Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas

Normally, I only share my book reviews on my publishing blog. I'm making an exception in this case, though, because I wanted to let you know about this special book. In the interest of full disclosure, the author is an online friend. I like to think that doesn't paint my opinion of her writing, but I'll leave that up to you to decide.

I was given an ebook copy of Toxic for this review. As I neared the end, I asked the author if I could buy signed copies of both this book and its sequel. I have a small collection of signed books and knew this was a set I wanted to add to it.

One of the main things that drew me into the story was the way Lucas introduces the characters. Foehn is a special favorite of mine - I love how the author gave a personality to something normally not seen as sentient.

The main characters are both flawed and virtuous, brave and deceptive, na├»ve and wise. There is the perfect balance of "good" and "bad" traits, which makes the characters easy to relate to and realistic. (Realistic is my goal as a writer, so that's the highest compliment I know how to give.)

There is less of a balance when it comes to the evil characters - I can't think of many redeeming qualities in them. This works well within the story, though. There is a firm distinction between good and evil; no gray areas. I appreciated this aspect.

That isn't to say that it's always clear who the evil characters are. In some cases, things are revealed to the reader around the same time they're revealed to the characters. More than once I found myself questioning the true motives behind the character's actions and wondering if my first assumptions were incorrect. This was brilliantly done.

The good vs. evil also comes through in the author's use of magic within the story. I'm one of those readers who sometimes objects to magic in a story, but Lucas portrayed it well and made it very clear who the magic was coming from.

The narrative jumps in and out of several different characters' perspectives, which could be confusing if it wasn't handled as well as it is. Between the picture before each switch in narrator (a different picture for each character) and the unique "voice" of each character, it was always clear whose perspective was being shown. Seeing the situations through different eyes added a deeper understanding to the story.

The book is long - over 400 pages - but it never felt like too much. The plot kept me interested till the end, and beyond. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Rancid, and I'm sure will read this book again.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Tour: A Year in Prayer with Jesus

Welcome to the sixth stop on Author Marilynn Dawson's virtual book tour for her soon-to-be-released book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus”.  Today we are interviewing Marilynn about her new book.

What have you written to date?
So far, I've written one series, "Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey", a grad gift, "Mom's Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate", an e-book, "Practical Thoughts on Becoming an Author", and my latest book, "Dressed for Eternity", which was released back in February.

What are you working on now?
My next book in the works is called "A Year in Prayer With Jesus" where the readers joins me in praying The Lord's Prayer as a prayer outline for 365 days.

How does that work?
Well, I've broken the Lord's Prayer down into 7 points in an outline, and have taken each point as a principle of prayer when coming before God the Father in relationship as His child.  As a result, every single point for the entire year has it's own Scripture verse, adding up to 2,555 verses in total, and each point also has it's own prayer prompt, with room for the reader to add their own.

Is each month dated?  As in - Monday, January 15th?
No.  Each day in the guide is numbered, but not dated so that a person can begin the prayer guide at any point in the year and not be bogged down by the realization that they jumped in late.  There is no such thing as late with this guide.  Your 365 days begin whenever you wish them to.  So a reader could begin on September 1st and go for 365 days while someone else could begin in October and go for the full 365 days.

My dream is to get 365 people to pick up the book and have each of them start on a different day.  So one person would start Day One on say September 1st, while the 365th person would start Day One August 30th of the following year.  Doing it this way would mean that various prayer points covering various people groups, missions organizations, nations, etc. would then be covered every single day for an entire year!  The thought gets me a bit excited actually!

Where can people find you online?
I'm all over the place online.  I'm sure I haven't hit everywhere I could be, but this is my current list:

Barnes & Noble:
Deeper Shopping:

Click this link here to get your twelfth single day prayer guide outline:

Be sure to stop by Marilynn's blog ( on July 17th for your next single day prayer guide free download.  Be sure to sign up for her monthly newsletter for yet another free gift!  Don't you just love FREE?

In addition to these free downloads, Marilynn is giving away a complete one-month sample of her next book via the rafflecopter app below.