What I Would Tell You by Liz Tolsma

What I Would Tell You by talented wordsmith Liz Tolsma is a Christian time split novel about World War II and the struggles of the Jewish people.  It is a poignant tale. Your heart will be touched by this brilliant book. I love time split novels, but I am not much for novels about WWII. The horrific activities of that time break my heart. What I Would Tell You is a captivating tale. 

Set in 1941 Salonika, Greece this tells the story of Greek Jews during the time of the Holocaust. In present day, Thessaloniki is the setting. The book opens with “This is the day I dreaded, the day I feared might come, the day I prayed never would. Greece will never be the same.” Immediately, I had goosebumps but kept reading. At time my breath caught and my heart raced, but I kept turning the pages. I wanted to see what would happen next to my new friends.

From page one I was invested in this award worthy novel. It was an emotional read for me. I needed a tissue as I turned pages. The historical part of this moving split timeline story focuses on Mathilda Nissim, a young Jewish woman and how her life changed when the German occupation began. In the contemporary part, we meet Tessa Riley. She visits the museum in Thessaloniki and discovers something life changing.

Author Tolsma has a beautiful style of writing, which I thoroughly enjoy. Her characters are vivid and realistic with multiple layers. The descriptive words she uses whisk me away to a time and place far from where I am. Her details and historical facts allow me to glean things that I never before knew. After reading this book I feel better acquainted with Greece and long to visit there.

I highly recommend this moving book. Some sections are hard to read, but realistic. It is hard to believe that people were treated in such a horrendous way. Lovers of WWII books will not want to miss this one. Everyone should read this. It has stuck with me and will for a long time. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:What I Would Tell You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release date: January 1, 2023

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

Three generations later, college student Riley Payson and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Riley is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Riley’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

 

More from Liz

Take a Trip to Greece with Me

I was privileged to travel to Greece last year to research my upcoming WWII novel, What I Would Tell You. God orchestrated it so beautifully. Because of Covid, we weren’t sure my daughter would be able to travel there for the summer internship she had applied for. Eight weeks before her scheduled departure, Greece reopened to foreign visitors. Around that same time, I sold What I Would Tell You, which is set in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Barbour Publishing. I had to go and visit!

 

Greece is a beautiful country. The pictures you see don’t do it justice. And to someone like me, the history is one of the best parts. My daughter and I explored the old city wall, built in the 1400s, many churches that predated the Ottoman Empire, and many excavated Roman ruins that have been dug up in the city’s process of putting in a subway system.

 

Because this is a WWII book, we also spent a great deal of time learning about the history of the Jews in the city. The Kapani Market, just down the street from our apartment, was a vibrant mix of colorful fruits, fragrant spices, and a cacophony of languages. I could well imagine what this old Jewish market was like prior to the war with people hawking olives, fish, and oregano.

 

We wasted no time in visiting the Jewish museum. I was shocked by the heavy security presence with armed guards outside of the building. Once inside, we had to show our IDs and were required to turn in our phones. Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece. But what a place. There were displays after displays tracing the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki from 1492 until WWII. The most breathtaking was the room with stone-covered walls, the names of all 48,000 Salonikan Jews killed in the Holocaust carved into the marble. There’s an entire scene in the book that deals with this room.

 

What saddened me most was what we saw when we visited the trainyard where the Jews were herded into cattle cars and shipped to Auschwitz. Before we got to where the station once stood, there was a wall on which someone had pained a mural covered with black-and-white figures in their striped uniforms, their eyes and mouths wide in horror. As if that weren’t difficult enough to view, what sickened me was the blue swastikas someone had painted over them.

 

We also trekked to the other side of the city to visit what had once been the Jewish cemetery, now the grounds of Aristotle University. All that remains to testify that half a million people were once buried here is a small, ill-kept memorial. There were two dead Christmas wreaths placed there. We visited in August.

 

In addition to a moving and thought-provoking story, I hope to also introduce you to the amazing city of Thessaloniki and give you a peek into the people and the culture of this amazing place. If you ever find yourself in Greece, plan some time in Thessaloniki. Many Americans miss this gem, but it’s packed with charm and history.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 29

Blogging With Carol, January 29

Genesis 5020, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 31

For Him and My Family, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 2

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Betti Mace, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 3

Paula’s Pad of Inspriation, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 6

Holly’s Book Corner, February 6

Bigreadersite, February 7

Blossoms and Blessings, February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Pause for Tales, February 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 10

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 10

Lights in a Dark World, February 10

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23ccb/what-i-would-tell-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

Daughter of Eve by Jill Eileen Smith


I recently read an advanced copy of Daughter of Eden and wanted to share some thoughts with you. Since reading it, I have not been able to stop thinking about this incredible novel. I urge all of you to get it. You will not regret reading this thought provoking, God glorifying book!

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith is a poignant biblical fiction novel that had me captivated from page one until the end. I am still pondering the author’s perspective of the Garden of Eden and Heaven. This is Eve’s story and so much more.

This depiction of creation and the life of Eve is simply endearing. It is evident that author Smith did extensive research on the subject. She worked out how many of my questions might have been. Her skillful pen painted a beautiful picture of Eden and a heartbreaking look at how the Fall could have played out. As I read I could feel the majesty of the Almighty and imagine His mighty works and love.

My heart softened for Eve and what I previously envisioned her to be. There is so much to love about this creative, heartfelt book. It had me going back to my Bible to reference the story. Her version of the Nephilim was credible and aligned with what I have read. I was happy and sad all throughout this emotional book.

This is a book for everyone. Non-Christians and Christians both should enjoy this extraordinary novel. It brings the Bible and its people to life. Any reading group should definitely choose this, as members will want to discuss it as it is read. There is so much to ponder and talk about with this mesmerizing book.

At the end of the amazing story, you will find author notes and a preview of her next book. I am looking forward to this one. It is sure to be another great read, although Daughter of Eve will be tough to top.

I highly recommend it to everyone. It would make a thoughtful gift for any reader. My rating is a 5+ stars. A copy was provided by NetGalley but these are my honest words.

Meet the Author:

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Wives of the Patriarchs, Daughters of the Promised Land, Heart of a King, Star of Persia, Miriam’s Song, and The Prince and the Prodigal. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.


Find author Jill Eileen Smith on:

Facebook – @jilleileensmith

Instagram – @JillEileenSmith

Twitter – @JillEileenSmith

Jill’s Website: http://www.jilleileensmith.com

Book Blurb:

The first time she opens her eyes, Eve gazes on One whose beauty nearly blinds her, whose breath is in her lungs. Her Creator takes her hand and gives her to one like her and yet different. Together, she and Adam experience pure joy as they explore Eden. But her favorite moments are when the Creator comes to walk with them, day after day.

Until everything changes. With one act of disobedience, Eve finds that her world is no longer a friendly place. With remorse in her heart, she must face the unknown future–the births, the deaths, the sacrifices, the loss of the one home she has ever known. Perhaps worst of all is the loss of trust, not only with her Creator but with the man who shares her life. How will they ever survive out of Eden?

#DaughterofEden #biblicalfiction #christianfiction #christianhistoricalfiction #historicalfiction #cleanreads #inspirationalfiction #toread #preorder #booksale #historicalfic #jilleileensmith #biblicalfic #preorder

Preorder Links:

On preorder at Baker 40% off and free shipping

Baker Book House: https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/465082

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0800737644?tag=thwiofkida-20

Barnes and Noble: https://www.qksrv.net/links/7737731/type/am/https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughter-of-eden-jill-eileen-smith/1141499606?ean=9780800737641

Christian Book Store: https://www.christianbook.com/daughter-of-eden-eves-story/jill-smith/9780800737641/pd/737645?product_redirect=1&search_term=daughter%20of%20eden&Ntt=737645&item_code=&ps_exit=PRODUCT|legacy&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Goodreads Giveaway:

Enter to win a free copy at Goodreads.com.

#DaughterofEden #biblicalfiction #christianfiction #christianhistoricalfiction #historicalfiction #cleanreads #inspirationalfiction #toread #preorder #booksale #historicalfic #jilleileensmith #biblicalfic #preorder

Twice Sold Tales by Chau

Twice Sold Tales by author Chautona Havig is a contemporary Christian fiction. It is set in a bookstore in Minnesota. I especially enjoyed it because I am a former bookstore owner and could relate to much of the story.

This is the story of Harper Brevig. After her Aunt Lorene passed away, Harper inherited her aunt’s bookstore. Harper is a quirky character that loves books, but most people get on her nerves. Unfortunately, Harper knows next to nothing about running a bookstore and needs help.

The characters are realistic and relatable. I adored father and son, Noah and Bennie. It was so easy to become invested in their story. The town was quaint and will make you want to visit. By the end of the book, I felt like I had made a group of new friends! There is even a pet parrotlet, different from parakeet. How fun would that be to own one?!

There are life and Christian lessons in the funny tale. I appreciate that this author stays true to including God in her stories. Her books leave readers with something to ponder. This one was no exception. One of my favorite quotes is: “She knew Jesus. She was His. So she’s with Him now.”

The only thing that did not quite sit right with me was the Ghost Walk and Trick or Treating. Yes, I am one of those anti-Halloween people because of what I have learned. That, however, is not a debate appropriate for this review.

This is a lovely book. The romance is light and almost not there. The story is great. It will have you giggling and sighing. I would highly recommend this to anyone. It gets a 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: Twice Sold Tales

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release date: November 2, 2022

If only owning a bookstore didn’t mean dealing with people.

No one was more surprised than Harper Brevig when Great Aunt Lorene (not “Lori,” thank-you-very-much) died and left her least favorite niece her bookstore–including a prime piece of real estate in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.

Making a go of the place shouldn’t be too hard. With her library science degree, she should be set. Then again, the website describing library degrees had said it would teach her excellent communication skills. It had not. Could she get a partial refund?

Still, owning the building should mean crazy-low overhead to offset her less than optimal “book-side” manner.  Ahem. So when yet another huge bill arrives, and she starts getting twitchy about the low bank balance, Harper does the only thing she can think of.

Enter Milton Coleridge. He’d been excited about the possibilities of the store last year, but Harper had sent him packing before he could talk to her about them.  Now he has a chance to make a difference. But she’s right. She’s bleeding money, and it doesn’t make sense!

Milton’s job is to figure out what’s going on, plug the financial leak, and maybe… do a little matchmaking. That dad with the adorable little boy would be good for her… and she’d be good for him. Probably.

Twice Sold Tales: the first full-length novel in the Bookstrings series releasing with The Mosaic Collection

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

“What kind of research does a contemporary book need? I mean, she’s a bookstore owner in a town you’ve been to several times. What’s there to research?”

I can’t be the only author to get questions like this. And I certainly can’t be the only one who has to fight the urge to laugh. Folks, authors research everything. In Twice Sold Tales, I think I looked up almost as much as I did in my Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries!

Because here’s the deal. What I didn’t know about Red Wing, Minnesota wouldn’t have hurt the story most of the time. Who cares that Bev’s Café has amazing creamy cucumbers? It doesn’t technically matter. Well, except to my character who hates veggies but will eat those. They make her feel virtuous. And you get to know about it.

But… what you discover about a place or a time or an occupation or whatever can totally change the course of your story. Case in point? I went to a website about River City Days because my niece suggested it might be a good thing for Noah to do with his son. That led me to the Farmer’s Markets and to other things. How I got to the first Ghost Walk in Red Wing taking place this year? I don’t even know. What I do know is that the moment I read about it, I knew Harper had to go. And if she did, and if Milton were the instigator, Noah had to go. #BecauseMatchmaker.

And this is where it got really cool. To make the walk as authentic as I could, I read everything I could find about it. And I discovered something super cool. Like… blow you out of the water cool.

Red Wing, Minnesota sits near the shore of Lake Pepin. Little House on the Prairielovers will remember this as the lake that Laura Ingalls crossed in the wagon as they left the Big Woods of Wisconsin (you know, right across the river/lake from Red Wing???) Well… Lake Pepin has a monster—the Nessie of the Mississippi. Yes, you read that right… a monster! I went looking and guess what? The “monster” has a name. Pepie! Needless to say, Pepie became a an important part of my story. Because how could he not?

And… I happened to find a stuffed Pepie at Treats & Treasures in Lake City, just south of Red Wing, so I ordered a couple for giveaways—including the one with this blog tour. Happy reading, and what do you think? Shouldn’t someone write Pepie’s story?

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 21

Vicky Sluiter, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 25

Lots of Helpers, January 25

Cover Lover Book Review, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Splashes of Joy, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

She Lives To Read, January 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 30

Divine Perspective, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 31

Aryn the Libraryan, February 1

Books I’ve Read, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Back Porch Reads, February 2

Pause for Tales, February 3

Spoken from the Heart, February 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback of the book, a stuffed “Pepie” and a few other bookish goodies!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23bc5/twice-sold-tales-celebration-tour-giveaway



Her Heart’s Desire

Her Heart’s Desire by author Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in her new series, A Season in Pinecraft. This is a contemporary Amish Christian fiction book that is delightful. I was quickly invested in the story and the lives of the characters.

This is the tale of some young people individually going to Pinecraft, Florida for a winter vacation. Mary Margaret Miller eagerly takes the bus by herself from Trail, Ohio for a Florida excursion. Her bus made an emergency stop in Georgia placing Mary with two other Amish girls, Betsy and Lilly, in a hotel room. The girls become fast friends.

They meet two Amish men and sparks begin to fly. All of them are staying at the same Bed and Breakfast. A fourth girl happens to come to Pinecraft and has history with Mary Margaret. Will this cause trouble? What happens when the vacation is over as two couples are dating?

This is a sweet story that has themes of faith, hope, trust, and forgiveness. The characters are likable and realistic. Their conversations were true to the Amish. I loved the innkeeper. She was so lovable and a great mentor to those staying at her place. After the story, there is a sample from the next book in the series.

This was an enjoyable read, but it was different than most Amish books that I’ve read. I don’t recall reading a book where the young people were on vacation far from home. While I did like the story, I did miss the everyday family life. The author did an exemplary job whisking me away to Florida and the Amish community there. It was almost like being there myself.

I highly recommend this book and new series to anyone. There is so much to love about it. It gets a five out of five star rating from me. A copy was provided, but these are my honest words.

About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author. She’s published over a hundred novels and has over a million books in print. She currently lives in northern Ohio and writes full time.

Shelley lives just an hour from Holmes County, where many of her Amish-themed novels are set. She currently writes contemporary romance and Amish fiction for a variety of publishers. When not spending time with her family or writing, she can usually be found walking her two dachshunds on one of the many trails in the Cleveland area.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news or to sign up for her newsletter. Shelley can also be found on FaceBook, Instagram @shelley.s.gray, or on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

Book 2, Her Only Wish

The Letter

The Letter by author Edwina Kiernan is the first book in her Victorian Virtues Series. This Christian historical series is set after her book, Ruby’s Redemption. It is a beautiful book of new beginnings.

It is 1840’s Victorian England and Grace Stratton wishes to spread her wings. With the only choices being a nanny or companion, she decides to become a companion to elderly Miss Withers. Grace is a lovely, caring young woman. Miss Withers is a woman of faith and a genuine jewel. She is a source of biblical advice for Grace. Their relationship was absolutely beautiful.

Dr. David Carbury is a London physician and Ms. Withers’ nephew whom she has not seen in years. Dr. Carbury experiences misfortune and escapes London by going to visit his aunt. There is a big twist though.

I was captivated by the story and engaging writing style of the author. The characters were brilliantly constructed and were convincing. There were many twists and turns to keep me turning pages. The Christian element was inspiring.

I would recommend this and gave it a 4 star rating. It would make a nice reading group selection. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit Lit but these are my honest words.

elebrate Lit Team

A dedicated site to the Celebrate Lit Team

Celebrate Lit Team

The Letter Kick-Off Package

About the Book

Book: The Letter

Author: Edwina Kiernan

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2022

She wants a new life.

He’s in danger of losing his. 

Will love solve everything — or immerse them in even worse peril? 

Restless and ready for a change, Grace Stratton gladly accepts the opportunity to leave her remote parsonage home to serve as a wealthy spinster’s companion in the idyllic country town of Lindenfell. Its warm atmosphere and friendly inhabitants sooth Grace’s lonely heart. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, she soon discovers things aren’t always what they seem.

Convinced chloroform will revolutionise the medical world, Dr. David Carbury frequently administers it to his London patients — until one of them dies. Facing a grave trial to prove his innocence and defend a drug most people view as poisonous, he makes hasty plans to buy time to bolster his case. But he wasn’t expecting to face an even deadlier challenge.

As attraction sparks not long after they meet, Grace soon suspects he’s hiding something, and David knows he can’t run from the truth forever.

But neither of them could imagine the sinister threat lurking just around the corner…

Immersed in faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of the award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption.

An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research to create hope-infused tales set in times past.

A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood.

She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavours to use her pen to point others to Him.

More from Edwina

Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to a place where quaint buildings are bathed with a golden glow in the afternoon light, where the people are polite and respectful, and where the pace of living allows your soul to breathe and just… be?

In that case…

Welcome to Lindenfell!

The Letter introduces us to Grace Stratton (daughter of the hero & heroine from my award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption), who accepts a position as a lady’s companion in a place she’s never been before, but where she’ll soon discover a whole new world.

“The air in Lindenfell had a scent of its own — one of warmth and peace. Of hope.”

Lord-willing, the Victorian Virtues series will have nine books, each based on an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, and each exploring the historical events and everyday realities that change and challenge eighteen main characters and nine blossoming romances.

Friends and foes, tragedies and triumphs, hopes and heartaches — the best and worst of life, all in one fictional market town in Victorian England.

It is my deepest hope that, as you travel to Lindenfell in each book of the series, you’ll find the truth and hope you need to navigate your own trials and triumphs, and discover that the refreshment your soul longs for is already available to you, wherever you may be.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 14

Simple Harvest Reads, January 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Cover Lover Book Review, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

Holly’s Book Corner, January 20

deb’s Book Review, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 22

Mary Hake, January 23

Connie’s History Classroom, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Melissa’s Bookshelf, January 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Book looks by Lisa, January 2

The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem

“The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem” by author Kurt Brouwer is an interesting Biblical historical fiction novel. The information presented provided me with much to ponder. I was engaged in the story immediately.

The book is set in 62 AD Jerusalem and tells the proposed story of John after Jesus’ death. John was the last of Jesus’ disciples to die. This gives readers an in-depth look into John and what might have been his thoughts.

The author did an abundance of research, which is evident by his detailed book. He brought the characters to life with his vivid script. A few times I had to remind myself this was a fictional account and not actual. His style was easy to read and quickly drew me in.

It was an emotional story for me. There were conflicts, dangers, struggles, and trials as well as faith and triumph. It was biblically based but more was added. One of the ideas I found intriguing was the idea that John was Jesus’ cousin.

I recommend this for everyone. It will bring the people of the Bible to life and have readers reaching for their own Bible. This would make an interesting book club choice. It gets a 4 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem

Author: Kurt Brouwer

Genre:Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: November 18, 2022

He was the Beloved Disciple…

…and he would be the last.

The mantle to tell the whole story has fallen on him.

From the cross, Jesus entrusted John, the youngest disciple, with the welfare of Mary, Jesus’s mother. Over thirty years later, as Jerusalem becomes a cauldron of explosive tempers, he receives a calling he doesn’t want.

Will he listen and follow?

And if he does, will it be too late?

In 62 AD, the Jewish high priest executes James, the brother of Jesus, triggering a bitter fight for power in Jerusalem that shatters the quiet life of John. The Jewish people he loves are making dangerous choices that will change the land of Israel forever.

Should he stay in Jerusalem and help hold off the Roman onslaught? Or is it time to reach out to those beyond Israel’s borders?

If he chooses to leave, what will be his message to these foreign believers? What new words of comfort could he possibly share?

Set against a backdrop of actual events, The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem is the first novel in a new series based on the Bible and Christian history.

Follow along while John faces multiple crises and comes to understand what it is to stand alone and lean on only the Lord.

Your heart will embrace The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem because John’s story is the story of our hope and promise.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kurt is a Christian writer, living in Hawaii. A few years ago he did a study at his church on the Apostle John. That little project got him hooked on the man who started out life as a fisherman and then became a disciple of Christ.

The more he learned, the more he wanted to know. What did John do after the Crucifixion? Why did he wait so long to write the Gospel of John? Where did he live for the last 60 years of his life? This historical novel came out of the research he did to answer those questions.

He started a blog (KurtBrouwer.com) a few years ago. On it he has written over 100 blog posts and a few Christian booklets.

Now he’s working on Book Two in this series. The Last Disciple: Escape to Antioch takes up where Book One ends. The Last Disciple is a Christian historical novel that introduces you to John, the last disciple of Christ.

More from Kurt

About 85 AD, more than fifty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of John struck the Christian world like a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky. At that time, few Christians even knew that one of the disciples yet lived. After all the years, decades even, a new book of the Bible came out, written by the last disciple of Christ.

WHO WAS THE LAST DISCIPLE?

John the son of Zebedee walked with Jesus during his ministry on earth. He witnessed the Crucifixion and later entered the empty tomb after Jesus rose from the grave.

John, the youngest of the disciples, outlived all the others. In fact, John, the last disciple of Christ, lived for more than 60 years after Jesus died on the Cross. But who was he? And what did he do all those years? Where did he live? With whom? What do we know of him and his life?

THE YOUNGEST DISCIPLE…

John walked with Jesus when he was young, probably a teenager or very early 20s. He and Andrew were the first discples of Christ. John lived so long that he became the last disciple too.

A FEW DETAILS ABOUT JOHN

He was:

  • The son of Zebedee, his father, and Salome, his mother
  • Brother to the disciple James
  • Possibly a cousin to Jesus through his mother
  • A fisherman on the Sea of Galilee
  • He and his brother James were friends and even fishing buddies with Peter and his brother Andrew
  • Almost certainly the youngest of the 12 disciples

I GOT HOOKED (PUN INTENDED) ON JOHN EARLY ONE MORNING

One morning I read a short piece from BibleGateway.com by Jonathan Petersen, When Was Each Book of the Bible Written? In it, Petersen gave the approximate dates when all the New Testament books came out. The first, written by James the brother of Jesus, came out around 44 AD or as late as 49 AD. The most widely accepted year for the Crucifixion is 33 AD, so the first book did not come out for at least 11 years after Christ died.

The next New Testament book to come out was Paul’s letter to the Galatians, around 49 AD. After that came the gospels of Mark and Matthew. Other books such as Luke, Acts, and all of Paul’s letters came along in fairly short order. Peter’s two letters came out and then the book of Jude, about 68-70 AD. Then, for at least 10-20 years, no new Bible books came out.

The silence was broken

Finally, the silence was broken. After all the years, decades even, the words of one who walked with Jesus came forth. The Gospel of John came out written by a man who saw the empty tomb after Jesus rose. A man who would write five books of the Bible:

  • The Gospel of John 80-90 AD
  • The Letters or Epistles of John 90-95 AD
  • The Book of Revelation 95-98 AD

A UNIQUE VOICE CAME FORTH

As John’s gospel spread from church to church, a unique voice came forth. What a miracle that must have been to first century Christians when the Gospel of John appeared!

That’s it for now. We will continue with more in future posts on the saga of the last disciple of Christ. If you can’t wait, watch the video above.

Yours in Christ, Kurt

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 4

Lots of Helpers, January 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 6

Lily’s Book Reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 8

deb’s Book Review, January 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 11

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Bizwings Blog, January 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 15

Mary Hake, January 15

Lights in a Dark World, January 16

Blogging With Carol, January 17

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Kurt is giving away the grad prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2363e/the-last-disciple-crisis-in-jerusalem-celebration-tour-giveaway

A New Year and a Better Person

It is difficult to believe that 2023 is here. Right? When I was a child any year beginning with 20 sounded so futuristic. Every year I had known started with 19. Now here we are getting close to a quarter of a century in the 2000s. Wow!

Are you satisfied with how you lived your life in 2022? If you are like me, your mind is     whirling with ideas of things you want to do differently or change this year. What are your goals to change yourself? I’m not talking physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. 

After taking inventory of last year, I want to be more positive and put grief to rest. Our family has had some jarring heartaches from the loss of beloved family members over the past few years. Instead of dwelling on what I’ve lost by those sweet people being gone, I’ve decided to focus on what they’ve gained instead. They were all Christians are gained a life of no more tears, or pain, and no more suffering. Now, their life is in Heaven. Praise God!

When I think about how much I am missing one of those precious family members, I will smile instead of cry. Knowing that my family is now together in perfect harmony with Jesus is what makes me extremely happy. My mind’s eye will see them healthy and joyful. 

Another thing that I am consciously changing is to mend any fractured relationships. For whatever reason the relationship is not whole or flourishing, I am taking responsibility and plan to make it better. A Bible study that I am doing pinpoints six reasons that cause strife or challenges in relationships. They are: (1) a failure to forgive or apologize, (2) criticism, (3) gossip, (4) deception, (5) a lack of inclusion, and (6) a failure to accept differences. Anyone nodding their head? Raise your hand if you have done or been the recipient of any one of these six. Yep, me, too.

Scripture tells that the best place to begin is with ourselves. Before we criticize someone, we need to take a look at our actions first. Are we nitpicking something when in fact we have done the same thing to a greater extent?

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:2–5)

In order for me to accomplish making myself better I will need help. Help from family and friends is wonderful, but I need help from Jesus with Him, I can do all things. His guidance will keep me doing what I should and uphold my spirit. I will feel better all around just knowing that He is with me.

What about you? I would love to hear what you are working on to make you a better YOU in 2023. Do you need prayer support? I would be honored to include you in my daily prayers. Just send me a note.

It is my sincere prayer that you will achieve great things in 2023 with the help of Jesus, our Savior. May God bless you indeed!

Beneath His Silence

Beneath His Silence by author Hannah Linder is a Christian historical fiction. This debut piece by Ms. Linder is a gothic murder mystery romance that starts off so interesting that I was easily invested in the story and characters.

This is the story of Ella, an independent minded young lady that is not afraid of adventure. She has a story that is encouraging. Ella sneaks away to hopefully avenge her sisters death, but gets the feeling that  something is somehow off.

The story is well researched, well organized, and so well written. I had no trouble following it. The author took me to 1814 in Devonshire with her vivid descriptions and dialogue. I enjoyed the dual POV, which is not always the case. In this novel, however, it is extremely nice.

One of my pet peeves when reading Christian fiction is when the inspirational or spiritual part is diluted or difficult to find. I was thrilled to see that God was not lightly sprinkled into the plot. The author offered lessons of hope, faith, and forgiveness in her novel. The romance is beautiful.

I highly recommend this lovely novel. The mystery will keep you on your toes as will a few twists. It is absolutely intriguing. Fans of Regency will be in love with this fabulous book. It would make a great book club selection with so many things to discuss. I give this a 4 out of 5 star rating. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit Lit but these are my own words.

About the Book

Book: Beneath His Silence

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.

More from Hannah

People always ask me what inspired a story. Where did I get the idea? Who was my inspiration? What true-life event motivated these characters into existence?

And the truth is, I don’t know. I’ve never known. When I was younger, I’d look clueless and shrug my shoulders. A few years ago, I would have probably answered “people”—and maybe there’s truth in that. People do inspire me. The way they walk, the places they go, the things they do, the way they dress.

But lately…well, I think it’s more than that. I don’t think it’s people so much as feelings. The nitty-gritty. The raw emotions, caught deep in someone’s chest, at the most pivotal points in their life.

Like the old man seated at a booth, alone in a restaurant, with his veiny hands cupping a mug of coffee. It’s not his shabby fedora that inspires me. Or the knotty cane leaned against his seat. Or the envelope stuffed into the pocket of his woolen overcoat.

It’s the look on his face. The slow blinking, the red nose, the flash of moisture as he takes another sip of coffee. Why does he sit alone? Who left him? Who caused the tears? What emotions render that lost, helpless, longing expression—and how will he cope?

If you would ask me what inspired Beneath His Silence, I probably wouldn’t have much of an answer. No concrete idea or moment would rush to remembrance. If anything, inspiration for Beneath His Silence was nothing more than a small thought. A feeling.

I wanted to write about a girl who learned to love someone she hated. I wanted to explore every aspect. The poison of her hate. The weight it pressed into her heart. The process—slow, startling, and healing—that sucked out that poison and replaced it with something unexpected. Love.

I guess that’s what I love about writing. Not the people. The characters. Not even the storylines and the plot twists and the fun settings.

I love the emotion. That’s what inspires me.

And if you find yourself in the pages of Beneath His Silence, I hope it will inspire you too.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

To Everything There Is A Season, November 29

Where Faith And Books Meet, November 30

Inklings and notions, November 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 30

Book Looks by Lisa, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Betti Mace, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Remembrancy, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 4

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 5

Rebecca Tews, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

Through the Fire Blogs, December 8

Holly’s Book Corner, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Bizwings Blog, December 9

Melissa’s Bookshelf, December 9

Pause for Tales, December 10

Cover Lover Book Review, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/22ccf/beneath-his-silence-celebration-tour-giveaway

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by A.M. Hearst

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is a Christian contemporary holiday romance novella by outstanding author A.M. Heath. Book Three in the author’s Christmas in Garland series, it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. When I started it with the intention to just sample a chapter, I became so interested in the story that I keep turning page after page until I finished the entire thing! Yes, it was that good.

The writing style of author Heath is very much to my liking. Characters are multi-layered and believable. I became invested in the sweet characters of this book and felt as though I had made a group of friends. The setting was delightful. I am ready to book an extended stay in the Cheery Inn B&B now. 

This is the story of Alissa and Stephen. Alissa is left to run her Aunt Maggie’s B&B when she is called out of town. Stephen is a new guest coming to recovery from an injury. Their initial meeting does not go well, but sparks seems to ignite. Also staying is a pair of sisters that have no boundaries and are fabulous.

The author has beautifully included many life and spiritual lessons in this gem. It is exceptionally written and certain to put a smile on your face as you read it. This would make a glorious Hallmark holiday movie. 

I highly recommend this lovely story. It will put you in the holiday spirit and give you many things to ponder. I gladly give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided, but these are my honest words.

Pregnant and alone, Alissa Hill moved to Garland, Tennessee to help at her aunt’s inn. When a guest brings her hidden past to the inn’s door, she must decide whether to face it or continue to run. 

A career-ending injury ruined Stephen Powell’s life plans. Now a former NFL kicker, he’s searching for a new purpose while recovering at the Cheery Inn. But those at the inn may offer him much more than he expects. 

Can a cozy inn at Christmas transform the troubled hearts seeking refuge there? 

Pregnant and alone, Alissa Hill moved to Garland, Tennessee to help at her aunt’s inn. When a guest brings her hidden past to the inn’s door, she must decide whether to face it or continue to run. A career-ending injury ruined Stephen Powell’s life plans. Now a former NFL kicker, he’s searching for a new purpose while recovering at the Cheery Inn. But those at the inn may offer him much more than he expects. Sparks fly when Alissa and Stephen meet, but secrets and regrets may keep them apart unless they can learn to forgive and move beyond their brokenness. 

Read this heartwarming Christmas romance today!


PURCHASE LINK

Author Bio: 

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, ladies’ Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

Author Links: 
Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Website: https://christianauthoramheath.net/

Blog: https://christianauthoramheath.net/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AMHeathfanpage/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8302606.A_M_Heath

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-m-heath-41b54829-fb8c-469e-a96f-52efe9efacb1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fictionauthor.amheath/


Tour Stops:

Nov. 7: 
Marilyn @ Lighthouse-Academy 
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae
A.M. Heath @ A.M. Heath Blog

Nov. 8: 
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings
Esther @ A Melodious Sonnet

Nov. 9: 
Deana: Texas Book-aholic

Nov. 10: 
Nyla Kay @ Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess

Nov. 11: 
Connie @ Older and Smarter
Debbie: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Enter to win a Christian Reader’s Cozy Packet
Prize pack includes a signed copy of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, a stack of other Christian Christmas reads, and … a little something extra to round out your cozy day of reading. 
*Open to continental U.S. Residents only. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7851a9018/


In celebration of the new release, Book 1 is on sale for .99 this week. Pick up Project Scrooge and the rest of the Christmas in Garland Collectionin time for your cozy Christmas reader season. 

Forgotten Memories Book Tour

“Forgotten Memories” by author Penny Zeller is a Christian western historical romance novel. It is the first book in the author’s new Wyoming Sunrise Series. This was an excellent tale of faith, love, trust, and forgiveness. I was captivated.

Set in 1870’s Wyoming Territory, this is the story of Annie and Caleb. She has bad memories of being on the wagon train where she was robbed. Annie now teaches school in Willow Falls. 

Caleb comes into town and immediately sparks fly between him and Annie. As times goes by and they become closer, Caleb realizes he has a secret that if discovered might ruin their relationship.

I love the way author Zeller writes. It is detailed enough to make me feel like I am in a time and place that I’ve never been without being boring. Her characters are genuine and become like friends as I became invested in them and their stories. Conversations sounded authentic for the time period. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen.

There were many life lessons woven throughout this novel. Lessons on love, trust, hope, and forgiveness beautifully written. There are Christian messages of God’s love, forgiveness, and always faithfully being with us sprinkled within this thoughtful tale.

I highly recommend this historical romance. It is something that will stay with you and give you much to ponder. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

Celebrate Lit Team

About the Book

Book: Forgotten Memories

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 30, 2022

Some memories are best forgotten…

The Wyoming Territory is rife with lawlessness and disorder, something Annie Ledbetter and her parents discover when their wagon train is robbed. Seven years later, Annie settles into her lifelong dream as a teacher in the small town of Willow Falls. When she meets handsome rancher Caleb Eliason through a humorous misunderstanding, she is quickly drawn to his kind heart and charming smile.

Former outlaw Caleb Eliason embraces his chance at a fresh start. Gone are the days of robbing stagecoaches and wagon trains. When he falls in love with the new Willow Falls teacher, he doesn’t realize they’ve met before—under much different circumstances. When his past comes to light, will it put the growing love between them at risk?

Can forgiveness and redemption heal two broken hearts or will the past keep them from sharing a future?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.

Today Penny is the author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. Her desire is to assist and nurture women into a closer relationship with Christ.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Penny is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website, http://www.pennyzeller.com, her blog, http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks.

More from Penny

The Inspiration Behind Forgotten Memories

I am often asked how I come up with ideas for my books.

Many different things inspire my plots. One inspiration comes from real-life stories. For instance, today our local librarian told me how her family homesteaded in our town in 1881. Of course, I had a million questions. I am also inspired by photographs, people-watching, and sometimes I will hear from readers about a story they’d like to read. I have often joked that I will need to be at least 102 to write down all the stories percolating in my mind.

The idea for Forgotten Memories came from reading about a mail-order bride named Eleanor. Eleanor answered an advertisement from a man named Louis, and after a time of written correspondence, they eventually made plans to marry. During the journey to meet her soon-to-be husband, Eleanor’s stagecoach was robbed. After obeying her request to hand Eleanor her trousseau, the robbers blew up the stagecoach and rode away with their loot.

When the time to be wed arrived, Louis recognized Eleanor immediately. Only later, when Eleanor and Louis were preparing to sign the marriage license, did Eleanor recognize him as the robber due to his voice and a discernable scar. Louis fled and rode off without a word, leaving Eleanor with a broken heart.

After reading Eleanor’s story, my imagination wandered and what-ifs filled my mind. What if something similar happened to a character who, years later, fell in love with a man who robbed her? What would happen when the truth was discovered? Was there any hope for a happily-ever-after?

Thus, Annie and Caleb’s story was born.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 3

Texas Book-aholic, October 4

“To Every” BOOK “There is a Season”, October 4

lakesidelivingsite, October 5

Inklings and notions, October 6

deb’s Book Review, October 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 10

Connie’s History Classroom, October 11

Holly’s Book Corner, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 13

Splashes of Joy, October 14

Pause for Tales, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Penny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21c38/forgotten-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway