Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson


About the book:
Discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned.

Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do again: trust a man.

My rating:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Author Interview: Pamela Poole | Author of Jaguar (Celebrate Lit Promo Blast)





Will you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a wife, mom to a grown son and daughter, and GiGi to a 3 ½ year-old grandson here on earth and his twin in heaven. I gave my life to Christ one summer night in VBS when I was 8 and the pastor asked us if we wanted to know how to spend eternity with Jesus. As I abide with Him, creativity is one of the main ways He works through me.

As a Southern girl who spent my first few years in Charleston, SC and lived in the Carolinas most of my life, I refer to my work as Inspiring Southern Ambiance.  My perspective on writing books and painting is like that of the iconic artist Norman Rockwell, who once said he knew life was not ideal, but it should be, so he painted it that way. Like him, I didn’t grow up in an ideal home. I grow stronger through the real challenges of life, but unlike many readers, I don’t seek that as entertainment. I relax with the warm, whimsical, loveable, and idyllic in my creativity, hoping my audiences will laugh out loud, sigh, be inspired to reach higher, and feel refreshed, as if they've been for a walk in warm Southern sunshine.


What is your novel, Jaguar, about? 

Can the man who once left Caroline behind now be trusted to rescue her?

Caroline and Chad Gregory are happy on their island home at Painter Place. But an old vendetta
against them puts Caroline in terrible danger. Her enemies are closing in, and the future of
Painter Place is at stake. Her only hope of escape is a man known as the Jaguar, a legendary
international operative—and the ex-boyfriend who once left Caroline behind. Even if he and a
miracle can save her, Caroline will never be the same sheltered woman who has been groomed
from childhood to inherit the island.

***Alternative description for fans of the first 2 novels, from the Jaguar’s perspective:

The Jaguar lived his dangerous life as if it began only five years ago, with his first memories. He didn't expect to live for five more.

In January 1995, he's assigned to a complicated mission involving a web of several intelligence agencies with different goals. He must rescue the young wife of Chad Gregory, heir to Gregory Global, who was kidnapped in Charleston and flown to South America into the drug-cartel territory of his own back yard. But resurfacing memories of the hostage in her role as the love of his life render him helpless in unpredictable flashes of pain. When forced to confront his unresolved emotions, the Jaguar’s ability to save his team and the hostage are compromised.

With new code words based on a popular video game, the Jaguar's handler tries to keep him focused. But it was no game when a small wandering tribe in the Amazon followed his team and decided to test the God of the Shining Woman who left her drawings as gifts for them in the darkness.

Already a minor legend in his country, the Jaguar finds himself in the role of a reluctant hero who can't escape his calling. He's living out a gripping prophetic situation he used to sing about while playing his guitar, something all his own, something even the “golden boy” Chad Gregory didn't have.

He was with Caroline Painter when the stars were falling.

If Caroline's prayers to return to Painter Place are answered, can she adjust to the ordinary after a week of the extraordinary?

What inspired the story?

While writing Painter Place, I wanted to pursue what happened to the man who left my main character to go to the mission field. A reader confirmed this when she asked me to follow up with what happened to him. The story would be a place where I could bring together the many astounding stories of spiritual warfare and miracles on the mission field that I’d heard in churches over the years. I like spy and special-ops stories, too, so I wove these elements together in Jaguar.

Jaguar was also a novel in which I could explore a complicated situation Christians deal with. Sometimes, we need closure about people in our past.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I enjoyed writing poetry while growing up, and I won contests in school and on a national level after graduating. Though my poems had been published in collections by my mid-twenties and one inspired my hubby’s proposal setting, I didn’t see myself as a poet and had no aspirations to be a novelist. I took a course in writing for children, wondering if my art might be a way to illustrate a children’s book. Those skills helped me write many lesson plans over the years for teaching in church, homeschool, and art classes, but I never pursued writing fiction.

A few years ago, after I returned another disappointing stack of unread books to the local library, my son challenged me to write the novel wanted to read. I took this seriously only because it was so soon after I’d had a dream and jotted it down in a journal, musing that it would make a great story. I prayed about it for a year while we moved from SC to NC, then I took another year away from painting to recover from the stress. During that time, I took him up on the challenge and started writing, with that previous dream as a seed for the novel. I never “studied” how to write and market contemporary novels. I wrote Painter Place for myself and assumed only family and friends would ever see it.

When I felt led to explore finding a publisher for the manuscript, I had a contract within three weeks. Stunned, I requested the shortest term acceptable with them, uncertain what I was getting into as an author. I’m independent now by choice and have the first two books in the saga back, unified under Southern Sky Publishing. There are days when I wish I’d never published a novel. Becoming an author was never my dream, but a calling I follow, trusting the Lord’s plan for something He is doing with the Painter Place Saga.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to paint and travel. One of my dreams is to rent an Airstream out West with my hubby and paint plein air in the National Parks. I’d keep a blog journal and perhaps host live video demonstrations with an inspirational scripture devotion.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet?

The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Ephesians 3:20,21 (CSB) “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

I love many kinds of music with a “clean” message, and my favorite hymn is “What Wondrous Love is This?” I write and paint to “spa” type music, Spanish guitar, and instrumental movie soundtracks. My favorite movie is Pollyanna.

What is your favorite holiday?

EASTER! On Resurrection Sunday, the focus is on Jesus and our salvation, not on gift-giving and unrealistic expectations with family. I also love that it happens in Spring, with bright colors, warm days and the promise of Summer just around the corner. It always feels to me like a kiss of promise from my Savior!

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?

Summer! I even named my daughter for the season. It represents freedom from routines, time to bask in outdoor views, and gorgeous Carolina landscapes to paint pictures of.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

Yes, I am, and this is the first time I’ve mentioned it in public, so I’m jumping off the cliff here! Each of my novels costs me something personally and I’ve hesitated to commit to more of them. Readers who understand spiritual attack and roadblocks will relate to this.

I have more ideas in mind for the Painter Place Saga, but I’m feeling led to a temporary diversion to create another series called “Strange Sands.” I have a trilogy planned so far, with settings in Hilton Head, SC; Savannah,GA; and Charleston, SC. These are in the research phases and I will map out the plots of all 3 before writing and releasing the first. This will be a suspense/spiritual warfare theme, and the main character is a historian that specializes in researching old buildings and places for clients. She is descended from Van Helsing (of Dracula fame) and discovers she can’t run from her ancestry and destiny as a Christian with gifts of discernment (some will call it intuition). I’m researching this series carefully so as remain true to Biblical spiritual warfare.

Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

It’s been my pleasure and such an honor to interact with you all! Readers can find me on all the main social media sites and several websites in my dual life as an artist and author. They can link with me on the social icon buttons at Southern Sky Publishing as my main website and blog home. The website homepage has a place to download a unique free booklet of art and poetry called Swan Lessons, the Gallery page has free downloads of coloring pages related to my novels. At the bottom of the home page, there is a place to sign up for my quarterly newsletter, which is packed with giveaways and other fun!

On my BookBub profile, I love connecting with reviewers and readers to see what books they are recommending. As Pamela Poole, Artist and Author, readers can find me on YouTube, where I post videos about both books, painting, and crafts. On Pinterest, they can find inspiration boards for my stories. They can also find me as Pamela Poole, Artist and Author on Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, and my artist website at Pamela Poole Fine Art (pamelapoole.com).


This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Overcomer - In Theaters August 23rd!

Today I am so excited to share with you about the movie OVERCOMER. I am a huge fan of the KENDRICK BROTHERS' previous movies (War Room and Fireproof being my top favorites!), so this new one is on my must-see list. Below you can find the synopsis and watch the trailer. Do you plan on seeing this movie? It is in theaters starting August 23rd!

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About the movie:

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest 
manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth ... until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.

Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box- office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces ArynWright-Thompson. Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?







This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker


About the book:
When Cohen Marah steps over the body of his dead father on a cold spring morning, he steps into a labyrinth of memory. In the week that follows, he must confront his traumatic past, a violent present, and the most frightening question of all-did he kill his father?

My rating:
2 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Review: The String by Caleb Breakey


About the book:
Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him.

Ready to play?

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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