Saturday, June 1, 2019

Protecting The Poor ~ Cover Reveal For New Novella from Amanda Tero

My fellow writer and dear friend, Amanda Tero, has a new novella in her Tales of Faith series: Protecting The Poor! Take a sneek peek at the cover now and get ready for its release in August!

About Protecting The Poor

Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshirehas become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?

Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?

As Lord Feroci's sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.

Prologue of "Protecting the Poor"

Lord Feroci slammed the desk with his fists. “I didn’t send you on a fool’s errand, Barat.” He clenched his teeth as he glared at the missive opened before him.
“Aye, sir. I cannot help that others are the fools.”
Feroci released his anger in a growl. Barat stood patiently, his arms crossed.
“We’re losing time, Barat.”
Barat didn’t respond.
“You’re not doing enough.” He raised his head to glare at his man. Barat stared him down. Nothing could phase this man. Which was exactly why Feroci had him in his employ. But ’twas irksome at times. Feroci blew out his pent-up air and fell back into his chair. “What do you suggest?” Barat was the only man in Abtshire from whom he would even consider suggestions. Theman had proven his loyalty on the battlefield, taking more than one scar for Feroci. Feroci had returned the favor as many times. They were in this together.
Barat finally stepped forward, but he didn’t sit in the seat across Feroci. Instead, he took the missive from Feroci’s desk and held it at two corners. “I say, we do this...” He pulled at the paper and it ripped—something weak giving way to a greater force that commanded it. That sight alone gave Feroci strength and he nodded in satisfaction.
“Aye. Something made from pulp cannot stand against an iron fist. They will give way.”
“Call another meeting.” Barat layered the two pieces of paper and held them over one of the candles that shed light in the dim room. A small strand of smoke woveupward before the paper burst into flame. Extra light illuminated the room then dimmed as the paper turned into gray ash. “We know their weaknesses as well as their strengths. Use their weaknesses against them. Convince them that there is no other choice.”
Feroci leaned forward and grabbed the quill he had dropped when Barat had entered. He ran his fingers across its smoothness before taking a clean paper. “Well put.” He dipped the quill in ink. “Matheny ... ’tis a vast city, but given the right promise, the townspeople will rebel and overthrow Lord Nedry.” He wrote a few lines, shaping the concept that Barat had supplied. “Haar is closer to the king, so that could pose problems.”
“Then wait on Haar. We’ve three cities between our province and them.”
Feroci didn’t look up from his writing. “Lord Alexandre is on my side. If he works with me, mayhap we can claim the help of Belmis, Metz, and Kiralyn.” He paused at the last name. The anger that had dissipated boiled under the surface once more.
“You can’t obtain Kiralyn—”
“Curse you, man!” Feroci threw his quill at Barat. The man didn’t flinch. “We’ll have to overthrow Lord Kiralyn and sever any ‘blood ties’ to the king. I will obtain the throne.”  He stood and his chair crashed backward. Obtaining Lord Trent’s domain from the king had been an easy task. The unfortunate lord had conveniently died in battle with no other witness besides Barat. The king had promoted Feroci from sheriff to lordship, giving him reign over Abtshire, Fordyce, and Keller. Controlling the latter two was nothing—they were mere hamlets compared to the likes of Matheny. Feroci had the talent and ability for so much more.
He had to gain control before Yzebel gave birth to their child—his heir. It must behis heir. He had no use for a lass. But a son—a son he could shape and mold, without the meddling of others, to follow in his footsteps ... aye, that son would establish their family as royalty forever. The land was now under the leadership of a man who hadgone mad since his daughter’s return. Why had he named Princess Belle as heiress of the kingdom? She had left her father and had been raised by Lord and Lady Kiralyn. This, Feroci would know—he was one of the only lords the king didn’t refuse to see afterthe death of his wife. In the king’s dark hours of grief, he had made substantial promises to Feroci for his help. Promises that had blown away much like the ash of the letter Barat had burned.
Feroci had written. Barat had spoken. Nothing would sway the king’s mind. He was going against all tradition of the land and naming a woman as leadership, should he pass before she married.
“I can’t marry the lass myself, and I haven’t a son to do so. I will make the king pay,” Feroci hissed. He walked to the window and pulled back the drapes that blocked the fading daylight. A lad stood below, staring up at him. Recognition slammed Feroci when his eyes locked onto the lad. He was more of a threat to Feroci than he would ever know.
The man joined him.
“How much did he hear?”
The lad’s gaze shifted to something in the distance. He turned and walked toward the barracks—the place he should have already been at this time of day.
Barat’s dark eyes followed the lad’s movement. “You can finally make your move against him.”
Finally. Feroci liked the sound of that word. He had waited too long, but he would wait no longer. “Take care of him.”
The silence between them sealed the promise.
“But don’t make ita matter of convenience.” Feroci let the drapes fall. “I don’t want to raise suspicion.”

Add to your Goodreads' Shelf.

Preorder your eBook from Amazon

Want to read more?
Visit Amanda's blog for a preview of the first chapter.

Would you like to be a part of "Protecting the Poor's" release team (and get a free eBook)? Sign up here to spread the word on social media!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Bitter Winter - New Fantasy Novel From Jaye L. Knight

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves
those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!

About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

My Review
(Please note this is only a review for Bitter Winter and not for Lacy or Decree)

For those who have come to enjoy Jaye's Ilyon Chronicles, they will not be disappointed with the next phase that the Landale camp encounters in Bitter Winter. As with the previous novels, Bitter Winter shows how Jace, Prince Daniel, and the Altairs must trust in God even when He seems silent to our prayers.

Pros and Cons

As readers have come to appreciate with Jaye's work, no magic, gore, or indecent material could be found in Bitter Winter, which of course is what sets the Ilyon Chronicles apart from nearly all fantasy. And again, the personal relationships among the characters is uplifting and showcases strong family ties and friendships among the characters, which is one of the aspects I love most about Jaye's novels. Because of the intensity of the plot, I still keep to my recommendation for the previous novels of mature teens and young adults as the target audience. One thing I was disappointed with in Bitter Winter was one scene where our main characters find themselves awaiting a meeting in a tavern, and they choose to sip (however reluctantly) some achololic beverages to keep suspicions about their actions low. While a short scene, my preference would have been for it to not be included at all, since younger readers especially often look up to main characters. Also, there were two or three kissing scenes, though true to Jay's norm were more mentioned than described, and not in a manner likely to cause stumbling. Finally, readers will love how Jaye ends this latest trek with our Ilyonian friends, though to share it would be a spoiler, so you'll have to read it to find out. :)

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar!  (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

Be sure to stop by each of the character chats (links in the blog tour schedule) for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit these other blogs for more about Bitter Winter!

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!
· Blog Tour Intro by Tricia Mingerink
· Author Interview & Book Reviews at Jessica Looks Again
· Book Reviews at The Music of a Story 
· Book Spotlight & Review at Chosen by the Potter
· Book Spotlight at Time of the Immortals 
· Character Chat #1 by the Ilyon Chronicles 
Saturday – December 15
· Book Reviews at Thriving Hope 
· Book Spotlight & Reviews at The Writer’s Song
· Author Interview & Book Reviews at Perfectly Quirky In Every Way
· Book Spotlight & Reviews at A Great God and Good Cocoa
· Book Spotlight at The Book Sprite 
Monday – December 17
· Book Reviews by Morgan Huneke
· Book Reviews at Backing Books 
· Book Reviews at Honey Rock Hills 
· Book Reviews at TJ’s Musing
· Character Chat #2 by Tricia Mingerink
Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!
· Book Spotlight at Ruffles and Grace 
· Book Spotlight & Reviews at Resting Life
· Author Interview & Book Reviews at Knitted by God’s Plan 
· Book Reviews by S.G. Willoughby
· Book Spotlight & Reviews at Sarah Plain & Average
Wednesday – December 19
· Book Reviews at The Artful Author
· Book Reviews by Meagan Davenport
· Author Interview & Book Reviews by Brie Donning
· Author Interview & Book Spotlight at Saver of Memories
· Character Chat #3 by the Ilyon Chronicles

Thursday – December 20
· Book Spotlight by Sutori no Hana 
· Book Reviews by Kaylee’s Kind of Writes 
· Book Spotlight by M.H. Elrich
· Author Interview at The Ink Lizard
· Book Spotlight & Review at A Great God and Good Cocoa

Friday – December 21
· Book Reviews at Smyling Girl
· Author Interview at Dreams and Dragons 
· Book Review by Faith Blum
· Author Interview & Book Reviews at Allison Grace Writes
· Book Spotlight by Hannah Gaudette
· Character Chat #4 by Tricia Mingerink

Saturday – December 22
Blog Tour Wrap up post at Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Finding Christmas Joy - New Short Story Release From Amanda Tero

Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so.
With no plans beyond a Christmas escape,she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?

Available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) or add to your Goodreads shelf.

My Review

Shattered by lost love, Melonie  seeks reprieve in a quiet Christmas lodge. As she processes through her grief, Melonie finally opens up to the truth that the greatest love can not be found in a person or place, but in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 By now, you know what I love most about Amanda's books is that they all tie back to truth and the God of all truth. "Finding Christmas Joy" is no exception. In a simple, yet sweet way Melonie's journey reminds us that, in spite of all the dross we have heaped on the day we remember Christ's birth, it is a time of knowing Him, which is eternal life. 
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ~ John 17:3
Whether we remember His coming in December or July, He did come and in Him alone lies the hope of eternal life. From beginning to end, "Finding Christmas Joy" will refresh your heart and point you to One Who makes our joy full!


Amanda Tero is giving away a copy of “ Finding Christmas Joy ” with one of her pian o CD’s! You’ll be able to enjoy the music of the season as well as a story that brings you the happiness of the season. (Note: there are two giveaways: one for physical copies for residents of USA, and another for international residents)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity

About the Book

Is God dying? That's what some people think and want. They say Christian beliefs and our way of life aren't relevant anymore. But what critics and even many churchgoers don't realize is the life-changing importance of Christianity.

Showing how the world without Christianity would be a dark place, Unimaginable guides you through the halls of history to see how Jesus' teachings dramatically changed our world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today. (taken from Unimaginable cover description)

My Review

As a life-long student of history, I anticipated reading Jeremiah J. Johnston's new release Unimaginable. Johnston's book is broken into three parts: The World Before Christianity, The World Without Christianity, and The World With Christianity.

Book Format

The World Before Christianity opens with an ancient letter written by a 1st century husband with words of instruction to his wife concerning their unborn child: if it is a son, keep him; if a daughter, cast her to the elements. Johnston then proceeds to set the stage for the wold as it was before the teachings of Christ spread over the world.

The World Without Christianity continues the same theme, only the light falls on a period of history much closer to home: the rise of atheism and post-modernism. This section highlights the teachings of 19th century figures, such as: Ludwig Feuerback, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzache and Sigmund Freud. The lives and teachings of these “Big Five” is brought into the open, as well as the disastrous fruit it bore in future leaders (i.e. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, etc.) who put their ideology into practice.

The World With Christianity gives the evidence and stories of believers of Christ who changed their world for the better, resulting in the tearing down of racism, destruction of human life, slavery and oppression of women.

Book Pros

On the whole, I found Unimaginable an insightful read, well-written and well-researched. Johnston did a masterful job, not only showcasing how Christianity changed the world, but why it did and how it is vastly at odds with the atheism and post-modern religion of our time. For readers desiring a thoughtful overview of Christianity's impact, Unimaginable is an excellent choice.

Book Cons

I hate bringing out cons, because I did glean much from Unimaginable, but can not in good conscience exclude them from my review. There were two of the author's positions that I found inconsistent with the teachings of Scripture.

First, after denouncing Charles Darwin's teachings of human evolution – including his belief in “superior races” based on their advancement on the evolutionary ladder, Johnston says,

“Before moving on, it is important to note a few things in defense of Darwin. In this chapter I am describing the philosophies of men whose views laid the foundation for the evil that was unleashed in the twentieth century. Darwin himself should not be painted with this brush. There was nothing evil or dehumanizing about the man. He was a faithful husband and a loving father. The death of his daughter, as well as his own ill health, troubled him greatly...Today there are many Christians who are leaders in the various fields of science who speak of evolution and creation. Among these is Francis Collins, who headed up the Human Genome Project. Books like The Privileged Planet, in which strong arguments are made for divine creation, the great age of the universe, and the evolution of life on earth, have been written by devote Christians. Readers should know that the gulf between science and faith has long been bridged. Christian scholars and scientists recognize how Scripture and science, in fact, complement one another.” (Unimaginable, page 79)

The last two sentences I can wholly agree with – but not in the same way Johnston does. Scripture is abundantly clear God created in six literal days with the word of His mouth, not over vast amounts of time through evolutionary processes. There is no room for evolution, a multi-billion year-old universe or many of the theist evolutionary elements promoted by men such as Francis Collins if one will be true to Scripture.

Secondly, Johnston also errors in his interpretation of the role of women in the early Church. In what would otherwise be an excellent chapter on the honorable status Scripture and the influence of Christianity secures to women, Johnston confuses the ministry of women to also include positions that clearly put them as a pastor, deacon or teacher, which is completely inconsistent with 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 12. In other words, the Bible honors women based on the fact they are created in the image of God, one with men in Christ and given equal access to the throne room of grace without the need for a human intercessor. Women certainly have a privileged role in the Church, but this does not mean (and can not for Scripture to be consistent with itself) the New Testament Church gave them pastoral or elder roles where they exercised spiritual authority over men. (again, please see 1 Timothy 2).

*I received this book from Bethany House Publishers and happily provide my honest review.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Quest For Leviathan - New Historical Short-story From The Pen of Amanda Tero

Are sea monsters a real thing? What about fire-breathing dragons? According to the Bible, there is a fire-breathing sea creature who really existed: the leviathan. Amanda Tero brings this dragon to life in her newest short story, "Quest for Leviathan." Join Anath and his crew of ninety-nine rowers as they face the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and the power of Leviathan.

My Review

As always, it's pure delight to bring you new, family-friendly reading from my dear friend, Amanda Tero. "Quest For Leviathan" is no exception. Set during the same era of the biblical Patriarchs, Anath is a young man consumed with anger over the death of his sea-faring father. Consumed with one goal he engineers, builds and equips a vessel worthy of attacking one of the most fearsome creatures in history - the leviathan.

As I read "Quest For Leviathan", I was impressed with how Amanda used only biblical evidence in re-creating this fantastic sea monster. While there is nothing wrong with extra-biblical sources, Amanda's decision reminded me that the Bible has volumes to tell us, if we will only stop and listen. Amanda also did a masterful job weaving in scriptural truths that were consistent with the Bible, yet not directly quoted thus being realistic with the pre-scriptural era of the story. And the story! Gripping, fast-paced and handsomely written, Anath's tale is a short, yet powerful reading for children and adults alike.

On a personal tone, "Quest For Leviathan" tackles the hard questions of life, such as:

What do we do when God doesn't grant us our prayers?
Why does He not prevent evil when He is all-powerful?
What is to be our response when life leaves us bloodied and bruised?
What will we do if our questions are never answered?

While reading, I identified with the loss and questions Anath faced. While I've never been bereaved of a parent (thankfully) or battled a sea monster (another thanks there! ;)), the heart of the story rang true for all who have been at the turning point of trusting God's goodness over the evil we've experienced. It's my great joy to highly recommend "Quest For Leviathan" as your next summer read!

About the Book
Leviathan took the life of his father.

Anath has spent three years preparing for the voyage that will end the threat of Leviathan. Yet as the Valor launches into the depths of the Mediterranean, an inward quest also begins, taking Anath to depths he is not willing to face.

Purchase an e-copy on Amazon or order a paperback.
Add to your Goodreads shelf.


About the Author
 Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age -- reading anything she could get her hands on, and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas and novels. It is her utmost desire to write not only that which pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda

Looking For More Reviews?

Check out this great list of blogs for more on "Quest For Leviathan"!

June 8 – With a Joyful Noise (Release Day Post)
Resting Life (Spotlight, Review)
Purely by Faith Review (Review, Interview)
June 9 – Victoria’s Book Nook (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
Bekah’s Books (Spotlight, Review, Interview)
June 11 – Clothed with Scarlet (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 12 – Chosen Vessels (Spotlight, Review)
My Purple Pen (Review)
June 13 – Once Upon an Ordinary (Review)
Yahweh Sisters (Review)
June 14 – Honey Rock Hills (Review)
Life of Heritage Corner (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
Kaylee’s Kind of Writes (Review, Interview)
June 15 – The Red-Hooded Writer (Review)
Blossoms and Blessings (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
Lit Aflame (Review, Interview)
June 16 – The Left-Handed Typist (Review)
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review, Interview, Giveaway)
June 18 – Great Books for God’s Girls (Review, Interview)
Peculiar Miss Darcy (Character Interview)
June 19 – Done in Love (Spotlight, Review, Interview, Giveaway)
Creating Romance (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 20 – Keturah’s Korner (Review, Interview)
Rock and Minerals 4 Him (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 21 – A Baker’s Perspective (Review, Giveaway, Character Spotlight)
Christian Author: A.M. Heath (Review, Interview)
Hunting for Truth (Spotlight, Review, Giveaway)
June 23 – Reading on the Edge (Spotlight)
Summer Snowflakes (Review, Giveaway)
June 25 – With a Joyful Noise (Giveaway Winner Announced)