Monday, July 16, 2018

Review: The Hunter and the Valley of Death by Brennan McPherson

"

Experience the psalms like never before - through heart-pounding fiction!

The Hunter and the Valley of Death is a profound meditation on life, death, loss, and love. Formatted as a fantasy parable based on Psalm 23, this story shows that there is only one who could kill Death, and because of him, and him alone, we say, "Oh, Death, where is your sting?"
A man who calls himself Hunter wakes up in the Valley of Death and realizes he's given up everything to attempt to kill Death so that he can bring his Love back to life - but when he fails, who will be there to rescue him? 
Each book in The Psalm Series comes with an in-depth Bible study of the psalm the story is based on, and an explanation of the author's approach to the Scripture text. The Hunter and the Valley of Death comes with an additional, in-depth explanation of the story's symbolism. 

This makes The Psalm Series a great addition to Bible study materials. Dive deep today into fictional stories that help you wrap your heart around the Bible's most beloved poems of praise! "


This book was poignant in its representation. I felt some strong emotions throughout the whole thing. The wording was almost too flowery at times in its elegance, but all in all it made for a delightful story that took you away. The story itself was a pretty cool way to bring Psalm 23 to life. It was a pretty quick read and I would recommend this to people who enjoy Biblical re-tellings or those who enjoy fantasy, because this is a bit fantasy-like in its retelling. The characters were very alive... and I enjoyed this book. 4.5 stars for this novella.





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Carole Towriss Interview!

Here is the last interview in the Summer Series! I've enjoyed seeing the answers to each of these three author's questions! I hope y'all will show support to them by leaving a comment down below and by connecting with them by social media and other ways! Also, keep an eye out for the review of Brennan's novella, coming soon!

Without further ado... Here are the answers to Carole Towriss' interview questions! Enjoy!


1: What was your first book?  My first book was In the Shadow of Sinai, the story of the man who crafted the Ark of the Covenant.
2: When did you start writing? 
 3: If you weren't a writer, what would you be? I don’t know! I can’t imagine doing anything else.
4:What is your most recent book?  My most recent is Prize of War. It tells the story of Acsah, daughter of Caleb. He promised her as a “prize” to the man who conquered the city of Debir.
5: Any books upcoming? Besides Deep Calling Deep, I just finished the first in a New Testament series. It’s based on Paul’s travels during his second missionary journey. The first book is about the prophesying slave girl and the jailer in Philippi.
6: Who was your favorite author growing up and why? The book that got me hooked on biblical fiction was The Robe, by Lloyd C Douglas.
7: If you've ever co-authored, is it harder than doing it on your own?
8: What are a few main differences between co-authoring and doing it yourself?
9: What has been the most encouraging comment you've gotten on a book? “It sent me back to the Bible."
10: What are some things that you would say to fans if you met them? Thank you! Which was your favorite book?
 11: What was your favorite part of one of your books to write? The relationship between Arisha and Miriam in The Walls of Arad. Arisha had never known a family, and Miriam became her “grandmother."
12: About how long does your typical book take to write? Close to a year, because of all the research.
13: Outline or Make it up as you go? My basic plot is in the Bible, so I don’t have much leeway there! But the characters involved are usually little-known men and women, so I can make up everything about them. I start with an outline, but I don’t always strictly follow it.
14: What is your cure for writer's block? Or do you even get that? Work on something else.
15: Which of your characters is most like you? Each of my characters has a little something from me in it. I based the little boy in my first book on my son.
16: Why did you pick the genre you write in? I found the story in The Robe, and its sequel The Big Fisherman, riveting. I was amazed at the idea of taking a character mentioned only a few times in Scripture and building a world around them.
17: Are any of your characters/plots drawn heavily from your own background? I think most of the female main characters have the same problem I do, looking to our husbands or other people instead of only to God to fill every need in your life.
18: What social media do you like to share your works through most? How can readers best connect with you? I’m on Facebook and Twitter, and I have a blog. I’m on Pinterest though I don’t keep it updated as I should.
19: What was the most difficult thing about publishing your first book?
20: How do you choose the names for your characters? Do you research the etymology of the names you use? Many of them I have no choice about! But I also research time-specific Hebrew (or Greek or Roman) names.
21: What is, in your opinion, the best book you wrote? The last one I wrote.
 22: Do you do book tours/signings? If so is there a schedule already?
23: What book do you wish you would have written?
24: Which of your character would you want to be your best friend?
25: What advice can you give to fledgling writers? Just keep writing. It can take a long time to get where you want to be, but if you are truly called to be a writer, you have to keep writing.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review: A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

"As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city- but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is suprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

Whole Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction. they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known."


Elizabeth Camden never ceases to amaze me with her books. They deal with personal conflict and strife in a very realistic way. And there always seems to be some sense of danger or urgency. While I wouldn't classify this as a mystery, or even a suspense novel, I would say that this book had all of the elements of an edge-of-your-seat sort of story. I enjoyed the character development in this book so very much. Our villain even had me fooled for a bit. And made me a little angry at my old friends Lucy and Colin. I enjoyed getting to see glimpses of them in this book. While this book does build on the foundation of its predecessor, it can be read as a stand-alone. Not that I would recommend that! I loved book one a lot too, and I can't wait to see Eloise's character brought out more in book three. The wonderful love and craziness between Rosalind and Nick is enough to make me recommend this book, but add into that the awesome, fairly unique story-line and this book just shoots out of the ballpark. And you might even learn something! I know I always do when I read her books! I'm giving this book 5 stars and hoping to see more of Sadie and little Amanda in Eloise's story. I hope that you'll pick this book up for yourself and fall in love with the characters as much as I did.


I received this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mesu Andrews Interview!

Hello again! It's great to see you all back for Mesu Andrews's interview! Leave a comment below to get in touch! We'd both love it if you did! Enjoy getting to know Mesa a little bit better!


1: What was your first book?
Love Amid the Ashes.
 
2: When did you start writing?
First book published 2011 - won the 2012 ECPA Debut Novel of the year.
  
3: If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
Sad and cranky.
  
4:What is your most recent book?
Isaiah’s Daughter.
  
 5: Any books upcoming?
Of Fire and Lions (Daniel’s story, WaterBrook/Multnomah - Feb. 2019)
  
6: Who was your favorite author growing up and why?

7: If you've ever co-authored, is it harder than doing it on your own?

8: What are a few main differences between co-authoring and doing it yourself?

9: What has been the most encouraging comment you've gotten on a book?
The best review I EVER get is that my book sent the reader back to the Bible to see what was true and what was fiction. That’s why I write biblical fiction—to get folks to search the Scriptures and to help bring the stories alive in their imaginations.

10: What are some things that you would say to fans if you met them?
Thank you! You. Are. Amazing!!! Thank you for slogging through all those hard names in my books! Thank you for making time in your busy life to read my books, for all your encouraging emails, and for all the fun chats on social media. I spend a lot of hours in front of a computer screen, and to actually meet readers face-to-face (like I did at the Fiction Readers Summit and will again at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat in 2019) is such a blessing!!! (Hyperlink: http://christianfictionreadersretreat.blogspot.com/p/home_4.html)

 11: What was your favorite part of one of your books to write?
The the final reunion scene in Love in a Broken Vessel. Can’t give too much away!

12: About how long does your typical book take to write?
I’ve written a really BAD rough draft in four months, but a good one has taken as long as a year to write.

13: Outline or Make it up as you go?
Both. First I outline, and then I usually ignore it and write what I want for that scene. However, I’ve tried writing without outlining first, and I get in trouble with the specific and detailed boundaries of Scripture. An outline is essential for me to stay within those parameters.

14: What is your cure for writer's block? Or do you even get that?
I write my way out of it. I realize what I’ve written is awful, and the better path usually gets clear as I write the wrong one. I end up scrapping a lot of material, but it’s worth it to find out what didn’t work.

15: Which of your characters is most like you?
I find they’re all a little like me in some way—a little frightening, really.

16: Why did you pick the genre you write in?
I started out wanting to write Bible studies because my first love is studying God’s Word. Writing fiction gives me the chance to study not just the facts in the Bible but also how PEOPLE applied them to their lives. Fiction has become a teaching tool, parables for me to learn from—as I hope my readers do.

17: Are any of your characters/plots drawn heavily from your own background?
The Gomer/Hosea story is probably the closest. Though I wasn’t a prostitute, I was extremely lost when my husband-to-be showed me Jesus’ unconditional love and led me to a real relationship with the Lord.

18: What social media do you like to share your works through most? How can readers best connect with you?
My fav’s are Instagram and my FB Author Page for both personal and publishing stuff. (#BookTalkTuesday, #WednesdayWit&Wisdom, #WriterWednesday, #TBT, #BiblicalFictionFriday) I create a Pinterest board for each of my books with pictures of interesting research items, blog posts, memes, etc. I also post on Twitter occasionally.

19: What was the most difficult thing about publishing your first book?
Figuring out I was a better fiction writer than non-fiction!

20: How do you choose the names for your characters? Do you research the etymology of the names you use?
I use several sights that suggest Hebrew/Arabic/Babylonian/Egyptian names with their meanings. I’m very cautious when choosing names because in ancient cultures, a name formed character. It’s a fun process!

21: What is, in your opinion, the best book you wrote?
Probably, Isaiah’s Daughter, which—interestingly enough—was also my worst rough draft (mentioned above as that 4-month bomb). The edits were brutal but were well worth the extra time and effort. I think the Lord was very faithful to help the whole team that worked on that project.

22: Do you do book tours/signings? If so is there a schedule already?

23: What book do you wish you would have written?
I proposed Hephzibah’s story to two different publishers for six years before realizing I was going about it the wrong way. I needed to emphasize the MAN’s story (Isaiah’s) with the unknown heroine less prominent in my proposal. It became a two-book deal, and readers have seen half the story now (Isaiah’s Daughter). I get to write the sequel (Isaiah’s Legacy) for a February 2020 release. I’m really excited!

24: Which of your characters would you want to be your best friend?
Hephzibah. She’s been my favorite biblical character for years—since I knew her name meant, “Delight of the Lord.” She is what I want to be.

25: What advice can you give to fledgling writers?
Whether you want to self publish or seek publication by a traditional publisher, get yourself to a writers conference. Networking and learning from professionals is essential if you want writing to be more than a hobby.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: River to Redemption by Ann H Gabhart

"Orphaned inn the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions.

Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll need all of the courage and strength she possesses-and more."

This is the first book I've ever read by Ann Gabhart. Turns out... instant favorite! I'm giving this book 5 stars! I couldn't put it down. I tried. Honestly, I did. I put it away to go to bed, tried to go to sleep, and wound up just turning the light back on and reading some more. The characters are really what makes this book what it is. The setting is nice. The words are nice. But the people.... I can't even begin to describe the feelings this book is giving me! I cried. Multiple times. It's been a while since a book made me cry! The story of little Adria and poor Ruth, a family by choice, yes, but at first a family by necessity. I love the way they just took their circumstances and ran with it. And of course Will and little, sweet Willie were heartthrobs. Matilda, a slave, still inspires Adria to enjoy her freedom. And Louis... well Louis takes the cake! Such a man of faith and of courage. Of fortitude and strength. And then to discover via the author's note at the end that Louis's real life story was the inspiration for this whole book, it made it that much better. The story is grounded on real life, however slightly, which gives such another dimension to the whole thing. Of course, Adria's suitors were the perfect antagonists. Not really evil, just annoying. But mostly, this book... is there a single page you can open to without seeing the word "pray".... I don't believe so. Speaking of believe, the theme of this book is truly "Pray Believing". I can't tell you how much this book got me! You'll must read it and see for yourself. And then the ending, while sad, had that sweet moment that I always look for in a book like this. That moment between Adria and Ruth. Oh gracious! Plus the cover is super beautiful. All in all, this book addresses a touchy time in history in the best way possible, and gives hope for better times to come!

My favorite line, said by Louis, "The Lord, he done good to me."

I received this book through the Revell Reading program.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Brennan McPherson Interview!

Hello all, and welcome to the first author interview in this Summer Series. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Brennan and that you stop by for the other interviews and for the review I plan to do on his latest novella.
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below, because we'd both love to hear from you! 

1: What was your first book? CAIN: The Story of the First Murder and the Birth of an Unstoppable Evil
2: When did you start writing? 2012
3: If you weren't a writer, what would you be? A musician. I was a full-time professional touring and session drummer before finishing my business degree, getting a “real” job, and starting writing. This is me playing drums: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMAtAA2sLwg
 4: What is your most recent book? FLOOD: The Story of Noah and the Family Who Raised Him (https://www.amazon.com/Flood-Story-Noah-Family-Raised-ebook/dp/B075RCDZ47/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512657566&sr=8-1 )
6: Who was your favorite author growing up and why? J. R. R. Tolkien. He made me feel wonder like no one else.
 7: If you've ever co-authored, is it harder than doing it on your own? I’m currently co-writing a screenplay with a fantastically gifted writer. It’s actually a big relief. Much easier than being alone. But he’s an awesome guy to work with! So, I suppose, experience may vary greatly. And screenplays are very different from novels.
8: What are a few main differences between co-authoring and doing it yourself? Doing it yourself, you have no one to bounce ideas off of, and you can get too easily tied up in circles with your own thoughts. Having someone else to generate ideas can help get you un-stuck way quicker on tricky plot points and character conundrums.
 9: What has been the most encouraging comment you've gotten on a book? This Amazon review on my first book from some random reader! It came during a horrible wave of seven 1-star reviews in a row, and literally kept me from throwing in the towel after my first book. “An incredible work of art. Just wow. Take your time with this book and soak up each page. I love the authors imagination and how he pulled this whole story together. I consider this an avid readers dream. The depth inside this book far outweighs many I’ve read. Highly recommend.”
10: What are some things that you would say to fans if you met them? “I love you! Thank you for everything!”
11: What was your favorite part of one of your books to write? Basically all of the intense scenes where my characters are pressed to grow through loss and pain
12: About how long does your typical book take to write? If I’m working hard every day, four months.
 13: Outline or Make it up as you go? Both. It’s constantly morphing, but without a map, I’m lost.
 14: What is your cure for writer's block? Or do you even get that? The cure for writer’s block is typing. Just keep putting words down on paper. Writer’s block is fear. Or pride. Maybe both.
 15: Which of your characters is most like you? Lamech (Noah’s father) from FLOOD.
 16: Why did you pick the genre you write in? I feel like it picked me. Not sure how else to explain it. . . though I know that sounds either very lame, or very mystical. 😊 I think that when you’re called, you’re not the one in control. It may seem like creatives are in control but. . . they’re not. And none of them feel like they are. If they say they are, they’re lying.
 17: Are any of your characters/plots drawn heavily from your own background? My plots have been drawn from the source material (Scripture) and erupt organically from the text itself. That being said, the themes all resonate with themes in my own life.
 18: What social media do you like to share your works through most? How can readers best connect with you? Email! Email rocks. I read and answer everyone that I receive. You can stay in touch and sign up for a free e-book at https://brennanmcpherson.com/free-e-book/
 19: What was the most difficult thing about publishing your first book? Everything that comes AFTER publication. Publication is fun for about 5 minutes. Then it’s terrifying, and painful. But it’s worth it.
 20: How do you choose the names for your characters? Do you research the etymology of the names you use? Yeah! There’s a variety of ways I choose character names. Some choose themselves (again, source material), and others just seem to fit with the time period. I do a lot of research.
 21: What is, in your opinion, the best book you wrote? FLOOD: The Story of Noah and the Family Who Raised Him. It’s much more accessible than CAIN. Though I love and am proud of CAIN because of its density, complexity, strangeness, and lyrical nuggets. FLOOD is much faster-paced, has better structure, and again is easier and more enjoyable to read (unless you’re a literary fiction nerd who just loves words for their prettiness).
22: Do you do book tours/signings? If so is there a schedule already? I don’t! I have a full-time day job at a ministry, and a young child, so both of those keep me pretty grounded at home. However, I did do a book signing with my friend, Charles Martin, who’s an amazing author, by the way. Totally different books than what I write, but I love them. He’s the only Romance author I read!
 23: What book do you wish you would have written? Wow. Way too many! Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (HAH! I wish). The Road by Cormac McCarthy (minus the swearing and brutal violence). The Book Thief (again, minus the swearing, etc.). Too many books!
 24: Which of your character would you want to be your best friend? Wow, that’s a tough one. I don’t know! Maybe Abel. Yeah, that Abel.
 25: What advice can you give to fledgling writers? Keep writing. Always pressure yourself to grow. Walk in humility. Seek counsel. Strive to honor God better with each piece of work you put out. But make time also to rest and recharge, and put your focus on prayer and Scripture reading above anything else. Then let go, and let what you finished be what it is: a snapshot in time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Waiting-On-Wednesday: Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

I've been waiting for this one since January! I'll be so excited to get my hands on this one. July is going to be quite the month! All the books that I've been putting on my TBR list are coming out in July!

She'll have to draw on all of her resources to crack the case--and guard her heart.After being dumped by her fiancé, Chloe St. John has decided that the only male she likes is her K-9 German shepherd partner, Hank. But being over the whole romance thing has perks--like giving full attention to her job. Attention she's definitely going to need because a case of human trafficking with connections to her missing cousin just landed in her lap.

Deputy US Marshall Blake MacCallum is in a race against the clock to rescue his kidnapped daughter when Chloe and Hank are asked to be a part of the task force assembled to bring down the traffickers. Chloe finds herself attracted to the silent, suffering man. But can she trust him? And can Blake trust himself around this firecracker of a woman?

Buckle in. This fast and furious ride will have your heart pumping from the very start.


(Also, just check out this crazy awesome cover!)


Pre-order/Buy at this affiliate link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0800727037/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=liveloverea0e-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0800727037&linkId=2bfdad97551dc67332ee653a53ad8451