Jump Into Spring Giveaway

CROWN is part of the Jump Into Spring giveaway, which features eight CF books—all of which you could win.

The Jump Into Spring Giveaway runs 5/8 through 5/13. The 1st place winner will receive all eight books (authors’ choice of format) and the 2nd place winner will receive three books (authors’ choice of format) of their choosing. A variety of genres, from fantasy to historical romance to suspense and more, are featured.

Never fear if you don’t have social media–there are author newsletters and blogs you can follow to gain points. Most importantly, for an additional set of points, you have to answer this question: What is your favorite thing about springtime?


Review: In the Midst of the Storm

A deadly threat. A woman in hiding. A man who isn’t all he seems.

Author: Latisha Sexton

Genre: Christian Suspense

Length: 360 pages


A deadly threat. A woman in hiding. A man who isn’t all he seems.

Olivia James is on the brink of success at a prestigious marketing firm. But when a deadly stalker sets his sights on her, she’s forced to leave everything behind and go into hiding to protect herself and those she loves.

While volunteering her marketing expertise to help a struggling café, she meets William Cooper. Their brewing attraction has her longing to share her secret and deepen their connection. But the closer she gets to Will, the more withdrawn and secretive he becomes.

Uncertain who to trust—even herself—can Olivia discern God’s plan and trust Him in the midst of the storm?


4 Stars


In the Midst of the Storm is a Christian suspense filled with romance, action, and plenty of faith.

The plot was quite interesting and kept me wondering until the climax.

Olivia has been through so much, but I admired her courage and tenacity. Plus, she’s tall! Which is a huge bonus because tall FMCs are rare. I also liked her character arc and how she grew in her faith throughout the book. Also, I liked how she wasn’t worthless and helpless when problems arose. She could think for herself and not allow the circumstances to reduce her to a screaming, worthless mess like how we see most heroines portrayed.

Will was good too. We didn’t experience the events through his POV as often, but Sexton portrayed him so well through Olivia’s perspective that that’s not an issue.

The Creep: a.k.a. Stalker Man and He-Who-Needed-To-Be-Shot-With-An-Arrow is a menace. Honestly, I would have liked to have Will shoot this nasty piece of work because a lot of emphasis was put on Will’s Ute heritage and how good he was with a bow and arrow. But The Cretin’s ending suffices. And good riddance. Nasty soul.

I really, really liked the faith Sexton incorporated. It’s strong, real, and natural to the plot. The faith element is definitely one of the book’s strongest points.

Violence/Content Warning
Rape and torture are mentioned; the villain is truly sadistic; a torture scene may frighten sensitive readers; a character is smashed upside the noggin.

What I Wasn’t Fond Of
There was one thing I wasn’t quite sold on, and that’s the mention of zombies, vampires, The Walking Dead, and Twilight.

One of the childhood anecdotes regarding vampires was hilarious, and that wouldn’t have bothered me if that was the only time. But there were about five-to-six mentions of these, and I just wasn’t fond of that. I do not believe Christians should have anything to do with such elements of the dark supernatural. Plus, from what I hear, Twilight is just a mess of problems in and of itself.

That won’t bother all readers, though, so do not let this dissuade you from reading this book.

In the Midst of the Storm is a solid Christian suspense novel with a beautiful amount of faith and a heart-pounding amount of action. It sets it up well for Book Two, and I already ship those characters. I liked this book, and I’m not a suspense reader, so those who are into this genre will certainly enjoy In the Midst of the Storm.

*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

Author Interview with JPC Allen

Today I am interviewing JPC Allen, author of YA Christian suspense. JPC’s novella, A Rose from the Ashes, is included in an anthology which won the Selah award.


JPC Allen started her writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. She’s been tracking down mysteries ever since and written mystery short stories for Mt. Zion Ridge Press. Her Christmas mystery “A Rose from the Ashes” was a Selah-finalist at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2020. Her first novel, a YA mystery, A Shadow on the Snow, released in 2021. Online, she offers tips and prompts to ignite the creative spark in every kind of writer . She also leads workshops for tweens, teens, and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. Coming from a long line of Mountaineers, she is a life-long Buckeye. Follow her to the next mystery at FacebookInstagramBookbubGoodreads, and Amazon.


A Shadow on the Snow— https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Snow-Rae-Riley-Mystery-ebook/dp/B09GXGR28M/

“A Rose from the Ashes” in Christmas fiction off the beaten path — https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Fiction-Beaten-Path-inspirational/dp/194956472X/


Thank you so much for joining me, JPC. Let’s begin with an oft-asked question of most writers–what is your favorite genre to read?

Mysteries. I grew up on Scooby Doo, then moved on to the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Three Investigators. In high school, I devoured Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. I discovered Nero Wolfe in college. In my 40’s, I couldn’t get enough of the mystery short stories featuring Father Brown and Uncle Abner. So I’m still a mystery fan, always on the lookout for the next great series.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

Writing the first draft is nothing less than agony for me. I’m in the middle of that trial right now. While the story holds together in my imagination, I feel like when I first put words on paper, I’ve botched it. The characters all sound the same, the mystery is too obvious or too complicated, the settings have no color. I question everything I’m writing to the point that I wonder if this is the book the Lord wants me to write.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Editing. That’s when I can tell if I have a decent scene or not. I think author Jill Williamson said it’s like working the magic, and I really like that description. I worked on a short story over the summer, polished it as best I could, and then didn’t read it for two months until I thought of a better second-to-last line. As I reread through the story, I was amazed at how smooth it was. The editing process had worked its magic to the point where I almost felt I hadn’t written it. I didn’t see all the problems I’d encountered with the earlier drafts.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

I’m working on the second novel in my YA mystery series featuring Rae Riley. The working title is A Storm in Summer – by the way, I’m terrible at titles.

Here’s the blurb so far: Memorial Day brings trouble to twenty-year-old Rae Riley when the ex-wife of family friend Jason Carlisle claims their youngest child isn’t his and Rae’s con man uncle Troy, who had her father ambushed a few years ago, returns to Marlin County, Ohio.

Then the ex-wife, Ashley, disappears, and Rae’s father, Sheriff Walter “Mal” Malinowski, sees Jason and his brother Rick as prime suspects. As Rae and her Aunt Carrie, a private investigator hired to protect Jason’s kids, work to discover what really happened to Ashley, Uncle Troy turns up everywhere Rae goes, hinting that she may be calling the wrong Malinowski “Dad.”

How do you select the names of your characters?

Picking the right names for characters is a huge deal for me. I probably spend more time on them than I did for my kids. Sometimes if a character isn’t working for me, it’s because I don’t have the right name.

Naming the main character for my teen mystery series proved tough. I didn’t want an overly feminine name, but I also didn’t want a truly weird one like Hortense or Integrity—I didn’t want her to sound like the daughter of a celebrity. Alliterative names are memorable—Clark Kent, Bruce Banner—so I chose Rae Riley. Rae is unusual for a girl but not weird.

When inventing the name for Rae’s dad, I wanted everyone in town to call him by his nickname Mal—that added to the small town atmosphere I was trying to create. But then I started asking myself questions. Why did he prefer Mal? Well, he probably had a given name he hated. What given name would a guy born in the 80’s hate? Walter seemed like a good choice. But why would his mother, whom readers meet and is a kind person, name him that? It had to be a family name. So Walter R. “Mal” Malinowski IV was born.

Then that led me to wonder who was the Third. And the Second. And two more characters were created.

Tea or coffee?

Tea. I can’t drink coffee, although I love the smell. I made my teen detective Rae a tea drinker too.

Mountains or ocean?

I have to say mountains. Although I love being on the ocean in a ship, I’m not a beach person. I grew up in the hills of Appalachian Ohio and both sides of my family come from West Virginia. So I don’t just like mountains—they’re in my blood.

How do you incorporate your faith into your writing?

In two ways. First, in my main character, who is a Christian. Rae’s core personality is to be merciful and that influences how she solves mysteries. Second, as I write, I see if some kind of faith message emerges, which I believe comes from trying to write with the Holy Spirit.

In “A Rose from the Ashes”, I thought the mystery’s theme was about forgiveness. About 18 months after it was published, I realized it could also be read as a variation of the Prodigal Son. Rae is nineteen and is looking for her father, based on three letters her mother wrote before she died of cancer. So Rae’s search, I believe, is similar to a lot of people’s, especially teens. They’ve heard rumors of a Heavenly Father, but they aren’t sure how to find Him. That hadn’t been my intention at all, but the Holy Spirit slipped that meaning in there.

Every writer has a message they want to impart to their readers. What is yours?

As I’ve worked on my Rae Riley series, I think the message the Lord wants me to convey is that not only is He the Creator of the universe, but he’s also our perfect Dad. The problems and doubts Rae has as she gets to know her newly-found father can also be applied to a Christian’s journey in his or her relationship with God. Not that I make Rae’s father perfect—that would make him soooooo boring. But Rae’s and Mal’s relationship is the core of the series, and I love writing stories to see how it develops and what I learn and what I hope others will learn about God through it.

What first inspired or gave you the “spark” to write? What books and/or authors have influenced your writing? I seem to have been born to write. As far as books and authors that have influenced my writing—wow, I could give you several blogs posts on that topic. Classic mystery authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and G.K. Chesterton showed me how they invented and reinvented the mystery genre. I’ve read hundreds of mystery short stories, always learning something about characters or plotting or setting. The most unusual influence was a series of long picture books I loved in elementary school.

The McBroom stories by Sid Fleischman are tall tales about Josh McBroom, his wife Melissa, and their eleven children who live on a magical one-acre farm. What I loved about them as a kid was the huge family and the voice of the narrator, Josh McBroom. He told the stories in a dialect similar to my West Virginian grandparents.

In my series, Rae not only has her father but an aunt who writes mysteries and another aunt who’s a private investigator. She has three half- brothers, two cousins, an uncle, and a grandmother. There’s also an outlaw branch of her late grandfather’s family, sort of overseen by her great-grandfather. All these characters are a ton of fun to work with, and it seems I owe a lot of their creation to my love of the McBrooms.

If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?

Talent, real or imagined, is not enough. You can study writing fiction, just like you would sculpting, and improve upon any talent you might have. Also, writing and publishing are two very different things. Writing is an art; publishing is a business. A writer needs to understand both.

How did you come to be a writer? Was this something that you always knew you were destined to be or did you arrive at this point via another path?

I’ve been telling, acting out, and writing stories since I was a preschooler. When I was little, I would sometimes imitate a pastor and preach to my family. One time when I was preaching about Palm Sunday, I decided the part about the two disciples looking for a donkey for Jesus to ride needed some more tension. So I added a giant pig. It was blocking the road the disciples were walking on and they weren’t sure how to get around it. That addition made the whole scene more suspenseful.

I wrote my first story in second grade on the front and back of a sheet of notebook paper. It was a rip off of Scooby Doo, and the boy I selected for the Shaggy part did not appreciate using him as my inspiration. He threatened to tell our teacher. So, at seven, I learned about responsible writing, criticism, and censorship.

I may have been born with an interest in writing, but I didn’t understand that I had to study the craft until decades later. I thought innate talent was enough. I was so wrong. But now that I’ve dived into this study, I find it endlessly fascinating and always hope to improve my craft.

Thank you for joining me, JPC!

Readers, do you prefer mountains over the ocean? What about tea versus coffee? Which do you like best? (Or dislike, in some of our cases). Have you ever read one of JPC’s books? Who is your favorite old-time suspense/mystery author? I’ve been contemplating reading Agatha Christie.

Book Review: Midnight Will Come

She can’t escape the past …

Author: Kristina Hall

Title: Midnight Will Come

Series: Kentucky Midnight, #1

She can’t escape the past …

Mellie Rivers’s job as a nurse allows her to help those the dystopian government has deemed unworthy of medical care. The threats she’s been receiving are a small price to pay. Besides, she has the help of her new neighbor—German missionary and powerlifter Friedrich Wolf.

Friedrich didn’t expect to be drawn into protecting Mellie, but now he’s getting all too close to her—and to the danger threatening her life.

When the threats turn to something more, Friedrich and Mellie face a danger neither of them could’ve imagined, and they’ll have to find a way to escape a situation that has no escape.

Because midnight has come.


5 Stars


First, I want to say suspense is not the genre I typically read. Second, I want to say…well, I don’t really know. Because wow doesn’t really suffice. It’s not a strong enough word to describe this book.

As aforementioned, suspense isn’t the genre I usually prefer. That being said, I’ve been intrigued by Midnight Will Come since I first heard of it, and when the opportunity to ARC read it presented itself, I snatched it up. I am glad I did. this is an amazing book. So much faith, action, familial ties, protectiveness, a dash of wry humor, and more. Yet it is chilling, as it illustrates the culture America could quickly head in if we aren’t vigilant.

The cast of characters was great. Mellie (I love her name) and Friedrich were lovable main characters. Jess was a fun secondary character. As an older sister, I get how annoying little sisters can be and I completely understand how protective we are of our younger siblings.

And the antagonists. Don’t get me started on the antagonists. Such odious scoundrels. Vile scumbags. Nasty villains. Admittedly, I don’t have as much training as Friedrich, but I do have some, and I’d like to use that some to give the antagonists a taste, or more, or their own medicine.

The plot was captivating and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. The setting was well-described. Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson are great friends, and I heartily approve of Mellie being so adept at arming and protecting herself.

What I loved most about this book was the faith. I always applaud authors who are unashamed and unafraid of including the Gospel in their books, and Hall does so masterfully. The main characters endure so many trials, trials through which their humanity shows, but through it all they have faith. They may struggle, they may stumble, but they desperately cling to the One who holds them in His hand. So beautifully done. On a related side-note, the way the title was incorporated was brilliant and a little tear-jerking.

You need to read this book. It is applicable to current times and illustrates how we are never alone despite the hardships we face. It impressed me, and I’m not keen on most suspense books. If you like Christian suspense with a dash of dystopian and action, you will love Midnight Will Come.

I received an eARC of this book from the author. I was not required to leave a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Summer Beach Reads Giveaway + Free Book Alert

It’s giveaway time!

DECEIVED is included in the Summer Beach Reads giveaway, where ten Christian fiction books, from fantasy, to historical romance, to suspense and more, are featured. First place winner will receive all ten books (author’s choice of format) and second place wins three books of their choosing (author’s choice format).

To enter, go here:


DECEIVED’s ebook is free on Amazon tomorrow only (7/15/22), so if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to grab a copy!

If you have read and enjoyed DECEIVED, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon? Reviews are crucial for authors as they convince potential readers whether or not to purchase the book.

Refuge from the Storm Launch Tour: Spotlight

Today, I am participating in the Refuge from the Storm Launch Tour, which celebrates Kristina Hall’s latest release.

ABOUT Refuge from the Storm:

Genre: Christian dystopian/suspense


Doubt. Persecution. Forgiveness.

Tony Dorence should be dead. But after months in prison, he’s home. Yet even at home, he’s not safe from trials that hit from every angle.

Merri Dorence couldn’t be more thankful her brother is home, yet doubts have attacked her newfound faith and left her questioning all too much.

When they face a threat greater than either of them could’ve imagined, will they find refuge from the storm or be overcome by a relentless evil?

Author Bio

Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin.

Author Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21133401.Kristina_Hall

Website: https://kristinahallauthor.wordpress.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristina-hall

Newsletter: https://kristinahallauthor.ck.page/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristinahallwriter/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kristinahallauthor/_created


Fled for Refuge (the first book in the Refuge series) is on sale for $1.99 during the launch tour.

Tour Schedule

Monday, April 18th

Vanessa Hall – Spotlight (blog)

Kaytlin Phillips – Review (Goodreads and Facebook)

Grace A. Johnson – Spotlight (blog, Facebook, and Pinterest)

Charity’s Books and Tea – Quote (Instagram)

Kristina Hall – Tour launch (blog and Instagram)

Tuesday, April 19th

Madi’s Musings – Spotlight (blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest)

Charity’s Books and Tea – Quote (Instagram)

Lillian Keith – Spotlight (blog)

Wednesday, April 20th

Judith McNees – Review (blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads)

Joy C. Woodbury – Review (Goodreads and Instagram)

Charity’s Books and Tea – Quote (Instagram)

Thursday, April 21st

Charity’s Books and Tea – Quote (Instagram)

Books Less Travelled – Review (blog, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub)

Friday, April 22nd

Abby Burrus – Review (blog and Goodreads)

Issabelle Perry – Review (blog)

Vanessa Hall – Review (blog, Goodreads, BookBub)

Emma (The Book Dragon’s Alcove) – Review (blog and Goodreads)

Grace A. Johnson – Review (blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and BookBub)

Saraina Whitney – Spotlight (blog)

Kylie Hunt – Spotlight and Review (Instagram and Pinterest)

Charity’s Books and Tea – Review (Instagram, Facebook, and BookBub)

Autumn – Spotlight (blog)Kristina Hall – Tour Wrap-up (blog and Instagram)

Cover Reveal for Fled for Refuge

Today I am posting the cover reveal for Fled for Refuge by Kristina Hall.


Tyranny. Betrayal. Risk.

Tony Dorence works security for a little country church mostly untouched by America’s downward spiral. Untouched, that is, until a car smashes through First Baptist’s front doors and the driver attempts to murder the congregation. Though Tony thwarts the driver’s intentions, this seemingly random event sets off a chain reaction that threatens his sister, Merri, and everyone involved with First Baptist.

Merri Dorence, though not a believer, supports much of what First Baptist stands for. As Tony’s world is shaken, she too is dragged into the turmoil. Yet her agnostic worldview proves to be a shifting foundation on which to stand.

As everything falls apart around them, will Tony and Merri crumble beneath the pressure or flee to the only One Who can provide them refuge?


Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21133401.Kristina_Hall

Website: https://kristinahallauthor.wordpress.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristina-hall

Newsletter: https://kristinahallauthor.ck.page/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristinahallwriter/

Doesn’t Fled for Refuge sound intriguing? Be sure to follow Kristina’s blog and newsletter for updates about this book!

Trial and Error

A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Author: Robert Whitlow

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Length: 415 pages

Genre: Suspense


A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Buddy Smith built his law practice around tracking down missing children. After all, he knows the agony of being separated from a child. Not long after his daughter’s birth, her mother ran away and Buddy never saw either one again.

Gracie Blaylock has known Buddy her entire life, and now that she is clerk of court for the county, their paths cross frequently. When Gracie hears that a teenager in town has gone missing, she knows Buddy is the one for the case.

The girl’s parents are desperate for answers. Together with Gracie and Mayleah—the new detective in town—Buddy chases all leads, hoping to reach the missing teen before it’s too late. And as he pursues one girl, he uncovers clues that could bring him closer to the girl he thought he lost forever: his own daughter.

Positive Elements:

Characters learn the importance of faith and trusting in God; characters are determined to obtain justice.

Negative Elements:


Religion/Spiritual/Faith Elements:

Characters pray; a character has a prayer list; faith is discussed; a prayer chain and church are mentioned; there is a strong salvation message.


A child is kidnapped; a police car is sideswiped; a car flips; the Trail of Tears is mentioned; is is mentioned characters are forced to become prostitutes; girls are trafficked; characters are threatened and drugged.


It is indicated a child was born out of wedlock; a miscarriage is mentioned; it is implied that a character deals drugs.


4 Stars.


Sex trafficking is very real and ongoing in our world – more than most of us know and realize. Trial and Error tackles this tough subject in a chilling, realistic, and tasteful way. Set in a southern town where people love food and softball, a myriad of different characters are drawn into the search for a girl who disappeared without warning. The author weaves the setting in such a way that you feel like you’re there – I’ve been to the South all of once, but I could well imagine what the town looked like. The characters, too, are diverse in personality and faith; the faith element I really appreciated. It was well done and not stilted. My one complaint is that the POVs are not always firm; at certain points in the books, you can’t tell whose POV you’re reading.