Thursday, May 25, 2017

Interview & Giveaway! Susan Sleeman ~ Author of Fatal Mistake!




Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Susan! Will you tell us a little about your latest book, Fatal Mistake?

Fatal Mistake is book one in my White Knight’s series. The series features an FBI Critical Incident Response Team that includes experts in crisis management, explosives, ballistics/weapons, negotiating/criminal profiling, cyber crimes, and forensics. All team members are former military and they stand ready to deploy within four hours, anytime and anywhere to mitigate the highest-priority threats facing our nation. Each book also features a story ripped from today’s headlines. In Fatal Mistake, the FBI agent must protect a woman who can identify a terrorist bomber all the while trying to catch the bomber. Here’s the back cover description for Fatal Mistake.

Fatal Mistake
Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it.

Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan--to stay alive for another day. She knows he's coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months--to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf's bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person who can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. He must protect Tara at all costs, and they'll both need to resist the mutual attraction growing between them to focus on hunting down the bomber, because one wrong move could be fatal.
 
Fatal Mistake is the first book in the White Knight series. What can readers expect from the series and do the mysteries connect at all?

Readers can expect stories that are ripped from current day headlines. For example, book two, Kill Shot, is about a self-steering bullet that is currently being developed in the U.S. This bullet contains guidance and all the shooter has to do is keep the rifle scope trained on the target and the bullet will hit them. No skills are required at all. In fact, the shooter wouldn’t even have to have picked up a gun before and suddenly they can shoot as well as a trained sniper. This is such a scary thing to me, as a weapon like this placed in the wrong hands is unthinkable. 

Now about that connection. Each book has a stand alone plot that is fully resolved but the books are connected by the six White Knights team members and their interactions with one another. Each book features a different team member and the reader will be able to see them grow and develop in their own personalities and with one another. I just love team dynamics whether it be a family or a working group, which is why I always write series.

What do you hope readers come away with after reading Fatal Mistake?


Hope. Simple as that. That regardless of your circumstances there is always hope. My wish is that as the reader is entertained with an edge-of-your-seat plot that the character’s struggles resonate, and the reader can see the character work their way through a problem and move into the light of hope. Then the reader can see anything is possible and they, too, have reason to hope.

What's your writing style -- plotter or pantser?

I am a plotter all the way. I started as a pantser, but then soon learned if I was to write an intricate suspense plot, I had to plot it out or waste a lot of time wandering and writing scenes that had to be cut. My cutting room floor used to overflow with wasted words, but now I keep it neat and tidy. LOL

Do you have any writing rituals? Maybe having a cup of coffee nearby or classical music playing?

Funny that you ask as my writing rituals have recently changed. I used to need complete silence. No one around me. No noises or distractions. Just me secluded in my office with no noise or distractions. But now, I can sit in the middle of our family room with everyone interacting around me and still write. And I hated having music playing in the past, but now I also often listen to music through earbuds. I’m not sure why that changed. It just did. LOL

Now that it is nearly summertime, what's your favorite way to relax during the summer?

I am an avid gardener so I LOVE spring and summer when I can dig in the dirt to create beauty and also grow fresh fruits and veggies. Here’s a picture of my veggie garden last summer. My hubby built these beds for me and I LOVE them. I have knee issues and can’t kneel so these are a wonderful height for me. When not gardening, in the summer you’ll find me sitting on the patio with my family sipping an iced tea and just enjoying their company. Especially enjoying watching my very creative grandson. Shh, don’t tell the others.



Some this or that questions:

Bike rides or car rides?
Car rides. I’d love to get on a bike again but I have joint issues that prohibit the bike.
Vacations: Stay at home or Travel?
I am a real homebody. I guess this comes from the fact that I have lived in nine states and used to travel every week for work. I saw so much of our wonderful country that I am content in my own little part of the country. I would still like to travel to Europe, though.
Cruises or Camping?
Camping with modifications. I need a clean and modern bathroom nearby and can’t sleep on the hard ground any longer.
Iced latte or Iced tea?
Funny, I just mentioned iced tea above. I lived in the south for so many years that I learned to love iced tea. Not sweetened though. That I cannot drink so I guess my stay in the south didn’t fully convert me. LOL
Hiking or Rock climbing?
Hiking as there is no way my bad knees would allow me to climb rocks.

Are you currently working on any new book? If so, can you give us a little teaser?

I am just finishing the edits on Kill Shot, book two in the White Knight’s series. This book releases in February, 2018. Here’s a blurb about it. 

Kill Shot
Some fears haunt you …
When ballistics and weapons expert Rick Cannon learned the Department of Defense had developed self-steering bullets that show 100% accuracy and make even a gun novice a lethal sniper, he feared they would eventually end up in the wrong hands.
Until they become reality.
That fear comes true when a vet is killed with stolen “smart bullets.” Rick and his FBI task force, nicknamed The White Knights, are soon charged with finding and stopping the killer. Rick enlists the help of the victim’s therapist, Olivia Dobbs, who is well known for her success in counseling military vets with PTSD. But when the killer sets his sights on their key witness, Rick must rely on the skills he learned as a Marine sniper to make sure the next bullet fired isn’t a kill shot to take Olivia out.
And then I am also finishing the edits on Holiday Secrets, the first boon in a new Love Inspired Suspense series called McKade Law. This book releases in December of this year and the series features four siblings along with the McKade grandparents and parents. The father is a the local sheriff and all of the siblings are law enforcement professionals. Each book features one of the siblings and their search for love as well as highlighting their path in learning to trust God. I am having such fun getting to know this family, and I almost wish they were real so we could be friends as I love them all!!
Holiday Secrets
Lexie Grant is shocked when her estranged father suddenly shows up after having been missing for a month. He claims he has something vital to tell her before his plane takes off, and she’s not surprised when they get into the same old argument they’ve had for years and he ends up shoving an envelope into her hands. But before she can take the envelope, a dirt bike rider races onto the abandoned airstrip, shoots her father, and takes off with the envelope. He lives long enough to declare that the crash wasn’t an accident and her life is in danger, too.
Lexie isn’t the only one who wants to talk to her father. Despite leaving Lost Creek due to issues with his controlling sheriff father, FBI Agent Gavin McKade and Lexie’s former boyfriend, has returned to town to question her father about his medical practice and potential Medicaid fraud. But when Lexie is attacked, Gavin’s main focus turns to keeping Lexie safe as he tries to find her assailant. Can Lexie forget her past with Gavin and let him get close enough to keep her alive? And can Gavin ignore the feelings he has for Lexie and the desire to move back to Lost Creek that resurfaces the moment he sees her to find her attacker before his actions turn deadly?

Is there anything else you'd like to share and where can readers find you on the web? Thanks so much for being here, Susan! 

First, thank you for hosting me, Melanie. You have such a wonderful blog!

Second, here’s where I can be found on the Internet –
Twitter -       http://www.twitter.com/susansleeman   

And last, I want to mention a contest I have going on right now that includes a giveaway of Fatal Mistake and a Kindle Fire. The picture below shows all of the items in the prize package and the link to enter is -  http://www.susansleeman.com/contests


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fatal Mistake! Giveaway is open to the US and ends 6/8/17

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Out of the Dark by Mandisa




Story Behind The Album: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=Df27myDpm1c 
Acoustic Video for "Unfinished”: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v= IQFpXcvFI0A 
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/2pWguiE

Rating:
5 stars
My Thoughts:

Out of the Dark might be Mandisa's best album yet. The songs are personal, deep, and moving. If you've ever experienced dark moments in life, you will find the songs encouraging and powerful.

I especially love the songs "Unfinished", "Out of the Dark", "Bleed the Same". TobyMac is another favorite artist of mine, so I love that he is a part of the song "Bleed the Same" -- it's a great song with powerful lyrics.

All in all, I really like this album and am so happy for new Mandisa music! I recommend this CD!


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a copy of this CD, Out of the Dark! Giveaway in open to the continental U.S and ends 5/28/17.


How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Monday, May 15, 2017

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

 My goal was to read 8 short books. Here's how I did:




I loved the books by Todd Strasser, Stacy Henrie, Nicholas Sparks, and Ally Carter (this one was a reread). Very happy with what I was able to read -- it's more than I thought I would. :))


This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman



About the book:
An FBI agent must protect the woman who can identify a terrorist bomber in bestselling author Susan Sleeman's riveting romantic suspense novel.

Each day could be her last...but not if he can help it.

Tara Parrish is the only person ever to survive an attack by the Lone Wolf bomber. Scared and emotionally scarred by her near death, she goes into hiding with only one plan--to stay alive for another day. She knows he's coming after her, and if he finds her, he will finish what he started.

Agent Cal Riggins has had only one goal for the past six months--to save lives by ending the Lone Wolf's bombing spree. To succeed, he needs the help of Tara Parrish, the one person who can lead them to the bomber. Cal puts his all into finding Tara, but once he locates her, he realizes if he can find her, the Lone Wolf can, too. He must protect Tara at all costs, and they'll both need to resist the mutual attraction growing between them to focus on hunting down the bomber, because one wrong move could be fatal.

My rating:
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(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon Time...Who's Joining Me?!?

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books RaT is from May 8-14th, which will probably be a really busy week for me...still, I have to participate. I just love the motivation to read and read. :) That being said, I probably won't participate in any of the individual challenges, as I don't think I'll have the blogging time for that.

My goal is to read 8 short books. Most likely Kindle freebies I bought and am trying to get read. :)


This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Review: Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection by Jared Mellinger



About the book:
Evaluating yourself-being mindful of who you are and what you are doing-is necessary and can lead to positive change.

But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don't feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.

The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.

Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger's short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.

There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we'll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy-the sanity-that comes from thinking about ourselves less often.

Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.
My rating:
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(View my rating system)
 
My thoughts:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Celebrate the Release of Becky Wade's 'True to You' w/Author FB Chat Party on May 4th!!


Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Find the book on:

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party! 

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.