Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review and Giveaway: Will Not See by Chautona Havig August 31, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:13 am
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Will Not See(2)

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Will Not See

Author: Chautona Havig

Release date: July 18, 2017

Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)

When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.

But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?

Will Not See: Not everything is as it seems.

 

About the Author

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment

 

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially. The bottom line proves it.

My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”

My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes, if he’s a failure at this thing called life. He’ll pray—for hours.

They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much. He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.

But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults. It has been said,

“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”

Or, in the words of Jeremiah,

“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH NOT SEEING?

As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past. You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.

Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.

But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what? If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality. That take-charge, gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities. Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.

VIKKI JEFFRIES, IS ALMOST THE ANTITHESIS OF ELLA IN THAT RESPECT.

The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it? Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.

But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.

Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults. She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”

Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode. As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life. Her soul.

PHILIPPIANS 4:8, “…WHATEVER IS TRUE.”

They say ignorance is bliss. Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.” And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance. I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone. Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low! I think we’ll start there.

Blog Stops

August 29: Just Jo’Anne

August 29: Carpe Diem

August 30: Seasons of Opportunities

August 30: Blogging With Carol

August 30: Lots of Helpers

August 31: Genesis 5020

August 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 1: Quiet Quilter

September 1: Back Porch Reads

September 2: Fiction Aficionado

September 2: Book Bites, Bee Sting, & Butterfly Kisses

September 3: A Reader’s Brain

September 3: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 4: Bigreadersite

September 4: The Scribbler

September 5: The Fizzy Pop Collection

September 5: Mommynificent

September 6: Christian Bookaholic

September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak

September 7: History, Mystery & Faith

September 7: Southern Gal Loves to Read

September 8: Pause for Tales

September 8: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 9: Blossoms and Blessings

September 9: Reflections from my Bookshelves

September 10: A Baker’s Perspective

September 10: Pursuing Stacie

September 11: His Grace is Sufficient

September 11: Reader’s cozy corner

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the None So Blind Paperback,
the Will Not See Paperback, a Journaling Bible (Choice of KJV or NLT), Prismacolor Pencils,
and a Christian Hymns Album!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd17

My thoughts:

I did not expect this book to be so suspenseful, but it was and I really enjoyed that aspect. Someone is after Victoria and we have no idea why and neither does she.

So not only do we have the mystery surrounding her forgotten identity but also who is after her.

I also enjoyed meeting up with Ella again and how she is able to help Victoria now and empathize with her.

Overall, I a very good read and I was not disappointed. I am finding that I really enjoy Chautona’s writing and her ideas, they are very creative and interesting.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

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Review and Giveaway: With You Always by Jody Hedlund August 28, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:50 pm
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About:

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children’s Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society’s orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother’s shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn’t be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they’ve been working toward?

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t met a Jody Hedlund book I haven’t liked 🙂 This new series starts off with a bang.

First, I love the research Jody books into her books. I learn new things from her writing and if you read the authors notes at the end you can understand even more.

Elisa is a wonderful character. I loved her sarcasm and sometimes snarky attitude. I also appreciated that she was real about her relationship with Jesus. She had pulled away, but the message in the book is that He never pulled away from her. The title has a double meaning which I find beautiful.

Thorton…what’s not to love. What a fantastic hero, most of the time. He has his faults of course but he is a great guy.

I found myself with tears in my eyes a couple of times, a true sign that this book was touching my heart. And most of that came for the other characters in the book and their love for Elise and Thorton.

I am really curious about the upcoming books and who will be featured in them. There was unsolved story lines in this book so I am hoping those will get resolved later in the series.

Visit Jody here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by September 11th for your chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: The Dukes Dilemma by Elaine Manders August 24, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:01 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

             Click to purchase

Book title: The Duke’s Dilemma

Author: Elaine Manders

Release date: May 27, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance, subgenre: Regency

Should he wed the perfect match—or the one he loves?

Edward Dalton, the new Duke of Langsdale, must soon take a wife to ensure the hereditary line. A young war widow seems the perfect choice. She is charming, well respected with impeccable character, and her connections to the Ton’s most important people is an asset he can’t ignore. But Edward is intrigued by another widow. The mysterious, hauntingly beautiful Lady Wayte.

Cassandra Wayte could not be a more unsuitable match. She isn’t received by polite society, and her notorious dealings with London’s underclass is the talk of nobility from White’s patrons to the most fashionable hostesses. It’s even whispered she murdered her elderly husband. But Edward sees a different side of the tragic lady, and he determines to discover the secrets tormenting her. As he peels away the layers of her resistance, he discovers a malevolent adversary stalking Lady Wayte and exposes a level of depravity that shocks even his war-hardened sensibilities. Can he win her trust and her heart? And at what cost to the dukedom?

As Cassandra’s relentless search for her husband’s murderer exposes both her and Edward to unseen dangers, all they can rely on is their love for each other and their faith in God.

 

About the Author

photo 3Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. She prefers stories that twist and turn and surprise, told by characters of faith. She lives in Central Georgia with a happy bichon-poodle mix. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her friends, daughter, and grandchildren.

Guest post from Elaine Manders

Historical romance became my favorite genre back in the seventies and eighties, and one of my favorite settings was Regency England. A Regency can be a romance in the Jane Austin mode or historical romance set during the Regency period. There is a difference, and The Duke’s Dilemma falls into this latter category. Yes, there is some of usual drawing room intrigue in an Austen novel, but The Duke’s Dilemma contains a serious spiritual theme. The plot fitted perfectly into my new series, The Wolf Deceivers.

I wrote the original manuscript nearly twenty years ago as a light, secular romance, but when I revised it to Christian romance, I was delighted to find the inspirational thread deepened the characters. Instead of merely fighting for her reputation while trying to wrest the duke from another woman, Cassandra, the heroine, must fight for her survival. Instead of being another handsome, sardonic nobleman, Edward, the hero, uses his intelligence and grace to protect Cassandra and win her love.

Even the secondary characters captivated me. Little Sarah’s match-making antics suited the Regency theme and provided some levity during the darker moments of the plot. Lady Ashford, Cassandra’s foil, developed a tenacity I had to admire in spite of all her shortcomings. And Sir Harcrumb became a villain I loved to hate.

Though the characters changed a great deal in the retelling, the plot remained basically the same. The only thing I added was a surprise twist at the end—something that has inadvertently become a part of my brand.

Every story is a learning experience for me, and I’m always grateful for how much I learn from my research and from the Holy Spirit. I’ve become more aware of those who deceive, and how vulnerable people, especially young people, are to Satan’s tactics. Also, I’ve unexpectedly come away with a better understanding of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Although this is a new label, we all know it has affected people throughout history.

Yes, The Duke’s Dilemma has taught me much, and I hated to say good-bye to these characters. I love stories that move me during the writing and only ask two things of my books. That they bring enjoyment to my readers and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I hope this one does both.

Blog Stops

August 22: A Baker’s Perspective

August 22: Books, Books, and More Books

August 23: Blogging With Carol

August 24: Genesis 5020

August 25: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 25: Have A Wonderful Day

August 26: Jami’s Words

August 26: Faery Tales Are Real

August 27: Karen Sue Hadley

August 27: Ashley’s Bookshelf

August 28: Remembrancy

August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 29: For the Love of Books

August 30: Locks, Hooks and Books

August 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 31: Blossoms and Blessings

September 1: Pause for Tales

September 1: Caffeinated Reads

September 2: Live. Love. Read.

September 3: Just the Write Escape

September 4: Henry Happens

September 4: History, Mystery & Faith

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away:

Grand prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place: paperback copies of Books 1 and 2 of the Wolf Deceivers series, The Chieftain’s Choice and The Duke’s Dilemma!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bbab

My thoughts:

You never know what to expect when you pick up a book by an author you never read. Such was the case with this book. But I had no reason to worry, Elaine has written a wonderful book full of God’s truth and layered in richness.

I really like Cassandra and her heart to help others. I was concerned about her getting into trouble and heading into situations without thinking.

Edward is such a wonderful man, so thoughtful and caring. I wanted Cassandra to just tell him her story so he would know the truth.

I can’t forget about Sarah, Edward’s little sister. Everything was “the desire of her heart.” It was so cute. Elaine did a great job depicting her and her innocence.

Overall, this was a fabulous book with so much going for it. I would definitely read more books by Elaine in the future.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore August 23, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:43 pm
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About:

From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free.

This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well–to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defies all darkness.

Beth’s journey out of the pit has been heart-rending. But from this and the poetic expressions of Psalm 40 has come the reward: a new song for her soul, given by her Saviour and offered to you in Get Out of That Pit–friend to friend.

My thoughts:

This is an older book but I never read it and this is new edition, I believe.

I have never read a book by Beth Moore but I have done some of her studies and loved them. Her books still carry her unique tone, I found myself chuckling throughout the book with her entertaining stories.

This is a very powerful book. We have all been in a pit and maybe even different ones, ones we have been thrown into by abuse or someone else, ones we jumped right into, I have been in both.

Beth even references Genesis 5020 in her book, love that!

I also appreciate that she has prayers you can pray at the end of the book to help get you out of that pit. Overall, a very powerful book that I think all of us could us.

Visit Beth here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason August 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:51 pm
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About:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan’s life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I have loved this series and couldn’t wait to read this book. It did not disappoint. And this is one book that I was totally unprepared for who the “bad-guy” was. I didn’t see that one coming and normally by the end I have a good idea.

The romance was also nicely done in this book. It wasn’t forced but very slowly built throughout.

The theme of forgiveness is huge and something we all have had to deal with in some way in our lives. Haley and Steven both have to take a step toward forgiveness and it’s not easy.

Overall, this was a great book that I couldn’t read fast enough. Can’t wait for Lynette’s next series.

Visit Lynette here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by August 28th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me through the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Last Day for Giveaway and Week Four August 18, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:10 pm

Happy Friday everyone! Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter to win a 1-year free subscription to Faithful Workouts. Leave a comment by the end of the day today (August 18th) for your chance to win. 

You might be wondering if I would pay the $70 for the membership if I had to.

I’ve thinking about this because I’m really enjoying this program. The workouts are challenging (sometimes too challenging for this out of shape lady and I have to modify), the food options are really good. Now there are some recipes I don’t even bother making because I will be the only eating it or I won’t like it either. But Michelle has so many choices I’m not worried about what to make.

My one recommendation is if you don’t mind leftovers you don’t have to buy the food for the lunch suggestions. I always have leftovers even with my family of four. But if you don’t like eating leftovers then you could make the lunches, my thought is it saves me money if I don’t have to buy that extra food.

Anyway, back to my question: would I pay $70 for the program?

The answer is yes.

When my subscription runs out, if I am still enjoying it as much as I am now then I think $70 is a small investment in my health. It’s cheaper than going to the gym (I think, I don’t really know how much a gym membership costs. But I don’t have time or the desire to do that). I would make rather get sweaty and look silly in my own home.

I don’t want to minimize the faith aspect. Keeping your mind focused on Jesus as you go through this journey to better health is the key. Without Jesus it’s all about me and if it’s about me I will probably give up or do it for the wrong reasons. But if it’s about the temple God gave me and taking care of that then I am much more likely to stay focused.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Out of Darkness by Erynn Newman August 17, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:30 pm
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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

      Click to purchase

Book title: Out of Darkness

Author: Erynn Newman

Release date: May 18, 2017

Genre: Romantic suspense

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

 

Gabe

 

About the Author

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

 

20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Lightthe prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

Blog Stops

August 17: A Baker’s Perspective

August17: Genesis 5020

August18: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

August 19: Fiction Aficionado

August 19:Inklings and notions

August 20: Reflections from my Bookshelves

August 20: Blossoms and Blessings

August 21: History, Mystery & Faith

August 21: Blogging With Carol

August 22: Faithfully Bookish

August 22: Mommynificent

August 23: Just the Write Escape

August 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 24: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

August 24: 100 pages per hour

August 25: Carpe Diem

August 25: Christian Bookaholic

August 26: J.E. Grace Bog

August 26: Karen Sue Hadley

August 27: God’s Little Bookworm

August 27: Back Porch Reads

August 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 28: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 28: Daysong Reflections

August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 29: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

August 29: Remembrancy

August 30: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 30: Henry Happens

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac

My thoughts:

Wow, what a great read. I really enjoyed this book. First Light is a short novella you can read before reading this one and is nice to lay some ground work but you could jump right into the Out of Darkness without any issues if you don’t read the novella.

Erynn did such a fabulous job of dealing with Elisabeth’s pain. She didn’t gloss over her grief, she brought it to life for us. She also didn’t rush the romance between Gabe and Elisabeth which made it more realistic to believe it could happen.

But then what? What tough decisions these characters faced. I felt to sad for Drew knowing what he was going through and knowing Elisabeth was moving on, but you couldn’t be angry with her because she didn’t know.

I also appreciate how Erynn wove in the faith aspect, it was nicely done without being forced or preachy.

Overall a very good read and I would definitely read something by Erynn again.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon ($1.99)  or your favorite retailer.

Notice the giveaway is not on my blog, follow the link above under the giveaway section. But you can earn nine extra entries if you leave a comment and then follow that link. 

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.