Strategem by Robin Caroll Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Stratagem

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November, 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:

I love a good mystery and this one was great. Set in the historical city of New Orleans, the story was very atmospheric and the pacing was brisk.

The story focused on a murder that occurred during a team building simulation adventure in a creepy mansion. There are many characters (suspects) and as the crime is unfolded through police interrogations, there are more questions than answers. The story reminded me several times of the movie “Clue” as there were many characters and the setting was dark and creepy.

I found the story to be original and fun and although I guessed the culprit ahead of time, I was guessing throughout the story.

Overall, this was a very fun mystery that I highly recommend!

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

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“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting www.robincaroll.com.

 

Guest post from Robin

Behind the Scenes: Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .

-Robin

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

Inklings and notionsNovember 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of JoyNovember 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpaNovember 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

 

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d629/stratagem-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Unannounced Christmas Visitor by Patrick Higgins Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor

Author: Patrick Higgins

Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas

Release Date: November 18, 2014

What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control

Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

This is a truly beautiful Christmas story that features a precious family. They meet a bedraggled homeless man at church named Enoch who teaches them many things and changes their lives forever.

This is the kind of story that makes you think long after reading the last page…what would I do in these situations? It also caused me to have some “sore toes” at times because of the convictions I felt regarding certain subjects. It’s straightforward but filled with truth. The author uses scripture throughout and the story really allows the reader to see and remember what is truly important.

I liked the characters in the story, the author was very good at developing them. At times I did feel like the story dragged but overall, it was a very worthwhile read and extremely heartwarming. Highly recommended!

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Patrick higginsPatrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”

 

Guest Post from Patrick

Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 10

Lighthouse Academy, November 10

The Power of Words, November 11

Christian Centered book ReviewsNovember 11

Genesis 5020, November 12

Bogging With Carol, November 12

God’s Little Bookworm, November 13

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 13

Girls in White Dresses, November 14

Moments, November 14

Mary Hake, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15

For the Love of Literature, November 15

Inklings and notionsNovember 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 16

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 17

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

Vicky Sluiter, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsNovember 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19

Luv’N Lambert Life, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Janices book reviews, November 21

Carpe Diem, November 22

Bigreadersite, November 22

amandainpaNovember 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away 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. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c7/the-unannounced-christmas-visitor-tour-giveaway

Secrets by Beckie Lindsey Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Secrets

Book: Secrets

Author: Beckie Lindsey

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: February, 2018

Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find–but the demons already have.

Four girls. Four sets of secrets. Four searching for answers.

Mackenzie is the shy, awkward new girl at school, depressed and desperate for a real friend. When she stumbles upon the deepest secret of a sarcastic, angry-at-the-world track star, Krystal, they become instant enemies-especially about the flirtatious baseball player, Bryce.

Tammi, a gloomy singer/musician who couldn’t care less about what others think of her, meets Sadie, a dancer and a people-pleaser with a cotton candy disposition. They have nothing in common until their lives begin to collide in more ways than one.

As the girls’ worlds begin to converge, their secrets rather than their similarities draw them together. Meanwhile, all that’s kept hidden has left them vulnerable to a battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep the girls chained to their pasts while angels of light work to free them.

Can good ever come from evil? Can beauty ever arise from ashes?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I always enjoy stories about spiritual warfare as they provide a visual image of the battle that goes on within the spiritual realm. This story follows 4 teenage girls who all have struggles and issues and the demons and angels that are battling for their souls. The story is full of drama and some very serious issues. I appreciate that the author did not sugar coat the story, the girls were realistic and gritty at times. Because of the content of the story, this would not be appropriate for younger teens.

The scenes of the demons were chilling and the scenes with the angels were very uplifting. I love that when the characters called out to God, they immediately found the help they needed.

The characters were each unique. The story provides what I imagine is an accurate picture of public school in this day and age. I think many teens would find this book interesting and I highly recommend it.

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Beckie LindsayBeckie Lindsey is an award-winning poet, author, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

Guest Post from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

By Beckie Lindsey

 

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

 

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

 

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

 

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

 

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

 

These are the reasons I write YA.

 

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

 

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

 

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

 

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 15

Multifarious, November 16

Blogging With Carol, November 16

Carpe Diem, November 17

A Baker’s Perspective, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Robin Is Bookish, November 20

Remembrancy, November 20

The Becca Files, November 21

Christian Centered book Reviews, November 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 22

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 22

Wonders of Anomalies Book Reviews, November 23

amandainpa, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Janices book reviews, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Bigreadersite, November 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away a grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56f/secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

Overcomer by Dr. David Jeremiah Review

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Description

We live in a time of deep uncertainty. And yet, the Bible promises we were created to enjoy lives of freedom, even in times when the world around us seems filled with darkness. We were created to be overcomers, conquering the greatest obstacles in our lives.

In his new book, Overcomer, beloved teacher David Jeremiah offers his insights on one of the most quoted but least understood passages of the Bible: the apostle Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians to take up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). With his signature depth, wisdom, and compassion, Dr. Jeremiah explores the powerful relevance of spiritual armor as a critical tool each day as we confront the specific challenges in our lives and of our time.

If you’ve had enough of living in defeat, it is time to find renewed strength and claim the promises of God’s Word to overcome life’s greatest threats.

My Thoughts

This is one of those books that came into my life at the perfect time. On October 10, my life changed forever…I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and am now trying to be still as the Lord fights the biggest battle I’ve ever faced. It’s very easy to have faith when things are going great but when your world is shattered and almost everything is taken from you, it gets much harder.

This book is amazing…each chapter teaches us how to overcome something difficult with something that comes from God (overcoming anxiety with peace, fear with faith, temptation with scripture, everything with prayer).

I devoured this book because it was so relevant to my life and gave me so much peace and filled me with joy. I consider this book to be what I call a “kiss from the King”, which is something that God gives me to show me His love. This is a book I will read over and over, both during my difficult journey now and also during future journeys.

I couldn’t recommend this book enough…it’s a book that every Christian can benefit from. It’s easy to read and full of scripture.

My Rating

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I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Parenting First Aid by Marty Machowski Review

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Description

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of parenting trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips parents to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t.

Parenting isn’t getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This parenting resource is for weary parents overwhelmed with parenting, their children’s choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.

For parents with small struggles or weighty parenting trials—such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion—Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God’s faithfulness to parents experiencing hardship.

The easy-to-use format provides parents with encouraging and faith-strengthening words to trust God in his work in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all parents can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

My Thoughts

Parenting is definitely the hardest responsibility I’ve ever been given…to realize that God has entrusted two precious lives into my hands to raise and “train in the way they should go” is very scary sometimes, but also amazing. My children are now 12 and 15 and the decisions that I make as a parent are much more difficult now than they were years ago…it used to be so cut and dry but now we are entering a stage of many gray areas. I knew I needed this book when I read the title. There are so many moments when I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread as a mom, screaming for a lifeline and feeling like every decision I make is wrong.

This book is broken down into 20 chapters that are meant to be read each for 1 week. This provides a time of reflection and meditation on what is read. The book provides “reinforcements” for those of us parents who are deep in the trenches of this difficult battle. It provides hope and help with a lot of scripture and testimonies from other parents.

I am beyond thankful that this book came into my life. It is an excellent resource and gave me hope. I highly recommend this book to all parents…those who are in a difficult situation and those who aren’t (yet).

My Rating

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I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Miles from Where We Started

Book Title: Miles from Where We Started

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Christian Romance/Family life

Release date: October 16, 2018

These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this story. It had a lot of depth and substance. The 2 main characters, Mallory and Connor are dealing with some heavy issues and find themselves on a cross country road trip with a troubled pre-teen as their marriage is on the brink of dissolving.

I appreciated the honesty in the story…neither of the characters had a deep relationship with the Lord at first and their growth came very naturally. They also struggled realistically with having a troubled youth tagging along on their trip while dealing with relationship issues.

The story progressed naturally and along the way the characters met many interesting people and saw many sights. I love a good road trip story and this one was very well done…atmospheric and definitely worth a read. I highly recommend it!

I received this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

cynthia ruchtiCynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

 

Guest Post from Cynthia

I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.

My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?

Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.

As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?

Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”

Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.

Can’t wait for you to read it, too.

Hemmed in Hope,

Cynthia

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid ReaderOctober 25

Reading Is My SuperPowerOctober 25

The Power of WordsOctober 25

All-of-a-kind MomOctober 26

Lighthouse AcademyOctober 26

Real World Bible StudyOctober 26

Quiet QuilterOctober 27

Kristin’s Book ReviewsOctober 27

Christian BookaholicOctober 27

cherylbbookblogOctober 28

Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

RemembrancyOctober 28

Godly Book ReviewsOctober 29

Captive Dreams WindowOctober 29

By The BookOctober 29

Maureen’s MusingsOctober 30

Spoken from the Heart , October 30

SusanLovesBooksOctober 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSOctober 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyOctober 31

Locks, Hooks and BooksOctober 31

Mary HakeNovember 1

Book by BookNovember 1

amandainpa , November 1

Pause for TalesNovember 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessNovember 2

Just CommonlyNovember 2

Southern Gal Loves to ReadNovember 3

Baker KellaNovember 3

Two Points of InterestNovember 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesNovember 4

Inklings and NotionsNovember 4

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 4

Texas Book-aholicNovember 5

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsNovember 5

Janice’s Book ReviewsNovember 6

Carpe DiemNovember 6

A Baker’s PerspectiveNovember 6

A Diva’s HeartNovember 7

Reader’s Cozy CornerNovember 7

BigreadersiteNovember 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway