Archive for July, 2020


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“The odds of being struck by lightning are practically the same as finding the love of your life.” ~Josiah
Josiah doesn’t believe in ghosts. But he can’t deny this abandoned house with its dark history holds more than just shadows of the past. Whether he’s dealing with something other-worldly or the effects of a near devastating head injury, there’s no doubt he’s being haunted.
Brenna’s life has been rough enough lately. Homeless and alone, she’s found safety in an old house atop Unger Hill. But she isn’t alone. She’d heard the rumors of the haunting here, but the handsome stranger invading her sanctuary is all too real, and might be more dangerous than any spirit.



I’m passionate about Romance. I write about real people with real struggles, temptations, and desires. My characters often have difficult choices to make – and don’t always make the right ones. My stories are not what you expect, and everything you want.
God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three dynamic children, all of whom are destined to make wide, colorful splashes in this world. We share our New Jersey home with two dogs. I have no hobbies to speak of unless you include writing. I don’t.

Connect With Me at: http://www.DanaPratolaRomance.com to join my mailing list and receive news of new releases, giveaways, etc.



I’ve loved every one of Ms. Pratola’s books that I’ve read, and this one, told in first person, just sucked me right in.

I’ve felt helpless before but never so desperate as Brenna’s situation. And I’m tenacious, but I do believe she OWNS tenacity! Then again, sometimes ya just need to ask for help.

Talk about headstrong!! (Though apparently not in a match against a horse hoof… ) First of all, checking himself out of the hospital days after his injury, and then insisting he stay alone in an abandoned house, Josiah takes man-stubborn to new levels!

The twists in this story are unexpected and intriguing, tugging the reader page after page. Ms. Pratola understands the human psyche, and it shows in how she portrays her characters. The dialogue—often a make-it-or-break-it for this reader—is snappy and vivid.

This story kept me reading in anticipation to the last page.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Haunting of Josiah Kash, Dana Pratola

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In a debut novel readers are calling “true to life,” “captivating,” and “cleverly written,” author Beth Troy takes on the story of Lu Sokolowski and her life upended. Lu’s plans have turned sideways, taking her back to the family and town she always planned to leave.

Lu is a modern woman’s honest journey to faith, that unapologetically addresses:

  • The big questions women ask about their beliefs.
  • The struggles women face in creating a fulfilling life.
  • The complexity of family relationships.
  • The tension between hope and reality.

Lu. by Beth Troy is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read. In turns witty and sincere, snarky and heartfelt, it is a study in brokenness and redemption. – Reading is my SuperPower

Lu is a story for readers looking for real growth in relatable characters who aren’t afraid to ask real questions. It’s for women who want to experience the full spectrum of who they are and what they believe. It’s for women who want a story about how faith integrates into the whole life of a woman. You will want to share this story with a friend – after you read it again yourself.



16967969Beth Troy is an American writer and educator who teaches courses in Creativity & Innovation and Women & Entrepreneurship at Miami University.

When not teaching, she spends her time writing. Her first novel is Lu, a sequel to which is being released in Summer 2020. She writes what she believes and asks questions that aim to spark debate and positive changes in her readers.

Beth lives in Ohio with her husband and three sons.



If #allthefeelz is a hashtag, then this book is #AlltheRealz!!!


How coincidental that today’s morning Scripture (Colossians 2:9-10) says, “… you are complete in Him…” Which is exactly Lu’s story, the journey she was on. To discover who she is, what her purpose is. And how this whole Bible thing relates. Or if it relates.

Ms. Troy’s storytelling is real and gritty and honest. Told in first person (this reviewer’s favorite) the story pulls the reader deeper into Lu’s discontent and unrest. Ms. Troy makes it clear that there is only one answer to fill the emptiness Lu knows so well.

I think any one of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, have known some of Lu’s feelings and doubts, if not the depth of them. But the cord, heavy and cumbersome, through it all was how Lu wanted to believe. How she tried.

Lu pounded Jackson with questions about the Bible and about his faith; he readily answered every time. Ms. Troy neatly tied Lu’s story with his, knitting them in a comfy cocoon of friendship. And maybe more…

Life is complicated and messy, and so is Lu’s story. Ms. Troy asks the questions that we ask; she lays bare the soul, because the walk of faith is not an easy one. Lu is a bold telling of an earnest search for answers, played against the familiar, the comfortable, the known with answers we all resist but desperately need.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Lu., Beth Troy, JustRead Publicity, #AlltheRealz

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A big city detective. A lowcountry murder.

Peace, safety, a place to grieve and heal. After her husband is murdered by the Russian mob, Boston detective Callie Jean Morgan comes home to her family’s cottage in South Carolina. There, she can keep their teenage son, Jeb, away from further threats.

But the day they arrive in Edisto Beach, Callie finds her childhood mentor and elderly neighbor murdered. Taunted by the killer, who repeatedly violates her home and threatens others in the community, Callie finds her new sanctuary has become her old nightmare. Despite warnings from the town’s handsome police chief, Callie plunges back into detective work, pursuing a sinister stranger who may have ties to her past. He’s turning a quiet paradise into a paranoid patch of sand where nobody’s safe. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop him.


51513565_10161380467195593_5519430045086515200_nHope Clark is the award-winning author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, also set in her home state of South Carolina. In her previous life, she performed administrative investigations for the federal government and married an agent she met on a bribery investigation. She can be found either on the banks of Lake Murray or Edisto Beach with one or two dachshunds in her lap. Clark is also editor of the award-winning fundsforwriters.com. Find out more about her at chopeclark.com



NOTE: For my followers who read only clean Christian fiction, there are several instances of swear language, and one scene in particular that gets pretty steamy. 

Having started reading this series with Book #3 or 4, it’s fun to go back and see how it all started. I mean, I knew Callie had issues, but to witness how they started—I just wanna give her a great big HUG! I felt for Callie, with attacks—and not just physical—coming from every side, even within her own mind as memories torment.

NOTE: The books in this series are stand-alone, but I appreciate getting to know Callie and her cohorts better.

Nobody tells a story like C. Hope Clark! Taut story, crisp writing, in-your-face dialogue! And real, believable characters. And the tension she builds from the first page had my heart racing!

In a new place where there are more unknown than familiar faces, Callie teeters between civilian life—foreign to her—and taking this crime spree head on. Especially since it seems aimed at her.

As she ticks through possible suspects—and no one is exempt, it seems—the clues get stranger and stranger.

Ms. Clark builds the suspense with each page, holding my attention in a tight grip to the unexpected twist at the end.






This book was given to me as a gift. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Murder on Edisto, C. Hope Clark, Edisto Island Mysteries

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NOTE: I originally had this review scheduled for 16 May, but following my father’s death the week prior, I was too unfocused to keep up my reading pace, and deferred my post till I could get caught up. And though the tour is long over, I wanted to give credit where credit is due—after all, it is through Celebrate Lit that I came to read this little gem!

 Volition Banner



Book:  Volition

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian fiction, futuristic

Release Date: December 31, 2019



“I should have made that left turn at Tucumcari.”

It’s Doctor Who meets mail-order brides when “rescuers” from the future arrive to save Andi Flanders from a happy life with her loving family and fiancé.

Okay, so they meant to get her suicidal roommate, but hey. Mistakes happen, right?

And as far as Andi’s concerned, they can fix them—by sending her home.

However, when she learns what happens when she disappears from home, Andi has an impossible choice. Stay in the government-controlled futuristic world she despises and never see her family again or return to the twenty-first century and doom an innocent person to death.

Volition— Life and death decisions are so overrated.


Click here to get your copy!




Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.




What Happens When You Explore Logical Progressions?

She used chopsticks. Me? I’m a fork kind of gal. But over plates of sesame chicken and fried rice, we hashed out what our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books would be. Every year, I challenged myself.  Once by writing drippy romance (Discovering Hope).  Once by turning a sermon into a story that wasn’t preachy (Argosy Junction). (psst… links are affiliate links—they provide a small commission at no extra expense to you!)

This time, I’d decided the challenge would include writing in the first person.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like the first-person perspective. As we tried to figure out what our plots would be, my friend added another challenge. “Do science fiction.”

I’ll be honest. I almost laughed her out of the restaurant. But then an idea hit me.  Why shouldn’t I?  I could kill two dislikes in one book.  Bam! Done!

That kicked off a book I probably never would have written otherwise.

I knew doing major techno-science stuff wouldn’t be conducive to trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, so I immediately chose futuristic over space travel.  The decision to go with a form of time travel was probably inspired by Doctor Who, now that I think of it. I didn’t back then. I just went with what I thought I might be able to make interesting—to write, if not to read.

That kicked off an idea that sent my brain spinning.

What would happen if you got kidnapped and taken to the future, but returning to your former life means someone’s soul will never be redeemed?

Of course, it would take a really strong, amazing character to pull off that kind of thing. Not everyone could do it. But who… who give up her life for someone else?

That’s when I knew. That soul saved would have to belong to someone my character didn’t even like. Gotta raise the stakes, you know?

That’s also when I discovered that I wouldn’t like her—not at first.

Andi Flanders jumped onto the page with hands on hips and eyes flashing. She was livid that people in the future had interfered with her life. Then she’s broken when she realizes she can’t go back.

Fiercely independent, Andi enters futuristic Rockland with a critical eye and condemning spirit.  Since most sci-fi stuff I’ve seen focuses on sleek, pristine futures full of glass and steel, I wanted to go a different direction.  But how?

That’s when my solution came to me.

I’d take today’s world and push everything to logical exaggerated conclusions.

  • Environmentalism? We’ll have a world that tries not to encroach on nature any more than necessary
  • Population? I took China’s “one child” policy and made it worldwide… and then let the future deal with the fallout.
  • Globalism? I let them have their one-world government that protects everyone from themselves.
  • Apathetic faith? I didn’t persecute Christians. I just let their faith die a slow, natural death.

And then I threw in a character with a love for Jesus and a minor obsession with Ayn Rand’s objectivism.  Yes, I’m aware that those two things can be mutually exclusive. That was the fun of it.

This Rand-spouting, Jesus loving, freckle-faced, fiery redhead had to deal with all if this stuff in a world as opposite from her freedom-loving self as can stand.

Ninety-thousand words later, I was done.  And then I shelved the book.

For ten years.

On December 27, 2019, I got a message from my son.

He’d found a book cover design contest and wondered if he should enter.  And if so, with what book?  We hashed out ideas when I remembered Volition.  It wasn’t edited.  Done, but not edited.  Could I possibly get the whole thing cleaned up before December 31 rolled over into January 1?

I decided to try.

Nolan got to work on a cover while I began editing like nobody’s business.

With the help of my amazing launch team, an incredible editor, and no sleep, the book was live on New Year’s Eve with three hours to spare.

Then my son decided not to worry about entering this year.

He lives. This is a testimony to God’s grace and control over my life.  And my hands.

Or maybe it’s because he lives three hours south of me, and I’ve only seen him once since then. You don’t kill your son at your daughter’s wedding reception. Just sayin’.

But let’s go with the first reason. It makes me sound more spiritual or something. 😉



I don’t even know where to begin!! Amazing seems to small a word for this story!

A fan of stories written in first person (if done well,) I was immediately drawn into Andi’s dilemma. And the situation with her roomie.

But then the story felt off-putting, and I didn’t think the futuristic aspects would hold my attention. Boy was I wrong!

Now, having finished the book, I think I was feeling some of Andi’s confusion and frustration—and disbelief! (that first person point of view!) Then the choice she had to make—would I be that strong? How many of us could do that? Make that much of a sacrifice?

James was likeable enough, easy going, non-condemning. But frustrated and confused, too. After all, it was his [SPOILER] that was mixed up. He was just as bewildered with Andi’s previous life experience as she was with his. And yet, made great allowances for her, and defended her time and again.

The progression of this story, the incredible character arcs, were a thing of beauty. Little by little, two steps forward, one step back, dancing around feelings that at first weren’t there, Andi and James came to know and understand one another. Both thrust into a situation neither asked for, their first days were more than a little rough. Abrasive better describes it.

Ms. Havig created not only a plausible if tragically lost future world but wrapped a plausible and victorious story into it. With each page, each chapter, some new revelation unfolds, another rough edge of conflict was made smooth. As the story progressed and the characters evolved, so too did their marriage—from an arrangement to a friendship to something more.

A page-turner and tear-jerker, Ms. Havig’s story kept me captive to the last page. The last, lovely, tear inducing page.





I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Friday, #TRD, Book Review, Volition, Chautona Havig, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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