“Her Darkest Secret” ~ a JustRead Blog Blitz & Giveaway (ends 7/5/22)

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Her Darkest Secret JustRead Blog Blitz Welcome to the Blog Tour for Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Her Darkest Secret Title: Her Darkest Secret Author: Jessica R. Patch Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired TRADE Release Date: June 28, 2022 Genre: Christian, Psychological Thriller with a romance thread

When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he’s always wanted—her. The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children’s poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly’s blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister’s body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he’s back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona. Finding “Rhyme” is an obsession that’s fueled Fiona’s career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica R. Patch

Jessica R. Patch is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author known for her dry wit, signatures twists, and complex characters. She loves reading true crime books, discussing cold cases over chips and salsa with her girlfriends, and hunting down serial killers in her romantic suspense novels and psychological thrillers.

Jessica loves to encourage and inspire people to forward living through her Patch of Hope devotions in her monthly email newsletter. You can join the Patched In community at her website: www.jessicarpatch.com. She resides in the Memphis area with her husband, two young adult children, and her spoiled tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent at Books & Such Literary Management. CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback of Her Darkest Secret, Brain Games WHODUNIT: Solve Crime Scene Puzzles Book, & a Shine cross necklace!

Her Darkest Secret JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 28, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 5, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Excerpts from Her Darkest Secret

Doesn’t this book cover (not to mention the title) make you want to dive into this book? Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite even more!

Excerpt #1
Ty reentered. “It’s done. Death investigator is on her way. Apparently she’s been busy this
morning. You want me to come with to interview the husband? You know it’s always the husband.”
“How could it be this time? The feather in her hand.”
Ty shrugged. “I just think you spend that much time with someone…you wanna kill ’em.”
Asa snorted.
“Asa, you don’t have to enlist Fiona’s help, but you owe her a courtesy call.”
Ty was right. But it would ignite a different set of fireworks. The kind that didn’t light up the night
sky, but set emotional fires and burned everything to ash. “It’ll put her on a plane out here. Give me
some time. It won’t hurt anything.” Asa could move past the Fourth of July, then call and inform her
that he was handling things and would keep her updated.
Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be enough for Fiona.
Asa was going to have to pin Scripture verses all over his town house, car and office to keep his
temper in check and his heart guarded.


Excerpt #2
Rhyme easily blended in with the rest of the onlooking crowd.
Asa Kodiak.
The name alone gave him a sour taste on his tongue, but things couldn’t have panned out any
better. Kodiak’s new girlfriend was in charge of the crime scene. Not that it would have mattered
who had been lead—Kodiak would have been called in once they saw Jenny’s body. Saw the feather.
Asa was right now seeing it. A million thoughts flying through his thick skull—one in particular.
Before the day was out, Kodiak would call for Fiona. Tell her he needed her back in Memphis to
work the case, but she’d know that it was Rhyme who had actually beckoned her.
It was time to come home.
To him.

Excerpt #3
While darkness lurked in the halls of God’s house and hypocrisy abounded, light also shined in
people who were trying to live their faith the best they could. The bad had put such a sour taste in
Fiona’s mouth, but seeing people rally together and to love on her when they didn’t even know
her…that gave her hope. Because it turned out hope wasn’t out of reach for those who had the
courage to reach for it. It was an anchor for the soul.

Don’t forget to enter this giveaway for a copy of the book plus a crime scene puzzle book, and a gorgeous cross necklace! (I’d love to win this myself!)

Enjoy! –Wren

“Shadow of Honor” by Ronie Kendig ~ a JustRead Book Review Tour

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Recently, I received the newest Ronie Kendig book in “The Droseran Saga” from JustRead Publicity Tours. (It was even signed by the author!) Shadow of Honor‘s gorgeous book cover captivated me immediately–and there was even more to captivate inside the book itself. Let me share more with you about this book, and my impressions of it!

About Shadow of Honor

⇒ Book Name Shadow of Honor

⇒ Author Ronie Kendig

⇒ Publisher Enclave Publishing

⇒ Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3xZFdUJ #ad or Purchase via @justreadtours profile link

Series: Droseran Saga #3
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Genre: Christian Science Fiction / Space Opera

The war he fears may be the very one he’s been called to start.

Held captive, tortured by monsters of a nightmarish alien race, Marco Dusan clings to a final goal: keep these beasts from the Quadrants, even if it means orchestrating his own death. But his dreams betray that singular design. In them his bonded calls to him across lightyears. Does he leave her to fight Symmachia alone, or risk bringing an unwinnable war to every planet in the Quadrants?

On board the alien dreadnought, Eija Zacdari flounders, torn amidst military machinations, prophecies, and an inexplicable bond with one of the fearsome creatures who have imprisoned her friends. Only by uncovering the truth about an ancient conflict now shrouded in deception will she find her place.

Faced with her true identity, Eija sees her purpose snap into focus, and she realizes the war Marco fears may be the very one he has been called to start.

My thoughts about Shadow of Honor

First, I always love Ronie Kendig’s stories. She is so gifted at creating characters and storylines that the reader can deeply engage with. I haven’t read one of her books yet that I didn’t want to get to the ending as quickly as I could! I felt the same way about Shadow of Honor. I loved its characters Isaura, Eija, Marco, and even Dak ‘Ti. I even became interested in some of the characters who clearly needed more personal growth.

So Shadow of Honor would be categorized as a sci-fi/fantasy read; or, as the publisher would say, “a space opera.” In style and in some content, this book reminded me of the original Star Wars trilogy (the ones starting with what’s now called A New Hope); in that it’s got wonderful characters who are up against a wicked force that is MUCH more powerful than they. In terms of world-building I was reminded of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and here’s why. When you read Herbert’s book, you’re introduced to many different story threads and individuals, who possess strikingly varied gifts and abilities. I felt that same quality in Shadow of Honor, but the enormous difference being that Kendig’s characters are aligned with a story of good and evil that believers will recognize immediately, although the main forces have different names than those we’re used to.

One thing I particularly loved about Kendig’s story is that these characters come up eventually against their own fleshly decisions, sometimes made out of pride or moments of deception. I loved the personal revelations that each had to come to, which were so real and not candy-coated at all. I was reminded myself of what it means to walk in both the freedom and liberty of Christ in my own life; to desire and strive to please God rather than myself or others. So interesting to see those same things happen in imagined worlds.

Because I hadn’t read the first two books in “The Droseran Saga” before I read Shadow of Honor, it did take me about fifty pages into the book before I could place the different alien or human races, their gifts and abilities, and where they fit into the bigger saga. I did get there though. And I am VERY interested in reading books 1 and 2 now (Brand of Light and Dawn of Vengeance), as well as hoping that Kendig will decide to continue the saga! (There is an epilogue that made me want to read the epilogue after the epilogue!)

I do recommend Shadow of Honor to you. You’ll be amazed by Ronie Kendig’s world-building abilities, as well as her gift of making you care about those who live in her books. You’ll also be encouraged in your own faith. A wonderful, unusual read!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“Catching Hope” ~ a JustRead Blog Tour (& giveaway, ends 6/28/22)

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Catching Hope JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Catching Hope by Kathy Cassel, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Catching HopeTitle: Catching Hope Author: Kathy Cassel Publisher: Haven Point Publishing Release Date: March 22, 2022 Genre: Teens/YA, Christian Catching Hope: A pursuit fraught with danger. Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together, or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy? PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy Cassel

Kathy Cassel is the author of eleven books for Christian preteens and girls and three Young Adult Fiction books.

Kathy grew up in northern Indiana, lived on three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have six grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren. In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at sky diving. CONNECT WITH KATHY: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will receive a $25 BAM card gift card!

Catching Hope JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 21, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2022. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

About Catching Hope

Truly, reading Catching Hope was a thrill of a ride–along with a breath of fresh air! Cassel created 4 unique teen characters for her YA novel: Lexi and Levi, a girl and boy pair of twins who have literally spent their lives in the foster care system. The pair have been recently adopted by Dr. and Mrs. Michaels. Then, there’s Chad, their new (also adopted) brother. Last, their new cousin Jen, who is extremely unfriendly and devoted to shopping exclusive (read: expensive) boutiques on her vacations.

Levi’s high-functioning autism symptoms are, they believe, the reason the two kept getting moved from home to home and were never adopted. (Until that last home, that they were saved from at the last moment.) Lexi will do anything to defend her brother and she loves him fiercely.

Now, the four have arrived in Haiti. The doctor and his wife help to support a clinic near a resort the family will be staying at, and due to a cholera outbreak, they’ve moved their medical aid trip up and brought the kids and their niece. Little do they know that the family has acquired an enemy–who’ll stop at nothing to bring about his revenge.

My thoughts

I so enjoyed reading Catching Hope! Although I’m not in the target audience of YA books, I do enjoy them from time to time. They provide, as I mentioned above, a bit of fresh air in the eyes of characters who haven’t completely lost their naiveté and the world is often fresh and bright. Now, having said that, I also have to say that here, it’s not completely true. With Levi’s and Lexi’s (who’s the narrator of Catching Hope) years spent in and out of foster homes, they know that life is not always fair, nor the treatment of others, good and right. Jen brings a “rich girl” mentality to the group; to her, a resort vacation should include lots of pampering. But Chad, raised by the Michaels since he was six, has the ability to love, serve, and support others, as well as something special that sets him apart. But, they’ll need all their strength plus the ability to work together for the adventure that none knows is ahead of them.

Cassel dedicates her book to “…all the Haitian children who came home to their forever families in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.” The author clearly has spent time in and loves the nation of Haiti. If you take a peek at her author bio, you can see that she is the mom of 8 children, 3 of them adopted from the island nation (and two more adopted, besides her three biological children). So she is able to utilize her knowledge of foster care, adoption, and the people of Haiti into her story. (Not to mention its landscape, environment, and culture!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What a fantastic subject matter to enthrall younger readers! Cassel’s adventure story is believable, and so engaging, as are her characters, each of whom brings something interesting to the story. I think that teens and even many tweens will love diving into the life and recent culture not only of Lexi and Levi (and their teen relatives) but the recent history of Haiti. There is some peril and pain; but this story of hope and of overcoming is a must-read for anyone who loves a story of the journey of faith alongside a fantastic adventure story.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

“Fatal Code” by Natalie Walters ~ a Revell Reads review

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Since I loved Natalie Walters’ Lights Out, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review her second book in The SNAP Agency series, Fatal Code. I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads, and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

About Fatal Code

In Fatal Code, the SNAP team from Lights Out returns with a brand-new case to work. The Strategic Neutralization and Protection agency is composed of team leader Jack Hudson, and specialists Kekoa Young (cryptologist and hacker), Lyla Fox (expert marksman, and politics/technology) , and Nicolás Garcia (former Special Forces and weapons/explosives expert). The team liaises with various 3-letter government agencies on special projects. And the newest involves the attractive neighbor from Kekoa’s building.

Elinor Mitchell works for a government contractor, Lepley Dynamics, on a special project named Van Gogh. The SNAP team has been hired by Lepley because they’re concerned that one of their employees is selling secret project information to the Russians–or another player. All evidence points to Elinor, but Kekoa is convinced that there is no way that she would betray her company, or her country, in that way.

It’s also a bit uncomfortable for Kekoa, because he has been hoping to get to know Elinor personally. And now he has to investigate her–personally. There is no way that that is going to go well.

But someone else is after Elinor. They’re certain that she possesses technology and codes from her deceased and beloved grandfather–who used to work at Los Alamos. And they have no compuction against torture or murder.

My thoughts

I was delighted to get to revisit the SNAP team on a new adventure! Kekoa is a fun and fascinating character. He has his own mysterious backstory, with an event that has separated him from his family in Hawaii. He’s the very best at computers and code-breaking (not to mention surfing and finding the best Hawaiian food in D.C.). He’s not convinced that he is that great at out-of-the-office operations, though. And he really, really doesn’t want to pretend to be someone other than he is with Elinor. Neither of those keeps him from being assigned those roles.

Elinor is a fascinating, intelligent woman. She’s bright and loving even as she is dealing with family issues; her parents left her in the U.S. as a child while they moved to Africa to do conservation work, leaving her practically an orphan. If it hadn’t been for her beloved grandfather, she’d have lived bereft of love and kindness. But he showed her, by his presence and his own faith, that she had a God who loved her and had wonderful plans for her.

I so enjoyed both the main characters in this book. Walters gives both Kekoa and Elinor backstories that add interest and compassion in readers. (Plus–there’s always that hope that they might just get together…or maybe they won’t.) I also love a good spy story. And this one is fantastic, with its tie-ins to international espionage and the nuclear research at Los Alamos. (Not to mention one of my favorite Smithsonian museums.)

Don’t miss Natalie Walters’ fantastic Fatal Code. I absolutely could not put it down; I read it in ONE day! It is a fantastic follow-up to Lights Out (which you will also want to read–either before or after Fatal Code). I’m also excited that there will be a third book in The SNAP Agency series. Sooner rather than later, I hope!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions expressed here are my own.

“Impending Strike” ~ a JustRead Blog Tour & Giveaway (ends 6/27/22)

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Impending Strike JustRead Blog Blitz Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Impending Strike by Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Impending Strike Title: Impending Strike Series: Elite Guardians Collection #2 Author: Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason Publisher: Sunrise Publishing Release Date: June 28, 2022 Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Protecting him just might cost her everything… Elite Guardian Charlie Lee knows that there is no future with the woman he loves—fellow Guardian Lizzie Tremaine. And, he gets it—as a single mom, Lizzie has to protect her daughter. But more than anything, he wants the chance to prove himself. Then, the unthinkable happens—while working undercover, Charlie is seriously injured…and his memory of the past four years is lost. Could it be the fresh start that he didn’t realize he longed for? Despite a friendship that’s turned flirtatious at times, Lizzie Tremaine has held Charlie at arms’ length. She’s lost all the men she’s ever loved, and is unwilling to risk her heart again. Still, she’s glad to keep an eye on him—as his bodyguard—and while she’s at it, help him put the pieces of his past together, including discovering who attacked him, and why. But Charlie seems to have forgotten their agreed-upon professional distance—and suddenly, all the rules are off the table. She’s seeing a side of Charlie she could possibly let into her heart. Problem is, the closer he gets to uncovering his memories, the closer he gets to trouble. It’s her heart…or his life. What will protecting Charlie cost her? Another edge-of-your-seat Elite Guardians thriller!

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

Driving Force Defending Honor


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sami A Abrams

Sami A. Abrams grew up hating to read. It wasn’t until her 30s that she found authors who captured her attention. Now, most evenings you can find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. In her opinion, a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story. Sami lives in Northern California, but she will always be a Kansas girl at heart. She has a love of sports, family, and travel. However, a cabin at Lake Tahoe writing her next story is definitely at the top of her list. Visit her at http://www.samiaabrams.com.

CONNECT WITH SAMI: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Life Flight and the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com. CONNECT WITH LYNETTE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Impending Strike and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Impending Strike JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 20, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 27, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Excerpts from Impending Strike

I think you’ll definitely want to read Impending Strike after getting a taste of the book, courtesy of these excerpts!

Excerpt #1
Lizzie struggled to maintain control against the long grass and uneven ground. She swerved to
miss a fence and struck a rut, sending the car airborne, and they flipped upside down. She
screamed just before the hood crashed into the ground and glass shattered around her. The jolt
forced her body forward, the seat belt stopping her forward motion and whipping her back against
the seat. The vehicle teetered and creaked and came to rest at an odd upside-down angle.
The seat belt cut into her shoulder, and her arms dangled from her inverted position. Blood
whooshed in her ears. She blinked and then blinked again while her mind scrambled to put the
pieces together.
The hiss of the engine pulled her from the depths of confusion. An accident. The tail she’d
picked up at the warehouse. Oh, no—Charlie.
A groan escaped her lips as she twisted to look at him.
Blood trickled from a gash on his forehead. Or was it the same cut from before that had
reopened? The man had more bruises than Lizzie dared to count and added more every day. She
stretched over and searched for a pulse. The strong thump against her fingers sent a wave of relief
coursing through her.
What if the person decided to make sure he’d succeeded in killing her and Charlie?
She had to get him out of here.

Excerpt #2
Each planned drug buy raked on Charlie’s nerves. The lifestyle wore on him. After a year of
setting up his presence in the drug scene and five weeks of full work undercover, he wondered how
much more he had in him to continue.
He shoved his hands in his pockets and fiddled with his burner phone. His touchstone. His
lifeline to the safe world. No names, only speed dial numbers of his Elite Guardians Agency
teammates and Quinn. The women had insisted that he include their numbers. He’d resisted, not
wanting to put the members of the agency in danger. But they’d reminded him that’s what a team did. They had each other’s backs. He was honored to be included among the top bodyguards in the
nation, even if he was the only male. Not that he had a problem with that. He trusted them more than
he trusted the police officers he’d served with on the Atlanta PD. And that said something.
Knowing that God was watching over him and that the team was a phone call away allowed
him to maintain his calm demeanor and play the part of the cocky, confident dealer of his alter ego,
Rod. He left the phone in his pocket and strolled down the sidewalk like he owned the neighborhood.
“I can do the hit.” A gruff voice drifted on the night air.
Charlie froze and scanned the area, searching for the source of the words.
“Not so fast,” a second man argued. “You can’t mess this up. We have one shot at killing her,
and if we miss, they’ll close ranks.”
The hair on the back of Charlie’s neck rose. He ducked behind a row of trash cans next to an
apartment building, grimacing at the strong garbage odor, a mixture between fish and rotten eggs.
Forcing himself to focus, he strained to hear the conversation, but the men moved out of earshot.
Charlie slipped from his hiding spot and clung to the shadows on the edge of the street,
following his targets. His ratty shirt and stained jeans, not to mention his unkempt hair, gave him the
ability to blend into the neighborhood, but a hinky feeling of being watched crept in and stayed.

Now! Don’t miss a chance to win this thriller, plus an Amazon gift card! Just scroll back up to the giveaway link and follow the directions. Best wishes!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: “I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Sweet family film “Tyson’s Run” now available on DVD & Digital! (plus giveaway, ends 7/5/22)

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Not too long ago, I had the privilege of reviewing a precious family film called Tyson’s Run, courtesy of Momentum Influencer Network and Collide Distribution. It is really a heartwarming film, touching on issues of fatherhood and sonship; goals; believing in a dream even if it seems difficult–and working to accomplish that dream. I enjoyed this film and was moved by it. And, in a timely moment, I’m excited to tell you today, on Father’s Day, Tyson’s Run is now available on DVD and also digitally. And you can enter to win!

About Tyson’s Run

Tyson’s Run introduces viewers to a family that’s in a sort of crisis. Tyson, who has autism, has been homeschooled all of his life. Now at age 15, he’s attending the public high school where his father (whom he’d deeply love to connect with and to impress) is the head coach for the school’s football team. Tyson, whose mom is his biggest supporter, is bright and has a fantastic scientific mind. Unfortunately, his slight difficulties in reading social cues make him a target of some bullies among his new classmates. But while some kids act badly, Tyson catches the eye of a young woman, who becomes his friend.

Something even more crucial happens when Tyson is picking up the debris left on the sidelines after the high school football team’s practice is over. (Tyson would love to actually PLAY football, but his dad doesn’t think he’s up to it and sends him to the side for cleanup duty.) As those familiar with American high school stadiums know, those fields are often encircled by lanes for students running track. And it’s there, while cleaning up detritus, that Tyson meets Aklilu, a serious (and champion) marathon runner. Tyson thinks that he might be able to become a runner himself. And Aklilu agrees to coach him.

The remainder of the film includes running practices, of course, as Tyson wants to train for–and complete– a local marathon. There’s opposition to Tyson’s plan however (and not just from his dad). The challenges that his family has been experiencing lead almost to a breaking point. Can the family overcome their pain and differences and can Tyson train enough to reach his goal?

My thoughts

I love that a teen who’s struggling with autism is the star of this show! Tyson shows so many admirable qualities: perseverance; vision; character in tough situations; and the desire for love and companionship from his family. He’s also a normal teen in some ways! But what is unusual is his strong commitment to running, and in training well enough that he can actually run IN a marathon.

What he would love even more than completing the marathon is for his dad to love him and want to hang out with him. That is a big ask for his father, who’s used to working with championship high school athletes who aren’t anything like his son. I don’t want to give away too much, but viewers do have the privilege of watching transformation there happen.

Whether viewers are autistic or not; whether teens have some other issue that keeps them from connecting well with others or with their parents; whether our challenges are physical, emotional, or mental; we can all understand Tyson’s desire to be accepted and loved by his father. We all want that.

I believe that Tyson’s Run is both a sweet and an inspirational film for families. It could provide a fantastic conversation piece for parents and kids, on many topics such as compassion for others, human value, setting an audacious goal, or even family relationships. It is something that will even inspire you!

About the Tyson’s Run cast

You’ll find appealing and capable actors in this ensemble cast, and you’ll probably recognize many of them! Here is the short list of the characters, followed by the actors who play them and some of their recent appearances in other films or television shows:

  • Tyson Hollerman: Major Dodson (“The Walking Dead,” “Left Behind,” “American Horror Story,” and “Revolution”)
  • Aklilu: Barkhad Abdi (BAFTA winner for “Captain Phillips,” “Eye in the Sky,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “The Pirates of Somalia”)
  • Eloise (Mom): Amy Smart (Stargirl,” “Justified,” The Single Moms Club,” “Starsky and Hutch”)
  • Coach Hollerman (Dad): Rory Cochrane (“Antlers,” “Reprisal,” “The Outsider,” “Argo,” “Hostiles”)
  • Shannon: Layla Feldman (“Instant Family,” “The Sinner,” “Let Light Perpetual”)
  • and more

Watch the Tyson’s Run trailer here!

You can purchase Tyson’s Run now!

Tyson’s Run is available now on DVD and digitally. You can purchase them by clicking on the links below:

Tyson’s Run website

Buy digitally, on demand, and in DVD form here

Now, enter to win!

One FINCHNWREN reader will win a digital copy of Tyson’s Run. (US only.) To enter, click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes 7/5/22. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

For you this Sunday: Hillsong Worship’s “You Said”

Hello, friends!

I woke up this morning with a worship song on my mind. All I could remember of it was that it started with, “You said…” and I could remember the instrumentals only for the chorus. When I looked it up (thank you, Google!), I listened to it and oh, my heart!. This song gets me. It honestly, nearly takes me to my knees. It communicates to me so strongly God’s worth, and His desire to move in us and for us.

Here’s a little snippet:

You said, “ask and you will receive
Whatever you need”
You said, “pray and I’ll hear from heaven,
And I’ll heal your land”

Reuben Morgan, Hillsong Worship

Bless you today! –Wren

“Midnight’s Budding Morrow” from Carolyn Miller ~ a Read With Audra Blog Tour & Giveaway (ends 6/28/22)

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The newest book in Carolyn Miller’s “Regency Wallflowers” series is being featured in this Read With Audra Blog Tour! If you are a fan of books set in the Jane Austen era, then you will love Carolyn Miller’s books. Read With Audra provided a copy of Midnight’s Budding Morrow for me to read, and I’m thrilled to tell you that it’s wonderful. And, you can enter to read a copy!

About Midnight’s Budding Morrow

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love. Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

My thoughts

I have loved reading Carolyn Miller’s Regency fiction! She recreates so lovingly the world that I adore from Jane Austen’s stories (and film adaptations, too). Even down to the conversation! Those who love the BBC miniseries of “Pride and Prejudice” will be charmed, as I was, by Miller’s delightful turn of phrase. For example: “The hem of her third best gown was coated in at least five inches of thick dark mud…” or, “He’s here. He arrived without warning, gave us all the greatest shock, I assure you.”

Jane Austen would be proud.

But of course, to have a true Regency romance, there must be a couple who are oddly paired, or who detest each other, or who are socially dissimilar. In Midnight’s Budding Morrow, we have plain, yet capable and strong, Sarah Drayton. Her love interest (though of course at first, they have no use for each other) is her dear friend Bea’s dissolute brother James. Through the machinations of James’ and Bea’s father, Sarah and James end up married to each other. Before he and his drinking and gambling problems flee back to the war, that is.

They spend nearly a year apart. Sarah, at the estate, is doing her best to make the castle livable again among servants who disrespect and dislike her. She dreads seeing James again. But when she does, she finds a quite different man: one who has met his Savior, Jesus Christ. And has begun the walk of faith, though not without pitfalls here and there. I loved watching the two overcome what they saw, to realize that there was immensely more underneath both reputation, past experiences, and appearance.

Carolyn Miller’s novel of two quite dissimilar humans, who might just be right for each other after all (and after time goes by), was a delight to read. And the title? You’ll be surprised that it’s taken from Keats’ poem about Homer, the poet traditionally described as blind.

Enter to win a copy of Midnight’s Budding Morrow

You can enter to win Carolyn Miller’s Midnight’s Budding Morrow! To enter, simply click on the link that says “Enter here.” That will take you to a Rafflecopter entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 6/28/22. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And here’s more about author Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Read With Audra. All opinions expressed here are my own.

“All That Fills Us” by Autumn Lytle ~ a Revell Reads Review

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I just finished one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year. It’s Autumn Lytle’s All That Fills Us, and it is truly remarkable and unusual. Revell Reads sent me a copy to read; and it is a pleasure to share my thoughts about it, and its author, with you.

About All That Fills Us

Mel Ellis felt as though she had it all in college. The perfect major, the perfect boyfriend, a gorgeous town to live in. But when she graduated, things didn’t seem to come together–for her, anyway. As all those around her kept attaining their dreams, jobs, and goals, hers continued to seem out of reach. And then, she lost what she did have. An illness, anorexia (including an addiction to exercise), grew in her and took over her life (even though many of the behavioral roots connected with it probably started much earlier).

As Mel’s illness puts her in the hospital–again–she promises her grandmother and her doctor that she will enter treatment. But while she’s at her apartment “taking care of some last-minute things,” as she tells the doc, she comes up with what seems to her to be an even better plan: walking from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Mount Rainier. Over two thousand miles. Then, she can create a story of her life that will, in her opinion, MEAN something.

Her disordered thinking is telling her that this will make her life worthwhile. What it isn’t telling her is that in her current state, she should be in the hospital, and that attempting this trek might just take her life. Instead of saving it.

My thoughts about this book

WHAT a book. And what a voice. It was very hard to believe that this was Autumn’s first book. She unfolds protagonist Mel’s story perfectly, and also heartrendingly. We get to look on as Mel interacts with others, but we also get an abundant look into her mind and the thoughts that overflow into her thinking, courtesy of her illness. Thoughts about her size. About others’ sizes. And calorie-counting to the extreme. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that Mel wasn’t going to end back up in the hospital before she made it a dozen steps; much less miles.

Although Mel isn’t quite sure that God would love someone who has failed so abysmally, again and again, it seems that He might just have a plan that is bigger than her harsh thoughts and ideas about herself, her life, and her value. And He might just be about to bring extreme evidence of that plan, and His enormous love, to Mel’s understanding as she takes her own extreme adventure.

All That Fills Us was a difficult book for me to start. Poor Mel! It was hard to read, at times, how harsh and unforgiving she was in her own thoughts and treatment of herself and her body. And I don’t want to give you any spoilers; but I will tell you that her journey is a fascinating one, and the rewards for taking it, immense. I recommend this book highly.

Just a quick content warning for those who might be struggling with anorexia: Autumn does describe some extremely restricted food intake and planning, as well as some exercise-addicted behavior. At no time, however, is either of these glorified. Just part of Mel’s journey.

About the author, Autumn Lytle

Autumn shares on the back of her novel a bit about herself; that she loves running, lives in Seattle, loves being her son’s mom, and is, as she puts it, “a forever-recovering anorexic.” She is also an amazing human being. (I don’t know her personally, by the way!) I’ve enjoyed her book so much that I had to check out her website. Here are some links that you can visit to get to know this author a bit better.

You can find Autumn on her website, Autumn Lytle. The subheading on her site reads, “Author. Runner. Eater. Explorer.” That tells us a lot, doesn’t it? But as you read her posts, you get so much more, even if you are NOT a runner (as I am not!). You are totally going to want this woman as your friend!

When I read some of Autumn’s blog posts, I had the same experience I did as I read her book. Tears. But also laughter. See if you don’t experience the same thing when you read these words, from Autumn’s website post “On becoming small:”

While the world measures small by the size of your waist or the number on your jeans, Jesus calls us to a smallness that allows us to bear witness to the glory of his creation, putting our worries and fears into perspective. It’s a revelation that draws me out of my own isolated world where I am the center of my own universe into a world full of beauty and hungry for love.

Autumn Lytle

If you’d like to experience a little more of this author’s story and get to “meet” her as well, you can watch her talk by clicking on the link below.

Author Night with Autumn Lytle from Baker Book House

And definitely, don’t miss this, her first book, All That Fills Us.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions are my very own.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon e-GC in the Dad-o-Mite Giveaway Hop (ends 6/30/22)

Hello friends!

It’s time for another fabulous giveaway hop, sponsored by MamatheFox! I’m joining with lots of wonderful bloggers, who are giving away neat prizes in honor of Father’s Day 2022. Keep reading for more information on how to enter all the giveaways!

To visit the Dad-o-mite Giveaway Hop page, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the main page for this hop. From that page, you’ll be able to visit (and enter!) each participating blog.

And now, for the FINCHNWREN giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a $10 Amazon e-gift card in the Dad-o-mite Giveaway Hop! To enter, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 6/30/22. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.