A fatal game – who is the murderer?

Life is a game, or it can feel like that. I prefer to think of it as a challenge with stepping-stones to understand who I am and what my purpose is. Like Anna Belle in Stratagem, I came from humble beginnings which meant my ladder appeared to stretch into the clouds of overcoming. I couldn’t see the end of the ladder, but even today having climbed more than half of it I still can’t see the final rungs. It appears God has a lot of work ahead for me! However, I am glad that I do not have to compete in a game to prove if I am worthy to be chosen for my job.

Stratagem FB Banner copy

My Penny’s Worth

I believe the author did a great of job of creating Anna Belle, who I disliked and liked at the same time. A driven lady who was going to overcome and win using any means possible. That meant she had strength, propelled by a desire to rise above her humble beginnings. Sadly, Anna Belle used her own strength to hurt others, yes even those who loved her dearly. Therefore, I disliked the manner in which Anna Belle used to climb the ladder but liked the author’s skill to make me at odds with this character.

A game of who-dun-it Stratagem @RobinCaroll on tour with @Celebrate_Lit with #free #giveaway #amreading #books #bookreview Click To Tweet
A game of who-dun-it

The book as a whole felt more of a holiday who-dun-it as it was a quick read. I enjoyed Grayson’s character but wondered if there are many men who would have acted as he did. One police officer’s determination to only focus on him as the main suspect called into question the “presumed innocent until proved guilty” theory. This is a dangerous game to play.

“The man’s faith wasn’t just a card he carried – it was the life he lived.”

The same goes for Anna Belle’s mother. She is lovely and deep.

“If God, the perfect Father, has disobedient children, why are we mere humans so arrogant to think that our children ought to believe as they should?”

Did I enjoy Stratagem?

I enjoyed this mystery book, the pace was even, and there were enough suspects to keep you interested. However, the repetitive bringing out the notebook did niggle me a little. I get it the police use notebooks to write things down. To counteract that there are gems like this in the pages:

“She’d been wearing stress and strain on her like a favourite sweater.”

Who would like this book?

If you appreciate mysteries in the modern day world, then you may like this book. It’s a good book on a train journey to work. It also offers questions at the back of the book to ponder on.

A heads up…

There is mention of adultery and abortion in this book.

What am I happy about?

I am happy that I don’t have to do a psychological game to further my job prospects – it appears too dangerous!

I would like to give Stratagem 3.75 *** Why? Because I guessed who did it.

Thank you, Robin Caroll, for writing Stratagem.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy!

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Stratagem by Robin CarollBook: Stratagem

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Stratagem by Robin Caroll“I love boxing, I love Hallmark movies, I love fishing and I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting www.robincaroll.com.

Guest post from Robin

Behind the Scenes

Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .

-Robin

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18*

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

mpbooksNovember 20

Inklings and notionsNovember 20*

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of JoyNovember 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpaNovember 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 27

proud to be an autism mom, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d629/stratagem-celebration-tour-giveaway

Spotlight on Joan Hunter Love Again, Live Again

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights Joan Hunter author of Love Again, Live Again

Spotlight on Love Again, Live Again by Joan Hunter

First of all, I have to say that I have not read Love Again, Live Again by Joan Hunter. Therefore I can only go on what other reviewers have said in their comments. It appears that this book may be suited to some readers and not to others, there is a mixed bag of opinions. With that in mind, I have chosen three websites to direct you to so that you dear reader, can make up your own mind about Love Again, Live Again.

“I do agree that we can not do what God has called us to do if we keep a wall around our Heart.”

https://truthandgracehomeschoolacademy.wordpress.com/

“Overall, there were points I found helpful and useful for my own heart, and for that, I am very grateful.”

https://bibliophile.reviews/book-review/christian/love-again-live-again

“I have mixed feelings about this book.”

www.abakersperspective.com/love-again-live-again-review

Joan Hunter has written many other books which I gather have received good reviews. Sometimes it is important to remember that one book with mixed reviews doesn’t mean all of the author’s books are not a reader’s cup of tea.

Don’t forget Joan Hunter has a GIVEAWAY end the end of this post.

Click here to purchase your copy!

This Spotlight was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

I hope it has been helpful.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights Joan Hunter author of Love Again, Live Again

Book: Love Again, Live Again

Author: Joan Hunter

Genre: Non-Fiction; Christian Living, relationships

Release Date: November 6, 2018

“Broken Heart Syndrome”

Everyone gets their feelings hurt in life. As these wounds fester and compound throughout life, they become scars that affect our current relationships. Anyone suffering from a wounded heart feels a sense of separation from people, but the separation it creates from our heavenly Father is far worse for our mind, body and soul. “Broken Heart Syndrome” is a recognized medical condition.

Tests show that the pain caused by relational stress or trauma releases stress hormones to circulate through the body. This causes the inner layers of the heart to shred, damaging the cardiac muscle and its capacity to pump blood throughout the body. The chest pain this can cause resembles a serious heart attack. Stents or angioplasty can treat blocked vessels, but modern medicine still has no quick fix for a broken heart.

Joan Hunter reveals how to heal your heart from past hurts. To do this, you must be set free from the trauma of past relationships that prevent you from giving of yourself to those most important to you today. In doing so, you will also restore your most important relationship—the one with your heavenly Father.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights Joan Hunter author of Love Again, Live AgainJoan Hunter is an anointed healing evangelist, a dynamic teacher, and a best-selling author. She is the founder and president of Joan Hunter Ministries, Hearts 4 Him, and 4 Corners Foundation, and she is also the president of Hunter Ministries.

Joan’s television appearances have been broadcast around the world on World Harvest Network, Inspiration Network, TBN, NRB Word Networks, Daystar, Faith TV, Cornerstone TV, The Church Channel, Total Christian Television, Christian Television Network, Watchmen Broadcasting, and God TV. Joan has also been the featured guest on many national television and radio shows, including Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural!It’s a New DayThe Miracle Channel, The Patricia King ShowToday with Marilyn and Sarah, and many others. Together, Joan and her powerful international healing ministry have conducted miracle services and healing schools throughout numerous countries in a world characterized by brokenness and pain.

Previous books with Whitaker House include Healing the Whole Man HandbookHealing the HeartPower to HealSupernatural ProvisionFreedom Beyond Comprehension, and Miracle Maintenance. Joan lives with her husband, Kelley Murrell, in Magnolia, Texas. Together, they have eight children—four daughters and four sons—and seven grandchildren.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

A Baker’s Perspective, November 18

Inklings and notionsNovember 19

Real World Bible Study, November 20

TennTwo, November 21

Reading is my Super Power, November 21 (Interview)

Robin Is Bookish, November 22

proud to be an autism mom, November 22

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 23

margaret kazmierczak, November 23 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

Janices book reviews, November 25

Carpe Diem, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joan is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5ca/love-again-live-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Marianne C McDonough – Chat on the couch

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Marianne McDonough author of Beating Cancer

Welcome, Marianne McDonough to chat on the couch. It is a great pleasure to meet you.

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Marianne McDonough author of Beating Cancer

My couch is located on a desert island where we can get away from the hustle and bustle and get down to the real nitty-gritty things of life.

Marianne – Thank you for inviting me, Margaret.

Wow, you have supplied me with 14 answers! Looks like we might be here a while folks. I hope you all have your cups of tea/coffee and plenty of toast. Sit back and enjoy readers, here is Marianne McDonough.

On my desert island…

Who would you like to be marooned with and why?

Marianne – Pope Francis. Not only is he fascinating, he has the biggest fan base of anyone in the world, and I’m sure millions of people would keep looking for him until they found him.

Smart move there as you would be picked up too. So long as his security team didn’t think you had kidnapped him!

Feel free to have a drink of water Marianne, I don’t want you drying out.

You don’t normally have luxuries on a desert island but…

What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?

Marianne – A cell phone with unlimited coverage.

I think that is cheating a bit. And I’m not sure there would be any signal out here. Besides we are chilling, so I’m sorry no cell phones.

Would you like a teacake?

Let’s talk about books..

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

Marianne – Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson, the only book I’ve ever read eight times but will probably read at least another eight times.

Anyone got a cell phone so that I can look this up? Oops, I said no cell phones. That means you will have to google it yourselves readers if you haven’t come across this book.

What about your book?

Can you tell me what favourite sentence you like from your most recent published book?

Marianne – “Eagles can teach us about storms. When cancer pounds against us, when we feel alone, when it’s time to confront the storm, ride the wind, and own the sky, we can say to ourselves, “I have the wings for this.”

That is beautiful and especially poignant to me as I love the song, On Eagles Wings. “And He will raise you up on Eagles Wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of His Hand.” The song lifted me up at a very painful time in my life.

If you could be one of your characters which would it be and why?

Marianne – Someday I’ll write a fiction book and would like to create a character whose love for God inspires people to want to know Him for themselves.

I’m sure it will be a wonderful story.

 

You are allowed to invite another person to stay with you on the desert island, which of your characters would you choose and why?

Marianne – Again, since my book is nonfiction, I’ll do something a little different. If I could invite anyone from the Bible to join me (other than Jesus, Who would be first, of course), I would probably choose Deborah. In biblical times, women rarely ascended to the level of dignity and influence that she had. She must have been an extraordinary human being.

I think Deborah was too and an inspiration to us all.  I like reading about the women of the Bible. They make great role models.

 

I know you like writing but do you have another passion?

Marianne – I love to dance.

It keeps you fit so I hear. I have two left feet so try to avoid it in public!

We have to talk about food, are you sure you don’t want a teacake?

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

Marianne – Peanut butter, nutritious and good with bananas. I’m assuming there are bananas on my island.

Oh yes, plenty of bananas, coconuts, mangos, papaya, guava, and passion fruit. I’m sure you will be able to make a tropical fruit salsa to go with the fish you catch.

You are allowed one favourite meal on the island what would it be?

Marianne – Thanksgiving dinner with my family, if possible.

Why not, airlift the whole family in and the Pope can say the blessing.

 

Let’s move on..

You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?

Marianne – Definitely a dolphin. They’re smart, beautiful, engaging, communicative, and courageous. I’ve been blessed to experience two swim sessions with dolphins, and both times were inspiring.

Now that is cool. I’d like to do that. It must have been a wonderful experience and to get to do it twice, fabulous.

 

As you explore the island..

You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?

Marianne – “How many times did you pray for a writing vacation? Well, here it is! Enjoy.”

I love this answer Marianne 🙂

 

You find a rowing boat hidden in a cave, what name would you paint on it and why?

Marianne – “The Big Picture”—I often remind myself that my life and everything that happens to me is part of God’s infinite and omniscient plans. No matter the circumstances (even a desert island visit), everything and everyone derives meaning from that all-encompassing goal called His will, culminating in an ultimate event when all of His purposes will be completed, every knee will bow to Jesus, and all the nations and created creatures will in one accord exclaim exuberant praise. I love Revelation 5:13. It gives perspective to my life.

Sounds like a brilliant name for a boat and I love your reason behind choosing it.

 

Come and meet Marianne C McDonough author of #beatingcanceronetruthatatime on tour with @Celebrate_Lit #interview #books #free #giveaway #cancer Click To Tweet
During your time on the island..

You have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?

Marianne – One of my favorite attributes of God is His creativity. When I write, I feel as though I have the privilege of knowing Him a little more, and I always dedicate writing time to His glory. As soon as I begin to type, even though hours may pass, I feel as though it’s suddenly time to stop. I might be alone in my office, but I’m never lonely. The words seem subdued in 12-point fonts but extravagant in my soul, sometimes playing hide and seek with my brain. I’m excited that something so small on a computer screen could someday connect to readers I haven’t ever met.

It certainly is a privilege to write for others but above all to spend time writing in the presence of God.

 

It’s time to leave the island..

In order to leave, you have to describe your main character in five words, can you tell me what they would be?

Marianne – Since my book is nonfiction, if it’s okay with you, I’ll quote my subtitle, “What you believe determines your journey.”

That is a great closing statement – it could become a rule of life.

 

Well there you have it, Marianne has given us food for thought through her book and in her willingness to share more of her musings on my couch today. Thank you, Marianne McDonough, the pleasure has been all mine.

This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Marianne McDonough author of Beating CancerBook: Beating Cancer: One Truth at a Time

Author: Marianne C McDonough

Genre: Non-fiction, health and disease

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Like eagles soaring above a storm, cancer patients tackle an unpredictable disease. To navigate the turmoil, they must dispel the myths surrounding cancer, understand the facts, and determine how they want their journey to look. Armed with their convictions, they can create a path that achieves maximum health and gives them peace. Although support helps, ultimately, they must make their own decisions.

This book is about choices and the beliefs from which those choices emerge.

Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time encourages patients to:

  • Confront cultural myths about cancer
  • Clarify their own truths
  • Proactively plan treatment and prehab activities
  • Acquire positive and hopeful mindsets
  • Create a vision worth fighting for
  • Develop cancer smarts for survivorship

Designed for self-reflection and/or group discussion, Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time guides readers toward empowerment and freedom for a journey they never wanted but have to master.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Marianne McDonough author of Beating CancerJournalist and author of award-winning 8 Steps to Getting Real with Cancer, Marianne C  McDonough believes the way to beat cancer is one truth at a time. She tells patients, “This is your journey. You’re the best person to lead it.” A cancer survivor since 2012, Marianne wants patients to assess the hard questions cancer presents and discover their own truths. She understands patients are stressed, anxious, and exhausted. From her personal experience, she offers a straight-forward book that inspires hope. A Minnesota native, Marianne enjoys lake activities at her cabin with her family, musicals, baseball, bridge, dancing, and walking through the woods or a nearby park.

Guest Post from Marianne C McDonough

Why did I write this book?

Because I’ve battled cancer, and I know what it’s like to face mortality, fall to my knees, and fight an enemy that has lodged itself in my own body.

Cancer changed me. I don’t know how anyone goes through it without changing. The initial sense of powerlessness is overwhelming. It challenged me to the core. I remember learning words, concepts, treatments, statistics, prognoses, and a myriad of data I had never even heard before.

I was tired and confused. But I was also angry with cancer and determined to beat it.

You’re going through the hardest part

Right after I was diagnosed, trying to figure out what to do, I went to a class at my oncology center because I wanted to talk to other cancer patients. When I introduced myself and said I had just been diagnosed, the other patients said something I didn’t expect and can now affirm, “You’re going through the hardest part.”

They were right, and as a survivor for six years, I am writing what I wish I could have found during that initial period of cancer. I didn’t have time for long books or theoretical treatises, so I tried to find short, practical, quick-read books that would give me solid tips for the journey. And I wanted someone to encourage me in simple, no-nonsense terms that I even had a future. But I couldn’t find those books.

Most of all, I needed a gut-level confidence that cancer was not in charge of my life because cancer lies to patients and pompously declares, “From now on I’ll make all your decisions about what you’re going to do, when, and for how long.”

Cancer thrives on myths

Cancer thrives on myths, misconceptions, and fear. Our best weapons are counteracting truths based on reliable data, firm convictions based on faith, and hope based on clarity of vision.

My first book 8 Steps to Getting Real with Cancer was released in 2016 and won the Midwest Book Award in the health division. I geared that book towards patients and those who love them. This second book evolved because my oncologist suggested my approach would work well for support groups. Since 8 Steps was primarily narrative, I decided to write a second book that could be read or discussed, even journaled if desired. Imagining a one-on-one conversation with my readers, I focused more on cancer myths and specifically addressed patients, although family and friends can surely benefit as well.

Finding your own truths

Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time isn’t about me or my journey. It’s about patients finding their own truths in their own way to beat cancer on their own terms. The subtitle states the main premise of the book: what you believe determines your journey.

If you are a cancer patient and you are discovering this book today, please know that the fight is worth it. You can do this. Let’s believe together for a journey you can be proud of.

Blog Spots

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

proud to be an autism mom, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Carpe Diem, November 11

Janices book reviews, November 12

A Baker’s Perspective, November 13

A Diva’s Heart, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 15

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Reading is my Super Power, November 17 (Interview)

Mary Hake, November 18

margaret kazmierczak, November 19 (Interview)

Giveaway

eff98a4c-6cfd-4494-9368-c16f11325515

To celebrate her tour, Marianne C McDonough is giving away a grand prize of a personalized yeti tumbler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d6b7/beating-cancer-one-truth-at-a-time-celebration-tour-giveaway

A refugee flees for his life because of Jesus

Do you know a refugee?

Actually, you do, and he/she is closer than you think.

Whoa, hang on there what do you mean? I mean that you and I are refugees, so it stands to reason that you are closer to one than you realize. Really?

How?

Earth is not our home, (okay we have a strange one here, thinks she is an alien!)

We are!

Now hang on a minute. Isn’t that taking things a little too far, there are no such things as aliens.

Aren’t there? We are all aliens.

Okay, I’m off, and you certainly are.

Before you go just bear with me.

We are all refugees and aliens. As in Earth is not our home. We were created to live here, but it is a passing residence. It is not permanent, so we are refugees on a journey to our true home – Heaven. We are not naturalized citizens of Earth, thus aliens, until we return to our heavenly home.

Ah, now I see. I thought for one moment you had cracked.

No dear reader, I am just reminding us all that every one of us is a refugee, and as such, we bear a responsibility towards those that are fleeing persecution. Because we are all united as aliens as we traverse the Great Journey.

Therefore we must take Leviticus 19:33-34 (KJV) at its word:

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser is about a refugee; it may be fiction but no doubt based on truth. I wonder if you my dear reader would have responded to his call for help if you had met him on your journey.

Some people look for a beautiful place; others make a place beautiful @EMusserAuthor The Long Highway Home. #amreading #books Click To Tweet

My Penny’s Worth

So what’s the fuss about The Long Highway Home?

Elizabeth Musser has carefully constructed a fiction book about a reluctant refugee called Hamid. His innocent daughter whom Truth emboldens plunges the family into chaos and fear. However, you don’t just get his story, but the characters of his family and those helping him escape from a closed country. Each narrative fills out the broader saga, so the reader gets into the head of those involved in the telling.

There are many words of wisdom

Bobby who starts the story has a battle of her own to fight. But, she comes out with some wise one-liners.

“Each day is a twenty-four-hour adventure.”

“Do you think it’s fair to accept only the good and not the bad in life?”

Rasa the instant believer whose childlike faith warms the reader with wisdom beyond her years. Only a child could see beyond the fear and put trust in a God she had only just met.

Hamid who loves his ancient proverbs.

“If one has to jump a stream and knows how wide it is, he will not jump. If he does not know how wide it is, he will jump, and six times out of ten he will make it.”

A theme to encourage

Throughout the story the theme of pushing onward no matter what came bursting through.

“Thank the Lord that He respects our feelings, and yet He sees fit to push us forward in spite of them.”

Many of the characters questioned whether to go on or not. Their trials appearing insurmountable at times.

However, “Eyes of faith see potential. They look behind and know that the past was just a stepping-stone for the future.”

What I liked about the book

Even though there are many characters each plays a role in the developing jigsaw. As the story goes from one piece to another, you want to find the next piece that links the same story. It made you turn the pages. To care about different people. Reading about a refugee on the run is bound to pull you into the early hours of the morning, as you just want to finish the next chapter.

What I didn’t like

The smell of chickens – Check out the book to find out why!

You know what is going to happen

But, it doesn’t matter because it is how the story is told that is important and the lessons we learn by taking a chance and trusting in God. Because let’s face it:

“I don’t think God gets surprised very often.”

Would I recommend this book?

The book is about making good out of evil. “What men mean for evil, God can change into good.” This is a book of hope in so many ways. Lives may seem ruined but the truth remains: “So much of the time, the story God is writing goes on behind the earthly scene, somewhere in the heavenlies. But every now and then the Lord pulls back a curtain-slice of the sky and we get to see the bringing together of all the plot lines in real time.”

I would recommend The Long Highway Home for its revelations about the refugees and their struggle for freedom. For the amazing work, people do to help, often at their own risk, and to bring awareness of the plight of refugees.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own. I was not requested to give either a favourable or unfavourable review.*

I would like to give this book 5 *****

Buy book here

This book review was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Long Highway home by Elizabeth Musser

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (19 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1542362725

Sometimes going home means leaving everything you have ever known. When the doctor pronounces “incurable cancer” and gives Bobbie Blake one year to live, she agrees to accompany her niece, Tracie, on a trip back to Austria, back to The Oasis, a ministry center for refugees that Bobbie helped start twenty years earlier. Back to where there are so many memories of love and loss.

Bobbie and Tracie are moved by the plight of the refugees and in particular, the story of the Iranian Hamid, whose young daughter was caught with a New Testament in her possession back in Iran, causing Hamid to flee along the refugee Highway and putting the whole family in danger. Can a network of helpers bring the family to safety in time? And at what cost? Filled with action, danger, heartache, and romance, The Long Highway Home is a hymn to freedom in life’s darkest moments.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon’s Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years (Georgia Backroads). All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages and have been international best-sellers. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. Her new novel, The Long Highway Home, has already been a bestseller in Europe and is a finalist for the Carol Awards.

Mission Work

For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions’ work in Europe with International Teams, now called One Collective.  The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.

I hope you have enjoyed this book review. Let me know in the comments – many thanks, Margaret.

Chosen people – when a killer crisis demands we act.

Chosen people come in all shapes and sizes. Some often selected for their athletic abilities or their knowledge or expertise, and others for their religious heritage. The choice about their outcome, however, might not be for the better good. What would be your reaction to a situation where an innocent died because of their beliefs? Would you stand and watch or act? In essence Chosen People by Robert Whitlow is a book about action, about doing something for the underdog. About making a stand against an organisation that is radical and dangerous. We might not come up against such a situation in our lives, but we still have a global responsibility to help those affected by such injustices.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

My Penny’s worth

The book begins with the wisdom of an old man.

“This is for you,” Anwar said: “Tell me if it tastes sweet.” “Did you know that the Lord says to ‘taste and see’ that he is good?” “He wants his goodness to be as real to you as the sweet juice in your mouth.” Hana one of the main characters is called from a young age to walk with God all the days of her life. This calling, being a chosen person, has a great impact on her life and future career.

He (God) wants his goodness to be as real to you as the sweet juice in your mouth - Chosen People @whitlowwriter #amreading #bookreview for @Celebrate_Lit tour. Click To Tweet
Lovely interaction with God’s word

Chosen People is littered with little trails that lead to God’s Word. They fit in with the storyline and rather than detracting from the action enhances it. I appreciated the setting which opened my eyes to Israel as I walked around the sites through the pages.

“A man who knew the Bible well might live in its pages as his connection with this life weakened.”

Yes it felt personal

I could feel the tension, the angst to “do something” for the victims of a cruel atrocity and I wanted the terrorists to pay for their crimes. The relationship between Counsel and Client became personal; I don’t know if this is something that could happen in a law case. Nonetheless, the bond drew me in.

“Regardless of what people say about the influence of mass media, human understanding takes place one person at a time.”

Did I understand the book?

I don’t know much about the legal system in America, but I do understand the desire to bring terrorists to justice. The tension was consistent throughout. However, I felt the ending happened quickly with all explanations tackled in one rushed finale.

I appreciated some of the info dropping

There is a  comment by a Tourist Guide that spoke to me.

“Jesus wasn’t crucified up high on a hill, as is often depicted in paintings or movies. His feet were less than a meter above the ground, which made the contact between those suffering on the cross and their loved ones watching them die more intensely personal.”

Don’t forget the puppy.

Interspersed with the hunt for those responsible for the tragedy there were snaps of how well a puppy was doing at the Doggy Day-care Centre. I’m not sure that moved the story on at all, but it added light relief to an intense story.

Would I recommend Chosen People?

It is a tragic story and pulls at the heartstrings but it also informs and tackles difficult current issues. I think that this is a book that we all need to read and it is indeed one I could not put down.

Chosen People gets 4****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

If you enjoyed my book review please comment below and remember to enter the Giveaway. Many thanks.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

 

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Chosen People by Robert WhitlowBook: Chosen People

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Legal Drama

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow dives deep into the legal ramifications of a tragic event half a world away and how it affects two lawyers in Atlanta from vastly different backgrounds.

When Hana Abboud walked into the conference room, she was unprepared for the images of a horrific terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after watching a courageous mother sacrifice her life to save her four-year-old daughter, Hana knew she needed to help attorney Jakob Brodsky represent the family’s pursuit of justice against those who perpetrate acts of violent jihad. As an Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, Hana is uniquely qualified to step into the gap.
But they need a third partner, an investigator on the ground to help them unravel the snake pit of connections between the terrorists and an organization or company that can be sued in the American courts. Hana returns home to Israel and meets with investigator Hamid Hasan who quickly becomes more than a crucial part of the litigation team.

As Jakob and Hana investigate the case in the US, he is stalked on the streets of Atlanta by affiliates of a terrorist organization. Their pursuit of truth can only be resolved where it began: the streets of Jerusalem. But who can they trust? How deep does deceit go? Can two lawyers and a shadowy investigator impact the kind of violence and terror that has become common in our broken world?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Chosen People by Robert WhitlowRobert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: robertwhitlow.com, Twitter: @whitlowwriter, Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

Guest Post from Robert Whitlow

INSIDE THE STORY

Chosen People—a title that reflects both the Biblical designation for the Jewish nation as well as converted Christians—opens during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her young daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Whitlow’s many trips to Israel and his in-depth research into the culture and laws of the Holy City are evident throughout the story. Furthermore, his experience as a lawyer gives him keen insight into the mind of his main character Hanna Abboud, an Arab Christian Israeli lawyer working in Atlanta.

“This book provides a unique perspective to this region and its peoples through the eyes of an Arab Christian who believes that the faithfulness of God and truths of the Bible are unshakable realities,” says Whitlow. “This viewpoint is rarely expressed, yet it is one that needs and deserves to be heard so that it can become part of our framework for understanding this vital part of the world and the people who live there.”

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Real World Bible Study, November 9

The Power of Words, November 9

The Becca Files, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

C Jane Read, November 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Margaret KazmierczakNovember 12

By The Book, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 13

Painting with Words, November 13

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 13

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Robin is Bookish, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Moments, November 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18

Christian Bookaholic, November 18

Carpe Diem, November 19

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 19

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

Inklings and notionsNovember 20

Bigreadersite, November 21

For The Love of Books, November 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, HarperCollins is giving away a grand prize of three finished Robert Whitlow books (to be chosen by the publisher)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d73a/chosen-people-celebration-tour-giveaway

Unlock how to steal time. An Hour Unspent is exciting.

How do you steal an hour in today’s busy world? I am always complaining that I don’t have enough time as it is. Well, dear reader, the answer is in An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M White. Oh, you thought I had come up with an actual answer to this worldwide problem. All I can offer you as a solution is, switch off that mobile, breathe, pause, and allow yourself an hour break from the madness and be still. You deserve it.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M White

My Penny’s Worth

Did this book steal my imagination?

With sentences like “A smile appeared out of the web of wrinkles she called a face, revealing gums with only half their teeth” I’d say so. Again, Rosanna M White produces a book filled with beautiful descriptions.

There are pearls of wisdom

Barclay, finally we get to read his story. In this third book, the greatest thief in England comes to life. Stealing my heart. The head of the family, who is warm, flawed, and honest – yes a paradox, runs through the pages. His necessity to steal to put food on the table for his family may not have been what his father meant when giving this advice:

“There is no shame in working with your hands. In crafting or fixing. We use our minds; we use our words – if God did not want us to use our hands, too, He would not have given us such capable ones.”

However, Barclay uses all these gifts to help those living under the breadline. His heart is pure gold.

A great double act

Evelina, a polio victim, comes crashing into Barclay’s world. A young woman who wants to make a difference to those less fortunate. Hurt and betrayed, browbeaten and different. Evelina is determined, strong but vulnerable. A thorn in the side for Barclay at times. And her character works to drive the story forward. But will Barclay be able to steal and tame her?

The supporting characters are brilliant

Ms. White’s characters bring another level to the story. They are horrid snobs with typical attitudes of the day. I loved Barclay’s thoughts of Evelina’s mother.

“Perhaps the Admiralty could just unleash her on the unsuspecting Germans. The war would be over in hours.”

The winner’s cup, in my opinion, goes to Aunt Beatrice with her snide comments and brilliant timing. Oh how you just want to shake her, but instead you are left with an open mouth thinking, did she really say that?

He’d come to realize, how the Lord worked. At least for him. He didn’t remove the bad – He just lent him the strength to face it.” An Hour Unspent Click To Tweet
I had a few niggles

There wasn’t a lot I didn’t like, yes I am afraid there is a but – Sorry. But there were some minor mistakes with terminology that many authors make about railway terms. My hubby is always correcting people over this so it must have rubbed off onto me!

Another sorry, yes I know, I felt the book stretched reality a bit towards the end. Don’t get me wrong it all tied in well, though I am not sure the final chapters were plausible in 1915. Without a spoiler is it hard to be specific so dear reader, you will have to read the book and come back to me to have this conversation.

But don’t let these niggles put you off, I’ll just go and take something for them!

“When it came down to it, all you ever had forever was what you carried inside. Memories. Faith. Love.”

Would I recommend An Hour Unspent.

Yes. Getting to know Barclay and the family better is well worth it and a fitting finale to the series. He will tell you how to steal an hour.

If you haven’t read the previous books, then I suggest you do. See my reviews for A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard.

Passion meant suffering - An Hour Unspent @RoseannaMWhite #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway #amreading Click To Tweet

I would like to give An Hour Spent 4****

I received a complimentary copy of this book via CelebrateLit. A favourable review was not required, and the opinions are my own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M WhiteBarclay Pearce

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

The clockmaker

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M WhiteRoseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

Fun research

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

October

The Avid ReaderOctober 30

The Power of WordsOctober 30

Back Porch ReadsOctober 30

Kat’s Corner BooksOctober 30

Janice’s Book ReviewsOctober 30

Where Faith and Books MeetOctober 31

Reading Is My SuperPowerOctober 31

Faithfully BookishOctober 31

Genesis 5020October 31

November

Fiction AficionadoNovember 1

Among the ReadsNovember 1

The Lit AddictNovember 1

Just the Write EscapeNovember 1

MultifariousNovember 2

Godly Book ReviewsNovember 2

Real World Bible StudyNovember 2

Madeline ClarkNovember 2

Reflections From My BookshelveNovember 3

Christian BookaholicNovember 3

Inspirationally Ever AfterNovember 3

Bookworm MamaNovember 3

BigreadersiteNovember 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSNovember 4

Life with the TribeNovember 4

The Becca FilesNovember 4

Kathleen DenlyNovember 5

Cordially BarbaraNovember 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessNovember 5

Simple Harvest ReadsNovember 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little BookwormNovember 6

All-of-a-kind MomNovember 6

Faery Tales Are RealNovember 6

Christian Chick’s ThoughtsNovember 6

Carpe DiemNovember 6

Margaret KazmierczakNovember 7

Locks, Hooks and BooksNovember 7

Christian Author, J.E.GraceNovember 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by BookNovember 8

Just CommonlyNovember 8

cherylbbookblogNovember 9

The Christian Fiction GirlNovember 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful NoiseNovember 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book ReviewsNovember 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book ImpressionsNovember 10

Baker kellaNovember 10

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesNovember 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of InterestNovember 11

Inspiration ClotheslineNovember 11

A Baker’s PerspectiveNovember 11

Henry HappensNovember 12

Proud to Be an Autism MomNovember 12

Texas Book-aholicNovember 12

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsNovember 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway