Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Finding Christmas Joy by Amanda Tero

What I Loved: Tero reminds us that Christmas is more than a season, it’s about Someone to have an everlasting relationship with and she uses a common setting–pain– to bring the message to life. Lots of people feel alone or disjointed during the holidays. Whether you’re saved or not, Tero reminds us Who our focus and source of emotions ought to be centered on.
Finding Christmas Joy is a short story, so we’re not given much time with the characters and the cozy setting they bring to life, but the message is one that will stick with you.
Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and recommend it to those looking for sweet Christmas moment.
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Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “Finding Christmas Joy” with one of her piano CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/483ac2ab27/?

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY(electronic copies of both)

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/483ac2ab28/?

 

Be sure to stop by these other blogs to see what others are
saying about
Finding Christmas Joy! 

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Posted in About the Book

Christmas in July Blog Tour: Out of the Ashes by A.M. Heath Giveaway and Spotlight

Christmas in July Blog Party! Fruit JEPEG

 

Ashes1600x2400AmazonSometimes peace is won through battle. 

Haunted by the memories he can’t escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn’t understand why he’s forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He’s desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?

*Series should be read in order. 

I’m giving away a signed copy of Out of the Ashes to one winner. *International friends will receive an ebook copy instead of paperback. Winner will be announced Thursday (July 19).

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July Sale banner

Earning entries for the giveaway is easy-peasy. You can earn 2 entries right here. Join me on my Facebook page to earn even more! Starting this week at noon (central time) on Mon and Tues, I’ll have additional posts, videos, chats, and polls. You can earn at least 2 additional entries each day. The giveaway will stay open until Wednesday night so feel free to stop by anytime before then. 

1 Entry: Add Out of the Ashes to your Goodreads TBR list if you haven’t already read it.

1 Entry: For those who have read it, comment on this post and let me know what you enjoyed about Out of the Ashes. (**PLEASE do not share any spoilers in your comments. If you want to discuss spoilers, I invite you to email me and we’ll talk privately.)

1 Entry: Share this blog post. Be sure to comment and let me know about it so I can document your entry.

*If you don’t have social media accounts, feel free to follow my blog or share this post in person or by email to earn entries. Just be sure to let me know so I can document your entry. 

 

Congratulations, Rosalyn R.!! You’re my winner this week!!

I want to thank everyone for participating. All three books are on sale for the remainder of the month in ebook version. You’ll find them on Amazon. I also invite you to follow me either here on the blog or on Facebook. I have two new releases just around the corner and more giveaways to go with them!

 

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And don’t forget! This promotion is part of a month-long blog tour. Be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway and visit the other blogs on the tour. There are free books, giveaway, and discounts all month long! 

July 1, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Free: “Distorted Glass”

July 2, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Where Can I Flee?

July 3, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.fathblum.wordpress.com,
Giveaway: Audiobook redemption code

July 4, 2018
Author  E. Kaiser Writes
http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/
Spotlight: new cover

July 5, 2018
Author- Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free: Noelle’s Gift

July 6, 2018
Author Ryanna Lynn
https://www.lifeofheritage.com/blog
Discount: Free shipping for Coffee Shop Christmas

July 7, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The House of Mercy e-book

July 8, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Discount: Emmeline

July 9, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Suit and Suitability ebook

July 10, 2018
Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Second Impressions ebook

July 11, 2018
Author Rachel Rossano
https://www.rachelrossano.com/blog
Discount: The King of Anavrea ebook

July 12, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free eBook: Hartly Manor

July 13, 2018
Author Kate Willis
https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/
Free eBook: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt

July 14, 2018
Author Kendra E. Ardnek
knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
Vlog and Giveaway: The most romantic fairy tales

July 16, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Out of the Ashes

July 17, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Discount: The Unexpected Request
Free: Choices for Max

July 18, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Discount: Perception, a Vintage Jane Austen Novel

July 19, 2018
Author Erika Mathews
www.restinglife.com
Discount: Promise’s Prayer ebook, Overrun By His Love
Free: Gather ‘Round The Fables

July 20, 2018
Author Ryana Lynn
www.lifeofheritage.com
Blog post: character interview.

July 21, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Sale: to be announced

July 23, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Discount: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, The Secret Slipper

July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.faithblum.wordpress.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
https://theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

Posted in About the Book

Christmas in July Blog Tour: In the Shadow of Thy Wings by A.M. Heath Giveaway and Spotlight

Christmas in July Blog Party! Burlap JPEG

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00042]Devastation sweeps across the land, and the families of Maple Grove cannot escape when war arrives at their front doors. After her father entrusts her with a new and dangerous task, Sally Chandler must find the courage to obey despite her fear. Meanwhile, her best friend, Claire Harper, is determined to serve others, even if it means putting herself in danger. But with a certain handsome Union soldier stationed nearby, Claire finds her heart in danger of falling for the enemy. Their differing loyalties create complications that neither could expect; her twin brother fighting for the Confederacy is only one of them. Frank Harper left home with one goal in mind – to become a prosperous plantation owner. Two years later, not only is he further from his goal, but he’s beginning to question his own desires–something that becomes more complicated when his heart becomes involved. The families of Maple Grove must learn how to survive the uncertainty of war and a country split in two. While the war in the nation rages on, the battle within grows stronger. Will they learn that the only safe place to hide is in the shadow of Thy Wings?

*The Ancient Words Series is best read in order.

I’m giving away a signed copy of In the Shadow of Thy Wings to one winner. *International friends will receive an ebook copy instead of paperback. Winner will be announced Thursday (July 12).

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Shadow Quote 2

July Sale banner

Earning entries for the giveaway is easy-peasy. You can earn 2 entries right here. Join me on my Facebook page to earn even more! Starting this week at noon (central time) on Mon and Tues, I’ll have additional posts, videos, chats, and polls. You can earn at least 2 additional entries each day. The giveaway will stay open until Wednesday night so feel free to stop by anytime before then. 

1 Entry: Add In the Shadow of Thy Wings to your Goodreads TBR list if you haven’t already read it.

1 Entry: For those who have read it, comment on this post and let me know what you enjoyed about In the Shadow of Thy Wings. (**PLEASE do not share any spoilers in your comments. If you want to discuss spoilers, I invite you to email me and we’ll talk privately.)

1 Entry: Share this blog post. Be sure to comment and let me know about it so I can document your entry.

*If you don’t have social media accounts, feel free to follow my blog or share this post in person or by email to earn entries. Just be sure to let me know so I can document your entry. 

**Our winner this week is Vivian Furbay!! Congrats, Vivian. Please email me soon.

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And don’t forget! This promotion is part of a month-long blog tour. Be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway and visit the other blogs on the tour. There are free books, giveaway, and discounts all month long! 

July 1, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Free: “Distorted Glass”

July 2, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Where Can I Flee?

July 3, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.fathblum.wordpress.com,
Giveaway: Audiobook redemption code

July 4, 2018
Author  E. Kaiser Writes
http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/
Spotlight: new cover

July 5, 2018
Author- Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free: Noelle’s Gift

July 6, 2018
Author Ryanna Lynn
https://www.lifeofheritage.com/blog
Discount: Free shipping for Coffee Shop Christmas

July 7, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The House of Mercy e-book

July 8, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Discount: Emmeline

July 9, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Suit and Suitability ebook

July 10, 2018
Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Second Impressions ebook

July 11, 2018
Author Rachel Rossano
https://www.rachelrossano.com/blog
Discount: The King of Anavrea ebook

July 12, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free eBook: Hartly Manor

July 13, 2018
Author Kate Willis
https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/
Free eBook: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt

July 14, 2018
Author Kendra E. Ardnek
knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
Vlog and Giveaway: The most romantic fairy tales

July 16, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Out of the Ashes

July 17, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Discount: The Unexpected Request
Free: Choices for Max

July 18, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Discount: Perception, a Vintage Jane Austen Novel

July 19, 2018
Author Erika Mathews
www.restinglife.com
Discount: Promise’s Prayer ebook, Overrun By His Love
Free: Gather ‘Round The Fables

July 20, 2018
Author Ryana Lynn
www.lifeofheritage.com
Blog post: character interview.

July 21, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Sale: to be announced

July 23, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Discount: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, The Secret Slipper

July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.faithblum.wordpress.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
https://theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas In July Multi-author Blog Tour

Christmas in July Blog Party! Burlap JPEGI’m thrilled to take part in a multi-author blog tour. You’ll find giveaways galore throughout the month of July. There’s a grand prize as well as some individual prizes. Check the Tour Schedule and Prize List for details!

As for me, I’ll be featuring all three novels from my Ancient Words Series over three weeks. I’ll share some giveaway options here inside the blog for you and additional options on my Facebook page, so be sure to visit me there as well. I’ll be giving away a paperback copy each week.

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Blog Tour Stops: 

July 1, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Free: “Distorted Glass”

July 2, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Where Can I Flee?

July 3, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.fathblum.wordpress.com,
Giveaway: Audiobook redemption code

July 4, 2018
Author  E. Kaiser Writes
http://ekaiserwritesablog.blogspot.com/
Spotlight: new cover

July 5, 2018
Author- Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free: Noelle’s Gift

July 6, 2018
Author Ryanna Lynn
https://www.lifeofheritage.com/blog
Discount: Free shipping for Coffee Shop Christmas

July 7, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The House of Mercy e-book

July 8, 2018
Author Sarah Holman
www.thedestinyofone.com
Discount: Emmeline

July 9, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: In the Shadow of Thy Wings

Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Suit and Suitability ebook

July 10, 2018
Author Kelsey Bryant
https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/
Discount: Second Impressions ebook

July 11, 2018
Author Rachel Rossano
https://www.rachelrossano.com/blog
Discount: The King of Anavrea ebook

July 12, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Free eBook: Hartly Manor

July 13, 2018
Author Kate Willis
https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/
Free eBook: Enjoy the Poodle Skirt

July 14, 2018
Author Kendra E. Ardnek
knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com
Vlog and Giveaway: The most romantic fairy tales

July 16, 2018
Author A.M. Heath
https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/
Giveaway: Out of the Ashes

July 17, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Discount: The Unexpected Request
Free: Choices for Max

July 18, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Discount: Perception, a Vintage Jane Austen Novel

July 19, 2018
Author Erika Mathews
www.restinglife.com
Discount: Promise’s Prayer ebook, Overrun By His Love
Free: Gather ‘Round The Fables

July 20, 2018
Author Ryana Lynn
www.lifeofheritage.com
Blog post: character interview.

July 21, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Sale: to be announced

July 23, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Discount: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, The Secret Slipper

July 24, 2018
Author Rebekah Morris
www.readanotherpage.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement

July 25, 2018
Author Emily Ann Benedict
https://www.facebook.com/Emily-Ann-Benedict-164350249985/
Giveaway: The Father Christmas Confessions.

July 26, 2018
Author Faith Blum
www.faithblum.wordpress.com
Blog: Special upcoming release announcement and book sale

July 27, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: A Time of Grace: The Complete Series
Blog: Spotlight on new book

July 28, 2018
Author Abigayle Claire
https://theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com
Giveaway and discount: Andora’s Folly

July 30, 2018
Author Alicia G. Ruggieri
http://www.aliciagruggieri.com/category/abrighterdestiny/
Discount: The Mystery of the Missing Cufflinks

July 31, 2018
Author Amanda Tero
http://withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com/
Giveaway and new release: “Finding Christmas Joy”

 

 

Prize List: 

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You can enter the grand prize giveaway here

Posted in Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY and Book Review: Quest for Leviathan by Amanda Tero

Amanda Tero has become affectionately known as my writing sister. Not only is she a sweetheart, but her heart for Christ shines forth in everything she does. It was this that had first drawn me to her. So I’m thrilled to introduce you to her latest short story release and invite you to enter her giveaway. 

Blog Tour banner_preview

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Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, “Quest for Leviathan.” Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan.

Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

 

What I Loved: I was treated with a glimpse of what life may have been like during the time of Job. The story is short, so we don’t see much depth in that area, but what we do see is very interesting. Tero paid close attention to the ship’s detail, as did her illustrator. The illustrations are remarkable, and they help highlight a lovely story centered on Anath’s struggle with God and His will.
Whenever you pick up a Tero story, you can be sure you’ll find a message for the soul. Quest for Leviathan was a creative approach to a beautiful, timeless message.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 5 stars and recommending it to any Christian looking for a quick read or something for their children.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

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Grab your copy of Quest for Leviathan from Amazon. Or add it to your Goodreads TBR list. 

You’re also invited to enter Amanda’s giveaway for two paperback copies!

 

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website: amandatero.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amandaterobooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/truthpicsart/
Blog: http://www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero

 

See what others are saying about Quest for Leviathan:

June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)

Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)

The World of the Writer (Review)

Authoring Arrowheads (Review)

Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)

June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)

June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

Reveries Reviews (Review)

June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)

My Purple Pen (Review)

Read Another Page (Review)

June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)

Maidens for Modesty (Review)

Yahweh Sisters (Review)

June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)

Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)

June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)

Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)

June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)

June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)

Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)

June 19 – Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)

Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)

Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)

Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)

June 22 – Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections (Review)

Views from the Window Friend (Review)

Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)

June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)

Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)

June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)

Posted in Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY!! Plus Author Interview and Book Review: A Holy Passion by Alicia G. Ruggieri

228“My heart begins its slow crescendo at the news. Mr. Brainerd – my Mr. Brainerd – has come at last.”

After a few scant years of solitary missionary work among the American Indians on the colonial frontier, David Brainerd has been forced off the field once more by his terminal illness. A man who has sacrificed every earthly comfort for the sake of Christ, he takes refuge in the home of Reverend Jonathan Edwards, eminent Great Awakening theologian and pastor… and the father of a young woman named Jerusha. 

Unbeknownst to David, Jerusha Edwards has nurtured an affection for him since she met him long ago. Their renewed acquaintanceship challenges Jerusha to understand the meaning of selfless, Calvary love. Yet does such love demand too great a sacrifice for her to make?

Told with an emphasis on the known facts of Jerusha and David’s relationship as well as his missionary undertakings, this novel carefully embellishes the historical record, weaving a bittersweet tale of romantic, holy devotion.

 

I’ve packed a great deal in this blog post for you. A Holy Passion is a fiction book based on non-fiction events and characters. You’ll find my interview with the author, my review, and a giveaway for a paperback copy. Enjoy! 

My Interview with Alicia G. Ruggieri:

What was your inspiration for A Holy Passion?
My husband, Alex, and I used to live in Rhode Island, and we liked to take weekend jaunts exploring interesting places in New England. One time, a few years ago, we stayed at an old inn that had named its rooms after historical inhabitants of the town in which it was located. Our room was named after a young woman who had been captured by American Indians during a raid. At the time, I mentioned to Alex that I’d like to write a novel about that young woman. Well, I didn’t end up writing about her, but the idea of writing a colonial-era story got stuck in my mind for good. Sometime after that, I remembered a little book on my sister’s bookshelf: The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. I had never read the book, but I’d read a brief history of his life somewhere else and found him admirable. I also remembered that the biographer had mentioned that it was possible that the resolutely-unmarried missionary had entertained a romantic relationship with Jonathan Edwards’ daughter, who cared for him on her deathbed. Well, at that, the wheels of my writerly mind began turning… So that was the start of it!

How much research went into this novel? Did you research before or during the writing process?
As I started this project, I wanted to be sure that I accurately represented the people depicted in it (most of them are real people that we will meet in heaven someday), and so I really tried to delve deeply into both secondary and primary sources. The novel includes a list of some of the sources I used. Though most of the research was book-based, one of the fun parts of the research included traveling to Yale in New Haven and to Northampton, Massachusetts, to see the actual places Brainerd would have seen.
My research for this novel began well before the actual writing started and ended… Has it ended? 🙂 The fun – and sometimes heart-stopping – part of writing historical fiction is that there’s always something new to learn and another side to the story that you can explore.

Are there any books you’d recommend for us to read to learn more about David Brainerd?
If you only read two books on David Brainerd, read his Life and Diary. Alongside it, read David Wynbeek’s Beloved Yankee. Wynbeek’s book will make the Diary come to life for you. It’s out-of-print, but it’s the best and most readable adult biography of Brainerd available, in my opinion.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about these people?
One of the things that surprised me was the legacy that Brainerd left. This man died unmarried and childless; never graduated from seminary; and most of his work on the mission field, with the exception of the Crossweeksung revival, appeared a failure. He spent most of his own spiritual life in deep discouragement, and his body basically fell apart by his late twenties. This doesn’t sound like the kind of man who leaves a great legacy, does it?
Yet, over and over, I found Christians since Brainerd’s death who pointed back to him as their spiritual father, as the one who passed the torch to them, through his honest, God-seeking diary and through his life’s example of incredible endurance, made possible only by dependence moment-by-moment upon the Holy Spirit. Jim Elliot, Hudson Taylor, William Carey, and Henry Martyn are just a few of these who were encouraged as a result of Brainerd’s life and work.

Could you relate to any of them? In what way?
Oh, yes! That’s one of the things that drew me into the story and kept me writing… These “characters” are real – they existed – we can go and visit their graves – and their experience of the Christian life was also real. In Hebrews 12:1, the Bible talks about how we have a great cloud of witnesses, those who have gone before us. We can look at their testimony and know that God’s testimony in His Word is true. We can see how they lived and how they died, and we can pattern our own lives after theirs, as John Wesley, leader of Great Awakening in England, advised that we do.
One of the specific things that really encouraged me was the honest way in which Brainerd describes his lifelong, severe battle with discouragement/depression as a Christian… and the way that he continued to persevere through it. Before I read his diary, I had heard it described as somewhat bleak because of the way Brainerd often wishes (literally) for death to come or continually relates his hopelessness that God will ever use him. That is true; his diary is the account of a man who went through significantly more “demon-possessed valley” experiences, as Oswald Chambers describes them, than mountaintop ones. However, as a result, reading Brainerd’s diary centuries later, I felt a spiritual kinship with and encouragement from this man who pressed on, despite the dark clouds that would not lift, despite the seeming lack of measurable spiritual progress. I find myself now remembering his example when discouragement loom, remembering to take heart, take hope in God, and to press on, not in a fake kind of joy, but in a determined belief that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
Another way that I found I could relate to them was through Jerusha’s struggle to let Brainerd go. How often have we prayed for something before God, all the while with our spiritual hands tightly gripping that thing or person, refusing to let God take it or them and do what His loving will is with them or it? I know that has often been the case with me.

What was the biggest obstacle to writing this novel?
The sheer feeling of inability that often overcame me in the midst of the writing. Above all, I didn’t want to misrepresent these people in any way, and sometimes, especially in the beginning of the writing, I wasn’t sure how to form David’s character. God mercifully led me to write this in first-person, present tense, from Jerusha’s perspective, and seeing David from Jerusha’s eyes helped immensely.

What are you hoping the reader will get out of it? 
Well, the thing that made the greatest impression on me during the writing of this was the message that flames brightly from David’s life – and Jerusha’s – more than 250 years after their deaths: Hold nothing back from Christ. Give up lands, houses, relationships, and ambitions, if they distract in any way from the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is worth all of it, and more. In his day, David was unusual, peculiar, because of his total commitment. We are each called to this. We are called to it in a day of innocent indulgences and diversions; we are called to it when sleep is so appealing, yet we know that God wants us to plead before His throne; we are called it when the compromise the world asks of us is so small, so seemingly insignificant.
Growing up, my mom often said in response to a Christian dilemma of what to do or not to do, “Count the cost. The cost is high.” And it is. We would do well to ask ourselves daily, as Brainerd did, “Am I counting the cost?”
So, if nothing else, I hope that readers will be inspired by David and Jerusha’s story of doing just that – counting the cost – that they will be inspired by it to do likewise, to think of their own lives in light of eternity.

Light and Quick Questions:

Do you journal?
Oh, dear, I am such a delinquent journaler! 🙂 Yes, but not consistently. I like to journal my prayers sometimes because I often can express myself better in writing than in speech.

What’s the one thing (besides God and family/friends) that you don’t think you could live without?
Stories, in some form, of course! 🙂

Do you write in the morning or evening?
Usually in the morning, but when I’m on a deadline, I will write any time.

Do you think you would have been a patient nurse like Jerusha?
I think genuine, God-given love makes any of us patient, so I have a feeling that any one of us could have been patient as Jerusha was, if we loved David as she did.

What is one of your favorite old hymns?
Oh, there are so many good ones, but one of my favorites is Charles Wesley’s “Arise, My Soul, Arise.”

 

Here are my thoughts on A Holy Passion: 

What I Loved: A Holy Passion is a fiction novel based on real events and real people. From beginning to end, it’s clear the author spent a great deal of time researching everything from the lifestyle, disease, conflict, and down to her best perception of the characters’ real personalities. Naturally, there are areas where she’d have to fill in the blanks with her imagination, but her imagination felt as real and as plausible as the tidbits of facts that were woven in.
The bulk of the novel is told through the first person, present tense. This is a style that I find harder to wrap my mind around. I knew the story would be worth persevering and I’m grateful that I did. After the first couple of chapters, the present tense became rather natural to me, and I no longer tripped over it.
I found it delightful to meet up with big names and events that have been passed down through Christian circles for the last two centuries. And it was refreshing to get to meet two of these people who I have never heard of before now. The romance is at first relatable and entertaining. It’s not hard to understand Jerusha’s feelings as she anticipates David’s appearance and, later, his attention. But the further the story moves, the deeper and more awe-inspiring the romance becomes. From a historical standpoint, you’ll learn a great deal about tuberculosis, evangelism among the Indians, and some of the conflict surrounding the Great Awakening.
But the highlight of the novel is truly the spiritual content. Alicia brings David’s biggest desire for living a dedicated life of service to Christ and through evangelizing the lost to bear on the reader. It was the type of message, through the type of means, that will weigh on my heart, and help to bring me back to the basics, for a long time to come.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving A Holy Passion 5 stars. I recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Fiction, especially those looking for novels based on real believers. Also for those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction and those looking for more novels about the 1700s.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

 

Giveaway Info: 

The author is generously providing a paperback copy to one of my readers. Follow the link to enter the giveaway!

*Continental U.S. residents only due to shipping costs, but an ebook version can be provided for international readers.

*Giveaway ends Sunday night, May 20th. This blog post will be updated on Monday, May 21, 2018 to announce the winner. If a response is needed and the winner doesn’t claim the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected.

CONGRATULATIONS: JoAnna Gommensen!! You’re our winner!!
*Expect an email from either me or Alicia.  

 

Posted in Christian

GIVEAWAY and Review: Whole Heart CD by Passion

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About Album

• Info about Passion

• “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”

• WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

• Passion Conference 2018 was a beautiful worship experience, and the live album captures each powerful moment, allowing those who were not in attendance to experience it.

• Featuring Passion Artists: Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder.

Buy Link: *This will be updated and active on 2/23 when the digital album release

Bio:
Rooted out of the Passion movement, Passion music is committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. You can listen to Passion music here.

My Review: I often find myself loving a song on Pandora only to find out that it’s from a Passion cd, so when I had the opportunity to review a new Passion cd, I jumped on the chance. I must say, Whole Heart was everything I expected it to be. Plus it has one of my favorite songs, Great Are You Lord.
There’s a great melody is this collection of songs, making it easy for me to be swept away in the music. But more than a smooth tune is the truth they bring out. Here’s a sampling:

~ “You won’t share Your glory.” (Ever Almighty)

~ “If more of You means less of me, take everything.” (More Like Jesus)

~ “It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only.” (Great Are You Lord)

I highly recommend it to those who enjoy the praise and worship sound. Every song is designed to bring you back to your first love.
And it’s for that very reason that I decided to offer a giveaway on Valentine’s Day.

Giveaway Info: To enter, comment below with one of your favorite Bible verses featuring love. And don’t forget to add your email address. I’ll randomly select a winner on Monday morning (Feb. 19, 2018).

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. *Continental U.S. residents only.

Posted in Book Reviews

Cover Reveal and GIVEAWAY: A Mother for His Family by Susanne Dietze

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I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Dietze’s Regency novel, The Reluctant Guardian last week, and I’m already looking forward to her next. Take a look at her upcoming release and hear some of the inspiration behind the cover. 
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About the Book/Synopsis: Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for. All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.
About the Author: Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the author of several historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her at: Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest
Inspiration Behind the Cover: 
Susanne shared her Inspiration behind the cover in saying: “I love marriage of convenience stories and always wanted to write one! It’s always fun for me to read a book where the wedding happens at the beginning and things progress out of order with the couple: marriage first, then love. I was able to offer three scene suggestions for the cover, and the wedding was my first choice so I’m thrilled the amazing art department at Harlequin chose to work with it. It’s a hopeful scene, since both the hero and heroine, John and Helena, think getting married will be the answer to their problems: he needs a mother for his three kids and niece, and she needs a respectable home. However, they learn right away that saying “I do” might provide solutions to their immediate issues, but not all of them, and forging a family can be a challenge—one that both breaks and heals their hearts! I love looking at them in this scene and knowing they have adventures ahead that will bring them closer together!”
Bloggers Participating:
You can pre-order your copy today!
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Susanne Dietze is offering a giveaway just for the event! Follow the link to enter. 
Here’s a quick word from Susanne: Don’t forget to enter to win the giveaway! It’s a Spa Moment (alas, a moment is all I can afford with a kid in college.). You can win a copy of The Reluctant Guardian, which takes place in the same story universe as A Mother for His Family; a Beauticontrol Regeneration Pure Hydration Sheet Masque (over $10 value for this lovely masque), and a signed bookplate.
Posted in Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY and CD Review: Glory Song by Matt Redman

60About the album:

Matt Redman teamed up with several of his worship-artist friends for this album, first releasing the track “Gracefully Broken (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard).” Tasha Cobbs Leonard also released her own version of this song on the same day! The album also features Kierra Sheard, Guvna B, Madison Cunningham, and Kim Walker-Smith.

What I Loved: My first impression of the sound or mood of the album was that it was upbeat and smooth. It doesn’t have a rockish sound or a soft lullaby sound. It’s just right smack in the middle. I find it to be consistent with the Matt Redman sound we’ve heard up till now. I think it’s a great addition to praise and worship music. The lyrics are God-focused and God-honoring. Gracefully Broken was a quick hit with me. Another favorite is One Day (When We All Get to Heaven) because I love the blend of something new with a classic hymn and they had done an excellent job with this track. Place of Praise is another favorite of mine. It’s simply beautiful and helps me to focus on the basics of my relationship with Christ.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy Christian Contemporary or Praise and Worship music.

~I was given a sample from FlyBy Promotions. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Enjoy this sample song from the album titled, Gracefully Broken: 

Pick up your copy right here!

You can also try your hand at winning a copy! Follow the link right here to enter to win!

 “Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Discussion Questions:
What is your favorite Matt Redman song?
What is your favorite line from Gracefully Broken?

And for your pleasure, we have two more videos for you. One is the full song with the lyrics and the other is the story behind the song. Enjoy!

Posted in About the Book

Celebrating New Release: Out of the Ashes

3Sometimes peace is won through battle. 

Haunted by the memories he can’t escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn’t understand why he’s forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He’s desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?

Eeeek!! It’s here!! It’s finally here!!! I’ll be celebrating my new release over the next three weeks with a Facebook party, Giveaway, Ebook Sale, and Blog Tour. Keep scrolling to catch all the details and links!

You can grab your copy of Out of the Ashes from Amazon in ebook or paperback.

Ashes reader praise

Find out what others are saying by visiting the blog tour.

July 31: Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley : Book Review

Aug. 1: Krista Noorman @ by Krista : Book Review

Aug. 2: Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings : Book Review

Aug. 4: Alicia Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny : Book Review and Interview

Aug. 7: Dana Kamstra @ D.L. Kamstra  : Book Review

Aug. 9: Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books : Book Review

Aug. 11: Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise : Book Review

Aug. 14: Deana Dick @ Texas Book-aholic  : Book Review

Aug. 15: Virginia Winfield @  Bigreadersite : Book Review

Aug. 16: Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae : Spotlight

Aug. 18: Debbie Curto @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations  : Book Review and Interview

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If you were waiting for a sale to pick up the series, here’s your chance!!

Freebie and Sale!! Pick up your copies this week!
Where Can I Flee 
In the Shadow of Thy Wings
Out of the Ashes

 

Party banner

I’m hosting a release party on Facebook!! The party is open for 3 days so you’ll have more opportunities to stop by. Hope to see you there!!

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Giveaway in progress!! Enter to win all three books in paperback. 
*U.S. residents only