The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book51e5obPqP-L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

Title: The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Author: Lindsay Harrel

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

This was such a lovely story. It follows 3 women, all struggling with things in their lives and journeying to discover what truly matters.

It takes place in Cornwall, England, a place I’ve never visited in books or real life, and I really enjoyed the time I spent there in this novel. Not only is the book set in a very quaint seaside English town, a large portion of it takes place in a bookstore. What more could a book lover ask for?

The characters in the story were all people that I would love to be friends with. I adored the friendship that was formed between Sophia and Ginny and Emily was such a sweet- natured girl that I was rooting for throughout the entire book. The romances were also very well done and not rushed or unrealistic.

The faith content was subtle but very well done and I loved the message that was given through it.

Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable story to escape into. Lindsay’s writing style is very easy to slip into and I would definitely read more of her books.

My Rating

4 stars

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

 

About the AuthorB1TqqyVuflS._US230_

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.

 

Guest Post from Lindsay

With every book I write, it seems God has something new to teach me. That certainly was true of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.

Lately, I am learning more and more about the power of our words. I’ve become more conscious of the words I speak over myself as well as what I say to other people. It’s more than “positive thinking”—the words we say ultimately contribute to the stories we weave, and I want my story to be as positive and hope-filled as possible, regardless of my circumstances.

I’ve also become much more aware of the lies that I tell myself—“you are not worthy, you are not enough, you will never achieve what you want to achieve”—and the need to replace those lies with the truths that God says about me. I have listened to Lauren Daigle’s song You Say on repeat lately, and it has become a theme not just of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, but one in the story of my very life.

So while I may not have experienced everything my characters have—I’ve never suffered emotional abuse, or been ostracized by my family, or been orphaned and alone in a world that seems against me at every turn—I have learned alongside them. I set out to write a book that would draw readers closer to the true healer and hope giver, and I ended up being drawn closer myself.

And that, to me, is the true power of story.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 26

The Avid Reader, February 26

The Power of Words, February 26

Carla Loves To Read, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Inspirationally Ever After, February 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, February 27

Real World Bible Study, February 28

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 1

Andy Carmichael, March 1

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Just Your Average reviews, March 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 3

Emily Yager, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Genesis 5020, March 4

Reader’s Cozy CornerMarch 4

Stories By GinaMarch 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, March 5

Remembrancy, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 6

Inklings and Notions, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 7

Book by Book, March 7

Living Life Free in Christ, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

To Everything A Season, March 8

The Lit Addict, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 10

Janices book reviews, March 10

Bigreadersite, March 10

Henry Happens, March 11

Godly Book Reviews, March 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 11

amandainpa , March 11

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a copy of Lindsay’s first book The Heart Between Us!!

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/dcc3/the-secrets-of-paper-and-ink-celebration-tour-giveaway

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber Review

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Synopsis

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

My Thoughts

The premise for this book sounded very interesting and I absolutely love the cover so I was very excited to pick it up. Unfortunately, this was a big disappointment to me.

The first half of the book was just leading up to the labyrinth and felt like a lot of setup and it seemed to drag. The writing was choppy at times and a bit hard to follow. The labyrinth scenes were enjoyable but sometimes felt a bit rushed. I would have liked more of the book to be focused on that.

My biggest issue with this book is that it’s published by a Christian publisher but there is absolutely no faith content whatsoever. It felt very much like a mainstream, secular book. From the extreme kisses to the black magic and ghouls, I was wondering where the author was going to bring in the “Christian” element. (She didn’t). I don’t need or like an author to “shove the Christian message down my throat,” but if it’s published by a Christian publisher, I do expect there to be some kind of faith content included, whether it be a character praying, going to church, referencing God, or a reference to Him in some way. I was extremely disappointed to see that this did not happen. There was also something disturbing about one of the characters that didn’t belong in a “Christian” novel,  in my opinion.

I attempted to read another of this author’s books in the past and DNF’d it because of the content so I think I’m done with her books unfortunately.

My Rating

1.5 stars

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

American Omens by Travis Thrasher Review

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Synopsis

In this taut thriller that depicts a future where belief is dangerous, faith is deemed hatred, and a group of powerful elite keeps watch, the Reckoner has come to wake up America.

The year is 2038 and Cheyenne Burne is a brilliant young programmer working for Acatour, the world’s top technology firm. Her father converts to Christianity, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. When a stranger hands Cheyenne a coded message that sends her on a collision course with a clandestine group of believers, she must put her life in the hands of those following a man known only as the Reckoner. He claims he wants to bring back true faith in Christ to America and also reveal the forces behind the disappearances of the many renowned people who publicly declared their Christian faith.

Operating in the shadows and living off the grid, this mysterious prophet assembles a ragtag team–including a former bookseller whose store was shut down for selling prohibited books–to help him take the battle for transparency to the top. With a ruthless FBI agent closing in, can Cheyenne and the others expose the truth and lead a return to God in America before it’s too late?

My Thoughts

To me, this can be the scariest kind of “scary book” because the things that occur in this book are likely to happen in the very near future. Set in 2038, the story shows a world where Christianity is no longer tolerated and Christians are mysteriously disappearing. There is a man who is known as The Reckoner, who is working to spread the true message of Christ and to “wake people up to the truth”.

I really found the world in this book interesting. It is a world ruled by technology and artificial intelligence. It is not a big leap to imagine our world today being in that world in 20 years.

The characters were realistic and gritty (some of them). I enjoyed following them around the country and seeing their development.

Overall, the story was full of action and surprises but at times it felt a bit rushed. I would love to see a sequel to this story.

My Rating

4 stars

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

Pajama Party The Story by E.C. Jackson Spotlight and Giveaway!


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Pajama Party: The Story
By E. C. Jackson
YA Christian Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages
August 26th 2017 by E. C. Jackson

Most sleepovers are simple. Food, fun, and pillow fights. But sixteen-year-old Karen Duncan has bigger plans for her slumber party. Family troubles have changed her over the past year, and she’s no longer the petty, selfish girl she used to be. Now she’s ready to shake things up with her friends. The guest list comes as a surprise to some and a slap in the face to others. This popular girl has invited some not-so-popular guests. Even more shocking, she’s left out some of the girls she’s hung out with since middle school.

Diane and Evette are outsiders, nervous about being stuck in a house with the same girls who tease them at school. Kathy, Lisa, and Joann come to the party with the confidence of the in-crowd, but they’re masking inner-turmoil that is bound to surface. Sandy and Angela are usually the voices of reason…usually. And then there’s Linda, the friend that got away. She may not ever forgive the girls who abandoned her years ago. Karen hopes to change her mind.

Her agenda is ambitious, and it could spell disaster. But Karen is convinced God will use this party to spark a new beginning for everyone involved. This companion book to A Living Hope gives us the inspired story Sadie Cummings wrote for the girls of Shiatown.

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About the Author

E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. For three and a half years she published the Confidence in Life newsletter for Alpha Production Ministries, in addition to writing tracts and devotionals. Teaching a women’s Bible study at her church for eleven years naturally led to her current endeavor of writing inspirational romance novels and teen and young adult fiction. Her mission: spiritual maturity in the body of Christ through fiction.

A note from E. C. Jackson: “The Write Way: A Real Slice of Life” is the slogan on my website and Facebook author page. If every person reading my book feels connected to the characters, my job is done.

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Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One 1st Prize winner will receive:
A Living Hope Paperback (the companion book to Pajama Party: The Story)
– 1 Key chain for Pajama Party: The Story
– 1 Key chain for A Living Hope

One 2nd Prize winner will receive:
– A $25 Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally
Ends March 6, 2019

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Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron Review

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Synopsis

A storied castle. A band of rebels. And a nation chasing the centuries-old dream of freedom . . . What legacy will they leave behind?

When Laine Forrester travels to France to attend her longtime friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find a bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks–a devastating diagnosis, a castle restoration put on hold, and the emergence of deep-seated family dynamics that threaten to derail the new couple’s fledgling marriage–it seems the storybook life Laine had imagined for her friend–and once, for herself–is suddenly crumbling before her eyes.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending for one of them, Laine throws support behind her friend and agrees to accompany the couple to the groom’s family home in Ireland, where the merging of a mysterious inheritance, long-buried wounds, and a fractured family set out to upend the trip from the start. It’s in the unlikely corners of a historic Dublin pub, and across the wide-open moors bordering Ireland’s majestic Wicklow Mountains, that Laine is slowly drawn in by the land and the people, sparking hope for something she never imagined possible: the courage to heal. But with secrets of her own–and a heart afraid to trust again–Laine must determine how much she’s willing to risk in mending the broken places within herself, and whether she believes that even through the depths of our pain, a beautiful story can emerge.

Set in three time-periods–the revolutionary era of the late eighteenth century, Ireland’s turbulent Easter week of the 1916 Rising, and present day–Castle on the Rise weaves a story of legacy, conviction, and redemption against the backdrop of Dublin’s storied streets, and the stretch of Ireland’s stunning emerald shores. It raises the question: given the choice between the fairy tale or a life of truly anchored faith–which legacy would you choose?

My Thoughts

This story is told in 3 different time periods (present day, 1916, and 1798) and follows many characters in Ireland. All the stories involve a crumbling castle and manor near the Irish Sea.

The story is very atmospheric, as I read the words, I was swept away to Ireland and felt as though I was travelling along with the characters. Kristy Cambron is very gifted of describing everything so that the picture is very clear and vivid.

I found the book to be very educational as I had never learned about the 1916 Easter Rising or even the snugs in Irish pubs (which I found very interesting and had to google pictures after reading about them).

I did find the plot to be a little bit dull and I was not very interested in any of the romances. I also felt as though the story didn’t seem like a Christian fiction story…it seemed more like a clean fiction story.  I also at times got confused by the number of characters and the 3 timelines switching back and forth.

Overall, the atmospheric quality of the story was my favorite part.

My Rating

3 stars

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

 

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins Review

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Synopsis:

When a condemned man with nothing to lose meets one with nothing to gain, everyone washed by the endless ripples of that encounter will forever recall the day a little bit of heaven invaded a whole lot of hell. Brady Wayne Darby and Thomas Carey could hardly have been more disparate individuals. Yet when Darby, a no-account loser raised in a dingy suburban trailer park, encounters Carey, a weary man of God, an entire—state indeed, a nation—is affected. Embark on a wondrous journey where death, guilt, and despair are unfathomably trumped by rebirth, forgiveness, and hope. Author Jerry Jenkins says: “This is the novel I have always wanted to write. I determine whether a fiction idea has merit by how long it stays with me. Does it rattle in my brain, and do I find myself telling it to my wife and other confidants? Is it the type of a tale that will draw me back to the keyboard every day? Two-thirds of my published books have been novels, and only three have had that effect on me. I give my all to every one, but special joy and anticipation attend those that genuinely feel like the best ideas. “Riven” is my fourth such labor of love. The two main characters have remained in my memory since high school 40 years ago. The story idea is perhaps 20 years old. And those mystical, interweaving elements I hope make it all work have been tugging at me for more than a decade. If a novelist has a life’s work, this is mine. I hope in the end you agree and that “Riven” stays with you long after the final page.”

My Thoughts:

This is a story that will stay with me for a long time. The characters truly came to life and are people that I think about often. The book follows Brady, a young man who grows up in a trailer park with a neglectful mother and no father and Thomas, a pastor who struggles to find his place in serving God. Throughout the book you follow these 2 men as they both struggle in different ways until the time comes where their paths intersect.

This book is over 500 pages but not once did I feel like it was slow or lagging. I was interested in the story with every page that I read. It spans many years and the character development is extremely well done.

There are some gritty scenes in the book but the content is clean overall. I highly recommend this book to readers. It was amazing and one of my all time favorites!

My Rating:

 

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I received this book by using my points from Tyndale Reader Rewards. This is a wonderful program where you can earn points and cash them in for free books. Sign up here and get 25 points now!

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson Review

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Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.

Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?

Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does.

When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

My Thoughts:

I was not familiar with the story of Mulan as I had never seen the movie but I was still interested to read this re-telling. The story is very interesting…a young girl who dresses as a boy to fight in order for her mother to keep their home. Of course along the way she meets a handsome man.

The story was full of action and adventure. Set in the 1400s, a time of religious strife, there is plenty of tension and drama. I found it interesting to learn about the Teutonic Knights and their somewhat hypocritical and legalistic views.

Mulan was a great character and wonderful role model for young girls…she was strong and courageous and went against the norms of what a young lady should do.

The faith content in the book is excellent, there are many references to God’s will and sovereignty. The content is clean and I would not be hesitant to allow my 12 year old daughter to read it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable historical fiction re-telling. I think many people would enjoy the story, especially if they love the story of Mulan.

My Rating

3 stars

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