Sunday, July 8, 2018

DANGEROUS TO KNOW BY MEGAN WHITSON LEE

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About the book:

“Don’t look at him, dear. He’s dangerous.” 

Isabella Bankmill seeks a husband whose character matches her list of requirements. The man must share her faith, but he must also possess a certain je ne sais quoi. The enigmatical Lord Gregory Gordon Bromby—London’s newest literary sensation—certainly possesses the latter. Despite a deformed foot and alarming views on politics and religion, he attracts the ladies in droves.

Haunted by his past and overwhelmed by his newfound celebrity status, Lord Bromby’s obsession with his own doom leads to reckless behavior. When he is stalked by an obsessive aristocrat seeking an elopement, Bromby’s friends urge him to marry a suitable lady as soon as possible. Intrigued by Isabella’s convictions and hoping to avoid further scandal, Bromby proposes to Isabella.

Isabella also receives an offer of marriage from kind-hearted philanthropist, David Beringer—a man equally devoted to his faith—but she only has eyes for Lord Bromby. Blinded by his talent and good looks, Isabella convinces herself that he’s not as dangerous as everyone claims. But when Bromby’s world violently collides with hers, Isabella must decide once and for all who is lord of her life. God or Bromby?

 
About the author:

Megan Whitson Lee is an anglophile and a recovering runaway. Over the years, she escaped to England and Australia before finally settling down in the US. These days, she lives a relatively quiet life as a wife, a mom of two greyhounds, an editor for Pelican Book Group, and a high school English teacher. She now escapes by writing novels instead of jumping on planes to foreign countries. Her novel, Captives, won the 2016 Director's Choice Award and was a finalist for a Selah Award in the women's contemporary fiction category at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

Megan writes women's contemporary thrillers and historical fiction featuring characters standing at the crossroads of major life decisions.

Website:              www.meganwhitsonlee.com
Facebook:           
https://www.facebook.com/meganwhitsonlee/
Twitter:                
https://twitter.com/MeganWhitsonLee
Instagram:           
https://www.instagram.com/meganwlee1/
Pinterest:            
https://www.pinterest.com/megan_whitson/


MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEWS OF THIS READ:

Megan does a great job following the story of Isabella Bankmill as she is introduced to London's society in the hopes of finding a suitable husband.

There is lots of buzz about Lord Bromby and how handsome he is and a great poet too.   Many rumors are swirling around about Lord Bromby and how dangerous he is and how he is not husband material.  But, sometimes love can be blind and feelings not reciprocated and marriage can be more of a convenience than of love.

Will Isabella find a husband or will she end up not finding a suitable match?  Who will win her heart will it be the kind Philanthropist David Beringer or will the poet Lord Gregory Gordon Bromby?

Sometimes we can compromise what we want in life and just settle for less than what God intends for us.   Come join Megan Whitson Lee as she tells the story of Isabella Bankmill. 
Isabella started out with a list of what she wanted in a husband, but as the pressure is put on to find a husband will she compromise and end up with less than God's best for her.

Read:  Dangerous to Know by Megan Whitson Lee to find out the rest of Isabella's story.





Thursday, May 31, 2018

PROCESSING THE LOSS OF LITFUSE PUBLICITY GROUP

First and foremost I must admit that I am an avid reader and love to read anything that I can get my hands on and have so since I learned to read.   I had seen people who had Book Blogs and started doing some research and looking at their blogs and getting some advice from the ones that were blogging and especially doing a Book Blog.   I started seeing advertisements on their pages for Litfuse Publicity Group and getting information on how to sign up.

So, on August 16, 2013, I launched Caffeinated Christian Raves - N - Reviews.  Using google and discovering some of the ins and outs of the Blogging World it all started.

WOW!  What an amazing journey this has been with them.  I found out a lot about myself through the process and no matter how much you love to read NO! you can't read them all.  I have learned to pace myself with the process of reading books, writing reviews (what is allowed and what is not allowed - they are that picky and Amazon can be an extremist when it comes to reviews).

I signed up with them even though I had just started my Book Blog and they took a chance on me and I have discovered authors that are still "iffy" (yes, I do have a weird side when it comes to reading).  I have discovered a very beloved classic that has endeared me and that book is Christy by Catherine Marshall (yes, this was my first time reading this book).  Unfortunately, this was my last tour with Litfuse Publicity Group.  They have closed their doors and to lose such a gem is really sad for me.

I want to say THANK YOU! to Litfuse Publicity staff and the wonderful writers who submitted your work to be read by ordinary people who love to read (like me).  It allowed me a chance to voice my opinion and be honest with you without tearing down (which I have learned is a very fine line).

This has been a wonderful journey!  Prayers for the staff at Litfuse Publicity Group as they seek new opportunities and endeavors.

GOD BLESS,

Tia Johnson


Saturday, December 2, 2017

'Christy' Giveaway, Blog Tour, and Facebook Live Party

New edition of Catherine Marshall's inspirational classic! 
The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her - and her one-room school - as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy's determination and devotion be enough?
Learn more, download a free map of Cutter Gap, and purchase a copy.




Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), The New York Times best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel Christy. Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter. A decade after Dr. Marshall's untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine's enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at http://gileadpublishing.com/christy/.
MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEWS OF THIS CLASSIC:  This is my first time reading this classic novel and it definitely will not be my last time to read it.  It definitely will be a book that has quickly became a favorite of mine.   

The setting for the novel is in the Appalachian Mountains and follows Christy Huddleston as she leaves the comforts of her home in Asheville, North Carolina to teach the children in Cutter Gap deep in the Appalachian Mountains.  

Christy had to get out of her comfort zone and learn the people and their ways of life that was so different than what she was used to in the city of Asheville.  Sometimes she second guesses her decision when she has to learn the ways and life of the people of Cutter Gap.  She learns that even though the gospel is being preached and they believe it is still threaded through with the superstitions, stories and songs taught and handed down through the generations.

Christy becomes torn between her love for two men and finds it very difficult to make a decision about which she will choose.  Will she choose the doctor that has views and beliefs that are polar opposite of hers or will she choose the preacher whose beliefs and views are the same as hers.

This book really touched a cord with me in that my mother grew up a the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama and I so remember the stories that have been passed down through the generations and on to me.  Some of them are just stories and superstitions mixed and a lot of them are true too.  I remember the stories, songs and haunting tales told.  Wild animals that lived in the mountains and made some appearances in the stories give you the chills.  So, I could relate to this book so much.



Some stories are evergreen, their themes and lessons standing the test of time and connecting with readers generation after generation. Reconnect with Catherine Marshall's beloved Christy as it celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new edition! As nineteen-year-old teacher Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home of Cutter Gap, some see her-and her one-room school-as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove. Yearning to make a difference, will Christy's determination and devotion be enough?

Celebrate the new 50th anniversary edition of Christy by entering to win one of TWO $50 Visa cash cards (details below) and by attending a Facebook Live party on December 5!


TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • One copy of Christy
  • One $50 Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 5. The winner will be announced at the Christy Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with authors who've been impacted by Christy and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

EMBRACING HOPE REVIEW & AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Take a poignant look into the broken heart and daily struggles of Christian college dean Drew McKinley. The story chronicles the turbulent first year in his desperate journey to understand God’s motives for the sudden death of his wife and his quest to find hope in his future. 

Crossing his perilous path are Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office, and Chris, the handsome but egotistical student senate president.

The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?








Author Bio
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including newspaper journalism, Christian higher education and nonprofit public relations, and local government public information. Janell is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law and three step-granddaughters. 

Blurb
Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

Links
Twitter - @janellwoj

Author Facebook - www.Facebook.com/janellbwoj



MY REVIEW OF EMBRACING HOPE:   This is a Christian Romance that takes place on a college campus, but it deals with real life.  Janell Wojtowicz does  a wonderful job at weaving a story of loss that can draw two people together.   It brings reality to the story, because even though it is a Christian College not everyone there is a Christian and living a life according to God's principles.

Also, we are human and are subject to failing in all aspects of our lives.  Drew, Chris and Allison all have their issues whether it be loneliness, loss of a loved one and just outright egotistical.  It also brings out issues that faces our college campuses today and not just our mainstream colleges, but also that faces our Christian Campuses as well.  But, God does forgive us when we sin and repent of our sins and puts us on a path of forgiveness.  I would recommend this read for 18+ due to the content of this read.  


                                    Author Interview – Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Q & A with debut author, Janell Butler Wojtowicz

What I wish I had known about writing a novel before beginning to write one

That it would take SO LONG! I figured it would take a three years—first chapter to publication. I’m very deadline driven, so I set my mental alarm clock and worked at that pace. I was impatient with my critique partners and wished they would hurry up. Looking back on it, what was I thinking? That the book would expire after a certain date? That it would self-destruct? In the end, it took me nine years to publish as life interrupted my quest and I had to put it aside several times. At one point I didn’t look at the manuscript for over a year.

Advice to beginning writers

Since many authors suggest writers’ conferences, critique partners, and writing groups, I’ll add finding a cheerleader outside of the literary world and outside your family. Sometimes you need someone who can provide encouragement, who believes in you, who steers you toward your goal. I have a cheerleader whose only writing ability is critiquing the essays of her college students. She was my boss and we developed a close friendship after we parted professionally. She never read the entire novel until after it was published so her focus was on me, not the manuscript. She listened to my fears, worries, and complaints. We discussed the good, bad, and ugly of pursuing publication. When I was tempted to give up, she would say (over and over again!) that the fact I completed a 97,000-word novel was an accomplishment very few people would ever attain. She said I had met my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and I should be proud of that. She also reminded me that God gave me the talent and He wouldn’t let it go to waste. Looking back on it, she was right about everything. 

The Hardest Thing About Writing

Letting go of—and learning from—failures and stinging criticism. I have yet to be completely successful, but I’ve made some strides. I’m a debut author who just launched in November and I haven’t been severely tested by negative reviews yet. I’ve steeled myself for them, and pray I’ll have the right attitude when they come (and they WILL come). I worry about the novel being a dud and hearing crickets at book-signings. I remind myself daily that I need to be in this for the long haul and let go of the worry. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

Why I wrote Embracing Hope

To quote Shakespeare, “To sleep, perchance to dream.” That’s exactly what happened, but in the literary sense. I love the classic novels and one night 10 years ago I watched an excellent BBC adaptation of “Jane Eyre.” That night I dreamed the beginning, pivotal middle scene, and ending of what became “Embracing Hope.” The story went through several metamorphoses, but the basic plot remained the same: How Drew, who had lost the love of his life, could find the hope to rebuild his life and find love again. I see the characters as a modern day tortured and brooding Mr. Rochester and struggling yet resilient Jane. The big difference is Drew’s wife isn’t locked up insane in a castle turret; she’s just dead.

Why contemporary Christian romance

The contemporary aspect is linked to the setting, which is a present-day elite Christian university. In addition to attending a Christian college, I worked at one for over a decade. I knew the daily routine, the lifestyles of students and staff, and the Christian education perspective. It saved a lot of time on research: I just searched my memories and experiences. The Christian perspective came naturally. Faith is in my DNA so I could never write fiction that doesn’t reflect my faith. As for the romance part, I still cringe a little when I admit I wrote a romance, fearing people will dismiss it as fluff. (A fear I need to LET GO!) I never thought I’d write a romance and never set out to do it. My background is journalism and public relations, which aren’t known for romance. But apparently God had other plans for me so He sent me down the rose petal path to romance. 






Saturday, September 9, 2017

MIRACLE FROM MY LIVING ROOM: A STORY OF A LITTLE MANN BOOK REVIEW & DIVINE APPOINTMENTS


About Samuel


My name is Samuel Mann and I am 11-years-old. My Mom likes to call me “Little Mann.” That’s because I am little. Most kids my age are a lot bigger. I’m just 26 pounds. That’s the way I was born. I guess everyone is different in some way.

Like most kids, I like to laugh, giggle and have lots of fun. My favorite song is the “Happy Birthday” song. It just makes me smile. You know what else I like? Watching Elmo and home videos on my i-Pad. I’m really fast at it and surprise anyone who watches me.

But my all-time favorite thing is cereal. I could eat it all day long. Well, I almost do sometimes. I get one piece of golden O’s in a plastic bottle at a time. I figured out how to open the bottle and snag my yummy O’s in no time flat.

Well, I’m gonna go play with my books now.

High-five,

Samuel

About Evelyn


Evelyn Mann is a middle-aged, stay at home mom who lives in Tampa, FL raising her special needs son, aka the “Miracle Mann".

She met her husband online at ChristianCafe.com. A year after they were married, their son was born with a lethal form of dwarfism. Her memoir, Miracle In My Living Room: The Story Of A Little Mann, chronicles her and her husband’s journey of faith from medical diagnosis to overcoming all odds. The popular blog, MiracleMann.com, shares Evelyn’s journey as the mother of a miracle.

Her son’s miraculous story has been featured on WFLA Channel 8, Fox35 Orlando, Inspirational Radio, Catholic News Agency and Christian Television Network. Her son was also interviewed on Special Books by Special Kids which has been viewed over 2 million times.

Receiving inquiries from around the world, she offers others families hope and encouragement sharing that unthinkable circumstances are not beyond God’s reach.

MY REVIEW OF THIS READ:  I was given the opportunity by Evelyn Mann to review a copy of her memoir.  The story of her son, the fatal diagnosis, the choice to choose life and the survival of her son.   I can truthfully say that I don't do a lot of book reviews for memoirs, but I chose this book anyway.  It is a really powerful story of how today's society wants so readily to end a life and can't see how people choose a life no matter how long or short that might be.

Evelyn tells an excellent story of her and her husband Ralph's choice to choose life for their son when he was given the diagnosed with a fatal form of Dwarfism, Thanatophoric Dwarfism, and the fight to not only give him life, but to survive.  When so many wanted to give up on Samuel, Ralph and Evelyn choose not to give up and became their child's advocate even while he was still in the womb, but even after he was born too.  It always shows how God was faithful in providing the right doctors that would help them fight for Samuel's life.   Samuel just recently celebrated his 12th birthday.  I really enjoyed this read and enjoyed the story of Ralph, Evelyn and Samuel.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ABOUT THIS BOOK:  Do I believe that some books are placed in your hands by God?  Yes, I do and I don't believe this book was placed in my hands by accident.  I truly believe that it was placed in my hands by God.  You see when Evelyn contacted me about reviewing her memoir she knew nothing about me.  I am very short for my age (I have Short Stature) and am only 4'7".  So, when a book is placed in your hands and you can relate so much to it and to the person that wrote it.  Think of the book as a Divine Appointment that you needed just then and encourage you in your life and the struggles that you have gone through in life.

God Bless,

Tia