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Review of The Christmas Admirer by Laura Helton

Posted by [email protected] on November 9, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (1)


About the Book


Name of book: The Christmas Admirer

Author: Laura V Hilton

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Amish romance fans will love this heartwarming holiday story, perfect for gift-giving.

Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?



My Review

 

The Christmas Admirer is a delightful Amish story immersed in Amish tradition and interlaced with love. The story is woven with uncertainty and mistrust. Can Beniah find his way to trust the Lord for his future?


An uplifting ending brings a wonderful conclusion to a beautiful love story. The characters were well developed, humorous and I couldn't help but laugh along with them. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more of her work.

 

I requested and received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for the purpose of posting an honest review. 

.

Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Author



Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton



 Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me. But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks. It was fascinating. And I got to thinking what if…


So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower. The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are: Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri:

The Snow Globe

The Postcard

The Birdhouse

The Amish Firefighter

The Amish Wanderer

The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection)

The Christmas Admirer Gingerbread Wi8)shes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018

 Love by the Numbers February 2018 


I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses.



All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.

Susanna’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until blended. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, fold cream and walnuts into cranberry mixture.Makes 16 servings.

Susanna’s Cranberry Sauce

For on top of turkey sandwiches as Becca requested Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
Directions

In colander, rinse cranberries. In sauce pan, add water or orange juice and sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries had burst. Let cool.

Susanna’s “Love Portion” Gingerbread

Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening, melted slightly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ c water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions

Shift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside. In mixing bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down until about 1 ½ inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate as desired.

Blog Stops


ASC Book Reviews, November 9


Books n Baubles, November 9


Janices book review, November 9


Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 10

 

Have A Wonderful Day, November 10


A Greater Yes, November 10

 

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 11


God’s Little Bookworm, November 11

 

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 11


Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, November 12

 

A Holland Reads, November 12

 

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12


Reading Is My SuperPower, November 13


Beck To Basics, November 13

 

Carpe Diem, November 13


Christian Bookaholic, November 14


Blossoms and Blessings, November 14


Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 15

 

Reader’s cozy corner, November 15


Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 15

 

Baker Kella, November 16


Quiet Quilter, November 16


Karen Sue Hadley, November 16


Pause for Tales, November 17 


Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 17


Pursuing Stacie, November 17


For The Love of Books, November 18


Blogging With Carol, November 18


Pink Granny’s Journey, November 18


Bigreadersite, November 19


Vicky Sluiter, November 19


SusanLovesBooks, November 19


Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

 

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 20


New Horizon Reviews, November 20


The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 21


A Simply Enchanted Life, November 21


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21


Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 22


Daysong Reflections, November 22


Splashes of Joy, November 22


Giveaway


In honor of her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand Prize Package: The Christmas Admirer, “Unto Us a Child is Born” painting on decorative serving plate by Donna White, The Hearthside Collection, Inc., and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and The Very First Christmas by Juliet David with interactive illustrations by Pauline Siewert (children’s book). 2nd Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and “The Woman Who Honors The Lord Shall Be Praised” myrrh-scented candle from abba Jerusalem!

Click to enter! 

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah by Angie Dicken

Posted by [email protected] on November 5, 2017 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (1)


About the Book


Name of book: My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life. Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble. Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

Click here to purchase Angie’s amazing book!

My Review

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah is a book of heartache, love, faith

and times when tensions ran high. It depicts the 1900's well, during a time

of great prejudice against anyone not born in the U.S.


The characters were well developed and the ongoing tension kept me on the edge of my

seat. The story was laced with struggles and great compromises.

The ending took me by surprise but I was pleased with how it turned out.

An inspirational story of romance against all odds where traditions are hard to overcome.

I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour 
and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

 

Angie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

You can connect with Angie at http://www.angiedicken.com

Guest Post from Angie Dicken

My Publishing Story: A Journey of Perfect Timing

”Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
   



I wrote a story five years ago. My footing was finally solid on how to write, after a couple ACFW conferences and connecting with my bestie writing sister, Ashley. So in 2012, I poured my heart out within the parameters of what I’d learned. The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape
Architecture in college. 
 
Papou was one of my greatest heroes. And my novel was a tribute to him, to my Greek roots, to an American legacy.

So, at ACFW 2012, I took my novel to conference with more confidence than I had before. This story caught the attention of an agent– and I signed a contract with the Steve Laube Agency in November of that year. That was amazing…I chuckle now because the name of the room that I interviewed with Tamela was the “McKee” room–the last name of my heroine. A sign? Maybe. When she sent my story out for all publishers to see that next month, I thought my time for that book was just around the corner. And… Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016. What timing, right? Why the heck did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure. Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait? What happened between then? Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how much Timing is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait. I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…;). In looking back, this is what I see:


My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life. [Insert Meme Here] There was a Pride Monster, and He needed to kill it. Oh, Lord, if ever there was a pride monster, it was me. My gut reaction in every rejection, every criticism, every other person’s success was a measurement against them according to me. Yuck. Do you know what the best way to kill a Pride Monster? Starve it. Even though I had my sweet friends and my agent encouraging me along the way, my heart was set on publication and I was not getting that. I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.

The Darkest Valley Was Ahead. Everything stood still in 2014. My personal crisis gave me little room for any true focus on my writing success. If anything, it made the effort seem petty. When you go through your days wondering if you’ll make it to the next morning without a complete mental breakdown, you can’t really dream. My dream in those moments was to crawl out of my skin and run away. This was not about my writing, this was about God’s faithfulness to someone who was losing faith–in the person she loved, in the life she constructed, in the heart that was broken. Looking back (I did climb up and out of this valley), I needed this valley walk (or crawl) to happen when it did–without a book on the shelf, without confidence in something that I had accomplished. I needed brokenness to become stronger and know that my strength has nothing to do with me. There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.


First, I got a book contract! You know this, but, the contract came at a time when I had grown peaceful in the journey–the pride monster lay slain, and I picked up a pen and took an opportunity. My Oklahoma Land Run book with Love Inspired Historical won the Manuscript Matchmakers contest…and WAS coming out in Spring 2018. I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run. So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September! There’s more… My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah. But, the timing? November 2017 is my release. God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book. I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago. If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too. A century. It took a CENTURY. Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 31


Faithfully Bookish, October 31


Caffeinated Reads, October 31


Captive Dreams Window, November 1


Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1

 

A Greater Yes, November 2

 

Janices book reviews, November 2


Daysong Reflections, November 2


Red Headed Book Lady, November 3


Books, Books, and More Books., November 3


Just the Write Escape, November 3


Carpe Diem, November 4


Christian Bookaholic, November 4


Radiant Light, November 5


History, Mystery & Faith, November 5


Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6


Texas Book-aholic, November 6


Babs Book Bistro, November 7

 

Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7


Singing Librarian Books, November 8


Connie’s History Classroom, November 8


D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9


J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9


Neverending Stories, November 9


Have A Wonderful Day, November 10


Pause for Tales, November 10


Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11

 

Mary Hake, November 11


Splashes of Joy, November 11


Bigreadersite, November 12


Blossoms and Blessings, November 12


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12


Vicky Sluiter, November 13

 

Bibliophile Reviews, November 13



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book The Outlaw’s Second Chance!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1ff

Coming Soon-"A Walk with Heavenly Spirits"

Posted by [email protected] on October 14, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (2)



Available for Preorder on Amazon, Kobo, IBooks, Google Play and Barnes & Noble at 99c. Regular price $2.99 after Dec. 4th.

Christian Inspirational/Romance  

Description:

Allison Stevens has been a child of God since she was a young child. One wrong decision takes her on a course of disappointment and heartache. God loves her and wants her back, but Satan wants to keep her in a life of despair and lies.


A family she didn’t know she had, a man grieving his loss, and a felon who wants her dead makes her life more complicated than ever. Can she find happiness outside of the chaos?


On the road back to God, she discovers that it doesn’t come without trouble. There are still struggles, but now she realizes she isn’t alone. God is with her. Can she stay strong and ward off the lies of the devil?


Heavenly Spirits are sent by God to instruct and remind Allison of God’s promises. Can she walk the path God intended for her and find the joy she lost?


This is an inspirational story of forgiveness, trust, enduring faith, and love.


http://books.pronoun.com/a-walk-with-heavenly-spirits/


Have a wonderful weekend. God bless.

Julie







Review of God Bless the Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush

Posted by [email protected] on October 7, 2017 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)


God Bless the Broken Road is one of the best novels I've read this year. The story is well written with lots of emotional scenes that kept me engaged. The main characters are well fleshed out and I found myself connecting to Amber and Bree immediately. Amber, a war widow, with a young daughter tries desperately to find some kind of normality after the loss of her husband.


Amber feels that when she needed God most, that he wasn't there for her. It seems like nothing in her life will ever be right again. Then on the scene comes Cody, an almost washed up race car driver. Exactly what Amber is sure she doesn't need. She pushes all her friends away, including her mother-in-law who only want to be there for her.


How can she find her way back and live life again? This is a story of failure, a feeling of abandonment, and struggle. But in the end, is one of great victory. A very uplifting story of renewed faith, trust, and love. It shows how when we are at our lowest point in life, we can still find our way back to God.


https://www.amazon.com/God-Bless-Broken-Road-Novel-ebook/dp/B01HMXRU8C


Dreamstime- Get Your Photo for Your Next Cover

Posted by [email protected] on September 15, 2017 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Stock Photography

Need some professional images for your next book cover.  Check out all that Dreamstime has to offer. Lots of categories and plans available for downloads.

Earn money with their referral program.

Check it out!



Stock Photography

12 Mysteries from Best-Selling Authors ONLY 99c

Posted by [email protected] on September 12, 2017 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

12 Mysteries from Best-Selling Authors for Only .99c!

Featuring Abby L. Vandiver, Judith Lucci, Amy Vansant, Colleen Mooney, Amy Reade, Nell Goddin, Colleen Helme, Kim Hunt Harris, Larissa Reinhart, Cindy Bell, Summer Prescott, Kathryn Dionne.

Twelve new, never-before published, Christmas-themed cozy mysteries in a boxed set from twelve, bestselling cozy authors - All for 99c!

And what's a cozy without a pet? To help spread some of the Christmas spirit, the authors of The 12 Slays of Christmas, along with sharing our Christmas whodunit stories, are donating all of the profits from our boxed set to an animal rescue shelter to help cats and dogs in need - and you can be a part of it all!

Amazon | KOBO | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Review of Our Good Father by Pierre M. Eade

Posted by [email protected] on September 4, 2017 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

In Our Good Father, Pierre Eade, writes from his experiences in order to connect with his readers. His down to earth writing style makes for an easy read and easy to understand lessons about our Heavenly Father.

 

In Our Good Father, he disproves through scripture, why Satan's lies are false about who our Heavenly Father is. God's love for us truly makes us whole.

 

We learn that our Heavenly Father's will for humanity is healing and restoration and that we have been chosen and commissioned to share the blessing and message of God with others.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the author's humor and life experiences weaved throughout the book. I walked away from this read with a reminder of who God truly is and I highly recommend Our Good Father. I look forward to reading more from this author.


Review of A Father's Love by Lorana Hoopes

Posted by [email protected] on September 4, 2017 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Maxwell's loose lifestyle of being a playboy comes back to haunt him. How can a man go from playboy to father overnight? His daughter's mother, Sara, is dying from cancer. How can he change and put his old lifestyle in the past and put his daughter's needs before his? Then there is Alyssa, Sara's best friend, a Christian who is carrying hurt from a past relationship. Can she stick it out and keep the promise to help look after Payton.

 

The story line shows how someone so far gone from God's path can be led back with the help from a couple of Christian women. Through their insight, love of God, faith, and God's intervention anything can happen.

 

The characters are well fleshed out and I felt myself immersed in their world almost immediately. The character of four year old Payton, was precious. Her innocent childlike qualities were spot on. Alyssa, was continually struggling with trust issues, but with God's help, she began to see the change she wanted to see in Maxwell.

 

The story is about great love, deep faith, and possibilities. It's an inspiring and emotional read. Keep the tissues handy.


https://www.amazon.com/Fathers-Love-Inspirational-Christian-Romance-ebook/dp/B073K1ZJ8W

Review of Will Not See by Chautona Havig

Posted by [email protected] on August 30, 2017 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)


I was provided with a copy of Will Not See by the author and chose to review it.

Will Not See was a very interesting story.  
What if you woke up one day and didn't know who you were, whether or not you had a family or friends. It would be absolutely terrifying.  

You start to rebuild your life, but you don't know what you like or don't like. Your best friend is supportive, but it's un-nerving because they know more about you than you do!  

Toss some thugs into the mix who want to kill you and you're in a run for your life situation.  You don't know who they are or why they are after you.  Then you discover you have a lot of money, but don't know where it came from. You wonder if that is why they are chasing you. Did you do something illegal?

Will Not See is an action packed, on the edge of your seat ride,  that keeps you turning the pages.  My only disappointment was that there was a cliff hanger ending, that for me, didn't wrap up some of the questions I still had.  I understand though, that it was probably a set up for another novel in the series.

Out of Darkness Blog Tour and Giveaway

Posted by [email protected].com on August 26, 2017 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (1)


 

To purchase your copy, click here

About the Book

  

Book title: Out of Darkness  
Author: Erynn Newman  
Release date: May 18, 2017  
Genre: Romantic suspense

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare. As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more. Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go. Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo. When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.  



About the Author

 

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after. And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone. But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Light, the prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris. Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about. The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

Blog Stops


August 17: A Bakers Perspective

 

August17: Genesis 5020


August18: Book Reviews from an Avid Reader


August 18: Reading is MySuperpower


August 19: Fiction Aficionado


August 19: Inklings and Notions 


August 20: Reflections from My Bookshelves


August 20: Blossoms and Blessings


August 21: History, Mystery & Faith


August 21: Blogging With Carol


August 22: Faithfully Bookish


August 23: Just the Write Escape


August 23: Moments Dipped in Ink


August 24: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting


August 24: 100 pages per hour


August 25: Carpe Diem


August 25: Christian Bookaholic


August 26: J.E. Grace Blog


August 26: Karen Sue Hadley


August 27: God's Little Bookworm

 

August 27: Back Porch Reads

 

August 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


August 28: Margaret Kazmierczak

 

August 28: Daysong Reflections


August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection


August 29: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

 

August 29: Remembrancy


August 30: Avid Reader Book Reviews

 

August 30: Henry Happens



Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac


My Review:

Out of Darkness was an amazing read. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I found myself immersed in Elizabeth's world and early on, was drawn to her. The other main characters, Drew and Gabe, made me feel like I really knew them. 

This story will take you on a wild ride of deep love, loss, and a struggle to find the will to go on. The story is well grounded in faith, and at times, the lack of faith by the characters. They face real life spiritual issues, and found myself sympathetic and understanding to their plight..

The authors plot was very well thought out and came with a few unexpected surprises. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy true Christian romance with a twist of suspense thrown in. I found myself reflecting on the book long after the last page was turned. For me, it was a real heart wrencher, but with an uplifting ending. Non-stop action from beginning to end.







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