Book Review: Shadow Stalker

Do you guys remember the movie Jerry McGuire, when Jerry declares his love for his wife and she tells him “you had me at hello” That’s the best way to describe this book.  As a crime mysteries lover, this book just sucked me in. I dare you to read the prologue and not read the rest of the book. A little spoiler if you allow me. In that prologue there’s a scene and the author says something like…and she saw her mother’s head explode in front of her eyes. I was sold. I know, it sounds morbid, but it is that good.

I sat patiently for hours at a doctor’s appointment without complaining because I was so into the book that I was in no rush to be called in. I think has been a long time since I have been upset that a book ended, but the good news is that it’s a series so I’m definitely going for book 2, because I need to know what happens. So I take this opportunity to tell the author to hurry up and write it…LOL!

In a nutshell, this is the story of a woman who watches her parent’s being killed as a child. She’s protected by family members who adopt her for a while. She grows to become a private investigator, which sometimes gets her in trouble. The people who killed her parents are after her and now she needs to use her skills to protect herself, but also to protect her current investigation and the investigation of her new partner.

I give this one five stars with no hesitation.  I’ll keep you posted when I read the next one.

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Book Blast: The 21 Day Challenge!

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

Get 5 FREE eBooks – 2 Days Only

10/17/13 and 10/18/13

PLUS enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Why 21 Days?

It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each.

So what do you say? Will you join us in strengthening your walk with God? If so, download one or all of the books below at no cost to you during our free promotion – and scroll down to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card as our gift to you!

Be Inspired…Join the 21 Day Challenge!

Download 5 Free eBooks for 2 Days Only

Book #1:
21 Days of Generosity

generosity challenge

Living a Life of Generosity: 21 Days of Generosity Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of generosity?
  • Do you want your life to be a blessing to others?
  • Do you want to have a giving spirit that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God as provider?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Generosity through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #2:
21 Days of Faith

faith challenge

Living a Life of Faith: 21 Days of Faith Challenge

  • Do you want to live a life of faith?
  • Do you want your faith to be more than simply saying “I believe in God”?
  • Do you want to have a genuine faith that overflows from a heart that is fully trusting in God in every area of your life?

If so, consider embarking on this 21 Days of Faith Challenge through this short but powerful eBook.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #3:
21 Days of Gratitude

gratitude challenge

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. And I sensed Him leading me to do this 21 days of gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

And now I want to share what I learned with you in the short, but powerful book.

Download on Kindle Here

Book #4:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Girls!

teen devotionals for girls

Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

Are you up for forming a habit of spending time with your Creator? If so, download this book and get started on these devotionals!

Book #5:
21 Teen Devotionals… for Guys!

teen devotionals for guys

Teen Devotionals… for Guys!, brought to you by FindYourTrueStrength.com, are written for teen guys who want to find their true strength in Christ, these devotions designed to be read, pondered on and applied to daily life.

We want you to know that the Bible isn’t just a book that’s over 2000 years old. It’s completely applicable to our lives today – even as teenagers. We know that girls and guys don’t face the same issues in high school – not even close. So these devotions were written with today’s teen guys in mind.

Go ahead. Dig in. Find your true strength in Christ.

Download on Kindle Here

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

What My Teaching Career Taught Me About Writing

By Jayna Morrow

Over the summer, something magical happens. The organization fairy pays a visit to my empty classroom and transforms it into the most magnificent, color-coordinated learning environment on the planet. Books are sorted, supplies are materialized, papers are filed, new draperies are sewn, bulletin boards are trimmed, and desks are placed neatly in rows. When I arrive for in-service week, my co-workers and I take in a few workshops and meetings, and then have lunch and reminisce about our relaxing summer vacations at the beach.

jaynagarrett 

Christian romance author, Jayna Morrow, is published with Prism Book Group both in print and eBook formats. With a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Texas and elementary teaching certification from LeTourneau University, Jayna has been in the position of both teacher and student for many years. Her debut novel, Garrett, is the first in the Sweet Home, Texas series. The theme of Garrett is finding God’s purpose and trusting in God’s plan. Jayna makes regularl guest blogging appearances all over the internet, and has even been featured at eReader News Today, eFiction Finds, and Christian eBooks Today.

Did you pick up on the sarcasm in that first paragraph? In reality, I am my own organization fairy, complete with construction paper wings dusted with chalk. I spend several days a week during June and July in my hot classroom (there’s only air conditioning on certain days) sorting books by level and topic, taking inventory on supplies, filing and prioritizing paperwork, sewing new draperies and reading cushions, decorating bulletin boards, experimenting with different seating arrangements, and scouring yard sales for treasure chest trinkets, more books, craft materials, and odds and ends. Summer is also the time for the bulk of my lesson planning. Going through the TEKS and matching them up with fun projects and engaging activities, so I’m prepared for every teachable moment, makes me a better teacher.

And therein lies the key to success that applies to writing as well – preparation.

I’m a plotter by nature and that means putting on my teaching cap and doing a lot of prep work. I’d never take on a class of 22 students without a lesson plan, and I’d never take on a new manuscript without an outline. From characters and plot points to problems and solutions, I have a method for them all. Every day for a month, I uncover another layer in the pre-writing process. Then comes the rough outline and first draft. Finally, a finished product I can work with on many rounds of editing. In all, it takes me about 4 months to complete a novel. My goal is 4 books a year, so I’m working on efficiency to improve my productivity. Like my students, I have goals.

I have many writer friends who are pantsers, and all I can say about them is that they are like those gifted students who never have to study and make straight A’s. I commend them. Writing a novel is no easy task. I’m the kind of student who has to study a lot, take good notes, highlight important information, and keep a detailed binder on everything. Maybe that’s why I’m a plotter? Teaching and writing go hand-in-hand. It’s a process that spans a certain length of time, requires a fair amount of learning, and involves setting and achieving goals.

Have I accomplished all my goals? Yes, some of them. Then I set new ones. My experience as a teacher has taught me to set high expectations. I’ll let you, the reader, decide if I achieved those expectations.

 garrett

“You can make plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21

What happens when you’re living the dream and things suddenly change? Micara Lee’s charming existence starts slipping away as land developers threaten the town she loves.

What happens when your dream doesn’t align with God’s plan for your life? Garrett Hearth finds out when an injury ends his athletic career. Disenchantment and wavering faith keep him from the life he desires. Micara’s beautiful spirit touches Garrett’s heart… but can she help restore his faith and convince him to live the life God has planned for him?

Their happiness and the legacy of Sweet Home, Texas hang in the balance. 

$2.99 Ebook/8.99 Print

AVAILABLE THROUGH THESE RETAILERS:

www.amazon.com

www.barnesandnoble.com

www.coffetimeromance.com

www.smashwords.com

www.allromanceebooks.com

Letter to the Unknown Author

By Karen Baney

Dear Unknown Author,

I know the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into your book. The late nights. The early mornings. The crazy moments when the idea for your next chapter hits you and you can hardly wait to get time to sit down and pour it all out.

It’s your masterpiece, your joy. You wrote it with purpose and determination.

The happiest day of your life, next to your wedding day and the birth of your kids, was the birth of your book. Oh how you shouted for joy when you first saw your name on the cover of your book! Then when it became available in bookstores online or brick and mortar, you could hardly contain your excitement. Your baby, your masterpiece was finally out there in the world.

Then the excitement faded. Week after week you wondered if anyone would buy your book. Weeks turned to months. Months to years. The next book you wrote was with a little less enthusiasm—containing an underlying fear that maybe you aren’t really cut out for this whole writing thing.

I know what you’re saying. Reader, how can you know me so well? Where have you been? Did you read my book?

I would love to read it. I’m sure it is really good. I would love to go on the journey you so cleverly crafted with painstaking details.

Just one problem, dear unknown author: You are unknown to me.

You see, I only have a few minutes of time between picking up the kids from soccer and getting dinner on the stove—maybe we’ll just stop for fast food tonight—that it’s hard for me to take the time to find you. I have a blog that I read once every few weeks, and you’re not there. When I browse through my favorite genre, you’re not there. When I talk to friends, they haven’t heard of you either. You don’t show up in my Twitter stream.

I do like trying new authors, I really do. But with 18,000 other religious fiction authors vying for my attention, what have you done to get mine?

Maybe someday I’ll hear about you from a friend. Maybe my book club will bring you to my attention. Until then, you will remain an unknown author to me.

Blessings,

Busy Reader

What are you doing to stand out among the 18,000? Is your publish-it-and-they-will come strategy getting you nowhere? If so, unknown author, it’s time to stand out. It’s time to learn about marketing. Get out there. Be bold. Be seen. Be a name and not a number.

Karen_closeup_left_medBest-selling self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing.  She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years.  She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels.  To learn more about her novels visit her website: karenbaney.com. Authors can find tips and information on self-publishing and marketing at: www.myauthorservices.com.

Karen and her husband, Jim, also run several online businesses.  They make their home in Gilbert, AZ, with their two dogs.

Connect with Karen on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.10 Keys Cover Med

Not sure how to start marketing your book? Check out Karen’s new book just for authors: 10 Keys to Ebook Marketing Success. Now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Keys-Ebook-Marketing-Success-ebook/dp/B00B2YUQ16

For great marketing and self-publishing advice, visit MyAuthorServices.com.

Interview with Jim and Karen Baney

Welcome, Jim & Karen.  Can you tell us what Christian eBooks Today.com is all about?

Jim:  Christian eBooks Today.com is a website that is for fans of Christian fiction and nonfiction.  It is a safe place to browse and learn more about great Christian eBooks without worrying about coming across any racy or explicit content.

Why did you start Christian eBooks Today.com?

Karen:  I’ve been an avid reader of Christian fiction since I was a young girl.  But, over the past few years as I started publishing books, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to browse for Christian eBooks online without coming across some pretty embarrassing and racy covers.  I just wanted to find a good clean Christian romance book and find new authors.

In August, Jim joined the ranks of the unemployed, so I asked him what he thought about helping me launch a site for Christian readers.  It took some convincing, but he finally agreed to do it.

Jim:  Hey!  It didn’t really take much convincing.  I like the idea of being self-employed.

On your Vision and Mission page on the website, you mention edgy Christian fiction.  Can you tell us more about this?

Karen:  Sure.  Over the past few years or even a decade, the Christian fiction market is changing.  Authors are writing more true-to-life characters that get thrown into some pretty tough circumstances, such as rape, abuse, abandonment, etc.  In fact, some of my novels fall into that category.

Anyway, there is a bit of a divide in readership.  Some readers don’t like the trend, while others prefer it.  We wanted to mention that we accept those types of books on our site so readers are not surprised if they come across something like that.

So, your site includes Christian nonfiction too?

Jim:  Yes.  We include a variety of nonfiction genres, too.  Bible studies, devotionals, self-help, Christian living and much more.  We really want the site to be a place where readers can find any type of Christian eBooks.

Who runs the site, I mean really?

[Karen glances at Jim and giggles.]

Jim:  We joke around.  I’m the chief operations officer and Karen is the CEO.  She has the vision and then I do all the hard work to make it happen.

Karen:  [elbows Jim]  I do some of the hard work, like marketing and writing content.

Jim:  Okay, okay.  I’ll give you that.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Karen:  Yes.  We have a feature on our website under the “For Readers” menu called “Reader’s Choice”.  This is where readers can fill out a form telling us about great Christian eBooks that they’ve read.  Each week, we will select one submission to appear on our website.  Then, once a month we will randomly choose a winner from all of the submissions (even if they don’t get featured).  The winner receives a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Readers can submit as many eBooks as they want.

Wow, that sounds great!  So, where can we see this new website?

Jim:  Visit ChristianEBooksToday.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@cebtoday), Facebook, or Google+.  Check our site daily for our list of free fiction and free nonfiction ebooks.

Karen:  Remember to sign up for our newsletter too.  Just click on the envelope icon in the upper right corner of our site.  Each week we email readers a summary of our key weekly features including: guest blog posts, great reads, author of the week, and the reader’s choice selection for the week.

Thank you so much for hosting us!


http://www.christianebookstoday.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cebtoday

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ChristianEBooksToday

Google+: https://plus.google.com/111493938878400897607/posts

Messages by John Hileman

If you’re like me, someone who loves action, this is the book for you. Messages will keep you on the edge of your seat. Actually I was really unhappy every time I had to put it down to do things like sleeping or doing housework, who needs to do all of that when you are in the middle of someone about to be blown up?

This book also has some great messages, no pun intended. Regardless of the level of your relationship with God; the messages in this book will either enlighten you or remind you of the things you take for granted. Faith is determined by following the unseen and that’s what David Chance has to learned through his journey of following messages floating on random words written all around him in a mission from God. But he’s not even sure that God even exists. It’s really a great book and the more you read the more it grabs your attention and sucks you into the action.

We watch David grow and mature in a matter of two days through the challenges presented to him. Everything he knew to be true is shaken as surprise after surprise of those things around him surface. You have to read this book and then come and tell me what you thought of it. You may join and add to the other 43 five stars reviews that this wonderful book already has received.

John Michael Hileman lives in central Maine with his loving wife, precious daughter, and hygienically-challenged, crazy-haired, teenage boy. He is a self-taught musician, singer, songwriter, graphic artist, television producer, and, oh yeah– he writes books.
When John isn’t working or writing, he’s usually making people laugh by saying stuff like, “I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous,” or “When life throws you lemons, DUCK!”

WF: What Faith Can Do

I was looking for a song that I could relate to the theme of this week, which has been the release of my new book “The Road Home”. I know I’m biased, but I like the book. I learned a lot writing it and working on it to be able to present it to you. I guess part of what motivates me to continue writing is that all these things I’m able to share with you are exciting life lessons for me first.

The song I’ve chosen today describes not only one of the many takeaways that I hope you get once you’ve read this book, but also describes the process endured during the production. It took a lot of prayers, faith, and determination to get to this point.

At the same time, it took Desiree to find faith and then to grow her faith to obtain the outcome that she most desired. Enjoy this Worship Friday. Grab your copy of The Road Home and enjoy this weekend!

WF: Worship Friday

*The Road Home available on Kindle and Nook