Open Discussion: Summer Reading Challenge -Week 2

We’re moving along with our reading challenge.

More books on the blog to consider adding to your list. Check out the spoiler-less review of Though I Stumble by Kim Cash Tate and the book spotlight of The Cowboy’s Faith by Danica Favorite.

Share your progress below. We’d love to hear how you’re doing.

Happy reading!

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Book Review: Though I Stumble By Kim Cash Tate

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About the Book: 

Four women, one weekend, and their lives will never be the same.

Stephanie London thought she’d heard from God when she moved to Hope Springs, N.C. But a tragedy in that small town left her soul desolate. Now her husband’s inattentiveness has pushed her over the edge. Bereft of hope, she travels home to St. Louis as a women’s ministry conference kicks off. Though less than enthused to attend, new friendships offer strength and light. But what happens when the weekend ends and real life begins again?

Treva Langston grieves still the loss of her husband of twenty-two years. Now, two years later, her heart is breaking again as her oldest daughter’s travails come to light. Traveling from DC to St. Louis for a women’s conference seems the last thing she should do, given the circumstances. But in St. Louis her path crosses with someone new—and her world turns upside down. Will it only lead to more heartbreak?

Jillian Mason can’t wait to attend the Living Word women’s conference. She’s done their Bible studies for years and expects God to show up in an amazing way. But the weekend delivers something unexpected—a discovery about her husband. As the state of her marriage hangs in the balance, Jillian is suddenly anxious about returning home.

Faith Langston has always been a girl after God’s heart. She loves Living Word studies and registered early for the conference. But at the end of her college sophomore year, she finds herself in circumstances she never imagined—with a heart that has strayed from God. She makes it to St. Louis nonetheless, with her boyfriend in tow—but how will she find her way back to God?

Four women in different seasons of life converge at a women’s conference—with a theme that charges them to run “in hot pursuit” for Christ. But how do they run when challenges seem insurmountable? And can they help one another navigate the difficult terrain?


 My Thoughts: 

This book has everything you would expect from a book set at a women’s conference. There are marriages in crisis, an unwed mother, lots of prayers. Kim Cash Tate sets the conference setting perfectly. There are encouraging messages laced through the story. The characters feel like someone you know or you’ve met at a woman’s conference. You find yourself rooting for their breakthrough.

This book is a fast read and is predictable. For readers who don’t enjoy preachy Christian fiction, this book may not be for you. Also, it feels like the characters’ problems are resolved too quickly but the book covers a long stretch of time, enough time for all of the characters to land where they need to at the end of the series. Those problems also seem to be resolved easily, which may put some readers off. This book is a great beach read or to read on the bus to your next women’s conference.


 

About the Author

KIM CASH TATE is the author of several books, including Cling (2017) and If I Believe (2017). A former practicing attorney, she is also a Bible teacher and is currently doing a study on First Samuel on YouTube. She’s been married to her husband Bill for more than two decades, and they live in St. Louis with their two young adult children. You can find Kim online at kimcashtate.com and on social media @kimcashtate.

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Open Discussion: Summer Reading Challenge-Week 1

Our summer reading challenge has started. Thank you to everyone who posted last week.

We featured two more books this past week, If Only In My Dreams by Belle Calhoune and Over the Line by Kelly Irvin. More options for your challenge.

How is everyone doing? What books have you started? What book are you most excited to read?

Happy reading!

Book Spotlight: If Only In My Dreams

Happy Wednesday!

We’re sharing a book spotlight on Belle Calhoune’s If Only In My Dreams!


About the Book

Seven boys adopted from the foster care system by Alec and Maggie Donahue, a loving Irish couple living in Breeze Point, Cape Cod. Now grown men, the brothers are making their way in the world in their chosen professions, each hoping to find a love to last a lifetime. Faith. Family. Honor. And an abundance of love.

Seven Brides, Seven Brothers series

The Millionaire

Self-made businessman Brandon Donahue has walked the halls of Ivy League colleges, conquered Wall Street and built up his small company into a multimillion dollar business. Now, after moving his company to Cape Cod, Brandon is back in the fold of his loving family. Dumped on live television by his supermodel girlfriend, Brandon is more humiliated than heartbroken. Yet he still yearns for the type of love his brothers have found.

Principled beauty, Rose Maddock has been Brandon Donahue’s secretary for five long years. And for all that time she’s tried her best to find things about him to like. In her opinion, he’s arrogant, and way too blunt for her liking. And he seems to think life revolves around his business. When Brandon moves the company to Cape Cod, Rose starts fresh in Breeze Point with her six year old son, AJ. When she strikes a bargain with Brandon that revolves around him including AJ in his family’s holiday events, she begins to see a whole new side of Brandon.

But is it wise to mix business with pleasure?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Belle Calhoune grew up in a small town in Massachusetts as one of five children. Although her mother was a doctor and her father a biologist, Belle never gravitated toward science. Growing up across the street from a public library was a huge influence on her life and fueled her love of romance novels. Belle is the author of nine Harlequin Love Inspired novels with a tenth hitting the shelves in March of 2018. She has Indie published the popular and best-selling inspirational romance series, Seven Brides, Seven Brothers. The Secrets of Savannah and Pelican Bay are both spin-offs of her debut series. Belle loves writing romance and crafting happily-ever-afters. When she’s not wrangling her two high maintenance dogs or spending time with her husband and two daughters, Belle enjoys travel and exploring new places.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Open Discussion: Summer Diverse Reading Challenge

Summer is here and we have a great way to spend it reading!

Reading challenges are a fun way to connect with a community and read some new-to-you authors. It’s also a good way to put a dent in your TBR pile. So let’s do a summer diverse Christian fiction reading challenge.

Post below how many diverse Christian fiction books you want to read between now and Labor Day, September 2nd. We have compiled a list of diverse Christian fiction HERE. Each Saturday, check in and let us know how you are doing. The person who gets the closest to their goal will be featured on the blog. We will announce the winner on September 7th.

Let’s get reading!

Book Review: The Fate of the Watchman by Chad Pettit

Happy Friday! Today I am going to introduce you to a small yet hard-hitting book by an author I met on Twitter.

About the Book

Fate of the Watchman by Chad Pettit – Book Review, Preview

Lester Sharp is a workaholic, obsessed with the success of his business and oblivious to the world around him. All of that changes when a peculiar stranger comes into his shop asking for food and help. Lester soon finds himself on an impossible journey around the world to bear witness to some of the greatest tragedies a person can know, all frozen in a single moment of time.

In this challenging and gripping novel, debut author Chad Pettit, delivers a supernatural, pulse-pounding adventure in which Lester Sharp is in for the longest second of his life and learns lessons to last a lifetime.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

My Thoughts

The Fate of the Watchman is like looking into a mirror reflecting my soul. Seeing things through Lester’s eyes and knowing that I want to be oblivious to the world around me as he was is a little painful. I know that I’m not as bad as he is in some areas, but not as bad doesn’t mean that I don’t have a long way to go.

The language used is simply beautiful. Having read the author’s bio, I know that he is an English teacher and imagine the continual exposure to the Classics has influenced the way he converts his thoughts into stories. Be sure to take a look at the preview of the book below to get a feel for the way each chapter begins. Wonderful!

This is a challenging book. In a Christmas Carol-ish manner, Lester gets a glimpse of people and events around him. Yet instead of watching with a view of how people perceive him, as happened with Ebenezer Scrooge, he sees the calamities in the world he has shut his eyes against. Things that are hard to look at. Things we all wish we could ignore so they would simply go away.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, yet reading this story has me re-evaluating my response to pain and evil around me. Hiding and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it disappear. I appreciate the way the author showed some ugly things and yet didn’t dwell on them so much to make them impossible for me to read. He handled this with tact and discretion. I was also so thankful for the way I was not left without hope or feeling depressed. I became introspective about my need to be more extrospective. There’s some irony for you!

The Fate of the Watchman shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to finish. I read it more slowly than some other stories of similar length as I read and re-read passages to absorb what was happening. My recommendation is to find a day you can spend a few hours reading and go through it all at once. Leave some time for contemplation when you are done, then pray and ask the Lord what this means in your life and what, if anything, He would have you to change. This is a great book!

About the Author

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I was born and raised in Oregon but have lived most of my adult life in Central Texas. I spent ten years in the Army, which included two combat tours to Iraq. I have been everything from a Lab Technician to a Taekwondo Instructor to finally settling down as an English Teacher.

I went back to school when I was thirty-three and earned my Bachelor of Arts in less than three and a half years. Being a writer has been my dream since I was eight years old, so starting that journey back to college was a major step along the way to making that dream come true. I definitely could not have made it without the support of my amazing wife and four boys.

CONNECT: Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram | Amazon

Book Review: Red Ink

Happy Friday everyone! It’s good to be here on Diversity Between The Pages. This is my first post on this wonderful site, and I am excited to share great fiction with you. For my inaugural post I chose Red Ink by Kathi Macias. While this book has been out for a while, it is a very relevant read. Set in China and in the US, this book highlights the plight of believers in hostile nations and the role of Christians in the West as prayer support. Hope you enjoy it!

ABOUT THE BOOK

img240014b28699d1c4f7A young Chinese woman, Zhen-Li raised to observe the party line, including its one-child-per-family doctrine falls in love with and marries a Christian, and adopts his faith. Though the couple downplays their Christianity in an effort to survive, Zhen-Li’s family is appalled, and she and her husband are ostracized. When she becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, the persecution begins in earnest. Zhen-Li’s parents, under pressure from the government, pay to have Zhen-Li kidnapped and the baby aborted. It is then Zhen-Li decides she must live up to her name Truth and take a firm stand for her faith, regardless of the consequences, and so she begins to regularly teach children about Zhu Yesu Lord Jesus and to distribute Christian literature every chance she gets. Based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China, the story of Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathi-MaciasKathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

MY THOUGHTS

Red Ink is another great book in the Extreme Devotion series by Kathi Macias. The novel follows the life of Zhen-Li, imprisoned for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in the oppressive environment of China. While the book focuses on the hardships, persecution, and oppression of Chinese Christians, it also takes a look at the ongoing call for prayer by all Christians.

Julia and Laura are elderly residents in an assisted care home.  But their days of ministry are not over – far from it.  These two prayer warriors continue to pray for their fellow residents and families.  When they feel the call of God to pray for someone in China, they are obedient to the call. They heed God’s leading to pray specifically for a woman at risk in China – you decide who that might be. Ever open to opportunities to pray, they also begin fervent prayer for a fellow resident and her granddaughter.

Zhen-Li lives a life of extreme devotion, continuing to share her faith even within the walls that imprison her. Laura and Julia are also extreme in their devotion, continuing to be in prayer and in tune with their Lord.

Red Ink is an eye-opener into the trials of Christians in China. It is also a heart-opener for those who heed its message of fervent prayer and bold living for Christ. If you want to learn how to live a dynamic life in Christ, pick up Kathi Macias’s Red Ink to get a glimpse of just what it might take.

Highly Recommended.

(I received a complimentary copy of Red Ink from New Hope Publishers. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)