Julie's Book Blog

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An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day.

Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus has spent his life fighting for the glory of Rome, but that glory has lost its shine. As both his health and his career crumble, he is drawn toward the seemingly inexhaustible peace of one of his Jewish prisoners, the Apostle Paul.
The moment Timothy hears his mentor and surrogate father Paul has been arrested, he rushes to Rome. Under the looming threat of execution, Timothy struggles to make sense of what is happening. Finally, an unexpected crisis requires him to reexamine everything, and places their hope for Paul’s freedom on the shoulders of Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus.

Link to book

My Review

This fictional story based on Psalms was a joy to read. I was moved to tears in the first chapter reading about the actions taken against the Christians. The characters of the apostles were written very true to what is in the Bible and the descriptions of Rome made me feel as though I was right there                                                                                  watching everything take place.

The author did an excellent job of using historical information and adding fictional details to bring this story to life. I loved the easy to read writing style with dialogue and storyline that flowed very well. I look forward to reading more of this author's work. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from the author and voluntarily chose to review it.

MESU ANDREWS is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter and Miriam. 

Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. 

Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.

Link to Amazon Author Page

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 New  Release  August 1, 2018

When Babylon destroys Jerusalem, as Yahweh warned through his prophets, the captives' bitterness and grief pours out in the Captives' Psalm: 

"[By the rivers of Babylon] we sat as exiles, mourning our captivity, and wept with great love for Zion. Our music and mirth were no longer heard, only sadness. We hung up our harps on the willow trees." (Psalm 137:1-2, The Passion Translation)

A young Israelite woman is among them, captured by a mercenary Scythian prince. Driven toward Babylon by both hatred and hope, she endures captivity to reunite with her husband.

But will he be there when she reaches Babylon? Will the prince risk the Scythian throne--and his life--to believe in the Hebrew God? Can they both find what they seek when they meet the prophet Ezekial. . . by the waters of Babylon?

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My Review

Merari, an Israelite, is searching for Elon, her husband, that was captured and in exile. Merari is mistaken as the Goddess of Scythia.

The descriptions of the people and biblical cities, brought the story to life for me. The characters were well-developed and the culture of the people were described in vivid detail so that I felt as though I knew them.  The trials Merari faces seem real. Azat's feelings towards Merari grow and his compassion was evident.  Even though Merari's husband had been gone many years, she didn't give into the feelings of temptation.  I was moved by her self-control.   

Merari's story was one of pain and loss. She had to endure a lot and her faith was strong.  It was a story I found myself immersed in and inspired by.   I loved the addition of biblical scripture. 

I can't wait to read more of Mesu Andrews books and plan to check out her Treasures of His Love Series listed below.

Readers often think of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job's life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?

Through painstaking research and a writer's creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau's tribe and Jacob's daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashesbreathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.

Purchase on Amazon

Standing in the massive shadow of his famous father, young king Solomon wavers between fear and bravado, wisdom and folly. In the uncertain world of alliances and treachery, Solomon longs for peace and a love that is true and pure--a love that can be his cornerstone.

A shepherdess in the northern city of Shunem, Arielah remembers the first time she laid eyes on Solomon in Jerusalem when she was just seven years old. Since then she has known that it was her destiny to become his bride. When her father, a leader of their tribe, secures a promise from King Solomon to marry Arielah as a treaty bride to help unite the kingdom, it seems her dreams may come true.

But how can this simple shepherdess live as part of Solomon's harem? Can Solomon set aside his distractions to give himself completely to just one woman? Or will he let duty, deception, and the daily routine divide his heart?

Mesu Andrews expertly weaves the words of the Song of Solomon into this touching story of the power of love. Readers will be transported from the glowing fields of Shunem to the gleaming city of Jerusalem as they experience this rich and textured novel from a master storyteller. 

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Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God's message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel heal Gomer's broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal

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Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel's strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh's high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?

With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings Old Testament passages to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

Today I would like to introduce author, Sharon K. Connell. I'm so pleased to have you with us. Tell us a little about yourself.

Sharon, how long have you been writing?

I started writing in the end of 2004.

What inspires you to write?

My inspiration come from the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Each day He encourages me.

Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Oh yes. LOL They sometimes drive me crazy with their demands. So much so, that my last published book in its 1st edition (not my rewrites) was a story I couldn’t let go. The heroine was in two of my first published books. She was an accomplice to the villain in the first, and a problem for the hero in the second. She wouldn’t leave me alone until I did something with her to set things right. But they all tell me when they don’t like something I’m doing with the story. And no, I am not schizophrenic. LOL

When you’re not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?

I’m a homemaker, gardener, artist, crafter, cook, baker, and best friend to an Australian cattle dog named Susie.

What has been your favorite release so far? Why?

My favorite release is actually the book I’m rewriting at the moment. Paths of Righteousness. I took it off the market because I knew I could write the story better. When I first published the book, I didn’t know anything about writing. Everyone loved the story, and that’s why I’m rewriting it the way it should have been.

What author’s in your genre inspire you the most?

I’d have to say Jackie Zack for the modern author. But Grace Livingston Hill and Jane Austen certainly inspired me with their stories, even if they didn’t label them Romance Suspense.

What’s your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is bringing a good story to the enjoyment of others. My least favorite part is the amount of time it takes to get it done.

What are you saying in your book (s) that will encourage Christians today?

My books are all about God’s grace and love. Of course they cover His forgiveness, longsuffering, and the fact that He will never leave you, nor forsake you if you are one of His children. And He will be there for you the moment you finally stop trying to do everything for yourself, and simply trust Him.

How do you come up with your book ideas?

All I can say is that they just pop into my mind. I have dozens of them that I haven’t even started writing about yet.

What projects are you working on right now?

As I mentioned before, I’m in the process of rewriting my second published book, Paths of Righteousness. At the moment, I’m past the half way mark in the rewrite, heading for the climax.


Sharon K. Connell was born in Wisconsin and lived there for five short days. From that time through college, she lived in Illinois. For over twenty years, she made her home in Florida where she graduated from the Pensacola Bible Institute. California, Ohio, and Missouri were also home during her childhood. Now retired from the business world, she resides in Houston, Texas, enjoying every minute of her writing career.

Except for six, Sharon has visited every state in the United States. She has also traveled to Canada and Mexico. The stories in her four published novels reflect some of the experiences she has had in her travels.

Sharon writes stories about people who discover God will allow things to happen in your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith. She has learned through the years that there is nothing too big for God to handle. And He will. If you take your hands off it, and leave Him in control.

Christian Romance Suspense is the genre of Sharon’s novels, with a little mystery and humor added for good measure.

Website: http://sharonkconnell.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell

Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1

Author’s Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianRomanceSuspense/

Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianWritersAndReadersGroupForum (Not accepting new members at this time)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SharonKConnell

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rosecastle1/

Links to Sharon's Books


                                                                                                                                                                    His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI

A Very Present Help http://amzn.to/2yuF4eE


I am happy to introduce Brennan S. McPherson as a guest to my blog.

BRENNAN S. McPHERSON writes thought-provoking, heart-pounding fantasy based on the Bible.

 With mind-bending plots and lyrical prose, McPherson crafts a different sort of biblical fiction for readers who like to be challenged to think.

When did you first know that you were going to become a Christian author?  

  1. I didn't know I was going to be a "real author" until I was about a third of the way through my first book, CAIN. I was writing it to fulfill a bucket-list item of writing a book before I died. I'd hit a lull between school and work (my last semester I had 12 credits), and I knew it was an opportune time to throw myself into learning the craft. Since then, I've learned it was a calling, and have been struggling to be faithful to walk in the steps God prepares for me since. I've made missteps (who hasn't?). But I trust the Lord is forgiving. I hope readers are, too. :) 

What inspired you to write The Hunter and The Valley of Death?

  1. What inspired me to write The Hunter and the Valley of Death was a massive shift in my personal devotions. A few years back, I decided to dedicate my first hour of every day to Scripture reading, and intense prayer. That soon evolved into the first two hours. Since then, with shifts in work load, I've vacillated between one and two hours (with the occasional missed day. But it profoundly changed my personal desires, and I fell deeply in love with Scripture. I memorized Psalm 23, and used it frequently as a prayer. It continued to weigh heavier on my heart, and began to engage my imagination. That seeded the idea for the plot. And grew to a multi-author series based on the psalms. What a dream come true! 

What projects are you working on now?

  1. Right now, I'm working on finishing The Fall of Man series (with a book on the tower of Babel) and working on the early ideas for a fantasy series based on the Gospel of John. 

About the Book

Experience the psalms like never before—through thought-provoking fiction.

A man wakes up in the Valley of Death and realizes he's given up everything to attempt to kill Death so that he can bring his Love back to life—but when he fails, who will be there to rescue him?

The Hunter and the Valley of Death is a profound meditation on life, death, loss, and love. Formatted as a fantasy parable on the topic of surrender, this story shows that there is only One who could kill Death—and because of him, and him alone, we say, "Oh, Death, where is your sting?"

Link to Book on Amazon

My Review

A beautifully well-written story as it follows the 23rd Psalm. I loved the vivid imagery that transported me to the world of Biblical times.

The characters became real to me and I immediately could feel the Psalm come to life for me. It was a powerful Biblical story immersed in symbolism that connected to Psalms 23.

I was provided with a complimentary copy from the author and willingly chose to review it.