Monday, January 23, 2023

Read an Excerpt: Shine His Light 3 by Marie McGaha


Life isn’t easy but God has given us instructions on how to survive…

By Marie McGaha

Book Blurb

Life is the journey we take on our way to Heaven. It’s not easy, it’s not pretty, and sometimes, it’s downright difficult. However, we have an Advocate unlike any other, Jesus Christ. In Shine His Light, the author uses scriptures and her own life lessons to help others get through the bumpy spots.

Release Date: September 2, 2022

Publisher:  DWB Publishing

Soft Cover:979-8887963426; 137 pages; $6.99


Book Excerpt  

When I was a kid, the series “Star Trek” was the greatest sci-fi show on TV, with the most up-to-date special effects. People disappeared in the transporter, we saw the Enterprise fly through the stars at warp speed, and of course, we saw really strange people and creatures from other planets. Sometimes, the planets were inhospitable and wouldn’t support life as we know it, so the crew moved on. 

Of course, it didn’t take long for technology to leap forward and when I watch the old “Star Trek” episodes now, the special effects seem so antiquated, they’re something we laugh about. We can take what is already there and turn it into something better, something brand new and more efficient but we can’t take nothing and turn it into something. Only God can do that. 

When God’s Spirit hovered over the face of the waters, He did not think it was inhospitable or that nothing could ever come from it. God looked at the waters and thought, I can make dry land. I can make light. I can take some of that dirt and form a human being. And that is exactly what He did. But He did not stop there, He formed a human being from a pile of dirt and then, He did something remarkable, He breathed His own Spirit into that pile of dirt and gave it life. That pile of dirt became the first man—a living, breathing, moving, thinking person. And God said it was “very good.” Up until then, everything created was called “good,” but man and woman were “very good.”




Marie McGaha is giving away one complete set of her Shine His Light Series - Shine His Light 1, Shine His Light 2 & Shine His Light 3

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one complete set of the Shine His Light Series.

  • This giveaway ends midnight October 28.

  • Winner will be contacted via email on January 27.

  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Chaplain, author, editor and inspirational speaker, Marie McGaha lives in the beautiful Ozarks of southeast Oklahoma. After losing the love of her life, Nathan, Marie returned from the mountains of Idaho to their native home where she lives with a houseful of yapping furbies, pigs, chickens, and a horse named Horse! Shine His Light 4, the final book of the series, is due out spring 2023.





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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Read An Excerpt: Imbalance of Power by Armin Shimerman


With the threat of further imprisonment held over him, Doctor John Dee – and his acolyte, William Shakespeare – must use all his talents to solve the mystery of who on Illyria is shepherding religious insurrectionists bent on overthrowing the Queen…

By Armin Shimerman

Book Blurb

On January 24, 2023, renown stage and television actor Armin Shimerman will release the final book of his historical trilogy, Illyria. Imbalance of Power will be released by Jumpmaster Press. The story continues in the world he created, occupied by familiar and fantastic characters of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

With the threat of further imprisonment held over him, Doctor John Dee must use all his talents to solve the mystery of who on Illyria is shepherding religious insurrectionists bent on overthrowing the Queen. Helped by his acolyte, Will Shakespeare, they investigate the court of Count Orsino, their chief suspect. Their mission brings them in contact with the witty characters of Toby Belch, Malvolio, Feste, and others in a fancifully imagined prequel to Twelfth Night. Together, in this exciting final story steeped in Elizabethan history, Dee and Shakespeare must manuever through a labyrinth of religious intolerance as they seek to protect Crown and Country.

Pub Date: January 24, 2023

Publisher:  Jumpmaster Press

Softcover / Hardcover: 380 pages; $14.99 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Jumpmaster Press:

Book Excerpt  

The gallows’ rope collapses his airway though he struggles gyrating, suffocating; there is no release from the grip on his throat or the endless falling—yet not falling. Flailing. There is no purchase, and nothing below him but immeasurable emptiness despite the hellish knowledge that the floor is inches away. In an inner realm of despair, Dr. John Dee’s soul concedes, I am dead. What is left of him shrinks itself inside his scholar’s robes squeezing all pain and horror into a single dust mote to be blown away. Then, for thirty seconds he does not exist. Not even his fear.

John Dee had expected nothingness or angels. Neithercome. There is a dull, far-off sound. After the certainty of his end, the dead man is conscious of being prone on his back. The grisly memories of his demise revisit him—a circle of points lead back to the same pointless point. Am I still part of the world? His senses tell him of the physicality of the floor beneath him. Buttocks, back, and legs supported, his feet no longer pedal for a perch like a crazed victim of St. Vitus’ dance. Not possible. This is a devilish trick! Struggling with resurrection, a rhyme fills his head,

If St. Vitus’ Day be rainy weather,

it shall rain for thirty days together.

With his windpipe pinioned, and the soft tissues of his throat as sharp as glass, John Dee is mindful that he can breathe. Endeavoring to do more of what has always been taken for granted, Dee gags on the swollen blockage in his windpipe. His chest wheezes, high-pitched and foreign, nonetheless he breathes; he is not suffocating.


About the Author

A veteran of stage and screen, Armin is widely known for his portrayal of Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other credits include notable appearances on TV shows from Hill Street Blues and The West Wing to CSI and dozens of others. His voice has been heard in many animated shows and popular game series such as Ratchet & Clank and BioShock. Armin is a renowned stage actor, having performed on Broadway and stages acrossthe country. He is also a Shakespeare scholar and teacher, theatre arts lecturer, and former Associate Artistic Director of the Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles. With his wife, Kitty Swink, Armin is an active fundraiser for the Pancreatic Center Action Network (PanCAN).




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Monday, January 9, 2023

Sapphires in Snow Book Blast!


Cindy never had a real home or a real Christmas, and Jackson plans to leave home as soon as Christmas is over; they never planned on meeting each other, but now secrets from Cindy’s past threaten both of their futures…

By Amy Schisler

Book Blurb

The little white house on Main Street in Buffalo Springs, Arkansas, is the only home Jackson Nelson has ever known. With college behind him and both his sisters back in town to look after their aging parents, Jackson knows now is the time to make his big move. All he’s ever wanted is to move to New York and lead the high-stakes life of a real estate investor. He’s determined to leave town right after Christmas and never look back.

Cindy Kline has never had a real home or a real Christmas. Abandoned by her father and raised by an unfit mother, Cindy thought she had finally found the family she always wanted when the man of her dreams asked her to marry him; but when his Navy SEAL helicopter went down in a fiery crash before their wedding, Cindy had nothing left to keep her in sunny California. Packing her meager belongings into her old, beat-up car, Cindy drives straight to Buffalo Springs and to the only real friend she’s ever had – Andi Nelson. With Christmas around the corner, Andi, Jackson, and the whole Nelson family convince Cindy to stay through the holidays even finding her a job that may turn out to be a real career.

Just when Cindy is beginning to get into the Christmas spirit, her life is once again up-ended – this time by a series of break-ins and the news that her dangerous father may be lurking nearby. Cindy has no idea that her father’s mysterious past will put her life in jeopardy, and Jackson has no idea that the bright lights of New York are but a flickering flame when it comes to the sparks of the heart.

Release Date: November 11, 2022

Publisher: Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing




Barnes & Noble: 


Book Excerpt  

And unto you a child is born!” The child actor belted out the play’s most robust line with all the enthusiasm he could muster. 

It was all Cindy could do not to jump to her feet and applaud. She laughed and clapped along with the rest of the audience. When the play was over, she went with the Nelson family to the town drug store that boasted an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and soda fountain in the back of the store. The proprietor had kept the doors open late to welcome the theatergoers.

“What would you like?” Jackson asked as Cindy eyed the many choices written on the blackboard.

“There are too many to choose just one.”

Jackson laughed. “Andi is partial to anything with peanut butter, and Helena always goes for something super sweet and fruity like cherry or raspberry. Mama likes plain old chocolate.”

She looked at Jackson. “And what do you like, Jackson?”

She saw his expression falter for just a moment, and a curtain of pink danced across his features, reminiscent of the curtains that closed at the end of the show. He blinked and just as quickly as the odd look appeared, it disappeared, and he broke into a wide grin. 

“I always go for a good, old-fashioned root beer float with vanilla ice cream.”

“Would you believe, I’ve never had a root beer float?”

The look he gave her was one of exaggerated shock. “What? That might be the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard.” He clutched at his chest. “A shot to the heart.”

Cindy laughed, and Andi inserted herself between them to grab some extra napkins from the top of the ice cream display case. 

“Is this guy bothering you?” she asked with a mock scowl.

Cindy shook her head. “Not at all. This has been one of the best nights of my life, and I’m going to top it off with my very first root beer float.”

Andi smiled. “I think that’s a great idea.”

On their turn, Jackson ordered for them both then reached for his wallet to pay, but Cindy put her hand on his arm.

“Jackson, no, I can’t let you do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because I can pay for my own ice cream. You all have been so generous already.”

“Sorry, Cindy, but my daddy would skin me alive if he heard that I allowed a female to pay for her own ice cream.”

She frowned and said in a firm voice, “Jackson, this isn’t a date. I can pay for my own ice cream.”

Again, she saw his face redden. “I never said it was a date, and you should accept an act of kindness when presented with one.”

The cashier cleared her throat, and Cindy realized they were holding up the line. Embarrassed for drawing attention, she said, “You’re right. Go ahead and pay, but I owe you.”

“That’s fair. On the next family outing, you can buy me ice cream.”

Cindy accepted her root beer float from the young girl behind the counter and took a sip. She didn’t know how to respond to Jackson. She wasn’t part of the ‘family’ and didn’t know if she’d be there for the next outing. Rather than agree, she concentrated on her float and sat quietly while listening to the rest of them banter about Christmas and New Year’s and the June wedding. She couldn’t help but wonder what she would be doing by then and where she would be.

As she ate, Cindy felt a peculiar tingling on the back of her neck. She looked around, peering up and down the streets. Other families hovered nearby, eating ice cream, and several couples walked along the sidewalk. It looked like everyone in town had come out to see the play. None of the other theater goers paid any attention to Cindy or the Nelsons, and Cindy had no reason to be paranoid, but she could not shake the eerie feeling that she was being watched. 


About the Author

Amy Schisler is a novelist, poet, children’s book author, spiritual writer, blogger, reader, and avid traveler with years of professional experience in all manner of writing-related endeavors. Whether she’s writing novels filled with faith and inspiration, books that children will love, or her weekly blog devoted to family life and faith, she loves connecting and resonating with her readers. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, a romantic suspense, debuted in 2014, and her much-loved Chincoteague Island Trilogy has won numerous literary awards.

Amy lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, Ken, their daughters, Katie and Morgan (and sometimes their daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Anthony), and their dogs, Rosie and Luna. When she’s not writing, Amy can usually be found on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay or hiking in the Rocky Mountains, most often with a good book in her hand.





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Sunday, January 8, 2023

Book Review: I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Title: I'm Glad My Mom Died
Author: Jennette McCurdy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 320
Release Date: August 9, 2022
Genre: Biography/Memoir


A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, 
I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

I read this book in a day - I simply couldn't put it down. I am a mom of two teenage girls so have seen every episode of iCarly numerous times. And I will admit, even as an adult I really enjoyed it and found it fun. But, after reading this, it was anything but fun for Jennette.

I wonder how many young actors/actresses are forced into acting by a parent who wants pseudo-fame? The desperation I felt while reading this, seeing how Jennette would do anything for love and praise from her mom, a woman who was psychologically abuse in so many ways. My heart hurt. And to see how it played a role in everything she did from that point forward.

I was glad to see that she was able to form a solid friendship with Miranda during some of the hardest times in her life. I was a little sad that it seemed as if they drifted apart, but that's what life does. Her upbringing as a Mormon, the pressure to help provide for her family, her relationship with her Grandmother (who I hated almost as much as her Mom) and her mostly non-existent relationship with her Dad. And Steven...oh Steven.

A fabulous read that gives you an in depth look into this amazing woman's life, and how she took it back and is living it to the best of her ability. It's proof, no matter what you have gone through you CAN change and find happiness, even if it is a little at a time.

A great book and solid 4 1/2 stars 

Jennette McCurdy starred in Nickelodeon’s hit show iCarly and its spin-off, Sam & Cat, as well as in the Netflix series Between. In 2017, she quit acting and began pursuing writing/directing. Her films have been featured in the Florida Film Festival, the Salute Your Shorts Film Festival, Short of the Week, and elsewhere. Her essays have appeared in HuffPost and The Wall Street Journal. Her one-woman show I’m Glad My Mom Died had two sold-out runs at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre and Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. She hosts a podcast called Empty Inside, which has topped Apple’s charts and features guests speaking about uncomfortable topics. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Friday, January 6, 2023

Book Review: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Title: Remarkably Bright Creatures
Author: Shelby Van Pelt
Publisher: Ecco
Pages: 368
Release Date: May 3, 2023
Genre: Literary Fiction


A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF SUMMER by: Chicago Tribune * The View * Southern Living * USA Today

Remarkably Bright Creatures [is] an ultimately feel-good but deceptively sensitive debut. . . . Memorable and tender.” — Washington Post 

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late. 

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.

Second book of the year and what a uniquely wonderful story. Tova lost her son Erik years ago - deemed a suicide she knows that this isn't the case. She has lost her husband a few years ago and even though she is in her 70s and doesn't need the money, she works at the aquarium. She likes it and is really good at it - she cleans and she is nothing if not clean and tidy.

She engages with all the exhibits (some more than others) but one day she finds the octopus (Marcellus) out of his tank, and trapped. Surprised, she helps him and gets him back to his tank. This is the start of a special and unique bond.

Cameron is a wayward soul. Abandoned by an addict mother, he has been raised by his aunt but just can't seem to get his act together. While going through some of his mother's things he sees a picture and finds a class ring and finally thinks he knows who his father may be. And he is wealthy. So - it's time for a road trip to meet him and hopefully get financial help, after all, he is owed.

The way the story develops between Tova and the Knit Wits, Cameron, Ethan and especially Marcellus I was hooked. I learned so much about the giant Pacific octopus and really wanted Marcellus to be in the book even more. It just goes to show, bonds can be formed in meaningful ways with creatures beyond our normal though.

Highly recommend!

When Shelby Van Pelt isn’t feeding her flash-fiction addiction, she’s juggling cats while wrangling children. Her debut novel, REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, will be published by HarperCollins in May 2022. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she’s currently missing the mountains in the suburbs of Chicago. Find her at, on Twitter @shelbyvanpelt, and Instagram @shelbyvanpeltwrites.

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