Once Upon A Christmas: Contemporary Retellings of Timeless Tales (2019)

PhotoCollage_20191113_085735829.jpg

About the Book

20191113_085821.jpgBook: Once Upon a Christmas: Contemporary Retellings of Timeless Tales

Author: Andrea Boyd, Toni Shiloh, Mikal Dawn, Angela Ruth Strong, and Jaycee Weaver

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Fiction; Fairy Tale Varients

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.

Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.

Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.

A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.

Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.

A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

“Upon a Dream” by Andrea Boyd

What a fun take on “Sleeping Beauty”! And, what a unique way to cause the Aurora character to be cursed by sleep. I found the characters in this novella to be well crafted and relatable. And, I really appreciate the message that accepting God as our Boss means surrendering everything to Him — even how we deal with the things God allows in our lives.

“Claim My Heart” by Mikal Dawn

I am not a “Mulan” fan. I don’t hate the story or anything, it’s just not a fairy tale I’ve ever gravitated towards. However, I LOVE “Claim My Heart.” What a fantastic story! I found the plot engaging, and the characters are so well written. And, there is a fabulous discussion on lying. Is it ever OK to lie? What if the lie is for a good reason? While tempted to say, “Yes,” the real answer is “No” because a lie always hurts someone. No matter the good intentions behind a lie, someone is bound to be hurt by the subterfuge.

“Snow White Christmas” by Toni Shiloh

What a wonderful and realistic way to tell a “Snow White” tale! I loved this story so much I devoured it. It’s so well written, highly engaging, and fast-paced. I adored the characters — they all played their parts well and are very relatable — but the uncles are my favorite! They are each unique in their own right, but such a fun nod to the original seven dwarves. What I also love about this story is how connected to God Amala and Marcus are. They go to God no matter what and bring Him their fears, failings, random musings, and hard questions. They are definitely an excellent example of a genuine relationship with God.

“Christmas Ella” by Angela Ruth Strong

“Cinderella” is my most favorite fairy tale ever! I have always appreciated the fact that the “Prince Charming” character can see past all the fake of the pretty girls he’s supposed to like and sees the “Cinderella” character for who she really is. “Christmas Ella” does NOT disappoint. Paxton and Ella are excellent, and I rooted for them from their first meeting. And, I enjoyed wholeheartedly the modern twist of setting this story within a reality TV setting — so much fun!

“A Splash of Love” by Jaycee Weaver

Oh, my word! “A Splash of Love” is SO good. There is so much action in this little novella it reads like a full-length story. Gabrielle and Derek are excellent Ariel and Prince Eric characters, but they’re also unique and relatable in their own ways. I was rooting for them the WHOLE story. And the conflict in this story is stellar. I was flipping pages so fast, if I had been reading a paper copy of this book I would have given myself papercuts! I’ve never read anything by Jaycee Weaver before. After this introduction, I’m definitely going to check out all of her books!

Overall, Once Upon a Christmas is a super fun and unique fairy tale retelling that I highly recommend. Purchase your copy today. You will not be disappointed that you did.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon on September 30, 2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Because of You (2019)

PhotoCollage_20191026_184453236.jpg

About the Book

Because-of-You-Web-Site.jpgBookBecause of You

Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance #2.5

Author: Becky Wade

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Oh, my good golly is Because of You an outstanding novella! Cute doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s most definitely cute, but it’s also sweet, highly engaging, fast-paced, and thought-provoking. And, it reads like a full-length novel, conflicts and all.

Leo and Maddie are fantastic characters who complement one another perfectly. I found their main conflict compelling — how can they be together now if Leo was once married to Maddie’s best friend? Doesn’t that just make you want to run to the bookstore right now to purchase a copy and find out how they become a couple?!

PhotoCollage_20191026_184730437.jpgMy most favorite aspect of this excellent story though is the discussion on tragedy; how people who go through tragedy learn that it is God who supplies the strength needed to get through the rough times. Some days, God has to fill us completely with His strength just to get out of bed in the mornings, and after some time has passed when just a little strength is needed, God supplies that too. I love this truth so much. God is our provider. He knows what we need when we need it because He is our good, good Father.

I could go on and on about this story. There are like 57 more topics I could discuss. This little novella packs a satisfying punch. Seriously, go purchase a copy right now. You won’t regret it!

I purchased an eBook copy of this book from Amazon.com on October 19,2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Always Look Twice (2019)

PhotoCollage_20191026_080551745.jpg

About the Book

71kLjeZk6UL.jpgBookAlways Look Twice

Series: Uncommon Justice #2

Author: Elizabeth Goddard

Publisher: Revell

Genre: Romantic Suspense

While photographing the Grand Tetons, Harper Reynolds unwittingly captures a murder on film. But when she loses the camera fleeing the scene, can she and rancher Heath McKade find the camera and solve the murder before the killer makes her his next victim?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I’m just going to lay it out there — I’m not a Romantic Suspense fan. Typically, this genre is not my cup of tea. It’s not because I don’t like romance or suspense, it’s because it’s always been a hit or miss genre for me. I find that some authors write romantic suspense amazingly, and some do not. Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard is a novel I both appreciated and enjoyed, but also struggled with.

What I appreciated and enjoyed:

  • I love Heath and Harper, the hero and heroine of this novel. I found them to be unique and relatable. On the one hand, they are strong, capable, intelligent characters who I knew could solve the murder mystery and every other conflict thrown at them. But I really appreciate their flaws and weaknesses. It is their flaws and weaknesses that made both Heath and Harper relatable to me.
  • There is a moment in the story where Emily, Harper’s sister, tells Harper, “When we were still living in Jackson Hole … we’d see Grand Teton all the time especially if we had to drive into town. That mountain is so big, and as a kid anyway, it made me think of God. And I used to think if I was that mountain, nothing could move me or scare me. Nothing could hurt me. Now I think I’m finally getting it. God is like that mountain for us and we can hold on to Him.” I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! What a great perspective change for me. I often pray to God that He grant me His strength as if He’s the ultimate charger. If I plug into God in prayer, He will fill me up for the day with all the strength I need and I’ll be able to handle everything that comes my way. But this implies that I leave the mountain after I’m done charging. Emily’s revelation implies that I stay connected to God by bringing Him with me throughout my day. This tiny little story in the middle of the book is my most favorite thing about this novel. I LOVE when an author shows me a Jesus Truth is a whole new way.
  • I really loved the first 1/4 and the last 1/4 of this novel. The beginning and end of this book are intense, and in these pages, I could not put the book down. I was completely engaged.

What I struggled with:

  • My number one issue with the Romantic Suspense genre is that often authors do way more telling than showing in their narratives. When I pick up a Romantic Suspense novel, I want to become Sherlock Holmes. I want twists and turns and shocking moments I didn’t see coming. I want clues! I want foreshadow. And, I want to be stumped a little. With Always Look Twice, I had things figured out rather quickly. With so much telling, not showing, I felt the suspense lost its edge and it became simple for me to know where things were going next. I didn’t get to be Sherlock Holmes while reading this book.
  • The middle 50% of this book became slow, and I lost some interest in the novel.

Even with my two struggles, there is a lot that I found appealing about Always Look Twice, and I fully recommend it, just to fans of the Romantic Suspense genre. In fact, fans of this genre are giving rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. If you are a Romantic Suspense fan, then this is the book for you.

I received an eBook copy of this book from the publishers, Revell, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Painted Castle (2019) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post & My Thoughts

The Painted Castle FB Banner

About the Book

cover Painted CastleBook: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping tale of art and secrets long buried in England.

It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.

Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Cambron headshotKRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best BooksRT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

More from Kristy

About The Painted Castle

A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?

It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.

Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…

1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…

1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…

From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a warn-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern-day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.

My Thoughts

A Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Cambron is the queen of time-slip storytelling. A Painted Castle tells the story of three very unique, very strong, and very capable women from three very different time periods: 1843, 1944, and present-day. Each story is expertly crafted, so much so they could be excellent standalone stories, but in Cambron’s hands, these three stories weave into one poignant and gripping tale that has definitely left its mark on this reader’s heart. I loved every single second of this novel. I smiled, I sobbed, I cheered. I cried out in frustration and I had my heart shattered. This book ran me through the gamut of emotions! OH! And, the romance!!! Superbly written. Not one relationship felt forced or fake or trite. A Painted Castle is truly an exquisite read.

A predominant theme that runs through each storyline is the power of redemption — how no one is ever too far gone to be redeemed and made new. Elizabeth, Amelia, and Keira all go through points in their respective stories where they feel like they can’t overcome. They do all eventually realize the truth, redemption is capable for everyone who goes to Jesus Christ — but what struck me about their redemption stories is that redemption does not happen until each woman STOPS and LISTENS. Knee-jerk, emotional reactions seem to be par for humanity. It is in these highly charged moments where we make the BIG mistakes and we often say the worst things. It is only after we have removed ourselves from the situation that we realize what we said or did, and can see our part in the situation for what it really was. At this moment, we are ready to listen — to the other person in our story, to our hearts, and to God. We can see where apologies need to be made and forgiveness given or received. When we pause and take stock, when we respect the others in our stories enough to really listen to them and be heard by them, we are at a place where we can separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak and get to a real place of redemption. I love this lesson so much, and I pray that the next time I’m in a situation that has made me a little hotheaded I remember to STOP and LISTEN.

A Painted Castle is a brilliant story that I could continue to gush over for days and days. The words in this review just are not good enough to convey how amazing this novel truly is. Suffice to say, it’s superb, it’s masterful, and it’s heartbreaking. A Painted Castle is a novel I will not soon forget. I implore you to purchase a copy for yourself today. You will not be disappointed that you did!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

The Power of Words, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 15

The Avid Reader, October 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 16

Betti Mace, October 16

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 17

Fiction Aficionado, October 17

Through the Fire Blogs, October 17

Inklings and notions , October 18

AndreaChristenson, October 18

She Lives to Read, October 18

Bloging With Carol, October 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 19

Back Porch Reads , October 19

Christian Bookaholic , October 19

KarenSueHadley, October 20

Livin’ Lit, October 20

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 20

Genesis 5020, October 21

Worthy2Read, October 21

Life of Literature, October 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 22

janicesbookreviews, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Older & Smarter?, October 23

Mia Reads Blog, October 23

The Becca Files, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Just the Write Escape, October 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 25

Moments, October 25

Simple Harvest Reads, October 25

Pause for Tales, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Lis Loves Reading, October 26

Hallie Reads, October 26

Living Life Free In Christ, October 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 27

Soutgern Gal Loves to Read, October 28

Remembrancy, October 28

Batya’s Bits, October 28

Leona J. Atkinson, October 28

Fire Storm (2019) + Giveaway

PhotoCollage_20191006_174504650.jpg

About the Book

71zgiPv4eML.jpgBookFire Storm

Series: Kaely Quinn Profiler #2

Author: Nancy Mehl

Publisher: Bethany House

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

FBI Profiler Kaely Quinn visits Nebraska to care for her ailing mother. She can’t help but notice suspicious connections among a series of local fires, so she calls on her partner, Noah Hunter, to help find the arsonist. Together they unwittingly embark on a twisted path to a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be Kaely’s death.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting kind of read. I very much enjoyed my time again with Kaely Quinn; she is an even more endearing and compelling character in this sequel. It was also good to see Noah Hunter, Kaely’s FBI partner, back in full force. It’s fun to watch him do all he can to protect Kaely while she is myopically trying to profile and find a serial arsonist/murderer. The slight romantic tension between Kaely and Noah kept me up late into the night turning pages. While the fireworks currently are minimal, they are there and that makes me super excited to see what Mehl has in store for us readers with book #3. I also really enjoyed the mystery and suspense. While I did figure out who-dunnit earlier on in the read, there are enough shockers at the end of the story to make me feel like I definitely got my money’s worth!

At the heart of this novel is the issue of family. Specifically, Mehl deals with families and the broken people that make them up. At one point, the word dysfunction is used, and I could not agree more. The families in this story are all uniquely dysfunctional and hurting. Some people see family as everything — a source of love, comfort, and stability even through the bad times. Some see family as a nuisance. And some see nothing but the ugly brokenness of the people within. Kaely has reason to see tremendous negative in her family and allows that to color her relationships with her mother and brother. And, for a moment, it looks like Kaely will revert back to her old ways and abandon them. There is a moment when Kaely prays to God, “Why them?” God, in His infinite awesomeness, shows Kaely her truth and fills her brain with images of the way she has treated her family in the past. Kaely realizes she isn’t the innocent victim. God’s message to Kaely is clear. She needs to stop judging her family and spend a minute in their shoes instead. When we take the focus off our selves, when we spend a minute looking at something through someone else’s perspective, we can see others and their actions/choices in a better light. They still might not be the right actions or choices, but at least we can understand our loved ones better. I very much appreciated this reminder.

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is a highly engaging, fast-paced read that I highly recommend. If you are a fan of Romantic Suspense and you are looking for a good read, then this is definitely the novel for you.

I received a copy of this novel in paperback form from the publisher, Bethany House, in order to review. I also received an eBook review copy of this novel from NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

PhotoCollage_20191006_175606864.jpg

I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl. The giveaway begins today, 10-8-19 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Friday, 10-11-19 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Sonnetta J.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

With You Here (2019)

PhotoCollage_20191001_132349450.jpg

About the Book

81NNldnBO6L._SL1500_.jpgBookWith You Here

SeriesCarrington Family #4

Author: Sarah Monzon

Publisher: Radiant Publications

Genre: Time Slip — Christian Contemporary and Historical Fiction

Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his leg was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.

Present Day
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.

As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I am in awe of courageous people. Where does their courage come from? I know the easy answer is God — Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV) tells me: “From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lordwho made heaven and earth.” But knowing that God is my Helper and believing He is my Helper are two totally different things. Courageous people have something inside of them that believes with all their hearts that God will see them through no matter what. I want this kind of courage; a courage so strong that when I look at a Goliath I see a minute issue God will deal with easily and quickly.

PhotoCollage_20191001_132145291.jpgIn With You Here, all three protagonists deal with this issue of courage on some level, but it is Christyne’s courage that convicts me the most. Christyne, a German princess, lives during the Protestant Reformation. Talk about a time of serious persecution for anyone who thought or went against the Catholic Church! Christyne, no longer content with the dictates of the Church, secretly reads a Bible that’s been translated by Martin Luther and tends to an injured heretic she has hidden in her family’s castle. She is fully aware of the dire consequences if found out, but continues to care for the injured man and to study God’s Word because both are the right things to do. If this isn’t enough to hold a mirror up and force one to consider his/her current faith in God, there is a moment where Christyne’s father’s betrothed — a very young, scared woman named Clare who’s been forced into this marriage by the Church and the German Emperor — scolds Christyne with these words: “Do not look upon me with such pity. I do not confess to know the Lord’s ways, but I trust that He will be with me even here.”

WHOA! I admit that my heart stuttered a little at these strong words. I had to stop reading for a second to ponder, “Has my trust in God ever been that strong?” Here is a woman who is being forced into a marriage she does not want reprimanding Christyne for looking upon her with pity when really Clare is doing nothing more than stepping onto the path God has set before her. Talk about courage!!! Knowing God will be my Helper through anything is easy. Clare knew with her head that God would see her through. But believing and trusting that God will be my Helper that’s the real struggle, and courageous people, like Clare, believe and trust no matter what. The historical thread weaved into the narrative of With You Here is tremendously engaging, but it also forces the reader to check their faith, trust, and courage level, and for that, I am eternally grateful to have read this beautiful story.

With You Here is a wonderful conclusion to a fantastic series. I will miss the Carrington tribe very much, but I do look forward to Mrs. Monzon’s future novels. If you are looking for a brilliantly written, well-researched timeslip series, then I highly recommend not only With You Here, but the entire Carrington Family series.

I received an eBook copy of this book from the author in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Freedom’s Kiss (2018)

PhotoCollage_20190928_193017102.jpg

About the Book

51HJncC2OyL.jpgBook: Freedom’s Kiss

SeriesCarrington Family #3

Author: Sarah Monzon

Publisher: Radiant Publications

Genre: Time Slip — Christian Contemporary and Historical Fiction

They were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free?

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.

Florida, 1816
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

In Jonah 1:1-2 our Bibles tell us that “the Word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.'” The story continues with Jonah, a chosen prophet of God, telling God, “NO!,” and then choosing to run and hide. Jonah is NOT going to do what God has asked. Instead, he catches a ship out of Tarshish and sleeps; and, man, does he sleep hard. Adam, the gloriously gorgeous, brooding, sensitive oldest Carrington child, is a modern-day Jonah. God’s purpose for Adam is to be an attorney. And not just any attorney, but a superior attorney — no one is as good at being a lawyer as Adam Carrington is. But one day, Adam wins a case and it rips his very soul to shreds. God says, “Adam, don’t give up. Keep going. On to the next case. You’re wiser now. You’ve learned. Let’s move on to your next client.” But Adam says, “NO!” and chooses to run and hide in the belly of a food truck.

PhotoCollage_20190928_204611265.jpgAdam believes he deserves a life sentence of punishment and penance. His sins are so big they should never be forgiven. He tries so hard to make up for his sins that he sells all of his earthly possessions. He doesn’t deserve nice things or God’s blessings. He just deserves living in the pit of the whale’s tummy forever. Adam wants to be as far away from God’s purpose for him as he can get, and it kills him one piece of his soul at a time.

Of all the Carrington men, I relate the most to Adam. I 100% understand that run-away-and-hide instinct. This world hurts me. I battle fear and anger and worry. Then, like Adam, I feel guilty. Verses like “if God is for us, who can ever be against us?” assault me with shame. Why do I fail so much against these feelings? Why do I fail at trusting God and His promises? Why can I only ever see the bad? I cry out to God all these questions and then I run. I hide in a whale of my own making. I stop praying. I stop reading God’s Word. I plug my ears and scream, “La, la, la, I’m not listening.” The storms in my life get worse. I burrow deeper into my whale and sleep. All this running kills my soul slowly, until one day, like Jonah, like Adam Carrington, God reaches into my heart and grabs my attention away from myself and reminds me that He’s got me, that He will forgive me, and that He will always love me. Then He shakes me up a little and tells me to get back to the purpose He created me for. As Adam is in Freedom’s Kiss, I, too, am grateful to have an Advocate in Heaven who refuses to give up on me even when I choose to give up and run away from Him. I’m so grateful God still wants me. And, I’m so blessed to have read this exceptional novel so I could be reminded of God’s sure and never-ceasing love for me even when I’m being a Jonah.

Freedom’s Kiss is an AMAZING novel. I loved every moment of Adam and Olivia’s story, and I’m a little heartbroken my time with them is up. And the historical plotline — Winnie!!! — broke my heart, yet left me so hopeful. Freedom’s Kiss is one of the best timeslip novels I’ve ever read. I highly, highly, times infinity, recommend this outstanding story.

I received an eBook copy of this book from the author in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.