I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for “An Open Book.” Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past month (and will be reading this month).
Julia’s Gifts (Great War Great Love #1)
My book, Julia’s Gifts, is currently FREE on Kindle.
Now Available for Pre-Order on Kindle!
Come Back to Me (the sequel to Stay With Me, below)
Synopsis: After his wife, Jamie, kicks him out, Alan moves in with his brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting a baby. As the days turn to months, the prospect of a reunion grows dimmer, and Alan is left to pick up the pieces of his broken marriage while bunking alongside blissfully happy newlyweds.
Megan, Jamie’s friend, is privy to both Jamie’s and Alan’s private woes, meeting Jamie to lend an ear and occupying a barstool next to Alan. Megan’s dissatisfaction with her own life—meaningless hookups, a brother who’s found Jesus, and an increasingly awkward relationship with Jamie and Alan—grows.
Alan comes to his sister-in-law’s aid when she goes into labor, forcing him to act with long-overdue maturity. Meanwhile, through a conversation with her mother, Jamie realizes a skewed perception of her father’s indifference and her own fears have led her to be harder on Alan than he deserves.
Forced to come to terms with her unresolved grief, Megan discovers the need to make amends and start fresh.
Available for Pre-Order On Kindle!
A Channel of Your Peace by Veronica Smallhorn
Synopsis: Would a God who truly loves you allow things to get this bad?
Lapsed Catholic Erin Rafferty has the life she always wanted. Or at least she did, till the moment her fiancé of five years announces he’s leaving her for another woman. Heartbroken and humiliated, a further devastating development leaves her wondering if she can ever live a normal life again.
Mark Ashcroft is a devout Catholic looking for an equally devout Catholic wife. A chance encounter with Erin leaves Mark completely captivated, yet deeply unsettled, knowing Erin is not in a place to accept him, nor is she the model Christian woman he’d hoped to start a life with.
A tentative friendship begins, and Erin finds herself questioning her long-held rejection of her faith, while Mark finds himself healing from memories of his own wounded past.
But as love grows, further tragedy in Erin’s life threatens her burgeoning faith and her hope for a future with Mark.
What follows is a difficult journey of love, surrender, trust, and faith in the ultimate knowledge that Christ is always in the midst of our sufferings.
Extreme Blindside by Leslea Wahl
Synopsis: After winning silver, teen snowboarder Jake Taylor is struggling with sudden fame when he s offered a gig he can’t refuse: becoming a spokesperson for a state-of-the-art athletic training facility. Training for its first competition, Jake relies on his faith to help him find ways to use his fame to help others… when athletes mysteriously start getting sabotaged one by one. Time is running out for Jake and his girlfriend, Sophie, to figure out what is going on before he is also sabotaged… or worse.
My review: What I enjoy about this author’s writing and stories is that, while they are geared to teens, they’re also great reads for adults! And…there aren’t too many authors who can write in present tense and do it well. Leslea Wahl is one of those authors. Highly recommend!
Synopsis: In the lonely woods around Grizzly Falls, Montana, the first body is discovered, stripped naked and tied to a tree. Alvarez and Pescoli have been hoping for a career-making case, but this is a nightmare. The killer stages car accidents on icy, isolated roads and “rescues” his victims. He toys with them, heals them, earns their trust . . . before subjecting them to a slow, agonizing death.
When Jillian Rivers opens her eyes, she’s trapped in a mangled car. Then a stranger, claiming to be a trail guide, pries her free. Though she’s grateful, something about him sets Jillian on edge. And if she knew what was lying in wait for her, she’d be truly terrified . . .
Even with the FBI involved, Selena and Regan have nothing to go on but a series of cryptic notes, and the unsettling knowledge that there is much worse to come. Piece by piece, the killer’s brutal plan is taking shape. But his final move will be the most shocking—and personal—of all . . .
Review: I enjoyed this book very much. Great story and characters. I think one of the reasons Jackson sells so many books is that the Kindle editions are reasonably priced (even for Canadian readers!) I downloaded this 500 page novel for only 2.99. If you like secular mysteries, you’ll like this one. (Some mildly explicit scenes, which I just skimmed over.)
Stay With Me by Carolyn Astfalk
Amazon Synopsis: With her sister Abby’s encouragement, Rebecca has moved out of their overbearing father’s home. When a chance encounter with Chris ends with an invitation, Rebecca says yes. The authentic way Chris lives his life attracts Rebecca and garners her affection.
Chris loves Rebecca and her innocence, but he’s confounded by the emotional scars she bears from her parents and an attempted assault. Her father’s disdain for Chris’s faith and career only make matters worse.
With the counsel of their friend Father John, can Rebecca and Chris overcome every obstacle and bridge the deepening gulf between them and her dad? Or will a crucial lapse in judgment and its repercussion end their relationship?
My review: Since we’ve been working on publishing the sequel to this book, I decided to sit down and read this one again to familiarize myself with the characters. The first time I read it, I couldn’t put it down. It was the same this time. I know I’m biased because I’m the publisher of this book, but it’s a great read and confirmation of the truth of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and marriage.
Thanks for linking with An Open Book each month! I enjoyed reading an early copy of A Channel of Your Peace! And I’m excited for Come Back to Me’s release. It’s so fun seeing people who enjoyed Stay With Me eager to read this one.