Book Review: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

A Sparkle of Silver by author Liz Johnson is a contemporary Christian fiction.  This 368 page romance mystery is set on Georgia’s coast.  It is Book One in the author’s Georgia Coast Romance Series and the first book I have read by her.  She does a lovely romantic mystery.


I really enjoyed the author’s writing style.  Her book was interesting, well planned, and written so that it kept my interest.  It was well researched and gave details and information on a time period and things I did not know.  I love that in a book.  This one flashed back to the 1920’s.  Characters were realistic and believable.  It was easy to imagine them and their feelings.  The Christian element was present, another important issue for me with Christian books.

This is the story of Millie Sullivan.   Years ago her great grandmother had a guest at an oil tycoon’s estate on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. Now Millie is working as a guest at the same estate’s tourist attraction. Millie’s Grandma Joy insinuates there a clue to a treasure in the great grandmother’s old journal.  It happens to be hidden in the chateau.  Millie decides to search for the journal since she needs money and is caught by security guard Ben Thornton.  A deal is hatched, sparks begin to fly, and the adventure begins.

The author does a wonderful job with this tale.  The past and present are seamlessly interwoven to make a story that caught my attention early.  A few twists were thrown in to keep readers guessing.  Timely topics are touched on such as dementia, loyalty, family, forgiveness, money issues, and growing in faith.  All in all this is a worthy read.
I recommend A Sparkle of Silver to anyone that likes Christian contemporary fiction, especially romantic mysteries.  This one has adventure and history.  It offers a lot.  I liked it very much and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.  All opinions are my own honest ones.

Find a Book Friday: The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

The Hope of Azure Springs is the debut novel by author Rachel Fordham.  This Christian historical romance fiction has a lovely cover that is captivating.  The 336 pages are packed with mystery, life lessons, emotions, light romance and dotted with humor.


This is the tale of Em.  As the book opens she has suffered a gunshot wound and presents a mystery.  Caleb is the gallant Sheriff.  They are thrown together to solve the mystery of who shot Em and why.  These two characters are extremely well defined, carry quite a bit of emotional baggage, and are very easy to like.  It is not hard to get drawn into their story.  I was invested within the first chapter.

The secondary characters are not all as well defined.  Some have great details and are then forgotten.  I wanted to hear more about them.  The dialogue for the most part flowed smoothly but there were times it sounded a little stiff or too modern.

The story itself was well thought, but at times the writing felt a bit choppy.  At one point I thought the book was over and it still have a few chapters to go.  The next chapters enhanced the story but easily could have been the beginning of a Book Two.

The author does a great job relating emotions in her writing.  I could feel the emotional roller coaster that Em was on.  Many times I teared up or cheered while reading this.  The banter between Em and Caleb always put a smile on my face.  Both characters grew a lot throughout the story.


The spiritual content was there but extremely light.  Speaking about prayer and God’s goodness was the only thing I caught, and I do not remember any comments about redemption or salvation.  However, following the story were discussion questions!  For me that is a biggie.  If a book club or group is reading a book, it is nice to have questions.  This one has that nicely covered.

I liked the story and will pick up the next book penned by author Fordham.  Anyone who enjoys historical romantic fiction will want to read it.  The life lessons, gossiping, inner and outer beauty, and helping other are ones good for teenagers and up.  I rated this a 4 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it.

Chatting with Author, Illustrator SE Foster…..You’re Never Too Old to Color

It is my pleasure to chat with author, illustrator SE Foster today.  Previously she sent me copies of her coloring journals.  What lovely products!  If you are not into coloring or journaling, I would encourage you to try both and start with hers.  I loved them.  
Her journal coloring books are such a delightful change from the other tedious intricate designs with minuscule parts in them.  Often I start those and become discouraged that I won’t be able to finish, so I give up.  These are different, doable.  The pictures are larger and very pretty.  The scripture and journal questions provide food for thought.  While reflecting I was able to color, pray, and write down thoughts.  The author has designed well organized, thought, beautiful books.
I highly recommend her beautiful journal/coloring books.   The format is easy to use and would be great for any age whether a beginner or seasoned pro.  It would make a fantastic gift for camp.  I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.  Now let’s chat a minute with the creator of them.
Hi Shannon!  Tell us about the type of book you write?
Okay, I write and illustrate books in the Christian/Spiritual Genre that are coloring journals.  I wanted to offer more than just a coloring book and thought the scriptures reflection and journal prompts would make a nice addition and maybe set it apart from other coloring books on the market.
I totally agree and see a great potential for these.  Women’s groups, youth groups, camps.  I could go on about them, but let’s learn about you.  Do you have a job in addition to writing?
Yes, I do.  When I am not writing, painting, drawing or making jewelry I teach water aerobics at the local YWCA for 2 hours a day Monday-Friday.
Wow!  You are a busy lady.  Tell us your story of how you came to be published.
My first book came to be after I started drawing flowers for the 100 Days Project that is popular on Instagram. One particular day I was having trouble uploading my daily sketch to Instragram and decided to post it on my Facebook page instead. One of my author friends said I should make a coloring book. I, of course, told her “no I don’t think I could do that”.
Well, I for one am glad you did.  Your newest book is a bit different from your first.
Yes, my second book is called Coloring Through the Seasons with God: 12 month Prayer Journal with Coloring Pages.  I published my first Prayer Journal with Coloring pages in July of 2017 and around September the idea came to me to do a 12 month one instead of a 30 day one like the first book.
How long did it take you to create this book?
To be honest I am not entirely sure how long this one took as I didn’t keep track as closely as I did with my first book. My first book took well over 300 hours. I sketched out each floral element and word and then inked them onto tracing paper. Then scanned those into my computer and I turned them into vecotor images.  After cleaning them up I was finally able to place them in the document to create the pdf file to upload. My second book the pages were drawn entirely on my Ipad Pro that I purchased with proceeds from the local sales of my first book. That eliminated so much of the work as I could drawn an entire page and then send it to my computer to be put into the file to be uploaded and published.
Yes, much more efficient.  Is this dedicated to anyone?8260A270-E084-4707-9DC8-4308455C8E05
I dedicated both of my books to my husband. He allows me to do the things I love and be creative. The ladies in my weekly bible study groups were also instrumental in the process of both books and I acknowledged them as well.
Shannon, when did God first call you into this ministry?
I felt the nudge from God to make my first coloring book in April of 2017.  My initial response was no as was my response to the second and third nudge. Finally after the fourth nudge I took the plunge and started creating my first book at the end of April 2017 and published on July 6, 2017.
It falls in place when God has His hand on it, doesn’t it?  How quickly did doors open for you?
Well, I haven’t had many doors open for me. I do have copies of my book in a local Christian Book store.  I have been researching and praying for guidance on what to do next to get my book out there to those who need it.
Did God send you an answer?
In February 2018 I had sent my book to an author who spoke at our local ISI Women’s Conference for her to review. She loved the book and wanted to send me a proposal to work with her on promoting my book. I knew that there was no way I could afford her so I told her not to waste her time sending me something I knew I couldn’t do. She then asked me what I could afford. I told her (it wasn’t much as we had to put a roof on our house in March and had taxes to pay in April).

“I prayed specifically”

She asked me to pray about it and let her know. So the next day while I was teaching water aerobics, I told one of my friends about the conversation.  I said that I was going to pray about it and I was going to be very specific. “Ok God” I was going to say, “IF I am supposed to work with this woman the money for the fee is going to have to come from sales in my Etsy shop or I won’t be able to do it.”  I went home and said that exact prayer before bed. When I woke up in the morning there had been a $45 sale. Later that day a $152 sale, and then the entire amount was there within about 12 days from when I offered my prayer to God.  With pleasure I have started working with her and am very hopeful about what will come of our time together.
God is so good!
Tell us a few of your favorites:
Book:     Gone with The Wind
Color:    Purple and Teal (again just can’t pick one)
Food:     Cheesecake
Smell:    Lily of the Valley
Animal:  Elephant
Hymn:    It is well with my Soul
Song:     Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams
Drink:     Diet Ginger Ale
Candy:   Lily’s Sugar free Salted Almond Dark Chocolate bar.
Movie:   That is a tie between Gone with the Wind and Brigadoon
Place:    The foothill mountains in Colorado by Boulder.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Both and Strawberry.  Neapolitan is my favorite flavor.
Coffee?  Cream, cocoa powder and Stevia
Scripture:      Be Strong and Let Your Heart Take Courage ~Psalm 27:14
What would be your dream vacation:  A trip with my two sisters.
Destination and mode of travel:   I would love to fly to Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland, and Sweden( I have a pen pal there from when I was in 7th or 8th grade).
Favorite hymn of SE Foster
Anything you want to leave the readers with today?
Yes, they may keep in touch with me or purchase my books using the following links:
Links to purchase signed copies of both books
A Stroke with God
Barns and Noble
Coloring Through the Seasons with God
Thank you very much, Shannon, for this lovely time.

Find a Book Friday: I AM My Beloved by Caryl McAdoo

Do you enjoy reading biblical fiction?  You know, stories about things written in the Bible?  Today on Find a Book Friday that is what I have found for you.  A biblical novel about people from the Old Testament.  Is it any good, you ask?  Well, I read it all in one setting!
Author Caryl McAdoo has written a biblical fiction entitled “I AM My Beloved”.  This 178 page book was easily devoured by me in one setting.  I was immediately drawn into the interesting story and could not put it down.  It is normal for author McAdoo’s to grab my attention and not let go.
Author McAdoo’s writing style is graceful and flows smoothly.  Her characters are well defined and well rounded with attributes and flaws.  The descriptive writing style took me back to ancient days and places.  I felt like a visitor.
This is the tale of Solomon and Abishag.  She was a chaste wife married to King David and still a virgin after his death. Then she is summoned to be with the new King Solomon.  The book kept my attention but it is no action, adventure, big romance book. There are bedroom scenes when Abishag is sent in to be King David’s blanket by warming up a King whose failing heart cannot do the job.  However, there is nothing sexual about it. This is a sweet book that will help you grow in your journey with God.
Abishag runs through a wide range and depth of emotions. The writing was so well done that I was taken with her, too.  My heart broke for Abishag often and then I was able to laugh and rejoice. It was interesting reading the story of Song of Solomon acted out in a novel. Author McAdoo is so creative, fun, and emotional in her writing of this story.  It gives it a breath of fresh air, although I did not agree with how everything was portrayed. It was captivating and hard to put down.
Definitely this book gets my recommendation.  If you like biblical fiction you will not want to miss this.  It is sweet yet gives you things to reflect upon during and after reading it.  Get a group together because this would be a nice book club selection.  I received a copy of this book from the author. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.  The opinions and review are my own, honest ones.

Find a Book Friday: “A Chance at Forever” by Melissa Jagears

Finds a Book Friday is here with another goodie for you. Christian Author Melissa Jagears has written the third installment in her Teaville Moral Society Series. Don’t fret if you haven’t read the other two, each book in this spectacular series may be read as a standalone, but after reading one you will yearn to read the others. “A Chance at Forever” is every bit as good as the first two books and even trumps them. I know! How could that be?! When I read Book One I was certain author Jagears had peaked and would never write a book to equal “A Heart Most Certain.” Wrong. The second book, “A Love so True,” was just as delightful. Along comes book three and it even surpasses those two.

Author Jagears is a gifted storyteller and wordsmith. Her books paint vivid tales of a time long gone, days harder than we have, and always give glory to God. She doesn’t write Christian fluff with a light sprinkling of inspiration. Jagears is heavy handed with it and I applaud her for that.  Her novels have life lessons and heart fluttering romance.  She writes a great love story.

In “A Chance at Forever” she continues her story of helping children.IMG_1694  Mercy McClain works at the town’s orphanage and is also on the school board. As a child she was bullied by many kids but especially by George Firebrook. She is still carrying around baggage from her childhood.

George Aaron Firebrook comes back to the town of Teaville to make amends for his past. He was mean and bullied others when he was younger. Now he has changed inside so he has changed his name and outside appearance, too. He wants to teach and has applied for the position in town. Mercy won’t approve his application.

True to her writing style, Author Jagears provides another book that refuses to be set down. It is so good it demands to be read. I went through a spectrum of emotion while reading this. At times I giggles and laughed, got mad, cried, caught my breath, and nodded in agreement. Jagears gives an abundant helping of inspiration, and life lessons. Topics of grace, redemption, mercy, vengeance, forgiveness (both for others and self), love, Christianity, hypocrisy and bullying are presented in a lovely way.

A wonderful surprise was the reintroduction of past, beloved characters. Charlotte (Charlie) and husband Harrison Gray opened the book, which for me was like a reunion with old friends. They aren’t the only old friends to grace this story. I literally said out loud at one point “I’ve missed you, my friend” to a character.

Aaron writes letters to everyone he has bullied and hurt. DesignHe seeks forgiveness and wants to make restitution. Some letters are not answered, but one response brings him to the Orphanage. From then on all I will say is wow! My dishes piled up and nothing got finished except this book. Oh, my! What a book.

I definitely recommend “A Chance for Love” and the Teaville Moral Society books. Actually, I recommend everything this author has written. The only thing I missed was that this one did not have discussion questions. No worries though, with the issues of bullying, forgiveness, a person’s past, and God’s love there is plenty to chat about in any group. Let me know what you think after reading it. I know you will be thrilled with it like I was.  I rated it a 6 out of 5 stars. Okay, okay.  A 5 out of 5, but it deserves more.