Jayne’s Endeavour | Book Tour

Life in 19th century Australia overflows with hardship . . . Will Jayne have the courage to find the answers?

My Review

Reading a story about Australian pioneering was fascinating to this American girl. I enjoyed the rich Irish-Australian heritage pictured in these pages.

The Christian element is strong and woven steadily throughout the pages. Jayne and her sisters rely heavily on God for direction and guidance. I was a little sad that most of the adults in Jayne’s life were busybodies and gossips and discouraging rather than encouraging. Toward the end, she did seem to have more solid people to turn to.

This book has no romance in it, which I’ll admit, was refreshing after I’ve read a few books with “too-much-for-me” romance.

There is a swirl of mystery and thorough imagery of the difficulty of Australian pioneering in this story. I think it is suitable for any teen. There is a bit about dying plus a little mention of injury and blood toward the end that some sensitive readers may want to be aware of.

*I received this book from the author and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Page Count: 276
Age Range: 12-18
Series: Book 1 of The JOY Series

Mysterious strangers, a Scripture verse, and a threat.

“Reids never give up.” The words once held so much truth. But at eighteen, Jayne Reid is beginning to wonder if she can live up to that standard.

When puzzling strangers appear and odd things start to happen, Jayne and her two younger sisters must find a solution—or lose everything.

What mystery lurks in the shadows of the Australian bush? Who is the man in town who thinks he can buy and bully anyone he wishes? And is it all somehow connected to their new farmhand?

Journey with Jayne as she struggles to change fear into boldness and boldness into a trusting relationship with her Heavenly Father. What adventure lies ahead?

The JOY Series

The JOY Series follows three sisters on a quest to keep their parents’ legacy and dreams alive. Loaded with 19th century Australian adventure, it’s a series full of intrigue, adventure, and faith for ages 12 and up!

About the Author

Lauren Compton lives in Australia on a sheep farm—surrounded by mountains and plenty of Aussie wildlife! From a young age she has loved books and writing-related things (yep, that includes spending ages in the writing supplies department!). Now she has embarked on a mission to write books that both entertain AND encourage. Her desire is to weave stories that point readers to her Heavenly Father while at the same time being a whole lot of fun!

Connect with Lauren

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Monday 25th May
Abby Rose @ Photos by Abby Rose  | Review

Tuesday 26th May
Leona @ Great Books for God’s Girls | Review and Excerpt

Wednesday 27th May
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings | Review and Exclusive Giveaway
Erika @ Resting Life | Review and Excerpt

Thursday 28th May
Katja @ Old-Fashioned Book Love | Review
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Monday 1st June—Release Day!!
Kaitlyn @ Maidens for Modesty | Review and Guest Post
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Tuesday 2nd June
Rebekah @ Read Another Page | Review and Author Interview

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Kassie @ Soldier Girl Stories | Review and Exclusive Giveaway
Esther @ Purposeful Learning |Book Spotlight, Recipe, Review

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Amanda @ With a Joyful Noise | Book Spotlight, Guest Post, Review

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At Love’s Command | Book Review

My Review
I enjoy Karen Witemeyer for her very flowing writing, wittiness, and sturdy plotlines. For some reason, I found this one to have a very different “feel.” It wasn’t bad. It was just different. I really did like the fight scenes and enjoyed the whole Hanger’s Horsement plot. There were some nice twists that kept me guessing, and I appreciated that.

The diversity of characters was great–from the four horsemen to Josephine and her brother. 

I absolutely loved the Christian elements. The characters were solid believers and didn’t leave me guessing. They turned to Scripture for comfort, help, and assurance. They saw “convenient happenings” as directed by God’s hand. I loved how Matt always asked for Scripture from Preach (Luke). The last few “Christian” books I’ve read were shallow in the spiritual element, so it was refreshing on that end.

My one drawback for most of Ms. Witemeyer’s books is the romance-on-the-edge. I’m not a big romantic anyway, but there seemed to be so much touching and so much obsession over what a person looked like or felt. There were a few parts I skimmed because of that.

Still, I am looking forward to book two and can’t wait to find out which of the horsemen it follows!

*I received this book from Net Galley and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book
Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she’s not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger’s dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine’s respect, and when she hears of her brother’s abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.

Purchase on Amazon

Giving Place to the Devil | From the Archives

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

To give place means ” a spot (general in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas NT:5561 is a large but participle locality), i.e. location (as a position, home, tract, etc.); figuratively, condition, opportunity; specifically, a scabbard:” (NT: 5117, topos) 
This Greek word gives the idea that the “place” is a temporary position. As believers, we cannot become possessed by the devil, because Christ and the devil cannot dwell in the same place. However, we can give place – a small part of our life – to the devil. In context, there are two ways in which to do this: 1) Sinning in our anger, and 2) Letting the sun set on our wrath.
There are other verses that deal with the believer and satan.

To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.2 Corinthians 2:10-11

If we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, we are giving satan an opportunity to get an advantage of us.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

If we do not embrace the armor of God, we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil. The armor of God is: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, and prayer.

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16

Faith quenches the devil’s darts. If we are bowing down under the weight of his attack, perhaps we should cry out to God to increase our faith.
1 Peter 5:8-9 is not the next passage in this context, but applies to Ephesians 6:16

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Again, the attack of the devil is linked to our faith. We are to resist (oppose, stand against) while stedfast in the faith. If we are not steadfast in faith, we have no shield by which to resist.
And then another verse about resisting the devil:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

We can oppose and stand against the devil. But it is interesting to see what this command is sandwiched between…
– Humility (vs. 6)
– Submission (vs. 7)
– Drawing nigh to God (vs. 8)
– Cleansing/purifying ourselves (vs. 8). 
Can we resist the devil if we are proud, independent, not trying to draw nigh to God, and living in the filthiness of our flesh?
Considering all of these verses, to keep from giving place to the devil, we must check our walk with God.
-Are we forgiving our brother?
-Have we been faithful to put on truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, and prayer?
-Has our faith wavered from God?
-What is our heart like towards God? Have we sought to draw nigh to Him in humility, and submission while cleansing and purifying our hands and heart?
As believers, we don’t have to struggle under the oppression of the devil – God has given us a way to escape if we will but follow His Word!

Seeing Voices | Book Review

My Review

This is such a good YA read! I almost instantly empathized with Skylar and her family’s trials. I appreciated the very raw emotions the family was going through, due to Skylar’s accident and injury. And I absolutely loved Cam and his sometimes awkward but honest conversations about God.
I cannot freely recommend this to all YA readers. It is so good for its intended audience, which I would say is more for teens in less-sheltered lives. Yes, it deals with anger, bitterness, rejection of God, and so many good subjects, but it also deals with drugs, meth, alcohol, and teen pregnancy. I thought it was super well done, portraying a very real picture (and in a negative way, not at all condoning it) without going into too many gruesome details in each subject, but teen readers should use discernment whether or not this is a fit for them.
The Christian message in this was very good when it came to a real picture of Who God is and how He doesn’t prevent bad things from happening, but He is still good, loving, and faithful. Skylar and her family are not believers, so the Christian thread was given through Cam. I don’t know if this is a book one of a series. I almost hope so, because it left things very open-ended. A plain salvation message was not presented. Instead, there was a scene where Skylar couldn’t “run away from” God’s love so big. But it was really not clear if this was supposed to be her salvation experience (in which repentance is not mentioned) or just a stepping stone to get her there. That would be the main thing I was disappointed in with this book, just because it wasn’t super clear.
All in all, I am super impressed with Olivia Smit and look forward to reading more from her someday!

*I received this book from Celebrate Lit and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book

Skylar Brady has a for her life—until a car accident changes everything.
Skylar knows exactly what she wants, and getting in a car accident the summer before twelfth grade isn’t supposed to be part of the plan. Although she escapes mostly unharmed, the accident has stolen more than just her hearing from her: she’s also lost the close bond she used to have with her brother.
When her parents decide to take a house-sitting job halfway across the province, it’s just one more thing that isn’t going according to plan. As the summer progresses, Skylar begins to gain confidence in herself, but as she tries to mend her relationship with her brother, she stumbles upon another hidden trauma. Suddenly, she’s keeping as many secrets as she’s struggling to uncover and creating more problems than she could ever hope to solve.
Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Olivia Smit loves baking, visiting small towns, and writing stories that face hard truth with hope and encouragement. Olivia has an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature and lives in Canada with her family. Seeing Voices is her first novel. Learn more at https://oliviasmit.ca/

More from Olivia
Although “Seeing Voices” is not the first book I ever wrote, it is the first one that felt like it held a little piece of my heart. Skylar and her older brother, Mike, popped into my head one afternoon, both coping with the aftermath of a car accident in totally different ways. It took me ages to figure out what kind of story they belonged to, but right from the beginning I knew it would be a story about siblings and families, pain and guilt, and also (perhaps most importantly!) togetherness and love.
In so many ways, “Seeing Voices” was for me, before it was for readers. I wrote the rough draft when I was 18, fresh out of high school and still figuring out a few tricky situations within my own family. As I wrote about Skylar and Mike, I poured a lot of my own confusion and emotion into the pages, trying to make sense of my own feelings of responsibility, frustration, and ultimately, hope. Words from the book still float through my mind when I’m in certain situations, little reminders of lessons I learned once and need to hang onto with both hands.

I prayed my way through the writing process, trying (and failing) to find a story that fit with Skylar and Mike, who felt so much like real people. I prayed through querying, trusting that if God wanted this story out there in the world, He would find it a home … and if He wanted Skylar and Mike to be a story just for me, I would be okay with that, too. In so many ways this process has been a team effort, and I feel convinced that this isn’t my story, after all — it’s God’s, and I’m just doing my part to help tell it.


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of coasters and a book sleeve!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Blog Stops

Is Your All On Which Altar? | From the Archives

“Is Your All On the Altar?”  is one of my favorite hymns. It is a constant reminder to do a heart-check: What am I holding back? Yet the other day, God brought a new question to light: “Upon which altar are you laying your all?”

King Ahaz (2 Kings 16:10-16) saw the Assyrian’s pagan altar and immediately came home and patterned one identical to it. With this new altar, King Ahaz replaced the old altar that had been in the forefront of God’s house — the “old” altar being God’s altar. He never stopped sacrificing, he just replaced to whom he was sacrificing.

We might live a life of continual sacrifice, but it does not mean that we are sacrificing on God’s altar. We may have built an “altar” of the world, our dreams, or our ambitions. We may even have “good material” for our altar (family, friends, projects, gifts, talents) but instead of sacrificing this “good material” to let God use as He please, we have instead made it the altar upon which we sacrifice.

Romans 12:1 exhorts, 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

To be a “living sacrifice” is a process of killing “self” — a willingness to change as God chooses to change us and surrendering our “right” to maintain our vision, cause, and purpose to His. It is to place our all (our whole being) upon God’s altar and leave the results up to Him.

Perhaps God is calling us to sacrifice something painful or dear to us — an ambition, a dream, a lifestyle, or even our livelihood. Elisha, when the prophet Elijah anointed him to be prophet, immediately  

…took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. (1 Kings 19:21) 

Just two verses prior, Elisha had been using those very oxen to plow his field. To follow God’s call, Elisha did not hesitate to give up his livelihood — to lay his all on the altar of God. He did not stop to ask “what-ifs.” He was willing to change directions as soon as God made it known to him which direction he should change. He gave unhesitant surrender.

Is God’s altar in the forefront of our lives, or have we substituted it with another altar? The question is not “are you sacrificing?” but, “are you sacrificing to GOD?

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?
You can never be blessed, and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Elisha A. Hoffman

Standoff, Patricia Bradley | Book Review

My Review

This was my first time to read Patricia Bradley, and it definitely won’t be my last! I instantly connected with this story, because I’m a Louisiana/Mississippi girl myself, so the Natchez Trace automatically swept me in.

There were several twists and turns I wasn’t expecting (some were heart-wrenching!). Some that I did guess, so it was a balance between the two. And yes, I did know who the “bad guys” were from the first third of the book, but I did still enjoy reading how everything played out. I thought the suspense was solid and well-written and the mystery element was pretty good too.

The Christian content was more in the form of Daisy’s mentorship than the actual two main character’s personal Christian walk. It mentioned Brooke going to church, but Luke didn’t because of dangerous work—which, I’m not faulting it for that. There was a moral lesson, more from Brooke’s side than Luke’s (now that I think of it, I don’t really know of a big “lesson” Luke learned other than not being afraid to settle down). Personally, I felt it was more of a moral read than a Christian read.

The chemistry between Brooke and Luke was great. There was a sort of love triangle going on with Jeremy added as well. Judging it just based on that, it was very well done. However, when my seventeen-year-old sister asked if she could read this, I was hesitant, because it did focus a lot on the physical attractions. There was only one kiss, but it was semi-detailed.

Gripping writing is a definitely 5-star for me.
Christian/romance theme makes it more of a 4-star. So we’ll go with the invisible 4.5 star.

This definitely has me looking forward to the next book in the series!

*I received this book from the publisher and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book
The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It’s the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it’s being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers.

John’s daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father’s murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who’s going to keep him safe when he realizes he’s falling–hard–for the daughter of the man he failed to save?

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley introduces you to a new series set in the sultry South that will have you wiping your brow and looking over your shoulder.

Will We Condemn God’s Word? | From the Archives

Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous? (Job 40:8)

Why would anyone even try to “condemn God’s Word?” Why would they try to make it invalid? What is their purpose?
If a person can claim that God’s Word is inapplicable to them, they then have no standard by which to measure their life. If God’s Word is not to be trusted, then who can say that sodomy is a sin? Who can say that abortion is wrong? Who can say that premarital relationships are abomination to God? If we can disprove God’s Word, then we can make all of these sins appear “righteous.”
These are the big topics of sin today, but what about the little sins in our lives? Are there any areas where we are trying to disprove the Bible? Any areas that we try to “explain away” to excuse our behavior (“what this really means is . . .”)? It is easy to condemn those who blatantly disannul God’s judgments — but let us do a heart check and “see if there be any wicked way in me.”

Dark Water | Book Review and Giveaway

My Review

Last summer, I was introduced to the Lantern Beach books and enjoyed the mystery and suspense of them. This one is no different. Christy takes a broken hero and heroine, brings them together, and throws them into a plethora of trouble. Her books are exciting tales. In some ways, they seem to be lighter reads—possibly because she has more of an equal balance between civilian life and the mystery they’re unraveling. But things definitely got more suspenseful in the end.

I would categorize these more as clean reads than Christian reads. I do think in the beginning there was a mention of God and prayer, but there was absolutely none at the climax when the characters were in the throes of trouble.

The romance in this book never went too far, but it was very present. For a non-romantic like me, it was just too frequently mentioned how much they noticed sparks or good looks or such. But, for someone who likes watching romantic chemistry at work, they’d probably enjoy it.

*I received this book from Celebrate Lit and happily provided my honest review*

About the Book

Book:  Dark Water
Author: Christy Barritt
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 28, 2020


Colton Locke can’t forget the black op that went terribly wrong. Desperate for a new start, he moves to Lantern Beach, North Carolina, and forms Blackout, a private security firm. Despite his hero status, he can’t erase the mistakes he’s made.


For the past year, Elise Oliver hasn’t been able to shake the feeling that there’s more to her husband’s death than she was told. When she finds a hidden box of his personal possessions, more questions—and suspicions—arise. The only person she trusts to help her is her husband’s best friend, Colton Locke.


Someone wants Elise dead. Is it because she knows too much? Or is it to keep her from finding the truth? The Blackout team must uncover dark secrets hiding beneath seemingly still waters. But those very secrets might just tear the team apart.

Click here for your copy!

About the  Author

USA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”
Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have sold more than two million copies, and two are currently being developed as movies.
Christy’s books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.
She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.
Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband, her two sons, and her four dogs.
For more information, visit her website: www.christybarritt.com.

More from Christy

Dark Water is the fourth series in the Lantern Beach Universe. When I created the fictional island of Lantern Beach, NC, I had no idea how popular it would be. I’ve fallen in love with the people there, and they feel more like friends than fictional characters.

Dark Water is about a group of former Navy SEALs who band together to former an elite private security firm. But they all share secrets, as well as guilt over the death of their SEAL leader. In order to move on, they must find answers.

I introduced Colton Locke in the last book of the Lantern Beach PD series—Plan of Action. I knew he needed his own book and that I wanted to develop his character more. That turned into a four-book series featuring Colton and three of his friends. Blackout contains suspense, mystery, and romance—all of my favorite things!

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, May 7
Simple Harvest Reads, May 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
CarpeDiem, May 13


To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the the grand prize package of a signed copy of Dark Water and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Days of Discouragement | From the Archives

Why died I not in the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? (Job 3:11)

Those were Job’s questions as he felt the pain of everything suddenly taken from him. To his questions, God had answers, but Job could not see the answers. Job did not know that his life and trials would be used to encourage Christians throughout the generations to press on and trust God. God may have never disclosed to Job the reasons for his struggles, but God had amazing answers and His reasons were best.

Later, Job begged, 

Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that He would let loose His hand, and cut me off! (Job 6:8-9)

Sometimes in the heat of emotion, we desire of God that which God graciously denies. Had God destroyed Job at this point, Job would not have had the amazing blessing of talking with God while in this flesh, nor would Job have seen the way God turned around his captivity and given him more livestock and ten more children (see Job 42:10-14).
The story of Job reminds me that God knows the absolute best for me while I am caught in the fog of the present. It reminds me that though I may not be able to see how it will all work out, God will work it out for His good.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)