More Than My Scars

More Than My Scars is a story of not just surviving impossible odds but thriving in a world that is too often caught up with how we look on the outside rather than seeing that our true value is within.

About More Than My Scars

More Than My Scars is her incredible story. A story of not just surviving impossible odds but thriving in a world that is too often caught up with how we look on the outside rather than seeing that our true value is within.

Now in her early 30s, Kechi has spent the last 16 years refusing to be defined by her trauma. Follow her as she decides for herself what role her scars will play in her life before society decides for her. Her strong sense of identity, rooted in seeing herself the way God sees her, has allowed her to live authentically in a world that constantly seeks to define us by its ever-changing (and ever-shallow) standards. Kechi’s story will inspire you to love and accept yourself as you are and confidently present your true self to the world.

My Thoughts

Kechi’s story is incredibly powerful and moving – it moved me to tears, made me smile and made my heart swell at the journey she was set upon after surviving a plane crash.

I can’t even begin to imagine the physical pain that Kechi would have experienced in the weeks, months and years following the accident. Combine the physical pain with the emotional and mental tool that recovery takes on you, she has incredible resiliency, belief and family support. My heart was sore at several times as she explained moments when those in the medical field did not listen to her despite her trying to advocate for herself and the pain (this is one of my biggest pet peeves with medicine – we should believe patients and we should never tell a patient what they should be experiencing and how they should be feeling based.

While it can be hard at times to hear her story, she teaches us many valuable lessons. While her faith may have been tested, it did help her through her journey – along with the strong outpouring of love and determination from her family. Both her and her family never saw her as different – and what caused her so much pain also brought blessings into her life. How? Her voice and singing. Kechi took something that happened to her that could have caused her to become full of negativity and turned it into motivation and became a beacon of hope.

I loved the personal tone Kechi takes with her story – I felt like we were chatting in the kitchen together over coffee. She lets you see the vulnerable side of her – not looking for sympathy but being honest and open. She has accomplished so much during such a short time and is an individual that you want to aspire to be like.

This was a touching and powerful story that you will not want to put down – a must read story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About Kechi Okwuchi

Kechi Okwuchi is a Nigerian American recording artist and motivational speaker. One of two survivors in the Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 crash on December 10, 2005, she was a finalist on America’s Got Talent in 2017 and has put out her own original music since her appearance on the hit TV show. She hopes to use her story and her musical talents to ignite hope. Okwuchi lives in Texas.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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The Element of Love

In The Element of Love, Laura mixed danger, desperation, and deception together. Love was not the expected outcome.

About the Element of Love

With their sharp engineering minds, Laura Stiles and her two sisters have been able to deal with their mother’s unfortunate choice in husband until they discovered his plans to marry each of them off to his lecherous friends. Now they must run away–far and fast–to find better matches to legally claim their portion of their father’s lumber dynasty and seize control from their stepfather.

During their escape, Laura befriends a mission group heading to serve the poor in California. She quickly volunteers herself and her sisters to join their efforts. Despite the settlement being in miserable condition, the sisters are excited by the opportunity to put their skills to good use. Laura also sees potential in Caleb, the mission’s parson, to help with gaining her inheritance. But when secrets buried in Caleb’s past and in the land around them come to light, it’ll take all the smarts the sisters have to keep trouble at bay.

My Thoughts

This was an interesting tale of three sisters with very unique and brilliant minds. Each one having a very special talent that when combined they are unstoppable. This is a gift of education from their equally talented and late Father who felt that it was extremely important to educate his daughters who would one day take over his company.

So many of their dreams and the future that was originally planned out for them fell apart with their father’s death and their mother’s remarriage. So much so that the sisters plan an elaborate escape from their family home in the hopes of finding a man to marry. On their way to marriage, they cross paths with a mission group and their lives are forever changed. Not only are they forced to learn to trust (and love) but they would do anything to protect these people.

I loved the unique nature of this story, it was definitely not something that I had ever read before and definitely kept me on my toes! The sisters themselves are loveable and quirky, your heart goes out to them for the difficult hand they were dealt later in life and the steps that they must take to overcome this. A great summer time read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than half a million books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Along the Rio Grande

In Along the Rio Grande, recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family’s sudden change in fortune. 

About Along the Rio Grande

Is her compassion doing more harm than good?

Recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family’s sudden change in fortune. They are tasked with managing her uncle’s new Grand Hotel, and it takes all her patience to try to help her parents see the good of their circumstances and relinquish their sense of entitlement.

She’s hopeful when her brother becomes determined to get a job and make his own way, and she feels drawn to his kind boss, Owen Turner, who works as a boilermaker for the Santa Fe’s train shops in town. But the hard work only seems to fuel her brother’s anger, and his rough new friends give her pause.

When misguided choices put Susanna’s family in an even more precarious situation, she worries her help has only made things worse. Leaving her family to fend for themselves seems like the best option, but how can she walk away from the true friendships–and love–that she’s found?

My Thoughts

Susanna is a strong, independent young women who has dealt with difficult parents (and a sibling) and the death of the love of her life. While she came from money, she has a solid head on her shoulders, spends frugally and well, learning important lessons from her Uncle (someone whom she seems closer to than her own Father). This is in complete contrast to her own parents and brother who can’t seem to control their spending, wastefulness, and consistently make bad decisions.

Those bad decisions cause her parents to have to move to New Mexico – a move that they have fought the entire way. She is there to observe and report to her Uncle but she is not supposed to interfere with the lesson that they must learn (and oh boy what a lesson it is!). We are taken along for the ride as her parents and brother fight back at every opportunity they get to live a minimalist lifestyle and to work for a living. The way they treat Susanna at times is horrible and my heart breaks for her. Through all of this, she remains humble, forgiving and resilient. Despite the loss of the love of her life, she experiences a spark in a new flame which gives new home at finding love and building a new future for her.

I loved Susanna’s story and I feel this novel will make a great summer beach read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over 100 novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her many bestselling series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Learn more at www.traciepeterson.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Beached Ones

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In The Beached Ones, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

About The Beached Ones

Daniel and his younger brother grew up in an abusive home. Daniel escaped. Now an established stunt rider, he intends to go back to rescue his brother. But then one jump goes horribly wrong . . .

He recovers to find himself in Iowa, unscathed, yet his life has drastically changed. His best friend won’t answer his calls. Even his girlfriend is hiding something. Increasingly terrified, he clings to the one thing he knows: He must pick up his brother in San Francisco. In five days.

​From the isolating fields of Iowa to the crowded streets of San Francisco, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

My Thoughts

The Beached Ones is a powerful story that will touch your heart – it will make you want to cry, to laugh and pause.

From the get go, you can tell something is not quite right as Daniel goes through several experiences that make you pause but it was not until he meets an old flame (plus an article encounter) that we realize Daniel has actually passed away. You can imagine his shock and disbelief (not to mention those feelings of someone who loved him!).

The story is told with flashbacks as Daniel, while not remembering much else, knows that he must get to his younger brother with the help of Jolene (his old flame). We are witness in these flashbacks to a difficult and abusive childhood and the love that Daniel has for his brother (this is a powerful bond between siblings) and to the great lengths he goes to, in order to protect him.

This story was powerful – it moved me to tears many times and it also forces you to stop and reflect (I love novels like this!). It explores so many topics – the bonds between siblings, grief, and has an ending that will shock you. It is a definite must read novel!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N, Nook, IndieBound, Kobo.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker who loves animals, music, and the great Pacific Northwest.

Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others. Her next novel, The Beached Ones is forthcoming from CamCat Books on June 14, 2022.

Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. “Your Writing Matters” helps writers overcome self-doubt and determine once and for all where writing fits in their lives.

Her previous release, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018 and was an Amazon best seller.

With over 20 years as a professional in the creative industry, Colleen has authored thousands of articles for publications like “Healthline” and “Women’s Health;” worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg’s; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She continues to work as a full-time freelance writer, helping clients create informative and inspiring communications in a variety of media formats.

Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader, writing coach, and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.
Go to Colleen’s website for free chapters of her books.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Beached Ones by clicking on this link.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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The Master Craftsman

In The Master Craftsman, award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.

About The Master Craftsman

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance–and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this incredible story right from the start (truth be told – it was the cover that first grabbed my attention but then once you start to read the novel, you do not want to put it down.

The novel follows two different time periods – Nick Laine (treasure hunter) and his daughter (his new protegee) and the Russian Revolution and the Faberge eggs. We are transported to this rich and whimsical world prior to the Russian Revolution and the mystery of the Faberge eggs. In this particular story – we learn about the possibility of one very special egg with significant meaning behind the Revolution, one that would have ruined Faberge and many went to great stakes to hide. Nick has to quickly and remotely train his daughter (whom he has is estranged from due to his own personal choices) to act on his behalf to uncover the mystery behind this egg crafted during the Revolution. What no one would expect – the depth of deceit and cover ups to hide this precious artifact.

I loved every moment of this story – it was one of those novels you cannot put down as you have to learn what happens next. You can’t help but become invested in the characters. I loved how we switched back and forth between both time periods to really dive deep into the story of the eggs and how intricate the plot was. The story had so many twists and each one kept getting better and better! The Master Craftsman is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Kelli Stuart is the author of the Carol Award-winning Like a River from Its Course, as well as A Silver Willow by the Shore and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom (with Wendy Speake). Stuart has written for The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom, Tonic.com, Disney, American Girl, The MOB Society, Extraordinary Mommy, God Size Dreams, Short Fiction Break, and (in)courage. Kelli is a storyteller at heart, fluent in the Russian language, and has spent the last two decades studying the Russian and Ukrainian culture. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and five children.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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