Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Other Bodies by Joel Ohman

Book description:

For fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent comes a YA dystopian/light romance with a strong female protagonist who is forced to question everything...

In a world where immersive VR suits distort what is real from what is not, and the AI Personhood Act blurs the lines between body and bot, the choices sixteen-year-old Hattie Martins faces are very personal.

Welcome to Hattie Martins' dystopian Philadelphia, where everything is not as it seems...

Just as her life is looking up--a new job, new friends, a new date--Hattie discovers not all progress in her beloved, futuristic Philadelphia is for the best. Societal regrets can become personal regrets in an instant. Choices don't always come with second chances, and when they do the cost can be unimaginable. How far will she go to undo her greatest regret? And worse yet, what will she become if it's too late? 

In a world where bots are equal to bodies, what does it mean to be alive? 

What is real? 

Which bodies matter? 

What about the other bodies?... 

In this blistering new young adult novel from the #1 bestselling author of the Meritropolis series, readers will question everything they know about life and reality in a unique dystopian adventure that is equal parts moral dilemma and romance.

My review:

  I am very pro-life, so this book intrigued me. I like dystopian books, and this falls into that category.

 The author did a great job on the setting/time period. He came up with a great main character and plot, and I feel he dealt with the issue of abortion very well. Slight spoiler: the main character goes to work at an abortion facility, and also has to deal with the consequences of her former actions.

 I had a little difficulty getting into the book, but I ended up enjoying the read. I found the ending rather sad, and found myself wishing that the author had ended it differently, but I still liked the book.

 It was also interesting to read the author's ideas of what life might be like in such a society with robots doing so much and human life not being valued much higher than a robot.

 Through a story, the author shows the awful realities of abortion and the results of the act. Worth reading.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


About the author:

Joel Ohman lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.

Joel is the author of the #1 bestselling Meritropolis series—“The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”.

Joel is a Christian, CEO, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He is the founder of a number of web startups and currently serves as the CEO and lead operator of 360 Quote, a private equity backed platform company in the online lead generation space, the co-founder and CEO of a B2B SaaS software company, Exercise.com, and has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes.

He has an undergraduate degree in Business from Clearwater Christian College, an MBA from the University of South Florida and a Master’s of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He loves the city of Tampa and is heavily involved in the community: he serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as a trustee of The Idlewild Foundation, and is a deacon, missions trip leader, and member of the finance committee at Idlewild Baptist Church.

Some of his companies include:

Exercise.com – We are the world’s best platform for logging workouts and delivering workout plans on the web, iOS, and Android.

CarInsuranceComparison.com – We make comparing car insurance quotes from multiple companies easy!


Joel has written for and been mentioned in many different online and print publications including AllBusiness.com, AOL.com, Banks.com, BusinessInsider.com, ChicagoTribune.com, Forbes, Inc.com, the LA Times, Newsweek.com, Reader’s Digest, WashingtonPost.com, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, WiseBread.com, Yahoo Finance, and many more as an expert source so don’t hesitate to contact him if you need a quick response for an article or project you are working on.

Author's notes about the book here.

Changing minds with a story here.

Link to buy the book here.


Thanks to FlyBy Promotions for the review copy.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

White City, True Colors #1 by Grace Hitchcock

Book description:

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

My review:

 I'll admit this book didn't grab me right away when I got an email about reviewing it, but the fact that it is based on a true crime intrigued me, so I requested it, and am glad I did. It was a very enjoyable read.

 The book is set in 1893 during the Chicago World Fair. The daughter of the Chief Inspector goes undercover with a police detective to protect her. The book is well, written, and I found it very suspenseful. The author came up with some great characters, and spun a great historical fictional account around them.

 There is a lot of romance in the book, as the main character has male suitors vying for her hand..... but she has her heart set on the detective protecting her, something her father has forbidden. Slight spoiler: I knew - and any reader most likely will - that she ends up with the detective, and I even figured out how that could happen. I was pretty much correct on that. :)

 This author is new to me, but I really did enjoy the book, and even though I more or less guessed on the one part, I was still surprised at exactly how it happened and was reading as fast as I could to see what would happen.

  White City is different from the usual suspense novels I read, but I definitely recommend it, and look forward to more in the series.

 I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.


About the author:


Grace Hitchcock is the author of The White City and The Gray Chamber from Barbour Publishing. She has written multiple novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Covered EP by Mack Brock release

Worship leader Mack Brock announces his latest Covered, set to release Mar. 22. Documenting the five-time Dove award nominee’s own hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties in the midst of uncharted territory, Covered finds Brock unveiling his most vulnerable music to date.

“These songs have been me wrestling with God—fighting to accept that it’s ok to let go and hand things over to Him. To trust Him,” shared Mack. “Letting go doesn’t always take away the stress or anxiety right away but it does give us the grace and peace we need to walk through it. To find rest in his presence, his sovereignty, his love and trust that we are ‘covered’ by Him.”

The follow up to his critically acclaimed solo-project, Greater Things, which garnered over 9 million streams globally since the debut’s release last fall, Covered is the continuation of the multifaceted creator’s sojourn, an expression of Brock’s total reliance and dependence on God.

 If you pre-order the EP, you get the single "I Am Loved" free.

View the official lyric video for I Am Loved here.

Song list for the EP below




Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the product/product information. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did/will receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Thanks to FlyBy promotions for this promotion.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

American Omens: The Coming Fight for Faith by Travis Thrasher

Book description:

In this taut thriller that depicts a future where belief is dangerous, faith is deemed hatred, and a group of powerful elite keeps watch, the Reckoner has come to wake up America.

The year is 2038 and Cheyenne Burne is a brilliant young programmer working for Acatour, the world's top technology firm. Her father converts to Christianity, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. When a stranger hands Cheyenne a coded message that sends her on a collision course with a clandestine group of believers, she must put her life in the hands of those following a man known only as the Reckoner. He claims he wants to bring back true faith in Christ to America and also reveal the forces behind the disappearances of the many renowned people who publicly declared their Christian faith.

Operating in the shadows and living off the grid, this mysterious prophet assembles a ragtag team--including a former bookseller whose store was shut down for selling prohibited books--to help him take the battle for transparency to the top. With a ruthless FBI agent closing in, can Cheyenne and the others expose the truth and lead a return to God in America before it's too late? 

My review:

  Travis Thrasher has written a wide variety of books. Some I have really liked, and there have been some I didn't care for. This one falls into the former. The title and description intrigued me, and it did turn out to be an interesting read.

  For anyone paying attention, it is obvious that Christianity is rapidly becoming viewed as hateful and is looked down and ridiculed by many, and especially by the media and Hollywood. The day may very likely become when Christians are branded a hate group, and Christianity becomes illegal. This book gives a fictional look at what that might be like.

 Thrasher is a great writer, and that comes through in this book. He came up with some great scenarios, and even some technological ideas that do not exist - to my knowledge - that make it easier to manipulate, control, and keep track of people. The plot and setting were well done and very creative, along with his characters.

 The idea of a 911 conspiracy bothered me, and I am not sure if the author ascribes to such lunacy, or if he just had his one character do so. Hopefully the latter....

 There was nothing else in the book that bothered me, except it kind of left me hanging. It was a suspenseful and interesting read that truly did make me think about what our world could be like if Christianity is ever, God forbid, outlawed. All in all, it was a book worth reading.

I received this book from the publisher, Waterbrook/Multnomah,  through their book launch program.



About the author:



Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with authors allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be valuable with co-writing projects.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. This storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from country musician and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery to Bill Klein and Jen Arnold, reality TV stars of The Little Couple. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including Olympic Pride, American Prejudice about the lives of the other 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in a suburb of Chicago.

Check out his website at TravisThrasher.com

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Restoration Series: Jonthan's Walk

Prison Fellowship has done a series of videos which is a 5-part documentary film series following one man as he re-enters his community after 15 years in prison. The first episode, which is just short of 5 minutes, is  below to view for free.

  The video chronicles his entry into the prison system, and what it is like to get out and enter society. There are clips from his wife telling what it was like to be without him, and clips of him discussing what he missed out on. I am able to view more episodes, but my internet has been bad this week, so I just viewed the first... but it is well done, and gives a compassionate look at someone who has done their time, and is now trying to do right.

More about the series:

For years, Jonathan has been in prison. As a result, he has missed milestone moments with his family. He wasn’t there for his daughter’s first day of school or a thousand little experiences with his wife and as a father, he is devastated to be separated from those he loves most.


Jonathan has been looking forward to his release from prison for over a decade. So many life events have been missed and he is now ready to be with his wife and kids again. Of course, this transition isn't going to be easy. The odds are against him: with over half of prisoners returning to prison within two years, Jonathan is aware of the challenge set before him.


Still, he is determined to take the skills he has learned into the world outside of incarceration and stay there, helping build the community that he is part of for years to come.
Prison Fellowship presents The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk, a 5-part documentary film series following one man as he re-enters his community after 15 years in prison. It demonstrates in imagery, powerful storytelling and social interaction what it means to be human and the shared need of all people to see communities restored.

 Though America is home to only 4% of the world's population, we house more than 20% of its prisoners. Recidivism–the tendency of a criminal to reoffend—is out of control. The Restoration Series tells the story of men and women who have experienced The Academy, a revolutionary in-prison program that is combating incarceration and recidivism head on.






 

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions for this promotion.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Breach of Trust, Atlanta Justice #3 by Rachel Dylan

Book description:

Corporate litigator Mia Shaw suffers the shock of her life when she finds her colleague and friend brutally murdered. Grief-stricken and furious, Mia vows that she will do anything to seek justice and make the killer pay.

The man accused of the murder is a friend of security tech guru Noah Ramirez, but the evidence just doesn't add up. To save his former ATF partner, Noah needs to convince Mia that the real killer is still on the loose.

Mia soon has more than the criminal prosecution to worry about, however. She is tasked with taking over her friend's last case and learns he was hiding secrets about his client. She thinks she may have stumbled upon corporate espionage that has turned deadly, but she has no idea of the danger involved. Her only ally is Noah, despite their difference of opinion on the homicide case. Can he win Mia over to his side and protect her from ever-growing threats?

My review:

  I enjoy legal thrillers, and there haven't been many authors on the Christian market who write them. The few who have done so have been men......which is fine, as there are not enough "guy books" on the Christian fiction market.

 Rachel Dylan is one of two female authors who have started writing legal thrillers in the last few years, and she does a great job of it. Legal thrillers can be tricky things. If the legal talk and work is too complicated, readers like me who aren't very well versed in legal "stuff" will lose interest and be lost.

  This third and final book in the suspenseful Atlanta Justice Series revolves around corporate espionage, which doesn't sound too interesting to be honest. However, Dylan makes it interesting. I was fascinated by how and why some things happened in the book.

 These three books center on six people: three female friends who are all lawyers, and three guys who are all members of a security company. (Spoiler: the three guys get the girls). :) The male in this story is Noah, the tech expert of the company. The author used him to help work on the espionage case with his computer expertise, which also was interesting.

 Not only is the legal and courtroom parts of the book done well, but so is the suspense. Maybe I am wrong, but it seemed the suspense was ratcheted up even more in the third book than the other two...regardless, this suspense junkie loved those parts of the book and kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.

 I mentioned the guy getting the girl....so romance also plays a big part in the story, and it also was well done and not cheesy or gag inducing. (Hey, I am a bachelor!)

 And last, but not least, the Christian element. Mia is a fledgling Christian, and there were some interesting and thought provoking things that came up in discussions between her and Noah, a preacher's son who had not always lived his faith.

 This was a great conclusion to a very good series.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About the author:


Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five fur kids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.


The Atlanta Justice Series is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.








Saturday, February 2, 2019

Never Let Go, Uncommon Justice #1 by Elizabeth Goddard

Book description:

As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather's footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.

Ex-FBI agent--and Willow's ex-flame--Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they'll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he's spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow's tender heart at risk.

In this fast-paced and emotional page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps the stakes high, the romantic tension sparking, and the outcome uncertain until the very end.


My review:

  This was a new author to me. I think it is the author's first trade paperback book, having written mass market paperbacks in the Love Inspired Suspense line of books. I had the chance to join the launch team for the book, and jumped at the chance since it sounded good and I like Christian suspense.

  The forensic genealogist was a new one to me, and one I found interesting.

  Characters are important to me, and I really liked Willow and Austin. The story pretty much focused equally on both, especially with Austin's past and his dealing..or not dealing with it. It looks like each book in this series is going to center on each of 3 brothers, which begs the question to why there are women on the books instead of guys......hey, I am a guy, of course I'd wonder :)

 Christian suspense is my favorite genre' to read, and Goddard brought it in spades. This is not one of those books where you go a few chapters before something exciting happens. The exciting and suspenseful parts happen a lot. This was a book that once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Unfortunately the day I started it, I read it on my breaks at work, so I had to put it down.....but finished it that evening at home.

  I even enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story. This was a book where the couple had dated before, but had broken up....a bad break up, but now are working together. You know they will get back together, but it is fun and entertaining to watch how it happens.

 If this is an example of Goddard's writing, I am hooked and want to read more by her. I really liked the book, all parts of it: plot, setting, romance, suspense, drama, investigating techniques, etc. It wound down to a suspenseful and satisfying climax, and only left me wanting more, and looking forward to the next book in the story: Austin's brother Heath's story. (Again, the dude should be on the cover if it is his story)  :)

 This is a book and author I can honestly recommend, and deserves every one of the possible 5 stars possible.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About the author: 


Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than thirty romance novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of becoming an author.

Check out her website at ElizabethGoddard.com

Never Let Go is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.