Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

The Mailbox is the debut novel for author Marybeth Whalen and it is the perfect book for summer reading. Light and refreshing, just like the beach where the story is set. Marybeth takes a real place, a real landmark and weaves a love story that spans several decades. Though at times a little predictable, I really enjoyed this book. The concept for the mailbox and the "Kindred Spirit" itself is very romantic. Add some flawed characters looking for true love and you've got a winner. A story of mistakes, forgiveness and healing, this is one you should watch for!

Thanks Marybeth, for providing a clean read!

About the book:

A rural mailbox stands alone on an isolated North Carolina beach, and within its unobtrusive confines lay the hopes and dreams, the heartaches and joys of countless strangers. Tending the lone mailbox on this deserted beach is an anonymous reader called the Kindred Spirit…drawing hearts toward healing and hope. Marybeth Whalen’s debut novel, The Mailbox, is set around this real-life landmark. She explores the possibility that this isolated and mysterious message center can reunite two people who have been separated by a lifetime of regret and confusion. Because of the mailbox, second chances arise in the face of painful loss, and the promise that enduring love and faith can overcome the destruction of long-kept secrets rings true.

Lindsey Adams begins her visits to the Kindred Spirit mailbox as a young teen. There, she finds her first love, Campbell Forrester. But twenty years later, she returns to the beach as a woman whose husband, Grant, has divorced her after a string of infidelities. Remembering her first love, and wondering whatever became of Campbell, Lindsey allows the salty beach air to reengage her sense of hope. She begins to imagine that Campbell might not be long lost after all.

Meanwhile, Campbell faces his own hardships—including his broken relationship with his daughter and his longing to undo his inadequacies as a father. When Campbell learns that Lindsey has returned to the beach, he cannot help but feel hopeful that he may discover love again.

Whalen’s heartfelt and freshly evoked story explores how memories—and good-old-fashioned, hand-written letters—can not only haunt us, but also can heal us. She explores the memories of first romance while also taking a look at painful life circumstances. Marriage, parenting, and personal integrity are brought into focus in this edgy romance, as is the struggle to come to terms with God’s love for us and His plan for our lives. Using letters from the Kindred Spirit mailbox, Whalen delves into the hearts of two people who truly desire to experience the transformation of enduring love.

This is published by David C. Cook and was provided for review by The B&B Media Group, Inc.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts

Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts is the second in the Seasons of the Tallgrass series and can be read as a stand-alone title. I enjoyed this escape into the life of Natalie Adams, former rodeo queen and now ranch owner. A little mystery, a little love and a lot of challenges is what we find in this volume. Good, clean read. Perfect for summertime!

About the book:
When opposites attract, sparks fly--like an electrical malfunction. That's what happens when former rodeo queen Natalie Adams meets the new pastor in Diamond Falls.

A heart-warming contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a former rodeo queen abandons her dreams in order to care for her deceased father’s ranch and her two half-siblings, only to realize with the help of a young new pastor that God can turn even the most dire circumstances into seeds of hope. Spanning the Seasons of the Tallgrass, each story in this series reveals the struggle of the people who live there and the dreams they have for the land until they come full-circle in a never-ending cycle, just as man comes full-circle in his understanding of God.

Deborah is a relatively new author on the scene. This is her second novel, published by Zondervan. Get to know her on her website. She's got some fun stuff on there (including recipes!). Check it out!

To purchase Seeds of Summer visit Zondervan.

Thanks, Deborah, for writing a clean book that is safe and fun to read!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John is a stand-alone title that follows a marriage through tough times and gives a glowing example of what it means to be committed to someone for better or for worse. When things get hard many people run. When faced with temptation many spouses fall into the arms of someone outside of their marriage covenant. Sally has written her couple into several of these true-to-life situations and shows how they resolve to do what is right and not just what feels right. At times this was a little predictable but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It is a good, clean read.

Click here to read the first chapter of Ransomed Dreams.

For more about Sally, visit her website.

About the book:

With the flash of a bullet, Sheridan Montgomery’s world ceased to exist.

Her husband, Eliot—the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela—may have physically survived the assassination attempt, but he would never be the same again. And Sheridan had accepted that neither would their marriage.

But when a man that Sheridan had hoped to never see again brings new information about her past, it spins her life down a side road—a path that makes her question everything she thought she knew about herself, her husband, and their life together.

Does a promise last forever when everything has changed? With honesty and grace, best-selling author Sally John tells a moving story about the unexpected detours our lives can take and the hope that it’s never too late to find our way back.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Guy's Guide to Live by Jason Boyett

A Guy's Guide to Life -How to become a man in 224 pages or less by Jason Boyett is a wonderful resource for teen guys and the people that love them.

With chapters on subjects such as peer pressure, health & exercise, friends, family, sex and even women there's enough here to guarantee that your young man will grow up right.

I quickly flipped to the chapter on women and let me tell you, Jason is right on the money with this one. He's got it 100% correct.

This would be a good book for a father-son study or even for a guys Sunday school class.

Book Description

A Guy's Guide to Life: How to Become a Man in 224 Pages or Less is a teenage guy’s handbook to becoming a man with a healthy mind, body, and soul.

What does society want of teen guys? To be independent, tough, and macho? To be a sensitive, caring metrosexual? To excel in school and sports and business? The challenges are many, and we haven't even mentioned the most important-and most frightening-topic of conversation: girls. The road to manhood is a perilous one.

Guys need a guidebook, one that asks and answers the questions they're reluctant to discuss. They need a book that addresses the myths of manhood with a straightforward approach teenage guys will appreciate and absorb. Author Jason Boyett understands what many fail to realize—that somewhere between the awkwardness and braggadocio, the goofiness and the developing body, there is a real person struggling to make his mark on the world.

This book was provided for review by BookSneeze.

Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough? By Chris Plekenpol

In Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough by Chris Plekenpol we read the true story of how Chris meets, befriends and invites into his home a homeless man named James. All in the name of Christ. Some of his friends supported him and some warned him that he was being taken for a ride. Chris just wanted to help change the life of one man. I'll not share what happened, how the story ends, but I will say that I loved this book! One of the best non-fiction that I've read in a long time. Too many of the recent non-fiction "How to be a better Christian" type books reek of arrogance, this one does not. Never once did I feel like the author was trying to say, "Look at me, look at what I did for Christ..." He was just being a humble servant. Kudos, Chris!

About the book:

What does it look like when believers dare to radically love those who are the hardest to love but most desperate to be loved?

In Stumbling Souls, former Army captain and recent seminary graduate Chris Plekenpol tells the compelling story of his interactions with a HIV-positive, homeless man, James. Chris asks James to move in with him, and then Chris and his friends try to help James get back on his feet. In reality, James helps Chris get back on his feet by finding out what happens when believers risk living out their faith in a tangible way.

Q&A with Chris Plekenpol

Author of Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough?

Q: Stumbling Souls tells of the lessons you learned about faith after having met James, a homeless man off the street who attended the newcomers’ meeting at your church one day. Why did you reach out to him? When you saw him walking away from church that day, why did you call after him?

A: For any disciple, there comes a time when learning Christ must become living Christ. As much as I was enjoying learning and being at seminary, the greatness of my seminary experience was complete only when the miraculous intangibles of God’s character became real in me. That day something awakened deep inside of me—maybe in the place where a small filling of the Holy Spirit resides. I couldn’t take my eyes off the figure walking away, and something inside me stirred. I tried to quell the desire to stop him and find out about his life. And before I knew it, my legs started walking after this stranger who had no idea of the welling up of something in my soul.

Q: How did you know God was leading you to reach out to James and serve him in the radical manner that you did?

A: One of the ways God really revealed his leading to me was through the encouragement of others, both friends and strangers. I began blogging about James and one reader contacted me and said he would like to help financially. He literally tracked me down to tell me in order to give something to help James. Not only did he give something for James. He personally encouraged me. There were moments like those when God intervened and let me know he was watching. No, they don’t come every day, but they serve as reminders that he wants me to live by faith.

Q: As readers make their way through Stumbling Souls, they will find themselves rooting for James, wanting him to change and turn his life around, and impatient when it doesn’t happen quickly and he seems to take some wrong turns. Why did you not give up on him?

A: I knew, as I said, that God was calling me to live by faith, but of course that was, at times, so difficult because I wanted to see results. I wanted to see life change, and when that didn’t happen, I got frustrated. But in one of those moments of discouragement this thought hit me. I don’t serve James because of James; I serve James because of God. So James’ actions don’t matter. If James never gets on his feet and I do an exercise in futility, it doesn’t matter, because my God told me to always remember the poor. So here I am doing it. Here I am living this thing called faith.

Q: “Is Love Enough?” is the subtitle of Stumbling Souls. But isn’t that exactly what we’re called by God to do, to love others?

A: Yes, we are. We are called to love and to serve. But I’ve found that our human love isn’t perfect. Selfishness and pride leave much to be desired, and, therefore, our love is never enough. I don’t have the ability to love unconditionally outside of Christ. That is why the only love that will ever be enough is the love of God. He gave his only Son to die on a cross for the sins of the world, and then he gets involved in the mess of ministry, of our working out our salvation with fear and trembling, by using flawed people to piece together another person’s redemption so that only he gets the glory.

Q: How do you believe God changed you through this experience?

A: I went from a Christian ideologue to a person who has an understanding of life on the streets and an understanding of how Christ makes believers righteous on the basis of grace, by means of faith. Through this process I really saw my own growth and I hope that those who read this story will see that too, the way that God used James to change me. I can’t help but notice the difference. I have more compassion. I have a deeper love for the lost. I have a better grasp at how rotten I can be in my own sufficiency. There wasn’t just one stumbling soul in this book; my sins were pretty apparent, and God is still working on my selfishness and pride. I know that with God all things are possible.

Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough? by Chris Plekenpol

Biblica, May 2010

ISBN: 978-1-93406-821-2/240 pages/softcover/$14.99

Become a fan of Chris Plekenpol on Facebook.

This book was provided for review by The B & B Media Group

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ready to Win Over Depression by Thelma Wells

Ready to Win Over Depression by Thelma Wells (Harvest House Publishers)

Every year depression strikes more than 35 million in the United States alone. Popular speaker and author Thelma Wells knows firsthand how difficult depression can be. She provides powerful tools readers can use to successfully battle depression. With her trademark action-based, faith living, Thelma offers powerful real-life stories, medical facts, and biblical truths. She helps readers evaluate where they are (clinical depression, situational depression, “the blues”) and implement four steps to counter life’s negatives:

    • change the way they talk
    • share their feelings with someone
    • take care of their health—physical and mental
    • get outside themselves by helping others

Using interactive self-evaluations, readers tackle depression at the source by applying God’s promises and principles. Thelma says, “Most of all, they’ll see how they can become winners over the effects of depression. Don’t give in—God wants you to win in every situation!”

THELMA: Before I begin, let me first say, if you and/or a loved one are in a crisis situation and you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book.

In your introduction, you state that you’ve been there – you’ve been depressed. Tell us about that.

Yes, I have. This story is told in detail in the book, however, I had surgery several years ago and within a few days the incision split open and my intestines were exposed. This was probably by far the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. After a quick trip back to the hospital to repair the damage, I spent over a year bed-ridden, disabled, and recovering. I’m not the kind of person to lie down and take things slow, especially when it’s forced on me. Yet, in this situation I had no choice but to stop and heal. It wasn’t easy and I faced a lot of fears and I experienced situational depressed during this time.

How do you define depression?

Some of us are more prone to depression than others. The influences that bring us down in our spirits can come from many sources and directions. Depression can be a complex picture. But let’s face it. The main reason we get despondent is simply because life happens. And nobody’s life is a constant procession of uplifting, rejuvenating, invigorating experiences. Everybody’s life has downers. We easily get off-balance in so many ways, and this hurts. The TV commercial that says, “Depression hurts” is true.

Does your book focus on one type of depression?

For most of us, the depression we typically encounter isn’t the severe or clinical category, medically speaking. The typical depression is situational. This doesn’t mean they’re painless or less important or harmless.

Dr. Archibald D. Hart, a leading Christian psychologist and dean emeritus of the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary writes, “While these depressions are not usually as serious as the biological ones, they can be much more difficult to cope with.”

In your first Chapter, you talk about “Who get’s depressed?” Does depression affect certain groups of people more than others?

Every year depression strikes more than 35 million in the United States alone. We’re seeing depression with frightening regularity in ourselves, our relatives, and our friends. Dr. Harts states, “There is hardly a family today that is not touched by depression’s tentacles.” Depression affects people of all social classes, all races, and all cultures, but there’s one group that’s especially hard hit…women. Also there is an alarming increase in children and the elderly.

What are the triggers and causes of depression?

Psychology Information Online, which includes content provided by the National Institute on Mental Health, notes that “a depressive episode” can be triggered by “a serious loss, chronic illness, relationship problems, work stress, family crisis, financial setback, or any unwelcome life change.” Sometimes depression is brought on by an underlying disease or biochemical disorder. Whatever the cause of our depression, it needs to be faced and understood realistically—and then accepted for what it truly is.

Does the Bible speak about depression?

It does in several places and we see it in the lives of David, Jeremiah, and Paul. Psalms 42 and 43 together represent the cry of a downcast soul—someone who is hurting and thirsting for God. Paul describes our loving Father as “God, who comforts the downcast” (2 Corinthians 7:6).

Christians do get depressed, but it’s a temporary state. God allows us to experience it as a means to attaining something better. Our hope and contentment are based on seeing our past and present difficulties as gifts from God to prepare us and enable us to do more for Him by sharing Christ, finding delight in God and what He ordains.

What are the steps you outline for “Doing something about it.” And why are these important?

· Get It All Out – talk to somebody about how you’re feeling. Emotionally and mentally, talking about your feelings is a healthy thing to do. Everybody needs somebody to confide in. That’s right. Everybody.

· Take Care of Yourself Physically – How healthy we are physically always impacts our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

· Don’t be Deceived – Your emotions can fool you into questioning or not knowing what’s real or not real. Depression can cause some strange symptoms.

· You’re Your Own Captive Audience – People talk to themselves. We all do it. When we talk to ourselves, we need to watch what we’re saying. You see, when we talk to ourselves, we invoke our consciousness. And in our conscious awareness, we truly hear what we say. Our subconscious hearts it—and believes it! Then our creative self-conscious gets busy working it out…whether or not it’s true, real, positive, negative, or healthy.

Hope is a key word used throughout the book, but especially in the last chapter. What does the mystery of hope mean?

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick...” (Proverbs 13:12). Hope and prayer always go together. In fact, prayer is the voice of hope. When there’s hopelessness, prayer dries up and blows ways. Real hope is huge! To have a biblical hope found in Ephesians 4:1-16 is to possess “living hope.”

From page 99 to page 109, I discuss the facets of hope that we can attain when we refocus our attention from us to God. Our living hope is not in things, people’s opinions, positions, status, or any tangible findings of life. No, it rests upon the spiritual and emotional stability of our minds on the only wise God, our Father, who can help us in our depressed states every day. This living hope is in Jesus, the Anointed One, whose job it is to redeem us for all things that oppress us. The only hope for the world is Jesus. The only help for the world is a touch from God.

You spend a whole chapter on “Looking Outward.” Why is this important?

At the risk of bursting someone’s bubble…the world doesn’t revolve around you. I know you might have thought it did. I used to think the same thing about me. One of the best ways to deal with depression is to do something for somebody without expecting anything in return.

Search for a volunteer organization, mentor a child or young person, or find someone who needs help with something and help them. Do something. That’s the key.

I have several activities available via my ministry that offer opportunities to people to connect with others. Join me on excursions across the country and to Israel studying the Word, relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoying the life God has given us. We are also launching the Ready to Win Web Cast University with a variety of experts to offer you the best in Christian instruction, study, and education. I have hand selected several outstanding speakers that will enable you to be READY TO WIN in every situation. Both of these and more are available on my web site at

How is the book different from others?

This book is different from others because it gives the reader a non-threatening opportunity to ask themselves questions and answer those questions in the book as they are reading it. It is not a course of study; it is a means of helping them “get it out.” It allows them to analyze their state of being and work through it alone so that it is there personal and confidential analysis and directives for healing.

What results do you see that can come from reading this book?

The results I see from reading this book are:

· People have a handy reference at their fingertips for calling their attention to what they are facing in terms of situational depression.

· People have at their fingertips information that they can share with others who may be experienced the same kind of depression.

· There are reminders in the book that are encouraging and inspiring that can be used as a devotional.

· There are stories that people can relate to and realize that they are not alone and there is always help.

How do you see individuals, small groups and even churches using this book?

Not only is the book appropriate for individuals, it is designed for group work for small and large study sessions. Because it is a simple lay-out and intentionally open-ended, it can be used as a guide for therapists with their clients, ladies groups of any kind, church groups, Sunday School classes, Bible studies, or references for children’s groups that are concerned about situational depression in our children.

Where connect with you further on this topic? Or, purchase a copy of this book?

I would love for them to visit my web site at, browse through the various events and other resources available, as well as sign up for my mailing list.

READY TO WIN OVER DEPRESSION is also available online and at local bookstores such as, Family Christian Stores, Lifeway Christian Stores,, Barnes and Noble Book Stores, Mardel’s, Anchor Distributors,, and many other stores and vendors throughout American and the United Kingdom.

I would also like to connect with people on the new Facebook page we set up specifically for this topic at Or they can find me on Twitter at

Again, let me say…if you or someone you know is dealing with depression, you are not crazy. God knows you’re not crazy. And He also has a perfect antidote for your depression. Nothing escapes Him, and he knows you far better than you know yourself. Isn’t that a relief and comfort?

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the author in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

About the Author

From times of singing in a dark closet to the founding of a national women’s mentoring ministry, Thelma Wells' life has been a courageous journey of faith. The name on her birth certificate read simply: Baby Girl Morris. Thelma’s mother was a severely deformed teenager with no husband and no place to go, since her own abusive mother insisted that she take the baby and leave the house. So when the baby was born, her unwed teenage mother found work as a maid cleaning “the big house” while living with her baby daughter in servants’ quarters. Eventually, the baby went to live with her great-grandparents, who called her Thelma Louise Smith and loved her dearly. They took little Thelma to church, where she learned to love the hymns and praise songs.

On those occasions when Thelma was taken to her grandparents’ home, her grandmother abused her, just as she had tormented Thelma’s mother. She was locked in a dark, smelly, insect-infested closet until just before her grandfather came home when her grandmother would bring her out of the closet, clean her up, and act as if all was well. In spite of her deep fear, little Thelma spent her time in the closet singing every hymn and praise song she could remember. She would sing herself to sleep in that closet, and the Lord received this little girl’s innocent praise and rewarded it with an abundant life of joy, protecting her from feelings of anger or bitterness.

Thelma grew up to become a trailblazer for black women, a prominent international speaker and author, and a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. As a student at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas (now the University of North Texas), she was a member of the first group of girls to integrate the school’s dormitories. She earned her Bachelor’s degree there and eventually received a Master’s of Ministry from Master’s International School of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. In 2002 she became the school’s first black female professor.

In 1980 Thelma became the first black woman in the South to organize her own international speaking and consulting corporation. Her natural talent for public speaking and storytelling attracted the attention of the Women of Faith Tour, and in 1996 she became the first black core speaker for the organization. She has authored several books, including her latest God Is Not Through With Me Yet, an inspiring examination of her own life experiences in which she encourages readers to “sing in the closets of their lives.” She serves as the president of The Daughters of Zion Leadership Mentoring Program, an organization she founded in 2000 (another first for a black woman). Through this ministry, “Mama T,” as she is affectionately called, has mentored over 100 spiritual daughters, received an honorary doctorate degree and was ordained into the Christian Ministry on December 16, 2008, from St. Thomas Christian College and Theological Seminary and the Association of Christian Churches in Jacksonville, Florida. She was also was named Extraordinary Woman of the Year 2008 by Mrs. Julie Clinton, Host of the Extraordinary Women Conferences an affiliate of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Thelma has been married to George Wells, her best friend, supporter, and encourager, for over 45 years. The couple lives in Dallas, Texas, and has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Life in Defiance by Mary E. DeMuth

Life in Defiance by Mary E. DeMuth is the final installment in her Defiance Texas Trilogy. I haven't read the first two in this series and was, unfortunately, quite lost while reading this one. It doesn't do well as a stand-alone. I couldn't connect with the characters and therefore didn't really care what happened to them. I suppose if I'd read the first two I might feel differently.

About the book:
In a town she personifies, Ouisie Pepper wrestles with her own defiance. Desperate to become the wife and mother her husband Hap demands, Ouisie pours over a simple book about womanhood, constantly falling short, but determined to improve.Through all that self-improvement, Ouisie carries a terrible secret: she knows who killed Daisy Chance. As her children inch closer to uncovering the killer's identity and Hap's rages roar louder and become increasingly violent, Ouisie has to make a decision. Will she protect her children by telling her secret? Or will Hap's violence silence them all?

This book was provided for review by Social Media Tours and Zondervan.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr was released in March by Bethany House Publishers and they provided me with this copy for review.

I was immediately drawn into this story when on the first page I read that it takes place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on an island in the Susquehanna River. The Susquehanna has long been my favorite river, the islands have intrigued me for years. It is a beautiful part of our state.

See? Isn't it pretty? I've always thought it would be fun to explore those islands and in Delia's newest book I was able to do just that. This is a lovely story of learning how to trust someone with whom you've been thrown together with. I highly recommend this novel. It'll whisk you back to 1840 where you'll follow Elvira (Ellie) as she ventures into a marriage based on business purposes with Jackson. The mistakes of their pasts and the sacrifices that they've made in the present lead to a sweet ending.

About the book:

Two people in desperate circumstances. One unlikely proposal.

Life has left few choices for Elvira Kilmer. Her hopes for marriage and a family of her own have long since passed her by, and her arrival on Dillon's Island, nestled in the Susquehanna River,k is not of her choosing, either. She needs work. And Jackson Smith needs a housekeeper.

Yet Ellie never imagined the widower would be so young .... so handsome.

Jackson, on the other hand, has never met anyone quite so ... plain. But he quickly comes to realize that Ellie's presence may solve his own problems -- both the rearing of his young boys and the scandal that surrounds his first marriage. When Jackson offers her something quite out of the ordinary, will Ellie look beyond mere necessity and risk opening her heart?

Please join Ellie and Jackson on Dillon's Island and share their journey as their hearts awaken to the challenges and joys of a lasting love!

To learn more about Delia please visit her website.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust

I'm not sure how to go about reviewing this one. It's the story of Harmony and how after a lifetime of hurt and abandonment she fell into the world of exotic dancing and then found her way back out when she was introduced to Jesus.
7/8 of this book is her life before Christ. And a lot of it goes into more detail that this reader needed to know. Embarrassing detail. TMI detail. Stuff that is now stuck in my brain and that I don't want there.
A blurb on the front cover says, "You'll want to get a copy for every person you know" (Holly Wagner, author and founder of GodChicks). I couldn't disagree more. While Harmony's redemption story is beautiful the story of her former life is not. I understand that she is simply stating the truth of what happened to her and what she did. I'd prefer however to not know the details of the dancing, the moves, the positioning. I'd also prefer not to read the obscenities that were sprinkled throughout the book. At one point one word was spelled out with **** and yet later on it was fully spelled out. Why?
I wouldn't recommend this to many people. Perhaps to someone entranced in the world of exotic dancing it may open the door to freedom that they need.

About the book:
Fear of being abandoned keeps nineteen-year-old Harmony Dust trapped in an abusive and cruel relationship. She thinks she has hit bottom-tens of thousands of dollars in debt, struggling to get by, and so controlled by her boyfriend that she doesn't protest when he begins openly sleeping around. Things can't get worse . . . until someone tells her how much money she can make as an exotic dancer. For the next three years, Harmony lives a double life as Monique, a dancer in a fully-nude strip club.

Scars and Stilettos is Harmony's stark, honest, and ultimately hopeful story of how God found her in that dark, noisy place and led her out. She has since married, completed an MA in social welfare, and now leads Treasures, an organization helping women in the sex trade discover their true worth.

"Harmony wrote her story so that you and your friends may get help out of whatever dark tunnel you find yourself in. . . . once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down and you will want to get a copy for every person you know." -Holly Wagner, from the preface.

Harmony Dust is founder of Treasures, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that reaches out to women in the sex industry to show them they are loved, valued, and purposed.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse.

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell is a beautifully written historical novel about a young girl in the late 1800s who is preparing for her debut into New York society in order to snag the heir of the year, a move which will restore the tarnished name of her family.

I enjoyed every bit of this book, even the front and back covers are It's written in almost a Jane Austen style. It truly was like stepping back in time. Many historical novels make you feel like you're reading about the events, this one made me feel like I was there, walking alongside Clara Carter as she navigated through the drama and politics of the time. It seems that this author has found her voice in historical fiction as I enjoyed this much more than her contemporary novels.

About the book:
She’s loved by all... and known by no one.

As Clara Carter's social debut looms, she's been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor. As celebrity's spotlight turns her into a society-page darling, it seems she may just achieve this.

Yet life in the limelight feels hollow--until a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is. But as gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her heart at stake. In a world where wealth and image are everything, is true love too high a price?

This book was provided for review by Bethany House Publishers

For more about Siri Mitchell and to see the other books she's written visit her website.

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher is the third in her The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series but reads well as a stand-alone title. I hadn't read the first two and I don't feel like I missed a beat.

Daphne McKinley is an inspiring heroine in this volume. She is a woman, writing dime novels under an assumed name in a mans world. Her identity is threatened by the new man in town. He's itching to find out who is writing about his grandfather so he can correct the author on what he insists are inconsistencies.

The grandfathers story is told throughout the book and it reveals his sordid past and his transformation when he comes to know and accept Jesus into his life.

Very well written and entertaining. An altogether enjoyable read.

About the book:
It's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret. A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories . . . except Daphne. When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.

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This book was provided for review by Social Media Tours & Zondervan.