Saturday, May 14, 2022

"Light of Mine" (audiobook) by Allen Brokken -- Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

 

About the Book

Book: Light of Mine

Author: Allen Brokken

Narrator: Stacey Bradshaw

Genre: Middle grade Christian Fantasy

Release date: November 10, 2021

LightOfMine-AudioDarkness is spreading through Zoura. Beyond the borders of the heathlands, innocent animals are being turned into monsters, and good men into pawns of the Dark One. Father has vanished after joining the Mighty Mercenaries and mother has gone missing in search of him.

Alone on the farm, twelve-year-old Lauren and her brave little brothers, Aiden(9) and Ethan(5), must guard the Tower of Light that will guide both parents home. But when a hooded stranger is caught trespassing the farm, and a new bishop claims the church, confusion pervades their close-knit community. Will the children be able to recognize who is a threat to the Tower and who is there to help them protect it?

With little else but the aid of a trio of blessed pets, three holy weapons, and their growing faith, Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan find it is up to them to stop the agents of The Dark One from putting out the Light and dooming the heathlands to Darkness.

 Author Interview

  1. What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?


Editing.  I hate having to leave really cool scenes, dialog or world building concepts on the “cutting room floor” so to speak.  Some of my best ideas have been completely cut out because they didn’t advance the plot or were too slow and ruined the suspense.


  1. What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?


Coming up with ideas of fun and novel situations.  They usually just flow.  So many ideas that I really can never do them all. That coupled with my generally fast writing speed lets me power through composing a story really easily.


  1. Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

I can write anywhere.  I used to write while I was traveling for work and have composed most of the books in my series at least 25% on my cell phone.  I prefer to work in my office now because of the setup I have, but I’ll sit down just about anywher to write.


  1. How long does it usually take you to write a book?

I’m blessed in that I can compose about 1000 words an hour.  So I’ve had a number of 7000 word days. My books are between 50,000 and 65,000 words so the first draft is usually about 50-70 hours.  Then it takes about that same amount of time to rework it after I get it back from a conceptual edit.  Then the final copy-edit takes about half that time.  So all up around 120-150 hours.


  1. What is your work schedule/routine when you write?

I don’t write full time so I have to fit it in.  Usually when I’m composing I write 1-2 hours every morning before work.  When I get close to a deadline I may take a day off from work and write all day.  But for the most part it’s a daily dose of writing.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

AllenBrokken-AuthorAllen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age appropriate way. He’s dedicated 15 years of his life to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his own children are off to college he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media @allenbrokkenauthor, and through his blog https://www.allenbrokkenauthor.com.

 

More from Allen

When my kids were young there was really nothing better than getting out of my car at the end of a long day at work and having my three little kiddos run up to me and give hugs because Daddy’s Home!  As a Father of three young children I was very concerned about the direction society was taking.  I wasn’t sure that with how things were going that I had the knowledge or the skill to train them up in the way they should go, as the Bible directs.

Then in 2008 I took a new job that had me traveling four days a week.  It was one of the hardest times of my life, the stress of a high pressure job, the loneliness of being on the road, and uncertainty of being a young parent really brought me to the end of myself.  However, all of the travel gave me a lot of time to study the scriptures and learn from the writing of great bible teachers.

It was during this time that I began to write stories for my children.  At first I brought my children’s stuffed animals to life for silly adventures.  But then one day while we were putting together a play fort in our back yard I saw a sunrise pattern in the wood in the top of the tower.  I thought:​

 

“What if there was a Tower of Light shining God’s goodness over the children and their animals?”

 

“What if the children experienced the indwelling of the holy spirit in a real way like Sampson or David?”

 

“What if the full armor of God was physical armor they could use to defeat the darkness?”

 

As I shared my story with my children, they loved it.

 

I believe you and your children will love it too.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, May 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 3

Guild Master, May 4 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, May 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 6 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 7

Vicky Sluiter, May 8 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 8 (Spotlight)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 11

Artistic Nobody, May 12

Simple Harvest Reads, May 13

Blossoms and Blessings, May 14 (Author Interview)

Cats in the Cradle Blog, May 15

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d3be/light-of-mine-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, May 13, 2022

"The Master Craftsman" by Kelli Stuart -- Book Review

 About the Book


n 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. 

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.


My Thoughts

I found this book to be well written and very interesting. Within the first chapter, I had headed off to Google Karl Faberge and learn more about him and the eggs he created. I wish I could see them in person and go on the treasure hunt with them. I found the setting fascinating and I drank it in. Between the two timelines, we see several peoples' points of view which makes it different than most books that give you two. I look forward to reading more books by Kelli Stuart.


About the Author


Kelli Stuart is the author of the Carol Award-winning Like a River from Its Course, as well as A Silver Willow by the Shore and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom (with Wendy Speake). Stuart has written for The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, Tonic.com, Disney, American Girl, The MOB Society, Extraordinary Mommy, God Size Dreams, Short Fiction Break, and (in)courage. Kelli is a storyteller at heart, fluent in the Russian language, and has spent the last two decades studying the Russian and Ukrainian culture. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and five children. 


"The Master Craftsman" is available in paperback:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (April 5, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0800740424
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0800740429
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches


and in Kindle edition:

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09B2NHCKY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (April 5, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 5, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6198 KB


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Monday, May 9, 2022

"Finding Love in Big Sky Montana" by Angela Ruth Strong -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

 About the Book


Book: Finding Love in Big Sky Montana

Author: Angela Ruth Strong

Genre: Sweet romance/western

Release date: September, 2016

Bright Star Ranch led him to her–but will he stay?

Josh Lake is forced to head home for the holidays after he’s suspended from his job in the city, but running into Paisley Sheridan could be exactly what he needed. Not only does she board him at her ranch in exchange for his advertising expertise, but spending the Christmas season with her in Big Sky, Montana, brings more joy than he’s felt in a long while. Is he willing to give up the lavish lifestyle he’s worked for in exchange for the gift of love?

The last thing Paisley wants for Christmas is to spend time with Josh Lake—the guy who broke her heart in high school—but until her bank loan goes through, she has to take all the free help she can get. Unfortunately, Josh seems to want back in her life again, and the town’s quirky coffee shop owners don’t help by hanging mistletoe at every opportunity. Will Paisley succeed in driving him away, or will she find the healing needed to have hope for a future together?


My Thoughts

"Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana" is the 2nd book in the "Resort to Love" series by Angela Ruth Strong. The main characters from the first book show up in this book, but it's more of a cameo appearance so this book could be read as a standalone. (But I say, "You want to read the first one because it's really good, too!" **and at the time of my review, it is free for Kindle**) Paisley and Josh were very easy to relate with. I didn't totally understand some of their reasoning at first, but as the book progressed, I came to understand why they felt and acted the way that they did. Dot and Annabel were hilarious and added just the right amount of humor into the story. I liked getting to know Sam Lake a little better, too, and am impatiently waiting for his story. I liked the way that the author worked the star theme throughout the book and weaved in Bible truths in a smooth and easy manner. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to shake some of the characters... I had to force myself to put the book down to do things like make food, clean, sleep. I could easily see this as a made for TV movie. The scenery was beautiful and the characters believable.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Twelve years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Her book Finding Love in Big Sky filmed on location in Montana and will air in spring of 2022. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK.

 

More from Angela Ruth

Having my book made into a movie is a dream come true, and getting to be an extra on the set in Montana blew away all my expectations. There’s nothing like walking into a world you created and seeing your imaginary friends come to life.

 I knew what was going on before anyone told me. I pointed around the set as I narrated: “They are going to hang that star on the barn. The horses are named Butch and Sundance. And that big red truck is going to break down because I WANT it to break down.”

I got it all right except for one thing. “Actually, Angela, the truck really did break down.” Oops.

 Not only was I in on the inside jokes, but I kind of made them up. For example, during the “almost kissing” scene, Josh’s brother walks into the kitchen to look for ice cream. The actors got a good laugh afterwards whenever they were practicing the kissing scene because the actress would turn away with an “I’m going out for ice cream.”

 I was only on location for one day, but it was the best day. I saw them film both kisses, the mentor scene, and we were extras in the cowboy ball. (I’m the one in the blue dress who signs up for the silent auction.)

 However, my husband Jim was really bummed we couldn’t be there for the scene in the auto repair shop. He took his own coveralls just in case he could be an extra mechanic. We joked with the actress about it, and when we watched the final cut, we were surprised to see her call back into the shop to a “Jim.” I messaged her to ask if she did that on purpose, and she said she did. Such a sweet tribute.

On our last day, we ate breakfast at the Western Café (another film location) with the director, and we visited the jewelry shop where my hero had a necklace made for the heroine with the logo of her ranch on it. Jim gave me the exact same necklace for Christmas.

Everyone was so fun and nice, and even if I someday get to have another book made into a movie, I don’t think it could top this experience. I really hope you enjoy both the novel and the film. And may the message of how “you are a treasure” carry you forward toward your own dreams.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 27

I luv the books, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

The Sacred Line, April 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

For Him and My Family, April 30

Rebekah Reads, April 30

deb’s Book Review, May 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 3

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 4

Vicky Sluiter, May 4

Bizwings Blog, May 5

Back Porch Reads, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 7

Miriam Jacob, May 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 8 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 9

A Baker’s Perspective, May 9

Simple Harvest Reads, May 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a movie package with a $25 gift certificate to the movies, popcorn, popcorn bowl, and an autographed copy of Finding Love in Big Sky, including author notes in the margins!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d0b4/finding-love-in-big-sky-montana-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

"A Rose for the Resistance" by Angela K. Couch -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

 My Thoughts

I have enjoyed reading the books in the "Heroines of WWII" series and also enjoyed reading this book. It really brought history to life and made it more real. I liked Rosalie and Franz and their desire to do the right thing. I found the book to be well written and kept my attention. I look forward to reading more books in the series and by Angela K. Couch.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

 

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you.

 Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

 Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.