Thursday, August 29, 2019

Meet the Misfits & Odd Girl Out by Melody Carlson (Being Zoey Book 1)

zoey Celebration Tour FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Zoey:  Meet the Misfits & Zoey: Odd Girl Out
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Middle grade fiction for girls
Release Date: April 15/ August 15, 2019
Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out coverZoey’s pretty sure her life is over when her wannaba-rockstar mother uproots her from from their home in Seattle and deposits her in Nowheresville, Oregon to live with her whackadoodle grandparents. Things start to look up, though, when she reconnects with Louisa, the girl from across the street. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa won’t mind that Zoey’s always been a bit of a misfit. Louisa’s ex-BFF, however, doesn’t seem too happy to welcome Zoey to the neighborhood. And when they all end up at church camp together, it’s not just a matter of whether or not Zoey can fit in…it becomes a firsthand lesson in what it really means to “love your enemy.”
When the school year begins, Zoey’s terrified to go without Louisa—who’s out with a nasty flu. The same enemies she made over the summer are there to haunt her, but she and another new girl stick together…and even seem to find a place among the in-crowd. But is this who Zoey wants to be? Are they really her friends? Who’s going to stick beside her when cyber bullying leaves her as the odd girl out?
Click here to grab your copy. 

My Review:

Meet the Misfits - Boy, haven't most of us been in a situation like this? Moving is plain hard. Sometimes it's harder to figure out if that transition is more difficult on adults or children. In this book, Zoey has moved. I totally identified with her, because I've been there and done that. You don't fit in, you aren't comfortable, it's not fun. But then, if you let God move, you might find a friend. Or, in Zoey's case, you could wind up at camp with your worst enemy. Ah, a perfect set up for personal growth and Christ-like development. 
This book was well worth reading and I would highly recommend it.

5 Stars

Odd Girl Out - This is book two in the series. Zoey is starting to fit in better, well she should have been. With her best friend sick, she's on her own. Thinking she will get to add a few new "A-lister" type friends should improve matters. But at what cost? What does it really take for her to be one of "them"? Then the cyber-bullying and ID theft start and I started to wonder if Zoey was going to make it through this part of her school year. She's got to keep a Christ-like frame around what she's going through if she wants to stay in one piece and mercy me, I REALLY get what this child was going through. This could have been not set in the sixth grade and still be every bit just as realistic as it is! I can easily recommend this series. I would read them in order so you don't lose any part of the back story, though if you didn't, you could still read this book. 
5 Stars

About the Author:

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

Being a tween these days is more complicated than ever. With our culture’s fast pace, social networking, peer pressure . . . growing up is hard to do. So I wanted to create a relatable character with some tough challenges. And Zoey Petrizzo definitely gets more than her fair share. About to start middle-school, Zoey is forced to relocate her life with her less than conventional grandparents. And it’s not easy! My hope is that readers will either relate to Zoey, or develop more empathy for ‘misfit’ kids like her.

Blog Stops

Andrea Christenson, August 30
Remembrancy, September 1
Older & Smarter?, September 2
Artistic Nobody, September 2
Back Porch Reads , September 3
Just the Write Escape, September 5
amandainpa , September 5
A Reader’s Brain, September 6
Patiently Waiting, September 6
Godly Book Reviews, September 7
Texas Book-aholic, September 8
Vicky Sluiter, September 9
Hallie Reads, September 10
janicesbookreviews, September 11
Inklings and notions , September 11


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize package of Meet the Misfits and Odd Girl Out, Sketching Pencils, and a Sketchbook!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hidden by Lisa Sell

A Bloodhound Book Review

The truth lies in the darkest places...
Jen Taylor has a secret.
In 1987 the body of fourteen-year-old Kelly was found on a railway track and Jen believes she was responsible for her death.
Now an adult, Jen is approached by Kelly’s mother, who asks her to help investigate her daughter’s murder. 
But Jen is hiding more than anyone knows.
As the investigation is reopened by Jen, along with her former friend Claire, secrets from the past come to light and when another murder takes place, the case takes a sinister turn.
Did Jen really kill Kelly and can she ever right the wrongs of the past?
Lisa Sell's Hidden is a crime thriller which you won't be able to put down, it's perfect for readers who enjoy books like Claire McGowan's What You Did and C.L. Taylor's Sleep. As well as for fans of authors like Louise Jensen, Rachel Abbott and Heidi Perks. 

My Review:

This is a super debut book. I want to keep a lookout for this author's books. I loved the 80's theme type flashbacks that worked well with the current updates/present time. I was thrilled this wasn't fluffy, it's actually well woven and complexed. So many secrets, such nice twists and turns. I can't share them with you, because I wouldn't want to spoil your read! I do feel that the cover could use an upgrade, but the story was true to its promise of a gripping tale. 

5 Stars 

About The Author:
Lisa Sell is a thriller, crime, and mystery writer who also scribbles short stories. 

Throughout her writing career she’s blogged about the twists and turns on her site: 

To combat writer's bum and keep mentally fit, Lisa is a runner. The consequence is she’s now a running bore but is proud of her achievements.

When she’s reading, Lisa practically hoovers up books. The to-be-read pile has become a tower, threatening to topple on her when she’s sleeping. 

Music rocks Lisa’s world too, particularly a good eighties tune. If lost, you’ll find Lisa in a DeLorean, headed for her favourite decade.

Lisa’s cats, Feegle and Wullie, try to help her write but often fail. The furry pests demand attention and desk space. Lisa is currently applying for cat wrangling to be recognised as an Olympic sport. 

Lisa is a happy pup to be part of the Bloodhound Books team. Just don’t tell the cats. 

If you’d like to visit Lisa’s website/blog, click here: or find out more by following her on social media: 


Twitter: @LisaLisax31


Friday, August 23, 2019

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig (The Book of Wars #1)

About The Book: 

Does an Ancient Book of Prophecy Hold the Answers to Saving the World . . . Or Predict Its Destruction? Mentioned in the pages of the Old Testament but lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold secrets--and dangers--never before seen on earth. 

Tasked with capturing the ancient text, former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe is once more given command of his own team. But their best efforts are ruined when a notorious Bulgarian operative known as Viorica snatches the volume right out from under them.

Iskra "Viorica" Todorova is determined to use the book to secure the thing that matters most--freedom. But a series of strange storms erupts around the globe, and the coming dangers foretold in the text threaten crops, lives, and entire nations. Though both are haunted by secrets of the past and neither trusts the other, Leif and Iskra must form an uneasy alliance to thwart impending disaster. However, the truth hidden in centuries-old words could unleash a storm of their own destruction.
"Ronie Kendig has always had a way of weaving a story that is so rich in history, suspense, and characters that are drawn together in a way that feels natural and real. With each new novel she just gets better and better."--Write Read Life

My Review: 

This new series is off with so much suspense and a plot that didn't let up. This series has ties to the Tox Files, which I like. Military issues are front and center and full of realism. The characters were fantastic! 

I LOVE the Biblical parts that add to the mystery. It makes it riveting. I feel like I'll be holding my breath until I get to read more of this series. I have now completely fallen for this author's books.

5 Stars

About the Author: 

Ronie Kendig ( is an award-winning, bestselling author of over twenty novels. She grew up an army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live a short train ride from New York City with their children and a retired military working dog. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

State of Lies by Siri Mitchelle

state of lies FB bannerAbout the Book

Book: State of Lies
Author: Siri Mitchell
Genre: Suspense
Release Date: August 13, 2019
State of liesMonths after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.
With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.
The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.
Not her friends.
Not her parents.
Maybe not even herself. 

Click here to grab your copy.

 My Review:
Georgie's husband is dead, or is he? He's dead, it happened, no move on. Sure, except when things don't line up. Who's playing head games with her? Or could Sean be... alive? Georgie is a physicist so she isn't a woman prone to flights fancy. However, she can't ignore this. What has happened, who is lying to her and why? I found this novel to be a fast read, with neat little short chapters. It kept me motivated to reach the answers to the many burning questions. It's a bit more of a cross-over novel, less faith-based, so that could make it perfect for getting a new person into Christian Fiction. Now, you could argue that this kind of story has been done over and over, but I think that this book was still interesting. 

4 Stars

About the Author

SIRI-MITCHELL_headshotSiri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant. Visit her online at; Facebook: SiriMitchell; Twitter: @SiriMitchell.

More from Siri

A Sense of Place
I’m so excited about the release of State of Lies! Among the many reasons for my excitement is the fact that I set the story in my own home town: Arlington, VA. Here are some things you might not know about Arlington:

  1. Arlington was originally included within the borders of Washington, DC.
  2. Arlington isn’t actually a city – it’s a county. We’re the smallest self-governing county in the nation.
  3. Arlington regularly takes the top spot as the most educated place in the country.
  4. Arlington LOVES books. I count at least a dozen different little libraries in my neighborhood alone.
  5. Our region often has a hurricane warning or two every hurricane season. Can you guess where I’ve seen the longest lines when people start to make last-minute preparations? It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the hardware store. It’s the library! (Why wouldn’t you stock up on books too?)
  6. We host Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon.
  7. We are home to the very first Five Guys hamburger joint location.
  8. We are also home to the headquarters of over a dozen national agencies as well as organizations like Rosetta Stone and Nestlé.
  9. People who attended our high schools include Sandra Bullock, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric, and Patch Adams.
  10. The thing I love most about Arlington? Its people. Countless government contractors members of the federal workforce live here. I number them among my friends and neighbors. I’ve never met a group more dedicated, more informed, or more determined to put their expertise to good use. And guess what? My heroine, Georgie Brennan, is one of them!

The Pentagon and Washington, DC

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, August 20
CarpeDiem, August 21
Fiction Aficionado, August 22
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 22
Genesis 5020, August 22
Andrea Christenson, August 23
Pause for Tales, August 23
Rebekah Jones, August 26
Betti Mace, August 26
As He Leads is Joy, August 27
Wishful Endings, August 27
Moments, August 28
Mary Hake, August 28
Remembrancy, August 28
Hallie Reads, August 30
Bigreadersite , August 30
Connect in Fiction, August 31
Texas Book-aholic, August 31
janicesbookreviews, September 1
A Reader’s Brain, September 1
Life of Literature, September 2
Henry Happens, September 2

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Warriers with Holy Hands by Peter Toeg

Warriors with Holy Hands FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Warriors with Holy Hands
Author: Peter Toeg
Genre: Christian Suspense
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Warriors with Holy Hands CoverWarriors With Holy Hands  is the story of a young woman who finds herself lost in time and whose life over a period of three years is spiraling downward. Ruth Falk is stricken with an inexplicable illness and then orphaned. With only a distant relative in her life now, Ruth faces a life of debilitating pain and infirmity. She determines to look to the past for answers she believes her bloodline may reveal.
Searching through diaries and records, Ruth discovers blood relatives and others who lived far away over the course of a century.  We follow their lives across three generations culminating in the revelation of indisputable connections that are created—words and actions with lasting results.
Ruth learns that a curse spoken by one ancestor may have had a devastating domino effect, one whose beginning also engaged her prayer-warrior grandmother in a pitched spiritual battle to break. A challenged believer herself, Ruth grows in the faith of her predecessors who faced ominous situations.
The rich symbolism of Judaism provides a backdrop for the saga with traditions and meaning sprinkled throughout the story.
When she faces increasing paralysis, Ruth and a birth friend in the faith journey to the Southern Highlands of Tennessee where it all began. Here in the span of seven days—over ten months—all that has unraveled in recent years comes together. Life as she knows it will never be the same.
God reveals himself to Ruth and others in remarkable ways along a tortuous path that comes full circle.
Warriors is a mystery that is finally, stunningly, revealed as serendipitous fruit from the branches of a family tree. It is a story of encouragement and life that empowers those who seek God and believe.
Get your copy HERE! 
My Review:
If you ever pick a book thinking, this looks interesting but I have hesitations; this is one of those books for me. Enter Ruth for this novel. She is sick. Why can't she get well? Wasn't it bad enough to deal with an illness, then add being orphaned on top of that, well it's enough to make her dig for answers. That's what pulls her into a journey through the past. Was she cursed? If so can she get healing and overcome that? Life is just so hard at times! How does Ruth cope with that when she finds out things in her past? This is a gritty and realistic, tough love even kind of story. It's deep and designed to make the reader think while reading Ruth's story. I'm no stranger to pain, so I had no problem connecting with her. I appreciated the journey and the spiritual aspects of this novel. I was able to keep up with the time jumps without a problem and wound up feeling like I'd had a long testimonial chat with someone from church. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Peter ToegPeter Toeg was a technical writer for over twenty years and a trained journalist who taught communication and media writing for fifteen years at a small Midwestern university. A believer for thirty years, he has roots that extend both to Iraq and Judaism, two themes in Warriors.
He writes full-time now: mostly memoir and short stories with several published. Writing is his avocation.

More from Peter

I’ve always been fascinated with connections, whether family or circumstances. As a memoirist, I have been granted a wonderful perspective on my life filled with connections. Warriors With Holy Hands is a family saga in that vein. Exploring our roots and bloodline. In Warriors, a young woman receives a wonderful gift from the grandmother she never knew and learns the power of prayer.
Ruth Falk, the main character faces two problems: an illness that is robbing her of her mobility and, as an orphan, little knowledge of her past. She wonders whether the two are connected: her background and her illness. So begins her amazing search. In her debilitating condition, time is not on her side.
As often happens in a family, we discover more than we expect. I did forty years after being orphaned myself. I learned that my father rescued his own sister and mother, spiriting them to safety with him when he emigrated from a hostile land to the United States. The grand deception was revealed in documents I’d tucked away. I’d never been told the story.
Ruth Falk also crosses paths with a man on a spiritual journey and another mysterious soldier-warrior, who is mentally gifted—and also her rescuer.
Spanning one hundred years and populated by a dozen remarkable people and a few miscreants, Warriors With Holy Hands is a mystery and adventure with wonders and rich spiritual truths. And maybe a miracle or two. It was quite a trip for me in the writing as I trust it will be for my readers.
Peter Toeg
Excerpt from Warriors:
“Tell me why you’re here, Jacob,” I said through the chorus. We sat at angles to each other in wicker chairs, the vantage of direct face-to-face lost. A candle on a small table before us illuminated considerably more than our plastic glasses and now-soggy paper plates.
“Everybody has to be somewhere, sis.” A quick response.
I pressed. “What are you looking for here? I have reasons—that you’ve hammered me with. What about your family? Are you taking the genealogy route?”
Jacob finished his wine. A loud swallow. I caught him looking at his stump, the prosthetic he’d removed before we came out. He’d rarely been this quiet in my presence this long, the flight excepted. Then he placed the drained glass down, stood, and, with his hand, moved the table to his left, pulled his chair more directly opposing me, and sat down. Military posture, his arms on the chair arms. He looked kindly at me with wine-softened eyes.
“I’m here to help you, Ruthie.” He looked into the night and back at me. “I confess I do have some unfinished business. You’re smart enough to know that—and what it is.” A sad smile formed, genuine emotion breaking out.
I saw hurt in his eyes brewing deep down. “Your father. You have a bridge to cross.” I touched his hand with mine and withdrew it after a moment. “Over a river.”
Jacob looked away longer now, and then back, but he said nothing.
“I can carry you, Jacob,” I said confidently. “You’re not alone.”
Jacob looked at me, a little surprised and pleased at the same time, his eyes damp. “We are kin, are we not? Covenant. A covenant of three.”
I nodded, looked at his stump and then down at my legs. I lifted up my plastic glass and looked at Jacob through its prism with a squint.
“Your father’s spirit is not at the river, but God is… Look for Him and you’ll find your father.”
He nodded. “As much as we think what happens is about us, it’s not, is it?”
I shook my head.
I had momentarily seen Jacob’s face distorted through the glass by the candlelight. Now, the glass removed, his face was almost radiant. “It is said the mystic knows God by contact of spirit with spirit; cor ad cor loquitur. He has the immediate vision…he hears the still, small voice speaking clearly to him in the silence of his soul.”
“And what is the translation?” Jacob perked.
I felt at rest in the moment after a day on the road had awakened nerve pain in my limbs. Gone now. “It means ‘heart speaks to heart.’ Some Catholic theologian. Some say that the origins of the heart speaking are in music—a crystal voice, the sounds of the night, the call of a bird—rushing water.” I waved my hand in a sweeping motion at the darkness before us that was filled with sound.
Jacob nodded then returned to his usual playful self. “So, you’re going to carry me, eh kid?”
“We all need to be carried.” (p. 123)

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, August 10
CarpeDiem, August 12
Mary Hake, August 13
Artistic Nobody, August 13 (Spotlight)
Texas Book-aholic, August 18
janicesbookreviews, August 19
A Reader’s Brain, August 20


To celebrate his tour, Peter is Giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.