Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amazing. Absolutely Amazing ~ For Such a Time by Kate Breslin ~ Review

Possibly my best discovery yet this year in a debut historical novel, “For Such a Time” is a moving work of fiction.

There is a romantic tension in this book that is so tightly woven throughout the story that I held my breath and only the pounding of my heart reminded me I was alive and reading. Stella is a captivating character coming into her own—a Jew living under the roof of a Nazi and he has no clue about her heritage.

The story strongly mirrors that of the Biblical story of Esther and I loved that about it. Set in a Nazi concentration camp, it’s heartbreaking to read what happens to the Jews and Stella’s striving to protect as many as she can, from the position she is in as a Nazi’s secretary.

It was the romance that grabbed me by the heartbeat and wouldn’t let go. I wouldn’t have expected the book to have such strong tension rife throughout the entire book, but it made for some pulsating moments. The book became near impossible to put down, and don’t plan on distractions during the last hundred pages of the book. I’ll warn you now: it’s impossible.

I would definitely highly recommend this title. A fabulous work of fiction with strong writing and even more captivating characters. I am incredibly impressed.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

            

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More about the novel...

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved
from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?


Monday, April 21, 2014

Giveaway! Visible Threat by Janice Cantore!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Janice Cantore, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

I’ve always loved to read. Growing up books were my favorite thing, I loved to escape into a good novel. Horse books were my favorite growing up, but somewhere along the line I developed a love for mystery/suspense.

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

For fiction, there are a couple of titles, a novel by Randy Alcorn called Deadline, and a novel by Francine Rivers called A Voice in the Wind. They spoke to me, the Christian message was so clear and the story drew me in and kept me there. They made me want to write Christian fiction.

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

I’d want to learn better writing habits and how to discipline myself when it gets really tough to put words on the page.

5 preference questions:


Homemade or take-out? Homemade
Email or snailmail? Toss up
Online shopping or Black Friday deals? On line, I love Amazon
Books or movies? No contest, books
Note-taker or memorization? Note taker
               

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

The book I’m working on now is my favorite. It’s Romantic suspense, working title, Nothing Remains Hidden, I love the characters and the premise and I’m hoping it’s my best one yet.

Places for readers to learn more about you?

http://www.janicecantore.com/


Thank you for being with us today! 

Readers, enter to win Janice's book here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on May 2nd
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Please Don't Ruin My Man

 It breaks my heart to see what the flippant female can do to the male heart. I see it more and more in the young men surrounding my home town and the sons of my friends. I see it more and more just walking down the street and all the young men that won’t look me in the eye.

Girls, do you not realize what you hold in your hands when a man surrenders his heart to you? It’s not an easy gift and doesn’t come without a great deal of trust. So why do you throw it back at his feet?

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I watch good guys go to the city, college, or maybe staying in the same town they have always grown up in. I watch them lose their heart to the girl they think they will marry and spend the rest of their life with. I watch them invest so much in wooing this girl. Spending time getting to know her and discover what she enjoys and what she loves. And yet, she’ll turn her back on him and leave him eating her dust.

Please read between the lines: I’m not saying to stay with someone who isn’t the one God has for you. I’m not saying you should treat a man as if he were fragile glass. Treat him like a man. A man who wants to find someone to spend the rest of his life with.

Treat his heart the way you want him to treat yours.

Why do the ladies of our society think they can lead a man on and simply walk away as though he doesn’t care?

It’s these girls, I want to show up on their doorstep and give them a piece of my mind. Because I watch these young men turn their back on the hurt this relationship caused and start to see every girl through the same blurred glasses.

It reflects poorly on me. On my friends in the same situation of wanting to find a good man…only to realize many of the good men have been ruined by a hurtful female. Why do you destroy my chances of a life with the man I could love simply because you were selfish?

There is a line to walk here. A line between getting to know someone to see if you could spend the rest of your life with them and leading them on. You’re not just talking with “some guy”. You’re talking, spending time with, getting to know someone’s husband…maybe yours.

We’ve forced our men into a corner. What pleasure does our world take in that? In making them feel inferior and worthless? Why do we beat our men down? Why do we let our girls tramp her stiletto heels across his back and leave?

Girls. I’m speaking to you right now. Don’t treat a man as though you could live without him. God made a man and woman to be together for a reason and it isn’t all procreation. So please don’t be selfish and slam a door in my face simply because you “wanted to have a good time”.


 Please don’t ruin my man.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Beautiful Story ~ A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert ~ Review

There are many reasons why, as a reader, I should not have cared for Ivy. Reasons I would agree with and could say she is not the easiest heroine to cuddle up with on a rainy day. But, to know Ivy, to read about her life, is truly to love her.

Characterization through this book was in a word: stellar. Davis is a rugged, tormented kind of hero. Wearing the weight of the world on his shoulders and yet holding a love for Ivy he cannot allow himself to express or explore. A hero who denies himself for the best of the heroine becomes a character every girl dreams after.

When characters are this complex, you can’t rush where they start the book to where they end it. Every moment must be believable and every moment was. The writing is rich and textured, layered with meaning and emotions, beauty and depth. The title is truly perfect for the book. Beauty is fleeting. Loveliness is here but a moment, the heart, the soul of a person, pure or rotten is lasting.

Ivy’s transformation is like the unfolding of a beautiful flower. But I think it was the power behind Davis’s forgiveness and heart transformation that tugged at my emotions the most.

Two thumbs up beginning to end. A truly beautiful story.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.

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More about the novel...

Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four-year-old model Ivy Clark. Ten
years in and she's learned a sacred truth -- appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows -- so when it starts to unravel, she'll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother's bridal wear line -- an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.


           



Giveaway! A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Katie Ganshert, it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

I’ve always loved writing, all the way back to my elementary school days. But I’d say what officially started the journey was a trip to Kenya eight years ago. I came home from that trip with a story that refused to be ignored. So I sat down and I wrote my first novel. It’s safely tucked away on my hard drive and will never see the light of day, but it’s what led me down this publishing path.

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

Can I cheat and give you a trilogy? My all-time favorite novels are Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. I’ve never had a character impact my faith as powerfully as Hadassah before. I re-read them at least once a year.


If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

I would go back and tell my pre-published self to appreciate her lot. I know, I know. That’s kind of weird. But it’s truth. I think as authors, we are constantly striving forward. We are pressing hard toward the goal of publication. And when it happens, it’s magical. It truly is. But holy buckets of ever lovin’ gravy, is it ever a lot of work. The stakes feel higher. The self-doubt and insecurity doesn’t go away. I wouldn’t trade where I am for the world, but I would like to go back and enjoy the time I had before the pressure got so real.

5 preference questions:
Homemade or take-out?

Take out. Only because we rarely get it. We’re on a budget in the Ganshert household, which means eating in most of the time.

Email or snailmail?

Email. Snail mail is fun, but email is quick and convenient and free.

Online shopping or Black Friday deals?

No contest, online shopping. I think Black Friday deals is about as appealing as taking a pliers to my toenails.

Books or movies?

Movies when I’m on a deadline and my world is consumed with whatever story I’m working on. Books when I’m between manuscripts.

Note-taker or memorization?

Um…..attentive listener who can paraphrase? I don’t really take notes when people are speaking. But I wouldn’t say I’m great at memorization either.    

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

I promise I am not just saying this because this is the book that’s currently releasing, but A Broken Kind of Beautiful. It has long been my personal favorite. I am so passionate about Ivy’s journey and the core message of this novel. It is truly the story of my heart.

Places for readers to learn more about you?

Twitter: @KatieGanshert


Thank you for being with us today! 

Readers, enter to win Katie's book here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on April 25th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Adventures in Singledom

What’s more fun than experiencing an awkward singles night? Why, blogging about it of course. Because if one can’t laugh at one’s circumstances, one might as well have company to link arms with and share the laughter.

I’ve never attended a singles group before. Being from a small town where I wasn’t involved with any of the local churches (see this post), this whole concept was one I was familiar with, and yet foreign at the same time. But getting together with a singles group? Sounds like a great way to get out and meet new people in an area I’m not familiar. Plus,
Photo Credit
one single girl can never be too willing to get out in safe environments and actually meet guy—people. *wink* *wink*

Oh, was I in for a surprise.

Let me preface this by saying I was forewarned, but I’m getting ahead of myself and a good storyteller never jumps ahead of the dramatic curve.

But let me just ask something: does this kind of stuff only happen to me?? (some of you might remember this story where the guy asked for my number at the barn dance. I’m obviously a magnet for these kind of encounters…)

So imagine me: Saturday night. New church (which I really like, I might add). Nice jeans. Cute “Life is Good” purple jacket. Hair down. I’m ready for a good time. I park in the church parking lot, pass a few people leaving from the Saturday afternoon service, greet the preacher on his way out the door. I navigate my way to the room where the singles are gathering (without getting lost—things are looking great!).

I pause in the doorway. Yep, there is the sticker with my name on it. I slap it on my purple sweatshirt and tentatively step into the room. Did I find the wrong room? I glance down at my tag. Nope, that’s my name.

Except…everyone in this single’s group could…could be my parents. And my grandparents. And….my great grandparent.

I was the youngest member of the single’s game night by (wait for it)…seventy six years.

I’m not kidding.

Okay, maybe I am a little bit. He was the father of the lady coordinating the event. But still.

A few grins, a few winks, a few shoulder nudges as the new girl on the street corner of the singles group. So I chatted, stuffed a brownie in my mouth, played a few games, chipmunked my cheeks with a cookie, played another game and then it was time for yep, you guessed it ice breakers.

You know the ones. Where you stand in a line and hold hands and pass a hula-hoop across your body and linked hands without breaking the line? So that was actually a game and not an ice breaker, but it might as well have been the icing on the evening.

My hands are usually always clammy. It’s not fun. It’s not pleasant. It just is what it is with me. Period. And well…standing there, holding hands, as we closed out this fun and yet-oh-so-awkward evening, one of the attendees turns to me and says, “your hands are sweaty”.

Why yes, sir they are. I prefer clammy, personally, but whatever.

All fun and games aside and lest you think it was a horrible and traumatic experience, it was a good evening. A fun time of laughter and games and I’m glad I went. But let me ask this question again: do things like this only happen to me? Because I’m starting to think that’s the case.

I’m single. Proud of it actually, though I look forward to the day I get to marry “Mr. Right”. But until that day, I’ll plan on having fun and sharing these awkward, interesting, laughable events. Because hey, one can’t be alone in their awkward singleness can they?*

Just, next time, I’ll look for that asterisk that is next to the word “singles” and hope I find one that is actually more around my age range.


*please note this event happened before I wrote this post. I could very well be traumatized for life in putting myself out there for these potentially awkward situations that I seem to attract.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Giveaway! A Plain Man by Mary Ellis!

Welcome to Writing for Christ Mary Ellis it is great to have you here! So you’re a writer? What made you decide to start creating characters and story world?

Because now as I walk my dog around the neighborhood talking to myself, the neighbors say ‘there goes that writer’ instead of ‘there goes that crazy lady.’ All I had to do was pass out copies of my first book.

What is the one title that has significantly impacted your life?

I know you’ll hear this a lot, but only the Bible has changed my life. I have lost my fear of sickness and death that can rob you of peace, especially as we age. The Bible has given me true direction in this life and joyful hope for the next.

If you could get a do-over when it came to learning this whole thing called writing, what would you go back and tell yourself?

Stop fretting over the little details. All we can do is write the best books we can, and promote ourselves as time allows. We can never do it all, and we will go crazy if we try!

5 preference questions:


Homemade or take-out? Homemade, as long as someone else is doing the cooking!
Email or snailmail? I love getting real cards and letters from friends, family and fans, but for work related tasks…it’s email all the way!
Online shopping or Black Friday deals? Neither one. I actually went fishing during the last 2 Black Friday sales. I don’t like crowds. Although I do some shopping online, I still prefer a day trip to the mall or discount store. And I try to shop at local mom-and-pop’s as often as I can such as hardware stores, clothing boutiques, and independent bookstores.
Books or movies? That’s another tough one…what’s up with you, Casey?? I guess I must say movies because I have very tight writing deadlines. Reading as this point in my life isn’t as relaxing as going to the movies. Plus, there’s that buttered popcorn to consider!
Note-taker or memorization? Finally, an easy question! Note-taker all the way. If we had to rely on my memory, we would never get to a single social event of have a stitch of normal food in the house.             

Yes, I’m asking you to play favorites…which of your books is your favorite, published or unpublished? And if this is your debut novel, has your favorite been published yet?

I guess it would be The Quaker and the Rebel, which released in January. It was my first book written twelve years ago, and then rewritten last year.

Places for readers to learn more about you?

I can be found on the web at:  http://http://www.maryellis.net//

Thank you for being with us today!  


Thanks so much for inviting me!!!

Readers, enter to win Mary's book here!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on April 18th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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