Warrior ~ Linda K. Rodante

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~ James Bryce

Linda Rodante WarriorFor three years, Kati Walsh has hunkered down at a new place of worship to dab at church-inflicted wounds. Her one outreach is to her kickboxing friends at the gym, but she’s been praying for God to stir her heart again. But she’s not sure that the new assistant pastor and his friend Reece Jernigan are what she asked for—because Assistant Pastor Josh Corbin plans to win the hearts of the north-side neighborhood, mostly described as “the hood.”

When Josh plans a prayer walk in the neighborhood, both the congregation and the police are wary, but Josh insists that prayer works. He believes in spiritual warfare—prayer, praise, and the Word of God. Reece, on the other hand, has been on the streets before, and his weapon of choice is a 9mm Glock. Two close friends with differing perspectives and both with an eye on Kati. But they’re not the only ones—the gang leader from the north side has taken an unexpected interest in Kati, too.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. The characters were believable. The plot was plausible, ripped from today’s headlines. And the spiritual warfare was perfect. Not overdone or underdone for this story.

The setting is a local congregation. There are two heroes, one heroine, and several supporting characters. My favorite scenes were the church services. During the preaching, I wanted to stand and shout, “Yes! Praise the Lord!” The call to service, I cried, “Lord, help us.” And during the prayers, I whispered, “Yes, Lord.”

One of my favorite quotes came from Pedro.

 

“Are those in our neighborhood not worthy of your love and concern? Where is this Christianity you talk about? Is it only for you? Your family and no one else? Or is it for everyone, as Jesus has said?”

Although the suspense and the spiritual threads were more than satisfying, I wasn’t crazy about the romance thread. However, I am incredibly picky when it comes to this subject. As a reader, I know what I like and don’t like. As a writer, I struggle in this area. I suggest reading the book for yourself.

This review is based on the suspense and the spiritual threads alone. And for those two threads, I give the book 5 stars because it made me question my love for others and my willingness to share the gospel. Am I doing enough?

We’ve all lived so long with Satan’s attacks that we no longer see them as such. We possess weapons of divine power that can demolish strongholds, and yet we don’t use them. Prayer, praise, God’s word. The name of Jesus. Weapons. He’s calling us out of our comfort zones, out of our safe zones, and asking if we are willing to take up the fight for our families, our neighbors, and for Him.~ Josh Corbin, assistant pastor at New Life Church

See what I mean?

In Warrior, Linda shares the truth of the Word and explains how to wield the weapons of the Spirit. Through her characters, she teaches us how to love the lost in our communities. I seldom find a book that challenges my heart and mind as much as this story did. It’s been two weeks, and I can still hear several quotes.

To you, dear reader, I apologize. I know I have to be the weirdest reviewer ever. I tend to judge a book by what I take from it, not on what I like or dislike about it. If it touches me emotionally and spiritually, well then, the writer has done her job. And in the case of Warrior, Linda did a great job.

Now . . . if you’d like to read an awesome review of this book by someone who knows what she’s doing, then please visit readingismysuperpower.

Warrior is free! That’s right! From today 10-26 until Monday 10-29. Check it out.

Linda’s Christian romantic suspense novels can be found on sale at Amazon. http://amzn.to/2rcrWHK Author website and blog: http://lindarodante.com/ Personal Blog: Writing for God; Fighting Human trafficking: https://lindarodante.wordpress.com/

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Karen Jurgens

Welcome to Women of Faith and Fiction. Author Karen Jurgens is with us today, and  she is giving away a copy of A Perfect Fit to one lucky winner. Be sure to leave a comment and your name will be placed in the drawing. Let’s get started, shall we?  Karen, tell us a little about yourself.

picmonkey-photoPersonal

I was born in Cincinnati, where my growing up years are my sweetest memories. As a young child, I became a devourer of books, and I promptly got hooked on The Bobbsey Twins series. Since the stories were about solving mysteries, I expanded my appetite to Nancy Drew, and later, to Agatha Christie.

Since I had no siblings my age, I occupied myself with paper and pencil, writing all kinds of stories. After reading Gone with the Wind at age ten, my love affair for writing romance began. At age eleven, my first “novel,” Love is Forever, flowed from my imagination and is still tucked among my stacks of early handwritten stories.

In high school and college, I pursued creative writing courses. But when a non-fiction piece of mine was published in a national magazine, the desire to write professionally grabbed me and has never let go. After retirement as a secondary English and French teacher, the time was right to pursue my dream.

Today I live in Texas along with my two adult daughters and my mother, who will soon celebrate her 96th birthday.

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I love a good mystery too. On to the next question. Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current book?

My idea for my books comes from my ministry, Touched by Him. I write Christian stories that reflect God’s Scriptures about His recipe for love and marriage. A Perfect Fit is about finding a Christian mate based on 2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? My current WIP is titled Stained Glass, which deals with infidelity in marriage. God makes a way back to original commitment through repentance, forgiveness, and rebuilding trust.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you ~ Ephesians 4:32 NKJV.

Can’t wait to read it! This next question from a reader. Where did you get the inspiration for your setting?

My setting comes from my hometown, Cincinnati. It’s modeled after real places and a mindset typical of the Midwest. The characters attend an actual college—Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Since I had visited Miami only once or twice, I delved into research about it. Although a public institution, it’s highly respected as a substitute ivy-league school for students who can’t gain acceptance into places like Harvard or Yale.

My research also led me to some surprising discoveries, such as an interesting tidbit about a ghost who supposedly haunts Peabody Hall at night. But romantically speaking, a campus landmark, Upham Arch, lent itself well to the book’s ending because of its tradition: if a couple kisses there at midnight, it means they will marry. I found that to be the perfect time and place for God to heal my protagonists’ broken relationship, and it lent a satisfying ending to their romance.

Ooh, I like the arch story. Time to have some fun. Favorite thing to do when not writing.

My other love besides writing is gourmet French cuisine, born from my undying love of France, its culture, and beautiful French language. As a teenager, I experimented from some state-of-the-art cookbooks, watched chefs on TV including Julia Child, and enrolled in French cooking classes.

I experienced only one disaster during those learning years—the time I set the oven on fire. The made-from-scratch Danish hadn’t been sitting at 375 degrees for more than five minutes before the butter melted and ran off the cookie sheet, igniting into flames. Of course, my perfectionistic mother almost never allowed me into her kitchen again. But, after the scorched oven regained its original color, she relented but forbade me from making puff pastry in the future.

Today, I only put on my chef’s apron for birthdays and holidays when I enjoy creating beautiful table settings and flower arrangements to compliment a culinary experience. One major wish twinkles yet on my bucket list—to dine at the Tour d’Argent atop the Eiffel Tower.

I’m with your mother on this one. LOL! Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

In college, I couldn’t sit down to study at my desk until my room was tidy. Today, I’m the same with my computer. Before I can write, I must go through email, check social media, and play catch-up. Absolute silence with no interruptions is a must. The best time for me to be creative is at night when I’m the only person awake. My sleep schedule is really terrible, but that’s when inspiration drives me to work well into the wee hours.

stones-451329_1920Inspirational

This year’s theme is “First Things First.” Setting our priorities is a must if we are to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

I have a long-established habit of tithing the beginning of my day to the Lord. I read His Word at breakfast before I look at anything else. Afterward, I always pray. When I used to drive to work, I prayed in the car—just because that was the only place I could be alone. The habit is so natural to me that I still always talk to Jesus while I’m driving.

Spending time with the Lord is my lifeline, my way of survival as I sojourn through this world. My relationship with Him brings me grace and peace in my daily life. The My ultimate desire is to write and speak His words of encouragement and comfort to those who are hurting, and to be used to bring God’s truth and hope to a lost world.

Karen, thank you for joining us today on WFF. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win Karen’s book.

Click to Tweet: The made-from-scratch Danish hadn’t been sitting at 375 degrees for more than five minutes before the butter melted and ran off the cookie sheet, igniting into flames. #Interview with Karen Jurgens @GailJohnson87 #WomenofFaithandFiction


Formally titled Desire’s Promise – Newly revised and expanded. Carlie Livingston is steering into her last year of college in Oxford, Ohio, confident that she and Lance Holloway are headed to the altar after graduation. Those plans are wrecked, however, by her dad’s infidelity, causing her parents to walk through a messy divorce. Will she have the same fate if she marries her college sweetheart who comes from a secular family? Her mother insists she will.

She tests God’s Word by letting Him take the wheel of her life. But if God is in control, why are all her close relationships crumbling?  Nothing makes sense.

Just when it appears hopeless, Clay McKinney two-steps into Carlie’s life, promising to provide everything she’s looking for in a Christian mate. But if he’s God’s answer, why can’t her heart release Lance? Where will her final destination be on this journey of trust?


picmonkey-photoLiving in Texas for more than 30 years has been an adventure, but Karen still proudly claims her Cincinnati roots. She spent her career as a high school English and French teacher and will always be a lifelong learner. She loves everything French, especially creating gourmet cuisine for birthdays and holidays, and you will likely find French culture and language in whatever she writes.
She began a new ministry, Touched by Him, where she blogs monthly. Her passion is to share answers from God’s Word about life’s trials and to incorporate those answers into her fiction stories, especially written for women seeking God’s best in marriage.
Her greatest accomplishment has been raising two lovely daughters who are now grown and living out their own adventures. Along with her mother who is now 95, the four of them enjoy fun times together shopping, dining out, and traveling.

Connect with Karen:

Website
Fb Author Page
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
Amazon author page
A Perfect Fit Link

Anna Lucia, Book 2 Casa Bella Chronicles

Life hasn’t been kind to Lucinda Stewart. Unforgettable heartache, loss, and unspeakable violence mark her heart and her face. Twenty years have passed and she’s yet to put the fractured pieces together. Now a spinster without hope, Lucinda resigns herself to live a quiet life with her brother. For who would dare love a physically and emotionally scarred woman?

But when she and her brother travel to Italy, Lucinda’s life is hurled back in time. When they arrive at Casa Bella, she’s introduced to Vincenzo Castello. Something about the dark Sicilian haunts her. Memories dance inside the shadows of her mind, but never close enough to the light for her to remember. Is he a friend or a long lost enemy returned to finish her nightmare? Why should she trust him, a complete stranger?

Liz Galvano Book Meme

Vincenzo Castello is a God-fearing man haunted by the past. If he could go back… When Lucinda Stewart waltzes back into his life without a memory of that night, Vincenzo’s doesn’t know what to do.  Does he tell her the truth inside his heart and fill in the gaps of her memory? Will that truth set her free or tighten the chains that now hold her? Can he convince her to trust him and his God? Can he and the Castello family protect her from the one man threatening to take her life?

Liz Galvano transports her readers to faraway places through the lives of unforgettable characters. In her latest novel, Anna Lucia, Book 2 in the Casa Bella Chronicles, she shares her love of family, food, horses, and fencing. Yes, fencing! And she wraps it all up with God’s amazing gift of love and compassion for the hurting.

I give Anna Lucia five hearts because it is the story of two people overcoming the obstacles in this journey we call life. They have seen heartache, and still, they choose to trust a faithful God whose love never fails. The characters love hard and fight harder. Galvano doesn’t sugarcoat the war we must wage to become overcomers. It isn’t a short or easy read. But it is worth the time, belly laughs, and tears.

Happy reading!

What makes a good book for you?

I was given a copy of this book by the author and was under no obligation to publish a favorable review. All opinions are my own.