Start the New Year off right by being in God’s Word. Right now my favorite Bible studies are on sale and it’s the perfect time to stock up!! The Daily Grace Co. is one of my personal favorite sites to stock up on Bible Studies and right now they are having their $5/$10 sale. All of their studies are marked down. I highly recommend these studies. Not only are they amazing studies, but each one is beautifully designed. I just stocked up on some myself. This time I ordered one of their new kids/family devotionals about the character of God, and I can’t wait to do it with the kids. A few of my favorites that I’ve done…..and I’ve loved EVERY one, but here’s a few of the ones that really stood out. Daughters of Grace goes through and studies several different women in the Bible, this was one of the first studies I did, and it was absolutely amazing. I recently finished Preaching the Gospel to Yourself, and I love the way it helps you apply the Gospel to each aspect of your life. Currently I’m working through the Hymns study, it really brings more meaning to the hymns we sing. I love that not only does this particular study tell you the story behind the how the hymn was written, but it also has Scripture and study questions to go along with each one. It really brings a whole new meaning to the hymns, and makes me personally stop to think about what I’m singing instead of singing to sing. Again, I highly recommend these studies, and I highly recommend grabbing them while they’re on sale!
I know I haven’t posted in a while, it’s been a crazy year for everyone, and I’ve been behind on my reading so my reviews have been sparse. I am working on getting back into my reading and I have a few reviews coming!
For the past few years I’ve been trying to pick a word for the year. Last year I chose “intentional”, little did I know that we’d go through a pandemic, and I’d have more opportunities than I ever imagined to be intentional. We were able to slow down and have so much quality time as a family. I was given the opportunity to homeschool both of my girls, and it’s been so rewarding to watch them learn and grow and get better in their weak areas. I am so thankful for the year we had, weird as it may have been. This year I chose the word “Serenity”.
Serenity means calmness, peace, peaceableness. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up with what’s going on in the world around me, and I start to get anxious or let my mind run away with me. This year I want to focus on God and the peace that only He can give no matter what the circumstances. I want to learn to respond more calmly. I also want to be more peaceable.
How about you? Do you pick a word for the year? If so what’s your word, I’d love to hear!!
Many of us could finish that sentence in our sleep. John 3:16 is a beautiful Scripture that neatly and simply sums up the message of the Gospel. But what do all the other 3:16s in the Bible have to tell us?
The words of the Bible weave a tapestry of love, particularly the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children. But a love so deep and so wide cannot be contained in one memorized phrase. It takes multiple authors of sixty-six individual books to begin to explore the mystery of God’s care for us.
The Other Three Sixteens by Malinda Fugate examines each third chapter and sixteenth verse in the Bible and invites a fresh, new perspective to help readers uncover surprises or remind them of forgotten truths of a faith that has become routine.
Through Genesis to Revelation, we can soak in its depth, wonder at its intricacies, and be moved at how much the Lord truly does lavish upon us. Together, we discover God’s love under the weight of Eve’s sin in the garden. It’s there in front of Moses, burning in a bush that is somehow not consumed. God’s love sits in the dark with Job, rebuilds a wall with Nehemiah, and encourages a young pastor named Timothy. Together we will find a deeper understanding of the way our Heavenly Father cares for each of us today.
This was such a different book, but in a good way! It was such a unique way to study through the Bible. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the “3:16s” of the Bible. I know the Bible as a whole tells the beautiful story of redemption from the very first page to the very last page, but it’s so neat to see God’s love woven through each book by going through just these verses. I highly recommend this book!
**I received this book for review as part of the CelebrateLit Blog Team. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and my opinions are my own.
About the Author
Malinda Fugate grew up in children’s ministry. Now, after two decades of dedicated volunteer service, she now serves full-time as the Children’s Education Director at a church in Southern California. Malinda studied communications and theatre at Azusa Pacific University, then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA. Her writing includes The Other Three Sixteens, Bible Time for Active Kids, commercial copywriting, various faith-based stage and screen plays, as well as co-producing A Single Girl’s Guide To, a lifestyle blog and web series. Her lifelong study of God’s Word continues to reveal more about the Lord every day. She lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi.
More from Malinda
It’s the first verse many of us memorized in Sunday School and perhaps the most familiar to any Christian: “For God so loved the world….”
In one sentence, we celebrate the incredible love of God and the amazing gift of salvation that Jesus gave through the cross. John 3:16 is a beautiful Scripture to keep in our hearts and minds.
Of course, John did not assign chapters and verses when he penned his gospel. Those were added later to help us reference as we study. Yet, years of reciting John 3:16 have etched these lines into our brains, making it an easy combo to remember. What if we looked at the other 3:16 verses in each book of the Bible? What treasures would we unearth hidden in our well-worn pages?
We find Adam and Eve in their last days in a garden paradise, dealing with the consequences of a terrible decision.
There is a young boy training to be a priest who suddenly hears the audible voice of God.
A king’s cup-bearer journeys to his homeland to lead a massive construction project despite adversity.
We sit next to Job in his darkest days, crying out to God for answers.
We meet a young pastor named Timothy, experience miraculous healings, and witness the baptism of Jesus Himself.
Most of all, in every verse, we discover the immense love of God. We learn that it cannot be contained simply in one phrase; such a great love is too full of rich detail. Most of all, we find that His love is alive and active in our very own lives, right this minute.
NOBODY SAID growing up is easy. For Danielle, the safe suburbs of Kansas City always felt warm. Inviting. But one day, everything changed. Not only did she hate what puberty was doing to her body, she had spotted a few scary specks of blood after going number two. Gross. As an insecure tween who blushed during “the talk,” one who refused to buy toilet paper at the store, nobody could know her little secret. So she hid it from everyone—Mom, Dad, her brother, and her friends. This went on … for years.
Busted. Eventually, her secret came out. Danielle was rushed to the doctor and into a colonoscopy. Shock took over when she was diagnosed with a rare colon cancer (something the internet called an “old man’s disease”) just a few weeks after her seventeenth birthday. Seriously!?
High school mornings in classrooms morphed into nightmare days in cancer-center waiting rooms. Yet Danielle stayed hopeful, even grateful, for her illness. The way she saw it, fighting cancer spiced up her otherwise-boring testimony. And it brought her true love. Not until she heard the dreaded “It’s cancer” again at age twenty-five did she start to resent so much suffering and question her faith. Yet Danielle wasn’t about to stop. From Times Square to the White House, she became an outspoken survivor by starting a blog, as well as a young wife and a mom. Eventually, she found the self-acceptance she’d been looking for—it was guided by a still, small voice that had been with her all along.
In this soul-baring memoir, Blush: How I Barely Survived 17, Danielle reminds us that growing up is never easy, and she shows us how to go head to head with God. With out-of-body wisdom beyond its years, Blush beautifully inspires us to accept our imperfections and embrace every season of life.
I loved reading this memoir. I can’t imagine going through colon cancer at just 17! I loved the way she made this memoir down to earth. While reading it, I felt very connected. I think that’s the word I wanted…yes, connected. I feel like I could relate to this 17-year-old girl. No I’ve never dealt with cancer, but I was that shy 17-year-old at one time. The one who got embarrassed at the simplest things. It was simply amazing. I also loved how transparent she was about it all, and also about her relationship with God. I highly recommend this one!
**I received this book as part of the CelebrateLit Blogging Team. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor first diagnosed at age seventeen and an award-winning communications professional. She writes and speaks to encourage those facing trials, under a motto of “faith that survives.” She’s the author of Blush: How I Barely Survived 17 (Redemption Press, 2020), The Holiday Girls (Little Lights Studio, 2018), and Unexpected: 25 Advent Devotionals. Her story has been told around the world through outlets like The Today Show, BBC’s World Have Your Say, Sirius Radio’s Doctor Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, among others. Home is in Kansas City with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Mae. When she’s not writing, she can be found baking her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s a good one. Follow her blog at DanielleRipleyBurgess.com or connect on social media at @DanielleisB.
More from Danielle
I walked into the classroom, hung my backpack on a designated hook and glanced at the chalkboard as I took my seat. Sigh. It was spelling bee day. I’d dreaded it for weeks.
Most people probably didn’t realize I loathed the spelling bee, especially my teacher. As a book-loving student who aced nearly all English exams, anyone could have rightly assumed I would be jazzed about the competition. I was a great candidate to represent our class. But there was one little problem: it sounded like a nightmare. I wanted nothing to do with it. The idea of the whole school looking at me on stage—the chance of people noticing the zits on my face, seeing a bra underneath my shirt, or calling me a nerd because I was a strong speller—sounded awful. No thanks.
A buzzer echoing throughout the hallways kicked off our school day. My teacher, dressed in a popular floral dress from the 1990s, walked to the chalkboard to take control of our classroom. The pledge of allegiance, math worksheets and recess distracted me from the schedule until the dreaded hour came.
“Everyone please stand up, push in your chairs and join the circle,” my teacher insisted as she waved her hands to gather us. It was time.
Fortunately, I had a plan: I was going to cheat.
If my spelling test grades were any indicator, I had a good chance of making the spelling bee. So, I decided to purposely spell my word wrong. I would use a wrong vowel toward the end of the word and pause to hear, “I’m sorry but that’s incorrect.”
Let’s just say my plan worked like a charm. Relief flooded my chest when I was asked to sit down and join the others who were knocked out of the competition. A few weeks later during the school-wide spelling bee, I deeply exhaled and smiled widely as I watched my classmates compete on stage from the gymnasium floor. I was so glad it was them and not me.
Today, 25 years later, this memory is both a victory and a tragedy. I can’t help but see my younger self, a tween girl who felt embarrassed about her body, and feel proud of her for identifying what she did and didn’t want. That moment in fifth grade helped her find her voice. Yet her empowerment came at a high cost.
Convinced that hiding her true self—her body, her smarts and her opinions—was the only way, this thinking led to her nearly losing her life. If I could go back and chat with her today, I’d affirm her fears yet encourage her to see God gave her the smarts—being a strong speller and a good writer is a gift and not a bad thing. I’d challenge her to accept herself and say that dominating the school-wide spelling bee could actually be a great thing.
Blush is a memoir that tells many other stories like my fifth grade spelling bee. The book is dedicated to my daughter, who is just now becoming a tween. As I’ve relived my life by writing this book, I’ve not only found nuggets of truth to pass on to her as she navigates adolescence, but also confidence and redemption in my story.
Many of us have believed the lie that to be accepted, we must hide. I wrote Blush not only for my daughter, but for anyone looking for inspiration and hope. It’s a book especially for those who are ready to finally face their insecurities and consider how to stop sitting it out and instead take the stage.
Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor first diagnosed at age 17, an award-winning communications professional and author of Blush: How I barely survived 17. Follow her blog at DanielleRipleyBurgess.com or connect on social media at @Danielleis
To celebrate her tour, Danielle is giving away the grand prize package of Danielle’s favorite local coffee, Betty’s Recipe from the Roasterie in Kansas City & a signed copy of the book!! (here’s a link to the coffee: https://theroasterie.com/product/bettys-recipe/)
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.
Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.
Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.
Edge of your seat suspense. Pettrey keeps you guessing. From the very beginning I was sucked in, I could not put it down! The characters were very relatable. Rissi and Mason were both amazing characters that worked well together, and you couldn’t help but root for them to become a couple. I also kept wondering was it really an accident that took the life of the man on the oil rig? And if it wasn’t who did it, and why? It was like one bad thing after another followed Rissi and Mason as they worked this case. I highly, highly recommend this book, and this whole series!
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Some biblical scholars maintain that the woman in Jericho who hid Joshua’s two spies was a harlot or a prostitute. But if that was the case, how did this woman, Rahab, become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the Father ensure a pure lineage for His Son? In this historical fiction, author Diana Wallis Taylor offers a beautiful story of intrigue that explains how Rahab came to be the mother of Boaz, grandmother of Obed, and great-grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David. In Rahab, Woman of Jericho, readers discover a Rahab who is a descendent of the tribe of Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Her clan left Egypt and settled in Canaan before the Hebrews were enslaved. Although they did not wander in the desert with Moses for forty years, nor did they hear the laws that the Lord gave to His people, they still worshipped the one true God. Rahab marries Radames, a young Egyptian officer, who is to become the new governor of Jericho. They live in the Egyptian embassy set in the city wall. When the Israelites approach Canaan with their army, pharaoh sends word that he is withdrawing his troops. Radames fabricates a story to tell Jericho’s king, but Hammurabi doesn’t believe it…and he has his eye on the beautiful Rahab. What will happen to Rahab after the lecherous king poisons her husband? How can she save her family from the invading Israelites? God parted the waters of the Jordan River for them—will He likewise provide miracles and blessings to her Ephraimite clan if they can rejoin their people?
Amazing! I thoroughly enjoy reading Biblical fiction, I feel like it brings the story more to life. I know that obviously there are some liberties taken since we aren’t given every minute detail about certain stories. This book was amazing!! I never really thought about Rahab’s backstory. I mean I knew she was a harlot, but other than that I didn’t think too much about it. This book brought the story new meaning and truly brought it to life for me. I highly recommend this book!
**I received this book from the publisher for review as part of the Celebrate Lit Blog Program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Diana Wallis Taylor is an award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including such novels as Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia; Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; Mary Magdalene; and Journey to the Well. She is also the author of Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?
Diana’s additional published works include a collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind; an Easter cantata, “Glorious,” written with a musical collaborator and available on Sheet Music Plus; and contributions to various magazines and compilations.
She received her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University and was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. She operated two coffeehouse/used bookstores and later retired from a private Christian college as Director of Conference Services.
Diana makes her home in San Diego, California. Readers are welcome to reach out to her and read her blog at www.dianawallistaylor.com.
Read an Excerpt
At one large, ornate building that was obviously a temple, young women wearing flimsy garments, much jewelry, and elaborate make-up were lounging on the steps. “Who are they, Radames?” “Temple priestesses.” “Women priests? They do not look like priests.” He took a deep breath. “They are temple prostitutes who serve their god. By laying with a worshipper, they believe they assist him or her to honor their god.” She put her hand on his arm. “I cannot judge others, but my people worship one God, Jehovah, who does not require that sort of worship.” Radames seemed thoughtful and made no reply. Her family had lived among the Canaanites for years, but she had never seen such a temple before. Beth-horon was so small—wouldn’t she have seen one if it was there? Perhaps her parents and their parents had endeavored to shield their children from the worst pagan practices. Just before they returned home, she looked back at the palace, looming over the city like some evil monster. It sent a chill through her. When they were safely in the embassy again, they sat in the dining hall and ate their mid-day meal: fresh bread, goat cheese, figs, and pomegranates, with a cup of beer for Radames and wine for Rahab. Rahab turned to Radames. “My lord, the Canaanites have so many gods. You said you worshipped a fewer number. I am not familiar with Egyptian gods and would like to hear about them.” He looked at her thoughtfully and took her hand in his. “Amon is the main one; he is considered the king of the gods and goddesses, and we believe he is father to the Pharaohs. His female counterpart is Amunet, called the Female Hidden One. They had a son, Khonsu, the moon god. Mut, which means ‘mother’ in Egyptian, is a deity who wears two crowns on her head. Osiris is considered the oldest child of the earth god, Zeb, and the sky goddess, Nut. He is the god of the afterlife. That is why many things are buried with the body when an Egyptian dies, so that he has what he needs in the life after death.” She remained silent, listening, her thoughts twirling round about. She had married Radames out of love and her father had assured her that marrying an Egyptian was not forbidden because of their family heritage. But how was she to deal with a husband who worshipped idols? She smiled at him. “Tell me more.” He sliced a piece of cheese and playfully fed it to her before continuing. “Anubis is the divine embalmer. Before Osiris, Anubis patrolled the underworld. He is known for mummifying the dead and guiding their souls toward the afterlife. Horus is the god of vengeance and is the child of Osiris and Isis. He avenged his father’s death and ruled Egypt. Thoth is the god of knowledge and wisdom, who settles disputes between good and evil. He maintains the universe by his mastery of calculations. We believe him to be the author of science, philosophy, and magic. He is also the one who created our calendar. Sekhmet is the goddess of war and healing. She can destroy the enemies of her allies. Geb is the god of earth, who represents crops and healing. We believe he retains the souls of the wicked.” It was a lot to digest. “Those are all your gods?” He shook his head. “Only some of them, the most important ones.” “And you worship all these gods?” “When I am home with my family or with my soldiers, I profess to worship them. My father would be insulted and perhaps disown me if I even hinted that I did not.” She stared at him, realizing what he had just revealed. Hope rose in her heart. “You say that as if there is something else you believe.” Radames hesitated, as if uncertain how to proceed. “I don’t know,” he said finally. “I have grown up with all our gods, but prayers to them are not answered. I have not mentioned this before, beloved, but I was married years ago, at the age of eighteen. My wife was only fifteen. Both she and our infant son died in childbirth a year later. I made offering after offering to the gods, praying for her to live, but there was no answer—and no comfort. So I do not put my faith in any god.” Rahab reached out to touch his arm. “Oh, Radames. I am so sorry about your wife and child. That must have been so hard to bear. Did my father know of this?” “I told him that first night I came.” “And what did he say?” “He said that I may someday wish to speak to you about your God…when I am ready to do so.”
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge. How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?
In the #1 New York Times international bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.
The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.
Includes the Couple’s Personal Profile assessment so you can discover your love language and that of your loved one.
I read this book a long time ago, when I was first married! I still absolutely love it! After 11 years of marriage, I still learned something new, and I needed the refresher rereading it again! It is so helpful to know your spouse’s love language. When you can pinpoint what it is, you can really help your spouse full wholly loved! Sometimes it’s easy to just show love in the ways that you best feel loved, however, not everybody’s love language is the same, and more than likely your spouse will speak a different love language than you. I highly recommend this book whether you’ve been married 1 day or 40 years!
**I received this book from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you have never heard of Usborne Books, let me just say, they are amazing children’s books! I loved them so much I joined as a consultant (mainly to get the discount for books for my kids), especially now that we’re homeschooling! Today I wanted to show you some of my favorites! While I absolutely love our picture books and story books, and they are all beautifully illustrated, the reference books are still probably my top favorite! My oldest (who is 8) actually requested the Children’s Encyclopedia when I had my very first party, which then sparked an Usborne addiction lol! Since then, I’ve added several other reference books to our library, and I thought I could share a little peek inside of the ones I have!!
First up our Children’s Encyclopedia! This one has internet links/QR codes that you can scan or go to, to learn even more than what’s on the pages!! It’s packed full of all sorts of info, on all sorts of topics!!
Next up we have our Illustrated Dictionary! Wow was I impressed with this one! I knew it would obviously have pictures of the words being defined, but this went way beyond what I ever dreamed. There are some entries, such as the motorcycle (pictured below), that actually label all the parts of the picture! This is fantastic, and I know my daughter will be using this a lot in school this year!
The newest addition to our library is our Not Your Everyday Thesaurus. I’ll admit, it also was not what I was expecting, I thought it would be similar to the Illustrated Dictionary, but instead of having lists of words like your typical Thesaurus, this puts them into categories. That was one downside, but it still is chock full of words, and pictures, and writing tips. While I’ll probably still have to have a regular old thesaurus so she can learn how to use it alphabetically, this one is still a great investment!!
Finally, we have our Animals reference book. I knew my daughter would be studying and doing a project about different types of animals and their classifications. This book did not disappoint, it is also internet linked, and has beautiful pictures, and talks about the different environments that different animals live.
If you are interested at all in these books or just to check out any other books we have, please feel free to check them out at https://w9907.myubam.com/. No pressure, but I love sharing these books with people!!
Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. Now he can’t get her out of his head, and when he hears she is in the path of a hurricane down in Key West he can’t help but jump on a plane to rescue her.
Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Now driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn’t been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he’s also dangerous, and she’s already lost one person she loves. She can’t bear it again.
It’s not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?
I was drawn in from the beginning! This new series is amazing! This is book 2 in the Global Search and Rescue Series, and while technically I think you could read them as stand-alone, there are definitely elements that would make more sense if you read them in order. So definitely go back and read the Way of the Brave since that’s where it starts and where this book picks back up! Susan May Warren is definitely fast becoming one of my favorite authors! I loved the characters in this, and they’re definitely down-to-earth and relatable. This is a page-turner, and it’s hard to put down! I just wanted to find out what happens next, how it’s all going to come together, if they’ll make it through the hurricane, will they let each other in? Go grab your copy of this one, and The Way of the Brave. You won’t regret it!
**I received this book as part of the Revell blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Haunted by an evil presence she can’t quite grasp, Police Chief Josie Oliver finds herself drawn into the crosshairs of a vicious serial killer. Fighting for her marriage, faith, and fate, Chief Josie is confronted by an Adversary that only God can conquer–if she decides to let Him in.
I absolutely loved the storyline of this book. The suspense, the guessing, the characters , they were all amazing! My heart went out to Josie and all she was going through. I loved the suspense, couldn’t put it down even when I was falling asleep. Kept me guessing about who the killer was. Definitely would recommend this book.
**I received this book as part of the CelebrateLit Blog team for review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.
Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, was released by Elk Lake Publishing in December, 2019. Anchored by Death, the third of her Jo Oliver novels, was a Bronze Medal winner at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at www.CatherineFinger.com.
Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.com Follow her on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author, and on Twitter at CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.
More from Catherine
Welcome to our Jo Oliver Thriller series Celebrate Lit Tour!
Cleansed by Death, the first book in the series of four novels, began with an idea to write a book about strong women struggling with life, love, and loss while embedded in traditional male roles. I wanted to show real women dealing with difficult internal and external struggles and create tension for my readers. Playing with the question of whether such challenges make our characters better—or bitter—added depth and twists to my story.
It took a long time to get this story to the point of releasing it into the world. I stopped writing it twice, shelving it for about a year each time. Every summer as I percolated over the story, I read it cover to cover and realized I still loved both the voice and the bones of the story. Adding the faith piece in a way that felt authentic and edgy was the frosting on the cake and it happened as a half vision, half spiritual warfare experience in Jo Oliver’s head and heart. This experience developed her unique brand of conversation with God as she understands Him and added a spiritual dimension to my stories.
My Midwestern roots showed themselves with reckless abandon in this debut—becoming a cornerstone of future installments. As I write this kick-off note to you, I sit in front of my computer facing a wilderness scene that features prominently in this story. Writing in the midst of the corona virus leads me back to some of my favorite places for comfort—the woods and lakes of Wisconsin.