PERFIDITAS | Alison Morton

I first connected with Alison Morton with her release earlier this year, INCEPTIO, a fast paced and suspenseful debut novel. Well, guess what? She’s back with the second installment of the series! We head right back in the world of Roma Nova with PERFIDITAS.

Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…


Creating a “new” culture and world as Morton has done can present some challenges, especially when there’s old Roman names and terminology used. While it’s an adjustment, once you’re in the novel, it’s a smooth transition. In this second book, Morton dives deeper into a society completely run and dominated by women. Not only is it creative, but it’s full of action and suspense. Morton keeps Roma Nova alive with her fast paced storytelling and of course some twists and turns!

You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing here on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and the PERFIDITAS page!

(Thank you Alison for the advanced reader copy!)

Undaunted: Student Edition | Christine Caine

“Each had come to Greece expecting legitimate employment. All had brought with them dreams, hopes, and aspirations to do something more with their lives than their own families had ever dreamed possible. All of those tender, youthful dreams had been shattered beyond anyone’s worst fears.”

As you know, I love story and how it impacts others. Christine Caine’s, founder of the A21 Campaign, story is no different and Undaunted Student Edition: Daring to do what God calls you to do is a book all teens (and adults should grab a copy of Undaunted for themselves) should read. Trust me on this one.


In Undaunted: Student Edition, Christine Caine uses her dramatic life story to show teens how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. Her personal stories inspire teens to hear their name called, just as Christine heard her own—’You are beloved. You are the hope. You are chosen’—to go into a dark and troubled world, knowing each of us possess all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ. Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir readers to lives of adventure, Undaunted: Student Edition shows the way with spiritual wisdom and insight.

Sharing her personal story, the pain, the hardships and the healing, Caine shares her heart and how it shaped who she was and how the Lord worked through it to remind her of beautiful truths: the God made us, chooses us, is always with us and loves us deeply.

And He redeems us.

Throughout the pages, Caine encourages students to hold on to hope. It’s a touching story of how Christine and her husband are spreading that hope through the work they do with human trafficking as well as spreading the gospel and equipping the church and people around the world.

“God help me not to close my eyes to other people’s horror or ignore injustice. Help me fight the injustice you hate. Help me value people and speak up for those who have been silenced. God, you have loved, chosen and healed me, and I want to help others be set free. If anything-anything!-like this happens in my lifetime, help me not to sit back and pretend it does not concern me.” After a visit to Auschwitz before starting the A21 campaign

“He does not ask, Are you capable? He asks, Are you willing?”

I also liked the discussion questions at the end of each section; questions for students to wrestle with and work through.

The way the Lord has worked through Christine and her husband is inspiring and this book gives a glimpse in that journey and path that got her where she is today. So teens, youth groups and anyone else reading, be sure to grab a copy of this one. You’ll come away changed.

(Thank you DJC Communications and Zondervan for the readers copy in exchange for my honest review!)

…to lose the story’s spell…

“I did not want to lose the story’s spell or bid farewell to it’s characters yet.”
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


This is how any amazing book will make you feel. Especially turning that last page…Why must books end, people? Why?!

4 Questions with Bestselling Author Deeanne Gist


Look who is on the blog today. Look! Yep, the very same I always mention is absolutely hilarious and how I love all her books. The bestselling author herself, Deeanne Gist! Do you know how exciting it is for me to be able to host my favorite authors on this little corner of the web? All I’m saying is I’ve been known to dance around the room from excitement. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and be sure to pick up one of her books stat!

Deeanne Gist — known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee — has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary love stories. Add to this four RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

You can connect with Deeanne on at her website, Twitter or Facebook!


1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
In the last five years we’ve seen 2 kids get married, 2 graduate college, and 1 move to the other side of the country to pursue a career in music. In that time, as Greg and I became empty nesters, our sweet border collie suddenly moved way up in the pecking order. He’s not *quite* top dog, but he’s close. Never did I dream we’d let him on the furniture with us, on our bed, in our hotel rooms, and hardly ever out of our sight. Our kids are all shaking their heads at this sad state of affairs.


2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Oh, goodness. There are too many to count, much less narrow down to one. So many words I’ve let spill out that I’d love to recapture. So many decisions I’ve made that I so wish I’d never fallen through on. So many falls I took that could have so been avoided. One thing? Hardly.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I remember looking out the window above the kitchen sink while washing up some dishes. The day was glorious and the girls were playing hula-hoop on the deck and the boys were eating popsicles while they watched Greg work on a fort he was building for them. I remember resting my hands against the sink and thinking, “You know, life just doesn’t get any better than this.”





4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I hope the next generation never forgets that though they are connected to “friends” all over the globe with a touch of their fingers, that it is still extremely important to have friends they spend time with, play with, and share with–live and in person. No amount of texting, tweeting, or facebooking can ever replace the rewards which come from those face-to-face, day-to-day relationships.

This is my next Gist novel on the list!

This is my next Gist novel on the list!

Thank you so much Deeanne! Such a pleasure to host you at Books and Beverages!

Who votes I give away one of Deeanne’s books? I do! I like to make things easy, so to enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways (just leave a comment each time you do).

Be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by 11/7/13 at 11:59 (CST).


Return to Me | Lynn Austin

I mean seriously Lynn Austin, do you know how to write a bad book? I doubt it. Return to Me is an in-depth and fantastically written story about the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon back to J-Ru (my college professor always called Jerusalem that and it kinda stuck with me :) ).

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo’s prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God’s chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.

Zechariah, Iddo’s oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather’s ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

Based on the prophet Zechariah along with Austin’s incredible research, the world of the Jewish exiles is brought to life with vivid descriptions and a reality check of what it was like for those returning. It wasn’t easy and it was hard. People easily slipped away while others grew from the experience.


Oh man! The history and descriptions of this novel are so rich. Even if you aren’t a history person, I do believe you’ll come to appreciate the background and research. This brings to life the stories of scripture in a beautiful way. Because let’s be honest, how much do you know about the minor prophet Zechariah? You know how much I knew? Well, I had to double check if he had his own book. So win for me.

That’s probably one of my favorite things about the start of this new series. Austin does not mess around when it comes to historical research and because of it, there’s a great new series fans of biblical historical fiction will want to dive into.

This isn’t a book you’ll fly through (I think it could have been broken into two books), but it’s definitely worth the read. It spanned over several years, so there were some parts of the story that weren’t as in depth or focused (whether on individuals or couples), but that’s what makes this one great. The focus isn’t on the individuals as much as it is on what it took to rebuild the temple.

As I’ve said, this is the start of another great series. One I definitely look forward to.

Are you a Lynn Austin fan? Have you had the chance to dive into any of her novels yet?

I think I’ll go re-read her Chronicles of the Kings series again while I wait for the next in this series.

(Thank you Bethany House for the Advanced Reader Copy! I was provided a copy in exchange for my honest opinion).

Deep in the Heart of Trouble | Deeanne Gist

“Are you packing a pistol right now?”

That quote, right there, is one reason I really enjoyed Deep in the Heart of Trouble by the wonderful Deeanne Gist. Was this a girl asking a guy? Nope, this question was asked of our lead Essie. I won’t give you her answer, but it made me laugh. I get asked if I’m packing heat all the time!

Another reason I liked this book? I needed – not wanted – a sequel to Courting Trouble where we first met the Spreckelmeyer clan. In Courting Trouble we encounter 30 year old Essie who is determined she will find herself a husband. The story is full of character’s mistakes, reality of what can happen when we let our guard down, how easy it is to compromise, dealing with the consequences and how beautiful grace can be. Even with that, when it ended, I thought “boo! That didn’t end how I wanted.” But then the wonderful word known as sequel appeared. In!


In Deep in the Heart of Trouble we find ourselves four years after the end of the first book.

Texas bloomer girl Essie Spreckelmeyer (Courting Trouble) is still just trying to maintain her balance. The president of the local velocipede club has had her fair share of pratfalls, but her present situation is unusually perilous. Running her father’s oil company in this male-dominated boomtown was difficult enough before arrival of handsome, headstrong Tony Morgan.

I’m such a fan of Gist’s book and this one was no different. She’s so funny! I enjoyed the maturity of each of the characters and how they grew as people and to each other. Toss in a little mystery & intrigue and you got yourself a winning combination. Plus the changes the main characters go through aren’t over dramatic, cheesy or unbelievable. So yes, I shall continue to read through all of her books, because they are fantastic!

I’ll end with one more funny quote:
“There were only three reasons a woman’s name should ever appear in the Corsicana newspaper: being born, getting married, and keeling over dead. To provoke a full article not just in Corsicana Weekly but in newspapers scattered across the country was nothing short of appalling.”

Do you enjoy Gist’s novels or this time period? Have you read this one? What’s your favorite historical read and author?

P.S. I don’t really get asked if I’m carrying a weapon, just in case you weren’t sure if I was joking.

…Every coin in the case looked different after that…

“In his book The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning writes, “We are all equally privileged but unentitled beggars at the door of God’s mercy.” I thought of that as person after person walked past without donating or even making eye contact. I felt my frustration rising until I realized how unentitled I was. No one deserves mercy. And no one walking by owed us a die. Mercy is, by definition, undeserved, or else it isn’t mercy.

Every coin in the case looked different after that.”
Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski


This is the true story of a young man searching what it means to be homeless in America and it’s a fabulous book I highly recommend to anyone and everyone. “By his own choice, Mike’s life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego.”

Have you read this book? What do you think of the quote? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

4 Questions with Bestselling Author Rachel Hauck

Guys! I’m sooooo excited to have the bestselling Rachel Hauck on the blog! Not only is she a fabulous writer (she wins awards and stuff), but she’s also awesome. She gives plenty back to the reading community, not only by connecting with fans, but helping fellow writers out! She was recently awarded the 2013 AFCW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mentor of the Year.

So if you haven’t, I suggest you grab one of her books and dive in! You can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Twitter and her website!

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, bestselling author of critically acclaimed novels such as the RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.


1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Five years ago I would’ve never imagined myself in a different house, one with a freshly built (I can still smell the new lumber) two-story, octagon shaped “tower” with hardwood floors and trim as my writing office. Everyday I climb a curving staircase to the second floor, where the surrounding trees almost make me feel like I’m in a tree house, and I sit down to write novels. How fun is that?

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Wow, that’s a hard question. There are things in my past that I would do differently now that I have the perspective of time, but I think I would’ve cheated myself of the beauty and pain of my journey to have changed anything. Maybe I’d have been more serious about following Jesus in my college years but that season taught me a lot about myself and life. I needed those days to unlock areas of my heart that helped to get me where I am today.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I have a lot of happy moments. When I met my husband. When I got married. When I sold my first book. I’ve probably never laughed as hard as I did in college. Man, my friends and I laughed a lot. Like, fall down on the sidewalk laughter. Growing up with my family. I still hold dear one Christmas when we were waiting for my grandparents to arrive and my dad played a girl’s hand game with me. Awesome treasures.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Freedom isn’t free. Don’t depend on government hand-outs to complete your life. Get away from fear and anxiety. We have so many fears in our society. Work hard. Find solutions to your own problems through prayer, friends and resourcefulness. America is a great nation. Take advantage of the foundation set forth by our founding fathers.

Above all, love Jesus with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.


Thank you so much Rachel! Like I said, so glad you could join the 4 Questions project!

I kinda want to give something away today, so I vote let’s! I’m giving away one of Rachel Hauck’s books of your choice (international winners can choose any e-book version). I can’t wait to read The Wedding Dress and loved what I’ve read so far, so I promise you want to enter!

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post! If you want to earn extra entries, here’s a few easy ways (just leave a comment each time you do).

  • Share on Twitter and/or Facebook. Feel free to use this tweet: Want to win a copy of one of @RachelHauck fantastic novels? Check out 4 Questions and enter here! via @jamielynne82
  • Follow Books and Beverages Feed, and/or Facebook (if you follow already, thanks! Just let me know!)

Be sure to leave a comment! Leave one by 10/31/13 at 11:59 (CST).


Fun Finds for the Book Nerd #9

Fun Finds - October 2013


I felt that statement demanded all caps, because I do. I love fall. Sometimes I think it might be my favorite season. Why? Well pumpkin bread is probably 96.8% of the reason why. That and holidays, family and beautiful weather!

1. Speak Friend and Enter – Outdoor Welcome Mat. If you come over to my place, guess what? You will soon find this mat of legit-ness at my doorstep. I’m buying myself a Christmas gift and have no shame. $17.00

2. Midsummer Nights Dream Print by Immortal Longings. This artwork is beautiful. I was introduced to it by my blogging friend Hamlette over at The Edge of Percipie and fell in love with all of the items posted. Midsummer Nights Dream is one of favs from Will, so I love this print! $24.99

3. ILTP Deluxe Tote Bag with Camera. Granted this isn’t about books, but you guys know my love for photography and Texas, so it works for me to be included! Plus you can store books in this tote…totally counting it. $18.00

4. Jane Austen Handwritten Mug. Oh Jane, you and Tolkien really messed up women’s expectations for men, but since there wouldn’t be a Mr. Darcy without you, I say thanks. $13.49

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Fleece. This fleece features the UK first edition cover (which actually came out a few months before the US release in 1884). And thanks to Sleepy Hollow, I’m all things British right now. $42.00

What do y’all think? Getting some Christmas ideas??


The Kitchen House | Katherine Grissom

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I don’t.

How can a book that pretty much punched my heart in the face be so captivating, I could hardly put it down? Trust me, this one draws you in.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.


When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.

Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.

Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

Did you read that last line in the description? The one that starts with tragic? They don’t play. It’s not a light read by any means (read: kind of depressing), but it reveals part of our country’s history that happened. And sadly a lot. Some characters you wanted to smack some common sense into (I’m talking to you L), others you wanted to hug (oh Will!) and others you despise.

If you are expecting sunshine and unicorns, you may want to pass on this one. But if you want a book that’s real, then I definitely recommend this one.

Have you read it? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

I heard a rumor a sequel is coming out.

It better.


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