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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Interview & Giveaway! Lara Van Hulzen | Author of Remember Me!



Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Lara!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 
I’m a romance novelist, happily married mother of 3. I have a 16 year-old daughter and 14 year-old twin boys.

What is your novel, Remember Me, about?
Tess is an ER nurse whose latest patient just happens to be the man who dumped her at the altar. However, he’s been in a car accident and can’t remember anything, including who Tess is or the fact that they have a history together.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a kid and wrote short stories on a typewriter my mom set up for me in my room. Writing is how I process the world around me.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O72WCE4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00O72WCE4&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=GTEAUJSBM2Y6NZY4
I plot my stories by hand on paper. I can’t seem to organize my thoughts electronically.

Where do you like to write? 
In my office. I can focus completely that way without distraction.


What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
Hang out with my kids and my hubby. Movies, great TV. Read, of course. Dinner parties with friends. Coffee dates to journal and people watch.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Romance. I like knowing the ending is a happy one, but I love to read the journey it takes the two main characters to get there.

What is your least favorite genre to read?
Probably Science Fiction.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet?
Australia 

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
Micah 6:8 – Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God. ☺

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
Oh! That’s tough. So many choices. And I am a music and movie fan, big time. I love country music. I get a lot of story ideas from country songs. And I love mystery movies – ones that make you think.  


What is your favorite holiday? 
Christmas.
What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?
I love the fall. I like how the air gets crisp and cool and the leaves change color. I’m a cold weather girl so I love coats and scarves and curling up by the fire to read.


Some this-or-that questions:
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=14460&picture=hanging-cupsSnowstorms or Thunderstorms? Snowstorms
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Tea or Coffee?  Tea
Call or Text? Either. But I’m a big texter
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Early-bird or Night-owl? Night-owl
Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert
Facebook or Twitter? Oh my. I like them both for different reasons. I also dislike them for different reasons as well. ☺
Mystery or Romance? Romance
Sneakers or Sandals? Sneakers

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
Get To Me, Book 2 in my Men of Honor series, will be out Spring of 2015.
Right now I’m plotting and starting Rescue Me, Book 3 in the series, due out Winter of 2015. It’s set at Christmas.

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web? I do love chatting with readers. Follow me on goodreads, facebook, and/or twitter and I’d love to chat.



Book Blurb
 
Detective Ben Russo is in trouble.
He just can’t remember why.

When a car accident lands Ben in the hospital, he can’t recall anything about his life. What he does know is he’s enchanted by a tiny nurse named Tess, but can’t shake the feeling they’re both in danger.

After being left at the altar, Tess Jansenn moves to a new town and starts over. When her ex-fiancé, Ben, shows up in the ER where she works with no memory of her, she must decide – tell Ben who he is or let him remember on his own.

Can Tess forgive and forget what drove them apart, and when Ben remembers, will the consequences of his choices make it too late for love?




Enter for a chance to win a signed print copy of Remember Me by Lara Van Hulzen! Giveaway is open internationally. Ends 3/12

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Like Moonlight At Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008YXQL1C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008YXQL1C&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=C64RJQBCVIO6EMM2
About the book:
When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor's pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom's latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.
My rating:
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(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Revelation by Jennifer Hartz


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EWTQHHA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00EWTQHHA&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=6NNUWN64RHLCGHLE
About the book:
With the forces of good and evil amassing in the Marle Desert the time for the finale battle has come, but Christina's place is not on the battlefield. It all boils down to this: She must face Leticia and destroy the evil at its source.

Little does Christina realize that Leticia has her own diabolical plan. With the help of Christina's former friend, Jonus, Leticia knows exactly what it will take to break the spirit of the Savior of Meric.

Christina is faced with an impossible decision. Can she sacrifice the lives of thousands just to save the person she loves?

My rating:
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(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #57

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Stephania H. McGee | Author of The Whistle Walk!

 

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Stephenia!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 
Thank you for having me! I am a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author and chairman of Spirit Horse Ministries – which provides spiritual and emotional growth and a quality education to at-risk young girls. I love all things food related, and am a self-proclaimed foodie (especially anything Italian). I love culture and travel and have been blessed to see Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras and Italy. I currently live in Mississippi with my husband, sons and little mutt dog, where I write stories of faith, redemption and the deep south. 

What is your novel, The Whistle Walk, about? 
The Whistle Walk, at its core, is about redemption, faith and love that overcomes all obstacles. It centers on the unlikely friendship of a plantation owner’s wife and a slave woman and how that friendship changes both their hearts and the world around them. Here is the book description:

A Mississippi Plantation: Civil War pits country men against one another and tears a nation asunder. Life and death are held in the balance where everyone is a slave to something.

One is born free, yet lives as a soul in bondage…

Lydia Harper never intended to purchase a slave. But when she witnesses a woman being beaten in the street, all her pretenses begin to unravel. A bride to a man she barely knows and bound by her secrets, Lydia will risk everything to save a stranger. Amid the War Between the States, the mistress of Ironwood faces the battles in her own heart and discovers strength in a way she never imagined.

The other is born to serve, yet holds the spirit of freedom…

Ruth, standing on the threshold of desperation, has lost everything she holds dear. After being pulled from the dirt, she is no longer a field hand but the personal maid to the lady of Ironwood. Ruth soon realizes adversity pays no mind to the color of skin. When propriety slips, she discovers they have more in common than she dreamed possible. In a time when fear brings the South to its knees, two women will forge a friendship in the fires of redemption and thrust Ironwood into a new future – where the battle for freedom has merely begun.

If you are interested in trying a sample, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Whistle-Walk-Ironwood-Plantation-Family-ebook/dp/B00R6C7508/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1421078354&sr=1-1&keywords=the+whistle+walk 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R6C7508/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00R6C7508&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=2UNMXWPR272ZSIHPWhen did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
My first inclination was in the first grade, when I took my list of spelling words and wrote a story about a pig traveling to America on the Mayflower. I’ve always enjoyed literature and was a voracious reader from an early age. However, I didn’t start seriously looking at becoming a writer until my husband began to encourage me to take all these stories out of my head and apply them to the page. After that, I spent several years studying and attending writer’s conferences and workshops and learning the craft. 

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 
I don’t know if this qualifies as a writing quirk or just a “me” quirk, but I actually have to remind myself that my characters were not real people. Here is one example: The Cedarwycke house was one of the locations that inspired Ironwood. I happened to attend the home’s auction and purchased several items original to the house. One of these items is a handmade clay pitcher, likely fashioned from slave hands during the plantation years. This pitcher sits on top of the cabinets in my kitchen. I have to consciously remind myself when I tell people about it that that pitcher was not actually made by Ruth or Betsy (some of the Ironwood women). They become so real to me that sometimes I forget they were not actual people. 

Where do you like to write? 
Anywhere quiet. Usually I write at my office, unless I have something really pressing and then the boys know they get to watch a movie while Momma does her computer work at home. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

I enjoy reading (of course!), cooking and spending time with my family. Recently, we all discovered martial arts. The boys are learning hapkido and my husband and I are learning tai chi. I have some issues with my back, and the movements are great for strengthening your body’s core and especially the muscles around the spine. We’ve just gotten started, but so far love the experience. It gives us a chance to both exercise and learn new things as a family. 

What is your favorite genre to read and why? 
That’s a hard one. I read everything from fantasy to historical fiction. I am especially drawn to stories that have a little something different – A twist, a mystery, or a new outlook. I have always believed that books are a window to the world and a passport to new realms. I love when a story can take me to a new time, place or on a new adventure. 

What is your least favorite genre to read?  
I’d have to say science fiction. While I will watch movies like Star Wars, I’m not usually drawn to space-themed books. 

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 
Ireland. My ancestors trace back to the emerald isle, and I would love to see the lush lands there. I am also fascinated with old castles, and I would love to get a chance to see some. 

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

This verse reminds me that Jesus is the giver of life. Not only for salvation, but every day He is the one that gives me strength. As long as I stay connected to Him, my live will be fruitful. 

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 
My favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. I can quote nearly every line. This year my boys bought me the 30th Anniversary version of the novel for Christmas. Did you know he writes the book as if Florin is a real place and the story is based off actual history? The depth of literary devices he employs is simply fascinating. But as far as the movie, I still laugh every time I watch it. There are so many great lines in there. 

What is your favorite holiday? 
Thanksgiving. I enjoy the time spent with family talking about all we have to be thankful for during the last year. Oh, and of course, lots and lots of food. 

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav? 
I love the fall, when the leaves change color and the weather is just cool enough that we build a fire in our outdoor fire pit and sit around it to roast marshmallows. If I get a chance to go to the mountains, that’s even better. Seeing the hills on fire with red and orange leaves is simply breathtaking. 

Some this-or-that questions: 
Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Snowstorms 
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla 
Tea or Coffee? Coffee 
Call or Text? Text 
Cats or Dogs? Dogs 
Early-bird or Night-owl? Ha! Neither. I really like to sleep… 
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert 
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook 
Mystery or Romance? Romance 
Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals 

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
 I am currently finishing Heir of Hope. It is the sequel to The Whistle Walk. The story takes place in both modern times and the Civil War era. Emily inherits Ironwood and discovers Lydia’s (from book 1) diary hidden in the attic. Emily reads the diary and soon discovers she has a strange connection with her ancestor. Heir of Hope shows Lydia’s diary entries and her perspective on some of the scenes from The Whistle Walk as well as some new things that Lydia experienced while the reader was off with another character. Lydia’s story has a profound effect on Emily as she struggles on whether or not to sell the house and forces her to face the dreams that haunt her. Through the diary, Emily will discover both her past and her future at Ironwood. 

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web? 
Thank you so much for having me! I’d like to thank the readers for spending a little time with me today, and let them know if they would like to see more information on my books, upcoming events and photos of my food and travels, they can find it on my website: www.StepheniaMcGee.com I also love to talk with readers, and can be found (probably too often) on facebook under my personal page (Stephenia H. McGee) and on my author page www.facebook.com/StepheniaHMcGee

Enter for a chance to win an e-copy (PDF or Kindle format) of The Whistle Walk by Stephenia H. McGee! Giveaway is open internationally. Ends 3/5

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Remember Love by Jessica Nelson


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DMQ8IJY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00DMQ8IJY&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=VOYVCYDQLY3NO2EN
About the book:
Ten years ago, timid Katrina Ross left her hometown’s temperamental bad boy at the altar. After years away, Alec Munroe has returned, a successful businessman who is snooping around her bookstore with an avaricious gleam in his eye. She’d like to tell him to leave, despite still being in love with him, but the secret she's kept all these years demands to be told.

Alec Munroe has been successful in all ways but one: he has never been able to escape his memories of Katrina Ross. When he discovers the secret she's kept from him, he's faced with hard decisions. Justice or the forgiveness God calls him to offer...

Can Alec and Katrina leave the past behind to embrace the promise of a love they have never forgotten?

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Giveaway Link-up #56

Welcome to Weekly Giveaway Link-up hosted by Crystal @ Just Another Book Lovin' Girl and me. This is a linky where you can submit your blog's Christian book and book-related giveaways and find other giveaways. A new link-up will be posted every Monday.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Review: Navy SEAL Noel by Liz Johnson


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L0XDVJ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00L0XDVJ8&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=5BTABNOH7Y6KQYMX
About the book:
A LETHAL REUNION

Abducted by a drug cartel, scientist Jessalynn McCoy's orders are simple—produce a deadly toxin, or be killed. Trapped with no options, she's desperate for help…she just never expected it from Will Gumble. The boy who let her down years ago is now a navy SEAL. She trusts his skills, his experience. Yet trusting him is a struggle. Will's Christmas wish is to heal their damaged relationship and get them to safety. But time is running out and the stakes keep rising. Any mistake could mean the difference between facing the holidays together or apart forever.

Men of Valor: These navy SEALS were born to excel…

My rating:
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(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up (February 13) + Giveaway Winner!


Weekend Wrap-up is where I share what I read this past week, am currently reading, and hope to read this coming week, and (when applicable) the current giveaways/giveaway winners. Occasionally I'll post some other stuff as well. Be sure to follow my Pinterest boards "Free Kindle Books" and "Book Deals" to see the good deals/freebies I share about. :)

Feel free to join along and post your own Weekend Wrap-up on your blog/site (if you do, please leave the link in a comment so I can stop by) or, in a comment, share what you've accomplished (reading-wise) this past week. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Alicia G. Ruggieri ~ Author of The Fragrance of Geraniums!

 

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Alicia!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thanks for having me here, Melanie. I’m a native New-Englander, a lover of all things pertaining to George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis, and a scribbler of historical fiction novels. I’ve earned my B.A. in Communications and History, but I’ve enjoyed a wide array of work experiences, from directing children’s theatre to owning a consignment boutique.

What is your novel, The Fragrance of Geraniums, about?

The Fragrance of Geraniums is the powerful story of three women – of the threads of mercy that connect them – and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father’s grace. Set in Rhode Island during the Great Depression, this historical novel chronicles the grace that God gives through the brokenness of poverty, infertility, and infidelity.  

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I was born with, as a friend once put it, “stories in my head.” So, I’ve always written, but I realized that God was placing this path of writing seriously before me when I committed to refining and then publishing my debut novel The House of Mercy in 2013.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P4PB7W6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00P4PB7W6&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=XAZWNA4ZLESTTYWZWhat would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 
I love writing from a villain’s perspective! I want to know why he is so evil – what choices, what attitudes he’s adopted to make him the way that he is.

Where do you like to write? 
At my kitchen table with all of my research materials spread around me; at Panera Bread with a bottomless cup of coffee before me (I love their hazelnut brew!); in my recliner with the laptop balanced on my knees.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I love to take walks in the forest and by the sea – I’m blessed to live by both. I enjoy reading, of course, and I take delight in baking and cooking. I love doing laundry – Yes, I know it’s strange! Spending time with my family, singing hymns and spiritual songs together, and getting to know my little nieces and nephews better all top my list!

What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Definitely historical fiction, if it’s done well, but I also really enjoy excellently-written fantasy. It’s incredible to find that “there’s nothing new under the sun,” as King Solomon says – to find resonance with other people living in completely different time periods, in utterly different places.

What is your least favorite genre to read?
Generally, I dislike sci-fi. It’s very difficult for me to get into it.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 
Oh, yes! I’ll take a ticket to Scotland, Israel, Italy, and India. Perhaps we could stop by China and New Zealand on the way back? ;-)

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
2 Corinthians 4:7 – "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power might be of God and not of us." God has used this to remind me that my sufficiency is found in Him alone.   

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 
One of my favorite contemporary songs is “Be at Rest,” from Steve Green’s album Somewhere Between. For traditional hymns, I love Charles Wesley’s “Arise, my Soul, Arise.” And The Lord of the Rings trilogy holds first place for movies in my heart.

What is your favorite holiday? 
I love Christmas and Easter – the traditions, the centering on Jesus Christ’s birth and redemption, the special times with family and at church.

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?
Fall in New England is simply wonderful – the glorious last burst of color from the trees, the nostalgia that settles around my shoulders like a warm sweater, the fragrance of burning leaves and apple pie, the sharp biting air – and the knowledge that spring will come again.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Thunderstorms – especially really wild ones!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Peanut-butter. ;-)
Tea or Coffee? Large amounts of coffee are necessary for life and godliness, but I’ll take peppermint tea, too!
Call or Text? Call.
Cats or Dogs? Is this even a question?! Dogs, of course!
Early-bird or Night-owl? Night-owl transitioning into an early-bird.
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert.
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
Mystery or Romance? Romance with a little mystery, Dickens-style.
Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals, preferably flipflops.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
Of course! I have a couple of things that I’m working on right now: I’ve recently begun writing a colonial-era Christian romance as well as the second book in my middle-grade girls’ fiction series, The Regency Adventures of Jemima Sudbury.

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thanks for having me visit! Readers can find me at a few places online:



Enter for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Fragrance of Geraniums by Alicia G. Ruggieri! Giveaway is open internationally. Ends 2/26

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.