Promised Land by Robert Whitlow



MY REVIEW:

Although Promised Land follows Chosen People, the first book in Whitlow’s Chosen People series that I somehow missed, I had absolutely no problem following the story line. This book can easily stand on its own but after reading it I am already thinking about how I can fit it into my reading schedule.

With its vivid settings in both Atlanta and Israel, wonderfully complex characters, and a plot filled with international intrigue and Whitlow’s trademark legal scenes, this book held me captive for several hours. There was enough danger and suspense to make me hold my breath a few times but it was relieved by touches of humor and love along the way. I was captivated by Hana’s songs in the night as she poured out her love for the Lord and interceded for her husband and others she loved in an amazing  way.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and loved its message of hope in the midst of dangerous times.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book:  Promised Land

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Legal Drama

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Click here to get your copy.

With historical mysteries, religious intrigue, and political danger, Promised Land asks one momentous question: what if your calling puts you—and your family—in the crosshairs?

Despite their Israeli citizenship, Hana and Daud cannot safely return to their homeland because a dangerous terrorist ring is threatening Daud. Hana is perfectly fine remaining in the United States, working for a law firm in Atlanta, especially when she learns she’s pregnant. But Daud can’t shake the draw to return home to Israel, even if it makes him a walking target.

Hana is helping her boss plan a huge Middle East summit in Atlanta when Jakob Brodsky, her old friend and former co-litigator, asks for her help with a current case. His client is attempting to recover ancient artifacts stolen from his Jewish great-grandfather by a Soviet colonel at the end of World War II. Because the case crosses several national borders, he knows he needs Hana’s knowledge and skill to get to the bottom of what happened to these precious artifacts.

Meanwhile, Daud is called in to help a US intelligence agency extract a Ukrainian doctor from a dangerous situation in Egypt. While overseas, he can’t resist the call of Jerusalem and thus sets off a series of events that puts thousands of people in danger, including his wife and unborn child.

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home—and how faith forms the identity of both—in this breathtaking follow-up to Chosen People.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: www.robertwhitlow.com; Twitter: @whitlowwriter; Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

READ AN EXCERPT:

Click here to read an excerpt of the book.

BLOG STOPS:

Genesis 5020, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Inklings and notions, January 28

deb’s Book Review, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 30

CarpeDiem, January 30

Christian bookaholic, January 31

Mary Hake, January 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Daysong Reflections, February 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 3

For the Love of Literature, February 4

Betti Mace, February 5

Hallie Reads, February 5

By The Book, February 6

SPLASHES of Joy, February 7

Bigreadersite, February 7

Pause for Tales, February 8

Emily Yager, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

 

 

Out of Darkness by Erynn Newman



MY REVIEW:

Erynn Newman is a new-to-me author. I was uncertain of what to expect from her novel but its description sounded like something I might enjoy. I decided to give it a try.

Overall, “Out of Darkness” is a strong suspense with well-developed characters. Plenty of drama, action, and suspense fill its pages to keep most readers happily turning those pages. It is written from more than one point of view so the reader is given information the other characters do not have. I quickly became concerned that the death of one of the characters might be required to wrap things up neatly and I was not at all happy about that.

As it turns out, the author is pretty skilled at developing a flawless plot that kept me guessing until its dramatic ending. Who would have guessed the real mastermind behind everything? Pick up a copy and see for yourself how everything turns out. I think you might enjoy “Out of Darkness” too.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to Purchase

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

To purchase your copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

20 Facts About Out of Darkness:

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Light, the prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

BLOG STOPS:

August 17: A Baker’s Perspective

August17: Genesis 5020

August18: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

August 19: Fiction Aficionado

August 19:Inklings and notions

August 20: Reflections from my Bookshelves

August 20: Blossoms and Blessings

August 21: History, Mystery & Faith

August 21: Blogging With Carol

August 22: Faithfully Bookish

August 22: Mommynificent

August 23: Just the Write Escape

August 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 24: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

August 24: 100 pages per hour

August 25: Carpe Diem

August 25: Christian Bookaholic

August 26: J.E. Grace Bog

August 26: Karen Sue Hadley

August 27: God’s Little Bookworm

August 27: Back Porch Reads

August 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 28: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 28: Daysong Reflections

August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 29: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

August 29: Remembrancy

August 30: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 30: Henry Happens

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac

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Wilderness Rising by A.L. Shields

Wilderness Rising



MY REVIEW:

 When I elected to review “Wilderness Rising” I did not realize it was a sequel to “The Church Builder”. Since I had not read the first book, I decided to pick up a copy to read while I was waiting for this one to arrive. I am so thankful that I did. I would have been mostly lost if I had not already read “The Church Builder”. The series is about a centuries-long battle between two opposing groups, the Wilderness and the Garden. One group is composed of atheists and the other of supposed believers. Unfortunately, in their ongoing war, both sides are often less than ethical and casualties are just part of the battle.

Bethany Barclay has unwittingly become the central focus of the battle after being set up by one of the groups who hope she can find the ancient relic her best friend had possibly found before her own death. With the FBI and other law enforcement agencies determined to find her because they believe she is a terrorist, Bethany has followed her friend’s trail to England in hopes of finding the Pilate Stone. With both the Garden and the Wilderness after her as well as other unknown parties, Bethany’s life has become surreal with never a moment to feel safe but she is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery because another young person’s life is also in danger.

There is so much going on in both “The Church Builder” and “Wilderness Rising” that I was often confused. I decided that the author probably planned it that way to give the reader a sense of Bethany’s confusion and desperation as she raced against time for her own life as well as Janice’s. Jam-packed with action, danger, and suspense, “Wilderness Rising” raced to a strong finish with plenty of surprises along the way.

I enjoyed both volumes of the Church Builder series and would recommend them to all who enjoy suspense that keeps the reader on the edge of the seat and never sure what will happen next. Both are lengthy novels but I found myself unable to put them down. 

This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

From A. L. Shields-pseudonym for New York Times best-selling author Stephen L. Carter-comes the thrilling sequel to The Church Builder.

An age-old struggle between the enemies of God and the champions of faith.

A rumored relic that could prove Christ performed miracles-or declare him a fraud.

A woman on the run from international authorities.

Bethany Barclay is fighting to outwit the Wilderness, an ancient and powerful cabal bent on destroying Christianity. Its members murdered her best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must find the Pilate Stone-a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.

But she’s not the only one looking for the stone. In an international landscape of double agents, Bethany finds it impossible to tell friend from foe. The Garden, a secret group of powerful intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is collapsing under the rising power of the Wilderness. And an ocean separates her from her only proven ally-the lone wolf Ray Fuentes, who has battles of his own to fight.

A sparse trail of breadcrumbs takes Bethany across Europe into a labyrinth of academics, art historians, and followers of a reclusive monastic order. As her quest transforms into an ever more complex and dangerous game, unlikely actors in the drama emerge. Some are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.

Including her own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A.L. ShieldsA. L. Shields is a pseudonym for Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught for thirty years. He is also the author of seven acclaimed works of nonfiction and five best-selling novels. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), spent eleven weeks on the New York Times best seller list.

The Brothers’ Keeper by NLB Horton

The Brothers' Keepers



MY REVIEW:

“The Brothers’ Keepers” is a novel that requires a good bit of concentration and attention to details. A suspenseful story of danger and intrigue laced with a hearty dose of Christian history, the narrative takes the reader on a fast-paced journey from one foreign city to another and back again.

When daughter Maggie is abducted and daughter-in-law Becca is attacked, Grace Madison and her entire family become involved in a race against time and unknown enemies to track down an ancient artifact that seems to be of great value not only to Israel but also to the Vatican and possibly others. With the involvement of Mossad and other intelligence organizations, The Madison family find themselves deeply entrenched in the investigation and realize they have no choice but to trust God and to do the right thing.

Overall, “The Brothers’ Keepers” has a very serious tone but is relieved at times by a touch of somewhat dry levity. With so many characters, I found it a little difficult to identify with any of them but that is most likely because this novel is somewhat different than my usual reading choice. The book is well written with a very involved plot filled with action, drama, danger, a hint of romance and some unexpected twists and surprises. 

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A friend’s deception. A family’s dilemma.

While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison learns that her daughter has disappeared in France, and daughter-in-law has been attacked in Switzerland. But before the Madisons can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend—if he’ll let them. Navigating a deadly, four-thousand-year-old artifact trail that crosses three continents, they jeopardize hearts and lives against a foe as old as time—as time runs out.

Because choosing what’s right is all that’s left.

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

NLB HortonAfter an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing and a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLB Horton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs accompanied (twice!) by heavy artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. Calmly tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman. Driven uneventfully through Rome. And consumed gallons of afternoon tea across five continents. Her first novel, WHEN CAMELS FLY, was released in May, 2014.THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS her second in the Parched series, will be released November 17, 2014. The third in the series will release in the fall of 2015.

Find out more about NLB at http://nlbhorton.com.


Don’t miss NLB Horton’s The Brothers’ Keepersinternational suspense at its best. While cataloguing looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison discovers her daughter has vanished in France, and her son’s bride has been attacked in Switzerland. After the Madison family unearths a relic whose taproot pierces the Ancient Near East, they realize before they can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend . . . if he’ll let them.

Learn more about book one in the series, When Camels Fly, and enter to win a Kindle Fire.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • When Camels Fly and The Brothers’ Keepers by NLB Horton

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 7th. Winner will be announced December 8th on NLB’s blog.


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