Thursday, April 30, 2020

Milton's Heroine: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Mortal Sight


About the Book

Book:  Mortal Sight
Author: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads
Genre:  Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 14, 2020

When Worlds Collide, Shadow Wrestles Light

Seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe wants a normal life; one where she and her mom can stop skipping town every time a disturbing vision strikes. But when a girl she knows is murdered by a monster she can’t explain, Cera’s world turns upside down.

Suddenly thrown into an ancient supernatural battle, Cera discovers she’s not alone in her gifting and vows to use her visions to save lives. But why does John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost keep interrupting her thoughts?

In a race against time and a war against unearthly creatures, will decoding messages embedded in the works of classic literature be enough to stop the bloodshed and protect those she loves?


Click here to get your copy!

Book Review

I ABSOLUTELY loved this book. My inner pre-teen self was freaking out while reading it. It is definitely a book I would’ve been obsessed with-and kind of am obsessed with now-if I had read it during my pre-teen/early high-school years. I loved fantasy genre at that time and was a little bit of a fangirl.

I could not put this book down. I was fascinated and intrigued by everything that was going on. I loved Cera and the role she played, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Maddox. On that note, my one complaint about the book was that every girl who interacted with Maddox seemed to swoon over him. That got just slightly annoying. But other than that, I loved the plot, I loved the creativity, I loved the inclusion of Milton’s Paradise Lost, I loved the characters…

…and I want more! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. I am desperate to know what happens.


I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

About the Author


Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is a Cuban-Colombian born in Queens, New York but currently lives in Dallas, Texas. Her previous experience includes earning a M.A. in her 17th century crush, John Milton, writing scripts and performance pieces, directing theater, acting, and running an employment consulting and marketing company. As an AFA-NIET National Finalist in Public Speaking, she welcomes an audience and dreams of playing the theme to Jurassic Park on her cello, named Lysander. Mortal Sight is her debut novel.

More from Sandra

I am so excited to share this story. The original story seed for Mortal Sight came from the premise: what if someone never felt like they belonged in this world because they really didn’t? They were born for a place they didn’t know existed, an unseen realm. And if so, what things in our everyday world would shout out this truth, point to this other world, and try to get their attention to let them know that the restlessness is intentional and they were called to something bigger than themselves. The use of art and literature throughout the story comes from my own love for art and the artist community. The unique way artists look at the world could point to this other realm. I chose Milton’s Paradise Lost, in particular because the poem speaks of things invisible and unseen wars. I have a deep love for artists and the creative community and love encouraging others to tell stories through art, whether it’s visual, music, poetry, dance, writing, etc. It’s in art’s narrative that we see broken pieces of ourselves. This story came from the idea that art could create common ground, kickstart community, and maybe even change the way we see ourselves, others or even the world.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize package of Mortal Sight hardback with exclusive signed bookplate, plus bookmark/Sticker/Button, $30 Amazon gift card, hardback copy of Paradise Lost, and writing Journal of Pierre Auguste Cot’s The Storm!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

God's Chosen: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Dove Strong


About the Book

Book:  Dove Strong
Author: Erin Lorence
Genre:  Christian YA

Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up and fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges.

But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s followers and Satan’s to take back America. It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody. 



Click here to get your copy!


Book Review

When reading the first few chapters, I was very unsure of the book. And a little lost and confused, too. But the further I got into the book, the more I fell in love with it. The plotline is very interesting, and the world that Erin Lorence creates is quite unique.
I struggled with relating to the main character, Dove. And her bluntness oftentimes threw me off guard. But she has this strong desire to serve the Lord and her strong faith is admirable. I strive to have faith like hers.
Dove travels to the Council with a young girl named Melody. The two characters couldn’t be anymore opposite. But I love the bond the two of them develop over time, and the reader can tell the two care for each other, even if they wouldn’t want to admit it.
I like the way she presented non-believers in the book, too. And I really like how she incorporated the United Church of America-a Church that was open to “all religions” but had a very skewed view of Christianity and was unacceptable of the real Christianity. A very worldly concept.
Overall, I did like the book. Like I said before, the first few chapters were rough, but after I got through those, I wasn’t able to put the book down.
I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review.

About the Author


Erin Lorence grew up in rainy Western Washington, an avid reader and the daughter of a published nonfiction author. She attended Washington State University (WSU) where she met and married her husband, Brian. Together, they recently moved to Apex, North Carolina with their two amazing daughters (who also love to read) and their beagle Charlie (who doesn’t read). Her lifelong love of literature, her gratitude to God, and her enjoyment of hiking in Central Oregon all inspired her to write the Dove Strong Trilogy. Visit her at:  www.erinlorence.com.

More from Erin

I politely smile and keep what I really think inside. But my main character, Dove Strong, doesn’t. She blasts people with the full force of her words. Sometimes Dove’s words sting…but she’s never merely polite or hum-drum boring.

I secretly hug the random and ridiculous moments of life to myself, preserving my appearance of normalcy. But when I write, the true ‘uncool’ me escapes. It is responsible for the caterpillar dangling from a character’s nostril as well as for the little sister who won’t stop harping on about her precious bag of chips.

I write to escape and to help others escape. I write to laugh and make readers smile. I write so ‘the lost’ will wake to find that they crave an intimate relationship with The One who loves them most.
This is why I write. And that is why I wrote Dove Strong.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, April 13
Artistic Nobody, April 14 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, April 16 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, April 18 (Author Interview)
Emily Yager, April 19
Rebecca Tews, April 21
Vicky Sluiter, April 22 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize package of paperback copies of Dove Strong and its sequel Fanatic Surviving!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Restoration and Forgiveness: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Desert Willow


About the Book

Book:  Desert Willow
Author: Patricia Beal
Genre:  Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2020

After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?

College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.

Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?



Click here to get your copy!

Book Review


What could be more romantic than traveling across the world to deliver a letter to a long-lost love? Throw in some army men and a main character who loves ballet, and you’ve got yourself a five-star book right there.

But the book is about so much more than just romance. It's about being able to forgive others and yourself for past mistakes, just like Christ does for us. 

I fell in love with Andrew pretty much immediately. He was kind, gentle, and sweet. It took me a little bit longer to like Clara. She was a little bratty in the first couple of chapters, but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. Both of these two characters struggle with ugly pasts that were built by heartbreak, but as they bond, they give each other hope.

I wish I got to see more of Alice and her family. They are such sweet characters, and actually quite important to the plot, and I would’ve liked to have gotten to know them better.

Overall, though, I did really like this book. And the ending was just so…it was a little sad, but it was also beautiful. A perfect ending.


I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

About the Author


Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.



More from Patricia

Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry
I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.

Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.

And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?

Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.

The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.

Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.

Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.

We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?
Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 13
Robin’s Nest, April 14
Batya’s Bits, April 15
Older & Smarter?, April 16
Rebecca Tews, April 19
Emily Yager, April 20
Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Hallie Reads, April 20
Pause for Tales, April 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (https://amzn.to/37TEN21)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Accepting God's Will: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Grasping Hope


About the Book

Book:  Grasping Hope
Author: Heather Greer
Genre:  Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Release Date: March 2019

When dreams turn into nightmares what’s left to hold onto?

Katie McGowan knows her fears are irrational. They’re also beyond her control. Her mind says her fiancé is faithful, but the betrayal of her past love ignites a fear stronger than her trust. Attempts to overcome it are unsuccessful. Nothing banishes her panic attacks for good. Dreading Austin’s response if he finds out about her struggle to trust, Katie hides the truth nearly destroying their relationship.

It takes a lesson in hope to start healing. Katie is released from the nightmares holding her captive to enjoy the blessings God has given. But when tragedies change her life forever, Katie’s understanding of hope is challenged. Unresolved anger and disappointment leave Katie doubting the sincerity of her beliefs. Desperate to prove her faith and minimize her failure as a believer, Katie buries her feelings beneath all the right words. Katie must learn where true hope is found or risk losing her faith under the weight of the things she has lost.



Click here to get your copy!

Book Review


Our past can be powerful. Opening up her story, Greer proves this through Katie. Katie is constantly haunted by memories, and she can’t seem to shake her ghosts. As someone who deals with anxiety, too, I could understand Katie’s pain as she dealt with panic attacks and her inability to fully trust and commit.

The story moves quickly, though, and soon focuses on Katie’s present-and the tragedies that occur there. I couldn’t help but sympathize with Katie and hurt with her as her life just seemed to continue to go downward in a spiral. I felt bad for her and just wanted to crawl through the pages and give her a big hug and tell her everything would be alright.

I never read the first book in the series, although now that I read the second one, I kind of want to. Grasping Hope, though, could stand alone on its own. Greer was able to recap pretty much everything that happened in the first book through dreams Katie had and conversations between characters, which I appreciated. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by a ton of information, nor did I feel lost in the book.
 
Overall, I really did enjoy this book! It was interesting, sad, and hopeful and a good reminder that God is in control, everything happens for a reason, and that God will always be with you.

I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

About the Author


Heather Greer is a pastor’s kid and pastor’s wife from southern Illinois. Though her nest is quickly approaching the empty stage, with three of her four children out on their own, she enjoys the times she gets to spend with all her children, husband, and grandson. Equal mix geek and romantic, you could as easily find Heather watching an episode of Doctor Who as the latest Hallmark movie. Of course, you may find her baking, reading, or crafting too!

Heather’s writing and teaching ministries revolve around a passion to see believers grow in their faith. Though God has used her most often with teens and adults, she has worked in ministries reaching all age groups through the years. It is Heather’s prayer for God to use what she writes in her books and on her blog to challenge and encourage readers in their faith walks.



More from Heather


Often, we throw around the word hope as if it’s a fancy replacement for a wish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Godly hope is more than wishing our circumstances were different without any indication that our desire could become reality. When our hope is based on who God is and what He has promised in His word, it becomes something to anchor us in the troubling times we go through. It is what allows us to give the circumstances that weigh us down to God and go on living life even though physically there may be no changes in what’s happening.

Hope isn’t pretending the bad stuff isn’t there. And it isn’t acting as if the hard things don’t hurt. Hope doesn’t erase the hurt or ignore the problems, but it does free us from allowing our emotions and circumstances to control us. Hope lets us have peace that makes no sense to the rest of the world. Hope allows us to rest in the middle of the trial. Hope based on scriptural truths allows us to live with joy even when things aren’t going our way.

As I wrote Grasping Hope, God took me to places that challenged and grew my own understanding of what it means to have hope as an anchor to our souls (Hebrews 6:19). When I started writing, I had no idea the path God would take me down to show me just how little I understood about hope. It’s something I never want to repeat and wouldn’t wish on anyone. But the lessons I learned grew me as a believer, and it is my prayer that what I learned through this difficult time in my life comes through clearly for everyone who reads Grasping Hope.

Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Heather is giving away the grand prize of $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Love for Appaloosa Horses, Dogs, and God: The Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and Giveaway of Hope in the Mountain River


About the Book

Book:  Hope in the Mountain River
Author: Misty M. Beller
Genre:  Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2020

This epic journey is not at all what she expected.

Joel Vargas can’t believe he’s lost his older brother in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains after surviving their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. And he can’t shake the feeling that Adam—his only living relative—is in dire trouble. No matter what the cost, he and his band of friends won’t stop until Adam is found. He doesn’t have time to contend with the two Indian women who seem to be shadowing his every move.

After the devastating loss of her daughter and husband to a sickness that swept through their Nez Perce camp, Elan is desperate to find an escape from her grief. As she and her friend journey through the mountains toward the great river, a band of white men is the last thing she expects to find, especially as winter blows in full force.

When the dangers increase, accomplishing Joel’s mission becomes the only hope for all their survival. If the elements don’t consume them, Elan has a feeling life will never be the same for any of them.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and intense adventure.



Click here to get your copy.

Book Review


When I read the first book of the series, Freedom in the Mountain Wind, one of the plotlines that intrigued me most was Joel’s search for his brother. So when Hope in the Mountain River came out, I jumped at the chance to read it.

While not as good as the first book, in my opinion, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I liked that we got a chance to know Joel a little bit better. And I especially loved meeting Elan. Her story is sad, and the reader can’t help but grieve with her as she mourns her husband and child.

While this book is part of a series, you can read Hope in the Mountain River on its own without getting confused, although it is helpful to read the first book to be able to meet the majority of the characters.

That being said, I wish I got to see the other characters more-such as Caleb and French. They were such fun characters in the first book, but they only play a small role in this one. Not to mention we see little of Susanna and Beaver Tail as well.

Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. I can’t wait to see what Beller has coming next.

I had received a copy of this book as part of the Celebrate Lit Blogging Team and was required to give an honest review. 

About the Author


Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

I’ve always been a horse lover, and was blessed to grow up on a farm. My brother and I each had ponies of our own and rode hours each day. When we were old enough to graduate to full-size horses, we met neighbors who also had horses and loved to ride together. The two mares they rode had a mottled black and white spotted look, which I knew to be part of the Appaloosa breed. Through hears of riding together, I developed a deep appreciation for those two Appaloosa horses, as well as respect for the entire breed! Those two mares proved they could outrun and outlast any of the other horses in our riding group.

I’ve long wanted to include Appaloosas in one of my stories, especially since the breed was said to have begun in the Nez Perce tribe who lived just west of the Rocky Mountains. I’m so excited for you to meet Elan, the heroine in Hope in the Mountain River!

Elan and her friend are traveling through the Rockies on their Appaloosa horses, animals who can ride faster and longer than all the other horses in their group—even through the treacherous terrain of the Rocky Mountains!

I pray you love this story as much as I loved writing it. Enjoy a glimpse of the famous Appaloosa horse!

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, March 31
Genesis 5020, April 2
Rebecca Tews, April 5
Splashes of Joy, April 6
Bigreadersite, April 6
Betti Mace, April 7
Simple Harvest Reads, April 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, April 12 (Guest Reviewer Donna Cline)
Pause for Tales, April 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.