Beyond The Buzz

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

– Ray Bradbury

Book Review: Jilted by Varina Denman

Published June 22nd, 2016 in Our Blog, Reviews | Comments Off on Book Review: Jilted by Varina Denman

varina-denman-jilted-cover-3d1Title:  Jilted
Author: Varina Denman
Genre: Drama
Publisher: David C. Cook
Date: June 1, 2016

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Don’t you hate it when you read a book or watch a movie and the main character is perfect? Or if they have flaws, they’re the adorably cute kind that everyone loves? It’s so hard to find people that are real in books. And that’s why I always enjoy it when I open a Varina Denman book. She doesn’t sugar coat life and make it all seem unreal. Her characters have real lives, real struggles, and real issues. And through each journey, they need to learn how to deal with these issues.

Lynda Turner is one of those people. The difficulties in her life aren’t exactly the same ones that everyone has. I mean her ex-boyfriend told everyone she cheated on her husband and that caused her husband to abandon her. That’s not something you run into every day. However, the feelings of abandonment, loneliness and believing you aren’t good enough are things I struggle with regularly.

There are moments in this journey that were difficult to handle. A couple of times, I felt like I was watching a movie through my fingers. Lynday’s feelings were turbulent and hard to handle. But the step by step journey taking apart the bad memories and redefining her thoughts of herself and her situation were beautiful. It’s something we all need to do sometimes.

I really enjoyed this final chapter in the Mended Hearts series. The entire series, as a whole, gave an in depth look into life in a small town. From those who spend their time focused on everyone else’s issues to those who feel that they are infallible, Denman nailed it.

This is one of those books you might want to tuck into your bag for the beach. A fast read, that doesn’t negate the depth of the characters. Entertaining from cover to cover, Jilted is a story that will stick with you in the best way possible.


Author Bio
Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly-grown children.


Note: I received this copy of Jilted as a part of the Radiant Lit Jilted blog tour. The book is available for purchase at


Book Review: London Tides by Carla Laureano

Published June 14th, 2015 in Our Blog, Reviews | Comments Off on Book Review: London Tides by Carla Laureano

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London Tides by Carla Laureano

Radiant Lit Blog Tours

Genre: Romance

Publisher: David C. Cook
Date: June 1, 2015

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved, Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?

The second book in the McDonald Family Trilogy picks up where Five Days in Skye left off, but this time we get to really and truly meet Ian, the brother only touched upon in the first book. Ian’s heart has been broken by Grace and he has struggled to pick up the pieces. So when Grace returns, it throws a bit of a wrench into the middle of everything for him.

I love Carla Laureano’s characters. I can’t say that enough. So often when you read Inspirational Fiction, you find characters that might have a flaw or two,  but on the whole, they’re characters that are set up on a pedestal rather than really being examples of real life. Laureano’s characters are flawed and they are honest about it. None are perfect and none pretend to be perfect. I find that refreshing and real and it makes me look forward to each of her new titles. London Tides did not disappoint.

With a plot that moves briskly enough to keep you entertained but not too fast to get you lost, London Tides gives a very fresh and honest view of what life is like for someone who has lived through combat. As the wife of an Air Force veteran, I appreciated her approach to PTSD and the reality of losing someone close to you.

But don’t think that this book only holds doom, gloom, or flawed characters! There’s a love story in here. A love story that shows what can happen when you take a broken heart and learn to trust again. It’s a beautiful journey that shows very vividly how trauma can be turned into something new and amazing. 

Carla Laureano is the author of the RITA® award-winning romance Five Days in Skye as well as London Tides and the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C. E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons.

London Tides is available for purchase from

Note: I received this book as part of the London Tides blog tour from Radiant Lit.  I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Book Review: I, Saul

Published September 14th, 2013 in Our Blog, Reviews | Comments Off on Book Review: I, Saul

We’re going to take a step away from the marketing advice for a short time this week to give you a recommendation for a book I recently finished. Don’t worry though – more marketing advice coming soon!


51RTb9mvhsL._SY346_Synopsis (from
From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.

A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two- thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus.

Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.

I love historical fiction. I studied writing in college with a minor in history because it was a dream at the time to write beautiful stories from ages past. Since then, my dreams have modified a bit and I don’t aspire to write it as much as I do to find good historical reads. I’m happy to say that this is one of those. When I, Saul came across my desk for a blog tour, I was intrigued. I’m glad I gave it a spot on my ‘to-read’ list.

I, Saul travels back and forth through time to share not only a modern day adventure, but delve into the life of the Apostle Paul. From the very first page, I was drawn into the story. The modern day characters, embroiled in international chaos, played nicely against the historical backdrop of Paul’s own journey and struggles.

I enjoyed the insight into the life and times of Paul, Luke and the other apostles. Through this story we learn more about Timothy, Luke and several others who, for most of us, are merely names in a book. Jenkins gives them life and breath and makes me wish I could have known them. The passion and desire for sharing the gospel is striking and beautiful even as it’s difficult to imagine in the kind of persecution they endure.

The modern day story was filled with enough mystery and suspense to keep things moving along at a nice pace as well. Though I was able to figure out some of the surprises within the story, I was pleasantly shocked at a few others.

All in all, this was not only an entertaining read, but an educational one as well. It was great to learn more about the lives of the men in the Word and see how their stories continue to impact us in the modern day.

If you’re interested, I, Saul is available to purchase from For history buffs and Bible scholars, this is a good one to have in your library! 

Note: I received this book as part of the I, Saul blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.