Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Heirs of Auschwitz by Dr. Jack Fried


You can find countless stories of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust as told firsthand by those souls that have witnessed, lived through, and survived indescribable horror. From great retellings from authors such as Elie Wiesel to dramatized, influential works of fiction from writers including John Boyne, it becomes clear the Holocaust has impacted more than the people that directly experienced it.

As the era of first-generation Holocaust survivors approaches its end, their stories as well as their trauma lives on, however, through their descendants. As a consequence, the descendants of Holocaust survivors, as current research suggests, have also been affected from the result of the experience of their parents and grandparents. Few stories are ever written by the heirs of those who endured that indescribable horror and in the way that it manifests psychologically just two generations later.

Author Dr. Jack Fried, born to the son and daughter of Holocaust survivors, is one of the many whose life has been forever changed by the events that transpired during the Holocaust. Inter-generational trauma is not a well-known concept, but, for Dr. Fried, it meant that he had to take a journey into a past he didn’t personally know—his grandparents’ past—to find pieces to a puzzle that may answer his questions about the origins of a lifelong battle he has had with separation anxiety. His trip took him to Poland where he uncovered a slew of pent-up emotions, fears, and dark histories.

Oddly, as Dr. Fried learns about his family’s past and his present, he unknowingly embarks on a spiritual journey into Jewish mysticism, which slowly enables him to transcend his lifelong struggles with a fear and anxiety that didn’t belong to him. All of the inhibiting emotions were released upon his connection to the strife of his ancestors.

Heirs of Auschwitz is an extremely worthwhile read for anyone with unresolved feelings, anyone who has not witnessed or has avoided witnessing human suffering, and for those who cannot fathom what hell on earth is like.



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Review of Formula for a Perfect Life by Christy Hayes

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for Formula for a Perfect Life by Christy Hayes! I had the honor of reviewing this book and am sharing my thoughts with you today. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more reviews and some sneak peeks inside. And of course, there's a great giveaway at the end!



Formula for a Perfect Life


By Christy Hayes
Christian New Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 323 Pages
March 30th 2020

Two practical strangers. One fateful night. Two pink lines.

College senior and obsessive romantic Kayla Cummings' dreams of a storybook life are spun off course by an unplanned pregnancy after a one-night stand with her secret crush. Devastated, Kayla turns to her roommates and best friends for advice. No matter what she decides, no matter how deeply embarrassed, she has to tell the father.

Ben Strickland’s future is written in stone—as long as he gets a decent score on the Law School Admission Test. Feeling pressure from all sides, Ben struggles to juggle his upcoming finals, another shot at the LSAT, and his needy girlfriend Darcy. When the girl he spent a memorable night with weeks ago shows up at his doorstep pregnant, his already chaotic life spins out of control.

With the clock ticking, decisions to make, and a boatload of people to disappoint, Ben and Kayla embark on a journey neither anticipated—a journey where falling in love might be the biggest surprise of all. But when old hurts and buried secrets pose a greater threat to their future than impending parenthood, will Ben and Kayla go their separate ways or forge a new path to happy ever after?


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**My thoughts**
This was an interesting take on the one-night stand pregnancy trope. This one has a Christian twist to it, as the two main characters have strong faith and all characters are frequently talking about God's will in their situation. I know that there's a group of people who will claim that two young people who claim to be Christians would never get themselves into such a situation, but I will disagree. To me, this was a book that felt more realistic as far as the behavior of college students. We are not perfect humans and accidents will happen. It's how you handle them that makes the difference in life. 

Both of these characters are under a lot of pressure from their parents about making all of the right decisions. Their families have high expectations of them. And now that this wrench has been thrown into their lives, those plans are on hold, or more likely being completely diverted. Relationships are completely strained and they are struggling to salvage what they can.

And speaking of relationships, Kayla and Ben really didn't have much of one before that fateful night. There was obviously some attraction, but then they didn't follow up with each other after that night because they were so busy. Now that they know they are going to be permanently connected, they are awkwardly navigating the getting-to-know you phase while kind of starting at the end and working backwards. That spark is there, but it is not a rushing heat. That heat already got them into trouble already, so they are really trying to take it slow. And for the sake of both them and the baby, you are rooting for them to work it out.

The biggest fireworks come from Ben's on-again-off-again betrothed girlfriend Darcy who is beyond angry that her own dreams of being a power couple have disappeared. She causes a lot of unnecessary drama that occasionally feels slightly out of place, and yet helps to fuel the honesty and bonding between the parents-to-be.

It's a story of reexamining your own personal morals and beliefs. It's about learning how to navigate the rocky waters of adulthood even before you think you're ready. It's about prioritizing relationships with people in your life. It's about remembering to be truthful and honest. And it's about learning how to love and to keep the faith.

I enjoyed reading this reading this book. It had just enough faith references to serve as a reminder to keep the faith, especially as we are in a very weird place in our world right now. But it wasn't preachy. So I think even others who are less religious may still find some value in this book. I gave it 3.5 stars overall.

Thank you to NetGalley and Prism Book Tours for fulfilling my review request for this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author

Christy Hayes lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and dogs. Christy writes Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Christian Romance, and Women's Fiction. When not writing, she’s reading, walking dogs, or stalking her college-aged kids on social media.



Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


Three winners will receive an ebook of Maybe It's You by Christy Hayes
Open internationally
Ends April 8, 2020

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Rachel (Once Upon a Church House #2) by Jo Grafford


Rachel Giordano and her older sister have always been fiercely competitive. This time, however, both are in love with the same man. When a compromising situation forces him to offer his hand in marriage to her sister, Rachel is shattered and purchases a one-way ticket to Mountain Springs to interview as their church choir director.

Ridge Carson hasn’t had it easy since the day he was born. Following a false accusation that earned him some jail time, he’s trying to carve out a new life for himself as the general manager of a sawmill. Unfortunately, there’s a saboteur in their midst, wreaking the kind of havoc he fears will eventually cost him his job.

Ridge is instantly drawn to the lovely newcomer in town. It’s clear she’s nursing old wounds — something he knows a thing or two about. He finds himself doing everything he can to help her find a fresh start, knowing a woman like her isn’t likely to find much to admire in a man like him.

ONCE UPON A CHURCH HOUSE is a sweet and inspirational historical western romance series with a dash of magic and time travel.

Pastor Zach Shepherd feels called to plant a church in rural Mountain Springs, Idaho, a place his friends warn him is unredeemable. However, he’s a firm believer in miracles and scoffs at their dire predictions of his pending failure. He quickly sizes up the renegade collection of mostly male town folk and determines what they need (in addition to salvation) is a woman’s touch to straighten them out. Throwing on his matchmaker hat, he prays God will send a few saved and sanctified women his way to get the first marriages rolling. He specifically prays for the kind of women legends are made of — from the Bible days — never dreaming how swiftly nor how thoroughly his prayers would be answered!



Available on Amazon
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About Jo Grafford

Jo writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever-afters. She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/. To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford or her Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Jo-Grafford/e/B00G56XKS2.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Review of One Little Lie by Colleen Coble #OLLPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the book tour for One Little Lie by Colleen Coble! This is the first in her Pelican Harbor series, and I promise there is more to come! Read on for my review of this title and then follow the tour for even more. Plus there's a great giveaway at the end!



One Little Lie


(Pelican Harbor #1)
By Colleen Coble
Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 352 Pages
March 3rd 2020 by Thomas Nelson

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there's no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she's facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane's career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid's calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

Praise for the Book

“Colleen Coble always raises the notch on romantic suspense, and One Little Lie is my favorite yet! The story took me on a wild and wonderful ride.” —Diann Mills, bestselling author

"Colleen Coble once again proves she is at the pinnacle of Christian romantic suspense. Filled with characters you'll come to love, faith lost and found, and scenes that will have you holding your breath, Jane Hardy's story deftly follows the complex and tangled web that can be woven by one little lie.' —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours



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**My thoughts**
It has been a while since I read a Colleen Coble book, so I was glad to have one come across my queue for a review! This one starts out with a bang, gripping you from the first page, as you witness a teenager giving birth and then being ripped away from a cult that had been her life for as long as she could remember. 

Flash forward another 15 years, and we meet Jane, who has just taken over as Chief of Police after her father's retirement. Most people support her, but there are a few who are not happy she has taken on this role. Add to the stress a person known as The Vigilante who keeps killing people for their sins, and the camera guy doing a documentary on small town police offices who has been instructed to follow her every move.

There's a lot going on in this story. A lot of people have a lot of secrets, and they are all intertwined. Some of them you are going to figure out pretty quickly. But some of them, you will not. Pay attention to the relationships as all of these layers are peeled back. It's almost too much at some points. But then all of those pieces do fall together nicely as the case is finally solved at the end.

There's no cliffhanger as far as the murders are concerned, but there is one of sorts when it comes to Jane and a certain relationship in her life! How she is going to handle that situation almost felt like a cliffhanger to me. But the author says in her afterword that she felt Jane's story was too large for just one book, and we should get the satisfactory conclusion in the next installment due out this fall. I'm holding you to that, Colleen Coble! lol

But overall, I did enjoy the story. I kept my attention during a time of a lot of uncertainty in the world and was a welcome distraction. I gave it 3.5 stars.

Thank you to the publisher, NetGalley, and Prism Book Tours for providing me a requested review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.


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One winner will receive a print copy of Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble (US only)
Ends March 25, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Review of Good News! God Made Me by Glenys Nellist


Who made my fingers wiggle so? Who gave me ten cute toes?
Who gave me eyes to peek at you? Who made my button nose?


Explore the creativity and wonder of our Creator with your children through this introduction to God as our Maker. Whimsically diverse illustrations pair with skillful rhyme to answer a child’s questions of who made them and why. From wiggly fingers to ten cute toes and everything in between, the story shows a child that God made each part of us because of His great love for us. Whether you buy this for your family or gift it to another growing family, it is sure to delight all the little ones in your life.



Book Links


**My thoughts**
This book is perfect for any church nursery or Sunday School program. The rhyming narrative is about the young girl talking about all of her wonderful features that God made for her, all leading up to a paraphrasing of Psalm 139:14. It's a lovely message for young children being brought up in the Christian faith.

My favorite part of this book is the adorable illustrations. It is of a supremely happy multiracial family that you can tell absolutely adores each other and just has a lot of fun in their lives. You cannot help but feel happy when looking at their pictures, which just really complements this book.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Afflictions Eclipsed by Glory: A Guided Journal for Believers


If you’re interested in truly reflecting on scripture and applying it to your afflictions, this is the journal for you. Grab a pen, open your heart, and get ready to transform your mind according to His word. Afflictions Eclipsed By Glory is a daily reprieve from your storm to take solace in God’s word. It will help you clear your mind, immerse yourself in His promises, and give the glory back to Him as you reflect on His excellent track record of working your troubles out for your good.



Available on Amazon


I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Validations, Reflections & Affirmations: A Guided Journal by Tarynne Lynn Ross


Well-intentioned people often tell their loved ones to “Always look on the bright side” “Be grateful it’s not worse” “You’ll get over it,” the toxicity goes on. Those messages do not instill validation or hope and can fill the receiver with shame and guilt if they are experiencing negative emotions. This journal is to provide a space for users to be mindful of all their emotions without pushing the negative ones away. Users will acknowledge and explore the negative emotions that accompany stressful periods by self-validating, reflecting, affirming with the help of 390 prompts.



Available on Amazon



I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.