Friday, May 24, 2019

"The Medallion" by Cathy Gohlke ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Cathy's publisher has offered to give away a print copy of the book. (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends June 1, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 

My review...

I love WW2-era stories. I’ve read other books by Gohlke, and she never fails to immerse the reader in the story, so I was excited to read this one, which is inspired by real events. The author has a way of creating characters that connect with the reader, even after the story is finished, and The Medallion is no exception.

Gohlke’s latest follows the stories of Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich, a young married Polish couple during Nazi occupation, and Sophie Kumiega, a British woman whose husband Janek is with the Polish Air Force. While there is a romance angle, it does not overpower the historical details of how lives were impacted and destroyed in Warsaw.

This is an emotional read, with heartbreaking details at times, as it’s hard to even fathom the horrors people endured. I’ve only read a few books about the Polish Jews during the Holocaust, so this book provided a different perspective. I enjoy being educated when I read historical novels, and that was certainly the case with this book. Despite the circumstances the characters faced, Gohlke shows that God is still there, shining a light in the darkness. Courage and unconditional love are woven throughout the story, and the power of prayer and faith in God is inspiring.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to write a review.

About Cathy...

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award-winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Where you can find her online...

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Writing Prompt Wednesday

If you're feeling stuck in your WIP (work in progress) or just want to shake things up a bit, here's something different to try today:

As he took in the view from the twentieth floor, the lights went out all over the city...

Happy writing!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Motivation

"I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it."
— William Carlos Williams

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"Final Grains of Sand" by David Harder ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Tours blog tour)


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Final Grains of Sand by David Harder with JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: Final Grains of Sand  
Author: David Harder  
Publisher: Ambassador International  
Release Date: April 23, 2018  
Genre: General Fiction

How well do we truly know people?

When James Kreider receives the devastating news his life is being cut short with cancer, he is immediately filled with shock and disbelief. At 60 years, Jim is too young to die and believes he has a whole life ahead of him. When the reality of his impending demise sinks in, Jim methodically prepares for his final days, including trying to heal old wounds. With a dash of life’s regrets and unfinished business, Jim’s hours are spent pondering the legacy he will leave for his friends and children.

In preparing for the end, Jim selects five individuals to represent his life at the funeral service. This group includes Jim’s boss, his personal physician, a neighbor, the pastor of his church, and a woman whom Jim was involved with in a long-term affair. None of the individuals know each other or why they were chosen. Summoned to the office of Jim’s attorney, the representatives disclose emotions and information few individuals want to hear. Reluctantly, they agree to share every facet of their friend.

Jim’s story not only transforms the five representatives but alters the lives of the funeral guests.

At the heart of Final Grains of Sand,this thought-provoking novel gives readers an opportunity to pause and reflect on the way they see others, as well as how they portray themselves to those around, and to help readers realize the value of one's life is less about the length of time, but rather how we touch other people through our actions and words.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book


Q:   Can you tell me the "story behind the story" for Final Grains of Sand? 
A:  I was speaking with someone, and they described their father who had died recently. As they shared his story, I discovered a lot about a man I never knew, but wish I had met. He accomplished quite a bit in his life and I thought, how unfortunate we don’t really get know some people until they’re gone. This became the genesis for the book. I wanted to convey the message that we really don’t understand a person without sharing all the facets of that individual and unfortunately, we wait until it’s too late. We can make a difference every day with the people we encounter.

Q:    So true! How would you react if you were given the same news James receives?
A:  I actually thought about your question while writing the book. I once had the unique experience of witnessing an Irish wake. For three days, the deceased lie reposed on the dining table while friends, family, and guests sat around singing, toasting, and telling stories about the person who died. If I received the same news as James, I would make every minute count, and I would plan a similar wake (with my ashes of course).

Q:   What do you hope readers takeaway from the story?
A:  Value every relationship, even the obscure, sporadic, casual encounters of daily living. We have a positive or negative impact with the people around us. Second, life is a limited commodity; make your life count for something.

Q:  I love that. Good takeaways. What's something about you that would surprise your readers?
A:  I’ve been married four times. It wasn’t until recently, that I discovered I was married three times to someone with my father’s personality—all in hopes of changing the outcome of the relationship. My current wife is an unexpected gift from heaven because prior to her, I had given up all hope of ever being in a relationship again. While I selected the first three, God appointed Emily for me, and with her, I’ve discovered what unconditional love is.

Q:  That's beautiful. Who are three authors who've inspired you?
A:  John Grisham, James Michener, and Jerry Jenkins – all of these authors tell a great inspiring and engaging story.

Q:  Yes, they do. I have read many books by those authors. What advice do you have for beginning writers? 
A:  Never give up! Always pursue your dream! Make every word count! Most of all, realize writing takes time.

Q:  Great advice! You have a military background (Thank you for your service!). When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Thank you. I served in the Navy during the Vietnam conflict 1970-1974.

I entered college at age 40, and there the roots of writing began. Growing up, I squeaked by school English with just passing grades. I’m sure most of my high school teachers are turning in their graves knowing I’ve become a published author. I was part of a learning experiment early in my life where they taught speed-reading in primary school. We were tested every year and by time we reached high school graduation, nearly all of the group failed English. The state canceled the program. As a result, I didn’t learn to read until I entered college. Reading was a tortuous experience until someone had me slow down and read aloud. Then I discovered the richness of stories and books. Now, I constantly read multiple books. I received high grades for my written work in college and began writing stories for fun. The feedback fueled my passion for writing and the critiques motivated me to improve.

Q:  What would you be doing if you weren't an author? 
A:  I once thought about being a custom, hands-on lingerie designer, creating one-of-a-kind secret underwear. I don’t believe the market exists, so I would be a pioneer. I’m kidding of course. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an archeologist. I love the outdoors and have the beard. Instead, though, life took a different turn. One of my side passions is watching programs and reading about archeology discoveries around the world.

Ha! You would be a pioneer for sure! Archeology would be interesting, too.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know a bit more about you and your book.



David Harder has been writing for more than twenty-five years. His novels are inspiring stories about individuals who influence their world in unique ways.

David grew up in southern California and served in the US Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He traveled the world for businesses with cutting-edge technologies in computer and data-storage. As part of his career, he wrote for trade journals and created marketing materials within the computer industry. A graduate of San Jose College with a degree in business, he also studied at Santa Clara University towards a degree in international business.

After retiring, David focused on two passions: writing and clay art. He uses his wheel and clay during demonstrations in churches to deliver a powerful testimony, visualizing how God shapes our lives for different purposes-no matter how old we are, and even if we seem to be a failure.

David is a graduate of Vineyard Institute in biblical studies and leadership. He resides in the Prescott area of Arizona.  

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Website | Facebook | Twitter


(1) winner will receive 1 print (US only)

AND (1) winner will receive 1 ebook (open internationally except where prohibited by law)  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 14, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm May 21, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Takeover Thursday with Tabitha Bouldin ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Tabitha is here to share a bit about her latest release. She has offered to give away an electronic copy of the book. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends May 23, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 

How the story came to be...

When I wrote book one, Trial by Courage,  I had no idea it would become a series. I wrote THE END and moved on. Halfway through my second manuscript, I had a hero with no name and no backstory. I’m a pantser, which means I sit down and write without an outline. Out of the blue, it hit me, this was meant to be a return to Trial by Courage, picking up two years after Trial by Courage ended. Only, instead of following Cheyenne and Willie, Trial by Faith focuses on Cheyenne’s brother, Kane. Trial by Faith is a story about family. The goal was to showcase a family’s love and their willingness to sacrifice for one another.


The interior of the SUV was charged with electricity as Faith felt his disapproval. There was no excuse for her actions.
She knew it.
What she’d attempted to do was crazy. Faith understood that now, but in the fury of the moment, she had felt the desire to attempt the impossible. Refusing to allow herself to be defensive, Faith turned to face him. Finally able to get a decent look at him, she realized she liked what she saw. There was a shiver of shock at the feeling.
The military cut and clean-shaven face suited his strong jawline and crooked nose. She’d bet a month’s salary that nose had been broken more than once.
Lines of tension left his eyes looking tight. He looked angry. Faith had the feeling that not many things had made this man smile. She was unable to see the color of his eyes in the dim light.
His large hands wrapped around the steering wheel with a force that immediately reminded Faith of what it felt like to have one of those strong arms wrapped around her. Even through the rush of adrenaline, Faith had recognized the strength he possessed.
Faith took a deep breath and apologized, “I’m sorry.”
The lines cleared between his eyes, a brief flash of surprise taking the place of the anger.
“What were you trying to do?” he asked with a quick look over at her.
She looked longingly at the mountain and sighed. “I need to get home,” she said in lieu of an answer.
He shook his head. Exasperation colored the tone of his voice. “What could possibly be so important that you would try to climb a tree across a raging river?”
Faith turned back to face him, her shoulders shrugging automatically. “My kids. I need to be with them.” 

About Tabitha...

Tabitha was born, raised, and still lives in the same small town in middle Tennessee. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), she has been writing for nearly five years but only recently began publishing her work. She is in her last year of college before obtaining her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. Her books are meant to encourage others through the trials of life. While the stories are fiction, they come from situations that many of us face.

Where you can find her online...

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tuesday Tip: Stationary or Stationery?

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting about some common words that can be confusing.

Stationary means unmoving

The traffic was stationary due to the accident.

Stationery is a word for office supplies or writing materials. 

The bride discovered that blank invitations were less expensive than those found at a fancy stationery store. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"She Dreams" by Tiffany Bluhm (Read with Audra blog tour) ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Say yes to the dreams God has planted in your heart.

Every woman was born to dream--to live a life of beauty, passion, adventure, and purpose. No matter how big or how small they are, our dreams push us to become women of courage, grace, and grit. God in His goodness breathes new dreams within our hearts and revives the dreams that have died, inviting us to trust Him as we dream impossible dreams that only He can bring to pass—because God not only gives dreams; He fulfills them.

In this six-we study we will look at Moses' journey to live out the God-sized dream given to him, exposing the ancient wisdom and truth God offers for every woman with a dream beating in her heart. With timely truth and encouraging accounts of God's heart and hand in the life of Moses as well is in the lives of ordinary women, author Tiffany Bluhm will dare you to dream the impossible dreams the Lord is stirring in your heart, reclaim and broken dreams, and trust God for the victory. Throughout the study will identify:

  • The role of prayer as you grow into your dreams.
  • The importance of obedience as you pursue what God has for you.
  • Why your dreams are a blessing not only to you but also to others.
  • How your failures can be a gift that help your dreams become a reality.
  • The life-changing love, power, and wisdom of the Dream Giver.
Get ready to discover the role you are designed and destined to play as you partner with God for the impossible!

In addition to the book, there is a a Bible study guide with leader helps and DVD available.

My review...

If you’re looking for a dose of inspiration to follow your dreams, then this book is for you!

Bluhm shares her personal stories, including her dreams and fears, and mixes in some Scripture verses and biblical stories to illustrate her points. In doing so, the author has made this book quite relatable to most, if not all, women, as so many put their dreams aside to take on other roles and help those around them reach their goals. Bluhm reminds the reader not to give up on their God-given dreams but to keep the faith and press forward. An associated study guide and DVD are also available.

Some of my favorite quotes are:

·        “Our messy moments aren’t the defining line of our story. They are merely twists in the narrative.”
·        “As we dream God-sized dreams, let’s refuse to be boxed in by labels or cultural norms that do not encourage us to be who God created us to be.”
·        “Knowing your why is critical to the life of your dreams, because without it you may be tempted to give up or give in when the going gets tough.”
·        “…trust that the Lord is still at work in the midst of the changes. Because He is.”
·        “As we pursue our God-sized dreams, it is imperative that we fight the urge to compare our beginning or middle with someone else’s later chapter in the story.”

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy as part of the Read with Audra blogger program, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

About Tiffany...

Tiffany Bluhm, author of the She Dreams hey book and Bible study, is a speaker and writer who is passionate about helping women come to know their value and purpose because of a loving, redeeming God. In the style that speaks to women right where they are, she shares insights from a life spent chasing after Jesus while walking alongside women from suburbia to the inner-city, jails and brothels, and the slums of Kolkata. She speaks regularly at conferences and events and writes for a number of websites, print publications, and popular blogs, including the YouVersion Bible app, Deeply Rooted Magazine, and She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and two sons and blogs at

Learn more at

Where you can find her on social media...

Facebook (@TiffanyABluhm)
Twitter (@TiffanyABluhm)

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday Reads: Upcoming Releases ... and a GIVEAWAY!

A reviewer's life is never without books ... thankfully 😊 I love introducing readers to new (or new-to-them) authors, so, I thought I'd do something a bit different for today's #FridayReads post. I'm going to share some of the books in my TBR pile (and, hopefully, help you add to your pile!)

At the end of this post, be sure to enter for your chance to win one of TWO copies of Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes. (US ONLY. Two different winners. Contest ends 5/17/19. If you're one of the randomly chosen winners, I'll contact you for your mailing address.)

My TBR pile (which includes print and Kindle books) is generally overflowing. That's something that makes my reader heart very happy 🌝 I enjoy reading a variety of genres, and my TBR pile reflects that. Here are a few upcoming releases I'm excited about, in no particular order...

 Amazon purchase link

Welcome to the string, a game of impossible decisions and deadly consequences. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If anyone refuses to play, all threats will come to pass.
Game on.

Get ready for a deadly social experiment as a sociopath known as The Conductor delivers disturbing threats and twisted moral dilemmas to unsuspecting students and staff.

As a powerful instinct for self-preservation sweeps through the campus, one man has a grave decision to make. Will university copy Markus Haas play the game to protect those he loves? Or will he break the string and incite massive chaos—and even death?

In the great suspense tradition of Ted Dekker and Steven James, Caleb Breakey's explosive debut novel will have you turning pages into the night.

In the midst of the Great War, Margot spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But after a sudden loss, her world is turned upside down. Drake returns wounded from the field, followed by a destructive enemy. Immediately smitten with Margot, how can Drake convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life's answers lie in the heart?

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to word as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans' home before Laura is notified about her family's unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God."

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team and state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant shuts down and hundreds of families leave their town, John questions how he and his family will face an uncertain future. After reluctantly agreeing to coach cross-country, John and his wife, Amy, meet an aspiring athlete who's pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery. Inspired by the words and prayers of a newfound friend, John becomes the least likely coach helping the least likely runner attempt the impossible in the biggest race of the year.

When a damaged young woman is given a chance to reclaim her life in a small South Carolina town, she must reckon with the dark secrets she left behind in order to accept the love she deserves.

On the run from a violent past, Leah Allen arrived in tiny Rivertown, South Carolina, battered and broken, but ready to reinvent herself. By a stroke of fate, Leah is drawn to the Southern hospitality of a small cafe, looking for a warm meal but finding so much more. Lulu, the owner, offers her a job, a place to stay, and a new lease on life. Through Lulu's tenacious warmth and generosity, Leah quickly finds herself embraced by the quaint community as she tries to put herself back together. Given she's accustomed to cruelty, the kindness is overwhelming.

Soon Leah meets Crowley Mason, the most eligible bachelor in town. A lawyer and friend of Lulu's, Crowley is wary of Leah's sudden, mysterious arrival. Despite his reserve, something sparks between them that can't be denied. But after all she's been through, can Leah allow herself to truly love and be loved, especially when her first urge is to run?

Exploring the resiliency of both the heart and the spirit, Lulu's Cafe gorgeously illustrates how old scars can finally heal no matter how deep they seem.

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London's east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares. 

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within--and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

The secrets of those closest to us can be the most dangerous of all.

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father's death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her friends.

Not her parents. 

Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey.

At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love, her boyfriend Ethan, by her side. But when Ethan declares he "needs some space," Mia's carefully planned future crumbles.

Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime. 

From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia's heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways--ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her.

In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world's great need.

A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband's family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways,whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed.

Inspired by the true titans of the steel-boom era, Bethlehem is a story of temptation and regret, a story of secrets and the cost of keeping them, a story of forgiveness. It is the story of two complex
 women--thrown together in the name of family--who, in coming to understand each other, come finally to understand themselves.

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she's discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

When her father buys an island off the coast of Maine with the hope of breathing new life into it, Camden Grayson thinks he's lost his mind. An unexpected event sends Cam this rescue, and she discovers the island has its own way of thinking… and loving.

From award-winning author Carrie Stewart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.

Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that's worth killing for.

Evelyn McTavish's world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn't own a dog. But the shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.

Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner — but she arrives only to discover John's murdered body.

As Evelyn herself become the target, her path crosses with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. But the more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he is in keeping her safe. They're desperate to find the links between these disparate pieces. And the clock is ticking.

What if our truest life is the one right in front of us?

Does life sometimes seem to be passing by? Are you so busy — with email to check, Instagram to scroll through, and friends to be envious of — that you become disconnected from your actual life? You know, the one that you are living right here, right now?

With hilariously relatable confessions and profoundly beautiful insights, Kate Merrick invites us to stop running away from the lives were living today and instead walk in peace and fullness God offers moment to moment. She shows us how to:

  • kill your Wi-Fi, put down the tech, and find deeper contentment,
  • redirect the FOMO so you don't miss out on your own life, and
  • go on a diet of fewer choices to discover the blessings of the quiet, slow, and intentional.
Only when we look honestly at our hearts and have the courage to live truly present do we receive the gifts of God found in all of life's seasons — the painful ones, the big and beautiful ones, and even the ordinary ones.

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she's assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor's next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck — Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she will await her true mission — posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure the replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet when Braham's own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck as an opening other people's mail. Dead ends are reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more — a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this loss letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring — perhaps too much — for the one who wrote it.

From the critically acclaimed author whom Publishers Weekly has called a "master storyteller" comes a taut new thriller where things are not always as they appear to be.

Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe, is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witness is a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking — and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

"Across the Bridge" by Kristin Neva ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead blog tour)

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Across the Bridge by Kristin Neva with JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: Across the Bridge
Series: Copper Island, Book 3
Author: Kristin Neva  
Publisher: The Christmas Tree House  
Release Date: November 4, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance  

Fiction from the Ragged Edge of Faith

When Marcella Seppa meets her new tenant, widower Drew Smith, a spark ignites, but she won't consider dating him. She doesn't want his son, AJ, to experience the hurt she felt when her dad remarried shortly after her mom died. Her faith unraveled, and she threw herself into exercise and gardening instead of forming trusting relationships.

When Drew finds out he may not be AJ's biological father, his first instinct is to leave Copper Island, but he wants to find out the truth. He seeks out Marcella's support.

Is it possible their friendship could become more? But how would that affect AJ? Could love help make peace with the past?  

Love weaves its way through the messiness of life on Copper Island.  

Across the Bridge is part of the Copper Island series, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.  

Across the Bridge will make you laugh and cry. Deep, meaningful themes are woven into a fast-paced storyline.

After Marcella Seppa lost her mother when she was fifteen years old, her father quickly remarried, and her stepmother pushed too hard to foster a relationship with Marcella. Well-meaning people used Christian clichés in an attempt to comfort her, but it resulted in Marcella having a faith crisis. Is love worth the risk of loss, and how can you hold on to faith when questioning the idea of a puppet-master God?

Drew Smith moves to the small town of Quincy so that his in-laws can help raise his son, and he plugs into a local church where the leader of a boys group -- and his deceased wife's high school boyfriend -- looks strikingly like his son. Drew fears losing part of his son's heart to a man who even he admires for his height, charm, and cool job as a State Trooper. What does it mean to be a father, and what is the balance between protecting and preparing your child?  

Across the Bridge also contains a theme dealing with ALS, a terminal disease that requires a team of caregivers. Readers who've met Grandma Lou in Snow Country will want to be with her again.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Q: What’s the story behind the story?
A: Across the Bridge felt the most personal of the three novels I’ve written. My husband was diagnosed with ALS nine years ago. As I have watched his body slowly decline, I’ve struggled with God and the suffering in the world. Likewise, my protagonist Marcella pushes back against the sentiments people often offer to those facing tragedy, such as “Everything happens for a reason.” 

I recently heard some advice on writing: “Tell a story about what you don’t understand.” When story is an exploration, there’s authenticity in the writing. Life is hard, so how do we persevere? How do we make peace with questions that can’t be answered? I wrestle alongside Marcella as she struggles and grows.

Q: What character in Across the Bridge do you most identity with and why?
A:  There are bits and pieces of me and those I love in all of my characters. Mak is my alter-ego. He’s a rugged older guy who speaks with a thick regional accent. He plows snow and makes wood, but he also writes Amish fiction, mining the lives of his family and friends for plot ideas. I, too, am always on the look-out for story ideas, so be nice or you might be the inspiration for the antagonist in a book.
Seriously though, Marcella’s questions about life and suffering are ones that plague me, so I identify with her on a much deeper level.

Q: What message do you hope readers take away from Across the Bridge.
A:  That love weaves its way through the messiness of life. 

Near the end of the book, Mak sums it up when he tells Marcella, “Ya know, I started writing’ romance because it sells. But now, I’m startin’ to like da genre because ya see how strong love is. My first book showed that love is stronger than shame. This book I’m workin’ on is about love being stronger than blood ties, but I’d say love’s also greater than hurt, anger, grief, even doubt. Don’tcha think?”

Q: I love that! What can you tell me about your next project?
A:  I'm brainstorming ideas for Senja's story. She's a minor character in the Copper Island Novels. We know she had never married but came close once. I hope her college sweetheart returns to Copper Island and they get a second chance at love.

I'm also collecting ideas for a middle grade reader. My daughter is in middle school, and she comes home with stories that make me laugh.I have a unique opportunity to mine her experiences for ideas--with her approval, of course. She prefaces some things with, "You can't put this in a book."

Q: Ha! I love that! What’s something about you that might surprise your readers?
A:  I have look-alike themes in both my first novel, Snow Country, and Across the Bridge. This was used as a device to create tension and reveal surprises. It was inspired by my mom and I looking a lot alike. I get mistaken for her around town. She loves hearing, “Are you the author?” Now, my mom is 27 years older than me, so I am not as thrilled when I hear, “Oh, you have your grandchildren with you today” when I’m out with my kids! But I’m hoping that doesn’t mean I look her age, but rather when I am her age, I’ll still look like I’m in my 40’s.

Q: That's a good way to look at it 🙂What are some of the books in your TBR pile?
A:  I’m reading Faith in the Shadows by Austin Ficsher. I am a big fan of C.S. Lewis and am looking forward to reading his and Joy Davidson’s story in historical fiction: Becoming Mrs. Lewis.  

Good choices! Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know a bit more about you and your book.



Kristin Neva grew up in an old farmhouse on Copper Island in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula where the hard-working, rugged residents persevere through harsh winter weather, sustained by friendship and family, surrounded by natural beauty. As an adult, she lived in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas for seventeen years before returning to the her hometown with her husband and two children.

Kristin’s first book, Heavy, co-authored with her husband, Todd, journeys through the first year after Todd’s ALS diagnosis as the Nevas struggle to find meaning, hold on to faith, and discover joy in the midst of pain.

It is this life experience that brings authenticity to Kristin’s fictional works as she explores themes of love, loss, and faith on Copper Island. Her quirky characters are endearing and wholesome. But they are also full of healthy grit, humor, flaws, and appetites.

Learn more about Kristin and explore Copper Island at  

CONNECT WITH KRISTIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter


(1) winner will win a Copper Island Gift Pack containing:
  • a Signed Copy of Across the Bridge
  • Scandinavian Dish Towel
  • Garden Note Cards
  • Locally Hand Crafted Bird's Eye Maple Spatula
  • Rishi Loose Leaf Tea and Tea Ball
  • Keweenaw Mug
Most items are from Copper World, A Copper Island Gift Shop. Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 6, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm May 13, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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