A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden Review

A MOTHER’S PROMISE BY K.D. ALDEN

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

A Mother’s Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman’s courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion.“―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | HUDSON | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S | TARGET | WALMART


My Thoughts

This book took me through a range of emotions. It is difficult to believe that this story is based on something that happened in history and that forced sterilization is still legal and occurring today (along with other forms of eugenics that are even worse).

The story takes place in the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded and focuses on Ruth Ann, a young lady who is living in the institution because she became pregnant out of wedlock. The doctor at the colony informs her that she will be having an operation so that she can “no longer breed”. Some of the things that the doctor said about the people at the institution were so vile and wicked, they turned my stomach.

This book is written extremely well and I stayed up way past my bedtime on a work night to finish it because I had to know how it would end. Because it is based on true accounts, the ending is not as satisfying as I would have liked (but reality usually isn’t).

This ranks in my top 5 favorite books of 2021. The characters were rich, the writing was very strong and the author described the scenes in a way that I felt like I was right beside Ruth Ann in the institution.

I highly recommend this book, not only is it an extremely interesting read, it also raises a lot of moral questions and could prompt many discussions.

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

My Rating

About the Author

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 17
Review at Nursebookie
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Tuesday, May 18
Review at Booking With Janelle

Wednesday, May 19
Review at Amanda in PA

Thursday, May 20
Review at Niki Loves to Read

Friday, May 21
Interview at Jathan and Heather

Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Books & Benches

Friday, May 28
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Target!

A Mother’s Promise Tour2

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Direct Link: https://gleam.io/competitions/Wgghu-a-mothers-promise-tour2

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Until I Find You by Rea Frey Review and Giveaway

Until I Find You

by Rea Frey

April 26 – May 21, 2021 Tour

 

Synopsis:


uifySoon, Rebecca Gray won’t be able to see. Diagnosed in her twenties with a degenerative eye disease, each day her world grows a little darker. She’s moved to the suburbs to raise her son, Jackson. In the wake of her husband\’s death, it should be a quieter, easier way of life. It won’t be.

 

The Set-Up

The Moment That Changes Everything

When Bec awakes after fainting in the park, she makes promises to start taking better care of herself. When her son begins to cry, she approaches the crib. Reaches in. Picks him up. But he’s not her son.

The Search

There’s nothing Bec won’t do to find Jackson. But she’s a blind woman in a world where seeing is believing. The police think she’s confused. Her friends don’t see any differences. Relying on the conviction of her instinct and the power of a mother’s love, Bec must push the limits of her world to uncover what happened to her baby boy…and bring him home for good.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Suspense
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: August 11th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1250241588 (ISBN13: 9781250241580)
Series: Until I Find You is not a part of a series.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

1
BEC

Someone’s coming.

I push the stroller. My feet expertly navigate the familiar path toward the park without my cane. Footsteps advance behind me. The swish of fabric between hurried thighs. The clop of a shoe on pavement. Measured, but gaining with every step. Blood whooshes through my ears, a distraction.

One more block until the park’s entrance. My world blots behind my sunglasses, smeared and dreamy. A few errant hairs whip across my face. My toe catches a crack, and my ankle painfully twists.

No time to stop.

My thighs burn. A few more steps. Finally, I make a sharp left into the park’s entrance. Jackson’s anklet jingles from the blistering pace.

“Hang on, sweet boy. Almost there. Almost.” The relentless August sun sizzles in the sky, and I adjust my ball cap with a trembling hand. Uncertain, I stop and wait for either the rush of footsteps to pass, or to approach and attack. Instead, nothing.

I lick my dry lips and half turn, one hand still securely fastened on my son’s stroller. “Hello?” The wind stalls. The hairs bristle on the back of my neck. My world goes unnaturally still, until I choke on my own warped breath.

I waver on the sidewalk and then lunge toward the entrance toWilder. The stroller is my guide as I half walk, half jog, knowing precisely how many steps I must take to reach the other side of the gate.

Twenty.

My heart thumps, a manic metronome. Jackson squeals and kicks his foot. The bells again.

Ten.

The footsteps echo in my ears. The stroller rams an obstacle in the way and flattens it. I swerve and cry out in surprise.

Five.

I reach the gate, hurtle through to a din of voices. Somewhere in the distance, a lawn mower stutters then chugs to life.

Safe.

I slide toward the ground and drop my head between my knees. My ears prick for the stranger behind me, but all is lost. A plane roars overhead, probably heading for Chicago. Birds aggressively chirp as the sun continues to crisp my already pink shoulders. A car horn honks on the parallel street. Someone blows a whistle. My body shudders from the surge of adrenaline. I sit until I regain my composure and then push to shaky legs.

I check Jackson, dragging my hands over the length of his body— his strong little fingers, his plump thighs, and perpetually kicking feet—and blot my face with his spit-up blanket. Just when I think I’m safe, a hand encircles my wrist.

“Miss?”

I jerk back and suck a surprised breath.

The hand drops. “I’m sorry,” a woman’s voice says. “I didn’t mean to scare you. You dropped this.” Something jingles and lands in my upturned palm: Jackson’s anklet.

I smooth my fingers over the bells. “Thanks.” I bend over the stroller, grip his ankle, and reattach them. I tickle the bottom of his foot, and he murmurs.

“Are the bells so you can hear him?” the woman asks. “Are you . . . ?”

“Blind? Yes.” I straighten. “I am.”

“That’s cool. I’ve never seen that before.”

I assume she means the bells. I almost make a joke—neither have I!—but instead, I smile. “It’s a little early for him to wear them,” I explain.

“They’re more for when he becomes mobile, but I want him to get used to them.”

“That’s smart.”

I’m not sure if she’s waiting for me to say something else. “Thanks again,” I offer.

“No problem. Have a good day.”

She leaves. My hands clamp around the stroller’s handle. Was she the one behind me? I stall at the gate and wonder if I should just go back home. I remind myself where I am—in one of the safest suburbs outside of Chicago—not in some sketchy place. I’m not being followed.

It’s fine.

To prove it, I remove my cane, unfold it, and brace it on the path. I maneuver Jackson’s stroller behind and sweep my cane in front, searching for more obstacles or unsuspecting feet.

I weave toward Cottage Hill and pass the wedding garden, the Wilder Mansion, and the art museum. Finally, I wind around the arboretum. I leave the conservatory for last, pulling Jackson through colorful flower breeds, active butterflies, and rows of green. My heart still betrays my calm exterior, but whoever was there is gone.

I whisk my T-shirt from my body. Jackson babbles and then lets out a sharp cry. I adjust the brim of his stroller so his eyes aren’t directly hit by the sun. I lower my baseball cap and head toward the play-ground. The rubber flooring shifts beneath my cane.

Wilder Park is packed with last-minute late-summer activity. I do a lap around the playground and then angle my cane toward a bench to check for occupants. Once I confirm it’s empty, I settle and park the stroller beside me. I keep my ears alert for Jess or Beth. I think about calling Crystal to join us, but then remember she has an interior design job today.

I place my hand on Jackson’s leg, the small jingle of his anklet a comfort. Suddenly, I am overcome with hunger. I rummage in the diaper bag for a banana, peel it, and reach again for Jackson, who is playing with his pacifier. He furiously sucks then knocks it out of his mouth. He giggles every time I hand it back to him.

I replay what just happened. If someone had attacked me, I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself or identify the perpetrator. A shiver courses the length of my spine. Though Jackson is technically easy—healthy, no colic, a decent sleeper—this stage of life is not. Chris died a year ago, and though it’s been twelve months since the accident, sometimes it feels like it’s been twelve days.

Jackson’s life flashes before me. Not the happy baby playing in his stroller, but the other parts. The first time he gets really sick. The first time he has to go to the emergency room, and I’m all alone. The first time I don’t know what to do when something is wrong. The first time he runs away from me in public and isn’t wearing bells to alert me to his location.

Will I be able to keep him safe, to protect him?

I will the dark cloud away, but uneasiness pierces my skin like a warning. I fan my shirt, swallow, close my eyes behind my sunglasses, and adjust my ball cap.

The world shrinks. I try to swallow, but my throat constricts. I claw air.

I can’t breathe. I’m drowning. My heart is going to explode. I’m going to die.

I lurch off the bench and walk a few paces, churning my arms toward my chest to produce air. I gasp, tell myself to breathe, tell myself to do something.

When I think I’m going to faint, I exhale completely, then sip in a shallow breath. I veer toward a tree, fingers grasping, and reach its chalky bark. In, out. In, out. Breathe, Rebecca. Breathe.

Concerned whispers crescendo around me while I remember how to breathe. I mentally force my limbs to relax, soften my jaw, and count to ten. After a few toxic moments, I retrace my steps back to the bench.

I just left my baby alone.

Jackson’s right foot twitches and jingles from the stroller; he’s bliss- fully unaware that his mother just had a panic attack. I calm myself, but my heart continues to knock around my chest like a pinball. I open a bottle of water and lift it to my lips with trembling hands. I exhale and massage my chest. The footsteps. The panic attack. These recurring fears . . .

“Hey, lady. Fancy meeting you here.” Jess leans down and delivers a kiss to my cheek. Her scent—sweet, like honey crisp apples—does little to dissuade my terrified mood.

“Hi. Sit, sit.” I rearrange my voice to neutral and move the diaper bag to make room.

Jess positions her stroller beside mine. Beth sits next to her, her three-month-old baby, Trevor, always in a ring sling or strapped to her chest.

“How’s the morning?” Beth asks.

I tell them both about the footsteps and the woman who returned the bells, but conveniently leave out the part about the panic attack.

Beth leans closer. “Scary. Who do you think was following you?”

“I’m not sure,” I say.

“You should have called,” Jess says. “I’m always happy to walk with you.”

“That’s not exactly on your way.”

“Oh, please. I could use the extra exercise.”

I roll my eyes at her disparaging comment, because Beth and I both know she loves her curves.

“Anyway, it’s sleep deprivation,” Jess continues. “Makes you hallucinate. I remember when Baxter was Jackson’s age and waking up every two hours, I literally thought I was going to lose my mind. I would put things in odd places. I was even convinced Rob was cheating.”

I laugh. “Rob would never cheat on you.”

“Exactly my point.” She turns to me. “Have you thought about hiring a nanny?”

“Yeah,” Beth adds. “Especially with everything you’ve been through.”

My stomach clenches at those words: everything you’ve been through.

After Chris died, I moved in with my mother so she could essentially become Jackson’s nanny. And then, just two months ago, she died too. Though her death wasn’t a surprise due to her lifelong heart condition, no one is ever prepared to lose a parent. “I can’t afford it.”

“Like I’ve said before, Rob and I are happy to pitch in—”

I lift my hand to stop her. “And I appreciate it. I really do. But I’m not ready to have someone in my space when I’m just getting used to it being empty. I need to get comfortable taking care of Jackson on my own.”

“That makes sense,” Beth assures me.

“It does.” Jess pats my thigh. “But you’re not a martyr, okay? Everyone needs help.”

“I know.” I adjust my sunglasses and rearrange my face in hopes of hiding the real emotions I feel. “What’s new with both of you?”

“Can I vent for a second?” Beth asks. She situates closer to us on the bench. Thanks to the visual Jess supplied, I know Beth is blond, petite, and impossibly fit—and is perpetually in a state of crisis. She’s practicing attachment parenting, which, in her mind, keeps her glued to her son twenty-four hours a day. I’ve never even held him.

“Vent away,” I say.

“Okay.” She drops her voice. “Like, I love this little guy, truly. But sometimes, when it’s just the two of us in the house all day, I fantasize about just running away somewhere. Or going out to take a walk. I’d never do it, of course,” she rushes to add. “But I just have this feeling like . . . I’m never going to be alone again.”

“Nanny,” Jess trills. “I’m telling you. Quit this attachment parenting crap and get yourself a nanny. And if she’s hot, she can even occupy your husband so you don’t have to.”

I slap Jess’s arm. “Don’t say that. You’d be totally devastated if Rob ever did cheat.”

***

Excerpt from Until I Find You by Rea Frey. Copyright 2020 by Rea Frey. Reproduced with permission from Rea Frey. All rights reserved.

 

My Thoughts:

This book had so many things that I found interesting…switched babies, a single mother with very little vision, and several mysteries along the way. 

I really found Bec’s life interesting, walking in the shoes of a single mother who is blind really made me think. Darkness has always been a little scary for me, even as an adult. Living in constant darkness and caring for an infant must add a whole new layer of fear. The author did an excellent job at portraying the fears and anxieties that Bec experienced. I also appreciated learning the different things that Bec used to adapt to this world (talking alarm clocks, Siri, and bells on her son’s ankles so that she would always know where he was). 

It was sad to see the reaction that Bec received after realizing that the child in her son’s room was not her son. I can’t imagine the frustration that she experienced…blind or not, a mother knows their children!

The mystery was very well thought out and kept me guessing. A few red herrings along the way made it a lot of fun and I loved how everything wrapped up in the end. I highly recommend this mystery story. It reminded me a little bit of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (one of my favorite books) with the mystery aspect and the mom groups. 

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

Author Bio:


unnamedTo learn more, visit reafrey.com or writewayco.com.
REA FREY is the multi-published, award-winning bestselling author of three suspense novels and four nonfiction books. She’s been featured in US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Popsugar, Hello Sunshine, Marie Claire, Parade, Shape, Hello Giggles, CrimeReads, Writer’s Digest, WGN, Fox News, Today in Nashville, Talk of the Town, and more. She is also the CEO and Founder of Writeway, where aspiring writers become published authors.

Catch Up With Rea Frey:
ReaFrey.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @ReaFreyAuthor
Instagram – @reafrey
Twitter – #ReaFrey
Facebook – @reafrey

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


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Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Rea Frey. There will be three (3) winners who will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 26, 2021 and ends on May 23, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar Review

Synopsis:

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

My Thoughts:

I have only dabbled in Biblical fiction but each time I’ve read it, I’ve enjoyed the genre. When I saw that Moody Publishers had released a 10th anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand, I was eager to read it. I’ve seen Pearl in the Sand on recommended pages and book sites many times and it has very high ratings. The story of Rahab from the book of Joshua, this story imagines what happened to her after she was rescued from Jericho.

There were some beautiful analogies in the story. I found that the author did an excellent job at portraying the multi-faceted and sovereign nature of God throughout the story. I also loved the descriptions of the Israelite camp and their way of living…it became much more easier to picture when reading the Bible story after being given the pictures from Afshar’s story.

I also appreciated that there were some bits of humor thrown in to break up the sometimes dark and difficult life that these people were living.

Overall this was an excellent story and I am planning on picking up more books by this author in the future.

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

My Rating

The Gene by Timothy Browne Review

About the Book

Book: The Gene

Author: Timothy Browne

Genre: Medical Thriller

Release Date: July 12, 2020

We are the dwelling place of God—it is woven into our very DNA. Do we change the core of who we are by manipulating our genes? Is gene-therapy a miraculous cure or a slippery slope into eugenics?

Following their marriage, Dr. Nicklaus Hart and Maggie Russell enjoy the splendor and passion of a honeymoon in Hawaii. They learn that their union has brought new life, but the overflowing joy of Maggie’s pregnancy and their romantic getaway is interrupted by the shocking news of a genetic disorder discovered in Maggie’s family lineage. The devastating possibility that both Maggie and the baby carry the mutated gene for the horrific Huntington’s disease, shakes their faith.

Faced with this dreadful diagnosis, Nick and Maggie seek peace as they wrestle with the heartbreaking discovery of a genetic disease versus the knowledge that God is good—He has made their baby in His image and knit him together in Maggie’s womb. Like the millions of people around the world affected with genetic disorders, Nick and Maggie look for answers. With the belief that people are the dwelling place of God, and He is woven into the DNA, what should they do when that DNA has been corrupted?

Nick and Maggie travel to Poland, where the top geneticist, Emmanuelle Christianson, has founded and operates BioGenics whose mission statement is: Advancing the Human Genome. They understand that medical advances always cost something, but they face impossible decisions. They are unaware that the sinister side of genetic research has slithered in from the horrors of Nazi death camps into this modern-day technology. Their journey reveals more than the fight for knowledge, it uncovers a simmering evil left over from World War II. One that puts their lives in danger.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

The subject matter of this story was fascinating to me and it presented many moral questions to think about. The reader follows a leading doctor in the field of genetics and learns about the many ways that gene therapy is and can be used to alter a human being. There is a lot of scientific information but I was able to follow it fairly easily. The story also discusses the origin of eugenics and how it is still present today.

I was glued to the pages of this story. Although it was full of scientific information, the author presented the information around a group of characters with fascinating back stories. The story is very atmospheric…I felt as though I was with the characters in Poland.

I also liked how the overall story tied to how God does not make mistakes.

My main issue with this story was the language. There was a lot of cussing and even the Lord’s name taken in vain. I understand that the characters who did this were not “Christians” but I feel that this is extremely inappropriate in a Christian fiction book.

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

About the Author

Timothy Browne, MD draws from life and work experience when writing. For many years, he has worked as an orthopaedic surgeon and medical missionary for Operation Blessing, Mercy Ships, and Hope Force International. His work has taken him to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Ukraine, Borneo, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, North Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Sierra Leone. He now resides in Western Montana with his wife, Julie, who along with their three sons, served with him.

More from Timothy

Christian Fiction that will get your heart pounding!

After finishing, The Gene, the fourth book in the Dr. Nicklaus Hart Series, I have been able to look back at this body of work. The heart of my prose remains the same: to entertain and educate—fueled with imagination, inspired by history, and grounded in truth. I explored the mystery of North Korea and the threat of bioterrorism in Maya Hope, the complexities of the middle East and the history of Mesopotamia in The Tree of Life, the controversies of Big Pharma and our health in The Rusted Scalpel, and now examine the history of eugenics and the pitfalls of gene-therapy in The Gene.

Writing The Gene has taken significant research: exploration of Poland, investigation of the Nazi doctors and their horrendous medical experiments, the history of eugenics around the world, and of course, the science of genetics. The work has been satisfying, edifying, and many times, heartbreaking.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Texas Book-aholic, November 16

Genesis 5020, November 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Betti Mace, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 19

For Him and My Family, November 20

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 21

Rebecca Tews, November 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

For the Love of Literature, November 24

amandainpa, November 25

Artistic Nobody, November 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Emily Yager, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Timothy is giving away the grand prize of a $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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1039f/the-gene-celebration-tour-giveaway

Axiom by Kristofor Hellmeister Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Axiom

Author: Kristofor Hellmeister

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, YA

Release Date: February 2020

Death and violence do not exist in Axiom. There is no strife, no war, no suffering. There is no hunger, no sadness, and no pain. Axiom is a place of perfection. But, at what cost? In Axiom, mankind has willingly submitted itself to one man–the Lord Protector–who controls the destiny of every human being. Emotions have become outlawed. Relationships are forbidden. Any sign of the Disease is treated with hostility. Under the eternal guidance of the Lord Protector, mankind no longer knows what it means to be human. But, stirring within the hearts and minds of a few individuals is a reality which cannot be ignored. It is this reality which will cause the spark of rebellion to be born.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

It has been a long time since I have read a Sci-Fi/Dystopian story and this story helped me remember how much fun they can be.

The story is extremely unique and touches on emotions and what it is to be human as well as where we can find peace in a world full of uncertainty and turmoil. This book spoke to me personally and there was a moment when I was reading with tears streaming down my face. There were some messages in the story that were very relevant to the world that we’re living in today and I loved the way that the characters responded to their situations.

The world building in this story was excellent. I loved following the characters to the different parts of Axiom. I also found the character’s abilities to be very unique and interesting.

The faith content in the story was very strong. There were many times when the book paralleled things in the Bible.

I enjoyed this story very much, though at times it could have used a bit of editing to iron out grammar and spelling errors. Overall, this was an excellent book that I highly recommend!

I received this book from the author/publisher to read and review in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kristofor Hellmeister is an alien—a legal alien born in Canada who has lived in Georgia since he was a young boy. Presently, he lives just outside of Atlanta with his wife, Kristie, and his three-year-old son, Maddox. Kristofor has always pursued writing, ever since he was in first grade writing about dinosaurs, tornadoes, and man-eating plants. He published his first book—a historical fiction called Brothers of Baseball—in 2017. Axiom is his first foray into science fiction and is the first book in the Axiom Chronicles. Kristofor enjoys reading anything from military fiction, to the newest Star Wars or Halo book, to fantasy and spy novels. He also enjoys spending time outdoors whether it is running a 5k, taming his wild backyard, or going on an adventure with his family. The core theme for all of his stories is that of redemption, for he believes this is reflected all around us and throughout history.

More from Kristofor

The source of this novel comes from multiple experiences. I remember sitting in a church in downtown Atlanta at an event called TheoEd Talks. It was a theological discussion by leaders of the religious community that was designed much like a Ted Talk. I remember listening to a gentleman, I don’t recall his name, who was elaborating on a tension he was trying to navigate. At the time, there were riots and demonstrations were occurring in cities across the United States due to racial unrest. The man was a pastor and was asking the question, “What should I do?” I remember him elaborating on how he was not an activist, he was not a civil leader, he was not a politician, and yet he still had a role in the job he did best—pastoring. His challenge to us—do what you are passionate about and let this become your source of aid to the world’s problems. At the time, I was struggling with mental health, cynicism, and a gnawing sense of despair. I used these elements to create a novel which addresses a world in which culture is leaving behind Enlightenment thinking and embracing emotionalism. Axiom frames these cultural changes through the eyes of characters who are flawed but passionate in their desires. Entwined with my faith, I hope to have created a story that draws readers into a world where rationalism, emotionalism, and spirituality all must be embraced in order for us to be truly human.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Blogging With Carol, November 5

Inklings and notions, November 6

For Him and My Family, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 10

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Emily Yager, November 11

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 13

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15

amandainpa, November 16

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Kristofer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an audiobook version of the book!!

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/1032f/axiom-celebration-tour-giveaway

Nine by Rachelle Dekker Review

Synopsis

Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn’t seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.

Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are–or can we change our story and be something more?

My Thoughts

This is the third book that I’ve read by Rachelle Dekker and I have now realized that she is not the author for me. This story was definitely the one that I found most interesting, but the plot did not feel original. There were many parallels and similarities in this book to the Stranger Things series…even down to the character being named with a number. There were also a lot of very graphic and descriptive violent scenes that I wasn’t a fan of.

I was also disappointed by the lack of faith content. The story is clean overall, other than the violent scenes.

There was just nothing that stood out as original in this story.

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

My Rating

Crystal Witness by Kathy Tyers Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Crystal Witness

Author: Kathy Tyers

Genre:  Christian fiction, science fiction, futuristic

Release Date: June 16, 2020

Tyers - Crystal Witness

Her memories are blocked. Her freedom is gone. Her crime is a mystery.

When Ming Dalamani awakens from twenty years of suspended animation, she recalls only fragments of her former life: the life she led before she was arrested by the governing interplanetary corporation, Renasco, for a now unremembered crime.

Relocated to an alien world far from the only home she has ever known, Ming serves a powerful Renasco representative to repay her debt. But daily she lives with deadly threats from two men—the hideous mutant Zardir Huekk and the handsome, secretive musician Tieg Innig—who both want the same thing: information. Renasco-trained as a calligrapher in three dimensions, Ming begins to remember more: a clan, a mission, and interstellar piracy.

Ming must decide where her loyalties lie: with her powerful new employer, with a budding resistance movement… or elsewhere.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Science Fiction is one of my least read genres…I knew going into this book that it would be a step out of my comfort zone but I was so intrigued by the synopsis that I was willing to try it.

The story was interesting but I was immediately thrust into a completely different world and found myself very confused at times. I just continued to read through and found that things started to make sense as I kept reading. The scientific and “spacey” terms were extremely foreign to me and I often got very slowed down when running into scenes involving these unfamiliar words.

The world building was definitely my favorite part. The story is extremely atmospheric, which I love. I truly found myself on another planet as I read the story.

Overall, this was a good story with a solid plot but would be more suited for those who are into the Sci-Fi genres, this doesn’t seem like a great read for Sci-Fi novices like me.

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

About the Author

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Kathy Tyers is widely published in speculative fiction, including her award-winning Firebird series and two licensed Star Wars “Legends” novels, as well as a travel book, a writing reference book, and a memoir co-written for classical guitarist Christopher Parkening. Her messiah-in-space novel Daystar, fifth in the Firebird series, won a 2013 Carol Award, and her terraforming/genetic engineering science fiction novel Shivering World won the 2019 Christy Award for Visionary Fiction. At home in southwest Montana with her husband William Gillin, Kathy focuses on writing, teaching music, and freelance editing.

More from Kathy

In 1988, after the initial release of Firebird and Fusion Fire by Bantam Books of New York, my then-editor asked for a stand-alone novel, and my then-agent presented me with a contract to write that book in just over half the time that I actually needed. So my third novel, Crystal Witness, appeared in 1989—and while the plot had strong bones, I wished I’d had several more months to polish it. Much to my delight, Enclave Publishing is re-issuing Crystal Witness in June 2020 with the layers of polishing added. While I was adding those layers, I found myself wondering what would happen next. Maybe … oh, yes … hmmm … Aha!Now that Crystal Witness is ready to stand up and sing, I am delighted to be working on a multi-book sequel series, The Sunstone Saga, also to be released by Enclave Publishing. Book 1 of the saga, The Long Silence, is well underway. It introduces a new cast of characters and asks a powerful question: Where has God been, while humankind went to the stars?Crystal Witness is the story of young Ming Dalamani, who wakens from twenty years of suspended animation to find herself “company property” on a distant world, with no memory of the crime she must have committed. She only knows that a powerful corporate monopoly rules interstellar space, and she has been assigned to serve a company representative. Immediately, powerful (and opposing) individuals offer threats and bribes, trying to enlist her to spy for both sides of a deadly intrigue. How long can Ming play both sides of the plot against her urgent wish to find out who she is … and what was her crime?My background in music and the arts always manages to show up in my books. I made Ming a calligrapher in three dimensions, wielding a set of injection pens to create elegant designs in clear slabs. Another character is a court musician with futuristic technology at his fingertips. My entire family was musical; my mother played in 20thCentury Fox’s prestigious sound stage orchestra in the 1950s, and my father grew up in a family band that toured the U.S. every summer. When I was widowed in 2004 and needed to make a fresh start, I discovered that Regent College in Vancouver BC had a program in which I could study toward a Master’s degree in Christianity and the Arts—and write a science fiction novel as part of my thesis project. That book, Wind and Shadow, picked up the Firebird series at Book 4 and led to its completion in Daystar, Book 5. That series is conclusively finished—as you know, if you have read Daystar!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 30

Fiction Aficionado, July 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 1

Texas Book-aholic, July 2

Inklings and notions, July 3

deb’s Book Review, July 3

Worthy2Read, July 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 5

Blogging With Carol, July 5

For Him and My Family, July 6

Book of Ruth Ann, July 7

Mia Reads, July 7

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 8

Through the Fire Blogs, July 9

Emily Yager, July 10

Hallie Reads, July 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, July 11

Breny and Books, July 11

amandainpa, July 12

Pause for Tales, July 13

The Artist Librarian, July 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a still-in-box set of miniature toys that was released in 1996 to go with her novel, Star Wars: The Truce At Bakura, a signed copy of Firebird and One Mind’s Eye!!

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/fcdb/crystal-witness-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Green Dress

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release Date: June 2020

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend

Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.
As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

Click here to get your copy!



My Thoughts

This series is very interesting to me because each book is a fictional account of a true historical event from history…each event is associated with an unusual crime and are often stories I’ve never heard of before. I enjoy this “grittier” side of Christian Fiction as I’ve always been interested in true crime stories.

The Green Dress focuses on a family that continues to lose members due to a mysterious illness of an unknown cause. The entire story had a gothic feel to it and also felt very sinister. The “whodunnit” was fairly easy for me to guess but I still found myself fascinating by how it all unfolded, especially knowing that it was based on a true story.

This was a quick read and the story moved fast. I did find that it opened abruptly and the character introductions were a bit muddy and confusing at times. Overall this was a great story and one of my favorites from the True Colors series.

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

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.

More from Liz

We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.

That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.

I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.

—Liz Tolsma

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, June 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

deb’s Book Review, June 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 26

A Reader’s Brain, June 27

Rebecca Tews, June 27

For Him and My Family, June 27

Texas Book-aholic, June 28

Back Porch Reads, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 29

Genesis 5020, June 29

Emily Yager, June 29

Christian Bookaholic, June 30

Robin’s Nest, June 30

To Everything There is A Season, June 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 30

Blogging With Carol, July 1

Bigreadersite, July 1

Read Review Rejoice, July 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 2

Life of Literature, July 2

Connie’s History Classroom, July 2

Betti Mace, July 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 3

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 3

Stories By Gina, July 3

For the Love of Literature, July 4

Remembrancy, July 4

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

Godly Book Reviews, July 5

Splashes of Joy, July 5

Vicky Sluiter, July 5

Older & Smarter?, July 6

Through the Fire Blogs, July 6

Daysong Reflections, July 6

amandainpa, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 7

Pause for Tales , July 7

Just the Write Escape, July 7

Hallie Reads, July 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 8

Blossoms and Blessings, July 8

Spoken from the Heart, July 9

With a Joyful Noise, July 9

Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fcd8/the-green-dress-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dead Silence by Robin Caroll Review and Giveaway

Dead-Silence-FB-Banner

About the Book

dead silence

Book:  Dead Silence

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: June 2020

 

Political games can be deadly…

Elise Carmichael is a court sign language interpreter who reads lips all the time. As a widow with a young son who is deaf, lip reading is simply second nature, until the day she reads the lips of someone on the phone discussing an attempt to be made on a senator’s life—a senator who just happens to be her mother-in-law. Before she can decide what she needs to do, she receives the information that her son is rushed to the ER and she must leave. Then she later sees the news report that her mother-in-law has been shot and killed. But when she comes forward, her life, as well as her son’s life, may now be in the crosshairs of the assassin.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I have read another book by this author, Stratagem, so I knew that I was in for a treat with this one. Her writing style flows very easily and the plots keep me interested on every page.

This story follows Elise, a widowed mother of a deaf son who finds herself in danger after her mother-in-law is killed. The reader is thrown into a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as they journey with Elise to keep herself and her son safe, all the while trying to prove her innocence.

I loved the adventurous nature of the story and the pacing was swift. It was a very quick read and not one that I could put down easily. I did find Elise to be pretty annoying…her personality was rude and abrasive at times. I loved the inclusion of a deaf character, it was interesting to read about the accommodations that must be made for those without hearing.

The faith content was subtle but very well done. Overall, this was a fun suspense story that I highly recommend.

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

About the Author

RobinCaroll-223x300

 

“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 http://www.robincaroll.com.

 

 

More from Robin

Hi, there. . .Robin here. I’m getting so excited for the release of my thirty-fourth novel, DEAD SILENCE. I have to say, I love this book. The heroine is strong, yet flawed. Her love for her son—willing to do anything to protect him is a mother’s instinct I relate to so well, having three daughters and two grandsons. The love of a mother for her child is so ingrained in me that I wanted to share that in a story.

 

I’ve been asked why I opted for a heroine who is an ASL translator and who has a deaf son. Many years ago, I became friends with someone who is deaf. She shared with me some of her frustrations, but also how her way of life is in comparison to mine. It got me to thinking that being deaf could be thought of as a disability but could also be used as an advantage…it was all in how you looked at it. My friend shared many stories of how she “eavesdropped” by reading lips and learned much about people and how they reacted to issues, enough that it led her into her career field today—a counselor, specializing in providing therapy for the hearing impaired as they live in a hearing world. I hope that I portrayed my characters in this positive light.

 

While I’m a Louisiana girl at heart, I reside in Little Rock, the capitol city for Arkansas. Since Bill and Hilary Clinton lived here and claimed it home before Bill was President, we have many political plans and posturing here. I saw it as a perfect backdrop for this particular story with the political undercurrents running rampant throughout the story.

 

I hope that you enjoy reading DEAD SILENCE as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 19

deb’s Book Review, June 19

Texas Book-aholic, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 20

Emily Yager, June 20

For the Love of Literature, June 21

Rebecca Tews, June 21

By The Book, June 22

Spoken from the Heart, June 22

Genesis 5020, June 22

KarenSueHadley, June 23

Hebrews 12 Endurance, June 23

Betti Mace, June 24

Remembrancy, June 24

Older & Smarter?, June 24

Inklings and notions, June 25

Read Review Rejoice, June 25

Through the Fire Blogs, June 26

Splashes of Joy, June 26

HookMeInABook, June 26

For Him and My Family, June 27

Mary Hake, June 27

Simple Harvest Reads, June 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 28

amandainpa, June 28

Worthy2Read, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Hallie Reads, June 30

Daysong Reflections, July 1

Lights in a Dark World, July 1

Quiet Quilter, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 2

Maureen’s Musings, July 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize of a $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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fcd1/dead-silence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger Reiew and Givewaway

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About the Book

Book:  Shattered by Death

Author: Catherine Finger

Genre:  Thriller/Suspense/Mystery

Release Date: June 2016

When Josie’s abusive soon-to-be-ex-husband had an affair with another woman, Josie could have murdered them. When someone does, Jo is the prime suspect and the only one who can solve the case.

 

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Of all the genres that I typically read, suspense and thrillers are among my favorite. This story was one of the “grittier” thrillers that I’ve read in Christian fiction (graphic descriptions that are not for the faint of heart) but I liked that about this book. Often I find that Christian suspense tends to barely scratch of the surface of murder related stories and I appreciated that this author delved a little deeper into it.

The story is book 2 in a series and often, especially in Christian fiction, I find that reading the previous books in a series aren’t necessary to understanding the story. Although reading book one isn’t necessary, I did find myself a bit in the dark about some of the things that the characters were discussing, as the plot points from the first book were referenced several times. In this instance, I would recommend reading book 1 before this one.

Overall, I found this a solid, quick mystery that was enjoyable to read. 

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

About the Author

 

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home.  She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, will be released by Elk Lake Publishing in November 2019. Anchored by Death, the third of her Jo Oliver novels, was a Bronze Medal winner at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at www.CatherineFinger.com.

Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.comFollow her on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author, and on Twitter at CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.

 

 

More from Catherine

“If you could kill someone and get away with it, what would you do? How would you do it?”

 

Having posed this question over dessert during a really good first date several years ago—to my surprise and delight my date proceeded to share a story about an international cosmetic gone badly awry. I was so taken with this story, that I couldn’t wait to get home and start writing. And I did. That night I sat down to write a scene between two powerful women, intending one to toy with the other by playing with a jar of deadly moisturizer as they interacted.

 

As I wrote that night, an unexpected scene involving spiritual warfare popped into my head and onto the screen. The edgy, scary, lock-your-doors-before reading story I called Shattered by Death was born.

 

While the moisturizer scene didn’t ultimately stay in the book, the idea of powerful women pitted against each other did. I strive to create antagonists that are as strong—or stronger—than Jo Oliver. When I feel the tension of wondering whether or not Josie is going to make it out alive—that’s when I know I’m in the middle of a great story.

I hope you think so too.

Enjoy the read!

Catherine

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

My Devotional Thoughts, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Texas Book-aholic, May 28

Betti Mace, May 29

Emily Yager, May 29

Older & Smarter?, May 30

Bigreadersite, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Inklings and notions, June 1

Rebecca Tews, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Soulfully Romantic, June 2

For Him and My Family, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 4

Daysong Reflections, June 4

For the Love of Literature, June 5

Pause for Tales, June 5

Through the Fire Blogs, June 6

April Hayman, Author, June 6

Christian Bookaholic, June 7

Splashes of Joy, June 7

amandainpa, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fb4f/shattered-by-death-celebration-tour-giveaway