children.

Website │ Facebook │ Twitter │ Pinterest



Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: The Return



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: The Return  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Release date: Sept 1, 2017  
Genre: Amish  

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances. 

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.  




My Thoughts

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – 1763

This New World, intended to be a holy experiment of tolerance, was anything but. All these devout people – Scots-Irish, Quakers, Mennonites, Moravians, Lutherans – they all distrusted each other. But let the talk turn to Indians, and they were instantly thick as thieves, united in their hatred.

As with all that Suzanne Woods Fisher writes, The Return is incredible. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s the best book she has written because each story is unique and never fails to touch me, but there is something special about this one.

From a descriptive standpoint, the narrative flows smoothly and every word has a purpose. Careful attention is paid to historical detail, characters are multifaceted – and in the midst of danger and discord for colonists of the New World, Fisher injects a subtle and delightful humor. We even get to see the meaning behind some common sayings heard today … such as hitting the nail on the head and I’ll be there with bells on. This story stands alone, but reading the Amish Beginnings series in order makes for a more fulfilling experience.

Precious and endearing characters abound … Bairn and Anna, whose story began in book one, Anna’s Crossing; Bairn’s now-grown-up brother, Felix, who was a handful as a child and hasn’t yet outgrown some childish tendencies; Caleb, who knows what it’s like to not be fully accepted in any culture; Betsy and Tessa, two pioneer women with strength and determination; and even Rumpled Martin, son of a Mennonite minister. Bairn and Anna, equally strong in faith and love for each other, have been favorites of mine throughout the series. I have to confess a little humanness here, but there’s just something about a Scotsman that gets to me, and when Bairn speaks in his Scotish brogue …

What sets this novel apart is the way readers will connect with the setting and characters, literally being pulled into the scenes. These characters may have lived 250 years ago, but their wisdom, faith and courage are timeless. Spiritual themes are especially relevant … 

   ... the need for grace, reflected in Bairn’s ministry style at Stoney Ridge 
   … how thoughtless words can incite an unquenchable anger and vengeance 
   … prejudice, how easy and tempting it is to paint all people of a certain nationality or belief system with the same brush 
   … that we must never allow evil to be victorious 
   ... and that God is sovereign in all circumstances.

The Return is a wonderfully entertaining and touching story – heartbreaking at times, but filled with the inspiration of grace and hope. I hope to see more from these characters, especially Betsy, Tessa, Caleb and Martin. “Best of the best” for me.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

____________________

Favorite quotes …

“It often puzzled Tessa how personal significance was needed for men to see things clearly. Their secret pride.”

“Vengeance is a dangerous master to feed. Its appetite has no end.”

“What virtue does obedience have if it is not examined and then made to be a choice?”

“A bachelor is a man who’s too fast to be caught or too slow to be worth catching.”


About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish

She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.










Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed. 

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.  

Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest. 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.


*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Spotlight (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron




Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron
By R. L. Syme
The Matchmaker Mysteries #1
Hummingbird Books, 2017

Note: Mystery fans, this looks like a good one – and I understand that it’s clean. I didn’t have time to do a review, but I ordered the ebook version on Amazon for only 99¢ and look forward to reading it soon.


Summary

Small towns and gossip go together like flaky crust and sweet pastry cream. Between the police scanners, social media, and the senior center, it’s like a zombie apocalypse where the undead consume people’s secrets instead of living flesh.

But Vangie Vale wants nothing more than to stay under the radar…especially the police radar.

So when her new bakery becomes linked to a murder investigation, nothing will stop the gossip mill from connecting her to the dead body. Can’t have that.

Forced into the role of investigator, this new-in-town bakery owner has to become the very thing she hates–a nosy, small-town gossip–in order to clear her good name, and keep her face off the front page. But when a dating debacle brings her face-to-face with the Sheriff, Vangie can’t ignore the fact that one of her macarons was involved in a murder. She has to find the who-dun-it.

Book One in a cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

_________________________



Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese.

Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. 

You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.




Purchase Links
Amazon   B&N


GIVEAWAY




Monday, August 7, 2017

Spotlight (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): A Door Cracked Open



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: A Door Cracked Open  
Author: Carmina Edwards  
Release date: November, 2015  
Genre: Biography

Raised in a mean-spirited, poverty-stricken home in the seventies, where her quarrelsome father tries to squash her carefree spirit and her three siblings make fun of her, Amy struggles to understand what value she has. Somehow finding God in the midst of an atheist upbringing, she perseveres to grow up better than the useless person she’s assured she is. 

When told at the age of sixteen that she must start working to pay her way instead of finishing school, she dares to dream of a better life, away from the squabbles and constant despair she encounters at home. 

A magazine ad from a family in Sweden, looking for someone to watch their children, entices Amy’s adventurous spirit, and she soon finds herself looking through a new door in her life, cracked open to an amazing world she never dreamed possible, where people are nice to her and life is good.

"An incredible true story of perseverance in adversity, this is one account where truth truly is stranger than fiction." ~Laurie Penner.


About the Author

I am a mother of two wonderful grown up children and currently living in the UK, after living in Sweden for three years where I wrote my first book, “A Door Cracked Open.” I was blessed to be able to spend six months in USA before returning to the UK, my home country, to work with my editor in California on the edits of this book and visit friends. 

I am an avid reader and linguist, having also spent some years living in France and have been fortunate enough to have taught Swedish and French over twenty-five years and translate for businesses and manuscripts in both languages. Being unemployed the past few years, has led to me becoming homeless. However, I never give up hope. As I try to portray in my books, God has always had His hand on me. Once again, He has stepped in right at the last minute. I now have a new job in Sweden and will be moving back there. Because I feel passionately about helping the homeless, a large percentage of my royalties will go directly to them.


Guest Post from Carmina Edwards

Something about my book. 

After many friends, having seen the unusual life I have led up until now, told me that I should write a book, I finally decided to do just that. I am an ordinary person who has not suffered more than many, but have been privileged with many extra-ordinary experiences. I wrote my book in order to share with others, just how God has had His hand on me and brought me through some tough times which seemed impossible to find a way out of. 

My first book highlights some of this, though it isn’t until the second book, that more becomes clear and the third book will show the extreme mercy and grace He has showered me with. The story is still unfolding. My aim is to show, through my writing, that giving up is never an option. Stay true to God and He does pull us through. Trusting in Him is key and I personally, have seen Him transform some of the dreams He put onto my heart, into reality. 

I’d love for my books to be of some encouragement to others and have so far received several emails from readers all over the world, telling me how my story so far, has done that. One went so far as to say that she had given up, but read my book purely by chance and has picked herself up and is once again back on the road to reach her goals. The story of a scatty, spontaneous and highly sensitive girl, ridiculed all her life because of her faith and dreams, (she’s born into a completely atheist family). never gives up and some of the situations she gets herself into are pretty scary, but sometimes humorous. Yet God’s protection is seen all the way through.


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carmina is giving away:
Grand Prize of a book themed gift basket all the way from Sweden!
and
A 1st – 3rd place prize of an eBook copy of A Door Cracked Open!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!




Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Wounded in the Church



To purchase your copy, click here.


About the Book

Book title: Wounded in the Church  
Author: Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward  
Release date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction

Church should be a safe place, right? Then why do so many get hurt there? Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward combine their years of ministry experience to address head-on the elephant in the room: church members and church leaders hurt Christians. All the time. And the long-lasting effects—rejection, shame, despair, loneliness, fear—can be devastating. The authors have witnessed the rise of the “dones,” those who are just done with God thanks to scars from church. 

With first-person stories of hurt and loss, this book is a wake-up call for any who deny woundedness in the church but is also a redemptive message for any who hurt from church wounds. Leaders and laypeople alike will learn how to grieve over abuse, to leave unhealthy attitudes and patterns that cause pain, and to trust in God’s real, delivering work through churches that build up, not tear down. Thanks to the grace of God, there is always hope beyond the pain.


My Thoughts

Christians wound their own, and most of us probably know someone who has been hurt or even turned away from God and the church because of this. I don’t understand why we can’t forgive as we’ve been forgiven and freely offer the same grace that we’ve received. Many Christians do, but not all – and it’s those who don’t that seem to get the most attention.

Wounded in the Church, a book that explores this topic in great depth, would be great for personal use and also as a resource for pastors and church leaders. The authors divide this topic into two parts – “The Pain” and “The Hope.” It’s well written, incorporates a lot of real-life examples, and is solidly Scripture based. I loved the meditative ending of each chapter, which includes a proverb and “Psalms for the Wounded” section.

This book is not only helpful to those who have been hurt by other Christians, but eye opening in showing how we could unintentionally be the actual ones wounding others at times. I would like for it to have had more of a personal focus rather than on the established church, but this book still has many strong points. Wounded in the Church is well worth the read.

Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Authors

Ray Beeson is the director of Overcomers Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. Ray teaches seminars on spiritual warfare, prayer, and Christlike living and is the author of numerous books including Signed in His Blood (Charisma House, 2014) and The Hidden Price of Greatness (Overcomers, 2000). Ray and his wife, Linda, live in Ventura, CA. 

Chris Hayward has had over thirty-six years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving as president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, a discipleship ministry that works with the local church around the world. He is also the author of God’s Cleansing Stream (Chosen Books, 2004) and The End of Rejection (Chosen Books, 2007). Chris and his wife, Karen, live in Castaic, CA.


Guest Post from Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward

When we tell people we’ve written a book entitled “Wounded in the Church,” many nod knowingly. Sadly, the pain and heartache that happens in churches is all too common. Collectively, the two of us have spent more than 70 years in ministry. During that time we have seen neglect, tactlessness, and blatant insensitivity fostered by some leaders and congregations resulting in the wounding of others. We realize it is not prolific in every church, but the wounding is significant and it needs to be exposed. 

That is why we wrote this book – we share real stories of real people who were wounded in church, a place that should be a shelter of God’s love and peace. Sometimes people are abused by leaders or church members. There are also times when leaders are abused by people within the congregation. As you read, perhaps you’ll identify with some of the situations described. If so, be assured you are not alone. If you have been wounded, it is our hope and prayer God uses this book to facilitate healing. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope beyond the pain.


Giveaway


To celebrate this tour, Whitaker House is giving away
- Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward
- First Place Prize: Walking by Faith mug with matching pen OR Bouquet of Blessings mug and Wounded in the Church 
- Second Place Prize: Walking By Faith pen and Wounded in the Church

Click below to enter. And if you or someone you know has experienced this, please share. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!