21 Days of Grace Book Review

About the Book

Book: 21 Days of Grace

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Click to purchase. 

Author: Compiled by Kathy Ide

Genre: Devotional

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Love fiction? Looking for a devotional? Check out 21 DAYS OF GRACE, book one in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (published by BroadStreet Publishing Group). Fictional stories followed by brief life applications written by best-selling Christian novelists and debut authors, including Angela Hunt, Cindy Woodsmall, and Deborah Raney. Great for individual or group study.

About the Author

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Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a full-time freelance editor and writing mentor, working with Christian authors of all genres at all levels. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and is the director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She’s a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC and founder of the four divisions that comprise the CEN: Christian Editor Connection, The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, PENCON, and The PEN Institute. To find out more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com

My Review

21 Days of Grace is a beautiful collection of short stories. Each story is built with truth woven with emotional situations and deep characters. The stories are well written and pull you in within seconds. Despite the short story format, the authors manage to make each story feel complete. Each day starts with a story and ends with a life application. The layout is attractive and easy to read.

My one reservation is that not each day includes a Bible verse connection. I prefer for my devotionals to always connect to Scripture. If you enjoy fiction, this is a great light devotional. I personally prefer to start my day with an in-depth Bible study and end with a lighter devotional. I would prefer to use this for the latter. I don’t think it fully replaces a deep Bible study, but it still draws spiritual truths in a unique way.

I give this collection five stars. I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Guest Post from Kathy Ide

I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution. And you can take these purse-sized devotionals wherever you go, to read when you have a few minutes of down time. It’s a great way to get “inspiration on the go.” And they make fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones.

Blog Stops

March 23: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 23: A Reader’s Brain

March 24: ASC Book Reviews

March 24: autism mom

March 24: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

March 25: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

March 25: Inklings and notions

March 26: Blossoms and Blessings

March 26: The Power of Words

March 27: Lighthouse Academy

March 27: Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting

March 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 28: A Greater Yes

March 28: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 29: Captive Dreams Window

March 29: Donna’s BookShelf

March 29: Southern Chelle

March 30: Pause for Tales

March 30: The Scribbler

March 31: Carpe Diem

March 31: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

April 1: A Baker’s Perspective

April 1: Splashesofjoy

April 2: Christian Bookaholic

April 2: Karen Sue Hadley

April 3: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 3: Lane Hill House

April 4: Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet

April 4: History, Mystery and Faith

April 5: God is Love

April 5: Reader’s Cozy Corner

April 5: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away:

1st – 4th place winners: A set of all four devotionals in the series.
5th & 6th place winners: An autographed copy of 21 Days of Grace with a novel written by one of the contributing authors!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2cd

 

 

 

 

Murder for the Time Being Book Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Murder for the Time Being

Murder for the Time Being

 

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

About the Author

Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

My Review

There were intriguing elements to Murder for the Time Being that kept me on the edge of my seat. It started off with a chilling scene that kept you riveted and made you start guessing, but the plot development slowed down for a bit. The mystery was well plotted with relatable characters. From the beginning, I wanted to know more about Lexie and Drew, but the author kept you curious for a little while before filling in the pieces.

From the blurb on the back, I expected more romance.  There was chemistry and tension built between Lexie and Drew, but only in a few scenes. That’s fine if you prefer more suspense and less romance, but I struggled with it. I think it would have been better had there not been so many point-of-view characters. It made it difficult to keep track of who was who and it slowed down my reading. There were some medical details that seemed unbelievable and a few too many coincidences.

In my opinion, this book will be a perfect fit for those who prefer suspense novels with a beautiful story of grace. There were nail-biting scenes where you feared for the characters’ lives, twists along the way, and characters you grew to love.

I would give this book 3.5 stars. I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions are my own.

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 14: Ashley’s Bookshelf

March 14: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 15: autism mom

March 15: Inklings and notions

March 16: A Reader’s Brain

March 16: Blossoms and Blessings

March 17: Blogging With Carol

March 17: A Greater Yes

March 18: Radiant Light

March 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 19: A Baker’s Perspective

March 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 20: Karen Sue Hadley

March 21: History, Mystery & Faith

March 21: Through the Open Window

March 22: cherylbbookblog

March 22: Seasons of Opportunities

March 23: Daysong Reflections

March 24: Pause for Tales

March 24: 2014 and Beyond!

March 25: Lights in a Dark World

March 25: For The Love of Books

March 26: Carpe Diem

March 26: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 27: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 27: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Buried Secrets Book Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Buried Secrets

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Click to purchase. 

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.

Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.

But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

 

About the Author

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Inspirational author
Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapelseries. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her website, Facebook, author page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

My Review

Buried Secrets was a page-turner that kept you guessing as you read. From what I understood, this was the second book in the series, but I could read it as a stand-alone. I thought Emma and Sam were easy to relate to and the author dealt with amnesia in an interesting manner that seemed honest and true.

However, I was distracted by some formatting issues. There was head hopping with no scene breaks which gave me no clue that I was changing point of view until too late. Also, there were inconstancies with first and third person that could have been remedied by placing the first person in Italics to show that the person was talking to themselves as I have seen previously in fiction. These were both minor issues that took away from the readability of the book, but did not take away from the interesting plot development.

There was a sweet message of forgiveness and love in the story interwoven through secrets that could not remain buried in the past. It brought a different angle to the contemporary Amish lifestyle and dealt with some challenging cultural issues while remaining true to God’s Word.

I would give this book three stars. I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions are my own.

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.

In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.

Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.

Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.

I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.

Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.

Book Excerpt

Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.

Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.

“Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.”

A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.

Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.

“Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.

“I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.

The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”

“I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.

“There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.

“Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.

Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.

He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”

“Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.

Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”

Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Rachel

Blog Stops

March 9: autism mom

March 9: A Baker’s Perspective

March 10: Inklings and notions

March 11: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 12: Blossoms and Blessings

March 13: Bigreadersite

March 13: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

March 14: Bibliophile Reviews

March 15: Carpe Diem

March 16: Blogging With Carol

March 16: Splashes of Joy

March 17: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner

March 18: Connie’s History Classroom

March 18: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 19: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 19: Just the Write Escape

March 20: A Greater Yes

March 20: Christian Bookaholic

March 21: His Grace Is Sufficient

March 22: Rhonda’s Doings

March 22: Karen Sue Hadley

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b160