Book Review: Knox

Knox: The Montana Marshalls #1 – An Inspirational Romantic Suspense Family Series 

By Susan May Warren

Contemporary Inspirational Romance

He’s not looking for trouble…

Montana rancher Knox Marshall’s danger years are behind him. A former bull-rider, he now runs the Marshall family ranch, raising champion bucking bulls for the National Professional Bullrider’s Expo (NBR-X). Wealth and success are his, but life is stable, expected, and…ordinary.  But he wants more from life…

But trouble is looking for her…

Kelsey Jones just wants a safe life, a family, a home. Onstage, the beautiful rising star of the Yankee Belles becomes the person she longs to be – vivacious and confident – burying the brokenness she carries from a violent assault. Becoming NBR-X’s next country act is key to outrunning her past and achieving the success and security she craves.

When trouble finds them both…

Knox and Kelsey’s paths collide when an explosion at an NBR-X event traps them in the rubble and leaves them reeling. Kelsey’s crippling nightmares return, but for Knox, an obsession to find the bomber is ignited.

What will it cost him to protect her? 

When Kelsey’s past threatens Knox’s family, he’ll have to choose between saving the Marshall legacy or becoming the protector he’s always longed to be.

The explosive first book in the Montana Marshalls series!

Action, drama, adventure, flawed individuals and emotional and spiritual challenges are hallmarks of Warren’s books. – Christian Library Journal

my thoughts

This is my first foray into Susan May Warren and – wow why did I Ever wait so long to discover what all the hype was about??

Also I love this cover – and the hero – swoony doesn’t even begin to describe how great  Knox is.

There are so many great things to mention about this story: how well Warren addresses PTSD and anxiety with such emotion and none of the medical talk, how well she addresses a messy, delicate and terrible backstory with such tact, how the element of faith was woven in so seamlessly without being at all preachy. How she  wove in the rest of the family and their backstories without taking away from the current romance. I’ll admit, inserting multiple brothers’ POVs was really strange. It was like she was telling two stories at once  – and yet it completely worked. It the reader a wider viewpoint of the entire situation the girl band was dealing with, while still maintaining a deep-in-character POV. That’s probably super confusing for non-writerly folks….oh well LOL

The family dynamics of this story were fantastic. You have all these happy big family moments – and then brotherly conflict because brothers fight of course – and then brotherly loyalty because brothers stand by each other no matter what. I loved it all.

And the romance. Heady, simmery, heartwarming, sizzling – it gave me all the feels.

If you love a good cowboy romance – this is exactly what you need. Absolutely what you need.

the rest of the Montana Marshalls series

Book 1: Knox
Book 2: Tate
Book 3: Ford
Book 4: Wyatt
Book 5: Ruby Jane

Book Review: Blue Columbine

Now available on Amazon

Blue Columbine: By Jennifer Rodewald

Contemporary Christian Romance

Summary

Andrew Harris needs a fresh start. His alleged drinking problem cost him his job, sending him back to his childhood home in Colorado. Discovering his childhood sweetheart is still there—and still the girl he’d adored—Andrew gains new confidence that he’ll overcome the failings that had caused his downfall before.

Jamie Carson values her faith above all else. However, the loss of her mother has opened a nagging loneliness. After reuniting with Andrew—a boy she thought she’d once loved—the ache of solitude subsides, though his rejection of the faith she thought they’d shared is troubling.

With Jamie by his side, Andrew believes he can become a better man. Jamie feels the pull of Andrew’s affection, which is dangerous as she also sees that he is captive to an addiction he chooses not to acknowledge. She is as determined to remain his friend as he is set on in his attempt at self-reformation to win her heart.

As Andrew continues to pursue an intimacy Jamie knows she must guard against, blurring line between loyalty and love, things get complicated—until a devastating blow shatters their relationship.

For Jamie, one thing becomes clear: Andy needs a miracle, and she can’t be it.

Will Andrew allow the hand of grace to redeem his legacy of addiction, or will he and Jamie both remain casualties of heartbreak?

my thoughts

I thought for sure I’d posted a book review for this a year ago when I read it – Apparently I had not. So here we are.

This is definitely one of the more heavy books of Rodewald. It deals with addiction in a very real manner. No sugar coating here – and that’s one of the great things about this story. It does not gloss over anything so if you’re looking for gritty with your romance, then this is the book you want to read.

The characters were so layered, so multi-faceted and full of complicated intricacies. That’s what makes a story fabulous. As the story unfolds we see a transformation, mostly of course with Andrew. The struggle to find yourself while overcoming addiction is incredibly difficult. It made the romance challenging because Jamie had to guard herself so much. The very gradual transformation Andrew underwent not only changed how he viewed himself, but how he viewed Jamie, and there was such beauty in witnessing that kind of transformation. It gives me, as a reader, a fresh hope in God.

More about Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald / J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too.

She would love to hear from you! Please visit her at authorjenrodewald.com or at http://www.facebook.com/authorjenrodewald

other Rodewald books I’ve reviewed

The Red Rose Bouquet / Ordinary Snowflakes  / In Spite of Ourselves

Sincerely Yours: Book Review + Giveaway w/ Celebrate Lit

Book:  Sincerely Yours

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: July 26, 2019

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What if you fell in love with a man you’d never met?

When marketing coordinator Liberty Dryden tries to help radio station owner and DJ Tom Higgs attract new listeners and advertisers, she hits a roadblock.
He refuses to meet with her, and she has no idea why.

Tom has an affliction that’s plagued him his whole life—a painfully crippling stutter. On air, he can speak to thousands, but in person, he stumbles to find every word.

After a woman stalked him, he’s convinced his fame and fortune are all women want. He’s unable to tell Liberty why he won’t meet in person. How could he explain his unfounded doubts and his own issues?

Without her, disaster looms for his station. But, meeting her might prove he’s right about women.

Liberty takes matters into her own hands and calls into his radio show… using an assumed name. She never expects to hit it off with him. If she reveals her secret, it will put her new relationship and her job at risk.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

I devoured this book faster than most. I found the writing engaging. I loved the characters. It had such a You’ve Got Mail feel, it was pure throwback nostalgia for me, while also remaining perfectly contemporary. That aspect of the novel, I truly enjoyed. I also admired how well Kari portrayed characters with disabilities. Tom was authentic and his disability was handled so well. It was one of the highlights for me, to see characters with disabilities represented.

The message throughout – that we should never attempt to fight through our problems alone, that we shouldn’t isolate ourselves because there are so many people around us that love us and care for us, was such a great and timely message.

The rest of this review contains mild spoilers. Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers. You’ve been warned.

I typically refrain from posting negative reviews of books on my blog. Mostly because I like to look for the positive in everything I read. Indeed there were a lot of positive things about this story. But while I enjoyed the majority of the story, the ending left me completely unsatisfied. I expected so much more.

The spirituality behind the message that we don’t have to fight our problems alone was hardly touched upon. The ending of the novel felt incredibly rushed. Instead of taking a chapter to close out some of the key relationships that had been broken, that did not happen and left me irritated.

The way Liberty treated her friends was frustrating. I completely understood why she did the things she did. I see it happen in real life. But this is a story with a happy ending. I expected there to be some friendship closure in the form of a closing scene with happy tears – or even angry tears. I’d have been okay with that. But a one sentence attempt doesn’t cut it for me at all.

As this was a Christian Fiction novel, I kept waiting for some spiritual closure to come for Liberty and for me as the reader – to affirm the lesson that we are not an island, that we need Jesus in our lives because he is the giver of life, that we need other Christians in our lives to help us! That would have sold this book to me as a must-read %100.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. What could have been a beautiful message of God’s love and faithfulness was left out completely.

More from Kari

Thank you all so much for joining me on my blog tour! I’m happy to be here. I write an eclectic mix of historical (western) and contemporary (western and not) romance, sometimes with a hint of suspense woven in. I can’t help it; my education is a degree in psychology with a sociology minor focusing on criminality and deviance… the suspense just happens whether I plan it or not.

I am one of those writers who usually gets a story idea and then writes it. I usually don’t write a book just because I “should”. That being said, this is one of those books where readers asked for it and I delivered. The first story in the series is in a popular book bundle Betwixt Two Hearts. In my story, the secondary character Liberty Dryden (named after one of my readers) is a really fun character, even though she’s only in a few scenes. Readers liked her so much, they wanted her to have her own happily ever after.Then the hard part began.I liked Liberty and I spent a while in her head, trying to figure her out. She was a tough one because Liberty has some hurts. She feels alone and a little used. Don’t we all? But how to write that in a way where the reader wasn’t bored by her self-doubt. Because, let’s face it, it’s cool when a story touches us in a way that is familiar, but if it’s overdone…snooze. I liked the idea that because of their hurts, both characters were shy. So, I gave myself a challenge. These two couldn’t meet until later in the story, but it still had to feel like a romance.

It’s a little like the movie You’ve Got Mail, but different too.

This series was my first big step outside of the western genre (which is funny, because I’m not at all western) and that forced me to think in new ways, which helped with the characters and bringing this story to life.

My favorite poignant quote from Sincerely Yours is, “If I can’t forgive those who ask for it, it ruins my witness. I literally can’t be the love of Jesus if I’m not willing to forgive those who wronged me. Especially if they earnestly ask.”

Thank you for joining me and happy reading!

About the Author

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Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.’

Book Review: In Spite of Ourselves

Now available on Amazon

In Spite of Ourselves: A Murphy Brothers Book 2

By Jennifer Rodewald

Contemporary Christian Romance

Summary

Who could build a life on such a monumental mistake?

Jackson Murphy: family prankster, class clown… and now, smack in the middle of a Vegas-sized mess. All he’d wanted was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. After failing that goal, he slipped into a deep, sulking valley, only to emerge from it with a much bigger problem. He’s married. To a complete stranger! Forget making a world-class marathon so that his family will believe that (1) he’s capable of being grown up and serious on occasion and (2) he doesn’t need the ongoing pity about his brother and a certain ex-girlfriend.

Now? Now he has no idea what to do.

Mackenzie Murphy: independent woman and excellent student—but not a med student. Because those pesky MCATs were H-A-R-D. She doesn’t particularly mind that much, seeing as she’s never really wanted to be a doctor, but her mother will be…uh, displeased. Exceptionally. That’s nothing, however, compared to how Mother will respond if she finds out what else happened in Vegas.

Mackenzie wants out. Jackson wants a chance. Neither of them is prepared for what’s coming. Caught in the middle of a disaster that keeps getting bigger, they hardly dare ask: Can God take their monumental mistake and turn it into a beautiful life?

my thoughts

Again and again, Jennifer Rodewald comes up with stories that rip my heart up and put it back together, better than it was before. If she wasn’t before, she’s now on my list of top favorite authors.

I will admit, I am not a fan of stories where people marry accidentally in Vegas. This is the first story in that trope that I’ve fallen in love with. I’ve read a few others, but this one is far and beyond absolutely the best and right way to write that kind of messy, ugly story. 

There is so much beauty inserted into this ugly, messed-up scenario. What blew me away was the ending. The very, very end – I can’t give it away – but for the first time, it sold the trope for me. It sealed the wrong and the mess and the mistake that were made. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

I adored the characters. So, so much. So likable in the midst of their mistakes.

I thought the pacing was genius. The first 1/4 of the book just sucks you in with the happy, goofy silliness of our hero. It made you want to root for them to succeed. It made you want to hope. And then the rest of the story just broke my heart over and over and over again. 

But I love tearjerkers – They make the best stories. Also it’s kind of my MO – as my editor once posted that my first book was the saddest book she’s read ha.

I will admit I haven’t cried this much in a book in over a decade. I cried sad tears. I cried such happy, happy tears. The last time I cried so much while reading a book was when I read My Girl in high school. 

The beauty in this story is the same you’ll find in many of Rodewald’s stories. The incredible way she paints the picture of Christ’s love for us. The incredible parallels she creates just astounds me every time.

And the message of this book overall – how God loves still and always will love us – in spite of ourselves, in spite of our ugliness, our messy lives, our stupidity. I picked up that message early on from this quote and from that point on I was a wreck.

“I don’t go to church to celebrate my goodness. I go to worship His. Because I believe God makes messes into something beautiful in spite of ourselves.”

Not because I’ve messed up so much in my own life. But because this entire world is a mess. All around me, all I see is a disaster. Violence, civil unrest, intense political division, anger, hate, malice – and messy, messy lives. 

Yet God, in all of His glory, I do believe loves this world. I read something from Phil Wickham’s instagram about a new song he posted, and it reminded me again, because we need to be reminded every day – that Jesus’ life was counter-cultural.  Everything he did went against our very nature, our very culture. That was never more apparent than in this book. Our culture says, run when it gets too hard. Our culture says, sweep your mistakes under the rug. Our culture says, ditch the problem before it becomes worse.

But God says Stand. Stay. Fight. Love regardless. Love Always.

That… is the beauty in this book. A depiction of God’s love for us. 

More about Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald / J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too.

She would love to hear from you! Please visit her at authorjenrodewald.com or at http://www.facebook.com/authorjenrodewald

other Rodewald books I’ve reviewed

The Red Rose Bouquet / Ordinary Snowflakes  / Blue Columbine: Coming Soon

I never thought I’d be in a short story collection!

So I did a thing back in May – and won 3rd place in a contest and now my story is being published in a short story collection that is going to be releasing at the end of July! You can check that out here: 

Below, I’ve highlighted the stories, the other authors in the collection, and their inspiration in writing their stories.

the stories

Love in Lockdown by Joi Copeland
Being a germaphobe during a global pandemic sent Riley Smith’s anxiety level to new heights. Receiving a text she thought was from her brother, Riley confides in him regarding her anxiety attacks. Realizing the person on the other end of the phone is not her brother, Riley comes face to face with her past.

Stray Dog Love by Rebekah Rodda
Jemma is just coping with working full-time and managing her volunteer-run stray dog sanctuary in the country of Georgia. Then the coronavirus hits, causing her school to shut down and her all her staff to leave except for one: Murray. He’s fun to be around with a faith she finds intriguing but he’s only planning to stay for a few short weeks. Will Jemma ever find someone who loves her and the dogs enough to stick around?

Fear No More by Sara Beth Williams
Growing up together, Jocelyn’s brother’s best friend Brent was nothing short of obnoxious. Now they’re older and he’s still obnoxious, but also incredibly handsome and alluring. If only he would stay in town longer than two days.
When they finally close the states-wide distance between them and begin a solid relationship, a world pandemic erupts, ripping apart the very fabric of everything Jocelyn holds dear.

No Better Time by Audrey Appenzeller
Jen Turner’s life was hard before the pandemic hit. Now it’s impossible. Shaky job situation. Mounting bills. And a twenty-year old car that’s more rust than metal. As life crumbles around her, Jen discovers help might come from unexpected places.

the authors

I asked each author, Why did you choose to enter this contest and what inspired the story that you wrote for The Covid Diaries? 

Here’s what they had to say:

I chose to enter this contest because I wanted to “put myself out there”.  I wrote this story because I struggle with anxiety. And my youngest sister is a germaphobe and I knew this pandemic would hit her hard. I try to have my stories have a deeper meaning. As a Christian for almost 30 years, I struggled with why I had anxiety and even more so, going on medication. I felt all the Bible verses about anxiety should apply to me and I should be fine. I didn’t understand it was a medical issue, not a faith issue, until my doctor told me if I was sick, I would seek treatment. The same should happen for my mental health

– Joi Copeland

I chose to enter this contest because I hoped to encourage others during the pandemic, and this contest was a context for doing that via writing a short story.

The inspiration behind my story comes from testimonies of God’s work in real-life people. I’ve changed the context to a COVID-19 setting, and I’ve fictionalized the real-life details, but I kept the heart of God’s mysterious ways intact.

– Audrey Appenzeller

 I decided to enter this contest because I was intrigued by the idea – to write an inspirational contemporary story with a lock down theme. I don’t often write contemporary stories so I also saw it as a bit of a challenge. I was inspired to write this story because of the many stray dogs I see on the streets of Georgia. I know there are people that do look out for them and this story is something of a tribute to them

Rebekah Rodda

Of course I chose to answer the same questions as well.

I chose to enter this contest because I wanted and needed to challenge myself and I’d never written a short story before. The idea for this story stemmed from the fear that I witnessed for the first 2 months, perpetuated by the media. It was everywhere. I’m actually terrified of pandemic diseases – I refuse to watch movies in which diseases destroy the earth. I’ve walked out of theaters. Books of the same nature make me cringe.

Yet God miraculously protected me from myself and my own paranoia. He has been my rock.

I write emotional romance and so it is that, but I also wanted to convey the reliance on God, and that while fear is still present, God is our protector.

– Sara Beth Williams

More about the authors

Joi Copeland is a multi-published author. You can find out more about Joi on her website: www.joicopeland.com.

You can find out more about Audrey on her website: https://audreyappenzeller.com

Rebekah lives in Georgia and writes on Whattpad, and you can also find her on Facebook.

The COVID diaries Short story collection

Now available on Amazon

Pre Order Sale price of 0.99!

Petrified Flowers by Joiya Morrison-Efemini

Prismatic Prospects

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Petrified Flowers by Joiya Morrison-Efemini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A devastating tragedy takes teenaged Iris and her five younger sisters away from their middle-class life and to a place that leaves them staring over at advantages they’re barred from. But the sisters, especially the two oldest, are in for more they’ll have to learn—some of it the hard way—to bloom as they’re meant to in Petrified Flowers by author Joiya Morrison-Efemini.

It wasn’t until I’d already decided to read this young adult novel that I found out it’s a novel-in-verse. This author…

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Why I write romance + my top 5 romantic tropes

Welcome to the Summer Loving Blog tour! Hang out for this week and into the next for some fun giveaways and behind the scenes from other authors! 

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First – a little about me. Romance is my jam. I love the goofy, giddy, silliness of new romance and the solid, surety of old romance. I love stories and movies of budding new relationships overcoming extreme obstacles. Even more so, I love the stories of broken relationships being restored. Give me all those gushy gooey feels! 

While I am a fan of some mainstream romantic novels, movies and TV shows, what they’re missing is why I write Christian romance. In mainstream romance, it’s no surprise and no secret that our culture continually propagates the notion that relationships should be and are often based on sexual encounters. When in reality, that’s not how life works. Even for non-believers. What used to be the ‘first kiss’ encounters that established the relationship moving to the next level, has morphed into ‘the first sexual encounter’. To propagate such a notion that sexual encounters are the foundation of the beginnings of a relationship is unfortunate and completely backward. In my opinion, it’s an inaccurate and dangerous portrayal of romantic relationships.

After reading through several mainstream romance novels as a young adult with this very message – both subtly and not so subtly presented – I decided it was time I wrote the romances that I want to read. The romances that I want my daughters to grow up reading. That I want any of the children I work with to grow up and read.

It’s not that all romances develop from friendship. I’m not completely against Love at first sight. I know it’s often cliché, but it happens in real life! What I am completely against, are one night stands that lead to a ‘lasting relationship’.

Enough blabbldigook and romance preachiness. Below are some of my favorite romantic tropes (with examples!)

Unrequited love/oblivious love/secret admirer

I didn’t rate these in order – but I’d say this is the first on my mental list whenever anyone asks. Watching one person agonize over the other person who doesn’t know they are in love with them is like powdered sugar, whip cream and strawberries on a fried fritter. All the sweetness. All the feels! The tension! The conflict! The obliviousness! I get all swoony just thinking about it. Some of my favorite examples: Ordinary Snowflakes by Jennifer Rodewald, Sweet on You by Becky Wade. Topaz Heat by Hallee Bridgeman.

Friends to more

Sometimes, not always, these stories have some level of unrequited love weaved in. However – the basis of friendship is what draws me in. I love the emphasis on more of the steady strength of friendship. This foundation is often difficult to capture by authors because it requires giving the reader a solid, authentic sense of a past relationship. Sometimes this is done through a prologue.

Rosanna M. White does a masterful job of immediately establishing the friendship between the hero/heroine in The Lost Heiress. Ordinary Snowflakes again, is another superb example.

This is the best trope in which to describe my book A Worthy Heart. Joel and Serena are friends. (though they haven’t been for that long) The foundation of their romance develops through friendship. They spend a long time in that friendship camp – both with specific reasons for doing so.

Enemies to lovers

There are two different kinds of enemies to lovers. Two people who hate each other for whatever reason. And two people who are literally physically actual enemas of each other. Like in Lynn Austin’s A Candle in the Darkness. Or Colleen Hall’s Her Traitor’s Heart. You are literally standing on two sides of a line that you cannot cross. Yet you’ve somehow crossed it and are falling in love with someone behind enemy lines. The conflict and tension is the best part. The good, happy endings are harder to predict here, and it’s what makes these page turners!

Of course more contemporary examples with heroes/heroines who just can’t stand each other would include One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg, Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner.

Love triangles

Some readers hate this trope. I don’t mind it – when it’s done right. I’m not really for jealousy vengeful 3rd wheel heroes or heroines who try to get in between the first two lovers in a mean-spirited fashion. A good love triangle elicits from the reader all the agonizing tension of decision-making. Where both heroes or heroines are just as strong, charming and enduring. When there’s no obvious choice (well…maybe not for the heroine lol) I loved how Jennifer Rodewald handled the love triangle in Ordinary Snowflakes. Nadine Brandes in her Christian Speculative fiction series, Out of Time employs the use of a love triangle between two brothers and Parvin through the first and second of the series. This was so subtle it was perfect – and heartbreaking. So so much.

Another spin: The best-friend’s-girl love triangle: I adored the Yesterday Series by Amanda Tru because I just loved the third wheel side-character. Though Hannah doesn’t really like hero #2, he falls for her harder in each book, even though he can’t have her. I just couldn’t get enough! Poor guy!

Broken hero/heroine 

This isn’t exactly a trope – because it often involves weaving together many tropes in one.

Anytime there’s a romance story with a hero is broken down and needs some TLC – let’s just say you’ve got me hooked. It’s not to say I don’t like broken down heroines, because their stories are just as emotional and heartwarming, but there’s just something about a hero in need of emotional and spiritual healing that brings me to tears. The idea that the hero/heroine I’m falling in love with on the pages of a book can find hope and love and redemption keeps me turning page after page. 

Some fantastic examples. All of You, by Sarah Monzon, My Stubborn Heart, A Love like Ours and True to You by Becky Wade. An Aria for Nick and A Harmony for Steve by Hallee Bridgeman. 

This trope, (or umbrella trope perhaps?) also very accurately describes my new release coming out in 2021, Anchor My Heart.

So there you have it – some of my favorite tropes and stories in Christian Fiction.

What’s your favorite romantic trope? Let me know in the comments below

Don’t forget to visit the rest of the blogs in the tour to enter for more chances to win a huge giveaway package, INCLUDING a copy of my newest book, A Worthy Heart. 

 

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ENTER TO WIN the giveaway HERE

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

June 22: Ann Brodeur – The Sweet Side – Sweet Traditions of Christmas.

June 23: Laurie Wood  – Excerpt from  Northern Hearts.

June 24: Kara Leigh Miller –  Embrace Your Imperfections.

June 25: Julie M Arnold – Summer Reading 101.

June 26: Laura Thomas – Six Sweet Summer Reads.

June 27: Sara Beth Williams – Why I write Christian Romance & My Top 5 Romantic Tropes.

June 28: Renée Lichtenhan – Quiz: WHAT’S YOUR BEST CHARACTER TRAIT?

June 29: Connie Michael – Trusting the Plan.

June 30: Christina Sinisi – Love and Cake in the LowCountry of South Carolina.

July 1: Joiya Morrison-Efemini –  TBD

July 2: Melony Teague – If you’d have told me a year ago…

About A Worthy Heart

“To say she’d been waiting her whole life for this exhilarating breath of fresh air that was Joel Bennett was the understatement of the year.”

A 2020 Selah Award Finalist

Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular house guest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.

 

With only a part time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close—not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man.

 

Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt.

When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?

currently free with kindle unlimited

Available on AMAZON in ebook and print format.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: A Thousand Sacred Moments by Connie Ann Michael

Anaiah Press

Every moment is sacred, even the hard ones.

Sawyer and Raven are finally happily married and living by the beach in California, but things are far from perfect. Unsettled with “normal” civilian life, Sawyer feels called back to the battlefield. With Raven’s reluctant agreement, Sawyer deploys with a helicopter medic group.

Raven struggles with letting her go again, the nightmares of her last deployment never far from his thoughts, but when their close friends, Thommy and Vanessa, announce they are expecting a baby, Raven begins to wonder if Sawyer is searching for more than just her next deployment.

As a former prisoner-of war, Sawyer suffered life changing injuries that leave her unable to have children. Now that their best friends are expecting, Sawyer’s questioning her ability to give Raven the family he desperately wants—and deserves. It seems everyone is moving forward in their lives while she continues to go backward…

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Meet Joiya Morrison-Efemini, author of Petrified Flowers!

Learn more about Joiya!

Anaiah Press

  1. What’s more important: characters or plot?

Characters are more vital to my stories. Characters drive the plot. When I create a fictional person, or write about a person I know, the identity of that person forms her ideas, her dialogue, and her actions. As long as I stay true to the essence of my character, the story will be authentic.

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I am not writing, I am partner to an amazing husband and mother to four phenomenal kiddos. Ten years ago, after the birth of baby number three, I made the difficult decision to resign from my job as a child advocate attorney, to raise my kids full-time. I have been writing in the midst of all the shenanigans ever since.

  1. What do you do when you experience writer’s block?

I run. And run and run and run. Some of my best…

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Release Day: Petrified Flowers by Joiya Morrison-Efemini

Very excited for this one! Check it out!

Anaiah Press

AMAZON LINK


Book Blurb:

Tragedy uproots Iris and her sisters, all named after flowers, from the solid ground of middle-class life and plants them, unsupervised, in the rocky terrain of low-income housing. In a world where rain falls only on the privileged,Liam, a student who attends the elite private school directly across the street, proves refreshing as a summer gale, gushing joy into the sisters’ lives. Further nurtured by Ma Moore, a church elder who sprinkles the Flower sisters with spiritual wisdom, Iris embraces her Heavenly Father with steadfast urgency.

But when a student takes a hopeless leap from the school roof, Iris withers under the scorching realization that everything she thought she knew about privilege—and God—lies crippled. Petrified Flowers is the anthem of one African-American girl straddling three worlds. It is a song of hope, a triumph of faith, and a resounding refrain of the Father’s eternal love.


Excerpt:

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