Monday, August 5, 2019

Unique! ' Light from Distant Stars' - by Shawn Smucker

Cover Art

About the book:

When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory.

Over the next week, Cohen's childhood comes back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his parents' separation. The accident Cohen witnessed and the traumatic images he couldn't unsee. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding:

Is he responsible for his father's death?

Master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.

My review:

This was definitely a unique story as I wasn't quite sure if it was spiritual warfare or a dream/nightmare or an allegory for much of it.  I liked how the story moved from past to present and back so there were two stories happening at once.  Cohen struggled with his faith as he felt he needed to keep confessing his guilt, yet won't confess all.  He wondered where God was in all of the mess.  He's angry at his parents for their divorce when he was a kid and the events surrounding it and how his life fell apart afterwards.  It really drove home how much selfishness affects other people and especially can hurt the children.  There were some creepy and suspenseful moments in the book and led to a somewhat shocking event I figured was coming and then another I didn't see coming!  This story dealt with faith and coming to terms with our parents' humanness and remembering the good times and the bad.  It's about the importance of dealing with things before it's too late and loving people while you have them.  If you like stories a little twisty and unique, you might want to check it out!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Shawn Smucker
    Photo by: John Sanderson of Sanderson Images

    Shawn Smucker

    Shawn Smucker is the author of the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him...
    Continue reading about Shawn Smucker 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Action-Packed Thrill Ride! 'The String' - by Caleb Breakey

Cover Art

About the book:

Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him.

Ready to play?

My review:

Talk about a wild ride!  This book was hard to put down!  It just doesn't let up; it's suspenseful and action-packed from start to finish!  There were some crazy mind games as Markus tries to figure out who the conductor was and what his end game was.  It definitely got spooky a few times as it seemed he was everywhere and always one step ahead of Markus.  There was a hint of romance and a little bit of talk about faith as Markus cries out to God when he's terrified for his girlfriend, Stephanie, and her kids.  She has a strong faith and I liked her a lot.  I also liked Janet, an I.T. genius.  Both were strong female characters.  There were so many twists and turns; I was never sure who to trust!  It also sounds like there could be a sequel!  I highly recommend this story if you like suspense!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Caleb Breakey

    Caleb Breakey

    Caleb Breakey is the CEO of Speak It To Book, the premier ghostwriting agency for influencers, thought leaders, and industry celebrities. He is an ECPA Award finalist and a winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers, and he loves exploring...
    Continue reading about Caleb Breakey 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Romance With Some Meat to It! 'Love and Other Mistakes' - by Jessica Kate

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Title: Love and Other Mistakes
Jessica Kate
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
July 30, 2019
Genre: Romantic Comedy

About the book:

There’s a fine line between love and hate . . . And for the last seven years, Natalie Groves has hated Jeremy Walters.
Natalie Groves was meant for great things. But soon after her fianc├ę left, Natalie’s father was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly her grand plans evaporated . . . and God felt very far away.
Fast-forward seven years, and an internship presents Natalie a chance at her destiny—but she needs a job to work around it. And the only offer available is worse than a life sentence. Her ex Jeremy, now back in town, is desperate for help with his infant son and troubled teenage niece, Lili. And Natalie may be just the one to help Jeremy . . . provided they don’t kill each other in the process.
When Jeremy and Natalie join forces, sparks fly. But will either of them get burned along the way?

My review:

This was a fun romance but it also had a lot more going on as Natalie was dealing with so much.  I loved the humor in it but I actually wished there had been more of that and not quite so much of everything going wrong.  Natalie's trying to juggle so much and I found myself getting a little overwhelmed imagining it!  I liked her but I couldn't picture wanting to be a leader in a ministry so I couldn't really relate to that.  I could relate to thinking for years you were going to do one thing and having a hard time letting that go.  I liked Jeremy, too, and his baby stole the show!  I could just picture how adorable he was.  I really felt for Jeremy and the tough relationship he had with his dad.  He never felt like he could measure up and that influenced how he viewed God.  Lili also struggled with trying to be perfect as a pastor's kid and believed her parents' and God's love depended on that.  My heart broke for Lili and what she was going through with her parents.  It would be awful to be put in the middle like she was.  I was glad that the truth came out in multiple situations and people finally got clarity on the past so they can move forward.  Natalie and Jeremy both had a strong faith now and struggled with forgiveness.  There were some good romantic moments.  I also loved that a couple characters were Australian, like the author.  It was fun to listen to their accents in my head as I read the book!  I would recommend this story if you like romance mixed with heavier life issues!

I received this book from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Australian Jessica Kate is a sassy romance author and addict.
Her novels feature wit, snark and grit, and her StoryNerds podcast gives her a chance to nerd out with others about these ingredients in books, movies and TV.
She has a passion for garlic bread, theme parks and Batman.
Sign up to her newsletter at to hear first about her books, including her upcoming novels Love and Other Mistakes and A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
The StoryNerds podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at

CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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