Wednesday, March 3, 2021

In the Non-Fiction Corner: God Will Prevail

In the Non-Fiction Corner with Lauren

In his new book God Will Prevail, Dr. Kerry Muhlestein discusses several aspects of what it means to be a part of the house of Israel and a covenant-making child of God. He draws upon several stories from the New Testament, translations from Hebrew and modern revelation to help the reader better understand the promises that are made when we enter into the covenant with Heavenly Father. I learned more in the first chapter of this book about the Abrahamic Covenant than I had ever before. After finishing the book, my knowledge was expanded in many ways, from what we learn in the temple to the gathering of Israel. Studying the gathering of Israel can be daunting, but Muhlestein does a masterful job exploring this topic. This book is packed with knowledge, but is deeply apparent that Muhlestein is passionate about bringing his readers closer to Christ through understanding their covenants better.

It is so difficult to pick a favorite part of this book, the entire thing was insightful and well worth the time. One particular part that stuck out to me was Muhlestein’s focus on the Hebrew word “hesed.” According to the author, hesed is hard to interpret, but it is the kind of love that God gives to those who covenant with Him. That He will not give up on them and that that love remains, no matter what. Muhlestein uses many scriptures to illustrate this point, particularly ones that reference “loving-kindness” or where the Lord refers to covenant-keepers as His people. I love the idea that our Father in Heaven has such a capacity to love and as we love him in return, we will want to keep the commandments.

Another part of the book that I found meaningful was when the author went through each tribe and talked about the blessings, promises and warnings given to each. It helped me better understand my own tribe and even my patriarchal blessing, but I also found it interesting to see what is promised to the other tribes and how they all fit together. Muhlestein talked about each of the 12 sons, giving a history of perhaps why their blessing from Jacob included certain things. Muhlestein is extremely knowledgeable, and this well-written book is a treasure for anyone wanting to understand this important part of our gospel more fully.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

"The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives."

—President Russell M. Nelson

By entering into covenants with His people, God forges vital connections that allow Him to guide and bless His children in incredible ways. Latter-day Saints have long been encouraged to stay on the covenant path—but what is that path, and how do we stay the course? In God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel, BYU Professor of Religion Dr. Kerry Muhlestein encourages readers to take hold of God's promise to gather His covenant people by recognizing the connection between covenant making and the eternal and transformative love of the Savior.

Discover the obligations and blessings of making and keeping sacred covenants, as outlined in the standard works, with insights on topics ranging from temple work and family history to covenant language, the gathering of Israel, and the equalizing power of Christ's Atonement. With clarity and hope, this groundbreaking book speaks to this powerful truth: promised blessings and gatherings are available to all who truly seek to be covenant keepers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book Review: A Captain for Caroline Gray

I was really looking forward to Julie Wright's new book, A Captain for Caroline Gray. It's the newest in the Proper Romance line and definitely one worth reading!

Caroline Gray has had three seasons and none of them yielded any marriage prospects. When her mother's friend offers to pay for Caroline to travel to India and marry her son, Caroline accepts because there aren't a lot of other choices for a woman in this time period. On the ship to Mumbai, she meets several other young ladies also traveling to find marriageable prospects, and Captain Thomas Scott. The captain tries to stay aloof, but Caroline's knowledge, conversation, and spirit intrigue him. They form a friendship that could possibly turn into more---if Caroline wasn't supposed to be marrying a man when the ship docks in India. Can Caroline and the captain risk it all for love?

I love this tender, slow-burn romance that also has a twist of suspense to it. Caroline is a relatable girl, who has such a vibrant personality. She finds herself making decisions that have unforeseeable consequences, then she has to do her best to deal with what comes her way. I like how kind she was to those on the ship and the friendships she made with the other girls. Thomas was a good hero, with his own thoughts and preconceptions that lead to misunderstandings. He does have a soft heart, though, and I liked seeing glimpses of that in his interactions with Caroline. The villains of the story were well-balanced and not overdone and I really liked the twist at the end. The author does really well with the setting, especially the scenes on the ship. There was just enough detail to help the reader feel like they were there without being overdone. The secondary cast is memorable and brings a nice depth to the story. Ms. Wright has a subtle, nuanced style to her romances and I enjoy that. Fans of the Proper Romance line will not be disappointed when they dive into A Captain for Caroline Gray.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.

But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.

Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.

Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday Freebie for Billionaire Romance Fans!

Want a Hawaiian vacation, but can't go right now? Escape with a book! Hawaiian Masquerade is free today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Could Lexi's new billionaire status threaten her chance at love with a jaded, blue-collar worker from Kauai?

On the path to becoming a billionaire, Lexi Burke switches gears and flees the Chicago winters in favor of a slower pace of life along the beaches of Kauai. But when she meets a blue-collar worker and wannabe professional photographer named Derek Mitchell, any ideas for a slow pace disappear. Derek is incredibly hot and tempting, but he has a grudge against rich tourists, and wealthy people in general. Good thing he thinks Lexi is a regular person earning an average wage because the instant attraction is hard to ignore.

From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love.

Is Derek willing to see past the dollar signs to the woman underneath, or will he break both their hearts when he learns about the money behind the masquerade?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Do You Need Some Love and Laughter Today?


The new Authors Off the Page podcast is live! In this one we are talking about love, our heroes, and what it means to truly love yourself. There was a lot of laughter in this one, and some tears, too. Jennifer Peel's new book, All's Fair in Love and Blood is spotlighted. I've really enjoyed reading this one. Lots of butterflies and romance and angst. And, of course, we talk about our new projects, and read excerpts from our new book. 

So tell Alexa to play the new Authors Off the Page podcast and come laugh with us! Or you can hear it here

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Second Chance Release Celebration & Giveaway!

I can't tell you how excited I am that Second Chance is out! AND the early reviews have been wonderful, so I thought it would be fun to have a little party and a giveaway! You could win a $30 Amazon gift card or an autographed paperback of Second Chance. Let's celebrate!

Don't forget to scroll down and enter!

You can get your copy of Second Chance here

Here's the back copy:

A mission to capture the world's most wanted terrorist. A computer tech sent in undercover. And a woman with a secret that could change everything.

Griffin Force tracks the world's most wanted terrorist to Libya, but the only one on their team that can infiltrate his lair is Augie---their computer tech. Their Libyan contact sends in a young man to help protect Augie during the assignment, but he’s hiding something and Augie doesn’t trust him.

When the simple observe-and-report mission turns into a much bigger operation, Augie must figure out how to alert Griffin Force to Atwah’s deadly plans without compromising his cover. But things get complicated when Augie discovers the secret of the young man with him. Now he’ll have to find a way to stop Atwah and keep both of them alive---or he’ll die trying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A New Audio Book!

I am so excited! I just finished listening to the audio book of Second Look. As you all know, Tristan Wright is my amazing narrator for the Griffin Force series and he truly outdid himself on this one. I can't wait for all of you to be able to hear it! 
Where are my audio book listeners? Tell me what you're listening to lately?!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Musing--What Do You Think?

I was talking to a friend about this recently and want your opinion. 

If you have a favorite author who is outspoken politically, and their political views are the opposite of yours, (meaning they speak negatively about the politician, platform, or party that you belong to) and they do it regularly on their social media channels, does that affect you wanting to buy/read their books? 

The discussion I had with my friend was along the lines of the author has a right to express their views, of course, but when you have branded your books with your name, will you alienate readers by expressing political opinions? What do you think? (And I'm not looking for political debate at all, because this is a safe space for everyone, I really just want your preferences and opinions as to how your reading time and dollars are affected, if at all, in this situation.)