Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Phoebe's Light: Nantucket Legacy Book One By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description: 

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she's doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a "minder" on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary's journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe's shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way--just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.


My Thoughts: 

Phoebe's Light is the first book in Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest series, Nantucket Legacy and I love it! Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of my favorite authors, so when this opportunity came up to read and review this book I jumped at the chance. In this series, Suzanne Woods Fisher writes with authority about our world in 1700's, sailing, whaling, hierarchy,  and The Quaker faith. I absolutely love reading Christian Historical fiction, I learn so much every time. I loved learning the language of that time and the Quaker Faith. I love Suzanne Woods Fisher's unique style of writing, in this book she gives a story inside of a story and I never felt "lost" by the details.  I feel like I am right there in the story. I found the cover of this book to be intriguing. I found myself unable to put this book down. The characters are well written, real people experiencing real life. I truly enjoyed Phoebe and Grand Mary. Their entwined stories showed how strong they both were and how important forgiveness is in all of our lives. I cannot do this story justice!! I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series. I give this book 5 STARS.



Pheobes Light FB banner copy

About the Book

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

Title: Phoebe’s Light  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Genre: Historical romance  
Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes. Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time. In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoods
  
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air. Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women. Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world. First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it. After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip! Nantucket’s Famous 

Morning Glory Muffins Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup sugar
 2 ¼ cup flour
 1 tablespoon cinnamon
 2 tsp baking soda
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ cup shredded coconut
 ½ cup raisins
 2 cup grated carrots (4 large)
1 apple, shredded
 8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
 ½ cup pecans or walnuts
 3 eggs
 1 cup vegetable oil
 1 tsp vanilla
 Instructions:     Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well. Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well. Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15
With a Joyful Noise, February 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 16
ASC Book Reviews, February 17
Book by Book, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 18
The Power of Words, February 18
Splashes of Joy, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
All of a kind Mom, February 20
Baker Kella, February 21
Mommynificent, February 21
Janices book reviews, February 21
Lighthouse Academy, February 22
Readers cozy corner, February 22
Mary Hake, February 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
Blogging With Carol, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
Carpe Diem, February 24
Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
Just the Write Escape, February 25
By The Book, February 26
For The Love of Books, February 26
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
Maureen’s Musings, February 27
Bigreadersite, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Pursuing Stacie, February 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0

Monday, February 26, 2018

Love By The Numbers By Laura V. Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

After a buggy accident claims the life of her fiancé, Lydia Hershberger makes a fresh start in Jamesport, Missouri, managing a gift store. It isn’t long before she meets the young man hired to handle the bookkeeping—Caleb Bontrager, whose handcrafted cuckoo clocks are sold in the store.      And it isn't long before Caleb has made up his mind about her: bright and sparkly but not right for him. Alarmed by his attraction to her, he determines to settle down with someone more practical. Less sparkle. More logic. But he can’t seem to shake his feelings for Lydia.   
When false allegations by the bishop back home catch up with Lydia and threaten to ruin her reputation, can she clear her name and find lasting happiness? Or will her sunny disposition fade away into heartbreak?


My Thoughts:  

Love By The Numbers is Laura V. Hilton's latest book and it is fabulous! Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres in Christian Fiction and so of course Laura V. Hilton is one of my must read authors. I have had the privilege to read and review quite a few of her books.  Laura V. Hilton writes with authority about Amish and their way of life, running a business, and accounting. I love Laura V. Hilton's style of writing, she puts me right into her stories, like I am part of it and that she truly has researched  the Amish and gives an honest accounting of their lifestyle.This book is a stand alone book, but I enjoyed the fact that previous characters from some of her other books are spoken about. The characters in this book are well written and real. I found myself drawn to Bethel, Caleb's Mamm and Judith's best friend. Her loving ways, sense of humor, forgiving nature, and assertiveness really caught my attention. She treats Lydia like her own in many ways. I really enjoyed the themes of love and forgiveness throughout this book. I cannot say enough good about this book and this author. From cover to cover this book grabbed my attention and kept it until the last page. I highly recommend this book and author is you are a fan of Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more of Laura V. Hilton's books. I give this book 5 STARS.

Love by the Numbers FB banner Template copy

About the Book

Love By The Numbers Cover

Title: Love by the Numbers
 
Author: Laura V. Hilton
  
Genre: Christian Amish fiction  

Release Date: February 6, 2018

After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her. Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence. When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Laura picture (1)

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.  

Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background

March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm. Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there. There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.  

Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background

On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried. Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family. One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week. I hope you’ll enjoy the story! Because of Him, Laura V. Hilton

Blog Stops

Pursuing Stacie, February 13
Quiet Quilter, February 13
Red Headed Book Lady, February 13
Babs Book Bistro, February 13
Blogging With Carol, February 14
Among the Reads, February 14
SusanLovesBooks, February 16
Carpe Diem, February 16
Splashes of Joy, February 17
vickysluiter.com, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
C Jane Read, February 20
Daysong Reflections, February 20
margaret kazmierczak, February 20
Bibliophile Reviews, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 22
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
cherylbbookblog, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 24
Christian Bookaholic, February 25
Janices book reviews, February 25
For The Love of Books, February 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26
Bigreadersite, February 26

Giveaway

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In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem
1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils 2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Nephilim Virus By John Prather

I received this book from Adams PR Group and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description 

Nick Reese wakes from a three-year coma to find the world he once knew is gone. An ancient virus has infected two-thirds of the world's population, turning humans into either incredibly intelligent super-humans or large and indestructible animalistic creatures. For the survivors, there is no government, no antidote, and no safety. With the help of a beautiful hematologist named Faith and a man they call the Commander, Nick must survive long enough to discover the origin of the virus and learn how his blood could hold the key to a cure. But he has to do it while being hunted by the infected. And failure means the extinction of the human race.
Author and Hollywood actor John Prather intertwines history and science to create a plausible post-apocalyptic tale. The Nephilim Virus is an intense thriller implementing spiritual ideas. The Nephilim Virus is a nonstop race against time from beginning to end.

My Thoughts: 

The Nephilim Virus is John Prather's debut book and it is FANTASTIC!! I really enjoy reading new writers first books and this one if NO exception. I would classify this book as Christian Medical and Science Fiction. I don't read much of Science Fiction but I am glad I gave this book a chance. John Prather writes with authority on The Bible, medicine especially hematology, and survival. I have to say I could NOT put this book down and I know that I haven't read a book this fast in a while. From cover to cover this book grabbed a hold of me and kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the in depth explanations of the scriptures about the Nephilim, I really learned a lot and found John Prather's interpretation very interesting. I found John Prather's style of writing unique, especially the short chapters, gives more suspense and the feeling of being on the edge of your seat. He has also assembled a great cast of characters in this book.  The main characters in this book are well written and real. I have a hard time trying to pick just one but I am going to say Nick Reese is my favorite. From the time he woke up from the coma and getting hit with the new world reality, Nick took it all in and wanted to help. His strength and his faith are admirable. I really don't feel I can do justice to this book.  This is one of those books that will stay with me for a while. I really hope there are more books to follow this one. Really left me wanting more. I cannot say enough good about this book. This is a must read, especially if you enjoy Christian Suspense, Medical thriller, and/or Science fiction, you have to read it. I cannot wait to read more from John Prather, I have found a new must read author.
 I give this book 5+ STARS. Please check out the information below to learn more about this book and this author



Q&A with John Prather
Author of “The Nephilim Virus”

 Q: What inspired you to write “The Nephilim Virus”?

A: I always had this idea for a story where two thirds of the world was infected with a blood disease, but I never knew how I was going to tell it. There are several obscure verses in Genesis 6 about the Nephilim, a race of beings created from the sons of god sleeping with the daughters of men and that passage always fascinated me. One day, I decided to put those two ideas together and tell a story where I got to imagine what the world would look like if that race of super humans were still around.
I have been a writer and lover of stories ever since I was young. My grandfather was a wonderful storyteller and I used to listen to his stories over and over to learn the rhythm and pace and punch line of a good story. I had dozens of unfinished stories lying around, but I never sat down and made myself finish one. Then in 2013, I decided it was time I finished a manuscript. And I did. And it was bad. But it showed me I could finish one. Then I had the idea for The Nephilim Virus, so I started writing that in 2014 as a short story. I knew I had to get the idea out of my head or it wouldn’t leave me alone. As I kept writing, the story kept coming. Five months or so later, I had another finished manuscript. This one seemed publishable. Now, almost four years later, here we are.

Q: What do you hope readers will experience with this novel?

A: All the great themes, like redemption and sacrifice and love, of all the great stories are just tiny versions of the greatest story, God’s story. That is the reason a reader can feel them in his or her soul—regardless if the work is Christian or non-Christian. I want readers to connect to the greatest story by reading a book that has little glimpses of that story woven into it. The overall theme of the book is the idea that every human has been infected with a blood disease, but there is a cure. I want readers to be entertained while subconsciously connecting to the truth —sometimes in ways they might not even realize.

Q: In addition to being an author, you are also an actor and model. How does that affect your work as a writer?

A: Working in the entertainment industry allows me to continually learn about people. Being an actor is a great way for me to be in touch with my own emotions and internal motivations and also to see and feel my fellow performers’ emotions and motivations. Everyone has tics and mannerisms that are specific to them and I feel being aware of these individual characteristics helps me create strong characters for my stories. It has also helps me hone the art of storytelling to see how other artists tell their own stories, whether they are writers, photographers, actors, directors, or whatever.


Q: Why do you believe this novel will appeal to both Christians as well as non-Christians?

A: My all-time favorite author is C.S. Lewis and he said something that has always stuck with me. He said, “What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent.” The novel will appeal to Christians who like stories that can be taken seriously by the world while still holding deeper truths. Sometimes “Christian” entertainment can avoid or sugar-coat real life topics that people deal with every day. This novel is one a Christian could enjoy and pass on to their friends who might not read something blatantly Christian. The novel has no cussing or sex, but at the same time, it has death and villains and adventure. It shows the battle between good and evil without being offensive on one hand or preachy on the other. Non-Christians will enjoy the book because it reads like a movie or a Netflix series. It has short chapters and short sentences and lots of cliffhangers. The deeper truths are hidden just below the surface so a non-Christian could read it simply for its entertainment value and not realize the Christian themes, imagery, and symbolism right away. The Nephilim Virus doesn’t talk overtly about God, but you can see Him throughout the work, similar to the book of Esther in the Bible.

Q: How difficult is it to live your faith in the entertainment industry?

A: Being a Christian is the norm in the South. Everyone has a church, even if they never go to church. In the South, it costs you very little to be a Christian. But in Hollywood, it costs you a lot. Christians are the enemy out here. No one understands them. The good thing about that is that it cuts out the lukewarm Christians. Out here, if you aren’t deep with God, you will soon be done with Him because it costs too much. I’ve been to countries where faith costs much more than it ever will here, but it probably costs more to be a Christian in Hollywood than it does anywhere else in the United States. Being a follower of God in L.A. can get you ostracized, fired, friendless, and broke. For example, I literally got screamed at by a casting director because I turned down a role that I wasn’t comfortable doing. He screamed at me about how the role could make my career and how I was a moron and other unrepeatable things. And that was one of the more tame encounters I’ve had with someone who doesn’t understand my worldview.
 Another difficulty of having faith in Hollywood is that, as an actor, you often don’t get to see the whole project for which you are auditioning. The small part of the script that they show you could be acceptable, but you don’t know what overall story they are telling. So you really have to trust God to keep you away from the wrong projects. The thing people outside of Hollywood don’t understand is the difficulty of the industry. Even someone who has no morals and no qualms about doing anything in any project has a one in a billion shot of making it. Being a Christian further narrows their odds by being an outcast who refuses to do something or represent something that is against their morals. I often think of Hollywood as America’s version of “the gates of hell” that Jesus talked about. Christians out here are the tip of the spear. They are in the hottest spot. They need lots of support. But that’s ok because Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail.

Q: Talk about why you and your wife decided to be foster parents.

A: My wife and I met on a mission trip in Brazil where we took a medical boat down the Amazon river. That is another story for another time, but one of the first things we connected on was our desire to build a family through adoption as well as biologically. We were both big believers in adoption. We also wanted to try to save a kid who wouldn’t have a great chance at life without us. We think adoption is a wonderful thing in all its forms, but we wanted to take a child from a situation where they had no hope of a family otherwise. We aren’t rich, and we don’t have a lot, but we do have a heart for children without a family. So we decided to adopt out of the California foster care system. We were very naive as to the difficulty of that process, but we started taking foster classes and getting certified two months after we got married. We planned on having our own children first and then coming back to adopt when the time was right. It is a very long story, but God had other plans. We ended up bringing a little foster boy into our home in order to adopt him. He was later given back to a family member. Giving up my son was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Two months later, we brought a little girl into our home. We brought her home from the hospital and she just became a one-year-old. We are currently in the process of trying to adopt her, and everything looks good so far, but things could change in an instant. It breaks my heart and scares me to death that a social worker could call tomorrow and say, “pack up your daughter, I’m coming to get her and you will never see her again.” The foster system is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my entire life, and I hope that one day I will be in a position to help make changes in the system. Until then, I’m very open and write about our journey in my blog in hopes of helping other people and shedding light on the subject. God willing we will adopt our daughter shortly after our twins are born. Then, in a few more years, we will try to adopt another child from the system.



Q: As a sought-after model, you obviously keep yourself very fit. How do you believe your physical health impacts your spiritual well-being?

A: I believe the physical body and spiritual body are closely linked. As a Christian I believe that God himself lives inside the human body. God’s spirit should permeate every part of a person’s life, including the physical and mental aspects. The Bible says to love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength —mind, soul, and body. I think sometimes Christians emphasize the mind and soul, but neglect the body. But God asks for all three. Your physical life is your spiritual life. You couldn’t say, “my mouth is eating donuts, but my body uses it like broccoli.” It doesn’t work that way. The outside begins on the inside.
In addition to the close link of your physical life and your spiritual life there is the idea that the discipline of building your body by exercising builds discipline in other areas as well. It builds self-control (another spiritual trait). The strength to build the discipline to work out every day translates to the strength and discipline to read your Bible and pray every day. God told Joshua four times in three verses to be strong and courageous. Paul often used physical examples to teach spiritual truth. When Samson failed spiritually, he also lost his physical strength.  God asks for all of you. Every piece. Body and soul.

About John Prather:
 John Prather grew up with seven siblings in Memphis, Tennessee, on a steady diet of BBQ and southern values. After graduating from the University of Memphis, he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at the entertainment industry. He has been featured in TV series such as Scream Queens on Fox as well as WWE Raw. His commercial work has included ads for FedEx, Old Navy, Burger King, and Ruffles, in addition to various other major corporations. As a model, he has been featured in national magazines such as People, GQ, Men’s Health, as well as on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine, among others. John and his wife are expecting twins in early 2018, and hope to adopt their foster daughter very soon.

For more information, visit www.JohnTPrather.com.


For interviews, contact:
Gina Adams
615-776-1590
Gina@AdamsPRGroup.com






Endorsements for “The Nephilim Virus”

“This book would make a great movie! It’s a cohesive, fun ride through some of my most beloved topics—science, the supernatural, and the apocalypse.” —Megan Fox, Actress – Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jennifer’s Body, This Is 40

“Get ready to wake up and find yourself in a nightmare of epic proportions. Each page is an adrenaline-infused adventure that will leave you breathless as each paragraph is another jolt moving you toward the heart-pounding conclusion. Blending biblical history with modern high-tech thrills, John Prather emerges as a master storyteller with a tale that you won’t be able to read fast enough. The Nephilim Virus is infectious and the only cure is to read this amazing story.” —Jeff Dixon, Bestselling author – Dixon on Disney series

“This story isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a blood-pumping thriller sure to make your heart rate spike. The Nephilim Virus has villains that will make your palms sweat and a plot so real you’ll be looking over your shoulder for Nephilim while asking your doctor to test you for the virus. This is an amazing book!” —Kenny Schwartz, Emmy-nominated film and television writer –American Housewife; Modern Family; American Dad!; Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place





For interviews, contact: Gina Adams
615-776-1590 (direct)
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Press Release
Actor and GQ model finds success in Hollywood despite hostility toward his Christian faith

His debut novel seeks to bridge the divide between Christian and
non-Christian entertainment

 Los Angeles, CA −Actor, model, and author John Prather is outspoken about his Christian faith, even though it has cost him well-paying jobs in Hollywood. But he has found success in Los Angeles, nonetheless, landing roles in two television series as well as being featured in national magazines such as GQ, People, Men’s Health, and Muscle and Fitness. But with his debut novel, “The Nephilim Virus” (Deep River Books), he hopes to follow in the footsteps of his favorite author, C.S. Lewis, as well as his not-so-famous grandfather.

“My grandfather was a wonderful storyteller and I used to listen to his stories over and over to learn the rhythm and pace and punch line of a good story,” says Prather, who grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. “ Being an actor is a great way for me to be in touch with my own emotions and internal motivations, and also to watch my fellow performers’ emotions and motivations. Everyone has tics and mannerisms that are specific to them, and being aware of these individual characteristics helps me create strong characters for my stories. C.S. Lewis said something that has always stuck with me. He said, "What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent." 

“The Nephilim Virus” is based on some obscure verses in Genesis 6 about the Nephilim, a race of beings created from the sons of God sleeping with the daughters of men. Written in short chapters and with a plethora of cliffhangers, the novel is about the world being infected with a blood disease, and desperately seeking a cure. Prather says he wrote the story with the intention of appealing to both Christians and non-Christians alike.

“It shows the battle between good and evil without being offensive on one hand or preachy on the other,” says Prather. “Non-Christians will enjoy the book because it reads like a movie or a Netflix series. The deeper truths are hidden just below the surface so a non-Christian could read it simply for its entertainment value and not realize the Christian themes, imagery, and symbolism right away. The novel doesn’t talk overtly about God, but you can see Him throughout the work, similar to the book of Esther in the Bible.”

As proof of that claim, “The Nephilim Virus” has been endorsed by film star, Megan Fox, who said the book would “make a great movie” due to its combination of science, the supernatural and the apocalypse. And while Prather would be happy if the book were made into a film, he is grounded in the knowledge of what he’s up against in Tinseltown.





THE NEPHILIM VIRUS

“Being a Christian is the norm in the South where I grew up. Everyone has a church, even if they never go to church. In the South, it costs you very little to be a Christian, but in Hollywood, it costs you a lot. Being a follower of God in Hollywood can get you ostracized, fired, friendless, and broke. I often think of Hollywood as America’s version of ‘the gates of hell’ that Jesus talked about. Christians out here are the tip of the spear. They need a lot of support. But that’s ok, because Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail.”

About John Prather:

 John Prather grew up with seven siblings in Memphis, Tennessee, on a steady diet of BBQ and southern values. After graduating from the University of Memphis, he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at the entertainment industry. He has been featured in TV series such as Scream Queens on Fox as well as WWE Raw. His commercial work has included ads for FedEx, Old Navy, Burger King, and Ruffles, in addition to various other major corporations. As a model, he has been featured in national magazines such as People, GQ, Men’s Health, as well as on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine, among others. John and his wife are expecting twins in early 2018, and hope to adopt their foster daughter very soon. For more information, visit www.JohnTPrather.com.




Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Melody of The Soul: Music of Hope Book One By Liz Tolsma

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

Anna has one chance for survival—and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.
It’s 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she’ll do anything to keep her safe—a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.
Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.
Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.


My Thoughts: 

 The Melody of The Soul is the first book in Liz Tolsma's latest series and it is fantastic. Liz Tolsma is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to read it. The Melody of The Soul is a Christian Historical Fiction which is one of my favorite genres. Liz Tolsma is a Wisconsin author, so I find a kinship with her as a lifelong resident of Wisconsin. The cover of this book is just gorgeous, definitely catches the eye. I found myself taken in from cover to cover and everything in between. I couldn't put this book down. Liz Tolsma writes with authority about our world in 1943 especially Prague and Europe, music, being a Jewish Christian during this time, Nazi ideas and policies, and the risks taken by people during this time.  The Melody of The Soul taught me about the Nazi invasion of Prague and the thousands of people who were deported and ultimately killed. I never realized the atrocities that happened in Prague to it's people and it's history. I found the characters in this book well written and real people. I found myself drawn to Horst Engel. He is a a Nazi officer who didn't agree with German ideals or the Nazi way of life. He found himself questioning everything his father taught him especially after meeting Anna and her grandmother. Horst puts their well being above his own life. He turns to God instead of worshiping the Nazi Party and in doing this he finds a peace he has never felt before. He turns to the teachings of his mother and does whatever he can do try to make things right. This book really touched me, a story that will stay with me for a long time. I cannot say enough good about this book or do it justice! I found myself crying through this book, happy tears and sad tears. This book truly brings up a myriad of emotions, which makes for a fantastic story. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed in this book or this author!! I cannot wait to read the other books in this series! 
 I give this book 5 STARS. 

I apologize to Litfuse Publicity and Liz Tolsma for not posting this review on time. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Liza's Second Chance: The Amish Charm Bakery Book One By Molly Jebber

I received this book for no charge from Celebrate Lit and the author in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . .

For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she's perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she's willing to give handsome, newly-arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . .

But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob's troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?  


My Thoughts: 

Liza's Second Chance is the first book in Molly Jebber's latest series, The Amish Charm Bakery and it is great! Liza's Second Chance is the first book by Molly Jebber I have had the pleasure of reading. This is a combination of my two favorite genres, Amish and Historical Fiction. Molly Jebber writes with authority about the Amish and their lifestyle, the world in 1912 especially Ohio, baking, abuse, arranged marriage, and love. Liza's Second Chance caught my attention, especially the cover art. From the start I found myself drawn into this book, keeping my attention until the end. This story talks about being in an abusive marriage, which is something that affects all people of all walks of life but this is the first time I have read an Amish Fiction book that covered this topic. Molly Jebber does this topic justice!  I enjoyed Molly Jebber's writing style, definitely put me in the book as the events unfolded. The characters in this book are very well written, real people dealing with very real issues. I found myself drawn to Liza Schrock. She found herself in a marriage that was unhappy, but found solace in the bakery her late husband bought her and coming up with the recipes everyone loves. As no one else knows the abuse she endured, she had to smile and pretend that her life was good. I found her faith and strength to be admirable. This is a great book by a great author. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Historical fiction, you will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more in this wonderful series. I give this book 4 STARS. 



Liza's Second Chance FB Banner copy

About the Book

7-19-2017 from John S. Liza's Second Chance 

Title: Liza’s Second Chance  
Author: Molly Jebber  
Genre: Christian Amish Fiction 
  Release Date: January 30, 2018  

The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . . For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she’s perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she’s willing to give handsome, newly-arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . . But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob’s troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?

Click here to purchase your copy

About the Author

6-10-2016 leaning good shot greenshirt

Molly Jebber’s books have been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Ten Recommended Reads, in USA Today’s HEA, Romantic Times and many other media sites. She’s tours and speaks about Amish history/traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and about her books. She loves God, her family, friends. She enjoys swimming, golf, reading, and says yes to butterscotch pie and parasailing, but no to coconut and skydiving! Visit www.mollyjebber.com for a complete list of her books and speaking events.

Guest Post from Molly Jebber

Here’s a little about Liza’s story: Hello Friends, I loved writing about Liza. She has a lot to overcome in this book, but her faith in God, and compassion for others helps her to arrive at her decisions through difficult and happy times. I enjoyed visiting Charm, and it makes for a good setting for this story. The bakery is fun with all the sugary pies, pastries, and breads. The unique customers, and the place where friends are made, and where trouble happens. Most of all, I hope I’ve done a good job entertaining you as you read “Liza’s Second Chance”.

Blog Stops

A Rup Life, January 30
Books n Baubles, January 30
margaret kazmierczak, January 30 (interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, January 30 ( Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Vicky Sluiter, February 1
Splashes of Joy, February 1
Mary Hake, February 4
SusanLovesBooks, February 5
Carpe Diem, February 5
Reading is my Super Power, February 5 (interview)
Bibliophile Reviews, February 7
A Greater Yes, February 7
Pursuing Stacie, February 7
Texas Book-aholic, February 8
cherylbbookblog, February 10
Red Headed Book Lady, February 10
Bigreadersite, February 10
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 11
A Reader’s Brain, February 12

Giveaway


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To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $75 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c6d1