The Revisionary a story of brainwashing and bravery

My Penny’s Worth

The bravery of Portia Abernathy, the main character, had me glued to my seat. Could a nineteen-year-old with her curious mind and longing to change the world succeed? At first, I thought the book was similar to The Hunger Games with the haves and have-nots. But that’s where the similarity ended.

Teenage bravery

Portia has idealistic views, wanting to believe that she can make a difference. The truth becomes deadly evident when she speaks her mind and ends up receiving correctives. Consequently, there is no room for free thinking with ignorance and brainwashing used to keep order. Only bravery and the need to know the truth will suffice for Portia.

A Gripping read

Ms. Hogrefe pens a gripping story with twists and turns keeping the reader hooked page after page. Indeed, the chapters remind me of the old earlier series of Dr. Who, where at the end of each episode you were left with a cliffhanger. Often I needed to read on even when tiredness called me to my bed.  In addition, the characters are strong both the good and the bad equally.

I wanted Portia to win through; I applauded her bravery in the midst of adversary. Her intelligence shone through along with her curiosity. This YA novel is a thoughtful read for young and older adults as it raises issues of how we as a society can survive without the input of the past.

Can we disregard the past to make a better future? And if so what will happen to the freedom of thought. For these answers, you will need to read this book.

Would I recommend this book?

In summary, if you enjoy YA Dystopia and have read books like The Hunger Games, you may well find this book irresistible to put down. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.

I would like to give this book 5 stars.

Thank you, Kristen Hogrefe, for writing TheRevisionary.

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

Click here to buy the book

About the book

The Revisionary (The Rogues Book 1) by [Hogrefe, Kristen]Title: The Revisionary

Author: Kristen Hogrefe

Genre: YA Dystopia

Publisher: Write Integrity Press

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

A Revisionary rewrites the rules.
A Rogue breaks them.
Which one is she?


Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy plans to earn a Dome seat and rewrite the Codex rules to rescue her exiled brother. Her journey demands answers from the past civilization, but uncovering the truth means breaking the rules she set out to rewrite.
Where will the world be in 2149? If citizens forget their past, they will be lost in an identity crisis. That’s exactly the state of the American Socialists United (ASU). This dystopian story opens in Cube 1519, a ghetto where the only use for obsolete cell phones is to throw them like rocks at mongrels. Portia and her father survive like many other citizens, with no electricity or technology and no expectation for a better life.

The truth revealed

Yet Portia remembers her brother Darius—before he was taken from her. Now that’s she’s graduated, she determines to get him back. She thinks earning a Dome seat as a Revisionary candidate will be her ticket to rewriting the Codex and reversing his sentence. However, when she receives her draft and arrives at the Crystal Globe University for training, she discovers the world is very different outside her cube and that prisoners like Darius aren’t the only ones trapped by the system.

Written for young adults, THE REVISIONARY offers a suspenseful plot, flashbacks to America’s Revolutionary era, and rediscovery of the founding values needed to rebuild Portia’s unraveling world. “In school, teens hear that if they don’t learn from history’s lessons, they’re destined to repeat them,” author Kristen Hogrefe says. “Portia lives in a world where leaders wield ignorance to control citizens. Only when Portia sets out to rescue her brother does she realize the lie she’s been living and determines to break free.”

Looking backwards to find wisdom

Blockbuster novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Giver popularized the dystopian YA genre. THE REVISIONARY builds a dystopia of a different kind—one that looks backward to find wisdom to move forward to offer an underlying message of heritage and hope.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Revisionary by Kristen HogrefeKristen Hogrefe is a Florida girl who says yes to most adventures involving sunshine and prefers to start her day with Jesus and coffee. She is a multi-published novelist of young adult fiction, including The Rogues trilogy (Write Integrity Press) and Wings of the Dawn trilogy. A life-long learner, she also has a heart for teaching and speaking in academic settings and professional conferences. You can find her blogging at where she challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.

Where to find out more about Kristen Hogrefe





I love Authors Interview 2 this is Janet Mitchell

I love authors Interview 2

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Janet Lynn Mitchell

This is Janet Lynn Mitchell

Welcome to “I love Authors Interview 2” in this interview we meet Janet Lynn Mitchell, author of Food for Thought – Let’s all give Janet a warm greeting.


I’m so glad you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit as it gives me an opportunity to get to know you better.

So hello Janet, please come and take a seat on my oranges and lemons couch next to me.

Janet – Thank you, Margaret, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Now I am going to mix up things a bit Janet, and while you are sitting comfortably I want you to imagine that you are stranded on a desert island!

Janet – Sounds fun.

Ok, so my first question. Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

Janet – If I were marooned on an island, I would want to be there with my assistant Keri Spring. I laugh more with Keri than anyone. Together we can find humor in almost anything. And I think being stranded on an island would require laughter just to survive!

Margaret – I’m with you on that – laughter is so important.

So you are looking out to sea hoping to see a ship to rescue you, sadly there are none on the horizon, therefore, what luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?

Janet – I would love to have a bathtub and a large bucket of popcorn from the movie theatre.

Margaret – Oh, that’s funny, you have all that sea, and you want a bathtub. Okay, those are on their way.

Let’s talk a little about your book. What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Janet – James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” Note that this Scripture does not say if but when. Trials will come our way. The great joy we are to experience comes from knowing that God is in control. Waves will come to rock our boats, but God has asked parents of children with special needs to step out into the deep waters of trust. Waves will continue to toss and turn us, but way down deep, the ocean is still.

Margaret – That is beautiful Janet. Gosh, I needed to hear that. Thank you.

Now, this is going to be interesting – You are allowed to invite another person to stay with you on the desert island, which of your characters would you choose and why?

Janet –  I’d love for my husband to come stay with Keri and I. I’m sure we’d be giggling while he tried to explain how serious the situation was. We’d listen to him and try to explain “sometimes you can do nothing but laugh!”

Margaret – So now there are three of you on the island, it is getting a bit crowded! I did say character but hey, sounds like you are all characters. I suspect any rescuer will find you from the cacophony of laughter!

On the island, you have time to think, although with all that laughter I have my doubts – but can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?

Janet – I couldn’t help it. I fell in love with Jesus and wanted to tell the world—everyone and anyone who would listen. The Flipbooks were specifically compiled as I knew that Scripture is God’s way of speaking to us. It was also important to me that other’s realize that God cares about every part of us and loves us extravagantly.

Margaret – That’s a great reason, Janet, and I am sure these books will help a lot of readers.

Being from England, we talk a lot about the weather. My final question then is  – The desert island is very hot, do you like hot or cold weather and which helps you focus on your writing better?

I take advantage of the weather like it’s a friend. In the winter I sit under an electric throw by the fireplace and write. In the summer I sit out by our pool soaking up the sun with a pencil in hand. I guess that I love writing so much that I adapt to whatever situation I find myself in. Yet, if it’s too hot, I might melt! I’ve written parts of a chapter of a book waiting in the lines at Disneyland, sitting in a hospital bed, in hotels, vacationing in the Holy Lands, while on a cruise and even in a bathroom!

Margaret – It seems in all things you are inspired, Janet. That is a beautiful way to be. I love the way your positivity comes across.

Times up

Margaret – Sadly our time on the couch is over, and you have been rescued from the desert island to continue your everyday life. It has been an immense pleasure to meet you, Janet.

Thank you, for being such a good sport.  I hope you have a successful blog tour.

Janet – Thank you, Margaret, for having me!

Margaret – It has been great fun. Janet Lynn Mitchell everyone. Yes, give her a round of applause.

Read about Janet Lynn Mitchell’s Food for Thought

And before I round up this interview Janet has kindly donated a FREE GIVEAWAY – scroll down to the end of the blog where you can see the details, but first please read all about Janet and her book Food for Thought below.

Buy your copy of Food for Thought here

Food for Through FB Banner copy

About the Book


Title: Food for Thought

Author: Janet Lynn Mitchell

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help

Release Date: December 1, 2017

Food for Thought is filled with personalized verses just for you. It’s been written to help you claim God’s Word as your own. The thoughts included within the verses are from fellow dieters. Food for Thought is not meant to be a substitute for actual Scripture, but an addition, bringing you new insight, perspective, hope and encouragement as you move toward and reach your weight-loss goal. Blank pages have been placed in the back so that you can add additional Scripture and/or words of encouragement. Recite these verses and include them when you pray. Then watch as God’s Word rejuvenates and empowers you. Experience your faith increasing, as faith comes by hearing, reading, speaking, and living the Word of God.

About the Author

Janet Profile

Candid, dynamic, friendly…and memorable are some of the words used to describe Janet Mitchell. Her fun, engaging style keeps her audiences wanting more. As a master storyteller, she shares her heart, passions and faith, relating incidents from her life that will touch you and make you laugh. The author addresses relevant life issues and how it just takes one to make a difference in your world!

Past and present
Janet has held staff positions with Youth for Christ and Forest Home Christian Conference Center and has served as the director of a Christian preschool. She is also a CLASS Speaker (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers) and is a popular speaker for women’s events, MOPS, family camps and single-parent groups.
An incredible lady
As a senior in high school, Janet lost the use of her legs following surgery. On the night of her tenth surgery, she met Marty, who became her cheerleader and was alongside her as she learned to walk again. Eventually, he became her husband. Janet and Marty have been married for over thirty-five years and have three children. Janet’s knee problems reoccurred when she was thirty-two. She was horrified to learn she had been a victim of medical negligence, fraud and concealment. Her additional surgeries had been attempts to correct the mistakes. Janet has since become a voice for others who have suffered medical fraud. Assembly Bill 2571, borne out of her misfortunes, unanimously passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and was signed into state law on August 31, 2000. Her story, Taking a Stand, has motivated others to “take a stand” and remain firm in their faith through the good, bad, and the outrageous.
Janet has been featured on radio programs across the nation, including popular programs such as Focus on the Family and Billy Graham’s Decision Today. Janet has appeared on television programs such as, Fox, CBS and ABC News, Aspiring Women, The Harvest Show, and Chuck and Jenny. Her stories and articles have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Multnomah’s Stories for the Extreme Teen, and in magazines such as Woman’s World, Light and Life, and Celebrate Life. Her Testimony, “When Doctors Make Mistakes,” was published in the July/August 2005 issue of Today’s Christian Woman magazine.
Other books by Janet
Janet’s book, A Special Kind of Love, published by Broadman and Holman and Focus on the Family, has been highlighted by Rick Warren in his “Ministry Toolbox.” Her Hands on Faith: Family Nights and Hands on Faith: Family Fun books by Carson- Dellosa are now available along with Janet’s five new Praying Scripture Flip Books. Janet’s Taking a Stand was released in November of 2006. It is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness through the good, bad and outrageous. This past year Janet’s latest book, Words Matter became available. One thing Janet has learned is:
It just takes one to change the world we live in.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, January 5

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 5

Splashes of JoyJanuary 6

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 6

Mary Hake, January 7

proud to be an autism mom, January 7

Reading is my Super Power, January 8 (Interview)

A Greater YesJanuary 8

Bibliophile Reviews, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

Carpe Diem, January 11

A Baker’s Perspective, January 12

Pursuing Stacie , January 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 14

Remembrancy, January 15

Pink Granny’s Journey, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Janices book reviewsJanuary 17

margaret kazmierczak, January 17 (Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

BigreadersiteJanuary 18

GiveawayGiveaway for Food for thought

To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Secrets and shame. Strains of Silence has it all

Strains of Silence FB Banner copy

My Penny’s worth

Secrets and shame

We all bear secrets and shame in some form or other. I have a littered life of disasters that have followed me on my journey. Each requiring revelation and forgiveness. Nothing good can grow in the darkness of fear!

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

Opening up

I welcome Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek as it opens up a can of worms that needs to see the light of day. Indeed in England, there is a campaign to educate young men and woman about what ‘no’ means in a casual or seasoned relationship. I am glad that the secrets and shame of my generation are being met head-on in the younger age groups.

A controlling nature

This book is heavy at times, but then the topic is not light-hearted. The two characters involved in this sordid mess are Kasia Bernolak and Blake Hamilton. The needs of Blake are overwhelming and controlling, so much so that Kasia seems unaware of his true nature. I have met a few of these young men in my time – not a pleasant experience. But Blake takes Kasia’s snub to a higher level.

At times I empathised with Kasia as she struggled with others taking control of her situation, all with good intentions, but sometimes stifling. The men in her life want to protect her as if she were a delicate plant. I think I would have wanted to run away to Peru too even with her secrets and shame following her.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

Biblical words

Bringing in Bible verses to show Kasia that she is worthy in God’s eyes helped reveal an essential element in this story. So often we feel we are not worthy of God’s Grace and Mercy because we have messed up. Those who have lived through the same experience as Kasia need to know how much God loves them no matter what, especially when they are Christians – we are all fallen.

The other characters

There are a lot of different people to help make the story flow, each bringing a distinct flavour to the mix. Some, in my opinion, are just extras and feel forced to make the storyline neat. Nonetheless, I think Kasia is very fortunate to have so many men running around wanting to protect her. I doubt this is the norm.

What I felt was lacking

Strains of Silence is a book of glimpses. A brief insight of Peru, a slither of Polish life, a hint of culture, the promise of music all lead me to want more. Yes I know the book is of secrets and shame. However, I felt denied as though this extra material, were an eye in the keyhole. In the blurb, it stated there would be lots of music, but I couldn’t hear it. I wanted more, to taste, smell and inhale the food and culture.

This book is not for everyone as it deals with sexual assault – I think it important to state this to give the reader a heads up.

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

About the Book

Author: Bethany Kaczmarek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2017

StrainsOfSilence_h12295_750 (2)Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.

Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

bethany-kaczmarek-HR-2Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.



Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo

We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.

Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.

I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.

I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.
  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • Blake has got authority over her—at work, church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.

But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.

Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.

And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.

It’s a freedom I want for my readers.

It’s not just a heavy book – there is more

I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.

Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. A lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). Heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. And humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.

And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.

So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.

Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?

My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6

proud to be an autism mom, January 6

Inklings and Notions, January 7

Bibliophile Reviews, January 7

Fiction Aficionado, January 8

Genesis 5020, January 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 9

Bigreadersite, January 9

Red Headed Book Lady, January 10

Mommynificent, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

allofakindmom, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)

The Power of Words, January 12

Pursuing Stacie, January 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

A Greater YesJanuary 13

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Mindy Houg Guest Review on Artistic Nobody, January 15

Janices book reviews, January 15

Faithfully Bookish, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 17

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Carpe Diem, January 18

Remebrancy, January 19

A Baker’s Perspective, January 19



To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand grand prize a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Adultery and how to wreck love and life

I am uncomfortable with this subject of adultery and how to wreck love and life – why?

Because I have first-hand experience of the effects of adultery.

My childhood suffered its claws as I grew up in a one-parent family, occasionally seeing my father. The pain of separation came every time I had to say goodbye – never knowing why his visits were infrequent. Always believing that I caused the divorce. Such heartbreak ripping at my innermost being. Why did adults do such harm and get to walk away? I waited for the right time to ask why, who, how? But I only got my mother’s side – I needed to hear both stories. To this day I still don’t have the answers, however, I do know now it was not my fault!

To read my review of Chautona’s book Christmas Embers read on….


My penny’s worth

In Chautona Havig’s book Christmas Embers adultery and how it wrecks love and life are painfully described. At times I had to put it down because of the raw emotions that leapt off the page.

What I liked

The main characters, Sean and Emily, bleed everywhere, for their friends who deal with adultery,  for Davia, Joey’s  mummy who is dying and the mess that leaves behind. Page after page I live their pain.

So what’s there to like about that you say? I liked that this difficult subject has been opened up in this story and seen in its ugly, sordid and real image-  that it destroys love and life.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

What I didn’t like

The book has stayed with me, and writing this review has not been easy – but that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Yes and no. Yes because it shows how powerful Chautona Havig’s writing is and no because it reminded me of the utter decay that adultery inflicts on the family, friends, church and society. It does not involve only those two adults engaged in the deceit.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

But there is hope

I would strongly recommend that Christmas Embers ought to be a must-read for those preparing for marriage. But also for those who are struggling with this reality.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

Thank you Chautona Havig for writing this story and for having the courage to “put it out there”.

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

Chautona has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

About the Book

Name of book: Christmas EmbersChristmas Embers Cover-sm

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christmas

Release Date: November 25, 2016

It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.

Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.

Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?

As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.

Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.

A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?

Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author


Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.”

An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.

She wasn’t.

It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity.

As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”

I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!

But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.

I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.

Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.

And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.

They’re there as a warning.

This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.

Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

Moments Dipped in Ink, December 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 6

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 6

Fiction Aficionado, December 7

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 8

The Power of Words, December 8

BigreadersiteDecember 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 9

A Greater YesDecember 9

Radiant LightDecember 9

Just Jo’Anne, December 10

For The Love of Books, December 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Aryn the Libraryan, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 12

Books, Books, and More Books., December 12

Quiet Quilter, December 13

Seasons of Opportunities, December 13

Christian Book Devourer, December 13

AllofakindmomDecember 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Pursuing StacieDecember 14

Pause for Tales, December 15

Reader’s cozy corner, December 15

margaret kazmierczak, December 15

Red Headed Book LadyDecember 16

Purposeful Learning, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Janices book reviews, December 17

Christian Bookaholic, December 17

Karen Sue Hadley, December 18

Remembrancy, December 18

Blossoms and Blessings, December 18


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! – this promotion is now closed.



Secret Agent paradox how to cry out to God

Secret Agent

Have you ever wanted to be a secret agent or superhero? I grew up with Thunderbirds (yes they were puppets in 1965 – but who cared) and The Hood, the most feared villain and the world’s most dangerous man. Enthralled by the storyline and willing the Tracy brothers to overcome the evil plots that the Hood conquered up, I imagined myself as part of the team fighting for good. Move over Lady Penelope with your pink car! I wanted to be the secret agent with a motorbike decked in leathers speeding to save Scott Tracey – yes I had a crush on a puppet, but then I was only seven!

I had a strong sense of right and wrong and the Tracy family mirrored that quality. The plots were not complicated, and usually, the episodes lasted one sitting. But the dastardly Hood seemed always to get away.

Set in 2060 with their futuristic technology they either rescue or need saving themselves!

In some ways, Jes Drew’s book The Bachelor Missions is similar to Thunderbirds. You have the goodies and the baddies, the intrigue, the rescuer needing to be rescued and a boss man who is keen on disposing of the good guy (or organisation in Thunderbirds case). I wonder if you were a secret agent if you could figure out the various plots that Kristian Clark the main character in the book is embroiled in?

Let me introduce you to The Bachelor Missions – you will find my review below.

The Bachelor Mission FB Banner copy

My penny’s worth

A new Secret Agent

Kristian Clark, the main character is a new breed of Secret Agent, well at least to me! He is a man on a mission who doesn’t realise he needs rescuing.

Jess Drew

What can I say about The Bachelor Missions?  Well, it’s full of twists and turns that also incorporates Christian elements too, and Jess Drew draws you into her world of writing right from the start.  I wanted to know who the Boss Man was, what he wanted and why. I didn’t like him.

The main character

Enter Kristian Clark, a spy with morals and a past. A thoroughly good guy, like a superhero without the underwear over his tights! He is lovable but a bit slow on the relationship front. So will he get the girl in the end?

Sorry, who is who?

The plot and subplots were for me a bit confusing – maybe I am getting old – like a comic book detective talking his way through the scene, suddenly changing to the bad guy and his antics to bring down the hero. It might have helped if I read the book in one sitting, but my family expected attention and nourishment at intervals.

Can you have spies without violence?

There were scenes of violence, some seemed to stretch the imagination, and I wondered how certain movements were possible – however, I am not an expert in spy training.

Moments of humour

I enjoyed Jess Drew’s humour in the characters she carved out and could picture the somewhat crazy world of subterfuge. Did I see some pink hair streak by?

The dark side

A lot seemed to happen in the book with the most action centred on the final mission. It did creep me out a bit as I wasn’t expecting such dark happenings, but then there are nasty forces at play in this world. The Hood (from Thunderbirds) was tame in comparison.

Who would like this book?

Reading The Bachelor Missions has been an interesting experience. If you are looking for a different type of book for New Adults as Jess Drew coins it, that has a Christian bias in the spy fiction genre; then you may like this one.

Thank you, Jess Drew, for writing this book.

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

About the Book:


Name of book: The Bachelor MissionsBachelor Missions

Author: Jes Drew

Genre: Christian speculative spy fiction

Release Date: February 18, 2017

The good-guys, the bad-guys, and the wild card- it’s the ultimate game of cloak and dagger…

Kristian Clark, private eye, thought his days as a special agent were behind him, but when he’s drafted into action, he finds himself reunited with his old team- and painful memories of why they broke up in the first place. But as he plunges into mission after mission- from a ‘holy heist’ to babysitting a young hacker to going undercover in a cult- Kristian find that everything he tried to leave behind is coming back to haunt him with a vengeance, and then some. First, there’s the mysterious woman who knows more about Kristian- and his past- than makes sense while using science fiction weapons that don’t make sense period. Then there are the shady powers-that-be who are responsible for drafting him back into this world to satisfy their own nefarious agendas. It’s all Kristian can do to keep from being pulled into their games as he tries to figure out who to trust and what to fight for, even as the trap put in place to destroy him is set with a ticking clock.
When did espionage get so complicated?
 Click here to purchase your copy!

 About the Author:

IMG_0231Jes Drew lives with her mom, dad, younger sister (the illustrious Nicki Chapelway), four younger brothers (yes, four), and two dogs. She is the author of both the Ninja and Hunter trilogy and the Howling Twenty trilogy. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, daydreaming, and her day job. There is also a possibility that she may or may not be a secret agent, but that’s classified. Still, you can contact her at

Guest Post from Jes Drew

I began writing at a very young age. I don’t think I even started school yet when I came out with my first children’s titles. The Swan Princess and Flamingo Queen was followed by a sequel The Duck Prince and Unicorn King (because I thought it was unfair that only the mom and sister had to go through transformations), and Julian and Juliette had many reprints- all carefully printed and illustrated by myself before moving to their final destination: safekeeping in my mom’s possession.

Years later, I resumed my writing craft near the end of elementary school with two series of chapter books I wrote and then read aloud to my family. However, it was not until I watched Marvel’s Avengers that I found my true muse (Captain America, obviously). The story was so enthralling, I could do nothing but pick up the pen and compose my first published trilogy: The Ninja and Hunter Series published when I was sixteen. This was followed by the tree books of The Howling Twenties two years later.

But, no longer a ‘young adult’ I’ve moved on beyond that genre to the next age group: New Adult. That genre infamously known for its many vices and sins. However, we as Christians are called to “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b), and a genre targeted toward twenty-somethings should be no exception.

So this is my first release in the New Adult genre. Kristian Clark might be a secret-agent-turned-private-investigator-turned-secret-agent again, but he still deals with the same problems all twenty-somethings face: adapting to a career, longing for a soul mate, and searching for deeper meaning in all the noise. With a little intrigue and cool gadgets on the side because, well, he is a secret-agent-turned-private-investigator-turned-secret-agent after all.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 2

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 2

A Baker’s Perspective, November 3

BigreadersiteNovember 3

Fiction Aficionado, November 4

History, Mystery & Faith, November 5

Aryn the Libraryan, November 6

Reflections From My Bookshelf, November 7

Blogging With Carol, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Carpe Diem, November 10

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Karen Sue HadleyNovember 11

Neverending Stories, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

margaretkazmierczak, November 13

Mary Hake, November 13

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 14

Ashley’s BookshelfNovember 15


e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Jes is giving away a

Grand Prize of the Howling Twenties trilogy, signed, and a fifteen dollar Amazon gift card

and a
1st Place Prize of The Time I Saved the Day, also signed, and a ten dollar Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

That moment of anger when you rage uncontrollably

A moment of anger and my life changed forever. Shocked eyes gazed at me as I realized the scale of my actions. Nothing could take away my fist punching explosion that made twelve placid ladies jump from their seats. My reaction to a statement that contradicted my self-knowledge appeared disturbingly extreme.

That moment of anger changed my life

The door closed on my tranquil life, and I would never return to live there again. That moment of anger had risen from the depths of my childhood. All the sad memories wrapped up in one deadly time bomb. It stripped me of my vocation and flung me into the world again. I may have had my limbs intact, unlike Michael the main character in All of You, but my heart felt crushed beyond repair. Now what?

Michael’s life changed, and he knew more than one moment of anger as he strived to rebuild his life. Michael is a hero. Unfortunately, I am not! But he too asked the question “now what?”

All of you FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: All of You All of You by Sarah Monzon

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dualtimeline/Contemporary Romance


Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Penny’s worth
1944 or modern day

All of you is an interesting story about two eras. I was surprised that I related more with the modern day saga than to the WW2  drama. Maybe it was the strong central character Michael who captivated me with his vulnerability. That macho Navy Pilot who had it all then dramatically lost everything in a freak accident. How I felt for him!

What I liked

Jack, a woman after my own heart, a girl from a male dominated family – I could identify with her and the struggles she had with overprotective brothers. Michael and Jack at times need their heads knocked together, even if self-sacrifice appears the better choice. I loved the sweet touches that at times had the pair believing they had a future together then moments later the barriers crash down. Michael’s courage and faith shine through but there is a moment of anger when he lets rip, only one you say, I am sure there were others!

What I felt it lacked.

Some of the story for me, unfortunately, left little surprise and I could figure out what would happen, especially in the 1944 tale. There were niggles in this storyline which at times distracted the enjoyment – but that is just me.

Oh that word “Bloke”, I dislike this used by a gentlewoman of the period. “Chap” would have been more in keeping with her background and class. Some others I won’t mention. Otherwise, they will ruin the plot apart from saying the book tended to be too neat in its solutions to various situations. Having said that I did enjoy the way Sarah Monzon’s chapters ended leaving me wanting to turn the next page!

What the book provides

This book gives an insight into a sudden traumatic event that tears the life out of a high flyer. The reader is subjected to the emotions of a fallen hero who no longer knows his worth. Michael’s protective nature is compromised due to his disability – can he be the man he once was? You will have to read All of You to find out!

There is also the bravery of a woman who wants to “do her bit” in the war. The information on the ATA (Air Transport Auxilary) was interesting and will no doubt be new to some readers. It made a change having women winning the war instead of the men!

The book also shares the message of trusting in God no matter what the life circumstances.

Don’t forget to put it on your holiday read list.

Thank you, Sarah Monzon, for writing this book.

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

About the Author

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to thebio photo(1) two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.

Blog Stops

September 12: A Baker’s Perspective

September 12: Quiet Quilter

September 13: Books, Books, and More Books

September 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts

September 14: Cordially Barbara

September 14: Smiling Book Reviews

September 15: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 15: Carpe Diem

September 16: Inklings and notions

September 16: Christian Bookaholic

September 17: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

September 17: Artistic Nobody

September 18: Bookworm Mama

September 18: Remembrancy

September 19: Back Porch Reads

September 19: Kat’s Corner Books

September 20: Just Jo’Anne

September 20: Margaret Kazmierczak

September 21: The Power of Words

September 21: Mary Hake

September 22: 100 Pages per Hour

September 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books

September 23: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)

September 24: Blossoms and Blessings

September 24: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 25: Kathleen Denly

September 25: His Grace is Sufficient



To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winners.