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.

Cowboy Bodyguard – when you need Daddy’s love

Have you ever thought of God being your bodyguard? No neither had I until I read Cowboy Bodyguard by Dana Mentink!

As I thought about my headline for my book review, that hopefully will bring hoards of readers to my blog, it struck me that the clue is in the book title. We might not need a bodyguard quite in the fashion of a cowboy, but we do in the form of God. Because let’s face it we all get into messes and need protecting. And that is what this book is about – one giant mess and who saves the day. Hooked? Scroll down the page to read my review.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Cowboy Bodyguard by Dana Mentink

Cowboy Bodyguard @DanaMentink #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway #amreading Click To Tweet

My Penny’s Worth

I wasn’t down to review this book, but I am glad that I did.

Why?

Cowboys, not my cup of tea as we don’t have cowboys in England. Well that’s not strictly true, we have some cowboy builders, but that is another story.

Cowboy Bodyguard is an easy read with plenty of action, and it didn’t take me long to consume. However, that said there are lessons to be learned within the pages. Principally that of fatherly love especially in the absence of it.

“Please make Daddy love me. Please. Incomprehensibly, emotion from those little-girl prayers thickened her throat and blurred her vision.”

What are the main characters like?

Well, I’ll let the book speak for itself in regards to Shannon Livingstone.

“Shannon, for all her maddening qualities, was a warrior, through and through.”

Jack Thorn, aka the Cowboy Bodyguard, is all you could ask for in a protector. He cares, is well rounded, talks sense and knows he is not the author of events. Again let me the words of the book reveal this.

“You don’t get to save a life without His permission. But to be His partner in that..”He shook his head, eyes blue as the deep sea, “That’s something truly special, something to be real proud of.”

Could I relate to this book?

Definitely, as Shanon’s struggles are my own so this struck a chord.

“It’s hard to never be enough, but it made me strong.”

Would I recommend Cowboy bodyguard?

This book takes you on a journey. Yes, it uses a story about a young girl and her baby trapped in an awful situation. However, it’s also about Shannon finding herself just as we all do in our everyday lives.

If you would like a book that tells of Daddy’s love in a backdrop of biker’s who believe they own people and will do anything to preserve their culture, then you might like Cowboy bodyguard.

I would like to give this book 4****

Thank you, Dana Mentink, for writing Cowboy Bodyguard.

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

Don’t forget Dana’s Giveaway at the end of my blog.

If you have enjoyed my review please let me know in the comments. Many thanks. 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Cowboy Bodyguard by Dana Mentink

Title: Cowboy Bodyguard

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Western, Mystery

Release Date: July 3, 2018

 

In this Gold Country Cowboys novel, Jack Thorn gets a surprise call from the woman he married in secret years ago. Shannon Livingston needs his protection for herself and the baby she’s hiding from a biker gang targeting the mother. Now Jack must help Shannon, even if shielding her means pretending to be a true husband to the only woman he’s ever loved.

About the Author

Dana MentinkDana’s Bio: Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty-five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition.

Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 12

Lighthouse Academy, July 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 13

Just the Write Escape, July 14

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 14

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, July 15

Power of Words, July 15

Genesis 5020, July 16

Jen Around the World, July 16

Daysong Reflections, July 17

Remebrancy, July 17

proud to be an autism mom, July 18

Janices book reviews, July 18

Carpe Diem, July 19

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 19

Pause for Tales, July 20

Have A Wonderful Day, July 20

Bibliophile Reviews, July 21

Book by Book, July 21

History, Mystery & Faith, July 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

A Baker’s Perspective, July 23

margaret kazmierczak, July 23

Bigreadersite, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 24

Godly Book Reviews, July 25

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a Mentink Bundle that includes a horse tote book bag, a three-book collection, and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ced1/cowboy-bodyguard-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

I love Authors Interview 26 this is Susan B Mead

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Susan B Mead author of Don't go through Like Naked

I love Authors Interview 26

Susan B Mead FB headshot

Today on I love Authors Interview 26 we meet Susan B. Mead author of Don’t Go Through Life Naked which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 15th – 28th May. Click here to purchase your copy!

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Susan B Mead author of Don't go through Like Naked

Hello Susan, it is a pleasure to have you sitting on my couch today.

Susan – Thank you, Margaret, I am really excited to be here.

As you know I like to put my authors on a desert island to get to know them better.

I have five questions for you so let’s get started..

Susan, who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

SusanJesus – He walks on water and leads The Way! Can you imagine that adventure?!

That certainly would be an amazing adventure, Susan. Think of all the questions you could ask Him as you followed in His Way. Oh to be in His presence.

The island is remote and basic..

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

SusanA soaking tub with an unending supply of cool fresh water (to drink and bathe in) and fluffy towels to wrap up in and sit under as shade.

I’m sure you could find a waterfall to source the cool fresh water. The fluffy towels we are happy to provide as your luxury item. As for shade cover, I like your thinking.

On one of your scavenging trips…

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

SusanDestiny, for it is there for a purpose to help me determine a path and that feels destiny laden. Oh, what an amazing gift it would be to find. Like finding a present – today is called the “present,” so dig in, open it, and revel in the gift you were given by your mighty God!

That is a wonderful play on words Susan – what a great name. It conquers up all sorts of ideas. I hope my readers will dig in and open it – I wonder what gift they will find?

Onto other treasures now..

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?

Susan – Expect miracles. Rejoice and be thankful daily. Be grateful for this glorious retreat – God has sent you on a sabbatical to a place of blue water and white sand – my definition for heaven on earth. So rest and be rejuvenated in your time of repose. Life is a lesson. Learn it well.

Being on the island seems to have you in a reflective mode, Susan. We all need time away from the hustle and bustle to become grounded again. Life certainly is a lesson and sometimes a bit like groundhog day when we fail to learn the lesson God wants us too. A spell on the island might do us all good.

For my last question..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Susan – Why do I feel like I’m going through life naked if I’m faithfully following God?

Or

The Bible tells us the war has been won, yet some days we simply feel undone.

These are both sentences for reflection and show a glimpse into your writing. Your book sounds thought-provoking and I hope my readers will pick up a copy. You have certainly given us something to ruminate on Susan. Thank you.

It has been a delight to talk to you, Susan. Thank you for joining me.

Please show your appreciation for Susan B. Mead – applause fills the room.

Susan – Thank you Margaret.

Susan has a GIVEAWAY for you which is at the end of this post. To enter read on and follow the link for your chance to win.

The enemy of your soul wants you to feel out of control, overwhelmed, outwitted and under-resourced. #GodMatters #books Click To Tweet

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Susan B Mead author of Don't go through Like NakedWhy do I feel like I’m going through life naked if I’m following God faithfully?

The Bible tells you the war has already been won, yet some days you simply feel undone.

The enemy of your soul wants you to feel out of control…overwhelmed, outwitted and under-resourced. When you listen to the lies the enemy weaves in your marriage, finances, relationships, and health, he wreaks havoc. Steals your joy. Kills your hope. And aims to not only dull but destroy the power of God in your life.

A personal testimony

In Don’t Go through Life Naked, Susan B. Mead shares her own deeply personal experiences with feeling exposed and engaging the enemy—from the recurring nightmares of childhood to the loss of her son and perceived judgment of others.

With scriptural insight, let’s-get-real vulnerability, and a wry sense of humor, Mead helps readers:

– Toss out misconceptions about spiritual warfare to understand what Jesus really said about your spiritual authority and the certainty you have in him. – Know what to pray to steady your soul and restore your confidence. – Stop feeling overrun by the enemy and start believing the authority of God abides in you to overcome.

Spiritual weapons

In Don’t Go through Life Naked, Mead provides strong spiritual weapons for your life through the scripture of God’s prayer book, the Bible. These weapons enable you to successfully clothe yourself in God’s power and promises every day.

A portion of the proceeds of Don’t Go through Life Naked will benefit Proverbs 31 Ministries to help them continue teaching biblical truth and taking the hope of Jesus to women and families around the world.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Susan B Mead author of Don't go through Like NakedWith over 22 years in corporate American, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelfan MBA hanging on the wall, and a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan B Mead shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships. A master storyteller and award winning, best selling author, Susan leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world.Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 15

proud to be an autism mom, May 16

Simple Harvest Reads, May 16 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, May 17

Janices book reviews, May 18

Bibliophile Reviews, May 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 20

Carpe Diem, May 21

A Baker’s Perspective, May 22

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 23

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 24

Pursuing Stacie,May 25

Bigreadersite, May 26

margaret kazmierczak, May 26 (Interview)

A Greater Yes, May 27

Reading is my Super Power, May 27 (Interview)

Among the Reads, May 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Oasis preloaded with her ebooks along with an autographed copy of her book Don’t Go Through Life Naked: How to Clothe Yourself in God’s Power.

Click below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0bc39d2b1/?

I love Authors Interview 22 this is Barbara Bras

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Barbara Bras author of She Who Knows No Fear

I love Authors Interview 22

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Welcome to I love Authors Interview 22. Today we meet Barbara Bras, author of She Who Knows No Fear, which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 26th April – 9 May. Let’s all give Barbara a warm greeting.

Bstsell auth

Hello Barbara, it’s lovely to meet you today. Come and have a seat on my couch.

I’m so glad you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit which is running from 26th April – 9th May, as it gives me an opportunity to get you onto my sofa for a chat.

Barbara – Well, I am delighted to be here Margaret.

I hope you don’t mind but my interviews revolve around a desert island theme.  So I want you to imagine that we are on a deserted island somewhere remote. This means we are going back to basics.

However, for my first question, I want to know..

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

Barbara I enjoy my own company Margaret, but I would love a working radio (with extra batteries) for music and for news of the world’s events…to stay connected to the universe in that little way.

We could let you have a wind-up radio with a solar panel Barbara, better for the environment and then you wouldn’t need batteries as the sun charges it. Perfect for a hot desert island. Just try not to get sand in it!

I know you love books..

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

BarbaraJesus Always, by Sarah Young. I find the daily devotions speak to me and come with great Bible references, which on the desert island I would have plenty of time to read!

You certainly would Barbara, once you have built your shelter and fished for your supper!

 

Talking about food..

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

BarbaraThis is embarrassing, Hebrew National Hotdogs. I’m crazy for them.

Ok, so I will need to look these up when we are on the mainland again with an internet connection. But they sound delicious. I learn something new everyday!

We’ve talked about books, food and now I want to know something about your writing..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Barbara –“She thought everyone had found a secret she didn’t possess, but now she knew it was no secret. God loved her, too.”

Oh yes, that realization when you understand God loves you. That is a beautiful quote Barbara, thank you.

 

I always love these answers..

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

Barbara – Gentle spirit seeking everlasting love.

Oh so true, I remember Cassie from your first book “She who knows – the tale of the heart”, which I liked. I think readers will enjoy this sequel.

Well, there you have it, readers, I am so glad Barbara you came to meet us on my couch today. It’s been fun getting to know a little bit more about you.

Barbara Bras readers, she deserves a mighty round of applause. I hope you have a successful blog tour.

It’s GIVEAWAY time so don’t forget to read the rest of this post and then enter Barbara’s competition at the bottom of the page. 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Bstsell authTitle: She Who Knows No Fear

Author: Barbara Bras

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: December 8, 2017

 

Cassie’s dream is about to come true. She’s marrying her best friend, the love of her life.

She will never be alone again.

But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie’s safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew.

Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden “treasures” in the house she inherited.

With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother’s journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

About the Author

untitled-1In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God.  She believed that her first step was to share the amazing story of God’s blessings in her life. Wrapped in God’s Grace, A Life Rediscovered does so through a trio of narratives. It begins with the story of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia, and her own quest for purpose and love.  Once written, Barbara realized her life’s new purpose. Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, she views her writing as a tribute to the God who comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials, and as her mission to encourage others.  Her first novel, She Who Knows, A Tale of the Heart, seeks to inspire and encourage. The sequel, She Who Knows No Fear:  Another Tale of the Heart, released in December 2017. Solo Deo Gloria, To God Alone Be the Glory

She who knows no fear image

Blog Spots

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

proud to be an autism mom, April 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Bibliophile Reviews, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Josephine’s Thoughts, April 30

Among the Reads, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2

Janices book reviews, May 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Reading is my Super Power, May 3 (Interview)

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 4

Pause for Tales, May 4

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, May 5

Carpe Diem, May 5

A Baker’s Perspective, May 6

margaret kazmierczak, May 6 (Interview)

Mary Hake, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, May 8

Bigreadersite, May 8

For the love of books, May 9

Pursuing Stacie, May 9

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus a signed copy of She Who Knows and She Who Knows No Fear!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca74

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

Giveaway

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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! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc

Surrender to God it brings a life of peace

Surrender to God

Why would I surrender to God? Life is for living, enjoying and experiencing its riches. As a young adult, the world called me to seek adventure. I wanted excitement, so I took every opportunity to find it. By the time my 23rd birthday came along God had put a stop to my galivanting around and pointed to the door that I had to push open. In that surrender to God, I found peace and another episode began.

For me, that surrender to God was not easy; I had many faults and traits that needed ironing out. I didn’t go willingly like a lamb to the slaughter. In fact, anyone but me would have been preferable. Being a “Maria” (from The Sound of Music) just made me laugh. You want me to be a what? Father, you have to be kidding, you’ve got the wrong person here. But God is not crazy, just poetic.

So without further ado, let me introduce “Into a Silent World” by Carmina Edwards – below is my review of her book.

Into a silent world FB banner copy

My penny’s worth

This book follows on from “A door cracked open” and concentrates on Amy’s journey towards convent life.

Anything is possible

The determination of this young lady to follow her calling is very apparent in the book. At times, her solutions to particular situations are way over the top, almost unbelievable. But it makes for funny reading.

What I liked

One of the main points for me has to be how God blesses Amy. It might be a job or a person who appears at just the right moment to help her move onto the next stage of her journey. God’s will, however, regardless of Amy’s interference works for the better, even if Amy can’t see it at the time.

Surrender to God

I was incredulous at Amy’s stubborn nature in refusing to listen to the “wise” counsel of older mentors who understood the life of a nun. But if Amy had, there might not have been a book to write about her adventures.

Doubting oneself

Amy is quite a vulnerable person and her comments “what have I done now” or “I must be in trouble” causes her anguish and anxiety in even the safest of places.

What I struggled with

The book itself is an easy read. However, the repetitive and sometimes simplistic dialogue did hamper the reading experience for me and made some scenes drag. Others might not find it so.

Who might like this book?

The book is a biography of a young woman desiring to follow her new found faith in a convent. Therefore, if you are inquisitive about the religious life or what goes on behind closed doors in a Catholic Monastery that follows the rule of silence, this story will give you a little insight.  Can a woman who loves interacting with people live a life of silence?

Thank you, Carmina for your book.

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

About the Book

 

Title: Into a Silent WorldSurrender to God Margaret Kazmierczak's review of Into a Slient World by Carmina Edwards

Author: Carmina Edwards

Genre: Biography, Memoir

Release Date: August 15, 2016

Following Amy’s adventures in A Door Cracked Open, she heads into a world which will test her faith and perseverance to the limit. Instead of settling into a simple, safe and unchanging life like she imagined, Amy is strongly drawn to a vocation with even higher requirements, prompting her to plan some seemingly impossible missions in order to reach her goal.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Carmina Edwards author of Into a Silent WorldI am a mother of two wonderful grown-up children and currently living in the UK, after living in Sweden for three years where I wrote my first book, “A Door Cracked Open.” I was blessed to be able to spend six months in USA before returning to the UK, my home country, to work with my editor in California on the edits of this book and visit friends.

I am an avid reader and linguist, having also spent some years living in France and have been fortunate enough to have taught Swedish and French over twenty-five years and translate for businesses and manuscripts in both languages. Being unemployed the past few years has led to me becoming homeless. However, I never give up hope. As I try to portray in my books, God has always had His hand on me. Once again, He has stepped in right at the last minute. I now have a new job in Sweden and will be moving back there. Because I feel passionate about helping the homeless, a large percentage of my royalties will go directly to them.

Guest Post from Carmina Edwards

“Into a Silent World” follows on from Amy’s story in “A Door Cracked Open.”

With a new beginning ahead of her, a long-standing dream about to be realized, she was unprepared for the events which were about to unfold over the next two years.

Why would God send her to this place of “absolute conviction” and allow her to remain there for that long if He never meant for her to be there? Amy struggles to understand and seeks His will, but determined that it was His plan, she persevered in order for her dream to be fulfilled.

Blog Stops

Just Jo’Anne, November 7

Mary Hake, November 8

Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 9

Janices book review, November 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 11

History, Mystery & Faith, November 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 13 (Interview)

The Power of Words, November 14 (Interview)

margaret kazmierczak, November 15

Splashes of Joy, November 16

A Reader’s BrainNovember 17

Multifarious, November 18

Artistic Nobody, November 19 (Karin Perry guest post)

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Giveaway

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Silent-World-Cracked-Open/dp/099701802X/

To celebrate her tour, Carmina is giving away

Grand Prize:

Paperback copies of A Door Cracked Open & Into a Silent World

1st – 3rd place:

Ebook copy of A Door Cracked Open!!

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

Competition now closed