Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

About the Book

Forensic pathologist Grace Reilly has seen her share of unusual deaths in rural Missouri. But when she begins to notice a curious pattern in autopsies of elderly residents whose demise appears to be natural, she takes her concerns to Sheriff Nate Cox.

Nate is skeptical about the link Grace is seeing between the deaths–and her suspicions of foul play. But her persistence is compelling. Once she finally convinces him her theory is credible and they join forces to investigate, danger follows. Because exposing the truth could destroy several lives–including Grace’s.

Queen of inspirational romantic suspense Irene Hannon closes out her bestselling Triple Threat series with this gripping tale of secrets revealed and romance sparked.

Book Review:

Body of Evidence kept me turning the pages one after another. I had to find out who did it and I was totally shocked when I did! This is a great series that I ended up buying for our daughter because she loves these mystery/suspense books. I loved the back and forth between the pathologist and the sheriff, and I have to say, I was thinking I wasn’t going to like the sheriff at first due to something he did, but then he redeemed himself. It made him more human and I liked him even more. I loved the detailed twists and turns too. It was an entertaining, “thinking” and wonderful book.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher but was not required to review it. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Anything but Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher CELEBRATE LIT BLOG TOUR

About the Book

Book: Anything But Plain

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish fiction

Release date: October 4, 2022

It’s not easy being the bishop’s daughter, especially for Lydie Stoltzfus. She’s not like other Amish girls, as much as she wishes she were. The only thing she does well is disappoint others. Leaving her family and church seems unbearable, but staying might be worse.

Knowing Lydie is “between” jobs, the local doctor asks her to fill in at the front desk for a few months. To Lydie, this is a boon. It gives her time to figure out how she’s going to say goodbye to her neighbor, Nathan Yoder–the main reason she needs to leave Stoney Ridge. Nathan claims he’s in love with her, but she knows she’s not good enough for him. If in doubt, Nathan’s father reminds her frequently.

As Dok spends time with Lydie, she recognizes symptoms of an uncommon disorder among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a Christy finalist, a Carol Award winner, a two-time ECPA Book of the Year finalist, and the Publishers Weekly, ECPA, CBA, bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish romance, and women’s fiction. She and her husband live in a small town in California, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and why. Most folks act a little nervous around Suzanne because they usually wind up in one of her novels. She has four grown children and enough grandchildren to keep her young. Visit Suzanne at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

More from Suzanne

Easily Distracted? 8 Strategies to Help Stay Focused

Anything but Plain is a story about a young Amish woman with undiagnosed ADHD. Lydie Stoltzfus feels like a square peg in a round hole. She just doesn’t fit in and, to make matters worse, she’s the bishop’s daughter. At this point, the only path forward she can see is to leave Stoney Ridge. Leave her church, her friends, her family, her neighbor Nathan Yoder. It’s better to leave, Lydie decides, than to keep disappointing everyone she cares about. I won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil the story for you.

ADHD is not a common diagnosis among the Amish and many might assume it’s not a real thing. Of course, they’re mistaken. ADHD is a real thing. While I don’t have ADHD, I do have many friends and family members who have been diagnosed. It’s challenging! And something we should all take seriously. Here’s why:

Evidence is mounting that a growing dependence on digital devices could be giving all of us some ADHD-like symptoms. Have you wondered if distractibility is becoming a problem for you? Or has a spouse or child or friend remarked on how often you pick up your phone to check a text message or scroll Instagram? You might remain physically present but your mind has wandered away. For me, the answer is, regrettably, yes.

There’s a recurring phrase in Anything but Plain that comes from an old-fashioned farming term: Walking the beans. Literally, it means weeding by hand. Figuratively, it means paying attention to our priorities. To pull the weeds before they take root.

One of the takeaway lessons of this book is to “walk the beans” of technology’s role in my life. So…I’ve been working on a few strategies. When I practice, I see a difference. Life is calmer. More manageable.

So…I wanted to pass these tips along to you. (If you have little children, these might not work for you. Not when your little ones are awake, anyway.) Hopefully, you’ll find them to be useful, and maybe spark some strategies of your own.

  • Make a plan. I start the day with an index card and write down the day’s priorities. And I check off tasks as I finish them!
  • Go off-line. Create an environment that helps you stay focused. Turn your cell phone to silent. If working on the computer, close your email app. Put yourself in distraction-free mode until you’re accomplished what you need to do
  • Finish one task before moving on to the next. Even little tasks.
  • Distractibility is at its peak during transitions. Build in margin. For example, arrive a few minutes early instead of rushing in a few minutes late.
  • When distractions are high, make tasks smaller and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.
  • When I’m facing a big task, I’ll break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Set a deadline for a task. Beat the clock! Use a timer.
  • Rewards! When I beat the clock, I’ll take a break from computer work and pop up to the garden, text a friend, walk the dog. Something that feels good.

My Review of Anything But Plain:

What an interesting book. While I was able to guess early on with this book what the main character was dealing with, what an informative book. I loved the subplots and learned as much (or more) from them, including a way to help control asthma!  I loved Nathan and Lydie and how sweet and caring Lydie was for everyone, including Patsy Glick (who in my opinion didn’t deserve her sweetness). I even loved how the author worked out the situation between Mitch and Nathan at the end. It was an amazing book that kept me reading to find out more and I loved, loved, loved David’s talk with his mother. That is a conversation that many need to have with others but it’s a hard and difficult one to start. I felt like it was a hug straight from God.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 7

She Lives To Read, October 8

The Write Escape, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 9

Vicky Sluiter, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Lighthouse-Academy, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 13

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Elly Gilbert, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 15

Holly’s Book Corner, October 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Empowermoms, October 17

SusanLovesBooks, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Blossoms and Blessings, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 19

Spoken from the Heart, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 20

Cover Lover Book Review, October 20

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Celebrate Lit AUTHOR INTERVIEW for LOVE MATTERS by Neil Tolsma

About the Book

Book: Love Matters

Author: Neil Tolsma

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release date: September 13, 2022

The Bible answers with one word: Love. What am I to do when my love is weak and in short supply? What difference does godly love make in the rush of everyday living? These are questions that Christians ask and need answered.

Love Matters answers these vital questions and others through a careful examination of what the Word of God has to say about reproducing God’s love in the exercise of personal faith. Love Matters is unique in developing this study of love in a redemptive-historical setting.

Love Matters is a biblical study of the divine call to love God and others wholeheartedly and the means by which the believer can overcome deficiencies in that call.

About the Author

Neil Tolsma was born on February 5, 1935, Saddle Brook, NJ. Met his wife, Lenore Merop, at Garfield Community Church (where he had made his profession of Christ as his Savior at the age of 17) and they were married on August 29, 1959. They had both been part of the Billy Graham Choir that introduced the popular hymn, How Great Thou Art, to America the summer of 957. He graduated from Shelton College, Ringwood, NJ, 1962 with  A.B. And from Westminster Theological  Seminary 1965, B.D./M.Div. Ordained by the Presbytery of the South, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1965. Served as pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1965 to 1974, Falls Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1974 until his retirement in 2004. They are the parents of three daughters  and 8 grandchildren. Neil is the author of This Is Love: Tracing the Love of God throughout the Biblical Story. 

More from Neil

Walk into any bookstore, Christian or general market, big or small, and you’re sure to be inundated by books on love, both fiction and nonfiction. How to love your spouse or significant other. How to love your children. How to love yourself. Love, love, love. That’s all we seem to hear about today. Love in all its forms, both good and evil.

So, then, why would I write another nonfiction book on love? Aren’t there plenty to choose from already? Well, yes and no. There are many on the shelves. Have your pick. But how many of those talk about what real, biblical love is, why we are to love, and where our one and only source of love is?

So many people today don’t know what love truly is. We have romanticized versions of flowers, chocolates, and violins. We dream of being swept off our feet and spending every waking minute with someone who will cherish us above all else. One of the most popular sayings of the day is Love Is Love.

Is it really? How do we know what true love is? That understanding only comes from God and his word to us. Only through him and in him do we find pure, holy, agape love. Love that sacrificed his only Son for us to give eternal life to us sinners—the impure, unholy, and filthy.

And so that’s why I wrote Love Matters. Because it does. It matters to our lives today, in how we relate to our spouses, our children, our family members, and the world at large. It matters to our eternity in how we view our salvation and how we are to love our Lord. It matters when we’re old and when we’re young, when we’re at home and when we’re at work, when we agree with someone and when we disagree with them.

Throughout my fifty years of in-depth Bible study as a pastor and counselor, I was brought back time and time again to the Bible to discover what love is. Over and over, I returned to the command God gave in Exodus, that we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Because God is love and love matters to him, it has to matter to us.

Author Interview:

What role did God play in your writing career?

The Lord is central to my life. When I was ordained, I pledged my life in the service of his Kingdom. Over the years I’ve written many hundreds of sermons that were aimed at faithfulness in conveying the truth of his Word to my audience. And it was his Word that guided me in my decision to write the books I have written and to write what I’ve written.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I did not begin writing books until I retired. When I am not writing, I like to read. I especially like mysteries. Charles Todd being one of my favorite authors. I also enjoy reading biographies and World War 2 histories. My wife and I spend our relaxing evenings watching British mysteries on TV, Agatha Christie’s Poirot being a favorite.

If you have a family, how do they support your writing career?

Our daughter, author Liz Tolsma, has provided invaluable help with proof reading and answering countless questions about the art of writing. Our granddaughter, Becca Tews, provides her excellent skills in the area of marketing. But most important is my wife, Lenore, who daily and lovingly surrounds me with the support I need to keep going.

What is your favorite time of day?

I love mornings. I rise early to begin a daily exercise routine, take a walk, draw aside for a quiet time of reading the Bible and prayer, and then I’m ready to dig into the breakfast my wife has prepared for me. After breakfast, I am ready to hit the laptop or whatever I have planned for the day. Since I am 87 years old the routine of the day needs to be a careful balance between work and rest.

What projects are you working on currently?

I recently wrote a short devotional, Kind and Compassionate, which will be free to those who pre-order my book, Love Matters, due of release in October. And I am working on my third book, tentatively titled, Love, the Fruit of the Spirit: A Biblical Study of Galatians 5:22-23. My first book, This Is Love, deals with God’s love for us. Book number two, Love Matters, is a biblical study of our love for God and others. Book three will complete the series which takes a comprehensive look at love in the Bible from a redemptive-historical perspective.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 15

An Author’s Take, October 16

Spoken from the Heart, October 17 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Inklings and notions, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Splashes of Joy, October 25 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 27

Beauty in the Binding, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 28

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Neil is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Beneath the Bending Skies by Jane Kirkpatrick

About the Book

Book: Beneath the Bending Skies

Author: Jane Kilpatrick

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: September 6, 2022

Mollie Sheehan has spent much of her life striving to be a dutiful daughter and honor her father’s wishes, even when doing so has led to one heartbreak after another. After all, what options does she truly have in 1860s Montana? But providing for her stepfamily during her father’s long absences doesn’t keep her from wishing for more.

When romance blooms between her and Peter Ronan, Mollie finally allows herself to hope for a brighter future–until her father voices his disapproval of the match and moves her to California to ensure the breakup. Still, time and providence are at work, even when circumstances are at their bleakest. Mollie may soon find that someone far greater than her father is in control of the course of her life–and that even the command to “honor thy father” has its limits.

New from New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick, Beneath the Bending Skies is a sweeping story of hospitality, destiny, and the bonds of family.

About the Author

If you’d like more information about me, please come visit my website at http://www.jkbooks.com and click on my blog. My dog also has a blog and you can find out what it’s like to be Bodacious Bo, too. A monthly newsletter called Story Sparks is my way of sharing books about authors I enjoy as well as commenting on life and love. You’ll find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!

One item not listed on my lists of books is my selection included in an anthology called “Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West” published by Houghton Mifflin I also have a piece in Storytellers II, a book published a few years ago by Multnomah Press and a few short selections in Daily Guideposts of a few years back. My first novella, “The Courting Quilt” is part of a collection that made the New York Times bestsellers September 2011 in a collection called Log Cabin Christmas. The rest of my writing, as they say, is history. Or it was until my first contemporary came out this fall. Called Barcelona Calling, it’s the story of a writer who loses her way as she seeks fulfillment thinking she’ll find it with fame. It’s a laugh out loud book according to reviewers. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Book Review:

Jane Kirkpatrick is a new-to-me author and I loved this book. Well, I had a hard time figuring out if I was loving or “hating” the characters in the book … which to me is a characteristic of a great book. I really felt for most of the characters portrayed. There was no real “villain” and no real “hero.” They all had their pain and hurts to deal with and the rough decisions that had to be made and while (many) mistakes were made, there was a lot of love shown too. This truly was a great glimpse into the difficult decisions that had to be made in the olden days and how feelings were always top priority when survival was at stake. Despite the dysfunction that was evident throughout the family, there was also a lot of love and chances for redemption, grace, and lasting relationships. Yes, I will definitely be reading more from Jane Kirkpatrick. She knows how to make characters stick with her readers long after “the end.”

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Celebrate Lit AUTHOR INTERVIEW for Where You Are and How to Get There by Nolan Ryan Recker

About the Book

Book: Where You Are & How to Get There

Author: Nolan Ryan Recker

Genre: Lifestyle

Release date: August 4, 2022

Have you ever had the thought or asked yourself the question, “How did I get here?”

You know, the kind of question examining the indirect decisions and circumstances that led you to the point life that you even need to ask such a question.

One of the oldest questions ever recorded in human history speaks to this very question we ask ourselves in moments of doubt. What if that ancient question was a question we ought to ask ourselves on a regular basis?

Journey with me as we wrestle with a question that if meant for us, today, would change everything about we view the life we choose to live.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Nolan’s toughest and rewarding opportunities are being a husband and a father. As a husband and a father, Nolan wants his family members to discover and live a flourishing life. Nolan’s life experience has covered the spectrum from being a camp counselor to a school teacher to a custodian to a Lead Pastor of a church. This, is why he writes. If he wrestles with the ideas he writes about, maybe others wrestle with the same things, and if they do, would they benefit from a different perspective? He’s honored to listen to anyone who graces him with their time to tell their story; especially if it involves coffee or pizza.

More from Nolan

Hi there! The name’s Nolan & I love this book.

Seriously, it was a labor of love.

Sometimes writing for the sake of the enjoyment and scrutiny of others can lead to some pretty sad writing days. One of my favorite writers recently said something along these lines, “Sometimes, writing is opening up a blank word processor, staring at it for eight hours, closing the processor, and not writing a thing. It still counts!”

For me, I used to seek perfection in much of what I attempted to do. I wouldn’t try something if the odds weren’t favorable. It wasn’t until I learned that life is a lot like staring at a blank word processor. Even though I didn’t accomplish anything on a specific day or season of life, the fact that I showed up is what counts.

Learning to live life in this way. Discovering rhythms of creating, rest, consuming, pain, work, play, purpose, and my people; helped me to rediscover a life-story worth living.

A life-story worth writing.

I am so many things and wear so many different “hats,” but first and foremost, I am a loved human being, created in the Image of a loving and creative God.

I enjoy being a husband and a father.

I love the passion of writing.

When something comes together, there is no greater treasure than to put something into the world that brightens someone else’s experience of this life.

Wearing the “hats” of Pastor, Teacher, Coach, Friend, Advocate, etc. time and I again I would have conversations with people regarding the very things you will read in “Where You Are & How To Get There.”

We are all on this life journey together, and I am glad to journey on with all of you.

Author Interview:

What role does God play in your writing career?

Simply, it’s a partnership. God, for some reason or another made an intentional choice

to create humanity in His image, worth with and through humanity, drew near to

humanity in human form, and empowers us by His Spirit into all things Kingdom.

Certainly, we all get things twisted along the way, but if the pursuit is love and service

toward one another, then my writing is a partnership with that vision. I write because I

want to serve others, to encourage them on their life’s journey.

What has been your favorite book that you’ve written? Why?

This one! Easy answer. Ha! Seriously though, this is my favorite because of my growth

as a writer and creator. I look forward to my next book because it will be built upon the

growth and maturity forged in the process of writing this book.

Do you have a team or do you manage all aspects of writing by yourself? How

do you balance writing, marketing, social media, etc.?

At this point in my professional writing journey, I do a lot of the heavy lifting. I have

leaned on contributors from Fiverr. I connected with a publicity team and will utilize

multiple people for their marketing efforts to get the word out there. Writing is my

favorite part, but I am taking the other aspects as a challenge to grow in my experience

and knowledge.

What projects are you working on currently?

Now that the book is done and out there, I am working on an eCourse to accompany it.

Provide a different format for people to experience the book. In addition to the eCourse,

I will record an audiobook version too. I really like audiobooks read by the author, so

that is what I will do!

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you think that helps (or hinders) your

writing?

I am an introvert! Or to really complicate things, I lean “omnivert.” As I have flexed the

introvert and extrovert muscles, I have become more aware of my tendencies based on

the situation I am in. Sometimes being around people or in a meeting breathes life into

me. Other times, I rely on my “me-time” to disconnect and recharge. All that to say, I am

learning to find new rhythms of rest. Sometimes when I write, I prefer to be in a room by

myself in silence while other times, I will listen to music. Sometimes I will put a show or

movie on in the background. Sometimes I will go to a coffee shop and be around people

while I write. The spontaneity helps and hinders based on the level of my “social

battery.”

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 9

Texas Book-aholic, September 10

A Reader’s Brain, September 11 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 13

Splashes of Joy, September 14 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 16

Spoken from the Heart, September 17 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

For the Love of Literature, September 20 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 22

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Nolan is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the book!!

 

Dangerous Beauty Review

Dangerous Beauty was the first book I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last. It was haunting and realistic and beautifully written. The author was careful to tone down the violence and horror that one would experience with human trafficking while still getting her point across.  I don’t believe this book would cause one to have triggers from violence in their past because of how beautifully it was written.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Celebrate Lit AUTHOR INTERVIEW for Freerunner by Kathy Cassel

About the Book

Book: Freerunner

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: YA

Release date: March, 2022

Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.

Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathy Cassel is author of more a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles for preteens and teens, including 2021 Selah Award finalist Freerunner and the iParenting award winner Christian Girls Guide series. Kathy has lived on three different continents with her USAF husband, has eight children, five adopted from Haiti and the United States, and six grandchildren. To better relate to her characters, she enjoys learning their skills such as whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and riding a motorcycle, but draws the line at sky diving.

More from Kathy

For many years I wrote devotion books for preteens and early teens. I tried to make the devotions both fun and interesting. I wanted preteens and early teens to see that the Bible is relevant to them today. But I realized that the readers I most wanted to reach weren’t likely to pick up the Bible or a daily devotion book. But they might read a story. These are the teens who are hurting inside. Those who have been abused, neglected, bullied, abandoned, or who  face challenges. Those who may have lost hope and who need healing. Those who need to realize that God still has a plan for them no matter what has happened.

So I turned to writing faith-based, issue-based young adult books. It hasn’t been easy. There are a multitude of issue based books in the general market, but these can be graphic and offer little hope or healing, yet they are snatched off the shelves and are some of the most popular books. Mine are not graphic and mention God throughout the book. They are not likely to reach library shelves. So the challenge is to get them into the hands of the readers who most need them.

Freeerunner is about a 15-year-old girl who is sexually molested/abused (I never give details so readers can interpret what happened based on their own knowledge and experiences) by a family member when she is only six. She doesn’t get help. No one talks about it. So when the abuser walks back into her life now that she’s 15, she has a lot of unresolved feelings. For adults reading this book, the story may trigger negative feelings or bring up a painful past. But don’t let that turn you away from the book because it may be a powerful resource for those experiencing what Kia did. For teens, the book gives them a character they can relate to. The story lets them know they are not alone and don’t need to suffer in isolation. Like Kia they may find the courage to finally speak out and get help. And they may come to realize that God has an amazing plan for them no matter their past.

So for some the book may simply be an entertaining sports story, while for others it can be a springboard to talk about their own problems. I am hoping this book will become a resource for parents, counselors, pastors, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers, and librarians to share with teen readers.

And above all, I hope the story is a source of hope and healing to those who need it.

Author Interview:

What role does God play in your writing career?

My YA books are all written for teens who are searching for something more in their lives. They are meant to point the reader to God as the source of hope and healing.

What one thing do you love most about writing? Why?

I love creating new characters. Naming them. Giving them a problem to deal with. Sending them a friend to point the way. And so on. I also love that the quirky things that happen in life can end up in a later book. 

Describe to me how you flesh out your characters. Do you have the story idea first or do you create characters and then design the story around them? 

A character will come to mind and I give her an issue to dealing with. Then I try to give her an interesting setting or hobby. Slowly the story will unfold, and I’ll start getting it down on paper. Often the story changes along the way to up the action or suspense. I usually raise the stakes prior to the final version.

If you had to choose a best friend from all your characters, who would it be and why? 

Either Thorn in Freerunner or Chad in Catching Hope. They are both strong in their faith and are supportive of the main characters in their respective stories.

Are you a “punster” or a “plotster” or a little of both? What does that mean to you and how do you use that when writing a book?

Both. I have an idea of where the story is going, and I’ll plan out the big events, but I’m never sure how the characters will choose to get there.

What kind of fiction do you like writing the most? Why? 

I love YA books, but most of the books I was checking out from the library had themes of depression, suicide, death and so on. I quickly realized the books didn’t offer any real answers or hope, and I felt a strong call to switch from devotion books to fiction that would reach teens with the message that there is a God, and he has a plan for them. If they walk away from the story with that hope, then the story has succeeded.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? 

I like to do things with my family. Even though schedules can be crazy, I try to include them in “adventures” whether it is rafting in Tennessee, scuba diving the springs in Florida or visiting little known places. I recently took two of my daughters on a scuba diving trip to Key Largo.

What are some new projects you’re working on?

I am currently working on an underwater crime scene investigation novel. This is challenging for me because I don’t have any law enforcement knowledge, so I’m not always sure how to get from point A to B. I actually learned to scuba dive and ride a motorcycle to relate to the main character several years ago when I first began planning this book, so the scuba scenes are strong. But I have a lot of research to do for the rest.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 4

Through the Fire Blogs, September 5 (Author Interview)

Naked and Unashamed, September 6

For Him and My Family, September 7

Splashes of Joy, September 8 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 9

Inklings and notions, September 10

Spoken from the Heart, September 11 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 12

Vicky Sluiter, September 13 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 15

Blogging With Carol, September 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!

Celebrate Lit Review Tour for Dial W for Wrangler by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book: Dial W for Wrangler

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance / Contemporary / Comedy

Release date: May 24, 2022

♥ Can one radio show host wrangle two hearts and help them beat as one? ♥

When Wade Garrett took over the family ranch, he knew he’d need help. He can tell you anything you need to know about breeding, raising, and selling cattle. He can even wrangle a wild horse or ten every year. He just can’t wrangle numbers into proper columns and have them all add up.

Enter Ainsley Jones. New in Sweetwater, the office manager from Los Angeles is out of her element and loves every second of it—except the moments when her boss can’t speak a civil word to her.

When Wade hears about the local Dial-a-Deal host and her ad-hock romantic advice success, he starts selling off everything he can find—even sneaks a few things out of Granny’s basement—just to have an excuse to call in and get Vi’s help.

Will this impromptu decluttering jag get rid of some of his personal baggage along with twenty sleeping bags and an antique egg scale? Enough for him to admit that she’s the one thing he doesn’t want to declutter from his life or his heart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Stay Tuned for This Radio Announcement

“Hello there. I’m Vi Willis with Dial-a-Deal on K-SWT out of Sweetwater County, Wyoming, and have I got an update for you.

“We’ve won an award! My boss is livid that it’s not for selling the most junk in the least amount of time, but hey. Can I help it if folks are tuning in from all over the country to listen in on the heart troubles of folks around here? So far, we’re credited with three engagements, six marriages, and a whopping thirty-five saved relationships! I don’t know who nominated us for that award, but thank you!

“Now look… there’s one small problem. This really is supposed to be a show for selling your old comic book collection or that garden wagon your husband just had to have until he discovered he really hates gardening. So, when you call in, can you please be sure you have an item to sell? Di, the operator who screens the calls? She’s under orders not to let any calls through without an actual item for sale.

“So declutter the junk from your closets, your garages, your barns and what have you as you try to declutter the troubles from your life, okay? Now… I’ve got Jeff Corbin on the line, let’s see what he’s got for us today….”

And that’s how it all started.

Well, sort of. You see, I spent six weeks at my mom’s house back in late 2019. And one of the things Mom did every day was listen to the Dial-a-Trade show. She never bought a thing, but she listened. And, since I was in the room, I learned a lot about that show.

Some people seemed to call a few times a week. I finally decided they were lonely and it was how they kept a connection with other people. Others were obviously selling things out of spite—ex boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses beware!

Basically, it was a great way to get rid of stuff and a great way to figure out what was going on in the lives of folks in the area.

So, when Lisa Prysock reminded me that she’d invited me to be a part of this series, I knew immediately that my first book would most definitely include a radio host for a sale show who just can’t help but solve people’s relational problems.

My Review of Dial W for Wrangler

This was a really cute book with depth of characters, humor, and an underlying message of the importance of relationships. I loved the backstory of the radio show and I loved how the author used fond memories from her own childhood to bring this story to life. I loved the camping scene (both actually the first night and the last night) and I loved the sleeping bag scene as well. It was a great reminder of how miscommunication and anxiety over sharing our true feelings can hinder the beginning of something wonderful.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, August 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 22

Texas Book-aholic, August 23

Lots of Helpers, August 24

Inklings and notions, August 25

Holly’s Book Corner, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

deb’s Book Review, August 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 31

An Author’s Take, September 1

She Lives to Read, September 1

Blogging With Carol, September 2

Simple Harvest Reads, September 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Sodbuster Living, September 4

Spoken from the Heart, September 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Celebrate Lit AUTHOR INTERVIEW for ON HEAVEN’S DOORSTEP by ANDREA JO RODGERS

About the Book

Book: On Heaven’s Doorstep

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Christian Inspirational

Release date: May 1, 2018

In Life or Death, There’s Only One Guarantee—God Will Be There

Medical emergencies are among life’s most unexpected and terrifying realities. But isn’t it reassuring in times of crisis that you can find hope and comfort in the hands of a loving God?

Encounter heart-stopping drama in these real-life stories of everyday people like you who found themselves on heaven’s doorstep—fully dependent on the skilled and courageous efforts of first responders and on the mercy of God.

As you read these firsthand accounts of perilous situations with uncertain outcomes, you will experience a full spectrum of emotions, from tender heartache to tremendous joy. Through it all, you will witness God’s amazing love and care for His children, both for those who are brought back from the edge and for those He welcomes into eternal fellowship with Him.

Be inspired as you go on call with veteran EMT Andrea Jo Rodgers and other brave professionals dedicated to helping when humanity is at its most frail.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Andrea Jo Rodgers holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and has worked as a physical therapist for over 25 years. She has served as a volunteer emergency medical technician on her town’s rescue squad for over 30 years and has responded to more than 9,000 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and two fur babies. At Heaven’s Edge, On Heaven’s Doorstep, and Help from Heaven include true inspirational stories based on her experiences as a volunteer EMT. Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues: True Stories from a First Responder will be released November 1, 2022. Her middle grade adventure novels, Saving Mount Rushmore and Saving the Statue of Liberty are fun yet educational books that teach faith, courage, patriotism, and friendship. Visit Andrea Jo at www.andreajorodgers.com.

More from Andrea Jo

Miracles exist. They surround us. Just open your heart and mind to the presence of God to observe them. How do I know miracles exist? I’ve witnessed them.

I’ve been a volunteer emergency medical technician on my local first aid squad for 35 years. I joined in high school, and I’ve been blessed to be answering calls ever since. During my time with the squad, I’ve answered over 9,000 first aid and fire calls. I’ve witnessed miracles and answered prayers. I’ve shared in some people’s faith-filled last minutes on earth. I relate some of these experiences in my books, At Heaven’s Edge, On Heaven’s Doorstep, and Help from Heaven. My fourth book, Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues, will be released November 1, 2022.

I recently had the honor of being a guest on two episodes of “At Home with Jim and Joy” on EWTN. During the shows, I shared stories of faith and miraculous rescues that I’ve witnessed on emergency calls. If you’d like to hear about them, you can watch the episodes at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqylPNYpsbI (Part 1) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diedm4TelrM (Part 2).

Rescue personnel are with people and their families during times of unimaginable crises. I’ve seen firsthand how God’s handiwork puts people in the right place at the right time to create miracles. Sometimes, God miraculously rescues people. Other times, He leads them home to Him. As volunteer ETMs, we are blessed to help others in their time of need.

Sometimes, we take our health for granted. People don’t normally think about EMS until they need their services. First responders are in the unique position of being able to serve others when they need help. Being a volunteer EMT allows me to act out my faith by being a Good Samaritan.

Some question if miracles exist anymore. They do. Have faith and place your trust in God.

Author Interview:

What has been your favorite book that you’ve written? Why?

My favorite book that I have written is my first book, At Heaven’s Edge: True Stories of Faith and Rescue. This book is near and dear to my heart because it explores many of the most memorable moments, inspirational moments, from my first years as a volunteer with my local first aid and emergency squad. I experienced the excitement of finding a literary agent, the joy of getting a contract offer from Harvest House, and the delight of seeing my first book in print. With that said, I always love the book I’m currently working on too!

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, I enjoy working part-time as a physical therapist. I specialize in women’s health, lymphedema, osteoporosis, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I also enjoy answering first aid calls as a volunteer EMT with my first aid squad. This is even more special now because my twins recently joined too, so I get to spend quality time with them while we’re helping others. I like watching my children play sports, reading, walking, playing with my dogs, and spending time with my husband and friends.

If you have a family, how do they support your writing career?

I’m fortunate to have a family that supports my writing career. My husband Rick designs and updates my website www.andreajorodgers.com. He also creates my bookmarks. Rick and my sister proofread my books, and my children enjoy reading them. They also support me on social media.

What projects are you working on currently?

My fourth adult book, Heaven-Sent Miracles and Rescues, will be released by Harvest House Publishers on November 1, 2022. I’m currently working on a fifth book that includes not only more of my inspirational experiences as a volunteer EMT with my rescue squad, but also true stories about guardian angels and near-death experiences.

Would you rather always be an hour early or be constantly twenty minutes late?

I would much rather be an hour early than twenty minutes late. Being late stresses me out big-time. I am the kind of person who likes to be fifteen minutes early.  During this time, I proofread my latest book, outline ideas, or work on writing a new chapter. 

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 18

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, August 19 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 19

Inklings and notions, August 20

For Him and My Family, August 21

deb’s Book Review, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 26

An Author’s Take, August 27

A Reader’s Brain , August 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 29

Rebecca Tews, August 30

Spoken from the Heart, August 31 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift card and a signed copy of On Heaven’s Doorstep!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for A Match to Call Ours by Merrillee Wren

About the Book

Book: A Match to Call Ours

Author: Merrillee Whren

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: January 21, 2020

Brittany Gorman needs a job, but nanny to six-year-old twin girls isn’t exactly what she’s looking for. Their single father, Parker Watson, isn’t sure hiring Brittany is the right move, but he’s desperate for help.

Soon Brittany is charming the twins and their father as well. But Parker still clings to the bitterness of his past, a past that has made him a recluse on his isolated Montana ranch, distanced him from God, and kept him from finding love.

Can Brittany’s prayers and two little matchmakers soften Parker’s heart and help him find love with his perfect Montana match?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Website and signup for her newsletter and connect with her on Facebook.

More from Merrillee

One of my writing goals is to set at least one book in every state in which I have lived. So far I have written books set in Washington State, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, Montana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. I still have to write books set in Illinois and Arizona to complete my goal. Just for fun I’ve gone astray and have written a couple of Christmas novellas set in Maryland, where my older daughter lives. I’m currently working on the third book in that series.

A Match to Call Ours is my Montana book. I lived there when I was a little girl. We lived near Billings from the time I was four until I was ten, when we moved to South Dakota. So as you can imagine my memories are vague, but I’ve visited Montana numerous times as an adult.

Brittany Gorman, the heroine of the book, is originally from Washington State, and if you read my Pinecrest series, you first meet her as a teenager in Second Chance Gift. I have three teenagers in that series, and I wanted to write their adult stories. Brittany’s story comes first, followed by Max’s story, then Amanda’s story in the Front Porch Promises series. The characters take the reader from Montana to Massachusetts, then Tennessee, where the series includes Amanda’s younger sister, Kelsey.

In A Match to Call Ours the hero’s twin daughters are based on my memories of my fourth grade friend Rose. She belonged to the Crow Tribe and had long dark braids just like the twins in the story. I remember the snowstorms and having fun in the snow, sledding, and making snowballs. I got to put those memories to use in the story.

Because I’m what they call an organic writer, I don’t plot my stories. I start writing and see how things unfold. I’m always thankful that somehow God brings everything together when I write a book.

My Review of A Match to Call Ours:

This book drew me in with the back cover description and the cover. But, the writing of Merrillee Wren kept me reading. I truly enjoyed not just Brittany but her sassy roommate Heather. And while, I think, readers weren’t supposed to be drawn to Parker due to his past and defensive stance at times, I thoroughly loved how the author showed his vulnerable, soft side while he tried to keep people at a distance. Throwing in the 6-year-old twins (I love reading books with children involved) made it an amazing story that kept my attention and wanted me to read the rest of the series. So glad I was introduced to this author and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 18

Inklings and notions, August 19

lakesidelivingsite, August 20

Vicky Sluiter, August 20

deb’s Book Review, August 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

For Him and My Family, August 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 28

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 28

Pause for Tales, August 29

Spoken from the Heart, August 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Merrillee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of Hometown Promises!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.