#Book #Review of the #Suspenseful SLAVE AGAIN by Award-winning #Author Alana Terry (@AlanaTerryBooks)

21 November 2014

Purchase Slave Again on Amazon
  • Author: Alana Terry
  • Genre: Christian, Suspense
  • Release Date: September 1, 2014

Book Description:

She traded in her prison uniform for shackles of a different kind.After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won't save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

Slave Again is written by Christian suspense novelist Alana Terry, winner of numerous awards, including the Women of Faith writing contest and the Readers' Favorite gold medal for religious fiction.

* This book has some Christian characters and themes but was written with a broad audience in mind.

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Praise for Slave Again

Wow, just wow! This is a very powerful story. If you judge a book by how many tears you shed for the characters this would rate a 100. ~Wall-to-Wall Books, Amazon Reviewer
After reading Alana Terry's book 'The Beloved Daughter' I was not surprised to find the same quality of writing in this new book. ~Christian Fiction/Suspense to the Max, Amazon Reviewer
This is another wonderful tragedy (redeemed by God) tale from the talented story weaver, Alana Terry. If you read the first book in the series, Beloved Daughter, you will not be disappointed in this book. ~Janice S. Garey, Goodreads Reviewer

Author Alana Terry
When Alana isn't writing, it's likely that she's on the floor wrestling with her kids. Or playing outside with her kids. Or chauffeuring her kids. Or trying some random science experiment with her kids. But she's probably not cooking or cleaning.

Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one.

Alana won the Women of Faith writing contest for "The Beloved Daughter," her debut inspirational novel. She has also won awards from Readers' Favorite, IndieFab (Finalist), The Book Club Network, and Grace Awards.
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Mee-Kyong is wise for her age and she is a fighter. She fought her way out of Camp 22, a ... and now she is fighting to survive slavery in a motel across the Chinese border. With blood on her hands and anger in her heart she takes a young girl under her protective wings. Sun, at the tender age of fifteen, left home to earn money to help her family survive. She never realized what she was getting into until it was too late but she had her very own guardian angel in Mee-Kyong. Take this journey with Mee-Kyong as she fights for survival in a country fueled by hate.

One of the things I loved about this book was the character development. In The Beloved Daughter Mee-Kyong turned her back on Chung-Cha who considered her a good friend. Out of all the characters I have formed a dislike for, Mee-Kyong was in the top five. She redeemed herself in this book. The transformation was beautiful as Mee-Kyong went from a girl that only looked out for herself to a young woman that risked her life for a girl she barely knew. That's what character growth really means and I have to give the author a high five doing it so well. There are several "main" characters in this book and some I found endearing in their own individual way. Some I developed an immediate dislike for. It was a love/hate relationship which made the storyline more interesting.

Alana Terry brings the horrible act of slavery to light while entertaining the reader in an engaging way. It was a page turner that kept me engrossed in the story and the only negative thing I can say about this book is I'm not too wild about the format. Each chapter was full of what I call "mini chapters". Mini chapters are very short scenes featuring a different character contained within the main chapter itself. It felt as if I were jumping from character to character a bit too much which detracted from the story for me.

Being it's a spinoff of The Beloved Daughter I couldn't help but compare the two. The Beloved Daughter is an award winning book, and rightly so. I fell in love with it immediately. But, while I don't feel Slave Again has quite the same level of suspense, I did find it entertaining and enjoyable. I am looking forward to the next book! If you like suspense I recommend checking out this book and the author, Alana Terry!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my honest review and no monetary compensation was received.
My Rating:

Don't forget to check out the book that started it all. Alana Terry's The Beloved Daughter, an award-winning novel of suspense and intrigue!

Book Description:
In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father's faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha's well-being.

"The Beloved Daughter" follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

"The Beloved Daughter" is Alana Terry's debut Christian novel and has won awards from Readers' Favorite, Grace Awards, Women of Faith, and The Book Club Network.
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#Book #Review of the #Suspenseful SLAVE AGAIN by Award-winning #Author Alana Terry (@AlanaTerryBooks)

Guest Post, #Excerpt & #Giveaway | A New Pair of Shoes: Walking Boldly into Change by @CourtneyRGager @AnaiahPress

Purchase Tess in Boots on Amazon
from Anaiah Press

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance, Clean Read
  • Release date: December 2, 2014

About the book:
Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear. 
Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made. 

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Courtney Rice GagerAuthor Courtney Rice Gager:

Courtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.


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A New Pair of Shoes: Walking Boldly into Change

I am notorious for packing too much when I go away, and to date I've never been unprepared because of a packing oversight. Except for one trip, during which I was limited to a single suitcase for an entire month of traveling in Australia. Space was scarce, because this was one of those trips where you're pretty much living out of a bus for four weeks. You know, the kind of trip that sounds a whole lot more appealing when you're nineteen. I should mention that it was also during the Australian winter, so some areas were freezing and others were downright tropical. It was the ultimate packing challenge, but I was up for it, because I was going through an adventurous phase. (Hence the appeal of bus life.)

So that's how I found myself on the other side of the planet without my hair dryer, straightening iron, curling iron, or hot rollers. (Yes, I would have packed all of them because different humidity levels call for different hair care regimens. I told you I'm a notorious over-packer.) But it wasn't the lack of hair styling tools that made me feel vulnerable - it was the lack of familiarity.

As soon as the plane landed I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd made a huge mistake. I didn't know anyone, and I was so very far away from home. I'd planned the trip on an adventurous whim, but I wasn't feeling very adventurous anymore. The whim had passed, leaving me scared and homesick. I am a homebody at heart, and I wanted more than anything to be back in my comfort zone. I spent the first few days there with my head down, counting the hours until I could get on the plane that would take me home where I belonged.

And then came the shoe incident.

In my effort to pack light, I'd brought four pairs of shoes: sneakers, hiking boots, and two pairs of flip flops that I could wear interchangeably for going out at night. Back home, I could go anywhere I needed to wearing flip flops. This was not the case in Australia. There were all sorts of touristy evening stops on the trip, and most of our meals and events were planned at these venues ahead of time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get into many of these spots because of my lack of appropriate footwear. So I found myself in need of a new pair of shoes, and I wandered into a department store in the small town of Bendigo, Victoria.

I don't remember the name of the store, but what I do remember is something about that store felt familiar. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I felt at home while I was shoe shopping. Okay, maybe I am a little ashamed to admit it, but it's the truth! I was able to recollect myself as I perused the racks, and in the comfort of this home-away-from-home, I found a renewed sense of courage.

Perhaps that's why I chose the hot pink strappy heels - because they reminded me to be bold. And also because unless I bought shoes in two colors, I wasn't going to match half the time anyway. If you're not going to match, you might as well make a statement.

Before I went out that evening, I scrounged up a marker and wrote the date on the sole of the left shoe, and on the right I wrote the name of the street where they'd take their first steps. Then I set out in my new hot pink shoes, reminding myself to look up, take in my surroundings, and embrace the newness of the experience.

And I did. I spent the next month on the adventure of a lifetime. I saw indescribably beautiful things, I learned to surf, I laughed, and I made friends. Not because of the shoes, but because of what they represented: a willingness to put my fears aside and open myself up to something new.

Today, I long for my biggest problem to be a short-lived bout of homesickness. Adulthood comes with its own set of challenging and sometimes scary experiences. The difference is, you don't have to go looking for them, because they have a way of finding you. Dealing with change is all about how you walk into it. You can step tentatively, looking back over your shoulder and longing for something familiar. Or you can take confident and purposeful steps, trusting that God is leading you somewhere, even if the destination seems unclear.

I haven't thought about those shoes in years, but perhaps they're more ingrained in me than I realize, because there's a defining pair of shoes in my new book, Tess in Boots. The book comes out on December 2, 2014. If you read it, (and I do hope you will!) may you be inspired to take your own bold first steps toward whatever new adventure you're facing.


I heard the sound of tires on the wet road, and looked up in time to see another truck slowing down to avoid crashing into the cow. The truck pulled around the cow and stopped alongside where I stood on the side of the road. The driver rolled the window down, and when I saw his face, I wanted to cry.
It was not my day.
“You all right?”
I crossed my arms. “I’m fine!”
“Guess your GPS didn’t tell you to go around the cow, did it, Heels?”
I turned away from him and pulled my phone out of my pocket.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m calling for roadside assistance.”
“Good luck. Cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”
I turned around and glared at him. “What?”
“I said cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”
“I heard you. That’s insane.”
“Go ahead and try. Maybe you have some fancy magical cell phone.”
I rolled my eyes and turned away again, attempting to place a call. He was right. Nothing.
“Get in the truck, Heels.”
I didn’t budge.
“Come on, now. Get in.”
I turned around to see him hop out of the truck, walk around to the passenger side, and open the door.
There was no way I was getting in his truck.
“You gonna make me stay out in the rain all night?” he asked.
I put my hands on my hips.
“You know,” he said, “it ain’t right for a cow to stand in the road like that. You ever heard of Mad Cow Disease?”
I looked at the cow, then back at Thatcher, then back at the cow.
Was he kidding? I couldn’t tell. What choice did I have anyway? I was soaking wet, freezing, and miles from the vineyard.
I balled my hands into fists and took several strides toward the truck. “Fine. But I’m only coming with you because you look like an idiot standing out here in the pouring rain.” I got in the truck, and he shut the door behind me.
“Well, so do you, Heels.”

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Guest Post, #Excerpt & #Giveaway | A New Pair of Shoes: Walking Boldly into Change by @CourtneyRGager @AnaiahPress

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18 November 2014

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About the Book

Seeing The Life is a look at the life of Yeshua the Christ in a way never used before.

Dassa, the daughter of the innkeeper, is sent to fetch the midwife to help the young woman in the stable give birth. She and Mary become close friends as do Micah, her fiance then husband, and Joseph. Separated when the young family flees Bethlehem in the night, their friendship resumes several years later in Jerusalem. Dassa and Micah know Yeshua is special, but he is still a boy with a boy's interests and love of life. Through the years the families, though separated most of the year, spend time together in Jerusalem during the Jewish Festivals. Then Yeshua begins speaking and teaching. Micah, Joseph of Arimethea, their sons and others who follow and believe Yeshua's message. Yet do they really understand it? Is he the long awaited messiah who will free the Jews from the grip of Rome? What do the stories he tells really mean? Seeing The Life sees the life of Yeshua within the social and political culture of the time. Not only do we see his ministry but also his family and friendships as he grew. Yeshua was a normal baby who cried, spit up, wet and messed. He was a child who fell and skinned his knees. He lost his baby teeth. He had siblings. He had friends. My goal was to show the humanness of Yeshua's life. We see him as fully God but often miss that he was fully man, boy and baby also.

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Sophie DawsonSophie Dawson is Midwestern born and bred and is the author of several novels, including the Cottonwood Series and Stone Creek Series. Her novel Healing Love has won three awards: AuthorStand 2012 Gold Medal, Indiebook 2012 Silver Medal, and Readers' Favorite 2013 Silver Medal. Giving Love was a finalist in Readers' Favorite 2013. Her books have also been #1 Best Sellers in their genre on Amazon. Seeing The Life is a finalist in Readers' Favorite Awards 2014. She is a member of Christian Independent Authors and Association of Independent Authors. An award-winning quilter with eclectic interests, Dawson posts to several blogs, including Little Bits Blog on her website, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Iowa Wesleyan College.

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#Review: Surprised by Love (#Book 3, The Heart of San Francisco) by @JulieLessman - A @RevellBooks #Blog Tour

14 November 2014

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  • Author: Julie Lessman
  • Release Date: October 21, 2014
  • Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance

Book Description:

Shy and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the district attorney's office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a kid sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

Fan favorite Julie Lessman draws a romantic triangle that will have readers in a tizzy in this glittering Gilded Age tale of transforming love.

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Purchase Love at Any Cost on Amazon

Love at Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco, Book 1) by Julie Lessman

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

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Purchase Dare to Love Again on Amazon

Dare to Love Again (The Heart of San Francisco, Book 2) by Julie Lessman

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he's a fraud just like all the rest of the men she's cared for. Does she dare love again?

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Author Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion With a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as "Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3
Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of "The Daughters of Boston" series--A Passion Most Pure, A
Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her "Winds of Change" series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

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"I miss my little buddy, Meg, I won't lie, but you've grown into a beautiful woman over the last year, a perfect match for the beautiful person inside."

Megan McClare has always been a beauty to those that love her. But her greatest beauty was within while outwardly she was a plump young girl with loads of freckles and braces on her teeth. Constantly ridiculed by other kids, she always turned to her brother's best friend to dry her eyes and make her feel better. But when Meg returns from college "Megan McTubby" is gone and a raven beauty has taken her place. With a new look and a new outlook on life, Meg hopes to turn the head of the very man who had assuaged her hurts and healed her pain since she was just seven-years-old. But will the very man that ridiculed her in school work his way into Meg's affections? Will Bram risk their friendship and take a shot at love?

Bram Hughes has been an honorary member of the McClare family for years. Caitlyn McClare took him under her wings as a teenager and led him back to the God he had become separated from. Bram has always held a special place for Meg in his heart and takes great pains to ease her hurts when her heart is breaking. When Meg returns from Paris, Bram doesn't recognize her. All he knows is he is attracted to the beautiful young lady before him. Because of a mistake from his past, Bram feels obligated to accept an arranged marriage from his father. But how can he remain only friends with the girl who has stolen his heart? And, if he doesn't move soon, will Devin Caldwell steal the only girl he ever loved?

There's so much I can say about this book. If there has ever been a character I can relate to on such a personal level, it's Meg McClare. I feel many readers will relate to her character and glean a little bit of self-worth through her transformation from mousy to magnificent. Meg is the definition of "development of character " and I couldn't wait to read her story. I wasn't disappointed. It was so touching to see the beautiful friendship between Meg and Bram develop into a relationship built on love and faith.

I love Bram's character, too. Nicknamed "Padre Hughes" by his best friends Jamie and Blake, Bram has a gentle, easygoing personally that I found hard not to love. He fought every battle with God as his co-pilot. He was the one everyone went to when they needed spiritual advice, hence the moniker "Padre Hughes". What's not to love?

I love Julie Lessman's style of writing and Surprised by Love is my favorite book to date. This entire series is spot on when it comes to historical romance and, with this final book, she closes it with a bang! The quote above is from my favorite scene in the book. It brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart like is seldom done. But, not only does Julie tug at your emotions, in her usual fashion, the kissing scenes sizzle without being inappropriate. She knows how to evoke passion in a scene while maintaining spiritual propriety which is a lot harder than it seems and not always done well. The storyline is unique and very engaging, once I started reading it I hated to put it down. The one thing Julie Lessman tries to do in her books is glorify God. She does it in a way that teaches spiritual lessons but doesn't make the reader feel choked by the very knowledge imparted. Once again, she did it beautifully with a strong lesson on forgiveness that anyone can benefit from. When Bram told Logan that in order to fully forgive he needed to pray for God's blessings on the very one that had wronged him, I knew this story would affect many that were struggling with this issue.

I found it difficult to say goodbye to the characters I have grown to love but, in the end, I was a very satisfied reader. Julie Lessman writes stories as beautiful as the woman herself and I am looking forward to whatever is next on her agenda. Surprised by Love is a book to be treasured by any historical romance fan and, if you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and no monetary compensation was received.

My Rating: 

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#Review: Surprised by Love (#Book 3, The Heart of San Francisco) by @JulieLessman - A @RevellBooks #Blog Tour
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