Saturday, October 21, 2017

Devil In The Dust" by Cara Luecht Book Tour and GiveAway

Devil in the Dust FB Celebration banner copy

About the Book

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Name of book: Devil in the Dust
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2017
June 1933 
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.
Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.
Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.
His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?
Click here to purchase your copy.

 
 

My Review: 

"Devil in The Dust" by  Cara Luecht is a novel that I really enjoyed reading from start to finish.  Well, that statement isn't really true because I wanted more . I wanted to read more about how they survived when the drought ended, but I know they had more happy times and unfortunately sad times as we all do in life.

"Dust In The Devil" shows that sometimes it is hard to trust and even though we don't do everything right, God can still use the outcome for our good.  Yes, we still have to suffer the consequences of our actions but God can still make good out of the ashes ( or in this book, the dust). 

I really felt the struggle of the characters in this story and wondered if I would have done the same as Jessie. I understood her choice but at the same time as I was reading I was saying "No, it isn't right".   Ok, I know I am not going to make what I am trying to say very plain, but even through Jessie made a wrong choice, God used her wrong choice to make things right for her family. 

I really recommend " Devil In the Dust" to any reader who likes Historical Fiction and clean reads.

This was the first book by Cara Luecht that I have read but it certainly won't be the last.  This would make a really good clean family movie, even with the violence because it is talked about but it is not detailed.

 My favorite quote from the book 
"We’re waiting with them. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to wait with them, to stand next to them even when things get bad. We can’t change it, but we can share it. And that’s all anyone needs, someone who will share even the bad times. It’s hard because it’s the most we can do, but it feels like the least.”


Definitely a five star novel. 

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own. 




About the Author

140223_132100phAward winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.
One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.
On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative.a
I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.
Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.
While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.
Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.
I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.
Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?
I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.
I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.
I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, October 12
A Reader’s Brain, October 13
Blogging With CarolOctober 14
Bukwurmzzz, October 15
Books n Baubles, October 17
Mary Hake, October 19
Pause for Tales, October 20
Bigreadersite, October 20
Karen Sue Hadley, October 21
Daysong Reflections, October 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c201

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spotlight Tuesday with Susan J. Reinhardt and a GiveAway

Bio:

Susan J. Reinhardt began her journey as a non-fiction writer. After numerous devotionals, short articles, and several contributions to anthologies were published, she switched gears and entered the world of fiction. The Moses Conspiracy is the first book in The Moses Trilogy.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

You can connect with her at her blog:

http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com (On blog break until 9/18.)




Twitter - - @susanjreinhardt






Interview

1.  You write Christian Mystery/Suspense/Near Future novels. Why did you choose to write this type of book?

I didn't choose my genre. It chose me or I should say, "God had other ideas." 

My late husband and I were visiting Gettysburg in December 2004 when I "heard" the voices of the forefathers as fading echoes. Eight moths later, we were discussing this experience when my husband declared, "That's your book. And you'll write it in four months and call it Ghosts of the Past."

In exactly four months, I had the first draft of The Moses Conspiracy. (The name changed a couple of times.) I thought it would be a single title, but a reader comment and the characters turned it into a trilogy with a fourth book centered around Christmas.

2.  Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I didn't have to think about that question at all. Hands down, the happiest day of my life was my wedding day. Years before, my friends and I embroidered a Christian wedding canopy for another friend. Beloved and I used it for our wedding. Our first dance was to Steve Green's, "Cherish the Treasure," which we sang to each other. So romantic.

3.  How do you choose your settings for each book?

Since the trilogy takes place in Amish Tourist Zones, the decision was easy. The Moses conspiracy starts in Washington, DC., but most of the action takes place in Bird-in-Hand, PA. The Scent of Fear  also begins in DC, but then moves to Bird-in-Hand and Holmes County, Ohio. I chose these areas because in my story world they had more  freedom than  the rest of the country.

By the way, although there are Amish peripheral characters and settings, the books are not traditional Amish novels.

4.  What is your most difficult challenge.?

Once I get going, the words flow. As a seat-of-the-pants writer, I know the beginning and the end of a story. It's interesting to see it develop over time. I overcome the start-stop syndrome with prayer about the story's direction and by leaving an idea or two unwritten. The next time I sit down to write, that's where I start.


5.  Tell us about the featured book.
In 2025, two seemingly unconnected events set a diabolical plan in motion. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.
Several years after a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C., Ellie and her son, Peter, go on a field trip to the nation's capital. Her greatest fear is realized when they become separated. Back home, John witnesses a buggy accident with unusual circumstances.

Caught between strained family relationships and ominous warnings from a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection. When the true nature of a past tragedy is revealed, will they survive the heartache it brings?




Book Spotlight


A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C., in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA, set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy. 
GiveAway
To enter to win a ebook copy of "The Moses Conspiracy" comment below!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Lydia " by Diana Wallis Taylor Book Tour and GiveAway

Lydia FB cover copy

About the Book:

Lydia Cover
Name of book: Lydia
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.
There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.
Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.
My Review:  
"Lydia" by Diana Wallis Taylor makes "Lydia" more than a woman in the Bible that sells purple linens.   This story brings out that Lydia is a woman that has to overcome many obstacles in her life.  I loved reading the story of Paul and how he and Lydia started the church of Philippi.  Stories like "Lydia" by Diana Wallis is the reason I like to read fiction Christian Historical because they bring the Biblical people to life and the stories also teach Biblical truth.

When I read or hear a sermon about "Lydia"  in the future I will think about all she endured and remember that if you let God use you, you could change the world and be used in a mighty way. 
About the Author:
DianaWTaylorRedDiana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, MarthaJourney to the WellMary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, October 3
By The Book, October 5
A Reader’s Brain, October 7
A Greater YesOctober 7
Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)
Aryn the Libraryan, October 9
Cordially Barbara, October 9
Pursuing Stacie, October 9
Mary Hake, October 11
Radiant Light, October 12
margaretkazmierczak, October 13
Pause for Tales, October 13
Cafinated Reads, October 14
BigreadersiteOctober 15
Henry Happens, October 16

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!
Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c173

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Almond Street Mission" by June Foster Book Tour and GiveAway

almond street mission FB cover copy

About the Book

Almond Street Mission final
Name of book: Almond Street Mission
Author: June Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 6, 2016
When Glorilyn Neilson’s nineteen-year-old brother, Tannon, goes missing without a trace, she’s frantic. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter in El Camino must fill the time until her sibling returns. But her sapphire eyes and auburn hair inadvertently cause a stir among the male population at the center. Her life changes one evening when she’s attacked by a burly vagrant intent on rape in the alley behind the building.
Jeremiah Goodman loves the Lord, but he’s homeless. When he witnesses a foul-mouthed vagrant overpowering one of the volunteers at the homeless shelter, he defends her, saving her from unwanted advances.
When Glorilyn offers him a way of escape from his impoverished lifestyle, he can’t tell her why he must live the life of a vagrant. What powerful secret keeps him on the streets?
Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:                                                                                                                                                                                    "Almond Street Mission" by June Foster is a story of how God can take broken lives and make them new. I have read most of June Foster's books and she has a way of taking the hard subjects in life and creating a story that makes readers yearn for God and gives them hope that maybe there is something worth living for. Throughout the story although not preachy, as in all of June Foster's books, the Gospel is shared. I think "Almond Street Mission" is my favorite June Foster book that I have read, I have liked and really thought that about them all, but "Almond Street Mission" unlike the others has an element of surprise about how it will end. You are probably asking yourself, what does that mean, well in most books, a reader just knows the female and male in a love story are going to end up happily ever after and in most books that the Gospel is part of the story the bad guy accepts Jesus, but in "Almond Street Mission" you don't really know till the end how it all ends. I can't tell you if the couple ends up together or not, and you don't really want to know till you read the book for yourself but I will tell you that some of the homeless do accept Jesus and just as in real life others don't. I wrote all that because I had a friend tell me onetime that she didn't want to read a certain book because she already knew how it was going to end, but, she doesn't like Christian fiction, I don't want to name the book, unless you ask me in a comment on my blog for it, but like I said the ending on "Almond Street Mission" is not known right away. I recommend "Almond Street Mission" to anyone wanting just a glance at what the homeless suffer daily and what shelters are like.Once again, June Foster has written a novel that delivers hope to her readers through real life issues in a fiction setting..I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own


About the Author
100_5797An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June’s book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC’s eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan’s Fatherwas one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT’s Laurel Awards.
June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan’s Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Books One, Two, and Three in the Almond Tree Series, For All Eternity,Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are all available from Amazon.com.
Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields InnMisty HollowAlmond Street MissionRestoration of the Heartand Letting Goall published by Forget Me Not Press, a division of Winged Publications.
June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. Find June on line at junefoster.com.

Guest Post from June Foster

Stories Behind the Story
Almond Street Mission tells the story of Glorilyn Neilson whose younger brother, Tannon, has gone missing, hurling her entire family into turmoil. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter fills the empty, lonely hours. One evening, she’s attacked by a brawny vagrant intent on rape. Another vagrant, Jeremiah Goodman, defends her, saving her from unwanted attention.
Jeremiah loves the Lord but is homeless. The mission director, Mr. Harris, offers him and nineteen-year-old, Tank, a place at the shelter. But when Jeremiah later tries to protect a drug addict in hope of sharing the gospel with him, Mr. Harris finds heroin on Jeremiah, and he’s booted out. Tank chooses to leave with him.
On the street, Jeremiah and Tank try to scrape up a meal, but even trash cans around the city park don’t provide food for their hungry stomachs. Taking a chance on getting arrested, they beg for food in front of an elegant downtown Italian restaurant. Two older women walk out. One ignores them but the other looks at them with kind eyes and offers an entire pizza.
All this to explain a real life happening which gave me an idea for this scene. My daughter and I were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at an Italian restaurant. We each ordered a small pizza, but the waiter brought me a Hawaiian pizza though I’d order pepperoni.
When I pointed out the mistake, the server brought out a second pizza for me, this time pepperoni, and told me to keep the first one. No way I could eat another pizza, and we didn’t have anywhere to keep it at the hotel, so I asked him if he knew any homeless people. The waiter said yes, that they congregate nearby, and he’d deliver it to a hungry vagrant.
In the story, the other woman who gives the extra pizza to Jeremiah and Tank is above average height. I wrote myself into a brief portion of the scene, and my 5’10” height qualifies as tall! When Tank says “God bless you,” the lady says “He does, everyday.” The sentiments of my heart. Real life always provides rich fodder.
Another story behind the story is when a friend at my church mentioned a Christian homeless ministry in the nearby city of Birmingham, Alabama, The Jimmie Hale Mission. I called and asked if I could take a tour. A chaplain welcomed my husband and me and scheduled a time for us to visit. He promised to personally conduct our visit.
When we arrived, the chaplain took us through the dining facility, exercise room, chapel, clothing bank, computer rooms, classrooms, and dorms. While in the dining area, we met the efficient kitchen manager, a paid employee who provided three delicious meals a day for the residents. Tingles ran down my arms when he shared his experience. He was once a drunk and resident of the mission. Today, he loves the Lord, is reunited with his wife, and holds down the manager’s job. As a side note, I based two characters’ situations on this real life man.
While at the mission, the men learn job skills and have opportunity to take classes. When they leave, they’re fully grounded in the Lord and on their way to a new life. A few are employed at the facility.
Before we left, the chaplain generously gave me his cell phone number and offered to answer any further questions, and I had several. Research for this story provided a rich insight into how God’s power can change and equip those that society may have chosen to discard.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, October 5
autism mom, October 7
Blogging With CarolOctober 9
A Greater Yes, October 11
Remembrancy, October 11
Multifarious, October 12
Pause for Tales, October 13
Texas Book-aholic, October 15
Carpe Diem, October 17

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, June is giving away a grand prize collection of 1 signed paperback copy of Almond Street Mission, a $25 Amazon card, and 12 handmade cards! Click the link below to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c0a6