“Sticks and Stone” ~ A JustRead Blog & Review Tour (and giveaway; ends 6/15/21)

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Sticks and Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Sticks and Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Sticks and StoneTitle: Sticks and Stone Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #3 Author: David James Warren Publisher: TriStone Media Release Date: June 1, 2021 Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

When Rembrandt goes back to stop the untimely death of his partner, he finds himself wrapped up in the disappearance of two missing children in the middle of an epic Minneapolis blizzard. But, can he save the children in time–and if he does, will he also be able to save his partner?

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing as DAVID JAMES WARREN.

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

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com. CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.
CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the first three books of The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone!

Sticks and Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 8, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 15, 2021. 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-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

About Sticks and Stone

Rembrandt Stone is back. Sort of. At least, some version of himself is, in the newest David James Warren novel, Sticks and Stone. He’s been to the past. Again. And just as it was the first time, apparently he couldn’t force himself to follow the directions and apply himself to the reason he’d been sent back in time; to solve the cold case. No, he just had to mess around with the timeline and try to fix at least one other thing.

But when he returns? Now, he can tell that he’s in real trouble.

In his home, there’s a different roommate. Apparently he has a different partner. There are different books on his shelf. Yet Rem remembers everything. Everything that should have been, but isn’t; everything that he changed because he thought he could do good by not following the exact directions Booker gave him, when he gave him the watch.

The watch itself? Still an antique, gears showing, a minute hand and an hour hand stuck at the same time; that’s all the same.

Then, his roommate Asher returns the watch to him. And as the loud gears of time grind in Rembrandt’s head, he knows that Asher has, without knowing, sent Rem back in time again.

This time, Rem is younger. Single. Fit. And he’s arrived at the scene of a heartbreaking murder. He remembers a lot of things (like the classic rock on the radio), but some things, like his partner, are different.

Can Rembrandt follow Booker’s directions and only fix one thing?

My thoughts

I read Sticks and Stone. I read the last page.

Then, I turned back to page 1, and read it all again.

Poor Rem! He just can’t help himself. Yes, he’s going back to solve the cold case. But then, there’s Eve, his former wife. And Burke, his former partner. Eve’s parents, and Rem’s own parents. But one tiny change, that Rem thinks maybe isn’t a huge deal, changes EVERYTHING.

Even things that weren’t meant to be changed.

I am still completely captivated by “The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone;” this time-travel/detective story that has now spanned three books (with another three to go, to be published over the remainder of 2021). Rem is a fascinating protagonist. He’s all too aware of his weaknesses and his mistakes. But with the enthusiasm of a child, he is sure that, this time, he can make everything right.

If only!

If you like suspense thrillers, definitely investigate “The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone” series. Even if you’re not normally a fantasy reader (as this series has those elements, with its time travel), you are going to love the characters, the storyline, and the hope that Rem has (just as the reader does!) that he can somehow make everything okay. It’s not looking so good for him…but there are three more books, so who knows?

Start with Cast the First Stone. Then, read book 2, No Unturned Stone. That’s followed by Sticks and Stone. Then, like me, you’ll be waiting breathlessly for book #4!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

Win 2 Tickets to THE Worship Concert Event of the Summer! Featuring Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music (ends June 17, 2021)

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2020-2021. A worldwide pandemic. Jobs lost or transformed to wfh; schools reconstructed into at-home/online learning; stores closed, and a terrible virus and illness, hospitalization for some, and loss for others.

One of the hardest things many have faced is the isolation; not being able to meet in community, with friends or family, or worship together. We may not have always felt His presence, but I know that God has truly been there. And finally, things are opening up. And a unique worship event is happening this summer, for a moment that attendees can sing, praise, lift their hands, and stand up as we reach out for hope, joy, and restoration.

Featuring Chris Tomlin, Kari Job, Bethel Music, and other fantastic musicians, this incredible live and in-person concert event will be held in cities across America. The concert tour begins August 13, 2021, and runs through September 3, 2021. And they’re providing TWO CONCERT TICKETS for one FINCHNWREN reader to win!

My experiences with these worship leaders & their music

If you’re a fan of worship music, you’re probably very familiar with Chris Tomlin (“How Great is Our God,” “Good Good Father,” and many more), with Kari Jobe (“The Blessing,” “Forever”), or members of the worship team from California’s Bethel Church, like Bethel Music’s Brian & Jenn Johnson (“Raise a Hallelujah,” “Reckless Love”). Our family has loved all of these (and you can find their music on YouTube and give it a listen, if you’re not familiar), and we’ve had wonderful worship moments with each one. But, I’d like to share with you a special moment that ties into a favorite Chris Tomlin song, “Who You Are To Me.”

We have all had our ups and downs over the past 15 months. I have, myself, experienced joys and encouragement alongside pain, illness, and disheartening moments. But I can say that I have seen God’s faithfulness, His presence, and His character as well…which is no small thing!

A few weeks ago, I was reading a book that contained familiar verses (Psalm 77:19-20) in a translation that was so different from those I’d read before that I was wonder-struck:

 "Your road led through the sea,

your pathway through the mighty waters—

a pathway no one knew was there!

You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,

with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds."

Yes, truly, I was awestruck. We’re familiar with the story of the Exodus, with the moment when the pursued Hebrew people were faced with obstacles before them and a powerful army behind. We know that God does an enormous miracle as He parts the Red Sea and His people walk through on dry ground.

Yet the New Living Translation of these verses opened my eyes to frame that image in a way I’d never comprehended it: “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there!

How amazingly comforting. And timely. And what a word that I could apply to my own life.

In a worldwide pandemic that none of us ever expected, God can make a pathway for us, where we had no idea where we’d be stepping. But God knew the way; and He’s leading us on it.

I so love Chris Tomlin’s (and his cowriters’) words in “Who You Are To Me.” They underline for me again God’s goodness and faithfulness as He carries us in and by paths unknown.

But I’ve seen You part the waters

When no one else could pull me from the deep

That’s who You are to me

Some people think You just live in cathedrals made of stone

But I know You live inside my heart, I know that it’s Your home

“Who you are to me,” Chris tomlin & friends

Just wow.

So, where will the concerts be held?

Check out the list above! They’ll be held, in the dates listed in the image above, in:

Cedar Rapids, IA (8/13); Detroit, MI (8/14); Milwaukee, WI (8/15); Rogers, AR (8/19); Oklahoma City, OK (8/20); Austin, TX (9/21); Beaumont, TX (8/22); Charlotte, NC (8/27); Simpsonville, SC (8/28); Albertville, AL (8/29); Tuscaloosa, AL (9/01); Orange Beach, AL (9/2); and Jacksonville, Fl (9/3).

How this contest will work

This is not just a giveaway with a randomly-selected winner. In fact, you can influence your chances of winning by sharing! You’ll have opportunities to share via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by sharing your own unique link with your friends/family/followers, and by following my blog as well!

You’ll earn points by doing all these things. The more you share, the better your chances of winning.

And, the top winner who enters via the link below through the FINCHNWREN blog will win: 2 tickets to the Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music Live in Concert, in the city of your choice. (Transportation to the concert city and the concert itself are the responsibility of the winner, including any associated costs or liability. This giveaway prize is the two tickets to the concert.)

This is truly an amazing opportunity and you could be the winner!

So finally: how to enter!!

To enter to win two tickets to Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music Live in Concert worship event, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to an Audience Republic giveaway entry page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Remember, the more you share, the more points you’ll accrue, and the better your chance of winning the concert tickets via the FINCHNWREN blog. Giveaway closes 6/17/21 and winner will be notified on 6/18/21. Blessings!

Enter here!

And, you can purchase tickets as well….

If you’d like to purchase tickets for this incredible event, that’s also possible, starting on June 11, 2021! Just click on the purchase link below to select city/venue and tickets.

Purchase link

Enjoy–and I’m rooting for you! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Premiere Productions for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

“Rebuilding Joy” ~ A JustRead Blog & Review Tour and Giveaway (ends 6/24/21)

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Rebuilding Joy JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Rebuilding Joy by Regina Rudd Merrick, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rebuilding Joy Title: Rebuilding Joy Series: RenoVations #2 Author: Regina Rudd Merrick Publisher: Bellville Street Books Release Date: June 2, 2021 Genre: Contemporary Romance A waitress, a contractor, and an FBI agent walk into a café … Single mom Darcy Emerson Sloan has enough to do raising twins and running a restaurant. She’s doing fine on her own and doesn’t need the complications of a man in her life. But when her café turns into a crime scene, putting her and her children are in danger, she begins to take interest in the handsome young FBI agent that comes on the scene. Contractor Del Reno is as even-keeled as they come, but even he has his limits. And Darcy Sloan has pushed him too far. Every time he tries to help, it backfires. But now that Darcy and her kids are in trouble, he has no choice but to come to her aid and to protect her. She’s just going to have to deal with it. Secret tunnels, organized crime, adorable children, and a wedding. Just another day in Clementville. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Regina Rudd Merrick

Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things beachy and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 35-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com

CONNECT WITH REGINA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winner will receive their choice of ebook or signed print copy of Rebuilding Joy!

Rebuilding Joy 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 7, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 14, 2021. 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-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

About Rebuilding Joy

Author Regina Rudd Merrick has created a charming Kentucky small town, filled with neighbors who have grown up together and support each other. Widow and mom of littles Darcy works alongside her mom, Roxy, running the Clementville Cafe, which provides delicious meals for the area residents. There’s an abundance of interesting characters that people the town and eat at the cafe; the local sheriff, Roxy’s new husband, Darcy’s friends Lisa and Nick (who are also engaged), and Del.

Del, who’s a faithful Christian and has his eye on Darcy. Del, who’s a contractor and handy person when you need remodeling or fixing done. And Del, who’s an awesome guy, but who Darcy is avoiding like the plague. He’s totally not a stalker. But God, and Del’s friends, including his best friend Nick, keep telling him to be patient.

That’s before a large muddy footprint is found in the basement of the cafe. And before a secret door and tunnels winding under the building are revealed. The cafe, which also includes an apartment on the top floor, where Darcy and her children live, is suddenly a pretty dangerous place to be.

FBI agents and law enforcement personnel swarm Darcy’s home, life, and business. (Not to mention the basement.) She and the kids have to move out. And behind the scenes, there is a LOT going on…that may or may not involve organized crime. And anyone associated with the cafe might be at risk. What are the secrets that endanger Darcy, Del, and Clementville…and can Darcy put her trust in the God that she thinks has got it in for her?

My thoughts about the book

Regina Rudd Merrick has followed the advice that I’ve heard given to writers for a long time: to write about what you know. She and her husband relocated to a small Kentucky town and raised their family there. She’s also learned a lot about the history of the area, and the Ohio River region where it’s located. All those elements, along with characters who may or may not be based on people she knows, are brought together to create a charming Southern area where people love God and each other; but are thrown into a treacherous situation. History and hidden crimes come to light that menace Darcy, Del, Nick, and their families. I found the characters appealing and the mysteries fascinating, and I loved the mentions of delicious Southern food!

I also enjoyed experiencing Darcy’s and Del’s faith journeys. One person, secure in his relationship with God and enjoying their prayer conversations and His leading; and the other, harmed and damaged by life’s experiences and unwilling to trust the God she felt was behind all her suffering. Scriptures are woven into the story naturally and very applicably. I’ll carry one verse with me especially, as it spoke to me in a beautiful way. (I can’t tell you what it is, though, because…spoilers!)

I’d recommend Rebuilding Joy to anyone who’d enjoy a clean, contemporary romance with a little crime story on the side. Fun and encouraging read!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

Win awesome lip goodies in the Berry Good Giveaway Hop (ends 6/15/21)

Hello there!

I’m joining in another fun giveaway hop where you can win some fun lip goodies! MamatheFox is hosting the Berry Good Giveaway Hop, which runs from June 1 through June 15, 2021. Thirty bloggers will be participating with their own giveaways, which you’ll be able to access through the giveaway hop link below.

To visit the Berry Good Giveaway Hop page, just click on the blue InLinkz link below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the main giveaway page where you’ll be able to visit the links of all the participating bloggers, who have amazing giveaways for you to enter!

And now, for the FINCHNWREN blog giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a lip goodies prize pack! One winner will receive:

  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish mini in Sandy
  • Sephora miroir mini in Confectionary
  • Tarte gloss mini in Pinky
  • Bobbi Brown Art Stick Mini in English Rose

How to enter:

Simply click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on June 15, 2021. 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.

“Dusk’s Darkest Shores” – A Read with Audra Book Tour & Giveaway (ends 6/15/21)

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Are you someone who loves Regency fiction (think of lush green countrysides, empire dresses, Darcy and Elizabeth)? I am particularly fond of that era, especially as it’s displayed in films or books. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to meet author Carolyn Miller’s newest heroine, Mary Bloomfield, in the first book of her upcoming trilogy, “Regency Wallflowers.” I received Miller’s Dusk’s Darkest Shores from Read with Audra. It is the best of Regency fiction, full of faith, wonderfully drawn characters, and beautiful scenery in England’s Lake District. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to enter a fantastic giveaway full of goodies to celebrate Dusk’s Darkest Shores!

About Dusk’s Darkest Shores

Mary Bloomfield has resigned herself to not being the most beautiful ingenue at the ball. In fact, as she enters her late twenties, she realizes that, despite her deepest longings, marriage may not be in her future at all. But, while she may not enjoy being a wallflower at the balls and dances in her town, she loves and trusts God and serves faithfully alongside her father, Doctor Bloomfield, as a trained assistant. She both assists her father and prays fervently whenever they’re called to the sickbed, or even to childbirths. Her mother and younger sister Joanna, who’s quite in demand at parties, round out their family, along with Mary’s brother Robert, who is away at war.

Robert’s childhood best friend was Adam Edgerton, and when they were boys, they tramped up and down the cliffs, trails, and hills of the countryside, often with little Mary tagging along behind them. Adam has been abroad fighting in Britain’s campaigns against Napoleon, but he is at last returning home; home to his family farm, his parents, and his young fiancee Emily. Unfortunately, illness upon injury has stolen Adam’s formerly strong and vibrant health and he comes back to the Lake District disabled; and uncertain if he’ll ever return to strength and health.

Dr. Bloomfield and Mary are summoned to the Edgerton home, where Adam is almost incoherent with pain from the very long and difficult journey. The doctor administers medication, yet he’s quite concerned that Adam won’t be able to regain his health and former abilities. He encourages Adam to attempt to do the tasks and little jobs that he can accomplish. This is an incredible blow to the former soldier, who decides that he must break his engagement to Emily. How shocked he is when she arrives to break it first! And now, added to his physical challenges, Adam must deal with anger, disillusionment, and discouragement. How will he ever make something of his life now?

Mary is encouraged to assist Adam, to help him regain his strength, to walk, to take some outdoor exercise. She isn’t prepared for Adam’s crankiness or sometimes, his sharp tongue. But he does begin to heal. And on both sides, care and respect for the other (and perhaps more than that) begin to develop.

What kind of life can an injured war hero have in England, in the early 1800s? There were no physical therapists; there were doctors, but of course they lacked the knowledge we rely upon today. There were also no counselors trained to work with former soldiers experiencing PTSD…or specialists who can teach them how to live with new or shocking injuries. However, in Carolyn Miller’s beautiful novel, Dusk’s Darkest Shores, we find a capable and faith-filled young woman, Mary, who is singularly equipped to assist Adam as he works toward health and his new life. Could it be possible that a future of love and commitment might be possible for the so-called wallflower, and the damaged former officer?

I wholeheartedly recommend that you read Dusk’s Darkest Shores and find out! You will love the Regency romance and manners, the characters, and their journeys to grow in faith, love, and trust.

Enter to win a fabulous gift pack in the Dusk’s Darkest Shores Blog Tour Giveaway

And, you can enter to win a delightful gift package from Carolyn Miller!

One winner will receive all these goodies!

– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
– a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
– a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
– Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
– “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
– “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
– Black currant preserves from England
– Wax Lyrical candle from England

To enter, simply click on the link below to access the Rafflecopter entry form. There will be lots of ways to enter. Best wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About the author

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

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

“Never Miss” a Revell Reads book review

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About Never Miss

Kadance and Lyndon meet by chance at a self-storage. She’s selecting a new identity and documents from her safe (the only thing in her storage area), and he’s attending an auction for the contents of abandoned units. They’d had a brief conversation as he walked toward the unit; then, as she returned to her perusal of the apartment rental listings book, she notices a brief glint in the building overlooking the units. Great. Now rescue is on her daily list of chores.

Kadance drives over to Walter, the auctioneer of the units, who’s talking with Lyndon. She attempts to draw Lyndon away, but the Walter nudges him further away from her. So she gives Lyndon a good shove.

Just before a bullet hole appears in the wall of the unit, where he’d been standing.

This chance meeting, between Kadance, Lyndon, and Mac (her very, very large pet/companion) launches them on the pursuit of his attempted killer, and of the thief who ransacked his apartment and stole his computer which contains important scientific research. Lyndon has been tracking data that indicates that the Ebola virus is being prepared to be used in a bioterrorist attack on U.S. soil…but by whom?

Kadance brings her exceptional skill set (she carries her sniper rifle with her at all times) and Lyndon, his gifted scientific mind (and multiple advanced degrees) along with Mac (the best pet/friend/extra set of eyes and ears ever) on a cross-country run to stop the attack and find the person behind it. Along the way, they both just discover a caring relationship, old hurts healed, and a faith reborn…as they hope to save not only the United States, but the world. And they might just have both the skills, and the contacts, they need to stop a tragedy.

The question is, will they get there in time?

My thoughts

I absolutely loved Never Miss! I’m a huge fan of suspense thrillers with brave and genuine characters; and if they have faith to compel them, it’s even better. Author Melissa Koslin wrote a fascinating book with truly appealing protagonists; trained assassin Kadence (with a mysterious, unusual backstory) and brilliant scientist Lyndon, who has quite the family history himself. The story is compelling, fast-paced, and utterly timely, as we’ve all seen a powerful virus (which is, I admit, less devastating than Ebola) infect a global population. Lyndon and Kadence are utterly sympathetic and the reader will cheer them on through dangerous and nail-biting situations. And of course, there’s also Mac, who’s officially now one of my all-time favorite animals in fiction!

If you’d like a fabulous, suspenseful clean read with elements of the Christian faith, you will love Never Miss. Melissa Koslin is a fantastic world-builder, character creator, and storyteller!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All these honest opinions are my own.

Gary LeVox & his first solo album: “One on One” (a review & giveaway, ends 6/5/21)

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I have a wonderful new album to share with you today! You are probably familiar with the band Rascal Flatts, for whom Gary LeVox was the lead singer. Well, he has just released his first solo album and it’s wonderful. Momentum Influencers was kind enough to provide an early release digital ep for me and I’ve been listening to it for the last 40 minutes on loop. Keep reading for more, and for a merch giveaway!

About Gary LeVox

I’m sure you’re familiar with the band Rascal Flatts. They had an exceptionally successful career stretch as a band (20 years), and Gary was the lead singer and cofounder. They could probably be categorized as country/rock with adult contemporary style. The first time I heard them was years ago when my family and I took our then-kindergartener to see the Disney Pixar film Cars. Rascal Flatts sang one of the key songs in the movie, “Life is a Highway.” (I definitely recommend checking out the YouTube Rascal Flatts official “Cars” video of the song; it’s celebratory and fun and you’ll get to see Gary LeVox heading up the band.) After 20 years together, the band had their farewell tour planned for 2020…but we all know what happened in 2020! That tour was put on hold for a bit. But then, Gary had some time to work on a personal project. The result was the lovely and inspiring “One on One.”

Gary says this about music as a vehicle for faith: “I feel like God graced us with a platform where we can not only touch people’s lives through music, but by being men of God offstage too,” explained LeVox. “At those times when we are with fans that are going through something like cancer, it is so wonderful to not only sing for them but to hold their hand and pray with them. I want them to know that they have a friend in me. I’m not just some guy on the stage. I feel like Christ has put me in this position because He knew I could handle the obligation, which often means taking the time to lift someone up in prayer.”

It’s wonderful to get this peek behind the scenes at Gary LeVox‘s faith. Of course one of the Rascal Flatts’ enormous hits was the beautiful “Bless the Broken Road,” so perhaps that isn’t so surprising!

About One on One

One on One is a five-song music ep featuring Gary’s distinctive, rich lead vocals; including some beautiful duets with other talented groups and individuals like contemporary Christian band MercyMe, Grammy winner Jonathan McReynolds, and country-rap star BRELAND. Gary’s daughter Brittany LeVox, who has an astonishingly beautiful voice, joins him for a rich treatise on walking out faith in spite of suffering. Here’s a little more about each of the five songs:

  • “A Little Love” (featuring MercyMe). I particularly love the bridge in that song; reminders of what we can do because we have God’s incredible 1 Corinthians 13 love in and behind us.
  • “Never Forget,” where the phenomenal Jonathan McReynolds’ and Gary LeVox’s voices soar as they proclaim that they’ll never forget what Jesus has done for them. What a great reminder to keep the faith. Some of the most moving lyrics are these:
    • “‘Cause my soul still remembers what my eyes can’t see; And my heart still rejoices in that memory…Jesus I’ll never forget what you’ve for me.”
  • “While I Wait,” the song Gary sings with his daughter Brittany. This one is undoubtedly my favorite, a song I want to make part of my prayers and my days! You’ll know why when you hear it, but here is the rich prayer it contains:

“Until you heal me
Until there’s no more pain
Until these tears dry and my heart unbreaks
Until the rain stops
Until you make a way
Oh Lord I still praise you
While I wait.”

  • “All I See,” featuring BRELAND, which asks the Lord to help us focus our eyes so that He is what we see
  • Last, the wonderful “The Distance,” which so describes the last year and a half for the world and infuses it with what we need: “Go the distance, accept the challenge; For every battle that’s beforе you Hope’s not lost, it’s found on a cross.”

One On One is my passion project and I have wanted to do this body of work for as long as I can remember,” explains LeVox. “I feel so honored to get to collaborate with such greatness throughout this project. BRELAND is a dream to work and sing with, as is the iconic MercyMe. Jonathon McReynolds, one of the greatest singers of our time and my dear friend, wrote a perfect song for us. And for my daughter Brittany and I to get to sing a song that Tauren Wells help craft just completed the collection. I couldn’t be prouder of this project, and the songs that we recorded. This is gonna be an amazing new season and I just hope everybody enjoys it as much as we did making it.”

In some ways it seems so very clear that these songs were composed or sung during a time when everyone on the planet has struggled, in so many areas of life. Yet their beauty isn’t only in the incredible vocals, or the notes, or words sung; it’s in the timeless truths we need to hear not only when life is hard but when it’s good.

Enter the giveaway to win some One on One merch!

So, the Gary LeVox merch! You can enter to win an 8″ x 10″ signed poster from Gary and One on One! To enter, simply click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes June 5, 2021. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can find One on One — so YOU can listen!

Gary LeVox has made One on One available on many streaming services; Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, Pandora, iTunes, Soundcloud, and deezer. (Hint: if you go to YouTube, you can also see the lyrics in many of the music videos!) One on One can be streamed and purchased from these services. And bonus: $1 of every purchase goes to fight human trafficking through the Tim Tebow Foundation!

Just click on Gary LeVox – One on One – EP, and you’ll be able to select your streaming service and listen. I know you’ll enjoy it and be encouraged and lifted up!

In the trying times we’ve all been enduring for the past few years, we can all use some uplifting music to point our eyes toward the God who loves us. One on One, Gary LeVox and his fellow musicians will do that for you!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Capitol Christian Music Group for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

“Crazy for You” Blog & Review Tour & Giveaway (ends 6/1/21)

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Crazy For You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Crazy for You by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Crazy for YouTitle: Crazy for You Series: Deep Haven Collection #3 Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren Publisher: Sunrise Publishing Release Date: May 25, 2021 Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider. Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic. When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves? PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren Michelle Sass Aleckson

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at www.michellealeckson.com.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills. CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Crazy for You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Crazy for You 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 May 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2021. 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-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My thoughts on Crazy for You

Crazy for You is a fantastic trip back to Susan May Warren’s Deep Haven, this time written by the wonderful Michelle Sass Aleckson, who spins a rich and readable tale.

Ronnie is desperate to get her 10-year-old brother Tiago out of inner-city Minneapolis, where his irresponsible friends have gotten into serious legal trouble; and away from situations that the judge said would result in the courts being forced to take Tiago away from his family. His abuela loves him deeply, but with having had to work two jobs to support them, and with Tiago’s and Ronnie’s mom in her own legal or boyfriend troubles, there just wasn’t anyone providing a stable home for the boy. So Ronnie left the military, picked up Tiago, and headed for Deep Haven (not that she had any idea WHAT or WHERE that little town was) and her new job as one of its (few) paramedics. Surely, things are going to get better.

Peter is the Deep Haven fire chief and Ronnie’s new boss, and a city council member. He’s capable and competent at his job. He only has one big flaw…making up his mind. Oh, not for the little things. He just hates having to disappoint anyone he loves or cares about. Which causes him to drag out or put off those large decisions, like which helicopter to get for the Crisis Response Team, or which family will be allowed to purchase a property from the town for either a hotel (the Zimmermans) or a restaurant (the Dahlbergs). Because he’s closely related to both families, each of them has had no problem whatsoever with applying constant pressure for Peter’s vote, which (naturally) will be the deciding one. Peter is definitely caught between a rock and a hard place, and the pressure is only getting worse.

Ronnie and Peter meet in the midst of a firefight. Used to taking and issuing orders, Ronnie is ready to do anything she needs to, in order to save an old man’s life. Everyone else’s opinion about the new paramedic? She’s rude, disrespectful, and pushy. All of this leaves a bad taste in townspeople’s mouths; which is the opposite of what Ronnie had intended. She is not what anyone expected. And if they think she’ll back down? No way.

The fire chief’s and the new paramedic’s natural personality bents collide like a lightning strike. She’s too pushy, he’s too reticent. But together? They balance each other out in a beautiful way. And are those sparks flying? Yep, pretty much!

Deep Haven, and all its beloved characters, form a wonderful backdrop to Ronnie’s and Tiago’s challenges, and Peter’s difficulties at being the peacemaker for two families who don’t want peace. But the dangers of living in the Minnesota wild are all around them; as well as the issues caused by bored teens without the wisdom to stay out of trouble. Will this couple be able to rise above the troubles of the town residents who are willfully blind to their own kids’ problems, and create a relationship based on a shared faith and love for their professions? You’ll have to read Crazy for You and find out!

I was delighted with Ronnie’s and Peter’s (and Tiago’s!) story of adventure and love. Michelle wrote such an engaging set of protagonists, and their personalities and experiences were both believable and fun (and sometimes nerve-wracking!). I couldn’t put Crazy for You down and I look forward to seeing more from Michelle Sass Aleckson. What a great read–I highly recommend this contemporary romance for anyone who loves Susan May Warren’s Deep Haven novels or its characters…but even if you haven’t read any of those yet, you’ll be able to jump in with this great book, and you’ll love the town, Peter, and Ronnie!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

“Hooked On You” – A JustRead Blog Tour (+ giveaway; ends 5/24/21)

#sponsor #partner

Hooked On You JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Hooked On You by Kathleen Fuller, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hooked On YouTitle: Hooked On You Series: Maple Falls Romance #1 Author: Kathleen Fuller Publisher: Thomas Nelson Release Date: May 11, 2021 Genre: Contemporary Romance (clean/sweet)

She never wanted to come back. He never wants to leave. The town of Maple Falls has plans for them both. Riley McAllister is living the dream in New York City . . . if the dream means being a struggling mixed-media artist, part-time food delivery driver, and having a carefully curated social media to hide all of the above. She refuses to admit defeat and move back to small-town Maple Falls, but when her grandmother breaks her leg sliding into third base during a softball game (she was safe, by the way), Riley reluctantly agrees to go home and help the woman who raised her—while secretly hoping she can convince Mimi to sell her house and yarn shop and move in with a good friend. Then Riley can return to her new life in NYC, on her own and for good. But Mimi has her own plans, which include setting Riley up with local baseball star Hayden Price, who returned to Maple Falls after an injury ended his major league career. Now he works at his father’s hardware store, coaches the church softball team, and worries about the declining town. It’s not the life he dreamed of having. With a little meddling and a lot of kindness from the town, Hayden and Riley find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other as they discover the true meaning of home. Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name and your business.

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathleen Fuller

With over a million copies sold, USA Today Bestselling author Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com

CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Hooked On You by Kathleen Fuller!

Hooked On You JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 17, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 24, 2021. 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-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My review

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

William Faulkner’s famous quote so applies to artist, granddaughter, and former Maple Falls resident Riley McAllister. But she certainly does everything she can do to act as though it is. She has left Maple Falls, where her beloved grandmother Erma (Mimi) still lives, and she has kept her back turned on that little Southern town for 9 years. (Other than the phone calls with Mimi, or for Mimi’s trips to the New York City, where Riley is supposedly making it big as an artist.)

This divided life landscape of Riley’s collides with a crash when Mimi breaks her leg. Riley throws clothes and toiletries into a suitcase and heads to Little Rock, where, instead of an Uber, Riley finds that Mimi Erma has provided her own transportation: Hayden Price, the coach of the town’s (and Mimi’s too, of course) softball team. The life of the past has officially crashed into Riley’s present life; Riley attended school in her teen years in Maple Falls, where she tried to blend into the background as inconspicuously as possible. But of course she noticed baseball star and all-around nice guy Hayden. Unfortunately his major-league baseball dreams came to a sudden halt. He is home, and surprisingly happy, working in his dad’s hometown hardware store. But Riley can’t hustle out of his car soon enough. She plans to help Mimi as she recovers, then ditch Maple Falls again for NYC. And she certainly has no time to give thought or even pleasant conversation to handsome Hayden.

Life has other plans for Riley though. She’s warmly embraced again by Mimi’s dear friends, who gather in Mimi’s yarn store to visit and knit/crochet for charity each week. (We aren’t even going to talk about the mess the store is in now.) There’s even a great group of young women who play softball together, attend Mimi’s church, and who really seem to like Riley, although her relationship style seems to be to hold back as long as she can; then run.

And there’s Hayden. Yes, those do seem to be sparks flying whenever they’re around each other! But Riley has a job to do, and then she’s out of there.

Until she realizes that Mimi’s house needs major repairs…and Knots and Tangles (the yarn store, of course) is dusty, overstocked, and needs a dramatic makeover. Also, Maple Falls seems to be dying on the vine, slowly, in the manner of small towns…but Hayden wants to change all that. And maybe Riley can help. And okay, she’ll admit it, Hayden is amazing.

Riley has got a life’s worth of invisible baggage that she hauls around with her. Now, she’s a nice person…and she actually has ONE friend in New York. And she has Mimi, of course. But Maple Falls itself, and its kind and loving inhabitants, are ready to help Riley lay down her burdens and heal. Even though there are hidden secrets that might just threaten everything.

Kathleen Fuller is wonderfully gifted at creating characters and vivid, beautiful settings. I could see Riley (and not that I didn’t just want to make her SIT DOWN and hold an intervention at times!) and her issues just as I could see the love and kindness of the Maple Falls folks. I could envision Knots and Tangles (super-fun to me, by the way, as I love knitting) and the small Southern town that needs an infusion of life. And I enjoyed seeing the paths to healing of the town and its buildings as well as the characters themselves.

So, as Faulkner said, the past isn’t dead. But it can definitely be used to bring a present, and a future, of life and hope. You’ll hope to see this happen for Riley and for Maple Falls!

Enjoy! –Wren

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

“Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ” Bible Study by Barb Roose (a review)

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Hi there!

Several weeks ago I posted an interview between Audra Jennings, of Audra Jennings PR, and book and Bible study author Barb Roose. Audra kindly sent me a digital copy of Barb’s newest publication, Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ. I’m very happy to share more with you about this study below!

Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ is a 6-week Bible study on the book of Galatians. Each week’s lessons contain a memory verse, a principle, and 5 days of lessons. There is a Biblical introduction to Galatians, which explains its author, purpose, themes, a map of Galatia during Paul’s time, and scholarly theories.

The daily lessons are rich and focused on a verse-by-verse understanding of what Galatians teaches. Barb uses Bible cross-references of verses, questions on the texts, and personal questions so that the reader is able to truly dig in to what the book is saying and how it applies to each individual.

Day 5 of each week’s lessons is titled “Spiritual Breakthrough.” Can you guess what this is for? Yes! It’s to help the reader identify her own areas of struggle and apply how Scriptures can overturn lies and bring breakthrough and healing in her life. It’s the ultimate “application” for each chapter and for the study overall.

Each week concludes with a Video Viewer Guide, as there is a video teaching series that students may access for either group or individual teaching. Barb kindly included answers for these pages at the end of the Bible study.

The six chapters/weekly lessons are entitled:

  • Untwisting the Truth (Galatians 1)
  • Freedom Fighters (Galatians 2)
  • Shutting Down Performance-Based Faith (Galatians 3)
  • Finding Freedom (Galatians 4)
  • Live Free! (Galatians 5)
  • Forever Freedom (Galatians 6)

My thoughts

There is much to recommend in the Breakthrough study! Galatians has much to say about the freedom that is available in Christ, as opposed to rules and regulation or legalism that can sometimes creep in to a person’s faith walk. Through the study, Barb shows the student how Christ did indeed purchase our freedom, and our faith walk is not supposed to subject us to others’ rules or “religious” do’s and don’ts.

The design of this Bible study is one that I’ve long enjoyed; 5 days of study on a chapter or topic. That just works so well with the way I am wired, and flows simply into my daily schedule.

I loved the reminders that we don’t live the Christian life to earn or obtain God’s favor. I appreciated the teaching on what it really means to be an heir of Christ and what our spiritual inheritance actually is. I especially valued studying and being reminded of what my identity in Christ actually is. I was challenged with the definitions of sanctification. And I loved the hope in the reminder that, while I may struggle with the challenges of life or sin, victory and freedom are possible.

Also, I enjoyed studying Barb’s teaching on Galatians 5:22-23, which remain some of my all-time favorite Bible verses. What a beautiful reminder looking at the descriptions and definitions of each one of the fruits of the Spirit. She definitely brought to my attention truths I’d never noticed before, such as how and where in my relationships each one operates.

Barb is a faithful, truthful, and kind Bible teacher. She teaches clearly verse-by-verse, and by cross-referencing other pertinent verses in the Bible, and shares her own stories to help women learn. Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ is a rich and beautiful Bible study, and summer is the perfect time for you to pick it up!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book. All opinions shared here are my own.