Blooming with Books

Let your mind grow and bloom in the garden of books!

Blooming with Books Blog

Goddess Tithe ~ Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on September 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)



Back Cover Copy:




The Vengeful Goddess




Demands Her Tithe




When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.




Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.




Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?







Cover Design Intro:




I had the fun of designing this cover—finding reference photos, inventing the composition, applying the text, etc.—but the actual artistic work was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy (, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact and commission this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.




The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.




You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!




Intro to Illustration:




There are eight full-page illustrations in Goddess Tithe featuring various characters and events from the story. This is the first one in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie. Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.




I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age.




Excerpt from the Story:




Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:








“And what do you make of him yourself?”




Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”




“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.




The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”




Munny made neither answer nor any move.




“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”




“I hope—” Munny began.




But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”




The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.




Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.




“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.




“It’s a sign!”




“She’s warning us!”




“It’s a sign, I tell you!”




Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.




They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.




They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.




Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.




“I’ve never seen anything like that.”




Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”




There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.




But it was.











Author Bio:




Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.








I am offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! U.S. and Canada only, please.



Cover Reveal with Giveaway!

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on June 8, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)





"She Will Take Your Own Two Hands




To Save Your Ancient, Sorrowing Lands."




By her father's wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. Unable to bear the future she sees as her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.

But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal fey parasite . . .

A world that is hauntingly familiar.

Visit the official  Shadow hand site which goes live today June 8, 2013!





















a Rafflecopter giveaway

< script src="//" mce_src="//">



This giveaway is powered by the Rafflecopter platform. Rafflecopter does not sponsor, administer, or endorse it.






Fog of War ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on June 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Fog of War

Justin Hall #3

By Ethan Jones

Justin Hall is back with a new mission.  But nothing is ever easy and when a several joint CIA and CIS missions go south a leak is suspected.  The CIA lays the blame on the CIS and Justin and Carrie are tasked with determining the truth.

But adding to the difficulties of their latest mission that takes them to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is the fact that Justin seems to be the personal target of whomever is receiving the intelligence.  Who is targeting Justin and why him, not that he hasn't made enemies over the years but a $1,000,000 bounty on his head is something new.

Fog of War packs all the excitement you've come to expect in a Justin Hall case.  Betrayal that crosses national borders could end it all for Justin unless he can find the mole.  But solve this case Justin may have to disobey orders and go rogue.  Can the favors he's garnered over the years lead to the breakthrough he needs before it's too late?  Or will he run out of favors and time? 

If you like suspenseful spy novels that keep on the edge of your seat, you will want to read the latest Justin Hall novel Fog of War!

I was provided a copy of this book in digital format by the author in exchange for my review.

Though My Heart is Torn ~ Review

Posted by bloomingwithbooks on March 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)




Though My Heart is Torn

The Cadence of Grace #2

By Joanne Bischof

       Lonnie and Gideon O'Riley have come to a point where they have a happy marriage and are they are both seeking to serve God and to raise their son Jacob in a God honoring way.  But Gideon's roguish past is about to find them and shatter the life they have created together.

         Cassie Allen claims Gideon married her before he married Lonnie Sawyer and wasn't free to marry another.  The church agrees with Cassie and Gideon and Lonnie are faced with an agonizing decision - a decision that will affect not only them but their son as well. 

         Lonnie, after speaking to her Aunt Sarah, knows that she must give up her husband and his love to save him from Cassie's brothers.  But giving up what seemed to be from God is harder than she ever imagined.

          Gideon is determined that his heart will always belong to Lonnie even though he is forced to renew his vows to Cassie.  But Gideon is no longer the man Cassie once knew.  He had changed, he'd found the light and stepped out of the darkness.  His heart that she had once been able to touch now belongs to a woman who in Cassie's opinion was not worthy of his attention.  But can she break Gideon's love for Lonnie and claim it for her own?

          Lonnie along with Jacob and her young sister Addie leave Rocky Knob and return to the Bennett's home.  But will her heart ever mend and what could be God's plan behind this heartbreak?  But Lonnie is determined to live her life and make it the best she can for her son.  Does God have someone else for her?  As Lonnie struggles to find answers and move beyond her pain Elsie, Jebediah, and Reverend Tobias McKee offer her their friendship and support. 

         Though My Heart is Torn is the sequel to Be Still My Soul and the depths of pain will touch your heart.  You will feel the despair that Lonnie, Cassie, and Gideon feel.  One will see that you can't run from the past, hiding your mistakes and sins into the dark recesses confident that no one will ever know about them.  Our past shapes us and it has effects that can affect us and those around us in ways we cannot imagine.  What you do today can hurt you tomorrow.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review in exchange for my honest review.

  • Joanne's Website


  • More Info


  • Read Chapter One


  • Author Bio
  • Zero Separation ~ Review

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on January 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


    Zero Separation


    By Philip Donlay


    Michael Ross and Donovan Nash are piloting their Gulfstream IV The Spirit of da Vinci to West Palm Beach when they get caught in a thunderstorm that forces them to make an emergency landing in Boca Raton instead.But when Michael is attacked while examining the outside of the plane for damage a chain of events is set into motion that could alter Donovan's life forever!


    A Gulfstream is stolen from Boca Raton and FBI Special Agent Ronnie Montero believes that Donovan with his connections and financial resources are the key to solving this case. And Special Agent Montero is not going to let anyone or anything stop her, even Donovan. Armed with information that could destroy everything Donovan holds dear, Montero forces him to assist her as Michael, the Ross family, and the Nash family are targeted by whoever Michael saw stealing the Gulfstream.


    But everyone that could give Donovan and Montero a clue as to whom they are after is killed and the killer is after them. This case is about to get explosive and the United States is about to be targeted unless a madman is stopped before he unleashes a biological weapon that could kill millions.


    But will the price of stopping a terrorist cost Donovan his family or his very life? Zero Separation is intense and action filled as the minutes count down to the imminent attack. Who will live and who will die? Be sure to pick-up Zero Separation when it hits the bookshelves March 5, 2013.


    I received a digital loan of this title from the publisher for the purpose of this review and expectations were made on this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

    Raggleroot ~ Blog Tour

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on January 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


    Flin's Destiny Book 3

    By Erik Olsen

    Raggleroot even the name sounds evil and malevolent and Raggleroot is both.  Raggleroot is determined to destroy Flin!  The grandson of Flin's great-grandfather's partner blames the Newby family for his underworld existence and he is going make Flin pay for it and if anyone gets in his way so will they!

    Flin is on a mission to recover the Jadestone that is now in Blade's possession and to return it to the Leprechauns of Clover Cavern.  But Blade is determined to control the cavern and its riches and with the power of the Jadestone he can keep all others out. 

    Complicating Flin's mission is the growing evil in Parcell and his obsession with Flin's destiny ring.  When Blade sets his sights on Parcell, Parcell and Flin have an encounter that is about to change Flin and could bring about the death of the anemone that is protecting them from the ocean above. 

    When Sump mentions that Flin is a Newby, Blade sets out to recapture the missing Jadestone and Flin.  As danger closes in around them, Cobble Cavern comes under attack from the evil mutations that Raggleroot has spent his life creating.

    Can the residents of Cobble Cavern and the Cathederal survive long enough for Flin to find the Time Continuum before time runs out?

    Raggleroot will leave waiting in anticipation of book 4!

    I was provided a digital copy of this title for the purpose of this review.

    Brief description of the book:   Flin has always been told to stay away from the doors with five clover leaves. But when his only option to return home lies behind those doors, he’s forced to go against everything he’s believed. What he discovers is not only devastating, it’s deadly. Full of humor, action, and twists, this can’t-miss read is sure to keep you entertained to the very last page.

    Meet the Author:   Erik Olsen lives in Sandy Utah, where he enjoys the mountains and is surrounded by a great family and friends that have continued to support him throughout his writing quest. After having one of the world’s craziest dreams, he began writing a series of five books detailing it, called Flin’s Destiny, which is full of continuous action and adventure deep in the earth and keeps you wanting more.

    You can learn more about Erik’s writing at And don’t forget to check out his other book: Cobble Cavern and The Garden of the Lost Souls.






    Highlights from Margaret Feinberg Interview

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on December 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)



    You may have heard that Margaret Feinberg, has a new book and 7-session Bible Study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God releasing on Christmas Day.  I recently received the insider’s scoop about Margaret’s new book. Here are some highlights from that interview:

    Where did the inspiration for the Wonderstruck book and Bible study come from?

    Have you ever had one of those seasons where everything goes wrong, and when you think

    it can’t get worse, it somehow finds a way? Most people who have worked in ministry have

    experienced those seasons—some may be in one right now.

    My husband, Leif, and I had just gone through one of the roughest years of our lives. In the

    aftermath, as we processed the pain and loss, I had an unexplainable desire in my heart. I began

    praying for the wonder of God. In essence, I said, “God reveal yourself, your whole self to me.

    I want to know you as Wonderful. I want to know you as I’ve never known you before and see

    you in places I’ve never recognized you before.”

    God did not disappoint.

    What do you mean by “the wonder of God”?

    Sometimes talking or writing about wonder feels like tying kite strings to clouds. It’s ethereal,

    and you can never quite get a grip on it. But if you look in the dictionary, the two main

    definitions of wonder are: “being filled with admiration, amazement, or awe” and “to think or

    speculate curiously.”

    Those definitions come together beautifully in our relationship with God. That’s why I define the

    wonder of God as those moments of spiritual awakening that create a desire to know God more.

    In other words, the wonder of God isn’t about an emotional experience or having some cool

    story to tell your friends, but the wonder of God makes us want more of God—to go deeper and

    further than we’ve ever been before.

    Why are you calling people to #LIVEWONDERSTRUCK?

    If you look in the Gospels, what you’ll discover is that those who encountered Jesus were

    constantly left in wild amazement. They were awestruck by the teachings of Christ, the

    healings of Christ, the mind-bending miracles of Christ. Within the Gospel of Luke we see

    words like “awe” and “wonder” and “marvel” at every turn. If this is the natural response

    to encountering Christ, how much more should it be for you and I—who are invited to

    live in relationship with Christ as sons and daughters of our God Most High? We even

    created a free PDF that looks at some of these Scriptures. For a free copy, email us at

    [email protected] and we’ll send you one.








    To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video.

    Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on TwitterFacebook, or her blog. You can learn more about this great book by visiting where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.

    If you're like me and want to get a good deal, I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.57 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble.

    Have you seen the wonder of God in your life?

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on December 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

    Sometimes we wonder if we have ever seen the wonder of God in our own life?  The answer is yes and we don't even have to look all that hard to see it.  God's wonder is all around us and visible throughout the day.  A tiny bud breaking through on an early spring day.  The warmth of the sun on a cold winter morning.  The vast unknown of the night sky.  These all speak to the wonder of God.

    At times His wonder sneaks up on us and we just have to stop what we are doing and stand in awe as we absorb the beauty of His hand in our life.  When we are feeling down and a friend calls because they just felt like they needed to see how we are doing, this is God's doing. 

    The peace that fills your being when you sit outside and listen to the wind as it dances through the trees, stirring the leaves.  The helplessness of a newborn baby who is able to grasp the finger of their parent.  This all speaks to the wonder of God that fills our days.


    My friend, Margaret Feinberg, has a new book and 7-session Bible Study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God which is releasing Christmas Day —a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. Wonderstruck will help you:


     Recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine 

    Unearth extraordinary moments on ordinary days

    Develop a renewed passion for God

    Identify what’s holding you back in prayer

    Discover joy in knowing you’re wildly loved

    To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video.

    Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog. You can learn more about this great book by visiting where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.  

    If you're like me and want to get a good deal, I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.57 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble.

    So where have you seen the wonder of God in your life?

     If you look, you will see it!


    Right Where I Belong ~ Review

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on November 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)




    Right Where I Belong

    By Krista McGee

    Natalie Lopez is hurting for her stepmother, her father has done it again dumping a wife so that he can have another true love.  But Natalie determines that God wants her to leave her family and friends behind and go with her stepmother.  But moving to Florida is a culture shock to Natalie who has spent the first 17 years of her life in Spain. 

    But Maureen has done so much - caring for her when her parents were too busy, leading her to a relationship with Jesus - how can Natalie turn her back on her in her time of pain.  But living with Maureen is difficult as she struggles through the depression of a failed marriage.  Natalie isn't sure that her presence is a help to Maureen or not.

    Natalie has determined that she will never fall in love so that she might not experience the pain or rejection that her father inflicts on his wives.  But God has other plans for Natalie.  But Natalie isn't looking for romance she's looking for a lasting friendship and Addy, Lexi, Brian, and Spenser just may be what she needs if she can convince the guys that dating is out of the question.

    As Natalie learns more about the God she has so recently decided to follow, she grows as a person.  Can she trust God to know what's best for her, even where her heart is concerned?  Or will the lessons of her earthly father overrule the lessons of her Heavenly Father? 

    Adding to Natalie's struggles is her parents desire for her to go to an Ivy League University so she can follow one of them in a lucrative career.  But Natalie feels a pull in another direction.  How can she honor God and her parents when their goals for her are at odds?  With help from her new friends can Natalie discover how she can find peace with her future?

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze.  All opinions are my own.

    Guest Post ~ Midnight Madness from @SarahSundin!

    Posted by bloomingwithbooks on August 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

    Midnight Madness 8/15-8/31!

    Sarah Sundin's brand new book, With Every Letter, releases on September 1, 2012. To celebrate, Sarah is hosting the Midnight Madness Promotion!

    Pre-order or purchase a copy of the book by midnight on August 31, 2012 and be one of the first to read Book One of her new Wings of the Nightingale series. AND as a Thank You for pre-ordering or purchasing With Every Letter you'll be entered to win a $50 gift card to, Barnes and Noble or (winner's choice!).

    All you have to do is pre-order or purchase With Every Letter and send an e-mail with the following information to sarah{at}

    1. Your Name

    2. Where you ordered or purchased it from

    3. Your email address.

    That's it. Easy. 

    Here are the pre-order links:

    Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Christian Book Distributor

    Legal Mumbo Jumbo:

    **No Purchase Required** While I'd love for you to purchase the book, it's not  necessary to enter the contest. Just send me an e-mail to be entered. Winners will be chosen at random from entries. E-mail me at sarah{at} to enter. Winner will be announced on 9/4/2012. Contest open to US residents only.