Throwback Thursday: Hidden Threat

Happy Thursday! Today’s Throwback Thursday post looks at a romantic suspense that I recently read and loved – Hidden Threat by Connie Mann! It’s the 2nd book in her Safe Harbor series but it can be read as a standalone just fine.

ABOUT THE BOOK

hidden threatAn environmental crisis is the last thing clean-water crusader Eve Jackson expected in her hometown. She’s used to taking on powerful DC politicians in her fight, but when a baby in Safe Harbor, Florida, shows mysterious signs of possible poisoning, the danger hits painfully close to home, stirring memories of her own mother’s death.

Eve’s search leads her to the Sutton Ranch, now run by her high school crush, Cole. Focused on keeping the family business afloat as a series of deformed calves are born to his herd, Cole has no time for Eve’s crusade. But as her unwelcome questioning ostracizes her from locals, Cole’s irritation turns to intrigue—about the source of the poisoned water and the tenacious, loyal, and passionate woman determined to help.

As Eve digs deeper into Cole’s operation, she sees her suspicion of Sutton Ranch may be misplaced. Yet she can’t shake the feeling that his ranch, and perhaps his past, hold the answers she seeks. When the sabotage escalates, the two must work together to uncover the culprit—if they can survive the investigation.

Goodreads | Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connie-Mann_6Connie Mann is a licensed boat captain and loves writing romantic suspense stories set in Florida’s small towns and unspoiled wilderness. She is the author of Beyond Risk, (Florida Wildlife Warriors #1), the Safe Harbor series (Tangled Lies, Hidden Threat, Deadly Melody), as well as Angel Falls and Trapped! She has lived in seven different states but this weather wimp has happily called the Ocala area home for more than twenty years.

When she’s not dreaming up plotlines, you’ll find “Captain Connie” on the Silver River, introducing boats full of schoolchildren to their first alligator. She is also passionate about helping women and children in developing countries break the poverty cycle and build a better future for themselves and their families. Besides boating, she and her husband enjoy hanging out with their grown children and extended family and planning their next adventure.

You can connect with Connie online at: www.conniemann.com


What makes you want to read Hidden Threat?

Book Spotlight: Summer to Remember

Happy Wednesday! Friday is in sight!!

Today I’m spotlighting a book by a new-to-me author – Tara Grace Ericson. Summer to Remember is book 4 in the Main Street Minden series but looks like it can be read as a standalone, without having to read the previous books.

ABOUT THE BOOK

summer to rememberFitting together might be more important than fitting in.

Danielle Washington never felt like she belonged. After she loses her bakery job, she is left with no family, no job, no car, and no money to pay rent. When she gets a call that an aunt she doesn’t remember breaks a hip, Danielle jumps at the chance to come help. Maybe the small town holds chance to start over. Or at least discover the secrets that kept her mother from ever returning home.

Mark Dawson doesn’t fit a mold, either. His family has lived in small-town Minden his entire life, but his trendy style and that’s-definitely-not-a-sport interests didn’t always fit in. As a middle-school teacher, Mark tries to teach students it’s okay to embrace your quirks; a lesson he also finds himself reiterating to the cute new baker in town. But when he is accused of the unthinkable and his career and community threaten to crumble; the shame is too much to share.

Danielle finds herself caught up in the charm of small-town life and the handsome school teacher who shares her love of video games and superheroes. But can she overcome the skeletons of the past to connect with the only family she has left? Will Mark’s own secrets push them apart before they ever have a chance? The healing power of the truth and God’s provision are front and center in this story of forgiveness, acceptance, community, and love.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

tara grace ericsonfaith, hope, and happily ever after

Tara Grace Ericson writes small-town, contemporary Christian romance. She loves stories of modern-day characters struggling to obey God, forgive others, and accept themselves – oh, and finding their happily-ever-after along the way.

She lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband and two sons, writing full-time, in between chasing a two toddlers!

Get a free e-book by signing up for Tara’s newsletter at her website!

Follow on instagram: www.instagram.com/taraericsonauthor
Follow on facebook: www.facebook.com/taraericsonauthor

Book Spotlight: The Texan’s Secret Daughter

Happy Wednesday, readers!

Today, I’m spotlighting The Texan’s Secret Daughter by Jolene Navarro, which releases on June 1st from Love Inspired. I love the cover!


ABOUT THE BOOK

the texan's secret daughteer

Can this rancher make up for his past?

A Cowboys of Diamondback Ranch romance

Turning his life around was the hardest thing Elijah De La Rosa ever had to do—until his ex-wife, Jazmine Daniels, returns with their young daughter he didn’t know existed.

Now this successful rancher will do anything to be a good father.

But can he forgive himself for the past…and turn their second chance into a family for always?

GOODREADS | AMAZON


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jolenenavarroBest selling author, seventh generation Texan, Jolene’s life, much like her stories, is filled with faith, family, laughter, dirty dishes and all of life’s wonderful messiness. She knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that holding hands and dancing in the rain never gets old. When not creating strong heroines and wounded heroes, she teaches art at an inner city high school. She shows her students the world and they teach her about life. Writer of romance. Mother of four. Teacher of art. Jolene is a lover of life.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

What about you? What interests you about this book?

Book Review: Finally Accepted by Toni Shiloh

Happy Friday, friends! YAY! I hope you have fun plans for the weekend – and I hope those plans include a great book 🙂

Speaking of great books, I highly recommend this one by Toni Shiloh!

About the Book

finallyacceptedfinalThere’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.

Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.

As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

My Thoughts

One of my favorite things about Toni Shiloh’s books is the way she writes such warm stories that also tackle tough issues. It’s not an easy balance to keep the tone friendly and relatable while also wrestling with emotional topics such as abortion, racial identity, abuse, etc. Even with heavy plot lines, the tone of the story never feels heavy itself.

Shiloh shines in this area once again with Finally Accepted. Chloe and Darryl are layered characters who are struggling to feel accepted – by God and by the ones they love. It shows up in different ways in each of them, but the driving force is very similar. Related to their insecurities, these characters also explore racial identity issues, specifically related to being biracial. This perspective was particularly intriguing to me, as a white woman. Chloe’s struggles with not knowing how to relate to herself anymore, with feeling like she wouldn’t be accepted by either race – these are all things that had never occurred to me before, and I so appreciate the author broadening my own perspective in the process.

The romance between Chloe and Darryl has been brewing since book one in the Freedom Lake series, and Darryl in love is just adorably awkward. Lol. He doesn’t know quite what to do with himself whenever Chloe is around – and Chloe is much the same way around Darryl. I very much enjoyed watching the two of them figure out what the rest of us have seen all along 😉

One final element that I loved about Chloe and Darryl’s relationship was watching them navigate the different steps in their journeys with Jesus. Chloe has been a believer for a long time but her faith is a little shaken by the news she’s received about her family. Darryl is just beginning his relationship with Jesus, and there are lots of ins and outs and ‘finer details’ that he doesn’t quite get yet. Shiloh does a great job here of authentically grasping the faith struggles that both encounter along the way – and framing it from the right perspective.

If you haven’t yet traveled to Freedom Lake, you really must ‘book’ a trip soon!

And while you’re at it, Toni Shiloh is profiling Chloe and Darryl today over at my own blog with a giveaway – check it out HERE

About the Author

tonishilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Author Interview: Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts

Happy Monday, diverse reader friends!

Today I’m super excited to introduce you to Alena Pitts and her mother Wynter! If you’ve seen the popular Christian movie “War Room” you may recognize Alena. She played Danielle who is the daughter of Elizabeth Jordan. Priscilla Shirer played Alena’s mom in this movie but today you get a special treat because you get to “meet” Alena’s real-life mom Wynter!

Alena wrote the book Hello Stars based on her experience from her professional acting debut in the movie War Room. Wynter contributed to the story but her daughter Alena really “drove” the writing of this book. According to Alena’s PR agent, Alena “developed the story concept for the series, the characters, and wrote the content. Wynter’s role was to help guide her, as Wynter is also a writer, a published author, and a magazine editor.”

Alena, now 13-years-old, started writing stories when she was age 11. Wynter has supported and guided Alena through all of her creative pursuits, especially involving the written word. According to their PR agent, Alena and Wynter are “an incredible team” and “the entire Pitts family is wonderful!”

After that introduction, I think you’re ready to “meet” Alena and Wynter, right? 🙂

Enjoy the interview!

~*~

About the book: 

 Lena Daniels never thought she’d get the chance star in a movie. Headstrong and determined, she has her life planned out to the minute. But when her best friends, Savannah and Emma, tell her about an audition, she knows there’s nothing else in the world she’d rather do. And now that she’s gotten her wish, Lena finds that being in the spotlight is harder than it sounds. She got everything she never wanted! Her face turns up everywhere she goes, and everything in her life is flipped upside down. Lena wonders if this is a dream come true or a horrible nightmare. Even a visit from her best friends during filming turns into a disaster.

With her little sisters—Ansley, Ashton, and Amber—and her mischievous pup, Austin, constantly at her side, Lena must face the challenges of everyday life while chasing her dreams of being a model and actress on the big screen. Lena tackles tough choices, learns the value of perseverance, and keeps her hopes high. She knows her faith and family will keep her feet on the ground and her eyes on the stars.

This Faithgirlz series entitled Lena in the Spotlight, written by Alena Pitts, star of War Room and tween blogger of For Girls Like You, and co-written with her mother, editor and author, Wynter Pitts, is a reflection of Alena’s own life experiences as she reaches for the stars and keeps her faith in balance.

Book purchase links: Amazon, B&N, CBD

~*~

Interview with Alena and Wynter Pitts about the book, Hello Stars:

Alexis: You’re such a good writer! I love your creative descriptions like this one from your book on page 20: “Mom looked at me as if she was trying to see inside my brain.” Have you always had this desire to be an author? Tell me how this book went from an idea to reality.

Alena: No, I didn’t actually have a desire to write a book! My mom has always said I was a great writer and after reading something I’d written for school she randomly said, “Alena we should write a book together!” We decided to pray about it. About a month or so later we got an email from Zondervan asking if we wanted to meet with them about writing a series together! It really just showed how God always hears our prayers!

Alexis: In this book, Lena is star struck when she gets the opportunity of a lifetime. What was it like when you got the call to play Priscilla’s daughter Danielle in the movie War Room? What thoughts went through your head? How did the news make you feel?

Alena: My real life reaction was pretty much exactly the same. I was star-struck and overwhelmed! There was a big part of me that was grateful to God that He allowed me the opportunity to act in a movie, but the other small part of me was, “What have I gotten myself into?!”

Alexis: Why does Lena address her journal entries to “Hello, Stars”?

Alena: Lena addresses her journal entries to “Hello Stars” because she sort of is just talking to the air because no one is reading it but she slowly realizes she is talking to God.

Alexis: How much of Lena’s fictional storyline is actually yours from what you experienced in being selected to play Danielle in the movie War Room? Describe how you and Lena are alike and different.

Alena: A lot of the storyline is based off my life but to make the book a little more fun and goofy we added some fiction. Lena and I are very similar. We both like to be in control but are learning to allow God to be in control of our lives.

Alexis: At such young age, you’ve experienced several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that some people only dream of. Through it all, how have you learned to trust God and follow His plans for your life?

Alena: I’ve learned that God’s plans for my life are so much better than my own plans. I love to be in control but I’ve had to learn how to give God control.

Alexis: Do you ever feel like God is being silent? If so, share the story of what you went through and how He broke the silence.

Alena: I’ve never felt like God is silent but I know that when He’s not showing us or allowing everything we want to happen, He’s working everything out. We just don’t know it because we’re human.

Alexis: How has your faith in God grown since your big role in the movie War Room? How did it help you write this book?

Alena: My prayer life has excelled greatly. Before the movie, I thought prayer was for older people only! I didn’t think I had anything to pray about but after the movie, I realized I did, and I started to pray. I learned that God listens.

Alexis: Do you want to be a normal kid? Or are you ready for more adventures as an actress and author? Share what you can about what’s next for your career and education.

Alena: I don’t really have a solid plan for my career. I love hanging out with my friends and playing sports but am ready for new adventures. I have a passion for singing and hope to pursue that in the near future.

~*~

Questions for Wynter:

Alexis: What was your role in the writing of this book? How much did you write and how much did Alena write?

Wynter: Alena created the storyline and drove the plot. She would send me a few thousand words at a time, full of her ideas and stories. She knew the adventure and experiences she wanted Lena Daniels to have as well as the lessons she wanted her to line throughout the series. I helped with the flow of the chapters and worked to help increase the word count!

Alexis: The cover of your book is beautiful! I love how it features a young Black female with natural hair that looks flawless and she has a true to life skin color! As you may know, sometimes authors of color struggle with getting proper representation for characters of color on the cover of their books. Sometimes the models or pictures chosen are featured with unkempt hair or an unattractive look. Did you and your daughter have a say on how your book’s cover looked? Are you happy with it? Who was your cover designer?

Wynter: Yes, we love the cover! We wanted little girls to look at the cover and see themselves and Faithgirlz did an amazing job of capturing that. It is a true representation of Alena’s heart and Lena Daniels’ personality.

Alexis: What race are Savannah and Emma who play Lena’s best friends in this story? What are your thoughts on the need for diversity in Christian fiction?

Wynter: Emma is White and Savannah is biracial. We wanted the story to reflect Alena’s real life and she has a pretty diverse group of friends. I think it’s important for all girls to see themselves in the stories they read…seeing first that they are God’s girl and second, He made them unique on purpose.

Alexis: Are you and Alena close like the characters in this story? Describe your Mother-daughter bond.

Wynter: Yes we are extremely close. My goal is for Alena to know that we (her father and I) are her biggest fans, but not simply because of her outward successes. We are fully invested in her spiritual growth and character development. This means we have to be willing to spend time with, know her and support her as she grows and explores all that God has for her and who He created for her to be. As a mom, I think it is such a gift to watch our children walk out their paths. I tell Alena and her sisters often that I love having a front row seat in their lives!

Alexis: What is it like raising a superstar?

Wynter: Oh my! I never consider her a superstar! She is very much like any other 13-year-old, meaning she has to be reminded to clean her room and asked to turn down her music! I am very proud of Alena and all that she has accomplished but my heart is for her to remain humble and grateful that God has blessed her with awesome opportunities to show His love.

Alexis: What role do faith and family play in keeping you and your daughter grounded in reality while chasing your dreams?

Wynter: Our faith is our foundation and our family is our priority. Who we are at home is what matters and we pray that the details of our lives would always point others to the love of God.

Alexis: What message are you hoping that this book will give young girls with big dreams?

Wynter: That anything is possible! Literally anything! But their first priority is to get to know God and be willing to say yes and follow His plans for them!

~*~

A Question for Alena and Wynter

Alexis: Jeremiah 29:11 is one of several Bible verses that are quoted in this book. This one is what I consider to be “my life verse” because God led my Mom to it when I went through a traumatic time as a teenager and she shared that verse with me. Ever since then, we’ve seen it everywhere! Why do you, Alena like that verse and what do you, Wynter, think of this verse in relation to all God is doing in your daughter’s life?

Alena: I like this verse because it is a reminder that God does have a plan even when we don’t see it!

Wynter: It is very clear to me that all that has happened in Alena’s life is bigger and beyond anything, I could have ever dreamed up as her mother! Surely she is God’s and she is living out His plan.

Alexis: Thank you, Alena and Wynter, for taking the time to answer my questions! Do you have any closing comments?

Alena: I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @alenapitts to follow my journey! I am ready for whatever adventure God sends! You can also check out my website at alenapitts.com

~*~

About the Author:

 Alena Pitts is a young actress and model from Dallas, Texas.  As the oldest of four girls, Alena first cut her teeth in acting through making home videos and dramas with her sisters, using their entire home as their recording studio.  She has a natural love for all things creative which falls right in line with her gifts and talents. The Kendrick Brothers’ War Room marks Alena’s professional acting debut. With only school theater on her young resume, Alena jumped at a chance to audition for the role of Danielle Jordan. In addition to school and acting, Alena models and is a frequent contributor for the magazine For Girls Like You.

Follow Alena: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

~*~

Contributor Bio: 

 Wynter Pitts is the founder of For Girls Like You Magazine and the author of For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens and You’re God’s Girl. The mother of four girls, Wynter’s mission is to empower and equip girls to walk boldly into becoming who God has created them to be and to provide parents with the resources and support needed to raise strong Christ followers. In addition to publishing the quarterly magazine, Wynter is a frequent blogger, a contributor for LifeWay’s ParentLife Magazine, and a public speaker. She is also the niece of Dr. Tony Evans. Wynter, her husband Jonathan, and four daughters (ages 6-11), reside in Dallas, Texas.

~*~ Interview conducted by Alexis A. Goring ~*~

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